Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence, 3rd from the left, with Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame to her left and other Rwandan security chiefs in Kigali. [Source: chimpreports.com]

In late November, Avril Haines, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), traveled to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for meetings with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and DRC President Felix Tshisekedi.

The stated purpose of the meetings was to try to de-escalate tensions in eastern DRC, which has seen stepped up attacks by M23 and other Rwanda-sponsored militias after Kagame announced a new war against the DRC in advance of elections scheduled to take place in the DRC on December 20.

DRC President Felix Tshisekedi meets with Haines in Kinshasa. [Source: chimpreports.com]

Headed by Laurent Nkunda, a Kagame loyalist implicated in the massacre of civilians, M23 earned the distinction as among the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses in the world, according to former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. In October, Doctors Without Borders treated on average 70 sexual assault victims victims every day at its clinics in Goma, the regional capital of eastern Congo, after its main roads had been seized by M23.

Journalist Keith Harmon Snow, a human rights investigator for the UN and Project Censored award winner who has covered Central African politics and exposed U.S. covert machinations there, said in an interview with CovertAction Magazine that Haines’s visit to Rwanda and the DRC and meetings with Tshisekedi and Kagame (which were held separately) “is a joke.”

According to Snow, “Haines is a muzungu [Swahili term for white person] who knows nothing. Kagame is a pathological liar and sociopathic killer. Rwanda is the problem behind everything in Central Africa, followed closely by Uganda.”

The U.S. has closely aligned with Kagame and Rwanda since Kagame came to power following Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Roger Winter, a suspected CIA agent who was head of the U.S. Committee for Refugees aided significantly in Kagame’s rise to power and received a decoration on the 16th anniversary of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)’s victory in Rwanda’s civil war.[1]

In the official story, Kagame saved Rwanda from Hutu genocidaires; however, Snow and other investigators have found evidence showing that Kagame and his RPF Tutsi forces triggered the genocide by invading Rwanda illegally from Uganda where the U.S. supported Yoweri Museveni, and by shooting down Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana’s airplane following peace talks in Arusha, Tanzania, that would have established a power-sharing arrangement between Tutsi and Hutu.

Remains of plane carrying Rwanda President Juvénal Habyarimana, whose death triggered the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. [Source: bbc.com]

Kagame’s RPF forces committed a huge share of the atrocities in Rwanda’s civil war culminating in the 1994 genocide, and have since helped perpetrate a holocaust in the DRC after invading it multiple times, with U.S. backing. The RPF were killing so many people at one point that they began using open air crematorium to more efficiently dispose of the bodies.[2]

A displaced woman rests outside her tent in Kanyaruchinya camp in eastern Congo
A displaced woman rests outside her tent in Kanyaruchinya camp in eastern Congo. Over half a million people have fled their homes in just the past two months as Rwanda has stepped up its military aggression in the DRC backed by the U.S. [Source: aljazeera.com]

Viewed as a Moses type figure among former Tutsi exiles whom he helped lead out of refugee camps in Uganda, Kagame’s value to the U.S. has long lay in his ability to help open the mineral-rich DRC to U.S. and Western economic exploitation.

A map of the democratic republic of the congo

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[Source: lahistoriaconmapas.com]

The U.S. has provided Rwanda with $176 million in foreign aid this year, up from $147 million in 2021.

The Rwandan military enjoys a close collaborative relationship with the U.S. Africa Command, having signed a status of forces agreement in 2020 enhancing the number of U.S. military advisers sent to the country, and establishing a partnership with the Nebraska National Guard.

Rwandan Chief of Defence Staff, General Jean Bosco Kazura and Major General Daryl L. Bohac, the Nebraska National Guard Adjutant General, sign partnership agreement in Kigali on December 12, 2019. [Source: ktpress.rw]

The close U.S. military collaboration with Rwanda extends to the realm of intelligence. In the 1990s, the CIA installed a command and communications center in Kigali and in the coastal areas of Uganda to help support the RPF’s invasion and plunder of the Congo.

The National Security Agency (NSA) at this time supplied Kagame with a portable encrypted Motorola satellite phone from which he could receive advice and intelligence from the U.S. government and CIA provided satellite imagery of refugee movements, some of it through the defense contractor Bechtel. In February 1997, 160,000 Hutu refugees were spotted through this technology and subsequently attacked in a swampy area known as Tingi Tingi.[3]

Two men standing in front of flags

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Then U.S. Africa Commander Head Stephen Townsend in photo with Paul Kagame in May 2022. [Source: topofafrica.news.com]

A secret purpose of Haines’ visit was very likely to shore up U.S.-intelligence collaboration with Rwanda and extend U.S. support in this realm.

The visit was a total dog-and-pony show designed to give the illusion that the U.S. is working for peace in Central Africa, when it is continuously backing Rwandan aggression.

According to Snow, the U.S. provides “total military support to Rwanda—full metal jacket. The U.S. is building a new base in Bugesera, Rwanda, with a new airport.” 

U.S. troops in Bugesera, Rwanda, as part of 2018 military exercise with Rwandan army troops known for their brutality in the DRC. [Source: ktpress.rw]
Then U.S. Africa Commander Head Stephen Townsend in photo with Paul Kagame in May 2022. [Source: topofafrica.news.com]

Part of the U.S. motivation is to sustain U.S. and Western corporate interests in relation to the Chinese who, according to Snow, are “everywhere [in the DRC]. Even in rivers and mines of Shabunda, Walikale, Kalemie, Kindu.” Chinese drones, recently acquired by Congo, struck Rwandan troops near Goma in early December.

In an attempt to gain an edge over the Chinese, the U.S. is currently investing $250 million in a rail corridor that would allow the transport of minerals from the DRC and Zambia to Lobitu Angola’s Atlantic port from which they can be shipped to Europe and the United States.

According to Snow, Tshisekedi, who recently compared Kagame to Adolph Hitler, wants Rwanda out of the DRC and has been “cleaning the Rwandan infiltrators out of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC)’s military and intelligence services.”

Congo’s foreign minister said that his country loses $1 billion a year from smuggling of gold and other precious minerals through Rwanda.

A person's hand picking up rocks

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Rocks that contain cobalt in Kisanfu Mine in DRC, which produces two-thirds of the world’s cobalt used in the manufacture of electric vehicles. The DRC is also rich in copper, zinc, diamonds, tin, gold, uranium and other precious metals. [Source: nytimes.com]

Rwanda’s official pretext for its latest aggression is to destroy the Hutu-led Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) though, according to Snow, “there is no FDLR left in Congo and has not been for some time. If they produce FDLR ‘prisoners,’ they [Rwandans] are just dressing them up and presenting them, but they are faux, it’s a game, a charade.”

Kagame first learned to carry out this kind of charade during his training in psychological warfare methods at the U.S. Army Base at Fort Leavenworth in the early 1990s.

[Source: fogcityjournal.com]

Snow noted that “it seems Kagame can use the Hutu bogeyman forever and people will still report what he says as if it’s the truth. No one can tell the difference between a Rwandan Hutu and a Congolese Hutu, and Congo’s army has Congolese Hutu in it. The whole Hutu thing is bogus.”

In another psychological warfare trick, Kagame’s agents are committing atrocities dressed up as their enemy to discredit them in the eyes of the local population and world media.

Rwandan M23 militiamen in DRC. [Source: libya360.wordpress.com]

Part of the sinister game that the Biden administration is playing, according to Snow, is that it is pressuring Tshisekedi to negotiate, not fight, to the benefit of the RPF.

Snow said that the RPF is adopting a classic military tactic: “fight and talk. And while talks are going on, increase your advantage.” The U.S. pressuring Tshisekedi “is like the Arusha accords of 1993, where Habyarimana was forced to give up more and more power, and like the war in Sudan where Khartoum was forced to give up more and more power until finally Kagame and the RPF own Rwanda and SPLA [a U.S. proxy] owns South Sudan [which becomes a new country].”

People fleeing fighting this month passed an election poster for Congo’s president, Felix Tshisekedi, in Saké. [Source: nytimes.com]

Asked what the fighting was really about, Snow replied: “Control. Territory. Mines. Ores. Gas. Oil.  Tanganyika province, for example, has new oil blocks up for grabs. But so do other provinces. The Western interests are pushing Kagame, but also backing their own horses.”

Snow added that “Kagame wants to annex eastern Congo, as always. It’s about resources but also land and power. And Kagame gets more U.S. and NATO military support when he destabilizes the region [Central Africa].”

  • Keith Harmon Snow was invited to give a speech at the convention for the Rwandan government-in-exile in Paris. The speech can be read here.
  1. Winter helped to establish the U.S. Committee for Refugees funding for RPF propaganda tracts and the RPF’s journal, Impuruza running from 1982 to 1994, which dehumanized the Hutu people, and organized a major conference of Tutsi exiles in Washington, D.C., in 1988 where a military solution to the Tutsi problem was decided. According to Ugandan dignitary Remigius Kintu: “Roger Winter was the chief logistics boss for [RPF] Tutsis until their victory in 1994.” Winter allegedly told a South Sudanese exile at the time [1994]: “I have now stabilized Rwanda and will turn my full attention to Sudan.” See Keith Harmon Snow, “Exposing U.S. Agents of Low Intensity Warfare in Africa,” August 8, 2012, https://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2012/08/16/special-report-exposing-u-s-agents-of-low-intensity-warfare-in-africa/

  2. See Judi Rever, In Praise of Blood: The Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (Toronto: Random House, 2018).

  3. Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1999), 157; J.E. Murphy, U.S. Made (Meadville, PA: Christian Faith Publishing, 2015), 135.

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