by Ann Garrison
“The market analyst predicted a complete geostrategic restructuring in central Africa, with Rwandan Tutsis, an ethnic group that had faced existential threats for decades, now steering affairs. You’ll see a de facto ‘Greater Tutsi Land’ there. What you’ve got is a situation where Rwanda and Uganda are clearly now the dominant military powers in the region. They will do pretty much what they want.
“But what did that mean for the Congolese? I asked. What was going to happen to them? And what could possibly justify such a dramatic shift?” – Judi Rever, “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” re the First Congo War, 1997-1998
The Congolese have been under occupation by Rwanda ever since. Also by Uganda, but more so by Rwanda, and always with Rwanda in the lead. Congo’s immense mineral resources have been plundered by Rwandan and Ugandan troops, then smuggled or sold to Western and transnational corporations.
Rwandans have even become officers in the Congolese army, and the country has been so destabilized that Congolese are unable to defend themselves. There are millions of them in internal refugee camps or refugee camps across Congo’s eastern borders.
Presidential election, so-called
Martin Fayulu won the January presidential election, but the outgoing president, Joseph Kabila, struck a deal with Félix Tshisekedi to steal it so as to keep his own hands on the levers of power in the background. The Catholic Church fielded nearly 40,000 trained observers, with at least one present at each polling station, ensuring 100 percent coverage. The data they collected was transmitted by mobile telephone networks or via satellite telephones to a national call center, and they reported different results than those officially announced.
Now, six months later, Tshisekedi has strengthened his alliance with Congo’s occupier, Rwandan president and war criminal Paul Kagame. He has visited Kagame in Rwanda and Kagame’s partner in crime, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Israel.
Kagame was just given star treatment at the multimillion-dollar funeral for Félix Tshisekedi’s father, Étienne Tshisekedi, when his body was repatriated from Belgium for burial in Congo.
Congolese Canadian scholar Patrick Mbeko, author of “Stratégie du chaos et du mensonge: Poker menteur en Afrique des Grands Lacs,” wrote, on June 1:
“Not all Congolese are fools willing to cheer Paul Kagame as though he were a respectable leader. No. Those who have praised Rwanda’s war criminal president are the Tshisikedistes. They are the ones who defend today the enemies of the Congo, justifying the unjustifiable. These people, for most of them are from the same geographical corner, are Congolese only in name. To justify the arrival of Kagame in the country of Lumumba, some of them are claiming that the Lamukistes [of the losing Lamuka Coalition] were ready to welcome him during the post-election crisis in January. This is patently false.
“As we know, Kagame had to come to Congo in January, when he was still president of the African Union, with a mandate to negotiate an outcome to the post-election crisis stemming from the fraud that allowed Félix Tshisekedi to become the president. That’s why Kagame had to disembark in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And, as we also know, the same Kagame asked Joseph Kabila to order his Constitutional Court to declare Félix Tshisekedi the new president, with contempt for the popular will.
“So it is not by chance that Tshisekedi went to Rwanda at the beginning of his first term, thereby insulting the memory of millions of Congolese dead to please his new master. It is also no coincidence that Tshisekedi invited the Rwandan tyrant to Kinshasa, humiliating a whole country and his people. Joseph Kabila used to scheme with Kagame at night. Félix Tshisekedi has decided to plot against the republic in broad daylight, in view of everyone.
“Maybe he thinks that if he agrees to be Paul Kagame’s ‘house Negro,’ Kagame will give him a hand in the low-intensity war between his followers and those of Joseph Kabila. But he is wrong. Kagame will never abandon Joseph for Félix. For the master of Rwanda, who already has serious problems with his northern and southern neighbors, Uganda and Burundi, Félix-as-house-Negro is a card that he must exploit until things return to normal. In this tormented region of Africa, it is better to have an ally, even a house Negro, than none.
“Félix Tshisekedi is a winning card for everyone except for the Congolese people. Every Congolese should keep this in mind. He can treat Paul Kagame like the King of Kings, but for the vast majority of the Congolese, Kagame will forever remain an enemy. Félix and some of his tribal brothers have made this Tutsi killer a respectable man, but the men, women and children of Congo will not forget all the evil he has done to them. And the oppressed Rwandan people are brothers and sisters of the oppressed Congolese. We will never forget our millions of deaths to please the Tshisekidistes. Every country has its ‘inner enemies,’ attacking it from within, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is no exception.”
Patrick Mbeko is a Congolese Canadian scholar and the author of “Stratégie du chaos et du mensonge: Poker menteur en Afrique des Grands Lacs” [“Strategy of Chaos and Lies; Liars’ Poker in the African Great Lakes Region”], “Le Canada et Le Pouvoir Tutsi du Rwanda” [Canada and Rwandan Tutsi Power], “Le Canada dans Les Guerres en Afrique Centrale” [Canada and the Wars in Central Africa] and “Objectif Khadafi:42 ans de guerres secrètes contre le Guide de la Jamahiriya arabe libyenne” [“Target Khadafi: 42 years of secret wars against the Leader of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”]. He can be reached on Twitter @PatrickMbeko.
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 email@example.com.