Complicit neighbours: Rwanda, Uganda and East DRC

Published on Pambazuka News, by Antoine Roger Lokongo, June 14, 2012.

The troika of Rwanda, Uganda and the international community continue to get away with destablising the east of the DRC*. The carnage that is lived daily by the Congolese people in eastern DRC is what the Congolese daily Le Potentiel calls a ‘forgotten genocide’[1] by the will of the international community. In fact, the international community has witnessed the atrocities being committed in eastern Congo by both Rwandan Hutu and Tutsi armed groups, with the complicity of some Congolese, since the UN peacekeeping mission was deployed in the DRC over a decade ago.  

Britain, America and the European Union can no longer turn a blind eye to the complicity of Rwanda and Uganda in both supplying arms and soldiers to Tutsi rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda (both him and his predecessors are already indicted by the ICC) in the troubled North Kivu of the DRC. Britain, America and the European Union are now caught red-handed and cannot claim not to be aware of the plot (of annexing eastern Congo to Rwanda and Uganda, encouraged by the Sudanese experience) that is being weaved by Rwanda and Uganda in the eastern DRC.

Three official reports issued by the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo as reported by the BBC[2], by Human Rights Watch[3] and by the Congolese government (after conducting its own thorough investigation, including interviewing Rwandan fighters caught in the frontline[4] have all confirmed that Rwanda, for the umpteenth time, is yet again on the front line in eastern Congo. According to Congolese Minister of Information, Lambert Mende Omalanga:

‘200 to 300 rebels were recruited in Rwanda in order to be infiltrated in the DRC. They underwent a brief military training before being deployed against the armed forces of the DRC.’[5]

Anyway, for the Congolese people there was nothing new. A year before Rwanda joined the Commonwealth (November 2009), The Telegraph, a British daily close to the Conservative Party in Britain and therefore close to the British Crown, revealed that Congolese Tutsi rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda was recruited from the Rwandan army. Rwanda was therefore allowing its territory to be used as a recruiting ground for the rebel movement behind the DRC’s bloodshed, according to first-hand accounts and evidence gathered by The Telegraph … //

… After all these crocodile’s tears, Rwanda will simply get away with it and recommence again tomorrow — as long as minerals need to be supplied to the West.

Kagame, Museveni and their Western backers have been uncovered. The whole world can now see that the main force driving this conflict. As Jacqueline Umurungi writes, some of Kagame’s greatest admirers are Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and Starbucks magnate Howard Schultz. American evangelist Rick Warren considers him something of an inspiration and even Bill Gates has invested in what has been called Africa’s success story. Yes, Western liberals, reactionary evangelicals, and capitalist carpetbaggers alike tout Paul Kagame as the herald of a new, self-reliant African prosperity. Britain annually subsidizes 50 per cent of Rwanda’s national budget.[10] Now you understand why the war in mineral-rich eastern Congo never ends and why, mockingly according to the BCC, ‘there is no end to the tears in the DRC.’[11]

What Kinshasa did was to integrate all the Tutsi Congolese into the national army, even those wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity like General Bosco Ntaganda, ‘who was born in Rwanda where he fought with the ethnic Tutsi rebels who brought current President Paul Kagame to power and ended the genocide in 1994’, according to the BBC.[12] The CNDP (The National Congress for the Defence of the People or Congrès national pour la défense du people), a former rebel movement, was transformed into a political party and integrated into President Kabila’s coalition in power.

President Kabila put them in charge of military operations against Hutu militia accused of having committed the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Kinshasa even made a deal with Kigali to allow the Rwandan army to enter Congo and hunt Hutu militia. By the way, The ICC recently confirmed the dismissal of charges against Callixte Mbarushimana, a Hutu, of responsibility for atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009.[13] Then the people of Congo realized that the Tutsi continued to use the war against Hutu ‘genocidists’ as a pretext for occupying mining concessions and systematically exploiting them. That is why the Congolese Tutsi soldiers refuse categorically to be transferred to other parts of Congo to serve there. They just want to be posted in eastern Congo near the Rwandan border. But the Congolese army is supposed to be a national army, not an ethnic army. When President Kabila ordered the transfer of all soldiers from eastern Congo to serve in other parts of Congo, rumour went around that Ntaganda was going to be arrested and transferred to the ICC (Kabila has said he would be tried in Congo). He launched a mutiny known as the 23 March movement (a new name for the CNDP) because they joined the Congolese army under a March 2009 peace deal but have defected ‘complaining of poor treatment’.

Enough is enough. The well-armed and Western-backed Tutsi regimes of Rwanda and Uganda must understand that there is a saying which goes like this: ‘Lie! Lie! There will always be something left to lie about: the truth.’ ‘The international community’ will yet again confirm its complicity in the plot against the DRC if Rwanda and Uganda yet again get away with it this time. Is the ICC there just for Charles Taylor and Laurent Gbagbo, but not Tony Blair, George W. Bush, Museveni and Kagame?
(full text and Notes 1 to 13).

Links:

*Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC on en.wikipedia;

Democratic Republic of Congo – country profile on BBC;

DCR music;

Women for Congo-Women;

The CIA world fact book:
with the facts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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