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What do Mobutu and Museveni have in common after thirty years in power? Massive looting of their state reserves!

Museveni: My critics always forget to mention that I was democratically elected, the others were not. Everyone in Uganda can challenge me, everyone can vote, the elections are free. Not many countries have achieved what we did. One third of the seats in parliament are reserved for women, five seats for youth, five for workers, five for the disabled and 10 for the army. How many democracies with such a record do you know?” (Koelbl & Puhl, 2016).

Just as the knowledge of the all the state businesses and properties of President Museveni that he has amassed over the 31 years in power in Uganda. It reminds more and more of the state of affairs under President Mobutu. Mobutu Sese Seko was a dictator that President Museveni was proud to ouster and reinstate President Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni knows about Mobutu’s fatal fall, is certainly known.

President Museveni has gotten rid of other dictators before the fall of Mobutu, he even knew or had knowledge of the death of the plane of Juvenal Habyarimana, the plane who got shot down in April 1994, as his fellow comrade General Paul Kagame of Rwandan Patriotic Front was on the way to overthrow the current regime there. Also that the President Museveni together with President Milton Obote overthrew President Idi Amin in the late 1970s. So the current President Museveni has been involved in lots of armed change of power, he is even rumored and not verified if he had knowledge of the death of John Garang of SPLA and the South Sudan.

Still, the man who has used force and taken weapons to change history and his own fate, again and again, also to get puppets in states around. Have certainly thought of the demise of the men he got rid off. So when the stories of the last year of Mobutu sounds like this:

Mobutu’s Wealth:

For 32 years President Mobutu has treated Zaire like a toy and used its rich mineral reserves like his own private bank account. He plundered its mines, insisting their entire annual profits be transferred to personal accounts overseas” (…) ““We had to be close to the regime to do business,” admitted Mohammed Abdul, a Lebanese businessman yesterday as he fortified his shop for an expected pre-Kabila pillage by Zaire’s ruthless and brutal army. The Lebanese are hated by Zaireans who believe they colluded with President Mobutu to plunder the country’s diamonds” (Kinshasa, 1997).

Swiss assets:

The decision by the Swiss Federal Council came a day after judicial and police authorities seized his luxurious villa at Savigny near the lakeside resort of Lausanne. The 30-room mansion is estimated to have a market value of more than $5 million” (…) “After three decades of plundering the mineral wealth of his country, Mobutu is believed to have accumulated an enormous fortune. There have been persistent reports that he has stashed as much as $4 billion in Switzerland, but a government review of the country’s 400 banks last week said that none reported having accounts in his name” (Drozdiak, 1997).

Just as you think the dictator of Democratic Republic of Congo would be different than the current one in Uganda, your terribly wrong and President Museveni tries to keep it hidden, the way he is using the state reserves on himself and build his wealth. Just like President Mobutu was trying to move the money to the Swiss accounts, President Museveni has his own way.

A look into Museveni:

The way the Museveni family is paid royalties, or rent, by escrow accounts for their ownership of the title deeds of the Stanbic Bank business name in Uganda (what was once the Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda’s largest banking group) is the way it is paid for their ownership of other apparently South African or foreign-owned businesses in Uganda” (…) “These sources say that it is Stanbic Bank that is used to finance businesses like Roofings Ltd, Speke Resort Munyonyo, the J&M Hotel along the Kampala-Entebbe highway, businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba’s hotel and Kampala International University, all of which actually belong to the Museveni family” (The London Evening Post, 2012).

This is just the business side of it, it could be worse by now and they could own more pieces of all the businesses that are bailed out or even getting tax breaks by the government, because who knows the true deeds or royalties going to accounts owned by the royal Ugandan Museveni family. So the next says more about the value of the Museveni family and their estates.

Museveni’s wealth includes ranches in Rwakitura and Kisozi Uganda which accommodates over 2,000 healthy cows which produce thousands of liters of milk daily. The Uganda president makes at least Ush 100 million per month from his farm” (…) “Apart from livestock farming, Museveni has interests in real estate, hotel industry as well as transport industry. He has also invested heavily in the banking industry” (…) “The longest serving president of Uganda is estimated to be worth $ 700 million” (Venasnews, 2016).

So when you see how the Museveni family has become as wealth and rich as President Mobutu did. Mobutu had after his 30 years of dictatorship stashed away US$ 4 Billion into Swiss Bank Accounts, what is more uncertain is the total value of the 30 years President Museveni rule in Uganda. What is right now and known is the businesses that the President is involved in or having ownership in. Secondly is the knowledge of estates, as well as ranches in Uganda with livestock that the President owns. Therefore, the extended wealth of secret bank accounts and not revealed businesses could show the true value of the Museveni family.

With the knowledge of this and the sudden departure that President Museveni together with President Kagame, as they forced the dictator away in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I don’t think there will be an intervention on President Museveni from one of the neighbors. Still, the world can see the dictator protocol is kept by Museveni as he himself have crafted ways of emptying the state coffers. Therefore, that the riches, the estates and the value of Museveni have risen over the three decades in power isn’t strange. What is more worrying is how he has been able to keep is wealth and ownership.

That President Museveni wishes to look like a hardworking rancher and that he works for his fortune. The yields are coming from hard-work and dedication. At the same time the ownership in banking industry and in other parts of the economy shows how much control the family and the President does have. The private industries and companies are run or ordered directly from the State House.

So that President Museveni said this in 1997 as he overthrew Mobutu is now insane:

Mr. Museveni’s ideology is simple. For too long, he says, African politicians have hoodwinked the common people, manipulating tribal sentiments to stay in power and steal millions of dollars in foreign aid and taxes. A former Marxist, he sees the true struggle on the continent as one between corrupt leaders and the dirt-poor people they exploit” (McKinley Jr., 1997).

So he said for to long African Politician played the commoners, using the sentiments of tribe on their populations and using this tools to stay in power, while doing so taking an emptying the state reserves and donor funding to themselves. Therefore, 20 years since he stood for this and said these words, he has now done the same.

President Museveni of today would assassinate himself or overthrow himself… since he is now the Mobutu of Uganda, he has the character of the men he overthrew in past. He should be worried, because the ghosts of the past and the reckless leadership will follow him and that is why he trust the guns more than people. Since his own insincere political game might catch up with him.

On some levels now, there aren’t much difference between President Mobutu and President Museveni. Peace.

Reference:

Drozdiak, William – ‘Swiss Freeze Mobutu’s Assets; Reports Put Worth at $4 Billion’ (18.05.1997) link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/africa/zaire/swiss.htm

McKinley Jr., James – ‘Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order’ (15.06.1997) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/15/world/uganda-leader-stands-tall-in-new-african-order.html

Kinshasa, Mary Braid – ‘Mobutu takes the money and runs to a safe haven’ (16.05.1997) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/mobutu-takes-the-money-and-runs-to-a-safe-haven-1261945.html

Koelbl, Susanne & Puhl, Jan – ‘’This Is Our Continent, Not Yours’ (10.06.2016) link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-ugandan-president-yoweri-museveni-a-1096932.html

The London Evening Post – ‘Revealed: How the Museveni family owns Uganda’ (03.01.2012) link: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/comments/revealed-how-the-museveni-family-owns-uganda/2/

Venasnews – ‘Yoweri Museveni Salary and Wealth’ (27.06.2016) link: https://venasnews.com/yoweri-museveni-salary-and-wealth/

Rwanda 1994: Gen. Paul Kagame letter of 10. August 1994 (Confidentiel)

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

Opinion: Suddenly President Kagame doesn’t want Rwanda to be dependent on the West!

For Africa as we wait to see what unfolds and adjust, we should be learning the lesson that we should not be entirely dependent. We will wake up to the reality there are things we should be doing for ourselves. You have made it appear that your situations are perfect and you want others to emulate you. Then you are surprised by what unfolds. It is what you have been hitting us with that is coming back to bite you. I did not change the constitution. If you want to know the truth you will find it is the people who did, not me. My satisfaction lies in the truth that we have not been involved in harming our people. What we are doing is to develop our country. If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will. As long as Rwandans are happy, we will keep doing what needs to be done. We will be listening to what others say but we will not be distracted from what needs to be done.”

-President Paul Kagame speaks to Gerard Baker, editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal, at the closing session of Invest in Africa conference.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the long lingering Executive of Rwanda has compelled his words against dependency of the West. Surely, he has had this in mind for while in his own haven, as the Rwandan government has been a donor friendly. Therefore, that he claims now to take a stand against them shows the sudden change of attitude. However, it is sudden donors and programs that have stopped coming Kagame’s way, therefore the Rwandan government have started to run a giant tab of external debt instead of donor aid grants. Like look at some quotes from companies that establish the economic output and the financial flow of nations, like Deloitte and KPMG!

Rising debt:

“According to BMI, total external debt levels in the country have been rising steadily in recent years, from 16.1% of GDP in 2010 to an estimated 30.5% of GDP in 2015. Debt levels for 2016 and total external debt are forecast to amount to 35.2% of GDP and will be composed mostly of government debt” (Deloitte, P: 4, 2016).

Failing Foreign Aid, therefore rising debt:

“The primary headwind to the Rwandan economy in the 2016-2025 period will be the impact on debt as a result of falling foreign aid. Despite prudent fiscal policies to date, increases in debt levels will follow from the fall in foreign aid, since Rwanda is now deemed fit to transition from grant-based financing to loan-based financing by the IMF” (Deloitte, P: 5,2016).  “The government has been compelled to adopt a more prudent fiscal policy stance in an attempt to reduce the country’s dependence on donor support and increase fiscal autonomy. Recent external headwinds have encouraged the government to ease demand for imports by reassessing its infrastructure investment programme. This will undoubtedly have a negative impact on economic growth. That being said, the benefits of lower donor dependence and improved macroeconomic stability should outweigh the costs related to lower growth over the short term. Turning to external balances, Rwanda’s wide merchandise trade deficit is expected to maintain a shortfall in the overall current account going forward” (KPMG, P: 4, 2016).

“Aid harmonization has been improved and progress continues to be registered in the implementation of the Paris and Busan commitments especially the use of national budget and procurement systems. The Bank was the 6th largest Official Development Assistance (ODA) provider to Rwanda in 2013/14, accounting for 9.4% of total ODA26. The World Bank and EU invest in agriculture and energy whereas the leading bilateral DPs focus, among other things, on human development and social protection (Annex 8a). Annex 8b summarizes the progress made in implementing selected indicators as captured by the Donor Performance Assessment Framework. Use of the sector budget support (SBS) instrument has increased the share of Bank support disbursed using country systems. Under the DPCG, the Bank actively participates in activities to enhance the implementation of EDPRS II such as the 2014/15 assessment of SWGs” (AfDB, P: 9, 2016).

So if you look at the financial policies of the republic of Rwanda, some of it is not really chosen as the donors funds that has been suspended or stopped might be for several of reasons. That might be that if they accept the funds they have to follow a spectre of policies and interferes with the power that Kagame wish to achieve. The RPF and Kagame has total control of Rwanda, the export and the import, also owns dozens of the businesses. So the Rwandan government had to switch their economy with more loans, instead of donor aid. The loans are coming in through external debt as the external donor funds and grants have dwindled.

Therefore, the excuse of suddenly wanting to be independent is more a need, than a wish. If it was a wish earlier, than the AGOA or USAID to the RPF would have stopped decades ago. That should be common knowledge of the relationship between Paul Kagame and Bill Clinton. It is not that it is positive that the Rwandan Government want’s less aid is a healthy stance. Still, the excuse isn’t eaten by me.

The reality is that the increased debt instead of donor grants will hurt the economy, as the levied interest rates and other cost will hurt the economy. It isn’t healthy to be dependent of the aid either, but the reasons now seem more to reactionary than real intent. I am sure Paul Kagame would love funds from Belgium and France to build hospitals and clinics in rural regions of Rwanda. So, suddenly the West isn’t good enough, especially when they are questioning his reasons for staying in power and not having any successors while his regime is keeping a close lid on the opposition. Therefore, the economy and independent from the world becomes more important because then he needs to less show of transparency and accountability. Peace.

Reference:

AfDB – ‘RWANDA BANK GROUP COUNTRY STRATEGY PAPER 2017 – 2021 (October, 2016).

Deloitte – ‘Rwanda Economic Outlook 2016 The Story Behind the Numbers’ (June 2016)

KPMG – ‘Economic Snapshot H2, 2016 – Rwanda’ (15.10.2016) link:

https://home.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/za/pdf/2016/10/KPMG-Rwanda-2016-Snapshot.pdf

President Trump: “Presidential Memorandum: Suspension of the Conflict Minerals Rule” – Legalizing export of questionable minerals from the DRC!

conflict-minerals-08-02-2017-p1conflict-minerals-08-02-2017-p2conflict-minerals-08-02-2017-p3

[Wish I had a bigger Microphone] The World right now is too Bloody…

south-sudan-army-pic

There aren’t only murders and mysteries on the telly, its real life and not fiction as the Syrian civil war continues rapidly without whomever force and whomever ally around Aleppo or other check-points where the Presidents force, rebels or ISIS are shooting. The bullets don’t have names, but the men and woman on the side-line and at the battle who dies does; the men and woman who loses their life for themselves or a Nobel-cause.

As much as there are forces battling inside the Iraq nation as Government Forces are attacking together with American soldiers ISIS stronghold around Mosul. There are continued fighting inside of Afghanistan. Still battles between civilians and the Indian Army inside the Kashmir state that has issues there and on the Pakistan side of Kashmir. The long battle for freedom or justice, as the Kurds are battling for in Syria, Turkey and in Iraq; being the minority in the middle of the civil war in Syria and Iraq.

That is just some places, as the deteriorating state of affairs are attacking all sort of freedoms inside Ethiopia, as the army and Aghazi squad are killing and harassing the people’s in Amhara and Oromia states. Together with the arrests of bloggers, silencing media outlets, and detaining demonstrators, burning the homes of people and inflicting violence on the citizens. This state of emergency is used as a useful tool to oppress, silence and make sure the violence and killings doesn’t get out; while the Central Government works to find reasons and solutions to ways of total control of minds and bodies in the states of demonstrations against the Addis Ababa regime.

In Burundi the central government are using the Police and army, together with the Imbonerakure that are detaining, harassing, killing and torturing civilians, silencing the opposition and the ones not loyal to the  President Pierre Nkurunziza narrative of keeping power by any means. The Burundian Government has claimed that the Rwandan Government has created armies and guerrillas that wished for a coup d’état against the Nkurunziza regime. Therefore the fleeing civilians are in the wind as the Rwandan government has been wonder for a spell, if they would banish the Burundian refugees a place in the country.

FARDC Beni May 2016

While in the Democratic Republic of Congo, several guerrillas are still running wild, burning and killing villagers in the States of North and South Kivu, Katanga and so on. Where the foreign based groups that have been started in Rwanda and Uganda, continues to battle the locals for the valuable minerals; as even today a former M23 Commander Sultani Makenga who been in Uganda has crossed with a militarized group, surely from Kisoro as before to cause more havoc in the Kivu’s. The ADF-NALU, Mayi-Mayi and others doesn’t create enough death and crimes against humanity already, as the MONUSCO and FARDC haven’t the ability or will to silence them.

In South Sudan, the internal battle that started in July 2016, the resurgence of skirmishes between the SPLA/M and the SPLM/A-IO who are the TGNU and the Opposition party, which is the armies for President Salva Kiir and his former First Vice-President Riek Machar. That has since July battled each other with forces, in Western Bahr El Ghazal State, Equatoria State and Upper Nile State. There been fighting between the two in other states, but just show how big and powerful the forces are. The South Sudanese civilians are the losers who flees to Ethiopia, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, even in Congo because the Opposition we’re there has been asked to leave to other destinations. Therefore the internal power-struggle those fear of genocide, as still creating implications inside other nations.

In Somalia the Al-Shabab, the different state continues to have infighting together with the AMISOM mission. The running battles for land between Galdumug Interim Administration and the Puntland Government inside the Federal Republic of Somalia. Doesn’t really help for a peaceful session and making dialogue in the war-torn nation where Piracy and Khat been the ways of securing funds for ammunition and AKs, not for building a state and security.

eritrean_troops_control_ministry

Eritrea is closed and the continuation of the flow of refugees, as the internal controlling central government that forces the freedoms and liberties, as the men and woman does what they can to even enter Ethiopia, where they are badly treated. Eritrean reports are staggering as they are even supporting internal guerrillas in Ethiopia and Djibouti to unsettle their neighbours.

There are wars and running battles between government forces and rebels in Central African Republic, Mali, Mozambique and so on. This is happening in silence and without little flash, even as the ones are guerrillas like Boko Haram that are going in between Nigeria and Cameroon, to stop the Government from functioning and spreading fear of locals.

What is worrying how these actions continues, and how there are other I could mention, the issues in Libya, the Algerian complex and the Western Sahara colony of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Peace Ethiopia

The death that dies in silence, in the midst of homes, villages where their families have been living for decades, while big-men fight like two elephants; the grass get hurt, but the big-men be fine. The same is with all of these civil wars, the civilians are dying, the societies are deteriorating, the central government are controlled by little amount of people instead of procedure and rule of law.

The worry is how it becomes pro-longed, how the innocent dies and the power-hungry survive and the lucky get refugee somewhere else in uncertainty, like for how long can they stay, as been seen with the Kenyan Government work to get rid of Somali refugees in Dadaab Refugee camp during this calendar year, while the Somalian Federation if far from peaceful. Even as the Ethiopian troops has went home again surely to use their knowledge to chop heads in Amhara and Oromia. That is what they do now, they just doesn’t want people to know about it.

We shouldn’t allow this actions to happen, this killings, this violence and the silence of freedom, liberty and justice to our fellow peers, we should act upon it, question our power-to-be and the men who rules over these armies, the ones creating the havoc and the ones who are behind the crimes against humanity. Those are the ones that earning money on the wars and the ones that doesn’t want the words on the acts; those are the worst ones in it all as they are accomplices to destruction of lives and societies as we speak. Peace.

Bill Clinton’s remarks honoring genocide survivors in Kigali, Rwanda March 25, 1998

clinton-1998-rwanda

Thank you, Mr. President. First, let me thank you, Mr. President, and Vice President Kagame, and your wives for making Hillary and me and our delegation feel so welcome. I’d also like to thank the young students who met us and the musicians, the dancers who were outside. I thank especially the survivors of the genocide and those who are working to rebuild your country for spending a little time with us before we came in here.

I have a great delegation of Americans with me, leaders of our Government, leaders of our Congress, distinguished American citizens. We’re all very grateful to be here. We thank the diplomatic corps for being here, and the members of the Rwandan Government, and especially the citizens.

I have come today to pay the respects of my Nation to all who suffered and all who perished in the Rwandan genocide. It is my hope that through this trip, in every corner of the world today and tomorrow, their story will be told; that 4 years ago in this beautiful, green, lovely land, a clear and conscious decision was made by those then in power that the peoples of this country would not live side by side in peace. During the 90 days that began on April 6, in 1994, Rwanda experienced the most extensive slaughter in this blood-filled century we are about to leave – families murdered in their homes, people hunted down as they fled by soldiers and militia, through farmland and woods as if they were animals.

From Kibuye in the west to Kibungo in the east, people gathered seeking refuge in churches by the thousands, in hospitals, in schools. And when they were found, the old and the sick, the women and children alike, they were killed – killed because their identity card said they were

Tutsi or because they had a Tutsi parent or because someone thought they looked like a Tutsi or slain, like thousands of Hutus, because they protected Tutsis or would not countenance a policy that sought to wipe out people who just the day before, and for years before, had been their friends and neighbors.

The Government-led effort to exterminate Rwanda’s Tutsi and moderate Hutus, as you know better than me, took at last a million lives. Scholars of these sorts of events say that the killers, armed mostly with machetes and clubs, nonetheless did their work 5 times as fast as the mechanized gas chambers used by the Nazis.

It is important that the world know that these killings were not spontaneous or accidental. It is important that the world hear what your. President just said: They were most certainly not the result of ancient tribal struggles. Indeed, these people had lived together for centuries before the events the President described began to unfold. These events grew from a policy aimed at the systematic destruction of a people. The ground for violence was carefully prepared, the airwaves poisoned with hate, casting the Tutsis as scapegoats for the problems of Rwanda, denying their humanity. All of this was done, clearly, to make it easy for otherwise reluctant people to participate in wholesale slaughter.

Lists of victims, name by name, were actually drawn up in advance. Today, the images of all that, haunt us all: the dead choking the Kigara River, floating to Lake Victoria. In their fate, we are reminded of the capacity for people everywhere, not just in Rwanda, and certainly not just in Africa but the capacity for people everywhere, to slip into pure evil. We cannot abolish that capacity, but we must never accept it. And we know it can be overcome.

The international community, together with nations in Africa, must bear its share of responsibility for this tragedy, as well. We did not act quickly enough after the killing began. We should not have allowed the refugee camps to become safe havens for the killers. We did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide. We cannot change the past, but we can and must do everything in our power to help you build a future without fear and full of hope.

We owe to those who died and to those who survived who loved them, our every effort to increase our vigilance and strengthen our stand against those who would commit such atrocities in the future, here or elsewhere. Indeed, we owe to all the peoples of the world who are at risk because each bloodletting hastens the next as the value of human life is degraded and violence becomes tolerated, the unimaginable becomes more conceivable – we owe to all the people in the world our best efforts to organize ourselves so that we can maximize the chances of preventing these events. And where they cannot be prevented, we can move more quickly to minimize the horror.

So let us challenge ourselves to build a world in which no branch of humanity, because of national, racial, ethnic, or religious origin, is again threatened with destruction because of those characteristics of which people should rightly be proud. Let us work together as a community of civilized nations to strengthen our ability to prevent and, if necessary, to stop genocide.

To that end, I am directing my administration to improve, with the international community, our system for identifying and spotlighting nations in danger of genocidal violence, so that we can assure worldwide awareness of impending threats. It may seem strange to you here, especially the many of you who lost members of your family, but all over the word there were people like me sitting in offices, day after day after day, who did not fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which you were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror.

We have seen, too – and I want to say again – that genocide can occur anywhere. It is not an African phenomenon and must never be viewed as such. We have seen it in industrialized Europe; we have seen it in Asia. We must have global vigilance. And never again must we be shy in the face of the evidence.

Secondly, we must, as an international community, have the ability to act when genocide threatens. We are working to create that capacity here in the Great Lakes region, where the memory is still fresh. This afternoon in Entebbe leaders from central and eastern Africa will meet with me to launch an effort to build a coalition to prevent genocide in this region. I thank the leaders who have stepped forward to make this commitment. We hope the effort can be a model for all the world, because our sacred task is to work to banish this greatest crime against humanity.

Events here show how urgent the work is. In the northwest part of your country, attacks by those responsible for the slaughter in 1994 continue today. We must work as partners with Rwanda to end this violence and allow your people to go on rebuilding your lives and your nation.

Third, we must work now to remedy the consequences of genocide. The United States has provided assistance to Rwanda to settle the uprooted and restart its economy, but we must do more. I am pleased that America will become the first nation to contribute to the new Genocide Survivors Fund. We will contribute this year $2 million, continue our support in the years to come, and urge other nations to do the same, so that survivors and their communities can find the care they need and the help they must have.

Mr. President, to you, and to you, Mr. Vice President, you have shown great vision in your efforts to create a single nation in which all citizens can live freely and securely. As you pointed out, Rwanda was a single nation before the European powers met in Berlin to carve up Africa. America stands with you, and will continue helping the people of Rwanda to rebuild their lives and society.

You spoke passionately this morning in our private meeting about the need for grassroots efforts, for the development projects which are bridging divisions and clearing a path to a better future. We will join with you to strengthen democratic institutions, to broaden participation, to give all Rwandans a greater voice in their own governance. The challenges you face are great, but your commitment to lasting reconciliation and inclusion is firm.

Fourth, to help ensure that those who survived, in the generations to come, never again suffer genocidal violence, nothing is more vital than establishing the rule of law. There can be no place in Rwanda that lasts without a justice system that is recognized as such.

We applaud the efforts of the Rwandan Government to strengthen civilian and military justice systems. I am pleased that our Great Lakes Justice Initiative will invest $30 million to help create throughout the region judicial systems that are impartial, credible, and effective. In Rwanda these funds will help to support courts, prosecutors, and police, military justice, and cooperation at the local level.

We will also continue to pursue justice through our strong backing for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The United States is the largest contributor to this tribunal. We are frustrated, as you are, by the delays in the tribunal’s work. As we know, we must do better. Now that administrative improvements have begun, however, the tribunal should expedite cases through group trials and fulfill its historic mission.

We are prepared to help, among other things, with witness relocation, so that those who still fear can speak the truth in safety. And we will support the war crimes tribunal for as long as it is needed to do its work, until the truth is clear and justice is rendered.

Fifth, we must make it clear to all those who would commit such acts in the future that they too must answer for their acts, and they will. In Rwanda, we must hold accountable all those who may abuse human rights, whether insurgents or soldiers. Internationally, as we meet here, talks are underway at the United Nations to establish a permanent international criminal court. Rwanda and the difficulties we have had with this special tribunal underscores the need for such a court. And the United States will work to see that it is created.

I know that in the face of all you have endured, optimism cannot come easily to any of you. Yet I have just spoken, as I said, with several Rwandans who survived the atrocities, and just listening to them gave me reason for hope. You see countless stories of courage around you every day as you go about your business here, men and women who survived and go on, children who recover the light in their eyes remind us that at the dawn of a new millennium there is only one crucial division among the peoples of the Earth. And believe me, after over 5 years of dealing with these problems, I know it is not the divisions between Hutu and Tutsi or Serb or Croatian; and Muslim and Bosnian or Arab and Jew; or Catholic and Protestant in Ireland, or black and white. It is really the line between those who embrace the common humanity we all share and those who reject it.

It is the line between those who find meaning in life through respect and cooperation and who, therefore, embrace someone to look down on, someone to trample, someone to punish and, therefore, embrace war. It is the line between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past. It is the line between those who give up their resentment and those who believe they will absolutely die if they have to release one bit grievance. It is the line between those who confront every day with a clenched fist and those who confront every day with an open hand. That is the only line that really counts when all is said and done.

To those who believe that God made each of us in His own image, how could we choose the darker road? When you look at those children who greeted us as we got off that plane today, how could anyone say they did not want those children to have a chance to have their own children, to experience the joy of another morning sunrise, to learn the normal lessons of life, to give something back to their people? When you strip it all away, whether we’re talking about Rwanda or some other distant troubled spot, the world is divided according to how people believe they draw meaning from life.

And so I say to you, though the road is hard and uncertain and there are many difficulties ahead, and like every other person who wishes to help, I doubltless will not be able to do everything I would like to do, there are things we can do. And if we set about the business of doing them together, you can overcome the awful burden that you have endured. You can put a smile on the face of every child in this country, and you can make people once again believe that they should live as people were living who were singing to us and dancing for us today. That’s what we have to believe. That is what I came here to say. And that is what I wish for you.

Thank you, and God bless you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:25 p.m. at Kigali Airport. In his remarks, he referred to President Pasteur Bizimungu of Rwanda and his wife, Sarafina, and Vice President Paul Kagame and his wife, Janet. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

COPYRIGHT 1998 U.S. Government Printing Office

COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

Opinion: My 2 Cents on why the African Nations leave the ICC or want to!

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“A founding signatory of the Rome Statute, on ICC: Yes we should be out of the ICC. ICC is not serious. It is partisan. There are so many people who should have been tried if they were serious. The way to go is to have our own African Criminal Court. Trying to work with ICC was a mistake” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni [at the Second #UGDebate on the 13th February 2016]

As Washington is shocked by the recent events, that the International Criminal Court which is stationed in The Hague and the Netherlands; where they ironically are closing down prisons because of lacks of criminals. The International Community and the African Nations are triggering the Article 127 of the Rome Statute of 1997 to Withdraw from the honourable justice chambers of this so-called earth. There is certain reflections and vivid reasons for why this is happing. And I will try to sort it out, the Westerns and Europeans, even some Americans might be offend, but still carry it and take it for what it is.

“In June 2009, Comoros, Djibouti, and Senegal called on African States Parties to withdraw en mass from the Statute in protest against allegations that the ICC was targeting Africans. This declaration was specifically in reference to Sudanese Pres. Omar al-Bashir’s indictment” (Mbaku, Weber State University).

The ICC is not a pre-historic relic of the European Colonial past, still the actions of is of a seemingly imperialistic affair where the smaller newer nations and less resourceful have been targeted at much higher extent than the ones of more sophisticated countries who are not former colonialized. That is a fact and not NRM fiction. Just a certainty that the further hurt the African sovereign nations that they even has Executives under the microscope for their actions while Tony Blair and George W. Bush walks around like Kings on this earth. It’s not like the powers to be, touches the big-men from there, but around the corner they get taken away quicker than ice-cream on a hot-summer-day.

Not that the men and woman who has been questioned and been under investigations has been involved in crimes and activity against the humanity. They have and many using child-soldiers, used ethnicity to win power and even some killings to the level of genocide.

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“Article 127

Withdrawal

  1. A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the

United Nations, withdraw from this Statute. The withdrawal shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification, unless the notification specifies a later date.

  1. A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute, including any financial obligations which may have accrued. Its withdrawal shall not affect any cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on which the withdrawal became effective” (ICC, P: 74, 2011).

Burundi withdraws:

“President Pierre Nkurunziza, who critics accuse of human rights abuses, signed a decree late on Tuesday that paves the way for his east African nation’s departure from the court. His decision comes at time when the ICC is conducting a preliminary investigation into politically motivated violence in Burundi in which several hundred people died” (Alionby, 2016).

South Africa withdraws:

“Under the Rome Statute, the 2002 treaty that established the court, countries are obligated to arrest anyone sought by the tribunal. “Legal uncertainty” around the statute blocks South Africa from resolving conflicts through dialogue, including inviting adversaries for visits, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said, and handing over a foreign leader to the court would have amounted to an infringement of South Africa’s sovereignty” (…) “The Rome Statute “is in conflict and inconsistent with” South Africa’s law giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity, Mr. Masutha said at a news conference on Friday. The question is before the country’s high court” (…) “Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane this week formally notified the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, of South Africa’s intention to withdraw from the international court. Leaving the body would take about a year, during which South Africa would still have to cooperate with the court’s proceedings”  (Chan & Marlise, 2016).

This is happening while the ICC has asked for Nations who has signed up for the Rome Statute and the ICC. This has been South Africa, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya. The Non-compliance documents of Djibouti and Uganda has even come in 11th July 2016. The Arrest Warrant on President Omar Al-Bashir we’re set on 4th March 2009. There has gone 7 years has passed and his still roaming around with countries willingly delivering “non-compliance” documentations to the ICC for their non-cooperation towards them.

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There are more running cases on the continent… some of them are:

The ICC Prosecutor has opened cases against 26 individuals in connection with five African countries. Twenty-five of these remain open; the 26th, against Darfur rebel leader Bahar Idriss Abu Garda, was dismissed by judges, though the prosecutor may attempt to submit new evidence in an attempt to re-open it. The cases stem from investigations into violence in Libya, Kenya’s post-election unrest in 2007-2008, rebellion and counter-insurgency in the Darfur region of Sudan, the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in central Africa, civil conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and a 2002-2003 conflict in the Central African Republic. The Prosecutor is also examining 2010-2011 violence in Côte d’Ivoire, a 2009 military crackdown on opposition supporters in Guinea, and inter-communal violence in central Nigeria, but has not opened formal investigations or opened cases with regard to these situations. Uganda, DRC, CAR, Kenya, Nigeria, and Guinea are states parties to the ICC. Sudan, Libya, and Côte d’Ivoire are not. ICC jurisdiction in Sudan and Libya stems from U.N. Security Council actions, while jurisdiction in Côte d’Ivoire was granted by virtue of a declaration submitted by the Ivorian Government on October 1, 2003, which accepted the jurisdiction of the Court as of September 19, 2002.25 Five suspects—four Congolese nationals and one Rwandan—are currently in ICC custody. The ICC Prosecutor has sought summonses, rather than arrest warrants, in connection with attempted prosecutions of Darfur rebel commanders and of Kenyan suspects. The Prosecutor has not secured any convictions to date” (Congressional Reaserch Service, 2011).

The Kenyan case we’re like the Prosecutor said wasn’t done, but for now there wasn’t able to follow through on evidence and make a case worth living. That is me translating the jurors lingo. The IGAD communique on the 6th April 2016: “The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) joins Kenyans of all walks of life to rejoice the collapse of cases against the Deputy President, H.E. William Samoei Ruto and his co-accused, radio journalist, Joshua Arap Sang at the International Criminal Court in The Hague yesterday” (…) “It would be recalled that IGAD had condemned the way the ICC had handled the Kenyan cases from the beginning. During a press conference held in Nairobi on 22nd March 2011, Amb Mahboub stated clearly IGAD’s position on the deferral request of the ICC cases by Kenya pointing out that the trials would “weaken the country and weaken the region” (IGAD, 06.04.2016).

The Kenyan government President Kenyatta the day before on the 5th April 2016:

“Earlier today, Trial Chamber V (a) of the International Criminal Court acquitted my Deputy President, Honourable William Ruto, and Mr. Joshua Arap Sang. I welcome the aforementioned decision, which reaffirms my strong conviction from the beginning about the innocence of my Deputy President. From the start of this case, I have believed that this case was ill-conceived and never grounded on the proper examination of our experience of 2007/2008 as a nation” (…) “Each and every Kenyan was touched by the tragedy that befell our nation in 2007-2008. Each and every victim of this unfortunate happening matters. Not one of them has been forgotten. Their suffering demanded of us as leadership to seek reconciliation. My Deputy and I campaigned and were elected on a platform to unite and reconcile our motherland. When you entrusted the leadership of the country to our administration, you made us responsible for the healing and reconciliation of our people” (Kenyatta, Uhuru – ‘H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta Statement on ICC verdict on the Ruto and Sang Case’ 05.04.2016).

So with this in mind, the Kenyan Government have been thoroughly investigated by the ICC recently over time since the ICC charged people close connected to the current leadership and government. They even at some point had a case against the Kenyan President Kenyatta, but they let it slide because they got no witness angle on him. The Jubilee has fought back and has done their duty towards Courts. Still the wound of charges, the appearance and the trial has hurt.

The newest ICC cases into Africa is the post-election violence where even the Parliament we’re put on fire.  “In the letter of referral to the ICC signed by Gabon’s Justice Minister Denise Mekamne Edzidzie, the government accuses Ping and his supporters of incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity” (…) “It highlights a speech which Ping gave during his electoral campaign, in which he allegedly called on his supporters to “get rid of the cockroaches.” (…) “These words were an incitement to commit the crime of genocide,” the letter says” (France24, 2016). The Gabonese Authorities tries to pin it on the Opposition as the election rigging made the public mad and not just the supporters of Jean Ping. If the ICC uses this opportunity not to pin it on themselves as the Second Generation for life President Bongo!

African Union Letter to the ICC on the 29th January 2014:

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So the long-stemming grievances are now coming into effect. The feeling of being targets while others walk scotch-free. The inaccurate acts of being the main ones, even as the violence, genocides and crimes against humanity happen; the leaders don’t want a hanging gallows over their heads. Still, the acts of many current Presidents and their Regimes are using armies like Ethiopia against civilians. If they weren’t a strong ally of the United States, they would have a cherry to pick at the courts. President Museveni fears for place, the same should President Mugabe that never been for the Gukurahundi massacres we’re Zimbabwean Republican Police killed 20,000 people. These are men who fear the ICC and would do what they can to not be touched by their current sins and the ones of old.

Sudan, the country of President Omar Al-Bashir has said this in the recent our about the matter:

“This wise decision is established by the Republic of Burundi on objective grounds that the so-called International Criminal Court has become a tool of pressure and instability in the under-development countries. Further, the opening of investigations against some leaders is a result of pressures exercised by the western force,” the statement cited by the Sudan Tribune said” (Akwei, 2016).

So the country who has the Executive under charges, the other one of late has been forces away from power, but still men who was in charge of their respectable nations President Laurent Gbagbo who have now recently been in trial at ICC:

“On Thursday, Mr. Gbagbo, the former president of Ivory Coast, will go on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, facing four counts of crimes against humanity stemming from the violence surrounding the 2010 presidential election. He was narrowly defeated in a runoff, but he insisted that he had won and refused to cede power, leading to months of turmoil and the deaths of more than 3,000 people before his arrest in April 2011” (…) “The trial of Mr. Gbagbo is an important challenge for the International Criminal Court. He is the first former president to reach trial at the tribunal, which has been in operation for a decade with a mandate to deal with war crimes and genocide. Also on trial with him will be Charles Blé Goudé, one of Mr. Gbagbo’s militia leaders in the 2011 upheaval, which followed more than a decade of ethnic political violence in Ivory Coast” (Rothschild, 2016).

So with this in mind, he isn’t a guerrilla fighting with child-soldiers like the ones charged by the ICC when coming to Lord Resistance Army and others who has been charged for violations against humanity in the ICC. These being Bosco the Terminator from the Democratic Republic of Congo, also that the former Vice President of Pierre Bemba of the MLC has been charged for his crimes, while his President Joseph Kabila walks free for his sins. This proves the neglect and the handpicked cases of the ICC. Reasons why the African Union and others are claiming so, partly righteous, partly wrong! The key to this, if the ICC want to be serious as an International legal institution… it needs cases and probes into states in Europe, America and Asia; not only War-Lords in Africa. That is just Neo-Colonialism and proves the questionable attributes to the character of the laws and big-man politics of the world. Peace.

Reference:

Akwei, Ismail – ‘Sudan urges mass African withdrawal from the ICC’ (21.10.2016) link: http://www.africanews.com/2016/10/21/sudan-urges-mass-african-withdrawal-from-the-icc/

Alionby, John – ‘Burundi becomes first nation to quit International Criminal Court’ (19.10.2016) link: https://www.ft.com/content/ce408588-95bf-11e6-a1dc-bdf38d484582

Chan, Sewell & Simons, Marlise – ‘South Africa to Withdraw From International Criminal Court’ (21.10.2016) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/22/world/africa/south-africa-international-criminal-court.html?_r=0

Congressional Research Service – ‘International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues’ (22.07.2011) link: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34665.pdf

France24 – ‘ICC opens preliminary probe into Gabon unrest’ (29.09.2016) link: http://www.france24.com/en/20160929-icc-opens-preliminary-probe-situation-gabon

Mbaku, John Mukum – ‘Africa’s Case Against the ICC’, Weber State University

 

Rothschild, Saskia de – ‘Trial of Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo Will Test International Criminal Court’ (27.01.2016) link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/world/africa/ivory-coast-laurent-gbagbo-hague-trial.html

 

International Criminal Court – Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (17.07.1998 in force on 01.07.2002) Copyrighted 2011

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