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US takes one more step toward isolating Rwandan warlord Paul Kagame

October 10, 2013

by Rev. Innocent Ndagijimana Justice

On Oct. 3, 2013, the U.S. State Department announced sanctions against Rwanda because of its support of the M23 militia that uses child soldiers in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. While announcing the sanctions, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, “Our goal is to work with countries that have been listed to ensure that any involvement in child soldiers, any involvement in the recruitment of child soldiers, must stop. In this case, it was related to M23, and we will continue to have discussions with the Rwandan government on that issue.”

East Congo invaded US-backed forces inc. child soldier (ctr) 'Kadogo' (small one) 111708 by Finbarr O'Reilly, Reuters
A child soldier (center) known as Kadogo, or small one, is among Kagame’s forces invading eastern Congo on Nov. 17, 2008. – Photo: Finbarr O’Reilly, Reuters

Rwanda belongs in the league of human rights abuser countries Burma, Central African Republic, Sudan and Syria. Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front regime has waged endless war in the Great Lakes Region of Africa since seizing power in Rwanda in July 1994. The United States trained the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) for almost two decades, despite allegations of their horrendous crimes in the Rwandan Civil War of 1990 to 1994 and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since they invaded in 1996.

I was a refugee in Mugunga refugee camp in the DRC in 1996, when the RDF invaded. We saw them fighting alongside their creation, the Alliance of Democratic Forces for Liberation of Congo (ADFL), but the Kagame regime kept arguing that it had no troops in the DRC.

Since 1996 the Kagame regime has created at least three proxies: the RCD, CNDP and M23. All of these rebel proxies have been dominated by Tutsi extremists who have caused the death of millions of Congolese and hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Hutu refugees.

The generals from the RDF have continued to wage wars against the DRC to control its mineral resources. Furthermore, they knew that their allies in Washington, D.C., would tolerate whatever they did.

The generals from the RDF have continued to wage wars against the DRC to control its mineral resources. Furthermore, they knew that their allies in Washington, D.C., would tolerate whatever they did.

The RDF’s generals fought in three countries, Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC, and claimed citizenship in all three. Gen. James Kabarebe fought in Uganda with Yoweli Museven, then served in Uganda’s military after the war, then became one of the key officers in Rwanda after the RDF seized power in Kigali. Eventually, he became the chief of staff in DRC during the beginning of President Laurent Desire Kabila’s presidency.

Kabarebe is but one example. Other warlords, such as Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, Gen. Laurent Nkunda and Gen. Sultani Makenga, fought in two or three countries of the Great Lakes Region. These men are ruthless fighters, and nothing will stop them unless the international community imposes an arms embargo on Rwanda and sanctions its top officers, including President Paul Kagame himself.

The RDF has used the Hutu rebels from the Force Democratique for Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) as a pretext to sponsor proxy militias that have created a constant state of war in the eastern DRC. Time and time again, poor Hutu refugees have been used as scapegoats by Rwanda’s proxy militias looting and killing innocent civilians.

Kagame has used child soldiers known as Kadogo ever since he invaded Rwanda from Uganda, with his refugee Rwandan Patriotic Army in 1990, beginning what came to be known as the Rwandan Civil War.

Rev. Innocent Ndagijimana Justice
Rev. Innocent Ndagijimana Justice
The U.S. move to sanction Rwanda and block military training and financing to Rwanda for its use of child soldiers is a first step towards bringing peace and justice to the tortured Great Lakes Region. But the U.S. must also face the fact that Paul Kagame is an epic war criminal who must be brought to justice for the region to find lasting peace.

Rev. Innocent Ndagijimana Justice is a United Methodist minister, a human rights activist and the founder and president of Refugees Rescue Mission, Inc., which helps refugees from African and Asia resettle in the U.S. and advocates for refugees in African refugee camps, especially youth aspiring to higher education, awarding Justice Scholarships to those in need. He can be reached via http://refugeesrescuemission.org/Contact_Us.html.

 

10 thoughts on “US takes one more step toward isolating Rwandan warlord Paul Kagame

  1. Jane

    President Kagame and his other colleagues were not born fighters but they were forced to fight by those who made them refugees in the 1960s and others who continued to persecute them 4 they were growing up. Their persecutors include the Belgian colonial system, the first and second re publics in Rwanda, Obote and Mobutu regim es in Uganda and Zaire respectively. President Kagame is not using FDLR as pretext to ineterfere in DRC because we know FDLR controls spaces in EDRC, we know their ideology and intention. We know they want to regain power in Rwanda and reinstall their apartheid system in which Tutsis are persecuted and excluded from education and from government. That is not acceptable and whether its threats from Washington or London, the gallant sons of Rwanda who stopped genocide will never allow genocide to happen again. That's why Rwanda's concern on the presence of FDLR in EDRC must be taken seriously by the International Community.

    Reply
  2. justus

    Shame upon the so called Rev. Can you imagine a Rev, refuting the truth.
    When pushed against the wall, you have no option but to fight your way out. The congolese Government should clean their house first, why is it that they are the host to every rebel group in the region, ADF, KONY, FDRL, AND 30 MORE CONGOLESE REBELS, and you want countries to sit and wait for a rebellion to find Them in their beds. You show congolese child soldier and you lie the world that they are Rwandese. Our army is a professional one, respecting human rights but again with a resolve to protect citizens. Kagame is a God given leader who is strategic and rarely have a good sleep as he thinks about the future or country……….Go lie else where and sure the American people can distinguish what is a lie and what is the truth.

    Reply
  3. John

    There is one thing you know and you deliberately ignore to mention:Rwanda does not get any benefit from wars in congo and if you could be honest and mentioned that it all started when Late Mobutu thought that could get credibility hosting murderers on Congo land and allowing their supporters to reorganize them with the aim of coming and '' finish the job " as they used to say. Let me put it this way those murders are a curse to your Congo and as long as you persist to think other wise ,your problems will not end.You can send all those stories to the western world,they can always take wrong decisions basing on that but one thing is sure: We will always fight who ever wants to commit another genocide in Rwanda.

    Reply
    1. Kinox

      Rev Innocent Ndagijimana is known 4 to have committed attrocities in 1994 genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. So, no wonder! That is the only article he cld be able to publish and confuse those who don't know him. He can't think of stepping in Rwanda bcz the courts of law are waiting 4 him. Those who saw him recently in the US say that its as if he is a mentally disturbed fellow bcz of the killings of innocent babies he committed in 1994.

      Reply
      1. Innocent

        Kinox, anyone who "killed babies" during the 1994 genocide can't dare to write an article like mine a d use his proper photo and names. I wrote this because I love my country to tell it's leaders to do what's right that will benefit our future generations!

        Reply
  4. Serge

    Very good, Kagame and coe have at last been uncoverred and see for what they really are which is a bunch of criminals who must be sent to the ICC fast.

    Reply
  5. Serge

    very good, now Kagame can't hide anymore, cut all the aid and he will fall certainly, he's a serious treat to peace, send him to the ICC fast.

    Reply
  6. Seamus

    M-23 definitely needs stricter regulation. M-23 (or similar) is necessary to stop the FDLR. The FDLR is an anti-Tutsi group in the Congo, responsible for numerous attacks on civilians and the group is dedicated to overthrowing th3e government in Rwanda & presumably, starting the genocide back up.

    Reply

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