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USA and the abuse of the UN

How America uses the United Nations to falsify information in pursuit of its ulterior designs for the world

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | Sometime in March of this year, I received a telephone call from an anonymous number. I rarely pick calls from numbers I do not know. By a strange coincidence I did. The caller told me that there was a group of M23 leaders in Uganda who would like to meet me. As a journalist, newspaper columnist, radio talk show host, television show panelist, social media personality and owner of a media company, I was interested. My work and opinions require collection of information from primary sources. I talk to people of all backgrounds to inform myself. I was therefore most keen to talk to M23 leaders to hear their story.

I met them around March 11th at my office. They included Lawrence Kanyuka, Desire Rwigyema and a third person whose name I cannot remember. I had always thought M23 was an ethnic militia of the Tutsi of eastern DRC. To my surprise Kanyuka told me he is from the Luba ethnic group, just like President Felix Tshisekedi. They gave me the list of their leaders, political and military, most of whom were not Tutsi. In fact one of them is a Hutu Congolese. I was intrigued and we sat down to a long conversation.

They told me that in October 2020, Kanyuka had led an M23 delegation to Kinshasa. They spent there 14 months negotiating a peace settlement with the government. The peace discussions agreed that M23 should demobilise and have their fighters integrated into the Congolese army. But just when the M23 were grouping to surrender in November 2022, they were attacked by Congolese forces. Many of their soldiers were killed. M23 protested to Kinshasa and got no response. However, they told me they do not want to continue fighting. They want the peace process back on track.

They said they want me to help them contact the embassies of the USA, France, Belgium and the EU. These four, they said, have influence in Kinshasa and can help establish a communication channel with the government. Immediately, I saw a chance to bring the two sides to talk, end the fighting in Congo and bring about peace. I have read about such intractable civil conflicts in many nations: Vietnam, Iraq, Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Uganda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Columbia etc. In all of them, a purely military solution has been elusive. The lesson from my wide reading is that only when governments seek political accommodation with rebels does military victory on the battlefield translate into permanent peace at the political level.

Thus, I felt that such an opportunity should not be missed. DRC has been mired in this intractable conflict for decades. I therefore called the U.S., French and EU missions in Kampala and briefed them on my meeting with M23. I told them that these rebels are looking for someone with influence to help establish a channel of communication with Kinshasa. The aim is to inform the government of DRC that M23 is willing to surrender.

The officer at the French embassy told me outright that they are not allowed to meet M23. The officer at the U.S. embassy told me their political secretary was interested but needed to consult Washington first. Two days later, he told me Washington had declined. However, the U.S. embassy official asked me if M23 leaders had met anyone from the Uganda government to which I said I do not know. If they did, it would be a low-ranking person because I know Uganda is managing a very delicate relationship with DRC and would be afraid to antagonise Kinshasa. However, I got the impression that the Americans were on an intelligence gathering mission.

To Americans and French officials, I explained the importance of establishing an informal contact with M23 using intelligence services. I know the USA, even though it had declared the Taliban a terrorist organisation, established such informal channel in Afghanistan that led to formal talks in Qatar, which eventually led to the USA withdrawing from the country. The same had happened in Iraq. None was willing to take this step. The officer at the EU agreed to meet M23 leaders and said this was purely informal. We met and had a discussion that lasted four hours. He asked many questions and took voluminous notes. I did not hear from any side after that.

In early May I got a call from the Uganda Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They said they had been contacted by the UN security council on behalf of a “panel of experts” on the DRC. The panel claimed I was involved with M23 trying to help them talk to “several western embassies” to remove sanctions against the rebel group. The officials at foreign affairs gave me the dossier of what the “panel of experts” was claiming. It even claimed Uganda trains M23. It was clear the Americans are the ones who reported this to the UN based on the conversations I had with their staff.

I wrote this explanation to the Ministry of Foreign affairs which was given to this panel. I was shocked, though not surprised, that the same “panel of experts” produced a report repeating their original allegations without any reference to my explanation. They deliberately refer to me as “a public figure” ignoring the fact that I am a journalist, I own and run a newspaper and host a radio show and appear as a panelist on television shows. Instead, they said I work as a liaison person between Kigali and Kampala something I last did in 2018.

I lost my faith in these “international organisations” (read American or Western) a long time ago. When they investigate an issue, it is not to search for the nuanced truths. Instead, they begin with prejudices, assumptions and suspicions. Then they grab every straw in the wind that confirms these biases. Americans and their Western allies who control these international organisations always have an agenda. Intelligence gathering is only used and manipulated in pursuit of that agenda. Sad!

In my case, Americans claimed I was trying to help M23 get rid of sanctions. M23 leaders did not talk to me about sanctions and neither did I to the Americans. I imagine Americans recorded my conversations with them. They must have an accurate record of our discussions. Why then, did they cook up such lies? I will return to this reckless abuse of power in this column next week.

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amwenda@ugindependent.co.ug

8 comments

  1. TRUE THIS TO A VERY LARGE EXTENT “I lost my faith in these “international organisations” (read American or Western) a long time ago. When they investigate an issue, it is not to search for the nuanced truths. Instead, they begin with prejudices, assumptions and suspicions. Then they grab every straw in the wind that confirms these biases. Americans and their Western allies who control these international organisations always have an agenda. Intelligence gathering is only used and manipulated in pursuit of that agenda. Sad!”

  2. Why are we surprised by the level of spin and lies emanating from the US?

    The US will always spin a narrative to its advantage. But lies and spin are counterproductive, and Western and by extension, America’s international credibility continues to decline rapidly.

    “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole … we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” This is a line from a speech by none other than the former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Texas in 2019.

    The US and Western approach towards the Global South has often been characterized by a mix of patronizing attitudes and coercive tactics, further straining its credibility. The mess in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) – which they (the US and West) largely caused and continue to fuel, is a prime example of this. We need to understand that the US and the West have no interest in ending the numerous conflicts in the DR Congo.

    The US continues to engage in actions that destabilize and undermine the very same international (western-based) institutions by supporting the egregious crimes of Israel, while at the same time preaching about human rights and noble ideals like fairness, freedom, and inclusivity in Africa and elsewhere, not only is the US shooting itself in the foot by eroding its own credibility, but it also faces the risk of increased isolation on the world stage.

    In the past, the US sermonizing about human rights was rarely digestible. But these days, it is met with waves of incredulity and ridicule in the global South in light of its actions in the Middle East. Washington claims itself as the champion of human rights and democracy globally, but there is growing apprehension that its reputation may have suffered irreparable damage this time around.

    I do not normally agree with Mr. Mwenda, however, on this issue, he is absolutely accurate. The Americans and their Western allies (vassals), who control these international organizations always have an agenda. And that agenda does not usually align with International Law.

  3. Andrew you are engaging yourself in a high stakes game of international intrigue and maneuverings of nation states . DRC has vast mineral wealth and despite the wests pretense of moral/ethical concern, they are playing a long game of controlling the Congo. Yes you are right , they probably have all your devices tapped and are listening in, so be very careful. They may not even be trying to frame you but simply responding disdainfully to your inexperienced attempt at mediation. If I were you, I would have gone through Government of Uganda or a western journalists at BBC, NPR, NY Times, or The Intercept. By yourself , they will eat you alive ; Andrew, I admire your achievements & often read your articles; however sorry to say the standard of your investigative journalism cannot compare to the quality I see in western media. Partner with someone in the west to expose this farce, they know how to play the game, have better connections and resources. Besides, methinks that schmoozing with Muhoozi has made western intelligence consider you an NRM insider. That’s why the report was framed in those terms cause they think you are front for M7.

  4. What you came to know about M23 war with RDC, westerners they know it very well, they know how they play their cards. wherever you hear the endless wars are fuelled by invisible hands for the sake of their interests. At your experience and seniority, you should know the cause of endless wars on congo. If you want life distance with the issue of congo.

  5. What you came to know about M23 war with RDC, westerners they know it very well, they know how they play their cards. wherever you hear the endless wars are fuelled by invisible hands for the sake of their interests. At your experience and seniority, you must know the cause of endless wars on congo; is the war of wealth. Those westerners they don’t care if you die and finish as long as they get what they want. People are suffering there from 1996 till now. Blood diamond part2.

  6. The Western world has no interest in the pacification of the other parts of the world, especially Africa. Their actions, therefore must not come as a surprise to us Africans. It is in this turmoil and civil & military unrest that their relevance most comes nuanced. These wars allow them to profiteer from arms dealing and in many other such enterprises. It is through such wars that they can find an excuse of coming in on peacekeeping missions to steal and illegally export the natural resources of Africa. They arm and finance rebel groups all across the world to achieve these dubious ends. Theirs, is the long arm of patronage.

  7. Based on this article, boy have these guys made Mwenda a richer man on top of boosting his star. Just sue them and let it be a public domain thing and of this type of fabrication and defamation the resultant compensation would be great and I think this may even cause serious revisions in the structures of these international entities. The to be bigots and certainly need someone to stand up to them with hard facts in the international space.

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