Rwanda sending death squads to Britain: why is this news? By Nkunda

This is a blog post originally posted here by Nkunda Rwanda. Hard to extract excerpts. The whole thing is worth a read, and worth spreading.

By Nkunda Rwanda

Amid twitter battles between President Paul Kagame and journalists, there are credible reports suggesting that the Rwandan leader is seeking to eliminate his opponents living in Britain. The report first surfaced during the British royal weeding when the Rwandan envoy was given a warning.

According to a letter sent to two individuals by the London Metropolitan Police the attacks “could come in any form” including, “unconventional means”. The police further warn them to “Take such remedial action as you see fit to increase your own safety measures, e.g. house burglar alarms, change of daily routines, always walk with an associate,” adding that, “It may even be that you decide that it is more appropriate for you to leave the area for the foreseeable future.”

Speculations about this event have dominated discussion on Rwanda. The speculations fall into twofold: (1) whether the threats are credible, (2) whether the Rwanda government would pursue such an agenda clearly putting at risk her excellent relation with Britain. In my view, both speculations seem naïve and fail to appreciate the complexity of the Rwandan crisis. On one hand the Rwandan leader has carefully cultivated a brilliant media image; on the other hand his heavy handedness and contempt for democratic procedure is nothing new.

A simple question that needs to be asked and answered is why some people are still unwilling to believe that Kagame is a brutal leader, despite overwhelming evidence. If, as the UN Mapping report posits, the man is suspected of having committed genocide, would any other crime be too monstrous in his view? Even if we are to argue that the Mapping report is speculative, are we short of examples in which he has ordered the assassination of opponents? Certainly no one would say so. Just within the last one year, there are horrifying reports of assassination. The first one is that of journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage, whose car was sprayed with bullets in the city of Kigali during the day light. Another one is Denis Semadingwa, a protégé of Laurent Nkunda assassinated in the town of Gisenyi. Lastly, the vice president of the green party was found beheaded just months prior to the general elections. In all the cases above, the families put the blame squarely on the Kagame regime.

The successful assassinations of Seth Sendashonga and Theoneste Lizinde both in the streets of Nairobi are examples where Rwanda jeopardized international cooperation to commit extrajudicial in a foreign country. Following the assassination of Sendashonga, the Rwandan ambassador in Kenya was expelled and the embassy closed. News has it that Lizinde, who had fallen out with Kagame was among the few people who attended Kagame’s high command meeting approving the assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana. He was clearly a legitimate target in his view. Most recently, Rwanda has pursued Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa a major trade partner with Rwanda. Even more unthinkable is the timing: the fact that it was carried out during the world cup a time when South Africa was painfully trying to reassure the world of its ability to contain crime. South Africa would react by recalling its ambassador for “further consultations”.

Reacting to the news, Mathew Sinclair of the UK Tax Payers Alliance wrote, “What is really shocking though is that in a very real sense, our money is supporting the Government suspected of plotting murder in London.” My hope is that Britain will not merely terminate aid, which is sometimes easy and cowardly. I hope that they will use their aid as leverage for democratic progress including freedom of speech.

BTMR and New Cyber Space Company

It’s been almost two years since Back To My Roots started. And when it did, it was the first of its kind, and so desperately needed. But since then, more and more blogs have sprung up, all committed to exposing the murderous and repressive regime represented and led by Paul Kagame. And in English. I am very sure I do not have an exhaustive list of blogs talking about Rwanda, but here is a short list. If you know any more, or come across others, post them in the comments.

Democracy Watch Rwanda

Cry For Freedom in Rwanda

The Rising Continent

The Proxy Lake

And honorable mention to Friends of Evil. A transparent PR move by the Rwandan govt to “expose” genocide deniers, or in reality, those committed to challenging, and exposing the Kagame war machine. Starting with Kagame and his army’s responsibility in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide crimes, in Rwanda and Congo. Really, the blog was put up to deny the RPF’s crimes, both in Rwanda, and Congo. Ironic.

ETA: All Blogs have been added to the “Rwanda in Focus” feed on the right hand side of my blog, formerly named “Hidden Notes About Rwanda” and will also be added to blogroll. Check them out, read them, and spread them.

Uganda Genocide Info Blog

The Uganda Genocide Information Blog is a blog that details information regarding the ongoing genocide against the Acholi people by dictator Yoweri Museveni. Check it out.  It has a lot of interesting information.

Just added it to my blogroll.

More People Report on Political Opposition in Rwanda

Ann Garrison at Colored Opinions wrote about it. And below is an excerpt on the aftermath of the attack:

Joseph Ntawangundi, an assistant to Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, was arrested, imprisoned, and charged with the crime of genocide, on February 6th, three days after a mob in civilian clothes assaulted him, and Ingabiré, as the two of them waited for papers to register their party, and her candidacy, at a government office in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali. Ingabiré was uninjured in the assault, but assailants stole her passport and national identification papers. She will have to replace them before she can register for Rwanda’s 2010 presidential election, though it now seems unlikely that she or any other candidate with any chance of winning RZRBADJSPCN8 will be allowed to run against the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front Party’s President Paul Kagame.

Rwanda opposition faces intimidation-rights group by Reuters

Rights watchdog slams attacks on Rwanda opposition By AFP

Rwanda urged to cease hostilities by Afrol News

More Updates coming up.

Just A Point of Clarification

I haven’t been blogging for a while now, possibly going on two months. And I’m not sure that I will be getting much time in the near future to blog as I normally did. I appreciate all of those who continue to check back, and continue to read what I write. I also appreciate those who comment, regularly or semi-regularly and help keep the blog somewhat alive.

Although I haven’t posted much, I’ve been somewhat involved in the comment discussion in what seems to be the most active post on this blog. What’s most fascinating about the comments in that blog seem to be that the commentators simply want to distract the blog and shift the focus from the topic being discussed.

Although distracting, they occasionally raise interesting points regarding the Rwandan conflict. What I find most telling is not their sympathy for Kagame and the RPF, but instead, the lousy excuses they provide for why he is justified in the killings he committed. These people have the gall not only to affirm that he did commit various acts of murder, but they have the audacity to suggest that it was justified. And unfortunately, they meet little or no resistance or challenge from the world at large.

Their comments often suggest that the purpose of this blog is misunderstood. Unless, I am right, and they are actually more concerned with deflecting than actually learning and discussing. I of course recommend that anyone confused about this blog’s purpose read the about section, as well as the other pages including “Stop Denying Genocide”. Perhaps then a conversation can be had that doesn’t revolve around Kagame sympathizers arguing none sense like he dines with google and starbucks therefore he is innocent of war crimes.

For the sake of those reading, I will say this, the information currently available in mainstream media in the west is filled with propaganda and misinformation regarding the Rwandan conflict. And this blog is primarily dedicated to providing information and sources to help those interested in learning more about the injustice that’s been done to Rwandans, and Africans in general. It is an open blog, and discussion is welcome. There is a lot of information out there, and it takes time to go through it all, however, I welcome anyone with knowledge on the subject at hand, because I think it’s important that more people learn and become educated on this subject.

Also, I encourage people to send in links to interesting information they may have regarding the subject matter. I’ve received some (thanks to those who provided), but I haven’t unfortunately managed to review them adequately.

Anyway, I will be back with more topics that will hopefully inspire more discussion.

Since I’m Not Posting Much

This thread seems to be getting a lot of attention and discussion so everyone is encouraged to read it and respond if they feel like it.

A Letter to Certain White Women – Tim Wise

Here I go again, reposting other people’s work. But this article raises very interesting points regarding this election and certain white feminists’ plans to withhold their votes from Obama to punish both him and the Democratic party because he won the nomination. Written by Tim Wise, and can be found published also on his webisite, TIMWISE.ORG.

Your Whiteness is Showing:
An Open Letter to Certain White Women
Who are Threatening to Withhold Support From Barack Obama in November

By Tim Wise

June 5, 2008

This is an open letter to those white women who, despite their proclamations of progressivism, and supposedly because of their commitment to feminism, are threatening to withhold support from Barack Obama in November. You know who you are.

I know that it’s probably a bad time for this. Your disappointment at the electoral defeat of Senator Hillary Clinton is fresh, the sting is new, and the anger that animates many of you–who rightly point out that the media was often sexist in its treatment of the Senator–is raw, pure and justified.

That said, and despite the awkward timing, I need to ask you a few questions, and I hope you will take them in the spirit of solidarity with which they are genuinely intended. But before the questions, a statement if you don’t mind, or indeed, even if (as I suspect), you will mind it quite a bit.

First, for those of you threatening to actually vote for John McCain and to oppose Senator Obama, or to stay home in November and thereby increase the likelihood of McCain winning and Obama losing (despite the fact that the latter’s policy platform is virtually identical to Clinton’s while the former’s clearly is not), all the while claiming to be standing up for women…

For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and increase the odds of his winning (despite the fact that he once called his wife the c-word in public and is a staunch opponent of reproductive freedom and gender equity initiatives, such as comparable worth legislation), all the while claiming to be standing up for women…

For those threatening to vote for John McCain or to stay home and help ensure Barack Obama’s defeat, as a way to protest what you call Obama’s sexism (examples of which you seem to have difficulty coming up with), all the while claiming to be standing up for women…

Your whiteness is showing.

When I say your whiteness is showing this is what I mean: You claim that your opposition to Obama is an act of gender solidarity, in that women (and their male allies) need to stand up for women in the face of the sexist mistreatment of Clinton by the press. On this latter point–the one about the importance of standing up to the media for its often venal misogyny–you couldn’t be more correct. As the father of two young girls who will have to contend with the poison of patriarchy all their lives, or at least until such time as that system of oppression is eradicated, I will be the first to join the boycott of, or demonstration on, whatever media outlet you choose to make that point. But on the first part of the above equation–the part where you insist voting against Obama is about gender solidarity–you are, for lack of a better way to put it, completely full of crap. And what’s worse is that at some level I suspect you know it. Voting against Senator Obama is not about gender solidarity. It is an act of white racial bonding, and it is grotesque.

If it were gender solidarity you sought, you would by definition join with your black and brown sisters come November, and do what you know good and well they are going to do, in overwhelming numbers, which is vote for Barack Obama. But no. You are threatening to vote not like other women–you know, the ones who aren’t white like you and most of your friends–but rather, like white men! Needless to say it is high irony, bordering on the outright farcical, to believe that electorally bonding with white men, so as to elect McCain, is a rational strategy for promoting feminism and challenging patriarchy. You are not thinking and acting as women, but as white people. So here’s the first question: What the hell is that about?

And you wonder why women of color have, for so long, thought (by and large) that white so-called feminists were phony as hell? Sister please…

Your threats are not about standing up for women. They are only about standing up for the feelings of white women, and more to the point, the aspirations of one white woman. So don’t kid yourself. If you wanted to make a statement about the importance of supporting a woman, you wouldn’t need to vote for John McCain, or stay home, thereby producing the same likely result–a defeat for Obama. You could always have said you were going to go out and vote for Cynthia McKinney. After all, she is a woman, running with the Green Party, and she’s progressive, and she’s a feminist. But that isn’t your threat is it? No. You’re not threatening to vote for the woman, or even the feminist woman. Rather, you are threatening to vote for the white man, and to reject not only the black man who you feel stole Clinton’s birthright, but even the black woman in the race. And I wonder why? Could it be…?

See, I told you your whiteness was showing.

And now for a third question, and this is the biggie, so please take your time with it: How is it that you have managed to hold your nose all these years, just like a lot of us on the left, and vote for Democrats who we knew were horribly inadequate–Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Dukakis, right on down the uninspiring line–and yet, apparently can’t bring yourself to vote for Barack Obama? A man who, for all of his shortcomings (and there are several, as with all candidates put up by either of the two major corporate parties) is surely more progressive than any of those just mentioned. And how are we to understand that refusal–this sudden line in the proverbial sand–other than as a racist slap at a black man? You will vote for white men year after year after year–and are threatening to vote for another one just to make a point–but can’t bring yourself to vote for a black man, whose political views come much closer to your own, in all likelihood, than do the views of any of the white men you’ve supported before. How, other than as an act of racism, or perhaps as evidence of political insanity, is one to interpret such a thing?

See, black folks would have sucked it up, like they’ve had to do forever, and voted for Clinton had it come down to that. Indeed, they were on board the Hillary train early on, convinced that Obama had no chance to win and hoping for change, any change, from the reactionary agenda that has been so prevalent for so long in this culture. They would have supported the white woman–hell, for many black folks, before Obama showed his mettle they were downright excited to do so–but you won’t support the black man. And yet you have the audacity to insist that it is you who are the most loyal constituency of the Democratic Party, and the one before whom Party leaders should bow down, and whose feet must be kissed?

Your whiteness is showing.

Look, I couldn’t care less about the Party personally. I left the Democrats twenty years ago when they told me that my activism in the Central America solidarity and South African anti-apartheid movements made me a security risk, and that I wouldn’t be able to get clearance to be in some parade with Governor Dukakis. Yeah, seriously. But for you to act as though you are the indispensible voters, the most important, the ones whose views should be pandered to, whose every whim should be the basis for Party policy, is not only absurd, it is also racist in that it, a) ignores and treats as irrelevant the much more loyal constituency of black folks, without whom no Democrat would have won anything in the past twenty years (and indeed the racial gap favoring the Democrats among blacks is about six times larger than the gender gap favoring them among white women, relative to white men); and b) demonstrates the mentality of entitlement and superiority that has been long ingrained in us as white folks–so that we believe we have the right to dictate the terms of political engagement, and to determine the outcome, and to get our way, simply because for so long we have done just that.

But that day is done, whether you like it or not, and you are now left with two, and only two choices, so consider them carefully: the first is to stand now in solidarity with your black brothers and sisters and welcome the new day, and help to push it in a truly progressive and feminist and antiracist direction, while the second is to team up with white men to try and block the new day from dawning. Feel free to choose the latter. But if you do, please don’t insult your own intelligence, or ours, by insisting that you’ve done so as a radical political act.

Good read!