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The Return of Rwanda’s Exiled King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa a key pillar to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Exiled Rwandan King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa
Exiled Rwandan King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda recently called upon the Rwandan Government to help bring back the exiled last Rwandan King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, who was overthrown in 1961 and currently lives in the United States of America. The King’s return is a key factor for achieving sustainable peace and stability as well as several Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs).

SDG Goal number 16 states: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

It is known history that before colonialism, the Rwandan monarchy ruled for at least 1000 years, people lived together without racism and ethnic divisions. The King was the supreme leader for all his people. Wars fought were only for conquests but not against his people.

However, things changed with colonialism and by the end of 1959, the Rwandan society was deeply divided alongside ethnic lines and several people were killed, so many others were forced into exile. The King was eventually overthrown in 1961 and a republic was proclaimed, then independence granted on 7th July 1962. Continued animosity and ethnic divisions marked the following years after independence and by April 1994, those divisions culminated into the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis, where almost one million lives were killed in just 100 days.

After the genocide, many people believe that the return of the exiled King would be a key factor in consolidating unity and reconciliation amongst Rwandan people. It is well known that during the monarchy period, people never killed each other due to ethnic differences, they embraced each other, inter-married and life went on. Similarly, many Rwandans believe that the return of the exiled King, would be a good omen for the country. The King would be expected to play a big role in unity and reconciliation of his people. This would mark the real beginning of sustainable peace and stability thus fulfilling SDG Goal number 16.

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has taken a hard decision to demand the Rwandan Government to help bring back the exiled King. This decision is in line with the party’s policy on resolving the persistent refugee problem. The Party resolved that in order to completely end the refugee problem, the exiled King should be assisted to return to his country. DGPR believes that his return will be the exodus of the return of all remaining Rwandan refugees and it will be a pillar for bringing sustainable peace and security to Rwanda and the Great lakes region.

The Rwandan Government has been requested to recognise the exiled king as a former head of state and provide him with all the privileges that are guaranteed by law for a former head of state. The King cannot come back as an ordinary citizen. He represented Rwanda before the UN and he also requested for Independence.

The Party finds it difficult for the country to achieve sustainable development and social justice for the Rwandan people when the issue of the exiled king is still unresolved. It would be hard for Rwanda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) when peace and stability is not guaranteed.  

By Frank Habineza

Exiled Rwandan King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa