I listened to the recent Straight Talk Africa programme presented by Shaka Ssali with a lot of interest. The topic of peacekeeping vis-à-vis African human rights and international opinion was an interesting one and the three panelists formed a myriad of opinions.
Listening to the Human Rights Watch Rwanda ‘expert’, Carina Tertsakian and former Prosecuter General, Gerald Gahima, I felt saddened by their utter lack of realism.
The Human Rights Watch researcher said that while Rwanda could be accused of genocide, it was under obligation to keep their peacekeepers in Darfur. This is despite the fact that only fools would have ‘foxes guard the chickens’ to paraphrase the Rwandan foreign minister’s comment.
Thankfully, the Ugandan journalist, Andrew Mwenda, gave the two other panellists a taste of the sweet truth. I would like to make a general comment on the show,however.
A question that I want to get answered is this, “does Rwanda, or any other peacekeeping nation,for that matter, have the right to refuse an assignment”? “Operation Restore Hope, the US intervention in Somalia, came to an end when their Rangers corpses were dragged around Mogadishu. Rwanda has lost quite a few personnel but that hasn’t stopped us.
After that kind of sacrifice, we should be lauded but instead our troops are accused on genocide…isn’t that enough grounds to get the ‘boys’ back home”?
They were busy accusing Rwanda of blackmailing the UN to remove the ‘offending words’ from the UN Mapping document, but I feel as if they are blackmailing Rwanda to force Rwanda to remain in Darfur, despite the horrific charges.
Honestly, I wish that someone could sue the authors of the report. The days of random people, coming to Africa, saying whatever they want, without riposte must end.
Thank God that Mr. Mwenda gave these two panellists a run for their money.
Lisa Anne Umutoni