Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vital Kamerhe: Rwanda Must Open Political Space

US Embassy cable #09KINSHASA764 created 2009-08-19 and released 2011-08-30 contains the notes of a meeting that took place between Vital Kamerhe, former President of the DRC's national assembly, Howard Wolpe, US Special Envoy to the great lakes region, and the Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Kinshasa. In this meeting Vital Kamerhe provided a comprehensive review of the DRC's recent political history, offering his perspective on the DRC's political evolution. In paragraph 10 of this comprehensive review Vital Kamerhe states:
"More recently, Rwanda supported the RCD-Goma for five years, then it supported the CNDP for over five years. Kamerhe opined that, when Nkunda's forces were at the gates
of Goma in October 2008, this put pressure on Kabila to agree to ask Rwanda to conduct joint operations in the DRC...."
In paragraph 11 the secretary gives Kamerhe's opinion on the outcome of this operation:
"Most observers now recognize that this military option did not succeed. It has only produced more gender-based violence, more pillaging, more deaths.  What is needed now is a comprehensive strategy combining political, diplomatic, as well as military elements. On the Rwandan side, there must be greater openness for non-genocidaires (sic) Hutus to have political space. There is a need, too, to be more pro-active in facilitating repatriation of those who lay down their arms. In the economic sphere, there should be more transparency in the exploitation of minerals, such as occurred in Sierra Leone. Kamerhe pointed out that Rwanda has suddenly become a significant exporter of gold and coltan, and everyone knows these minerals come from the DRC."

1 comment:

Ann Garrison said...

CP: You've got a couple of typos in there. I'd like to share this once you correct them.