Keeping Congo bleeding: How British mercenaries are ‘fuelling Africa’s First World War'
Antoine Roger Lokongo, a London-based Congolese journalist, reports.
Mercenaries are anonymous, professional, highly paid and they operate as any of the combatants in the scores of wars from which they make their living. And when they fly their cargoes of weapons or troops into yet another bush conflict their primary aim, after getting out alive, is to keep their actions secret.
But their involvement in the war which has devastated the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2.08.1998, has now become an “open secret”. This war has been dubbed by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as “Africa’s First World war”, pitying troops from Zimbambwe, Angola and Namibia, three countries which came in support of the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, then led by President Laurent Désiré Kabila, assassinated on 16.01.2001 (his son Joseph Kabila took oven since) and troops from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi who invaded Congo, very much against international law, under the pretext of pursuing those who committed genocide in Rwanda in 1994.
Since then, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi have been responsible for crimes against humanity in Congo, not only for the looting Congo’s natural and mineral resources (especially coltan, very much sought after for the making of mobile phones and everything high tech today), but also because of a genocide that Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian troops - given means beyond their capability by well-known superpowers - have committed against the innocent Congolese people. Often Congolese people are buried alive, shot dead or chopped with machetes, their bodies thrown into rivers or forced down the latrines. Women are raped, their sexual organs mutilated or shot at by Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian troops who are all HIV positive. 60% of the women are now infected with HIV in eastern Congo.
Five millions killed ! The toll is certainly higher and worse than what happened in Kosovo and Rwanda itself. Isn't it? If it goes unreported, it is because stakeholders have managed to suppress the story and to protect the perpetrators from accountability. 5 millions is like the whole Irish, Malawi or Palestinian population wiped out. Could the holocaust have happened without anybody knowing about it? Most likely. The silent genocide in Congo has proved it.
The most atrocious incident took place on 15-22 November 1999 in Mwenga district, in the localities of Bulunzi, Bogombe and Ngando, where 15 women, suspected of supporting the Mai-Mai, that is Congolese combatants resisting against occupation, were buried alive by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) soldiers, after their bodies were smeared with hot pepper. Mary Robinson, the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights promised an investigation which was never conducted.
On Sunday 24 august 1998, another massacre took place in Kasika, still in Mwenga district. Rwandan troops came in, encircled a Catholic Church while the priest was celebrating mass. They entered the church and massacred everybody, the priest, nuns and all the attendants. They burnt some people alive, cut off their throats, threw the bodies into pit latrines or threw them away in a nearby bush. As for the local chief, François Mubeza, they chopped his body and that of his wife to pieces and littered them around the local palace. More than a thousand people were killed with machetes and knives. They repeated the same scenario in Makobola (847 people were killed), in Burhinyi (124 people killed), Katana (27 people killed), Bunyakiri (several dozens killed), Mushinga (100 people killed), Burhale, Kaniola, Katogota (127 people killed), Kamituga (more than 201 people killed). Funerals were forbidden as well as investigations to be conducted. Parents were forbidden to mourn their children or else they would be killed and follow them to the grave.
Three times and under the nose of the UN peace keepers, the armies of Rwanda and Uganda have fought each other over diamond in the city of Kisangani, leaving 3,000 Congolese dead, the city destroyed, and this at 1,500 km away from their borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo which they claim to be securing from rebel incursions! Also, more than 500 people were either decapitated, disembowelled and thrown into the Congo river or buried in mass graves by Rwandan troops and their Congolese RCD rebel allies following a carefully stage-managed and faked mutiny against the Rwandan presence in Kisangani, in 2002.
In the north-eastern part, Ugandan-masterminded ethnic clashes between the Hema (pastoralists) and the Lendu(hunters and cultivators) and their respective rebel allies have claimed 600,000 lives as a result of mass murder, rape, and villages raised to the ground since last year in the area of Bunia alone. It is a pretext used by Uganda to prolong its presence in this area rich in rare minerals and the recently discovered oil in Lake Albert. Tony Buckingham's Oil Heritage is ready to put its hand on these massive oil reserves. Hence the link with Uganda and the ethnic cleansing going on. Tchadian, Lybian, Somalian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Sudanese thugs (including John Garang’s men) are used for the dirty job. The French “Opération Artemis” in Bunia did not make so much a difference and all the weapons were given to Museveni when the French troops left. The case between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, now taking place at the International Criminal Court at the Hague is a high profile one.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) documented about 1,600 people including 138 Congolese soldiers, which it says were killed by Ugandan soldiers. The DRC documented 38 officers and some 100 Congolese soldiers whom it said had previously been disarmed, as some of those massacred by the Ugandan forces at the Kavumu airport on August 3, 1988. It said about 856 civilians were killed at Kasika in Lwindi in south Kivu and their bodies scattered in a distance of about 60 km between Kilungutwe and Kasika, on August 24 1988. The DRC cited an unspecified number of people, which it said were killed by the Ugandan forces in different places. It said there were many cases of rape particularly on August 29, 1998 in Kasika and on September 22,1998 in Bukavu. It alleged that Ugandan troops spread HIV/AIDS as a weapon of war.
Jean Pierre Bemba’s MLC rebel movement (masterminded by Uganda) is also responsible for acts of cannibalism and rape against the Bambuti or the Pygmies of Ituri last year. Those militia believe that by eating the flesh of a pygmy or raping a pygmy woman, they would acquire extra-terrestrial powers. The case is now a high profile one at the Hague. Jean Pierre Bemba is Mobutu’s son-in-law (Mobutu was the brutal dictator who rules Zaire, as Congo was then known for 37 years, as an ally if the West in the Cold War. He was overthrown by Laurent Désiré Kabila in 1997).
After all this, do not expect the UN to come in and help the people of Congo. You would be foolish to do so! UN troops have been raping and sexually abusing girls as young as 12 in Congo.
Worse, mercenaries have been hired by multinationals as security providers around gold, diamond, copper, cobalt and coltan mines which they are looting there, posing as UN troops. The same Tutsi Rwandan, Ugandan, and Burundian troops, backed by well known superpowers and Western multinationals, who, after subjecting Congo to a 5-year-war of aggression, of invasion, of looting and of untold massacres of more than 5 million Congolese, have never left Congo but are still operating there, disguised as UN troops, thus ostensibly backing and encouraging the “TUTSIFICATION OF POWER” in Central Africa. Shame on the UN Mission in Congo!
II. IT WAS BRIAN “SPORT” MARTIN WHO FIRST SPILLED THE BEANS
For 20 years, “Sport” Martin has clandestinely ferried arms to war areas - and the West has turned a blind eye. But on 17.03.2005, the gun-running pilot broke his silence, and told his tale to BBC Newsnight .
A British pilot, Brian “Sport” Martin, described flying AK47 assault rifles - as well as Unicef medical aid and officials - from Rwanda and Uganda into the rebel-held town of Kisangani.
In special report published by the British daily, The Observer, on 3.09.2000, slammed the so-called “ethical policies of New Labour, the party in power in Britain.
In an interview with a United Nations investigator, passed to The Observer, Brian “Sport” Martin described how he has made his living flying armaments, including key components in nuclear weapons programmes, all over the world. Not only has he been able to work unhindered by Western governments, on several occasions - he claimed - British and American officials hired him for clandestine work.
Recently he has been flying general supplies, and “whatever the military would turn up with”, to Ugandan-backed rebels in the east of Congo from Entebbe airport.
“We mostly carried brand new Kalashnikovs plus their ammunition,'” Martin said.
“They were in quite beautiful condition. We could get 350 troops on board and their weapons. It is quite a standard operation for us. You don’t really know there is a war on. You’re not involved – you’re just charter pilots.”
Gracious me! “You are not involved?!” Martin named British pilots - including senior ex-RAF officers - who were also transporting arms into Congo and surrounding countries. Many were recruited by companies based on England's south coast and in London.
Others are hired by local agencies. One, Planetair, which employed Martin for the trips into Congo, are mentioned in a report into the reasons for the ongoing wars in Africa published by the US State Department last year.
Martin also talked about his work in the early Eighties flying Chinese “heavy water'”- used in the construction of nuclear reactors and weapons - to India, Argentina and, in 1980, Libya. At the same time, Martin, 64, said, he was flying samples of new Soviet weaponry, clandestinely obtained behind the Iron Curtain, to testing grounds on the east coast of America from East German airfields.
According to campaigners, Martin’s revelations provided 'shocking' evidence of how easy it is to exploit the loopholes in British arms-control legislation. If no arms touch British soil, no offence has been committed. The Observer knows of at least three British companies involved in the organisation of arms flights to conflicts in Africa and able to arrange the transport of hundreds of tonnes of weapons without breaking the law. Often the arms end up in countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola where the United Nations have imposed sanctions or are attempting to maintain peace.
“Here we have concrete evidence of UK involvement in the supply of arms to conflict zones,” said David Bryer, the director of Oxfam, the British aid agency. '
“In the absence of proper legislation to regulate those involved in the supply of arms, these people will continue to get away with it, making large amounts of money from the suffering of others. The Government has so far failed to deliver on the promises it made three years ago, which seems pretty outrageous in light of all the political mileage it made from the last government's record on arms control.”
Although the pilots are unlikely to fall foul of British law, they are aware of the risks they are taking. Martin was jailed in Venezuela and spent three days in a filthy cell packed with violent and starved prisoners in Nigeria. He escaped only after paying a $10,000 bribe. On other occasions he has narrowly avoided being shot down. While flying government soldiers into the Sudan, rebels attempted to down his Boeing 707 with Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles. By approaching airstrips at speed Martin had avoided being hit by anything other than heavy-machine gun fire.
Flying into the central African state of Burundi in the middle of a war also proved tricky. On his final approach into Bujumbura airport, Martin, who lives in Sussex, was unable to raise anybody in the control tower. When he finally did so he was told to abort the landing. While arguing with the controllers he heard a loud bang. The tower had been hit by a rocket and destroyed.
You have heard it from the horse’s own mouth! British pilots and air cargo companies are been used to supply weapons to both sides in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to Guardian inquiries and research commissioned by human rights groups. And this, despite the 1993 EU embargo on arms sales to Congo, and Britain's promise to tighten control on exports to all combatants in the conflict, weak UK laws make the government powerless to intervene.
The evidence highlights the dilemma in drawing up a new UK law on brokering and trafficking arms, which is expected to be announced shortly. It also shows that after the Lusaka peace accord agreed between the parties last August - which was renegotiated in Kampala at the weekend and began yesterday - the flow of weapons continued.
Mr Martin, a freelance pilot for more than 20 years, says he flew planes registered in Swaziland for two Congolese carriers, Planet Air and New Goma Air, from Entebbe in Uganda, and Kigali in Rwanda. Last year the US state department’s bureau of intelligence and research identified Planet Air as one of several airlines supplying the eastern Congo.
In a transcript of an interview he gave to Oxfam in February he said: “Mostly the stuff we carried were brand new AKs plus the ammunition. They’re all packed in plastic bags and in beautiful condition. It’s quite a standard operation for us. We know there is a war on. We are not in volved in it because we’re just charter pilots.”
Mr Martin said he was flying 80 to 90 hours a month. “It is very easy. Leave the hotel, do a little hour there and two hours on the ground and you are back in time for dinner.”
Under the proposed tightening up of arms transfers the British government is suggesting a register of UK brokers, based at home or abroad. It would be illegal to broker arms to countries under UN, EU or national embargoes
III. “WE WERE SIMPLY EN ROUTE, THAT IS, ON OUR WAY TO GUARD MINING OPERATIONS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.”
In August 1998, 70 men accused of plotting to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea has pleaded guilty to security offences in a Zimbabwe court. Their ring leader was no other than Simon Mann, a former member of Britain'’ elite Special Air Service commando force who holds British and South African citizenship.
Mann actually purchasing the weapons but admitted trying to procure dangerous weapons - a charge which carries a possible 10-year jail sentence. The men’s plane was impounded in March, when they picked up weapons bought from the Zimbabwe state arms supplier. All but three pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Simon Mann also entered a limited guilty plea to a second charge of purchasing weapons, but insisted that the deal never went through, Reuters news agency reported.
When prosecutors called Hope Mutize, the marketing manager at Zimbabwe’s state arms manufacturer to testify, he told the court that Mr Mann had said he wanted to buy some weapons - and had put a deposit down.
“According to him, he wanted to use the weapons to guard mines in the DR Congo,” Mr Mutize said, according to AFP news agency. The group have maintained all along they were going to the Democratic Republic of Congo to provide security for mining operations. The governments of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea believe they were heading to the small, oil-rich country to overthrow the government.
IV. MERCENARIES ARE OPERATING IN CONGO, DISGUISED AS UN TROOPS OF MONUC
Keith Harmon Snow, a journalist and photographer specializing in Central Africa reported for WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, on Dec. 10, 2004 that Rwanda and Uganda continue to benefit from high-level military arrangements with the United States. Entebbe, Uganda, is a forward base for US Air Force operations in Central Africa.
According to the Global Policy watchdog, there are eleven US servicemen permanently stationed in Entebbe. The Canadian mining firms Barrick Gold and Heritage Oil & Gas arrived with Ugandan (UPDF) and Rwandan (RPA) military during the “War of Aggression” to exploit mining opportunities in the north. Barrick prinicpals include former Canadian premier Brian Mulroney and former US president George H.W. Bush. Heritage has secured contracts for the vast oil reserves of Semliki basin, beneath Lake Albert, on both the Congolese and Ugandan sides of the border. Heritage is reportedly tapping the Semliki petroleum reserves from the Ugandan side, where a huge pipeline to Mombasa, Kenya, worth billions of dollars, is now in the works.
According to a petroleum futures report (Africafront), Heritage Oil was poised to exploit the northern Lake Albert basin, southern Lake Albert basin, River Semliki basin, and Lake George and Lake Albert basin areas in partnership with the Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau (ZPEB) of China. Heritage is surrently exploiting petroleum in neighboring war-torn Congo-Brazzaville in partnership with ZPEB.
Ashanti Goldfields has reportedly secured a contract for the vast gold reserves at Mongwalu, north of Bunia. Ashanti has ties to the British Crown and some sources in Bunia report that the Ashanti interest in nearby Mongwalu is guarded by Nepalese Gurkhas, possibly of the Gurkha Security Group based in Britain. It has also been established that South Africa, Malawi, Djibouti and Zambia are training Rwandan and “Congolese Tutsi” troops who will fight to annex eastern Congo to Rwanda with the full support of the “international community”.
Simon Man, the former SAS man, the ring leader of the mercenaries arrested in Zimbabwe for plotting the overthrow of the government of President Theodore Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea (Sir Margaret Tatcher, the son of the former Bristish Prime Minister Margaret Tatcher was also involved), claimed in his deposition that they were on their way to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they have been hired as a private security company to protect vested gold, diamond, cobalt, copper and coltan mines. That is likely.
Britain is yet to investigate the role its 12 multinational companies are playing in Congo, beside the 48 anglo-american ones who are working out of South Africa, 9 American ones and 20 which are Belgian.
V. SOUTH AFRICAN MERCENARY COMPANY, EXECUTIVE OUTCOME (EO), HAS ALWAYS BEEN ON THE SCENE IN CONGOLESE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
If war is business, as they say, the South African “Dogs of War” company, the Executive Outcome (EO), made sure it did not miss the “opportunities” that the “First African World War” offered. EO was compelled to close its doors by the South African government in 1998, following lucrative but criminal operations in support of the Angola rebel movement UNITA et the Sierra Leonean rebel movement, FRU of Foday Sankoh.
But even after the ban, EO still continued to operate albeit illégally, but in full knowledge, quite unembarrassedly, of the same South African government that ordered it to put an end to its activities, when they offred their services to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, the two Tutsi leaders who have made of their countries not onlu rogue states but client states of anglo-american multinationals as well as of Britain and America’s interests in the region; and who backing they enjoyed before, when and after invading the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the course of the war in the DRC - 1998-2003 - both Uganda and Rwanda sponsored armed guerrilla movements fighting against the regime in Kinshasa. Museveni and Kagame first created the so-called Congolese rebel movements (RCD-Goma – led by Azarias Ruberwa, a Rwandan and the MLC, led by Jean Pierre Bemba, Mobutu’s son-in-law, now dubbed “The Savimbi of Congo”. Mobutu worked closely with Savimbi, the two being the most trusted cold war allies of the US in the region ). They used these “rebel movements” a smoke-screen to their invasion of Congo and poured in EO mercenaries within those so-called Congolese rebel movements. And these EO’s “barbouzes”, coming straight from UNITA bases in Angola, really showed what they were capable of in the repeated massacres of innocent civilians in Kisangani, Congo’s third largest city and in Mambasa, further north.
In Mambasa, MLC militiamen engaged in barbaric acts of cannibalism and rape against the Bambuti or the Pygmies of Ituri last year. Those militia believe that by eating the flesh of a pygmy or raping a pygmy woman, they would acquire extra-terrestrial powers.
The very day human rights organisations (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Crisis Group, Global Witness…) accused Bemba of cannibalism and the UN Security Council condemned and condemned these barbaric acts, André Flahaut, the Belgian minister of defense flew to Gbadolite (15.01.2003), Bemba’s fiefdom and shook hand with him in front of world’s cameras.
Often mercenaries’know how was called in. They buried Congolese people alive, shot them dead or chopped them with machetes, their bodies thrown into rivers, after being disemboweled and stones put into their stomachs so their could sink in the Congo river; or forced down the latrines. Women are raped, their sexual organs mutilated or shot at by Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian troops who are all HIV positive. 60% of the women are now infected with HIV in eastern Congo.
Colette Braeckman, an expert in Congolese affairs and journalist with the Belgian daily Le Soir, revealed in her book, “Les Nouveaux Préddateurs” that the hidden agenda behind the war in eastern Congo is to cleanse eastern Congo of its native population, so that those in search of land, water, pastures, natural and mineral resources: Tchadian, Lybian Ethiopian, Somalian, Eritrean, Sudanese, Ugandan, Rwandan, Burundian, Tanzanian, as well as white farmers kicked out of Zimbambwe, and very soon from South Africa and Namibia; even Israelis fleeing violence in the Middle East…may settle there.
So a recent white wash BBC documentary by Hilary Andersson, a BBC Africa correspondent laid the blame squarely on “Congolese militia” without bringing into equation all this hegemonic hidden agenda. The white wash report, titled “DR Congo’s atrocious secret”, said:
“Despite a peace deal signed two years ago to end the long-running civil war, violence is continuing in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. And in the province of Ituri, Hilary Andersson finds evidence of cannibalism by some rebels.There is a part of the world where atrocities go beyond all normal bounds, where evil seems to congregate. Almost everyone who has ever worked there will know where I am talking of. The area is not very large on the map of Africa. But the region in and north of the forests of central Africa has hosted Rwanda’s genocide, the massacres in Burundi, the devastation of southern Sudan, the mutilations in Uganda, and the atrocities of the north-eastern Congo.
And so I had the usual feeling of dread when we flew into the area on this trip. We left the acacia-lined, sunswept plains of east Africa and, as we approached, the sky began to darken. We began to descend through black clouds that hugged the huge forests below.
We landed in a ferocious rainstorm in the small town of Bunia in the north-east of theCongo.
“Hole in Africa’s heart”
The Congo is a vast territory, the size of western Europe. The war is not about any principle at all, violence has just moved in where there is no authority. But it has been called the hole in the heart of Africa, because much of it is a giant power vacuum. In the north-east, at least seven warlords are locked in brutal scramble for personal power and control. Lots of the fighters are children. Rape is more widespread than possibly anywhere else on Earth. And the war is not about any principle at all, violence has just moved in where there is no authority.
We visited a refugee camp set in a small valley, a piece of land like a basin. Around its rims the United Nations patrolled to keep the militia out. It reminded me of the atrocities in Bosnia, where at a certain point individuals turned into human devils. In an afternoon every person we spoke to, without exception, had witnessed not just killing but horrific mutilation. The children had sunken, troubled eyes. The women looked exhausted and the men were bursting with what they had to tell. Their relatives had their hearts ripped out, their heads cut off, their sexual organs removed. This, it seemed, was the standard way of killing here.
You want to know why? Yes there is war, but this is different. This is not just killing, or taking territory. It is deliberate mutilation on a scale that makes you reel with horror.
It reminded me of the atrocities in Bosnia, where at a certain point individuals turned into human devils, bent on doing not just the worst they could but the most atrocious.
We met a woman whom I will call Kavuo, not her real name. Survivors of militia attacks remain in hiding for fear of further violence. To talk to her about her story we had to travel to a remote location in the jungle, where we could not be seen or heard by others. What she had to speak of is an atrocity shrouded in secrecy here, an atrocity. It is taboo to even speak of it. The events she told me about happened two years ago and hers was one of the first public testimonies of its kind.
Kavuo was on the run with her husband, her four children and three other couples.
They had spent the night in a hut, and got up in the morning to keep moving.
But they had barely left the hut when six militia men accosted them. Kavuo and the women were ordered to lie with their faces on the ground. The militia ordered Kavuo’s husband and the other men to collect firewood. Then the women were told to say goodbye to their husbands. They obeyed. The militia then began to kill the men one by one. Kavuo’s husband was third. Her testimony is that the militia men lit a fire and put an old oil drum, cut into two, on the flames. I will omit other details. But Kavuo says the militia cooked her husband's parts in the drums and ate them.
Those who have studied the region say cannibalism has a history there but as a specific animist ritual, carried out only in exceptional circumstances. Fighters told us that those who carry out such acts believe it makes them stronger. What has happened now is that the war has turned Congo’s society upside-down. Warlords are exploiting this, and perverting existing beliefs for their own ends. Fighters told us that those who carry out such acts believe it makes them stronger. Some believe they are literally taking spiritual power from their victims. That once they have eaten, they have the power of the enemy. These atrocities are also designed to instil utter fear into the enemy.
It is estimated that four million people have died in the Congo as a result of the long running war. That is truly staggering. It is more than those killed by Cambodia’s Pol Pot and more than those killed in Rwanda. Most people have died of hunger and disease that the violence has left in its wake. Kavuo lost four of her children to illness and malnutrition even before her husband was killed. Now she lives in a remote village in the forest, and cannot afford to look after her surviving children. If this is her story, imagine how many others are like it and the numbers begin to make a horrifying sort of sense. As we flew out of the Congo, I could see the vast forests below, thick with trees, infested with malaria, and barely accessible. A huge area that few outsiders venture into an area where evils happen that are rarely reported. The blood red sunsets, the streaks of black clouds a weird sort of echo.
Anarchy is not just a word.
In the north-eastern Congo we saw its reality. What is happening there is proof of the scale of devastation that chaos can invite, and of the terrifying human capacity for unleashing deliberate evil on the innocent.”
VI. BRITAIN AND AMERICA SUPPORT TERROR IN CONGO AS THEY HAVE TURNED A BLIND EYES TO THE POLPOT OF AFRICA’S CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Britain and America are the major suppliers of arms to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi for use throughout the Great Lakes Region (central Africa). According to a report by Wayne Madsen, an American Investigative journalist, presented on 17 May 2001, before the American Congressional subcommitee on international operations and the committee on international relations and human rights, the CIA is funding Rwandan and Ugandan military operations throughout the Great Lakes Region.
“It is very disturbing,” he said, “to see that the world’s greatest democracy is concocting deadly conflicts in Africa at the same time pretending to be a peace-maker. An American Mobile Training Team (MTT) is grooming regional insurgents, he revealed .
“American troops,” he said, “are stationed in Uganda at Entebbe old airport, Nakasonga, Kabamba, Ssingo, Nkozi, Gulu, Ssese Islands, and at Bugesera in Rwanda and other mobile locations.”
The MTT is unfortunately made up of Black American marines. Anybody who remembers the slave trade and colonialism knows that economic exploitation of Africa was its main objective. Imperialists set up political administrators, just like Mobutu, Museveni and Kagame in modern day Africa, for the purpose of defending their foreign economic agenda.
In a White House press briefing following the accord, Pierre Prosper, the US State Department ambassador-at-large for War Crimes said: “We want to see Rwanda withdraw from the Congo. But we also want to see the Democratic Republic of Congo take steps to address Rwanda’s security concerns.”
Prosper then went on “reminding” all states in the Central African region “of their international obligations to co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
“This means that all the states in the region, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo, The Republic of the Congo (the neighbouring former French colony), and Angola, must seek and arrest all inductees that may be on their territory. Only through a concerted regional and international effort will we be able to take the steps that are necessary to achieve lasting peace in region,” he said.
Asked whether the US had any intention of putting in place sanctions in case Rwanda failed to withdraw its troops from Congo, Prosper was rather vague.
“What you can see and expect from the US is a country that will be engaged with the parties in the region, will work with South Africa as the broker of the peace agreement to find a way to move this process forward by way of a ‘monitoring mechanism’.”
But, Nick Gordon, a BBC reporter investigated and reported that the Kigali regime has built crematorium at Bugasira, Ruhengeri, Byumba, Kibungo, Inyungwe and other locations where thousands of Hutus and Congolese deportees (80 Congolese youth were deported from Uvira, South Kivu into Rwanda in January 2001 and are unaacounted for today, according to the Missionary News Agency MISNA), were killed daily and their bodies are incinerated under the program called "MANPOWER DUTIES" while US officials are looking the other way. The Tutsi regime is conducting genocide in Rwanda to reduce the Hutu population to a “manageable level”.
“At Gabiro, one of those Auschwitz-like crematorium,” Gordon reported, “between 1,000 and 2,000 Hutus and Congolese deportees are incinerated daily and their ashes spread in the fields by a tractor.”
American troops having established a base adjacent to the crematorium at Bugasira, Gordon wondered: “It is impossible for American Generals not to hear the daily loud and groaning coming from across the fence; neither can they fail to smell the stench of burning flesh.”
The Anglo-American press also ignored Cameroonian-born journalist Charles Onana’s victory over Kagame in the French High Court after he published a book that clearly demonstrated that it was the Tutsi who started the genocide in Rwanda.
In 1998 at Kabalo airport, eastern Congo, 89 bodies of Tutsi soldiers who were killed by the Congolese army were found headless. Kagame had ordered his generals to cut off the head of every Tutsi soldier who get killed in the battle and bring it back to Rwanda. What was he doing with all these heads? Add them to skulls of the victims of the 1994 genocide and tell the whole world that they all perished during the 1994 genocide? And if there are 1 million Tutsi in Rwanda, besides the Hutu and the Twa (pygmies), and if, as it is said, almost 1million Tutsi preished in the 1994, genocide, then how many Tutsi are there left in Rwanda? It is a matter of simple mathematics!
Wayne Madsen solved the riddle when he said: “It is clear that the United States, contrary to comments made by its senior officials, including former President Clinton, played more of a role in the Rwandan tragedy than it readily admits. This involvement continued through the successive Rwandan and Ugandan-led invasions of neighboring Zaire/Congo. Speculation that Rwanda was behind the recent assassination of President Laurent Kabila in Congo (and rumors that the CIA was behind it) has done little to put the United States in a favorable light in the region. After all, the date of Kabila’s assassination on January 16 this year - was practically 40 years from the very day of the CIA-planned and executed assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba.
“The quick pace at which Kabila’s son and successor Joseph Kabila visited the United States at the same time of Kagame’s presence, and his subsequent meetings with Corporate Council for Africa officials and Maurice Tempelsman (the majordomo of U.S. Africa policy), calls into question what the United States knew about the assassination and when it knew about it.
“Also, particularly troublesome is a conclusion the CIA is said to have reached in an assessment written in January 1994, a few months before the genocide. According to key officials I have interviewed during my research, that analysis came to the conclusion that in the event that President Habyarimana was assassinated, the minimum number of deaths resulting from the mayhem in Rwanda would be 500 (confined mostly to Kigali and environs) and the maximum 500,000. Regrettably, the CIA’s higher figure was closer to reality.
“Remember that Kagame was in Washington about August 1996 checking his battle plans with the Pentagon. Mobutu’s days were numbered”. The US took all the right decisions to allow the Rwanda genocide to unfold. And Clinton’s comment that “we didn’t know what was going on at the time” couldn’t have been a bigger lie. “Do you suppose it was coincidental that a Rwanda delegate rotated on to the security council early in 1994 and then worked with US representatives to block all subsequent attempts to deal appropriately with the unfolding slaughter?”
“All these US military programs like IMET and E-IMET, ACRI and JCET are designed to consolidate US hegemony. UPDF and RCD-Goma and SPLA have conscripted child soldiers. They use sophisticated weapons not only the machetes so widely advertised by the media propaganda front of 1994 which sowed indifference and apathy in the US public. Troops have been trained by US green berets and US military personnel have worked to coordinate SPLA and RPF/UPDF/RCD military campaigns. This is according to Ugandan dissidents and/or Congolese refugees fleeing Congo and/or ex-patriots on the ground. And there are plenty of people who support these statements.....”
“Remember that RPF government claimed the economic growth of 5% then 10%, Just like Enron and other 200 US companies which collapsed in bankrupcy because of bribary, corruption and big lies... I find it particularly remarkable that the diamond exports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were some US$897 million in 1997. Now this is a “country” which was in a major war. And then in 1998, DRC ranked second in diamond production at 25.7 million carats. Again, a country in a brutal war where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and in fact I think it is millions of people -- suffered the consequences through disease and despair and displacement and rape and hunger and robbery and often death..... This is the non-exhaustive accountability of Paul Kagame during this past decade.
VII. RWANDAN AND UGANDAN TUTSI REGIME ARE ROGUE STATES, BUT THEY NEVER APPEARED ON PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH’S “AXIS OF EVIL” LIST
A. KAGAME’S LINK TO AL-QAEDA PROVEN. PLEASE, READ THE FOLLOWING REPORT:
USA: Kagame links with Al-Qaeda probed by USA
By AfroAmerica Network, Washington, DC. USA. August 10, 2002.
Reliable sources tell AfroAmerica Network that Kagame, his cronies, and the Rwandan Government’s links with Al-Qaeda organisation are being probed by USA Intelligence services and the Justice Department. These links may date from the guerrilla war era against Habyalimana’s regime and may have intensified with the illegal exploitation of natural resources in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and the fuelling of invasion of the Congo.In this web of international terrorism, arms trafficking, illegal mineral trade, invasion and civil wars, Paul Kagame himself remains the central piece around which the following key figures and organizations gravitate.
Colonel Patrick Karegeya, Kagame’s right hand man and Director of the infamous External Intelligence Office (ESO) which is accused of assassinating Rwandan refugees, including Seth Sendashonga and Theonest Lizinde. Colonel Patrick Karegeya is said to have been working with Victor Bout (or Butt), Sanjivan Ruprah, and Faustin Mbundu all known arms dealers with close contacts with Al-Qeada. Sources say Victor Bout and Sanjivan Ruprah, who is married to a Congolese-Rwandan, may have bought weapons from Al-Qaeda cells from Pakistan, Kuweit and UAE, and Lebanon and supply the weapons to Kagame. They also say that using money from Al-Qaeda companies working with the Rwandan Patriotic Army in the Congo, these arms traffickers may have supplied sophisticated weapons, communications equipments and others war materials to Al_Qaeda itself.
Faustin Mbundu, an elusive Rwandan business man who lives in Uganda serves as an agent between Sanjivan Ruprah and Victor.But on one side and General Kagame on the other. Al-QAEDA cells through these contracts of arm sales, have trained Rwandan troops in Pakistan, Afganistan, Somalia, and Erythrea, just until September 11, 2001. Training of Rwandan troops in Somalia, Pakistan, and Erythrea may still be going on. Colonel Jack Nziza, another Kagame's henchman is the Director of the notorious Directorate of Military Intelligence. He is believed to be responsible for contracts with Al-Qaeda linked companies that exploit minerals and other resources in Congo.
These companies, mostly from Pakistan, Lebanon, India and elsewhere, use Hutu prisoners from Rwandan jails, accused of genocide. The product of the exploitation is used to pay for arms supplied by Victor Butt and Sanjivan Ruprah and for training of Rwandan troops by Al-Qaeda. Colonel Jack Nziza’s deputy in Congo is Colonel Dan Munyuzwa who oversees Hutu Prisoners, Al-Qaeda linked companies and other similar contracts in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also makes sure the minerals and timber are exported and the companies use the planes owned by General Kabarebe, the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff. Some of the Al-Qaeda cells in Somalia and Erythrea still train Rwanda troops but other engage in combats in Congo and Burundi on the Rwandan behalf.
The USAEmbassy in Ethiopia, also known as “Mogadisciu” for a large number of Somalis going in and out of the Embassy on a daily basis, is believed to issue Rwandan passports to Somalis, Yemenis, and Erythreans and to channel money to their families back home. AfroAmerica Network has learned that the USA intelligence may be concerned that the passports, issued to the fighters to allow them to easily move to Rwanda, Burundi and Congo, may be used by Al-Qaeda members among these troops to travel to the United States and commit crimes there.
To facilitate the transfer and laundering of money to Al-Qaeda, a Rwandan bank may have been used extensively. The Rwandan bank, using an American bank, has created fake accounts to legitimize transactions. Businessmen from Somalia, Ethiopia, and elsewhere, working with Al-Barakaat may also have used the bank in Rwanda to transfer money to Al-Qaeda cells.Other people who are mentioned are:
- Mugunga, a brother-in-law of Paul Kagame. While Colonel Dan Munyuza is in minerals and timber, Mugunga is believed to handle coffee and tea businesses with Al-Qaeda.
- Andre Bumaya, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of Islamic Democratic Party. He manages the Rwandan Embassy in Ethiopia contacts with Somalis, Erythreans, and muslims and may be giving these party memberships cards once in Rwanda.
- Hadj Harelimana, the Representative of Muslims in Rwanda. Provides legal papers to Somalis, Erythreans, Yemenis, Ethiopians, Eastern and Northern African muslims to make them members of the Rwandan Muslim community. Hadj Harelimana is on the record for supporting September 11, 2001 attacks against the USA, during a BBC interview.
- Major Karasira, Ernest Habimana, Emmanuel Kamanzi, Gakwere, Alfred Kalisa, and other names are also mentioned. AfroAmerica Network is still working to find out about the allegations against these individuals.
B. WHAT IS THE NEW POST-GENOCIDE RWANDA LIKE?
Ten years on, the West which has been wrestling with its conscience and seeking ways how to wash it, has taken firm and long-term commitments to help Rwanda, rebuild itself, albeit on the ashes of the genocide. The new regime led by General Paul Kagame (elected with 99.9% in 2003!) has made of security its priority of priorities. Millions of refugees have been repatriated, the reconstruction of the State apparatus and the administration has taken place, faster than was expected. Kigali the capital harbours new avenues, along which new villas (surprisingly and ironically nicknamed by some as “Vive le génocide!” - Long live the genocide!) have been built by the wealthiest, the dignitaries of the new regime, that is. Business is thriving. A new Institute of Science, Technology and Management has even been launched, children go to school and ordinary people can be seen cultivating the land again.
But don’t be deceived by appearance. Fear still reigns supreme in the new Rwanda post-genocide. The regime is obsessed with security as the notorious “Military Security Department” has been suspected of acts of kidnapping and killing. The press is gagged and many journalists either languish in jail or in exile. Many dignitaries within the ranks of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in power have defected and exiled themselves for fear for their lives, including former prime minister Celestin Rwigema, a Hutu, accused of being a “genocidaire” after working for four years with the new regime. The former president Pasteur Bizimungu (a Hutu) is languishing in jail for having created another party other than the RPF (the same Bizimungu who, by orders of Kagame, brandished a false old map showing that eastern Congo was part of the Rwanda kingdom in the past. Rubbish! It is a pure falsification of history. And now he is rotting in jail).
Under President Kagame’s “Imidugu” policy or the “Politics of villagisation”, most of the villagers have been forced to built their huts along the main roads so that the notorious Local Defense Forces will keep a vigilant eye on them and to wield off infiltrators. The countryside is therefore deserted and Catholic missions there forced to close.
President Kagame is quoted as having said: “I can’t oblige Rwandans, Hutu and Tutsi to love each other. All I can do is guarantee the security of each and all.”
Survivors of the genocide feel abandoned to themselves. Ordinary Rwandans say their leaders all returned from exile do not identify with them. In fact the new regime keeps a grudge against them, accusing them of having collaborated with the former Hutu regime. Nevertheless, Kagame who branded the Congolese “the Ibicucu” in his native Kinyarwanda language – which means, the “nobodies, good for nothing, therefore killthem as many as you like”, cannot “sell” the genocide to draw moral credit out of it anymore. He will not avoid the “Hutu” question for ever and ever.
Just recently, the government of Rwanda blasted the western powers, which decided to negotiate a peace agreement with a group of Ex-Forces Armées Rwandaises (Habyrimana’s army), which transformed itself into the Forces Democratique Pour La Libération du Rwanda (FDLR/FOCA). The FDLR, Rwanda’s main Hutu rebel group, announced recently in Rome that it was abandoning its armed struggle against the Kigali government and condemned for the first time the 1994 genocide in the central African country, a massacre in which it has been accused of playing a prominent role. The Hutu rebels fled to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo after being chased out of Rwanda following the genocide, which left more than 800,000 people dead, most of them minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The Rwandan government, used as a pretext, the presence of the Hutu the rebels to invade, occupy and loot Congo.
“While government understands the need for the DRC government to talk to the genocidal groups and disarm them, we are gravely concerned to learn that the United Nations, the European Union and some countries plan to sit on the same table with a group that committed the last horrific genocide of the 20th century, “ a communiqué issued by the Rwandan Foreign Affairs ministry read.
The communiqué detailed the transformation of the FDLR/FOCA which, later when passing off as ALIR/PALIR was listed by the United States on the international terrorist list after the massacre of tourists in Bwindi National Park.
Yet, the same United States welcomed the FDLR’s pledge to abandon violence, disarm, and return to their country from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The United States congratulates and welcomes the recent renunciation of arms and condemnation of genocide and terrorism by the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
“We urge the FDLR to demonstrate their commitment to peace by turning over all their arms to the United Nations Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC),” McClellan said in a statement released by the White House.
“After voluntary disarmament, the FDLR should proceed without delay with plans for rapid repatriation of the combatants and families through close cooperation with the governments of the DRC and Rwanda, with assistance from MONUC,” said McClellan.
“Furthermore, we look to Rwanda, as well as the United Nations and international organizations, to work with the DRC and FDLR to ensure the expeditious repatriation of FDLR members and their families,” said McClellan.
“The United States looks forward to working closely with all parties to further our shared interest of building a world in which all peoples can live in peace, freedom, and dignity,” said McClellan.
C. UGANDA’S ROSY IMAGE DECEPTIVE - REPORT.
In the latest effort to convince the international community to take a critical look at President Yoweri Museveni’s government, a new report claims the country’s rosy image in the past 19 years has been a deceitful creation by paid publicists.
The report: “Revealing Uganda: The Mask of Politics, Economics and Social Realities,” was released on 11.04.2005 by the New York based Good Governance International (GGI). GGI was founded in August 2004 out of a merger of The Asia
Review, Middle East Monitor, Africa Analysis International and Refugee Watch.
It says the Movement government’s vision for democracy, rule of law, popular participation, transparency and accountability remains “daunting, if not, doubtful and devastating.
“Yet, Uganda is portrayed in the international arena as responsive to the waves of good governance progress in Africa,” the report says. The organisation’s country monitoring shows that the portrayal of the Ugandan government by some western analysts and nations is consequential of a hidden mask projected by the country’s administration and its paid public relations agents. The report says Uganda appears promising and dynamic only because the international community is not obtaining the actual truth.
It says political, economic and social progress in Uganda should not be based on what international institutions and western nations hear from Museveni and his emissaries. “Their account would be promotional, subjective, calculative, over-stated and partisan for international impression,” the reports reads.
According to the report, the rosy picture of the Movement government painted internationally, results from the need to secure international assistance, recognition and alliance. The report says the donors were initially convinced the Movement
would adopt good governance practices by adhering to popular political and economic principles, minimising corruption and guaranteeing human rights protection and establishing an accountable fiscal system.
Museveni’s National Resistance Army rebellion of 1981-86 reportedly preached democracy, transparency, accountability and development by promising restoration of political and socio-economic sanity and alleviation of mass poverty and disease.
“Yet those promises seem ironical considering his record of misrule,” the report says.
“There is an absolute diversion from the rule of law, democracy, popular participation, transparency and accountability,” the report says. It cites constitutional proposals that would give the president more powers, the insistence by the Movement that it is not a political party, and reports of torture of opposition supporters.
VIII. AT LAST, CONGO VERSUS UGANDA AT THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT IN THE HAGUE
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the UN’s highest legal body, was to start two weeks of hearings on a 1999 complaint filed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) accusing Uganda of invading its territory and massacring Congolese civilians.
The DRC accuses Uganda of violating its territorial sovereignty, violating international humanitarian law and massacring Congolese civilians.
It is demanding reparations for destruction and looting allegedly carried out by Ugandan troops and “the restitution of national property and resources appropriated for the benefit of Uganda”.
The two parties presented their side of the story before the 15-judge panel from April 11 to April 29. In its 1999 application the DRC said it seeks “to secure the cessation of the acts of aggression directed against it, which constitute a serious threat to peace and security in central Africa in general and in the Great Lakes region in particular”.
In June 2000 the court issued so-called provisional measures at the DRC’s request, ordering that both parties “forthwith, prevent and refrain from any action, in particular armed action” that might aggravate the dispute before the court.
Originally the court was set to start hearings in November 2003 in the case but the start was delayed at the request of both parties to allow diplomatic negotiations.
Uganda has consistently denied the claims and said it has only acted to protect national security. Uganda’s defense appears already wobbly, perhaps because Museveni is well aware that he ccanot get away with it. On 13.14.2005, an editorial of the Ugandan government official newspaper, the New Vision, commenting on the case, squarely laying the blame on the late dictator of Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko.
It read: “The International Court of Justice has started hearing the case filed by President Kabila against Uganda in 1999. Many things went wrong during the collapse of the Congo in the late 1990s. Uganda is not blameless. Nevertheless, the case should never have been allowed to come this far.
Firstly, Uganda was given permission by President Mobutu to enter Congo to deal with ADF rebels. Ugandan rebels have operated out of Congo for many years, something with direct backing from Kinshasa.
Secondly, Kabila was placed in power by the Rwandan army. Did he have the moral authority to file such a complaint?
Thirdly, claims about Uganda’s plunder of Congo were greatly exaggerated. Most of the gold, diamonds and timber exported to Uganda in that period were on a willing buyer-willing seller basis.That trade was there before the war and is still there today.
Fourthly, the claim that Uganda is still active in Congo through proxy militias is absurd. Those militias are themselves part of the Kinshasa government today.
Finally, it was Congo’s collapse at the political centre that created the power vacuum that sucked in all its neighbours. That was Mobutu’s fault, not Uganda’s”.
Sorry Mr Museveni, I think masks have fallen!
IX. BY LAUNCHING A “COMMISSION FOR AFRICA TO HELP AFRICA”, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR HAS SIMPLY SHED A CROCODILE’S TEARS!
After arming Rwanda and Uganda to invade Congo, killing 5 million Congolese and looting Congo’s natural and mineral resources, especially coltan for mobile phones, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has just shed crocodile's tears by inaugurating his “Commission for Africa to help Africa”. Lit the fire and present yourself as an officer of the fire brigade. That’s it!
Moreover, according to Dr Tajudeen Abdul Raheem, Secretary General, Global Pan-African Movement, this what you need to know about The Africa Commission (some facts):
- Africa is not short of reports from “do-gooders” which lead to no implementation. Be it Nepad (New Partnership for Development) or Commission for Africa (which takes the shine off Nepad, Africans’own initiative), what we need is a moratorium on implementation.
- The fact that the majority of “Commissioners” in the Commission are Africans themselves does not change anything. Those Africans are puppets of neo-imperialism and neo-colonialism, including President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzanaia and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. Have the many treaties Mkapa and Zenawi have signed and adhered to before been implemented in their respective countries? Where the change?
- Let Prime Minister Tony Blair start by acting and the rest will follow. For example on corruption and good governance. How come British multinationals involved in the raping and the looting of Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are not investigated? As you know Britain has benefited a lot from the booties of corrupt leaders such as Mobutu and Sani Abacha. Britain (London), not Switzerland, is today the main destination of African dictators’looted wealth from their own countries. How come the London end of corruption does not disturb anybody? As you know 60%-70% of the looted money in Africa finds its way in Britain.
- After September 11, Britain and America and their allies had no difficulties in finding the culprits. Why is it not easy to find Africa’s looted money in western banks? Or those responsible for a genocide of 5 million Congolese?
- The fact that the Commission for Africa was launched in the British Museum was in itself an irony of history. It is there in the British Museum that you find most of looted goods from Africa since colonial time. We will mention only Nigeria’s Benin bronzes which should be returned home.
- The Commission for Africa is a spin on poverty. I was launched on “Red Nose Day” – a day of pitying Africa. Aid and aid pushers will do nothing in Africa as long as the global system incarnated by global financial institutions is fundamentally unjust. The self-interests of bigger countries is an obstacle to a just and fair world, let alone a for a fair trade. We see some powerful countries wanting the UN to be dismantled and the militarisation of the World Bank is the order of the day. The G8 countries have already announced that the targets they set themselves to halve Africa’s poverty by 2015 will not be met.
Meanwhile, immigration has become a hot issue in every western countries, especially during electoral campaigns, oblivious to the fact that they are the ones who orchestrate wars in Africa in the first place, in order to have free access to raw material, be it cocoa, oil or coltan for mobile phones and computers. And as you know, in the western high tech driven economy, everything is being computerized and huge supplies of oil (energy) is paramount.
The question is: “How long is Africa going to bear the weight of “White Civilisation”?
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