opinionBy Niyibizi Peter
Unity of purpose is no more relevant than today
Rwanda like other countries in the colonial world had her fare share of what goes with colonialism. Colonialism was part of the wider imperial strategies that are yet in the making.
When one talks of globalization, the notion is that the world has become one. It is one in the sense that world leaders of nations that are members of the UN and other international organizations meet in international fora. But behind the scene machinations of true to type imperial world continue and more sophisticated.
Going back in time, Rwanda would have been a society not easy to divide given that Rwandans spoke the same language, converged around one culture, had similar beliefs and were under one centralized system of governance (feudalism). Indeed this was the central reason why slavery did not affect them. The system of national defence that valued every Rwandan could not allow them to be taken into captivity by foreign slave hunters.
By hook or crook the colonialists had to seek ways and means of dividing Rwandans because it survives on divide and rule. Its vulture like nature, because its methods of work hinge on primitive exploitation, can not allow it to do otherwise. Difficult as it would have been meant they had to use very sophisticated process. They used religion to achieve satanic ends. Churches became theatres of diabolical executions in the post independence Rwanda when they had achieved their divisive ends.
Post independence leaders proved true to type colonial cadres and served their purpose. Around 1960 engineered exiles and ought right killings that triggered the same happened. This caused the exodus of Rwandans across borders into neighboring countries and beyond.
For more than thirty years a whole generation lived in statelessness. The country that would have been their conduit to air their views became their chief hunter. Intelligence tentacles got spread to make sure they simply disappeared in oblivion. This was in addition to governments in countries of asylum some of which showed open animosity. Life became a dilemma. Peaceful options to end statelessness got ignored by Rwanda governments of the time. Inside the country a section of the population underwent persecution; they lived in a state of second class citizens.
Rwandans are a dialectical reality fashioned by time and space. Their lives are bound by one philosophy-the children of "Gihanga" just as the Baganda are "bana ba kintu-the children of kintu". Peaceful avenues to end this state of affairs could not bear fruits. This triggered the war of liberation at an opportune moment. That Bill Clinton and Kofi Annan contended, "The costliest price for peace is far cheaper than the cheapest war". Indeed peaceful coexistence is so great a thing towards sustainable development because both human resources and otherwise get pooled together.
This war of liberation got concluded but at a cost indeed. Rwandans are back together against the wish of those who thought Rwandans would have simply perished and Rwanda erased on the world map. Just as Rwandans are struggling to assert themselves in the world arena, there are those bent on countering this.
Even when the report by so called UN experts is put to question and Rwanda's involvement in DRC saga finds no logical trend, Human Right Watch (HRW) is yet persistent that Rwanda is involved.
HRW and the like are NGOs which are cogs in the wheel of foreign policy of some countries. Whereas the cold war has ended and we are said to be in the globalized world, national interests remain.
At a point in time slavery happened. It was a primitive method of accumulating capital by imperial powers. It found expression in legal frameworks and got defended by those supposed to instill moral values (religious people). This was in the same vain as segregation which was practiced in churches in the USA in her history.
That because of deepening level of globalization and transnational activities, the states will have to interact with non-state actors. National interests accomplishment can occur as a result of peaceful cooperation with other nations, or through exploitation. Human rights watch and the like of it are a wider scheme of this philosophy.
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) meeting was held recently in Kampala to find peaceful solution to the problem of DRC crisis. Indeed it has been realized that Africans are better placed to solve their own problems. This follows the reality that the owner of a flock of sheep can defend them better than a hired worker. This is the better method of work to solve the DRC crisis. HRW does not want this because it goes against their mischievous mission of continuing to hood wink the world against Rwanda.
Much as what has been happening in Rwanda is the result of imperial strategies and hence HRW, a number of Rwandans are not aware of it. Some are aware of it but because of egoism or ought right enemies of themselves condon the schemes of HRW. Rwandans have made tremendous steps despite challenges. This is the time to stand together and defend the patrimony. Chance knocks once. Rwandans are back together after having stopped Genocide on their own. Detractors have to be shunned in the strongest terms possible.
The Writer is a Socio-Political Commentator based in Kigali.