When I started writing this piece, before deciding if I should use Paul Kagame or Rwanda in the title, I had several thoughts about how the Rwandan president was unrepresentative of his country. All these ventures in the Democratic Republic of Congo are for self-preservation.
For sometime, I have had many discussions with a varied number of people on how Paul Kagame was not Rwanda or either if he could objectively speak for Rwandans though he does at the moment, and has been for the last eighteen years.
But I settled for Paul Kagame, because when he makes unpopular decisions like attacking the Democratic Republic of Congo, since he does not ask prior advice from any national institutions.
It’s unfortunate that his actions end up being seen as originating from Rwanda as a legal entity, internationally considered as such among other nations, though Rwandans at any level don’t have any input in them.
We all know how he has imposed himself to Rwandans through blood, and continue to maintain himself in power through constant persecution, oppression, cases of disappearances of his citizens, assassinations and other practices that characterize dictatorships.
So he is back in Eastern Congo. That’s at least what Radio Okapi online news outlet is telling us.
“Soldiers of the Rwandan Defense Forces would’ve entered in DRC on Wednesday December 12th, 2012 via two bordering posts of Kasizi and Kanyanja, North of Goma, in the Nyiragongo territory. … According to local sources, Rwandans were initially seen on the morning of Tuesday December 11th, 2012. They arrived in ten trucks with ammunition and other war equipment…”.[translation]
The Kampala negotiations between the Kabila government and M23 are still ongoing. Rwandan forces returning to DRC would apparently have two main motives: one of being in a stronger political position to pressure the other party to the talks into accepting the rebels’ conditions, as did Museveni back in 1985 [Nairobi Agreement] or Kagame in 1993 [Arusha Accords]; two, preempting the arrival of the neutral forces in Goma which will consist of different SADC countries including Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
The Rwandan president by returning to Eastern Congo does not seem to care about any condemnation from the international community, namely the UN whose experts have shown, at several occasions, evidence of his continuous interference in the DRC’s affairs.
He seems ready to flex muscles with anyone who sees differently his determination to hold firmly a fraction of the DRC.
During this week’s hearing at the US Congress on the Congolese crisis, Mr Steve Hege, former member of the UN team of experts on the DRC rightly highlighted Paul Kagame’s resolve to have his hands on Eastern Congo.
But the expert seemed to suggest that any solution of the ongoing crisis had to take into consideration that fortitude on the part of the Rwandan leader, and even tacitly accommodate it.
Of course, many of us who oppose global imperialism would not be supportive of a regional one whether or not it is coming from Rwanda or any other country of the Great Lakes region.
In my view, the Rwandan president has irremediably been inconsiderate of international laws regarding how neighbouring countries co-exist, that the time has come for him to get the sanctions that his regime deserves.