- Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide
Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide

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Rwanda, the Great Lakes Region and the crisis in the DRC

By jeanpierre on February 11, 2013

This was a very interesting talk, which touched on the topics of the presence of the FDLR in the Kivu region, the RPF and accusations of it’s continued support to the M23 and also Rwanda’s involvement in the conflict in Kivu. The DRC conflict in the Kivus is not different from other conflicts that have occurred in countries like Sierra Leone, Chad, Ivory Coast and many others. Although the conflict foundational causes may be different whatsoever, I believe that any conflict can be resolved. Until outside countries have stopped facilitating this looting and exploitation of minerals from the DRC through torture and mistreatment of the Congolese people in the Kivus, this war will not end. At the lecture it was interesting to learn how Rwanda and neighboring countries, especially Uganda, paved way for their military presence in the DRC to be effective. Rwanda having the excuse of protecting its citizens from the threats posed by the FDLR after the 1994 genocide probably had arguably the easiest “entry” into the Kivu region. The conflict in the Kivu has served as a means to economically advance the countries involved in the conflict at the expense of 5.4 million deaths of the Congolese. Soon or later, if this conflict is not resolved, it won’t be only Rwanda, Uganda and neighboring countries involved in having some form of presence in the DRC but other beneficiaries will join in for whatever reasons.

I recently read an article from BBC that China had signed a contract with the DRC government which stated that China would give to the DRC $ 5 billion and in return China would own some of the diamond mines and set up companies to extract the diamond. Such a grant with strings attached to it, is what is going to keep this foreign presence in the DRC going and sooner or later the government will not only have no control of the Kivus but a possibility of much of the country ending up in the “outside hands”. Until the DRC government has decided to own the problem and seek ways to resolve it, DRC will go into history as a country once wealthy but was devastated over time. Although conflict resolution seems to be a difficult task, it is possible to carry out and successfully achieve once you own the problem in the first place. Unless the DRC government has come to realize that they own the problem and should not rely on any one to solve it for them, then the conflict will carry on and it might reach a point where it will be too late to be able to bring this mineral rich country back into the prosperous country that it used to be.


The reconciliation process

By jeanpierre on February 3, 2013

Watching the movie clips in class over the last two weeks has given me a clearer perspective on the Rwandan genocide in general. While President Paul Kagame is seen as the hero who helped end the genocide in 1994 when the RPF took control in mid-July, he is regarded by many as an authoritative figure, who does not tolerate any form of freedom of speech which would speak against the policies which FPR-Inkotanyi (the ruling party) exercises in the name of serving justice and bringing reconciliation among Rwandans.

Overtime I have found movies like Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes In April to be good learning tools but there is more to that. One regime (Habyarimana’s regime) used all of it’s power to facilitate hatred and division among Rwandans, and now another regime (Kagame’s) is doing the opposite, bringing unity among Rwandans. To many Rwandans, the current government has done about enough to bring about reconciliation focusing on the reconstruction of the Rwandan identiy. Different steps have been taken towards achieving that goal with numerous laws and changes to the constitution. Such laws are what has brought about the changes we’ve seen whereby perpetrators literally work along victims of the genocide in the name of doing good for the country. One of the major reasons this has worked is because Kagame’s regime has been able to build modern institutions on traditional values, and that, has seen his government gain popular vote and trust among Rwandans.