Wednesday, December 29, 2010

South Africa, Congo And Rwanda In Post Cold War Context

Andrew Mwenda's article "South Africa and Rwanda: tale of majority failure and minority success":  ignores the global context of the Rwanda genocide and the South African end of apartheid. As Tony Gambino points out on Jason Stearns' blog Congo Siasa:

"during the Cold War, US foreign policy globally had clear priorities. Those priorities led the US to support the pro-West dictator, Mobutu. That clear lens, however, disappeared with the end of the Cold War in 1990."
Mobutu was helping Savimbi in Angola and Nelson Mandela's ANC probably hated Mobutu See See Seko more then any other African on the continent. We know Rwanda and Burundi were Congolese satelite states at the time. I still believe it was not only a strategic mistake by the former President of Zaïre to accept to negotiate with Joseph Kabila, but it neared political suicide to invite possibly his biggest ennemy on the continent as "mediator" (I like the song on that blog) and to have this picture taken.

If Andrew Mwenda ,focusing on democratic development, compares South Africa to Rwanda then let me ask a very simple question: What happened to the "Rwandan context" which has been the central argument used last year in defense of Kagame by his supporters in the US and Europe.

This "Rwandan narrative" was used to justify the fact that Kagame was held to lower standards concerning democracy and human rights during the last election cycle. He and his dogs could kill opponents and journalists, start smear campaigns against Victoire Ingabire through his newspaper The New Times, send assassins to Johannesburg (Gauteng) and still Norah Mallaney and Gaston Ain at the NDI would defend the regime:

""Rwanda’s civil society is also an exception to more classic concepts of “civil society.” It does not fit a freely vocal, oppositional model nor does it fit with spaces for public interaction in government policy decisions"
Has this "Rwandan context" now spread to South Africa?

Andrew Mwenda is smart to position himself as critical of the ANC in South Africa. Isn't it great to finally find a black African that says things like this, some folks in the US probably think when they read it.  Probaby one of the reasons his articles get published on Booker Rising (blog claiming to be conservative). In Dutch we say: "the hand of a child is easily filled.". Kagame's RPF, by killing political opponents has betrayed Martin Luther's Christmas sermon basic rule:
"if we are to have peace in the world, men and nations must embrace the nonviolent affirmation that ends and means must cohere."

The myths have to be deconstructedLet's continue deconstructing myths, but apparently not only concerning Rwanda.

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