Disappointed, But Still Standing: Are Rwandans Building their Nation on a Rock or Sinking Sand?

Felicien Kanyamibwa, Leading the Chamber of Commerce (Board of Trade) and business leaders in a meeting with Rwandan Government in Kigali, Rwanda in 1989

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

On July 1, 2023, Rwandans commemorated 61 years of independence.  In fact,  sixty one years ago, on July 1, 1962, the nation of Rwanda gained independence from colonial powers. I was then almost 1 year old  growing up in Congo - Kinshasa.  As Rwandans have been annually commemorating the independence, they have been under one of the most brutal dictatorships in Africa for the last 29 years, according to reports from various independent organizations, reputable media, and governments.  From these reports, it appears clear that while trying to project progress, development, peace, and security, through a well crafted propaganda machine and greedy allies, the Rwandan dictatorship, under an oligarchy led by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and an absolute ruler, Paul Kagame, has become one of the most despised brutal regimes in Africa, especially in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Hence the prevalent question today, to both Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, is: are Rwandans Building their Nation on a Rock or Sinking Sand?

 On November 13, 2016, I was invited to attend a Christian church fellowship in Brooklyn, New York, USA, at the Brown Memorial Baptist Church. Brown Memorial Baptist Church, that was celebrating 100 year-anniversary of its creation, has played a key role in the American Civil Rights movement. Following the celebration and reflecting on the message from Reverend Pastor Clinton Miller, I wrote a short note on November 25, 2016, with a Word of Hope for Rwandans to overcome disappointments, trials,  and tribulations.

More Disappointed, But Still Standing: A Word of Hope for Rwandans

    In the discourse, titled "Disappointed, But Still Standing: A Word of Hope for Rwandans" (see Disappointed, But Still Standing: A Word of Hope for Rwandans),  I highlighted a key point, with a reference to the situation in Rwanda. In fact, Rwandans have been facing trials and tribulations for immemorial times.  Despite brief periods of calm, the situation has increasingly worsened, and the current prospects augur dire warnings.   Recently,  as an example, I summarized a personal situation  in a note (see Rwanda: What is Wrong With Gen Paul Kagame and RPF regime: Remembering my Brothers Maj Ir Emmanuel Munyaruguru, Thaddée Munyamvuke, and Oban Ndarama, My Sisters Priscilla Nyirarusagi Nyarahabineza and Appoline Elizabeth Mujawimana and my Nephew Twizere.) . Another example may be found here: Beyond Ethnic Politics and Fear: Hutu, Tutsi, and Ethnicity in Rwanda. But, given the worsening current security situation and humanitarian tragedy in the Great Lakes Region, a potentially looming  catastrophe may be on the horizon. 

     Hence, with the cumulating trials and tribulations and the ominous dire warnings, Rwandans may be tempted to give up, to give in, or to think that life is not fair. But, I still urge them to remember this: We have been disappointed over and over again, but yet, we, as a people, are still standing. In fact, Rwandans, including those reading my words, are still standing

 Before I go further with this discourse, I want to clarify my position once again: My goal is not to single out  any specific person, being it a leader or a common citizen. My aspiration is and has always been for all Rwandans to feel safe, united, freed and free, so that they may pursue happiness as anyone else in the free World. Hence, the  key question and proposed lessons in  this discourse.  I truly hope and believe that the current Rwandan oligarchy and the absolute oligarch at the top will heed my humble warnings. 

 The Foundation of the Rwandan Nation: The Rock vs The Sinking Sand.

     The challenging question for today is this: since you, Rwandans, are still standing, are you building your nation on a rock or sinking sand?
This question is addressed to all Rwandans including, and especially, the leaders of the current regime led by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) oligarchy and its absolute oligarch, Paul Kagame, and his family.

    For Christians, the teaching about building on a rock or  sinking sand can be found in the Bible, Matthew 7:24-26. From the Bible, we learn that it is easier to build a foundation on sinking sand than on a rock. However, how long a  building will last on sinking sand? According to the teaching, even though it may be easier and less costly to engage on that path, only a foolish man or woman, will choose to build on sinking sand than on a rock.

   Based on what has been happening in Rwanda, including often false projected images of prosperity, development, peace, security, it is clear that people may see the reflections and perceptions projected by questionable leaders, foolish followers, wicked flatters,  and an abhorrent system, instead of focusing on the foundation. 

Given that perspective, would it be possible that the nation of Rwanda is currently floating on sinking sand?

In fact, as it is said in 1 Timothy 4:1 "some people tend to follow the teachings of the demons through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron,  and may not seek to see the differences between the fatal easy fake and the tough solid real". These naive people and opportunists would follow the wide road, and hence would focus on the perception of good fruits and no try to see the foundation, hence the truth.

A warning to Rwandans is very simple: are you prepared for the storm, floods, and water currents that will fiercly erode the sinking sand?  Do you realize that it is too late to prepare for the storm when the flood has started to rain down? In fact, when the unavoidable truth and reality will begin to liquefy and swipe away the sinking sand,  it would be too late.

 The story of the mythological king of Rwanda highlighted in my recent book, Even Roosters Dream to Fly (see here on Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/aroni and on my web sitewww.felicienkanyamibwa.com),  could give an account of  a close experience to relate to, for  the current Rwandan leaders, their families, and  their closest aides, and for all the Rwandans in general as they try to figure out the direction to where the Rwandan nation is heading. The difference, of course, is that the mythological king in the novel was well beloved by the people and was facing  powers trying to destroy not only his reign, but also and most importantly, the nation. 

Rwandan Oligarchy: a One Man Rule Leading a One Minority Rule

As of today, from several independent objective political analyses and reports,  the current Rwanda leaders are, arguably, among the most, if not the most,  despised leaders in Africa, despite a very well crafted propaganda machine supported by immense resources and major efforts to serve interests aimed at looting Africa, oppressing Rwandans, terrorizing neighbors, and creating a climate of insecurity to stifle any potential challenge to their oligarchy.  

As I mentionned in my earlier notes and discourses, just to target me alone, between 2008-2012,  the Rwandan oligarchy  spent tens of millions of dollars  funding lobbysts, politicians, journalists, and other agents.  The waste of the resources has continued to date.

 I remember some interviews of  Paul Kagame in his presidential palace, Urugwiro, and his then Minister of Defense, James Kabarebe and an influential American political leader  by  journalists from a US-based large national and international  television, radio, and media channel and agents.   In those interviews  some of these journalists from a US-based large national and international  television, radio, and media channel and agents asked Paul Kagame, James Kabarebe, and  the American political leader   about me  and their planned actions against me.   Paul Kagame's, James Kabarebe's  and the American politician's responses  to the questions by the  journalists  and the subsequent comments about me were, to say the least, both sidesplitting and pitiful. The American political leader  was later decorated by the Rwandan government for his unspecified services, allegedly including his help on my case.

 In the end,  the US-based large international media, television, and radio channel decided to halt a successfully TV series, when the episode on me was the next scheduled to air. My contacts within the international media, television, and radio channel, including those who had interviewed me and their high level managers, later told me that they could not air such an episode wrongly targeting me  in a such way, when they knew me well, had grasped the person who I really am, and the purpose and the principles of my long selfless struggle for human rights and speaking for the voiceless. They also said that they had decided to end the TV series mainly because of that and will never air the episode about me.

 But the tragic question  remains: why did the Rwandan oligarchy waste tens of millions of dollars on such open and other secret initiatives targeting me, a harmless  individual,  instead of allocating these resources to more valuable contributions for the benefits of the Rwandan people?   Unfortunately, the Rwandan oligarchy has not ceased  to squander the resources for these wicked schemes, even on inconsequential people.  When will this waste of valuable resources stop? 

Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, a respected academic and a former Nigeria Foreign Affairs Minister, has summarized the tragedy that the Rwandan nation has been going through, as their leaders continue to build their rule on sinking sand. In an interview with Arise News on June 23, 2022 (see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryu5nxPIMes), Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, commenting on the  irrational decision of holding the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, despite surmounting concerns on human rights violations, candidly said that there is nothing good to say about the current Rwandan leaders and emphasized that Rwanda is a misrepresentation of the concept of a commonwealth nation, as Rwanda regime is a one man rule, under Paul Kagame, leading a one minority rule, under the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

The observations by Professor Bolaji Akinyemi confirmed the views of and valuable comments from several African activists, including the well known PanAfrican Activist Kemi Seba (Kémi Séba: AfroAmerica Network Black Man of Year 2021). The general agreement is that Rwanda's Paul Kagame is the leader of an oligarchy in Rwanda that survives on wars, systematic crimes, looting resources, corruption, repression and other despicable crimes, including crimes against humanity and war crimes,   against Rwandans, Congolese, and other Africans (see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt58eL4G1pw).

Even well known international media channels, including those that usually praised the Rwandan ruler, are no longer hiding their take on Paul Kagame’s worsening reputation. As an example in 2022, during his last trip to the US to attend the UN General Assembly, Paul Kagame paid a visit to the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams.  Jon Levine of The NewYork Post, in the article published on Sep 17, 2022 and titled “Eric Adams meets with controversial ‘friend’ — Rwandan President Paul Kagame”, commented: “Kagame, who has ruled Rwanda since 2000, is a polarizing figure who has faced widespread criticism for his authoritarian leadership style. His 2017 reelection — in which he won 99% of the vote — was widely dismissed as rigged by international observers... Critics of Kagame have also frequently turned up dead. ...“Rwandans who have dared raise their voices or challenge the status quo have been arrested, forcibly disappeared, or killed, Ida Sawyer, then-Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said after Kagame’s 2017 reelection. .

Perhaps, even more important is a press statement about Rwanda from the Government of the United States of America on July 1, 2022. In a two-short-sentences press statement, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken referred to 60 years of independence on July 1, 2022 and the 28th anniversary of Liberation Day on July 4, 2022 and cleary focused on the prevalent issues  the Rwandan people and nation continue to face:  regional peace and security, good governance,  and respect for human rights. 

Subsequently, a critical ominous step was made when the executive order signed on July 19, 2022 by President Joe Biden that codifies a 2020 law dealing with Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.  In the Executive Order on Bolstering Efforts to Bring Hostages and Wrongfully Detained UnitedStates NationalsHome, President Biden declared: "I therefore determine that hostage-taking and the wrongful detention of United States nationals abroad constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with this threat."  The fact that the executive order followed the July 14, 2022  resolution H.Res.892 by  the US House of Representatives is a clear warning to the Rwandan government.

Following the Executive Order,  the last visit to Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kigali,  Rwanda, by  US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken sent a clear message. In fact, the visit focused,  once again,  on the mischievous and rakish role of the Rwandan oligarch and  oligarchy in the deterioration of the regional peace and security and  the lack of good governance and  the systematic human rights abuses in Rwanda. 

The deterioration of peace and security in the Great Lakes of Africa due to wars led, funded, and supported by the Rwandan military and leaders has been well documented.  In a report  published on Monday February 6,  2023,  the reputable international non-government organization  Human Rights Watch (HRW), confirmed that  Rwandan troops under the cover of M23 armed group have  been carrying out systematic  summary executions  of civilians and forced recruitment of civilians, qualifying as war crimes,  in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The report followed investigations by the United Nations Group of Experts on the DR Congo and focused  researches by Human Rights Watch, with documented evidences, including photos, testimonies by witnesses and  others, confirming that  Rwandan government and the military has been supporting its troops under the cover of  M23 rebels with new troops, weapons, other logistic needs, and young rwandans kidnapped and forced into playing various roles. 

The first step in actions against the Rwandan government  was highlighted during the 2022 US-Africa Summit held in Washington, DC, USA. During the 2022 US-Africa Summit,  Mr Paul Kagame, usually one of the most celebrated African leaders until mid-2000s, was ignored, sidelined, and cleary the focus on overt and open criticisms and disdains.  Some open criticisms from US government leaders and international media focused on his support of wars, systematic crimes, looting resources, corruption, repression and other despicable crimes, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, mostly against Rwandans and the Congolese people. 

The UN  Group of Experts' mid-term report on the Democrat Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) published on December 30, 2023 went further, providing  further evidence,  including aerial footage and photographic evidence and testimonies of surrendered M23 combatants,  of direct interventions and troop reinforcements by the Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) on Democratic Republic of the Congo territory, under the cover of M23 rebels.

It is also all-important to refer to the latest unprecedented personal tensions between Paul Kagame, on one side and some key leaders of the region, including the current presidents of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi (see here), on the other.

Finally, and potentially the most  critical telling  omen, the US Government and the European Union sanctioned Rwandan military leaders for their involvement in the invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) under the cover of M23 rebels. Then, in September 2023, the US Sanctioned the government of Rwanda under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA) for  “recruiting and using child soldiers, either in their government forces or in armed groups they support.” These actions by the US Government and the EU, along with support from regional and International powers, appear to have reinforced the drive and determination of  DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and the Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye to politically and militarily challenge Paul Kagame's regime.

Hence, based on these dynamics,  unless they swiftly take action to address the challenges and the reasons behind the worsening situation, the current leaders of Rwanda  are  building  the Nation of Rwanda on a Sinking Sand.

Final Reflexion: Rwandan Leaders, as You Are Building  the Nation on a Sinking Sand, Are You Prepared for the Storm?

As a key reflexion, one may ask,  again, just three questions:

  • The first one is for all Rwandans, especially the RPF regime and its leader Paul Kagame:  are you building the nation on a rock? If not, be ready for imminent dire consequences from the melting sinking sand.
  • The second question is to the leader of the oligarch ruling Rwanda, General Paul Kagame, and his beloved family: Why can't you decide to let and help the Rwandan people build their nation on a rock?
  • The third is to the people with expected integrity, especially the famous religious leaders and family members and relatives,  surrounding or in contact with the Rwandan ruling oligarch and oligarchy: Are you living the life God called you for? If yes, then warn the current Rwandan leaders and people against the looming storm like the prophet Jeremiah did for King Zedekiah  (see Jeremiah chapters  20 and 21).

To prepare for a storm, one needs to build a house on a solid foundation: a rock. The solid foundation for Rwandans is unity. Unity will start with truth, sincerity, and accountability. Current Rwandan leaders at the  helm of the oligarchy are not held accountable, lack sincerity,  and have built their power on lies, crimes, greed, repression, and division.

Do you remember the times when the prophet Habbakuk was  crying to God during the transition from the Assyrian to the Babylonian empires? Like the Rwandans today, Habbakuk went through complaints, laments, questionning God on why the wicked leaders were allowed to swallow up those more righteous than themselves.  Then he expressed his confidence in God to deliver the people as depicted in Habbakuk 2: 2-19.  

The leaders of the oligarchy ruling Rwanda seek to put a smoke screen on the realities of the Rwandan society and demographics, while using ethnicity and,  not long ago irrelevant,  historical clans and castes,  to silence Rwandans and critics and solidifying an oligarchy within one ethnic group to dominate government and military institutions and structures and hegemonizing and controlling all economical, educational, and social opportunities. 

Rwandans from all backgrounds and ethnic groups who dare to speak the truth,  show integrity, or challenge the prevalent oppression, injustice, lack of freedom, and corruption  are targeted by the oligarchy.

Despite the prevalent repression, many Rwandans, especially the youth from all ethnic groups, have decided to make courageous choices and to rise  against and above tyrany,  prejudice, ethnic divisions promoted by the current Rwandan oligarchy. Critics against the Rwandan oligarchy are increasing  coming from even among the former allies and partners, including the Congolese Banyamurenge, Ugandan Himas, and Burundian Tutsis.  At the same time, former wise people within or close to the oligarchy have started to voice the dire warnings on the fate of the Rwandan people.

Mr Paul Kagame, you have proved yourself a master of  the lessons contained in the Prince of Niccollo Machiavelli.  The lessons have helped you to ascend  from a very humble beginning and reach  the summit of and  remain in power as the one man rule of a one minority regime for more than 28 years. One major advice from Niccollo Machiavelli is that a prudent prince must choose wise men in his state and give them unabated freedom to speak the truth to him. Do you have such wise men to advise you on how to get ready when the sinking sand on which your regime is built  starts eroding and melting? Why can't you decide to let and help the Rwandan people build their nation on a rock, before it is too late?

In fact, your answer, Mr Paul Kagame,  is critical, as those that you have offended while ascending to power are your enemies and those who helped you to conquer  power, including the super powers and  the allies in the region,  are no longer your friends. You may be stuck in the past, leaning on what is described in the Washington Post article of August 16, 1997 by Lynne Duke titled "U.S. MILITARY ROLE IN RWANDA GREATER THAN DISCLOSED", when times have changed and these super powers have moved on.  Actually, they have given up on you and your oligarchy given that you have increasingly been unable to satisfy their requirements and have promoted wars, crimes, greed, repression, and division.  Unfortunately for you, you cannot use strong medecines against them, since you are still obligated to them.  

Despite all elaborate political schemes, you will never be able to win the battles against your former allies turned competitors, as Jehu the King of Israel did in 2Kings 10:18-28. King Jehu succeeded because he was a good King battling the evil.  You will neither get the super powers that propelled you to the reign  of the oligarchy to fight each other, while you are getting credit, as depicted in the Congolese tale of the tortoise, the elephant, and the hippopotamus.

My wish for you and your family is to learn from history, especially the story of the Neo-Babylonian empire king Nebuchadnezzar II, as depicted in the books of Jeremiah, 2 Kings,  and Daniel in the Bible and the Torah.
Yes, using his mighty army and with the help from other super powers, king Nebuchadnezzar II conquered several kingdoms and principalities and forced the people from conquered lands into slavery and bondage.  Years later, after learning that his kingdom was sinking, he quickly changed his ways, stopped oppressing and freed the people he had held in bondage,  and built a new foundation on a rock. He and his kingdom were,  consequently, spared from a looming destruction and prospered.

 Please remember my other discourses published in AfroAmerica Network in 2010: Is Kagame the Rwandan Marcius Coriolanus?  and   Advice to Paul Kagame: A Wise Man Knows When to Stop; A Fool Stops at Nothing.

I will also refer to the life of Haile Selassie aka Ras Tafari and Negusa Nagast (King of Kings). All may recall how he was able to outsmart the warlord Dejasmach Balcha Safo of Sidamo and became an undisputed emperor for decades. However, he was not spared a tragic end. 

How about Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga? Those who knew him admired his cunning use of dictatorship to outsmart his adversaries, starting with how,  supported by some super powers at the time, he deposed the democratically elected government of Patrice Lumumba in 1960 and later participated in the assassination of that African hero. Do you remember how, despite servicing and fully abiding, like a house slave, to the interests of super powers over decades, Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga's life ended?


Get the following books on Amazon:

Even Roosters Dream To Fly Legs Of Tornado 2022 05 27 Logo

 Even Roosters Dream to Fly: The Epic of a German White Catholic Priest and Manzi, a Freedom Fighter and a Mythological King of Rwanda.

Legs of Tornado: The Human Who Outran the Wind, an African tale about a human from a humble upbringing who outran the wind, defeated evil spirits, overcame his fate, became a respected clan chief, and triumphed ever after.

Click Here to Get  the books: Even Roosters Dream to Fly and Legs of Tornado

Even Roosters Dream to Fly along with Legs of Tornado are also available on Amazon worldwide and several other platforms:

For more on the book, the author, the inspiration of the stories, Visit the author website here

How about You, the Prophets, Prophetess, Watchmen, Watch-women around Paul Kagame: Are you Blowing the Trumpet or Whitewashing the Evil Acts?

Mr Paul Kagame, are the people around you telling you the truth or are they covering you with praises, hiding the impeding truth?   Remember this: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes" (Jeremiah 23:16).  Hence, do not trust your advisors and those claiming to be seeking the interest of the people, while only  pursuing  their own glory and material wealth.  

To those around Paul Kagame, you must also remember  that "if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood."  Ezekiel 33:2-3, 5-6.

Do not whitewash the evil actions and hide dire consequences. In fact, remember what is said in Ezekiel 13:10-11, and that a rain  with thunderstorms is coming and wash away the sinking sand.

For the young people, change before it is too late. If you change,  this is what is promised to you if you take courage and shift from the current situation: “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Ezekiel 18:20.  

If you change before the looming catastrophe, jump from the sinking sand and help to build the Rwandan Nation on the rock, you will be able, like King David,  to sing this: ”He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.“ Psalms 40:2.

In Conclusion: Paul Kagame, You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley for Yourself. 

Mr Paul Kagame, I am sharing my views with you, because, despite your human flaws, you are also a child of God and we are called to pray for you.  Remember  that "a ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor" (Proverbs 26: 16).

Yes, as any human, you have three types of flaws: 1) those you,  alone, know and nobody else knows;  2) those you know and people, including those around you and  from the World know; 2)  those flaws  that you do not know about yourself, but people, around you or from the world know. 

Free yourself from the shacles of hatred, greed, glory and the vanity of all the desires of the will. Let the Rwandan people be free.  Think about your legacy and its effects on the future generations, including your descendants.

Do not continue to scatter the Rwandan people. Head what is in Jeremiah 23:1-4.   Remember this:  "I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

and this:  “He prowled among the lions, for he was now a strong lion. He learned to tear the prey and he became a man-eater. He broke down their strongholds and devastated their towns. The land and all who were in it were terrified by his roaring. Then the nations came against him, those from regions round about. They spread their net for him, and he was trapped in their pit. With hooks they pulled him into a cage and brought him to the king of Babylon. They put him in prison, so his roar was heard no longer on the mountains of Israel.” Ezekiel 19:6-9 NIV

““Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.”

Do not be like the  ruler of Tyre.  In fact  "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “ ‘In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” But you are a mere mortal and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god.”  Ezekiel 28:2.

Mr Paul Kagame, do you remember the message I addressed to you when, working with the DRC Government and Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops' Conference, then Msgr Matteo Zuppi,  Head of Sant Egidio Community,  on the Kisangani Process between 2008-2009.  As you may recall, the Kisangani process was a series of negotiations between the government of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the leaders of the Rwandan opposition organization, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), composed of Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana) and Rally of the Rwandan People (RPR).  Then Msgr Matteo Zuppi worked closely with top NDC  political and military leaders in Rome that I led, over weeks  of difficult negotiations  among the Democratic Government, NDC,  and observers.

Under the mediation of then Msgr Matteo Zuppi, the  Rome Peace Agreement and Roadmap  was signed by myself and the representatives of the DRC Government. The Peace Agreement and Roadmap was backed and cosigned on May 28, 2008 as the Kisangani Process by the European Union, the World Bank, Southern African Development Community (SADC), United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), OCHA, UNHCR,  South-Africa government,  SIK-Norway, and the Eglise du Christ au Congo (ECC), the DRC government and NDC leadership agreed to a disarmament process of the armed wing of the two political groups.

The disarmed combatants and their dependent were gathered in a camp in Kasiki, Lubero Territory, in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, in late May 2008, and started preparations to be repatriated to Rwanda or resettled in other countries or away from the border.  An official ceremony of the disarmament was held in Kasiki, Lubero, on July 31, 2008 and attended by leaders of governments and institutions that supported the Rome-Kisangani Peace Process and Roadmap and Congolese traditional leaders.    

During the official ceremony attended by  the representatives of the  European Union, the World Bank, Southern African Development Community (SADC), United Nations Peace Keeping Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), OCHA, UNHCR,  South-Africa government,  SIK-Norway, and the Eglise du Christ au Congo (ECC), and your government , I addressed this simple message to you, personally: “Mr. Kagame, ouvrez la porte aux Rwandais Réfugiés à travers le monde. En tant qu'ancien réfugié rwandais, vous connaissez aussi leur calvaire quotidien et en tant que Président du pays, vous êtes responsables de leurs mauvaises conditions de vie actuelles” or in English "Mr. Kagame, open the door to Rwandan Refugees scattered around the world. As a former Rwandan refugee, you also know their daily ordeal and as President of the country, you are responsible for their current tragic living conditions.”

A few months later after, in 2009,  the troops of your government, which was opposed to the peace process,  crossed into DRC and attacked the camp of disarmed combatants and their dependents, including women, children and elderly, killing most of them. The massacres of the RUD and RPR disarmed combattants and their dependents by Rwandan government troops led to the collapse of the process.

 Despite this tragic action, I renew my call to you:  Mr Paul Kagame,  build unity, brotherhood, sisterhood, and good neighborhood by promoting dialogue, truth, sincerity, respect, and accountability. The history of our country is full of blood of innocent people shed through regimes changes. Be wise and courageous, and show integrity by putting an end to such bloody regime transitions.

Then, go on and take a rest, because as it is said in  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14,  everything else is meaningless  and "..better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning (Ecclesiastes 4:13)".  


In any way, in the end, it is your decision, and yours alone, and I can only pray that God gives you wisdom, so that you may choose the right path.

As the American Singer Mississipi John Hurt inspires us in his song "You Got to Walk that Lonesome Valley"(https://www.afroamerica.net/index.php/videos.html):

 "You got to walk, that lonesome valley
Well, you got to walk, it for yourself
Ain't nobody else, can walk it for you
You got to walk, that valley for yourself"

"Oh, Jesus had to walk that lonesome valley
He had to walk, it for His'self
There's nobody else, could walk it for Him
He had to walk, that valley for His'self


Felicien Aroni Kanyamibwa, PhD, MqBA.

New York, United States of America

January  8, 2024.

©2024 Felicien Kanyamibwa.