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UN, NGOs and Rwanda

By July 18, 2011June 7th, 2023No Comments

29th October 2010

Charles Onyango-Obbo’s imagination of Chilean trapped miners being Ugandan (The Daily Monitor, 20.10.10) tickled me. Interestingly, if those Chilean miners had been Rwandan, no Rwandan would have been able to get to them until a number of them had died.

As happened in Kibeho internally displaced persons’ camp and elsewhere immediately after the 1994 genocide, the UN and international NGOs (non-governmental organisations) would have barred Government from getting anywhere near them. On hearing of the accident, the UN would hastily have dispatched ‘peace-keepers’ to surround the mine.

After the peace-keepers had secured the mine, the known NGOs would have rushed in massive numbers of their employees who would have come with a few items of relief, most of it irrelevant. Within no time, other odd outfits of NGOs would have been set up and sent, bearing outlandish names like ‘Mine Busters Without Borders’. ‘Mine Victim Winchers of Hope’ or ‘Miner Rights Watch’.

The media outlets of the whole world would be ablaze with screaming headlines like ‘Tiny Central African Country Buried Under Shoddy Mine’, ‘Members of the Majority Ethnic Group Stuck in Mine Under Unexplained Circumstances’ or ‘Strongman Buries Opponents in Mine’!

Diplomats would be shuttling in and out of Kigali from the capitals of the West, trying to convince Government that it should give their experts time to study the situation and the specialised equipment required. All the while, these diplomats would not have the time to get to the mine or to check if that relief was getting to the miners.

After debilitating months of negotiations and trying, without success, to convince the world that the miners were not getting any assistance and that it could get the miners out to join the rest of the population, Government would give up and send its army to force its way through the ring of peace-keepers and NGO workers camped on the site.

RDF (Rwanda Defence Forces) troops would dig their way down, using sticks, knives, hoes, shovels and anything available to them, and would get to the miners but find that three of them had succumbed to hunger, disease or suffocation. Nonetheless, the thirty surviving miners would be brought to the surface, exhausted and hungry but happy to join their fellow Rwandans.

Months after the miners had healed and forgiven their government for what they had taken to be neglect of their plight – not rescuing them in time – the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) would leak an “explosive Mapping Report” to ‘Le Monde’. The report would be accusing Government of committing “acts of genocide”.

Again the whole media fraternity would explode with the ‘leak’, with anybody who has ever mentioned the word ‘Rwanda’ being consulted as an expert to explain the atrocities in this genocide which was committed by a government “whose legitimacy hinged solely on having convinced the world that it had halted the 1994 genocide”.

Rwanda would get annoyed and threaten to withdraw its troops from its different peace-keeping missions but, on second thought, stop to consider. Apart from abandoning the innocent victims of conflict in the areas where it is engaged, wouldn’t it be lending credence to this empty report? Moreover, it would be giving legitimacy to the stillborn UNHRC, much as that is an unachievable feat.

The above scenario may sound rather hyperbolic in the context of a mine accident. However, examined more passionately but objectively, the behaviour of the West towards many African countries is equally bizarrely laughable. It is more so when you consider that fifty years of Western aid have never uplifted a single African country. The case of Rwanda is freakish in the extreme.

Anyway, continuing, later a voice would cry out: “The battles of a monk-soldier”! The voice would have noticed that Paul Kagame is a “monk-soldier” who never wavered in leading Rwandans as “monk-soldiers” in stopping the 1994 genocide and “dismantling refugee camps” in the D.R. Congo to “effect the return of” millions of their fellow Rwandans.

These are the “monk-soldiers” whose Jeanne-d’Arc-like crusade is to pull Rwanda by-the-bootstraps out of the morass of poverty and ignorance that are the bane of African countries. The overall raison d’être of the crusade is to bring dignity to Rwandans, and for Rwandans to play their small part in bringing dignity to Africans and the rest of humanity.

In reference to Paul Kagame as personifying Rwandans, the voice says: “While he was pressed by the security of his people yesterday, Kagame is today also pressed by the desire to pull his country out of misery.” Indeed, there is no time to suffer “those who drag behind, fail or allow themselves to be corrupted.”

“Behind the smile,” the voice continues, “the sword of justice is never far away.” And the flesh behind the voice? The Belgian journalist, Colette Braekman, writing in ‘Le Soir’, following an interview she held with President Kagame.

And so even former liberation comrades would burn out under the intense heat of an undying liberation crusade, because they thought that after stopping the 1994 genocide it would be time to “eat”. On realising that the struggle was only beginning, they have opted out and now have found themselves an object of worship!

Listen to Théogène Rudasingwa: “In my opinion, I think [Ingabire Victoire] is a freedom fighter.” Yes, that’s how pathetically low they’ve stooped!

Well, to quote President Kagame, “Bad timing, bad strategy, bad action”!

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