Rwandan Community in North America petition to President Obama over the Eastern Congo crisis
Members of the Rwandan Community in North America have petitioned the Unites States President Barack Obama over the Eastern DRC crisis.
In a letter dated December 11, 2012, they explain to Obama the origin of the Congo crisis and accuse the international community including the United Nations of orchestrating a propaganda campaign against Rwanda.
â€œWe, the undersigned, being members of the Rwandan Community in North America have been following with keen interest the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its impact on the Great Lakes region.
The deeply rooted, and well-orchestrated propaganda campaign against Rwanda obliges us, as concerned citizens of Rwanda and legal residents of the United States of America and Canada, to faithfully defend our country by adding our voice to many others that strive to bring the truth out in a quest to restore the image of Rwanda and to pursue justice, peace and security in DRC and the Great Lakes region,â€ reads the letter in part.
They explained to Obama that since March 2012, Rwanda has been accused of supporting M23, a group of mutineers that has been at war with the Congolese army (FARDC) in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (EDRC).
It all started in June this year when the United Nations Group of Experts (UN GoE) on DRC submitted its interim annual report and an addendum to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee.
The Addendum contained a set of allegations to support the narrative of active involvement by the Government of Rwanda (GoR) in the current armed conflict between the FARDC and M23 in violation of the United Nations Arms Embargo and Sanctions Regime that applies to the DRC.
In response, Rwanda submitted a comprehensive rebuttal on GoEâ€™s allegations and invited the GoE to go to Rwanda for cross checking investigations. The GoE ignored Rwandaâ€™s willingness to cooperate and went on to publish another set of allegations against Rwanda in August, which the GoR refuted in its rebuttal submitted in October 2012.
So far the international community has shown no interest in investigating further to fully understand the ongoing crisis in DRC. Instead, Rwanda was rendered guilty without trial.
In the letter the members are irked by some donor countries withholding the disbursement of aid or freezing the budget support to Rwanda, because of the verdict rendered by GoE on their country.
They are quoted as saying: â€œWe would like to remind you that Rwanda has been consistently praised for its proficient utilization of foreign aid as well as its overall efficient fiscal management, which have resulted in successful reconstructive efforts in the last 18 years.
In fact, numerous independent reports indicate that in the last five years, Rwanda has lifted over one million people out of poverty. Cutting or freezing aid at this moment will not resolve the crisis in the DRC,â€ they say.
They also explained that roots of the ongoing cycle of violence in the EDRC lay in the original ethno-nationalist conflict that has plagued the entire region since colonial occupation.
It is a continuation of the anti-Tutsi propaganda campaign that led to the genocide against Tutsis in 1994 that claimed the lives of more than one million victims in the most inhuman ways while the International community stood by.
The letter which is also copied to the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton concluded by calling on the United States government join in the cry for justice by thoroughly evaluating the current conflict in the DRC, within the context of its roots in ethno-nationalist conflict, including the divisive governance of DRC which for the last several decades has provided safe haven to genocidaires and their sympathizers.