In an interview I had with Press TV back in 2013 as member of a panel including Esther Stanford Xosei, I explained how AID was a continuation of western imperialism. In many places, despite several decades after the official end of colonialism in the 60s, – this occurred with declarations of independence in many African countries -, there hasn’t been much change in standards of living of the majority of indigenous people.
During the interview I even suggested to leave Africa alone so the continent could find its own solutions to its problems. My conviction is that when confronted with adversity, human beings are strongly resourceful. Throughout history, there are numerous examples where nations have proven their ingenuity in the face of difficult situations. And the claim of AID of contributing to anybody’s development is simply flawed, because none of those today’s characterised as developed used it to get where they are.
What Ann Garrison, a Californian based journalist, highlights in an article of which an extract is stressed here is the fact that, US AID for example, in its diverse so called “humanitarian” missions, has always followed principles of foreign policy dictated by the American government. US AID agencies swear by those principles, like soldiers obeying orders from their hierarchy. Isn’t this evidence of resourcefulness, despite the harm that it causes to the recipient end?
To explain that, Human Rights Watch, an american based NGO claiming to advocate for human rights around the world, seems so in tune with US foreign policy, that the organisation doesn’t want to deviate from that line, whatever available facts that should logically let it look differently on issues at hands.
Ida Sawyer from HRW writes in her March 8th dispatch the following on the case of a Rwandan blogger who was unlawfully deported to Rwanda from Norway:
“Some of the writings on Nkusi’s blog relay claims about the genocide that are unfounded – stating, for example, that both Hutus and Tutsis were targeted in a “double genocide.” This is offensive to genocide survivors, and contrary to research findings by Human Rights Watch and other independent organizations. Other writings criticize the Rwandan government’s human rights record.”
Ann Garrison refutes that assertion categorically:
“There is abundant evidence that both Kagame’s Tutsi army and Tutsi civilians targeted Hutu people for mass killing, not only in Rwanda but also in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Canadian journalist Judi Rever has documented the massacre of Hutu people committed by Kagame’s army with the help of Tutsi technocrats in, for example, “What Remains Hidden in Rwanda: The Role of Tutsi Civilians in Killing Hutus.”
Australian peacekeepers and Australian artist George Gittoes observed and documented the Kibeho Massacre of Hutu refugees in Rwanda on April 22,1995. The UN Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuse, 1993 – 2003, documented the massacre of Rwandan Hutu refugees who fled into DRC to escape Kagame’s advancing army. In Dying to Live: A Rwandan Family’s Five-Year Flight Across the Congo, Hutu refugee Pierre-Claver Ndacyayisenga recounts their harrowing journey all the way through the Congolese jungle, from east to west, with Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army in pursuit.
In Surviving the Slaughter, Marie Beatrice Umutesi recounts the same horrors, as does the five part documentary Tingi Tingi Hutu Refugee Massacre. Other well documented challenges to the Human Rights Watch narrative include Robin Philpot‘s Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa: from Tragedy to Useful Fiction, Peter Erlinder‘s The Accidental Genocide, and Barrie Collins‘s Rwanda Genocide: The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Experience and Its Consequences.“
Through above example, the work of HRW falls into helping to maintain the status quo on what happened in Rwanda, the same way do US and Kigali, because by changing the narrative would call for prosecution of many parties which so far have benefited from total impunity. This would be not only in Rwanda, but across the region (and probably beyond), and particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 6 million people and between 300,000 and 500,000 hutu refugees were killed as a consequence of military actions of the victors of the Rwandan genocide.
You can wonder how all this fit into perpetuation of western imperialism. Follow my eyes. Imperialism has been and still is founded on exploitation of other nations’ resources at the cheap, without much consideration of human beings being oppressed or killed to get them. Events in Rwanda enabled to get hold of DRC resources, and western governments and their multinationals while benefiting from the status quo, now for more than 20 years, wouldn’t want to see changed the fundamentals of that plundering of African riches. And that’s where the work of organisations like HRW becomes so important.