Saturday, August 5, 2017
Department of State Spokesperson
August 5, 2017
The United States congratulates the people of Rwanda on their active and peaceful participation in the presidential election held August 4. However, we are disturbed by irregularities observed during voting and reiterate long-standing concerns over the integrity of the vote-tabulation process.
We commend the Rwandan media for reporting on complaints of harassment of some opposition candidates and Rwandan citizens during the campaign. We likewise commend average citizens, the National Electoral Commission, and government officials for speaking out and addressing those complaints. We applaud the televised debate, while noting that voters’ understanding would have benefited from broader participation of the candidates themselves.
We remain concerned by the lack of transparency in determining the eligibility of prospective candidates. We hope the new electoral law to be debated in the next session of Parliament will clarify that process well before the 2018 parliamentary elections.
The United States stands by the people of Rwanda in their efforts to build strong democratic and inclusive institutions in order to ensure long-term stability and a democratic, prosperous future for all.
Department of State Spokesperson
July 31, 2017
The United States condemns recurring violations of the ceasefire that have occurred in Mali between signatory armed groups to the 2015 Algiers Peace Accord. We urge the parties to end hostilities immediately and to strictly comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and to respect human rights, particularly with respect to civilians and prisoners. We are greatly disturbed at reports of reprisal killings of civilians and the discovery of unmarked grave sites in the areas of conflict. We welcome the inquiries led by the UN peacekeeping mission, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). If the allegations prove true, the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
We applaud efforts to bring the parties together to agree to a cessation of hostilities, and we deplore the parties’ failure to do so. We call on all parties to redouble their efforts to abide by the ceasefire and fully implement the Algiers Peace Accord. The United States stands with the people of Mali as they work to build a country that is peaceful, prosperous, and united. The United States also supports the efforts of the Group of Five Sahel states (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger) in creating a Joint Force and undertaking other actions to address threats that destabilize Mali and other parts of the sub-region and make lasting peace that much more elusive.
August 4, 2017
On behalf of the Government of the United States, our congratulations to the government and people of Niger as you celebrate your nation’s independence.
The United States will continue to work with Niger to encourage economic growth, assist with counterterrorism efforts, and support a vibrant civil society. We value our strong, multi-faceted partnership and commend Niger’ critical role in ensuring stability in the Sahel.
We extend to the people of Niger wishes for peace and prosperity as you celebrate the 57th anniversary of your independence.
August 1, 2017
On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the people of Benin as you celebrate the 57th anniversary of your national independence on August 1st.
The United States reaffirms its support of Benin and its goal of a better and more prosperous future. We use this opportunity to recognize both our commitments to partner on regional stability, sustainable economic growth, and universal respect for human rights.
Our best wishes to you on this special day.