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.
As a result of a dialogue, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway on some topics of mutual interest. The last three of the Cuban 5 have arrived today to our homeland, we have sent Alan Gross back to his country and we have agreed to renew diplomatic relations. But this in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The blockade must cease.
A rally staged in support of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in Walnut Creek July 19 drew hundreds of protesters, dozens of journalists and photographers and plenty of police.
Dr. Kizza Besigye and Gen. Yoweri Museveni both swore in as president of Uganda at competing inaugural ceremonies this week. Both claim to have won the Feb. 18 election, and Dr. Besigye has demanded an election audit. Gen. Museveni, the incumbent president now entering his fourth decade in power, had Besigye arrested and charged with treason. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
“Haiti may have many problems but until 2010 cholera was not one of them. In fact, the country had no known history of the disease at all,” the Al Jazeera host explains. In October 2010, the first of now 8,000 Haitians died of cholera introduced to Haiti by U.N. peacekeeping troops from Nepal and the U.N.’s negligence in allowing their untreated waste to poison a major river.
Community outrage and support are building over the arrest of people's journalist Diane Bukowski. Many view this as a political attack on the entire progressive movement in metro Detroit.
In a few weeks, a group of quiet, dignified elderly men and women will arrive in London to explain how the forces of the British state crushed their testicles or breasts with pliers. It was part of a deliberate policy of breaking a civilian population who we regarded as “baboons,” “barbarians” and “terrorists.”
The “peacekeepers” are the fastest-growing branch of the U.N., with a budget of U.S. $8 billion and over 110,000 troops serving 15 operations. Ten percent of this budget is spent on Haiti – a small country that is not at war – to train foreign troops for future warfare against their own civilians.
In what is clearly a continuation of the Feb. 29, 2004, U.S. instigated coup d’etat against Haiti, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has been called before Martelly’s handpicked government prosecutor Lucmane Delile in what is widely believed to be an attempt by Martelly, the U.S. and France to wage a campaign of political persecution against Aristide, Fanmi Lavalas, and the democratic process and progress in Haiti.
What is happening in Rwanda? On Aug. 26, the BBC reported that Burundian officials are investigating to determine why Rwandan bodies have been found floating in Lake Rweru, on Burundi’s border with Rwanda. Both East African nations suffer from Hutu-Tutsi ethnic rivalries rooted in centuries of Hutu oppression by a feudal Tutsi aristocracy, which became a colonial elite in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In Tanzania, President Obama said, “The countries surrounding the Congo, they’ve got to make a commitment to stop funding armed groups that are encroaching on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Congo.” As the U.S. calls on its allies to cease funding armed groups in the Congo, the U.S. should cease funding of Rwanda and Uganda.
Since the beginning of the seizure of police stations and army depots by the “peaceful” protesters in Libya, Africa, in February, who were then armed to the teeth and terrorized the population of many cities in Libya, the British government has supported them, calling them “rebels,” and even in the last few days recognize them as the “official government of Libya.”
The City of Atlanta hosted the fourth international Rwanda Day on September 20, 2014. Rwanda Day celebrations were held in Chicago in 2011, Boston and London in 2012, and Toronto in 2013. Rwandan and Congolese exiles and refugees have appeared to protest each time, as they did again in Atlanta. Bruce Dixon, Atlanta resident and managing editor of the Black Agenda Report, attended the protest.
As I write this, on Jan. 8, Congolese are on edge, fearing fraudulent presidential election results and state violence to suppress mass protest. In nearby Gabon, U.S. combat troops are poised to cross borders and invade to protect U.S. citizens and interests as needed. Are they there to make sure that Joseph Kabila, the president they installed and kept in power for 18 years, cedes power to former Exxon-Mobil executive Martin Fayula, their new horse to ride? That’s just my best guess.
Paul Kagame, the leader of Rwanda, has killed more than five times as many people as Idi Amin. He invaded Rwanda in 1990 and carried out a war of conquest there that ended sometime in 1994. He invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996 and went in and out of that country for years, killing what the U.N. itself admitted was probably more than 4 million people. The U.S. not only failed to stop it, we actually supported the mass killing. Paul Kagame is a double genocidist, and one could argue too that Bill Clinton was a partner in this. Bill Clinton is arguably a genocidist.
On May 19, 2016, the Rwandan government ordered Dutch lawyer Caroline Buisman to leave Rwanda immediately, without even meeting her new client, political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Buisman had arrived in the country’s capital Kigali on May 14, 2016, to consult with Ingabire regarding the appeal of her conviction for terrorism, inciting popular revolt and minimizing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
Happy Mother’s Day! This is an important day when we stop to think of our own mothers and appreciate all their sacrifices and love. Today is also a day to reflect on the mothers of the world struggling to raise their families in poverty, under the horrors of war, or being sanctioned by the United States for living in a country that insists on being independent and free from the yoke of neoliberalism.
Recently the cold war against Cuba was ratcheted up when an acrimonious debate broke out over the issue of racism in Cuba and for the first time the issue of Brazil was thrown into the mix. The brouhaha began when scores of prominent African Americans, many of whom should have known better, put their names to a petition calling upon the Cuban government to release a dissident from prison.