Thursday, December 27, 2012

Victoire Ingabire's third Christmas behind bars

Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire's son Riszt Shimwa spoke to a
Dutch television newscaster before Ingabire returned to her native Rwanda
in January 2010.



After Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's M23 militia terrified another 900,000 people into fleeing their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2012, Victoire Ingabire spent her third Christmas in Rwanda's 1930 maximum security prison. The 900,000 figure is the estimate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In 2009, a Dutch television broadcaster asked Victoire's 9-year-old son Riszt - who is now 11 - why his mother was returning to Rwanda.  He responded, "So that there won't be war anymore." Ingabire returned to stand for the presidency against Kagame, but she was not allowed to run and was instead imprisoned, like so many others who threaten Kagame's iron will.

Kagame has been a U.S. ally and "military partner" since he led an invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990 and seized power in the capital Kigali in 1994.

For the audio and transcript of KPFA Radio's Christmas Day report on Ingabire's third Christmas behind bars, see the website of the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper.

Watch the video on the Youtube


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Obama's State Department defends relationship with Rwanda in U.S. Congress


KPFA EVENING NEWS, 12.15.2012
William "Kip" Ward, center left, in gray camouflage, was the first AFRICOM (
U.S. Africa Command) commander.  Seen here with Rwandan Defense Minister James 
Kabarebe, center right, with Rwandan troops in Rwanda.  

The first AFRICOM  (U.S. Africa Command) commander is seen here in Rwanda, with Rwandan National Defense Minister James Kabarebe, whose command of the M23 militia fighting in Congo, has been documented in the latest UN Group of Experts report on the undeclared war known as "the Congo conflict." The Rwandan military is one of the Pentagon's most useful "military partners" on the African continent, but this aspect of the U.S. relationship to Rwanda - and Uganda, another useful Pentagon "military partner" - was not much discussed at the 12.11.2012 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

The hearing was nevertheless important in that it acknowledged the truth of the UN Group of Experts report - that Rwanda and Uganda are not only "behind," but commanding and sending arms and soldiers to the M23 militia in eastern Congo.  For more on this undeclared war, see World Watches as Rwanda and Uganda Violently Assault and Dismember Congo, and more on the Black Star News, the San Francisco Bay View's Africa and the World section, and my website, anngarrison.com.

To sign a petition to ask UN Ambassador Susan Rice to back targeted sanctions against the top officials in Rwanda and Uganda, see change.org:  Susan Rice U.S. Ambassador To United Nations (212) 415-4050: Back UN Sanctions Against Kagame/Museveni for Backing M23 Terrorists

And, tune into KPFA's Morning Mix, with Sabrina Jacobs, from 8:00 to 9:00 A.M.Pacific time, on Monday morning, 12.13.2012.   KPFA 94.1fm-Berkeley, and streaming on the web at kpfa.org, in I-Tunes, and on the new Pacifica Radio Android and I-Phone app.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Incarnation Is Not Humiliation

The topic of Seakle Greydanus' dissertation was 'Incarnation & Humiliation' (1903). The background of this topic was a debate between Helenius de Cock and Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper stated that incarnation in itself allready was humiliation. Helenius de Cock stated that this wasn't the case while then Christ would have still been in a humiliated state today, which is incorrect. In his dissertation Seakle Greydanus made the case for Helenius de Cock's position based on lots of material of the Greek church fathers and thus pitted himself over against Abraham Kuyper on this specific issue.

In his bottenburg lectures Klaas Schilder mentions this debate between Helenius de Cock and Abraham Kuyper when he discusses Barth's claim that all that is created, is sinfull. He mentions Greydanus commentary on Philippians 2:6,7 in which he makes same point. Which brings us to 'our heavenly citizenship' introduced by Paul in this same letter. A commentary by a Dutch pastor on a short table prayer touches on the same topic in relation to what John Calvin wrote in book 3 chapter 9 of his Institutions 'the contemplation of the future life'. The prayer.
O Father, who feeds all of life
Crown our table with thy blessing;
Feed and give us to drink  of all this,
Obtained from Your mild hand!
Teach us to avoid excess;
That we behave like we should;
Make us exercise the heavenly (things);
Strengthen our souls by Thy Word!
The short commentary explains how Calvin's contemplation of the future life has two sides. Contempt for the current life (1) which should encourage us to contemplate the heavenly, but (2) should never lead to hatred for the current life. Contempt for current life 'far away from murmuring or impatience', a whole new dimension. Eventually this contemplation of the future life receives the accent of an overriding joy. The earthly life is a gift from God. Contempt for the current life, to which Calvin encourages us, never stands alone. It's only possible when earthly life is compared to the heavenly. Klaas Schilder said in 1932:
We are not allowed to (should not) isolate the "characteristics" of the church (static givens when they would be isolated) from the living, present, current, from heaven to earth coming, daily self-renewing dynamic ACT of the exalted Christ.'
This focus on 'heavenly things', 'our politeuma' (which is in heaven), &  the dynamic ACT of the exalted Chris obviously has a direct link to reformed (antirevolutionary) political engagement.

It's in this specific context that we should read Abraham Kuyper's lecture 'Maranatha' (hugely important speech for the understanding of antirevolutionary politics and the 'antithesis' in neocalvinist politics) and Seakle Greydanus' commentary on the book of revelations in which he focuses on the (according to Greydanus) main theme 'the Lord comes' (Maranatha). It's in this context quite understandable why Klaas Schilder wrote a commentary on 'the revelation of John and the social life'. Professor Ad de Bruijne recently explained the meaning of  Paul's 'politeuma' in the Dutch debate on national churches and international contacts affirming:
"A citizen of heaven is loyal to other citizens of heaven, wherever they may live'
 Or as Lawrence Semel writes:
'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Here, in this statement, in a nutshell, is the eschatology of the New Testament that Geerhardus Vos wants to help us understand and appreciate.'

Monday, December 10, 2012

Misleading UNDP Case Study Rwanda

Over the last couple of months we witnessed how UNDP has stepped in to defend the RPF regime in Rwanda against it's critics. To judge wether this activism on behalf of UNDP in favor of Rwanda's current regime is justified we can take a look at a background guide sent in by UNDP for the Vancouver Model United Nations 2013. It's 'case study Rwanda' illustrates UNDP's focus on Rwanda. The first phrase of this case study claims:
'To see the powerful effect of empowering women in post conflict situations, look no further than the East African nation of Rwanda'
The arguments provided to back up this claim are found in the following short passage:
'Taditionally, the government was made up of men, and women had a set child-bearing, housewife role. Today, however, women constitute 56% of the parliament, the highest percentage in the world. With this inflated proportion, female members of Parliament are finding it easier to pass legislation relating to gender issues. The UNDP has helped them implement initiatives, such as ways to train new female members of parliament on political processes. They also have the Forum of Rwanda Women Parliamentarians, which helps women run for political office. In 2005 they adopted a five-year Strategic Plan to include equal gender dimensions into policies, laws, programs, and practices. This new policy, together with provisions in the constitution establishing formal structures — such as the National Council of Women — provide means through which women may have a greater say in the formulation of policies that affect their lives.'
Election rigging in Rwanda has been well-documentend. Paul Kagame summarized this effort the day vice-president of Rwandan Greens, André Kagwa Rwisereka, was burried:
 "My job has not been to create an opposition, my job is to create the environment where legitimate things can happen."
Dutch ambassador Frans Makken justified his support for ruthless revolutionaries, disciples of Mao & Che Guevara, in a short interview leading up to the 2010 Presidential elections which he presided as vice-chairman of the Rwandan National Electoral Commission:
"In a country in conflict, you see that socio-economic rights are given more importance than civil and political rights. Why? Because the important thing is that people have something to eat and to drink and are able to offer their children a future. You do not want to endanger that by giving broad democratic rights, that also offer space for militant organizations, including the Hutu rebels responsible for the genocide, who are still active in Congo and in the diaspora in Europe."
So why doesn't UNDP provide socio-economic evidence of the 'powerful effect of empowering women in post conflict situations'. That would be more convincing. A parliament filled with 56% women of a country that isn't interested in democracy is evidence not of empowerment but of a deliberate attempt to mislead a liberal western audience. Even those who agree with Frans Makken that 'civil and political rights should be given less importance in Rwanda' must see the weakness of using a toothless parliament as example of women empowerment.

Efforts to mislead a western audience is a consistent trait of the Rwandan RPF regime's 'ideology'. A good recent example is Anglican bishop John Rucyahana who preaches reconciliation when visiting Christians in the United States while at the same time organising and bankrolling a rebellion in eastern Congo.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Aloisea Inyumba, a Revolutionary in Central Africa, Has Died

The moment the word got out this thursday morning that Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloysia Inyumba, had died at the age of fourty-eight, twitter lit up. President Paul Kagame wrote ‘A.Inyumba will be greatly missed & remembered among others for her Liberation and Gender credentials/effort(s)! May her Soul rest in Peace’. UNDP Rwanda director Auke Lootsma wrote: ‘Mourning the loss of Hon. Aloisea Inyumba, a dear friend and great human being who gave all she got to her country. May you rest in peace.’ Director of the Gender Team in the Bureau for Development Policy  of the UNDP, Winnie Byanyima, wife of Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye wrote: ‘We mourn the loss of a dear Sister, one of Rwanda's greatest  patriots, Hon Aloisea Inyumba. A senior member of the RPF, a freedom fighter.’ Zainab Salbi, president of  Washington-based Women for Women international, wrote : ‘Very sad that minister of gender in #Rwanda, Aloysia Inyumba, has passed away today, a wonderful woman who did a lot for Rwandese women.’ Swanee Hunt writes: 'So, so sad to lose one of greatest women in our Women Waging Peace Network' Read about Aloisea Inyumba (in her blogpost 'In Memoriam Aloysia Inyumba'). The EU delegation to Rwanda chimed in: ‘The EU Delegation ‘offers its condolences to the family of H.E. Minister Aloisea Inyumba and to the people of Rwanda. Rest in peace!’  Cindy McCain, wife of 2008 Republican Presidential candidate John McCain,  wrote : ‘It is rare that someone can change your life in such a profound way that you are never the same. Senator Aloisea Inyumba from Rwanda did just that to me.’ She adds on Facebook:
‘The words that came out of Aloisea’s mouth changed me forever. In a few soft, dignified sentences she explained why she has forgiven those who hurt her and her family. Why for the good of Rwanda and mankind, forgiveness was the future not hatred. She forgave these god-forsaken criminals for all they had done and was now working along side them to secure a peaceful existence.
Senator Inyumba and I became friends. I really don’t have that many good friends. She was one. I brought her to the Republican Convention in Minneapolis (in 2008) to salute her strength, courage and commitment to what is good about mankind.’
Ben Affleck  tweets: ‘Deep sadness to lose a friend & hero, the remarkable Aloisea Inyumba, Rwanda’s Minister, Gender & Women in Development’ and links to The New Times article ‘Rwanda: The Passing of an Icon’. Rick Warren tweets : ‘We grieve with Rwanda in the death of our dear friend Minister Aloisea Inyumba. We pray for Dr.Richard and children. #PSFMeetsPresident’. UNICEF Representative to Rwanda, Noala Skinner, is quoted in The NewTimes claiming Aloisea Inyumba was:
 "a friend, an inspiration and full of dignity and a true activist for women & children."
Scott M. Weber, Director-General Interpeace & #YGL of the World Economic Forum , tweets : ‘Very much saddened by the death this morning of Aloysea Inyumba, friend and Board member of our local #Rwanda partner IRDP. #peace’  and adds:‘ Aloysea Inyumba was the first President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of #Rwanda. She was a kind and committed person.’ Josh Ruxin, according to his profile a ‘Columbia University expert on development living in Rwanda’, tweeted : ‘Devastated to hear that the great Minister Aloisea Inyumba - fierce advocate for all good things -- is dead’ and ‘Incredible interview with the late Aloisea Inyumba - if you care about gender and human rights, read this:( Michael Fairbanks Interviews CFO of the Revolution)’.

Twitter messages from Rwandans emphasize the role she played in the ‘invincible’ (inkotanyi) revolutionary army (Rwandan Patriotic Front) that rules Rwanda since 1994. Lucy Mbabazi writes: ‘Intwari (comrade) Aloysea Inyumba - R.I.P! There is none like you!’. Yolande Makolo: ‘RPF tribute to Minister Aloisea Inyumba: She will be foreverremembered as an articulate & compelling voice for Rwanda’. @Kamuhinda writes: ‘#InyumbaAloysea Read CFO of theRevolution and Watch (AloiseaInyumba speak at Women@Google 2007) power of conviction grounded in humanity & ideology #RPFInkotanyi‘. @GerardRwandan writes : ‘Re-tweet if you think this 25th Anniversary of @rpfinkotanyi should be dedicated to Late Aloisea Inyumba in respect of her remarkable work.’ The RPF Inkotanyi twitter account @rpfinkotanyi says: ‘We join the nation in mourning a great woman who devoted her life in building the new Rwanda we enjoy today. RPF has lost a great cadre. RIP’. Alex Masereka writes on the Red Pepper blog:
'Inyumba has been a respected senior cadre in the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), and is credited for having played a central role in mobilising for the party’s support during the 1990-94 liberation struggle.'
Rwanda's High Commissioner to South Africa, Vincent Karega, quoted in The New Times, emphasizes this aspect in his eulogy as well:
‘Inyumba shall always be remembered in Rwanda and beyond as a true revolutionary and an extraordinary daughter of our continent Africa.’