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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.
The Green Party campaign for presidential candidate Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka has completed its 2016 ballot access drive. Stein-Baraka will be on the ballot in 45 states, including Washington, D.C., and they will be official write-in candidates in three more states. Ballots cast for official write-in candidates are counted, whereas unofficial write-in ballots are not. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Rick Lass, ballot access coordinator for the Stein-Baraka campaign.
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.
A Ugandan political party, Forum for Democratic Change, has announced plans to hold country-wide demonstrations ahead of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s inauguration on Thursday, May 12, because they believe that their candidate, Dr. Kizza Besigye, in fact won the election. Museveni’s government responded by banning not only the protests but also press coverage of the protest. KPFA’s Ann Garrison reports.
Bernie Sanders’ defeats in the East Coast primaries have triggered a flurry of conversation about what the 25 to 35 percent of Sanders supporters who’ve told pollsters they will not vote for Hillary Clinton will do instead. Seattle-based Socialist Alternative has called for Sanders to run as an independent or join the Green Party ticket. Ann Garrison spoke to Georgia Green Party activist and Black Agenda Report Editor Bruce Dixon.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred about U.S. foreign policy in Latin America, and particularly Honduras, during this week’s debate in Miami, Florida. In other debates, they have discussed the Middle East, Libya, Egypt, Russia, China and North Korea, but not Sub-Saharan Africa, aside from a few statements as to whether or not the U.S. should have intervened in Rwanda 22 years ago. KPFA’s Ann Garrison reports.
Earlier this week, the ENOUGH Project to, quote, “end genocide and crimes against humanity,” posted an appeal to consumers titled, “What if Black Friday were conflict-free?” ENOUGH is an NGO operating under the umbrella of the Center for American Progress, a neoliberal Washington D.C.-based Democratic Party think tank. They did not include an appeal to the nation’s weapons manufacturers who require minerals on the U.S. Strategic Minerals list.
Supporters of suspended Goucher College French Professor Léopold Munyakazi are urgently trying to stop his deportation to Rwanda because they feel it would lead to his imprisonment, torture and/or death. The Rwandan government accused Professor Munyakazi of genocide after he made several speeches in which he said that the Rwandan massacres that took place between 1990 and 1994 were not genocide.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Air Force website reported a record number of bombs assembled and dropped on ISIS during the past three months. Ammo troops, it said, meaning troops that build bombs in an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, are looking to break new records. Their senior commander said, “In the last three months we have already built over nine times the amount of munitions that the last rotation did in their entire six [months].”
After becoming the leader of the Rwandan Diaspora’s opposition to the authoritarian regime of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Victoire Ingabire returned to Rwanda to run against him in the 2010 election. She was instead placed under house arrest shortly after her return and is now serving a 15 year sentence. This week the African Court of Human and People’s Rights agreed to hear her case on appeal, in Arusha, Tanzania.
On Sept. 4, a white South Carolina highway patrolman, Sean Groubert, shot a Black motorist in Columbia, South Carolina. LeVar Jones, the shooting victim, survived a bullet in the hip. Richland County’s chief prosecutor had Groubert arrested and charged with felony assault and battery. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Kevin Alexander Gray, a South Carolina native and co-editor of “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence.”
Imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire and her supporters await a Kigali court’s verdict in her case this coming Friday, Sept. 7. Ingabire has been in prison for nearly two years, charged with giving financial support to a terrorist group, planning to cause state insecurity, and divisionism, a violation of Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statute.