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TITLE:  RWANDA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995








                             RWANDA


The coalition Government of Rwanda includes 22 ministers drawn 
from 5 political parties.  Nine of the ministers are from the 
Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a former exile movement that 
took military control of Rwanda in July in the wake of ethnic 
genocide and 4 months of renewed civil war.  Approximately half 
a million people, most of them ethnic Tutsi, were murdered in 
one of the swiftest, large-scale genocides in modern history.  
President Pasteur Bizimungu of the majority Hutu ethnic group 
and Vice President Paul Kagame of the minority Tutsi ethnic 
group are both members of the RPF, a largely Tutsi movement.  
Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, an ethnic Hutu named in 
the August 1993 Arusha Accord to head a transition Government, 
is a member of the Republican Democratic Movement (MDR) party.  
Prime Minister Twagiramungu and the Council of Ministers run 
the Government on a day-to-day basis.  Vice President Kagame, 
who is Minister of Defense, is responsible for security and 
military defense.

The Government faces the task of rebuilding a country shattered 
by a cycle of assassination, civil war, genocide, and refugee 
outflows of massive proportions.  The 1990 invasion by the RPF 
inflamed the long-simmering ethnic rivalries between the Hutu 
(85 percent) and Tutsi (14 percent) populations.  The Arusha 
Accord, signed by both the RPF and the former government headed 
by then President Juvenal Habyarimana, was intended to promote 
powersharing, ensure integration of the rebel and government 
armies, ease ethnic tensions, and lead to democratic elections.

This effort ended with the crash under suspicious circumstances 
of President Habyarimana's aircraft on April 6, which also took 
the life of Burundi's President, Cyprien Ntaryamira.  The death 
of Habyarimana, who had ruled Rwanda since a 1973 military 
coup, unleashed a torrent of political and ethnic killings 
nationwide.  Hutu extremists formed a self-proclaimed interim 
government, and they and their supporters massacred hundreds of 
thousands of people, mostly Tutsi civilians and members of the 
Hutu opposition.  Political militias affiliated with 
Habyarimana's National Revolutionary Movement for Democracy and 
Development (MRND) and the allied Coalition for the Defense of 
the Republic (CDR) and elements of the (former) Rwandan 
military (FAR) carried out the massacres.

The RPF responded with a military offensive that routed the 
Hutu army in July, causing the wholesale flight of Hutu 
civilians who feared Tutsi reprisals.  The violence uprooted 
two-thirds of the population.  In addition to the more than
2 million persons who fled into neighboring Zaire, Tanzania, 
and Burundi, as many as 2 million fled their homes to other 
parts of the country.

The new Government called for national reconciliation and 
sought to promote refugee repatriation as a necessary first 
step.  The RPF leadership stressed its commitment to key 
provisions of the Arusha Accord, including the sanctity of 
property rights and the integration of the FAR and the Rwandan 
Patriotic Army (RPA), the RPF's military arm.  The Government 
promised to cooperate with the U.N. international tribunal that 
was created on November 8 by Resolution 955 to investigate and 
prosecute those responsible for genocide, war crimes, and other 
serious violations of international humanitarian law committed 
in Rwanda and neighboring states.

The Ministries of Territorial Administration and Defense of the 
new Government have responsibility for security matters.  With 
United Nations assistance, the Government has recruited and 
trained civilian police (gendarmes) to provide internal 
security.  The RPA nonetheless remains the chief guarantor of 
internal security, including control over camps for the 
internally displaced and centers for processing returning 
refugees, but by year's end it had assumed a lower public 
profile.

The economic situation is extremely difficult.  The 
overwhelming majority of Rwandans are subsistence farmers.  
Their massive dislocation caused disruption of the crop cycle 
and led to widespread food shortages in this densely populated 
country where prewar food production barely kept pace with 
population growth.  Violent conflict damaged much of the 
national infrastructure, including utilities, schools, and 
hospitals, and killed or drove into exile many educated 
Rwandans.  For the foreseeable future, the economy will depend 
heavily on foreign humanitarian, economic, and technical 
assistance.

The renewal of violence in April set into motion an 
unprecedented wave of genocide and other human rights abuses 
directed primarily at the ethnic Tutsi minority population and 
Hutu opposition.  The self-proclaimed interim extremist Hutu 
government and its extremist supporters massacred approximately 
half a million civilians and committed innumerable related 
human rights abuses, including torture, mutilation, and rape.  
In the wake of the Tutsi-led military victory in July, 
additional human rights abuses occurred, although on a far 
smaller scale.  RPA soldiers and Tutsi civilians committed 
random revenge killings and seized, occupied, or destroyed 
property owned by (principally Hutu) refugees and displaced 
persons.

Many Hutu refugees and displaced persons still fear 
repatriation, in part based on intimidation of would be 
returnees in refugee camps by Hutu extremists who disseminate 
anti-Tutsi hate propaganda and, in part based on fear of 
reprisal.  Members of the former self-proclaimed Hutu extremist 
interim government and the ex-FAR threaten to rearm and renew 
the civil war; a small number of crossborder incursions have 
occurred.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killings

President Habyarimana's death on April 6 provoked killings of a 
magnitude unprecedented in Rwandan history.  Within a half-hour 
of the plane crash, and before any public announcement, Hutu 
militiamen and soldiers had constructed roadblocks in Kigali 
and commenced targeted killings.  Using preexisting lists of 
persons to be executed, members of the 700-man Presidential 
Guard and their extremist Hutu civilian supporters unleashed a 
systematic campaign of murder and genocide, killing Hutu Prime 
Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and other ministers, plus 
hundreds of Tutsi and Hutu opposition leaders and their 
families.  Over the next four months approximately half a 
million people, most of them ethnic Tutsi, were murdered in one 
of the swiftest, large-scale genocides in modern history.  
Foreigners were also targeted and killed.  Troops from the 
Presidential Guard executed 10 Belgian soldiers from the United 
Nations Armed Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) peacekeeping force 
responsible for security assistance and implementation of the 
Arusha Accord.  The troops also killed two French gendarmes and 
their wives.

Some RPF supporters also committed extrajudicial killings.  In 
June, 3 RPA soldiers murdered 13 Hutu priests, including the 
Archbishop of Kigali, in Kabgayi.  Hutu refugees in Tanzania 
reported that RPA troops summarily executed Hutu civilians 
following the April RPF conquest of southeastern Rwanda.  There 
were also scattered reports that RPA soldiers summarily 
executed FAR and Hutu supporters.  During the battle for 
Kigali, the widespread killing abated.  Following the RPF 
military triumph in July, RPF soldiers and Tutsi civilians 
reportedly killed an unknown number of Hutus.  There is no 
evidence that the new Government condoned or sanctioned these 
acts.  During the civil war, General Paul Kagame--the commander 
of the RPA and current Vice President and Minister of 
Defense--enforced tight discipline over his troops.  After the 
fighting, he visited units in the countryside, exhorting them 
to respect applicable laws.  The RPF executed at least
3 soldiers found guilty of atrocities and detained about 100 
others.

     b.  Disappearance

There were tens of thousands of disappearances, almost all of 
them undocumented.  From April through June, soldiers of the 
former army and militia seized civilians in churches, hotels, 
and stadiums.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Torture is contrary to the Constitution and Arusha Peace 
Accord, which together constitute the fundamental law of the 
land.  Perpetrators of the initial surge of violence reportedly 
tortured many victims before killing them.  Hutu extremists 
disposed of the corpses of thousands of victims in the Kagera 
River; many were found mutilated, headless, or with their hands 
bound behind their backs.  Some refugees who fled to Burundi, 
Tanzania, and Zaire in the days following Habyarimana's death 
suffered machete or bullet wounds.  FAR soldiers and militiamen 
frequently raped women; there are reports of rape by RPF 
soldiers as well.  In postwar operations, RPA soldiers tied the 
elbows of prisoners behind their backs in a manner that caused 
severe pain and in some instances permanent physical injury.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has regular 
access to prisoners, and U.N. officials visited camps where the 
Government seeks to integrate into the new national army former 
FAR soldiers who surrendered in the war.  Living conditions in 
these camps are good.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The law provides legal safeguards for arrested persons, but in 
practice they are rarely applied.  In general, the law requires 
that authorities investigate, then obtain a judicial warrant 
before arresting a suspect.  Although police may detain persons 
for up to 48 hours without a warrant, formal charges must be 
brought within 5 days of arrest.

The law permits preventive detention only if authorities 
believe public safety is threatened, if the accused might flee, 
or if the penalty carries a minimum sentence of 6 months.  
Courts may prolong detention indefinitely, but judicial review 
is mandatory every 30 days.  Detainees may appeal their 
incarceration, and a competent judicial authority must hear 
this appeal within 24 hours.  These procedures apply to all 
persons, and failure to meet any of these requirements 
constitutes grounds for release of the arrested person and 
dismissal of the case.  There is no bail, but in the past 
authorities released suspects on their own recognizance pending 
trial.  Incommunicado detention is not practiced.

Security forces of the self-proclaimed interim government 
ignored laws covering arrest, detention, and trial in the 
explosion of political and ethnic violence in April which 
decimated the judicial system (only 40 of 800 magistrates 
remained in place following the upheaval).  The ensuing chaos 
brought about the collapse of the justice system, making 
enforcement of existing laws impossible.  The parallel collapse 
of the criminal investigation system further hampered the 
application of law, and the breakdown of the court system 
created a large backlog of cases that courts cannot try 
expeditiously.  In all likelihood, many prisoners will await 
trial for very long periods of time.  Illegal detentions in 
criminal cases continue to occur.

The new Government supported the work of a Special 
Investigations Unit after the creation by the United Nations 
Security Council of a special international tribunal to help 
the Rwandan Government adjudicate the huge backlog of criminal 
cases stemming from human rights atrocities that began in early 
1994 and increased following Habyarimana's death.  At year's 
end, the international tribunal had not yet commenced 
full-scale investigations nor sought the detention of any 
person involved in the massacres.

During the renewed military conflict, Hutu militants detained 
several thousand Tutsi prisoners in stadiums in Kigali and 
Cyangugu without adequate food, clean water, sanitary 
facilities or shelter.  Between the July RPF declaration of a 
cease-fire and the end of the year, the new Government jailed 
more than 12,000 prisoners suspected of war crimes or genocide, 
holding 7,400 of them in the Kigali Central Prison and the 
remainder in other facilities.  Journalists who visited these 
prisoners reported severe overcrowding and harsh, life-
threatening conditions.  Some detainees were reportedly held in 
military camps rather than prison facilities.

Officially, exile is not practiced, but in actuality tens of 
thousands of Tutsis lived in de facto exile for over 30 years 
in neighboring countries during rule by a succession of 
Hutu-dominated governments.  As many as 400,000 to 600,000 
returned following the RPF victory.  The Arusha Accord 
incorporates into law the right of return, and a 1991 law 
granted blanket amnesty to refugees and exiles who wished to 
repatriate.  Currently, there are more than 2 million Hutu 
refugees in neighboring countries.  The Government has publicly 
stated that they are free to return and has solicited their 
repatriation.  In October the Government signed a tripartite 
repatriation accord with the United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Government of Zaire.  However, 
anti-Tutsi propaganda and extremist Hutu intimidation in the 
refugee camps, and reprisal attacks on Hutus by RPF soldiers 
and Tutsi civilians inside Rwanda have thus far deterred 
large-scale refugee returns, although an increasing number of 
refugees had begun to return at year's end under the auspices 
of UNHCR.  The Government has not offered amnesty nor pardon 
for those suspected of genocide or atrocities.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

At year's end, the Ministry of Justice had drafted and was 
working with foreign donors to fund and implement a plan to 
rebuild the judiciary.  However, few trials had yet taken 
place.  The pre-April judicial system had separate systems for 
criminal/civil cases and military cases.  Decisions could be 
appealed to the regional court of appeals.  At the request of 
defendants or their counsel, the Cour de Cassation reviewed 
civil and criminal cases for errors in procedure or in the 
application of the law.  Errors resulted in retrial by another 
panel of judges.  Although the Constitution provides defendants 
with the right to counsel, many were denied counsel due to the 
shortage of lawyers.

The pre-April judicial system was susceptible to government 
manipulation in spite of constitutional provisions for an 
independent judiciary.  The low educational level of most 
judicial officials, budgetary constraints, and the absence of a 
body of case law and precedent further eroded the functioning 
of the judicial system.  The outbreak of genocide and renewed 
civil war following Habyarimana's death led to the total 
collapse of the judicial system.

The RPF maintained a system of military justice that operated 
outside the structures of constitutional law; during the April 
to July military offensive, RPF military tribunals ordered the 
execution of at least three RPA soldiers for human rights 
abuses against civilians.

There were no reports of political prisoners.  The Government 
has stated that supporters of the MRND and CDR parties 
currently in detention were arrested for criminal rather than 
political offenses.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The Constitution provides for the respect of privacy of 
individuals, correspondence, and communications and declares 
that the home is inviolable.  Police generally respected these 
provisions before the events of April.  In the 3-month period 
that followed, political and military officials of the interim 
government abandoned any pretense of respecting privacy laws 
and committed wholesale abuses.

There are no reports that the new Government interfered with 
these rights, nor does it reportedly engage in surveillance of 
political parties, associations, or individuals.  However, Hutu 
civilians and displaced persons in the northwest and southwest 
complained of abuses by RPA troops searching for weapons and 
suspected war criminals.  After capturing Kigali, both RPA 
soldiers and civilians committed widespread looting and 
vandalism.

     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

In the 2 weeks following the crash of the airplane carrying 
President Habyarimana, killing spread rapidly throughout the 
country.  Within a week, the Presidential Guard and militia had 
killed an estimated 20,000 people in Kigali and its immediate 
environs.  Extremist Hutu radio broadcasts called for Hutus to 
exterminate all Tutsis, and politically targeted killing gave 
way to general massacre of both Tutsis and those Hutus who 
supported the powersharing formulas of the Arusha Accord.  
Militiamen from outlying provinces joined extremists from 
Kigali in urging Hutu civilians to participate in the 
massacres.  Hutus engaged in the mass killing of Tutsis from 
Ruhengeri and Gisenyi in the north to Cyangugu in the south.  
Among the most egregious events reported were:  instances in 
which the Interahamwe Militia assembled and massacred 15,000 
Tutsis in a stadium in Gatwaro, Kibuye; the killing of 2,800 
persons in a church in Kibungo; of 6,000 Tutsis in a church in 
Cyahinde where they had taken refuge; of 4,000 in a church in 
Kibeho; of 2,000 in a parish in Mibirizi; of 4,000 in a parish 
in Shangi; and 500 Tutsis killed by Interahamwe militia and 
gendarmes in a parish in Rukara.

On April 19, a second wave of killing of Tutsis by Hutus began 
in the southern city of Butare following the self-proclaimed 
interim (post-Habyarimana) government's dismissal of the local 
prefect who had until then maintained order in his district.

The massacres included house-to-house sweeps in which Hutu 
militants killed entire families, summarily executed Tutsis at 
military or militia roadblocks, murdered doctors and priests in 
hospitals and churches, and slaughtered civilians who had 
sought sanctuary in churches and religious missions.  
Assailants used guns, grenades, machetes, hoes, and clubs.  
Survivors eventually buried most victims in unmarked, mass 
graves, but perpetrators cast thousands of corpses--many of 
them severely mutilated--into the Kagera River.  The killers 
often stole the property of their victims after killing them.  
Although militiamen and soldiers did much of the killing, there 
are credible reports that large numbers of civilians also 
committed atrocities.

Some implicated in the killings charged that extremists 
threatened to kill them and their families unless they joined 
in attacks on Tutsi neighbors.  An unknown number of Hutus were 
killed for attempting to protect or harbor Tutsis.  Some Hutu 
civilians, including women and children, reportedly attacked 
Tutsi civilians only after local government authorities ordered 
them to do so.

Both former government and RPF supporters committed numerous 
individual acts of human rights abuse in addition to the 
organized cycle of genocide and revenge killings that swept the 
country.  Nonsystematic killings committed by RPF soldiers 
constituted a small fraction of the those committed by FAR and 
Hutu militia.  Former FAR troops and their civilian auxiliaries 
were guilty of widespread looting and rape in virtually all the 
major towns.  Advancing RPF soldiers vandalized or dynamited 
numerous buildings, including schools, ministries, and private 
residences.  Retreating FAR forces booby-trapped buildings.  
Both sides indiscriminately deployed thousands of landmines, 
killing many civilians.

Both the former FAR and the RPA were guilty of the 
indiscriminate mortar and artillery shelling of enemy-held 
zones, killing and wounding dozens of noncombatants.  Former 
FAR troops allegedly fired mortar shells and killed a number of 
refugees sheltered in the Kigali Stadium; RPA rounds struck a 
relief hospital in central Kigali, killing more than a dozen 
patients.  Another RPA mortar attack near the Gisenyi border 
crossing into Zaire caused a stampede of Hutu refugees that 
killed dozens more, most of them children.  The use of 
excessive force diminished following the July collapse of the 
FAR.  Humanitarian relief workers and foreign diplomats 
reported that human rights abuses in the east and southeast had 
decreased by year's end, when the RPA was cooperating with the 
United Nations to disband peacefully camps for the internally 
displaced.  RPA troops had stopped destroying the houses of 
Hutus alleged to have been involved in the massacres.

The sick and wounded were not spared from the massacres.  There 
were numerous reports of murders of persons in ambulances and 
hospitals.  In many instances, the protective symbol of the Red 
Cross was ignored.  Three Red Cross volunteers were killed in 
Butare on May 1 along with 21 orphans under their care.  On May 
14 armed militiamen shot to death 6 wounded patients being 
transported by Rwandan Red Cross volunteers in Kigali.  An ICRC 
worker was wounded on May 18 when an ICRC convoy traveling from 
Kigali to Kabgayi was attacked.

Reliable estimates put the number of people killed in the 
massacres and fighting between April 6 and July 15 at 
approximately half a million, most of them Tutsi victims of 
genocide by Hutu extremists.  Most local and international 
organizations operating in Rwanda do not believe that exact 
figures will ever be available.  Numerous credible reports from 
individual organizations such as the U.N. Human Rights 
Commission's Special Rapporteur, the UNHCR, the U.N. Commission 
of Experts, the ICRC, journalists, and human rights 
groups--including Africa Watch and Amnesty International--
confirm the scope and the scale of the genocide.  By Resolution 
955 of November 8, the U.N. Security Council decided to 
establish an international tribunal for the prosecution of 
persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations 
of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of 
Rwanda and neighboring States, between January 1 and December 
31, 1994.  The Special Rapporteur named by the UNHCR did not 
find the RPF guilty of systematic killings or genocide in the 
public report on his findings.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and the press.  
Prior to April the Government respected this right to a limited 
extent.  It intimidated and menaced journalists but allowed the 
country's four independent newspapers and its political parties 
relative freedom to operate.  However, the written press had 
only limited circulation, and only radio reached a broad public 
audience.

The electronic media included the government-owned television 
station and two radio stations, government-owned Radio Kigali 
and the privately owned Mille Collines, the voice of Hutu 
extremists.

Before April, Radio Kigali offered balanced but bland 
programming, controlled by an opposition minister.  Radio Mille 
Collines and Radio Muhubura, controlled by the RPF, carried on 
a propaganda war, the former against the RPF and its allies and 
the latter against President Habyarimana and supporters of his 
regime.  After President Habyarimana's death, Radio Mille 
Collines broadcast strident anti-Tutsi and anti-RPF propaganda, 
which ultimately had a lethal effect, calling on the Hutu 
majority to destroy the Tutsi minority.  Experts cited Mille 
Collines as an important factor in the spread of genocide in 
the hours and days following Habyarimana's death.

A November Reporter Without Borders communique claimed that 40 
percent of Rwandan journalists perished in the fighting and 
blamed by name a number of surviving Hutu journalists for 
inciting the public to slaughter.  The journalists who died 
were targeted principally for ethnic and political reasons.

Following the RPF victory, Radio Kigali became the voice of the 
Government, broadcasting in French and Kinyarwanda.  Muhubura 
Radio, which broadcast in English, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda, 
was the official voice of the RPF.  A proposed U.N. radio 
station reportedly had not received government permission to 
broadcast by year's end.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for freedom of peaceful assembly, but 
authorities required official advance notice for outdoor 
rallies, demonstrations, and meetings.  Before the renewal of 
civil strife, political parties routinely held rallies 
throughout the country.  Unauthorized assemblies of the 
Interahamwe Youth Militia associated with the MRND in January 
and February spawned violence in Kigali and Butare.  Government 
militiamen killed several dozen civilians, blocked streets, 
searched cars, beat perceived opposition supporters, and 
damaged property.  When the Habyarimana Government did not use 
security forces to halt these attacks, the opposition took this 
as tacit approval.

Although citizens were legally free to join political parties 
under the 1990 Constitution, the political party law banned 
parties based on ethnic origin or religious affiliation.  The 
new Government further curtailed this freedom, prohibiting 
membership in the MRND and CDR, the Hutu-dominated parties 
implicated in the anti-Tutsi genocide, effectively banning 
these parties.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The constitutional provision for freedom of religion was 
generally respected by both the former and new governments.  
Although there was no overt discrimination against foreign 
clergy, most left when violence erupted.  Many Catholic and 
Protestant leaders perished in the violence, which also 
destroyed or damaged many churches and religious schools.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The former government enforced laws restricting freedom of 
movement and residence, and the current regime has continued 
some of these practices.  The former government required all 
residents to hold identity cards, which were subject to 
periodic police checks.  Hutu militiamen used these cards, 
which designated ethnicity by patrilineal descent, to target 
their victims.  Before the outbreak of genocide, the Government 
systemically levied fines on property owners who did not 
require tenants to show documentation, and evicted tenants who 
could not supply the required documentation.  Nightly curfews 
lifted following the signature of the 1993 Peace Accord were 
reimposed with the outbreak of renewed civil war.  Military and 
militia checkpoints proliferated throughout the country during 
the fighting in both government and RPF-controlled territory.  
The new Government lifted the nightly curfew by year's end, and 
only a few RPF checkpoints--most in border regions--remained in 
place at year's end.

Emigration is not restricted, and the Government normally 
approves passports for citizens who seek them.

The Peace Accord Protocol on Refugees incorporated into law the 
right of refugees to return, and the new Government has 
announced its commitment to this principle.  Following the RPF 
military victory, several hundred thousand refugees returned 
from neighboring countries, especially Burundi and Uganda.  
Almost all were ethnic Tutsis, who had fled prior periods of 
anti-Tutsi violence in 1959, 1962 and 1973, and their 
descendants.

The return of Tutsi refugees was more than matched by the 
flight of approximately 2 million Hutus who sought safety in 
U.N. refugee camps located along Rwanda's borders with Zaire, 
Burundi, and Tanzania.  This includes many former army 
personnel and civilian militiamen who had engaged in the April 
to July anti-Tutsi genocide.  However, many Hutu civilians 
remained in the camps from fear of Tutsi reprisals.

Living conditions in the refugee camps spawned epidemics, 
violence, and friction with local populations.  The camps are 
not viable for the long term.  However, anti-Tutsi propaganda 
and physical intimidation by extremist Hutus have thwarted 
efforts to convince the refugees to return to Rwanda.  Rumors 
and reports of revenge killings of Hutus by RPF soldiers and 
Tutsi civilians also contributed to the reluctance of many 
refugees to return.  A further complicating factor was the 
seizure by returning Tutsis of land, homes and property 
belonging to Hutus, either those displaced or refugees abroad.  
The new Government has not yet followed through on its pledge 
to evict squatters and disallow property claims made by 
returning refugees if the claims are more than 10 years old.  A 
commission organized within the Ministry of the Interior began 
compiling legal dossiers on all property claims, but squatters 
remained in many houses at year's end, and the settlement of 
property claims appears to be a long-term process.

The RPA forcibly disbanded the Musenge Displaced Persons Camp 
in northern Gikongoro on November 10, resulting in 7 deaths, 
several injuries, and the transfer of 20,000 internally 
displaced persons to neighboring camps.  This incident affirmed 
the Government's determination to close the camps and force the 
internally displaced to return home.  On November 11, RPA 
forces came under threat from a local internally displaced 
population in Musbeya; in the ensuing disturbance, RPA troops 
killed seven persons and wounded several others.  In November 
the Government negotiated an agreement with UNAMIR and various 
humanitarian organizations to permit the latter to organize the 
nonforced return of displaced persons from camps to their home 
communes.  At year's end, this initiative was proceeding 
smoothly, according to senior U.N. officials involved.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

Citizens did not have the ability to change their government 
through democratic means.  The 1992 powersharing agreement 
crafted in the Arusha negotiations and ratified by the 1993 
Peace Accord was never implemented prior to Habyarimana's death 
in April.  The RPF brought representatives of four other 
opposition parties into the Government formed after the RPF 
military victory, but none of these officials were elected.  A 
multiparty National Assembly was installed on November 15, with 
64 deputies selected from 8 political parties.  In addition, 
the RPA received six seats in the Assembly.

Although there are no legal restrictions on the participation 
of women in political life, women remain poorly represented in 
politics and government.  Two ministers and several subcabinet 
officials, and the Prefect (Mayor) of Kigali are women.  The 
Batwa Pygmoid ethnic group, which represented about 1 percent 
of the pre-April population, was not represented in key 
positions in either the former or the new Government, nor in 
any of the active political parties.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

Nine human rights organizations were active before the 
nationwide outbreak of political and ethnic violence, when Hutu 
extremists targeted and decimated the leadership of these 
groups.  Some had reorganized by year's end under the auspices 
of the umbrella group, the Collective Rwandan Leagues and 
Associations for the Defense of Human Rights (CLADHO).  The 
Government has not established a Human Rights Commission with 
investigative authority prescribed in the Peace Accord Protocol 
but had created a department within the Ministry of Justice to 
handle human rights issues.

Before the April violence, the Government generally permitted 
human rights organizations to operate unhindered.  However, 
Hutu extremists harassed some prominent human rights monitors; 
one was the victim of a grenade attack.  The Government 
arrested Jean Paul Burandu, the Executive Secretary of CLADHO 
on November 5 in Bugarame, ostensibly for improper registration 
of his car.  Burandu charged that this was a pretext and that 
his detention was linked to prison visits in the area.  At 
year's end Burandu had been released.

The new Government has allowed national human rights groups 
that reorganized following the RPF victory to operate freely.  
The new Government also cooperated with international human 
rights groups, including the Commission of Experts of the U.N. 
Human Rights Commission and various other nongovernmental 
organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights 
Watch Africa.  The Government has publicly welcomed the 
presence of U.N. human rights monitors throughout the country 
as a confidence-building measure, although the full complement 
of human rights monitors envisaged had not yet been put in 
place at year's end.  The ICRC has unrestricted access to most 
prisons.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Constitution provides that all citizens are equal before 
the law, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, 
origin, ethnicity, clan, sex, opinion, religion, or social 
standing.  In practice, however, discrimination has been 
widespread and systematic.

     Women

Despite constitutional provisions, women continue to face 
serious de facto discrimination.  Women traditionally perform 
most of the subsistence farming and play a limited role in the 
modern sector.  They have only limited opportunities for 
education, employment, and promotion.  In support of women's 
rights, President Habyarimana encouraged family planning, and a 
new Family Code went into effect in 1992.  The Code generally 
improves the legal position of women in marriage, divorce, and 
child custody but still does not meet Rwanda's international 
and constitutional commitments to gender equality.  For 
example, it formally designates men as heads of households.  
Also, the absence of succession laws limits a woman's right to 
property, thus jeopardizing her status and ability to provide 
for her family, should she survive her husband.

Violence against women, including wife beating, occurs and is 
reportedly widespread.  Wife beating and domestic violence are 
normally handled within the context of the extended family and 
rarely come before the courts.

Both combatant forces, but especially the former FAR and 
supporting militias, engaged in rape on a massive scale from 
April through July.  They targeted women, especially Tutsi 
women, for indiscriminate violence.

     Children

Tens of thousands of children were murdered, and an unknown 
number were orphaned in the genocide and national upheaval.  
The ICRC estimates that 50,000 children were separated from 
their parents and remain in the care of strangers or 
international organizations.  Relief workers report that large 
numbers of children were traumatized by the horrors they 
experienced.

The new Government cannot provide funds for children's welfare; 
it depends on international aid groups for the feeding and 
medical care of displaced and orphaned children.  Neither can 
the Government afford to pay for the education of orphans, 
although it is required by law.  The law prohibits children's 
imprisonment with adults, but an unknown number accused of 
participating in the genocide are reportedly held with adults 
in Kigali's Central Prison.

     Indigenous People

Less than 1 percent of the population comes from the Batwa 
ethnic group.  These indigenous people, survivors of the Pygmy  
tribes of the mountainous forest areas bordering Zaire, exist 
on the margins of society and continue to be treated as 
second-class citizens by both Hutus and Tutsis.  The Batwa have 
not been able to protect their interests, which center on 
access to land and housing.  Few Batwa have gained access to 
the educational system, resulting in minimal representation in 
government institutions.

There is no reliable information on specific human rights 
abuses perpetuated against the Batwa population during the 
April upheaval.  A group of several hundred Rwandan Batwa 
refugees were discovered living in a forested area outside of 
Goma, Zaire, deeply traumatized by the events they had 
witnessed.  They did not clarify, however, that they or other 
Batwa had been caught up on either side of the massacres.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Before April an estimated 85 percent of Rwandans were Hutu, 14 
percent Tutsi, and 1 percent Batwa.  The subsequent mass 
killings and population movements probably affected the ethnic 
composition of the population, but the extent of the changes is 
unknown.

The new Government has called for ethnic reconciliation and 
committed itself to abolishing policies of the former 
government that had created and deepened ethnic cleavages.  It 
promised to eliminate references to ethnic origin from the 
national identity card, a provision of the 1993 Peace Accord.  
The Government has not statutorily addressed the issue of 
ethnic quotas in education, training, and government 
employment.  It has partially integrated more than 2,000 former 
government soldiers into RPF forces, although not by the 
formula prescribed by the 1993 Arusha Accord.  Tutsi clergy and 
businessmen, who were well represented in these sectors of 
society, were killed in great numbers in the genocide.  
Following the RPF victory, Tutsis returning from exile took 
over many of the business and professional positions formerly 
held by Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis.

     People with Disabilities

Although there are no laws restricting people with disabilities 
from employment, education, or other state services, in 
practice few handicapped person have access to education or 
employment.  There are no laws or provisions that mandate 
access of the disabled to public facilities.  The number of 
disabled persons increased exponentially among both civilians 
and military personnel, due to injuries from bombs, land mines, 
grenades, accidents involving unexploded ordnance, and maiming 
by mob and militia action.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

Although government officials assured labor leaders in October 
that the Government would respect existing labor legislation, 
in practice Rwanda does not currently have a functioning labor 
movement.  Technically, however, the country's labor laws 
remain in effect, and the following describes the situation 
prior to April.

The 1991 Constitution provides for the right to create 
professional associations and labor unions.  Union membership 
is voluntary and open to all salaried workers, including public 
sector employees.  There are no restrictions on the right of 
association, but all unions must register with the Ministry of 
Justice for official recognition.  There are no known cases in 
which the Government has denied such recognition.  Unions are 
prohibited by law from having political affiliations, but in 
practice this is not always respected.

Organized labor represents only a small part of the work 
force.  Over 90 percent are engaged in small-scale subsistence 
farming.  About 7 percent work in the modern (wage) sector, 
including both public and private industrial production, and 
about 75 percent of those active in the modern sector are 
members of labor unions.

Before 1991 the Central Union of Rwandan Workers (CESTRAR) was 
the only authorized trade union organization in the country.  
With the political reforms introduced by the 1991 Constitution, 
CESTRAR officially became independent of the Government and the 
MRND but still had close informal ties that party.

The Constitution provides the right to strike, except for 
public service workers.  A union's executive committee must 
approve a strike, and unions must first try to resolve their 
differences with management according to steps prescribed by 
the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.  The Government never 
enforced laws prohibiting retribution against strikers.

Labor organizations may affiliate with international labor 
bodies.  CESTRAR is affiliated with the Organization of African 
Trade Union Unity and the International Confederation of Free 
Trade Unions.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Constitution provides for collective bargaining, although 
only CESTRAR had an established collective bargaining agreement 
with the Government.  In practice, since most workers are in 
the public sector, the Government is intimately involved in the 
process (see Section 6.e.).

The law prohibits antiunion discrimination, and it has not 
occurred in practice.  There are no formal mechanisms to 
resolve complaints involving discrimination against unions.

There are no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced labor, and there are no reports that 
it occurs in practice.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Except in subsistence agriculture, the law prohibits children 
under 18 from working without their parents' or guardians' 
authorization, and they generally may not work at night.  The 
minimum age for full employment is 18 years, and for 
apprenticeships 14, providing the child has completed primary 
school.  The Ministry of Labor has not enforced child labor 
laws effectively.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Ministry of Labor sets minimum wages in the small modern 
sector.  The minimum wage is $1.08 (150 Rwandan francs) for an 
8-hour workday.  The Government, the main employer, effectively 
sets most other wage rates as well.  The minimum wage was 
inadequate to provide a decent standard of living for urban 
families; often, families supplement their incomes by work in 
small business or subsistence agriculture.  In practice, the 
minimum wage rate is self-enforcing since workers will not work 
for less.

Officially, government offices have a 40-hour workweek.  
Negotiations in 1993 between the unions, government, and 
management were held to reduce the workweek from 45 to 40 hours 
in the private sector as well, but by the end of 1994 no such 
reduction had occurred.  Hours of work and occupational health 
and safety standards in the modern wage sector are controlled 
by law, but labor inspectors from the Ministry of Labor enforce 
them only loosely.  Workers do not have the right to remove 
themselves from dangerous work situations.


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[end of document]

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