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Victoire Ingabire's third Christmas behind bars in Rwanda

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After Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's M23 militia terrified another 900,000 people into fleeing their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2012, Victoire Ingabire spent her third Christmas in Rwanda's 1930 maximum security prison. The 900,000 figure is the estimate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In 2009, when a Dutch television broadcaster asked Victoire's 9-year-old son Riszt - who is now 11 - why his mother was returning to Rwanda, he said, 'So that there won't be war anymore.' Ingabire returned to stand for the presidency against Kagame, but she was not allowed to run and was instead imprisoned, like so many others who threaten Kagame's iron will.

Kagame has been a U.S. ally and 'military partner' since leading an invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990 and seizing state power in 1994.
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Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at (more...)
 

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