Human Rights: Arusha Accord - 4 August 1993

Protocol of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on the Rule of Law (18 August 1992)

Article 1

National unity must be based on equality of all citizens before the law, equal opportunities in all fields including the economic field and respect for fundamental rights as stipulated, notably, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Article 6

The two parties accept the universality as well as the implications of the following fundamental principles of democracy:

- guarantee for the fundamental rights of the individual as provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, among others, freedom of speech, enterprise and of political, social and economic association;

Protocol of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on the Rule of Law (18 August 1992)

Chapter IV: Human Rights

Article 14

The two parties recognise the universal nature of human rights and should express concern when these rights are violated anywhere and by anybody. They also recognise that the International Community would be justified in expressing concern in the event that these rights are violated by anybody on Rwandese territory. These rights should be guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Rwanda.

Article 15

The two parties agree that a National Commission on Human Rights shall be established. This institution shall be independent and shall investigate human rights violations committed by anybody on Rwandese territory, in particular, by organs of the State and individuals in their capacity as agents of the State or of various organisations.

The investigation work of the Commission shall not be limited in time.

The Commission shall be provided with the necessary means, especially legal means, to efficiently accomplish its mission. It shall utilise its findings to:

a) sensitize and educate the population about human rights;

b) institute legal proceedings, where necessary.

Article 16

The two parties also agree to establish an International Commission of Enquiry to investigate human rights violations committed during the war.

Protocol of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Rwanda and the Rwandese Patriotic Front on Miscellaneous Issues and Final Provisions (3 August 1993)

Article 15: Ratification of International Instruments on Human Rights

The Broad-Based Transitional Government shall ratify all International Conventions, Agreements and Treaties on Human Rights, which Rwanda has not yet ratified. It shall waive all reservations entered by Rwanda when it adhered to some of those International instruments.

Implementation History

1993

No Implementation

The Arusha Accord of 1993 contained three main stipulations regarding human rights: (1) the establishment of a National Commission on Human Rights; (2) the establishment of an International Commission of Enquiry to investigate human rights violations committed during the war; and (3) the ratification of major international human rights treaties. 

None of these stipulations were fulfilled in 1993. 

1994

No Implementation

None of these stipulations were fulfilled in 1994. On April 6, 1994, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana is killed when his plane is shot down. On April 7, Hutu extremists begin killing their political opponents in violence which escalates to genocide. In July 1994, RPF takes control of the government and the genocide ends.

1995

No Implementation

None of the stipulations regarding human rights were fulfilled this year. 

1996

No Implementation

None of the stipulations regarding human rights were fulfilled this year. 

1997

Minimum Implementation

One of the provisions of the Arusha Accord was to establish a National Human Rights Commission. In November 1997, a presidential decree was given to establish the commission and a law was passed in December of 1997. The commission was not operational and no members were appointed in 1997.2

1998

Minimum Implementation

In 1998, the Rwandan government passed a law making the National Commission for Human Rights a permanent and independent entity.4

  • 4. "Cabinet Approves Establishment of Commissions on Rights, Reconciliation", BBC Monitoring Africa, November 21, 1998
1999

Minimum Implementation

In 1999 the National Commission for Human Rights was formally established and became operational.6

  • 6. "Premier Outlines Government's Achievements," BBC Monitoring Africa, July 16, 1999.
2000

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2001

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2002

Intermediate Implementation

In 2002 the government ratified two international treaties on human rights. The first was the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which involves children in armed conflict. Subsequently, on 14 March, 2002, the government ratified the CRC Optional Protocol Sale of Children 2000.1