Rwanda. According to
countryaah, Rwanda President Paul Kagame was preparing to
continue in power. Despite criticism from the European
Union, the United States and some international donors,
Kagame announced in his New Year's speech that he would seek
re-election in 2017.
The strong economic growth and the fight against
corruption is believed to benefit Kagame. In 2016, growth
slowed somewhat, to about 6%, as a result of reduced demand
in the mining sector. The World Bank points out that the
country remains dependent on aid and that fluctuations in
aid flows can affect the economy. Likewise, the government
needs to improve the infrastructure and access to
electricity to promote investment in the private sector.
According to the global anti-corruption organization
Transparency International, Rwanda is one of Africa's five
least corrupt countries.
Human rights groups criticized the media and government
opponents under continued pressure. In March, three former
commanders, including a retired general, were sentenced to
prison between five and 21 years. They were arrested in 2014
and charged with rioting and for supporting the RNC (Rwanda
National Congress) opposition movement.
In October, a government reform was carried out. The
Minister of Internal Security was abolished, as was the post
of Minister of Mines.
In July, Rwanda hosted a summit within the African Union
(AU). Among the current heads of state were Sudan's
President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International
Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for suspected war crimes
and other crimes in Darfur. Rwanda emphasized that the
country is not a member of the ICC. At the summit, the joint
AU passport was launched, which is initially only given to
politicians and diplomats.
The relationship with Burundi was strained when Rwanda's
military was appointed by UN investigators and the US envoy
for the African Great Lakes region to try to recruit and
train exile Burundians to overthrow Burundi's president.
Kagame and his foreign minister rejected this. Rwanda
countered that the country wanted to move tens of thousands
of Burundian refugees to other countries. Since 2015, more
than 85,000 Burundians have moved to Rwanda according to the
UN refugee agency UNHCR.
The Catholic Church in Rwanda issued an apology for its
role and the participation of other Christians in the 1994
genocide. Two former mayors were given life sentences for
similar crimes in a French trial. It was the longest
sentence ever sentenced in France for the genocide.