Over the last few months, some issues have been raised in the US paper, The New York Times. An editorial The New York Times ran on November 12 on its online version and November 13 in its print edition, in a way tried to portray the ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to be a result of Rwanda.
Clearly whoever authored that editorial thinks that without Rwanda, the National Congress for the Defence of the People Chaired by Laurent Nkunda would be none-existent.
Earlier in the week, a leaked UN report also made claims that can be in the same light. This says a lot about the wrong information they use to write reports.
At the same time, the editorial betrays a lot of ignorance by the editorial board of The New York Times, a paper reported to be surpassed only by USA Today and The Wall Street Journal in the American print media market circulation.
The New York Times is probably doing what most American newspapers did recently. By blaming Rwanda for the problems of DR Congo, what is The New York Times trying to put across?
Political endorsements made by major news papers in the US by way of an editorial that seeks to influence voters and the public by its view points.
Thus going by this editorial, The New York Times sought to influence its readership into believing that Rwanda’s leadership is responsible for the conflict in the DR Congo.
What is perplexing is that such a “reputable” media organization should come to such a conclusion without doing its homework. It is apparent that The New York Times before coming up with such an editorial, never bothered to research on the DR Congo’s political history.
Nkunda rose up in arms to defend his people from the ex-Rwandan army and the Interahamwe militia that carried out Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda.
At the same time, it ought to be recalled that DR Congo has never been a role model for stability or good governance. They should have been able to do research in order to know that after the long years of America’s support for the late kleptomaniac Mobutu, state collapse was just inevitable.
Thus in this regard some actors in the DR Congo conflict like the CNDP are products of unique circumstances. They in short are products of circumstances beyond their own making.
By ignoring even the fact that there are genocidaire militias in Congo bent on exterminating the Tutsi people in Congo or Rwanda, the paper is doing a disservice to its wide readership and hence negatively influencing world opinion against the Rwandan people. All this brings us to one point.
The New York Times is part of America big business. By taking positions on such issues, it sets a wrong precedent, and doubts about its intentions. Western big business interests are well known to have a hand in conflicts on the African continent. And the results have been catastrophic for the African people.
The story of the blood diamonds in Sierra Leone has been well documented. The role of American multinational corporations in sponsoring Jonas Savimbi’s was machine is well documented.
Savimbi, a ruthless warlord was a regular guest to the Heritage Institute in the United States despite his heinous war crimes.
The link beween western think tanks, its media and multinational corporations is well known and hence they have little moral authority to pontificate on African issues.
Whereas Rwanda has refused to be drawn into the Congo issues, I believe the existence of the remnants of the army and militia that carried out Genocide in DR Congo provides a reason for Rwanda to be concerned.
Apparently, the high level interactions between Rwanda’s officials and their Congolese counterparts, shows that Rwanda is willing to try a pacifist approach with its neighbour.
After running the editorial, one gets the impression that subsequent stories in The New York Times about the Congo issue are in a way slanted and aimed at drawing Rwanda into the issues of the war in that part of the vast country.
This clearly speaks of a hidden agenda or dubious intentions by the journalists filing those stories and or the editorial board of the paper since they seem to justify their nature of reporting in their editorial of November 12/13.
Nevertheless, Rwanda and DR Congo have since agreed to jointly pursue the remnants of the ex-FAR, now organized under the FDLR, who are seen as a major cause of the conflict.
This shows that the two countries understand where the problem is and are willing to jointly tackle it for the good of both countries.
This renders the arguments advanced by The New York Times irrelevant. Moreover, the DR Congo government and the CNDP are now engaged in talks to resolve the outstanding issues.
The talks according to the facilitator Olusegun Obasanjo are progressing and it is hoped will bear positive results.