Rwandan opposition accuse France of 'double standard'

7th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Rwandan opposition parties on Wednesday accused France, which spearheaded support to Libyan rebels fighting Kadhafi, of "political double standards" for hosting President Paul Kagame this month.

The Rwandan head of state will next Monday and Tuesday undertake his first official visit to France since the 1994 genocide.

"His coming to France, birthplace of human rights, in the middle of what the world is calling the Arab spring, and after the fall of Colonel (Moamer) Kadhafi's regime in Libya, is a political double standard," said the United Democratic Forces (FDU) and the Rwanda National Congress (RNC).

"Civil society, non-governmental agencies, political parties and the media need France's help like it gave Libya, to promote genuine political dialogue," the parties said in a joint statement.

The FDU is headed by Victoire Ingabire, currently being tried on terrorism charges amongst others. The RNC was created last year by exiled former supporters of Kagame.

Neither is recognised by Rwandan authorities who say they have not completed the necessary moves to be registered.

They called on France to "dare to condemn the failures and the mistakes of the government" which they say would get rid of the "impression of impunity that it has built up since its arrival in power in 1994."

"It's the only way to avoid another Rwanda tragedy," they said.

Kagame has ruled the small central African country ever since the genocide which saw an estimated 800,000 mostly ethnic Tutsis killed by Hutus in a roughly 100-day period.

© 2011 AFP

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