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Oct. 14 marked the sixth anniversary of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire’s arrest, and Oct. 24 will mark the 20th anniversary of Rwanda and Uganda’s invasion and occupation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. KPFA’s Ann Garrison filed this report on these intertwined anniversaries.
On Tuesday, Sept. 6, Bay Area Green Parties will protest the Commission on Presidential Debates’ youth engagement function at Dominican University in San Rafael. The CPB is a private, corporate-funded corporation controlled by the Republican and Democratic National Committees that excludes third parties. Dominican University is partnering with the private entity to produce College Debate 16, an event they say will encourage student involvement.
Paul Sankara says the Burkinabe army is supporting the people against the coup plotters. Dr. Gnaka La Goke says that anyone who thinks the presidential guard would attempt a coup d’état without the knowledge and complicity of the U.S. and France is refusing to see how things are done in the 21st century.
A coup attempt prevented Burundi’s President Nkurunziza from flying home from Arusha, Tanzania, earlier this week, but Nkurunziza now seems to be firmly back in control. The U.S. has called on Nkurunziza to step down and not seek a third term in office, but they do not appear to have supported the aborted coup. On Thursday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement saying that it continued to recognize Nkurunziza as the country’s president.
Victoire Ingabire has become an icon of peace and democracy in the war ravaged Great Lakes Region of Africa. She returned to Rwanda in 2010, announcing her intention to run against sitting Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who responded by imprisoning her instead. Opponents in Rwanda are neutralized, and they try to do that with people abroad too. This is what is happening now with Victoire Ingabire’s husband Lin Muyizere.
Late last week, the Security Council approved the creation of what it called its first-ever “offensive” combat force, with a mandate to carry out targeted operations to “neutralize and disarm” the notorious March 23 or M23 militia, as well as other Congolese rebels and foreign armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Until now, U.N. peacekeeping forces’ only explicit mandate has been the protection of civilians.
The United States says it’s ready to send surveillance drones to the Democratic Republic of Congo to help the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the African state despite the government of Rwanda’s objections from its new rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. The U.S. also supports the plan to use drones to increase surveillance capacity in other African countries.
In July 2010, Victoire Ingabire told Womens’ International News Gathering Service that the warring that followed refugees from Rwanda into eastern Congo must be brought to an end with dialogue, not invasion: “The stumbling block is the refugees issue,” she says.
There’s more mischief underway at community radio station KPFA. KPFA subscribers will soon be receiving ballots in the mail asking them to vote on whether media activist Tracy Rosenberg should be recalled from her seat on the KPFA board. This swiftboat-style attack on the station’s hardest working board member must be defeated!
On May 12, Sonoma State University awarded honorary doctorates in humane letters to former Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill and his wife Joan, paid for with a $12 million “donation.” On the same day, William Penn University awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, despite his army’s atrocities in Rwanda and Congo.
On April 8, The Black Star News published “Invisible Children, Makers of Kony 2012, Spied for Ugandan Regime – Wikileaks.” Milton Allimadi, Black Star News publisher, says that his website has become inaccessible due to a “distributed denial-of-service attack” (DDoS attack).
A U.N. report says that the USA’s conflict minerals legislation, Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is increasing rather than decreasing criminality and conflict in the Congo and that Bosco Ntaganda is now in control of minerals smuggling from the Congo into Rwanda.
Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire is spending her second Christmas in Rwanda’s maximum security prison. Her ongoing trial, on charges of terrorism and genocide ideology, has implications not only for Rwanda, but also for the entire Great Lakes Region of Africa – most of all, for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Kagame regime knows about these minerals that have been entering Rwanda illegally for all these years. We’re happy they gave a little back, but they never should have invaded and occupied the eastern Congo in the first place, so there should be no points given for having emptied the cookie jar and then giving back one of the cookies.
Last weekend, in a letter to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and to the U.S. Justice Department, seven of the San Francisco mayoral candidates asked the Justice Department to send election observers and monitors and federal investigators to protect San Franciscans’ voting rights.
San Francisco District 11 Supervisor and mayoral candidate John Avalos held a hearing about creating a San Francisco municipal bank. He says, the municipal bank idea is one that has been in the making for a long time, and now people are greatly suspicious and frustrated with our banks, that they serve the 1 percent and not the everyday people, the 99 percent.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame will be traveling to Sacramento to give a keynote speech at a conference on genocide. Many leading scholars, human rights investigators, genocide survivors and now Kagame’s own former Chief of Staff Theogene Rudasingwa hold him most responsible for the Rwanda Genocide of the 1990s, for the ensuing Congo Wars and Congo conflict, and for the plunder of Eastern Congo’s vast natural resource wealth.Join the protest Thursday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m., outside the Redwood Room, Sacramento State University campus, 6000 J St., Sacramento.
Seven San Francisco mayoral candidates have asked the U.S. Department of Justice to send in election observers and monitors and federal investigators to protect San Franciscans’ voting rights from the official mayoral campaign of Interim Mayor Ed Lee and from the “independent expenditure committee” also trying to elect him outside the campaign spending confines of the official campaign.
A municipal bank is finally on the table, and Supervisor and mayoral candidate John Avalos has scheduled a public hearing at San Francisco City Hall for Oct. 24, 10 a.m., in Room 250. There will be time for public comment. At least four mayoral candidates are outspoken advocates for a municipal bank: Supervisor Avalos, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, Terry Baum of the Green Party and state Sen. Leland Yee.
On Aug. 29, Barack Obama’s State Department filed a request for immunity for Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the civil lawsuit Habyarimana vs. Kagame, which alleges Kagame’s guilt in the Rwanda Genocide and Congo wars and demands damages for the widows of assassinated Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira.
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