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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Controversial UN report stalled in the Security Council

After a dramatic build-up, the UN Group of Experts report on the Congo was submitted to the Sanctions Committee of the Security Council yesterday. However, the bit that everyone was waiting for - an annex that addresses allegations of Rwandan involvement in the eastern Congo - has been separated from the report and has not yet been submitted.

Diplomats say that the reasons for the block are in part procedural - the annex was submitted after the bulk of the report, which has to be edited and translated into all UN languages, as the situation on the ground was evolving rapidly. But others suggest that the real reason for the block is that UN member states are worried that these allegations could further sour relations between Congo and Rwanda, and that they are best dealt with behind closed doors. High-level meetings took place between the two sides in Kinshasa yesterday, where Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikwabo led a delegation to security and political officials to meet with their counterparts.

In the meantime, the Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende lashed out against Rwanda in an interview with Reuters, saying that, "I think (the report) confirms everything that has been said. I don't think the Rwandans are at all happy that it should be officially endorsed by the U.N." He also suggest that Rwanda and its allies, including the United States, were trying to block the publication of the report. At the same time, President Kagame said in a press conference in Kigali that the Congolese should stop scapegoating Rwanda, "And you Congolese, don't run away from your responsibilities and start claiming that this is our problem."

Sources close to the Security Council suggest that the annex may still be released in the coming weeks. It should be emphasized that the contents and conclusions of the annex are not yet known.


Jeny said...

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Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain to me , why does the UK and USA protect Kagame so much, the is strong evidence that over the year Kagame has committed gross human right violation but he still enjoys the support of the west, especially UK and USA

Anonymous said...

Well, well, the US will be able to count on Rwanda's vote every time it needs it when Rwanda comes onto the Security Council next year.

Anonymous said...

Anyone surprised? As i wrote lateley that even a monkey in the trees in masisi knows this. The reason why the UK and USA protect so much Kagame is because they are the ones who helped him put in power cause they needed an ally in central africa. Remember how they let the fpr take over rwanda during april-june 1994, how the UN were pulled back, how kagame NEVER accepted a cease-fire, even if this meant that his fellow tutsis could have been saved. forgot all this? and the country turned into an english speaking country!! and than the usa planted one of his biggest ambassy in kigali. Soudan, south soudan is close, eastern congo full of minerals etc etc. Everybody knows this. And what about the massacres of the rwandan refugies in the drc by the fpr, everybody knows that the usa satelites helped them track? would misses allbreight call this "acts of genocide???". let's face it, as well as the usa, uk and fpr/kagame are responsable for this mess. but he is their baby and the moment he will cry to loud, well,they will find a solution for regime change, so the usa and uk can continue to loot by their companies the so needed minerals of the eastern drc. shame on you obama

Anonymous said...

I think the prime reason the US and, I assume, the UK support Kagame is a combination of guilt, expediency, allure, and Congo fatigue.

Guilt: we all know everyone in the Clinton and Blair admins knew about the genocide and, broadly speaking, did nothing to prevent it given the one in Bosnia- at the heart of Europe- was the bigger concern. The same folks in charge of diplomacy are, more or less, in charge now and guilt is a powerful motivator.

Expediency: Rwanda and Uganda (and to a lesser extent Burundi) are proxies for the US and UK in the region given they are assisting with keeping the peace in Darfur. I might be wrong (and others can correct me if so) but the Congolese elite, for good reason, tend to look towards France as allies and are skeptical about Americans. No such problem in Rwanda and Uganda given their elites are rather impressed with American wealth, power, technology, etc vs that of the French.

Allure: Kagame's regime has lifted over 1 million Rwandan's out of poverty- a truly stunning accomplishment. Outside of like 10 or so countries, the rest of Africa gives the US/UK one big headache. Kagame himself is very charismatic and one should never discount personal charisma in foreign affairs. The bottomline? The US/UK (and even some African leaders like Nigeria's Obasanjo) simply believe Kagame knows how to "run shit". Kabila? Please, he has failed on so many measures it would take up a whole blog in itself to fully account for them- maybe two.

Congo Fatigue: I think the powers that be have grown tired of all of the Congo's many, many problems and its truly, truly, TRULY horrible leaders. To make matters worse, Congolese elites seem to blame these problems on everyone but themselves: rapacious desire for its riches, a desire to "balkanize" the country, Rwanda's constant meddling, etc. At some point, this is bound to fatigue folks since the cultural mileau of the US/UK is one of the Protestant Work Ethic that places heavy, HEAVY responsibility on a person/society to improve their lives.

I hate to spout opinion and be so blunt but there are reasons why the US/UK protect and promote Kagame.

Boiled down to its simplest? He is one of "them".

Think of Kagame like Nentanyahu in Israel (a true criminal) and you'll get an idea why support for his regime is so strong.

Hopefully, a transformational, strong, democratic, smart, engaging, committed to capitalism leader will emerge in the Congo and all this will change.

That will require quite a few changes in a political system that so thoroughly corrupts and destabilizes anyone but I have hope the Congolese will improve their political culture so that such a figure emerges who earns the confidence of the US/UK.


blaise said...

@ mel,
I mostly agree with you. But I don't think it should be an excuse. Given they know the consequence of civil unrest, they shouldn't encourage Rwanda to be part of the problem by shielding it from his action or inaction( both criminal).
I don't think that we really look at France as a model. I think our politicians prove yet again masters of manipulation. Unlike the other former colonies of France, we don't have that historic connection with our metropole. We will play those powers against each other.
Kagame gave us a glimpse of international politic in apparently the west was trying to toss kabila out.maybe that why people felt it was a good time to restart the fight out east. Rumors has it that all that it's a diversion before a coup.

Emile Zoba said...

@ Mel, what Congo fatigue ? You know better than me, the West know too that Congo is not free. A weak Congo is good for US (biggest terrorist on this earth)/UK or other powers...
Blah blah blah Rwanda is well managed blah blah blah are the Hutus free in the actual Rwanda ? is Rwanda a true democracy ( apartheid regime for sure)? There are no assassination ?
The reality to plunder, kill the congolese people.

Anonymous said...

To be crystal clear, this is not what I MEL think. I'm just parroting the basic feel out there from my efforts to push Congo policy with my elected Reps in Congress (Rep Cliff Stearns, a well known Tea-Partier who hates the President and really all black folk- though is mostly good on Congo- and Senators Bill Nelson (a democrat who may lose this year) and Marco Rubio (a republican who may be Mitt Romney's VP to get the Latino vote)).

Having met with all these men on the Congo, this is general feel which means US policy broadly reflects their view- if not as blunt as I laid out.

Y'all know I have the greatest faith in the Congolese and just wish its leaders reflected its hard-working, creative, and generous people.


Danielle said...


I'm interested in getting in contact with you regarding research for my Master's thesis on Rwandan foreign policy in the Great Lakes Region. I was directed to your blog by an article I read on the BBC's website, and I then realized that I'm actually in the midst of reading your book. I would be very grateful of we could open a dialogue. I'm traveling to Bukavu in a few weeks, so I would best grateful if we could be in contact prior to that, if you have time. I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards,


Anand said...

It's frustrating that the UN takes the position that it knows what's "best" for the DRC (and Rwanda). Functioning as a buffer, negotiator, etc., does not give the UN the right of absolute control. You can't control countries; that's where things get screwed up. The more you avoid basic truths and facts, the more sensational and charged they become. The UN should embrace all facts and reports, and deal with them openly and calmly. Obviously, that may be a far fetched ideal. Cool, clear minded leadership must arise in Congolese civil society. Unity is necessary to deal with the larger players who stoke the flames of the chaos.

blaise said...

@ Mel,
don't worry, you mostly right. At least you are doing more than some of us. and i thank you for my people.
what we want and what is reality is two different things. Some people think that the world is just while the reality is that all is about perception and deception. Most politicians are there to get elected. Maybe some of us should wrap in they head that the world doesn't care about the weak but admire success stories. I guest it's easier to sell the good darfur versus the evil soudan compare to the black hole of Congo.
I find this, it's a little creepy.

Anonymous said...

@ Mel

Thanx for such a compelling view, u don’t have to apologize to anyone. U r raising very interesting points indeed about Americans’ perceptions of Congolese. But I will haste to state categorically that these are wrong perceptions that have resulted in wrong American foreign policy in Congo in the last 15 years. Remember, a wrong association of the just patriot liberal Lumumba led to its assassination by Americans, the genesis of Congo’s problems. Any power of guilt there?

But 3 clarifications are in order about these wrong perceptions:
(1) Since 1960, the USA is the single really influential country in Congo. Congolese speak French by historical accident. France has no real political or economic leverage in Congo. Indeed China, Belgium, Angola and South Africa are rather more influential than France.
(2) What does it mean to be “Capitalist”? Does it mean to behave like all Western-backed African dictators (Sassou Ngwesso, Paul Biya, Obiang Ngwema…) , who give away their minerals and oil for free to their backers in exchange for cuts in Swiss banks and int’l patronage? The truth is the quasi-totality of mines (copper, cobalt, gold) in Congo are owned by, not Chinese or Iranian, but American, Canadian and South African companies. What else should we do to please our people can live in peace?
(3) “Congolese blame others”. This is a rather too easy a statement that is perniciously disseminated in the int’l media. For a long time Congolese have fought their own battle, waging and winning a democratization struggle against the most Western-backed dictator in Africa, Mobutu. But should we keep quiet against those who threaten openly our existence (balkanization)? Even this current battle will be won, because Rwanda is about an individual Kagame but Congo is about the Congolese people.

However I agree entirely about the lack of charisma, aloofness, indecision by JK. In my view, Congo has the best case but wrong lawyers!
To conclude, I will contend that the current American Congo-Rwanda policy is not informed by perceptions. It is a sustained enterprise by well known banking and mining mafia in Washington, who want to use Rwanda as a corridor to extract for free Congolese minerals.


Anonymous said...

@ Mel

I meant: a wrong association of a just patriot liberal Lumumba with communism led to his assassination by Americans


Anonymous said...

Very shortly it will not matter what the United States views and policies are in Africa. Chinese industry will dominate Africa and bring peace to the Congo because it is there interest to have the most mineral rich country in Africa stable. China, unlike the United States, has no history of going around the world bombing countries into oblivion and operating countless proxy wars. They want to do business. They are already buidling roads around the Congo.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so it was the USA who are shielding kagame and perpetuating the Holocaust of Congolese people and the looting of Congolese blood minerals. what a surprise from the self-proclamed champions of human rights and freedom!

here is the confirmation from the Guardian: "UN report on Rwanda fuelling Congo conflict 'blocked by US' " Link=(


Anonymous said...

Congolese are obsessed with conspiracy theory about US perceived support of Rwanda. Marines in Rwanda, helping it to subdue Congo? No! That UN report is not credible. These 'experts' are white holiday makers, who came carrying suitcases and then interview Congolese like these writing comments on this blog. What do you expect? Obviously they will say Kagame is fighting here, raping women here, bla blah, blah. Congo is a country that is notorious for promoting xenophobic rumour mongering!

Rich said...

muanacongo JUNE 20, 2012 6:35 AM -

Well said. I don't agree with Mel's reflexion.

The US' ambiguity on DRC is a good enough example to demonstrate just how they've failed the Congolese. The US supported Mobutu for 32 years letting the man put that beautiful country on its knees and today we are being told DRC should do like rwanda become a US' puppet is it wants to see the killing and chaos end.

I'm not convinced rwanda did not work hard to get US' favour. The country is too small that anyone provided with a working brain can govern it successfully even without assistants. All rwanda needed was a genocide and a dictator to fit the criteria for US' convenience support.

I could agree with Mel if she said, for instance, the DRC needs to stage a genocide if it wants to shift the contact point with the US!

I find it insulting and offensive when Mel dares to insinuate Congolese lack, quote, "work Ethic that places heavy, HEAVY responsibility on a person/society to improve their lives..." you cannot say that when you know what happened to Lumumba, Okito, Mpolo, Kimba, Mahamba, Bamba, Anani, Mulele, Laurent Kabila ...

Who asked J Kabila to arrest bosco despite the fact that FARDC is not structured and wielded enough to be dragged into a long run conflict? Where is the message to warn kagame not to meddle in DRC's affairs?
Who adopted Public Law 109-456 (The Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act)?
Who is blocking the GoE report highlighting rwanda meddling?

This list can go on and on and on ...

Brief, faced with all these contradictions mounted on blunt hypocrisy, Congolese will soldier on regardless, their RESOLVE to keep that country in one piece is just as big as when Lumumba paid with his life to preserve Congolese shared destiny. There are around 72 Million of us, one will need to at least wipe out around 71.9 million before he can start hoping to see Congolese give up their dream of a peaceful yet prosper DRC.

Any help is welcome. However, we are entitled not only help but also RESPECT; otherwise, we will soldier on regardless and it is better to do that than listen to constant contradictions.


blaise said...

"I find it insulting and offensive when Mel dares to insinuate Congolese lack, quote, "work Ethic that places heavy, HEAVY responsibility on a person/society to improve their lives..."
I think she meant the elite(leaders) who are blaming others for their short coming, not the Congolese as people. And I think she was trying to explain the vantage point of judeo-christian's society.
I tend to agree with her in this regards. Whatever Rwanda is doing or not doing, it's up to us, Congolese, to help ourselves. I refuse to believe that for the past 10 years we didn't learn from our enemies. I don't think is Rwanda's fault if our soldiers are raping people in the oriental province. I don't think it's Rwanda's fault if the government fail to clean up his military. I don't think it's Rwanda fault if the mai-mai are killing civilians.
When you are confronted by a bully, you either man up or keep on running.
The bottom line is : our government is incapable to organize even a small village. We can blame Rwanda as much as we want but if we don't get our act together and get better organize tomorrow it will be the south sudan who will be the villain. With Angola, they are our next biggest problem. Watch and see.

congo man said...

I don't want to be the devil's advocate,but i think the United State is genuinely trying to play a good referee and does not want to escalate the situation by taking sides. I have been following the comments of both Ambassador JAMES ENTWISTLE and Monusco's chief ROGER MEES and I think KAGAME must be under strong pressure from the UNITED STATES to stop supporting the m23 and that's the reason why I think he is strongly denying his involvement and unlike 1998 or 2009 this time the RWANDAN government is trying not to play that TUTIS card (defense of the people ).with the FDLR weakened and under pressure from both the MAY MAY and FARDC ,this time KAGAME has no reason to justify his criminal involvement in the DRC. I don't think OBAMA and KAGAME have a good relationship and i don't think OBAMA wants to see more trouble in eastern Congo.
I don't believe that the so called Genocide guilt was the reason behind the strong relationship between KAGAME and CLITON,I think that relationship was mafia related and KAGAME was just doing the dirty job for pres.CLITON and British PM Tony BLAIR . The UNITED STATES understand the strategic importance of the DRC and I don't think they are going to continue siding with RWANDA and loose the DRC to CHINA.

@ Mel
I think you are totally wrong and i don't know witch Rwanda you are talking about .yes KAGAME has lifted the lives of 1million of his TUTSI people out of poverty and at the same time he has pushed 9 millions Hutus bellow the poverty line, he has created a culture of fear by terrorising the majority of the RWANDANS population,Beheading his opponents, murdering journalists who dare question his dictatorship, Killed millions of peoples and turned the most beautiful ,fertile and richest land and potential bread basket of AFRICA into a land of misery,starvation,displacements and death. He has built some modern housing for thousands of his supporters and fellow criminals and at the same time he has mad millions of once stable farming communities into refugees ,he has shut the doors of opportunity to the majority of the Rwandan peoples and created a injustice system than is only comparable to the Hitler's NAZISM and South Africa's APARTHEID . Rwanda does not need a HUTU extremist or a TUTIS extremist regime .a leader that believe in Democracy ,Respect for Human rights and opportunity for all people regardless of ethnic of origin ,Real reconciliation ,peace and opportunity for all the only way for RWANDA. Until that happens ,RWANDA is and will continue to be a TICKING BOMB that sooner or later is going to explode.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for lighting a fire with my comments, all.

Let me try to clarify my comments.

So, someone asked "why does the US/UK continue to protect/cuddle Kagame/his regime"? Primarily because I am not an academic, just a regular ole' American, I sought to answer it from this vantage point. Now, it is perfectly fine to dismiss my comments as both ill-informed and parochial but, in my country, it is WE THE PEOPLE who impress upon our elected representatives to pursue certain policy objections. We are not, ofcourse, the only variable in their decision- making to do X on Y policy (particularly foreign policy) but our views do carry the most weight given they must come before us every 2 or 4 years and give an accounting of their efforts- the next being in less than 5 months.

In my capacity as an activist on the Congo issue, the only way I can "help" is through lobbying my elected representatives. In doing so, when it comes to the Congo what I laid out earlier is what I am getting from my end. Are their elected representatives in our Congress who understand American complicity in the Congo's problems going way back? Ofcourse, but they are few and far between.

It is precisely because of this, and the cultural vantage point of Anglo Saxon, Judeo-Christian views of the world, that color views of what to do in the Congo.

I realize for some Congolese this may seem very odd and, again, particularly parochial. But, as I stated, this is simply my view of THEIR views on this issue.

To give you an example of what I mean, I actually said similar things that Rich said in his comments about my comments relating to American complicity to my one of my Senators- Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban American, and a rising star in the Republican Party (Republicans actually consider him "their Obama") and is generally a really smart and thoughtful guy.

His response?

"This is 2011. At what point is the world going to stop blaming Americans who are long dead for all their problems? It is unfortunate that the people of the Congo are led by such vapid leaders but it is not our responsibility to fix them or their country- that is their job. We have given billions to this country and it has either been wasted or stolen. I cannot justify to my constituents continued assistance for so corrupt and incompetent a regime. This guy stole an election that we helped pay for in addition to our support of MONUSCO. Getting this Bosco is the LEAST we could ask of him"

And if that insulted you, it is quite likely this man will one day be our first Latino President.

Now, imagine you are him and running for re-election and your constituents are demanding an accounting for foreign aid. Who do you think he is going to hold up as an example of their hard earned tax dollars being spent wisely? JK or Kagame?

Now ask yourself how that will effect policy towards the Congo vs Rwanda?

I hope you see my point.

Most Americans are clueless about our shady history with regimes that, for one reason or another, our CIA told our leaders to "snuff out". Even if they did know its just not in our cultural view of the world to harp on the past.

We are a people of the future and reinvention if we are anything.

We are doing our best to transform the view of policy makers in DC of the Congo. Really, we are doing our best!!

But I would be lying if I said a sense of fatigue and disgust about the Congo is not a part of the challenges we face.

I continue and will continue to accept these challenges and I just hope y'all don't think my 'average American' views of our LEADERS VIEWS are meant to hurt or insult.

I'm simply trying to give a very small view into the thinking of our elected elite who set policy in DC.

Here's hoping this UN report sees the light of day!


Anonymous said...

thanks for the clarifications, mel.

i got what you were saying but, as you might imagine, from the congolese perspective forcing jk's hand on bosco could- if everyone is not careful- lead to more war and instability for the congolese.

its this type of meddling that leads to a sense of dismay and distrust about american intentions from the view of the congolese given the history.

i don't share that view but i do understand how one could.

i'd personally like to see us impress upon kagame to start opening up the political space in rwanda so as to get to a good settlement between hutu and tutsi. this whole 'm23' business- while tangentially about power and access to minerals- is really about THAT issue and until it is resolved the congo will not know true, lasting, and just peace.

we could get rid of kagame and these mutinous fools in the gorgeous hills of eastern congo tomorrow and, without fail, we would have some other flare up to deal with given this lack of resolution of the hutu/tutsi issue. everyone is using this issue to their advantage- Kagame for power, Kabila for legitmacy via stirring up congolese nationalism- and i'd rather not empower either of them but the congolese people.

in any event, kudos to you and others in the state of florida for your advocacy efforts! i've been trying to meet with Sen Chuck Schumer for well over 2 years on the Congo at this point and its been a real challenge.

thanks for all your doing!


Anonymous said...

@Mel- there is no reason to apologize or "clarify" for all of us your views. For those of us who bothered to READ your comments, it is clear these are not your views but those of your elected officials. I personally find them ill-informed and repulsive but this what we have for American leadership and we would all be fools not to understand their perspective in our dismay at the often conflicting nature of American foreign policy. Thank you for sharing them.

@Rich- it is certainly true Americans (and others) demanded Bosco's head, perhaps, too rashly. But is it also not true that JK stole an election? There are consequences for these actions and to absolve him or those who parroted his election (such as yourself) would not only be irresponsible but is offensive to the cause of Congolese freedom- which I am sure you hold dear. We must demand more from those who seek to lead us- be it by the ballot or the barrel of the gun-and stop blaming everyone except ourselves for the woeful state of our beloved Congo. American have a saying I find fitting for this path in this thread: "When you point the finger of blame, three more are pointing back at you."


Anonymous said...

Jose above is interesting! Westerners have no legitimacy and obligation to impress upon Kagame, to change this and that in Congo because your role has been negative one, since King Leopold through to CIA and Lumumba, and now you are faning the conflict through mineral trade. You unfairly accuse Kagame of access to minerals! Does he have bulldozers to dig up those tin ores? It is western companies doing the job, and Rwanda is blamed for nothing! Let Great Lakes business be a responsibility of africans

Anonymous said...

Much has been said. There isn't more to say. Just two words: Fuck Kagame!

Anonymous said...

Thanks mel for presenting the views of some of your elected officials and thank you for your advocacy efforts on behalf of the Congolese people.
What strikes the ordinary Congolese in the perception of these elected officials is the double standard applied to Congo in the appreciation of the same facts.
Speaking of elections, no credible election ever took place in Rwanda where the current leader enjoyed over 90% of votes. His opponents were and are still being silenced or thrown in jail. Yet, this situation doesn't seem to bother the elected officials in US who continue to shield him from any exposure of his wrongdoings.
Congo president, on the other hand, must handover Ntaganda for 'stealing' elections in order to repair his standing.
Now that the people of Congo know who is with who, we need to diversify our cooperation with sincere and less hostile nations to build our country.

Elie M.

Rich said...

Mel -

It is not because Rubio gets some facts wrong about my country or that J Kabila is not competent that his (Rubio) misrepresentation of certain facts about the DRC will make his comments sound less offensive or makes the pain endured by millions of Congolese less painful.

Yes, he can become the next president and do his best to cuddle the Kagame regime. I guess that will only contribute to help improve armericans standing in the world.

No one is clinging on to the past to try and justify his or others mistakes but it is a fact that history repeat itself because we don't tend to listen to its lessons.

Blaise -

This is not about individuals I'm talking about the Congolese. When they seem to find leaders who takes the nation's interest first these are killed (Lumumba, Kabila), when they let others chose their leaders, the same who chose them allow them to get away with murders, install dictatorships or simply call them incompetent. Can you not see where I'm coming from?

The contradictions of the US are just as devastating to the DRC as our inability to learn that what interests them in DRC is their own interests not Congolese.

Can you tell me why they have blocked the publication of the GoE annex? Is this good for DRC? What can the thousands of Congolese trapped in conflict areas do? Stop blaming others?

Congolese need respect not naive compassion.


Rich said...

Fabian -

You are missing the point here.

I think it is unfortunate that you chose to mix the elections and the current suffering going on in Rutshuru.

FYI I don't condone cheating and if J Kabila stole the elections that is wrong but to say what is going on in Rutshuru these days is the consequence of steeling the elections is simply not true.

You sometimes ask yourselves where anti-american sentiments come from but you are also the first ones asking people not to blame you even when we are caught red handed meddling with others' affairs.

Yes, Congolese need to take part of the blame and I don't dispute that but at the same time the contradictions coming from the US are not helpful to either the Congolese or the Americans.


Anonymous said...

I just read that the congolese ambassodor to the UN has accused the USA of shielding Rwanda, that for me is a bold move by the ambassodor it's shows that Congo is no longer afraid to tell it like it is, this is the only way Congo can start gaining respect in the global community

Anonymous said...

@Mel- I forgot to thank you for your steady and constant advocacy on behalf of our people. I have a few friends who work in advocacy in Washington on the “good” causes (non- corporate based) and I know how very hard going up against corporate interests can be. It is a constant fight, and I am sure draining, fight but as a Congolese in the diaspora in England I cannot thank you enough for it. As activists in England are found of saying, “stay up”. Your efforts have historical precedents- particularly the campaign led by Americans (black and white) to expose King Leopold’s depravity in early part of the 20th century. So again, thank you.

@ Rich- It is particularly naive to suggest that the actions of our leaders in Kinshasa do not provoke consequences (generally bad) for either them or, most worrisome, our people. Do you honestly believe that? And “if” JK stole the elections? Rich, what world do you live in? It is absolutely true that our country needs some respect. But how exactly do you earn that when you not only disrespect your own people but willfully and cynically subvert their democracy- and their personal freedoms- for your own selfish ends? Who should respect such a regime? Like Blaise, I do not see duplicity in American policy towards our nation. While I share your concerns about Senator Rubio there is nothing, whatsoever, in his comments that is neither on the facts or experience demonstrably false. America is having a debate about the role of government in their lives that, if you recall, nearly plunged the entire world into a financial crisis (the debt ceiling debate). For a fairly large portion of the American electorate, ALL government spending is wasteful so in such a context how on earth do justify spending their tax dollars on our country? It is simple, you cannot. Rubio and all other elected officials must justify this before their electorates so it shouldn’t surprise you when they demand more from corrupt governments- like in Kinshasa- then they do from efficient- if equally dictatorial- ones (like Kigali).

It is my thinking that the Congolese commenters on this blog need to come to understand the dynamics in play within American society as it relates to Uncle Sam’s foreign policy. This notion that Washington just wants a proxy to control our homeland via Rwanda is incredibly simplistic and remarkably foolish and it feeds the notion that we are not a serious people with serious plans to be players on the African continent and beyond.

Let us stop complaining about how horrible the great powers deal with our homeland and start demanding from our leaders that they fix the problems at the root of the conflict in the East. This doesn’t require a publication of Rwanda’s meddling. It just requires some courage and political will from our leaders in Kinshasa to FINALLY resolve the ethnic, racial, and land conflicts in the East and to press upon our neighbor to do the same in a spirit of peace and Pan African unity.


Anonymous said...

Oh I get it. So if:

- the US and UK allowed the release of this report and the mapping one from 2010
- told the Kagame regime that it is criminal, corrupt, and totalitarian.
- and generally tell Rwanda to go f__k itself
….all the problems in the Congo would resolve themselves?

Yep. Sounds like a smart plan folks.

Hint: Americans (and others) have tried various types of sanctions to get the Israelis to finally resolve their issues with Palestinians (which, in many respects, is similar to the concerns in Kigali) and we all know how successful that has been.

Methinks a few folks on this blog (and its creator) need a dose of reality.

Rich said...

Fabian –

Ref # “It is particularly naive to suggest that the actions of our leaders in Kinshasa do not provoke consequences (generally bad) for either them or, most worrisome, our people.”

Who said the opposite?

Ref # “Do you honestly believe that? And “if” JK stole the elections? Rich, what world do you live in?”

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to confirm things I can demonstrate and in this case, nothing helps me confirm that J Kabila stole the elections. The other thing is, I don’t agree, on more than one level, with the way he and his regime run the country.

Ref # “It is absolutely true that our country needs some respect. But how exactly do you earn that when you not only disrespect your own people but willfully and cynically subvert their democracy- and their personal freedoms- for your own selfish ends? Who should respect such a regime?”

I think there are two topics here.

1. I am not talking about leaders here and the extent to which they deserve or not any kind of respect from whoever.

2. I’m talking about the population because the same leaders have sometimes been prescribed by the powerful.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Congolese lack, quote, “the Protestant Work Ethic that places heavy, HEAVY responsibility on a person/society to improve their lives.” Which is the main reason why I intervened against Mel’s comment.

From the colonisation through the independence to today, it can only be fair to submit that the DRC has come a very long way. To me, denying external interferences or even minimising them is just as naive as denying DRC’s own responsibility to tell the int’l community when it is contradicting itself and hence betraying the Congolese.

I do have great appreciation and admiration for many things American but it is only fair to acknowledge that the US is not always a very good role model when it comes to consistency, morality or even controlling others via proxies. History is full of examples and, in my opinion, saying that is not being simplistic.


blaise said...

@ anonym JUNE 21, 2012 4:32 AM,
Sarcastic but quite Although it's a moral victory, it won't matter if it's business as usual on the ground. We need to change before we ask other to do so.
In another subject, I personally get offended(sic) every time people put LDK at the same level as Lumumba patrice.
Patrice Lumumba was a great man, a powerful speaker and thinker.I wasn't born when he died but from what i read,he was ahead of his time. But as a politician ,He made some crucial mistakes(giving his enemy time to regroup). Nevertheless, his vision is the right way to go.
In the other hand, LDK talked the talk but didn't walk the walk. If he was for the people, I fail to benefit from that. Maybe because i was far in Ndjili. From what I understand, he made a ton of money for himself and his ally. When the rebels was closing in Kinshasa, he fled to Lu'shi. I guess that was heroic.I will give him the cpp's idea or cantine populaire. All great ideas, but how did they go? American conspiracy or greed?
Even if we said two leaders was killed by America ( for the last 50 years!), we are still better as other parts of the world.
Anyway, Mark Rubio just summarized what everybody else in the world thinking: we are giving you billions, you better show for or else.
It's biblical(Matthieu XXV, 14-30) and economical(capitalism= investment= return of investment).

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous you are so naive. If for example the UN security council finds that Rwanda is meddling in Congo obviously the will tell him to stop and if he doesn't sanctions could follow, can you imagine Rwanda being under economic sanction they will dry up in a matter of weeks. So as much as the government of Congo must solve it's problem it should continue to press the for Rwanda to stop suporting the M23 and if Rwanda can be forced to do that than it will be a great advantage to FRDC.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

The national heroes of Congolese people P. Lumumba and LD Kabila must be smiling in heaven. Today Congo is absolved in the eyes of the world. Maybe JK’s counterintuitive strategy of bringing in the CNDP crowd into the Congolese army is paying dividends. No one can complain of anything now.

What I mean is I just heard that more 170 ex-CNDP have defected to the M23 yesterday. These people have been given a lifetime chance to become Congolese as they crave it, but they are busy blowing it. Yet for some reason they are scared to be Rwandans! Now they have no motives for carrying on with this senseless violence. Notice that they cannot spell any grievances that are exclusively specific to them, but this fuzzy story of so called March 23 agreements.

I think now the DRC’s government should stop all niceties and cut its losses. These people wish us ill with every fiber of their being; cajoling them is costing us at the frontline and the suffering of our people. They should not be at the frontline against their buddies of M23 anymore. They should be given 2 days to freely defect to M23 and the rest should be sent to Kasai and Bandundu provinces. Take it or leave it!


Anonymous said...

A Congolese is never at fault. It is always the faults of the others:USA, Mobutu, Kagame...blah blah blah
Who stole the election? Who stole medicine?
Who did not pay soldiers at the front?
To always claim victimhood has a cost. Of course, the West will give you both ears and pretend that they are resolving your issues. It is called neo-colonialism.

Anonymous said...

@Rich- Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I believe we will need to agree to disagree. You see unyielding American duplicity as the key variable of our people's woes and, to be very clear, I fundamentally disagree. On its merits, your argument is a sound one. But, as I and others have stated, Rwanda could disappear from the earth tomorrow and I am pretty confident our homeland's problems will not. I also agree with you that our beloved Congo is making real progress. But, in my view, we will not see tangible and measurable progress until we, as a nation, choose to be the agents of our destiny and do whatever it takes to the powers that be in Kinshasa or elsewhere to secure our freedom. Once this crucial psychological shift occurs in the minds of every Congolese man, woman, and child we will see real change we, to borrow an Obama phrase, we can believe in.


Anonymous said...

In support of Rich, we don't play the victim card nor use guilt effect to build DRC. We are asking for justice and consistency from the very people who kill Congolese effective leaders, impose stooges by all means to our people, and turn around to criticize the lack of leadership and progress in the Congo. While our people take responsibility and work hard toward a better future for the Congo, we will continue to point to the work and the hypocrisy of those undermining these efforts from inside as well as outside.

Elie M.

blaise said...

Idk, how many of our leaders have been killed again to validate a conspiracy? I agree there is hypocrisy but international justice is elusive. Please don't bring up mzee in the conversation.
We know what Rwanda is doing the question is what are we doing about that. History teaches us that one has to fight back before justice is done. Denouncing Rwanda is good as long as we clean up our act.

Anonymous said...

Oh now I see. We may all have grievances against JK but for different reasons. If many Congolese legitimately and genuinely castigate JK’ governance shortcomings, Kagame’s agents and worshipers on this blog use subterfuges like “army reform”, “clean up our act” or “Congolese blame others” to hide their real beef with JK: which is that he didn’t carry out their diabolical scheme of “colonizing” the Kivus through the so called March 23 accords. They sometimes call it the root cause of conflict in the Kivus.

Deceptions, deceptions! You recall that Nkundabatware claimed that one of his reasons for waging his senseless war was the Congo-China deal. I mean, really?


Rich said...

Thanks Fabian -

I agree with most of the points you made and wanted to clarify a few things.

No, I don't think duplicity from the powerful is the only prominent variable. Congolese have their own share of responsibility and it will be wrong to shy away from it. However, because we cannot meaningfully measure the significance of these variables I will give them equal importance when trying to explain the Congolese plight.

You are right rwanda could disappear from the earth tomorrow and the Congolese struggle will live on. However, there will, for sure, be one less meddling in DRC affairs and much more less gunshots in the hills of Rutshuru and Masisi. I base this assumption on the fact that the DRC has 9 neighbours and only its border with one of them has brought to the country so much desolation and chaos. Not having that neighbour will certainly improve things on that border although there will still be other problems but not as deadly as those connected to the meddling from one of our neighbours.

You are right we need psychological shift in the minds of Congolese but this will probably be done better when you are not being constantly distracted or destabilised with thousands of deads or IDPs. However, we need to fight on regardless.

Our RESOLVE to have a peaceful and prosper Congo will outlast their resolve to have a weak and warring Congo. I say this because the Congo is great and the spirit of its people is unbreakable.


blaise said...

I heard that Uganda is in the mix to, supplying the fdlr n other groups.

Anonymous said...

rwanda is playing all sort of cards as drc's is pressuring the UN SC:

Things are going out of control?
It is becoming a very dangerous game for rwanda;

congolese played well, as they nothing to loose, but if they can get rid of rwanda's monkey on their back they'll soon realize that the pressure will on them directly!

blaise said...

@ anonym JUNE 22, 2012 5:28 AM,
I agree.
Maybe some of us will realize one day that propaganda and facts are two different things. I recalled been in Cassandra's position when I said it wasn't wise to go after Bosco without some preconditions.
Curiously, those same "patriots" instead of finding solutions, take pleasure to puerile insults. It's just ridiculous that we are not taking responsibility. We used not to fear Rwanda. Ouganda is there to. Why the silence?

Anonymous said...


I've been reading your comments with interest. I have withheld comment on the American position regarding the GoE report because I don't think a consensus has emerged within the US foreign policy establishment as to how to deal with its findings.

I've tended to take Ambassador Entwistle's comments at face value regarding US support for the FARDC's efforts to put down the M23 rebellion.

Perhaps in coming days Jason can shed some light on the reported dispute between contending factions within the State Department. In any event, I stand by my position that American long-term interests are best served by strong bilateral relations between the US and the DRC.

The American position seems to be evolving in a direction that should give pause to any officers or rank and file soldiers considering throwing in their lot with the M23. As it stands, it doesn't really matter whether the GoE Annex is "stalled" or delayed because its contents are in the public domain.


Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Even the notoriously mute African Unnion (UN) has bluntly called upon the M23 to dissolve and reintegrate the FARDC, and importantly respect the DRC’s legal institutions. I got the news from Rwanda’s newtimews, so it is credible. Link=(

I just hope that war games fanatics on this blog will realize that the African Greats lakes need no more senseless wars. The populations at grassroots level, be they Tutsis, Hutus or Congolese, don’t share their unattainable demonic projects of division and hatred. They just need peace, shelter, food or sending kids to school.

In any case, no little scare mongering can move us Congolese any longer. As we say, “ebembe ebangaka kopola te!” That is, a person who has been dead fears not putrefaction. So when are Uganda or even the Martians landing?


Anonymous said...

Why should Rwanda, USA and even the world love us congolese people, are we their wife?

Everything in this world is based on interest, if you dont take care of yours no one is expected to do it for you.

I like on reaction that quoted the bible, the verse abojt the servang who was given money and did nothing about it and at tbe end said: i didnt want to take any risk and hid the money. For that he was fired. T.o those who have, it will be given,to those who dont it will be withheld.

I used this intriduction, to emphasize the fact the principal problem of congolese is Congolese. We have problem with Rwanda and m23, cndp and co because congolese leaders are incompetent. Period.

The fact that rwanda is using this to foster its interest in a rwandan point of view is jnderstandable. If we were strong enough rwanda would not dare doing this fearing reprisal, but because we are weak they know that tgey can get away with million deads and made up rebellions that kill million without any fear.

I really liked Mel point of view and thank her for sharing this as it clearly show that whatever we do back home as consequences on our perception and the support we might or not receive.

In our current problem with M23, Joseph kabila legitimacy is key, it is because he lacks legitimacy and needed external endorsement that he agreed to go after one his trusted the well called Terminator ntaganda. When you have all reports from national and international ngo, confirming that you stole elections and that you have nothing to show up to your people and the external world on what you are capable of, what credibility can you expect?

@Rich, i totally agree on your analysis except on you not linking Kabila election to the suffering of the population on the east. Jk has spent 5 years in power, providing ntaganda with amnution and clout over the entire N and S kivu provinces. He did that knowing that one day he would need to get rid of him because of icc indictment. Ntaganda by the way who was born in Rwanda and never show any document attedting that he changed nationality to become congolese.....but that is another story.....

Kabila either willingly or bh sheer incompetence is weakening position of congolese people in the eyes of the world.

This legitimity spect of this problem has to be adressed as well otherwise Kagame might bow and stop support to m23-that i hope will arrive soon - but we will have to deal with Angola and maybe even south sudan that will realize that his population is in danger in region of drc and thise regions will be rich in petrol.....


Rich said...

Bruce -

Thanks for your comment. You are quite right, we are yet to see the consensus within the US foreign policy sphere.

It is quite puzzling when you try to read though James Entwistle's recent comments in Kivu, the British ambassador and many other western diplomats in Kinshasa their message is quite clear M23 must be disbanded. However, the dithering on the GoE annex at the SC suggests a split between the US mission to the UN and the Bureau of African Affairs at the US Department of State!

In the mean time DRC must be firm in supressing and condemning any attempt to make the ongoing crisis an ethnic issue because that's the path rwanda wants to take things and yet we know Congolese may dispute under ethnicity lines but this has never been a cause to wage long standing wars to the point of killing and displacing thousands. Avery single ethnic group in DRC can legitimately claim to be victimised by the Congolese government. So people should refrain from using that excuse to start wars.

muanacongo -

You are right, "ebembe ebangaka kopola teooo..." here is the link to the 324th meeting of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union held on 21 June 2012.


Anonymous said...

Names of rwandese officials providing support to m23. The matter was discussed at un sanction committee:

Anonymous said...

Others are trying to push taking advantage of the momentum against Kagame and Rwanda.

Kayumba just spoke again:

It reminds me of the situation in October/November 2008 when similar circumstances lead the way to Nkunda's dismissal. Makenga anyway seems not repeating his former boss' mistakes. A general low profile and focus on the M23 agreement. This is shifting the pressure on Kagame.

We'll see, are we at the ond of the road? Not sure, what is kagame doing internally in these moments? Is he trying to gather more internal support, solving jalousies and promising more racket or he is playing alone against everybody both externally and internally? I don't have much insight on this ... At this stage, facing such pressure, if shots begin coming from inside it si going to be difficult also for the IC to keep eyes so closed


Rich said...

GoE report released without the annex -

The document is full of detailed information, 137 pages. Should make a nice read for the weekend to DRC addicts.


blaise said...

@ Muanacongo,
Dear Brother, I understand your passion for Congo. But, before you draw erroneous conclusion and unnecessary be insulting, you should carefully read the Goe report.( see link by Rich).
Here an audio that may make u understand what we are talking about here.
@ Andrea,
It's appear to me that everything is not rosy in Kagame's palace. I believe he was genuinely trying to put some normality between Jk and him but he probably stepped in a lot of toes. I think there is a rift inside the clan and for now, he has the upper hand. I will bet that the other current is trying to get steam. From my understanding, Kabahere was on some kind of trouble regarding his father in law involvement in some shady business. I think it will be interesting to analyse what people are saying in Rwanda about Kayumba, what he has to say and what other former collaborators are saying. There must be some truth among those shades of lies.

Anonymous said...

@ Blaise

Thanx brother. I do measure the potential threats from Uganda, Angola or even Congo-B, but I will submit that of all of them, the threat by Rwanda in the Kivus is immediate and the most dangerous. In fact it is not a threat it is a 15-year old war. It is the most dangerous because, unlike Uganda or Angola’s economic ambitions, this one is wrapped in a community’s emotions .These young Tutsis foot soldiers in M23 don’t lay down their life just for coltan and gold. They have been dangerously brainwashed by the elite into believing that they are fighting for their “race”. Also, Uganda may use local proxies, but Rwanda has a consanguine and motivated anchor in Congo that they know they can emotionally manipulate at will. More importantly, the Rwandan incursion in the Kivus is indeed a yoke around DRC’s neck, which is wearing our meager resources and distracting us from other priorities, and thus making the threats from Uganda or Angola even more likely.

On the other hand, to have real and lasting security and to prevent any other potential genocide, Rwanda will want to have a strong, stable and prosperous Congo as a friend rather than an enemy. Weakening a Congo that is trying to rise is only shortsighted. I just think that Tutsi people should join many of their prominent personalities in realizing that the extremist anti-Congo path is unsustainable, and has failed. They should dismiss this foolish fantasy of comparing themselves to Israel, because Congo is not Palestine. Israel is homogenously secluded, u ve got ambient brotherly foes.

We may not agree on this, but Congolese are the harshest on themselves (go and watch TV in Congo u will be shocked to see how despite intimidation JK’s governance is criticized by opposition and civil society). Though it seems he is no longer deaf, we should carry on pushing for better army, justice system and so on.


Rich said...

Reading the GoE report -

One of the things that stayed in my mind is the number of Colonels, Lt Colonels and Majors among the ex-cndp officers.

Say a Col is in charge of a Batallion (minimum 300 soldiers). When reading I can identify at least 10 Col; in other words, we can say that ex-cndp officers had at least 3000 men ...

The 2009 agreement gave far too many advantages to ex-cndp no wonder why they are so angry when they felt some of their advantages will go away.


blaise said...

@ Rich,
that's right on the money. It was striking to see at the start how many officers were defecting. I always felt it was a mistake to attack Bosco without some prerequisite.
At least the report clarify that it's not a 500 force as they want us to believe ( David vs Goliath): 1000 policemen, an undetermined number of recruits (local, Rwanda's refugees and soldiers) and some shady alliances with Mai-Mai warriors. That's an insurgency.
I believe a successful counterinsurgency strategy should be focus on cutting off their supply lines ( lakes Albert and Kivu, Rwanda and Ouganda frontiers) or at least make it hard for them to contraband. What will you do with a thousand dollars if you can't spend them?
@ Muanacongo,
it's all good. I don't have any beef against JK, I just don't like the way our politicians a handling things. All things considered, I rather be in a broke Congo than in a prosper Rwanda. Don't be to harsh with us, " qui aime bien chatie bien", that's why some comments are acerbic toward those politicians. We just want people to be honest. I've seen soldiers, fearless, willing to die for the country but they feel betray when their positions are bombs by our own air force, when their plans are leaked to the enemy, when they are left without ammo,food and equipment against overpaid and over equipped adversaries. That's hurt man.
And who is the moron who keep announcing what the army is about to do?
Idk, I won't put every single Cndp in the same bag but that wasn't wise to deploy them against the m23. That why the army should be reform in an intelligent way.

Anonymous said...

interesting to see that many in this forum are targeting Rwanda as one of the biggest problem of DRC and very few are acknowledging that the president of DRC and its leader are problem N 1.

If you really like to help your country,you should start to think strategically and understand that beyond Rwanda bashing you should address the lack of relevance and legitimacy of your elites.

Joseph Kabila is not a bad president for the US or Rwanda but he is a bad president for DRC. The very person suffering from Kabila's incompetence and lack of legitimacy are Congolese.

What some Congolese are doing in this forum, like raising awareness of civil societies around the world, should be done by the government, it is the government who should be helping all the foreigners trying to help the Congo in their respective countries.

You can succeed on removing Kagame, from power but until you are 187 out 187 on the development index (worse than liberia and Sierra leone), and your president is rigging elections that we have helped pay (there are plenty of evidence) and that you are coming in our countries to study and have a freedom of expression that you lack in your own, you will never be taken seriously. Go to make all of this noise in Kinshasa and we will see how you will end up... Go live without electricity, water, good public transport, good internet connection and good health care in DRC and we will take your comments with more empathy.

Kagame at least has something to show up, even if it is only for his small tutsi community, what about Kabila? When I ask that question to some congoleses I receive as answer: He is building roads in Kinshasa, building new hospitals, etc... I thought it was true until I get in congo, what a disaster!!!! To go from Kinshasa to Bukavu, you go to Nairobi, Take the plane to Kigali and from there go to Kamembe and cross the Ruzizi river to get into Bukavu city. There are no secure flights available.... everyone flying from Eastern DRC transit from Rwanda where you will find cleaner airport and more organized administration....
The "hopital du centainaire" located downtown (far from needing population) s empty, no money to furnish it and no money for paying the doctors... waste of money, you could have reinforced existing health infrastructure...

The famous roads are just in Kinshasa and what about the remaining part of the country?

During this time you embezzle for billions on dubious mining contract , dont pay your soldier who are dying in the front lines and always complain!!!.

Please congolese spend a little bit more time criticizing your elite, and more energy building a true democracy before being shocked that you are not taking seriously. Respect is deserved and earned, not given.

Spending time in your country has just disgusted me, population is poor and dying and money embezzled in an horrific manner,

That is so sad, what a waste ....

As someone has said why should we love you, are you our wives?

Anonymous said...

U.N. report on Congo mutiny omits evidence of Rwanda role

Rich said...

Anon JUNE 24, 2012 4:30 AM -

Please don't get carried away with your arrogance and a false sense of rwanda being this greatest nation on the earth. Mind you, we've seen far more sophisticated dictatorship on the continent ask yourself where some of them are at the moment.

rwanda for all it is cannot dream to sustain any stability in the long run as long as democracy and true reconciliation aren't implemented.

Yes the DRC may have many problems and especially its leadership, but at least we all know that there is a critical debate about this inside DRC and a fast growing civil society and things are moving regardless.

One thing is sure though, Congolese will always ask legitimate questions to those thinking they can enjoy a free ride on their back without fearing any consequence.

Your comment about travelling inside DRC is simply pure fantasy. In my opinion, governing rwanda must be the easiest thing in the world for any leader because the country is very small and its population fearful of a dictator.


Anonymous said...

@Anon JUNE 24, 2012 4:30 AM - Fine points but a little bombastic on your part, no? Fully agree our elites, in the main, are truly horrible leaders. I've traveled a good deal of the Congo and Rwanda (and Tanzania more recently) for work and, without doubt, the level of development in Rwanda is very impressive- indeed, more impressive than what I remember as a youth in Kisangani during Mobutu when things supposedly "worked". What's even better? You are seeing a middle class emerge- starting and/or working for businesses, buying homes, cars, sending their kids to regional universities, and even taking vacations to Cape Town.

And most of the folks I ran into doing all this were Hutu. Personally, I really admire the lack of corruption and superior customer service. Contrast this to my experiences in Lumumbashi and Kin recently and there is no comparison. I have confidence our people will get it together or atleast develop our own business culture but I seriously doubt it will be akin to the Rwandans. Rwanda has long had a penchant for efficiency and order- its people alot like the Germans.

We Congolese are more like the messy yet productive Russians.

Now, to the GOE.......

The GOE is rather illuminating. In section 107, page 27 there appears to be evidence that Nkunda himself called Ex-CNDP to join M23.

Well, atleast we know the old lion's still roaring.


Anonymous said...


When someone comments on Rwanda's ability to so efficiently run the country, you tend to respond by suggesting that a) its easy to do things efficiently when a country is small (in population and topography) and b) its even easier when the country is run by a dictatorship.

Do you realize that by doing this you are giving aid to those who believe the Congo is ungovernable and, as such, should be broken up?

I don't think you mean to do this but the logical conclusion of your responses aid balkanization arguments.

I'd also add that your basic theory (small land/pop= easier to govern; large land/pop=harder to govern) has no grounding in either the facts or political history.

Indeed, one could argue the opposite- that an efficient state is the RESULT of having to govern large and diverse people's/territories (ancient Rome, ancient Persia, the Incas and Mayans, Imperial Russia, the Ottomans, America, China, etc).

I mostly agree with your basic contention that it is wrong to compare Congo and Rwanda but I strongly disagree with your rationale for seeking to delink comparisons.

Again, at its best it lacks empirical grounding and, at its worst, gives aid and comfort to the enemies of our people.

congo man said...

Last year I visited RWANDA, TANZANIA and KENYA .I will agree with you on the Corruption subject,I think Rwanda has always been the least corrupt country in East Africa. I drove through RWANDA and I did not see all this impressive development that KAGAME and his supporters are talking about, we drove from KIGALI to BUKAVU and the Road was in severe disrepair ,the little KIGALI airport is the smallest and least modern airport in East Africa, there is 4or 5 new buildings in downtown KIGALI and a small superstore owned by the Kenyan NAKUMAT group ,no movie theater,one 2 lanes road and nothing resembling a high way(boulevard du 30 J ) 90% unemployment....yes i recall seeing some modern villas being built for the elite with blood money from Congo,but ather than that I did not see any impressive development that KAGAME and his supporters are talking about, its time for you people to stop Comparing RWANDA to Bukavu or Goma because there is more to CONGO than wartorn Cities of BUKAVU and GOMA .my friend spending some time in KISANGANI does not make you Congolese, and if Rwanda was so developed like you are talking about and opportunity was given to all It's people, why are all KINYARWANDA speakers reluctant to leave Congo? Why are they begging the Congolese government to allow them to Come back to CONGO . If Rwanda was very developed they will all be applying for the RWANDAN citizenship and not the Congolese one.if Rwanda was the way you and KAGAME are describing it ,you will be seeing a massive human migration from Eastern Congo to Rwanda and this will not only be the RWANDOPHONES but it will include all ethnic groups from the entire region. but instead the migration has continue to be the ether way around and RWANDESE both Hutus and Tutis can't stop migrating to CONGO and claim to be Congolese.

Anonymous said...

@ Fabian

Here we go again with the distractive “Rwanda a paradise comparable to Germany” red herring to avoid the current topic of a detailed UN GoE report about Rwanda’s destructive role in the senseless war in the Kivus.

Know that a country has a real economic growth either through “internal market consumption”(USA) or “active export market” (China or Germany). Rwanda has neither, it relies on int’l mercy through aid (90% of budget) and the pillaging of Congolese minerals through your roaring lion-god Nkunda and other war criminals like Ntaganda, Makenga and others. There is a difference between IMF & WB politically-tainted performance reports about a “protege bon eleve” and the reality of abject poverty that Rwandans are living under. Can u believe that the Arab spring in Tunisia started not as a political movement but as socio-economic cries by the Tunisian people about their unbearable suffering? Yet Tunisia was then the best IMF and WB’s model “protege bon eleve” in Africa on paper according to cooked int’l statistics.

Know this, change in Africa is happening not in countries where things are managed through patronage in the int’l media and statistics. The real economic change is happening in Angola and DRC notably. Because this is where the real and biggest infrastructure is being laid out by Indian, South Korean, Russian and of cause Chinese companies. I think u guys are just scared of what Congo is going to be in 2 or 3 years when all the underway major infrastructure and mining projects are up on stream, such as Inga, Zongo, Kakobola, Ruzizi, katende or l’sh dams. In 2 or 3 years DRC is back as top producer of gold, copper and cobalt.

As part of my work too, I do travel around Africa. From what u are saying about Cape Town revelers, I understand that u are just ignorantly blinded by your idolatry of Kagame. Which is gud for us!

@ Rich
Thanx for ur link, we are still analyzing the whole thing. We should comment next.


Rich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich said...

muanacongo -

You've nailed it. We need to link up. Here is my email:

What a sad pity when some are fooling themselves by thinking their lies can still wash.

I maintain my point. Governing rwanda must be any leader's dream; the country is very small and its population fearful of a dictator. No offense to science this is a personal opinion.


Anonymous said...

the nationalism being displayed on this thread is getting a little concerning.

folks, i just don't see a bright future for the great lakes unless all the countries in it cooperate and seek peace for, as Fabian put it, "pan african unity".

i also think its ok to admit both rwandan vigor and depravity and congolese promise and rank incompetence.

there really isn't any need for exaggeration, mistruths, and misplaced aggression. can we not debate these things honestly? i realize the congo can rile a man up.

i get that.

but let's try to see the many multifaceted sides of the congo and rwanda for what they are- not as we would like them to be.

on this account, I tend to agree with Fabian, Mel's, and Blaise's points which, in the main, appear to be the following:

Congo's promise is real and bountiful yet it continues to be squandered because of its god aweful leaders. Rwanda continues to try to weaken its neighbor- in large measure because of its illegitimate elite, lust for its wealth, and need to self-protect-but its meddling, by itself, cannot solve all of Congo's problems. Or even most of them.

i guess i fail to see what is so enraging about this viewpoint but, then again, I am not Congolese.

not to change the subject but reading the report has me fearing for the worst- and not from Rwanda.

should jk continue to not be able to deal with an insurgency on congolese land, i really do fear some ambitious soldiers/generals will do to him what such folks tend to do in similiarly weak regimes: overthrow them.

i hate to broach the subject of a coup but, given this country's history, we can't rule it out.

the nationalism and super patriotism i'm feeling in this thread could be boiling over within the ranks of the army given we are no where near close to ending this rebellion.

given its election time in America, i doubt exposing rwanda's meddling will heal divisions in my country's foreign policy establishment. we need rwanda to police Darfur and engage in other conflicts and rocking that boat- given all the problems in Sudan and the Horn- isnt't something foggy bottom wants to entertain at this point.

honestly, if we could find other countries with stronger, less American dependent armies (Tanzania, Kenya, etc) to help out in the Horn than I doubt Rwanda and Uganda would have the pull they have.

but ofcourse, noone wants to help out BUT them (and Burundi) and so Rwanda can always yank that carrot as it did during the protest over the 2010 mapping report.

sorry for this post for being all over the place but my basic bottomline here is the longer this rebellion lasts the more worried i'm getting about INTERNAL disunity in the Congo.

and my worries are growing....


Anonymous said...

I have also travelled extensively in great lakes and i am among the congolese who use rwanda airport for flying out of drc. I have also had a lot ox exchange with rwandan civil society as well as congolese one and i am very perplexed by the so called rwanda development.

Kigali airport is clean, small and well maintained, i agree. Kigali give a sense of modernity, by the few skyscraper that are builg. But that is all. Tbe remaining rwanda is still extremely poor, and frustration is boiling in civil society, mostly the hutu. They are 80% or more and they dont have any political control and are not evdn represented in political institutions. The few who are in government are just token.
The whole rwanda is like a police state, Kagame rull by fear and it js clear after you leave Kigali that Rwanda does not have the means to sustain its ambition.

I agree that Kagame is the main prkblem of the great lakes, but first because he has instilled hatred in the region. He has set the tutsi community in a collision path with all the others ethnic group of the region and as such he has taken them ostages. I dont see the tutsi rulling on tbe long run, they ars too small and their killing in Drc ofbthe hutu and the locals are just growing the number of their ennemies.

Its normal for them to play us dirty work in the region, it is their only way go secure security of their regime, without us and western backing the regime is dead in 5 months.

It is up to congolese to understand world geopolitics and help thkse who are symlathetjc to them, and there are many of us. And for me first thing would be to push for political accountability of congolese leaders, 2) insist in Rwanda contradiction that m23/cndp/adf is a purely congolese problem. The goe report helps on that and the government is starting to do this with some success. 3) insist on the 5 million deads, what Kagame backed militia have done in Drc is beyond horrible, why should it be Ben Afleck or Cindy Mcain who have tobe the more vocal about it. I have never heard drc gvnment official emphasizing this enough. 4) insist for a inter rwanda round dialogue. All of this happening is just a tribal conflict between hutu and tutsies. And this conflict has hijacked a whole region. People should start adressing this on the long run.

And for those in state department reading this. Push for a ling lasting solution instead of pushing for short term tactical advantage. We neex rwanda for Darfur somalia and co, but do we need to inconditianaly accept all kagame abuse and shield him, can we continuevto witness all these senseless killing ane be complicit of this genocid of congolese population, and yes i use the word genocid. One day it will all come back to us. Already usa position on goe is unsustainable. Hillary condemn kids dying and women rapped and at the same time give political support to the very same regime responsible of all of that! Thats unsustainable, the old guard of state dpartment working on drc-rwanda problem has to be changed.

I get the sense of unity from the congolese population who are attached to their country,and some time it seems irrational to me... however with the type of leader drc has, i am fearing that this unity wont last long.

We can help, but drc leaders have to help us as drc civil society is helping us.

blaise said...

@ Jose,
I think it's a daunting exercise to explain that the hydra has several heads. It's more convenient to reduce the problem to one simple equation.
We have more fun on twitter. Paul Kagame is very entertaining, believe me. hit me up at @blaisengo.

Anonymous said...

@ Rich
Two things stand out for me from the GoE report:
(1) The integration of the CNDP-M23 into FARDC never happened. The CNDP-M23 was like an army within or above the army. They had a parallel command chain and different objectives. However, whether this was a deliberate strategy or a sheer laissez-aller by Kin, it has worked out rather to Kin’s advantage as this was a rope thrown to CNDP and they hanged themselves with it. That is with “all the power”, they forgot the famous March 23 accords and went around looting and committing the worst human rights violations. They only remembered them when Ntaganda was about to face justice. Now the world is not buying it.
(2) We were told that Ntaganda was a “peace lynchpin”, but that was a fake peace. All Ntaganda did was to befriend all the militias’ war lords including some factions of the FDLR, supplying them with weapons; yet knowing very well that he would use them in his future wars like now.
That said, now that Kin has the initiative and the absolution in the eyes of all, a real and uncompromising “army reform” should take place. Particularly, they should relieve the leaders of units or regiments from controlling the pay and logistics supply to the men under their command, as this allows them to behave like their gods.

@ Ano. at JUNE 24, 2012 6:53 PM
I agree with u, DRC’s government are a bunch of morons who live on their own planet. Their muteness and ambivalence is shocking. They seem not to realize the importance of communication, charisma or even propaganda in today’s world. Mende and co. use pompous cryptic French to intimidate the poor Congolese populace, and fail to rather craft a simple, coherent and consistent message that the world can consider about this whole situation. They don’t see that the world speaks English, and when u speak French or broken English ur message get lost.
I repeat myself, Congo has the best case but wrong lawyers. That is why we need more Ben Afflecks. But more importantly it is the duty of every Congolese anywhere, however insignificant we may be, to make the Congolese voice heard to the world. Look how those who used to be the only ones to smear Congo are now discomforted by the Congolese voice!


Anonymous said...

@ Jose

Thanx. At face value no Congolese will have any problem with that simple and innocent perspective until u understand who is holding it and why. Sir, we know each other. Notice that they always start with (We Congolese), but pushed a bit, they irresistibly reveal their true colours by glorifying to us their heroes but war criminals to us who are slaughtering our people, like Nkunda, Ntaganda or Makenga. Sir, I ve read previously that u are Jewish; as such would u even listen to a Hitler praise singer lauding his deeds? Is Nazism not a criminal offense throughout Europe?

Now, here’s the Congolese perspective as I understand it. The situation in the Kivus has twin causes:
(1) The weak (infiltrated) FARDC.
(2)The now documented undeniable involvement of Rwanda military.
Plz, tell me what is wrong with this perspective.

That said, we are not here to defend JK, not me at least. Contrary to propaganda, Congolese are not sitting doing nothing. At the peril of their life, the opposition and civil society are pushing hard for the reform of army and other institutions. Importantly, young Congolese are sacrificing their life at the frontline to defend our population and our territory.
Now, as we do all that, should we shut up about Rwanda’s undeniable involvement in this situation? Everyone denounced Charles Taylor involvement in Sierra Leone’s rebellion, publicly and loudly Pakistan is accused of collusion with Talibans in Afghanistan, Iran and Syria are denounced for supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas! Why then when Congolese and other people of good will do exactly the same thing about Rwanda, do some people get upset?


Rich said...

Jose -

Can you please demonstrate what you mean by,

"there really isn't any need for exaggeration, mistruths, and misplaced aggression. can we not debate these things honestly?"


Jatukik Providence Foundation said...

Hi Jason,

This is Kanchana, an intern at the Jatukik Providence Foundation. JPF aims to work with the people of the DRC to improve their lives. We are impressed with your book, blog, and twitter, and would like to ask you something. Please email back at

-JPF Team

blaise said...

The need to reinvent the wheel :

It's baffling that so many studies has been done but everybody want to start from scratch. I used to read that greenish economic's journal from the 80and watch "les voies du progres". A lot of good stuffs on paper, never materialize.

Emile Zoba said...

Who shot the plane in april 94 ? Since the beginning this would have been the big QUESTION.
According to General Faustin Kayumba, Kagame is the responsible.

To the author, according to George Moose, the US chose L. Kabila as leader (puppet) of AFDL.

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