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Rwandan Social Party PS-Imberakuri Launches Armed Opposition?

Sources in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Western Rwanda inform AfroAmerica Network that the members of the only Rwandan approved opposition party operating inside Rwanda, Social Party PS-Imberakuri, has launched an armed opposition to the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) regime. In Rwanda there are other so-called “opposition parties”, that most observers of the Rwandan politics regard as offshoots of the ruling RPF, created to give the illusion of democracy to Western donors.

The armed organization launched by PS-Imberakuri is known as Common Front for the Liberation of Rwanda or Front Commun de Liberation du Rwanda (FCLR). Its troops, mostly the youth freshly recruited from Rwanda, have been crossing the border and training in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo since late 2012. They are led by PS-Imberakuri secretary general Theobald Mutarambirwa, whose headquarters are in Eastern DRC. AfroAmerica Network has confirmed that Theobald Muratambirwa was this week in North-Kivu, in Eastern DRC. Theobald Mutarambirwa is also among PS Imberakuri leaders frequently arrested and tortured by the Rwandan security services.

According to the sources, after training in Eastern DRC, some of the PSI troops are infiltrated back into Rwanda and put under the command of B. (name withheld by AfroAmerica Network). The political and diplomatic affairs and mobilization are coordinated by Jean Baptiste Ryumugabe who is based in Europe and A. (name withheld by AfroAmerica Network), who is still based inside Rwanda.

The option for an armed struggle appears as a result of an unprecedented repression by the RPF government against PS-Imberakuri leaders and members. Since the party was launched in 2009, the ruling RPF government has sought to systematically physically or politically decimate its leadership and has threatened members of imprisonment or arrested prominent members along with journalists who denounced the repression. Score of PS-Imberakuri members have disappeared. On June 24, 2010, following demonstrations against repression in Rwanda, the Rwandan government arrested PS Imberakuri president and founder, Maitre Bernard Ntaganda, accusing him of inciting ethnic divisions or divisionism, genocide denial and threatening the security of the regime. He was subsequently condemned to 4 years and is set to be released this year.

Rwandan government has also created or funded internal rifts within the government. The faction currently recognized by the Rwandan government led by Mrs Christine Mukabunani, who, along with the former Secretary general, Pastor Noel Hakizimfura and Augustin Niyitegeka, have been accused by other PS Imberakuri leaders and members of working for the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

The option of an armed struggle by the only political opposition party approved by the RPF government is a major turning point in the Rwandan politics. With the FCLR, Rwandan government now faces four major armed opposition organizations including Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana), and Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR-Inkeragutabara). Both RUD-Urunana and RPR-Inkeragutabara have created a coalition known as National Democratic Congress (NDC). There are rumors of other Rwandan armed groups in formation (see our articles here and here


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