U.S. Must Not Recognize Rwanda "Sham" Election

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[Op-Ed: Africa]
President Obama said, in his 2009 speech in Accra, Ghana, that America should support strong institutions and not strong men.

However in the case of Rwanda, this has been no more than rhetoric.  Rwandans, like most Africans, cheered Obama's election, hoping that it might signal a new, more peaceful and cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Africa, but Obama has expanded AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, and now he remains silent as Rwanda's strongman, President Paul Kagame, prepares a sham presidential election to retain his brutal grip on power.

We are calling on President Obama and the U.S. State Department not to recognize the legitimacy of Rwanda's upcoming August 9th election results and to stop militarizing Africa and supporting repressive regimes.

Who: International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda, Foreign Policy In Focus, Africa Faith and Justice Network, Africa Action, Friends of the Congo, Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Congo, Shalupe Foundation, Chicago Congo Coalition and Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region (OPJDR).

What: Briefing on the August 9th Rwandan elections and its implications for the Great Lakes Region. Speakers to include:

[] Paul Rusesabagina, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation

[] Peter Erlinder, International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, Wm Mitchell College of Law

[] Pascal Kalinganire, Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region (OPJDR)

When: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2010.
Where: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Lisagor Room.
Washington, DC 20045

Contacts: Gena Berglund, Assistant Director
International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota
Ph: 651-208-7964
Email: humanitarianlawmn@gmail.com

Friends of the Congo
Phone:  202-584-6512
Email: rwandaelections@gmail.com

For more information, please visit www.friendsofthecongo.org or www.afjn.org.

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