PCCO (Parti Communiste Congolais) in demonstration protesting rebel groups in Eastern Congo. (Image courtesy of: Boswa Isekombe Sylvere, general secretary of the PCCO and leader of the FUPC)
The opening of a new Canadian embassy in Rwanda is an effort to ensure that the plunder of Congo's mineral resources will continue under the protection of a US ally.
This article was originally published in Canada Files.
The Canadian government set up an embassy in Rwanda this June, to combat Russian and Chinese influence in Africa, under the racist logic that African nations should only develop relations with nations preferred by the West. But a deeper look reveals that this is only part of Canada’s imperialist calculations in Africa, as an anti-imperialist coalition in the Democratic Republic of Congo has helped drive the growth of anti-imperialist organizing that seeks genuine sovereignty, threatening the ability of Rwanda and Canadian mining companies to continue plundering the DRC.
The June 22, 2022 announcement about the opening of a Canadian embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, was made by Canada’s foreign minister, Mélanie Joly. The Canadian government and neoliberal press focused on the embassy being a way to counter Russian and Chinese influence in Africa. Mélanie Joly made it clear during the press conference that the embassy was meant to be “Canada’s voice” in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
While Canada is now concerned about having its “voice” be heard in the Great Lakes region, its actions have been historically far more impactful than just having a “voice”. In fact, retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire, under orders from NATO, was a critical contributor to the genocide in Rwanda perpetrated during the early 1990s by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s military arm), led by Paul Kagame. The RPA committed genocidal violence against the majority Bantu population of Rwanda, and the RPF took complete control of the country by 1994.
Canada reinforces Rwandan crimes led by Paul Kagame
Christopher Black, a renowned lawyer famous for the successful defense of General Ndindiliymana at the International Tribunal, said to The Canada Files: “Most of the killings [in Rwanda during the early 1990s] were done by the RPF [Rwandan Patriotic Front] against the Hutus.”Black was referring to the events that he feels should legally be categorized as the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda, rather than the popularized interpretation of a so-called civil war between 1990-1994.
His argument chiefly rests on the fact that every member of the RPA that invaded at the time still had Ugandan army identification on them and were in fact acting on the Ugandan government’s behalf.
In fact, a letter from Kagame, which Christopher Black used to exonerate his defendant, was damning evidence that the 1990-1994 Rwanda War and the First and Second Congo Wars were primarily instigated by Uganda, and later, Rwanda, with the full backing of US-led NATO. It also proved that the true target for NATO imperialism was in fact the DRC, which was then called Zaire. The letter, sent to TCF by Chris Black, is displayed in full below.
All three wars resulted in genocidal violence against a largely Bantu population. The First and Second Congo wars, particularly, were only possible with the complicity of a thoroughly infiltrated Congolese army of both Ugandan and Rwandan “Hima supremacist” sympathizers supported by NATO in general, and particularly, by Canada.
Canada is now reinforcing the crimes of Rwanda, with the latest show of support being the establishment of a permanent embassy in Kigali in late June 2022, akin to Trump’s opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, in contempt of Palestine.
Geopolitical and Historical Context of the opening of the Canada Embassy
When considering what Canada’s “voice” in the Great Lakes region has historically been, it’s important to look at the root cause of the instability in the Great Lakes Region:
Hima supremacy is an ideology used to explain the vast examples of advanced civilization in Africa that contradicted the white supremacist narrative, according to Congolese pan-Africanist Boswa Isekombe Sylvere, leader of the FUPC (Front Uni des Patriotes Congolais) and General Secretary of the PCCO (Parti Communiste Congolais).
It found practical expression in the brutal absolute monarchy of Ruanda-Urundi, supported by Belgium, according to Christopher Black, and in the British sponsored coup of Uganda, which ushered in Museveni.
Twenty years after the monarchy was expelled from Rwanda, the US, acting on behalf of NATO, pressed then-Rwandan president Habyarimana to allow his country to be used as a bulwark against Mobutu in what was then known as Zaire. Habyarimana’s refusal was what “made his days numbered”, according to Black.
The US provided training to Paul Kagame, the United Kingdom supported the Rwandan Patriotic Front through Uganda and Museveni, and the 1990-1994 war was launched in which every war crime committed was justified, papered over, and outright hidden by the Western dominated press, according to Black.
In fact, the war crimes were projected onto the Habyarimana government. That even included the killings in the north of Rwanda, where the RPA, under the auspices of Uganda, invaded from. As a matter of fact, the bones commemorating the genocide, for example, are mostly Hutus. They’re used as a propaganda tool for western tourists and an intimidation tool for residents of Rwanda, who are aware of how the victims actually died.
Canada, in particular, played a criminal role. Romeo Dallaire, the retired Canadian general who is currently used as a talking head on CBC to tell the public which of Canada’s geopolitical adversaries are “committing a genocide”, under orders from NATO, as Major-General of UNAMIR, instigated the entire chaos in Kigali by participating in the assassination of Habyarimana using Belgian and Canadian forces under his command. They directly supported the RPF in that regard.
Dallaire did this after first turning a blind eye to every massacre committed by the RPA, in violation of multiple ceasefire agreements going from 1990-1994, according to Christopher Black, and by allowing the RPA to infiltrate the Interahamwe and the FAR (Forces Armées Rwandais, under Habyarimana) during the Arusha Accord negotiations. Dallaire also aided and abetted in the assassination of Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe and the slaughter of tens of thousands of Hutus in the football stadiums of Amahoro, Byumba and Gitarama, all unambiguously conducted by the RPA.
The actions of Dallaire and the RPA, particularly in regards to the massacres at the stadiums, according to Christopher Black, even appalled Ghanaian soldiers under the UN to the point where they refused to follow any more of Dallaire’s orders. It is no exaggeration to say that, based on this information, Dallaire is complicit in what is actually the genocide of the Hutus and moderate Tutsis by the RPF.
The crimes were further compounded by NATO’s participation in Uganda and Rwanda’s war of aggression on Congo in 1996 and in 2000. With international media portraying the US led show trials of the war in Rwanda in a positive light (of which not one was able to produce a single piece of direct, corroborating evidence of FAR ordered killings, according to Black), the stage was set for the newly established Rwandan regime and Uganda to commit appalling acts of genocidal violence on Rwandan refugees in Congo and Bantu Congolese more generally. The death toll of these criminal wars is approximately six million.
M23, a group that emerged in 2011, is a Tutsi Congolese militant group supported by and controlled by Rwanda. It, along with the government of Rwanda, is guilty of many war crimes in Eastern DRC, as seen in a UN mapping report. It was quelled by the Congolese army in 2013, and signed a peace accord which it has violated to this day.
The wars in the DRC have served the preliminary goal of destabilizing the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo and thus opening up that region to cheap mineral extraction with a state too weak to effectively oversee and regulate the industry. This means largely Canadian, but primarily NATO member state mining companies getting rich off of tax evasion, slave labour, and forced labour. The ultimate goal is balkanization, as was the case in Sudan and Ethiopia, according to Boswa Isekombe Sylvere.
How the contemporary Democratic Republic of Congo has become a focus of NATO and Canada’s “voice”
The timing of the embassy’s opening this June, when considering its stated purpose, is almost certainly no coincidence. DRC citizens have been known to volunteer in the war in Ukraine on the side of the DPR and LPR, and there is a well established anti-imperialist movement led by the PCCO that is quickly gaining traction.
Boswa Isekombe Sylvere, the general secretary, who spoke on matters concerning The Canada Files investigation, was even invited to Patrice Lumumba’s (the first anti-colonial president of the DRC, assassinated by Belgian soldiers with the support of Mobutu, Canada, and the United States) funeral.
The FUPC movement Sylvere leads, which consists of 14 member organizations including the PCCO, is decisively anti-NATO, anti-EU, anti-American, pro-communist, pro-China, and pro-Russia. It is drawing crowds of thousands at protests in the DRC, and is making a plea to rally people to patriotically defend the DRC, rout Rwanda, and overthrow the neo-colonial Rwandan “fascist” government, in Boswa’s own words. Incidentally, a Cameroonian partner of FUPA, Nathalie Yamb, has been banned from entering France.
As a result of this movement, which has been openly organizing for at least three years, and was influential in pushing Joseph Kabila and his supporters out of presidential contention, more DRC citizens are taking hardline anti-colonial, anti-imperialist positions and joining military and militia defense of Eastern Congo for a “Lumumbist” DRC. This is likely the “malign Russian and Chinese influence” that the Canadian government and the neoliberal press is talking about.
It’s no coincidence that the US puppet state of Kenya, which is currently under US occupation, began operations in the DRC under the East African Community purview in late June .
Despite repeatedly being asked by journalists at press conferences, not a single commanding officer from the EAC decisively stated that they were going to bring an end to M23, the main threat in DRC that is currently seizing territory at the time of this writing. They repeatedly stated, instead, that they were there to “bring about a climate for peace talks” and also proceeded to deflect to the talking point of being concerned with “the other rebel groups”.
Foxes are guarding the proverbial henhouse
As thousands of additional troops get dispatched from Uganda to the DRC, consider a particularly important interview on the subject aired on the South African Broadcasting Channel between Peter Ndoro and Channel Africa Producer and Africa Affairs Analyst Nixon Katembo.
This interview aired on October 31, 2022, amid the DRC government’s decision to expel the Rwandan ambassador to the DRC, Vincent Karenga. Katembo noted that it was essentially a token gesture, and that the military situation had to be the real focus.
Katembo also highlighted a preceding event that infuriated NATO and the United States: DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s decision to buy Russian arms (8:25-8:35), including Sukhoi-25 fighter jets currently being used against M23.
He also pointed out the current backers of Rwanda and Uganda, including the US, the UK, and Israel.
During the interview, Katembo had mentioned that Kiwanja, a DRC city, was taken, not by M23, but by Rwandan special forces. This means that yet another invasion of the DRC by Rwanda, Canada’s “voice” of “democracy and human rights”, had taken place just under a month ago.
The EAC RFO (East African Community Regional Front Operation) in the Democratic Republic of Congo is actually financed by the European Union (1:52-1:57). Katembo, in the same interview, stated what he believes should be done to alleviate the situation in the DRC:
“The people who were put in command, who are they?... They are people who are issued from the CNDP, RCD, and M23… these are people you are then putting in the front line… to work with their former colleagues…the Congolese government should have gotten closer to SADC.. they went to East Africa thinking that getting closer to the East African Community will help alleviate some of the problems… you cannot tell the hyenas to solve the issue of an antelope.”
For those less familiar with African wildlife, the equivalent expression in Canada is “don’t let the fox guard the hen house”.
Christian Shingiro is a Rwandan-born naturalized Canadian citizen. He is known for his participation in Communist/anti-imperialist national and international politics and is the radio show host of The Socially Radical Guitarist. He is also a freelance web developer in Toronto, striving to provide "Socially Radical Web Design at a socially reasonable price".