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The Untold Stories: Are Kagame and RPF becoming the Major Boar and Napoleon Characters in the Animal?

By Jacqueline Umurungi

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

Yesterday morning on the BBC Newsday programme, the Rwandan ruler was interviewed by Komla Dumor where Kagame defended his autocratic rule for almost two (2) decades where persecution of his political opponents in the country and beyond has become intolerable to even some of his admirers.  Kagame told BBC that he plays with the rules in the political game.  He is in fact lying, dishonest, corrupt and a killer of the highest order.

President Kagame has exploited the tragedy that be fellow our country where almost one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in Genocide in just 3 months. Indeed, the international community’s failure to intervene has been the political card used by the Rwandan dictator whenever is asked about Human Rights, freedom of speech, independence of the judiciary, media and civil societies. This has been the view of Kagame that Rwanda cannot afford political freedoms and basic civil and political rights given its tragic history. What does he mean by playing with rules when he has used his courts to lock up his political opponents? And there are credible accounts of political assassinations of those who have expressed the mildest criticisms of his autocratic rule.

Kagame hides behind what he calls the economic development which in fact cannot be achieved at the expense of basic human rights and freedoms. Kagame’s argument is selfish centred since some economic power counties which in fact had almost the same tragic history are now the best democracies in the World. Countries like Germany and indeed, Japan, who have both had a tragic history, but emerged to become global economic giants without sacrificing such rights. Kagame is instead another African old-style tyrant using economic development as an excuse to further his selfish aims.

As I have mentioned above Kagame has technically been in power since 1994, and today, Rwandans are kind of gagged, they can’t freely express themselves, for those who dare to speak up they are dealt with accordingly, many politicians including his former colleagues, and officers in the army have since fled the country and unfortunately he has followed them in exile to assassinate them just because they tried to question his policies. His government fully controls not only the government media that broadcast and prints or publishes government propaganda, but also all censors and harasses other independent media and journalists, dozens and dozens of journalists have either fled, killed or incarcerated for just questioning his repressive tendencies, and there’s nothing like separation of powers in Rwanda (on paper yes, but in reality the executive controls everything.

Kagame should have learnt from the history of our country or what has been happening in what is commonly known as the Arab spring or in the Arab world in general (Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya), and Ivory Coast. Does he think Rwandans are happy and contented with all the democratic freedoms and what RPF government is doing for them or like in these countries, Rwandans can’t risk their own lives to speak out against the government, do Rwandans have a right to peacefully protest? Why that is the only protests the governments allow are only pro-Kagame government?

Kagame vaguely answered the BBC question on succession come 2017, he never gave the precise answer, and he said that he is not bothered by succession but rather development, what a naked lie? Initially president Kagame was advocating for a woman as his successor but when media out lets started finger pointing to his own wife Jeannette whom they have ruled the country like a family project, he has started changing the goal posts, it is therefore not clear whether the dictator will unequivocally reaffirm his commitment or intentions to stand down when his current term lapses in 2017.

Kagame again told the BBC that he is a straight forward man and incorruptible, this is another naked lie, Kagame through his companies in the name of RPF ventures and investments he owns more wealth than the country he leads, it is estimated that RPF under the roof of the crystal ventures is worth US $500m, is he accountable on that money? How big tenders in which RPF companies are involved are awarded? It is inconceivable that the International community knows all these games by the Rwandan dictator but they have kept a deaf ear. Rwanda has never had free and fair elections, it’s the RPF and some of its affiliated parties that go for elections then Kagame is declared the winner with 95%, does the international community recognise that?

Kagame and RPF almost own every business in the town and beyond, the big buildings and mansions are owned by RPF officials or those who are their sympathisers does this mean development? The Road construction companies and other companies in the real estate are RPF owned, the country is governed like Peru in the days of President Alberto Fujimori, who is now serving a prison sentence for crimes against humanity during his rule.

The crimes against humanity that Kagame committed against the people who were in Kibeho Camp are still fresh in many Rwandan memories, the Bishops who were murdered on his direct orders have never been given a decent burial or a thorough investigation by independent organs to establish the real perpetrators of this heinous crime and it’s a shame that the Catholic church has never demanded that these Bishops be given a decent burial like other human beings let alone their status as Catholic Bishops.

If President Kagame thinks he has done many great things for Rwanda as he wants people to believe, why is he so frightened of political opposition? Rwanda will never grow as a country and reach its full potential as long as you prevent the Democratic dispensation in the country from registering when you keep people like Bernard Ntaganda, Deo Mushyayid and Victoire Ingabire just to mention a few imprisoned for no genuine reason or the reason that they have different views from yours and RPF. In then Senator Barack Obama’s 2006 Obama Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006, he wrote:

“(6) Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement and subsequent withdrawal of foreign forces in 2003, both the real and perceived presence of armed groups hostile to the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi continue to serve as a major source of regional instability and an apparent pretext for continued interference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by its neighbors [Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi].” Mr. President (Kagame), Rwandan Day and other days you think you will organise without addressing the fundamental human rights and democratic future of Rwanda is not only wastage of the Rwandan Taxpayers money but also sign of fear and panic.

Source: Inyenyeri

May 22, 2013   No Comments

Congolese army and Rwandan M23 rebels clash for a second day, 19 dead

M23 rebels

The M23 rebels

Two days of clashes between Congo’s army and rebel fighters near the eastern city of Goma have killed at least 19 people, threatening an uneasy six-month peace just days before a scheduled visit by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Government forces and the M23 insurgents began exchanging heavy weapons fire for a second day early on Tuesday, with explosions still being heard late into the afternoon.

A Reuters witness saw rebel fighters blocking the road heading north away from the city, as civilians streamed out of combat zones clutching their belongings and driving their livestock in front of them.

“The M23 tried to overrun our positions and we’re in the process of pushing them back,” army spokesman Colonel Olivier Hamuli told Reuters. “We’re very confident (of defending Goma)”.

Government spokesman Lambert Mende said 15 rebels and four government soldiers had been killed in Monday’s clashes north of Goma, the biggest city in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Details of casualties from Tuesday’s fighting were not immediately available, but both military and rebel sources said the shelling had caused further deaths.

The fighting was the first since November, when M23 troops routed Democratic Republic of Congo’s army – the FARDC – and briefly seized Goma, despite the presence of thousands of U.N. peacekeepers.

M23 spokesman Amani Kabasha denied starting the clashes, saying the rebels had come under heavy army shelling for a second day and the group’s military commander, Sultani Makenga, had given the order to respond.

“It seems the government wants to fight,” he said. “There is no political will for bringing peace through a negotiated settlement”.

During its year-long insurgency, the M23 has repeatedly used alleged army aggression as a pretext to launch offensives, but has been weakened in recent months by infighting and defections. The Congolese army is also struggling to reorganise after its humiliating defeat in Goma last year.

U.N. experts accused Rwanda of sending troops and weapons across the border to support the M23 last year. Rwanda denies the accusation.

Peace talks between the M23 and the Congolese government in Kampala, the capital of neighbouring Uganda, have stalled.

M23 is mainly made up of the members of a previous Tutsi-dominated rebel group which integrated into the ranks of the army following a 2009 peace deal.

But they deserted en masse last year and have stepped up training in their strongholds in preparation for the deployment of a U.N. Intervention Brigade with a mandate to neutralise armed groups across the region.

The U.N. brigade will count some 3,000 troops from South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi operating alongside the existing 17,000 strong peacekeeping mission.

Ban is due to arrive in Goma this week with the president of the World Bank as part of a high-profile visit to push for an end to nearly two decades of violence in the mineral-rich region which has left millions dead.

On a stopover in Mozambique on Tuesday, Ban described the situation in eastern Congo as “very dangerous” and said he hoped to deploy the Intervention Brigade “as soon as possible”.

He said he had already appointed a force commander but gave no more details on the deployment timing.

Source: Reuters

May 22, 2013   No Comments

FARDC losing control over Goma, border with Rwanda closed

A column of M23 rebels on the Goma to Rushuru road

A column of M23 rebels on the Goma to Rushuru road

Goma-DRC. The on-going fighting between Congolese regular army FARDC and rebel group M23 is escalating. In reaction, FARDC and Northern Kivu province has closed the minor border with Rwanda at Gisenyi.

Our reporter at the ground, Josephine Lukoya says M23 is moving to block the supply road from Goma capital of North Kivu to Mugunga, which is the main FARDC supply from the Minova Headquarters.

The route from Goma to Rutchuru is blocked by M23.

“Our aim is not taking Goma, capturing the city will be reactive and our last option. We need to stop this heavy artillery causing panic to residents. The supply of the tanks and other artillery guns and equipments must stop,” Amani Kabasha told Great Lakes Voice

UN boss, Ban Ki Moon was to visit Goma today. It’s not clear if he will manage to be in the controversial city.

Refuges surrounding Goma has fled the area. M23 officials say they are running to the territories controlled by their fighters. However, our reporter met a huge number of them running to Monesco camps.

Source: Great Lakes Voice

May 22, 2013   No Comments