By David Himbara
In an extraordinary statement, a former DR Congo prime minister and opposition leader called for the DRC government to wage war on Rwanda. The former premier Adolphe Muzito said at a press conference in Kinshasathat waging war on Rwanda is the only means to end militia violence in DR Congo. “We have to wage war on Rwanda to restore peace in our country. Rwanda influences our politics…We can only make peace by threatening Rwanda, by occupying its territory if possible by annexing it,” he said.
All peace-loving people of DRC, Rwanda and the Great Lakes would never endorse an invasion of Rwanda let alone its annexation. Nevertheless, the frustration that led Adolphe Muzito to such extreme sentiments are understandable. Rwanda’s ruler General Paul Kagame has invaded, occupied and re-invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo countless times. His militias have literally become permanent occupying forces in Eastern DRC. For a quarter of a century, Kagame has been at the centre of looting and creating havoc in the eastern part of the DRC — and even beyond, in the rest of DRC. At one point, Kagame installed the former defence minister General James Kabarebe as army chief of staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just imagine what such humiliation did to the people of Congo.
General Paul Kagame will no doubt dismiss Adolphe Muzito’s declarations of war and annexation of Rwanda as lunacy. Kagame will point to his friendship with the new DR Congo’s president Félix Tshisekedi as evidence of improved relations between Rwanda and DRC. That friendship does not erase the memory of what Kagame has done in DR Congo. Kagame lives in a fool’s paradise — a state of happiness based on his denial of the profound wounds he has inflicted on the people of DR Congo, Rwanda and the Great Lakes. We can only pray that the people of the Great Lakes will in future distinguish between the madness of Kagame from the people of Rwanda who equally suffered under Kagame as did their Congolese counterparts.