Friday, October 30, 2009

Broken bones and arrests at Rwandan Green Party convention

This should tell the world what Rwanda, the U.S.A.'s closest ally in Africa, and its President Paul Kagame, are:

The Rwandan Democratic Greens tried, for the fourth time, to hold their founding convention in Kigali, on 10.30.2009, but the police appeared again, with even worse consequence.

This morning I spoke to Frank Habineza, interim Rwandan Green Party leader, who was in a Kigali hospital trying to arrange an X-ray for another Rwandan Green, a woman with a broken leg.

Another woman, and Rwandan Green, has a broken back.

More are injured, and I believe Frank said some are in jail. He was on a cell in a hospital and I always have to work to understand his sweet French/Kinyarwanda English accent as well.

He wasn't able to give me any more details because he had to hurry off to help his friend with the broken leg and I had to run too, but he said, "It wasn't a good day."

Indeed.  Twelve hours later, at 3:00 A.M. in Kigali, 6:10 P.M. in San Francisco, I don't have any new e-messages Tweets, Facebook posts, or phone calls from Frank.

No news on the Web yet.   Frank said to watch the BBC and the Rwandan News Agency websites. I told him that the state run Rwandan News Agency won't let me on their damn website. He himself had to pay them $250 to get on and pick up the articles he sends me, which are almost always yanked off as soon as they're posted.

I didn't have a chance to urge Frank to Twitter, but I'm going to try calling again to suggest that.

We obviously need to get on phones to the White House, Rwandan Embassies, and the press.

Greens of course, should call and I first addressed this note mostly to Greens, but, obviously, no one from any nonviolent political party should wind up in a hospital with broken bones, or in jail, for attempting to hold a founding convention.

This is the Rwanda that Bill and Hillary Clinton and Reverend Rick Warren point to as "a shining beacon of hope for Africa." Bill Clinton hung a Global Citizenship Award around Rwandan President Paul Kagame's neck a week before Reverend Rick Warren presented him with the same International Medal of Peace that he hung around George Bush's neck last year.

This is the Rwanda that criminalizes homosexuality and denies them access to U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS services, in keeping with Reverend Rick Warren's abstinence-only-until-heterosexual monogamy HIV prevention proscriptions. 

This is the Rwanda where the Rwandan Greens are the only political party with a "sexual diversity" plank in their platform, a plank that Frank Habineza and the Rwandan Greens defended adamantly during their attempts to register the party last week.

This is the Rwanda that the U.S. uses to control the vast oil and gas reserves, and many other natural resources of D.R. Congo.

Most of all, this is the Rwanda that the U.S. uses to control Congo's military industrial minerals.   It has long been official U.S. State Department policy that the U.S. must be prepared to go to war in Central Africa, as it has, covertly, to control its cobalt, in the Katanga Copper Belt running through southeastern Congo's Katanga Province into Zambia. 

U.S. military industries cannot manufacture for war without cobalt and most of the world's cobalt reserves are there.

(Anyone should feel free to post this note to Green Party lists and websites, and wherever else, ASAP.)

During the past two weeks, as we lobbied to see the Rwandan Democratic Greens emerge with full political rights, Greens posted this to Green Party sites around the U.S. and the world:

Green Party banner over Rwanda,

Now we're all praying for Frank Habineza, his family and other Rwandan Greens.  

Rwandan interim Green Party leader Frank Habineza, and his wife Edith and son Godwin.

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