Winning the Peace for
an African Renaissance
Mr. Gahururu is a representative of the Rally for Democracy in Rwanda (RDR), in charge of foreign relations. He delivered the following address to a conference panel entitled "Peace through Development in Africa: The Moral Challenge for Europe," on May 5.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the opportunity to address this friendly gathering. Allow me to thank the Schiller Institute for giving me the occasion for this study trip, and especially, allow me to express my thanks for having scheduled two interventions by the Rwanda delegation. Our message is unique: We are launching a solemn appeal and a cry of alarm, an SOS for Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region.
In the name of my own political organization, the RDR, one of the Rwanda political organizations which are struggling to promote the rebirth of Rwanda and Africa, allow me to express my profound gratitude for having given so much space at your seminar for men from my continent, a dying continent, to speak. I refer most especially to Lyn and Helga LaRouche, whose commitment towards Africa dates far back. Your loving relationship towards our continent began many years back.
For example, over 25 years ago, in 1974, you set up a team headed by Warren Hamerman, who, at that time, under your leadership, had warned of the worldwide holocaust which would be result of International Monetary Fund and World Bank policies in Africa. At the time, you had pointed to the neo-Malthusian doctrine expounded by these monetary institutions. You analyzed the nefarious influence of budgetary austerity, dictated, in true neo-colonialist fashion, to the continent.
What you said at the time was, and remains true today. The Bretton Woods institutions crushed economic growth, and sped on the process disintegrating our national economies. The greatest paradox lay in the fact that their policy led to a fall in national revenue, and, using as a pretext the need to make good the shortfall, the policy only led to a vicious circle of further austerity measures. Look at Africa today! A bitter sight to see! The famous Structural Adjustment Programs have done nothing but drag downwards physical production per capita. The possibility for men to create has shrunk, while both the social and economic life of our citizens is in jeopardy, in both the short and long term.
It is, in part, from this standpoint that one should understand the many acts of genocide in a dying Africa.
LaRouche's Program for Africa
You, Mr. LaRouche, did warn us! For example, in April 1975, your movement had opposed this policy of genocide, by a program of great projects for Africa. You cited, in particular, a road and rail network, and a project to develop the Sudanese savannah and the Sahel in West Africa. The latter took form in 1980, with the Committee for a New Africa Policy, which was then led by Hulan Jack. You took a stand, and launched a campaign to industrialize the whole continent. Your highly constructive criticism is still fresh in our mind, notably your famous analysis of the [Organization of African Unity's] Lagos Action Plan, in April 1980.
Allow me to note as an aside, that I would advise all African economics faculties to read, and draw the lessons, from that valuable document, which is still very much up to date. You note, chapter, book, and verse, the conceptual errors of the Lagos Plan, stressing the institutional obstacles to the development of nation-states on our continent.
You were even more concrete in 1985, when, within the Democratic Party faction you lead, you proposed interlocking infrastructural and development projects. I would single out the railroad projects from Egypt, which concern my native region, the Great Lakes, via Sudan, to include Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania. There was also the water-management project for the Nile and Lake Victoria basins. We followed closely the impact of your recent contribution, on your latest trip to Sudan, where you renewed your appeal to institutionalize a pact between the nation-states concerned by this vital project [see EIR, Feb. 9, 2001].
Mr. LaRouche, there are many of us from our region, who would express their gratitude to you. For us in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and the Congo, we are proud to count you among the few statesmen who have publicly denounced the genocide striking at our respective peoples.
The War Is Intensifying
Much is taking place: wars of genocide, unleashed by criminals against mankind. What follows is a credible statement from a witness who broke through the borders of darkness. It is a transcription of a homily by Msgr. Dominique Kimpinde, the bishop of Kalemie-Kiriungu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We learn that "the war, far from being over, is now intensifying . . . in southeastern parts of the Congo like Kyoko, Nyemba, Nyunwu. . . . The situation is still more dramatic for those who have remained behind. The children are little old men, there is neither clothing, nor soap, nor salt, nor medicine. . . . This fearful situation is not known abroad. Recordings are confiscated, letters, even those given to travellers, are opened, read, and often seized. We have no freedom. Even in Moscow, under Communism, I believe that prisoners could communicate with their families. So cut off are we, we live like slaves, in fear and anxiety that our lives will be lost. And there is no refuge, no succour."
A U.S. association, the International Rescue Committee, found, in June 2000, that 1.7 million lives had been lost in the Congolese war. That agency has just revised its figures upwards. It confirms a report from a Washington Post reporter, Karl Vick, who revealed in the Washington Post on April 2, 2001, that the conflict has probably already led to the death of 3 million Congolese. Since August 1998, Kivu has undergone systematic depopulation. More than 2.5 million are in refugee camps. They are wandering about the interior, or are in camps in Tanzania, Zambia, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Brazzaville, etc. Women have been buried alive at Kalambi (Mwenga). Massacres have been perpetrated at Makobola and near Fizi, everywhere, even in hospitals, such as that at Mukongola (Kabare).
U.S. Rep. Cythnia McKinney (D-Ga.) was not wrong when she spoke of "genocide" in the Congo. There is, indeed, a systematic character to the killings, which have been carefully planned ahead of time. It cannot be a mere accident, that humanitarian aid has been systematically blocked, that the civilian population has been dispersed towards such inhospitable areas. . . .
You may perhaps have read the latest experts' report on the illegal exploitation of the Congo's natural resources. The report refers to systematic looting of its minerals, coffee, wood, cattle, by armies of the Burundi [President Pierre] Buyoya, of the Rwandan [President Paul] Kagame, and of that Ugandan Hitler, [Yoweri] Museveni. The looting goes on, treading underfoot the Congo's sovereignty, as well as international law. The outcome is twofold: These aggressor armies have gained access to vast financial resources, and have built up a mafia net, made up of regional and international criminal bands, but operating on a global scale!
Do you wish further detail, as to what these campaigns of deregulation, globalization, and so forth, mean for us in Africa?
The Price the Great Lakes Region Has Paid
The Great Lakes region knows the price it has paid: the death of 6 million people in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo, written off as collateral losses, against the revenue of diamonds and gold. The international community, paralyzed by its guilt for having failed to act whilst genocide took place in Rwanda in April 1994, allowed Kagame's army, backed by Museveni and Buyoya, to unleash terror throughout the region.
Let me tell you one thing about Rwanda. As the Belgian Parliamentary Inquiry on the genocide in Rwanda showed, it was Paul Kagame who laid down an ultimatum to the foreign troops present at that time: Leave the country, and refrain from all assistance to the Rwandans in danger of death.
Similarly, one should bear in mind that the final report of the UN Commission on the genocide in Rwanda, prepared under the chairmanship of the former Togolese Minister Mr. Atsu-Koffi Amega, was perfectly clear as to what occurred between April and July 1994 in Rwanda. The report concluded that both military men commanded by Kagame, and those of the former Rwandan government, had broken international humanitarian law and perpetrated crimes against humanity.
Today, ever more reliable witnesses have pointed to the RPF [Rwandan Patriotic Front], in general, and Kagame, in particular, as having been behind the murder of the Rwanda President [Juvenal] Habyarimana, and his Burundi colleague, Cyprean Ntaryamira, along with several close associates and the French aircrew, on April 7, 1994. As you will recall, this murder led, according to the UN Commission of experts, to "crimes against humanity and acts of genocide."
When we call for a major initiative to save peace and security, we first mean restoring truth and justice. We need your political and diplomatic support to solve a life-and-death problem affecting the peace and security of more than 150 million inhabitants in the Great Lakes region. France has already put forward the excellent idea of an international conference on durable peace and security in the Great Lakes area. It deserves our support. For that dialogue to take place, and lead to real results, it must be open to all sides, and held under circumstances which will allow the participants to come to what might be like the Münster Agreement [the Treaty of Westphalia] which ended the Thirty Years War in Europe in the 17th Century.
There are urgent situations which require your intervention to save the peace: a halt to the hostilities; setting up a legitimate state in our area, along with republican armed forces and security forces which will reassure each citizen; strict respect for the rights of the individual; peaceful return of the refugees; partial, or general amnesty following proper trials; the freeing of political prisoners.
Rest assured of one thing: Contrary to calumnious reports in the press, in our own region, and throughout the diaspora, there is great determination to end the suicide of our respective peoples. Despite great suffering, we are mobilized for a culture which stands for life and freedom. We intend to contribute to the idea of an African renaissance, as it has been ardently defended by Presidents [Thabo] Mbeki of South Africa, [Gen. Olusegun] Obasanjo of Nigeria, [Abdelaziz] Bouteflika of Algeria, and [Abdoulaye] Wade of Senegal. Everyone agrees: The Rwandan cauldron represents—unless something be done—the threshold of a new Dark Age for the whole continent. Rwanda, and the Great Lakes area, is a test of conscience for the whole of mankind. This is where humanity shall show of what stuff it is made, that it has the morality and the energy required.
Economic Growth Is Crucial
More concretely, and to a subject dear to LaRouche: Only the perspective of growth in the real economy, such as would improve the living conditions of the population, can bring hope back to our region, and to all of Africa. This also happens to be the fundamental requirement to settling our conflicts.
There will be no peace, unless our countries know social and economic progress. The last 25 years have been a great let-down for Africa. Her youth is now convinced that the West is concerned only to control, and loot, her raw materials. And although some governments have perhaps helped a little more than others, they have not dared to overthrow the basic trend of a disastrous policy. An international conference on the Great Lakes would bring back onto the agenda this sort of issue, which has constantly been put off at the summits of Western heads of state.
One crucial point: $350 billion of Africa debt. That debt must be redirected, so as to allow infrastructure projects to go up all over the continent, without which, poverty will never be wiped out, nor will there be industrial and agricultural development. My own political organization is deeply grateful to a friend of Africa, who has helped us to understand the stakes involved in the renaissance of Africa, for which he has made the Leibnizian concept clear: a fusion between political, economic, social, and cultural progress, on the one hand, and scientific and technological progress on the other.