Rwanda Defense Forces recruit anew

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Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) recruit anew

Since 1995, the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA) never stopped being involved either directly or indirectly in numerous wars that claimed lives to over 6 million people, Rwandans and Congolese. It was by the military and logistic support of RPA that Kabila senior was able to dethrone Mobutu. It was by RPA machine that the same Kabila perished shot by one of his body guards. It was by the RPA bombs and mortars that the UN Mapping report has concluded that what happened to Hutu in Congo could be termed genocide. Even today Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) are still in Congo fighting along with a rebel movement known as M23 after other pro- RPA  armed groups have expired or metamorphosed. It is not a secret.

Since last July, fights have resumed between the Congolese Army (FARDC) and the same armed group, M23. Different UN reports have repeatedly urged Rwanda to stay away of the Congo’s situation, but in vain. The US has expressed its dissatisfaction with what is happening in that region and said that further measures could be taken against M23 and those who support it (referring to Rwanda). Stubbornly, Rwanda did as if nothing happened. Testimonies from eye witnesses confirm that on Tuesday 27, 2013 about 2000 soldiers of RDF crossed the border from Rwanda into Democratic Republic of Congo. Concomitantly, the Ministry of Defense has called youngsters between the age of 18 and 23 to enroll in the army. The announcement from the ministry of Defense stipulates that the eligible are those who have finished their education at Ordinary level ( tronc commun) and A level( Senior 6).

Given the high rate of unemployment among the youth, and given that the government scholarship scheme has been rearranged to favor mostly those children from genocide survivors’ families, in other words Tutsi; it is robustly probable that a big number of recruits will be registered. Another analysis would lead the reader to wonder why the ministry has now decided to make it public that is recruiting after being accused of, and denied fighting in DRC with M23 troops. Two main reasons are put forward: One, some sources say that RDF has lost so many fighters during these last confrontations especially because FARDC have been backed by the UN intervention brigade. And two, the ministry of defense and the RPF government by extension, wants to bring a new item into discussion after having recruited so many youngsters by force, Now, the new argument that is expected to be used more or less favorably to RDF is that all new recruits joined the army voluntarily. Nevertheless, tremendous evidence of forced recruitment including recruitment of child soldiers has been documented and it is up to the observers to decide what they want to believe. I say this because, it is not the first time Kagame and his army has been alleged of atrocities, war crimes and crime against humanity. Usually these crimes are punished everywhere in the world else except when they are committed against some Rwandans. Even when it is well recognized that the terrorist act of April 6, 1994 has sparked genocide, some great decision-makers judge it appropriate to try cases of alleged authors of genocide, leaving intact authors of the cause of that genocide. Very, very bizarre, isn’t it? Therefore a limited hope exists as to how RDF and its high naughty commanders will be dealt with. Notwithstanding the situation and its unclear possible outcomes, my message to the young men and women of Rwanda is that they should restrain and stay far away from these unending wars of Kagame’s.

While according to some observers Rwanda wants to have enough number of soldiers after hundreds of RDF men succumbed miserably since last July, for some others, this war might be the last engaged and fought during Kagame’s lifetime.

Qui vivra verra!

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