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Africa advocates to Obama: Don’t recognize Kagame’s election

July 27, 2010

Support real freedom and democracy in Africa

by the Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, Foreign Policy In Focus, Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Congo, Africa Action, Chicago Coalition for Congo, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda, Shalupe Foundation and Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region (OPJDR)

In mid-July in Spain, Prime Minister Jose Rodriguez Zapatero refused to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was visiting for a U.N. conference, after human rights defenders urged him not to and protesters took to the streets chanting “Kagame! War Criminal!”
President Obama said, in his 2009 speech in Accra, Ghana, that America should support strong institutions and not strong men. However, in the case of Rwanda, this has been no more than rhetoric. Rwandans, like most Africans, cheered Obama’s election, hoping that it might signal a new, more peaceful and cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Africa, but Obama has expanded AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, and now he remains silent as Rwanda’s strongman, President Paul Kagame, prepares a sham presidential election to retain his brutal grip on power.

On Aug. 3, in Washington D.C., we, a coalition of Africa advocates, will gather at the National Press Club to call on President Obama and the U.S. State Department not to recognize the legitimacy of Rwanda’s upcoming Aug. 9 election results and to stop militarizing Africa and supporting repressive regimes.

“The U.S. policy has been to support strongmen,” says Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of the Congo. “And at the head of the class is Paul Kagame, who has received military support, weapons, training and intelligence and as a result has been able to invade Rwanda’s neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and sustain proxy militia fighting there to rob the Congolese people of their natural resources. He has contributed to the death of over 6 million people in Congo and to the destabilization of Africa’s whole Great Lakes region.”

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greeted representatives of U.N. member countries at the Metropolitan Museum in New York on Sept. 23, 2009. Here, Rwandan President Paul Kagame stands between them. – Photo: irwanda1.com
Assassinations, arrests, disappearances, imprisonment and torture of both politicians and press critical of Kagame have led up to Rwanda’s Aug. 9 presidential polls, and now the question is not “Will Rwanda’s August 2010 election be free and fair?” but “How much more violence will the population suffer from Rwandan police, military and security operatives?”

And how much longer will President Obama continue to support the brutal Kagame regime in the heart of Africa, even though 40 of Kagame’s top officers and officials have been indicted in both Spanish and French courts for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide? Kagame himself has not been indicted by these courts but only because he is a sitting head of state and indictment would therefore be a declaration of war.

Spanish protesters in mid-July want Kagame held accountable for genocide. Still applauded by the mainstream press only a few months ago, Kagame's record is now being questioned and condemned by some of the most influential media in the world.
“Kagame is doing everything he can think of, including killing journalists, jailing and torturing political opponents and denying political opponents their constitutional right to register their parties to exclude them from the election. Because as soon as he loses the presidency, he is likely to be tried for all the mass killings he ordered,” says Rwandan exile, writer and activist Aimable Mugara, who now lives in Toronto.

All the viable opposition has been kept out of the election, but four Kagame allies have agreed to stand so as to make it appear that Rwanda is having a real election.

Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, Rwanda's leading challenger to Kagame, is under house arrest and banned from the Aug. 9 ballot.
Leading presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who was arrested and indicted on trumped up charges to prevent her from registering to run against Kagame, has said that she will not vote and has urged other Rwandans not to vote either. “We know that the military and police will use violence against the population,” Ingabire said, “but we have to fight for our rights. There is no reason to vote if you don’t have a choice.”

In May, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson announced that the U.S. government plans to send a dozen teams of election observers to Rwanda before the Aug. 9 polls, but many Rwandans now say they will only be wasting U.S. taxpayers’ money.

“There is no reason to vote if you don’t have a choice.” – Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

“Why do people seriously think of going there to observe elections?” asked Charles Kambanda, an American of Rwandan origin, former member of Kagame’s RPF Party and former professor at Makarere University in Kampala, Uganda. “Which elections are they going to observe? There is nothing to be observed, because what we have is a one-man show. What we have is a situation where the government has created the so-called opposition.

In this pre-1997 map, Congo is shown as Zaire.
“The RPF has kicked out all the real opposition leaders. They are either under house arrest, like Victoire Ingabire, or in prison or they are already dead or they are in exile.”

“Foreign election observers planning to go to Rwanda to observe the ‘election’ this August are wasting time and money,” said Aimable Mugara. “I would recommend that they stay in their countries and write their reports based on all the insane actions Gen. Kagame’s ruling party has taken since the beginning of this year, actions that make this so-called election null and void.”

The United States government has provided not only election observers but also over $1,034,000,000 in United States taxpayer-funded foreign assistance to Rwanda since 2000. An additional $240,200,000 is proposed in the president’s fiscal year 2011 budget.

For more information, call Friends of the Congo at (202) 584-6512 or email rwandaelections@gmail.com. Visit www.friendsofthecongo.org or www.afjn.org for more details.

Rwanda report by Ann Garrison broadcast Saturday, July 24, on KPFA News

46 thoughts on “Africa advocates to Obama: Don’t recognize Kagame’s election

  1. Deus

    It's so unfair to see how our lives are quickly and expeditiously decided upon, without a judgment, without any single effort to hear alternate perspectives of the story;

    So What do we have here? A Leader and Statesman, true hero to his people and an inspiration to many others who won't dare acknowledge it; the paradox here is the snub he is subjected to and which is based on WHAT? some reports compiled by organizations with no field personnel

    What a shame

    Reply
    1. Kamali

      Kagame is the worst murderer that the world has known after Hitler.Everybody knows this including his shameless supporters.Why does Obama and Cameron close their eyes and dont see this monster?Can you please be true friends of Rwandans and free them from this blood thirsty thugs?Who killed Habyarimana?who killed 8,000 people in Kibeho camp?who killed 6 million congolese?who is killing in Kigali and shooting opponents in South Africa?Everybody knows it is Kagame.When Rwanda explode again, will you again say you did not know?Please help Rwanda.

      Reply
        1. allclues

          I can't believe you can say something like that. You were there as who? As a killer or as a saviour? I lost a bit part of my family there and I can't believe you can say with so little heart

          Reply
        2. Umusambi

          urasetsa sha abo mwishe ni benshi mwari muzi ko se mutazabyishyura.
          You killed many Tutsi you should be aware that you will pay back.

          Reply
  2. Agatha mbanza

    shame up the world which still thinks that the they can still dictate the life style of Rwandans.
    Bravo Kagame, longlive Rwanda and Long live Rwandans. In kinyarwanda we say; umugabo arigira yakwibura agapfa. Rwandans have gone beyond the the mentality of living for others. We are living for ourselves.

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      No one, Agatha, is proposing to dictate the lifestyle of Rwandans. This argues that Obama should not recognize the upcoming Kagame election, and should not intervene and manipulate militarily, with AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command.

      Reply
  3. Bruno

    I congratulate the international community that has continued to support Rwanda in the democritisation process. Courage to all the observors who are heading to Rwanda to monitor the presidential elections.
    We are eager to learn from the expertise you are bringing in Rwanda in order to strengthen our democritisation process.

    Reply
  4. Emmy

    We can give 1000 and 1000 of testimonies about the positive impact Kagame has brought to the Rwandan society. Why do you condemn him now during th presidential campaigns? where were you all those years he's been leading the country of RWANDA? Do you think fodging false and critism would make him wrong and bad when his past testifies positive? Sorry for you all who are the blind, whatever they say you just follow!!! Bring your sense back and see peace Rwanda has been through!!! Where were you all the time He's been given awards? Do you think Do you think gambling gave him awards? It's because he worked for it and if it wasn't so,who would give him the global peace award? Whoever is building up false information will be disappointed very much because our kinyarwanda say emphasises it to that, "UKURI GUCA MUZIKO NTIGUSHYE" He's the Rwandan hope for peace and prosperity and we'll stand with him till the goal is reached!!!!

    Reply
  5. Aimable

    General Kagame is mass murderer whose extremist forces have butchered more than 7 million unarmed civilians in Rwanda and neighboring Congo since October 1st, 1990. He thinks that he can hold on to power forever to avoid facing justice. He should think again. The millions who have lost their lives because of Kagame's reckless actions in my country Rwanda will not be forgotten. Kagame will face justice sooner or later even if he continues to kill and jail journalists, lawyers and opposition politicians. His day of reckoning is coming.

    Reply
    1. Claudine

      Which one is your country? Rwanda or Canada? If you are refering to Rwanda then i say that us ( who are settled in Rwanda) building our nation have no idea what you are talking about.

      You know its a different thing to be home feeling a responsibility to contribute to your country and being self exiled-sitting on your ass doing nothing enjoying state benefits and you remember that oh my visa is about to expire so let me write something nasty about Rwanda so that they dont deport me and i loose on these free canadian state benefits.Lazyness thats what Aimable and some like him have become.What a waste?

      Reply
  6. Champ

    The 6 million Congolese lives and hundreds of thousands of Rwandans and Ugandans who died at Kagame's hands will not go in vain. Time is catching up with this mass murderer. All of those people who lavished Kagame with awards will be shamed because the age of information is exposing what they could have kept hidden. Evidence of extra judicial killings by Kagame is now surfacing. He is so scared of democracy and freedom that he does everything from blocking the opposition from registering to assassination of opponents and jailing people in masses. It is good that the international community is waking up and standing with Rwandans and saying enough is enough Kagame!

    Reply
  7. Malko Linge

    Some people are still pretending that they are not aware of the atrocities that Kagame has imposed to the Great Lake Region as a whole, and in particular to Rwanda and DRCongo. Kagame is mass killer, a rapist, a torturer, a tyrant. And US and British governments are still supporting him shamelessly and unconditionally. Together, in the battle for the control of the Congolese natural resources, they have orchestrated gang-rape in Eastern Congo as a weapon of war, to destroy the morale of men and therefore destroying the society. Women are still being gang-raped and shot in the vagina by the armed groups sponsored by Rwanda and its allies, US and UK. Sooner or later, Kagame will pay.

    Reply
    1. Claudine

      Do you have any idea of the difference between Kagame and FDRL rebels who commited genocide in Rwanda.Kagame went to hunt FDRL who your government (DRC) was harbouring,unfortunately the rebels did not do thier hosts any good.Thy turned onto thier women and raped,killed children just like they had done in Rwanda/To my surprise some congolese fail to notice these attrocities coomited by the remnants of Interahamwe genocidaire and they turn to blaming Rwanda or Kagame.Kagame's enemy is FDRL who should be DRC's enemy as well given their crimes to the people of congo especially women.
      In todays media 23rd aug 2010 it is reported that FDRL together with the Mai Mai have raped up to 179 women in DRC-Imagine! so why cant DRC Government work hard to provide the security of their people.Why do they instead balme kagame for such things? what does such a thing have to do with kagame ?

      Reply
  8. therisingcontinent

    Should Washington recognize the outcome of Rwandan elections on Monday August 9th? No. I won't elaborate on this because plenty of explanation is the article. However I predict a nuanced recognition. The silence of Obama's administration on recent and continuous repression of opposition parties in Rwanda tells volume. A similar scenario has been played a few months ago in Ethiopia.

    Apparently, Kagame has also stopped from operating the Voice of America which broadcasts in Kinyarwanda (the local language of Rwanda), all this being done despite more than 1 billion $ of continued support from the US government. It would be interesting to know how US taxpayers understand the way their money is being used in Rwanda, paying among other things, for services and institutions which are there to oppress Rwandans, take away their freedom, imprison and torture them.

    Reply
  9. eric

    Shame on you. You call yourself good names and pretend to work and advocates for the underpriviledged but we Rwandans knows the truth about your so cauled associations you earn bread out of other’s misery.you stay in Developing world and live of honest ctzen taxes and wish for instability so that you can earn the bloody breads in a justified manners . Obama will not listern to you because he also has haters like any other politician. While there is hostilities during elections in many african countries here in Rwanda we have peace. all candidates are giving their programs to the population in a peacefull mood. Obama knwos africa more than many of you he knows when a population is persecuted and when it is making progress.Oh Mr Rusesabagina you are nothing but a volture you made youself famous when many innocent died just in St famille 100 metter from Mlle Colline Hotel becuase they couldn’t afford to pay you 500 $ entrance fees that you were charging.

    Reply
    1. Ann_Garrison

      Peace? Journalists gunned down in cold blood, arrested and imprisoned, or chased over the border? Rwandan refugees force repatriated across the Ugandan border at gunpoint? The Vice President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda beheaded with a machete? P.S. Imberakuri leader Bernard Ntaganda in prison? ICTR lawyer and University of Dar Es Salaam Professor Jwani Mwaikusa gunned down outside his home in Dar Es Salaam? An assassination attempt on Nyamwasa in South Africa? The third highest per capita prison population in the world? And Rwandan Defense Force combatants in both Congo and Sudan? This is peace?

      Reply
  10. Pavitt

    Kagame is a smart , articulate tribal leader : his Tutsi ethnic group represents 14% of the population but close to 100 % of the military . The other 86% live in fear .

    Truth be told , Kagame has also excellent economic policies and ideas . If he is really smart , he can try and unite the whole country around economic success , but long term success can't be achieved without yielding a lot of power to the majority . Today , his minority tribe is pretty much in the same unstable position as the whites were in Rhodesia and South Africa or the "Americans" in Liberia . The latter case shows the high risk of eventual bloodletting.

    Our policy vis-a-vis Rwanda has basically been to build a US/UK protectorate there , based largely
    on a desire to spite the Belgians and the French , politically and linguistically . At a time when our key problem is facing up to China , smarming up to a dictator just to spite natural allies sounds a bit strange. That may have been OK under Bush/Cheney but one would hope Obama will know better.

    Reply
  11. Ann_Garrison

    @eric: Why not let the viable opposition candidates enter the race, if you're so sure of the strength of yours? And don't tell me they didn't do all the paperwork right; that's absolutely ridiculous. I've been watching as you buried them in Kafkaesque bureaucracy and obfuscation, as well as harassment, intimidation, and finally outright violence, all year.

    Reply
    1. eric

      Ms Ann, Do not pretend to care for Rwandans more than us who leave 24hours in Rwanda ready to live or die as proud Rwandans. You know nothing about our country, our history our past present and future. You are so bend on one side that you can not go beyond what you are told and care about the security, healing, survival, and development of 9 millions Rwandans who are working hard to improve their every day life peacefully. Will you like to see Rwanda turn back in 94? When you talk about violence I hate to see any act of violence but I do not think that Rwanda is still among the top violent place on earth indeed it has improved a lot compare to South Africa, Somalia, Soudan, … What is your definition of variable opposition? Ethnocentrism? You guys know nothing about our realities and should not judge us based on façade activism. Just care about your own issues since no place is haven on earth.

      Reply
    2. Claudine

      @Ann.Where have you been watching from? San fransisco or Rwanda? San Franscisco ofcourse behind you laptop.
      How much bureaucratic Rwandan Paper work do you know? whats you source? FDU officials in Canada and Belgium.Why have you never thought or being a professional balanced journalist for once? Its not rocket science for God's sake.Go to rehab,get sober then you will make it.

      Reply
      1. Ann_Garrison

        Claudine, how much Rwandan paperwork have you seen? Why don't you cite your sources and tell me what it said? Being in Rwanda does not mean you've read the docs.

        Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda documented all his bureaucratic exchanges with the Rwandan government, what he wrote to them and what they wrote to him. He presented the whole record to the Commonwealth election observers and published it online.

        Reply
    1. Umusambi

      Igihe abatutsi bapfaga barareberaga none mwe murashaka ko babatabara muzapfa mpaka uwishe wese nawe azapfa reka hage hapfa umwe umwe nuko nabonye yatangiye no kwikora mu nda naho gupfa kw'abahutu byo ni ukwishyura ibyo bakoze nta kibazo kirimo na bibiliya iravuga ngo tuzamene amaraso atariho urubanza naho ariho urubanza byo urayamena nta kibazo

      Reply
  12. Bob Ladner

    These elections should be and will be recognized. And sorry, but, hmmm, really don’t think Obama will take your stance.

    Ann, how can you dare to speak on behalf of Africa? You are disgrace to the profession..You embody one of the most important issues Africa should fight against in it quest for development: western media arrogance and contempt.

    Kagame is immensely popular in Rwanda and Africa. I have to admit that your articles are quite funny, they border the fannatical and often lack any sense of purpose– not to mention that honestly, sorry to say, your writing skills are lacking..It baffles how little you know about Rwanda and yet how quick you are to make comments and statements about the current regime. Tell me, have you ever been to Rwanda? As an economist let me teach a thing or two about development.

    Journalists in the west often get lost in irrelevant rhetoric. You repeat, the same tiring tantrum day after day: no free and fair election, no strong opposition, no political space, no freedom of expression, blablabla. You talk as if democracy and free and fair elections were the remedy for all of Africa’s ills. Understand: democracy is not a prerequisite for development! Look at the Asian Tigers, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. Did they develop because of democracy? The answer is a big No. They developed because of strong benevolent leaders that were willing to push through the necessary reforms to kick start the engine of economic growth—regardless of what the western media thought. I must stress that it is development first and democracy second. Not the other way around! There are certain elements that have to be in place before you have a western style democracy. First and foremost, a nation needs an educated electorate (informed public) able to make the difference between policies. The basic premise of democracy is that the people know best what is good for them. However, experience has shown that this is not always true. The African electorate has a natural tendency to vote along ethnic lines not policy positions. This means that if democracy was given free reins, the most appropriate leaders/policies would rarely be chosen. Second, there is a saying in Africa, which states that “votes don’t feed stomachs”. A nation must eradicate extreme poverty or at the very least drastically lessen it before full democracy can occur. In some African countries, you could literally buy people’s vote with cassava. African nations must tweak democracy to fit their specific circumstances; not just copy and paste from the West! It won’t work and hasn’t worked.

    What baffles me is that in many cases African themselves are the ones making all the unnecessary noise. Africans should judge their leaders by their developmental results, not on whether they meet specific western standards of democracy. In terms of delevering on development promises, very few compare to Kagame! Give credit where credit is due. You might not like his methods but you have to acknowlege his results!

    Give the country some slack. It took the US and Europe hundreds of years to perfect democracy. How do you expect a country just emerging from genocide to have a perfect democratic system?

    I really question your motives at time… Always on this blog or that blog making negative comments about the government without having a clue about what is going on in Rwanda. I understand that as a journalist you are trying to create a following and you have realized that the best way to do is write on polarized issues but believe me, very few take you seriously…

    To conclude i wish to state that I had the opportunity to visit Rwanda on numerous occasion. What i (i am not Rwandan by the way) have seen happen there is simply incredible… The country is growing, thousands of people are being lifted out of poverty, agriculture is blossoming on the countryside and Kagame is fighting corruption with an energy that i have rarely seen in Africa or even the West for that matter. Roads are being built all over, public services are improving and so is the business environment.

    I mean what more do you want at the moment? In due time, when full development as occurred and people are no longer blinded by ethnicity, democracy will occur as a natural process.

    Reply
    1. Champ

      Bob Ladner,

      Development and repression produce disaster. Take a look at Zimbabwe. The case of Zimbabwe is minor compared to Rwanda.

      It is funny simply because it is ridiculous to respond to human rights abuses, mass murder, rape and more by talking about economic development. Of course it is easy when you do not care about the victims. They are Africans and development is more important than the dying souls at the hand of a dictator.

      You claim to have been to Rwanda may be true but what parts of Rwanda did you see? People are dying of malnutrition in rural Rwanda. As for corruption, what do you expect in a place where there is no whistleblower protection? Of course everyone will compliment the government especially knowing that the leader is ready to kill anyone with a dissenting voice.

      Reply
  13. Ann_Garrison

    @Bob, who says: "Ann, how can you dare to speak on behalf of Africa?" I do not; the Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, Hotel Rwanda/Rusesabagina Foundation, International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, Foreign Policy In Focus, Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Congo, Africa Action and Chicago Coalition for Congo share the byline on this statement.

    I have made an effort to get many African voices, Rwandan, Ugandan, and Congolese, into the Bay View and on KPFA Radio.

    As an American, I have steadfastly opposed U.S. military interventions, violence, in Africa and everywhere else in the world, all of my life. AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, is simply the latest, formalized manifestation of U.S. intervention.

    And, Bob, I could say that your writing. and your scholarship are, uh, excuse me, well pardon me, etc. etc., sorely lacking, or I could call you arrogant and contemptuous, as you have me, but what's the point? Whoever may read this will come to their own conclusions as to who writes well, who is arrogant, who is contemptuous, and who engages in respectful discourse.

    Reply
  14. JNepo

    @Bob:
    What do you think about the article "Poverty in Singapore" (http://yoursdp.org/index.php/truth-about/poverty-in-singapore)?
    Feel free to find out how this info applies to the actual poverty level in Rwanda's rural areas despite the now in-vogue myth of economic prosperity.
    THERE IS INDEED THE MYTH that Singapore is a rich country and its citizens are well-taken care of. Nothing could be further from the truth. The 1998 United Nations Human Development Index showed that Singapore ranked 28 on the list behind countries like Barbados and Malta.
    FYI…
    Singapore is the fourth wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita, and the twentieth wealthiest in terms of GDP (nominal) per capita. Despite Singapore's small size, it has the world's ninth largest foreign reserves.

    Reply
    1. Pavitt

      You're darn right Singapore is wealthy and well-managed . While Lee Kwan Yu was a strong leader and is still very much behind the scenes , Singapore has always been a genuine democracy . The majority ethnic group , the Chinese (over 75 % of the population) , have always been in political control , while of course respecting the Malay and Indian minorities.

      There is unfortunately no such situation in Rwanda . Paul Kagame would and could be a nation-builder if he went the democratic Singapore in way . At this point in time , I see precious little chance of this happening , and I'm afraid that Rwanda is yet again another Liberia or Sierra Leone or Biafra-war in the making.

      Reply
  15. Umusambi

    Killing innocent people is not good but killing those who committed Genocide it is a good think even the bible says it.

    Reply
  16. Nzi Nink

    @Umusambi:
    How about bringing to justice the RPF elements who committed massive war crimes and crimes against humanity in Rwanda and DRC?

    Reply
  17. The truth

    The Burundi’s history and the Rwanda’s history are the same, the Burundian people were killing by minority Tusti about 30 years… Now there is a true the democracy… The majority win…
    Even in Rwanda, Kagame will not last… even Buyoya gets out…
    Very soon,Rwanda something will hapenn and the majority will back and there will be the democracy … Museveni will lose the election,after that Great lakes will enjoy the PEACEEEEEEE!
    Don’t forget that God exist and his justice his right and come at the right time
    I HAVE THE HOPE!!! 6 Millions of the innocent people who lost their lives,can’t go for nothing never!!

    Reply
  18. Bob Ladner

    Ann,

    Please broaden your sources of information. The sources you refer to, “Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation.. do not represent Africa’s view!

    I understand now that what you are really fighting are US’s military interventions around the world. The problem is that you lump every African leader in the same basket. In your thinking, they are all Africom proxies and so must be fought vigourously. The issue here is that not all African countries/leaders should be seen as US proxies, especially when it comes to Kagame. Yes, Rwanda is a US ally but by all means it is not a US proxy! This belief that Rwanda was fighting a proxy war in the Congo was completely concocted by the likes of “Friends of Congo, Rusesabagina…” and all the sources that you mentioned in your article. Again, broaden your sources…

    In the aftermath of the genocide, the killers fled to Congo and lived right at the border, being fed and trained by the French and rearming with the objective to take back Rwanda. Kagame was left with no choice but to invade! The invasion was done by foot, no US tanks, no US helicopters, no US logistical support, absolutely nothing…. Only hardened Rwandans fighters returning hundreds of thousands of genociders back to Rwanda and walking 3,000 km from Kigali to Kinshasa to topple Mobutu. Casualties occurred, it is a sad consequence of war – but to my belief this war was most necessary. Just imagine Al Qaeda training at the US-Canadian border? What would we do here in the US? Well, that’s exactly what Kagame did: invade. You must make the difference between proxys and allies.. AFRICOM does very little in terms of influencing Rwanda’s military policy in the region. The same is true of Uganda and Kenya. Kagame has a naturally tendency to distrust the West including US and UK. His policy on aid is grants only – to avoid conditionalities. The same is true for military support. You can support him so long as you do not attempt to influence his agenda. The US was against both wars in Congo but was litterally presented with a fait accompli.

    I think that a simple visit to the country would completely change your view of it. I am convinced that you have never been and so there is no need to argue. Don’t rely on those sources you quote, the Rwandan story is very complex and quite difficult for us to understand. Take a trip and judge for yourself…

    Reply
  19. eddie

    Bob said this:
    <<
    Kagame has a naturally tendency to distrust the West including US and UK. His policy on aid is grants only – to avoid conditionalities. The same is true for military support. You can support him so long as you do not attempt to influence his agenda. The US was against both wars in Congo but was litterally presented with a fait accompli.
    >>

    Bob, are you for real? You must be joking, right?!?
    The USA could have stopped the Rwanda Genocide by jamming the state radio stations that were broadcasting the message of hate and the propaganda of killing Tutsi and they chose not to do so. Guess what? USA military Radio-jamming equipments cost less than $50.000. Heck, all the countries agreed to send troops to Rwanda in 1994 to stop Genocide during the Security Council meeting, but only one country, the USA Delegation vetoed against sending Peacekeepers.
    As for Western Grants, Kagame do receive them every year, actually USA Taxpayer money and in return, Kagame regime protects and helps Western Multinationals to get coltan for cheaper or for free, a product that has made $ hundreds billions of profits for western companies

    Reply
  20. Bob Ladner

    Eddie,

    I don’t really get your point. Of course the US could have stopped the genocide although it definitely wouldn’t have been as simple as you think. It would have taken much more than jamming the RTLM believe me on that one.

    You state that: “Kagame regime protects and helps Western Multinationals to get coltan for cheaper or for free, a product that has made $ hundreds billions of profits for western companies” This sounds like 2004-2008 news bro.. We are in 2010. To bring you up to date, Rwanda is now out of Congo… The relations between the two countries are at their best. Kagame just returned from a trip to Congo to celebrate their independence day. Let us quit living in the past. The situation in the great lakes region is improving.

    As far as Rwanda-US relations. There is no arguing that Rwanda is an ally of US; i completely agree with that. The question is, is a Kagame a US proxy? Is Rwanda fighthing US wars? And to that i say no! Rwanda did not invade Congo to secure US contracts, that’s BS… The main reason Rwanda invaded was to secure its borders– the genociders were rearming and planning to come back to Rwanda.. Let’s reverse the scenario, if Alqaeda was training and being fed by the Chinese on our border with Canada, what would we do? That is the exact situation Kagame found himself in the aftermath of the genocide. Genociders were being fed and trained by the French right at their door.. What did they do: invade. I let you choose who is to blame..

    Reply
  21. Jeremie

    Kagame is a murderer,a criminal who killed many people than Hitler.
    You his fans are like him. At the end of the day,know that truth and justice will prevail !!!!!

    Reply
  22. ForeignerInRwanda

    Whos cares about Rwanda?? it is a just a small country with a small mentality,a bit like their colonial masters Belgium.Kagame is just another dictator like Sadam or Ceauşescu and his end will be a haaaaaaaappyyyyyyyy one lol

    Reply
  23. Macho

    Bob Ladner

    Pump some sense into Garrison and crew.I must admit Garrisons sources are so limited,she keeps recycling one thing after the other and every time she is connered by people who reason,she hides behind being against the US government policies in Africa.

    Ann us your readers can see that behind your cause you have an immense hatred for Rwanda and Kagame and you do it with a passion,even when your efforts are not getting anywhere.You turn your frustration into anger and start throwing tantrums. I would rather suggest that one day take time off and visit Rwanda and see with your own eyes.

    Reply
  24. innocent

    The bloed of man come from our God.It is holy than the bloed of animals
    Take attation strong men:You will pay back all bloed of all hutu,all tutsi,all Twa,all Congolians,all Burundians,all Ougandians,all intelligent,all stupid,all wise,all nice,all ugly,babies,adults,old people etc lying you bring democracy , technology,peace,etc.,
    Hitler,Mussolini,Mobutu, Habyara-ikinani,Sadam,Bokassa etc were surelly stong than you.
    they had also immunity like you.But where they are now? Guess who will follow them soon?
    Don't kill people ,keep them safely,
    Don't put them in jail,put them in joyfulness
    Don't poison them ,poise them
    Don't sell them ,serve them
    because you haverst what you seed.
    Think to your family and vriends too.
    Lie to lead brings blessing?

    Reply
  25. Stevie Jackson

    Please people in the name of Jesus stop this bickering and trust in the Lord people should not kill people regardless of colour or ethnic background or nationality, Our father in heaven is looking down and it is breaking his heart to see such hatred amongst the people of this world if only people would just turn from thier wicked ways and trust in the one that loves, forgives and saves AMEN

    Reply
  26. Champ

    @Bob Ladner,

    Sorry but Kagame is not providing your arguments any support. Killing journalists, assassinating political opponents inside and outside the country is not in support of your best effort to upkeep his artificially clean image. All the latest reports show that the US, UK, and EU agree with the sources you are belittling. They all agreed with Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, etc…on this announcement here. Soon enough, they will also agree that the Kagame is a cold blooded killer and no longer a useful US proxy. They will realize the folly of sending a proxy to Congo who couldn't focus on the task at hand and embarrassed them one too many times with this election.

    They had forgiven the idiocy of going and fighting against another US proxy Uganda in Kisangani and killing 3000 Ugandans. The 5 million Congolese killed as a result of Rwanda and Uganda's invasion were not genocidaires and did not die in vain. AFJN, FOTC and others they work with have one thing Kagame doesn't have on his side. RIGHT is on their side nomatter how many people try to spin a good PR for Kagame. He will end up exposed for the millions of people he has gotten killed. Any honest source will tell you that. A dishonest source will put a spin on his crimes and justify them and claim it as collatteral damage or unfortunate reality of war. What was the justification for the Kibeho and Kiwanja massacres exactly? Kagame is not helping your arguments.

    Reply
  27. Claudine

    Ann, thinks that she can put on a sheep's skin pretending to be a citizen of the worls by hiding behind the Friend's fo the congo,Rusesabagina and the likes.We know what you are after-definately your love for Africans or something of the sort-not even your so called fight against US inovlvement in Africa,because we both know that its USA's involvenment in world affairs that has put you where you are.
    But may be you may want to advise your frinds-The friends of the Congo that their sisters are being raped by FDRL the brothers of Rusesabagina yet their sitting on the same table with him eating from the same plate-thats how stupid they are.And when they wake up from their stupid sleep the first world that comes from their mouth is Kagame.

    Reply

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