Originally posted on AllAfrica.Com
Rwanda News Agency
Kigali, June 21, 2007
In May, outspoken former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney testified in the Spanish probe investigating the deaths of Spanish nuns in this region. Now details show that she is reported to have alleged that the US government maintained ravaging conflicts in this region for mining concessions from D R Congo.
Ms. McKinney – sent to Africa in 1996 to carry out President Clinton’s policy in the Great Lakes region, told La Vanguardia that: “I accused his (Clinton) Administration of having acted as accomplices in the war crimes in (DR) Congo and instigating a genocide.”
“What my government wanted,” Ms. McKinney explained, “wasn’t in the best interest of the Congolese people: (President Bill) Clinton kept me there because he wanted an African-American whom Kabila trusted. Even though Mobutu was, technically, the President of Congo, it was Kabila who was in charge of granting the mining concessions.”
According to her, then rebel Laurent Kabila with the support of Rwandan forces continued making forays into the territory of the vast country with weapons and funds that he had gotten from the West.
Kabila apparently promised, in return, to grant the US the mining rights once he had conquered this territory rich in gold, diamonds, and coltan (an important component used in electronic equipment). And indeed, he would make good on his promise once he became president.
“In October 1996, (Laurent) Kabila began to attack Hutu refugee camps in Congo and by July he had already conquered the entire country,” Mr. Jordi Palou who is accompanying McKinney explained to the Spanish paper.
Information from the Spanish investigation into the deaths of the nuns and priests indicates that they were part of aid workers operating in camps housing thousands of Rwandan refugees in eastern D R Congo – the Zaire.
“There they are: commercial stakes, which, combined with an illegal arms trade, were out to make money by fueling a war – a war which has claimed the lives of 7 million people, both Rwandans and Congolese,” former U.S. congresswoman from Georgia.
But what started out as being a lawsuit that the Spanish justice system had initially accepted, to investigate accusation against top administration officials of the Rwandan government regarding the deaths of 9 Spanish volunteers, has now ended up becoming a legal case which seeks justice for all the people who died between 1990 and 2002.
The Audiencia Nacional (National Court of Spain) has been following up then details of the lawsuit initiated by International Forum for Truth and Justice in Africa of the Great Lakes Region.
In addition, the case is also evidencing the responsibility that mining companies are believed to have had all along.
“What the West perceives as tribal wars is indeed,” Mr. Palou added “hatred geared at obtaining benefits by taking advantage of the existing chaos.”