Rwanda. In Rwanda, President Paul Kagame and the ruling
party Rwanda's Patriotic Front (RPF) maintained their strong
grip on power. A proposal to amend the Constitution to allow
Kagame to stand for a third term created debate.
COUNTRYAAH, Rwanda's strong economic growth has benefited Kagame, but
human rights groups and the opposition criticize his
government for not tolerating criticism and limiting freedom
A call that was reported to be signed by just over 3.7
million voters started the formal process of extending
Kagame's term in office. The proposal was then accepted by
the RPF party congress in June, after which Parliament began
to address the issue. The small opposition party, the
Democratic Greens, who are not in Parliament tried in vain
to get the Supreme Court to stop the process.
At the end of October, the House of Commons approved by a
large majority to shorten the term of office of future
presidents from seven to five years and that the president
should only be allowed to sit for two periods. But an
exception was introduced for Kagame, who would be allowed to
stand for another seven-year period from 2017 and then two
The Senate unanimously approved the changes in November
and in December the change was confirmed in a referendum
where 98% of voters supported the proposal.
Kagame, 58, has not said whether he will run again after
2017, but several countries, including the US and the UK,
have criticized the changes. It also scored false when
Kagame criticized neighboring Burundi President Pierre
Nkurunziza's decision earlier in the year to run a
contentious election for a third term. Rwanda also took in
thousands of refugees who fled the violence in neighboring
The United Nations War Criminal Court (ICTR) in Arusha
held its last negotiations during the year. Since 1995, it
has examined 93 individual cases linked to the 1994
In Stockholm district court, a trial was launched in
September against a 60-year-old Rwandan-born man for
genocide. The trial is the second of its kind in Sweden.
In June, the head of Rwanda security service Karenzi
Karake was arrested in London at the request of Spanish
authorities who accused him of crimes during and after the
genocide. A British court rejected an extradition request in
August, but Rwanda criticized the British severely.
Rwanda's relations with Britain were previously strained
since the BBC aired a controversial documentary on the 1994
genocide, which led to Rwanda banning the BBC from
broadcasting programs over the country's FM networks.