And so it came to pass that what was long destined to happen manifested spectacularly as only a happenstance could. That a tea-spoon hung suspended, frozen in mid-motion, its to-and-fro duty-journeys between mouth and maize-porridge bowl brought to a dead-end.
That no more washing down the 5AM heavy bean-and-sweet-potato breakfast, ever after.
But no, it was no happenstance. It was the result of a calculated sting operation that no cliff-hunger-thriller-movie creator can ever think up.
This, mind you, was in the D.R. Congo – and no tongue in cheek. “No tongue in cheek” because collaboration can perform miracles where least expected.
Otherwise of such and similar, here in Rwanda we’ve seen a dime a dozen.
That limp body behind the spoon was a statistic in a continuum. “A continuum”, yes, but definitely a finite one. And a demonstration, if any needed, that it isn’t confined to this soil.
The limp body leaves behind a trail of monstrous rapes, tortures, et al, all capped with a horrendous genocide in Rwanda. As well as death and destruction in the D.R. Congo.
Having been the field commanding chief of FDLR terror sowers, that ‘body’ had been intent on leading its remnant terrorist caboodle back for the chilling conclusion of their genocidal mission.
A pipe dream, but this insult to a noble Rwandan name, Mudacumura, saw it otherwise.
Luckily, before his demise, he had time to catch a glimpse of the folly of “seeing it otherwise”.
The young man through whom all this was fleetingly revealed before a silencer-muzzle spat out a coup-de-grace shot that snapped out the génocidaire’s life looked every inch like a visiting space alien.
Camouflaged face, uniform, complete with a toy-looking pistol that emitted death.
As silently as they came, the compact young man and his replica back-up withdrew. Equally silently, a replica commander stepped forward to tap the neck’s artery.
After which, a replica doctor made the final confirmation that the slumped body had, indeed, breathed its last. All the time as a replica photographer was busy.
Four silent shots in quick succession had pumped the chief génocidaire’s heart to a halt.
Triumphantly, the quintet, armed with captured flash disk, laptop and assorted paper documents, regrouped with their replica comrades, visible only to them. All together, “La Force Spéciale Hibou” (Owl Special Force) had given a clockwork-precision account of themselves.
Like the “owl” in their name, pitch darkness had suited them perfectly. It still would, on return journey. A thirty-strong force had sliced their way to a veritable fortress, though a simple hut.
“Hiboux” were armed with intelligence freely offered by a pair of long-captured high-ranking lieutenants of the killer commander, nabbed by Congolese forces and mutually handed over to Rwanda, where they are now safely tacked away in prison.
Still, executing that operation was no walk in the park for “Hiboux”.
The hill that hosted the impregnable headquarters of ‘Chief Terrorist’ was ringed by other hills teeming with brigades and brigades of his FDLR fighters, all armed to their terrorists’ teeth.
These fighters themselves could not in any way get access to their chief, except when he chose to address them collectively. Beyond them, a hundred and twenty fighters guarded the immediate vicinity of his hideout, while a contingent of thirty formed his bodyguard. Then there was his chief escort.
Now imagine a crack force of thirty, the self-same “Hiboux”, drilling a passage through these rings of all the above impenetrable forces without sounding a single shot. The whole operation carried all the hallmarks of an Israeli MOSSAD surprise attack!
Not even the SEALS of USA, with all their sophistication, could have pulled it off in this way.
Imagine it. It’s just after five in the morning. A self-assured Chief Terrorist, with his spoon conveying steaming hot maize-porridge into his mouth, is meanwhile thinking over the meeting with his immediate assistants that he is going to chair, in their fox-hole nearby. He is smacking his lips, savouring the taste of his hot porridge. He belches and then…..lo and behold!
A ‘space alien’, with a toy pistol, locks eyes with him – but that way ‘alien’ misses chance to capture him live. A space alien, yes, because how else could a real human reach him without him hearing the least sound?
Anyway, the heart misses a beat, as all the horrors he has visited on Rwanda and D.R. Congo flash through his mind. And then a flash from the toy pistol’s muzzle-round-hole. The birds around continue to sing, undisturbed.
For, save for the quintet, none is the wiser.
The whole contingent of thirty go into their own fox-holes to wait for darkness and travel back, mission accomplished.
They’ll have their deserved rest, to await the next assignment. Or the assignment may be taken up by their fellow “Hiboux”, a contingent of sixty, who’d been in waiting in case of any mishap in the mission.
All in all, it goes to show that collaboration between two peoples, even if among many is not possible, can work wonders.
So, outlaws of these lands, mujya he! There is no place in the world to hide!
The views expressed in this article are of the author.