7 Dec 2012

Withhold U.S. aid to speed end of atrocities in Congo | San Francisco Bay View


Withhold U.S. aid to speed end of atrocities in Congo

December 5, 2012

 

Six million lives already lost, majority under age 5

by Claude Gatebuke

In August, members of the M23, a group of rebels backed by the Rwandan military, gang raped a 12 year old girl. In the same month the same rebels stopped an elderly couple, raped the wife and severely beat the husband, who died two weeks later. The above atrocities were documented in a Human Rights Watch Report, an eerie reminder of atrocities committed during the Rwandan Genocide.

A boy injured in the fighting was forced to flee Goma to a refugee camp. – Photo: Jerome Delay, AP
Today, the same rebels are threatening toretake Goma, one of the largest towns in Eastern Congo, which they occupied and relinquished after international pressure on their Rwandan commanders that included Britain suspending aid to the government of Rwanda and the U.S. Senate sanctioning M23 Congolese and Rwandan commanders. Since the so-called rebels began the latest fighting in Congo in April of this year, nearly 500,000 have fled their homes.

What does this have to do with American citizens?

Millions of our tax dollars are sent annually to the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, who are the true perpetrators of these heinous atrocities. A U.N. Group of Experts report confirms that the commander of the M23 rebels is Rwanda's minister of defense, Gen. James Kabarebe, whose history of butchering Congolese people is well documented.

The report alleges that Gen. Kabarebe, along with Rwanda's army chief of staff Gen. Charles Kayonga and Gen. Jack Nziza, an advisor to Rwanda's president Kagame, are providing ammunition, training, logistical support and recruitment of adult and child soldiers under the age of 15 to the M23 rebels. Most are recruited either forcibly or under the false pretext that they are joining the Rwandan military. The report further alleges that Rwanda's military has directly sent its troops to help the M23 take over towns in eastern Congo, a fact presented to the United States Congress during a recent hearing on Rwanda's role in the current humanitarian crisis in Congo.

It is one thing for the United States to stand by and watch atrocities unfold as the Clinton administration did during the Rwandan genocide of 1994, which I fortunately survived after losing countless relatives, neighbors and friends and after being made to dig my and my mother's grave by machete-wielding militias who were ready to kill us. While the U.S. government looked the other way, a million other Rwandans were not fortunate enough to survive, including one of my childhood friends whom I helplessly saw hacked to death with a machete by one of our neighbors. It is another for the United States to remain one of the top two donors giving American taxpayers' money to governments that are committing these heinous crimes.

Thousands wait for food in the Mugunga 3 refugee camp outside Goma on Dec. 2. – Photo: Jerome Delay, AP
Over the last 16 years, more than 6 million lives have been lost in Congo – and the major perpetrators of those atrocities have been U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda. The majority of victims have been children under the age of 5. A U.N. Mapping Exercise Report released in 2010 even goes so far as to say that if taken to a competent court, Rwandan troops would be found guilty of genocide in Congo. Over the last 16 years, subsequent U.S. administrations have provided aid to the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes. The U.S. remains one of the top two donors of aid to Rwanda today.

A slight improvement in U.S. policy in the region was seen this past summer when the State Department for the first time in 16 years made a public statement expressing concern over Rwanda's support of the M23 rebels destabilizing the Congo. A group of bipartisan members of Congress sent a letter to Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, expressing their "dismay" at Rwanda's involvement in the violence in Congo. The White House went even further and cancelled military aid to the government of Rwanda in the amount of $200,000. Kagame responded by saying that $200,000 is nothing.

Considering that the U.S. gave Rwanda over $1 billion between 2000 and 2010, Kagame was correct to laugh at the amount the United States withheld; $200,000 out of a regular aid package of approximately $200 million is less than 1 percent. In fact, it is 10 percent of 1 percent. In other words, withholding only $200,000 was a slap on the wrist.

However, since 40 percent of Rwanda's budget is made up of aid, the United States being a top donor gives it a lot of leverage over Rwanda and a unique opportunity to help end the atrocities without engaging the military option by simply withholding all aid to the Kagame regime until all support for rebels and destabilization of the Congo ceases. It would send a clear message that American people's money will not be used to sponsor extermination of poor people in foreign countries.

Over the last 16 years, more than 6 million lives have been lost in Congo – and the major perpetrators of those atrocities have been U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda. The majority of victims have been children under the age of 5. Over the last 16 years, subsequent U.S. administrations have provided aid to the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes. The U.S. remains one of the top two donors of aid to Rwanda today.

Under the command of the Rwandan military leadership, the M23 rebellion is led by Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, a war criminal wanted by the International Criminal Court and known as the "terminator" in Congo. Ntaganda is a former fighter for the current Rwandan regime and is a Rwandan national, according to the ICC indictment of 2006. The culture of impunity has prevailed and allowed war criminals to use Congo as a safe haven to evade justice and enrich themselves. When the time comes for a court to consider evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possible genocide as documented in the U.N. Mapping Exercise report, crimes sanctioned or committed by Rwandan troops in the Congo will not only become public record but also facts for court cases.

It is therefore in the Kagame regime's best interest to slow down the process of providing justice for more than 6 million Congolese who have lost their lives since the invasion of Congo in 1996 by Uganda and Rwanda. Glaring evidence of getting in the way of justice is Rwanda's refusal to hand over another war criminal, Gen. Laurent Nkunda, the former leader of the CNDP – currently renamed M23 – to Congolese courts for trial on his war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The United States being a top donor gives it a lot of leverage over Rwanda and a unique opportunity to help end the atrocities without engaging the military option by simply withholding all aid to the Kagame regime until all support for rebels and destabilization of the Congo ceases. It would send a clear message that American people's money will not be used to sponsor extermination of poor people in foreign countries.

The U.N. group of experts report points to Gen. Nkunda as a recruiter for the M23. On May 22, Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said that Gen. Laurent Nkunda, who is in Rwanda, "cannot be in prison in Rwanda because he has committed no crime in Rwanda." Previously, President Kagame of Rwanda told BBC Hard Talk's Stephen Sackur that "Laurent Nkunda, if you will, is our guest. He has his family to visit him." This is of course the Gen. Nkunda who committed massacres of scores of families, displaced at least 300,000 people from their homes and broke countless families apart between 2006 and 2008.

Today, President Obama has an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is. He recently put in place a mass atrocities prevention board to combat exactly what is happening in Congo today. In fact, Stephen Rapp, who leads the U.S. Office of Global Criminal Justice, warned Rwandan officials, including Paul Kagame, that they may be charged with war crimes for atrocities committed in Congo. However, most U.S. action can be described as a slap on the wrist and looking the other way.

The current crisis in the Congo calls for swift and decisive action. It is a true test as to whether the administration is really committed to ending mass atrocities. It is in the interest of the American people to use our tax dollars wisely. Our tax dollars should never be spent on governments that are committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and possible genocide.

As a U.S. citizen who survived genocide in Rwanda, I find it unacceptable to give more resources to alleged war criminals. When given more resources, war criminals commit more crimes. It is also wrong to turn a blind eye to such atrocities.

The current crisis in the Congo calls for swift and decisive action. It is a true test as to whether the administration is really committed to ending mass atrocities.

The best way for the U.S. to honor millions of victims of senseless violence perpetrated by our allies in the African Great Lakes Region and to hold accountable the Rwandan government and its proxies who are currently supporting a rebellion in Congo's North Kivu province is to withhold aid. Withholding aid from the Rwandan government and enforcing a law President Obama sponsored and won passage of while he was a senator, PL456-456, would be a great start. This requires each of us to pick up the phone and call our Congress members, representatives and senators, to use the withholding of aid as a tool to help end the atrocities that include the use of child soldiers, rape and summary executions by the Rwanda-backed M23 so-called rebels.

The best way for the U.S. to honor millions of victims of senseless violence perpetrated by our allies in the African Great Lakes Region and to hold accountable the Rwandan government and its proxies who are currently supporting a rebellion in Congo's North Kivu province is to withhold aid.

It is high time to give aggressive diplomacy and economic sanctions a chance to take part in resolving the crisis and ending the violence in the Congo. According to the Obama administration, "Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States." So is spending our tax dollars on responsible and non-criminal governments.

Claude Gatebuke is a U.S. based human rights activist who survived the Rwandan genocide in 1994. He appears regularly on national and international radio and television stations and often speaks at schools and community organizations. He has been a guest at the White House and has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress. He is the executive director of the African Great Lakes Action Network, AGLAN, and can be reached atClaude@aglan.org.

 

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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.

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This blog reports the crimes that remain unpunished and the impunity that has generated a continuous cycle of massacres in many parts of Africa. In many cases, the perpetrators of the crimes seem to have acted in the knowledge that they would not be held to account for their actions.

The need to fight this impunity has become even clearer with the massacres and genocide in many parts of Africa and beyond.

The blog also addresses issues such as Rwanda War Crimes, Rwandan Refugee massacres in Dr Congo, genocide, African leaders’ war crimes and crimes against humanity, Africa war criminals, Africa crimes against humanity, Africa Justice.

Venerating Kagame: The UK celebrate the expansion of their influence to Rwanda

Venerating Kagame: The UK celebrate the expansion of their influence to Rwanda
As planned by Kagame before he took power, all French related institutions (businesses,NGOs, schools, RFI, cultural centres) are banned and expelled from Rwanda and replaced by the British ones.The French language is banned in education, administration and businesses, and is replaced by the English language. All public and private institutions have been renamed in English. The French language has been removed from the National ID cards. Rwanda unilaterally left the Communauté économiqe des états de l'Afrique centrale to join the East African Community controlled by the UK. Next: full and unconditional admission to Commonwealth.
-The British relentless and long running battle to become the sole player and gain new grounds of influence in the francophone African Great Lakes Region has led to the expulsion of other traditional players from the region, or strained diplomatic relations between the countries of the region and their traditional friends. These new tensions are even encouraged by the British using a variety of political and economic manoeuvres.

-General Kagame has been echoing the British advice that Rwanda does not need any loan or aid from Rwandan traditional development partners, meaning that British aid is enough to solve all Rwandan problems.

-The British obsession for the English Language expansion has become a tyranny that has led to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, dictatorial regimes, human rights violations, mass killings, destruction of families, communities and cultures, permanent refugees and displaced persons in the African Great Lakes region.


- Rwanda, a country that is run by a corrupt clique of minority-tutsi is governed with institutional discrmination, human rights violations, dictatorship, authoritarianism and autocracy, as everybody would expect.