The article in question is an opinion piece crafted by Anjan Sundaram, a journalist renowned for working with Rwandan dissidents.
It was published on Tuesday 11th April 2023 with a title that goes ‘He’s a Brutal Dictator, and One of the West’s Best Friend’.
Anjan Sundaram gained fame for his book titled’ “Bad News: Last Journalists in a Dictatorship” where he says that Rwanda there is no press freedom.
The book faced criticism from individuals who claimed that the author had misrepresented their testimonies.
Sundaram frequently appears in talk shows hosted by Rwandan dissidents, many of whom are affiliated with the RNC led by Kayumba Nyamwasa. It is said that the terrorist group pays him to speak ill of Rwanda.
In his opinion piece published in The New York Times which often runs articles tarnishing Rwanda’s image, Sundaram said that President Paul Kagame has throughout his leadership ‘shut down the free press and clamped down on dissent’.
He also went on to state that President Kagame is one of the best friends of Europeans where he gets floor to deliver speeches and appreciated by Western leaders.
Sundaram expressed concerns over Rwanda’s development, as well as its selection as a host for international events and the presence of plants like Volkswagen, which assembles cars in the country.
The man hailing from India, further said that President Kagame has cast himself as the hero who ended Genocide yet he is accused of “sparking” it and ‘doing little to prevent it.
He stated that the United Kingdom should not send migrants and asylum seekers in the country claiming that ’it seems to be a reward for dictatorship’.
Stephanie Nyombayire, the Press Secretary for the Office of the Presidency has via Twitter handle rebuked The New York Times for providing space to Sundaram to publish an article reopening the wounds of Genocide survivors.
“As survivors share their painful testimonies, as the country remembers the Genocide against the Tutsi, The New York Times found it fit to publish a piece blaming the victims for causing it and “not doing enough” to stop it,” she tweeted.
Nyombayire said that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was a result of bad leadership and supporters ’who turned revisionists and apologists today’.
“Welcome to the club Anjan, you can take your seat alongside the latter. The RPA/RPF put an end to the Genocide against the Tutsi. NO ONE else,” she noted.
Nyombayire explained that Rwanda’s development ambitions do not need approval by Westerners.
“Contrary to popular NYT belief, our utmost national ambition is not western approval or any other euphemism for ‘Africans need supervision’. If you care to know, it is actually transforming the lives of citizens, with actions, not articles,” she added.
Nyombayire ended his message with an extract from the speeches of President Kagame where he said: “Nobody will ever decide for us how to live our lives.”
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