General Bosco Ntaganda is a Rwandan
KPFA Evening News, 05.28.2012
East African military commander Bosco Ntaganda is a Rwandan. Why, amidst the new escalation of violence driving villagers from their homes in eastern Congo, are most of the world's wire services and news outlets reporting that he is Congolese? And, why does Human Rights Watch, in their 05.13.2012 video, call for his arrest, but identify him first as a "rebel," then as a "Congolese general," but never as an invader from Rwanda?
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Anthony Fest: This news from Africa:
Earlier this month, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced additional war crime charges against Bosco Ntaganda, whom he indicted in 2006 for conscripting child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most wire services and other media outlets have been describing Ntaganda as a “Congolese general,” but the 2006 ICC indictment says that the court believes he's a Rwandan citizen. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: Wire services and outlets including The London Independent, the Huffington Post, Yahoo News, and Aljazeera have identified Bosco Ntaganda as a Congolese General, but the 2006 International Criminal Court indictment says that the court believes him to be "a Rwandan national." And, the Wikipedia identifies him as a Rwandan Tutsi who fought with General Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Army during the 1990s, participated in the overthrow of the Hutu-led government, then joined militias in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, to overthrow one Congolese president, then another.
The Wikipedia cites as its source a 2008 Human Rights Watch report, which agrees with that narrative, except in that it identifies Ntaganda as a Congolese Tutsi. HRW also adds that Ntaganda was involved in numerous massacres and human rights abuses in Congo.
As commander of the Rwandan backed CNDP militia, in Congo's North Kivu Province, Ntaganda was, quote unquote, “integrated” into the Congolese Army in January 2009, and thus came to be called a Congolese General. But, the so-called integration was, essentially, a secession of Congolese territory to Rwandan control, after the Rwandan backed CNDP defeated the Congolese Army, in North Kivu Province.
The UN Panel of Experts Reports of 2001, 2, 3, 8, and 11 describe the CNDP militia, in Congo, as part of an international network allied with Rwanda and Uganda, which includes multinational mining and energy companies, and banks, smuggling Congolese minerals across the Eastern Congolese border for export from both countries.
McDowell Kalisa, a refugee Rwandan journalist in Sweden, who also fought with General Kagame in the Rwandan Patriotic Army, says that Ntaganda did not see combat in Rwanda, that he was a military instructor, but, that he has since been deeply involved in Kagame's crimes in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kalisa also said that, no matter how many years he has been in Congo, his allegiance is to the Kagame regime in Kigali and to the network organized to exploit Congolese resources.
McDowell Kalisa: He’s a Rwandan. He's a Rwandan. So, you know? Ntaganda is from Rwanda. Nobody can change that. You see? He's a Rwandan. He's a Rwandan.