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Talk to Your Armed Opposition, Tanzanian President Kikwete Tells Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Joseph Kabila of DRC

JayaKikweteTanzaniaThe United Nations Intervention Brigade is helpful in the short term but is not paramount for durable peace in the Great Lakes region. To have durable peace, a global dialogue is warranted. General  Paul Kagame needs to have direct talkswith the Rwandan armed rebel movementsop erating from the Congolese provinces of Kivus the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), especially the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR).  Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni  needs to  hold similar talks with the rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda [ADF-NALU] opposed to his government, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila needs to jump start the peace talks with M23 Congolese rebels.

It is with these unusual terms that the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has defined the roadmap for peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. He did not do it behind closed doors during a one-to-one meeting with each of the three presidents. He did it in front of more than 11 African presidents and heads of state and while celebrating the most important day for the African Continent: at the occasion of the 50thanniversary of the Organisation of African Unity celebrated this weekend in Addis Abeba over the week-end.

Jaya Kikwete advised the three African Presidents who are  among the  11 signatories of  the February 24, 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Region (see here)  during  a private meeting among the parties in the margin of the celebration of the 50th anniversary.

The content of the recommendation by the Tanzanian President Jaya Kikwete to the Rwandan, Ugandan, and DRC leaders is not surprising. After all, AfroAmerica Network and its contributors have underlined the same approach in several of our published articles, especially in our article of March 7, 201 3 titled UN Special Envoy in Great Lakes: Will Rwandan President Kagame Seize the Opportunity. The surprise is that these words come from the mouth one of the most influential leaders of the African continent. In fact, along with Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos and  South African President Jacob Zuma, Jaya Kikwete is perhaps the most important president of modern day Black Africa.  The three presidents have become the wise people the international community consults before any major action regarding Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. It may not be an accident that the June 26 to July 3, 2013 first trip of the US President Barack Obama since his started his second term will include a stay in both South Africa and Tanzania  with a short stop in Senegal (see here).

Hence, if Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni and Joseph Kabila are wise, they better listen to Jaya Kikwete.  Let us recall our question from our March 7, 2012  article UN Special Envoy in Great Lakes: Will Rwandan President Kagame Seize the Opportunity: “Is the Rwandan President Paul Kagame going to take this opportunity to resolve once for all the thorny problem of the Rwandan rebels by talking to his armed opposition, like other leaders in the region have done or are doing?”  With the recommendation from Tanzanian President Jaya Kikwete the question becomes as urgent as ever, not only for Paul Kagame of Rwanda, but also for Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and Joseph Kabila of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

But is it going to happen? The immediate answers from or reaction of the three presidents to Jaya Kikwete’s recommendation does not augur an easy road ahead. The stoned silence of Paul Kagame, the elusive answer from Yoweri Museveni that “he only discusses only with those willing and isolates the others”, meaning that he choses who to discuss with and the submissive attitude of Joseph Kabila have shown what the international Community will have to deal with. But, regardless of what happens, the jar has been opened,the genie is out, and there may not be a way back.

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  • George June 4, 2013, 7:17 pm

    If you want to see how Kagame treats people, go to

    Kagame doesn’t care if you are Hutu or Tutsi, just that you do what he wants- and the wants EVERYTHING. He is as guilty of killing people in Congo and Rwanda as the genocidaires were in 1994 (which, by the way, was never proved to be a government sponsored act) and Kagame’s terrorism and lack of negotiation with the government from 1990 on pushed the country to that horrid event in 1994- HE IS NOT BLAMELESS for being one of the sparks to the genocide.

  • william June 2, 2013, 8:32 pm

    if genocide did not took place in rwanda in 94, right now in DRCONGO people could have been living in peace i think the big mistake MOBUTU did was to open our boders,for those hutus to cross in our contry and create this problems we are facing now.

  • joe June 2, 2013, 7:14 pm

    Please please please thats enough ! lets us all grow up . Tutsi /Hutu /Twa it doesnt matter >> they all lost relatives during the war , but we need to move a head quick .
    For Niwe , please do have some respect to other African leaders.
    How would you feel some one doing same to any of your leaders.
    Some comments ive read are precisely uplifting , others are so imature to read .
    This is political imaturity …seek for peace not war .
    I agree with Kikwete and i`m a Rwandan and a Tutsi >Yes a Tutsi ! Believe it or Not
    I lost 2 sisters in 1994 , we forgive and move on , we need to forge a way to talk to these guys ( for the last 19 years , we`ve always had a grey cloud over ur heads )
    In Rwanda we ( most of us ) live in fear , un certain >>> all because of these rebels outside the country. Most people live in denial but its a fact!! Remember b4 1994 Habyarimana`s govt was warned ..and they took it lightly > learn from History my sisters and brothers.
    Remeber the floods in the bible !
    Stop being ignorant and take hid to advice ..i dont think Jakaya meant any ill fate for Rwanda > Our politicians hype the whole issue to substance to demostrate >Be warned …..

  • George Intore June 1, 2013, 4:08 pm

    ALL of this is right on the money. In fact, even beyond refusing to negotiate, the RPF led government actually hunts down dissidents…and they want to force refugees home by the end of this month- especially those who fled up to 1998. Why? Because many of those can tell the truth about what the RPF did in Congo.
    To stop the forced repatriation (as many as 200,000) go to:
    Watch the film “Stateless” to learn more or PLEASE sign the petition linked to the site.

  • mr avalanche June 1, 2013, 10:11 am

    I think gen Kagame has no place to hide,remember tanzanian government was responsible for ending the war in mozambique, helping museveni of ouganda to power and rwanda (RPF) as well,SO my point is what president kikwete says was, the plan which the west and US believe is a long term plan for peace in the great lakes,as you can see in burundi the hutus and tutsis are working hard together to get peace,and another fact is since the hutus of burundi have taken power in their homeland,the south kivu province of DRC is much stable and you can not found the rwandan proxy of the m23 in south kivu,fact.
    ps: do you know what happenned to former army chef of staff colonel jean Bikomagu of burundi? he was captures and killed in the south kivu of DRC in Ubwari Fizi and no media report this.”viva burundi “kagame next? reap what you saw

  • John May 30, 2013, 3:52 pm

    I believe if someone has killed your family, it is even more important that you actually learn to talk to them. Isolating them completely may not be fair to them and their families who may not have nothing to do with the killing.

    • carlos May 31, 2013, 1:29 pm

      This is funny,talk to genocider? asking for for what? let them come as used to be,rwanda has open the door for FDLR for a long time,some have already come about 10000 fighters,but forget about negotiation.

  • John May 30, 2013, 3:49 pm

    My friend, the obama Against al quaida conflict is completely different from african countries and oppositions from their own people.

  • Peter May 30, 2013, 12:37 pm

    Crazy President! Negotiate with some one who killed your family and your people and then go back ask me negotiation ! Wallah this is 1st president wa kiginga kweli! Mr. Kikwete i think that is your person thinking not for all Tanzanian otherwise it could be a very big Problem to Africa

    • Yeremiya May 30, 2013, 1:04 pm


      Your comments are nonsense. First, when was FDLR created? If there is anyone in FDLR who is a criminal, then ask that he/she be prosecuted. But do not globalize. Second, how many Hutus mothers and fathers were killed and children orphaned by RPA troops. Why do you expect us to remember our family members who were killed by Hutu criminals and then to remain silent about the Hutu family members killed by rogue RPA soldiers? Third, how many FDLR or ex-FAR top leaders have negotiated with Paul Kagame: wasn’t General Rwarakabije the FDLR overall commander and one of the founding members? How about the new Minister Seraphine, General Ngendahimana, Colonel Karegeya, Colonel Murenzi, General Gatsinzi, and many more ex-FDLR soldiers integrated in the RPA, etc.?
      Please stop the nonsense. Peace negotiations are between enemies, not among friends. What is the point of leading a country if you cannot reunite its people? It is an illusion. The winds of change are blowing. Let us help President Paul Kagame heed the wind before it is too late instead of misleading him. He needs to and must negotiate with the armed Hutu opposition, without the criminals of course. By the way, I would recommend that you read the comment by Sam Sekamana. Perhaps that is the way forward.

      • carlos May 31, 2013, 1:37 pm

        I dont understand at all,being FDLR does not change anything,these are genociders who changed the name only,but ideology is still there no change,another thing do you have any aidea how many hutu are in rwanda and in congo?please vist rwanda and you will see for ur self how these people living very happily in rwanda,so dont talk about those few genociders who dont want to go back to rwanda due to their crimes done in rwanda,i say again no NO!talk with GENOCIDER.

      • Billy May 31, 2013, 4:21 pm

        But Yeremiya,do u know what yo Name means?go to the Bible and look for that name and judge your self.because what u are talking about,it continues to heart Rwandans.not Hutu or Tutsi as u say.i think its better you change that name first.Rwandans knows what they want and where they are heading. they are no longer slaves.let me ask a simple question.what is the difference between a terrorist and a genocider?why are terrorists more hunted than genociders?interests matters.those interested in DRC for no good reason are there for resources.we wish them success.

        • Yeremiya June 1, 2013, 3:24 am

          Billy, yes my name means “God Exalts” but Yeremiya is also known as the “Weeping Prophet.” I am weeping for Rwandans, my brothers and sisters who are haunted by the demons of hate and bitterness and for our heartless leaders who, to maintain themselves in power, continue to exacerbate the hatred and repress one ethnic group. In Rwanda there are Hutu and Tutsi, it is a fact that will not go away, just because RPF is saying there is no ethnic groups. The minority Tutsi is ruling the country and getting all the benefits for a few among itself, you cannot foul anyone. Let us not play the ostrich. Burundian confronted the issue head on, and they are better off. I am not a Tutsi by choice and a Hutu is not by choice. Still we need to acknowledge each other and live together. Let us stop blaming others who have nothing to do with our willingness to solve our problems.

  • Izdolo May 29, 2013, 5:49 pm

    It bad to be ignorant Niwe and you advertise your ignorance. Put your sentiments aside and urge with men. It is only a wise man who govern.

  • Sam Sekamana May 28, 2013, 7:19 pm

    My Opinion: Kagame will not negotiate avec FDLR –FOCA but will do it with FDLR-RUD-Urunana

    I just read the Analysis of Jakaya Kikwete’s suggestion about FDLR/Rwanda talks by Dr. Charles Kambanda. It is an interesting analysis worth mentioning. Hence, I will give my 5-cents opinion. It is true that for the Rwandan regime, FDLR has come to mean “political opposition.” But I do not think that it was what President Jakaya Kikwete meant. He meant “armed Hutu opposition”, the way he meant “armed opposition” in Uganda and “armed Tutsi opposition” in DRC.
    Now the question is who is the “armed Hutu opposition?
    Before I get to that, I would like to put forward another idea: Jakaya Kikwete did not improvise his statements. It appears he disclosed an long term plan that has been in making for quite some time. To me, the “armed Hutu opposition” that Jakaya Kikwete has mentioned has been in preparation well before the statement itself: Paul Kagame knows it, Jakaya Kikwete knows it, and the powerful governments of the World know it.
    Now the next question is how was this armed Hutu opposition prepared?

    Question 1: Who is the armed Hutu opposition?
    It is not the FDLR-FOCA. It could not be. In January 2013, Barack Obama signed a law that puts $5 millions on the head of General Mudacumura (dead or alive, I suppose). So, it cannot be General Mudacumura. All the top FDLR-FOCA military leaders are on the US and UN list of the sanctions. So it cannot be them. All the political leaders of FDLR-FOCA are in prison, under house arrest, or being prosecuted. So it cannot be FDLR-FOCA. So, who are they, may you ask? And I to answer: RUD-Urunana.

    Reasons: no military leader of RUD-Urunana is on any list of sanctions (UN or US). No RUD-Urunana political leader has ever been arrested. They even travel back and forth to the bushes in the Congo. Why? Because those are the “good, God fearing, moderate armed Hutu opposition”, as viewed by the UN, the US, Great Britain, France, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and now the Tanzanian President Jayaka Kikwete and soon, I suppose, by South Africa and Angola. Now that you know who the “armed Hutu opposition” are, let us see how they were prepared.

    Question 2: how was the armed Hutu opposition of RUD-Urunana prepared?
    The powerful of the World have a secret (we now know it): when an extremist armed opposition is born, they promote another moderate armed opposition and they support it. FDLR was viewed as a bunch of genocidaire extremists. Then one day, Dr. Felicien Kanyamibwa (FDLR Executive Secretary), Dr. Jean Marie Vianney Higiro (FDLR Vice President), Dr. Augustin Dukuze (FDLR Spokeperson and Information Commissioner) and others (how many doctors they have by the way?) , mostly based in the West and who were not in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, suddenly said they have left FDLR, are creating RUD-Urunana and allying themselves with RPR-Inkeragutabara composed of Tutsis, within the National Democratic Congress (NDC). At the same time, an unknown FDLR officer, Colonel now General Musare was defecting from FDLR, along with 3,000 men and creating the armed wing of RUD-Urunana, AN-Imbonezagutabara.
    That is classic. That is how a moderate armed opposition is created by the powerful forces of the World.
    A few months after its creation, National Democratic Congress was negotiating in Rome with the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, negotiations officially mediated by the Norwegian Government and Sant Egidio Community. I stop here.

    Before I finish, I would like to emphasize that Paul Kagame himself knows it and will negotiate with RUD_Urunana. That is perhaps why Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo is so confident when she says they will never negotiate with FDLR, meaning FDLR-FOCA of General Mudacumura and Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka.
    Another proof is the recent statement made by Professor Linda Melvern in a verbatim note to the British Parialament as I read on New Times’ website (rumored to belong to Rwandan Intelligence Services): “
    “To try to report the current political reality of Rwanda without mentioning the activities of the Hutu Power movement and its continued presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in Europe and in North America, is simply biased reporting.”
    “There is detailed evidence on the RUD‐Urunana recently provided to US investigators including documents on the group’s communication networks and money transfers. The leadership of this group, which is more efficient than that of the FDLR, resides in North America and it has considerable skills a lobbying operations.”
    Rwandan supporters even went further when they addressed the British parliament. This, I read on afroamerica network website (under the title of Rwanda: Under International Pressure, General Kagame Increases Budget for External Intelligence), where Professor Phil Clark of the University of London repeated the statements from UN Group of experts on Democratic Republic of the Congo that Dr. Felicien Kanyamibwa is attempting to reunite RUD-Urunana and FDLR-FOCA.
    I may be wrong, but I think that Paul Kagame will negotiate with FDLR, but not the FDLR-FOCA we know, rather the FDLR-RUD-Urunana Jakaya Kikwete and the international community may have been thinking about.
    Sam Sekamana.

    • carlos May 31, 2013, 1:46 pm

      Hahahahhaa!you are day dreaming,in Rwanda we dont have armed groups,those groups are in congo,that is congo business,if they want a fight let them come and they will see the heat of bullet,let the change names but would not change their ideology,whoever is behind those genociders will never win the war.

      • msuko June 1, 2013, 4:03 pm

        Carlos, I thought you said, in one of your comments here, In Rwanda you live happily, I’m also told ‘there are no HUTUS or TUTSIS these days you are all WANYARWANDA’…but given The nature of your comments I’M forced to believe, the so called harmony is not REAL, it is forced upon people from above.

        Geo-politically Rwanda can’t enjoy its ‘growing development’ as long as what you called GENOCIDERS ( let me call them Armed REBELS), Kivus will not see peace as long as Armed REBELS both Tutsi (Congolese), Hutu (Rwandans) and those ‘political enemies of Museveni’ are still at large in the area.

        This then leaves you with two things at hand, The easiest is to launch an all-out attack on them, and CONGO WAR ONE and TWO were battled. This option has proved failure, CONGO WAR THREE IS NOT GOING TO BE FOUGHT… young KABILA pitched his CARDS RIGHT for playing a VICTIM. AND ‘NOISES’ FROM BIG BROTHER MUSEVENI THAT MONUSCO is just a MILITARY TOURISM brigade opened doors for a battalion that can be offensive ‘IF PROVOKED’ only to M23 ( THOSE WHO ARE SAID TO BE SPONSORED BY uganda & RWANDA TO BALANCE THE EVEN IN THE TROUBLED REGION), here someone is cornered and if will try to act smart will be clobbered, and ‘two big brothers’ will just watch their demise …

        M23 CAN BE DISBANDED but is that the END of the whole PROBLEM??? a big NO !!! ANOTHER (TUTSI) CONGOLESE REBEL GROUP WILL BE FORMED, and will ‘aluta continua’ until the end of time??


        Second option it is, DIPLOMACY…my brothers and sisters in Rwanda, I, like any other rational human being DETEST,CONDEMN (allow me to put it my mother tongue NALAANI) killing of even a single innocent human being, not to mention the cold blood murder of close to one million INNOCENT people, primarily their CRIME was (is) the way they were created.

        IT’S now close to 20 years and I can’t claim to know what you are feeling today…but I believe, the wound is as fresh as in APRIL 1994.

        HOWEVER, lest we forget MILLIONS of lost life, thousands of Raped young girls and Women in DRC resulted from this PROBLEM.

        How can WE as a region put an end to this MADNESS once and for all? It’s back to negotiating table…as BITTER as it may TASTE, I second MY President on this. It’s not easy but lets walk our way to make it happen. Even Rome was not built in a Single day… KIKWETE amplified the IDEA we MUST Create a forum to take us there.

        As someone RIGHTFULLY put it, Kikwete has a lot to deal with back home, and some think (whisper) he is the worst President that we have ever had… but on this, he enjoys majority support at home. Sending our troops to Goma was, without any opposition accepted and supported.

        Brothers and Sisters, here comes my last issue on the whole matter, I have been reading many of those opposing this idea of talks saying, its like asking Americans to negotiate with Al-qaeda, or telling Kikwete he should advice Obama in his forthcoming tour here to negotiate with Al-qaeda.

        Lets get things clear, Al-qaeda and those who perpetuated Rwanda Genocide, share one heinous crime, killing thousands of innocent lives (but even USA can be accused of this…lets go back to Iraqi War), still and most importantly the politics behind Al-qaeda attacks and Rwanda Genocide are COMPLETELY different, and WITH DUE RESPECT I believe any one who compares the solution or any other way to handle the two CONFLICTS doesn’t know what he/she is speaking or wants.

        I rest my case, Mungu Ibariki Afrika!

        • msuko June 1, 2013, 4:44 pm

          Nelson Mandela and his peace seeking mission with the Apartheid regime is a clear example in this; and brothers and sister wars cannot end in Africa because of hardliners.

      • william June 2, 2013, 8:26 pm

        carlos we know you rwandese knows how to kill,thats whe you are thinking you are strong and can win any war be carefull my brother now congo has TANZANIA backing them,tutapigwa mubaya sana

  • Lubungo Tafadhali Ngwy May 28, 2013, 2:15 pm

    The Tanzanian president Jaye Kikwete just hit on the head of the African great lakes region problems. Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda do face the same nature of problems namely armed oppositions, unfortunately Congo does not have means to silence its rebels through arms, which Rwanda and Uganda entertain as a advantage over their attractive jackpot. Strangely they keep their prestigious places in the region as kings and police of the great lakes region. Is it possible to overcome internal conflicts through muscles? time will tell, but before that time arrive Tanzanian leader has a piece of advice : close the tape of your blocked sink before you can proceed with you mopping work, Congolese problems came from its neighbours places whereas solutions should start taking place and not be postponed

    • carlos May 31, 2013, 1:50 pm

      I am telling you Tutsi blood must be paid at any cost,we will not allow butchers to kill our people never!!

  • niwe May 28, 2013, 11:57 am

    Who told u that these the wise men in black Africa? JACOB who never attended even senior one? JAKAYA who failed even to join muslims and Christians’ conflicts in his country?, or Angolan president who spent many decades on the throne?

    Don’t mix your sentiments in politics my friend. The wise men are those ones you neglect. I mean H.E PKAGAME and his counterpart YK.MUSEVENI who manage to fight against recolonialism.

    More to that never see a man in troubles of his own and you take it as ignorance. we know you and we will fight you and kikwetes modles. Rwanda has its own problems not similar to that of TZ. so jakaya I advise u to go and rule your own country not ours.

    • william June 2, 2013, 8:34 pm

      you are dreaming KAGAME and MUSEVENI are criminals and CPI is waiting for them to retire,you know how many people KAGAME KILLED IN MUGUNGA CAMPS IN GOMA

  • Kammy May 28, 2013, 10:06 am

    I wonder if kikwete gonna ask obama to negociate with al quaida. This man just lost it…