Were Russians of Lenin or Stalin eras coerced into being “good” communist citizens? Undoubtedly so. And there were national programmes that authorities in the Kremlin used to have complying people ready to sustain the system as long as possible.
The Rwandan president Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front [RPF] are at work since 1994 creating a society which can compete well with many authoritarian regimes of the recent pass of before the end of the Cold War.
A brief report that Global Campaign for Rwandan’s Human Rights [GCRHR] published in April 2013 demonstrates how the RPF government forcibly enrolls and trains young people nationally with an ultimate aim of making its oppressive and discriminatory policies last longer.
Rene Mugenzi, coordinator of GCRHR, explains that
“Due to the nature of those activities and training provided in order to develop necessary skills and knowledge to implement them, young people suffer various levels of physical and psychological harm which have led to attempt to committing suicide or leaving Rwanda to seek asylum abroad.
Activities that young people are obliged to attend include military training, basic spying skills development, and developing effective narratives to silence or to ridicule any criticism of the Rwandan government and Rwandan leadership.”
The Rwandan government continues to claim that in building national reconciliation among different ethnic components of the national society there are no more Tutsis or Hutus. Everyone one is only Rwandan. But when it comes to youth indoctrination, and contrary to the official narrative about ethnicity, the two communities are provided separate trainings. The GCHRH report highlights the point in these terms:
“During some of the trainings in these youth camps, young people are separated in groups based on their backgrounds or ethnic origins despite the government’s claim of inexistence of ethnic differences in Rwanda. For those of Tutsi origin, they are taught that they should unify, become strong patriots who are ready to protect their country and their people and control those who are prone to commit genocide. Those from Hutu ethnic origin are taught that any suggestions that RFP have killed Hutus is considered as genocide denying and if that happens it should be reported and dealt by the law accordingly. Anyone with those beliefs should be considered as an enemy of the state.
They are taught that if there is anyone who might have been killed by RPF, he/she should have been a genocidal militia. At the same time anyone who suggests that many Rwandans are illegally imprisoned or harassed by the authorities should be considered an enemy of the state. For young people whose personal family or close friends’ experiences are in the hands of RPF controlled authorities, agencies and military prisons have been different from what they are being taught and forced to believe; this training experience leaves them with severe distress. There have been reports of several mental breakdowns, suicides and attempts to commit suicide by youth who participated in these youth camps.”
To read the full GCRHR report, please click here.