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  • Is Susan Rice "Bad for Congo"


    Kambale Musavuli: Susan Rice's record on Africa suggests as Secretary of State, she would side with dictators and US allies Rwanda and Uganda against the people of Congo -   December 7, 2012
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    Bio

    Kambale Musavuli, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a human rights activist, Student Coordinator and National Spokesperson for the Friends of the Congo. Mr. Musavuli’s professional activities, publications, and public engagements reflect his unflagging commitment to realizing peace and justice in the Congo. Mr. Musavuli has written for The Washington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus, The Huffington Post and numerous other academic and news publications. He has also been interviewed on National Public Radio, Democracy Now, ABC News, Al Jazeera English Television, Radio France International and a number of other radio and television programs. He has been profiled in publications such as “Christianity,” “News and Record,” and a few other newspapers around the world. His film appearances in Iara Lee’s “Cultures of Resistance,” Martin Scorsese’s “Surviving Progress,” and “Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth” reflect his astute understanding of the economical, ecological, and political dynamics of the global age. His expertise in issues ranging from labor rights, to corporate accountability, international financial institutions, environmental justice, and social justice has qualified him to serve as a research consultant for a number of film projects, socially responsible investor groups, and government agencies at their request. While studying Civil Engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, he developed a deep sense of community service and commitment to justice for all peoples. This experience strengthened his organizing skills by working with local activists on issues ranging from raising minimum wage, to ending police brutality and improving immigrant experience. This work taught him the importance of enabling youth to become change-makers in their communities. He continues such work by supporting organizations, like "Congo Leadership Initiative," an organization that empowers young leaders in the Congo and provides avenues for them to succeed and to ultimately remove the barriers preventing Congo from reaching its potential. He also engages students and communities worldwide in “breaking the silence” about the ongoing crisis in the Congo by encouraging them to organize Congo Week, an annual global initiative that commemorates the lives lost in the Congo during the conflict and elevates the profile of the Congo. Mr. Musavuli has received awards and acknowledgments affirming the essential nature of his work and the energy and impact of his voice. In 2008, he was appointed by Greensboro Mayor Yvonne Johnson as a member of the International Advisory Committee for the City of Greensboro, a committee that assist the mayor in elaborating policy and procedures that reduce gaps between United States Citizens and immigrants in Guilford County and its peripheries. In 2009, he received a Congolese Hero Award from the Congolese Development Center National Awards Program, an award given to Congolese citizens for exceptionally successful initiatives or achievements benefiting the community. In 2011, the United States Army awarded him a Commander's Coin for the educational workshop he conducted for military and government attorneys at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum profiled him in “Community in Action,” a campaign to bring public awareness to individuals who “take action to confront genocide and related crimes against humanity today." Mr. Musavuli tours the United States, Canada, and Africa speaking to university students, religious groups, global leaders, community organizers and many others, educating and mobilizing them to work as partners with a Congolese civil society that strives to end the country’s conflict, control its enormous natural wealth, and build lasting peace and stability in the heart of Africa.

    Transcript

    Is Susan Rice PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

    In Washington: a lot of debate about who's going to be the next secretary of state. And, of course, Susan Rice's name has been floated. She's the current representative of the United States to the United Nations.

    Now joining us for his view on the question is Kambale Musavuli. He's a human rights activist originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and he's a student coordinator and national spokesman for The Friends of the Congo. Thanks very much for joining us, Kambale.

    KAMBALE MUSAVULI, SPOKESPERSON, FRIENDS OF THE CONGO: Thank you.

    JAY: So what's your take on this issue? Are you looking forward to the possibility of Susan Rice as secretary of state?

    MUSAVULI: Well, it's a tough question for me. And I'm saying it's tough because I'm watching the debate, and the debate has revolved around parties and politics, which is hard for me, because my position for Susan Rice is that she is bad for Congo, and bad for Congo because of her record in Africa, specifically her record during the Rwandan genocide, during the Congo conflict. And even with the current uprising in the Congo, her record is really poor, that—as a secretary of state. I think the Congolese will have a hard time gaining some type of strong diplomacy for peace in the region.

    So, what has she done, and what is she doing right now? During the genocide, she was among the people who pretty much sided for inaction to stop the genocide in Rwanda. And we know the result of that—one million people died. That is the estimate. It is very unfortunate.

    In 1996 there was an uprising—actually, an invasion of Congo by Rwanda and Uganda, which, according to some of her statement during the time, she supported. You know, she was quoted saying that anything is better than Mobutu. Today we have over 6 million people dead because of a military solution to the conflict.

    In 2010 at the United Nations, when she was already the ambassador to the UN, there was a report called the UN Mapping Exercise Report, documenting the crimes of nations who invaded the Congo in '96, and putting a timeframe from 1993 to 2003 of all the crimes committed in the Congo. Reports show that the U.S. almost blocked the report. The only reason it was released, it was—first the UN Mapping Exercise Report was leaked to the press, and there was a lot of uproar around this report, because it called what was happening in the Congo war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possible genocide if proven in a competent court, implicating Rwanda for committing genocide in the Congo. Her office was part of blocking this report, according to many analysts.

    Now, this year, in the spring of 2012, we had a rebel uprising in the Congo. UN Group of Expert go and they see what is happening, and they write their report, implicating again one of the United States' ally, Rwanda, for supporting rebel groups in the Congo. Guess what? Susan Rice blocked that report, according to diplomats and the Security Council. They were actually confused, and they were actually telling the press they are not understanding why would Susan Rice block this report. This was denied by the U.S. mission at the UN, and the comment was that they are giving Rwanda a chance to respond to this report, which was really preposterous. The report was published.

    And then the final report, which was published this past November, showed how, again, Rwanda and Uganda are supporting rebel groups in the Congo. France writes a draft resolution on the crisis clearly stating that Rwanda need to be sanctioned for the issues in the Congo, that Rwanda has to stop supporting militia group in the Congo. Guess what? Susan Rice watered down the resolution, made sure that the name Rwanda was taken off the resolution and the resolution only speak about external support. And this was confirmed by many diplomats at the Security Council, and also it was reported in the press that Susan Rice has done so.

    JAY: And why do you think Rice does this?

    MUSAVULI: I believe she comes from the school of the Clintonites, pretty much. You know, we have to look at the conflict in the Congo in a historical context. Many people who worked with Bill Clinton have been a challenge for peace in the Congo because they are trained to cover for what actually happened during the Rwandan genocide and what happened in the Congo in 1996. So they provide cover for Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who is one of the staunchest U.S. ally on the African continent.

    So by creating positions, solutions such as let's give Rwanda a chance, or shutting down the report—this is not the first time the U.S. has done that. In 1997 they did the same thing, they blocked the Garretón report, while providing Rwanda for 16 years for the diplomatic backing that continued to happen for the Clintonites. This is actually what has caused the deaths of millions of Congolese.

    So for me, as a Congolese seeing a record in protecting U.S. interests by protecting Rwanda, which it did, causing many deaths in the Congo, I don't see that as secretary-of-state material.

    JAY: Alright. Thanks for joining us, Kambale.

    MUSAVULI: Thank you.

    JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network. If you'd like to see more reports like this, we need your support. We have a matching donor campaign: every $1 you donate gets matched till we reach $100,000. There's a Donate button somewhere over here. If you click it, it will help us quite a bit. Thanks for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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