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Rwanda: Economic Situation and Politics and Government

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL14448, tabled on 22 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the political and economic situation in Rwanda.

Answered on

1 April 2021

As set out in our statement on Rwanda at the Human Rights Council in January, the UK Government is concerned about restrictions on civil and political rights and media freedom in Rwanda. Civil society and opposition parties in Rwanda must be able to operate freely, holding the Government of Rwanda to account and contributing to the debate on how Rwanda should be governed. We regularly raise specific cases of concern with the Rwandan Government and the Rwanda Investigation Bureau, and call for free and fair trials for all those in detention. We will continue to urge Rwanda, as a member of the Commonwealth, and future Chair-in-Office, to uphold and champion Commonwealth values of democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights.

Following strong growth for over a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically stalled economic progress and increased poverty in Rwanda. We welcome the Government of Rwanda's ongoing commitment to development and its COVID-19 response, which includes an economic recovery fund to support hard hit businesses, and expanded social protection programmes for the poorest and most vulnerable. However, this commitment to social and economic progress must be matched with gains in civil and political rights for its people.