We are called to force the dream

These days, what’s happening around Goma and DR Congo spokesman, Lambert Mende, is a farce made in outer space! When asked about the source of the bombs that dropped on Goma just before the alliance of the FARDC (Congolese army), UN and FDLR (terrorist group now conveniently forgotten) plunged into the offensive to rout M23, Mr. Lambert Mende, DRC spokesman, explained that they were Rwandan because Rwanda supports M23.
Pan Butamire
Pan Butamire

These days, what’s happening around Goma and DR Congo spokesman, Lambert Mende, is a farce made in outer space!

When asked about the source of the bombs that dropped on Goma just before the alliance of the FARDC (Congolese army), UN and FDLR (terrorist group now conveniently forgotten) plunged into the offensive to rout M23, Mr. Lambert Mende, DRC spokesman, explained that they were Rwandan because Rwanda supports M23.

But then, in the same breath, he explained that those that dropped on the Rwandan soil were from M23. Interesting because logic, the way all know it, holds that the two would ordinarily target one adversary.

And as if that was not absurd on its own, a spokesperson from the US Secretary of State’s office preyed on this contradiction to reiterate a warning to Rwanda to halt any support to M23.

It was beyond ridicule but Rwandans have learnt to take such suspect mutual agreements on illogic seriously. As a Kinyarwanda proverb says, the rain that’ll sock you does not always come from the cloud clearly hanging directly above.

Such discordant illogic signals are usually coordinated somewhere else. Which means something is cooking; there is an incubation of something.

In the 1950s, after 50 years of colonialism, Rwandans were astounded when they realised prayers in the Catholic Church were suddenly taking on the hue of a “war-cry”. The faithful were now intoning such prayers as: “The time for the end of the world is neigh; what’s been up is coming down; heads are going to roll!”

This was against the backdrop of prevailing logic that since White Fathers had opened the eyes of these damned Rwandan souls to the existence of a saviour on-high, these latter were redeemed and they should expect everlasting heavenly bliss.

However, keen Rwandan observers – those allowed to observe, not banished to Moba – had watched as, for 50 years after their arrival, colonialists had slowly compartmentalised their ethnicity into categories, scattering their character, and were apprehensive. When the observers saw the colonialists assist some Rwandans to get at the throats of their compatriots, they were not surprised. They had expected to hit the deepest end and, indeed, this was it.

The glue that had bound them together had been torn and they couldn’t expect less.

What has come 50 years later, though, after the departure of the colonialists and when they thought there was no “deeper deep”, has riveted Rwandans out of that belief as fantasy. After hitting the abyss – for Genocide is nothing but – Rwandans are now prepared for anything. After all, as it was taught, North America was not a depopulated jungle; nor were the Australias.

And those who depopulated, enslaved, colonised or otherwise marginalised and denied others in many ways are still here.

“It is obvious,” cried a voice in the wilderness of those 50 years ago, “that [they] have defaulted on this promissory note” of guaranteeing the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all humankind. Allow me to distort an honourable speech, this year being commemorated by the world, including a country that’s at the helm of a select elite of countries that, when they tread, we must tremble.

President Obama of USA last Wednesday commemorated 50 years of the famous speech by Martin Luther King Jr, “I have a dream”.

That speech resonates with the oppressed and discriminated-against of the world today, as it did then. There is a dark force that controls everybody, most times even those charged with the leadership of these powerful countries, that will not release the oppressed from its vice. It’s a dark force that maintains tentacles everywhere and in everything. It’s this dark force that refuses to judge all humans “by the content of their character”.  

The call that the oppressed must answer is to bend it, using any tool. And there is no tool like rallying together; presenting a united force.

50 years after King’s rallying call, are all Americans judged “by the content of their character”? Are all the peoples of this world? The answer, wherever you look, in USA as with the powerful countries to the less powerful, is an unequivocal “No!”

However favoured you may think yourself; you’ll always remain shackled unless you answer the rallying call. Whoever you are, oppressed of the world, listen to the evergreen rallying call: “United we stand, divided we fall.” There are no two ways about it.

In Rwanda, this is the “urgency of now” that has taken flesh. It’s not a mere motto; it’s the human spirit, in flesh, propelling Rwandans forward. It’s “unite and assert yourself and win respect on your terms or perish”. It’s Agaciro.

All wo/men – for this is Rwanda, where “all is one” – shall be judged by the content of their character. Never by their gender, colour, age, slenderness, stockiness, dis/inability, area of origin....... This, Rwandans believe and it’s not a dream awaiting realisation.

Whatever theatrics you may play, near Rwanda or far, her “urgency of now” is this: no one else but Rwandans will shape her destiny. As their leadership never tires of reminding them, any effort at diversion from this course will only render Rwandans defiant, never compliant.

Rwandans, nay, the community of the oppressed, have no luxury of entertaining a dream. The urgency of now calls them all to force the dream.

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