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8 Nov 2012

UK: Relations with Rwanda must be urgently reviewed

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/08/relations-rwanda-andrew-mitchell?INTCMP=SRCH
 
 

Relations with Rwanda must be urgently reviewed

Andrew Mitchell is being questioned after giving £8m to a state with rebel links. UK silence on human rights abuses must end

 
Andrew Mitchell, ex-development secretary is today questioned by the Commons IDC on aid to Rwanda.
Andrew Mitchell, ex-development secretary is being questioned on UK aid to Rwanda. Photograph: Reuters/Toru Hanai

The international development select committee (IDC) is today questioning Andrew Mitchell on his controversial decision to disburse £8m of UK budget support to the government of Rwanda, in his final hours as international development secretary and just six weeks after deciding to withhold this support, following allegations of Rwandan military backing for the M23 rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Human Rights Watch has documented egregious and systematic human rights abuses by the M23 rebels in DRC over the last six months. The group is largely made up of soldiers who mutinied from the Congolese national army in late March and May 2012. Its senior commanders have a well-known history of serious abuses. They include General Bosco Ntaganda, who is wanted on two arrest warrants by the international criminal court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and several other individuals involved in massacres and the recruitment of children to fight in eastern Congo.

Recent M23 abuses in eastern Congo include the deliberate killing of civilians, summary executions and rape. Among the cases we documented was that of an eight-year-old girl raped by M23 fighters. In another sickening case, a 32-year old woman in the village of Chengerero was gang raped by M23 fighters, who then poured fuel between her legs and set the fuel on fire. The M23 have also forcibly recruited civilians into their ranks and executed some who tried to flee. These abuses and those of other armed groups have contributed to the quickly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region, with tens of thousands of people displaced by violence and fear.

Despite the Rwandan government's flat denials, Rwandan military support for the M23 has been significant throughout this period. During a visit toKigali at the end of last month, I raised the issue of Rwanda's role with the main donors and embassies. Not one of them disputed the Rwandan army's direct involvement. Human Rights Watch's research shows clearly that Rwandan troops have been deployed in support of M23 operations, that ordinary Rwandans, including children, have been forcibly recruited and sent to Congo to fight with the M23, and that Rwandan military officials have supplied them with arms and ammunition. These findings match those of the UN Group of Experts on Congo, as detailed in their June interim report and in their final report, which has yet to be published but whose conclusions have been extensively leaked.

This is the backdrop to Mitchell's announcement of 4 September that he would release half the delayed £16m of general budget support. He justified this on the basis that "Rwanda has engaged constructively with the peace process initiated through the International Conference on the Great Lakes region". But Human Rights Watch sees no evidence to support this positive assessment of Rwanda's role in eastern DRC or of its constructive engagement to resolve the regional crisis. On the contrary, Rwandan military support to the M23 was ongoing from late July to early September – that is throughout the period in which UK aid was withheld and then disbursed.

The decision to resume half the delayed UK aid to Rwanda appears to have been taken hurriedly, with limited internal discussion across Whitehall or with high commission and Department for International Development (DfID) staff in Rwanda. It may also have been taken against the advice of some UK officials, though publication of the advice could easily resolve that issue. From recent discussions with major donor governments to Rwanda, including embassies in Kigali, it is further apparent that there was little if any consultation with other governments in advance of this decision. Mitchell's decision is at odds with the position of the UK's main partners: none of the other European governments that suspended aid to Rwanda around the same time, and for the same reasons, have since chosen to resume it.

While the focus of the IDC inquiry is UK aid and Rwanda's role in DRC, there are wider questions to be asked about UK policy towards Rwanda. Since the genocide of 1994, Rwanda has made very substantial and welcome progress economically and against some key development indicators. But this cannot excuse or justify the highly repressive nature of the Rwandan government, its attacks on members of Rwandan opposition parties, the politicisation of the judiciary, the emasculation of Rwandan NGOs, civil society and independent journalists, or the use of ill-treatment and torture in unlawful detention centres. In their eagerness to celebrate Rwanda's "development success" UK ministers have been shamefully silent about these persistent human rights abuses.

This neglect of rights concerns is no longer tenable. The new international development secretary, Justine Greening, should make the protection and advancement of human rights a much more central focus of DfID policy towards Rwanda. Human rights do feature in the text of a recently revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by DfID and the Rwandan government. But rights principles in previous MoUs have been largely ignored. This needs to change. DfID should also do more to support Rwandan civil society – those courageous Rwandan men and women pressing for reform and respect for basic freedoms from within the country, often at great personal risk to themselves. It should also reassess the appropriateness of general budget support for Rwanda and ensure that aid for Rwanda's poorest citizens and support for poverty reduction and development does not inadvertently entrench authoritarianism or repression.





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SUMMARY : THE TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE BRITISH BUDGET SUPPORT AND GEO-STRATEGIC AMBITIONS

United Kingdom's Proxy Wars in Africa: The Case of Rwanda and DR Congo:

The Rwandan genocide and 6,000,000 Congolese and Hutu refugees killed are the culminating point of a long UK’s battle to expand their influence to the African Great Lakes Region. UK supported Kagame’s guerrilla war by providing military support and money. The UK refused to intervene in Rwanda during the genocide to allow Kagame to take power by military means that triggered the genocide. Kagame’s fighters and their families were on the Ugandan payroll paid by UK budget support.


· 4 Heads of State assassinated in the francophone African Great Lakes Region.
· 2,000,000 people died in Hutu and Tutsi genocides in Rwanda, Burundi and RD.Congo.
· 600,000 Hutu refugees killed in R.D.Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic and Rep of Congo.
· 6,000,000 Congolese dead.
· 8,000,000 internal displaced people in Rwanda, Burundi and DR. Congo.
· 500,000 permanent Rwandan and Burundian Hutu refugees, and Congolese refugees around the world.
· English language expansion to Rwanda to replace the French language.
· 20,000 Kagame’s fighters paid salaries from the British Budget Support from 1986 to present.
· £500,000 of British taxpayer’s money paid, so far, to Kagame and his cronies through the budget support, SWAPs, Tutsi-dominated parliament, consultancy, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs.
· Kagame has paid back the British aid received to invade Rwanda and to strengthen his political power by joining the East African Community together with Burundi, joining the Commonwealth, imposing the English Language to Rwandans to replace the French language; helping the British to establish businesses and to access to jobs in Rwanda, and to exploit minerals in D.R.Congo.



Thousands of Hutu murdered by Kagame inside Rwanda, e.g. Kibeho massacres

Thousands of Hutu murdered by Kagame inside Rwanda, e.g. Kibeho massacres
Kagame killed 200,000 Hutus from all regions of the country, the elderly and children who were left by their relatives, the disabled were burned alive. Other thousands of people were killed in several camps of displaced persons including Kibeho camp. All these war crimes remain unpunished.The British news reporters were accompanying Kagame’s fighters on day-by-day basis and witnessed these massacres, but they never reported on this.

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25,000 Hutu bodies floated down River Akagera into Lake Victoria in Uganda.

25,000  Hutu bodies  floated down River Akagera into Lake Victoria in Uganda.
The British irrational, extremist, partisan,biased, one-sided media and politicians have disregarded Kagame war crimes e.g. the Kibeho camp massacres, massacres of innocents Hutu refugees in DR. Congo. The British media have been supporting Kagame since he invaded Rwanda by organising the propaganda against the French over the Rwandan genocide, suppressing the truth about the genocide and promoting the impunity of Kagame and his cronies in the African Great Lakes Region. For the British, Rwanda does not need democracy, Rwanda is the African Israel; and Kagame and his guerilla fighters are heroes.The extremist British news reporters including Fergal Keane, Chris Simpson, Chris McGreal, Mark Doyle, etc. continue to hate the Hutus communities and to polarise the Rwandan society.

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Kagame political ambitions triggered the genocide.

Kagame  political  ambitions triggered the genocide.
Kagame’s guerrilla war was aimed at accessing to power at any cost. He rejected all attempts and advice that could stop his military adventures including the cease-fire, political negotiations and cohabitation, and UN peacekeeping interventions. He ignored all warnings that could have helped him to manage the war without tragic consequences. Either you supported Kagame’ s wars and you are now his friend, or you were against his wars and you are his enemy. Therefore, Kagame as the Rwandan strong man now, you have to apologise to him for having been against his war and condemned his war crimes, or accept to be labelled as having been involved in the genocide. All key Kagame’s fighters who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity are the ones who hold key positions in Rwandan army and government for the last 15 years. They continue to be supported and advised by the British including Tony Blair, Andrew Mitchell MP, and the British army senior officials.

Aid that kills: The British Budget Support financed Museveni and Kagame’s wars in Rwanda and DRC.

Aid that kills: The British Budget Support  financed Museveni and Kagame’s wars in Rwanda and DRC.
Genocide propaganda and fabrications are used by the so-called British scholars, news reporters and investigative journalists to promote their CVs and to get income out of the genocide through the selling of their books, providing testimonies against the French, access to consultancy contracts from the UN and Kagame, and participation in conferences and lectures in Rwanda, UK and internationally about genocide. Genocide propaganda has become a lucrative business for Kagame and the British. Anyone who condemned or did not support Kagame’s war is now in jail in Rwanda under the gacaca courts system suuported by British tax payer's money, or his/she is on arrest warrant if he/she managed to flee the Kagame’s regime. Others have fled the country and are still fleeing now. Many others Rwandans are being persecuted in their own country. Kagame is waiting indefinitely for the apologies from other players who warn him or who wanted to help to ensure that political negotiations take place between Kagame and the former government he was fighting against. Britain continues to supply foreign aid to Kagame and his cronies with media reports highlighting economic successes of Rwanda. Such reports are flawed and are aimed at misleading the British public to justify the use of British taxpayers’ money. Kagame and his cronies continue to milk British taxpayers’ money under the British budget support. This started from 1986 through the British budget support to Uganda until now.

Dictator Kagame: No remorse for his unwise actions and ambitions that led to the Rwandan genocide.

Dictator Kagame: No remorse for his unwise actions and ambitions that led to the  Rwandan genocide.
No apologies yet to the Rwandan people. The assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana by Kagame was the only gateway for Kagame to access power in Rwanda. The British media, politicians, and the so-called British scholars took the role of obstructing the search for the truth and justice; and of denying this assassination on behalf of General Kagame. General Paul Kagame has been obliging the whole world to apologise for his mistakes and war crimes. The UK’s way to apologise has been pumping massive aid into Rwanda's crony government and parliement; and supporting Kagame though media campaigns.

Fanatical, partisan, suspicious, childish and fawning relations between UK and Kagame

Fanatical, partisan, suspicious, childish and fawning relations between UK and Kagame
Kagame receives the British massive aid through the budget support, British excessive consultancy, sector wide programmes, the Tutsi-dominated parliament, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs; for political, economic and English language expansion to Rwanda. The British aid to Rwanda is not for all Rwandans. It is for Kagame himself and his Tutsi cronies.

Paul Kagame' actvities as former rebel

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