Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rwanda: A new strategy of just making it up as we go along, it won't work either.

The Rwanda Focus reports


Has Security Council seen the light?

Ostine Arinaitwe Gashugi


- UNSC delegation blames weak institutions for DRC crisis

- They recognize that FDLR are wreaking terrible havoc on civilians

- Follows ludicrous U.S. claims of Rwanda’s involvement in recruiting child soldiers


                                           President Kagame with the UN Security Council delegation on Monday. (photo Village Urugwiro)


A delegation of United Na­tions Security Council, who has been on a fact-finding mission in the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda, has blamed weak institu­tions in the DRC, especially in the eastern part of the country, for the crisis.
Samantha Power, the United States Ambassador to the UN, said the weakness of state institutions in the DRC has contributed to the success of armed groups, but added that there was more political will than ever to find a peaceful solu­tion to the crisis.

There are a couple of major problems with this story, the first and most important being a quick Google search certainly provides other news outlets covering this story, unfortunately word for word. Or in other words I can't triangulate the the story. Pablo at Kiwi Politico explains ( ironically this is archived in Kiwipolitico under the propaganda section ).

" One of the simple yet key concepts in intelligence gathering is triangulation: try to receive information from at least three independent sources about a given subject or target in order to avoid selection bias, erroneous reporting, disinformation or content manipulation. It is the mark of the intelligence professional that s/he avoids making value judgements or offering assessments until source triangulation has confirmed the accuracy or veracity of reporting from the field or in intelligence streams provided by informants, contract assets, liaison partners and open sources."

The second problem of course is that the DR Congo government is blamed for the weakness of state institutions in the eastern DR Congo, I have no real issue with the basically factual statement that state institutions are weak... but where to to lay the blame ? The answer of course in a large part is with Rwanda and the bloody genocidal insurrection that Rwanda has been conducting in the eastern DR Congo. 

“We sensed an enthusiasm in the DRC to strengthen the institutions,” Power said, adding that they had visited Monusco which now has an aggressive mandate and had inten­tions of dealing with the FDLR reb­els who she said are “wreaking ter­rible havoc on civilians in Congo.”



OK I have said I have issues with the authenticity of the story but lets put that aside and look at the statement  “...wreaking ter­rible havoc on civilians in Congo.” Again a google search turns up just three entries two from All Africa that are word for word  copies of this report in Rwanda Focus. ( This is not a criticism of All Africa who are a news / blog gathering service and this blog is republished on the All Africa Blog site ) I for one do not believe that Power made the above statement about the FDLR exclusively it would seem far more likely that it was about all armed groups or M23.      

Many members of the FDLR were involved in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, and ever since they have been committing mass atrocities in the Eastern DRC, often (but by no means exclusively) tar­geting the Banyamulenge commu­nity.

The Banyamulenge community is the Tutsi community and I have no doubt that the FDLR target them. The FDLR are genocidal arseholes who are backed by confirmed racists such as Antoine Roger Lokongo and his ilk who made up the Interahamwe, something I blogged on a few weeks back. Lokongo's genocide denial has many similarities with this equally stupid piece of propaganda.  
" One can even go further and conclude that the fact that Museveni and Kagame commit acts of genocide in Congo casts doubt on the official version of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, signed Paul Kagame.
That sounds very close to denial of the genocide. Is the author a part of the Interahamwe ? "

The delegation on Monday held talks with President Kagame and senior government officials about the implementation of a peace ac­cord aimed at stabilizing the sub-region, including eastern Demo­cratic Republic of Congo. The agreement, aimed at stopping the two decades of conflict in the East of the DRC, was signed in February 2013 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) by Mozambican, Rwandan, Ugandan, Tanzanian, South African, DR Con­golese, Congolese and South Suda­nese leaders together with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

The US and the Security Council have of course seen the light and have instituted sanctions against Rwanda.   Somewhat amusingly given this article, that happened this week and I blogged about it 3 days ago. Or to put it another way this article is a load of bullshit.

The UNSC delegation also praised President Kagame’s commitment to find a lasting solution to the cri­sis in the Eastern DRC. “President Kagame has committed his support to the Addis Ababa framework and implementing what will come out of the Kampala talks, “Samantha Power said but warned that “we have seen this movie before. There have been other hopeful times but what will determine whether this time it is different is whether armed groups are disarmed.”

Again this praise of Kagame can't be confirmed, a Google search leads us back to this article and the republication of this article on the All Africa site I suspect that Ostine Arinaitwe Gashugi the author of this drivel has been interviewing his keyboard. In a totalitarian state such as Rwanda I guess the price for telling the truth might well be your career if not your life so we can forgive Ostine.

This apparent change of tone by the Security Council might come as a relief to the President, who has time and again pointed out that the causes for the conflict in the DRC are to be found within that country itself, not elsewhere.

There has been no change of tone by the security council, yesterday MONUSCO the security council mandated force announced the deployment of its first drone the initial mission of the drone being to gather intelligence on M23 Rwandas proxy militia and interestingly the announcement that the drone will be based in Goma on the Rwandan border. Kagame would do better to masterbate if he wants relief. 

“People who started this war should help end this war. Rwanda did not start this war,” he told the UNSC delegation. “A process based on lies and prejudice will not lead to a solution. Rwanda has and will continue to participate honestly and genuinely in finding a solution to the conflict in DRC in partner­ship with those who are interested in peace and stability.”
“My question always is, why doesn’t the country, the state of Congo, deal with the issues them­selves?” he recently told media while in New York for the UN Gen­eral Assembly. “They should be the ones telling the world nothing is working, or what they think can work for them.”

They ( the government of the DR Congo and MONUSCO ) are going to deal with the issues and the first issue they will deal with is M23 despite the cynicism of Kagame who has made that job even more difficult by relocating Tanzanian refugees illegally into the likely war zone with M23 in an attempt to provide his proxy militia with a human shield.
“They should be the ones telling the world nothing is working, or what they think can work for them.”
Simple stuff really Kagame. Get the fuck out of the eastern DR Congo.

Child soldiers
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the Security Council will also act on its newfound insight. The visit of the delegation and the rather promising statements of US Ambassador Powers came only days after her country once again suspended its military aid to Rwan­da after accusing it of being in­volved in the recruitment of child soldiers.

Which of course is why this piece of fiction has been written. Rwanda has according to the MONUSCO ( The UN Security Council authorised force in the eastern DR Congo ) command been recruiting kidnapping children to fight with M23. 
" The announcement came as the chief of the UN's peacekeeping force in the DR Congo, which has the unprecedented right to use deadly force against rebels groups in the country, said he had been made aware of a "disturbing" increase in manpower among the group.

"We have reports of the recruitment by force of young people in Rwanda," Martin Kobler said, potentially destined to join the rebels currently terrorising the Congolese population."

State Department spokeswom­an Marie Harf said last week that Rwanda was sanctioned “because of its support for the M23, a rebel group which continues to actively recruit and abduct children” and to threaten the stability of the Demo­cratic Republic of the Congo.

Maybe Ostine Arinaitwe Gashugi  is counting on the US domestic political situation to cover his lies. He should know better.

However, Foreign Affairs Minis­ter Louise Mushikiwabo has called the claim ludicrous, and said Rwan­da does not tolerate children being enrolled in army groups, whether in the Rwanda Defense Forces or anywhere else.
“It is not in Rwanda’s practice to keep children near weapons. We have done a lot to stay away from such practices. Our belief is that once we are done away with armed groups, then there will no longer be an issue with child soldiers,” Mu­shikiwabo said after the meeting with the UNSC delegation.

If Rwanda's chief liar Louise Mushikiwabo is denying it you can bank on it being true. 

The U.S. sanctions targeting the use of child soldiers were also ap­plied to the Central African Repub­lic, Myanmar, Sudan and Syria, said the State Department last week. In­terestingly, however, according to an anonymous State Department official quoted by Al Jazeera, some countries know to recruit child sol­ders received waivers, including the DR Congo itself. According to the official, the Obama adminis­tration decided such exemptions “would be in the national interest of the United States.”
The problem is Rwanda have lied about their activities in the DR Congo ( despite overwhelming evidence that would convict them in any court in any jurisdiction in the world other than Rwanda ) for so long and so stupidly that even the US, Rwanda's closest ally wants to wash their hands of them. 
Just remember, Rwanda this " peace loving nation " have mobilised their armed forces and deployed them along the Congolese border in huge numbers in what can only be preparations for an invasion.  

3 comments:

  1. You might want to learn a thing or two about journalism. Triangulation applies only when you are dealing with unconfirmed information which you didn't get from the source, or if you did, which is dubious. In this case, our journalist was at the press conference given by Samantha Power after her meeting with Kagame, and since we haven't received a rebuke by the UNSC, I trust that what he wrote is exactly what she said. If you do not believe that she made the statements, why not ask her yourself.
    Erwin Winkler
    Managing editor
    The Rwanda Focus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having spent 25 years in the media both broadcast and print I am still genuinely mystified as to what most journalists do, sweet bugger all as far as I can see. Most wouldn't recognise story if it hit them over the head with a blank roll of newsprint.

      You are correct about triangulation however your comprehension skills would seem to be a bit lacking. Please note I said I could not triangulate this dubious story not your journo.

      This would strike me as fairly major news story if true. A second major shift if not to say reversal of US foreign policy with regard to Rwanda in the space of a week not to mention the UNSC position. However incompetent your profession I would have expected at least one other news organisation to have covered it, as I said I can find no evidence of that.

      It would seem likely the UNSC and State Department are unaware of your efforts at disseminating their current thinking that runs counter to their previous thinking by a large margin.

      I will indeed ask the UNSC and the US State department for clarification as you suggest. Hamish.

      Delete
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