By Jennifer Fierberg, MSW
Over the last two months the Government of Rwanda has faced some of the hardest financial and public relation challenges since the 1994 Genocide. The UN Group of Experts has found unequivocal evidence that Paul Kagame is providing weapons, soldiers; communication equipment and ammunition to a rebel group in the DR Congo called the M23. This group has directly caused increased instability in Eastern DRC which is in direct violation of the Obama Law 109-456 which authorized the U.S. Secretary of State to halt aid to any countries destabilizing the Democratic Republic of the Congo. President Kagame’s legacy will be that he has made it his mission to destabilize the Congo in order to rape it of its minerals for his personal gain and financial benefit. The Rwandan Government has published a detailed rebuttal to the UN GoE report which has largely gone unnoticed because of their reputation of denial and false testimony to any allegation against them. They made the same claims to the UN Mapping Report (2).
It is an open secret that Rwanda invaded the Congo in 1996 and 1998 in order to hunt down suspected genocide perpetrators and yet over 6 million men, women and children have been murdered and hundreds of thousands of women raped. Were these children really genocide perpetrators? Many believe that President Kagame should be praised for “stopping the 1994 genocide” but one should read the history on how the genocide started. Dictators are known for starting wars so they can stop them, gain power and become a hero.
At this point Kagame has become a very questionable figure and many of his financial backers are taking a second look at his history and how he has destabilized the region. Frankly, it is about time people stop turning a blind eye to his rule of impunity and begin to hold him accountable.
One of the most prominent opposition groups to the current Rwandan Government, The Rwanda National Congress has released a press statement calling for President Kagame to be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and be held accountable for his crimes.
The press statement is below:
Date: 06 August, 2012
RWANDANS AND CONGOLESE TO BRING PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)
On 17 August 2012, Rwandans will be joined by Congolese to formally file a complaint with the International Criminal Court, and demand that the prosecutor lay charges against President Paul Kagame and his accomplices based on REPORTS OF THE GROUP OF EXPERTS SUBMITTED THROUGH THE SECURITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO RESOLUTION 1533 (2004) CONCERNING THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO 1, Report of the DRC Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003 2, and the Addendum to the interim report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/2012/348) concerning violations of the arms embargo and sanctions regime by the Government of Rwanda.
We invite Rwandans, Congolese, Africans, and members of the international community to witness this historical moment and to sign the subsequent petition in front of the International Criminal Court Building, The Hague (Netherlands), from 11:00 to 14:00.
Thanks to the efforts of members of the civil society, JAMBO asbl, le Centre de Lutte contre l’Impunité et l’Injustice (CLIIR) and the Women’s International Network for democracy and Peace (RIFDP – Holland and Belgium).
JUSTICE SHALL PREVAIL!
COORDINATING COMMITTEE FDU-INKINGI
Dr. Nkiko Nsengimana
RWANDA NATIONAL CONGRESS (RNC)
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
Washington DC, USA