Howard G. Buffett is pushing the international community to fully restore aid to Rwanda.
When a UN Group of Experts (GoE) report found that Rwanda was supporting rebels fighting a deadly conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a number of countries including the U.S. and Britain cut or suspended foreign aid in protest.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame steadfastly denied supporting the Congo militias that have been wreaking havoc along the Rwanda-Congo border, but the evidence was strong enough to convince even some of Kagame’s biggest supporters that Western powers needed to send a message of disapproval.
That didn’t include Howard Buffett, Warren Buffett’s son, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Buffett and Blair argued against the move, contending that reducing aid to Rwanda would just cause more harm than good to the unstable Great Lakes region of central Africa.
“Cutting aid does nothing to address the underlying issues driving conflict in the region, it only ensures that the Rwandan people will suffer — and risks further destabilizing an already troubled region,” Blair and Buffett wrote in a recent Foreign Policy article.
This was followed by a report from the Howard G Buffett Foundation making the same points. The report went further by questioning the reliability of the GoE – the group that originally reported evidence the the Rwandan government was supporting rebels in the eastern DRC.
It’s worth noting that the Buffett Foundation report was written by unknown authors and using unnamed sources. Continue reading
- Families on the move to escape the current fighting, eastern DRC; Credit
There is a new peace deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the outlook is mixed.
11 countries (DRC, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) signed onto the deal at the EU headquarters in Ethiopia.
The Central African coalition agreed to provide support, including 2,500 troops, to stabilize a country that has been beset by conflict for decades.
It’s not stable yet, and many are uncertain if this negotiated deal will accomplish much. Continue reading
Congo refugees in July, fleeing fighting in the east
The situation around the military conflict in DR Congo is changing (and deteriorating) rapidly following the takeover of the eastern provincial capital city of Goma by rebels known mostly as the M23 earlier this week.
I wanted to provide an update on the news – beginning with this most Orwellian statement yet from the Rwandan government:
Rwanda Calls for International Support to End Rebellion
Wow. You have to hand it to Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his colleagues for audacity.
It should be clear to everyone by now that Rwanda is actually running this Congo rebellion. So what better way to confuse things than to stand up and call for an end to the hostilities that you are conducting? It’s straight out of George Orwell’s novel 1984 and capitalizes on the media’s tradition of always reporting the counter-point position — even when all the evidence is to the contrary.
Anyway, Rwanda’s official denials may not be not fooling anybody, but they also don’t appear to be spurring the international community to take a stand and prevent this from expanding into a much bigger conflagration. This is a region quite familiar with massive death and destruction — with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda (and neighboring Burundi, we shouldn’t forget) and Congo as the battleground, until 2003, for what some have called Africa’s World War.
Where we’re at with the Rwandan-backed military insurgency in DR Congo:
Rebels have said they intend to take over all of Congo
The rebel army is on the move toward Kinshasa after defeating counter-attack
Tens of thousands are fleeing as health, safety concerns grow
The Guardian Who are these rebels and what does this conflict portend?
The BBC Q&A on the M23