Thursday, July 8, 2010

No "need to deny or apologise for trying to kill a terrorist"

According to Charles Onyango-Obbo, the managing editor for convergence and new products at the Nation Media Group in Kenya: 
" The Kigali government accuses Kayumba of terrorism (linking him to the FDLR). In global comparison, Kayumba and Karegyeya are terrorists like Osama Bin Laden. It is the stated policy of the US government to find Bin Laden and, if he cannot be captured alive, kill him. Therefore, the government in Kigali would not need to deny or apologise for trying to kill a terrorist."
Rwanda's government has consistently accused it's "ennemies" of links to the FDLR. For example: Robert Krueger  (respected gentleman from Texas) and Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda hero) have been accused  in 2008 of sending arms to the FDLR by Rwanda's Ambassador to the US. Claims that have obviously not  been substantiated since.

Louise Mushikiwabo was information minister at least since 2007 when she wrote:
`For those who do not know much about Rwanda's history of the last 40 years, it is the likes of Rusesabagina who brought Rwanda close to extinction --men/women who talk from both sides of their mouthes, political opportunists whose ambition comes before the lives of their countrypeople. Rusesabagina must be stopped.`

"Being stopped" apparently meant "create false stories of links between Rusesabagina, Krueger and the FDLR". Louise Mushikiwabo has not apologized or retracted these false claims which makes herself one of those  " political opportunists whose ambition comes before the lives of their countrypeople".

Today Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda's Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs made the following  broad statement :
"Rwanda is a country that has enemies. That is not a secret - that are trying to discredit this country before elections, and to create trouble,"
In the context of this transparent public relations effort of linking political opponents to the FDLR, a listed terrorist organisation, the regime in Kigali is consistently working on it's strategy to some day be able toclaim it had  no "need to deny or apologise for trying to kill a terrorist"

Using false accusations of links to a terrorist organsations in an ongoing public relations effort  to stay in power is not only irresponsable, it's counterproductive. In february Richard Durbin, Senator from Illinois (D) suggested

"Rwanda should publish the names of FDLR fighters accused of violating human rights."
Leadership is more then tactics and public relations. Leadership is grabbing a hand extended in reconciliation and listening carefully when humble advice is given, like that from the above mentioned respected gentleman from Illinois. If this election cycle in Rwanda was a test of "leadership", not just the tragic figure of Paul Kagame has failed, but especially his advisers. People like Louise Mushikiwabo and Michael Fairbanks.

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