How Kony 2012 Provides Cover For Congo's Continued Genocide and Resource Theft

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Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame’s occupation and exploitation of eastern Congo --and ethnic cleansing-- is enabled by "Kabila" a Trojan Horse

[Global: Op-Ed]

In an Op-Ed  column I co-authored with Milton Allimadi in The New York Daily News on Sunday, April 8, 2012 and titled “Looking Beyond Kony 2012”, we wrote:  “…Kony is not the only obstacle to peace”… And that “Uganda’s autocratic ruler, Gen. Yoweri Museveni, himself won power in 1986 by recruiting child soldiers. His army has fought Kony’s since the late 1980s. Both sides committed atrocities that were documented by human rights organizations.  But while Kony has rightly been indicted, Museveni remains unscathed.”

Today, I elaborate on the themes we explored in The Daily News piece.

Indeed, neither Gen. Yoweri Museveni, the dictator-president of Uganda, nor Gen. Paul Kagame, the dictator-president of Rwanda, nor “Joseph Kabila”, Kagame’s agent and the dictator-president of the DRC were ever mentioned in both “Kony 2012” videos released by the Invisible Children.

Subsequent to our Op-Ed mentioned above, different groups, including university student organizations, have invited both of us to speak on Kony 2012 and on all the turmoil going on in the Great Lakes region;  especially on the genocide and unspeakable rapes, mutilations, and other atrocities being committed in eastern Congo.

At each of the lectures we have participated in, the audience has proven to be very inquisitive and aware of the many questions that both videos of Kony 2012 have not answered, such as:

    •     Why is it that Kony 2012 videos run as if Uganda is this no-man’s jungle that does not protect its people, has no government, no head of state, no military, no judiciary,  or even has a functioning educational system?

    •    Why did the first video of Kony 2012 vilify the man Kony, an indicted bad guy for sure, as if he were still in Uganda committing atrocities while Invisible Children’s leaders must have known that Kony has not been in Uganda for nearly 10 years?

    •    The second Kony 2012 video, incredibly, reveals that Kony had, get this, 250 fighters.  How could it happen that the mighty army of Uganda, trained, equipped, and assisted by the mighty United States, had not been able to neutralize an army 250 --presumably including children-- and catch their leader?

Invisible Children produced the second Kony 2012 video in order to answer the many  critics of their first video.  And, since one of the misleading contentions by the first Kony 2012 video was to arrest or kill him in order to “save Ugandan children”, and since Kony has not been in Uganda in over a decade, the critics asked, how could Invisible Children campaign in order  to save Ugandan children, in Uganda, from Kony?

Shamelessly, the second Kony 2012 video tried to still justify the “save the children” campaign by, now, contending that they wanted to save Congolese children in Eastern Congo from Kony. 

Obviously, ridicule does not kill. Invisible Children failed to consider the plain foolishness of Kony going to another country, the Congo, to recruit Congolese children who do not speak Acholi, Kony’s language, in order to fight for what, since Kony has not been operating in Uganda, again, for over a decade?

By the grace of God I was present at a recent Conference at New York University in Manhattan where an Invisible Children’s spokesperson laboriously made this statement in order to quiet those who raised Kony 2012’s motives.

Though there was no Congolese on the panel, I was able, during the Q and A, to tell everyone not to believe what Invisible Children’s spokesperson was saying about saving Congolese children from Kony.  As a Congolese expert on the Great Lakes region and on the crimes and atrocities taking place in my native country, I offered some insights.

To wit,
    •    Not only the fact that Kony has not been in Uganda in over a decade, but he has not been in eastern Congo for many more years than he has not been in his native Uganda. 

    •    In fact, Gen. Yoweri Museveni has more troops --thousands compared to Kony’s 250-- in northeastern Congo's  Ituri region, who are disguised as “militia” in order to ensure the continuous raping of Congolese resources, especially Gold, for Gen. Museveni and his associates. According to a 2005 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Gen. Museveni and Uganda owe the Congo 10 billion dollars for stealing the Congolese resources, while they continue to kill, rape, and mutilate Congolese people.

    •    The Congo's Kivu regions, which is Central eastern Congo, are controlled by Gen. Kagame of Rwanda who has thousands of troops as “militia” there. They also ensure Kagame’s continuous control and illegal exploitation of Congolese resources, especially Coltan –colombo tantalite- used in electronics, while they also continue to kill, maim, and gang rape Congolese people.

    •    Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame’s occupation and exploitation of eastern Congo --in addition to the Congolese ethnic cleansing by Rwanda that has resulted in a genocide of over 8 million, gang rape and mutilations-- is ensured and protected by Paul Kagame’s agent in the Congo, “Joseph Kabila” a Trojan Horse whose real name is Hyppolite Kanambe. "Kabila" is a Rwandan Tutsi and former officer in Paul Kagame’s army that invaded the DRC in 1996 as detailed in the UN Mapping Report released on October 1, 2010. He was installed in the DRC after they assassinated the Congolese Laurent Kabila in 2001.  (We will discuss, in a future column, how “Kabila” helps perpetuate the genocide, the rapes, and the misery in eastern Congo).

Kony and his 250 followers would have no chance to enter and no place to hide in eastern DRC. However, Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” becomes a distraction, a convenient, expensive, and popular brouhaha that takes away the focus of the international community from these three criminal dictator presidents. 

Kony is, therefore, nothing but an insignificant minor league player compared to the heavyweight trio of Museveni, Kagame, and “Kabila” a.k.a. Kanambe. 

In conclusion, a few questions might be suggested for meditation: what is Invisible Children up to?  What is the real motive behind “Kony 2012” other than raising money for Invisible Children? How much collusion was there between Invisible Children and the dictatorial governments of the region as well as their U.S. ally?

Professor Yaa-Lengi Ngemi is Congolese and author of "Genocide in the Congo/Zaire." He is also the president of the New York-based Coalition for Peace, Justice, and Democracy in the Congo-Zaire, or “Congocoalition”. 

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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