Special Reports

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu Plans Historic Trip to Uganda

By Morrison Rwakakamba

On February 25th 2016, there http://cuencahighlife.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.jetpack-bbpress-json-api-compat.php The Harvard Crimson published an Op-Ed by Harvard Business School student Sacha Yabili titled “How Harvard Abdicates Its Moral Responsibility.” In the piece, buy more about Yabili chides Harvard for “rolling a red-carpet” for an African “dictator”— President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Sacha is the latest addition to an organized bevy of Kagame’s critics who keep repeating similar and possibly rehearsed accusations even when truth is spoken to them or purported ‘evidence’ of Kagame ‘crimes’ is deflated by truth.

While Paul Kagame admittedly may not be the “ideal” paragon of democracy, pill there seems to be a well-oiled conveyor belt that sustains lies against him.

This is why I consider it an act of justice and morality by Harvard to offer a platform for Kagame to tell his side of the story.

At the John F. Kennedy Forum, Kagame was put on the spot over a number of repeated allegations and he offered his point of view. He was amiable, thoughtful and respectful in his responses.

Quoting Belgian ‘Rwanda scholar’ Filip Reyntjens, Sacha Yabili talks of  “incontrovertible” facts that have emerged to corroborate Kagame’s alleged crimes. Reyntjens says Kagame is “probably the worst war criminal in office today.”

Never mind that Reyntjens’ basis for such a sweeping conclusion has no incontrovertible basis and is mere conjecture, probably driven by sentiments related to his own past history.

Reyntjens was a long-term senior advisor to former President Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda. Habyarimana’s followers and lieutenants were accused by witnesses of plotting and executing an organized genocide that claimed over one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in one hundred days in 1994. Many have since been convicted. Where is the morality of “scholar” Reyntjens in all this?

Most commentary on Rwanda and Kagame bypasses context. Rarely do folks step on to the balcony and engage with complexity that Rwanda is.

The kind of balancing, re-negotiation of historical loyalties and restraint Kagame and his team have had to master in order to hold the country is of legion. Other countries should perhaps be learning from and not ridiculing them.

Yabili writes that in 2008, 40 Rwandan officers were prosecuted by the Spanish judge Fernando Andreu Merelles for “genocide, crimes against humanity and terrorism.” It is important to note that prosecution is different from indictment.

Were 40 Rwandan officers prosecuted? Not at all. The highly publicized accusations against 40 military officials were found to be baseless by Spanish courts. In fact, Yabili, in standing for Harvard’s “veritas” (truth) academic integrity should have shared that the Spanish case was in fact an attempt by genocide sponsors to accuse the very group that put an end to it while world watched. Something akin to giving a platform to Nazis to accuse the Jews for planning the holocaust. Was this fact difficult for Yabili to present to the world or just too inconvenient for his set narrative?  What’s going on here?

Term limits

Moreover, the group that is popularly responsible for the killings in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the “Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda” (FDLR) – that executed the genocide before fleeing to DRC.

Yabili is not finished. He writes that “Kagame – de-facto leader of Rwanda since 1994 – has set an adverse precedent by pushing a constitutional reform that granted himself the opportunity to stay in power until 2034.”

Did Kagame hit the campaign trail to mobilize for this constitutional reform? No. Debate on term limits is mostly emotive and has many faces. For example, what Yabili calls “adverse precedent,” millions of Rwandans call favourable precedent – in fact, 98.3% of Rwandans said ‘yes’ to the constitutional amendment that would allow Kagame to run for another term.

In seeking to extend tenure for Kagame, Rwandans reflected on their own context and weighed the odds. They decided not to gamble their future on untested leaders — for now. Besides, what is moral about term limits when people have democratic rights to elect leaders they want?

What was the context and motivation of Americans when they allowed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to stay on a bit longer? Why would it be moral for Israel or United Kingdom not to have term limits and immoral for Rwanda to act in similar way?

Why are developmental states that are trying hard to uplift the lives of their people the very ones that are most viciously attacked? Are they being punished for defying “conventional wisdom” on how African countries are supposed to behave?

For example, Rwanda is one of the few countries that achieved all the MDGs and was just cited by the UN Human Development Index as having made the most progress worldwide in the last 25 years. But most important is that Rwandans believe President Kagame is a revolutionary leader with a mission that needs to be fulfilled irrespective of how long it takes.

Many continue to look at him not as a career politician but a guardian of Rwanda’s transformation and dignity.

Many continue to compare him with grand master Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore who reigned for 34 years. Just like it was moral for Harvard University to host Lee in 1967 and 2000, it was moral for Harvard to host Kagame in 2016.

Morrison Rwakakamba is a Ugandan HIID Merit Scholar & Mason Fellow in Public Policy Management, Harvard Kennedy School
The race for a qualification spot to the Uganda Premier League is getting tighter and interesting with top teams leaving nothing to chance.

Sporting United have a tough duel away to Paidha Black Angels at the Bar Okoro stadium. The Lira based side has their work cut out after fellow table toppers Onduparaka FC widened the gap to six points with a 1-0 away win at Ndejje University on Wednesday.

The first leg fixture between this two (Sporting vs Paidha) ended prematurely. FCC awarded the match to Sporting which didn’t go down well with Paidha.

In the other games in Elgon group, seek http://coastalallergycare.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php Busia Fisheries kick start the second leg campaign at home against Kira young while Artland Katale hope to rejuvenate campaign against Boma young in Entebbe.

Rwenzori 
The direct promotion spot in the Rwenzori group is ‘provisionally’ decided with Proline fc  sitting eight points clear from second placed Kireka United after 14 match days. The leaders travel to Wakiso.

Competition for the playoff slots is getting tighter. The four (2-5) teams are separated by a point and goal difference., Actually, the 6th and 7th are only six points apart with game(s) at hand.

Wednesday result.
Ndejje Uni 0-1 Onduparaka

Thursday fixture.
Hope Doves vs Kirinya Jja ss- Wankulukuku

Wandegeya vs. Synergy – Kanyanya.

Masavu vs. Entebbe fc- Katabi

Wakiso Utd vs. Police fc- Wakiso

Suncity vs Kasese  NV- Nyakasenga

Busia Fisheries vs. Kira young -Busia inter P/s

Artland K vs. Boma – Mashariki, Ebb.

Water fc vs. Bukedea -Mengo ss

Paidha Black vs. Sporting UTD -Bar Okoro
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, medical http://concursofotografia.orihuela.es/wp-includes/bookmark.php whose brother Yonatan Netanyahu was killed in the historic military raid on Entebbe Airport to free Jewish hostages in 1976, pilule http://ctrdv.fr/pmb_mallette/opac_css/includes/ajax.inc.php will visit Uganda and Kenya.

The trip is so significant as this will be the first time since 1987 that an Israeli premier (Yitzhak Shamir) visited Africa.

Speaking in the Knesset (Parliament) at the launch of the new Knesset Caucus for Israel-Africa relations, http://contenthog.com/pr/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/functions.compat.php Netanyahu said his trip to Africa will illustrate clearly Israel’s coming back to the continent and Africa’s return to Israel.

Netanyahu’s visit is set for the 40th anniversary of the Entebbe Raid.

“For too long you have come here and we have not come there, and we are going to change that,” the Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu speaking in English at the meeting, which included 13 African ambassadors, five honorary consuls and a smattering of MKs, mostly from the Likud.

Over the last two months Netanyahu has met in Jerusalem with the president of Kenya, who was here last week and extended an invitation to visit, and the foreign minister of Rwanda.

President Museveni has visited Israel on several occasions.

Ghana’s foreign minister is scheduled to arrive later this month, as is Ethiopia’s deputy prime minister.

Netanyahu said that Israel was formulating an “Africa strategy,” and that Israel and Africa’s rediscovery “should have happened a long time ago. It’s happening now because it’s so clear that this is good for Africa and it’s good for Israel. We face a multitude of challenges and opportunities.”

The prime minister said that he would like to see “the closeness of our relationships reflected also in the voting pattern of the African Union.

“I would like to eventually get to that point with the African Union, because you should vote for the interests of your own countries and you should vote for the interests of Africa,” he said. “And I have no doubt whatsoever that today the interests of Africa and the interests of Israel cohere.

They’re almost identical, and in some respects… and in many respects they are identical. So, I want to see that reflected in our bilateral relationship and also in our multilateral relationship.”

Terrorism

The strongest common interest, he said, was to defeat Islamist extremism.

“It threatens every land in Africa,” he said. “Its nexus is in the Middle East, but it is rapidly spreading. It can be defeated. It can only be defeated if the nations that are attacked by it, make a common cause. We understand the dangers of al-Shabaab. We understand the dangers of the other militants that threaten your countries in Africa, and we are prepared to work with you to defeat them. And it is possible to do so.”

ChimpReports understands that at the Prime Minister’s Office in the fabled city of Jerusalem, President Kenyatta spoke of the historic ties between the two states, and his desire to expand relations spanning a wide range of areas — from agriculture and irrigation to security and Information Technology, in which Israel is traditionally strong.

Kenyatta and Netanyahu signed agreements on irrigation and agriculture, furthering an agenda that both Nairobi and Tel Aviv have sought to deepen over the last several years.

President Kenyatta hailed Israel as “a friend of Kenya”, after the Prime Minister had talked of the two countries historic ties, and his happiness at seeing President Kenyatta honour a long-standing invitation to visit Israel

President Rivlin emphasized that Israel stands with Kenya in the face of the threats posed by terrorists to the country over its role in regional security.

“We feel the pain together with you. Israel stands together with you against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam as they murder men, women and children,” said President Rivlin, as he expressed Israel’s solidarity with Kenya following the terror attack on KDF forces in Somalia.

In his speech, Netanyahu said, Israel is prepared to help Africa in other spheres as well: agriculture, healthcare, water, irrigation, science, technology, investment, tourism and cyber.

Comments

Header advertisement
To Top