Rwanda’s M23 militia and Rwandan Special Forces have been advancing on Goma, the capital city of North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I had a Zoom conversation with Congolese journalist Akilimali Chomachoma, who is based in Goma. Ann Garrison: Akilimali, do you feel safe talking about the security situation there in the northeastern DRC? Akilimali Chomachoma: I'm not feeling safe as a journalist, but as a journalist, I have the duty to tell what is going on here. I have the duty to give testimony, I have the duty to give voice to all people who are suffering, to tell what actors here locally are doing.
The judgment of the Supreme Court on the illegality of deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda was given massive publicity in connection with the sacking of Home Secretary Suella Braverman, but in fact it is a decision of much wider significance. It also has great relevance to the coming High Court hearing on Julian Assange, both in terms of the arguments, some of which are common to both cases, and the stance of the judges, some of whom are also common to both cases. Let me start with the point on which the Supreme Court decision turned – whether or not the court should independently determine whether Rwanda is a safe country, or whether the Home Secretary is entitled to make that decision without the possibility of judicial interference, provided correct procedures are followed.
UK officials have been trying to ship African and Middle Eastern migrants to Rwanda since June 2022 despite successful legal challenges mounted by immigrant rights advocates, including intervention by the European Court of Human Rights . At the end of June, three UK Court of Appeal judges said Rwanda could not be considered a “safe third country” where migrants from any country could be sent, but the government has vowed to appeal . One thing is clear about this policy. Its real purpose is to stop migrants from crossing the English Channel for fear of being deported to Rwanda.
As someone who spends a lot of time studying African conflict, I often witness and find myself drawn into discussion with groups demanding that “the international community” do something to stop genocide and mass atrocities in their country. Of course I sympathize with any community under attack because of their racial, ethnic, clan, national, class, or political identity, but why would anyone in Africa or elsewhere in the Global South expect “the international community”—meaning the US-dominated West—to stop genocide and mass atrocities? The US dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan even though the Allies had already won WWII in the Pacific, turned Korea and Vietnam into human barbecue pits during the 50s and 60s, and overthrew or attempted to overthrow 47 governments between 1949 and 2014.
The European Union has sanctioned five members of different armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including the spokesman for the M23 militia. It did not, however, sanction Rwanda, Uganda or the Rwandan and Ugandan presidents, despite decades of UN Group of Experts reports that the militias operating in the eastern DRC are largely Rwandan and Ugandan, though they typically claim to be Congolese. I spoke to Nixon Katembo, Congolese journalist and executive producer with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, about the history of the conflict and the situation on the ground today.
Health workers Lianna Reynolds and Sepeedeh Saleh talk about what prompted them to launch a campaign against the British government’s policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda. Lianna Reynolds and Sepeedeh Saleh are British health workers who co-authored an appeal to former Home Secretary Priti Patel protesting the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The appeal was signed by over 400 medical professionals. In this interview with Peoples Health Dispatch, they explain the reasons for this move by the government, what prompted them to send the letter, and the responsibilities of those in the sector while addressing such issues.
Samantha Power, former UN Ambassador, National Security Advisor, current USAID Chief, and a principal in the decisions to bomb both Libya and Syria "to stop genocide," was on the ground in Yugoslavia in the 1990s as a pro-NATO journalist. She went on to build her whole histrionic career on a Machiavellian distortion of the Rwandan Genocide before writing "A Problem from Hell, America in the Age of Genocide " and creating her laughable 1-800-GENOCIDE line. Search now for Ukraine and "genocide" and you'll get a slew of headlines and proposed prosecutions. Recently, Samantha Power spoke with Rachel Maddow in a segment titled "Samantha Power On Russian Atrocities And 'Genocide': 'The Facts Are Plain As Day '." Everything's black and white and plain as day for Samantha Power and the humanitarian imperialists, and everything returns to Rwanda.
Judi, the story that most people know, the one that's in the Wikipedia and more or less told in the movie Hotel Rwanda, is that, in April, 1994, Rwandan Hutus were suddenly consumed by mass psychosis and ethnic bloodlust, and killed half a million to a million Rwandan Tutsis. And that they were egged on by La Radio des Milles Collines in Kigali. Then they were saved by General Paul Kagame, who appeared—in the movie—out of nowhere. And before going on, I think I should say that our friend Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero of Hotel Rwanda, is now in prison in Rwanda because for one, he has a much more complex view of what actually happened than that portrayed in the movie. So tell us what really happened.
My first contribution to Black Agenda Report was “Madame President? No, Madame Prisoner,” a profile of Rwandan political prisoner Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza published in January 2014. Late Black Agenda Report Editor Bruce A. Dixon had asked me to write it after following my conversations with Victoire and other Rwandan dissidents for some years. Those conversations began in January 2010, when I looked into why no viable challengers to incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame were being allowed into that year’s presidential election.
Sylidio Dusabumuremyi, a member of the Rwandan opposition party United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (FDU), was murdered on September 23, the day before Rwandan President Paul Kagame addressed the UN General Assembly at its annual gathering. During the same week, 500 African migrants were shipped from Libya to Rwanda, thanks to an agreement between the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). I spoke to Victoire Ingabire, who leads the FDU, about both developments.
Rwanda received roughly “$1.22 billion” in development aid in 2016-2017 , the most recent year for which Official Development Aid (ODA) numbers are available on the website of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The US was Rwanda’s top bilateral donor that year, giving $177.6 million, but Trump drastically reduced aid to the tiny East African nation.
Last week a jury in Boston Federal Court convicted Rwandan asylum seeker Jean Leonard Teganya of fraud and perjury for lying on his immigration papers about his involvement in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. In other words, yet another racist, chauvinist, Western court convicted yet another African of participating in mass violence that the US and its Western allies engineeredin order to expand their imperial influence in East and Central Africa at the expense of France. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. In July 1994, Teganya crossed from Rwanda into Congo with millions of other Rwandans, mostly Hutus, who were fleeing the advancing Tutsi army led by General Paul Kagame.
Last week New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez introduced a Senate Resolution commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. It “calls on the United States and the international community to cooperate in preventing and responding to genocide and crimes against humanity in nations across the globe.” Like the “Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act ” passed in December 2018, the Menendez resolution bolsters the “humanitarian interventionist” argument that US policymakers have deployed to justify bombing, special forces...
On Sunday I joined the three-day YouTube vigil for imperiled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The next day I realized that I must have sounded obsessive because I’d kept returning to a single classified diplomatic cable from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, sent to the US State Department. This is one of the many thousands of diplomatic cables that Wikileaks released between February 18, 2010, and September 1, 2011. I know I didn’t fully explain it although I kept returning to it because I kept turning it over in the back of my mind. Apologies to the YouTube vigil producers and listeners for any inexplicable redundancy. I’m going to do my best to clear that up now that I’ve had more time to think about. The cable’s title is “ETHNICITY IN RWANDA - - -WHO GOVERNS THE COUNTRY?” It’s dated August 5, 2008.
By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report - Human Rights Watch acts as an arm of U.S. foreign policy. This phony “rights” organization backs the deportation and prosecution of Rwandan dissidents like Joseph Nkusi, who dared to maintain that Hutus were also massacred in the Rwanda bloodbath. Under a minority Tutsi dictatorship, “even using the description ‘Rwandan Genocide’ is a crime; authorities enforce a law passed in 2008 making ‘genocide against the Tutsi’ the only legal description.” “Human Rights Watch is OK with Nkusi's prosecution because its own absolutist conclusions about the genocide are compatible with those of Rwanda’s absolutist, totalitarian government.”