Samantha Power says Rwanda lacks environment ‘that allows criticism’

Rwanda under President Paul Kagame does not meet the criteria for a liberal democracy, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power said Friday.

“I don’t think that there is an environment on the ground that allows criticism, or that there’s pluralistic party development or the criteria that you would have in any textbook for a liberal democracy,” Power told journalists in Brussels.

Q&A: New book puts fresh scrutiny on ‘donor darling’ Rwanda

In “Do Not Disturb,” journalist Michela Wrong explores the development communities’ curious relationship to the central African nation.

Power’s critique goes much further than that of her counterparts at the European Union institutions in the city, whom she met Friday. Top EU officials have regularly traveled to Rwanda and consulted Kagame as the bloc, worried about Chinese influence in Africa, tries to construct a new partnership with the continent.

Power’s remarks followed a speech by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Nigeria on Friday in which he nominated democracy as one of five areas of common interest between the U.S. and Africa, ahead of next month’s Summit for Democracy. That event, convened by U.S. President Joe Biden, is designed to tackle “democratic backsliding” around the world.

Blinken did not mention Rwanda during his speech but said that across Africa, there are “leaders ignoring term limits, rigging or postponing elections, exploiting social grievances to gain and maintain power, arresting opposition figures, cracking down on the media, and allowing security services to enforce pandemic restrictions with brutality.”

Kagame won a third term in 2017 with almost 99% of the vote after amending the previous term limit. Human Rights Watch recently reported “Arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture” in the central African country of 13 million, while “Fair trial standards were routinely flouted in many sensitive political cases, in which security-related charges are often used to prosecute prominent government critics.”

A comprehensive look at the day’s top global development breaking news, analysis, and opinionSubscribe

Kagame’s government has come under increased scrutiny of late. Opposition figure Paul Rusesabagina was sentenced to 25 years in jail on terrorism charges in September after being renditioned from the United Arab Emirates, and British journalist Michela Wrong released the critically acclaimed book “Do Not Disturb,” tracing the deaths of Rwandan dissidents abroad and repression at home.

“I don’t think … there’s pluralistic party development [in Rwanda] or the criteria that you would have in any textbook for a liberal democracy.”— Samantha Power, administrator, USAID

Power, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide, also noted Friday the “tremendous development gains that have been secured over time in [Rwanda], in terms of education and infrastructure.”

“There are now moves afoot for Rwanda to move into the vaccine manufacturing business as well,” she said. “So I think it’s important to view development along the spectrum, as we do as USAID, to include governance, rule of law, democracy, human rights, as well as the full corpus of social and economic development metrics, on which Rwanda has made remarkable progress.”


46 thoughts on “Samantha Power says Rwanda lacks environment ‘that allows criticism’

  1. Very good site you have here but I was curious if you knew of
    any forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get feed-back from other experienced people that
    share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.


  2. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?
    My website covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I think
    we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free
    to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Great
    blog by the way!

  3. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be
    actually something that I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complex and
    extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to
    get the hang of it!

  4. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so
    I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be
    tweeting this to my followers! Fantastic blog and outstanding style and design.

  5. You have made some good points there. I looked on the net for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  6. Hi there it’s me, I am also visiting this site on a regular basis, this web page is in fact good and the people are
    genuinely sharing nice thoughts.

  7. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow
    for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my
    end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  8. I love what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the superb works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  9. I together with my pals were found to be digesting the good tactics found on your web blog while immediately came up with a horrible suspicion I never thanked the site owner for those strategies. The people had been certainly stimulated to see all of them and already have in reality been loving these things. Many thanks for truly being very thoughtful as well as for making a choice on these kinds of incredible themes most people are really eager to know about. My very own sincere apologies for not saying thanks to sooner.

  10. I want to to thank you for this excellent read!!

    I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it.
    I have got you book marked to check out new stuff
    you post…

    Have a look at my web page … 2022

  11. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net
    from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.

    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a
    number of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard very good things about
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

    Here is my web blog special

  12. 823571 977553hi!,I like your writing so much! share we maintain up a correspondence extra approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to solve my dilemma. May possibly be that is you! Searching ahead to peer you. 380134

  13. Hi there I am so happy I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while I was
    looking on Digg for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot
    for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to go through it all at the
    minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please
    do keep up the superb job.

  14. Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking
    at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could
    point me in the direction of a good platform.

  15. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site
    and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  16. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with valuable info to work
    on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  17. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

  18. Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do
    you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

  19. I got this site from my pal who told me on the topic of this web page and at the
    moment this time I am browsing this web page and reading very informative articles here.

  20. When someone writes an post he/she maintains
    the thought of a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.
    So that’s why this piece of writing is great.

  21. That is really interesting, You are a very professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for in quest of more of your magnificent post.

    Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  22. Hi terrific website! Does running a blog like this take a great deal of work?

    I have very little expertise in coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have
    any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic nevertheless I just needed to ask.

    Thanks a lot!

  23. fantastic issues altogether, you just gained a new reader.
    What might you suggest in regards to your submit that you just made a few days in the
    past? Any certain?

  24. We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with helpful info to work on. You’ve performed an impressive process
    and our whole neighborhood can be thankful to you.

  25. Good day! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your
    content. Please let me know. Many thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *