U.S. Statement at the UPR of Rwanda

23rd Session, November 4, 2015
As delivered by Eric Richardson

The United States warmly welcomes the Rwandan delegation.

We commend Rwanda for accepting 67 of 73 recommendations during the 2011 UPR.  Rwanda has also made progress in combating trafficking in persons and preventing violence against women.

We remain concerned however about ongoing restrictions on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.  In his January 2014 visit, the special rapporteur on freedoms of association and peaceful assembly reported that Rwanda continues to limit opportunities for peaceful political dissent.  We are concerned that organizations working on human rights report surveillance, harassment, and delays in registration.

We are concerned about the whereabouts and welfare of persons reported missing during an operation in 2014 conducted by Rwandan security forces.

We are concerned by reports that Burundian refugees in Rwanda have been recruited into armed groups.

We recommend that Rwanda:

  1. Conduct a thorough, transparent investigation into reports of missing persons related to the extensive 2014 security operation, holding accountable the individuals responsible.
  2. Implement the June 2014 recommendations of the special rapporteur to allow for peaceful political opposition, and for civil society and journalists to register and participate in civic life freely.
  3. Investigate reports that Burundian refugees have been recruited from camps in Rwanda into armed groups, and ensure that the civilian nature of refugee camps is fully respected.