The dictator Kagame at UN

The dictator Kagame at UN
Dictators like Kagame who have changed their national constitutions to remain indefinitely on power should not be involved in UN high level and global activities including chairing UN meetings

Why has the UN ignored its own report about the massacres of Hutu refugees in DRC ?

The UN has ignored its own reports, NGOs and media reports about the massacres of hundreds of thousands of Hutu in DRC Congo (estimated to be more than 400,000) by Kagame when he attacked Hutu refugee camps in Eastern DRC in 1996. This barbaric killings and human rights violations were perpetrated by Kagame’s RPF with the approval of UK and USA and with sympathetic understanding and knowledge of UNHCR and international NGOs which were operating in the refugees camps. According to the UN, NGO and media reports between 1993 and 2003 women and girls were raped. Men slaughtered. Refugees killed with machetes and sticks. The attacks of refugees also prevented humanitarian organisations to help many other refugees and were forced to die from cholera and other diseases. Other refugees who tried to return to Rwanda where killed on their way by RFI and did not reach their homes. No media, no UNHCR, no NGO were there to witness these massacres. When Kagame plans to kill, he makes sure no NGO and no media are prevent. Kagame always kills at night.

27 Jun 2009

Response to The New Times Article on Rwandan Genocide

May 18, 2009

Rwanda’s state-owned newspaper published an article by one its editorial staff, Grace Kwinjeh, on May 8, 2009. The article accused Human Rights Watch of (among other things) sanitizing those attempting to negate the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Africa Division, Georgette Gagnon, wrote a response and Human Rights Watch submitted it to the New Times on May 9, 2009. As of yet, the New Times has chosen not to publish it, denying Human Rights Watch right of reply. So Human Rights Watch is publishing its rebuttal letter and encouraging readers to read it together with Ms Kwinjeh’s original article (link above).

Grace Kwinjeh’s article in The New Times of May 8, 2009, takes issue with a recent article by Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch in the Los Angeles Times. Ms Kwinjeh should explain why an article in this state-owned newspaper did not mention the points that Mr Roth made before “rebutting” them. This would seem to prove his point about the Rwandan government’s censorship of alternative views and its intolerance of any form of dissent.

Mr Roth observed that even a government that does many good things does not have license to ignore human rights when it finds them inconvenient. Political pluralism, free expression, and genuinely competitive elections are not optional in a genuine democracy, but essential. He argued that no one should be allowed to manipulate the 1994 genocide to play on the heartstrings of the international community and thereby justify repression. In particular, he outlined how both the new crime of “genocide ideology” and gacaca trials have in recent years gone beyond the well-intentioned and become tools of repression. He challenged world leaders to push President Kagame to build a more lasting peace in the country. Allowing meaningful and open discussions about the genocide, its aftermath, and current government policies is the only way to achieve true long-term unity and reconciliation in Rwanda, he explained.

Ms Kwinjeh attacked a series of arguments that Mr Roth did not make. For example, Human Rights Watch does not dispute the horror of the 1994 genocide, in which around 800,000 Rwandans lost their lives. It was a horrific chapter in the country’s history, and the international community bears a heavy responsibility for having failed to stop it. Human Rights Watch did more than most though, in attempting both to prevent the genocide and to stop it once the slaughter began. While many in the international community were dismissing the genocide as a manifestation of “age-old animosities” about which nothing could be done, HRW’s senior Africa adviser Alison Des Forges, issued warnings before and during the genocide that the killings were organized, calculated, and directed by a small group that could be pressured and stopped if the world took action. Sadly, global leaders were not prepared to act.

When the genocide ended, Human Rights Watch was determined not to let the world forget – and to respect the victims by demanding that the murderers be brought to justice. Dr Des Forges and her colleagues spent months roaming the countryside, interviewing survivors, reconstructing events, translating what first seemed to be chaos into a series of impeccably researched events that could form the basis of prosecutions. The result was her 800-page book, “Leave None to Tell the Story,” the most important historical record that exists of the genocide and its origins during and after Rwanda’s period under colonial rule. Dr. Des Forges later assisted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) by testifying as an expert witness in 11 separate cases. HRW also documented war crimes by elements of the Rwanda Patriotic Army and continues to press the ICTR to prosecute the accused in accordance with its mandate. All victims of serious crimes deserve redress. That is also why Human Rights Watch has supported international efforts to secure justice for the 300,000 African victims of crimes in Darfur.

Human Rights Watch has never espoused the notion of a double genocide or claimed that the genocide did not happen. To the contrary. So Ms Kwinjeh’s attempt to paint HRW as genocide “revisionist/negationists” is just plain wrong. Being a critic of Rwandan government policies when those policies violate basic rights does not make one a proponent of so-called genocide ideology. It just makes one a proponent of human rights.

Human Rights Watch is not trying to undermine the current Rwandan government. We merely believe that human rights principles apply to all. We have worked in – or on – Rwanda for nearly 20 years. We fought for the rights of those who suffered prior to 1994 under the Habyarimana regime and we continue to do so for the disadvantaged and oppressed today, even though others may be afraid to do so, perhaps out of guilt for past failings. Anyone who wants to see our record can visit our website:

Human Rights Watch has also monitored the gacaca process closely since its inception in 2001 and has observed hundreds of trials. So, Roth’s conclusion that gacaca courts have over the years been exploited as a tool for silencing dissident voices and a forum for settling person disputes is based on specific and documented evidence, not “hearsay” or “bar gossip,” as Ms Kwinjeh claims.
Ms Kwinjeh is right that the human rights agenda on a global level is contested. It is, between those – like Human Rights Watch - who stress the universality of human rights and others, like the Rwandan government, who seek to limit them.

She mentioned the traumatic experience of Alice Ishimwe growing up without the parents who brought her into the world in 1994. There are many like Alice Ishimwe with a stake in a future Rwanda that is secure and that respects the rights of all. The best way of achieving this is not government control and censorship, but steady progress toward dialogue, tolerance and free expression.
It is sad testament to the difficulty of dissenting from the current government’s policies that Ms Kwinjeh cannot mention alternative points of view and relies on false allegations. Censorship, and the repressive policies behind it, is not the way to build a peaceful future. It certainly is no way to pay respect to the genocide victims of the past.

Georgette GagnonDirector, Africa DivisionHuman Rights WatchNew York

26 Jun 2009

Rwandan presidential candidate plans to visit Dayton on Saturday

Rwandan presidential candidate plans to visit Dayton on Saturday
Many of the about 300 Rwandans living in the Dayton area are refugees.

By Hannah C. Bealer, Staff Writer12:38 AM Friday, June 26, 2009
Rwandan presidential candidate and United Democratic Front party member Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza will be at the Dayton North Holiday Inn at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 27.

Dayton has a Rwandan population of about 300, said Kristine Ward, chair of the board at the House of the People, a shelter for Rwandan refugees in Dayton .

Ward said 17 refugees are currently housed at the center, where they have the opportunity to seek employment and focus on education.
In September 2010, Umuhoza will run against President General Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

The Tutsi-formed RPF as well as Hutu extremists are widely believed to have played a part in the killings of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira, who died when their plane was shot down in 1994. The assassinations caused controversy among the two groups, and led to the Rwandan genocide.
“Those who ignore all about Rwanda think that Kagame is a hero for his country whereas he is co-responsible for the Rwandanese tragedy,” Umuhoza said April 15 while giving a lecture at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands .

Ward said as an American citizen, she does not have a position in the Rwandan election. She believes that the local refugees, however, will “have a great deal to say about it. They were the ones who fortunately lived through the genocide.”

Renewal ceremony

“We gather not because we are all the same. We gather because we are all in this together,” Father John Krumm said at St. Mary’s Church on Saturday, June 20.

Krumm, who has been the priest of St. Mary’s for nine years, led a ceremony for the renewal of Isaie Sibomana’s and Sylvie Incuti’s marriage vows. The couple married in 1999 in Burkina Faso , a nation in West Africa . Their first child, Brice Sibomana, 8, was born in the country.
When the couple moved to Dayton , Incuti gave birth to their now 1-year-old twins, Bryan and Bright.

The family felt it was “important to renew their vows in a church for the community and their children,” Ward said. Brice’s first communion was included in the ceremony as well as the twins’ baptism.

Many Rwandan refugees who escaped the 1994 genocide were in attendance for the ceremony, and Krumm’s words must have hit home for many of them.Ward has only positive things to say about the refugees she assists at the House of the People. “They’re very forgiving,” she said. “That’s why it’s hard for them to understand the genocide.”

Ward also noted that many of the refugees held high-ranking jobs in Rwanda , ranging from university professors to doctors. However, when they arrive at the House of the People, “they take any job they can get.”
Many will agree to work the night shift so they can spend the daytime with their children, she said.

“If there’s a gift they can give, it’s the way they care for their children,” Ward said. “These men are the most dedicated fathers I have seen.”
Ward, who’s work at the House is voluntary, says it’s a miracle when a Rwandan family comes to live at the House with all members intact. Despite their misfortunes, “they never lost their dignity, their hope or their love,” said Ward.

Now, the refugees have a new hope for the country they fled.
That hope comes in the form of Umuhoza.
Umuhoza did not witness the genocide personally.
In an interview with Oliver Nyiruburgara, a journalist who focuses on African affairs, she explained she left Rwanda in 1994 to live in the Netherlands . She watched the genocide progress on television.
“It hurt me deep in my heart,” she told Nyiruburgara. “My political determination is based on that. We suffered a genocide and the first step should be reconciliation.”

Philippe Bizimana, the Rwandan community coordinator in Dayton , says that Umuhoza will be the first politician the community will see when she comes to speak in Dayton .

Bizimana came to live in the U.S. 10 years ago when he left a Kenyan refugee camp and arrived in Dayton . “This is my place,” he said of the city.
Bizimana said not many people know of Umuhoza, but “many people would support anyone who could bring peace in Rwanda .”

Dr. Joseph Twagilimana, another Rwandan refugee, feels similarly. He explained the name ‘Umuhoza’ means a person who cleans the tears off of a crying person’s cheeks.

If Umuhoza defeats the current president, she will be the country’s first female president.

“That would be great. I feel like everyone will be happy like they are in Liberia now,” said Bizimana, referring to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who won the 2005 Liberian presidential election and became its first elected female head of state.
“We don’t distinguish between male or female,” explained Twagilimana. “We distinguish who can do what and the way he or she can do it. A president is a president, not a male or a female.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-9370 or hbealer
@DaytonDailyNews. com.
http://www.daytonda news/dayton- news/rwandan- presidential- candidate- plans-to- visit-dayton- on-saturday- 178867.html

How aid funds war in Congo

Yesterday a victim, today an oppressor: how aid funds war in Congo (07.04.09)

Tonight a hush will fall over the national stadium in Kigali as, one by one, a sea of candles is lit to commemorate the 800,000 lives lost in the Rwandan genocide. A screen will fill with the faces of luminaries from the actress Sandra Bullock to David Cameron, the British Conservative leader, speaking of the candles they have lit for Rwanda's victims and survivors.
Presiding over it all will be Paul Kagame, the Rwandan President, self-styled liberator and darling of Western aid donors who rushed billions to the tiny nation in the guilty aftermath of foreign inaction to stop the killing.

But 15 years on, Mr Kagame finds himself cast more as a perpetrator than victim, with the unveiling of Rwanda's role in the plunder and killing in eastern Congo, a war that has claimed the lives of five times as many people as the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur combined. So why are British taxpayers still supporting him?

Since the genocide, Rwanda has relied on foreign aid for half its national budget. Britain is its single largest donor, committed to a disbursement of at least £46 million a year until 2015. The United States is close behind in direct contributions to Rwanda's budget, a form of aid-giving reserved for what the European Union calls a “privileged” few who have proved their transparency and good governance.

In December Sweden and the Netherlands abruptly revoked aid to Rwanda after the revelations about its meddling in Congo - not just as punishment but also in response to the contention that without foreign aid Rwanda could not have financed its deadly but highly profitable operations over the border.

Rwanda originally invaded eastern Congo in 1996 in pursuit of the Hutu genocide perpetrators who fled there to evade justice. Uganda came too, in pursuit of its own rebels. Timothy Reid, a senior United Nations peacekeeping official in Rwanda and Congo, calculated that even factoring in the profits of the mineral wealth Rwanda pillaged from Congo, the war there would have put it $100 million (£70 million) into the red, had it not been for the cushion of foreign aid.

After Rwanda pulled out of Congo officially, it continued the war there by proxy, supporting Tutsi rebels led by General Laurent Nkunda. It always denied the support, until December, when the damning results of a UN inquiry proved the link beyond question. The Nkunda forces had marched to the gates of Goma, slaughtering hundreds, in the company of uniformed Rwandan soldiers with covering fire from Rwandan tanks over the border. Rwandan soldiers have forcibly recruited children on his behalf - a war crime that landed Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese warlord, in the dock at The Hague as the first defendant of the permanent International Criminal Court.

The investigation unearthed e-mails between General Nkunda's men and a close associate of Mr Kagame, Tribert Rujugiro, detailing the transfer of funds to the general. Mr Rujugiro is a member of the same Rwandan presidential advisory panel as Tony Blair. Mr Rujugiro is in London awaiting extradition to South Africa on charges of tax evasion. He appeared in a previous UN report as a big profiteer from the illegal plunder of minerals by Rwandan forces in Congo. That same report details the highly systematic nature of the Rwandan military looting, compared with the much less structured Ugandan plunder.

Western diplomats described to The Times the electric effect of the UN report on the Kagame regime as realisation dawned that the flow of aid might be imperilled. Military commanders, in particular, were said to be alarmed at the prospect of losing their military ties with Britain by which scores of Rwandan officers have passed through Sandhurst. Their training has made them favourite for highly lucrative UN peacekeeping missions in places such as Darfur, where Western troops are loath to go.

“They knew the game was up and they had to distance themselves from Nkunda or risk losing Western aid and support,” a senior diplomat said.
The Netherlands and Sweden stopped their aid to Rwanda immediately. Kigali's answer was to cut a deal with the Congolese Government: it would neutralise General Nkunda if Kinshasa allowed it to help to neutralise the Hutu genocidaires in Congo - as long as Nkunda could never spill his secrets. He was arrested, diplomats say, not as he fled Congo, as widely reported, but in a trap set for him by the Rwandan army chief of staff, who called him to an urgent meeting at a house in Rubavu, just over the border in Rwanda.

Two months later, he has not been handed over to Congo, as expected. The man who replaced him as rebel leader, Bosco Ntaganda, has already been indicted by the International Criminal Court and General Nkunda is also in its sights. Rwanda, extraordinarily, has never signed up to the ICC but Congo has. “The last thing Rwanda wants is Nkunda spilling the beans in The Hague,” another diplomat said.

Something close to that might still happen. Lubanga, on trial at The Hague, is expect to open a defence case claiming that he was taking orders from above, and outside Congo. Uganda, also a huge aid recipient from the Anglophone world, is more closely implicated, but Rwanda will feature too. Uganda has been taken to task in the International Court of Justice for its plunder in eastern Congo and has been charged the reparations for it. Rwanda, which has not signed up to the ICJ either, has not.

Did British pressure twist Mr Kagame's arm to drop Nkunda? British officials privately admit not. The Rwandan leader, they concede, had reason for concernbut there was no explicit threat to end aid. Angry UN officials contrast Britain's stand on development aid to Zimbabwe - refusing to give it until Robert Mugabe's thugs are removed from economic office - to its generosity towards another regime so recently embroiled in the deaths of millions.

“It is a classic guilt syndrome,” one said. “The West's neglect of Rwanda's agony has morphed into a gross indulgence of its worst behaviour.”
But has that behaviour now ended? Many are sceptical. The proxy war in Congo has been enormously profitable - for individuals, not the national budget, well cushioned by foreign aid. Rwandan customs accounting regularly show it exporting tonnes of minerals that it does not even produce - but which are mined feverishly over the border in Congo.

The price of such minerals has dived in recent months, leaving many Congolese miners destitute. With aid at risk, the balance sheet may no longer look so appealing. Meanwhile, the proof that Rwanda has its own fair share of rapacious warlords has made even the most pro-Kagame allies look again at the French and Spanish indictments against his top leadership for the shooting down of the President's plane that precipitated the genocide as something more than spiteful conjecture.

A respectful hush will descend on Kigali tonight. As well it should. Over the border in Congo the killing goes on. Since the Rwandan troops who went there to flush out Hutu rebels left, the rebels have hit back, massacring civilians in their hundreds. Suffering, in eastern Congo, is not a memory. And there will be no candles for its five million dead.

Keith Harmon Snow : Whitewashing Rwanda Genocide (21.04.09)

Keith Harmon Snow : Whitewashing Rwanda Genocide (21.04.09)

On 12 February 2009, Alison Des Forges, a senior researcher with Human Rights Watch (HRW) for more than 20 years, was killed when Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed on route to Buffalo, New York. Des Forges was widely cited as a staunch critic of the Rwandan military government controlled by Paul Kagame and the victors of the war in Rwanda, 1990-1994.

In the ongoing life-and-death struggle to reveal the truth about war crimes and genocide in Central Africa, competing factions on all sides have posthumously embraced Alison Des Forges as an activist challenging power and a purveyor of truth and justice against all odds. Meanwhile, in March, 2009, based on false accusations of genocide issued by the Kagame regime—and given the close relations between Rwanda and the Barack Obama Administration’s former Clintonite officials—the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began the process of revisiting all immigration cases of Rwandan asylum seekers and criminalizing innocent refugees.

"In May of 1994, a few weeks into the killings of Tutsis in Rwanda," reported Amy Goodman, posthumously, on Democracy Now, Alison Des Forges "was among the first voices calling for the killings to be declared a genocide." Added Goodman: "She later became very critical of the Tutsi-led Rwandan government headed by Paul Kagame and its role in the mass killings in both Rwanda and neighboring Congo after 1994. Last year, she was barred from entering Rwanda."

To say that Des Forges was "amongst the first voices calling for the killings to be declared genocide" in 1994 is an Orwellian ruse. The genocide label applied by Alison Des Forges and certain human rights bodies in May of 1994 was misdirected, used to accuse and criminalize only the majority Hutu people and the remnants of the decapitated Habyarimana government; much as the genocide and war crimes accusations have been selectively applied against President Omar al-Bashir in Sudan.
The Clinton Administration refused to apply the genocide label: to do so might have compromised an ongoing U.S.-backed covert operation: the invasion of Rwanda by the Pentagon’s proxy force, the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A).

According to U.S. intelligence insider Wayne Madsen, Des Forges’ criticisms of the U.S.-brokered pact between Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila in December 2008 "earned her some powerful enemies ranging from the murderous Kagame, who will not think twice about sending his agents to silence critics abroad, and international interests who want nothing to prevent them from looting the DRC’s vast mineral and energy resources."
"With U.S. military forces of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) now backing a joint Ugandan-DRC offensive in the northeastern DRC to wipe out the Lord’s Resistance Army," wrote Madsen on 16 February 2009, "with hundreds of civilian casualties in the DRC and Uganda, and a secret pact worked out between Kabila and Kagame to permit Rwandan troops to occupy the eastern DRC, the target of both operations is securing the vast territory that is rich in commodities that the United States, Britain and Israel—all allies of Uganda and Rwanda—want badly.

Those commodities are gold, diamonds, columbium-tantalite (coltan), platinum and natural gas." Massive oil reserves are also at stake, with major concessions bifurcated by the international border. Ongoing petroleum sector investment (exploration and exploitation) in the region involves numerous western extraction companies—many being so-called petroleum "minors" likely fronting for larger corporations—including Hardman Resources, Heritage Oil and Gas, H Oil & Minerals, PetroSA, Tullow Oil, Vangold Resources, ContourGlobal Group, Tower Resources, Reservoir Capital Group, and Nexant (a Bechtel Corporation subsidiary).
Billed as a "tireless champion" and "leading light in African human rights," there is much more to this story than the western propaganda system has revealed: Alison Des Forges and Human Rights Watch (HRW) provided intelligence to the U.S. government at the time of the 1994 crises, and they have continued in this role to the present. Des Forges also supported the show trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), institutionalizing victor’s justice and shielding the Kagame regime.

Alison Des Forges came across to many people as a wonderful human being with great compassion and impeccable integrity. Indeed, this was my impression upon meeting her as well. She is said to have helped people who were being persecuted—no matter that they were Hutus or Tutsis—by the Rwandan regime that has for more than 19 years operated with impunity behind the misplaced and misappropriated moral currency of victimhood. In the recent past, Alison Des Forges spoke—to some limited degree—against the war crimes of the Kagame regime.

In life she did not speak about the deeper realities of "genocide in Rwanda", and she had plenty of chances. In fact, she is the primary purveyor of the inversion of truth that covered up the deeper U.S. role in the Rwanda "genocide", and she spent the past 10 years of her life explaining away the inconsistencies, covering up the facts, revising her own story when necessary, and manipulating public opinion about war crimes in the Great Lakes of Africa—in service to the U.S. government and powerful corporations involved in the plunder and depopulation of the region.

"Alison des Forges is a liar," Cameroonian journalist Charles Onana told me, in Paris, France, several years ago. Onana is the author of numerous exposés on war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Central Africa, and he is the author of the book "The Secrets of the Rwandan Genocide, Investigations on the Mysteries of a President," published in French in 2001.

Kagame, Rwanda’s one-party president "elected" through rigged elections, sued Charles Onana for defamation in a French court in 2002; Kagame lost the original trial and the appeal. Kagame was the commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) and a leading agent—with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and their U.S., U.K., Belgian and Israeli backers—behind the massive bloodshed and ongoing terrorism in Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Congo, Sudan and Somalia.

In his book, Onana accused Kagame of being the principle instigator of the missile attack of April 6, 1994 that brought down the plane carrying Rwanda's President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi's Cyprien Ntaryamira. Unlike the U.N.'s ongoing high-profile investigation of the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri, no major power has pushed for a similar probe into the murder of the two African presidents.

Des Forges own death in a plane crash garnered major coverage.
"Leading light in African Human Rights killed in Buffalo Crash," reported the Pentagon’s mouthpiece, CNN. "Human Rights Watch, which is based in New York, said she was ‘best known for her award-winning account of the genocide, Leave None to Tell the Story.’ She was truly wonderful, the epitome of the human rights activist—principled, dispassionate, committed to the truth and to using that truth to protect ordinary people."

Alison Des Forges first worked as a HRW agent in Rwanda in 1992; in 1993 she helped produce a major international document highly biased against the Rwandan Government and protective of the RPF/A invaders: "Report of the International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990."

In late 1992, the International Federation of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, the Inter-African Union for Human Rights and the Rights of Peoples, and the International Center for the Rights of the Individual and the Development of Democracy created the International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990. With 10 members from eight countries, the commission reported its findings in March 1993: Des Forges was co chairperson, one of the three principal writers, and translator of the French to English version.

The report noted that "hundreds of thousands" of Rwandans were made homeless and forced to flee, prior to January 1993, but these casualties of the RPF/A invasion were not attributed to international crimes of peace against a sovereign government committed by an invading army—the RPF/A guerrillas covertly backed by the U.S., Britain, Belgium and Israel—but instead merely to "war".

In other words, the initial act of aggression, the RPA/F invasion, was institutionally protected and the war crimes that set the stage for the conflagrations in Rwanda and Congo went unpunished.
Later in 1993, Rwandans Ferdinan d Nanimana and Joseph Mushyandi, representing four Rwandan organizations under the Rwanda Associations for the Defense of Human Rights, challenged the DesForges commission in their 26-page document, "A Commentary on the Report of the International Commission's Inquiry on the Violation of Human Rights in Rwanda since October 1990."

"How can an international commission be taken seriously when its members spent only two weeks extracting verbal and written evidence on human rights violations for a period of two years?" the authors wrote. They also pointed out that the commission spent less than two hours in areas controlled by the RPF/A rebels and that they could not visit all the 11 prefectures in the country because of demonstrations that blocked the roads. "Can there be any objective and credible conclusions in their report?"

Ferdinand Nanimana was later sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide. Many members of the Rwandan human rights organizations he worked with prior to April 1994 were subsequently killed. The rights and due process of Rwandan Hutus are systematically violated due to victor’s justice secured by the U.S., Europe, Israel and the proxy states Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. Bernard Ntuyahaga, a Major of the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR) accused of killing 10 Belgian soldiers and Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, surrendered to the ICTR to avoid extradition to Rwanda; he was tried in Belgium and sentenced to 20 years in prison on July 4, 2007.

Like other researchers who have endlessly perpetuated the disinformation, Des Forges made no attempts to correct the record. In 1992, human rights researchers Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal established the London-based NGO African Rights. In August 1995, African Rights published Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, another pivotal "human rights" report that manufactured the "genocide" fabrications, set the stage for victor’s justice at the ICTR, and began the process of dehumanizing millions of Hutu people and protecting the true terrorists. In 1995, Omaar and de Waal recycled the disinformation in the left-leaning Covert Action Quarterly under the title "U.S. Complicity by Silence: Genocide in Rwanda."

Since 2003, Alex de Waal has been one of the primary disinformation conduits on Darfur, Sudan. "An intensive back and forth activity between this so-called British human rights organization, African Rights, and the intelligence services of the [Kagame] President’s office and the Rwandan military, has been observed," wrote Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroics was immortalized in the film Hotel Rwanda. "Her investigators are very close to the [RPF/A] military intelligence apparatus, and the modus operandi of both appears to be similar."

Alison Des Forges years-long "investigations" into the bloodshed of 1994 resulted in the fat treatise on genocide in Rwanda, "Leave None to Tell the Story," a book co-researched and co-written by Timothy Longman, now Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science at Vassar College. Longman and Des Forges produced numerous documents—based on field investigations in Congo (then Zaire), Rwanda and Burundi, from 1995 to 2008—touted as independent and unbiased human rights documents, all skewed by hidden interests.

According to a recent PBS Frontline eulogy, less than two weeks into the killing in April 1994 Des Forges met with officials in the U.S. State Department and National Security Council (NSC) and lobbied for their help. "We were not asking for U.S. troops," Frontline quotes her saying, "it was clear to us that there was no way that the U.S. was going to commit troops to Rwanda."

But the U.S. military was heavily backing the RPF/A tactically and strategically already. Key to the operation were "former" Special Operations Forces (Ronco Company) providing military equipment and ferrying RPA troops from Uganda to Rwanda; the Pentagon's logistical and communications support; Defense Intelligence Agency and CIA operatives. Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), was also collaborating with the RPF/A, serving the Pentagon interest.

Genocide in Rwanda became a massive psychological operation directed against media consumers using ghastly images—produced by RPA-embedded photographers like James Nachtwey and Gilles Peres—to infer that all cadavers were Tutsi victims of an orchestrated Hutu genocide; meanwhile the text was racist disinformation produced by Joshua Hammer. Newsweek, June 20, 1994.

ICTR defense attorney Christopher Black reports that reliable sources confirm that US Special forces were with the RPF all the way through the war. "My client testified in June that U.S. Hercules [C-130 military aircraft] were seen dropping troops in support of the RPF…"
Further, on 9 April 1994, three days after the so-called "mysterious plane crash" where Burundi's President Cyprien Ntaryamira and President Habyarimana were assassinated, some 330 U.S. marines landed at Bujumbura's airport in Burundi, ostensibly to "rescue Americans" in Rwanda.

More centrally however, Uganda—with U.S. trained forces and U.S. supplied weaponry—launched its war against Rwanda as a proxy force for the United States of America on October 1, 1990.

The result was a coup d’état: we won. The 2003 Frontline interview with Alison Des Forges exemplifies her continuing role in whitewashing U.S. involvement in war crimes and genocide in Central Africa. "Kagame received his military education under the Pentagon's Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) at the Command and General Staff College of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, beginning in 1990," wrote John E. Peck of the Association of African Scholars (2002). "His sidekick, Lt. Col.
Frank Rusagara, got his JCET schooling at the U.S. Naval Academy in Monterey, California. Both were dispatched to Rwanda in time to oversee the RPF's takeover in 1994. Far from being an innocent bystander, the Washington Post revealed on July 12, 1998 that the United States not only gave Kagame $75 million in military assistance, but also sent Green Berets to train Kagame's forces (as well as their Ugandan rebel allies) in low intensity conflict (LIC) tactics. Pentagon subcontractor Ronco, masquerading as a de-mining company, also smuggled more weapons to RPF fighters in flagrant violation of UN sanctions. All of this U.S. largesse was put to lethal effect in the ethnic bloodbath that is still going on."
"This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power," Des Forges wrote, blaming "Hutu Power". However, her assertions about a "planned" Hutu genocide—"They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter"—collapse under scrutiny.

From 1990 to 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), comprised most heavily of Ugandan soldiers led by Ugandan citizens like Paul Kagame, committed atrocity after atrocity as they forced their way to power in Kigali, always falsely accusing their enemies—the power-sharing government of then President Juvenal Habyarimana—of genocide.

"Kagame assigned some people to work with Alison Des Forges," says Ugandan Human Rights activist Remigius Kintu, "and also to assist her in fabricating and distorting stories to suit Tutsi propaganda plans."
According to the International Forum for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, whose discoveries resulted in the high courts of Spain issuing international indictments against 40 top RPF/A officials: "Between 1990 and 1994, the RPA waged a systematic, pre-planned, secretive but highly organized terrorist war aimed at eliminating the largest number of Rwandan people possible—bodies were hacked to pieces and incinerated en masse.
From 1994, once the RPA violently seized power, a terror regime was created, and developed, and a criminal structure parallel to the state was set up to pursue pre-determined kidnappings; torturing and raping of women and young girls; terrorist attacks (both directly and by simulating that the same had been perpetrated by the enemy); illegal detention of thousands of civilians; selective murdering; systematic elimination of corpses either by mass incineration or by throwing them into lakes and rivers; indiscriminate attacks against civilians based on pre-determined ethnic categories for the elimination of the predominant ethnic group; and also to carry out acts of war in Rwanda and Congo."

Before former President Habyarimana’s assassination on 6 April 1994, Des Forges, and the organizations she worked with, blamed the whole war crimes show on President Habyarimana and his government, they dismissed the illegal invasion and atrocities of the RPF/A, and they began calling it genocide against the Tutsis as early as 1992.

"In the Military II case Alison Des Forges admitted that she was funded by USAID when she was part of that so-called International Commission condemning the Rwandan Government [under Habyarimana] for human rights violations," reports Canadian Chris Black, a defense attorney at the ICTR, "and she admitted that she just took the word of the RPF and pro-RPF groups and that she did not deal with RPF atrocities, as she did not have the time."

Chris Black notes that Des Forges presented reports to the ICTR in certain legal cases that were decidedly doctored from the original reports presented in previous cases against other accused Hutu genocidaires, and that it was necessary to cross-examine Des Forges "very forcefully" to get her to agree that changes had been made to the reports presented as evidence in the case being tried.

"In her expert report in the 2006 Military II trial against General Ndindiliyimana," Chris Black adds, "she removed all the positive things she had said about him in her book and in her previous expert report in the [Colonel Théoneste] Bagasora case. When asked by me why she deleted the positive view of him at his own trial, and why she tried to hide the fact that he saved a lot of Tutsis, among other things, she had no explanation. It was a cheap, low thing to do and I can tell you even the judges here at the ICTR were not too happy about it."

On December 18, 2008, after the protracted ‘Military I’ trial, the judges at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda ruled that there was no conspiracy to commit genocide by former Rwandan military leaders affiliated with the former Habyarimana government. It was war, and the actions—far from a calculated genocide—were found by ICTR judges to be "war-time conditions".

"The media reports of the December 18 judgment [Military I] at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda focused primarily on the convictions of three of four former top military leaders, who were the supposed ‘masterminds’ of the Rwandan genocide," wrote ICTR defense lawyer Peter Erlinder. "But, as those who have followed the ICTR closely know, convictions of members of the former Rwandan government and military are scarcely newsworthy."

Since the inception of the ICTR its decisions have been decisively biased—victor’s justice—in favor of protecting the Kagame regime and its backers. Thus it is no surprise that the former top military leaders of the Habyarimana government—Colonel Théoneste Bagosora and Major Aloys Ntabakuze—were sentenced to life imprisonment for acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The real news was that all of the top Rwandan military officers, including the supposedly infamous Colonel Bagosora, were found not guilty of conspiracy or planning to commit genocide," writes Erlinder. "And General Gratien Kabiligi, a senior member of the general staff, was acquitted of all charges! The others were found guilty of specific acts committed by subordinates, in specific places, at specific times—not an overall conspiracy to kill civilians, much less Tutsi civilians."

Now, after more than 15 years of massive western propaganda proclaiming an organized, systematic elimination of the Tutsi people by the Hutu leaders of the former Rwandan government, the official Rwanda genocide story has finally collapsed.

In contradistinction to the establishment narrative accusing the "Hutu leadership" of an "organized" and "planned" genocide were the countless acts of genocide committed through a spontaneous uprising of the Hutu masses—people who had been brutalized, disenfranchised, uprooted and forced from homes; people who had witnessed massacres and rapes of family members; people who were themselves the victims of brutal atrocities.

These were more than a million internally displaced Rwandan Hutus, people who had been terrorized by the Rwandan Patriotic Army from October 1990 to April 1994, as it butchered its way into Rwanda; and possibly a million Burundian refugees, Hutus who suffered massive reprisals in Burundi after the first civilian President, Melchior Ndadaye, a democratically elected Hutu, was assassinated by the Tutsi military in October 1993.

There is evidence that the RPA/F pursued "pseudo-operations"—death squads committing atrocities disguised as government soldiers—and evidence that at least some of the infamous Interahamwe militias pursued their campaigns of terror in the pay of the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army.
"She concealed the fact that from 1990 the war caused an unprecedented economic poverty and that the one million internally displaced people tore the social fabric apart!" wrote Dr. Helmut Strizek, a former German official who had called for Des Forges’ resignation from HRW.

"And these people knew that Tutsi rebels caused their misery. They did not wait for ‘instructions’ in order to revenge, once no one was able to maintain public order after the April 6 assassination and resumption of hostilities by the RPF."

"Alison Des Forges is no longer," writes Charles Onana. "Peace be with her soul! She nonetheless leaves behind her many victims of injustice, who she painstakingly accused, using false testimony, before the International Criminal Tribunal Court for Rwanda (ICTR)." Alison Des Forges provided expert testimony in 11 genocide trials before the ICTR, including the ‘Military I’ trials that condemned Col. Theoneste Bagosora and two others on December 18. Des Forges also testified in genocide trials in Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada.

Charles Onana continues: "Among her victims there is Jean-Paul Akayesu, the first to be condemned to life imprisonment for genocide. This man, who Alison Des Forges had accused without any proof against him, was even defended by a Tutsi from the Patriotic Rwandan Army [RPA] who had been party to the fabrication of the ‘incriminating’ evidence against him in Rwanda. The Tribunal never listened to this witness, but they did listen to Alison Des Forges."

"I have also discovered during the course of my investigations into the ICTR that, at the start of the trial in 1997, she introduced a forged fax that was purported to be written by General Dallaire in 1994. This fax, maintained Des Forges, concerned the 'planning of genocide’."
New Yorker staff writer Philip Gourevitch spread the mythology of "The Genocide Fax" far and wide. Gourevitch’s first pro-RPF/A disinformation piece appeared in the New Yorker in December 1995; in May 1998 the New Yorker published Gourevitch’s "The Genocide Fax," a charade fed to him by Madeleine Albright’s undersecretary of state James Rubin.

Gourevitch’s fictional book "We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families" was funded by the euphemistically named U.S. Institute for Peace and written in league with the Kagame regime.

It is certainly possible that Alison Des Forges was unaware of the original fabrication, but she and Human Rights Watch never changed their tune, and they never denounced the fabrication.
Charles Onana continues: "It was on the basis of this false document that she called for the condemnation of Jean-Paul Akaseyu. To lend credibility to this first trial process, the ICTR, with astonishing lightness and irresponsibility, condemned this man to life. The Tribunal had no proof. The judicial dossier is slapdash and skimpy, but that has no importance. This was Alison Des Forges first great victory."

"She then decided to pursue a Rwandan refugee living in Canada: an ideal target," Onana adds, referring to Leon Mugesera. "He had the misfortune to be Hutu. For her, this man was a ‘planner of genocide’. But where is the proof? Alison Des Forges has none, but she wants to see this man in prison. Having deciphered or seen through Alison Des Forge’s arguments, the Judge of the Canadian Federal Tribunal concluded witheringly and without pity: ‘I note above all the relentlessness with which Mme Des Forges launched her diatribe against M. [Leon]Mugesera, and am astonished by the lack of care she has demonstrated in drawing up the report for the International Commission of Enquiry and in her Expert Assessment.’"
"The Canadian judge did not hesitate to qualify Mme. Des Forges as partisan, demonstrating ‘a prejudice or preconceived position against Léon Mugesera’. He concluded that she could not be considered an objective witness, adding that no correctly informed tribunal could take her allegations seriously. Nevertheless it was on the basis of the same arguments, and of the same fantasy report published in 1999, that she accused numerous Rwandans, all Hutu."

"CONTINENTAL SHIFT," one of Philip Gourevitch’s pivotal disinformation essays that appeared in the New Yorker, outlined the "new brand of African leader" exemplified by Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame: it is a whitewash of U.S.-backed terrorism. "It was thus that she devoted the penultimate day of her examination, during the process against the military, to presenting Colonel Bagosora, Hutu, as the king pin in the genocide.

The Tribunal in the long-running ‘Military I’ trial did not accept the ‘planning of genocide’ that Alison Des Forges never ceased to hammer on about by means of her pseudo-fax of 11 January 1994. She lied, lied and lied again. She tried a come-back or to recover her credibility by criticizing her ‘hero’ Paul Kagame, the organizer of the 6 April 1994 assassination of two presidents."

"Alison Des Forges finally dared to speak of the crimes committed by the Tutsi rebels of the RPF/A: the great taboo. It was a bit late but it assuaged her conscience. For those who were condemned by the ICTR, deliberately and unjustly recorded by her, there will be no justice for them. Can Alison Des Forges still hear their suffering and their pain? She who has done them so much harm—along with their families? She who claimed to defend the Rights of Man has without doubt violated the rights of many Rwandans, who will undoubtedly never forget her. Their homage to Mme. Des Forges would have been different, very different, to what her many friends in the media have to say."

Timothy Longman and Des Forges, the co-authors of the HRW treatise, "Leave None To Tell The Story," both worked with USAID, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon. Des Forges was a member of the HRW board from 1988 and was "principal researcher" on Rwanda and Burundi, 1991-1994.

In this period Des Forges also consulted for USAID, and collaborated with the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council. Simultaneously, Des Forges worked with, informed and influenced U.S. Congress-people, Permanent Representatives at the United Nations, the U.N. Under-Secretary General, and U.N. Special Rapporteur for Rwanda and Special Rapporteur for Summary and Arbitrary Executions. Des Forges also pumped the disinformation into the academic world through her high-level ties to human rights committees, African and Africana Studies departments and the elite African Studies Association.

In the same period, Des Forges constantly influenced the U.S. media through special briefings to the editorial boards and reporters of the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, and Associated Press, and she was frequently presented as an "expert" on genocide in Rwanda for CNN, 60 Minutes, Nightline, All Things Considered, BBC, Radio France Internationale, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

Such relations explain the mass media’s consistency in producing the monolithic disinformation about Rwanda that shielded the illegal U.S.-backed and covert RPF/A- Ugandan guerrilla insurgency. The blanket media coverage falsely situated the "Rwanda genocide" as it is now widely misunderstood: 100 days of genocide, 800,000 to 1.2 million Tutsis killed with machetes; the "highly disciplined" RPF/A stopping the genocide.

Such is the disinformation that indoctrinated the English-speaking media consumers and created a mass psychological hysteria about Rwanda that persists to this day. Timothy Longman worked with Des Forges in Rwanda in 1994 and has worked regularly with both USAID and HRW on contracts in Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, throughout the late 1990’s and into the present; Longman worked in Rwanda on one USAID contract for Management Systems Incorporated, a firm whose clients include the Pentagon. Longman also worked as a consultant for HRW in the spring of 2000 conducting field research in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and producing "a detailed report on human rights conditions in rebel-controlled areas."

The Des Forges and Longman position vis-à-vis their whitewashing of the Tutsi-led RPF/A organized genocide in Rwanda certainly explains the sanitation of HRW reports, and it raises questions, for example, about how Human Rights Watch "researchers" navigate their "work" in rebel (read: Rwandan and Ugandan) controlled areas in DRC.

It also raises questions about how, why and when HRW does or doesn’t expose the western operatives, non-government organizations and multinational corporations: a singular example is the Human Rights Watch report that mildly exposes the criminal operations of Anglo-Gold Ashanti—a company partnered with the George H.W. Bush connected Barrick Gold Corporation—in eastern DRC.

HRW says nothing about Moto Gold, Mwana Africa, Banro Resources, Hardmann Oil, Tullow Oil, De Beers, H Oil & Minerals, OM Group, Metalurg, Kotecha, International Rescue Committee—and the many proxy armies, militias, gun-runners and other organized white collar war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Congo.

The role of HRW as an intelligence conduit to the U.S. Government is incidentally confirmed by Samantha Power in her book "A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide"—a whitewash of U.S. and allied war crimes for which she was rewarded with a Pulitzer Prize.

While Power’s "bystanders to genocide" thesis about Rwanda is a total inversion of the facts, she notes in passing that "Human Rights Watch supplied exemplary intelligence to the U.S. Government and lobbied in one-on-one meetings" in April and May 1994, and that Alison Des Forges and other HRW staff visited the White House on April 21, 1994. Samantha Power is currently a member of the National Security Council in the Obama Administration.

The mass media was flooded with "Rwanda genocide" disinformation between April and July of 1994, and advertising that served up subliminal seduction and white supremacy often surrounded these "news" clips.
Alison Des Forges continued to remain silent about Western corporate and military interests in the Great Lakes region to her death. A perfect example of this silence is the very unrevealing March 2008 interview by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum titled "Alison Des Forges: The Impact of Rwandan Genocide in Congo."

Timothy Longman also produces significant pro-US propaganda about Sudan. Thus it is important to note that amongst the key USAID conduits for disinformation and covert operations in Sudan today is Roger Winter, one of the primary architects of the RPF/A guerrilla war, organized from Washington in 1989, that led to the loss of millions of lives in the Great Lakes of Africa since October 1990.

Alison Des Forges, of course, never mentioned Roger Winter or his colleague in covert operations, Susan Rice, the Obama Administration’s Ambassador to the U.N. Of Roger Winter, Remigius Kintu, the Ugandan Human Rights activist says "he was the chief logistics boss for the RPF until their victory in 1994…."

"Roger Winter was with the RPA on the front lines in Rwanda and he regularly briefed the Clinton Administration of the RPA’s military achievements," says Jean Marie Vianney Higiro, former Rwandan official. "Alison Des Forges contributed to the RPF/A takeover of Rwanda. I have no doubt about that… I met her three times, first in 1995, and in 2004 she encouraged me to testify at the ICTR. I said 'no way: I will only testify if RPF officials are arrested.' She insisted I should testify, she was confident that the RPF were going to be arrested. I think she did not realize that the U.S. government would never accept that. She was something of an opportunist."

The zeal displayed by Alison Des Forges and Human Rights Watch in the pursuit of justice and human rights appears in sharp contradistinction to their absence of zeal in pursuing the architects of the criminal invasion of Rwanda on October 1, 1990, by Uganda, the double presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994, and all kinds of other murderous corporate conspiracies in Central Africa where foreign-financed wars are used as cover for illegal extraction of resources, particularly in the Congo.

Ironically, as the world this week commemorated the 15th Anniversary of the terrible mass murders that followed the assassination of the presidents, Rwandan asylum seekers that are critics of the Kagame regime live under perpetual fear of being hunted down, branded as genocide perpetrators, ostracized, and persecuted by an illegitimate dictatorship. Forty of the regime's military officials have been indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by two international courts.

Kagame’s ruthless Directorate of Military Intelligence has dispatched agents to Europe to eliminate RPF opponents; some of these agents are operating under cover as bogus asylum-seekers in Europe and North America.
As of January 20, 2009 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began reopening all cases of Rwandan asylum seekers, and is criminalizing and threatening to deport legitimate refugees to Rwanda, actions that violate the 1951 United Nations High Commission for Refugees Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.

(Keith Harmon Snow is the 2009 Regent's Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, recognized for over a decade of work, outside of academia, contesting official narratives on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide while also working as a genocide investigator for the United Nations and other bodies.)

Openings for the Deconstruction of the Official Narrative of the Rwanda Genocide

Openings for the Deconstruction of the Official Narrative of the Rwanda Genocide
by Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication at Western New England College, Springfield, Massachusetts

Lecture on Remembering Rwanda: Genocide and Its Aftermath, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, April 14, 2008.

Good evening. I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to speak on the Rwanda genocide. Whenever I speak on this topic I do get nightmares. In my dreams, I am caught up between the former Rwandan Government Forces and the army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Sometimes in my dreams I am about to be shot and I get out of my bed and run to the living room, then I wake up and find that I am in the US not in Rwanda.

I have titled my presentation “Openings for the Deconstruction of the Official Narrative of the Rwanda Genocide.” The Rwanda genocide has a narrative according to which the Hutu extremists shot down the airplane carrying the presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, Cyprien Ntaryamira and Juvenal Habyarimana, as it approached the international airport of Kigali, the capital. These Hutus extremists, so the story goes, immediately started the execution of a genocide they had planned long before the shooting down of the airplane. How long? According to the RPF and its President General Paul Kagame, the planning goes as far back as 1959, year Hutu elite overthrew the Tutsi monarchy. Hutu extremists killed Tutsis and Hutu moderates over three months. This official narrative is spread by the current Rwandan regime through its official and non official media and its genocide industry. I suggest that you watch the movie Hotel Rwanda and read The New Times and Rwandan News Agency, two private news organizations owned by President Kagame to learn more about this narrative.

Whenever this narrative is questioned, RPF supporters immediately start shouting revisionism and negationism and if you are a Hutu they will point the state finger and accuse you of genocide. Such individuals did not hesitate to label the hero of Hotel Rwanda Paul Rusesabagina revisionist and negationist as soon as he deviated from the official narrative. They have tried to silence him through letter writing, demonstrations and books sponsored by the Rwandan government.

As academics we strive to critically question the information we receive. Labels I just mentioned impair our abilities to conduct critical inquiries into such an important topic as genocide. To allow you to deconstruct the official narrative I would like to focus on the following issues:
One: the hegemonic plan of redrawing the political map of Africa;
Two: the use of the dichotomous terminology separating Hutu extremists and Hutu moderates;
Three: the crimes committed by the RPF;
Four: the negative influence of the United States in East and Central Africa.

Raising these issues does not excuse any criminals who perpetrated grave human rights violations before and after April 6, 1994. I believe all individuals who perpetrated crimes in Rwanda in 1994 should be held accountable. However, these issues should serve as leads into the deconstruction of the propaganda built around the Rwanda genocide.

After taking power, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s ambition was and remains the creation of a federation in East and Central Africa. Many of his speeches plead for this federation. For example on April 4, 1997 while addressing the general assembly of the East Africa Law Society he stated that his mission was to create a federation comprising Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Soudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire.

According to Ugandan political scientist Kasaija Philip Apuuli, Museveni stated again his mission in his paper presented at the National Resistance Movement (NRM) National Conference in July 1998. Kasaija says some observers regard Museveni as the “new Bismarck” of the Great Lakes Region.

To accomplish his mission he invaded Rwanda using a proxy, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and waged two wars in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The RPF comprised a political and military organization of the descendants of Tutsi exiles who fled Rwanda in 1959. This organization was also an offshoot of the Ugandan army.

There were two obstacles to the implementation of Museveni’s hegemonic plan as indicated by confidential documents recently unearthed by Partenariat Intwari, a political organization of Rwandan exiles: the first obstacle was president Habyarimana of Rwanda and the second obstacle was the Hutus of Rwanda and the Great Lakes in general. One document says;

«President Y.K. Museveni accepts all reports and plans. Before War starts J. Habyarimana should be killed as this will act as an immediate sparking force to the political disorder. More alternatives provided to accomplish assassination mission”

The same document adds;

«First Battalion of Lubiri Army Barracks under Capt. Kiyinyi will have to lead the assault on Rwandese territory with special artillery and gunships. No opposite tribe (Hutus) should be left on ground as this should be highly maintained. Hutus are regional enemies as expressed by liberation leader Y.K. Museveni under special agreements refer to Rwagitura meet enhanced by Major Paul Kagame, strictly special techniques to be embarked on in order not to attract international attention»

After the victory of the RPF, this hegemonic policy continued in 1997 with the invasion of Zaire/Congo by Rwanda and Uganda. In November 1997, Howard W. French wrote for The New York Times that at the beginning of the war Rwandan president Pasteur Bizimungu asked for Berlin II to reflect on the disorders created by Berlin I. Remember Berlin I set the guidelines for the partition of Africa by European colonial powers.

The 1996-97 invasion of Zaire toppled Mobutu Sese Seko, a US ally put into power by the CIA then dropped after the Cold War. Uganda and Rwanda replaced Mobutu with Laurent Desire Kabila. The latter refused to serve as the puppet of Uganda and Rwanda, the allies of the United States. The two countries then invaded the DRC a second time in 1998.

The official narrative of the Rwanda genocide never discusses Museveni’s and RPF’s plan to assert their hegemony in East and Central Africa and the resistance to this hegemony by the people who live there. Among the people who have resisted to this hegemony are the Hutus of Burundi, Rwanda and the Eastern DRC.

In many writings inspired by the official narrative of the Rwanda genocide, the Hutus are grouped into two camps: the Hutu “extremists” and the Hutu “moderates”. The label “Hutu extremists” generally refers to ex-FAR or Rwandan Government Forces, Interahamwe or Hutu militia and the members of political parties of the MRND (the National Revolutionary Movement for Development and Democracy) and its allies while the label “Hutu moderates” includes the individuals who belonged to the political factions allied with the RPF. These individuals (Hutu extremists and Hutu moderates) are Hutu elite who do not represent even 10 percent of the Hutus. Were there Hutus who do not fit either category? Should Tutsis who were members of the MRND and Interahamwe be classified as Hutu extremists? How should we label the Hutus and other Rwandans who reject the supremacy of a group of Tutsis who conquered Rwanda with Museveni’s sponsorship?

During the invasion of Rwanda the RPF practiced a scorched earth policy. It looted houses, took away windows, the iron-sheets of the roofs of houses, toilets seats, windows, doors and sold the materials in Uganda to fund the war. In the process it displaced people, killed those who did not manage to flee as the RPF advanced, and shelled the camps of the internally displaced people (IDPS). That military strategy did not single out the Tutsis and the Twas for their protection. The RPF killed everyone in its path.

I come from Rushaki in the former province of Byumba, a village that is at the Rwandan Ugandan border. The RPF conquered large portions of that province years before April 6, 1994. In addition from June to August 1993 I was a member of the joint commission that resettled the internally displaced people in the demilitarized zone of Byumba. This commission included the representatives of the RPF. The three months spent in this zone allowed me see the devastations caused by the war in general and the RPF in particular.

At the end of 1990 the RPF started shelling our village and my parents and other villagers fled to live in the camps of IDPS. Then the camps moved as the RPF conquered territories until my parents joined me in Kigali then fled to Zaire. Were my parents or other villagers Hutu extremists or Hutu moderates? Were terrified elderly, children, and women carrying babies on their backs Hutu extremists or Hutu moderates? Did they have registration cards of political parties or did they wish that the war would end so they could move on with their lives? The official narrative ignores the people who do not fit into either category. The use of the dichotomy Hutu extremists and Hutu moderates is a fallacy used to oversimplify the complexities underlying the events that occurred from October 1, 1990 date at which the RPF and Uganda launched their military invasion of Rwanda.

Rarely does the official narrative of the Rwanda genocide mention the crimes committed by the RPF throughout its wars in Rwanda and the DRC. Whenever it does it is as if the crimes were justified because of the legitimate right to return to their homeland or because of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsis by the Hutus.

Before April 6, 1994 the RPF kidnapped people, shelled the camps of the IDPS massacred people in the city of Ruhengeri, in Mutura, Kirambo, Kinihira and Ngarama to just mention a few. It assassinated famous political leaders.

After April 6, 1994 the RPF massacred innocent civilians it had called to attend public meetings or to receive food and burned their bodies to suppress evidence. Nick Gordon of the Sunday Time and Stephen Smith of Liberation documented this practice of public diplomacy. Embedded journalists who rushed to Rwanda to cover the genocide and were escorted by RPF handlers never saw anything and presented the RPF as a liberator.

Let me give you two examples of media manipulation: in 1994 people took shelter at a mosque in Kabuga near Kigali. After the RPF took control of the location, it killed all the people who had taken shelter there, then called reporters to see what the interahamwe had done to Tutsis. In Nyarubuye, interahamwe killed Tutsis at a parish in a building where Tutsis had sought shelter. This building served as a classroom for religious education. When the RPF arrived with the interahamwe it had rounded up in commune Murambi, it took them to the local Catholic Church, executed them and left their bodies there. Then RPF soldiers killed civilians in and around Nyarubuye and brought the bodies to the church. After its victory and in order to show the world what had happened in Rwanda, the RPF dug up bodies and placed them on stilts outside of churches. But all the people killed by the RPF were blamed on Hutus.

After the conquest of Rwanda the new rulers used the genocide as a justification to violate human rights. Assassinations, disappearances, torture, prison, you name it became parts of the arsenal used to repress political opposition. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented these violations.

The criminal behaviors sketched above have been particularly encouraged by the diplomatic and military support the RPF has received from the United States since its creation. Let me recall two specific events to support my claim: the meeting of the Tutsi diaspora in 1988 and the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafic Hariri.

In 1988 the elite of the Tutsi diaspora held a meeting in Washington, DC. Who was the organizer? The meeting was organized by Roger Winter, then director of the US Committee for Refugees. Two US diplomats from the State Department attended the meeting. How do I know? I attended the public session of this meeting. Roger Winter attended this meeting and was introduced and thanked for providing logistics. When my friend, Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu saw him in Kigali in July 1994 touching Kagame’s shoulders he asked with surprise an RPF militant:”Who is this guy who is always walking around with and touching Kagame on the shoulders?” An RPF militant replied to him, “He is Roger Winter, a great and loyal RPF friend.”

On February 14, 1994 former Lebanon Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was killed with 22 other people in a huge bomb explosion. The United States, France and Great Britain introduced a resolution at the UN Security Council to create a commission with mandate to investigate his assassination. Syria, an enemy of Israel and a country accused of supporting terrorism was then rumored to be behind the assassination. The commission headed by Canadian former prosecutor Daniel Bellemare submitted its 10th report last month on the case and pointed to a pro-Syria network of killers.

Did the three countries adopt a similar attitude towards Rwanda?

On April 6, 1994 the plane carrying the president of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down with two missiles. The UN had a peacekeeping force and the Kigali international airport fell under its control. This terrorist act occurred during a ceasefire. One would think that the diligence of the three countries with regard to Lebanon would have applied to Rwanda where two African presidents were assassinated and over 800,000 people died. According to Rene Degnisegui, the special envoy for the Human Rights Commission the terrorist act against the presidential plane was the trigger of the events that followed. The International Panel of Eminent Personalities created in 1998 by the OAU also called for an investigation.

To this date the UN has not created a commission to conduct an investigation. Available evidence suggests that the United States and the United Kingdom have thwarted attempts to launch investigations into the assassination of the two African presidents and the crimes committed by the RPF. For instance while working as an investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Michael Andrew Hourigan initiated a preliminary investigation into the case and was forced by Louise Arbour, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Yougoslavia to resign. Unlike Arbour, Carla Del Ponte who succeeded her in that position conducted secret investigations into the violations of human rights committed by the RPF. She says in her book published this month:
"We knew that to open an investigation into the Rwandan Patriotic Front will irritate Kigali, because President Paul Kagame and other Tutsi leaders based a great part of their claim to legitimacy on the victory of the RPF against the genocidaires in 1994."
She adds:
"We knew that the intelligence service of Rwanda had received monitoring equipment from the United States which was used for phone calls, faxes and the internet. We suspected that the authorities had also infiltrated our computer network and placed agents among the Rwandan interpreters and other members of the team in Kigali.”
Once Del Ponte made it clear that there was no safe heaven for RPF suspects according to Florence Hartman her former spokesperson, US Ambassador for War Crimes Pierre-Richard Prosper tried to persuade her to stop investigations. Since she refused to back down, in August 2003 the United States and the United Kingdom introduced a resolution to the UN Security Council that would split the tribunal into two independent entities, Del Ponte would then be removed from the Rwandan cases. Resolution 1503 of the UN Security Council of August 28 did just that. In September 203 the UN Security Council replaced Del Ponte by Hassan Bubacar Jallow from Gambia as prosecutor. Hartman writes that shortly after the UN adopted the resolution and a new prosecutor was appointed, Ambassador Prosper flew to Kigali to reassure Kagame that Tutsi military suspects would not be prosecuted.

How did they US behave during the genocide?

The report by The International Panel of Eminent Personalities says; “Once the genocide began, the US repeatedly and deliberately undermined all attempts to strengthen the UN military in Rwanda.” At the beginning of the genocide the UN Security Council reduced the UN force. The US refused to call the killings occurring in Rwanda “genocide” because it did not want to send to Rwanda a military force. The United States and the RPF opposed any military intervention that would have put an end to the killings. Both wanted a winner. They knew very well that President Habyarimana was no longer an obstacle, the army was divided along political, ethnic and regional lines and the stocks of ammunition were running low. The report mentioned earlier says: “As horrors accelerated, the Council did authorize a stronger mission, UNAMIR II but once again the US did all in its power to undermine its effectiveness.”

After the victory of the RPF, the United States provided it with military training, the objective being to make Rwanda its zone of influence in East Africa. US military and diplomatic support to the RPF explains why the US did not condemn the invasion of Rwanda in October 1990, why the violations of human rights committed by the RPF are not investigated, why Rwanda and Uganda have invaded Zaire/Congo twice and looted its natural resources without any sanctions and why Rwanda is still looting Congo today.

US military and diplomatic support continues today. Before President Bush visited Rwanda in February this year, the US gave Rwanda 9 million dollars of military assistance. And when Bush was in Kigali he authorized another 12 million for military “aid”

Also before the visit a Spanish judge issued international arrest warrants against 40 Rwandan military for violations of human rights in Rwanda and the DRC. The judge did not issue a warrant against President Kagame because he is a head of state but Kagame was included in the list of those investigated. Those international warrants follow those issued in November 2005 by a French judge against 9 Rwandan army officers for shooting down the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. Again Kagame was spared because he is a head of state.

Why does the President of the United States visit war suspects? Are US interests more important than human rights? Indeed they are. The Final Report of the Panel of Expert on the Illegal Exploitation of the Natural Resources and other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo submitted to the UN Security Council on October 15, 2002 by the UN Secretary General mentions the following American companies: American Mineral Fields based in Arkansas, Cabot Corporation, Eagle Wings Resources International, Flashes of Color, Kemet Electronics Corporation, Kinross Gold Corporation, OM Group Inc, Trinitech International Inc, and Vishay Sprague.

In Kigali President Bush inaugurated a huge embassy in a country that is as big as Maryland. He did not say a word on the human rights’ record of the Kagame regime. Yet from Kigali he called on Raul Castro, the new leader of Cuba to democratize.
Rwanda is serving in Soudan as part of a UN peacekeeping force and it has been training the new military of Somalia. US interventions may now be done through proxies without using the GIs.

My daughter was in first grade when we fled Rwanda in April 1994. Today, she is a junior in college. Last fall her instructor of international relations assigned a reading on Rwanda genocide. After completing the reading she called me and said: “Dad, I just read an essay on the Rwanda genocide. It looks like the Hutus are bad people and the Tutsis are good people.” I tried to explain to her that such an analysis is an oversimplification of what happened in Rwanda in 1994.

There is now a thriving Rwanda genocide industry that produces books, movies, news reports, speech tours and memorials and it is all based on the false official story. Use your critical thinking skills when reading news reports, books or visiting Rwandan memorials. Do the same when watching documentaries and movies discussing the Rwanda genocide. Try to find out the different techniques of deception. Ask yourself if the goal of that genocide industry is reconciliation or power consolidation by a group of Tutsi elite.

Affidavit of Michael Andrew Hourigan: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, November 27, 2006
Amnesty International. Rwanda: L’Armee patriotique rwandaise responsible d’homicides et d’enlevements (avril-aout 1994). Londres, 20 octobre 1994
Bonner, Raymond. UN Stops Returning Rwandan Refugees in The New York Times. September 28, 1994.
DesForges, Allison. 1999. Leave None to Tell the Story. Human Rights Watch. New York. 1998.
Duke, Lynne. US Military Role in Rwanda Greater Than Disclosed in The Washington Post, Saturday, August, 1997
Hartman, Florence. 2007. Paix et Chatiment. Les Guerres Secretes de la Politique et de la Justice Internationales. Flammarion.
Gordon, Nick. Return to Hell in Sunday Express, April 21, 1996
French, Howard, W. The World; A Century Later, Letting Africans Draw Their Own Map
November 23, 1997
CNN, UN says 'network' killed Hariri. March28, 2008.Hirondelle News Agency, Carla Del Ponte Tells of her Attemps to Investigate RPF in her New Book. April 2, 2008
Kasaija, Philip Apuuli. Regional Integration: A Political Federation of the East African Countries? In African Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 7, Nos. 1&2, 2004, pp. 21-34.
Kasaija, Philip Apuuli. First Tracking East African Federation: Asking the Difficult Questions. Paper prepared and presented at a Development Ntework of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA) Public Dialogue on Fast Tracking East African Federation Dialogue, Hotel Equatoria Kampala, 24th November 2006.
Mugabo, Charles. Do Not Distort Rwanda’s History in New Times. August 30, 2007.
Partenariat-Intwari. Génocide rwandais : Le peuple crie justice ! Mémorandum adressé au Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies. March 2008
Prutsalis, Mark. Refugees International. Rwandan Refugees in Tanzania, New Arrivals Report. May 17, 1994.
Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide. International Panel of Eminent Personalities. Organization for African Unity. <>.

The Christian Science Monitor. Don’t Redraw Africa’s Borders. Wednesday, January 29, 1997
The Gerson Report on Rwanda. Outgoing Code Cable sent by Shahariyar Khan, UNAMIR Kigali October 14, 1994 to Annan, UNATIONS, New York

22 Jun 2009

Congo/Zaire: U.N. team investigating massacres withdrawn

Congo/Zaire: U.N. team investigating massacres withdrawn

Congo/Zaire: U.N. team investigating massacres withdrawn6 October 1997

The United Nations on October 1 decided to withdraw a team sent which it sent to Congo/Zaire to investigate allegations of multiple massacres of refugees committed by President Kabila's troops.

Officially, the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was calling three leaders of the team for 'consultations' and until the Kabila government's policy was 'clarified'. The move followed reports that Kabila was about to expel the team. Twenty forensic experts are staying in Kinshasa for the time being.

While the President was officially reassuring Mr Annan that the team would be allowed to enter the country's interior, the government was doing all it could to stop the investigation.

Kabila came to power in May after a rebellion against the government of the late Mobutu Sese Seko. His forces were led by officers from the Banyamulenge ethnic group, Tutsis who emigrated from Rwanda some 200 years ago. There were many reports of soldiers from the mainly Tutsi Rwandan army helping the rebels and allegations of massacres of Hutu refugees who had escaped to Zaire after the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. Some 200,000 refugees 'disappeared' from eastern Zaire while it was under the control of Kabila's forces.

Rwanda and other neighbouring countries that have been suspected of helping Kabila's rebellion are thought to be putting pressure on him to stop the U.N. investigation. They claim the investigation is an attempt by Western nations to destabilise the new government. One minister has singled out France and accused it of trying to deflect attention from its involvement in training Hutu hardliners involved in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
The President himself has insisted that any genocide investigation will also report on alleged atrocities under the Mobutu government but will not look into any murders that took place after May 17, 1997, the day Kabila took power. The Congolese government expects the U.N. team to determine how many of the victims were 'genuine refugees', as opposed to Hutu militiamen and soldiers responsible for the 1994 genocide. Many of the militiamen and soldiers fled into eastern Congo to escape reprisals and hid among the refugees, using them as human shields.

These and other conditions put by Kabila have stopped the investigation from actually starting. In early July Kabila announced he would deny entry to Roberto Garreton, the respected Chilean human rights lawyer heading the U.N. probe. Annan took Garreton off the case but Kabila was not happy. He stated that he would not deal with Garreton's replacement, a retired judge from Togo. He refused to issue visas to security guards for the investigating team, insisting instead that they travel with government "facilitators," which would cost more than $16,000 a day!. Travel agents inside Congo were ordered not to sell the investigators plane tickets for trips within the country.

On the same day that the team leaders were withdrawn, the Congolese Foreign Minister Bizima Karaha told the U.N. General Assembly that his government would do 'anything in our power' to help the team carry out its mission!
The United States and European nations have threatened to withhold economic aid if Kabila does not cooperate with the team.

Does Rwanda deserve development assistance?

Does Rwanda deserve development assistance?

By Pieternel Gruppen*

The violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to renewed debate about the wisdom of providing Rwanda with developmental assistance. Although Rwanda is involved in the violence, the central African country can still count on around 230 million euros in foreign aid a year.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame was one of the participants in Friday's summit on the crisis in the DRC. Proponents of continued aid to Rwanda believe that he took part in the talks because the aid is an inducement to taking a more conciliatory role.

Opponents, on the other hand, say that since Rwanda is part of the problem in the DRC, aid should be suspended.ScoundrelThe Netherlands is one of the donor countries. Arend Jan Boekestijn, MP for the conservative opposition VVD party in the Dutch parliament, gets angry when speaking about the fact that the Netherlands gives more than 17 million euros in aid to Rwanda every year.

He says the Rwandan president is a "scoundrel" and it is quite clear that Rwanda is directly involved in the renewed violence in the eastern DRC. "Mr Kagame supports rebel leader General Nkunda, who is responsible for an enormous amount of misery."Extremist HutusPaul Hoebink, who teaches developmental studies at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, says the extent of Kagame's involvement is difficult to prove. However, even supporters of continued aid admit that Rwanda is involved in the violence in DRC. Rwanda has invaded the DRC twice.

Rwanda says it did so in order to defend itself from extremist Hutus responsible for the 1994 genocide who fled to neighbouring DRC. It says the government of DRC has failed to keep its promise to disarm them. Some critics say Rwanda is just looking for an excuse to illegally exploit its neighbour's mineral resources. Various statistics show that Rwanda exports raw materials that it does not even possess.Cut off fundsDutch Labour MEP Thijs Berman admits that Kagame is a leader who has made many mistakes.

However, he still does not think that aid to Rwanda should be cut off. He says that because of the large amount of aid Rwanda has received over the past 15 years it has made an enormous amount of progress. "The progress made in this country deserves considerable respect."Paul Hoebink also agrees that aid to Rwanda should continue. "How is a land which has had 800,000 of its people massacred to recover otherwise?" Hoebink says that local organisations also give him the impression that the human rights situation has improved.

"Things are moving slowly but they are going in the right direction. Who knows, maybe Rwanda might be looting even more of the DRC's resources if it wasn't getting developmental assistance?"Good governanceProponents of aid say that by giving money donors can pressure the regime. For instance, they can demand that President Kagame take part in the summit over the Congo crisis. The Dutch ministry of development cooperation prefers to call it "a critical dialogue". The Dutch funds are used mainly towards promoting peace and security in the region and good governance. VVD MP Boekestijn says this is nonsense. "We are not capable of exporting good governance. We are helping a horrid regime stay in power."

Does Rwanda deserve development assistance?

Does Rwanda deserve development assistance?

By Pieternel Gruppen*

The violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has led to renewed debate about the wisdom of providing Rwanda with developmental assistance. Although Rwanda is involved in the violence, the central African country can still count on around 230 million euros in foreign aid a year.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame was one of the participants in Friday's summit on the crisis in the DRC. Proponents of continued aid to Rwanda believe that he took part in the talks because the aid is an inducement to taking a more conciliatory role.

Opponents, on the other hand, say that since Rwanda is part of the problem in the DRC, aid should be suspended.ScoundrelThe Netherlands is one of the donor countries. Arend Jan Boekestijn, MP for the conservative opposition VVD party in the Dutch parliament, gets angry when speaking about the fact that the Netherlands gives more than 17 million euros in aid to Rwanda every year.

He says the Rwandan president is a "scoundrel" and it is quite clear that Rwanda is directly involved in the renewed violence in the eastern DRC. "Mr Kagame supports rebel leader General Nkunda, who is responsible for an enormous amount of misery."Extremist HutusPaul Hoebink, who teaches developmental studies at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, says the extent of Kagame's involvement is difficult to prove. However, even supporters of continued aid admit that Rwanda is involved in the violence in DRC. Rwanda has invaded the DRC twice.

Rwanda says it did so in order to defend itself from extremist Hutus responsible for the 1994 genocide who fled to neighbouring DRC. It says the government of DRC has failed to keep its promise to disarm them. Some critics say Rwanda is just looking for an excuse to illegally exploit its neighbour's mineral resources. Various statistics show that Rwanda exports raw materials that it does not even possess.Cut off fundsDutch Labour MEP Thijs Berman admits that Kagame is a leader who has made many mistakes.

However, he still does not think that aid to Rwanda should be cut off. He says that because of the large amount of aid Rwanda has received over the past 15 years it has made an enormous amount of progress. "The progress made in this country deserves considerable respect."Paul Hoebink also agrees that aid to Rwanda should continue. "How is a land which has had 800,000 of its people massacred to recover otherwise?" Hoebink says that local organisations also give him the impression that the human rights situation has improved.

"Things are moving slowly but they are going in the right direction. Who knows, maybe Rwanda might be looting even more of the DRC's resources if it wasn't getting developmental assistance?"Good governanceProponents of aid say that by giving money donors can pressure the regime. For instance, they can demand that President Kagame take part in the summit over the Congo crisis. The Dutch ministry of development cooperation prefers to call it "a critical dialogue". The Dutch funds are used mainly towards promoting peace and security in the region and good governance. VVD MP Boekestijn says this is nonsense. "We are not capable of exporting good governance. We are helping a horrid regime stay in power."

*RNW translation (fs)

Democratic Republic of Congo: Murder of Hutu women and children around Mbandaka

Democratic Republic of Congo: Murder of Hutu women and children around Mbandaka by Kabila-led Alliance des forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo (AFDL) rebel troops in 1997

A 23 September 1997 New York Times article states that following Laurent Désiré Kabila's ascension to power in May 1997, there were "persistent" reports that Kabila-led Alliance des forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo (AFDL) have been responsible for the massacre of 2,000 refugees in the cities of Wendji and Mbandaka in western Zaire. The killings reportedly took place four days before Kabila gained full control of the country.

The report also states that the United Nations team sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to investigate war crimes had been, as of mid-September 1997, denied access to the Mbandaka area by the DRC authorities and fears were that they had proceeded to clear the massacre sites and to round up potential witnesses.

An 8 August 1997 article in La Libre Belgique quotes one eyewitness of the Mbandaka massacre, who had been interviewed by UNICEF workers, as saying:
Wherever the refugees went they were attacked. Even in Mbandaka. We entered the on 13 May at 11:00. We found them [Kabila's troops - ed. note] waiting for us. They killed. The refugees who tried to get into the boat to flee to Congo were caught unawares by the troops who threw them one by one into the river.

An 11 July 1997 AFP report cites the report issued that day by a United Nations mission led by Chilean human rights lawyer Umberto Garreton which states that women, children and unarmed men, all refugees, were murdered in Mbandaka on 13 May 1997 and their bodies were thrown into the Congo river. Humanitarian organizations and peasants recovered 140 bodies and buried them in communal graves.

A 12 June 1997 International Herald Tribune report states that AFDL soldiers stated during interviews with reporters that the killings of unarmed refugees in Mbandaka were ordered by two brigade colonels identified as Rwandan.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

Agence France Presse (AFP). 11 July 1997. "Congo Rivals Agree to Sign New Ceasefire." (NEXIS)
International Herald Tribune [Neuilly-sur-Seine, France]. 12 June 1997. "Evidence Mounts of Mass Killings by Kabila's Forces in Congo." (NEXIS)
La Libre Belgique [Brussels, in French]. 8 August 1997. Gerald Papy. "Congo-Kinshasa: Refugee Children Testify of Atrocities Committed by Troops." (FBIS-AFR-97-220 8 Aug. 1997/WNC)
The New York Times. 11 July 1997. "Congo Rivals Agree to Sign New Ceasefire." (NEXIS)
Topics: Hutus, Witnesses, Refugee seamen,
Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.,4565c2253e,4565c25f4a9,3ae6ac1254,0.html

21 Jun 2009

UN's Rwanda Tribunal: Tainted by Expediency

UN's Rwanda Tribunal: Tainted by Expediency

The proceedings at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania, raise serious doubts whether it will serve the purpose of contributing "to the process of national reconciliation and to the restoration and maintenance of peace" in Rwanda, as stated in United Nations Resolution 955 which set up the tribunal in November 1994.

Political observers in Arusha say the overall direction of the proceedings is completely one-sided, and that important international aspects of the conflict which led to the catastrophe are excluded from the deliberations of the courts. Some call this victors' justice, others even say, this is the legal lynching of the former Hutu elite of Rwanda. Considering the fact that the basis for the UN Resolution 955 was a request by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) government, the least one can say is, that this tribunal is tainted by political expediency in favor of the victorious RPF and the geopolitical intentions of the U.S. and British governments, which backed the RPF in their march to power from 1990 to 1994.

There are now 59 defendants of whom 8 have been sentenced to between 12 years and life imprisonment, 22 are on trial, and 28 are awaiting trial in Arusha. One person, Ignace Bagilishema, former mayor of Mabanza in Rwanda's Kibuye prefecture, was acquitted and set free. All of the accused were either members of the military, or national and local governments during the time of the late President Juvenal Habyarimana, or they were close to the former ruling party of Rwanda, the MRND. So far, the tribunal has not indicted anyone from the other side of the conflict, the mainly Tutsi RPF, even though it is well known that they, before and after they took power in July 1994, also committed horrendous crimes against the civilian population.

Expert Witnesses Excluded

Defense lawyers for André Ntagerura, Rwanda's former Minister of Transport, attempted to call two expert witnesses, in the first week of July, to give testimony on the international aspects of the conflict. They were Uwe Friesecke of EIR's Africa Desk (see Friesicke testimony), and Wayne Madsen, a retired U.S. Navy officer and investigative journalist (see Madsen testimony). Ntagerura is one of the defendants in the so-called "Cyangugu Trial." The others are Samuel Imanishimwe, a former commander of the Cyangugu military barracks, and Emmanuel Bagimbiki, a former Governor of Cyangugu Province. All three pleaded not guilty to charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The defense lawyers wanted Friesecke to testify about the international character of the conflict that led to the Rwandan events of 1994, and identify the international actors in this crisis. Madsen was supposed to testify on who shot down the Presidential plane on April 6, 1994 during its approach to Rwanda's Kigali airport, killing Presidents Habyarimana of Rwanda and the visiting Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi. After reviewing both written testimonies and hearing oral arguments from the prosecution and the defense, the judges rejected the proposed testimonies as "irrelevant and inadmissible."

The judges recognized that Friesecke's testimony directly challenged the indictment of Ntagerura, insofar as it says that during the events referred to in the indictment, a state of conflict, which was not national in origin, existed in Rwanda. The testimony presents ample proof that the conflict was actually international in character, because without an invasion of Rwanda from Uganda, and constant Anglo-American intelligence support for the RPF invading forces, up to their victory, there would not have been a war in Rwanda in 1994. Nevertheless, the judges argued that it is "common knowledge" that the conflict in Rwanda was not international, but internal in character.

By taking such judicial notice, the judges made a far-reaching decision which will have an impact on all the other cases before the tribunal. The basis for the tribunal's jurisdiction is a definition of the events of 1994 as a "non-international armed conflict"; this is repeated in almost all the indictments. If that "fact" could be challenged successfully by any defense team in court, the tribunal could lose its jurisdiction, with significant political consequences. But for the time being, the rejection of Friesicke's testimony has excluded that possibility.

Sources close to the tribunal report that higher-level officials of the United Nations and the leading permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States, fear that the international aspect of the Rwanda crisis of 1994 can not be excluded from the proceedings forever, as most other defense teams also try to find ways of introducing this into court. Knowing the real history of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Congo since 1990, one could argue as well that it is by now "common knowledge" that the events in 1994 were an armed conflict of international character. If that were acknowledged by the court, some very uncomfortable questions about the role of the government of Uganda and its President Yoweri Museveni, and the role of the United States and Great Britain, would be asked.

Prosecutors From Interested Countries

The argument that this would shift the responsibility for the massacres away from the local actors, to outside governments and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), misses the point.
Through the United Nations, represented by the tribunal prosecution the international community brings a group of political leaders and government representatives of the former Rwandan government to trial for genocide and crimes against humanity. The EIR testimony does not maintain that there were no crimes committed. Clearly, local actors, including representatives of the Hutu political and military establishment at the time, committed crimes; but this is not the whole truth. The same international community which is bringing people to trial, was involved, through some leading governments, as active partners on one side of the 1990-94 conflict, creating the circumstances in which these crimes occurred.

This is comparable to a case, in which a U.S. court recognizes that the government, through counter-intelligence operations, was involved in setting up conditions under which the crimes, of which a defendant is accused, were committed. Such a court may declare a mistrial or demand that the government disclose the full truth of its involvement to the court. In the Arusha tribunal, the prosecutors come from countries which had an interest in defeating the Rwandan government at the time. If this problem is not addressed, the ICTR and the UN will have another very serious problem regarding their own credibility.

According to the EIR testimony, Anglo-American interests started the war against Rwanda in 1990; this was part of a continuing geopolitical strategy for change of power structures in Central and East Africa. The evidence known so far is probably just a fraction of the facts which show how deeply the U.S. and British governments were involved on the side of the RPF and the Ugandan government, to topple the Habyarimana government.

The critical period, about which relatively little is known, is between the beginning of 1991, when the new RPF offensive started in Rwanda's north, and the RPF seizure of power in the capital, Kigali, in 1994. Some say that Anglo-American mercenaries fought on the side of the RPF. Others report that U.S. diplomats made open threats to members of the Rwandan interim government of April 1994 to get them to capitulate.

Wayne Madsen, in his written testimony, advanced the hypothesis about who shot down the Rwandan Presidential plane on the evening of April 6, 1994, killing the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, and sparking off the last phase of mass killings in Rwanda. Madsen cited, in particular, French sources for the thesis that the plane was shot down by the RPF, with the help of the Uganda government and backed up by Anglo-American intelligence forces. He points to some RPF defectors confirming this hypothesis. Madsen also notes a confidential UN report on the plane attack, which—according to one UN investigator, Australian lawyer Michael Hourigan—uncovered evidence of the RPF's involvement.

According to Madsen and to confidential sources, this report was delivered to the head of the UN War Crimes Tribunal, Judge Louise Arbour of Canada, but was never made public, and the investigation was terminated when details of the RPF's involvement in the killing of the two Presidents and their advisers emerged. The Falcon jet's "black box" was secretly transported to UN headquarters in New York, and information from it is being withheld by the UN under U.S. pressure.

In light of the evidence known now, the theory that "radical Hutus" shot down Habyarimana's plane is no longer credible.
Similarly, there never was an independent investigation of the assassination of Burundi's first elected President Melchior Ndadaye, a Hutu, in October 1993, which contributed significantly to the rising tensions inside Rwanda before 1994.
The fact that these two investigations into the killing of three Presidents were not undertaken, clearly points to a massive cover-up of the truth behind the tragic events in the region, that culminated in the carnage in Rwanda in 1994.

UN's Credibility at Stake, Again

The failure of the United Nations to act in April 1994, to intervene in Rwanda and stop the killing, has significantly undermined its credibility. Political considerations among some of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council at the time, blocked effective action. Now, the proceedings in Arusha pose the same question of credibility for the UN, and whether there is an internationally recognized standard of law to judge crimes against humanity.

The prosecution at the ICTR insists that the only issues before the court, are the individual local criminal acts of one group of people, the Hutus, who allegedly committed genocide against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus. If this approach continues to guide the courts of the ICTR, the resulting sentences will neither be just, nor will they contribute to reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi. Why should only one side pay the price for the Rwandan disaster?

But the UN faces a more principled question. In October 1990, the RPF invasion of Rwanda from Uganda started a series of wars and conflicts in the Great Lakes region and the Congo (formerly Zaire), which since then has cost the lives of 5-8 million people, and the killing in the region is still going on. It is the worst destruction of human life since World War II. The reason for this genocidal process was a drive by the Anglo-American powers to change the face of Africa according to their geopolitical desires.

Only as a result of this condition of war, were the criminal acts committed in Rwanda. Will the UN, through the ICTR, lend credence to the thesis that these criminal acts in Rwanda in 1994 were just the result of an ethnic conflict, of Hutu planning to exterminate the Tutsi? In this way, the UN would again act as nothing more than the instrument for the power politics of the Anglo-American members of the UN Security Council.

Right now the U.S. government is exerting pressure on the UN to speed up the ICTR and bring it to an end. Funding considerations are the pretext, but it is an open secret that the United States fears that the longer the ICTR goes on, the greater the possibility that its own involvement in the Rwanda crisis becomes a subject of the court proceedings.

If the ICTR finds 50 or more prominent representatives of Rwanda's old Hutu establishment guilty of genocide, or conspiracy to commit genocide, against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu, then this will be the "common knowledge" about the crisis of 1990 to 1994, and the book of history will be closed. It would be the final justification for the usurpation of power at that time, by the RPF and Paul Kagame in Rwanda, and for the continuing role of Uganda's Museveni as the most obedient servant to British and American interests in the region. It would also absolve the Western powers from any blame for the conflict.

Justice for the people of Rwanda can only be found if the full truth of the events between 1990 and 1994 comes to light. Besides bringing the perpetrators of crimes from both sides of the conflict before a court, this means, most importantly, to accuse those in positions of power in Washington, London, and Kampala who designed and executed the war policy of the 1990s for East and Central Africa, with its terrible results ongoing to this day. Only then could the full truth be revealed. Right now, the UN and the ICTR are very far from this task, and the decision in the first week of July, to exclude the expert testimony of Friesicke and Madsen, has even increased the distance.

-“The enemies of Freedom do not argue ; they shout and they shoot.”

The principal key root causes that lead to the Rwandan genocide of 1994 that affected all Rwandan ethnic groups were:

1)The majority Hutu community’s fear of the return of the discriminatory monarchy system that was practiced by the minority Tutsi community against the enslaved majority Hutu community for about 500 years

2)The Hutu community’s fear of Kagame’s guerrilla that committed massacres in the North of the country and other parts of the countries including assassinations of Rwandan politicians.

3) The Rwandan people felt abandoned by the international community ( who was believed to support Kagame’s guerrilla) and then decided to defend themselves with whatever means they had against the advance of Kagame’ guerrilla supported by Ugandan, Tanzanian and Ethiopian armies and other Western powers.

-“The enemies of Freedom do not argue ; they shout and they shoot.”

-“The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.”

-“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

-“I have loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore I die in exile.”

The Rwanda war of 1990-1994 had multiple dimensions.

The Rwanda war of 1990-1994 had multiple dimensions. Among Kagame’s rebels who were fighting against the Rwandan government, there were foreigners, mainly Ugandan fighters who were hired to kill and rape innocent Rwandan people in Rwanda and refugees in DRC.



United Kingdom's Proxy Wars in Africa: The Case of Rwanda and DR Congo:

The Rwandan genocide and 6,000,000 Congolese and Hutu refugees killed are the culminating point of a long UK’s battle to expand their influence to the African Great Lakes Region. UK supported Kagame’s guerrilla war by providing military support and money. The UK refused to intervene in Rwanda during the genocide to allow Kagame to take power by military means that triggered the genocide. Kagame’s fighters and their families were on the Ugandan payroll paid by UK budget support.

· 4 Heads of State assassinated in the francophone African Great Lakes Region.
· 2,000,000 people died in Hutu and Tutsi genocides in Rwanda, Burundi and RD.Congo.
· 600,000 Hutu refugees killed in R.D.Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic and Rep of Congo.
· 6,000,000 Congolese dead.
· 8,000,000 internal displaced people in Rwanda, Burundi and DR. Congo.
· 500,000 permanent Rwandan and Burundian Hutu refugees, and Congolese refugees around the world.
· English language expansion to Rwanda to replace the French language.
· 20,000 Kagame’s fighters paid salaries from the British Budget Support from 1986 to present.
· £500,000 of British taxpayer’s money paid, so far, to Kagame and his cronies through the budget support, SWAPs, Tutsi-dominated parliament, consultancy, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs.
· Kagame has paid back the British aid received to invade Rwanda and to strengthen his political power by joining the East African Community together with Burundi, joining the Commonwealth, imposing the English Language to Rwandans to replace the French language; helping the British to establish businesses and to access to jobs in Rwanda, and to exploit minerals in D.R.Congo.

Thousands of Hutu murdered by Kagame inside Rwanda, e.g. Kibeho massacres

Thousands of Hutu murdered by Kagame inside Rwanda, e.g. Kibeho massacres
Kagame killed 200,000 Hutus from all regions of the country, the elderly and children who were left by their relatives, the disabled were burned alive. Other thousands of people were killed in several camps of displaced persons including Kibeho camp. All these war crimes remain unpunished.The British news reporters were accompanying Kagame’s fighters on day-by-day basis and witnessed these massacres, but they never reported on this.

Download Documents from Amnesty International

25,000 Hutu bodies floated down River Akagera into Lake Victoria in Uganda.

25,000  Hutu bodies  floated down River Akagera into Lake Victoria in Uganda.
The British irrational, extremist, partisan,biased, one-sided media and politicians have disregarded Kagame war crimes e.g. the Kibeho camp massacres, massacres of innocents Hutu refugees in DR. Congo. The British media have been supporting Kagame since he invaded Rwanda by organising the propaganda against the French over the Rwandan genocide, suppressing the truth about the genocide and promoting the impunity of Kagame and his cronies in the African Great Lakes Region. For the British, Rwanda does not need democracy, Rwanda is the African Israel; and Kagame and his guerilla fighters are heroes.The extremist British news reporters including Fergal Keane, Chris Simpson, Chris McGreal, Mark Doyle, etc. continue to hate the Hutus communities and to polarise the Rwandan society.

Kagame political ambitions triggered the genocide.

Kagame  political  ambitions triggered the genocide.
Kagame’s guerrilla war was aimed at accessing to power at any cost. He rejected all attempts and advice that could stop his military adventures including the cease-fire, political negotiations and cohabitation, and UN peacekeeping interventions. He ignored all warnings that could have helped him to manage the war without tragic consequences. Either you supported Kagame’ s wars and you are now his friend, or you were against his wars and you are his enemy. Therefore, Kagame as the Rwandan strong man now, you have to apologise to him for having been against his war and condemned his war crimes, or accept to be labelled as having been involved in the genocide. All key Kagame’s fighters who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity are the ones who hold key positions in Rwandan army and government for the last 15 years. They continue to be supported and advised by the British including Tony Blair, Andrew Mitchell MP, and the British army senior officials.

Aid that kills: The British Budget Support financed Museveni and Kagame’s wars in Rwanda and DRC.

Aid that kills: The British Budget Support  financed Museveni and Kagame’s wars in Rwanda and DRC.
Genocide propaganda and fabrications are used by the so-called British scholars, news reporters and investigative journalists to promote their CVs and to get income out of the genocide through the selling of their books, providing testimonies against the French, access to consultancy contracts from the UN and Kagame, and participation in conferences and lectures in Rwanda, UK and internationally about genocide. Genocide propaganda has become a lucrative business for Kagame and the British. Anyone who condemned or did not support Kagame’s war is now in jail in Rwanda under the gacaca courts system suuported by British tax payer's money, or his/she is on arrest warrant if he/she managed to flee the Kagame’s regime. Others have fled the country and are still fleeing now. Many others Rwandans are being persecuted in their own country. Kagame is waiting indefinitely for the apologies from other players who warn him or who wanted to help to ensure that political negotiations take place between Kagame and the former government he was fighting against. Britain continues to supply foreign aid to Kagame and his cronies with media reports highlighting economic successes of Rwanda. Such reports are flawed and are aimed at misleading the British public to justify the use of British taxpayers’ money. Kagame and his cronies continue to milk British taxpayers’ money under the British budget support. This started from 1986 through the British budget support to Uganda until now.

Dictator Kagame: No remorse for his unwise actions and ambitions that led to the Rwandan genocide.

Dictator Kagame: No remorse for his unwise actions and ambitions that led to the  Rwandan genocide.
No apologies yet to the Rwandan people. The assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana by Kagame was the only gateway for Kagame to access power in Rwanda. The British media, politicians, and the so-called British scholars took the role of obstructing the search for the truth and justice; and of denying this assassination on behalf of General Kagame. General Paul Kagame has been obliging the whole world to apologise for his mistakes and war crimes. The UK’s way to apologise has been pumping massive aid into Rwanda's crony government and parliement; and supporting Kagame though media campaigns.

Fanatical, partisan, suspicious, childish and fawning relations between UK and Kagame

Fanatical, partisan, suspicious, childish and fawning relations between UK and Kagame
Kagame receives the British massive aid through the budget support, British excessive consultancy, sector wide programmes, the Tutsi-dominated parliament, British and Tutsi-owned NGOs; for political, economic and English language expansion to Rwanda. The British aid to Rwanda is not for all Rwandans. It is for Kagame himself and his Tutsi cronies.

Paul Kagame' actvities as former rebel


UN News Centre - Africa

The Africa Report - Latest

IRIN - Great Lakes

This blog reports the crimes that remain unpunished and the impunity that has generated a continuous cycle of massacres in many parts of Africa. In many cases, the perpetrators of the crimes seem to have acted in the knowledge that they would not be held to account for their actions.

The need to fight this impunity has become even clearer with the massacres and genocide in many parts of Africa and beyond.

The blog also addresses issues such as Rwanda War Crimes, Rwandan Refugee massacres in Dr Congo, genocide, African leaders’ war crimes and crimes against humanity, Africa war criminals, Africa crimes against humanity, Africa Justice.

-The British relentless and long running battle to become the sole player and gain new grounds of influence in the francophone African Great Lakes Region has led to the expulsion of other traditional players from the region, or strained diplomatic relations between the countries of the region and their traditional friends. These new tensions are even encouraged by the British using a variety of political and economic manoeuvres.

-General Kagame has been echoing the British advice that Rwanda does not need any loan or aid from Rwandan traditional development partners, meaning that British aid is enough to solve all Rwandan problems.

-The British obsession for the English Language expansion has become a tyranny that has led to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, dictatorial regimes, human rights violations, mass killings, destruction of families, communities and cultures, permanent refugees and displaced persons in the African Great Lakes region.

- Rwanda, a country that is run by a corrupt clique of minority-tutsi is governed with institutional discrmination, human rights violations, dictatorship, authoritarianism and autocracy, as everybody would expect.