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President Tshisekedi Orders Martial Law Rule In Kivu, Ituri

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President Felix Tshisekedi has ordered rule of martial law in DRCs North Kivu and Ituri provinces effective on Thursday, May 6.

The Congolese President called on the people of the two provinces “to cooperate closely with the military authorities deployed by denouncing enemies of the people and complicity at whatever level” with those perpetrating violence.

The shift in management of this part of the country is aimed at stemming the bloodshed and returning order to the region, the president said in an address on national television Monday.

During the period of martial law, Congo’s security forces will have the right to search homes, seize weapons and prohibit travel, Tshisekedi’s spokesman, Kasongo Mwema Yambab Yamba, said in a separate address.

The military and police authorities will also have the right to ban publications and meetings deemed contrary to public order and to prosecute those suspected of violating the peace, he said.

Eastern Congo with population of 20 million people, borders Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. This region hosts at least 120 armed groups

Violence in eastern Congo includes numerous conflicts over control of land and resources, protection of local communities, and rebellions linked to neighboring countries.

Ituri and North Kivu are rich in metals like gold and coltan and armed groups including alleged criminal networks in the army sometimes profit from their trade.

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Rwanda Media Ranking Continues To Fall

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Rwandan Journalists have joined their colleagues around the world to celebrate the World Media day annually celebrated on May 3rd.

This is a day dedicated to reflecting on the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.

In Rwanda’s capital Kigali, an event has been organized for Development Journalism Award 2021.  

Development Journalism Awards 2021 (DJA) is a flagship event organized by Rwanda Journalists Association (ARJ) in partnership with Rwanda Governance Board (RGB).

It is held annually to honor, among others, media practitioners’ general excellence, public service outreach, technical innovation, business reporting, people’s right reporting, visual digital storytelling, gender mainstreaming, engaged and investigative journalism and environment management reporting.

According to World Press Freedom Index, Rwanda continues to fall in media rankings for example this year the index put Rwanda at 156th position globally falling from 155th last year.

With a closer synthesis of the Rwanda Media code, critics argue that it is still an uphill task. Defamation may trigger penalties ranging from five to seven years in prison or fines approximately U$7213.

Rwanda has been near the bottom of Reporters Without Borders (RSF)’s World Press Freedom Index for years and is ranked 156th out of 180 countries in the 2018 Index.

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150 Rwandan Students Graduate From U.S. Embassy’s Two-Year “English Access Microscholarship Program”

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The U.S. Embassy hosted a virtual graduation ceremony Saturday in honor of 150 students from Rwanda’s Southern Province who recently completed the Embassy’s two-year “English Access Microscholarship Program.”

The secondary school students began the English enrichment course in 2018 at three different sites: College Immaculee Conception, Save, in Gisagara District; Groupe Scolaire Mater Dei in Nyanza District; and Groupe Scolaire Mere du Verbe Kibeho in Nyaruguru District.

U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman recognized the students’ hard work and their perseverance through a long delay in-class sessions because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“I congratulate all of the students who have successfully completed the intensive two-year English Access Microscholarship program,” Ambassador Vrooman said. “The United States has invested in you because we believe in you and because we believe in the power of education to open new doors for you and your families.”

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a two-year English enrichment program funded by the U.S. Embassy that provides students with 400 hours of supplementary English instruction and educational activities. The program helps develop the capacities of rural Rwandan youth through English teaching and educational, cultural, and personal development activities, providing talented youth with the English language skills they need to achieve academic and professional goals. Since 2015, the U.S. Embassy has partnered with Congrégation des Soeurs Benebikira to implement the program, focused primarily on rural students in the Southern Province.

Since its inception in 2004, over 110,000 students in more than 80 countries around the world have participated in the U.S. government-funded English Access Microscholarship Program. In Rwanda, the Access Program began in 2010 and more than 1,000 Rwandan students have participated in the program since then.

The U.S. Embassy hosted a virtual graduation ceremony this Saturday in honor of 150 students from Rwanda’s Southern Province who recently completed the Embassy’s two-year “English Access Microscholarship Program.”

The secondary school students began the English enrichment course in 2018 at three different sites: College Immaculee Conception, Save, in Gisagara District; Groupe Scolaire Mater Dei in Nyanza District; and Groupe Scolaire Mere du Verbe Kibeho in Nyaruguru District.

U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Peter H. Vrooman recognized the students’ hard work and their perseverance through a long delay in class sessions because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“I congratulate all of the students who have successfully completed the intensive two-year English Access Microscholarship program,” Ambassador Vrooman said. “The United States has invested in you because we believe in you and because we believe in the power of education to open new doors for you and your families.”

The English Access Microscholarship Program is a two-year English enrichment program funded by the U.S. Embassy that provides students with 400 hours of supplementary English instruction and educational activities.

The program helps develop the capacities of rural Rwandan youth through English teaching and educational, cultural, and personal development activities, providing talented youth with the English language skills they need to achieve academic and professional goals.

Since 2015, the U.S. Embassy has partnered with Congrégation des Soeurs Benebikira to implement the program, focused primarily on rural students in the Southern Province.

Since its inception in 2004, over 110,000 students in more than 80 countries around the world have participated in the U.S. government-funded English Access Microscholarship Program.

In Rwanda, the Access Program began in 2010 and more than 1,000 Rwandan students have participated in the program since then.

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Kagame Chairs RPF Extended National Executive Committee Meeting

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President Paul Kagame on Friday chaired the RPF Party’s Extended National Executive Committee Meeting convened at the party headquarters at Rusororo in the outskirts of the Capital Kigali.

Details indicate that over 650 members representing different party organs are participating in this meeting. The two-day meeting also has special guests including national leaders and youth representatives.

According to the Party, the members are exploring the mid-term review of the party Manifesto of 2017-2024, and the status of Covid-19 in the country and its impact on the economy.

In his opening remarks, the Party Chairman President Kagame told members that the ideology on which the party is built and what makes it have an impact requires a high level of discipline. “Without discipline, you will achieve maybe 30% of what you set out to achieve and that will end up benefiting a few people.”

Kagame says some people tend to get comfortable with that 30%; “that is not who we are. RPF is not about choosing a few to benefit. Not so and so’s child and not people of a certain region. Our ideology is built around benefitting all Rwandans without any form of discrimination.”

Meanwhile, the President also hinted that this is a month of commemoration of our people who perished in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. Besides remembering the genocide, it is also time to reflect on the bad politics that caused this genocide.

The president also took the party members through the current Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country which recorded its first case in March last year. currently Rwanda has reported 24,995 total cases, 23,206 cases have recovered and recorded 333 Deaths.

“There are good lessons, and that is why, despite the minimal resources at our disposal, our response to the pandemic stood out, not just in the region but in the whole world,” Kagame noted at the meeting this afternoon.

According to Kagame, it is the first time party members are meeting this year. “Our meeting coincides with our continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected not just us but the entire world. Our major concern is how it has affected us as Rwanda. That should be our focus.”

In his presentation on internal party cohesion, President Kagame borrowed an analogy of grasshoppers in a bottle. “Those who eat them will first confine them in a container where they will go at each other, trying to survive. After tearing each other apart, they end up in the same frying pan.”

He noted that there are so many young people that have been put in positions of leadership both at the National and Party levels; “You have to make your choice. Will you choose to be a grasshopper?”

For him, “When you are unable to reach identify what you want and what will serve your interests as a people, that is how you start to have the wrong values. And that is how they play us against each other.”

“If you are not disciplined, it will be difficult for you to come together and do what serves your best interest. We have to identify who we are, our best interests and how to achieve those interests,” Kagame said while cautioning against negative external influence.

The party Chairman Kagame hinted on those seeking to control Rwanda, ” When they cannot get rid of you, they slow you down. But no one among them is God. They are humans like you and I.”

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