Sanctions on top Rwandans, not drones over the DRC


by Ann Garrison

KPFA Evening News, Jan. 13, 2013

Rwandan Defense Minister James Kabarebe, President Paul Kagame, Defense Force Chief Charles Kayonga tour RDF Command & SKPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: The United States says it’s ready to send surveillance drones to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 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. On Wednesday State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the U.S. also supports the plan to use drones to increase surveillance capacity in other African countries. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke with Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of the Congo, about the drone plan.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Maurice, what’s your response to this U.S. plan to send surveillance drones to the DRC, after the U.S. refusal to sanction the highest level commanders of the M23 militia implicated in last year’s U.N. Government of Experts report on the conflict in the DRC?

Maurice Carney: Yes, thanks for the question. I believe the plan was floated at the U.N. first by the French. But irrespective of whose plan it was, we see here a pattern that Congolese people have been victim of for the last 16 years, where the evidence has been presented to the international community against Rwanda, for Rwanda’s crimes in the Congo.

Maurice Carney, red shirtAnd instead of holding Rwanda accountable, sanctioning Rwanda, what we’ve seen the international community do, led by the United States and to some degree by the United Kingdom as well: It’s come up with various schemes, all but what is really necessary and direct, and that is to sanction Rwanda, hold Rwanda accountable, place on the sanctions list the individuals high up in the Rwandan government who’ve been identified as directing, orchestrating the M23 militia inside the Congo.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Could you respond to the government of Rwanda, speaking from its new seat on the Security Council, where it said that it opposes the use of drones over the DRC and elsewhere in Africa?

Maurice Carney: Well, I mean, Rwanda can hardly speak for the African continent, even though it’s on the U.N. Security Council, the one African country to be there. We see here the pattern where Rwanda feels somehow that it has jurisdiction over what happens in the Congo.

We’re certainly against drones being used in the Congo, but we’re also against Rwanda having a say about what the Congo does or what happens inside the borders of the Congo. So analysts have said, “Well, Rwanda’s got something to hide,” but again, after so many years, there is just not any more evidence that can be produced that can demonstrate the destructive practices that Rwanda has pursued in the Congo. So, whether Rwanda agrees or not, it’s really inconsequential.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Even if France floated this plan at the U.N. Security Council, it’s the U.S. that’s going to send these drones to the eastern DRC, to the peacekeeping mission, so-called, there.

Obama droneMaurice Carney: Right.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: What do you think the U.S. really hopes to accomplish by sending them?

Maurice Carney: I’d like to know what the U.S. hopes to accomplish, but what I can say is that if drones were to be authorized for “information collecting purposes” in the Congo, that would be yet another step towards normalizing the use of drones – in this case on the African continent.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: And that was Maurice Carney, executive director of Washington D.C.-based Friends of the Congo.

For Pacifica, KPFA and Afrobeat Radio, 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 If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website at



  1. Maurice Carney's responses to interview questions by Ann Garrison are amaterish,ill-informed ,and anti-Africa's values and interests in a broader perspective,on several grounds.1.On hte question of sending "drones"to eastern Congo("DRC")he admits that the whole idea was "first floated by France".For his information the root cause of the protracted crisis in the Congo stems from the 1994 France,s help to amass the millions of the genocidal killers in the eastern Congo(right on Rwanda,s border).2.Although a significant number of these extremist killers have been eliminated or surrounded,their remaining group inside Congo and its genocidal behavior(a)is to Rwanda more than equivalent to the 9/11 tragedy caused by Al Qaeda in the Us(remember in the first context closer to 1 million lives were lost compared to some hundred lives in the latter context),and(b)is to Congo a viciously destructive,omnpresent and omnipotent group which has been exogenously implanted in its territory as aforesaid.In the process,the so-called M23 militants and their congolese ehnic group they sought to defend against the aforesaid Rwanda's genociaires became the latter's particularly targeted victims.3.Why then mobilise "drones" targated at a significantly small group of M23 defending themselves against an imminent exterminaion,instead of finding better ways of clearing the aforesaid Rwanda's genocidaires out of Congo who are the root cause of the protracted problem? 4.The conflict in Eastern Congo is actually now subsided whilst a host of regional and continental countries are actively devising a workable and lasting solution to the Congo's conflict and correlate problems.5.Therefore the belated push for introduction of "drones" can only be construed as a subtly calculated sabotage to these African efforts,with a consequent deterioration od the situation in the DRC.5.In conclusion,to Maurice Carney I say this:don't jump to conclusion,or point a finger to any African country or person,go do a proper field research in the DRC and its continguant states to become better informed about the continent's active search for unity and cooperative development.The continent is becoming averse to increased militarisation,let alone wishing to become a "laboratory experimentation for the operatives of drones"

  2. @Oswald Ntagengerwa what you have written is verbiage, in contrary you are actually the one who is ill-informed. I wouldn't even waste my time responding to your uneducated comments. ha ha!!! M23 defending themselves an imminent extermination? Lol, this is quite funny. Mr. Oswald, the illiterates of the 21st century are not those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Your comments are mere expression of emotions rather than facts. I should at least congratulate you for clearly expressing your fallacious and fanaticism mindset. The truth about Rwanda's involvement in the Congo and America's support of that impunity is not news anymore. The beans have been spilled brother and Kagame's impunity will be coming to an end sooner rather than later. For information brother, i am proudly Rwandese, and i completely do not support Kagame's domestic and foreign policy. Even here in Rwanda people are not supportive of his actions be it Tutsis or Hutus, we are humans who care for other people's lives, who champion freedom and democracy and we believe that Rwanda will only prosper as a state in democracy rather than Americans imposing a dictator on us.

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