It’s not very often that a little African nation gets an untouchable nuclear power all riled up and defensive; and I’m proud that Rwanda has gotten France exactly in that situation.
With the release of the damning report detailing France’s complicity in the Tutsi Genocide of 1994; Rwanda has opened an ‘Anti-Pandora’s Box’ for other small countries.
I call it an ‘Anti-Pandora’s Box’ because, in Greek mythology, opening a Pandora’s Box released all the bad things, more like opening a can of worms, into the world, war, famine and disease.
However, what do you call it when only good things are released? I’ve coined a new word to best describe this and I call it the ‘anti-Pandora’s Box’. In this case, justice, healing and forgiveness.
What Rwanda has done will bring only good to a world in which super powers have without care bullied downtrodden poorer nations; in most instances their former colonies.
I believe that sincerely. For a long time it is their voices/values that have dominated all international discourse.
Assertive voices of smaller nations are rarely heard in the international fora; only magnified if asking for more hand outs with tails between their legs.
Just the other week, the collapsed negotiations at the Doha round of the trade talks came to a screeching halt because of some disagreements between the Americans and the Chinese/or Indians.
A deadlock between superpowers and emerging powers. What of the African trade delegation which was led by Kenyan Trade Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta?
The poor fellow was left spluttering in rage as the entire session totally ignored the African delegations request to bring their own issues to the table.
However, that wasn’t the first time that we, Africans, were ignored. It’s always been like that, to a point of normalizing this global tyranny against us.
Instead of talking for ourselves, it has become a rule of thumb that other more ‘qualified’ voices talk on our behalf. Often it was an NGO like Oxfam or some celebrity like Bono, sadly on ‘soft issues’; like more aid, HIV/AIDS etc.
African grievances, and trust me, we have plenty, were often ignored or, at best, treated with a condescending air.
They, the duplicity of the powers that be, are quick to tell us to ‘reform, take responsibility and stop blaming colonialism’…but Lord help you if you ignore their grievances. They will call you all sorts of names like “despot and dictator”, place a traveling ban on you and, if you are unlucky, throw an indictment into the mix as well.
Just ask Mugabe. He was okay…until he decided to use a crude method [the sight of the ‘war veterans’ terrorizing the white farmers turned my stomach; I can’t stand brutality…it doesn’t matter whether it’s committed by a white man, black man or Martian. It’s wrong]. That’s when the entire weight on the world came crashing down on him and the poor fellow is still trying to figure what way is up.
Never mind when he was their ‘good man’ being knighted in the 80’s, he slaughtered over 20 000 of his own people.
I’m loath to add Omar Al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, in the list of suffering Africans because, lets face it, the fellow is probably as guilty as sin.
Well, it’s nice to know that little Rwanda can fit those ‘big boys’ gloves, pull her weight; today we see France on trial in the dock of international opinion.
We are the guys justifiably so, pointing fingers and issuing indictments, changing global dynamics on who wields an upper hand with enough morality to enforce international justice.
In fact, I wish we had long started throwing our, albeit, puny weight around. Here is a start; Congo should launch an inquiry on the death of Patrice Lumumba and indict the CIA and the Belgians.
Without Lumumba’s death what would have resource rich Congo been like? You never know…it might have not become the Sick Man of Africa, it is today.
I think its time that we Africans stand for our rights, justice and such…and get some answers for our grievances. We don’t have to play ball the way they want us to.
Let’s change the patterns and rules of the global game and make THEM answer questions. We’ve got to make western nations less like ‘moral police’ who will lecture us on ‘human rights, blah, blah, blah’ and more like equal partners who’ve also made a few errors along the way.