Just in from Human Rights Watch, Rwanda is kidnapping more of its own citizens, presumably to torture and/or imprison them, if not worse. Please read the report. Some eyewitness testimony:
It was between 8:30 and 9 a.m. [and she was] dressed in her work clothes. She got a call from a girl she had studied with in Congo. I could hear the conversation. The caller said that Anne-Marie had to go outside. There was a vehicle parked there [and] two people were on the road. The men were in civilian clothes. The vehicle was a white pickup truck with tinted windows … As she was walking toward the truck, she was talking on the phone … One of the men said to her, ‘Is it you [the caller] is looking for? She is in the vehicle, you can find her there.’ As she got near the vehicle, the two men pushed her inside. They were walking behind her as she walked toward it and forced her inside. Then they sped off.
And in another case:
Elie thought it had something to do with the neighborhood, so he got up and put on a jacket … [Another person] went outside and saw the soldiers walking Elie out of the compound. She then saw him try to resist and they [the soldiers] pushed him. She yelled, ‘[Semajeri] is being arrested!’ [Others] ran outside and threw stones at neighbors’ houses to tell everyone what was happening and to tell people to come outside…
I saw Honoré, the executive secretary, with the soldiers. The soldiers had their guns out and were pointing them up and down the street. Elie was being put into a vehicle and he yelled, ‘Look! They are arresting me! They are taking me and I will die!’ He was also crying. He yelled, ‘All the neighbors must see this!’ At this moment, they forced him into a vehicle. It was a white pickup truck.
Let me again remind GAFCON signatories of what they said in Nairobi:1
We repudiate all such violence against women and children and call on the church to demonstrate respect for women, care for marginalized women and children around the world, and uphold the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.
We are conscious of the growing number of attacks on Christians in Nigeria and Pakistan, Syria and Egypt, Sudan and many other countries. Where our brothers and sisters are experiencing persecution, we must all call on governments and leaders of other religions to respect human rights, protect Christians from violent attack and take effective action to provide for freedom of religious expression for all.
The Rwandan delegation to GAFCON included Archbishop Rwaje, Bishop Breedlove and Rev. Rutayisire. Will they ask the Rwandan government what is going on?
This pervasive dominance of the ancient world is also revealed in the church of St. Polyeuktos (524-27), constructed by Juliana Anicia, one of the richest individuals in Constantinople. She was a member of the distinguished Roman family of the Anicii in the East. Her church was built to exactly the same dimensions as the original Temple, using the same royal foot of measurement, and decorated with identical symbols of ancient royal authority, which aroused Justinian’s envy.
While the opportunity is there, I preach the Gospel with all my might, and my conscience is clear before God that I have not sided with the present government which is utterly self-seeking. I have been threatened many times. Whenever I have the opportunity I have told the president the things the churches disapprove of. God is my witness. – Janani Luwum
Adding his voice to the parade of clergy who praise a murderous tyrant, retired Archbishop George Carey visited Rwanda yesterday, lauding Paul Kagame. He met with Kagame and Archbishop Rwaje.
Speaking to the press after meeting President Kagame, Lord George Carey said Rwanda has responded magnificently and was a strong, vibrant, buoyant country that was going in the right direction…Lord George Carey, who is remembered as the first Anglican Archbishop to ordain women priests, commended Rwanda’s policy on gender equality: “The reason why I am passion about this is because women represent 50% of the human family, have the same brain capacity as the male and have many wonderful gifts and why wouldn’t they be allowed to use those gifts? Rwanda’s emphasis on gender equality is very good and a modern thing too. I would like to encourage President Kagame to maintain his enthusiasm because he is doing a great thing”1Carey lauded government’s “pro-people approach to governance” and encouraged the Head of State to stay the course. “A president is a servant of the people. It’s the people who matter and that should be up most in his mind and I’m sure it is,” he said.2
Where are voices like Bishop Festo Kivengere in Rwanda?
God entrusts governments with authority. But authority has been misused in our country by force.
In contrast to a lot of pious-sounding talk about reconciliation in Rwanda, Susan Thomson has just written this article, which should be a must read for someone who really wants to grasp how things work. She says:
The government can seek to impose national unity and reconciliation activities on Rwandans because of the deep structures of authority that characterise the apparatus of the state. In Rwanda, political power is firmly held by those who control the state in a system where sociopolitical domination is commonplace and accepted by ruler and ruled alike. When the power of the state is exercised at the local level, as it currently is through the program of national unity and reconciliation, it takes the form of directives from “on high” (the regime in Kigali) and of strict monitoring of the ability and the willingness to implement government orders effectively and efficiently. RPF-appointed local leaders in turn keep an eye on the activities and speech of individuals within their bailiwick. Local government officials constantly and consistently remind Rwandans of the need to “unify and reconcile” in order to consolidate present and future security. The density of the Rwandan “state” saturates everyday life with its strong administrative, surveillance, and information-gathering systems, resulting in minute individual forms of resistance when confronted with its various practices of control and coercion.[vi] Rwandans from all walks of life—rural and urban, young and old, men and women—are subject to the exercise of power granted to appointed local leaders, and must perform the prescribed rituals of national unity and reconciliation, regardless of their private realities.
How real is reconciliation when it is conducted at the barrel of a gun?