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Rwanda: Colonizing Eastern Congo with U.S. support

July 30, 2011

by Ann Garrison

KPFA Weekend News Anchor Cameron Jones: The secession of South Sudan rekindled calls for secession around the world, including those of the Rwandan lobby for redrawing the map to make the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s North and South Kivu provinces on Congo’s eastern border with Rwanda part of Rwanda.

Yaa Lengi, author of “Genocide in the Congo”
Many have long argued that this would simply formalize Rwanda’s de facto colonization of the Kivus since Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front Army invaded during the first and second Congo Wars of 1996 and 2003, then continued to cross the border and command de facto militias in the ongoing conflict. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Friends of the Congo’s pilot film “Crisis in the Congo, Uncovering the Truth,” which was shown at San Francisco’s African American Cultural Center this week, points to evidence that the U.S. armed and trained the Rwandan and Ugandan armies who have invaded and occupied Eastern Congolese provinces, beginning in 1996.

Former university Professor Yaa Lengi, author of “Genocide in the Congo” and leader of the New York City-based Congo Coalition, says that many policy makers in the U.S. have backed the lobby pushing to fold the mineral and natural gas rich Kivu Provinces into Rwanda.

Professor Yaa Lengi: These provinces have been occupied by Rwanda since the invasions of 1996 and 1998 and, as Herman Cohen wrote in the Washington Post in 2003 and in the New York Times in 2008, these two Congolese provinces’ economies have been integrated 100 percent into the economy of Rwanda, meaning that Rwanda controls these two provinces 100 percent.

Since Bill Clinton’s administration continued on even under Bush and now under Obama’s administration, Rwanda still occupies those two provinces, controls them. Bill Clinton, with the mining companies backing him, has given carte blanche to Paul Kagame and Rwanda and that control of the Eastern Congo continues.

KPFA: Professor Lengi says, however, that 15 years of aggression have only strengthened the resolve of Congolese people in the Kivus not to become part of Rwanda:

Professor Yaa Lengi: Until today, the Congolese people in Kivu do not want to be part of Rwanda. Therefore what Rwanda’s been doing is killing those millions of Congolese, trying to bring in Rwandans to occupy those territories and, therefore, maybe later they can have a referendum and the Rwandans who have been occupying the Congolese territory can say “we want to join Rwanda.” But as of now, the Congolese people refuse to join Rwanda − those who are in those Kivus territories.

KPFA: The Kivu provinces are mineral rich, most famously in coltan − a mineral found in cell phones and other electronic gadgetry − but also in cassiterite, whose common name is tin, and in other minerals essential to military industrial technology. Lake Kivu, on the border of Rwanda and Eastern Congo’s South Kivu province, has huge stores of natural gas claimed by Rwanda − although the dangers of extracting it are shared by Rwandans on its eastern shores and Congolese on its western shores.

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own blog, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend News on KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at


34 thoughts on “Rwanda: Colonizing Eastern Congo with U.S. support

  1. Fred Johnson

    On what planet do you live on? Funny, I live in Rwanda and can tell you that everything you have written is a lie. There is a new Ambassador from the Congo in Rwanda and relations between the two are getting better. The two countries also signed an accord on sharing the methane gas in lake Kivu. And the danger of the methane is not extracting it. If they leave it there, it will eventually escape and cause mass extinction around the lake (although no one knows if that will be a 100 years from now or 10000 years from now). The Americans do help train Rwandan soldier, but to be peace keepers in Somalia and policemen and in Hati. Conspiracies are a great way to evoke strong emotions from people who don't know the truth. What it accomplishes is distract people from talking about, and dealing with real issues, and there are plenty of real issues in both these countries. So in the end, if your job is to confuse people to reality, you are doing a good job. If you are really trying to report the news, then you suck and you should go find yourself a new line of work.


    1. Ann_Garrison

      I don't know any Congolese people who would consider it a surprise that relations are getting better with Joseph Kabila, a.k.a. Hippolyte Kanambe, in power in Congo.

      1. Tshimanga H. Mubiayi

        You're right in your analysis. The US is using MONUC to maintain Kabila in power. Kabila is from Rwanda, and the US is supporting him despite the misery Congolese people are experiencing. How would the US react if their president was not american? We've seen how the "birthers" continue to think about President Obama birth certificate. The Congolese people have suffered a lot because of the US foreign policies implemented in the Congo. They started by eliminating Lumumba, then they imposed Mobutu as a president for more than 30 years. Now it is Kabila's turn to stay in power regardless of the fact that he is not Congolese.

  2. Serge

    To Fred Johnson and Morgan

    I lived in South and North Kivu and i know exactly what is going on. You and yours, who are comfortably living where you are enjoying peace while thousands of women are raped and killed, families displaced on a daily basis because of this devilish plan which in fact is real, have the guts to come here questioning the integrity of one of the few journalists who are crudely and truthfully doing their job?

    On what planet do you live?
    Shame on you ignorant selfish human being!

    On behalf of the victims of this war, i say thank you Ann for reporting this truth. The Congo is immensely thankful for this. Keep doing your job and ignore those ignorant comments.

    1. jean kisombe

      Serge, i live in goma and what you are saying is lies, the problem is not rwanda the problem is your country that has failed you. you are raping your own people ,You guys are great that playing the blame game. If you used the same effort on resolving the problems you are facing, you would have been far in development. Keep looking like a victim may be ann will help you.

      1. Serge

        I don't know what part of Goma you live in, but probably not in DRC. You and your Kagame friends have long be known for misrepresentation, hypocrisy and lies. You have been using violence, rape, killings as tools of fear in order to displace population to later replace them by non Congolese pretending that they are returning refugees! Do you think that Congolese are dupe?

        You and your Rwandan friends are the champions of deceits who have been blaming and using the whole world for what happened in 1994. And guess what, before that, the DRC was at peace!
        Like some one said above, the DRC will rise very soon and you who pretend to be Congolese will run like cockroaches in the abyss of shame.

        1. Rwandanheart

          By using the term "cockroaches" I, and many others, will think you are somehow connected to the FDLR or have Interahamwe connections. If you want to be taken seriously and make intelligent comments you should choose your words more carefully. Not that anyone is really taking you seriously anyway!

  3. Jeremie

    I pray always for Congolese and the whole region of the great lakes. A criminal like Kagame Paul and his military who terrorize the whole region will face justice one day and be accountable of the many atrocities they committed and are still committing in the region.The Devil is just ruling them.

    1. Makuwa jean p

      pray that you get smart and resolve your own problems and stop blaming kagame. Congolese have failed congo. All of you have big stomachs and that's all you care to feed not your people the less advantaged. You get want you want and leave the poor to suffer shame on you. And now you what to look concern on internet. I am congolese and i am sick and tired of you guys always looking like victims come and help us build congo. I am a doctor and i make alot of difference in people's lives, here in goma and bukavu. Ann is nothing, but a usless white trash, she should come here and work with us if she care enough. I am sick of her talking about what she doesn't know.

      1. Donna

        It is sad that in this Information age many black people still believe in multinationals propaganda… This is our slavery was perpetrated but those days information was difficult to come by. Please my brothers and sisters stop sleeping into a new slavery…

      2. Serge

        Makuwa jean p AKA jean kisombe, you pretend to be a Doctor?I don't know where you got your degree from but one thing is clear from your writing: You are a disrespectful person, to summarize, an impolite human being insulting a journalist doing her job! Congolese doctors are well educated my friend. You are probably a thug hiding behind your screen.

  4. Elpanzo Didier

    I cannot believe that the USA can come up with this evil idea. First of all Tutsi cannot live together with their Utus and Congo is full of Bantus which are commonly known in Rwanda as Utus. How can this people live together in peace. Please give me a break, we know your plan and working heavily against it, This will never happen or I should say, the idea is no going to work.
    How can you fight terrorist like Qaeda but ignoring that you are trying to create another one. Please we will do 'whatever it takes to defend ourselves even if we have to get help from our brother Arabs.

  5. Elie

    Ann Garrison, you are a great journalist despite what some people say. Congolese people salute you and are grateful for your reporting on behalf of Congo and on behalf of the simple truth. Most of your detractors have a vested interest in the partition of the Congo and are behind Rwanda and Uganda. The people of Congo are aware of these plans and will work hard to have them fail until the day all congolese are be wiped out of their land. Congo belongs to Congolese and no portion of Congo land can be donated to friends to repair any guilt Clinton and the west might have for what they didn't do to prevent mass killings in Rwanda. Why don't the give Rwanda or Uganda a piece of the USA or UK to name a few?
    A message to looters, invaders, proxies and multinationals, Congo will rise and will demand accountability.

    1. Ann_Garrison

      Thank you so much, Elie. Re what you call "any guilt Clinton and the west might have for what they didn't do to prevent mass killings in Rwanda," this idea that Clinton and others felt bystander guilt is mistaken. The U.S. was no bystander to the Rwanda Genocide; I did an earlier KPFA interview about this with Peter Erlinder and Ed Herman: "Rwanda is no excuse to intervene in Sudan,"…. If Clinton felt any guilt about this, and he may have felt a twinge, it was simply because the collateral damage for putting Kagame in power in Rwanda was expected to be a few hundred thousand Rwandan people and it was, in the end, closer to a million. And, the world was aghast, so the cover-up, including the bystander lie, began.

  6. keith harmon snow

    Dear Ann Garrison:

    What planet do you live on? Seems you live on the same planet I live on. It's very interesting that these NASTY examples of so-called human beings can make such NASTY comments, but this is clearly becuase they are complicit in genocide in eastern Congo and war crimes in their own country and genocide in their own country as well. So, don't even bother reading them and just keep telling the truth as it is.
    keith harmon snow

    1. Ann_Garrison

      Thanks for making room for me on your planet. The "white trash" aspersions are a kick, but best yet was the scream that I must be a lesbian!!!! (OMG) because I wrote, and recorded Aimable Mugara and Charles Kambanda and you to say that the Rwanda Genocide is no excuse for the U.S. to send Predator Drones "to stop genocide" elsewhere in Africa.

  7. Frank LeFever

    The record is very clear, documented (reluctantly) by the UN in a report it was forced to acknowledge after somebody leaked it to LeMonde almost a year ago, and by other sources: Kagame led an army of killers from Uganda tho Kigali and on into Congo. Part of "Congo failing Congo" can be attributed to Kagame's installing a crypto-Rwandan in Kimshasa as its "President".

  8. John

    Kagame and his criminal network is not different from the Taliban. US has trained Kagame and his criminals the same way Bin Laden and his criminal network was trained. I know for sure that it will cost the US and the people of Rwanda to uproot Kagame and his partners in crime. Kagame and his fellow criminals have no conscience.

  9. Julien

    It is amazing how people living in the cosiness of the modernity of Kigali are blinded by the shrewdness of their leaders. To all Freds in that capital: if you want to develop your own judgement capacity in stead of being a puppet in your leaders’ hands, don't rely on diplomats and politicians. Come to the Congo, and find out for yourselves: evidence on Kagame's intentions is piling up. Just last week, 10 tons of cassiterite were found in the possession of military in Goma. Admit this is not supposed to be their core business… And where do you think they planned to take it too? Just check the production and exportation statistics of Rwandan cassiterite, and you'll know. No wonder Kigali’s fancy new city quarter Nyarutarama is nicknamed "Merci Congo".

        1. Ann_Garrison

          That seems to say that the police busted the army with the cassiterite. Sounds like Congo. I assume it's the Congolese police, but whose army? Congolese? Of course I know that's a problematic concept. . . Congoelse army. . . is it really Rwandan or Congolese? But, I would appreciate a bit of context from Radio Okapi there.

          1. Julien

            The Congolese Mining Police caught Congolese military (FARDC) red-handed with a convoy of 10 tons of tin ore, right before it was to be exported to Rwanda (Grande Barrière = border with Rwanda in Goma). To whom? Investigation is ongoing, bur definitely to Rwanda.
            Remember the Rwanda ban on import of Congo minerals? All pure window dressing…

  10. John

    Donna, u now appeal to race and slavely to divert our attention! Kagame is black. He has killed over 6million blacks in Congo He has enslaved the Hutu in the Congo mines. And u are now talking about whites and blacks then slavely? Shame on you

  11. mahenga

    Bravo Ann, your radio is the only objective one over what is happening in theCongo. Others have been corrupted. U are great.

  12. David Peterson

    Friends: What Yaa Lengi and Ann Garrison are warning about sounds like the Kagame-esque dream of founding a "Greater Rwanda" in these mineral-rich regions of central Africa.

    It is too bad, though, that the young documentary, “Crisis in the Congo, Uncovering the Truth,” relies on so many official sources (e.g., the State Department's former Africa-hand Gregory Stanton, now the president of the quasi-governmental adjunct group Genocide Watch; Human Rights Watch's Anneke Van Woudenberg; the former New York Times reporter Howard French).

    One-thousand-times worse, this documentary repeats the false history of the rise of the Paul Kagame – Rwandan Patriotic Front military dictatorship inside Rwanda, and the immediate spread of this military into the Congo, after it had successfully seized state-power inside Rwanda.

    In the YouTube version, beginning at roughly the 10:40 mark, Claver Pashi of the DR Congo Forum says that "…those who committed genocide in Rwanda crossed-over into the Congo, and the Congo has become the victim — the victim — of what happened in Rwanda, and what the international community didn't do to stop it."

    Then the narrator comes in [11:13] : "In 1994, the international community failed to stop the Rwandan genocide and effectively punish it perpetrators. Since then, violence in central Africa has escalated, along with a growing culture of impunity."

    Followed by Anneke Van Woudenberg of Human Rights Watch [11:30] : "If you don't hold to account those who carry out these horrible atrocities, it leaves the door open for them to do more."

    Etc. Etc.

    This is nothing more than history in the service of power, and one needs to be intellectually and morally sharp-enough not to fall for it.

    David Peterson
    Chicago, USA

    1. Ann_Garrison

      Thanks for the careful textual analysis with time notations, David. That point you note at 11.13 is critical: "In 1994, the international community failed to stop the Rwandan genocide and effectively punish it perpetrators. Since then, violence in central Africa has escalated, along with a growing culture of impunity."

      There are so many lies and false implications in that statement that it's a chore to unpack, but the most important, of course, is that we all know who the perpetrators of the Rwanda Genocide were: "Hutu genocidaires" who fled into Congo. Here today, in the Telegraph, is another example of the argument that this forced consensus supports; "Meanwhile, 'Field Marshal' Assad is assembling Syria’s version of a Hutu Power gang of butchers whilst the West remains quiescent." –Michael Weiss, mouthpiece of the Henry Jackson Foundation,

      Those arguing that the West must intervene to stop the next Rwanda never invoke Congo, despite a death toll six times as high and still climbing, though they do, however indirectly, try to blame Congo's holocaust on Hutu Power.

  13. Buroko

    I have read and understood all comments here, but it is realy craze of Rwandese government and some Rwandese dreamers to believe that north or south kivu will be part of Rwanda one day .

    Even if yu build a city called “merci congo” it is a city of “bien mal aquis”…. congolese children and future generation will know and hate you for the blood you’ve shed in congo, the hate you’ve planted in our hearts will be passed on from generation to another and the children of our children’s children will know about your cruelty , now its a question of time we will come back to you Rwandese with vengeance …. It not over yet … like brother Didier said even if we it means getting help from our Arab brothers….

  14. Brenda

    Rwanda,s people is specialist in lying. They can't agree that what your wrote is the truth. We know the history. Rwanda colonizing eastern Congo with USA and international comunitee support.
    I thanks the journalist Ann Garrisson for tihs article.
    Don't follow the crazy messages from rwanda's people. You're right; keep doing your job.
    Thank you so much

  15. June sina

    "The congolese women are being raped" who is raping them? FDRL,MAI MAI etc and what is that have to do with Rwanda.You can blame it all on your Mobutu for allowing killers in your territory but unfortunately he is dead so its up to you Congolese to get off your asses and get to work other than moan .Its up to you,your neighbours have left you in development and unless you get off your lazy asses and help yourselves,you will forever be what you are.

  16. Good Luck

    June you will realised you mistake for what you've just said, the day tha Americans will abandonned your president. Can you explain the presence of your military in RDcongo? you may say as one of your country person said in one of the statement here above that they are in Congo for peace keeping. Then I will ask you to explain why are they stopping people from protesting the rigged election. I f you have an answers to these questions then write another statements. I am from Congo and I forcely condemned the people who are responsible for the mass killing of tutis in Rwanda(remember genocide). And for your information, Congolease are not lazy as you stated here above they are in contrary experiencing a situation whereby an corrupted intruder is ruling their contry in a dictatorship way, using the armed forced to his advantage. Believe me June his reign is coming to an end and he will reap what he is sowing.

  17. badundu

    Anna Garisson, and pple with similar views-
    Rwanda happened to be in Congo for genuine reasons, for Fighting Genociders. I Don’t think you’ll have lessons whatsoever to teach this country, after-all the tragedy happened when everyone was watching including UN, UN security council and Journalists like Anna 0garisson. About this idea of Parting North Kivu to Rwanda is not only vague but also unrealistic in the modern times.


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