Thursday, November 27, 2008
clipped from: www.globalresearch.ca
Notably, in late October Nkunda’s well-armed troops surrounded Goma in North Kivu and demanded that Congo President Joseph Kabila negotiate with him. Among Nkunda’s demands was that Kabila cancel a $9 billion joint Congo-China venture in which China gets rights to the vast copper and cobalt resources of the region in exchange for providing $6 billion worth of road construction, two hydroelectric dams, hospitals, schools and railway links to southern Africa, to Katanga and to the Congo Atlantic port at Matadi. The other $3 billion is to be invested by China in development of new mining areas.
Curiously, US and most European media neglect to report that small detail. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa. The litmus will be who President Obama selects as his Africa person and whether he tries to weaken Congo President Joseph Kabila in favor of backing Nkunda’s death squads, naturally in the name of ‘restoring democracy.’.
And now Obama, the son of a black Kenyan to focus US resources, military and other,
on dealing with the Republic of Congo,
the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea,
the oil-rich Darfur region of southern Sudan and
increasingly the Somali ‘pirate threat’ to sea lanes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
What is striking is the timing. No sooner had AFRICOM become operational than major new crises broke out in both the Indian Ocean-Gulf of Aden regarding spectacular incidents of alleged Somali piracy, as well as eruption of bloody new wars in Kivu Province in the Republic of Congo. The common thread connecting both is their importance, as with Darfur in southern Sudan, for China’s future strategic raw materials flow.
Tutsi militiamen belonging
General Laurent Nkunda forced loyalist troops
to retreat from their positions near Lake Kivu
Nkunda, like his mentor, Rwanda’s Washington-backed dictator, Paul Kagame, is an ethnic Tutsi who alleges that he is protecting the minority Tutsi ethnic group against remnants of the Rwandan Hutu
MONUC UN peacekeepers reported no such atrocities
in northeast, mineral rich Kivu region
Laurent Nkunda's troops are responsible for most of these attacks, they claim.
was further set
Congo’s 83 year old Prime Minister, Antoine Gizenga, resigned after two years
commander of the United Nations peacekeeping
Spanish Lieutenant General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, resigned
citing, ‘lack of confidence’ in the leadership of DRC President Joseph Kabila
has also been involved in negotiating a major $9 billion trade agreement between the DRC and China, something which Washington is clearly not happy about.
Nkunda is a long-standing henchman of Rwandan President, US-trained Kagame. All signs point to a heavy, if covert, USA role in the latest Congo killings by Nkunda’s men. Nkunda himself is a former Congolese Army officer, teacher and Seventh Day Adventist pastor. But killing seems to be what he is best at.
Much of Nkunda's well-equipped and relatively disciplined forces are from the bordering country of Rwanda
‘President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has long been a supporter of Nkunda, who originally was an intelligence officer in the Rwanda leader's overthrow of the Hutu despotic rule in his country.’
They never fail to mention that Laurent Nkunda is supposedly fighting to protect "his people". They have failed to question his true motives which are to occupy the mineral-rich North-Kivu province, pillage its resources, and act as a proxy army in eastern Congo for the Tutsi-led Rwandan government in Kigali. Kagame wants a foothold in eastern Congo so his country can continue to benefit from the pillaging and exporting of minerals such as Columbite-Tantalite (Coltan).
Evidence which was presented in a French court in a ruling made public in 2006 claimed that Kagame was responsible for organizing the shooting down of the plane carrying Hutu President of Rwanda,
The end result of the killings in which perhaps as many as a million Africans perished was that US and UK backed Paul Kagame—a ruthless military dictator trained at the US Army Command-General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas—was firmly in control as dictator of Rwanda. Since then he has covertly backed repeated military incursions by General Nkunda into the mineral-rich Kivu region on the pretext it was to defend a small Tutsi minority there. Kagame had repeatedly rejected attempts to repatriate those Tutsi refugees back to Rwanda, evidently fearing he might lose his pretext to occupy the mineral riches of Kivu.
Since at least 2001 according to reports from Congo sources, the US military has also had a base at Cyangugu in Rwanda, built of course by Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, conveniently enough near the border to Congo’s mineral-rich Kivu region.
The 1994 massacre of civilians between Tutsi and Hutu was
‘an undeclared war between France and America. By supporting the build up of Ugandan and Rwandan forces and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo
‘Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.’
Now Kagame’s former intelligence officer, Nkunda, leads his well-equipped forces to take Goma in the eastern Congo as part of an apparent scheme to break the richest minerals region away from Kinshasha. With the US military beefing up its presence across Africa under AFRICOM since 2007, the stage was apparently set for the current resources grab by the US-backed Kagame and his former officer, Nkunda.
If France was the covert target of US ‘surrogate warfare’ in 1994, today it is clearly China, which is the real threat to US control of Central Africa’s vast mineral riches. The Democratic Republic of Congo was renamed from the Republic of Zaire in 1997 when the forces of Laurent Désiré Kabila brought Mobutu's 32 year reign to an end. Locals call the country Congo-Kinshasa.
The Kivu region of the Congo is the geological repository of some of the world’s greatest strategic minerals. The eastern border straddling Rwanda and Uganda, runs on the eastern edge of the Great African Rift Valley, believed by geologists to be one of the richest repositories of minerals on the face of the earth.
America Minerals Fields, Inc., a company heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of Laurent Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as Governor of Arkansas. Several months before the downfall of Zaire’s French-backed dictator, Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila based in Goma, Eastern Zaire had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields.
Mobutu’s corrupt rule was brought to a bloody end with the help of the US-directed International Monetary Fund.
Washington was not entirely comfortable with Laurent Kabila, who was finally assassinated in 2001. In a study released in April 1997 barely a month before President Mobutu Sese Seko fled the country, the IMF had recommended "halting currency issue completely and abruptly"
Laurent Kabila was succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila who went on to become the Congo’s first democratically elected President, and appears to have held a closer eye to the welfare of his countrymen than did his father.
Now, in comes the new US AFRICOM
to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.’
clearly aimed squarely at blocking China’s growing economic presence in the region.
AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties. By informed accounts, the Chinese have been far shrewder. Instead of offering only savage IMF-dictated austerity and economic chaos, China is offering large credits, soft loans to build roads and schools in order to create good will.
ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.’
‘This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China,
no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years.
Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China,
Posted by Jesus Reyes at 1:02 AM