KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) - Joseph Kabila, who followed in the footsteps of his assassinated father Laurent Kabila to head the Congo regime, has over the last weekend lambasted the Belgian government for questioning his human rights record and his economic activities that many feel illegal like the cancellation of long term mining and oil exploration concessions, supposedly due for “redistribution” to Chinese companies and probably regime cronies.
Strong words came out of Kinshasa, also taking a sweep at other European nations for daring to insist on the observance of human rights, portraying Belgium’s and Europe’s firm stand on these issues as a ‘master – slave relationship.”
Quickly forgotten seems the fact that Europe and Belgium made major financial contributions to the Congo in the recent past, including sending a peace keeping force to supervise the eventually stolen elections, which only left when the paymasters after all realized that Kabila would not change his ilk.
Paying for his upkeep, however, did not stop Kabila to take one swipe after another at the Europeans, and during the week went a step further and allegedly threatened future delegations from Europe to suffer ‘an incident’ if they would not change their agenda and tunes. Sounds much like the old egocentric tyrant Mobutu, doesn’t it? Millions of lives were lost in a liberation struggle to get rid of one of Africa’s worst despots only to see him replaced with yet another one.
Meanwhile, fresh fighting in the East of the Congo has again forced a halt to much needed food and medical aid reaching the poverty stricken people, as non-g0vernmental organization were compelled to stop work, while government troops and their friendly militias were rampaging through the affected areas.
At the same time further allegations were made against UN forces in Eastern Congo by the BBC, something for long alleged by other usually well informed sources, that ‘peace keepers’ were engaged in supplying arms and ammunition to militias in league with the Kinshasa regime.
This is of particular gravity, as those same militias are said to have båeen involved in the 1994 genocide against the Rwandese Tutsi and moderate Hutu populations and have since then engaged in a number of other terrorist activities against the new Rwanda, as well as Uganda, in cross border hit and run attacks.
This column has often in the past been criticized over the forthright stand taken against the going on’s in Eastern Congo but the latest allegations made by the BBC and their evidence offered as a result of their undercover investigation confirms all which has been said by this correspondent in the past. The BBC has singled out Indian UN troops for dealing and trading in gold and drugs with the Virunga based militias near the town of Goma. The ‘peacekeepers’ had allegedly even used UN helicopters to supply arms and ammunition to the terror militias at remote locations in exchange for illicit merchandise.
The essence of the latest news reports from the BBC also largely exonerates General Nkunda, whose Tutsi self protection forces have long been a thorn in the side of the Kinshasa regime and have been subjected to harsh pursuit by the obviously biased UN forces, their genocide militia friends and the regime’s own troops.
The UN cover up now suggested by the BBC reminds this correspondent very much of the situation in 1994 in Rwanda, when the UN also played a very dubious role in the build up of the genocide, which eventually cost some 800.000 lives, after its forces failed to take decisive action to prevent one of the worst mass slaughters of innocents in human history.
Then, as again now, the UN was prompt to go on the defensive and denied any wrong doings and pointed out that ‘new managers’ were now in place! However, like in the ‘food for oil’ and other scandals before, it will now not be long before the truth will be established for all to see.