Why did the NBA All Star Game Weekend celebrate Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, who is known to have launched invasions that cost millions of African lives, and to brutally repress his own people? His appearance inspired indignation and headlines in the Toronto press. Ann Garrison spoke with CIUT-Toronto Taylor Report host Phil Taylor to ask what he thought of this and how it happened.
We want to invite every friend of the SF Bay View newspaper to our 40th anniversary party. It’s a free event this Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. Come one, come all and let’s celebrate 40 years of the most radical Black newspaper in the country. Enjoy a panel of Bay View writers, a fashion show and performances by the legendary Avotcja, Stoney Creation and Sista Iminah reminding us of the beauty and talent in our community.
The tiny East African nation of Burundi remains unbowed despite pressure from Western officials. Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza, speaking to the press yesterday, remained firm in his rejection of a proposed African Union peacekeeping force in his country. U.N. Ambassador to the U.S. Samantha Power expressed her disappointment. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
Observers have an eye on the U.S. government’s response to Uganda’s presidential election coming up on Feb. 18. President Gen. Yoweri Museveni began his 30th year in power in 2016, and he is running for his fifth term. Uganda’s Parliament abolished presidential term limits in Uganda to enable him to remain in power in 2005. Ann Garrison spoke to Milton Allimadi, Ugandan American Editor of the Black Star News, about what to expect.
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.
Burundian insurgents attacked three army bases early Friday morning. Fighting continued through the night and the dead in Burundi’s streets were estimated to be as high as 89 this morning. The government and opposition told conflicting stories about who the dead were and how they died. Two days before the latest attacks, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee held a hearing on the situation in Burundi. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has this report.
In Rwanda and Burundi, the massacres of the last 20 years have followed the assassination of Hutu presidents. First, the assassination of Burundian President Melchior Ndadaye in Burundi in 1993, then the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira in 1994. Now insurgents in Burundi claim to have fired mortar rounds on the Burundian president’s residence in Bujumbura, the country’s capital.
The Canadian Globe and Mail reports that the United States has warned former Rwandan military officer Robert Higiro that his life is in danger because of evidence he gave to The Globe and Mail, to the BBC and to a U.S. House Subcommittee about the Rwandan government’s alleged efforts to assassinate dissidents who had fled abroad. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
Charles Kambanda told KPFA that the West is trying to create a failed state whose resources will then be easier to control. “Burundi borders with Congo, and Congo, the other side, is so rich in minerals. So we have these corporations fighting to control Burundi, to create a failed state in Burundi, so that they can get involved in illegal business in that region,” he says.
“Beasts of No Nation” is a Netflix film that crudely exposes the face of the wars in Africa and the false poverty that has been created by U.S. and other Western imperialist governments spearheading a corporate plan to rob the richest continent on earth of its natural resources. I would not have been thrilled if I’d had to pay to watch the disturbing drama. For free, it’s still disturbing, but well written otherwise and beautifully shot as well.
This week marked the fifth anniversary of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza’s arrest and imprisonment in Rwanda. Ingabire attempted to run for president, against incumbent Paul Kagame in 2010, and went to prison instead. Supporters of Ingabire and freedom for all Rwandans and all peoples of the African Great Lakes Region gathered in Brussels, Belgium, for a day of reflection on the meaning of Victoire Ingabire’s heroic sacrifice.
Burundian Foreign Minister Willy Nyamitwe has accused neighboring Rwanda of training rebels to destabilize Burundi with cross border attacks. Rwandan President Paul Kagame responded that the Burundian president was simply trying to distract people from his own problems, but Carina Tertsakian, a Human Rights Watch researcher in Burundi, confirmed the foreign minister’s accusation. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Father Thomas Nahimana.
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.
Two hundred delegates from African governments and institutions met in Kigali, Rwanda, yesterday for a symposium on “democratization and development.” Hailemariam Desalegn and Rwandan President Paul Kagame both spoke of the primacy of state power and African agency in development. Washington D.C.-based Ethiopian activist Obang Metho spoke to KPFA’s Ann Garrison about what was wrong with this picture.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power is on a mission to save Africans from African savagery. She wants you to call 1-800-GENOCIDE so she can send in the Marines or other U.S. Special Forces. Her entire career is based on a historically inaccurate, decontextualized and grossly oversimplified account of the 1994 Rwandan massacres, during which the U.S. stood by.
The Burundian army has been engaged by troops near its northern border with Rwanda and this week Aljazeera reported that young men in Rwandan refugee camps are being recruited to join a rebel force to fight in Burundi. Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe, speaking to The Voice of America, said that the Burundian government had asked the Rwandan government to prevent any action threatening Burundi’s security.
As Burundian voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned that “elections held under the current conditions in Burundi will not be credible and will further discredit the government.” It also said it planned to suspend partnerships that it hasn’t already suspended with “anyone promoting instability in Burundi through violence.” Will those “promoting instability through violence” include the renegade Burundian military officers who staged a failed coup attempt in May, then fled to Rwanda and declared war on Burundi? Will it include Rwandan military and political support for a rebel force?
Rwandan intelligence chief Emmanuel Karenzi Karake was arrested last Saturday in London on a European arrest warrant. The warrant was based on a Spanish court’s 2008 indictment of Karake and 39 other top Rwandan officials for genocide – that is, the massacre of Rwandan Hutu civilians and refugees in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
The new U.S. policy toward Rwanda, opposing constitutional change to allow President Paul Kagame to stay in power, has garnered wide attention. Friends of the Congo’s Maurice Carney warns that it might well change if Hillary Clinton becomes the next U.S. president.
Rwanda is the official “hideout” for the Burundian government’s armed and unarmed “rebels” and/or opposition. Some Burundians in Rwanda, under Rwanda government protection, have openly declared war against the government of Burundi. Is Kagame capable of ruining Burundi the same way he ruined DRC, especially North and South Kivu?