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Thread: Rwanda (catch all)

  1. #101
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Tom

    It is just disabused cinical political humor from long disabused ex relief worker...
    As you pointed, there are no good no bad guys. what you think and what I think on domestic politics has little to see with the discussion.
    Won’t do it again.

  2. #102
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    MA

    No worries

    Tom

  3. #103
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Rwanda and the Commonwealth

    This has got to really go over well in Paris

    Cricket-loving Rwanda becomes 54th member of the Commonwealth

    Rwanda became the 54th member of the Commonwealth yesterday and the second nation to join that was not once part of the British Empire.

    The Commonwealth summit approved Rwanda’s entry at its two-yearly gathering in Trinidad and Tobago. Britain pushed hard for the admission of the former Francophone country.

    A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Rwanda has made progress towards the Commonwealth’s core values in areas of democratic process, rule of law, good governance, protection of human rights and equality of opportunity.”

  4. #104
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Out-balanced elsewhere

    The BBC also reported:
    Almost simultaneously, Rwanda re-established diplomatic ties with France after a three year silence.
    Hopefully France will not take umbrage or diplomatic pique; as an aside France now has the banking portfolio in the European Commission, which IMHO rather outweighs the Rwanda news.

    Returning to Rwanda it is an odd development; some in Whitehall are rather uncertain about the relationship. So is Mozambique's membership, which is a legacy of Samora Machel's help in resolving the exit from Zimbabwe in 1980.
    davidbfpo

  5. #105
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Good catch, David!

    Wonder how long they (relations with France) will last?

    I wonder likewise on how this all plays out; Kigali has been very stiff necked when it comes to EU pressure on various issues. I can see that tendency causing issues in the commonwealth relationship as well.

    Best
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 12-03-2009 at 12:32 PM.

  6. #106
    Council Member Michael F's Avatar
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    Wink YES or OUI Zat iz ze question....

    Rwanda integrating the Commonwealth is merely symbolic of a shift between a Francophone to anglophone world but symbols are crucial in Rwanda.

    Several factors have led to that move. Some of the main :

    * Kagame wants to (re)create a Rwandan identity on new bases (new flag, new anthem, new language, new history, new sports....). Moving from the francophone cultural world to the anglophone was a perfect way to do it,
    *The new elite comes from Uganda has been eductated in an anglophone environment, its allies are mostly anglophone,
    * The country's economy is focused on the EAC (which members countries are mostly english speaking),
    * Bad relations with France

    The Commonwealth is a perfectly inoffensive (ineffective?) organisation but allows Rwanda to mark a clear shift in its history. BTW Rwanda is still a nation member of the "Francophonie" (the French equivalent of the Commonwealth).

  7. #107
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Paul Kagame profiled

    Listened today to fascinating BBC Radio profile of President Kagame, even No.1 was interested and wanted to know what I thought of him.

    BBC link, to broadcast and short text(below):http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t834t

    The text:
    On Monday Rwanda goes to the polls, amid claims that the Hutu opposition has been brutally quashed, and free speech stifled by President Paul Kagame and the majority Tutsi government. The man who has led this tiny landlocked state since the genocide in 1994, taking it from basket case to emerging African success story, has been seen as a saviour, steering a traumatised country to democracy. He outlawed talk of ethnicity or division, and instilled discipline and ambition in colleagues and citizens alike. Aid money has been spent effectively: 19 out of 20 children are in school, the country has a health system. He changed the official language from French to English, banned plastic bags, and is pushing broadband internet connections. Sleeping little, Kagame reads voraciously about economic successes like Singapore or Korea, and has transformed Kigali into a clean and modern capital city. He uses a PR agency, has a facebook page, and occasionally tweets: but he's also accused of censorship and control of the media. Once praised by Clinton and Blair as a leader, Kagame is now under attack for banning political parties, and the unexplained and brutal murders of opposition politicians and journalists. Almost uniquely among Africa leaders, Kagame faces no personal allegations of corruption or nepotism. Kagame wants another term of office, and will get it. He denies any involvement in the assassinations, but says that the scale of the horror experience in Rwanda means the country needs a strong hand, and that the West doesn't understand.
    In the absence of Tom & Stan this may only be limited interest.
    davidbfpo

  8. #108
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    David:

    Thank you for posting the profile of Kagame. I am interested, especially in DRC, central Africa and the RSA.

    Where did Tom and Stan go?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    David:

    Thank you for posting the profile of Kagame. I am interested, especially in DRC, central Africa and the RSA.

    Where did Tom and Stan go?
    What is your interest in the RSA if I may ask?
    Last edited by JMA; 08-09-2010 at 07:15 AM.

  10. #110
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    Default George Bush was right... "Mandela is dead!"

    Thanks for sharing David. I read this other piece also on BBC a few days ago but forgot to post it on here. It's truly sad to see the country and the man going down this path even though in his mind he's got a good reason for doing what is being alleged. Doesn't the saying go, "a tyrant will always have a pretext to his tyranny."

  11. #111
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    I am going to play the devil's advocate here. There are at least 5 countries I can think of Spain, Chile, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan that spent decades under the control of some pretty ruthless strong men. But during those times the economic foundations were laid that allowed at least 4 of them and maybe all 5 to give a good life to their citizens. Political foundations were laid also that have allowed 4 of them to be more free than the average state (I don't know much about Singapore politics). So that is something to think about.

    Who knows how Rwanda will turn out. The story is still unfolding. Highlighting the potential crimes though is a good thing.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  12. #112
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Revenge tragedy

    Came across this article in The Spectator, a month old now, which makes uncomfortable reading, citing a UN report on atrocities in the DRC by the RPF and others:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/63...-tragedy.thtml

    Yes the author opposes military interventionism and this passage indicates the tone:
    the war in Rwanda was not an explosion of irrational violence — as at least one Hollywood movie maintains — but instead a classic war between states, Uganda and Congo, inside which was wrapped a civil war between the two rival social and ethnic groups in Rwanda.
    I offer no view, others here know far more.
    davidbfpo

  13. #113
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Came across this article in The Spectator, a month old now, which makes uncomfortable reading, citing a UN report on atrocities in the DRC by the RPF and others:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/63...-tragedy.thtml

    Yes the author opposes military interventionism and this passage indicates the tone:

    I offer no view, others here know far more.

    I saw some of that reporting and yes it is of concern. However, I also found the sourcing to be repetitive and overlapping from reporting from my time on the ground, reporting that while disproved contines to circulate, as indicated by the reports now under discussion.

    For instance:
    Human Rights Watch has documented the way the report was stifled and speculates that this was done because Kagame was America’s ally. It is true that President Kagame, who trained at the US Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas,
    is classic stretching of some facts and absolute falsification of other points. HRW documentation is simply repeat repeat repeat something enough times and it becomes fact. Calling Kagame a US ally buys into the French line that this was all an Anglo-Saxon plot to undermine Francophone Africa.

    As for Kagame "training" at CGSC; he was there about 6 weeks before he left when Fred Rwigema was killed and Kagame went back to take command of the RPF. Kagame could have taught CGSC.


    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 11-08-2010 at 03:34 PM.

  14. #114
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Rwandan President Kagame 'sparked 1994 genocide'

    An allegation made by an ex-RPF veteran, now in exile and sentenced in his absence to jail:
    Theogene Rudasingwa said he heard Mr Kagame boast in 1994 that he ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana.

    "By committing that kind of crime Kagame has the responsibility in the crime of genocide," he told the BBC.

    President Kagame has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15165641
    davidbfpo

  15. #115
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    Default The Shroud Over Rwanda’s Nightmare

    A short NYT op-ed on the original informant for the UN commander's request to UN HQ to take pre-emptive action:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/op...it_ee_20140110
    davidbfpo

  16. #116
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I am going to play the devil's advocate here. There are at least 5 countries I can think of Spain, Chile, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan that spent decades under the control of some pretty ruthless strong men. But during those times the economic foundations were laid that allowed at least 4 of them and maybe all 5 to give a good life to their citizens. Political foundations were laid also that have allowed 4 of them to be more free than the average state (I don't know much about Singapore politics). So that is something to think about.

    Who knows how Rwanda will turn out. The story is still unfolding. Highlighting the potential crimes though is a good thing.
    The 'problem', if you like, is that the Rwandan economic fundations are laid with help of gold, diamond and koltan stolen from the DRC, and over the bodies of (according to conservative estimates) some 3,5 million of slaughtered Congolese civilians, plus about 300,000 'missing' Rwandan Hutus (those that should've been 'spontaneously repatriated from refugee camps in the then eastern Zaire, in October-November 1996, but disappeared ever since).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom
    is classic stretching of some facts and absolute falsification of other points. HRW documentation is simply repeat repeat repeat something enough times and it becomes fact. Calling Kagame a US ally buys into the French line that this was all an Anglo-Saxon plot to undermine Francophone Africa.

    As for Kagame "training" at CGSC; he was there about 6 weeks before he left when Fred Rwigema was killed and Kagame went back to take command of the RPF. Kagame could have taught CGSC.
    Perhaps it is so that Kagame could've taught the CGSC. But I would still like to know few things:

    1.) Since when is the CGSC accepting 'cadets' that are actually members of 'some African insurgency movements'?

    Namely, as of the time Kagame went to the CGSC, he was intelligence officer for Museweni's Ugandan People's Army, sure. But, he had no Ugandan citizenship: like so many of leading officers of the UPA, Kagame was a Banyarawanda - a descendent on Rwandan refugees that fled to Uganda in the 1960s, without citizenship, educated by various UN- and private aid agencies - who joined Musweni's NRA while this was still a small-scale insurgency, in the early 1980s. So, how comes the CGSC accepted him at all?

    2.) Although the chief of Museweni's MilIntel, Kagame was already working on building up the network of other Banyarawandas (including Rwiegma, Kabarebe etc.) that were later to form the nucleus of the PRF/PRA. Somehow, I strongly doubt Museweni had no clue about Kagame's 'covert' activities (otherwise Musweni wouldn't have survived as prez until today). But, if he knew about this activity, and he knew he could expect a quasi 'mass desertion' of Banyarawandas from his military, why did Museweni tolerate all of this?

    Except, of course, this was in his interest?

    3.) How comes the meteor-like raise of Kagame's career started only after he was introduced (by Museweni) to certain Marxist-cum-wealthy-buzinezman named Laurent Kabila, of Zairian origin but living in Tanzania? And how comes around the same time this certain Kabila was establishing contacts to certain Jean-Raymond Boulle, a diamond-handler from Mauritius, but best-known in the USA for his exploration of the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas at the time the latter place was governed - by pure accident, I guess - by certain William Jefferson Clinton?

    Now, in some other places, well outside the USA, Boulle is better known as co-owner of various 'Branch...' companies, which in turn are known for their connections to various PMCs (like EO from South Africa or MPRI from the USA).... But, I guess, this is not the case in the USA?

    Well, perhaps it is better known in the USA that this certain Mr. Clinton later became a president, and that members of his administration - such like certain J. Stapleton Roy (then Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, under Madleine Albright), or certain Walter Kansteiner (member of the National Security Board) - were at the same time or subsequently affiliated with such companies like Scowcroft Group, Kissinger Associates, Moto Gold etc., etc., all of which have had 'strong interests' in Zaire (later DRC)?

    Perhaps all of this is 'just an accident'...?

    4.) I can't stop wondering: how comes a country as utterly destroyed as Rwanda was as of 1994-1996 period, and piss-poor already from before the war of 1990-1994, has found the money to establish five well-equipped mechanized infantry brigades (some of which were driving ex-Israeli Tiran-5 MBTs), and then support these during a 10-month long invasion of Zaire (an area some 200 times larger than Rwanda)?

    I guess it's 'impossible' that the necessary funding could have been related to the US1 billion loan Boulle granted 'to Kabila' (together with one of his private BuizJets), right?

    5.) Finally, for what was certain Roger Winter - better known as the head of a certain think-tank in the DC, especially well-known for creating what is nowadays Southern Sudan - decorated by Paul Kagame (in public) on 4 July 2010?

  17. #117
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Friday night court - genocide conviction

    A little late Friday surprise from a Paris court:
    A Paris court has delivered France's first-ever conviction for genocide, sentencing a Rwandan former intelligence chief to 25 years in prison over the 1994 killings of at least 500,000 people in the African country.

    The landmark trial of 54-year-old Pascal Simbikangwa sets off what could be the first of dozens of French trials into one of the 20th century's greatest atrocities - two decades after it happened.

    In a late night verdict after 5 ½ weeks on trial, he was found guilty of genocide and complicity to crimes against humanity.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1069...e-trial-f.html
    davidbfpo

  18. #118
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Rwanda - the new African Prussia?

    For reasons I do not completely understand Rwanda is emerging as a capable and willing power in Africa. It is after all a small, landlocked country with a number of currently happy donors helping a rapidly expanding economy and has as this thread mainly refers to a horrific recent history.

    Rwanda's role, especially in the covert and military sphere, in the Congo (DRC) has been the subject of many posts on another thread, which is far larger 'Gazing in the Congo (DRC): the dark heart of Africa (new title)' at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2129

    In a recent discussion with intelligence professionals Rwanda came up and was described by one retired practitioner as having Africa's best intelligence service, including a capable SIGINT unit.

    Africans may dislike a European parallel, but Rwanda does seem to be akin to Prussia. A small country "punching way above its weight".

    A contrary view of Rwanda, focusing on President Kagame:http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/...war?src=usn_tw
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-15-2014 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Add last link and grammar.
    davidbfpo

  19. #119
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    Rwanda is being more than a little naughty I fear:

    South Africa links Rwanda diplomats to attacks

  20. #120
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    I plan to do some trekking, better funded but shorter in time then in years gone by, and mountaineering in along the Albertine Rift in Burundi*, Rwanda and Uganda.

    Any particular safety/important issues I should be aware of? Preperation material other then the usual guides?

    Thanks for dropping me a short PM. Please don't write too much, just pointers.

    *Got that mostly covered by a close friend of a distant relative, a catholic missionary of many years there.


    P.S: If it is fine with the moderators let it stay for a while to delete it possibly later.
    Last edited by Firn; 08-14-2014 at 09:28 PM.
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