Friday, December 31, 2010

Rwandan Opposition Leaders' Holidays in Max Security Prison


The Kagame regime arrested opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in Kigali, Rwanda, 15 days after the release of the U.N. report documenting the regime’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocidal massacres of civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she has remained behind bars ever since.


Rwandan opposition leader and presidential candidate Bernard Ntaganda was arrested on June 24 before he could leave his home to protest exclusion from Rwanda’s presidential election and has been behind bars in Kigali’s 1930 maximum security prison since. In May, Ntaganda told KMEC Radio-Mendocino that the real problem in Rwanda is not between Hutu and Tutsi but between rich and poor.


Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and Bernard Ntaganda, two of the three presidential candidates who attempted to run against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame this year, spent their holidays in a maximum security prison in Kigali, Rwanda.

Read more at the San Francisco Bay View.

Tony Blair Believes In Kagame

Tony Blair once again preaches the Rwanda gospel to his believers:
"When they get upset about any form of politics that leaches at all into ethnic rallying cries, it's for a reason,"
The  two main theories in explaning the great lakes wars are either "genocide" or "minerals". Both camps have digged in pretty deep and have been waging allmost religious wars in western newspapers and new media.
In my opinion both views are insufficient to explain the dynamics of the conflict.

Those who, like Tony Blair, focus just on the genocide, tend to ignore the fact that the RPF and it's Ugandan commander Paul Kagame, invaded Rwanda in 1990. In an interview with Wouter Bos, former leader of the Dutch Labour Party, Tony quoted a passage of his recent book which also centered on his very limited interpretation of great lakes history.

On the other hand, those who focus on minerals tend to ignore the fact that the US did not need Mobutu See See Seko anymore when the cold war ended (his strategic importance was lost). They also ignore the fact that Mobutu See See Seko had made himself a lot of ennemies in Africa during the cold war, especially the South African ANC and Dos Santos of Angola.


Let me give Tony Blair a piece of advice in order to start engaging the believers from the other side. He should work on two main aspects of his recurrent theme:

First of all, the fact that Tony Blair stays silent on the mapping report shows that he is unwilling to search for common ground with his critics. The mapping report is not some controversial document. It's facts. Paul Kagame is a war criminal and possible guilty of genocide on hundreds of thousands of unarmed refugees in Zaïre. Tony Blair should include the mapping report in his next article.


Secondly, Tony Blair (by stressing his admiration for the new African leaders) shows no respect whatsoever for previous African leaders like Mobutu See See Seko who was a faithfull ally of the west and it's cold war interests in Africa. Mobutu did not deserve a knife in the back when they suddenly no longer needed his service. Both the US and the UK have some serious selfreflection to do concerning this lack of policy consistency. Tony Blair should make clear African leaders of the past deserve respect.


.

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.

Rwanda, New Media, and the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper



U.S. AFRICOM Commander William "Kip" Ward with 
Rwandan General James Kabarebe in Rwanda.


On December 27th, the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper published my editorial "Obama take heed; French judge files charges against Kagame allies."    Comments are interesting as ever, including:

1)  A complaint that my editorial was also published on the website of AfrobeatRadio.net, the website of AfrobeatRadio, a weekly radio hour on WBAI-New York City, one of the five metropolitan stations within the Pacifica Radio Network.

2)  An argument that there is an alternative viewpoint, expressed in U.S. Army news.

Many writers consider themselves above responding to those who comment on their work, but I've engaged with the Rwandan readers of the SF Bay View throughout the past year:



Sagakiga's avatar
Sagakiga· 16 hours ago
While you keep repeating yourself with such articles it tends to be boring and waste of tax payers money to spread wrong opinions. Just the same article ont this link http://afrobeatradio.net/2010/12/27/obama-take-he....

Ma point is Rwanda is a Country for Rwandan Citzen ready to walk the talk and so people will always talk ,write inconsistent articles cover them with a nice picture like US Commander Kip meeting the Rwandan General. There are 2 different stories http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/04/23/20181-ward-i...
1 reply · active less than 1 minute ago
Words like "boring" and "wrong" do not persuade; they are simply adjectives. I can use them too. You are boring and wrong. Does that persuade or prove anything?

And, I am wasting tax payers money? That's choice. There is no tax payers' money coming to me or to the SF Bay View. I think you are confusing the SF Bay View with Rwanda's "The New Times, Government Supporting Daily," and confusing me with its scribes Edmund Kagire, Edwin Musoni, or perhaps Sunny Ntayomba.

As to this article also appearing on AfrobeatRadio, a weekly radio show on WBAI-New York CIty:

Have you failed to notice that most all newspapers and newspaper websites in the U.S.A. are the same now, that they are all running the Associated Press wire stories on most international stories? The SF Bay View has earned a high Google page rank in part because it consistently publishes unique content, every day. My reporting and analysis occasionally appears on two or three outlets and may be posted to other sites and Yahoo lists.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gatsimbazi Case

Kagame does not want journalist Gatsimbazi to talk with foreign organisations and embassies about the the lack of press freedom:
"REFO observed that Gatsimbazi, even though there were genuine concerns, should have not disregarded other levels where the issue would have been handled like the forum itself, the Media High Council (MHC) or the Association of Rwandan Journalists (ARJ) before addressing it with embassies and foreign organizations."
I hope Gatsimbazi and CPJ will carefully read the statements by the Presidential security advisor and make a clear statement concerning the slanderous allegations by this Richard Rutatina who apparently thinks he is  God in Rwanda. The smear campaign by Kagame's dogs against Gatsimbazi clearly was not stopped by the CPJ effort. Richard Rutatina maintains his false claims.

Gatsimbazi:
"Cananda should put pressure on Rwanda to respect free press"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Radioactive spill in Arlit, Niger, home to "significant quantities of uranium from Africa"

French physicist and anti-nuclear activist Bruno Chareyron
took this photograph of chidren in Arlit, Niger, who often lay
near garbage contaminated by France-Areva's uranium
mine there.
Arlit, Niger, in the Sahara Desert, surfaced in international news in January 2003, when George W. Bush, in his State of the Union Address, said what came to be known as "the sixteen words," which became a central pretext for the Iraq War:

“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

At the time, no one noted that France had used its former colony, Niger, as its national uranium mine, ever since the conclusion of World War II, as it developed its nuclear power and weapons industries, or that it had severely contaminated Niger, home of the legendary Touareg nomads, in the process.

This week there's new of yet another radioactive waste spill in Arlit, that has contaminated 2 hectares, or, roughly five acres, of land in Arlit, since December 11th, 2010.


Bloomberg

Areva Uranium Mine in Niger Has Waste Spill, Greenpeace Says

Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- At least 200,000 cubic liters of radioactive waste has leaked at the Areva SA-operated Somair uranium mine in NigerGreenpeace said today in an e-mailed statement.
"Almoustapha Alhacen who carried out an inspection of the spill for NGO Aghir in'Man confirmed to Greenpeace that two hectares have been contaminated by the spill since Dec. 11," Greenpeace said.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/12/18/bloomberg1376-LDMEY66K50XS01-37Q8NVU55V7GF6BDR807O9GC28.DTL#ixzz18wVeGaHe

Kagame's Ongoing Propaganda Effort

Over the last year we have often heard the claim, in different forms, that critics of Paul Kagame "don't know the country".

FREDERICK GOLOOBA-MUTEBI wrote an article last week claiming "Kagame has dumbfounded his ennemies and critics" and writes:
"Besides power sharing designed to end yesterday’s politics of exclusion, the dialogue is one of those features of Rwanda’s governance that make it truly unique in the Great Lakes region.
It is also one of the key features of Rwanda that baffle outsiders, and to which commentators, especially those with interest in issues of political space and inclusivity, pay little, if any, attention"
 FREDERICK GOLOOBA-MUTEBI's article gives us the strong impression Kagame does not only sponsor the Kagame cup, but might very well be sponsoring several journalists in east africa to twist the truth concerning the political reality in Rwanda. Especially this quote is telling:
 "In many ways, this meeting poses questions for critics whose preoccupations rotate around issues of political space and inclusivity, and freedom of expression.
There is no country in this region and possibly in the world, where citizens are given the opportunity to engage in conversation with their leaders and to vet their performance on this scale"
You don't need to be a fan of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza's UDF Inkingi to understand that this statement is completely false. Even the Dutch government, which helped Kagame rigg the elections, acknowledges the fact that Rwanda does not have sufficient respect for democratic values, freedom of speech and human rights.

Kagame's RPF propaganda effort through journalists like those at  Andrew Mwenda's "indepedent" , through FREDERICK GOLOOBA-MUTEBI, through his sponsorship of the Kagame Cup, through the film "earth made of glass" by Deborah Scranton (focused on a US audience), the recent visit of Harvard students to Rwanda organized by an RPF operative studying in Harvard, all point to the existence of a highly organized marketing effort in favor of the RPF regime.

I am increasingly convinced propaganda is at the heart of the RPF' effort to stay in power.

The Guardian ran a story just before the August "elections" which shows that the RPF is investing a lot of effort and resources in marketing their regime:

"Tasked with persuading the world is London PR firm Racepoint, hired by Kagame. "You used to Google Rwanda and the first thing you would see would be about genocide," said Cathy Pittman, Racepoint's managing director. "Now we are feeding content and stories to journalists about the economy and culture. A lot of it is about images."
In the run up to the August elections, a week before Paul Kagame's visit to the US, Jared Cohen (who is  known for his efforts to use new media to support democratic development in Iran)  started a #rememberrwanda campaign on twitter. A week later Jared Cohen was having dinner with Paul Kagame while "Earth made of glass" (a RPF propaganda film) was launched in New York.

When I asked Jared Cohen about this propaganda experiment which in my perception aimed to guide the discussion in the US concerning Rwanda and favor the current regime in Kigali, instead of denying or explaining his propaganda effort, he accused me of minimizing the Rwandan genocide. Since then he  has moved out of Hillary Clinton's policy planning staff, to start working with Eric Schmidt @ Google.

The net result of this exchange with Jared Cohen was offcourse that it reinforced my assumptions on his objectives. Brian Solis in his new book "Engage" explains that narratives on the image of a business are no longer written by companies itself. In the same way, narratives on the US and it's foreign policy objectives are not written by policy staffers at the State department. The response by Jared Cohen illustrates to me that his social media work at the State Department was not guided by a social media plan. It was pure guess work.

If Jared Cohen would have wanted to engage the Rwandan and Congolese blogosphere, fight misconceptions and conspiracy theories concerning the US and it's foreign policy and together reach a higher level of collective intelligence, this certainly was not the way. 

It would be very interesting to see if Paul Kagame's propaganda team is able to adapt their ongoing propaganda effort to this new era of social media. I would advice them to focus their effort and money on becoming the best students of new media Paul should read Brian Solis' new book "Engage", invite content strategy specialist Kristina Halvorson  for a "five-day forty-hour seminar", and write and supervise  the creation of a social media  plan which would create a new framework for the allready ongoing propaganda effort. Several new pro-kagame blogs have seen the light over the last couple of months. It shows that the team is sensetive to change, which is good. But a more focused approach is necessary. Off course you can change and adapt it while executing and evaluating the outcome. But, as the example above shows, planning and structuring your social media efforts should be the first step.




 Somewhat related links:

Article on propaganda in contemporary China.

Article on marketing the rwanda genocide anniversary by aegis trust.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kagame's RPF Using Harvard For Propaganda Purposes

 In an interview, Mark Tracy, a member of the  Harvard delegation visiting Rwanda, (organized by Angelique Kantengwa who until 2009 had an important job at the Rwandan national bank) , claimed that Rwanda as a country, its people and President Kagame have taught them many lessons that they are eager to take to their own countries when they go back.
"Frankly speaking, the portrayal of Rwanda in the Western press does not equal what we have seen here, so we are very enthusiastic about becoming ambassadors and taking the message back to our countries,"
What stories in the western press is Mark Tracy talking about? This very broad claim can't be justified and is a gross mischaracterisation of the debate taking place in western press on Rwanda. Mark Tracy probably did not even read Jimmy Wu's article on Rwanda in the Harvard Review before going on his trip.

Is Mark Tracy here denying the facts recorded on Colored Opinions and many other news sites concerning the election rigging by Paul Kagame? Is he denying the crimes committed by Paul Kagame's RPF in Congo, as recently reconfirmed by the mapping report?

Let me remind Mark Tracy that:
" the ICC hand is slowly closing in on Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda like a horse shoe"
Can Mark Tracy explain to us why:

 "pressure mounts on Kagame, despite poll win?"


Mark Tracy's visit and positive image of Rwanda does not diminish the seriousness of the crimes committed by Paul Kagame. I find it disturbing that people like Angelique Kantengwa continue their effort spreading half truths concerning  the way western media have covered Rwanda and the nature of the RPF regime over the last year.


People responsable for the program in Harvard should have a serious discussion with this lady concerning her motives. A visit and friendly talk with Paul Kagame does not bring back to life the political opponents (like Green Party Vice-President Andre Kagwa Rwisereka) and journalists (like Leonard Rugambage) he killed! It does not change the seriousness of the findings in the mapping report, does it?


It proves to me once again that the RPF is not concerned with the truth, but only with results and image building. Their effort has allways been to manipulate international opinion in their favor. Angelique Kantengwa is no acception to that basic trait of this revolutionary movement.  Harvard and many other American institutions should be carefull getting so close to a criminal and ademocratic politcal movement that has a track record of assasinating political opponents abroad (recent failed attempt on Nyamwasa in South Africa for example), killing politicians and journalists at home, false accusations against Rwandan dissidents, like the Rwandan professor Leopold Munyakazi in Maryland last year, false accusations against critics like Paul Rusesabagina and Texas Senator (D) Robert Krueger (2008, claims that they sent weapons to the FDLR have never been substantiated).

Apparently studying in Harvard does not guarantee that someone will continue to use the God given brains he received. Incredibly sad how often I have read these lame stories concerning Rwanda in American press over the years complaining about the bad coverage of Rwanda's "miracle". Bravo, American Ivy league students, continue sticking your arrogant heads in the sand and supporting a criminal in Central Africa. I will certainly remember it! Imagine people like Mark Tracy and Jared Cohen being our future leaders! How much respect do you think these people have for mainstreet America? Guess twice.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Afrika Als Proeftuin

Seada Nourhussen,  journalist voor Trouw, schrijft in Vice Versa:
"Ik ben zeker een voorstander van een economische benadering van ontwikkeling. Is er economische vooruitgang, dan zullen zich vanzelf ook andere belangrijke zaken als democratie en gelijke rechten voor man en vrouw ontwikkelen"
Vanzelf? Laat me niet lachen. Ook in Nederland hebben mensen offers gebracht voor democratie. Lees eens de ontstaans geschiedenis van Het Parool of Trouw:

"Trouw verscheen voor het eerst op 18 februari 1943, oorspronkelijk onder de naam Oranje-Bode, als illegale krant op initiatief van een groep orthodox-protestantse verzetsmensen. Enkelen waren eerder actief bij het illegale blad Vrij Nederland, dat al in 1940 verscheen. Zij verlieten VN in 1942 na een conflict tussen dr. J.A.H.J.S. Bruins Slot en H.M. van Randwijk over de politieke lijn. Trouw trad zo in de plaats van De Standaard "

 Maxime Verhagen schreef in juli in Trouw over het belang van hettegengaan van mensenrechtenschendingen:

"Als er tijdens de Koude Oorlog al internet was geweest, dan was de Muur waarschijnlijk eerder gevallen. Internet en nieuwe media zorgen ervoor dat informatie niet binnensijpelt, maar als een vloedgolf aanstroomt. Aan ons de taak te zorgen dat de vrijheid van internet maximaal kan worden benut om mensenrechtenschendingen wereldwijd tegen te gaan”
Seada Nourhussen schrijft:
"In veel Afrikaanse landen is men moe van de bemoeienis. Er wordt bepaald hoe ze moeten denken en wat ze moeten vinden. Er is daar een andere realiteit. We kunnen niet zomaar onze normen en waarden gaan opleggen."
Een steling die veel doet denken aan een artikel van Michael Fairbanks waarin hij suggereert te weten wat Afrikanen denken.

De realiteit is dat niemand weet wat Afrikanen denken, maar dat Afrika een proeftuin is voor de ontwikkeling van allerlei ontwikkelings modellen. Die modellen zijn niet waarde vrij. Het model van Michael Fairbanks gaat bijvoorbeeld uit van de stelling dat culturele invloeden bijdragen tot wel of geen ontwikkeling.

Het wordt tijd om het debat op argumenten en niet op emoties te voeren. De tijd van modieuze sentimentel verhalen zoals dit afgezaagde artikel van Seada Nourhussen is `long overdo`.

Monday, December 20, 2010

KPFA News, 12.18.2010: Ugandan Opposition Wants Pro-Museveni Election Commission Scrapped



KPFA Weekend News Anchor Veronica Faisant:
Two of the viable candidates who attempted to contest Rwanda's presidential election this year, Victoire Ingabire and Bernard Ntaganda, will be spending Christmas in a maximum security prison, while the third, Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, remains in Sweden, where he has taken refuge with his family. But, that isn't stopping opposition candidates in Rwanda's neighbor Uganda, who are attempting to contest this year's presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for February. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison:
Supreme Court in Uganda ruled that the country's National Electoral Commission is corrupt, incompetent, and, in violation of the country's election law, but Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's president for the past 24 years, has not responded with any reform. Chris Opoka is a spokesperson for the Ugandan People's Congress, one of the two leading opposition parties, which is led by their presidential candidate Olara Otunnu, an internationally known human rights advocate. Opoka spoke to KPFA from Kampala, Uganda:

KPFA:
Do you have any hope that there will be a fair election in February?

Ugandan United People's Congress Spokesperson Chris Opoka:
There will not be fair elections unless the Electoral Commission is removed and a new Electoral Commission is constituted. The Electoral Commission is not independent at all. It is not independent. The voter registration is utterly, completely, completely flawed, completely corrupt.

KPFA:
Opoka says that 80% of Uganda's population are subsistence farmers and that the main issues are poverty, rampant corruption, and segregated education, which leaves the children of the majority peasant population being shuffled through poor public schools without learning anything or acquiring any skills while children of the elite attend private school.

Recent oil discoveries in Lake Albert on Uganda's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo are estimated to be worth $30 billion dollars, but most leases and contracts for extraction and even extraction support services have thus far gone to foreign corporations, and Opoka says that Uganda's poor peasant majority cannot expect to benefit without a major shift in political power.

For Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.

Related links:
KPFA Radio audio link.
Uganda 2011 Free and Fair Election petition.

Minder Etzioni, Meer Kuyper

Carola Schouten´s artikel `Minder Overheid, Meer Samenleving` leidt, in de context van het gedoogkabinet van Mark Rutte en Maxime Verhagen, natuurlijk tot misverstanden. Want, hoewel er wordt gepretendeerd terug te grijpen op de visie van Abraham Kuyper, lijkt hier toch vooral aangeschurkt te worden tegen het gedachtengoed van Balkenende. Henk den Uijl´s reactie illustreert dat
`Balkenende had bijvoorbeeld als grote voorbeeld Etzioni, een van de aanhangers van het communautarisme; een anti-liberale politiek-filosofische stroming die zegt dat gemeenschappelijke inbedding noodzakelijk is om een vrij mens te zijn. `
Communautarisme staat haaks op de antirevolutionaire beginselen, Arie Oostlander en Marcel ten Hooven schreven twee jaar geleden: 
`het gedachtegoed van Kuyper – het benadrukken van verschillende maatschappelijke kringen – verdraagt zich niet goed  met het gemeenschapsdenken van Etzioni.`
„Uiteindelijk wordt het dan nationalistisch.” Hij ergert zich ook een beetje aan de Nederlandse driekleur in de vlag van het CDA, en dat op partijraden het Wilhelmus wordt gespeeld. „Ik ben niet in de eerste plaats Nederlander, ik ben in de eerste plaats Christen.” Ook Marcel ten Hooven is bang dat je groepen uitsluit door zo aan te dringen op één gemeenschap. „Dan druk je groepen al snel in een isolement. Welke groepen? Dan kom je al snel uit bij moslims.” 
 Het  gedachtengoed van Balkenende, gebaseerd op Etzioni, is een splijtzwam in het CDA gebleken. Je hoeft het niet precies eens te zijn met de verwoording van deze twee CDA´ers om te snappen dat Etzioni en Kuyper´s visie erg verschillend zijn.

Mijn grootste bezwaar is vooral dat Etzioni het communitarisme als een soort vlees noch vis oplossing aandraagt voor het dilemma assimilatie en multiculturalisme. Daarmee verdwijnt het Calvinisme tussen wal en schip. Kuyper heeft  steeds gehamerd op de grensoverschrijdende en alles overstijgende  betekenis van het Evangelie. De `kleine luyden` vochten niet slechts voor `souvereiniteit in eigen kring`, zoveel is wel duidelijk uit bijvoorbeeld de rede `Maranatha`

Groen van Prinsterer en Abraham Kuyper stelden in hun tijd tegenover de pretenties van de Franse revolutie niet maar wat Nederlandse normen en waarden!

De context, Etzioni's gemeenschapsdenken en de neocalvinistische pretenties samengevat ook internationaal in het `geen duimbreed` spelen steeds op de achtergrond mee in de discussie over meer of minder overheid. Of je dat nu leuk vindt of niet.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rwandan and Congolese coalition call on UN Security Council to heed UN report on atrocities in Congo


The Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda and the International Humanitarian Law Institute of Minnesota, in coalition, sent this statement to the UN Security Council: 

Dec. 15, 2010 – This month the U.S. and the U.N. Security Council must choose: Will they hold accountable major perpetrators of continued atrocities in the Congo or collaborate with them to put the blame on a few guilty but minor scapegoats and some innocent people who are guilty only of challenging the major offenders?

Protesters hold up portraits of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to protest his visit to the European Development Days in Brussels Dec. 6, 2010. – Photo: Francois Lenoir, Reuters
On Dec. 8, several U.S.-Congolese organizations and numerous individuals sent a letter to Congressman David Wu asking Congress to seek justice for the victims of an ongoing holocaust in the Congo and specifically asking that the long-suppressed U.N. “Mapping Report” showing complicity of the current government of Rwanda seriously examined and addressed.1
Recently, the Dutch legislature and thousands of people in Brussels as well as some officials put Paul Kagame on notice that he cannot escape the consequences of his acts.2
Read more at San Francisco Bay View

Mazembe Sparks Congolese Social Media Frenzy

The Congo narrative has been dominated by western specialists who framed the story as a "failed state" narrative. Major western media like CNN
"The conflict pitted different Congolese ethnic groups -- funded and armed by many of the country's neighbors -- against each other."
(why does CNN hire journalists like James Montague to write down this kind of misinformation ???)

are noticably struggling and still try to frame the story in that context, the real story is made by Congolese themselves and mostly through social media. Congolese, through social media like blogs, facebook, youtube and twitter are writing this new narrative. Congolese are writing history today!

Blatter said today that "a new page in the history of football will be written today  when we have the final of the Club World Cup with an African team involved."

Partying Congolese football players in the locker room , their crazy goaly Muteba Kidiaba going viral, or Lubumbashi's great journalist in Abu Dhabi 3xtshi sending us his "Kwaheri- 2010 - Karibu 2011"

Congolese, contrary to what CNN wants us to believe, don't see ethnic conflict as root cause of the Congo wars and are pressing the US as chair of the UN security council to:
"seek justice for the victims of an ongoing holocaust in the Congo and specifically asking that the long-suppressed U.N. “Mapping Report” showing complicity of the current government of Rwanda be seriously examined and addressed"
The US State Department and Pentagon have failed to adapt their foreign policies to their new world order from 1990 onward. They decided to drop their former allied dubious autocratic regimes in Africa like hot potatoes. The Apartheid regime in South Africa and Mobutu See See Seko in Congo were the major casualties.  A sad illustration of the fact that Charles de Gaulle's visionary wisdom "France has no friends, only interests"seems to be a basic law in international politics.


The complementary "failed state" narrative claimed as selfevident truth that the only cause of Congo's wars was Mobutu See See Seko and the Congolese people. This narrative can be easily deducted from these extremely funny exchanges between Alex Perry and longtime US Congolese activist Kambale Musavuli, thanks to off course Flair's Julie Holler (give credit where credit is due).

Friday, December 17, 2010

KWAHERI 2010 - KARIBU 2011 From Abu Dhabi

Lubumbashi has it's reporter from Nyota Radio Television in Abu Dhabi wishing us a merry Christmas and thanking King Zayed.

States Must Co-operate With Rwanda On Criminal Investigations?

Today Paul Kagame, through his newspaper, The New Times claims , "States Must Co-operate On Criminal Investigations".

I am not sure what the state run New Times wants to achieve with this article. Do they really think the Dutch Government or Dutch members of parliament are impressed by an article in The New Times.

Obviously Dutch members of parliament have studied this aspect of the search of Victoire Ingabire's house carefully, as Anneke Verbraeken explains very well on her Dutch blog:

The Netherlands has no obligation whatsoever to co-operate with Rwanda  for two reasons:
  • Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is not getting a fair trial. (Evidence has been added after the arrest, Paul Kagame and other members of his Government have publicly made statements on the case. Several allegations against Ingabire have allready been proven false, as for example the "bunker".)
  • Co-opeeration based on a UN terrorism treaty can only be justifice if the accused is directly involved in terrorist activities. Which is not the case here.
Dutch parliament has had a debate on this issue and a report can be read here.

As Martin Luther King said: "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice". Justice will certainly come for the crimes Paul Kagame and his butchers are guilty of. If that's a fact, it's just a matter of time. Paul, the clock is ticking and I am sure you have read the writing on the wall.