Monday, January 27, 2014

Juba attempts to diffuse diplomatic row over presence of Uganda troops

----- Forwarded Message -----

Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 7:57 PM
Subject: Juba attempts to diffuse diplomatic row over presence of Uganda troops

Good People,
The year of 2014 is a year of breakthrough.......The truth
shall set us all free in deed..........
Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
EXCLUSIVE: Rebecca Nyandeng Garang reveals all —
How Salva Kiir’s ‘private army’ prompted the current conflict
Mrs Rebecca Garang reveals how the current South Sudan war started.
Mrs Rebecca Garang reveals how the current South Sudan war started.
In an exclusive interview, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang de Mabior has told The London Evening Post how the current crisis in South Sudan that has claimed an estimated 10,000 people and left many injured and homeless started and who took the first shots that led to the total destruction of Dr Riek Machar’s house and the killing of his brother and 34 Nuer soldiers who were guarding his house. Because of the importance of this story, we have decided to post it verbatim as Mrs Garang has told it to our editor Dr Henry Gombya.
Henry Gombya: Thank you very much for agreeing to have an interview with us. My first question is, we would like you to tell our readers what you know is going on between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Dr Riek Machar.
Rebecca Garang: Thank you for having me. You know what happened in South Sudan is something that is really bad and taking back the peoples of southern Sudan to war. This was something that happened on the 15th of last month but it had started earlier with some issues which were not being talked about in the party; democracy was not in the party. So some of our members were saying that we needed to reform the party documents and in the party too because there was no freedom of speech, and no freedom of press; a lot of things.
On the 6th of December we said OK then if the President is not calling for a dialogue, let’s call a press conference so that our people know what has been happening. So we gave a press conference on the 6th, all of us together – Riek, the vice secretary of the chairman, Salva Kiir and at the same time we were the ones who wanted the reforms together with the groups who are arrested now.
RG: Yes it is us the members, including Dr Riek, who wanted reforms and those who were arrested, . [In] the SPLM we were saying that there were things that were not going well. When you use the tools of democracy like a press conference or a rally to prevent it, there are a lot of intimidations. So we said this needed to be corrected because when we started the war, we were a democratic movement even though there were some external problems here and there. But we can say that we were better because we were fighting for the freedom of our people.
Now when it came to the government of South Sudan, it didn’t like that and that’s why we spoke out. We conducted a press conference raising some issues which were very important. Then then Chairman [of the SPLM] and President, Salva Kiir did not like two of those issues. One was when we asked about the debt of US$4.5billion that needed to be repaid. We as leaders of the party and some of us government officials, we wanted to know what happened, where we got this US$4.5 billion debt. What did we do with it? And there were no national projects which had been carried out so that we could know about the national projects ongoing and the salaries. This is the questions we raised. The second question he did not like also was [about] the army. He [President Kiir] was training a parallel army of 15,000 soldiers which he called “the Republican Guard”. We raised that question. Why train a parallel army when the national army was there? If he wanted to train people he could have taken a quarter from the national army. We raised the question of 15,000 being trained. Why is that?
These were the two questions he kept out of the press conference and wasn’t happy about. He instructed his Vice President, Comrade James Wani to be at the press conference. And when Vice President James Wani came to the press conference, he did not address or answer the issues we had raised in the press release. He started with insults, insulting the groups. Here was the vice president insulting his army colleagues. They were his colleagues in the struggle, the armed struggle and were also his colleagues in the government.
Nobody answered back. And then we said our rally will follow on the 14th of December. Now they went and put the meeting of the National Liberation Council which is a political organ [to take place on the same day]. Now we went and sat again as a group and said OK. If the meeting of the National Liberation Council will be on the 14th [the same day as their proposed rally] then we don’t need to conduct the rally. It will be a controversial issue because we are SPLM and this is a meeting of the SPLM. So we put off the rally and then we sought the advice of the deputy Chairman [of the SPLM] Dr Riek Machar who told us we do as they wanted. We [agreed] to postpone the rally because of the meeting of the National Liberation Council and let the Chairman reciprocate by saying that because [we had agreed to put] off the meeting of the National Council, [we could then] dialogue before going to the meeting.
In the evening somebody came to me and said the president wanted to see me Madam Rebecca, at 9 O’clock on the 11th and then the group on the 14th [of December]. Then we said OK, maybe the president has accepted what we have proposed; very good gesture. But on the 14th in the morning he didn’t call up. Then I was called from the meeting place and people had already gathered. [They asked me] are you not coming? Then I told them Oh! I was expecting that the president was going to see us. They said ‘no’. People have gathered and the president is coming in 30 minutes. So all of us went in the meeting.
And when we went to the meeting, two Archbishops; the [Catholic] archbishop and the Archbishop of the ECS (Episcopal Church of Sudan) [Daniel Deng] and all other bishops were in the meeting. So the [Catholic] Archbishop, Archbishop [Paulino] Lukudu [Loro] was given a chance to say the prayers and he gave a very good speech, urging us to dialogue and urging us not to interrupt Christmas, saying that Christians should be allowed to pray well and dialogue. Then came Madam Hilde Johnson, a representative of the UN Secretary General who also took the same line as Archbishop Lukudu.
But when it came to the turn of our chairman, Comrade Salva [Kiir], he just dropped a bombshell of [insults]saying he would not allow 1991 to pass and that if Dr Riek wanted to do anything, he was ready for that and that he was not a betrayer, something like that. It was a very provocative speech which was divisive. Some of us, especially myself, were shocked because I thought that the president, as a leader of our people, would be speaking in the same voice as the people of God were speaking. That was a very bad speech and I think it was the start of all the problems.
In the afternoon session they (the Salva Kiir group) decided that some of us would not be given a chance to talk. The president remarked that he had come here to pass a document. He did not even say we would discuss it which is the SPLM constitution. So the document was passed with all the things that we were supposed to amend and add some other issues because now that we were in a bigger house. The president refused some of us [to speak] saying we should not participate [in any further discussions].
On the [following] Sunday, I didn’t go to the meeting. I went to church and from there I returned to my house. Dr Riek called me in the afternoon and said ‘did you go to the meeting?’ and I told him no, I didn’t go. Then he told me that some of our members were feeling this and feeling that and were saying that they did not want to go to the meeting because yesterday we had been refused to talk, not to participate. I think this is when they made a decision that they would do what they did. They may have thought that these people did not come to the meeting and so they were maybe planning a coup. So they made a decision that these people would be arrested. Some of them said they would try to make something so they could accuse these people of planning a coup and arrest them. This is what happened.
This thing happened in his [Kiir’s] headquarters. When they went there, they wanted to disarm a group of Nuer. They went and found that in the president’s headquarters they were many [soldiers belonging to the] Nuer. Their commander then went to the chief of the general staff and asked what he could do. He was then told to leave the [Nuer] soldiers until the next morning. But the officer did not listen to his orders and proceeded to try and disarm the Nuer soldiers. This was the time when this thing erupted and war begun in the headquarters of the president. Then at one o’clock at night, that is when the army headquarters started shooting because there were Nuer members there. Because they were watching the speech of the president, they knew there was a problem.
So some of them [the Nuer soldiers] went home to Dr Riek’s house to get him out because if he had been in his house, he would have been killed. If you went to Juba now you could see the way his house was destroyed and it is not his private house, it is a government house. It was destroyed by Tiger, Kiir’s army. And then the soldiers who were in Dr Riek’s house, about 34 of them, were all killed, were murdered. The Chief of the General Service had told some people to disarm them [the Nuer soldiers] after telling them he was saving their lives by disarming them. These people (Kiir’s Tiger troops) came and killed all of them. His [Machar’s] office manager who was his brother, was also tracked down at a hotel and killed. So when they came in, they targeted massacring Nuer members. A lot of officials, administrators in Juba were killed. This is what literally happened.
This interview will continue in tomorrow’s issue when Madam Rebecca Garang tells the world what happened when the Ugandan forces entered Bor. Do not miss it.
wodkoch kurabal abe says:
The accounts of events in South Sudan is very disturbing, disappointing and unacceptable in the world we live in. Blood letting must be avoided at all cost. It is very unfortunate that the only thing we know is solving issues with guns! It does not help matters in South Sudan that the president is hell bent on running the country in a dictatorial fashion. South Sudan people must resist this at all cost, as the freedom that they have struggled for over the years will be for naught; end up with a one man rule that will totally ruin the country. It is a blessing that Salva Kiir has demonstrated his real hue to all those who want genuine democratic institutions in the country to take root. It is now up to South Sudan people to stand up truely fight to prevent dictatorship to germinate and build a nation with strong democratic foundations and values. It is a tough slog but a necessary one. I pray for all in the region. Wklaa
Wiyuallual says:
Madam Rebecca you are very great woman in South Sudan. Your speech portrays that you and your husband are the true founders of this nation. You will leave longer and will see you as the true image of our fallen hero Dr. John who brought us out of the darkness from Arab slavery and forgotten by those who did not suffer harder like Kiir Mayardit. You have said every thing and God bless.
Gok says:
Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang Mabior,has told a relevant story about how on 15 Dec 2013 a crisis started. She has passion to see people of South Sudan to whom her late husband Dr. John Garang De Mabior the founder of the SPLM/A led. Are living in peaceful cohere no matter whatever tribes they are from. Essential, seeing themselves as South Sudanese people, treat one another with dignity and enjoy all basic human life together.
Such as having freedom of speech, social political right, civil right and partaken in social economy to build a strong country through democratic and economically, etc. Madam Rebecca Nyandeng talk at the bottom of her heart anyone who may form a different opinion from her statement; could have a hidden agendas of telling truth. I personal never heard Rebecca Nyandeng speaking before, but her speeches have stolen my heart. Because she has shown sense of belonging as a mother of nation.
Rebecca Nyabdeng Garang De Mabior prove herself to the South Sudanese people and to entire global citizens that she could be a good leader who can unite people and better than a man who rule people base on lying. According to the proverb that say “where there is no truth; there is no peace” that’s true Salva Kirr the president of Republic of South Sudan and his cabinet member don’t tell the truth to the nation.
The question is how do South Sudan will stand as a Nation? If head of state don’t satisfy the very people to whom he lead. Interestingly, one man rule cannot build a good country.That is a big task and it may look like someone who may try to cross the ocean with a rowing boat or a canoe It’s perquisites for all people of South Sudan to engage in build a strong nation.
Lual Deng says:
The truth is Kiir and His groups are silencing the pro democracy groups of riek machar and the rest. Kiir plan to arrest Machar and His colleague after they didn’t attend the second day meeting of National Liberation Council. Kiir group does want any criticism. Kiir and His group will be responsible for the death of people and they will be held accountable
malolo says:
Why was Riek not patient to wait the right time [during a general election] to seek for the presidency? Was he not sure he would win???? So fighting /coup was better to come into power with his sacked group?
----- Forwarded Message ----- From: Yona Msuya
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 8:37 AM
Subject: [wanabidii] Rwanda -Tanzania Tensions Flare Again

Tensions flared up again over the weekend between Rwanda and Tanzania after it emerged that President Jakaya Kikwete was hosting at his private residence Rwandan dissidents in Diaspora including rebel FDLR commanders.

The alleged political and ideological ties between Kikwete and President Paul Kagame’s enemies are emerging as the latest flash point between the two countries, whose relations have deteriorated sharply in recent months.

Impeccable sources said two high ranking members of Rwanda National Congress (RNC) - Theogene Rudasingwa (Coordinator) and Condo Gervais were joined by FDLR Executive Secretary Lt Col Wilson Irategeka and the operations commander, Col Hamadi, in Tanzania last week for talks.

It remains unclear why the group decided to convene in the East African country but a long-lingering argument that Kikwete is a sympathiser of the Rwandan opposition forces has since flared up with new intensity since the Tanzanian leader told a meeting on the sideline of the African Union Summit in Ethiopia last year that Kigali should hold talks with the terrorist FDLR.

“ADF is attacking Uganda and FDRL is doing the same to Rwanda so efforts should be made to end such attacks. Talks should be held between governments and rebels hiding in the DRC where they launch attacks against their countries of origin. Military operations against the rebels will not yield fruit,” said Kikwete.

Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister swiftly made a counterattack, describing Kikwete’s statements as “aberrant” and “shocking.”

“Those who think that Rwanda today should sit down at the negotiating table with FDLR simply don’t know what they are talking about,” charged Mushikiwabo in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Sources who preferred anonymity so as to speak freely further told this website that the two delegations of FDLR and RNC were received in Dar es Salaam on Thursday evening.
This was just a few days after former Rwanda Premier, Faustin Twagiramungu, was hosted in Tanzania. Twagiramungu recently said his party, RDI Rwanda Rwiza, would remove Kagame from office by force of arms.
However, in a statement seen by Chimpreports, Irategeka said “FDLR leadership is saddened by the use of the president of Republic of Tanzania’s name HE. Jakaya Kikwete, by certain entities, or individuals for their unknown agendas. FDLR entire leadership is based in Eastern DRC, and has no representation in Tanzania nor holds any foreign passport.”

The developments come hardly a month after RNC founder Patrick Karegeya was found dead at hotel in Johannesburg.

Theogene Rudasingwa
It is widely thought that RNC has been struggling with internal squabbles emanating from mistrust and divergent views on what method should be used to remove President Paul Kagame from power.

While moderates believe in an uprising from within Rwanda, some on the extreme end are advocating for war.

Sources said FDLR supply lines have been reopened, with the militia, whose ideology and leadership led to the 1994 genocide, receiving plenty of military logistics at its bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Towards the end of 2013, the government of Rwanda alerted the United States, United Nations, UK and countries in the Great Lakes region of an “impending invasion” of Rwanda by militants in DRC, a military plan that reportedly has the blessing of individuals in France and hostile countries.

Rwanda officials further said that some members in the UN Force Intervention Brigade were in bed with FDLR instead of fighting the negative force as required by the UN mandate.

The UN brigade that fought and defeated the M23 comprised soldiers from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania.

Matter of priority

The FDLR is considered a national security threat to Rwanda.

At a recent meeting, President Kagame told Russell Feingold, the US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and DRC that the genocidal militia must be firmly dealt with “as a matter of priority.”

Earlier, without mentioning Kikwete, the Rwandan leader accused his Tanzanian counterpart of making reckless remarks about FDLR.

“When people continue to uphold the genocide ideology, it is a reminder that the path ahead is still long,” Kagame told the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) National Executive Committee meeting in Kigali in 2013.

“We cannot take anything for granted. For Rwanda, this is not just about a discussion. The consequences are a death or life issue for Rwanda,” he added.

He further noted that talk of negotiations with FDLR was “evidence of those who have the luxury of speaking but suffer no consequences.”

Kagame said then that “speaking casually and calling on us to negotiate with the killers of our people is utter nonsense.”

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of 45 army officers at the Rwanda Defence Forces Staff and Command College last year, Kagame described Kikwete’s idea as dancing on the “mass graves of our people.”

Though he did not mention Kikwete, Kagame maintained proposals that Rwanda should hold talks with FDLR were premised on “ignorance” and “ideological problems.”
“I kept quiet for the contempt I have for it (FDLR talks) because I thought it was utter nonsense spoken out of ignorance. We must be left to live our lives the way Rwandans want to live them,” charged Kagame. He further said “RPF did not seek revenge when it had every reason to be tempted...I don't think anybody should be having issues with us.”
Monday 27 January 2014

Juba attempts to diffuse diplomatic row over presence of Uganda troops

January 26, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s government attempted on Sunday to prevent further soaring of diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries over the deployment of Ugandan troops in the new nation since fighting broke out between rival members of its army in mid-December last year.
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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (R) stands next to his South Sudan’s counterpart Salva Kiir (AFP/Getty Images)
After initial denials that the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) was fighting alongside the South Sudanese army (SPLA), Kampala has admitted that it was involved in combat operations, and not just to secure Juba airport and help evacuate its nationals, as previously claimed.
The South Sudanese rebels who defected from the SPLA, say that Uganda’s military intervention was "fuelling the conflict" and have repeatedly cited UPDF presence in the country as the main reason - along with the arrested political detainees - that it took so long for the two-sides to sign a ceasefire deal in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Uganda’s decision to intervene was also questioned on the basis that it should have remained neutral as a leading member of the East African regional bloc (IGAD) - that mediated the talks.
Diplomatic sources say that Uganda’s swift intervention and President Yoweri Museveni’s threats against the rebels led by South Sudan’s former vice-president Riek Machar shocked neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan.
Mark Nyipuoc, the deputy speaker of South Sudan’s parliament became the latest official to defend the presence of the UPDF, claiming the Ugandan military were in the country prior to the rebellion as part of the regional force fighting the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.
Forces from Uganda and other regional countries affected by the LRA’s over two-decade insurgency, have long been stationed in South Sudan to help fight the Ugandan rebel group.
"It was in this context that it became necessary for UPDF to provide security and protection of the Ugandan nationals here," said Nyipuoc.
The LRA have not been active in South Sudan for some time and are now thought to be scattered in the Central African Republic as well as the north east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nyipuoc told Sudan Tribune that both the South Sudanese government and its people appreciated the support they received from Uganda and the other neigbouring countries.
“Uganda is one of the genuine friends in the region. The government of Uganda and its people have never turned away from us whenever we need the support. It is one of the countries in the region which has never changed”, he exclusively told Sudan Tribune Sunday.
Rebecca Nyandeng, one of President Salva Kiir’s fiercest critics within the ruling SPLM described the presence of Ugandan troops in South Sudan as an "invasion".
Sudan, which has long had poor relations with Uganda as it hosts a number of Sudanese rebel groups, civil society and media organisations in exile, has had serious misgivings about Kampala’s role in the conflict.
The South Sudanese government and media has remained silent over reports that presidential advisor on legal affairs, Telar Deng, is visiting to the Sudanese capital Khartoum, to deliver special message from President Kiir.
Many observers, however, view the visit as an attempt by the Juba government to diffuse the bitter diplomatic row between Khartoum and Kampala over Uganda’s involvement alongside the SPLA in the recent conflict.
Despite allowing South Sudan to secede in 2011, Sudan still relies on transit fees from the young country’s oil fields to support its flagging economy.
Deng, according to the press in Khartoum, conveyed a message of special thanks and appreciation to the Sudanese government and its people for assisting the 17,000 South Sudanese citizens who have fled the conflict by entering into Sudan.
Over half a million people have been displaced by the conflict, which began on December 15 when tension within the ruling SPLM, spread among the army.
Neither the state-owned SSTV nor radio reported about Deng’s trip to Khartoum, while the presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny, told Sudan Tribune he was not aware of the visit.
The spokesperson for the foreign affairs ministry was adamant on the matter, creating uncertainty on the special message delivered to Sudan’s Omer Al-Bashir.
The Ugandan president initially came under pressure from home for deploying troops in South Sudan, before permission was granted by its national parliament.
RNC, FDLR holding talks at President Kikwete residence
Two founding members of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) including Dr Theogene Rudasingwa are meeting in Dar es Salaam with top FDLR rebel commanders at the private residence of Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete, say our sources.
The two delegations arrived at the Dar es Salaam venue on Thursday (23rd January), according the sources in Tanzania. RNC coordinator Dr Theogene Rudasingwa and adviser Condo Gervais are representing RNC. FDLR is being represented by its executive secretary Lt Col Wilson Irategeka and Col Hamadi, the operations commander.
Lt Col Wilson Irategeka is the current public face of the Rwandan FDLR rebels very often appearing in media interviews. However, these are not his real names, as he is called Ndagijimana. Both Dr Rudasingwa and Condo are based in Washington.
The FDLR officers are travelling on Tanzanian passports, which is how FDLR emissaries have travelled previously. It is not entirely clear if the passports are provided officially by the State of Tanzania, or have been obtained via the backdoors by an elite faction to avoid public scrutiny.
As News of Rwanda reported this past week, former prime minister Faustin Twagiramungu was in Tanzania on the same mission since 19th January. However, he left Tanzania on Thursday for Lyon (France) where there was to preside over a scheduled delegates conference of his political group RDI Rwanda RWIZA on Saturday. Twagiramungu left before the RNC team arrived.
Meanwhile, Twagiramungu was also supposed to be at the same Dar es Salaam venue with RNC and FDLR, but had to leave for Lyon. News of Rwanda has not been able at this point to establish why exactly Twagiramungu chose to stay away. However, what is publicly known is that the former PM does not want to ever again go into a political marriage with a group involving the four RNC founders.
As the first post genocide prime minister, Twagiramungu resigned from government barely a year later. The ex-PM remains bitter with especially Dr Theogene Rudasingwa and Kayumba Nyamwasa for making his job impossible for him until he threw-in the towel. The two men were very senior officials wielding enormous political and military power.
Twagiramungu and several other Rwandan extremist groups have vowed never to go into political alliance with people who formed the establishment back in Rwanda, only to fall out of favour. For example, many of the exiled extremist politicians accuse former prosecutor general Gerald Gahima of witching-hunting them with fabricated genocide charges. Many say they had to buy their freedom even when they were innocent just to keep Gahima away from their tracks.
According to our sources, it is not the first time RNC emissaries representing its founder Kayumba Nyamwasa, have met FDLR rebels. As recent as around 20th December 2013, the same Lt Col Wilson Irategeka and Col Hamadi travelled on Tanzanian passports to Mozambique for clandestine talks with the RNC emissaries.
As has been reported, Tanzanias insider establishment is providing the base for organization and facilitation for travel to the FDLR rebels. Around mid-last year, FDLR deputy commander General Stanislas Nzeyimana (aka Izabayo Bigaruka) was announced to be in Tanzania. But weeks later, news surfaced that he had disappeared prompting questions as to why he was in Tanzania in the first place.
In Tanzania, the opposition is not impressed with President Kikwetes overtures to the FDLR. Back in August last year, CHADEMA, the biggest opposition party in Tanzania, accused President Kikwete of not walking the talk back home but interfering in internal affairs of Rwanda.
There is no prudence in President Kikwetes statement that Rwanda should have talks with the FDLR militia group which has been in the DR Congo jungles since 1994, said Dr. Wilbroad Slaa, CHADEMAs General Secretary at the time.
How come President Kikwete cannot negotiate with opposition here at home, Dr Slaa reportedly said at a CHADEMA Youth conference for economic and employment (BAVICHA) in Dar es Salaam.
He added: … [President Kikwete] has not taken any measure against the murderers of journalist Daudi Mwangosi…He (Kikwete) was advised to take measures against police commander in Iringa Region (Province) Michal Kamuhanda but instead he has promoted him.

DR Congo: Failure to disarm rebels stokes insecurity in Kivu Province

By Aimable Twahirwa, PANA Correspondent, Kigali
Security - After an unsuccessful military operation devoted to disarm the insurgents of the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) operating in North-Kivu Province bordering Rwanda in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, there are fears of an upsurge in insecurity in the region. This failure came despite the UN Strike Force supporting the Congolese military to defeat the March 23 rebels (M23) in this province, where many villages previously held by the M23 rebellion fell under control of other militias that Rwandas authorities accused of collaborating with Hutu rebels, some of whom took part in the genocide against the Tutsis in 1994.

Some Kigali analysts blame the failure on the fact that most of the FDLR Hutu rebels who fled to Rwanda after the genocide are showing no willingness to leave Congo despite the on-going voluntary repatriation programme.

For years, the M23 has been fighting for the implementation of the peace agreement which it signed with the government on 29 March 2009, and through which the government committed itself to eradicating all negatively forces operating in Eastern DRC as a precondition to thousands of Rwanda refugees in Congo returning from exile.

M23, then known as the National Congress for the Peoples Defence (CNDP), also claimed that its servicemen should be given their present ranks after their integration into the Congolese military (FARDC).

Despite the fact that the M23 rebellion has announced since November 2013 that it has voluntarily put an end to the insurrection, mainly in areas under its control, the Congolese Armed Forces, supported by the UN Special Strike Force, is now attempting to have the Rwandan Hutu rebels repatriated by force.

Considering the Rwandan insurgents refusal to go back home, you can understand that some of their radical leaders fear they should face justice once repatriated, particularly for their role in the 1994 genocide, as some are still profiting from support from hidden forces on an international scale, a political expert from the University of Rwanda told PANA on the condition of anonymity.

Some months ago, after a vast FARDC-operation was launched to chase away the Rwandan rebels, some of the insurgents retreated, while others invaded villages near the Rwandan border.

Rwandan authorities believe that the international community has failed in its fight against armed groups in Eastern DR Congo.

In such a situation, the operations by the UN-backed Congolese military to fight rebels are doomed to failure, said Rwandas Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Louise Mushikiwabo.

But for the UN, the move to end the conflict in the Great Lakes sub-region must start with reinforcing the process for Disarmament, Demobilisation, Repatriation, Reintegration and Reinstallation (DDRRR), and relocating FDLR volunteers in Congo, Rwanda or other countries, far from the borders with their countries of origin.

While ruling out any kind of negotiations with the FDLR, a Hutu rebel movement, Rwandas government advocate easing the voluntary repatriation for all FDLR rebel fighters who are not steeped in genocide ideologies.

The FDLR has been operating in Eastern DRC for more than 19 years and is considered one major source of insecurity in the Great Lakes area.

A lot of its members allegedly participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The Congo and the U.S.-Backed Deadliest Conflict Since WWII

Monday, 27 January 2014, 12:40 pm
Column: David Swanson

Talk Nation Radio: The Congo and the U.S.-Backed Deadliest Conflict Since WWII

Maurice Carney is cofounder and executive director of the Friends of the Congo ( He discusses the history of the Congo and its abuse and exploitation by Belgium and the United States. If the worst conflict on earth is off our radar screens, it's not because our government isn't involved. Also watch this film:
Total run time: 29:00
Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.
Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.
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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.
Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at

Rwandans have to pay more for bread
Sunday, January 26, 2014
KIGALI, Rwanda - The expected hike in bread prices has not been wholesale as some outlets kept prices unchanged.
An 18% rate was slapped on wheat flour by the government.
We have been paying VAT before, and have maintained the bread prices and therefore there is no need for us to increase it now, Mike Fietzeh, the owner of La Galette Company told East African Business Week.
La Galette is the main bread supplier. At la Galette a big loaf goes for Rwf1300 (nearly $2) and buns at Rwf800 (just over a $1) and our company has not changed the prices, because of VAT since we can deduct such taxes from the daily input we make, Fietzeh said.
Fietzeh said that VAT should not be a problem to other bread manufacturers since they can actually claim it from their daily input, but the increase in prices on other bread ingredients.
In the Rwanda National budget 2013/2014; VAT of 18% was levied on wheat flour raising fear that this could lead to a sharp increase in bread prices.
Bread is an item that is usually in high demand in Rwanda. The wheat flour is for the most part imported.
However some bread manufacturers or outlets like Simba Supermarket increased bread prices from Rwf900 for a sweet big loaf to Rwf950.
Prices for the salt variety in the big size is now selling at Rwf900 while prices for buns were raised from Rwf650 to Rwf750.
This is not because of the VAT put on wheat only, but because of an increase in prices of sugar, salt, yeast, cooking oil which are the main ingredients needed to produce bread, Justine Ngarambe, the
General Manager of Simba Supermarket said.
She said a sack of wheat flour that was sold at Rwf15,000 before is now going for Rwf17,000. She said prices for other inputs also went up.
This is quite a big increase in bread s, said one bread consumer, Beata Uwiringiyimana, a resident of Kacyiru.
Uwiringiyimana said that they used to buy bread very cheaply at Rwf500 a pack, but because of the constant increase of prices on the items needed to produce it, this has led to price hikes.
The increase in bread prices will therefore continue to affect bread consumption in the country.
This may result in people taking on other options hence a call to the government by people to look into reversing the new VAT rate.
RC Army Chief of Operations Declares Operation Launched Against Rebels in Nord-Kivu Successful
On 23 January, Major General Lucien Bauma Ambamba, the chief of operations of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo [FARDC] in the Nord-Kivu province, indicated that the operation launched against the Allied Democratic Forces - National Army for the Liberation of Uganda [ADF-NALU] is ongoing. There has been no truce. We are still carrying out the operations. Some elements have been captured and killed from the enemy camp, and the national army is still progressing, as well as taking over more enemy positions, he stated.

However, the FARDC officer did not report on the global situation on the field or give any details about Operation Sokola or clean, which had been launched since 16 January to disarm all the active armed groups in the territory of Beni.

Major General Lucien Baumba Ambamba affirmed that the army had taken over several positions of the ADF and was progressing toward the localities of Chuchubo, Makoyova 1, and Makoyova 2, after having taken over the stronghold of Mwalika last week, thereby blocking the rebels reinforcement.
[Description of Source: Lubumbashi Radio Okapi in French -- Privately owned radio station jointly funded by the UN Observer Mission in Congo and the Geneva-based NGO Fondation Hirondelle; widely observed to carry timely and accurate reporting]

What Im Reading Now: Stringer: A Reporters Journey in the Congo (2014)

January 26, 2014
Im really not sure what purpose this book serves. While I dont want to beat up on it too badly, fearing that if I ever get around to writing a book someone will mercilessly eviscerate mine, I cant say that I really understand what Stringer says that the numerous other books on the Congo havent.
Anjan Sundaram was a PhD student in math under the great algebraist Serge Lang at Yale. One day, in an inexplicable moment of odd judgement, Sundaram decides to abandon what one would assume it to be a promising academic career to become a journalist. He befriends a lady at the bank who offers to contact her family in the Kinshasa and set him up with a place to stay.
Sundaram doesnt like the DRC. In fact, its hard to tell whether he likes anyone at all. Its hard to understand why hes there and his lack of street smarts and simple human compassion quickly grate on the nerves. Half the book are scenes of him getting ripped off, even by his own host family and him not seeming to understand why.
His writing views the Congo through a lens of disdain, fear and condescension, echoing nearly a century of writing on the Congo. This may be by design. Its hard to divorce oneself from Conrad when writing on the Congo (but not impossible). Regardless, though he claims to make pains to reveal the positive side of being a street kid, a group of whom he seems to form the deepest connections, the scenes are so fleeting as to relegate an otherwise potentially interesting subject to be mere window dressing.
The press on this book is incredible. I saw Sundaram on the Daily Show the other day and thought that, given the rarity of having such publicity fawned on a book about Africa, it must be distinctly interesting. My assumptions were incorrect. Stringer: A Reporters Journey in the Congo while flying up the best seller charts offers nothing new. I get why people want to read books like Stringer, as it offers a window into a place that most can never go, written in a language they can understand. But it is troubling is that light fare from slumming academics would receive so much praise, while African literary artists continue to be ignored.
Sundarams prose is quite good. I only wish he had taken the time to do something more insightful with the book.

The Hague / The Netherlands: Protest Rally in Support of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, January 25, 2014

Press Release: Protest Rally in Support of Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
Dear Members of FDU- INKINGI
Dear Friends of the platform FDU INKINGI IHURIRO RNC AMAHORO PC
Distinguished Representatives of political parties PDP-IMANZI, PDR- IHUMURE, PS- IMBERAKURI
Mr. the Coordinator of CLIIR and all Representatives of the Civil Society
Dear Supporters of FDU- INKINGI
Dear Friends of Rwanda,
Dear All, in your respective honors and functions,
On behalf of the political party FDU- Inkingi, we thank you all for your presence at this public protest rally in support of our party Chair, Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the political justice of the Rwandan regime.
Our first words will therefore go to our party Chair, who has been unjustly convicted. We all came here to show her our support and to assure her that even though she is momentarily and physically prevented from leading this struggle for democracy and empowerment of our people, the struggle we all started together, we will continue the fight to which we have all pledged until the total conquest of our rights and freedoms and the total liberation of the Rwandan people from the yoke of dictatorship under which they have been languishing for nearly two decades.
This protest rally was planned long before the murder of a comrade in struggle, late Col. Patrick Karegeya, who was killed in South Africa during the night of December 31st leading to January 1st by the Rwandan regime, by President Paul Kagame himself, given the fact that he has already self-confessed to the crime at the Prayer Breakfast which was held on January 12, 2014 in Kigali. We therefore take this opportunity to bow to the memory of a comrade in struggle, and pay tribute to a friend. Patrick Karegeya has given his life; he has shed his blood for our ideals of democracy and of our living together in harmony as Rwandans, regardless of our ethnic, regional, religious and social origins, for the right of memory and the duty of memory for all victims of the Rwandan slaughter of 1990-2000. We invite you to observe a moment of silence in memory of Patrick Karegeya. Dear friend Patrick, your blood that was shed is the leaven for our liberty and our victory.
Our thoughts also go to our other party comrades who have been unjustly convicted of the crime of having held a political meeting in a private place and of having attended the trial hearing of our party Chair. We think especially of our comrade, Sylvain Sibomana, our party Secretary General who, on January 13, 2014, was sentenced to 6 years in prison, in addition to the previous sentence of 2 years in prison. Mr. Sibomana was indeed among the first comrades who joined Ms. Ingabire immediately upon her arrival in Rwanda on January 16, 2010, after 16 years of exile in The Netherlands. Other comrades such as Anselm Mutuyimana, Venant Abayisenga, Emmanuel Byukusenge, Leonille Gasengayire, Jenny Flora Irakoze, Marcel Nahimana, Samuel Hitimana, Tuganemungu, Christian Norbert Ufitamahoro, Valens Uwiringiyimana, and Venuste Uwiringiyimana are languishing in prison. Ms. Jenny Flora Irakoze is currently wandering in inside or outside exile.
We have also organized this public protest rally to give thanks to the family of Ms. Victoire Ingabire because her family has endured so many sacrifices and is now deprived of a wife, a mother and a child. Dear Lin, with all yours, we just say thank you.
Our party Chair has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. We will not wait for her to purge such a heavy and unjust sentence before she can recover her freedom. We will use all possible political pressures so that she can be released at the earliest. Ms. Victoire Ingabire has informed us about her intention to appeal to the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights. Upon the receipt of the copy of the judgment, we will carefully examine it and let her know our recommendations as a political party. Ultimately, it will be up to Ms. Victoire Ingabire to follow through our recommendations or not. We have also thought of other possibilities such as the United Nations Commission for Human Rights. The judicial process is one way among many others. However, having been imprisoned for political reasons, we cannot rule out that it is the same political reasons that will liberate Ms. Victoire Ingabire. We will therefore continue to deploy in such political processes.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
If our comrade, Ms. Victoire Ingabire was stripped of her freedom, it was of course because of the police and the justice system that are under the orders the Rwandan regime. Such a politicized and political justice system is supported politically and financially by a country, which also happens to be the country of adoption for our party Chair. We meant to name The Netherlands.
We are here before the Dutch Parliament, an institution that represents the sovereign people of The Netherlands, to send three strong messages to the Parliament and through it, the Government and the Dutch people:
First, the Dutch taxpayers money that is supporting Rwandas police and justice system kills because it contributes to assassinate political opponents and independent journalists that are even being haunted down across Rwandan borders. The most recent case concerns the murder of our comrade late Col. Patrick Karegeya who was killed poisoned and strangled in South Africa by Rwandan secret services. Among many others, we would like to cite, Mugabo Manasseh, Seth Sendashonga, Augustin Bugirimfura, Emmanuel Munyemanzi, Theoneste Lizinde, Assiel Kabera, Augustin Cyiza, Eleazar Runyaruka, Leonard Hitimana, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, Charles Ingabire, and Jean-Leonard Rugambage. The list is long.
Second, the Dutch taxpayers money in Rwanda is not only used to build a justice that is controlled by the regime but also to create a machine that imprisons political opponents. To date, all of the leaders of the opposition political parties in Rwanda are in prison because the regime in place would like to prevent these leaders from holding public offices, including access to the presidency. These leaders include the FDU-Inkingis Chair Victoire Ingabire, the PDP-Imanzis Chairman Deo Mushayidi, and the PS-Imberakuris President Bernard Ntaganda who are all languishing in prison.
Third, the Dutch taxpayers money in Rwanda is used to erect legal walls and administrative obstacles to the registration of opposition political parties to prevent them from normally contributing to the expression of suffrage, the rise of civil liberties and the anchoring of a democratic debate. Thats why until now, only political parties that are subservient to the system are the only ones that are formally registered not to mention the current law on political parties in Rwanda which with its multitude of penalties constitutes in itself a second penal code.
Fourth, we are here to ask the Dutch Government to halt its plans aimed at extraditing to Rwanda for judgment a large number of Rwandans that are accused of allegedly having participated in the 1994 genocide. Without prejudging the guilt or the innocence of our compatriots, we would like to draw the Dutch governments attention on the fact that the country where these individuals risk being sent cannot guarantee them to receive a fair trial. Indeed, Rwanda is a country where its leaders are accused of serious crimes against humanity, war crimes and massive violations of the international humanitarian law. The highest authorities of the state that also have control over the justice system, are accused in the UN Mapping Report of having committed a possible genocide against the Hutu refugees in DRC. According to the report of the group of UN experts on the DRC, the Rwandan authorities are accused of forced recruitment of child soldiers, rapes and direct support to the M23 rebels.
We ask the Dutch Government to prosecute such individuals in The Netherlands if the evidence of their guilt is proven. At the same time, we would like to tell our compatriots that are being sued: do not let yourselves be sheared off, stand up, come out from that torpor in which you are immersed and claim your rights. Indeed, no one else will do it for you. Shake it up, defend yourself and let the Dutch public opinion know about your situation.
To conclude, we would like to thank you all once again for coming to show your solidarity with our comrade Ms. Victoire Ingabire, and through her, with all of our comrades that are unjustly imprisoned in Rwanda. Thanks to all of you FDU-Inkingi activists in Rwanda and abroad, for your commitment and sacrifices. Our next protest rally will be held on February 22, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, in front of the European Parliament.
Together, with determination, we shall set them free!
Dr. Nkiko Nsengimana
Coordinator, FDU-Inkingi

South Sudan fighting despite ceasefire

By Waakhe Simon Wudu
Sunday, Januray 26th ....... 20 hours ago
Juba (AFP) - South Sudan's government and rebels traded accusations Sunday that each had breached a ceasefire deal by attacking the other, but insisted they were committed to ending weeks of brutal conflict.
Both sides insisted they had opened fire only in self-defence and were respecting the ceasefire, which began Friday evening and aims to stop six weeks of bloodshed.
Up to 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the fighting pitting forces loyal to President Salva Kiir against a loose coalition of army defectors and ethnic militia nominally headed by sacked vice president Riek Machar, a seasoned guerrilla fighter.
Rebel military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang reported Sunday "clear violations" of the ceasefire, claiming government forces had attacked rebel positions in the northern oil state of Unity and in the volatile eastern Jonglei region.
"In all the government's offensives, our forces only acted in self-defence," he said in a statement.
The army has dismissed the reports, blaming the rebels for attacking their forces.
Both sides insist they are committed to the deal, and the clashes reported since the agreement was signed late Thursday appear to have been localised skirmishes, not large-scale assaults.
Verifying reports from across the vast and remote regions of South Sudan -- large areas of which have poor if any telephone networks -- is difficult.
Army spokesman Philip Aguer said he had received no fresh reports of fighting on Sunday.
But both sides have also said they doubt the other can fully control the forces on the ground.
Information Minister Michael Makuei, speaking on Saturday in Juba after returning from the talks in Ethiopia that hammered out the crucial deal, said the clashes were not unexpected, as the "rebels are indisciplined".
'Scale of suffering alarming'
The fighting has seen waves of brutal revenge attacks, as fighters and ethnic militia use the violence to loot and settle old scores, with the United Nations and rights workers reporting that horrific atrocities have been committed by both sides.
Rebel spokesman Koang said government orders to soldiers not to kill civilians was a sign that Kiir was "not in full control of security forces" either.
The president's spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny has insisted government forces are "definitely going to maintain a ceasefire".
But many in the country fear that even with a ceasefire deal, the conflict pitting members of Kiir's Dinka people -- the country's largest group -- against Machar's Nuer tribe is far from over.
About 700,000 people have been forced from their homes in the impoverished nation, according to the UN.
A statement from 55 international and South Sudanese aid agencies said they remained "deeply alarmed at the scale of human suffering" in the country.
"The agencies continue to call upon all parties to the conflict to protect civilians," said the statement from organisations including Oxfam, Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee.
At least 30 children died in a measles outbreak in a crowded camp squeezed into the UN peacekeeping base in the devastated town of Bor -- which swapped hands four times in the fighting -- the UN children’s agency (Unicef) said Sunday.
"Children have survived violent conflict, only to face the risk of dying in appalling conditions," Unicef said, as it announced emergency supplies were being rushed to stem the outbreak.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos is due to begin a three-day visit to South Sudan on Monday to see the extent of the crisis and plan ways to support those affected.

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