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Congo’s army clashes with rebels near Goma

United Nations (U.N.) peacekeepers man a check point at Kanyaruchinya village, 3km (1.9 miles) north of Goma May 15, 2013

United Nations (U.N.) peacekeepers: man at check point at Kanyaruchinya village, 3km (1.9 miles) north of Goma May 15, 2013

Congo’s army used combat helicopters to bombard rebel fighters on Monday near the city of Goma in the first clashes in nearly six months, days before U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was due to visit the troubled eastern borderlands.

Fighting began in the early morning after the Tutsi-dominated M23 rebels attacked government positions around 10 km (6 miles) north of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest city, a military spokesman told Reuters.

The M23 seized and briefly held Goma last November despite the presence of thousands of U.N. soldiers.

“The helicopters were deployed to support the army positions. The operation has finished now,” Colonel Olivier Hamuli said, adding the army had called in reinforcements and used heavy weapons. “We must protect the town of Goma at all costs.”

Government spokesman Lambert Mende accused the M23 of trying to disrupt the deployment of a 3,000-strong U.N. Intervention Brigade charged with neutralising armed groups in the mineral-rich region.

The first Tanzanian troops have already begun deploying in the east.

“The M23 tried to cut the road between where the brigade will be based and Goma. They want to discourage the deployment of the brigade but they have no chance: the army will respond blow for blow,” Mende told Reuters.

M23 spokesman Amani Kabasha said that the rebel group had initially responded to an attack by the FDLR, a Rwandan Hutu militia based in Congo’s volatile east. It had then come under attack from government artillery.

“We are not responding to their shelling, but what we’re hearing is not good, that (Congolese president Joseph) Kabila is sending reinforcements. He needs to calm down,” Kabasha said.

No casualty figures from the clashes, which came after months of stalled peace negotiations, were immediately available.

Ban is due to arrive in Goma this week as part of a visit with the president of the World Bank, aiming to draw attention to the conflict in Congo, where millions have died during nearly two decades of violence.

The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) voiced concern about the clashes, which it said took place in the localities of Kibati and Rusayo, some 12 km from Goma.

“The mission is actively pursuing a diplomatic and political solution to contain and end the clashes,” it said in a statement.

Source: Reuters

May 20, 2013   No Comments

Was Rwanda day worth the Hassle?

President Paul Kagame in at the Rwanda Day event in London

President Paul Kagame in at the Rwanda Day event in London

A dictator must fool all the people all the time and there’s only one way to do that, he must also fool himself.

Kagame’s authoritarian government caused fear and uncertainty in Rwanda, “No wander it is only in Rwanda where a neighbour can spy or kill a neighbour, it is only in Rwanda where someone can betray a life time friend can betray or spy on him/her or kill him/her just to appease the authority in the name of being submissive.” Everyone is virtually a self proclaimed spy. What a country Rwanda has become?

Saturday’s Rwanda Day event epitomised what was in the article “A mind defiled by dictatorship …” last week. The disregard for respect and trust for the Rwandan Communities that attended the event by the organisers was a vindication of that article. It is standing up to this act of mistreating members of the community, like the mistrust that was demonstrated while organising the event, that some people who posted comments against the article came out fighting. It is only in places like the Rwanda of today that any dissent or semblance of challenging the Status Quo is an abomination. In other words people are expected to be too submissive to question any sort of authority. In my opinion this is an act of surrendering the God given intellect that makes humans unique. We cannot all have singularity of views or ideas. I do strongly subscribe to the idea that no one is an authority on ideas, more so if our human limitations are put into perspective. Ironically Paul Kagame, the chief intore, does challenge the status quo, like he has done to the UN and other bodies suffice for the wrong reasons. However while addressing the event he stated that “it is only in Rwanda where people are asked to do something and they do it without questioning”, ba NDIYO BWANA, giving the Agaciro Fund scenario as an example. What a paradox??? Can any sensible person accept to go through what these intores, like Lydia, Joan and others who posted the comments, went through yesterday for attending the London Rwanda Day event without questioning the rationale? I don’t think any other peoples of this world would have tolerated that inconvenience and humiliation in the name of security checks.

If your authorities can’t trust you, then how can you give them the trust in return by giving them the mandate to mistrust you? Only in Rwanda and Rwandans can buy into this fallacy of surrendering their God given liberties, rights, conscious, imagination and reason so cheaply on a silver plate. No wander neighbours killed neighbours to appease the authorities, in the name of being submissive.

It would be interesting to explain the logic or reasoning behind keeping the venue of the Rwanda Day ‘secret’ to the supposedly supporters of the occasion, and the security checks nightmare these perceived supporters were put through. Did the perceived potential risk warrant the cost of this exercise or was it sheer display of amateurishness on the part of the organisers? Could be that the opposition has scared the organisers to the core or is it the mistakes made by the RPF regime that influenced the agenda? Who are the real enemies of Rwanda? I believe it is the voice of sycophancy that has been developed by our new born ‘mwidishi’.

Those who reside in the UK might have witnessed on many occasions state functions where millions of people have attended and the Queen herself presided over. The most recent of them being the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee. Did anyone go through such nightmare of security checks? I think it was not necessary and way-way above the top. What message did we pass to the Britons involved in the operation, the police, bus drivers and the venue owners? Rwandans have to learn to challenge this backward mistrust of their fellow citizens and emancipate their minds from creating imaginary enemies. The opposition like RNC and FDU are Rwandans like anyone else and are entitled to attend if they wish to.

How can people like Ignatius Mugabo and Mulego, who reside in Rwanda now, be allowed to go away with showing disregard for the hard working many who make the Rwandese UK Community that was supposed to host this event? We need to wake up and emancipate ourselves from these divisive characters. We need answers for the shambles in organising the event; hiding the venue, the unnecessary security checks in the guise of insecurity, the inconvenience of leaving our mobiles and vehicles across the city, and many more. Who is going to pay for the cost of going back to pick our cars from SW4 in the wee hours?

I would like to thank our youth for coming to attend despite the inconvenience. Most people had been put off by the signs of shambles in the organisation coming to the event. Unlike other earlier visits by the President, this one was allowed to be hijacked by mercenaries like John Ngarambe, Ignatius Mugabo and Mulego. These are well known opportunists, ‘ba rusahulira mu ndulu”. If it was not for our youth persevering, we would have been exposed in numbers attending from UK. So, for our youth Bravo! However next time challenge the status quo and ask for the UK standard of organising rather than the ‘banana state like’ organisation this time round.

The jury is out there.

Source: Inyenyeri News

May 20, 2013   No Comments

Rwanda’s Paul Kagame denounces UN force in DR Congo

Paul Kagame: "With what we witnessed last year... the situation got worse''

Paul Kagame: “With what we witnessed last year… the situation got worse”

Rwandan President Paul Kagame says the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo has “in some cases” made the situation worse.

In an interview with the BBC, he said any military effort to bring peace to DR Congo needed to be “properly co-ordinated” with political efforts.

He dismissed UN allegations that Rwanda backed proxy forces in DR Congo.

The UN has nearly 20,000 peacekeepers in eastern DR Congo, where armed groups have wreaked havoc for two decades.

The UN force, now known as Monusco, first deployed in 1999 and has been widely criticised as ineffective.

It says that the peacekeepers, mandated to protect civilians and also help with the reconstruction, are spread thinly over a vast and difficult terrain.
‘Chaos and displacement’

Since last year, a new rebel group, the M23, has become increasingly active in eastern DR Congo, forcing some 800,000 people to flee their homes.

Monusco came under fire for standing by as the M23 briefly took control of the key city of Goma late last year.

Asked how he viewed the record of the UN force, Mr Kagame said: “In some cases it has really become worse.”

“If you see what we had last year, the resurgence of the fighting and chaos and displacement of people and so on and so forth… what we witnessed last year – actually the situation got worse.”

He said that Monusco’s failures had been a reason behind the formation of a UN-backed African force that will be authorised to carry out “targeted offensive operations” against armed groups.

The UN says its peacekeepers are spread thinly over a vast and tricky terrain

The UN says its peacekeepers are spread thinly over a vast and tricky terrain

The first contingent in the 3,000-strong force arrived in DR Congo last week.

But Mr Kagame added that “still, there are things that really don’t add up”.

“If you look at the problems relating to the situation on Congo, they are mainly political, they are not military… So the intervention they’ve, so to speak, encouraged to happen and supported, needs to be co-ordinated properly with the political efforts.”

He referred to the accusation that Rwanda had backed proxy groups in DR Congo, including the M23, as “ridiculous” and “an effort to circumvent the real problem”.

UN experts have cited evidence that Rwanda and Uganda are backing M23, but both countries strongly deny the charges.

Rwanda was accused of backing armed groups in DR Congo as a way to fight Hutu rebels who fled there after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Mr Kagame came to power as the head of a Tutsi rebel force, which ousted the genocidal Hutu leadership.

“Why would anyone blame Rwanda for a problem that has been there for the last 19 years?” Mr Kagame said.

Source: BBC

May 20, 2013   No Comments

President Paul Kagame shocked by Oxford Demonstrators who threw Manure and Eggs at him

By Noble Marara

Protesters protest against Kagame's visit on Rwanda Day in London

Protesters protest against Kagame’s visit to London on Rwanda Day

While attending Rwanda day in London President Kagame stated that those who threw manure and eggs at Oxford University and at his motorcade should have eaten them, because they looked hungry. Among the demonstrators at Oxford University at Said Business College were members of the Rwandese community in the United Kingdom together with the opposition members of the RNC/FDU as well as civil society and the Congolese community. They all gathered today to express their feelings about the university having invited the murder and dictatorial ruler President Paul Kagame to Oxford University where he received yet another award for his “development of Rwanda.”

The demonstrators demanded explanation as to why he portrays himself an elected leader to convince the west when evidences prove that he is a killer and a murderer who had a hand in the deaths of over a millions of people. The demonstrators came from far some from Belgium France Holland and Scotland, and even the United States, holding signs with images of the people who died in the Congo as well as inside Rwanda.

The demonstrators handed leaflets to students of Oxford University early in the morning prior to the commencement of the occasion. The leaflets read ‘wanted criminal help us arrest this man.’ With more information inside the leaflet explaining and referring to the UN mapping report as well as the report of exports on Congo and the M23 rebels. This appeared to divert the students understanding of Paul Kagame, and some students appeared very confused.

When President Paul Kagame arrived he had to be whisked to the back yard of the building due to the anger of some of the protesters who could not stand recalling the problems and family members who were killed due to Kagame’s orders. Some demonstrators jumped in front of the car, throwing eggs Kagame’s car plus Manure from the police horses. The police finally won the battle and managed to get Kagame inside the conference but he only stayed for less than an hour due to known reasons.

On his way out President Paul Kagame was again whisked from the back door and driven around the right side of the building. This was after his cars were taken for cleaning as they were all full of debris (Manure and eggs). This time, when Paulo Kagame came out, however more eggs were thrown at his car, this prompted the police to become more physical but it was too late as one of the female protesters had laid herself on the bonnet (hood over the engine) of the car. Finally the police managed to take the young lady away, but during the process the car travelling behind Kagame sustained broken glass. The police reviewed their film and confirmed that the person who broke the glass was travelling in a bus which came from Belgium, the whole bus of 50 passengers was escorted back to the boarder and deported back to Belgium. Twenty-five officers were on duty at the protest and two individuals were arrested but then released. The police used their horses to restrain and control the crowds. At one point the police called in a Fire Truck and told the protestors that if they did not m manage the event better than they would use the water hose on them in order to control the crowd. The crowd then reorganized itself and maintained proper behavior.

A protester holds up posters showing the doings of President Kagame and the M23 rebels

A protester holds up posters showing the doings of President Kagame and the M23 rebels

The demonstrations continued to the Troxy Hotel where Kagame has been meeting the Rwandese people who believe in him. Kagame’s regime had transported this audience from the entire world to come and listen to him; his main objective was to make the west believe that he is loved by his people, when most of them are afraid of Kagame’s service men who harass everyone in the country who dare to speaks out.

Demonstrations continued on Troxy Commercial road a building which is under construction; this because all of the halls and hotels that had been reserved the owners changed their mind after finding out about the occasion. Kagame’s followers were walking calmly inside the building and the protesters standing to the opposite side of the building, with very friendly policing everything appeared to be under control until 1900 hours which was the end time of the demonstrations. While arriving on Troxy Paul Kagame had to use the back door which the demonstrators had no access to, this was to avoid what happened in Oxford earlier in the morning. The head of the Congolese Mockerekese explained that the main objective of the demonstration had been reached and so what is left is for the world to understand that when you host a murder, rapist then you will have protestors who stand up for what is wrong.

Jonathan Musonera of the RNC stated that the main thing they have all achieved is the relationship between the DRC and Rwandan refugees which had been damaged by Paul Kagame’s interest. He said this relationship had divided the neighbours but they all know that the dictators are the one to blame, not the citizens. Ambrose Nzeyimana thanked everyone for attending the demonstration; he also reminded the people that the collaboration between all great lakes region refugees started today.

Source: Inyenyeri News

May 20, 2013   No Comments

Opposition Party Registration Has Become Impossible in Rwanda, Frank Habineza

In a Press Release published today 20/05/2013, the “Founding President” of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Dr.Frank Habineza reminds us again the harsh political reality of the Rwandan dictatorship:

Opposition Party Registration Has Become Impossible in Rwanda
Frank Habineza - Chair of Democratic Green Party of Rwanda

Frank Habineza

The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda wishes to inform the general public and members of the media that, it’s evidently becoming more impossible to have an opposition party get registered in Rwanda.

DGPR’s tenth request was submitted on 6th May 2012 to the Mayor of Gasabo District. It was also an official response to the Mayor’s letter dated 3rd May, where we had clearly stated that, the party had no issues to sort out with Mr.Mugisha Alexis, since he had voluntarily resigned from the party on 2nd July 2010, his resignation letter was also attached. We therefore, requested the Mayor to grant us permission to hold our founding congress on 21st May.

Surprisingly Mr.Mugisha Alexis also submitted in a new request the same day and requested to hold the same congress on 21st May but at a different location.

On 14th May 2013, while we were meeting the mayor at his offices, we were treated to a great surprise when Mr.Mugisha Alexis, majestically entered and then the Mayor requested us to sit down together and solve the confusion we are causing.

This was not part of our plan but we respected the Mayor’s request and later asked Alexis what he wanted and why he chose to do what he was doing yet he knew he that had resigned from the party. He made it clear that he wants to be brought back into the party and hold a senior position than he held before. We explained to him that we have lost all trust in him and that it won’t be possible and thus advised him to start a new party with a different name. He did not accept our proposal and we are not ready to bring him back in the party.

Given, all the details above, it’s evidently becoming clear that registering an opposition party in Rwanda is increasingly becoming more difficult and we take on this opportunity to request the highest authorities of the country to immediately intervene and solve this unnecessary political impasse.

Done at Kigali, 20th May 2013

Dr.Frank Habineza
Founding President
Democratic Green Party of Rwanda

May 20, 2013   No Comments