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UN Sanctions Committee Investigates Congolese Writer's "Genetic Signature"

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Georgianne Nienaber       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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It is a song expressing my compassion to Congolese of Rwandan descent (Kinyarwanda-speaking) such as myself whose basic right to life, as other human rights, are denied  and are forced to wander here and there and die without anyone asking the cause. Surprisingly, even the UN seems unwilling to listen or come to their rescue even as they are threatened by genocide (Gatumba massacre), slaughter by the current regime, massacre and targeted kidnapping of part of the population of the East. my compassion for women raped, children violated by the national army FARDC (Minova)  and the innocent people torn apart by bombing supported by the very people who were supposed to protect them; and those prisoners in inhuman conditions without any criminal records.
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations chief Herve Ladsous Refusing to answer questions about Congo Army rapes in Minova

The Kinyarwandan poet maintains a website here. This website has also come under scrutiny by SECO, but the poem was not published there. Examining the soleildugraben website, it is obvious that the objective is to inform Congolese who are suffering from a virtual blackout of news regarding the conflict between M23 and the government of Congo in Kinshasa.

The following response to SECO from the poet suggests a literary tradition of mysticism more than militarism. Her Facebook page contains hundreds of links to the natural world and tutorials on peace, harmony, and New Age material.

With all this, I do not know how I could remain silent with this injustice to a people whom I belong to: "Who says nothing consents," the saying goes,  I refuse to participate in injustice and death, by segregation and selected abuse; I am committed to the reporting and renouncing of these crimes against humanity, and to inform the national and International opinion through my website. This is not a crime nor does it go against the Democratic Republic of Congo, if there is still freedom of expression and human rights on this earth.

Is this persecution of Kinyarwandan poetry an extreme example of the "genetic signature" which Secretary of State Kerry has allowed to pass without a diplomatic peep  

Poetry has played a huge role in the history of the region. Poetry chronicled Rwandan history and culture, while maintaining a record of rulers in genealogical sequence. The Kinyarwandan language is rich in symbolism and interwoven with religious beliefs that form the core of Rwandan history. See this page from Julius Adekunle's book, Culture and Customs of Rwanda.

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I know it is a literary stretch, but perhaps in a thousand years Kinyyarwandan poets will achieve the stature of Virgil and his ode to the mythic Trojan warrior, Aeneas, as he made his way from Troy to Italy. The Aeneid was written during a time of major conflict during Rome's struggles in the Punic Wars and represents Virgil's concept of an ideal Roman society.  

I don't pretend to understand or appreciate the Kinyarwandan language, but it is not impossible that literary scholars will one day elevate its tonal qualities to that of Virgil's dactylic hexameter.

"Romani et Africani non sunt amici." Virgil:Latin 101.

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The motivation for the Magenga poem came when the Congolese poet saw a photo of Makenga weeping over the corpse of one of his soldiers who was killed by a traitor. 

Rudasumbwa nje kuguhoza; Abakuriza bazabazwa; Impamvu baguhogoza...

The meaning is this: "Most beloved, I come to clean your tears away. Those who push you to weep will be asked the reason why they make you so sad."

Is this a "genetic signature?" I can think of no other reason why a poet would be punished for writing in the great epic tradition of the heroic poem.

First they come for the poets. Then they come for us.


Note: The poet insisted that I use her name. I thought about doing so, but this action by the United Nations is bigger than one individual can bear. All writers need to shoulder the burden.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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