by Theogene Rudasingwa
A good foreign policy champions, defends and protects a country’s ( read people’s) national interests. It seeks friends and builds alliances. It aims to contain enemies, and prevent war. When war becomes inevitable, a country should be able to win it by having good and reliable friends on its side. A poor and landlocked country like Rwanda should not easily pick quarrels with neighbors who share history, culture, and through whose territory its exports and imports flow. When such a poor country is dependent on aid, a country’s leadership should have professional humility to accept” begging with a purpose”, to overcome the people’s poverty and begging in the long term.
Given the above principles, what is Rwanda’s foreign policy? Since the Kigali regime is a brutal dictatorship under President Paul Kagame, to understand its foreign policy you would have to appreciate the following seven maxims of the KAGAME DOCTRINE:
First, it is anti-Hutu, anti-Tutsi and anti-Twa. In short, it is an anti-people, anti-democratic domestic policy. Its human rights record is outrageous. It kills, jails,intimidates, makes people disappear, or exiles them.
Second, it is a militaristic regime that has a facade of a civilian government whose formal institutions have been usurped by a narrow clique of a “minority within a minority”, i.e Tutsi military officers within a minority ethnic group.
Third, it is founded on grand deception and intimidation. The regime has falsified Rwanda’s history to suit its agenda, and consistently hides its role in contributing to the tragedies of modern day Rwanda and the Great Lakes region ( genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Rwanda and DRC).
Fourth, it preys on the guilt of the international community, for its failures before, during and after the 1994 genocide. Because of this guilt the international community has either been silenced or wooed into unholy alliances with Kagame.
Fifth, it belligerent and aggressive within the Great Lakes region. Since 1994, the regime has fought or made enemies with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, South Africa, Uganda and now, sadly but predictably, Tanzania.
Sixth, it is an anti-African foreign policy. The Kagame doctrine is founded on cheap and opportunistic arrogance that has no respect for the genuine interests of the African people. He now abuses the West because his long time allies now find him an inconvenient and embarassing burden. He has adapted a pan-africanist language, when has worked, openly and secretly, against Africa’s interests.
Seventh, it is an immoral foreign policy, founded on the premise that opponents, whether heads of state or ordinary citizens, must die or be jailed.
The Kagame doctrine is not simply wrong. It is anti-Rwandan, militaristic. deceptive, predatory, belligerent, anti-African and immoral. In short, it is dangerous for Rwanda, the Great Lakes region, Africa and the international community. The Kagame doctrine is a cancer that spreads day by day. Palliative treatment may give us temporary relief. What is needed is aggressive surgery in the peace domain that will be painful but ultimately save Rwanda and her neighbors.
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa was President Paul Kagame’s Chief of Staff, Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United States, and Secretary General of Rwanda’s ruling party, RPF. He is currently the Coordinator of Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and the author of Healing A Nation: A Testimony: Waging and Winning A Peaceful Revolution to Unite and Heal A Broken Rwanda .