Day: October 1, 2012

Cutting Off Kigali

Western guilt over the 1994 Rwandan genocide solidified U.S. support for Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame. This came to an abrupt end this June when a United Nations report accused Rwandan officials of aiding rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The United States demonstrated the consequences of defying Security Council resolutions that prohibit outside intervention by cutting foreign military financing appropriations to Rwanda. This decision encouraged the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany to cut assistance as well. By cutting off Kigali, the international community is finally addressing cross-border meddling that facilitates the ongoing violence in the African Great Lakes region. The DRC has had a long history of conflict since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960. During the last two decades, most of the fighting has occurred in the eastern part of the country along the border with Rwanda and Uganda. The absence of an effective central authority in the eastern DRC exacerbates issues of citizenship, land rights and ethnicity. The roots of the current crisis in the DRC date back to the Rwandan genocide. In 1994, Paul Kagame led the Rwandan Patriot Front (RPF) against Hutu genocidaires to end the mass killing of Tutsis. The current rebel leader responsible for wreaking havoc in the eastern DRC, General Bosco Ntaganda, fought as a member of the RPF under Kagame. After the overthrow of the Hutu-led Rwandan...

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Policy Briefs Season 4, Episode 1: “No Clear Path To Utopia”

Amid escalating and prolonged violence in Syria, the prospects for a diplomatic solution look dim. What should the U.S. do? Does America need to intervene? What is the path forward? Host Andy Uhler talks to Alan Kuperman, Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, who has published on ethnic conflict and U.S. military intervention, and Jeremi Suri , author of Liberty’s Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama about the ongoing conflict in Syria. Professor Suri argues that the U.S. should avoid direct military intervention but continue providing indirect support to the rebels. He says, “The best way for us to have a positive influence upon [the rebels] is to aid the rebels and try to nudge them in certain directions that we believe are the appropriate directions…” Professor Kuperman disagrees. He says, “I would actually argue that either of two other paths forward are the way to go: either a big intervention like the U.S. led with NATO in Libya…. or to say to the rebels, ‘We’re not going to aid you. You folks have to stand down and make a deal with Assad….’ ” Our guests also discuss the influence that the Russians may hold on the situation, lessons to be learned from Libya, and the potential effects on the U.S. relationship with Iran. Host: Andy Uhler Producers: G. Phillip Vela, Jennifer Lee Guests:...

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