Rwanda: Tribal Deadlocks



November 21, 2008: The Rwandan government denies that it intends to "annex" parts of eastern Congo. The government says allegations that it is providing logistical support for Congolese Tutsis under the command of General Laurent Nkunda are false. Still, Nkunda's forces also seem to have reliable supply lines in an isolated corner of the Congo. He is getting re-supplied. Sure, Uganda remains a possibility, as does Burundi. Tribal ties are very important socially, culturally, and politically in sub-Saharan Africa?and that makes Tutsi-led Rwanda the most-likely source for supplies, and even experienced soldiers from the Rwandan army, reaching Nkunda's militiamen.

November 17, 2008: The governments of Rwanda and Congo said that they had agreed to cooperate to "uproot" the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) which continues to operate in eastern Congo. The FDLR is run by former members of the radical Rwandan Hutu Interahamwe.

November 12, 2008: The government formally arrested one of Burundi's main opposition leaders, Alexis Sinduhje (who heads the Movement for Security and Democracy, or MSD). He had been under "detention" for nine days.

November 8, 2008: Rwanda and Germany continue to be at diplomatic loggerheads. Rwanda has expelled a senior German envoy in response to the arrest of a Rwandan diplomat arrested in Germany, The Rwandan, Rose Kabuye, is allegedly involved in the shooting down of President Juvenal Habyarimana's airplane in 1994.The Germans arrested Kabuye based on a French warrant. Habyarimana's airplane had a French aircrew, who also died when the plane went down on April 6, 1994. Hutus accused the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front of shooting down the aircraft. In the wake of the crash radical Rwandan Hutus launched genocidal attacks on Tutsis throughout the country.

October 29, 2008: Rwanda accused Congolese troops of firing into Rwandan territory from Congolese soil. The Rwandan report said that "an incursion" took place as Congolese Army forces were fighting with a Tutsi rebel group inside Congo.

October 28, 2008: Burundi and Tanzania signed a security partnership agreement. Tanzania will help train Burundian security forces.

October 21, 2008: A South African spokesman said that the peace process in Burundi had "deadlocked." The Burundian government rejects the FNL-Palipehutu faction's demand that it keep the name "Palipehutu" once it becomes a political party. The name roughly translates as "Hutu people's liberation party." The government says a political party cannot be based on ethnic affiliations. This rates a snicker because all but a handful of sub-Saharan African political parties have a central ethnic group or tribal group at their core. But there is a certain understanding about these things. The FNL-Palipehutu could re-name itself "The Burundi Party for Social Welfare and Development" or "The African Congress for Unity Party" or something similar and that would be cricket. It would still be a Hutu-based party but the name would imply at least a notion of a "bigger tent."

October 15, 2008: Burundi has deployed 850 soldiers with the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia (the AMISOM peacekeeping force).




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