… alle Verhältnisse umzuwerfen, in denen der Mensch ein erniedrigtes, ein geknechtetes, ein verlassenes, ein verächtliches Wesen ist … (Marx)

Archive for the ‘Ruanda’ Category

Entschuldigungen, der Vatikan und der Genozid in Ruanda 1994

Posted by entdinglichung - 30. März 2010

Nachfolgend dokumentiert ein lesenswerter Artikel von Martin Kimani zur Verwicklung und zur Vergangenheitsbewältigung der römisch-katholischen Kirche 16 Jahre nach dem Genozid in Ruanda, bleibt anzumerken, dass fast alle Religionsgemeinschaften in Ruanda mit Ausnahme der Zeugen Jehovas und der Muslime am Morden beteiligt waren:

For Rwandans, the pope’s apology must be unbearable

If sexual abuse in Ireland warrants his contrition, what contempt is shown by the Vatican’s silence over its role in genocide

Martin Kimani

If you are an Irish Catholic, and have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, you were recently read a letter from Pope Benedict that tells you: „You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.“

For any practising Catholic in Rwanda, this letter must be unbearable. For it tells you how little you mean to the Vatican. Fifteen years ago, tens of thousands of Catholics were hacked to death inside churches. Sometimes priests and nuns led the slaughter. Sometimes they did nothing while it progressed. The incidents were not isolated. Nyamata, Ntarama, Nyarubuye, Cyahinda, Nyange, and Saint Famille were just a few of the churches that were sites of massacres.

To you, Catholic survivor of genocide in Rwanda, the Vatican says that those priests, those bishops, those nuns, those archbishops who planned and killed were not acting under the instruction of the church. But moral responsibility changes dramatically if you are a European or US Catholic. To the priests of the Irish church who abused children, the pope has this to say: „You must answer for it before almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals. You have forfeited the esteem of the people of Ireland and brought shame and dishonour upon your confreres.“

The losses of Rwanda had received no such consideration. Some of the nuns and priests who have been convicted by Belgian courts and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, respectively, enjoyed refuge in Catholic churches in Europe while on the run from prosecutors. One such is Father Athanase Seromba, who led the Nyange parish massacre and was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the tribunal. In April 1994, Seromba helped lure over 2,000 desperate men, women and children to his church, where they expected safety. But their shepherd turned out to be their hunter.

One evening Seromba entered the church and carried away the chalices of communion and other clerical vestments. When a refugee begged that they be left the Eucharist to enable them to at least hold a (final) mass, the priest refused and told them that the building was no longer a church. A witness at the ICTR trial remembered an exchange in which the priest’s mindset was revealed.

One of the refugees asked: „Father, can’t you pray for us?“ Seromba replied: „Is the God of the Tutsis still alive?“ Later, he would order a bulldozer to push down the church walls on those inside and then urge militias to invade the building and finish off the survivors.

At his trial, Seromba said: „A priest I am and a priest I will remain.“ This, apparently, is the truth, since the Vatican has never taken back its statements defending him before his conviction.

In the last century, Catholic bishops have been deeply mired in Rwandan politics with the full knowledge of the Vatican. Take Archbishop Vincent Nsengiyumva. Until 1990, he had served as the chairman of the ruling party’s central committee for almost 15 years, championing the authoritarian government of Juvenal Habyarimana, which orchestrated the murder of almost a million people. Or Archbishop André Perraudin, the most senior representative of Rome in 1950s Rwanda. It was with his collusion and mentorship that the hateful, racist ideology known as Hutu Power was launched – often by priests and seminarians in good standing with the church. One such was Rwanda’s first president, Grégoire Kayibanda, a private secretary and protege of Perraudin, whose political power was unrivalled.

The support for Hutu Power was therefore not unknowing or naive. It was a strategy to maintain the church’s powerful political position in a decolonising Rwanda. The violence of the 1960s led inexorably to the 1994 attempt to exterminate Tutsis. These were violent expressions of a political sphere dominated by contentions that Hutu and Tutsi were separate and opposed racial categories. This, too, is one of the legacies of the Catholic missionary, whose schools and pulpits for decades kept up a drumbeat of false race theories.

This turning away from the Rwandan victims of genocide comes at a time when the Catholic church is increasingly peopled by black and brown believers. It is difficult not to conclude the church’s upper reaches are desperately holding on to a fast-vanishing racial patrimony.

Perhaps it is time Catholics forced the leaders of their church to deal with a history of institutional racism that endures, if the church is truly to live up to its fine words. Apologies are not sufficient, no matter how abject. What is demanded is an acknowledgment of the church’s political power and moral culpability, with all the material and legal implications that come with it.

The silence of the Vatican is contempt. Its failure to fully examine its central place in Rwandan genocide can only mean that it is fully aware that it will not be threatened if it buries its head in the sand. While it knows if it ignores the sexual abuse of European parishioners it will not survive the next few years, it can let those African bodies remain buried, dehumanised and unexamined.

This is a good political strategy. And a moral position whose duplicity and evil has been witnessed and documented. For, it turns out, many people, scholars, governments and institutions inside and outside Rwanda are excavating their own roles in the genocide. The Vatican stands as an exception, its moral place now even lower than that of the government of France for its enduring friendship with genocidaires.

Posted in Frankreich, Kirche, Menschenrechte - Freiheitsrechte, Religion, Repression, Ruanda, Vatikan | Leave a Comment »

Coalition of African Lesbians zur Gewalt gegen sexuelle Minderheiten in Afrika

Posted by entdinglichung - 10. März 2010

Quelle: Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)

Africa: Responding to Violence against Sexual Minorities

08/03/2010: We need to understand what it means to be heterosexual as well as homosexual, and that our sexualities affect whether we live or die. During this 54th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on the occasion of the 15+year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform, the Coalition of African Lesbians (“CAL”) reinforces that: LGBTI rights are human rights, that we are not claiming or asking for “special” or “additional” rights BUT that we call on our African governments to condemn the violence perpetrated against sexual minorities, to refrain from engaging in this violence and to take all measures to ensure the protection of sexual minorities, in particular, lesbian and transgender women subjected to violence.


1. On 21 November 2008, the National Assembly of Burundi for the first time in the country’s history passed a law making same-sex acts punishable between 3 months and two years in prison, along with a substantial fine. This is in addition to the enactment of legislation criminalizing same-sex marriage.[2]

2. On September 25, 2009, legislation was introduced in the Ugandan Parliament entitled the ‘‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009’’ to strengthen and expand existing Anti-Homosexuality laws to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; if passed into law provides for death sentence for homosexual offenders.

3. On 18 February 2010 in Zambia, the National Constitutional Conference (“NCC”) adopted a clause introduced by the Human Rights Committee of the NCC that expressly prohibits same-sex marriage.[3] In support of this prohibition, the Southern Province minister /Daniel Munkombwe /argued that “even animals did not go for those of the same sex and wondered why human beings could lower themselves to a level below animals if animals went for the opposite sex.”

4. In South Africa in 2006, outside the Johannesburg High Court immediately after his acquittal on the charge of rape, President Jacob Zuma said: “Same-sex marriage is a disgrace to the nation and to God. When I was growing up, unqingili [homosexuals in the Zulu language] could not stand in front of me. I would knock him out”.

5. In July 2008, the Sunday World published an article by John Qwelane accompanied by a cartoon depicting homosexual as animals getting married and equating homosexual sexual orientation to bestiality.[4] In January 2010, the South African government proposed the appointment of John Qwelane as Ambassador to Uganda. The brutal murders of Eudy Simelane and Girly Nkosi have gained national attention. They represent however only a fraction of the physical and sexual violence, the prejudice and the hate that LGBTI people in South Africa are confronted with on a daily basis.

6. In Kenya, a network called “Operation Gays Out” has been initiated to kill human rights defenders and assault people suspected of being gay.

7. In Rwanda, two women en route to a leadership institute organized by the Coalition of African Lesbians were detained at the Kigali International Airport and then held in cells for two and a half weeks without any charges. Their passports are still being held by Rwandan migration officers.

The criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity has grave consequences for the inability of sexual minorities to access to health and legal services. In South African, HIV programmes do not necessarily respond to same-sex sexuality or address the particular vulnerabilities experienced by sexual minorities. In countries such as Uganda, we have received reports that most medical practitioners refuse to treat people who identify as gay or lesbian because homosexuality is illegal and they consider it a sin. The government of Rwanda directly linked HIV/AIDS to homosexual conduct and has called on citizens to exercise “good morals among Rwandans to help control the HIV prevalence rate”.

The Yogyakarta Principles, adopted in 2007 acknowledge human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and establish the relevant legal framework for articulating and responding to these rights violations.[5] In our context, and as articulated by the Principles, the above-mentioned incidents, governments failure to protect sexual minorities and most significantly following, governments legislative and other initiatives aimed at criminalizing homosexual identity violate the following rights:

i) The rights to universal enjoyment of human rights, non-discrimination and recognition before the law are violated when laws are introduced which criminalize the adult consensual homosexual conduct;[6]

ii) The fundamental rights to life, freedom from violence and torture, privacy, access to justice and freedom from arbitrary detention as entrenched in the UN Convention on the Prohibition of Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[7]

iii) The rights to expression, opinion and association which emphasize the importance of the freedom to express oneself, one’s identity and one’s sexuality, without State interference based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including the rights to participate peaceably in public assemblies and events and otherwise associate in community with others.[8]

iv) On the rights of Human Rights Defenders, principle 27 recognizes the right to defend and promote human rights without discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the obligation of States to ensure the protection of human rights defenders working in these areas.

v) In respect of the rights to redress and accountability, principles 28 and 29 affirm the importance of holding rights violators accountable, and ensuring appropriate redress for those who face rights violations.


Fikile Vilakazi

Director of Secretariat
Coalition of African Lesbians [CAL]
Tel: +27 11 918 2182/5507
E-mail: director@cal.org.za
URL: www.cal.org.za
Unit 5 Oaklane Office Park, Grippen Road
Boksburg, 1459, South Africa
P O Box 26764, Boksburg
1462, South Africa

Posted in Afrika, Burundi, Feminismus & Frauenbewegung, Internationales, Kenia, LBGT, Menschenrechte - Freiheitsrechte, Patriarchat, Repression, Ruanda, Sambia, Südafrika - Azania, Uganda | Leave a Comment »

Gewerkschaftliche Arbeit in Ruanda

Posted by entdinglichung - 23. Oktober 2007

In zwei interessanten Interviews auf der Website des IGB äussern sich Dominique Bicamumpaka vom Congrès du Travail et de la Fraternité (COTRAF) und Eric Manzi von der Centrale des Syndicats des Travailleurs du Rwanda (CESTRAR) zur Gewerkschaftsarbeit im informellen Sektor und allgemein zu gewerkschaftlichen Aktivitäten in Ruanda.

Posted in Gewerkschaft, Klassenkampf, Prekarisierung, Ruanda | Leave a Comment »