Genocide Survivors Put France Under Fire Over School Manual Falsifying the Truth and Killing Memory

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Rwanda’s Genocide survivors’ community has protested against the publication of an instruction manual by France’s Ministry of Education, which affirms that the Genocide perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994 was committed by Tutsi against Hutu.

The survivors who subscribe to an umbrella organization (IBUKA) have written up an official letter to the French Minister of Education, Vincent Peillon, requesting him to rectify the forgery of the gloomy episode of the Rwandan history.

A copy of the letter, which was written on December 18, 2013, has also been sent to French President François Hollande and to the Guard of the [National] Symbols, Ms. Taubira.

Below is the letter by Ibuka (Rwanda’s Genocide survivors’ umbrella organization) in France:

It is both with sadness and indignation that France-based Ibuka has learnt that the prestigious institution of CNED [France’s National Center for Distance Learning] has been teaching all over the world, since last summer, that the Genocide perpetrated in Rwanda back in 1994 has been committed by Tutsi against Hutu.

In a document spread by this institution on June 30, 2013 and directed to professors with the title “French 3rd year. Booklet of reviewed work”, one can read the following, under the title, “Memory can allow to determine the responsibilities and to deliver justice”:

“To this regard, the Genocide against Hutu by Tutsi in Rwanda illustrates well the following […]:  The fact of reviving the memory by reminding the violence of machete-enabled executions, the regime of terror, all that work together to allow for a collective consciousness for historic horror to develop”.

Hence, the document takes a deliberate stance against what has been declared a fact well-known to the public by International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2006: “A Genocide has been committed in Rwanda against the Tutsi ethnic group”.

This revision of history is even worse given the fact that the instruction manual is a source of teaching (learning) for the whole world.

We are often confronted with waves of [Genocide] deniers linking the denial to the thesis of double Genocide. We were, however, far from imagining that an official French institution could also echo that to such an extent.

An instruction manual is not a document one can write up in any way. Meant to help professors, it must rely on up-to-date work (information).

Given the number of books published in France on the Genocide against Tutsi, it’s scary that the National Education dares teach such cruel mistakes!

This instruction manual which violates the memory of victims is a shame for many French young people who, over the last ten years, have published excellent theses about the subject.

From which sources did the National Center for Distance Learning get its information? Has this institution remained using the blackmail propaganda which preceded and accompanied the Genocide? Which specialists have been consulted?

The National Center for Distance Learning can’t get this wrong. A Genocide is not a detail of history. The instruction manual by the National Center for Distance Learning transforms the victims into culprits of Genocide!

They [victims] are outrageously offended. Would you imagine an instruction manual in which it would be written that the Jews would have been the authors [perpetrators] of the Shoah [Holocaust]?

Is it because it has been committed in Africa against Africans that it can be treated with such a level of negligence and taken this lightly? The subject is serious. If one cannot give it the attention it deserves, one would rather keep quiet.

In the name of survivors of the Genocide against Tutsi, in the name of the humanity which has been tarnished by this crime, in the name of the community of French researchers of whom I know the quality of work about the subject, we request you to:

  • Retract the circulation of the whole edition;
  • Publish, in a reference journal, an announcement to suggest this retraction;
  • Put in place, in France, a complete programme of the teaching of the history of the Genocides, including the one against the Tutsi of Rwanda.

Please do accept, Honorable Minister, the assurance of our distinguished consideration and receive our kind regards for the forthcoming end-of-the-year feasts.

Marcel Kabanda

President of Ibuka in France

C/O Secretary General, Ildephonse Ngaruye

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