Rwanda : Is Paul Kagame cutting off the branch he’s sitting on ?

In an hour-long monologue punctuated by sequences of soliloquy while launching what his regime calls ‘the Judicial Year’ on October 4th, 2012, General Paul Kagame has confirmed what we all knew : his marriage with the West is obviously in troubled waters. Shifting from Kinyarwanda to a mixture of English and Kinyarwanda, he has cut the branch he’s sitting on, completely, as his model former Ugandan dictator General Idi Amin Dada would say.

Calling « ideologically bankrupt » all those who showered his regime with billions of dollars these last 18 years and covered up his countless crimes, both at home and abroad, including the widely documented genocide against the Hutu refugees massacred in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Paul Kagame has definitely lost his mind.

This man who has served external powers against Africa’s interests and receives from them between 50% and 70% budget support since1995 to date, finally lost contact with reality and got so full of himself that he started disobeying his masters calling the usual services he used to render them ‘unacceptable’ and their retaliatory measures ‘unbecoming’ or « injustice » that will never make him compliant but rather defiant.

The man has so lost any sense of reality that he all of a sudden has discovered that « the International Criminal Court was created for Africans » and « is guided by politics and not justice ». Having enjoyed impunity for two decades thanks to those he’s putting the blame on, he ended up forgetting who made him king and that what happened to other African dictators could happen to him as well, soon or later.

Enjoying impunity and getting arrogant.

On April 6th, 1994, Paul Kagame ordered the shooting down of the Rwandan presidential jet, killing two African Heads of State, his predecessor President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprian Ntaryamira, triggering the worst and fastest genocide ever in African history and igniting a cycle of civil wars in neighboring Burundi and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that caused over 8 million deaths and other indescribable horrors.
Even though this terrorist crime was part of the mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Prosecutors Louise Arbour and Hassan Jallow respectively stopped investigations about it and refused to proceed with official indictments of the suspects following instructions from the same Western members of the International Community he’s shouting at today. In 2003, Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte was evenliterally fired thanks to the same members of the « International Community », for having persisted in her attempts to indict Rwandese Patriotic Army members suspected of crimes against humanity covered by its mandate.

In a well documented article published by « Global Research », Prof. Peter Erlinder wrote that : « Del Ponte’s book describes in detail the systematic U.S.-initiated cover-up of crimes by the current Rwandan government, a U.S. ally, [2] committed during the Rwanda Genocide, and how she was removed from her ICTR position in 2003 by U.S. Ambassador Prosper, himself, when she refused to cooperate with the U.S.-initiated “cover-up.”[3] »
He adds that : « According to Del Ponte, her ICTR Office had the evidence to prosecute Kagame for “touching-off” the Rwanda Genocide [4] by ordering the assassination of Rwanda’s former President Juvenal, Habyarimana, long before 2003.[5] She also details the dozens of massacre sites, involving thousands of victims, for which the current Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and his military, should be prosecuted. [6] The well-publicized canard, that “the identity of the assassins of Habyarimana is unknown”[7] is a bald-faced lie, well -known by ICTR Prosecutors, according to Ms. Del Ponte. »

That Paul Kagame pretends he discovers that the so-called international community uses international justice as a tool to achieve strategic goals when many a time he has been a direct beneficiary of those cover-ups speaks volumes about the state of affairs between his autocratic regime and his former masters, benefactors and protectors.

In October 2010, a UN report named « Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003 » concluded that Paul Kagame’s government forces committed violations amounting to genocide. The report indicates that « several incidents (listed in this report), if investigated and judicially proven, point to circumstances and facts from which a court could infer the intention to destroy the Hutu ethnic group in the DRC ».

Again this report was just brushed under the carpet and none of those responsible of those crimes was brought to book to date, thanks to the intervention of the same members of the « International Community » Paul Kagame is blaming today. To use his own words, Paul Kagame broke it but he refuses to own it. In fact, he got the conviction that he was above law, all the law, national and international alike. That’s what his arrogant speech signifies when he pretended that nobody in the West can give him lectures about anything, especially in human rights.

Eating the carrot and spitting in the soup

Since inception, Paul Kagame’s RPF government received massive financial aid from the West. Just to illustrate this, for the current fiscal year, his government gets more than 1 billion US dollars in direct budget support, most of which is funded by Western multilateral and bilateral donors. For eighteen years, Paul Kagame and his clique ate the cake and allowed to themselves the biggest slice of it through the fat salaries they take home every month. Paul Kagame, even if he leads one of the poorest and unequal countries in the world, is one of the best paid Heads of State or Government on Earth.

Since 1994, his bankrollers chose to look the other way as his party, the Rwandese Patriotic Front, grabbed former State owned businesses in a highly flawed « liberalization and privatization process », building in the meantime one of the widest financial and business empires ever seen in Rwanda’s history, a network of companies embracing all sectors of the Rwandan economy, from the primary sector to the retail industry like operating coffee shops in Kigali City as William Wallis from the Financial Times puts it in his last article on the subject. In fact, Mr Wallis just confirmed what all Rwandans witnessed in silence.

While enjoying the party, Paul Kagame and his cronies also benefited from cover-up operations from the World Bank and the IMF whose leaders and experts never questioned that mafia-type management of national economy and rather praised this military junta for its exemplary « fight against corruption », lauded its economic reforms, inviting the dictator to world economic forums and other platforms where he sold his home made economic statistics and lies about the so-called « Rwandan economic miracle ».

The cherry on the cake is that Kagame’s most servile agents were deployed in different international institutions such as the African Development Bank led by former RPF commissioner and minister for finance Donald Kaberuka or former Ambassador to Geneva Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza who occupies the position of Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, in spite of her lack of adequate qualifications, thanks to the support of the « International Community » at which he lashed out pretending he was speaking « for Rwandans, for Africans » !

Shockingly, it’s during this honey moon with the West that the Rwandan dictator ignited a new civil war aimed at taking out Laurent Désiré Kabila of the DRC, plotted against Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, supported and justified the invasion of Iraq, the overthrow of Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Cost and last but not least the ousting of his former military supplier and later associate in business Col. Mouammar Gadaffi of Libya. In the same time and up to now, he has consistently put his ethnic army and police at the disposal of the West as proxy forces deployed in Haiti, Darfur and South Sudan under UN peacekeeping mandates. Suffice it to know that Paul Kagame’s Rwanda was the first government in Africa to freeze Libyan government assets in application of Western efforts to asphyxiate it financially as a part of their wider total war strategy.

Paul Kagame’s utterances against his Western masters are no less than either a strategy of « spitting in the soup » or else a diversionary speech meant to portray himself as a fierce and fearless fighter for Africa’s independence where in reality, like his deceased friend Meles Zenawi, he is one of the most dangerous and murderous African traitors ever.

Cutting off the branch he’s sitting on?

Paul Kagame’s behavior reminds everyone of the last days of other pro-West African dictators such as Field Marshalls Joseph Désiré Mobutu of Zaire or Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Just like Paul Kagame, both were bankrupt of formal education and came to power by force thanks to their Western backers. Both were praised by the West which saw them as freedom fighters and used them as proxies during the Cold War.

But during their tenure, they committed the most horrible crimes to the point that they soon became political liabilities in such a way that it was absolutely morally indecent to be associated with them. If Mobutu deposed nationalist Prime Minister Lumumba only three months after independence, masterminded his assassination in January 1961, formally seized State power in 1965 and managed to stay in the presidential seat for more than three decades, Idi Amin Dada spent ‘only’ eight bloody years at the helm of Uganda from 1971 to 1979, after he deposed President Milton Obote who was also seen as a potential enemy of the West.

There are reliable reports that Paul Kagame as a child was close to Gen. Idi Amin Dada’s sons when he was staying at Rwanda’s last monarch Kigeri Ndahindurwa’s home in Kampala, who at the time enjoyed the protection and help of the Butcher of Uganda. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. One Alexis Rutimirwa, a news presenter of the French service of the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation under Idi Amin Dada, was Master of Ceremony at Paul Kagame’s birthday party when he turned 50 years in 2008. During that function, Kagame recounted how one Mark, a former member of the Inyenzi militia that unsuccessfully tried to reinstate the deposed King of Rwanda, used to teach him their guerilla tactics and inspired him. These influences probably explain both Kagame’s bitterness when it comes to his feelings towards the West and also his apparent irrational U-turn.

Like Paul Kagame, after seizing power, Gen. Idi Amin was the darling of the West. He called Tanzania’s leader Mwalimu Julius Nyerere all sorts of names and sent him an insulting telegram in which he pretended that « he loved him so much that if he was a woman, he would marry him » ! He staged numerous war games where Tanzania was consistently his preferred play ground at the great pleasure of his Western backers who let him play as long as he was teaching lessons and helping discipline a dangerous « communist », until they discovered that their agent had gone completely mad. Just like with Paul Kagame today, they looked on as he killed and jailed as many Ugandans as he wished.

Nonetheless, he had sent clear signals of madness to his backers when he started training his forces and engaged them in war games with the aim of preparing them « to go liberate the Heights of Golan from occupation by Israelis » and also when he justified the action of the Black September commando group during Munich 1972 Olympics.

Like Idi Amin, Paul Kagame is a serial killer. He has committed the worst crimes against his own people. But it’s his war games in the East of DRC as well as his utterances about the West that could open their eyes. He seized power in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union that allowed a new war of influence between Western powers in which France was seen as huddle to US and British interests in that part of Africa. Twenty years later, France has greatly abandoned her previous policy of great autonomy towards the US.

A new rival to the West has emerged with the rise of China as a global commercial and financial challenger both to the US and the European Union as a whole. The game which permitted the rise of Paul Kagame is over since 2008. Has he also become a liability for his masters ? Only history can answer this question. In that case, for sure, his verbal attacks against his masters would definitely mean that he is cutting off the branch he is sitting on. Whatever the answer to this question is, it’s up to the Rwandan people to rise up, organize and fight for their rights until the hideous oppression they’re submitted to is defeated. The tide is on our side.

Dr Jean-Baptiste Mberabahizi