Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Burundi: Disregard & loss of the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Accord

In november 2010 we could read:
"Jean Marie Gasana, an independent consultant on the Great Lakes, traces the current situation in Burundi to what he terms a "disregard and loss of the spirit" of the 2000 Arusha Accord, a power-sharing deal designed to steer Burundi from civil war to stable democracy."
The FNL's stronghold is Bujumbura rural. Jean Marie Gasana, one of the authors of the report on Early Economic Recovery in Fragile States Case study Burundi: operational. Jean Marie Gasana also writes about Rwanda.
Jean Marie Gasana's report in 2003 explains the power sharing in Burundi's negotiations. Interesting aritcle about Ijambo in which Jean Marie Gasana participated. In december 2010 Gasana said:
"The attitude of the ruling party and the prevailing political situation in the country provide all the ingredients necessary for anyone who can be tempted to use violent means to press for change to do so," he said. "We have already witnessed skirmishes in the past three months between government forces and unknown groups in various parts of the country." 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Congo: Place Your Pre-Checked Ballot In Box Please

Pre-checked ballots arrived from South Africa a week ago in Lubumbashi and were used. Nice list of election rigging efforts. Some quotes of the day on the process. A study by Stanis Kalombo and Didier Nkingu APRODEC calculated, who interviewed CENI vice-president in Brussels november 21st on the elections, a couple of months ago that there are about 3 million phantom voters.  Part of the exchange between Stanis Kalombo and CENI vice-president Jacques Ndjoli in this video.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja About Hillary Clinton, Congo And 9/11

Rwandans Rally in Brussels for Madame Victoire Ingabire

"Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire will most likely be
sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for saying that "People
also need to remember the Hutu victims" at the Genocide Memorial
Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.
Screenshot and caption, translated from Kinyarwanda, from
RNW Africa, 04.18.2011
Belgian Colonel Luc Marchal, center, joined Rwandans
demonstrating for the release of Rwandan opposition
leader Victoire Ingabire and other political prisoners.
Marchal was second-in-command at the UN Assistance
Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) in 1994, under 

Commander Romeo Dallaire.
Photo: FDU-Inkingi
KPFA Weekend News, 11.19.2011

KPFA Weekend News Host Cameron Jones: Today in Brussels, Belgium, Rwandan exiles and their supporters marched through the streets to the Rwandan Embassy chanting “Free Ingabire.” They held aloft posters of imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire and other Rwandan political prisoners. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Dr. Jean-Paul Puts, a Belgian surgeon who was in Rwanda in 1994, spoke to KPFA from the protest and said that he had joined it, along with Colonel Luc Marchal, a Belgian colonel who served under Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Troops in Rwanda  in 1994. Puts and Marchal both disagree with the received history of the Rwanda Genocide which is enforced by statute in Rwanda. Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire is on trial there, most of all, for challenging the country’s official history by insisting that both Hutus and Tutsis died in Rwanda's ethnic violence, before, during, and after the infamous 100 days of 1994. And, for saying that Hutus, like Tutsis, must be allowed to seek justice and publicly mourn their dead if there is to be true reconciliation in Rwanda and the wider region.

Victoire Ingabire: First you have to know that my Party and I have never denied the genocide, by the UN understanding, because the Resolution 955 from UN says that in Rwanda was genocide against the Rwanda people. And that was, like you say; there was genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. We don't have to forget that. Yes, there was genocide and all people involved should be brought to the court. But, before, during, and after the genocide, other Rwandese people were killed. Hutus and Tutsis were killed. Is this denying genocide? I don't feel so.

KPFA: On CIUT-Ontario's Taylor Report earlier this week, Rwanda Genocide survivor Aimable Mugara said that Victoire Ingabire is the person Rwandan President Paul Kagame fears most.

Aimable Mugara: If there’s one person in the world that Kagame fears today, it is Victoire Ingabire. Because Kagame is a military man, he knows how to fight wars. So anybody who tries to go fight him militarily, Kagame’s ready for that. What he’s not ready for is an unarmed woman standing up and saying, "I’m here for democracy. I’m here for human rights. Please let these people be free."

KPFA: Frans Makken, the Netherlands Ambassador to Rwanda, seems to be the only foreign observer reporting that Victoire Ingabire is receiving a fair trial. Christopher Black, a Canadian defense attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda said that he could not travel to Rwanda to help defend Ingabire because he is a Rwandan government target for assassination,. If he were her lawyer, he said, he would walk out of the courtroom to protest what he considers a legal charade.

For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

Propaganda War Against Burundi's FNL

Who is responsable for the massacre in Gatumba in september is the central question in Burundi news these days. When you think of it, it's amazing that in August Willy Nzisabira's hitpiece against hutus made it to the website of the Royal African Society in the middle of a large scale assassination operation against Burundi's FNL. What is the role of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in this operation? How to separate propaganda from facts? Howard Wolpe said:
"the conflict between Tutsi and Hutu in Burundi, as in Rwanda, is at the heart of Central African regional instability, producing massive refugee flows, insurgencies, and cross-border violence."
Yes and no. Events in Rwanda, Burundi and Congo are often linked but can't all be reduced to a tutsi-hutu conflict.
In light of the massive propaganda campaign against Paul Rusesabagina a phrase written by Maria Kaitesi on the website of The New Times struck me as ironic:
"Media practitioners have been urged to always be mindful of information they disseminate as it can be destructive."
Yesterday Human Rights Watch wrote:
"Burundi government officials should halt their intensifying pressure on journalists"
November 17th Reporters Without Borders appealed to the government of President Pierre Nkurunziza to call a halt to the intensified efforts to intimidate privately-owned media organizations in Burundi, which have been subjected to daily summonses and cautions.

Who is responsable for the september massacre in Gatumba is the central question in Burundi news these days.  Many start to think it's people inside the Burundi government who are responsable. First of november Gratien Rukindikiza wrote a valuable report on the Gatumba massacre. The FNL denies involvement on it's website.The Burundi political party CNP writes about the killing of an opposition party member last week (beheaded).

October 14th in Washington DC at a conference with Mario Otero at the Brookings institute the leader of the FNL, Agnathon Rwasa, was accused of an assassination in Congo 

On october 22, one day before Carson arrived in Rwanda to meet it's president, Paul Kagame said:
"Also posing a threat to regional security are the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) and the Front Nationale Pour la Liberation (FNL) in Burundi."
This was the first time Paul Kagame mentioned explicitly the Burundian FNL of Agnathon Rwasa in this context.  We can safely conclude that the RPF stands firmly behind the ongoing assassination campaign of FNL members. Was the Rwandan Patriotic Front involved in the planning of this large scale operation?

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Aid Model Expected: The Road To Busan

Read extracts of the interview with Ronald Nkusi, director the External Finance Unit in Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Plannin, in the article "a new model of making development assistance more successful is expected" to emerge at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness.  A statement from Paris by donor and partner countries reads:
"Government representatives meeting in Paris ahead of the forum say major components of a new agreement will include greater transparency, accountability, gender equality and attention to climate change. "
No mention of migration and development. Donor and partner countries apparently not yet interested in that nexus. Why? Is it because migrants are not well organized? Is it because partner countries are hostile to their diaspora's? Is there a debate? Let us look into it. An economist who worked at the worldbank, David Ellerman, sees immigration as defection in a october 10th 2011 blogpost:
"One should always keep in mind the overall point that economic development is a cooperative effort requiring the extended "team effort" and "esprit de crops" of people in the developing country—a cooperative effort as in the East Asian countries over the last half century."  
I don't know how much influence David Ellerman has on the worldwide debate concerning migration and development, but it's impressive how much power the "Beijing consensus" narrative has on his thinking.
Brian Atwood, who has a dispute with Peter Erlinder and  former Rwandan minister Jean-Marie Ndgaijimana on wether a certain meeting with UN SG Koffi Annan took place or not, chairs the development assistance committee of donor and partner countries which prepared The Road To Busan. The outcome document that will frame discussions at the fourth High Level Forum (HLF) on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea later this year is already drafted. A document called CSOs Road To Busan can be found here. This last document states for example:
Policy conditionality fundamentally undermines democratic ownership and the richt to development.
The usual "capacity builders" and women rights groups obviously worked hard to get their talking points on the table in Busan.  CGD released last week the second edition of the Brookings-CGD Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) assessment. Ownership and accountability are two of the main aspects that the EU wants to stress at the 4th High-level Forum on Aid effectiveness from 29 November to 1 December in Busan, South Korea. An overview of the critical discussion and debate on the road to Busan is provided at Karsten Weitzenegger's blog. For example:
"At Busan, world leaders will again proclaim their faith in the power of local parliaments and civil society to make aid more transparent, accountable and effective. ”I have my doubts,” writes Till Bruckner in this Devev Blog. Accountability is inherently demand-driven. If local parliaments and NGOs are to effectively monitor and influence international aid, they must be highly capable, and willing and able to rise to the challenge. In most aid recipient countries, these preconditions for aid accountability simply do not exist."
It's amazing no migration or diaspora groups have proposed anything for this high level meeting on the road to Busan. Isn't there a global forum on migration and development holding it's final debate in Geneva in december? Isn't there some preparations going on for the high level UN Dialogue on migration and development in 2013?

A Busan reading list via @viewfromthecave

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leadership In Migration & Development

If migrants and migrant organisations want to impact policymaking and the debate on development in their countries of origin, they will have to start working towards thoughtleadership in this field. EU Ambassador Michel Arrion's comments this week in Kigali (see below) make this perfectly clear.
 Is there an alternative to the Singapore model? Kampeta Sayinzoga, who runs Rwanda's finances, made her case for Rwanda in Brussels june 12. The Jambonews blog is an impressive initiative that moves the ball across the field in terms of professionalism and a push for thoughtleadership.
Is it true that we have to choose between messy socalled failed states and autocratic states that actually progress as suggested by former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson? Is democracy the icing on the cake?

How do the development and security sectors relate to democratic development and the participation of migrants in the debate? Are they natural ennemies or is it just conservatism that prevents progress in this field.

Resources for smallscale migrant organisations in development:
Yesterday, The Commission launched a public debate on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals living in the EU.  Is there a need to change the EU rules on family reunification of migrants? You can give your views here.

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Rwandan Opposition Condemns Dutch Silence & Complicity

    Today the Rwandan opposition issued a strong statement condemning the role of Dutch diplomacy. President Barack Obama appointed genocide survivor and Paul Kagame supporter Uwamariya Clementine to sit on the Holocaust memorial board. EU Ambassador to Rwanda, Michel Arrion today sings a hymn of praise to the leadership at all levels of the RPF regime in Kigali: "committed", "equal distribution"(free press, free elections off course not mentioned). Dutch Ambassador, Frans Makken, hands over files found at the house of Ingabire's husband.  Former Dutch minister of justice Hirsch Ballin gave a speech on the rule of law while Yvonne Basebya, who was sacrificed at the alter of Dutch diplomacy, is still in prison.
     The "Blow your horn" protest in Bujumbura was a success. Rwandas to protest arrest and showtrial of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza 11.19.2011. Meanwhile Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation, says former hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina was also given the Lantos award for his "continued courage" in speaking out about political oppression in Rwanda.

    Suddenly the speech by Hirsch Ballin made sense when I thought of Yvonne Basebya and Victoire Ingabire. It's the arrogance of the enlightened elite that defines what "rule of law" means, apparently.

    Rwandans to protest the arrest and show trial of Victoire Ingabire, Brussels, 11.19.2011

    Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire

    “If there’s one person in the world that Kagame fears today, it is Victoire Ingabire. Because Kagame is a military man, he knows how to fight wars. So anybody who tries to go fight him militarily, Kagame’s ready for that. What he’s not ready for is an unarmed woman standing up and saying, ‘I’m here for democracy. I’m here for human rights. Please let these people be free.’” – Rwanda Genocide survivor Aimable Mugara on the Taylor Report, CIUT, 89.5FM, ciut.org,  Nov. 14, 2011

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Can Ron Paul Escape The Droste Effect?

    Ever since Jon Stewart wrote about Ron Paul being the Thirteenth floor in a hotel, the Ron Paul campaign has been unable to escape from the Droste effect coverage that focuses completely on his campaign not being covered by mainstream media. Can the Ron Paul campaign still move beyond this narrative or has this campaign become the skylab that will inevitably but surely move ever closer to the center of gravity of this Droste effect coverage?

    A blogpost by one of Ron Paul's advisors, Doug Wead, on the upcoming Iowa caucuses got me brainstorming on the story that fuels the 2012 campaign. In order to be succesfull a campaign, a movie or a marketing add has to fit right into the story or mood that dominates our current time.

    What could be working in the current context? Off course an add like "It's morning again in America" by the Ronald Reagan campaign, would not work today. The mood across the world is deeply negative. And across America people are talking about decline and asking questions about the future.

    The Chrysler campaign ad that could spark some creativity among campaigners. The mood is exactedly the context in which Ron Paul's campaign is operating.

    The Deer Hunter trailer that get's it's strength by starting in the hardship that face real people.

    The ad by Herman Cain's campaign manager Mark Block seemed to get at least the mood right (but not escaping from it). Other campaigns should look at this ad carefully.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Africom, Droste Effect, Peter Pan, EU disintegration?

    Art nouveau in fin de siecle France

    Twelve most effective ways to stay connected to customers and prospects

    Peter Pahm and Africom , on the Balkanisation of Congo ,  director at Ansari Africa center since march 2011

    Relationship between Africom and South Africa

    Ulrike Guerot on EU disintegration

    Holocaust survivor's dramatic plea to Zuma in South Africa on  Israeli member of parliament

    Ugandan proverb:
    Someone help me tell Museveni that it doesn’t matter how far you urinate. The final drop is always at your feet.

    Counter insurgency read @abumuqawama

    RT : FBI friend deploying to Afghanistan is looking for a reading list. Starting w/ 's more?

    deporting under Obama by @africaisacountry

    Unprecedented increase in of undocumented leaves 5,100 children in U.S. homes

    Reformed theology, read Herman Bavinck here

    Droste effect: 50 great examples

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    How Does Condoleezza Rice Define Democracy?

    If you want a humble foreign policy don't vote Mitt Romney. He is betting on the continued strength of the "Condoleezza Rice faction" within the GOP. Two populist @MittRomney tweets in recent days confirm this strategy once again:
    Only when the ayatollahs no longer have doubts about America’s resolve will they abandon their nuclear ambitions
    Overheard conversation at G-20 another sign of Obama's low regard for Israel and its leader...I will stand by our allies, not tear them down
    Condoleezza Rice uses the new IAEA report, which Tom Woods describes as a "Colossal Non-Event" to make this comment on Iran
    "The U.S. should consider tougher penalties against Iran’s government and “be doing everything we can to bring it down”
    What is Condoleezza Rice's ideological background and worldview. Rice described Josef Korbel (who was the father of Madeleine Albright, a future U.S. Secretary of State), as a central figure in her life. Josef was a jewish diplomat from eastern Europe that fled the NAZI's and the Communists. What are his ideological roots? Josef Korbel served as advisor to Edvard Beneš , the exiled president of Czechoslovakia.
    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is quoted as saying that one thing she “shares with Madeleine Albright is the belief that democratic values are at the heart of peace and stability in the world."

    Rice and Albright on US Foreign policy during Bush:
    Albright says she thinks her father would be upset by developments in U.S. foreign policy.
    "It's ruined America's reputation," Albright says. "He cared so deeply about America and felt so strongly about what an important source of authority it was."
    But Rice has a different interpretation of Korbel's philosophy.
    "When we're faced with questions about why you are willing to risk so much on behalf of people in the Middle East, Iraqis or Afghans, it's hard for me to believe that he would have wanted them abandoned to tyranny," she says."
    Strange exchange between two interventionists that demonstrates how Rice underestimates or ignores the threat of domestic tyranny. The threat of domestic tyranny plays a central role in Ron Paul's campaign. A great Ron Paul quote from @RonPaulsvoice

    "America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad"

    How does Condoleezza Rice define "democracy". It could well be that she is a disciple of Charles E. Merriam’s philosophy that the United States can be delivered to communism by slow and gradual movements. Charles Merriam instructed on how to implement adverse changes in the Constitutional system, and bring forth communism on the coattails of the Constitution itself.
    Merriam coordinated and edited a series of comparative studies by political scientists on the use of expertise in policy making, civic education, and public opinion.[47] Merriam's contribution to the series, The Making of Citizens (1934), was highly laudatory of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy's use of these tools to strengthen the sense of national purpose and achieve policy goals.
    Merriam was a member of the "Commission" which had published its report in 1947 that called for a "free" press in the modern sense of being "responsible". Frank Hughes countered with a ringing affirmation of the Bill of Rights and the "old-fashioned" American ideal of the freedom of the press. Chicago Tribune reporter Frank Hughes pointed out that the basic idea:

    to make the press "accountable" or "responsible" to society or the community, which … can only mean to government. … If liberty means anything at all, freedom of the press is freedom from the government.
    Popular Radioshow host in Iowa Steve Deace did an interview with Tom Woods yesterday in which Iran and foreign policy is discussed.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Jan Mickelson: Vote for Ron Paul in Iowa Caucuses

    Ron Paul endorsed by "arguably the most politically influential member of media in Iowa", Jan Mickelson, in a published email conversation with Ed Fallon:
    Ed: Debate our respective plans to rid Wall Street and the halls of political power of “scumbags” (your term, not mine). You do have a plan, don’t you?

    Jan: Yes, vote for Ron Paul. He’ll return us to honest money, constitutionally limited government, non-interventionist foreign policy, dismantled nanny state.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Americans Bring Democracy, Chinese bring Things We Need

    Andrew Meldrum confirms my heuristic that the Revolutionary army that rules Rwanda is praying in the direction of communist Beijing, as Rwandan journalist Fred Mwasa points out:
    “Americans bring democracy, but the Chinese bring us things we need, like new roads and buildings,” quipped Mwasa. The Chinese have built a sports stadium and the new parliament building. Mwasa said they built them at very competitive prices and they hired lots of Rwandans for the jobs."
    Paul Kagame is pushing the RPF ideology “The history of Rwanda is the history of it’s military" (RPF top strategist Frank Rusagara) into the east african community:
    " regional integration should go beyond economic integration to co-operation in the area of security to safeguard the gains accruing from economic integration.
    East Africa is faced with the problem of piracy in Indian Ocean waters and the threat of the Al-Shabaab militia in lawless Somalia.
    Also posing a threat to regional security are the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, the Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda and the Front Nationale Pour la Liberation in Burundi."
    I fully agree with @SIDeastAFrica who commented on these developments with:
    @SIDeastAfrica Are we seeing the militrization of the East African Community?
    About a year ago the Rwandan Patriotic Front used Paul Kagame's speech at West Point to justify it's road to totalitarianism and it's policy of assassination and intimidation of political opponents in Africa, Europe and the US:
    "contrasting the response to the 9/11 attacks in New York and the genocide in Rwanda, President Kagame pointed to the need to enhance international response, solidarity and cooperation, so that international threats "carry the same weight and meaning to all countries irrespective of which interests are at stake" and not only when the interests of powerful nations are threatened."
    While Paul Kagame was bragging, at a UN conference on peacebuilding in Kigali, about his achievements in peace building, Burundi's President Nkurunziza did what he is supposed to, praise the great leaders of the region:
    "Nkurunziza commended the regional Heads of State who played a role in returning peace to his country, including the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, as well as President Kagame and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. "
    How does this RPF ideology fit into the Africom paradigm? March 26 2008 Thomas P. Odom, principal military advisor on Rwanda to the U.S. Department of Defense and National Security Council throughout his time in Rwanda from 1994 to 1996 links  to the report Peacebuilding in the Context of the Rwandan Defence Forces  by his "good friend" Frank Rusagara. In 2009 Frank Rusagara gave US Africom three recommendations:
    • embrace new strategic thinkers and innovative concepts of security, such as ‘human security,’ for peace-building in Africa;
    • explain ARCIOM to their African peers—the command cannot simply rely on senior DOD officials to brief senior African government officials; and
    • enhance African capacity for peacekeeping operations.
    When Frank Rusagara speaks of  "home-grown peace-building" he means that US Africom should stand by while RPF operatives crush dissent through it's Ingando process:
    "A central aspect of this case was the local ownership and management of the process, with a limited role for international agencies. Ownership and management in this sense referred to: the need for home-grown peace-building processes; making peace a positive-sum game; the need for local capacity in order to be able to say no to a paternalistic and patronising international community; and that the process should not be one of scapegoating but of collective responsibility."
    Retired Lieutenant Colonel Thomas P. Odom describes with pride how he humiliated a former general of the Habyarimana government at one of these ingando sessions. Andrea Purdekova recently published a report on Ingando. Two Rwandan refugees in South Africa give good insight into what  Rusagara's RPF stands for:
    "Kayitare and Nshimyimana are able to cite many examples of how Kagame’s authoritarian governing style has created a military state that uses fear and intimidation to control the population. Kayitare explains that the DMI has extensive networks of civilian informants that the government can use to monitor its population"
    How many more Thomas P. Odom's are walking around in Africa?

    Tuesday, November 8, 2011

    Africa's Revolutionaries Resourcing In Communist China

    Instead of moving away from the "Beijing consensus" as suggested by Anne Applebaum, the Rwandan Patriotic Front is forging ever closer ties with China and it's communist party.

    In march 2010 Paul Kagame stated, in a message by RPF secretary general Francois Ngarambe to Secretary General in charge of the organization department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Gao Shiqi:
    “The President also said that the country has a strong partnership with China, especially since both nations have a similar view regarding citizens’ unity and dignity”.
    Gao Shiqi responded by noting:
    "that his party has a great relationship with the RPF"
    In October 2010 as written on the website of African Affairs of China:
    " RPF General Secretary Ngarambe led an RPF delegation to China. He met with Member of the Political Bureau, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee Liu Yunshan and held talks with Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee Ai Ping. In December, President of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Valens Munyabagisha led a delegation to China. He held talks with Vice Chairman Nan Zhenzhong of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC and met with Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun."
    Politicians from Sub-Saharan Africa are searching for new friends in the east. The Iranian press reported saturday this quote from Burundian foreign minister Augustin Nsanze:
    "the world is changing and that the power of Europe and the US is declining. Certain countries, including Iran, which enjoy great capabilities would play an effective role in the future of the world, he added. He also noted that his country will support the rights of the Iranian nation in the international arena."
    Gambian journalist and blogger Kemo Cham reported on the UN post-conflict summit that will take place in Kigali tomorrow:
    "The conference to include heads of state and government is organised by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund which is presently chaired by Rwanda."
    Rwandan foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo stated:
    "Rwanda's gains at nation-building over the last 17 years since a devastating genocide has received recognition with leaders of over 10 countries set to meet in Kigali to learn from the east African country's experience."
    For public relations a great conference. But what can we learn from Rwanda? A supporter of the regime, Andrew Mwenda, explains how he understands "success" of the Rwandan Patriotic Front:
    "In more successful experiences like the communists in China, Cuba and Vietnam or the NRA in Uganda, Frelimo in Mozambique, MPLA in Angola, RPF in Rwanda, EPLF in Eritrea and TPLF in Ethiopia, the victorious armed group had centrally directed and well developed military organisation to effectively take charge of the state and re-establish a stable and sustainable political order. This was possible because victory was a product of having developed internal capabilities. It is this initial endowment that makes post conflict reconstruction successful."
    The Rwandan Patriotic Front is a revolutionary army that has strong ideological links to communism. The RPF does not have ties to any political movement in western Europe or the US. On wikipedia we read:
    "Its ideology promotes democratic socialism and left-wing nationalism" 
    Frank Rusagara, top RPF strategist (who now heads the intimidation campaign against the Rwandan diaspora from London), gives us more insight in RPF's ideology:
    inclusivity of all Rwandans and instilling a sense of patriotism was the guiding RPF principle since its formation in 1987 in Kampala.
    As explained in The Resilience of a Nation, “culture...not only would it provide the way, but the basis for the struggle borrowing from the heroic history of Rwanda’s past.
    This was drawing from a long-standing tradition of ‘narrativization’ through such as poetry (ibisigo) and the art of oratorical rhetoric (ibyivugo).
    “Narrativization was used by the RPF to acquire its own legitimacy and vision. RPF outlined Rwandan history in a bid to cast it in what it considered a realistic perspective.
    The narrativisation of the past glory of the Rwandan nation was passed around in order to create a sense of belonging to a community and history that transcended the experience of conflict.
    It is this vision that continues to sustain the country through traditional institutions such as the gacaca, as well as the less known Ingando/Ingabo, which traditionally was a military encampment where the troops would be reminded of their patriotism and duty to the kingdom as a “united people”.

    The acknowledgement is that the nation of Rwanda first existed in the military. And, in appreciating this, the concept of the Ingando was so successfully used to integrate the soldiers of the previous regime into what is now the Rwanda Defence Forces, that it was replicated in the civil sector with students, teachers, prisoners, etc.
    Rwanda’s resilience as a nation is undergirded by its military and, as already observed, “The history of Rwanda is the history of it’s military.  
    Rwanda suffered its lowest moments in the sectarian policies of the Hutu-nised military, but was able to demonstrate its integrative ability under the RDF, informing national development.
    Appreciating the role of the military in the history of the Rwandan nation to the present and the positive role it must continue to play has ensured that both Rwanda and its citizens are winners. This is what continues to inform the RPF policy of inclusivity.”
    This sounds allmost identical to the massive tribute to the glories of Professor Mussolini in the New York Times in 1933:
    "In order to create a new Italy he is returning to the old sources of Roman strength and domination. He wishes to resuscitate the materlal vestiges of ancient Rome because they are beautiful and invaluable, but also, andd mainly, because in so doing he hopes to revive the old virtues of the rugged men who under Iron discipline once fashhioned Roman power…. Here I had the feeling that there is no limting condition imposed on any Fascist project; a strange impression that whatever Mussolini commands is executed without being hampered by problems, practical or financial"
    Just as with Paul Kagame today, Mussolini succeeded in fooling the entire American press for a number of years. NYT was hardly alone in singing hymns to Mussolini.

    Rwandan blogger RwandaNkunda wrote about Ingando last week:

    supplemented with the regular ingando (“indoctrination”), they (genocide ideology laws) fulfill the function of instilling fear into the general population with the sole agenda of controlling discourse.

    Ingando has been extensively studied by Chi Mgbako at Harvard in Ingando Solidarity Camps: Reconciliation and Political Indoctrination in Post-Genocide Rwanda published in 2005.
    Susan Thomson was re-educated at one of the Ingando re-education camps after the Rwandan government stopped her doctoral research in 2006. She has an extremely valuable document about her experience which can be read in French here. Anyone who plans on visiting Rwanda or who writes about Rwanda should start with that document.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Oliver Tambo Leadership School Uganda: Training RPF & ANC Revolutionaries

    When Rwandan Patriotic Front founding member and leader Fred Rwigyema was assassinated in 1990 Paul Kagame trained at Fort Leavenworth Kansas. A Coincidence? An extremely convenient coincidences if you ask me.

    Imagine for one second the scenario that Fred Rwigyema was assassinated and Yoweri Museveni had to call Paul Kagame back from his nine month training in communist Cuba. Unthinkable. It underlines the fact that Paul Kagame's training at Fort Leavenworth purely served a PR purpose.

    Exactedly three weeks before the april 27th 1994 ANC victory at the polls in South Africa both presidents of  Rwanda and Burundi were assassinated by RPF revolutionaries under the command of Cuban trained Paul Kagame. A coincidence?

    An extremely convenient coincedence while the Rwandan Patriotic Front and Umkhontho we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, share a common history in Uganda. During the late eighties and nineties these revolutionaries were trained by RPF founder Fred Rwigyema. This common history resonates in a press statement by the ANC after a joint meeting with RPF SG Charles Murigande in 1999:
    "The two parties shared “a number of commonalities”, including liberation struggles waged against discrimination, segregation and oppression and a strong commitment to national unity and reconciliation, the statement said. The ANC and the RPF agreed to promote “inter-party political, economic and social activities” and to influence their respective governments to achieve goals “recognised as mutually beneficial,”
    January 2011 ANC leader and South African president Zuma donated 7000.000 Rand to the Oliver Tambo Leadership School in Uganda.  In march 2010 a new building of this school was opened by South African President Zuma and Ugandan President Museveni. A valuable blogpost by Leo Odera Omolo about this event states:
    "The school, whose construction was funded by both the Ugandan and South African governments, will be a regional leadership and ideological training institute. It has been training UPDF, Police and Prisons officers.
    Earlier, it had trained different African revolutionary armies, including the ANC’s military Umkhontho we Sizwe, (Spear of the Nation) and Uganda’s National Resistance Army."
    One of the revolutionary armies this school trained is the Rwandan Patriotic Front, as is clear from the statement by Museveni in that same blogpost:
    "The first batch of 152  soldiers arrived in Kaweweta in 1989 and by 1994, the number was 3,000, making it the biggest concentration of Umkhotho we Sizwe soldiers in a single camp. He paid tribute to Maj. Gen. Fred Rwigyema (RIP), who he said, went beyond the call of duty to assist the South African soldiers."
    President Museveni said that same day that:
    " he was happy with the struggle for freedom by the two countries. He said he and his fellow freedom fighters refuse to see tribes and sub-groups of Africa, but see Africans.
    “That is our ideology and that is the ideology of ANC,” Museveni said, adding that the ANC has had a great role in stabilising the security situation in the Great Lakes Region.
    He enumerated the initiatives to broker peace in the DR Congo and Burundi by ANC leaders, including Zuma."
    In that context we read how Museveni claimed at that same inauguration of his Oliver Tambo leadership School:
    "that while Africans fought for freedom from colonialists, the continent’s problems are in many cases self-imposed. He said instead of working together to ensure development, wealth creation, transformation and integration, some Africans work for balkanisation."
    A (cynical) statement that refers to this common revolutionary history that plays a central role in great lakes political history. It explains why one of the early leaders of Umkontho we Siswe, ANC's central committee member and South Africa's communist party President Raymond Mhlaba was appointed Ambassador to Uganda and Rwanda from 1997 to 2001.

    But it also explains why South Africa could play a role in the Burundian peace process. Jacob Zuma worked in Kampala as facilitator of the Burundi peace process along with Ugandan president Yoweri MuseveniCurrent Ugandan Ambassador to Rwanda, Adonia Ayebare praised Jacob Zuma for his role in the Burundi peace process in 2002 in this report.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Emptying the Congolese cookie jar and giving back one of the cookies

    The 2001 Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame were on the verge of becoming the godfathers of illegal resource exploitation and ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    KPFA Weekend News Host David Rosenberg: Bloomberg reported this week that the government of Rwanda is returning 90 tons of minerals seized by the Rwandan Police after they were smuggled into Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  A spokesman for the government of Rwanda said that they were returning the minerals to Congo in order to dispense with the longstanding lie that the government has been benefiting from illegal minerals traffic there. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.

    The Congo Wars of 1996-1997, and
    1998 - 2003, and the ongoing battles
    for Congo's immense natural resource
    wealth, have created millions of
    refugees or internally displaced
    persons (IDPs), many of whom
    have died of hardship, either on
    the road or in camps.
    KPFA/Ann Garrison: The 2001 UN Panel of Experts on Illegal Minerals Trade in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reported that militias fighting in Congo were closely allied with Rwanda, Uganda, and that they were smuggling Congolese minerals across the eastern Congolese border into both countries.  The experts also reported that Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni were then, quote, "on the verge of becoming the godfathers of illegal resource exploitation and ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  "They have," the UN experts wrote, "indirectly given criminal cartels a unique opportunity to organize and operate in this fragile and sensitive region."

    In Paragraphs 181 - 190, the experts described the complicity and/or collaboration of donor nations, foreign corporations, cargo companies, private banks, and the World Bank. The World Bank, they said, gave the impression of rewarding both Rwanda and Uganda for plundering the Congo, by proposing them for a new debt relief program.

    The experts also pointed to evidence of direct and indirect involvement by embassy staff and cooperation agencies from developed countries.  And, they singled out the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Germany and the U.S., as the main bilateral donors to Uganda and Rwanda.
    In Paragraph 197, the UN experts named four Rwandan business associates of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and said that, quote, "what all four share is direct involvement in the exploitation of natural resources in the areas of Congo controlled by Rwanda."  In Paragraph 212, they wrote that Rwanda, by plundering Congolese resources, had been able to create a "self-sustaining war."

    William Mitchell Law Professor Peter 
    Erlinder was arrested in Rwanda in 
    2010, after traveling there to advise in 
    the criminal defense of Victoire Ingabire, 
    the Rwandan opposition leader Victoire 
    Ingabire. He is now one of the lawyers 
    representing the widows of Rwandan 
    PresidentPaul Kagame and Burundian 
    President Cyprien Ntaryamira, in a civil 
    suit in U.S. courts, 
    Habyarimana v. Kagame.
    William Mitchell Law Professor Peter Erlinder is Plaintiff's Counsel in Habyarimana vs. Kagame, a civil lawsuit in U.S. courts, alleging that President Kagame ordered the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide, and then, plundered the Democratic Republic of the Congo in consequent wars.  Erlinder told KPFA it's good that Rwanda has agreed to return 90 tonnes of stolen minerals to Congo, but, that he shouldn't now be rewarded for returning what never should have been stolen.

    Peter Erlinder: Well, the Security Council has known since at least 2001 and 4 that Rwanda has been engaged in stealing minerals from the Congo on a massive scale for more than 10 years, at a rate of at least $250 million a year. The amounts have been huge. Anyone who knows Rwanda knows that nothing goes in or leaves Rwanda, of any consequence, without the Kagame regime knowing about it. The Kagame regime knows about these minerals that have been entering Rwanda illegally for all these years. We're happy they gave a little back, but they never should have invaded the Congo and occupied the eastern Congo in the first place, so there should be no points given for having emptied the cookie jar and then giving back one of the cookies.

    KPFA/Ann Garrison: For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

    To listen to the audio archive, go to http://www.anngarrison.com/audio/rwanda-repatriates-90-tons-of-congolese-minerals.

    Ron Paul: We Are Inciting Civil War In Pakistan

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    Paul Kagame Rebranding himself As Great Lakes Darth Vader

     The element of surprise in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker discovered that Darth Vader was in fact his father was at the heart of the success of this movie. Same holds true for any succesfull political or marketing campaign. Paul Kagame could surprise his global audience and poke fun at his critics. According to this source Paul allready has the Darth Vader Outfit.

    The great lakes blogosphere has made great strides over the last couple of years. Rwandans, Congolese and Burundians love blogging. November 2010 I spoke of a surge. Increasingly Congolese, Burundians and Rwandans are engaging a global audience through their own media. Blogging has it's own gratifications, and building an online community from scratch could possibly defeat an evil empire, it's clear this also creates a new context in which donors, European, American & African politicians and PR people operate. This new context requires new strategies.

    Wouldn't it make a great viral video to see Ivan Kagame dressed up as Luke Skywalker discovering that in fact Paul Kagame was Great Lakes Darth Vader? Maybe Paul Kagame should call his public relations team together, both at home and abroad, to discuss this viral marketing idea.

    Learning From Burundi

    A UNDP tweet stated recently:
    Countries like & have lowered rates of violence. We must learn from them & help others save lives-
    Puzzling tweet in the context of recent reports by the International Crisis Group on Burundi. Such tweets don't mean much without some exegesis. What would Howard Wolpe have said about this?  Was Howard Wolpe  "great lakes policywise" still a good friend of the Clintons when he died? An article in the Belgium based blog  on the october 21th Burundians commemorated the 18th anniversary of the assassination of President Ndadaye in 1993. October 31th secret services of eleven countries in the great lakes region signed a protocol of non-agression in Burundi:
    "Burundi,  Rwanda, Tanzanie, Ouganda, Kenya, DRC, Angola,  Central African Republic, Congo-Brazaville, Zambia and Sudan"
    Apparently South-Sudan doesn't yet have a secret service, I guess. Burundi's secret service is also involved in the assassination of two students last mont.

    Melyn McKay notes yesterday from Bujumbura a spike in violence in Burundi:
    While escaping towards Tanzania, they kidnapped 25 civilians. Gov't claims only 30 attackers, eye-witnesses put # @ 80.
    This is the 1st instance of a kidnapping in in several yrs & may mark an escalation in the use of force.
    Other sources speak of increasing violence by the Burundian government against opponents, yesterday:
    "Many teachers in the eastern Burundian provinces of Ruyigi and Cankuzo have fled their homes, fearing for their lives. Rumour has it that a plan, codenamed 'Safisha' and allegedly being carried out by the ruling CNDD-FDD party, aims to eliminate all opposition members. In the local dialect, 'safisha' means 'to cleanse'."
    Nancy Welch, who participated in last years NDI discussion on the Rwandan "elections", wrote last week on Burundi and Rwanda:
    "While Burundi’s current conflict is by no means ethnic, the FNL may find allies, or at least sympathy, in ethnically-polarized Rwanda, where political space continues to diminish and small acts of passive resistance are the only form of protest available to ordinary Rwandans in the face of an authoritarian government that is increasingly intolerant of dissent" 
    Apparently Burundi now has high speed 3G internet, according to this impressive video.

    leo 3G door partagezavecleo

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Paul Kagame? Keynote speaker at a genocide conference?

    Congolese in Australia protested Kagame's presence at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), 10.28.2011.
    KPFA Weekend News Host: Congolese and Rwandans gathered to demonstrate against Rwandan President Paul Kagame's appearance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia yesterday. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that some of the most vocal protestors were a group of Africans from Congo calling Kagame the Hitler of Africa and demanding to know why he had been allowed to attend the gathering after killing more than 8 million Congolese people within 10 years.  
    Kagame will be traveling to Northern California this week to give a keynote speech on Thursday, November 3rd, at a conference on genocide at Sacramento State University. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.
    Rwandan President and General Paul Kagame
    KPFA/Ann Garrison: Many scholars, human rights investigators, genocide survivors, and now, Rwandan President Paul Kagame's own former Chief of Staff Theogene Rudasingwa, hold him most responsible for the Rwanda Genocide of the1990s, for the ensuing Congo Wars and Congo conflict, and for the plunder of eastern Congo's vast natural resource wealth.  Sacramento State University's invitation to Kagame, to give the keynote speech at a genocide conference, has therefore caused many to ask what Sacramento State, and its California State university system partners in the conference, can possibly be thinking.  
    Mimi Mandiangu, President of the Northern California Congolese Congress, otherwise known as the INGA Association, explained why Congolese activists plan to gather at Sacramento State University, in Sacramento, to protest Kagame's appearance on Thursday, November 3rd:
    Mimi MandianguWe just want to stop him keep telling lies about the genocide. The UN already did a report.  People need to read this report, to see what he did, the killing of our women, children, and men. They keep killing in our country and we just want to know that people know that he is a killer. And we need to stop him lying in this conference. So we're gonna be there to try to stop him, stop saying lies, and we're gonna bring posters, and we're gonna talk more when we're there.
    As Rwandan President Paul Kagame travels to Sacramento State University to give the keynote speech at a genocide conference, Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire is shuttled back and forth from a Kigali prison to a Kigali courtroom. Ingabire is on trial for saying that not only Rwandan Tutsis, but also Rwandan Hutus died in the Rwanda Genocide. Photo: Alice Muhirwa, FDU-Inkingi
    KPFA: The UN report that Mimi Mandiangu refers to is the UN Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1993 - 2003, which was leaked on August 26th, 2010, and officially released on October 1st, 2010.  The report documents war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocidal massacres of Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutus committed by Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
    The Northern California Congolese Congress is asking any and all peace and justice activists to join their protest, outside the Redwood Room, on the Sacramento State University campus, at 6000 J St., Sacramento, California, beginning at 9 AM, on Thursday morning, November 3rd.
    For PacificaKPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.