Give Kagame a break!

I admire Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society. That said, I disagree with the concluding paragraph in his latest post on the Rwandese military’s involvement in eastern Congo over at African Arguments:

“When a similar situation occurred in Sierra Leone, the Special Court for Sierra Leone went after the main supporters and funders of the rebel movement, in particular the President of Liberia, Charles Taylor. He was recently sentenced to 50 years in jail for his part in funding the murder and destruction of Sierra Leone. Yet the evidence of Rwanda’s support for warring groups in Congo is as strong – if not stronger – than the evidence that convicted Taylor. But because of the genocide in Rwanda and because both Uganda and Rwanda have good development programmes that western donors love to fund, they will not be criticised. Eastern Congo will continue to suffer.”

Following the damning UN report on Kigali’s adventures in the Congo and concerted campaigns by human rights activists, a number of donor countries, including the US, UK, Germany and the Netherlands, have (unwisely) stopped sending aid money to Kigali.

I am inclined to believe that there is truth to the claim that Rwanda supports the M23. But that does not necessary lead me to conclude that Rwanda should therefore be ostracized by the international community, for the following reasons:

  • Rwanda faces a real security threat from rebels in eastern Congo. Kagame is a dictator, no doubt about that (He is not your average tin pot dictator, but that’s beside the point for now). But he is also a purveyor of order in this rather volatile region of central Africa. The last thing eastern and central Africa needs is a slow motion civil war as is currently underway in Burundi. As long as Kinshasa’s incompetence continues to provide a safe launching base for rebels aiming to depose Kagame, Kigali will have no option but to (rightly so) intervene in eastern Congo. Let us not pretend otherwise.
  • The insurgencies in eastern Congo are a direct result of Kinshasa’s calculated inability to project power and control. In this instance, I think the Huntongian view that degree of government matters trumps concerns over the type of government. Eastern Congo needs order, period. Attempts at political negotiations with the numerous rebel factions must also be accompanied with strong military action to defeat all the rebel movements that refuse to come to the table. Kinshasa’s continued failure at either attempt leaves Rwanda no option but to step in in light of the observation above.

In a way the campaign to have Rwanda punished for its adventures in the DRC is emblematic of the problems associated with “mono issue activism” (Remember the danger of a single story?)

This is not a defense of Kagame’s human rights record. Everyone knows it is in the toilet. It is also not a blanket endorsement of foreign interventionism. What it is is an acknowledgement of the very complex context in which Kagame acted, and a consideration of the unintended consequences of cutting aid to Rwanda.

Rwanda’s involvement is a symptom of, and not the cause of the mess that is eastern DRC.

To those that want Kigali punished, I ask: What would it mean for Rwanda’s and the wider region’s security? What would it mean for economic growth and development for the 12 million Rwandese? What would it mean for infant and maternal mortality that have been on the decline (more rapidly than in most of the developing world) over the last decade?

Punishing Kagame (and the people of Rwanda) for Kinshasa’s ineptitude will not solve the problems in eastern Congo. That is just a fact.

UPDATE:

Please check out the comments section below for some insightful discussion on this subject. Despite the combativeness of some of the comments, they all raise some important points that I could not have incorporated in a short blog post.

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21 thoughts on “Give Kagame a break!

  1. Honestly you are speaking from a place of traditional scholar, unrealistic pro pan africanism and your article lacks facts and most importantly empathy. It’s all beautiful in theory but let’s be realistic one moment.
    Paul Kagame could also strengthen security for Rwanda by guarding his borders. I don’t understand why 18 years later he needs to be in the Congo still.
    The only reason why he is there is because annexing the mineral resources rich Kivu unofficially is a good way to secure Rwanda’s financial future which still relies heavily on aid.
    Many many names you hear of rebels and generals in the Congo are Ugandans and Rwandans so they have been there for ages now. Fighting in the Congo because Congolese people are weak and unable to organize themselves. Their country has been in shamble for decades and the current government is a joke. Is that a reason to forsaken them and abandon them really?
    All of you Africans talking about aid is slavery, what are you doing to get out of this predicament. You take the money and when the givers says you know what, I want you to prosper but I can’t let u use my funds to harm others you scream neo colonialism.
    Why do you take the money in the first place?
    Out of everyone else Rwanda should know the cost of death and feel compassion for the 7000000 deaths in the Congo and I am appalled when I hear the officials say that this is not their problem, after collecting 18 years of money on the sole ground that Rwanda was forsaken by the world during the genocide. And now their are doing the same thing to their neighbors. Really? Really? Really?
    And when you say from wherever you are that human rights is in the toilet yet they should cut Kagame some slacks, how do you thing his aggressive trigger happy government is affecting the people within the country.
    It is easy to write from the comfort of your living room but you have no idea of the well being or not of Rwandans so please take a more balanced approach to the situation.

  2. Ken,

    While I am inclined to agree with certain aspects of your reasoning, I think you are needlessly conflating issues here. Rwanda\’s support for the M23 is not simply about Rwanda\’s security as it is driven by other factors. Yes, I concur that the situation in the region is complex. However, crimes must be dealt with. Appeals to issues of stability and socioeconomic indicators as a reason for inaction is frankly wrong and only plays into the hands of Kagame. The fact remains that the \’stability\’ that exists in Rwanda today is a forced one that seems linked to Kagame\’s continued control of power. The notion that pressure on Kagame and his possible exit from power will engender instability can not be proven. It reminds me of former President Moi\’s many predictions about Kenya\’s future once he left power. My own feeling is that Kagame has done great things in terms of economic management but that the politics of exclusion he practices (Rwanda has been ranked third behind Syria and Sudan in terms of political exclusion in the world), will in the long run make Rwanda not more but less stable. Therefore pressure on him and his government is not only right but necessary. The threat of a new genocide can not be used to rationalize new crimes in neighbouring countries.

  3. Stephen,

    Good points, well taken.

    This gist of my argument is that we should not be surprised by Rwanda’s actions. It is the same motivations that inspired the Kenyan incursion into southern Somalia, or more infamously, American exploits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    As long as eastern Congo remains a staging ground for attacks in Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda, we cannot expect these countries to just sit back and respect the non-existent sovereignty of Kinshasa over these areas.

  4. To : Mr. Opalo

    I have read your article with attention and let me tell you in some points to change your views for some points:

    Before to make my comments, I ask you to cheick through your friends, network and intelligence service who’s Hypolite Kanambe alias ” Joseph Kabila” and what’s his nationality.

    How many people died with the Rwanda genocide? 800.000 people and the UN has created a international court.

    How many congolese died with the Rwanda-Uganda war in DRCongo? 6.000.000 people since 1996. Why the UN refuses to create the international court?

    Watch this video in this link and stop to make propaganda.

    1. Rwanda doesn’t faces a real security threat from rebels in eastern Congo.
    You know why? Kagame soldiers have been in Congo since 1996 when the bring
    Laurent Desire Kabila in the power until Now. They never leave the country and
    they recent minister of defense of DRCongo has served as chief of Army in
    DRCongo. Why they didn’t stop all FDRL in Congo in this time? The answer is
    they tried to sell this idea to western countries so that they will have a reason to
    attack east of Congo, tried to bring people there and until one day they will claim
    the independance of Kivu. It the real reason of Kagame war in DRCongo. And all
    people like Laurent Nkunda, ” Joseph Kabila “, Bosco Ntanganda and many more
    are all Rwandeses and they want just to achieve it. All intelligence services and
    politicians leaders know that very well.

    2. If Countries as USA, Germany, UK and other cut the Rwanda you should
    understand that they have better information that you and they have better
    intelligence service. Please stop making propaganda when people are killed.
    DRCongo has 9 countries around him, why only East of DRCongo has a problem?

    3. The competences of DRCongo is due to fact that the so called ” Joseph Kabila”
    who real name is Hypolite Kanambe is a Rwandese and working together with
    Kagame. This guy was Kagame bodyguard in Rwanda.

    4. Beside Bill Clinton and Tony Blair that are close to Kagame, which other top
    leaders work with him hand with hand?

    5. Why all time when the Gen. Kayumba goes to the court in South Africa, Bill
    Clinton going also in Africa?

    6. Who assinated the 2 presidents from Rwanda and Burundi in 1994?

    7. Today NASA can send robot to Mars, Jupiter but nobody is capable to know
    where and who shoot the airplance with the 2 presidents

    8. The problems of DRCongo is Kagame, Kanambe so called ” Joseph Kabila”
    and Museveni. Both 3 are creating troubles in Central Africa and need to be
    replaced to bring peace in the region.

  5. Ken,

    we should not be surprised, but neither should we condone it. the tone of this post is far from conciliatory. And i think it illustrates a deeper panic amongst Kagamists who are now feeling some much needed pressure from the so called international community.

    frankly, from one african to another, it is saddening to read that we have accepted the threat or act of war as necessary to defend so called security interests. it is also sad to justify such an attitude by referring to other comparable ‘exploits’ of a larger scale from misguided powers.

    congo may be politically weak, but that is because it has its own political misfortunes.

    and lastly, tomorrow’s africa strategists can be inclusive, brighter, and more creative as opposed to condemning. we all count on it.

  6. Kagame is the region’s most powerful figure, and his army could neutralize the M23 rebels if he ordered it. Additionally, if the alleged Rwandan support for M23 were to end and Rwanda offered the rebels no escape route, the rebellion would quite likely be beaten into submission by Congolese and U.N. forces. But there’s no indication yet that Kagame intends to exercise either of these options… extracted from http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/03/our_man_in_kigali?page=0%2C5

  7. The “forces hostile to Kigali” you mention…lets take for example the FDLR. Well as a matter of fact Rwanda had troops, with the permission of Kinshasa, in the region, battling the FDLR clandistine in the forests. That was BEFORE M23 raised a stink.
    Actually based on many reports, at this time the FDLR seemd to really losing a lot of steam, support ( after the arrests in Germany ) and they seemed to be on a good way out with some more time.
    But now that M23 has created a certain form of chaos, the chances are good that everybody is busy with that new insurgency, making a “come back” and restructuring of FDLR forces very possible. So, you could say, tactically AND strategically the M23 was one of the best things that could happen to FDLR in my humble opinion.
    In the worst case “the support” of M23 made it much more dangerous for Rwanda…then before.

  8. Send this to comment to Andrew Mwenda. It is Kagame’s wars in Congo which have transformed Eastern Congo into an absentee State. So far, half a million of Congolese have been displaced by the current Rwanda’s invasion in Congo. The 23 march 2009 agreement allowed Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) to join the hunt of Hutus genocidaires. These RDF participated in Kimia 1, Kimia 2, Umoja Wetu, Amani Leo, Amani Kamilifu operations. Most of these RDF soldiers never returned to Rwanda. They have become Fardc (Congo Forces). It is an open secret. Unlike General Nkunda, General Bisengimana, General Bivegete, General Masunzu, General Kijege, General Rwibasira, General Mukiza, General Gakwavu, colonels Makenga, Mutebusi, Padiri, etc, etc… who are authentic true Congolese Citizens, Terminator Ntaganda is a Rwandese Citizen (even the ICC arrest warrant shows that). The Drc nationality law stipulates that everybody whose parents were in Congo on June 30, 1960 is a Congolese National. Ntaganda was born in 1973 in Kinigi, Rwanda. His parents were not in Congo in 1960. But, Kagame wants the world to believe that Ntaganda is Congolese. He is not. Kagame has to hand him over to the ICC. Rwanda wants to force Ntaganda down Congo’s throat as he did for General James Kabarebe whom he presented as Congolese. President Kabila was compelled at gun point to appoint Kabarebe as Congo Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff. When L-D Kabila declared (the obvious) that Kabarebe was Rwandese, and that he had to leave Congo, Rwandese Tutsi soldiers in Congo rioted, and Kabarebe created RCD-Goma which later would metamorphose into Cndp, and now into M23. Like Kabarebe, Ntaganda is Rwandese: same mission, same bullying of Congolese, same mafia, etc. 300 RDF SPECIAL FORCES are still operating inside the DRC where they are carrying out targeted assassination of Fdlr leaders. It is them who killed the FDLR Chief of Staff Col. Mugaragu and an elite battalion’s commander Col. Kanzeguhera. Other several important Fdlr officers have also been wiped out by those RDF commandos. Kabila has done everything possible to comply with Rwanda’s demands. But, Rwanda is not an honest peace broker. It is worth to note that there are two Fdlr: One still commanded by General Rwarakabije, a former Fdlr Chief of staff who defected to Kigali from where he still coordinates operations inside Congo aimed to make Kivu ungovernable, to cause mayhem and havoc (rape, mass murders), and to sabotaging the DDRRR operations. It is this group that is used to manufacture blackmails and treason accusations against Rwandese opposition figures, like Mushayidi, Ingabire and General Kayumba. As the Group of Experts found out, this group includes Fdlr who are repatriated from Drc, sent to Rwanda, demobilized, and then sent back to DRC, when the need arises. So, it’s a vicious circle. The Fdlr will never go away because Kagame wants it to remain alive so he can cash on it and build his propaganda on the endless menace the group represents to Rwanda. The second group includes those who were in conflict with Rwarakabije in the bush; and who are afraid of returning to Rwanda; especially now that Rwarakabije is the Head of Rwandan prisons. It is also worth to note that today ¾ of Fdlr foot soldiers include young people (between 15-30 years old) who have nothing to do with genocide against Tutsis because in 1994 they were either not born yet or too young. In Congo, Tutsis represent less than 1% of the total population. Yet, in Kivu, 90% of colonels, and other higher ranking officers in Fardc, are Tutsis. As a matter of fact, Tutsis have 20 generals within the Drc army! Hunde, Nyanga, Bashi, Bembe, etc. have none. The Inspector General of Police, the MD and CEO of all Congo Revenue, the General Auditor of the FARDC, the Chief of Fardc Logistic, the Commandants of Fardc in the provinces of Bandundu and South-Kivu, the Commandant of Kitona Airs base, etc. are Tutsi. Most of the current operation Commandants (regiments) in Kivu, are Tutsis. Where is the discrimination against them? All the defecting officers had ‘jeeps de commandement’, which they burned down: http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2012/04/08/rutshuru-le-colonel-innocent-kayina-des-fardc-fait-defection/ No other Congolese president would favor Tutsis as Joseph Kabila did. No wonder that some say that he is also a Tutsi. Can you imagine: all the Fardc soldiers and Commandants who are fighting M23 are Kabila loyalist Tutsis. To avoid a fratricide war, loyalist Tutsis soldiers keep withdrawing from their positions. But the point is that Congolese Tutsis are very much afraid of the M23 war backlash! They know that Kagame will come and go, but Congolese Tutsis will have to live with other Congolese whose families have been wiped out by Kagame’s mass crimes whereby Congolese have been killed (1000 in Kisangani, 200 in Kiwanja), burn to death (876 in Makobola), buried alive (14 women in Kasika), castrated ( 12 men in Karuba):
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/08/africa_views_on_nkunda0s_arrest/html/8.stm

  9. Dear mr Opalo,
    Can you please define what is “serious security threat” Rwanda and by other means Uganda are facing? Those two countries have battle ready troops and have been in Congo several times. How come they didn’t neutralize those forces?Are Congolese deaths counted for nothing?

  10. Enough with lies and endless excuses. Kagame has become a pretext for the incompetent DRC leaders and inefficient and dishonest international community. Anyone who cares shd read the history of the Congo, from the days of Patrice Lumumba (RIP), before Kagame was born or even when the Belgians were the direct rulers in Rwanda (then Ruanda). Eastern DRC has always been chaotic, with communities fighting each other, miltias and proxy wars tearing the country apart, so many assassinations, uprisings (sometimes for secession of the Kivus), constant enthocentric reshuffles in Kinshasa, etc etc.
    in 1994, President Mobutu associated himself with a genocidal regime across the border in Rwanda, even sent Zairean soldiers to bolster Rwandan army against the RPA rebels (and truly humiliated). Later, at the fall of the genocidal machinery, Mobutu invited genocidal forces into Zaire, and started working together with other dark forces to reorgnise ex-Far and Interahamwe militias to launch attacks on Rwanda, accomplish the genocidal mission and recapture power from the new government.
    On the eve of their attack, these negative forces were instead attacked by the Rwandan forces inside Zaire (any country would rightly preempt any such imminent danger), and returned more than 1.5 million civilians, who had been held hostage by the militias, back to Rwanda.
    Scores of NGOs saw their jobs up in flames with this sadden repatriation of Rwandans, thus had a bone to pick with Kigali. And that way before even Kagame became president.
    But because Zairean govt and army were rotten, the preemptive attack on the Rwandan genocidal militia prompted a rebellion against Mobutu, which all of a sudden overthrew him in no more than 3 months! That’s how bad Congo was rotten.
    But once in power, Laurent Desire Kabila failed to part ways with his old xenophobic and anti-Rwandophone sentiments, forgetting that actually Rwandophones had played a central role in bringing him to power, and therefore the least they needed was equal treatment as the other citizens. The old curse of ethnic politics could not allow Kabila Sr find sense in building a harmonious, one Congo. He started reorganising and rearming genocidal elements scattered across the DR Congo, including mobilising fighters who had fled to Congo-Brazza to return for a grand anti-Rwanda project.
    They began attacking and killing innocent Congolese because they were perceived sympathetic to or related with Rwandans, and this sparked a new war. As the threat against Rwanda increasingly grew, Kigali was forced to re-deploy in the Congo. Kampala did the same in pursuit of a Ugandan militia in the Congo.
    Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and Chad all intervened in support of Kabila Sr. There were about eight countries in this conflict yet for some reason people only go after Rwanda for alleged war crimes. That’s so unfair to say the least.
    Peace talks after peace talks, and later the 2002 Lusaka accord saw foreign troops withdrawn. But Kinshasa never respected the peace deal, it continued to segregate & commit atrocities against the Rwandophones.
    Because of DRC’s internal failures, new rebellions were launched, including what CNDP of Laurent Nkunda. Kinshasa has always believed, sometimes rightly so, that Kigali has influence over rebellions started by Kinyarwanda-speaking Congolese, and managed to convince the Rwandan government to rein in the CNDP.
    Kigali arrested Gen Nkunda under a gentleman’s agreement with Kinshasa, but helped end the war by brokering the March 23 2009 peace deal between Rwanda and CNDP, then led by Gen Bosco Ntaganda. Kinshasa voluntarily committed to the agreement, under which CNDP joined the army, but with clear assurances from Joseph Kabila’s government.
    That was followed by relative peace and security in the Kivus. Both countries even started to mount limited joint operations against the FDLR. The two presidents paid historic visits to each other. In 2011, Kabila won with a landslide in the Kivus, and Rwanda stood him all through.
    But in the meantime, ICC and allies stepped pressure against Kinshasa to arrest Gen Bosco Ntaganda.
    And then out of the blue, Kabila announces he wants to arrest Ntaganda, not for new charges but the ones (contrary to the 2009 deal). Its clear that Kabila was seeking to appease the opposition and the international community as he struggled to reassert his authority after a highly disputed and fraud election. But he forgot the assurances he made in 2009 and the delicate situation of the CNDP issue, not to mention the govt had actually already breached the peace deal in several ways.
    And so by doing that, Kabila was trying to solve one problem while creating a bigger one.
    That’s when we started to see former CNDP officers and men abandoning their posts, along with the ex-PARECO fighters with whom they had joined the army in 2009.
    Kinshasa invited Kigali help contain the situation. Rwanda responded positively by meeting both sides in the border town of Rubavu on April 8. But after the meeting, Kinshasa started doing the opposite of what had been agreed. That drove more and more soldiers to join the new rebellion – the M23 rebel movement.
    All of a suidden, Kinshasa had its hands overflowing with a new crisis. But the kept opting for rhetoric and threats, rather than genuinely addressing the issue.
    Faced with this embarrassing failure, Kinshasa allied itself with anti-Rwanda elements and started blaming Kigali for supporting the mutineers.
    That resulted into that embarrassing addendum to the interim report by the UN Group of Experts on the Congo, whose coordinator Steve Hege is a well known FDLR sympathiser. The addendum entirely relied on data and rumours from Congolese security officials and military, without any input from Rwanda.
    Kinshasa has been very dishonest with Kigali by running to the UN to accuse Rwanda, while at the same time they have asked Kigali to help contain the situation. Hypocrisy.
    Last week, Rwanda responded to the allegations, point by point, and its clear the addendum is nothing but hot air.
    I hope DRC will take the initiative by the ICGLR seriously and seek to work with regional partners for sustainable peace in that part of the African continent.
    Its counterproductive to blame others for all your failures.

  11. Congolese Gvt have failed, yes I agree with that. What does the Congolese say about this? they just know how to dance Ndomboro and dress well, drink expensive of all types…no war, no development, no nothing. Imagine a Government that can keep the whole of Africa steady in all produce, whether agriculture, mining…but they have no roads waiting for Chinese to build while taking some Gold, diamond… Rwanda is small but lucky and happy because they have visionary leaders. Today an account have been opened for us to put some money to fill the gap of those donations, we are going to make it, not from Congo mines as many think. We are united, and nothing will fail us in Rwanda. Paul has build institutions very well. Only those who do not want to see the milestone we ve walked actually run…but and their wishes..If wishes were raindrops; A flood would ensue Our wishes would be deeper
    Than we are…Gibson Sue

  12. Ken,

    most people (me included) would agree that the Rwandan government has the right and even the responsibility to ensure the security of the Rwandan people and their belongings. And we both agree that the incapacity of the Congolese government makes the eastern Congo the perfect launching pad for armed groups targeting the regime in Kigali.

    That said, I can’t help but to find several weaknesses in your analysis.

    1. Rwanda has perfectly legitimate means to project its military power into eastern Congo. Rwandan special forces have had bases in the Kivus for some time now, based on a deal with the Congolese government. This kind of cooperation could surely be enhanced, if the Rwandan government feels that it doesn’t suffice.

    2. The Congolese government is terribly weak, but why is that so? It would be wrong to blame Rwanda for every ill that has befallen the Congolese people, when their own political class has a lot to answer for, but I think you have to agree that the Rwandan government has done its best to deny the Congolese government efficient governance in the East.

    3. Several commenters have already pointed out the weakness of armed groups in comparison with the Rwandan armed forces and I can only agree: from a military point of view, the FDLR and other armed groups have longe stopped to pose a serious threat to Rwandan security. This could of course change in the future, but at the moment there is just no “credible threat” that would legitimize Rwandan meddling on the scale that they apparently supported M23.

    4. Staying in power for more than 15 years by force and still claiming to fight for the security of ones country just doesn’t add up.

    So I’m against giving Kagame a break. I met the man and I think he is a highly intelligent guy who genuinely thinks he is on a mission to save his people. But that just makes him more dangerous to the Congolese and, ultimately, to the very people he wants to protect. And of course he should be reminded that there is a parallel between his actions and what Taylor did (the same is true for virtually every US president, but that is a different debate).

  13. Along the same lines with Marc above, the FDLR issue that has been used for a longtime by Kagame and his allies can no longer hold in the face of evidence. Kagame has abused the good faith of DRC by recycling FDLR and sending them back to DRC to commit abuses, illegaly exploit minerals or as “congolese”. Evidence collected by the UN GoE points to FDLR fighting alongside with M23. Recycling FDLR to return to DRC, making FDLR a never ending phenomenon, inflating their numbers and invoking security threats from the same FDLR is immoral and must be punished.

  14. The most visible sign that Kagame will fail to take over the Kivu-Ituri is the fact that Banyamulenge (the true ones) have discovered his games of always using them as cannon fodder. To begin with, we should know that all Congolese Tutsis are not Banyamulenge. They are not. Banyamulenge are the ones living in Minembwe plateau. There is no need here for me to get embroiled into futile controversies about their Congolese nationality. Rwanda should look for other alibis to justify its M23’invasion. Banyamulenge’s nationality question is a nonissue here. They are Congolese. Period. Congolese Tutsis from North-Kivu are not Banyamulenge. Calling all Tutsis who were invading Congo in 1998 under the generis name of Banyamulenge was a fraud! For example, as a matter of fact, General Nkunda or Colonel Makenga are not Banyamulenge. General Masunzu, is. Banyamulenge are a sub-group of Tutsis. (No controversies here, please!) Now, let’s get back to the point: In 1997, Kagame told the whole world that Banyamulenge were in danger of an imminent genocide from Mobutu’s FAZ and Interahamwe. He used Banyamulenge’s cover to invade Zaire. During Afdl and Rcd-Goma’s rebellions, Banyamulenge were put on the foreground. But, being naturally nationalistic, Banyamulenge started to denounce Rwanda’s plans for Kivu balkanization. For that matter, in 2004, they defied Rwanda’s orders to stay in Goma and secede. They instead joined the 1+4 government. While Afdl and RCD-Goma were somehow headed by Banyamulenge (Ruberwa, Bugera, Nyarugabo), Cndp made a purge. Cndp/M23’s known Congolese Tutsis are exclusively from North-Kivu. No Munyamulenge. Actually, Cndp was created in response to Rcd’s Banyamulenges’ search for political independence from Rwanda. Banyamulenge were initially close to the Rwanda-led RCD-Goma and Rwanda, but later turned against them, and a full-scale rebellion against the RCD-Goma, led by General Patrick Masunzu developed among the Banyamulenge during 2002. Despite Rwanda’s massive air and land deployment, the rebellion was never defeated. Banyamulenge will never forget how Rwanda’s Air Force killed them in hundreds. So, today, Kagame can no longer claim that he wants to protect Banyamulenge. That would be a fraud. Again! Prominent Banyamulenge leaders like former Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, H.E. Azarias Ruberwa, Ambassador Karaha, Honorable Senator Nyarugabo, General Patrick Masunzu (the current Commandant de la 10ème région militaire à Bukavu) and Honorable Enock Ruberangabo Sebineza, National President of Banyamulenge Community, have refused to join the M23 mafia despite being under intense pressure from Kigali to do so. Honorable Enock Ruberangabo Sebineza has unearthed the collusion between Rwanda and Mai Mai Yakutumba. He particularly “denounces the M23 rebellion in North Kivu, explicitly reminding readers that the M23 does not represent the Banyamulenge community of DRC or its interest.”
    http://ciafrica.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/the-banyamulenge-community-of-south-kivu-officially-denounces-the-m23-rebellion-and-says-not-representing-them/

  15. Who are we kidding here?
    Kagame should not be condemned? Come on, the situation we have in the eastern of Congo is because of him.
    The fdlr are a threat to Kagame? Come on… when was the last time they have threatened kagame and his regime? And besides, the FDR have been in congo more than a decade for, officially fighting Fdlr, but we saw them far away in Kisangani fighting for diamond and minerals. Needless to mention numerous reports that stated collusion between some FDR members and Fdlr during that time.
    And you are saying that the east of Congo is a threat? Kagame created that threat himself, and want that to continue in order for him to justify his intervention in the east of Congo. Congo has a leadership problem, that is a fact, but the situation in that region has more to do with neighboring countries than Kinshasa’ inability to project its power and authority in that part.

  16. Ken,

    For Clarification, I ma Rwandan. I am appalled and heartbroken to find out your inhuman defense of wars and Kagame atrocities. If you ever had beloved ones, I do not wish them any wrong , but if there were from eastern congo, and some of them displaced by by wars, you would may be loose sleep one night, then you would know how cool and defensible Kagame is. If your own mum and sisters were under high risk of rape like many women and girls in eastern Congo , you would have clarity of mind on what to write. You should, please , in your own world at Stanford, think twice, before you start adding salt to the injuries of so many lives. In your intellectual bubble, you should stand for higher causes of Humanity and not the cheap and nasty , even brainless fanaticism of bloody dictators like Kagame.

    Saronde

  17. Ken, your whole article is flawed, as lies with the assumption that DRC is “stage ground for rebel attacks on Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda”. Please name one of such attacks since 1998? On Rwanda, none, and no threat of either, this since 14 years! On Burundi, one attack to be reported on the Gatumba refugee camp, by extremist Congolese soldiers in retaliation of the attack on Bukavu (one million inhabitants) by CNDP rebels backed by Rwanda in 2004, 8 years ago! My my, does DRC represent a huge threat on its neighbors!

    Since your reasoning is based on a false assumption, your whole post and related argumentation goes down the toilet at the same time. If you disagree, please give us light by sharing concrete examples of attacks launched from DRC on neighboring countries in the last 14 years?

    Please learn more about the Great Lakes before having an opinion on it.

    Last but not least, for the reduced child mortality rate in Rwanda: will DRC ever be allowed to have the same as long as noisy neighbors fiddle with its internal rebellions? What about the hundreds of thousands of displaced children not going to school or having access to healthcare because of M23? What about the deads and raped? Sorry, but your ignorant and purely academic (thus pure theory and not based on actual facts) view on a conflict that today makes hundreds of thousands suffer just pisses me off.

  18. Pingback: On technology, governance and development « Opalo's weblog

  19. Unlike some people who seem to be from great lakes region, Opalo seems to understand the Great lakes tragedy! In fact, the big problem of Congo now is not even dictatorship(this would be better) but it’s rather anarchy. I would advise to read this:
    http://www.afroamerica.net/AfricaGL/2012/09/03/drc-rwanda-secret-accord-this-tim-rwandan-government-tells-truth/

    Concerning H.E Kagame, he is now victim of his own and his people’s success, but don’t care, Rwanda has always had home made solutions.

  20. Pingback: Foreign Aid for Institutional Development? « Opalo's weblog

  21. Pingback: Is this the beginning of the Third Congo War? « Opalo's weblog

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