Rwanda: A Security Threat to Sub-Sahara Africa
By Mr. Lenzo Bin Lenzo
President Kagamé of Rwanda is indeed a threat to the security of the developing countries in the southern hemisphere. As we are going to explore through these pages, he is the mastermind of the coup that killed his predecessor and caused the slaughtering of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994. He is the man behind the biggest tragedy in the history of humanity with the killing of more than five millions people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo .
Internal instability inside the Congo is the main threat to stability in the entire region. Nine countries border the DRC: Angola , Zambia , Sudan , Uganda , Rwanda , Burundi , Tanzania , the Central African Republic , and Congo-Brazzaville. By invading the Congo , Rwanda has in a way lifted a tree under which several venomous snakes might cause havoc to the region.
Burundi with its never ending tribal wrestling can easily be destabilized from uncontrolled elements coming from the Congo . Angola , which is recovering from a three-decade civil war, can easily renew the violence from incursions fostered by a chaotic Congo . The fragile truce of the Congo Republic might be re-ignited from a fragmented DRC. The already destabilized Central African Republic could become a bloody pool, thank God; the belligerents can use the DRC as their base. The puzzle of the Sudanese unsolved mystery can only become more complicated with the presence of the unleashed rebel groups operating from a sinking DRC. The minority Tutsis-led government of Uganda will always find money from the unattended Congolese mineral resources, consolidating therefore its power to oppress the Baganda majority. The scorn between these two major ethnic groups in Rwanda itself can only get uglier as long as Congo is decapitated.
Rwanda has been stubborn in leaving Congo . Kagamé has been using the presence of the “Forces démocratiques pour la libération du Rwanda ” (FDLR) inside the Congo as its pretext for invading that country. If that was true, why hasn't Rwanda been successful in neutralizing these forces? Besides, the current Rwandan Army Chief of Staff General James Kabarebe was the Congolese Army Chief of Staff right after Laurent Kabila overthrew Mobutu. It is very perplexing that Congo has to pay the price for the killings that were made in Rwanda , by the Rwandans themselves. No Congolese was involved in that butchery whatsoever. The same international community who begged Congo to accept Rwandans refugees is standing idle while the predator's army of those who claimed to be the victims of yesterday's high-tech international conspiracy are committing genocide in the Congo . As the former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs has indicated in his 15 December, 2008 New York Times article that: “During the past 12 years of Rwandan control, the mineral-rich provinces [of Kivus] have been economically integrated into Rwanda ”.
Rwanda has no security concerns in its borders; he only has political and economic ones. In the same article by Herman Cohen , the author asserts aptly that the failure of international diplomacy is related to the economic roots problem , which began with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda .
This is where I join the former under secretary with its analysis. The DRC has nowhere been in the position of causing security threats to its neighbors, God forbid let it be poor Rwanda . The Congolese people are caring, hospitable, and praying creatures. Our university has been the “Alma Matter” to thousands of African's elites, including Rwandans. When their neighbor's houses were burning, they didn't build a wall to keep them in despair. Instead, they were welcomed with opened arms.
The DRC is potentially super rich and have nothing to gain from destabilizing Rwanda . This country has more than 250 tribes and they have lived peacefully among themselves throughout this past century. If Rwanda wants to protect and secure its borders, why not do it from its own side of that border as most governments do? Despite the influx of illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico , the United States never thought of going inside Mexico to stop that economic migration, nor the U.S. with her mighty army, ever invaded Canada although it is well known that the terrorists who committed that heinous crime on September 11 th, 2001 came from here.
If Rwanda is capable of engaging 5,000 of its troops inside of the DRC, it is then logical that the thousands of these soldiers who are raping the Congolese women could have stood side by side along the Congolese border to prevent the so called FDLR from coming in!
This is what Paul Kagamé of Rwanda is doing in the Dark Continent . If nobody stops him, he will stop the growth, the prosperity, the development, and the freedom of the sons and daughters of Africa . There are some venues to stop Paul Kagamé from destroying the future of Sub-Sahara Africa.
1. The international community has to press Rwanda to democratize by sponsoring a dialogue between all Rwandan citizens living in Rwanda and abroad. That dialogue should address among all other things, the future of Rwanda by drafting a new constitution. The dialogue must be inclusive: all three ethnic groups should be represented: the Hutus, the Tutsis, and the Twa , and must be held in a neutral country, possibly Kenya or Zambia .
2. The United Nations along with the U.S. must request the prosecution to the fullest extent of all persons responsible for the commission of grave crimes against civilians in eastern Congo , including General Kagamé.
3. The United States has to work glove and hand with the United Nations and the African Union to track down the instigators of the Rwandan genocide: those people who shut down the aircraft that killed the late president Juvenal Habyarimana.
4. The new political map has to be drafted by way of redistricting. This will allow all three ethnic groups to be represented in Congress when elections come.
5. The international community led by the U.S. and the UN must conduct a census around the country in preparation for a multi-partism international monitored-elections.
6. The last alternative is simply to arrest Kagamé and his lieutenants: Nkundabatware, Bosco Ntaganda, Bizimana Karahamueto, etc.
This last venue has to be implemented along with the others if the United States and the entire international community value humanity. I never can imagine the fact that a student who kills a goose can be prosecuted for wrongdoing in a domestic court and the case gets national attention. But a head of state (Paul Kagamé), who invades a sovereign country, ordering the live burial of several women and displacing thousands of children, and being responsible for the killings of more than 5 million people, won't be prosecuted but instead, would be invited for peace talks and laid out a red carpet in western's capitals.
It is important that the people of Rwanda live in harmony amongst themselves for the prosperity of their country. They must understand that racial, tribal, and ethnic diversity are the best ingredients for the development of a country. Once the Rwandan people understand that notion of diversity, there and then, they will build a stronger and prosperous Rwanda , free of hatred.
I am also appealing to the Obama's administration to make the Great Lakes region its priority. The world does not want to experience another Israeli-Palestinian conflict type in that part of the continent. The best way to solve a problem is to avoid it. And the best way to do that is to teach Rwanda both “the sacred nature and the intangibility” of the borders.
Finally, I will urge Mr. Obama to work closely with Congress in restoring peace and stability in the Congo . The United States needs Congo on her fight against terrorism. There is no other country on the continent with the positives the DRC has: strategic position with untapped resource wealth. More than 50 million people, able bodies ready to be sent to work. Rwanda will never be capable of doing what Congo has done for the United States . The Harry S. Truman administration relied on Congo 's uranium for the bombing of Hiroshima . The CIA utilized Congo for decades as an indelible tool to prevent the spread of communism in Sub-Sahara Africa. Again, when the international community led by the United States , begged Congo to let loose its borders for all Rwandans (including the FDLR), the DRC acted swiftly and boldly. The Congolese people did not want to break the rules of human society, but what they want now, is to find a power that will overcome the tyranny of Kagamé and make his brutalities in Congo an eternal Justice.
Lenzo Bin Lenzo
© Congo Vision