President Barack Obama is visiting Africa late June to early July 2013, his first trip to Africa since he began his second term. He will travel to Southern, Eastern, and Western Africa, visiting South Africa, Tanzania, and Senegal. During his meetings with African leaders, President Obama will most likely emphasize the primacy of direct peace talks over wars to resolve ongoing African conflicts.
Photo: President Barack Obama Chatting with Kids in Africa in 2009.
His trip to Africa comes when there are significant political, diplomatic, and security developments in the Great Lakes Region of Africa: [click to continue…]
Over the last few weeks, heated debates erupted following the recommendation by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to hold direct talks with their respective armed opposition.
Photo: FDLR Top Commander General Rwarakabije and Rwandan Military Chief of Staff General James Kabarebe in 2003.
Direct Talks: The Best Way, Says Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete urged these governments to hold direct talks, as the best way to bring so much needed peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa after decades of bloodshed, violence, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. For President Jakaya Kikwete, [click to continue…]
“Rwanda believes that only a political solution, through the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), will bring peace to Darfur,” Rwandan UN Ambassador, Eugene-Richard Gasana said during the UN Security Council Briefing Meeting on Sudan and International Criminal Court (ICC) (see here). DDPD is the peace agreement on Darfur signed in Qatar in 2011 .
The remarks by the Rwandan Ambassador and Government Minister came as a shock.
Photo: Former UN Deputy Secretary General, now Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, the Tanzanian Asha-Rose Migiro and Eugene-Richard Gasana, Rwandan UN Ambassador.
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Dr. Samantha Power, the renown human and women rights advocate was nominated by US President Barack Obama today June 5, 2013 to be the UN Ambassador. If confirmed she will take over from Dr. Susan Rice, who was appointed US National Security Advisor , replacing Tom Donilon.
(Photo: Jennifer Kanyamibwa, Rutgers Institute for Women Leadership Scholar and Rutgers Douglass Women College Student Council President introducing Samantha Power. 2008. Source. Rutgers University).
Dr Samantha, a scolar, journalist, human rights advocate, Pulitzer Prize winner and the 2008 Susan and Michael J. Angelides Lecturer at the prestigious Rutgers Institute for Women Leadership, [click to continue…]
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and General Paul Kagame of Rwanda are in Japan where they are taking part in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), an event held every five years since 1993. They are among the heads of state and officials from Africa invited to the event by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The event is believed to be the biggest African development event outside the continent.
Jakaya Kikwete and Shinzo Abe, at Shinzo Abe’s Official Residence in Tokyo.
The two African heads of states met, a week after the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete urged President Paul Kagame to hold direct talks with his armed rebellion [click to continue…]
Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa, Commander of the the FARDC brigade supported by UN Intervention Brigade Threatens to Bring War All Way to the Source.
“The war will end where it began”, Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa said repeatedly in an interview with Congolese news media.
Photo: alleged body of RDF Commander Nkundukuri Butera abandoned by M23 rebels.
Colonel Mamadou N’Dala Moustafa is the Commander of the FARDC brigade working with the UN Intervention Brigade set up by the United Nations Security Council to fight against the M23 Congolese rebels. He is in charge of the [click to continue…]
The 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 [click to continue…]
Rwandan Justice Minister, Tharcisse Karugarama, has been dropped from the government a few days after the Rwandan government leader General Paul Kagame criticized him for being opposed to a third presidential term. In an interview published on May 19, 2012 by The Guardian, one of the prominent British news media, General Paul Kagame belittled the Rwandan Justice Minister for having expressed the view that General Kagame should step down in 2017 in order to maintain the primacy of the rule of law.
Photo: Tharcisse Karugarama
“Why don’t you tell him [Karugarama] to step down himself? All those years he’s been there, he’s not the only one who can be the justice minister (see here)”, General Kagame told the Guardian journalists. Now, he has fired the Justice Minister.
While criticizing the Justice Minister, General Paul Kagame made it clear [click to continue…]
On Monday May 20, 2013, Congolese Rebels known as M23 reinforced by Rwandan Defense Forces troops launched attacks on positions held by Congolese Government forces, FARDC around Goma. The attacks, in preparation since late April 2013, threatened Goma, the provincial capital of North-Kivu Province and have sent scores of displaced into the jungles or already crowded camps.
Photo: M23 Rebel Leader in Rwanda on March 16, 2013.
Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) started entering the Democratic Republic of the Congo on April 3, 2013 under the cover of M23 rebels dissidents who, allegedly were being reintegrated. The M23 rebels had entered Rwanda on March 16, 2013 after sham battles among two M23 factions to cover the forced deployment of Rwandan troops due to international pressure (
see: Kibumba: Fightings Between M23 Factions Never Happened).
On April 13, 2013 M23 High Command, [click to continue…]
Sources within the Rwandan government inform AfroAmerica Network that General Paul Kagame has ordered a large increase in the budget allocated to External Intelligence Services.
Photo: Professor Linda Melvern in Stockholm on April 11, 2012 defending Human Rights Record of Rwandan Government.
According to the sources, General Paul Kagame ordered the increase after an extensive report from Rwandan embassies in the West and in major African Countries and from intelligence operatives in the West, Uganda, and South Africa pointing to better and more coordinated lobbies from the opposition and the increasingly critical reports from Non Government Organizations (NGO) and governments.
Reports increasingly critical of Rwandan government’s poor human rights record
One such latest reports that triggered a more aggressive approach and hence an increased budget [click to continue…]