Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


  • After Minister of Info Lambert Mende's diatribe against MONUC last week, where he fulminated that they had stood by while insurgents killed a civilian, now a local NGO is claiming they have proof that the Congolese army killed between 11 and 42 civilians during the same violence in Mbandaka.
  • News from Rwanda: the government has arrested Victoire Ingabire, president of the opposition party FDU, on charges of promoting genocide ideology, ethnic division and collaborating with FDLR rebels. I feel a bit concerned by this, as the UN Group of Experts (the successor panel to the one I was on) documented her participation at a meeting with other opposition figures in Spain last year at which members of the FDLR apparently also participated. That participation, of course, does not amount to collaboration, but perhaps the Rwandan government has other proof.
  • Also, don't miss it - Kagame has a new book out! "Paul Kagame and the Resilience of a People," written (or co-written?) by Francois Soudan, an editor at Jeune Afrique magazine, who has also written very favorable pieces on President Kabila and other African heads of state. There are now several books on Kagame that are deeply favorable to his record - two years ago, New York Times' Stephen Kinzer brought out a book that didn't question many of the most controversial aspects of Kagame's tenure. Philip Gourevitch also is working on a new book on Rwanda.
  • Finally, the next in a series of victories of provincial parliaments in the Congo: the governors of both Maniema and South Kivu resigned under allegations of poor governance and financial malfeasance. One of them, Leonce Mudherwa of South Kivu, was very close to the presidency. In related news, Prime Minister Muzito had to answer questions in front of the national assembly today about "the destabilization of the provinces by Kinshasa," which above all is related to Equateur, where the MLC has lost its control over the governor's mansion.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Victoire Ingabire arrested!
The UN Experts' report is exactly the proof the Rwandan Government is claiming to have against Victore Ingabire (at least based on the media and the Rwandan police statements). Bravo Dinesh! Another badge of honor on your conscience! One may now understand why Congolese may feel strong contempt for UN Experts and why I continue to say that the UN Experts' report was inspired by the Rwandan Department of Military Intelligence (DMI), through Rakiya Omaar.
Seriously Jason, reread the report: innuendos, unsubstantiated allegations, rumors, irrelevant statements, character assassination, well poisoning, fabrications, brief an unprofessional and unethical work all over. Look at the so called proofs of funding: we all know Africans living in the West send small amounts of money to their relatives. Who, if serious and in their right mind, would look at the list of money transfers established by Dinesh and conclude that there is an "international network of funding." Suppose one has a spouse, kid, relative in FDLR, is it a crime to talk to them? This statement from the report, paragraph 115, is even so strange and tells all: "Documents show that Fundaciò S’Olivar received 198,000 euros between 2001 and 2008 from the Fons Mallorquì de Solidaritat i Cooperaciò, a trust established by various mayoral offices in the Islas Baleares, in order to sustain the prosecution of officials of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) through the Spanish courts." How in the world the UN Experts on DRC are worried about prosecuting RPF criminals?

Now, are you surprised that this report has become the major piece of evidence used by the Rwandan Government to persecute, prosecute, and hunt down the opposition? That was planned all along.
It is sad that UN Experts' previous work is tarnished by this one and, instead of helping the COngolese people, is used in repression. Sad, sad, sad, sad day for the UN and the Congolese...

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