Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rwanda: " So you are just another coffin..."

African Arguments blogs


Rwanda ponders own security while FDLR remains a strategic threat 

 By Jonathan Beloff

A militant from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) squats near a pile of weapons after their surrender in Kateku, a small town in eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), May 30, 2014.


In April 2014, the world began its 20th commemoration of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The Rwandan government has billed this year’s event as one of Kwibuka (Kinyarwandan for ‘remembrance’). This ought to be a time for Rwandans to reflect on their past while nurturing hope for a better future for their children. However, the commemoration has been marred by continuing fears of terrorist attacks by former genocidaires amidst a skeptical international environment.

The question that needs answering is why the International Community is so skeptical ? The answer is in my opinion that the world is sick to death of the current Rwandan administrations refusal to actually tell the truth. Rwanda despite overwhelming and in my opinion legally admissible evidence provided by a variety of sources, thus meeting the triangulation test, refuse point blank to acknowledge their backing of M23 and consequently the massive harm inflicted by these thugs on the population of the Eastern DR Congo. 

" 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."

Within the walls of Rwandan government buildings, those who once liberated the country – believe that at any time Rwanda may be struck down by forces moving in from across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bent on establishing a political and social agenda for a ‘Tutsi-free Rwanda’.

Really ? I guess that would mean the New Zealand Jewish community lives in fear of Kyle Chapman and his merry men   band of fucking morons.   They don't. Neither do the inhabitants of Rwandan government buildings. It just suits their purposes to give lip service to such bullshit.

" Chapman was born in Taumarunui, New Zealand. He has said that he wanted to join the National Front from the age of 14, and that he was a skinhead during the 1980s and early 1990s. As a teenager he was a member of several skinhead gangs. He was the founding member of the New Zealand Hammerskins.
In May 2009 Chapman married Claire Clifford, a Mormon, but they separated in October of the same year, reportedly due to his failure to fulfill his promise of abandoning his involvement in white supremacy groups.
He was convicted of fire-bombing a marae.[He has admitted to hurling Molotov cocktails at various buildings, including Ngāi Tahu Murihiku Marae and a school."

Since Rwanda’s ‘liberation’ by the RPF, the fortunes of the former genocidaires have been in decline, while those of post-genocide Rwanda have greatly increased in the areas of economic development, access to healthcare services and education. These accomplishments have convinced thousands of former genocidaires to return to Rwanda, attracted by this new ear of growth and stability. In recent years, however, one incarnation of the genocidaires, known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), has coalesced into a potent terrorist force, subjugating Rwandans to grenade attacks at village and city markets, kidnappings and cross border strikes. The Rwandan government, working in collaboration with the Congolese military in 2009 under a joint military operation named ‘Umoja Wetu,’ (‘Our Unity’ in Swahili) attempted to destroy FDLR strongholds – an opportunity that was only partially successful.

"...potent terrorist force, subjugating Rwandans to grenade attacks at village and city markets,..." Lets look at that. The last such incident I am aware of was committed by a kid for $20 US. It happened last November.

 “The rebel commanders assured that if we continue throwing the grenades in Kigali, just like others had done, we will be rewarded heavily once the rebels take power.. They actually assured us that the Kigali government will be overthrown this year” Ntakirutimana narrated to the media.
Ntakirutimana also pleaded guilty of the Nyabogogo grenade attacks and said he was not forced to do it but was paid 20 US dollars to do the job. “That money is a lot if you are a rebel in Congo” he noted."
A potent terrorist force ? A stupid kid bribed would seem more like the truth.

Parts of the international community, specifically the United Nations, have recently recognised the genocidal tendencies of the FLDR and have assumed greater responsibility for flushing out the terrorist group. The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeeping mission works with the DRC, admittedly belatedly, on this objective. But there remains some residue of uncertainty about the precise threat the FDLR poses. This is in large part due to the influence of some regional observers and researchers, such as Jason Stearns who recently dismissed the military threat that the organization poses to Rwanda. He and others view the FDLR as merely a fragmented group of no more than 1500-2500 fighters scattered across eastern DRC, and which therefore poses more of a threat to the Congolese than the Rwandans across the border.

Yes " Parts of the international community, specifically the United Nations,.."

" Callixte Mbarushimana is a Hutu Rwandan and former United Nations employee (1992-2001) who is alleged to have participated in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. On 28 September 2010, Mbarushimana was indicted by theInternational Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2009. He was arrested in France in October 2010 and extradited to the ICC on 25 January 2011. However, he was released on 23 December 2011 as the ICC found there was insufficient evidence for prosecuting him."

Whoops. And

" This is in large part due to the influence of some regional observers and researchers, such as Jason Stearns who recently dismissed the military threat that the organization poses to Rwanda. He and others view the FDLR as merely a fragmented group of no more than 1500-2500 fighters scattered across eastern DRC, and which therefore poses more of a threat to the Congolese than the Rwandans across the border."

Jason Stearns runs the Congo Siasa blog and has been ( much to my annoyance ) quite for the last couple of months. I absolutely concur with Stearns view on the FDLR.

Many within the Rwandan government believe the FDLR to number an estimated 4000 fighters and remain a significant terrorist threat that can create widespread public panic through violent acts. No matter the troop numbers, the FLDR has proved its ability to do this despite not posing a threat to the overall stability of the country.

Again really ? The Rwandan government believes in very little, it does however believe in bullshit and hoping that those who read it believe it. Just how has the FDLR  "proved its ability to do this " ? The FDLR has proved in my opinion that it has the ability to be wiped out by MONUSCO and the Intervention ( Africa ) Brigade.  

Where the Rwandan government prioritises the country and its people’s security, there are those who would rather undermine the very real threat from the FDLR. The latter perspective gives the FDLR the capacity to secure soft-political power among other forces in East Africa, including Tanzania. Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has always had an unsteady relationship with his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame. In May 2013, he publicly called on Rwanda to enter into dialogue with the FDLR without any preconditions. In response, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo dismissed President Kikwete’s attempt to be a moderator of the dispute and openly condemned Tanzania for trying to force Rwanda to negotiate without preconditions with the FDLR.

Yes good point... except. Have you Jonathan ever heard of M23. Actually have you ever heard of Bulkanisation ? It comes down to trust and as you pointed out the International Community are deeply skeptical as are almost all Africa watchers.

There are emotional as well as political reasons for Rwanda’s refusal to be drawn into dialogue with the new manifestation of the genocidal forces that maimed a country and its people. At an individual level, Tanzania’s call was a personal insult to the genocide survivors. At a political level, the two countries are locked in an implicit battle for hegemony in the African Great Lakes region; and the apparent call for reconciliation hides the uglier truth that Tanzania is bringing together anti-Rwandan government allies such as the Rwanda National Congress with anti-Kagame exiled political leaders such as Kayumba Nyamwasa and the late Patrick Karegeya to further destabilise the country.

" At an individual level, Tanzania’s call was a personal insult to the genocide survivors." 
What ? At an individual level I know many Tutsi and sorry you are talking shit if you are talking about Tutsi in the DRC.
Tanzania and Rwanda in a hegemonic battle. Rwanda just lost it is called Real Politiks. 

The quandary that Rwanda finds itself in is by no means simple: it is to international eyes, at least, being offered an opportunity to engage with a peace process. Participating instead with military operations against the FDLR and related genocidal forces via the military programme of Umoja Wetu will be negatively received.

What ? Are you thinking. Rwanda will not participate in any operation against the FDLR. It is over for Rwanda, thew world is sick to the death of Rwanda. Kagame leads a republic run by fools for fools. The price of this for humanity will be high but hey Clinton and Blair will help you through.

In the FDLR, the Rwandan government recognises a force that will always try to find the right time to reassert itself. As the FDLR unites with other anti-Rwandan groups and continues to gain soft power political support from President Kikwete, it is forming a political weapon that is to be combined with its terrorism, which will be more effective in creating instability in Rwanda. Consequently, Rwanda is right to be vigilant, even as the commemoration of 20 years since the genocide reminds us of the country’s lost generation.

Yeah Paul, Kill everyone and I wouldn't mind that cheque for my intellectual honesty and my toeing of the Rwanda line.

Jonathan Beloff is studying for a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

He should shift to Rwanda

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