14 April 2006
In this issue:
R2P references in the news:
1. AP: Rwandans Mark 12th Anniversary of Beginning of Genocide
2. M2 Presswire: UN: In Message to ESCAP Session, Secretary-General Urges Members to Sustain World Summit Momentum
3. National Post (Canada): Ten Reasons to Stay in Afghanistan: A U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel explains why Canada must stay the course in Afghanistan
R2P is reason number 8
Chinas role in Africa, including Sudan and Zimbabwe
4. The Weekly Standard (U.S.): Back to the Maoist Future: China's African Ambitions
Rwanda: Genocide remembered and new arrest
5. The New Times (Kigali): The Role of the West in the Rwandan Genocide
6. The New Times (Kigali): Rwanda wants Arrested Murwanashyaka Held Liable for Insurgency
Listserv prepared by: Heather Sonner
1. Rwandans mark 12th anniversary of beginning of genocide
7 April 2006
NYAMASHEKE, Rwanda (AP-CP) _ Rwandans observed a minute of silence Friday to mark 12 years since the former extremist Hutu government launched its slaughter of more than a half-million people, mainly ethnic minority Tutsi
Despite the passage of time, countries still seem unwilling to commit troops and money needed to stop mass slaughters, Juan Mendez, the UN special adviser on prevention of genocide, said at the United Nations in New York City.
Governments have repeatedly promised ''never again'' in the years since the Holocaust and the Rwanda killings. They have become better at nurturing peace processes but are still reluctant to do much more, he said
'''Let somebody else do it' is still very much in place.''
Michael Kovrig, Media and Communications Officer for the Canadian UN Mission issued a statement Friday, saying: ''Canada has led the way in promoting the Responsibility to Protect, particularly in the negotiations leading to the World Summit. Our advocacy for the Responsibility to Protect is continuing.''
''Support for the Responsibility to Protect as a global norm is a significant step for the United Nations and our collective ability to respond more effectively to situations involving genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity.''
''To deliver on this responsibility, the UN and regional organizations must have the capacity to respond to such crises.
We also strongly believe that the Responsibility to Protect principles should be incorporated into Security Council norms and practice.'' ()
Mendez drew connections between Rwanda and Darfur, where the UN Security Council has agreed to being preparing to transfer authority for the peacekeeping force in Darfur from the African Union to the UN.
''Debates about troop strength on the ground and about mandates of the troops on the ground are very eerily reminiscent of what happened then'' in Rwanda, Mendez said
Full text: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2006/04/07/1525188-cp.html
2. UN: In message to escap session, Secretary-General urges members to sustain World Summit momentum
11 April 2006
Following is the message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the sixty-second session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), delivered today in Jakarta by Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary, ESCAP:
I urge you to use this meeting to sustain the momentum generated by last September's World Summit in New York. While world leaders did not achieve everything we might have hoped for, they did agree on progress across a broad front They achieved a breakthrough on the responsibility to protect, with all Member States expressing their will to act collectively, through the Security Council, when a population is threatened with genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity. The creation of a Peacebuilding Commission and a Human Rights Council are major milestones
ESCAP's own reforms of recent years are an important part of efforts to adapt the United Nations. I know that ESCAP, together with the other four regional commissions, is taking steps to strengthen management, improve coordination, and ensure that its work reflects the priorities of Member States. I thank ESCAP for its contributions to system-wide reform, and offer my best wishes for a productive session.
Full text: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10410.doc.htm
3. Ten reasons to stay in Afghanistan: A U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel explains why Canada must stay the course in Afghanistan
National Post (f/k/a The Financial Post) (Canada)
By Stephen J. Mariano and Benjamin Zyla
11 April 2006
This week's Parliamentary debate on Canada's Afghanistan deployment is sorely needed [H]ere are the top 10 reasons why Canada should stay committed to Afghanistan:
10. Economics. ()
9. Poppies. ()
8. Rule of law and human rights. Canada has worked hard, both inside and outside the United Nations, to promote human rights and the rule of law. In particular, Canada has been a leading advocate of the "responsibility to protect" doctrine, which asserts that wealthy nations have a duty to prevent human-rights abuses in other nations.
Unless Afghanistan's government respects the rule of law, the country will be at risk of slipping back into anarchy and tribal fiefdoms. Abandoning one of the world's poorest countries would send a negative message about the value Canadians place on basic human rights.
7. Democracy: ( )
6. Reinforcing success: The international community's chance of success is better in Afghanistan than most other war-torn nations. Despite occasional spasms of violence, stability and reconstruction efforts are proceeding apace. Canada's "diplomacy, development and defence" (or 3-D) approach is working. Shifting Canadian efforts to other crisis spots -- such as the Darfur area of Sudan -- is tempting, but pre-mature. By making Canada's commitment to Afghanistan a priority, foreign and defence policy makers can maximize the impact of scarce Canadian resources. Taking on too many commitments with too few resources risks ineffective engagement in all endeavors.
5. Treaty Obligations: When NATO took command of the Afghanistan mission in 2003 under a new UN Security Council Resolution, all 19 members committed to stability and reconstruction in the country, including Canada. It should continue to fulfill its obligations.
4. Central Asian regional security: ()
3. Canada-U.S. relations: ()
2. Pride ()
1. Canadian Security. ()
Taken together, this list of reasons run across party lines; and across ideological lines as well, from hawks to doves As the Parliamentary debate over Afghanistan unfolds, the governing Conservatives should set those reasons out.
Stephen J. Mariano is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, and Visiting Defence Fellow at the Centre for International Relations, Queen's University. Benjamin Zyla is a German PhD student in the War Studies Program at the Royal Military College of Canada.
Full text: http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=4d5850f8-6ecb-49df-8991-9452ee5dc300
4. Back to the Maoist Future; China's African ambitions
The Weekly Standard
17 April 2006
(...) Nothing is driving China into Africa more than its insatiable appetite for oil and gas Today, Africa provides China with 30 percent of its energy imports. ()
Sudan presents the most pernicious example of China's new Africa policy, where Beijing combines its drive for exclusive access to natural resources with an aggressive political campaign to ingratiate itself with the continent's despots. While the United States, the European Union, Japan, and others sought to impose U.N. sanctions on the Sudanese regime over Khartoum's support for the genocide in Darfur, China strenuously opposed Security Council actions. Why? To prevent international economic sanctions from interfering with China's $3 billion investment in Sudan's oil and gas industry.
In fact, while 4,000 Chinese People's Liberation Army troops guarded oil pipelines, Sudanese government forces and government-aligned militias attacked rebels and hundreds of towns and villages around oil installations, forcing the dislocation of hundreds of thousands. Tragically, Khartoum has doubled its defense budget in recent years, spending 60 percent to 80 percent of its estimated $500 million in annual oil revenue--half of it from China--on weapons. Moreover, with Chinese assistance, the Sudanese government recently built three weapons factories, complicating international arms embargoes against Khartoum.
The comment of Chinese ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong, while he was deputy foreign minister, reflects Beijing's Africa policy: "Business is business. We try to separate politics from business. Secondly, I think the internal situation in the Sudan is an internal affair, and we are not in a position to impose upon them."
In Zimbabwe, for example, President Robert Mugabe's repeated political and human rights abuses led the United States and the E.U. to impose punitive sanctions against the regime. Beijing's response was to sell Zimbabwe over $200 million worth of fighter aircraft and military vehicles. Beijing also provided equipment for jamming antigovernment media broadcasts and gave electronic surveillance equipment to Harare's security services to monitor political opponents.
Last summer, Britain and the United States backed yet another U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Mugabe's policies. Meanwhile, Mugabe flew to Beijing, seeking a handout for his beggared economy and Chinese support at the U.N.--which Beijing gave, killing the resolution(...)
What is needed is a comprehensive U.S. strategy that encourages democratic principles, human rights, free markets, and cooperation in regional security and energy development in concert with like-minded partners, looking beyond traditional European friends to democratic Asian and Latin American nations for support
Peter Brookes, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow, is the author of A Devil's Triangle: Terrorism, WMD and Rogue States.
Full text: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/090kryyu.asp
5. The Role of the West in the Rwandan Genocide
Africa News (The New Times - Kigali)
By Emma Miller
12 April 2006
() The failure of the international community to intervene in this mass slaughter still represents a monumental failure of the 'civilised world'. Further, the Western media's stereotyped and simplistic reporting of Rwanda had a critical impact on decisions made at the time. ()
After the killing started, the UN did propose to dispatch 5,500 troops to help stop the massacres. Pressure from the US and Britain meant that the deployment was delayed Britain also sought to block the use of the word 'genocide' because under the 1948 UN Convention, this would have obliged states to 'prevent and punish' those responsible.
Within Rwanda, there were those who refused to take part in the orchestrated slaughter. Many Hutus who resisted, or intervened to save Tutsi lives, were butchered. While the Christian churches in Rwanda were all complicit to varying extents, Islam was the one exception. The imams called on Muslims to oppose the killing. ()
Afterwards, a multinational evaluation of the genocide charged that since the Western media failed to report adequately, this 'possibly contributed to international indifference and inaction, and hence the crime itself.' Failure to report the complicity of prominent members of the international community (notably France, Egypt and South Africa) in arming and assisting the Habyarimana regime, contributed to an inappropriate international response that exacerbated the crisis.
There are positive signs of recovery in Rwanda, attributable to the country's people. The solidarity of Rwandan widows is impressiveThere is the work of the local (Gacaca) courts system and the commitment of many Rwandans to reconciliation
Canadian Professor John McMurty explains that IMF policies had a critical role in destabilising Rwanda's economy before the genocide. From 1990, IMF interventions resulted in the collapse of earnings, triggering steep price increases in food and fuel and rapid increases of malaria and malnutrition. In1992 IMF policies resulted in utility privatisations, and reduced public investment. The money disbursed to the Habyarimana government from new loans was used to purchase weaponry from France, and massively increase the army. ()
Rwanda demonstrates the need to challenge the Western media's mechanistic interpretations of conflict in Africa. The role of international finance is critical, yet ignored Rwanda further highlights the limitations to our democratic system, in the manipulation of the UN by the powerful. Although Britain is culpable in preventing an international response to the genocide, those responsible have never been held to account. If the international day of reflection on Rwanda is to have any meaning, these democratic deficits have to be addressed.
Emma Miller is an independent writer and researcher living in Scotland.
Full text: http://allafrica.com/stories/200604120336.html
6. Rwanda Wants Arrested Murwanashyaka Held Liable for Insurgency
Africa News: The New Times (Kigali)
By James Munyaneza
11 April 2006
Dr Charles Murigande told The New Times that [Dr. Ignace Murwanashyakas, the current leader of the movement known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)] arrest in Germany was welcome and that the Federal Republic of Germany should expedite the process of handing him to a court of their choice for trial
He said FDLR committed gross atrocities both in Rwanda and in the region, for which Murwanashyaka should be held responsible
Asked whether Rwanda would ask Germany to extradite Murwanashyaka to stand trial here, the minister said: " if they extradited him, it would be better and if they chose to try him from there or in the (DR) Congo, where FDLR has also violated human rights, it would still be okay"
Shortly after the 1994 Genocide, the Interahamwe, a precursor to the FDLR launched an insurgency that hit mostly the north and west of the country, leading to thousands of deaths and displacement of civilians
Besides the violent campaign it has maintained inside the DRC since 1994, FLDR is accused of the murder of eight Western tourists in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in March, 1999 and the horrendous massacre of at least 150 Congolese refugees of Rwandan origin in Katumba refugee camp in 2004 in Burundi, among other cross-border crimes. ()
The militia leader was arrested by German police last weekend, upon arrival from Belgium.
He had flown to Belgium from Uganda's Entebbe Airport April 5, a day after he crossed to Uganda through Congo's Buramba border post under the facilitation of both the UN Mission in Congo (MONUC) and Kampala. Rwandan officials say it was unfortunate that some people had continued to facilitate Murwanashyaka to move freely, despite being under UN travel sanctions. ()
Several Rwandan dissidents are reported to be in Kampala with full protection of top Ugandan officials, and in possession of Ugandan passports ()
Full text: http://allafrica.com/stories/200604120074.html