Indict Kagame and Museveni: To End U.S.-sanctioned Wars of Impunity In Africa

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[Black Star News Editorial] 

Liberian President Charles Taylor was eventually prosecuted, tried,
convicted and sentenced to 50 years by a Special War Crimes Tribunal for
his role in the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra

Since 1998, both Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni and
Rwanda's Paul Kagame have played a role similar to Taylor's -- promoting
and engaging in Congo's internal war, which has been even much more
brutal, with more than 7 million estimated dead and millions of women
and men raped.

Both Uganda and Rwanda continue to be U.S.
"allies." Rather than seek the prosecution of Gen. Museveni and Gen. Kagame,
the United States has protected the two autocrats for decades.

the two generals continue to promote conflict in Congo in order to
maintain the chaotic environment which permits each country to plunder
hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Congo's mineral and natural
resource wealth. Kagame and Museveni see Congo as one huge mining
concession. The civilians killed are mere collateral damages: obstacles
to resource plunder. Domestically, within their countries, both Gen.
Kagame and Gen. Museveni have also crushed opposition by pro-democracy

After years of turning a blind eye, on July 22 the
U.S. Department of State finally announced that Washington was
suspending about $200,000 in military aid to Rwanda for its role in the
recent flareup in fighting in Congo.  "We have deep concerns about
Rwanda's support to the Congolese rebel group that goes by the name
M23," Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokesperson said.

a newly-created armed terrorist organization is loyal to Bosco
Ntaganda, who's wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to
face trial on war crimes charges. The U.S. announcement followed a
report in June by a United Nations Group of Experts linking Rwanda to
M23: Rwanda had trained and supplied fighters to M23 and provided

Intoxicated with the orgy of looting from Congo,
Rwanda's army and Uganda's acted like vampires. They even fought a
pitched battle, in the Congolese city of Kisangani, to determine which
country would control the minerals in that region. This would be akin to
the  U.S. occupation army fighting against its U.K. allies, over who
gets to steal Iraq's oil.

So Rwanda and Uganda concluded a
truce: Now Rwanda steals from Congo's Kivu region, while Uganda steals
from Congo's Ituri region.

The roles of both Rwanda and Uganda in Congo's atrocities are well-documented.

2005 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Uganda liable for
what amounts to war crimes --massacres, plundering, mass rapes-- and
granted Congo $10 billion; not a dime has been paid. Separately, on June
8, 2006 The Wall Street Journal  reported that Gen. Museveni had
contacted then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and urged him to block a
criminal investigation by the ICC. Gen. Museveni has yet to be indicted
by the ICC for Uganda's role in the Congo crimes.

One of the
several reports documenting Rwanda's own role in the Congo crimes was a
United Nations "Mapping Report" in 2010. It concluded that Rwanda's army
under Gen. Kagame had committed genocide against Hutu refugees who had
fled to Congo following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.  Yet, until the
July 22 announcement suspending military assistance, Washington had
routinely ignored the atrocities in the Congo linked to Rwanda.

Why does the U.S. continue to ignore the crimes linked to Uganda?

Uganda's case, it's likely that the quid pro quo was for Uganda to send
tens of thousands of troops, which it did, to Somalia, to bolster the
government there. Washington fears anarchic Somalia was becoming a haven
for al-Qaeda and other hostile forces.

Similarly, Rwanda
provides soldiers for international peace-keeping operations, including
to the Sudan's Darfur region. The left had sends troops to enforce peace
in the Sudan while the right hand sends plundering marauding soldiers
to Congo.

Will there be a fundamental shift in U.S. policy
towards Rwanda and Uganda? Was the announced military aid suspension to
Rwanda made for symbolic public relations until the conflict dies down?

reason why the U.S. couldn't remain silent was that while the Expert
Group's report was circulating, Susan Rice the U.S. ambassador to the UN
was trying to get Russia and China to sign on to tougher sanctions
against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, for his alleged atrocities
in the uprising there.

Russia and China could have accused the
U.S., correctly, of hypocrisy: after all, ambassador Rice had initially
tried to block the UN report linking Rwanda to M23.

the U.S. has yet to call for Gen. Kagame to be held criminally liable
for Rwanda's role in the Congo crimes; just as President Taylor was held
responsible and prosecuted for Liberia's role in Sierra Leone.

while the Obama Administration recently announced an Africa Policy that
would push for  democratization and the building of enduring
institutions of state, rather than relying on autocrats, Uganda
continues to get carte blanche.

During her ongoing tour of
Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a stopover in Uganda
this week. She apparently forgot her memo about the new policy on her
plane: Clinton never publicly mentioned the word "democracy" while in

Charles Taylor must be wondering what he did wrong.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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