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 Editions Sources du Nil  : Livres sur le Rwanda, Burundi, RDCongo

University Commencement Should Be Free of Foreign Dictatorships

8 Mai 2010 , Rédigé par Editions Sources du Nil Publié dans #Justice et Droits de l'homme

Froduald Harelimana
For the honor of an academic institution, It is hard to understand any rational that guided the president Oklahoma Christian University to invite Kagame of Rwanda to lead any campus ceremony. For being college uneducated, and being accused to have committed serious human rights violations
It is well known that Kagame did not even finish high school, and he was invited for a keynote speech to a graduation at Oklahoma Christian University. This does not make much sense. Commonly, college graduation ceremonies are very meaningful and celebratory moments for hard work students receiving their degree surrounded by their parents, educators and friends. In my humble opinion, it is not any grace to any university to allow someone who never had any college education to keynote any academic ceremony, period. This does not honor respectable the participating scholars, trustees and faculty either, to sit and watch a keynote speaker incapable to relate with the audience the own academic life and experiences.
How valuable was Kagame to The Oklahoma Christian University anyway? Was Kagame chosen because he is simple a president? That leader got on power on tip of a gun, killed or chased away many scholars that Rwanda as a third world country sacrificed a lot to educate. His conquering army destroyed schools and universities, and now reportedly brought education in Rwanda to a complete failure. His regime is over and over assessed as dictatorship. For years, international organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch published numerous reports on Kagame's regime human rights violations. By inviting Kagame, the leadership of the Oklahoma Christian University showed a disregard as no one can assume that this was a merit to be honored at a university. Not knowing those sad facts cannot be excused either. Additionally, the argument that they were ten Rwandan graduates is insufficient to have invited a dictator for a commencement address at a university sizing in thousand students. Caring for Rwanda should not be equated to honoring its criminal president.
Surprisingly, that Oklahoma Christian University is named a Christian university. Where should be found Christianity in honoring a man who does not care about human rights, whose soldiers slain numerous church leaders, pushed to exile in order to grab power after destroying the country social and moral authority that the church represents? What role model did the leaders of the Oklahoma Christian University did they see in a power hungry man who is keeping hundreds of innocent Christians in prison without fair trial? Regrettably, honoring Kagame miserably totally mismatched the stated mission of Oklahoma Christian University as a higher learning community that transforms lives for Christian faith, scholarship, and service. His sole presence on site eclipses inspiring the youth for core values of becoming peacemakers, democratic global citizens and moral leaders today and in the world to come.


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