Tuesday’s, BBC’s talk-show Hard Talk, was momentous because it had on it one of Africa’s esteemed leaders, President Paul Kagame.
Sadly, presenter Stephen Sackur, in interviewing in his own words ‘one of Africa’s most influential leaders’ read from the wrong script.
A script again in his own words that was hell-bent on dealing with little Rwanda; ‘flexing her regional muscle’.
The play in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has assumed a new directorship; and a completely different script, that does not serve Western appetites for African conflicts with their unrestrained interference.
The new script as President Kagame explained, is one of Africans talking to themselves and coming up with their own solutions, based on a historical context, they yearn to extricate themselves from. Something Kagame has now successfully done with his Congolese counterpart President Joseph Kabila.
Had Sackur hastened to update the poor research, thrown on his table by ill informed experts on the DRC and Rwanda, he could have saved himself much embarrassment.
Rwanda for instance was not the only foreign country on DRC soil, Uganda was cooperating with the Congolese to deal with Joseph Kony’s, Lords Resistance Army.
Rwanda went in and came out of DRC leaving Uganda there - - but for Sackur it was a matter of ‘selective amnesia.’
Take again for instance his overzealous inquisition into whether, Director of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, will be returning to France to face charges, brought about by French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière.
Well really, Sackur by the time your pre-recorded programme was on air, Madame Kabuye was touching down at Charles de Gaul airport. No point scored there!
In another failed bid to caricature President Kagame, in the same realm of certain African leaders who shall remain nameless, Sackur seemed clueless of the man he was talking to. In a veiled threat he inquired as to whether Kagame, with his current stance, could risk Western support.
Kagame is a second generation African leader who spent the greater part of his life, fighting one of the most entrenched dictatorships on the African continent, with very little international support.
A point Kagame laboured to drive home, how the Genocide against his people was carried out under the watchful eye of the international community, in particular the United Nations.
Thus, Kagame’s questioning of the moral basis upon which these groups now try to intervene in the Great Lakes Region, when the roots of the conflict are at their door steps. Yet they keep pushing back to Africa.
And more importantly how the colonial legacy birthed the likes of former rebel leader, Laurent Nkunda, of the now disbanded National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP).
Sackur’s, dismal posturing and failure to research well on the issues here in Rwanda and the DRC, sadly is a serious indictment of his journalistic integrity.