Monday, May 28, 2012

Justice For The Congolese People

In recognition of Genocide Prevention Month, the permanent mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations and United to End Genocide organized an event titled “Justice in 2012,” bringing justice seekers from Uganda, Sudan and Congo to share experience as human rights activists in their respective countries, the role of the International Criminal Court, its arrest warrants and the importance of justice for the victims. Kambale Musavuli, spokesperson of Friends of the Congo, served as one of the speakers and shared why it is important to support justice in the Congo. The event took place at the Bohemian National Hall in New York City on April 30, 2012.

Distinguished guests, diplomats, activists and justice seekers, Good evening.
Thank you for inviting Friends of the Congo to participate in the “Justice in 2012” panel in recognition of Genocide Prevention Month.

I’d like to thank the permanent mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations and United to End Genocide for hosting this panel discussion. I also would like to thank Staci Alziebler-Perkins, an amazing human rights activist and the New York City Genocide Prevention Coalition Convener, for uniting justice seekers on this last day of Genocide Prevention Month.

I’m delighted to be joined by Mr. Magid Kabash of the Nuba Mountains International Association, who has just returned from the Nuba Mountains and shared with us his personal eyewitness account of what is unfolding there. It is also an honor to be joined by Stephen Lamony of Uganda who also has been a justice seeker at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

We are convening tonight to share with you our experience as human rights activists on issues related to our countries. We have been asked to recommend how the ICC can be engaged in our countries, from issuing arrest warrants to providing justice for the victims in our homeland.

This is a daunting task to do in 15 minutes for a Congolese human rights activist such as myself, yet I stand here to share with you the optimum way of supporting the Congolese people who have been fighting to get justice since the beginning of the war in their country in 1996.

My talk will be organized into four sections: the case of Bosco Ntaganda, the United Nations Mapping Exercise Report, Equitable Justice and Recommendations to the ICC.
1. The Prosecutor v. Bosco Ntaganda (ICC-01/04-02/06 – Pre-trial)
According to the ICC arrest warrant, Bosco Ntaganda is allegedly criminally responsible under article 25 (3) (a) of the Rome Statute for three counts of war crimes: enlistment of children under the age of 15; conscription of children under the age of 15; and using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities. As a deputy chief of the General Staff of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC, the military wing of the Union des Patriotes Congolais of Thomas Lubanga), Bosco Ntaganda is accused of having used his authority to implement the FPLC’s policy regarding the enlistment and conscription of children under 15 and of having involved them actively in the hostilities in Ituri from July 2002 to December 2003.

Ntaganda is further accused of having exercised de jure and de facto authority in the Bule, Centrale, Mandro, Rwampara, Irumu, Bogoro and Sota child soldier training camps. Finally, he is also accused of having taken part in FPLC attacks in which child soldiers were involved. As you know, Ntaganda’s colleague in FPLC, Thomas Lubanga, has been found guilty by the ICC of recruiting and using child soldiers in the Congo between 2002 and 2003.

So who is Bosco exactly, and why is he important to understanding what’s happening in DRC?
According to the ICC, Bosco Ntaganda was born in Kiningi, Rwanda, in 1973 and came to the Congo in the 1980s. At age 17 he joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front rebels in southern Uganda. After the RPF rebels successfully toppled the regime in Rwanda in 1994, Bosco began alternating between playing the roles of a rebel and a soldier, in both Rwanda and DR Congo, starting in 1996.

In 2006, he was indicted by the ICC for allegedly recruiting child soldiers but has not been turned over to the ICC by the Congolese government. Since the unsealing of his arrest warrant, he has continued to commit crimes in the Congo and maintained a mafia network for the illegal exploitation of Congo’s resources, arms trade and illegal levies and taxation of local communities.

One of his highest-profile killings took place when he was in charge of CNDP rebel soldiers who carried out the 2008 Kiwanja massacre. The CNDP (Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple) is an armed militia established in the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in December 2006 by Laurent Nkunda, another war lord we hope will be indicted by the ICC.

The United Nations tried to bring attention to the issue of impunity when it released the Mapping Exercise Report, showing that making systematic changes will ultimately be more impactful to improve the situation than trying individuals responsible for war crimes.

According to Human Rights Watch, “At least 150 people were killed on Nov. 4 and 5, 2008, in Kiwanja. Most victims had bullet wounds to the head or wounds caused by machete, spear or club, indicating they had been summarily executed rather than killed in the cross fire or by rocket and mortar shells. At least 14 of the victims were children, eight were women and seven were elderly.” HRW adds that “International humanitarian law prohibits the summary execution or mistreatment of any person in custody, whether civilians or captured combatants. When committed deliberately or recklessly, such acts are war crimes.”
In 2009, Ntaganda and his troops from the CNDP were integrated into the Congolese national army. Since March 2012, he and a few of his loyal troops appear to have deserted the army and today are battling the Congolese forces in the town of Mweso and Mushake, causing the displacement of hundreds of Congolese in surrounding towns.

On April 11, 2012, Congolese president Joseph Kabila made a public statement indicating that Ntaganda should be arrested, yet he has shied away from turning him over to the ICC and says that he believes the Congolese justice system will be able to try him.

While Congolese applaud the fact that Bosco Ntaganda has been indicted by the ICC, we urge you to look beyond Ntaganda to concentrate on ending the impunity rampant in the Congo, where the warlords of yesterday and frequent human rights abusers are promoted to government positions or army ranks. The United Nations tried to bring attention to this issue when it released the Mapping Exercise Report, showing that making systematic changes will ultimately be more impactful to improve the situation than trying individuals responsible for war crimes.

2. United Nations Mapping Exercise report
On Oct. 1, 2010, The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a 550-page report called “Mapping Exercise,” documenting 617 alleged violent incidents of “the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003.” The report also identifies countries “that could be held responsible for serious violations of human rights committed by their national armies during the period under consideration in the DRC, and in particular Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Angola.”

It singled out the crimes committed by the Rwanda army by noting that “the apparent systematic and widespread attacks described in this report reveal a number of inculpatory elements that, if proven before a competent court, could be characterized as crimes of genocide.”

Why did the United Nations decide to produce yet another report on human rights violations in the Congo? The discovery of three mass graves in North Kivu in 2005 was a stark reminder to the United Nations that the past human rights violations in the Congo remained largely uninvestigated. This prompted the U.N. to reactivate earlier U.N. investigative efforts but on a much larger scale.

The Mapping Report notes that the ICC is the only judicial mechanism that has the capacity, the integrity and the independence required to prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes – as defined by international law – committed on DRC territory. It adds that “charges filed and the proceedings [at the ICC] neither do justice to the hundreds or even thousands of victims, nor reflect the true scale of the criminal activities of the accused, documented in numerous prior inquiries.”

“Charges filed and the proceedings [at the ICC] neither do justice to the hundreds or even thousands of victims, nor reflect the true scale of the criminal activities of the accused, documented in numerous prior inquiries.”

The report also brings attention to the fact that there are few or no charges relating to acts of sexual violence in the arrest warrants issued by the ICC. It states that this “only contributes to minimizing the importance of these crimes and to confirming a culture of impunity that the Court was intended to overcome.” It also points to the contradiction that, in the Bosco Ntaganda and Thomas Lubanga’s cases, there are no charges for sex crimes whilst those against Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui do include such charges.
Understanding the role the ICC can play in supporting justice for the many victims of the political conflict in the Congo, we believe that an equitable application of justice will help to enhance the legitimacy of the court and create better cooperation from member countries throughout the world.

3. Equitable application of justice
Some of the major drivers of the conflict and atrocities in the Congo have not been held to account. There is no indication that the ICC has any intentions of holding neighboring countries responsible for the crimes they have committed or sponsored in the Congo per the U.N. Mapping Exercise Report. Take the case of Thomas Lubanga, for example. He was supported by both Rwanda and Uganda as he recruited child soldiers and committed atrocities in the Congo, but neither the leaders of Rwanda or Uganda have been held accountable for being sponsors and accessories to the crimes committed by Lubanga.

Thomas Lubanga was supported by both Rwanda and Uganda as he recruited child soldiers and committed atrocities in the Congo, but neither the leaders of Rwanda or Uganda have been held accountable for being sponsors and accessories to the crimes committed by Lubanga.

The leaders of nations who are in the good graces with the West and serve Western interests are often given a pass. The current prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, gave Congolese victims hope when they found out that “at a July 2003 news conference, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo announced out of the blue that he ‘believed’ atrocities in Congo, a member state formerly known as Zaire, could qualify for an ICC investigation.” This hope was lost when, in a June 8, 2006, article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Justice Delayed – For Global Court, Ugandan Rebels Prove Tough Test,” it was reported that “an agreement emerged” for Uganda not to be tried for crimes committed in the Congo.

It is also important to note that, in 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for what amounted to war crimes– plunder, mass rapes and massacres – when Uganda occupied parts of Congo from 1997 to 2003. Because of this, the court awarded Congo $10 billion to be paid by Uganda for reparations and damages. The ICJ case has been referred to the ICC, and it has yet to be reviewed so that investigations may begin.

4. Prescriptions
In order to enhance the legitimacy of the court, the ICC has to deal with those who are culpable in a more equitable fashion. Our hope is that the ICC and international bodies support the U.N. Mapping Exercise Report and the 2005 ICJ ruling. They represent efforts to end the culture of impunity, to provide justice for the victims, and to create a framework for accountability for mass crimes committed and still being committed in the Congo. We believe it is imperative to implement the recommendations listed on the U.N. Mapping Report as a means to deliver justice for the Congolese people and support a more equitable and just process for indictment of individuals and multinationals aiding, abetting or committing the crimes in the Congo.

Over 200 Congolese organizations and human rights groups have called for the United Nations to establish an international tribunal to prosecute the crimes against humanity, war crimes and possible genocide committed in the Congo. They recommend that we:

1. Establish new general policies of justice that would build on the creation of several complementary mechanisms, judicial and non-judicial;

2. Establish accountability measures in public institutions that would result in the removal from management of people such as Gen. John Bosco Tanganda and Gen. Numbi, who are accused of serious violations or attacks against human rights defenders, so that they can face prosecution;

3. Institute appropriate mechanisms to ensure justice and shed light on crimes and massive violations of human rights denounced in the report, including:
(i) The creation of special courts or special chambers within the Congolese courts;
(ii) The creation of a new Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
(iii) The establishment of compensation programs for victims, and
(iv) True and thorough reforms of the entire security sector – army, police and justice system.

4. Create a regional reconciliation mechanism of the peoples of the Great Lakes region, which will accelerate the free movement of people in the region, facilitate cross-border trade, strengthen judicial cooperation and demilitarize public services at the borders;
5. Support a regional accountability and reconciliation mechanism to address issues of impunity and lack of justice.

Given what I have shared with you, I want to now tell you a bit about me and why I am a justice seeker for the Congolese people. I came to the United States in the late ‘90s when my family was granted political asylum as the second Congo war began. I rarely speak about my family and what we experienced while living in the Congo, but I’d like to share with you a nightmare that I’ve had almost every week since probably 2008.

The dream always starts as I am walking down the side of the road with thousands of people carrying their belongings heading toward what I presume to be a safer place. The road is familiar and I’m surrounded with people who seem to be displaced from their homes. On my left, there is a little stream down a short hill. Across the stream, there are trees all along the path. People are conversing, moving slowly and calmly.
Then I hear a scream from somewhere in the crowd. I can’t tell if it is coming from the front or the back. I look around and I see people running toward me. The screams intensify and now everyone is running. I see people trying to run with their belongings and then decide to drop them to run faster.

I look back as I run and I see blood splash and people in military uniform just cutting people with machetes. I pass a few people … I’m scared … I’m sweating. I’m also feeling guilty about people I’ve passed as I look back and see them lying in blood and their limbs all over.

I run over a hill to hide. Someone follows me to hide where I am. As I look up to see what is happening on the road, I can see the fear in people’s faces. I see that fear where you know it’s pointless to run but you are running anyway in hopes that you will survive. I hide again and move closer to the stream and the person hiding with me gets closer to me as if he knows we both will be safe.

Suddenly a man in uniform somehow sees us, comes over to where we are, raises his machete and hacks the helpless guy with the weapon over and over again. I can see the assailant’s face. He is determined … calm … and he has this look as if he is on a mission … as if he is trying to pass a test … yes … he has a face of someone taking a test.

I hope you can visualize how when students are taking a test in a classroom they are so determined to pass the test that they have a very serious look on their faces and there is a complete silence in the room. The look of the assailant is comparable to the look of these students in the classroom. He is determined … to kill.

As I watch him, all I can think about is that I am … next. Then the guy looks up to where I am sitting in total fear and it seems that he can’t see me even though he is looking straight at me. He climbs up the hill and keeps going and hacking more people with his machete. I look up, and I see people I know just being cut into pieces. I start saying to myself, “Oh God … Oh God … Oh God!” Then, I wake up.

This dream is the burden of my conscience because of the ongoing realities in Congo. This is what thousands have experienced, according to the U.N. Mapping Exercise Report. The killings haven’t stopped. Today we still have people running for their lives so they won’t be killed. It is our responsibility to support the Congolese victims in their pursuit of justice so that the dreams of the Congolese will be ones of peace and justice, not of fear and atrocity.

With the new commitment of the United States government to prevent mass atrocities and genocide around the world, there needs to be a serious and unified push to raise the profile of the Congo. Congolese people have seen an estimated 6 million of their citizens perish in an unjust war. They have witnessed how the perpetrators of these crimes still roam the streets of their country or are given humanitarian awards and accolades.

Congolese people have seen an estimated 6 million of their citizens perish in an unjust war. They have witnessed how the perpetrators of these crimes still roam the streets of their country or are given humanitarian awards and accolades.

It is absolutely necessary that when we talk about “Never again,” we not only reference the Jewish Holocaust or the Rwandan Genocide but the continued instabilities that make broad-scale violence possible and seed the conditions leading to genocide. The Congolese people deserve justice for the millions they have lost. We hope that all justice seekers around the world will join us in working to deliver justice to the Congolese people.

To learn more about the situation in the Congo, visit  and watch  “Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Panel sur « la guerre de l’Est et ses agendas cachés ». Les recommandations des universitaires et des participants

Le Panel sur la guerre de l’Est et ses agendas cachés, tenu jeudi 10 mai dernier à l’Université de Kinshasa dans la salle Kamel Morjane , à l’ invitation conjointe de l’Institut Congolais de recherche en développement et études stratégiques ( ICREDES en sigle),le Centre d’études politiques de l’université de Kinshasa( CEP) ainsi que le groupe de presse le Potentiel, Télé 7 et Radio 7 ,dont premier compte rendu paru dans le Potentiel de lundi 14 mai dernier, a débouché ,comme il fallait s’y attendre ,à des recommandations adressées aux divers segments de la société congolaise ,lesquelles s’inscrivent dans un processus global visant à relever les défis basiques qui bloquent le règlement définitif de cette guerre de caractère essentiellement impérialiste. En effet, et pour rappel, le Panel a connu trois moments importants, outre le débat général. Les quatre interventions constitutives du premier moment étaient animées successivement par Arsène Mwaka, Freddy Mulumba Kabuayi, Emmanuel Kabongo Malu et Philip Baudouin Biyoya.


Dans son intervention intitulée « la Gouvernance comme facteur de balkanisation »le politologue Arsène Mwaka a démontré que la Mal-gouvernance de la RDC est le facteur cardinal de la récurrence de guerres qui sévissent à l’Est, avec pour conséquence majeure une balkanisation annoncée de la RDC. La Mal-gouvernance de la RDC se caractérise ici par l’impéritie et l’incapacité de l’Etat congolais à sécuriser les biens et les personnes, à prendre en charge les coûts de la vie des populations dont il a en charge le destin historique. La misère grandissante, l’insécurité généralisée, la non mise en valeur des terres, la non exploitation des ressources naturelles, la faiblesse de l’Administration, de l’armée et de la police … sont, non seulement symptomatiques de la faiblesse de l’Etat congolais mais aussi incitatifs des Etats et peuples voisins pour conquérir le Congo. La faiblesse endémique de l’Etat congolais apparaît, au jour d’aujourd’hui, comme une complicité dans le processus de balkanisation de la RDC. Cette complicité est d’autant plus flagrante que les dirigeants des institutions étatiques congolaises excellent dans le business, instrumentalisant l’homo politicus en homo economicus. C’est la prédominance de l’impolitique donc du sous-développement au détriment du politique.

Le journaliste et politologue Freddy Mulumba, preuves à l’appui, a montré, dans son intervention intitulée « l’existence du projet de balkanisation »que ce projet a un caractère colonialiste et internationaliste, donc fondamentalement capitaliste. Sur base des écrits occidentaux (John le Carré, Jacques Attali…), le conférencier a assis la matérialité du projet de balkanisation. La balkanisation est une réponse à la mutation du capitalisme. En effet, le capitalisme s’est nourri, dans premier temps, du sang rouge de l’homme Noir pendant les quatre siècles de la traite négrière, période où l’homme noir était l’unique marchandise par excellence ;ensuite le capitalisme s’est renforcé avec la colonisation c’est-à-dire de l’exploitation éhontée de l’homme et des ressources du sol et sous sol de pays colonisés ;aujourd’hui, la Mondialisation( l’autre nom du capitalisme colonialiste) va se nourrir de la balkanisation de la RDC c’est-à-dire de la dépossession du congolais de son sol et de son sous-sol au profit de l’Occident pauvre et prédateur. Ce projet, qui est déjà en exécution, a des chances de réussir à cause de la complicité locale et de la léthargie du peuple congolais.

Le troisième intervenant, le philosophe Emmanuel Kabongo Malu a planché sur « RDC, la chapelle des impuissances : balkanisation ou disparition ? ». Pour l’universitaire congolais, la RDC est, cinquante ans après l’indépendance un pays qui a perdu son autonomie politique, sa souveraineté économique et financière, renvoyant ainsi son peuple dans les sauvageries sociales !La présence de la Monusco comme gouvernement mondial de la RDC, partageant les mêmes prérogatives régaliennes avec gouvernement légal en ce qui concerne la sécurité des frontières, des hommes et de leurs biens ainsi que la stabilisation de la RDC montre bien que le Congo est sous la botte de la communauté internationale. La débilitation de l’Etat congolais est toujours et déjà en œuvre à travers l’agencification caractérisée par l’installation au sein des ministères des agences internationales d’exécution de l’aide, lesquelles ,sous la houlette des bras technocratiques de la mondialisation que sont la Banque mondiale, le Fond monétaire international, l’organisation mondiale du commerce et autre OHADA exécutent les désidérata de la communauté internationale au travers nos ministères au détriment des intérêts locaux et au détriment des intérêts du peuple congolais .Cette perte de l’autonomie politique est accentuée par la perte de la souveraineté économique et financière de la RDC. Cette déperdition est visible au travers plusieurs processus en œuvre : les activités industrielles et bancaires sont détenues essentiellement par des groupuscules étrangers, dont essentiellement libanais, juifs, indiens et pakistanais.

Les activités ayant trait aux infrastructures sont confiées prioritairement aux chinois et aux occidentaux sans tenir compte des entreprises congolaises qui sont pourtant détentrices d’une véritable expertise en la matière. Tous ces entrepreneurs étrangers paient, sous pression les quelques rares entreprises et banques détenues par les Congolais. Tout comme l’Etat congolais lui-même, à travers la privatisation en pièces détachées des entreprises et services publics, a accentué le processus de décongolisation de l’économie congolaise. Autant les Congolais ont perdu la mainmise sur leur économie, autant les congolais ont perdu leur souveraineté financière et monétaire. En effet, contrairement à la constitution, deux masses monétaires circulent concomitamment en RDC :une masse monétaire en Francs congolais représentant seulement 5% de la valeur totale de la monnaie en circulation tandis que la masse monétaire en dollar représente 95 % !En conséquence, la Banque Centrale du Congo a perdu le contrôle du système bancaire et de la monnaie du fait de l’origine des capitaux et de la dollarisation de l’économie. La Banque Centrale est donc incapable de jouer son rôle de dernier préteur de l’économie congolaise donc du centre d’impulsion du développement de la RDC.

D’où la question : comment un pays cinquantenaire, plusieurs fois millionnaires en populations, peut- il perdre son autonomie politique, sa souveraineté économique et financière ? Les violences peuvent faire perdre à un peuple et à un pays son autonomie. Pourtant, a relevé le conférencier ,tous les pays du monde subissent ,à des degrés divers, des violences immenses( Israël et les Arabes, Indiens et Pakistanais, Iran et la communauté internationale, l’Afghânistân et l’Otan …) sans que les peuples agressés arrivent à abandonner leur espace vital aux envahisseurs !Pour le conférencier, le Congolais, contrairement aux autres peuples qui résistent et protègent leur espace vital jusqu’au sacrifice suprême parce qu’ils ont une identité collective forte comme capacité de refus de tout joug,-le Congolais lui a cédé son espace vital aux étrangers parce qu’il a perdu son identité collective ,cette lame de fond de la solidarité d’un peuple, ce levier de la capacité organisationnelle d’un peuple, cette unité de sens de peuple !C’est pourquoi ,le Congolais ,exclu de l’espace politique de la gestion de sa quotidienneté ainsi que de l’espace économique de gestion de la prospérité ,se refugie, comme tout peuple dont la mémoire historique est désorientée et laminée ,dans les sauvageries collectives et dans les spiritualités de crétinisation collective, lesquelles se lisent comme des indicateurs sociétaux caractéristiques d’un peuple qui a perdu le sens de son destin collectif.

La dernière communication intitulée : « les clés de lecture des conflits à l’Est de la RDC » animée par le politologue Philip Biyoya s’articule autour d’un paradigme central :la déchéance de la RDC est la résultante ,d’une part ,de l’émergence de nouvelles puissances en AFRIQUE centrale et, d’autre part, de la perte ,par la RDC, de la mainmise sur ses instruments de puissance que sont l’Armée, la police, l’économie, l’industrie !Pour Philip Biyoya, une dialectique organique existe entre l’affaiblissement étatique du Congo et l’émergence de nouvelles puissances africaines lesquelles ne peuvent survivre qu’en vassalisant politiquement, économiquement la RDC. Celle-ci accentue cette déchéance en abandonnant, voire en assassinant consciemment ses instruments de la puissance que sont l’armée, les forces de sécurité ainsi que l’économie. De ce fait, le Congo a oublié que l’Etat moderne s’appuie sur la violence et/ ou la richesse dans la conduite des affaires. Le Congo a perdu la gestion de ces paramètres et est donc victime de vaincus d’hier.


Le Panel sur la guerre de l’Est et ses agendas cachés a eu le bonheur de circonscrire les enjeux cachés de cette guerre :les enjeux internes qui se dévoilent au travers la Mal –gouvernance de la RDC dont la gestion politique est dominée par le business :la guerre est une véritable affaire ;les enjeux mondiaux portés par la volonté de la communauté internationale impérialiste de s’accaparer par la guerre de richesses de la RDC pour alimenter un capitalisme exsangue ;les enjeux d’extermination mémorielle d’un peuple pour le réduire en une simple statistique humaine ayant perdu le sens de son histoire et le volant de son destin ,devant ainsi laisser l’exploitation de ses richesses à la puissante Amérique du Nord ,laquelle a déjà réduit les indiens et les Inuits en des véritables zombies ;les enjeux de l’émergence de nouvelles puissances africaines dont la survie dépend du démantèlement de la RDC comme puissance.

Cette conférence suivie d’un débat houleux et riche, a été enrichie par des contributions de haute facture de professeurs de l’Université de Kinshasa. Ainsi le professeur Bongoyi a –t-il révélé à l’assistance, que lors de sa visite d’Etat aux Etats-Unis d’Amérique, le président Joseph Kabila avait été surpris par ces mots de Bush qui en disent long : « le Congo est notre pays à tous monsieur le président ».Le professeur Kalele a rappelé ce discours du sous-secrétaire d’Etat Moose qui disait : « le pays où coule le miel n’est pas la Palestine mais la RDC. Mais comme les Congolais sont incapables de le gérer, nous allons le donner aux Hima-Tutsis pour mieux le gérer au profit de tous ».

Les recommandations des universitaires et participants

Nous, participants au Panel sur la guerre de l’Est et ses agendas cachés tenu à l’UNIKIN le jeudi 10 mai 2012 ;

° Conscients de l’extrême gravité de l’insécurité généralisée inhérente à la guerre récurrente de l’Est ;

° Prenant la mesure de tous les agendas cachés de cette guerre, dont ceux de la déstabilisation et de la balkanisation du pays, lesquels hypothèquent le destin de la nation ;

° Mus par notre solidaire engagement politique, social et patriotique ; Recommandons aux divers segments de notre société de s’inscrire, ici et maintenant, dans un processus global visant à relever les défis basiques ci-après qui bloquent le règlement définitif de cette guerre, à savoir :

1. Le défi de la reconstruction de la conscience historique et de l’identité collective, en tant que capacité collective de refus de tout ce qui avilit l’homme et de tout joug ; capacité collective de résistance contre tous les ennemis du peuple congolais, qu’ils soient de l’intérieur ou de l’extérieur.

2. Le défi de la responsabilité avérée de certains congolais qui se rendent complices,-et donc traitres,- du projet de la balkanisation par leur manière de penser, d’agir et de gouverner ou d’administrer.

3. Le défi d’une intelligence géopolitique et géostratégique alternative, entendue comme une intelligence de puissance dans un monde confronté à des mutations, à des équilibres et à des enjeux nouveaux.

La balkanisation de la RDC est en train de devenir un paradigme majeur qui capte l’attention des penseurs congolais qui vont encore ,ce vendredi 25 mai , dévoiler les pans entier de la balkanisation politique ,administrative, économique de la RDC. C’est dire que la RDC se prend en charge. Par ce que quand la RDC se réveillera l’Afrique se développera.


Source: Le Potentiel, May 24, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Protesting WPU’s Decision To Honor General Kagame

Dr. Ann Fields
William Penn University
201 Trueblood Avenue
Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577

WEDNESDAY, May 9, 2012 

Dear President Fields: 

Protesting WPU’s Decision To Honor General Kagame 

This letter is in response to William Penn University’s plan to honor this week, Rwanda’s long-time ruler, General Paul Kagame.  

First, a brief word about who we are. The signatory organizations below join with many individuals to form an American coalition whose mission is to assist Africa. We pursue this goal by ensuring that our own American government and entities do no harm to Africa and by our passion for democracy, meaning respect for the choices and aspirations of Africa’s peoples. Additionally, our coalition possesses a very long track record: While vibrant energetic college students lead our activities, we are also guided by experienced activists who cut their advocacy teeth on assisting Africa’s liberation struggle, including the Nelson Mandela-led struggle that dismantled apartheid in South Africa. And we are diverse and broad-based: Besides an American-born plurality, our coalition contains groups and individuals hailing from across Africa—DRCongo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and of course, Rwanda.  

Our message today is succinct: we strongly protest WPU honoring General Kagame, believing it to be a terribly misguided decision. 

The reasons why are legion; here, we will only outline a couple. The first is a deep conviction we hold: General Kagame’s  30-year career dominated by war, invasion and iron-fisted dictatorship, cannot be something that William Penn would have admired. Honoring that career violates those broader Quaker principles that we deeply admire—simplicity, peace-making, integrity, community and equality. 

Our other reason is based on WPU being an institution of higher learning. We believe that among several, a university bears this onerous responsibility: it must inculcate into young adults life-long habits of intellectual rigor, intellectual honesty and the pursuit of truth.  

These vital values are shockingly absent from WPU’s April 20 release on General Kagame. Specifically, it confines itself only to repeating over-blown, self-serving praise about the general.  

In the interest of balance, we must now call attention to the long debit side of the Kagame ledger--which the WPU release completely ignores.  

An important point before that however: Both as a coalition and as individuals, we very much acknowledge and will always mourn the great catastrophe of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide which snuffed out nearly a million irreplaceable lives. Indeed, our coalition’s passion against dictatorships and for deepening democracy across Africa is fueled by this enduring belief: vibrant democracy powerfully helps prevent genocide and other man-made catastrophes. 

And yet, even if we give General Kagame the entire credit and moral high ground around the Rwandan genocide, it does not justify his many other attitudes and actions that we deplore. And the stubborn summary of his 30-year military/political career remains: he invaded Rwanda once (in 1990) and DRCongo twice (in 1996 and in 1998); he played a critical leadership role in starting four large unjust wars in Uganda, Rwanda and DRCongo; he has plundered the Congo; he has sponsored countless localized proxy wars that facilitate and cover up the plunder; he runs a dangerously repressive minority dictatorship inside post-genocide Rwanda; and he has been implicated in many political assassinations far beyond Rwanda’s borders.  

Anyone who goes in search of further details would quickly and easily discover a mountain of damning evidence that implicates the general. Included would be the following sample items: 

• In 2008, The Spanish National Court, The Audiencia National (which charged disgraced Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet), indicted 40 Rwandan military officers for terrorism, mass killings, and several counts of genocide against Rwandans, Congolese and Spanish citizens, following the 1994 genocide.1 Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu has said he has evidence implicating Rwanda’s current President Paul Kagame, who has immunity from prosecution as a head of state. 

• Following the August 2010 election in which General Kagame claimed a 93% victory, many observers charged fraud and cited political violence, intimidation and repression of press freedom. Those concerned included The Obama White House, which issued a statement saying, “[n]o one should underestimate the enormous challenges born of the genocide in 1994. Rwanda’s progress in the face of these challenges has been remarkable, and is a testament to the people of Rwanda. Rwanda’s stability and growing prosperity, however, will be difficult to sustain in the absence of broad political debate and open political participation.”2  

• On Oct. 1, 2010, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) published “The United Nations Mapping Exercise Report,” which documents crimes committed in the Congo from 1993 to 2003. Rwanda’s army was among several identified. Significantly, the Report  notes “the apparent systematic and widespread attacks described in this report reveal a number of inculpatory elements that, if proven before a competent court, could be characterized as crimes of genocide.”

• In May 2011, British authorities warned of assassination attempts by Rwandan government personnel against UK-resident Rwandan refugees and exiles.

• The June 3, 2011 report by Amnesty International says the following about the Kagame regime, “The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), in power since the 1994 genocide, tightly controls political space, civil society and the media, contending that this is necessary to prevent renewed violence. Human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents cannot openly and publicly criticize the authorities. People who do speak out risk prosecution and imprisonment.”

• On December 2, 2011, the United Nation Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo—established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1533 (2004)—published a report documenting, once again, the carte blanche the Rwandan government has continually given to those smuggling of Congo's minerals; the most recent example is their allowance of the ICC-wanted warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, to travel freely in Rwanda. The report states that, "[a]ccording to authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, General Bosco Ntaganda has crossed from Goma to the town of Gisenyi, Rwanda, twice in 2011, in March and again in September, despite the travel ban imposed on him. Congolese authorities reported that on both occasions Ntaganda had gone there to attend a burial, having sought official authorization to do so from his military hierarchy and from immigration authorities. Rwandan officials told the Group that they have no objections to Ntaganda’s crossing the border. They claim that his status as a sanctioned individual “is not a Rwandan problem, but a Democratic Republic of the Congo problem”, adding that “Bosco contributes to peace and security to the region, which converges with Rwanda’s aims.”  This statement is demonstrably false because just a week ago, Ntaganda’s military activities displaced thousands in North Kivu.

As these facts have become better known, many American entities have started exercising greater caution in their relations with the general and his iron-fisted rule. The Pittsburgh City Council is one example.  On July 12, 2011, it adopted Proclamation 1011-1897 identifying the Rwandan government as a major destabilizing force in Congo and scolding the federal government for continuing to fund the Rwandan government in the face of its many human rights abuses.  

We end with a two-part plea to WPU. By all means do continue to partner with Rwanda’s people. Even more important, it is crucial that you also immediately distance your great, innovative university from the current repressive, war-mongering regime in Kigali. In other words, we respectfully urge you to walk a nuanced path. The first step on that nuanced path begins by cancelling the decision to honor the regime’s embodiment, General Paul Kagame. We fervently hope this letter persuades you to take that step. 

Thank you.


Africa Action
Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN),
African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN),
Congo Global Action (CGA),
Foreign Policy in Focus,
Foundation Shalupe
Friends of the Congo (FOTC),
Hope Congo (HC),
Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Congo (MJPC),

Links to Sources
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