This is not a rant. This is my heart speaking to you, especially if you read my posts often and actually take action from my requests. If you care about the Congo and want to see things change, you have to read this.
Some thoughts from some UN networking happening this week-end with supporters within the UN and also Congolese who presented at Security Council on Friday. Thoughts are not coherent, may be going on a tangent, but please… bear with me on this one…
1. The battle for peace in the Congo requires serious commitment, endurance, faith, and true dedication from people. One may not visibly see the fruit of his or her work, but many people are watching, appreciating, and depending on what we do for Congo. Raising our voices save lives. This is a very serious observation.
2. On the week where a permanent member of the security council at the UN did all in their power to block a section and an annex in a report implicating Rwanda, we had a unique opportunity to have Congolese speak at the security council. The close-session at UNSC with DRC folks and all 15 members was not about the more than 200,000 people displaced by the rebel group CNDP supported by Rwanda, but the LRA. While the atrocities of the LRA demand serious attention to end the estimated 200 rebels, we wonder why at this current time when 200,000 Congolese are homeless due to another rebel leader wanted by the ICC, Bosco Ntaganda, was not part of the Friday discussion at the Security Council. May be I was not privy to that conversation, but I’m very concerned with the different interests playing at UNSC.
3. It is clear that many members of the Security Council are concerned with the US Mission to the UN as to how they threatened to block the report, then played a role in removing the Rwanda section on the report and now provided the government of Rwanda with the opportunity to “respond” to the section implicating Rwandan generals in the support of rebels in the Congo. I don’t recall Gaddafi getting an opportunity to respond to the UNSC report on what was happening in his country. I guess some countries have “friends in high places” while millions die in the Congo and millions more are displaced.
4. The Department of State headed by Hillary Clinton is playing a nasty game. We have had very heated discussion with folks there. We are told through different sources that the State Department is ok with the UN report implicating Rwanda to be released and the blockage is coming from the United Nations and Susan Rice.
5. We, as Americans and immigrants in this country, have so much power to change what’s happening around the world. Right now, our State Department has sided with the
At first, I understood what is going on. Now, I really think they are taking us for fools. I don’t think they understand we are talking about human beings in the Congo. I don’t like meeting with officials here in NYC in a Japanese restaurant, having my bill paid for while my countrymen and women are being treated as 5th class citizens. Even dogs in the US have PETA. I was so frustrated today to see a woman in Central Park carrying a dog in a stroller while the government of our country is taking our tax money to pay folks at the State Department and the White House to lie to us. This is no more equivocation here… This is plain murder and I don’t understand what the people are getting out of it. I am not talking about institution… I am talking about Joe Shmuck who is not doing as much as he should to stop this nonsense. You don’t have to kill people to get to shiny rocks. Congolese don’t need to die for this… just ask and they will give it to you…
Here is where the frustration comes from. Ambassador Susan Rice represents the United States at the United Nations. She is not above the US president. She is not above the Secretary of State. Susan Rice is a State Department employee working as a representative at the UN. Her boss is Hillary Clinton. So, folks at the State Department take us for fools to tell us, get Susan Rice to not block the annex implicating Rwanda. I don’t want to deal with that… I know what’s going on. Just as the so-called ambassador for Global Woman issues Melanne S. Verveer told me that “The United States will not stop bilateral funding to Rwanda,” you should know that they, the entire State Department, are playing with the lives of people in the Congo. The issue is simple. You have a law, enforce it! The secretary of state knows it… just do it Hillary Clinton! Don’t tell us to go to Rice… she works for you… and you tell her what to do. At this point you have seen the annex, and you are the secretary of state… get your Gaddafi-out mood now, and enforce the law!
These folks want us to be diplomatic. We have been for the past 16 years and the death toll is increasing in the Congo. They want to bring us to off-record meetings. We have attended those. They want us to join the “special whatever” of “whatever” at the State Department or the White House so they could hear our concerns. They want us to get the “global outcry” for people in this country. We’ve gotten 400 universities and 60 countries to be engaged on Congo’s issues since 2008. They say the Congo is Obama’s priority. I believe it is… but saving lives is not… what’s the priority is access to strategic minerals with a particular focus on Tenke Fungurume owned by Freeport McMoran which has as their vice president, Melissa Sanderson, a former US embassy employee who facilitated the pilfering of Congo’s resources. Some allies even know the truth, yet they are afraid to sometime say it, and pass us the info. Then when the heat comes and we demand they back us up, the stakes are too high for them to even do so. I still remember an ally once told me “to tell you the truth Kambale, you have to do it. I can’t.” I was like “wait a minute!” I still have love for you… you know who you are… but it is time to save lives now!
There are so much to share with you, but the power is not in the hands of these officials. It’s really up to us. It is up to you. I said it to you this week… It took 14 years to get the Anti-Apartheid Act passed. It was not Congress who did that. It was the dedicated and informed activists who worked diligently to understand the stakes, build coalitions, and demand better from our elected officials.
You may think that calling your congressperson doesn’t really make a difference. These legislators are clueless. They don’t even know 200,000 people have been displaced by a rebel leader supported by one of US allies, Rwanda, who receive our tax money and the US is its biggest donor. Who trains the Rwanda army? Who gives them ammunition? Didn’t Obama give Paul Kagame of Rwanda immunity in the US when justice seekers took him to court here for crimes he has committed in Rwanda and Congo? We are clear that shifting US policy toward Africa can save lots of lives.
So, as an American… you hold so much power… You hold the power to stop your government in supporting an oppressive regime in Africa. If you can feel me, not my frustration, but my appeal to you… I really want you to register what I am about to write.
The crisis in the Congo is a war waged by US allies Rwanda and Uganda who invaded the Congo twice, in 1996 and 1998, and unleashed the deaths of more than 6 million people, half of them being children under the age of 5. This war is funded by our tax money through the support we give the oppressive regimes in that area, particularly in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo. The latest rebel uprising has been supported by US ally Rwanda in arming the rebels, allowing cross-bordering passage and recruitment of child soldiers in Rwanda, and more importantly, providing ammunition… all of this is a complete violation of the arms embargo.
As senators, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sponsored a law called Public Law 109-456 “The Democratic Republic of Congo Relief, Security, Democracy Act of 2006.” This law in its section 105 says that the Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) has the power to withhold aid to any nation deemed to be destabilizing the Congo if she has any proof that this country is doing so. So many evidence are available and yet she has not enforce this law, nor has the US president has done anything about it. It’s even weird that Sweden and Netherlands withheld aid to Rwanda in 2008, not because they have a law, but because it was their moral responsibility to hold accountable the country they fund in light of a report showing Rwanda supporting rebel leader Nkunda.
Who can make sure that the law is enforced? YOU CAN! How?
Well, we know that Hillary Clinton does not want to enforce it. We also know that Susan Rice, as a State Department staff is blocking the latest evidence at the UN. We know that Obama has amnesia about what is going on in the Congo. We should remind them about their commitment to Obama’s new Africa strategy on peace and democracy.
Here are some ideas for you…
Contact your congressperson. Have you actually done so? Seriously… Have you called your congressperson to demand the law to be enforced? It’s a simple call to the DC office just asking them that you are aware the law is being broken and you want your congressperson to enforce it. Same has to be done for both of your senators.
Second step is call Obama and Hillary Clinton. I can post more info on Monday about strategy.
Third. Build a team around you of people who are going to call, email, tweet to your legislators.
Fourth. Just call your local radio, tv stations, and newspapers giving them a tip about what is going on in the Congo. You could even write a letter to the editor about coverage on Congo or even submit an Op-Ed.
I have so many ideas… but I needed to rant about Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice.
I don’t understand why they act as if Congolese women are not human beings… I know the power of the American people in demanding change. I trust in all my friends and supporters to really be the voice of the Congolese with this window of opportunity in front of us.
Don’t stop… Don’t Quit… Be faithful… Be diligent… Do everything… and we shall see peace in the Congo very soon.
Stay tuned for a well-thought action… just wanted to give you my heart and thought tonight as this weekend has been a very enlightening experience for me in the city.