The 1994 bloodbath in Rwanda also became an argument for the suppression or even criminalization of speech. No one makes these arguments more fiercely and absolutely than Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Kagame claims to have inspired Rwandans to rise from the ashes to build an economic miracle and example for all Africa. In a new book, however, economist David Himbara says that Kagame’s economic miracle is in fact an economic mirage. I spoke to David Himbara.
The New Times of Rwanda, one of several state sanctioned media outlets, reports that a monument has been built on the banks of the River Nyabarongo “in memory of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis who were dumped into the waters.” KPFA’s Ann Garrison reports that the story is disputed with evidence that the victims were actually Hutus rather than Tutsis.
A widely feared and anticipated military attack by U.N. and Congolese troops on the FDLR has not materialized, despite U.N. Special Envoy Russ Feingold’s repeated urgings. Instead, this week, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo rose up in the streets to demand that their Parliament not pass legislation allowing Congolese President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in office beyond constitutional term limits. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
The Congolese army has pushed Rwanda’s M23 back by about four miles in recent days, and U.N. envoy says that their success makes this a good time to negotiate. Jean-Mobert N’senga, an activist lawyer in Goma, and his group, Fight for Change, agree but say the Democratic Republic of the Congo needs to negotiate with Rwanda, not M23.
On Wednesday, July 17, Nick Long reported for the Voice of America that the Congolese army’s recent successes at driving the M23 militia from their positions in eastern Congo have caused euphoria amongst Congolese, particularly in Goma, the capital city of North Kivu Province on Congo’s border with Rwanda. Here’s that Voice of America radio report:
Speaking in Tanzania at the end of his African tour, President Obama urged “countries neighboring the Democratic Republic of the Congo” to make peace. Congo shares borders with nine African nations, but the president declined to say which of them he was referring to. Obama spoke about the U.N. brigade at a press conference, but declined to name Rwanda and Uganda as the aggressors in eastern Congo.
This letter, signed by Diaspora Congolese women in the U.S., U.K., Belgium, France and South Africa, was delivered to Ambassador Carson on March 20. We are writing to you with regard to the current U.S. policy position on “Lasting Solution to Instability” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which you presented on Feb. 11, 2013, at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, March 18, major news outlets all over the world reported East African warlord Gen. Bosco Ntaganda had crossed the border from DR Congo into Rwanda and “surrendered” at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali. Rwandan American law professor Charles Kambanda spoke to KPFA about Ntaganda and why the story of his surrender is thoroughly implausible.
On Monday, Feb. 11, outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson presented an outline of the Obama administration’s policy position on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The purpose of Ambassador Carson’s presentation was twofold: discussing why efforts should be redoubled to bring stability to the Congo and laying out a framework for “moving forward.”
The Obama administration was on the defensive about the U.S. relationship with Rwanda and its U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice at the Dec. 11, 2012, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Two days after the hearing, Rice withdrew her name from consideration to become secretary of state. In President Obama’s statement on Susan Rice, issued the same day, he praised her work but did not mention Rwanda, Uganda or Congo.
The deadly conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, as leaders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Rwandan and Ugandan M23 militia fighting in Congo gather in Uganda’s capital for peace talks, which members of the Congolese political opposition are boycotting.
Over the last 16 years, more than 6 million lives have been lost in Congo – and the major perpetrators of those atrocities have been U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda. The majority of victims have been children under the age of 5. Subsequent U.S. administrations have provided aid to the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes. The U.S. remains one of the top two donors of aid to Rwanda today.
Joseph Kabila was in Kampala Nov. 20 meeting with Rwanda’s Gen. Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Gen. Yoweri Museveni as the Congo city of Goma fell. Why would Kabila be in Uganda when the UN in a report by a group of experts found that M23, the army that seized Goma, was created, trained, financed and is sustained and commanded by Rwandan and Ugandan officers?
Cholera has broken out in the internally displaced persons camps growing again in eastern Congo, as Congolese people flee the war which, with backing from the Kagame regime in Kigali, Rwanda, resumed in April. The cholera outbreak has sparked fears of an epidemic. Now drenching rain is adding to the refugees’ misery. U.S. Special Forces are in the region, but not to hunt for Joseph Kony. It’s a military operation to secure oil and other African resources and limit Chinese access.
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.
Are the so-called rebels furthering the aims of heads of state by shattering communities in eastern Congo, driving people into refugee camps and thus separating them from the vast resources that corporations and the major world powers are so determined to control?
I know no honest, informed Congo watchers who doubt that Gen. Laurent Nkunda and his ruthless militia are tools of the U.S. and its African proxy, Rwanda, in the imperial resource war now raging in Eastern Congo.