The Institute for Policy Studies in collaboration with Friends of the Congo take a retrospective look at the twenty years since the overthrow of the US backed and maintained dictator of then Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko.
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) released the official “Report of the Mapping Exercise” in October 2010. The report documents “the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003”. U.S. tax dollars fund U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda, which are deeply implicated in these mass atrocities, crimes against humanity, war crimes and possibly genocide in the Congo.
The Rising Continent assesses the performance of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and UN peacekeepers’ forces in DR Congo (MONUSCO), and concludes that both failed to live up to their mandate:
President Obama said, in his 2009 speech in Accra, Ghana, that America should support strong institutions and not strong men. However in the case of Rwanda, this has been no more than rhetoric. Rwandans, like most Africans, cheered Obama’s election, hoping that it might signal a new, more peaceful and cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Africa, but Obama has expanded AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, and now he remains silent as Rwanda’s strongman, President Paul Kagame, prepares a sham presidential election to retain his brutal grip on power.
Join IPS and the Institute for Victims of Trauma (IVT) in a discussion featuring Ivan Kayonga and Leila Dane, experts on the effects of stress on traumatized populations.
Ivan Kayonga is a media person from Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali. He interviewed Dr. Dane on Rwanda TV in 2005 and produced the DVD, The Value of Resilience in Trauma Recovery. His visit to the U.S is at the invitation of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies for its annual convention, in Chicago this year. He has won his coveted travel grant for his remarkable creative ingenuity in defining a role for the media in facilitating the recovery of affected populations.
Leila Dane, a clinical psychologist, is Executive Director of the Institute for Victims of Trauma in McClean, Virginia. She is a specialist in traumatic stress and conflict resolution and works in conjunction with the American Psychological Association’s Public Interest Directorate as an expert on violence and also on ethno-political warfare.
Light refreshments to follow the presentation. The DVD will roll quietly in a corner, for those who are interested.
Limited seating. RSVP by email to email@example.com to guarantee your name is on the reserved seating list.
A common flaw in U.S. foreign policy is the politicization of foreign assistance. Whether Republican or Democratic, U.S. administrations allow narrowly defined “national interests” – instead of needs, priorities, and realities in a given country – to dictate foreign assistance. And Rwanda is an excellent case in point.