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US Embassy in Rwanda: Power in Hands of a Powerful Tutsi Minority With A Few Incompetent Hutu Figureheads

According the Wikileaks cables, the United States Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda expressed,  in a deep objective analysis of  the ethnic make up of the leadership of Rwandan political and military institutions,  its serious concerns about Rwandan stability by observing that Rwanda is  tightly led by a clique of individuals, mostly English speakers, from the Tutsi minority ethnic group,  who recruits a few  figureheads from the ethnic Hutu majority.

According to the cables,   US Embassy’s” analysis of the ethnic breakdown of the current Rwandan government shows Tutsis hold a preponderant percentage of senior positions. Hutus in very senior positions often hold relatively little real authority, and are commonly “twinned” with senior Tutsis who exercise real power. The military and security agencies are controlled by Tutsis, generally English speakers who grew up as refugees with President Kagame in Uganda.
The 28-member cabinet is evenly split among Tutsis and Hutus, but most key ministries are in the hands of Tutsis (Hutu ministers do head Health and Agriculture, ministries which affect the lives of most Rwandans). While the Rwandan government (GOR) presents itself as a champion of national unity and equal opportunity, de-emphasizing ethnic identity and ostensibly opening positions throughout society to those of skill and merit, political authority in the country does not yet reflect this ideal. Ethnic identity is still keenly felt and lived, and ordinary Rwandans are well aware of who holds the levers of power. The long-term stability of Rwanda depends upon a government and ruling party that eventually shares real  authority with the majority population.”

If the Wikileaks cables describe what the US Embassy says, the US Embassy may have forgotten the fact that even the “twinned” Hutus are usually required to have family relations with the ruling Tutsi elite. For example, Bernard Makuza, the Prime Minister is the first cousin of the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame, their respective mothers being sisters.

On Prime Minister Makuza, the US Embassy did not  hesitate to point out his incompetence and lack of leadership, making him the epitome of  Hutu figureheads within the Rwandan government:

“First Twin: Prime Minister Bernard Makuza: A Hutu, he ostensibly occupies the second-most powerful position in the Rwandan government. Affable but ineffectual, he defers in all matters great and small to President Kagame.”

The analysis touches almost all the key positions, including the Central Bank, that was led by Francois Kanimba, twinned with a Tutsi. Francois Kanimba, himself with a well connected RPF Tutsi wife, was recently replaced by his Tutsi twinned RPF inner circle member.

Even for competent Hutus, the RPF government makes sure only Tutsis are prominent, represent the visible face of the institution, and hold the administrative authority: “ Fourth Twin: Supreme Court President Aloysia Cyanzayire. Although she is reputedly a competent and hard-working judge, Supreme Court Vice President Sam Rugege, a Tutsi, is very much the public face of the court, and appears to hold administrative authority as well.”

The US Embassy ends the analysis on a pessimistic tone about the current aristocracy in Rwanda and the prospects of ethnic reconciliation: “8. (C/NF) For all the government’s exhortations to Rwandans to abandon ethnic identities and work in common on national goals, a policy that in fact has much to recommend it, the goals, a policy that in fact has much to recommend it, the political reality is self-evidently otherwise. People remain keenly committed to their ethnic identities, and everyone is aware of which person holds which position and to which group he belongs. While the practical end-point for such a project may be years away. if this government is ever to surmount the challenges and divides of Rwandan society, it must begin to share real authority with Hutus to a much greater degree than it does now.

© 2011 AfroAmerica Network


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cypre September 9, 2011, 7:15 pm

    What is funny is that’s Hutus find that afroamericanet repport from wikileaks tells the truth while Tutsis find those repports to be lies.
    One day the hypocrisy on which rwandans are building their illusionary democracy will fall apart.
    Kirabo there is nothing to divide because the country is already divided along ethnic lines and can’t be united throu hypocrisie and lies.

  • Fred Kirabo September 5, 2011, 6:57 am

    hopeless, u guys just want to bring again ethnic divisionism that had been resolved, i think u guys hate countries that attain peace and stability. But even if you try ways to cause instability, we are reconciled and one people now committed to develop our nation.