“Also eye-opening are the words of Boniface Musavuli of the group ‘Freunde des Kongo und der USA’: ‘In February 2013 Johnnie Carson, Undersecretary of State at the Africa department, announced the United States would assist the DRC, as they would have done it in the cases of the former Yugoslavia and Sudan. This suggests that Congo needs to be split up for the Americans like the Sudan and the former Yugoslavia, in this case in favor of Rwanda and Uganda.’11”
pk. The analysis of the permanent hotspot Eastern Congo offered in this section is at the same time disturbing and surprising. What is disturbing (churning) is the dispassionate way in which Stanislas Bucyalimwe, historian in the tradition of African historical scholarship, once more relates outrageous things: The currently ruling statesmen recognized and supported by the West had shed the blood of innocent people already well in advance of their jump to power – statesmen for whom we in the West lay out the red carpet – as has once again been the case just recently when the Rwandan autocrat Paul Kagamé was received with great pomp and ceremony by a business school and his euphemistic messages were distributed across all the major media without any critical remarks. Against this habituation to the unsupportable Bucyalimwe has applied for many years a very simple means: He stays with the historical truth diligently and unswervingly unveiling it layer by layer until finally a judge may be found again in the international community who will have enough courage to counter the rampant obfuscation and state propaganda with the overwhelming evidence. In his account of the recent past in the Great Lakes Region Stanislas Bucyalimwe remains strictly committed to the facts and used documents which are painstakingly documented once more by reference materials in this article written exclusively for “Current Concerns”.
This article was already composed some time ago. Recent events in Eastern Congo which has been the arena for the most inconceivable atrocities for more than twenty years now, have confirmed his analysis. The destiny of the huge Congolese country will be decided in the East. Crucially important are not only the mafia-like structures established by “new African leaders” such as Museveni, Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagamé for the exploitation of the raw materials there available at dumping prices which represent a permanent robbery of the Congolese people’s national wealth. The strategic location of Eastern Congo rightly called by the author “the Great Horn” of Africa with reference to the new US-American Africa strategy is also a key factor. This region includes not only Somalia and Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia – parts of Kenya, Uganda, Eastern Congo and the miniature states Rwanda and Burundi built up under American protection after the genocides of 1994 are also part of this strategically significant greater area. Twenty years of Rwandan policy consisting of splitting up its impotently powerful neigbour Congo find their strategic explanation here as well as the emotions newly inflamed for months in Rwanda’s twin Burundi that have brought the country once more to the brink of civil war. Not only makes Bucyalimwe’s analysis clear who the actual wire-pullers are, but he also shows that at least as far as Eastern Congo, Rwanda and Burundi are concerned they come from old political networks acknowledging just one rationale: to maintain their socially predominant position at any cost.
“The Great Lakes Region has vast resources and potential, but it is overshadowed by a tragic past that influences the present. […] The Second Congo War (1998–2003) was one of the bloodiest conflicts in the latter half of the twentieth century and it laid the foundations for the present insecurity. Killing over five million people, the war displaced communities, devastated the economy, made guns and ammunition readily available, and traumatised entire populations. The UN’s largest peacekeep-ing mission is now deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), working to protect civilians and consoli-date peace. Although conflicts have declined markedly in the Great Lakes Region, instability continues to threaten weak state institutions. Transnational organized crime activities, and the money they generate, appear to play a significant role in perpetuating the instability, lawlessness and violence, particularly in the East of the DRC. It is estimated that in the East of the DRC, there are still between 6,500 and 13,000 active members of armed groups who are benefiting from criminal activity.” (UN Report, 2011, p. 7)1
Without any doubt the fate of the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose state developed in the years 1885 to 1910/11 from west to east and is now exposed to destabilization on all fronts2, is being decided in the east.
In the east, we are dealing with the territorial claims of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, which concern the South Kivu, the North Kivu and the Eastern Province (Province Orientale). Not only that Rwanda and Uganda keep a large part of the area occupied (it has been declared a territory of struggle against terrorism and the operating area of Africom (US command center for Africa) and the Eastern Congo Initiative – ECI – of which Cindy Hensley McCain, the wife of John McCain, is a founding member3), but also Burundi has been transformed to a free zone as a result of the military agreement with the US on 25 January 2014.
“This agreement shall apply with regard to the temporary presence of United States personnel and United States contractors in Burundi in connection with mutually agreed activities including, for example, training, exercises, and humanitarian activities. (Art. 2) United States personnel shall be accorded the privileges, exemptions, and immunities equivalent to those accorded to the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic mission. (Art. 3) They may enter and exit Burundi with United States identification and with collective movement or individual travel orders. Their driving licenses are acceptetd. They are authorized to wear uniforms while performing official duties and to carry arms while on duty if authorized to do so by their orders. (Art. 3,4,5 and 6) They are authorized to exercise criminal jurisdiction over Unites States military personnel while in Burundi. (Art. 7)”4
What is now happening in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is part of an Anglo-American hidden Agenda.5 Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Washington has employed its famous concept of New African Leadership for its realization. It is characterized by “programmed elimination” of human life and infrastructure.
In other words: It is impossible to understand what is going on today in the region of the African Great Lakes and as well in the DRC, without explaining beforehand what it is envisaged for in terms of geostrategics after this event or of what exactly the New World Order consists, which the American president George Bush (the elder) announced on the occasion of the invasion of Iraq under the name of “Desert Storm” in 1991. These events show the new role of the United States, but 1991 is also a crucial year for the Great Horn of Africa and for the whole of East Africa. For the Horn of Africa, or more precisely: the Great Horn of Africa became a key area for the consolidation of the US hegemony in Africa and the Persian Gulf. Sami Makki puts it this way: “[...] elle est sous haute surveillance international”6 (It is under strict international surveillance.) What has not been prevented it from sinking into chaos.
One sign of the US imperialist offensive is the so-called GHAI (Greater Horn of Africa Initiative), launched by the Clinton administration in December 1994, shortly after the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) came to power in Rwanda. Therefore, its implementation was accompanied by so many bloody upheavals in central and eastern Africa, since GHAI is a project that concerns not only the four core countries of the African Horn, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea, but also involves Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and Rwanda and Burundi (cf. map of GHAI countries).
To the outside the communicated objective is humanitarian: the combat of the effects of disasters that have been caused by the people in this vast region. The spiritual fathers of the initiative, however, add immediately that this was not meant as a universal remedy but simply as a laboratory (test).
The real goal of the initiative is confidential and is political and strategic7. It is part of the struggle against Islamism and terrorism. The American support for the independence of South Sudan (July 2011), the separatist movements in the west (Darfur) and the east of Sudan illustrate this very well.
As switching points function the following states: Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Rwanda. Such switching points countries could also be understood as Brzezinski states “welche von einer massiven militärischen Unterstützung durch die Vereinigten Staaten profitieren, welche es ihnen erlaubt, ihre Interessen zu verfolgen” (which benefit from a massive military support from the US, which allows them to persue their interests; protection of American companies or those which belong to the military-industrial complex). According to Pierre Hillard8 the Brzezinski Doctrine can be reduced to one simple sentence: “The Islamist weapon is the American geostrategic instrument.”
The transformation of the territories of the DRC into a war base against international terrorism and the landing site of various American organizations and companies (such as ECI, USAID, CARPE, Wildlife Direct, Africa Conservation Fund, etc.) belongs in this context. This also applies to the large number of multinational companies (American, English, Canadian, Israeli, French, Chinese and even other origins) which have jostled here since 1999, such as AMFI, the AFRIMEX, Soco International, Barrick Gold, Banro Resource Corporation, Héritage Oil, Tullow Oil, Total, CNOOC, SOMIGL, Anglo Gold Ashanti Kilo/AGK, etc.). Their presence occured simultaneously with “the militarization of the mining sector”. The book by Pierre Barcyetse with the title “L'enjeu géopolitique des sociétés en République Démocratique Minières international du Congo/ex-Zaire” (Dossier of the group “SOS Rwanda-Burundi”, Buzet/Belgique, December 1999, see map), the one by Delphine Abadie, Alain Deneault and William Sacher, entitled “Noir Canada: pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique” (Montréal, Éditions Écosociété, 2008) and that of Patrick Mbeko: “Le Canada dans les Guerre en Afrique centrale: génocides et pillages des ressources minières du Congo par le Rwanda interposé” (Le Nègre Editeur, January 2012) are just some appropriate reference studies the reading of which is recommended in this context.
Also important are the influence of Neoconservatives9 and the protestant Anglican American pressure group “Breakfast Prayer”.10 To put it bluntly: The Democratic Republic of Congo is afflicted with full force by the “neoconservative virus”. Among them one finds the authors of texts such as “Der Kivu ist Teil von Ruanda” (Herman Cohen) or “Der Kongo muss seine Landreserven und seine Reichtümer mit Ruanda teilen” (Nicolas Sarkozy). Also eye-opening are the words of Boniface Musavuli of the group “Freunde des Kongo und der USA”:
“In February 2013 Johnnie Carson, Undersecretary of State at the Africa department, announced ‘the United States would assist the DRC, as they would have done it in the cases of the former Yugoslavia and Sudan’. This suggests that Congo needs to be split up for the Americans like the Sudan and the former Yugoslavia, in this case in favor of Rwanda and Uganda.”11
During the Cold War (1960–1990), the US and their allies used the long-standing Congolese dictator Mobutu but later dropped him in favor of the Ugandan autocrat Museveni. Museveni was leading the series of the so-called new African leaders. Since he seized power in 1986, the United States has supported the wars conducted by this Ugandan dictator (Rwanda, Sudan and DRC), militarily, politically and diplomatically12.
The Ugandan model, the seizure of power by a rebellion, has spread to Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. That is why the men at the top of four states have two characteristics in common: They are all chiefs of rebel formations, and they belong to the same ethnic group. Simultaneously Rwanda plays the part of the American protectorate in the region and is a pawn against the French presence13.
In order to achieve their objectives and to make Paul Kagamé the head of state of Rwanda and Joseph Kabila of the DRC, the United States had four heads of states killed, two in Burundi, one in Rwanda and one in the Congo: In Burundi these were the elected President Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, who was killed by the Tutsi army on 21 October 1993, three months after his inauguration, and his designated successor, Cyprien Ntaryamira, also a Hutu. In the evening of 6 April 1994, Ntaryamira was in an aircraft to return to Kibali after a conference in Arusha, together with his army chief, General Déogratias Nsabimana, other Burundian top officers and the Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana, and the General Chief of Staff and their crew. Shortly before its landing at Kanombe airport14, the aircraft was hit by a surface-to-air missile and crashed. In the case of the Congolese contract killing it was President Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who belonged to the ethnic group of katangian Luba. He was reportedly shot dead on 16 January 2001, allegedly by one of his own security forces15. All these terrorist murders are still residual; the above observations shed light on the reasons.
Regarding the Democratic Republic of Congo, the expectations of its population were once again stifled, as already in 1960. Because the democratic scheme negotiated during the Congolese National Sovereign Conference, which was still monitored by the Troika Belgium, France and United States, was dropped in favor of a military scheme, which was encouraged by third countries, in particular through the constellation of the above key states. This alliance was tested for the first time during the invasion of the DRC in September/October 1996.
The US and allies of the invasion of the DRC did not only provide the heavy weaponry16 but after the bloodbath of the assassination of President Laurent-Désiré Kabila they also established Joseph Kabila, and orchestrated the peace agreement, which placed the country under international guardianship. Nothing indicates that since the signing of the Lusaka Agreement on 10 July 1999 until the Nairobi Declaration of 12 October 2013 anything in this scheme has fundamentally changed17.
Paul Kagamé was a member of the Ugandan army, Joseph Kabila of the Rwandan army. Many Ugandan nationals mix in the institutions of the “new” Rwanda (Jack Nziza, General Patrick Karegeya and others), and as numerous Rwandans are in the institutions of the DRC (Jean-Bosco Ntaganda is just one example among many). Meanwhile, the claim that the fate of the DRC was controlled by the men of the regime of Paul Kagamé has become an open secret: They are all former comrades in arms, in the context of the military formations which carried out the campaign of 1996/97, such as the FPR (Front Populaire Rwandais), the AFDL (Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo) and the RCD (Rassemblement Congolais por la Démocracie), which emerged from the same Rwandan hotbed like the recent “rebellions” under changing names (CNDP, M23, M2718). Paul Kagamé by the way confirms this every time he stresses that “no one in Kinshasa, up to the highest state level, can suggest he was not acting in close consultation with Rwanda”. From this we can safely conclude that the followers and protagonists of Kigali’s destabilizing policies against the DRC are situated in the power center of Kinshasa itself19.
It was Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagamé who sponsored most of the “rebellions” and armed groups that have haunted the Kivu and the Eastern Province since 1996. Incidentally, in a speech on 7 April 2014, on the occasion of the commemoration for the genocide 20 years ago, Museveni clearly defined the region of the Great Lakes as the center of their strategy to become the bulwark of a new empire20 which one could read between the lines: Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Western Kenya, Northwest Tanzania and the East of DRC.21 This only means that next to the run on the wealth of the DRC there is still another main reason for the permanent instability of the region, the hegemony claim of the Hima Tutsi peoples.22
The output of the cross-border mining companies are organized in Mafia-like networks which are supported by the military and political elite of Uganda, Rwanda and their western sponsors and African allies. They generate fabulous dividends and maintain a vital industry which the profiteers want to keep alive at all costs. The Department of Drugs and Crime of the United Nations says so in the segment quoted at the beginning of this text:
“The activities that the international organized crime develops in the region and the amount of money that it generates seem to be a major reason for the prevailing persistent instability, impunity and violence, especially in eastern DRC. 6,500–13,000 members of armed groups which benefit from the criminal activities are estimated to be active in eastern Congo.”
Operations against the LRA23, ADF/NALU and FDLR are important without any doubt. So far, however, they have turned out as but a sham. How can one explain that weakened armed groups, as different reports record, can for so long withstand army units (US Africom units, Ugandan and Rwandan army units, MONUSCO UN troops and Congolese, Southern Sudanese and Central African units) swarming around in eastern Congo?
If it would please Washington, the expansionism of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni or Paul Kagamé or any other regional satrap who thinks he is God on earth, were quickly tied back and peace and stability could set in again. Given the “real politics” powered by the world, this is unfortunately probably still part in the field of pious wishes for long. •
(Translation Current Concerns)
AMFI: American Minerals Fields, Inc. founded in 1995. International Consortium under US leadership to reduce the key raw materials, in particular in Africa and the Congo.
ADF/NALU: Allied Democratic Forces. Ugandan Resistance Movement. Like Rwanda, Uganda accepts the operating of this movement from North Kivu as pretext for military intervention.
Afrimex: British mining consortium that, according to the British government is enriched in the throes of civil war in eastern Congo.
CNOOC: China National Offshore Oil Corporation. National Chinese petroleum conglomerate.
FDLR: Democratic Forces de la Libération du Rwanda. Hutu-dominated resistance group fighting the Kagamé government (Tutsi) in Rwanda from eastern Congo. It constitutes the main argument for the presence of Rwandan equipped combat units in eastern Congo such as M23 or before the CNPD.
LRA: Lord’s Resistance Army. Ugandan resistance movement against Museveni.
SOMIGL: Société Minière des Grands Lacs. Main economic financial source of the eastern Congolese rebel movement RCD supported by Uganda, which delivered the western companies, including Bayer, the desired coltan. Without coltan no cell phone works, no rocket and no drone.
pk. In two recently published volumes, Stanislas Bucyalimwe Mararo submits a historic overall presentation of the conflict in eastern Congo that will soon belong to the standard works of the painful history of this region. In the two-volume study the scientist from the University of Antwerp explains the genesis of the conflict, its dramatic culminations and the current situation. The author has not only a keen eye for the geostrategic importance of this new “Congo turmoil,” he also penetrates it to the smallest detail and shows which interests prevented to this day that the hard ravaged region finally finds what the population yearns for: peace and normality. Numerous sources, diagrams and documents prove both political and personal responsibilities of the actors.
Bucyalimwe Mararo, Stanislas: Maneuvering for ethnic hegemony. A thorny issue in the North Kivu Peace Process (DR Congo)
Vol. I: The 1959 to 1997 History of North Kivu. (355 p)
Vol. II: The 1996/1997 Invasion of the “Tutsi Without Borders” and the Remote -Reconciliation in North Kivu (335 p.)
Bruxelles, éditions Scribe, 2014; ISBN: 978-2-930765-04-4
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