Monthly Archives: March 2011

Rwanda/1994 and Libya/2011 are significant African case studies of UN role

In some political circles and commentators’ views on the ongoing situation in northern Africa, it has been alleged that US strong backing of an intervention in Libya was motivated by its decisive and calculated weak support for UN involvement in Rwanda back in 1994, and the genocide that unfolded as a consequence. This is not utterly wrong or completely right. In fact, in both contexts, US with its allies in intervention or non intervention adopted positions which have constantly been aimed at first and foremost preserving their political, economic and strategic interests. This should be an important point of reference for anyone trying to analyse or understand the role of UN and its structures including the Security Council which decides on the position to take to address any conflict or situation with possible negative impact on populations around the world.

As some may know, UN was established in 1945. ‘At the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco, 47 of the US delegates were CFR members, including Secretary of State Edward Stattinius, John Foster Dulles, Nelson Rockfeller, Adlai Stevenson, and the man who held the first position as chairman of the United Nations, Alger Hiss,’ as Thom Burnett and Alex Games reveal in their book, ‘Who really run the world’ which was published in 2005. ‘The agreed constitutive document pledged the establishment of a general international organisation, based on the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states and open to membership by all such states, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security, ‘ their book continues. But it is worth noting that ‘the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is considered by those who know the workings and influences of secret societies as “the secretive group” that may well really run the world,” argues Baffour Ankomah in New African – February 2008.

Over the years it has emerged that the UN institution has come to be seen as an instrument in the hands of powerful nations. It is used according to their selfish interests. History has many examples where this has been the case. To mention but a few, people can remember the situation of Western Saharoui Republic which has been denied its independence until now because of US support to Morocco which occupies the territory. Mineral resources and geopolitics are in the equation. Another example is the biggest ever UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO with its 20,000 contingent which cannot fulfil its objectives of peace and stability because it was designed to be so. Again this was because of minerals and geopolitics in the Great lakes of Africa, and particularly Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda in April 1994 appears to be an unusual case. Despite strong evidence of a humanitarian situation which required then an international intervention, non intervention of UN was applied for military and strategic reasons on the part of those among powerful members of the institution, namely US and UK who wanted an increased influence in the region. This was achieved by supporting the Rwandan Patriotic Front of Paul Kagame, politically and militarily, and responding positively to all its demands from 1990 onwards.  In the first weeks of the Rwandan genocide, almost immediately after the assassination of the incumbent president on April 6th, 1994, by the rebels, an RPF delegation was sent out to US to stop UN intervention. Francis Muhoozi explains in his book, ‘A lack of logic in the Great lakes region of Africa’ published in 2011, ‘According to the testimony of Paul Mugabe, … after assassinating President Habyarimana and setting off the start of the genocide early April 1994, can Kagame explain to the Rwandan people and the world why he sent Claude Dusayidi and Charles Muligande to New York and Washington to stop the UN military intervention which was supposed to be sent and protect the Rwandan people from the genocide? He actually threatened to attack this noble UN Force at that time. The reason behind his selfish act was to avoid that UN military intervention so as to allow his RPF takeover power in Kigali and show the world that they – the National Resistance Army/Rwandan Patriotic Front – were the ones who stopped the genocide.’

When RPF claims that it has stopped the genocide, while it is the one who triggered it and fuelled it at some extent, this becomes ironic. Presently the general public including Tutsi survivors know why internal Tutsis were massacred. RPF leaders considered them as traitors for having accepted to live peacefully with Hutus after the revolution of 1959 when Tutsi monarchy was abolished. In addition, the death of internal Tutsis during the genocide could help strongly victimise Hutus for ever and consequently keep them away from political power. That is what has been happening since 1994. The situation which, after April 1994, has prevailed in Rwanda and in the entire Great Lakes of Africa has become a human tragedy consequent to the premeditated failure of UN on the part particularly of US and UK.

The intervention of UN in Libya has become another failure of this institution for two main reasons. One is about the betrayal of trust from countries sitting at the Security Council at the moment. These include South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon who supported the resolution 1973 for a no fly zone, or those who like Russia, India and China, abstained. The warmongers at the Security Council, this time , France in the lead then followed by UK, and both supported by US, have been interpreting the UN resolution in the way that get them access to the Libyan oil the fastest, without any consideration of possible tragic consequences for civilian, though this was the initial pretext for the UN decision. That is what is making the general public in the West not being highly supportive of what their governments are doing by going beyond the intent of the UN resolution of protecting civilian populations.

I remember another UN humanitarian intervention, Turquoise, which was led by France in June 1994 with the mission of protecting civilians. If that mission had for example done all over the Rwandan territory what the coalition against Kaddafi is currently doing, pretending to protect populations, RPF wouldn’t have occupied the country and killed so many civilians as this would later emerge in different UN reports. Unfortunately, the French mission, though authorised by UN, did not have the full backing of the Anglo-Saxons – US and UK who wanted their share of the region at any cost. They got it now with eight millions dead in the bag. Let’s hope and pray that Libyan rebels are less blood hungry than their peers currently ruling in the Great lakes of Africa.

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Restoration of the African Union sovereign authority (part 1)

By Kofi Ali Abdul Yekin

One of the 53 states of the AU is being aggressively attacked by Non AU forces and helplessly, the remaining 52 states look on like it is just part of their fate. The AU member state of Libya is not just a mere member of the Union but a very strong committed member indeed. Sure most of the AU member states, individually and the AU authority itself as a single entity, are not happy about this at all. To a very large extent, the authority of the Union has openly expressed its intent of dislike to the unfortunate event but, alas, that is the best the authority of the Union can do. Equally, the types of sovereign authorities at the disposal of the individual member states are just as good as the very type the member state under attack is having.

What all the 53 AU member states posses are referred to as conditional sovereignties. In expecting states with conditional sovereignties to be the ones coming to the aid of another conditional sovereign state, against the aggressive attack by a group of absolute authorities, is like expecting children to be the ones going to the aid of another child that is being attacked by a group of wild lions. This in itself is nothing than share madness. Who the hell in his right frame of mind could be expecting any other AU member states to be capable of stepping in to stop this aggressive attack on Libya?

On so many occasions have I had people desperately asking to me the same questions “What are the African leaders doing about Libya?” Others put across their question is, “Where is the AU as Libya is being attacked?” Some even go to the extreme extent of challenging me that “…you see, everyday you are disturbing us with Jean Ping-Jean Ping, the AU is very useless, as it is not capable of stopping the foreign forces from attacking Libya, it must be dissolve”.

At the best opportunity, I try to empathize with my poor fellow AU member states citizens. Indeed the situation looks bleak and hopeless. The justifications and excuses for the attack on Libya are just incredible. The aggressive Non African powers were not only faking up the UN Resolution 1973-Zone, what actually followed baffled us all. The 53 AU member states, the Indians, the Chinese and the Russians all understood that a No Fly Zone will be limited to stopping the Libyan forces from fly, which will not include raining bombs on the nation. We have thought it will be limited to the western forces attacking any Libyan plane only when they are seen flying in the air.

The reality is that the agenda of the powerful American and European states are to openly back the Libya Rebels in attacking the sitting authority of the state. In short, all that the USA and their allies wanted is a regime change. It was recently exposed that the Libyan Rebel are being led on the ground by the French and other European forces in their nefarious ventures of hijacking the sovereign authority of the Libyan people. In some of the most recent development, eight British Special Forces and three Dutch forces were confirmed to have been flown into the AU member state to support the Rebels in toppling the Libyan government.

In trying to meet up to the curious concerns of those who have known me for my strong advocacy of the AU’s authority as the main solution to all the continent’s problem, I did employ the sovereign authority phenomenon to explain the hopeless situation. My analysis exposed the conditional sovereign authorities of the 53 AU member states. I perfectly liken it with the dream of expecting a gay man to bear a baby with another gay man. Wonders indeed!!

More than anything else, never has the existence of sovereign authority of the African Union been directly challenged than in this unfortunate barbaric affront by the combined forces of the powerful American and European state on our member state of Libya. Interestingly, this oppressive insult on the authority of the Africa Union is said to be under the guise of enforcing international peace. What else is the excuse given by the lions in the wild for attacking their pray than “the enforcement of peace of the wild”?

The AU is hopelessly looking on while one of her member states is daily undergoing rain of hell by more powerful nations from outside the continent. Precious lives of the Union’s citizens are being lost and vital infrastructures being destroyed, all under the guise of global peace that we on the continent never wanted from these Iron Age barbarians. Each of the missiles these destructive uninvited self acclaimed “angels of peace” drop on the citizens of the Africa Union, according to the bloody parasitic cannibals, cost $1 million and on the average, nothing less than 500 of the deadly weapons have been used already.

Each of the state of the art jet fighters, of which we are able to bring down three, is said to cost $35 million. And the cost, human and material, is going to be very heavy. Who is even making up the costing than the monsters themselves? Sad enough, the only one to foot the ultimate bill indirectly is going to be the AU authority, as the criminals will be hiding behind the new Libyan puppet sovereign authority to suck away the oil of the AU member state of Libya. Libya will then become like most of the other AU member states that are incapable of paying their due to the Union, despite all the wealth of Africa. No wonder we on the land of the Union never had enough. No wonder the Nigerian oil is not even available to Nigerians, but to the citizens of Europe and American states.

Sure peace is said to be a very expensive commodity and, the case is worsen up when such peace is induced and executed by the aggressive transnational adventurists of the organized imperial military corporate industries. Who could say he/she is not aware of the desperate effort of the imperial forces in inducing and executing this unnecessary waste of AU citizen’s lives? Is this not just a desperate effort by the USA and the European state powers to siphon more of the AU member states resources to make up for their ailing economies? Is this not a way to deprive us of our livelihood on the continent of Africa to make up for the Western economic crisis? Is this not a way to push us deeper into poverty to enrich themselves the more? Is this not enough in confirming that the African poverty is indeed a man made phenomenon than natural?

Is this not the reason why Europe and America get richer while the continent of Africa wallows in poverty? There is no any other option to us out of this than transforming the AU authority from a mere authority into a sovereign authority. This will come by having more of citizens of the member states participating in the presidential election of the Union’s authority (commission). Technically, the eventual sovereign status of the AU authority will assume an absolute form than the conditional sovereign authorities of the member states. The AU will then be in the best position and form to make her intentions into practical actions, which we all desperately need to actualize our common dream for the mother land. (Continue in Part 2)

Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin
Chair/Coordinator
AGA (Action Group of Africa)
(yekali2002@yahoo.com)

 

Kabila, Kagame and Kaguta should go if US, UK and now France didn’t use double standards

In American history, the Ku Klux Klan is known to have been at the forefront of racism against black people at the point of promoting their lynching and execution at every possible occasion. Members of the white supremacist group considered black as inferior beings not worth the human rights its members or those associated with it had. Their ideology attracted support from the white spectrum which feared loosing out from any coloured people’s emancipation.

For more than two decades, the Great Lakes of Africa, namely and mainly Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, has its KKK seemingly structure personified by the leaders of these countries whose names start ironically and incidentally with Ks. The same way the original KKK evolved from a criminal organisation to be declared a terrorist group in recent years, Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Joseph Kabila of DRC at a lesser degree, have favoured violence in dealing with those they think are in their ways or not deserving the same opportunities as they have. UK and US, through direct bilateral aid and multilateral channels such as IMF and World Bank that they control significantly, sponsor state terrorism in the three sub-Saharan countries.

Kaguta Museveni has been in power since 1986, Paul Kagame is ruling his country since 1994, and Joseph Kabila was imposed as president of Democratic Republic of Congo in 2001 after the assassination of Laurent Kabila for trying to be more patriotic. The Ugandan president was responsible of war crimes which cost hundred thousands of Ugandan lives during his war of liberation from 1981 to 1986. Once in power he established concentration camps for Acholi people in northern Uganda where other hundred thousands of Ugandans died. Paul Kagame, who got his credentials as a ruthless leader while serving under Kaguta Museveni as Chief of Intelligence Service, triggered the Rwandan genocide which killed more than five hundred thousands of Rwandan lives with the assassination of his predecessor Juvenal Habyarimana. His army, combined with those of Uganda and Burundi invaded DRC in 1996. From that period up to 2007, and as consequence of war, five millions of Congolese and hundreds thousands of Hutu refugee lives have been wasted. On his part, Joseph Kabila appears to be a puppet in the hands of mainly Paul Kagame whose strong complicity with Western interests in DRC constantly weakens his leadership.

During the rule of these three leaders, elections are regularly organised and paid for by the West.  Over the years it has emerged that a significant part of aid to development has contributed to developing and strengthening repressive mechanisms and structures (discriminative laws, media policies, judiciary systems, uncaring administrations, and oppressive security forces) and maintaining in power and enriching the three presidents and their groups at the detriment of the majority of their populations. It is worth noting that the status quo in the three countries plays at the advantage of their Western sponsors. That’s what they term as preservation of stability and development.

In other countries like Tunisia, the status quo has been shakened by citizens hungry and ready for sacrifice to get the change they want. The martyr of Mohammed Bouazizi sparkled the Jasmine revolution. Since his death the entire Middle East and Northern Africa continue to experience social unrest. In the Great Lakes region, particularly Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, there have been millions of Mohammed Bouazizi who in the last two decades have died in vain. There is no single day that people don’t heard about stories of individuals who have been murdered, kidnapped, imprisoned, humiliated by structures of government in Rwanda, Uganda or Democratic Republic of Congo. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and other Rwandan political prisoners have on 25/3/11 been denied visits.  Populations in Cyangugu (Rwanda) have recently been systematically harassed and imprisoned by local security forces. Congolese activists Floribert Chebeya and others have been assassinated by security forces. In Uganda, serious incidents of repression by the police have been reported in Kampala after the rigged election of 18/2/11.  But as usual, the West which controls mainstream information doesn’t mention those stories without any biased context because if the oppressive character of involved regimes was rightly highlighted, this would jeopardise the existing status quo which supports its interests in the region.

Five millions of Congolese died, almost two millions of Rwandans perished, the UN Mapping report was published and shows evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and acts of genocide nature that were committed in DRC by Kaguta and Kagame and Burundian armies. DRC’s destabilization continues and repression in Rwanda goes unabated.  As such context goes on, US and UK look away as if there were no human lives involved who for now decades are being victimized persistently by regimes they are supporting. Only strategic minerals from DRC matter.  Apparently, there is no humanitarian case as MONUNSCO is present to maintain stability and security. The West doesn’t need to intervene directly because their agents on the ground have demonstrated their efficiency.

Double standards of the West where Britain, France and US are using humanitarian pretext to destroy Mouammar Kaddafi and gain access to Libyan petrol are frankly revolting, while the same countries at different levels are supporting Kagame and Kaguta whose combined crimes include already the death of almost eight millions citizens in the Great lakes of Africa.  The same way the coalition against Kaddafi is doing everything to get rid of him for its self centred interests, which don’t have anything to do with Libyan lives, the logic would suggest they apply the same standards to Ugandan and Rwandan regimes. Though what is happening in the situation of Libya is purely a manifestation of greed which does not care of anything else and is ready to go all the way to achieve what is pursued, the context in the Great lakes of Africa is characterised by a racist attitude from US and Britain plus other Western countries and institutions supporting local warlords. These darling dictators are slaughtering black people without any mercy while representatives of the white world are watching and somehow encouraging. This is not much different from the attitude of the original Ku Klux Klan, which at some time ‘made frequent reference to America’s “Anglo-Saxon” and “Celtic” blood.’

BBC World Service and Questions to Paul Kagame

On Monday, 21 March 2011, UK national broadcaster BBC, in its program ‘Africa Have Your Say,’ invited its audience to ask direct questions to Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president. He was on a mission of PR in the country, to silence his critics about his human rights record in Rwanda and the Great Lakes of Africa.

It is not every dictator who has access to the platform that BBC has to air their own political views as a leader. The Rwandan president still has some fans in British circles. Racepoint Group, a London based PR company, has also been working effectively for Kagame to open him doors so he can distort the truth about what the international community has now come to accept as the new narrative about his oppressive regime and responsibilities in the crimes committed in his country and the region since 1990.

Knowing how deep are his hands in the blood of Rwandans and Congolese particularly, I couldn’t personally think of what type of questions to ask to the Rwandan president. What can someone ask to the murderer and oppressor of his or her people? The question I had was for the broadcaster. ‘How can Paul Kagame be offered a BBC platform to air his views to a world audience, when we all know about for example the content of the UN Mapping report which was published on 1st October 2010, and details war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide nature committed against Congolese and Hutu refugees in Democratic Republic of Congo his army was responsible of?’ Another question to BBC would have been to ask them if they were aware of all political prisoners, journalists, and other hundreds thousands of innocent Rwandans currently in Kagame’s prisons.

There is a level of cynicism in British society which overlooks political leaders’ elements of personalities, however inappropriate they could be, as long as being on their side brings some benefits. This was the same scenario yesterday with Muammar Kaddafi as long as there were Libyan investments and oil business in the equation. The point here is not to try change society, but to make an objective observation of its characteristics. Paul Kagame is currently being received in a few more western countries with a red carpet, still but not as in the first years of his rule, when he could strongly play on the genocide-guilt of the West. Since the start of 2011, times are changing suddenly for political leaders whose rule has been characterised by corruption, injustices, oppression and general lack of freedom for their populations. As Britain is now leading or supporting actions for change in those places, not necessarily for the good reasons for people there, the time may be soon when Paul Kagame may be treated the same way as Kaddafi is after the vote of the UN Security Council resolution 1973.

As for the questions BBC audience put forward to the Rwandan president, the list is given below.

Abdi wrote: ‘As you share a border with Uganda and Burundi, what do you think of their presence in Somalia? Most Somalis are concerned about their indiscriminate shelling, destruction and killing of civilians. Do you think it is better for the Somalia Hawiye to reconcile and make peace amongst themselves, rather than the AMISOM siding with one side and slaughtering civilians?

Akpan wrote: ‘Mr Kagame, you are known to hold the view that Rwanda cannot afford political freedoms and basic civil and political rights given its tragic history. You have locked up your political opponents, and there are credible accounts of political assassinations of those who have expressed the mildest criticisms of you. Do you really believe that economic development can only be achieved at the expense of these freedoms? What’s your evidence, if so? And what would you say about countries like Germany and indeed, Japan, who have both had a tragic history, but emerged to become global economic giants without sacrificing such rights? Or could it be that you are just another of our old-style tyrants using economic development as an excuse to further your selfish aims?’

Bagz wrote: ‘I can’t agree more with those who think he has put development before democracy and political freedom, he can tout all his post Genocide achievements and economic reforms but until he lets Rwandans exercise their fundamental rights or freedoms, his so called success stories wont count. Kagame has technically been in power since 1994, and today, Rwandans are kind of gagged, they cant freely express themselves, for those who dare to speak up they are dealt with accordingly, many politicians including his former colleagues, and officers in the army have since fled the country just because they tried to question his policies. His government fully controls not only the government media that broadcast and prints or publishes government propaganda, but also all censors and harasses other independent media and journalists, dozens and dozens of journalists have fled his repressive tendencies, and there’s nothing like separation of powers in Rwanda (on paper yes, but in reality the executive controls everything.

What’s Kagame’s views on what’s been going on in the Arab world in general (Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and Libya), and Ivory Coast. Does he think Rwandans are happy and contented with all the democratic freedoms and what their government is doing for them or like in these countries, Rwandans cant risk their own lives to speak out against the government, do Rwandans have a right to peacefully protest? Why is that the only protests the government allow are only pro-Kagame government? And finally, can he unequivocally reaffirm his commitment or intentions to stand down when his current term lapses in 2017?

John Mustapha Kutiyote wrote: Mr. President, Do you regret after having promoted women representation in your government up to 30%?

Tom Rizzo wrote: Mr. President, you have done many great things for Rwanda and its people, and you are to be congratulated. Why are you so frightened of political opposition? Rwanda will never grow as a country and reach its full potential as long as you prevent the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda from registering, and you keep people like Bernard Ntaganda and Victoire Ingabire imprisoned for no genuine reason.

The idea that Frank Habineza espouses any ideology that is detrimental to Rwanda’s people is patently absurd. His programme is very much mainstream Green Party, not unlike those pursued by like-minded people in the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

I invite every listener to visit the Free Bernard Ntaganda facebook page, and continue to press your government to urge President Kagame to be a true democrat, not merely someone who plays one to rub elbows with the Tony Blairs and Bill Clintons of the world. Rwanda is a glorious country of beautiful people and places and intelligent people who yearn to breathe free air. Don’t let its past destroy its future.

Lubowa wrote: The UN Mapping report released in October last year, accuse your forces of systematically killing tens of thousands of Hutu civilians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Do you think these victims deserve justice? If so, what steps do you propose?

Nkunda wrote: Ingabire Victoire, a presidential hopeful and leader of the FDU Inkingi party was arrested in March 2010 over her claims that your rebel front had committed atrocities against Hutu civilians. How does this fit with your commitment to democracy?

Habineza wrote: The Economist has written that, “Kagame allows less political space and freedom of the press in Rwanda than Robert Mugabe.” You are listed among the top five predators of the press by Reporters Without Borders. Do you believe that press freedom is an important prerequisite for the democratic future of Rwanda?

Ann Garrison wrote: In then Senator Barack Obama’s 2006 Obama Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006, he wrote:

“(6) Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement and subsequent withdrawal of foreign forces in 2003, both the real and perceived presence of armed groups hostile to the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi continue to serve as a major source of regional instability and an apparent pretext for continued interference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by its neighbours [Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi].”

Could you speak to your “apparent pretext for continued interference” in Congo?

Olaf Bachmann wrote: Dear Mr Kagame, there is something I would like to understand. How do you want to manage the politico-cultural transformation that is necessary to move away from the old African elite (including the Habyarimana/Mobutu etc) regimes’ habit to take the state as a hostage to their personal advantage? Does your nation follow you on this path?

Do you think that the fact that you move away from the francophone political culture of presidentialism helps to open up a path to a more egalitarian/democratic way of thinking? In other words, would the Anglo Saxon Westminster way of thinking better fit to the transformation that you pursue than the quasi monarchist French way of organising a policy does?

Is there a genuine Rwandan way to achieve the formation of a modern democracy or are Rwandan ideas of modernity and democracy very different from what Europeans think?

Whatever your answer, thank you for what you have achieved so far.

John Max wrote: Why would BBC ask Kagame about Libya? He should be the next logical target of a coalition force. The economic development people talk so much about is only seen in the capital Kigali where party elites reside, and where illegal trade of Congo’s minerals is done in broad day light. I have not seen any development in my small town, or any other place in Western Rwanda. Rwandan people are suffering so much under him and his political party. The only smart thing he has achieved is to successfully lie to the West about happenings in Rwanda.

Jobu101 wrote: Mr. President, since the Rwandan Patriotic Front took power in 1994, none ever challenged your regime and not be killed, thrown in prison or goes to exile. When are you going to tolerate any opposing view? Can you please release Victoire Ingabire and other political prisoners who are in 1930 Kigali Maximum prison for simply exercising their basic rights which your regime claims to respect?
I strongly believe that Rwandan leaders need to get rid of demonizing the regime’s opponent if we need to build a better future Rwanda. We are building on the sand like Gadhafi if the economic development becomes an excuse for oppression. Thanks

Veritas wrote: Mr. President, what are you going to do if the ongoing French anti-terror judge Marc Trevidic investigation into the killing of the former Rwandan president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana holds you and RPF responsible for shooting down president’s plane?

Desire K wrote: Burundi, my homeland Country, experienced ethnic violence for decades, from 1965, the conflict left Families displaced internally and externally. With ethnic quotas embedded in the Burundian constitution, a power-sharing between Hutu and Tutsi, some said that this is a democratic solution to the decades of conflict, but I feel that this has created more tension and intensified conflict. I’d choose Rwanda’s political model where every Citizen is seen as Rwandan, I feel that this helps greatly move the Country forward, particularly on unity and reconciliation. When every Family is able to feed their children, send them to school, there is nothing more democratic that this path.

Alex wrote: I am doing my MLitt dissertation on Rwanda as a ‘developmental state’ I would like to ask President Kagame if this is the direction he sees the country going in, how he hopes to achieve this, and what does he think makes Rwanda so different to other African states?

Mwalimu Marcel wrote: HE, First of all I would like to thank you for taking time off from your busy schedule to share with us your insight in current african affaires. I’m a Rwandan-American. I visit Rwanda 3 times a year. Mr. President I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong between you and the gang of 4 (Kayumba, Karegeya, Rudasingwa, Gahima). How did you become enemies’ brothers? Studying your track record from NRA to RPF from Kampala to Kigali until 2005 things didn’t look so bad?  You both worked together to reclaim your homeland you are both well connected with various foreign Intelligence services, you hold your old address books. The poor Rwandans don’t understand that. This conflict between brothers has been kept as a family secret. You have advantage on the other brothers. You have provided relative peace and security. The Banyarwanda love you for that and are thankful. Keep reaching out to the poor. You remember during the bush struggle they are the ones who provide intelligence, food and hide out. To the gang of 4. Take your case straight to the Banyarwanda. They are the ones who are capable of giving the grade you deserve. They are the headmaster. The wazungu come and go. Rwanda has been, is and will always be for us by us. Thank you.

Brima Claudio wrote: Mr. President, I listened to one of your interview on Aljazeera stating that you are fighting corruption and that some of your former allies flee from Rwanda because they were involved in corrupt practices. Have you ever declared your assets since becoming President of Rwanda? Secondly, how true is it that you are suppressing your political opponents. If your term ends, will you give up power peaceful to be an elder-statesman or will you change the constitution to grant you another term?

Zachary wrote: In 2010, Reporters Without Borders ranked Rwanda in 169th place out of 178 for freedom of the press, and commented “Rwanda [and others] have joined Burma and North Korea in the group of the world’s most repressive countries towards journalists.”

Do you and your government value a free and open media? Why do you think the Reporters Without Borders review of press freedoms in Rwanda was so damning?

Questions from following people were not moderated nor published on BBC site (they probably arrived late for the preparation of the live interview with president Kagame): Kofi Okwantuni, Elizabeth Barad, Charles Gatare, Eliasbalde, LondonHenrry, Munyaneza, Mahoro, claude2, Munyarwanda, Edwin, Eddie, espe Bundu, Ghost rider,  Dean, AfricaResearchInstitute, Vivien, Emab, Boulette, Ndamwizeye,  melka18, kalungi, Claudine

BBC has momentarily removed from its site the link to Paul Kagame live interview of Tuesday 22nd March 2011.

 

Libya: the full text of UN Security Council resolution 1973

In the light of what people around the world have so far witnessed since Saturday 19th March 2011 with regard to implementation of the resolution, how far close are operations on the ground (or Libyan skies) to its content and spirit? The answer is yours.

“The Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) of 26 February 2011,

Deploring the failure of the Libyan authorities to comply with resolution 1970 (2011),

Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties,

Reiterating the responsibility of the Libyan authorities to protect the Libyan population and reaffirming that parties to armed conflicts bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,

Condemning the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions,

Further condemning acts of violence and intimidation committed by the Libyan authorities against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel and urging these authorities to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law as outlined in resolution 1738 (2006),

Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,

Recalling paragraph 26 of resolution 1970 (2011) in which the Council expressed its readiness to consider taking additional appropriate measures, as necessary, to facilitate and support the return of humanitarian agencies and make available humanitarian and related assistance in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas and the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel,

Recalling the condemnation by the League of Arab States, the African Union and the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have been and are being committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Taking note of the final communiqué of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of 8 March 2011, and the communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of 10 March 2011 which established an ad hoc High-Level Committee on Libya,

Taking note also of the decision of the Council of the League of Arab States of 12 March 2011 to call for the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation, and to establish safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure that allows the protection of the Libyan people and foreign nationals residing in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Taking note further of the Secretary-General’s call on 16 March 2011 for an immediate ceasefire,

Recalling its decision to refer the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and stressing that those responsible for or complicit in attacks targeting the civilian population, including aerial and naval attacks, must be held to account,

Reiterating its concern at the plight of refugees and foreign workers forced to flee the violence in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, welcoming the response of neighbouring States, in particular Tunisia and Egypt, to address the needs of those refugees and foreign workers, and calling on the international community to support those efforts,

Deploring the continuing use of mercenaries by the Libyan authorities,

“Considering that the establishment of a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya constitutes an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya,

“Expressing concern also for the safety of foreign nationals and their rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Welcoming the appointment by the Secretary General of his Special Envoy to Libya, Mr. Abdul Ilah Mohamed Al-Khatib and supporting his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

Determining that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;

2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High-Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;

3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;

Protection of civilians

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;

5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;

No-fly zone

6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;

7. Decides further that the ban imposed by paragraph 6 shall not apply to flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food, humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, nor shall it apply to flights authorised by paragraphs 4 or 8, nor other flights which are deemed necessary by States acting under the authorization conferred in paragraph 8 to be for the benefit of the Libyan people, and that these flights shall be coordinated with any mechanism established under paragraph 8;

8. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above, as necessary, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban, including by establishing an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of paragraphs 6 and 7 above,

9. Calls upon all Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary overflight approvals, for the purposes of implementing paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above;

10. Requests the Member States concerned to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they are taking to implement paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above, including practical measures for the monitoring and approval of authorised humanitarian or evacuation flights;

11. Decides that the Member States concerned shall inform the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States immediately of measures taken in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above, including to supply a concept of operations;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council immediately of any actions taken by the Member States concerned in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above and to report to the Council within 7 days and every month thereafter on the implementation of this resolution, including information on any violations of the flight ban imposed by paragraph 6 above;

Enforcement of the arms embargo

13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : “Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections”;

14. Requests Member States which are taking action under paragraph 13 above on the high seas to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General and further requests the States concerned to inform the Secretary-General and the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) (“the Committee”) immediately of measures taken in the exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 13 above;

15. Requires any Member State whether acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 13 above, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspection, the results of such inspection, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;

16. Deplores the continuing flows of mercenaries into the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and calls upon all Member States to comply strictly with their obligations under paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011) to prevent the provision of armed mercenary personnel to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

Ban on flights

17. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies to take off from, land in or overfly their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by the Committee, or in the case of an emergency landing;

18. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, except in the case of an emergency landing;

Asset freeze

19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and decides further that all States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and directs the Committee to designate such Libyan authorities, individuals or entities within 30 days of the date of the adoption of this resolution and as appropriate thereafter;

20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

21. Decides that all States shall require their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and firms incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction to exercise vigilance when doing business with entities incorporated in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or subject to its jurisdiction, and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and entities owned or controlled by them, if the States have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such business could contribute to violence and use of force against civilians;

Designations

22. Decides that the individuals listed in Annex I shall be subject to the travel restrictions imposed in paragraphs 15 and 16 of resolution 1970 (2011), and decides further that the individuals and entities listed in Annex II shall be subject to the asset freeze imposed in paragraphs 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011);

23. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply also to individuals and entities determined by the Council or the Committee to have violated the provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), particularly paragraphs 9 and 10 thereof, or to have assisted others in doing so;

Panel of Experts

24. Requests the Secretary-General to create for an initial period of one year, in consultation with the Committee, a group of up to eight experts (“Panel of Experts”), under the direction of the Committee to carry out the following tasks:

(a) Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution;

(b) Gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

(c) Make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;

(d) Provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations;

25. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

26. Decides that the mandate of the Committee as set out in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall also apply to the measures decided in this resolution;

27. Decides that all States, including the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, shall take the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the Libyan authorities, or of any person or body in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or of any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or body, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was affected by reason of the measures taken by the Security Council in resolution 1970 (2011), this resolution and related resolutions;

28. Reaffirms its intention to keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and underlines its readiness to review at any time the measures imposed by this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011), including by strengthening, suspending or lifting those measures, as appropriate, based on compliance by the Libyan authorities with this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011);

29. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Your views are most welcome.
It is interesting to know that Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, supports the external intervention in Libya while Kaguta Museveni of Uganda opposes it.