US covert action in Africa – Part 1


Richard Moore

From: •••@••.•••
Subject: US covert action in Africa/ 
        Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney & Wayne Madsen
To: •••@••.•••
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:46:03 -0400

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney Covert Action in Africa: A Smoking Gun in
Washington, D.C.

Rayburn House Office Building
Friday, April 6, 2001 10:00am - 12:00 noon
 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney

I want to thank you all for coming today.

I especially want to thank our esteemed speakers for
traveling, in some instances quite a long way, to be with us

Our speakers are courageous individuals who have gone to
many of Africa's most dangerous and desperately poor
locations, not for wealth or riches, but in order to merely
discover the truth. They provide us with a remarkable
insight into what has gone on in Africa and what continues
to go on in Africa today.

Much of what you will hear today has not been widely
reported in the public media. Powerful forces have fought to
suppress these stories from entering the public domain.

Their investigations into the activities of Western
governments and Western businessmen in post-colonial Africa
provide clear evidence of the West's long-standing
propensity for cruelty, avarice, and treachery. The
misconduct of Western nations in Africa is not due to
momentary lapses, individual defects, or errors of common
human frailty. Instead, they form part of long-term
malignant policy designed to access and plunder Africa's
wealth at the expense of Africa's people. In short, the
accounts you are about to hear provide an indictment of
Western activities in Africa.

The West has, for decades, plundered Africa's wealth and
permitted, and even, assisted in slaughtering Africa's
people. The West has been able to do this while still
shrewdly cultivating the myth that much of Africa's problems
today are African made--we have all heard the usual Western
defenses that Africa's problems are the fault of corrupt
African administrations, centuries-old tribal hatreds, the
fault of unsophisticated peoples. But we know that those
statements are all a lie. We have always known it.

The accounts we are about to hear today assist us in
understanding just why Africa is in the state it is in
today. You will hear that at the heart of Africa's suffering
is the West's, and most notably the United States', desire
to access Africa's diamonds, oil, natural gas, and other
precious resources.

You will hear that the West, and most notably the United
States, has set in motion a policy of oppression,
destabalisation and tempered, not by moral principle, but by
a ruthless desire to enrich itself on Africa's fabulous
wealth. While falsely pretending to be the friends and
allies of many African countries, so desperate for help and
assistance, many western nations have in reality betrayed
those countries' trust--and instead, have relentlessly
pursued their own selfish military and economic policies.
Western countries have incited rebellion against stable
African governments by encouraging and even arming
opposition parties and rebel groups to begin armed

The Western nations have even actively participated in the
assassination of duly-elected and legitimate African Heads
of State and replaced them with corrupted and malleable
officials. Western nations have even encouraged and been
complicit in the unlawful invasions by African nations into
neighboring counties.

Something must be done to right these wrongs.

I invite you to listen and learn first-hand of the West's
activities in Africa.

Congresswoman Cinthia McKinney Hearing:
Prepared Statement of Wayne Madsen


Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who has written
for The Village Voice, The Progressive, CAQ, and the
Intelligence Newsletter. He is the author of Genocide and
Covert Activities in Africa 1993-1999 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin
Mellen, 1999), an expose of U.S. and French intelligence
activities in Africa's recent civil wars and ethnic
rebellions. He served as an on-air East Africa analyst for
ABC News in the aftermath of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings
in Kenya and Tanzania. Mr. Madsen has appeared on 60
Minutes, World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, MS-NBC, and
NBC Nightly News, among others.

He has been frequently quoted by the Associated Press,
foreign wire services, and many national and international

Mr. Madsen is also the author of a motion picture screen
play treatment about the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion. He
is a former U.S. Naval Officer and worked for the National
Security Agency and U.S. Naval Telecommunications Command.

I wish to discuss the record of American policy in Africa
over most of the past decade, particularly that involving
the central African Great Lakes region. It is a policy that
has rested, in my opinion, on the twin pillars of
unrestrained military aid and questionable trade. The
military aid programs of the United States, largely planned
and administered by the U.S. Special Operations Command and
the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), have been both overt
and covert.

ACRI, ACSS, and the covert programs all involve the use of
private military training firms and logistics support
contractors that are immune to Freedom of Information Act
requests. More troubling than these overt problems are those
that involve covert assistance to the Rwandan and Ugandan

Sources in the Great Lakes region consistently report the
presence of a U.S.-built military base near Cyangugu,
Rwanda, near the Congolese border.

The base, reported to have been partly constructed by the
U.S. firm Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is said
to be involved with training RPF forces and providing
logistics support to their troops in the DRC.

The increasing reliance by the Department of Defense on
so-called Private Military Contractors (PMCs) is of special
concern. Many of these PMCs -- once labeled as "mercenaries"
by previous administrations when they were used as foreign
policy instruments by the colonial powers of France,
Belgium, Portugal, and South Africa -- have close links with
some of the largest mining and oil companies involved in
Africa today. PMCs, because of their proprietary status,
have a great deal of leeway to engage in covert activities
far from the reach of congressional investigators. They can
simply claim that their business in various nations is a
protected trade secret and the law now seems to be on their


America's policy toward Africa during the past decade,
rather than seeking to stabilize situations where civil war
and ethnic turmoil reign supreme, has seemingly promoted
destabilization. Former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright was fond of calling pro-U.S. military leaders in
Africa who assumed power by force and then cloaked
themselves in civilian attire, "beacons of hope." In
reality, these leaders, who include the current presidents
of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Eritrea, Burundi, and
the Democratic Republic of the Congo preside over countries
where ethnic and civil turmoil permit unscrupulous
international mining companies to take advantage of the
strife to fill their own coffers with conflict diamonds,
gold, copper, platinum, and other precious minerals n
including one that is a primary component of computer

Some of the companies involved in this new "scramble for
Africa" have close links with PMCs and America's top
political leadership. For example, America Minerals Fields,
Inc., a company that was heavily involved in promoting the
1996 accession to power of the late Congolese President
Laurent-Desire Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement
in the Congo's civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas.
Its major stockholders included long-time associates of
former President Clinton going back to his days as Governor
of Arkansas. America Mineral Fields also reportedly enjoys a
close relationship with Lazare Kaplan International, Inc., a
major international diamond brokerage whose president
remains a close confidant of past and current
administrations on Africa matters.

One of the major goals of the Rwandan-backed Rassemblement
Congolais pour la democratie (RCD), a group fighting the
Kabila government in Congo, is restoration of mining
concessions for Barrick Gold, Inc. of Canada. In fact, the
rebel RCD government's "mining minister" signed a separate
mining deal with Barrick in early 1999. Among the members of
Barrick's International Advisory Board are former President
Bush and former President Clinton's close confidant Vernon

Currently, Barrick and tens of other mining companies are
stoking the flames of the civil war in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. Each benefits by the de facto
partition of the country into some four separate zones of
political control. First the mineral exploiters from Rwanda
and Uganda concentrated on pillaging gold and diamonds from
the eastern Congo. Now, they have increasingly turned their
attention to a valuable black sand called
columbite-tantalite or "col-tan." Col-tan is a key material
in computer chips and, therefore, is as considered a
strategic mineral. It is my hope that the Bush
administration will take pro-active measures to stem this
conflict by applying increased pressure on Uganda and Rwanda
to withdraw their troops from the country. However, the fact
that President Bush has selected Walter Kansteiner to be
Assistant Secretary of State for African, portends, in my
opinion, more trouble for the Great Lakes region. A brief
look at Mr. Kansteiner's curriculum vitae and statements
calls into question his commitment to seeking a durable
peace in the region. For example, he has envisaged the
splitting up of the Great Lakes region into separate Tutsi
and Hutu states through "relocation" efforts and has called
the break-up of the DRC inevitable. I believe Kansteiner's
previous work at the Department of Defense where he served
on a Task Force on Strategic Minerals and one must certainly
consider col-tan as falling into that category -- may
influence his past and current thinking on the territorial
integrity of the DRC. After all, 80 per cent of the world's
known reserves of col-tan are found in the eastern DRC. It
is potentially as important to the U.S. military as the
Persian Gulf region.

The U.S. military and intelligence agencies, which have
supported Uganda and Rwanda in their cross-border adventures
in the DRC, have resisted peace initiatives and have failed
to produce evidence of war crimes by the Ugandans and
Rwandans and their allies in Congo. The CIA, NSA, and DIA
should turn over to international investigators both signals
intelligence and human intelligence evidence in their
possession, as well as overhead imagery, including thermal
imagery indicating the presence of mass graves and when they
were dug. There must be a full accounting before the
Congress by the staff of the U.S. Defense Attache's Office
in Kigali who served there from early 1994 to the present


The present turmoil in central Africa largely stems from a
fateful incident that occurred on April 6, 1994. That was
the missile attack on the Rwandan presidential aircraft that
resulted in the death of Rwanda's Hutu President Juvenal
Habyarimana, his colleague President Cyprien Ntaryamira of
Burundi, Habyarimana's chief advisers, and the French crew.

This aerial assassination resulted in a genocide coordinated
by the successor militant Hutu Rwandan government that cost
the lives of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. This
was followed by a counter-genocide orchestrated by the
Tutsi-led Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) government that
resulted in the deaths of 500,000 mostly Hutu refugees in
Rwanda and neighboring Zaire/Congo.

No one has even identified the assassins of the two
presidents let alone sought to bring them to justice. There
have been a number of national and international commissions
that have looked into the causes for the Rwandan genocide.
These have included investigations by the Belgian Senate,
the French National Assembly, the United Nations, and the
Organization of African Unity. None of these investigations
have identified the perpetrators of the aerial
assassination. In 1998, French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere
launched an investigation of the aircraft attack. After
interviewing witnesses in Switzerland, Rwanda, Tanzania, and
Russia, Bruguiere apparently has enough evidence to issue an
international arrest warrant for President Kagame.

A former French Judge, Thierry Jean-Pierre, now a Member of
the European Parliament, in an entirely separate and private
investigation, came to the same conclusion that Kagame was
behind the attack. The United States government must come to
its senses, as it did with past intelligence assets like
Sadaam Hussein, Alberto Fujimori, General Suharto, Ferdinand
Marcos, and Manuel Noriega, and support a judicial
accounting by Kagame. If it is proven that U.S. citizens
were in any way involved in planning the assassination, they
should also be brought to justice before the international
war crimes tribunal.

Immediately after the attack on the presidential plane, much
of the popular press in the United States brandished the
theory that militant Hutus brought it down. I suggest that
following some four years of research concentrating on the
missile attack, there is no basis for this conclusion. In
fact, I believe there is concrete evidence to show that the
plane was shot down by operatives of the RPF. At the time,
the RPF was supported by the United States and its major
ally in the region, Uganda. Prior to the attack, the RPF
leader, the current Rwandan strongman General Paul Kagame,
received military training at the U.S. Army Command and
General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Many of
Kagame's subordinate's received similar training, including
instruction in the use of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) at
the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range at Luke Air Force Base,
Arizona. It was Soviet-designed SAMs that were used to shoot
down the Rwandan president's airplane.

By its own admission, the U.S. Defense Department provided
official military training to the RPF beginning in January
1994, three months before the missile attack on the

In testimony before the French inquiry commission, former
French Minister for International Cooperation Bernard Debre
insisted that the two SAM-16s used in the attack on the
aircraft were procured from Ugandan military stocks and were
"probably delivered by the Americans . . . from the Gulf
War." He was supported by two former heads of the French
foreign intelligence service (DGSE) Jacques Dewatre and
Claude Silberzahn, as well as General Jean Heinrich, the
former head of French military intelligence (DRM). Former
moderate Hutu Defense Minister James Gasana, who served
under Habyarimana from April 1992 to July 1993, stated
before the French inquiry that his government declined to
purchase SAMs because they realized the RPF had no planes
and, therefore, procurement of such weapons would have been
a waste of money.

The contention by French government officials that the RPF
was responsible for the aerial attack is supported by three
former RPF intelligence officers who disclosed details of
the operation to UN investigators. The three informants were
rated as Category 2 witnesses on a 4-point scale where 1 is
highly credible and 2 is "true but untested." The RPF
informants claim the plane was downed by an elite 10-member
RPF team with the "assistance of a foreign government." Some
of the team members are apparently now deceased. A
confidential UN report on the plane attack was delivered to
the head of the UN War Crimes Tribunal, Judge Louise Arbour
of Canada, but was never made public. In fact, Arbour
terminated the investigation when details of the RPF's
involvement in the assassination became clear. The UN now
denies such a report exists. Michael Hourigan, an Australian
lawyer who first worked as an International War Crimes
Tribunal investigator and then for the UN's Office of
Internal Oversight Services, confirmed that the initial war
crimes investigation team uncovered evidence of the RPF's
involvement in the attack but their efforts were undercut by
senior UN staff.

After the former RPF intelligence team revealed details of
the attack, they were supported by yet another former RPF
intelligence officer named Jean Pierre Mugabe. In a separate
declaration, Mugabe contended that the assassination was
directed by Kagame and RPF deputy commander-in-chief James
Kabarebe. The RPF, according to Mugabe, campaigned
extensively for the regional peace meeting in Dar es Salaam
from which Habyarimana was returning when he was
assassinated. Mugabe claimed the idea was to collect the top
Hutu leadership on the plane in order to easily eliminate
them in the attack.

Yet another defector from the RPF, Christophe Hakizabera, in
a declaration to a UN investigation commission, states that
the "foreign power" that helped the RPF shoot down the
airplane was, in fact, Uganda. According to Hakizabera, the
first and second assassination planning meetings were held
in Uganda in the towns of Kabale and Mbarara, respectively.
A third, in which Kagame was present, was held in March 1994
in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.

As it did with the three other RPF defectors, the UN took no
action as a result of this complaint. It appears, and this
is supported by private conversations I have had with former
UN officials, that some other party is calling the shots in
the world body's investigation of human rights violations in

The involvement of Uganda in the assassination tends to
support the contention of the former French government
ministers that the SAMs were provided to Uganda by the
United States from captured Iraqi arms caches during Desert
Storm. My own research indicates that these missiles were
delivered to Uganda via a CIA-run arms depot outside of
Cairo, Egypt.

After the transfer, Uganda kept some of the missiles and
launchers for its own armed forces and delivered the
remainder to the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and
the RPF.

Other evidence pointing to an RPF role in the attack
includes COMINT (communications intelligence) picked up by
military units and civilian radio operators in Rwanda. A
Rwandan Armed Forces COMINT listening station picked up a
transmission on an RPF frequency, which stated "the target
is hit." This was reported to a Togolese member of the UN
Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). A Belgian amateur
radio operator reported that after the attack, he heard
someone on a frequency used by a Belgian PMC in Kigali
state, "We killed Le Grand (Habyarimana)." The Belgian
operator also stated that all Rwandan Armed Forces messages
following the attack indicated the Rwandan army was in
complete disarray n something that would not have been the
case had the Rwandan government perpetrated the attack on
its own president.

Another source of COMINT was a French signals intelligence
unit sent to Kigali from the French military base in Bangui,
Central African Republic. According to French Judge
Jean-Pierre, copies of French intercepts of RPF
communications indicate, beyond a doubt, the culpability of
the RPF in the attack on the aircraft.

Some formerly classified US State Department cables, which I
received following a Freedom of Information Act request,
reveal that the U.S. foreign policy establishment was of two
minds over the April 6 attack. The U.S. Embassy in Burundi
kept a surprisingly open mind about its theories about the
missile attack, even suggesting a Rwandan Patriotic Front
(RPF) role in it.

Other U.S. diplomatic posts, most notably that in Kigali,
seemed to follow the script that the aircraft was downed by
hard-line Hutus who wanted to implement a well-planned
genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

A May 25 1994 Secret message from the Department of State to
all African diplomatic posts also reports that "the RPF has
summarily executed Hutu militia alleged to have been
involved in the massacres and the RPF has admitted to such
killings." The same message states that "Rwandan government
officials who controlled the airport" or "French military
officials" recovered the downed presidential aircraft's
black box after securing the airport and removing the body
of the French pilot from Habyarimana's plane.

However, according to officials I interviewed who were
involved with UN air movements in the region, the black box
was secretly transported to UN Headquarters in New York
where it remains to this day. Officially, the Rwandan
government claims the black box went missing.

According to the UN investigators, the black box was
spirited away by UN officials from Kigali to New York via
Nairobi. In addition, this shipment was known to US
government officials. According to the UN sources, data from
the black box is being withheld by the UN under pressure
from our own government. The investigators also revealed
that RPF forces controlled three major approaches to
Kayibanda Airport on the evening of the attack and that
European mercenaries, in the pay of the RPF and US
intelligence, planned and launched the missile attack on the
Mystere-Falcon. The CIA figured prominently in the UN
investigation of the missile attack. According to the
investigators, the search for the assassins ultimately led
to a warehouse in Kanombe, near the airport. From this
warehouse, during the afternoon of April 6, the missile
launchers were assembled and readied for action by the
mercenaries. As the UN investigation team was nearing its
final conclusion and was prepared to turn up evidence
indicating the warehouse had been leased by a Swiss company,
said to be linked to U.S. intelligence, its mandate was
swiftly terminated.


It is clear that the United States, contrary to comments
made by its senior officials, including former President
Clinton, played more of a role in the Rwandan tragedy than
it readily admits. This involvement continued through the
successive Rwandan and Ugandan-led invasions of neighboring

Speculation that Rwanda was behind the recent assassination
of President Laurent Kabila in Congo (and rumors that the
CIA was behind it) has done little to put the United States
in a favorable light in the region. After all, the date of
Kabila's assassination on January 16 this year -- was
practically 40 years from the very day of the CIA-planned
and executed assassination of Congolese leader Patrice

The quick pace at which Kabila's son and successor Joseph
Kabila visited the United States n at the same time of
Kagame's presence, and his subsequent meetings with
Corporate Council for Africa officials and Maurice
Tempelsman (the majordomo of U.S. Africa policy), calls into
question what the United States knew about the assassination
and when it knew about it.

Also, particularly troublesome is a conclusion the CIA is
said to have reached in an assessment written in January
1994, a few months before the genocide. According to key
officials I have interviewed during my research, that
analysis came to the conclusion that in the event that
President Habyarimana was assassinated, the minimum number
of deaths resulting from the mayhem in Rwanda would be 500
(confined mostly to Kigali and environs) and the maximum
500,000. Regrettably, the CIA's higher figure was closer to

Certain interests in the United States had reason to see
Habyarimana and other pro-French leaders in central Africa
out of the way. As recently written by Gilbert Ngijol, a
former Assistant to the Special Representative of the
Secretary General of the UN to Rwanda in 1994, the United
States directly benefited economically from the loss of
influence of French and Belgian mining interests in the
central Africa and Great Lakes regions.

There is also reason to believe that a number of people with
knowledge of Kagame's plot against the presidential aircraft
have been assassinated.

These possibly include Tanzania's former intelligence chief,
Major General Imran Kombe, shot dead by policemen in
northeastern Tanzania after he was mistaken for a notorious
car thief. His wife maintains he was assassinated. Kombe had
knowledge of not only the planned assassination of the
Rwandan and Burundian presidents but a plot against Kenya's
President Moi and Zaire's President Mobutu, as well. There
is a belief that Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bukavu,
Emmanuel Kataliko, was assassinated last October in Rome by
members of a Rwandan hit team acting on orders from Kagame.
Other Tutsi and Hutu leaders who oppose Kagame's regime
continue to flee Rwanda to the U.S. and France in fear of
their lives. Rwanda's figurehead Hutu President Pasteur
Bizimungu was forced to resign last year under pressure from
the only power in Rwanda, his then-Vice President, Paul
Kagame. Deus Kagiraneza, a former intelligence officer in
Kagame's Military Intelligence Directorate (DMI), interim
Prefect of the Ruhengeri province, and member of the
Parliament, is now in exile in Belgium. He charges that
Kagame's top government and military are responsible for
torturing and executing their political opponents.
Kagiraneza maintains that the RPF has pursued such policies
since the time of the 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda.

It is beyond time for the Congress to seriously examine the
role of the United States in the genocide and civil wars of
central Africa, as well as the role that PMCs currently play
in other African trouble spots like Nigeria, Sierra Leone,
Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ethiopia, and Cabinda.

Other nations, some with less than stellar records in
Africa, France and Belgium for example, have had no problem
examining their own roles in Africa's last decade of
turmoil. At the very least, the United States, as the
world's leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example
of a critical self-inspection.

Richard K Moore
Wexford, Ireland

    A community will evolve only when
    the people control their means of communication.
    - Frantz Fanon

    "Consensus does not mean agreement.  It means we create a
    forum where all voices can be heard and we can think
    creatively rather than dualistically about how to reconcile
    our different needs and visions."
        - Starhawk, "Lessons from Seattle and Washington D.C.", 
        in "Democratizing the Global Economy", Kevin Danaher, ed.,
        Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 2001.

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