Friday, March 30, 2012

Legitimising The Global Aid Project & Sacrificing Victoire Ingabire

It seems the current Dutch coalition government of Christian Democrats (CDA) and conservative liberals (VVD) backed by Geert Wilders (who doesn't know him?) can only survive if it makes a deal on cutting aid. In this context Bill Gates warned Dutch prime-minister to not cut aid,  The former Scriba of the largest Dutch reformed Church Bas Plaisier warns he will end his CDA membership if coalition lowers aid budget. Professor Roel Kuiper, Dooyeweerd disciple, stressed the supposed Christian duty of aid in a recent tweet:
"ChristenUnie-achterban voelt het minst voor bezuinigen op ontwikkelingssamenwerking, volgens onderzoek. Kijk, daar ben ik nu trots op."
Arjan El Fassed, member of parliament for Groen Links (A liberal left green party), added the argument that 'the Dutch approach is getting a lot of praise from abroad and supposedly for good reason':
"De wijze waarop Nederland ontwikkelingssamenwerking doet is een manier van werken waar we terecht - Gates benadrukt dat ook – internationaal waardering voor krijgen"
In this context a debate on aid between Africa journalist Marcia Luyten and historian Arend-Jan Boekestijn took place on prime-time Dutch tv. In this  discussion Fred Teeven, under-minister for security and justice, provided the link between aid, Rwanda and Victoire Ingabire. Marcia Luyten, who is married to former senior worldbank economist/ member of Dutch parliament for dutch labour party (PvdA) Jeroen de Lange, made unsubstantiated slanderous allegations against Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.

Nothing new and nothing unexpected, but it raises once again the interesting questions regarding the role of externally constructed development narratives in legitimising the global ‘aid project’ as one commentator so eloquently observed:
"The comparison of Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki and Paul Kagame’s leadership raise interesting questions regarding the role of externally constructed development narratives in legitimising the global ‘aid project’. As someone who has worked with Prison populations of the Rwandan genocidaire, I gained some insights into the politics of Rwanda; it seems very clear to me that the misplaced idolatry of Kagame is not born of naivety, but serves specific political objectives of the western international community. I would only hazard a guess as to what these are; the need for a good example, justification of the global aid project and its modalities, geo-political concerns."
It explains how the former leader of Dutch liberal left Groen Links described her trip to Kigali as an oldtestament pelgrim on the road to the temple in Jerusalem. It explains how critical reports on the success of aid in Rwanda (let alone reports on human rights violations, election rigging, assassinations) are consistently ignored or minized.
Exactedly: "The misplaced idolatry of Kagame (and character assassination of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza) is not born of naivety, but serves specific political objectives of the western international community."

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