Kagame 2012

A critical question should resonate loudly in the mind of those who follow international politics since Kony 2012 came out on March 5th, 2012. 

Why would a global campaign to track a criminal with apparently ill equipped 300 followers be staged while the same countries which are after the former having been providing billions of £, $ and Euros and persist in backing another criminal leader of a country whose responsibility in worse atrocities has been irrevocably proven?

We remember well Kony 2012, the phenomenal viral clip that Invisible Children launched online to track Joseph Kony, the Ugandan rebel leader of the Lord Resistance Army.

Adam Branch is clearer on the real intentions from backers in the chase of Kony.

“…Invisible Children’s campaign is a symptom, not a cause. It is an excuse that the US government has gladly adopted in order to help justify the expansion of their military presence in central Africa. Invisible Children are “useful idiots”, being used by those in the US government who seek to militarise Africa, to send more and more weapons and military aid, and to bolster the power of states who are US allies.”

Kony campaign: a distraction

In the views of concerned Africans, the entire Kony 2012 campaign was a distraction by interested parties from the real criminal that the world, and particularly survivors of his crimes and oppression and all citizens of the Great Lakes region, should track.

This is not to excuse atrocities that Joseph Kony is accountable for. But it is only about putting elements of a situation in their real context.

Since October 1st, 1990 when Rwanda was invaded by Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front rebels, or even before if one considers his involvement under Yoweri Museveni leadership and mentorship, the Rwandan president has been the master-minder of uncountable atrocities, in Rwanda and far beyond the country’s borders.

8 million people dead and more, who continue to live with the negative consequences of his ventures in the whole Central African region, constitute a pessimistic estimated number of victims of his crimes.

That US have finally decided to withhold $200,000 of its military aid to Rwanda further to the international outrage of Kagame’s direct involvement in destabilising the Democratic Republic of Congo through M23, that could be seen as a sign. But as Scott Morgan points out on his blog, the general public should not be fooled by the gesture.

In fact, Milton Allimadi, editor of Black Star News, considers the decision of reducing US Military Aid to Rwanda not to be enough.

“This is not even a slap on the finger-nail. But it’s a beginning. That’s why Clinton was sent to Kigali. To whisper warning into Kagame’s ears even while they posed around little children.”

Allimadi goes even further questioning the motives of the visit.

“How can a former U.S. President who actually helped facilitate the killings in Rwanda in 1994 by training the officers of the RPF in Uganda before 1990, then ignoring the invasion of Rwanda on October 1, 1990 from Uganda (and blocking it from discussion in the U.N. Security Council), go to Kigali today and again ignore the massacres being carried out today by Rwanda-trained killers in Congo? The Clinton visit this week and the fact that he doesn’t address the ongoing massacres show (1) He knows the role U.S. played in 1994 calamity when he was president (2) He continues to provide cover for Kagame 3) He does not care about the lives of Africans (4) He is an exceptionally contemptible human-being.”

Call for an international warrant

More is needed to stop impunity and arrest the Rwandan leader that some have called the African Hitler.

A call to request an international warrant for Kagame was launched on Saturday July 21st, on Facebook. 248 people have already joined the call in two days. More are needed. The Facebook page is called Kagame2012, not as in Kony 2012.

Obviously there have been previous calls to end impunity of the Rwandan leader.

But the momentum is now since the most reluctant unconditional supporter of president Kagame finds themselves that things have to change, even if not as radically as most of those who have suffered under his watch would’ve wanted.

Please do circulate this message and provide possible suggestions to the initiators of Kagame 2012 and those doing similar actions on how to improve on effectiveness of campaigns to end impunity in the Great Lakes region.

African led solutions

Kony 2012 was American led by Invisible Children to serve interests external to the African continent. Kony is a minor issue compared to Kagame’s one.

The millions of African people who died in the last 2 decades in the Great Lakes region under a significant responsibility of one man should normally call outrage from all the corners of the planet.

Kagame 2012 is African led. Africans need to find themselves African solutions to their own problems, and not let others misrepresent them on issues they can stand for themselves.

 

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