Africa: Strange presidential deaths that weaken solidarity

By Antoine Roger Lokongo

Melchior Ndadaye – Former President of Burundi

In the Great Lakes region of Africa, regional solidarity has been dealt a heavy blow following the mysterious deaths of five leaders in just two decades.

Neo-imperialism is quickly gaining grounds in Africa and all the signs are written on the wall. 

Suffice to mention a few: the establishment of the US African Military Command (AFRICOM) and the bombing of Libya to stone-age followed by the murder of Mouammar Kadhafi as well as the overthrow of Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory

Juvenal Habyarimana – Former Rwandan president

Coast; the unending Western-backed wars of aggression by the Tutsi regimes of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi against the Democratic Republic of Congo – still ongoing – during which more that 5 million Congolese have been killed, women systematically raped and strategic minerals systematically looted, especially the mineral coltan needed by the high tech industry for the manufacture of mobile phones, laptops, playstations, satellites…

In the Great Lakes region, African solidarity has been dealt a heavy blow following the death of five leaders in the space of just two, making regional peace and sustainable development very difficult to recover because seeds of hatred have been sown and the wounds are too deep to heal without putting an end to impunity.

On 21 October 1993, Burundi’s first democratically elected Hutu president

Cyprien Ntaryamira – Former Burundian president

Melchior Ndadaye was assassinated by Tutsi extremists (Wesangula, 2011) only three months after being elected.

Rwandan Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprian Ntayamira, also a Hutu, were killed after their plane was shot down before landing at Kanombe International Airport on the evening of 6 April 1994.

Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated in Kinshasa,

Laurent Desire Kabila – Former DRC president

the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, on 16 January 2001. Surprisingly and against every diplomatic etiquette, Yoweri Museveni was the first person to announce Kabila’s death to the world.

Meanwhile, a major war involving six African nations and various rebel factions was raging in DR Congo. Massacres and rapes were part of daily life for many Congolese. Rwanda bet on ensuing chaos that would allow it to continue exploiting the vast mineral wealth of eastern DR Congo.

John Garang, the Sudanese vice-president, died on 30 July 2005 when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed on its way back to Sudan from Uganda. It was Ugandan President

John Garang – Former Sudanese Vice President

Yoweri Museveni’s helicopter. According to the BBC, Museveni immediately rushed in, threatened to close down newspapers which continued to publish conspiracy theories about John Garang’s death. The reports that prompted Museveni’s anger included speculation that Garang’s body had been found with bullet wounds and accusations that Rwanda might have been behind the crash.

All these tragedies would not have occurred had some Africans not carved a career out of playing the role of ‘proxies for Western powers’ or ‘local brokers’ for Western strategic interests; and after being armed by the same Western powers, have turned the sword against their African brothers and sisters.

All the leaders mentioned in this note were assassinated because they were defending national interests against those working as Western proxies in their respective countries or regions.


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