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Rwanda Country Information Sheets

PublisherSwitzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
Publication DateOctober 1, 1997
Cite as Switzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Rwanda Country Information Sheets, 1 October 1997, available at: [accessed 20 May 2021]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Constitution

1.1. State name

'Republika y'u Rwanda' (Republic of Rwanda)

1.2. State symbol and national coat of arms

Flag: three vertical stripes in colors State coat of arms: red (left), yellow (middle) and green (right). Big black 'R' in the middle of the flag.

1.3. Form of government

After gaining independence on July 1, 1962, the First Rwandan Republic received its constitution in November 1962. On the occasion of a referendum (85% yes) it was replaced by a new one in 1978, which introduced a presidential republic. The Rwandan president was also head of state, prime minister and president of the unity party 'Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement' (MRND). Every citizen became a member of this party when he was born. The MRND and the head of state lost their privileges on the occasion of the constitutional amendment made on June 10, 1991. With this constitutional amendment, the following innovations were introduced:

- the multiparty system;

- a transitional period of twelve months for the introduction of democracy with elections originally scheduled for 1992;

- the appointment of a Prime Minister (appointed in October 1991);

- the establishment of a transitional government (took office on April 16, 1992);

- a transitional parliament whose inauguration was subsequently postponed.

The transitional provisions established with the constitutional amendment were changed on the occasion of the Arusha Agreement of August 4, 1993 between the government and the opposition. According to this agreement, power was to be distributed among the individual Rwandan parliamentary groups during a transition period of two years, and pluralistic elections were to be held in June 1995. The transition period could not be brought to an end because of the beginning of the massacres in April 1994 and the ensuing civil war with the victory of the 'Front Patriotique Rwandais' (FPR). In view of the difficult situation in which the country is, the authorities - which based on the Arusha Agreement (the formation of a transitional government and parliament with members of the former legal opposition) decided to share power in part - decided to and to postpone presidential elections, which should have marked the end of the transition period, to June 1999.

2. Social and culture

2.1. population

According to an estimate going back to July 1996, the Rwandan population counted 6'853'359 inhabitants, spread over 26'338 km² with a population density of 260 inhabitants per km² (the highest on the African continent). The most important cities (1991 estimate) are Kigali (300,000 inhabitants), Butare (40,000), Ruhengeri (30,000) and Gisenyi (22,000). In 1996, approximately 80% of the population belonged to the Hutu ethnic group, nearly 19% to the Tutsi ethnic group, and 0.5% to the Twa (pygmy) ethnic group. The following minorities were also represented: Banyenkombo (around 57,000 people), Bagogwe (500 to 1,500 members) and Banyambo (around 400 people).

2.2. language

The official languages ​​are Kinyarwanda (also called 'Rwanda', 'Ikinyarwanda' or 'Orunyarwanda'), French and English. One of the most common languages ​​is Swahili (or 'Kiswahili') as the lingua franca. Kinyarwanda is practically understood by the entire Rwandan population and is also found in Uganda, Ex-Zaire, Tanzania and Burundi. Hutu (Lera, Ululera, Hera, Ndara, Shobyo, Tshogo, Ndogo), Igikiga (Kiga, Tshinga), Rutwa (Twa) and Bufumbwa are Kinyaruan dialects.

2.3. religion

According to 1996 estimates, 74% of the population were Christian (65% Catholics and 9% Protestants), while approximately 25% of the population were animist. Muslims made up about 1% of the population. The Jehovah's Witnesses had around 7,000 followers. The principle of freedom of religion and belief is enshrined in the 1991 constitution.

2.4. Education System

One consequence of the dramatic events that have rocked Rwanda since April 6, 1994 is the total collapse of the education system. All schools have been seriously damaged, and numerous teachers have been killed or are in exile. Thanks to the help of UNICEF, around 250 schools - mainly primary schools - were able to reopen at the beginning of 1995, while only a few secondary schools were functioning at that time. Rwanda, more than half of which is less than 18 years old, has a dramatic lack of teachers and public schools. In September 1997, it was estimated that of 31 schools in Kigali, just four were public. Unlike in the past, students now have to take an exam to gain access to secondary education. It is the level of the students that determines their acceptance. Those who do not have the chance to be admitted to the public courses must register in the in
Enroll in numerous private schools in Rwanda. They are mostly financed by parents' associations of students, who find it easier to pay teachers than the state. There is a problem for refugees who have returned from Uganda in teaching in English, as the number of English-speaking teachers is very small. To remedy this linguistic imbalance, the Ministry of Education set up intensive courses in French and English. The aim is for the Rwandan students to be able to express themselves in both languages. The compulsory schooling according to the Rwandan education system is between the ages of 7 and 15:

- Primary school: (Compulsory schooling) The eight-year primary school is divided into three cycles. The first lasts three years and teaches students basic arithmetic, writing and reading skills. The second also lasts three years, with the students being trained in French, life studies (hygiene), music, sports, drawing and manual skills. The last, two-year cycle is devoted to housekeeping, agriculture and handicrafts.

- Secondary school: It lasts three years and offers the choice between two different directions. One is geared towards general education subjects (elementary school) and, in particular, enables access to universities. The other focuses on the skilled trades, agriculture and housekeeping ('Center d'Education Rural et Artisanal Integré', CERAI).

- University: In addition to the 'Institut Pédagogique National' (IPN) for the training of teachers in Butare, there is the first university in the country, the 'Université Nationale du Rwanda', founded in 1963 in the same city. The latter officially reopened on April 2, 1995 (courses started on April 11, 1995). It has three faculties, i.e. economics and social sciences (in Butare), linguistics and literature (in Ruhengeri) and law (in Kigali). This university is joined by the Free University of Kigali, which completed its first academic year on May 31, 1997. This university, which is housed in the buildings of the Saint Paul Pastoral Center, has two faculties, namely economics and administration.

Alphabet rate (estimate from 1990): 50% (men: 64%; women: 37%).

2.5. Medical infrastructure

Rwanda's medical infrastructure suffered significant damage during the dramatic events between April and July 1994. The hospitals have not only been damaged and often looted, but have occasionally been the scene of massacres, such as the University Hospital of Butare, where around 170 wounded were killed by the Presidential Guard on April 24, 1994. Since mid-1994 some hospitals and health centers have resumed their activities, but almost all of them are more or less dependent on foreign NGOs. In 1995, 75% of the medical staff working in Rwanda were foreign volunteers and only 25% were of Rwandan origin. In addition to the lack of qualified staff, there is also the lack of public hospitals. Since the state budget is limited, the health sector is the first to suffer. In September 1997, the Rwandan authorities openly announced the privatization of the Kigali hospital center - 60% of which were occupied by AIDS patients. Today, the majority of patients have to bear the costs of nursing and hospitalization alone. International aid is currently trying to alleviate these conditions. On August 30, 1997, the government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR) signed an agreement on the establishment of health centers in the country. Nevertheless, the hygienic and sanitary conditions in Rwanda remain precarious. The most widespread diseases include - besides AIDS - tuberculosis, malaria and infectious diseases of the skin. At the end of 1996, following the return of hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ex-Zaire), infectious diseases such as cholera, typhus, dysentery, malaria, viral meningitis and measles reappeared. The spread of AIDS, which claimed numerous victims even before the genocide, has also reached alarming proportions in Rwanda. The disease spread mainly as a result of massive rape during the war and population movements. It was estimated that as of January 1997, 25% of the Rwandan population and 35% of the army population were HIV positive. It was also found in September 1997 that urban populations were most affected, with 30% HIV positive (10% in rural areas). The Rwandan government, aware of the problem, has set up a network of health advice centers to educate the population on prevention. To support these efforts, at the last conference on the epidemic in Kigali in June 1997, the UN and the USA promised first aid of 600,000 and 4 million dollars respectively. Finally, it should be noted that Rwanda and four other countries in the region (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Tanzania) signed an agreement on 15 August 1997 to cooperate in the fight against epidemics such as cholera and malaria. In particular, this agreement provides for the joint provision of medicines and vaccinations, joint medical research programs and regular meetings to discuss public health issues.Ethnic minorities Source: Progrom. Goettingen. No. 165 May / June 1992

3. Wife and family

In Rwanda, women have the opportunity to achieve important positions on a political, economic and social level. However, they are still in the minority in these areas. About 98% of women work in the agricultural sector. Most of them plant the products intended for family nutrition. They also take care of all traditional household chores, such as collecting wood and transporting water. In the rural milieu, the value of women is often measured by the number of children she brings into the world. Even after the period of genocide, there are various legal provisions that discriminate against women - who make up almost 70% of the population. Although Article 16 of the Rwandan Constitution of 1991 guarantees equality, women still face numerous restrictions and restrictions. Article 206 of family law of 1988, for example, makes the husband the "head of the marital union", while Article 213 states that a woman cannot pursue a commercial trade or take up gainful employment without the consent of the husband. The civil code, for its part, provides that a woman needs the consent of her husband in order to initiate legal proceedings in which she must appear in person. In the event of adultery, Article 354 of the Criminal Code provides for a more severe sentence (one month to one year in prison) for women than for men (one to three months in prison). Women also remain extremely disadvantaged in terms of property and inheritance, especially in rural areas. In the absence of specific laws in this area, property and inheritance are generally determined by custom, unless there is a will that clearly defines the usufructuary. According to common law, women do not inherit (they are even sometimes part of "the goods" that are inherited). When the husband dies, the eldest son becomes head of the family. If the boy is still a minor, the woman often has to obtain permission from a magistrate to administer the inheritance until the child reaches adulthood. If a son is missing, it is the husband's family that claims the inheritance. As a result, the widow runs the risk of being expelled from the in-laws empty-handed. Traditionally, daughters do not inherit from their father unless they are not married and there is no male successor. In view of these circumstances, the Rwandan head of state, Pastor Bizimungu, announced in March 1995 that the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs would revise the discriminatory laws that affect women and children. A procedure in three phases was envisaged, that is: (1) meeting of experts to repeal the discriminatory provisions in the law, (2) advice and training of women and (3) acceptance of suggestions from women. The first phase began in June 1995 and was completed in September of the same year. At the time this paper was written, the government was busy implementing the second phase. Along with the children, women - especially those over 50 - were the group most affected by the genocide. A very large number of women and girls who survived the genocide were raped. Several of them became infected with the AIDS virus, became pregnant or suffered mutilation, especially of the sexual organs. In the psycho-physiological area, the consequences of sexual violence are serious. There are raped women who preferred not to be examined by a doctor for fear of being discovered to have been infected with the AIDS virus. Often they did not seek medical assistance out of shame, but also out of lack of money, or because a nursing ward could not be reached at all. All of these difficulties have only made the health problems caused by the rape worse. In January 1997, Rwandan doctors warned that the main health problems faced by women were sexually transmitted diseases, trauma and psychological problems and complications as a result of improper abortion. Although abortion is illegal in Rwanda, many women could not stand the idea of ​​having a child from a soldier who had raped them. Various women who were pregnant after being raped aborted their own fruit and often took considerable health risks into account, especially in the case of abortions at an advanced stage of pregnancy. The raped women who decided to keep their child were mostly rejected by their families. At the same time, numerous rape children were abandoned. As for children, international organizations - especially UNICEF - stated in 1995 that they represented a third of the victims of the genocide (especially young girls and children and toddlers under two years of age). According to other estimates, 80 to 90% of the surviving children suffered severe trauma, while numerous young girls who survived the massacres were victims of rape. The "unaccompanied children", mostly orphans, half of whom wandered around in the interior of the country and the other half vegetated in the refugee camps in the border areas, were put at 150,000. According to the 'International Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC) in September 1997, 28,000 "unaccompanied children" had found their families again. At the same time, the number of orphans, some of whom lived alone, was estimated at 500,000. For example, it was confirmed that in Byumba Prefecture, 200 "families" consisted only of orphans whose "family heads" were between 11 and 15 years old.

4. Media

4.1. News agencies

The 'Agence rwandaise de presse' (ARP) was founded in 1975 and is based in Kigali.

4.2. newspapers and magazines


- Kinyamateka (= 'The Newspaper' in Kinyarwanda): the independent newspaper close to the Catholic Church has existed since 1933 and is therefore the oldest in the country. It has appeared again since the end of 1994, supported by 'Reporters sans Frontières'. Even if it cannot be described as anti-government, it is quite critical of today's government. The current edition is 11,000 copies.

- Le Messager: independent newspaper with a rather critical attitude towards the current government. The editor of the 'Messager', Isaie Niyoyita - he is also the editor of the newspaper 'Intego' - has gone into hiding since mid-1996. The director of the newspaper is Amiel Nkuliza (see 'Le Partisan').

- Le Partisan: an independent newspaper that is critical of the authorities and whose editor-in-chief, Amiel Nkuliza, is also the director of the newspaper 'Le Messager'. Nkuliza, who was arrested in May 1997, was released on September 13, 1997.

- The Rwanda Time: English language, recently published newspaper.


- Dialogue: founded in 1967, bimonthly, independent Christian publication. After the death of several of his journalists during the genocide, the editorial team of 'Dialogue' was reorganized in Belgium at the end of 1994. Since then, and to this day, the 'Dialogue' has been published from Brussels.

- Journal Officiel: the 'Journal Officiel' of the Republic of Rwanda is published every two weeks by the Presidential Office.

- Imvaho: Founded in 1990 in Kinyarwanda and affiliated with the FPR. Current edition: 51,000 copies.

- Intego: is regarded as the "successor" of the 'Messager' because it was published by the same editor (cf. Newspapers) published. The publication of 'Intego' - an independent weekly magazine with a rather critical attitude towards the government - was banned by the authorities in July 1996.

- Nyabarongo: irregular satirical publication, affiliated with the FPR, supported by 'Reporters sans Frontières'.

- La Relève: it is an official monthly magazine. Published in French with a print run of 1,700 copies.

4.3. radio

- Radio 'Agatashya' (= "Hope Bringing Swallow"): this station was founded in the middle of 1994 and provides humanitarian information, especially for Rwandans who have fled to neighboring Rwanda. At the beginning of its existence, the station was supported by 'Reporters sans Frontières' and has been financed by the 'Fondation Hirondelle' since March 17, 1995.

- Radio 'Mille Collines': private broadcaster, largely responsible for the massacres in Rwanda. The president of this station, Félicien Kabuga (expelled from Switzerland on August 18, 1994), was the main shareholder.

- Radio 'Rwanda': official broadcaster, successor to the former national radio station ('Radiodiffusion de la République Rwandaise'), which was founded in 1961. Radio 'Rwanda' broadcasts daily in French, Kinyarwanda, Swahili and English.

It should be added that the 'Office Rwandais d'Information et de Radiodiffusion' (ORINFOR) reached an agreement with the 'BBC World Service' on September 29, 1997, so that it would have programs on shortwave ( Frequency: 93.3 MHz) in English, French, Kinyarwanda and Swahili. The international German radio 'Deutsche Welle' already has a station in Kigali, which transmits programs in German, Hausa, Portuguese and Amharic.

4.4. watch TV

- Rwandan television: due to a lack of staff and technical resources, the Office Rwandais d'Information et de Radiodiffusion (ORINFOR) had to suspend television programs at the beginning of 1997. However, the authorities announced in October 1997 that the programs in question would be re-aired in early November 1997. They also announced that 60% of program reception would be guaranteed in Rwandan territory, whereas previously this was only the case in Kigali (capital) and the surrounding area.

- 'Télé 10': 'Télé 10' was officially put into operation on October 4th, 1997. Thanks to this chain, residents of Kigali and the capital's peripheral areas have access to around a dozen international television programs.

5. Economy

5.1. National economy

Rwanda has not yet conclusively determined the damage caused by the war. In addition to the human losses, the extent of the damage caused to the economic, social and administrative infrastructure is also incalculable. The decline in the gross national product alone is estimated to be more than 50% in 1994, with a decline of 11% already being recorded in 1993. On January 18-19, 1995, the Geneva government presented donor countries and international institutions with a plan known as the 'Program of National Reconciliation and Socio-Economic Reconstruction', which required a budget of $ 764 million to implement. Since then, several countries and international organizations have made their financial contributions to the reconstruction of the country. Thanks to international aid, the government was able to act as quickly as possible and reactivate the distribution networks and restore water and electricity supplies to the areas that were not too badly damaged. In September 1997 the water in Kigali and in the main towns of the country flowed normally again from the taps, thanks in particular to the efficient work of the specialized teams of the 'International Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC). The houses in the Rwandan capital also had electricity around the clock and the phone was working again. At the same time Kigali markets and merchants were again being supplied, and anything, or almost anything, was available in the Rwandan capital. On the 'Avenue de Commerce', the main street in Kigali, the shopkeepers sold all kinds of consumer goods, from new tires to clothes with "Paris origin". A little further down, in the Nyabarongo market, the farmers sold bananas, potatoes, millet and cassava. In late 1996, with the massive return of refugees, agriculture could be seen recovering. However, it should be noted that local agriculture suffered badly because of the prevailing climate of insecurity in the northern prefectures, i.e. Ruhengeri and Gisenyi. Indeed, heavy vehicle chauffeurs are reluctant to take the adventure of venturing into such an unsafe area. As a result, local productions, including a special variety of potato, cannot enter the market. It should also be noted that the last harvest in the country suffered from difficult weather conditions and the price of coffee, the country's main source of foreign currency, fell dramatically as a result. This economic situation brought galloping inflation and increasing impoverishment of the population with it. In September 1997, an estimated 30% of the population was living below the poverty line, compared with just 10% before the genocide.

5.2. Employment situation

In September 1997, a large number of graduates preferred to work for the 130 non-governmental international organizations operating in Rwanda rather than for the state. Indeed, the wages paid by these organizations were, on average, two times higher than those of government employees. This has been the reason for a constant shortage of qualified cadres for the state, especially in the teaching field. With regard to working time, it should be recalled that on May 6, 1996, the members of the transitional parliament adopted a law introducing the 40-hour week. This law changed the one of February 28, 1967, in which 45 hours per week were fixed. Social unrest, particularly with the introduction of the new law on taxes and income, which was passed by parliament on April 22, 1996, also adversely affected the country's economic climate. This law - which provides that every profit of CHF 1 million a month must be taxed with an advance of 3% to the public treasury - triggered protests, especially among the merchants. They then decided to keep their shops closed from July 22 to 31, 1997.

5.3. currency

Currency: 'Franc rwandais' (Frw) 1 Frw divided into 100 'centimes'. Exchange rate (January 1997): 100 Frw = ~ 2.10 Sfr. On January 3, 1995, the new government put new banknotes into circulation to replace those that the former government officials took with them on their way to exile. In September 1997 it was found that inflation had quadrupled since 1994. At the same time, the salary of a middle manager was estimated at CHF 20,000, while an apartment in Kigali could hardly be rented below CHF 40,000.

6. Mobility

6.1. Means of communication

Theoretically, Rwanda has a road network of 12,070 km, of which 3,100 km are main roads and 4,900 km are secondary roads, the rest are partly easy paths. It is estimated that only 440 kilometers of road can be driven in any weather. Due to the mountainous topography, the lack of vehicles and the unsafe location, traveling is often associated with great difficulties, especially from remote places where the roads are bad or private transport companies do not dare to go. It should be noted that Rwanda has no rail network. All air traffic is handled via Kanombe Airport (Kigali). When this information sheet was created, there was no direct flight from Switzerland (Zurich or Geneva) to Kigali. The 'Swissair' flew three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) only to Nairobi (Kenya); the connection Nairobi-Kigali was guaranteed by 'Cameroon Airlines' (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday). The Belgian airline 'Sabena' maintained a direct connection between Brussels and Kigali. This connection existed twice a week, i.e. on Monday and Saturday (return flight on the same day). Although the 'Air Rwanda' still exists, no precise information regarding domestic flights has been available until today. All that is known is that the flights covering regional lines take place from Cyangugu Airport. It should also be noted that on November 12, 1996, the official radio announced that Rwanda had signed an agreement to join the airline Air Alliance. The Rwandan telephone network, which is essentially based on a system of shortwave radio, is normally able to connect the main cities in the country. In particular, the local network of Kigali is considered to be of good quality. Telephone connections in the Rwandan capital were already working normally in mid-April 1995. In contrast, there was a chronic shortage of international lines. Contacts with the neighboring countries are made via a shortwave radio network, while the more distant countries are reached via satellite.

6.2. Travel documents


The distribution of the new national passport ('urwandiko rw'abajya mu mahanga) - which was printed in Germany and has a blue envelope - began on June 20, 1996 . Age of age which apply for it. The new pass costs CHF 10,000 and is valid for five years. The old ordinary passport (maroon envelope) is no longer valid since September 30, 1996. Abroad, the embassies can only issue a new passport with the permission of the Interior Ministry in Kigali. It should be pointed out that the passports issued by the diplomatic missions of Rwanda between April 7, 1994 and March 14, 1995 are invalid because the embassies were only officially reopened at that time. The diplomatic passports (blue envelope) and service passports (black envelope), which were issued before October 1st, 1995, are also no longer valid since January 1st, 1996.

Identity card:

The old, two-sided identity card ('karita y'ibiranga umuntu') had entries in French and Kinyaruandi as well as in particular the rubric with the ethnic origin of the holder: "Hutu / Tutsi / Twa / Naturalized". The introduction of a new identity card, announced by the head of state on July 30, 1994, without information regarding ethnicity or the profession practiced, began on April 15, 1996. The new ID card is issued to all citizens over the age of 16.

7. Government

7.1. Head of state

President of the Republic:After the FPR came to power in mid-1994, a new head of state was nominated on July 17, 1994 in the person of Pasteur Bizimungu (Hutu, member of the FPR). Vice President of the Republic:On July 19, 1994, the Defense Minister, General Paul Kagamé, former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (Armée patriotique rwandaise, APR, Army of the FPR), took up the newly created post of Vice President. According to observers, this is the real "strong man" in the Rwandan government.

7.2. State government

Prime minister:Pierre-Célestin Rwigema, a 42-year-old Hutu and member of the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (MDR), took over the office on August 31, 1995 from Faustin Twagiramungu. Twagiramungu, prime minister since July 19, 1994, resigned on August 28, 1995.Government: On July 19, 1994, the 'Government of National Unity' (Gouvernement d'union nationale) took office. Since then its composition has changed several times, most recently on March 28, 1997.List of ministers (Status: March 28, 1997) Prime Minister: Pierre-Célestin Rwigema (MDR / Hutu) Defense (and Vice-President): Maj-Gén. Paul Kagamé (FPR / Tutsi) External Affairs: Anastase Gasana (MDR / Hutu) Internal Affairs: Sheik Abdulkarim Harelimana (FPR / Tutsi) Planning and Finance: Jean Berchmans Birara (Independent / Tutsi) Industry and Commerce: Bonaventure Niyibizi (--- / ---) Means of communication: Charles Ntakirutinka (PSD / Hutu) Justice: Faustin Ntezilyayo (Independent / Hutu) Information: Jean-Nepomucène Nayinzira (PDC / Hutu) President: Patrick Mazimpaka (FPR / Tutsi) Family and social affairs: Aloysia Inyumba (FPR / Tutsi) Education: Dr. Joseph Karemera (FPR / Tutsi) Agriculture and Environment: Augustin Yamuremye (PSD / Hutu) Commerce, Mining and Tourism: Marc Rugenera (PSD / Hutu) Health: Dr. Vincent Biruta (PSD / Hutu) Public Services and Labor: Dr. Joseph Nsengimana (PL / Tutsi) Construction: Laurien Ngirabanzi (FPR / Tutsi) Youth and Sport: Dr. Jacques Bihozagara (MDR / Hutu)

8. Parliament

'Transitional National Assembly':The new 70-member parliament took office on November 25, 1994. It is made up of representatives from the FPR and seven other political parties, some of which are represented in the new government. 13 of the 19 seats to which the MRND (former Unity Party) and its satellite parties would have been entitled under the Arusha Peace Agreement of August 1993 were shared among the various political parties in the new National Assembly. Of the six remaining seats, five went to representatives of the army and the gendarmerie.President of the National Assembly: On March 7, 1997, Joseph Sebarenzi of the 'Parti Libéral' (PL) was appointed to this post as the successor to Juvénal Nkusi, member of the 'Parti Social-Démocrate' (PSD). The latter was removed from office on February 10, 1997 after a vote on a motion of censure by Parliament.Vice President: Jacqueline Muhongayire (PSD)Secretary: Omar Hamidou (PDI)Distribution of seats: FPR (13 seats), MDR (13), PSD (13), PL (13), PDC (6), Army / Gendarmerie (6), PDI (2), PSR (2) and UDPR (2).

9. Administration

The country consists of 12 'prefectures' (Prefectures): Kigali 'Urbain' (Kigali City), Kigali 'Rural' (Kigali Country), Ruhengeri, Gisenyi, Byumba, Kibungo, Guitarama, Butare, Gikongoro, Cyangugu, Kibuye, and - since April 19, 1996 - the new prefecture of Mutara (or Umutara). The prefectures are in 'sous-prefectures' (Sub-prefectures), 'communes' (Municipalities), 'secteurs' (Districts) and 'cellules' (Cells) divided.The Rwandan prefectures Source: Reliefweb (Internet). Rwandan Prefectures. 3/10/1997 (changed)

10. Elections

On December 19, 1988, the last presidential election took place in Rwanda with the re-election of President Juvénal Habyarimana - the only candidate. The parliamentary elections took place on December 26, 1988 and were only intended for members of the MRND (former Unity Party). The Arusha Agreement of August 4, 1993 stipulated a transition phase of two years, which would necessarily lead to pluralistic elections scheduled for June 1995. After taking power in July 1994, the 'Front populaire Rwandais' (FPR) postponed this election date to June 1999 in view of the difficult situation in the country.

11. Law and Justice

11.1. Law

The Rwandan judiciary is based on the legacy of the former Belgian colonizers. In addition to written law, customary law plays an important role. The genocide practically wiped out the judiciary.According to data from February 1995, of the 800 magistrates who counted the country before the genocide, no more than about 200 remained, of which 190 were active in the cantonal courts. Only 12 judges were in office in the courts and public prosecutor's offices. Of the hundred or so public prosecutor's office, only a dozen remained. The judicial police had no more than 36 inspectors (OPJ) instead of 300. Therefore, the formation and appointment of competent judicial personnel was a top priority for the Rwandan authorities and the international community. In July 1997 the country had a total of 2,177 court officials, 910 judges, 105 public prosecutors, 270 inspectors of the judicial police (IPJ), 198 court clerks, 63 public prosecutor's office secretaries and 631 other magistrates. On April 2, 1996 a 'Higher Council of the Magistrate' ('Conseil Supérieur de la Magistrature'), consisting of 20 magistrates.

11.2. Ordinary courts

The Rwandan judicial organization, reorganized on the basis of the 1978 constitution, covers from bottom to top 'Cantonal Courts' ('Tribunaux de canton'), 'Courts of First Instance' ('Tribunaux de première instance'), four 'Courts of Appeal' ('Cours d'appel'), the 'Highest court' ('Cour suprême'), one 'Court of Cassation' ('Cour de cassation'), a 'Court of Auditors' ('Cour des comptes') and a'Constitutional Court ' ('Cour constitutionnelle').Cantonal courts. These courts form the first tier of the Rwandan judiciary. There are around 140 cantonal courts across the country.First instance courts. One counts a court of first instance in each prefecture. They are 'specialized chambers' ('Chambres spécialisées') of the courts of first instance, which are responsible for assessing the suspected perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda.Appeals courts. There are four courts of appeal in Rwanda. Three of these dishes are in Kigali, Cyangugu, and Ruhengeri. Since May 5, 1996, the courts of appeal in Kigali and Cyangugu have been presided over by Odette Marara and Cassien Nzabonimana, respectively.The Supreme Court. It consists of 20 magistrates. The President and the five Vice-Presidents of the Supreme Court took the oath on October 17, 1995 before the National Assembly (Parliament). They are Jean Mutsinzi (President of the Supreme Court), Balthazar Kanobana (President of the Courts), Major Augustin Cyiza (President of the Court of Cassation), Paul Rutayisire (President of the Constitutional Court) Paul Ruyenzi (President of the Court of Auditors) and Vincent Nkezabanawa (President of the State Council). The latter - he was murdered under unknown circumstances - was replaced by lawyer Alipe Nkundiyaremie in mid-1997. It should also be noted that the 'Council of State' represents the authority dealing with the administrative disputes.

11.3. Special dishes

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (TPR). It was created on the basis of a resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on November 8, 1994; He is responsible for the prosecution, judgment and conviction of those responsible for the genocide in Rwanda for the period from January 1 to December 31, 1994. The court was officially established at a ceremony in The Hague (Netherlands) on June 27, 1995 and has its Based in Arusha (Tanzania). In particular, the TPR has to assess around 400 people who are considered to be the main perpetrators of the genocide. The TPR's first indictment dates back to December 12, 1995, while the first trial in that court opened on January 9, 1997. The TPR had not pronounced a single condemnation before this paper was edited.

11.4. Military courts

In late 1994, the establishment of a military tribunal in Rwanda was announced. On April 19, 1997, 11 military judges were appointed by the head of state,
Pasteur Bizimungu was appointed head of this court. At the same time was a 'Council of war' ('Conseil de guerre') created under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel John Peter Bagabo. The military tribunal, headed by Colonel Steven Ndugutse, is responsible for judging military crimes and can pronounce the death penalty. It consists of two chambers: the first is responsible for assessing soldiers and officers up to captaincy; the second, the assessment of the higher-ranking officers (from major to colonel). It should also be noted that on January 18, 1996 the Rwandan parliament passed a law authorizing the military courts to judge the civilian accomplices of the soldiers.

12. Military and security forces

12.1. military

The Rwandan Patriotic Army (Armée Patriotique Rwandaise, APR). The armed wing of the 'Front Patriotique Rwandais' (FPR) is currently taking on the role of the government army. Before the FPR came to power, the security of the country was guaranteed by the Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR, Rwandan Armed Forces). Military service was compulsory. The APR is led by Paul Kagamé, a Tutsi officer who used to be in the 'National Resistance Army' (NRA, Ugandan Army) had served in command. The officers and soldiers of the APR are called 'Inkotanyi' ("combattants valeureux", "brave fighters") and were mainly recruited from the Rwandan community that emigrated to Uganda long ago. That is why numerous members of the APR English speaking. On September 22, 1997, the authorities initiated the first phase of a large-scale program to reduce the numbers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army ('Armée Patriotique Rwandaise', APR) by disarming 4,800 soldiers. This operation, which targets 57,500 soldiers, 40,000 of them from the former 'Rwandan Armed Forces' ('Forces Armées Rwandaises', FAR) and 17,500 'Volunteers' The APR, which is to be implemented in two phases over three years, aims at a significant reduction in military spending, which amounts to 34% of the state budget. It should also allow the reorganization of the APR, a guerrilla army that emerged from the resistance and transformed into a conventional army in 1994.Special units of the APR:

- Presidential Guard (GP). The members of today's Presidential Guard wear khaki uniforms and black berets. The headquarters of the Presidential Guard is in the Kimihurura district of Kigali.

- Para commands. The members of these elite units wear camouflage suits and berets with green, brown and beige spots.

12.2. Police and gendarmerie

- Local Defense Force (LDF). This special police, created at the end of 1995, operates in the prefecture of the city of Kigali. Its members - who completed a two-week training course - wear a uniform and are solely responsible for ensuring public safety. They are also responsible for controlling trade, especially the sale of beverages, as well as monitoring money exchange and public buildings.

- Police militaire (PM, military police). Its members wear green uniforms and a band of the same color wrapped around their arm with the initials 'MP' in white.

- Gendarmerie. The Rwandan gendarmerie has police functions. Its 1,500 members wear khaki uniforms and dark red berets. The headquarters of the gendarmerie are in Kacyiru (Kigali).

12.3. Militias

- Impuzamugambi (CDR militia). The CDR leaders established the 'impuzamugambi' ("those with common interests") in mid-1992 and were trained by the presidential guard at the Mutara military base in the north-east of the country. Like their relatives, the 'Interahamwe', the 'Impuzamugambi' are also responsible for the most terrible massacres of members of the Tutsi ethnic group and the opposition Hutu. 'Impuzamugambi' militias are still active, be it in exile or - secretly - in the interior of Rwanda.

- Interahamwe (militia of the MRND). The militia 'Interahamwe' ("those who attack together") is closely linked to the MRND (former unity party). The members of this militia, under the leadership of Robert Kajuga (a Tutsi!) And trained by the officers of the Presidential Guard, are considered real 'Death squads' emerged and are responsible for the worst massacres and human rights abuses in Rwanda. At the moment, the 'Interahamwe' militias remain a factor of instability, particularly in north-west Rwanda, where they are waging armed attacks against the population.

12.4. Secret services

Department of Military Intelligence (DMI). It is the intelligence service of the 'Rwandan People's Army' ('Armée Populaire Rwandaise', APR). The agents of the DMI often act in cooperation and with the support of agents of the police (gendarmerie).

13. Detention and the execution of sentences

In Rwanda, the legal situation and the conditions in the prisons remain critical. Most prisons are hopelessly overcrowded. In September around 120,000 prisoners accused of genocide - including men, women and minors - vegetated in the country's 192 prisons, education camps or communal dungeons. Hundreds of new prisoners were added to this existing prison population every week. It should be emphasized, however, that the help of the international community active in Rwanda and the various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has brought about a noticeable improvement in prison conditions in terms of hygiene and food for prisoners. Thanks to this help, new detention centers have also been opened to reduce overpopulation in the country's main prisons. This international aid also helped to virtually end the mistreatment of prisoners. At the time this information sheet was written, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had access to the prisons and the local dungeons as well as to some military prisons in order to be able to visit the prisoners and provide them with assistance. However, it should be noted that most of the 120,000 prisoners have not yet been heard by the public prosecutor, especially because there is a lack of magistrates. It is estimated that by the end of July 1997 more than 40% of prisoners in official prisons had not yet filed a file with the judicial authorities. The same was the case for 80% of those detained in local dungeons. The arrests and detentions carried out by the Rwandan authorities are mostly arbitrary because they conflict with the provisions of criminal proceedings. This provides for a legal detention period of 48 hours. An extension of this detention is possible, but may not exceed five days. After this period has expired, if the public prosecutor wishes to keep them in custody, they must be brought before the court of first instance. It is up to this authority to decide whether the detention should be extended up to a maximum of one month, or whether the detainee should be released temporarily or permanently. Virtually all of the arrests and arrests made since the end of the hostilities have been in violation of these legal requirements. In this context, it should also be noted that the National Assembly on June 9, 1995 a Law "Suspending the application of the provisions on pre-trial detention and provisional release in relation to those persecuted for genocide, massacre, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other crimes" has issued. In adopting this law, Parliament postulated "the impossibility of effective application of the criminal procedure as a result of the genocide and massacres that practically destroyed the country and its human and material resources ...". However, on July 26, 1995, the Rwandan Constitutional Court declared this law unconstitutional and contrary to the principle of the presumption of innocence. However, the arbitrary arrests and detentions did not stop. On the contrary, an increase can be noted. This is explained not only by the numerous advertisements - often made with defamatory intent - but also by the prevailing practice of blank mandates. This practice, justified by the Rwandan authorities, prompts public prosecutors to sign blank powers for the attention of the mayors so that they, who play the role of judicial police officers with limited competence, can make arrests.

14. General human rights situation

The people of Rwanda have been victims of massacres many times in the course of its history: 1959, 1963, 1966, 1973, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. But the massacres that originated in the attack on April 6, 1994, in which the Rwandan one President Juvénal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira, are unprecedented in the history of Rwanda, as they have reached unprecedented proportions in terms of time and space. Because of this, the UN Human Rights Commission has considered the massacre "Genocide" designated. Everything indicates that the former regime of President Habyarimana has been preparing these massacres - mainly committed by Hutu against Tutsi - for a long time. The butcheries, which also affected moderate Hutu, were "agreed and systematically" carried out. The main actors were actual 'death squads' of the militias 'Interahamwe' (MRND) and 'Impuzamugambi' (CDR). Most of the victims were persecuted to their last hiding places (including orphanages, hospitals and churches), where they were tortured and horribly executed - especially with edged weapons (machetes, hatchets, clubs, sticks and iron bars). In this regard, the reports of the United Nations and human rights organizations do not spare the new rulers. According to several reports, members of the Tutsi people, above all soldiers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (a branch of the FPR), committed massacres and executions of the Hutus between April and July 1994 without trial. The various estimates of the genocide speak of around 800,000 to 1 million dead and almost 2 million maimed among the previously 7.7 million population. Furthermore, almost 200,000 Rwandans of Hutu descent have been reported as "missing" in the forests of the Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). The international human rights organizations are jointly accusing the Rwandan and Congolese authorities of having ordered and organized the killing of large numbers of these people. These refugees were mainly victims of massacres that took place between the end of 1996 and the first months of 1997 in the refugee camps of Kivu, near the one between the cities of Kisangani and Ubundu (eastern province) and in the vicinity of the city of Mbadaka (equator) makeshift camps occurred. Other reports speak of the arrest and disappearance of hundreds of refugees who have returned to the country or the killings with impunity, such as that of an independent journalist who was beaten to death by strangers outside his home in Kigali in April 1995. The Patriotic Army of Rwanda (APR) also bears responsibility in connection with search operations in the prefectures of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi, in which members of the Hutu militias have been particularly active since they left the country with hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees in the former Zaire in November 1996 recovered. On August 8, 1997, Amnesty International accused the government soldiers of killing more than 2,300 unarmed civilians in the north of the country in May, June and July 1997 alone. The Rwandan authorities - which admitted some cases of killings and looting by "undisciplined" soldiers - flatly rejected these allegations, which they described as "invented". Even so, the majority of civilian killings in Ruhengeri and Gisenyi provinces were carried out by the Hutu militia. The unspoken aim of all these murderers is the extermination of as many witnesses to the genocide as possible. Among the massacres committed by the Hutu militias, that of 148 Tutsi from Masisi (an area east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) should be mentioned, which was committed in the camp of Mudende (Gisenyi) on the night of August 21 to 22, 1997. On September 1, 1996, a law concerning the suspected perpetrators of the genocide was published. This law distinguishes four groups of authors and allows the judicial prosecution of "Crimes such as genocide or against humanity committed in Rwanda between October 1, 1990 and December 31, 1994". The people in the first category, that is, the intellectual creators, organizers and / or masterminds of the genocide, are once found guilty and sentenced to death. This law was followed on November 30, 1996 by the publication of a list with the names of around 2,000 people suspected of having planned or participated in the 1994 genocide. The first trial against the suspected perpetrators of the genocide was on December 27, 1996 before the 'specialized chamber' of the court of first instance in Kibungo Prefecture (in the west of the country). This trial, which took place without a defense attorney, ended on January 3, 1997 with the first two death sentences. At the end of June 1997, of 142 people convicted of genocide, 61 were sentenced to death and 38 to life imprisonment. Fifteen other people were sentenced to unconditional prison terms of twelve or more years, eleven to terms of between seven and eleven years, and nine to six years in prison. Eight people were finally released. Some of these people have been defended by lawyers from the international organization 'Avocats sans Frontières' (ASF) were hired. At the moment the current rulers reject any amnesty and want to use the death penalty. A decree on the execution of the death penalty was published on May 19, 1997. In particular, this decree stipulates that executions in prison must take place between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. away from the audience and cameras in the city where the person was sentenced. It should be noted that at the time of this paper, the authorities had not yet acted on such executions.

15. Political and religious movements

The Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR) - based on the Arusha Agreement of August 1993 - has started to distribute power and allowed several political formations of the former legal opposition in government and parliament. Since then, these formations have de facto been considered 'legal' (see Chapter 15.1.). However, the MRND (former Unity Party), its satellite parties and the new opposition parties were excluded from the distribution of power. Thus the last ones belong to the category of 'illegal political parties' (see chapter 15.2.).

15.1. Legal political parties

- FPR (Front Patriotique Rwandais, Rwanda Patriotic Front). The FPR - currently in power in Rwanda - was created in 1979 within the framework of the Rwandan community living in exile and founded in the underground 'Alliance Rwandaise pour l'Unité Nationale' (Rwandan Alliance for National Unity, ARUN). In December 1987 the ARUN in Kampala (Uganda) was renamed the 'Front Patriotique Rwandais' (FPR). The FPR started its fighters in the Rwandan Diaspora - especially in Uganda and among the Tutsi - recruited. Over time, the FPR, which consisted mainly of Tutsi, was joined by a number of opposition Hutu. Fred Rwigyema, first president of the FPR and commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (APR, military wing of the FPR), fell on the front lines on October 2, 1990. Alexis Kanyarengwe (Hutu) followed him at the head of the FPR, while Paul Kagamé (Tutsi, real 'No. 1' of the FPR) took over the leadership of the military wing.

- MDR (Mouvement Démocratique Républicain, Democratic Republican Movement). Known as the 'Mouvement Démocratique Républicain' - 'Parmehutu', the MDR ruled the country until 1973 when it was dissolved as a result of the coup d'état of General Habyarimana. In March 1991, the MDR reappeared on the political scene in Rwanda after a revival appeal signed by 237 people. The increasing opposition between a wing that is friendly to the head of state under the leadership of the former Prime Minister Dismas Nsengiyaremié (see UDR), Donat Murego (Secretary General of the MDR) and Froduald Karamira as well as a wing close to the FPR - led by Faustin Twagiramungu (see FRD) and Ms. Agathe Uwilingyimana (Prime Minister assassinated in 1994) - led to the split in the MDR. Significantly, the first, majority direction has taken up the name MDR-'Parmehutu '(or MDR-'Power') again. Three members of the "moderate" direction of the MDR form part of the current government, that is: Pierre-Célestin Rwigema (Prime Minister), Anastase Gasana (Foreign Affairs) and Jacques Bihozagara (Youth and Sport).

- PDC (Parti Démocrate-Chrétien, Christian Democratic Party). The rather small party, which is supported by the Belgian Christian Democrats, is headed by Jean Népomucène Nayinzira. He is the only representative of the PDC in the government formed by the FPR and holds the post of information minister there. Téabald Rwaka is the Vice President of the PDC.

- PDI (Parti Démocratique Islamique, Islamic Democratic Party). This small party was founded in 1992 and has two seats in the National Assembly (Parliament). One of the representatives, Omar Hamidou, is Secretary of the National Assembly.

- PL (Parti Libéral, Liberal Party). The party, founded in mid-1991, is a democratic opposition party, the carrier of a liberal project (in the European sense of the term). Because of this, the party, which is said to be mainly Tutsi, has attracted many business people. The party split in August 1993 under the pressure of ethnic differences. On the one hand there was the tough one Hutu core, Called PL-'Power', under the leadership of party president Justin Mugenzi and on the other hand the Tutsi core, PL called 'Lando', led by the party's vice-president Landoald Ndasingwa (murdered April 7, 1994). The split was completed in November 1993. Both party branches organized their own congress and elected the executive committee. Today Joseph Nsengimana, member of the PL-'Lando ', is Minister for Public Services and Labor.

- PSD (Parti Social-Démocrate, Social Democratic Party). Frédéric Nzamurambo (assassinated on April 7th, 1994) was president of the party founded in 1991 and nicknamed the "Party of the Intellectuals". It was headed by General Secretary Félicien Gatabazi (murdered on February 21, 1994). The party is mainly represented in the south of the country and has four ministers in the government formed by the FPR. It is worth mentioning in this context that Pierre-Claver Rwangabo, one of the party leaders who escaped genocide and who was elected prefect of Butare, was killed on March 4, 1995 by armed civilians.

- PSR (Parti Socialiste Rwandais, Rwanda Socialist Party). The party was founded during 1991 and is particularly committed to defending workers' rights. It has two seats in the National Assembly (Parliament).

- UDPR (Union Démocratique Populaire Rwandaise, People's Democratic Union of Rwanda). The party was founded in 1992 and is led by Vincent Gwabukwisi and Sylvestre Hubi. It has two seats in the National Assembly (Parliament).

15.2. Illegal political parties

- CDR (Coalition pour la Defense de la République, Coalition for the Defense of the Republic). The party was founded in March 1992 and was considered a 'Satellite of the MRND'. From the very beginning, the CDR has represented an openly displayed racist ideology by affirming "to defend the interests of the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority". The founders and leaders of the CDR, in particular Jean Barahinyura (former member of the board of the FPR!), Martin Bucyana (murdered on February 22nd, 1994) and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza (president of the CDR) represent the "pure and hard Hutu line", which in particular the former radical elements of the MRND united. Since May 1992 the militiamen of the CDR, with the consent of certain members of the MRND, have targeted the supporters of the most important democratic opposition parties, above all those of the MDR, the PL and the PSD.

- FRD (Forces de Resistance pour la Démocratie, Resistance forces for democracy). Faustin Twagiramungu (cf. MDR) and Seth Sendashonga, former prime minister and interior minister respectively in the government formed by the FPR, officially formed a new opposition party or "political platform" with the name on March 26, 1996 'Forces de Resistance pour la Democratie' ("Resistance forces for democracy", FRD) announced. It should be noted, however, that the forthcoming establishment of this political grouping had already been announced eight days in advance (March 18th) by M. Twagiramungu in Brussels. On this occasion he stated that the new political grouping was called provisional 'Forces Politiques Unies' (FPU) ('United Political Forces').

- MRND (Mouvement Républicain National pour la Démocratie et le Développement, National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development).The MRND (or MRNDD) is nothing more than the new name of the 'Mouvement révolutionnaire national pour le développement' (MRND, Revolutionary National Movement for Development), i.e. the former unity party that ruled the country between 1973 and mid-1991. The abandonment of the status as a unitary party and the adoption of the multi-party system on the occasion of the extraordinary congress of April 28, 1991 coincided with the change of name and statutes of the party, as the head of state, General Juvénal Habyarimana, had to renounce the chairmanship of the party. His successor was Mathieu Ngirumpatse. The 'Mouvement Républicain National pour la Démocratie et le Développement' was particularly widespread in the northern prefectures of Rwanda (especially in Gisenyi and Ruhengeri).

- PALIR (Peuple Armé pour la Liberation du Rwanda, Armed people for the liberation of Rwanda). This organization was constituted at the beginning of June 1996 in Nairobi (Kenya). In particular, it unites the exiled members of the former Hutu militias (Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi). Militarily active, the PALIR has distinguished itself above all with death threats against American citizens and members of the international aid organizations in Rwanda.

- RDR (Rassemblement pour le Retour et la Démocratie au Rwanda, Association for Return and Democracy in Rwanda).The RDR was founded on April 3, 1995 in the refugee camp of Mugunga (Ex-Zaire). Its seat is in Paris and is chaired by François Nzabahimana, a former minister of J. Habyarimana. The party is supported by the General Staff of the former Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR). In a communication dated May 31, 1997, the RDR - previously regarded as the most important organization for the representation of refugees - announced its conversion into a political party in order to fight "for a constitutional state and for the establishment of a democratic alternative to the dictatorial regime of Kigali" .

- UDR (Union Démocratique Rwandaise, Democratic Union of Rwanda). The UDR was founded on November 5, 1994 by the former Rwandan Prime Minister (April 1992 - July 1993) Dismas Nsengiyaremyé (ex-leader of the MDR) in Paris. The UDR denounces the "attacks by the FPR under the pretext of revenge for the victims of the genocide". The UDR presents itself as a democratic opposition party and affirms its commitment to "the neutralization of the country's two politico-military blocs" (meaning MRND / CDR and FPR). The social goals of the UDR can be summarized with the three terms "democracy, peace and social progress". First and foremost, the UDR wants to revive the peace process in accordance with the Arusha Agreement, which it regards as the "indispensable basis for any just and lasting solution to the Rwandan conflict".

15.3. Organizations for the Defense of Human Rights

- ADL (Association Rwandaise pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme et des Libertés Civiles; Rwandan Association for the Defense of Human Rights and Civil Liberties). The ADL is headed by Abbé André Sibomana. He is the Bishop of Kabgayi and editor of the Catholic-inspired newspaper 'Kinyamateka'. The Vice President of the ADL is Joseph Nsengimana. One of the founding members of the ADL is Monique Mujawamariya.

- ARDHO (Association Rwandaise pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme; Rwandan Association for Human Rights). The ARDHO is headed by Alphonse Marie Nkubito, former Minister of Justice and former President of the 'Collectif des Ligues et Associations de Défense des Droits de l'Homme' (CLADHO).

- CLADHO (Collectif des Ligues et Associations de Défense des Droits de l'Homme; Federation of Leagues and Associations for the Defense of Human Rights). It is a platform that brings together the main Rwandan organizations for the defense of human rights (including the ADL, the ARDHO and the
LIPRODHOR), united in itself. The President of the CLADHO is Jean-Baptiste Barambirwa. He was nominated on October 15, 1995 to succeed Jean Rubaduka (editor of the Catholic newspaper 'Kinyamateka'), who was appointed to this post in August 1995.

- LIPRODHOR (Ligue Rwandaise pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l'Homme; Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights). Among the founders of LIPRODOR we find Téabald Rwaka, who is also Vice President of the 'Parti Démocrate-Chrétien' (PDC) ('Christian Democratic Party').