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The Dilemma of Dictators Part V: When General Paul Kagame Feels the Noose

I.The Noose Tightening around General Ntaganda’s neck tautens General Kagame’s Throat
This Tuesday May 8, 2012 we stumbled across a surprising article. Written by Joseph Rwagatare of The New Times of Rwanda and featured among the top headlines, the article has a surprising title:”Rwanda: Gen. Ntaganda Is Only a Pawn in a Wider Game.” Really! General Bosco Ntaganda, a pawn!
But this is not the most surprising. As it was stated on several occasions by Western embassies in Rwanda, including the US Embassy, The New Times, run by Rwandan intelligence services, is the unofficial mouthpiece of the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame (see our article:US Embassy in Rwanda: New Times, Government Mouthpiece Run by Rwandan President’s Office of September 10, 2011 here).
Do not hold your breath! The New Times, the mouthpiece of General Paul Kagame himself, concludes: ”So, the attempt to arrest General Bosco Ntaganda and haul him before the ICC are merely skirmishes before swooping on their real target – Rwanda and its leaders. Ntaganda is merely a pawn in a bigger game.”

From the conclusion in the New Times’ article two observations can be made:

  • First, General Paul Kagame appears to admit that General Bosco Ntaganda has been working for him and executed orders from the Rwandan leader. All the massacres, the war crimes, the looting and the rapes committend by General Ntaganda, he did it under the orders from his Commander in chief, the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame. And as apparently a Rwandan saying goes:”whoever whips a dog is going after the master.
  • Second, the Rwandan dictator General Paul Kagame is feeling the heat. The noose tightening around General Ntaganda’s neck appears to slowing tauten closer to General Kagame’s throat.

II. International Community’s Failure is General Paul Kagame’s Success
One good argument made in the article is that the International Community has failed to resolve the problem of Rwandan refugees in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. True! The International community has miserably failed. But The New Times fails to address the why? Because, The New Times’s boss General Paul Kagame has made sure the impasse in Eastern DRC does not get resolved. Otherwise, how can he justify looting the riches of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) when DRC is peaceful and secure? The FDLR excuse is just a smokescreen. If General Paul Kagame had wanted, there would be no more FDLR or RUD-Urunana or RPR-Inkeragutabara. He thwarted several peace initiatives undertaken by the leaders of these organizations and the DRC Government on several occasions. AfroAmerica Network knows at least four peace initiatives that General Paul Kagame and his circle of cronies have personally sabotaged and killed:

  • First, the Kamina Disarmament Process led by DRC President Laurent Kabila, his Security Minister Mwenze Kongolo and FDLR leaders. What did General Paul Kagame do? He assassinated Laurent Desire Kabila and replaced him with his weak son, Joseph Kabila, who once served as General Kagame’s bodyguard and is a childhood buddy of the current Rwandan Defense Minister General James Kabarebe. Then he sent troops to the DRC and attacked the Kamina camp, along with his FARDC moles, especially Colonel Yav the current Director of DRC Intelligence Services (see our article: Rwanda sends 3 thousand troops in DRC), killing hundreds of disarmed combattants and their dependents. The Kamina process was killed in the process
  • Second, there was the first Rome process between FDLR leaders and the DRC Government represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Mbusa Nyamwisi. Sant’Egidio Community put so much effort in the process. What General Paul Kagame did? He corrupted teh FDLR Commander General Rwarakabije and bought a few FDLR officers. The process went nowhere.
  • Third, there was the Mbwavinywa process between RUD-Urunana and DRC Government led by again Minister Mbusa Nyamwisi. What did General Paul Kagame do? He threatened the DRC Government and hired the long time Rwandan intelligence operative, Rakiya Omaar, Director of African Rights to write a pamphlet against Rwandan opposition leaders involved in the process. Then, the Rwandan Government, using Rakiya Omaar’s report which it labelled an independent research on the Rwandan armed opposition in the DRC, wrote letters to Western governments asking them to arrest the Rwandan oppositions leaders whose names appeared in the report. The Mbwavinywa process slowed down.
  • Fourth, the Pisa/Rome/Kisangani/Kasiki process between the DRC Government led by Foreign Affairs Minister Mbusa Nyamwisi, President Joseph Kabila’ Security Advisor Professor Kaumba and DRC Member of Parliament Bishop Dr.Kuye Ndondo and the National Democratic Congress(NDC) leaders, from RUD-Urunana and RPR-Inkeragutabara. The process was mediated by Sant’Egidio, Eglise du Christ au Congo (ECC) and the collection of Churches of Norway. This time, the Rwandan Government sent envoys to observe the process. Then a few days after the NDC leaders signed a final roadmap for the repatriation of refugees, Rwanda sent troops into DRC, attacked the Kasiki camps occupied by disarmed RUD-Urunana and RPR-Inkeragutabara combatants and their dependents. The Rwandan troops also pursued more than 500 combattants and their dependents from other armed Rwandan opposition groups, on their way to join the process.

Now, how can the Rwanda Government mouthpiece stick its neck out and say: ”You can understand part of the reason for their eagerness. They got Thomas Lubanga, another former Congolese rebel, had him tried at the Hague-based ICC and got him convicted of war crimes, including using child soldiers. They have smelt blood and, like hounds, are bounding along what they think is a strong trail.”?
before arguing that:
“When examined closely, the real issue is not the culpability or otherwise of Lubanga or Ntaganda. Both men may have some unsavoury characteristics. They probably have committed crimes in wars that otherwise have some justification. But those are not the reasons they have been hunted. Nor is it justice for the victims.”

We wonder what can come to mind when General Paul Kagame accuses the Congolese Government of being more criminal than General Ntaganda or even of genocide, by stating that:
“Surely Ntaganda’s supposed guilt is not greater than that of … the Congolese government. It is probably less – because, whatever his crimes, they are not rooted in a vow to exterminate an entire people.”
III. Dictators: Do No Try to Avoid the Unavoidable

A few months ago, in our series, the Dilemma of Dictators (see The Dilemma of Dictators Part IV: One Down, More to Go: Focus on Paul Kagame of Rwanda of October 23, 2011, we said that dictators faced with a tightening noose need to reflect on the following:

      • Ask themselves why they sought power in the first place.
      • Remember that their predecessors were also once as mighty.
      • Remember that is takes more courage to sit with the opposition figures than to assassinate or try to fight or impose violence on them.
      • It takes even more courage to work with the genuine opposition than to be surrounded by cronies, relatives, and the likes.

Then we advised the dictators to never try to avoid the unavoidable.
Let us repeat our advice to our beloved Paul Kagame as he feels the heat:
“Once again, as we did before, we ask General Paul Kagame of Rwanda why he does not sit not only with the unarmed opposition of FUD, RNC, PS Imberakuri, Gree Party, but also with the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana), Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR), and the alleged Kayumba-Karegeya armed group to start a path to democracy. Crimes attributed to FDLR leaders will be covered during the dialogue. So will be the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity and war crimes attributed to General Paul Kagame and his army by the United Nations and the French and Spanish courts.
We believe that by doing this, he will not erase the wrong he did in the past, but at least he will set the path for new generations, including leaving a good legacy to his own children. We recently learned he reshuffled the government, moving his own cousin who had been Prime Minister for the last ten years to another of the three most important government posts and appointing what the US Embassy in Rwanda calls “spineless an incompetent Hutu figurehead” to the post of Prime minister. This is the wrong way to go and a typical maneuver by dictators. A the US EMbassy put it: . The long-term stability of Rwanda depends upon a government and ruling party that eventually shares real authority with the majority population.”

AfroAmerica Network promises to lend its support to dictators who chose that path advocated in our discourses.

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