Saturday, March 28, 2009

Open letter to Enough Leadership

The following is an open letter drafted by one of our blog readers to the Enough Project leadership with regard to the article "While World Watches Washington, Rwandan Troops Enter Congo" published on January 21, 2009.

To whom it may concern,

On behalf of the people of the Great Lakes Region of Africa and on our own behalf, we wish to extend to you our sincere appreciation of your ongoing efforts to end armed conflicts in this region.

We also appreciate the ongoing efforts of the ENOUGH Project leadership to advise the new Obama administration with regard to bringing about lasting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

However, as american citizen, native of the Great Lakes Region of Africa and survivor of the atrocities that characterized this region for nearly two decades, we strongly believe that there is no military solution to the current crisis in eastern Congo.

As you may know, in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, the Tutsi-dominated RPF held an unbroken spell of power up to date.

In contrast to the general belief, upon coming to power, the RPF did not stop the killing of innocent civilians. There is no shortage of witnesses and survivors of such mass killings.

Indeed, with the capture of Kigali by RPF, on July 4th, 1994, the simultaneous killings of both Tutsis and Hutus finally came to a temporary halt.

It is widely known that after Kigali ’s capture by the RPF, the rebels continued killing Hutu civilians and other Tutsi and Twa dissenters in what has now come to be absurdly rationalized as their “reprisal killings.”

Just as in the course of the civil war, a large numbers of Hutu civilians were deliberately massacred by RPF troops – a fact substantiated in the so-called Gersony report named after the UN official who investigated the killings.

After the RPF took over power, an even greater number of Hutu lost their lives within and outside Rwanda at their hands.

This situation got worse with the destruction of Rwandan refugee camps in Congo and the hunt down of Rwandan refugees through out the Ituri forest.

Given that for nearly two decades one sided justice has been rendered, it is time to call upon all good citizens to work together and the culture of impunity widespread in the region. Without exception, all culprits must be arrested and prosecuted for war crimes and/or crimes against humanity albeit within the RPF movement and/or any armed rebel group operating in the eastern Congo .

The root cause of the current DRC crisis does not stem from the presence of the FDLR in eastern Congo . Rather, it stems from the RPF decision to provoke genocide in Rwanda so that it can easily take power by force in Kigali . There is no shortage of reliable research papers explaining how the the Tutsi-rebels provoked a retaliatory genocide in Rwanda . More importantly, in December 2008, the ICTR made it clear that ALL of the top Rwandan military officers, including the supposedly infamous Colonel Bagosora, were found not guilty of conspiracy or planning to commit genocide. And Gen. Gratien Kabiligi, a senior member of the general staff was acquitted of all charges! The others were found guilty of specific acts committed by subordinates, in specific places, at specific times - not an overall conspiracy to kill civilians, much less Rwandan-Tutsi civilians.

It is also important that clear distinction be made in your writings between Rwandan refugees in Congo and FDLR rebels. We strongly believe that statement that the FDLR rebels represent the greatest threat to stability in Congo is unfortunate. It simply denotes ignorance about the reality on the ground and poorly hides covert intentions of some western powers to give Rwandan businesses continued access to Congolese minerals and forests, an approach that was recently ill-conceived and ill-advised by Mr. Herman Cohen ipublished in the New York Times.

For the sake of equity, national reconciliation, justice for all, halt to the culture of impunity, and bring about lasting peace in the Great Lakes region of Africa, the ENOUGH Project activists should urge the Obama administration to seize this opportunity to create an internationally administered Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Rwanda, modeled to the one that took place in South Africa.

As this week marks a very monumental move for the area - Rwanda deploying 3,500 troops into Congo , the arrest of Nkunda, we are reminded that now the real work is beginning. Our big concern is that this operation will only mean more bloodshed and further violence for the people in the Great Lakes region of Africa .

Once again, thanks a lot for all you do.

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