Newscast Media KIGALI—The United States says it has blocked military aid to Rwanda for backing M23 rebels, who are active in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and use child soldiers in their fight against Kinshasa. The US State Department said on Thursday that the sanctions also apply to the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Sudan and Syria.
Washington has been strengthening the military of Rwanda—a staunch ally in Africa—for decades despite Kigali’s blatant interference in neighboring Congo, but other nations reportedly do not receive any military aid from the US.
“Our goal is to work with countries who have been listed to ensure that any involvement in child soldiers—any involvement in the recruitment of child soldiers—stop,” US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Rwanda was sanctioned because of its “support for the M23, a rebel group which continues to actively recruit and abduct children” and to threaten the stability of Congo.
The March 23 movement (M23) rebels defected from the Congolese army in April 2012 in protest over alleged mistreatment in the army.
The UN and Kinshasa have repeatedly accused Rwanda of helping the rebels in Congo. Rwanda has always denied the charges that it is backing the M23, but Kigali has never publicly condemned the militia, which is strengthening its grip over the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu in the eastern Congo.
Military spokesman Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita said that Rwanda is not responsible for events in Congo.
“It is surprising that Rwanda would be liable for matters that are neither on its territory, nor in its practices,” he said. “As a long term partner of the Rwanda Defense Forces, the United States has ample evidence that our forces have never tolerated the use of children in combat.”
“Rwanda’s commitment to a sustainable solution that seeks to bring an end to the DRC conflict and its consequences, including the use of child soldiers, remains unchanged,” Nzabamwita added.
“The collaboration between the Government of Rwanda and the United States remains strong, particularly in the field of peacekeeping, and Rwanda will continue to hold its forces to the highest standards of professionalism and discipline,” he noted.
The M23 rebels and several other armed groups are active in the eastern Congo and are fighting for control of the country’s vast mineral resources, such as gold, the main tin ore cassiterite, and coltan (columbite-tantalite), which is used to make many electronic devices, including cell phones.
Since early May 2012, nearly three million people have fled their homes in the eastern Congo. About 2.5 million have resettled in Congo, but about 500,000 have crossed into neighboring Rwanda and Uganda.
The eastern Congo has experienced interminable cycles of violence since 1998. The war in the Congo has dragged on for over a decade and left over 5.5 million people dead.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media KIGALI—From one president to another, Barack Obama placed a call to Rwanda’s Paul Kagame to underscore that any support to Congolese rebel group M23 is “inconsistent with Rwanda’s desire for stability and peace” in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and advised Kagame to abide by commitments made in November to permanently “end all support for armed groups” in the country.
Obama told Kagame that it is important to reach “a transparent and credible political agreement that includes an end to impunity for M23 commanders and others who have committed serious human rights abuses” and that the crisis in eastern DRC should be resolved by a “political agreement that addresses the underlying regional security, economic and governance issues while upholding the DRC’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
An estimated 5 million people have been killed and millions displaced since 1998 by a variety of rebel groups battling to control the eastern DRC. In 2012, a new group of rebels rose up. Known as the M23 that has created instability in the region.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters December 18 that the Obama administration is continuing to call for Ntaganda’s arrest, as well as that of Sylvestre Mudacumura, who is also charged with committing atrocities and has been issued an ICC warrant.
“The current conflict in the eastern Congo with M23 underscores the continuing impunity the perpetrators of violence and human rights abuses continue to enjoy in the Congo,” Nuland said.
Along with identifying individuals on the ground who commit abuses and subjecting them to U.S. sanctions, Nuland said, the United States is also reviewing its list of those who are aiding and abetting armed groups for possible sanctions designation. “We look at the whole landscape,” Nuland said.
If Kagame fails to heed Obama’s advice, the next phase, as was pointed out by the State Department’s Victoria Nuland is to subject those aiding and abetting the rebels to sanctions. Finally, after that phase, as we saw in Libya and are seeing in the Middle East, the next step usually points to regime change.
Newscast Media KAMPALA—The Ugandan government through Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, issued a statement that said the M23 rebels had agreed to withdraw from the Democratic Republic of Congo without pre-conditions.
Newscast Media reported on Monday, how the war in the DRC was escalating, accordingly, we have to give credit where credit is due, for all those who negotiated not only a ceasefire, but also a full withdrawal from the region by the rebel invaders.
In a statement published in Uganda’s state-owned New Vision paper, the Chief of Defense Forces Aronda Nyakayimira said, “We met last night [Monday] and I communicated to him [the rebel leader] the decision of regional leaders reached on Saturday and he accepted to pull back his forces out of Goma and Sake and also stop any further advances southward.
“He didn’t put up any conditions for pulling out because he agreed that all their grievances will be resolved in the ICGLR (Great Lakes) mechanism as stipulated in the declarations of the Saturday summit (in Kampala),” Nyakamira told the New Vision paper.
Hopefully this time the rebels will be as good as their word, since in the past they have broken such agreed-upon conditions, particularly the Lusaka Agreement. The withdrawal should be from the entire DR Congo, not just Goma and the surrounding eastern regions of the country.
Newscast Media will continue to monitor the situation in the Great Lakes region of Africa, and will update our readers should any further developments occur.
Categories: News Tags: Aronda Nyakayimira, joseph kabila, m23 rebels in Congo, m23 withdraw, Obama m23 rebels, paul kagame, paul kagame army in congo, Uganda Chief of Defence Forces, Uganda news, Uganda newspapers, Uganda online news
Newscast Media STOCKHOLM—Sweden has become the latest country to freeze aid to Rwanda, due to allegations that the Rwandan government is supporting M23 rebel fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who have caused instability in the region. According to Deutsche Welle News, Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Eva Sundquist said that Rwanda should “take up its responsibilities for the development of the region.” Deutsche Welle reported that Swedish aid to Rwanda amounted to about 215 million kronor (26 million euros, $32.2 million) in 2011.
“We have chosen to hold off with aid to shed light on what is going on in Congo and how they (the Rwandan authorities) are involved,” Swedish Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson told Swedish Radio News on Monday, and was also reported by Deutsche Welle.
United States warns about possible charging of Rwanda’s Paul Kagame
The United States is another country that recently withheld aid from the embattled African country, and has warned Kagame that he could be charged with war crimes and face prosecution for arming groups that carried out atrocities in Democratic Republic of Congo. The US has previously been a supporter of President Kagame, however, there is a radical shift, and the opposite is now happening. The UK Guardian explains that the previous support by the US was out of guilt for not doing anything to prevent over 800,000 Rwandese from being massacred in the genocide that happened in 1994.
The United Nations report
The most devastating piece of information about Rwanda’s support for the M23 rebels comes from a recently-released report by the United Nations. The report in part says:
” Since the outset of its current mandate, the Group has gathered evidence of arms
embargo and sanctions regime violations committed by the Rwandan Government.
These violations consist of the provision of material and financial support to armed
groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the
recently established M23, in contravention of paragraph 1 of Security Council
resolution 1807 (2008). 2 The arms embargo and sanctions regimes violations
include the following:
• Direct assistance in the creation of M23 through the transport of weapons and
soldiers through Rwandan territory
• Recruitment of Rwandan youth and demobilized ex-combatants as well as
Congolese refugees for M23
• Provision of weapons and ammunition to M23
• Mobilization and lobbying of Congolese political and financial leaders for the benefit
• Direct Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) interventions into Congolese territory to
• Support to several other armed groups as well as Forces armées de la République
démocratique du Congo (FARDC) mutinies in the eastern Congo
• Violation of the assets freeze and travel ban through supporting sanctioned
Kagame denies any involvement in genocide
Rwanda denied any wrongdoing even before the entire UN report was released, and issued a statement saying rumors circulating about Rwanda’s involvement in the eastern DRC are false. Regional leaders plan to meet in four weeks to coming up with actionable steps to ensure that fighting stops completely in DR Congo.
Video courtesy France 24
Newscast Media ENTEBBE, Uganda—Ethiopian Emperors have never been timid when they threatened to cut off the Nile if their demands were not met. Those on the other end of these threats did not for a moment doubt that the Ethiopian Emperors were able to turn off the taps of the Nile. In his well-written and interesting essay, Ibrahim continues to say that the hegemonic policy of Egypt had not changed by twentieth century.
A Swiss affiliate to King Khedive Ismail of Egypt, Werner Munzinger, had once remarked that; “Ethiopia . . . is a danger for Egypt. Egypt must either take over Ethiopia and Islamize it, or retain it in anarchy and misery.” Egypt had attempted the first in 1832 and 1882 but failed. In today’s world, an invasion is unlikely since the use of force in international relations is strongly condemned.
At different occasions Egyptian top officials affirmed their strong will to intervene with force to any disruption of the status quo. In 1979 Anwar Sadat, then President of Egypt, said immediately after signing the peace treaty with Israel that “the only matter that could take Egypt to war again is water.” At another occasion he lashed out, “Any action that would endanger the water of the Blue Nile will be faced with a firm reaction on the part of Egypt, even if that action should lead to war.” Boutros Boutros Gahali, when he was the Egyptian Foreign State Minister, confirmed the same conclusion when he said “the next war in our region will be over the water of the Nile, not politics.” You may read or download the entire essay here.
According to Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the most controversial provision of the CFA is Article 14 (b) of the CFA, which reads: “not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State’. Egypt and Sudan proposed that the article should be reworded as: “not to adversely affect the water security and ‘current uses and rights’ of any other Nile Basin States”.
The problem the six states have with the phrase ‘current uses and rights’ once again stems from the fact that those rights were granted during the colonialism era, which is a bygone era.
Egypt’s concern about the Nile being affected by the new agreement is addressed in Article III section 1. of the agreement that states: “The Nile River System and its waters shall be protected, used, conserved and developed in accordance with the following general principles: (1). Cooperation—The principle of cooperation between States of the Nile River Basin on the basis of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, mutual benefit and good faith in order to attain optimal utilization and adequate protection and conservation of the Nile River Basin and to promote joint efforts to achieve social and economic development…”
Ethiopia and other countries that are party to the agreement are developing projects pursuant to the same Article III section 6, that states:
Article III § 6—The right of Nile Basin States to use water within their territories: “The principle that each Nile Basin State has the right to use, within its territory, the waters of the Nile River System in a manner that is consistent with the other basic principles referred to herein.”
During the colonial period, Britain effectively controlled the Nile through its military presence in Africa. However, Sudan and Egypt signed another agreement in 1959 giving Egypt the majority of the water flow, while ignoring all the other countries within the Nile Basin.
Article 19, Article 20, and Article 21 of the Entebbe Agreement override the colonial agreements allowing the once-ignored countries to exercise more control over the Nile.
Article 19 states: Legal Status—The Commission is established as an intergovernmental organization and shall enjoy international legal personality, with such legal capacity as may be necessary for the performance of its functions, in particular, the capacity to enter into agreements, to incur obligations, to receive donations, and to sue and be sued in its own name.
Article 20 section 2 states: The Conference shall establish its own rules and procedures.
Article 21 states: Functions—The Conference shall be the supreme policy-making organ of the Commission.
Egypt’s Mohammed Morsy realizes a war against Ethiopia is a war against all other states within the Nile Basin. The most reasonable thing Morsy can do is attend the African Summit and resolve the Nile Basin conflict diplomatically.
The Nile is regarded as the longest river in the world stretching a distance of 4,130 miles, running through ten countries. The source of the Nile River is Lake Victoria, specifically in Jinja—Uganda, contrary to what fraudulent historians claim. Up North in Ethiopia, another section of the Nile called the Blue Nile originates from Lake Tana. The Nile gets its name from the Greek word “Nelios”, meaning River Valley. Click here to read or download the Entebbe Agreement.
Categories: News Tags: bujagali falls dam, Entebbe Agreement, entebbe uganda, Ethiopia Addis Ababa African Summit, ethiopia dam project, jakaya kikwete, kampala uganda, mwai kibali. meles zenawi, nile basin countries, paul kagame, pierre nkurunziza, source of the blue nile, Source of the Nile, Yoweri Museveni