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Torture and Show Trials in Neo-Colonial Libya

Protests in Libya & International Condemnation of Al Qaeda Sentencing of Jamahiriya Officials

Libya, Racism and Anti-imperialism : Discussion with Gerald A. Perreira

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Da’esh Court in Tripoli Sentences Former Jamahiriya Officials to Death by Firing Squad

Lessons from Libya’s Destruction

The Destruction of Libya, Its Lessons and Meaning : Interview with Gerald A. Perreira

US and Local Elites United Against Ecuador

Colombia : The Truth About the Disappearance of the Nukak People

Sixty Years Anniversary of the Freedom Charter Amid Release of Farlam Commission Report

Spain :‭ ‘‬Popular Unity’ ‬Councils Sworn In Amid Huge Enthusiasm‭

Venezuela, Guyana and the Transnationalization – US Occupation of Esequibo

Xenophobia in Dominican Republic

Latin America and Desmond Tutu : Advocate, Apologist for Imperialism, Oppression, Fascism, Racism

A “Secular ISIL” Rises In Southeast Asia?

Eritrea, Human Rights, and Neocolonial Propaganda

The Tragic, Bloody Origins of the Dominican Republic’s Plan to Erase its Black Population

By Ghislaine Leon
Black power. Black control. Black growth.
DOMINICAN REP-HAITIANS-MIGRATION

Public Enemy blatantly pushed this message before I was old enough to have a consciousness when they released Fear Of A Black Planet in 1990. This seems to be the fear of the world and the motivation behind the ethnic cleansing that is taking place in the Dominican Republic.

As a Dominican-American who identifies as an Afro-Latina and who celebrates the African Diaspora everyday, I am disgusted by the sanctions of the Dominican government. A quarter of a million migrant Haitian workers could be deported tomorrow. Over 2,000 military soldiers have been ordered to patrol the border tomorrow as of 6:00 am. A 45-day grace period has been discussed to allow for those ordered to leave to collect their bearings. But make no mistake, they are being ordered to leave.

The womb of Hispaniola is in pain and, by tomorrow, could be a war zone. The hate against Haitians in the Dominican Republic has become increasingly alarming. As we have gotten closer to the deportation deadline, hate crimes have been very visible, with Haitians being lynched in broad daylight.
DOMINICAN REP-HAITIANS-MIGRATION
Let’s be clear– this racial issue in DR is not a thing that just started a few years ago. It didn’t start when the Dominican government announced its Supreme Court ruling, which states that children born in the country to non-citizens after 1929 do not quality for citizenship, regardless of whether they themselves were born in the Dominican Republic. This only became news to families of Haitian-descent in May 2013, when the Naturalization Law 169-14 was adopted. Yet, the haunting sting of racism has plagued my people for decades.

Let me walk you through a little history of Haiti-Dominican relations:

From 1930 until his assassination in 1961, DR had an extremely xenophobic dictator named Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Under his regime, DR bore witness to the murder of over 20,000 Haitians. The most catastrophic event was the Parsley Massacre of 1937, in which any person who was dark-skinned or “looked” Haitian, who could not pronounce “perejil” (Spanish for Parsley,) was killed. In 1939, he opened the gates for Jewish refugees, Republican exiles from the Spanish Civil war, and the Japanese  as part of a plan known as “Blanquismo,” or the lightening of the race. He even went as far as having the dance to Merengue modeled after European Waltz (the dance genre changed a lot since then).

He worked tirelessly for DR to appear more European from a surface level at the cost of thousands of lives. He also stocked our universities and hospitals with light-skinned professionals from abroad. How devastatingly hypocritical  that he wanted to get rid of the Blacks and bring in Whites, when he himself was born to a Haitian mother. Reminds you of Hitler, doesn’t it?

During this time, anyone who opposed or criticized the Trujillo regime was killed, raped, kidnapped and slaughtered. This was infamously documented in The Time Of The Butterflies, which told the story of the demise of the Mirabal sisters.

After Trujillo’s death, Joaquin Balaguer, his right hand man, governed DR for three non-consecutive terms, the last of which spanned 10 years, ending in 1996. For decades, Dominican people have lived in fear of their military and many still do. A shadow of the same xenophobic mentality that ruled the country during Trujillo’s 30-year dictatorship still lingers today.

This idea of purifying and lightening the Dominican race has not changed a bit. Just ask Sammy Sosa, who in 2011, bleached his beautiful chocolate skin to appear lighter. This internal self-hate inflicted upon us by our Dominican families goes back generations, specifically the generations that lived during Trujillo’s regime. Line after line of Dominican families who have hated their skin because it was not light enough, or because they didn’t have long, silky hair like their Eurocentric-Dominican brothers and sisters.

Growing up,  I was encouraged to marry a White man so that my kids wouldn’t have hair like mine, and so that my kids would be lighter than me. It is an expectation that I have killed very softly. Despite the Dominican extension of the African Diaspora through its music, color, language, and food, DR does not take pride of its African ancestry. Every year on February 27th, we celebrate independence from Haiti (1844), yet we never celebrate or even acknowledge the independence from Spain, our colonizers.

My mother migrated from the Dominican Republic to New York City when she was 7-months-pregnant to give birth to me on U.S. soil. This was an intentional act because she knew the benefits that her child would receive once born in the States. The mentality of Haitians in DR is no different. This is not a crime, but instead is the history of the world. We’ve left our lands for foreign territories to give our children and ourselves better opportunities—this has always been the plight of the immigrant.
DOMINICAN REP-HAITI-MIGRATION
I was just in the Dominican Republic last month. This trip, I spent it with local kids and families in-need in El Soco, one of the many bateys (sugar cane field-worker towns) that has a large concentration of Haitian-Dominicans. These same kids may not have a home tomorrow. My heart cries at the thought of the souls that can possibly die tomorrow. I say this with gravity: the Dominican militia is not one to fuck with, especially if you’re dark and look Haitian.
Ghislaine Leon In Dominican Republic
It’s 2015 and the trail of racial events that has taken place throughout the last couple of years proves that the world still has MANY unresolved issues when it comes to color. Not all Dominicans are racist; I promise you that. When I stand up for people of color or dark-skinned Latinos, I’m often judged because “I’m not black”. Every time it happens, the pain gets deeper, because that critique sums up our issue with color. My shade of brown is just as valid, my story just as real, and the Haitian blood that runs through my veins is an undeniable part of me.

The world needs a shift in consciousness; world governments need to be urged to shift how they treat Black people.

Blood will be shed tomorrow and I pray that this event will wake us up to see us ALL as people of color and to support one another, instead of continuing to divide ourselves by skin color complexes.

sign_petition_button
Sign a petition to pressure the government of the Dominican Republic to stop its planned “cleansing” of 250,000 Black Dominicans.

Follow Ghislaine Leon @FearlessLeon

Western-Backed Terrorism in the Congo : Where is General Laurent Nkunda?

By Keith Harmon Snow

In 2009, after years of bloody insurrection in Congo, General Laurent Nkunda was ‘arrested’ with great fanfare in Rwanda. Wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, not a word about his situation has been reported for years. Are the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda using Laurent Nkunda and comrades in a new thrust to destabilize eastern Congo? The perpetual aggressors in this long, bloody saga of despair and death served on millions of innocent people in central Africa, Rwanda and Uganda protect the interests and insure the profits of their U.S., Canadian, European and Israeli patrons. Meanwhile, with a new insurrection afoot in eastern Congo, the western media and its modern day intelligence mercenaries spin disinformation to project black African chaos and whitewash the corruptions of Empire.

FARDC Forest-2.jpg
FARDC troops from the 1st integrated brigade on operations in South Kivu. Photo c. keith harmon snow 2006.

In the twilight hours of 2 June 2015 residents of the city of Goma, in Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu, were awoken after midnight by gunshots, mortars and heavy artillery fire, and battle tanks.  The fighting lasted several hours.  At daybreak most government offices, schools and businesses remained closed.  The fighting resumed around 11:00 AM, and receded to the Rwanda border as Congolese tanks pressed the attackers back to Rwanda.

“We are in great stress since last night.”  An official in Goma who asked not to be named reports that this is the work of the regimes in Rwanda and Uganda. “From about 1:00 to 3:00 in the morning there was a lot of firing inside the town of Goma and on the border with Rwanda: simple and heavy guns and even war tanks.  Officially, we have no precision, but it’s known that Kagame’s forces entered Congo this night.  Eight Congolese soldiers were killed; I saw one of them with my own eyes in the Virunga quarter of Goma.   The Governor and Congolese military officers are keeping quiet.” [1]

“Gunmen attacked the airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest city, Goma, in an overnight raid in which four government soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed, a local official and a witness said on Tuesday.”  The Reuters news syndicate produced the only report that appeared in western media venues on 2 June 2015.  Reuters reported that North Kivu governor Julien Paluku referred to the attackers only as “bandits.” “A Congolese security official involved in the clashes and a Goma-based diplomat said the assailants were Mai-Mai fighters, members of one of the dozens of armed militias that control large parts of Congo’s mineral-rich eastern borderlands.” [2]

Later in the day on 2 June 2015, Agence France Presse attributed the attack to a criminal gang and called the war-torn North Kivu a “restless province,” suggesting that the province itself is inherently prone to permanent unrest of the African variety.  “At least one soldier and a gunman were killed overnight when a gang raided the Goma airport in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during an apparent robbery, officials said Tuesday.  “Bandits got inside the airport area to try to steal from depots (storing goods) waiting to be loaded on to cargo planes, the governor of the restless North Kivu province, Julien Paluku, told AFP.”] [3]

By 3 June 2015 the supposed culprits had been captured, and the western news syndicates were regurgitating claims by Congolese officials that the “bandit” leader of the “gang” was “a criminal from the distant city of Butembo” who had recruited other criminals and organized an attack on Goma airport.  The reportage is confused: the attack is blamed on both “criminals” and “ethnic Mai Mai militia” and the Reuters correspondent ignores the contradictions.

“Soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have captured the man suspected of being behind a deadly attack this week on the largest airport in the east of the country, the government’s spokesperson said on Wednesday,” Reuters continued.  “At least four soldiers and three suspected assailants were killed in the gun attack at Goma airport on Tuesday that military and diplomatic sources said was the work of ethnic Mai-Mai fighters. [4]

“The region has seen years of conflict involving dozens of armed militia such as the Mai-Mai that control large parts of the mineral-rich eastern borderlands, but attacks of this kind are rare.”

Reuters falsely spins this as an uncharacteristic attack atypical of war-torn eastern Congo, where Ugandan and Rwandan militias under the command of presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame have perpetrated war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide since at least 1994.
karte-demokratische-republik-kongo-osten-2.jpgSimilarly, there is also no mention by Reuters of the vast tracts of mineral-rich land that have been stolen and cleared of Congolese people by western mining companies like Banro Gold Corporation [5], Metallurg [6], Casa Minerals [7], or Alphamin [8], the western mining firm that has captured massive concessions in North Kivu.

“Government spokesperson Lambert Mende described the man captured as a “criminal” from the town of Butembo, some 270 km north of Goma.” [9]

“This is bullshit!”  The (unnamed) Goma official is adamant.  “How can a group of Mai Mai leave Butembo 290 km from Goma and come to attack the airport!  And for which purpose?  Everyone knows there is no food or weapons at the Goma airport.  The [DRC] government does not want to accuse Rwanda, but Congolese people are not stupid.” [10]

The 3 June 2015 Reuters article also attributes the capture of the “criminals” and “bandits” to the friendly cooperative assistance of neighboring Rwanda.  “The man was arrested in Goma thanks to information provided by three captured assailants and intelligence help from neighboring Rwanda, whose phone networks the attackers used, [DRC spokesman Lambert] Mende later told Reuters.” [11]

“The assailants came from Rwanda and went back to Rwanda.” The unnamed DRC official in Goma is certain that the attack is part of the new Rwandan-Ugandan military thrust — the newly and euphemistically named Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of the Congo (MCRC) — in eastern Congo.  “There were almost 20 Mai Mai being held [in advance] just to be accused in case the attack failed.  Congolese tanks fired in the direction of Rwanda and the retreating assailants.  These were Tutsi soldiers and they came from Rwanda.  We are afraid as we know the government is hiding the truth: people saw Rwanda troops coming into Congo.” [12]

The Reuters story is further confused by the inclusion of a Associated Press photograph captioned: “Congolese soldiers visit territory retaken last week from M23 rebels near the Rwandan border Joseph Kay AP.”  The Rwandan/Ugandan backed M23 insurgency was named in recognition of the 23 March 2009 peace treaty that integrated the former Rwandan/Ugandan army, the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), into the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC).  M23 soldiers claimed that the Congolese government failed to honor the terms of the agreement, and so they launched another war.  The recycled AP photograph by Joseph Kay originated in an AP story of 6 September 2013, but has been used over and over for various and diverse disinformation.[13a]

The real story is that Congo appears to be on the cusp of a new insurrection.  Like the RCD, CNDP and M23 occupations, this is yet another military thrust by Rwanda and Uganda to destabilize eastern Congo and seize absolute control.  The first objective: take control of Goma.

On 6 June 2015 the Rwandan ‘news’ venue Imirasire, one of the main propaganda/disinformation venues of the regime of Paul Kagame, run by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, published a very short clip claiming that the attack on Goma airport was perpetrated by “a new rebel group headed by a former politician.”  While naming the problem more accurately than Reuters or the Congolese government were willing to do, the Imirasire report is laughable in its pretensions about violence and minerals theft. [13b]

“Some Mai Mai from the Cheka [armed] group infiltrated Goma from the bush,” says the unnamed official in Goma, “and soldiers came from Rwanda and both attacked in the night under heavy rain with hope to take the airport, but they failed because the FARDC they found there were Republican Guards, trained by the USA and Israel, the best soldiers we have in Congo.  The last noise from the fighting was in the area of ‘La grande barriere’ on the Rwanda border, workers at the Congolese border office and Republican Guards confirmed.  After they had failed, MCRC withdrew back to Rwanda.  Local authorities forbade TV stations to show the bodies of ‘bandits’ that were killed.” [14]

The Warlord’s Warlords

For the past six years Rwandan General Laurent Nkunda has been hiding in Rwanda and Uganda, shielded from arrest or prosecution by Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and their western backers.

Is General Laurent Nkunda now moving freely between Rwanda and Uganda, organizing a new insurrection in eastern Congo’s Kivu provinces, directing a new guerilla movement that has already perpetrated human rights atrocities and destabilized the eastern Congo?

Other known Rwandan war criminals with deep historical ties to General Laurent Nkunda are on the move.  One of these is Rwandan Major General Vincent Gatama, one of Nkunda’s former comrades, now in charge of Rwanda’s military operations in Congo.  On the night of 17 November 2012 then Colonel Vincent Gatama led a Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) special forces unit in the 2012 attack on Goma.[15]  Soon after the Goma attack, Paul Kagame promoted Gatama from Colonel to Major General in support of war operations to infiltrate and occupy eastern Congo.

Another of these Nkunda-allied warlords is General Bwambale Kakolele, a former leader of one of the original Rwanda- and Uganda-backed ‘rebel’ armies from the 1998-2002 war, the Congolese Rally for Democracy, and later one of General Nkunda’s top commanders in the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) insurrection.

Born in the Congo to the Nande tribe of Orientale Province, Bwambale Kakolele is a former Forces Armee Zairois (FAZ) soldier under the Mobutu regime who originally joined the Rwandan-Ugandan war of 1996-1997 to help oust long-time CIA-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.  By late 2001 he was leading the RCD’s Movement for Liberation (RDC-ML) faction, and he was named by the United Nations for trafficking arms in violation of the wartime arms embargo.  After this Kakolele was part of the Congolese Revolutionary Movement (MRC), one of the scores of militias involved in the bloody Ituri conflicts of 2003-2008.  General Nkunda and the CNDP joined forces with the MRC in 2006, and the MRC agreed to disarm in August 2007.

General Kakolele left the CNDP in 2008, and in 2011 was participating in DRC government activities that facilitated his being dispatched to north Kivu province.  The DRC government allegedly arrested him in 2013 in Beni, North Kivu, for blocking the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. [16], [17]

Like his military allies, General Kakolele is an opportunist who has pursued any profitable enterprise in war-torn Congo, no matter how ruthless and lawless, including diamonds, and he allegedly has deep long-standing ties to the Ugandan ‘rebel’ Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).  Like the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda, the ADF is on the U.S. government list of terrorist organizations.  Kakolele gains protection through his ties to various guerrilla armies backed by Rwanda and Uganda.

Third on the list of Nkunda allied over-achievers in Congo bloodletting is Ugandan Colonel Sultani Makenga, another warlord who was also involved in the 2012 invasion of Goma, and one of president Yoweri Museveni and his half-brother General Salim Saleh’s protégés in the region. Makenga is said to be very sick with HIV, but, allegedly, he participated in May meetings in Uganda where the new insurrection was born.

Finally, there is the rogue warlord Mai Mai leader Ntabo Ntaberi, alias “Cheka,” who has been plundering and killing in the Walikale and Lubero districts of North Kivu.  In 2010 soldiers under Cheka’s command raped some 300 women in Walikale region.  In 2013, after the defeat of the Rwandan M23 army, the regime in Rwanda provided troop reinforcements and arms to Cheka.

Throughout 2013, 2014 and early 2015 the forces under Cheka have perpetrated massive human rights atrocities and crimes against humanity in a wide swath of North Kivu between Lubero and Walikale.  Cheka has been hunting civilians in their villages and fields, accusing them of being collaborators of FDLR and Congolese Mai Mai, and killing them.  Crimes include summary executions, rape, mass abductions, forced marches and other forced labor, and shooting of children.  Commander Cheka is one of the most ruthless and dangerous military commanders on Congolese soil and he runs his own militia named Nduma Defense of the Congo. [18]

Cheka rose out of the forests of North Kivu on a self-declared mission to gain justice for the Congolese people, and was originally allied with the FDLR rebels in Kivu.  Corrupted by power and private profit — plundering resources and waging brutal campaigns of forced taxation — Cheka has served Paul Kagame’s interests by hunting down and assassinating FDLR leaders in Congo.  In March 2015 Cheka’s forces attacked villages where the FDLR reside in the Lubero territory of North Kivu. [19]

“Kagame gave Cheka equipment and men,” says the official in Goma.  “Cheka replaced Laurent Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda of CNDP, and Makenga of M23.  Cheka operates in Walikale and Lubero, 200 to 300 kilometers from Goma.”

Even Human Rights Watch has called for the arrest of Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka. [20] The HRW report of January 2015 documents the most brutal atrocities committed by Cheka and his troops, and their backing by Rwanda.

“Former NDC fighters also told Human Rights Watch that Cheka received financial and other military support from Rwanda. They said that Cheka’s ethnic Tutsi wife travels regularly to Rwanda and acts as a liaison with Cheka’s contacts in the country.  One former fighter said that ammunition was often sent into Congo from Rwanda via Goma and was delivered to Cheka on motorcycles in bags of beans.” [21]

There are allegations that Mai Mai Cheka has colluded with Alphamin Resources Corporation to terrorize and displace artisanal Congolese miners.[22]  Meanwhile, several of the concessions stolen from Congolese people by Alphamin remain under ‘Force Majeure’ — a formal declaration, agreed to by the Congolese government in Kinshasa, establishing that the mining operations cannot proceed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Alphamin Resources Corporation is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and staffed with all white directors from North America, Europe and South Africa.  Alphamin controls vast tracts of North Kivu, mining concessions rich with tin, gold, coltan and copper, the largest of which is the Bisie Mine.[if !supportFootnotes][23][endif]  The foreign control would not be possible without first neutralizing and/or eliminating the Congolese landowners.  Western mining companies achieve pacification and land control by any means necessary.

According to their own web site: “Alphamin, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Mining and Processing Congo Sprl (MPC), has full legal title (100 % ownership) over five exploration permits (No’s: PR 5270; PR 10346; PR 5266; PR 5267; and PR 4246) and an exploitation permit (PE 13155) in total covering 1,270 square kilometers in the North Kivu province.  The Bisie Project falls on PE 13155.  Due to the current volatile security situation, three licenses (PR 5270, PR 5267 and PR 4246) are still under Force Majeure.

The Force Majeure was lifted at the Bisie Project in February 2012, and Alphamin Resources established a camp on the Bisie ridge and commenced exploration drilling in July 2012.

Concesions “100% owned by Alphamin” in North Kivu.

Thousands of Congolese artisanal miners have suffered loss of livelihood or life due to the occupation of large mining concessions by Alphamin, and the concomitant pacification of the communities through direct violence.  Artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin mining operations, and Cheka forces have attacked artisanal mining camps, and artisanal miners have attacked Alphamin operations after being themselves attacked by Cheka forces (that they believe to be aligned with Alphamin).[24]

“Of course, many local miners have to leave their communities since those big companies come with papers and authorizations from Kinshasa.”  The unnamed Congolese official has visited many Kivu mining areas over the past 20 years.  “In North Kivu it is Mining Processing of Congo, and just like with Banro Gold in Twangiza in South Kivu, they claim the right to receive ‘security’ assured by FARDC.”[25]

Like their commanders-in-chief, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, these Ugandan/Rwandan commanders have directed assassinations of political and military targets.

War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide

In September 2005 the Congolese General Military Prosecutor issued international arrest warrants against General Nkunda and Rwandan Colonel Jules Mutebesi charging them with the creation of an insurrectional movement, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.  Even Human Rights Watch, the selective U.S.-based human rights organization that has been notoriously slanted in favor of team-U.S. interests in the Great Lakes region, in 2006 briefly outlined the history of Nkunda’s crimes, including “numerous war crimes and other serious human rights abuses during the past three years… summary executions, torture, and rape committed by soldiers under Nkunda’s command, in Bukavu in 2004 and in Kisangani in 2002.” [26]

Over the years Laurent Nkunda and his allied commanders have committed the most egregious war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, dictating the life and death of millions of people. Their crimes rival those of Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni, General James Kabarebe, General James Kazini, General Salim Saleh, and other high-level Tutsi-Hima commanders from Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.  They have established formal networks of organized crime premised on direct violence: criminal racketeering, looting, taxation, gunrunning and minerals plunder.  Their troops have committed massacres, mass rapes and extrajudicial executions of the most inhuman kinds.

This time they are calling their terrorist enterprise the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of Congo (Mouvement Chretien pour la Reconstruction du Congo).

Their histories of atrocities are ugly, brutish and anything but short.

They have organized and run insurgency and counter-insurgency ‘programs’ to neutralize any ‘infrastructure’ and all opposition (and potential opposition) to their elite Tutsi-Hima agenda.  The word ‘infrastructure’ here refers to Congolese chiefs (mwamis), legitimate rulers, politicians, diplomats, soldiers, human rights defenders, civil society members, and ordinary people.  The euphemism ‘neutralize’ means to drive off, exile, make to defect to their (own) cause, capture, torture, maim, sexually mutilate, kill, disappear people.  Beheadings, amputations and butchering of corpses are common.  They have incinerated bodies, dead and alive.  There is no language that can make clear the extremes of their pathological behaviors.

They use networks of paid informers to spy and inform on anyone and everyone.  They infiltrate agents into social networks, political structures, government agencies, and military organizations. They sow fear, mistrust, divisiveness and terror through psychological operations and propaganda.  Some of them have been trained, advised, schooled and indoctrinated by the leading institutions of terror in the west, and — through the regimes inn Rwanda and Uganda — they have relationships to AFRICOM, the Pentagon’s Africa Command.

None of this is much reported in the mass media and if reported at all the atrocities and crimes are blamed on the victims, some of which include armed resistance forces with legitimate rights, legitimate grievances and very real claims.

The agenda of the Kagame-Museveni axis is to depopulate the homes, villages and territories of the eastern Congo (as they did in Uganda 1980-1986 and Rwanda 1990-1995) of their rightful owners and repopulate them with outsiders; to create large, destitute, traumatized populations of refugees on the run for their lives or herded into death camps; to control the extractive (minerals, timber, agricultural commodities, petroleum, natural gas) industries; to control taxation at regional, national and international borders; to fill their pockets and bank accounts with cash; to militarize their private kingdoms; to terrorize and destabilize and manufacture perpetual war.  The documentation of these crimes is plentiful and irrefutable.

The commanders of the new MCRC guerrilla insurgency have done the dirty work for Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame since the very beginning.  And, like their patron-dictators, no matter the documentation, no matter the evidence, no matter the eyewitnesses and proof of their crimes, most of them remain terrorists at large.  Under the secret programs of these Rwandan and Ugandan agents due process has been nonexistent, impunity the rule.  Millions and millions of lives have been destroyed, and it is happening again now.

They have been protected and/or supported by the U.S. administrations of William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barrack Obama.  AFRICOM supports Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni directly, and has military bases in Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.

Nkunda-2.jpg
General Laurent Nkunda in his ‘saviors’ costume for this AP photo c. Jerome Delay 2008.

And why is the MCRC’s first objective to take Goma?  The control of Goma would be used as leverage to manipulate the international community to recognize and accept the demands of the MCRC, and these are the objectives of the Kagame and Museveni regimes: to occupy, control and annex eastern Congo.  In this effort the Tutsi-controlled regime of alias Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa is complicit.  By controlling Goma, the former Rwandan and Ugandan ‘rebel’ soldiers that were integrated into the FARDC but remain loyal to Rwanda and Uganda would join the MCRC insurrection.  By controlling Goma, Kagame can openly (more openly than in recent years) send Rwandan Defense Forces into Congo without international intervention.

Ugly, Brutish and Not Short

First there was Museveni’s war in Uganda, 1980-1986, with Paul Kagame fighting for the National Resistance Army and Yoweri Museveni.  They committed massive war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, often blamed on the losers.  Then they invaded Rwanda, in 1990, and for the next four years they did the same thing, only more finely tuned, more sophisticated, and arguably much more brutal. [27]

The violence wreaked on Congo-Zaire by Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame was exported by perpetrators who first waged genocidal campaigns and coups-d’état that violated the most fundamental international covenants on state sovereignty first in Uganda, then Rwanda, then Zaire (Congo).  On 6 April 1994, they assassinated heads of state from Rwanda and Burundi, again the most fundamental and egregious violations of international law.  The U.S., U.K., Canada and Israel could not have been happier.

These first campaigns of Tutsi-Hima guerrilla warfare set the stage for unprecedented violence as the terror regimes of Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame tortured, slaughtered, raped, disappeared, assassinated, and terrorized millions of innocent non-combatant civilians from Uganda to Rwanda to Burundi to Congo (and in South Sudan). They had the backing of western intelligence and covert operations at the start. [28a]

Next came the covert operations in Zaire (Congo) by the special forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) from 1994 to 1996.  RPA hit squads were dispatched to the Kivu provinces in Zaire well in advance of the U.S.-backed invasion that formally arrived in September 1996.  From July 1994 to August 1996 RPA Special Forces employing hit-and-run terror tactics crossed the Zaire border to commit targeted acts of terrorism, including sabotage, bombings, psychological warfare, assassinations, massacres, disappearing.

One of their primary strategies has always been the sowing of terror through pseudo-operations: disguised as some ‘enemy’ faction (whether such faction has ever been involved in violence or not) the RPA (and UPDF) commit atrocities, generally under cover of night, which are then blamed on the enemy faction, and provide justification for RPA assaults, retaliation, and occupations. [28b]  Under this rubric, the victims are portrayed as the killers, and the killers are portrayed as the victims.

Then in August of 1996 came the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) invasion of Zaire.  The establishment narrative portrays the 1996 invasion of Zaire as a purely Congolese affair led by Laurent Desire Kabila and the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ).  Similarly, the ‘rebellions’ — bloody illegal guerrilla warfare insurgencies — in eastern Congo are typically portrayed as purely Congolese affairs, at least until the truth can no longer be denied, and then they become the subjects of propaganda campaigns that are duplicitous and expedient: damage control.

The United States military, intelligence apparatus, and diplomatic sector were 100% involved in the invasion of Zaire-Congo 1996-1998, providing logistics, weapons, aircraft, intelligence, satellite communications, and Special Operations Forces (U.S. Special Operations Command: SOCOM).  These were heavily armed and outfitted black- and brown-skinned U.S. troops, fluent in regional languages, on the ground in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo. [29]

Not only did the invading forces ruthlessly hunt and terminate every Rwandan Hutu man, women and child they could find, they also slaughtered tens or scores or hundreds of thousands of innocent Congolese Bantu people.   They used bulldozers and logging equipment to disappear the bodies. They dumped corpses into the vast Congo River and its tributaries.  They went back months later to the Congo forests and swamps to scavenge every skeleton they could find and disappear these once and for all.  There are plenty of eyewitnesses who survived. [30], [31]

Their campaigns of rape set the stage for the unprecedented sexual violence yet to come: sexual violence perpetrated by Rwandans and Ugandans but blamed on the Congolese.

Unable to control their proxy Laurent Desire Kabila, whom they chose to lead the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ), and who then became president of the Congo (until his assassination in 2001), Rwanda and Uganda next used the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) to aggress the Congo in the manufactured ‘Congolese rebellion’ from 1998 to 2003.

After signing some peace treaties in 2003, Rwanda and Uganda next aggressed the Congo through an alphabet soup of warring guerrilla militias: RCD, RCD-Goma, RCD-K, RCD-ML, PFJC, MRC, FNI, FRPI…and many more.  From 2003 to 2006 some 26 militias operated in the Ituri sector of Orientale Province alone: Ituri became the bloodiest place on earth at that time.  Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian militias rampaged in the provinces of Orientale, North and South Kivu, and Maniema, ripping apart the last vestiges of social fabric, ripping out the timber and the minerals, littering fields with skeletons and skulls, and mass graves everywhere.

In 2006, Rwanda and Uganda took their aggression against Congo to new levels through General Laurent Nkunda’s new Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) insurgency.

“An arrest warrant was issued against Nkunda for war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection months ago but the police and army have done nothing about arresting him,” reported Alison Des Forges, senior advisor to the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, in 2006.  “So long as Nkunda is at large, the civilian population remains at grave risk.” [32]

Similarly, from 2006 onward, Rwandan General Bosco Ntaganda was wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in northeastern Congo in 2002 and 2003, including recruiting and using child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery.  Ntaganda is also a former leader of the Rwanda-backed CNDP, and Ntaganda and his fighters were integrated into FARDC after the peace agreement of 23 March 2009.

The M23 guerrilla insurgency was more aggression by Rwanda and Uganda against Congo that began in March 2012 based on a FARDC mutiny led by Bosco Ntaganda and Sultani Makenga.  The rebellion took the name M23 in recognition of the 23 March 2009 neutralization of the Rwandan CNDP.

Rwandan M23 troops occupied Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu, on 20 November 2012, and the FARDC and MONUSCO did nothing to stop them. General Vincent Gatama commanded RDF Special Forces allied with M23 and both armies were involved in massive atrocities.

In March 2013, after the Ntaganda and Mukenga factions of M23 came to blows, Ntaganda surrendered to the U.S. embassy in Rwanda and was flown to The Hague to be tried by the International Criminal Court.

The defeat of the M23 by November 2013 came as a victory for the 18-month military campaign against them by the FARDC the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade, and supported by Congolese civil society and activists. The 3096 SADC Force Intervention Brigade forces (attached to MONUSCO) from Malawi, South Africa, and Tanzania quickly routed the Rwandan M23 troops. [33]

Rwandan commanders Paul Kagame, James Kabarebe, Laurent Nkunda, Bosco Ntaganda, Sultani Makenga, Vincent Gatama, Kakolele Bwambale and Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) all hold titles to this long sordid pedigree of armed warfare sponsored, spawned, supported, spread and prosecuted by Rwanda, Uganda and their western backers.

Here is another way that Rwanda and Uganda and their western backers have advanced the elite Tutsi-Hima agenda to pacify, occupy and balkanize the eastern Congo, and create a Rwandan-controlled Republic of the Volcanoes: Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration.  Since the first DDR programs begun around 2003, thousands of Rwandan and Ugandan Tutsi soldiers have been integrated (sic) into the Armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC): it is meaningless to say that Rwandan Tutsi soldier can be re-integrated into a Congolese army.

Through the Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs funded by the World Bank and western donors, these hostile foreign soldiers have been infiltrated into the FARDC, creating a national army compromised by having thousands of enemy (Rwandaphone) soldiers within its ranks.  The DDR section of MONUSCO supports the Government of the DRC, which retains the primary responsibility for defining the DDR policies.

The FARDC has seen more than 29 top-level commanders drawn from the Rwandan / Ugandan forces in its command structure.  Additionally, there are some 300 more or less Rwandan Tutsi Captains in the regular FARDC ranks. [34]

Under the leadership of President Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) every peace treaty and joint DRC government / U.N. demobilization effort since 2003 has involved infiltration of hostile Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers into the Congolese military, national police, security services, parliament, government, governors offices, and more.

This process of co-opting the Congo at the deepest levels began in 2003, when the decision was made to integrate some of the top war criminals into the Congolese power structure as Vice-Presidents of the transitional government; these included Azarias Ruberwa (RCD); Arthur Z’ahidi Ngoma (RCD); and Jean-Pierre Bemba (MLC).  The Sun City ‘peace’ agreements declared amnesty to RCD combatants.

The Congo’s national army, FARDC, cannot conduct responsible military operations that serve the interests of the Congolese people.  The command structure is full of Rwandans and Ugandans aligned with Museveni and Kagame, with thousands of Tutsi soldiers in the ranks.  The command structure is disorganized, and this is due to the conflicting agendas, and the subterfuge of the Rwanda/Ugandan agents within.  There are parallel command structures dictated by military commander’s involvement in the illegal mining and taxation.  Many FARDC commanders, whether of Congolese or Rwandan origin, only seek to enrich themselves.  Embezzlement, racketeering, conscription of labor, combined with the routine entropy of a poorly paid and poorly managed national army, have created a culture of deception, manipulation and personal profit.  Finally, there may be as many as 14,000 Rwandans in the FARDC; soldiers of Rwandan and Ugandan origin that have been infiltrated into the FARDC desert at will, taking their weapons with them and turning them against the Congo.

The government of Congo is also highly compromised by having many Tutsi politicians in in civilian ranks, not least of which is the president of the country.  President Hippolyte Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila) is a Rwandan Tutsi who marched across Congo-Zaire under the guidance of his uncle, RPA general James Kabarebe, one of the top 40 RPA soldiers indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in 2009 by the International Court of Justice, Audiencia Nacionale, in Spain.  Kanambe surreptitiously serves the interests of Rwanda and Uganda, and the United States, Canada, the U.K., Belgium and Israel.  Alias Joseph Kabila is not the son of Laurent Desire Kabila, and he never was. [35]

Impunity for Rwandan and Ugandan Warlords

One of Laurent Nkunda’s primary tasks with the AFDL-CZ was to ensure the assassination of the Hutu and Bantu customary chiefs in the collectives on the Congo-Rwanda border so that Rwandaphone agents could replace them.[36]

Nkunda was a senior officer in the Rwandan-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma).  In 2004 he was named general in a new national Congolese army created from troops of the dissident forces at the end (sic) of the war.   He refused the post and withdrew with hundreds of his troops to the forests of Masisi in North Kivu.  In August 2005, Nkunda announced a new ‘rebellion’: the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP).

Rwanda’s Majar General Gatama worked with Nkunda during the aggression of the Rwandan rebel CNDP.  Gatama later worked with Rwandan warlords General Bosco Ntaganda and Colonel Sultani Makenga during the guerilla M23 Movement.  Gatama was on the front lines in Congo when M23 was defeated by the joint military operations of the Congolese army (FARDC) and the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), sent by the South African Development Community (SADC).

Colonel Sultani Makenga is another Kagame henchman who was born in South Kivu (DRC) but joined the RPA invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990.  Later sent back to Congo for the various rebel insurgencies manufactured by Kagame and Museveni, Makenga was always a very close collaborator with Laurent Nkunda.  When Nkunda was ‘arrested’ in Rwanda by Kagame, Colonel Makenga and General Bosco Ntaganda continued Rwanda’s dirty work in the M23 insurgency.

After Makenga and Ntaganda had a falling out in 2013, with Ntaganda evicted, Colonel Makenga became the de facto sole military leader of the victorious faction of M23.  After the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) defeated M23, Makenga left his command headquarters at Bunagana, which was also Laurent Nkunda’s base, and fled North Kivu to Uganda.

“Although he has no ICC arrest warrant hanging over his head,” reported the BBC in November 2013, “the UN Security Council imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on him last year, accusing him of being responsible for the ‘killing and maiming, sexual violence, abduction, and forced displacement’ — a reference to the fact that some 800,000 people fled their homes during the 19-month [M23] rebellion.” [37]

“Reports say Colonel Makenga and about 1,700 fighters have been disarmed and are being held in a secret location,” reported the BBC on 7 November 2013.  “The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in Kampala says Col Makenga poses a tough diplomatic challenge for Uganda… A Ugandan government spokesperson told the BBC a decision on whether to hand him over would have to wait until a peace deal is signed between DR Congo and the M23 rebels, which is expected this weekend.” [38]

International press reports after September 2013 described how Col Sultani Mukenga ‘surrendered’ to the Ugandan government and his possible imminent extradition to Congo: it seems the regime in Kampala had no intentions, ever, of surrendering Mukenga to Congo.  The BBC does not perform a public service in advancing such propaganda.  Indeed, the press widely raised disingenuous questions about Makenga’s fate, and the “tough diplomatic challenge” faced by the government of Uganda.

By November 2013 the western mass media was reporting that the M23 “rebels” had “surrendered in Uganda” or “turned themselves in” in Rwanda.  This is a stale ruse, since one does not “turn themselves in” or “surrender” to the people that they work with and to whom they swear eternal blood allegiance.

“The arrest of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s notorious rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda removes a major impediment to peace in one of the world’s most war-torn countries,” cheered TIME Magazine on 23 January 2009.  “The fact that he was arrested in Rwanda also helps the government of President Paul Kagame restore a reputation severely tarnished last month, when the U.N. accused it of arming and supplying men to Nkunda and using him as a proxy inside Congo.” [39]

TIME magazine has played a pivotal role whitewashing all western military and western corporate mining plunder in Congo, and it hammers the tired and false establishment narrative about genocide in Rwanda.  According to this narrative, which legitimizes the ongoing genocide against Rwandan Hutu people, Kagame invaded the Congo (Zaire) in 1996 purely “to stamp out the Hutu genocidaires sheltering in Congo.” [40]  The false narrative turns Hutu victims into killers, and the mass murder of innocent Hutu people into what is supposed to be a just and necessary punishment. [41]

“Rwandan troops, RCD, M23, Ugandan army, CNDP, they all work together: these names like M23 and MCRC are meaningless.”  Jean Paul Romeo Rugero is a Rwandan born Hutu in exile.  In July 1994, at the age of 15, he fled Rwanda with his family and he survived the Rwandan Patriotic Army genocide against hundreds of thousands of innocent non-combatant Hutu men, women and children in Congo.  “The soldiers in these ‘rebel’ armies know no borders.  They have been in all these armies: NRA, UPDF, RPA, RCD, CNDP, M23.  They don’t see any borders, they don’t see any countries; they just see one big Tutsi-Hima land and that is what they are fighting for.”

The Farce of House Arrest

In January 2009 the western press was blanketed with stories describing how General Laurent Nkunda had been arrested in Gisenyi, Rwanda, and was placed under house arrest by the government of Rwanda.  The prevailing wisdom said that Nkunda had become too much of a political liability to his boss, Paul Kagame, who was loosing funding from international donors that were worried about Nkunda’s impact on western mining operations in Congo.

With Nkunda’s arrest in 2009, one story after another provided Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni with the international fanfare they needed to distance their regimes from what was then the latest bloody insurgency in eastern Congo, led by Rwandan and Ugandan forces under the name of the “Congolese Revolutionary Army,” more popularly known as “M23.”

“The arrest of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s notorious rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda removes a major impediment to peace in one of the world’s most war-torn countries,” wrote TIME Magazine in January 2009.  “The fact that he was arrested in Rwanda also helps the government of President Paul Kagame restore a reputation severely tarnished last month, when the U.N. accused it of arming and supplying men to Nkunda and using him as a proxy inside Congo.”

Attempts by the government of Congo to extradite Nkunda to Congo for trial after his arrest in Gisenyi, Rwanda were blocked by Kigali, who claimed that Nkunda was being held under house arrest, the propaganda line widely parroted by the international media.

Rwandan dissidents claimed that Nkunda was living comfortably in Rwanda.

A year after his supposed arrest Nkunda’s defense attorney, Canadian barrister Stephane Bourgon, began claiming that Nkunda’s rights were being violated.  Bourgon claimed that Rwanda was keeping Nkunda illegally in “no-man’s land” without charge and that the Rwandan government was blocking access to his client. [42]

Stephane Bourgon is also a Royal Canadian Military College graduate who served in the Canadian Forces for more than 20 years as logistics officer and military legal advisor. [43]  (Canadian General Romeo Dallaire supported the Rwandan Patriotic Army invasion of Rwanda 1993-1994.)

“Former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda is ready to face trial for alleged war crimes or go into exile to end his detention without charge in Rwanda,” Bourgon reported in an interview with Reuters news service in 2010. [44]

In 2012, stories about Rwandan warlord Bosco Ntaganda — Nkunda’s rival and successor warlord running M23 — briefly captured the international spotlight, and most of these routinely mentioned that General Laurent Nkunda was being held under house arrest in Rwanda.

In June 2012, Kagame responded to international criticism with threats to turn Nkunda loose on Congo.  Rwanda continued to refuse to hand Nkunda over to Congo to face charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and insurrection, with Kagame disingenuously claiming concerns that Nkunda would not get a fair trial and might simply be killed for his ethnicity. [45]

In July 2012, the US, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany withdrew or delayed disbursement of their budgetary support to Rwanda in protest of Rwanda’s alleged support for M23 Congolese rebels.

By late 2012 the subject of Laurent Nkunda has slipped off the international news scene.

Onward Christian Soldiers

Beginning in mid-April 2015, hundreds of Uganda and Rwandan soldiers began infiltrating eastern Congo, crossing the border through the Virunga National Park and northern Lake Kivu region, to join the ranks of the latest Rwandan/Ugandan guerrilla occupation of eastern Congo.

On 22 April 2015, the Rwandan army crossed the border into North Kivu (DRC), wounding a Congolese soldier. [46]

Around the same time three United Nations officials reported that three mine-clearance workers were kidnapped at Kibumba, some 30 miles north of Goma, the provincial capital.  These were private agents working for a specialized private firm subcontracted by the UN anti-mine service, but the name of the company that the three worked for was not mentioned in either the United Nations or the western press reports.  The men were identified as two Congolese and one foreigner, and they were kidnapped off a main road in Rutshuru, North Kivu, by what were believed to be Rwandans speaking Kinyarwanda.

“The three men disappeared as tension rose on the border with Rwanda, which sent troops into North Kivu in the same region near Kibumba, according to the DR Congo’s armed forces,” wrote AFP on 23 April 2015.  (The exact date of their kidnapping is unclear.) “One Congolese soldier was wounded in an exchange of fire on Wednesday, the army said.” [47]

The three landmine clearance personnel were working for the private South African de-mining firm MECHEM, a subsidiary of the South African aerospace and defense giant DENEL Land Systems.  DENEL MECHEM lists amongst its current clients the Pentagon private military firm RONCO Consulting Corporation, for which DENEL MECHEM has a contract at the Pentagon’s Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. [48] MECHEM has also worked for its U.S. military client RONCO in Sudan. [49]

RONCO Corporation surfaced in the Great Lakes of Africa during the U.S. military invasions of Rwanda (1990-1994) and Zaire (1996-1998).  Billed as a corporation working in the ‘humanitarian’ sector, RONCO masquerades as a de-mining firm but employs ‘former’ U.S. Special Operations Forces. [50] In 1994, ‘former’ Special Operations Forces working for RONCO Corporation provided military equipment and ferried RPA troops from Uganda to Rwanda during the western-backed coup d’etat led by Paul Kagame. [51]

Unidentified assailants believed to be soldiers from Rwanda or Uganda kidnapped three more civilians and four FARDC soldiers near Kibumba in North Kivu, DRC, in late April 2015.

Reports from Rwandan government opposition members claim that some 400 combatants of the Rwandan Defense Forces commanded by ‘Colonel Charles’ and ‘Colonel Mahire’ crossed the border through the Virunga National Park on the nights of 5 and 6 May 2015. [52]

On 5 May 2015, two Tanzanian peacekeepers with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) special Force Intervention Brigade were killed and thirteen others were wounded in an attack that MONUSCO blamed on “suspected Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) Islamist rebels.” [53]

Another four MONUSCO ‘blue helmet’ soldiers from the United Republic of Tanzania were reported missing.  This was the second reported attack on MONUSCO forces in the eastern North Kivu region in 48 hours after unidentified combatants fired on helicopter carrying a senior commander.[54]

On 9 May 2015 AFP reported the discovery of seven bodies in North Kivu.  The head of a local civil society organization complained that authorities had been alerted about armed men circulating in the area but the reports had not been taken seriously. [55]

The AFP news service reported that “[t]he incident was the latest in a spate of unrest that has included a UN helicopter coming under fire, and at least 20 soldiers and rebels dying in clashes.”  In other AFP reports, the violence was attributed to anti-Ugandan ADF rebels: AFP credited a FARDC spokesman saying that FARDC troops recently killed 16 ADF rebels in two days of clashes in the region.

“The Muslim rebels of the ADF, who launched an insurgency in neighboring Uganda against President Yoweri Museveni in the mid-1990s, are accused of killing more than 260 civilians in and around Beni town between October and December last year. Most of the victims were hacked to death, in atrocities that prompted a joint operation by the Congolese army and UN troops to put down the jihadist fighters in December.”[56a]

The attribution of ALL violence in Congo to ‘Islamist rebels’ of the ADF or Rwandan genocidaires from the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) is generally a propaganda tactic: the ADF and FDLR are routinely blamed for violence that is as often as not perpetrated by government forces from Uganda or Rwanda.  The ADF, FDLR, and Lord’s Resistance Army are the west’s go-to bogeymen, used to justify further military interventions, militarization and spying by the regimes in Rwandan and Uganda.

Also, MONUSCO is apparently blaming the killing of the Tanzanian ‘blue helmets’ on ADF so that MONUSCO will not have to contradict their own former statements that they did not notice any Ugandan or Rwandan troop movements coming across the border in April 2015.

“Re-emergence of Rwandan rebel group in eastern DRC raises risks of border fighting and attacks on UN,” reported Jane’s Intelligence Weekly on 11 May 2015.  Since August 2014, the UN mission in DRC has also alleged the M23 is rearming and regrouping, although M23 president Bertrand Bisimwa has dismissed the claims.  DRC officials report that in late April around 300 M23 armed members crossed into DRC’s Beni territory from Uganda, after at least 1000 M23 members in December 2014 fled a Ugandan barracks in Bihanga where they had been temporarily stationed.” [56b]

In early May at least 50 civilians were ‘kidnapped’ from Nyiragongo territory, near Goma.  As of late May there was no news of their whereabouts, and they may have been ‘disappeared’; there was no reporting in the international media.

According to a reliable source in eastern Congo, by early May 2015 General Laurent Nkunda was reported to be behind a military buildup in Masisi, North Kivu, with his soldiers based in Rutshuru, Masisi and Walikale.  By mid May 2015 there were reports of many hundreds of ‘unidentified’ guerrillas moving around Masisi territory in North Kivu.

Working with local Congolese Mai Mai warlord Ntabo Ntaberi Cheka, General Nkunda and the MCRC had reportedly been targeting gold, cassiterite, coltan and tourmaline mines mainly in Masisi and Walikale.

Other sources in North Kivu could not confirm Nkunda’s presence, but they believe that Nkunda is the ‘big commander’ behind the new MCRC rebellion.

So, where is Laurent Nkunda?  And who is behind the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of Congo (MCRC)?

From 2013 to the present day hundreds of thousands of non-combatant civilians have been displaced from their homes and villages in North Kivu province (alone).  Charged with numerous crimes documented over the past 20 years, Laurent Nkunda is allegedly allowed to freely roam back and forth between Rwanda and Uganda for high levels meetings where latest guerilla warfare campaign in eastern Congo was planned.

The MCRC insurgency flagged the attention of the U.S. propaganda Voice of America network, and the Rwanda regime’s propaganda network has issued one disinformation report about them.

“Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say armed men have crossed into the country from Uganda and set up bases in Beni territory,” reported Voice of America on 27 April 2015.  “A local community leader told VOA they may be Congolese rebels, part of the same movement reported to have crossed the Rwandan border into the DRC last week.” [57]

On 2 May 2015 the Kagame regime’s military intelligence newspaper Imirasire confirmed what Kigali wants to paint as a ‘new Congolese rebellion’ in eastern Congo.  The slant of the publication is intended to appeal to the Rwandan public to read between the lines and understand that the government of Rwanda supports the ‘rebellion.’

“News coming from North Kivu indicate[s] that a new rebel group composed of former M23 and CNDP fighters has been created, as the Governor of North Kivu declared to the press.  The Governor said that there has been a series of secret meetings to create the group, which by now has gone public and announced its leadership.  This has stirred up a new wave of insecurity in Eastern DRC.” [58]

Imirasire is a Kinyarwanda language publication run by the Kagame regime’s Directorate of Military Intelligence.  Operatives working for the Directorate of Military Intelligence are known for committing brutal massacres, assassinations, abductions and disappearing of dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, persons not in favor with the regime, and innocent civilians.

The report in Imirasire appeared under a Kinyarwanda language headline that translates to: “DRC: MCRC rebel group has been made public and announced its leadership with General Laurent Nkunda as head of its military branch.” [59]

Speaking on MONUSCO’s Radio Okapi on 24 April 2015 and alerting the general population to the latest threat from Rwanda and Uganda, the governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, described the recent military incursions as an attempt by the former Rwandan/Ugandan guerrilla M23 insurgency to re-launch their armed movement under a new name, the Christian Movement for the Reconstruction of the Congo (MCRC).

In late April and early May 2015 Governor Paluku denounced “the meetings held in Uganda and Rwanda to destabilize Congo.”  Given the heightened insecurity the Governor announced that he had deployed the Congolese army to border posts to secure the country.  But by the time of the attack against Goma, on 2 June 2015, Governor Paluku is singing a different tune, likely ordered by the regime in Kinshasa to suppress the truth about the new Rwandan and Ugandan insurrection. [60]

The MCRC also has a Facebook page that appears to have been created in April 2015.  The page’s ‘description’ includes the statement “The reconstruction of our country long plundered by Congolese” and several very nondescript posts proclaim: “we are already among you.” [61]

Christians for the Destruction of Congo

According to various sources, General Laurent Nkunda and Sultani Makenga traveled to Uganda to attend an MCRC organizational meeting at the Bunyoni Overland Resort Hotel in Kabale, Uganda on 25 April 2015.  The participants at the meeting established the political and military structures of the MCRC guerilla insurgency, including the selection of president, pastor Kahitari Mumvaneza, who then chaired the meeting.

The MCRC’s political wing will be led by:

  • * Kahitari Mumvaneza: President;
  • * Bertrand Bisimwa: Vice-president;
  • * Benjamin Mbonimpa: Executive Secretary;
  • * Master Mutela Eli: Chief of Staff.

The MCRC’s military wing will be led by:

  • * Laurent Nkunda Mihigo: Chief of General Staff;
  • * Sultani Makenga: Chief of Military Operations;
  • * Mboneza Yusufu: Deputy Chief of Operations And Information;
  • * Ermain Bahame: Deputy Chief of Administration And Logistics;
  • * Innocent Kayina: Deputy Chief of Military Operations;
  • * Innocent Zimurinda-Katusi: Commander of Rwanda axis;
  • * Richard Bisamaza: Commander of Uganda axis;
  • * Secopere Mihigo: Chief of Military Intelligence.

MCRC leaders are reported to have ties to Canada, France, the U.S. and Rwanda and their links to Rwanda and Uganda are known.  For example, Lt. Col. Innocent Zimurinda was an officer in the CNDP who remains loyal to Bosco Ntaganda.  Zimurinda was integrated into the FARDC as a Lieutenant Colonel, and in July 2009 Zimurinda was promoted to full Colonel and became FARDC sector commander in North Kivu.

“It is very clear that as long as Kagame and Museveni are in power this area of Congo will be ungovernable.”  Rwandan professor Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro points to the source of the violence.  “Uganda and Rwanda thrive on the illegal exploitation of minerals and illegal taxation.  They will keep fomenting rebellion and whenever the subject of illegal exploitation of minerals is raised at the United Nations they have the diplomatic cover [protection] of the United States and United Kingdom.” [62]

All these Rwandan and Ugandan terrorist militias, from the AFDL-CZ, RCD, CNDP to the M23, have attempted to camouflage their Rwandan and Ugandan identities by initially placing authentic Congolese leaders out in the spotlight: e.g. Laurent Desire Kabila (AFDL-CZ), Wamba dia Wamba (RCD), Emile Ilunga (RCD), Onusumba Yamba (RCD), Laurent Nkunda.

Also, “Banyamulenge,” the term for Congolese Tutsis, does not exist in the nomenclature of tribes and ethnic groups of the Congo.  Most of the Kinyarwanda speaking communities in eastern DRC and northern Rwanda originally had Hutu traditional leadership.  The category Banyamulenge comprises many Tutsis who fled Rwanda during the Rwandan Independence era (circa 1959-1965).

Until the aggression by Rwanda and Uganda in 1990 sparked conflict in neighboring Zaire (Congo), partly fanned by Zaire’s president Mobutu, the Kinyarwanda speaking communities (Banyamulenge) in eastern DRC were not known for the Tutsi-Hutu ethnic dichotomy that has devastated the Great Lakes region: this was stirred up by the Tutsi-Hima elites in Uganda and Rwanda.  Ethnic and tribal division, discord and destabilization were all part of a systematic and intentional plan to invade and conquer.

By early June 2015, the many hundreds of ‘unidentified’ Rwandan and Ugandan guerrillas, believed to be the new MCRC, were no more reported in Masisi territory.  The forces reportedly split in three parts.  One contingent part was sent to join Mai Mai Cheka in the remote forests of Walikale; the second joined Gen Kakolele in Rutshuru near the border with Uganda; and the third contingent is reportedly in Rwanda with General Laurent Nkunda.

Modern Day White Mercenaries

“People are killed every day, here and there,” says one Congolese human rights investigator in eastern Congo.  “U.S. intelligence agents and the organizations they work with produce disinformation favorable to Rwanda and Uganda.  These guys are on someone’s payroll and they have enough money to throw around to their own networks of informants in the Great Lakes region.”

The U.S. and its allies, primarily Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Germany, Holland and Israel, are all part of the networks of multinational interests plundering the natural resources of the Great Lakes countries.  The corporations involved in eastern Congo are never mentioned, and no pictures are ever shown of their networks of exploitation that exist in parallel and coincidence with the violence.

The corporations operating in eastern Congo protected by the media and western intelligence apparatus, but soaked in Congolese blood, include Banro Gold, Casa Mining, Mwana Africa, Loncor, Anglo-Gold Ashanti, Kilo Gold, Moku Gold, Randgold and Alphamin Resources.

Israeli Dan Gertler — one of the Congo’s greatest current enemies — has bought up petroleum operations in the lakes regions on the Uganda-Congo frontier.  Gertler’s political allies in power in Israel have been making deals with Rwanda.  Another Israeli has been awarded oil-drilling rights in Virunga National Park just in the past two weeks after Canadian oil company SOCO International pulled out under public pressure.

Corporations like Alphamin promise to provide community development programs, with all kinds of publicity of their supposed largesse and generosity. Usually these are cheap exchanges, the equivalent of trinkets for land and minerals, the legacy of colonial occupation and theft.

On 10 June 2015, communities dispossessed of lands and livelihoods by Banro Gold in South Kivu began to confront Banro Gold for the substandard homes provided by Banro. “There is trouble in Luhwindja where Banro is exploiting,” reported one Congolese human rights investigator on 10 June 2015. “Banro did nothing to help the locals. The houses they [Banro] built are falling down because people had to abandon them. People are dying from pollution.”

The operations of the big mining companies present in eastern Congo are completely whitewashed by the western press and western mercenaries and intelligence front group organizations like the International Crises Group, International Rescue Committee, ENOUGH, Raise Hope For Congo, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and the Social Science Research Council.[63]

The reappearance on the ground in Congo of these Rwandan warlords illuminates the apparatus of impunity involving western governments, non-government front organizations, the United Nations, multinational corporations, think tanks, western academia, the genocide industry, and the industries that profit through the creation of careers and markets for the euphemistically named AID, charity, humanitarian relief, conflict-resolution, and development industries.   None of these latter industries would flourish without the market-based manufacture of suffering, despair, disease and deracination, or the market-based production of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees.

As it is with the western human rights corpus “that keeps intact the hierarchical relationships between European and non-European populations,” [64] so it is with all these other industries.  Suffering is big business.

A participant at the 65th Annual Conference on World Affairs, Keith Harmon Snow is the 2009 Regent’s Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara.  Some of his reportage, writings, photography and human rights reports can be seen on the web sites: Conscious Being AllianceAll Things Pass & Keith Harmon Snow. keith harmon snow, USA: +1.413.626.3800, 84 Goshen Road, Williamsburg, MA 01096 USA.

 

NOTES:

[endif]

[if !supportFootnotes][1][endif] Private Communication, June 2015.

[if !supportFootnotes][2][endif] Aaron Ross and Kenny Katombe, “Gunmen attack airport in eastern Congo, seven dead, Reuters, 2 June 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/02/us-congodemocratic-fighting-id…

[if !supportFootnotes][3][endif] Gunmen launch deadly raid on airport depot in DR Congo, AFP, 2 June 2015, https://www.c4defence.com/en/afp-mail-drcongo-unrest-army-airport/ .

[if !supportFootnotes][4][endif] DRC arrests ‘leader’ of Goma airport attack, Reuters, 3 June 2015, http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/DRC-arrests-leader-of-Goma-airport-attack-20150603.

[if !supportFootnotes][5][endif] Keith Harmon Snow, “Ben Affleck, Rwanda, and Corporate Sustained Catastrophe,” Dissident Voice, 23 January 2009, http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/01/ben-affleck-rwanda-and-corporate-sustained-catastrophe/ .

[if !supportFootnotes][6][endif] David Barouski, “The Case of the Lueshe Mine, Z Communications, 27 July 2008, https://zcomm.org/zcommentary/the-case-of-the-lueshe-mine-by-david-barou….

[if !supportFootnotes][7][endif] Keith Harmon Snow, “More Congo Propaganda: M23 and the Unseen High-Tech Genocide,” Conscious Being Alliance, 8 November 2013, http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2013/11/m23-rebels-and-high-tech-g…

[if !supportFootnotes][8][endif] http://alphaminresources.com/

[if !supportFootnotes][9][endif] DRC arrests ‘leader’ of Goma airport attack, Reuters, 3 June 2015, http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/DRC-arrests-leader-of-Goma-airport-attack-20150603

[if !supportFootnotes][10][endif] Private communication, June 2015.

[if !supportFootnotes][11][endif] DRC arrests ‘leader’ of Goma airport attack, Reuters, 3 June 2015, http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/DRC-arrests-leader-of-Goma-airport-attack-20150603

[if !supportFootnotes][12][endif] Private communication, June 2015.

[13a][endif] “Military says lull in DRC fighting,” AP, 6 September 2013.

[13b] Congolese Police arrests armed rebels who attacked Goma International Airport, Imirasire, 5 June 2015, http://eng.imirasire.com/news/all-around/in-rwanda/article/congolese-pol… : Verbatim:

<<<Congolese police on Thursday said they have arrested 32 people on charges of attacking the international airport in Goma, capital of north-eastern North Kivu province.

Fighters belonging to a new rebel group headed by a former regional politician, Celestin Malonga, were pushed back on Monday by the army and members of the presidential guard who were based at the airport.

However, one rebel and four members of the presidential guard were killed.

Meanwhile, the reasons for the attack were not clear but officials and analysts said the rebels may have wanted to prevent guests from arriving for a regional economic forum or that they may simply have wanted to loot goods at the airport.

Malonga, who was arrested near the Rwandan border, told newsmen that he was fighting the government of President Joseph Kabila, because it had lent a deaf ear to his demands.

He did not give details on what the demands were.

Malonga’s Union of Congolese Patriots for Peace (UCPC), said it has about 100 members, is just one among dozens of armed groups operating in eastern Congo.

The region had been ravaged by violence since the 1996 to 2003 Congo wars.

Report says many of the armed groups do not focus on ideological causes, but seek control over the region’s rich natural resources.>>>

[if !supportFootnotes][14][endif] Private communication, June 2015.

[if !supportFootnotes][15][endif] Steve Hege, Letter dated 26 November 2012 from the Coordinator of the Group of Experts on the DRC addressed to the Chairman, S/AC.43/2012/GE/OC.63, 26 November 2012.

[if !supportFootnotes][16][endif] Security Council Democratic Republic of Congo Sanctions Committee Updates Sanctions List, 6 February 2015, http://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc11772.doc.htm

[if !supportFootnotes][17][endif] “Nord-Kivu: arrestation d’un officier des FARDC à Beni,” Radio Okapi, 10 December 2013,

http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2013/12/10/nord-kivu-arrestation-dun-off…

[if !supportFootnotes][18][endif]Nord Kivu : Les éléments du Chef rebelle Tcheka saccagent la localité de Bunyatenge, enlèvent, violent et tuent des femmes et enfants,” GADHOP, 17 September 2014, http://www.gadhop.org/nord-kivu-les-elements-du-chef-rebelle-tcheka-sacc…

[if !supportFootnotes][19][endif] “RDC: 3 morts dans les combats entre Maï-Maï Cheka et FDLR à Lubero,” Radio Okapi, 7 March 2015, http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2015/03/07/rdc-3-morts-dans-les-combats-entre-mai-mai-cheka-et-fdlr-a-lubero/

[if !supportFootnotes][20][endif] HRW reporting on human rights is expedient.  Like Care, Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, and the International Crises Group and its ENOUGH Project, HRW operates in a political economy of human rights and genocide that centers around the protection and advancement of western profit-based interests, often whitewashing western mining and military operations.

[if !supportFootnotes][21][endif] DR Congo: Wanted Rebel’s Troops Instill Fear, Human Rights Watch, 6 January 2015.

[if !supportFootnotes][22][endif] See, e.g.: Olga Abilova et al, Mining for Gold, Mining for Peace: The role of gold mining in peace and development in eastern DRC, Center for International Conflict Resolution, Columbia University, October 2014, p. 56, http://www.cicr-columbia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/DRC-Final-Report-Jan-28-2015.pdf .

[if !supportFootnotes][23][endif] See, e.g.,: “Alphamin Receives Strong Support from the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Develop Its Bisie Tin Prospect,” Marketwatch, 25 July 2014, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alphamin-receives-strong-support-from-t…

[if !supportFootnotes][24][endif] Jeremy C. Witley et al, Alphamin Resources Corporation Bisie Tin Project North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, MSA Group, NI 43-101 Technical Report, 10 May 2015, http://alphaminresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/J2878%20Alphamin%20Bisie%20Tin%20Project%20NI%2043-101%20MRE%2010-05-2015_Final%20V2.pdf

[if !supportFootnotes][25][endif] Private communication, June 2015.

[if !supportFootnotes][26][endif] Alison Des Forges, D.R. Congo: Arrest Laurent Nkunda For War Crimes: Military and U.N. Should Act to Protect Civilians, Human Rights Watch, 2 February 2006.

[if !supportFootnotes][27][endif] Keith Harmon Snow, “Special Report: Exposing U.S. Agents of Low-Intensity Warfare in Africa,” Conscious Being Alliance, 13 August 2012.

[if !supportFootnotes][28a][endif] Keith Harmon Snow, “Special Report: Exposing U.S. Agents of Low-Intensity Warfare in Africa,” Conscious Being Alliance, 13 August 2012. http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2012/08/us-agents-of-covert-war-in…

[28b] On ‘pseudo-operations’ see: Frank Kitson, Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency & Peacekeeping, Faber & Faber, 1971.

[if !supportFootnotes][29][endif] See, e.g., Keith Harmon Snow, “The Rwanda Genocide Fabrications,” Dissident Voice, 13 April 2009, http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/04/the-rwanda-genocide-fabrications/

[if !supportFootnotes][30][endif] Personal investigations, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004-2007.

[if !supportFootnotes][31][endif] DRC: Mapping Human Rights Violations 1993-2003, United Nations, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/RDCProjetMapping.aspx

[if !supportFootnotes][32][endif] Alison Des Forges, D.R. Congo: Arrest Laurent Nkunda For War Crimes: Military and U.N. Should Act to Protect Civilians, Human Rights Watch, 2 February 2006.

[if !supportFootnotes][33][endif] The United Nations Force Intervention Brigade is a military formation which forms part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).  It was authorized by the United Nations Security Council on 28 March 2013 through United Nations Security Council Resolution 2098.  The FIB is the first United Nations peacekeeping formation specifically tasked to carry out targeted offensive operations to neutralize armed groups that threaten State authority and civilian security, with or without the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC), against armed groups that threaten peace in the eastern DRC. The brigade is based in North Kivu and is made up of a total of 3,069 peacekeepers.  The brigade consists of South African ArmyTanzanian Army, and Malawi Defence Force infantry battalions, Tanzanian artillery, and Special Forces (nationality unidentified).

[if !supportFootnotes][34][endif] http://ikazeiwacu.fr/2013/06/29/les-generaux-rwandais-tutsi-qui-dirigent… généraux rwandais tutsi qui dirigent FARDC, l’Armée Congolaise, 29 Juin 2013.

[if !supportFootnotes][35][endif] Dr. Yaa-Lengi Ngemi, “Kagame’s Trojan Horse in Kinshasa,” OP-ED, New York Times, 29 November 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/11/29/stabilizing-the-democratic-republic-of-congo/kagames-trojan-horse-in-kinshasa .

[if !supportFootnotes][36][endif] David Baruoski, Laurent Nkundabatware, His Rwandan Allies, and the Ex-ANC Mutiny, 13 February 2007, http://nointervention.com/archive/Africa/DRCongo/LKandexANC.pdf

[37] Farouk Chothia, “Profile: Sultani Makenga, DR Congo’s M23 rebel leader,” BBC, 7 November 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-24849919

[if !supportFootnotes][38][endif] Farouk Chothia, “Profile: Sultani Makenga, DR Congo’s M23 rebel leader,” BBC, 7 November 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-24849919

[if !supportFootnotes][39][endif] Alex Perry, “Behind Rwanda’s Arrest of Nkunda,” TIME, 23 January 2009, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1873613,00.html

[if !supportFootnotes][40][endif] Alex Perry, “Behind Rwanda’s Arrest of Nkunda,” TIME, 23 January 2009, http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1873613,00.html

[if !supportFootnotes][41][endif] Keith Harmon Snow, “White Slaughter in Black Africa: Genocide and Denialism,” Conscious Being Alliance, 11 May 2013, http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2013/05/white-slaughter-in-black-africa-the-politics-of-genocide-denialism/

[if !supportFootnotes][42][endif] Hereward Holland, “Congo warlord Nkunda seeks trial or exile: lawyer,” Reuters, 15 January 2010.

[if !supportFootnotes][43][endif] Stephane Bourgon, https://www.linkedin.com/pub/stephane-bourgon/8/555/b42

[if !supportFootnotes][44][endif] Hereward Holland, “Congo warlord Nkunda seeks trial or exile: lawyer,” Reuters, 15 January 2010.

[if !supportFootnotes][45][endif] Gaaki Kigambo, “Congo war risk as Kagame threatens to release Nkunda,” The East African, 23 June 2012, http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Congo-war-risk-as-Kagame-threatens-…

[if !supportFootnotes][46][endif] Aaron Ross, “Rwandan troops cross into Congo, wound soldier – Congo government,” Reuters, 22 April 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/22/us-congodemocratic-rwanda-idUS…

[if !supportFootnotes][47][endif] “Kidnapped trio in DR Congo are subcontractors to UN mission: UN,” AFP, 23 April 2015, http://news.yahoo.com/three-members-un-mission-kidnapped-eastern-dr-congo-201336937.html .

[if !supportFootnotes][48][endif] “Running Projects,” DENEL MECHEM web site, 5 June 2015, http://www.mechemdemining.com/projects/running-projects

[if !supportFootnotes][49][endif] “Track Record,” DENEL web site, 5 June 2015, http://www.mechemdemining.com/projects/track-record

[if !supportFootnotes][50][endif] See, e.g.: Joseph M. Donahue, The U.S. Army’s Countermine Training Support Center and Humanitarian Demining Training Center, Survey Action Center, The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, Issue 5.1, April 2001,

http://www.jmu.edu/cisr/journal/5.1/Focus/Joe_Donahue/donahue.html

[if !supportFootnotes][51][endif] On Ronco Company shipping weapons into Rwanda: see testimony by Kathi Austin, Hearing of the House International Relations Committee, 16 July 1997.

[if !supportFootnotes][52][endif] “RDC: Une Autre Incursion de L’armee Rwandais; 400 soldats ont traverse la Frontiere,” Ikaze Iwaku, 6 Mai 2015, http://ikazeiwacu.fr/2015/05/06/rdc-une-autre-incursion-de-larmee-rwandaise-400-soldats-ont-traverse-la-frontiere/

[if !supportFootnotes][53][endif] Unsigned, “Tanzanian UN peacekeepers killed in DR Congo near Beni,” BBC, 6 May 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32605771

[if !supportFootnotes][54][endif] “UN deplores deadly attack on ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo,” UN News Centre, 6 May 2015, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=50780#.VUymMtpVhBc

[if !supportFootnotes][55][endif] AFP, “Seven Bodies Found in DR Congo’s Restive East,” Daily Mail, 9 May 2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3074610/Seven-bodies-DR-Con…

[if !supportFootnotes][56a][endif] AFP, “UN Peacekeepers Killed in Ambush in Democratic Republic of Congo,” ABC News, 5 May 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-06/democratic-republic-of-congo-un-pe…

[56b] Robert Besseling, “Re-emergence of Rwandan rebel group in eastern DRC raises risk of border fighting and attacks on UN,” IHS Jane’s Intelligence Weekly, 11 MAy 2015, http://www.janes.com/article/51348/re-emergence-of-rwandan-rebel-group-in-eastern-drc-raises-risk-of-border-fighting-and-attacks-on-un

[if !supportFootnotes][57][endif] Nick Long, “Armed Men from Uganda Reported in DRC,” Voice of America, 27 April 2015, http://www.voanews.com/content/armed-men-from-uganda-reported-in-drc/2736396.html .

[if !supportFootnotes][58][endif] “RDC: Umutwe wa MCRC wagiye ku mugaragaro utangaza n’ubuyobozi bwawo na Gen Laurent Nkunda nk’umukuru w’igisirikare cyawo” [translation: “DRC: MCRC rebel group has been made public and announced its leadership with Gen Laurent Nkunda as head of its military branch”], Imirasire, 2 May 2015, http://imirasire.com/amakuru-yose/amakuru-mashya/hanze-y-u-rwanda/articl…

[if !supportFootnotes][59][endif] “RDC: Umutwe wa MCRC wagiye ku mugaragaro utangaza n’ubuyobozi bwawo na Gen Laurent Nkunda nk’umukuru w’igisirikare cyawo” [translation: “DRC: MCRC rebel group has been made public and announced its leadership with Gen Laurent Nkunda as head of its military branch”], Imirasire, 2 May 2015, http://imirasire.com/amakuru-yose/amakuru-mashya/hanze-y-u-rwanda/articl…

[if !supportFootnotes][60][endif] “Nord-Kivu: les FARDC sont déployées pour sécuriser les frontières, annonce Julien Paluku avril 24, 2015,” Radio Okapi, 24 April 2015, http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2015/04/24/nord-kivu-les-fardc-seront-deployees-pour-securiser-les-frontieres-annonce-julien-paluku/

[if !supportFootnotes][61][endif] https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mouvement-Chretien-Pour-La-Reconstruction…

[if !supportFootnotes][62][endif] Private communication, 5 May 2015.

[if !supportFootnotes][63][endif] http://www.ssrc.org/programs/drc-affinity-group/

[if !supportFootnotes][64][endif] Makau Mutua, Human Rights: A Political and Cultural Critique, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002: p.7.

Ecuadoreans Celebrate Return of President Correa Following Coup Attempt

CHlQ6bvXAAA7iUg.jpg largeCitizens filled Plaza Grande in the weekly changing of the guard ceremony, where they welcomed President Correa back from the EU-CELAC Summit and his European tour.

​Ecuadoreans from all socioeconomic backgrounds and various social movements filled Plaza Grande on Monday to show their support for the country’s Citizen’s Revolution.

Following what has been a week of protests in Quito and other major cities across the country, many citizens felt it was especially important to welcome President Rafael Correa back from his European tour, said Maria Jose Carrion, a legislator for the governing PAIS Alliance party.

“This is the continued defense of our values and our revolutionary convictions. This process of transformation in Ecuador has given hope back to millions of Ecuadoreans. Not just for a few,” Carrion told teleSUR.

Before Correa attended the EU-CELAC Summit in Europe, his administration recently submitted an inheritance tax bill and a law limiting illegitimate capital gains, both of which aimed to redistribute wealth in the South American country where a stark inequality between the haves and the have-nots still exists.

Now, the proposed laws to redistribute wealth has become a rallying cause for protest for wealthy and right-wing factions, which at times has turned violent .

Carrion emphasized that while only two percent of the population will be affected by the inheritance law, which is still under debate in the National Assembly over a 30-day period, attempts by the opposition continue to try and bring instability.

“There has been a destabilization attempt here in a country that has successfully obtained political, economic and social stability over the years. This is collective struggle, the struggle of citizens who have worked for and believed in this country. We now have a different nation,” she said.

Opposition leaders called for a “Black Sunday” action, where a caravan of cars waving black flags unsuccessfully attempted to block President Correa’s return at the airport. Opposition activists also rallied in front of the ruling PAIS Alliance party headquarters, demanding a change of government.

“We believe in the redistribution of wealth, and we believe that this bill can change power relations,” supporter of PAIS Alliance Franzka Poverta told teleSUR during the changing of the guard ceremony. “Ecuador’s upper classes have demonstrated against this, and as a journalist I can say that there is a media war of disinformation, above all else in social media, which seeks to make people believe that the Citizen’s Revolution is against the popular classes.”
President Correa urged citizens to remain united against opposition aggression, and rejected the violent tactics which were registered at last week’s protests. The opposition has called for more demonstrations to happen throughout the week at various points throughout the country, and government supporters will continue demonstrating in favor bills with seek to redistribute wealth and further social equality.

teleSUR

Who’s Behind Ecuador’s Demonstrations?

Ecuador is currently facing a wave of demonstrations throughout the country’s main cities, with both opposition activists and government supporters taking to the streets.
Right-wing violence has caused injuries.

Some of the demonstrations have ended in opposition led violence. Wednesday night was particularly heated, as protesters encircled government supporters and began throwing bottles into the crowd, striking several people including a former government minister. In a separate incident, opposition militants broke into the headquarters of the governing party PAIS Alliance offices and assaulted staff.

But who are behind these protests and what is their goal?

The demonstrations were initially sparked by opposition activists against two proposed laws, one that would tax inheritances and another that would tax capital gains on illegitimate land speculation.

As President Rafael Correa has explained, 90 percent of Ecuador’s largest companies are held by two percent of the population, and usually ownership over these highly profitable corporations is inherited.

Opposition lawmakers, media, activists and businessmen alike, repeatedly argue that both taxes will negatively affect the middle and working classes. Yet these new progressive taxes only hit the wealthiest hardest 2 percent of the population, with the bill proposing a 47.5 percent tax on inheritances from US$849,600 dollars up.

Symbolically, the opposition protests have focused on Shyris Avenue, in the heart of Quito’s commercial district, targeting the building of the governing PAIS Alliance party.

Whatever the initial justification, the demonstrations soon clearly began to call for the “ousting” of President Correa who they describe as a “dictator.” Protesters adopted a black flag, to symbolize their mourning over the supposed “death of democracy.”

This has been the slogan of frustrated opposition groups for years now, emerging soon after President Correa took office in 2007 and throughout the nine electoral victories for Correa and his alliance of supporters.

Given their repeated electoral defeats, Ecuador’s right-wing politicians are seeking to provoke and take advantage of the current situation to try to boost their faded popularity.

Many of them played an important role during tainted past governments. Others presented themselves in the last elections as a “new option” from the right.

Below we look at some of the leaders of the opposition who are opposing the tax and calling right-wing demonstrators to the streets:

Guillermo Lasso
The main backer of the protests has been banker and opposition presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso, and his CREO party. Lasso received 23 percent of the vote at the 2010 elections, 30 percentage points behind Correa who won in the first round.

Lasso has much to gain from the overturning of the inheritance laws and the government. He is reported to earn US$70,000 per month, the equivalent of around 16 years of an average Ecuadorean worker’s salary.

So it may come as no surprise that after violence broke out in Shyris Avenue, the former presidential candidate Lasso called upon supporters and opposition activist to take the streets of Guayaquil Friday to continue the mobilizations.

Lasso has a checkered past, linked to some of the most dramatic and negative moments in Ecuador’s recent history.

He was Economy Minister for a period during the government of Jamil Mahuad (1998-2000), who was responsible for the banking crisis and subsequent economic collapse, caused by a massive fraud scheme by Ecuador’s biggest banks.

That crisis was one of the most profound that Latin America has seen, bankrupting huge sectors of the society overnight and stirring huge economic, social and political turbulence that saw seven different Presidents replaced in a decade.

The banking crisis led to around 70 percent of the country’s financial institutions folding with the accounts of clients frozen, meaning many lost their livelihoods and life savings. The shock reverberated around Ecuador’s wider economy: income per head fell by one-third, unemployment doubled and subsequently one in ten Ecuadoreans were forced to emigrate to to seek income.

Despite this, Lasso later became an economic adviser and special ambassador under President Lucio Gutiérrez, another president ousted by popular pressure.

In that role Lasso was appointed a member of the negotiation team for the Free Trade Agreement for the Americas (FTAA) and coordinated the visit of President Lucio Gutierrez to meet George W. Bush in 2003 on the eve of the outbreak of the Iraq war. During the visit, Gutierrez declared that “We want to become the best friend and ally of the United States”

Jaime Nebot
The controversial mayor of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, has also backed the protests and announced he would be calling a march for June 25.

Nebot became mayor of Guayaquil after being a long time ally of Leon Febres-Cordero, Ecuador’s former authoritarian leader and mayor of Guayaquil who ruled the country through political assassinations and repression.
Shortly after Correa’s election, Nebot began a brief campaign to declare Guayaquil an independent state, with little public support.

Jaime Nebot also became notoriously known for his period as lawmaker in the 90s, after he entered the parlimant drunk and insulted fellow lawmakers on live television as he was escorted out by security officials.

Mauricio Rodas
Though milder in support of the street demonstrations, former presidential candidate and current mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas, has raised his “concern” over the inheritance and capital gains taxes, and called upon the government to heed the demonstrators. Howver Rodas’ party – SUMA – has openly backed Lasso’s call for protests.

Rodas received just 3.9 percent in the 2013 presidential election and is a former member the Social Christian Party youth wing, the party of former president Febres-Cordero. While some claim Rodas was a vice president of the party’s youth, he says he was only a member.

Abdalá Bucuram
Perhaps the most audacious backer of the protests is Abdalá Bucaram, another disgraced former president who currently lives in Panama following several corruption charges being made against him. Bucaram was declared unfit for the presidency in 1997.

He expressed his support in a tweet to Jaime Nebot, saying “Today the country needs all its patriots….(for) the great national march on June 25 in Guayaquil.”

Clever Jimenez
A former Pachakutik lawmaker whose party actively supported the coup attempt against President Correa in September 2010, Jimenez was seen in Shyris Avenue during the recent protests with his adviser Fernando Villavicencio.

On the day of the failed 2010 coup Jimenez publicly demanded that the elected President should resign and called for a national front of opposition forces to remove him from office. Later he expressed regret that the President was not shot on the day of the coup.

Bizarrely, after the coup was defeated, Jimenez and Villavicencio made baseless accusations against Correa, saying he orchestrated the events and was responsible for crimes against humanity, as several people were killed and hundreds injured during the events. Numerous police officials have been found guilty of planning the events on Sept. 30, 2010.

teleSUR

Right-Wing Attack on Ecuador’s Democracy

Privileged and right-wing sectors in Ecuador have been holding anti-government protests across the country since last Monday.

Since June 8, right-wing opposition demonstrators have protested daily outside the headquarters of the Ecuador’s governing party in Quito.

The protesters initially came out in the streets in response to proposed revisiones to legislation on inheritance and capital gains taxes, which would see the wealthy and upper middle classes paying more. However, the right-wing protesters are now openly calling for the ousting of the elected government of President Rafael Correa. Correa was elected in a landslide victory in 2013 with 57 percent of the vote.

6 Key Points About the Opposition Protests in Ecuador

1. This is a Rebellion of the Wealthy

Government supporters and opposition demonstrators are separated by a line of police on a major road in Quito, Ecuador, June 10, 2015. The Citizens’ Revolution commands broad support from a cross-section of Ecuadorean society, including support from the middle-classes, however there is great resentment from the wealthy upper classes who begrudge the fact that, after previously ruling the country for so long, they no longer wield the same political power.

This is despite the fact that Ecuador is one of the best performing economies in the region. The Wealth Redistribution Law, which prompted this latest round of protests is a measure specifically designed to target the wealthiest in the country, affecting a mere 2 percent of the population. The law provides a progressive taxation schedule, meaning those inheriting more will pay more.

Only three out of every 100,000 Ecuadoreans will ever receive an inheritance greater than US$50,000. Those calling on people to protest are looking to protect their own interests.

Unlike other opposition demonstrations in Ecuador, the class character is clear. Those protesting are among the wealthiest in the country who want to keep their economic power and perpetuate the inter-generational transfer of wealth.

In Ecuador 2 percent of the population controls 90 percent of big business, giving them a disproportionate amount of wealth and influence.

2. Violent Marches are Part of a Broader Right-wing Strategy in the Region

Revolutionary and left-leaning governments have won resounding electoral victories throughout Latin America, bringing with them an end to the neoliberal era, where governments did the bidding of the United States. These governments have invested massively in social programs, infrastructure, health care and education, raising the living standards of millions, while reducing inequality and poverty. The conservative opposition knows that these governments, like the Correa government in Ecuador, have the support of the majority of the population, and their only recourse is to destabilize the government in order to prompt foreign intervention or a coup d’état.

President Correa has previously warned that coups are still a real threat in the region, with opposition figures through Latin America openly calling for a military intervention against democratically-elected governments.

These latest protests have seen flashes of violence, several government supporters have been injured, including the former Minister of Culture Paco Velasco, who was pelted with a bottle.

Violence is being employed in order to provoke a response from security officials in order to accuse the government of having violated civil rights.

This is the same strategy used in Venezuela in early 2014, where opposition barricades led to the death of 43 people, mostly government supporters. Those violent right-wing barricades were used to justify U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, that called the country a threat to national security of the United States – a position that has been universally rejected by governments in Latin America.

3. Demonstrations are Being Promoted by the Private Corporate Press

The same tiny minority being targeted by these new inheritance taxes are those who own the private media outlets in the country who have been promoting the protests. The private media in Ecuador has also deliberately misrepresented the proposed inheritance tax, saying that it will negatively impact working class families and destroy family-owned businesses. Several outlets have also invited so-called analysts who claim that the law harms low-income and working class people without providing any proof whatsoever.

The highest tax rate of 47.5 percent, charged on inheritances above US$566,400, is inline with those charged throughout the world, and lower than those charged in countries such as Japan.

Apart from only affecting two percent of the population, the law provides for important exemptions and deductions. For example, if the inheritance involves the transfer of a home, the nontaxable amount doubles from US$35,400 to US$70,800. The law also allows the inheritance tax to be paid via stock to workers of a company, democratizing the means of production and the state does not receive any money in these cases.

4. The Opposition has Previously Tried to Oust Correa by Force

President Correa has warned that these demonstrations are only tangentially about the inheritance tax, instead it is an effort to destabilize and oust a democratically-elected government.

The opposition has tried this tactic before. On September 30, 2010, a police strike ended in a violent revolt against President Correa, who was held hostage in a hospital for several hours. The opposition tried to pin the blame on Correa, saying he was responsible for the events. The Office of the Public Prosecutor determined that the events of September 30 were in fact a pre-planned event, a plot to oust the government.

This fact is not lost on supporters of the government. Members of the September 30 Never Again collective, the group formed after the attempted coup against Correa in September 30, 2010, has been active in the counter marches held by supporters of the government.

5. Ecuador’s Constitution Demands Wealth Redistribution

One of the first major reforms undertaken by President Correa during his first term was the writing of a new constitution. Praised as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, since it’s approval in 2008, the government has been steadily working to bring the country’s laws in line with what the constitution requires of them. The redistributive nature of the inheritance tax is based on article three of the Ecuadorean constitution, which reads,

“The primary duties of the state are planning national development and eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable development and equitable distribution of resources and wealth in order to bring about Good Living.”

Despite significant drops in poverty and extreme poverty, inequality is still a pressing problem in Ecuador. In terms of inequality, Ecuador sits at 132 out of 160 countries. The tax on inheritances is expected to significantly impact inequality in the country by redistributing wealth through social programs and investments.

6. The Opposition is Afraid of Losing Elections in 2017

President Correa was re-elected as president in 2013 with an overwhelming 57 percent of the vote, beating his nearest rival by over 30 points or nearly 3 million votes. Should Correa run again as the candidate of the Citizen’s Revolution, he is widely expected to win. This is why the opposition has been working to prevent his candidacy in the elections.

The Constitutional Court of Ecuador, the highest judicial body in the country regarding matters involving the constitution, affirmed that the National Assembly may make changes to the constitution without the need for a referendum, including a change that would allow the Ecuadorean people to indefinitely re-elect the president through popular vote.

Guillermo Lasso, the same politician who was trounced in the last elections, led a delegation of opposition politicians to the offices of the Organization of American States to request that they freeze efforts by the National Assembly to make changes to the constitution, calling for the U.S.-dominated body to interfere in the democratic process of the country.

Because the opposition knows it likely cannot win at the ballot box, they are seeking to oust the democratically-elected government by other means. Opposition protestors openly call for his ouster during their demonstrations, falsely accusing Correa of being a “dictator.”

Ecuador's Citizens' Revolution

teleSUR


Related:
The CIA Against Latin America : The Special Case of Ecuador
Ecuador : CIA and Chevron vs President Rafael Correa

Donetsk Foreign Minister : ‘ Kiev violated ceasefire 544 times in last three weeks’

Appeal to the heads of the Normandy Quartet from the Foreign Ministry of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) on Ukraine’s non-compliance with the Minsk agreement

June 12: Despite the Declaration in support of a set of measures to implement the Minsk agreement signed by the members of the Normandy Quartet [France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine], in the past three weeks, the Ukrainian Army has continued its systematic violation of the ceasefire.

According to the Ministry of Defense of the Donetsk People’s Republic, from May 25 to June 9, 2015, the truce was violated more than 544 times, six civilians were killed and 59 wounded. In addition, damage to more than 200 homes and other civilian infrastructure in Donetsk and other cities of the Republic was recorded.

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/55541-4sg1jqf-0va.jpg?w=736
Gorlovka, Donetsk: Aftermath of Ukrainian shelling that killed
three women and injured two children, June 11.
Photo: Colonel Cassad

In each confirmed case of fire, the nature of the damage directly points to the use of heavy weapons by the Ukrainian side — mortars and heavy artillery.

These facts suggest that the Ukrainian side is not simply ignoring the call to withdraw heavy weapons from the demarcation line, but has actively built up its own military capabilities over the past few months. Daily shelling of the territory of the Republic, together with the growing trade and economic blockade, significantly worsens the humanitarian situation in Donbass.

Given the fact that the Russian Federation, as a member of the Normandy Quartet, is the guarantor of a set of measures to implement the Minsk agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic appeals to you with a request to use all possible means to exert pressure on Kiev’s militaristic regime to stop the provocations that inevitably lead to a further escalation of the conflict and new victims among the citizens of Donbass.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic
Source
Translated by Greg Butterfield

Washington, Kiev open new military attack on Donbass republics

By Greg Butterfield

June 8 – Ukraine’s far-right government, backed by Washington, launched a new military offensive against the independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on the night of June 2-3.

The Donbass people’s militia responded quickly, first sending Kiev’s forces scurrying in panic, and now digging in for the hard battle for control of Marinka, a city southwest of Donetsk’s capital, against a Ukrainian military increasingly funded by the U.S. and armed with NATO weaponry.

“In the course of [June 3] fighting and shelling of Marinka and suburban areas of Donetsk, 15 to 20 civilians were killed and dozens injured,” military analyst Colonel Cassad reported on his blog. “Overall, this is the bloodiest day of the war since the end of the battle of Debaltsevo, when the Ukrainian Army suffered huge losses trying to escape.”

Donetsk Deputy Defense Minister Eduard Basurin reported that 20 militia were killed and 100 wounded. Meanwhile, some 400 Ukrainian troops were killed, said Donetsk head Alexander Zakharchenko. Sixty pieces of Ukrainian military equipment were destroyed, including four artillery batteries. (Dan-News.info, June 5)

Though initially centered near Marinka, fighting has now spread across the entire “contact line” between Ukraine and the Donbass republics – the buffer zone established by the Minsk 2 ceasefire agreement in February.

The latest attack by the Kiev junta of oligarchs, neoliberal politicians and fascists comes after a month of steadily growing ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian military, mostly through indiscriminate shelling of civilian targets — including the destruction of the home of 11-year-old Katya Tuv in Gorlovka on May 26.

Katya and her father were killed; her young brother was injured; her mother Anna was gravely wounded, losing her arm.



Aftermath of Ukrainian shelling in Nikishino, Donetsk.

Warnings ignored

It was from the vicinity of Marinka that Ukrainian occupation forces launched many deadly artillery attacks targeting Gorlovka, Donetsk city, and other residential areas.

For weeks, the anti-fascist militias in Donetsk and Lugansk had warned of the quickening buildup of Kiev’s military forces in the region, including heavy weaponry expressly forbidden by the ceasefire agreement.

And for weeks, political leaders of Donbass shouted to the world that new provocations would likely coincide with a major meeting of the European Union powers, timed to help Washington gets it way with pursuing the war and extending sanctions against the Russian Federation.

The embattled people of Donbass, the primarily Russian-speaking mining region formerly part of southeastern Ukraine, took to the streets in late May to protest Kiev’s continuing war crimes, recognizing that the Tuvs’ murder was the beginning of a new phase of the war that began in April 2014 and has officially claimed 6,400 lives – but by most estimates, far more.

The corporate media ignored all the warnings, while U.S. State Department officials denied Kiev’s continuous violations of the ceasefire.

On cue, Ukraine President Peter Poroshenko addressed parliament June 5, claiming that there were more than 9,000 Russian troops within 14 tactical groups on Ukrainian territory.

“I wonder how he counted them?” was the caustic response of Donetsk leader Zakharchenko. “The Ukrainian president’s talent is unique. It is very difficult to hide 9,000 troops of the Russian Armed Forces, not only from the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe], but also from us. …

“If there were 9,000 [Russian forces] here, I wouldn’t be explaining what happened in Krasnogorovka or Marinka. We would talk about [fighting in] Kiev or Kharkov.” (Dan-News.info, June 5)


Munich, Germany: Supporters of the Donbass republics march against the G7, June 4.
Photo: Antiimperialistische Aktion

G7 wine and dine, Donbass people die

The occasion for Poroshenko’s bombastic speech was the Rada’s adoption of a law allowing “admission of the armed forces of other states on the territory of Ukraine” for “international peacekeeping and security.”

The junta has repeatedly called for UN or NATO “peacekeepers” to help put down the popular resistance in Donbass.

Previously, the presence of an international military force required adoption of a special law initiated by the president stipulating the length of the stay. Under the new law, no additional legal authorization is required and the length of stay is indefinite.

The law also states that “potential carriers of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction are permitted … for short-term accommodation.” (RT.com, June 5)

Lugansk chief negotiator Vladislav Dinego pointed out that the law is also meant to justify the presence of foreign troops that are “already operating in Ukraine. There are some 20,000, primarily from Hungary and Poland,” he told Interfax news agency, in addition to mercenaries from the U.S. and other countries.

Next, U.S. President Barrack Obama declared at the meeting of the Group of 7 imperialist countries the need to “stand up to Russian aggression in Ukraine” – ignoring the fact that his administration and Congress engineered the right-wing coup that deposed the legally-elected government of Ukraine in February 2014 as a step toward expanding NATO military power to Russia’s western border. (Sputnik News, June 7)

Here’s a sample of what was happening in Donbass while Obama and other heads of the G7 – the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Japan – met at a luxury hotel in Bavaria, Germany, June 6-7, to discuss how to punish Russia:

The people of Telmanovo mourned at the funeral of 4-year-old Vanya Nesteru, killed by Ukrainian shelling on June 5 (Ren.tv);

Kiev’s tanks attacked the village of Oktyabrsky, shelling a nine-story apartment building, where a resident had his leg blown off (LifeNews, June 7);

Gennady Moska, Kiev’s appointed “governor” of Lugansk, gave the order to turn off the water supply to the Lugansk People’s Republic, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without water (Anna-News.info, June 6);

“Heavy fights are in progress all over the frontline from Mariupol to Lugansk,” reported New Russia Press June 7, citing Shyrokyne, Sahanka, Gorlovka, Marinka, Spartak, Pesky, Donetsk city, Donetsk Airport, Bahmutka and Shchastya.



Funeral of 4-year-old Vanya Nesteruk, killed in Telmanovo by Ukrainian shelling.
Photos: Truth About the Situation in Ukraine

Preparing for war, not peace

Fighting continued June 8 around Donetsk, Gorlovka and Mariupol, according to Timer.od.ua, while tanks and artillery shelled Shirokino.

Also June 8, Donetsk Deputy Defense Minister Basurin said Ukraine “keeps bringing up heavy artillery to the contact line,” including Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems (MRLS). “Fortifications have already been built on the highway between Konstantinovka and Dzerzhynsk, which block civilian traffic.” (Novorossia Today)

Ukraine’s president signed a law authorizing martial law “in case of armed aggression or threat of attack, threat for Ukraine’s independence or territorial integrity” – all buzzwords that have been previously used to justify the war against Donbass.

Provisions of the law include “forced settlement of citizens of a foreign country that threatens to attack or conduct aggression against Ukraine,” a threat that has frequently been levied against residents of Donbass. (TASS, June 8)

Perhaps most ominous, though, was Poroshenko’s signing the same day of a law cancelling all military agreements with Russia in relationship to Transnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova, Ukraine’s southern neighbor, where 1,200 Russian peacekeeping troops are stationed.

Along with the appointment of former Georgian President and U.S. stooge Mikhail Saakashvili as governor of the Odessa region and a reported buildup of Ukrainian military forces there, the voiding of military agreements signals plans afoot to provoke Moscow on a second front to further Washington’s plans for NATO expansion, destruction of independent Donbass, and regime change in Russia.

From Africa, Middle East, Latin America to Ukraine – Snowden & Human Rights : Theatre vs Reality

By Tortilla Con Sal

Recent legislative theatricals in the US Congress once again brought the issue of mass surveillance into the corporate media headlines and with it the continuing hype around Edward Snowden. Ever since Snowden made his revelations, his supporters have claimed his actions constitute a heroic defence of fundamental civil rights in the United States and countries of the European Union.

The latest corporate media reports argue that Snowden has been largely responsible for a major change in Western country legislation defending fundamental civil rights. But the reality behind this extraordinary campaign of exaggeration and illusion looks very different in the light of actual events and a critical look at their media diffusion.

Whatever Edward Snowden’s own intentions may have been, his revelations have been exploited by the psychological warfare apparatus of the United States government and its allies. The media and political management of his revelations have helped the US government consolidate and legitimize existing covert mass surveillance practices in the United States and overseas.

USA Today reported on June 2nd, “The Senate overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to end the controversial bulk collection of the phone data of millions of Americans who have no ties to terrorism.” The USA Today report included a tweet from President Obama “Glad the Senate finally passed the USA Freedom Act. It protects civil liberties and our national security. I’ll sign it as soon as I get it.”

However, Barack Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any President before him. So it seems rational to infer that he will sign off on what is nothing more than a procedural administrative tweak. Let’s face it: substantially, it changes nothing. Even the New York Times reported the day before the vote “Even if Congress ultimately restricts domestic surveillance, it will leave intact the vast majority of the post-Sept. 11 programs authorized by two presidents.

Numerous writers have correctly noted that the new law merely places the formality of a routine administrative procedure – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) tribunal – between the US government’s spies and the mass data they previously collected unhindered. The corporate media and non-governmental Edward Snowden industry spin this as a vindication of Snowden’s revelations.

But Edward Snowden’s support network is almost completely compromised, one way or another, by most of its members’ relations with the the political and corporate establishment of the US and its NATO allies. For example, film-maker Laura Poitras in 2012 received a US$500,000 fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation, whose then President Robert Gallucci was previously a very high level strategic adviser to the US government.

Glenn Greenwald has been the main proselytizer managing what in many ways is a Snowden cult. Greenwald moved swiftly from his work managing Edward Snowden’s material for the Guardian to working for billionaire Pierre Omidyaar, whose own business empire has corporate links to the US government intelligence network, in particular Booz Allen Hamilton, for whom Snowden used to work.

Edward Snowden himself is an espionage professional, so what he says or does should certainly not be taken at face value. That said, it does seem clear that far from having radical progressive politics he is very much a US patriot with staunch libertarian views, not at all opposed to US foreign policy as such.

While the North American and European progressives who promote Edward Snowden congratulate themselves on their commitment to human rights, almost everywhere else in the world their human rights agenda has been made to look hollow, self-serving and hypocritical. The psy-warfare exploitation of Edward Snowden’s revelations categorically confirms the truism that human rights concerns derive from political, not humanitarian concerns, as events in Palestine, Libya, Syria, Ukraine demonstrate

In Libya, among many other even more extreme examples, hundreds of former officials of the Libyan Jamahiriya have been tortured and abused prior to the sinister farce of judicial process under the control of ISIL terrorists who make a mockery of Islam. Those Libyans, including Saif Gaddhafi, face the death sentence. But Western human rights advocates have nothing to say about these phony trials or their governments’ destruction of Libya because they were cheerleaders for it.

In Palestine, the UN General Secretary has just decided not to include the Israeli government on the list of governments harming children through armed conflict, despite overwhelming evidence including the repeated genocidal massacres in Gaza. Western human rights advocates tend to play down this kind of shameful, indefensible decision and other examples like it, because they fear zionist accusations of “anti-semitism”.

In Ukraine, the fascist regime there has overseen the murder of dozens of journalists, like Oles Buzyna, and anti-regime activists like Oleg Kalashnikov under cover of almost complete silence from the US government and its European Union allies. Western human rights organizations too have next-to-nothing to say beyond ritual denunciations because they are reluctant to seem “pro-Russian”.

In Syria, as in Libya, Western human rights organizations and liberal and progressive NATO country media outlets have vociferously promoted one falsehood after another, that government military arbitrarily murdered large numbers of “peaceful demonstrators”, that “Assad” used chemical weapons in Ghouta or that “Assad” deliberately targets civilians.

It is hard to believe mere coincidence leads the same corporate media and human rights networks to promote Edward Snowden’s revelations ostensibly against government policy, alongside the propaganda line of those same governments targeting Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and China and so on. That only adds up if one goes to sleep each night listening to the fairy tale of “objective reporting” as read by the BBC or CBS, or Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – an organization funded (and founded) by George Soros, the same man who destabilized the Ukraine and is a close associate to President Petró Poroshenko.

Edward Snowden’s revelations can be looked at in any number of ways, some more plausible than others. A credible view on the available evidence to date is that the material he has made available has been managed to legitimize long standing covert practice by Western intelligence gathering agencies while also providing a handy human rights and democracy alibi to Western media.

Western government support for their corporate oligarchies following the crash of 2008 compounded Western media embarrassment at their governments’ well-documented human rights abuses, from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Guantanamo and the US corporate industrial penal system. The Snowden revelations have been exploited by Western corporate media so as to offer a theatrical human rights and democracy distraction from past and current crimes by the US government and its NATO allies.

Those governments are guilty of murdering many hundreds of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ivory Coast and Libya, as well as more current support for genocidal Nazi militias in Ukraine and for takfiri terrorists across the Arab world and Central Asia. Not surprisingly, they are also determined enemies of the emancipatory processes of change in Latin America and the Caribbean, targeting especially the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela.

Now the same corporate media and human rights networks that attack Venezuela and its allies are falsely reporting, with all the unison of an accomplished choir, an important civil rights victory thanks to Edward Snowden. That should give decisive pause for thought, because by now few will disagree that the underlying reality of the management of Edward Snowden’s revelations is very different from their superficial appearance.
https://i2.wp.com/stopimperialism.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Syria-Civil-War.jpg


Related:
Psy-warfare and NATO Country Terrorism – Ukraine, Venezuela, Snowden
Snowden: Overlooking the Obvious
Snowden Revisited
Inculcating Stupidity: Syria and Edward Snowden
Reflections on the category “journalism” and the revelations by Edward Snowden
Snowden: Behind NATO’s propaganda outlet for progressives – the Guardian’s board members
Mr. Snowden, It’s Time to Come Out and Take a Stand Publicly as to Your Intentions
The Risks of Trusting the Snowden Story

Guatemala’s Revolutionary Resurgence

An aerial view shows protesters at a demonstration demanding the resignation of Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, in downtown Guatemala City, May 16, 2015
By Jeanette Charles
Chiapas Support Committee

*Organizer’s name has been omitted to protect their identity and preserve their safety. This is an edited interview which was done collectively with the Chiapas Support Committee during a delegation to Guatemala this May.

Marches in Guatemala Mark Historical Moment Guatemala, a majority indigenous nation, has faced decades of repression and genocide throughout its history. Depending on who you speak with, many date Guatemala’s present movement to 500 years of indigenous resistance, while others refer to the more recent histories of U.S. imposed conflict.

In 1954, the United States supported a military coup against progressive Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz. As a former military official, Arbenz led a popular uprising against the 14 year dictatorship of President Jorge Ubico. Arbenz, part of a historical trajectory of Latin American military leaders like Hugo Chavez, underwent his own political transformation and used his power in favor of the poor. During his presidency, Arbenz was responsible for some of the country’s most innovative land reforms and social programs. However, his government and Guatemala’s ten years of spring were toppled during the U.S’s anti-communist interventionist campaign across the Americas resulting in the U.S. installed government of Carlos Castillo Armas. Since then, Guatemala has faced tumultuous times.

The U.S. backed genocide in Guatemala, that began in the late 1970s and officially spanned until the 1990s with the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996, resulted in hundreds of thousands murdered, entire communities displaced and massive forced migration.

Today’s government is intimately tied to the histories of genocide as the current president, Otto Perez Molina, was reported to be personally responsible for more than 700 murders throughout the nation.

Guatemalans are demanding his resignation and that of other government officials who have stolen millions of quetzals, are directly tied to drug trafficking networks as well as organized crime and have long attempted to decimate the indigenous peoples of Guatemala.

Q: Can you provide us with some historical background about Guatemala and your organizing?

Our history is complicated. We have been working for years to improve life for all our country. I organize with campesinos. There are ten groups across 31 municipalities. We do a great deal of work. In the last month we have seen powerful organizing of women, youth, teachers, and others. Our people are struggling in a thousand and one different ways. We have uncovered the state’s evils and the degree of bad management they have been responsible for. The government has always used state resources however, they have not been for the benefit of the people.

Q: What is the overall situation in Guatemala?

We’re experiencing an incredible moment. We’re a rich country, Guatemala has everything and you can grow anything. The majority of the people work very hard yet are very poor. The problem is the government and corruption goes all the way up to the presidency. For example, the health system is terrible, and recently the health minister resigned after stealing 116 million quetzals.

Education is likewise unjust, with no vision for change. Also, there are kilometers of land by the sea, vast stretches of land, held by the wealthy while the people don’t even have enough to build a house. With the resignation of the Vice President, Roxana Baldetti, we have learned directly how corruption functions. Hundreds of thousands of quetzals have disappeared.

When all this started, the government was protected by all the rich, whose organization is called CACIF. The people in power have taken the best lands.

For example, the lands along the south coast were held at first by foreigners, by French, Germans, North Americans, and Chinese, not by Guatemalans. Much was held by the banana company, United Fruit. Justo Rufino Barrios gave away these lands to foreigners, followed by Cabrera, a dictator for 20 years. They forced people to work without pay under mandanto laws, people from the cold country. My grandfather told me about this. He was forced to work six months a year for the government, he was one who built this land below. Their plantations are run by huge companies and they occupy the best lands. The rich have always defended the government, and in exchange the police and military protect them.

On the south coast there are tiny communities situated among huge expanses of palm oil, sugar cane, and banana plantations. They are all fumigated by planes and this is poisoning the rivers. People are rising up to protest. Hugo Molina owns many of the sugar and banana tract plantations, and he is much like Miguel Facusse in Honduras (2009 coup conspirator and elite landowner). Molina also owns palm oil plantations in Mexico. All of this land he buys up very cheaply. Much of the land is swamps, with waters full of fish and small animals like turtles. The rich are drying up the swamps and destroying the ecology, they are actually burying all this fauna under tons of earth. All these humid lands around the swamps are being destroyed.

People are waking up to this reality, but slowly. There are eight elite families and they have some 40 children. Only 2 percent of the land is owned by 15 million people and the rich own 98 percent. They make the laws to favor themselves and so all of the government favors the rich. CACIF and the private sector rule the country and dictate law. The poor squat on lands and then are thrown off, sometimes they are even thrown off of land they already own.

For example, two weeks ago near here in Palmar, there was a disaster preparedness drill and various politicians came to participate. With our urging, the people asked them, “Why are you allowing these mining concessions and hydroelectric projects?

One company blocked three rivers, rivers that the community relied on, and only allowed a slight trickle to come through the pipes. We called the people together and said, “Why don’t you protest? If you don’t, we’ll disappear as a people.

One thousand people finally rose up and demonstrated.

Secondly, the government and the rich have historically been protected by the U.S government. However, recently the U.S. government has decided for once not to support the Guatemalan government. For that reason, the government is left unprotected.

Narco-traffickers are also involved in all of this as well. So this is the social and political crossroads we are at, this is the panorama. It has created an unprecedented moment for mobilization.

Q: What are the mobilizations calling for?

One of the people’s demands is the resignation of corrupt officials. The majority of the heads of ministries have already resigned. There are massive demonstrations planned everywhere in the country and our other demands are:

1) the resignation of the president, and
2) the imprisonment of the Vice President for her theft of 40 million quetzals.

It has been impossible to shift land and resources to the poor because the government cannot go against the rich.

Drug trafficking is on fire in the plantation zone, it is incredibly strong there. There are even pastors who are deeply entrenched. These pastors tell their congregations to pray for life and forgiveness, meanwhile they themselves are central to the trafficking network. Drug trafficker Juan Ramirez, who was going to be extradited, maintained and financed Evangelical churches with luxurious buildings. This is the reality.

These people will be in power until – and this is what the protesters are demanding – the laws are changed and a new constitution is put in place.

The constitution of 1985 favors the rich. We hope we have a process to write a new constitution as well.

Q: If the president was involved in the genocide and has lost the support of the U.S, is there a chance he will be judged?

Yes, this is the idea. While he is in power he has immunity. He is a serial murderer. During the war he was a sergeant in the west and went by the name Comandante Fernando, and he was active in Ixcan, Quiten, Santa Rosa, Cuilasa, Maza Re and there went by the name Comandante Tito. He was responsible for over 700 murders according to the book Massacres in the Jungle. Yes, he was personally responsible for 700 murders and he was part of Rios Montt’s army, so he bears responsibility for collective atrocities as well. But, he can only be judged when he leaves office and he says he won’t leave until the end of his term in 2016.

Q: What are the connections between Guatemala and other political processes in Latin America?

The particularity of Guatemala, as opposed to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who continues to live on in the people, is that in Venezuela, Chavez achieved victory.

If Arbenz had been able to hold power, we would be in the same situation as Venezuela is now: under the rule of the people, with laws for the people. But we only had ten years.

We are trying to achieve what Evo Morales in Boliva and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela have achieved.

Also in El Salvador, revolutionaries have won the elections, it is a tremendous advantage for us. We are in a situation of change, as are our children.

We need clarity. We have moved from an armed struggle to a political struggle. We are continuing to keep our struggle alive. We are still organizing for what we need. And these conversations strengthen the work, they help us stay firm and fortify the struggle. We are not alone.
Protesters holds signs and a doll during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, in downtown Guatemala City, May 30, 2015

Nicaragua : High-intensity Disinformation Warfare

Da’esh-run Tripoli Court to Deliver Verdict on Saif Gaddafi and Former Jamahiriya Officials July 28

By Alexandra Valiente
Viva Libya!

On July 28, the Tripoli Court of Appeals will decide the fate of Saif Al Islam Gaddafi along with that of 36 former Jamahiriya officials.
01ASaif will be sentenced in absentia. He has been detained incommunicado in Zintan since his arrest in 2011. He was never permitted to attend the mock trials in Tripoli and proceedings that may have taken place in Zintan are shrouded in secrecy.  Saif has been denied legal counsel and contact with family and friends. No witnesses were allowed to testify on his behalf.

(Libya, ICC, and UNSC Violate Saif Gaddafi’s Right to a Fair Trial) | (Urgent: Regarding Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and Other Political Prisoners in Libya) | (Mock Trials For Saif Gaddafi and 36 Officials Postponed Until November 30) | (Safia Qaddafi Calls for Justice)

Saif Gaddafi’s first International Criminal Court defense counsel, Ms. Melinda Taylor, was forcibly detained in Zintan. At that time, the Libyan authorities attempted to blackmail Ms. Taylor and the International Criminal Court, promising her immediate release on the condition that she disclosed the location of a key witness who would testify on behalf of Saif Gaddafi. 1

Saif’s current lawyer, John Jones, has had no contact with his client since his appointment three years ago.
https://vivalibya.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/15626748947_3a50c4a0c5_b.jpg?w=700Libya’s ongoing violation of the rights of political prisoners has drawn condemnation from the Association of Libyan Lawyers, international human rights organizations, the Red Cross | Red Crescent, the International Criminal Court and the United Nations.

(HRW : Letter to the ICC Prosecutor : Accountability for Serious Crimes in Libya and Justice for Political Prisoners | UN Security Council: Address Libya’s Crimes and the Urgent Needs of Political Prisoners | Fatou Bensouda (ICC) at UNSC on Libya)

There are over 40, 000 political prisoners in Libya, all held in filthy, militia-run detention centers where they endure inhumane conditions, extreme deprivation and routine torture. Many have been executed following kangaroo tribunals or perished from injuries inflicted from beatings.  Thousands are detained for having black skin.

The Libyan Refugee Trap(Lists of Political Prisoners Currently Detained in Libya |The Names Of Over 1000 Political Prisoners In Libya Detained Because They Are Black)

And more to the point, it is Da’esh and militias that are in power. Libya has no functioning government.

Thus calls from the United Nations and human rights bodies can find no competent target for their demands.

(OHCHR | UNHCR Appeal to al Qaeda to Permit them to Resume Operations in Tripoli)

There is no doubt that each prisoner has been denied a fair trial. In exceptional cases where prisoners had defense counsel, lawyers were forced to withdraw due to threats to their lives.

All prisoners have been brutally tortured in an effort to force false confessions.

The charges brought against them have been fantastic and unsubstantiated. Hence,  prisoners and their defense teams were never permitted to bring evidence or witnesses forward that could irrefutably prove their innocence.

(Saif al Islam Gaddafi and Former Government Officials Deny All Charges)

However innocent the prisoners facing sentencing on July 28 may be, the charges leveled against them by the regime carry the penalty of death.  The rule of law suspended,  their prospects are grim.

If they are murdered, those who have brought about the destruction of the nation will have victory.

(Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya)

Amidst an atmosphere of vengeance, violence and chaos, Libya will be plunged deeper into darkness…a desolation from which it may never recover.


Related:
LPNM Statement by the Coordinator of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Kangaroo Court Judges to Sentence former Jamahiriya Officials July 28
Urgent Call : Liberate Libya’s Political Prisoners. Stop Their Execution!
Tripoli Trials a Violation of Every Principle of Justice
LIC STATEMENT ON THE END OF TRIALS

Ecuador : CIA and Chevron vs President Rafael Correa

By Nil Nikandrov

The President of Ecuador Rafael Correa praised the book The CIA Against Latin America : The Special Case of Ecuador. Over 30,000 copies are in circulation. Written by Jaime Galarza Zavala and Francisco Herrera Aráuz the book tells a story about the dirty tricks the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was engaged in during the 1960s in Ecuador. The authors offer interviews with Phillip Agee recorded at different times. Agee was a retired CIA operative who turned against the Agency.

Download in English

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, thanked the journalists for their courage and allegiance to professional duty. Patiño said the grim events of those days may return as a result of distortions and manipulations normally practiced by the CIA. At an event celebrating the new book, Ricardo Patiño said, «These secret policies continue in Latin America today. Nothing that Philip Agee denounced as CIA actions in the past have been discarded by the espionage seen in the present». He added that the government will frustrate any attempts to exert pressure on the country, no matter Ecuador is targeted by US intelligence services. America has an advanced system of spying, it recruits agents from all walks of life, exercises control over media and disseminates hostile propaganda. Ecuador applies great efforts to counter the US spying activities. It’s not that easy – the United States has great experience accumulated over the years. The problem is getting more complicated. Ecuador is a small country and the mission to accomplish is a tall order, but it stands up to the challenge against all the odds.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa shows his oil-covered hand at Aguarico 4 oil well in Aguarico, Ecuador on September 17, 2013. (AFP Photo / Rodrigo Buendia)

No matter how strong is the US pressure, Ecuador does its best to preserve its sovereignty, independence and national control over resources. President Correa is sure other countries of Latin America face the same problems. The Obama administration wants to weaken leftist governments with the help of smear campaigns. Meeting journalists Correa actually asked questions himself. He said, «Do you really believe that the difficult situations faced by Dilma in Brazil, Maduro in Venezuela, Michelle Bachelet in Chile, Cristina in Argentina and the hard times Evo Morales of Bolivia had to go through before he held a sweeping victory, are all coincidental? All these people head leftist governments. Nothing like this happens with rightist leaders».

It’s hard to counter his arguments. The regimes friendly to the United States face no difficulties in their relationship with the US, for instance: Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Columbia, Peru, Paraguay etc. These states appear to be more vulnerable to reproaches and attacks of different kinds, but Washington finds fault only with the governments led by leftist politicians.

The main drug traffic routes to America and Europe go through the countries under US control. Crime is rampant there. Drug lords command real armies that include thousands of well-armed «warriors». Mexico is the leader. Last year 43 college students were murdered in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The country is a transit route for those who want to cross the US border illegally. Criminal gangs wage turf wars.

The U.S. Embassy has recorded more than 100 murders of U.S. citizens in Honduras since 2002. But the United States turns a blind eye on the fact because Honduras hosts American military facilities and Washington has no wish to worsen the relationship. Corruption scandals frequently hit US friendly regimes but nothing is done to rectify the situation as they are considered to be fragile democracies to be fostered and protected. Guatemala offers a plethora of cases related to human rights and freedom of speech violations. But this country is a regional ally, so it’s more blessed to attack Ecuador or Venezuela raising ballyhoo over single cases to blow them out of proportions.

Addressing the National Assembly on May 24, President Correa said Latin America faces the threat of military coups as rightist elites are at the end of their tether. As he put it, «South American cannot discard the possibility of coups, including traditional ones, the desperation of the elites is dreadful, just look at what’s happening in Brazil, where people shamelessly call for a military intervention against the constitutional government,» exclaimed Correa. The President recalled the days when he also faced hard times. The Ecuador crisis took place on 30 September 2010, when elements of the national police supported by snipers tried to stage a coup. The President barely escaped. Back then the government took urgent measures in response: the ambassador of the United States was declared a persona non grata, the US military and DEA (the Drug Enforcement Agency) missions were told to leave the country, the United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) had to suspend its activities in Ecuador. Philip Agee said the Agency was used for funding organizations involved in subversive activities and bribing venal trade union leaders. In the 1980s one more US agency – the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – came into the country to conduct activities of destructive nature.

The disclosures of CIA and military intelligence operatives involved in anti-government operations have become routine in Ecuador. They are sent away from the country to be substituted by other seasoned experts on organizing conspiracies, destabilizing countries and staging «color revolutions».

U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Adam E. Namm shies away from confrontational statements. He remembers how President Correa reacted when his predecessors went too far. Namm holds an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National Defense College. He has seen hard work serving terms in such complicated countries as Columbia and Pakistan. Namm coped with flying colors. In Ecuador he is waiting for the moment to act. Meanwhile the ambassador is consolidating the leaders of «anti-populist» movements and accumulating the potential for protests to deliver a decisive blow. Washington believes that the overthrow is not possible without bloodshed. But a bloody scenario is better than stability in the country ruled by a populist.

President Correa is adamant in his allegiance to independent policies. He hinders the accomplishment of US strategic objectives in South and Central America. For instance, he stands in the way of forming the US-controlled Pacific Alliance to include Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile. Correa considers the members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) as is natural allies. He calls on other Latin American heads of state to intensify cooperation within the framework of The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The Organization of American States could become a platform for a dialogue with the United States and Canada in case its Charter is reviewed. The idea of getting together to oppose the US influence is attractive for many countries of the region.

Correa fights US Corporation Chevron which has done great damage to ecology in the areas near the Amazon River. The Ecuadoran President has invited everyone who is interested to come and see the damage with his own eyes. He accused the oil giant of criminal behavior, saying that what happened in the Amazon was no accident. Chevron, through its sister company Texaco, deliberately caused the oil catastrophe in the Ecuadorean jungle, the Latin American country’s president, Rafael Correa claimed May 21. Speaking on the International Anti-Chevron Day, Correa accused the oil giant of intentionally destroying the famous biodiversity and homes of thousands of people. «The disaster caused in the Ecuadorean forest is worse than that of Exxon Valdez in Alaska or BP in the Gulf of Mexico,» the President posted to his official Twitter account. «The worst difference is that those were accidents, what Chevron did was deliberate».

According to an Ecuadorian court’s decision, Chevron is to pay the compensation of 9, 5 billion to the residents of the Amazon region. It was found responsible for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste to pollute 5 million cubic meters of land. The US administration is ready to go to any length to protect the Chevron’s interests. That’s why the US has intensified its subversive activities in Ecuador. Since some time ago the President of the country started to get frequent threat of physical violence. He had to cancel public appearances and take measures to bolster personal security.

According to media sources, Deputy Chief of Mission Douglas A. Koneff is responsible for operational activities to prepare the conspiracy. He also serves as the “Chief Operating Officer” for U.S. Mission Ecuador. Douglas came to country in July 2014. Upon arrival he said, «I’m happy to work with the excellent team at the embassy to strengthen our historic ties with Ecuador». Time will tell what exactly ties he meant. He has seen military service as navigator and then as mission commander on specially-configured P-3C and EP-3E aircraft, managing a crew of 20 to conduct intelligence collection and reconnaissance against targets of U.S. national interest in Pacific, Atlantic, and Mediterranean theaters of operation. He coordinated intelligence support to social, physical science, and engineering specialists to assist Department of Defense warfighters carry out assigned national security missions. Douglas has also managed State Department Task Forces to coordinate the federal government’s response to crises affecting U.S. national security interests and American citizens worldwide. He has served terms in Chile and Indonesia. Serving as the Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where he coordinated US and Mexican anti-drug effort. As the Deputy Chief of Mission he directly supervises the work of 9 U.S. Government agencies in Ecuador, including nearly 250 American and local staff at the U.S. Embassy in Quito, about 110 American and local staff at the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil, and oversees about 160 Peace Corps officers and volunteers. Douglas reports directly to the Ambassador and serves as Charge d’Affaires in his absence.

His team includes experts on clandestine operations: Edward M. Blodgett, Regional Security Officer, Timothy Peltier, Political Section, he serves as CIA agent under cover in Cuba and Romania, Nicole Weber, Economic Affairs Section (he has distinguished himself in India), A.J.Collazo, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Patricia L. Fietz, Consul General, Guayaquil and others. All these people will do their best to get rid of Rafael Correa before his third term expires.

Who’s Driving the Rohingya into the Sea?

maxresdefaultBy Tony Cartalucci

As the plight of the Rohingya, driven from Myanmar into the sea, gains increasing international attention, the same familiar voices across the West have begun climbing upon their soapboxes and pointing fingers at each and every nation refusing to accept them upon their shores. What is not mentioned, conveniently, is who drove them into the sea to begin with.

Who Are the Rohingya? 

The Rohingya are a predominately Muslim people living in Myanmar’s southwest state of Rakhine – and have lived there for generations. Many may be indigenous to Myanmar, having settled their centuries ago. Others may have come to Myanmar as a result of British rule during the 1800’s.

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/ed945-handsup_for_imperialism_and_genocide.jpg?w=736Image: Aung San Suu Kyi, (left) purveyor of Western “pro-democracy” gags, now finds herself presiding over a movement using these gimmicks to call for racial genocide.
A “monk” (right) puts his US State Department subsidized color revolution training to a new use… calling for genocide.
So far, Suu Kyi has categorically failed to condemn the violence mainly because it is being carried out by the backbone of her own political network. 

Despite the fact that they have lived in Myanmar for generations, they have suffered as a stateless people, with the political dynamics in Myanmar making it nearly impossible to grant them citizenship without considerable conflict and the threat of widespread violence.

However, this is not because of the government of Myanmar will not grant them their citizenship.They have tried. It is the groups that have opposed Rohingya citizenship that has perpetuated this problem, groups the Western media has intentionally failed to expose and condemn.

Democracy Icon’s “Saffron” Supporters  

The group that is in fact driving the Rohingya from their homes in Myanmar and into the sea – and why this is not reported as the center of the current crisis – are the followers and supporters of the West’s own “patron saint of democracy,” Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi herself, and many of the NGOs that support her and her political network are directly and substantially underwritten by the US and British governments.

These NGOs and faux-news agencies include the Irrawaddy, Era Journal, and the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), all admitted by the Burma Campaign UK (page 15) to be funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) along with “Mizzima” also fully funded by NED and convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society.

There is also the “Burma Partnership” which upon its “About Us” page is listed a myriad of associations and organizations directly linked to Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party, including the Students and Youth Congress of Burma, the Forum for Democracy in Burma, and the Nationalities Youth Forum, which is directly funded by the Euro-Burma Office (in turn funded by the EU, and US National Endowment for Democracy), and Open Society.

The heavily US-British-backed Noble Peace Prize laureate’s followers have prosecuted a campaign of ultra-racist genocide aimed at eradicating Myanmar entirely of the Rohingya people, often with orgies of machete-wielding brutality and neighborhood-wide arson leaving scores of people dead, and hundreds, sometimes thousands homeless, destitute, and above all, desperate.

Leading the violence are Suu Kyi’s “saffron monks.” The so-called “Saffron Revolution” of 2007 seeking to oust the Myanmar government and put into power Aung San Suu Kyi and her “National League for Democracy” was named so after the saffron-colored robes of these supporters.

Underneath the “pro-democracy” narrative, however, is an ugly truth that if known more widely amongst the global public, would spell the end of both Suu Kyi and her foreign backers’ agenda in Myanmar.

While the Western media attempts to shift the blame on the Myanmar government itself for the current Rohingya crisis, it was the government that attempted to grant the Rohingya citizenship through incremental programs that included allowing them to vote in upcoming elections. The plan was, however, disrupted by violence spearheaded by Suu Kyi’s followers, as reported by Australia’s ABC News article, “Myanmar scraps temporary ID cards amid protests targeting ethnic minorities without citizenship.”

The irony of Suu Kyi’s supporters, supposedly representing a shining example of democracy worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, attempting to deny hundreds of thousands of people their right to vote in elections is immeasurable.

Suu Kyi, for her part, has remained utterly silent regarding the brutality and inhumanity of her most loyal and active supporters. While she is portrayed as a woman of courage and conviction, in reality these “virtues” were bought and paid for through millions of dollars of support for both her and her political network over the decades by the US and British governments. While her silence is shrugged off by the Western media as “pragmatic” and “calculated,” it is in reality merely her refusal to condemn the very supporters who have carved out a niche for her amid Myanmar’s political landscape.

This carving has left a trail of blood and tears, one the Nobel Peace Prize has been shamefully used to distract the world’s attention away from for years now.

Suu Kyi’s Followers Have Brutalized the Rohingya for Years

Among Suu Kyi’s saffron butchers, there stands out one leader in particular, Wirathu. Wirathu has been involved in stirring up politically-motivated violence for over a decade. In particular, his group has carried out a bloody campaign against the Rohingya, even landing him in prison in 2003.

Image: Suu Kyi’s “saffron” supporters demonstrating in favor of the ethnic cleansing of Myanmar with their sign specifically calling for all Rohingya to be driven from the country.
Their demonstrations coupled with unhinged brutality is the singular cause of the current, and increasingly regional humanitarian crisis now unfolding. 

The International Business Times published an article titled, “Burmese Bin Laden: Is Buddhist Monk Wirathu Behind Violence in Myanmar?” explaining in further detail:

WirathuThe shadow of controversial monk Wirathu, who has led numerous vocal campaigns against Muslims in Burma, looms large over the sectarian violence in Meikhtila.

Wirathu played an active role in stirring tensions in a Rangoon suburb in February, by spreading unfounded rumours that a local school was being developed into a mosque, according to the Democratic voice of Burma. An angry mob of about 300 Buddhists assaulted the school and other local businesses in Rangoon.

The monk, who describes himself as ‘the Burmese Bin Laden’ said that his militancy “is vital to counter aggressive expansion by Muslims”.

He was arrested in 2003 for distributing anti-Muslim leaflets and has often stirred controversy over his Islamophobic activities, which include a call for the Rhohingya and “kalar”, a pejorative term for Muslims of South Asian descent, to be expelled from Myanmar.

He has also been implicated in religious clashes in Mandalay, where a dozen people died, in several local reports.

By all accounts, Wirathu is a violent criminal leading mobs which have cost thousands of people their lives and has created a humanitarian crisis that is slowly engulfing all of Southeast Asia. Yet Wirathu is still counted among Suu Kyi’s most vocal supporters and frequently weighs in on high level decisions made by Suu Kyi’s political party. Furthermore, the West has failed to condemn him, place any sanctions upon him, and through their various media outlets, still grant him interviews, lending him continued credibility and influence.

Beyond Wirathu,  there are other “monks” who took to the streets in 2007’s “Saffron Revolution,”a series of bloody anti-government protests in support of Aung San Suu Kyi. Human Rights Watch in a report titled “Buddhism and activism in Burma” (.pdf), would specifically enumerate support provided to Aung San Suu Kyi’s movement by these organizations, including the Young Monks Union (Association), who are also now leading violence and calls for ethnic cleansing across Myanmar against the Rohingya people.

The UK Independent in their article, “Burma’s monks call for Muslim community to be shunned,” mentions the Young Monks Association by name as involved in distributing flyers recently, demanding people not to associate with ethnic Rohingya, and attempting to block humanitarian aid from reaching Rohingya camps set up after being driven by their homes by violence.The Independent also notes calls for ethnic cleansing made by leaders of the 88 Generation Students group (BBC profile here) – who also played a pivotal role in the pro-Suu Kyi 2007 protests. “Ashin” Htawara, another “monk activist” who considers Aung San Suu Kyi, his “special leader” and greeted her with flowers for her Oslo Noble Peace Prize address earlier this year, stated at an event in London that the Rohingya should be sent “back to their native land.”

Are Myanmar’s Neighbors to Blame? 

This systematic genocidal brutality is what has driven the Rohingya to the seas from their rightful homes in Myanmar, scattering them abroad and creating a humanitarian crisis for other nations to bear. In particular, Myanmar’s neighbor Thailand has been criticized vocally by the West as this crisis continues on, and more so now than ever since Thailand has ousted Washington and Wall Street’s political order of choice there in a military coup in 2014.

But it is clear that the source of the problem is in Myanmar, and in particular the violence being used to drive the Rohingya from their homes. Myanmar’s neighbors are but scapegoats for perpetrators not politically convenient for the Western media and the West’s many so-called “international” institutions and rights organizations to name and shame. If anything, the perpetrators have created a political and humanitarian crisis regionally, giving the West an opportunity to meddle even further.
https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/b58cb-rhong.jpg?w=736Image: British imperial meddling brought the Rohingya to Myanmar generations ago, now the US and British are backing political groups driving them out of Myanmar with unhinged violence.
While the Western media points in all directions to place the blame for this growing humanitarian crisis, it is the West itself that has created it, every step of the way. 

Regardless of what Myanmar’s neighbors do to assist Rohingya being driven from their homes, if the violence driving them abroad to begin with is not stopped, the humanitarian crisis will only continue to grow. Such violence, however, cannot be stopped so long as the self-proclaimed arbiters of international order and human rights not only refuse to condemn those guilty of precipitating this crisis, but in fact actively defend and support them.

For Southeast Asia, and in particular, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia – all nations targeted by the US and British with perpetual political meddling – exposing the true perpetrators of this crisis, and in particular the political order under which these perpetrators are operating, can expose Aung San Suu Kyi and her party and disrupt other foreign backed political proxies across the region like her. By doing so, perhaps an end can be brought to this current crisis today, and the next one prevented from unfolding tomorrow.

The Ronhingya are not “stateless.” They are not “boat people.” They are not “without a home.” Their home is Myanmar. Ultra-racist genocidal criminals, apparently with the support and blessing of the West, have driven them from that home.
https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/9e2a6-myanmar-riots-story-top_2013_march.jpg?w=736Image: Aung San Suu Kyi’s “Saffron Monks” are committing genocide in Myanmar.
The West has both created this movement and is silently supporting it, hoping to disrupt and ultimately drive out extensive Chinese interests found at the epicenter of the violence. (Aung San Suu Kyi’s “Saffron Monks” Stalk Streets With Machetes – Mass Slaughtering Refugees

US Wages Drug War Against Venezuela

Burkinabe Sankarist Parties Form United Front in Preparation for Elections

Exhumation of slain leader takes place amid greater attention paid to new political biography
sankara

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Libya 360°

Ten political parties claiming to uphold the political legacy of martyred Burkina Faso Marxist and Pan-Africanist revolutionary Thomas Sankara formed an alliance last week.

The unity agreement came several months after a national uprising which ousted former coup leader turned president, Blaise Compaore, who is now living in exile in neighboring Ivory Coast.

Compaore was forced to flee after a people’s rebellion in late Oct. and early Nov. when hundreds of thousands of youth and workers took to the streets demanding that he not stand for another term. When it appeared that the parliament would allow Compaore to run again, the building was attacked, occupied and set on fire.

Continuing unrest prompted two military coups over the following days with many protesters demanding the immediate return to civilian rule. A coalition of military and political leaders established an interim government mandated to hold elections on Oct. 11, 2015.

Between the years of 1983-1987, Sankara led a revolutionary movement which took power and sought to transform the post-colonial agricultural state into a source for the improvement of the living conditions of the people and as a model for other nations in Africa. Sankara, known as the “Che Guevara of Africa” was assassinated along with twelve other military and political officials in a counter-revolutionary coup led by Compaore, who remained in power for over 27 years.

Even the Associated Press noted in a report that “Sankara was a Marxist, anti-imperialist revolutionary who in four short years in power doubled the number of children in schools, reduced infant mortality, redistributed land from feudal landlords to peasants and planted 10 million trees that still help shade Ouagadougou, the capital.” (May 25)

His policies drew the ire of neighboring Ivory Coast, a close ally of France, which has always been suspected of playing a role in the coup that removed Sankara from power.

After the removal of Sankara in Oct. 1987, the country reverted back to being an outpost of French and United States imperialist intrigue. During the tenure of Compaore, Burkina Faso became leading producer of gold on the African continent.

Under Compaore, the neo-colonial state served as a base for French military intervention in neighboring Mali. Paris is a close ally of Washington’s so-called “war on terrorism” carried out on the continent by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The widow of Capt. Sankara, Mariam, who often speaks out on various aspects of Burnikabe politics, urged the parties to come together in order to challenge the neo-colonial backed forces in the upcoming elections. A candidate, Me Benewende Stanislas Sankara was recently endorsed by the ten political parties claiming to be heirs of the ideology of Burkina Faso’s martyred leader. Me Sankara, an attorney, is involved in demanding that an inquiry be conducted into the Oct. 1987 coup and assassinations.

Me Sankara, who is of no family relations to the former revolutionary leader, was one of the lawyers representing the family of Thomas Sankara who was assassinated in a coup in 1987.

Exhumation of Alleged Grave Site

After a judicial order in March by the Burkinabe courts, a grave said to contain the remains Thomas Sankara and other leaders killed on that fateful day in 1987, was exhumed on May 25.

This is the first phase in the efforts to determine if in fact Sankara was buried at this location and what were the real causes of his and the others’ deaths.

According to a report published by Reuters press agency, “Authorities in Burkina Faso began exhuming the remains of former president Thomas Sankara on Monday in a bid to establish responsibility for a murder that has dogged the West African nation since 1987.” (May 25)

This same article goes on to say “Sankara’s relatives have for years pressed for his body to be tested, saying they suspect it may not be that of the former president, who died in a coup that brought his former ally Blaise Compaore to power. Witnesses at the Daghnoen cemetery on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou said the exhumation of Sankara’s body and those of 12 colleagues had begun with the families of the victims and lawyers present.”

Sankara’s sons Philippe and Auguste are providing DNA samples which experts can utilize to confirm if the remains in the tomb are those of the martyred leader. The process of providing positive identification could take several weeks.

Recent Biography Published on Sankara

Meanwhile, a political biography of Sankara was released late last year chronicling his development, rise to power and subsequent assassination. The book entitled, “Thomas Sankara, An African Revolutionary”, was written by Ernest Harsch, a long time researcher and analyst on African affairs.

This book comes at a time when there is mass discontent emanating from youth and workers throughout various regions of Africa. The uprising in Burkina Faso was not an isolated incident but was reflective of the failure of the neo-colonial African nation-states to address the fundamental needs and aspirations of the majority of people within society.

Sankara sought to rapidly advance the development of Africa by breaking ties with imperialism which continue to hamper the forward progress of the continent. Over the last seven years since the formal founding of AFRICOM, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has escalated its interventions in Africa. As a result of this deeper military and intelligence penetration of the continent, the capacity of African states to resolve their own national security imperatives have been severely weakened.

Events in Mali, Burundi, the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of South Sudan, Somalia and other states demonstrate that absent of unity and self-determination there can be no genuine sovereignty for the formerly colonized nations. To organize the people of Africa on an anti-imperialist basis there has to be an ideological reorientation towards socialism to restructure society in the interests of the workers, farmers and youth.

Harsch’s book chronicles Sankara’s journey from his youth extending to his recruitment into the military, rising political consciousness, and burgeoning anger with the-then Upper Volta’s poverty, underdevelopment and economic corruption. During the course of his rise within various leadership circles, Sankara utilized these opportunities to organize the people for revolutionary change in order to defeat the dominance of the antiquated and outmoded system of neo-colonial governance.

Sankara and his comrades instituted economic and social ideas which steered away from western dependency on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, relying on enhanced use of Burkina Faso’s resources to construct educational institutions, hospitals, and state-directed projects aimed at improving the quality of life and the liberation of women.

Not surprisingly, Sankara’s revolutionary ideology and practical programs gained tremendous support from both inside Burkina Faso and throughout Africa. Unfortunately, a myriad of opponents including dissident factions within his own political camp, as well as the military, finally moved to overthrow the national democratic revolution. Nonetheless, during the uprising of Oct. and Nov. 2014, thousands of youth and workers held banners and wore shirts with the image of Sankara.

In the present social context of the upcoming elections, it is essential that a political program is developed which can win over the majority of working people, farmers and youth inside the country. A breakthrough in Burkina Faso towards a revolutionary vision of the future would have a profound impact on Africa and the international scene.


Abayomi Azikiwe has written extensively on African affairs with specific reference to historical studies and political economy. He has done research on the origins and political ideology of the African National Congress, its leaders as well as other national liberation movements and regional organizations  in Southern Africa.

West Papua’s Rightful Place

By Benny Wenda
United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) and Free West Papua Campaign

https://i1.wp.com/sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Malcolm-X-Day-Angela-Naggie-O%E2%80%99Shaine-Evans%E2%80%99-mom-Mesha-Free-West-Papua-Loa-Niumeitolu-Cadine-Williams-daughter-sister-in-Kenneth-Harding-Plaza-051715.jpgThe cry to “Free West Papua” was a major part of the Malcolm X Day celebration in Hunters Point on Sunday, May 17, at Kenneth Harding (Mendell) Plaza,
renamed by the people for Kenny, who was murdered there by SFPD in 2011. From left are Angela Naggie, mother of 2014 SFPD murder victim O’Shaine Evans; Mesha Irizarry, mother of 2001 SFPD murder victim Idriss Stelley
and one of the main organizers of the very successful event; Free West Papua advocate Loa Niumeitolu; and Cadine Williams, sister of O’Shaine Evans,
accompanied by her little daughter and younger sister. Loa made a powerful presentation,
calling on everyone to support the West Papuan freedom fighters –
Jeremy Miller reminding the crowd that Malcolm X preached pan-African solidarity.

In one month’s time, the eyes of the Pacific will turn to Melanesia as our leaders gather in Honiara (national capital of the Solomon Islands, located on the island of Guadalcanal) to decide on West Papua’s membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

For more than 50 years, my people have suffered a creeping genocide under a repressive Indonesian military occupation that is estimated to have claimed 500,000 West Papuan lives.

Next month’s meeting is a critical opportunity to give my people a voice and to allow us to take our rightful place in the Melanesian family.

West Papua’s request for MSG membership is grounded firmly in the group’s founding principles: respect for and promotion of Melanesian cultures, traditions and values, the inalienable human rights of the indigenous peoples of Melanesia and, most of all, the spirit of Melanesian solidarity.

These principles are enshrined in the MSG’s 2007 constitution, which all MSG members are bound to respect.

This year’s MSG Summit won’t be the first time the region’s leaders have had West Papua on their agenda. In recent years, they have expressed serious concerns about human rights and the atrocities committed against my people. And perhaps most importantly, the Melanesian leaders said in 2013 that they “fully support” West Papua’s right to self-determination.

Throughout the Pacific, there is a real sense that the time is right to stand with West Papua and to bring us into the Melanesian family.

At the same time, Indonesian diplomacy has escalated, beginning with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s checkbook tour of the region in late February and a visit by Indonesian President Widodo to Port Moresby last week.

With West Papua’s natural resources continuing to be a significant driver of the Indonesian economy, they will say and do anything to suppress support for our homecoming.

Ultimately, Indonesia has no right to stand in the way of a decision by Melanesian leaders for Melanesia – and only Melanesia.

Any suggestion that Indonesia must approve or consent to West Papua’s MSG membership runs counter to the spirit of Melanesian solidarity that lies at the heart of the MSG and is an insult to Melanesians everywhere.

Remember, Indonesia has already broken its promise to Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill that it would withdraw its military forces from West Papua and has done nothing to hold out a genuine hand of friendship to West Papua and the people who have long suffered under the regime’s brutality and campaign of terror.

The fact that President Widodo required an additional 6,000 armed personnel to accompany him to West Papua en route to Port Moresby demonstrates his lack of confidence and trust he feels from among the people in what Jakarta calls its “provinces,” and his government’s attempts to stymie our MSG membership will do nothing to improve the situation.

With all of this in mind, we were very concerned to hear recent suggestions that Prime Minister O’Neill would prefer to avoid consideration of West Papua’s full MSG membership and instead look at upgrading Indonesia’s own status to become an “associate member.”

Allowing Indonesian provincial leaders a seat at the MSG table risks isolating Papua New Guinea on the question of West Papua and casts significant doubt on whether he truly has Melanesia’s best interests at heart. Clearly, the only legitimate representatives for West Papua are the West Papuans themselves.

We of course understand Prime Minister O’Neill’s concern about the need for West Papuans to have a united front at the MSG table, which is why we came together in December last year to form the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

We have been making our case for MSG membership with a united voice and wrote directly this week to MSG leaders to reiterate our strong claims for membership. We look forward to reinforcing the point in person when foreign ministers and then leaders gather in Honiara next month.
https://i2.wp.com/sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Archbishop-Emeritus-Desmond-Tutu-Free-West-Papua-Campaign-founder-Benny-Wenda-meet-in-St-George%E2%80%99s-Cathedral-Cape-Town-South-Africa-022715.jpgIn a meeting with Free West Papua Campaign founder Benny Wenda in South Africa on Feb. 27, 2015,
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu issued a statement to the U.N. calling for an investigation into Indonesia’s annexation of West Papua in 1969.
“I’m shocked to learn that West Papua is still not free,” he said. “I call on the United Nations and all the relevant bodies, please, do what is right, as they know, for West Papua.”

For too long, the world has turned a blind eye to the plight of my people.

Our brothers and sisters in Melanesia now have an opportunity to take a stand, and allow us to take our rightful place in Melanesia’s pre-eminent political grouping.

This is not only a question of Melanesian solidarity, but a test of Melanesian leadership.

Benny Wenda is a West Papuan independence leader and the spokesperson of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua. He can be reached at office@freewestpapua.org. This commentary appeared as a feature in the PNG Post- Courier newspaper on May 22, 2015. To learn more and get involved, visit freewestpapua.org/, facebook.com/freewestpapua and bennywenda.org.


Tribute to Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi and International Call to Action

A Tribute to Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi

By Greg Butterfield

When I learned that Donbass militia leader Alexei Mozgovoi had been assassinated, I immediately thought of Joe Hill’s famous last words: “Don’t mourn, organize.”

Perhaps it was because I had been talking with Mozgovoi and his press secretary Anna Aseeva-Samelyuk to arrange an interview that would allow him to speak directly to U.S. workers about the life-and-death struggle against NATO imperialism and 21st century fascism in Ukraine and the Donbass People’s Republics.

In fact, the last message I received from Anna was sent just hours before she and Commander Mozgovoi were killed.

But more to the point, like Joe Hill, Mozgovoi was a singer, a poet and a warrior. And like that famous Wobblie musician murdered by U.S. mining bosses, he offered an example of strength, determination and modesty in life and in the face of death, which will continue to inspire working people around the world long into the future.

Alexei Borisovich Mozgovoi, commander of the Novorossiyan Ghost Brigade, died on the afternoon of May 23, 2015, when his car was attacked with mines and machineguns on the highway between Alchevsk and Lugansk in the Lugansk People’s Repubic. He was 40 years old.

Four Ghost Brigade members accompanying him were also killed: press secretary Aseeva-Samelyuk, an activist, journalist and mother of three, and said to be a key political leader of the Ghost Brigade; bodyguards Alexei Kalascin and Andrej Rjajskih; and driver Alexander Yuriev.

Two civilians driving along the same road, a pregnant woman and her spouse, were also killed.

A Ukrainian fascist group called “The Shadows” claimed responsibility, but this has not been confirmed. An investigation by the Lugansk authorities, with cooperation from Ghost, is ongoing.

Origins of the Ghost Brigade


Ghost Brigade motto: “Peace and Justice for the working people of Donbass.”

Although he was not a household name in the West, during his all-too-brief leadership of the Ghost Brigade Mozgovoi displayed many of the qualities of revolutionaries like Che Guevara and Thomas Sankara, with a seemingly inexhaustible integrity, uncompromising principles and ability to inspire and rally people to his cause.

Born and raised in Lugansk, trained as a singer and a soldier, Mozgovoi emerged as a leader of the anti-fascist milita movement shortly after the junta in Kiev launched its bloody war on Donbass in 2014.

He enjoyed recounting how the Ghost Brigade earned its name. After repeated claims by the Ukrainian military that it had wiped out the armed resistance in Lugansk, his fighters always re-emerged like phantoms to strike back.

Mozgovoi did not call himself a communist or Marxist, but displayed a deep class consciousness and openness to learn and grow politically. He welcomed the Volunteer Communist Detachement into the Ghost Brigade and worked closely with its commanders, Pyotr Biryukov and Alexey Markov, who also became deputy leaders of the Brigade.

Proof of the trust developed between them was that Mozgovoi put Biryukov in charge of military operations during the successful campaign to liberate Debaltsevo, Donetsk, from Ukrainian occupation forces in February 2015.

After miliant Donetsk milita leader Igor Strelkov was forced out by conservative forces in Donbass and the Russian Federation, Mozgovoi upheld the anti-fascist banner, drawing to him many of the fighters most dedicated to serving the people and seeing the struggle through from the liberation of historic Novorossiya all the way to Kiev, including international volunteers.

During an interview with the coorespondent of Russian Planet, Mozgovoi joked that after the liberation of Kiev it might be necessary for Ghost to continue marching west to liberate Warsaw and “little hamlets” like Berlin, Paris and London. And indeed, it was not hard to imagine him one day leading a revived revolutionary Red Army of liberation across Europe.

Mozgovoi was outspoken not only in his opposition to the oligarchy and fascist reaction in Ukraine. He was unafraid to criticize the Minsk ceasefire agreements, which he saw as an unnecessary and damaging concession to the Kiev junta and U.S. imperialism. He spoke out against what he saw as the encroachment of oligarchic forces that simply want to remake Donbass in the image of corrupt capitalist Ukraine as it existed before the U.S.-backed coup, not as truly liberated people’s republics.

Class conscious and internationalist

In videos, teleconferences and interviews, Mozgovoi reached out to the workers and soldiers of Ukraine on a class basis, stating that there could be no winners in a bloody civil war when the common people should unite to fight the oligarchy and neo-Nazis.

From Ghost’s base in Alchevsk, Lugansk, he led the Brigade in supporting the local population. They established social canteens where milita and civilians eat side by side, preventing starvation and malnutrition from war and blockade. His team pioneered the efficient procurement and distribution of international humanitarian aid to hospitals, schools and pensioners.

In the last video Mozgovoi made before his death, he talked about Ghost’s efforts to help revive the local economy and develop self-sufficiency in food production by reopening a large poultry farm.

As a person of revolutionary integrity and popularity, faced with such challenging wartime conditions, Mozgovoi had a target on his back and enemies on all sides. He survived several earlier assassination attempts, most recently in March, near the spot where he was eventually killed.

In his last days, he welcomed the Second Antifascist Caravan to Donbass and hosted the May 8 International Solidarity Forum “Antifascism, Internationalism, Solidarity,” with delegates from more than a dozen countries, after anti-communist forces in Lugansk tried to shut it down.

In defiance of his political opponents, Mozgovoi held a spirited, internationalist parade in Alchevsk on May 9, the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s defeat of German fascism.

In a video statement after Mozgovoi’s death, communist co-commander Alexey Markov said: “A person can be murdered, but not his ideas – the ideas Alexei Mozgovoi had been carrying on since last year, the ones which brought thousands of people to join us.

“With the death of one person, the ideas will not die. We are going to carry them through the war, through the misery, through the death. With these ideas, we will live, and build a better life.”

Co-commander Pyotr Biryukov added: “The Ghost Brigade, and communist unit as part of it, will not disappear as a force against fascism. Our volunteers are the proof of this fact, and the people who help us, who trust us and rely on us to defend them.

“One of the combatants of the brigade has been killed; the commander. But his work lives with us. We will carry it on.”

“Our flag resists. The Ghost Brigade’s flag will be seen in Lysichansk, Kharkov and Kiev very soon, and will be the best memorial for our commander,” said Markov.

Mozgovoi lives, as the thousands who honored him and his fallen comrades at a public memorial in Alchevsk on May 24 expressed: as a true inheritor of the best qualities of the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War against fascism, carrying those qualities into the future.

Mozgovoi’s spirit of defiance and internationalism will also fuel an international day of solidarity with Donbass that has been called to coincide with the commander’s funeral on May 27. And, no doubt, it will fuel many battles still to come.

Call for International Solidarity Actions in Connection with the Death of Alexei Mozgovoi

Together we held an International Solidarity Forum: “Antifascism, Internationalism, Solidarity” on May 8, 2015, in the city of Alchevsk. Delegates expressed international communist solidarity against fascism in all its forms. There were many difficulties and organizational challenges, and we were suddenly faced with opposition from a group of anti-communist officials in the Lugansk People’s Republic who do not want to see the Lugansk region enter the socialist path of development. There were threats, accusations and sabotage, but we stood united and held this important and necessary event in solidarity with the people of Lugansk.

As a result of the international forum, we adopted a number of decisions, one of which was a declaration of the unity of all leftists who want to help defend the rights of the inhabitants of Novorossiya to self-determination and support the communists fighting in Donbass. And today, all who support the ideology of social justice, equality and fraternity in Novorossiya need international solidarity.

Alexei Mozgovoi, one of the most prominent militia commanders, who loudly and openly spoke of his commitment to the ideas of socialism, fraternity and internationalism, and without fear told the truth about the problems of Novorossiya, has been killed. This is a very great loss for us and the entire communist, antifascist movement of Donbass.

Alexei Mozgovoi, who hosted the Forum, despite all the difficulties and threats, is dead. But while it is easy to kill a revolutionary, it is impossible to kill an idea. The ideas that guided him came from the dreams and aspirations of the suffering people of Donbass. Those ideas filled the Forum, which the participants carried home with them, ideas that became the engine of revolution in the Donbass.

Today, as we struggle to understand what happened and how to proceed, we are sure that there will be a lot of discussion and debate. However, now more than ever, the communists of Donbass need international support.

We call on all progressive, communist, socialist, leftist, antifascist international forces in Europe and around the world to hold actions in solidarity with Donbass-Novorossiya in connection with the tragic death of Alexei Mozgovoi, whose funeral will be held on May 27 at 10:00 in Lugansk. Actions in solidarity with all who are fighting here for the ideals of socialism, equality and fraternity.

In connection with the death of Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi, we ask our comrades to organize in their cities, where possible, informational pickets, laying of flowers at memorial sites connected with the history of the Soviet Union or the communist movement, or pickets at embassies of the United States or Ukraine with the demand to stop killing people in the Donbass, under the flags of the Ghost Brigade, Novorossiya and the red flags of the communists.

Please share and send us information about planned activities.

Long live international solidarity!
We will not break! Together we will win!
Fascism will not pass!

With respect and gratitude,
Maksym Chalenko
Coordinator of the AIS Forum
in the Lugansk People’s Republic

Translated by Greg Butterfield

New York City: Memorial for Commander Alexei Mozgovoi & Ghost Brigade martyrs

Wednesday, May 27, 6:00pm to 7:00pm
At the statue of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar
North side of 59th St. and Sixth Avenue, Manhattan
(Southern end of Central Park)
Facebook event page

We join with anti-fascists around the world to honor the memory of Commander Alexei Mozgovoi and the other members of his Ghost Brigade team assassinated in the Lugansk People’s Republic on May 23. We stand in solidarity with the popular resistance in the Donbass people’s republics. Commander Mozgovoi’s funeral will be held May 27.

Meet at the statue of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar, on the north side of 59th Street at Sixth Avenue (southern edge of Central Park) at 6pm. Bring candles or tealights, flags and signs, and any words of solidarity you wish to express.

Post solidarity photos and videos with these hashtags:

#MozgovoiLives
#Prizrak
#AISForum
#SaveDonbassPeople
#Novorossiya

Called by the Solidarity with Ukraine Antifascists Committee of the International Action Center

No2Nato.org

Greg Butterfield

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Download Statement as PDF


Related:
Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi Assassinated

No Way to Escape the Eye of the State in Rwanda

Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi Assassinated

Commander Alexei Mozgovoi Assassinated

By Alexey Markov, political commander, Ghost Brigade Volunteer Communist Detachment

On May 23 at 17:30 an attempt was made on the life of Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Borisovich Mozgovoi. After the explosion of a mine, the car carrying the Brigade Commander was shot by two PKs and one or two RPKs [machine guns].

Commanders Alexei Mozgovoi and Alexey Markov at the Donbass
International Forum in Alchevsk, May 8, 2015.

Everyone in the car – Brigade Commander Mozgovoi, his Press Secretary Anna, driver “Song” and bodyguards “Canvas” and “Broom” – died on the spot. The assassins also hit three other cars, killing two civilians, including a pregnant woman.

Currently law enforcement authorities of the Lugansk People’s Republic are conducting investigations and operational activities aimed at identifying and apprehending the criminals. An official report from the command of Ghost Brigade will be announced shortly.


Source
Translated by Greg Butterfield

Biryukov: The Ghost Brigade will continue to carry out its mission

Colleagues of Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi, who was killed near Mikhailovka, said that the unit’s soldiers will continue to fulfill their mission.

“If the enemy suddenly decides to be happy, then it’s for nothing. Such things do not cause fear, but hatred. This is another great figure in an account that will be paid, sooner or later,” said the first deputy commander of the Ghost Brigade, Pyotr Biryukov.

An investigation team continues to work on the scene of Mozgovoi’s murder. “At 17:50 there was an armed attack on three cars carrying representatives of the Ghost Brigade. Mozgovoi, the Ghost Brigade commander, died at the scene from gunshot wounds, along with his bodyguards, driver and press secretary,” said the head of the investigation department of Lugansk People’s Republic Prosecutor-General Leonid Tkachenko’s office. “There was a firecracker, which distracted the driver’s attention, then firing began,” he added.

Ghost Brigade commander and one of the militia leaders of the LNR Alexei Mozgovoi was killed on Saturday, May 23. Near Mikhailovka, Ukrainian saboteurs were waiting in ambush for his car. Under mortar and machine-gun fire, Mozgovoi and his companions were seriously wounded. Seven people were killed, including the commander of Ghost.

Source
Translated by Greg Butterfield

Address by deputy commanders of Mozgovoi’s Ghost Brigade

The deputies of Ghost Brigade Commander Alexei Mozgovoi, who died yesterday on the highway between Lugansk and Alchevsk, made a video address.


Chief of Staff Yuri Shevchenko, Deputy Commander for combat training Pyotr Biryukov and Deputy Commander of Logistics Alexey Markov asked people not to “look for gossip or create it” on social media, television and radio, and to wait for the results of the investigation. According to them, the most basic scenario is subversive action by the Ukrainian military.

“Now there are a lot of different theories, but we ask you to follow common sense, and not spread crazy versions,” said Mozgovoi’s deputies.

In their address, the deputies also stressed that the Ghost team will continue to exist and fulfill its objectives. “Many of us are now calling for revenge. At the moment, we frankly say: we don’t know whom we should take revenge on, because this should never have happened,” they added.

Source
Translated by Greg Butterfield

It is a gift to die in May…

Aleksey Borisovich Mozgovoy
22.05.2013

It is a gift to die in May—

An easy task to dig a grave,

And nightingales will sing their song

Inimitably, like their last.

In May, the thunder of storms supplants

A funerals’ dismal songs and sounds,

And rain that comes instead of tears

Dissolves the memories’ regret.

The shelt’ring barrow of the grave

Beneath the emerald of grass;

A cross is a redundant mark

Among a grove of weary birch.

Beneath the rustling newborn leaves,

With irrepresible thirst for life,

The sun has yet to burn the grass,

And every thing is animate.

It is a gift to die in May,

To stay behind in vernal dew.

And though I could not do it all,

There are no doubts where none remain…

It is a gift, to die in May…

attributed to the pen of Alexey Borisovich Mozgovoy / translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov


Related:
The Death of Lugansk Militia Commander Aleksander Bednov

 

Borotba : On the Ukraine Junta’s Suspension of Human Rights

Sometimes it seems that the metaphorical “bottom” in Ukraine sinks lower and lower every day.

Against the background of the celebrations of May Day and the 70th anniversary of the Great Victory, a draft law passed virtually unnoticed through the Verkhovna Rada to suspend certain rights guaranteed by the International Convention on Human Rights. Today it was approved.

The Kiev regime openly admits to adopting a number of laws that violate international norms for the protection of human rights. But rather than repeal these gross violations of its citizens’ fundamental rights, the Ukrainian authorities have decided to proudly report this to the United Nations and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Why do they want to officially notify the UN and PACE of this discrimination? There is a special kind of inhumane cynicism in Kiev!


Shelling of Donetsk city by Ukrainian forces, May 22.
Photo: Novorossia Today

Let’s list those human rights that the Ukrainian government “suspended.” After all, these crimes must be named, described and exposed.

It cancels the right to legal defense, freedom and personal safety, and guarantees against arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings. It eliminates the equality of all parties to legal proceedings, as well as the presumption of innocence. Citizens are deprived of the right to free choice of residence, freedom of movement, and the possibility to leave their own country and to enter it. It rejects a number of social obligations of the state. It deprives persons with disabilities of the right to social integration and participation in society, abolishes provisions on the rights of the family, mothers and senior citizens to social, legal and economic protection, the right to housing and protection from poverty and social exclusion.

These legal restrictions apply for now to the “ATO zone” [“Anti-Terrorist Operation”], which in itself constitutes discrimination and is expressly prohibited by international law in the sphere of human rights.

You can say “thank you” to the Kiev junta for this legislative initiative, which once again highlights its anti-people essence! All of this will come in handy for the future International Tribunal!

Union Borotba (Struggle)

Source
Translated by Greg Butterfield

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