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Congo, AFRICOM and the U.S. Corporate Council on Africa

December 12, 2012

KPFA Radio interview with Wayne Madsen, author of “Decade of Death: Secret Wars and Genocide in Africa, 1993-2003,” broadcast Dec. 8, 2012

KPFA Weekend News Anchor: The deadly conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, as leaders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Rwandan and Ugandan M23 militia fighting in Congo gather in Uganda’s capital for peace talks, which members of the Congolese political opposition are boycotting because they are not convinced that President Joseph Kabila is negotiating in good faith on behalf of the Congolese people.

Goran Tomasevic folio
A little boy celebrates the return of Congolese government troops to Goma, the city of a million people in mineral-rich eastern Congo that had fallen to the M23. – Photo: Goran Tomasevic, Reuters
KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, author of “Decade of Death: Secret Wars and Genocide in Africa, 1993-2003,” about U.S. involvement.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Wayne Madsen, what can you tell us to help explain U.S. involvement in the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Wayne Madsen: Well, I think this gets into the whole relationship of the U.S. with Rwanda and Rwanda’s involvement in the DRC, as we’ve seen recently: Rwanda getting voted onto the U.N. Security Council when in fact it’s a belligerent that the U.N. Security Council has stated is responsible for violating U.N. Security Council resolution after resolution.

We have Susan Rice, the ambassador to the U.N., being entirely too close to Paul Kagame, the dictator in Rwanda, and Yoweri Museveni, the dictator in Uganda. They’re obviously using them to pilfer the DRC of her natural resources. U.S. companies are now involved in natural gas and oil exploration and production in that whole Great Lakes region, including Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC.

M23 delegation leader Francois Rucogoza sits down for peace talks with the DRC delegation headed by Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda in Kampala, Uganda. – Photo: Rebecca Vassie, AP
M23 delegation leader Francois Rucogoza sits down for peace talks with the DRC delegation headed by Congolese Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda in Kampala, Uganda. – Photo: Rebecca Vassie, AP
KPFA/Ann Garrison: How are we to make sense of the U.S. military bases at Kisangani in Congo AND in Rwanda and Uganda?

Wayne Madsen: The base in Kisangani, the bases we have, the smaller bases, in Rwanda and Uganda – are they still there? Yes, they’re still there, but are they U.S. bases? Well, now with AFRICOM and all these bilateral agreements and multilateral agreements, the U.S. can hide the fact that they’re American flag bases by calling them something else – joint activities, multilateral activities and things like that.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: U.S. military partnerships?

Wayne Madsen: Yeah.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Well, with de facto U.S. military bases in all three countries under the flag of multilateralism, can you identify an impact that the U.S. military is having on the outcome?

A Congolese government soldier is greeted as the army returns to Goma after M23 fighters withdrew. This crowd apparently shares a sense of national unity and pride said to be sweeping the Democratic Republic of Congo. – Photo: Goran Tomasevic, Reuters
A Congolese government soldier is greeted as the army returns to Goma after M23 fighters withdrew. This crowd apparently shares a sense of national unity and pride said to be sweeping the Democratic Republic of Congo. – Photo: Goran Tomasevic, Reuters
Wayne Madsen: Well, we’re obviously not doing anything to be an honest broker and a neutral party. We tilt to the Rwandans and it goes back to Walter Kannsteiner, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs under Bush. Kannsteiner wrote a white paper some years ago, talking about the balkanization of Congo and the various countries and talked about forced migrations, just like in the Balkans, and the creation of a country called Tutsiland.

KPFA: Yeah, so you think the U.S. is still backing that idea?

Wayne Madsen: Yeah, I think this is the corporate influence, the Corporate Council on Africa. I think the Corporate Council on Africa – and people like Brent Scowcroft, heavily involved with them – they dictate AFRICOM’s policy. I’d hate to be one of these U.S. trainers or special operations guys in Africa having to convince myself I’m doing this for the United States, when in fact they’re doing it for Exxon-Mobil, Templesman and Microsoft with the coltan etc.

KPFA: And that was Wayne Madsen, author of “Decade of Death: Secret Wars and Genocide in Africa, 1993-2003.”

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 and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at anngarrison.com.

On Dec. 17, 2012, KPFA’s Monday Morning Mix host Sabrina Jacobs will speak to Friends of the Congos Maurice Carney on the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 

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