Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cobalt and the Pentagon in Central Africa

This 09.07.1980 report is central to the story of Pentagon intervention and covert war in Central Africa. Much of the world's cobalt reserves are in the Katanga Copper Belt running from Southeastern D.R. Congo into Zambia.
Cobalt in 1998,
US Strategic Cobalt Reserve Perilously Low, Pentagon Says, 1980,
Cobalt: Policy Options for a Strategic Mineral, 1982,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Umuseso Editor Didas Gasana grilled by Rwandan Police

Didas Gasana, Editor of Kinyarwanda language newspaper Umuseso, now banned by Rwanda's High Media Council. 

On Monday, 04.27.2010, Police detectives in Kigali, Rwanda interrogated Didas Gasana, Editor of the weekly African language newspaper Umuseso for eight hours. Gasana now fears extrajudicial abduction or a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

Read at

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Call press and human rights defenders if Frank Habineza is arrested

Frank Habineza, Chair of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, and President of the African Greens Federation, asks the international community to prepare to protest if he is arrested on his way home from Holland to Rwanda's capital, Kigali. 

April 25, 2010.  Please call Human Rights Watch if Rwanda Greens leader Frank Habineza is arrested on his way home from Holland to Kigali, Rwanda on 04.25 and 04.26.2010.   Call even though Rwanda gave Human Rights Watch 24 hours to get out of the country on Friday, 04.23.2010.  

He should arrive in Kigali at 12:55 P.M. on Monday, 04.26.2010. 

Habineza was elected President of the African Greens Federation at their convention on 04.18.2010, but three officers within his own party turned on him five days later, so he has begun traveling home early, from Afrikaday, where he gave a speech about democracy in Rwanda, to address their allegations and reorganize with other Rwanda Greens.  Frank, his wife Edith, his sons Godwin and Victor, and supporters fear that Rwandan security may arrest him at an airport, as he tries to pass through customs in the next phase of  harassment and repression, in the run up to this year's Rwandan presidential election.  

Rwanda arrested presidential candidate Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza on Wednesday, April 21st at her home in Kigali, and her Rwandan support team thank pressure from the international community for her surprise release on bail the next day.   

Habineza said that he will call friends when leaving Amsterdam, and he's been urged to start posting updates to Facebook, and to Twitter, as he passes from one stage of his journey to another, from airports in Amsterdam, Nairobi, and Kigali to his home.  

Emergency alerts are one of the best uses of Twitter, social media's short form. 
Supporters of peace and social justice in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region of Africa should be ready, should Frank be arrested, to post the news and call for his release, on social media like Facebook and Twitter, and to contact press, Amnesty International,, and Human Rights Watch,

Rwandan presidential candidate Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza's team thank international pressure for her unexpected release on bail on Thursday, April 22nd, and ask the international community to sustain the pressure.  

Bernard Ntaganda, presidential candidate of Rwanda's Parti Social-Imberakuri feels that his arrest, in Kigali, is imminent as well, and asks that the international community prepare  to call for his release as well.   

Saturday, April 24, 2010

KMEC Radio News: Election Rwanda, 04.18.2010

Didas Gasana, Editor of the Kinyarwanda language newspaper Umuseso, spoke to KMEC Radio on 04.18.2010.
Frank Habineza, chair of the Green Party of Rwanda, has been elected as President of the Executive Committee of the Federation of African Greens on April 18th in Kampala – Uganda.
Although his party and others, and the press, are still challenged in Rwanda, this is considered as a significant step.
On Sunday, 04.18.2010, Didas Gasana, Editor of the banned Kinyarwanda language newspaper Umuseso, and Parti Social-Imberakuri candidate Bernard Ntaganda, about conditions in Rwanda, in the run-up to the 2010 presidential election, for KMEC Radio:

No Rwandan troops in the D.R.C.? No U.S. troops in Iraq?

Frank Habineza, Rwandan Green Party leader and President of the Executive Committee of the Federation of African Greens. 

Just five days after Rwanda Green Party leader Frank Habineza was elected President of the Executive Committee of the African Greens Federation, three of his own party officers turned on him, with the bizarre accusation that he had said there were Rwandan troops in the D.R.C., which, they said, "everyone knows is not true"-----which is as plausible as saying that there are no U.S. troops in Iraq.

Kigali - 04.23.2010 Defecting Rwanda Green Party officer Vincent Nshimiyimana said today that "everyone" knows Rwanda has no troops deployed in neighboring D.R. Congo, which is like saying there are no U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq.  Read at Digital Journal.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Africa's female Mandela? Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza on trial

Opposition presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza stood before a judge in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 22, after the Kagame government arrested and charged her with "associating with terrorists" and "genocide ideology," a crime unique to Rwanda which includes "divisionism" and "revisionism," meaning politics, and/or attempting to revise the received history of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.   

Two weeks earlier, on April 7th, speaking at a commemorative ceremony, on the 16th anniversary of the civilian massacres known as the Rwanda Genocide, Rwandan President Paul Kagame referred to Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza as "some lady," an example of "some people" who "just come from nowhere, useless people."  He refused to speak her proper name, though she is widely acknowledged as the leading opposition candidate in Rwanda's 2010 presidential election, and many of her supporters now call her Africa's female Mandela: 

"Some people want to encourage political hooliganism.  Some people just come from nowhere, useless people.  I see everytime in the pictures, some lady who had her deputy, a genocide criminal, her deputy, talking about "y'know, there's Rwanda Genocide, but there is another. . . so that is politics.  And the world says, 'The opposition leader!'  But I know those who say it and who support that.  They know it is wrong, but it is an expression of contempt these people have for Rwandans and for Africans, that they think Africans deserve to be led by these hooligans, and to that we say NO, a big NO.  And if anybody wants a fight there, we'll give them a fight." 
               --Paul Kagame,

Two weeks later, on April 21st, Kagame's security police arrested Ingabire, then brought her before a Rwandan court for a bail hearing within six hours, creating a flurry of international news.   Not only the African press, but also the BBC, Radio Netherlands, CNN, Yahoo News via Agence France Presse, and other outlets around the world, including the San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, Black Star News, and Global Research reported the story, and it appeared on blogs across Africa, Europe, and North America, often with notes urging readers to contact Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.  

Two days later, on April 23rd, Rwandan authorities gave Human Rights Watch researcher Carina Tertsakian, 24 hours to get out of the country.  

Even the New York Times, which had until then ignored this year's Rwandan presidential election, finally published three accounts of Ingabire's arrest on April 21st, and the next day the Washington Post, which had also been ignoring the story, finally published a Reuters wire reporting that Ingabire had been released on bail that morning.

Shortly after the news of her release, the International Humanitarian Law Institute of St. Paul Minnesota announced that its director, William and Mitchell Law School Professor Peter Erlinder, and Wichita Lawyer Kurt P. Kerns, will join Ingabire's Rwandan lawyer Protais Mutembe in her legal defense.   Ingabire is charged with "genocide related crime," meaning crime related to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, the central narrative justifying Rwanda's political life and relationship to the outside world, and, most of all, to its most ardent defenders and donors, the US and the UK.

Erlinder is Professor of Constitutional Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law at William Mitchell College of Law, President of  ICTR-ADAD (Association des Avocats de la Defense), and past President of the National Lawyers Guild, NY, NY.  Most significantly, in Ingabire's case, he is the Lead Defense Counsel in the Military-1 trial at the UN's International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR), where he won a victory of enormous significance to Rwandan history---the acquittal of four former top military leaders accused of conspiring and planning to commit genocide or any other crimes in 1994.

The ICTR acquitted its highest ranking defendant, Colonel Bagosora, on December 18, 2008, after which Erlinder wrote:

". . . ALL of the top Rwandan military officers, including the supposedly infamous Colonel Bagosora, were found not guilty of conspiracy or planning to commit genocide. And Gen. Gratien Kabiligi, a senior member of the general staff was acquitted of all charges! The others were found guilty of specific acts committed by subordinates, in specific places, at specific times - not an overall conspiracy to kill civilians, much less Rwandan-Tutsi civilians."
"This raises the more profound question: If there was no conspiracy and no planning to kill ethnic (i.e., Tutsi) civilians, can the tragedy that engulfed Rwanda properly be called “a genocide” at all? Or, was it closer to a case of civilians being caught up in war-time violence, like the Eastern Front in WWII, rather than the planned behind-the-lines killings in Nazi death camps? The ICTR judgment found the former."
"The Court specifically found that the actions of Rwandan military leaders, both before and after the April 6, 1994, assassination of former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, Rwanda's head of state at the time of his murder, were consistent with war-time conditions and the massive chaos brought about by the four-year war of invasion from Uganda by General Paul Kagame's RPF Army, which seized power in July 1994.  ----Professor Peter Erlinder, "Rwanda: No Conspiracy, No Genocide Planning. . . No Genocide?," Jurist, 12.23.2008, Global Research, 01.24.2009

Erlinder says that the Court's ruling in December 2008 should have radically revised the world's understanding of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, but because there were no international press covering the ICTR by December 2008, 14 years after the slaughter that left 1 million or more Rwandans dead, and because of international political investment in the received history, it continues to be told in the Wikipedia and repeated by most news outlets whenever they revisit Rwanda or the Rwandan violence of 1994. 

At the ICTR, Erlinder was able to assemble the evidence and argue the case that led to the court's conclusion that there was no conspiracy, and no planning to commit genocide, and therefore no genocide crime like that covered by the international law created by the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide after the Nazi death camps of World War II.

Though the international press had indeed turned away from Rwanda and the ICTR by December 2008, its attention is now on Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and her trial, less than four months before Rwanda's August 9th polls.  Though her party, the United Democratic Forces, (UDF)-Inkingi, remains unable to register, and she herself has now been indicted, she continues to attempt to contest the election.
"Ingabire was arrested on trumped-up, political thought crimes, including association with a terrorist group, propagating the genocide ideology, genocide denial, revisionism, and divisionism, all arising from the "crime" of publicly objecting to the Kagame military dictatorship, and Kagame's version of the Rwandan Civil War," Erlinder said.

If he and Rwandan lawyer Protais Mutembe can make the same case that he was able to make at the ICTR, then the international press may have to decide whether or not to report that, in Rwanda, in 1994, there was "no conspiracy, no planning . . . no genocide?"  This, of course, depends on how the world defines "genocide," but, the genocide ideology statutes that Victoire is charged with violating---for having said that Hutus, as well as Tutsis, were victims of crimes against humanity---would become impossible to defend.   

And, it might finally emerge that there has been a massive cover-up of the real story of what we know as the Rwanda Genocide, as Global Research writers have pointed out for years in, e.g., Rwanda: Installing a U.S. Protectorate in Central Africa and The Geopolitics behind the Rwanda Genocide; Paul Kagame Accused of War Crimes, by Michel Chossudovsky, The US Sponsored "Rwanda Genocide'" and its Aftermath
Psychological Warfare, Embedded Reporters and the Hunting of Refugees, by Keith Harmon Snow, and U.S./U.K./Allies Grab Congo Riches and Millions Die, by Peter Erlinder. 

If international reporters finally do begin to cover the real story of the Rwanda Genocide and the Congo War, then Paul Kagame's regime, which Hillary Clinton has called "the beacon of hope" for Africa, will cease to seem so to the outside world.   
No one, least of all Professor Erlinder, denies that the bloodshed in Rwanda, in 1994 was horrific, but he says, as he did when I spoke to him for KPFA Radio, that the received history of Rwanda in 1994, and the ensuing war in neighboring D.R. Congo are history written by the victors, and by their backers, the U.S. and the UK:

Indeed, on April 30, in an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Court, Professor Erlinder, Kurt B. Kerns, and Oklahoma lawyer John P. Zelbst filed a lawsuit, alleging that Kagame and nine of his current and former military officers and government officials are guilty of the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira, and subsequent acts which caused the civilian massacres that came to be known as the Rwanda Genocide, costing a million lives.  

And, that they are guilty of racketeering to acquire and maintain an interest in the resources of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, at a cost of 6 million more lives.  

D.R. Congo is one of the most resource rich nations on earth and its mineral wealth, most of all its cobalt reserves, are essential to modern military industries' ability to manufacture for war.   The U.S. is the world's largest consumer of cobalt.

The eight counts alleged in Habyarimana vs. Kagame are:
  1. Wrongful Death - Murder,
  2. Crimes against Humanity, 
  3. Violation of the Rights of Life, Liberty, and Security of Person, 
  4. Assault and Battery, 
  5. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Stress, 
  6. Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act,
  7. Torture, and, 
  8. Conspiracy to Torture
Media outlets around the world reported that Kagame had escaped process service in the U.S. on April 30th, but Peter Erlinder told KPFA Radio News, that Kagame had violated the law by doing so, and, that, assuming the law is upheld, he will be served and required to answer.

Click to listen to KPFA Radio News, May 2, 2010:

As Erlinder, and lawyers Kurt P. Kerns and John P. Zelbst, prepare to advance the case against Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Erlinder and Kerns also prepare to defend Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, against Kagame's Rwandan government.  

"I consider it my job to say things that my clients are not free to say," says Erlinder, "and I'm sure that Mrs. Ingabire realized that when she asked me to defend her." 

Also, click to play:

KPFA Radio News, April 4, 2010: Peter Erlinder and Paul Rusesabagina on the 16th anniversary of political assassinations that triggered the Rwanda Genocide. 

KMEC Radio News, April 28, 2010:  Parti Social-Imberakuri Candidate Bernard Ntaganda and banned Rwandan Umuseso Newspaper Editor Didas Gasana on political and press repression in Rwanda.     

Rwanda/Congo News videos on AnnieGetYourGang, a Youtube Channel.

Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in San Francisco, a regular contributor to the San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, Global Research, and Digital Journal, and a news producer for KPFA Radio-Berkeley. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rwanda arrests presidential candidate Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza; Rwandans call on international community to speak out

Rwandan presidential candidate Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, arrested 04.21.2010.

The San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper, published Rwandan exile
Aimable Mugara's 5-point action plan.

Rwanda arrests presidential candidate Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza

Rwandan presidential candidate Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, arrested April 21st, held at Kicukiro Police station. 

The Rwandan FDU-Inking Party's announced that their presidential candidate, Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, was arrested on the morning of April 21st, and taken to Rwanda's Kicukiro Police station.  They have called upon the international community to come to the aid of Mrs. Ingabiré and peaceloving Rwandan people:



Brussels, 21st April 2010

Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza: icon of the struggle for freedom, democracy and justice in Rwanda arrested

UDF-Inkingi Support Committee demands her immediate and unconditional release.

The UDF – Inkingi Support Committee condemns in the strongest terms possible the arrest this morning of the party Chair, Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, for her views on how to bring about genuine national reconciliation and peace through the rule of law and equal opportunity and how to end the cycle of political violence through a non violent, peaceful democratic competition for and exercise of power. We know that this violent arrest will not deter her determination, instead its prompts the struggle of this freedom icon to a higher level.

It is a tragedy for Rwanda that a call for justice for all Rwandans irrespective of political and ethnic affiliation and for an all inclusive national dialogue to give their views on how to put in place institutions that reassure every Rwandans is turned into accusations of: genocide ideology, divisionism and collaboration with a terrorist organisation FDLR.

Such a barbaric and unlawful act against a peace loving mother who braved the system to show that there is another way to bring about lasting peace and development in Rwanda is not only a challenge to the conscience and dignity of the Rwandan people but also to the international community, in particular foreign governments who are sponsoring the government.

It is an irony and a challenge to the international community that this is happening at a time when the Governor General of Canada, a lady herself and whose government was not only at the forefront of countries that sponsored Rwanda to join the commonwealth on the grounds that it meets democratic standards and other values of that organisation, is visiting the country. During the visit she is scheduled to meet the women and men of Kibirizi and participate in a discussion on the growing participation of women in Rwandan society.

We call upon governments and peace loving people and organisations to support us in getting our chair immediately and unconditionally released.

For the UDF INKINGI Support Committee Eugene Ndahayo, President.

This report has also been posted to Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza's blog,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Paul Kagame blames you and free speech, on the 16th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide

On April 7th, 2010, in his address at the Kigali Memorial Center, Rwandan President Paul Kagame blamed "you," a conveniently flexible and expandable category, and all those calling for political space and press freedom, for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, in which a million Rwandans died. This is the English language section of his English and Kinyarwanda address particularly concerned with press freedom. For the entire English language section of the address, click One week after this address, on April 14, 2010, Kagame's "High Media Council" shut down the independent African language newspapers that most Rwandans depend on. See

Monday, April 5, 2010

KPFA News on the 16th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide

On Sunday, April 4th, two days before the 16th anniversary of the political assassinations of Rwandan President Juvenal Habayarimana and Burundian President Cyprien NtaryamiraKPFA Radio Weekend News reported on the 16th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide, with the responses of Law Professor Peter Erlinder, Lead Defense Counsel for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, and Paul Rusesabagina, whose autobiography "An Ordinary Man" became the movie Hotel Rwanda.