THE FRIENDS OF EVIL: When NGOs support genocidaires

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THE FRIENDS OF EVIL: When NGOs support genocidaires

By Tom Ndahiro—–Copyright © Tom Ndahiro 2013

Table of contents

Foreword

Introduction: When genocidaires come together

Chapter I: Refugees’ Camps under the Military

Chapter II: The FAR’s Vision for the Future

Chapter III: Refugees in captivity

Chapter IV: The RDR or disguised genocidaires

Chapter V: How to wage continued genocide and terrorism

Chapter VI: When racial hatred is fashionable

Chapter VII: Complicity between the NGOs and the genocidaires

Chapter VIII: Rwandan civil society in exile–villains posturing as victims

Chapter IX: Other initiatives of Rwandans living in Exile

Chapter X: Fast moves from European NGOs to rehabilitate felons

Chapter XI: A Club of Lovers of Hatred

Chapter XII: Carrero, a Mockery to the Nobel Peace Prize

Chapter XIII: Indifference to the demons of race

Chapter XIV: A Final Appeal and Conclusion

 

 

 

Foreword

“Friends of Evil” will be a troubling surprise for anyone who believes — as most probably do in North America and Europe -– that the 1994 Rwanda genocide is a thing of the past and a lesson learned for the international community.

The book is based on extensive new research and documentation which will be a revelation even to Rwanda experts.  The first part shows how in 1994-95 the “Hutu Power” perpetrators of the genocide, allowed by the international community to regroup in eastern Congo, reorganized themselves behind a new organization called the RDR, and developed their military and political strategy to return to power in Rwanda.  Genocide denial was a central element of that strategy, as was the goal of gaining reentry into Rwandan political life.  The second part shows the extraordinary degree to which Western “civil society,” and particularly several NGOs in Europe, have been complicit in this genocidal strategy.

But perhaps all this should not be a surprise at all. The attitude of Europe and North America toward Rwanda during the preparation and implementation of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis ranged from the active complicity of French authorities and media to the passivity and feckless “humanitarianism” elsewhere.  This attitude stemmed from indifference, ignorance and no doubt an element of racist arrogance.  These are deep-rooted and stubborn habits, easy to revert to once Western establishments processed the shock of 1994 through hand-wringing regret and partial admissions of guilt.

It is hard for genocide perpetrators to face up to their crimes.  It is also hard for their abettors and the bystanders to move beyond whatever arguments or narratives serve to lessen their responsibility.

This helps explain the tolerance and the space given to exponents of Hutu Power ideology and genocide denial in Europe and North America since 1994, by governments, media, human rights organizations and NGOs.  But is does not make it acceptable.

This book is both an education and an appeal for Europe and North America to do better: to put an end to impunity, and to confront the racist ideology that still threatens to sabotage the emergence of a new and peaceful Rwanda.  The scores of known Rwandan perpetrators in Europe (especially France) and North America need to be tried or extradited to Rwanda.  Their armed forces in eastern Congo need to be definitively defeated.  Their ideological sympathizers and supporters need to be silenced.

Holocaust denial is not tolerated in Europe and North America, but denial of the genocide of the Tutsis is.  This is morally wrong.  It is also strategically wrong.  The future of Germany is assured.  The future of Rwanda is still at stake.

Richard Johnson

 

 

Introduction: When genocidaires come together

It is hard to imagine that those who planned the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and their accomplices could still be meeting; in the very city that shelters the most powerful international tribunals. But—they are. One such meeting took place on April 26, 2008, at The Hague in Holland. The meeting was organized by Rwandese associations, Duurzaam voor Afrika (DVA) and Dusabane. It was funded by an influential Dutch NGO, Oxfam-Novib. Participants were claiming to promote peace in the Great Lakes region but the final communiqué of the meeting was vague as to its objectives recommendations.

The organizers of the meeting placed guards at the hall’s entrance, to stop anyone suspected of being a Tutsi. An observer, whom I spoke with, compared this action to the roadblocks which were erected during the genocide of 1994; where those who had the right to life could pass but those who were condemned to death could not. One of the participants told me they had accepted the participation of a single Tutsi, on condition that he does not take any photographs. The same conditions had been imposed at another meeting held earlier in Brussels in February 2007.

While justifying their action, the DVA and Dusabane denied the meeting had gathered negationists and committed genocide perpetrators.[1] The authors of their press release stated they would pay no attention to allegations about “genocide deniers” and “organizations known to be apologists of the Tutsi Genocide and close allies to Genocidal forces”, because they react to demonstrated “facts and not to allegations.” They also said “Inside Rwanda, the term “genocidal ideologies” was untimely, used to falsely accuse individuals and/or organisations that the Government wants to threaten or jail.”

Paul Rusesabagina, who gained fame because of the film “Hotel Rwanda,” was the guest of honour and key speaker [2] at this meeting of April 2008, as well the one that preceded it held in Brussels in February 2007. Rusesabagina was accompanied by other bigots such as the Frenchman Pierre Péan, known for his anti-Tutsi hatred and racism. Rusesabagina, according to his promoters and himself, is said to have shown a lot of courage during the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, and specifically, to have saved the lives of more than 1000 people.

Thanks to the film, Rusesabagina has become so famous that he is now the beacon of all the organizations which preach the rationale and inevitability of the genocide of Tutsi. He has for some time been travelling all over the world, giving conferences and raising funds from benefactors, pretending the money will be used as aid to genocide survivors.

Another speaker at the April 2008 meeting was Robert Krueger, former American ambassador to Burundi from 1994-1996, which made him a “specialist of the Great Lakes region’s issues”[3]. In his speech, Krueger told the participants that nobody should be prosecuted for the crime of genocide. At another meeting held in Chicago, on 19th May 2008, he had said the same thing. He declared that the courts should not prosecute those accused of genocide due to their large number. He proposed that in order to achieve truth and reconciliation, the genocidaires should confess and be acquitted.

 

An end must be put to the support given to the criminals

Those who prepared this meeting of April 26, 2008 knew full well that they were bringing together people who were in some way involved with the genocide. If they did not see any problem in supporting a meeting in which a high official of the ultra-extremist Hutu group Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), Jean Baptiste Mugimba took an active part, it follows that the peace they claimed as their goal is a peace founded on the culture of impunity and promotion of genocidaires.

To host a meeting involving hardliner members of CDR can only be interpreted as support for the acts and ideas of the Hutu power militia (Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi) as a whole, and specifically for well known genocide planners such as Ndereyehe and Mugimba.

Let us be clear. That, some Rwandans meet to discuss their problems is not in itself, a problem. It is a problem when those people are advocates of a genocidal ideology, and have the support of European NGOs funded by their governments or by international bodies such as the European Union. Some of these organisations are from Holland—the same country which hosts a significant number of international courts/tribunals!

During my last visit to Holland to investigate this meeting, I wanted to know to what extent the members of the Dutch government and NGO’s were informed about the nature of the group of criminals who had initiated this meeting. I met with officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr W. Wooter Plomp and Mrs Marjolein Jongman, head of the Central and Southern African Desk and Department of Sub-Saharan Africa and Chargée d’affaires in the Sub-saharan Africa Department and Central Africa Division respectively.

Among the heads of NGOs of that country, I met with Rolf Van De Maas, Central Africa Programme Officer in Oxfam-Novib and Kees Van Den Broek, Programme Officer in CORDAID. I spoke on telephone with Carl Jansen of ICCO-Kerkinaktie. I had one question for these five persons: whether they knew RDR and its political line. They all answered in the negative and they did not even know that RDR had its head office in The Hague! Those in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked me what RDR stood for and who its members were.

I briefly explained to them that it was a group of persons who had played a great role in the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda or who supported the genocide ideology. They asked me whether the RDR was the same as the FDLR. I answered that RDR gave birth to FDLR and that they are still together in what is called FDU-Inkingi. I could not believe that they knew nothing about the RDR. Firstly, the RDR has its head office in The Hague and carries out its activities there. Secondly, a number of their own NGOs have sometimes been the spokespersons of the RDR, while the Dutch Government has helped greatly these NGOs. It was with this Dutch government money that Dutch NGOs financed the meetings of these criminals.

In any case, I believe the NGOs I spoke to, knew RDR better than did the Dutch government officials because of the long history that linked them. The NGO representatives I spoke to knew to what degree the Dutch NGOs are linked to Rwandan civil society and to what extent they support local organisations in Rwanda. Dutch NGOs have forged friendship relations with several Rwandan individuals working in some registered NGOs in Holland, some of whom took active part in the genocide against the Tutsi. But this does not prevent these European NGOs and their leaders from continuing to support their Hutu protégés, despite the crimes they committed against the Tutsi in 1994.

In addition to the issue of the RDR, I asked the three Dutch NGOs about a report which they published in 2003 in which they acted as spokespersons for the genocide perpetrators. One of the employees of OXFAM-NOVIB answered that he wasn’t there at that time. When I asked about the collaboration they had with some Belgian NGOs such as VRADESEILANDEN, he answered that he did not even know of it. The answers I got from these NGOs made me conclude that in those organisations, there were probably people who have been collaborating either clandestinely or unknowingly with genocide perpetrators for some years. It is a story which resembles that of 1994 or even prior to 1994.

The senior officials of CORDAID and OXFAM-NOVIB with whom I met, asked me to give them some information on the RDR. Were they of good faith? I doubt it because I can’t imagine that an NGO can support a “political party” in exile without knowing its exact nature and the justification of its existence. Whatever the case, I would hope that, this book will help their understanding of the RDR. At least, those who will continue supporting RDR will know that they are supporting an organisation whose raison d’être is genocide and its denial, because its membership and leadership comprises people who were deeply involved in that crime. The choice is theirs.

On December 9, 2008, I wrote an open letter to Mr Tim Cooke, who used to head the Africa Service of the BBC. It was a reply to an open letter of his, which I timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. I concluded my letter with questions which he has not answered to date:

–        Should an individual or an association which denies that there was the genocide of the Tutsis have the right to speak on the airwaves of the BBC-Gahuzamiryango, of which he is the head?

–        Should a person or an association which states publicly that the authors of the genocide should not be publicly brought to justice be given a forum for discussion on the radio, for example the one he works for?

–        Does Cooke believe that an individual or an association that argues that the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda was a necessary political undertaking is defending ideas which are politically acceptable?

–        Tell me honestly, what kind of support is given them when they are provided with airtime, as BBC does so often on its radio?

–        Does Cooke believe that ideas which are intended to divide people, which are racist and genocide denialsdeserve to be aired publicly and to be given free air-time on any radio, and especially the BBC, which is listened to by so many people? When BBC gives them a platform, doesn’t the think that such an act could have harmful consequences on a national scale in a country like Rwanda?

–        When the BBC invites people or associations who dare to argue that the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda had neither perpetrators nor victims, and that no one put a stop to it, what does BBC think is going to learn from them?

–        Is the BBC aware of the fact that the perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda are always looking for ways of using the press, especially international radios, to propagate the genocide? Does the BBC know that it is among those radio stations the genocidaires identified to manipulate for this purpose?

–        Does Cooke not think that the denial of genocide constitutes a reprehensible criminal act, and liable to be condemned by anyone of decency?

–        Is Cooke knowledgeable about the different strategies (especially when it comes to language) used by those who spread the ideology of genocide and by those who deny the genocide?

–        Does Cooke not believe that certain kind of information, either written or broadcast, can put the security of a person, or a group of people at risk, and even endanger their lives?

–        In its history, did the BBC radio dare to give as much room for expression to known Nazis and to those who deny the Shoah? If not, then, why should Cooke and the BBC think that the denial of the genocide of the Tutsis should be freely granted so much space on BBC airwaves? Is there, in Cooke’s eyes, a genocide whose denial can be professed so publicly without a reaction?

I believe that upon reading this book the BBC, and those who read the letter, will understand why the questions were asked and what it means to be a friend of evil.[4]

 

Notes


[1] Press release titled: “Hague Conference: facts speak for themselves, let nobody manipulate them”. It was signed by Cyriaque Mbonankira, (Chairman Duurzaam voor Afrika) and Ignace Rukeribuga, (Chairman Dusabane) See:http://www.duurzaamvoorafrika.org/docs/Press_Release_30.04.08_ok.pdf

[2] The press release is silent on this but the meeting’s program which I received later shows his role. It is also stated on  http://www.olny.nl/RWANDA/Videos/Hague_Peace_Conference_26_April_2008.html#rusesabagina

[3] See: http://www.duurzaamvoorafrika.org/docs/Press_Release_30.04.08_ok.pdf

[4] This is because part of the answer, was published in a book “After genocide”.

 

 

Chapter I: Refugees’ Camps under the Military

The pre-genocide government army (FAR) were very instrumental in the planning and execution of the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda. Apart from preparing the killing machinery before the death of president Habyarimana on April 6, 1994, it was the army which instated the “interim government” that would supervise the genocide. Judging from the range of testimonies by the survivors, witnesses and perpetrators of this odious crime, every major massacre of Tutsis was committed with the involvement of the military, since they were the ones to provide arms and supervise their use. After the defeat of their government, as will be shown in this chapter, the military remained in charge of the political landscape across the borders in Zaire.

On September 29, 1994, Major-General Augustin Bizimungu sent to Bukavu a “Highly Confidential” meeting report to “His Excellency the President of the Republic of Rwanda (Theodore Sindikubwabo) and “The Honourable Prime Minister” (Jean Kambanda). The report was about a seven day meeting of senior officers in the Rwandan Armed Forces High Command, held in Goma from on September 2-8, 1994.[1]

The content of this report, demonstrates clearly that the origin and the actual foundation of the now quite wide-spread Rwandan genocide ideology, genocide denial, and double genocide theories is to be found within the circles of the army High Command. What was planned, before April 1994 and in September 1994, is very apparent today.

In this retreat, with a view to achieving return to Rwanda, the RAF “delved into the analysis of the reasons for their defeat so as to propose strategies for a political or military solution to the Rwandan problem”[2].  The first reason given was a “lack of a common political and military perspective in operational plans.” They said the conduct of operations was often influenced by politicians, rather than the army. That was the reason why they were determined not to make the same mistakes again. The RAF decided they would firmly control the political- military organization that would become the RDR.

The high command decried “naive faith in the Arusha Peace Accords,” which they said were a creation of “RPF henchmen, and half-heartedness in the implementation of the said Accords which led to the acceptance of the RPF in Kigali without control.”[3]

In the document the FAR blamed almost everybody, starting with what they termed as ‘UNAMIR’s complicity with RPF’, the ‘involvement of foreign countries in the conflict: Uganda, Belgium, USA, Burundi and Tanzania’, ‘the sudden change of mind on the part of France, which was their main and only sure military partner’ and ‘UN’s military and diplomatic embargo against Rwanda followed by a misdirection of unofficial supply channels to avoid the embargo.’

They admitted having internal problems including poor organization, a lack of personnel and lack of leadership. “Lack of a national defence policy and lack of structures that are suited to all the echelons of command led to inefficiency in the conduct of the operations.” (…) “The ideological training of our men was not guaranteed despite internal political contradictions.”  There were logistical problems including “a glaring shortage of senior staff at all levels…it was NOT possible to have soldiers with adequate qualifications for the posts of command and execution” and a “lack of reserves linked to the planning of recruitment…it was not possible to move from the temporary defensive state to offensive operations.” Another thing was “Weakness of some senior officers and loss of the Rwandan Armed Forces leaders on 6 April 1994, which caused some hesitation in decision-making and a succession struggle, while RPF continued to benefit from the initiative.” And, “Erosion of discipline at all levels without a corresponding system of sanctions.”

Finally, the RAF again blamed their internal division on an external force, claiming there was a “presence of RPF allies within the Government and the Rwandan Armed Forces.”[4]

Road map

Opening the meeting, the chairman, Gen. Bizimungu, said the army had entered Zairian territory with all the country’s institutions. He said the purpose of their meeting was “to assess the political and military situation in order to reflect on how to identify and explain the root causes of our present situation and to devise a common strategy on how to resolve the problems facing our soldiers in particular and the people of Rwanda in general.” Indeed this meeting was to change the course of events.

Bizimungu said it was a “must” to do some “serious self-evaluation and a thorough analysis of the situation as a whole so as to use the lessons learned in future undertakings.”  One thing he felt was obvious was   that “the people and the Army felt “humiliated” by the situation and were “flagrant in the eyes of the foreigners”. The army, he said, faced several difficulties: the lack of housing, food, and medicine well as dispersal of military rank and file and decision-makers. The RAF’s Chief said the Armed Forces were “no longer functioning.” Explaining this, he said the officers and other officials in the administration acted more as individuals and not collectively.

Among other things, he said, there was a problem of “the embargo imposed on our country; domestic politics and regionalism; the RPF army made up of Ugandan Army elements with the support of its sponsors; the international community’s poor understanding of the Rwandan problem; the complicity of UNAMIR and that of other powers, etc…”

There was a need to have “operatives in Rwanda” and to provide the military personnel in refugee camps with training and ideology. Priority was to be given to maintaining the forces which would be brought together before the implementation of the entire plan. He said it was “a must to put in place a political-military organization on three fronts: the political front, the military front, and the economic and financial front.

Taking the lead

The military brass was in total agreement that the current Government in exile was a ‘government in name only… NO LONGER operational and is now totally ignored by the international community.’  They claimed the only thing the brass had left, was “the confidence the refugee population has in it”.

Without mincing words, Bizimungu said in his opening speech that: “some think that the current government is no longer up to the task and that it must be replaced by a political-military committee capable of voicing the concerns of the Rwandan refugees to the international community.”

Meanwhile, he emphasized, “the entire population had built its hopes” on the Rwandan Armed Forces; and therefore it must be united and organized.  He underscored that the army needed to be “reorganized swiftly to enable it to participate in guiding the population and gain the confidence of the Rwandan civilians who took refuge in Zaire and elsewhere recently.”

In the opinion of the FAR, their existing government suffered from two major handicaps: being discredited on the world stage, and being contested by the RPF. It also had difficulty in choosing its members, possibly due to strife between parties. The military proposed a reshuffle in the government, with fewer ministers, and more flexibility in reflecting on and addressing the problems facing the refugees and setting short-term objectives for the ultimate purpose of returning to Rwanda.

This new government, they suggested, would serve as a deterrent vis-à-vis the RPF, which was considered an adversary to be reckoned with. A new government within the spirit of the ARUSHA ACCORDS would also address the question of “NEGOTATIONS WITH THE RPF” and devise other ways to return to Rwanda, should the negotiations with the RPF not take place or end in failure.  The FAR even proposed the ministries to be established and the way they could be shared: Foreign affairs and cooperation (MDR); Social affairs (MRND); Information and propaganda (MDR); Defence and Security (FAR); Economy and finance (PSD) Judicial affairs (PL) Road works and national assets (PL); and Mobilization and Youth (MRND).

In line with the decisions of the army, a new “government” was announced on October 30, 1994, composed of the following members:

President: Dr. Théodore SINDIKUBWABO

Prime Minister: Jean KAMBANDA

Ministers were:

–        Justice- Stanislas MBONAMPEKA (PL, Hutu, Ruhengeri);

–        Mobilization and Youth Affairs- Frédéric KAYOGORA (MRND,  Hutu, Gisenyi);

–        Social and refugee affairs-Callixte KALIMANZIRA (MRND, Hutu, Butare);

–        Information-Joseph KARINGANIRE (MDR, Hutu, Kibungo);

–        Foreign Affairs and Cooperation- Jérôme BICAMUMPAKA (MDR, Hutu, Ruhengeri);

–        Defence Colonel (retired)- Athanase GASAKE (Hutu, Ruhengeri); and

–        Patrimony and Logistics- Innocent HABAMENSHI (MDR, Hutu, Ruhengeri).

This new government was tasked by the military to follow closely the RPF’s policies in Rwanda as well as the political situation in Zaire and elsewhere in the world, and to make contacts with persons capable of influencing international opinion in their favour. The “government” was required to embark on a tangible and vigorous action “to raise people’s awareness and urge them to stick together and support one another should a negotiated solution fail, and ensure …unconditional and reckless return.”[5]

If this new government were NOT up to the expectations of the population and Armed Forces, a new political-military organization would be put in place, and its structure would be prepared and proposed by the FAR. This organization would be headed by a committee comprising of seven members: three soldiers and four civilians.[6]

The FAR high command believed that such an organisation would have the possibility of being recognized by the international community; would be more efficient as it would be composed of committed volunteers; and that the RPF would certainly accept it for negotiations. The envisaged disadvantages of this politico-military organisation were the time it would take to make itself recognized by both the population and the external world, lack of basic means to be operational and vulnerability due to internal conflicts especially within the political parties.[7]

Strategic decisions

The genocide which had been committed by the government they had created and by the army which the led, determined the military leadership’s plans in exile. The war which the FAR High Command was set to continue waging, against the RPF was not only a war on the battlefield, but also one of international acceptance. This meant winning the favour of NGO’s, the media and other figures who would who had influential audience. The FAR High Command felt cornered by a dirty past which was not easy to leave behind. But, they had plenty of ideas on how this might be achieved. And they proceeded to plan and implement them.

1. Accusing the RPF

The FAR High Command’s preferred method to cleanse their bloody hands and minds was to heap blame on their sworn enemy, the RPF, and to assume the role of being victims of an international conspiracy.

This conclusion reached, it was deemed “necessary to inform the international community about the acts of violence committed by the RPF against the Rwandan people throughout the current war.”[8] Therefore, they argued that, “since its attack on October 1, 1990, (the) RPF exasperated the Rwandan people with its atrocious acts of violence, the April 6, 1994 attack (against Habyarimana’s plane) being only the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Their approach was based on the claimed premise that the media and virtually the entire international community was “behaving as if the Rwandan tragedy started after 6 April 1994.”  From their standpoint, the world had “fallen into the trap set up by RPF” which made the innocent RTLM and Interahamwe into scapegoats.[9] The FAR therefore prepared its own dossier to combat recognition of the Rwandan Genocide, based on their distorted presentation of history.

The FAR accused the RPF of attacks against civilian targets, attacking public places, places of worship, and displaced persons camps, massacring civilians by gathering a number of people together in houses and then burning them by throwing grenades; all kinds of tortures and mutilations; murder of administrative, political and religious authorities; destruction of public infrastructures; and terrorism[10].

A decision was made to have a compendium compiled from SITREPS (situation reports) of the FAR between 1990 and 1994, contacts with the refugees, newspapers; documents from NGOs, religious denominations and other organizations and associations, and many other sources.[11]

2.      Military reorganization and the Interahamwe factor

The FAR’s strategic objectives in the fall of 1994 required reorganization. They admitted a disorderly situation, decrying “acts of lawlessness and barbarity against the Zairian people.” The FAR were also accused of engaging in acts of murder, but approached this not in terms of crimes to be punished, but in terms of bad publicity for their cause.

The FAR had to recruit and train new soldiers. The Interahamwe was the obvious pool for recruits.  The FAR leadership were in agreement that they encountered many problems in the supervision of the Interahamwe and all civil defence recruits, with serious incidents reported every day. The main reason, the report said, was inadequate training for the militia, and the lack of a code of ethics for the military. Two solutions were proposed: Maintain the Interahamwe, and provide them with sound basic training on army life according to the Rules of discipline, or direct them to civilian sites.

The FAR’s leadership recognised, however, that “simply directing the recruits and Interahamwe to civilian camps might create a climate of serious insecurity in the refugee camps,” and that “the enemy” would take advantage of this to “spoil the reputation of the Rwandan Armed Forces.” Knowing the Interahamwes’ contribution during the genocide, they agreed that they “must keep and take care of them as recruits because they did their best to help the Rwandan Armed Forces.” It was also thought it to be an appropriate solution considering the high number of Interahamwe.[12]

The FAR aimed to train their troops and equip them with “infiltration and destruction” techniques.  One of the RAFs priorities was the creation of pockets of resistance within Rwanda, and if possible in all the countries of the world where Rwandans may be living, as well as the identification and disruption of pro-RPF services and activities.[13]

3. The Ideology and Army

As noted above, the FAR asserted that their main strength at that time was the “solidarity between the Army, the population and the Rwandan civil society.”  They also believed that “a part of the Kivu population supports the Hutu cause” and that, “the situation developing in Burundi could be favourable” to them.  Another positive feature, for the “army and the population,” was the possession of “basic technical tools to fight,” with an added advantage of “camping near the border even if such proximity exposes the population and FAR to possible raids by the Inkotanyi.”[14]

The refugee camp leaders were required by the FAR to improve “ideological training of refugees” and psychological preparation of the refugees, by informing them about the stages they must go through before they can return to Rwanda in maximum security. Another strategy was to ‘raise public awareness among the refugees about the “insecurity in Rwanda and the RPF’s ploys” and to request the refugees “NOT TO take the risk of returning to Rwanda WITHOUT being guaranteed security.” Training and operations were to involve refugees in Tanzania “for actions in the eastern part of the country.”[15]

The ‘problem of regionalism’ had been listed as one of reasons for the FAR’s defeat in Rwanda—a problem which existed under the regimes of both Kayibanda and Habyarimana. With the resumption of the war in April 1994, the report alleges, the “Rwandan people” realized the need to unite in dealing with a “common enemy”, i.e. the Tutsi. This is how regionalism could be checked in favour of “national unity”. Unfortunately, they said, such awareness came too late and did not prevent “the tragedy” which culminated in the exile of the “Rwandan people”[16].

The agreed strategy was to create this solidarity by any means necessary. “We must infiltrate people into the various organizations to make them support our cause, although we must first have an ideology to be defended and disseminated”[17].

The FAR High Command specified that the ideology to be inculcated in the population would be prepared by the Mobilization ministry, based on existing documents, including the one already prepared by the Ministry of Defence with key ideological elements for the soldiers and the Rwandan population. The FAR also took up the duty to “multiply document(s) and organize seminars for officers and non-commissioned officers who will communicate the message to other soldiers.” With regard to education on what they christened “patriotism and nationalism”, they said they “must identify able and experienced experts” to carry out this duty. Indeed, the FAR leadership and the intellectuals in their service, started the project of rewriting Rwanda’s history.

4. Diplomatic relations

The FAR leadership were aware that the government in exile had not yet received from the Zairian authorities the political asylum it had requested.  Nevertheless, they believed this problem could not prevent them from ‘reorganizing’ themselves so as to make their voices heard by the international community “without waiting for Zaire to react, as they have their own set of problems.”[18]

A committee to prepare a dossier for possible negotiations with the RPF was set up. The initial debate was whether the negotiations were to be held “with the RPF or with the Kigali government”.  They deemed it ‘appropriate to talk of negotiations with the RPF, which is in power in Kigali, as only a handful of countries has recognized the Kigali Government.’ With resolve they concluded that “the principle of negotiations DOES NOT rule out military actions, aimed at either forcing the negotiations or having more clout during the negotiations.”

The FAR leadership, after their military failures, felt completely dependent on outside support. Their most important lines of attack were therefore to conduct a media and diplomatic campaign to raise the awareness of the international community regarding acts of violence allegedly committed by the RPF, currently or in the past; raise funds; make contacts in political circles in France, Belgium and Zaire to make them aware of their cause; and to convince international public opinion that the implementation of the Arusha accords was necessary for power sharing and creation of a “real national army.”[19]

Relations with Zaire also had to be cultivated, since without Zaire’s tolerance of the FAR to stay in their territory to train and organize themselves, there was no chance of their survival.  Burundi, seething with ethnic tension, also was a potential source of support for the FAR. Documents exist which show the FAR was in contact with PALIPEHUTU and FRODEBU to determine if there was a way for them to cooperate and undertake joint actions.[20]

English-speaking East Africa was not ignored.  Opponents of Yoweri Museveni of Uganda were to be contacted, and the Rwandan refugee population within Tanzania was tasked to “infiltrate the political and administrative apparatus”.[21]

5.      Tactical deployments: Intellectuals, the clergy and journalists

The principle aim was to “destabilize the RPF in order to pressure them into accepting negotiations.” In order to facilitate the success of the anticipated organization, the FAR decided that it “must infiltrate people into the various organizations” to make them support their cause. although they “must first have an ideology to be defended and disseminated.”[22] The most dependable in this respect appeared to be intellectuals, the clergy and journalists.

a)      Intellectuals

The FAR leadership ordered military officials to appeal to Rwandan intellectuals “to help the political and administrative officials in raising the refugees’ awareness and guiding them; to take initiatives aimed at creating focus groups on patriotism and return to our country; to approach foreign organizations, inform them about our cause, and request them to provide assistance to the population; to tell the truth about the Rwandan problem.”  The FAR decided that “Rwandan intellectuals must apply for employment at the international level and interface with foreigners.”[23]

They also saw a need to “try to penetrate western political circles, especially in traditionally friendly countries (Belgium, France, and Germany) in order to interest them further in their cause.” To this end, the Government was tasked to intensify diplomatic activity especially during the period of “electoral campaigns in some European countries.”  This was done through newly appointed intellectual figures and interlocutors, as will be discussed elsewhere in this book.

b)     The clergy

The FAR leadership sought not only to renew ties with political figures abroad, but religious ones as well. They believed that clergymen considered theirs, would be credible for the cause. They were not only men of the cloth, but they were also seen as above politics, and were ‘in the field’ and thus could testify effectively on behalf of the previous regime and its followers.

Special attention was paid to Catholic chaplains who were “to prepare a memorandum on how the Catholic Church evolved in Rwanda,” highlighting its political influence. This was seen of such importance that ‘the Ministry of External Relations and Cooperation should facilitate travel for (our) clergy abroad so as to enable them to promote (our) cause.’ The role of the clergy in FAR politics will be discussed further in the section focussed on churches.

The FAR leadership emphasised that “military chaplains and commanders must work with members of the clergy who are mindful of (our) cause…and urge them to seek the assistance of the religious community to the Rwandan refugees… (they) must be urged to visit churches all over the world to seek the assistance of Christian refugees.”[24] As for the clergy engaged with the Rwandans in Zaire and in other places, the “members of religious orders must get involved in teaching moral standards to members of the public and soldiers.”

Finally, echoing the claim of ‘double genocide’, the FAR wrote that “RPF does not enjoy the trust of the people because it took power by force after massacring Hutu populations and leaving the Catholic Church without leaders.”[25]

c)      Journalists

In concluding their strategy document, the FAR leadership writes that they should: “Encourage by all means the placing of our journalists in media houses, who would be useful to us and establish links of correspondence with them.”[26]

During their discussions the FAR leadership had specified that Rwandans were to be sent to media houses “establishing correspondence links with foreign radios’ and to ‘contact our journalists to write articles to be proposed to newspapers and magazines which can promote our cause.” They sought to “boost the initiative to optimize the personal relations forged by our journalists with foreign newspapers in order to interest them in our cause’ and by ‘posting our journalists to favourable media houses, either by ourselves or through intermediaries, and correspondences with foreign radios.”[27]

The FAR leadership complained that the de facto media embargo imposed on them by the international community benefited the RPF.  Aware of the power of the media, Gen. Bizimungu said it was a weapon which should be handled cautiously and with clear-sightedness. He described it as a “double-edged sword” which could help them to transmit their message “in order to influence public opinion” in their favour, but which could also disclose secrets, distort the message, and spoil their reputation. The ultimate goal of their overall message was to “pressure the RPF into accepting to negotiate”.  It is for this reason that it was emphatically stated that ‘ONLY the high command can designate an organization or person to deal with the press on behalf of the FAR.[28]

These would necessarily be “new people, who were not involved in earlier dossiers, people who are NOT compromised in the eyes of the international community, and who are mature enough to adopt good, wise positions in such a delicate situation.” The “dossiers” referred to here had to do with the genocide, as will be seen later in discussing the choice of leaders of the politico-military organization.

The media was also relevant to the lives of Rwandans in Zaire, and the FAR leadership planned to produce and control the media, just as the army and government had done in the early nineties. One of the first steps on the ground was to fund a FAR printing house, an operation that the Committee viewed as a priority.[29]  Its raison d’etrewas to facilitate the creation, within the region, of newspapers that support “our cause,” particularly by giving them printing facilities free of charge.

The radio was also viewed as an asset to unify military units between Bukavu and Goma and with the public at large. The FAR wished to make use of materials from former Radio Rwanda and RTLM, and were to make “contacts…with Zairean personalities”, who are willing to use such material on private radio stations to further their cause. The possibility of starting a regional radio for North Kivu was also to be explored. It was decided to “resume contacts with media houses” with which they had signed contracts “in order to make our cause known to the outside world.”[30]

The FAR leadership noted that it had already established ties with foreign press, radio and television, particularly in Francophone Africa including Zairian newspapers, Afrique No.1 of Gabon, Canal Afrique[31] in South Africa, Jeune Afrique[32] and several media in Kenya.

Notes


[1] Prosecution Exhibit NP457B tendered in court on12 December 2006, in case No ICTR-98-41-T.The original text which is in French was a 49 page document (plus source). I used the English text, as a translated version by the ICTR. With court references WS06-339  (E) KO04-1476-K004-152

[2] K0370577

[3] K0370600

[4] K0370600

[5] K0370578

[6] K0370578

[7] K0370579

[8] K0370594

[9] K0370594

[10] K0370595

[11] K0370594

[12] K0370590

[13] K0370595-6

[14] K0370601

[15] K0370601

[16] K0370581

[17] K0370598

[18] K0370582

[19] K0370601

[20]K0370580

[21] K0370580

[22] K0370597

[23] K0370579

[24] K0370579

[25] K0370595

[26] K0370613

[27]K0370593

[28] K0370593

[29] K0370593

[30] K0370593

[31] This Radio recruited former Radio Rwanda broadcaster Abdallah Nzabonimpa who was known for his anti-Tutsi extremism. He has never returned to Rwanda since 1994.

[32] This magazine had as a journalist Esperance Mutwe Karwera, who for a long time represented it in West Africa, and was based in Dakar, Senegal. She was the MRND’s director of Propaganda and the managing editor of a hate paper called UMURWANASHYAKA which was a hub of journalists who would later all join another paper called INTERAHAMWE and Radio RTLM. Her husband Balthazar Mutwe is one of the founding members of CDR. Karwera  is a founding member and contributor to RTLM. She has never been to Rwanda since 1994.

 

 

 

Chapter II: The FAR’s Vision for the Future

Soon after the September meeting of the FAR leadership, and the Bizimungu report sent to Sindikubwabo and Kambanda, and as recommended by the French and the IDC, the FAR began work on a post-mortem of its defeat in Rwanda and a course of action for the future.

To this end, a special commission was formed under the chairmanship of Lt. Col. Juvenal Bahufite. This commission comprised the following members: Lt. Col. Eng. Jean Bosco Ruhorahoza, Maj. Emmanuel Neretse, Maj. Dr. Desire Ruhigira, Maj. Eng. Faustin Ntilikina, Capt. Eng. Vincent Nsengimana, and Capt. Hasengineza. Their assignment was “to determine the causes of our (their) defeat after considering the developments of the situation since the beginning of the war on 1 October 1990; then determine and analyze all possible scenarios with a view to the return of all the refugees in their country in security and dignity”.

The analysis of these scenarios led to proposed concrete actions to be carried out in order to reach this objective. The findings of the commission were put in a report which was submitted to the FAR High Command on December 20, 1994.[1]

In its introduction, the report reviews the reasons of the defeat of the FAR in Rwanda by the RPF. It says that the ordeal of the army started on October 1, 1990 when “elements of the Ugandan regular army attacked Rwanda in the north, on its borders with Uganda. The attackers claimed to belong to “something called the Rwandan Patriotic Front” which had among its objectives the return of TUTSI refugees who had been forced into exile since 1959-1960 following the social revolution which chased out of power the ruling TUTSI class”.

The commission explained that the FAR put up a strong defence against the attack, and broke it on October 30, 1990. But the attackers launched “a guerrilla strategy by spreading the war all along the border of the two countries while intensifying military preparations, and particularly the media campaign throughout the world.”

The report relates how their Government initiated negotiations and cease-fire agreements that were never respected, so that the war continued on the whole border with Uganda. Note should be taken here that the report does not mention who was responsible for non-respect of the signed agreements. There is ample documentation to prove that Habyarimana’s government, and especially the military, did not want, at all, the full implementations of the Arusha Peace Accords.

The commission said that the international community believed that peace was going to come back to Rwanda after the peace agreements signed on August 4, 1993. Yet, “This was without reckoning with the resolve of RPF of attaining its objective at all cost of taking power in Kigali by force”.

The FAR’s denial of genocide is wrapped in allegations of “constant provocations by the RPF”—which ended up making these agreements inefficient. They say the problem was caused by “assassinations of Hutu political leaders, kidnappings and killings of Hutus, particularly supporters of MRND and CDR, military recruitments inside the country which increased between August 1993 and April 1994 with the complicity of MINUAR under the commandment of the Canadian General Romeo Dallaire. The assassination of the Head of State in the evening of 6 April 1994 crowned this series of provocations with impunity and resulted in the eruption like a volcano of the wrath of the population which had been suppressed for a long time and to atrocious interethnic massacres”[2].

 

 

Scenarios for the return of refugees

Three assumptions were identified and proposed by the FAR report. The first was peaceful return through negotiations based on the Arusha Accords or on new bases; the second was, return through violent means— either “wage war until total victory” or, “aiming at limited objectives” with a view to exerting sufficient pressure on the RPF Government so that it accepts negotiations.

The third option was “More or less forced repatriation of the refugees using a combination of FAR armed force with ploys of “therapeutic-homeopathic” type and propaganda or use of these, “subterfuges” only.

For each scenario, the Commission identified prerequisites for their implementation, possible obstacles, measures to be taken, and indication of the required resources. The advantages and disadvantages of each assumption were also identified.

a)      Peaceful return through negotiations

The hypothesis of a peaceful return through negotiations embraced three types of action, each of which required appropriate human, financial and material resources. These were set as: Outward oriented actions (diplomatic, media, representations abroad, propaganda …); inward oriented actions (organization, sensitization and information of the population, propaganda …); and special actions (intelligence, sabotage, disinformation…).

The FAR planners considered the advantages of peaceful return through negotiations to be: the least onerous for them from the material and personnel point of view; the least destructive for the entire Rwandan population and the country; the quickest in that it does not require much preparation; and would facilitate power sharing by consensus and hence political opening and therefore rapid democratization.

The commission found, that, the major disadvantage of the peaceful return of refugees to the country through negotiations was that the success of this solution depended largely on external factors which were beyond the control of the refugees—above all on the good will of the RPF and on the help of the international community. The commission thought they had ‘insufficient trump cards on the part of the refugees’ and above all, lack of sufficient military, diplomatic and media pressure— leading to “a diktat in favour of RPF and its allies.”

Preconditions for a negotiated solution within the framework of the Arusha Accords were: The parties (representatives of refugees and the RPF) accept to go back to the Arusha Accords; the international community to convince and push the two parties in that direction; and as a must, that the RPF to first recognize explicitly the Government-in-exile, given that the players provided for in the Accords are the Government of Rwanda and RPF.

The FAR planners foresaw the following obstacles: the military victory of RPF made the Arusha Accords null and void. Without addressing the issue of genocide, the report indicated the RPF victory was “as a result of different events that occurred” and had led to the creation of the post of Vice- President, inclusion of soldiers in parliament, the exclusion of the MRND, and a “schism” in stakeholders in the government and political parties— part of these politicians remained with RPF, and another had left with the refugees. Also, the Hutu refugees in Zaire had not carried out enough diplomatic and media activities to demonstrate to the RPF and the international community that it represents a threat as long as it remains outside the country and that its government is still the competent negotiator. Another obstacle was the existence of “unconditional allies” of the RPF.

The commission also made a pertinent observation: “Some behaviour on our side may make the international community reject us, e.g., unjustified uprisings in the camps, attacks on foreigners, banditry and criminality in the camps, etc. Being accused as the perpetrators of the genocide still weighs heavily on this government; and the return by whatever means of the refugees in the country would deprive the government in exile of its justification and, therefore, its meaning.”

As far as FAR diplomatic and media actions were concerned, they thought they should be able to persuade international opinion that the military victory of the RPF had not resolved the fundamental political problem, that the RPF will not be able in the future to manage the country alone, and that the war was not yet over, with all the resulting consequences inside the country and at the regional and international level.

Dealing with the problem of the “schism”, the FAR planners hoped to convince the leaders of political parties of the need to find a solution to internal disagreements through negotiations inside the respective parties, to adapt them to the new realities. Another thing was to get the international community interested in their cause and to exert pressure on RPF and prevent it from consolidating its power, as this may break its reluctance to negotiate; and prepare their own defence and mitigate accusations against the FAR by accusing the RPF. The other strategy was to provide ideological training to the refugee population.

The commission observed that negotiations within the Arusha Agreement had advantages: The agreement already existed as a working tool, it had the backing of the international community accepted by the opposing parties, and increased the credibility of “the people of Rwanda”. And, it could be perhaps be used to induce the RPF to share power with political parties like MDR, CDR and other extremist factions which had been grouped in 1993 under the name of “Hutu-Power”.

Some of the identified disadvantages were: Increased credibility for the RPF, which would present itself before the international community as the only political force with a coherent structure and, therefore, the only one capable of organizing and managing the country; the refugees could get tired of the differences of opinion among their leaders and could accept to return to the country under the conditions laid down by the RPF; from the outset, the Arusha Accords placed the “government” (Hutu) side in a weak position because it was  composed of several political parties with divergent views compared to the monolithic RPF; and, “the Arusha Accords ignored the ethnic problem (Hutu/Tutsi) and yet it is basic to the Rwandan problem in its totality. Bringing forward this problem within the Arusha Accords would meet the resistance of the RPF which has always liked to ignore it under the pretext that the problem was rather ideological (democratization). On the other hand, failure to raise it would bring the population to maintain a certain mistrust of these Accords.”

For anticipated negotiations to be possible, the two parties were to be composed of “representatives of refugees and of the RPF” whereby the International Community would be obliged to see in the community of refugees “a dissuasive entity”.

Under this scenario, the commission saw several prerequisites before negotiating within the framework of the Arusha agreement could be possible. One was that the international community had to put enough pressure on the RPF to bring it to “open up to democracy.” The second was to overcome the “problems of regionalism and partisanship” in the refugee camps, to achieve what they termed “unity of opinion” and “joint efforts”. The third was that, “Insecurity inside Rwanda must be permanently maintained so as to make them feel the threat that we represent and force RPF to accept negotiations.”

The FAR planners, however, foresaw several obstacles.  International opinion favoured the RPF “either knowingly (for various interests)” or because it was “not well informed or is manipulated by pro-RPF media”; “The RPF has allies who are unconditionally attached to it namely the Ugandan government and the Burundi army, and other allies who were said to be supporting RPF for various objectives (the USA, Belgium, and England). RPF power was becoming increasingly credible before the international community especially with its gradual control over the population with the help of the United Nations (MINUAR); and the media and diplomatic embargo against refugees did not allow them to be heard and thus influence international opinion.

The military commission noted that their people were “inexperienced in international politics, particularly in terms of knowledge of leading ideas which guide the international politics of the moment as well as decision making mechanisms in international circles.” They also regretted that their, “whole population” had been made to feel guilty by accusing them of being the perpetrators of the genocide, which they considered to be the “will of the RPF to get rid of any political opinion against it”, hence preventing their “cause from being heard.”

Apart from internal disagreements based “on partisan quarrels and regionalism”, the FAR planners also mentioned “obstacles that hinder actions of destabilizing the country: untrained staff in this type of sabotage activities, lack of adequate equipment (remote-controlled equipment, portable mines, explosives…), lack of complicity from host countries, the draconian control of RPF inside the country and on its borders, lack of a system of intelligence whereas this type of actions requires the existence of consistent intelligence, and lack of strategies on how to face foreseeable consequences, especially with regard to the population inside the country and the international community.

The Commission proposed more than a few actions to overcome these obstacles. The first was the intensification of propaganda. To better achieve their objectives, priority was to put in place representations in “friendly countries” and avail them with resources to “carry out propaganda in favour of our cause”. These representations, it was made clear, would be composed of people living in those friendly countries, students, and people sent to this effect. Target groups (important persons, social groups, States, media, etc…) for whom messages would be intended would be defined beforehand. Concerning the media—the planners called on the FAR to develop guiding principles for diplomatic and media actions for these representations to follow in their activities.

As far as propaganda was concerned, the FAR planners considered it most important to approach carefully selected international media and communication experts with adequate resources in order to bring them to serve the cause; to continue showing the international community that the war was not yet over, so that it would get more interested in the Rwandan problem and force the RPF to accept a negotiated solution; to convince the countries supporting the RPF of the bad consequences that would result from continuing such support, i.e. the possibility of a new war which would have repercussions on their countries; to denounce the hidden objectives behind alliances with RPF; and to discourage foreign investors and donors from investing or providing financial resources to Rwanda.

Other propaganda strategies laid out by the FAR planners were to disseminate information on what they called the “real genesis and developments of the conflict”, as well  as “other events that led to the massacres”; to encourage and help their people to participate in international conferences; to make judicious use of the existing competences of some of their politicians or public servants (former ministers, former ambassadors, former international civil servants,…etc) and to forge alliances with opposition political forces inside those countries so that they may defend their cause.

The FAR was also required to prepare for the defence of those who would be tried by studying meticulously the development of the events and explaining all the provocations of RPF that led to these tragic events; make provisions for lawyers who will consider and analyze reports made by UN experts so as to show their possible defects and propose corrective solutions; and, prepare documents accusing RPF of all crimes committed and other provocations and frustrations of the population which resulted in the killings of civilians, raids on properties, destruction of infrastructure and environment, assassinations of politicians.

The commission also proposed a strategy of terrorism: to carry out destabilization activities against the Kigali government, particularly by preventing the refugees in Zaire from going back to Rwanda, preventing those living in the camps inside  Rwanda from going back to their homes, and by encouraging those still inside to flee the country; to promote insecurity inside the country through actions of sabotage; to denounce the complicity of the United Nations (MINUAR) with the RPF; to put the UN staff in a condition of insecurity so that they stop “their complicity”.

Diplomatically, the FAR planners proposed a study of the political situation of neighbouring countries, especially potential allies like Kenya, Central African Republic and Gabon and in which the government in exile might re-settle and be able to work in favourable conditions. The plan was to approach the governments in those countries, the opposition political parties and all other political, religious, military and economic actors who may facilitate their mission.

Part of the FAR planner’s rehabilitation program was to develop a common strategy and action programme and to disseminate it to whoever it may concern especially to countries or institutions of interest (Belgium, France, Vatican, foreign political parties…)

b) The return by force

The FAR planners listed the following prerequisites for this scenario:  Substantial international support; a community of refugees with an assured rear base; sufficient logistic support; good technical, moral and ideological preparation of the personnel; existence of an adequate politico-military structure; existence of an efficient intelligence system inside the country; good preparation of the population inside the country and the refugees; and, an internal situation favourable to the operations.

The following were identified as obstacles to this strategy: The consolidation of RPF power in Kigali was likely to prevent the international community from seeking alternative solutions to the Rwandan problem. The international community would be reluctant to give approval to their war, preferring peaceful solutions. The FAR plans for “terrorism particularly against foreigners” could strengthen the international opinion against the refugee community. A sectarian or extremist ideology would not get the support of the international community; Tanzania favours the government in Kigali within the framework of the “English-speaking family”, and Uganda as an unconditional ally of RPF is hostile to the refugee community. The FAR lacks resources and has difficulty finding donors. They also noted their uncertainty of recovering their properties held by the Government of Zaire.

The FAR planners outlined actions to overcome these obstacles: Well-thought- out destabilization activities (propaganda, terrorism…); a diplomatic and media campaign abroad to expose the shortcomings of the Kigali government with regard to human rights and democracy; quick establishment of an international action program (with personnel, guidelines…) to spread their ideology; sensitization of the major Zairean politicians to the threat of having a regime dominated by the RPF in Kigali, linking  the security in Zaire and the internal situation in Rwanda; strengthening diplomatic and military activities of the opposition in Burundi to prepare in advance infiltration operations of their troops and/or recruit locally to minimize the effects of the obstacle of the Rusizi river; contacting opposition circles in Tanzania to sensitize them to the fact that the economic development of Western Tanzania depends on political stability in Rwanda; contacting and sensitizing Ugandan opposition forces and helping them if possible to change the government; mobilizing aid and establish a system of contributions to a resistance fund; sensitizing potential donors to the cause of the refugees; enlisting allies, both private and public, by promising them benefits in the exploitation of conquered territory;  and, undertaking diplomatic and media actions to sensitize the international opinion on the justification of their cause.

The military commission also spelled out the advantages and disadvantages of returning by force.

Advantages of the return by force were: It offered the best political, social and psychological conditions to the refugees, since winning the war would erase the defeat suffered earlier.  To the refugees, the resumption of the war would weaken the arrogance of the RPF which pretends to have won the war but cannot manage the country alone. The refugee community would escape the de facto media embargo to which it had been subjected since April 1994. War against the RPF could lead to spreading the war in the region, and this could perhaps encourage the international community to look for more sustainable solutions to the conflict.

The disadvantages of the return by force were as follows: It was costly in terms of material and human resources. It would not easily get international support. The timeframe was likely to be too long (need to acquire equipment, convince the international opinion, prepare men, etc.). And war worsens the destruction of the social fabric.

In the same hypothesis of using force to return to Rwanda, two scenarios were thought to be possible: the first was the use of force until final victory and the second was force with limited objectives.

Concerning the use of force until final victory, the FAR noted that the conditions for final victory must exist from the political, socio-economic, military and media-diplomatic point of view. This scenario had the following advantages. To take power without having to compromise with the RPF would guarantee “a definitive solution to the Hutu/Tutsi antagonism” and therefore of real re-establishment of peace; with the power in the hands of the majority, military victory would erase the shame and frustration of the Hutu majority; it would also restore the image of the FAR and the Hutu elite in general.

Its disadvantages were: The military solution by final victory shatters all the chances of national reconciliation. The regionalization of the conflict could lead to other challenges for foreign powers and the outcome of the war may be uncertain for the refugees.

The scenario of the use of force with limited objectives accompanied with negotiations had the following advantages: Chances of national reconciliation; a relatively shorter period of preparation and relatively limited resources; and avoiding the possible danger of generalizing the conflict in the region.

According to the military commission, this scenario had also its disadvantages: The RPF may refuse to negotiate. Power would all the same be shared after negotiations. This scenario required greater coordination of military and political actions which are still lacking among the refugees; and also would require intense political, diplomatic and media efforts.

Mechanisms for accomplishing this scenario were divided into 4 groups of action: The first was diplomatic, media actions and propaganda; the second was preparing men and military units entailing moral and ideological training, as well as training in tactics and technique; third, acquisition of the necessary equipment; and fourth, proper planning.

c) Third hypothesis: More or less forced repatriation of the population

The military commission considered this as a possibility, if “the RPF entrenches its power” with the support of the international community. It was anticipated that the “FAR and former dignitaries” would then find themselves separated from the refugees by use of different ploys, for example a media campaign by the RPF and NGOs calling upon the population to return, with attractive promises.

With NGOs no longer distributing enough food, the refugees could grow tired and disappointed and in despair, they would be forced to return to the country. This was thought to be the most unfavourable hypothesis for the refugees because it means total failure with total neutralization of the army.

The commission proposed certain actions under this hypothesis: A media and diplomatic campaign to interest the international community and the countries of the region in the cause of the refugees; show them the dangers of a Diaspora which would inevitably lead to war in future ; show them also that the consequences of such a war could be harmful to them too; convince them that, if there are any culprits, they must be tried quickly before the international tribunal so that the rest may be free; prevent the RPF from establishing its power; improve discipline among “the FAR and former dignitaries”; show the international community that they represent no danger, especially to the rest of the population; contact NGOs in order to bring them to have a better understanding of the cause of the refugees, to defend them on the international scene and continue distributing food and other aid; and produce concrete results at the level of the media, diplomacy and military.

According to the commission, the advantages of this scenario were that the problem of the refugees would be quickly resolved since its implementation of required very little preparation or negotiations. Furthermore, there was the possibility of infiltrating all sorts of agents who could act upon orders to support any future action.

Its disadvantages were many. The FAR planners wrote that the whole Hutu population would feel frustrated by this catastrophic defeat of returning unconditionally, and would lose confidence in its leaders and its Army for failing to get them out of this situation with dignity. The lack of pre-negotiated political conditions for the return of the refugees would make their future uncertain in terms of security, recovery of their properties and their rights.

They also predicted that this scenario would result the creation of an intellectual Hutu Diaspora which would constitute an explosive situation, which would inevitably lead to a war capable of destabilizing the entire region. The unconditional return of all the refugees would also contribute to the consolidation of RPF power, since the RPF would rule the country alone without any threat from outside. This would, they wrote, reduce the chances for a rapid democratic opening, and likely lead to a de facto dictatorship of the Tutsi minority.

The commission was of the view that within the FAR and the refugee population, some were tired and desperate, and ready to return to Rwanda willy-nilly. Actions to prevent this were envisaged. One was a media and diplomatic campaign to bring the international community and NGOs to serve the cause of the refugees; convince the refugees about the risks they are likely to incur by returning to the country in this manner; and sensitize the international community to these risks.

Notes


[1] Rapport au Comd des FAR, Goma, le 20 décembre 1994. (Author’s archives)

[2] Ibidem, p.8 The fact however, is that the extremist Hutu politicians and the military who planned genocide, never accepted the outcome of the Arusha Peace accord.

Chapter III: Refugees in captivity

In a December 1994 report, the French NGO called Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF) reported about a meeting between the Rwandan government in exile, the FAR, and the Interahamwe which was held in Bukavu at the beginning of October 1994.[1] The decision taken at the meeting was to seize power over the camps and make the government in exile the sole representative of all refugees.

The MSF report shows how the refugees were regularly “subjected to violence by members of the militia and sometimes get killed publicly because of their wish to return to Rwanda.” According to this report, the refugees wanting to return home were “considered collaborators with the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF)”[2]

This NGO had reports of visits to the camps by the former Minister of Defence,[3] the Chief of staff of the former Rwandese army,[4]  and the Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda who visited the Camps of Katale and Kibumba.  Kambanda, MSF reported, “was greeted with much enthusiasm in Kibumba where he spoke to a crowd of several hundred people. His speech inflamed the spirits of the listeners and when asking the crowd if they wanted a peaceful or a violent return to Rwanda, he was greeted with an overwhelming cry for war.”[5]

The situation in the camps was described as ‘unacceptably dangerous’ by 16 international NGOs, in their joint press release of 3 November 1994. In another MSF report  of July 1995,  MSF says the refugees, had been convinced by their leaders that it was too dangerous to go back to Rwanda, a conviction that was reinforced by the anti-RPA propaganda and hate campaign carried out by camp leaders.[6]

According to MSF, “refugees wishing to return home were virtually held hostage by the camp leaders,” and “adequate protection for refugees needed to be guaranteed in order for them to feel free to return home or remain in the camp without fearing for their lives.” This situation led to the withdrawal of several NGOs from the camps, both in Zaire and Tanzania.

MSF-France, which was among those NGOs that decided to leave the camps, came to the conclusion that their continued presence in those camps was “contradictory with the principles of humanitarian assistance,” given that there was a constant diversion of humanitarian aid by the same leaders who had orchestrated the genocide, a lack of effective international action regarding impunity, and a refugee population held hostage. Another NGO, Care-Canada checked out of Katale camp following death threats.[7]

MSF reporting shows that the genocidaires in the camps sought to mask their control methods, by creating a new political organisation (the RDR) and replacing overt military control of the camps with a “civil society” control mechanism.[8]

Thus the “social commission” (Commission Sociale) which had been created by the government in exile and the FAR, during the process of restructuring the camps’ leadership, gave way to a broader Civil Society organ called “Société Civile”, which was also given the mandate “to act as the representative of the refugee population in any negotiations for a political settlement with the government in Kigali.”[9]

By mid- January 1995, the Société Civile had, according to MSF, “92 affiliated non-profit-making organizations such as: l’Association des journalistes rwandais en exil, le Cercle des intellectuels, l’Association pour la promotion féminine et la réhabilitation de la famille rwandaise, and l’Association des juristes pour les droits de l’homme….Most were founded by members of Rwanda’s well-educated elite, the MRND, and of the extremist media that functioned in Rwanda before the genocide. Some receive substantial funding from abroad.”[10]

The MSF assessment, which was perceptive, was that the Société Civile, and the leadership of the RDR had the same ideological background as the extremists; they justify the genocide and paint themselves as victims. They circulate a list of all human rights abuses in Rwanda since October 1990 when the RPF first invaded the country and claim to give a “truthful accounting of the facts” surrounding the death of President Habyarimana; followed by a long list of what they consider to be prerequisites for peace. The RDR states that if they fail to attain their political objectives, they will resort to “military action as a final option”.[11]

MSF saw no reason to be optimistic about the new leadership in the camps (the RDR and Société Civile), since they “emerged from the same Hutu extremist ideological position.” MSF understood that the new leadership structures served to further the monopoly of extremism, with no room for moderate voices to be heard:

“The leaders’ control over information is, in large part, the key to their control over the population. The former government authorities incited a population to commit genocide through the use of extremist propaganda. Due to continued impunity, these same officials continue to manipulate the refugee population by controlling the flow of information and political discourse in the camps. They talk tirelessly about the victimization of the Hutu people. A number of extremist publications devoted to fuelling ethnic hatred and silencing moderate voices regularly circulate in the camps. They portray the Hutu people as victims and attempt to re-write history. Revisionism and victimization are central to the camp leader’s extremist ideology.” [12]

One example of such revisionism provided by MSF, is a report that was published by an NGO called The International Solidarity for The Rwandan Refugees (SOLIDAIRE-ASBL) with the title “What Has Not Been Said About the Massacres in Rwanda,” which referred to the Hutu population in exile as “victims of a well-hatched plot, planned long before”, [who] had “killed only because it was attacked.”

MSF sites another publication “L’Autre face du genocide”, published by an NGO called Peace and Justice Association for Reconciliation in Rwanda (Association Justice et Paix pour la Réconciliation au Rwanda) in collaboration with the Société Civile, which contends that “no evidence” incriminating the self-proclaimed government-in-exile had come to light, and that it was the RPF who had committed a genocide of the Hutu. This NGO claimed: “The elimination of the Hutu majority was aimed at decimating the opposition and attaining the numerical balance [they had] sought for so long.”

MSF noted that extremist publications like Amizero, and numerous political tracts, blamed every assassination in Rwanda on Tutsi “and repeat that to return to Rwanda is to go to your grave.” In another tract, “L’Oeil des refugiés,” all Hutus are warned against going back to Rwanda, referring to this as “suicide.” The songs schoolchildren sometimes sing are, according to refugees, traditional hunting songs – songs about hunting down Tutsi.[13] Some force was behind all this.

Friendly advice

On a closer look, the reorganisation and attempted rehabilitation of genocidaires through the creation of a new politico-military organisation called the RDR, was not an initiative of Rwandans alone. The government of France and the IDC played a vital role in the process.

After his visit to France, around September 1994, Jerôme Bicamumpaka, then Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the genocidal “government,” gave very interesting information in this regard.[14] Bicamumpaka says he was not received in Egypt, among the countries he had earmarked to visit, but did have an “informal” meeting with “a French official” in Paris. In his mission report, he reveals the presence of “an important personality of the (CDI)…from Brussels” who had come to have talks with him in Paris.

According to Bicamumpaka, the image of the interim government among the French and the émigré Rwandans he had met “was so much tarnished that few people would accept to receive any envoy of this government.”[15] He notes that: “This image is tarnished mainly because of the massacres that many put on the shoulders of the government”, and because this government “does allegedly have nobody from the Tutsi ethnic group” and because “our government did not fulfil its promise that it would put a stop to the massacres by April.”[16]

Bicamumpaka was advised by his French interlocutors that “realpolitik dictates” their government should “keep a low profile”. He was told that the two factors compelled this attitude: First, certain personalities “do not hesitate to assert that our government is non-existent since the military victory of RPF”, and to ignore this would amount to “lack of realpolitik”.

The second factor was the fact that the “government in exile” had failed to get recognition by Zaire. Bicamumpaka wrote in his report: “This government can claim to exist only if at least the Zairean authorities had accepted to officially grant it asylum, and this asylum was not even unofficially granted.”[17] As a result, he said, talking of the “refugee Rwandan Government in Zaire” was likely to even anger Zairean politicians.

Bicamumpaka reported that his French interlocutor recommended to their genocidaire government, that information and evidence should be collected from every commune and every prefecture to prove the atrocities committed by RPF: “the genocide committed by RPF since October 1990 and since April 6, 1994”, “the responsibility of the Nigerian General, Mr Opaleye and GOMN/NMOG (Neutral Military Observer Group) as well as General Dallaire and MINUAR in the genocide”, “the names of RPF officers who commanded “death squads” and the areas where these massacres were committed.”[18]

Bicamumpaka reported that this exercise of compiling the crimes allegedly committed by the RPF should be completed by November 1994— the date when the final report of the United Nations Commission would be deposited, and should also be submitted by the “government in exile” to an impartial international tribunal. (The ICTR was not yet in place).

Bicamumpaka also reported that as far as the French were concerned, the RPF-led Government was “illegal since it is a government that was put in place by the Ugandan Army; the majority of whom do not speak Kinyarwanda or French; a government which rules a country deserted by the majority of its population; in short, a government by an occupation army.”[19]

Bicamumpaka’s interlocutors suggested to him that the issue should be submitted to the leaders of Francophone countries, who were scheduled to meet November 7- 9, in Biarritz, so that they too would condemn the government put in place by RPF. In short the plan was to mobilise the “La Francophonie” to take a common stand against recognition of the government in Kigali.

Another advice, given to Bicamumpaka by his French and IDC interlocutors, was on the “type of organization that should be put in place for the defence of the cause of the Rwandan people”. He reported that it was necessary “to the extent possible, to be active on the international scene through unprecedented media actions”: e.g. by increasing “well thought out” statements which are part of a “coherent and responsible strategy and not aggressive statements which would lead to polemics”.[20]

The French added advice on the necessity of getting closer to the population in the camps, and organizing them “so as to instil discipline among the population as well as among the FAR…For them, discipline is the basis of everything else… Without that, our credibility would be lost forever.”[21]

The genocidaires were also counselled by Bicamumpaka’s French interlocutor(s) to work for the unity among refugees and for “a Collective self-evaluation during which errors would be identified without complacency, for subsequent correction.”[22] On the diplomatic front they told that “alliances must be forged with Presidents Mobutu, Moi, with Sudanese authorities, President Mwinyi and with opponents of President Museveni of Uganda.”[23]

Bicamumpaka reports that the idea of “the possibility of establishing a new political structure which is more functional and operational” was “greatly appreciated by [our] French partners”, who insisted on the prompt implementation of this project.

These partners of genocidaires also gave advice on the personalities who would lead this structure: “However, the personalities to be put at the head of this new structure should be…persons with international experience, particularly in the field of communication, with real competence and should not be compromised in the massacres of the civilian population (…) It is necessary to form a solid, well knit team, possessing experience in international mechanisms.” [24]

The communication campaign was supposed to target Western countries and selected African countries (like Zaire).[25]

The public support of France for the “cause of the refugees,” Bicamumpaka reported, “was impossible” in the immediate future because the world was “still under the shock of the massacres,” France was “being accused by the international community of bearing some responsibility in the Rwandan genocide,” and “the elections period in France excludes any support”.

Bicamumpaka added that he was told that it would be impossible for France to provide direct support unless the “government in exile” found a “friendly” African country through which this support could be channelled to them—“Hence the importance of President Mobutu in our strategy”[26].

Regarding the “re-conquest of power through armed force”, Bicamumpaka reported that the French advice was “to be very careful because in the immediate we would have the whole world against us. This action would therefore be doomed to failure”. In the French opinion, what was more important for the government was “to be alive and be recognized by the international community as being genuinely representative of the Rwandan people.”[27]

The solution to the Rwandan conflict was to be found in the Arusha Accords— which carried basic principles of power sharing. In Bicamumpaka’s opinion, though, “the world knows that the RPF Government is antidemocratic and that Anglo-Saxons are solidly settling in Rwanda, France can do nothing more for us for the time being.”[28]

In his report, Bicamumpaka requested to meet as soon as possible with the Government and FAR general staff, to discuss these problems and develop appropriate strategies. “The objective of this would be to save and serve the Rwandan people. Government’s priority must be to gain back credibility through the demonstration of its sense of responsibility, especially with regard to the Rwandan refugees.”[29]

It is fundamental, at this juncture, to remember what French Defence Minister Francois Leotard said when he addressed the potential for further military conflict in Rwanda, on Radio France Internationale, on July 25, 1994.  Here, Leotard said that if the government in Kigali failed to show its impartiality and its will to solve Rwandan civilian issues peacefully, the beginning of a fresh military confrontation was imminent “because these forces, which represent – or feel that they represent – an ethnic majority, that of the Hutus, 85 – 90 per cent of the population, will unfortunately resume their military harassment techniques against the new authorities, just like the RPF did from Uganda in the past.”

Notes


[1] Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Breaking the Circle: Activities in and Around Rwanda, December 1994

[2] MSF—BREAKING THE CIRCLE: p. 3

[3] This must be Jean Bizimana

[4] Major General Augustin Bizimungu

[5] Ibid, MSF—BREAKING THE CIRCLE p. 7

[6] MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERE (MSF) DEADLOCK IN THE RWANDAN REFUGEE CRISIS :Virtual Standstill on Repatriation July 1995 (p. 7) fn 13, quoting Reig Miller, ‘Rwandan Refugees’, Associated Press, 7 July 1995

[7] Ibid, p.8 MSF-Belgium and -Holland decided to continue working in the camps while at the same time continuously and publicly advocating for an end to impunity and improvements in the security situation for the refugees

[8] Ibid, p.11

[9] Ibid, p.11

[10] Ibid, p.11

[11] Ibid, p.12 the report refers to Reuters story. Buchizya Mseteka, ‘Rwandan refugee party pushes for talks with Kigali’, Reuters, 19 April 1995 (fn 26)

[12] Ibid, p.18

[13] Ibid, p.18

[14] Rapport de Mission en France, Goma, 4 October 1994. (Author’s archives) The whole of this Section is based on this report

[15] Ibidem, p.2.

[16] Ibidem, p.2.

[17] Ibidem, p.2.

[18] Ibidem, p.3.

[19] Ibidem, p.4.

[20] Ibid. p. 4

[21] Ibid. p. 4

[22] Ibid. p. 4

[23] Ibid. p. 4

[24] Idem

[25] Idem

[26] Ibid. p.6

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid. p.7

[29] Ibid, p.9

Chapter IV: The RDR or disguised genocidaires

On March 30, 2009, the BBC-radio (Kinyarwanda service) aired an interview of Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza, an extremist Hutu who is president of the RDR and also president of another umbrella organisation called FDU-Inkingi. At the time of this interview she was based in The Hague, Holland. She told her Rwandan listeners that if the government in Kigali does not change their ways, there will be another 1994.

This threat was uttered close to the 15th commemoration of the genocide of Tutsis. It was horrifying and revealing—both of the BBC’s bizarre willingness to serve as a conduit for hate-speech to Rwanda, and the tenor of RDR discourse.

Such discourse, the history of RDR and that of its leaders, together with documentary evidence available, indicate that there is no other way to qualify the RDR, than as a genocidal rather than a political organisation. That it can operate on the international level, is a stark reminder of the dangers of international indifference to the dangers of racism and resultant ideologies.

Towards the end of year 1996, when regional countries— especially Tanzania—were cracking down on the RDR operatives who were known as ‘intimidators’, this organisation declared it was non-political and therefore did not see why their members were being persecuted.[1]

These ‘intimidators’ were influential men and women in the camps in Tanzania and Zaire, who had the duty and powers to discourage, threaten or even kill refugees who wished or tried to return to Rwanda.

Political or not, what is this organisation which has its base in The Hague, Holland, where Dutch officials profess ignorance as to its nature and aims?

There is a newspaper, Intego, which used to be published in Kigali two years after the genocide in 1994. This paper’s journalists were privileged and able to visit refugee camps in Zaire and Tanzania, because they had close relatives there.

In their first issue, Intego described the RDR as an organisation “dominated by genocide perpetrators” and reported how it had filed a case with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda against some officials in Kigali, because RDR also claims that the authorities in Kigali took part in the genocide and must be tried for it.[2]

In their next issue, Intego spoke to an unnamed Rwandan refugee in America who gave them his analysis about the return of refugees. He told the paper, that the RDR had no chance of success because it is supported by those refugees in Goma and Bukavu who were involved in the genocide, and is equally supported by civilians and the military who led the people of Rwanda into committing genocide, adding, that those people will continue sabotaging Rwanda through small-scale attacks.[3]

This assessment associating RDR with genocide was also expressed by the former Prime Minister of the Government of genocidaires, Jean Kambanda, in his testimony to the ICTR investigators, saying that the RDR was a creation of the military and members of the MRND and CDR.[4]

It was after many months of deliberations and planning by the FAR that finally, on April 3, 1995, the political-military organization, the RDR, was born. Indeed, the initial and crucial decision to create this criminal organization, to replace the so called ‘government in exile’ had been taken by the FAR Command on September 2-8, 1994, when they met in Goma.

A second six day meeting of eleven men to formalize the creation of the political-military organisation they named the RDR, was held in Goma on March 29- April 3, 1995.[5] Its composition included  Major-General  Augustin  BIZIMUNGU (Chairman),  Brigadier-General  Gratien KABILIGI, Claver  KANYARUSHOKI, François  NZABAHIMANA, Charles NDEREYEHE, Aloys NGENDAHIMANA, Aloys RUKEBESHA, Colonel  Joseph  MURASAMONGO, Jean  Marie  Vianney  BAGEZAHO, Lieutenant  Colonel  BEM  Juvénal  BAHUFITE, and Major  CGSC  Aloys  NTABAKUZE who was their rapporteur.[6]

The chairman told the ten other participants in the meeting that the FAR “was prepared to face the RPF, but it was necessary to create a political organization capable of mobilizing the means and ensuring unity among the population for concerted action.”  Furthermore, their “interlocutors in Europe” had proposed a “credible political organization to represent the refugees.”

It is very clear from the onset that the military was to remain in charge.  The first leadership of RDR, which was made public in 1995, was its executive committee of extremist civilians. But the real power lay in the Umbrella committee, as the “decision-making politico-military organ”.[7] But they decided it should “not be official for strategic reasons”. Its members,  6 from  the  executive  committee and 4 members  of  the  FAR  command  council,  i.e.  the  FAR  Commander and  Deputy  Commander,  and 2  Division  Commander were: François  NZABAHIMANA (Chairman) and Major-General  Augustin  BIZIMUNGU as Vice/Chairman. Other members included Claver  KANYARUSHOKI, Froduald  GASAMUNYIGA, Aloys NGENDAHIMANA, Innocent  BUTARE, Denys  NTIRUGILIMBABAZI, Brigadier-General  Gratien  KABILIGI, Colonel  Tharcisse  RENZAHO and Colonel  Aloys  NTIWlRAGABO.

It was also decided to integrate the Interahamwe in the new army which would become the “RDR’s military wing”.[8]   The FAR high command reiterated that it “still consider themselves as the ‘People’s army’ and confirmed their strong willingness to work directly with and for the people.”[9]

As announced in the declaration of the creation of the RDR, in Mugunga camp on  April 3, 1995, appointed members of the Executive committee were: François Nzabahimana (Chairman); Pierre Claver Kanyarushoki (V/Chairman in charge of external relations); Aloys Ngendahimana (V/ Chairman in charge of social affairs); François Gasamunyiga, V/ Chairman in charge of economic affairs and planning; Dr. Innocent Butare (Executive Secretary); Denis Ntirugirimbabazi (Treasurer); Oscar Murayi (Advisor and chairman of the legal commission). Others with the position of advisors were Joseph Bukeye,[10] Jean Marie Vianney Ndagijimana[11], Eugenie Nyiramajoro; Donatila Nzabonimpa;  Donat Hakizimana, Jean Marie Vianney Bagezaho; Sebahakwa, Augustin Banyaga and  Cyprien Habimana.

The four key ‘goals’ of this organisation, from its establishment were allegedly:

–        To do everything possible, for the quick return of refugees, in a peaceful and honourable manner;

–        To strive for dialogue, peace and national reconciliation;

–        To represent and defend the interest of Rwandese refugees as well as all Rwandese excluded from the governance of the country; and

–        To contribute in throwing light on the tragedy of the Rwandese people in view of achieving a fair justice inside Rwanda and the impartiality of the International Tribunal on Rwanda.[12]

The president and chief ideologue of the RDR admitted in 1998 this organisation was established to bypass or circumvent the de facto embargo imposed on the “government in exile” in Zaire, and of course on other fugitives who were in positions of power during the genocide.

An RDR document published on 17 November 1998 and signed by Charles Ndereyehe revealed that it took the “refugees two months of serious thinking about setting up an organisation, which would be capable of breaking the media and diplomatic embargo affecting them.”

The document reads:

“The idea of a large organisation was born during the meeting held in Bukavu in October 1994. To circumvent the embargo which had struck the government in exile during the 2-3 months while  the  refugees  lived  in  exile,  several  series of  refugee  initiatives were launched in different places, particularly in the former Zaire and Tanzania, where more than 2 million Rwandans who fled en masse in July and August 1994 were living. But these initiatives lacked coordination. Mr. François Nzabahimana was among the organisers of this meeting, at which the refugees from Europe and the Americas were unfortunately under-represented. After two days of debates, the refugees were given 2 months for reflection before establishing an organisation which was able to break the media and diplomatic embargo under which the refugees were struggling. At the end of the first gathering of the organisation, the refugees published a charter for the rapid and peaceful return of refugees who fulfilled its requirements.”[13]

The  FAR leadership which “actively  participated  in  the  creation  of  the  RDR” but for  “strategic reasons” did not sign  the  declaration  on  its  establishment,[14]  issued  a  statement  of  support  for  the  RDR the very next day.

On April 4, 1995, in Bukavu-Zaire, this declaration was issued by the FAR high command:

“We, members of the Rwandan Armed Forces in exile, heard about the creation of the “RDR” and express our satisfaction to know that the “RDR” is an organization of refugees whose main objective is to mobilize all socio-political forces, for a quick repatriation, justice for all, the instauration of legitimate and representative institutions, the creation of a real national army, peace, and national reconciliation. Therefore we subscribe completely to the noble objectives of the RDR.”[15]

The signatories were Major-General Augustin Bizimungu, Brigadier-General Gratien Kabiligi, Colonel Murasampongo, Colonel Aloys Ntiwiragabo, Colonel Venant Musonera, Lieutenant-Colonel Juvénal Bahufite, Lieutenant-Colonel Antoine Sebahire, Lieutenant-Colonel Augustin Rwamanywa, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Rwarakabije, and Lieutenant–Colonel Edouard Gasarabwe Lieutenant- Colonel Baransalitse, Major Aloys Ntabakuze, Major Théophile Gakara, and, Major François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye.

As one can see, among the signatories of this declaration of support, were people who attended the March 29-April 3, 1995 meeting which created the RDR, and were in its leadership. The remaining signatories had participated in the meeting of September 2-8, 1994 which had initially proposed the creation of such a politico-military organisation.

Whether to make it crystal clear to all members of the previous “government in exile” that their job titles were defunct, or to enforce the desired illusion that the RDR was a break with the past, the FAR High Command issued a further declaration April 29, 1995.

“Since its creation on April 9, 1994, with the assistance of the Rwandan Armed Forces, the Government has been subjected to media and diplomatic embargo, and the Government reshuffle of November 1994 did not improve the situation. The absence of Government action for the refugees in the camps due to lack of adequate and efficient structures is remarkable.…In the search of intermediate solutions to get out of the impasse, with the refugees’ initiative, the “RDR” was recently created to address the concerns of the refugees and of the oppressed Rwandans inside the country. After examining the goal and the objectives of “RDR,” the Rwandan Armed Forces saluted this good initiative setting up an organisation that can ensure efficient supervision of the population in exile, guarantee maximum cohesion and having a media and diplomatic influence, which are preliminary conditions to the refugees’ return to their country. This is the reason why the Rwandan Armed Forces signed a declaration of support to the “RDR” on April 4, 1995….Conscious of their responsibilities and …their strong willingness to work directly with and for the people… [t]he FAR believe that the Government must be aware of its responsibilities before history, the Rwandan people in general and the refugees in particular, by supporting the refugees’ good initiative, and by resigning to let the “RDR” represent and defend their  interests. Therefore, the Government must hand in all documents it has been keeping on behalf of the people in exile. The relations between the FAR and the Government are stopped as of April 29, 1995.”[16]

The FAR’s statement, signed in Bukavu by the same group which made the first declaration in support of the RDR, tells the sincere objectives behind the creation of RDR. The real power behind the newly created organisation believed that the “government  exile” had  become  ineffective  in  serving  the  interests  of  refugees  in Zaire and of Hutu everywhere, and instead declared its unswerving support for the RDR.

The birth of RDR and its objectives were expressed in an ideological discourse which poured out hatred against the Tutsi and denial of the genocide. One of these was in the editorial of the April 1995 issue of Kangura, where Hassan Ngeze, the publisher and editor, suggests Tutsi are ridiculous, that they made the world believe that the Hutu exterminated the Tutsi race. Ngeze celebrates the crime of which he is among the perpetrators: “When they call us criminals, do they believe that we have forgotten that they exterminated the Hutus in the prefectures of Byumba, Ruhengeri and Kibungo? If we exterminated them—who is occupying the country and our houses? Why don’t they show Hutu dead bodies? All dead bodies look alike. Must we return to the country through negotiations or through war? The community must be sensitized on the merits of a political dialogue that must be privileged instead of war.”[17]

For those who knew Ngeze, it is not surprising that he started using the language of the RDR the same month this organisation was created. With a combination of menace and optimism, Ngeze asserts that the RPF knows well that “some day we will go back to our country,” and that there were only two alternatives: “starting political negotiations or go to war.” As he rightly added, everyone knows they left Rwanda with their army, and supplies in armaments were easy to obtain.[18]

Ngeze began his enthusiastic cheerleading for the RDR by showering praises on the RDR leadership, for having the special Hutu qualities key to ensuring the return of the refugees. As he put it in an article whose title can be translated as “Here are the Hutu who will ensure our return to Rwanda”, these were: the ability to infiltrate, communicate and lobby in order to convince the international community about the importance of the refugee problem; the ability to enter into dialogue and to consult with those concerned; the capacity to combine ideas and acts; the ability to use deceit and cunningness like the Tutsi; and a commitment to kill in self-defence only, and to promote fraternity among all the brothers of the same ethnic group. This, Ngeze said, was what they call the Hutu code of ethics.[19]

In the following issue of Kangura, another voice of support for the RDR was Dr. Joseph Mugenzi, a refugee in Nairobi, who had previously been in charge of the Umuravumba Pharmacy in Kigali. His interview in Kangura covered two pages. He said the RDR is an association he supports without a second thought. Mugenzi emphasised about the need to combine efforts for a dignified, secure and quick return of Rwandan refugees back to their homeland.[20]

In another Kangura interview, RDR Vice-president Aloys Ngendahimana puts it in plain words that his movement was the only one capable of representing, defending and uniting all Rwandan refugees. It was a matter of promoting the unity of Rwandans in exile. The RDR is presented as the right party to enter into negotiations with the RPF.[21]

The Genocidaires as the “Hutu”, “the people,” and “victims”

The leaders and key people in the interim government and its armed forces who perpetrated the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi were, from top to bottom, remorseless—and determined to pose as victims.  In the previous chapter we saw the FAR planning for its public relations work. This scheme was again emphasized in the meeting, to formally establish RDR, when General Bizimungu spoke about his army’s readiness.

The military option had been decided and operations were on-going. After all, they were convinced it was a matter of time. As noted above, Mbonampeka had estimated the government which ousted the genocidaires would not last beyond April 1995.

From Kinshasa, Jerome Bicamumpaka, on behalf of what was dubbed as the ‘legitimate government of the Republic of Rwanda’ had issued on the July 27, 1994, a threatening and racist statement saying:

“In the absence of a determined action based on the force of law to which the RPF and its accomplices remain allergic, the Rwandan people, thus compelled and forced, will have no other choice but to resort to armed struggle to restore their inalienable rights. The legitimate government of the Republic of Rwanda, which has always sought a negotiated political settlement of the conflict and tragedy that has afflicted the Rwandan people, recommends the implementation of the following proposals and measures to definitely end the conflict and tragedy.”[22]

As if by coincidence, General Augustin Bizimungu spoke to the press in the town of Goma the very same day. He criticized the international community which, he said after “supporting the RPF”, is asking refugees to return to their country, and he felt this was “the most ignoble of complicities”.

Menacingly, he affirmed they were “capable of organizing” themselves to “resume war” inside Rwanda where they still had soldiers.

Gen. Bizimungu told reporters that he could not counsel Rwandan refugees in Zaire to return to their country unless a political solution was found to the crisis.

For him, refugees like him had run away from danger—“the minority Tutsi RPF who want to exterminate the majority Hutus,” especially its intellectuals.

True to his racist ideology, the defeated general said the new Rwandan head of state, Pasteur Bizimungu, was “a renegade who wants to satisfy his stomach” who allied himself to the RPF “because he is married to a Tutsi.”

For this general, president Bizimungu was therefore a “traitor used as a front by the RPF to deceive international opinion.”[23]

As French journalist Laurence Simon reported at the time, there were “desperadoes” amongst the FAR who feared punishment for “the massacres they committed against the Tutsis.” They wanted to go through to the bitter end, and “arm themselves in order to harass the RPF” and start a resistance movement, using Zairean soil as a rear base.[24]

The language used by the leaders of the “government in exile”, the FAR, and the RDR in 1994-95, the “honourable manner of return,” the ‘legitimate representative’ and ‘real national army’ or ‘people’s army’, all meant the same thing: the genocidaires meant to return to power.

That is also what they meant when they spoke about “contributing towards a search for a durable peace, by addressing once for all, the root causes of the Calvary of the Rwandese people.”[25] It also held the same meaning as the ‘Rwandese people’ have no trust in RPF government[26] or, are ‘victims of the brutal force unleashed on it by the Kigali regime.’[27]

Charles Ndereyehe, at the time the second president of the RDR after the departure of Francois Nzabahimana, repeated the same discourse in his article Solidarité entre les réfugiés, published in October 1998: that the people of Rwanda had never known a regime as cruel as the RPF.[28]

As can be read from various statements before and later in this book, “the people” and “Rwandans” to the genocidaires and their friends means the Hutu.

In its press release to celebrate Rwanda’s Independence Day on July 1, 1995, the RDR said:  “it will be a year since the RPF conquered the Rwandan territory but it still faces an uphill task to win the hearts of the Rwandan people.”[29]

The RDR’s dogma was that “the Rwandan people” have never considered the RPF as its liberator, because the people who had run away from its advance in the summer of 1994 were “a glaring example of the opposition of the majority of the Rwandan people to the Kigali regime.”[30]

They are categorical, that “the true people of Rwanda will never back the RPF”, and that “no amount of intimidation or military support will deter Rwandese refugees and other victims of RPF repressive policy, from claiming their inalienable rights to a homeland and a rule of law.”[31]

The RDR insisted that the refugees would not return without their army, because: “They refuse to succumb to blackmailing whose aim is to bring them into surrendering to RPF and meeting the worst humiliation in its hands.”[32]Voluntary returns in response to UNHCR appeals were considered as “surrendering” to the RPF government and facing its wrath, or lending “legitimacy to RPF dictatorship.”[33]  The RDR regarded the regime set up by RPF in Kigali as “not viable.”[34]

In the same frame of mind, on August 28, 1995, the RDR blamed the UN Security Council for making peace with “the bloodthirsty regime of the RPF”, at the expense of the “Rwandan people hurt by more than 5 years of a war imposed by the RPF.” It hoped that peace-loving countries would maintain the arms embargo as a sign of “solidarity with the Rwandan people”[35]

Five years later, in August 2000, some of the resolutions at the RDR’s third Congress were to “allow the people to regain her sovereignty” and renewed commitment to co-operate with the other democratic forces struggling for the liberation of the “Rwandan people from the RPF bloodthirsty and bellicose dictatorship.”[36]

It is standard in the discourse of extremist Hutus and their friends’ to gloss over the genocide against the Tutsi, attribute to the RPF the kind of behaviour typical Hutu extremism, and to assert as a statement of faith that the “Rwandan people” can only be loyal to Hutu extremism.

Thus, a 1995 RDR statement claims that “Since the 1st October 1990, date when the RPF rebels invaded Rwanda, the people of Rwanda are going through the most tragic period of their recent history. Massacres, fear, grief, injustice, violence, repression and falsehood are part of the daily problems that the Rwandan people have to face. The RPF has won a military victory, God knows at what human sacrifice, but fifteen months later it has not yet won the trust of the Rwandan people.”[37]

The RDR blames the international community for consolidating or imposing a “Stalinist RPF regime on a people that hate it”. The RDR particularly faults the international community for denying it rearmament, and therefore asks on behalf of the ‘Rwandan people’: “who armed the RPF and financed its war and in whose interest?”[38]

In one of their press releases in 2002, the RDR talks about the loathed “illegitimate government, dictatorial and controlled by warmongers of the RPF”[39]  a government which had been described before, as a “permanent danger for peace in the African Great Lakes region”.[40]

On August 27, 1998, in an open letter addressed to US President Clinton, the RDR says that: “The oppressed people of Rwanda” represented by the RDR, appeals to the American people to stop spilling blood and fuelling chaos in the African Great Lakes region.[41] Only the RDR, they claim can produce a national consensus, since on one side there is the “RPF military regime in Kigali,” and on the other the RDR as “representatives of refugees and Rwandese people.”[42]

In early 1996, the current government of Rwanda embarked on a program of issuing new identity cards which did not have a mention of one’s ethnic group. The RDR, with their racist ideology of looking at Tutsi as foreigners, described this as an RPF ploy to import from abroad more than half a million people, rewarding “aliens for their contribution towards RPF war.”[43]

The RDR consistently portrays the RPF and, by extension, all Tutsi as outsiders and usurpers.  Such distortion  and  reversal of historical  reality, which belittles  the  significance  of  the  genocide,  is  common  throughout  the RDR’s documents.  The RDR refers regularly to Hutu refugees as “Rwandan and Burundian”[44] refugees, while Tutsi refugees are referred to simply as Tutsi.

The implication here is that Tutsi belong to their ethnic group, rather than to their nation, and that Hutu are the rightful heirs to power in Rwanda and Burundi. The governments in Rwanda and Burundi are described as “Tutsi-led”[45] or “minority”[46]regimes, implying a lack of popular credibility or an inherent injustice in anything but ethnic majority—that is, Hutu—rule.

Maintaining   the argument that the RPF and all Tutsi are outsiders, Press Release No. 11 of 1 July 1995 states that the RPF’s high command “is exclusively made up of former members of a foreign army” and refers to “the so-called national assembly,”[47] while another statement refers to “the so–called national parliament”[48] in Rwanda, reinforcing the notion of the illegitimacy of RPF rule in Rwanda.

Generally speaking, in the RDR’s press releases, the terms “RPF” and “Tutsi” are used interchangeably and contrasted with descriptions of Hutu as “true Rwandans,” “the Rwandan people” and “the population.”[49]

The RDR continually attempts to distance the RPF from the “Rwandan people,” implying that the RPF is not truly Rwandan and instead a self-imposed and discredited government; “a clique of individuals, who are desperately trying to cling to power against the verdict of the people.”[50]

Such statements echo the claim in the RDR’s Political Platform that the RPF government “has no political or social base; it is not representative of the population.  It is a government that took power through military force by an ethnocentric oligarchy, which so far has not been able to win the hearts of the people over which it rules.”[51]

The RPF is portrayed as an occupying force; an administration of non-Rwandans subjecting true Rwandans—Hutu—to repressive, minority rule.

The myth of Tutsi being “foreigners” or “outsiders” is not new in Rwanda. After 1959, successive governments maintained that the Tutsi were foreigners who needed to be eradicated. Killing Tutsi by throwing them in the Nyabarongo River was considered part of sending them back to their purported origin—Ethiopia, via the River Nile.

In a more recent version of this argument, the RDR’s Press Release No. 67 of 17 April 1996 describes economic migrants and foreigners who have been given legal rights to property in which they had been “squatting” since the genocide, allegedly as part of an attempt by the RPF to “enhance its political constituency.”[52]

This implies that the RPF is not a party for Rwandans; that to maintain power it must buy support from outside of the country and can only govern with the help of foreigners. An RDR statement on 4 June 1996 accuses the RPF of needing to “pay a moral debt to Tutsi in Zaire who financed the RPF war,” alleging that the RPF relies on foreigners, especially members of the Tutsi Diaspora, to stay in power.[53]

During the whole period of 1996, RDR-led forces in eastern Zaire, were preparing to escalate armed incursions into Rwanda, and the tone of the RDR’s press releases reflected this. In one of them, on April 17, 1996, the UN Security Council was blamed for consolidating “a mono-ethnic army that cannot inspire confidence to all citizens of the country”.

The RDR further described the RPF government as an “intrinsically unviable political system.” Without denying that the FAR and Interahamwe were rearming, the RDR claimed the issue was that “any human being will always find a way of resisting and getting rid of injustice meted out on him from any quarter however apparently powerful.”[54]

This was repeated in another press release of September 29, 1996, where the RDR sought to give their hideous plans the legitimacy of South African struggle against apartheid.

The communiqué states: “No amount of weaponry will deter thousands and thousands of Rwandese victims of RPF repression from claiming their inalienable rights to democratic governance. (…) After two years in power, RPF has proved that it carries within itself seeds of self-destruction; the same way the military mighty of the apartheid regime did not prevent it from collapsing. Like in South Africa, Rwanda needs a democratically elected government and a truly national army.’[55]

The RDR accused the USAID of funding an RPF school of military science and political education, reminiscent of the communist era, at GISHARI in what used to be MUHAZI commune. Yet such a school has never existed. USAID was requested to fund more pro-people projects, instead of RPF ‘instruments of coercion and political indoctrination.’[56]

To justify and confirm its readiness to use violence to recapture power, the RDR evoked genocide or a “deliberate attempt by the RPF to wipe out part or the whole population of Hutu refugees in Eastern Zaïre” something that would “ultimately compel the victims to resort to the use of all available means to resist the RPF regime as a way of reclaiming their dignity and other legitimate aspirations of any free human being.”[57]

Towards the end of the year 1996, the successful repatriation of Rwandese refugees from Tanzania was seen by the RDR as part of a “wide conspiracy against Hutu refugees”. They renewed their threats saying this was not the beginning of the end of the crisis, but ‘the beginning of a new cycle of instability, and eventually a return to square one.’[58]

 

Denial and hate

Genocide denial and genocide ideology is the founding doctrine of the RDR. In the minutes of the meeting which decided to form the RDR, there was a resolution on what they called the “genocide issue”.

Unambiguously, the founders of the RDR said that “there is no evidence of the preparation of the genocide on the part of the Rwandan people and their leaders.” Rather, they emphasize—“it is true that massacres occurred and that the RPF must mainly be held responsible for the tragedy that befell Rwanda.”[59]

The RDR denies there are any fugitives from justice among the refugees, and says that claim to the contrary are “false and dangerous:” the refugees are simply people who ran away from a country “ruled by the machine gun and the jail keys.” They are “political opponents” who need a political dialogue, and hence who “cannot return to their homeland while the evil political system, which forced them to exile, is still in place.”[60]

In the Kangura issue No 69, of May 1995 Ngeze derisively declared that it was the RPF which was responsible for genocide. In the typical manner of genocidaires to blame others for the crime for which they themselves are responsible, he said it was RPF propaganda which provoked massacres of the Tutsi.

Ngeze predicted that this RPF propaganda would endure for only two more years. And then, he asks: “What will the Tutsi do when that time comes and they realize that the 1994 genocide was prepared by the RPF?” He even claimed that some Tutsi were already aware of the emptiness of such a pyrrhic victory.[61]

In this very issue of Kangura, there was also a mention of a document which was published by the NGO Solidairé-Rwanda in October 1994, giving a list of alleged sites of RPF massacres and the number of victims, an RDR appeal to the international community to stop the RPF abuses, and a warning to the media against being manipulated. It was made public on April 27, 1995 at Mugunga by Dr. Innocent Butare, the RDR’s Executive Secretary.[62]

These spirals into the depths of denial are found not only throughout the RDR’s writings, but also in the writings of their European friends. The racist description of Tutsis as liars is found in the early RDR Press releases.

In one such press release are presented accusations such as: “The RPF has so much benefited from its policy of lying that it has institutionalised it.” (…) “The RPF has developed in a refined manner the art of lying.”[63] Thus, the release states: “The international community has come to consider the aggressed as aggressor and the aggressor as the aggressed; the main killers who in fact launched the war in October 1990 are today considered as victims of genocide”.[64]

The same arguments appear, for example, in the writings of the notorious French genocide denier Pierre Péan and the Spanish hate-monger Juan Carrero.

It is my firm conviction that genocide scholars analysing the discourse of the genocidaires and their friends will certainly agree with Alex Alvarez, who fittingly says: “Invariably, genocide receives much of its perceived legitimacy from professionals who provide the ideological, intellectual, scientific, and legal underpinnings for the destruction of a specific group. Because of their status and visibility certain professions are very important in legitimating the destructive actions of their states. Lawyers, doctors, and scientists often justify genocide by providing “vocabularies of motive” that frame the genocidal actions in such a way as to make it acceptable and palatable for the mass of a society.”[65] Alvarez borrowed the term “vocabularies of motive”, from C. Wright Mills, “Situated Actions and Vocabularies of Motive,” American Sociological Review 5 (1940)

The genocidaires, and especially the intellectuals who led them, never admit committing that crime. They know very well that what they do is a crime punishable by law. That is why they deny it and attribute it to others.

In June 1996, members of the RDR’s Cameroon branch released a typical genocide denial statement to validate genocide. The original text, which was in French, has the title: “Le conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU Induit en erreur sur Pretendu ‘Genocide Tutsi’ au Rwanda”. The text used in this book is the English translation by the ICTR, (United Nations Security Council Misled About the Presumed ‘Tutsi genocide’ Rwanda) as a Prosecution Exhibit tendered in court on October 11, 2006 as Exhibit No P419B in Case No ICTR-98-41-T and also as Exhibit No P161 (E) on 20 February 2007 in Case No ICTR-99-50-T RDR Cameroon Wing.

The signatories of this document were: Col. Theoneste BAGOSORA,[66] Dr. Ferdinand NAHIMANA, Jean Bosco RARAYAGWIZA, AnatoIe NSENGIYUMVA, Laurent  SEMANZA,  Telesphore BIZIMUNGU, Andre  NTAGERURA, Jean-Baptiste BUTERA, Augustin RUZINDANA,  Col. Felicien MUBERUKA,  Michel BAKUZAKUNDI[67]  and  Pasteur MUSABE (+).[68]

This group of thinkers for the RDR is very categorical in denying the established facts of history. They said “there was neither “Tutsi genocide” nor any “genocide” at all in Rwanda.”[69]

Thus the use of  the word “genocide”, according to these genocidaires,  was born of a campaign “expertly orchestrated  by  the  RPF  and  its  allies  to  gain  all  the  sympathy  of  the  international  community  in a war they  resumed and which they saw as a final solution.”[70]

Knowing the seriousness of their crime, this RDR group says: “The word “genocide” gives one the shivers; it immediately arouses widespread disapproval, and an overwhelming urge for repression.  The word “genocide” warrants prompt, concrete measures that are supposed to yield visible results against the perpetrators of that “genocide”.[71]

The RDR brings into play the argument of self-defence throughout their writings. The RDR Cameroun branch made up of ideologues and planners of genocide, thus accuses the UN Special Rapporteur of not being conversant with the social, political and historic realities of Rwanda, and of compiling his report on the basis of information furnished by persons who were implicated in the conflict. Otherwise, so they say, “he would have noted that those massacres had always stemmed from extremism, arrogance and murderous provocation by certain members of the Tutsi population (…)”.[72]

The RDR Cameroon branch talks about a “wave of inter-ethnic insecurity” which occurred after an alleged “large scale drafting of Tutsi youth into the RPF and the attendant systematic insubordination against established authority”.[73]

They see no falsehood at all, in portraying Tutsi as “bloodthirsty, power-hungry” and “determined to impose their rule on the people of Rwanda by means of the gun…” [74]

Therefore, they argue that: “…denouncing the danger constituted by the Tutsis regaining power by arms should not be tantamount to incitement to ethnic hatred and violence”.[75] Thus they defend the incendiary RTLM radio, of which all the authors of the document were shareholders urging that the RTLM was merely “Denouncing the enemy’s manoeuvres, boosting the morale of the resistance fighters, and denouncing the crimes already committed by the RPF.”[76]

The RDR Cameroon branch’s genocide denial is quite similar to that of their genocidal interim government during the genocide itself. By April 8, 1994, genocide was already underway in many parts of Rwanda—especially Kigali and many parts in the east.

Many people including anti-genocide members of the previous government and the president of the Constitutional Court had been killed, and the systematic slaughter of Tutsis was gathering steam. Genocidal killings were fully taking place. Yet in a special announcement from the Ministry of Defence, there was no mention of that situation. It simply spoke about security being merely “disrupted”, due to “some soldiers who, because they were angry, escaped from their barracks and attacked and harmed the population.”[77]

The Ministry did not admit there were massacres. Rather in a veiled discourse, it announced: “The armed forces once again urge the people to be vigilant and help them stop the wrongdoers.”[78] In practice, “stop the wrong doers” meant “kill the Tutsis and those who do not want to kill the Tutsis”.  The Ministry claimed the armed forces were doing everything possible to protect “those in trouble”, and asked “the people” to assist the armed forces so that they can “continue to maintain security.” The announcement concludes with a slogan of the ultra-extremist Hutu-Power party, the CDR: “Stay alert.”

Similarly, the new “interim government’s” Prime Minister Jean Kambanda announced in an April 9, 1994 speech that the commitment of his government was to provide “security for people and property, and restoring understanding among the people and, “restoring peace and pacifying Rwandans” over coming weeks. All this would be done “with only the welfare of the people at heart and not personal or group interests.”

Rwandans and the friends of Rwanda were reminded by the Prime Minister of the country’s critical situation, whereby the “contribution of everyone is necessary so that we can solve the difficult problems.”[79]

Kambanda announced that a top priority of his government was the “effective management of state affairs, notably by restoring order and the security of people and property”.  Once again, “Rwandans, friends of Rwanda” were requested to “double their vigilance.”

In practice, alertness and maintenance of vigilance were meant to convey the message of tracking down the “defined enemy,” i.e. the Tutsi. Ensuring effective security of the people was a metaphor or codeword for the extermination of the Tutsi.

The language of denial is part of the process of extermination. In his April 9, 1994, inaugural speech, interim President Sindikubwabo said the country needed the “strength of its children.” He thanks and expresses support to those who acted swiftly after the death of the president and “did their utmost, as always, to preserve the peace of Rwandans,” especially in the capital, Kigali.[80] As if the dead and the dying were none of his business.

What Sindikubwabo said was later echoed by the RDR, in defence of the Interahamwe: “The noun Interahamwe is used to signify men determined to walk together, to accomplish good deeds for the benefit of the country.”[81]The RDR adds that from April 6 to July 1994 the term Interahamwe meant: “Rwandans opposed to the RPF taking power by force”.[82]

In mid-May 1994, the President of the Interahamwe, Robert Kajuga, was interviewed by a French reporter, Jean Helene. He told him that the massacres of the Tutsi were the results of fate rather than of any deliberate plan.

Asked if the militia were organised; his answer was: “They are not organized – no way, no way, no way. You have to see the situation: the President died, and after three hours, the population really did not understand what was going on. They saw their neighbours next door who had guns to kill everyone – well, they just defended themselves.”

[Q] Are you collaborating with the army in this form of civilian defence?[83]

[A] Hmm. Well, we just exchange advice. Otherwise there are really no regular contacts with the army. We are just doing our best not to disturb the army. If the army asks us to leave a spot, we leave it, but we help the army to defend the country.[84]

Jerome Bicamumpaka, on his May 1994 tour to meet friends of genocidaires in Europe, told the German TV reporter Beate Mueller-Blattau that the Rwandans, fleeing to Tanzania at the time, were Hutu running away from the mostly Tutsis RPF rebels who are taking revenge for the Hutu army’s massacres of the civilians.

Bicamumpaka spoke about RPF soldiers attacking Rwanda “from the neighbouring country of Uganda.” During these attacks, he said, they carried out massacres of the civilian population, because these people had helped the army when the RPF opened fire.

Still, to avoid admitting genocide was the main preoccupation of his government, so Bicamumpaka said: “… the rebels had infiltrated their fighters into private houses, which belonged to people who are accomplices of the RPF. The Rwandan army then did the following. They attacked the houses of the RPF-sympathizers in order to get hold of the rebels. Civilians were killed in the process. Incidentally, those who were hiding RPF-rebels in Kigali were predominantly Tutsis.”[85]

In a remarkable instruction handbook prepared by the “Rwandan Government in exile” for those of its members likely face trial for genocide by the ICTR, the state that: “contrary to what the authorities in Kigali claim, if there had been a genocide organized by the Hutu, no Tutsi would have been spared. However, due to the continuous Hutu extermination, the Tutsi organized a real genocide against the Tutsi themselves.”[86] They then generalise that “every person who followed the situation closely” easily realizes that imposing the crime of genocide on the Hutu, was an RPF ploy to avoid any negotiations with those they consider “genocidaires…”[87]

This “Rwandan Government in exile” had earlier written and published a document which was meant for the UN Commission for Human Rights.

Using again a metaphorical language of hate and justification of the genocide against the Tutsi, the authors urge that: “One should not forget that the RPF was conceived and created just to kill, it has been killing in the past, and to-day it continues to kill.”[88]

Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, a genocidaire convicted by the ICTR, and a member of the RDR, also blames everything on the RPF: “The Planners and conceivers of the massacres are the RPF and its allies. The executing mercenaries are the RPF troops, and the foreign mercenaries are the Ugandans, Tanzanians and Burundians.”[89]

Barayagwiza’s associate in the genocide enterprise and in the RDR, and also convicted by the ICTR, Ferdinand Nahimana, in a book he published the same month the RDR was officially born, also denies the genocide, attributing it to the “war launched by the RPF which culminated in the killings that followed the assassination of President Habyarimana and the terrible hostilities which brought the RPF to power after sending 4,000,000 people into exile.”[90] He further says “the RPF itself is the principal culprit who must not hide behind those it accuses.”[91]

In the same vein, the RDR in their Press Release of December 30, 1996 asked the ICTR to get more involved in the genocide trials then underway in  Rwanda, on the grounds that the RPF had been the “master planner and architect of the so-called October War which had sowed the seeds of the massacres”, (…) and because the RPF were a front for Anglo-Saxons and were denying suspects basic rights of the defence like the “right to plead in a language of their choice, just to accommodate English-speaking prosecutors.”[92]

This statement by RDR to deny genocide by justifying it is not hit or miss. It is a verbal skill found amongst genocidaires and their friends. The government in exile’s instruction handbook for the accused at the ICTR says, “It is obvious that the Hutu and Tutsi who were killed during the violence started by the vile assassination of president HABYARIMANA, were killed because they were part of the same diabolical plan of exterminating the Hutu, modestly called “satellites” of Habyarimana. From then, it is absurd to talk of a genocide committed by the Hutu against the Tutsi. The Hutu did nothing more, during the sad events triggered by the RPF, than exercise their right to self-defence to escape extermination.”[93]

Barayagwiza repeats the same: “With the Tutsi on the other hand, domination, murders and selective massacres of the Hutu forced the latter to take measures of self-defense and into reprisals. The Hutus never elaborated a doctrine aiming at exterminating the Tutsi like the Nazi. The Hutu reaction stems from pure self-defense and in no circumstance can it be qualified as an act of genocide.”[94]

Nahimana also justifies genocide when he says that since the death of Habyarimana was “the main trigger” of what he calls the most “serious” and most “catastrophic” time for the “Rwandan people”.  He comes to a conclusion that, “The perpetrators of this death are therefore the real people responsible for the massacres that occurred in Rwanda.[95]

In April 1994, the Minister of Planning in the interim Kambanda government, Augustin Ngirabatware, went to Gabon to meet President Omar Bongo, of Gabon. He told a radio reporter, Eugene Lamberne, in Libreville, that through the “RPF media campaign and that of its acolytes – the world has received information solely from the RPF which, we know, is often full of lies.”

He was then asked: “What is your government saying about the massacres?” The answer was: “The RPF is directly and indirectly responsible for these massacres. Undeniably, the RPF – probably with external support – assassinated President Habyarimana. All the other massacres that followed in Rwanda and the ethnic troubles originated from the assassination of the president of the republic.”[96]

Just as the 1995 instruction handbook for genocidaires advised them to deny everything and charge the RPF with the genocide, RDR discourse commonly portrayed the Kigali government as a genocidal regime.

In 1997 for example, the RDR described the situation in Rwanda as “increasingly unbearable” and what they asserted as the beginning of the “long-dreamed RPF hard liners’ policy of ethnic and political cleansing;” the Kigali government was “busy weeding out prisoners” who had refused to succumb to its trap of forcing them to plead guilty.”[97]

The RDR charged the RPF with “rampant genocide” against the Hutu population,[98] a genocide which they said was “planned and executed” and demonstrated the “true nature of this criminal regime” which has no other project than “the extermination of one section of the Rwandan population.”[99]

 

 

Genocide as beneficial

Genocide denial is intended to further deepen the injury to survivors, to isolate them and to silence them as witnesses. The perpetrators of the genocide against the Tutsis have thus sought to perpetuate and reinforce the world’s indifference about their victims.

Accordingly, the above mentioned document prepared by the ideologues and planners of the genocide who resurfaced as members of RDR Cameroun branch, noted that genocide was something which “generates instinctive coalition and sympathy for the victims.” What’s more, they said, in the case of Rwanda, “the number of victims, and macabre pictures which were projected on the television screens, and photographs published on cover pages with captions indicating that the victims were Tutsis,  … was intended to forge a spirit of solidarity with  the  Tutsis  throughout  the  world,  while  whipping  up  a  sentiment of  reprobation towards the Hutus.”[100]

Additionally they charge that the use of the term “genocide” to designate what they insist on calling “interethnic massacres” was adopted by the RPF to get sympathy and enlist the assistance of the international community, and “was exploited to stop the Tutsi criminals from being bothered by the ICTR”[101]

They regret that because of the use of the word genocide, erstwhile allies of the interim government “refrained from supporting it” for fear of being labelled allies of the “genocide perpetrators.”[102]

The RDR Cameroon branch called for the treatment and policy towards the Hutu refugees in host countries to be reviewed, and demanded that the expression “genocide of the Tutsi” which was “used as capital by the RPF”, should be “reconsidered and cease being used to demonize an entire people.”[103]

The RDR discourse of genocide denial has been assiduously echoed and supported by their friends and sympathisers in the North. Filip Reyntjens, a Belgian academic considered to be an expert on Central Africa, is a Professor of African Law and Politics and Chair of the Institute of Development Policy and Management, at the University of Antwerp. Reyntjens is described by his colleague Professor René Lemarchand as an eminent and reliable analyst of the Rwandan political scene on the eve of the genocide, and as the most reliable source on post-genocide developments in Rwanda.[104]

Reyntjens’ main concern since 1994 has been to blame the international community for not punishing the RPF for human rights abuses, despite “international condemnations”. His primary sources are himself and other known friends of Hutu extremism like Serge Desouter, Nick Gordon, and Stephen Smith.[105]

To support this school of thought against the RPF, Reyntjens invokes a supposed “conspiracy of silence, induced in part by an international feeling of guilt over the genocide and a comfortable ‘good guys-bad guys’ dichotomy.”[106]

He also says that: “The refusal to see the RPF for what it really is, a banal and tragically violent military dictatorship, is the product of a severe form of “political correctness,” which the RPF fully exploits by using the ‘genocide credit’ to hide its own past and current crimes.”[107]

What Reyntjens expresses is very common among the friends of Hutu extremism who wish to portray the genocide against the Tutsi as “manipulation.” One of these friends, who will be discussed at length later, is Juan Carrero, who says that, “The manipulation of the term “genocide” by Kigali is simple enough: It is carried out in three phases. First it has to do with imposing an easily understood way of looking at things: good guys and bad guys, cowboys and Indians, assassins and victims, Hutus and Tutsis. For this they have no hesitation to use the media, exhibiting dead bodies, lies and half-truths. They play insistently on the emotions of an ignorant public and also on a good number of ignorant politicians. In the second phase, the public opinion thus established is consecrated and repeated until it turns into sacred and untouchable proof. It is convenient to use big slogans made up of words intended to shock, such as genocide, mock trials, death squads, revisionism, minimalism, planned extermination… Anyone who would raise their voice is condemned beforehand”.[108]

In December 1995, the FAR High Command wrote a 134 page document meant for the ICTR, about “The war of October 1990 and the tragedy of April 1994. Its title is: “Contribution of FAR to the Search for Truth on the Rwandan Tragedy.”

Carrero’s arguments mirror those of the FAR perfectly. The FAR writes that “for the RPF, the ethnic massacres were deliberately termed the genocide of the Tutsi at the hands of the Hutu in order to mislead public opinion and cover up the Hutu genocide, which was carefully prepared by RPF before and during the war and even currently, but about which the international community remains silent”.[109] The FAR continues to say the RPF was aware that the Tutsi minority ethnic group would ultimately be the victims of the RPF war, and set the international community against the Hutus to justify its attacks: “The RPF used genocide as a trump card in order to win support from the international community.”[110]

Carrero argues that the current government of Rwanda uses “genocide” as an excuse to commit extensive crimes against the Hutu population. Throughout his work, refers to the beginning of the conflict happening when the RPF “invaded” Rwanda in 1990, and to the genocide of 1994 as “events”. He argues that the RPF uses the term genocide as a self-defence tactic. He even goes as far as to blame the RPF for the genocide, saying that the RPF knew what would happen to the Tutsis in Rwanda but saw this as acceptable collateral damage that would allow the RPF to establish a dictatorship in Rwanda, gain power in the region, and get better access to the mineral rich Congo (Zaire at the time).[111]

Carrero often finds support in the writings of Christophe Hakizabera, who wrongfully claims to be a former member of the RPF, but who fled Rwanda to join fellow genocide deniers and ideologues in the FDLR. Hakizabera is someone who urges that: “It is obvious that Kagame needed a Tutsi bloodbath as a later justification for the planned extermination of the Hutus and in order to broadcast far and wide the genocide that has today become an inexhaustible blank cheque for the legitimisation of his regime.”[112]

Nyarubuye is a well known site in the southeast Rwanda where thousands of Tutsis were massacred in or around a parish church. As this occurred was under the leadership of the FAR and the communal administration of Sylvester Gacumbitsi, who was convicted by the ICTR for, among other things, his participation in the massacre at that parish church. Despite this unquestionable truth, for the RDR, “…Nyarubuye is a golden opportunity to justify [the RPF’s] 4-year guerrilla war, and for the national and international community to forgive and forget that it took over power at the expense of more than 1 million citizens massacred.”[113]

Another aspect of the genocide deniers and genocidaires’ tactic of dismissing the genocide as a “manipulation” is to also dismiss the Kigali government’s prosecution of the perpetrators as a political manoeuvre.

Thus the RDR charges that: ‘it is common knowledge that the RPF authoritarian regime exploits the 1994 genocide against Tutsis for political ends.’ Lists of alleged genocide suspects are dismissed as a political weapon for the current Rwandan government “to silence any real, potential or imaginary political opponent from the Hutu community.”[114]

The Union of Rwandese Democratic Forces (UFDR), in their Press Release No January 23, 2000 with a title: “UFDR is convinced that any lasting solution to the war in the DRC will never end without finding an acceptable solution to the Rwandese crisis” had a similar message.

They maintained some UN Security Council members had succumbed to the propaganda of the Kigali government and therefore associate all the opponents of that regime with genocidaires, and agitate the scarecrow of “Interahamwe” militiamen and a permanent danger of genocide against the remaining Tutsis of Rwanda.

The UFDR, an umbrella organisation, whose most influential member was the RDR, asserts this was a diversionary strategy developed by the regime in Kigali in order to cover up its countless crimes including a “rampant genocide against innocent civilian Hutu population, in a diabolical scheme of achieving numerical parity between the two ethnic groups.”[115] The press release was signed by Charles Ndereyehe.

In RDR’s Press Release NO. 8/2001 of May15, 2001 with a title: “RDR CONDEMNS THE EXPLOITATION OF THE 1994 RWANDAN GENOCIDE FOR POLITICAL ENDS” the RDR “denounces and condemns” what they term “the political exploitation of the 1994 Rwandan genocide” by General Paul Kagame in order “to suppress any political opposition to his tyrannical regime or to justify crimes committed by his militia, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), in Rwanda since October 1990 and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since August 1996. (…) The genocide of Tutsis is exploited by the RPF as a political weapon to disqualify any person or political party (allied or in opposition) contesting its political choices or leadership.[116]

Notes


[1] Calls to the International witch hunting of so called “intimidators” in Eastern Zaire are misconceived. RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº106 November 15, 1996

[2] News in Brief, Intego N° 0 (sic!), p. 17

[3] A story by Amiel Nkuriza, Intego n° 1, p. 9 to 11

[4] See: Tom Ndahiro in “After Genocide”

[5] Prosecution Exhibit No P191B Tendered on 25 October 2002 in Case No ICTR-99-52-T. Minutes of MEETING OF 29 MARCH-3  APRIL 1995

[6] Ibid, p.1

[7] Ibid, p.4

[8]  Ibid. ICTR Exhibit P191B p.8

[9]Declaration of the High Command of the Rwandan armed forces after its meeting of 28 to 29 April 1995 in Bukavu (Author’s Archives)

[10] He is one of the people who penetrated or was deployed  to work in the ICTR as defence investigator, and he is one of the “Obnoxious Petitioners”

[11] See the chapter which talks about Obnoxious Petitioners. He is the Chairman of La Fédération Internationale des Associations Rwandaises (The international federation of Rwandan associations).

[12] These objectives appeared in RDR’s PRESS RELEASE No 1.Nairobi, 20th April 1995 onhttp://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/20_april_1995.html

[13] The document carries the title «SUR LES TRACES DU RASSEMBLEMENT POUR LE RETOUR DES RÉFUGIÉS ET LA DÉMOCRATIE AU RWANDA» on www.rdrwanda.org/english/historical_background/

[14] Ibid. ICTR Exhibit P191B p.7

[15] The document is in the author’s archives

[16] In a Declaration of the high Command of the Rwandan Armed Forces after its meeting of 28 to 29 April 1995, Bukavu, document in author’s archives.

[17] Editorial: If the Tutsi call us criminals, why are they inciting us into going to war? By: Hassan Ngeze. Kangura n° 68, April 1995, pages 1 and 2

[18] Kangura N° 68, April 1995, page 2

[19]Hassan Ngeze, Kangura n° 68, April 1995, pages 9 – 14

[20] Interview with Dr. Joseph Mugenzi: Kangura n° 69, May 1995, pages 9 and 10

[21] The communiqué about the creation of the RDR as well as that of the FAR expressing their support to the RDR were published by Kangura from page 13 to 15 as part of RDR’s campaign  in Kangura n° 69, May 1995, pages 11 – 15

[22] Voix du Zaire, 27 July 94

[23]AFP news agency, 27 July 94

[24] France Inter Radio, 26 July 94

[25] Ibid.

[26] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº5  May 10, 1995 Signed by Dr. Innocent BUTARE Executive Secretary: Seehttp://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/10_may_1995.html

[27]  RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº 6 May 24, 1995. Seehttp://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/24_may_1995.html

[28] In French Ndereyehe says:  “…dans son histoire, le Rwanda n’a jamais connu de régime dont la cruauté soit comparable à celui que fait vivre le FPR au peuple rwandais depuis le 1er octobre 1990.” See: (http://www.rdrwanda.org/francais/publications/forum/Forum_Rwandais_No0.html)

[29] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº11of July 1, See: 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/01_July_1995.html

[30] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº 12 of 10th July 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/10_July_1995.html

[31] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº 16  of 19th, August 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/19_august_1995.html

[32] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº17 of 24th August 1995 with a title: The Rising Anguish of Rwandese Refugees See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/24_August_1995.html

[33] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº29 of 16th October, 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/16_OCTOBER_1995.htm

[34] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº19 of 28 August 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/28_August_1995.html

[35] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº8 June 13, 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/13_June_1995.html

[36] Resolutions of the RDR 3rd Ordinary Congress – Bonn, 17 – 19 August 2000http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/24August1998.html

[37]RDR Memorandum to the Heads of State, heads of Delegations and Mediators participating in a Regional Conference on the Great Lakes Region       November 21, 1995 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/documents/RDR/Document_21_November_1995.htm

[38] Viewpoint of RDR on the Cairo Declaration of November 29, 1995- published on December 31, 1995  See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/documents/RDR/Document_31_December_1995.htm

[39] The Illegitimate and bellicose Kigali government is the main obstacle to durable peace in the African Great Lakes Region. Press Release nº 4/2002

[40] The New Phase for General Kagame’s War of Conquest–  Press Release of August 6, 1998 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/6august1998.HTML

[41] The Clinton Administration should stop all military assistance to Rwandan and Ugandan warmonger dictators. Press release signed in Brussels, August 27, 1998 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/27August1998.html  also available onhttp://www.inshuti.org/rdr10.htm

[42] PRESS RELEASE Nº 58 March 19, 1996 THE TUNIS SUMMIT ON SECURITY IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION MISSED THE POINT ONCE AGAIN. See: http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release58.html

[43] PRESS RELEASE Nº67 April 17,1996 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release67.html

[44] RDR Press Release No.6 May 24, 1995

[45] Ibid,

[46] Ibid,

[47] RDR Press Release No. 11, 1 July 1995

[48] Ibid

[49] Ibid

[50] Ibid

[51] The document, simply titled “RDR Political Platform” published in Paris, on August 23,

1998 is available on http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/basic_principles/RDR_Political_Platform.PDF

[52] RDR Press Release No. 67, April 17, 1996 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release67.html

[53] Ibid.

[54] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº71 April 26,1996 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release71.html

[55] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº92 September 29, 1996. The ANC Government Decision to Sell Arms to the RPF Government amounts to add fuel to fire. See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release92.htm

[56] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº86 September 5, 1996—USAID involvement in funding an RPF school set up to dispense military science and political education. See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release86.html

[57] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº108 November 27, 1996 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release108.htm

[58] RDR PRESS RELEASE Nº110 December 9, 1996 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release110.htm

[59] Ibid. ICTR Exhibit P191B  p.8

[60] Press Release No.13/2001 Done in Montreal on 1st August 2001—RDR CONDEMNS THE ON-GOING CAMPAIGN AGAINST RWANDAN REFUGEES IN THE AFRICAN GREAT LAKES REGION See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/RDR_PRESSRELEASE01082001.htm

[61] Kangura n° 69, May 1995, pages 8 and 9

[62] Kangura N° 69, May 1995, pages 14 and 15

[63] RDR-PRESS RELEASE Nº 6 Mugunga, May 24, 1995

[64] Ibid, RDR-PRESS RELEASE Nº 6

[65]Alex Alvarez, Justifying Genocide: The Role of Professionals in Legitimizing Mass Killing
first Published in IDEA-A journal of Social issues, December 20, 2001 — Vol.6, no.1 Also readhttp://www.ideajournal.com/articles.php?sup=10

[66] Bagosora, Nahimana, Barayagwiza, Nsengiyumva, and Semanza, have all been convicted of genocide by the ICTR.

[67] Bakuzakundi Michel, like Nahimana,was a founder member of the CRP

[68] He died in Cameroun and was a young brother of Bagosora.

[69] Ibid, RDR Cameroun 1996 p.36

[70] Ibid, RDR Cameroon  June 1996 p.4

[71] Ibid, RDR Cameroon  June 1996 p.5

[72] Ibid, RDR Cameroon  June 1996 p.7

[73] Ibid, RDR Cameroon 1996  p.8

[74] Ibid, RDR Cameroon 1996  p.11

[75] Ibid, RDR Cameroon  1996  p.11

[76] Ibid, RDR Cameroon 1996  p.29

[77] Radio Rwanda April 8, 1994

[78] Ibid, Radio Rwanda April 8,1994

[79] Radio Rwanda, 9 April 94

[80] Radio Rwanda, 9 April 94

[81] Ibid, RDR Cameroun, 1996 p.31

[82] Ibid, RDR Cameroun, 1996 p.33

[83] It is truly remarkable how easily this French journalist adopted the “civil defence” codeword for extermination as if it was conventional.

[84] RFI, May 15, 1994

[85] Ibid,

[86] VADE MECUM DES JUSTICIABLES DU TRIBUNAL INTERNATIONAL POUR LE  RWANDA. (T.I.R) Par le Gouvernement Rwandais en exil, Ministère de la Justice, Bukavu, Novembre 1995/ Vade Mecum of those to be tried by the international tribunal for rwanda (ICTR)  By the Rwandan Government in exile, Ministry of Justice, Bukavu, November 1995 (p. 6) [Author’s archives]

[87] Ibid p. 6

[88]LE PEUPLE RWANDAIS ACCUSE, Bukavu, le 21 septembre 1994/THE RWANDAN PEOPLE ACCUSES, A document prepared by the Government in exile. Bukavu, 21/09/1994 p.10 Was presented as Prosecution exhibit No P.129 in Case No. ICTR-99-50-T on August 29, 2006. Also in the author’s archives.

[89]Jean Bosco BARAYAGWIZA, LE SANG HUTU EST-IL ROUGE? Yaounde, 1995. IS HUTU BLOOD RED? (BY Jean Bosco BARAYAGWIZA) (p. 140) Was presented as defence exhibit in “the Media Trial” No. ICTR-99-52-T on May 31, 2002 as DEF.EXH.2D35

[90] Ferdinand NAHIMANA, RWANDA.  L’ELITE HUTU ACCUSEE/ THE HUTU ELITE ACCUSED, April 1995. p. 17 was presented as Defence exhibit No ID 103 in Case No. ICTR-99-52-T on May 31, 2006.

[91] Ibid,  THE HUTU ELITE ACCUSED… p. 18

[92] RDR-PRESS RELEASE Nº113 December 30,1996

[93] Vade mecum p. 13

[94] Barayagwiza p. 140

[95] Nahimana p.20 The author say: “Not finding those people and not bringing them to justice would be the wrong step in the search for an explanation for the events that took place in this country through judgments delivered by the international tribunal; it would be discrediting the international community in general and the United Nations Organization in particular.”

[96] Africa No. 1 Radio, 27 April 94

[97] RDR-PRESS RELEASE Nº 115 January 20, 1997 –Flare-up of killings and disappearances in Rwanda See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release115.htm

[98] RDR-PRESS RELEASE Nr 117 April 24, 1997.  RDR WELCOMES A UN INVESTIGATION INTO THE MASSACRES OF REFUGEES IN ZAIREAN REBEL HELD TERRITORY. See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/Press_release117.htm

[99] RDR-PRESS RELEASE Brussels, August 6, 1998THE NEW PHASE FOR GENERAL KAGAME’S WAR OF CONQUEST See: http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/6august1998.HTML

[100] Ibid, RDR Cameroun  1996 p. 5

[101] Ibid, RDR Cameroun  1996 p. 36

[102] Ibid,Cameroon Doc. 1996  p.5

[103] Ibid,Cameroon Doc p.37

[104] René Lemarchand, Rwanda: The State of Research (November 2007) in Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence ISSN 1961-9898 – Edited by Jacques Semelin Read on http://www.massviolence.org

[105] Filip Reyntjens, RWANDA, TEN YEARS ON: FROM GENOCIDE TO DICTATORSHIP in Royal African society journal (2004) p.197-198. [S. Desouter and F. Reyntjens, Rwanda: Les violations des droits de l’homme par le FPR/APR. Plaidoyer pour une enquête approfondie (Centre for the Study of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Antwerp, June 1995); S. Smith, ‘Rwanda: enquête sur la terreur tutsie’, Libération, 27 February 1996; N. Gordon, ‘Return to Hell’, Sunday Express, 21 April 1996. (footnote 79)

[106] Ibid, p.198

[107] Reyntjens, Filip (1999) ‘Rwanda: The Conspiracy of Silence’ www.dayton.edu/~rwanda/ar

[108] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region. Paths and Stumbling Blocks to Peace in Africa. Madrid: Conference on Anthroplogy and Missionary Work., www.inshuti.org

[109] FAR (1995) “Contribution of FAR to the Search for Truth on the Rwandan Tragedy.” (p.5)

[110]Ibid FAR  (1995) (p.17-18)

[111] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region. Paths and Stumbling Blocks to Peace in Africa. Madrid: Conference on Anthroplogy and Missionary Work., www.inshuti.org

[112] Inshuti. (1999, November 19). Letter of Support to the candidature of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace prize of the year 2000. Manresa, Catalonia, Spain., www.inshuti.org

[113]RDR Document, Rwandese crisis: The other side of the story -July 1996 See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/documents/RDR/RWACRISIS071996.html

[114] Press Release No.12/2001, Montreal on 23 July 2001—The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) must rise above the politics See:http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/RDR_PRESSRELEASE23072001.htm

[115] UFDR Press Release nº18 Brussels, January 23, 2000 See :http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/URDF/23_january_2000.htm

[116] See: http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/PRESS_RELEASE_15052001.htm In the same vein the RDR claims the most of Rwandan opponents in DRC are ‘survivors of numerous crimes against peace and humanity, war crimes and genocide committed by the RPA in Rwanda since October 1990 and in eastern DRC since August 1996. See: RDR-PRESS RELEASE Nº 6/2002 Done at Montreal on 27 August 2002—DURABLE PEACE IN CENTRAL AFRICA: STATEMENT ON THE PRETORIA ACCORD

Chapter V: How to wage continued genocide and terrorism

In the last months of 1994, as indicated in earlier chapters, the FAR was busy planning the future political framework and strategy of the defeated genocidal regime. Many things had been done as per plan. Unleashing terror was also part of the strategy which they aimed to organise and carry out.

On February 21, 1996 Major General Bizimungu, the FAR leader in Zaire, sent an Information Bulletin (I.B) No. 003/96 of January 15, 1996 to his two division commanders, Col. Renzaho (North Kivu) and Col. Ntiwiragabo (South Kivu).[1]The memo accompanying the I.B was copied to the heads of intelligence and operations.

Bizimungu directed the recipients’ ‘particular attention’ to the points which concerned urgent terrorist operation inside Rwanda. The army headquarters and military divisions were required to “quickly attain a better degree of operation planning and coordination.”

Choice of objectives, he said, “must aim at having a psychological impact causing panic, especially among the members of the RPF and expatriates.” They were also required to look for ways and means to increase the involvement of the civilian population inside Rwanda in what he called “the struggle”, meaning “economic sabotage, dissemination of tracts, sensitization, information…” These operations were to complement other military operations inside Rwanda, which included locating RPA deployments and encouraging “massive desertions within the RPA”.

The information in the I.B was thorough to objective, strategies and actions to be taken. The I.B spoke about increased insecurity in Rwanda.    Thus, terrorist acts armed robbery, petty crime and other criminal acts.

The I.B reported massive desertions at all levels (civil and military), laying emphasis on “Important Hutu personalities” who have fled “after disagreements with some important officials of the Kigali regime” and on “Tutsi businessmen afraid of another war, which would deprive them of their business.”

The I.B spoke about “continued field operations” inside Rwanda. During the last three months of 1995, the operations became “regular and attained satisfactory results”. It wrote that it was clear that many “RPA soldiers were not keen on another big war”.

To achieve better results, the I.B reported there was a need to accelerate infiltrations into the country, to improve technical and psychological training for the staff infiltrated forces, to plan operations, to search for material, and to “put in place a permanent commandment and liaison teams inside the country.”

The I.B featured reports that “some enemy activists have been physically eliminated.” It also indicates that: “There were some sabotage activities in some prefectures.” The I.B said that even though the civilian population was favourable to the RDR cause, they fear the RPF reprisals, which the I.B said were the reason why “many people flee the country after sabotage activities.”

What it meant, in other words, is that the RDR and its forces, created such a flight of people to further justify the claim that the RPF was unpopular. Within the 1st Division[2], at the level of operations, the focus was on “attacking small positions inside the country, placing mines, destruction of bridges and energy equipment.”

The I.B had reports of how the operations carried out inside Rwanda “provoked a movement of panic among Kigali authorities and some businessmen”. The I.B stressed the need to reinforce this movement with more actions, in a “better planned and coordinated manner,” especially in the north and south of Rwanda and at the same time, to maximise the psychological impact.

The I.B called for encouragement to be given to the population in Rwanda to give false information to the RPF. Another instruction was to “take advantage” of what they called “the slackening of control” observed in Mutara and other regions where “many Tutsi live, to cause insecurity with sabotage actions which have a great psychological impact in order to cause the population to doubt the RPF capacity to defend them.”

As far as the use of media for their cause was concerned, the I.B said that the FAR and the RDR (civilians), “must enhance the press and propaganda campaign to increase discord within the RPA by pointing out cases showing distrust toward Hutu soldiers, more particularly those from the ex-FAR”. It was also pointed out that available information in their publications such as the Lettre du RDR and INDAMUTSO must be given to Battalion commanders.

Reflecting on what was happening inside Rwanda, the I.B expressed concern that the Constitution has been “amended by the Parliament and English was declared the third language after Kinyarwanda and French” and “the notion of genocide introduced.”

On the plus side, the I.B reported that Rwanda’s relations with France were increasingly deteriorating “due to discourteous comments towards France and its leaders…accused of supporting the genocide.” Also: “Kigali continues to get on the wrong side of France and made new enemies in the international community by expelling NGOs (…)”

Politically

In Bizimungu’s I.B, the FAR laid out a political action program and the division of labour. The RDR (civilians and the military) was instructed to prevent the RPF from improving their mark in diplomacy and the press, by multiplying interventions in diplomacy and the media “to reveal the RPF’s hideous crimes”; to reach out non-aligned countries, which were or are on the side of the USA; and to get in touch with countries like France, Egypt as well as “our compatriots who have access to the UN diplomatic milieu.”

The RDR was instructed to organize press conferences in countries like France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Canada. For countries like the USA, Italy, Spain, Portugal and England, RDR branches and their affiliated associations were to be mobilized to be more active.

The RDR was also tasked to create in at least one European country and Canada, associations for the defence of human rights in Rwanda, aiming at denouncing “the hideous RPF crimes” and putting pressure on the UN, the UNHCR, the European Union, the International Tribunal…”

These associations should be composed of both Rwandans and nationals. Note: This is how organisations like CLIIR, OPJDR, SOS-Rwanda Burundi, and many more today, came into existence.[3]

The RDR, furthermore, was obligated to identify “(Rwandan) government personnel, beginning with politico-administrative, judiciary and financial posts, in order to show the world the RPF’s ethnistic policy and convince Rwanda donors that it undermines the quality of human resources and national reconciliation; and to recruit quickly some Tutsi among the genocide survivors or the returnees who are really opposed to the RPF’s hegemony and who are ready to denounce it publicly; and castigate the unconditional support from the UN and other countries like the US and England to the Rwandan Government.” Note: RDR Press Releases, since 1995, have followed this line. And Prof. Reyntjens followed suit.

The military and political wings had to act together in some assignments. One of those actions was to counteract possible attempts of Rwanda’s former Prime Minister Twagiramungu and others, who they thought would have an influence on the refugees.

For this, the RDR had to follow closely political and diplomatic agents inside and outside Rwanda; and to create a common platform among key political associations representing the refugees. Another close collaboration required between the FAR and the RDR was to support and accelerate the degradation of the situation inside Rwanda.

For this the RDR and the FAR were to “target in all their actions, the person of Kagame and his politico-military staff, alert Hutu personalities who are still in the country about the dangers of death which threaten them and if necessary facilitate their flight;   convincing them that nothing else would prevent the government from persecuting the Hutu except a military and political defeat; and create an intelligence network in the country.”

The RDR, I would say, achieved some success, in this regard, especially in the mission to convince “Hutu personalities” to abandon their posts in the government and to choose to live in exile. There was such a wave of departures, especially during the period between mid-1995 and late 1996.

On the side of FAR, their major duty was to “increase insecurity in Rwanda to enhance the war in diplomacy and the press; targeting vital points and pro-RPF foreign organizations and intensifying destabilization acts which could easily be attributable to the RPA, to break the RPA’s feeling of a definitive victory.”

The FAR was also tasked to continue with the “destruction of all infrastructures to paralyse towns and centres where the population is mainly Tutsi;” carry on destabilization in bigger cities like Kigali and Butare; “identify the NGOs which are remaining in Rwanda and target enemies among them;” and to target Tutsi senior magistrates to counteract the control of the Tutsi on the judicial system and to prevent its functioning as long as Hutu magistrates were marginalized.

On the economy

The FAR, assessed socio-economic situation in Rwanda, as critical, taking into account the level of agricultural production, purchasing power, corruption and misappropriation of funds, and the situation of the “Banques Populaires” network. The adopted policy was to:

–        Keep Rwanda in socio-economic crisis or even worsen it.

–        Paralyze  the economy by damaging electricity, water and petrol stations;

–        Study how to destabilize importations;

–        Devise and apply strategies aiming at starving more places where Tutsi populations are concentrated, mainly Kigali city and other relevant urban centres.

–        Take advantage of financial embezzlements to facilitate destabilization actions and use  corruption to obtain documents and information; encourage the detainees’ parents and detainees themselves to resort to corruption for the improvement of detention conditions and for escape; and

–        Encourage the few Hutu who might still have access to Treasury coffers to practise embezzlement for the common cause; and to steal money from the “Banques Populaires” where they were operational.

Diplomatically

The FAR affirmatively assessed that the Zairian authorities felt embarrassed by international pressure to arrest the “intimidators” who acted to prevent the voluntary return of refugees to Rwanda.

It was therefore recommended for the FAR and the RDR to get around these challenges:

–        Set  a calendar for realistic actions to initiate repatriation in security and dignity before the beginning of the electoral campaign;

–        Double efforts to track down infiltrations of enemies in the camps and the region. For that purpose, they must not only cooperate with Zairean information services, but also recruit and train Banyarwanda information services for the Hutu cause throughout the Kivu region;

–        Sensitise  the local military authorities to organize patrols in and around the National Park to control closely the activities of Ngezayo Foundation;

–        Counteract  the expansion of Anglophone powers in the region, by establishing military, political and economic alliances with the leaders of Francophone countries including Zaire;

–        Define and quickly carry out appropriate actions to get “intimidators” released and to prevent other arrests by mobilizing the refugees so that they can show solidarity with those who get arrested.

–        Follow closely the evolution of the war in Burundi and discuss and agree with the Burundi rebels under Leonard Nyangoma about mutual support. The defeat of the Burundian army would be a great asset for the liberation of Rwanda.

–        Encourage the Hutu to be combative and united like the Tutsi and to carry out sensitization activities.

President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania was not appreciated by these genocidaires, because of his re-launching of the East Africa economic Community to which Rwanda and Burundi could eventually adhere.

The then Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete’s visit to the refugee camps was interpreted as showing the intention of Tanzania to help the Government of Kigali to solve the problem of refugees.

The RDR and FAR decided on the creation of networks for RDR coordinators, providing political training to youth and sensitizing the refugees about the behaviour to adopt if they return to Rwanda in an unexpected way.

The FAR instructed the RDR to double efforts to approach the Ugandan opposition to discuss modalities of collaboration with them. With regard to Kenya, the FAR assessment was that President MOI was preoccupied by the improvement of his external image, after tough international criticism of his declaration castigating the I.C.T.R and other criticism of his regime by Western human right associations. The FAR urged that genocide suspects and their lawyers collaborate to castigate the partiality of the ICTR.

 

Precise strategies of terror

On March 25, 1996, at Mugunga camp in Goma, the head of FAR Military intelligence Lt. Col. Juvenal Bahufite sent a memo[4] to the FAR commander, Major General Bizimungu. The well thought out memo focused on what should be done to achieve a rapid return to Rwanda.

In his introduction Bahufite said that it was the October 1, 1990 war against them “by the anti-democratic fascist RPF forces” which brought about a massive exodus of Rwandans in July 1994. Thus, he said: “members of a people that deserved much respect were reduced to the genocide perpetrators of the century, and what used to be called Rwanda Armed Forces, had been reduced to “F”, Forces. In his view, these were to be replaced by another force because their government had lost sovereignty.

To correct past mistakes, Bahufite proposed what he described as “preliminary activities to the preparation of a rapid return,” organised within a body called a “coordination cell”. This was to be a strong cell, in charge of coordinating the activities of the refugees towards their return and acting as the politico-ideological brain for the planning and follow-up of those activities. To make it more cohesive, the cell would be made up of people “objectively chosen” from among the military and the civilian forces. Civilian members should be trained to work well with the military, with the purpose of maintaining discipline within both components.

The essential actions of the cell were to revolve around “insecurity in Rwanda and the behaviour to be adopted by refugees.”  The first objective was to convince the international community that life in Rwanda led by the RPF was excruciating.

Concrete actions to create insecurity were to be strengthened. Such actions, he emphasised: “should target expatriates from countries that are allies of the RPF such as the United States of America, Canada, England and Holland—and would have the direct effect of limiting the expatriate presence in Rwanda and therefore limit investments. Sabotage actions shall also be intensified in a carefully chosen targeted region so as to make it accessible to refugees once they are expelled from host countries. In such a region, “all expatriates without exception and all the Tutsi and Hutu accomplices of the RPF should feel threatened to the point they will decide to leave it under the control of the liberation forces.”

While calling for “reinforcing communication and contacts with the Hutu inside the country”, Bahufite observed that the ‘Rwandans outside the country’ were in a better position to lead a struggle against the RPF than those living inside the country; “the latter are in a better position to undermine and paralyse the RPF system. Thus, all available information against the RPF must in one way or the other reach those inside the country who have espoused the cause of refugees, especially intellectuals.” This, as said, was to enable refugees to remain united with their compatriots who have remained inside Rwanda. With the help of those regular contacts they had, would enable “…to win over the Hutu against the RPF and its Government.”

Refugees should have well informed representatives in all corners of the world where there is a Rwandan Hutu. This would allow regular and easy denunciation of what he called ‘the villainous acts’ of the RPF.

Bahufite predicted that “gradually, refugees will change the international opinion about the RPF.” Their representatives, he suggested, “should be aware of the weakness of refugees vis à vis big countries that are allies of the RPF.”

Instead of confronting those countries, he said, they should multiply contacts with their populations with a view of getting them to know the reality about Rwanda. “Such reality should be conceived inside the coordination cell (indoctrination ideology designed to tarnish the image of the RPF). It should be noted that even individual contacts should not be neglected. In that way all the blame shall be imputed to the RPF and its government.”

The head of intelligence also emphasised that the RDR should find all means to galvanise various associations that were springing up to support the cause of the refugees, like (Rwanda Pour Tous, United Democratic Parties…). Since such associations were looking for members, he suggested it was necessary to infiltrate them in order to get their support and be informed about their activities. This, he said, would allow the RDR to “gain supremacy over all those groups that claim to represent Rwandan refugees.”

In his view, it was also necessary to form “a working group in charge of denouncing the bad political activities of some humanitarian NGOs working in refugee camps and individuals who were determined to force refugees to go back home.”

These agents, he said, should work in close collaboration with the various refugee associations in different camps. Bahufite felt it would be useful to identify ‘Tutsi refugees’ who really support the cause of the Hutu refugees. “Such people can contribute by declaring that there are no persons intimidating refugees in camps and that it is the RPF that is at the origin of Rwanda’s misfortunes by its 1990 attack.”

Finally, he emphasised, it was vital “to collaborate with other Bantu races of Africa that are threatened by Hamites. (…) the Hutu of Masisi, the Bantu of Kenya, and Uganda etc.” As much as possible, he said, they “should envisage uniting the forces and concentrating them in the successive liberation of the Great Lakes countries under Hamite domination.”

 

 

Evil minds

In the minutes of a military Operations meeting held in Bukavu-Zaire on April 25, 1996 and chaired by Brigadier General Gratien Kabiligi, who was the FAR’s second in command, their planned attack on Rwanda included the “elimination” of genocide  survivors. “The  adopted method  is  to  cleanse  the  countryside  to  be  able  to  live. That  consists of  the  physical  elimination  of  any  supporters  of  the RPF  cause  (acolytes,  sponsors, supporters…)—those who escape will find refuge in urban centres or in parishes. Ops will lay landmines and traps; destroy roads and public buildings. The war must be mobile: attack in urban centres and hide in the countryside. The principle of cleansing the countryside by eliminating RPF sympathizers and especially the best-known survivors has been approved. That will allow our men to settle easily into rural areas and to take action in small urban centres and against other specific positions.”[5]

Other participants in this meeting were: Lt.Col J. Bosco  Ruhorahoza  (Chief of Operations 1st  Division); Capt. J. C. Ntirugiribambe (chief of Military Intelligence 1st  Division); Maj. Léopold Majyambere (Officer in the department of Operations in the 1st  Division); Lt. Juvénal  Malizamunda (Off Operations 1st  Div & Secretary to the meeting); Maj. Alexis Rwabukwisi  (Commander of 13th  Brigade); Capt. Elie Nsanzabera  (Commander of 136th   Battalion);  Lt.  Frédéric Baziruwiha (Commander of 134th Battalion); Lt. Turatsinze Victor  (Commander of Kagoma  Battalion); Lt. Damien Maniraguha (Commander of Vautour Battalion); Capt. Gérase Harelimana (Commander of 132 Battalion); Lt. Joseph Habyarimana (Commander of 133rd  Battalion); Lt. Ndangamira (Off 13th  Brigade).

On August 14, 1996, General Bizimungu issued a decree which was sent to  Célestin MONGA (The alias of  Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho) and César KAMATE (the alias of Col. Ntiwiragabo) and copied to John SIMBA (the alias of Dr. Innocent Butare), the RDR’s Secretary General[6]

The decree says: “Long before Kigali feared a resumption of the war even without any serious hints, the intensification of the activities following the declarations of PALIR pushed the people in power to deploy a large military-political anti-guerrilla campaign. The way the campaign was led shows the enemy is haunted by war, and is determined to reduce the resistance of the friendly population, … Therefore, we face a dilemma of either continuing and intensifying our activities to destroy the economic fabric and undermine the enemy’s morale, or suspending them while awaiting the availability of means enabling us to protect the population. The chosen option was to continue the activities, while ameliorating the political education of the population to convince them to accept the worst sacrifices.”

Bizimungu’s instructions in this decree are highly interesting: In order to protect “the population and maintain their fighting spirit”, he laid out the following objectives and activities for the pursuit of their struggle:

–          Suspend the operations in the regions actually targeted by the enemy and move them to non-affected zones.

–          Develop radio propaganda aimed at denouncing the activities of the enemy against the population.

–          Forge relationships with human rights organizations and supply them regularly with detailed and precise reports.

–          Increase the involvement of Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers in field operations.

Bizimungu listed the following tasks to better destroy the morale of the Kigali government and undermine Rwandan economy:

–          Eliminate politicians (ministers, members of parliament…), enemy high-ranking civil and military officers (officers, especially higher ones, central administration, local administration and parastatal administrators);

–          Maintain a campaign of intimidation supported by terrorist acts forcing the enemy population to leave rural areas for urban centres or for the MUTARA area;

–          Harass the enemy population in settlement sites;

–          Maintain the fear of poisoning among the Tutsi;

–          Recruit political leaders among the friendly population and train them in the dissemination of war propaganda ;

–          Eliminate any isolated military staff;

–          Intensify the harassment of weakly defended positions;

–          Recruit RPA Hutu soldiers and incite them to persuade their fellow Hutus to disassociate themselves from the enemy, to carry out activities that will be attributed to the RPA, to protect the friendly population, and to provide operational information and supply them with military equipment;

–          Carry out hold-up operations in banks with the help of friendly agents to ensure escape and concealment  inside the country;

–          Eliminate or extort enemy business people in important trading centres;

–          Train the friendly population in selling dear to the enemy and refusing them agricultural manpower;

–          Train the friendly population to not buy enemy products;

–          Target persons occupying Hutu property illegally to terrorise them and eventually eliminate them;

–          Train the friendly population to destroy enemy goods and property (houses, vehicles, crops, plantations, cattle…)

–          Continue sabotaging electrical installations and if possible attack transformers;

–          Set stations, warehouses and factories on fire;

–          Destroy communication lines, bridges and main roads, telephone exchange centres, telecommunication relay antennas;

–          Attack enemy[7] and especially State-owned large goods transport vehicles;

In his conclusion Gen. Bizimungu said: “We must especially develop a media and psychological campaign through the training and setting up of a pool of propaganda experts inside the country and if possible with the support of radio broadcasts. We must now start the training of the first network of propaganda staff.”

 

Notes


[1] This section is, largely based on this document, which is in the Author’s Archives.

[2] The FAR in Zaire had two military divisions. One in North Kivu under the command of Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, and another in the south Kivu under the command of Col. Aloys Ntiwiragabo.

[3] For instance the appearance and intensification of CLIIR’s propaganda date from May 1996.

[4] The content of this section is based on this hand written document which is in the author’s archives

[5] The document is available in the Author’s Archive)

[6] ROR No. 001/96 Decree of July 31, 1996, Bulengo, 14th August, 1996. Signed by Kamanda Yves an alias of name Gen. Augustin Bizimungu. Document in author’s archives.

[7] Note: In the above text Enemy=Tutsi

Chapter VI: When racial hatred is fashionable

Social psychologist Gordon Allport, says: “Race is a fashionable focus for the propaganda of alarmists and demagogues. It is the favourite bogey used by those who have something to gain, or who themselves are suffering from some nameless dread. Racists seem to be people who, out of their own anxieties have manufactured the demon of race.”[1]

Allport said people like Adolf Hitler and other demagogues find racism useful in distracting people from their own troubles and providing them with an easy scapegoat. He says demagogues who wish to unite their followers ordinarily conjure up some “common enemy” and an “enemy race” being vague, becomes easily serviceable.[2]

This belief underlies a great deal of the incessant and brutal violence that has gripped the Great Lakes Region of Africa for the last two decades.

Many civil society groups and European donors have been at the forefront of peace-building efforts.  But even as they have urgently sought to address various causes of strife such as poverty and the dearth of democratic authority and the Rule of Law, they have retained a curious blind-spot when it comes to honestly addressing the Africa’s Great Lakes Region’s history of racialised political rivalry. Whether the violence is termed as arising from ethnic or racial divides, its common characteristic is the idea that the Tutsi are a people apart whose very nature impels them to always look to resurrect the so-called ‘Hima-Tutsi Empire’.

The Tutsi are as “Bantu” as their fellow Hutu Rwandans. In their late twentieth century form, the Tutsis and Hutu identities in Rwanda are largely an invention of colonial misapprehensions and manipulations.

This is too often ignored. On one side of the mythically racist ideological divide—stand the Tutsi with their unending dream of empire, and on the other are the ‘indigenous Bantu’ who are called to resist and guard their liberty.

This racist vision was the essential basis of the 1994 genocide. And, it is a construction that leads to Mahmood Mamdani’s famous phrase ‘when victims become killers.’  And its latest manifestation is in Marie Beatrice Umutesi’s ‘Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire’.[3]

Umutesi’s book was first published in French—‘Fuir ou Mourir au Zaire’— by L’Harmattan in the year 2000 and has since been published in six languages.  It comes recommended in an English and French foreword by Catherine Newbury, a well regarded American historian of the Great Lakes, who asks us to look to it as a reliable source of knowledge of what happened in the violent conflicts in Rwanda and the former Zaire.

The author’s activism in civil society begins in Rwanda and continues in Zaire where she lived, as a refugee, from July 1994 to early 1998.  In these camps were NGOs who assumed leadership of the gathered thousands on the basis of their superior organisation and resources (often sourced from Western donors).

Much has been written about the camps in Zaire and the morally fraught issue of how many thousands of their inhabitants were not only killers during the genocide but had been leading figures in its organisation.

Since the Interahamwe – as the killer militias were popularly dubbed – in the camps were armed and were determined to continue their genocidal campaign, the many humanitarian organisations present were forced to work with them if they were going to succeed in delivering aid.

The Interahamwe and the ex-Rwandan military (the FAR) not only wielded their machetes and guns to control the camps, but also came to dominate a group of NGOs that associated under an umbrella known as the Collective.  Thus were humanitarianism and genocidaire ideology co-joined in the camps of Eastern Zaire in 1994.

Umutesi takes a different view, arguing that the Rwandan NGOs took the lead in the refugee camps because they had not taken part in the genocide or in the massacres that followed during attacks into Rwanda.  They were therefore, according to her, “well placed to provide better information than that disseminated either by the sources close to the new government in Kigali or by those close to the old regime of Jean Kambanda” (Umutesi p. 73).

They were for her, a neutral, even objective alternative to the new government and the genocidaires. Yet she was present in the camps and cannot possibly have missed the levels of control that the Interahamwe and the FAR had over their running.  Indeed a wide literature demonstrating this exists today, as shall be presented in this book.

A leading aim of the perpetrators of the genocide, during and after committing this crime, was to muddy the waters when it came to its apprehension as a genocide by the international community.

In line with this, Umutesi describes the Collective with its ‘European partners’ as early as August 1994 organising seminars whose aim was to show that it was complicated to understand the genocide of Tutsi—which was in fact still continuing, especially in areas under the French Operation Turquoise. “There are not simply victims on one side (Tutsi) and guilty (Hutu) on the other as well as we have been led to believe,” she writes, thus opening the door to the genocide denial or the Double Genocide thesis that was to follow (Umutesi p. 73).

These seminars could scarcely have taken place without access to funding from Western agencies, which may not have been aware that in providing funds they were becoming complicit in a genocidaire campaign.  Several times in the book, NGOs like Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Caritas and Rapporteur Sans Frontiers (RSF) are mentioned as good of partners of the Collective.

As the FAR and the Interahamwe militias were carrying out incursions into Rwanda to continue the genocide and try to regain power, the Collective was on a propaganda offensive: it “decided to review its strategies and focus all its energies on return and to that end, organised meetings in all the camps,… discussions about return … and sensitizing the international opinion on the issue of return for the refugees.” (Umutesi p. 94-95)

The aim of this education campaign however, extended beyond influencing the views of the powerful members of the international community. It was aimed at the hundreds of thousands of camp inhabitants as well.  In this way, it was an extension of the Hutu Power propaganda of Kangura newspaper and RTLM radio that led up to the genocide.  It resisted the new Rwanda government’s appeal for the refugees to return to their homes, arguing that the refugees should be allowed to ‘decide for themselves on the most opportune time to go’, and telling the refugees that it was ‘possible to fight effectively against dictatorial and criminal powers [read the RPF], without resorting to the same weapons they used.’ (Umutesi p.96)

The success of this campaign was dependent on its ability to gain resources from European bodies and to recruit them to sway public opinion and put pressure on Kigali (Umutesi p.97).

These activities, as has been mentioned, were meant to complement Interahamwe military operations and were dubbed by their practitioners as “active non-violence,” bastardising the freedom struggles of Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King in the United States.  This cynical scheme led to the arrest of the head of the Collective, Cyprien Ndagijimana, by the Zairean Security Services at Bukavu in February 1996.

According to Umutesi, arrested alongside Ndagijimana was ‘another trainer who was a Belgian and who was working in the camps at Goma on a project dedicated to peace and reconciliation’ (Ibid, p.99).  From various reliable sources, this Belgian (whose name the author conceals), is Jean Pierre Godding.

The author, throughout her book, presents herself as an active and important member of a “Collective” of civil society, and as a devout Christian. To appeal to or manipulate Christians’ sentiments, Umutesi poses as a deeply religious person. She claims to have survived a long journey in the forests of Zaire, on the go far away from Rwanda, because of her “unshakeable faith in God” (Umutesi p.203).

As if she was an arbiter of people’s faith, she writes that she was pleased that her Zairean host named ‘Ya Pepe’— one she found at a place called Batsina—was a good “Christian in the True sense of the word” (Umutesi p. 205). Again as the good Christian she claims to be, she recounts how she left Bukavu ‘with a Bible’, got a rosary somewhere in Irangi, and consequently ‘read the Bible, or recited the rosary’ when she felt ‘ready to crack’.

Umutesi maintains she was able to learn religious songs, and ‘felt restored’ after praying. Due to her self-proclaimed piety, she says she “was able to bear the daily humiliation, deprivation, sickness and misery better.” (Umutesi p. 214)

Praising Bigotry

Catharine Newbury characterises Umutesi’s story as “simple honesty and a non-manipulative presentation.”  But this historian’s reasoning is difficult to square with a book that seeks to justify genocide and give credence to the ‘double genocide’ theory, which is quite simply an obscene attempt to deny the actual genocide.

Umutesi is a purposeful believer in colonial era racialism which differentiated the Tutsis as ones who are “tall, slender and have refined features,” while the Hutu are “of medium build with Negroid features.” (Umutesi p. 6)

From this quick historicising of Rwanda’s divide, Umutesi moves to the roadblocks of 1994.  Here, “Hutu with refined features were killed at the roadblocks, whereas Tutsi with Hutu features remained safe.” (Umutesi p.7)  Her own mother, a Hutu, is one example she gives who had “Tutsi features” and was threatened with death several times, “even though her identity card was completely in order.”(Id.)

The argument of an identity card being in order or not is a discussion killers had at roadblocks while their terrified prey awaited the verdict whether they would be murdered or allowed to live. The issue was whether the identity card said “Hutu” or “Tutsi”. This reflected nothing as much as an idea of Hutu purity, racial purity in the best early twentieth century spirit. The Tutsi had been defined as enemies, by the army loved and trusted by Umutesi.

In a letter dated 21 September 1992, the Army Commander, Colonel Deogratias Nsabimana, had circulated a document prepared and signed by a committee of ten officers giving a “contemporary” definition of the term enemy. According to this document that was intended for the widest possible dissemination, the enemy fell into two categories, namely, “the primary enemy” and the “enemy supporter.”

The primary enemy was defined as “the extremist Tutsi within the country or abroad who are nostalgic for power and who have never acknowledged and still do not acknowledge the realities of the Social Revolution of 1959, and who wish to regain power in RWANDA by all possible means, including the use of weapons.”

The document made it clear that the “primary enemy” supporter was “anyone who lent support in whatever form to the primary enemy.” It also stated that the primary enemy and their supporters came mostly from social groups comprising, in particular, “Tutsi refugees”, “Tutsi within the country”, “Hutus dissatisfied with the current regime”, “Foreigners married to Tutsi women” and the “Nilotic-hamitic” tribes in the region.”

This identification of “primary enemy” and “enemy supporter”, led to yet another way of categorizing an individual as a Tutsi. This time the Interahamwe militia were to decide. As Prof. William Schabas says without a shadow of doubt, “In Rwanda, the Belgian colonizers had defined ethnic Tutsis as those possessing a certain number of cattle.  The determinations were made (…), then inscribed on identity cards, and passed from parents to children according to customary rules.  In 1994, individuals were Tutsis if the Interahamwe militia said they were.”[4]

Many ordinary persons, including Umutesi, accepted the army’s definition of the enemy. A prosecution witness, who confessed his participation in the genocide, told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) that they killed Tutsis because it was ‘a period of war’ and that they were fighting against the Tutsi who were their ‘enemies.’  “We were fighting the Tutsi and also their accomplices. Civilians were the ones targeted but even Tutsi soldiers were killed,” he said.[5]

Umutesi writes of her ‘true identity’ being questioned in Belgium (Umutesi p. 15) and says “it often happened that I was taken for a Tutsi’ (Ibid p. 19). She says, “I could not wear a chignon, which made me look like a Tutsi.” She says that militia in Kibuye exclaimed when they saw her:  ‘Look, a Tutsi woman’ (Ibid p. 67)

In October 1990, when the government arrested thousands of Tutsis wrongly accused of being accomplices of the enemy, Umutesi suspected she risked also being apprehended if state spies found in her possession a ‘compromising’ photo of former Burkina Faso president, Thomas Sankara because ‘they said he resembled the head of the rebel Tutsi, General Fred Rwigema.’ (Umutesi p. 21) Umutesi writes, about her friend “who looked like a Tutsi” (Ibid p. 53).

She describes a friend’s son who was allegedly threatened with death because killers ‘took him for a rebel’.  She writes, ‘With his tall stature, his refined features, and his dark skin, he had all the characteristics of a Tutsi.  He was saved by his sister, who looked like a Hutu.’ (Ibid p.60)

Umutesi is steeped in this view of racial essentialism: the Tutsis look a certain way and their political being is an extension of their biological or genetic characteristics.  Even the very Tutsi name is enough to cloud her sky.  She Claims to have had a sense of insecurity in the camp of INERA where she stayed in Bukavu, because she “was called Umutesi, a name normally associated with Tutsi” (Ibid p.75). Her fear emanated from the fact that there was widespread lynching in the camp, and it was enough for you to be killed if someone shouted at you as ‘RPF’. (Ibid p. 80)

Personally, Umutesi says that she ‘was considered to be ‘pro-RPF’ because, among other things, she ‘looked like a Tutsi and had a Tutsi name’ (Ibid p.81). Here it should be noted, ethnicity and political organization are confounded as one and the same. It is not a new phenomenon but a pattern that existed before and during the genocide whereby hate propagandists used the words enemy, accomplice, the RPF, Tutsi and cockroach interchangeably. Umutesi does not wonder why no one took her for a European or American for having a compound name Marie-Beatrice, which is certainly a non-African name!

Umutesi knew that being ‘pro-RPF’ meant having an ‘anti-genocide tendency’, a concept that existed before the death of Habyarimana. In Yaounde  Cameroun, Colonel  Théoneste BAGOSORA wrote a paper  dated  October  30 1995, “L’assassinat  du  Président  Habyarimana  ou  l’ultime  operation du  Tutsi  pour  sa  reconquête  du  pouvoir  par  la  force  au Rwanda.” (President  Habyarimana’s  Assassination or The  Final  Tutsi  Operation  to  Regain  Power  in  Rwanda  Using  Force).[6]

He  wrote the paper to provide what he believes was “information  to  help  Hutus  reflect  on and try to understand their  past mistakes, assess their potential strengths and together devise a strategy to  quickly help their people out  of  their  current  devastation”[7] Explicitly, Bagosora says: The “Power” factions joined the President’s side while the others joined the RPF side. The polarisation he emphasised was thus manifest at all levels and in all segments of society. In other words, he said, there was already an open conflict between the Tutsis and their collaborators on one hand, and the Hutus on the other— “the Tutsis’ aim being to regain absolute power, while the Hutus wanted to share it democratically”.[8]

Here are the demarcating concepts which are emphasised by Bagosora. The “President’s side”, as articulated in this paper, was the MRND and CDR groups which planned and implemented the genocide. On the other side were “Tutsi and their collaborators,” a side which Umutesi did not wish to belong.

Examples, by name, of who belonged to either of the two opposing sides are in a document “United Nations Security Council misled about the ‘presumed’ Rwanda genocide.”[9]

This document was prepared by the RDR-Cameroon Branch, including Bagosora, and other genocidaires, the majority of whom have been convicted by the ICTR. In this document, for instance, politicians who were members of the Coalition Government which existed up to April 6, 1994,[10] but who were killed on the  April 7, 1994 by the “president’s side”, also called “anti-RPF”, are described as “pro-RPF.”

They include Prime Minister Agatha Uwilingiyimana, Ministers Frederic Nzamurambaho, Ndasingwa Landouald, and Faustin Rucogoza. Umutesi, in her book, brought to light another crucial element which explains why the genocidaires wish to say there was double genocide. She wrote: “It was enough for a neighbour or an enemy to insinuate that one harboured Tutsi to have a whole brigade of militia on the doorstep. You were never sure how the search would end up. Many were killed, not because were sheltering Tutsi, but because they had valuable possession or money that the militia wanted to take for themselves. In order not to be apprehended after the return of law and order, they would kill the entire household.” (Umutesi p.61)

This makes it sound like Umutesi admits that the double genocide thesis is meant to cover up Hutu extremists crimes. What she meant, that is very true, is that there are so many Hutu who were killed by the Hutu militia, but someone else—the RPF for that matter had to carry the blame.

Umutesi is extremely fixated with fallacious identities she firmly believes in—as a Hutu. She does not explain in her book, why she felt “astonished that a southern Tutsi had married a Northern Hutu.” (Ibid p. 61) The Tutsi was a man who married a Hutu woman; their entire family, as Umutesi writes, was killed.

The hate dogma spread by the post-independence Rwandan governments and intellectuals—through the media, ‘definitions of the enemy’, and inciting speeches—not only claimed more than a million human lives but also changed the national identity. According to the London based organization, African Rights, which has done tremendous work on Rwanda, the aim of the Hutu extremists went beyond the physical extermination of every Rwandan Tutsi. “The aim was to transform the collective identity of the Hutu, by eradicating the moderate Hutu leaders, and all Hutus who tried to protect their Tutsi friends, neighbours and family members… more radical was the creation of a nation of people complicit in the genocidal killing; they wanted everyone to be tainted with the blood of those who died.”[11]

This was in accordance with The Tenth Hutu Commandment, as published in Kangura: “The Social Revolution of 1959, the Referendum of 1961, and the Hutu Ideology, must be taught to every Muhutu at every level.  Every Hutu must spread this ideology widely.  Any Muhutu who persecutes his brother Muhutu for having read, spread and taught this ideology is a traitor.”[12] From what the author says, the tenth ‘Hutu commandment’ was very much observed.

Umutesi describes another character in her book, named Serge, who was ‘suspected of being Munyamulenge’ by the militias in the camps (whom she christens ‘youth in charge of security’). She confirms these qualms by saying: ‘It is true that Serge resembled a Tutsi’ (Ibid p. 110).

Again, there is a story about an armed thug who spared Umutesi’s life after verifying she was Hutu (Ibid p. 135) and also about a girlfriend, Assumpta who “looked like a Tutsi,” and “escaped death countless times” (Ibid p. 140). The story of Assumpta is associated with people who brought an old Tutsi woman and ordered Assumpta to kill with her own hands “as proof of her truthfulness and ethnic identity.” Umutesi does not say whether Assumpta obeyed or not.

Umutesi’s racial slants are evident in other ways as well.  She writes about the advent of multiparty politics in early 1990’s, acknowledging that socially and economically the Hutu and Tutsi were not different (Ibid p.36). Although she recognises that Tutsi were discriminated against by laws and regulations, she does not see any need for a change.

For instance, regarding education policies she thought the Liberal Party’s (PL) approach was superficial: “They rightly questioned the system of access to secondary and higher education, which was based on ethnic quotas, but instead proposed a system based on test results. I thought this reflected the idea of Tutsi intellectual superiority that was still held by certain Tutsi extremists.” (Ibid p. 36)

In this presentation, ‘they’ was initially supposed to mean the PL, but later metamorphoses to mean an inimical ethnic group. What is initially rightful questioning suddenly becomes a negative idea, held and advocated by bad elements Umutesi dubs “Tutsi extremists.”

From discussions in political rallies, which I personally followed on Radio Rwanda in 1991-93, people were not happy with the quota system because access to secondary school education was not based on merit and promoted mediocrity. It was a system that was not unfavourable to the Tutsis only, but since the idea of changing it was from a party which was seen to be “concerned with the Tutsi”; (Ibid p. 37) her suspicion remained.

She includes in her book horrendous stereotypes, for which she doesn’t quote sources. She writes for example: “Virginie and her cousins could not walk around openly, because the peasants in this part of the country, which was far from the urban centres, were not used to seeing young women in pants, shorts, miniskirts, or braided hair. For these peasants, a young girl who dressed that way had to be Tutsi. According to them, young Hutu girls, were well brought up (not) to dress like whores.” (Ibid p. 141)

Umutesi’s historiography is typical of that spread by hate propaganda before and during the genocide.  She brings into play the language of mass murder masquerading as the language of liberty and justice.  The Tutsis are portrayed as a people beholden to an ancient wickedness that must ever be fought since they aim perpetually, in the absence of resistance, to build their (racial) empire.

The 1959 Hutu Revolution, she argues, was to get rid of feudal Tutsi power, based on ‘servitude, exclusion and contempt…’  Umutesi adds force to this erroneous assertion as she goes on to paint a parody of the ancient regime: “Every Hutu owed allegiance to a Tutsi and had to perform duties that were rendered without payment.  A Tutsi could even throw a Hutu out of his own home and occupy it himself.”(Ibid p.7)

On the 22nd November 1992, Dr. Leon Mugesera, made a speech in which he was equally clear on the targeted group in the 1994 genocide. He publicly urged the Hutu to destroy the Tutsi and return them to their (mythical) ancestral home in Ethiopia “via the short cut of the Nyabarongo River”, which feeds into the rivers of the Nile watershed.  Not only did he agree with the army headquarters’ definition of “the enemies,” but also agreed with the colonial racial theory. Killing the “people in question, and dumping the bodies in the river—were a usual practice in past massacres of Tutsi.”[13]

In that speech, Mugesera, a PhD graduate from Canada, who worked with the ruling party MRND and the Ministry for the Family and Promotion of Women, mobilized the business community “to finance operations aiming to eliminate the (Tutsi) people. And, he remarked, “…the fatal error of 1959…was in letting them get away.” He sounded like the Nazi Marshal von Rundstedt who regretted that one of the “great mistakes of 1918, was to spare the civil life of the enemy countries.” The aim of this annihilator was “to always keep the number of Germans, at least double the numbers of the peoples of the contiguous countries!”

The wickedness of the Tutsi in Umutesi’s book appears in multiple forms. They are portrayed as so power hungry that the victims of genocide are defined as “collateral damage” for a cold-blooded RPF. This idea is very salient in the ideology of the genocidaires.

In many speeches and publications which were made or written by the regime which planned the genocide against Tutsis, the issue of power and empire building is emphasised. The genocidaires charge that the real reason the RPF took up arms to fight the regime of President Juvenal Habyarimana was to take back the power the majority had taken from the Tutsi in 1959. The limits of this power are not the borders of Rwanda, but an empire to cover several countries in the region.

So driven by a lust for empire was the RPF, Umutesi writes, that their war against the Habyarimana regime was in effect a ‘cold blooded decision to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of Tutsis living in Rwanda.’ (Umutesi p. 47) Evidence of this is that ‘an attack by the refugee Tutsi inexorably led to massacres of Tutsi in the interior’, so that the attack by the RPF in October 1990 ‘risked the lives of thousands of innocent civilians’ leading her to ascribe to the RPF the view that ‘life isn’t worth much when power is at stake.’ (Ibid p.19)

The above idea is not new with the genocidaires of 1994 and beyond. Colonel Bagosora upheld this justification of genocide earlier than Umutesi when he said: “It should be noted that each time, the Tutsis inside the country were the victims of reprisals on the part of the Hutus; the RPF thus seriously jeopardised the security of their brothers”. Bagosora also makes use of President Grégoire Kayibanda’s apocalyptic message to the Rwandan emigrants or refugees abroad, March 11, 1964.

Indeed,  in  1964,  President  Grégoire Kayibanda  issued  the  following  warning to Tutsi: “Some  of  you  (…)  through  terrorist  activities  organized  from  outside  the  country (…)  disturb  your  brothers  who  are  living  in  peace  in  our  democratic  country  of  Rwanda. (…)  Assuming  you  managed  to  blast  your  way  into  Kigali,  just  imagine  the  chaos of which  you  would  be  the  first  victims.  (…)  That would be the definitive, abrupt end of the Tutsi race.”[14]

The assassination of Presidents Habyarimana of Rwanda and Ntaryamira of Burundi, according to Bagosora, “must be viewed as the ultimate provocation, which exposed all those …namely the Tutsis and the Hutu RPF collaborators.”[15]

Bagosora at that point goes further to say: “Habyarimana’s  assassination  was  therefore  to  be  the RPF’s  ultimate  operation  in  its  bid  to return  to  power,  but  its  strategists  either  made  the  serious  miscalculation  as  regards  the consequences  of  such  a  decision  or  must  have  disregarded  the  price  thereof,  which  was obviously  too  high  in  comparison  with  the  expected  benefits.  In the latter scenario, still driven  by  their  pride  and  immoderate  thirst  for  power,  the  Tutsi  extremists  decided  to cold-bloodedly  expose  their  brothers  to  reprisals,  in  order  to  make  good  their  plan  and thus  justify  resumption  of  the  war  and  the  ensuing  massacre  of  the  Hutus. Nevertheless, aware of the potentially disastrous consequences of the President’s assassination  on  their  relations  with  the  Hutu  majority  and  even  with  their  brothers  who were  thus  imperilled,  the  RPF  strategists  had  to  resort  to  all  possible  means  to  minimise such  consequence.”[16] (Need to chip in Mutsinzi report and the role of Bagosora in the assassination of Habyarimana)

With the head of state dead, Umutesi writes, “there was bound to be war. The reprisals would be horrific. Ethnic disturbances which were sure to follow would be the excuse for the RPF to resume hostilities.”(Umutesi p. 45) When the genocide begins, it is for her a mere “settling of accounts” (Ibid p.47).

Even the massacre of Tutsi at Gahanga parish, a Kigali suburb, which she claims to have witnessed, is presented as a battle between Hutu militia and “Tutsi combatants” where the latter “could not resist for long.”(Ibid p. 51) This is war and not genocide, Umutesi is claiming; a sadly common ploy by genocide deniers throughout history.

There are also telling silences in Umutesi’s book.  Her long stay in Kigali during the genocide is fuzzy, the descriptions of what she is supposed to have observed first hand lack the breadth and vividness that are the staple in other books by witnesses.  She travels from Kigali to Gitarama and there is nary a mention of the roadblocks and the dead and dying who were littered along the way.

Reaching Gitarama, the temporary seat of the deposed government, Umutesi writes as the head of a developmental NGO.  All the better she seems to wrap herself up in the robes of objectivity.  She and her companions are overcome by the extent of the tragedy: “in addition to the Tutsi genocide which was happening before our eyes, the rebels undertook widespread killings of the civilian Hutu population in the zones they occupied.” They begin to “denounce the massacres of the Hutu and Tutsi…” (Umutesi p. 62)

By these devices of commission and omission, Umutesi ascends – or shall we say descends – into the ranks of the genocide’s intellectual deniers. At Gitarama, she continues to link genocide and war. She observes, ‘The will to totally exterminate the Tutsi grew with the approach of the rebels.  The Tutsi who had been spared in one neighbourhood or another because their neighbours didn’t have anything against them were killed when rebel shells began to fall. It is human nature to see enemies everywhere and think that the only way to stay alive is to kill them.’  (Umutesi p.64)

Referring to the mass flight to Zaire in early July 1994, she writes about what was churned out of their rumour mills in the camps: “Rumours ran rampant that the rebels were going to block all the accessible borders and prevent the Hutu from escaping to Zaire.

We were reminded that at Byumba they were already telling people that they would push all the Hutu into Lake Kivu.”(Umutesi p. 69) The alarm that spread through the refugees was another side of the genocidal coin.  The malevolent, plotting Tutsi who were to be massacred would now surely take their revenge, went the reasoning. She identifies herself with the “we” versus the “they”.

When friends meet

Umutesi can pass on some plain falsehoods without second thought. Just two examples: She writes that Gen. Fred Rwigema held the post of ‘Minister of the Interior in Museveni’s government’ and President Paul Kagame was “responsible for the Ugandan army.” (Umutesi p. 17) She, presumably, tells this lie, to reinforce the idea of how Rwandans may have been well-off in exile. The second lie is where she lays emphasis on the danger of being trapped by ‘rebels’ writing Goma was “only about one hundred kilometres from Kisangani.” (Ibid p. 123)

Throughout her book, Umutesi has a strange approach to the naming of people. There are very few with more than one name.  In this category there are people for whom she could not avoid telling their full names, in her acknowledgements. She begins with one Hamuli Kabarhuza of the DRC, and then moves straight to people who were behind the writing of the book.

“When I arrived in Belgium in 1998, I was welcomed by Marie Goretti Nyirarukundo and Ivan Godfroid of Vredeseilanden-Coopibo, a Belgian NGO based in Leuven. Thanks to their help and encouragement, the idea of writing a book began to take shape. The realization of this project was made possible by Vredeseilanden-Coopibo, which put its resources at my disposal. Their personnel unfailingly provided me with the necessary help. …Later they put me in contact with the Fundacio S’Olivar in Estellencs, Mallorca…Juan Carrero Saralegui, president of the Fundacio S’Olivar and spokesperson for the Spanish Forum for Justice in Rwanda, understood that it was important for me…that the book be published in English.”(pg. xvii)

She expresses gratitude to the translator, but the English version does not say much about Ivan Godfroid, who apart from the “great assistance” he provided, wrote a postscript for the original French edition that was published in year 2000.

Her English translator Julia Emerson also reveals her political sympathies. She expressed “deep gratitude to Nobel Peace Prize nominee Juan Carrero Saralegui and the Fundacio S’Olivar…for the grant that allowed her begin the translation of the ‘very important book.”[17]

Emerson adds that, Juan Carrero and his organization “worked tirelessly and selflessly” to ensure that all of those involved in massive human rights violations, both during and after the horrific events that followed the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana will be brought to justice, thus “bringing a more complete and balanced understanding of this tragedy to a reluctant community” (Umutesi p. xvii)

Emma Bonino, one time European Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, is also presented with both her names, and is labelled by Umutesi as ‘mother of the refugees’. To stress how important Bonino was, when they were on the run, they ‘did everything possible’ to welcome her as a mother (Ibid p.154). The way she praises Bonino, is different from the way she speaks about Sadako Ogata—who, at that time was the boss of UNHCR. The refugee agency is very unpopular with Umutesi. She brands the agency’s workers who encouraged the refugees to return home, as ‘bounty hunters’ (Ibid p.211).

Many are mentioned only by their first names. The majority of such are close friends, relatives, acquaintances and colleagues of the author.  She deliberately avoids their surnames in the same way she avoids acknowledging that the RDR which was in charge of refugee camp life.  Even her own camp leader, a Spanish Catholic priest, is simply named ‘Father Carlos’ omitting his surname Olivera.

There is one name ‘Frans’ whose surname Umutesi also holds back. They met together at the height of the genocide, in May 1994, when Umutesi was preparing emergency plans to be submitted to their (Umutesi and others) ‘backers’ through ‘Frans, a representative from our donors’. (Umutesi p.63)

The nationality of Frans is made known only when Umutesi expresses her appreciation to ‘the Dutch friend who had been such a great help’. (Ibid p.64)

As you read the book you realise how close Frans and Beatrice were, as she writes: “When I was at the death’s door, the two people I thought about were my mother and Frans, a Dutch friend. I took advantage of the rare moments when I was conscious to tell Virginie, and Marcelline my last wishes: once they were out of the forest they should rip up any papers that could identify them as Rwandan and they should do everything to get in contact with Frans, who could help them get out of Zaire.” (Ibid p.200)

Again to show how close they were, when news came to Umutesi that there was one Frans looking for her in the Zairean jungle, she says: “I only knew one person with that name…my friend Frans”(Ibid p.235)  She says for once in her life, what happened to her surpassed her wildest dreams.

Frans had been her friend beginning in Gitarama in 1988. Frans was able to learn where to find his friend in the jungle of Zaire, when Marcelline was repatriated to Rwanda by the UNHCR. Marcelline, who was repatriated to her country against the wishes of Umutesi, told Umutesi’s mother, who knew where to get Frans who at that time was on mission in Rwanda. The ‘Dutch friend’, who was relieved to hear news of her, later communicated the news to the ‘Belgian friends’ (Ibid p.239)

Up to this point, I was not sure who this Frans was, but Umutesi—finally gives a hint. “Frans was not afraid to run risks, even big ones, when his friends’ lives were in danger. In May 1994 he had come to a Rwanda torn by war and genocide. It was a big risk to take, because one died easily in those days.” (Id)

The friend of Umutesi, who visited his friends in territory under the control of the genocidaires, was Frans van Hoof, whose connections and activism will be explained below.

Umutesi’s book is a study in subtle dishonesty and to write about it further, following her journey from Bukavu to Brussels through Congo forest and Kinshasa, would require more space than is available here. The book’s nature is either her wish or that of the people who assisted her in writing it.

Umutesi’s connections help explain the content of the book, and why it was reproduced in many languages. Furthermore, it is while looking at this network of friends who protect genocidaires that I decided to call my book “friends of evil”. I came to the conclusion that the discourse in Umutesi’s book, her relationships and friendships, among sundry actors in the writing of her book, show a highly visible politico-ideological facade.

 

Notes


[1] Goldon W. Allport, The Nature of Prejudice (25th Edition), Addison-Wesley Publishing Company (1980) p. 110

[2] Ibid, p.110 Allport said Hitler created the Jewish menace “not so much to demolish the Jews as to cement the nazi hold of Germany”p.41

[3] A book which was published by the University of Wisconsin Press, 2004

[4] W. Schabas, The Genocide Convention at Fifty (Special Lecture, International Institute of Human Rights-Strasbourg, July 9, 1999)

[5] Jane Some,  FORMER ‘INTERAHAMWE’ MILITIAMAN TESTIFIES IN CYANGUGU TRIAL Internews, ARUSHA September 17, 2001

[6] Prosecution Exhibit No 31(b) case No ICTR-98-41-T which was tendered on 17September 2002

[7] Ibid, Bagosora 1995… (p.9)

[8] Ibid. Bagosora 1995 (p.10)

[9] Prosecution Exhibit No P.161(E) case No ICTR-99-50-T which was tendered on February 20, 2007

[10] Ibid, RDR-Cameroun 1996 Table No 1 on p.18

[11] African Rights, Death Despair and Defiance, August 1995, p. 993

[12] Kangura No 6.of December 1990 p.8

[13] Propaganda and Practice: Human Rights Watch Report-1999

[14] Ibid. Bagosora 1995 (p.21-22)

[15] Ibid. Bagosora 1995 (p.23)

[16] Ibid. Bagosora 1995 (p.26)

[17]In reality,  Juan Carrero Saralegui was a nominee of Hutu Extremists

Chapter VII: Complicity between the NGOs and the genocidaires

The complicity between the genocidaires and various Europeans, both individuals and NGOs, whose interests are not very well known, has a long history. But the history could be summed up in what happened at The Hague, fourteen years after the genocide which the international community did nothing to prevent or end.

Part of history presented in this chapter, and the one following, will also establish the connections of two of Umutesi Beatrice’s friends. There is Frans who traced her in the jungles of Zaire, and Ivan who received her in Brussels, and helped her write her book.

On 16th May 1994, Radio Rwanda journalist, Etienne Karekezi had an interview with Francois Nzabahimana, who was in Belgium at the time. In that interview, Nzabahimana said that there were people in Europe (who had lived in Rwanda for a long time) as well as NGOs willing to come and help Rwandans, but that they were worried about their own security.

Voicing his support to the murderous regime, Karekezi the journalist, had no scruple in assuring his interviewee that the zone under the genocidaire Government’s control was secure.

Etienne Karekezi is currently a journalist with the Voice of America. He is known in Rwanda to have been in league with extremists’ media operators, being in the first team of the MRND mouthpiece-Umurwanashyaka—a paper which forecast the genocide as early as 1991.

François Nzabahimana would later become the first Chairman of the RDR. But in May 1994, he was still the Director of Rwanda Development Bank (RDB), and was in Europe on a special mission.

Nzabahimana played a major role in the coordination of politico-criminal activities with Belgian NGOs (their collaboration existed when the ousted Government was still in office) to come to the rescue of the genocidal government. Their objective was to restore the credibility it had lost before the international community and humanity in general.

When Nzabahimana was saying that there were people willing to come to Rwanda, he seemed to be aware of the visit to Rwanda of two men. These were Ivan Godfroid and Frans Van Hoof—Belgian and Dutch nationals respectively. From 15th May to 8th June 1994 they were on a mission to Rwanda.

In the mission report,[1] these determined men explained they had been sent by EUROSTEP[2]. It would be interesting to know who exactly (what individual) had sent them on such a mission or had convinced them to visit a country in the throes of genocide at the time!

It is not clear exactly when the connivance started between Van Hoof, Godfroid and such NGOs as OXFAM-NOVIB and ICCO, as well as between these and hard-line genocide deniers. Was it that mission which marked the foundation of the complicity between the RDR genocidaires and the above NGOs?

One could even think that such complicity existed before that time, since the NGOs did not move from the start of the genocide against the Tutsi. Both men went on with their mission of helping and collaborating with the propagators of genocide-related hatred.

When Van Hoof and Godfroid came to Rwanda, they had started a project called TRAITS D’UNION RWANDA (TUR) with the objective of making it a forum for regional dialogue. The project grouped together the Belgian NGOs COOPIBO, Vredeseilanden and SOS-FAIM. TUR had the same address as SOS-FAIM.[3]

A closer analysis of events shows that the essential role of their mission was to spread propaganda on behalf of their friends, in a journal of the same name as the project itself— TRAIT D’UNION RWANDA—of which Van Hoof was an active member of the editorial board. The idea of providing a forum to the genocidaires was put into action before the end of 1994.

Those who supported them at the time were organisations in different countries in Europe, particularly Dutch organizations— ICCO and NOVIB, Belgian ones, namely Broederlijk and Talita Koum in Eastern Flanders; Groupe de Développement and Frère des Hommes of Toulouse in France, as well as OXFAM U.K. of Great Britain. They found a fine sounding name for the forum: “Forum d’échange d’Africains pour la Reconstruction du Rwanda. [4]

The three Belgian NGOs dared cobble together a banalisation of the genocide against the Tutsi, by dedicating a forum to criminals. The journal had rubrics reserved for ‘dialogue’. The most important are those concerning politicians and military people.

One could find ideas of people who stopped the genocide on adjacent pages, with those of genocide survivors and next to those ideas of people who had just committed genocide, those who had planned it and those who had supported it.

 

 

Formal support to the genocidaires by the NGOs

Frans Van Hoof and Ivan Godfroid in the Great Lakes Region! And the two men, at the centre of Marie Beatrice Umutesi’s book! What had they come to do in Rwanda at the height of the genocide? And why did they wait for so long before they finally decided to move after about two months of genocide against the Tutsi?

Part of the answer can be found in the document titled “Note de renseignement Kamanda Yves[5]“. This document by a certain Prosper Twizeyimana was meant for the FAR Chief of Army Staff General Bizimungu, who used the pseudonym “Kamanda Yves”.

Prosper Twizeyimana is a former student of the Catholic Major Seminary of Nyakibanda. He is an electrician by training, who worked for OXFAM before, during and after the genocide.  Twizeyimana however, was also recruited by the army where he worked as an analyst in the department of military intelligence of the former Rwanda Armed Forces.

This intelligence note is, in actual fact, a summary of an interview which Prosper Twizeyimana had with Frans Van Hoof whom he knew since 1985, “as pioneers of the services Centre to the Cooperatives of Gitarama.[6]

Twizeyimana introduced Frans Van Hoof to his boss as “a Dutchman, married to a Hutu woman from Ruhengeri,” explaining further that some of van Hoof’s in-laws were in Rwanda, while others were at the time in the Kibumba and Mugunga refugee camps around the town of Goma—in North Kivu.

Van Hoof, the note indicated, had worked in Rwanda for over 10 years as a Volunteer of the COMPAGNONS BATISSEURS and later of COOPIBO (the same organisation which only changed names), in Kigali, Ruhengeri and Gitarama. He had left the country in 1988 but kept coming back as an independent consultant, notably at the service of COOPIBO.

Twizeyimana, like Umutesi, praises Van Hoof to the skies, as one of the rare Westerners who came to Rwanda between April and July 1994 (during the genocide). And also, as someone who “knows Kinyarwanda very well” – quite normal for someone who is married to a Rwandese woman – and “is highly respected in Rwandese circles, NGOs and among peasant associations.”

The meeting between Prosper Twizeyimana and Frans Van Hoof took place on 26-27th August 1996 in Goma. Van Hoof told his friend that he was on a two-week mission to Rwanda and Kivu from August 24 to September 8, 1996, and that he had come on that mission to try and resume COOPIBO’s cooperation with Rwanda. In actual fact, he observed, COOPIBO had been “expelled by the RPF Government for giving space in one issue of TRAIT D’UNION to the Prime Minister of the Interim Government and to former Rwanda Army military chiefs”.

In the meantime, he said, Kigali had rejected the attempt, forcing COOPIBO instead to seek to maintain its presence in neighbouring countries. It had been working in Western Tanzania for many years and had been carrying out investigations towards establishing a representation in Uganda.

The essential part of their interview focused on the conditions in refugee camps. Van Hoof told Twizeyimana that the “Dutch Minister of Cooperation had organized a meeting on the Rwanda problem and Frans Van Hoof himself was present together with, among others, Mr. Jean-Pierre Godding” (a Belgian, Volunteer of Caritas in Goma refugee camps).

Speaking about the conditions in the camps, Van Hoof reported what he had discussed with Godding, who said that the political and administrative structures of the former regime were practically no longer existent in the camps, but that the spirit remained unchanged, in the sense that the new structures want to control everything and do not allow people to express themselves freely or take other initiatives. “He however expressed some optimism that despite the intimidation, there are people who have the courage to think independently through associations. Their influence being still marginal, he pleaded for their support so that their influence may grow. He added that unfortunately people encouraging those new initiatives are under threat” and that he himself was among them.

Concerning the opinion in Europe about the problem of Rwandese refugees, Van Hoof expressed disappointment that “people are already losing interest in the problem and that the attention is now focused on Burundi”, the Rwandese problem being too complex and without an end in sight.

To the idea that individuals or organizations having worked in Rwanda for a long time should get in touch and organize a debate in Europe to revive the refugee issue, Van Hoof replied that: “French NGOs are already out of the circuit since France’s past in Rwanda is not honourable; the Walloon NGOs are totally in the RPF camp because of its previous campaign against the Habyarimana regime and which was confirmed by the genocide and massacres; several Dutch men are married to Tutsi women; Flemish NGOs still interested in Rwanda are not accepted by the Kigali Government and therefore their position would be ipso facto perceived as partisan”.

According to Frans Van Hoof, the only NGO capable of intervening in the Rwandese problem was OXFAM because it worked in Rwanda and in refugee camps, is strong in Europe, and has people in charge who are interested and believe that the problem is political. He cited one of them as Mr. Anaclet Odhiambo, acting head of OXFAM in Kigali.

Van Hoof told Twizeyimana that he did not hear the RDR being talked about in European circles he moves in (i.e. NGO circles). Van Hoof said that while he had collaborated with François Nzabahimana for a long time, he had only met him once, and that on this occasion, Nzabahimana had blamed him for re-launching the activities of the Centre for Services to the Cooperatives of Gitarama without prior permission from Nzabahimana himself as the President of the Board of Directors.

On the other hand, Van Hoof noted he had heard from the Belgian Prime Minister, and relies on Mr. Seth Sendashonga of the FRD. Mr. Van Hoof is satisfied that peasant federations operating inside Rwanda are doing well despite the refusal of the authorities to give them a legal status and the unfounded suspicion that they are involved in political activities. However, they limit themselves to social and economic domain and dare not go into issues related to politics such as the return of refugees, justice and national reconciliation.

At the end of the “Note”, Twizeyimana adds a few comments. The first one is about the important role J. Pierre GODDING could play as person who had “delved into political lobbying on the issue of Rwandese refugees”.

Twizeyimana describes Godding as someone with influence in Europe, and who is said to have initiated the task of identifying people in refugee camps who might have a dialogue with the RPF, an idea of which a good number of FAR and RDR officials do not approve. That was the reason why Van Hoof regrets that people in Europe, particularly in Germany, were disappointed by the RPF but could not find a suitable leader to sponsor within the RDR.

Twizeyimana also recommends to Gen. Bizimungu that given his importance, Godding should return to the refugee camps. He expressed his belief that the RDR needed to improve its leadership and to work with associations and individuals inside and outside the camps; and that François Nzabahimana should be the spokesperson of the RDR in Europe in order to convince the people there to give it support. Twizeyimana proposes himself as the person who can influence OXFAM (he knows the NGO very well because he worked with it before the genocide) on the issue of Rwandese refugees[7].

This was not the only note that Prosper Twizeyimana sent to the Chief of Staff of the former Rwanda Armed Forces. He had sent him an earlier note on July 4, 1996. The note was about “the Situation in the Great Lakes Countries and the possible developments during the second semester of 1996.”

On the issue of Rwandese refugees, Twizeyimana notes that despite the efforts made to seek conditions for an “honourable return of refugees to the country,” what was expected was a categorical refusal by the authorities in Kigali; and that one was not to rely on the international community: “already weary of caring for Rwandese refugees, it will refuse to put pressure on Kigali”.

He says what would then be expected is an unconditional and gradual return of the refugees or, in a worst case scenario, the dismantling of camps close to the border, which could engender the repatriation of a sizeable part of the refugees, and provisional settlement for those not subjected to a forced repatriation.

According to certain sources, he observed, the UNHCR was in favour of a temporary integration of refugees in Zaire, if the Zairean Government would agree. On the Tanzanian side, he said, they would pose no problem provided that the situation does not last for too long. However, Twizeyimana believed that even if the refugee problem is solved in Eastern Zaire, destabilization of Eastern Zaire in Kivu by its Eastern neighbours would not stop and that ethnic conflict in North Kivu could be revived. In the meantime, Twizeyimana identifies an interim solution.

For its own stability, he said, Zaire had no choice. Its interests converged with those of Rwandese refugees. In order to re-conquer (Rwanda) and extend its influence in the East, both parties must find a solution which is favourable to them.

He urged the RDR and the former FAR to approach the Zairean government, so that they might plan together in a manner that would benefit both parties in a sustainable way. He said it would be naïve to believe that the international community is still envisaging negotiations.

Let us return to the August 1996 meeting between Twizeyimana and Van Hoof. According to Twizeyimana himself, he had gone to meet Van Hoof “in order to get some Western information and considerations on the Rwandan problem”. Let us recall that we are already in August 1996.

It appears that Van Hoof was no ordinary person: He is a friend of the extremist Hutus, who is proud of being one of theirs after getting married to a Hutu woman, and proud of having come to Rwanda when nobody else dared venture there. He is obviously an important partner of the Rwanda Government in exile.

The August 1996 visit is not the first, since Van Hoof came before and during the genocide, from May 15 to June 8, 1994, and there is every reason to believe that Twizeyimana was aware of it.

Van Hoof had come with Ivan Godfroid, sent by NCOS (an umbrella for Flemish NGOs with its head office at 11, Vlasfabriekstraat in Brussels), and EUROSTEP which also has its head office at 115, rue Stevin[8] in Brussels.

The two came on a mission recommended by EUROSTEP on 26th April 1994 at a European meeting on Rwanda. In their report they say, “The objectives of this mission which took place from the 15th May to the 8th of June 1994 were as follows: to find out the socio-political situation on the ground; find out what the local NGOs are doing and in which way European NGOs can support their activities; and finally, by a presence on the ground show solidarity with Rwandese partners.” [9]

One wonders what encouraged the two emissaries to be present in Rwanda at all cost, and show their solidarity where they were not able to intervene when the genocide started. First –”the feeling of powerlessness” and all of a sudden the exceptional courage of NCOS, EUROSTEP, Van Hoof and Godfroid!

The courage, that drove Van Hoof, took him first to the zone that was controlled by the government of the genocidaires in the prefectures of Butare, Gitarama, Gikongoro, Cyangugu and Gisenyi, where he met with Mr. Jean Kambanda, Prime Minister of the genocidaire Government. He also met prefectural authorities, examined the situation of the NGOs in those prefectures, met the people in charge of the NGOs, and finally visited the camps of IDP.

In Kivu (Zaire), Van Hoof went to meet the people in charge of Zairean and international NGOs, both in Bukavu and Goma. In Goma, he also visited sites of Rwandan refugees. With Ivan Godfroid, he visited the people in charge of international and Burundian NGOs. He even went to meet officials of international and Ugandan NGOs in Kampala and in Kabale. He visited RPF territory in northern Rwanda, and spoke to Antoine Mugesera, the RPF’s Planning Commissioner at Mulindi, Byumba. He ended up in Ngara in Tanzania where he met with international NGOs that took care of Rwandan refugees, and took a few testimonies from refugees.

What supposedly interested both Van Hoof and Godfroid, in May-June 1994, was the situation that prevailed in Rwanda, but especially what they termed as the “anguish” of “the population” in the face of the advancing RPF.

The two ventured to state that “away from the frontline, the situation seems calm again: people are working in the fields, markets are held normally, children are going to school” [10]. It is very clear they had little concern or none at all about the Tutsis who were being or had been exterminated, all over Rwanda, and certainly “away from the frontline.”

One has to wonder if the situation they are talking about was that prevailing in Rwanda during May-June 1994, at the height of the genocide! This is reminiscent of the lies told on the RTLM radio station which, in order to encourage the genocidaires not to surrender before the advancing RPF, was giving false information about what was happening on the ground, covering up the routing of the RAF.

The main aim of Van Hoof and Godfroid’s report appears to have been to legitimize the genocidaire Government at any cost. Thus, they reported that the people being killed were either “RPF infiltrators”, or “Tutsi who are being eliminated for the simple reason that the RPF is advancing and thus they constitute a danger to the militias.”[11]

These “rationales” for genocide are quite similar to those used by the interim genocidal government.

In any case, they report what they heard (or wanted to hear) from the genocidaire Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda, and from officials of NGOs they met. In effect, what explanation could they have given on returning from their mission, which could justify what the world television networks were showing on their screens?

Inevitably, given their leanings and their sources, it was that the reason for the extermination of the Tutsis was “the murder of President Habyarimana and the infiltration of RPF combatants or its allies in all the regions of the country. […] it was the RPF which had a whole plan to eliminate Hutu officials; […] “the massacres were a spontaneous reaction of the population.” Similarly, they could also explain the reason behind the Government’s arming of the population: it was for self-defence, against the RPF and its accomplices.

But what interests Van Hoof the most is rather the issue of internally displaced persons, especially in the West of Rwanda where the number of IDP is estimated at more than one million, and more particularly in the prefectures of Gikongoro, Gitarama and Ruhengeri (i.e. the area still controlled by the genocidal interim government).

According to Van Hoof, the cause of growing number of displaced persons is due to the fact that every push by the RPF forces the population to flee further and further West. A small minority of this “one million IDP” is in what he calls “appropriate zones,” the rest lack everything: no food, and no health care services as only the International Red Cross, Caritas-Burundi, CRS and Terre des Hommes are desperately attempting a few interventions in Western Rwanda.

Van Hoof’s report sends a pressing message to International Organizations to “launch a big scale aid program for the prefectures with the most displaced people, in food and health care”. It suggests that “to achieve their aim of helping the displaced, the international NGOs should help the Rwandan NGOs which have already started organizing the camps.”

The report did not completely forget the situation prevailing in the RPF-controlled zone; the displaced are estimated at about 300,000 (that is only what he heard), and are “at the mercy of the RPF soldiers.”

Indeed, according to Van Hoof—mimicking the discourse of genocidaires—the refugees kept flocking to the refugee camps in neighbouring countries (mostly Tanzania) from the RPF zone, as a result of the RPF exactions— killing the civil population. On the other side of the frontline, he said, ‘many rumours about the RPF massacres circulate.’

His sources he refers to as “important number of private people”—supposedly confirmed to him that the RPF was causing a lot of casualties, even among the civilians.

“[…]During a visit, in the refugee camps in the region of Ngara, in Tanzania, it was observed that between 500 and 2,000 refugees arrive daily. Many of them come from the border commune of Rusumo. Others are arriving from as far as Byumba and have taken weeks to reach Tanzania. But what pushed those who come from nearer places to flee, after the arrival of the RPF who claim they are bringing peace? At the same time, we can see more bodies floating in the border river of Akagera. The skin coloration indicates that they were killed barely two days earlier and that they therefore come from the zone controlled by the RPF”[12].

Van Hoof and Godfroid nonetheless hoped that “the pressure on the RPF from the international community, particularly from Uganda would help end the war and negotiations would start, and thereby avoid destabilizing the entire sub-region”.

It appears that getting a cease-fire and negotiations, was the real purpose of their mission to Rwanda at this critical moment for the genocidal government, whose armed forces were losing ground day after day.

In order to justify this hidden agenda, their report describes the scenario to be expected, if a solution to stop the RPF’s advance was not put forward by the international community. Burundi and Kivu region are most concerned.

Consequently, the report makes reference to what had happened recently in Burundi:  “The coup d’état in October 1993, the death of President Ndadaye and the ethnic massacres that followed had an immediate effect on the situation in Rwanda. The Hutu extremists did not fail to shout from rooftops that this is what was to be expected from a Tutsi army, and that the RPF approach was not any different. It is clear that any evolution in Rwanda will have an immediate effect on Burundi, which is what makes it crucial to negotiate a new equilibrium in Rwanda as soon as possible, before Burundi is in turn totally destabilized”[13].

Secondly, Van Hoof and Godfroid argue that: “The situation in Kivu region (ZAIRE) has been made more complex by the massive arrival of Rwandan refugees due to the advance of the RPF. Indeed […] if the RPF continues to advance, the hundreds of thousands of refugees will be left with no other choice than to seek refuge in Kivu, breaking up today’s prevailing precarious equilibrium. It is predictable that the arrival of a big number of refugees will inevitably lead to social tension, which will increase the ethnic tensions that still exist in the region. This is why it was important to stop the fighting in Rwanda before a civil war breaks out in Kivu”[14].

As for Uganda, which the report does not hesitate to implicate directly in the RPF “war against Rwanda” and to accuse of continuing to supply the RPF with arms, Van hoof and Godfroid contend that: “Now that half of Rwanda is in the hands of the RPF, Museveni is adopting a more careful approach. Since it is urgent to stop the war in order to prevent a regional implosion, it is in Museveni’s interest to put pressure on the RPF to agree to a cease-fire and start the negotiations. The international community also has to put pressure on Uganda.”[15]

According to the Van Hoof/Godfroid report, Tanzania is the least affected. However one question remains: “UNHCR expects 95% of the people to return to Rwanda in the following months, one year at the latest. However the refugees themselves are not very enthusiastic. A lot will depend on the composition and approach of the new Government in Rwanda. And it should not be forgotten that many among the refugees participated in the genocide against the Tutsis, and fear prosecution in case the rule of law is installed in Rwanda. Tanzania has not yet expressed its willingness to allow the refugees to permanently reside on its national territory. But such a decision should be expected to be preceded by a hot political debate.”[16]

In its Press release on Rwanda on  June 14, 1994, the NCOS reminds us that when they organized their mission to the Great lakes region, this group of Flemish Non-Governmental Organizations wanted to know what had been the fate of their partner organizations: Rwandan NGOs and human rights associations.

Among the objectives of the mission, there was the will to “see with the local NGOs what had already been done, and in which manner the Northern NGOs could reinforce their actions”. They therefore first visited them, in Rwanda (in the zone controlled by the genocidal interim government), in Kivu, in Burundi, in Tanzania and in Uganda.

In Rwanda, most of the NGOs formerly based in Kigali had been unable to reorganize themselves. The CFRC-IWACU had moved its office equipment to Gitarama. In the rural areas, the magnitude of the massacres was such that that NGOS were powerless faced with the situation. This was also due to the fact that many leaders were personally wanted by the army and the militia.

Gitarama served as meeting places for the few NGO agents who were able to get back to the town. They had just defined the beginning of a more important assistance program for the displaced people, when the RPF launched its offensive on Gitarama.

A new regrouping was later put into place in Gisenyi, where they had begun a similar program with limited funds provided by the Ministry of Planning. They expressed satisfaction that a few local NGOS situated far from the war zone (ADEHAMU, AJEMAC) seemed to have kept some activities running. Despite the war, they had an intervention capacity not to be underestimated in the interior of the Western part of Rwanda, and they sent calls for help to their partners in Europe to assist them in facing this challenge.[17]

Van Hoof/Godfroid report that: “…In Burundi, the Northern NGOS generally have very little experience with the Burundian NGOs. This resulted in a general lack of awareness.” [18]

They report that in Kivu, […] “a serious crisis seems to be affecting all the NGOs, which then influenced the functioning of federations and networks. Despite this, due to the Rwanda crisis, the CRONGDs from the North and the South organized meetings in Goma, Bukavu and Uvira, to assess the situation. They decided to organize help for the Congolese repatriates left to their fate by the humanitarian organizations (food distribution, transport to their region of origin).

The Van Hoof/Godfroid said that CRONGDs South Kivu had until then taken care of the Rwandan NGO agents who had taken refuge in Bukavu. Access to banks, the post office, telephone and fax on the Rwandan side of the border has become impossible; as a consequence, the Kivu NGOs are facing serious problems in their daily functioning and communication with the outside world. Those in South Kivu are now going to Bukavu; while those in North Kivu have no clear alternative.”[19]

The two messengers of the Northern NGOs reported that: due to the small number of refugees on Ugandan soil and the big number of international humanitarian organizations, which are not used to working through local organizations, the Ugandan NGOs are not directly concerned. RRWF (Rwandan Refugees Welfare Foundation) is the only one to have offered its services, but until now, it has not found a financial partner. This RRWF is blamed that “although they say they are non-partisan, their discourse is very close to that of the RPF, but this should not be surprising since the organization was founded by refugees.”[20]

As can be seen in the “NCOS General conclusions on their mission in the Great Lakes Region” (also by Van Hoof and Godfroid), NCOS called on the international community to urgently send food and medical help, but also pressed another agenda. “The International Community has to immediately organize massive food and medical assistance to avoid further loss of human lives. This urgent help has to be done in close collaboration with the local NGOs, not only to increase their efficiency, but also to allow the Rwandan civil society to start playing a constructive role” [21].

In the name of NCOS, Van Hoof and Godfroid requested that an unconditional cease-fire be imposed, as well as an arms embargo on the entire region. The NCOS claimed not to take sides with “any of the parties in conflict but with the Rwandan people”, meaning the refugees and the displaced persons. NCOS then makes itself the spokesperson for the genocidal interim government which had delegated the “Rwandan NGOs” to make appeals on its behalf, by calling on the European NGOs to go to the field and visit the genocidal government instead of listening to the propaganda machine of the RPF which is the cause of the humanitarian disaster:

“As a Northern NGO, we have to search for creative ways to help the leaders of the Rwandan NGOs who, from both sides of the frontline, are ready to work to fulfil the real needs of the Rwandan people. An operational support even for emergency activities can give the NGOs an active role vis-à-vis the population. They have to become an unavoidable actor as soon as possible, but will only have the right to speak only if the people realize that despite the war they are present and support the displaced persons. The ability to act independently will also allow them to play the role of the critical eye vis-à-vis the authorities” [22].

The NCOS pressed the Belgian government to grant visas to the members of the NGOs (in zones controlled by genocidaires) who wanted to seek refuge in Belgium, since they are the ones needed to rebuild Rwanda.

It is important to note that before the May-June mission of Van Hoof and Godfroid, the NCOS had launched a real media offensive by publishing a number of documents on the Rwandan conflict.

Already on the 19th of February in 1993, in its “press release and letter to the Belgian Political leaders”, through its Secretary General, Mr. Paul Van Steenvoort, the NCOS had put forward urgent propositions for Rwanda with a view to finding a solution to the Rwandan conflict. For these Flemish NGOs, the RPF is the real and only problem. Indeed, in their urgent propositions, it is the RPF which is mentioned and which must “stop its armed activities which violate human rights”[23]

The NCOS appealed to the International community to “collaborate to break the RPF supply in arms.”[24]

In addition, it requests Belgium and the international community, to “intervene very rapidly to stop the escalation of the events. The precarious economic and political circumstances could lead to a catastrophic extension of the conflict. The ethnic problem was not the main cause but the final point of the catastrophe and would lead to an unimaginable degradation without any hope of ever returning to the normal Rwandan way of life […] Right now, the wave of destruction could still be stopped and we can still avoid the country slipping into a situation similar to that of Somalia.” [25]

Among other documents the NCOS published in the month of June 1994, there is a “Revue de Presse Rwanda N°5” where Van Hoof gives information on Rwanda. In his article “The drifting of Central Africa”; the author denounces the silence of the big powers and the failure of the UN and its Secretary General in Rwanda and elsewhere.

Then there is the “NCOS position in relation to the last events in Rwanda”, dated May 27, 1994 but published on June 14, 1994.

The NCOS position is that it condemns indiscriminately both the RPF and the genocidaires, as if it was ignorant of what was happening on the ground.  Since the 6th April, part of the Rwandan population, the Tutsis, was being exterminated following a diabolical plan carefully conceived by a genocidal government.

Instead of recognising the genocide, the NCOS only condemns the massacres perpetrated by the government and the murders and the bloody retaliations carried out by certain members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

This confusion in the formulation appears intended to obfuscate the existence for months, of trained and equipped groups of criminals—the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi—who were only waiting for the signal to start their “work”.

The NCOS nevertheless did not forget to cite “the war by which, since 1990, the RPF has been trying to impose political reforms”, condemning the RPF with all its energy before calling the two parties (the RPF and the genocidal interim government) to stop “their nefarious activities.”[26] To achieve this, the first condition was an effective cease-fire to be sponsored by the international community and the Belgian Government.

In the document “The General Conclusions of the NCOS mission in the Great Lakes region,” apart from an appeal to the international community to send urgent help “to millions of helpless displaced persons inside Rwanda”, the NCOS insists that this help come through “tight collaboration with the heads of local organizations, not only to increase their efficiency, but also to allow the Rwandan civil society to play a constructive role”.

As if the role Rwandan civil society failed to play three months earlier, at the beginning of the genocide, by condemning the extermination of the Tutsi, can now be played in the refugee camps, “to avoid further human losses”.

Then the NCOS see as a lasting solution, negotiations leading to power sharing. “To achieve this, the international community has to assume its responsibilities […] by exerting strong pressure on both parties (both guilty of unacceptable atrocities) and by imposing an arms embargo on the entire region.”

Frans Van Hoof authored a further report dated June 3, 1994 entitled “Rwanda: Three million displaced under threat”—ostensibly a plea in favour of the “Rwandan population”. But Van Hoof is more preoccupied by the people fleeing than by those being killed. In addition, Van Hoof puts all the blame on the RPF and even goes as far as asking for help for the authorities who prepared the genocide and are now on the run.

This is what he says in this report: “The Western media is very interested by the refugee situation in Tanzania and the military fighting and massacres inside the country. On the other hand, little attention is paid to the huge problem of displaced people inside Rwanda. Is the international community indifferent? These people are fleeing in haste before the RPF’s mortar fire. With mattresses, sheep, handfuls of beans, a photo album, they have left everything, and taken only what they could carry. They are in a hurry but nonetheless seem resigned to their fate. For some, it is already the third or fourth exodus towards a safer haven. Once more, they are tracked like game by the RPF [….] the Rwandan population doesn’t understand anything, they feel attacked by the RPF and they are fleeing from the murderous violence of the rebels, and despite this, they have the feeling that the West is on the RPF’s side. The ordinary people, the authorities, everyone insists on the responsibility of the international community, and begs us to react, not to abandon them, to do everything to silence the arms and help the survivors”[27].

Clearly, the NCOS, was very active in the Rwandan conflict. But the question remains: if the genocide (for them it was the ‘escalation of violence’) was so predictable, why did they not do anything when it started?

And with regard to their return to Rwanda in May 1994, it is not explained anywhere why they did not condemn the genocide and those who perpetrated this heinous crime. Instead, NCOS is far more interested in the testimonies of the refugees concerning the activities of the RPF.

What right does the NCOS, have to speak in the name of the Rwandan population? And why is the word genocide not part of their vocabulary? Indeed, not once does the term genocide appear in their report. Not a word on the hundreds of thousands of Tutsis who had been killed, even in a report issued in June 1994! Although Van Hoof and Godfroid were shocked by “the corpses washing up on the shores of Lake Victoria and which made the price of fish drop (Nile perch)”!

The answer to these questions is clear: the NCOS’ mission had only two real objectives: coming to the rescue of the genocidal government which was out of steam, and to the “Rwandan population” (meaning, for NCOS, the Hutus) which was in need in the camps inside and outside the country. They did not come to Rwanda because of compassion for the Tutsis being exterminated. Instead, it was a mission to deny the genocide and meet the genocidaires, give them moral support, mitigate their shame and cover up their crime.

The diary of Jean Kambanda, ex-Prime Minister of the genocidal interim government,[28] shows that he met Franz Van Hoof on 20th May 1994 in the company of Nkiko Nsengimana, ex-director of the Center Iwacu Kabusunzu and president of the group of Rwandan NGOs under the umbrella known as CCOAIB. Nkiko now lives in Switzerland. He is among those who distinguished themselves because of their revisionist ideas, like Dr. James Gasana, ex-Minister of Defence.

Nkiko Nsengimana is also the vice president of the FDU- Inkingi which is an Umbrella organisation of genocide ideologues as shall be explained further in this book.

 

Notes


[1] Ivan Godfroid and Frans van Hoof, “ La Crise Rwandaise et ses Implications Régionales: la Parole aux ONG-Rapport d’une mission dans la Région des Grands Lacs du 15 mai au 9 juin 1994 (22 juin1994) ”. (Author’s archives) also available on www.grandslacs.net/html/tm/ongfmz.htm

[2] EUROSTEP is a network of European non-governmental development organisations working to influence Europe’s role in the world, particularly in pursuing the eradication of injustice and poverty. It’s not very clear as to why this organisation kept on financing activities and projects which seemed clearly against their mission to “promote an international world order where the peaceful coexistence of all peoples can flourish”. See more on: http://www.eurostep.org/wcm/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=9&id=41&Itemid=48

[3] Their address was (or still is) 4, Rue aux Laines, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

[4] Traits d’Union No 5-Special Issue, African Points of View on the reconstruction of Rwanda of 1 November 1994.

[5] Mr. Prosper TWIZEYIMANA’s letter, Bulengo, September 3, 1996. (Author’s archives)

[6] Intelligence note to Yves Kamanda, p.1.

[7] Cfr. “Intelligence note to Yves Kamanda”, p.2-3.

[8] See the mission’s report titled “Rwanda’s crisis and its regional implications: NGOs forum. Report of a mission in the Great Lakes region from 15th May to 9th June 1994” and whose details are available at NCOS – Brussels as well as in the brochure “Traits-d’Union: Rwanda” published by COOPIBO and VREDESEILANDEN.

[9] The Rwanda crisis and its regional implications, NGO Forum, p. 2.

[10] The Rwanda crisis and its regional implications, NGO Forum, p. 2.

[11] The Rwandan crisis and its regional implications, p. 3.

[12] The Rwandan crisis and its regional implications,  (p. 8)

[13] Ibidem, p. 10

[14] Ibidem, p. 11.

[15] The Rwandan crisis and its regional implications, p. 12.

[16] Ibidem, p. 13.

[17] Ibidem, 13-14.

[18] The Rwandan crisis…, p.14.

[19] Ibid. 17.

[20] Ibid., p.17.

[21] See” General conclusions on the NCOS mission in the Great Lakes Region”, 10th June 1994.

[22] The Rwandan crisis…, p.19.

[23] Press release and Letter to Belgium’s Political authorities, 1993, (19th February).

[24]Ibid., p. 1.

[25] Ibid., p. 2.

[26]  See: “NCOS’s position on recent events in Rwanda”, dated 27/05/1994 but published on 14/6/1994.

[27]  See Frans Van Hoof’s report, “Rwanda: Three Million displaced people threatened”. 3/6/1994.

[28] Kambanda, of course, confessed to and was convicted by the ICTR of genocide in 1998

Chapter VIII: Rwandan civil society in exile–villains posturing as victims

After the departure of Frans Van Hoof and Ivan Godfroid, the Rwandan NGOs in areas controlled by the genocidal interim government effectively went to work. And already, on June 21, 1994, the newly created Collective for Emergency Aid and the Bureau for Coordination of Humanitarian Interventions of the NGOS in Rwanda sent an open letter to the Northern NGOs, their partners.[1]

The letter was not meant to denounce all the NGOs which had left Rwanda the day after the start of the “war by the RPF”, but only some of them.

The letter noticeably, not only condemns the abandonment, the lack of solidarity shown by the Northern NGOs; but it particularly denounces the attitude of some Northern NGOs who, far from attempting to collect truthful information, and coming to the help of the victims of the war in the whole country, instead, actively took part in the conflicts by, among other things, giving direct or indirect help to those who started this bloody war (the RPF); it condemns those who imposed the humanitarian embargo against the victims of this bloody war, as well as those who only intervene in areas occupied by the RPF.

The Collective hopes for a quick return of those who stayed neutral, asks them to come and see ‘up close the distress of this population’, and to “ ‘support or complete the self-help initiatives taken locally in the different refugee sites of this population condemned to wander like people without any rights. The Collective invites its Northern partner NGOs to mobilize resources to help their brothers, sisters, parents and friends, without food, shelter, clothing, and future.”[2]

As we can see, most of the open letter to the Northern NGOs focuses on the misfortune of the Hutu people, and the blame is entirely attributed to the RPF war. There is total silence over the Tutsi genocide. The letter attacks the NGOs which “betrayed” the genocidaires and collaborated with “the RPF government”.

It is once more a barely veiled way of denying the genocide against the Tutsi by distracting people’s attention (the NGO world, the Churches) from the real problem (the genocide) and orienting them towards lesser problems to which they are more sensitive such as hunger, epidemics, etc.

Two days later, on June 23, 1994, the RWANDAN NGOs and CIVIL SOCIETY made their declaration concerning the French intervention (Operation Turquoise). While criticizing the international community and claiming to be victims of misinformation calculated to tarnish Rwanda’s image, they express gratitude to France for understanding the situation her friends were caught in, and wanting to help them get out of it.

They naturally condemn those who are against the French intervention, i.e. “those who led the country into the disaster everyone knows it is in, who are happy to see millions of human beings kill each other for their selfish interests.” [3]

Here, one can clearly recognize the accusations of the same Collective of Rwandan NGOs against the RPF, whom they accuse of being responsible for the genocide, stubbornly refusing to recognize the interim government, refusing any compromise and resuming the war.

This firm position taken by the Collective of Rwandan NGOs will remain a paradigm in different interventions of the Collective. Their constant slogan is: if there is genocide, the RPF is fully responsible, and therefore all others are innocent.

On July 26, 1994, the same Collective of Rwandan NGOs published its report on “the question on interethnic relations.” [4] This report aims to categorically deny the genocide; it talks instead of “the drama that befell Rwanda and the ethnic group massacres which started on April 6, 1994 and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in a very short period of time.”

The Collective of Rwandan NGOs asserted that it “had to take a stand relating to the recent evolution of the Rwandan problem and trace future prospects in the search for harmony for the society and lasting peace for Rwanda”[5].

In this context, the Collective blames the RPF for every factor which contributed to the deterioration of relations between Hutu and Tutsi: “the continuous attacks of the Inyenzi (name the rebels who attacked Rwanda from neighbouring countries since 1960 gave themselves), the October 1990 war (attributed to the ethnic question for two reasons : the name ‘’Inkotanyi’’ adopted by the armed group made reference to the King’s close guards during the feudal-monarchist period, then the high ranking officials of the RPF army were almost exclusively sons of old dignitaries who reminded everyone of the time of the Inyenzi. There is also the non-application of the Arusha Agreements, the death of the Head of State and the institutional vacuum which followed the resumption of the war by the RPF.”

The Collective even dares affirm that “the interim government had organized a pacification campaign by government officials and other leaders in the country. Slogans were continuously played on the national radio to call the population to remain calm, but the effectiveness of these actions was limited due to the psychosis the population had suffered for four years of war, the stubbornness of the RPF not to recognize the government and agree to negotiations, and most especially due to the advance of the RPF on all fronts.”[6]

In reality of course, the slogans aired over the National Radio and RTLM radio throughout the country were those inciting the population to “work”—a term understood by the Hutu population to mean killing Tutsis, destroying and burning their houses.

The Collective insists on denying any direct responsibility of the interim Government, as well as any individual or Collective responsibility apart from that of the RPF during the genocide. The Collective justifies itself by saying that NGOs and human rights associations failed because the RPF stubbornly refused to recognize the Government in place, thereby refusing any compromise and starting the war again.

The Collective also tries to define RTLM radio—notorious for inciting the Hutu population to pursue and exterminate the Tutsis—as a defensive operation. It says that the RTLM “was practically born to counter radio Muhabura”[7] (the RPF radio station) which, according to the Collective, also incited to hatred.

The Collective thus argues that the RPF was therefore indirectly responsible for the massacre of the Tutsis by inciting the population to kill the Tutsis, and concludes that the RPF voluntarily used the massacre of the Tutsis to seize power: “The RPF should have realized that its behaviour could incite the population to massacre the Tutsis, unless they wanted to use this element as a pretext to seize power”[8].

The Collective accuses the international community of having imposed an arms embargo against the Rwandan government, therefore facilitating the rapid advance of the RPF on all fronts.

Concerning the massacres, the stand of the Collective in its July 1994 declaration is the same as the one later expressed by Rwandan émigré advocates of “Hutu power” in Europe. It denies the genocide and seeks to exonerate the genocidaires, while heaping all the blame on the RPF.

The Collective uses a number of arguments which, according to them, show that “the RPF is directly involved in the massacres of Tutsis and bears responsibility for what happened”[9]. It claims that the RPF went on with the recruitment of soldiers although the country had just signed the Arusha Agreements. “Their fund-raising campaigns also went on, the behaviour of the RPF as soon as it entered Kigali forced the MRND, the former unique party in power, to enter into confrontation mood and prepare for war, the resumption of the war by the RPF after the assassination of the Head of State and their stubborn refusal to recognize the interim government.”[10]

As an obvious solution to relieve the ordeal the refugees had been going through for four years, and to achieve national reconciliation, the NGOs propose, as they did at Froidmont[11], the dissolution of the government which was set up after the defeat of genocidaires. They wish for a compromise in the Arusha Agreements, that the responsibilities of each party be established, that the voice of the people be listened to, that power be equally shared and that the population be represented in the political and administrative structures. They also propose reintegration of the refugees (old and new) into their property, this with the help of the international community.

On July 29, 1994, the exiled NGOs also members of the Collective, in Bukavu sent their “analysis of the socio-political situation in Rwanda” to the Belgian NGOs COOPIBO, Vredeseilanden and SOS FAIM[12].

The self-proclaimed objective of this meeting of Rwandan NGOs in Bukavu was to think about the Rwandan “drama” (the term genocide seems taboo to them), its causes, and possible solutions. In addition, they intended to study conditions for the return of the refugees, without forgetting the role to be played by the NGOs in all this. They report that millions of Hutus and Tutsis are dead. Of what? They avoid saying there was a genocide in Rwanda, or advance their thesis of a double genocide. They report that: “Rwanda seems totally empty of its population who live in exile,”[13] and deplore the plight of “millions of refugees in exile.” They gloss over the identity of these refugees, who, of course, are definitely not Tutsi, since the Tutsi were largely exterminated.

Additionally, the NGOs still count on the genocidal Government, but deplore the breakup of the Hutu cohesion into two antagonistic communities. They cite a myriad of other causes of the “Rwandan drama”, including the struggle for power, the reference to ethnicity, economic problems, misunderstanding and mismanagement of the multiparty system since 1959, the absence of civil society opposition as a third force, the complicity of the international community and the mass media, the bias of UNAMIR in the Rwandan conflict in favour of the RPF, the periodic attacks of the Inyenzi and finally Uganda which shelters the RPF.

They cite another factor, with deep roots in extremist Hutu ideology: that Hutus have a bad memory of the feudal-monarchic regime. They do not, of course, cite the planning of genocide against the Tutsis.

As a way out of this crisis, the Rwandan NGOs advocate for five strategies, and it is not by chance that their strategies correspond to those proposed earlier by Froidmont, Nzabahimana and NCOS: give the right of expression to the population (democracy), promote political pluralism, reinforce civil society, ensure transparent elections, and install political mechanisms which protect the parties which are not in power. What they mean here is, the political parties which were behind the genocide.

The Rwandan NGOs also tackle the issue of the return of refugees and national reconciliation. Conditions which, it will be recalled, had already been proposed by Nzabahimana. The Rwandan NGOs think that for the return[14] of the refugees, a government of national unity which doesn’t exclude anyone should be put in place, the refugees should be repatriated in an organized manner, the deaths of presidents Habyarimana and Ntaryamira should be investigated and a neutral and competent tribunal should be established to identify, judge and condemn the culprits of both the RPF and the interim government. They recall the extent of the massacres perpetrated since October 1990 (since the war started), and finally, call for free and democratic elections to be organized under the aegis of the International Community.

Participants [15], as indicated in the footnote, included people like Innocent Butare who would later become the Executive Secretary of the RDR, and Marie Beatrice Umutesi.

Two months later, in October 13-29, 1994, another mission is jointly organized by three Belgian NGOs, namely COOPIBO, VREDESILANDEN and SOS-FAIM, to evaluate the work done by the Rwandan NGOs. Participating in this mission was Marie Goretti Nyirarukundo and once again Ivan Godfroid, respectively coordinator of the COOPIBO program in Rwanda and Kivu and in charge of programs in Africa within COOPIBO.

The ostensible objective of the mission was to ensure the follow-up of the programs of the Rwandan NGOs in Goma and Bukavu, collecting as much recent information as possible, to fuel the work of the Rwandan cell of the Belgian consortium (composed of COOPIBO VREDESILANDEN and SOS-FAIM) informing all the partners of the Collective, and contacting all the partners of COOPIBO in Kivu for a minimal follow-up of activities.

They would also visit Rwanda to identify new ways of collaboration with the Rwandan NGOs inside the country, to stimulate the exchange between the NGOs inside and outside the country. They would also seek a quick reinforcement of the consortium’s permanent delegation in Kigali, as a way of reinstalling a full-time representative, and identify ways to distribute the magazine “Traits d’Union-Rwanda” inside as well as outside the country.

It is worth noting that this mission, called “THE RWANDAN NGOS AND REHABILITATION… ” was the fourth organized by COOPIBO and its partners since the beginning of the genocide. The first was in May 1994 to do some preliminary scouting and establish contacts—primarily with perpetrators of genocide and their future public relations organisations in the guise of NGOs.

The second was organized at the beginning of July 1994 after the great flight of Rwandan refugees towards Cyangugu and Gisenyi.

In the meantime COOPIBO had been joined by Vredeseilanden and SOS-FAIM, and the mission was dispatched to Goma to participate in the creation of the Collective of the Rwandan NGOs and the fine tuning of a six-month emergency programme.

After the final victory of the RPF, two French NGOs, Groupe Développement and Frères des Hommes-Toulouse joined the Belgian consortium to make a request for funds from the European Union. In the available reports, it is not clear how and why they linked up.

In late August to early September 1994, a third mission of the Consortium COOPIBO-VREDESEILANDEN-SOS-FAIM gave fresh impetus to the reorientation of their programme, to adjust to the new situation, with at least 1.5 million refugees in Kivu. The main focus was life in the refugee camps in Zaïre.

The Collective of Rwandan NGOs (Goma zone) finds occupations for the refugees. Curiously, they contend that the ex-FAR and Interahamwe do not stop anyone from returning home. The professed objective of the NGOs is the organization of the refugees in structures that are reliable and representative for the refugees and credible for the outside world.

This objective corresponds to one expressed earlier by Jean Kambanda, but the NGOs  fear “all identification of this popular organization with the government in exile which risks endangering its credibility from the start, in the eyes of the government of Kigali and of the international community.”[16]

For the mission, however, Jean Kambanda remains a valuable person for future negotiations with the government of Kigali. The mission reports the “Kambanda’s will to be tried by an international tribunal is understandable, since an acquittal would make him a key figure in future negotiations. At the same time it is an impressive proof that he doesn’t consider himself guilty of genocide. If only he could contribute to the condemnation of the real culprits.”[17]

The four missions of COOPIBO and/or of Vredeseilanden, SOS-FAIM, Groupe Développement and Frères des Hommes-Toulouse from May to October 1994, and those of Fans Van Hoof and Maria Goretti Nyirarukundo, appear to have had the underlying objective of denying the Tutsi genocide, re-establishing contacts with the Hutu genocidaires, rehabilitating and reintegrating them vis-a-vis the international community, as suggested by the name of the fourth mission.

Until the month of October 1994, these NGOs persevered still in justifying Kambanda’s role in the genocide, and considering him as a key person in the negotiations into which the NGOs were hoping to force the Government of Kigali.

Here one cannot avoid questioning the NGOs’ reasoning: If Kambanda is innocent—then there was no genocide in Rwanda either. In this case, where will he find “the real culprits” that these NGOs wish to be condemned? And what crime will they be accused of, since there was no genocide?

The Collective of Rwandan NGOs Bukavu zone then held another meeting of its General Assembly on July 31, 1995. The objective of the Collective was to pronounce itself on “the initiative for the Development of the Synergies “IDS-TWUBAKE”.

According to its report of August 1, 1995, the meeting wanted to recall that the Collective of Rwandan NGOs is an association of persons from Rwandan NGOs (as contained in the charter). They expressed frustration that since the genocide, the NGOS were experiencing difficulties in contacting their partners (European). Meanwhile, the Rwandan refugees needed urgent help.

To achieve this, the members and agents of the NGOs, with support from certain European partners, created the Collective of Rwandan NGOs on July 4, 1994.

Concerning its charter and its rules and regulations, the Collective never claimed to support the transfer to Zaïre of Rwandan NGOs which were operating in Rwanda under the same names. On the contrary, one of its objectives was to encourage the Rwandan NGO team outside the country to contact those remaining inside, to see how to elaborate a single, common support programme to the Rwandan population wherever they are. This principle was reaffirmed during the meeting held in Nairobi on November 16-18, 1994, bringing together the NGO teams from inside the country and those in exile in the presence of Zaïrean and European partner NGOs.

The members of the Collective considered that the platform IDS-TWUBAKE could not legally be an association of Rwandan NGOs, for the same reasons as those evoked during the creation of the Collective and considering the actual dynamics of the NGO movement in Rwanda. Since its creation, the Collective always maintained that it was a structure representative of the Rwandan NGOs.

This is because they could not carry out their activities on Zaïrean territory since they were legally Rwandan organizations. The Collective continued to work under the cover of Zaïrean NGOs, notably the CRONGD South Kivu, the CRONGD North Kivu and the CRONGD.

In conclusion, the General Assembly decided not to recognize the platform IDS-TWUBAKE under its actual form, “[…] the Collective will not be able to support the platform if it presents itself as an association of natural persons and not of Rwandan NGOs in exile.” In addition, they excluded from the Collective: JMV Musabimana, Jean Evariste Nayigizente, Télesphore Munyandamutsa, Thérèse Nyiranzabandora and Marie Uzanyinka for misconduct. The Chairperson of the meeting was Spéciose Kamanzi and the secretary of the meeting was Barutwanayo Augustin.[18]

In November 1995, a women’s NGO called the DUTERIMBERE, in its report titled “The contribution of the NGO teams to the UNHCR on voluntary repatriation of Rwandan Refugees”, denounced any attempt at forced repatriation of the refugees similar to the one in August 19-24, 1995, which allegedly cost the lives of 15,000 refugees and dispersed more than 150,000 others into the forests.

The DUTERIMBERE denounced the international community for not taking care of the refugees and removing the embargo on arms for Rwanda. It especially denounces the government of Kigali for threatening and attacking them. DUTERIMBERE categorically denied any intimidation of refugees by the Interahamwe militia, and advanced other reasons for the refugees’ refusal to return.

The DUTERIMBERE report reasserts the central responsibility of the RPF in the refugee problem. It describes the RPF as the cause of the exile of more than three million Rwandans to Tanzania, Zaïre and Burundi, who are permanently traumatized, and do not know when they will be able to go home.

The report says that if they do not want to go home it is due to insecurity (arrests, arbitrary detentions, disappearances, deportations, cruel and inhuman treatment, massacres and assassinations, summary executions of those who go back home, injustice, illegal occupation of refugee property, etc.)

The report insists that Rwandan NGOs must collaborate with the UNHCR and with international decision-makers to make them accept that these are the real reasons that prevent the refugees from returning home.

For DUTERIMBERE, the RPF is responsible for the misfortune of the refugees and this since the war of October 1990. This NGO accuses the RPF of being responsible for the war, for non-compliance with the Arusha Agreements, and for the death of Habyarimana and the massacres that followed. (DUTERIMBERE, also, does not use the word genocide here)

In addition, according to DUTERIMBERE, the RPF does not tell the truth; it does not wish for the repatriation of the refugees since it deliberately chose dictatorial practices and manifested the will to eliminate the Hutu ethnic group. Furthermore, the DUTERIMBERE report accuses the RPF of using an alleged genocide for political ends to receive help, and to exclude Hutu from the management of the country. However, the NGO asserts, the refugees cannot live forever in exile; they want to come home in peace and rebuild their country.

DUTERIMBERE contests the idea that the refugees must be sorted out in terms of innocent peasants and killers, and regrets that the international community seems to share this idea. DUTERIMBERE proposes instead that as long as everyone’s responsibility has not been established, both parties should sit at the same table to think about how to rebuild their country. The report then asks for negotiations with Kigali in order to implement the Arusha Agreements; it calls on the UNHCR and the International Community to consider the problem of insecurity which prevails in Rwanda before forcing the refugees to go home to be killed; it calls on the UN, the Big Powers and also Uganda to reconsider their behaviour and do what they did not do in the past to rebuild Rwanda.

As condition for the return of the refugees, DUTERIMBERE demands that the International Community impose an arms embargo against Kigali, and order Kigali to release all prisoners. It calls on the authorities in Kigali to cease talking about an alleged genocide, and asks other countries to keep helping refugees.

In addition, DUTERIMBERE asks the NGOs which constitute the Rwandan intelligentsia not to encourage the refugees to return home as long as their security is not guaranteed. It asks the RDR to sensitize the international community to the problems of Rwandan refugees. DUTERIMBERE denies the genocide of the Tutsi and does not even want the authorities in Kigali to mention it. DUTERIMBERE holds that the RPF assassinated President Habyarimana, and is therefore responsible for any killings that ensued.

From 16th to 18th November 1994 a seminar was held in Nairobi, organized by NCOS in collaboration with EUROSTEP (earlier dealt with at length) and the members of Rwandan NGOs, with the technical collaboration from the Africa Conference of Churches. The theme of the conference was “THE FUTURE AND THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE NGO WORLD IN RWANDA.”[19] The meeting brought together 12 participants from inside Rwanda, 11 from Bukavu and Goma and about 30 from regional and Northern partner NGOs.

Three themes were addressed at the seminar: the NGO world in Rwanda at that time; the reconstruction of the NGO world and tasks of the Rwandan civil society for the future; and the cooperation between Rwandan and European NGOs.

As explained by Mr. Leo Goovaerts, responsible for the NCOS projects in central Africa, the purpose of the seminar was to organize a meeting between the Rwandan NGOs inside and outside Rwanda so as to facilitate a dialogue and the reconstruction of the Rwandan NGO world; and to organize a meeting between the Rwandan NGOs and the Northern NGOs so as to redefine and promote their collaboration and determine an action plan for the future and reconstruction.

At the end of the discussions, the seminar created a follow-up committee with a six month term. The committee was to work towards the return of the refugees, the reconstruction of the NGOs, communication and information inside the country as well as outside, and lobbying. This committee included four members of the Rwandan NGOs (two inside and two outside), a representative of the regional NGOs, in this case the PREFED, and a representative of the Northern NGOS. From inside Rwanda, those chosen were Josue Kayijaho, Charles Karemano, Landrada Mukayiranga, and Euphrem Mbugulize. For PREFED, Kabirigi Lindiro was chosen while for the Northern NGOS, the NCOS was free to take care of finding someone.

The participants committed themselves to working towards the return of the refugees through psychological preparation of minds inside and outside the country, putting in place reception structures, the fight against impunity and violation of human rights.

The participants also asked the Rwandan government to facilitate the work of NGOs in relation to the return of the refugees. They asked the humanitarian organizations to make an effort to understand the situation of the refugees. From February 27 to March 4, 1996, the Collective of Rwandan NGOs in exile was visited by HILDE de MOOR and IVAN GODFROID and had a meeting.

From the report of this meeting it is clear that the Collective had an important extension to the South. Considering the activities in the South as well as elsewhere, the Collective gained consistency and remained highly significant in the refugee camps.

The Collective seemed well known by the Zairean authorities and the refugees. The latter allegedly prefer the work of the Collective to the work of foreign NGOs, because the Collective consists of fellow Rwandans, and through the Collective there is already solidarity with Europe.

The report describes a difference in approach between the North Kivu Zone and the South Kivu Zone. In North Kivu the focus is on concrete activities, given the large number of refugees, while in the South the focus is on reflective activities. The report stresses that the camps of Katale and Kahindo, in north Kivu are little or not at all open because the people there are extremists.

The report says that the desire to return home is strong and the refugees are ready to go home and face justice. It claims that the much reported intimidation of refugees who want to go home is not explicit but rather implicit (fear of denouncing someone, or of being pursued).

The report finds the UNHCR more intimidating since it urges refugees to go home while keeping others at bay, considering them responsible of intimidation.

The report finds that the real reason for not returning is fear of the RPF and RPA, who kill Hutu men according to the information which comes everyday to the camps. “We prefer dying in the camps than in the killing fields in Rwanda”, they said. The refugees, were not reassured by what they heard on the radio, nor by what is said by certain authorities in the country, for instance the Minister of Foreign Affairs who said openly they would use force to repatriate the refugees.

The report accuses the government of Rwanda of not taking any initiative to encourage the refugees to come home. The report also regrets that the UNHCR pointed an accusing finger at the Collective as being intimidators of refugees and therefore responsible for the refugees not returning to their country Rwanda.

The report defends the Collective and charges the real intimidators are Zaïrean soldiers who encircle the camps from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. The report does not say exactly when the Zairean soldiers conducted such an operation. Those who have the intention of never returning, so they say, are the ones with the means and motives for remaining.  The report tends to justify the violence meted out by the Hutu extremists against the Rwandophone Tutsi population of Masisi, explaining that it is due to the lack of a clear perspective for the refugees.

The Collective gives strong support to the creation of a Rwandan Civil Society in Exile in South Kivu after the forced repatriation of August 1995. The Collective however does not appreciate the UNHCR’s position against holding meetings in the camps. This, the report says, goes against the rights of refugees and against the very programme of the Collective.

The report acknowledges largely negative effects of the presence of the refugees on the native population. In this regard, a new NGO, the EUB (Emergency Biodiversity Group) was created with the intention of enhancing collaboration between refugees and the local population with leaders from Zaire, Kenya, and Rwanda.

The report claims that the UNHCR understood the Collective’s importance and invited the northern NGOs which had suspended their activities to come back. These include the Doctors without Borders from Belgium working in Kahindo, and the Doctors without Borders from the Netherlands operating in Katale. Both camps were in Kivu province of the then Zaire. The authorities from Kigali are also said to have asked the EUB to come and work inside the country.

In an annex to this meeting’s report, are comments on “THE RWANDAN CIVIL SOCIETY IN EXILE”. This group is described as one that aspires to be a platform of associations, to which the Collective of Rwandan NGOs would belong with the goal of educating the refugees about democratic and human values, building caucuses in the camps for the defence of refugees’ rights, producing and sending documents and letters, and organising sessions. Strange as it may sound, Jean Pierre Godding who is said to represent “Justice and Peace in Goma” is said to be part of these activities whose sole purpose was to spread hate ideology and prepare for war against Rwanda!

Towards the end of 1996, on 02/12/1996, the European Movement for International solidarity (Frères des hommes) also made its position clear on the crisis in the Great Lakes region. It states that it is happy about the return of the refugees, but that the challenges have just begun. In addition, it is only one part of the refugees who went home, the others (Rwandans and Zaïreans) about half a million are scattered in South Kivu. The Movement believes more human rights observers should be deployed in Rwanda, to monitor the government’s side, to reassure the returnees on justice, the recovery of their property and arbitrary arrests. The Movement takes up again the causes of refugees not returning home spontaneously; causes raised by the Collective of Rwandan NGOs in Exile and DUTERIMBERE.

From the analyses above the perpetrators of genocide had got a good camouflage whereby the “Civil Society” and its activities provided them legitimacy of being seen as refugees. Furthermore, this status allowed many of them to speak as victims, rather than as the villains they were.

 

Notes


[1] “OPEN LETTER TO THE NORTHERN NGOS, PARTNERS OF RWANDA, Gisenyi, 21/6/1994

[2] “OPEN LETTER TO THE NORTHERN NGOs…” p. 3

[3]“DECLARATION OF THE NGO COMMUNITY AND THE CIVIL SOCIETY IN RELATION TO THE FRENCH INTERVENTION FOR A HUMANITARIAN ACTION”.

[4]“ ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SOLUTION OF RWANDA : THE QUESTION OF INTER-ETHNIC RELATIONS”

[5] Collective of Rwanda NGOS Zone of Goma (Zaïre), Goma, 26 July 1994, p. 1.

[6] Ibid, p. 5

[7] Ibid, p. 6

[8] Collective of Rwandan NGOs, zone of Goma (Zaïre), Goma, July 26,  1994,  p. 5.

[9] Ibid, p.5

[10] Ibid, p.5

[11] Ibid. “RWANDA: FROIDMONT MEETING May 20-21, 1994, Provisional report “. See more on Froidmont

[12]  “ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATION IN RWANDA BY THE RWANDAN NGOS IN BUKAVU”, Goma, July 29, 1994.

[13] Ibidem, p. 2.

[14] “ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATION IN RWANDA BY THE RWANDAN NGOs IN EXILE IN BUKAVU, Goma, p.4.

[15] Participants in this Bukavu meeting include: 1. JMV Musabimana (IWACU Center), 2. Telesphore Munyandamutsa (IWACU Centre), 3. Gabriel Nkuliyimana (ADENYA), 4. Thérèse Nyiranzabondora (ADENYA), 5. J. d’Arc Ntakibaruta (ARTC Filles), 6. Damien Hakizimana (ARTC Hommes), 7. J. Evariste Nayigizente (CCOAIB), 8. Isabelle Nibakure (CCOIB), 9. J. Bosco Gahongayire (ADENYA), 10. Aloys Nyarwaya (INADES), 11 Révocata Uwamutara (Women Network), 12. Josepha Nyirankundabera (), 13. Epiphanie Kampundu (Women Network), 14. Marie Unzaniyinka (ASR), 15. Spéciose Kamanzi (Women Network), 16. Marie Béatrice Umutesi (Programmme of Women of Byumba), 17. Innocent Butare (ARAMET), OBSERVERS LIST: 1. Arsène Kirhero (IRED), 2. Uzziel Twagilimana (IWACU Center), 3. J.D. Nyamwasa (IWACU Center), 4. Ephrem Mbugulize (Consultant ONGD), 5. Gilbert Kashemwa (C.DE.KA), 6. Thaddée Hyawe-Hinyi (SIKASH), 7. Alphonse-Marie Baddy (UWAKI), 8. Albert Hategekimana (ADENYA) 9. Régine Van Der Syp (Consultant NOVIB/DRA).

[16] “RWANDAN NGOS AND REHABILITATION”  p. 23

[17] “RWANDAN NGOS AND REHABILITATION”  p.23

[18] LIST OF PARTICIPANTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE COLLECTIVE 31/07/1995

[Names, NGO of origin, Past and present positions ].

1. NDAGIJIMANA Cyprien, ENERWA Legal Representative

2. KAMANZI Spéciose, C.S.C GITARAMA-DUTERIMBERE, Coordinator,  and founding member respectively

3. MUKANYEMAZI Frieda, DUHAMIC/ADRI-DUTERIMBERE, respectively Executive Secretary, Founding Member

4. UMUTESI M. Béatrice,  Programme of support to the Socio-Economic Promotion of Women/ BYUMBA, Coordinator

5. BUCUMI Balthazar, P.A.M.U, Coordinator

6. NKULIYIMANA Gabriel, ADENYA-IMBAGA-CCOAIB, respectively Coordinator, Founding Member.

7. MUTABAZI Edouard,  SNV-PADEC/GITARAMA, AJED (Youth Animation Association for development), respectively a.g Coordinator, Legal Representative

8. NSABIMANA Athanase, .ADENYA a.s.b.l., Member of Administration Council and advisor.

9. HATEGEKIMANA Albert, ADENYA a.s.b.1., Chief of Secretariat

10. HAKIZIMANA Damien, A.R.T.C/H a.s.b.1., Group leader and Committee member

11. SIBORUREMA Athanase, ARDI-KIGALI, Assistant in project service

12. GAHONGAYIRE J.Bosco, ADENYA, in charge of Health and Population

13. NYIRAHABIMANA Marguerite, ARBEF, Secretary.

14. NTAKIBARUTA Jeanne, ARTCF, Leader.

15. MUKAGELIMANA Faina, ARDI et ARTCF, Training officer ARTCF, Member of ARDI.

16. NYIRAKOBWA Pauline, Women Network working for developpement, SNV-RWANDA, Leader.

17. UWAMAHORO Séraphine, SNV-RWANDA, Women Network, Animator, PADEC

18. MUJAWIMANA M.Goretti, ARTC/F, Training officer

19. UZALIBARA Félicien, ADEHAMU, In-charge of Agriculture Service

20. MUKANDEBE Bernadette, Women Network working for development, Handicapped center, DUTERIMBERE, respectively founding member, reintegration service, Founding member.

21. NYARWAYA Aloys, INADES-training.

22. AVEMARIYA Védaste, C.S.C GITARAMA, Finance Officer

23. BARUTWANAYO Augustin, C.S.C GITARAMA, Research trainer

24. TWAGILIMANA Uzziel, IWACU/ CFRC, In charge of the Unit, Training member of management

Committee.

25. MUSHIMIYIMANA Clotilde, CCOAIB, Secretary

[19] Due to the importance of the Seminar, White Father, Guy Theunis announced it in Dialogue N°179, of November 1994, p.128. The journal, Dialogue where G.Theunis is an acting editor in charge is sold at the headquarters of NCOS which is organized the meeting. Names of participants and in brackets NGOs they represent :

RWANDAN NGOS : Charles KAREMANO (ARDI), Canisius MUNGWAKUZWE (ARBEF/COSYLI), Judith KANAKUZE (DUTERIMBERE), Jean-Paul BIRAMVU (CLADHO), Jean-Baptiste MBERABAHIZI (KANYARWANDA), Oreste MUPANDA (ARDI), Floride MUKARUGAMBWA (Women’s Network), Odette KAKUZE (ARTFC), Eugène NKUBITO (IWACU), Josué KAYIJAHO  (AVP), Stanislas KANYANZIRA (CCOAIB), Barnabé TWAGIRAMUNGU, (ADEHAMU), Etienne NSENGIMANA (ASR), René SIBOMANA (AJE), Prosper TWIZEYIMANA C/o Oxfam Goma (COLLECTIF DES ONG),  JMV MUSABIMANA c/o CRONGD North Kivu-Zaïre (IWACU), Béatrice UMUTESI c/o CRONGD North Kivu Zaïre (Women’s Programme BYUMBA), Speciosa KAMANZI c/o CRONG South Kivu  (CSC/GITARAMA), Marie UNZANIYINKA c/o CRONGD South Kivu Bukavu (ASR), Thérèse NYIRANZABANDORA C/o CRONG South Kivu (DUTERIMBERE), Landrada MUKAYIRANGA c/o CRONG North Kivu  (CCOAIB), Ephrem MBUGULIZE (NGOsCOLLECTIVE).

Northern NGOs Leo GOOVAERTS, (NCOS), Luk BOUTERS, (NCOS/WITHUIS), Michèle LEFEVRE, (CNCD),Mutombo MULAWI (AACC), Michiel VANDEKERCKHOVE, (VREDESEILANDEN-SOS-FAIM COOPIBO), Luc BONTE, (KBA-FONCABA), Peter OOSTERVEER, (NOVIB), Caroline OWEGI see above (AACC), Josepha KANZAYIRE, (BROEDERLIJK DELEN), An MAES (UMUBANO), Esther MUJAWAYO, (OXFAM-UK), Elske VAN GORKUM, (CCO), Nelson BINDARIYE, (CIDSE), SCHLANG, c/o CRS Kigali (CIDSE), R. SALA (INTERMON), R. EHRLER, (GERMAN AGRO ACTION), A. BIZIMANA, (MISEREOR/APTE), Andreas SCHILD  (INTERCOOPERATION), André BARTHELEMY (AGIR ENSEMBLE), Marie Goretti NYIRARUKUNDO (COOPIBO-VREDESEILANDEN SOS-FAIM),Makoto KATSUMATA (RWANDA RECONCILIATION SUPPORT COMMITTEE), ANACLETI Odhiambo (OXFAM-UK), Anne Pieter VAN DIJK (NOVIB). ONG-REGIONALES Cécile MUKARUBUGA (ACORD), Celsius BARAHINDUKA (ITEKA), Mathe MUSUMBA (CRONGD), Rose OTHIENO (IFOR), Père MINANI Bihuzo Bin Kakuru (GROUPE JEREMIE),KABIRIGI Lindiro (PREFED), Léopold GARAMAWI (INADES- FORMATION).

Others: Martin SISOKA MBANDA (PNUD/RESEAU AFRIQUE 2000), Sakura HIROSHI (AMDA).

Chapter IX: Other initiatives of Rwandans living in Exile

Now that we have taken a first look at the complicity of Northern NGOs in the efforts of Rwandan NGOs to deny the Tutsi genocide, let us examine the various initiatives of the group RWANDAN CIVIL SOCIETY IN EXILE (SCRE) towards the same end. Here again, logic impels us to begin with what was happening in Europe. We will then go on to what was done in Zaïre and elsewhere in Africa.

Prior to this however, an important question must be clarified. How does the Rwandan civil society group “SCRE” introduce itself?

The SCRE signed its charter on January 14, 1995 and elected the members of its general coordination office on January 28, 1995 in Mugunga camp in Goma in North Kivu, Republic of Zaïre. The members of the bureau were: Monsignor Simon HABYARIMANA (President)[1], Immaculée NYIRABIZEYIMANA (Vice-President)[2], Anastase RWARAHOZE (Vice-President), Isaac KILIMWABO (Vice-President), Jean Baptiste HATEGEKIMANA[3] (Secretary), and Afzal Khan MOHAMED (Treasurer).

The SCRE announced its objectives as follows: to defend the interests of Rwandan refugees by making their cause heard, promoting and maintaining solidarity between Rwandan refugees, promoting the conditions of security and well-being of the refugees, acting as the link between the Rwandan refugee community and those living inside Rwanda on the one hand, and the international community on the other, examining with all concerned all the obstacles in the problem of the return of refugees to Rwanda and the building of lasting peace.

The SCRE was composed of eight subdivisions, with one coordination bureau each. Six sections were in Zaire: Mugunga, Kibumba, Katale, Kahindo, Lac-vert and Bukavu. A Kenyan section was represented by an Anglican Bishop, Augustin NSHAMIHIGO who lived in Nairobi, and Tanzanian section was represented by another Anglican Bishop Augustin MVUNABANDI, and who was in the refugee camp in Ngara, Tanzania.

While NCOS and EUROSTEP were organising their aforesaid May-June 1994 mission in the Great Lakes region, with Van Hoof and Godfroid as envoys, another meeting of Rwandan civilians was being held at Froidmont (Belgium) on May 20-21, 1994.[4] This meeting was not the first of its kind; it was a follow up of another one held on May 12, 1994 in Brussels, which had called for further meetings to be held often, to “carry out objective analyses of the problems and the “illness” of the country”.[5]

This May 21 meeting in Froidmont brought together Rwandan civilians from various political leanings and non-Rwandans working with European NGOs who had lived in Rwanda, including prominent ones like Mayer Graaf of Switzerland, Dominique Lessaffre, Bernard Taillefer of France and Hugues Dupriez of Belgium. The majority of participants, however, were from “Hutu power circles.” The purpose of this meeting was, “to identify areas of agreement capable of helping to find a solution to the tragedy the country was currently going through, point out areas of disagreement which could be discussed at a later date, strengthen ideas or positions of the Rwandan civil society, give room for voices other than those of guns in the settlement of the conflict and the search of lasting peace in Rwanda”.

Having identified the various problems of the Rwandan society which had plunged the country into the genocide and massacres, the participants aired their views and ideas about the most important points which had always characterized the history of Rwanda: ethnicity and regionalism; the regional and international geopolitical context; socio-economic problems; extreme poverty and population density; the State, dictatorship and fear; political parties, responsibilities in the genocide and the massacres, and civil society.

The participants in this meeting expressed themselves on these points, each one according to his political leanings, and their views agreed on a number of points, particularly on ethnicity and regionalism. On this point, the participants proposed “putting in place transparent rules of the game governing the access to and change of power and the mechanisms of power control, promoting the democratic culture by educating the Rwandan people who are currently under the grip of intoxication regarding the problem of ethnicity and regionalism”[6]

With regard to democracy, the meeting unanimously deplored that democracy had never been able to flourish in Rwanda and that fear stemming from dictatorship had instead been established. The participants felt that “the State has always been a dictatorship which has not worked for the public good. The International Community has never discouraged this state of affairs. Dictatorial regimes generate mechanisms which cause fear. The people of Rwanda fear that one dictatorship is replaced by another. As for a true and free civil society, it simply does not exist. The Froidmont meeting wants to revive a genuine civil society, and this revival should be translated in the establishment of a national commission of inquiry which is independent from the current political powers”[7]

Views also differed, especially with regard to the problem of genocide and massacres. Concerning responsibilities in the genocide and massacres, the Froidmont meeting “condemned the political massacres and the genocides committed in Rwanda since the beginning of the war (…), demanded the setting up of an international commission to bring to the surface all the responsibilities of the massacres and (…) that the actors of these deeds should be tried and punished.”

It is important to note that at this meeting, the minutes of the meeting condemn not the genocide, but the GENOCIDES (in plural). This was done deliberately: the meeting linked these so-called genocides to the beginning of the October 1990 war and called for the establishment of an international commission to try the actors of the conflicting parties, since the RPF, according to them, had also committed genocide and massacres. The participants of the Froidmont meeting felt that little or nothing at all was being said about the genocide and massacres allegedly committed by the RPF.

It is not surprising that the Froidmont meeting had some similarities with the NCOS mission in the Great Lakes region mentioned earlier. In fact, their aims overlapped: both appealed to the international community to intervene and put sufficient pressure to stop the war and the massacres, and to bring the parties to resume dialogue and negotiations for the formation of a transitional government which should give a say back to the ‘Rwandan people’. These were the cherished ideas of François Nzabahimana, who knew about the NCOS mission, but who also attended the Froidmont meeting and whose role in revisionism is very significant.

Nzabahimana developed these theses and disseminated them through a group called Comité Rwandais d’Action pour la Démocratie (CRAD) or Rwanda Action Committee for Democracy. In a document entitled “Propositions sur la situation au Rwanda” dated June 17, 1994, Nzabahimana analysed the Rwandan crisis in his own way and came up with his own solutions. He writes about the causes of the crisis, the behaviour of Belgium and other powers such as the United States, Great Britain and France. His thesis on the causes of the crisis is well known. It is the RPF attack of October 1, 1990: “the situation of poverty, anxiety, abandonment which the population has been experiencing since October 1, 1990, when the RPF first attacked the country, sending a million people into internal displacement, the fear of the Hutu seeing Tutsis (the RPF) take power.” These are allegedly the indirect cause of the genocide; thereafter, “the death of Habyarimana, the vacuum left by this death and the lack of a clear position and rapid response of the International Community”[8] are the immediate causes which led to the genocide, which Nzabahimana does not admit it happened.

Nzabahimana tried to justify the anti-Belgium campaign before and during the genocide, though in the past, Belgium had been “Rwanda’s first and most important partner in the economic, social and political aspects”.

According to Nzabahimana, it was from the date RPF attacked on October 1, 1990, that Belgium began misbehaving, by refusing to arm the Habyarimana Government. This refusal was seen by Nzabahimana and by the ‘Rwanda people’ as Belgium being sympathetic to the RPF.

This, also, justified the animosity of the genocide perpetrators towards Belgians, hence the killing of the Belgian peacekeepers. Nzabahimana also accused countries such as Great Britain and the United States for having done little to find a solution to the problem of Rwanda.

His views about the solution of the problem of Rwanda revolve around points to which he always makes reference in his documents, and which we have found both in the Froidmont meeting and in the general conclusions of Van Hoof and Godfroid NCOS mission. These are: the people of Rwanda were abandoned in the hands of the RPF by the international community; the perpetrators must be identified, tried and punished; there is need for a rapid, resolute and strong intervention (pressure) of the international community to bring the war to an end; and a new Constitution should be drafted, supported by a process of normalisation leading to elections.

An important document in which Nzabahimana officially addresses “the conditions for the return of the refugees” bears the title “Quelques préalables au retour des déplacés de guerre”. This is in fact a report of a meeting held in Namur (Belgium) on July 30, 1994. This meeting was attended by Rwandans living in France, Belgium and Germany and was organised by CRAD with Nzabahimana as its chairman. The theme of the meeting was “Refusal of the military solution imposed on the people of Rwanda.”[9]

In this declaration, Nzabahimana’s cherished topics emerge: the RPF took power by arms and the war it prosecuted against the people of Rwanda over the last four years was the cause of the people’s flight; the RPF is responsible for the massacres before and after April 6, 1994 and for the exodus of Hutus who were afraid of its cruel methods; the thesis of double genocide is reiterated. The declaration maintains, in fact, that “everybody killed both FAR and RPF; Hutus and Tutsis are equally bad,” and “rejects the assertion that all the Hutus are killers.”[10]

According to Emmanuel Havugimana, the author of the article “the moderate has little chance to succeed”, a Hutu CDR or a Tutsi CDR are all the same. In addition “all MNRD members are not killers”. See also Dialogue N°187, December 1995, (p.73). In the same issue, a Belgian Catholic priest and White Father, Guy Theunis advertises “Radio Agatashya”, (p.172). Again, it was in this same issue that Dialogue announced the publication of its three issues of “Revue de presse rwandaise”.

It is remarkable and shocking, to see that Dialogue continues to advertise Kangura (Revue de Presse Rwandaise n° 20), closing its eyes to the role of this newspaper in the genocide of the Tutsi. It is in this issue that we find the extract of the homily of Pope Jean Paul II delivered in Nairobi on 19 September 1995.   His message to the people of Rwanda (and Burundi) called for reconciliation and forgiveness, urged particularly the refugees of these two countries to persevere, and pledged his help in order to lighten their cross.  The Pope did not utter a word on the genocide, be it on the survivors of this cataclysm or on those who planned and committed it. (p.126)

The Namur document, started by identifying the reasons which made the refugees flee from their country—the fear of RPF and the war it launched. It emphasises that ‘the people’ ran away from the RPF because they knew its atrocities and did not want to relive the experiences of October 1990, February 1993 and of course, April 1994. The document claims that, barbaric actions, by the RPF, against the civilian population and the massive displacement of the people, were part of its strategy.  The International Community, it says, was made hostage by RPF propaganda and did not listen to some Rwandans because they were against RPF and were considered as extremists; it should accept the restoration of the truth. (p. 1)

The document accuses the Government of Kigali, described as “the RPF government”, of not complying with the Arusha Agreements and of using then instead as “a stepping stone and a smokescreen for international opinion”.(p. 3) It accuses the RPF of modifying these Agreements to its whims and of holding several offices concurrently. It urges the international community to not recognize the “RPF Government”, and claims that “the people” do not identify themselves with this new government. (Ibid p. 4)

The July 30, 1994 Namur document sets out the following conditions for the return of refugees. The RPF must stop making lists of genocide perpetrators. It must release the illegally occupied properties of the refugees. It must reassure the population by appointing Hutus in the Ministry of Rehabilitation. It must remove “foreign mercenaries” from the army before forming a truly national unity army. The RPF must stop acting as a judge, because it is also a defendant; the right of trying the perpetrators of the massacres should be left to the international community. Those responsible for the attack against the plane of President Habyarimana (read, RPF members) should be identified, for they are the real cause of the massacres. In short, “there is need for political action leading to the establishment of a government of genuine National Unity which must be negotiated and be representative of the population.”(p. 5) Note that at no single time does Nzabahimana speak of “the genocide against the Tutsi.” He prefers to refer to “the massacres of Tutsis and Hutus.”

 

DIALOGUE and International pressure

One cannot speak of the actions of the Rwandan Civil Society in Europe without mentioning the role of the non-profit making association DIALOGUE [11], and the journal bearing the same name. The themes of genocide denial by Nzabahimana and his colleagues are echoed by the journal, DIALOGUE. For a long time, Nzabahimana was a member of its editorial committee. During the genocide, he was made the chairman of the Executive Committee of ASBL DIALOGUE.

DIALOGUE journal began publishing in Belgium after July 1994. The issues of this journal were on sale at the head office of NCOS. Since then, DIALOGUE published in Belgium has become a systematic critic of the RPF and the Kigali government, as well as the mouthpiece of the genocide perpetrators and revisionists, initially NZABAHIMANA being their team leader.

Nzabahimana devoted all his energies to the defence of the rights of the of the genocide perpetrators who lived in refugee camps in Zaire. Determined to deny the genocide against the Tutsi, Nzabahimana ignores what happened in Rwanda from April 6, 1994 which was rightly qualified by the United Nations as “Genocide”, and prefers to systematically remain evasive, and talk instead of “the events which shook the country.”

There are other people who have coined inappropriate terms and expressions to refer to the Rwandan genocide. For instance, Robert Kajuga, the President of Interahamwe, says in, speaking to Le Monde newspaper: “Everything was spontaneous. The population defended itself when the rebels from the Rwandese Patriotic Front attacked. It was not savagery, it was war[12]

For the Editors of DIALOGUE No. 175, there is no question of genocide but rather of “the greatest massacres in the history of Rwanda”. This issue was due to come out in April 1994, but came out only in November 1994 “for well known reasons”, as the editor puts it. Why not simply say, “because of the genocide against the Tutsi which started on 6 April 1994?” But we know the answer: the journal could not address this issue honestly, even though it liked to call for “objectivity and honesty in political information.” Quite strange!

In the DIALOGUE No 177, in an editorial by Nzabahimana focused on humanitarian aid and the return of the refugees, the genocide is systematically elided, with references to “the massacres of April” or “tragedy” or “war”, and “collective hatred”.[13] And there is total confusion when he even adds cholera!! (DIALOGUE No. 179 November-December, Editorial).

DIALOGUE No. 179 devoted to “Issues of concern in Rwanda,”[14] was full of confusion deliberately sowed by the editorial staff, of which Nzabahimana was well aware since he was a member of the editorial committee. The editorial knowingly avoided talking of “Tutsis” killed in the genocide and used the terms just mentioned above. Very subtly, the word “survivors” was applied not to the very few Tutsis who survived the genocide, but to “those who today are victims of unspeakable vengeance and reprisals”!! Given the context of the defeat of the genocidaires, and his own sympathies, Nzabahimana was clearly reserving the term “survivors” for—Hutus.

The editorial of DIALOGUE issue No. 179 set out to prove that there had been two genocides in Rwanda, and that the real culprit in these two genocides was the RPF. In this connection, it stated on […] “One cannot understand the present without knowing the past, without recognizing that the genocide has a history behind it and that RPF is part of this history.” (p. 2)

The editorial’s author (i.e. the Editorial Committee) strove to argue that it was wrong “to classify all the Hutus as the killers and the Tutsi as the victims of the genocide; the former government as embodying the genocide and dictatorship and RPF as the saviour of the country and democracy”. In the opinion of DIALOGUE[15], both are killers and both are victims.

The other cherished theme of the Editorial of DIALOGUE was “dialogue”, a precondition for avoiding a new war. This dialogue was to be between the RPF and “the representatives of the majority of the population”. In his article “Sujets d’inquiétude au Rwanda” of October 1994, a Belgian Filip REYNTJENS also raised the issue of dialogue. He expressed his pessimism with regard to the stability of the country in which “can be seen as the outlines of some worrying and potentially destabilising trends”.

Reyntjens mentioned the insecurity created mainly by the RPA, injustice, the return of old refugees and the unlawful occupation of the properties of the new refugees, disappearances, massacres and assassinations by the RPA, detentions which he compared to those meted out to Ibyitso (accomplices of RPF) in 1990.

According to REYNTJENS, the current government, identified as “the RPF” should hold a dialogue with the moderates among the politicians in exile; otherwise there was the danger that Rwanda would be involved in another war. This prediction of a new war was put forward as a way of putting pressure on the Kigali Government of National Unity, so that it would negotiate with those who planned and executed the genocide in Rwanda and then fled to Zaire and to other countries supporting them.

In the same issue of DIALOGUE, a man called Charles BAKUNDAKWITA reiterates the responsibility of RPF in the genocide against the Tutsi. He writes on page 16: “When it started the war, RPF knew quite well that it was making the Tutsi living inside the country hostages who, wrongly or rightly, were considered as its accomplices”.

Bakundakwita continues by accusing RPF of having knowingly “infiltrated Interahamwe militia in order to incite them to commit much more atrocities and make particularly their hideous crimes more visible”.

With regard to international pressure, Jean Pierre Godding, a Caritas (Goma) volunteer, also wrote an article in Issue No 179 of DIALOGUE in the same vein. This Belgian had only one concern: the insecurity prevailing in the refugee camps in Goma. But quite astonishingly, he did not want to recognize the cause of this insecurity, namely the will of the militia and the soldiers to hold the population hostage. Godding instead blamed UNHCR for having failed to organise the camps and the NGOs for having failed to do their work, resulting in the refugees dying of hunger and scorning the refugee agency. In his report, Godding proposed voluntary return of the refugees, and for this to happen, he called for NGOs to put pressure on both parties “so that meetings are made possible, negotiations are launched and a way to return is finally found.” (p. 24)

The same concerns are found in another document by the same Godding, dated January 14, 1995, but with only one new element: the possibility of a new war if there were no dialogue. “[…] if both parties continue to refuse to meet, if the refugees continue to feel abandoned, if the new authorities talk of “winners” and “losers”, there is the risk of new militias being formed, hatred and vengeance will prevail in a group which will feel desperate and war will resume.”[16]

In the Editorial of DIALOGUE Issue No183 of May-June 1995, François Nzabahimana finally gets around to recalling the memory of certain members of DIALOGUE and of the Editorial Committee of DIALOGUE who were no longer alive: François Funga, Director of the Journal, Emmanual Bahigiki, Treasurer of the Executive Committee, Jean-Baptiste Ngirabacu, member of the Editorial Committee, André Kameya and others. However, Nzabahimana does not say how they died, but simply that they were killed during the “events which happened in Rwanda”. Shouldn’t the readers of DIALOGUE be told, straightforwardly, that these were killed during the 1994 genocide? One would think that they died of a natural catastrophe like earthquake, floods, etc!

In addition to glossing over the genocide, DIALOGUE tries to find a way of establishing a moral and strategic equivalence between the perpetrators and those who combated and ended the genocide. For example, former Prime Minister Dr. Dismas Nsengiyaremye, in an article entitled “What is to be done to get Rwanda out of impasse” does not see any difference between the actions of the MRND-CDR and those of the RPF. Both were killers and both trampled human rights in the same way: “the MRND-CDR duo is not the only one to trample on human rights. The other political military bloc, the RPF, is striving to equal it in massacres and other crimes”. […][17]

Quoting “Le Nouveau Quotidien” of Lausane-Switzerland, in its issue of July 25, 1994, he writes: “while the refugees are dying in Goma, RPF is clearing the capital Kigali. Disappearances, summary executions, night infiltrations in hospitals (…) contrary to what it pledges, RPF is carrying out acts of vengeance with the greatest discretion and sorts out systematically suspects.”

He concludes: “RPF’s behaviour is curiously reminiscent of that of MRND in the past: both of them act under the logic of absolute and sole power which is acquired and kept by force and terror even if it means driving the whole population out of the country as a result of continuous killings and forced exile.”

Laurien Ntezimana from “Service d’Animation Théologique de Butare” shared the same view in the same issue of DIALOGUE. He calls this “falling from Scylla into Charybdis”, i.e. “avoiding one danger and falling in a similar one” (p. 61) He found similarities between the systems of the Interahamwe and the Inkotanyi. According to him, they resemble each other and apply “the same forces of depravity of humankind of fear, greed and conceit” (p.62). Neither of the two can bring any positive change to Rwanda and to Rwandans. It is replacing one dictator by another dictator.

As far as Ntezimana is concerned, the Interahamwe killed the Tutsi (he does not mention the word genocide) and looted the country, and the RPF-Inkotanyi did the same, if not worse. In fact, he wrote: “massacres mainly during the lightning advance, serial killings after the victory, “mysterious” disappearances today, this is what made the majority of the population tremble. Without mentioning that all soldiers from both sides and both periods are alike—behind these crimes, there is a whole climate of terror which continues.”

In Ntezimana’s view, “Those who were not supposed to die” (Hutu) are in fact at the mercy of “those who were supposed to die” (Tutsi) and who escaped miraculously. It is enough that “somebody who was supposed to die ” points a  finger (gutunga agatoki) at “somebody who was not supposed to die alleging that he has participated in the massacres or looting for the latter to be automatically arrested and killed (formerly) or imprisoned (currently) without any trial. One wonders how those who fled will come back if anyone who shows up is punished before he is tried” (Ibid p.63). There is not only a double genocide but also a double looting of the country. Interahamwe and Inkotanyi “are all the same.”

Ntezimana even calls the latter “vultures”, who not only loot but also kill to take the properties of the Hutu: “Add to these those who disappear because of claiming back their properties –some are killed or ordered to be killed in order to take their vehicles or their houses for good – if then these are added to those, without forgetting the numerous scores being settled for other reasons (old quarrels, old hatreds which finally find an appropriate context to vent out or get satisfied) then one gets more or less a correct idea of the climate of fear which prevails currently in the country of a thousand horrors and a thousand mercies.” (Ibid p. 63)

DIALOGUE also featured preaching on the theme of double genocide on the part of the church leaders, including Father Michel Donnet, a “Fidei Donum” priest of the Diocese of Tournoi.[18] The main concern for him is not the genocide against the Tutsi, but rather the “demonization” of the Hutu as genocide perpetrators and the silence about the massacres organised by the RPF, which too often are presented as “blunders” or “loss of control.”

The Rwandan priest Venuste Linguyeneza who lives in Belgium is another revisionist who writes often in the DIALOGUE journal. In his numerous articles, Linguyeneza also asserts that: a “single genocide, hides another, because the wrath behind the genocide against the Tutsi gave rise to the wrath which caused the acts of genocide against the Hutu”.[19] Linguyeneza continues further on: “Rwandans were killed, the Tutsi Bagogwe, the Tutsi from Bugesera and elsewhere, and the Hutu of Byumba, Ruhengeri and everywhere else where passed the RPF and this continues. On one side, people agree to talk of genocide, but what about the other side. Was it simply a news item?”[20]

Linguyeneza is only one of several Hutu priests who used the DIALOGUE journal to defend and disseminate revisionist ideas.  Mention can also be made of Father Juvenal Rutumbu of Ruhengeri diocese, a refugee in France, who wrote extensively in various issues of DIALOGUE, attacking virulently the Tutsi and the RPF on whom he heaps the responsibility of all the ills of Rwanda, including genocide.

Reacting to the “Confession of Detmold” (Germany) from 7 to 12 December 1996, Nkiko Nsengimana felt that “As analysed in its logic, the confession seems imbalanced. The death of very many Hutu exceeds by far the context of vengeance and blind suppression in which you are placing it. These are crimes against humanity which have been carefully ordered by some army commanders of RPF. Don’t forget the people of Byumba who suffered a heavy toll in the war since October 1990 and from 7 April 1994. While no Tutsis had been killed in their area, with the exception of the commune of Murambi, they died by tens of thousands of gunshots and grenades in schools, in places of worship or in any other places where they were gathered […]. For the people of Byumba, when we talk of and condemn the genocide, they genuinely think that it is the genocide against the Hutu committed by the soldiers of the RPF army. In fact, these are the only massacres which they experienced. Talking of isolated acts of vengeance when people have disappeared in such big numbers could be construed as being also criminal.”[21]

In short, every editorial of DIALOGUE written in Brussels was deeply revisionist. The examples cited above are not exhaustive; they were selected from many others, with priority going to those which appeared in the first few months after the genocide against the Tutsi. They demonstrate the extent to which the DIALOGUE journal in Brussels was and continues to be attached to the Hutu genocide ideology, with an incredible loyalty to the government which committed the genocide.

The journal claims a deep commitment to human rights, but displays remarkably little concern for the rights of the victims, survivors and opponents of the genocide against the Tutsi.

2. In the KIVUs and elsewhere in Africa

Let us now return to François Nzabahimana and his report on his mission to Goma and Bukavu on August 29, 1994, on behalf of the Rwandan Committee of Action for Democracy (CRAD), entitled “Rwanda or Political urgency.” Here too, Nzabahimana talks of “genocides” in the plural, but this time, he adds an alleged genocide against the Batwa!! “GENOCIDES were committed, the country was destroyed. There was the degeneration of a people”. [22]

On this basis Nzabahimana urges that it is first necessary to establish who is responsible for the Rwandan conflict: “The search for the truth is the only thing that can bring about some compensation. No politician, no political party, no country, no matter how strong should be spared. Only the truth will bring back the political, economic, social and religious life.”[23]

Nzabahimana demands first and foremost, that the RPF be held accountable, then the United Nations, Belgium and finally the United States. He finds the responsibility of these actors to be clear, but that of the Government which prepared the genocide of the Tutsi is yet to be proved. Nonetheless, Nzabahimana is convinced that “everybody killed: members of FAR, RPF, political parties’ militia, RPF squads and Hutu and Tutsi.”[24]

It is difficult to imagine that a person like Nzabahimana does not know the definition of the word “genocide”; according to him, everybody planned the extermination of everybody else. Here we have a champion of revisionism, indeed.

Having denied the genocide, Nzabahimana focuses again on the issue closer to his heart: the situation of the refugees in the camps. He accuses the international community of having abandoned a people who are the victims of RPF and who are branded by RPF as “killers when the accountability in fact lies elsewhere.”[25] Where? Again with the RPF, and the international community: “Every day, thousands of people die in the camps, there is total human degeneration—the relations with humanitarian aid bodies are tense, often full of hatred and dangerous, there is the impression that these institutions are biased in favour of RPF, the people have the impression that the international community has taken them hostage.”[26]

The message sent by Nzabahimana is easy to understand and without ambiguity: “The refugees cannot return to Rwanda because of fear of the RPF; they fear also that accountability may not be correctly established, that those who are the true culprits may go unpunished and that, as a result, the war may start all over again.”[27] Here, Nzabahimana implies that the refugees will not go back as long as the RPF is ruling alone. In any case, the people are not in a hurry to go back in these conditions: “the RPF will have to wait for 5 years.”[28] In his view, it is therefore necessary that accountability be established, particularly that of the RPF for starting a war in October, 1990: “for many people in Bukavu and Goma, that is when their misery started and the RPF will always be held responsible.”[29]

Nzabahimana accuses the RPF of murders and massacres before 6 April 1994, and of the massacres of Hutu intellectuals and politicians between April 6 and April 9, 1994. He even accuses the RPF of being responsible for the death of some Tutsi. What cynicism! He then accuses the UN which, according to him, was an accomplice of the RPF for not having condemned its acts and murders. He accuses Uganda and Burundi; he accuses Agathe Uwilingiyimana.

According to him, it is as if Agathe Uwilingiyimana deserved to be killed, and the Belgian peacekeepers died very stupidly. He accuses virtually everybody—except for those who were responsible for the genocide!

Nzabahimana concludes by saying that all these accusations were the facts gathered from “reliable people in Bukavu and Goma,” including employees and leaders of NGOs, members of cooperatives, religious people, peasants, etc… In reply to the question: “what should be done for the refugees to return?”

He claims they unanimously replied that it was necessary “to quickly bring out the truth and the responsibilities, put in place a government recognized by the population which excludes those who were responsible for the massacres from both sides, the people choosing their leaders, trying those guilty of the massacres by an international tribunal, countries which have the trust of the population to be entrusted with military security.”[30]

Annexed to Nzabahimana’s report was a Goma declaration August 24, 1994 of a “Commission de la Société Civile Rwandaise Exilée au Nord-Kivu pour un retour rapide, collectif et organisé au pays.” (Commission of Rwandan Civil Society exiled in North Kivu for a quick, Collective and organised return home)

According to this Commission, the Hutu chose to run away from the RPF because they had experienced massacres by the RPF since 1990. They feared the tyrannical rule and the revenge of the RPF, as well as the reprisals of soldiers whose kin were killed; they feared the insecurity inside the country and human rights violations; they feared a self-imposed government from outside, an ideological inquisition, etc.[31]

The Commission spelled out the conditions for the return of the refugees: an equitable sharing of power between Hutu and Tutsi, security (total demilitarization of the country, recovery of properties, putting a stop to statements which sow fear and vengeance, abolishing lists of alleged genocide perpetrators and ceasing to make new lists, and giving dignified and official burials to the people who died since October 1, 1994, including President Habyarimana.[32]

As stated earlier, the leitmotiv of NGOs from the North and those based in Zaire was the need for a negotiated return of the refugees. To pursue this objective, a meeting was organized in Bukavu with the head of ACT, a Flemish Democrat Christian NGO, and the PPE Group Foundation. The meeting was attended by, of course, François Nzabahimana, as chairman of the Rwanda Action Committee for Democracy (CRAD), Paul Mbaraga (then a journalist with Deutsche Welle) and Samuel Hitimana (delegate from MDR, Belgium section). There were also Europeans such as Bernard STASI, vice- president of the Development and Cooperation Commission of the  European Parliament, Rika DE BACKER, former CVP Minister and ACT Chairman, and Alain DE BROUWER, Advisor in charge of Africa at the l’Internationale Démocrate Chrétienne (IDC). The objective of the meeting was to “listen to the voice of Rwandan refugees, the bulk of the population, and support any initiative meant for the peaceful and safe return of the refugees.” [33]

According to accounts, allegedly collected by this delegation, the refugees unanimously maintained that they wanted to return, but return together, freely and in security, without any processing by the RPF.  In the delegation’s view, the prevailing fear of insecurity in Rwanda was the result of accounts told by those who attempted to return individually; the refugees do not recognize the genocide of Tutsi alone, but genocides.

They noted that Associations and NGOs were very active in Bukavu. They discussed the causes of and the solution of the Rwandan crisis. They felt that the solution lies in negotiations with the RPF. They expect much from partnership with European NGOs. The European members supported the decisions of the meeting, namely the Bukavu Charter (a series of ten conditions) for a quick and peaceful return of the refugees detailed below.

In addition, this Charter demanded the support of the International Community for the future organ representing refugees. This representation was no other than RDR (Rally for the Return and Democracy in Rwanda) and whose first president was François Nzabahimana himself. The ten (10) conditions were as follows:

  • Establishment of a legitimate government of national unity, a National Assembly and one territorial administration which is representative of the people, in a Collective institutional framework between the RPFand the Rwandan community in exile, based on the Arusha Peace Accords;
  • Formation of a national army based on the Arusha Accords (4th Protocol) ;
  • Expanding the mandate of MINUAR II so that it may ensure internal security and oversee the formation of this national army and the establishment of a new law and order force nationally and locally (communal police) ;
  • Establishment of an international tribunal outside the country for trying all war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the war from October 1, 1990;[34]
  • Creation of a permanent body for the enforcement of the respect of human rights whose mandate and compositions should be accepted by both the RPF and the Rwandan community in exile;
  • Establishment of an independent judicial system for identifying and trying offences outside the jurisdiction of the international tribunal. This can only be done after the formation of a legitimate government of national unity;
  • Reactivating a genuine process of plural democracy in the spirit of the Arusha Accords ;
  • Prompt return of occupied land and properties ;
  • Stop to summary executions and to the institutionalisation of the spirit of vengeance inside the country and release of all political prisoners ;
  • Rejection of the illegal lists of killers published by the combatants because they expose individuals to arbitrary judgements and even to summary executions locally or to the refusal of visas to travel abroad, and a stop to all publications and writings in the media which can be provocative”.

Finally, the Bukavu Charter made an urgent appeal to the international community to facilitate a quick dialogue:

  • It asks the international Community to become involved for the fulfilment of the above mentioned conditions;
  • It calls for the review of some of the negative attitudes towards the refugees based on the unilateral statements of RPF which lead to the embargos being imposed on the granting of visas, the restrictions of free movement of the refugees and the refusal to recognize their basic rights;
  • It calls for the international community’s assistance in carrying out a census of the refugees in order to project the real size of the population in exile and improve the services they receive;
  • It advocates for an immediate organisation of an international conference on the Rwandan refugees to which their representatives would be invited; and
  • It requests its support for the future structure representing refugees.

It should be noted at this juncture that the Bukavu meeting left open this urgent practical question because it wanted to recognize the on-going structuring exercise of the refugees’ communities and the “government in exile”. We should note also the still missing balance between the various partners, including the armed forces. Point 5 above is important: the needs of the refugees’ communities in terms of external communication are crucial: any follow up of the Bukavu agenda will have to bear on this point.[35]

Nzabahimana himself announced the results of this Bukavu meeting in the journal DIALOGUE, at the same time as he announced his resignation from the Editorial Committee of the journal:

“[…] I was also involved in other activities aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Rwanda conflict. At the end of a meeting held in Zaire, the Rwandan community in exile established the Rally for the Return and Democracy in Rwanda (RDR). This organisation aims at ‘mobilizing all the Rwandans for the return of the refugees in dignity and to work towards the establishment of institutions which are representative of all the components of the population and guarantors of security and individual freedoms of every citizen”.[36]

Nzabahimana concludes his editorial and announcement of resignation by saying: “Having been elected President of this clearly political organisation, I have decided to resign from the Editorial Committee of DIALOGUE magazine”.

Nzabahimana was relying on the support of Alain De BROUWER; advisor in-charge of Africa at the IDC, for whom: “the Bukavu meeting has proved that in the camps, there were reasonable groups which were ready for a dialogue and that even the former interim government had carried out self-criticism and was able to restructure on new foundations […]. For the time being, there should be strengthening of links between European and Rwandan NGOs operating in the refugees’ camps: this is an essential factor for peace and the reconstruction of the social fabric.”[37]

In providing this support, De BROUWER was either being ignorant, naive, disingenuous or iniquitous. For him to say that he found in the camps reasonable people ready for dialogue, including Jean Kambanda, means that he did not know Kambanda was the prime minister of the “interim government” which had committed genocide against the Tutsi just a few months before. Or that he knew it, and was trying to free this government of guilt and present it as “converted”. When and how could they be converted while they never admitted the crimes they had committed by exterminating the Tutsi?

The Rwandan Civil Society in Exile in Kivu (Rwandan NGOs and Human Rights Associations) made several declarations in support of RDR agenda. The SCRE in South Kivu appealed for massive, voluntary and organised return of refugees. In its report dated September 5, 1995,[38] they described the exile “of more than half the population” as something caused by the October 1990 war. It maintained that the refugees wanted to return home but that the conditions were not favourable because of insecurity, injustice against the Hutu, occupation of properties, etc.

This report insists that the obstacles preventing the return of the refugees must be removed by the international community and the government in Kigali: before going back home, refugees were waiting for individual and collective security to be secured, that sound and equitable justice to be restored, that soldiers (the RPA) return to barracks, for a law and order force “in which everybody recognised himself” to be restored, and for the re-establishment of trust between Rwandans inside the country and  those in exile. The report also insists that all this was only possible if the international community facilitated dialogue between the Rwandan community in exile and the authorities in Kigali.

Another appeal to the international community was made in another report of the Civil Society in Exile through its President, Monsignor Habyarimana. During their meeting on December 11-14, 1995, they asked the international community to convince the authorities in Kigali to accept the return of the refugees, or else impose sanctions: an economic, diplomatic and military embargo. From the government in Kigali, they demanded security, respect for human rights and returning refugees’ properties.

Meanwhile, in its continued efforts to deny the genocide, the RDR was continuing to try to explain what it considered to be the cause of the Rwandan conflict.

On August 31, 1995, the RDR reaffirmed that the origin of the Rwandan conflict was of a political and ethnic nature, i.e. the struggle for power between the Hutu and the Tutsi. It blamed the RPF for having attacked Rwanda in October 1990 and of being responsible for “the deadly interethnic clashes and massacres of people in the two enemy camps”. We note here that the RDR is continuing in August 1995, to avoid use of the word “genocide”

The RDR accused the RPF of creating unrest in a peaceful and economically sound country in Africa: by attacking Rwanda, the RPF seized power forcefully and as a result, sent in exile millions of people who were now living in a precarious situation. The RDR insists that prior conditions must be met for the return of the refugees: security, stopping accusations against refugees as genocide perpetrators, disarming the RPA and FAR, negotiating with the refugees, a neutral international force, a commission of inquiry on the death of Habyarimana and Ntaryamira, a national army (composed of APR and FAR), power sharing, preparation of elections, etc.

This report was signed by Aloys Ngendahimana, who was the RDR’s Vice-President for Social Affairs. Ngendahimana was the Director General in the Ministry of Interior in the Habyarimana government that planned the genocide, and the secretary general in the “interim government” of Rwanda which supervised the genocide.

The following anecdote is indicative of the sympathy and moral support the RDR could hope for among European NGOs. On April 24, 1996, Sylvie SERVAES, a consultant with MISEREOR[39], visited the refugees at Mugunga. She is said to have told one military captain, Anastase Bizumuremyi of the FAR in Goma that she found the refugees in the camps happier that the people living in Rwanda whose faces looked gloomy.[40]

According to the report of their conversations, the refugees told Servaes that they had done no wrong to the Tutsi, but that it was rather the RPF that was the source of all the ills for the Hutu since its attack of Rwanda in 1990, killing about three million people.

She recognized that it was difficult for the West to know the real culprits, and noted that her mission was to help both communities to reconcile. But she confirmed that the concept of genocide was really a political tool, and that Europe wanted to help the Hutu but that it was waiting for them to do something. She hinted that Europe would like to help the leaders of the refugees, since the United States of America were on the side of RPF.

One has to wonder whether Sylvie Servaes was aware that the “leaders of the refugees” were genocide perpetrators!

A similar note was sounded a few months later when the Brussels journal, DIALOGUE published a July 3, 1996, open letter from Bishop MUNZIHIRWA, clearly a spokesperson of the Hutu, to the US Ambassador. The letter accused the big powers of supporting the minority (Tutsi), and warned that if nothing were done by these powers to resolve the question of refugees, neither Rwanda nor the Great Lakes region would see peace.

Also, in its journal, REVEIL, belonging to a refugee organisation called the League of Rwandan Women for the Defence of the Right to Life[41] accuses the RPF of not restoring justice. The league recognizes that justice had been paralysed by the war and the massacres, but still avoids the word genocide. The women’s league dwells on the issues of insecurity prevailing inside Rwanda, and alleging illegal arrests and detentions.

The League maintains that only a few women took part in the “massacres”, again avoiding the word genocide. (It either did not know what women did during the genocide, or, else it was ashamed of recognizing it. In reality women did a lot of harm, particularly to other women and children.) The League points the finger at the RPF of deliberately preventing the justice system from functioning and of rejecting foreign lawyers in order to delay trials.

It defends the imprisoned nuns whom they consider innocent and claims in general terms that “priests and nuns are detained without evidence.” In fact, among the first people to be convicted of genocide by Belgian courts, were two Benedictine Nuns, Kizito and Mukangango. A catholic priest Anastase Seromba was convicted and got a life sentence from the ICTR.

Once established, the RDR acted as if it were part of the SCRE. Among its numerous statements, special mention should be made of its letter to the Secretary General of Amnesty International written from Nairobi on August 28, 1995, and signed by Chris Nzabandora, entitled “Call for vigilance in favour of the Rwandan refugees expelled from Zaire”. Here the RDR claimed, that the 15,000 refugees ‘expelled’ from Zaire August 19-24, 1995, were threatened by the RPA, and need the protection of Amnesty International to escape the fate of those who had taken refuge at Kibeho and whose camps were demolished. In this letter the RDR accused the UN of being responsible for this because it had lifted the arms embargo imposed on Rwanda.

In the same letter, the RDR also claimed that, the refugees, traumatized by the war, did not want to return to their country. It was useless to force them to go back since it would be “to throw them in the hands of RPF from whom they had run away”. A few lines further, the RDR contradicts itself by saying that “many refugees continue to return”! It then reverts to the reasons which prevent the refugees from returning home: ill-treatment in the prisons in Rwanda; lack of judicial institutions even though money is spent on weapons; and that the RPF cannot deliver justice since it also had blood on its hands.[42]

On the same date, August 28, 1995, the office of the powerless Prime Minister Kambanda of the genocidal interim government in Bukavu issued a press release in which it vigorously condemned “the atrocities meted out on the refugees expelled from the camps in Zaire”. It blamed these atrocities on the UN Security Council and the international community for having done nothing to facilitate the voluntary return of the refugees.

On September 2, 1995, in Bukavu, Kambanda’s  office also issued a “Memorandum on the conditions for the return of Rwandan refugees to their country,” signed by Kambanda and addressed to Mrs SADAKO OGATA, High Commissioner of UNHCR who was visiting the region. Kambanda called upon the High Commissioner for a quick and fair settlement of the Rwandan problem.

He explained the major problems faced by Rwandan refugees in the camps and the conditions for a final solution to the Rwandan conflict or at least, alternative solutions to the forced repatriation carried out earlier by the Zairian government. Kambanda defined the causes of the refugee crisis as: the death of Habyarimana on April 6, 1994, and the immediate resumption of hostilities by the RPF, the result of which was the exodus of “more than half the population” of Rwanda. And this was the cause of food shortages and the inertia of agriculture in Rwanda.

Kambanda denounced some States for ignoring the principle of the presumption of innocence of detained people denounced by the RPF, which itself stood accused and could not be judge and jury at the same time. His conditions for a final solution of the Rwandan conflict were the same as those set by the RDR.

Regarding alternative solutions to forced repatriation, Kambanda asked that the UNHCR find other countries of asylum, or create protected humanitarian zones in Rwanda itself: he proposed the prefectures of Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gisenyi for the refugees in Zaire, and Kibungo for those in Tanzania, Butare, Gikongoro, South Gitarama and Kigali rural for those in Burundi.

From these zones, Kambanda said, the refugees would go back to their properties under the watchful supervision of the international community, and await the organisation of an International Conference on Rwanda with a view to a lasting settlement of the conflict.

Could it be that Kambanda hoped the UNHCR would recreate something similar to the French-controlled “Zone Turquoise” i.e. a safe area for genocide perpetrators? Kambanda of course, said not a word to Ogata on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and his own role in it—the realities which would see him convicted in 1998 to life in prison for genocide by the UN-ICTR.

In general, the above mentioned memoranda, namely those of  the Rwandan civil society in exile; the RDR, the Rwanda Protestant Churches settled in South Kivu, the Rwandan Catholic Community working for the refugees in the Archdiocese of Bukavu (which were for the most part the same presentations made during the visit of Mrs SADAKO OGATA, all had one point in common: they pretended to be working hand in hand to find a solution to the Rwandan problem, “based on the truth, honesty, justice and reconciliation.”

It is regrettable that in their explanations, all of these memoranda without exception, denounced only the RPF and the Government in Kigali, and failed completely to recognize the crimes committed by the genocide perpetrators. The basis of their message, therefore, is other than the honest truth, which makes it hard to believe that their interest in justice and reconciliation was genuine.

In  Goma, on August 4 – 9, 1995, there was  a meeting of FAR’s high command to assess the progress of the RDR, worldwide and their activities report had among other things publications, including the one in Cameroon. It was well received by the FAR in Zaire.[43]

This “inventiveness” of the RDR, from its section in Cameroon, was the publication in May 1995 of a document entitled “La Verite sur le Drame Rwandais” (The Truth about the Rwandan Tragedy).[44] The Cameroon section of RDR made its own analysis of the situation. Naturally, it avoided the use of the word genocide, preferring to refer to the “Rwandan tragedy” whose victims were primarily the Hutu. As far as this section of RDR was concerned, there was no genocide committed against the Tutsi, but a “civil war of ethnic nature which led to interethnic massacres”. These massacres, as the document say, resulted in 200,000-500,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu “killed” against 1,500,000 Hutu “exterminated.”[45]

It was not by accident that these words were used here. It was in fact the position of the RDR since its birth: no mention should be made of the genocide against the Tutsi by the Hutu, but only of one against the Hutu by the RPF. That is why the word “exterminated” was used when talking of the Hutu and the word “killings” when talking of the Tutsi, thus deliberately reversing the facts.

But as it is always difficult to defend the “indefensible”, the RDR section in Cameroon found itself entangled in contradictions while trying to explain the causes of the “tragedy”. At a certain point, the authors of the document had to recognize that Hutus killed Tutsi simply because they were Tutsi. So they justify these killings by arguing that, the Tutsi showed sympathy towards RPF INKOTANYI: “The demons of hatred between the Tutsi and the Hutu became active as the Tutsi continued to manifest sympathy and complicity with the RPF, who were carrying out selective massacres during their attacks.”[46]

The Tutsi were killed, they insist, because the Tutsi seemed proud of having their children in the army of RPF rebels and did not hesitate to justify the war which, according to them, was to enable them to get rid of the hegemony of the Hutu majority. For their part, young Hutus were enthusiastic to join the ranks of the Rwandan Armed Forces in order to fight the INKOTANYI.

On the other hand, the RDR says the Hutu population was astounded as they observed, dumbfounded, the unity of action and thought between the Tutsi inside the country and the RPF when the RPF battalion, which was to be stationed in Kigali, was received triumphantly by Tutsi who had come from all the corners of the country.

This welcome, so the RDR Cameroon branch says, also turned into a kind of pilgrimage to the Parliamentary hill where the battalion was accommodated. “All the Tutsi inside the country came in succession to this hill to greet their “heroes” and their “liberators.”[47]

For the RDR Cameroon branch, “the arrogance and triumphalism of the Tutsi” justified that they be exterminated.

According to the RDR Cameroon branch, the causes of any evil that occurred in Rwanda are therefore the October 1990 war, the selective massacres of the Hutu by RPF, the support of the Tutsi to RPF, the arrogance and triumphalism of the Tutsi, the assassination of Hutu leaders by RPF, particularly Gapyisi of MDR, Gatabazi of PSD, Bucyana of CDR and Rwambuka Fidèle of MRND and many others, and finally, the killing of President Habyarimana, also by RPF.[48]

These false accusations, by genocidaires against the RPF for massacres and assassinations have now had a long life, showing up in works of many Rwandan writers like Marie- Beatrice Umutesi and others, and of various European academics, lawyers and writers. These falsehoods, have also found their way into the indictments of Judges Bruguiere of France and Merelles of Spain.

Concerning the causes of the exodus of the Hutu from Rwanda, the explanation from the RDR Cameroon branch, is similar to that of given by Rwandan NGOs and the Civil Society in exile: the “RPF military victory and its coming to power in Kigali seem therefore to be in line with the Collective and premeditated logic of the western powers in collusion with President Yoweri Museveni. What was nonetheless not taken into account by this logic was the choice imposed on the Rwandan civilian population by the deadly war of RPF which forced them to become displaced inside their own country first, and then forced into exile. This was one of the bitterest choices which could only be justified by the survival instinct of a people who for four years had experienced war, torture, massacres and extermination at the hands of RPF who were presented or considered as liberators by some uninformed quarters in the West or in Africa. Today, facts are there to be seen: more than 80% of the people of Rwanda have voted against the RPF by choosing, against their wish, to go into exile and the resultant misfortunes: they have said no to dictatorship, to torture and to various atrocities by RPF. Today, life is a nightmare and misery in the refugees’ camps where there is destitution, hunger, thirst, death, horror, for more than four million persons uprooted from their land and properties. Contrary to the declarations by some western quarters sympathetic to the propaganda of RPF, it is not Hutu leaders who called on the people of Rwanda to flee their country; it is rather this same RPF who forced them into it and who still keep them in exile deliberately.”[49]

The RDR Cameroon branch buttressed its arguments with documents published by other revisionists of the genocide, both Rwandan (François Nzabahimana, SOLIDAIRE-Rwanda, Dr. Nsengiyaremye Dismas, etc) and foreign (Bishop Christophe Munzihirwa of Bukavu in Zaire, Filip Reyntjens and others), to assert that the main cause for the refugees not to return home was once again the RPF: “continued large scale massacres by RPF against the backdrop of increasing insecurity created by the new national army composed mostly by the Tutsi, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), undisciplined and thirsting for material gains and blind revenge, the climate of insecurity worsened by lack of a judicial apparatus, leading to illegal detentions, torture and summary executions. The illegal and arbitrary occupation of buildings and land by the former Diaspora who returned in a disorderly manner, reprisals and revenge by the members of RPF justified by the massacres, true or alleged, of their Tutsi brothers by the Hutu, etc.”[50]

Concerning the conditions to facilitate the return of the refugees, the RDR Cameroon branch presented the same as those contained in the Bukavu Charter (See above): the Hutu would rather endure the misery of exile than submit to the RPF usurpers. With this reasoning it is surprising that this same RDR was asking this alleged usurper of power to accept dialogue and negotiations with the refugees. A logical solution to this contradiction would be to suspect that the RDR thinkers hoped that such negotiations would ultimately lead to the fall of the “Usurper”.

The association called SOLIDAIRE-RWANDA or “DUFATANYE” in Kinyarwanda, was a member of the Rwandan Civil Society in exile (SCRE) and was born in Bukavu on 8 September 1994.[51] Its President, Froduald Gasamunyiga, was Vice President of RDR at its birth, while its General Secretary, Stanislas Mubiligi, was a Catholic priest. Gasamunyiga had been appointed to be the Director General of the Rwanda Development Bank during the genocide. Mubiligi has since abdicated from his ministry, maybe to devote his time to wicked politics.

According to Jean Kambanda’s testimony to the ICTR investigators, on September 22, 1997 this association was initiated by the “genocidal interim government” in exile, in order to gather accusations against RPF. The sponsors of this association claimed that “it aimed at bringing together all men and women of good will, of all nationalities, who are willing to contribute through non-violent methods to the search for solutions to the numerous and thorny problems of Rwanda caused by the war imposed on Rwanda since 1990 and by the ensuing exile of more than 90% of the population of Rwanda.”[52]

The RDR has also always insisted on another point, that of involving the international community in the repatriation, resettlement and rehabilitation of the refugees. It is therefore not surprising that SOLIDAIRE, from their founding statement mentioned above, had also among its objectives “to contribute to the rehabilitation of the Rwandan refugees in their dignity and their rights, to work for solidarity among the Rwandan refugees on one hand, and between them and the International Community on the other, to inform the Rwandan refugees and the International Community on the socio-political developments of the Rwandans.”

Nzabahimana, who was the first President of the RDR, spelled out the primary condition for the return of the refugees as the re-establishment of the truth about the Rwandan crisis. Even though he did not mention it, the truth he was referring to was the truth about the genocide. Judging from his various writings and those of other genocide deniers, the truth to be re-established was that the RPF was responsible for both the genocide against the Tutsi, and the exile of the Hutu as well as all the ills to which they were subjected to in the camps.

Another association quite close to SOLIDAIRE, at least with regard to its motivation, was SOCAR ASBL (Solidarité Chrétienne pour Aider les Rwandais). It was created with “the primary objective of searching for and promoting truth, justice, respect of human rights, moral and spiritual recovery for all the victims of the Rwandan tragedy and reconciling information, in collaboration with all those who are engaged in the peaceful fight for the return of peace and human dignity in Rwanda.“[53]

This association used biblical verses from the Old and the New Testaments[54] to explain the problem of Rwanda which, according to it, dates as far back as 1928 “when the Tutsi seized power from the Hutu and that the rule of Tutsi Banyiginya and Abega [Clans] since then dominated and deliberately ill-treated them.” But contrary to its primary objective of promoting truth, peace, justice, moral and spiritual recovery of all the victims of the Rwandan tragedy, SOCAR accuses the Tutsi for being the immediate cause of what it called the Rwandan “wound” by killing Habyarimana, “the father of the nation” and turning Rwanda into a country of “nightmares of tears and blood.”[55]

SOCAR’s message No.1 did not mention “the genocide against the Tutsi” and at no single time did it use the word, and naturally so since the Rwandans it set out to help were Hutu refugees to whom it addressed a message of hope that one day they would “reverse the situation of those who today are in power, eating, drinking and dancing with joy and sing their victory, without mercy.”[56]

This is a strange message from an association ostensibly founded by Christian Rwandan refugees from all Christian churches! It should be pointed out that this message was sent for dissemination to all the big names of this world: church leaders starting with Pope Jean Paul II, and more than 25 Heads of State and Government.[57]

In its second message[58], SOCAR wrote to Paul Kagame, then Vice President of the Republic of Rwanda. It pointed out to him that he was “at the throat” of the nation and cautioned him against any attempt to strangle it, calling upon him to protect it, instead. SOCAR made a number of recommendations to Kagame aimed at re-establishing peace in Rwanda, “not through guns but through forgiveness, mercy and reconciliation.” It gave him the names of persons he could contact or from whom he could get inspiration if he really was for the interest of the Rwandan people: Pope Jean Paul II, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King and many other historical figures.

It is worthy to note that a copy of this message of SOCAR to Kagame was sent to the “President of the Republic of Rwanda in Exile”. This is Theodore Sindikubwabo, who had mobilised the Hutu to exterminate the Tutsi in 1994. SOCAR’s good moral lessons, if they have and believe in any, would have been more useful to the perpetrators of the genocide than to the person who had the courage to stop the genocide. The signatories of this message are the same as for the previous one.

On June 1, 1996, SOCAR wrote to the “Rwandan Community Abroad”,[59] inviting them to work with SOCAR to find a lasting solution to the Rwandan problem. It thanks the international community for what it has done so far to help the Rwandan people, from the Arusha Accords until the date of the letter. Among the people the letter mentions as resourceful are various well-known genocide revisionists such as the White Father Serge DESOUTER, Prof. Filip REYNTJENS, Luc De TEMMERMAN, etc.

SOCAR hoped that with the aid of the above individuals, the truth “will be known, that it will come out in great day light, that it will impose itself on the world in the interest of this battered and currently demonized people”[60]. SOCAR meant to confirm the theses held by all the revisionists who pretend that there was no genocide against the Tutsi but rather the Hutu, or, at a pinch, a double genocide for which the RPF is responsible.

Besides SOCAR, another association was created called “SODERWA” (Solidarity for the Defence of Accused Rwandans). As its name states, the objectives[61] of SODERWA were: to contribute in any way (documentation, evidence, facilitation through contacts with third parties) to the clarification and investigation of cases brought before the courts where Rwandans were accused; to act as liaison between accused Rwandans, their lawyers, and their compatriots and any other persons interested in giving evidence or intervening in their cases; to enlighten Rwandans on the guidelines of a fair and equitable trial (defence of legality, authenticity of evidence, etc); carry out investigations and inform the public about the analysis of the “Rwandan tragedy,” targeting especially the decision makers on the issue as well as the relevant jurisdictions; constantly inform potential persons liable to trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of their rights and, finally, promote a culture of solidarity among Rwandans.[62]

Rwandan journalists in self-imposed exiled in Zaire, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya and elsewhere, were not left behind. They too, claimed that they were part of Civil Society.  A report by the French NGO REPORTERS SANS FRONTIÈRES[63] questioned why journalists (about forty were identified) who had worked for the hatred media were not only free but, far from hiding, were carrying out their activities abroad without any remorse.

At the time, Joel Hakizimana was the only journalist who had been arrested. However, these journalists who were well known to have collaborated with the extremist media considered themselves to be members of the Civil Society. In September 1994, in the camps at Goma and Bukavu (Zaire) and in Nairobi (Kenya), these journalists resumed their activities.

The major former actors of RTLM, Radio Rwanda and several hatred newspapers (Interahamwe, Kangura, La Médaille…) formed the Association of Rwandan Journalists in Exile (AJRE), the main organisation led by Jean Baptiste Hategekimana. It edited and published the magazine Amizero. The bimonthly Kangura resumed its publication in Nairobi, Kenya.

Founded on September 14, 1994, the Association apparently encountered no problem in obtaining a licence from the Zairean authorities. Yet, the composition of the Executive Committee as well as the list of the founding members of this Association, speaks volumes about the nature of this group.

On the Executive Committee, the president of the association was Jean-Baptiste Hategekimana, who was, as mentioned earlier a founder and leader in the “SCRE”. Hategekimana is one of the most virulent hate journalists Rwanda has known in its recent history. He worked for the official Rwanda Press Agency, and for various extremist publications including Kangura, Zirikana and Interahamwe. Vice-President Thacien Hahozayezu had writen for various extremist publications, ending up as the Editor in Chief of the newspaper Interahamwe, to reinforce his commitment to the militia which had the same name. He is now believed to be within the ranks of the FDLR.

The Executive Secretary was Anselme Bigirimana who had worked with National Television. One of his former colleagues described him as “pathological anti-Tutsi”. Gaspard Gahigi was elected to the position of “Radio Advisor.” Before and during the genocide, he was the Editor in Chief of Umurwanashyaka[64] magazine, which was the ruling MRND party’s mouthpiece, before the MRND disbanded it to let its journalists join RTLM, where he assumed a similar postHe is thought to have since died in Zaire.

Florent Kampayana, the association’s treasurer, worked for Radio Rwanda before and during the genocide. He was famous in Rwanda for his dehumanising discourse against the RPF and Tutsi in general. In one of his broadcasts on the National Radio Rwanda which I can remember from early 1991, he said RPF fighters had tails and drooping ears.

The other three members of the Executive Committee had all previously worked for the official Rwanda Information agency, (ORINFOR). Those are, Emmanuel Ngirwanabagabo, National Television, Advisor, Television and Charles Ruvugabigwi, La Relève, Advisor, Print Media.

Contributing Members of AJRE : Oswald Ahigombaye, NTV; Jean-Baptiste Bamwanga, Radio Rwanda; Valérie Bemeriki, RTLM; Assumani Gakusi; Gérard Gatare, NTV; Habimana Kantano, RTLM ; François-Xavier Hangimana, Ijambo; Julienne Icyimanizanye, NTV; Samuel Kalinda, NTV; Jean Léonard Karuranga, NTV; Cyprien Musabirema, Radio Rwanda ; Cyprien Ngendahimana, Radio Rwanda; Jean-Baptiste Ngerejaho, Radio Rwanda; Viateur Nkundibiza, Radio Rwanda; Ananie Nkurunziza, RTLM; Ntamukunzi Jean-Baptiste, Orinfor; Telesphore Nyirimanzi, Radio Rwanda; Alexis Nzamwita, Orinfor; Jean-Baptiste Nubahumpatse, Orinfor ; Issa Nyabyenda, Kangura; Nzabonimpa Abdallah, Radio Rwanda; Emmanuel Rucogoza, RTLM; Ephrem Rugiririza, Radio Rwanda; Innocent Rwabuhungu, Umurwanashyaka/Interahamwe; Francois Rwabutogo, La Medaille – Nyiramacibiri; Etienne Sendegeya, Radio Rwanda ; Joseph Serugendo, Radio Rwanda/RTLM and Emmanuel Uwihoreye, Radio Rwanda.

The role of all these individuals in inciting the population to the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 is public knowledge in Rwanda. It was alleged that the General Assembly held on June 18, 1995 in Goma was characterized by a conflict within AJRE between the “hardliners and the more “open” tendency of the Association. The former were determined to fight the government in Kigali by all means, and the latter were anxious to initiate a dialogue with the Government of National Unity.

One of the covert activities of some members of AJRE was the establishment of a network of informers tasked with undermining the repatriation of the refugees. In addition, following this General Assembly, a reshuffle was carried out within the Editorial Team of Amizero, an AJRE liaison magazine, in order to make this publication more “presentable.”

This magazine was launched early November 1994, by Gaspard Gahigi, as the publishing Manager. Gahigi had been tasked to be AJREs Advisor for audiovisual media.

Besides Gahigi, the other editors of this magazine were Valérie Bemeriki (RTLM, AJRE member), Kantano Habimana (alias Hatana, RTLM, AJRE member), Jean Baptiste Hategekimana (President of AJRE), Thacien Hahozayezu (Vice President of AJRE, and deputy chief editor of Amizero), Gerald Ngendahimana, Etienne Sendegeya, Jean Baptiste Bamwanga and Ephrem Rugiririza as reporters.

According to the Editor in Chief, the circulation of Amizero was 500 copies, 350 of which were meant for the refugees’ camps, 50 for NGOs, 50 for the town of Goma and 50 for “export”. At least five issues of the magazine were published between November 7, 1994 and August 28, 1995. In the issue “zero” of November 7-14, 1994, the tone was given: glorification of the RTLM, “immortal radio”. Copies were distributed in the camps through a well-organised network of activists.

On September 1, 1994, Kangura reappeared on the scene. The editorial team consisted of three persons: Hassan Ngeze, Pablo Ngabidasunikwa and Jacques Turana. Headed by Hassan Ngeze, the bimonthly deliberately continued the editorial line followed before the genocide started. It continued the numbering of the issues of Kangura from No59, the last issue published in Kigali in April 1994, such that the new issue published in exile was No 60! Initially Kangura was printed in Nairobi by Nairobi Printers, but some of the last issues I saw (68 to 71) appear to have been printed in Brussels.

From reliable sources, this information of printing in Brussels was false, only aimed at creating confusion so as to hide the source of financing and other covert operations, which enabled the newspaper to carry on its activities and the individuals to travel constantly between Goma and Nairobi, to publish Kangura and have it translated.

Published first in French (approximately a third of the articles) and in Kinyarwanda, Kangura was later published in English as well. Copies – some hundreds –were distributed freely in the camps by Hassan Ngeze himself. In other camps, it was sold more or less in openly through ad hoc distribution networks. But gradually, Nairobi became the centre of its publication, as part of the Rwandan intelligentsia in exile lived there.

The “international” edition in English targeted more particularly the Kenyan public.

Kangura gladly used threats to mobilize its troops. In the first issues (60-61-62), the style was very aggressive and revengeful. It even announced the “imminent return to Kigali, (…), if necessary by arms.”

Gaspard Gahigi of Amizero, declared to Agence France-Presse on November 30, 1994, with regard to his activities at RTLM and the charges levelled against him: “These are stories; we did not incite anybody into killing. But it was war time against the backdrop of an ethnic conflict. And before sentencing us, we should first be tried.” He then added that RTLM was no longer broadcasting “but that they had all the equipment” and that “it was not excluded that they could start broadcasting again under a different name”, because the “war is still on”. Indeed, for a few days in March 1995, from the camp of Mugunga, there were some broadcasts monitored, between 6 and 9 hours in the morning and evening, in FM through a mobile short range transmitter.[65]

 

Notes


[1] At the time of writing this book, Monsignor Simon Habyarimana, is based in Italy, in the Diocese of Florence Before and during the genocide, he was the Vicar-General of the Catholic Diocese of Ruhengeri under Bishop Nikwigize.  He is known for his extremist views full of hate against the Tutsi.

[2] Before the genocide, Immaculee  Nyirabizeyimana, was the deputy speaker of the Rwandan Parliament (CND). At that time the speaker was Dr. Theodore Sindikubwabo. Since the later was nominated Rwanda’s president, Nyirabizeyimana presided over the swearing ceremony of the new president as the Acting speaker of Parliament, a post she held until July 3, 1994.

[3] This is a journalist known for his virulent anti-Tutsi propaganda and an organizer of his colleagues in exile.

[4] See document: “RWANDA, RENCONTRE DE FROIDMONT 20 et 21 Mai 1994, Compte Rendu Provisoire”. It is in the Author’s archives

[5] These meetings were being held at the time when the RPA was gaining ground against the FAR. On May 19, 1994 the RPA captured the Kigali International airport and the biggest military barracks of Kanombe

[6] RWANDA, RENCONTRE DE FROIDMONT, p. 22.

[7] Ibidem, p.24.

[8] F. Nzabahimana, Propositions sur la situation du Rwanda, 17 June 1994, p.1.

[9] About a hundred people attended this meeting. The signatories of the Namur Declaration of 30 July 1994 included: Nkizamacumu Désiré, Mukangayabo …., Niyoyita Vestine, Mukarubayiza Domitille, Ntawumenya Monique, Mushamba Augustin, Mugirishyaka …, Uwinkindi Jeanne, Sakindi ., Karengera Dan., Nyirandayisaba Louise, Mutesi, Nahimana Eugène, Ukobizaba M., Mukandanga., Nimbeshaho, Nduwumwe Corneille, Ntawuhungurwaje C., Mukasine Kagabo, Bicamumpaka Hy., Bingoma D., Kalima Aimable, Manirakiza Fabien, Jean Marie.., Nduwayo Leonard, Mbahunzineza Martin, Habyarimana G, Nzakamwita Manassé, Hitimana Célestin, Niyitegeka Antoine, Carine …, Harerimana G., Akimpaye , Kagabo Jean, Niyitugabira Eustache, Hitimana Samuel, Nzabonimpa Joseph, Kayihura J. Claude, Turatsinze Léopold, Uwitonze Paul, Muhutu Elimereck, Nizeyimana Ladislas, Mugengasaro Augustin, Bizimana Justin, Nkuranyabahizi Gabriel, Bareke Grégoire Baltazar Munyampuhwe, Eugène Shimamungu, Ngaboyisonga Martin, Hakizimana Emile, Mukasine Louise, Niyibizi Shadrak, Bisalinkumi Ezéchiel, Sengarambe François, Nzabanita Floribert, Sindambiwe J.Bosco, Ugirashebuja Christian, Twagirayezu Valère, Twagiramungu Bernard, Habimana Jean de la Croix, Marie Assumpta Uwamahoro, Mbaraga Paul, Katoto Straton, Kabanda Louis, Twagirayezu Evode, Gatsinzi Jean Bapt., Munyemanzi Boniface, Cyiza Prosper, Ruzindana Anthère, Hakizimana Emile, Nimbeshaho Anselme, Nzisabira Jean, Ntavyohanyuma Pie, Uwamungu Benedict, Ayingeneye Angeline, Mujawamariya Assumpta, Niringiyimana Madeleine, Mme VANDERHEYDEN Patricia, Vincent Karengera, Vanderheyden Patrick, Vanderheden Martin, Nsabimana Jean, Akimana Claudia, Franzen Damien, Mukazana Patricie, Harelimana Alexandre.

[10] Details are in Dialogue, N° 184, July-August 1995 (p.150)

[11] In French they call it DIALOGUE followed by an acronym ASBL, which means non-profit making association.

[12] VERDIER R., DECAUX E., CHRETIEN J.P, Rwanda, un génocide du 20ème S, Harmattan, 1995, p.129

[13] Five hundred copies of this issue were allegedly distributed freely to Rwandan refugees and the displaced living inside Rwanda (see No .178, p. 19).

[14] Filip Reyntjens “Sujets d’inquiétude au Rwanda” published in October 1994.

[15] During the first year of the publication of DIALOGUE in Brussels, the editorials of this magazine often were written by Fr Guy Theunis or by Charles Ntampaka, and sometimes by François Nzabahimana.

[16] Refer to. “LES CAMPS DE REFUGIES DE GOMA: MORT ET ESPERANCE” p. 5. (Author’s archives)

[17] See: Que faire pour sortir le Rwanda de l’impasse? (Dialogue No. 178, October 1994, (p.27-28)

[18] See Dialogue No. 185, p. 34-35

[19] DIALOGUE, No189,  p. 43

[20] Ibid.,  p. 47

[21] Dialogue No. 197, p. 38

[22] “Le Rwanda ou l’Urgence Politique” (p.8)

[23] Ibid. p. 8

[24] Ibid. p.4

[25]Ibid. p. 5

[26] Ibid. p. 6

[27] Ibid. p.7

[28] Ibid. p.7

[29] Ibid. p.13

[30] Ibid. pp. 20-21

[31] Ibid. p.22

[32] Ibid. p. 23

[33] Mission report in authors archives  (Rapport succinct concernant la rencontre de Bukavu sur le thème crucial du retour des réfugiés Rwandais, 23-28/10/1994 p.2 One of the delegates on this mission, Paul Mbaraga, told me it was members of the IDC who were organisers of this trip since are even the ones who contacted him.

[34] The participants at the Bukavu meeting insisted that the members and services of this international tribunal should be enabled to communicate directly with the population. Some underscored the serious damage done to the efforts for peaceful solutions to the impunity of the authors of the massacres in Burundi for the past 30 years.

[35] See Rapport succinct concernant la rencontre de Bukavu sur le thème crucial du retour des réfugiés Rwandais, 23-28/10/1994, p. 9-10.

[36] See DIALOGUE No. 183 of May-June 1995, p.2. this part of the editorial is also an Extract from the Declaration of the Creation of RDR, Mugunga, 3 April 1995.

[37] Ibidem, p.15

[38] The document is in the author’s archives

[39] MISEREOR is the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Germany. MISEREOR is mandated by the Catholic Church in Germany: to fight the causes of hardship and misery as manifested chiefly in countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the forms of hunger, disease, poverty and other forms of human suffering, enabling the people affected to lead a life of human dignity; and to promote justice, freedom, reconciliation and peace in the world. See http://www.misereor.org/about-us.html

[40] The document which was a note to the FAR’s head of intelligence is in the Author’s archives

[41] From some issues in the author’s archives, it appears that Marie Beatrice Umutesi was one of the writers of this propaganda organ.

[42] During the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs SADAKO OGATA, to the Great Lakes region also on August 31, 1995, RDR produced another document in Bukavu: “Memorandum on the voluntary return of Rwandan refugees to their country”. It was signed by RDR Vice President in charge of Social Affairs, Mr Aloys Ngendahimana. The memorandum explained the Rwandan problem by referring to the “History” of Rwanda (Parmehutu). It denied that the genocide began on 6 April 1994 but said that there were clashes between the two camps and that many innocent lives were lost! It avoided saying that those who were killed were Tutsi but further on, it suggested that those who fled were Hutu. Quite normal since the others had been exterminated, they could not flee! On the situation inside Rwanda, the memorandum repeated what had been told to Amnesty International about security. Concerning the return of the refugees, the memorandum suggested that it was the responsibility of RPF and the International Community.

[43] [Annexe 3] Goma, du 04 au 09 Août 1995 RÉUNION DU HAUT COMMANDEMENT DES FAR RAPPORT D’ACTIVITES DU “R.D.R.” Author’s archives

[44] The publication is in the author’s archives.

[45] La Verite sur le Drame Rwandais p.21.

[46] Ibid La Verite…p.23-4

[47] Ibid La Verite p.24

[48] Ibid. La verite…p.25

[49] Ibid. La verite…p.39-40

[50] Ibid. La verite…p.49

[51] The document announcing the establishment of Solidarité Internationale pour les Réfugiés Rwandais (SOLIDAIRE-RWANDA ASBL or DUFATANYE) is in the authors archive.

[52] SOLIDAIRE was created with the very similar objectives to those of the RDR.  It should be recalled that the latter has always militated in favour of creating conditions supposedly to build the confidence of the refugees.

[53] See Message No 001/96 de la SOCAR au Peuple Rwandais et aux Amis du Rwanda, Bukavu, April 6, 1996 p. 1. SOCAR stated that its mission was “to mobilize every Christian so that he/she may be an active architect of peace, truth and justice”.

[54] Ibid, It referred to, among others, Lev. 24,19-20. Rm 12, 19-21 to preach about non-revenge.

[55] Ibid, p.3

[56] Message numéro 001/96 de la SOCAR… (p. 2).

[57] This message was signed by Etienne SHYIRAMBERE (Dean of SOCAR), Evangelist Oscar ILIZABALIZA, (Deputy Dean) and Albert RUKERANTARE (Executive Coordinator of SOCAR)

[58] This message was an open letter addressed to H.E. Paul Kagame, Vice President of the Republic of Rwanda. It was dated 16 June 1996 and signed by Etienne Shyirambere, Albert Rukerantare and Evangelist Oscar Ilizabaliza, Dean, Deputy Dean and Executive Coordinator of SOCAR respectively

[59]Ref. No. 006/2d.1c-01/SOCAR/96 addressed to the Rwandan Community Abroad, c/o Dr. Jean Baptiste Murenzi, Joseph Nzabonimpa, Mrs. Marie Madeleine Bicamumpaka, Mr. Floribert Nzabanita, Mr. Michel Hakizimana

[60] Ibidem, p.3.

[61] See Minutes of the Constitutive Assembly of Solidarité pour la Défense des Rwandais Accusés “ SODERWA ” asbl, Bukavu, 25 February 1996,  p.2

[62] The Assembly held on 25 February 1996 elected the following members of the Coordination Committee: André Kaggwa Uwumukiza (Chairman), Deogratias Hategekimana (Vice-chairman), Emmanuel Mbarushimana, (Secretary Treasurer), Charles Ntagozera (Legal Counsel) and Dismas Nzanana (Information Advisor).

[63]  “Rwanda: l’impasse? La liberté de la presse après le genocide 4 juillet 1994”

[64] This paper started in 1991 when MRND was really engaged in hate media. Most journalists, who were in this paper, ended-up working for RTLM Radio in 1993.

[65] See Report of REPORTERS SANS FRONTIÈRES entitled “Rwanda: l’impasse ? La liberté de la presse après le génocide, 4 juillet 1994 – 28 août 1995 ”

Chapter X: Fast moves from European NGOs to rehabilitate felons

As the genocide perpetrators regrouped in the fall of 1994 to pursue their cause from their base in the refugee camps of eastern Zaire, they were fortunate to have friends in the Europe who were ready, able and willing to help on the crucial media front. In Belgium, far away from Goma and Bukavu, these were the publishers of an ad hoc magazine called ‘Traits D’Union Rwanda’, (TUR) who knew what to do next.

In November 1994, the fifth edition of this magazine TUR was published in Ghent, Belgium.   This 63-page issue entitled ‘African Points of View on the Reconstruction of Rwanda’ centred on several interviews with Rwandan political figures, of whom ‘all the (political) tendencies (were) represented’— as if they were all morally equivalent.

The ‘tendencies’ were determined by the editorial team. According to them, on one side you had the RPF represented by the Rwandan government with figures such as Vice-president Paul Kagame, Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, Deputy-Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service – Alex Kanyarengwe, Interior Minister Seth Sendashonga, and the Ministers of Industry and Agriculture.[1]

On the other side you had the Hutu extremists now in exile, including former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, Stanislas Mbonampeka who had served as the Minister of Justice in 1992 and 1994 after the genocide, Generals Augustin Bizimungu and Gratien Kabiligi and former Prime Minister Dismas Nsengiyaremye, and Defense Minister James Gasana.

In its ‘reportage’ the magazine also included contributions from members of  its staff as well as reports from the ‘field’, from NGO workers and human rights activists in various parts of the country and the refugee camps in Zaire.  Finally, regional figures from Burundi, Tanzania and Zaire were interviewed.

The Editor, Jean Vandaele, saw a multitude of Rwandan ‘stories’ because ‘the realities lived by Rwandan people…are so divergent that it is equally hard to reconcile the differences of their truths.’  In his view, there were two ‘main stories…one is that of the government in Kigali, the other is that of the remaining political and military leaders in the refugee camps’[2].  The two stories have little in common and ‘it is certainly not the intention of this publisher to stand as a kind of trial[3].’

To Vandaele credible sources can be found among ‘people who do not really have much interest or stake in either version’[4] such as NGO workers, whom he saw as guardians of truth as far as regional information is concerned. He called on the ‘reader, European politician, journalist, Rwandan minister or former minister, to have a ‘radical change of mind…to do what is needed to solve the conflict and promote solidarity with Rwanda’.[5]

The particular significance of this issue can be seen in the fact that it was translated into English, something that had not been done for all other issues which were all in French. TUR had been previously published by COOPIBO, but in this special edition, ten other organizations aided in the publication, some through organizational assistance and others through financial contributions.

These ten organizations were:

Broederlijk Delen: a Belgian organization focused on “Issues of the South” including rural development, human rights and democratization;

Coopibo: A Belgian NGO specializing in gender issues, small scale farming and sustainable agriculture and which later merged with Vredeseilanden;

Freres des Hommes-Toulouse: A French organization that focuses on three areas of ‘intervention’: peasant agriculture, solidarity economy and civil democracy;

Groupe Developpement: A French organization founded by businessmen with ties to Christian orders such as Jesuits and the Salesians;

ICCO: (The) Inter-church Organization & Development Cooperative, Focused on rural microfinance;

NOVIB: an organization based in the Netherlands “fighting for a just world without poverty.” It later merged with Oxfam;

Oxfam UK: An English organization working for ‘sustainable livelihood, peace-building and education;

SOS-FAIM: A Belgian organization whose goal is “to contribute to the fight against poverty in countries of the South”;

Talitha Koum: A Belgian Christian organization;

Vredeseilanden: Flemish for “Islands of Peace”; an organization involved in promoting sustainable agriculture.

Funding was also provided by the provincial government of East Flanders, home to the “Rwanda-Consortium”: COOPIBO, SOS-Faim, and Vredeseilanden.

Who were the journalists of this special issue of TUR and how were they connected to Africa? Editor John Vandaele was a reporter for the Belgian newspaper “De Morgen”, writing about Africa and globalization.  François Misser, a correspondent for BBC Africa specializing in Central Africa and who also writes for the ‘New African’, interviewed members of the Rwandan government.  Paul Van Goethem, who later worked for the UNDP in Belgium and elsewhere in Africa, interviewed Rwandans in Zaire.

Dominique Evrard, a worker for several non-government organizations, interviewed two figures, the Zairian Archbishop of Bukavu Christopher Munzihirwa, and former Rwandan Prime Minister Dismas Nsengiyaremye.

The only Rwandan writer was Gaspard Karemera who was the Magazine Editor of ‘Imbaga’ in Rwanda and is now the head of the Association of ‘Rwandan Journalists in Belgium.’  Wim Coessens, editor of ‘De Morgen’ also helped with promoting the project.

The first article in this issue is Francois Misser’s report on Rwanda.  He sets the scene by describing a country oppressed by the Government. “An RPA-barrier filters the already scarce traffic at the entrance to each village” but “even if they thought it useful to deploy large number of troops, the soldiers do not seem to be in the least worried by the rumours of a possible attack by the ‘Interhamwes.”[6]

Misser also mentioned in his article that there is a “tendency to consider all inhabitants of a certain region as Interhamwes.”[7]

As for the residents, the message sent by this reporter was that part of the population is poised for flight, whether because so many others had already fled to Zaire, or because of rumours of a possible armed return of Interahamwe and FAR. “Some farmers still have their doubts whether war has really stopped, as proclaimed by Paul Kagame. Other people express their wish for a dialogue to be organized with Rwandans abroad in the name of peace.”[8]

Jean-Pierre Godding, an expatriate who had lived in Rwanda, wrote in this special issue of TUR that “The RPF soldiers are somewhat considered as an occupying force. At present they are living in the numerous neighbourhoods and communities of the country, from which they start their regular looting in several centres. Shouldn’t they be barracked in large centres? Shouldn’t they be controlled by an international force?”

This is an idea echoed by Stanislas Mbonampeka who says that “Security in Kigali has to be guaranteed by foreign forces, not by the UN because they have lost people’s confidence… (FAR and RPF) troops must be completely disarmed.”[9]

In this 5th issue of TUR, former Prime Minister Dismas Nsengiyaremye is reported to have said that concordant witnesses “confirm the serious exactions committed by RPF-soldiers and the government’s incapability of assuring public order and the safety of persons and goods.” As  a matter of fact, Nsengiyaremye insisted  the behaviour of the RPF reminds them, “in a strange way, of the recent behaviour of the MRND, they both adopt the same logic: they take absolute power without sharing, seizing and maintaining it by force and terror, even if this at the cost of the entire population and the country…The prolongation, a purely RPF-decision, of the transition period and the putting off of elections till doomsday, places Rwanda in a system of a permanent coup, where there is no hope of political change by other ways than by power coups and cyclic political violence.”[10]

This point of view was that of the genocidaires and their supporters, who preferred to portray congruence between the government which planned genocide and the one which stopped it. It is very essential to take note of Nsengiyaremye’s belonging to the Hutu-power faction, like Jean Kambanda.

Misser’s article is followed by Paul Van Goethem’s writing about the situation and power struggle in the Zairian refugee camps.  He begins “In another refugee camp near Goma, people talk about rivalling militia, and the UNHCR treats them like bandits.”[11]

Goethem presents the matter as if the Interahamwe were well behaved people. He goes on to describe the power structure in Rwandan refugee camps and describes a tense atmosphere where aid workers (all Anglophone, he notes) are threatened with death by an “extremist militia, either with or without a political background, which keeps the masses of refugees in their power by means of terror.“[12]

There are other figures, he says, who have influence over Rwandan refugees; “a number of groups…exercise a certain power. The interim government of Jean Kambanda, the former mayors and prefects, the militia…many of these refugees ‘spontaneously consult (them), they do not have more than some moral power.”[13] Yet “members of the interim government cannot be considered as the representatives for the refugee population since, according to some observers on the spot, certain members of Jean Kambanda’s interim government even encouraged the massacres.”[14]

Van Goethem therefore presented an ostensible alternative to the government which left Rwanda after committing genocide: “A number of Rwandan intellectuals from the NGO-sphere distanced themselves from this government. They prefer a leadership that has got nothing to do with the massacres and that is able to accelerate the negotiations with Kigali.  But they cannot make their voices heard since most of the structures in the refugee camp are still under the command of the former government. These intellectuals consider the present commanders of the Forces Armees Rwandaises (FAR) as valuable mediators for the RPF.”[15]

The FAR leadership is thus presented as credible figures for negotiating with the RPF and leading the refugees back to Rwanda, a topic that resurfaces throughout the magazine.  After all, “some of these military men have condemned the massacres from the very beginning and have no blood on their hands.”[16]

Van Goethem summarized his interview with General Augustin Bizimungu by accepting at face value what the supreme commander of the army told him, that: “let aside the Presidential Guard, the army is not involved in the butcheries, since it took their force to try and stop the RPF-attacks.” Bizimungu also told him that they were trying to do something about the militia, since they are well-aware of the fact that they are discredited.

Much as he was told the army was innocent, political parties are blamed as responsible for “massacres” as ‘they created the militia in order to safeguard their interests.”[17] A nostalgic Jean Pierre Godding specifically mentions the “former Unitarian MRND”[18] a party known to have been at the helm of genocide.

In the conclusion Vandaele mentions something truthful and serious, but in passing: “it is quite normal that the MRND drew a blank since they decided to exterminate their Tutsi fellow citizens.”[19]

Reporters in this issue of TUR seemed to know the plans of camp leaders and the military in the camps. Vandaele suggests that “the old army (FAR) should be separated; the militia and the interim government should be separated from the masses of refugees.”[20]

In addition, the government should be enlarged with elements from civil society.  The role of Rwandan NGO’s is mentioned often. Misser complains that in “certain organizations, the only people who have stayed are the guards, drivers, and some occasional secretaries…The organizations will have to start all over again and attempts are made to establish contact with the refugees whose return is desirable.”[21]

Vandaele sees progress because ‘NGO-employees in Zaire and Rwanda are starting to get in touch with each other[22].’ It is suggested ‘NGO’s can do a lot assisted by the private sector’ and  “All signs show that it will take quite a lot of time for civil society to thoroughly assume the mediator function and to play an important part in the return of refugees.”  If this return is delayed, civil society will never really develop to the full and the refugees will not really feel attracted to return.”[23]

Another political alternative repeatedly mentioned in this issue, is that of ‘the Third Road-an enlargement of the government in Kigali by involving moderate members of MRND and the former opposition parties.’[24]

It is also repeated that “certain donors and NGOs both abroad and in Rwanda, want an enlargement of the government.”  Twagiramungu is asked if the government could be “enlarged with other tendencies who did not participate in the massacres.” He responds that “it is possible to enlarge the government even with people from the MRND who did not participate in the preparation of massacres or were not involved in them.”[25]

However, two people suggested by TUR’s reporter Karemera for inclusion in the government, Dismas Nsengiyaremye and James Gasana, are rejected by Faustin Twagiramungu.  The reason he gave was: “they appear to have participated in the preparations of the massacres or were involved in them.”  The new Rwandan government’s search for those responsible for the planning of Genocide was in contrast to TUR emphasis on the murderers alone, about which Vandaele says: “The militia are not easily recognizable-well they often carry whistles, but a whistle is easy to hide, isn’t it?”[26]

The reporters of this special issue of TUR, and the language they use to describe violence, reveals their political sympathies and perceptions of the conflict in Rwanda and the genocide which was unleashed against the Tutsi.  Jean Kambanda[27], the lead respondent/interviewee was asked “Your government is being accused of genocide. What are you prepared to do to reveal the real historical truth behind the massacres and war crimes, and to render justice by an international court?” His reply was “I wouldn’t call it a genocide…I know that inter-ethnic massacres took place, I admit, but a genocide, that would rather be a plan to systematically exterminate individuals belonging to a certain group.  I do not think that is the case since it was the opponents who mutually massacred one another.”[28]

There is not the slightest effort on the side of the interviewer, with at least a caveat, to demonstrate dissatisfaction with this unrestrained denial of genocide.

Military figures, like Generals Bizimungu and Kabiligi, were allowed to evade personal and institutional responsibility, in a question posed as follows: “The Rwandan army is responsible for the murders of some of the political leaders and for part of the genocide. What have you done to stop the bloodshed and to arrest the people responsible for it?”

Gratien Kabiligi responded that: “The army, the entire army was at the front, the soldiers fulfilled their mission to defend the country. If the massacres took place, then it is up to the population to explain.”[29]

Like his immediate subordinate, General Bizimungu also diffused blame. “Some FAR-members were involved in massacres. I cannot for example defend the presidential guard…the RPF were killing people at a tremendous rate…the Tutsi population was chased and murdered…But it is the entire population who has risen in revolt.”[30]

TUR did publish the views of the RPF and other Rwandan figures accusing members of the former government of Hutu extremists and the FAR of genocide.   Regarding the claim that, for example, “not all FAR-soldiers are criminals. Some of them saved Tutsis and opponents…” the magazine quotes Seth Sendashonga retorting that the FAR “was generally serving a Nazi-style ideology.”[31] Adding, later, that, there had been a “premeditated genocide by pitiless people.”

Joseph Matata is the only “human rights activist”, interviewed in this issue of TUR. He spoke about the genocide extensively. “I can already say the genocide seems to have been organized by the authorities and that they have used all possible means: the army, the police, the media…the entire staff, even at the community level was involved intimately…It is now safe to say that genocide was planned at the top level and that the person who governed the country after the President (Habyarimana)’s death bears the responsibility for the genocide.”[32]  Matata was to change his assessment later.

 

Portraying villains as victims

The focal question asked to Rwandan figures was the return of the refugees and what would be necessary for this to take place.  On this point, Faustin Twagiramungu makes the government’s position quite clear. In response to the question “What does your government do to remedy the atmosphere of mistrust among some of the refugees?” He declares: “The majority of the refugees are brainwashed and held hostage by those who planned and executed the massacres and genocide.” Gaspard Karemera’s response is “Recent information on massacres and reprisals and the grip of the army on the country is not very reassuring for refugees.”[33]

FAR and Rwandan exile figures claimed that the lives of the returning refugees were in danger, claims echoed in the comments made by TUR reporters. One such example is when they say the UNHCR held the RPF responsible for mass graves thus scaring the refugees.[34] Another is a reference to accusation of ‘butchery’ by the RPA near Gitarama,[35] which is the only specific reference to a mass murder case in the entire magazine.

The interim Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, told Van Goethem “People…fled because they wanted to survive, they did not want to get killed. When the RPF calls a halt to the killing…only then will people return to their homeland.’[36] Stanislas Mbonampeka said that refugees could not return to Rwanda because they saw the RPF as ‘Incarnated devils’ who “eliminate people discreetly, hiddenly…”[37]  General Gratien Kabiligi said: ‘People know that they have fled, it’s war and the bombs of the RPF[38].’ And, ‘Refugees who returned are barracked in concentration camps.’[39]

General Augustin Bizimungu added: “If the RPF would be willing not to kill civilians, then the population might be encouraged to return home.” He is backed by Jean Pierre Godding who writes that the RPF-soldiers belonged to a victorious army that wishes to control the entire country and to take revenge for the Tutsi massacres.[40]

Perhaps the most virulent comment about the RPF in Rwanda comes from a Zairian figure: Monsignor Munzihiriwa, the Archbishop of Bukavu who wrote that: “In Germany we had to distinguish a German from a Nazi…in Rwanda we should distinguish a Tutsi from a certain RPF members who wish to seize power by force and eliminating all opposition”.[41]  The bishop’s judgment had been deformed by his friends who had committed genocide, to make him believe the Tutsi were like Germans and the RPF the Nazis.

TUR did not attempt to investigate or try to validate various conspiracy theories, presenting them all without explanation.  As regards the death of President Habyarimana, Van Goethem wrote that ‘High-ranking (FAR) officers could even be said to adhere to the theory that it was extremist Hutus who killed President Habyarimana.’[42]

 

Conspiracy theories

Vandaele repeated the claim without attribution that ‘The rumours of the old Tutsi dream, an empire of the Big Lakes of the Vulcanoes (sic) is taking shape again. Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Kivu-region would be a part of it.[43]

TUR chose to ask many of the figures interviewed about the concept of an Anglo-Saxon conspiracy, “a geopolitical matter at stake that crosses the borders of Rwanda.” Stanislas Mbonampeka responded “perhaps they (Rwandan government) want to introduce the Anglophone influence in Rwanda and Burundi. But above all, I think that the Anglo-Saxons and mainly the Americans want to install a stepping stone to Zaire!  It is said that the Americans want to construct a military base in Mutara near Uganda and Tanzania.”[44]

In his interview with this magazine, James Gasana, a former Rwandan Defense Minister under Habyarimana, asserted: “One should not underestimate the importance of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni)…Western governments oppose any progress of Muslim fundamentalism in Sudan to the South. This means one should not obstruct his ambitions in Rwanda.”[45]

On his part, Kambanda complains “for the last six months the interim government had suffered from a military embargo, a political embargo and a diplomatic embargo. “Perhaps it’s no coincidence? Everything was prepared by the RPF.”  Like James Gasana, Vandaele alludes to the Anglo-Saxon conspiracy theory in his conclusion, by saying that “it would not be surprising if certain northern countries were not that eager to have clearness and jurisdiction. Each country will have its own hidden agenda.”[46]

On the topic of countries with agendas, perhaps the most influential non-Rwandan politician interviewed in the magazine was Zairian Prime Minister Kengo Wa Dondo.

Wa Dondo admitted openly to sympathizing with the Rwandan ‘government in exile’. “We have to prevent the Rwanda problem from swinging. The Tutsi were chased away 30 years ago. They prepared the re-conquest and today occupy Rwanda. But they only represent a mere 15 to 20 percent of the Rwandan population. If the international community does not intervene rapidly to allow the civil, military and political refugees to return, the Hutu will rearm and re-conquer Rwanda…”[47]

Wa Dondo recognised that the former government officials in exile used political pressure on the refugees to prevent them from returning, but was understanding of their concerns that “This would mean the Kigali government will be given political legitimacy.”  With regard to questions whether the FAR have been disarmed, Wa Dondo claims, falsely: “We disarmed between 16,000 and 17,000 soldiers. There are maybe a hundred or so armed men left…the military…still wear their uniforms and their uniforms are the same as ours. So people are easily confused.”[48]

The TUR writers, notably Francois Misser, describe the return of refugees with discomfort and negativity. Misser tells Twagiramungu that ‘The illegal occupation of goods from the disappeared or refugees worries the latter and risks creating long lasting tensions.’ In addition to military occupation, Misser writes that ‘In (certain regions)…it is the Burundi-refugees, the so-called ‘Burwandans’ who started working the fields. Most often, it is these refugees or the refugees from Uganda who own the cows and the goats that have made their reappearance throughout the Rwandan landscape.’ It is as if reappearance of the livestock were a bad thing since the perpetrators of genocide associated cows with the Tutsi.

The Rwandan NGO worker Oreste Mupanda is quoted as saying that ‘Every other minute you meet so-called Zai-rwandans, Bu-rwandans, and other refugees…some people are wondering whether the term “insignificant” ethnic minority, invented by certain colonials…represented reality. There are so many returned refugees in Kibungo, Bugesera etc…and not everybody has come back yet!’[49] Godding adds: ‘The new authorities are living in a world of hypocrisy: on the one hand, they are asking the population to return, but on the other hand, they have invited the refugees of the year 1959 to return because they would like to offer them a piece of land, a job and some place to stay.”[50] In the opinion of Godding, which he shares with genocidaires like the RDR, it was a scandal to let in Rwandans who had stayed out of their country for decades.

TUR made the RPA seem destructive and alien. Misser claims that ‘School desks have been stolen by RPA-soldiers.’[51] Abbot Andre Sibomana was also critical saying ‘These elements of the national army are everywhere. They behave like they are the almighty and civil administration has little influence on them.’[52]  Nowhere did he say why he was worried or disturbed by the presence of the RPA, whose vigilance, in fact, was unfavourable to the incursions, the plans which were being hatched from the camps in Zaire, and understandable given the presence of FAR and Interahamwe among thousands of internally displaced people.

Concerning allegations raised by TUR that returning refugees were being killed; Twiramungu said some NGO’s made these accusations “to justify humanitarian aid, which today has turned into a flourishing business. Moreover in the camps and in Europe, some people stick to this lie.’[53]

 

Justice and threats

In his summary, Vandaele suggests that Rwandans support the idea of an impartial international court. He belittles claims of genocide, claiming “Genocide is growing into some kind of cancer; arbitrarily misused by everyone…even the government in Kigali refers to the genocide in and out of season to accuse people.”[54]

However, he says, trials must be held because “it will only then become clear that not the entire Hutu population bears the collective guilt for the genocide. And those who have nothing for which to blame themselves will be relived of all suspicion.”[55]

Rather than focus on the genocide against the Tutsi, Vandaele discusses allegations of an RPA massacres against the Hutus in Gitarama. “The survivors know exactly who the five people (who participated in the butcheries) are. This will also be the case in the villages. It was only recently that a start can be made with the small fish and then gradually try and catch the brain behind the massacres.”[56]

All the FAR and former interim government figures ostensibly agree that there should be trials and a legal process, with the aim of expediting the return of the refugees.  Kambanda accepted an international court because: “there are criminals on both sides and the truth must be revealed. I accept it because I was called a criminal many times, since I was leading a so-called government of killers. Thus we have to find out who the killers are.”[57]

General Bizimungu is quoted as saying “those who are guilty of the bloodshed must be found. If we are talking about the genocide but not about solutions to enable the innocent to return to their homes, then they will get discouraged and one day they will all rush to Rwanda.”

James Gasana, agreeing with such threats by the General, said “Despair will rule and that will lead to anything…we have to give them (refugees) a chance to realize their hopes. When the number of people who committed the crimes amounts to 30,000 we have to look for 30,000 etc”

Gasana, did not mention anything about the cause of refugees’ despair, the people who are responsible in exacerbating the situation in the camps, and neither did he seem to be concerned about the problems of refugees under siege in the camps by FAR and Interahamwe.

TUR contributors made recurrent references to the threat of force and return of the FAR to Rwanda.  Ephrem Mbugulize, an NGO worker, wrote that when refugees are asked about return “they answer that they want ‘their army’ to precede them.”[58]  A similar position was held by army officials such as General Kabiligi who said: “The soldiers are part of the population and you cannot separate a person from his family.”[59]  Indeed, Vandaele writes “the link between the refugees and ‘their’ army should never be underrated. If that army was banned, this could lead the scared refugees to an even larger distrust of the outside world.”[60]

Mbonampeka took a more confident approach: “The Tutsis want all the power. They cannot seize it in a democratic way…”  He threatened that if the RPF did not negotiate ‘we will have to prepare ourselves to fight too.  It’s the only alternative.’[61]  He openly declared to the TUR that the RPF government would not last six months.

James Gasana took a more long-term view: “when peaceful negotiations fail, however, one day, even if it takes thirty years, (General Bizimungu) would behave in the same way as the RPF did.” He also hinted at terror activities within Rwanda, suggesting that Lake Kivu was not an obstacle and easy to cross with armed forces. “I believe that when such activities will take place, they will have to be other than conventional war.”[62]

 

Notes


[1] Vice-President and Defense Minister Paul Kagame was not interviewed by Traits D’Union but an interview with him was taken from the September 1994 edition of Jeune Afrique.

[2] Ibid, pg. 55

[3] Ibid, pg. 58

[4] Ibid, pg. 58

[5] Ibid, pg. 2

[6] Ibid, pg.5

[7] Ibid, pg.6

[8] Ibid, pg.4

[9] Ibid, pg.23

[10] Ibid, pg.26

[11] Ibid, pg.7

[12] Ibid, pg.7

[13] Ibid, pg.7

[14] Ibid, pg.7

[15] Ibid, pg.7

[16] Ibid, pg. 7

[17] Ibid, pg.7

[18] Ibid, pg.40

[19] Ibid, pg.55

[20] Ibid, pg.55

[21] Ibid, pg.5

[22] Ibid, pg.60

[23] Ibid, pg.61

[24] Ibid, pg.60

[25] Ibid, pg.9

[26] Ibid, pg.61

[27] Jean Kambanda later testified to the ICTR that ‘I had to be very cautious and prepare my approach in the greatest secrecy even as I told a team of Belgian senators who visited the camps in Zaire in 1994 and a journalist of the Belgian TUR in September or October of the same year.’

[28] Ibid, pg 13

[29] Ibid, pg. 31

[30] Ibid, pg. 32

[31] Ibid, pg. 16

[32] Ibid, pg. 41

[33] Ibid, pg. 9

[34] Ibid, pg. 21

[35] The question reads ‘Inhabitants of Mukingi…confirmed that a mass grave contains the dead bodies of the victims of a butchery committed by the RPA soldiers.  Can’t we assume that the RPA-soldiers committed these monstrous crimes as a reaction to the Tutsi massacres? (Ibid, pg. 15)

[36] Ibid, pg.12

[37] Ibid, pg.23

[38] Ibid, pg.31

[39] Ibid, pg.32

[40] Ibid, pg.39

[41] Ibid, pg. 52

[42] Ibid, pg. 7

[43] Ibid, pg. 8

[44] Ibid, pg.23

[45] Ibid, pg.19

[46] Ibid, pg.23

[47] Ibid, pg. 49

[48] Ibid, , pg. 49

[49] Ibid, pg. 38

[50] Ibid, pg. 40

[51] Ibid, pg. 5

[52] Ibid, pg.33

[53] Ibid, pg. 9

[54] Ibid, pg. 58

[55] Ibid, pg. 61

[56] Ibid, pg. 61

[57] Ibid, pg. 14

[58] Ibid, pg. 36

[59] Ibid, pg. 31

[60] Ibid, pg. 61

[61] Ibid, pg. 24

[62] Ibid, pg. 19

Chapter XI: A Club of Lovers of Hatred

The “International Forum for the Truth and Justice in Africa of the Great Lakes Region” is another member of the civil society of “friends”. According to one part of their propaganda machinery, they are the ones behind a “Lawsuit filed at Spain’s national court against high-ranking officials of the state of Rwanda.”[1]

According to this group, “top political-military leaders of the RPF are responsible for having planned and carried out systematic and selected killings, not only of the above-mentioned Spanish nationals, but also of Rwandans and Congolese between 1990 and 2004. Almost seven million people, mainly women and children, have died during this period.” Meaning the genocide is the responsibility of the RPF.

On this website they mentioned a few names as an introduction. Plaintiffs in this legal action are:

–        Victims and relatives of Spanish and Rwandan victims;

–        Hutu and Tutsi witnesses in exile who have been under protection until now; Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel;

–        U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney;

–        The City Councils of Manresa, Figueres and Navata;

–        “Nobel Peace Prize nominee” Juan Carrero Saralegui and several non-governmental national and international organizations. The National and NGOs organization as mentioned are “City Councils of Ayuntamientos de Figueres, Manresa and Navata”; Federación de Comités de Solidaridad con el África Negra de España (12 committees); Centro de Recursos de la Coordinadora d’ONG Solidàries (47 associations) and Associació Drets Humans de Mallorca.

The Hutu and Tutsi witnesses in exile are identified as:

–        Marie Béatrice Umutesi—“sociologist, writer, Rwandan victim and refugee;” an unnamed “5 Rwandan victims”, “Assistance Aux Victimes Des Conflits en Afrique Centrale” (AVICA);

–        “Association of Victims Pro Justitia”;

–        “Centre de Lutte contre l’Impunité/ Centre for the Struggle against Impunity and Injustice”(CLIIR); and

–        Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda (OPJDR).

Most of these organisations were created to defend genocidaires, as per the FAR’s plans mentioned earlier. This can be substantiated by a look into the background and circumstances that led to the creation of each organisation, into their major activities.

 

CLIIR

The Centre for the Struggle against Impunity and Injustice (CLIIR), is an organization which claims to be against impunity. Its founder and the only person identified as a member and leader of the CLIIR, Joseph Matata, is a self-proclaimed defender of genocide ideology and genocidaires. In a Rwandan talk show we had on Radio CONTACT FM, on March 2, 2008, I told him that I could no longer host people like him, who deny the genocide against the Tutsi, and propagate and defend hate without scruple.

In 1994, when Matata was interviewed by TUR Issue No 5 as discussed earlier, he was convinced there were Rwandans who should be held accountable for the crime of genocide. However, since then he has been active in Arusha, before the ICTR and in countries like Belgium and Switzerland as a defence witness for genocidaires. He also appeared before a French court in Paris in defence of Pierre Péan, a bigot who says the Tutsi are liars by nature. It was Matata who invented an insulting definition for the survivors of the genocide, whom he calls a “syndicate of liars” for denouncing genocidaires.  This was in 1995, in an article published in Dialogue, “Au Rwanda, des “syndicats de délateurs.”[2]

Matata claims that Tutsi orphans, widows, soldiers and others were mobilized or forced by the Kigali government to participate in these “syndicates of liars.”[3] He says the first nucleus of these “syndicates” was constituted by the RPF during and after the genocide when they had the first assembly points for the survivors.[4]

Within a year this document of CLIIR and Matata, had been quoted 14 times by SOS Rwanda-Burundi, in a document full of names of RPF members who should supposedly be prosecuted by the ICTR.[5]

On February 10, 1998, Matata, as defence witness for Jean Paul Akayesu, told the ICTR that those indicted by the Rwandan courts and by the ICTR are accused on the basis of orchestrated testimony from so called “denunciation syndicates”[6] active in Rwanda. The same propaganda again appeared in a document published by SOS Rwanda-Burundi in January 2005.[7]

On September 3, 2008 the Belgian national Radio and Television Company (RTBF) aired a documentary by one of their journalists Marianne Klaric which had the title “Les génocidaires sont parmi nous” which literally means “the genocidaires are among us”.[8] The friends of evil were not happy, notably Matata.

In his memorandum, Matata on behalf of his centre and “friends”, blamed the media for being manipulated by the extremist Tutsi in Kigali and the Anglo-Saxons. He claims that the world has been duped by the RPF and its supporters into believing the Hutu planned and carried out genocide against the Tutsi. He blames KLARIC for having produced the documentary under the influence of some Rwandan Tutsi survivors of genocide and the agents of the Rwanda’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).[9]

In a 12 page document in 1997 titled: “ANALYSE DE LA SITUATION QUI PREVAUT AU RWANDA EN RAPPORT AVEC LA REPRESSION DU GENOCIDE, the “syndicates of liars” is mentioned six times.[10]

The same vitriolic discourse is in a 1998 memo—supposedly, for the US Government and Congress[11]. With his obsession of blaming genocide survivors and the government of Rwanda for all evils, Rwanda’s diplomatic missions are also named “bureaus (comptoirs) of lies, intrigues and disinformation.”

Typical of all genocidaires who do not recognise the post-genocide Rwandan government and its members as truly Rwandan, Matata quotes unnamed “former Rwandan diplomats” who allegedly told him that the Rwandan embassies or foreign missions do not represent the “Rwandan nation” but “an apartheid regime, and a group of mafia.”[12]

The same discourse is in Matata’s open letter to Madame Karine GERARD, Présidente de la Cour d’Assises de Bruxelles, on 20 June 2005, concerning the case against genocidaires Etienne NZABONIMANA and Samuel NDASHYIKIRWA.[13]  In CLIIR’s COMMUNIQUE N° 88/2006, Matata reproduced most of the material found in Pierre Pean’s book, Noir Fureur F/Blancs Menteur.

In several footnotes and in the text, there is a recycling of the hate propaganda and vilifying of certain individuals who have been at the fore front in naming and shaming the genocidaires and their friends.[14]

Without quoting Matata, Charles Ndereyehe invokes the “syndicates of liars” theme to call attention to the innocence of people who have been arrested and accused of genocide, in a paper entitled “The rule of law and human rights in the Great Lakes” which he presented to a conference organised by unspecified NGOs of Belgium, France, Germany and Holland.[15]

This paper was a compendium of the usual genocide denial themes—conspiracy theories like the “Hima Empire”, genocide being used by survivors as a commercial capital— and used as sources other friends of evil like James Gasana, SOS Rwanda-Burundi, and the CLIIR. Ndereyehe concludes his last paragraph that “civil society” is the redeemer and hope for their cause.[16]

In the same paper, Ndereyehe attacks the ICTR saying that since its establishment, “no RPF member has been tried before this international jurisdiction, despite the abundant double-checked and confirmed testimonies and trustworthy documents.” His only reference is “SOS-RWANDA-BURUNDI: Lists of members of RPF-Inkotanyi/RPA suspected of premeditating crimes against humanity which fall within the field of competence of the ICTR, Dossier nº 1, June 1998.” And, as mentioned above, the only source of information for SOS Rwanda-Burundi is Joseph Matata and his CLIIR, of which Matata signs every press release on behalf of an unknown membership.

 

OPJDR

Analysis of the discourse of the “Organization for Peace, Justice, and Development in Rwanda” (OPJDR) shows that like the CLIIR, it was created to serve the interests of genocide forces.[17] OPJDR claims to be “a human rights organization based in the United States, (Delaware) with a focus on the Great Lakes region of Africa…to conduct fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in the Great Lakes region of Africa, study and seek funding of small development projects to help refugees scattered in that region of Africa…get involved in the peace processes in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Sustain contacts with Organizations, Churches, and Governments…”[18]

OPJDR also claims to have started in November 1995, with the aim of “assisting and providing information to the International Community for better assistance to refugees from the Great Lakes region.” Avoiding talking about genocide against the Tutsi, the OPJDR’s revisionism is apparent in its founding principles: “to counter the notion that human rights abuses by one side in the war in Rwanda were somehow more tolerable than abuses by the other side.”[19]

Dr. Félicien Kanyamibwa and Jean Marie Vianney Higiro are the founders of this organisation. Kanyamibwa lives in the State of New Jersey and works with a pharmaceutical company, Hoffman-La-Roche based in Nutley. Formerly Kanyamibwa was the Secretary General of the FDLR[20] before metamorphosing to become the secretary general of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (RUD-URUNANA).[21]  Kanyamibwa and Jean Marie Vianney Higiro, at some point were at the top administration of the FDLR, the latter being the President.[22]

Ideologically, OPJDR toes the line of RDR and its sibling FDLR. It is an organisation led by people who are also leaders in armed movements with genocide links. OPJDR maintains close relationship with an American politician, Cynthia McKinney.

This former congresswoman served six terms as member of US House of representatives for the Democratic Party before her defeat in the year 2002. She became a US Presidential candidate in 2008, for the Green Party.[23]

McKinney’s association with “friends” like OPJDR and Carrero is clear and purposeful. In a letter of February 06, 2008 McKinney describes her association with these merchants of hate in a jubilant tone. “While in Congress, I was involved in truth-seeking in the role of the United States government and the United Nations in what the world knows as the Rwanda Genocide. Outraged by what I learned, I agreed to testify in court in Spain on behalf of the truth. Today, I learned that that participation and that search for truth was worth it. Forty members of the Rwandan Army have been indicted for genocide. And the judge found that the current President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, was complicit–although he enjoys immunity as a sitting Head of State. Here’s the story I just received from my friends in Spain and across Europe.”[24]

McKinney is a regular recipient of OPJDR communications. Copies of the below-mentioned letters were either, written or copied to her, as well as published on the website of “Inshuti”. There is a letter signed by Felicien Kanyamibwa and Jean Marie-Vianney Higiro where the OPJDR tells the recipients that former Rwandan Prime Minister Rwigema should be inadmissible for asylum under U.S immigration law given his alleged involvement in “a crime involving moral turpitude”, and “conduct that is defined as genocide for purposes of the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.”[25]

Knowing that the signatories of the letter are active participants in a movement which promotes genocide denial and hate against Tutsi, it is startling to see how they advocate morality and good conduct. But whenever they mention the word genocide, beware: it is not against the Tutsi, but against the Hutu.

In another OPJDR letter to Cynthia McKinney dated February 13, 2001, the advocacy is to “Set up an international commission to investigate the genocide of Hutu committed by the RPF in Rwanda and DRC.”[26] Insinuating genocide, McKinney writes about “Killings targeting Hutus had been brought forth by this organisation.[27]

In a letter of March 21, 2002 to Mr. Okot Obbo, UNHCR Representative-Kenya, and copied to Cynthia McKinney and Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, OPJDR declares: “To foreign observers Rwanda looks peaceful, but to Rwandans, the country is a jungle run by a brutal dictatorial regime that oppresses and kills people. Current Rwandan leaders use the genocide of Tutsis as its justification of the violation of human rights and international law.”[28]

In 2000, as Rwanda and the world were commemorating the genocide of the Tutsi for the sixth time, the OPJDR was blaming the crime on the RPF and anyone other than the actual perpetrators. They urged the “USA, the European Union, the UNDP, the World Bank” and other institutions, to stop funding the “genocidal and warmongering policy by the Rwandan government and its Rwandan Patriotic Army, whom they accused of “genocide against the Hutus” also condemning it for the persecution and “assassinations of certain Tutsis.”[29]

Blaming the RPF for genocide is clear in their discourse: “those responsible for the 1994 Rwandan tragedy–extermination policy against the Hutus… including the creation of concentration camps– persecution of Hutu leaders within the RPF-led government, just because of their ethnic background and –genocide against the Hutus.”[30] This denial of an established historical fact is joined with the denial that there are people who committed genocide. Most often, they say that most detainees are innocent and suffer only because they are Hutu: “The crime by most of them is to be from the ethnic Hutus”[31]

On November 7, 1999, the OPJDR rejoiced when that a leading genocidaire, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, was wrongly released by the ICTR, on procedural grounds. With great pleasure OPJDR announced that “Barayagwiza cannot be prosecuted there or anywhere else if the international law is applied and his human rights are respected.  The case of Jean Bosco Barayagwiza has uncovered a can of worms of the injustice against Rwandans. At Arusha, most of the detainees were illegally arrested and abusively charged. Furthermore all the 150,000 prisoners in Rwanda were illegally arrested…”[32]

The big lie is the OPJDR’s standard operating procedure, but they find little lies useful as well. In a 1998 propaganda piece entitled “The nomination of a representative of the Rwandan Government to the ICTR is illegal, immoral and against Justice” the OPJDR asserted, that Louise Arbour, the former prosecutor for the international tribunal “was a victim of violence of militias and organizations close to the RPF government of Rwanda.”

The ICTR authorities denied that this happened. Another fib is where they write that signatories of this communiqué were in Arusha, whereas they were not.[33]

 

Notes


[1] Source: http://www.veritasrwandaforum.org/material/comunicado_en.pdf

[2] Revue- Dialogue, Octobre-Novembre  1995

[3] “Aujourd’hui sous le nouveau régime rwandais, des veufs, des orphelins, des militaires, des miliciens tutsi et des simples citoyens ont été sensibilisés (pour certains rescapés du génocide), forcés (pour d’autres rescapés de la guerre et la répression aveugle qui perdure encore), encouragés et sollicités pour se constituer en “associations ou syndicats de délateurs“. Ces “Syndicats de délateurs” sont couramment utilisés dans la constitution de faux témoignages et …intimider et éliminer des éventuels et futurs opposants au nouveau régime “pro-tutsi”.CLIIR, COMMUNIQUE n° 1/96  Rwanda: MISE EN GARDE CONTRE “LES SYNDICATS DE DELATEURS”Jodoigne, 8 May 1996

[4] Les premiers noyaux des sont apparus pendant le génocide et les massacres dans les camps de “rassemblement de la population rescapée”. CLIIR,“Rwanda:  Les syndicats de delateurs” Bruxelles, Mai 1997 In this document, the expression syndicats de délateurs appears 21 times. Source: www.grandslacs.net/doc/0609.pdf

[5] This document of 7 June, 1998 is titled: “LISTE DES MEMBRES DU FPR- INKOTANYI / APR SOUPCONNES D’AVOIR PREMEDITE ET COMMIS DES CRIMES CONTRE L’HUMANITE QUI SONT DE LA COMPETENCE DU TRIBUNAL PENAL INTERNATIONAL POUR LE RWANDA  (T.P.I.R)-DOSSIER No 1” http://www.inshuti.org/sosdroit.pdf

[6] See: ICTR/BACKGROUNDTHE TRIAL OF JEAN-PAUL AKAYESU, FORMER MAYOR OF TABA COMMUNEArusha, 1st September 1998 Fondation Hirondelle (FH)

[7] It has a title: “LE RWANDA 2004 FACE A LA DECLARATION UNIVERSELLE DES DROITS DE L’HOMME” On pages 48, 63, 67 and 68,

[8] Mémorandum adressé le 12 septembre 2008 aux responsables de la RTBF pour protester contre la campagne de délation et d’étouffement de la vérité. Joseph Matata, Bruxelles, le 12 septembre 2008. The document is available onhttp://www.droitdereponse.be/lettrecliir.html or http://www.musabyimana.be/index.php?id=11&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=236&cHash=ecb0e0e432

[9] Ibid. He says in French, “En regardant le reportage que Madame KLARIC a réalisé en Belgique et au Rwanda sous le haut patronage de quelques rescapés Tutsis du génocide rwandais et des agents de la DMI,… »

[10] CLIIR Communiqué n° 10/97 du 25 mars 1997

[11]CLIIR, Memorandum adressé au Gouvernement et au Congrès américains le 3 juillet 1998www.grandslacs.net/html/tm/ongfbc.html

[12] “…la Junte militaire du Général KAGAME a déguisé les missions diplomatiques rwandaises en ” comptoirs ” de mensonges, intrigues, désinformation, repaires des commandos chargés de la chasse à l’homme et aux opposants politiques. ” Les ambassades rwandaises ne représentent plus la nation rwandaise, mais une idéologie ethnisante d’extrême droite, un régime de l’apartheid, un groupe mafieux “. Available on CLIIR, Mémorandum adressé au Gouvernement et au Parlement Belge à l’occasion de la visite au Rwanda du Premier Ministre, du Vice-Premier et Ministre Louis Michel et du Ministre de la Défensehttp://www.rdrwanda.org/francais/droits_de_la_personne/clir/CLIR31032000.htm

[13] See: www.opjdr.org/matata_joseph.htm

[14] See:“Les héros du génocide rwandais sont assassinés, emprisonnés et persécutés au lieu d’avoir des médailles: Le Cas du prêtre Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA diabolisé injustement” Matata Joseph, Bruxelles, le  9 janvier 2006 See:www.grandslacs.net/doc/3898.pdf  For more links of family and friends of evil go tohttp://perewenceslas.centerblog.net/rub-VICTIMES-DE-L-EGLISE-DU-RWANDA.html  and onhttp://www.musabyimana.be/index.php?id=11&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=66&cHash=ecb0e0e432 andhttp://www.geraldfoci.net/wenceslas.htm

[15] See: L’ETAT DE DROIT ET LA SITUATION DES DROITS DE L’HOMME  EN AFRIQUE DES GRANDS LACS: Etude de cas sur le RWANDA dans  la  conférence  sur  :  “TOLERANCE  ET RESOLUTIONS DES CONFLITS EN AFRIQUE CENTRALE” organisée par les Asbl de l’Allemagne , Belgique, France et Hollande à Bruxelles le 3 Juillet 1999http://www.rdrwanda.org/francais/documents/RDR/Conference03071999.html

[16] Ibid. Les forces démocratiques de l’Afrique Centrale, organisations politiques ou Société Civile, doivent s’unir pour mobiliser les peuples de cette région et les éduquer à l’exercice de leurs droits. In the language of the likes of Ndereyehe, “democratic forces” and “people” means Hutu.

[17] Most of their Propaganda materials are found on RDR websites like www.rdrwanda.org or www.inshuti.org

[18] See: http://www.opjdr.org/

[19] See: http://www.opjdr.org/About%20us.htm

[20] See, for example: COMMUNIQUE SE/N°04/JUL/2003 “Simulation of rebel attacks by the Rwandan Government” which Kanyamibwa signed as the Secretary General of FDLR on July 28, 2003. It is available on www.fdlr.org andwww.grandslacs.net/doc/2760.pdf

[21] One example is where; on September 1, 2007 he signed a Press Release NR RUD/SG/09/01urging the government of the DRC to engage the government of Rwanda to negotiate with the armed opposition groups. Available on http://www.rud-urunana.org/documentation/RUD-SG-Com3Sept2007TxtEng.pdf

[22] Communiqué n°: 02/PP/Juin/04 signed on June 10, 2004, by Anastase Munyandekwe

http://www.fdlr.org/comm/Aucun_element_des_FDLR_capture.htm

[23] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynthia_McKinney

[24] Cynthia McKinney Celebrates: Kagame charged in Spain. A letter by Cynthia McKinney February 06, 2008 See.http://www.taylor-report.com/articles/index.php?id=35

[25]  “Mr. Pierre Celestin Rwigema owes the World an explanation for crimes committed by his Rwandan Government.” July 29, 2000 http://www.inshuti.org/rwigema3.htm

[26] General Kagame’s visit to the United STATES AND THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

http://www.inshuti.org/opjdr4.htm

[27] The RPF local defence units massacre Hutu civilians in Rwanda— June 25, 2000

http://www.inshuti.org/opjdr2.htm

[28] The letter with a theme GREAT LAKES REGION REFUGEES LIVING In KENYA and signed by Japhet Mwizerwa is available on http://www.inshuti.org/opjdr7.htm  Note: This phrase, as it is without change, had been written to another personality and copied to McKinney and Roth. See: Forced repatriation of rwandan refugees living in Tanzania, March 5,2002 http://www.inshuti.org/opjdr6.htm

[29] Rwandans Commemorate Six Years of Extermination, Exile, and Despair April 7, 2000http://www.inshuti.org/six.htm

[30] The OAU-IPEP report: too much carrot and not enough stick for the criminal Rwandan Patriotic Front government July 13, 2000  http://www.inshuti.org/oau.htm . in their previous communication They said this anniversary was a  reminder to  the international community that “the tragedy in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region has been going on since October 1, 1990 with the invasion of Rwanda by the elements of the National Resistance Army of Uganda.  And, the RPF government, responsible for the massacres.

See: Rwanda: a very sad anniversary, July 2, 2000 Available on  http://www.inshuti.org/opjdr3.htm

[31] The freedom of Misago must open the doors of Rwandan prisons, June180, 200

http://www.inshuti.org/misago4.htm

[32] Jean Bosco Barayagwiza: The Epitome of Injustice in Rwanda  (OPJDR), Arusha November 7, 1999

http://www.inshuti.org/barayag5.htm Also on http://www.rdrwanda.org/Rwanda/infos/OPJDR07111999.html

[33] Signed by Felicien Kanyamibwa Claiming to be in Arusha— October 31, 1999 http://www.inshuti.org/ictr.htm

Chapter XII: Carrero, a Mockery to the Nobel Peace Prize

In this chapter, I will focus on Juan Carrero Saralegui, the self-proclaimed seeker of justice.  He was mentioned early on, in this book, as the person, who financed the English, Spanish and Catalan translation Marie-Beatrice Umutesi’s book.

Who is Carrero? It was a question I asked myself because his name crops up almost everywhere you find the activism of Rwandan genocidaires. Carrero was born on February 18, 1951 in Arjona, Spain. He studied philosophy at the university, and by the time he was 19, he and some friends established a commune on the S’Olivar farm in Mallorca. This would later be the place where his foundation is born.

On his commune, Carrero spent four years studying theology. Carrero then spent three years in the Argentinean Andes teaching children. He worked there with his wife and his Argentinean friend Adolfo Perez Esquivel.[1] Esquivel, later received a Nobel Peace Prize, and Carrero has used his association with Esquivel to give legitimacy to his own work.

Though he is regarded as a non-violent activist, Carrero has effectively become a spokesperson for those who have close links to people who committed the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, many of whom are effectively fugitives from justice, while retaining their ability to get their message out, through people like Carrero.

Carrero prides himself on being Spain’s third conscientious objector, and the founder and president of the S’Olivar Foundation, which provides or has become a platform for much of the rhetoric of genocide denial, as well as hate ideology against the Tutsi and the government of Rwanda, disseminated by the RDR. Carrero has gained some legitimacy by courting high-powered “friends”, and by describing himself as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000—though we shall see below how this nomination came about.

Carrero describes himself as the voice for those who have none. As he says, “I am convinced that my place is with the losers, in this case with the Rwandan ‘genocidalists’, who have been abandoned by almost everyone”.[2] He chooses to be their spokesman.

Looking at Carrero helps untangle the web of denialist ideology that continues to disseminate hate. He and many of his friends aim to gain legitimacy for their cause by distorting the history of what has happened in Rwanda. They make use of much of the hate ideology being spewed by organizations like the RDR. The infamous Inshuti website features much of his writings.

The Inshuti website defends Carrero by claiming that that he “never negated either the French responsibility or that of the Interahamwe Hutu militia.” They just say he puts the events into context, since the issues of the French and the Interahamwe have been used “to cover up those of the United States government and its allies in the Central African Region.”[3]

This is a common trick used by deniers to give some sort of immunization to what they have to say. Carrero, and others like him want to indict the RPF as conspirators of the “genocide”, yet he and many like him deny much of the events of the genocide, and argue if there was one at all.[4]

The S’Olivar Foundation, which is based in a small Catholic community in the Mallorca valley of Estellencs, was founded in 1992, and calls itself a non-denominational cultural NGO, subscribing to the non-violence movement. The foundation was ostensibly formed in reaction to what the founders saw as the passivity and inaction of the international community in Somalia at the time. Their stated goal was to help alleviate the suffering, while dealing with the underlying causes. Driven by religious notions, they felt a responsibility to unite against tragedies taking place around the world.[5] Carrero talks of his faith as “a faith that asks us that we do not personally defend ourselves from evil but that at the same time asks that we defend those who are defenceless.”[6]

Right after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the S’Olivar Foundation, under the leadership of Carrero, became one of the founding NGO’s of a consortium called the “Round Table for Rwanda”, which then established the “Coordinadora de Prevencion Activa de Conflictos”(the Coordinator for the active prevention of conflicts, or CPAC). In 1995, Carrero reportedly visited Rwanda and Burundi for a month to analyze the situation in the region, acting as the CPAC’s representative.[7]

It is crucial to look critically at the underlying mission of the S’Olivar Foundation and whom they represent. On their website, they ask, ”how can we not endeavour to prevent new cases of genocide as terrible as those of Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire…”[8] The inclusion  of Zaire is a clear reference to the denial ideology put forth by the RDR, which charges the RPF with genocide against Hutu refugees there.

The Foundation claims that while its initial mission was to provide humanitarian funds to needy countries, it had to make a large shift in 1994, due to the, “repeated cases of genocide in Rwanda and Burundi” and the limitations of the international community’s ability to engage in humanitarian and development assistance, and its lack of political will to stop the “tragedies.”[9]

In his writing Carrero calls on citizens of the European Union, as well as members of what he refers to as the “so-called international community”[10]  to understand their own responsibility in the tragedies of the region. “The EU is supplying the invading countries, which are ruled by dictatorships responsible for the genocide, with enormous financial aid.[11] By this is meant Rwanda’s post-1994 government.

The Foundation says that it aims to, “awaken international public attention…to exert political pressure at the highest levels of world power… (for) these actions are in solidarity with the defenceless victims abandoned to their fate by an international community that talks of new international order, but which in reality all too often cruelly and unfairly acts or remains silent due to selfish and shameful interests or disinterests.”[12]

Given that it was problematic for the genocidaires who metamorphosed into the RDR to get direct access to international media, it was crucial for the RDR to have relays that would disseminate this rhetoric. Carrero and his foundation are proud spokesmen for the RDR.  And, it is no surprise to find that it was the RDR who launched and mobilised support for Carrero’s candidature for the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

Carrero’s Friends

The S’Olivar Foundation’s website and Carrero’s writings feature a great deal of name-dropping about prestigious persons who supposedly support him and his work. We wonder how many of these persons are aware of how their names are being used, particularly in light of Carrero’s rhetoric about Rwanda and genocide against the Tutsi. For example is Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor aware? Archbishop Desmond Tutu? Mikhail Gorbachev? His Holiness, the Dalai Lama?[13]

Many of the names he mentions appear in curiously ambiguous manner. It would appear that Carrero deceptively exploits various endorsements of pious aspects his work to garner additional support, and that in the end, many people give him support without knowing or understanding the dangerous and deceitful propaganda that Carrero disseminates with regard to Rwanda.

On the Inshuti website, there are extensive lists of those who supported Carrero for his Nobel Prize nomination. Many are probably oblivious to the threat that he poses to Rwanda, as well as the world at large, with the genocidal hate ideology that he preaches. It is obvious that the nomination was designed to further legitimize his perverse and nefarious ideology.

An Inshuti website letter supporting Carrero’s nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize claims that thanks to his previous work he had gained the support of “19 Nobel Prize winners, Commissioner Emma Bonino, the various political groups of the European Parliament and its President José María Gil-Robles, dozens of international personalities and hundreds of NGOs.”[14]

The following, also from Inshuti website, is a list of some of his supporters for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000, broken up into several categories.[15]

African organisations and individuals, 14 supports, including:

–         Rally for the Return of Refugees and Democracy in Rwanda (RDR), “the world’s foremost organisation of Rwandan exiles”

–         Communities from the African Great Lakes region: Rwandan Community of West Africa, Burundian Community of Canada, Rwandan Community of the Ivory Coast, Rwandan Association of Toulouse, Rwandan Congress of Canada.

–         Organisation for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda (OPJDR), USA

Missionaries to the African Great Lakes, 17 supports, including:

–         6 Religious congregations with missionaries in the  African Great Lakes region: Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Societas Missionariorum Africae (White Fathers) (Spain), Javierian Missionaries of Spain, Combonian Missionaries (Spain), Nuns of the Sacred Heart of Jesus(North-Spain), Community of Brothers of Charity (Kigoma-Tanzania), Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

–         Purificación Risco, winner of the Prince of Asturias Concord Prize of 1994 (representing the missionaries in Rwanda and Burundi)

–         4 Diocesan Missions Delegations: Tortoise, Majorca, Logroño, Barcelona

–         6 Missionaries in the African Great Lakes Region:Alberto Fernández Malanda (lay missionary in Burundi), Jaume Mas Julià (missionary in Burundi 1976-1997), Jaume Moragues de Oleza (missionary in Burundi 1951-1988), Miquel Parets i Serra (missionary 1961-1997), Jaime Cañellas Llompart (ex-missionary in Burundi), Cecili Buele (ex-missionary in Burundi)

Organizations for cooperation, human rights, peace and humanitarian aid, 23 supports, including:

–         Vicens Ferrer, winner of the Prince of Asturias Concord Prize of 1997

–         Human Rights, Majorca

–         Justice and Peace, Barcelona, President of Spain, Majorca, Manresa

–         Munzihirwa Group, Madrid, collective of several dozen NGOs

–         Umoya, Committees for Solidarity with Black Africa

–         Friends of B.P. Casaldàliga “Araguaia”, Barcelona

–         Intermón, general board of directors (member of Oxfam Internacional)

–         Pepe Beúnza Vázquez, first conscientious objector in Spain

–         Anita Klum, secretary general, Swiss Fundation for Human Rights

–         Josep Vidal i Llecha association

–         Federation of Associations for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights, with special consultative status in the UN ECOSOC; integrated by Association for the United Nations in Spain, Caritas Española, Institut de Drets Humans de Catalunya, Institute of Political Studies for Latin America and Africa  (IEPALA), Justicia y Paz, Liga Española Pro Derechos Humanos  (Spanish League for Human Rights), Movement for Peace, Disarmament and Liberty (MPDL), Paz y Cooperación

–         Jon Sobrino, SJ, Director of the Monseñor Romero Center /UCA, San Salvador

–         Inshuti, Friends of the people of Rwanda and Burundi

Political institutions and public servants, 53 supports, including:

–         Island Council of Majorca, the highest governmental body in Majorca (28 votes in favour, 2 abstentions, none against)

–         Balearic Island Parliament (unanimously approved in plenary session)

–         Spanish Parliament (unanimously approved)

–         2 Town Councils Associations of Majorca: Tramuntana, Plà

–         22 Town Councils of Majorca, 4 Town Councils of Andalucía

–         5 Balearic public servants: Catalina Cirer (government representative at Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands), Cecili Buele (cultural councilor for the Island Council), Pere Sampol i Mas (Vice President of the Balearic Islands Government), Catalina Mª Bover i Nicolau (General Director of Organization and Innovation, Balearic Government), Damià Pons i Pons (Councillor for Culture and Education for the Balearic Island Government)

–         8 European Parliamentary MPs: Pere Esteve, José Mª Mendiluce, Jaime Valdivieso, Fernando Fernández Martin, Laura González, Rosa Díez, Francisca Sauquillo, Theresa Zabell

–         Others: Fernando Álvarez de Miranda (Ombudsman, Spain), Teresa Riera Madurell (Balearic Island deputy at the Spanish Parliament), José Chamizo de la Rubia (Ombudsman, Andalucía), Rafael Estrella Pedrola (Spokesperson for the Commission of External Affairs in the House of Commons)

Jurists, 8 supports:

–         Association of Jurists of the Balearic Islands (AJIB)

–         Ladislao Roig Bustos, lieutenant prosecutor, Balearic High Court

–         Pere Barceló Obrador, magistrate, Court of Palma

–         Margarita Robles Fernández, magistrate, National High Court of Spain and ex-Secretary of the Interior

–         Baltasar Garzón Real, examining magistrate No. 5., National High Court, Madrid, and examining magistrate for, among others, the case against Augusto Pinochet in Spain

–         Carlos Gómez Martínez, director, Spanish Judicial School

–         Jesús Alcalá, professor of international law, member of the Council of the International Comission of Jurists, Sweden

–         Guillermo Vidal Andreu, President of Catalunya High Court

Clergy and religious, 37 supports, including:

–         Mns. Teodoro Úbeda, Bishop of Mallorca

–         Pere Casaldàliga i Plà, Bishop of Sao Felix do Araguaia, MT, Brazil

–         Anders Arborelius, Bishop, Catholic Bishopric of Stockholm

–         4 Zen Master: Willigis Jäger, Berta Meneses, Fr. Niklaus Bratsche SJ, Carmen Monske

–         Jaime Cabot Bujosa, domestic prelate of John Paul II

–         Lluc Sanctuary, Mallorca

–         12 Parishes of Majorca, 1 Parish not of Majorca

Academics and intellectual, 29 supports, including:

–         9 Rectors and Universities: Llorenç Huguet i Rotger (Universitat de les Illes Baleares), University School of Education – Ávila (Universidad de Salamanca), Manuel Gallego Diaz (Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid), José María Martín Delgado (Universidad Internacional de Andalucía), Jaime Vinuesa Tejedor (Universidad de Cantabria), Raúl Villar Lázaro (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Josefa Beltrán Bertomeu (Asociación Universitat d’Estiu de les Terres de l’Ebre), José Gómez Soliño (Universidad de la Laguna), Rafael Puyol Antolín (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

–         13 University teachers, including: Dolores Aleixandre Parra (Universidad de Comillas, Madrid), Ramón Panikkar (University of California in Santa Barbara, USA), Miquel Tortella i Feliu (Universitat de les Illes Balears), Joseph Mafokozi (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

–         4 University professors: Joan Oliver Araujo Feliu (Universitat de les Illes Balears-UIB), Gabriel Amengual Coll (UIB), Josep Maria Terricabres (Universitat de Girona), Ramon Bassa (UIB)

–         Javier Sadaba, Doctor of Philosophy and Ethics

–         José Luis Sampedro Sáez, Writer, member of the Spanish Royal Academy, Professor in Economic Structure (retired) of the Universidad de Madrid; and ex-Senator.

Organizations and individuals involved in social and ecological action, 18 supports, including:

–         Antoni Font Gelabert, member of the Board of Directors of the Stichting Greenpeace Council (Greenpeace International, the Netherlands)

–         Diocesan Caritas of Majorca, Diocese of Majorca

–         Diocesan Social Action Delegation, Diocese of Majorca

–         Xavier Pastor i Gràcia, executive director, Greenpeace Spain

–         Grup d’Ornitologia Balear (GOB), environmentalist organization

–         Bartomeu Català Barceló, president, Asociación Proyecto Hombre; secretary general, Ibero-American Network of NGOs working in drug dependencies (RIOD); member of the board of directors of the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.

Cultural workers, educators and Civil society, more than 60 supports, including:

–         Asociación de Tai Chi Taoista de España Spanish Association of Taoist Tai Chi, Barcelona

–         Michael Douglas, Actor and Ambassador for Peace for the United Nations

–         Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Artistic fundation

–         Estudi General Lul.lià

–         Federació Catalana d’Associacions i Clubs UNESCO

–         14 Education centers

–         5 Neighbourhood Associations of Palma

–         7 Official Association of Balearic Island Administrators, Social Graduated, Apothecarys, Veterinary Surgeons, Psychologists, Architects, Philosophy Doctors and Licentiates

All in all, the letter claims that over 4,500 people supported Carrero’s nomination.[16]  There are reasons to remain sceptical as to whether the listed individuals and associations were aware that they had been dragged onto the bandwagon of genocide exponents.

In 1996, with the support of the Council of the Island of Mallorca, the S’Olivar Foundation organized a peace walk from Barcelona to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva. Though the website does not go into details about the results of the walk, it does name Mr. Ayala Laso, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Mayor Zaragoza, the Director General of UNESCO, as well as unnamed high-ranking officials of the Europe Parliament, as holding meetings with the members of the Foundation, receiving documents about the S’Olivar Foundation—thus suggesting some sort of connection of support.

Later that year the Foundation conducted another peace walk, with numerous Nobel Prize winners supposedly participating.  A complete list of support for their walk can be found on their website, again including notables like: Elie Wiesel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Dalai Lama.[17]

The foundation website claims that the participants in the walk were received by Mr. Ayala Laso, and that the President of “Madres de la Plaza de Mayo”, came from Paris to offer their support. [18] The S’Olivar Foundation website declares that the Dalai Lama signed onto several documents showing support, and that the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Jose Maria Gil-Robles added his own personal support to the European Parliament in support of this cause.

Carrero’s Foundation always talks about its powerful connections. For instance, that they managed to hold high-level meetings in Burundi in 1996, where they were able to meet with the President of Burundi, various cabinet members and bishops, as well as the widow of the assassinated president Ndadaye. In 1996 the Foundation submitted a petition apparently signed by six Nobel Prize winners to the European Parliament in Brussels, where they met with leaders of several political groups, as well as various Members of Parliament.[19]

The Foundation’s website boasts several pictures of influential people. Many of those pictured are actual supporters of their cause such as Mrs. Merce Amer, the Mallorcan Councilor. You also have others who are apparently trying to get closer to what the Foundation seemingly stands for, like Mr. Matutes, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs[20], or the President of Amnesty International.[21]

In the beginning of 1997 the Foundation demonstrated in front of the European Union Council of Ministers as well as the US Embassy in Madrid, with the “Nobel Prize winners” and Ms. Emma Bonino, who is mentioned throughout Carrero’s writings. The demonstrations also included “international personalities and hundreds of NGOs”, the Foundation claims. This petitioning is said to have gone in tandem with a fast that lasted 42 days, and “it finally ended by measures approved by the European ministers.”[22]

It is also important to mention Carrero’s academic friends, whom he refers to throughout his works. Many of these friends have been discussed in this book, but their names merit mention in this chapter on Carrero, so the connection can be drawn between them. Just for example, Father Serge A. Desouter, and Herman Cohen, the former American Under-Secretary of State for Africa, are mentioned and quoted numerous times.[23]

Carrero gains insights as well as “facts” from Desouter and Cohen’s work. He uses Desouter’s article “The Usurpation of the Term Genocide,” in many of his writings. In this article, Desouter talks about the use of the word genocide. He says, “Genocide is a legal term defined by international law. In the case of Rwanda –and not only there– this term has also gotten a political and economic connotation because they abuse the original meaning. Genocide, in this last instance, equals a safe-conduct in the face of which no one asks questions. Until recently no one dared to tackle this theme. If you want to talk about genocide in Rwanda it is understood that one must be clear that this concerns “the” genocide against the Tutsis. But it rapidly became clear that it wasn’t only Tutsis who had been killed. To defend their reasoning, a new social class was invented and signalled out as victims: “the moderate Hutus.”[24]

Carrero also quotes Christopher Hakizabera.  The magazine Mundo Negro published some of Hakizabera’s writings in April of 2000. Carrero describes the work that Hakizabera does as valuable, and links his name to other “worthy” writers such as Desouter, Overdulve and Cohen. This piece in Mundo Negro claims to illuminate the “criminal elements” of the RPF. Hakizabera talks about the regretful gullibility of international organizations when faced with what he calls the “Machiavellian RPF”.  He continues by questioning “THE” genocide, and implies exaggeration of the atrocities.[25]

Though Carrero never explicitly calls them his “friends” as he does many others, throughout his writings he takes a stand against discrediting the Catholic Church and their missionaries in Rwanda. He asks hypothetically, “Who have a better understanding and knowledge of the reality of the situation, of the culture and of the local language?[26]Carrero says that, “the Catholic Church is considered by the regime to be the institution that gave moral support to the Hutu revolution in 1959 that permitted the overturn of the prevailing secular order in Rwanda”.[27]

He talks about the supposed resentment that the RPF had towards the missionaries. He says, “Frequently, once the opposition is dead, the Church becomes the only critical voice with moral authority, following violent campaigns against the church not only in those countries but also in Europe and America, especially in Belgium.”[28]

Carrero over and over again prides himself on being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but what is interesting is to know who nominated him. The nomination was done by those who his organisation refers to as “most important leaders of the Rwandan resistance, and the Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel.”[29]

To be precise, his organisation acknowledges:

“This nomination can be considered to be that of the ‘Rwandan people’ and of many other Africans of the Great Lakes. For this reason the list of supporters is headed by important African collectives, amongst which stand out the Lobby for the Return of Refugees and Democracy in Rwanda (RDR), the world’s major organisation of exiled Rwandans, the Rwandan communities of East Africa, of the Coast of Marfil, of Toulouse, the Burundian community of Canada, and the Organisation for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda.”[30]

Perpetrators of genocide against Tutsis have been trying, and to some extent have succeeded, to present themselves as victims of international conspiracy and genocide. Without a doubt, Carrero was nominated by the Hutu extremists he calls the “Rwandan resistance,” to represent and fight for their cause and to be a “media figure to lead a media campaign.”[31]

Carrero is a flattered, if not unwitting tool at the service of genocide deniers and ideologues of hate. Carrero is described by “Inshuti”[32] as a wise man, who has intelligently understood Central African realities, and therefore come to the side of the victims, aiming to “work towards reconciliation in Rwanda and towards making sure that an international lawsuit brings to justice the perpetrators of the genocide that took place in that African region and that justice is done to the victims.”[33]

Carrero describes himself as being driven by his spirituality. He cites Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mendela, and Jesus as people he tries to emulate. [34]

Carrero boasts about his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000. Meanwhile, the Inshuti website, made it clear that his candidacy would give them, “the extraordinary possibility of disseminating an analysis of the African Great Lakes conflict that has been repeatedly silenced, ignored, even criminalized”.[35]

Carrero says that “for a wide group of people, all the tragedy that is being suffered today by the populations of this region, and also the military victory of a few small extremist lobbies, is only possible because these lobbies and their foreign allies had planned in advance an international media war, one in which they have been fully triumphant. My nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize is aimed directly at what for them is the solution of this unjust situation.”[36]

 

Rewarding hate

On February 2, 1999, in Sherborn, Massachusetts, Carrero received the Courage of Conscience Award, which The Peace Abbey awards to individuals and organizations, “with the desire to promote the causes of peace and justice, non-violence and love”.[37] The Peace Abbey’s awards, so they say, are meant to create ‘innovative models for society that empower individuals on the paths of nonviolence, peacemaking, and cruelty-free living” and to serve as a model for religious organizations, communities, and individuals seeking non-violent, pacifist pathways to peace and social justice.”[38]

There are people who deserved and who have received this award posthumously, like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Bishop Oscar Romero. Carrero boasts of being the first Spaniard to receive this award.[39]

Despite being a friend and spin-doctor for genocidaires, Carrero, says his “life path brings together his cultivation of spirituality and his struggle for justice in Africa… (As) he follows the trail opened by Gandhi and Lanza del Vasto”.

He boasts about his 42 day fast which, he says, was meant to bring to light the events in the Congo, which he calls “the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Hutu in Zaire.”[40]

Carrero has won various other awards for his work. He won the Memorial De La Paz Y La Solidaridad Entre Los Pueblos, (Memorial award for Peace and Solidarity between Peoples), in 1996, from the SERPAJ Foundation (Serving Peace and Justice). SERPAJ is a recognized NGO that has consultative status in the United Nations and UNESCO. This only strengthened the legitimacy of Carrero and his foundation. The foundation also received an award in 1997, on the annual Day of Non-violence and Peace, by the NGO “Cret Humans y Justicia I pau” (Human Rights, Justice and Peace).

When Carrero got the Courage of Conscience award from Peace Abbey, he was presented with a sculpture of a dove of peace preparing to fly from open hands. The Peace Abby commended Carrero for his commitment to non-violence, in particular his work in favour of “peace and justice” in the Great Lakes region.[41]

In a speech at the award ceremony he said to the audience, “I beg you to help us …that your government will not support for one more day allies that are responsible of huge crimes against humanity, even responsible for genocide. I beg you to help us so that our small voice reaches the North American society through the media. The sooner the debate opens up here about the implications and responsibilities of the American administration in regard to this genocide, the sooner we will be able to stop it.”[42]

Carrero successfully and with impunity disseminates the hate ideology of those that should have been rightly silenced. Whenever he talks about stopping genocide, and perpetrators of genocide, I am strongly convinced that some if not many in his audience hardly realize he is on the side of the very people responsible for those crimes, and against those who fought it and still fight it. If people knew this truth, there would have been cases of protest against his bigotry.

 

 

Notes


[1] http://www.spainview.com/people/biog_juancarrero.html

[2] Carrero, J. (1997). The Reasons for an Acceptance. Mallorca: Foundation S’Olivar. www.inshuti.org

[3] Inshuti. (1999, November 19). Letter of Support to the candidature of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace prize of the year 2000. Manresa, Catalonia, Spain., www.inshuti.org

[4] Inshuti. (1999, November 19). Letter of Support to the candidature of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace prize of the year 2000. Manresa, Catalonia, Spain., www.inshuti.org

[5]  S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). The Birth of the Foundation. Retrieved 03 12, 2009, from Pangea:http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[6] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region. Paths and Stumbling Blocks to Peace in Africa. Madrid: Conference on Anthroplogy and Missionary Work., http://www.inshuti.org

[7] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Solidarity. Retrieved 03 12, 2009, from Pangea:http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[8] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). A Range of Aspirations and Activities. Retrieved 03 12, 2009, from Pangea:http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[9] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Solidarity. Retrieved 03 12, 2009, from Pangea:http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[10]  Casoliva, J. and Carrero, J. (2001, January 22). Ndadaye, Habyarimana, Ntarymira, Kabila…Eight years, four Presidents assassinated. Avui Newspaper., www.inshuti.org

[11]  Casoliva, J. and Carrero, J. (2001, January 22). Ndadaye, Habyarimana, Ntaryamira, Kabila…Eight years, four Presidents assassinated. Avui Newspaper., www.inshuti.org

[12] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Solidarity. Retrieved 03 12, 2009, from Pangea:http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[13] See for example CAMPAIGN FOR THE NOMINATION OF JUAN CARRERO SARALEGUI FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE OF THE YEAR 2000  on http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/0601.HTM

[14] Inshuti. (1999, June). Campaign for the nomination of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace prize of the year 2000. Mallorca, Spain., www.inshuti.org

[15]See: MESSAGES AND LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO THE CANDIDATURE OF JUAN CARRERO SARALEGUI FOR THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE OF THE YEAR 2000—By the Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize 2000 for Juan Carrero Saralegui Mallorca(Spain), July 2000. Available on  http://www.inshuti.org/

[16] Inshuti. (1999, June). Campaign for the nomination of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace prize of the year 2000. Mallorca, Spain., www.inshuti.org  Similar names and organisations are onhttp://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/0602.HTM  on this weblink they say: “We have received many support letters; in this document we only enumerate SOME OF THEM that we consider more representatives. This selection has been realized to present a small document.”

[17] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). List of Support for the Walk from Assisi to Geneva and for the Fast of Denunciation and Political Pressure http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[18] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Activities in 1996. http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[19] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Activities in 1996. http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html Also Joan Carrero’s SECOND LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES of  June 26, 1997 onhttp://www.inshuti.org/usaa.htm

[20] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Initial Activities. http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[21] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Activities in 1996. http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[22] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Activities in 1997. http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[23] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region. Paths and Stumbling Blocks to Peace in Africa. Madrid: Conference on Anthroplogy and Missionary Work., www.inshuti.org

[24] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region. Paths and Stumbling Blocks to Peace in Africa. Madrid: Conference on Anthroplogy and Missionary Work., http://www.inshuti.org

[25] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region..

[26] Saralegui, J. C. (2002). The Case of the Great Lakes Region..

[27] Carrero, J. C. (2000). The African Great Lakes: Ten Years of Suffering, Destruction and Death. European Commission., www.inshuti.org

[28] Carrero, J. (1998). Once More the Empire: The Extermination of the Hutu People. Majorca: Foundation S’Olivar of Estallencs., www.inshuti.org

[29] See:The Nobel Peace prize, an instrument at the service of the people, Bernat Vicens
Spokesman for the Nomination Committee December 17, 1999 on  http://www.inshuti.org/instrum.htm Also onhttp://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/060402.HTM

[30] The Nobel Peace prize, an instrument at the service of the people, Bernat Vicens
Spokesman for the Nomination Committee December 17, 1999 on  http://www.inshuti.org/instrum.htm Also onhttp://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/060402.HTM

[31] Ibid.

[32] His spin doctors say “For many of the most lucid scholars of the situation in the African Great Lakes region, Juan Carrero is a face of the suffering of the victims in the Great Lakes region, and the voice of the thousands and thousands of African brothers and sisters who suffer the greed and lust for power of a minority in this area and their non-African allies. See: Campaign for the nomination of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace Prize of the year 2000 by Committee for the Nobel Peace Prize 2000 for Juan Carrero Saralegui Mallorca (Spain)June 1999 onhttp://www.inshuti.org/nobel2a.htm

[33] Ibid, “Spirituality, Non-Violence  …

[34] Ibid;

[35] Inshuti. (1999, November 19). Letter of Support to the candidature of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace prize of the year 2000. Manresa, Catalonia, Spain., www.inshuti.org

[36] Carrero, J. (1997). The Reasons for an Acceptance. Mallorca: Foundation S’Olivar., www.inshuti.org

[37] See: http://www.peaceabbey.org/awards/cocrecipientlist.html  also onhttp://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/0403.HTM

[38]See: http://www.peaceabbey.org/abbey/about.htm

[39] Letter of presentation by Bernat Vicens, Spokesman for the Nomination Committee Palma, May 1999http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/0601.HTM  In another letter that appeared on this Web link, with title: ‘Campaign for the nomination of Juan Carrero Saralegui for the Nobel Peace Prize of the Year 2000’ by Adolfo Perez Esquivel on 29-04-1999, he directs people more general information on www.pangea.org/olivar , and about the African Great Lakes region in particular on www2.minorisa.es/inshuti .

[40] “Spirituality, Non-Violence and the Struggle for Justice in Africa” This is a text Carrero’s foundation  sent to my assistant David Druce on

[41] S’Olivar Foundation. (n.d.). Awards and Recognitions. http://www.pangea.org/olivar/ingles/INDEX.html

[42] Carrero, J. (1999, February 02). Speech delivered upon receiving “The Courage of Conscience” Award. Sherborn, MA, USA: The Peace Abby.

Chapter XIII: Indifference to the demons of race

The genocide against the Tutsi, which took place in Rwanda should not be allowed to happen elsewhere. Commenting on this genocide Boutros Ghali rightly said: “The world’s nations must not say that the challenge is too remote, or too dangerous, or that it fails to meet the criteria for action. It may seem better not to know. It may seem safer not to act. It may seem easier to look away. But these are the acts of complicity. Common humanity places a duty upon us all, a duty we must fulfil.”[1]

But there has been a serious problem of the international community undergoing an unprecedented moral crisis. Referring to the genocide in Rwanda, Mr. Kofi Annan articulates: “Nobody should feel he has a clear conscience in this business. If the pictures of tens of thousands of human bodies rotting and gnawed on by the dogs do not wake us up out of apathy, I don’t know what will.”[2]

The former UN-Secretary General also admitted that “the fundamental failure in Rwanda was not the lack of information but the lack of political will.”[3]

According to Susan Rice, the former United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and now her country’s National Security Advisor, there was such a huge disconnect between the logic of each of the decisions they took along the way during the genocide and the moral consequences of the decisions taken collectively. Expressing contrition Ms. Rice says: “I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required.”[4]

Rice is in a better position now to convey a message to nations to take preventive measures against racist hatred, which is the foremost cause of genocide.

Racism is all about belief.  Belief that race is the ‘primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race;[5] or, that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.[6] UNESCO’s ‘Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice’ says: “Racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes, discriminatory behaviour, structural arrangements and institutionalized practices resulting in racial inequality as well as the fallacious notion that discriminatory relations between groups are morally and scientifically justifiable; it is reflected … in anti-social beliefs and acts; it hinders the development of its victims, perverts those who practise it, divides nations internally, …and gives rise to political tensions between peoples; … and, consequently, seriously disturbs international peace and security.”[7]

 

Justifying evil or indifference?

Let us return now to that April 2008 meeting in The Hague, with its roster of genocidaires and its genocide deniers, still seeking to justify themselves. This has been proven in this book.

While I was in The Hague after that meeting, I met with Dr. Helen Hintjens, a Senior lecturer at the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague. She had been present at the meeting, with some of her students. She explained to me that she had not been able to stay at the meeting to the end, because after the first intervention by one of the speakers, Christiaan de Beule, had triggered in her what she called “a visceral reaction:” which is nausea caused by a combination of sadness and anger.

What made Helen leave before the end of the meeting was De Beule’s behaviour. De Beule had been invited as a so-called specialist on the Great Lakes region. But, Helen said, “When he spoke about the events that took place in Rwanda between 1990 and 1996, he avoided uttering a single word about the genocide against the Tutsi.” Dr. Helen told me that for her, a meeting of people who deny or demean the genocide cannot claim to promote peace.

In the course of our discussion, I explained to her that she would not have been surprised by De Beule’s utterances if she had known his position on the genocide against the Tutsi. De Beule is a Belgian national; one of the founders of the SOS-Rwanda-Burundi association. De Beule, his wife, and his colleagues are well known for their determination to negate the genocide against the Tutsi and to propagate the ideology behind the genocide.

The writings and communiqués of SOS Rwanda-Burundi are about genocide denial, and are clear. One has but to search on Google or Yahoo for the name Christian De Beule and SOS Rwanda-Burundi to understand their line of thought and to know that the RDR and its friends give them support in their intentions.

The fact that the DUR and Dusabane Press Release defended the organisers as having no connection with associations which protect genocidaires, combined with the genocidaires’ language that they used, is proof enough that the meeting aimed at genocide denial.

As a matter of fact, important persons in the planning and execution of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda were present at the meeting, and so were members of associations that propagate the genocide ideology.

If Helen had known who those Rwandans present at the meeting were, she would not have been irked or surprised by De Beule’s utterances. Among those present, particular attention should be focused on a few key individuals and their role before, during and after genocide. The first is Charles NDEREYEHE already mentioned earlier in this book. He is currently residing in the Netherlands.

Charles Ndereyehe was born in 1949, son of Ntahontuye and Rushyizekera, and comes from an area called Bugarura district in the former Ruhengeri prefecture. During the genocide committed against the Tutsis in 1994, he was Director General of the National Agricultural Research Institute (ISAR) whose head office is at Rubona, in Butare. He has been accused of acts of genocide and his name is on the list of persons suspected of crimes of genocide in Rwanda in 1994 who are living abroad, published by the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Rwanda.

Ndereyehe frequently writes articles advocating the double-genocide thesis. He is among the very few founding members of the RDR. He is one of the planners of the genocide against the Tutsi from the time he was the head of the “Cercle des Républicains Progressistes” (CRP), an organization which was planning evil well before the genocide began.

In the early 1990s, during the war that preceded the Tutsi genocide of 1994, Ndereyehe was the Director of the Gikongoro Agricultural Development Project (GADP). Between 1991 and 1993, before being appointed ISAR’s Director, Ndereyehe recruited several militia from Ruhengeri and hired them as agents of the GADP, with the mission to block Nzamurambaho’s PSD which was popular in Gikongoro, in favour of the MRND and the CDR. His recruits were clearly meant to carry out the genocide, and they effectively spearheaded the genocide in Gikongoro, with the support of those who were recruited in a similar manner by Mr. Kamodoka, Director of Kitabi tea factory, a notorious extremist like Ndereyehe.[8]

During an interview with Mr. Nyirubugara (on YouTube)[9] Ndereyehe is refered to as an “Opposition Leader in Exile” or as a representative of the political opposition in exile, an expression reminiscent of Sindikubwabo who called himself “President of the Republic of Rwanda in Exile” while he was in Bukavu. That was before his government in exile was replaced or overthrown by the RDR. Ndereyehe was among the founders of the RDR, which now has its headquarters in this city of The Hague.

In the same interview, Ndereyehe confirms that he has similar objectives to those of the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda), a genocidaire movement which has been committing crimes against humanity on DRC territory and which intends to return to Rwanda to pursue and finish the genocide of the Tutsi who survived in 1994. Ndereyehe’s answers given during the interview show clearly that it is in fact impossible to distinguish the RDR from the FDLR. When asked if he is still a member of the RDR, Ndereyehe replied that he belongs to the RDR which forms one body with the FDU.

Asked about the accusations made against him by Rwanda of collaborating with the FDLR, he replied in the affirmative since they have the same reasons for fighting, and added that if the RPF does not accept negotiations, they will all take up arms. The information I learned while I was in Holland is that Ndereyehe is in charge of Dusabane, and serves as “the real” president of Forces Démocratiques Unifiées (FDU-Inkingi).[10]

That, I think, was the reason Nyirubugara chose Ndereyehe to interview about the meeting, rather than Cyriaque Mbonankira of the DVA, or Ignace Rukeribuga and François Kanyamihanda, purportedly in-charge of Dusabane. The latter are only agents heading NGOs on behalf of the RDR, while Ndereyehe is the power behind the scene.

Ndereyehe had come to the meeting with other RDR officials who live in Holland, including Vincent Ruhamanya and the President of RDR-Hollande Stanislas Niyibizi. The official chairperson of RDR and FDU, Victoire Ingabire, was not at the meeting.[11] At a time when the President of the FDLR, Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka fears operating in the open, the powers of his presidency seem to be in other hands. It will be recalled that when Ndereyehe was president of the whole of RDR, Dr. Murwanashyaka was heading the branch of RDR in Germany. The president of the FDLR is, if truth be told, a former student and a current tool of Ndereyehe and the like.

Once again, history is teaching us a lesson: there are people who planned the genocide such as Ndereyehe and members of CRP, and who had given their support to Sindikubwabo and Kambanda to carry out genocide as top men in Rwanda.  When the latter arrived in Eastern Congo, the RDR, made up of former members of CRP, pushed them aside and Sindikubwabo later died in isolation, of AIDS, whereas Kambanda was arrested in Nairobi for the ICTR, and thrown into prison before he understood what was happening. Sindikubwabo and Kambanda are both from the former prefecture of Butare, like Murwanashyaka.

It is not only in the FDU that Ndereyehe manipulates people. He is one of the few remaining free and alive among the most responsible personalities in genocide policy making, before and after 1994. Others have either scattered or have been arrested. After a tactical abstention from its leadership, Ndereyehe was elected by the Second Congress of RDR held on August 22-23, 1998 in Paris, and became President of the organisation.[12]

At this Congress, participants maintained their genocide denial position. “The genocide against Tutsi and massacres of Hutu in 1994 for which the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) bears overwhelming moral, political and criminal responsibilities continue to serve as the main asset of RPF regime as well as a justification for the rampant genocide it is currently carrying out on the Hutu component of the Rwandan people.”[13]

It is clear that Ndereyehe and his fellow ideologues still needed someone not tarred by the genocide in 1994 that could thus front for them in their propaganda. They therefore created the UFDR (Union des Forces Démocratiques Rwandaises), initially with Faustin Twagiramungu as its President and Ndereyehe as Vice-president, but in reality the latter was the real chief.

In the communiqué publicising the statutes of the UFDR, article 1 stipulates that the UFDR’s first objective was a diplomatic and media offensive. This could perhaps explain the nomination of Ingabire Victoire to become President of the UFDR. The UFDR was made up of the RDR (Rassemblement pour le Retour des Réfugiés et de la Démocratie au Rwanda) and of the FRD (Forces de Résistance pour la Démocratie).

In 2002, when the UFDR changed its leadership at the top, Eugène Ndahayo became President, Victoire Ingabire the Vice-president and Jean de Dieu Turikumana became the Executive Secretary, seconded by Ndereyehe to maintain their power. The UFD-Rwandais was replaced by the FDU-Inkingi. The most important was to maintain the words “Forces” and “Démocratique” in their organisations’ appellation.

A closer look into the 2008 Hague meeting reveals that it was part of a long series of other meetings which preceded it, and a preparation of others to follow. In actual fact, before this one, under the DVA which claims that one of its objectives is “sustainable development” as well as the protection of the environment, on October 2, 1999, similar associations held another meeting in Utrecht in Holland, with the watchword that “peace is essential for sustainable development.” Those associations were Ndereyehe’s Dusabane and the CODAC, which sources confirm is under the patronage of Victoire Ingabire, and URAHO which was an association of women related to these two. Ndereyehe was the guest of honour at the Utrecht meeting.

The continuous name changes, of these organisations and associations— is a Machiavellian strategy to mislead public opinion into believing that their objective is “Truth and Reconciliation of Rwandans.” The strategy is designed to hoodwink people, so that the genocide ideology may quietly continue unimpeded, toward its long-term goal of toppling the present Rwandan government and completing the extermination of the Tutsi.

 

The CDR at the meeting for peace!

The second most important actor, in the preparation of the 1994 genocide, who attended the April 2008 meeting in The Hague, was Jean Baptiste Mugimba. Apparently, as I came to learn, some genocide survivors in The Hague recognised him and called out his name, which perturbed him so much that he hastened to leave as soon as the meeting ended. Mugimba arrived at the meeting with his family and his family-in-law. Mugimba is a former employee of the National Bank of Rwanda, and a founding member and the Secretary General of the CDR from its inception.

Among the participants there was also a certain Balthazar MUTWE. Mugimba and Mutwe are not ordinary people in the history of the 1994 genocide. They are among the first fifty founding members of the Coalition pour la Défence de la République (CDR). It is a pity that with time, some of those dreadful people might fall into oblivion!

What people tend to forget but which is of great importance, is that apart from being a founding member of the CDR, Mugimba was and still remains its secretary general, since he has never been replaced. He is the one who, at the time of electing the CDR’s original executive committee, declared Martin Bucyana as President. Mugimba and Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, Hassan Ngeze, Félicien Kabuga, Joseph Serugendo, Pierre Basabose, Laurent Sebapira, Augustin Hatari, Jean Baptiste Bamwanga, Major Faustin Ntilikina and Antoine Ibambasi, are all either wanted by justice or already convicted for founding Radio RTLM and extremist parties on April 8, 1993.[14] Also present at The Hague meeting was Dr. Jacques Gasekurume, another member of the CDR, Kigali branch.

Like father like son. The very fact that it was Olivier Nyirubugara who was at the Peace palace to interview some participants at the end of the April 2008 meeting is revealing. His Internet site www.olny.nl is used by deniers of the genocide, including himself and his own father.

According to reliable information at my disposal, Olivier Nyirubugara is the son of Charles Nkurunziza, former Minister of Justice in Habyarimana’s government during the 1970s. After Joseph Kavaruganda was assassinated by the Presidential Guards on April 7, 1994, Nkurunziza was nominated to replace him as President of the Constitutional Court in the Interim Government which carried out the genocide.

Nkurunziza has been one of the pillars of genocidal ideas ever since he fled to Zaïre, in 1994, before proceeding to Europe where he continues with his hate ideas. Actually, after the defeat of the genocidaire government in 1994, Nkurunziza went into exile in Bukavu where he was one of the advisers of the Theodore Sindikubwabo, President of the Republic of Rwanda in exile.

Nkurunziza was then a member of a team of hard line propagandists, whose assignment was to justify the genocide against the Tutsi. This group was headed by Jean Francois Nsengiyumva, who had been appointed the Director of ORINFOR during the genocide; Alberto Basomingera who was Chief of the Customs Department and Chairman of a Commercial bank (BACAR) during the genocide, and Ananie Nkurunziza, who was a former reporter of RTLM.

Nyirubugara seems to share the same ideas as his father; his ideas and actions are characterized by hatred against the Tutsi and by active pursuit of the genocide ideology, as can be seen on his website.

As demonstrated above, the FAR played a crucial role in the establishment and growth, and in the ideology and propaganda strategy of the RDR. In early April and May 1995, the FAR’s department of military intelligence and two lawyers assigned the task of writing an account of Rwandan history—the same Charles Nkurunziza cited above, and Alberto Basomingera, published their first materials.

In doing so, Nkurunziza and Basomingera attempted to provide a legal backing to the denial of Tutsi genocide, particularly by legally justifying the crime. Initially, both men acted as legal advisors to Dr. Theodore Sindikubwabo, the nominal leader of the government that orchestrated the genocide.

Their documents later greatly influenced the RDR’s press releases and public statements, especially in their attempts to deny the genocide. A  text  published  in  Bukavu  in May  1995  by  the  “Charles  Nkurunziza Group”  includes  the  following  statement  that  has  become  central  to  RDR ideology  and propaganda: “It  is not  the Hutu who were  the  authors of  the genocide; rather, it is the Tutsi who wanted to exterminate the Hutu, so that they will never have to share power. This is the truth that any person of good will and who loves justice should know to contribute to the restoration of the Rwandan people’s rights….”[15]

In a report published in April 1995, Albert Basomingera, formerly the Dean of the Faculty of law at the National University of Rwanda in Butare and a consultant to the World Bank, argues that there was no plan to commit genocide in Rwanda. He contends that “it was the discovery of the RPF’s brigades and arms caches that partly explains the violence and the intensity of the reaction of the populace and not the premeditation of genocide…[S]uch reaction is rather that of self-defence.”[16]

Linking the death of Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana to the genocide, Basomingera argues that “it should be recalled that even some large-scale attacks by the RPF had already provoked popular ‘punitive’ reaction against true or suspected RPF’s accomplices in the regions where the President enjoyed popularity…What was then expected in the event of the assassination of that same head of State?”[17]

Basomingera furthermore defends Dr.  Leon Mugesera, who, in a famous speech in November 1992 when he was MRND vice-chairman for Gisenyi prefecture, incited people to exterminate Tutsi. Basomingera supports the incendiary discourse of Radio Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), arguing, “It is tendentious to claim that the incriminated radio only called to the extermination of the Tutsi.”[18]

Reinforcing racist stereotypes used to de-humanise Tutsi, Basomingera defends RTLM depictions: “With regard to the term ‘serpents’, it was used to designate the Tutsi even before independence, referring partly to their cunning, malicious and spiteful nature and partly the dishonesty they are said to have been imbued with.”[19]

Basomingera and Nkurunziza continue to propagate the views expressed in these original documents, which have served as a touchstone for RDR ideology. In May 2002, as a defence witness at the ICTR for Andre Ntagerura, former Transport minister before and during the genocide, Nkurunziza told the Tribunal that he did not observe any massacres between April and July 1994 but alleged that mass killings by RPF soldiers led to “revenge by the government.”[20]

Nkurunziza, who was Rwanda’s Justice Minister from 1977 to 1984 and Deputy Minister of Transport during the genocide, argued that the government set up roadblocks simply to bring calm and security because the justice system in the country had broken down.[21]

Underlying the importance of genocide denial for his discourse, Nkurunziza argued, “The massacres that bloodied the countryside were done by the RPF,”[22] claiming that he had never heard of the FAR nor the Interahamwe militias killing Tutsi.[23]

 

Notes


[1] B. Ghali, op.cit;

[2] Gérard PrunierRwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (London, 1995), p.267

[3] Ann M. SimmonsU.N. Secretary General Defends Decisions On Rwanda, (Los Angeles Times- May 5, 1998) Available on: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/4621/rwanda2.html  and

[4] Samantha PowerBystanders to Genocide: The Atlantic Monthly, September 2001 See:http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200109/power-genocide  andhttp://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/oppenheimer/209j/rwanda.pdf

[5] Read on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism

[6] Read on en.wiktionary.org/wiki/racism

[7] Adopted and proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twentieth session, on 27 November 1978 Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights: A compilation  of International Instruments, Volume one (First Part) New York and Geneva 2002-p.132. Also, available on. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/race.htm

[8] Charles Ndereyehe is also among the obnoxious signatories appearing twice on No96 & 823 See: http://friendsofevil.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/obnoxious-petitioners-and-friends-of-evil/

[9] See: http://www.olny.nl/RWANDA/Videos/Hague_Peace_Conference_26_April_2008.html#ndereyehe

[10] Ndereyehe is described by Nyirubugara as “an agronomist who entered politics in the mid-1990s in eastern DR-Congo. He was then among the senior leaders of the Hutu opposition movement known as Rassemblement pour le Retour et la Démocratie (RDR). He currently lives in the Netherlands and is still active within another umbrella body known as Forces Démocratiques Unies.” See:http://www.olny.nl/RWANDA/Videos/Hague_Peace_Conference_26_April_2008.html

[11]  According to reliable sources in Holland and Brussels, it seems that Ingabire was being isolated since she no longer takes part in FDU’s decisions. Inkingi would be under the leadership of Ndereyehe because of its FDLR branch, whose influential people in the army in DRC recognize his leadership.

[12] At the RDR’s 2nd ordinary congress held in Paris from 22 to 23 August 1998, Ndereyehe became the head of the organisation with Claver Kanyarushoki  as his deputy. See Press Release signed by Ndereyehe in Brussels, August 24, 1998 announcing RESOLUTIONS OF THE RDR SECOND ORDINARY CONGRESS. http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/24August1998.html

[13] Ibid.  Press Release 24 August 1998. http://www.rdrwanda.org/english/press_releases/RDR/24August1998.html

[14] Case No : ICTR-97-27-I THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL AGAINST HASSAN NGEZE AMENDED INDICTMENT (para 4.3)

[15] The report prepared and published in Bukavu-Zaire, by the ‘Charles Nkuruziza Group’ has the title “Les Aspects Essentiels du Problème Rwandais” (Essential Aspects of the Rwandan Problem) for the so-called ministry of Justice of the Rwandan Government in Exile.

[16] Groupe Albert Basomingera, “A propos du rapport final de  la commission des experts du conseil de  sécurité des Nations unies pour  le Rwanda: Conclusions au génocide au prix d’une mise à l’écart de certains faits, d’altération d’autres et d’interprétation tendancieuse,” also for the so-called ministry of Justice of the Rwandan Government in Exile, Bukavu-Zaire, April 1995.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid. Basomingera

[20] See: “Cyangugu Trial: Prosecutor Challenges Former minister’s Credibility”  (Internews,

May 29, 2002)

[21] Ibid.

[22] See “Cyangugu Trial Adjourned to July” (Fondation Hirondelle, News Agency  May 29, 2002)

[23] Ibid.

Chapter XIV: A Final Appeal and Conclusion

Israel Charny rightly reminds us of a very important concept: personal interests can ultimately lead many people who are not initially bigoted or violent into participating in the actual commission of genocide.

Charny also says: “There may be ostensibly upright citizens who identify themselves with the search for truth and justice, yet who join forces with the deniers and revisionists because of conscious and unconscious economic or political interests or other aspects of expanding their power that are served by their co-operation with those who have committed genocide…”[1]

Charny’s profound warning strikes a chord when one looks at what happened in 2003, when four Dutch NGOs (OXFAM-NOVIB, CORDAID, ICCO and KERKINAKTIE) published a report titled “Rwanda Monitoring Project”. The report was mainly prepared for the Dutch and British governments, who are major donors to the Government of Rwanda.

The report strongly criticized the Rwanda Government, and was designed to put pressure on those Governments to restrict such financial aid.

The report was supported by some people, like the Belgian Filip REYNTJENS who is continuously predicting a grim future for Rwanda and Burundi. In his writing of May 2008, Reyntjens maintains that there is dictatorship in Rwanda, and that the Rwanda government does not acknowledge the segregation that exists in the country’s politics, whereas the population itself suffers from Tutsi domination, and the Hutu do not feel equally represented as the Tutsi.[2]

His assessment was contrary to that of the World Bank, which applauded Rwanda and Tanzania for their progress in good governance and fighting corruption over the last decade. [3]

According to those Dutch NGOs, lasting peace in the Great Lakes region will only be possible if what they call the “Inter-Rwandan dialogue” (Le dialogue inter-rwandais) comes as a solution to “the inter-Rwandan conflict” (Le conflit inter-rwandais),[4] as has happened in Burundi and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Those NGOs praised the Concertation Permanente de l’Opposition Démocratique Rwandaise/ Permanent Consultation of the Rwandan Democratic Opposition (CPODR) with its headquarters based in Belgium. Founded on April 12, 2002, the CPODR is made up of the UFDR (RDR together with FRD) as well as the ADRN-Igihango (FDLR combined with ARENA,[5] Nation Imbaga Nyarwanda and URD.)[6]

The NGOs’ reason for promoting this CPODR was its “claims to be willing to cooperate with the ICTR and to condemn the Tutsi genocide of 1994 as well as its ideology”. The NGOs attributed great importance to the COPDR as a potential interlocutor for the Rwanda government. They also say that the COPDR has written to the Rwanda Government requesting negotiations, but has not yet gotten any response. They do not hide their disapproval of Governments and donors who support the Rwandan Government.

These Dutch NGOs had watched with indifference while the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi was being perpetrated before the entire world, by those same people they were now defending. They now express discontent when they see that the Rwandan Government—which stopped the genocide and has since built national unity and sanity—does not want to negotiate with impenitent genocidaires. The NGOs conclude their chapter on negotiations by requesting the Governments which support the Rwandan Government not to abandon the COPDR, but to act as intermediaries in the inter-Rwandan dialogue instead. This is certainly an idea which serves well the philosophy of the RDR and FDLR—to treat genocide as a mere political conflict rather than a crime.

During the same year 2003, which interests were those NGOs pursuing when they went to meet the genocide master planners and purveyors of its ideology? In all political or other negotiations there are always what are known as “give and take” situations. What does it imply, when the COPDR, says it would be ready to “cooperate with the ICTR and denounce genocide?”

Genocide is a crime that must be denounced and punished; it is not a conflict which can be resolved through dialogue and political negotiations. Hence it is incomprehensible, except for a person who does not recognize the value of the human being, that the same Government which fought against genocide would be forced into negotiations with supporters of genocide and its ideology.

A Ugandan journalist, Andrew Mwenda, says: “It is unacceptable to attempt to create moral equivalence of the crimes of the Nazis with those who saved Western civilisation from fascism. Churchill and Roosevelt, whatever their acts or omissions cannot be put in the same dock with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Scholars like Gerald Punier and my own friend Prof. Rene Lemarchand who argue, (wrongly) genocide of the Tutsi against Hutu cannot make a similar argument in regard to Churchill and Roosevelt.”[7]

Those who think so, and request Governments to support politicians of crime and wickedness should also be denounced for complicity in the crime, since they do it consciously. On reading their report carefully, one realizes that these NGOs have espoused the ideas of those they qualify as “most important.” They know fully well that these are genocidaires, but they pretend to be unaware of this truth. Opening negotiations with the Rwanda Government is part of the FDLR’s and RDR’s raison d’être. What is new here is that they have found someone to pursue it on their behalf, and it is not the first time. Concerning the opening of negotiations, the contents of the Dutch NGOs report, in 2003, is quite reminiscent of what the FAR planned in the camps in 1994-95.

In their report, the Dutch NGOs claimed that peace and security in the Central African region depended on dialogue with the groups that today make up the FDU-INKINGI. Ndereyehe, in his interview with Nyirubugara, was inviting the RPF to accept a dialogue with them; otherwise there would be war (since it was refugees who had attacked Rwanda in the first place, talking about the RPF).

Such a dialogue sounds like the one of TUR No 5 in 1994, which gave a platform to the genocidaires. At that time, Kambanda had declared that “the international community must put pressure on RPF so that it enters into negotiations with them or else they will do like the RPF (p. 12).

The same idea was expressed by James Gasana (p. 19). As for Stanislas Mbonampeka, he arrogantly declared that if the international community does not force the RPF into negotiations, he was ready for war. The same Mbonampeka declared in TUR that the Government in Kigali could not last more than six months (p.24), or could not go beyond May 1995.

In the same journal, Generals Augustin Bizimungu and Gratien Kabiligi as chiefs of the defeated army, who had crossed the border with all their armament, were also making menacing demands for dialogue. (p.32)

At the March 31, 2005 Rome negotiations between the FDLR and the DRC government under the aegis of the Catholic Sant’Egidio Community,[8] the FDLR had promised to abandon its military activities and to call on its members to go back home. They have yet to implement this promise.

With regard to those groups belonging to the COPDR, what do they mean if they say they are ready to cooperate with the ICTR and disassociate themselves from genocide and its ideology? What cooperation with the ICTR do they have in mind? In whose name would that cooperation be? The only bona fide contribution to the ICTR would be a genuine commitment to combat genocide and the culture of impunity.

Meanwhile, it is incontestable that none of the leaders of the RDR, FDLR, or any other hypocrites and hate mongers like Paul Rusesabagina have ever gone to the ICTR to testify against the genocidaires. The truth is that, on the contrary, most members of the RDR leadership are in the hands of the ICTR, being prosecuted for genocide. Some have been given heavy sentences by that tribunal and Rwandese justice. There are many examples, and the RDR and the FDLR know it more than anyone else.

In any case, as explained earlier, the RDR was founded with the objective of defending the genocidaires who were and are still in the hands of the ICTR. Even today, those people wanted by the tribunal still count on the support of the RDR and its network of “friends of evil.” The notion of cooperation between the RDR/FDLR and the ICTR is mere stage management.

The RDR treats the ICTR as an arena in which to continue preaching their hate ideology and genocide denial. On the  December 23, 1995, they published a document which was meant to be a “Message of the RDR to Rwandese Refugees”,[9] signed by Laurent Hitimana, who was the vice-president of that group of criminals in the area of Goma.

In that message, the RDR said it supported the ICTR. But what it wanted from the Tribunal is “the truth” about the events which plunged Rwanda into mourning (…) “when the RPF Inkotanyi attacked Rwanda.” In order to make the world understand Rwanda’s problem and so that the truth may be known, the RDR contacted lawyers.

The same document says that RDR will put whoever must appear before the ICTR into contact with those lawyers: “Let the accused, defend themselves courageously, since, they will be doing it in the name of the Rwandese people. Let them understand that they are giving testimony to the ills the RPF has subjected the Rwandese people to; and we shall keep showing them our solidarity”. The document goes on to say that the RDR is determined to “denounce and accuse members of the RPF, starting with their leaders” (…) “they are responsible for the ills which have befallen us all.”

It was within that logic that those within the CPODR collaborated with judges Jean-Louis Bruguière (Frenchman) and Fernando Andreu Merelles (Spanish), to accuse the present leaders in Rwanda with the intent to prove that the RPF military also killed in the same manner as the genocidaires. Perhaps the judges reason that both sides are criminal and should negotiate to nullify their crimes.[10]

In the text of indictment and arrest warrant issued by the Spanish judge, perpetrators of genocide are clearly presented as victims and their hate ideology valued as facts.

Since its inception, the RDR has had agreements with Belgian lawyers so that they give assistance to the genocidaires. One of them is Luc de Timmerman, a name well known in genocidaire circles. When refugees were still in the North and south Kivu provinces of the DRC, these lawyers had established their office in Goma where they worked with members of the RDR as mentioned earlier in this book.

I believe there was officious collaboration between the RDR and some officials at the ICTR aimed at including RDR agents among workers of the Tribunal, with the mission of “defending” the accused. In fact the Tribunal’s staff in Arusha included RDR’s leaders such as Aloys Ngendahimana, the RDR’s Vice-president in charge of social affairs, and Thaddée Kwitonda, at one time in-charge of Kashusha camp near Bukavu. The latter is also among the founder members of the CDR, to mention but a few. There are several others.

The Dutch NGOs which claim that the RDR is “very important” should read carefully the communiqués of this organisation written and available on the Internet in French, English and Kinywarwanda—and listen to broadcasts by those they defend. The discourse in all of their literature is replete with racism and genocide ideology. In these documents, the massacres and the genocide (which they prefer to call “the tragedy that befell Rwanda”) are constantly attributed to the RPF, a line the RDR/FDLR have been using from their beginning, like the “government in exile” and the FAR before them.

For the genocidaires, the country called “Rwanda” is a country of “killers”. In their opinion, whoever is accused of genocide by the ICTR or elsewhere represents the Rwandese people. But in order to feel represented by a genocidaire one has to approve the latter’s criminal acts, and be proud of them. But that admiration of criminals does not make perpetrators of such acts “most important”.

In the minds of those who subscribe to the ideology of the COPDR, which is supported by the Dutch NGOs, “the Rwandan” means the one who is counted among the genocidaires, or is related to them, or supports them. Anyone outside the group has no claim to Rwanda.

These are ideas of those who harbour the ideology of the extermination of the Tutsi, who affirm that the Rwanda of today is ruled by foreigners; exactly as the PARMEHUTU choir Abanyuramatwi were singing in their song “Turatsinze”, in the early 1960s, that its victory meant “Gahutu, wherever you are Rwanda is yours. Truly, Rwandans have recovered their own country.”

For Dutch NGOs to think that the RDR or FDLR have dissociated themselves from the genocide ideology is at best a nice fantasy, which in reality changes nothing. It is possible that these NGOs might have been deceived by their protégés about their supposed conversion; but just hearing such promises is not sufficient grounds in order to believe them and disseminate them as truth.

I have sought to demonstrate how critical support has been extended to the genocidaires, by a range of different organisations, associations and individuals. Imagine a person like Juan Carrero Saralegui operating under the false veneer of “Nobel Peace Prize nominee”, without anyone bothering to know who nominated him. Carrero could be a stick-in-the-mud or not, but clearly he has proudly supported genocidaires in denial and spreading their ideology using his NGOs. He is not the only one, but has gained prominence because he lacks the pangs of conscience, and has thrived because of indifference from the international community.

Humbly, I appeal to NGOs and to civil society in general to see the need to do more research, and be more careful if they are to avoid being duped into supporting people and organisations known to have a direct link to the genocide that was committed against the Tutsi in Rwanda.  The discourse of hate exuded on their websites and blogs provides enough tools of analysis. Indifference is fatal and will never fulfil the promise of “Never Again.” What is required is the will to say: NO SUPPORT TO FRIENDS OF EVIL.

Notes


[1] ISRAEL W. CHARNY, A classification of denials of the Holocaust and other genocides, Journal of Genocide Research (2003), 5(1), p.17

[2] Political annals of Rwanda and Burundi, 2007-2008.

[3] The East African June 30-July 6, 2008

[4] “Rwanda Monitoring Project” Report, 2003 p.28-30

[5] Means: “Alliance pour la Renaissance de la Nation (Alliance for National Renewal.)

[6] Means: “Union des Rwandais pour la République et la Démocratie”.

[7] See: Mwenda Will Ingabire be Rwanda’s saviour?  February 24, 2010 onhttp://www.independent.co.ug/index.php/the-last-word/the-last-word/3-the-last-word/2527-will-ingabire-be-rwandas-saviour

[8] International Crisis group report: The Congo: Solving the FDLR problem once and for all. Onhttp://www.grandslacs.net/doc/3739.pdf  and   http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/VBOL-6CBGHQ?OpenDocument

[9] The document is in the author’s archives.

[10] The Spanish authorities break away from Judge F. Andreu Merelles; The New Times, February 10, 2008.

4 thoughts on “THE FRIENDS OF EVIL: When NGOs support genocidaires

  1. Pingback: Imvugo ‘Abagome n’abagambanyi’ mu mugambi wa jenoside #Rwanda #Kwibuka20 #Racism | umuvugizi

  2. Pingback: Some BBC Reporters are Virulent Genocide Deniers and Admirers of Perpetrators | umuvugizi

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