Saturday, October 23, 2010

Did Tony Blair discuss with Paul Kagame about Victoire Ingabire’s imprisonment?

By Ambrose Nzeyimana
The Rising Continent
October 21, 2010

Agence France Presse (AFP) reported this week that Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, visited Rwanda on Sunday and Monday. The visit happened just after two major events in Rwandan politics which, if not carefully managed, could damage irreversibly the image of Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, his country, and particularly many world personalities who have been closely associated with the rebuilding of Rwanda after the 1994 genocide. These events could as well have a negative resonance on the views of citizens of Rwanda and more widely the Great Lakes region about countries and foreign leaders backing the Rwandan president.

The two events are in order of importance and chronology the publication of the UN report titled, ‘Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003,’ which was published on October 1st, and the imprisonment on October 14th, of the main Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire, leader of FDU-Inkingi.

Officially, Blair was in Kigali to praise Paul Kagame and his government on the progress they may be making towards the MDGs. But knowing the setbacks that Paul Kagame experienced in Madrid during the UN Conference on the MDGs in the month of July, when the Spanish prime minister refused to stand along side him because of the crimes he is accused of, and then the massive public demonstration against him in New York during the annual general assembly of the UN, this early September, consequently the Blair’s visit must have had a different agenda.

At this stage there can only be speculations about what they may have discussed related to the mentioned important recent occurrences in Rwandan politics. Could Blair have told Kagame to go friendlier with his political opponents? This may be a possibility. Is it likely that the former British prime minister may have also advised that he would continue to help as much he could on the accusations bound in the UN report about Kagame’s forces in Congo? This is another eventuality.

Whatever they may have discussed which didn’t come out publicly, must have been very important. The reason for that understanding is because many other foreign personalities had talked to Paul Kagame before. The way he had reacted to their arguments came out in his speech on Wednesday October 6th, during the swearing-in of his recently nominated government. At the time he arrogantly indicated that he didn’t want to receive lessons from anyone on how to lead his country. He apparently knows best what is good for Rwanda.

Glen Ford explains why the situation is critical and may have probably demanded the intervention of Tony Blair. ‘The leaked UN report cannot be put back in the bottle. Kagame, who labels all critics “genocidaires” or apologists for genocide, is exposed as “the greatest mass killer on the face of the earth, today,” as described by Edward S. Herman, co-author of The Politics of Genocide. Kagame’s mentors and funders in the U.S. government, who aided and abetted his genocide in Congo, must be held equally accountable – if not more so, since United States corporations derive the greatest benefit from Congo’s blood minerals, and the U.S. military gains the most advantage from Rwandan and Ugandan services as mercenaries at America’s beck and call in Africa.’

Will Paul Kagame listen to Tony Blair’s arguments if the latter did recommend him what best should be done in the face of the current situation, or will he continue to reply, ‘I don’t care,’ as we know him for his trademark kind of answer? Time will tell.

Related Materials:
Rwanda on target to meet health development goals: Blair

DRC: Mapping human rights violations 1993-2003

Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U.S. Role in Congo Genocide


At October 24, 2010 at 5:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mamadou, shame on you and its a pity that you can take all your time to sit on the computer and fabricate stories about Rwanda. Let me educate you about one thing Rwanda's governance is not determined by anyone, but by the priorities Rwandans have chosen and set. The mapping report with its shallowness and flawed will not affect at all the development agenda Rwandans have on the table.It instead continues to be a budden to you guys who fabricated the stories in that report. Visit Rwanda in order for you to have a story to write.

At October 25, 2010 at 1:05 AM , Anonymous Jean Nepo said...

About the UN Mapping Report on DRC:

The fact that there were war crimes, crimes against humanity some of which could be qualified as acts of genocide 1996-2003 in DRC (if proven by a competent court) does not affect at all the genocide against the Tutsis that occurred in Rwanda in 1994.

However, I am left to wonder what would be the legitimacy of a government accused of such serious facts in DRC. Genocide or not, the crimes mentioned are so severe. Charles Taylor and Bemba are in prison for lesser charges than that.

Kagame’s defense against the UN Mapping Report on DRC is so flawed:

The fact that he allegedly stopped the genocide (that he ignited) in 1994 does not give him carte blanche to commit another one.

If the intention was to repatriate the refugees (which is not true), what about the Congolese Hutu populations who were massacred; what about those Rwandans who have been massacred on their way back home and once in Rwanda?

The military attack on refugee camps is itself a serious crime under international law. This act recalls what happened in Kibeho camp for Internally Displaced People in 1995.

The Kagame regime self-defense claim is another aberration with regard to the report. Even if there had been infiltration of militia into refugee camps, what happened seems like “killing a fly with a hammer” as Kagame once boasted to have done.

At October 25, 2010 at 1:51 AM , Blogger Mamadou Kouyate said...

Dear Anonymous:

Thank for the comment and the complinent.

I usually do not pay attention to anonymous comments.

Please also be reminded that Hungry for Truth Peace and Justice is NOT a hate blog.

I do not tolerate hate speech of any kind, or mostly ignorant comments such as yours shown above.

"Rwanda's governance is not determined by anyone, but by the priorities Rwandans have chosen and set".

Which Rwandans are you talking about?

Is it just RPF members and sympathizers or just Kagame and his inner circle?

Did Kagame seek your advice before giving order to attack the Kibeho camp for Internally Displaced people in 1995 where more than 8, 000 innocent civilians including elderly people, children and women were killed?

Did Kagame seek your advice before invading DRC in 1996 and 1998 where as a result of his proxy wars in DRC more than 6 million congolese people have been killed not to mention hundreds thousands of Rwandan refugees who perished at the hands of Kagame's henchmen?

I bet he did not get any advice from you.

One may therefore wonder, and for good reason, what you really meant by the word "Rwandans" in your statement.

Could you please give me just one good reason about why I should be proud of Kagame (the Hitler of our modern times) given such an unprecedented criminal record?




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