Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quote of the Day

If the status of Rwandaphone Congolese and the question of land rights isn't resolved at the grassroots level, we're not going to see a lasting peace in the region.
                                                Laura Seay, Texas in Africa

1 comment:

  1. By the way, what does the Laura Seay mean by the unsettled "status of Rwandaphones [sic]"?
    I read with dismay her piece in Warscape. A piece that rehearses the usual detrimental received wisdom that has been peddled all around the Western media for the last two decades, and which has contributed to the indifference of the world while Congo was being systematically plundered and a genocide of 5 million Congolese was taking place. She claims that Rwandophones are discriminated against in finding jobs. Is this a joke? I grew up with Rwandophones in Kisangani whose parents were better off than mine, and who had great jobs in the banking and civil service sectors. As a cadet in the Zairian military academy in Kananga, my promotion commanding officer was Lieutenant Bikweto (currently a general living in Kinshasa), a Rwandophone whose own father was a NCO who's made his entire career in the Congolese army. For many years, Mobutu's chief of cabinet was Barthelemy Bisengimana, a Rwandan citizen, who used his position to dispossess Non-Rwandophone groups of their lands in North Kivu. Today, the lot of Rwandophones--particularly in the army and the police--has significantly improved. Three years ago, a Kinshasa daily gave the statistics of Rwandophone senior officers in the FARDC. Their number was staggering. We need to keep in mind that Rwandophones are a minority in a country of more than 450 other ethnic minorities. The current police boss of the DRC, General Charles Bisengimana, is a Rwandophone!
    That kind of theoretical hot air only contributes to exacerbate the resentment of other Congolese toward their fellow Rwandophone citizens.
    I also need to point out 2 more things Seay swept under the rug: firstly, as has been stated by Human Rights Watch, Ntaganda is a Rwandan, not a Congolese Munyamulenge. And a sizeable number of the FARDC troops confronting his bandits today are Banyamulenge. Secondly, Laurent Nkunda has never been arrested by Rwanda. I have friends in Kigali who bump into him now and then in the streets of his posh neighborhood.