by Ann Garrison
Below are highlights of an internal Stratfor email dated Aug. 12, 2010, one of 5 million emails published by Wikileaks with this preface:
“On Monday, February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered ‘global intelligence’ company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.”
Stratfor’s internal emails are freewheeling, colloquial, unfettered by political niceties, as in the title of this one, “Re: DISCUSSION – RWANDA/SOUTH AFRICA – Rwandans are cold ass mofos,” and a later remark that “while they [Rwandan assassins] may not be the black version of Mossad, they’re still good enough to get a shot off.” Others are blatantly racist.
The email excerpted below included an ungrammatical apostrophe in “mofo’s” which I corrected to “mofos.”
The mofos that Stratfor’s Bayless Parsley refers to are members of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s government, military and intelligence services, not ordinary Rwandan citizens suffering under his dictatorship. For those unfamiliar with the events he recounts, I’ve included explanation and elaboration in italics.
Re: DISCUSSION – RWANDA/SOUTH AFRICA – Rwandans are cold ass mofos
Released on 2013-02-20 00:00 GMT
Re: DISCUSSION – RWANDA/SOUTH AFRICA – Rwandans are cold ass mofo’s
“Rodger Baker wrote:
“Why is South Africa not better at preventing such attempts in its own country?
“Good question. I don’t want to use the cop out ‘This is Africa’ line, but at the same time, it’s Africa.”
“Such attempts” refers to political assassination attempts by the government of Rwanda on South African soil. The instance under discussion was Rwandan assassins’ attempt to murder Kayumba Nyamwasa, a former Rwandan general turned expatriate dissident, in Johannesburg on June 19, 2010. Shortly after this assassination attempt, journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage was shot dead outside his home in Kigali before he could publish evidence to prove that Kagame had been behind the assassination attempt in Johannesburg.
“The same day that the electoral commission announced Kagame had won with 93 percent of the vote, another grenade attack occurred in the capital – the third since February, in a city that is not used to this kind of stuff. (Rwanda in general is very different from your typical African shit hole in that regard.)
Kagame claimed a preposterous 93% of the vote in the 2010 presidential election after throwing one opposition candidate in prison and putting another under house arrest. A third fled to Sweden after the vice president of his party was found by a riverbank with his head cut off.
Nyamwasa couldn’t have hoped to accomplish anything by commissioning lethal grenade attacks in Rwanda’s capital. They were most likely false flag attacks that Kagame commissioned so as to blame them on Nyamwasa.
“We don’t have any information on this latest attempt [to kill Nyamwasa] aside from the one paragraph RFI article that came in on BBC. This is not on any other news wires. He may be dead for all we know this time. But if it was another failed attempt, it shows that while they [Rwandan assassins] may not be the black version of Mossad, they’re still good enough to get a shot off.
“Word has it that he [Nyamwasa] knew he was going to be arrested for some offense; you never quite know when Kagame is going to turn on you if you are in a position of power in Rwanda. Anyway, Nyamwasa bailed, fled to Uganda, cut back into Tanzania, then reportedly flew to S. Africa from there. Kagame was pissed. He went off in a press conference that was held while Nyamwasa was still on the move. Called him scum and things like that. Threw out all sorts of accusations that he was an enemy of the state, this and that.
“The other day Kagame went so far as to insinuate that S. Africa was covertly funding people like Nyamwasa and Karegeya (who I mentioned below in the discussion) to foment trouble in Rwanda. That would be pretty amazing if it was true; we’ve never seen any indications whatsoever that Pretoria has [a] beef with the Kagame regime. My bet is that it’s more a reflection of Kagame’s anger that Zuma won’t hand these guys [former Rwandan generals] over. No extradition treaty, though, Paul [Kagame]. Sorry.”
Rwandan assassins made a second attempt to kill Nyamwasa in the hospital where he was recovering from the first attempt, but it was foiled by South African intelligence, who apprehended them entering the hospital by a side door. In 2011, a third attempt was reported, after South African police removed Nyamwasa from his house on short notice. In August 2014, a South African magistrate convicted four Rwandans of attempting to assassinate Nyamwasa and said that “the plot was politically motivated and emanated from a certain group of people from Rwanda.”
“It also appears that Kagame’s government has followed a policy [of] assassinating former members of his government who turned dissident and has proven a capability to carry out these assassinations well outside of Rwanda’s borders – even in Belgium.”
This is followed by a list of Rwandan dissidents in exile who were assassinated in Brussels, Yaounde and Nairobi, and there have been more since in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and other African cities.
“The capability to carry out successful extraterritorial, extrajudicial killings is not something to be taken for granted. Few countries possess the ability to locate, track and kill targets and largely get away with it (the 1998 assassination of Sendashonga did cause some friction between the Kenyan and Rwandan governments, but did not cause any longterm damages to the relationship) especially considering Rwanda’s relatively small amount of resources and international stature. Granted, most of these killings took place in nearby African countries, where security forces allow a permissive environment for such killings, but the assassination in Brussels shows that government forces in Kigali may have the ability to strike in western Europe – no mean feat given the much more competent security forces there. The assailants in that case have not been caught.”
In May 2011 British police warned Rwandan exiles Rene Mugenzi and Jonathan Musonera that “reliable intelligence states that the Rwandan Government poses an imminent threat to your life.” Police in Toronto have cautioned David Himbara, economist and author of “Kagame’s Economic Mirage,” and former defense attorneys at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda to take extra security measures. On one of journalist Judi Rever’s trips to Belgium to conduct interviews for her book “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” she was constantly accompanied by Belgian security officers after they warned her that she was in danger of assassination by Rwandan operatives.
Why should we care?
Why should we care about this Stratfor email aside from what it reveals about the racist and cavalier attitude of Stratfor’s Bayless Parsley, which typifies the Stratfor emails published by Wikileaks? (Yes, that’s his real name, and you can read more of his racist email in “Wikileaks and Stratfor: Sex, intrigue and a bit of vengeance” in The Africa Report.)
We should also care because Rwandan President Paul Kagame is now the president of the African Union as well. Last week his foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo left her post to become head of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the French equivalent of the Commonwealth, with the overwhelming support of its members, including France, Canada and Belgium.
Back in September 2009, just over a year before Parsley wrote this email, former President Bill Clinton presented a Global Citizen Award to Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Clinton Global Initiative, his annual poverty pimping extravaganza in New York City. All those promoting Kagame to such high honors have agendas that make it convenient to ignore his global assassins’ far-reaching exploits and other international crimes. They are no less “cold ass mofos” than he.
Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.