Genocide and Myth of the Hima-Tutsi-Empire in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

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By: Tom Ndahiro

Before, during and after the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi, its promoters repeatedly claimed that the RPF and Tutsis generally had a plan to build an empire covering the Great Lakes and eventually the Sub-Saharan Africa. Even after so many Tutsis were killed, the perpetrators and their associates are trying to kill our memories of the crime committed, partially through the spreading of this myth.

Much like the falsehood of the Protocol of the Elders of Zion, the myth of a plan for a Hima-Tutsi empire fuelled racial hatred and was used by genocide perpetrators as an excuse for their atrocities. There are many similarities between the two lies. Both purported that an already marginalized group was planning domination over others.[1] The Protocol of the Elders of Zion was said to be a plan for global domination, while the Hima-Tutsi empire plan was for regional domination.

In both cases, those who hated the targeted group — the Jews in the case of the Protocol and the Tutsis in the case of the empire — warned that these groups would subvert, enslave, or kill the rest of the population. Both myths spread in many countries, through both propaganda pamphlets and media publications.[2] Both continue to be available on the internet.[3] Tragically, both were used as an excuse for genocide.[4] And both are false.

Dissemination of vitriolic propaganda against Tutsis and the so-called “Hamitics in the region” had started long before the genocide of 1994. After the break out of the Rwanda civil war in October 1990, the planners and perpetrators of genocide embarked on and intensified moves to consolidate regional alliances. The manipulated cliché of Hutu/Bantu was used in government propaganda.

In 1995, the government of France sent a Kenyan emissary to Rwanda to meet President Paul Kagame (then Vice-President). The emissary had a long list of political demands to Rwanda for consideration and a pathetic trade-off. France offered to sanction and support the ‘consecration’ of President Kagame as King of the region. In return, France said, Rwanda, must cease to incriminate France for its support to the genocidal regime; declare a general amnesty to the perpetrators of genocide and bring to justice only a dozen people whom France promised to help to identify; and mix the RPA and ex-FAR with a rotating command. France further proposed a government reshuffle to include personalities from the “third alternative” nominated by France.

Among the French demands, Rwanda was also to declare French the sole official language. Most oddly, France suggested that the old refugees from 1959 and early 60s “…will have to return to the countries from which they came”.[5]

This last condition reflects the mindset of genocidaires and their supporters. Like the authorities in France, that these returnees were not bona fide Rwandans. But the most interesting part of this message was the preposterous suggestion to crown Kagame as the King of the region. Its foundation is the theory of Hima-Tutsi Empire.

Initially I regarded the purported Tutsi-Hima Empire as harmless and silly propaganda. I later realised how naïve I was when its deadly consequences became clear. In fact, the propaganda was so effective that others who were supposedly judicious people found themselves in a crusade to demonise the victims of extermination as expansionists. Even politicians and media in neighbouring countries spread the ideology.

Many people do not know the origin of this fabrication, even though it has existed for a long time. It is a political ideology that has been ignored, to the detriment of countless victims in the region. Some of the traces of its origin are in Mugesera Leon’s March 1991 publication and various Kangura and Isibo magazines.

People who spread or supported the ideology at all times made efforts to shift the responsibility of the crime of genocide onto its victims, justifying it and implicitly calling for more bloodletting. This happened in the DRC with the ethnic cleansing in the Kivus, and the killing of those called “Anglo-Saxon” tourists in Bwindi forest. Similar atrocities have occured in Brazzaville, Burundi and Tanzania, yet few in the region voice protest.

The most recent allegation that Tutsi/Hima want to create an empire was made by a Tanzanian weekly paper ‘RAI’ in which their correspondent ‘Mohamed M’ warned president John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania to be extra careful with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame because the latter has plans to create the Empire.[6] The author and RAI did not invent the wheel. He was just recycling the old genocidal propaganda.

 

  1. Origins of the Myth: Leon Mugesera and FAR Propaganda

Members of the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), whether in power in Rwanda or in exile after the genocide, repeatedly said that the ultimate goal of the RPF was to “create a Tutsi zone comprising Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Kivu region of Zaire”.[7] This would “create a territory that would promote the interests of Anglo-Saxons through [Yoweri] Museveni’s intervention”.[8] This conspiracy theory had first been developed in the government as part of preparing the Genocide Against the Tutsi. And genocide ideologues made sure it spread in the region, beginning with neighbouring countries. After the genocide, members of the FAR believed that the RPF’s victory after the genocide could not have been possible without outside help and that international actors were not merely taking sides in the conflict but were engaging in malevolent and pre-planned behavior.

Tanzanian news readers were among the first targets of the genocidaires’ propaganda. In March 1991, the first issue of a Tanzanian Newspaper, The Family Mirror, published in Dar-es-Salaam “a sponsored feature” by the Rwandan Government Embassy in that country. Its title was “The whole Truth on the October 1990 War.” Its backers claimed it was published in response to “requests to have more information on the war imposed upon Rwanda by aggressors from Uganda Armed Forces”. Unfortunately, gullible editors became agents of hate speech fed to innocent readers. The “sponsored feature” was a reproduction of a pamphlet of March 1991, authored by Leon Mugesera in collaboration with the organization known by the French acronym AFAPADEM.

The article was full of accusations in a mirror. Mugesera referred to the RPF as aggressors who fear neither God nor man, people who take drugs and destroy the environment. The spiteful article alleged that the true motives of the aggressors was to “restore the dictatorship of the extremists of the Tutsi minority which would subsequently pave the way to a genocide and the extermination of the Hutu majority, … and set up an extended Hima-Tutsi kingdom in the Great Lakes region”.

In the aftermath of 1994, the exiled FAR thought its prediction was being fulfilled. “The RPF government … enjoys the unconditional support of Uganda … and countries such as Belgium, Anglophone countries, the United States and NGOs; the international media defend the RPF cause; the UNAMIR force in Rwanda favours (the RPF government)”, it wrote.

The genocidal propaganda was especially alive in Eastern Zaire. An article entitled “Zaire Threatened by Territorial Break-up: The creation of a Tutsi-Hima Empire Looking Ever More Likely” was published in the Forum des As, N° 511, September 1995. Another publication, Tufikiri, of October 2, 1996, had doctored a speech from Kangura‘s “ten commandments”. The paper also reported on posters carried during demonstration marches Southern Kivu as providing “additional convincing evidence”. The posters contained slogans such as ‘The difference between a dog and a Tutsi? None!’, ‘All Tutsi must go home’, ‘Don’t marry a Tutsi’, ‘Married to a Tutsi? Get divorce!’, ‘Unite to fight the Enemy!’”

Ignoring the developments that were capped by the Genocide against Tutsis, the FAR historiography read as follows: “The war that we have been experiencing since 1 October 1990 originated from the political and ethnic struggles for power, which characterized and were subsequent to the 1959 revolution. The pretext given at the time was the return of the refugees (mainly Tutsi) to Rwanda. The phase that began in April 1994 with the assassination of the head of State is ONLY the implementation of a final plan intended to trigger civil war, create chaos and thus facilitate RPF’s operations”. According to the propaganda, “[t]he spectre of a new Tutsi genocide constantly put forward by the Kigali regime only aims at entrenching its dictatorship in Rwanda and at justifying its hegemonic and expansionist ambitions in the Great Lakes”.[9]

The FAR devoted much attention to what they saw as the Tutsis’ desire to dominate the Hutus. According to its publications,[10] the Tutsis were “[p]lanning and executing the genocide of Hutu with the objective of eliminating the political and intellectual Hutu elite, reducing their numbers to establish a Hutu-Tutsi ethnic balance and by this means putting an end to the myth of Hutu as a majority”.[11] The FAR incorrectly paraphrased Kagame in an interview, claiming that he “stated that he would reduce the number of Hutus to 250,000 and thereby debunk the myth of the majority Hutu ethnic group”.[12] It also said that “for RPF, the objective is to conquer the country, kill as many Rwandans as possible and subjugate the remaining few, and destroy all development works that bring honour to the Habyarimana regime. All this means that RPF has never been an army for the liberation of the people, but a tool to conquer a country and surreptitiously annex it to Uganda”.[13]  It further said that “in reality, what the RPF, particularly RPA, wanted was absolute power. The return of the refugees and democratisation were simply a ploy aimed at misleading public opinion”.[14]

The FAR even manipulated a study done by the International Centre for Peace Initiatives and Conflict Resolution in Africa (ICPCRA), where the Belgian Ambassador to Kenya “revealed” the supposed RPF plan in its entirety. He was quoted as saying that, “thanks to the Rwandan tragedy, it was possible to make a fresh start and build a brilliant future for an ethnically balanced country led by the new RPF government”.[15] The FAR interpreted that in its own way, saying that it “shows that RPF’s systematic massacre of the Hutus was aimed at attaining numerical ethnic balance”.[16] This balance was to be achieved by “inciting ethnic hatred and violence, fostering aggressiveness and conceit amongst the Tutsis and putting the Hutus on the defensive”.[17]

The FAR asserted that what happened in 1994 was a success for the RPF, “despite costing thousands of lives and destroying the country”.[18]  Since the genocide, the FAR claimed, the RPF “enjoys absolute power in Kigali and the current Army comprises all its soldiers … Paul Kagame has made himself Vice-president and Minister of Defence. He is the strongman in Kigali. Military personnel are everywhere: in the National Assembly, the Government, the administration, even the judiciary. The political parties have been muzzled. The RPF carries the majority in all the institutions. The judiciary is ineffectual”.[19]

The FAR also included Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in their conspiracy theory. Museveni, the FAR said, shares in a great amount of the responsibility for what they call the Rwandan tragedy, but we know as the genocide. The FAR accused Museveni of, “in a bid to realize his hegemonic plan”, “creating a Hima-Tutsi empire in the Great Lakes region”. To this end, “he prepared and oversaw the execution of the attack on Rwanda and all the ensuing crimes”.[20] The FAR accused many of the RPF being members of the National Resistance Army (NRA), some in high-ranking positions, and enjoying much support from Museveni, because they were each others’ Hima cousins.[21] The FAR claimed that there was an alliance that was forged between Museveni and the RPF to help “conquer Rwanda”.[22]

The FAR implied Museveni’s hand in the events of April 1994 even further by bringing up an article published in the May 1994 edition of Africa International, saying that “speaking before the Panafrican Congress, President Museveni did not even pretend to be upset about the passing of both his counterparts, whom had seen and embraced the day before … he did not even request to observe a minute of silence”. According to the FAR, he stated of the deaths of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents in April 1994: “You know, it was time to solve the matter”.[23]

The FAR also accused the Tanzanian and Burundian governments of complicity to the events of April 7, 1994. It said that the Tanzanian government did not offer any condolences the Rwandan or Burundian people. It added that the Tanzanian Government seized a Rwandan aircraft, acting of behalf of the RPF, before in the RPF was power, and that the Tanzanian Government was the first to recognize the RPF as the new government in Rwanda.[24] It also claimed that the Burundian army participated in the recruitment and training of the Inkotanyi and provided the RPF with reinforcements and machine guns.[25]

The conspiracists focused much of their attention on Burundi and the region of Kivu in former Zaire. The following notice was posted at the border crossing between Rwanda and Burundi, in the south-western town of Cyangugu: “Attention Zaireans and Bantu people! The Tutsi assassins are out to exterminate us.  For centuries the ungrateful and unmerciful Tutsi have used their powers, daughters and corruption to subject the Bantu. But we know the Tutsi, that race of vipers, drinkers of untrue blood. We will never allow them to fulfil their dreams in Kivuland.” [26]

Thus, the myth spread, and with it so did hatred of Tutsis. In 1997, Radio Voix du Patriote (once known as Radio Kahuzi Biega), intermittently broadcasting in the Bukavu region of South Kivu, attempted to mobilise the “Bantu brothers” (…) to “rise as one” to combat the Tutsi described as “’Ethiopians and Egyptians’ who do not belong in the region”.[27]

 

  1. The Spreading of the Myth Through the Internet and Traditional Media

In November 1990, journalist and promoter of genocide Sixbert Musangamfura and his colleague published a four-page “Dossier” about a “dream-land Hima-Tutsi”.[28] Several months later, the same Sixbert Musangamfura wrote an article mobilizing the Hutu to be pro-active, and “finish off the Tutsis”, because he felt “enough was enough”.[29]

One must also keep in mind that five months before genocide Kangura claimed that among other countries to be included in Tutsi corridor/Empire were Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda and Zaire.[30] The same deceitful affirmations can be found in the French version of Kangura, where an author called for Bantu solidarity to counteract the threat of Tutsi domination and the “L’Empire Corridor Hima”.[31]

But Kangura’s ideology was maintained even in exile when the genocidaires were routed. It changed the motto from “the majority people’s voice” to the “voice of Rwanda and Burundi Refugees”. In one of the publications, which could easily be found on the streets of Nairobi at that time, President Museveni was blamed for the genocide in Rwanda. The issue also said a Tutsi dynasty would cover “…the vast Savanaland and the Great Rift Valley areas of the East and Central Africa north and south of the Equator”.[32] Almost the whole of Africa!

The lies were picked up by other newspapers as well. A Nigerian journalist Okechukwu Emeh said one “cannot dismiss suggestion that the pernicious ideologies of Hutu supremacy (or power) and Hima-Tutsi empire … in the putative states of Rwanda and Burundi, could have convulsive impact on the region and beyond’”.[33] British press also joined in.

The cover of the New African in September 2000 carried a story purportedly confirming the conspiracy theories of genocidaires. “Like Uganda, Rwanda is now America’s special “protégé”, the story read. It continued: “The presidents of Uganda and Rwanda are of Hima-Tutsi descent whose dream is to establish a Hima-Tutsi empire in the Great Lakes Region (with an Anglo-Saxon tacit approval), which implies that the Bantus would have to be exterminated to a great extent to allow the Hima-Tutsis to dominate”.[34]

In one of its publications, the Tanzanian publication Family Mirror reported “the results” of its investigations: it had established that Rwanda had an expansion project aimed at annexing lands bordering its country including the eastern part of the DRC and the Northwestern area of Tanzania. The same paper also said it had in the previous three weeks published a 10-year plan of the “expansionist dream” to create Tutsi Empire.[35]

The reporter wrote at length about the plot, claiming that some senior government officials were in on the plan and that a note was circulating among the diplomats in Dar-es-Salaam, warning of an impending war resembling that of Kabila-Banyamulenge uprising in 1996. Among his sources was a Burundi rebel leader based in the capital who “warned of unexplained movements of Rwandan soldiers along the common border with Tanzania”.

In the same week, an editorial of a Swahili daily, HEKO, called on Tanzania to take stern measures against Rwanda. In the editor’s opinion, one full of racial hatred and disgusting language, Rwandan soldiers should not be taken for granted because they “like all Tutsi of the world are troublesome … and feel proud whenever they dehumanise the Bantu”.[36] To show how deeply the propaganda had sunk, the following year Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Eriya Kategaya, (RIP) was called to defend the preposterous and say in plain words that Museveni and Kagame were not “masterminding a plan to establish a Tutsi-Empire”.[37] All this based on the word of a Burundi rebel leader!

One of the main arguments that Juan Carrero Saralegui and the RDR continue to make is that the “conflict” in Rwanda is about power, and that through repression and manipulation of the media, the current government in Rwanda can distract the international community from the “real” issues. In fact, that is exactly what he aims to do. Carrero claims that the much of the information published about the Great Lakes region is “undoubtedly the greatest international media lie”. He goes on to blame what he calls the “powerful Tutsi extremists and its powerful international allies”, who should be charged with “intoxicating the media”.[38] He says, “they [the media] systematically confuse the two worlds of the personal and the public, that of the ethnic and the political, that of forgiveness in the personal realm and pardon under penal justice system. In this ceremony of confusion everything is distorted”.[39] Carrero says that the international community’s silence over what is happening in the Congo, is not the “result of cold indifference, but of the easily manipulated ingenuousness of the great majority in this region and in the entire international community”. He says it is this ingenuousness that permits “the intrigues and manipulations of a few”. In addition to these two great obstacles, the evil of a few and the silence of the great masses, Carrero concludes reconciliation is an alibi”.[40] This alibi that Carrero talks about, is the belief that the genocide was orchestrated to be used to the benefit of a few. These few, to him, are not the Hutu extremists, but the RPF and powerful international allies. Distortion of the truth is exactly what is found blatantly throughout Carrero’s work.

Carrero criticises the negotiation process that the RPF and the Rwandan government went through during the 1990s with the help of the international community. He writes that, “The Inkotanyis never readily abandon the power that is theirs by divine right. Already during the stage prior to the explosion of 1994 their participation in the negotiations was no more than a sham within their military strategy, aimed at achieving absolute power”.[41] Carrero has no faith that the negotiations that happened in the 1990s were legitimate, and claims they were marred by traps set “by some who lived for power, some in whose hearts lived an unshakeable tendency towards evil”.[42]

Today on the Internet you can access another one of the most vicious racists and revisionists, Remigius Kintu, who blasts the United States, the United Kingdom and some unnamed NGOs for assisting Tutsis. His is prophecy of doom, declaring that the people of Uganda and its neighbouring countries are faced with a new danger, “one which exceeds the darkest days of European colonialism”. In particularly he criticised the former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, George Moose, for opening the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda after recognizing the RPF regime, which “had taken power by force”.[43]

Kintu claimed: “The world’s greatest democracy is also the greatest promoter of dictatorship, terrorism and military aggression in Africa! America is using Tigres in Ethiopia and Tutsis, who are a small minority in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Congo/Zaire to exterminate black people and destroy Africa. Tutsis are given domain over the entire Great Lakes region by the U.S. using all the trappings of apartheid — to the satisfaction of racist population control advocates in high places”.[44]

Kintu went on: “As time goes by, more and more evidence comes to light that there is a definite conspiracy by Tutsis to dominate East and Central Africa through brutal force assisted by a foreign cabal whose interest is to exploit the natural wealth of Africa using a minority group as their local puppets. Tutsis are currently in positions of control in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire. The pursuit of democracy and human rights are outdated issues. Greed has taken over. Natives of Rwanda can rule in Congo and those of Congo or Burundi occupy positions in Uganda and vice versa”.[45]

In what seems to have been a call for yet another genocide, Kintu “called upon all Ugandans to wake up and utilize any means necessary and available to defend their country against agents of destruction”. He further announced that Tutsis, under the leadership of Museveni, took over Uganda and were using it as a springboard to dominate East and Central Africa. In the process, he said, they were slaughtering thousands of people of other ethnic groups.[46]

At the same time, Kintu went into detail about how the Ugandans assisted the Tutsis in establishing a Hima-Tutsi stronghold. He said that: “Tutsis saw this as a golden opportunity to take over the liberation struggle and eventually claim to be the ones who saved Uganda from Obote. Then they can rule Uganda and eventually use it to conquer other countries, starting with Rwanda. They made no secret of their regional plan to dominate and control the entire Great Lakes Region. People who were with them during the fighting recall that Tutsi/Hima High Command frequently discussed plans to invade Rwanda after they have taken over Uganda. After that, Congo/Zaire was next and be followed by Tanzania in that order … Among their objectives was to eliminate and /or reduce the numerical superiority of Hutus through mass killings and any other means, to wipe out the Nilotics of Northern Uganda whom they called Obusoro (little animals), and turn all other Bantu tribes into a controlled mass of servants or slaves. The plot against Nilotic tribes was also revealed to me by the late Grace Ibingira in 1986 just before he joined NRMs regime as Special Advisor to Museveni”.[47]

In his conspiracy theories about the Tutsi connection with the Obote regime in the 1960s, Kintu created and reinforced Tutsi stereotypes. For example, he said that Obote “needed the Tutsis to carry out the bulk of his secret agency work because of their callousness, adaptability and propensity to brutality with a straight face. Obote recruited many of them into the infamous GENERAL SERVICE UNIT, a spy and torture arm of his regime similar to the GESTAPO of Adolph Hitler. Tutsi girls together with numerous Ugandan girls, who were selected for their loose morals or wickedness, were deployed in strategic places to spy on the public. Others were assigned to foreign visitors and diplomats”.[48]

Kintu is not the only one who includes the Unites States and other foreign powers in his conspiracy theories. Samson Mulenga of the University of Zimbabwe concluded in his academic analysis of the war in the DRC that the USA and the international community had “double standards in the Great Lakes Region”.[49]  This war, he said, “eroded the credibility of international organisations like the UN”. He argued the reputation of Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela as fighters for freedom and justice had been thrown into question by their ineptitude and lack of fore sight in handling the DRC crisis. The blame was based on their being what he called apologists for “Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi’s devious and criminal behaviour”, which downplayed the external cause of the war and instead concentrated on domestic issues.

Mulenga, like all deniers, tried to equalize the genocide against the Tutsi. He wrote that, “[w]hile it is understandable that Western public opinion remains sympathetic to the Tutsi cause, it is high time the record was set straight. Hutus are accused of having committed the genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994. Tutsis should as well be accused of committing a genocide of Hutus and ethnic Congolese in eastern DRC in 1996. It is as simple as that. Rwandese Tutsis of the RPF are as guilty of genocide as their Hutu compatriots. Therefore they should be treated the same. … Tutsi subjugation of the Hutus had always been done with the complicity of the international community, Julius Nyerere included”.[50]

 

III. The Myth as Political Capital in Rwanda and Neighbouring Countries

The Tutsi-Hima Empire, though a fetish, turned into political capital in the Great-Lakes Region. The late president of the DRC, Laurent Kabila, used the obsession to marshal more support amongst neighbours and allies, in what Collette Braeckman called an “anti-Tutsi diatribe”.[51] But Kabila was not the only one wholly absorbed in this.

The unfolding “old dream of a Hima-Tutsi empire” was reported by the unregistered political party Republican Rally for Democracy in Rwanda (RDR) in their communiqué “Tutsi Internationalism throwing the Great Lakes region into an unprecedented chaos”.[52] This communiqué contained references to “Tutsi political hegemony” and “expansionist policies of the Tutsi”. It also accused the RPF government after the genocide of engaging in “Hitler expansionist policy”. Two years later, in 1998, the RDR announced the bellicose “criminal Kigali regime and its allies” was pursuing their expansionist aim of creating a Hima-Tutsi empire in the region.[53]

In an in article on an RDR online publication someone by the name of Jean Pierre Kalala, referring to a news item by Serge Arnold (AFP Nairobi, 25 August 1995), stated that “many Zairean and Kenyan leaders are convinced that Mr. Museveni, “godfather of the Tutsis in power at Kigali”, played a Machiavellian role in the region, moved by the old dream, menacing for them, of a ‘Tutsi empire’ which would bring together the Tutsi or ethnically-related population in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Easter Zaïre”. He also referred to Mr. Gérard Kamanda, then Zaïre Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs and Decentralisation, who said during the 47th Session of the UNHCR Executive Committee meeting in Geneva on October 8, 1996: “I should now like to inform you of the intensive preparations which the Tutsi people are making in order to wage war against the rest of the peoples of the regions along the Ruzizi river from Uvira to Bukavu. This war, which may begin in the next days or weeks, aims at concretisation a mad dream about a ‘Hima’ empire to be restored in the whole Great Lakes region, by means of a military, political and social control of such peoples as the Hutu, the Rega, the Sshi, the Hunde, the Nyanga, etc…, living in Eastern Zaïre”.[54]

During the Parliamentary budget session in July 1999, Tanzania’s then-Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Seif Hatib, warned that his country “cannot accept to surrender part of its land to the Tutsi Empire” purportedly in the making by the Tutsi International Power (TIP).  He said this while reacting to a report presented by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Mazora, who claimed to be aware of such a plan. The Colonel said that he had information of the possible introduction to his country, of a group known as “Rwandese Association Internationale” (RAI).[55] Disquieting indeed!

Someone well aware of the falsehoods of the perpetrators and the deniers of genocide has to suppose that the two Tanzanian politicians were prejudiced by lies and falsified history, especially those found on Internet. Just searching for the “Tutsi International Power” on the internet, can establish Honourable Mazora’s informant. The first web page is about “the Tutsi Colonization Plan of the Kivu Region and Other Central African areas”, so it is said, “translated from French by Sebiswi Mugabo Ayad at Mweso, Kivu on March 31, 1980”. According to the authors, or the website managers, TIP “is now extended to Ethiopia and Eritrea and should also include Sudan after its liberation by John Garang”.[56] Remember that when the Tutsi were killed; many were thrown in rivers especially the Nyabarongo and Akagera, as a symbol of sending them back to Ethiopia, which was said to be their place of origin.

Knowing the shrewdness of Tanzanian print media, and the readership it enjoys, there is no doubt the statement of the Honourable Minister and Honourable Parliamentarian reached and stunned many. However, they never learned the sources of information of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Security Committee. The only real credibility the information had was the venue where it was announced: Parliament. Where the honourable Minister and the distinguished member heard the story remains a mystery. What is real is the immense damage the allegations caused, not only to the presumed “expansionists,” but also to a public that was subjected to baseless intelligence reports, and an ill-informed media.

But it was not only Tanzanian politicians who were taken in by the lies. In 1996, the Zairean Foreign Minister, Kamanda wa Kamanda, also repeated the same nonsense about “Tutsis in the Great lakes” establishing the “Hima Empire”.[57] The Sudanese Foreign Affairs minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail, declared in the state- owned weekly newspaper ‘Al Usbuh’ that Sudan would back Kabila because he believed Museveni and Kagame, wanted to create a Hima-Tutsi empire, which would include Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa. In that same paper one of the Sudanese foreign ministry official said they had evidence the SPLA fighters were in the DRC helping their friends, Uganda and Rwanda. And so was Hassan Sebit Tshimpiangia, spokesman of the Mujaheedin (Islamic fighters) who was quoted confirming his militia’s readiness to go and fight in the DRC “to teach the invading forces a lesson”.[58]  COGEN Marc and REYNTJENS Filip confirmed what the Sudanese Minister said: the ex-FAR and interahamwe were a significant component of the international alliance against the Congolese rebels and their presumed sponsors, Rwanda and Uganda, and Sudan supported Kabila against the new rebellion.[59]

Some foreign leaders made even more extreme statements. The then-Congolese Minister of Information, Didier Mumengi, said the Rwandan government demanded the annexation by Rwanda of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic because they were “drunk” with a “dream of constructing a Hima Tutsi Empire in the Great Lakes sub-region”.[60]

The Zimbabwe state-owned print media played the same tune. Human rights organization African Rights, in their book “The Cycle of Conflict: Which Way out in the Kivus?” considered some Zimbabwean newspaper articles as “reminiscent to Kangura, which advocated and encouraged the 1994 genocide … urging Bantu people to stand together and counter a Hamitic conspiracy to force them into subservience”.  The human rights organization further quoted The Herald, from December 13, 1998, as saying: “Tutsi imperialist tendencies were well-documented”.[61] But, to which documentation does the author refer?  If it is Kangura or similar media and literature by racist ideologues, the answer is that these “tendencies” were indeed mentioned. But few people would call these sources objective and reliable.

I believe few people knew Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia supported President Laurent Kabila’s war to stop “expansionist Hima-Tutsi coalition” of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. I did not even know until I read an article that was published by Great Lakes Press (GLP), saying SADC diplomats blamed Tanzania for their neutrality as the other members were carrying out an attack against the Hima-Tutsi league. This neutrality was considered as complicity by the writers. He said the GLP had obtained “testimonies worthy of faith” regarding the Tanzanian army fighting aside of the Hima-Tutsi coalition.[62] The authors of the article said GLP had discovered that in 1972 president Julius Nyerere sent sixteen tons of weapons and ammunition “to help the Hima-Tutsi government of Micombero in order to subdue a hearth of a Hutu revolt in the south of the country. The sympathy of Nyerere towards Hima-Tutsi would not go back to yesterday, because he is said to be himself from a Tanzanian tribe belonging to the Hima-Tutsi ethnic group. In memory and to perpetuate the name of his late protected, Nyerere gave the name of Rwagasore to one of his grandsons born in the last spring in 1998”.

In his “Open Letter To The Youth Of Uganda of June 8, 1994”, only two months after the carnage, former Ugandan president Lukongwa Binaisa (RIP) claimed it was Museveni and the RPF who were solely responsible to the deaths of over a million Tutsis.[63] He said in the letter, spewing racist stereotypes, that the tendency today in the Western press is to look at the situation in Rwanda “as if it were a beauty contest, whereby the Tutsi with their aquiline noses and thin lips and height win the contest over the short, flat-nosed Hutu, and in the eyes of the west the Tutsi in spite of their being 15% of the population should be the rulers”. He concluded: “The Hutu, having been attacked without provocation, were entitled to use all means necessary to repel the aggressor”. He said it was futile to charge the Hutu of Rwanda with genocide, when everybody knows that the Hutu “were and are still responding to foreign aggression”, launched by Ugandan troops. Justification of a crime of genocide!

The letter also repeated the old tale of the expansionist plans of the victims of genocide. Binaisa did not even think it was legitimate for the Rwanda Diaspora to try to regain their right to nationality, despite being locked out for more than thirty years. “We are now told that the Tutsi were merely returning home to Rwanda”, he wrote. “That must be a most unusual way for anybody to return home by first shooting his way to power”.

Binaisa’s letter asserted that Museveni’s “Tutsi military rulers of Rwanda” would introduce “a new type of apartheid where government shall permanently be in the hands of an arrogant, fascist aristocracy, as long as that aristocracy is armed to the teeth”. At the end of the letter, Binaisa stated that with the end of apartheid in South Africa, the youth of Uganda had an obligation to Uganda and all of Africa to tell President Museveni and the Hima/Tutsi clique around him to stop supporting the RPF. The RFP’s principles, he claimed, were based on a feeling of superiority because of their birth and physiognomy, and they therefore felt entitled by divine right to be the rulers of the whole region. “Remember that those of you who are neither Hima nor Tutsi are all Hutus, Bairu or (Slaves in English) no matter in which part of Uganda you are born”, he warned. “When your turn comes, you will fare no better than the Hutu in Rwanda”. [64]

 

Conclusion

Such examples are numerous; we can go on and on. But what is important here is to show the proliferation of this terrible ideology, that is slowly but surely sucking in many innocent people. The Kanguras of this world have a mission, and they will achieve their goals if nobody names and shames them.

My citing Tanzania’s Minister and MP quoting the misinformation is meant to show how revisionism at work can turn any good citizen in any country into either a hoaxer, a revisionist or a paranoid. Revisionism, as it is said, deviates from the standard methodology of historical pursuit because it seeks to mould facts to fit a preconceived result. It denies events that have been objectively and empirically proved to have occurred, and because it works backward from the conclusion to the facts, thus necessitating the distortion and manipulation of those facts where they differ from the preordained conclusion. Revisionism therefore, denies something that demonstrably happened, through methodological dishonesty.[65]

 

 

 

 

[1] The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007058

[2] See Max Wallace, The American Axis, St. Martin’s Press (2003).

[3] Jacobs, Steven Leonard and Weitzman, Mark: Dismantling the Big Lie: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (2003).

[4] Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elder of Zion (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1966) 32–36. See also http://ddickerson.igc.org/protocols.html

[5] Colette Braeckman: Le soir, November 10, 1995

[6] See ‘Magufuli: Chunga kila hatua ya Kagame’ (Magufuli: Be careful with each and every step of Kagame) Available on : http://rai.co.tz/2016/07/11/magufuli-chunga-kila-hatua-ya-kagame/  and http://www.magazetini.com/news/magufuli-chunga-kila-hatua-ya-kagame

[7] K0370598

[8] K0370598

[9] PRESS RELEASE Nº 4/2002 Done at Montreal on 17 July 2002—THE ILLEGITIMATE AND BELLICOSE KIGALI GOVERNMENT IS THE MAIN OBSTACLE TO DURABLE PEACE IN THE AFRICAN GREAT LAKES.

[10] 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.”

[11] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.4)

[12] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.46)

[13] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.6)

[14] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.9)

[15] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.24)

[16] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.24)

[17] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.17)

[18] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.10)

[19] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.10)

[20] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.60)

[21] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.61)

[22] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.105)

[23] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.62)

[24] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.63)

[25] Ibid, FAR (1995) (p.63)

[26] Leslie Crawford, “Hutus see France as their savior”- Financial Times, 27 June 1994)

[27] M. Griffin, Rwanda: Familiar Drums, (Index on Censorship 3, 1998)

[28] ISIBO (Special Issue) N°3&4 of Nov. 1990   In Kinyarwanda language the professed empire was expressed in a pejorative form, (Uruhugu-Nzozi-Hima-Tutsi)

[29] ISIBO N° 27-October 1991

[30] Kangura magazine N°52 of December 1993

[31] Zayana Raphaël: Kangura Magazine-International version N° 8 p. 5 (no date or year of publication) but most likely, in 1992-3

[32] Kangura Magazine-International version N° 71-June 1995

[33] See; Africa and the Crisis of Instability in the Vanguard Tuesday, March 30, 2004 on: http://www.globalpolicy.org/nations/sovereign/failed/2004/0330crisis.htm also on http://www.vanguardngr.com/articles/2002/viewpoints/vp130032004.html

[34] See http://www.africasia.com/newafrican/sept00/cover_story_congo.htm

[35] Rwanda’s expansionist aims are real: Family Mirror-September 4-10, 1998

[36] HEKO-September 4, 1998

[37] Assah Mwambene: Ugandan Leader Dismisses reports on Tutsi ’empire’ -Daily News, July 21, 1999

[38] Carrero, J. (1998). Once More the Empire: The Extermination of the Hutu People. Majorca: Foundation S’Olivar of Estallencs., www.inshuti.org

[39] 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

[40] 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

[41] Carrero, J. (1997). The Reasons for an Acceptance. Mallorca: Foundation S’Olivar.

[42] 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

[43] Terror incognito: The U.S. Conspiracy Behind Museveni’s Wars By Mr. Remigius Kintu to the Maryland Peace & Justice Annual Conference Baltimore, Maryland April 19, 1997

[44] Remigius Kintu: Sins of Omission, Apathy and American Aggression in Africa. Ottawa, Ont., Canada September 27, 1997

[45] By Remigius Kintu: UDC NEWSLETTER, November 1997

[46] Ugandans Condemn Tutsi Imposters and Vow to Depose Them:  UDC- NEWSLETTER: March, 1999

[47] pg. 7 Kintu, Remigius (2005), ‘The Truth Behind the Rwandan Tragedy’, Arusha, Tanzania

[48] pg. 8 Kintu, Remigius (2005), ‘The Truth Behind the Rwandan Tragedy’, Arusha, Tanzania

[49] Source: http://pages.infinit.net/glp/index.htm and http://pages.infinit.net/glp/rwanda/rwanda_004e.html

[50] Same allegations of re-colonisation of Africa by USA and other Anglo-Saxons are made by Linda De Hoyos Which way for Africa: freedom or slavery? Executive Intelligence Review April 18, 1997, pp. 41-45. The University Dar es Salaam, is termed Nyerere’s Kindergarten for SPLA’s Garang, Museveni, Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerki, and many other guerrillas come out of of the Dar es Salaam University–or, “Nyerere’s Kindergarten,” in reference to former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, who is seen as ‘sly’ but ‘effective perpetrator of genocide’. Source: http://www.aboutsudan.com/conferences/fdr_pac/which_way_for_africa.htm

[51] Le Soir -November 17, 1998. Read more in CONSEQUENCES OF RACISM IN RWANDA: WE NEED TO GET OUT OF APATHY  http://friendsofevil.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/consequences-of-racism-in-rwanda-we-need-to-get-out-of-apathy/

[52] PRESS RELEASE Nº 97 October 22, 1996

[53] Ibid. PRESS RELEASE Brussels, August 24, 1998

[54] “Enjeux géostratégiques du Conflit des Grands Lacs L’empire Hima-Tutsi : mythe ou réalité?” In Forum Rwandais N° 1 du 01 au 31 janvier 1999  also available on http://www.rdrwanda.org/francais/publications/forum/Forum_Rwandais_No1.html

[55] Nyaronyo Kicheere, Majira, July 14, 1999

[56] View: www.africa2000.com/UGANDA/udc0704.html

[57] Kamanda wa Kamanda-addressing the 46th Session of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the UNHCR: para 55-66 of the UN General Assembly Document N° A/C.96/SR.509 of  8 January 1997

[58] SUDAN SAYS IT WILL SUPPORT KABILA AGAINST REBELS, KHARTOUM September 14 1998, Sapa-IPS. also See http://www.anc.org.za/anc/newsbrief/1998/news0915

[59] THE GREAT LAKES, KIVU AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE. August 19, 1999 on

http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mcogen/KIVU%28mc%29.html

[60] See the story on http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/35/176.html and Democratic Republic of Congo Plans to dismember country: Receive US support From The Guardian (Communist Party of Australia) 7 July 1999 on http://www.peg.apc.org/~guardian 

[61] The Cycle of Conflict: Which Way out in the Kivus?  African Rights, December 2000, p. 97.

[62] Paul-Henri Dandurand and Sylvio D’Almeida: In ‘Burundi-Tanzania-Embargo: Tanzania Should Request for the Strengthening of Sanctions Against Burundi, According to SADC Diplomats’. Great Lakes Press— Nairobi, January 13, 1999. Source: http://pages.infinit.net/glp/glpnews/glp-041e.html

[63] http://www.udayton.edu/~rwanda/articles/binaisa.html

[64] Binaisa, (op.cit)

[65] See An essay by Gord McFee Why “Revisionism” Isn’t. On http://www.holocaust-history.org/revisionism-isnt/  also see ‘Holocaust denial’ on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial  and ‘Aftermath of the Holocaust’ on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_the_Holocaust

One thought on “Genocide and Myth of the Hima-Tutsi-Empire in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

  1. Pingback: Journalist or Hate Mongering Academic? #Rwanda #Tanzania #HimaTutsiEmpire | umuvugizi

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