This documentary covers Germany’s use of genocide, concentration camps and ‘extermination’ policies in Africa – decades before World War Two and their use in Europe.
A hundred years ago, three quarters of the Herero people of the German colony of Namibia were killed, many in concentration camps.
Today, the descendants of the survivors are seeking reparations from the German government. This film tells for the first time this forgotten story and its links to German racial theories.
Described by the BBC as the story of Germany’s forgotten genocide. This powerful documentary by David Adetayo Olusoga took a sensitive and uncompromising look at the tragic circumstances leading to the massacre of three quarters of the Namibia population in German concentration camps built in Africa.
The programme included graphic reconstructions and did not shirk from showing disturbing scenes which revealed the savagery of european colonial ideology put into practise.
Click on link: Namibia Genocide
Wrangles evidenced recently between Kenyan Judiciary and the executive over the ruling that Sudanese strong man, Omar Bashir, be apprehended shall he visit Kenya, left many analysts flabbergasted. One judge, Ncholas Ombija, made a historical ruling when ordered the Minister for Internal Security to see to it that when Bashir sets foot on Kenyan soil, he be apprehended and handed over to The Hague to face the music. We used to read about such rulings made by European judges, famous ones being those that were made by Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu, and French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who in April 2008 and November 2006 respectively, indicted Rwandan President, Paul Kagame. When these two justices indicted Kagame, many people wrongly thought that this was a venue for only European judges. Now that Ombija has open Pandora’s Box for our bigwigs, who will be safe?
More on Kenyan justice, this historical ruling did not augur well with the executive. When cornered the vulture cries wolf. Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs was quotes as saying that the government would not abide by the ruling of its own court. What a dangerous stance? The Minister went on saying that Kenya will abide by the position that was taken by AU opposing the indictment of Bashir. How can a free country endanger its freedom for the sake of an individual who is not its citizen? Legally and logically, the constitution of Kenya is above that of AU. Whatever Kenyans do, Kenya comes first. Even if we look at two international instruments playing in this fracas, why is Kenya upholding AU’s non-binding decision whilst it violates Roma Statutes that Kenya signed voluntarily? Why is it that Kenya wants to abuse its own new constitution before even it marks a year? Why doesn’t Kenya do like Uganda that distanced itself when Bashir was invited to a conference in Kampala. Uganda successfully avoided unnecessary legal and political wrangling.
Again, Kenya is a member of East African Community. Doesn’t it see that by doing what one of its counterparts avoided, it is offending the same counterpart? It is shocking and sad that the Minister does not get it that AU has lost its legitimacy so as to support illegitimate regimes, even when they have committed atrocities against their people as it is the case with Bashir. Many were shocked to hear such law-breaking and self-inculpatory words coming from the Minister. To add insult to injury, thereafter, the Minister for Foreign Affairs was dispatched to Khartoum to mend fences. If anything, though the government in Nairobi is still flexing its muscles, the dent… deep and humongous one… has already been made. Will it be wise for the government that came to power after vanguishing dictatorship to taint its image in the defence of a dictator just the same as the one it toppled? Isn’t this high order hypocrisy?
Will Kibaki uphold the constitution and serve the Kenyans that voted for him or trumple over it and serve Sudanese strong man, and for what reasons and gains? Chances are that the executive is waging a losing battle for its peril thanks to the fact that the justice made his decision based on the provisions of the new constitution. Therefore, whoever advises Kibaki should be wise to underscore the fact that, under the new constitution, nobody is above the law. If the executive is still thinking by using the past-frozen brain when the president was above the law and the executive above judiciary, needs to be told that things have long changed. Although Kibaki spoiled the party at the promulgation of new constitution by inviting Bashir, why should he add more salt to injuries? By then thanks to the euphoria Kenyans were in, he got away with it. Will he get away with it once again? The answer is nope. Logically, it doesn’t add up even make sense for Kibaki to dent his image siding with a stinking dictator indicted for committing genocide against his own peole. What transpired in 2008 seems to have not given a lesson to Kibaki and all those that think that they can take the hoi polloi for a ride.
Moreover, chief justice Dr. Willy Mutunga has already weighed in very heavily and categorically so to speak. Responding to rants that the executive were not thinking about complying with the ruling, Mutunga was quoted as thus: “The Judiciary and its officers shall not be intimidated to bend the law”. To make his message clear, Mutunga added that Kenya must choose between anarchy and the rule of the law. Suppose the executive stick on their guns, will the judiciary allow itself to be cowered or stiff its neck and therefore create a crisis especially at this time Kenya is at war with al-Shabaab? What is the right thing to do under such circumstances?
In essence, Kenya has nothing to lose by dumping Bashir. We all know that Kenya is a major economc and political player in South Sudan. Shall it keep on thinking it can serve two masters namely Bashir and South Sudan? It should not wonder when South Sudan decided to part ways with it. For the French sage has it that “les amis des mes sont mes amis”, namely the friends of my friends are my friends. What of the enemies of my friends? They are obvious my enemies.
In sum, let us face it: will the Kenyan executive seal ignore the truth and go on defending Bashir by violating its own constitution? What precedent does the executive make in the first place? What legacy is Kibaki making? It time to warn Kenya that doing Bashir’s laundry will leave it messy and stinky.
In the wake of the enormous media coverage of the uprisings and so-defined “revolutions” in North Africa and the Middle East, I am hard pressed to find any media coverage of the escalating atrocities and impending civil war in Cote d’Ivoire. The “blackout” of this media coverage I am referring to is not within the mainstream media… which is understandable… it’s within the AfroSphere itself. One can read more on Chris Brown… even on Charlie Sheen… on blogs, news sites and webzines within the Black/African blogosphere, than on Cote d’Ivoire.
The sad thing about this is that in this age of the power of social media within the creation of communities of interest, the recent histories of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Kenya are being repeated today in Cote d’Ivoire (here)… and we don’t care. It’s an indictment on all of us, from President Obama… “a son of Africa”… to those of African descent within the continent, the Diaspora and the AfroSphere. We do nothing, then we get pissed and question the motives and sincerity of the Bono’s, George Clooney’s and Mia Farrow’s of the (white) world when they take up the causes of African people.
In saying all this however, I must acknowledge and give props to Patrick-Bernard at Cry Me An Onion for his post “The Ivory Coast Saga” in December 2010. He is one of a handful within the AfroSphere with a global perspective and understanding on the importance and significance of these issues on those of African descent regardless of where we reside.
Henceforth, the first step to do something… anything… about this is awareness. Below are some resources on Cote d’Ivoire that bring knowledge and perspective to what is happening there now:
- Aljazeera: An Ivorian Miracle?
- Crossed Crocodiles: Ivory Coast – What Happened? What Next? (excellent background and references on current situation)
- The African Executive: The Ivory Coast: Unlocking the Impasse
- Pambazuka News: Cote d’Ivoire: Forces behind the crisis and what’s at stake
Post something on your blog or webzine to bring attention to this crisis. Hundreds have been and thousands will be massacred. Atrocities such as mass murders and rapes, other crimes against humanity including genocide is forthcoming. Obama and the European allies argued that they had to intervene in Lybia to prevent a humanitarian crisis… what about Cote d’Ivoire?
Enlighten those during discussions about the so-called “Jasmine Revolutions” as well as debates surrounding military intervention in Lybia, about the fight for democracy and the current humanitarian crisis in Cote d’Ivoire. This should be our primary concern.
The mainstream media may ignore the plight of the people in Cote d’Ivoire… that’s expected… our blackout of this event… is self-imposed. The guilt will be ours.
There is bad blood between authorities in Kigali and UN thanks to unpublished report on genocide and crimes against humanity, said to have been committed by Rwanda forces in DRC. This report has caused a lot of discord between the duo. The darling of UN, Rwanda, is now frowning and threatening even to stop cooperating with UN.
The recently leaked UN report on genocide committed by Rwanda in DRC cannot pass without being discussed.
Though Rwanda has all rights to defend itself, it needs to do so by looking at and underscoring the role of the history of what happened to itself in 1994. When UN hurriedly declared that the killings in Rwanda were genocide, thanks to the UN for not preventing it, the accused people-Hutu, were not given any chance to argue their case before the general assembly that hurriedly declared the same. If precedent is to be followed, Rwanda’s denial does not help anything save to show UN’s double standard, shall it bow to the pressure and stop publishing the report.
Rwandan authorities had this to say with regards to the report: “It is immoral and unacceptable that UN, an organization that failed outright to prevent genocide in Rwanda…now they accuse the army that stopped genocide of committing atrocities in DRC.” Ben Rutasingwa Rwandan government spokesperson was recently quoted as saying.
This is the ‘big weapon’ Rwanda has always used to intimidate UN and the whole world as if Rwandans themselves had no duty to deliver!
But here the point is not moral or who stopped or failed to stop genocide in Rwanda. Here the issue is whether Rwandan army committed genocide in DRC or not, but not whether UN is blameless about Rwanda’s genocide or incompetent to probe the same. Many think Rwanda would squarely deny the allegations by bringing the facts in lieu of far-fetched defence of morality and failure.
Let’s agree. UN failed to prevent genocide from happening in Rwanda as it did in DRC. But shall UN failure be used as a pretext of burying the rights of those that were felled in DRC? If the case is to accuse UN for this, it should go on separately from this. It should not be used to deprive and tramp on the rights of DRC. Two wrongs never make a right. Today Kenya cannot intimidate the ICC in defending its post-ballots warlords, simply because ICC has failed to arrest Omar Bashir. These are two different cases with different merits, just the same as Rwanda’s allegations that UN failed to prevent genocide should not foil UN’s efforts to publish the report on DRC as the way of discharging its duty.
A monkey can still testify against it colleagues it witnessed invading someone’s farm despite being guilty of the same. What the monkey saw in this case is true and must be admissible.
If Rwanda sticks on its guns and UN cowers away, who then will prosecute the criminals that committed genocide in DRC? Shall individual countries take actions like instituting cases against Rwandan authorities as once Spain and France did? Will they be accused of sabotaging Rwanda and the development already been realized there? But all in all, the blood of the innocent people of DRC, as it was for Rwandans, cannot be spilled in vain. Something must be done to this effect no matter what.
Another point Rwanda has to consider is the fact that invading DRC was illegal ab initio. Thus, whatever transpire in that invasion is also illegal.
Why are they pulling their army from Darfur instead of refuting all facts by facts, if what was found is a mere lie? Is this the solution?
Rwanda, the just recent victims of the same crime it is alleged to have committed in DRC methinks, must face the reality and come clean. The pains it felt when genocide was committed in its soil is the same the people of DRC are feeling, despite having no strong government that can press UN to publish the report. Why genocidaires protect Darfuris against more genocide? UN missions need to be comprised of people with probity and clean track record. Refer to what happened in DRC when India’s and Pakistan’s unity were implicated in mineral smuggling.
Why is it a crime in Rwanda, under the so-called genocide ideology law for someone to doubt, negate, question and what not genocide, but when Rwanda is caught pant down it becomes another issue?
The other day I wrote that Rwandan president Paul Kagame needs to truly reconcile Rwanda and Rwandans. This did not augur well with Kigali. I was maliciously and wrongly branded a genocide denier or an argent for deniers. Why is it a crime to deny Rwanda’s genocide but not DRC’S, one that Rwanda is blatantly doing by issuing threats and intimidation?
But again, if it was possible for Rwandan authorities to come up with the numbers of those that were felled in the 1994 genocide ex-parte, even alter the whole definition that was propounded by UN, what is wrong with an independent and respected entity like UN to look into what actually transpired in DRC when Rwanda and Uganda, illegally, invaded and plundered DRC?
To do away from this heinous crime and to make sure that it won’t be repeated anywhere else, UN must form a special tribunal to look into genocide in DRC. No soul is better than another. We still remember. Rwanda and Uganda invaded DRC without any right or edict from UN. They did so under the pretext of self defence. But again, which self defence authorizes the commission of genocide and crimes against humanity in the first place?
At this juncture, UN is in hot soup. For if it hurriedly consented to the formation of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and declare Rwanda’s massacres as genocide where genocide case was generally dealt with ex-parte, why then not apply the same method with regards to atrocities that were committed in DRC?
Shall UN withdraw this report or cower away just because Rwandan authorities have threatened to withdraw their army in Darfur? The UN will end up in an awkward situation thereby losing its credibility before the eyes of the world. This should not be allowed to happen. No country has the right to act discretionary to violate the rights of other countries.
Recent attempt on the life of diplomat-turned former Rwandan Chief of Staff, Lt-Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, in Johannesburg, dented Rwandan reputation a great deal more. When did it all began? Fall-out and now attempt on lives of compatriots! When cronyism and nepotism ceased to pay back. The rosy bed became thorny and ridiculously messy.
Kigali regime distanced itself from the killings despite the allegations by Nyamwasa that they were behind it. But again, many are still asking, what did words by Kagame that he shall crush all flies (Nyamwasa and the likes) meant in the first place? On this Nyamwasa said: “In parliament he called us ‘flies’ whom he will crush with a hammer; with [the magazine] Jeune Afrique he called me a ‘traitor’.” These allegations were repeated by Nyamwasa’s wife on the wake of shooting. Stalking, silencing and killing dissidents is a cowardly-perfected weapon that used to be used by chicken-hearted stinking dictators but not reformers.
This, apart from denting Kagame’s reputation, makes it difficult for him to recapture his mojo. To do it, he needs miracles thanks to the fact that the victims who accuse him of all bad things used to be a ton of his closest allies. The only way out of this is true reconciliation and introduction of true democracy based on the will and choice of the people, not rulers.
Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, many are commiserating with the general whilst detractors are openly saying he’s fallen on his own sword thanks to being a powerful player behind the making of the current regime.
Remember Nyamwasa is among indicted top RPF officials in Spain and France for the role he played prior and during the genocide, not to mention robbery in DRC. Before the fall-out he was a highly regarded as a hero by the Kigali he helped to make. Sadly though, now it has turned against him.
His corruption allegations against his former arch-foe-turned-buddy and compatriot to whom he was a consigliore, Paul Kagame, are also damning. Unfortunately when Nyamwasa alleged that Kagame is corrupt through and through, Kagame did not deny it. Instead, the regime in Kigali offered light answers just the same way it did after being alleged it were behind the attempt on Nyamwasa. And this is not the first time for such allegations on Kagame’s hard-nosiness to surface from his inner sanctum. Apart from this making allegations likely credible, it is seen as friendship gone sour thanks to Kagame‘s desire to lead other by the nose.
What’s more, in May, Nyamwasa was quoted as thus: “I would wish to illustrate my point as follows, Firstly since President Kagame likes to talk about accountability to institutions, I would expect him to have appeared before Parliament to account for owning two XR Executive Jets which he hires to himself and makes at least two trips to America a month to receive fictitious honours, doctorates for himself and his wife or visiting his children.”
The minimum cost for each trip is close to $1 million. The two aircraft were bought by government money and registered in the names of a pseudo company. He should appear before the Ombudsman together with his adviser and an embassy official to explain where they got $100 million to buy the two executive aircrafts. The minister of finance should tell Parliament why the government should service privately-owned aircraft. Does this reflect zero tolerance of corruption which the President constantly enforces? [The Rwandan government says it leases the jets from a private company.
Ironically, apart from fighting alongside Kagame as they tried to topple the former regime, he thus has Kagame’s secrets right under his nose. And this is likely to go wide inside Kagame’s unknown. Mark my words, history is likely to make such allegations more credible than anything else. If you want to know who Nelson Mandela truly is, ask Winnie his ex-wife.
Surprisingly, when I wrote that Rwanda needs true and real reconciliation, I was branded a genocide denier. But looking at this fissure in the fall-out among Kagame and his inner sanctum, one will concur with me that what we’re told is reconciliation in Rwanda is but a hoax. How can Kagame be able to reconcile with his arch enemies (Hutus he has branded killers) and fail to do the same with his inner circle? Many are arguing this: shall it not be arrested and addressed is likely to rock the boat altogether.
This can be evidenced upon examining what the opposition sees as a cooked case the Hutu opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire, is facing. If this is not sorted out nicely, chances are some chauvinistic politicians are likely to capitalize on it and say Ingabire is harassed for the fear that majority Hutus are likely to vote for her and pull down Kagame, just like the blacks did in South African in post-apartheid elections by voting Mandela. If there would have been true reconciliation such views would not add up. This means tribalism and tribal hatred are still rampant in the core of Rwandan society.
Many political scientists believe that the majority Hutus that are unfairly, purposely and collectively referred to as genocidiares, cannot forgive this sin. What complicates things some analysts argue, is the fact that whatever the current regime says is taken wholesomely, even where it is not supposed to. Those trying to put sense into it are referred to as genocide deniers. Who is right? It is for history to tell just soon and what is going on in Rwanda is but the beginning. For nothing is forever except God.
When Ingabire and others asked the regime and those that sympathize with it to rethink about the status of genocide, she was referred to as a genocide denier and advocate of genocide ideology. There is no genocide ideology but misunderstanding of others’ feelings and views of what transpired in Rwanda in 1994. No sane mind can deny the occurrence of genocide.
After all what was categorized by international community as genocide is genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus, but not the current so-called genocide against Tutsi. Why are they ignoring the Hutus who were killed simply because they did not support the extermination of others? Is this fair for those that lost their lives for the love of others?
Though this might be seen as a bitter pill to swallow, it’d make more sense for Kagame to take Mandela’s path, retiring before being immersed into dirt as it’s has started to seem. This is the only safe, mature and heroic take that can put Rwanda’s genocide ghost to rest. It sounds nice for Kagame to retire after 16 years he’s been in power. Those wrongly or otherwise thinking he’s afraid, thanks to the mess he’s sitting on, will be put to shame by this move shall Kagame give it a nod, even a try. Comparably, Kagame’s stay in power has already exceeded any two term allowed in many constitutions in the world. If he were the president of US, he’d have already served four-four-year terms, whilst three-five-year terms and a year if in neighbouring Tanzania, or two-seven-year terms plus two years if it were France.
Zimbabwean strong man Robert Mugabe, even the Ugandan one, are in a cul-de-sac for not reading the signs of time. When a people you rule say they’re tired of you, the best thing to do is retire forthwith. And verily, there won’t be any winner in this abracadabra of attack, counter attack and denials, not to mention attempted murders by Kagame and his inner sanctum. Instead, many dirtiest linens will be put in the agora. This will surely open a Pandora’s box for the country whose stability is delicate.
Verily, Nyamwasa fell on his own sword. This reminds me of Olivia Isil’s words that when a loose cannon flogs a dead horse, there’s the devil to pay. And shall this standoff live on, chances are many secrets will be unearthed for the detriment of protagonists and their cabal.
This is none than African Union (AU) Chief Jean Ping. This gentleman originates from Gabon, the country that suffered a great deal more thanks to be manned and ruined by one dictator, that was succeeded by his son after his death. Thus, he’s suffering from this experience of being timid and an instrument of the dictatorship.
I firstly reprimanded Mr Ping in January this year when he equated South Sudanese freedom with sitting on a powder keg. Many sane people thought the AU would shut up, put up or pack up after it openly supported Sudanese strongman Omar Bashir when, on 04 March 2009, The International Criminal Court ( ICC) issued an arrest warrant in conjunction with the genocide he committed in Darfur. So too many thought the same would at least feel ignominy thanks to keeping mum for good twenty-one years as Bashir felled thousands of innocent people in South Sudan not to mention his apartheid system of discrimination against them.
No doubt. Mr Ping must have the courage of the mad to cry such hooey of such proportions. How can he add salt to the injury caused by Bashir for long while his outfit took a pew aside and laughed and still take himself as doing the right thing? Is this fair really?
If this puerile way of thinking is the typical replica of the mindset we have, then “cry for Africa”. It is even sad to note that such cheap and dangerous propaganda are promulgated by such organ that has always been a let down for Africa. AU is always hellbent to mercilessly shoot down or zap the desire for South Sudan to realize her autonomy and honour. AU that has nary united any part of Africa should however nary worry. For the new nation of South Sudan is welcome to the bubbly East African community where it feels more secured and at home than Khartoum. This is where it naturally belongs.
Let us look at his backward looking argument clinically. Mr Ping was quoted recently as saying: “From the outset we’ve argued in favour one of the options, making (Sudan’s) unity attractive.” Sadly, Mr Ping uttered the same during the events of marking African Day.
It shocks to find that such a so-regarded as senior diplomat, can’t understand or even respect the democratic rights of the people of South Sudan to decide for themselves what they want. Even the butcher he is trying to defend, Bashir, recently admitted that shall South choose to go solo, he will support and honour their decision.
Mr. Ping is worried. He added: “That’s a major problem for all African countries which could be confronted by similar situations, that’s what concerns us.” He was referring to the fact that South Sudanese seem stay put to see to it that she goes solo from apartheid Sudan, which has for long been perpetrated by pro-Arab black Africans regarding themselves Arab, whilst they actually are not.
He added his fears when he said: “Such a decision could lead us again to a number of major difficulties, including war.” One thing is imminent. South Sudanese desire to be free can only be stopped and foiled by a miracle but not human machinations. It is too late to urge South Sudan to cool her jet.
Why doesn’t AU want to face the truth that wars in Africa have always been caused by dictatorship, corruption, incompetency, impotency, lunacy, duplicity, greed and what not as far as manning Africa is concerned? Our wildcat diplomats are always horsing around attending shoptalks in the name of Africa as they leave us conned and robbed. Fault them. They will come with huffing and puffing stuff all aimed at getting away with it. They will pummel lies and threats as Mr Ping is trying to do.
Importantly, it must be clearly understood that Africa can nary return her mojo back when she’ll get and have reasonable, accountable, responsible, visionary, reasonable and civilized leaders. Not plundering dictators and Johnny-come-late things in power as it currently has.
Therefore, shall individuals or states keep on supporting such bloodletting regimes as they plunder and commit genocide like it happened in Sudan. We must introduce new laws dealing with all those with genocide philosophy or those that abet with those that committed and their criminal solidarity. Dirty laundry already done for Bashir is enough. In simple parlance, shall individual or states keep on supporting Bashir, they must be indicted by ICC. This is the only way out of this megalomania.