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Rwanda as the European Union’s deputy in Africa

Monday 6 May 2024, by Paul Martial

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Rwanda is becoming a key player for the European Union (EU) both in the fight against immigration and in securing African countries under attack from their rebels.

Following their agreement, Rishi Sunak and Kagamé say they are impatient to see the first migrants from Great Britain deported to Rwanda as soon as possible, and so much the worse if this pact contravenes international law. If this demagogic and racist policy is in Sunak’s electoral interests, what is it doing for Kagamé?

Money for migrants

The interests are primarily financial, and the Rwandan authorities make no secret of it. The first 300 migrants transferred should bring Rwanda 220 million euros. To this must be added €25 million financed by the EU as part of the ‘emergency transit mechanism’ for migrants evacuated from Libya. In addition to the financial gain, Kagamé is tolerated for his systematic human rights violations. In fact, he will begin his fourth term in office in the presidential elections to be held in the summer of 2024, which he will win with the same Soviet-style scores as in previous elections. Human rights organisations have repeatedly denounced the assassinations of opponents around the world, but nothing has changed.

Guilty indulgence

This leniency on the part of Western countries could be explained by guilt. The guilt of indifference to a genocide that was taking place before their very eyes. But above all there is Rwanda’s military diplomacy. It is Africa’s second largest contributor to peacekeeping operations. Nearly 4,600 Rwandan soldiers are deployed in UN missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. In the latter country, Rwanda sent its special forces in 2020 to save the regime. This is a relief for Europe, which fears that the country will once again fall into chaos, with deleterious consequences for the stability of the region.

The new gendarme

Rwanda has made itself indispensable to France by intervening in Mozambique. Its soldiers have repelled Islamist fighters from Cabo Delgado and are ensuring the security of this strategic region for TotalEnergies. The multinational is investing nearly $15 billion in the production of liquefied gas.

Kagame is a bit like the Wagner of the West. With the French army now unwelcome almost everywhere in Africa, the role of policeman seems to have devolved to the land of a thousand hills. Benin, for example, which is suffering from incursions by jihadists from neighbouring Burkina Faso, has just signed a military agreement. This paves the way for intervention by the Rwandan army. If this operation is a success, there is every chance that other countries will be interested.

The Rwandan authorities are taking advantage of this new role to pursue their policy of aggression and pillage in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo by supporting the M23 militia, which is guilty of the worst atrocities against the population without any risk of being punished.

5 May 2024

Translated by International Viewpoint from l’Anticapitaliste.


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