Photos: YouTube\ Friends of The Congo
This week marks the 22nd anniversary of Rwanda’s and Uganda’s Six-Day War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Both nations fought each other on Congolese soil from June 5 – 10, 2000 for control of Congo’s riches. Hundreds of innocent Congolese in the city of Kisangani perished and scores were injured.
The victims of Rwanda’s and Uganda’s war are still demanding justice nearly a quarter century later. Congolese filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi documents the Congolese victims’ valiant pursuit of justice in his award-winning film, Downstream to Kinshasa.
The recent outbreak of military confrontation on May 22nd between the Congolese military and the Rwanda-backed M23 rebel group represents the latest episode in Paul Kagame’s 25-year war of pillage and aggression against the Congolese people. The Congolese military in coordination with a United Nations authorized international force made up of South African, Malawian and Tanzanian soldiers defeated the Rwanda-backed M23 in 2013. A lot of the leadership fled back into Rwanda and Uganda where they evidently have been incubated and reconstituted to launch yet another attack on the Congolese people.
The stark reality is that there is no M23 without Rwanda. The Congolese military captured two Rwandan soldiers among the M23 rebels in the latest incursions. Tensions have risen between the two nations and is escalating. According to the Congolese military, Rwanda has recently dispatched 500 soldiers in the east of Congo alongside the M23 rebels.
Paul Kagame’s Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda have both invaded the Congo (1996 & 1998), occupied large swaths of the country, and backed and sponsored militia groups such as the M23 in order to sew mayhem and destruction as both nations profit from Congo’s riches.
In a 2001 report, the United Nations noted “Presidents Kagame and Museveni are on the verge of becoming the godfathers of the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the continuation of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Because of the impunity, lack of accountability, and lack of justice combined with the tacit endorsement of Western powers of the criminal actions by Paul Kagame, he has been able to sew murder and mayhem not only in the Congo but in different parts of Africa. He has dispatched assassins in several countries (Kenya, South Africa, Belgium, Netherlands, and England to name a few) in order to silence or assassinate dissidents.
South Africa responded forcefully in 2014 by expelling three Rwandan diplomats as a result of Kagame sending his henchmen to assassinate former Rwandan colonel and dissident, Patrick Karegeya.
Even today, Kagame recently kidnapped a Belgian Citizen and U.S. resident, Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero of the movie “Hotel Rwanda.” Don Cheadle who played Rusesabagina is a part of a campaign to free the hero who courageously saved lives during the Rwandan genocide. Rusesabagina’s family has filed a law suit against the Rwandan government for Kidnapping their patriarch.
U.S., UK and EU citizens can play a key role in demanding that their governments cease the military and financial support they lavish on Paul Kagame and the Rwandan military.