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Jan-21-2013 22:46printcomments

Sanctions on Rwanda, Not Drones over DRC

In a press release the FDU-INKINGI has agreed that sanctions are more a more appropriate measure and do not agree that drones should be used.


(WASHINGTON DC) - The use of drones for surveillance, security and other situations has been a hotbed of controversy for many years and in many countries.

The UNSC proposed the use of unarmed surveillance drones over DRC in order to monitor the border between Rwanda and DRC much to the disagreement of the Rwandan diplomats at the UN. Many believe the use of drones is an unaccountable tactic to spy on neighboring areas that could possibly lead to military action. But, in a surprising statement by President Paul Kagame on Monday January 21, 2013 said he has no problem with the use of drones over DRC.

Paul Kagame

Many activists and journalists have stated that the use of drones is not a positive step in ending the crisis in the DRC and feel that sanctions on the Rwandan officials supporting the M23 rebel group would be a more effective solution. This is a step the UNSC has yet to take. The UNSC have sanctioned top members of the M23 rebel group but have yet to sanction those backing this group though military direction, finances and arms.

In a press release the FDU-INKINGI has agreed that sanctions are more a more appropriate measure and do not agree that drones should be used. The press release is as follows:

Tough Sanctions against Gen. Paul Kagame's dictatorship can help bring peace to Eastern DRC, Not Drones

On Tuesday January 8th, 2012, M. Herve Ladsous the United Nations peace keeping chief asked the august body to consider providing its peace force in DRC, MONUSCO, with drones to assist in collecting evidence of foreign support to M23 rebel group. This request has received varied responses at the UN itself but also elsewhere in the world and in the East African region which is more affected by the DRC conflict and all its repercussions. US, Britain and France have expressed support of the Ladsous demand, China and Russia are opposed.

Within the M23 triangle, Rwanda is opposed to the usage of Drones, Uganda would support under certain conditions and guarantees, while Congo has shifted its position from opposed at first to support, at present.

A Group of Experts (GoE) report released in October, 2012, concluded that Rwanda is the brain behind the creation, training, organization and operations of M23 rebel outfit. Uganda was also, albeit to a lesser extent, blamed for citizens and officials’ support to the nefarious rebel group. The two states have naturally denied the accusations even if in the case of Rwanda, the evidence of their involvement with M23 is so overwhelming that their denials sound hollow.

It is important to note that human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and also local community organizations have on several occasions reported human rights abuses by M23 rebels including murder, rape, and torture and property crimes. These and others would constitute war crimes in a competent court. Perpetrators and their backers would be guilty of the highest crimes as proscribed by the international justice system.

The GoE report was widely accepted as credible and several countries such as US, Britain, the Netherlands, German and Sweden have cut targeted aid to Rwanda as an expression of their disapproval of Rwanda government’s criminal behavior in the east Democratic Republic of Congo.

The foregoing, coupled with several earlier reports such as the October, 2010 Panel of Experts (PoE) again finding Rwanda governments’ involvement in fermenting conflict and unrest in DRC, is more than enough evidence of Rwanda’s culpability. Usage of drones would not uncover anything that is not already known, and therefore a red herring.

The UN and its Security Council already have in their possession sufficient actionable evidence to rebuke, sanction and punish culprits responsible directly or indirectly of east DRC mayhem. What rather lacks is, the political will on behalf of those responsible for covering up, over many years, the bloody and criminal path of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), its army the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) and most importantly, the person of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda presiding over a kleptocratic murderous dictatorship responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths resulting directly or indirectly from the status of ‘non-accountability’ bestowed upon him by Washington and London.

Rather than Drones showing us what we have already seen, the US and Britain, as the main supporters of President Kagame and his regime, need to change their policy on Rwanda. Collecting more evidence without the political will to act on it, is wastage of valuable time and resources meanwhile innocent civilians, men, women and children are being murdered at will.

To end foreign meddling in the affairs of DRC, it is not more evidence which is needed but more political will and courage to act on the already existing one.

Deo Lukyamuzi
Commissioner for External Relations


Jennifer Fierberg is a social worker in the US working on peace and justice issues in Africa with an emphasis on the crisis in Rwanda and throughout the central region of Africa. Her articles have been published on many humanitarian sites that are also focused on changing the world through social, political and personal action.

Jennifer has extensive background working with victims of trauma and domestic violence, justice matters as well as individual and family therapy. Passionate and focused on bringing the many humanitarian issues that plague the African Continent to the awareness of the developed world in order to incite change. She is a correspondent, Assistant Editor, and Volunteer Coordinator for NGO News Africa through the volunteer project of the UN. Jennifer was also the media co-coordinator and senior funding executive for The Africa Global Village. You can write to Jennifer at Jennifer comes to with a great deal of experience and passion for working to stop human right violation in Africa.

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JNepo January 22, 2013 8:37 pm (Pacific time)

The use of drones in DRC is not necessarily a bad idea or a waste of valuable resources (time and money). There are two sides to this use and also strong reasons why Rwanda and Uganda were once opposed to the use of this valuable tool in the region (Yesterday Kagame in press conference accept the use of these drones). These reasons include for instance the fact that drones can be used in combats not just a tool for gathering information. One should also keep in mind that the vue expressed in these article are not necessarily those of FDU-Inkingi and its partners on this issue.

IngMah January 22, 2013 7:53 pm (Pacific time)

Twist. Kagame finally accepts sending drones in DRC

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