By Arnold Gakuba
The image of Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda since 1994 (clandestinely) and 2000 (officially) has been controversial. One side, Paul Kagame is seen and cherished as a liberator and development actor while he is a dictator, human rights violator and foreign countries invader on the other side. On 30th Howard W. French published, in The New York Times, an article titled “The Dark Underside of Rwanda’s Model Public Image.” He was inspired by “Do not Disturb: The Story of a Political murder and an African Regime Gone Bad”, the book of Michela Wrong. The two sources inspire us to reveal the real image of Paul Kagame who made himself an emperor of Great Lakes Region. Despite being the darling of international donor community, gained through lies and manipulation, Paul Kagame’s imperialism was and is characterized by military invasion (1990 up-to-date), systematic and massive killings (1990 up-to-date), and exploitation of DRC resources (1997 up-to-date).
Paul Kagame and international donor community
Paul Kagame has been a darling of international donor community for a long period. Since Paul Kagame took power in 1994, he was in a honeymoon with the west. He has been among the cherished presidents of Africa. This was due to the fact that Paul Kagame studied at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he gained military and political friendship but also the Rwandan genocide made him to come to the top of African leaders who participated to save human life, even if the reality is diametrically in opposition.
The above elements made Paul Kagame, popular in western countries and up to in 2019, he remains a darling of the international donor community. Rwanda received roughly “US$1.22 billion” in development aid in 2016-2017 (Ann Garrison, Oct.5, 2019) and US was Rwanda’s top bilateral donor that year, giving US$177.6 million. Despite a huge amount of foreign aid, the Rwandan population remains the poorest of the world. Rwanda occupies the 21st position on the list of poorest countries of the world 2020 with 2,452$ of Gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita (Poorest Countries in the World 2020 | Global Finance Magazine (gfmag.com). In addition, the human rights abuses that include assassinations are of critics. The fragility of Paul Kagame regime is rooted in military invasion, systematic and massive killings and economic exploitation of other countries. As the donor international community has opened its eyes, measures should be taken to revise the aids granted to Rwanda. For more information about that, find information in out article titled “Where does Rwandan money go? Where does Paul Kagame wealth come from?” published in The Rwandan.
Military invasion of Paul Kagame
In 1991, Paul Kagame took the commandment of Rwandan Patriotic Front (R.P.F.) which invaded Rwanda in October 1990 after the death of Fred Rwigema. Through a manipulated and cunning peace talks in Arusha-Tanzania with the Hutu-led government until the mysterious 1994, RPF gained power after downing of an aircraft carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. The plane was shot by RPF soldiers as written by many authors even if some RP propagandists refute their responsibility in that act, instantly setting in motion the Rwandan genocide which was prepared and wanted by Paul Kagame as a way and a tool to lead him to power. One of RPF military we meet during our studies at National University of Rwanda declared to us the following words “RPF leaders wanted massive killings in Rwanda to help them gain the power.”
Howard W. French emphasized that in 1996, when he was a Times reporter in Africa, he struggled to understand how a rebel group that no one had heard of three months earlier could have morphed into the army that would soon march across the country and drive from power its dictator and longstanding American client, Mobutu Sese Seko. This was Paul Kagame and his soldiers under a carefully disguised invasion which cost millions of deaths mostly innocent population. Since then, Paul Kagame started and continued an economic exploitation and military dominance over the border of DRC and remained a darling of the international donor community and the Davos crowd.
In the book of Boniface Musavuli titled “Beni Massacres: Fake Islamists and Rwandan Unending Occupation”, the author affirms that DRC is a country under occupation and tutelage by Rwanda. He reaffirmed that the “Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo” and the “Rally for Congolese Democracy” were Rwandan and Ugandan forces which disguised Rwanda and Uganda’s invasion and occupation of Congo by assuming Congolese names. Later fraudulent names for Rwandan and Ugandan forces included the “National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP)” and the infamous 23 March Movement (M23).
The military invasion of Paul Kagame is also observed under espionage. Paul Kagame spies are scattered all over the world especially in Great Lakes Region to help him destabilize the region militarily and politically. Therefore, Paul Kagame spies are clandestinely scattered in Uganda (especially in its Capital City-Kampala), Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi. We don’t mention the democratic Republic of Congo because in this country, the Rwandan soldiers are there since 1996 and operate as if it is in their country with one mission “To serve, preserve and save the interests of Paul Kagame.”
Systematic and Massive killings organized by Paul Kagame
The systematic killing of Paul Kagame started when he replaced Gen. Fred Rwigema to the commencement of RPA. We hold many testimonies of survivors of Paul Kagame killings when he was still in rebellion. Wrong heartily talked of the assassination of Patrick Karegeya by Paul Kagame who was the former Rwanda spy chief Karegeya had slipped out of Rwanda and into exile after becoming disenchanted with Kagame’s obsession with power and vengeful style.
Much the same can be said of Rwanda’s record on human rights, which under Kagame has included a campaign of assassinations targeting his exiled critics. After the most famous of these killings, that of his former spy Chief Patrick Karegeya, in 2013, a smiling Kagame told a national prayer breakfast: “Whoever is against our country will not escape our wrath. The person will face consequences.”
Wrong also mentioned the atrocities against the Hutu that occurred even as the genocide was ending, amid a takeover of Rwanda by Kagame’s R.P.F., and later, of the extermination of tens of thousands of mostly civilian Hutu fleeing across Congo. Years later, the U.N. came close to characterizing these killings as crimes of genocide. “Kagame’s regime, whose deplorable record on human rights abuses at home is beyond debate, has also been caught red-handed attempting the most lurid of assassinations on the soil of foreign allies, not once but many times,” Wrong laments. “Western funding for his aid-dependent country has not suffered, the admiring articles by foreign journalists have not ceased, sanctions have not been applied and the invitations to Davos have not dried up.” The massive killings attributed to Paul Kagame in RDC include Beni massacres as discibed in the book of Boniface Musavuli titled “Beni Massacres: Fake Islamists and Rwandan Unending Occupation”. The massive killings organized and executed by Paul Kagame soldiers in Zaire then the Democratic republic of Congo started in 1996 and is still going on.
Paul Kagame exploits economically DRC
Rwanda is one of the world’s largest producers of tin, tantalum, and tungsten (3Ts), and also exports some gold and gemstones. Some documents point to a direct implication of the Rwandan Patriotic Army in commercial activities. As mentioned earlier, RPA, through the companies Rwanda Metals and Grands Lacs Metals, has big stakes in the coltan business.
Most of the coltan extracted by civilians and prisoners is sold to intermediaries (civilians or soldiers) who in turn sell it. Some of which are controlled by the Rwandan military. The quasi-totality of this coltan is sent to Kigali, and generally stored in facilities owned by Paul Kagame (RPF). A good portion goes to Rwanda Metals and the rest is exported directly by some professionals.
According to the latest Mineral Commodity Summaries report, Rwanda produced around 37 percent of the world’s tantalum supply in 2015, while DR Congo accounted for a further 32 percent. Actually, Rwanda is among the top producers of Tantalum, producing about 9% of the world’s Tantalum used in electronics manufacturing.
We thank Howard W. French and Michela Wrong who inspired us to elicit the ambiguous image of Paul Kagame. From 1990, when RPF-Inkotanyi stared the ‘’so-called” liberation war, Paul Kagame hide his image by lies, cunning, manipulation and corruption. This gave his the chance to gain the international community which granted a huge amount of grants after 1994 up to now. However, the real image of Paul Kagame (RPF) is being discovered and described and becomes clear to everyone. The truth on genocide and massacres perpetrated by Paul Kagame regime, the truth on Rwandan military destabilization of the Great Lakes Region, the truth on the exploitation of DRC resources by Paul Kagame regime is being revealed to the public. Is Paul Kagame (RPF) to repent and learn how to tell the truth? “The punishment of a liar is that he is never believed even if he speaks the truth” says, Hebrew proverb. Even if the Paul Kagame regime learns to speak the truth, none will believe in it. The time spent never comes.