September 20, 2012 by soniauwimana
As I warned yesterday, Bishop (and Senator) Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda from the United Methodist Church of North Katanga — the hometown ally of DRC’s President Kabila — spoke at a hearing of the US House of Reps subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. The hearing was also originally to be addressed by Johnnie Carson, the anti-Rwanda US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa along with a bureaucrat from USAID. These two government officials withdrew at late notice, leaving the way open for the ubiquitous Jason Stearns who is (at least officially) not on the US government payroll. Stearns addressed the panel by way of the Rift Valley Institute, the front organisation that helps build the air of reasonable all-knowingness that is integral to the Stearns brand. (My guess — not entirely without basis — is that the State Department didn’t want to be seen within a mile radius of the incendiary Bishop whose disgusting testimony had been submitted in advance).
Now, Stearns testimony was predictably and obnoxiously arrogant. He made a series of assertions — under oath, mind you — for which he cannot possibly have evidence. The RDF sent several units into DRC during July, for example. Really, Jason? You would think such a straightforward true or false proposition would be fairly easy to establish and yet there is not an iota of evidence that any such thing occurred aside from a discredited fake ID of an FARDC captain written in French and with a glaring typo. Yawn. Haven’t we been through this a hundred times? If there were entire units of RDF troops in the Congo, it would be incredibly easy to prove. Proof would abound. The absence of such proof means the absence of such troops.
And yet it is quoth by Steans, and thus so it must be.
But I am tired with berating JS for his BS — and, in any event, his real offence yesterday wasn’t his predictable barrage of gossip delivered as if from Mt. Sinai, it was what he didn’t say that really irked me.
Prior to the Gospel of St Jason of Goma, the committee heard from Kabila’s pastor who said these words, among many other less coherent ones:
The problem of Rwanda is not the Congo, it is within Rwanda itself. Rwanda should solve its contradictions within and not by crossing the border of the neighbor to maintain killings and massacres and call it democracy and governance the Rwandan way. The hitlerian and Nazism terror and practices orchestrated by Rwandan leadership in Congo and in the Region put us in the remote era of humankind development. They are very retrograde acts and debasing leadership.
Aside from the fact that every word of that paragraph, with the possible exception of “the” and “it” is a bald-faced lie, this language is text-book hate speech. It is exactly the kind of incendiary Rwanda-hating rhetoric Stearns pretended to care about in his carefully constructed testimony. And yet he said nothing. Silence in the face of extremist hate.
Silence that speaks volumes.
Shame on the Bishop for his despicable lies and hate-filled propaganda.
Shame on the US Congress for giving him a platform.
Shame on Jason Stearns for failing to speak out against him.