Monday, December 28, 2009

What Has Been And What Can Be

Martin Luther King linked democratic development at home and abroad in his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. Thanks to Chris Commons article "Obama Dismisses King: Justifies War" I discovered his Nobel Lecture: "The Quest for Peace" in which he said:
"The present upsurge of the Negro people of the United States grows out of a deep and passionate determination to make freedom and equality a reality "here" and "now". In one sense the civil rights movement in the United States is a special American phenomenon which must be understood in the light of American history and dealt with in terms of the American situation. But on another and more important level, what is happening in the United States today is a relatively small part of a world development."
I intend to continue exploring this link!

On a practical level, a convincing example of how democratic development at home and abroad are closely linked is Mary Joyce, who was New Media Operations Manager at Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Her contribution to that operation has strangely been totally ignored by mainstream media. In my view her experience in digital activism through new media in Morocco and Chile gave the Obama campaign a strategic advantage.

The impact of Colored Opinions in 2009:

Through linking and sustained collaboration journalists like for example Stephen Kinzer no longer hold the monopoly on information concerning the great lakes region. Thanks to Ann Garrison and "this incredible linking and collaboration platform" Rick Warren's homophobic statements in Uganda didn't go unnoticed. Former MONUC commander Patrick Cammaert's statements concerning the FDLR security threat (he disagrees with Paul Kagame) to Rwanda on Dutch tv were picked up through Colored Opinions and transmitted to a larger audience by (globalvoicesonline's) Elia Varela Serra.

Institutionalized media is going through a deep crisis and reinventing journalism seems inevitable. In that context the political impact of migrants through new media resembles the distribution of illegal newspapers in the Netherlands during the second world war. Those newspapers didn't make money and results were hard to measure. The friendship among the resistance was probably an important factor to continue. However we know that Dutch illegal newspapers became big and profitable just after the war. Do you believe, with Jeff Jarvis, the future for entrepreneurial journalism to be just as bright? Migrants in Europe have been ignored by mainstream media and politics for decades, will the opportunities new media offer level the playing field?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rwandan Green Party fear oppression from the undemocratic Rwandan government as mysterious "leaked" report appears

 Africa scholar, and friend David Barouski posted this analysis of news we'd both received from Frank Habineza, Interim Chair of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, which continues its struggle to register and participate in Rwanda's August 2010 elections:



"Last week, the Rwandan newspaper Umuseso published a story with the names of 2 senior people alleged to be behind the Rwandan Democratic Green Party: Patrick Mazimpaka (former Deputy Chairperson of the African Union's African Commission, and former Special political Advisor to President Kagame) and Col. Joesph Karemera (former Rwandan Minster of Health and Minister of Education). This information reportedly came from a "leaked" intelligence report submitted to Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Last weekend, the Rwandan newspaper Umuvugizipublished more details and names. Below is the original article Umuvugizi and its translation from Kinyarwandan and the 256 News article. WNJ did not translate the document and therefore cannot take responsiblity for any errors contained therein. There is also another article below that originated from Uganda's 256 News Agency carrying the same information.

This is potentialy very bad news for the Greens because RPF party and RDF army officials are on the list. Many of these individuals have had a falling out with the RPF/RDF and some are considered dissidents and have been illegally detained in the past. According to Green Party sources, none of the names listed are members/supporters and they never have been. They fear the state will use this information as a political weapon to stigmatize them through the fallacy of assocation with RPF supporters who consider those listed as dissidents and also members of the general public who do not support the RPF. Green Party members also fear arbitrary detentions, torture, and oppression of their right to peacful assembly, as well as freedom of speech and press as they have experienced in the past during their peaceful assemblies.

The Green Party plans to hold its National Committee meeting on December 24th to discuss how to respond to these false allegations. They plan to hold a press conference and provide a press release before the end of the week to refute these allegations."


 

Read more at http://africannewsanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/12/rwandan-green-party-members-fear.html

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dutch media "copy paste" Nebahat Albayrak's press release on abuse of free movement

When Nebahat Albayrak published a statement that could very well be interpreted as proof of Dutch unwillingness to comply with EU law and jurisprudence, as I have argued, all the Dutch media did is pass the statement on to the general public. The slanderous, but most of all shallow media coverage, by Trouw (the PKN, the largest Dutch protestant Church, mouthpiece that supports Balkenende, because otherwise they would supposedly lose subscribers), Elsevier (a weekly that for the last decade has systematically written negative about immigrants living in the Netherlands) and NOS (main and supposedly unbiased Dutch news source) alleged a connection between the use of European rights to free movement within the UE by Dutch citizens and fake relationships to obtain residence permits. De Telegraaf, a conservative newspaper, quickly removed their own story on this, they probably doubted wether they had the facts rights (Telegraaf is scoring some points there: better not write then copy paste some biased press release by the government's spindoctors). One vigilant observers filed a complaint. This resulted in the NOS changing one sentence:
"De Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst controleert sinds dit jaar strenger op dit soort schijnrelaties."
("The Dutch immigration services check more thorougly on this type of fake relationships")
to:
"De Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst controleert sinds dit jaar strenger op dit soort constructies. Inmiddels worden verblijfsaanvragen op grond van deze Europese regels vaker afgewezen."
("Since this year the Dutch immigration do a more thorough check on these constructions. More of these requests based on these European rules have been turned down since")

Why would someone want to follow the news through channels that uncritically follow government interpretation, systematically disrespect immigrants living in the Netherlands or are just plain ignorant on the topic? These "news sources" have been very active in spreading the gospel of immigrants not integrating in society, I would appreciate it when they would croll back behind their desks and start studying the EU jurisprudence that has been growing over the last two decades with just as much zeal. Go to work you bums!!! Start "collaborating through this incredible linking platform" as Jeff Jarvis recently wrote in his "entrepreneurial journalism class report"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nebahat Albayrak: "Dutch policy is effectively impeding free movement"

Nebahat Albayrak, deputy minister of immigration in the Dutch Balkenende IV government has released a statement yesterday that cynically states that Government Policy against "misuse of free movement for family reunification" is a success.

It is clear from the statement that the Dutch Government considers very quickly that a Dutch citizen is misusing his or her right in order to circumvent the harsh Dutch immigration policies against family reunification. This interpretation of "misuse" runs against a long history of European jurisprudence concerning the stimulation of free movement. From this jurisprudence it is clear that the court very quickly assumes that a relationship with European free movement is established when a European citizen has left his country to reside in another member state. Let me just give a quote of EU ruling in the 1992 Surinder Singh case:

"A national of a Member State might be deterred from leaving his country of origin in order to pursue an activity as an employed or self-employed person as envisaged by the Treaty in the territory of another Member State if, on returning to the Member State of which he is a national in order to pursue an activity there as an employed or self-employed person, the conditions of his entry and residence were not at least equivalent to those which he would enjoy under the Treaty or secondary law in the territory of another Member State."
This ruling and it's implications have been upheld in all EU rulings since 1992, including the Akrich case concerning a former illegal alien in the UK who returned to the UK after having lived in Northern Ireland (with his UK wife).

Since Jan Peter Balkenende has come to power however he has consistently tried to influence the European politics on this issue(and EU Court in Luxemburg through the Dutch Advocat General Geelhoed). However subsequent rulings of the EU court in Luxemburg have all been against Dutch and Danish government interpretation of EU law and jurisprudence concering family reunification and free movement.

It's crystal clear from the statement that the Dutch government has not learned from i'ts previous lost cases and is in clear violation of EU law and jurisprudence. The Dutch policy sets up illegal stumbling stones and roadblocks for European citizens to freely enjoy their fundamental rights (article 8 European Treaty of Liberties and Fundamental Rights). In the light of jurisprudence this also means a significant impedement of free movement as an important tool for achieving European integration.

In fact the Dutch immigration paradox can be characterized as xenophobic, anti-islamic and nationalist sentiments in politics and media having consistently translated into harsher measures for family reunification for family of Dutch citizens. While European citizens living in the Netherlands are protected by EU directives, the Dutch Government has consistently misused it's right to discriminate against it's own citizens and has quite boldly chosen to misuse it's disgression and work hard to turn it's own citizens into second or even third class citizens.

Allthough prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende claims to stand on the shoulders of the famous prime minister Abraham Kuyper, this great Dutchman would probably turn around in his tomb. Abraham Kuyper has been justly called the bellringer of the "kleyne luyden" (poor and badly organized reformed christians who throughout the 19th century were not represented in Dutch politics and thus denied their full rights as citizens). Kuyper's project led them to the center of power. I don't see how Balkenende can reconcile his current policy of turning Dutch citizens into third class citizens with the founding principles that can be deducted from Abraham Kuyper's succesfull (antirevolutionary) struggle.

The European court in Luxembourg, in the light of consistent EU rulings, is slowly but surely limiting the Dutch political space on this fundamental subject. In the meantime the trapped cat is still hitting and scratching wildly around. Not a pretty sight.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rev. Rick Warren sinking on his own flagship, HIV/AIDS



 The Evangelical Emperor wears no clothes. 

The promotion of Absinence-Only-till-Heterosexual-Married-Monogamy as the only acceptable HIV/AIDS prevention strategy isn't half of U.S. Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren's HIV/AIDS ministry fraud. He's never said a word about systematic rape, including male on male rape, and thus, HIV, used as weapons of war in D.R. Congo, by the armies of Uganda and Rwanda, which he claims as  "purpose driven nations," in keeping with his evangelical global bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life."

The Evangelical Emperor wears no clothes.
 
I sent a link to this photograph of evangelical Pastor Rick Warren, with this caption, to gug, the anonymous author of Gay Uganda, the blog I turn to first for updates on Uganda's "Hang-the-Gays" Bill," more formally known as the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009., or, the Bahati Bill, for its sponsor, Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati.

Gug responded: "I will volunteer to play the child... the one asking about those vestments, or the absence thereof..."

On 11.13.2009, a KPFA Radio News reporter called me about the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009, and I later posted the broadcast result to the Youtube, with video:




Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rwanda, like Uganda, proposes to incarcerate same sex lovers, and friends who won't fink on them






Rwandan lesbians, Murenzi (left) and Mado (right), came out publicly last month slamming the anti-gay legislation being considered in Rwanda's Parliament.

(That, however, is my rewrite of the Rwanda News Agency (RNA) caption, which reads: "Our rights: Murenzi (left) was born in South Africa, and Mado, 27, is divorced. The two women came out publicly last month slamming the anti-gay legislation due in Parliament.")

The RNA caption seemed to have been written, a bit oddly, to discredit Murenzi as a foreigner, and Mado as a divorced woman.



Uganda has softened its anti-gay legislation, removing the death penalty, due to international outcry, and even Reverend Rick Warren, also under pressure, has come out against it, but not until after it was no longer an issue,

But, none of the international press seem to have noted that similarly harsh anti-gay legislation is now proposed in Uganda's neighbor, Rwanda, which, was Reverend Rick Warren's first purpose-driven nation, before Uganda became his second.

Last summer a study of men who have sex with men, in Rwanda, found, surprise surprise, that they have higher rates of HIV infection; the LGBTI community welcomed that news because at least it acknowledged that they exist in Rwanda. But, Dr. Richard Sezibera, quoted below, said that this study "showed that gays are 'very few.'"

And, the report below says that the Rwandan Health Ministry is stating that "because Rwandan society is not open to homosexuality, gays were going underground – which could complicate the fight against the HIV/AIDS spread." This, however, like the claim that same sex lovers do not exist, in Rwanda, is nothing new.

In a 2005 Global Gayz interview, http://www.globalgayz.com/country/Rwanda/view/RWA/gay-rwanda-2005, Alan Malege said: "With HIV/AIDS in Rwanda, it's terrible. . . it's difficult to say a word on AIDS to these boys because the baseline for the information is not open."

When Global Gays asked Alan Malege, also in 2005, about lesbians in Rwanda, he responded: "Lesbians in Rwanda I may say are 150% underground. You will never know these girls, but the small information I have is that most of them deal with European women."

Last month, four years later, Rwandan lesbians Murenzi and Mado, came out openly, "slamming the anti-gay legislation being considered."

Here's a report from the state run Rwanda News Agency, http://www.rnanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2518&Itemid=1, forwarded by Interim Rwanda Green Party Chairman Frank Habineza. Keep in mind that the RNA is state run, though its writers often manifest conflicting impulses. Stories that appear on the RNA for short periods of time often vanish under what Frank Habineza describes as "big pressure":

Debate on homosexuality not very crucial – government
By RNA Reporter
Friday, 11 December 2009

Kigali: Discussion on homosexuality was hastily thrown out of the just concluded 7th National Dialogue following opposition from several senior officials including the Minister of Health – and the issue did not appear in the final communiqué, RNA reports.

In his intervention on the short debate that arose on homosexuality, Dr. Richard Sezibera said a study that was done on prevalence of homosexuality in relation to HVI/AIDS, showed that gays are “very few”.

“Your Excellency, I think this meeting should not dwell so much on this issue because it is not widespread,” he said. “They are just very few people.”

The debate arose after somebody sent an SMS to the National Dialogue - asking the summit to say something on homosexuality. There is also a bill in parliament which could outlaw homosexuality with lengthy prison sentences. The legislation has not come to debate yet.

Though President Paul Kagame was present, he did not say anything on the issue as the practice had been with the other issues all through the marathon two-day session. He could be seen consulting with the Speaker of the Lower Chamber Rose Mukantabana. Homosexuality was not mentioned anywhere among the 20-plus resolutions read at the end of the summit.

A lawmaker who has attended numerous forums on rights of homosexuals caused laughter when he accused gays of abandoning Rwandan culture.

“I informed them [in those previous meetings] that such a phenomenon should wait and probably be raised after ten or fifteen years,” he said amid loud laughter.

The intervention by the Health Minister prompted the Local Government ministry Permanent Secretary Mr. Eugene Barikana, who is also presiding over the ongoing summit, to describe homosexuals as “few people who have been misled”.

A study released recently by the Health Ministry suggested that because Rwandan society is not open to homosexuality, gays were going underground – which could complicate the fight against the HIV/AIDS spread.

However, Health Minister Sezibera said the “single study” may not be sufficient basis to make conclusions.

For the first time, two women identifying themselves as lesbians found themselves in a media spotlight last month after they came out appearing at a civil society forum discussing the gay situation. Despite pleading with state TV not to be shown, their images were televised. Their interviews demanding for their rights were also aired on several local radio stations.

Rwanda is also under fire from campaign groups – with Amnesty International branding the country as “hostile” to gays in a report released in May.

In March, two female LGBT activists were apparently accused of forging documents and detained for two weeks after attending a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) conference in Mozambique. They were subsequently released two weeks later after prosecution withdrew the case citing lack of evidence.

It was the first time that this information had surfaced as Rwandan society has not seen common occurrence of homosexuality. The names of the allegedly detained lesbians are not public yet.

Underground gay groups such as ‘Little Sisters of Rwanda’ describe the country as “rudely homophobic."

Monday, December 7, 2009

BELGIAN PARATROOPERS TO CRUSH RISING CONGO REBELLION?



Independent investigative journalist and human rights investigator Keith Harmon Snow has made repeated trips to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other parts of Africa.

I spent most of Sunday, 12.06.2009, studying this report by Africa and human rights investigator/reporter Keith Harmon Snow---so as to suggest edits that might make it more comprehensible to Americans unfamiliar with this part of the world, which is most Americans.  I suggested, first of all, maps identifying D.R. Congo, a.k.a., Congo-Kinshasa, in Africa, D.R. Congo's Equateur and Kivu Provinces, the nine nations bordering D.R. Congo, and the Obangui and Congo Rivers so important to this story.

The international corporate press is blocking this story out, or, as ever, publishing vague racist reports of African tribal savagery.  Keith Snow, writing in conscious being, describes instead a serious Congolese rebellion against elites controlling Congo's resources in the interest of foreign powers, and details:  

1) Mai Mai militia from South Kivu Province, on Congo's Eastern border with Rwanda, collaborating with rebels based in the city of Dongo, in Equateur Province, on Congo's border with the Republic of Congo, a.k.a., Congo-Brazzavile; 
2) Rwandan President Paul Kagame's Rwandan Democratic Front (RDF) forces flown across the country, from the East, to Equateur, 
3) Rwandans who went into exile after the Kagame/RPF takeover of 1994 crossing the border from Congo-Brazzaville into Congo-Kinshasa's Equateur Provice to join the Dongo rebellion; and, 
4)  Many Congolese, including defectors from the Congolese Army (FARDC) joining the Dongo and Mai Mai rebels, and,
5) MONUC (UN "Peacekeepers"), AFRICOM (the U.S. Africa Command), forces from the neighboring Central African Republic, and Belgian and/or Belgian trained paratroopers moving into Equateur to put down the rebellion.


 

BELGIAN PARATROOPERS TO CRUSH RISING CONGO REBELLION?
Rwandan Defense Forces Flown into Western Congo Defeated; Kabila Regime Under Siege on Multiple Fronts




With the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) engulfed in bloodshed and terrorism due to the secretive occupation and expansion by the Rwandan regime of Paul Kagame, Congo's President Joseph Kabila has reportedly requested an immediate emergency military intervention from Belgium to crush a growing rebellion sparked by resistance forces in the far western Congo.

Full text at conscious being, http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2009/12/belgian-paratroopers-to-crush-rising-congo-rebellion/.

Rwanda Green Party abandons Nyarugenge district

Frank Habineza, interim Chairman of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda sent this update on the party's attempt to register and convene, so as to participate in Rwanda's August 2010 election.   From the Rwanda News Agency:



 
Green Party abandons Nyarugenge district          
By RNA Reporter      

Friday, 06 November 2009

Kigali: They have not been able to hold their founding congress for four times in Nyarugenge district. The Green Party seems to have decided to shift altogether out of town to neighbouring Gasabo district, as a US Greens' activist visits, RNA reports.

Gasabo district officials confirmed Friday that the troubled Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) wrote to the district November 05 seeking permission to hold the founding conference on November 20.

Friday last week marked the turning point to efforts of the party to hold a meeting, as police order its halt citing insecurity. That was after chaos had erupted leading to several injuries and arrests.

On October 02, the Nyarugenge district mayor Mr. Origène Rutayisire also abruptly sent in a letter halting the meeting in session. He cited miscommunication with party officials, but denied his decision had anything to do with government policy.

Though Mr. Rutayisire has resigned his post over “personal reasons”, the Green Party head Frank Habineza said he has “had enough” in Nyarugenge.

“We want to try Gasabo because Nyarugenge seems to have a lot of forces operating behind the decisions they make,” he said when contacted.

Meanwhile, a senior official from the International Committee of the Green Party of the United States Mr. Bob Marsh is in the country to meet with Mr. Habineza and other party members. Mr. Marsh meets them on Friday afternoon.
Last Updated ( Friday, 06 November 2009 )

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Huckabee's Evangelical "Friends"

Huckabee's former staffer during the Iowa primaries and Evangelical blogger, Joe Carter, wrote the column "limits of compassion" in which he accuses Huckabee of having confused his role as pastor with his role as Governor of Arkansas while giving clemencies. With such Evangelical friends, you don't need ennemies.

The argument has off course been echoed in blogposts, articles and columns across the US these last days. Some opportunists, like Frank Schaeffer, have jumped on this bandwagon.

I am not impressed, while I have followed those primaries closely. Huckabee was not supported by the conservative Republican elite last year. Huckabee was not even supported by the Evangelical establishment during those primaries and clearly he is not supported by these same people today. Marvin Olasky, known for "compassionate conservatism" openly attacked Mike Huckabee during the primaries several times in for instance the article "Uniting Christians and Libertarians": "He needs to show that Christian conservative views and small government views logically go together." Just recently Lynn Vincent, a reporter for worldmag and close friend of Marvin Olasky, has written Sarah Palin's bestseller "Going Rogue". And Marvin Olasky off course continues to write-off Huckabee.

Governor Huckabee has swiftly countered these baseless accusations stating:
Religion had nothing to do with the commutation. It’s been erroneously expressed that my own personal faith or the claims of faith of the inmate factored into my decision. That is simply not true and nothing in the record even suggests it. The reasons were straightforward -- a unanimous recommendation from the board, support from a trial judge and no objections from officials in a case that involved a 16 year old sentenced to a term that was exponentially longer than similar cases and certainly longer than had he been white, upper middle class, and represented by effective counsel who would have clearly objected to the sentencing.


This response will have many conservative talkshow hosts and Evangelical leaders grind their teeth. But it's the realiy in the US and it should be fixed.

Furthermore, it's convincing, while it's consistent with his political message during the primaries. I still admire Mike's "victory speech" on Supertuesday which started with the words:
"Tonight, we are making sure America understands that sometimes one small smooth stone is even more effective than a whole lot of armor...."

Or his headon attack in his essay in Foreign Affairs, blasting "the Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Uganda's gay death penalty proposal shocks the liberal West




Ms Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s development assistance minister says that Sweden will cut development aid to Uganda if it's harsh anti-gay legislation, including the gay death penalty, passes. 


Sweden and any other nation claiming to respect human rights should have cut aid and ties to Uganda long ago, for its domestic human rights abuses and invasions of D.R. Congo, to plunder Congo's mineral wealth--invasions sponsored by the UK, US, and allies.  The gay death penalty now proposed in Uganda has finally inspired Sweden's threat, to cut all aid to Uganda, if it passes, because it shocks the West, and the internationally organized LGBT community, within its liberal framework.  Let's hope that Sweden and other nations may sustain their objections to Uganda's human rights violations, even if the gay death penalty should be defeated, and, as Uganda's 2011 elections approach.



Sweden to cut aid to Uganda over anti-gay law

Rodney Muhumuza
Kampala

Sweden has joined the growing list of countries heaping pressure on Uganda to discard a proposed law that would severely punish homosexuality.

According to comments attributed to Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s development assistance minister, the Swedish government says it would cut aid to Uganda over an anti-gay law they find “appalling”.

“My number two at the ministry, who has direct contact with the Ugandan government, has brought it up,” Ms Carlsson recently told Swedish Radio News. “We’ve talked about it in Uganda, and I’ve also tried to speak to the kind of organisations in Uganda that are the target of the legislation.”  Uganda receives about $50 million in development aid from Sweden annually.

Swedish Radio News reported online, in a November 30 article, that the Scandinavian country would consider discontinuing development aid to Uganda if the law was introduced.

“I’m doubly disappointed, partly because Uganda is a country with which we have had long-term relations and where I thought and hoped we had started to share common values and understanding,” the minister is quoted as saying.

“The law is wretched, but it’s also offensive to see how Ugandans choose to look at how we see things, and the kind of reception we get when we bring up these issues.”

Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, who brought the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), has denied accusations that he is in a hate campaign, insisting he is defending the heterosexual family. Mr Bahati has the tacit support of President Museveni, who has made strong anti-gay statements in recent times. If passed in its current form, the law would create a felony called “aggravated homosexuality”.

Death penalty
Offenders would face death for having sex with a minor or a disabled person, or for infecting their partners with HIV. It would also punish attempted homosexuality as well as the failure of a third party to report homosexual relationships.

Critics of the proposed law say it is not needed, as the Penal Code Act already punishes homosexuality, and that it is based on unproven claims that European gays are clandestinely recruiting in Uganda.

In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s conservative government called the proposed law “vile and hateful”, while Britain’s Gordon Brown raised the issue with President Museveni during the recent Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago.  Ms Carlsson said the law would make it “much more difficult” for Sweden to continue helping Uganda. 

Roel Kuiper kiest voor Balkenende's Nederland

De direkteur van het wetenschappelijk bureau heeft gesproken en de ChristenUnie lijkt ineens om. De softe aanpak, te lief zijn voor migranten moet afgelopen zijn, zo stelt Roel Kuiper onlangs in navolging van Gert Jan Segers in de eerste kamer. De instroom van kanslozen immigranten uit vooral Turkije en Marokko moet drastisch beperkt worden. Daartoe overweegt hij een motie in te dienen.

Dit hing al enige tijd in de lucht. Onder leiding van Peter Blokhuis, voormalig voorzitter van de Stichting Reformatorische Wijsbegeerte, heeft het partijbestuur van de ChristenUnie er doelbewust voor gezorgd dat de Werkgroep Multicultureel vakkundig werd "kalt gestelt". De door het ledencongres aangenomen moties aangaande participatie van migranten werden "vergeten". Hoewel Peter Blokhuis na de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen 2006 stelde dat de "ChristenUnie niet aanslaat bij migranten", werd evaluatie van die gemeenteraadsverkiezingen in het licht van de moties aangaande vertegenwoordiging en participatie door migranten stelselmatig genegeerd door het partijkader.

Het wetenschappelijk instituut van de ChristenUnie, de Groen van Prinsterer Stichting, heeft in eerdere publicaties echter altijd de nuance gezocht in het debat over immigratie en integratie, zie bijvoorbeeld de uitgave "Burger in beeld" van Rienk Janssens of het boek van Roel Kuiper zelf, "Dienstbare Overheid", waarin hij aan het slot de vraag opwerpt hoe representatief het Nederlandse parlement nog is nu burgers communiceren over grenzen heen.

Vanuit diverse richtingen binnen de partij werd bij aanvang van de kabinetsdeelname al hardop getwijfeld in hoeverre de ChristenUnie zichzelf zou blijven. Op allerlei dossiers, vooral ethische, werd daarover twijfel geuit.

Het lijkt er in dit geval op dat conservatieve krachten binnen de ChristenUnie de kabinetsdeelname aan Balkenende 4 aangrijpen om af te rekenen met de verachte softe en genuanceerde aanpak zoals bijvoorbeeld Kars Veling die uitdroeg in zijn verkiezingscampagne.

De dreigende taal (in het laatste artikel van Roel Kuiper en Gert Jan Segers) richting Ad de Bruijne spreekt in dat opzicht boekdelen:
"Hij suggereert dat christelijke politiek zich daarom moet instellen op het compromis, moet afzien van grootse idealen, geen algemeen beroep moet doen op Gods geboden en scheppingsstructuren"

"wij vragen ons wel af of hier niet iets binnensluipt van een onderscheid tussen 'natuur (wereld) en 'genade' (kerk)."

Formuleringen die doelbewust inspelen op onderbuik gevoelens die leven in vooral vrijgemaakte kring, zoals je die aantreft op bijvoorbeeld de website eeninwaarheid. Tegelijkertijd wordt in dat artikel geappeleerd aan conservatieve en nationalistische sentimenten die vooral op de veluwe en in SGP kringen goed aanslaan:
"Onze politiek, ons publieke leven en onze cultuur zijn daarnaast doortrokken van het christendom. Inderdaad verlaten mensen de kerk, maar juist in deze tijd wordt een christelijke inzet in het publieke leven opnieuw voluit serieus genomen."

Tot nu toe lijkt het door mij ook toen al voorspelde doemscenario bewaarheid toen Kars Veling het veld moest ruimen (c.q. aan de dijk gezet werd nadat in het elfde uur de conservatieve `old boys` Knevel, van Middelkoop en Ouweneel hem een mes in de rug staken): Rouvoet c.s. laten hun ware gezicht zien: Christelijke politiek gaat over moraal. Denk maar aan het artikel van Rouvoet getiteld: "Tegen het relativisme de waarheid". Of het boek van Roel Kuiper "moreel kapitaal". Deze heren zijn er op uit om van de ChristenUnie vooral een evangelical conservatief machtsblok met theocratische trekjes te maken.

De reformatorische wijsbegeerte pretendeert steeds het bindweefsel te zijn van de christelijke politiek. In werkelijkheid is de relatie tussen Christelijke politiek en reformatorische wijsbegeerte er vooral één van netwerken van mannen in pakken die het met elkaar eens zijn, een soort ´oldboys network´, de relatie met antirevolutionaire uitgangspunten is al lang achter de horizon verdwenen. De gereformeerde theologie en prediking geloven ze wel, ze zijn op zoek naar iets nieuws, de "evangelische utopisten" zijn op zoek naar "diepere spirituele verbondenheid". En kom vooral niet aan hun `buddy` Balkenende.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Food for Obama's wars: troops, oil, natural gas, pipelines, and dollars



After months of endless "reports are that he will increase troops. . . " reports, Barack Obama has finally officially announced that he will send another 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, as reported by the Associated Press, the New York Times, and CNN.

The American anti-war movement, such as it is at this point, is, needless to say, alarmed, although Obama repeated, throughout his campaign, that we shouldn't have gone into Iraq, not because it was wrong, but, because we "hadn't finished the job in Afghanistan."

Obama has officially announced that 30,000 more troops will go to Afghanistan, (minus the mercenaries), but, in mid-October, he had already ordered 13,000 more U.S. troops, unofficially, and "unannounced," as reported in the Washington Post.

Why?  Heroin.   Oil.  Natural gas.  Pipelines and transport corridors for more oil and natural gas, and, no doubt, heroin.   More U.S. dollars, borrowed from the Chinese, to secure more oil and gas, and perpetuate the military industrial complex, which needs lots of dollars, and oil and gas, to keep fighting, and manufacturing, for war. 


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why did the Commonwealth accept Rwanda?


Commonwealth leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government 
meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 11.28.2009.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government, meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 11. 28.2009, admitted Rwanda to the Commonwealth, despite the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative's objections to Rwanda's miserable human rights record, compromised courts, compromised elections, and repeated invasions to loot the mineral wealth of neighboring D.R. Congo, objections reported in the London Guardian and many other sources.


On 11.26.2009, on the BBC's Have Your Say, Interim Rwandan Democratic Green Party President Frank Habineza and a spokesperson for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)  argued that the Commonwealth should not consider Rwanda's application unless and until Rwanda's upcoming election, in August 2010, is free and fair.


Professor Yash Pai Ghai, a Kenyan legal expert, wrote, in a report for the CHRI:

"We believe that overwhelming evidence, conveniently ignored by leading Commonwealth states, demonstrates that the government of Rwanda is not sufficiently committed to the protection of human rights and to democracy." 

But, that wasn't enough to block acceptance of Rwanda's application this year. 

Nor did Commonwealth leaders question Rwanda's pending gay imprisonment legislation, which makes the sincerity of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Prime Minister Gordon' Brown's reported "fury" over neighboring Uganda's pending gay death penalty highly doubtful.

This makes it even less likely that Uganda will be expelled from the Commonwealth, despite international outcry, if its gay death penalty bill passes, as expected.

Indeed, as reported on Slap Upside the Head, a gay blog in the U.S., Prime Ministers Harper and Brown expressed their "fury" over Uganda's gay death penalty by reproducing a U.S. government press release, much of it word for word:


Slap Upside the Head

So why did the Commonwealth, and, most of all, Britain and Canada, ignore everything they claim to stand for---human rights, democracy, secure borders, and the rule of law---to champion Rwanda, the African darling of English speaking politicians and CEOS?

Because Rwanda has served the interests of the U.S., Britain, and Canada, and their allies, since the mass slaughter known as the Rwanda Genocide of 1994, during which Rwandan exile Paul Kagame led the Rwandan Patriotic Front into Rwanda, from neighboring, English-speaking, Uganda, to seize power.   Rwanda is re-establishing diplomatic ties with France, and the Commonwealth's French equivalent, La Francophonie, but English has become the official language of Rwanda, even though most Rwandans speak only Kinyarwanda and French.   Rwandan President Paul Kagame, was Yoweri Museveni's former intelligence and otherUganda's official language, and UThe U.S. and its allies use Rwanda and its proxy army to secure their interests in the region, which include:


--natural gas reserves,  an estimated $20 billion worth, in Lake Kivu, on the border of Rwanda and D.R. Congo,

--the unparalleled mineral wealth of Eastern D.R. Congo, including fossil fuels, uranium, coltan, cassiterite, diamonds, and, the world's cobalt reserves, in the Katanga Copper Belt.



Cynthia McKinney announces EndUsWars.org and a demonstration against escalation in Afghanistan



Former Georgia Congresswoman and 2008 U.S. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney has  called for a demonstration against escalation of the Afghanistan War outside the White House in Washington D.C. on 12.12.2009.

On 10.29.2009, the Washington Post reported that President Barack Obama already has 68,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan, twice the number when Bush left office.

On November 29, 2009, Cynthia McKinney, former Georgia Congresswoman and the Green Party U.S.'s 2008 presidential candidate, announced a new website, EndUSWars.org, and, an emergency rally to "Stop the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Escalation of the Afghanistan War," on Saturday, December 12, 2009,  11:00 am - 4:00 pm, at Lafayette Square, the White House, Washington D.C.   The announcement featured Jordan Page's music video, "Listen":


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Would someone please tell Paul Kagame that Greens are nonviolent?

by Ann Garrison
 


Rwandan President Paul Kagame can't seem to understand that peace/nonviolence is one of the 10 key values of the Rwanda Democratic Green Party, as it is of Green Parties all over the world.


The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda's fourth attempt to convene, so as to participate in Rwanda's 2010 elections, ended in violence, chaos, and arrests.  Rwandan authorities now insist that the Rwanda Greens acknowledge that they sabotaged their own convention, and, promise not to do anything so violent to themselves again, before granting them a police permit for their fifth attempt to convene?


Would somebody please remind Paul Kagame and his government that the Global Green Party is nonviolent?  That nonviolence is one of the Rwanda Greens 10 key values, that it's one of the Global Green Parties 10 key values all over the world?    

And that this makes his argument that he can't let the Rwanda Greens convene in Kigali, for fear that they might do violence to one another, even sillier?   

It's such a silly argument that it might be funny, if most Rwandans didn't evidence signs of malnourishment, while surviving on one meal a day, despite living on some of the richest agricultural land on earth.  And, if participating in Rwanda's 2010 election weren't for many Rwandans, an issue of survival as much as self determination.  




 Rwandan President Paul Kagame

Green Party Woes Continue, As Police Halt Conference Again
BY GODWIN AGABA
   
Thursday, 26 November 2009    

President Kagame Rwanda National Police on Monday, directed Rwanda Green party officials not to proceed with next scheduled conference that was to take place this week, citing divisionism within the party.

According to correspondences obtained by 256news.com, the party has failed to convince police that they will be no chaos again, sates the police latter of 23, November 2009, no 2527/NP/EKG/SGP/BK/09,and signed by commissioner general of police, Brig. General Emanuel K.Gasana.

However Frank Habineza the interim party president said outsiders who are not party members sparked the chaos.

The Green Party said those who are behind the chaos and who started it as Kimenyi Claude who resides in Nyamirambo suburb and is the president of Rwanda money changers and he is former RDF officer and another one called Kayisire Emmanuel a broker operating in Gasabo district also former police operative, according to green party’s letter to police dated 23, November 2009.

Green party officials said that, Kimenyi threw a chair at the seated crowd hitting a woman as he shouted repeatedly “FPR oyee” – in support of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front.

Rwandan Police escalate harasssment of Rwanda Greens


 by Ann Garrison


Frank Habineza, interim President of the Rwanda Green Party, forwarded this Rwanda News Agency (RNA) report, from Kigali, Rwanda's capitol, on 11.24.2009.   The Rwanda Greens fourth attempt to convene in Kigali ended in violence and arrests, and, now Rwanda Police will not grant them the certificate they need for a fifth attempt to convene in Gasabo District, Kigali.  I fear for the Rwanda Greens, the other political parties attempting to register and participate in Rwanda's 2010 elections, and the Rwandan people. 






  Police chief Brig Emmanuel Gasana (left) and Green Party leader Mr. Frank Habineza (right): The Police boss wants names of the trouble-causers from the Green Party


Police refuses to give Green Party crucial document        
By RNA Reporter      
Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Police chief Brig Emmanuel Gasana (right) and Green Party leader Mr. Frank Habineza: The Police boss wants names of the trouble-causers from the Green Party
Kigali: 

Gasabo district cannot allow the controversial Green Party space on its territory unless it has a Police Certificate indicating they will “not cause trouble again," but now the Police also says it cannot avail that document at the moment, RNA reports.

Police Commissioner-General, Brig Emmanuel Gasana instead informed the Green Party yesterday that he does not intend to grant them the clearance “because investigations are still ongoing” on the chaos that erupted on October 30, as the party conference got underway.

“I take this opportunity to request that if you have any information on the people who caused the chaos, indicating that they were not your members, then you should avail that to the National Police, because those arrested at St. Paul turned out to be innocent saying they had instead been hit with chairs in the meeting you were presiding,” the new police chief writes.

The chaos erupted in the founding conference on the morning of that October day at the Diocesan hall St. Paul in Nyarugenge district. The trouble ridden party then decided to ask neighbouring Gasabo district for space to hold another conference, at which they hope to finalise their registration dossier.

The Green Party leaders had planned to hold the conference in Gasabo on November 20, just a week before the Heads of State Commonwealth summit due this weekend in Trinidad and Tobago. President Kagame is expected to lead a high-level government delegation to the event where Rwanda could be allowed into the 53-nation block.

However, the embattled Mayor of Gasabo district, Ms. Nyinawagaga Claudine, who has also resigned over other issues, declined to offer the space demanding for the police clearance. She said the document would give her assurances that the same trouble would not be repeated in her administrative area.

This means that the Green Party has been put to task to prove that the chaos in which several people were seriously injured was not caused by them. In a response letter to the Police chief, Green Party officials have sent him two names of people it alleges where behind the troubles.

The individuals whose names have been submitted to the Police Commissioner-General are Mr. Kimenyi Claude, from Nyamurambo in Nyarugenge district; and Mr. Kayisire Emmanuel, from Kimironko in Gasabo district. 

Mr. Kimenyi, according to the Green Party is a money-changer in Kigali, and Mr. Kayisire is a Blocker, also here in Kigali.

The Green Party also seems to be desperately trying to move fast so it can have the founding conference which has been postponed for five times. In the correspondence to the Police Chief, party leaders say the situation which happened at St. Paul hall has been “resolved” because those who caused it are out free, and those who were injured have been treated.

“… that is why I am requesting you that you accept to give us the clearance, such that in the next congress we will collaborate with you especially on security,” they write in the letter sent Tuesday. 

It was not clear by press time, when the Police Commissioner-General will respond.



Monday, November 23, 2009

Rwanda's Civil Society Coalition opposes new anti-gay law




The international LGBT human rights movement would do well to ask why Rwanda and Uganda, the U.S.A.'s closest allies in Africa, are so close to passing the harshest anti-gay legislation in Africa.


Rwanda, like Uganda, is now considering a new anti-gay law.  Though not as cruel as Uganda's, which proposes the death penalty for acts labeled "aggravated homosexuality," Rwanda's proposed law states that:  

“Any person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex to sexual relations or any sexual practice, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years and a fine ranging from 200,000 to 1,000,000 Rwanda Francs.” 

Interim Rwanda Green Party leader Frank Habineza forwarded this report, from the state run Rwanda News Agency (RNA):



 

 Rwanda Parliament, Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda’s Civil Society Protests Anti-Gay Law
BY GODWIN AGABA
 
Monday, 23 November 2009    


The Civil Society Coalition in Rwanda has submitted a concept paper to the Rwanda national parliament with their position on the rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bi- sexual, Trans-gender and Inter-sexual ( LGBTTI ) rights and protection of sexual minorities.


According to their press release, the safety and freedoms of LGBTTI as well as sex workers in Rwanda are seriously undermined. The civil society coalition demands that the penal code be promulgated in its current draft form.


The newly proposed article 217 provides that, “Any person who practices, encourages or sensitizes people of the same sex to sexual relations or any sexual practice, shall be liable to a term of imprisonment ranging from five to ten years and a fine ranging from two 200, 000 to 1,000,000 Rwanda Francs.”


Article 221 on sex workers stipulates, “Any person who practices the profession of prostitution shall be liable for a term of imprisonment ranging from six months to three years and a fine ranging from fifty thousands to five hundred thousand Rwanda Francs.”


”In Rwanda, sex workers are a direct consequence of the social-economic dynamics of our country. They deserve protection and special care, not be criminalized,” Aimable Mwananawe, the chairman of Rwanda NGO forum and a member of the coalition told 256news.com on the sidelines of the press conference.


According to the press release from the coalition, a pragmatic way of dealing with the sex worker issue has been and will continue to be “to identify them, gather them into cooperatives and other organized groupings for targeted treatment, vocational training and income generating activities but criminalizing them will be counterproductive to achieving these outcomes and would be contrary to human rights as articulated in the Rwanda Constitution and in the international human rights instruments to which Rwanda is signatory.”


The coalition requested the support of all stakeholders including the media to ensure that the Rwandan government upholds its Constitutional commitment to ensure equality before the law of all citizens.


At the press conference, two girls and a boy shocked journalists when they confessed that they promote and they are lesbians and homos.


The press conference was organized by the Rwanda NGO forum with the aim of supporting the decriminalization of LBGTs and sex work in the draft penal code.


In Uganda, a tougher anti-gay Bill is now in parliament which stipulates harsh penalties like death and life imprisonment for certain offences related to homosexuality.

Dutch Government Threatens Rembrandt Expert

Balkenende has been in power since the 2001 elections. His main achievement is ever stricter laws against immigrants. One of the tools to close the borders for immigrants has been the "integration law". Last week the story broke that the Rembrandt Expert, Jonathan Bikker, from Canada has received a threatening letter stating that he has to follow this integration course or face grave consequences. He explains in the article that he got his PhD at the University of Utrecht and that he has a European partner. Especially this last fact should have been sufficient for anyone who is no stranger in immigration legislation in Europe. But most Dutch Government officials, encouraged by the (social democrat) ministers of integration and immigration, consistently refuse to correctly implement those laws. Jonathan Bikker with clear anger in his voice:
''Ik wil hier vanaf. Het kost me veel kopzorg en vrije dagen. U moet me gewoon m'n werk laten doen, daarvoor ben ik in Nederland.''
which can be translated as "I want to get this of my back, it costs me a lot of worries and time, U should just let me do my job, that's what I am here for in the Netherlands".

Balkende consistently portrays himself as a moderate, but in fact Dutch Government policies tell a very different story. The total lack of respect for immigrants is rampant in society, at work and in political parties. Bashing immigrants as "backward trash" and talking about immigrants living in the poor neighbourhoods of the big cities as a multicultural disaster has not stopped since. Most large newspapers and all political parties share these statements.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Uganda's gay death penalty bill a distraction


The City of San Francisco, California, is united behind the right to love whom you love, how you love, if by nothing else.  This is international gay rights hero Harvey Milk's town; Harvey's bust graces the entrance to the City's legislative chambers and the Harvey Milk Democratic Club is one of the most influential here.

So, some San Franciscans have now turned their attention to Uganda, to protest its gay nightmare legislative proposal, which includes the death penalty for a list of offenses labeled "aggravated homosexuality."  Like other human rights activists around the world, they're responding to action alerts from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, even though Central Africa is rarely on the radar screen out here on the Western edge of the Pacific, in a city now only 3.5% African American, with immigrant populations largely from Asia and Latin America.

I was glad to be able to share "Bahati's Bill, a convenient distraction for Uganda's government," a  Pambazuka News article, which gives Uganda's nightmarish legislative proposal a Ugandan and African context.    I hope that some will read it and understand that we need to protest not only the proposed law, in Uganda, but also the role of U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-based corporations, oil, and AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, in "creating the conditions keeping so many Ugandans in poverty. . .," and thus, creating a need to scapegoat same sex lovers.

Bahati’s bill: A convenient distraction for Uganda's government


  
"As Ugandan MP David Bahati spearheads a campaign around the adoption of the homophobic 'Bahati's bill', Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe and Frank Mugisha call for an unwavering rejection of a piece of legislation entirely against the interests of wider Ugandan society.  With strong suspicions of Bahati's financial backing by extreme-right Christian groups in the US, the bill seeks not only to establish draconian punishments for homosexual acts but also to actively encourage Ugandans to snoop on one another indefinitely for the supposed good of the nation. If homophobes like Bahati were really worried about 'protecting the traditional family', Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe and Mugisha argue, they'd concern themselves with tackling the conditions keeping so many Ugandans in poverty, rather than making scapegoats of homosexual people. The authors conclude that with an election approaching in 2011, the momentum behind the bill smacks of a none-too-subtle attempt to divert attention away from Uganda's true issues."


See also GayUganda, an exquisitely written blog, Sexual Minorities of Uganda SMUG, and,  Resist AFRICOM:


Friday, November 20, 2009

Rwanda Green Party activists claim illegal detention



Rwanda Green Party members waited outside a meeting hall in Kigali, on 10.30.2009, to join the party's founding convention.  Saboteurs disrupted the gathering, which was then shut down by police.  Today's Rwandan News Agency reports that eight Rwanda Greens charge that they were illegally arrested and detained during the next week.


by Ann Garrison


The Rwandan News Agency (RNA) published this report, "Green Party activists claim illegal detention, petition President," on the RNA website, on 11.20.2009.  To read it there, one must register on the RNA website.  

Some RNA reporters and editors are clearly determined to cover the story of the Rwanda Green Party's struggle to emerge, though some of their reports have become unavailable after publication.  This story appeared, on the RNA site's "most popular" list, on its publication date, 11.20.2009:









Green Party activists claim illegal detention, petition President        
By RNA Reporters      
Friday, 20 November 2009
Kigali: The scheduled founding conference of the troubled Green Party did not take place Friday as the group wait for a Police certificate from the new Commissioner-General, Brig. Emmanuel Gasana. But not without new allegations, RNA reports.

A man by the names Gaston Bihibindi is claiming that he was detained for three days without food at the magnificent multi-million dollar Ministry of Defense building known locally as “Pentagon”. Mr. Bihibindi is not the only one accusing unknown individuals driving tinted double cabin Toyota pickup trucks of snatching them from their homes or as they walked.

The local weekly UMUSESO details ordeals of eight people identifying themselves as Green Party activists, who were apparently arrested on October 30 after the failed conference which police halted citing insecurity. The men were apparently detained at an infamous but not gazetted facility in Kimironko, an outskirt of Kigali.

The seemingly traumatized Mr. Bihibindi claims that on Sunday November 15 at around 18hours, he was lured into a blue and tinted double-cabin track by two men who asked him to direct them to a place where somebody was selling a house and land. The two men found him walking in Kanombe, an area where the International airport is situated, and where he lives.

“I told them that I have no idea about whoever is selling land or house but they insisted I should just get into the car to help them get around the place since I knew it very well,” narrates Bihibindi.

“But when I got into the back seat of the double-cabin, I started feeling insecure and scared after I saw a pistol (gun) placed in front of the other passenger.”

The car drove without stopping to the building which housed the former Rwanda Export and Investment Promotion Agency (RIEPA) in Kimihurura. “Along the way, I asked where we were going, but they told me there is no problem as they needed me to help them with something,” narrates Bihibindi. There was no more conversation.

At this building known here as ‘Kabindi’, the men handed him to another man who invited Bihibindi inside and told to sit in a room. Several men came into the room asking him questions. “One of the men kicked me as he talked to me like he knew very who I was,” claims Bihibindi.

All the people who interrogated him were apparently accusing the seemingly youthful former soldier of mobilizing demobilized soldiers to join the Green Party, which he admits to have done in the interview. “The one who kicked me accused me of joining the party for money because of my stomach,” he said.

During the October 30 failed conference, Bihibindi says he was in charge of protocol and is said to be one of the few strong activists of the controversial group. Green Party Frank Habineza is now in the spotlight for allegedly aiding a former minister to flee the country – which he denies.

After several hours at the Kabindi building, the same car with the same occupants returned and moved Bihibindi to the Pentagon building which is just in sight of Kabindi. He was taken to the basement of the Pentagon building where he spent the night with other detained people, who he describes as “looking like soldiers”.

On the Morning of Monday November 16, all the detainees were given bread and milk. This would be the end of the meals until Wednesday afternoon on November 19. “We never had anything else to eat for all that time,” he affirms.

However, what he also affirmed to RNA is that he was not tortured. “All my interrogators treated me well even when they were asking me questions,” he says. “The only problem I have with the whole situation is how could I be kept for all this time without being taken to court or even informed of what I was held for?”

On Wednesday, in the afternoon, a man Bihibindi indentifies as a “Major” came in to speak to him about his ordeal. “He ordered that I be released immediately but also ordered me not to tell anybody about what had happened,” he tells RNA in a soft tone, as he sat back.

Bihibindi says he walked out of the Pentagon building and headed straight home. The next stop was informing Green Party leaders of what happened to him because they had also been looking for him without any trace.

“I don’t know what will happen next. If I can be picked and taken away without anyone noticing, how sure can I be for my security anymore? I am defying the order to keep quiet because I am scared anything could happen,” he says.

“All I am requesting is protection from President Kagame as the leader of this country because people might be doing this without his knowledge.”

Meanwhile, the conference planned for November 20, a date which was communicated to Gasabo district and not Nyarugenge this time for permission, is not taking place today.  

The embattled former Mayor of Gasabo district Ms. Nyinawagaga Claudine requested that the party provides a police certificate that they will not cause more trouble in her locality like it had been earlier in Nyarugenge.

However, the new police Commissioner-General, Brig. Emmanuel Gasana has not responded to a letter wrote last week for the requested certificate. And the Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karugarama also wrote to the party that they should solicit for a district Notaire because the Ministry’s Notaire would not be available today.

This will be the fifth time the group has not been able to hold the conference, at which they hoped to have nomination signatures of hundreds of their members verified – as part of the dossier the party plans to submit to the Ministry of Local Government for registration.

Party officials say they had deliberately planned to hold the conference today, a few days to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit due at the end of next week, where Rwanda’s application to join the block will be assessed.

President Kagame is expected to head a strong delegation to Trinidad and Tobago for the summit, at which, from all available indications, will unanimously accept Rwanda as the 54th member.


I reported on the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative group's objections to admitting Rwanda to the Commonwealth, on Colored Opinions, and, on the U.S. website, the OpEdNews.