Powersharing Transitional Government: Arusha Accord – 4 August 1993

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Powersharing Transitional Government: Arusha Accord – 4 August 1993


Powersharing Transitional Government – 1993

The peace process started with the signing of the N’sele Cease-fire Agreement of July 1992. In January 1993, RPF and the government signed the protocol agreement on power-sharing government. There was some effort in July 1993 to reach a consensus on power-sharing government, especially the position of the Prime Minister. In the Arusha Accords, the MDR was allocated the Prime Minister position, and they chose Faustin Twagiramungu as their PM candidate, but internal divisions within the party kept him from assuming office; he was opposed by a new hardline element of the MDR affiliated with Hutu Power. A power-sharing government was not established in 1993.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 1994

Even though power-sharing provisions were negotiated in the 1993 accord, the actual establishment of a power-sharing government stalled as the hard-line Hutus opposed any power-sharing with the minority Tutsis.1 Agathe Uwilingiyimana from MDR became prime minister on 18 July 1993 but was assassinated on 7 April 1994.

After genocidal events, the UNAMIR technical team sought the views of political and military leaders in the camps (in Zaire) regarding the conditions, involving exiled Hutu leadership in all negotiation processes, including a revival of acceptable elements of the Arusha Accord and its power-sharing provisions.2 In September, a power-sharing government was formed and late president Habyarimana’s party was excluded.3 After taking over Rwanda, the RPF installed an “Enlarged Transitional Government” on 19-20 July 1994, which they claimed was based on the Arusha Accord. They did allocate positions to the MDR, PL, and PSD as dictated by the Arusha Accords, but they unilaterally excluded the MRND and assumed all of their posts rather than sharing them with the other parties.4 Extremist parties were rendered illegal and, therefore, not part of the power-sharing government. Other political parties were part of the power-sharing government but they were politically weak.5 According to the UN Secretary General’s report, a broad-based government of national unity was installed on 19 July 1994 and that government established control over the Rwandan territory.6

On 17 July 1994, the victorious rebels (RPF) made a declaration establishing inclusive government institutions and renouncing power-sharing with political parties and groups that organized and perpetrated genocide. From MDR, Faustin Twagiramungu was appointed prime minister on 19 July 1994. After the declaration, a protocol agreement between incumbent political forces (RPF, MDR, PDC, PDI, PL, PSD, PSR and UDPR) regarding the establishment of national institutions was signed on 14 November 1994.8

Accordingly, a power-sharing national assembly was established on 25 November 1994. Of the 70 seats in the National Assembly, the RPF had 19, MDR 13, PSD 13, PL 13, PDC 6, PSR 2, PDI 2, other 2.9 The RPF installed the Transitional National Assembly on 25 December 1994.

  1. “Only God Knows What Will Happen,’ Child Cries”, The Ottawa Citizen, May 11, 1994
  2. “Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council,” United Nations (S/1994/1308), November 18, 1994
  3. “Some 2,000 Former Soldiers Train for Rwanda’s New Military,” Agence France Presse, October 15, 1994
  4. Timothy Longman, “Obstacles to peace building in Rwanda,” Durable peace: Challenges for peacebuilding in Africa, ed. Taisier Ali and Robert O. Matthews, 61-85
  5. Rachel Hayman, “Going in the ‘Right’ Direction? Promotion of Democracy in Rwanda since 1990,” Taiwan Journal of Democracy 5, no.1 (2009): 51-75
  6. “Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council,” United Nations (S/1994/1133), October 6, 1994
  7. Wellars Gasamagera, “The Constitution Making Process in Rwanda, Lessons to Be Learnt,” 2007, accessed September 13, 2011, http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan026620.pdf…

    The July declaration and the November protocol agreement, as well as the power-sharing legislature that was loosely associated with the 1993 Arusha accord, were important in the formation of the national unity government.

    The Government of National Unity outlined the following eight-point plan:

    1. Reinforce a climate of peace and security.

    2. Organize the central, prefectural, communal, sector and cell administration.

    3. Restore and strengthen national unity.

    4. Repatriate and settle of refugees.

    5. Improve the people’s living conditions and resolve those social problems which were a result of genocide, massacres and war (i.e. those of orphans, widows and the physically handicapped).

    6. Re-launch the national economy.

    7. Redefine the country’s foreign policy.

    8. Strengthen democracy in Rwanda.7“New Prime Minister Says He Will Continue With Government Programme”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 4, 1995

  8. “The World Factbook- 1996,” CIA, 1996, accessed September 11, 2011, http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact96/211.htm.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 1995

On 31 August 1995, Pierre-Célestin Rwigema from MDR became prime minister. The power-sharing government which included Hutus and Tutsis was in place in September 1994, but the power-sharing situation remained precarious.1 The power-sharing government and legislature continued in 1995. As a matter of fact, a new government was named on August 31, 1995 after five Hutu ministers, including Prime Minister Twagiramungu, resigned in protest over their lack of real power. As agreed to in the Arusha accord, MDR received the Prime Minister position in the power-sharing government.

  1. “East Africa- Rwanda: Opposite Sides Of A Shaky Fence,” IPS-Inter Press Service, October 9, 1995

Powersharing Transitional Government – 1996

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 1996.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 1997

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 1997. A new government was named on 28 March 1997.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 1998

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 1998.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 1999

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 1999. A new government was named on 10 February 1999.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 2000

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 2000. The composition of the national assembly was rebalanced with RPF receiving 13 seats, MDR 13, PSD 13, PL 13, PDC six, RPA six , PSR two, PDI two, and two going to other parties.2 Paul Kagame, who had been vice president and minister of defense, assumed the presidency on March 24, 2000.3

  1. “The World Factbook- 2000,” CIA, 2000, accessed September 11, 2011, http://www.photius.com/wfb2000/countries/rwanda/rwanda_government.html.[… As agreed to in the accord, MDR received the Prime Minister position.

    On 8 March 2000, Prime Minister Pierre-Celestin Rwigema resigned over charges of corruption and was replaced by Bertrand Makuza from the same political party (MRD).1Ibid.

  2. “Kagame Elected Rwandan President,” BBC News- Africa, accessed February 8, 2012, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/716861.stm.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 2001

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 2001.

Powersharing Transitional Government – 2002

The power-sharing legislature and government continued in 2002

Powersharing Transitional Government – 2003

On 29 September 2003, elections for the National Assembly took place; the RPF won 40 seats, PSD seven, and PL six. The total number of seats in the National Assembly was only 53.1 This effectively ended power-sharing arrangements in the transitional legislature established by the Arusha Accord of 1993. Nevertheless, the power-sharing government remained in place since the moderate Hutu, Bernard Makuza, continued to serve as Prime Minister. As agreed to in the accord, MDR received the prime minister position–though since the MDR was disbanded prior to the elections, he changed his party affiliation to RPF.

  1. “The World Factbook-2003,” CIA, 2003, accessed September 11, 2011, http://www.theodora.com/wfb2003/rwanda/rwanda_government.html.