From: Judy Miriga
I dont see why and how Kikwete should appologize to Kagame for doing the right thing or giving a good advice………
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
– – – – – – – – – – –
— On Mon, 6/3/13, mngonge wrote:
Subject: Why Apologise to Rwanda?
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 10:03 AM
I assume the initiator of the opinion is you, one thing to remind you is that with refugees things become more complicated. Nobody is certain about Rwandees happiness in particular president Kagame, as to our warm welcome the refugees who fled to Tanzania during 1993/1994 genocide. Probably they were the wanted ones (terrorists according to their government). In most African countries anybody who goes contrary to the ruling class is a terrorist. He might be partly blaming us on this account of saving the lives of terrorists, again being a good samaritarian during the genocide does not guarantee our negative demeanour over Rwanda.
Rwanda as Rwanda is an independent country and therefore they have right to make decisions on their matters. Remember the speech made by Nelson Mandela ( a Great Man) when he was called to intervene Rwandees conflict. He said their problems (rwandees) were initiated by them and therefore they should be solved by themselves (rwandees).
Well our president has tried to give them a word of which he thought is a good advise but unfortunately they are not in favour of that advise, so why do we want to make it a MUST advise? They are well familiar with their problems let them solve their problems as Mandela insisted. I do not remember well whether Rwandees government has ever tried to intervene or given advise in any of our domestic conflicts or we just want to say that Tanzania is peaceful we do not experience any serious internal conflicts at all?. Let us spend our invaluable time in solving our own conflicts first before we cross our borders to assist rwandees
— On Mon, 6/3/13, Abdalah Hamis wrote:
From: Abdalah Hamis
Subject: Why Apologise to Rwanda?
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 8:25 AM
AT the height of the genocide of 1993/94 in Rwanda that left almost a million people dead, Tanzania was first-choice getaway destination for thousands of refugees from the neighbouring country.
Refugee-hosting is not an easy task; it goes with all sorts of risks and hazards, including destruction of the environment and security problems. In the midst of the refugees fleeing to our country are criminal elements who continue their evil ways while here.
Some of the incidents of crime around the refugee ‘area of activity’ in parts of Kagera Region have been linked to the ‘bad people’ among run-aways from Rwanda and Burundi.
If there is one country in the Great Lakes Region that has suffered most from the civil unrest in Rwanda, Burundi and DRC, that country is Tanzania. If there is one country that would most love to see a peaceful resolution to the conflicts in the region, that country is Tanzania.
It is for the reasons stated above that Tanzania has played a leading role in the search for peace in the region, the rest of Africa and even beyond. Within SADC, within ICGLR, within the AU and within the UN, Tanzania has always advocated for a peaceful resettlement of crises.
It is for the reasons stated above too that Tanzania has played the role of mediator in a number of countries, in addition to contributing soldiers to peacekeeping and order restoration missions in such places as Darfur and The Comoros.
Back to Rwanda. Tanzania and her north-eastern neighbour share a border, which means a lot, including cultural linkages and cross-border activities such as trade. For the record, during the colonial era, a number of people from Rwanda and Burundi crossed to Tanzania in search of employment where they were amalgamated into our society.
Tanzania is, therefore, very much justified in its desire to see peace is maintained in Rwanda and Burundi. It is for this reason that the recent remarks by President Jakaya Kikwete, calling on the authorities in Kigali to hold peace talks with the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FNLD) to end the war of 17 years are justified and valid. Why should we then apologise to Rwanda just because our president had made remarks that call on them to make peace? Funny and strange, isn’t it?
— On Mon, 6/3/13, lingson adam wrote:
From: lingson adam
Subject: Jakaya Kikwete must apologize; Rwandans say
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 8:53 AM
Siku nitakaposikia Rais wa nchi yangu niipendayo hii ANAOMBA RADHI eti kwa kutoa ushauri sahihi na mzuri tu kwa Kagame…I will grieve to death!! Tanzania tuna matatizo mengi sawa, but that doesn’t disqualify us kutoa ushauri kwa jirani na rafiki zetu!
Kagame asitafute mchawi. Yes, he has done a lot to stabilize his country…but that does not remove the fact that he is greatly challenged to sustain the little that has been attained so far, post his getting out the reign be it kikatiba au hata kufa tu, he is a mortal human! Simply so! Njia moja wapo ya kuikabili changamoto hiyo ni ushauri aliotoa Rais Kikwete. Where is the hysteria from?
Kagame akiendelea na ubinafsi wa aina hii, Rwanda inaweza kurudi point zero, mara tu atakapoondoka marakani. Lakini akifanikiwa kuweka misingi mizuri, Kagame stands the possibility to make a great statesman wa great lakes region.
— On Mon, 6/3/13, ELISA MUHINGO wrote:
From: ELISA MUHINGO
Subject: Jakaya Kikwete must apologize; Rwandans say
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 8:09 AM
Kikwete should never ever dare to apologyse.. If he does he will have to re-apologyse to Tanzanians including the then Chairman of Frontline countries and farther of this nation.
The experience Tanzania have is that the guns will never take any conflict to the end. Tanzania has suported liberation of many countries than any African state. in all instances negotiation was the last sollution.
If Rwandans don’t want to negotiate now, they will, in future. and at one time one will ask who Killed Habyarimana. The question will not be pleasant to the current regime and this should not influence the current reaction (of fear of being asked that question) during negotiations.Who is inocent of genocide/killings in Rwanda?
Look for the trueth not me.
— On Mon, 6/3/13, Charles Banda wrote:
From: Charles Banda
Subject: Jakaya Kikwete must apologize; Rwandans say
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 2:53 AM
Genocide survivors have petitioned the UN Secretary General and U.S President over remarks made by Jakaya Kikwete, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania at the 21st African Union Summit on May 26th, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In his remarks, Kikwete is quoted to have called upon the Rwandan government to “negotiate” with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an issue that has raised anger among the genocide survivors in and outside of Rwanda.
The FDLR rebel group is predominantly composed of members of the Interahamwe militia and the Armed Forces of Rwanda, who carried out the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and have continued to conduct killings of innocent civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During an enclosed meeting called by the UN Secretary General in Addis Ababa, Kikwete is also reported to have argued that since Kinshasa was in talks with the M23 rebels, then it was about time Kigali opened negotiations with the FDLR rebels. Kikwete also pushed argument to Uganda, stating that Uganda should do likewise with its Congo-based rebel force, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
In a statement, released by Alice Umutoni, Vice Coordinator of the US- based organizing committee of the 19th Commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, the genocide survivors asked Kikwete to openly apologize to all survivors of the genocide in Rwanda and Rwandans in general, Congolese, Americans and many more people who have suffered from the FDLR terrorism.
The Rwandan genocide survivors also argued that Kikwete was fully aware of the atrocities committed by the FDLR in Rwanda and DR Congo, and other rebels groups in Uganda, though he went ahead to make such ridiculous remarks.
The petitioners stated that they were confident that the United States of America would not support this kind of political dealings that act as a setback to Rwanda’s efforts to ensure peace in the DRC and the region as a whole.
United States of America’s leadership has made a commitment to fight the international terrorism, and marked FDLR as a terrorist group, UN also placed a five-million-dollar bounty on handing over some Rwandan genocide perpetrators, including Sylvestre Mudacumura, the FDLR supreme commander who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, torture and attacking innocent civilians.
— On Mon, 6/3/13, Lutgard Kokulinda Kagaruki wrote:
From: Lutgard Kokulinda Kagaruki
Subject: Rwanda’s reaction to Pres. Kikwete’s statement is shochking
Date: Monday, June 3, 2013, 5:28 AM
Ahsante sana kwa uchambuzi wa uhakika! Ukweli ni lazima usimame! LKK
From: kiishweko orton
Sent: Monday, June 3, 2013 11:37 AM
Subject: Rwanda’s reaction to Pres. Kikwete’s statement is shochking
There is need for clarity of conscience when discussing multinational relations.
I believe(and perhaps somehow know),that there is more than meets the eye to this whole issue, especially looking at how Rwanda opted for media as the (immediate) option to respond to President Kikwete’s suggestion at an AU meeting in Adis.
From the media releases,termed as protests from Rwanda students and a minister,it was clear that these were mitigated messages coming from a situation that was already ‘brewing'(on the Rwandan side, even prior to President Kikiwete’s comment at AU.
But at the end of the day,I believe Tanzania will play the ‘big friendly brother’ like it has always done in this region.
From: RICHARD MGAMBA
Sent: Sunday, June 2, 2013 8:06 PM
Subject: Rwanda’s reaction to Pres. Kikwete’s statement is shochking
Mwalimu Lwaitama, kaka yangu na pia mtani wangu, Nimejifunza mengi kuhusu watanzania wenzangu, wanahabari wenzangu na watu wa serikali. Kama ninaamini kwamba moja ongeza moja huwa ni mbili hata angesema mfalme mzalendo wa aina ghani kwamba ni tatu, nitakataa kwa sababu ukweli ninaufahamu. It’s very sad that some of the well-educated guys are trying to fall into the very same ploy like the Malawi-Tanzania diplomatic rift, which to my opinion wasn’t necessary at all. What I don’t understand is the hypocrisy that we show suddenly about DRC. We decided to deploy our forces in DRC with pomp and cheap propaganda at the time when the warring sides were in peace negotiations in Uganda under Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. After we deployed our forces, the Kinshasa regime has since ignored the peace talks because there’s no need to do it while there are foreign forces that can cover you. But at the same time we are telling Rwanda to negotiate, while we couldn’t do the same to Joseph Kabila. This indeed a very funny advice. Let Rwandans handle their affairs because even when they were killing each other we never deployed our forces to save them. We also fell into the same category of UN and AU. Rwandans know what they want and they have never asked for our advice. Let us use our energy to build this country instead of treading in cheap popularity. Julius Nyerere refused to negotiate with Iddi Amin Dada even at the time when the very same AU formerly known as OAU stood for the so called peace negotiations. We chose the guns and we warn the battle. What’s wrong if Rwanda doesn’t want to talk with FDLR, rebel faction responsible for killing about 1 million souls? Tanzania Foreign Minister says Kikwete won’t apologise to Rwanda
Posted about 1 day ago by Collins Hinamundi | 1 comment
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete whose Call for Peace Talks Between Rwanda And FDLR has cause the Diplomatic Spat
President Jakaya Kikwete will not apologise to Rwanda or change his stand that the Rwandan government should negotiate with rebels.
The proposal was made in good faith, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister Bernard Membe told Parliament yesterday.
Mr Membe said there was no way the Head of State could apologise for saying the truth and stating a fact.
He reiterated Tanzania’s position that Rwanda had no option but to get into peace talks with rebels most of whom are fighting President Paul Kagame’s regime from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) forests.
He said fighting the rebels unsuccessfully for 17 years necessitated the need to negotiate with them.
According to Mr Membe, Tanzania sees the presence of such rebels in the DRC forests as a setback in the region’s peace process.
“Rwanda has opposed President Kikwete’s statement but the President will not apologise because his statement was based on facts….Rwanda should take this advice….Our President cannot apologise for saying the truth,” Mr Membe said shortly after Parliament endorsed the ministry’s Sh138.36 billion budget for 2013/14 fiscal year.
During last week’s 50th anniversary of the African Union in Addis Ababa, President Kikwete called on Rwanda to hold talks with Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels because the military option had failed to end the war with them.
Kigali has strongly opposed the proposal, with Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs minister, Ms Louise Mushikiwabo, quoted by Radio France Internationale (RFI) as describing Mr Kikwete’s remarks as “aberrant” and “shocking”.
She told RFI on Monday that Rwanda would not consider negotiating with people who were responsible for the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis.
“Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” she said.
She said it was unfortunate that the rebel group had sympathisers in the region, including President Kikwete.
She urged President Kikwete to retract his comments. She told RFI that she did not expect President Kikwete to suggest that Rwanda negotiate with “known terrorists” since he had served as a Foreign Affairs minister and knows the FDLR background.
She added that Mr Kikwete could be just another sympathiser for the group whose ideology is still being fought in Rwanda and worldwide. The chairman of Rwanda’s Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Gideon Kayinamura, is also on record as having categorically stated that suggesting negotiations with the FDLR militias was a big insult to Rwandans.
Rwandans living in the US have also petitioned President Barack Obama not to listen to such positions and continue with support to Rwanda and the region to bring FDLR criminals to justice.
The US government has already reinstated a $5 million prize on the FDLR rebel leaders, like Sylvestre Mudacumura and labelled the group as a terrorist movement in the region.
But winding up the debate for his ministry’s budget in the National Assembly yesterday, Mr Membe said Mr Kikwete had no ill-intention in the proposal he made during the 21st African Union Summit on May 26.
According to him, it was high time Rwanda considered the fact that peace was made with enemies and that negotiations could only be made with enemies and not friends.
Mr Membe also told the National Assembly that the government would consider taking to DRC eight journalists to cover the country’s peacekeeper forces in the Eastern side of the country.
“Our forces in DRC are doing a wonderful job and have been received with jubilation and we hope they will keep the spirit alive by demonstrating our values and hospitality,” he said.
Mr Membe, however, noted that there was propaganda aimed at mudslinging Tanzanian forces and thus plans were underway to send reporters under army guidance to report their activities.
“We will soon send eight reporters to DRC where they will document activities by our forces which are already there of peace restoration in the eastern part of the country,” he said.
A total of 1,283 soldiers will be sent to Congo from Tanzania to form the UN Force Intervention Brigade made up of 3,069 soldier.
Source: Citizen Tanzania
Rwanda’s incongruous response to Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete’s proposal
By: Professor Charles Kambanda
President Jakaya Kikwete
The Addis Ababa Peace Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo signed in February of this year highlighted that the UN intervention brigade meant to take on all armed groups in DRC must be backed by a politically sustainable strategy. At the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity, celebrated in Addis Ababa, the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete underscored the necessity of talks between the governments of Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo with the armed groups fighting these governments from Congolese territory. In particular, the Tanzanian president suggested that President Paul Kagame of Rwanda ought to hold direct talks with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda [FDLR], the Rwandan armed rebel movement operating from the Congolese provinces of North Kivus. President Kagame has adamantly rejected President Kikwete’s proposal.
The comical response from the Government of Rwanda (GoR)
Rwanda’s foreign minister and the GoR spokesperson’s response was that her government does not envisage talks with FDLR, a group her government refers to as genocidaire (a group responsible for genocide). The survivors of the Tutsi genocide associations, which are sponsored by Kagame’s government, have condemned the Tanzanian president’s proposal citing the same reason. Some of the Tutsi genocide survivors’ organizations have termed President Kikwete a ‘genocide denier’. It should be recalled that the traditional unresolved ethnic conflict (between the Hutu and Tutsi) in Rwanda is the direct cause of the 1994 crimes of international concern including genocide against the Tutsi and the 1996/99 crimes of international concern including genocide against the Hutu in Congo as documented by the UN Mapping Rapport.
Counter “genocide” accusation between the Hutu and Tutsi
The Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) is a predominately Tutsi political and military group. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) is a predominately Hutu political and military group. In 1990, RPF/A attacked the then Hutu-led government of Rwanda. The civil war between the predominately Tutsi rebels and predominately Hutu government was characterized by horrific crimes of international concern including genocide. Both sides used international crimes, including genocide, as a military and political tool; to weaken, demoralize and humiliate the ‘enemy’ as well as demonizing the ‘enemy’ for political triumph and international sympathy for ‘our’ group. Whichever side would win the war, it was clear during the Rwandan ethnic civil war that the victor would demonize the vanquished ‘enemy’. The Tutsi victors, led by Kagame, did exactly that.
The Tutsi won the civil war
RPF wasted no time; they sought and received a UN resolution condemning the “Rwandan genocide”. The UN set up an international tribunal, the ICTR in Arusha Tanzania, to hold perpetrators of Rwandan genocide accountable. For political reasons, the ICTR did not try any Tutsi perpetrator. RPF then set to ‘market’ their narrative of the “Rwandan genocide”. The Hutu, the vanquished, were labeled evil, perpetrators of the Tutsi genocide. The Tutsi were innocent victims. RPF/A made it a taboo and illegal to mention the international crimes, including genocide, RPF/A had committed against the Hutu in Rwanda and Congo. The vanquished Hutu did not give up either. They created their force, FDLR. In essence, until 2005 when Kagame divide FDLR and “repatriated” some FDLR top commanders, FDLR was to the Hutu what RPF/A was to the Tutsi. Either ethnic group needed an armed group to protect their group against extermination.
Each ethnic group (Tutsi and Hutu) has perpetrators and victims of international crimes, including genocide
No country in contemporary history has politicized and legitimized horrific crimes, including genocide, like Rwanda. Both Tutsi and Hutu have extremists who are ordinarily considered heroes for perpetrating horrendous crimes against the ‘enemy’ ethnic group on behalf of ‘our’ ethnic group. The insane ethnic ‘common consciousness’ among ordinary Hutu and Tutsi legitimizes horrible crimes, including genocide, against ‘our’ enemy. Each ethnic group has its “ethnic crusaders”. The Rwandan “ethnic crusaders”, Tutsi or Hutu, can do or say anything to sustain and market their ethnic narrative no matter how ridiculous and false their narrative might be. Rwanda’s political culture operates on the axis that the victor takes it all and their narrative becomes the oppressive law and biased story/history. Today it is the Tutsi in power and their narrative prevails. For over thirty years prior to 1994, it was the Hutu in power, their narrative prevailed.
Propaganda aside, each side has stinking criminals (devils) and innocent people (good guys). If Kagame cannot negotiate with the Hutu rebels because the Hutu rebels are accused of genocide … because the ICC indicted the leader of the Hutu rebels (FDLR) … then Kagame puts his own alleged crimes in issue.
First, Kagame and his RPF/A top commanders have been indicted by both Spanish and French courts, for crimes of international concern including terrorism and genocide against the Hutu. Second, the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) prosecutor concluded investigations into a significant number of the Tutsi RPF/A top commanders’ international crimes. Kagame himself was investigated for international crimes. The ICTR prosecutor was prepared to prosecute Kagame and some of his RPF/A top commanders for international crimes and ‘possibly genocide’ against the Hutu. President Bush, then Kagame’s buddy, ordered the ICC not to prosecute Kagame because that would create a diplomatic crisis between USA and Rwanda (Kagame), a “strategic” US ally in the region. Third, the United Nations Mapping Report has detailed international crimes, including, possible genocide, against the Hutu that Kagame and his troops allegedly committed in Congo against Rwandan Hutu refugees. Kagame himself is a suspect of the
same international crimes. Apparently, Kagame has no moral authority to condemn the same crimes he allegedly committed and are well documented. Kagame is praised for having stopped the Tutsi genocide. However, he allegedly perpetrated genocide against the Hutu.
Demonizing the “other” ethnic group for political survival
An ordinary Hutu or Tutsi does not recognize the ‘other’ ethnic group (Hutu or Tutsi) as legitimate and equal holder of rights and freedoms. The ethnic group leaders in power always use State apparatus to oppress and exclude the “other’ ethnic group. Kagame’s ruling ethnic clique feels insecure about the “other” ethnic group. Demonizing the oppressed ethnic group is a psychological catalyst to justify elimination and exclusion of the “wrong” ethnic group’s access to the country’s limited resources, as equal stakeholders. Kagame has successfully demonized the Hutu, the vanquished, with the “genocide” brand name. Proposing direct talks with FDLR is like “robbing” Kagame of his political survival tool. Kagame would stop at nothing to resist any call for him to talk peace with his political and ethnic foes; Hutu, Tutsi and/or Twa.
The argument that FDLR is a group of people that committed genocide is probably false
All FDLR founders and first top commanders, until around 2005, “renounced” the Hutu rebellion. They all serve in Kagame’s government now. These commanders were never prosecuted or given amnesty. Kagame insists the FDLR founders who accepted to join his government are innocent. It follows, therefore, that Kagame’s concern with FDLR is not genocide. Kagame is scared of the military capacity of FDLR which remains one of the few serious threat to his dictatorship. If the founders of FDLR and its top commanders are not guilty of genocide, how does Kagame explain that FDLR is a group of ‘genocidaires’? There is no known criminal law theory to justify the” FDLR genocidaire” theory as Kagame claims. In Kagame’s social-political paradigm, FDLR signifies a Hutu armed rebellion which threatens his monopoly of power and authority. The ICC has indicted the top FDLR commander, Gen. Mudacumura. However, Gen. Mudacumura was not indicted for genocide. If FDLR has committed genocide, as Kagame insists, why didn’t the Rwandan g
overnment hand over evidence for genocide to the ICC for Mudacumura to be indicted for genocide?
It is evident that Kagame’s “hypersensitivity” to the Tanzanian leader’s proposal is a defense mechanism, motivated by his fear for what would happen to his Tutsi clique if he is forced to share power with his political and ethnic foes.
President Kikwete’s proposal is the only meticulous way to go for sustainable peace in Congo. Kagame ought to accept direct talks with all his political opponents including the Hutu rebels (FDLR). The government of Rwanda’s hilarious response to president Kikwete’s proposal is regrettable but not surprising. Kagame’s political survival is pegged on demonizing, assassinating and imprisoning his political opponents. Genocide, an unfortunate crime Rwandans have been subjected to, has been Kagame’s major tool for oppressing and terrorizing Rwandans in general and political opponents in particular. Although some people in FDLR could have committed genocide against the Tutsi, there is no clear evidence to prove that FDLR as a group committed genocide.
In any case, Gen. Kagame is not a court of law. Kagame himself, and a significant number of people in his Tutsi clique-controlled government, are accused of horrible crimes, including genocide, against the Hutu refugees in Congo. The Tanzanian government should use its political and economic capacities to pressure Gen. Kagame into a dialogue with his political opponents including FDLR.
Source: Inyenyeri News
Tanzanian Jakaya Kikwete and Rwandan Paul Kagame Meet in Japan
by AfroAmerica Network on June 1, 2013
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and General Paul Kagame of Rwanda are in Japan where they are taking part in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), an event held every five years since 1993. They are among the heads of state and officials from Africa invited to the event by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The event is believed to be the biggest African development event outside the continent.
Jakaya Kikwete and Shinzo Abe, at Shinzo Abe’s Official Residence in Tokyo.
The two African heads of states met, a week after the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete urged President Paul Kagame to hold direct talks with his armed rebellion in order to bring peace in the Great Lakes region (see here). The position of the Tanzanian President has irked Rwandan leaders, to the point that Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo and Defense Minister, James Kabarebe, publicly cursed the Tanzanian President and called him a sympathizer of “genociaires”, a “genocide denier”, and other names.
“Jakaya Kikwete is a Four Bs”, Kagame tells his closest aides
It is not known whether General Paul Kagame will meet Jakaya Kikwete in a one-on-one or a mediated venue. According to sources within the Rwandan Presidency, when General Paul Kagame returned from Addis-Abeba after Jakaya Kikwete’s comments, he was livid. He called an urgent brief intelligence services meeting and told the participants that Jakaya Kikwete is a “Four Bs”, which he said in Kinyarwanda meant “an opportunist, attention seeker , arrogant and contemptible person.” Contrary to his habit, he dismissed the participants to meeting after 15 minutes and went directly to bed.
Before leaving for Japan, he once again held a meeting with his intelligence services and top military leaders and told them the following: “Now, after the betrayal by the Tanzanian Four Bs, it is clear that, like orphaned kids, we are on our own. I am traveling, and when I return I want you to present me with a plan on how we will get out of this severe situation.” When he asked whether anyone had anything to add, everyone looked down. He dismissed the meeting after a few minutes and headed to his private jet, that he rents out to the Rwandan Government.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vs Chinese President Xi JinPing
During the Ticad V meeting today, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged ¥ 3.2 trillion or $31.9 billion for African Development. Japan is trying to catch up with China. Contrary to Shinzo Abe who has never visited Africa since he took office in December 2012, Chinese President Xi JinPing has already visited three countries: South Africa, Congo, and Tanzania.
President Xi JinPing also pledged $20 billion in loans over the next two years and China built the African Union Headquarters in Addid Ababa, Ethiopia, valued at $200 million
The conference is being held in Yokohama City and will last three days. The Tanzanian President is expected in Dar-Es-Salaam on Sunday evening June 2, 2013. Upon his return, he will be faced with two pressing matters: addressing the contempt of his small neighbor, the Rwandan General Paul Kagame and start preparing for the visit of the most powerful man in the World, US President Barack Obama.
Jaka Kikwete, the Star of TICAD V
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete was a star at the Ticad V. He and South African President Jacob Zuma were received with the highest honors by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He was the first to be received at the Prime Minister ‘s official residence in Tokyo on May 30, 2013.
Courageous Congolese and Rwandans dent Kagame’s image at Oxford!
Posted on May 20, 2013 | Leave a comment
Leaflet distributed at Oxford University on Saturday 18th May 2013
“…if we must die, we want to get there standing up, albeit with eggs or water bottles as sole weapons.”
What happened at Oxford on Saturday 18th May should be read in the light of the mobilization that began on the internet to sign the petition against the Rwandan president’s visit to the Said Business School. It is only logical. More than 5000 people from around the world decided to say that crime cannot forever be praised and rewarded.
Paul Kagame is a ”genocidaire.”
Paul Kagame is a looter.
Paul Kagame is a liar.
Indeed his role in the tragedy of the Great Lakes is insignificant in the sense that he is only the armed delivery boy of the western countries that are the United States, Britain, Belgium or Germany. Yet, telling him that we will not give up until justice is done, that is saying to these powers: we know.
To exist means to resist; and that is what our brothers and sisters did on Saturday. They resisted the banality of evil while the mindless individuals are proud to be objective allies of a system that makes war to the world and Africans.
Stop believing through those that the inhuman imperialism gives “honor” or preferred platforms, that you have ceased to look like slaves in front of them. You are all most now useful but tomorrow when it comes to building a completely white world, you will only be part of the bandwagon.
It would be foolishness to believe that what is happening today in Africa is exempt of racism. What is going on in our motherland is just a consequence of a white supremacist ideology that decreed one day that we were not humans.
The savagery of our beings is continuously and endlessly staged in pictures, on TVs: we are holding weapons, we are launching missiles, we are raping women and children, and we are dismembering our fellow men. Those who arm us, and de-humanize us, sit quietly in their lounges in Washington, London and Brussels. Those who kill us have no qualms about that because they are above good and evil, despise human life, and scorn black humanity.
Kagame is part of this scenery, he is this alienated Negro who believes or pretends to believe, that he is independent because he has a gun in his hands. In the midst of this expression of barbarism identified as black, women and men rose yesterday to say NO: we are humans too.
We derive our revolt from that humanity, it is from it that we draw our courage to stand up and face intimidation, insults, and death. We can disagree on the form and expression of such revolt, but it would be dishonest to question the courage which guides it.
Our steps may be hesitant and sometimes badly assured but the determination is taking shape and that is from these types of actions that it will strengthen us to finally shine and announce ultimate victory.
Yes, we are African women and men who understand that for each Congolese, each Rwandan, each Malian, and each Libyan who is killed, it is Africa that is murdered. In front of this danger, and if we must die, we want to get there standing up, albeit with eggs or water bottles as sole weapons.
Kumbi is a Congolese historian and activist writing for the organization Don’t Be Blind This Time. This is a citizen movement informing people about the situation occurring in DR. Congo. Its objective is to support actions that help the Congolese establish a lasting peace and live with dignity.
How DR Congo conflict could ignite regional war
Un GR de Kabila tira sur une foule de partisans de l’opposition a kinshasa.
By Andrew M. Mwenda / The Independent
The likely implications of Ntaganda’s flight
On Monday March 18, former leader of the Congolese rebel movement CNDP, Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, appeared unexpectedly at the United States embassy in Kigali to hand himself over to the Americans. He was smarting from a military defeat at the hands his erstwhile ally and now rival, Sultan Makenga, who heads the M23 rebel movement in eastern DRC.
After walking through Virunga National Park that covers the border areas of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, he drove to Kigali most likely from Ruhengeri unnoticed by Rwanda’s security forces. Rwandan officials were taken by surprised when they heard from the Americans about Ntaganda’s appearance in their capital seeking extradition to The Hague where he is wanted for war crimes.
The previous day, March 17, the ramp of Ntaganda’s defeated army had entered Rwanda seeking refugee alongside their political leader Jean Marie Runiga. Rwanda placed Runiga under house arrest as it prepared to hand over the 700 combatants with him over to the UN as refugees.
The recent flare-up in the fighting in Congo has taken the international community by surprise as well. For more than a year, the international community bought tall tales by the UN “panel of experts” that there was no rebellion in Congo but a Rwandan invasion of the country. The M23 was seen as a Rwanda proxy and American and European journalists wrote stories of how its troops were actually from the Rwandan army. Thus, when M23 broke into rival factions and began a ferocious internal fight, the international media went speechless. They could not reasonably claim that this was a fight among different battalions of the Rwandan army.
The internal fighting within M23 has also thrown the regional efforts to end that conflict in confusion. At the beginning of March, Presidents Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola and Jacob Zuma of South Africa had a meeting in Luanda, Angola. During the meeting, Zuma and Kabila argued that SADC should move its forces to fight the M23 rebels. Zuma, sources say, is convinced that M23 is the disguised hand of Rwanda. But Dos Santos objected saying that he knows the problem of DRC is more than Rwanda and M23. It has a lot to do with internal problems in Congo.
“Comrades,” Dos Santos reportedly told his colleagues, “even us [Angola] have many problems emanating from DRC. Many guns are being trafficked from DRC into our country. Criminals and potential terrorists are crossing as well. So it would be wrong to say that the M23 problem is caused by Rwanda. Kigali may have contributed to it but it is not the source of the problem. The root cause is the inability of Kinshasa to govern most of its territory.”
Dos Santos advised that rather than send forces to fight rebels inside DRC, SADC should help Kinshasa find a negotiated settlement with them – “in order to achieve internal social integration.” He said Luanda has been deeply involved in the problems of Congo for nearly 40 years and most of this time as a victim. This time, he added, Angola will not contribute troops to fight Kinshasa’s wars – a solution he said cannot work.
“But if you comrades feel strongly that we intervene militarily we must,” he added perhaps sensing unease on their faces, “then in the spirit of SADC Angola will contribute money but not troops to that effort. And I would advise that all of us help our young brother here find a political, not a military solution.”
Sources close to Luanda say that Dos Santos held his position firmly even in the face of pressure from Zuma as Kabila watched in silent wonderment. Finally, and in spite of his advice, SADC went ahead to recommend deployment of troops inside DRC to fight “wrong elements” (read M23). The countries to contribute to this force are South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique. This is a potentially explosive decision.
Presidents Zuma and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, informed sources say, do not see eye-to eye with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on DRC. Kikwete’s vision is reportedly blurred by internal failures of his government. Under him, Tanzania has seen unprecedented corruption and failure to deliver basic services to the people. The situation is not helped when he is constantly reminded of Kagame’s success in the little neighbor, Rwanda.
Zuma and Kagame’s relations meanwhile are not good either. First, the South African president has been under the influence of Bill Masetera, a former intelligence chief under Thabo Mbeki and close friend and ally of Rwandan dissident generals Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegyeya. To make matters worse, in a meeting of AU in Addis Ababa in 2011, Kagame is said to have directly interrupted Zuma’s speech in defense of then Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi by saying he had seen “money bags been moving around” to pay off various heads of state to support Gadaffi. Zuma did not take this accusation lightly and it added insult to injury.
It is in this context that two of the three countries sending troops to DRC have an axe to grind with the country accused of sponsoring a rebellion. Regional military experts say that the South African army may be good in equipment and training but is weak in experience. This is even more pronounced when it comes to fighting a counter insurgency in a country that is densely forested, with a bad terrain, and speaking a language alien to the South Africans. The Tanzanian army, on the other hand, while well trained but not-so-well equipped has not seen action in 30 years. Secondly, the TPDF has never fought a counter insurgency.
“The South Africans and Tanzanians are preparing to deploy in DRC with a lot of enthusiasm and confidence of success against M23,” a well placed regional expert on regional security told The Independent on condition of anonymity, “But they are underestimating the capabilities of M23. These people have been fighting in the jungles of eastern DRC for over 18 years and know every nook and cranny of their area. They have also accumulated considerable experience. So, mark my words: They are not going to be a walkover as the South Africans and Tanzanians would like the think.”
Therefore, experts say that the likelihood that the Tanzanians and South Africans may get badly clobbered by M23 is very high. And if this happens: then what?
“It is very possible the Tanzanians and South Africans will not believe that they have been beaten by M23,” the expert told The Independent, “They are likely to suspect it is Rwanda fighting them. And if this is the case, and depending on the level of humiliation that may be inflicted on them, they, especially Tanzania, may decide to attack Rwanda in retaliation. Then you will have an international war – the unexpected outcome of an ill-thought out intervention in Congo.”
Internal M23 fight
Or may be not. For the last two weeks as the armies of Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania trained and prepared to deploy in DRC, M23 began a ferocious internal war against itself. The forces of Makenga began pitched battles with the forces commanded by Ntaganda.
In the murky jungles of rebel infested DRC, it should not surprise anyone that Ntaganda is resurfacing at this point. Informed sources say, Runiga, has in fact been an Ntaganda stooge all along.
M23 has for long had factions. Although M23 officially claimed that they had nothing to do with Ntaganda, he left behind a wing, also known as the Kimbelembele that paid allegiance to him led General Baudouin Ngaruye. These were always in constant but invisible friction with the the pro-Nkunda wing, the Kifuafua led by Sultani Makenga.
Sources on the ground say the intra-M23 battles have been ferocious, brutal and bloody – worse in their sheer mercilessness compared to anything Congolese have seen in battles against Kinshasa – a family feud turned nasty.
Last week, Ntaganda matched his forces from Runyoni and attacked Makenga’s camp at Cyanzu. He also attacked Makenga’s troops in Rumangabo where the main M23 armories are. This forced Makenga to call upon two of his forward battalions north of Goma in the area of Kirimanyoka to come and reinforce Rumangabo. He also called his forces based around Rucuru to come reinforce Cyanzu. This withdraw by these battalions from these towns led the FDLR, the forces of the former Rwandan army that committed genocide in 1994, to occupy all the areas near Rucuru and Rugari. The FDLR in the presence of MUNSCO later handed over Rucuru and Kiwanja to the Congolese army.
However, having repelled the Ntaganda attack, Makenga now moved his forces and encircled Rucuru until he forced them to withdraw before he could annihilate them. The Congolese obliged – showing that even when M23 is fighting itself, the Congolese army is unable to take advantage of the situation and make counter offensives that can stand.
The new developments have thrown the international community, its activist arm led by human rights organizations, and its propaganda arm led by the international press, into disarray. For a long time, the international community refused to recognise M23 as a domestic Congolese problem with grievances against Kinshasa. Instead, they insisted M23 was actually the Rwandan army itself. Tall tales of large movements of troops crossing the border from Rwanda into DRC were relayed to the world. Added to this were allegations that large quantities of arms and ammunition were being transported from Kigali to Goma to support the operation.
Shock and shame
A report by a UN “panel of experts” that many informed people saw as little more than a shoddy and poorly written work of fiction was given Biblical status.
The belief that M23 was the hidden work of Kigali was so widespread that obvious facts were ignored. Even when Kabila fired his chief of staff for selling arms to the rebels, the human rights community and its propaganda arm, the international press, refused to report the matter as it would have undermined the credibility of their claim that it was the Rwandan army fighting in DRC and supplying itself the weapons. So powerful was the desire to find Rwanda guilty that nearly every international donor began cutting aid to Rwanda.
The fighting among the different factions of the M23 has taken the entire UN system, its human rights allies and the international press by shock and surprise. Without Rwanda to play the role of villain, the triumvirate is now confused. With tens of thousands getting displaced, thousands of refugees flocking into Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, with hundreds dead anddying, there is only a murmur in the international press about the evolving humanitarian crisis in eastern DRC. The problem is that the international community has no one to blame this time.
Informed sources say the current feud within the ranks of M23 is both unfortunate and sad given that Tutsi citizens of DRC face an existential threat from Kinshasa. The leaders of Congo have been openly calling upon different communities in the eastern region to exterminate all Tutsi in that region. Therefore, M23 emerged with strong and legitimate grievances, which the international community through the UN sought to suppress by shifting the blame from Kinshasa to Kigali.
However, from the beginning, this newspaper reported that Kigali was anxious and uncomfortable with M23. Although it shared their legitimate fears, strategists in Kigali felt that Congolese Tutsi are too undisciplined to work with. Sources close to Kagame have always said the president thinks the leadership of Kinshasa and the rebels are all ideologically bankrupt. He has also said this in an open address to the Rwandan parliament. Given his strong views on this matter, it was unlikely that Kagame was the man to throw in his lot with M23.
Besides, Rwanda is aware that although it can influence M23, it does not have control over it. For example, one of the factors behind the current infighting in the rebel group is clan politics and rivalries. Ntaganda is from the Bagogwe clan alongside Baudouin Ngaruye. Meanwhile Makenga is also from the same Bagogwe clan but grew up in Rucuru among Banyejomba clan of former CNDP leader, Laurent Nkunda. Ntaganda has always seen himself as a rival to Nkunda and enjoys large support among the Bagogwe. This meant that Makenga could never rival him for support in the clan which made him court the Banyejomba. Ntaganda has since used his identity to wrestle control from Makenga.
Signs of that M23 would have a fight have always been there. Makenga and Ntaganda have never been friends. When Makenga began M23, he made it clear he had no intention to protect Ntaganda from the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In fact, at the time M23 was formed, Ntaganda who had moved through the Virunga Park was close to Makenga forces. They ignored him. Knowledgeable sources say that among Makenga’s troops were many officers and soldiers who had previously been under Ntaganda’s command and therefore loyal to him. Makenga needed time to consolidate his position.
However, the turning point in M23 came when Runiga became president of the movement. His first action was to negotiate an alliance with Ntaganda. Sources say that Runiga, who is not a Congolese Rwandese but a Mushi, saw that Ntaganda had a following among the M23 troops and had a lot of money and is backed by a strong clan. Makenga, on the other hand, had made Runiga president because as a Mushi and a bishop, he had the stature and following that would expand the political base and appeal of M23 among other Congolese communities. He is well spoken, educated and therefore presentable.
However, when M23 took Goma, the region asked him to leave. In fact Museveni invited Makenga to Kampala where he formally told him that if he needs help from the regional leaders to present his grievances, he needs to withdraw from Goma. Makenga agreed. However, Runiga did not want to leave Goma because he thought it was giving them great political leverage. He called a press conference and put forth a set of political conditions before they could withdraw. He had not consulted Makenga who interpreted it as the hidden voice of Ntaganda.
This was the first and major disagreement between Runiga and Makenga. Runiga was now challenging Makenga claiming he was the supreme political leader. He also promoted Col. Baudoin Ngaruye (now in a refugee camp in Giseyi) to Brigadier General – the same rank as Makenga. Nyaruye is very close to Ntaganda. Makenga saw this as Ntaganda taking over M23.
When Makenga returned from Kampala, he wanted to arrest Runiga. However, after a lot of political negotiations he abandoned the idea. But the battle-lines had been drawn and it was only time before the two sides would flex muscles in eastern Congo.
The specific point of departure between Runiga and Makenga emerged from the direction of negotiations in Kampala.
Makenga, sources say, felt the negotiations should be narrowed down to focus on breaches of the 2009 agreement that led to the M23 rebellion. He focused on ethnic persecution and attracted other ethnic groups to his agenda.
Runiga, as a politician wanted to broaden the demands to governance. He saw that the broader platform would attract more support among non-Rwandan Congolese who feel oppressed by Kinshasa.
These inter and intra clan and factional rivalries meant that Rwanda could not actively support any of the groups in eastern Congo except at the price of being dragged into what was potential chaos.
Therefore, from the beginning of this conflict, and if the international community was genuinely committed to solving the problems of DRC, it needed Rwanda’s aid. However, ignorance and prejudice combined with self-interest to push the international community into isolating Rwanda. Without Kigali to cajole and threaten M23, the Tutsi insurgents in DRC were a time bomb.
Meanwhile Kinshasa was always only happy to find an international scapegoat for its own internal failures and Rwanda was a perfect one. However, Kinshasa knew all too well the domestic dynamics – and therefore Kabila kept direct personal contact with both Ntaganda and Makenga, calling each one of them by phone regularly.
Sources say that through this interaction, Kabila was able to skillfully exploit historical animosities between the two men and their clans – trying to woo both by bad mouthing the other. Congolese intelligence may be corrupt and incompetent in almost everything under the sun but it is efficient in one thing – spreading rumours. Thus, sources say, Congolese intelligence led each side (Makenga and Ntaganda) to believe that the other was working with Kinshasa to clinch a deal behind the other’s back. This increased internal suspicions, which fed into historical clan rivalries. However, what Congo lacks in military and political capacity it may achieve in diplomacy.
Since 2011, when relations between Uganda and Rwanda significantly improved significantly, President Museveni and Kagame have been viewed as natural allies. Museveni is the lead mediator on the conflict in Congo. As new alliances are forged, it appears Rwanda’s enemies might want isolate Kagame even from Museveni.
There is a risk if some parties play on their previous animosities to draw the two leaders apart by taking positions that may favour Kampala but hurt Kigali.
When Museveni lost his father, Kagame was expected to fly to Uganda for the funeral. He did not and sent condolences sparking speculation.
Meanwhile, Kikwete flew directly from Addis Ababa to Rwakitura to attend the funeral. Later Kabila flew from Addis Ababa as well to Kinshasa before flying to Rwakitura to lay a wreath on Mzee Amos’ Kaguta’s grave, apparently, sources claim, on the instigation of Kikwete. In the end, observers say, the big security picture in the region could be decided by small matters such as these.
RWANDA-USA:UNSC Press Statement on Surrender of Bosco Ntaganda to ICC
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York.
The following statement to the press was issued today by Security Council President Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation): The members of the Security Council welcomed the surrender of Bosco Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on 22 March 2013.
The members of the Security Council paid tribute to all victims of serious crimes of international concern in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They expressed their appreciation to the Governments of Rwanda, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as to the International Criminal Court, for facilitating the surrender of Mr. Ntaganda to the International Criminal Court. They emphasized that their cooperation was essential in order to bring Mr. Ntaganda to justice.
The members of the Security Council view Mr. Ntaganda’s surrender to the International Criminal Court as a positive step for international criminal justice as well as towards the restoration of peace and security in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The members of the Security Council remain deeply concerned about abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and recall that those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, as well as for violence against children and acts of sexual and gender-based violence, must be held accountable.
They recalled that Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) Commander Sylvestre Mudacumura is still at large in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The members of the Security Council remain deeply disturbed by the worsening security and humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and reiterate their demand that the Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23), the FDLR, and all other armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence and destabilizing activities, permanently disband, and lay down their arms.
The members of the Security Council take note that hundreds of M23 combatants, including individuals designated by the Security Council, fled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into Rwanda on 18 March, and encourage the Government of Rwanda, with the assistance of relevant United Nations and international organizations, to continue to ensure that these combatants are permanently demobilized and are dealt with according to relevant international law, including special attention to children and women among them.
They recalled Member States’ obligations under the 1533 sanctions regime, as renewed by resolution 2078 (2012).
Posted by CAMARA HANYURWA at 6:30 PM 95 comments: Links to this post
Presidents in Uganda: Jakaya Kikwete; Joseph Kabila; Paul Kagame; Yoweri Museveni
By wavuti – wavuti on August 8, 2012
L to R) Leaders of the Great Lakes Region Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila attend the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) at the Commonwealth Resort Hotel Munyonyo in the capital of Kampala August 7, 2012. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Rwanda and Great Lakes neighbours on Tuesday to stop supporting Congolese rebels as regional leaders met in Uganda to discuss ways to end the insurgency in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. (REUTERS PICTURES)
Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (R) meets with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame during the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) at the Commonwealth Resort Hotel Munyonyo in the capital of Kampala August 7, 2012. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Rwanda and Great Lakes neighbours on Tuesday to stop supporting Congolese rebels as regional leaders met in Uganda to discuss ways to end the insurgency in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. (photo: REUTERS PICTURES)
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, right, and Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila talk at the opening of the International Great Lakes Conference at Speke Resort Hotel in Uganda s capital city Kampala Tuesday Aug. 7, 2012. Tensions are rising between Congo and neighbor Rwanda as Congo tries to fight a rebellion in its east that it accuses Rwanda of supporting. (AP PHOTO)
Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila, left, listens to Uganda President Museveni,right, at the opening of the International Great Lakes Conference at Speke Resort Hotel in Uganda s capital city Kampala Wednesday Aug. 7, 2012. Tensions are rising between Congo and neighbor Rwanda as Congo tries to fight a rebellion in its east that it accuses Rwanda of supporting. (AP PHOTO)
Rwanda’s Paul Kagame (L) and Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete (2nd L) meet with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (R) on August 7, 2012, at the Munyonyo Resort in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, at the start of the Great Lakes Summit. The presidents of Rwanda and DR Congo began talks today with regional leaders aiming to tackle a recent wave of unrest in eastern DR Congo and to set up a force to neutralise rebel groups there. The meeting began as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Rwanda and other regional nations to cut off support for rebel forces. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is hosting the two-day summit of the 11-member International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), aimed to defuse mounting tensions between Rwanda and DR Congo, who have traded accusations of supporting each other’s rebels. (photo: GETTY IMAGES)
Welcome to Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library
DANGER SIGNS IN KAGAME’S CAMP
Image via Wikipedia
SEVEN SIGNS THAT SIGNAL THE DECLINE AND FALL OF PAUL KAGAME’S REIGM
Among some Rwandans and non-Rwandans, there is a perception that Kagame’s regime is strong and that it will last for a long time. President Kagame himself, while visiting Brussels, Belgium, recently announced that nobody would remove him power by political or armed means. Yet, when Rwandans search their own history and the rise and fall Rwanda’s rulers, there are common signs and symptoms that signal the decline and eventual fall of Kagame’s regime:
1. Kagame’s regime has lost the war of ideas. Many people now wonder what motivates Paul Kagame, the leader who among others presided over RPF’s rise and capture of state power. What does he think about? What does he say? The Rwandese Patriotic Front that he led and still leads once had a powerful vision for the future: ending the problem of refugees once and for all; ending state-inspired killings and providing security for all people and their property; ensuring the protection of the fundamental rights of all Rwandan citizens; promoting democratic governance; and nurturing healing and reconciliation among Rwandans, among others. When you listen to Kagame’s speeches these days, he increasingly sounds more reactionary than progressive. His speeches are more punctuated with insults than forward-looking ideas based on current and very serious problems and challenges of Rwandans. For him and the party (RPF) he has converted into a tool to consolidate his personal power, ideas have been replaced by deception, insults, terror at home and abroad, jailing political opponents and extra-judicial killings. Kagame calls his former comrades-in-arms worthless cards ( ibigarasha), excreta ( umwanda), street boys ( mayibobo), etc. He gloats over killing Rwandan refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “We killed them…”, he said. To charges that he is the principal suspect in the attempted assassination of his former colleague and Chief of Staff of the Rwanda Defence Forces, Lt.Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, Kagame retorts with glee and concealed disappointment, “ it could not be us..if it was, we could not have missed him”. Such are the “ideas” of His Excellency Kagame, with very little creativity and imagination about the future, and beholden to the past.
2. In practice, Kagame’s regime has lost the war for modernizing Rwanda. The day that Kagame used RPF and the security organs to rig the 2003 and 2010 general elections, to close political space and prevent independent media and civil society to operate, was the day that the regime lost a position among modernizers in history. Modernization in our age, among other things, is based on the recognition of the fundamental rights of the people, the idea of freedom, participation of citizens as engines and beneficiaries of progress, the rule of law and institutions, and democratic governance, all of which are largely absent in today’s Rwanda. Kagame and the remnants of RPF say they have 100% support from the population, that Rwanda is on a fast trajectory to development, and that thanks to this “ exemplary performance”, aid continues to flow into Rwanda from friendly governments. Kigali’s streets are clean. Your Excellency Kagame, Rwanda is not just Kigali. While cleaning the streets of Kigali is needed it is not a
sufficient mark of modernizing Rwanda. Rwanda is like a painted graveyard, concealing the remains of too many of our dead, in every family and on each of the thousand hills. What Rwandans need is a leader who can be courageous enough to take the lead in cleaning his or her heart, so that he or she can inspire all of us Rwandans to clean our hearts, and create a common future of peace and prosperity for everyone.
3. Kagame’s regime uses killings and terror as the main weapon of survival. Under normal conditions, regimes always try to use persuasion to get consent of the governed instead of using overtly coercive means to ensure the submission of the citizens. Under pressure, Kagame’s regime has dropped all pretence. Rwanda is engulfed in pervasive fear. Rwandans talk in whispers. Some Rwandans abroad believe the long ears and arms of “big brother” Kagame have an extensive reach into their private conversations. Many Rwandans ( and interested foreigners) know the triumvirate that manages Kagame’s killing machine: Messrs Emmanuel Ndahiro, Dan Munyuza and Jack Nziza. Under them, a whole industry of deception, slander, kidnappings, extra-judicial killings, harassment and monetary inducement within and outside Rwanda has been taken to another new level. Rwanda’s diplomatic missions abroad have shed all pretensions of representing the interest of all Rwandans. Progressively they have become bastions of hatching evil schemes
against Rwandan refugees in general, and Kagame’s real or perceived opponents in particular. Rwandans now fear handshakes and sharing meals because they fear “Kagame’s poisons”. Rwandans abroad fear Kagame’s deadly security agents deployed to lure, intimidate, kidnap or assassinate. Kagame’s envoys crisscross Europe and America, using food, alcohol, money, and promise of jobs to some Rwandans. Like the Biblical Esau who traded off his rights for a plate of food from his brother Jacob, these citizens cannot yet see the danger lurking in these schemes. For Kagame’s security, you are damned if you become an accomplice, and damned if they approach you and fail to recruit you in their dirty schemes. The best thing to do is to be as far away from them as possible. Regimes that resort to such excessively brutal means as a main vehicle to maintain themselves are close to their end. All that is required is a push from enlightened and active citizens and the regime’s claim to power and authority will evaporate.
4. Kagame’s regime relies on deceptions and denials to survive. In their final days of decline and eventual fall, dictatorial regimes rely on deception and denials as a matter of policy and strategy. Adolf Hitler’s propaganda machinery often repeated the claim that if a lie is told over and over again, sooner than later people will come to believe it as truth. Kagame uses his security organs (informal and formal), RPF and government institutions as whole new industry that fabricates and recycles shameful lies, slander, deceptions and denials. Opponents are charged with corruption, genocide, throwing grenades, terrorism, genocidal ideology, divisionism, or association with FDRL. In a division of labor whose buck stops at President Kagame himself, this criminal dispensation is run by the triumvirate: Emmanuel Ndahiro, Dan Munyuza and Jack Nziza. Under this pecking order are initially intelligent and educated hirelings: Pan Butamire, Rwagatare, Joseph Bideri, Richard Rutatina, Jilles Rutaremara, Tom Ndahiro, young minds like Ntayomba and Sibo, and Kagame’s money-man, Manasse Nshuti. Every evil regime has its henchmen and sycophants. When otherwise decent and intelligent minds are driven( or even forced?) to become henchmen and sycophants, as they become louder than a whole nation’s minds (that have been silenced), a regime’s days are numbered.
5. Kagame’s regime is obsessively fearful. It is not only ordinary Rwandans who are fearful. President Kagame is paranoid. A fearful Kagame looks at every Rwandan as an enemy. He trusts no one. For many of us who have worked closely with him, the first lesson you learn is that you work within this environment that closely resembles Stalin’s court in the Soviet era. Many have been unfortunate to be his victims ( Hutu, Tutsi and Twa) simply because Kagame believes that the many enemies he easily makes will come back to hurt him too. With the mind-set of a serial killer, whose last victim creates the context for the next, he and his hirelings seem not to satisfy their appetite for more victims. With the mindset of a losing gambler, who never stops to consider the costs, and spends all his fortunes and yet loses, the regime is recklessly racing in the wrong direction, spending Rwanda’s fortunes in a lost cause. So the cycle of fear continues, and costly measures have to be undertaken. These days Kagame travels with dogs to sniff bombs everywhere he goes. He has a special army (Republican Guard) within the Rwanda Defence Forces, with privileges and resources over and above others, to protect him and his family. His planes have been fitted with anti-missile capabilities as a safeguard against possible missile attacks. Kagame fears Presidents of neighboring countries, just as they fear him as much. In the laws of the jungle that have thus far defined the politics of Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, the winner has to fear other real or imaginary contenders to power. Neighbors are feared just in case they are safe havens for such contenders. Recently a Rwandan asked me whether Kagame would accept remaining in power if it had to come with the death of three million Rwandan people. I told him that I have come to know Kagame the man as somebody with no love for Rwandan people. His obsession is for power, at any price. His secret answer would be simple: ‘let them die, they reproduce at a very fast rate, and they will replenish the dead in record time, even if this means temporarily freezing the policy on vasectomies’. Fear among Rwandans, obsessive fear from a ruler, that is the challenge. Rwanda does not need a fearful ruler. Nor does it need a fearful people. Rwanda’s heroes are not those that kill innocent Rwandans, nor only those who win the wars with bullets and bayonets. Rwanda’s heroes will be those that will help Rwandans to conquer fear, bring peace, heal and reconcile, respect the value and dignity of citizens, inspire freedom and democracy, build the rule of law and institutions, and works toward shared and sustainable prosperity.
6. Kagame’s regime is plundering the nation for Kagame. In a speech last year, Kagame stated that he does not wish to die a pauper like the late President Kayibanda. No Rwandan would like to die a pauper.. However, what is scandalous is Kagame’s misuse and plunder of RPF’s and the Government’s ( including poor people’s taxes and aid money) resources. President Kagame does not account for this wealth that he has now hidden in Europe, America and elsewhere. One day the truth will come out as to where this wealth has been hidden. Unfortunately, wealth stolen by dictators and hidden in European and American banks often ends up benefitting others, and not the poor that such dictators plunder. From Nigeria ( Abacha), Tunisia ( Ben Ali), Egypt (Mubarak), to Libya ( Quadaffi), it is a long list of offenders that President Kagame seems determined to join. Rwandans, beware!
7. Kagame’s regime increasingly shows its true colors to the international community..
Until recently, Kagame behaved like a Hollywood movie star in a script that he has written and a movie in which he is the sole actor. He must be surprised and frustrated that his fortunes have been on a decline. Once a darling of the western media, he now spares no effort in castigating them for taking a critical look at him, despite million of dollars he spends on lobbyists trying to spin his otherwise ugly story. On a visit to Belgium a couple of months ago, leaders in that country refused to meet him, responding to the outcry from Rwandans regarding human rights abuses and poor governance in Rwanda. When the DRC Mapping Report came out in October 2010, it was preceded by Kagame’s attempt to coerce the international community not to release the report. Kagame threatened to withdraw Rwandan troops from Darfur. This time the international community was firm and the report was released. A few days ago Kagame threw a tantrum ( through his Foreign Minister) complaining about France’s new Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe. Apparently it seems a French Judge is about to release a report on the plane crash that killed the late President Habyarimana, the President of Burundi , the entire crew and entourage in April 1994. These days when Kagame visits the USA he prefers stealth methods, unlike in previous times when he was announced and celebrated like a prince. Yes, his planes and the hotels he stays in are princely. In Harvard he attended class while the famous Prof. Porter taught ( apparently on the subject of competitiveness, a word that Kagame prefers dropped from his vocabulary). Otherwise his other item on his expensive itinerary that might have cost Rwandan taxpayers almost one million US dollars was a speech in Denver, Colorado. By stealth he came, in stealth he went. While aid still flows to Rwanda, many governments and international institutions are now grappling with medium to long term policy implications that stem from Kagame’s human rights and governance record.
In a recent unflattering article, Stephen Kinzer, one of Kagame’s most fervent admirers and biographer, more or less asked him:, “How do you want to be remembered, Mr, President”. Your Excellency Kagame, you may wish to take time off your busy schedule and have a moment of reflection on Kinzer’s question ( since you do not respect the opinions of Rwandans) that is the most important for you, your family, and the 11 million Rwandans.