Imagine that the spokesperson of the global terrorist group Al Qaida told a newspaper that, “We would like to remind the public that we are an organization founded on democratic, justice and human rights principles.” Who would take him seriously?
Even Al Qaida doesn’t see itself as a terrorist organization despite the acts of indiscriminate killings of innocents across the globe, including the attacks on New York's Twin Towers that claimed the lives of about 3,000 people.
A newspaper carrying Al Qaida propaganda to the effect that the group is “founded on democratic principles,” would surely be received by Americans as provocation and mockery that would only reinforce their resolve on their war on terror.
This has been the pattern of The Daily Monitor’s recent coverage of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC). Its recent 2 August 2019 edition with the title “Exiled Rwandans want to return despite terrorism allegations” sought to portray the group as legitimate contenders for leadership in Rwanda.
If the global war on terror is intended to ensure that no where in the world should terrorists and their sponsors have control of state power, that their efforts to achieve this should be fought tooth and nail, then why does anyone think that the RNC should be an exception?
The RNC has taken up the colour yellow as a show of solidarity with its sponsors, who are also helping it to access this kind of sanitising media coverage.
Shortly after its founding in 2010, Patrick Karegeya, its co-founder with Kayumba Nyamwasa, gave a detailed interview that committed the group to terrorism. Karegeya said it is only through such violence, rather than through democratic processes, that President Kagame can be removed from power, “dictators don’t step down, they are brought down,” he said.
This RNC founding vision was immediately implemented. As is the case with all terrorism, the aim was to make fear widespread in the country so that the population loses confidence in its leadership - after which they may militarily overrun the country with the support of their sponsors.
RNC operatives began to infiltrate the country on such missions. Between 2010 and 2014, a series of attacks claimed 17 lives and injured 460 people in Rwanda.
According to a witness, Corporal Joseph Nshimiyimana, who participated in a July 2013 meeting at Mamba Point Bar in Kampala, at which Kayumba Nyamwasa's emmissaries from South Africa were also in attendance, the RNC had a plan to disrupt the parliamentary elections scheduled for later that year in September.
The plan was “successful.” Indiscriminate grenade attacks were visited upon Kicukiro market, claiming the lives of Mr Yadufashije and Mr Habiyambere and wounding another 46 innocent people.
How a news organisation can swallow and regurgitate the claims of a group that is supposedly “founded on democratic principles” but sets off to disrupt elections through terror is beyond professional ethics.
Senior FDLR representatives, currently on trial, intercepted in the DRC as they returned from Kampala also confirmed that Uganda’s state minister of regional affairs, Philemon Mateke, had convened the FDLR and RNC for strategic consultations on how to implement instructions from their Ugandan sponsor regarding yet another a plan to blow up Rwanda’s infrastructure.
However, the military violence that was supposed to bolster this terrorism has suffered a setback, as hundreds of young men who had been duped by Kayumba Nyamwasa and his supporters into joining their insurgency suffered a beating in the jungles of the DRC where more than 300 were killed and scores captured alive.
Until Kayumba Nyamwasa leaves the comfort of sausages and cafe lattes in South Africa, from where he commands his armed band of terrorists remotely, it is safe to say that the defeat marks the end of the RNC - since both its terror and military operations have failed miserably.
Which explains the sudden change of tune by the terror organisation, its sponsors, and their decision to shift to a media campaign to push for “dialogue” and “negotiations.”
After their pounding in the DRC, they all of sudden began clamouring for “dialogue.” Apparently, the “peace-loving” terrorists were willing to negotiate but Rwanda’s leadership wasn’t.
Similarly, the “exiled Rwandans” want to return home, if only everyone, especially the leadership in Rwanda, would forget that they have been involved in terrorism. Even the families that lost their loved ones in those terror attacks are supposed to ignore that any of that ever happened.
What kind of democratic principles are they preaching that don’t have accountability for terrorism?
The RNC has taken up it’s sponsor’s colour yellow. Soon they will, no doubt, also be donning its similarly coloured hats.
If this is all it takes to successfully rebrand the terrorist RNC as an organisation representing “founding democratic principles,” then even Al Qaida would be impressed!