Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:

Monday, February 28, 2011

Corporations Reaping Millions as Congo Suffers Deadliest Conflict Since World War II

A new mortality report from the International Rescue Committee says that as many as 5.4 million people have died from war-related causes in the Congo since 1998. A staggering 45,000 people continue to die each month, both from the conflict and the related humanitarian crisis. Amidst the deadliest conflict since World War II, hundreds of international corporations have reaped enormous profits from extracting and processing Congolese minerals. We speak to Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo and Nita Evele of Congo Global Action. [includes rush transcript]
Maurice Carney, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the Congo, an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.
Nita Evele, Co-Chair of Congo Global Action, a coalition of human rights, humanitarian and other organizations advocating for justice in the DRC.

Rush Transcript

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AMY GOODMAN: The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is often called the “Forgotten War,” even though it’s the deadliest since World War II. A new mortality report from the International Rescue Committee says the death rate in the Congo remains as high today as it was during the brutal war that officially ended in 2003. The mortality survey found as many as 5.4 million people have died from war-related causes in the Congo since 1998. A staggering 45,000 people continue to die each month both from the conflict and the related humanitarian crisis, despite the presence of the largest United Nations peacekeeping force and billions of dollars in international aid.

Meanwhile, a US- and European Union-mediated ceasefire deal between the Congolese government and rival rebel factions in the east of the country has threatened to fall apart Tuesday, the deal announced Monday in the war-torn and diamond-rich North Kivu province. But Tutsi rebels from General Laurent Nkunda’s National Council for Defense of the People, or CNDP, refused to accept the ceasefire. They said the government is not doing enough to protect the Tutsi minority in eastern Congo from Rwandan Hutu militias, known as the FDLR, or Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda.

    RENE BANDI: For us, the problem of FDLR is the main problem. If that problem is apart, it’s not integrated in a global solution, I think there will be problems.

AMY GOODMAN: That was a spokesperson for the CNDP led by General Laurent Nkunda, who is wanted by the Congolese government for war crimes. Some reports indicate the talks broke down over whether or not to grant Nkunda amnesty. The representative of the Mai Mai rebel group, a Congolese militia that’s been fighting Nkunda’s forces in eastern Congo, also threatened to pull out of the agreement Tuesday.

    MAI MAI REPRESENTATIVE: We are very concerned, because we are looking for peace and we are ready to do peace, to make peace take place in our region. We are very tired with fighting. So if the CNDP doesn’t accept, doesn’t agree to send the documents, it means he needs to continue fighting against our population. And as we said, we always said and everybody know, we are just defending. We are protecting our population. As long as the CNDP should continue to reject the agreement that we need to sign, it means he needs to continue fighting. And we are ready to protect our population against any attacks, any aggression, which can come from them.

AMY GOODMAN: Over one million civilians have been displaced from the war-ravaged North and South Kivu provinces to escape fighting between government soldiers, Mai Mai militia and Tutsi rebels loyal to General Nkunda. Deo Bolingo is one of the many displaced people from this region, desperate for the peace deal to be implemented.

    DEO BOLINGO: [translated] All my hopes are in this conference. They should end the war. But if they cannot end it, at this point even old people, children, mothers and youth—the entire population, everyone—should be given a gun, so that everyone should know that they are dying for their lives.

AMY GOODMAN: Although war, poverty, malnutrition and disease continue to stalk the lives of millions of Congolese, the Democratic Republic of Congo also has some of the world’s richest deposits of mineral wealth. As a result, hundreds of international corporations have reaped enormous profits from extracting and processing Congolese minerals.

In June 2007, the Congolese government initiated a process to review sixty-one mining contracts established during the war in the so-called transitional period from 2003 to 2006. The review is complete, but the government has yet to publish the results. When a Congolese newspaper published in November what it claimed were leaked results of the review, several publicly traded mining stocks in the New York, London and Toronto exchanges plummeted. The leaked report indicates that the contracts could be renegotiated or even cancelled.

Maurice Carney is with us in Washington, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the Congo, an advocacy group that seeks to raise awareness about the crisis in the Congo. Nita Evele is a Congolese activist and co-chair of Congo Global Action, a coalition of humanitarian, human rights and other groups advocating for justice in the Congo. Maurice Carney and Nita Evele join us from Washington, D.C.

Can you, Nita, lay out the crisis right now on the ground?

NITA EVELE: OK. Good morning, Amy, and thank you for having us. The crisis on the ground is that the rebel group of Nkunda and the Mai Mai and all those people attack the population in villages. And right now we have almost 800,000 people displaced in the Congo. They were fleeing the conflicts between the army of FRDC—I mean, the Congolese army, who are fighting the militia of General Nkunda. So there’s a big crisis, and people are suffering on camps without food and water. Kids are dying of cholera and other diseases.

AMY GOODMAN: Maurice Carney, the International Rescue Committee calls this the worst conflict since World War II. You’ve written extensively about the involvement of multinational corporations in fueling the unrest. Can you talk about this?

MAURICE CARNEY: Certainly. When you look at the Congo, you have to look at the corporate influence and everything that takes place in the Congo. When you look at the situation as it currently is, people usually talk about rape occurring at horrendous scales. However, there are basically two types of rape taking place in the Congo. One is the rape of the women and children, and the other is the rape of the land, the natural resources. And the Congo has tremendous natural resources. We’re talking about thirty percent of the world’s reserves of cobalt, ten percent of the world’s reserve of copper, eighty percent of the world’s reserve of coltan. And these multinational corporations are profiting at enormous rates while the Congolese people are suffering tremendously.

AMY GOODMAN: Which companies?

MAURICE CARNEY: Well, there are a number of companies. From 2001 to 2003, the United Nations did a report on the illegal exploitation of the natural resources of the Congo. There are a number of American companies. We have Cabot Corporation, for example, out of Boston, Massachusetts, that was named in that report. Cabot—the former CEO of Cabot Corporation is Samuel Bodman, current Secretary of Energy in the Bush administration. We have the OM Group out of Cleveland, Ohio, is another company, American company, named in the report. We also have Freeport-McMoRan, who acquired mining rights from Phelps Dodge out of Phoenix, Arizona, who have been involved in copper exploitation in the Congo. And Global Witness said the copper mines, the Tenke Fungurume mine that Freeport-McMoRan has, represents one of the richest deposits of copper in the world. However, the Congolese government and Congolese people are not benefiting from the contracts that were established and that provided Freeport-McMoRan with those resources.

We have a number of Canadian companies. Almost every Canadian prime minister since Pierre Trudeau has been involved in the mining company in the Congo. We’re talking about Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, all of them profiting from the natural resources of the Congo while the Congolese people suffer. The reports from the Congolese government state that eighty percent of the population live on thirty cents or less a day, while you have billions of dollars going out the back door and into the pockets of mining companies.

AMY GOODMAN: Maurice Carney, you write how the $500 million investment in assuring, well, then-President Kabila’s ascendancy to power “was the beginning of the pay off for the West’s investment. It is for this reason,” you say, “that many Congolese surmised that Kabila was summoned to Washington in October 2007 because he may have strayed from the game plan when he signed a $5 billion deal with China.” Even as he ventured there, you say, to Washington, “he first had to stop in Phoenix, Arizona to visit Tim Snider (recently replaced by Richard Adkerson), CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.” Talk more about this relationship. Yes, corporations are there, but what exactly are they doing? Who are they making these deals with?

MAURICE CARNEY: Well, they’re making these deals with the Kabila government. In fact, Kabila was put in place by the Western powers because he was pliant leader. He was going to facilitate access to Congo’s vast geostrategic resources. So that’s the reason why Kabila—the main reason why Kabila was put in power. The International Crisis Group had done a study in 2007 which stated as much, where it documented that Western ambassadors were celebrating that Kabila won the elections, because they now knew that they would have the legitimate access to the natural resources of the Congo.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Maurice Carney, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the Congo, and Nita Evele, co-chair of Congo Global Action. Nita, how aware are people on the ground of these large multinational corporations and their relationship to what’s happening?

NITA EVELE: Oh, the country knows about all that. We see, since Kabila is in power, all the multinationals are there thriving. The Congolese people know about all the contract-reviewing commission. We had one in 2006 by Lutundula, who never had been publicized to the population, but it was leaked to the internet, and everybody saw how all those companies made a deal with Kabila to plunder the country. They sold MIBA, for example—MIBA is the diamond company in the Kasai—for only $14 million, while the company was making a hundred times more than that. So the country knows about what’s going on.

And usually, the people in the Congo used to do diamond—like an artisanal miners, but since those company bought all these lands, they cannot mine those lands anymore. Some villages were sold to the Russians, for example, and the people were kicked out of their land. So it’s a big mess, big, big mess. And people know about that. There are rivers who were sold to multinational company, and people cannot go take—have water to drink. So it’s something that people know about, and people are talking about it. And everybody know how those companies are benefiting and Kabila’s people are benefiting, and the country and the population are getting poorer and poorer every single day.

AMY GOODMAN: Maurice Carney, the role of the international financial institutions, like the World Bank?

MAURICE CARNEY: Yes, there’s really four entities that are involved in keeping the Congo dependent, and one of those entities are international financial institutions, multinational institutions, such as the IMF and the World Bank. In fact, Antonio Guterres had given an interview earlier in January to the Financial Times where he stated that the International Monetary Fund had set up financial rules that pretty much restrict the Congolese government. At least they prevented the Congolese government from having the necessary resources to pay its soldiers. And as a result of the government not having the resources to pay its soldiers, the soldiers then feast on the population through—by stealing, by raping. So you see how the constriction that’s put on the government by the international financial institutions feed the violence that is there in the Congo.

In addition to that, you have the World Bank, for example, which went into the Congo much in the fashion as Naomi Klein describes in her disaster capitalism: they went in after the conflict in 2002, established the mining laws, and the mining laws provided the legal framework for the multinational corporations to come in and establish contracts with the government. Now, even though the mining laws were in place and they required transparency and adherence to the OECD laws, the mining companies came in, and the contracts were opaque. They weren’t transparent. And World Bank studies clearly document this, but they have refused to publish those studies which demonstrate how the mining contracts that’s been established by multinational corporations are actually odious contracts and absolutely do not serve the interests of the Congolese people, but serve the interest of investors from the West.

AMY GOODMAN: Maurice Carney, can you talk about the foreign fighters? It’s often described as a civil war, and yet the fighters from Uganda and Rwanda, what role do they play?

MAURICE CARNEY: Right, a “civil war” is a misnomer. Congo has been invaded twice, first in 1996 primarily by Rwanda and Uganda, when they installed Kabila in power, and they did this with the backing of the United States. They could not have invaded the Congo without the backing of the United States, as Cynthia McKinney documented in her congressional hearing in 2001. Then, when Kabila did not serve the interests of the Rwandans and the Ugandans and the US, then he was gotten rid of. He was assassinated on January 16, 2001.

The Rwandans and Ugandans then invaded the Congo a second time in 1998. And it was this second invasion that the study from the IRC—it has been documented—where 5.4 million Congolese have died. Fifty percent of those Congolese are less than five years old. And the main cause of death is not so much of violent conflict, but from treatable diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia, all diseases that can be treated. So you have basically Rwanda and Uganda playing a destructive role in the Congo.

When they established peace deals to get—to be removed from the Congo, they left proxy forces in the Congo who were controlling areas that were endowed with gold and tin and diamonds. So even though the Rwandans and Ugandans backed out, and even though they profited tremendously while the were in the Congo with their own forces, they left proxy forces in the Congo. And this started in the Clinton administration and extended into the Bush administration. And if you recall, Amy, during this time, they were saying that Kagame of Rwanda—

AMY GOODMAN: We have ten seconds, Maurice.

MAURICE CARNEY: OK. Kagame of Rwanda, Museveni of Uganda were the future leaders of Africa, and one thing they all had in common is that they’ve invaded other African countries.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there right now, but we will come back, because this is a critical discussion, the worst conflict since World War II. Maurice Carney, co-founder and executive director of Friends of the Congo, and Nita Evele, co-chair of Congo Global Action
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Congo: Six killed in 'coup bid' against Kabila

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila (file photo, 24 October 2010)  
Mr Kabila was not in his residence at the time of the attack

BBC: Six people have been killed in an attack on a residence of the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
An "unidentified group of armed men" attacked the residence of President Joseph Kabila in the capital, Kinshasa, a government spokesman said, describing the raid as an attempted coup.
Mr Kabila's guards killed six of the men, the spokesman said.
Joseph Kabila took power in 2001 after his father, President Laurent Kabila, was assassinated.
He was later elected in his own right.
Plagued by violence In 1998, DR Congo was plunged into a war in which more than five million people died - the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The conflict formally came to an end through a peace deal in 2003, but the east of the country is still plagued by army and militia violence.
"We have witnessed a coup attempt," said Information Minister Lambert Mende, according to Reuters news agency.
"A group of heavily armed people attacked the presidential palace. They were stopped at the first roadblock."
President Kabila was not in the building at the time of the attack at 1330 local time (1230GMT), Mr Mende said.
In addition to the six men killed, several others were detained, he added.
On 15 January, parliament backed a proposal by Mr Kabila to reduce presidential elections from two rounds to one.
The change means the winner can claim victory with less than 50% of the vote.
Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in November 2011.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Did America Conspire to Cover Up a Genocide in the Congo?

Adapted from the DAILY KOS
Last week, Bernard Ntaganda was sentenced  to four years imprisonment for “endangering state security” and “harboring ethnic divisionism.”  The former charge is all too familiar to human rights activists and is little different from similar politically-motivated prosecutions across the globe.  The crime of “divisionism,” however, codified as “sectarianism” under Rwandese law, is relatively unique.  The closest parallels to these laws are probably most familiar to Americans as “hate speech” laws common to Europe, but prohibited by the First Amendment in the United States.
    International human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have concluded that Mr. Ntaganda was almost certainly targeted for his opposition to the regime of President Paul Kagame.  President Kagame is not well known in the United States, but he owes his prominence to the role he played in ending the 1994 Rwandan genocide as leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, or RPF.  The sanitized version of this story was distributed to American audiences briefly in the award winning film Hotel Rwanda.  Unfortunately, the politcally correct version omits several important facts, omissions that help explain the current political climate in Rwanda and the slide toward authoritarianism on the part of Kagame and the rest of the political leadership.
Writing for Foreign Policy magazine last August, former Democratic Senator Robert Krueger, who served as ambassador to Burundi, a neighbor of Rwanda with similar laws and ethnic divisions, offered some personal insight into Kagame that was far from flattering.  He describes a man engaged in a retaliatory, politically-charged campaign of revenge against Rwandan Hutus.  Indeed, the Rwandan genocide and subsequent RPF campaign would ultimately trigger the Second Congo War, an event with a staggering if still disputed death toll.  Although he does not mention Clinton by name, the passing reference to the complicity of the United States speaks volumes.
    Enter Peter Erlinder.  After failing to prevent the genocide or to effectively manage the humanitarian and security crises that followed in its wake, the international community decided to prosecute those responsible.  Security Council Resolution 955, passed in November of 1994, established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  China abstained, and Rwanda opposed the resolution as enacted.  Nevertheless, the vote of the Security Council was final, and the ICTR was made manifest. Eventually, Erlinder would join the defense team.
    As a defense attorney, he has been relatively successful.  One of his more high profile clients, General Gratien Kabiligi, was acquitted of all charges two years ago, in a decision that infuriated the Kagame regime in Rwanda.  His success has not been free of controversy. The emerging version of the Rwandan genocide brought out by the publication of the tribunal’s decisions as well as academics, witness accounts and the memoirs of Carla Del Ponte, the former chief prosecutor, conflicts with the prevailing narrative preferred in the United States, a version that first embraced by the Clinton administration in an effort to minimize its complicity with both the onset of the Tutsi mass murders and the retaliatory campaign waged by Kagame against Hutus and “traitorous” Tutsi.  This transnational terror campaign helped provoke the Second Congo War, a mass ball of suffering that has snuffed out the lives of nearly six million Africans by some estimates.
An ICTR exhibit, a memorandum issued by George Moose to U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, shows that the Clinton administration was aware of this retaliatory campaign by at least September of 1994:
ICTR Military-1 Exhibit, DNT 264, September 10, 1994 Memo from George Moose to Warren Christopher, U.S. Secretary of State:                 A UNCHR investigative team that spent July and August in Rwanda [i.e. Gersony] has reported systematic human rights abuses by the GOR (i.e. RPA/F) forces – including systematic killings – in the south and southeast of the country.  The team has concluded that the GOR is aware of these reprisals against Hutu civilians and may have sanctioned them
                On the basis of interviews with refugees/individuals, the UNCHR team concluded that a pattern of killing had emerged.  The RPA convened meetings of displaced persons to discuss peace and security.  Once the displaced persons were assembled, RPA soldiers moved in and killed them.  In addition to these massacres, the RPA engaged in house to house sweeps and hunted down individuals hiding in camps.  Victims were usually killed with hoes, axes, machetes and with fire. Although males 18-40 were at the highest risk the young and elderly were no spared. The team estimated that the RPA and Tutsi civilian surrogates had killed 10,000 or more Hutu civilians per month, with the RPA accounting for 95% of the killing.
                The UNCHR team speculated that the purpose of the killing was a campaign of ethnic cleansing intended to clear areas in the south of Rwanda for Tutsi habitation.  The killings also served to reduce the population of Hutu males and discouraged refugees from returning to claim their land.
 Defense Exhibit DNT 264
    Why did the United States ignore this humanitarian disaster that was unfolding before its very eyes? There are a variety of reasons, but for the most part it can probably be reduced to political expediency and an unwillingness to further complicate an already complex situation.  It was, in short, a “quick fix,” and because Africans were involved, it was not a pressing matter that would require much deliberation or investigation.  Even before our “first black president” William Jefferson Clinton was embroiled too deeply in his sex scandals, Rwanda was a minor annoyance.  After all, a year and a half into his presidency he was confronted with a genocide that the U.S. and other Western states (most notably France) had failed to prevent, despite our noble but ultimately empty promise of “Never Again.” Or as Gerard Prunier, a French historian, puts it:
“These combined factors-a fatal attraction for what U.S.. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake once called ‘a quick fix solution,’ the lack of a genuine interest at the government level, and the short attention span of the general public-have given us the “Great Lakes crisis” storyboard of the past thirteen years: 1994: Genocide in Rwanda.  Horror.
1995: Festering camps.  Keep feeding them and it will eventually work out.
1996: Refugees have gone home.  It is now all over except in Zaire.
1997: Mobutu has fallen.  Democracy has won.
1998: Another war.  These people are crazy.
1999: Diplomats are negotiating.  It will eventually work out.
2000: Blank.
2001: President Kabila is shot.  But his son seems like a good sort, doesn’t he?
2002: Pretoria Peace Agreement.  We are now back to normal.
2003: These fellows still insist on money.  What is the minimum price?
2004: Do you think Osama bin Laden is still alive?
2005: Three million Africans have died.  This is unfortunate.
2006: Actually it might be four million.  But since the real problem is Al Qaeda, this remains peripheral.
2007: They have had their election, haven’t they? Then everything should be all right.
 The result is rather strange.  A situation of major conflict is reduced to a comic book atmosphere in which absolute horror alternates with periods of almost complete disinterest from the nonspecialists.  Massive levels of physical violence and cultural upheavals are looked upon from a great distance by theoretically powerful international institutions who only dimly understand what is actually happening.  There is great use of stereotyped categories (advance warning, failed state, humanitarian emergency, confidence-building process, national reconciliation, negative forces, national dialogue, African ownership of the peace process) which are more relevant to the Western way of thinking than to the realities they are supposed to address.  The desperate African struggle for survival is bowdlerized beyond recognition, and at times the participant-observer has the feeling of being caught between a Shakespearian tragedy and a hiccuping computer.”
Africa’s World War: Congoa, The Rewandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe, by Gerard Prunier.
      It is against this backdrop that we enter the strange case of Erlinder and the Rwandese crimes of “divisionism” and promotion of “genocide ideology.”  President Kagame, by most accounts, was not interested in slaughtering the Hutus, but he was interested in terrorizing his political opponents, playing the West (including the United States) like a fiddle and discouraging any further investigation into the retaliatory atrocities committed under his leadership.  There is no denying that Kagame was aware of these massacres; he was silent in the face of United Nations documents that reported the retaliatory massacres committed under his watch, although they were submitted to him.  You see dear American reader, in the aftermath of the Hutu campaign against the Tutsi, there was a period of recrimination and finger pointing, the “gutunga agatoki” system of justice.  Thousands were arrested, a mix of genuine killers, victims of property disputes, common criminals, hapless bystanders and the rest.  The RPF, under Kagame’s leadership, was able to do whatever it pleased.  The retaliatory killings were nasty, to be sure, but by February of 1996, an additional 80,000 people were in “detention centers,” facilities that were often makeshift and almost always overcrowded.  In Gitarama, where over six thousand prisoners were stuffed in a jail designed for 600, Medecins San Frontieres recorded a thousand deaths over an eight month span between October 1994 and June of 1995.  These “places of detention” included only sixteen actual jails, according to the Red Cross.  The rest included, inter alia, holes dug into the ground covered with corrugated iron sheets weighted down by cement blocks.  In October of 1994, Judge Gratien Ruhorahoza made the mistake of attempting to free forty people who had no files.  One of the few judges left standing in the chaos (there were 36), he was promptly kidnapped by Kagame’s military and later murdered.  Indeed, 26 magistrates (out of 270 left after the genocide from a previous population of about 800) were arrested as “genocidaires” when they attempted to free detainees they considered innocent.
    Lovely people, the RPF.  They may have had additional reasons for quashing any thorough investigation.  The event that precipitated the Rwandan genocide was the 1994 assassination of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira.  In 2008, former Chief Prosecutor for the ICTR Carla Del Ponte published her memoirs, Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals, and the Culture of Impunity.  In her book, Del Ponte reveals that she was on the brink of indicting Kagame for the 1994 assassinations before Pierre Prosper, the Bush administration’s Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes, intervened and warned her that she would be fired if she refused to help the U.S. cover-up of Kagame’s crimes.  She refused, and found herself out of a job:
According to Del Ponte, her ICTR Office had the evidence to prosecute Kagame for “touching-off” the Rwanda Genocide by ordering the assassination of Rwanda’s former President Juvenal, Habyarimana, long before 2003. She also details the dozens of massacre sites, involving thousands of victims, for which the current Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and his military, should be prosecuted.   The well-publicized canard, that “the identity of the assassins of Habyarimana is unknown” is a bald-faced lie, well -known by ICTR Prosecutors, according to Ms. Del Ponte. Two years after Del Ponte was removed from office, Stephen Rapp became “Chief” of ICTR Prosecutions with access to all of the evidence known to Ms. Del Ponte, and more that has been made public in the past few years. During his four years at the ICTR,  Rapp like Del Ponte, also  was in a position to prosecute Kagame and members of the current government of Rwanda but, not ONE member of Kagame’s military has been prosecuted at the ICTR, to date…and the “cover-up” revealed by Del Ponte, continues today.  And, unlike, Ms. Del Ponte, who was fired by the U.S., Mr. Rapp was first rewarded with an appointment as Chief  Prosecutor at the U.S.-funded Sierra Leone Tribunal and now, a coveted ambassadorship.
 The Rwandan War Crimes Cover-Up, by Peter Erlinder
    Not to be outdone by the complicity of the Clinton and Bush administrations, President Obama, our first president of African descent, rewarded Rapp with his current job.  Like most U.S. presidents, Obama is hoping that no one will notice, or care...or perhaps he does not even care himself.  This is the periphery, after all, and his administration is too busy following AIPAC’s lead at the UN Security Council     to be bothered with justice for millions of victims in a region that simply does not interest the beltway.
    President Obama and our Rwandan clients have their hands full, however.  Last year,  Le Monde Diplomatique  released a leaked 2010 report of the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  This report documents the crimes of the RPF under President Kagame.  It is quite damning, according to  The Guardian:
The Rwandan government reacted angrily to the report today, dismissing it as "amateurish" and "outrageous" after reportedly attempting to pressure the UN not to publish it by threatening to pull out of international peacekeeping missions. Rwanda's Tutsi leaders will be particularly discomforted by the accusation of genocide when they have long claimed the moral high ground for bringing to an end the 1994 genocide in their own country. But the report was welcomed by human rights groups, which called for the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes. The report by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) covers two periods: Rwanda's 1996 invasion of the country then called Zaire in pursuit of Hutu soldiers and others who fled there after carrying out the 1994 genocide of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis, and a second invasion two years later that broadened into a regional war involving eight countries.
Rwanda's attack on Zaire in 1996 was initially aimed at clearing the vast UN refugee camps around Goma and Bukavu, which were being used as cover by Hutu armed forces to continue the war against the new Tutsi-led government in Kigali.
Hundreds of thousands of the more than 1 million Hutus in eastern Zaire were forced back to Rwanda. Many more, including men who carried out the genocide but also large numbers of women and children, fled deeper into Zaire. They were pursued and attacked by the Rwandan army and a Zairean rebel group sponsored by Kigali, the AFDL.
The UN report describes "the systematic, methodical and premeditated nature of the attacks on the Hutus [which] took place in all areas where the refugees had been tracked down".
This leak followed the Rwandan government’s decision to prosecute Peter Erlinder for “genocide ideology” based on his ICTR work.  The Kagame regime also arrested and prosecuted one of his clients, Victoire Ingabire, for the same upon her return from exile in advance of the 2010 elections.  A cosmopolitan, liberal activist who resided in Europe for the better part of the last decade, the regime is not risking Ms. Ingabire’s release.
    Why not? Because the prosecution of defense attorneys and exiled activists fits a much larger pattern of cover-ups by the United Nations, the United States and the Kagame regime.  As Christopher Black, who serves as lead counsel for the Hutu former Gen. Augustin at the ICTR, explained last September when detailing the accidental discovery of an inculpatory 1994 letter by Kagame:
The accidental discovery of this Aug. 10, 1994, letter from Paul Kagame to his “Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza” was met with an immediate reaction by the prosecution, who accused the defense of fabricating it, pointing out a typo in the letterhead. But this line of criticism failed, as it was shown that there are other letters in existence from the RPF on the same stationary, with the same typo in the letterhead, and these letters are regarded as authentic. That someone regarded the letter as authentic and dangerous is highlighted by the fact that I was followed by a Tanzanian police officer the night after I produced it in court and was forced to complain about this surveillance in court the next day. Yet the prosecution continued its attacks on the letter’s authenticity, even though the document came from the files of the prosecutor. And this important revelation during the Military II trial was never reported in the mass media – though I did send it to many journalists, including the New York Times.
Now that the draft U.N. report on the atrocities committed by the RPF in the Congo has been leaked, the findings of the very first U.N. report of RPF atrocities against the Hutus beginning in 1994 should also be recognized and addressed.
The U.N. must explain why the record of that 1994 presentation by Robert Gersony was marked “confidential” and why the latest draft U.N. report does not refer to it.
The prosecutors at the ICTR must explain why they hid these documents from the defense for nearly 15 years and why, even though they have these documents in their possession, they have never once used these documents to bring charges against a single member of the RPF.
Last, Paul Kagame and his American, Belgian and British collaborators must explain the meaning of the letter – and, in particular, the meaning of the phrase, “plan for Zaire.”
    The letter is very short, but very revealing:
“‘Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza, we have the greatest honor to extend our sincere gratitude to you both for your financial and technical support in our struggle that has just ended with the taking of Kigali. “‘Rest assured that our plan to continue shall be pursued as we agreed at our last meeting in Kampala. Last week I communicated with our big brother Yoweri Museveni and decided to make some modifications to the plan. Indeed, as you have noted, the taking of Kigali quickly provoked a panic among the Hutus who fled to Goma and Bukavu. We have found that the presence of a large number of Rwandan refugees at Goma and the international community can cause our plan for Zaire to fail. We cannot occupy ourselves with Zaire until after the return of these Hutus. All means are being used for their return as rapidly as possible. In any case, our external intelligence services continue to crisscross the east of Zaire and our Belgian, British and American collaborators the rest of Zaire. The action reports are expected in the next few days.
“‘Concerning the Burundi plan, we are very content with your work to ensure the failure of the policies of FRODEBU. It is necessary to paralyze the power of FRODEBU until the total ruin of the situation in order to justify your action that must not miss its target. Our soldiers will be deployed this time not only in Bujumbura but in the places you judge strategic. Our elements stationed at Bugesera are ready to intervene at any moment. The plan for Burundi must be executed as soon as possible before the Hutus of Rwanda can organize themselves.
“‘In the hope of seeing you next time at Kigali, we ask you to accept, dear brother, our most respectful greetings’.
“Gen. Paul Kagame
“Minister of Defense (signed by his assistant, Mr. Rwego)”
Christopher Black,  U.S./U.N. Cover-Up of Kagame's Genocide in Rwanda and Congo
    The United States House of Representatives and Senate must begin an investigation into the possible complicity of the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations immediately.  Our hands may be soiled with the blood of millions, but we can begin to rinse at a moment’s notice.  As Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report puts it, in light of the leaked UN OHCHR report:
Carnage on such a scale could not have occurred were it not for the connivance of the United States, which has nurtured Kagame at every juncture. After training him for major operational command, the U.S. funded Kagame’s rebels through its Ugandan client, President Yoweri Museveni. When Kagame’s rebels invaded Rwanda, some of them still dressed in Ugandan uniforms, the Americans dismissed the Hutu president’s complaints. When the plane carrying the Hutu president and his Burundian counterpart was shot down by a missile – almost certainly by Kagame’s men – and mass killing broke out, the US. forced the United Nations to withdraw from the country – a move that could only have been of advantage to Kagame’s well-trained and armed forces, which quickly conquered all of Rwanda. When United Nations reports showed Kagame was killing 10,000 Hutus a month inside Rwanda, even after the opposition had collapsed or fled, the United States halted an investigation. Then Kagame’s men swarmed into Congo, and the larger genocide began. The leaked UN report cannot be put back in the bottle. Kagame, who labels all critics “genocidaires” or apologists for genocide, is exposed as “the greatest mass killer on the face of the earth, today,” as described by Edward S. Herman, co-author of The Politics of Genocide. Kagame’s mentors and funders in the U.S. government, who aided and abetted his genocide in Congo, must be held equally accountable – if not more so, since United States corporations derive the greatest benefit from Congo’s blood minerals, and the U.S. military gains the most advantage from Rwandan and Ugandan services as mercenaries at America's beck and call in Africa.
It would be great if Kagame pitched a pathological fit and made good on his threat to withdraw his soldiers from Haiti, Chad, Liberia and Sudan. But that would seriously inconvenience the United States, whose interests the UN “peacekeeping” missions serve. Kagame has no problem killing Hutus by the millions in Congo, but he will not dare upset the superpower to which he owes his bloody career.
 Rwanda Crisis Could Expose US Role in Congo Genocide
     My own interest in Peter Erlinder's case began in June of last year, when a friend of mine alerted me to the ICTR’s “Note Verable” to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Government of Rwanda.  This was the second note sent to the Ministry.  As Kate Gibson, an ICTR defense attorney, explained in an American Law Institute article published last year:
The response from the ICTR was neither as swift nor as clear. Despite filings
from defense teams requesting varied forms of relief, such as the
suspension of proceedings and the withdrawal of a defense counsel, the
ICTR took the following steps. On May 31, 2010, the ICTR sent a Note
Verbale to the Rwandan authorities seeking clarification of whether Erlinder’s
arrest was related to his mandate as an ICTR defense counsel. Secondly,
the ICTR spokesman announced that because Erlinder was not on an official
mission in Rwanda as lead counsel for Major Ntabakuze, the ICTR did not
have the “power or the vocation for giving lawyers any immunity in cases that
are not related to the ICTR’s mandate.”Following this announcement, the
Rwandan Prosecutor-General responded to the ICTR Note Verbale,
predictably stating that Erlinder’s arrest was in no way connected to his
assignment at the ICTR, thus clearing the way for his prosecution.
The ICTR’s hands-off approach became more difficult when, contrary to
earlier public statements, the Rwandan authorities continued to link
Erlinder’s arrest to his work as a defense counsel at the ICTR. On June 7,
2010, the High Court of Gasabo rendered a decision denying Erlinder’s
request for provisional release. This decision focused on Erlinder’s academic
writing, parts of which are critical of and impute criminal responsibility to
members of the current regime in Rwanda for crimes committed in 1994.
However, in summarizing the Prosecution’s submissions, the High Court
referred on three occasions to statements made by the Rwandan
prosecutors regarding the link between the alleged genocide denial and
Erlinder’s pleadings as a defense counsel in the Military I case. For
example, according to one statement, “during the Military I Trial at the ICTR,
Carl Peter Erlinder denied and downplayed genocide. He managed to prove
that genocide had not been planned nor executed by the military officials he
was representing.” The Court itself concluded that Erlinder should
“answer for his acts at the ICTR.”
This was the critical link. And one which was reinforced by public statements
made by officials in Rwanda. On June 11, 2010, the Rwandan Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Cooperation was reported as stating, “[i]t is important to
alert the public on [sic] this deliberate confusion by defence lawyers.
Rwandans will not sit back and watch as the history of Genocide is being
distorted. We will prosecute them aggressively.”
Despite the establishment of this link, the ICTR remained without a
consistent position. On June 9, 2010, defense teams were presented with
two irreconcilable statements from the Registrar and Chambers on the
ICTR’s stance. For his part, the Registrar, in response to a request for
withdrawal from another defense counsel, ruled that he was “not persuaded
that Mr. Erlinder’s arrest has anything to do with his work in ICTR, as his
travel to Kigali was not in any way connected in any way to his mandate at
the ICTR.” In a decision rendered on the same day in Niyezimana, Trial
Chamber III held that “it appears from the available information that the
charges against Peter Erlinder are partly related to his submissions before
the Tribunal during the Military I case.”
As such, the situation remained unclear. It was at this point that the United
Nations Office of Legal Affairs in New York “advised the ICTR to formally
assert immunity for Professor Erlinder without delay and request his
immediate release.”[16] Consequently, on June 15, 2010, after Erlinder had
already been imprisoned for nineteen days and hospitalized twice, the ICTR
Registrar reversed his position and sent a Note Verbale to the Rwandan
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, notifying Rwandan authorities
that Erlinder enjoys immunity and requesting his immediate release.
    This raises serious questions about the ICTR itself, particularly in light of the refusal to prosecute the Kagame regime for its war crimes, and the apparently substantiated allegations of conspiracy and cover-up that have been raised by defense counsel working in Arusha.  One thing is certain: We need a prompt thorough domestic investigation into these allegations.  If they are substantiated, there are officials within the U.S. government who helped Kagame carry out war crimes in the mid to late 1990s, and have used the United Nations to orchestrate a cover-up of their complicity.
    Defense attorneys, human rights activists and interested watchers have serious questions for our political leadership.  Three presidential administration’s may have played a role in a serious crime and a cover up of the same.
    Does anyone care? Is anyone listening? For now, the answer appears to be no.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

March 2 - US Congress - Washington DC - Congressional Briefing on the UN Mapping Report about genocide in the Congo

The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of...Image via Wikipedia

by Kambale Musavuli on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 1:24pm
Congressional Briefing to Address Justice and stability in the Congo and Great Lakes Region of Africa
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) released the official “Report of the Mapping Exercise" in October 2010. The report documents "the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003”. Over 200 Congolese organizations have called for the report to be addressed by the international community.

Human Rights Watch executive director, Kenneth Roth says: "If followed by strong regional and international action, this report could make a major contribution to ending the impunity that lies behind the cycle of atrocities in the Great Lakes region of Africa."

Philip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs said: “The United States is firmly committed to helping the DRC and other nations in the region take positive steps to end the corrosive cycle of violence and impunity.”

The United States has a key role to play in making sure that justice is delivered to the people of Central Africa. US tax dollars fund US allies, Rwanda and Uganda who are deeply implicated in mass atrocities, crimes against humanity, war crimes and possibly genocide in the Congo.

The American taxpayers should be assured that their tax dollars are not supporting mass atrocities in Africa and perpetuating a war, which has killed an estimated 6 million people, making it the deadliest conflict since World War II.  The Congressional briefing can serve as a first step in delivering justice to the people in the heart of Africa.

Who: African Great Lakes Advocacy Coalition (Africa Faith and Justice Network, Friends of the Congo, Foreign Policy in Focus, African Great Lakes Action Network, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda, Congo Global Action Coalition, International Humanitarian Law Institute of St. Paul, Mobilization for Peace and Justice in Congo)

What: Briefing on the UN Mapping Exercise Report and its Implications for US Policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region


Brian Endless, Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation
Bahati Jacques, Africa Faith and Justice Network
Nita Evele, Congo Global Action Coalition
Nii Akuetteh, Africa Policy Analyst
Emira Woods, Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute of Policy Studies

When: 2 P.M. – 4 P.M. Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Where:  Room 2226 Rayburn House Office Building (US Congress - Capitol Hill)
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20515

RSVP: or 202-584-6512
Contacts:  Friends of the Congo
Phone:  202-584-6512

For more information, please visit or
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Rwandans ask UK Members of Parliament to follow through British prime minister’s new foreign policy on dictators

On February 25th, 2011, a group of Rwandans living in UK organised a public protest in front of the UK Parliament. They requested from Members of the British Parliament to put pressure on Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, for the unconditional release of all political prisoners held in Rwandan prisons. Among the detainees are
  • Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Chairperson of FDU-Inkingi in prison since October 14th, 2010
  • Me Bernard Ntaganda, Chairperson of PS-Imberakuri in prison since June 24th, 2010 and sentenced to 4 years in prison
  • Mr Deogratias Mushayidi, President of PDP-Imanzi sentenced to life imprisonment
  • Dr Theoneste Niyitegetse, former presidential candidate of 2003 elections imprisoned since then
  • Charles Ntakirutinka Founder of PDR-Ubuyanja in prison for more than 10 years
  • Journalist Agnes Uwimana Nkusi, sentenced to 17 years in prison
  • Journalist Saidati Mukakibibi, sentenced to 7 years in prison
  • And thousands more detained in inhuman conditions in Rwandan prisons for their political opinions
Participants to the protest also denounce politically motivated sentences of 24 and 20 years in prison made in abstentia by the High Military Court in Kigali against General Kayumba Nyamwasa, Colonel Patrick Karegeya, Dr Théogène Rudasingwa et Dr Gerald Gahima.
David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister publicly admitted recently in Kuwait that Britain and the West made “false choices” to support oppressive regimes that trampled on human rights. ‘As recent events have confirmed, denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability – rather the reverse,” said the Prime Minister. As a logic consequence of that new reality and understanding, protesters would like to see Britain translating such change of foreign policy by stopping immediately their unconditional support to Paul Kagame’s regime. It has abused Rwandans and other populations of the Great Lakes region in the millions. They would also want to see Britain use its leverage position towards the Rwandan government to push for political reforms before it becomes too late for peaceful change.
Asked by BBC World Service how they intended to proceed since in the past Britain has never considered officially Rwanda to be a dictatorship, Ambrose Nzeyimana, who represented the protesters, replied that Rwandans knew too well how oppressive and atrocious Kagame’s regime was. He added that they were planning to work with individual members of parliament to get the issue tabled during question time for ministers at the House of Commons. Such approach has successfully worked in the past. They don’t see why it wouldn’t work this time; particularly when one takes into account social uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa against dictatorial regimes
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Liberation wave: Rwandans cannot be left behind

From Newsline By Charles B Kabonero

The uprising in the Arab world; Tunisia, Egypt, Libya should not be seen or construed as civil disobedience, turmoil or anything of the sort, but rather a sign that, when dictators decide to close all avenues of  possible peaceful   transition to the much-needed democracy, they pave  way for exactly what we are seeing. And anyway, the demonstrations can still lie in the category of peaceful quest for freedom. Don’t they? Zenawi, Kagame, Yaya Jameh and other unrepentant dictators on the continent will disagree of course.
Closing all avenues in this case means; silencing the population with heavy state machinery, no meaningful elections, no dialogue and no participation in issues of national interest by the citizens. Citizens are share holders who won’t and should never sit and see their stake being shared between a few self-promoted individuals. The uprising in the Arab world offers another lesson; issues not personality cult should be the deciding factor in issues of governance and national survival.
In the past, it’s been about dictator one by one turning African countries into personal entities, changing constitutions at will to serve their interests, and now, it could be time for the real shareholders to demand their share-freedom, rights and above all democracy. It’s only fair. 
 There is no doubt that every African keeps an eye on what is going on in that part of the world, the north of the continent. The reasons for this vary; but the most paramount is that, about all African citizens are craving for democracy…meaningful democracy and a more accommodative political discourse. The uprising in every sense, offers serves good lesions for Zimbabweans, Rwandans, Gambians, Ethiopians, Eritreans and many others on the continent.
In Rwanda for example, people will be reminded that they have been silenced by Kagame’s regime to the level where only a selected few individuals decide for ten million Rwandans; the exodus of Rwandans into exile and the ever increasing number of political prisoners in the Central African country is a big testimony to the escalating authoritarian rule in Kigali.
Rwanda a country that, sixteen years ago witnessed one of the worst massacres of innocent individuals in the 1994 genocide of tutis and mass massacre of innocent hutus, is now ruled by a ruthless, intolerant dictator who uses genocide as tool to silence any form of dissent and opposition. And like in Tunisia, Kagame and his close relatives have taken over the wealth of the small and poor country, investing millions of dollars of the country’s wealth in their private businesses, thanks to the lack of powerful institutions to question such actions.
The rule of law has been well replaced by Kagame’s instructions; anyone who dares to question his decisions will face the wrath of compromised judges, prosecutors, Police and the known and unknown intelligence and national security apparatus serving Kagame. 
The media world over is awash with stories of how the independent media has been well crashed in Rwanda, opposition intimidated with trumped up charges mainly of genocide ideology, divisionism and spreading harmful propaganda. There is virtually no any political space in the country.
To pencil in a few facts here, the recent concluded presidential elections were marred by intimidation, political arrests including one of the Kagame’s lead rival, Ingabire Victoire, who doesn’t expect a fair trial, assassination of another opposition leader, Kagwa Rwisereka  and killing of a critical journalist, Leonard Rugambage. Several others fled for their life.
Despite all this, Kagame has thrived thanks to among others the huge uncritical support he enjoys from the US and UK, his two strong allies and lead donors of both development and military support. Kagame, unrepentant war load who for many years has unleashed terror on the neighboring Congo, living many Congolese homeless and hopeless, remains a darling of the two countries and continues to establish himself to position himself as a life president using the same personality cult that the Khadafis an
d Mubarakas used. And while, American can criticize Khadafi, Kagame is portrayed as an exemplary leader on the continent. 
Today, Rwandans can only look to the northerners for inspiration. For Rwandans to ever dream of democracy, good governance, justice and equality, it’s important to look at the courage and determination of the Arabs. Of course, there a million differences both structural and cultural, like the literacy level, issues of race and all, but, lessons are there to be learn; Rwandans must know, that their destiny lies in own hands and efforts; they must realize that, an autocratic regime that Kagame has established can only be crashed by the share holders of Rwanda, regardless of whether the US and UK support him or not.        
Like the Khadafis,  Kagame has amassed a lot of wealth over the last sixteen years, not from anywhere else but the taxes of Rwandans and their resources.  His accounts are well protected in Europe and America, while his properties including executive jets were exposed recently in South Africa. Rwandans know, they deserve better and like the Arabs, it’s within their powers to stop Kagame.  Africans have spent a longtime trying to learn from the Western world on how to achieve democracy, but, it hasn’t worked. Now, the Arabs offer practical lessons with the dominating ingredients being courage and determination.
It’s only natural that the US and UK will continue to support Kagame as long as it serves their own interests and stake, but, Rwandans cannot be deterred by that support. The two and others with hidden interests will continue to praise Kagame and talk up Rwanda’s amazing recovery and development even when Rwandans are being shot on the street, politicians being jailed, journalists freeing for their life as long as their interests are met. We can only expect that.
I’m insisting on the donors because, about every Rwandan I talk too, is adamant that, unless the US and UK withdraw their blind support from Kagame, change is a dream.  I think Egyptians have proved everyone with such thinking wrong. Of course, America will want to play big role in shaping future of Egypt from here, with a need to protect its interests, but, they may fail, if the people’s resolve remains intact.  It’s time for Africans to act; it looks sure and Rwandans cannot be left behind

Monday, February 21, 2011

Five planes, a camel, a tent and 30 female virgin bodyguards... Libyan leader Gaddafi arrives in Paris with his entourage Read more:

gaddafi paris Gaddafi arrives at Paris' Orly airport with his crazy entourage close behind him and clad in his usual robes

gaddafi sarkozy paris Parisien formalities are nothing compared to the entourage Gaddafi has brought with him on his five-day visit to the French capital

gaddafi sarkozy paris Nicolas Sarkozy greets Colonel Gaddafi with a strong shake of the hand in Paris

Don't be deceived: The Libyan leader's female guards are trained to kill

The conventional treatment for a visiting head of state is five-star accommodation and a fleet of limousines.
This one brought his own tent and camel.
Security might consist of some hefty male bodygaurds and strategically-placed marksmen.
This VIP brought 30 blue-uniformed females, all supposedly virgins.
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Few of the orthodoxies of a state visit remained unchallenged as Colonel Muammar Gaddafi breezed into Paris in his Bedouin robes yesterday.
His 400-strong entourage arrived on no fewer than five planes before heading to the Hotel de Marigny, where the Libyan leader will pitch his heated tent in the grounds.
He was said to be bringing a Saharan camel with him in order to "greet visitors in the true desert tradition".
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His personal unit of female guards clad in blue camouflage uniforms, who will protect him around the clock, are trained killers.
Gaddafi raised his fist triumphantly in the air as he arrived at the Elysee Palace, where he was greeted by President Sarkozy.
Sarkozy extended the invitation after French involvement in the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a doctor who were condemned to death in Libya earlier this year.
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Since then, the two countries have been strengthening their ties with several billion pound trade deals including the purchase of Airbus planes, fighter jets and a contract to build a nuclear reactor for civil use in Libya.
Libya ended decades of isolation from the international community four years ago when it gave up its pursuit of nuclear arms and renounced terrorism.
Libyan-French relations further improved when Tripoli accepted responsibility for the 1989 shooting down of a French airliner over Niger and offered compensation to the victims.
During his five-day visit - his first to France since 1973 - Gaddafi will tour the Palace of Versailles, dine at the Ritz Hotel and meet representatives of the North African community in France.
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A French foreign ministry spokesman said: "His country traditions dictate that he travels with his tent and a camel, and arrangements are being made for this."
Not everyone in France was as at ease about the visit as the presdident seemed, however.
Rama Yade, the country's Secretary of State for Human Rights, said France should demand "guarantees" on human rights from its visitor.
"Colonel Gaddafi must understand that our country is not a doormat on which a leader, terrorist or not, can come and wipe the blood of his crimes off his feet. France should not receive this kiss of death," he said.
While Gaddafi has not been in France for 34 years, his son Hannibal has made quite an impact there.
The 28-year-old playboy triggered a major diplomatic incident in Paris two years ago when he was arrested for allegedly punching his pregnant girlfriend and wrecking a hotel suite.
He had to be arrested by armed police at the Paris Intercontinental, but was later released on bail.
Six months earlier he was pulled over for driving his Porsche at 70mph down the Champs-Elysees.
Two years before that, Hannibal was arrested for attacking three Italian policemen with a fire extinguisher while on holiday in Rome.
In all the incidents, he successfully claimed diplomatic immunity and no charges were ever brought

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