Part.3. African’s Peacefull Means: Etnic Relations Theory By Rais Neza Boneza

proverb

Proposal:

A bioceanic confederation from the Indian to the Atlantic oceans, including Uganda and Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, and the two Congos, maybe more countries, trading East-West with Asia and America, as much as North-South could one of the possible approach as proposed by the Transcend Network (see www.transcend.org) could allow for decentralisation, softer boundaries, and

‘automatic’ land reform as people and goods would be free to move. Not confining people with a tradition of enmity to a very limited territory and could be accomplished without polemical issues such the redrawing of states borders”

Africa is a composite of fragmented multi-ethnic nation-states. Virtually every African belongs to a “tribe” or ethnic group and there is nothing fundamentally wrong with belonging to one.  On the whole, there is not a universal African identity or an essence of Pan-Africanism.

 

During the colonial period, Africas colonizers frequently favored some groups and exploited tensions among others as a method of securing and maintaining power (See Diviser pour mieux Regner). After gaining independence, many African states have had to face the challenge of reconciling a multi-ethnic population. As is the case all over the world, establishing stability and peace and unity within its multi-ethnic nation-states has been a major challenge for the continent.

 

Many Africans identify themselves much more naturally by their ethnic groups than with their nation-states. This is due to the fact that when Europeans colonized Africa they created borders without regard to the interests or customs of diverse ethnic groups. Some borders divided people belonging to the same ethnic group and others brought together groups that had always lived separately. In many cases, rival groups were expected to work together under newly created national governments.

 

Overview of the Great-Lakes region (2003)

 

The Great-lakes region of Africa has been devastated by years of violence. The war has been perpetrated in the region has claimed more than 4 million victims. Under a succession of hegemonic and dynastic look-like systems of governance,   the most human rights structures are destroyed in these societies.  The rising of ethnic extremists and warlords against each other and their civilian hostages – The proliferation of small arms  and  light  weapons  (SALW)  has  acted  to  increase  conflicts  in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burundi,  Rwanda,  and  Democratic  Republic  of  the  Congo  (DRC), Sudan, Angola, and Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda and in the entire region. The most serious impact of the conflict is the plight of populations subjected to lamentable crime against humanity, from mass killings to mass rapes, ethnic slaughter to forced starvation, and legalisation of child soldiering.

 

This analysis is an attempt to creatively discuss different alternatives in the process  of building  peace  through  Reconciliation,  Reconstruction, and  Resolution  of  cyclic  Great-lakes  conflict.    It  will  be  developed through  a comprehensive  deduction  of structural  elements  that spawn conflict, the actors who seek geopolitical interests, and the structures that plays a strategic role in designing untransformed conflict designing the region.

 

1. Description of the situation since the 1990’s

 

In Democratic Republic of Congo, Laurent Desire Kabila, leader of the Rally of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL), backed by Rwandan and Ugandan forces, took over the power in Kinshasa in May 1997, forcing the Mobutu and members of his regime into exile. Once an auto-proclaimed head of state, Laurent Desire Kabila tries to get rid  of  his  former  allies.  Kigali  is  convinced  and  accuse  him  of connivance with FAR (former Rwandan Army) and Interamwe militias who participated in the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

 

The  new  development  between  Kigali  and  Kinshasa  will  drives  the Rwanda and Uganda forces to support different Congolese rebels groups. The advance the rebel groups will be stopped only by the military intervention  of Angola, Zimbabwe,  Namibia  and Chad support to the Kabilas   regime.      This   conflict,   considered   as   the   first   African continental war, will do almost 4 millions of victims.  Six official foreign armies and about twenty armed movements will wage war, principally in East of the Congo.  January 16 2001, Laurent Desire Kabila is murdered. His son, Joseph Kabila, providentially takes his succession.

 

After accessing to power, Kabilas son proclaims his willingness to apply the Lusaka in 1999 ceasefire agreement signed by the principal  rebel movement; the MLC (Movement of the Liberation of Congo) and the two tendencies of the RCD (Congolese Rally for the Democracy); and between Kinshasa and its allies (Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia) and Uganda and the Rwanda. The moderation of Joseph Kabila allows the

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

relaunching of the cooperation with the international community for the reconstruction and peace settlement in the country.

 

The UN Security Council deployed UN liaison personnel in August 1999 to support the ceasefire. The liaison office became the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) in November

1999, and in February 2000 it expanded in mandate and personnel.  With an area the size of Western Europe, covered by dense tropical forest, the DRC poses a great challenge to the UN.

 

In November 2003 the Pretoria agreement between the transitional government of Burundi and Armed groups from the CNDD-FDD (the coalition forces for the defence of democracy). In Rwanda, the country under  the  Trauma  of  the  1994  genocide  still  on  it  long  lasting  way toward  democracy  and  peace;  has  various  political  forces  and  Rebel groups  specially  the FDLR  still demanding  a forum of Dialogue  and political freedom

 

 

 

The Burundian civil war lasts since 1993, with more than 300 000 victims, essentially civilian populations.  The conflict opposes the majority Hutu (85% population) to the Tutsis, who hold the power. The first peace dialogue took place in 1998.  In 2000, the principal protagonists, in the exception of the two principal movements rebel

the FDD (Forces for the Defence of Democracy) and the FNL (National Forces of Liberation) – sign to Arusha a peace agreement that foresees a division of the strength between Hutus and Tutsis. Nevertheless, the war continues.  In  April 30 2003, the vice president, Domitien Ndayizeye, a Hutu, succeed the president Buyoya for the 18 last months deal of the transition.

 

 

 

Although  a light  of hope  so far has arisen  from the passivity  of the international community regarding the Great-lakes conflict.    The Greatlakes region still instable as the presence of rebels movement, different militias  along the borders bring tension and prediction  of a regain of atrocities

 

2. Conflict Diagnosis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conflict of the Great Lakes results in several factors, which can be dated between postcolonial, colonial and pre-colonial period. The structural  sources  will  refers  to  static  social,  physical,  and  economic factors that either limit or spread conflict and shape dramatic responses practices among the actors.

 

a.  Irrational  Boundaries:   In   pre-colonial,   the   European-designed country in the Great-Lakes region did not exist as it is nowadays. The Virunga region is a land of high mountains, rich watered, free of malaria, a domain of volcanoes. From their arrival, The Europeans viewed the Great  Lakes  Region,  as well as Africa  in general,  as a terra nullius. Although the region was composed to quite sophisticated societies, in some cases even with fairly well developed forms of governance—even though most were not European-style state structures.

 

The new delimitation  that had served only German, Belgian and later England interest engendered a modern Rwanda and Burundi with little wealth and relying only on their fertile land. The richest mineral deposits were  left to  the Dem.  Rep.of  the Congo  side  of the border.  Tens  of thousands of Rwandophile reside along the Rwanda/Uganda  boundary because of the British-negotiated 1910 cession of the Kisoro sub-district to Uganda. Often Tutsi and Hutu (Rwandophile) located on the other side of the Rwanda or Ugandan borders trace their ancestry to eastern Congo- North-Kivu province. Others members of the same Ethnical background were brought to migrate a bit deeper in the Dem.Rep.Congo following the new demarcation or for workers supply in the region.

 

The condition  of the divided  population  living  around  the borders  of states has helped fuel mutual destabilisation between neighbouring countries.   For   example   in   1996,   the   uprising   of   a   balkanisation tendencies that accentuated discourses to the expulsion of Rwandophile populations  despite  their  centurialold  ancestry  in the  Kivu;  triggered cyclic violence that resulted in a generalization of ethnical violence in the region.   Nåtildags, The conflict ethnical background in the GreatLakes today is tied to a unfair competitive gaining land whether by territorial expansion, genocide, or expelling certain ethnic groups.

 

In conclusion, the Great Lakes region has a long dated deep culture of hatred due to previous unfair systems that elevated one group and disadvantaged the other. The challenge in building peace will be to create mechanism that would allow healthy relationship based on equalitarian and democratic practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. Actors in The conflicts: A similar particularity in the Great Lakes demonstrated  that the power in those countries  is based on structural antagonism between groups.   One group has repressed another so the right to revenge is non negotiable.   The actors can be subdivided as: 1. Direct Actors (In R.D.Congo,  Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) 2. Extra-regional actors (mostly country in the western hemisphere and their agencies).

 

B.1.Direct actors:   Two case are presented here:

 

      The Zrian Case or the Mobutism (D.R.Congo):  The Late President Mobutu dominated for 30 years Zairian politics since the United States orchestrated the overthrow of the elected Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1960 who was assassinated later, The  United  States  opposed  Lumumba’s  nationalist  and  non aligned policies, considering him as an extension of the Soviet Union‘s foreign policy. Since the 1965 coup d’etat Mobutu has been among the most autocratic, repressive, and corrupt dictators in the Third World. Mobutu reshaped the Democratic Republic of The Congo in his own image, rename it Zaïre, Initiate  the politic of authenticity. Mobutu was widely thought to be using ethnic conflict in both Katanga (South-Congo) and Kivu (EastCongo) to his advantage and possibly even to be encouraging the fighting.   He   feudalised   the   army   by   creating   new   unit commanded by his family clan or his related regional tribe of the Equatorial region (North-Congo). He travelled to Goma in the Kivu in July 1993 promising equal rights to the Rwandophile speaking  population  But,  there  were  reports  that  Mobutu’s military had provided weapons to both sides in the conflict and had taken part in the looting and killing. Under his reign, the country was decadent mined by tribalism, favouritism and nepotism clanic at all level of the state. This situation created a contre-reaction that fuelled clashes between army units, tribes, provinces,  and  neighbouring  states.  Mass  refugee  movements from Burundi/Rwanda into The Congo from 1993 through 1996 further destabilised its eastern border area and set off a civil war that would lead to the collapse of the Mobutu regime and bring its army into full-scale war with neighbouring states.

     The Ugandan  Case and The Fall of the Northerner:  After fifteen  years  of  civil  war,  the  National  Resistance  Movement came to power in 1986 leaded by the currently President Yoweri Kaguta  Museveni.  In  his  essay,  “Uganda  Since  Impedance”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1992);  P.Mutibwa  said:  The  conflict  in  Northern  Uganda  is fuelled   by  ethnic   underpinnings   that  were  exacerbated   by colonial rule and were later to be manipulated by the postindependence administrations. During the colonial era the Ugandan society was largely divided between the North and the South and the North as opposed to the South, was sub-divided between the Acholi, Langi and the West Nilers. It has been observed that the fact the NRM (National Resistance Movement), an organization mostly of Southerners, produced new cleavages that have yet to be overcome and are manifested clearly in the armed  struggle.  He  added:    The  key  role  of  the  military  in politics and of ethnic competition became evident under the first government of Milton Obote, who used the army to overthrow the constitution and the king of Buganda, a region from which the  constitutional  monarchy  originated.  Obote’s  use  of  the military  led  to  his  overthrow  by  Idi  Amin,  who  was  himself toppled  by  the  Uganda  Liberation  Front/  Army  (UNFL/A), assisted by the Tanzanian army in 1978. The brief presidencies of Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa followed, while a military commission held real power.

 

B.2. Extra-Regional Actors

 

Extra-regional actors are those from outside the conflict area seeking to either ameliorate or exploit the conditions of war.  The antagonism raised by the struggle between Anglo-Saxon and the Francophile in Africa, has contributed  to the marginalisation  by the international  communities of the priority of the Africans, which remains the instauration of the democracy. The transcend perspectives has observes, that:

 

The projection of the European (Anglo-French) tribal feud over linguistic/cultural/economic influence in Africa. Uganda/Tutsi/Bunyamelenge/Kabila anglophiles are pitted against Hutu/Mobutu Francophiles, with the Western media traditionally dominated  by the  French  as area  specialists.  But  disasters  tend  to favour the spread of English as most disasters are managed in English. French/Roman  Law is losing  ground, it seems, and English/Common Law is pushing westward with energy. (See www.transcend.org)”

 

After the end of the cold war, western policy toward Africa has changed by promoting fast calqued manufactured democracies in Africa. It has resulted in enflaming sleeping immature cells of oppositions in former

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dictatorial regime, which created circles of instability throughout the continent.

 

The government of the United States is concerned about instability  in D.R.Congo has it is aligned with Uganda and Rwanda. The Americans use Uganda for their effort to against the insurgence of Islamism (Sudan, Somali). This includes necessary funds and logistic for forces seeking to overthrow Sudan from bases inside Uganda, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. American Special Forces have also been assigned to train the RPF in counter-insurgency  techniques.  The  American  support  has  increased since the Bush war on Terror countries such Kenya and Tanzania are favourite beneficiaries.

 

France was aligned with Dem. Rep. of the Congo and Former Rwanda government. From 1990 to 1993 elite French forces along with the Mobutus’   army   backed   Rwandas   government   against   the   RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) leaded President Kagame. They also tried to intervene in 1994 to prevent further RPF attacks on the Hutu dominated government. A key issue of western powers (French and Anglo-Saxon influence) is the access to the vast natural and strategic wealth of the Congo curvet. The Dem. Rep. of the Congos natural wealth and the attraction between arms dealers and war has seen a rapid proliferation of extra-regional  involvement.  Surplus  arms  including  have  come  from former Yugoslavia to reach all sides at bargain prices [Ashworth 1996; Misser 1996]. Illegal operators and security firms in Britain and South Africa have also provided arms and mercenaries [Boggan 1996].

 

3. Prognosis

 

clip_image002The  Great  Lakes  conflict  function  in  a  system  of vases  communicant”  (Matrix).  Conflicts  can  start from one epicenter and be propagated to another. As Bethuel Kiplagat stated at Africa is presently host to three, partly overlapping conflict systems: In West Africa  with  the epicentre  presently  in Sierra Leone, but previously in Liberia; in the Horn of Africa with the  epicentre  presently  in  Sudan;  and  in  the  Great Lakes Region where the epicentre was previously in Rwanda but presently in the DRC (See Fig. 1).

The conflict in SubSaharan countries is not a simple fight  for  power,  as would  be the  case  between  two opposed  political  parties  or  a  simple  fight  between

 

Fig. 1: African Conflict Systems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tribes or ethnic groups; rather, it is a fight between groups of the same populations defending their own interests, but who behave as if it was a question of different incompatible biological types, each one looking to seize supremacy and to be in total control, or to exclusively hunt and exterminate the group that hinders their plans. The fact is that Africans have not been able to eliminate the negative view of their quantitative or morphologic  variations.  But  by  employing  transcendent  methodology those variations could avoid becoming a problem that generates more violence, since diversity is one of the basic characteristics of all human populations.  (Peace Through  African’s peaceful Means by Raïs Neza Boneza, kolofon 2004)

 

As long the promotion of a cultural revenge in the society as the only alternatives in the RwandaBurundiUganda-Democratic Republic of the Congo  conflict  will  not  be removed  the  cycle  of cultural  violence  is likely to continue endlessly. The consequence will certainly still:

 

      A seculars, and narrowed presentation of the African dilemma limiting  the  sources  of  the  conflict  to  ethnic  rivalries,  while others               factors    such    social,    economical,    political,    outer- interferences (neo-paternalism) are intertwined in the dynamic of the conflict.

      The  philosophy  of  out-siders  and  uncontrolled  rise  of  mega- nationalism feeling, that develop a cyclic violence as “who lose the power today, is willing by any means to regain it tomorrow”.

     The ideological idea of resolving, internal problems of a state out of his own territory and boundaries. The current tension in the Great Lakes, where Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi justified the

Congo aggression through the allegation that they have to protect

their territory against negative forces located in Congo. An establishment of inclusive space of dialogue is prerequisite to the stability of each state.

     The   reconstruction   of   view   that   perpetuates   international prejudice regarding African ‘savagery,that allows the West to escape   the  responsibility   for  the  severe  structural   damage imposed by colonialism: (1) irrational boundaries that contribute to endemic instability; (2) export-orientated infrastructure that marginalizes  Africa  within  the  world  economic  system;  (3) western cultural hegemony that has weakened African tradition; and (4) bureaucratic systems of governance that concentrated political power and favoured certain ethnic groups over others [Griggs 1995].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Therapy

 

Any  solution  must be transparent,  and implicate  affected  populations. The Secret negotiation  among elite actors is unlikely  to eliminate  the structural factors or latent causes of conflicts. The negotiations must recognise all concerned actors at all level, ethnical group, armed group, civil servants, businessmen and other members of civil society. The fact that Germans under Hitler perpetrated a horrible genocide against in Jews1945 does not imply that every Germans must be executed.

 

As the violence as destroyed potentiality of trust and truth among people at all level, it is therefore relevant to implement a mechanism of reconstruction.  The reconstruction  dynamic will lead to recall of the potential of culture of peace, which can be use for the reconciliation process. The reconciliation process can be even more effective through using endogenous or cultural conflict resolution practices such: Gacaca (Rwanda), Ubuntu (South Africa), Kogtla (Kalaharian). E.g. The ubashingantahe system in traditional Burundi, which mixed groups of mature, respected Hutus and Tutsis adjudicated disputes a local levels to address   certain   problems   of  land  reform  and  reduce   the  conflict producing discursive practices.

 

Another alternatives will be to develop a mechanism of regional integration. The region is a receptacle of rebel funds and arms that affect the stability  of the region.  This  fragile  network  of alliances  demands inclusive negotiations based on the needs of the entire region. Political Instability  within Congo, The return or a fair integration  of refugees, redefinition of nation, states, and reform of laws on nationality must be considered regionally.

 

Regional organization  such the CPGL (the commission  for the GreatLakes  Region)  could  implement  structures  with  a locally  based  ideal such as the Baraza (Kiswahili word of “Assembly”)  or the Nyereres Tanzanian ideal “Ujaama” (Kiswahili word of   Familyhood”) that are more easily assimilated by local population.

 

These  local  structure  well  assimilated  in  the  region,  could  work  as dynamic of dismantling the corrupt and inefficient system of hegemonic, and dictatorships powers in the region while expanding participation at a grassroots level. The multiplicity of cultures, ethnic groups and nations makes it a challenge for direct actors but also external-regional actors can help by canalising resources and attention to the plight of Great-lakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

region of Africa and promoting inter-cultural understanding. Otherwise history has shown that attempts to democratise along majoritarian lines falter because ruling ethnic groups oppress and oppressed ethnic groups seek power by extra-judicial means.

 

A bioceanic confederation from the Indian to the Atlantic   oceans, including Uganda and Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, and the two Congos, maybe more countries,  trading  East-West  with  Asia  and America, as much as North-South could one of the possible          approach as proposed by the Transcend Network (see www.transcend.org) could allow for decentralisation,     softer    boundaries,    and

‘automatic’ land reform as people and goods would be  free  to  move.  Not  confining  people  with  a tradition of enmity to a very limited territory and could be accomplished without polemical issues such the redrawing of states borders

 

As| the boundaries designed by Europeans at the 1884 Berlin Conference have been perpetuated by African leaders since independence. There are no nations in Africa because nearly every state  has  deep  intrastate  ethnic  divisions.  Instead  of  a  fair integration of different ethnical or tribal community, the strongest ethnic group attempts to dominate or to eliminate the others.

 

One visible consequence of hybridisation which is often neglected in the international and intellectual milieu is the development of a belief in a series of invisible and spiritual forces to elucidate political conflict in Africa. Instead of having direct religious confrontations,  Africans  have created  a mixture  of African  and western metaphysics (a mix of African, Christian and Islamic religions)  which  encourages  prophetical  and spiritual leaders to take an active role in conflicts, since political leaders have failed to establish order.

 

When talking about metaphysics, we understand a philosophical approach more concerned with the essence of existence, space and time, causes and effects. Through it, people seek to explain events that they see as not rationally explainable. This is because their

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

conception of reality is influenced by their primary hopes, beliefs, feelings, emotions and history added to exogenous elements which differ from their cultural background. These interferences between rationality   and   normality   of   the   world   have   given   rise   to prophetical   movements   such   Mulele,   Mai-Mai   and   Simba’s rebellion in exZaire (Kivu); the Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Lakwena and the Lord Resistance Army in Gulu, Uganda (Kony’s LRA); the FDD in Burundi, and others. All these movements are characterized by their religious and ritualistic motivation for violence:  for  example,  the  baptism  of  the  combatants  and  a typology of rituals against gun bullets. All of them have spiritual intercessors, or prophetic leaders to interpret signs and the will of the spirits.

 

Gandhi saw violence as an evil and rational persuasion, and often unavailing, in all cases creating needs and deficits. In Africa, violence  expresses  itself  in  various  forms.  For  example,  in  a physical or psychic way through brainwashing, various forms of indoctrination, threats and intimidations, the only objective is to diminish  the  spiritual  and  moral  capacities  of  humans.  The violence is directed against the psyche.

Today in Africa, violence is integrated in the political and cultural

system; it shapes the skeleton of structural violence as it is manifested in the inequality of relations and opportunities. Also, it is especially expressed as direct violence with actors and agents from both local and international spheres. African civilization is impregnated with a history of violence and degradation. The main ideology  in the different  conflicts  can  be summarized  with  the introduction  of the formula  diviser  pour mieux  regner”  or the divide and conquerideology that we shall explore at the macro- cultural level in part III.