Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza remains in Rwanda, where President Paul Kagame’s government has forbidden her to leave. Earlier this month, gospel singer Kizito Mihigo, whom the government had also forbidden to leave Rwanda, died after being apprehended trying to cross Rwanda’s southern border into Burundi. The government said that he committed suicide, but few Rwandans believe that.
In an article titled “Rwanda Is a Shining Example of Good News from Africa” published in Stuff, writer Phil Quin has a line that I love: “But the truth, as always, is more nuanced and, especially over the past decade or so, Africa is in many ways coming into its own.”
The UN troops in DRC are called “peacekeepers,” but MONUSCO’s real mission is managing the “silent violence” in which perpetrators cannot be readily identified, atrocities go unreported, and resources are smuggled out of DRC through Rwanda and Uganda.
Victoire Ingabire “is a convicted criminal who was never rehabilitated. She is not a politician, an opposition leader, but a criminal.” – New Times of Rwanda, Paul Kagame’s newspaper
The final 2019 UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of the Congo confirms that Congo’s eastern neighbor Rwanda remains a haven for smuggling Congolese minerals.
The powerful and wealthy nations who send foreign aid to Rwanda need to understand that they are supporting an unstable, unsustainable government because there is no space for people to speak freely and peacefully and engage in real democratic process in Rwanda. Shutting down political space risks the return of mass violence to Rwanda sooner or later. I have devoted my life to preventing its return.
“I know that the killers want me and other members of the opposition to be afraid and stop our democratic struggle. But Rwandan people need to be free in our country. Fear of being arrested again or being assassinated will never stop our struggle.”
Asked how Kagame fits all the money gained by plundering Congo’s immense resources into his budget, David Himbara, a former member of Kagame’s cabinet, replied, “DR Congo money does not go into the Rwandan economy. The loot goes into offshore accounts of Crystal Ventures Ltd and its owner, Kagame.”
I want the government to show us who killed all these members of the opposition in Rwanda and what happened to those who have disappeared.
In Judi Rever’s book “In Praise of Blood: Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” she tells of joining groups of Congolese volunteers with the U.N., Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Cross, who “were there, day in and day out, to provide the means of life to people on the edge of death.”
The Congolese are under occupation by Rwanda. Congo’s immense mineral resources have been plundered by Rwandan and Ugandan troops, then smuggled or sold to Western and transnational corporations.
Prosecuting and convicting Assange for the crime of possessing and publishing classified material would establish a precedent for convicting any journalist, media outlet, or citizen who publishes, republishes, cites, quotes, or even tweets classified material.
On New Year’s Eve, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) went to the polls to choose their next president, parliament and provincial governments. I spoke to Maurice Carney, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based Friends of the Congo, about the results.
Most UN Security Council (UNSC) meetings are so stuffy that they’re hard to watch without wishing someone would open a window, turn on the ventilator or take the august ambassadors off life support. Norman Finkelstein couldn’t have been more apt than when he called Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a “comatose puppet of the United States.” I went through an entire pot of strong coffee just listening to last week’s three-hour UNSC meeting about the Dec. 30 election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The ambassadors spoke in code, without naming key players and perpetrators.
During a recent campaign event, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said: “That story of Rwanda is very instructive to us because when a place gets so tribal that the two tribes won’t have anything to do with each other, and that jealousy turns into hate – we saw what happened to the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda, it turned into a genocide. A million people hacked to death within a few months. And we have got to watch what’s happening here.”
On Feb. 12, 2018, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that there were 4.49 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 630,500 refugees in neighboring countries. The IDP population had nearly doubled in the previous year alone, mainly as a result of clashes and armed attacks. This week I spoke to Swiss Congolese historian and activist Bénédicte Kumbi Ndjoko about recent developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On July 22 this year, nearly two years after Trump’s election and the rise of “The Resistance,” I tuned in to KPFA-Berkeley’s Sunday Show and heard host Philip Maldari speaking to The Nation’s national affairs correspondent John Nichols. Philip Maldari: John, just last Monday we had this fabulous press conference in Helsinki, Finland, where these two heads of state [Trump and Putin] had a chance to speak to the world. Do you want to decode what happened there? John Nichols: Do I want to what? PM: Decode – explain.
He’s the president of Rwanda and the current president of the African Union, feted by the Brookings Institute, one of the most venerable ideological pillars of U.S. capital interests. So why is Paul Kagame manifesting more and more signs of paranoia? Let’s consider just a few possibilities: Assassination rumors, insurgency, political prisoner Victoire Ingabire, 7,000 Rwandan churches and mosques shut down.
Rosatom – Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation – has recently signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with a number of African nations to build nuclear power plants within their borders. I spoke to David Himbara, a professor of international development and African energy activist, about the likelihood of Rosatom actually building these nuclear plants. Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa faces an extraordinary level of energy poverty.
Syria has long dominated international headlines while the big powers discuss the possibility of dividing it into smaller, more homogeneous states along ethnic or religious lines. The Democratic Republic of Congo is rarely if ever at the top of the Western headlines, but heads of state and so-called experts have long made similar proposals to carve out new, smaller, more homogeneous nations in Congo’s resource-rich eastern provinces. I spoke with Congolese scholar and activist Boniface Musavuli about the plans.