African Refugees' Open Letter to Obama in Support of Kikwete's Call for Kagame and Museveni to Negotiate with the FDLR and ADF
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
NW Washington, DC 20500
Object: Pleading with you to pressure President Paul Kagame to accept dialogue with his political foes that will bring peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
The Refugees Rescue Mission (RRM) is a Christian non-profit organization that was founded in North Carolina in January 2009 by the refugees from Rwanda and Americans who passionately sought to improve lives of refugees who came as strangers to this great nation.
What we had in common as refugees was the loss our loved ones, and fleeing our beloved nation for our own safety. Nevertheless, we never forgot other refugees we left behind on the African continent, which is why we founded the RRM.
Since October 1, 1990, when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and its military wing Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) invaded Rwanda from Uganda, people in the Great Lakes region have been suffering, and continue suffering today. The victory of the RPF/RPA did not bring peace and stability in Rwanda nor in our region, but it fueled endless wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.).
President Paul Kagame and his inner-circle believe that the barrel of the gun, demonizing their political foes, and killing and arresting their dissidents could achieve victory and political control in Rwanda and the whole region. For the last 19 years, these practices failed, but they caused more pain and loss of lives of innocent people in our region.
On May 26, 2013 during the African Union Summit, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete made historic remarks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that global dialogue was the only way to assure durable peace in our region. He called for the Rwanda government to initiate dialogue with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) based in the D.R.C., and called on the Ugandan government to initiate dialogue with the Ugandan rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who are also based in the D.R.C.
The government of Rwanda has responded by vehemently opposing any suggestion for political dialogue. The government used its voices such as the IBUKA genocide survivors' association and its pro-government newspapers to launch a smear campaign against President Kikwete and the statement that he made in good faith.
We are pleading to you on behalf of millions of Rwandans, Congolese, and thousands of refugees in our region to use the United States’ leverage to pressure Paul Kagame and his regime to accept unconditional political dialogue with the FDLR and other political organizations that oppose the Rwandan government. We believe that true power sharing between Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda is the only way to end Rwanda’s intrusion into the D.R.C.
The Rwandan government had sown the seed of wars and terror in our whole region by using proxy forces in the D.R.C for the last 17 years, and this has caused humanitarian disaster. All the Rwandan refugees live in fear because the regime of Paul Kagame has sent agents beyond Rwanda's borders to killing many of those who have opposed his regime. The genocidal massacres of Hutu refugees in the D.R.C., documented in UN Exercise Mapping Report on Human RIghts Abuses in the DRC (1993-2003), the attempted assassination of Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, and the hunting of refugees in London, England are among the many examples of the Kagame regime's determinaton to hunt down and exterminate any who challenge it.
We are asking you to support the paradigm President Kikwete laid down during the African Union Summit because it will be the only way to achieve peace in our region of Great Lakes of Africa.
We thank you so much Mr. President for your understanding and cooperation on this serious matter.
The Reverend Innocent Ndagijimana Justice, Founder and President, Refugees Rescue Mission
H.E. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of Republic of Tanzania
H.E. Jacobo Zuma, President of Republic of South Africa
H.E. Joseph Kabange Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Excellency Ban Ki-moon, The General Secretary of the United Nations
Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Parliament of Tanzania
Secretary General of the European Union