Clinton, Kagame, Rwanda, and Congo
KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Rosenberg: Former president Bill Clinton flew into Kigali, Rwanda this week to, reportedly, officiate at the opening of a cancer prevention and treatment center. Critics of Clinton and the Pentagon's longstanding partnership with Rwanda and Congo think he's really there to do damage control after the latest report by the UN Panel of Experts, which offered photographic and documentary evidence that Rwanda is behind the M23 militia led by ICC indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda. It was that militia which resumed the war in eastern Congo in April. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Rwanda Genocide survivor and human rights activist Aimable Mugara about Bill Clinton's alliance with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: Aimable Mugara, how credible do you think it is that Bill Clinton arrived in Kigali, to meet with Paul Kagame and have his picture taken with these children for a charitable enterprise, a cancer hospital, within weeks of the UN report that Kagame is responsible for the M23 militia which has resumed the war in D.R. Congo?
Aimable Mugara: I really don't think that it's credible. I don't think this is a coincidence. I really think that those two genociders are talking about Congo. Ntaganda has been indicted by the United Nations International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bill Clinton is probably letting Kagame know that their support for Ntaganda's mutineers in Congo needs to be much more covert, without leaving behind any traces like they recently did and got caught by UN experts. So having Kagame's support for Ntaganda on record is really not going to do good for their image, both Kagame and Bill Clinton, his enabler.
KPFA: You wrote an essay, "Bill Clinton, the genocider who just might get away," published in the San Francisco Bay View and the OpEdNews. "Genocider" seemed to be an attempt at an English translation of the French term "genocidaire," which means "someone who commits genocide." Could you explain why you gave the piece that title?
Aimable Mugara: Absolutely.The reason why I deeply believe that Bill Clinton is a "genocider" or "genocidaire" is because everything that happened in Rwanda and Congo, the big massacres that happened in Rwanda and Congo were done using the United States government support to General Kagame. And this support was military weapons, financial support, and political support. So without that support by the United States, I really don't think the Great Lakes Region of Africa would have been transformed into the death ground that it became in the 90s. And even after he was not in power anymore, Bill Clinton continues to support General Kagame, despite so many credible sources that have shown how Kagame's forces have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possible genocide.
KPFA: And, when you say that the U.S. supplied weapons and other forms of support to the wars and massacres in the Great Lakes Region, you're including not only Rwanda and Uganda's invasions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, beginning in 1996, but also General Kagame's invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990, which ended in the ethnic massacres of 1994, which then became the justification for Kagame's repeated invasions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Is that right?
Aimable Mugara: Absolutely. Basically, when Kagame invaded Rwanda from Uganda in 1990, that was an international crime of aggression. Typically what happens in those situations is for the aggressor to be sanctioned, but in the case of Kagame, the U.S. government instead protected him at the United Nations against any sanctions, and continued to provide the weapons and training and all kinds of support to his rebels who then went on to cause the largest killings ever in that region.
KPFA: That was Rwanda Genocide survivor and human rights activist Aimable Mugara. His essay, "Bill Clinton the genocider who just might get away" can be found on the website of the San Francisco Bay View, sfbayview.com, as can Paul Rusesabagina's response to Clinton's trip to Rwanda, this week.