Kagame’s Actions On African Refugees Meets The Definition Of ”Madness”

A refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo is seen with her children as they prepare a meal near the UNHCR offices in Karongi District

By David Himbara

The term ”madness” describes severe mentally ill. The synonyms of the term include insanity, mental instability, derangement, and lunacy. General Paul Kagame’s stance and actions indicate that he qualifies for the term. For evidence, look at his position on three categories of refugees, namely:

  1. African refugees stranded in Libya
  2. African refugees in Israel, and
  3. African refugees in Rwanda

African refugees stranded in Libya

Africans sold as slaves in Libya

In October 2017, Kagame offered to provide refuge to 30,000 African migrants who were being traded as slaves in Libya. Kagame was determined to provide ”African solutions to African problems” — his favorite slogan at international gatherings and in capitals across Africa. Predictably, Kagame’s African solutions to African problems never materialized.

African refugees in Israel

African refugees in Israel protesting against being trafficked to Rwanda.

Kagame made a deal with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to transfer to Rwanda some of the 40,000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees. Israel would pay Rwanda US$5,000 for each refugee transferred to Rwanda. Israel would also pay each refugee US$3,500 to leave Israel and buy their flights to Rwanda. According to this scheme, these refugees would find work and integrate into Rwandan society.

African refugees in Rwanda

Congolese refugees shot by Kagame security forces in February 2018.

Rwanda already hosts thousands of refugees from the neighboring countries. For example, Kiziba refugee camps in Western Rwanda, hosts over 17,000 refugees from DR Congo. These refugees have faced dire conditions, including hunger. The United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) describes the food situation facing refugees in Rwanda as follows:

“Humanitarian operations in Rwanda remain severely underfunded, forcing the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut food rations by 10 per cent in November 2017 and by 25 per cent in January 2018.” 

When in February 2018, the refugees raised questions, including peaceful protests, Kagame’s security responded with brute force shooting unarmed civilians. No one knows for sure how many were killed or injured. Ironically, one of the refugees’ demands is to be allowed to return to their homeland in DR Congo.

Kagame’s Madness

Here is a man who seeks glory by sloganeering African solutions to African problems. He proclaims that he wants to rescue thousands of stranded Africans in Libya, and thousands of deported Africans from Israel. And yet he can’t feed 17,000 refugees from DR Congo. When these starving refugees sought to return to their country, Kagame’s security forces violently repressed them.

If this is not madness, what is!

For a video of Kagame security forces shooting Congolese refugees, click here.