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Arusha, 17 April 2007 (FH) – Rwanda, which had previously been led by a totalitarian regime that based its power upon the peasants, is currently commanded by an oligarchy settled in the Capital, André Guichaoua, a witness-expert before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), explains in a very documented article.   In an article to be published in the German magazine “Eins - Entwicklungspolitik”, the French sociologist, a professor at the University of La Sorbonne, describes the contrast between “the speed of the reconstruction and the degree of investments which deeply changed landscapes” and “a socio-political system that is particularly authoritarian”. RWANDA/POLITY   According to him, the regime of President Habyarimana and, before that, the “social revolution” of 1959 were based on “an ideology of ruralism and of a parsimonious administration of local resources”.   The fall of the coffee price and the intervention of the IMF, which wanted the State to withdraw, challenged this “rural populism”. The war triggered by the RPF in 1990 and the fragmentation of the party system in 1991 were fatal for the regime. “The ethnic mobilization imposed itself on situations of economic, social and political tensions”, the research-professor explains.   “Before the 6th April the Rwandan state was not in the hands of a fascistic power: none of its institutions had been won over for the genocidal project”, Guichaoua underlines. But, according to him, after the attack on the presidential plane, “Hutu extremists” took over the power and “during three months mobilized the state’s resources in order to annihilate the inner ¢ethnical enemy¢”.   With the RPF controlling Kigali, “any return to democracy, which was considered responsible for the political divisions that led to the war, was excluded”, Guichaoua says. The transition, characterized by many flights and assassinations of leaders, came to an end with the Constitution of 2003 and the election of Paul Kagame with 95 % of the votes.   Further, instituting of the gacacas which are primed to try 10% of the population has had the effect of creating “an atmosphere of fear, truly of pure terror,” Guichaoua writes.   “From now on, at the expense of social relations a largely mythical discourse is being superimposed exploiting the themes of authenticity and revalorization of national values, without any protection of written law or customs, technocratic decisions and/or fail-safe,s which are disrupting the last ties to the rural world,” he writes.   For the first time in Rwandan History, the elites who settled in Kigali after the war and the genocide 3consider themselves capable of emancipating themselves from this dependence on the peasantry”, the French Sociologist writes. On the 270,000 inhabitants of the capital counted by money lenders, 200,000 came from outside, more than 40 % of them being former citizens who returned from exile.   Since they are “the main, if not the only” beneficiaries of national investments and foreign contributions, while the peasants, kept in “a countrywide poverty”, provide the main part of the State’s income, “there is neither a direct link between rural and urban living levels nor a limit to these levels anymore. All evidence shows that this consolidated totalitarian order is going to last”, Guichaoua writes.   PB/CV © Hirondelle News Agency