Civil society and non-governmental organisations have an important role to play in the growth and development of Rwanda. Since 1994, the people, government, and the international community has worked hand-in-hand to build this country. Rwanda is a place with a painful past but stainless future. It has worked tirelessly on all levels to, yes, reorient a people that have been torn apart, something others have branded as dictatorial.
Over the years, though, a country owned by its own people have found common ground with international civil society. Though there is a difference in approach sometimes, almost all of us have common goals, and NGOs today work in much closer harmony with national governments than ever before.
Unfortunately, Amnesty International—an organisation that, according to its own website, does not maintain offices in any of the five countries of East Africa—has proved again and again, most recently in yesterday’s advocacy to boycott Genocide extraditions to Rwanda, that it has not learned what all others have.
How dare anybody, especially those who were not here in 1994, undermine people’s lives and the sanctity of those no longer with us with politics? What right do the employees of Amnesty and the institution itself believe they have the authority to cast judgment on others they do not know?
The most terrible shame of it all is that the weakest rarely have a voice to scream above the stronger—no more worthy—more ‘respected’ opinion-makers. It’s not only a shame but a tragedy and insult to every person living in this country that an organisation which aims to correct the wrongs of history’s inattention to violence be on the forefront of pointing out ‘wrongs’ perpetrated by a government with a very bright future with its people.
Amnesty International has a long history about Rwanda with picking fights it knows little about.
Amnesty International better heed the call; no offices in Kigali, no officials in Rwanda, the closest ‘expert’ permanently stationed by Amnesty appears to be in Zambia.
Now, is that the type of devotion to perfect research the international community should be paying attention to and the rest of us living up to?
Amnesty International is one of many in an industry that thrives on bad news and pessimism, an industry notoriously accused of gross inflation of both facts and figures to retain larger-than-life contracts from foreign donors necessary for their very survival. It feeds on the souls innocently believing in what Rwanda believes; natural rights, the freedom to live, survive and thrive
The monopoly on morals by organisations such as Amnesty International is one of the great crimes never reported.