Part One: The Tyranny of Incompetence A FEW DAYS AGO, Rwandan Ambassador to Congo, H.E Vincent Karega, was expelled from Congo by the Congolese government. The muscles are being flexed, and not just by Congolese generals parading through poor local towns, biceps and pectorals bursting through comically snug 3-piece suits. Officially, diplomatic expulsion serves as protest against a country’s violation of political treaties, and abuses of power. While typically a logical means of self-protection and display of political integrity, it can also strike as a theatrical manipulation of the narrative appointing the titles of “oppressor” and “oppressed”. To capture this phenomena in simple terms, I suppose it could be akin to an unfaithful partner fresh off adultery, storming through the house visibly angered by God knows what violation by the marital home they are in fact betraying, slamming the doors loud enough to hopefully distract from the lipstick on the collar of their shirt. “Why is the meat always so hard?” “Why are the marital chambers always cold?” “why won’t the kids stop crying?”. Victim as they may present themselves to be, the “tortured” cheater is in fact just that: a cheater. Virtue signaling is a common, ageless political strategy used across cultures: performative outrage to hide guilt, and mimic non-existent righteousness. The current mass expulsion of Russian ambassadors across western Europe and its allies, as a protest against what seems to me a series of very mutual attacks between Russia and Ukraine, feels like an obvious example of this disingenuous line of action. As far as Congo is concerned, Ambassador Karega’s expulsion has layers: deceit, distraction, an overt declaration of diplomatic and political bad faith, hostility, and ill will, consistent with the anti-Rwanda hate speech they have both tolerated and at times encouraged for as long as I can remember. By choosing to fracture dialogue between our two nations (which ought to be united in solving the conflict that has hurt both of our populations) President Felix Tshisekedi attests once more to his worrisome, regrettable intentions. Rather than pursue conflict resolution, President Tshisekedi seems invested in diverting the public gaze from the part that his own ruling incompetence has played in exacerbating said conflict. The momentum of the Congolese governance’s dishonesty has been picking up again for a few weeks. Let’s walk backwards for a moment; perhaps we will get closer to the origin of this madness. The United Nations General Assembly in New York wrapped up over a month ago. All seemed to occur as expected, with Global South Leaders, as has been a trend for a long, long time, repeatedly calling out western dictatorship over their old colonies - likely falling onto the usual deaf ears, but attesting to their integrity as leaders nonetheless. But sadly, not everyone brought their spine with them to Manhattan, New York. President Felix Tshisekidi was in attendance, and delivered a 40-minute speech - approximately the length of a full episode of Dallas; or longer than an entire flight from Kigali to Goma, Congo. This monologue was about (drumroll)......Rwanda. Surprise! Confetti! His Excellency President Tshisekedi essentially blamed everything currently wrong with his country on “malefic forces” (read FPR via M23) having infiltrated his country. He lied. Sadly, no one is shocked. Nevertheless, with the amount of economic and socio-political trouble that Congo is facing, including its current health and food crises, finger-pointing towards Rwanda for about as long as it takes to bump to Beyonce’s best Album in its entirety, is frankly embarrassing. It seems that when attempting to provoke our Leadership into a song and dance of spite and backbiting, the Congolese President wishes to cast fog on his inadequacy, and his recurrent exploitation of old divisions. And yet the truth and the context that dictates it, remain as clear as Lake Kivu waters. It’s an old, old story, with unchanging themes. Here’s my (frustrated, sad, and disappointed) take on it. Ethnicism persists, as obstinately as evil, and as regrettably as ignorance. (A suivre) The views expressed in this article are of the author.