Thursday, July 31, 2008

Startup Weekend Hamburg

Kagame's advisors

End Rwanda’s Support of General Laurent Nkunda in DR Congo

Letter writing campaign to U.S. Congress to put pressure on Rwandan President Paul Kagame to stop aiding the dissident general Laurent Nkunda! If Nkunda’s funding from Rwanda is cut off then his army will desert him and his grip on the gorilla sector of Virunga National Park will, we hope, lessen. PLEASE write to your Congressional reps and urge them to put pressure on Rwanda to stop funding Nkunda. Robin Andreae wrote a sample letter for us to use. Please feel free to add your own comments or write your own letter. You can contact all of your Congressional reps at or on their individual Web sites available at and allows you to contact all your representatives, including the president, at one time and has a handy meter that gauges the effectiveness of your letter by number of words. The letter below meets their criteria for length. You may also send a letter by snail mail or fax.

The Democratic Republic of Congo endures what the United Nations calls the deadliest conflict since World War II. We need to help stem the flow of blood and violence. I request that we strongly urge President Kagame and the Rwandan government to act immediately to stop any and all support of the rebel leader and war criminal Laurent Nkunda, to cut off the recruitment from its territory of individuals, including children, as fighters for Laurent Nkunda’s forces, and to comply with the UN arms embargo by ensuring that no military equipment crosses its frontier into the DRC. His whereabouts have been well known, yet nothing has been done to capture him.

Nkunda occupies part of Virunga National Park and park rangers can no longer safely patrol the park for snares, poachers, and illegal charcoal makers. Funds have been raised for his war from the illegal charcoal trade that destroys vast acres of the park’s lush forests and prime wildlife habitat. If we do not act soon, the population of rare mountain gorillas may soon vanish, charcoal looters and poachers will irreparably destroy a world treasure, Virunga National Park, and the Congolese people will bear the scars of war and famine for generations to come.

Thousands of Congolese citizens have fled from the fighting. Many of the refugees suffer from exposure, malnutrition and diseases like malaria are common. Please urge President Kagame to end any relations between his government and the rebel Laurent Nkunda. We must act now.

My favorite actress: Pam Grier

Gorgeous black women

blog was moved here

Rwanda's Kagame says ICC targeting poor, African countries

I wrote the other day "when is Kagame coming to the Hague", and we can read here that he is feeling the danger approaching slowly. Just as one famous congolese singer, Koffi Olomide sang: "truth comes by the stairs, lies come with the elevator". The day for Kagame is approaching every second that passes.

But Paul Kagame likes to play on different tables at the same time. Roger Winter, the American who loves revolutionary movements came with Kagame when he was fighting his guerilla war before the two presidents of Burundi and Rwanda had been shot down by Kagame. This Roger Winter is now working with rebels in Sudan. He likes to use the genocide-argument against a government of a sovereign state to justify sending arms to those rebels.

Paul Kagame now has to stay friends with both sides, and he is good at that. The only question is, how long can Kagame play this double game. He also uses different language when he speaks in Kinirwanda. To look good in the eyes of western world he placed a lot of women in his "parliament", he subsidized football to make sure people think he is a modern african leader. But all those things have nothing to do with democratic development.

The murder of refugees in the Congo, of which there are soo many witnesses, won't go away wishing they would. It is still there, it won't go away, just as the history of slavery can't go away from the Netherlands, by wishing.

But Kagame as a person isn't really the problem, it's more the stupidity of people that keep some idealistic dream about "innocent Kagame" alive that I find particularly repulsive.

Migrants contributions for democratic development

The Asylum Coordination Austria (asylkoordination österreich) is organising an international conference in Vienna from 2nd - 4th October 2008 on the topic of „Migrants’ and refugees’ contributions to democratic development in Europe –Possibilities of civic participation“. The aim of the conference is to highlight ways of improving participation of migrants, and shall promote exchange and cooperation among political and civil society actors, mainly among migrant and refugee community organisations and concerned NGOs.

The conference is realised in cooperation with our research partners (ZSI - Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna, Charles University Prague) and with European and Austrian migrant and refugee advocacy organisations (ECRE – European Council on Refugees and Exiles, ERAD European Refugee Advocacy Organisation, the Africa Centre Chiala` Afriqas). The EU-programme „Europe for Citizens, Active Civil Society in Europe” is supporting the event.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Museveni's open letter

Museveni buying biological/chemical weapons?

Museveni aide ‘bought chemical, bio weapons’

Monitor correspondent

A Danish national appeared before a London court on Monday on charges of transferring chemical and biological weapons to Mr Ananias Tumukunde, an aide to President Museveni who has been in the custody of British authorities for several weeks on charges of money laundering.

Mr Niels Jørgen Tobiasen, 55, who appeared before the Southwark Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing, is a director in a Copenhagen-based firm that supplies sophisticated software and hardware to armed forces in the United States, Great Britain, Nato, and to more than 20 other countries.

He is suspected of having dealings with Mr Tumukunde, a Ugandan diplomatic passport holder, who was arrested in the UK on April 3, charged with five money laundering-related offences, and remanded at Hamondsworth Prison. Mr Tobiasen was arrested on July 17 in London after a two-month investigation, and three months after Mr Tumukunde first appeared in court.

Mr Tumukunde was not in court on Monday when Mr Tobiasen appeared before Southwark Crown Court but prosecutor David Levy asked Justice Martin Beddoe to have the two suspects appear in court together when trial starts on August 22.

According to the indictment seen by Daily Monitor, it is alleged that between April 1, 2007 and April 4, 2008, Mr Tobiasen “conspired together with Ananias Tumukunde and Lt. Col. Rusoke Tagaswire to transfer, acquire, use or have possession of criminal property” in contravention of Britain’s Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Prosecution says Mr Tobiasen “on the 15th day of January 2008 transferred criminal property, namely Chemical and Biological weapons”.

Lt. Col. Tagaswire, a Uganda People’s Defence Force officer, is still at large. A bio-chemist with a degree in toxicology, Lt. Col. Tagaswire was part of the team appointed by President Museveni last year to investigate the suspicious death of Brig. Noble Mayombo who died after a sudden and intense illness that aroused suspicion of poisoning. The report of their findings has not been made public.

During Mr Tumukunde’s last appearance at Southwark Crown Court, the prosecutor, Mr David Whitaker, alleged that Uganda’s diplomatic mission in London was not cooperating in the case against President Museveni’s adviser. Uganda’s High Commissioner to London Joan Rwabyomere denied the claim in an interview with Daily Monitor.

“Yes, we received the questionnaire from [the Crown Prosecution Service]. I forwarded the questionnaire to the Attorney General in Kampala but we haven’t received the response,” Ms Rwabyomere said.

Deputy Attorney General Freddie Ruhindi claimed the office had not received the questionnaire and referred inquiries about the two Ugandan officials back to the high commission in London. The High Commissioner and her deputy, Ms Mumtaz Kassam, were not available for comment.

The army and the government yesterday denied any wrongdoing but pledged to cooperate with the investigators. The Presidential Guard Brigade Spokesman, Capt. Edson Kwesiga, said; “It’s true Lt. Tagaswire is one of us but it’s not right to say he has connections with Mr Tumukunde. We are more than willing to help the investigators in this case with any information they may require.”

The Minister of Information, Mr Kirunda Kivejinja, said yesterday: “We want to identify the actual mission he (Tumukunde) had gone for, but as government we don’t do clandestine work. We will assist in giving any information they (investigators) want….”

Ms Kassam and President Museveni’s legal aide Fox Odoi have been seen outside the London courthouse where Mr Tumukunde is being tried.
Lawyers working for the Kampala government have separately asked court to either drop the charges against Mr Tumukunde or have him released on bail but on both occasions, the judges have concurred with prosecutors; Mr David Levy and Mr David Whitaker that Mr Tumukunde should remain in custody as investigations continue. Each count against Mr Tumukunde carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail.

Chemical and biological weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction. The release of nerve agent sarin in a Tokyo subway in 1995 was a rare terrorist chemical attack while the mailing of anthrax bacteria to government and news media offices in the United States in 2001 is one of the most recent examples.

Uganda is a signatory to both the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibit the use of these types of weapons due, in part, to the indiscriminate nature of their lethal effects.

Karenzi Karake

Les Nouvelles de Kigali

Eyewitness from Kagame's Rwanda

All around as you travel throughout Rwanda you see the same professional framed portrait of President Paul Kagame, signifying the new age of this country, while all throughout the same country you see men in pink and orange, stark reminders of a not so distant dark past. Digging ditches, planting grass blade by blade (there are no sod farms around here), building new homes for those in poverty and cleaning the streets, these are the Rwandan inmates, most arrested for various acts of terror during the genocide. You can’t easily escape a past where murderers once consisted of almost half the entire country’s adult population… Apparently the government was once criticized for taking advantage of their inmates, by using them as free laborers, but the government’s response was by saying “it was by the hands of these men that this country has fallen, and it will be by the help of their hands that it will be rebuilt”.


That makes logical sense too. Despite the whispers, this country appears to be on a positive track.

Then we happened upon a Belgian man, one of the past historical colonizers of this country (and as such we were told not to respect much of what he had to say), and he told me things that the rational mind still had to consider. Take for example, the genocide inmates themselves. Their time in the prison is dictated by a trial known as “gacaca” (pronounced ga-cha-cha) during which they give testimony to all their genocidal crimes and are judged accordingly. The men are supposed to be kept separate post trial so they are not given a chance to plan any false stories together, thus making their testimonies genuine. When I talked with the Belgian man he told me a broken story about how one of his coworkers who had been a refugee of the genocide was recently arrested and sent to prison because one of the prisoners had a grudge on his family and falsely accused him of various atrocities during his turn at the gacaca. The man is still currently incarcerated under these untrue pretenses. The Belgian man also said that in all three years of his stay in Rwanda, the speech that the President gave during the victory day celebration [commemorating the end of the genocide] has changed. At first the speech honored the massacred Tutsi and moderate Hutus, which is indeed politically correct, but has evolved today into a speech solely honoring the Tutsi from the Hutu predators. The man told us that he fears that the government has some sort of hero complex, taking the honor and glory they achieved freeing this country and using it to stay in parliamentary power. Even the upcoming elections he said are not entirely democratic, because each of the running parties came from the original RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) Party, the same as the current government.

Museveni’s son graduates from US college

From left to right is Gen. William of the US Command and General Staff College, President Museveni, Maj. Muhoozi Kainerugaba and First lady, Janet Museveni.


HE had lived in a US military college for almost a year, but no one had any idea he was Uganda’s first son. But come graduation, Major Muhoozi Kainerugaba could not conceal his family background — the son of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda.

The secret was only let out a few weeks to graduation day, when families were warned about added security at the ceremony.

Officials at Fort Leavenworth, the US Army Command and General Staff College in Kansas had remained tight-lipped about the identity of one of their graduands. But come Friday, Major Muhoozi Kainerugaba could not conceal his family background — the son of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of Uganda.

Maj. Muhoozi, UPDF officer RO 8643 was among 800 military students who on Friday graduated at the completion of a 10-month US Army Command and General Staff Officer Intermediate Level Education course which started in July last year.

The 34-year-old first son was one of 50 international officers to graduate among more than 7,000 from the international officers’ programme since 1908. The college, one of the oldest United States Army facilities, is often referred to as the “Intellectual Centre” of the US Army.

Established in 1881 as a school for infantry and cavalry, the 127-year-old college serves as a graduate school for US military and foreign military leaders.

The college’s notable foreign alumni include President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Jaafar Numeiry of Sudan, Gen. Dieudonné Kayembe Mbandakulu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani of Pakistan. It was not Muhoozi’s first experience at a world famous military college.

Eight years ago, in 2000 he graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy in the UK. Muhoozi went to school at Kampala Parents School, King’s College Budo and St. Mary’s College Kisubi and Nottingham University in the UK, where he studied political science before joining the army in 2001.

The American press reported that while many parents brought cameras to savour the moment, Museveni, his wife Janet and their daughter-in-law, Charlotte Muhoozi, were accompanied by a crew with camera and film equipment.

“There was no hiding the suits with earpieces assigned to protect the president,” reported The Kansas City Star in their lead article titled “Graduate of the Command and General Staff College is son of Uganda’s president.”
It was the first time that a sitting president attended graduation ceremonies as a parent, officials said. Fort Leavenworth, public affairs office said Museveni was attending the ceremony as a special guest.

The President, according to the US press did not sit on stage with other American dignitaries. Instead, he did his best to keep the focus on the nearly 800 graduates. He and his family sat in a reserved section not far from the other proud parents. The commencement speaker, Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, paused to recognise the family and the work they have done to help stop the spread of AIDS/HIV.

It was reported that Muhoozi kept a low profile for nearly a year as he studied alongside Americans and international officers at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.
He went unrecognised when he went out for dinner, to the grocery shop and elsewhere.

“He wanted to just be one of the students and he really was,” said Lt. Col. Teena M. Barber.

After Muhoozi and other graduates received their diplomas, the Musevenis had dinner with the local families, who occasionally hosted Muhoozi at their homes during his stay in the US.

On the eve of the graduation each of the international military students received the Command and General Staff College International Officer Graduate badge according to a tradition that began in 1964. The badges were introduced after a request by international officers who wanted a distinctive emblem to indicate that they were graduates of the CGSC. 

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, who addressed the graduates, said in an interview afterward that Uganda is important for the United States militarily and strategically in the global war on terrorism. “Africa’s the continent in play. The president and Uganda are a key country in this,” Brownback said.

During a press conference afterwards, President Museveni said that the United Nations and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) now had the responsibility of dealing with the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels, who have been pushed into the DRC.

Museveni described the rebels as a “proxy” for Sudan’s government, and pledged that Uganda would help Congo or the United Nations find a peaceful resolution of the conflict but added: “It is the responsibility of the Congo government to deal with them there.” link to story.

Museveni's clampdown on journlists and opposition


DP activist and journalist Siraje Lubwama arrested

As President Museveni's clampdown on the voices of criticism to his rule continues, we are getting information that Siraje Lubwama of the Democratic Party and a journalist with the Daily Monitor has been arrested.

Lubwama was arrested in Kampala but we do not yet have details of exactly where and where he has been taken.

Details are still coming in. Lubwama is a regular guest on talk shows on Radio Simba and Radio Buganda.

The vice chairman of the Uganda Young Democrats, Fred Dennis Mukasa Mbidde was arrested last Friday and held without charge, past the 48 hours that the law stipulates.

-- 28 Jul 2008 7pm EAST


Kizeba refugee camp

Jugendstil in the Netherlands

Müllersches Volksbad in München

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blog about Uganda

The Congo Wars

interview with LINDA DE HOYOS

Susan Rice involvement in Congo and Sudan

Alexandre Kimenyi about Paul Kagame's RPF

I have won the wrath of my former comrades in the struggle who are now in power because of my opinions. I have not understood, either, why my suggestion of creating a Ministry of Genocide would anger the Rwandan authorities whose legitimacy comes from the international community belief that they stopped genocide. RPF defeated and removeda genocidal regime. It is a fact and it should be congratulated for that. It did not stop genocide, however, because there no single part of the country where genocide didn't take place. The genocide spread even beyond the Rwandan borders after RPF's victory when Laurent Kabila, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, gave orders to exterminate all ethnic Tutsi in DRC. Many of my friends inside Rwanda have advised me to keep quiet if I want to visit the country. I wish I could but I can't. This is the price I have to pay.

Dragan Dabic: Healing from Within

Radovan Karadzic realy has talent.

Truth and Reconciliation for Rwanda

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pourquoi on est pas né sous la même étoile

The Gersony report

Timothy Wirth seems to have read the Gersony report, he will meet Kagame again in 2009 at the annual conference of AAAS in Chicago

The 1997 U.S.-sanctioned counter-genocide of Hutu refugees in DRC

Witness to Genocide: personal account of Kibeho Massacre

Read this personal account by Paul Jordan:

Paul Jordan served eight years in the Australian Special Air Service Regiment which included operational service as a member of the United Nations Mission to Rwanda in 1995. He currently works for AKE Ltd., a company owned and operated by ex-Special Forces soldiers from the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. In his role as Operations Manager for AKE-Asia Pacific, Paul works closely with the media, non-government organisations and large corporations. During the recent conflict in Iraq, Paul acted as security consultant to CNN journalists embedded with the United States 7th Cavalry.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beyond Hotel Rwanda : Finding Real Peace in Africaʼs Great Lakes Region

The Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the future of Rwanda and its regional neighbors on Thursday, June 19th at the Beane Ballroom, Loyola University School of Law, 111 E. Pearson in Chicago, Illinois.

Distinguished Panel Included:

The Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the future of Rwanda and its regional neighbors on Thursday, June 19th at the Beane Ballroom, Loyola University School of Law, 111 E. Pearson in Chicago, Illinois.

* Paul Rusesabagina, founder of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation & real life hero of the film Hotel Rwanda,

* Ambassador Robert Krueger, former U.S. Senator and Ambassador to Burundi, (1994-1996),

* Ambassador Robert Flaten, Ambassador to Rwanda, (1990-1993),

* David Zarembka, founder of the African Great Lakes Initiativewhich works on the ground healing and rebuilding communities within the African Great Lakes Region,

* Dr. Brian Endless, Moderator of the Discussion, Loyola University Professor of Political Science and International Relations and the Executive Director of the American Model United Nations International

The focus of this panel discussion was moving the process of Peace and Reconciliation forward in Rwanda and around the Great Lakes Region of Africa. The genocide in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region may be past, but the need for healing and reconciliation is still very much alive.
While the HRRF is engaged in helping the victims of the genocide in Rwanda and other instances of violence, it also strives to educate the general public about the need for these survivors to move past the events that have defined them for fourteen years. Real peace and healing can only occur when the truth is fully revealed. An internationally administered Truth & Reconciliation Commission will go beyond blame, and help survivors by revealing the fate of their friends, family and loved ones, and thereby giving them closure.

arrestatiebevelen tegen Rwandese FPR

copyright De morgen
België is bereid om de Spaanse arrestatiebevelen tegen leden van het Rwandees Patriottisch Front (FPR), de partij van de Rwandese president Kagame, eventueel op Belgische bodem te laten uitvoeren. Dat zegt Federaal procureur Philippe Meire in een interview met het onafhankelijke persbureau Hirondelle.

"Laten we duidelijk zijn: de arrestatiebevelen zullen uitgevoerd worden buiten de personen die immuun zijn voor rechtsvervolging om", zei hij in het interview dat op 19 juli werd gepubliceerd.

Officiële delegatie
"Rwanda is aangedaan omdat we hen hebben gewaarschuwd dat de Spaanse arrestatiebevelen zouden uitgevoerd worden tegen een Rwandees die de delegatie begeleidde die in mei dit jaar naar België zou reizen. Maar wij zijn tegenover de Spanjaarden wettelijk verplicht om de bevelen uit te voeren", aldus de federale procureur.

Meire verwijst naar het bezoek van de nieuwe Rwandese minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Rosemary Museminali aan België dat in mei te elfder ure werd afgelast. Reden daarvoor was de aanwezigheid in haar delegatie van Joseph Nzabamwita, de nummer twee van de buitenlandse veiligheid in Rwanda.

Misdaden tegen de menselijkheid
Zijn naam komt voor op de lijst van veertig Rwandese officieren, leden van het FPR, tegen wie de Spaanse rechter Fernando Andreu op 6 februari arrestatiebevelen wegens "genocide, misdaden tegen de menselijkheid en terrorisme" heeft uitgevaardigd.

Meire wijst er ook op dat als een ontvankelijke klacht wordt ingediend tegen het FPR voor de Belgische rechtbanken, die zal worden onderzocht. Hij reageert op de steeds weerkerende kritieken over partijdigheid van de rechtbanken, waarvoor vooral Hutu's verschijnen die beschuldigd worden van betrokkenheid bij de Rwandese genocide van 1994. Terwijl het FPR, dat grotendeels uit Tutsi's bestaat, ook verdacht wordt van grove misdaden.

Het federaal parket heeft de authenticiteit van de uitspraken van de procureur bevestigd. Het onderstreept dat het Belgische gerecht zich moet houden aan de uitvoering van alle internationale arrestatiebevelen. Maar bepaalde personen kunnen wel genieten van immuniteit door hun aanwezigheid in een officiële delegatie, aldus een woordvoerster. (belga/mvp)

Truth and Reconciliation

Rwandans discuss peace in The Hague - 26 April 2008 from on Vimeo

Since Bemba has been arrested, it's time some of the 40 something Kagame military criminals come over and face justice in the Hague.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When will Kagame come to The Hague?

After Sudanese strong man Omar Hassan Bashir's indictment by the ICC, Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, within a hair’s breadth of being indicted, has smelled a rat. He recently manipulated Rwandan parliament to enact a law giving him immunity from prosecution for life!

Many wonder. Why should this come after the indictment of Bashir? Is Kagame trying to save his face before the hammer lands on him? Is this going to be a loophole for other African skew-whiff rulers to manipulate their parliaments so as to do away with it?

He who lives by the sword will die by the sword. Nonetheless, Kagame can wrongly rest assured: his ploy will work. His involvement in genocide will never be forgotten. His hands are dripping with blood. His despoilers say. If he jumps this smoking gun, he’ll never do the same to heinous killings and theft he committed in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC sued Rwanda and Uganda and the matter is still sub-judice. We thus can not discuss it.If anything, Kagame and Ugandan dictator, Yoweri Museveni are likely to end up in prison just like Charles Taylor former President of Liberia.

To prove that this move aims at protecting Kagame, many still wonder why this law should come after Rwandan former president Pasteur Bizimungu has already been imprisoned, if at all it aims at protecting former rulers.Will Rwandan authority redress Bizimungu whose offences were framed?

The amendment says that a former president cannot be prosecuted on charges for which he was not put on trial while in office. This clause tells it all. Being in power and making sure that he won’t be prosecuted, Kagame introduced this clause purposely well aware of his manipulation of Rwandans. This has also been used in Uganda.

The pressure is on and high. Judges in France and Spain have accused President Paul Kagame of involvement in killings linked to the 1994 genocide. In April, a Spanish judge said he had evidence that Mr Kagame was linked to the killing of Hutus after the genocide, sparking fury in Rwanda.

In 2006, a French judge accused Mr. Kagame of ordering the attack against the plane carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana - whose death sparked the genocide. President Kagame has always denied the charges and says Mr. Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed by Hutu extremists and blamed on his Tutsi rebels to provide the pretext for carrying out the genocide.

In another attempt to hoodwink the world, the parliament passed the law saying that the constitution will now refer to the 1994 genocide as a "genocide committed on Tutsis". What of the so-called moderate Hutus that were killed? Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 1994 after Kagame’s Rwandese Patriotic Forces invaded and topple the former Hutu-led government.

It’s alleged that RPF brought down presidential jet carrying president Habyarimana Juvenal and Burundian former president the late Ntaryamirwa Cyprien. They all died thereof. Is it a right time that Kagame faces the moment of truth? Shall ICC ignore this, indeed it’ll be tad hypocrisy.

Women of the African Diaspora

Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm FWT

As part of the Kwakoe festival in Amsterdam there will be a conference for Women of the African Diaspora (this event is open to Women only).


Moderator - Joan Ferrier (Equality)

Presentations/Panel Discussion:
Being a Black Woman in a Global Society - Rosemary Ekosso, Netherlands
Surviving and Thriving in the Corporate World- Sandrine Joseph, France


Carmen Breeveld, Suriname/ Netherlands
Ginette Perine Bebeung, Germanry
Cheryl Donovan, US
Lesley-Ann Brown, Denmark
Adrianne George, Sweden
Jurny Azubiah, UK

Musical Performance:
Carole Beausaint Denis, UK and The Netherlands

Networking Hour

Sisters with businesses will be able to display and sell their products.

Travel Partner:
Contact Liliane Andree for travel arrangements to Amsterdam:
Hotel near the central Train station with double rooms 26-28.07 for € 268, excluding breakfast and tax.

Gift Sponsors:
Mariposa Imports
Freshly Made Cosmetics


Monday, July 21, 2008

Walking around in Matonge, Ixxel

Palais Stoclet

For those that love art nouveau, art deco, Jugendstil Brussels is defenitely a great destination. I have not seen everyting, but everytime it makes a great impression. Even though I have loved art nouveau since I was 8 years old. Victor Horta's house is great, I love the serre he added on top of the house. Too bad nobody lives in it though.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

someday my prince will come

Maar moet hij eerst een "inburgeringscursus" volgen?

"een regelrechte blunder"

"Een regelrechte blunder. Zo wordt de misser rond de Wet Inburgering Buitenland genoemd".

Het zou goed zijn als de politici eerst eens het rapport van Human Rights watch over discriminatie in Nederland zouden lezen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Migrants not ready for democracy

I met a VVD member of the city council in Rotterdam last year. I asked him about the lack of representation by migrants. And he bluntly said to me that he thought a lot of immigrants were not ready for democracy.

That was kind of a scary remark. To me that reminded me of the Pinochet experiment by american economist. Or the neoconservatives doing business with dictators like Museveni and Kagame.

Democracy in my view is a dynamic process in which you try to be faithfull to your own views. The alternative to democracy is violence.

In some way I can understand why a member of the VVD is not really a fan of democratisation. Their predecessors in the nineteenth century didn't think it was necessary to expand the right to vote to all dutch citizens.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What is real love?

"Love is giving someone the ability to destroy you, and trusting them not to"

Is that true? Someone has a better definition. How do you know you love someone? How do you know you just love the body, eyes, etc of the person?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Massacer of refugees in RD Congo

Bashir and genocide

Omar al Bashir's situation isn't very enviable in Africa. An easy target for those that are against terrorists and dictators. Especially with the situation in Darfur.

What I myself find especially intriguing is the fact that Paul Kagame provided 1/3 of the troops in Darfur.

That was not because he cared soo much about the people in Darfur. The main objective of those troops is to keep in good relation with the US and to put emphasis on the fact that he is against Genocide. The same reason he went to Israel recently.

He wants to emphasize that he is a modern african leader. That's also the reason he critisized Mugabe recently.

The problem with this man is that the math doesn't add up. His troops invaded Congo and killed soo many people. He killed opposition members in Nairobi and "won" an election with 95 percent of the votes.

This man should be brought to trial for the crimes he committed. I hope people in the west start to look at his record.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bemba arrest is bad news for Museveni

The ICC-inspired arrest of Mr Bemba on charges of war crimes in Central African Republic, will almost certainly lead to his and President Museveni’s roles in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Why? A report compiled by the United Nations, no less, implicitly states that Uganda actively supplied Mr Bemba with arms, money and logistics during the 1998-2002 war in the DR Congo.

In his October 15, 2002 letter, addressed to the UN Security Council, the then Secretary-General Kofi Annan said “I have the honour to transmit to you the final report of the Panel, which was submitted to me by its Chairman, Mr Mahmoud Kassem. This independent report comprises an evaluation of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the illegal exploitation of the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)”.

In paragraph 97, the report states, “The objective of the elite network in the areas controlled by Uganda has been to exercise monopolistic control over the area’s principal natural resources, cross-border trade, and tax revenues for the purpose of enriching members of the network.”

Paragraph 98 states, “The elite network operating out of Uganda is decentralised and hierarchical, consisting of high-ranking UPDF officers, private businessmen and selected rebel leaders/administrators. UPDF Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Salim Saleh and Maj. Gen. James Kazini are the key figures.

Other members include the Chief of Military Intelligence, Col. Noble Mayombo, Col. Kahinda Otafiire and Col. Peter Karim.”
Paragraph 102 states “In anticipation of the withdrawal by the UPDF, a paramilitary force is being trained under the personal authority of Lt. Gen. Saleh which, is expected to continue to facilitate the commercial activities of UPDF officers after UPDF have departed.

This military group draws on dissidents from Jean-Pierre Bemba’s MLC. It has been reported that Lt. Gen. Saleh discreetly provides financial support for this new rebel group”.

Based on this report, on December 19, 2005, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) convicted and ordered Uganda to pay between $6-10 billion in compensation for “war crimes, crimes against humanity and illegal exploitation of the DRC’s natural resources”.

On March 23, 2006, Mr Thomas Lubanga, the former leader of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), which the UN says was also supported by Uganda, was arrested and charged with war crimes, mass murder, rape, conscripting children under 15, and forcing them to participate in war”.

And in a self-incriminating move, on September 14, 2003, “State attorney Deus Byamugisha signed the consent judgement on behalf of Uganda government, agreeing to pay $226,958 to Silver Springs Hotel for the outstanding cost of hotel accommodation, booked by the President’s Office, for a number of guests linked to DRC rebels.” (“Govt. to pay 400m/- Congo debt”, New Vision, Sept. 15, 2003).

Given this evidence linking Mr Bemba and other Congolese rebels to the Uganda government, isn’t it high time the ICC issued arrest warrants for Ugandans officials who financed and benefited from war crimes, crimes against humanity and the illegal exploitation the DRC’s natural resources? Even the New Vision has complained, “Bemba’s arrest is also likely to be seen as selective justice.

Africans too have a choice to make

At a I found this quote, posted yesterday:

“I think the West does some injustice to us. They don’t want us to be ourselves, to develop into partners, into people who also have sense, values, and culture to live by. … Even in politics, we are never meant to graduate from being pupils of democracy or governance. We are always people to be brought up, educated, told what to do, be consumers of ideas and practices that come from the West. There is no point at which you graduate.” -- Paul Kagame

This is a pure populist quote, something Mugabe could have said. A real democrat doesn't look for outside enemies to define his democratic resolve. Democracy and democratisation are not approached the same way by all political parties in the West at all. There are different approaches. Some work better then others. But to say that yous don't have to make a clear choice is hiding from reality.

But Kagame does not have a clear path ahead of him. His only goal is to stay in power and to hide from the truth. I call that in dutch a "hypotheque" on the future.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kagame and democracy: Contradictio in terminis

Former ambassador and Senator from Texas Robert Krueger explains:

"I can tell you, I first met Paul Kagame in August of 1994. I went to his office. He was vice president then. I wrote down basically my impressions from then I said, as long as this man is the chief executive of the country, there will never be real democracy. I predicted that then and I would have to say it has been proven true."

Sept. 7 2007."

Ambassador Robert Krueger on Paul Kagame

American Ambassador has a very clear view on who and what Paul Kagame is!!

Monday, July 7, 2008


Twee Nederlandse denkers, Andreas Kinneging (filosoof en ex-ideoloog van het VVD) en F.W. Rutten (econoom, vader van het poldermodel en ex-lid van het CDA), hebben een debat ontketend over conservatisme en de Nederlandse politiek.

Ze merken op dat er een conservatieve partij ontbreekt in Nederland, en dat alle bestaande en relevante partijen met problemen kampen. Zo is de VDD pragmatisch, kijkt alleen naar wat gebeurt op de markt op korte termijn en heeft nauwelijks principes. Het CDA is niet meer echt christelijk te noemen (en daarom een onduidelijke partij) en heeft niet veel meer principes dan de VVD. Vanwege haar grondslag is de zog. "ChristenUnie" alleen bestemd voor calvinisten en protestante 'evangelicals' (het is echter meer een "CalvinistUnie"); bovendien is die partij toch heel links en blijkbaar naïef met enkele van haar huidige standpunten (over economie, immigratie, milieu...). De KPP (katholiek partij) is alleen bestemd voor Katholieken en veel te klein. De SGP heeft wel conservatieve standpunten, maar staat achter de theocratie (Calvinisme). Kinneging en Rutten pleiten voor de totstandkoming van een nieuwe, conservatieve partij en hebben de onlangs opgerichte ChristenUnie gevraagd om zich in die richting te bewegen.

Andere denkers, zoals de filosoof Ad Verbrugge of de socioloog Pim Fortuyn, spreken zich niet uit over de totstandkoming van een conservatieve partij, maar hebben wel scherpe kritiek op de koers van de Nederlandse politiek en wensen meer conservatisme, meer realisme in de Nederlandse politiek.

Door de stellingen van deze denkers naast elkaar te stellen ontstaat er een boeiend debat, dat u hieronder kunt volgen.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nederlandse migranten en George W. Bush

19 juni 2005 in het Katholiek nieuwsblad

George Bush fan van Abraham Kuyper

Van het binnenlands beleid van president Bush is in ons land weinig bekend. Dit is vreemd, want er waait al jaren een sterke Nederlandse Anti-Revolutionaire wind in Washington.

Wilbert Geijtenbeek (Medewerker van CDA kamerlid Jan ten Hoopen)

Op 21 mei 2005 verwees president Bush in een toespraak naar Abraham Kuyper. Voor het gehoor van studenten aan het door Nederlandse migranten gestichte Calvin College legde hij uit hoe Kuypers denken zijn binnenlands beleid beïnvloedt. Maar wie zitten daarachter?

In Annapolis, in de kleine agrarische staat Delaware, ongeveer een half uur van Washington DC vandaan, huist het kleine Center for Public Justice. Deze kleine christelijke denktank is in de jaren zeventig opgericht en heeft vijf vaste krachten in dienst. Met een voor Amerikaanse begrippen klein budget van ongeveer een half miljoen dollar per jaar, heeft de denktank opmerkelijk veel invloed.

En opmerkelijk genoeg een sterke binding met Nederland. Voorzitter Jim Skillen spreekt dan wel geen Nederlands, hij kan het wel lezen. Hij studeerde in de jaren zeventig filosofie aan de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, waar hij zich bekwaamde in de reformatorische wijsbegeerte van Herman Dooyeweerd.

Beter dan ambtenaren
Maar de belangrijkste geestelijk vader van het Center for Public Justice (CPJ) is Abraham Kuyper. Jaarlijks mede-organiseert het centrum een Kuyper-lezing. Vorig jaar was minister-president Balkenende naar de prestigieuze Princeton-Universiteit getogen om een lezing te geven en de Abraham Kuyper-prijs in ontvangst te nemen. Skillen was erbij.

Centraal in het binnenlandse beleid van Bush staat het zogeheten Faith-Based and Community Initiative. Dit beleidsprogramma tracht de sociale overheidshulp in Amerika over te dragen aan religieuze en gemeenschapsorganisaties. Hierachter schuilt de gedachte dat deze organisaties veel beter in staat zijn deze taak uit te voeren dan willekeurige ambtenaren.

Juist de religieuze overtuiging van de medewerkers van deze organisaties versterkt hun kracht en effect. Met dit beleid verstrekt de Bush-regering daarom overheidssubsidies aan religieus geïnspireerde organisaties.

Bush over Kuyper
In zijn toespraak voor studenten van vooral Nederlandse achtergrond in Grand Rapids in Michigan, verdedigt Bush zijn beleid nog eens. Hij onderstreept dat het bijeenbrengen van mensen op basis van gemeenschapszin het beste werkt in faith-based organisations. "Ze leveren beter werk dan de overheid", aldus Bush. "Niemand begreep dat beter dan een andere 19e-eeuwse bezoeker van Amerika: Abraham Kuyper. Een Nederlander die premier zou worden en alles wist van het belang van verenigingen, doordat hij er zelf zoveel stichtte, zoals twee kranten, een politieke partij en een universiteit." Bush stelt instemmend vast dat Kuyper, anders dan van de humaniserende invloed die uitgaat van onafhankelijke sociale organisaties, weinig moest hebben van het 'mechanische karakter van de overheid'.

George Bush

Dat Bush Kuyper in zijn toespraak aanhaalt, heeft veel te maken met het CPJ. Het Faith-Based and Community Initiative werd mede vormgegeven door de politicoloog Stanley Carlson-Thies van deze kleine denktank.

Abraham Kuyper

Carlson-Thies is sinds 1992 bij het CPJ in dienst. Hij promoveerde in Toronto op de invloed van katholieken en protestanten in de Nederlandse politiek in de negentiende en twintigste eeuw. In 2001 werd hij direct na de presidentiële inauguratie benoemd tot staflid van het Witte Huis. Daarmee was de kleine Kuyperiaanse calvinistische denktank plotseling in het midden van de macht terechtgekomen.

Religieus rechts
De binnenlandse politiek van Bush is sterk geïnspireerd door de Anti-Revolutionaire oud-premier Abraham Kuyper. In Kuypers visie is het leven van christenen niet beperkt tot het kerkelijke leven. Kuyper was een fel criticus van de aan de Franse Revolutie ontsproten gedachte dat alle religie naar een eigen private sfeer kan worden verbannen, dat het publieke leven religieus neutraal is en door seculiere consensus kan worden beheerst. Voor Kuyper heeft de christen de taak aan zijn geloof in al zijn handelen gestalte te geven. Daarmee maakte Kuyper de weg vrij voor door het christelijk geloof geïnspireerd politiek handelen.

Nederlandse calvinistische migranten hebben sterk bijgedragen aan de politieke emancipatie van christelijk Amerika

De Nederlandse migratie naar Amerika is sterk bepaald door calvinisten. Vooral in de staten Michigan en Iowa is een gereformeerde Hollandse invloed onmiskenbaar. Toch hadden de meeste calvinisten weinig moeite zich de Amerikaanse identiteit eigen te maken. De integratie van 'Dutch Americans' is een succesverhaal juist dankzij hun calvinisme. Kuyper riep Nederlandse Amerikanen tijdens zijn korte bezoek aan de Verenigde Staten in 1898 op vooral Amerikaan te worden.

Er is daardoor een sterke koppeling tussen het Nederlandse calvinisme en de opkomst van religieus rechts in Amerika, stelt Jim Skillen. "De Nederlandse migranten van de jaren vijftig waren stevige calvinisten. Ze kenden Kuyper goed. Bewegingen rond slechts één thema spraken hun niet aan." Voor de Dutch Americans was in de voetsporen van Abraham Kuyper een christelijke maatschappelijke totaalvisie het enige antwoord.

Toen in de jaren zestig en zeventig abortuswetgeving en de Vietnam-oorlog het politieke leven van Amerika opschudden, had de term 'christelijk' in de politiek nog iets sektarisch. Juist de Nederlandse calvinistische migranten hebben sterk bijgedragen aan de politieke emancipatie van christelijk Amerika. En daarmee aan de opkomst van religieus rechts, de huidige achterban van Bush.

Wilbert Geijtenbeek is freelance journalist en was medewerker in de Bush-campagne van vorig jaar in de staat Michigan. (huidig medewerker van CDA kamerlid Jan ten Hoopen en een aanhanger van het conservatisme, actief in de Burke stichting)

Friday, July 4, 2008

State of democracy in Europe

The fact that people write reports on this subject can be a good thing. I guess some people sense that there is a problem. But it would have been better if we would also see the opportunity.

The opportunity is, especially in the European context, the democratic development of Europe.

But I don't see enough urgency in this report. Focusing on integration is evasive. Political participation of migrants should be the focus even without integration.

The role of political parties is not adressed.

The potential impact of stimulating democratic development in countries of origin is not taken into account.