We crave partnering with our neighbours and who doesn’t, theirs? All neighbours wish for all-round cooperation and partnership pacts. This is evidenced in countries that live as integrated regions. Today, neighbouring countries that have thus cemented their bonds abound. There are exceptions, of course, with some neighbours permanently at loggerheads. When that’s the case, everyone is worried and nervy. Only a small minority revel in it. Without assuming the lofty task of being their voice, I’d humbly but with some confident authority state that, on their part, Rwandans always yearn for the gainful cooperation of equals. That’s why when they were accepted as member of the East African Community, they were over the moon. It was another feather in their cap, having already been member of CEPGL (French acronym for the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries) and others, though some overly overlapping ones were ended. Already, they were member of the AU; ACP (the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States); the UN; et al. Still, there was another that wouldn’t be overlapping. They pushed for and got membership of the Commonwealth. Except for their stubborn refusal to be limited by the so-called untouchable language barriers and their untiring effort, as a then-accepted Francophone country fully integrated in the Francophonie bloc, they didn’t have a fig of a chance. Their cooperation crave is to fulfil their burning desire. That of working with others for shared peace, understanding and prosperity. All of humanity together, especially now that technology has turned the world into a global village, can be one neighbourhood of mutual cooperation. For their horrid history, Rwandans cannot wish for less. So they groan and grouse when this accursed coronavirus pandemic takes the life of a single person. They know that if all had worked together to combat this invisible enemy at its onset, none on the entire globe would have succumbed to it. Sadly, the egocentricity of man is such that imagining such a combined pact is an illusion. In fact, Rwanda has courted uncountable enemies perplexingly for seeking this collaboration. It’s understandable when one northern neighbouring country has a megalomaniacal leadership whose peoples’ destiny it does not care to give a thought to. Or a southern one whose maniacal leadership knows not whether or not its people occupy any place in this universe. Their citizens know the leaderships as passing clouds. Being on terra firma, they know that, after the leaderships, their duty will be to turn things around. Now, what can you make of some distant leaderships, unchanging unfortunately, whose sole purpose of existence is to wish you away for no reason by using all means to see you in a sinkhole? These Western baseless accusations of Rwanda invading the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) currently being flung around, do they demonstrate that the flingers give a damn about the Congolese? Or that they are aimed at assisting the DRC leadership? No, the flingers are proxies who must swat the two countries’ efforts at partnership. For having been in the DRC for eons, the name MONUSCO has now become synonymous with the country’s name. This huge UN peacekeeping force was supposed to do exactly that; keep the peace. But the menace that has terrorised the DRC and that the ‘peacekeepers’ were supposed to keep at bay have instead become bedfellows. The menace, the génocidaires of Rwanda and their offshoots that rob, maim and butcher innocent Congolese in parts of the country they have reclaimed and MONUSCO are today partners in crime. Have you heard any Western voice raised over that? Nope! A shrill is raised when the DRC tries to drive the génocidaires away: “Rwanda invading the DRC!” Rwanda, busy fighting this virus that preoccupies all societies, bemusedly looks on. Moreover, “Invading the DRC to occupy it”! In this age and time, Rwanda wants to take over the DRC and erase the borders and then sleep cosy. Muhanuka, the famous Rwandan teller of tall tales, must have been a kindergarten variety! Interestingly, no Western journalist or peace ‘activist’ need ask the DRC leadership. And, ‘naturally’, none need ask MONUSCO, fellow proxy, though it’s there as a representative force of all nations of this earth. Who are those other nations to talk, when the West is talking? Rwanda feels the pain of days gone by as if it were inflicted today. Down blood-spattered memory lane, she recalls the litter of slain African leaders who fell to the direct or sponsored Western leaderships’ bullet. The leaders’ efforts were cut short because they were aimed at uniting their citizens as well as working with others to together unite their societies. Pray, what kind are Western leaderships that they see others’ unity of purpose as anathema? We know, of course, that those leaderships’ nations have been great for leeching on other nations. However, as Rwandans say, burya si buno (the days of yore are confined to ‘the yore’)! Much as this virus has ravaged us all, if it has shown us anything, it’s that cooperation is vital. The days of imperative global unity of purpose may be beckoning.