Google+ Followers

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What Really Happened in Rwanda? You can only find the truth by thinking outside the Box

BBC Documentary : Rwanda the untold story 

What Really Happened in Rwanda?

 Christian Davenport and Allan C. Stam

• October 06, 2009 • 5:30 PM 

 Christian Davenport is a professor of peace studies, political science and sociology at the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute, as well as director of the Radical Information Project and Stop Our States. His primary research interests include political conflict (e.g., human rights violations, genocide/politicide, torture, political surveillance, civil war and social movements), measurement and racism. Davenport is the author of numerous books and articles. Allan C. Stam is a professor of political science at the University of Michigan. His work on war outcomes, durations and mediation has appeared in numerous political science journals. His books include Win, Lose, or Draw (UM Press, 1996), Democracies at War (Princeton Press, 2002) and The Behavioral Origins of War (UM Press, 2004). He is the recipient of the 2004 Karl Deutsch award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under the age of 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the study of international politics.

Researchers Christian Davenport and Allan C. Stam say the accepted story of the mass killings of 1994 is incomplete, and the full truth — inconvenient as it may be to the Rwandan government — needs to come out.

In 1998 and 1999, we went to Rwanda and returned several times in subsequent years for a simple reason: We wanted to discover what had happened there during the 100 days in 1994 when civil war and genocide killed an estimated 1 million individuals. What was the source of our curiosity? Well, our motivations were complex. In part, we felt guilty about ignoring the events when they took place and were largely overshadowed in the U.S. by such “news” as the O.J. Simpson murder case. We felt that at least we could do something to clarify what had occurred in an effort to respect the dead and assist in preventing this kind of mass atrocity in the future. We were both also in need of something new, professionally speaking. Although tenured, our research agendas felt staid. Rwanda was a way out of the rut and into something significant.
Although well-intentioned, we were not at all ready for what we would encounter. Retrospectively, it was naïve of us to think that we would be. As we end the project 10 years later, our views are completely at odds with what we believed at the outset, as well as what passes for conventional wisdom about what took place.

We worked for both the prosecution and the defense at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, trying to perform the same task — that is, to find data that demonstrate what actually happened during the 100 days of killing. Because of our findings, we have been threatened by members of the Rwandan government and individuals around the world. And we have been labeled “genocide deniers” in both the popular press as well as the Tutsi expatriate community because we refused to say that the only form of political violence that took place in 1994 was genocide. It was not, and understanding what happened is crucial if the international community is to respond properly the next time it becomes aware of such a horrific spasm of mass violence.

Like most people with an unsophisticated understanding of Rwandan history and politics, we began our research believing that what we were dealing with was one of the most straightforward cases of political violence in recent times, and it came in two forms: On the one hand was the much-highlighted genocide, in which the dominant, ruling ethnic group — the Hutu — targeted the minority ethnic group known as the Tutsi. The behavior toward the minority group was extremely violent — taking place all over Rwanda — and the objective of the government’s effort appeared to be the eradication of the Tutsi, so the genocide label was easy to apply. On the other hand, there was the much-neglected international or civil war, which had rebels (the Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF) invading from Uganda on one side and the Rwandan government (the Armed Forces of Rwanda or FAR) on the other. They fought this war for four years, until the RPF took control of the country.

We also went in believing that the Western community — especially the United States — had dropped the ball in failing to intervene, in large part because the West had failed to classify expeditiously the relevant events as genocide.

Finally, we went in believing that the Rwandan Patriotic Front, then rebels but now the ruling party in Rwanda, had stopped the genocide by ending the civil war and taking control of the country.
At the time, the points identified above stood as the conventional wisdom about the 100 days of slaughter. But the conventional wisdom was only partly correct.

The violence did seem to begin with Hutu extremists, including militia groups such as the Interahamwe, who focused their efforts against the Tutsi. But as our data came to reveal, from there violence spread quickly, with Hutu and Tutsi playing the roles of both attackers and victims, and many people of both ethnic backgrounds systematically using the mass killing to settle political, economic and personal scores.
Against conventional wisdom, we came to believe that the victims of this violence were fairly evenly distributed between Tutsi and Hutu; among other things, it appears that there simply weren’t enough Tutsi in Rwanda at the time to account for all the reported deaths.

We also came to understand just how uncomfortable it can be to question conventional wisdom.
We began our research while working on a U.S. Agency for International Development project that had proposed to deliver some methodological training to Rwandan students completing their graduate theses in the social sciences. While engaged in this effort, we came across a wide variety of nongovernmental organizations that had compiled information about the 100 days. Many of these organizations had records that were detailed, identifying precisely who died where and under what circumstances; the records included information about who had been attacked by whom. The harder we pushed the question of what had happened and who was responsible, the more access we gained to information and data.

There were a number of reasons that we were given wide-ranging access to groups that had data on the 100 days of killing. First, for their part of the USAID program, our hosts at the National University of Rwanda in Butare arranged many public talks, one of which took place at the U.S. embassy in Kigali. Presumably put together to assist Rwandan NGOs with “state-of-the-art” measurement of human rights violations, these talks — the embassy talk, in particular — turned the situation on its head. The Rwandans at the embassy ended up doing the teaching, bringing up any number of events and publications that dealt with the violence. We met with representatives of several of the institutions involved, whose members discussed with us in greater detail the data they had compiled.

Second, the U.S. ambassador at the time, George McDade Staples, helped us gain access to Rwanda government elites —directly and indirectly through staff members.
Third, the Rwandan assigned to assist the USAID project was extremely helpful in identifying potential sources of information. That she was closely related to a member of the former Tutsi royal family was a welcome plus.

Once we returned to the U.S., we began to code events during the 100 days by times, places, perpetrators, victims, weapon type and actions. Essentially, we compiled a listing of who did what to whom, and when and where they did it — what Charles Tilly, the late political sociologist, called an “event catalog.” This catalog would allow us to identify patterns and conduct more rigorous statistical investigations.
Looking at the material across space and time, it became apparent that not all of Rwanda was engulfed in violence at the same time. Rather, the violence spread from one locale to another, and there seemed to be a definite sequence to the spread. But we didn’t understand the sequence.

At National University of Rwanda, we spent a week preparing students to conduct a household survey of the province. As we taught the students how to design a survey instrument, a common question came up repeatedly: “What actually happened in Butare during the summer of 1994?” No one seemed to know; we found this lack of awareness puzzling and guided the students in building a set of questions for their survey, which eventually revealed several interesting pieces of information.

First, and perhaps most important, was confirmation that the vast majority of the population in the Butare province had been on the move between 1993 and 1995, particularly during early 1994. Almost no one stayed put. We also found that the RPF rebels had blocked the border leading south out of the province to Burundi. The numbers of households that provided information consistent with these facts raised significant questions in our minds regarding the culpability of the RPF relative to the FAR for killing in the area.
During this period, we confirmed Human Rights Watch findings that many killings were organized by the Hutu-led FAR, but we also found that many of the killings were spontaneous, the type of violence that we would expect with a complete breakdown of civil order. Our work further revealed that, some nine years later, a great deal of hostility remained. There was little communication between the two ethnic groups. The Tutsi, now under RPF leadership and President Paul Kagame, dominated all aspects of the political, economic and social systems.

Lastly, it became apparent to us that members of the Tutsi diaspora who returned to Rwanda after the conflict were woefully out of touch with the country that they had returned to. Indeed, one Tutsi woman with whom we spent a day in the hills around Butare broke down in tears in our car as we drove back to the university. When asked why, she replied, “I have never seen such poverty and destitution.” We were quite surprised at the degree of disconnect between the elite students drawn from the wealthy strata of the Tutsi diaspora, who were largely English-speaking, and the poorer Rwandans, who spoke Kinyarwanda and perhaps a bit of French. It was not surprising that the poor and the wealthy in the country did not mix; what struck both of us as surprising was the utter lack of empathy and knowledge about each other’s condition. After all, the Tutsi outside the country claimed to have invaded Rwanda from Uganda on behalf of the Tutsi inside — a group that the former seemed to have little awareness of or interest in. Our work has led us to conclude that the invading force had a primary goal of conquest and little regard for the lives of resident Tutsis.

As the students proceeded with the survey, asking questions that were politically awkward for the RPF-led government, we found our position in the country increasingly untenable. One member of our team was detained and held for the better part of a day while being interrogated by a district police chief. The putative reason was a lack of permissions from the local authorities; permissions were required for everything in Rwanda, and we generally had few problems obtaining them in the beginning. The real reason for the interrogation, however, seemed to be that we were asking uncomfortable questions about who the killers were.

A couple of weeks later, two members of our team were on a tourist trip in the northern part of the country when they were again detained and questioned for the better part of a day at an RPF military facility. There the questioners wanted to know why we were asking difficult questions, what we were doing in the country, whether we were working for the American CIA, if we were guests of the Europeans and, in general, why we were trying to cause trouble.

On one of our trips to Rwanda, Alison Des Forges, the pre-eminent scholar of Rwandan politics who has since died in an airplane crash, suggested that we go to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Tanzania to seek answers to the questions we were raising. Des Forges even called on our behalf.
With appointments set and with Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance, we arrived in Arusha, Tanzania, for our meeting with Donald Webster, the lead prosecutor for the political trials, Barbara Mulvaney, the lead prosecutor for the military trial, and others from their respective teams. As we began to talk, we initially found that the prosecutors in the two sets of cases — one set of defendants were former members of the FAR military, the other set of trials focused on the members of the Hutu political machine — had great interest in our project.

Eventually, Webster and Mulvaney asked us to help them contextualize the cases that they were investigating. Needless to say, we were thrilled with the possibility. Now, we were working directly with those trying to bring about justice.

The prosecutors showed us a preliminary database that they had compiled from thousands of eyewitness statements associated with the 1994 violence. They did not have the resources to code all of the statements for computer analysis; they wanted us to do the coding and compare the statements against the data we had already compiled. We returned to the U.S. with real enthusiasm; we had access to data that no one else had seen and direct interaction with one of the most important legal bodies of the era.

Interest by and cooperation with the ICTR did not last as long as we thought it would, in no small part because it quickly became clear that our research was going to uncover killings committed not just by the Hutu-led former government, or FAR, but by the Tutsi-led rebel force, the RPF, as well. Until then, we had been trying to identify all deaths that had taken place; beyond confidentiality issues, it did not occur to us that the identity of perpetrators would be problematic (in part because we thought that all or almost all of them would be associated with the Hutu government). But then we tried to obtain detailed maps that contained information on the location of FAR military bases at the beginning of the civil war. We had seen copies of these maps pinned to the wall in Mulvaney’s office. In fact, during our interview with Mulvaney, the prosecutor explained how her office had used these maps. We took detailed notes, even going so far as to write down map grid coordinates and important map grid sheet identifiers.

After the prosecution indicated it was no longer interested in reconstructing a broad conception of what had taken place —prosecutors said they’d changed their legal strategy to focus exclusively on information directly related to people charged with crimes — we asked the court for a copy of the maps. To our great dismay, the prosecution claimed that the maps did not exist. Unfortunately for the prosecutors, we had our notes. After two years of negotiations, a sympathetic Canadian colonel in a Canadian mapping agency produced the maps we requested.

As part of the process of trying to work out the culpability of the various defendants charged with planning to carry out genocidal policies, the ICTR conducted interviews with witnesses to the violence over some five years, beginning in 1996. Ultimately, the court deposed some 12,000 different people. The witness statements represent a highly biased sample; the Kagame administration prevented ICTR investigators from interviewing many who might provide information implicating members of the RPF or who were otherwise deemed by the government to be either unimportant or a threat to the regime.
All the same, the witness statements were important to our project; they could help corroborate information found in CIA documents, other witness statements, academic studies of the violence and other authoritative sources.

As with the maps, however, when we asked for the statements, we were told they did not exist. Eventually, defense attorneys —who were surprised by the statements’ existence, there being no formal discovery process in the ICTR — requested them. After a year or so, we obtained the witness statements, in the form of computer image files that we converted into optically readable computer documents. We then wrote software to search through these 12,000 statements in our attempts to locate violence and killing throughout Rwanda.

The first significant negative publicity associated with our project occurred in November 2003 at an academic conference in Kigali. The National University of Rwanda had invited a select group of academics, including our team, to present the results of research into the 1994 murders. We had been led to believe that the conference would be a private affair, with an audience composed of academics and a small number of policymakers.

As it turned out, the conference was anything but small or private. It was held at a municipal facility in downtown Kigali, and our remarks would be simultaneously translated from English into French and the Rwandan language, Kinyarwanda. There were hundreds of people present, including not just academics but members of the military, the cabinet and other members of the business and political elite.

We presented two main findings, the first derived from spatial and temporal maps of data obtained from the different sources already mentioned. The maps showed that, while killing took place in different parts of the country, it did so at different rates and magnitudes — begging for an explanation we did not yet have. The second finding came out of a comparison of official census data from 1991 to the violence data we had collected. According to the census, there were approximately 600,000 Tutsi in the country in 1991; according to the survival organization Ibuka, about 300,000 survived the 1994 slaughter. This suggested that out of the 800,000 to 1 million believed to have been killed then, more than half were Hutu. The finding was significant; it suggested that the majority of the victims of 1994 were of the same ethnicity as the government in power. It also suggested that genocide — that is, a government’s attempts to exterminate an ethnic group — was hardly the only motive for some, and perhaps most, of the killing that occurred in the 100 days of 1994.

Halfway into our presentation, a military man in a green uniform stood up and interrupted. The Minister of Internal Affairs, he announced, took great exception to our findings. We were told that our passport numbers had been documented, that we were expected to leave the country the next day and that we would not be welcomed back into Rwanda — ever. Abruptly, our presentation was over, as was, it seemed, our fieldwork in Rwanda.

The results of our initial paper and media interviews became widely known throughout the community of those who study genocides in general and the Rwandan genocide in particular. The main offshoot was that we became labeled, paradoxically, as genocide “deniers,” even though our research documents that genocide had occurred. Both of us have received significant quantities of hate mail and hostile e-mail. In the Tutsi community and diaspora, our work is anathema. Over the past several years, as we have refined our results, becoming more confident about our findings, our critics’ voices have become louder and increasingly strident.

Of course, we have never denied that a genocide took place; we just noted that genocide was only one among several forms of violence that occured at the time. In the context of post-genocide Rwandan politics, however, the divergence from common wisdom was considered political heresy.
Following the debacle at the Kigali conference, the ICTR prosecution teams of Webster and Mulvaney let us know in no uncertain terms that they had no further use of our services. The reasons for our dismissal struck us as somewhat outrageous. From the outset, the prosecution claimed it was not interested in anything that would prove or disprove the culpability of any individuals in the mass killings. Now, they said, the findings we’d announced in the Kigali conference made our future efforts superfluous.

Shortly after our dismissal, however, Peter Erlinder, a defense attorney for former members of the FAR military who were to be tried, contacted us. This was after several others from the defense had also attempted to contact us, with no success.

We had misgivings about cooperating or working with the defense, the gravest being that such work might be seen as supporting the claim we were genocide deniers. After months of negotiating, we finally met Erlinder at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Pa. The defense could have made a better choice for roping us in. Erlinder, a professor at the William Mitchell College of Law, was an academic turned defender for the least likable suspects.

After we obtained lattes and quiet seats in the back of the coffee shop, Erlinder came straight to the point: He was, of course, interested in establishing his client’s innocence, but he felt it would help the defense to establish a baseline history of what had taken place in the war in 1994. As he explained, “My client may be guilty of some things, but he is not guilty of all the things that any in the Rwandan government and military during 1994 is accused of. They have all been made out to be devils.”

What he asked was reasonable. In fact, he made the same essential offer the prosecution had: In exchange for our efforts at contextualizing the events of 1994, Erlinder would do the best he could to assist us in getting data on what took place. With Erlinder’s assistance, we were able to obtain the maps we’d seen in Mulvaney’s office and the 12,000 witness statements. With this information, we were able to better establish the true positions of both the FAR and RPF during the civil war. This greater confidence of the location of the two sides’ militaries made — and makes — us more certain about the culpability of the FAR for the majority of the killings during the 100 days of 1994. At the same time, however, we also began to develop a stronger understanding of the not insignificant role played by the RPF in the mass murders.

About this time, we were approached by an individual associated with Arcview-GIS, a spatial mapping software firm that wanted to take the rather simplistic maps that we had developed and improve them, thereby showing what the company’s program was capable of. Our consultant at Arcview-GIS said the software could layer information on the map, providing, among other things, a line that showed, day by day, where the battlefront of the civil war was located, relative to the killings we had already documented.
This was a major step. In line with the conventional wisdom, we had assumed that the government was responsible for most all of the people killed in Rwanda during 1994; we initially paid no attention to where RPF forces were located. But it soon became clear that the killings occurred not just in territory controlled by the government’s FAR but also in RPF-captured territory, as well as along the front between the two forces. It seemed possible to us that the three zones of engagement (the FAR-controlled area, the RPF-controlled area and the battlefront between the two) somehow influenced one another.

In his book, The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention, Alan Kuperman argued that given the logistical challenges of mounting a military operation in deep central Africa, there was little the U.S. or Europe could have done to limit the 1994 killings. To support his position, Kuperman used U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency information to document approximate positions of the RPF units over the course of the war. We updated this information on troop locations with data from CIA national intelligence estimates that others had obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and then updated it again, incorporating interviews with former RPF members, whose recollections we corroborated with information from the FAR.

Our research showed the vast majority of the 1994 killing had been conducted by the FAR, the Interahamwe and their associates. Another significant proportion of the killing was committed not by government forces but by citizens engaged in opportunistic killing as part of the breakdown of civil order associated with the civil war. But the RPF was clearly responsible for another significant portion of the killings.

In some instances, the RPF killings were, very likely, spontaneous retribution. In other cases, though, the RPF has been directly implicated in large-scale killings associated with refugee camps, as well as individual households. Large numbers of individuals died at roadblocks and in municipal centers, households, swamps and fields, many of them trying to make their way to borders.

Perhaps the most shocking result of our combination of information on troop locations involved the invasion itself: The killings in the zone controlled by the FAR seemed to escalate as the RPF moved into the country and acquired more territory. When the RPF advanced, large-scale killings escalated. When the RPF stopped, large-scale killings largely decreased. The data revealed in our maps was consistent with FAR claims that it would have stopped much of the killing if the RPF had simply called a halt to its invasion. This conclusion runs counter to the Kagame administration’s claims that the RPF continued its invasion to bring a halt to the killings.

In terms of ethnicity, the short answer to the question, “Who died?” is, “We’ll probably never know.” By and large, the Hutu and the Tutsi are physically indistinct from one another. They share a common language. They have no identifiable accent. They have had significant levels of intermarriage through their histories, and they have lived in similar locations for the past several hundred years. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Belgians, in their role as occupying power, put together a national program to try to identify individuals’ ethnic identity through phrenology, an abortive attempt to create an ethnicity scale based on measurable physical features such as height, nose width and weight, with the hope that colonial administrators would not have to rely on identity cards.

One result of the Belgian efforts was to show — convincingly — that there is no observable difference on average between the typical Hutu Rwandan and the typical Tutsi Rwandan. Some clans — such as those of the current president, Paul Kagame, or the earlier Hutu president, Juvenal Habyarimana — do share distinctive physical traits. But the typical Rwandan shares a mix of such archetypal traits, making ethnic identity outside of local knowledge about an individual household’s identity difficult if not impossible to ascertain — especially in mass graves containing no identifying information. (For example, Physicians for Human Rights exhumed a mass grave in western Rwanda and found the remains of more than 450 people, but only six identity cards.)

In court transcripts for multiple trials at the ICTR, witnesses described surviving the killings that took place around them by simply hiding among members of the opposite ethnic group. It is clear that in 1994, killers would have had a difficult time ascertaining the ethnic identity of their putative victims, unless they were targeting neighbors.

Complicating matters is the displacement that accompanied the RPF invasion. During 1994, some 2 million Rwandan citizens became external refugees, 1 million to 2 million became internal refugees, and about 1 million eventually became victims of civil war and genocide.

Ethnic identity in Rwanda is local knowledge, in much the same way that caste is local knowledge in India. With the majority of the population on the move, local knowledge and ethnic identity disappeared. This is not to say that the indigenous Tutsi were not sought out deliberately for extermination. But in their killing rampages, FAR, the Interahamwe and private citizens engaged in killing victims of both ethnic groups. And people from both ethnic groups were on the move, trying to stay out in front of the fighting as the RPF advanced.

In the end, our best estimate of who died during the 1994 massacre was, really, an educated guess based on an estimate of the number of Tutsi in the country at the outset of the war and the number who survived the war. Using a simple method —subtracting the survivors from the number of Tutsi residents at the outset of the violence — we arrived at an estimated total of somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 Tutsi victims. If we believe the estimate of close to 1 million total civilian deaths in the war and genocide, we are then left with between 500,000 and 700,000 Hutu deaths, and a best guess that the majority of victims were in fact Hutu, not Tutsi.

This conclusion — which has drawn criticism from the Kagame regime and its supporters — is buttressed by the maps that we painstakingly constructed from the best available data and that show significant numbers of people killed in areas under control of the Tutsi-led RPF.

From the beginning, the ICTR’s investigation into the mass killings and crimes against humanity in Rwanda in 1994 has focused myopically on the culpability of Hutu leaders and other presumed participants. The Kagame administration has worked assiduously to prevent any investigation into RPF culpability for either mass killings or the random violence associated with the civil war. By raising the possibility that in addition to Hutu/FAR wrongdoing, the RPF was involved, either directly or indirectly, in many deaths, we became in effect persona non grata in Rwanda and at the ICTR.

The most commonly invoked metaphor for the 1994 Rwandan violence is the Holocaust. Elsewhere, we have suggested that perhaps the English civil war, the Greek civil war, the Chinese civil war or the Russian civil war might be more apt comparisons because they all involved some combination of ethnic-based violence and the random slaughter and retribution that can occur when civil society breaks down altogether.
Actually, though, it is difficult to make authoritative comparisons when it remains unclear exactly what happened in the Rwandan civil war and genocide.

Contemporary observers — including Romeo Dallaire, the commander of the ineffective U.N. peacekeeping force for Rwanda in 1993 and 1994 — claim that much of the genocidal killing had been planned by the Hutu government as early as two years in advance of the actual RPF invasion. Unfortunately, we have not been able to gain access to the individuals who have information on that score to either corroborate or to refute the hypothesis. The reason? Convicted genocidaires who have been implicated in the planning of the slaughter now reside out of contact with potential interviewers in a U.N.-sponsored prison in Mali.

We wanted to put questions to these planners, specifically to ask them what their goals were. Was the genocide plan an attempt at deterrence, an effort that the FAR leadership thought might keep the RPF at bay in Uganda and elsewhere? Did the FAR government actually hope for war, believing — incorrectly as it turned out — that it would win? Was the scale of the killing beyond its expectations? If so, why do FAR leaders believe events spun so badly out of control, compared to previous spasms of violence in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s?

Unfortunately, the U.N. prosecutors in Tanzania told us they could not arrange a meeting with the convicted planners and killers, but we were free to go to Mali on our own. We were told we would probably get in to see the prisoners, but the prison is in the middle of nowhere, in a country where we had no contacts. We had to let go.

Even without access to convicted genocidaires, we continued to piece together what had happened in 1994 with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant allowed us to be more ambitious in our pursuit of diverse informants who started popping up all over the globe, to refine our mapping and to explore alternative ways of generating estimates about what had taken place. While our understanding has advanced a great deal since our first days in Kigali, it is hard not to see irony in a current reality: Some of the most important information about what occurred in Rwanda in 1994 has been sent — by the very authorities responsible for investigating the violence and preventing its recurrence, in Rwanda and elsewhere — to an isolated prison, where it sits unexamined, like some artifact in the final scene of an Indiana Jones movie. 

Genocide Inflation is the Real Human Rights Threat: Yugoslavia and Rwanda  

by Edward S. Herman
October 26, 2007

We have all heard about “genocide denial” and “holocaust denial” as very bad happenings that have focused attention, indignation, and concern to the point of laws passed to criminalize such behavior in Austria, Belgium, France, and elsewhere. But very little attention has been paid to genocide inflation, where killings are wildly exaggerated and claims of genocide are made based on hearsay, rumor, knowing lies, and otherwise problematic “information.” No indignation has been expressed even over its more egregious illustrations, and no laws have been proposed or passed to punish its practitioners. This is because the focus on denial has been useful to powerful groups and countries in the West, whereas the critics and victims of genocide inflation have been weak and with no political or media leverage. It will be shown below, however, that this pattern not only fails to protect anybody’s human rights, but instead allows the powerful to kill and violate human rights more easily.

Genocide Denial
Genocide denial has received its greatest attention in relation to the occasional questioning of the Nazi destruction of the Jews during World War II. Those denying this horrendous set of real events have almost always been powerless eccentrics who posed no threat to existing Jewish populations, and in fact the outcries against them have gotten louder as real antisemitism has declined (although hostility to Israeli policy has increased). This was surely true in the famous case of Robert Faurisson in France, where his denial in the late 1970s, which aroused great indignation, led to legal action, and elicited great publicity, occurred in a country where antisemitism had demonstrably fallen sharply. [1] A powerless individual, he and his crank opinions posed no threat whatsoever to French Jews. It was pointed out at the time that similar crank views by the U.S. academic Arthur Butz had simply been ignored, and in consequence he was unknown here and completely lacking in influence. Why did the French (mainly Jewish) activists give Faurisson such free publicity? They talked about “insults” and “honor,” but one thing they omitted: that Israel was being increasingly criticized for its intensifying ethnic cleansing programs involving Palestinians, and bringing attention once again to the Nazi Holocaust would deflect attention from the ugly present in which Jews were victimizers to the time when they were massive victims.

In recent years as well, Israel has been subject to increasing criticism for its harsh and illegal treatment of its own untermenschen, and the response of many individual and organized Jewish groups in the United States and Europe has been once again to cry about genocide denial and an alleged increase in antisemitism (more and more identified with hostility to Israeli policies). This has been happening in a period where real antisemitism (as opposed to hostility to Israeli ethnic cleansing) and holocaust denial are at a low level, but where the power of Western Jewish elites and lobbying operations are unprecedentedly high. [2] This has allowed them to get substantial but completely unwarranted publicity for their current victimization claims, including even the passage of laws outlawing Holocaust denial and legislative as well as private efforts to rein in critics of Israeli policy. [3]

The human rights impact of this set of campaigns, including those featuring and trying to constrain Holocaust denial, has been negative. As Jews are not under threat in the West, the campaign does not help their human rights. On the other hand, by featuring Jewish victimization these campaigns build support for Israel and hence contribute to the astonishing willingness of the West not only to allow massive human rights violations of Palestinians and Lebanese by the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli settlers but to actively support these by punishing the victims. [4]

It has of course been argued that Iran President Mahmoud Ahmanidejad has posed an existential threat to Israel with his reservations about the Holocaust and alleged desire to “wipe Israel off the map.” [5] But his Holocaust doubts prove nothing about prospective Iran policy, and his “wiping out” threat has been shown to have been a mistranslation of an expressed position favoring regime change from racist to non-racist state. The most clear and direct threats involving Iran are those by the United States and Israel in favor of regime change in Iran itself, and with the use of force—even nuclear weapons—very much “on the table.” It can never be expressed in the Free Press, but not only does Iran lack a single nuclear weapon, even if it had a few using them would be an act of national suicide. On the other hand, that would not be true if the United States or Israel used such weapons, and both are openly threatening a military attack on Iran. [6]
It should also be noted that there is a systematic “genocide [or holocaust] denial” when it comes to treating Western-based genocidal operations, but this is invisible because the West does it. The most prominent illustration at present is the U.S. and “coalition of the willing” mass killing in Iraq. The million Iraqi deaths from the “sanctions of mass destruction” of the 1990s is unmentioned in Samantha Power’s ludicrous treatise on genocide (“A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide), just as she fails to deal seriously with the Indonesian massacres in East Timor. [7] The U.S.-coalition invasion-occupation of Iraq from 2003 has added another million to the Iraqi toll, but the idea that this is “genocide” is inexpressible in the U.S. mainstream media, which is focused on the more politically convenient killings in Darfur—attributable to a Western target, the Arab government of the Sudan, hence subject to the invidious word genocidal. This is implicit but real denial, which follows from the political basis of naming and concern.

Genocide Inflation
Yugoslavia. All through the Yugoslavia wars of the 1990s there were cries of genocide—first in Bosnia, then in Kosovo, with the Serbs as villains and the Bosnian Muslims and then Kosovo Albanians as the victims. The numbers of Bosnian Muslim civilians allegedly killed by the Bosnian Serbs reached 250,000 or 300,000 by 1993, the source of this information being Bosnian Muslim officials who were both notorious liars and working as hard as they could to make a case for NATO armed intervention on their behalf. Throughout the period 1992-1995 propaganda claims of Serb massacres, death camps, and rape camps were profuse, pushed not only by Muslim and NATO officials but by an enthusiastically gullible Western media. [8] By 1995, war campaigner David Rieff was asserting that the “genocide” of Bosnian Muslims “is all but complete.” [9]

While the Bosnian “genocide” has taken a beating, the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995 has survived as a now institutionalized “genocide.” But it has done so in the face of intractable problems: the NATO-organized and compliant Yugoslav Tribunal identified it as such by finding that there could be genocide in one small town, where the genocidists had bussed to safety all the women and children of their target population, and where the claims of 8,000 executed have never been verified by forensic or credible witness evidence of anything like this scale of killing. [11] It lives on by virtue of its political utility and aggressive challenges to its truthfulness as “revisionism” and “denial.”

This same inflation process occurred before and during NATO’s 78-day bombing war on Yugoslavia and takeover of Kosovo. The pre-bombing propaganda barrage claiming Serb misbehavior was massive, and then during the war itself there was a stream of hysterical claims of indiscriminate killing, official U.S. claims of Bosnian Muslim deaths reaching 500,000, with a very profuse use of the word “genocide.” After the war, the claimed deaths quickly fell to 11,000, and one of the greatest forensic body searches in history produced only 4,000 bodies (with some 2,000 still reportedly missing). [12]
Needless to say, there has been no apology, or any call for reprimand let alone punishment, for participation in these processes of genocide inflation. But in contrast with the genocide denial cases mentioned earlier, these inflation processes had real and substantial negative human rights consequences. By helping demonize U.S.-NATO targets, they readied Western publics for a refusal to negotiate with the demons, helped bring about an ensuing burst of ethnic cleansing and eventually NATO military intervention, and they helped cover over the NATO commission of war crimes.  Michael Mandel made an excellent case that the main point of the Yugoslavia Tribunal’s operations from its inception in 1993 was to demonize the NATO target (Serbia) and to allow the demand for “justice” to trump peace settlements, which the United States and its allies did trump from 1992 till the Dayton Accord in late 1995 [13] The genocide inflation helped to this end. The same was true in the Kosovo case, where the inflated claims of Serb violence against the Kosovo Albanians both before and during the bombing war—including the fabricated threat of a Serb mass ethnic cleansing under Operation Horseshoe—helped make publicly acceptable the carefully engineered avoidance of negotiations and plunge into a bombing war.

Rwanda. A less well-known and less well-understood case of genocide inflation--and possibly even more important, misapprehension of the true source and major direction of the killings-- is that of Rwanda. In the establishment narrative, genocide irrupted suddenly following the April 6, 1994 shooting down of a plane at the Kigali airport that killed the Hutu presidents of both Rwanda (Juvenal Habyarimana) and Burundi (Cyprien Ntaryamira). According to the narrative, the Hutu genocidaires and the Interahamwe militias unleashed a huge pre-planned killing spree against the minority Tutsi population that wiped out some 800,000 to 1.2 million people, mainly Tutsis. In the myth structure, Bill Clinton made a regrettable error in pressing for the withdrawal of UN forces that might have protected civilians, for which he apologized. In a major article of September 2001 in the Atlantic Monthly, Samantha Power and others dubbed the United States “bystanders to genocide,” which is also a myth. [14]

Contrary to the establishment narrative:

(1) The plane was shot down by Paul Kagame and his Tutsi associates, [15] with active or tacit help from the Belgians, UN representative Romeo Dallaire, [16] and possibly the CIA. This act was part of the Kagame-Tutsi final assault to seize power after a four-year war, with the assistance of the U.S.-sponsored Ugandan military. When the chief investigator for the Rwanda Tribunal, Australian Michael Hourigan, reported solid evidence on this locus of responsibility for the April 6th assassination to Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour in 1997, she immediately closed down the investigation and ordered him to destroy his files. This finding, which does not comport with the idea of a pre-planned Hutu murder program, has been suppressed in the Free Press. [17]

 (2) The two leaders whose plane was shot down on April 6, 1994, were Hutus. A third Hutu leader, Melchior Ndadaye, an earlier president of Burundi, was assassinated by his Tutsi military in October 1993, which was followed by an anti-Hutu pogrom that killed tens of thousands and drove hundreds of thousands of Burundian-Hutu refugees into Rwanda.

 (3) Clinton and his Western allies (UK, Belgium) sponsored the U.S.-trained Kagame, supported his invasions of Rwanda from Uganda and massive ethnic cleansing prior to April 1994, and via their control of the Security Council refused to allow additional UN troops into Rwanda in April 1994, in fact forcing a reduction of the UNIMIR contingent in Rwanda from 2,500 to 270, not because of caution but because Kagame didn’t want them there to interfere with his conquest of Rwanda, which Clinton and his allies supported.

(4) The Hutu authorities urged more UN troops—and in light of the Kagame/U.S. (etc.) opposition to such civilian-protective assistance, this once again calls into question who it was that did the main killing in Rwanda.

(5) A suppressed 1994 UNCHR (Gersony) Report documented massacres of civilians in Kagame-controlled areas of Rwanda, which was confirmed by contemporaneous Amnesty and HRW reports.

(6) A University of Maryland research team led by Christian Davenport and Allan Stam, sponsored by the Western-organized Rwanda Tribunal, initially found that only about 250,000 civilians had been killed in Rwanda and that two out of three victims were Hutus. This caused a great deal of dismay and the authors have been under attack and in retreat ever since. The 800,000 (and higher) figures have no basis in any other scientific studies but are essentially the Kagame regime’s numbers.

To an amazing degree, the Western media and NGOs swallowed the propaganda line and lies on Rwanda that turned things upside down. They made the prime aggressors and genocidists, who were responsible for the dual assassination of April 6, 1994 that precipitated the mass killing, into heroic defenders against the de facto victims. The dictator Paul Kagame, one of the great mass murderers of our time, was made into an honored savior deserving and receiving strong Western support. Philip Gourevitch and the New Yorker whipped up sympathy in the West by labeling the Tutsis the “Jews of Africa;” the label stuck, and it garnered even greater support for Western anti-“genocide” intervention. [18] These big lies are now institutionalized and are part of the common (mis)understanding in the West.

Because the Western propaganda machine succeeded so well in making the Hutus the villains and killers, and Paul Kagame the defender/savior of Rwanda, this cleared the ground for Kagame and Yoweri Musevemi--Kagame’s ally and fellow U.S. client and dictator (of Uganda)—to periodically invade and occupy the Eastern Congo (then Zaire) and beyond without “international community” opposition as they were allegedly cleaning out the genocidaires. The Pentagon very actively supported this on the ground, even more than it supported the Kagame machine’s drive in Kigali. This led to the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilian Hutu refugees in a series of mass slaughters, and also provided cover for a wider Kagame-Musevemi assault in the Congo that has led to the deaths of literally millions. [19] This was again compatible with Western interests and policy, as it all contributed to the replacement of Mobutu with the more amenable Kabila and the opening up of the Congo to a new surge of ruthless exploitation of its mineral resources by Western companies—a fine illustration of “shock therapy” with murderous human consequences but large gains to a small business and military elite. [20]

In sum, Rwanda offers an outstanding illustration of how genocide inflation and lies can have immense, even catastrophic, human consequences. Thus, not only did the West fail to intervene to prevent “genocide,” it intervened both before April 6th and after to ensure that the right killers took over and in support of genocide. This also ensured preferential treatment in both Rwanda and the Congo for the killers’ sponsors in the West. This history also shows how magnificently the Western media and NGOs can adapt even in the grossest cases to serve Western political-economic interests. With media and NGO help genocide claims now function as a tool of U.S. expansionism, appropriately labeled “genocidalism,” [21] regularly applied to virtually any target and helping clear the ground for bombing attacks, invasions, occupations and regime change by the United States itself or one of it proxies or clients.
1. This was the conclusion of a conference at Brandeis University in 1983 on “The Jews in Modern France”--see “Decline Seen in French Anti-Semitism,” Reuters, Boston Globe, April 20, 1983.
2. See John Mearsheimer and Stanley Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007); James Petras, The Power of Israel in the United States (Clarity Press, 2006; also Petras,
3. For a discussion of the systematic attempts of pro-Israeli-occupation supporters to curb debate on the relevant issues, see, e.g., the audio-links of the presentations at the "In Defense of Academic Freedom" conference held in Chicago, October 12, 2007,
4. "Ethnic Cleansing and the 'Moral Instinct'," Edward S. Herman, Z Magazine, March, 2006,
5. Ahmadinejad’s remarks on the Holocaust have mainly been complaints that Europe has addressed the problem of the mistreatment of European Jews by imposing Israel on the Palestinians. He doesn’t deny that the Jews were targeted for expulsion and death by some of the European states. On his non-existent wipe-out line, see, e.g., Jonathan Steele, "Lost in Translation," The Guardian, June 14, 2006,; and Arash Norouzi, "'Wiped Off the Map' -- The Rumor of the Century," DemocracyRising.US, January 18, 2007,
6. See, e.g., John M. Donnelly, "Item In War Request Stokes Fears Of Iran Strike," Congressional Quarterly Today, October 23, 2007,; and John H. Richardson, "The Secret History of the Impending War With Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know," Esquire, October 18, 2007,
7. Edward S. Herman, "The Cruise Missile Left (part 5): Samantha Power And The Genocide Gambit," ZNet, May 17, 2004, ….
8. Peter Brock, Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting--Journalism and Tragedy in Yugoslavia (GMBooks, 2005)
9. David Rieff, Slaugherhouse, p. 17.
10. See Herman and Peterson, “The Dismantling of Yugoslavia: A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention [and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse],” Monthly Review, Oct. 2007), pp. 22-26.
11. See Michael Mandel, How America Gets Away With Murder, 153-160.
12. Herman and Peterson, “Dismantling Yugoslavia,” 27. See also, "Kosovo: ICRC publishes new edition of Book of the Missing," International Committee of the Red Cross, August 29, 2007,
13. How America Gets Away With Murder, pp. 124-129.
14. Samantha Power, "Bystanders to Genocide," Atlantic Monthly, September, 2001,
15. On November 21, 2006, the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere issued a lengthy report on his investigation into the April 6, 1994 shootdown of the aircraft carrying the Rwandan and Burundian presidents back to Kigali from their summit meeting earlier that day in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More important, Judge Bruguiere called for arrest warrants to be issued for Rwanda President Paul Kagame and nine of his associate, on suspicion of masterminding the assassinations. To date, no arrests have been made. See Chris McGreal, "French judge accuses Rwandan president of assassination," The Guardian, November 22, 2006; and Fergal Keane, "Will we ever learn the truth about this genocide?" The Independent, November 22, 2006.
16. Dallaire, who has attained heroic status for allegedly “resisting” the genocide, and who has been a “fellow” of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights, was actually a virtual agent of the invading Kagame forces. He closed one axis of the Kagali airport runway to make the shootdown easier, refused to allow a nearby French investigative team to investigate the crime, failed to warn the Rwanda government of the military buildup of the Kagame forces, and was charged by his direct superior, Dr Jacques Roger Booh-Booh, with working in collaboration with the RPF and also taking orders from the US and Belgian embassies in Kigali (see his Dallaire's Boss Talks).
17. Some accessible basic sources supporting this analysis are Robin Philpot, Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard,; Barrie Collins, “Rewriting Rwanda,”; “Hotel Rwanda: Hollywood and the Holocaust in Central Africa,”
18. On Gourevitch and other Western intellectual apologists for the Kagame assassinations and slaughterhouse, see Philpot, Rwanda 1994, Chapters 9-12.
19. The Lancet Publishes IRC Mortality Study from DR Congo; 3.9 Million Have Died: 38,000 Die per Month," News Release, International Rescue Committee, January, 2006; Simon Robinson and Vivienne Walt, “The Deadliest War in the World,”,9171,1198921,00.html)
20. Steven Da Silva, “Revisiting the ‘Rwanda Genocide’,”; Michel Chossudovsky, “The Geopolitics Behind the Rwanda Genocide”:
21. Aleksandar Jokic in “Genocidalism,” Journal of Ethics 8:251:297 (2004).
First published in Znet
Edward S. Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and has written extensively on economics, political economy and the media. Among his books are The Real Terror Network, Triumph of the Market, and Manufacturing Consent(with Noam Chomsky).

The Rwanda Hit List:

Revisionism, Denial, and the Genocide Conspiracy

keith harmon snow
12 March 2010
My experience with the Great Lakes region of Africa began in 1991. While traveling in southern Uganda I was witness to the shooting of an unarmed man by unknown assailants believed to be rebels of the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front. Since then I have worked tirelessly to uncover the truth about the war in the Dem. Republic of Congo (DRC) and 'genocide' in Rwanda.

I began researching and reporting on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda in 1995; I began reporting on events in Zaire (DRC) in 1996. In 2000 at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania I explored the case of Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, ex-Forces Armée Rwandaise (ex-FAR), a celebrated Hutu 'genocide ringleader, who I personally met there.
Of course, I presumed the man guilty of conspiracy to commit genocide, prior to any trial, according to the prevailing climate of institutionalized suspicion and assumptions of guilt against all Hutu people, and certainly against all officials of the former government under President Juvenal Habyarimana. Major Ntuyahaga committed genocide. We all knew it. Why bother with a trial?
On April 6--the anniversary of the double presidential killings--2001 I gave expert testimony at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing, convened by Cynthia McKinney, ranking member of the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee, International Relations Committee, convened to assess genocide and covert operations in Central Africa.1
For the last 15 years I have been investigating militias and criminal rackets and propaganda about Central Africa. I investigated massacres, assassinations, torture, rape as a weapon of war, and disappearing, individuals and groups, multinational corporations, state and non-state actors, Africans and non-Africans.
Eastern Congo's north and south Kivu provinces are effectively controlled to this day by criminal networks from Rwanda: there are Rwandans who have fled Rwanda there, and others who are allied with the Kagame regime.2 In DRC, I investigated numerous cites of atrocities committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front (RPA/F) and Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF) as they marched across Zaire (DRC), calling themselves the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Zaire/Congo (ADFL), and hunted down and slaughtered perhaps as many as 600,000 unarmed refugees, 1996-1997, mostly women and children under 15 years old.3 I have also interviewed European expatriates who are direct witnesses regarding massacres and/or the creation of mass graves, and the destruction of evidence (including the collection, removal and incineration of bodies and/or skeletons).4
My early reportage on Rwanda (1995-1997) unknowingly advanced false narratives about victims v. killers, and the nature of and culpability for atrocities, including 'genocide' in Rwanda. The established narrative remains overly simplified and the truth has been hijacked and suppressed by the mass media. My work has been very high profile, and I have been warned to stay out of Rwanda by Rwandan insiders. A few years ago the Government of Rwanda (GOR) labeled me a 'genocide denier' and I consider myself persona non grata in Rwanda (and Ethiopia).
On February 24, 2010 a communiqué was received by email from a Rwandan human rights organization in Belgium, written in Kinyarwanda and allegedly leaked, listing alleged directives from the Rwandan intelligence services to members of Rwanda's Annual Ambassadors and High Commissioners Retreat. The closed-doors meeting of February 17-18, 2010--'officially' organized by Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications (MINAFFET) Minister Ms. Louis Mushikiwabo, and 'officially' held at MINAFFET headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda--was actually held in Gisenyi. The topic was: "Failure to implement Kigali's orders: crack down the on opposition and other people tarnishing the current RPF government image."
The document circulated coincident with the late February 2010 defection and flight of Rwanda's ambassadors to Holland and India (see below). While its origin remains unverified, this document exemplifies the GOR's modus operandi on public and international relations.

Some Conclusions of the Ambassadors' Meeting in Kigali
During an in camera meeting between the Rwandan ambassadors and President Kagame in February 2010, many issues were discussed.
The ambassadors have been criticized of failing to fulfill their mission of representing Rwanda abroad. They were reminded the instructions they failed to fulfill, with the consequences of tarnishing the Rwanda image following the negative propaganda by the Rwandan refugees.
They were given a report from the Intelligence Services revealing the enemies of the country who should be fought by all means possible and if necessary by assassination. The following are names of foreigners and organizations that need to be fought urgently.
Foreigners to target: Robin Philpot5; C. Peter Erlinder; Keith Harmon Snow; Jordi Palou-Loverdos; Peter Verlinden; Pierre Péan; Charles Onana; Filip Reyntjens; Luc de Temmerman.
Also target Rwandan refugees representing the FDLR [Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Congo] in Africa; Europe; America; and elsewhere.
Organizations to target, starting by their leaders (CLIIR; COSAR; FEDA; AJIIR; AGPJR; OPJDR).
Political parties that are active abroad, starting with their leaders (FDU/UDF; Intwari Partnership; PDR-Ihumure; PDP-Imanzi).
We are still collecting information about the list of the Rwandese people to be hunted specifically because they are sabotaging the Kigali regime. This list is long and it keeps growing, as enemies are getting more numerous.
The ambassadors were given all authority to have these people eliminated or discredited. Each ambassador would request, as needed, the government to provide all capabilities to attain his objectives. Whoever gets more information would kindly share with other group members.
Wishing you all the best.
The westerners listed above (a few key 'enemies' names do not appear, including Christopher Black, Wayne Madsen, Cynthia McKinney, Luc Marchal, Mick Collins and Helmut Strizek) have pressed against public opinion and propaganda to expose the lies, disinformation and terrorism victimizing innocent people and shielding the true perpetrators of the crimes in Central Africa.
While we are led to believe that the perpetrators are those nasty genocidaires, the extremist Hutus, their Interahamwe militias, the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in Congo, and other undesirables, the primary responsible perpetrators are always protected. These are:
[1] Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front: the elite, extremist Tutsi network that has committed massive atrocities and widespread terrorism in Central Africa as far back as 1980, and primarily responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Rwanda (1990-present) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (1996-present);
[2] Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the Ugandan People's Defense Forces (UPDF): the elite, extremist Hema networks operating out of Uganda and the source of the RPA/F Tutsi networks, who together perpetrated massive war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, in Uganda (1980-present), Rwanda (1990-1998) the DRC (1996-present);6
[3] The backers, partners, allies and propagandists of the Kagame and Museveni regimes who are from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Europe.
How do these terrorist networks maintain and spread their ideology and terrorism worldwide, even as into the United States?
uganda-map 1.jpg
ABOVE: Map from the petroleum sector showing petroleum concessions (green) under Lake Albert and in northern Uganda areas where the Ugandan government has interned Acholi people in death cames, leading to one of the greatest unacknowledged genocides of the current era, and the Barrick Gold (Bau) concessions in Congo and Tanzania.
The Dehumanization of Hutu People
Any person of Rwandan, Ugandan or Burundian origin, no matter their sex, age or ethnicity, or their civilian or military status, who has sought asylum from or in any way annoyed the Government of Rwanda (GOR), will be persecuted, subject to intimidation, arbitrary arrest, and detention without trial, if not torture, forced labor, extrajudicial execution, or being 'disappeared'.
Rwandans inside and outside Rwanda are accused of 'genocide' or 'complicity in genocide' through fabricated evidence, coerced testimonies, bribery, and petty jealousies. There is no possibility of any kind of fair trial procedure in Rwanda and no possibility of freely investigating facts, or identifying and securing witnesses.
The categories 'extremist Hutu' and 'moderate Hutu', like the general categories of 'Hutu' and 'Tutsi,' are complex and not easily negotiated in the context of 'genocide', 'terrorism' and other violence in Rwanda from 1990 to the present. The labels 'genocidaire' and 'Interahamwe' are freely applied by the RPA/F regime to demonize anyone they see fit, no matter the veracity or falseness of the claims against those they accuse.7
The GOR under the one-party control of Paul Kagame projects a shiny veneer of tourism, development and 'entrepreneurism', but submerged barely under the surface of this veneer there exists a climate of absolute terror and there are profound ethnic divisions leading towards war. We are beginning to see this more openly with the approach of the 2010 elections.8
Rwanda (and Uganda) is run by a secretive criminal military organization in parallel with formal government structures, responsible for the systematic and intentional deaths of: scores of thousands of persons in Rwanda from Oct 1, 1990 to April 5, 1994; hundreds of thousands of persons in Rwanda from April 6, 1994 to December 31, 1995; tens of thousands of persons in Rwanda between January 1, 1995 and January 1, 2010; between 200,000 and 700,000 Rwandan refugees in DRC and for the deaths of between 100,000 and 300,000 Burundian refugees in DRC between September 1996 and September 1997; and millions of persons of Rwandan, Congolese, Burundian and Ugandan origin in DRC between September 1996 and the present day.9
Language has also been manipulated for the dehumanization of all Hutu people. For example, the label 'Interahamwe' has come to stand for 'extremist murderous Hutu militias' and has usually been translated from Kinyarwanda to mean "those who attack together." Yet President Paul Kagame and the RPA/F military-intelligence apparatus applies this terminology to mean "anyone who is in opposition to the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front movement, its government, or its elite clandestine networks," and in the case of Paul Kagame, even to "anyone I don't like," and the labels 'Interahamwe' and genocidaire are used to dehumanize all Hutu people everywhere, just as the Jews were dehumanized by National Socialism in Germany prior to and during World War II. This has created the political, social and economic conditions for the perpetration of genocide by the RPA/F government, and its collaborators, and this dehumanization has been perpetuated through the international mass media, human rights institutions, think tanks, non-government organizations, and foreign governments everywhere.

ABOVE: Hutu people in the DR Congo, as everywhere, have become the scapegoats for the international organized crime and its white collar war criminals, and their porxy agents, in Central Africa. This is the dehumanization of innocent men, women and children, and even babies have been massacred by the RPA in Rwanda and through the RPA's invaders in Congo (RCD, CNDP) masquerading as Congolese. The FDLR -- Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda -- are some of the most misunderstood and legitimate fighters in Central Africa. Comprisd of soldiers who fled the murderous US -RPA coup d'etat, these people are not Central Africa's nightmare, as they are everywhere portrayed. War is peace. Victims are klillers, teh supposed killers are the victims.

The dehumanization of all Hutu people, and the persecution of anyone in opposition to the RPA/F, was supported as early as 1988 by certain international 'legal' and 'human rights' institutions working as clandestine agents and/or accomplices to the RPA/F agenda.
The terms 'genocidaire' and 'Interahamwe' are meaningless due to the constituency and fluidity of these terms. For example, the President of the Interahamwe, presented to the world as an extremist Hutu killing organization, was Robert Kajuga, a Tutsi businessman. Similarly, the treasurer of the Interahamwe was Dieudonne Niyitegaka, a Hutu businessman resettled in Canada in reward for his collaboration to accuse and frame other Hutus with 'genocide'. The RPA/F had infiltrated and controlled the Interahamwe, and this renders the terminology, and its ideological force, meaningless.


The criminal parallel structure behind the Rwandan government has been identified by numerous experts and investigations, including more than seven United Nations Panels of Experts between 2000 and 2009;10 the high court indictments of Spain11 and France12; the exhaustive analyses by eminent Rwandan experts, including Dr. Filip Reyntjens13; the work of investigative journalists like Charles Onana, Wayne Madsen and myself14; the Michael Hourigan report assessing blame for the presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994; the Robert Gersony report documenting RPF/A atrocities against tens of thousands of Rwandans in Rwanda in 1994; the Helmut Strizek report to the ICTR titled Discredit the Hutu Population Forever;15 ICTR defense attorneys Chris Black, Peter Erlinder, John Philpot, Phil Taylor and others; the McKinney hearings; and research by academics; and by many credible sources, human rights documents, testimonies and other examples in the public record.
Even Tutsis--the supposed victims (of the supposed Hutu conspiracy)--have been persecuted by the victorious and extremist RPA/F Tutsi regime in Rwanda. We all know the standard story about 800,000 to 1.2 million Tutsis killed. Well, these numbers are wrong, and the constituency of the dead is wrong. It cannot be denied that hundreds of thousands of Tutis were killed in Rwanda, especially if we confine our discussion to the 100 days of genocide from April 6 to July 1994.
Clearly, there is evidence of persecution and threats of persecution against Tutsis based on the established realities about acts of genocide committed by members of the Hutu ethnic group in Rwanda between April 6, 1994 and July 1994, and there has also been retaliatory violence, post-1994, against Tutsis. However, there is substantial documentation about the RPF/A regime killing Tutsis, because this elite Tutsi rebel force did not trust any members of the Tutsi minority who stayed in Rwanda after President Juvenal Habyarimana came to power in 1973: Rwandan Tutsis were generally eliminated, internally displaced, assassinated and/or forced to flee Rwanda.
The Genodynamics Project of academic researchers Dr. Christian Davenport and Dr. Alan Stam, both U.S. citizens, has seriously challenged the Rwanda genocide mythology. Stam and Davenport were labeled 'genocide deniers' by the mass media and the Tutsi expatriate community after publishing their interim research on 'genocide' in Rwanda and they are persona non grata in Rwanda today.16
ABOVE: Pro-RPF propaganda in the New York Times Magazine takes many forms but all leads to the dehumanization of the Hutu people en masse, and lays the groundwork for the ongoing genocide against them.

There is overwhelming evidence establishing that crimes defined, prosecuted and/or punished as 'genocide' in Rwanda, whether before 1994, in 1994, or after 1994, were for reasons other than ethnicity. The GOR itself admits that both 'Tutsis and moderate Hutus' were victims of the violence in 1994. Thus while these acts of violence may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other crimes--including acts of genocide--the allegation that Hutus were both the victims and the perpetrators of the 1994 violence does not on its face meet the specific intent required of 'genocide' as defined by the international Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.17 The current regime is responsible for massive bloodshed against all ethnic groups in Rwanda, and the façade is supported internationally due to the economic, political and military interests at stake.18 The International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) also supported the façade, as confirmed by Carla Del Ponte, the former Chief Prosecutor of the ICTR, in her memoirs.19
People accused of 'genocide' in Rwanda have been brought before the so-called 'community-based' Gacaca tribunals repeatedly, compelled by the GOR to revisit their cases until a guilty verdict is established; many innocent civilians have been tried and retried until they were found guilty. After one Gacaca tribunal found the accused persons innocent the citizen judges fled for their lives, were captured, returned to their Gacaca and 'compelled' to retry the case, and returned a guilty verdict. Human rights experts have criticized the Gacaca system as a mechanism of terror used to silence critics.20

(Photo credit unknown.)
ABOVE: The murderous Rwandan RPF-aligned military (RCD, CNDP, etc etc) are the primary problem for eastern Congo, with Ugandan military (UPDF) a close second, and with the Penntagon, and now AFFRICOM, behind them.

Apologists for the Regime
The London-based 'non-government organization' African Rights was co-founded by Rakiya Omaar, a woman of Somali origin who has worked since 1990-1991 as a paid agent of the RPA/F regime, always casting the Hutus as perpetrators and Tutsis, and especially the RPA/F Tutsi extremists, as the victims of the violence, creating a positive image for the RPA/F.21
African Rights has generated false accusations against Rwandans that have led to their arrest and imprisonment and its 'human rights investigations' have whitewashed the RPA/F terrorism. African Rights has petitioned governments, the ICTR and other legal bodies, even Pope John Paul II, and it spreads disinformation in international media (only to happy to comply), and accused and secured the arrest and prosecution of RPA/F 'dissidents'.22 For example, African Rights helped frame Monsignor Augustin Misago, the Bishop of Gikongoro, who was subsequently arrested and jailed in 1999, but cleared by the Rwandan Court in 2000.23 They have produced disinformation targeting Rwandan opposition in DRC24 (used by ICTR prosecutors25).
A Rwandan agent working for African Rights for the past 8-10 years, first in Kigali and then in Zambia, fled to seek asylum in Belgium in February 2010. Felicien Bahizi recently testified in a court of law (Scandinavia) about African Rights' clandestine ties to the RPA/F, the falsification of documents and allegations used to accuse, indict and imprison 'enemies' of the regime.
An extension of the RPA/F network into the 'human rights' sector, African Rights is on the payroll of the RPA/F government, as evidenced by a letter from Rakiya Omaar requesting payment of an "outstanding $100,159" for their production of a propaganda book benefiting the regime.26 Rakiya Omaar works freely in Rwanda, where she has a special office.
There are other rights bodies and 'experts' on 'genocide in Rwanda' who have protected the killers and criminalized the victims, including the pro-RPA/F International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda Since October 1, 1990, early reports by Africa Watch and Human Rights Watch, and others.27
The 1993 International Commission of Inquiry [ICI] on Rwanda included the Human Rights Watch expert on Rwanda, Alison Des Forges, and Canadian law professor William Schabas, both of whom have provided expert testimony used to convict Rwandans of genocide or related crimes, and both have been discredited in law courts. Schabas has been one of the U.S. government's witnesses of choice for hunting refugees28 and travels free in Rwanda.
William Schabas and French human rights activist Jean Carbonare, both members of the ICI, were amongst the first to apply the term 'genocide' to Rwanda and against the Hutu government of Juvenal Habyarimana.
"On 22 January 1993, in a press statement published in Paris after returning from Kigali [as a member of the ICI], they accused President Habyarimana of having already committed Genocide against the Tutsis under the pretext of the RPF war launched on 1 October 1990. In a television broadcast with Bruno Masure on 28 January 1993, Jean Carbonare was given the opportunity to repeat the accusation to an audience of millions."29
The ICTR has not prosecuted any suspects of the RPA/F, no matter the evidence of crimes, including: the assassinations of the presidents of Rwanda (Juvenal Habyarimana) and Burundi (Cyprien Ntaryamira), their chiefs of staff, several aides, and the French pilots of the Dassault Falcon 50 aircraft (a gift from French President Mitterand) on April 6, 1994, the pivotal event which sparked the 1994 genocide;30 or the massive crimes described in the indictments issued by the judiciaries of France and Spain.31
In December 2008, the Trial Chamber-1 at the ICTR acquitted the four highest-ranking senior military officers of the former government army, the ex-Forces Armee Rwandaise (ex-FAR), including General Theoneste Bagosora (the supposed 'genocide mastermind'), of conspiracy to commit genocide.32
In November, 2009, the Appeals Chambers of the ICTR acquitted Protais Zigiranyirazo, brother-in-law of President Juvenal Habyarimana, of all charges of 'genocide planning', following seven years of trial at the ICTR, where the court found that the Prosecutor's evidence was explained by normal military planning in the course of the four year Rwandan civil war (1990-1994).
In November, 2009, the Appeals Chambers of the ICTR acquitted, and ordered the immediate release of, Hormistas Nsengimana, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda in 1994.
The above ICTR judgments destroy the 'conspiracy to commit genocide' conspiracy universally charged to the former Hutu government and responsible for the total dehumanization of Hutu people everywhere.
ABOVE: Kagame's comrades at the US Army's Fort Levenworth, Kansas, 1990.

Vigilante Journalism
The current regime in Rwanda is aggressively hunting down any perceived threat, including dissidents, refugees, political opposition, former soldiers of the Habyarimana government (ex-FAR) and former RPF/A, regardless of ethnicity.
Goucher College (Md.) professor Dr. Leopold Munyakazi is one of their latest targets, falsely accused of being a genocidaire merely because he has been an outspoken critic of the regime. Dr. Munyakazi was unjustly framed--in support of the RPA/F agenda to neutralize him--by a short-lived NBC News television program that sought to gain high prime time ratings (read: corporate profits) by tracking down and 'exposing' supposed genocidaires. The program was titled THE WANTED, and the morality of 'good versus evil' was subliminally underscored by the choice of the show's commentator, Scott Tyler, an ex-Navy Seal, who by moral implication embodies saintliness, while the wanted man, Dr. Leopold Munyakazi, embodies the devil. The zealous NBC News team acted as accuser, judge and jury against Dr. Munyakazi.33
The U.S. Embassy in Kigali allegedly assisted the criminal RPA/F regime in framing Dr. Munyakazi and, from August to December 2009, the U.S. Embassy collaborated in the RPA/F campaign of intimidation, bribery, detention and punishment of hundreds of people acquainted with Dr. Munyakazi, in order to fabricate evidence and coerce witnesses against him.
At Goucher College "a swirling retinue of about ten cameramen, technicians, and professional interrogators" descended on Dr. Munyakazi as he finished teaching a French class.34 Leading the pack was NBC Producer Adam Ciralsky: when contacted by other journalists, Ciralsky hid behind NBC's corporate PR department.35 Prejudged by journalists and mass media, whether acting overzealously or in collaboration with the RPA/F regime, Rwanda's critics, refugees and survivors have been falsely accused and, through the mass media, publicly branded as genocidaires.
Just as the NBC News television team targeted Dr. Leopold Munyakazi at Goucher College in February 2009, mass media sensationalism and genocidaire branding to advance the criminal aims of the GOR has been used before.
In Laredo, Texas in 1998, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a Hutu pastor, was accosted by New Yorker magazine writer Philip Gourevitch, an RPA/F supporter and personal friend of Paul Kagame, whose book was one of the earliest propaganda tracts espousing the now entrenched narrative about Hutus (killers) v. Tutsis (victims) and the so-called '100 days of genocide' in Rwanda.36 Ntakirutimana was extradited, tried and cionvicted by the ICTR; his story--sensationalized and fictionalized by Philip Gourevitch--was published in the award-winning non-fiction' book whose title takes it's name from a letter written by Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, but one which Gourevitch misconstrued and criminalized.37
ABOVE: More of Philip Gourevitch's pro-RPF propaganda in the The New Yorker ("The Life After," 4 May 2009) manufactures concepts of justice, if problematic, at so-called "community-based" Gacaca tribunals in Rwandan villages. Gourevitch is cranking out one-sided propaganda: see, e.g., The New Yorker: "The Arrest of Madame Agathe," March 2, 2010, and "The Mutsinzi report on the Rwandan Genocide," January 8, 2010.

The British Broadcasting Corporation in 2006 publicly branded as genocidaire Dr. Vincent Bajinya, a Hutu physician and U.K. citizen who lived and worked in London for years. Similar to the NBC camera crew's unannounced confrontation with Dr. Leopold Munyakazi in Maryland, without any appointment or prior warning, a BBC team showed up on the street in London and shoved a television camera in Dr. Bajinya's face and began interrogating him about his alleged role as a 'mastermind' of the Rwandan Genocide.38
Within days of the first BBC report, the Dr. Vincent Bajinya story was everywhere in the news and was combined with defamatory stories branding three other Rwandan refugees (Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, and Celestin Ugirashebuja) supposedly 'hiding' in the U.K. The BBC framed all four refugees as 'Most Wanted' criminals and 'masterminds' of 'genocide in Rwanda in 1994'. After confronting Bajinya in London the BBC team traveled to Rwanda and, escorted by GOR agents, filmed the places and people who testified on camera to the alleged crimes.
The four Rwandans were jailed for 28 months and the case was supported by RPA/F intelligence agent Jean Bosco Mutangana, the head of Rwanda's genocide fugitives tracking unit, who also turned up with the NBC News crew and confronted the President of Goucher College (MD) and Dr. Leopold Munyakazi.39
The City of Westminster Magistrates' Court ordered the extradition of all four Rwandans but an appeals court on April 8, 2009, ruled that there was no freedom or justice in Rwanda ordered their release.40, 41
Enemies of the State
Who are Paul Kagame and the RPA/F regime's 'enemies'?

    • Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, Hutu, opponent of the previous Hutu (Habyarimana) government, later the first Prime Minister appointed by the RPF/A in 1994, who fled to exile 1995 after he challenged the RPF/A massacres of thousands of Hutu civilians at Kibeho refugee camp in April 1995;
  • Seth Sendashonga, Hutu, member of RPF/A, forced into exile in Kenya, 1995, after challenging the Kibeho massacres, assassinated in Kenya in 1998;
  • Pierre Celestin Rwigema, Hutu, Prime minister (circa 1995-2000), who fell out with the regime and went into exile in the US, and afterwards he was accused on 'genocide' charges (because he owned a gun in Kigali prior to 1994);
  • Alfred Mukezamfura, Hutu, Speaker of Rwanda's National Assembly, who fled Rwanda to exile in Belgium (2008-2009), and who was afterwards accused of 'genocide', tried by the Gacaca courts in abstentia, and sentenced to 30 years in prison, who lives in exile, under the threat of an international arrest warrant issued by Kigali;
  • Stanley Safari, Hutu, civil servant under the Habayrimana government, who later became a Member of Parliament under the RPF government, a position held until 2009, who was forced to flee Rwanda in 2009, and was subsequently tried in abstentia by the Gacaca courts, on 'genocide' charges, and sentenced to 30 years in prison (Mr. Safari, who currently resides in the U.S., is accused by Rwandans in exile of denouncing innocent people who were subsequently imprisoned by the Kagame regime, and sentenced to harsh prison terms, between 1994 and 2009);
  • General Emmanuel Habyarimana, Hutu, ex-Forces Armee Rwandaise (ex-FAR), the RPF/A Minister of Defense after 1994, now residing in Switzerland, subject to threats of assassination to this day;
  • Theobald Gabwaya Rwaka, Hutu, founder of the Rwandan League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LIPRODHOR), Minister of the Interior under the RPA/F, fled Rwanda April 2002, lives in the U.S.;
  • Claudine Mazimpaka, Hutu, wife of Jean-Baptise Mberabahizi, Hutu, Secretary General of Unified Democratic Forces (FDU) opposition party, attacked in Belgium on October 24, 2009 by unidentified assailants (presumed to be sent by Kagame;
  • Joseph Ntawangundi, Hutu, aide to FDU opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, convicted in abstentia by Gacaca courts in 2007, beaten and jailed on 'genocide' charges in Kigali in February, 2010, after returning from exile to Rwanda in January 2010, to register an opposition party for the national elections of 2011; Mr. Ntawangundi was reportedly in Sweden (International Federation of Trade Unions) during the 1994 genocide, and returned after several months to Kenya, where he stayed in exile, and who remains in prison in Rwanda today;
  • Colonel Theoneste Lizinde, Hutu, FAR, Director General of Intelligence; imprisoned by the Habyarimana regime for an attempted coup d'etat; freed from a Ruhengeri prison by the RPA in a military raid in 1992; joined the RPA/F high military command: reportedly provided critical information about Kigali International Airport for the April 6, 1994 attack on the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. Fled to Zaire after becoming disenchanted with the RPA/F (1994-1995): assassinated by the RPA/F in Nairobi, 1995;
  • Jean-Pierre Bizimana, Hutu, former RPF/A intelligence agent, later the RPF government Minister of Education, most recently (2009-2010) Ambassador to the Netherlands, fled Rwanda into exile in late February 2010, after threats against him, allegedly due to his ties to the Rwandan opposition FUD party, and who is at this time seeking asylum in the Republic of Ireland;
  • Victoire Ingabire, Hutu, leader of the FDU opposition party, formerly exiled in Holland since 1994, threatened and attacked in Rwanda after taking the opposition struggle back to Rwanda, under investigation by the RPA/F for espousing 'genocide ideology' today because she publicly raised questions about massacres of Hutus (and Tutsis) in Rwanda;
  • Joseph Sebarinzi, Tutsi, went into exile from Rwanda in 1979, returned to Rwanda under the Habyarimana government prior to 1990, but fled to Burundi in 1994, and returned to Rwanda after July 1994 to become Speaker of the National Assembly under the RPF/A government, and then fled (circa 2000) Rwanda after falling out of favor with the Kagame regime, and is now a United States citizen accused by the Kagame regime of treason for supporting the 1959 King of Rwanda;
  • Col. Balthazar Ndengeyinka, Hutu, member of the RPF/A, in exile in Switzerland after falling out with the Kagame regime;
  • General Kayumba Nyamwasa, Tutsi, RPF/A commander, more recently the Rwandan Ambassador to India (2001-2010), who was indicted by the Spanish Court (February 2009) 42, along with 40 other top RPF/A military officials, for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and was indicted by the French Court (December 2006)43, along with nine other RPF officials, for his participation in double presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994, who fled Rwanda to exile in Uganda in late February 2010, and escaped the Rwandan military-intelligence networks to exile in South Africa on March 2, 2010;
  • Journalist Godwin Agaba, previously imprisoned for courageous reporting from inside Rwanda, who was forced into hiding in early March 2010 and is on the run for his life, with an arrest warrant issued by the kagame regime;
  • Madame Agathe Habyarimana, Hutu wife of the assassinated President Juvenal Habayrimana, who tops Rwanda's 'most wanted' list, falsely accused and arrested in Paris on March 2, 2010, the day after President Sarkozy made a deal with Kagame in Kigali;
  • The many other Hutu victims of the unjust ICTR court and the Kagame regime it protects.

(Photo credit unknown.)

ABOVE: Military strategist Kagame with his junior officer Hypolitte Kanambe, alias Joseph Kabila, now President of the DRC, behind him, circa 1995, in the RPA in Rwanda--before the RPA and UPDF marched across Congo murdering inncoent Hutu men, women and children by the hundreds of thousands.

Since August 2009 the Kagame regime has been intimidating, bribing and forcing 'witnesses' to fabricate evidence of Dr. Munyakazi's guilt in order to attempt to substantiate these charges and convince the U.S. and public opinion that there are grounds for Dr. Munyakazi's extradition. Some 200-300 people have been terrorized by the RPA/F regime in order to compel witness testimonies out of fear, and to frame Dr. Leopold Munyakazi.
In 2002, two of Dr. Munyakazi's children were threatened and forced to flee to Europe where they were granted refugee status. In 2006 Dr. Munyakazi's wife fled to the United States and applied for asylum after being threatened with imprisonment by local Rwandan authorities and blamed with "being married to a Hutu Interahamwe" because she refused to give false testimonies against the former neighbors of the Munyakazis. Between October and December 2006, three children of Dr. Munyakazi were systematically harassed and terrified, often through unannounced middle of the night visits, by the RPF/A Directorate of Military Intelligence and Local Defense Force agents; the family members fled to Uganda.
On August 3rd 2009, the chairperson of the Gacaca tribunal in Dr. Munyakazi's native area reportedly confirmed that a dozen persons were put in jail because they had refused to give false accusations against Dr. Munyakazi. On September 2, 2009, she again informed Dr. Munyakazi that some 200 people had their cases revised before the Gacaca tribunal mainly to get a 'legal reason' to incarcerate them. From October 12-30, 2009, the Gacaca tribunal condemned 15 of these people to lengthy prison terms based on these fabricated crimes.
In seeking to fabricate evidence and extort or coerce testimonies against Dr. Leopold Munyakazi, the GOR has reportedly forced hundreds (minimum) of civilians from their homes in Dr. Leopold Munyakazi's native and neighboring areas (Gitarama Prefecture), taken them to Kigali, and 'interviewed' them inside the U.S. Embassy, and with the collaboration of U.S. Embassy officials. Many refused to testify against Dr. Munyakazi and were subsequently, while some have accepted bribes to testify against Dr. Munyakazi, and some have later changed their minds when threatened with being brought before a Gacaca court on charges of 'complicity in genocide', while others have had their Gacaca hearings 're-done,' with the understanding that no one is innocent, on penalty of violence from the GOR.
When Victims Become Killers
One of the latest pro-RPA/F vigilante refugee hunters on the Rwanda 'genocidaire' trail is Jason Stearns, a former U.N. (MONUC) and International Crises Group 'analyst' (the ICG and its clone groups ENOUGH and Raise Hope for Congo are front for the U.S. National Security apparatus funded by the Center for American Progress).
Stearns also worked on several U.N. panels of experts on the illegal exploitation in the DR Congo, including the U.N. 'experts' report of November 2009, which launched a smear campaign against Fundacio S'Olivar and Inshuti, Spanish charities affiliated with Juan Carrero Seralegui, Jordi Palou-Loverdos (named on Rwanda's 'Hit List' above) and Joan Casoliva Barcons, accusing them of backing terrorists in Congo. (A key 'confidential source' for the U.N. Panel of Experts [sic] has been the RPA/F front group African Rights: the November 'experts' report was fed information through RPA/F agents Theodore Nyilinkawaya in Brussels and Rakiya Omaar in Kigali. It appears that African Rights has maintained a tight connection to previous U.N. Panel of Expert's as well.) This is the U.N.'s failed attempt to discredit the Spanish indictments against the RPA/F.44, 45
Working out of Yale University grad school, Stearns has been zealously gunning for Rwandans connected to the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an organization also targeted on Rwanda's 'Hit List' (above) and Kagame's disingenuous excuse, over and over, for RPA/F terrorism in DRC. "For an excellent review of the FDLR Diaspora," Stearns wrote, citing the RPA/F front African Rights, "see Rakiya Omaar's recent report: 'The end in sight?'"46
The Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)--until 2000 known as the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR)--are not the evil genocidaires respondible for every war crime in Central Africa, as they are billed by western flak organizations like ENOUGH, Raise Hope for Congo, the U.N. panels of experts, Jason Stearns and their benefactors in the Kagame muilitary regime. FDLR include ex-FAR soldiers forced out of Rwanda during the illegal RPA/F invasion and coup d'etat. Being in the losing side does not automatically make these soldiers genocidaires or war criminals: their cuilpability in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is far less evident than the culpability of the RPA/F regime. So-called "FDLR" in Congo also include innocent women and children who have been subject to war crimes by the RPA/F and its factions (RCD, CNDP, etc.) and their artners, including the FARDC, and the United Nations Observers Mission for DR Congo (MONUC). To add insult to injury, the organized crime networks of the Kagame government, and even Canadian BANRO Ciorporation (illegally occupying and terrorizing South Kivu) have alliances and realtyionships with FDLR and other Hutu groups in eastern Congo.
The criminalized genocidaire label of 'FDLR' offers the ready made sound bite utilized by the media, by white skinned propagandists like Nicholas Kristof and Jeffrey Gettleman, by actorvists like Ben Affleck and George Clooney, and by western institutions like the United Nations, and US Government, to whitewash their own involvement in criminal exploitation of one stripe or another. The ultimate goal is western corporatte control achieved with through such supposedly 'progressive' legislation as the U.S. Congress bills in Blood Minerals. The situation with the Lord's resistance Army--the scapegoat for which to excuse President Yoweri Museveni--and the LRA Disarmanent Act is identical, but different, but only to serve wetsren militarization and expropriation of African people's lives and lands and loves.
U.N. 'expert' Jason Stearns never mentions the western corporations, intelligence agents or U.S. officials involved in the Great Lakes plunder. Instead, Stearns is on crusade against Dr. Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro and Dr. Felicien Kanyamibwa, two Rwandan intellectuals living in the U.S.A. named as leaders or former leaders of the FDLR. Stearns has lobbied the U.S. State Department to arrest and charge the Rwandan opposition leaders, by any means necessary, to "get them for material support to a terrorist organization" or "for having committed fraud on their immigration documents." 47
Dr. Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro was director of the Rwandan Information Office (ORINOFOR) under the Habyarimana government: Dr. Higiro was a member of the MDR (Mouvement Démocratique Républicain), a political party opposed to the Habyarimana regime. He is one of very few intellectuals left alive with an insider's understanding of the genocide propaganda leading up to April 6, 1994, and what scares the U.S. and their RPA/F proxy is his understanding of the genocidal media of the RPA/F.48
Dr. Higiro's daughter was born in the USA, and Dr. Higiro and his family were evacuated from Rwanda to Burundi by the U.S. Embassy on April 9, 1994, was flown on a U.S. military Hercules C-130 to Nairobi (the USAF billed him for the flight). He was appointed Minister of Information to the RPF/A government on July 19, 1994, the day he flew to the U.S. He declined to return after reports of the RPF/A's "unmistakable patterns of killings" of scores of thousands of Hutus.49, 50
Dr. Higiro has lived under constant threats and accusations--and assumptions of his 'complicity in genocide'--to the present day, teaching at Western New England College in Springfield, Ma, a U.S. citizen since 2000. A photo that Dr. Higiro (his child in his arms) sent to his aged father in Rwanda was confiscated when African Rights investigators intimidated Dr. Higiro's father at his home village in Rushaki, Rwanda; the photo identifies Dr. Higiro (one of the FDLR terrorists) in an African Rights document authored by Rakiya Omaar.51
Dr. Felicien Kanyamibwa left Rwanda in 1991 and was a Ph.D student in the U.S. in 1994. Funneled disinformation from African Rights, the Rwandan state media accused him of being a Hutu 'hardliner' tied to the Interahamwe and ex-FAR, casting him as a genocidaire.52 Dr. Kanyamibwa lives in New Jersey. As with most Rwandans being hunted by the RPA/F, the Department of Homeland Security is constantly harassing him.
The Christian Science Monitor has also been practicing vigilante journalism for the RPA/F through Max Delany and Scott Baldauf.53 The CSM advances U.S. State propaganda through the International Crises Group intelligence agents John Prendergast, former National Security Council under William Jefferson Clinton, and Guillaume Lacaille, former U.N. Political Affairs Officer and U.S. Embassy Attaché, and they protect western corporations plundering eastern Congo (Banro Resources, Cabot, Moto Gold, Anglo-Ashanti, etc.). Of course, the U.S. military's AFRICOM is all over Central Africa, backing, training and funding the RPA/F and UPDF, building bases in Rwanda, Uganda, Congo and South Sudan, and force missions are run by the Pentagon's Special Operations Command--SOCOM: covert operations, death squads, snatch-and-grab black ops, psychological warfare, other terrorism of the kind that first brought the RPA/F to power.54
Max Delany is working on a hit piece about Dr. Higiro and Dr. Kanyamibwa, expected to appear on April 6, 2010--the anniversary of the 'plane crash' [sic] that sparked the '100 days of genocide' [sic]. "I hope that North America will do something about the FDLR leaders on their soil too," the CSM quotes the ICG's Lacaille to say. "Because when you go against the [Hutu] genocidaires of 1994, you are doing it because of justice. When you go against someone like Ignace Murwanashyaka"55--or Dr. Higiro, or Dr. Munyakazi--"it's not only justice, it's about security in the Democratic Republic of Congo."56
The end to impunity for war and terrorism in Central Africa begins with the arrest of the 40 extremist Tutsi RPA/F war criminals indicted by the Spanish court, and with the arrest and indictment of His Excellency, Paul Kagame, the man they call 'the Butcher of Kigali'--one of AFRICOM's leading men in Central Africa.

ABOVE: The Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations all supported war crimes and genocide in Central Africa by backing the guerrila warfare of Yoweri Museveni (now President in Uganda) and his National Resistance Army/Movement and then Paul Kagame (Museveni's former Director of Military Intelligence) and the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front in Rwanda. (Photo credit: some photographer serving the propaganda system.)



1 Jim Lyons, former Commander of Investigations for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, also provided expert testimony at this hearing.
2 See, e.g.: keith harmon snow: "Three Cheers for Eve Ensler?" ZNet, October 24, 2007; "Merchant's of Death: Exposing Corporate Financed Holocaust in Africa," Dissident Voice, December 8, 2008; "Over Five Million Dead in Congo? Fifteen hundred People Daily?" February 4, 2008.
3 The ADFL (RPF/A + UPDF + U.S. & U.K. & Israel backing) war crimes and genocide against Rwandan and Burundian refugees is well documented. In August 1996 there were an estimated 1.5 million refugees in eastern Zaire, and by November the estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Rwandan refugees that did not return to Rwanda under the illegal forced repatriation became the targets of a systematic manhunt by ADFL forces. See, e.g., Roberto Garreton, Special Rapporteur of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Zaire No. E/CN.4/1996/66, June 29, 1996; Howard French, A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, Vintage Books, 2005; and Filip Reyntjens, The Great African War, Cambridge University Press, 2009; Gerard Prunier, Africa's World War, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 120-128; Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999; and International Non-governmental Commission of Inquiry into the Massive Violations of Human Rights Committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Former Zaire) 1996-1997, Int'l Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, 1998; DRC: What Kabila is Hiding: Civilian Killings and Impunity in Congo, Human Rights Watch, Vol. 9, No. 5(A), October 1997.
4 E.g., [1] [name withheld] former Manager for David Blattner SAFBOIS logging corporation in Bosondjo, Equateur Province, DRC; [2] [name withheld] businessman in Kisangani, Orientale, DRC, whose bulldozers were confiscated by the RPF/A and UPDF for excavation and covering of mass graves.
5 See: Robin Philpot, Ça ne s'est pas passé comme ça à Kigali, (That's Not What Happened in Kigali), published in English by the (Phil) Taylor Report: Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard, 2004,
6 Although Rwandan and Ugandan troops warred against each other in Kisangani, DRC, in 2000, and their leaders hate each other, these criminal networks have links, common interests, and equal culpability for ongoing terrorism in Central Africa, Sudan and Somalia.
7 The French term genocidaire has universally been used to castigate innocent Hutus as deeply sinister and evil.

8 This double reality--economic advances and political regression--has been seen before in cases, for example, such as Chile, backed by western powers, under General Augusto Pinochet.
9 The question of mortality statistics by ethnic category have been addressed by Filip Reyntjens, Christian Davenport, Alan Stam and others, leading to the conclusion that the number of Hutu deaths in Rwanda during the so-called "100 days of genocide" of 1994 exceed the possible numbers of Tutsi deaths, a complete inversion of the claims by the GOR, and its supporters and allies, who have always maintained some 800,000 to 1.2 million Tutsis killed in the "Rwanda genocide".
10 E.g., Final report of the Group of Experts on the DRC submitted in accordance with paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1857 (2008); e.g., Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the DRC, October 2003; Final report of the Group of Experts on the DRC submitted in accordance with paragraph 18(d) of Security Council resolution 1807 (2008); Final report of the Group of Experts on the DRC submitted in accordance with paragraph 8 of Security Council resolution 1857 (2008).
11 Spanish Indictment (Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles), February 2008. The 182 pp. Spanish indictment charges President Kagame and forty members of the RPF/A regime with the deaths of more than 300,000 civilians, detailed in Prefecture-by-Prefecture totals.
12 French Indictments (Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere), December 2006.
13 Filip Reyntjens, The Great African War, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
14 E.g., Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999; Howard French, A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, Vintage Books, 2005; and International Non-governmental Commission of Inquiry into the Massive Violations of Human Rights Committed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Former Zaire) 1996-1997, International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, 1998.
15 Dr. Helmut Strizek, Discredit the Hutu Population Forever, Report by Dr. Helmut Strizek, Expert Witness in "The Prosecutor v. Innocent Sagahutu," Before the International Criminal tribunal For Rwanda, (Case No. ICTR 2000-56-I), entered into ICTR records October 30, 2008.
16 See, e.g., Christian Davenport and Alan C. Stam, "What Really Happened in Rwanda," Miller McCune, 2009.
17 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Approved by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 260 A (III) of December 9, 1948, came into effect on January 12, 1951.
18 See, e.g., the conclusions of the Genodynamics Project of Dr. Christian Davenport and Dr. Alan Stam or the countless human rights reports documenting RPA/F atrocities, e.g., Rwanda: Civilians Trapped in Armed Conflict: The Dead Can No Longer Be Counted, Amnesty International, December 19, 1997.
19 Carla Del Ponte and Chuck Sudetic, Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with Humanity's Worst War Criminals, and the Culture of Impunity, The Other Press (NY), 2009.
20 Kenneth Roth, "The Power of Horror in Rwanda," Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2009.
21 See, e.g., Rakiya Omaar, The Leadership of Rwandan Armed Groups Abroad With a Focus on the FDLR and RUD-URUNANA, December 2008: p. 8.
22 See, e.g.: [1] Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal, Death, Despair and Defiance, African Rights, November 1994; [2] Rakiya Omaar, Rwanda: Insurgency in the Northwest, African Rights, 1998; [3] Rakiya Omaar, Letter to Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc, President of the United Nations Security Council, African Rights, October 19, 2005; [4] Rakiya Omaar, An Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, African Rights, May 13, 1998.
23 See, e.g., An Open Letter to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, African Rights, May 13, 1998.
24 African Rights, A Welcome Expression of Intent: The Nairobi Communique and the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe, December 2007.

25 International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, Minutes of Proceedings, Hategekimana: ICTR-00-55-T, July 1, 2009.
26 See: Delivery of the Murambi Book and African Rights outstanding $100,159, Letters from the GOR's National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide to Rakiya Omaar, Director of African Rights, dated June 6, 2008, and June 22, 2008, stamped with an official seal, and copied to H.E. The President of the Republic, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, The Minister of Sports and Culture, and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (Kigali).
27 See, e.g., Report of the International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda Since October 1, 1990, Final Report, Federation Internationale Des Droits de L'Homme (FIDH) (Paris), Africa Watch (New York, Washington, London), Union Interafricaine Des Droits de L'Homme et des Peuples (UIDH)(Ouagadougou), Centre Internationale des Droits De La Personne et du Developpement Democratique (CIDPDD/ICHRDD) (Montreal), March, 1993. Notable members of this Commission included Alison Des Forges and William Schabas.
28 See, e.g., Munyaneza & Ors v. Government of Rwanda, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, April 8, 2009; and Dr. Helmut Strizek, The Influence of the International Background on the Creation of the International Tribunal for Rwanda: An Historian's View, October 24, 2009.
29 Dr. Helmut Strizek, The Influence of the International Background on the Creation of the International Tribunal for Rwanda: An Historian's View, October 24, 2009.
30 French indictment Judge Bruguiere, November 2006.
31 Spanish Indictment (Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles), February 2008.
32 Prosecutor v. Bagosora, 98-41-T, Judgment of 12/18/08, published in full February 9, 2009 (
33 While the article and the framework for the article are in many ways flawed, displaying the same tendencies toward a priori assumptions of guilt, please see, e.g.: Andrew Rice, "Doubt: A Professor, A Genocide, and NBC's Quest for a Prime Time Hit," The New Republic, August 12, 2009.
34 Andrew Rice, "Doubt: A Professor, A Genocide, and NBC's Quest for a Prime Time Hit," The New Republic, August 12, 2009.
35 Jack Shafer, "To Catch a War Criminal? Why is NBC Being so Cagey about it's New Series?" Slate, February 10, 2009.
36 Notably, a U.S. immigration judge in St. Paul Minnesota imposed Gourevitch's book as compulsory reading for all attorneys dealing with Rwandan refugees requesting political asylum. Similarly, the International human Rights Law Clinic at American University for several years (at least) asked students to read Philip Gourevitch on genocide in Rwanda, in preparation for legal work with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda. Professor Melissa Crow, who worked with the Law Clinic, followed her term at Human Rights Watch (1994-1995) working for the Office of the ICTR Prosecutor from Kigali, Rwanda, under the RPA/F regime.
37 Philip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1998.
38 Fergal Keane, "Rwanda Genocide Suspect in UK" and Fergal Keane, "Rwanda Suspect Worked at UK Trust," BBC News, November 6, 2006.
39 The Government of the Republic of Rwanda v. Vincent Bajinya, Charles Munyaneza, Emmanuel Nteziryayo, and Celestin Ugirashebuja, Decision by Anthony Evans, Designated District Judge, June 6, 2008.
40 Munyaneza & Ors v. Government of Rwanda, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, April 8, 2009.
41 The BBC article reporting their release was highly biased, citing, for example, how the Rwandan "president died in a plane crash," and not an act of terrorism--being the double presidential assassinations--and another example of language used to skew perceptions about violence, victims, and killers in Rwanda. See: Unsigned, "Rwanda Accused Win UK Court Case," BBC News, April 8, 2009.
42 Spanish Indictment (Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles), February 2008.
43 French Indictments (Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere), December 2006.
44 See: "The UN in Congo: Watchdog of the Great Mining Interests," Save Rwanda (.org), November 11, 2009.
45 The latest 'Panel of Experts' report on Congo revealed the true pro-RPA/F bias of the United Nations, and discredited the report, which has some solid information in it about certain western criminals, such as, for example, Philippe de Moerloose, whom this author has previously cited for war crimes.
46 Jason Stearns: Congo Siasa ( [1] "Are We Really Serious About Getting Rid of the FDLR?" October 27, 2009;
47 Jason Stearns: Congo Siasa ( [1] "Are We Really Serious About Getting Rid of the FDLR?" October 27, 2009; [2] "Ignace in Handcuffs," November 18, 2009
48 Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro, "Rwandan Private Print Media on the Eve of the Genocide," in Thompson, Ed., The Media and the Rwanda Genocide, Pluto Press, 2007.
49 U.N. High Commission for Refugees investigator Robert Gersony reported in September 1994 on the RPA/F's killing of more than 30,000 ethnic Hutus--in a period of two months--and gave a detailed account of locations, dates and nature of crimes, as well as the methods used to kill and to make the bodies disappear. Gersony also identified RPF leaders responsible for the killings. The classified U.N. "Gersony Report" has never been released. Sections of the 'Gersony Report' were referenced in other documents, and the conclusions were similar in a declassified Refugees International Situation Report of 1994 (begging questions about why refugees Inetrenationals SITREP are classified by the U.S. State Department...).
50 Raymond Bonner: "Rwandans Say the Victors Kill Many Who Go Back," New York Times, August 5, 1994; and "UN Stops returning Rwandan Refugees," New York Times, September 28,1994.

51 Rakiya Omaar, The Leadership of Rwandan Armed Groups Abroad With a Focus on the FDLR and RUD-URUNANA, December 2008: p. 8.
52 RNA reporter, "U.S. Government Investigating FDLR Official," Rwanda News Agency, December 12, 2008.
53 Max Delany & Scott Baldauf, "Germany Arrests Congo Rebel Leaders," Christian Science Monitor, November 17, 2009; Scott Baldauf, "The Legacy of Rwanda's Genocide: More Assertive International Justice," Christian Science Monitor, April 7, 2009; Scott Baldauf, "Rwanda Rebel Leaders: US, French, Spanish and Congo Business Links," Christian Science Monitor, December 2, 2009.
54 See, e.g., Nicole Dalyrimple, "U.S. and DRC in Partnership to Train Model Congolese Battalion," U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs, February 18, 2010,; and Kenneth Fiddler, "Ward Leads Africa Command Delegation to Rwanda," U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs, April 22, 2009,
55 FDLR leader Ignace Murwanashyaka was arrested in Germany in November 2009.
56 Scott Baldauf, "Rwanda Rebel Leaders: US, French, Spanish and Congo Business Links," Christian Science Monitor, December 2, 2009(

Rwanda Accuses Hotel Rwanda Hero of ‘Double Genocide Theory’

Rwanda Accuses Hotel Rwanda Hero of 'Double Genocide Theory'
Rwanda’s government has accused Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan exile played by actor Don Cheadle in the movie Hotel Rwanda, of being a “revisionist” who “harbors the Double Genocide Theory.”
A “revisionist,” in Rwanda, is someone who dares to challenge the received history of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. The “Double Genocide Theory” is the belief that Hutus, as well as Tutsis, were victims of genocidal violence in 1994.
The Rwanda New Times reported, on March 12th, that the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda had ruled that Paul Rusesabagina’s testimony was “not an absolute necessity” at the trial of former ruling party official Joseph Nzirorera.
The New Times also reported that:
Deogene Bideri, a senior official at the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), equated Rusesabagina’s actions to those of the accused. “Rusesabagina’s actions have made it clear that he is a revisionist and he harbors the Double Genocide Ideology.”
Theodore Simburudari, the president of Ibuka, an umbrella organization of Genocide survivors’ associations, said that for Nzirorera to ask Rusesabagina to be his witness, is evidence in itself that both men have in their agenda, spreading the Double Genocide Ideology
Much of the world’s emotional response to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide has been shaped by the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda. At its end, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) Army, led by General Paul Kagame appear as heroes to end the bloodshed, as the movie’s hero, Paul Rusesabagina, departs from a Rwandan refugee camp with his family.
The movie makes no mention of the many political and legal scholars, journalists, and human rights investigators contesting the received history of the genocide, including University of Notre Dame Professor Christian Davenport and University of Michigan Professor Alan Stam, who, after many years of study, interviews with survivors, and statistical analysis, concluded that :
-a million people died,
-the vast majority of those who died were not Tutsi, but Hutu,
-American, French and Belgian leaders, including Bill Clinton and the CIA, knew what was happening every day as the massacres continued and
-current Rwandan President Paul Kagame, a U.S. ally trained at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, is guilty of war crimes of an extraordinary scale.
(Professors Stam and Davenport’s passports to Rwanda have both been revoked.)
Nor does the movie mention Kagame’s training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, the Pentagon arming his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) army, or, the victory of the U.S., UK, and Anglophone interests, over those of France, won by the RPF, as described by Professor Michel Chussodovsky, in his Global Research report “Rwanda: Installing a U.S. Protectorate in Central Africa.”
Indeed, the movie ends with this message:
The genocide ended in July 1994., when the Tutsi rebels [Kagame's RPF militia] drove the Hutu army and the interahamwe militia across the border into the Congo. They left behind almost a million corpses.
It might therefore seem like good public relations for Kagame and his ruling RPF Party to remain on good terms, at least publicly, with Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero of Hotel Rwanda, which is based on his autobiography, An Ordinary Man.
Instead, they have accused him of “revisionism” and “harboring the Double Genocide Theory.”
Kagame and the RPF are coming under more and more international pressure to hold a real presidential election this year, as reported by the London Independent on March 15th, in Rwanda’s Democratic Credentials Under Fire.
Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch, the Campaign to Protect Journalists, the Global Greens, theEuropean Green Free Alliance, the African Faith and Social Justice Network, and U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, D-WI, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Africa, have all called for civil and political rights and a free and fair election, but authorities continue to deny two of the three major opposition parties permits to convene, register, or field candidates.
On March 12, the Hotel Rwanda/Rusesabagina Foundation joined the list, issuing a press release that “condemns election related violence in Rwanda, and calls for real democratic activity to be allowed.”
Authorities nevertheless continue to threaten the FDU-Inkingi Party’s candidate, Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, and the Parti Social-Imberakuri’s candidate, Bernard Ntaganda, with incarceration for the same offenses that Kagame’s government accuses Paul Rusesabagina of—-”revisionism” and the “Double Genocide Theory.”
Both are speech crimes under the Rwandan Constitution ratified in 2003 and Rwanda’s “genocide ideology” statutes passed in 2008.

The Rwanda Genocide: Who Killed the Hutus?

The Rwanda Genocide: Who Killed the Hutus?
Wednesday, April 6th, was the 17 year anniversary of the plane crash in Kigali, Rwanda, that triggered the tragic violence the world came to know as the Rwanda Genocide after it had claimed close to a million Rwandan lives, perhaps even more. We at AfrobeatRadio want to turn our hearts and our thoughts to the Rwandan Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa families and individuals who suffered and lost loved ones in 1994.
This week we spoke to Charles Kambanda, a Rwandan American legal scholar, and professor at St. John’s University in New York City, formerly a professor at several East African universities. He was once a member of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, but became disillusioned with President Paul Kagame and left Rwanda in 2005.

Ann Garrison: Professor Kambanda, most people outside Rwanda know the story through the Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda. Could you tell us how the movie corresponds and how it departs from what really happened?
Charles Kambanda: Yes, most people who know the Rwandan story from the movie will certainly not be able to situate it within the entire history of the Rwandan conflict. The Rwandan conflict goes back before colonial times; it goes back before independence. These two peoples have failed to share power. They have failed to create a framework for power sharing. Whoever is in power wants to take it all. And this is where we have the genocide. Each side was killing the other because they wanted to eliminate them. And actually, it was also a military tactic. The Hutu were eliminating the Tutsi because they didn’t want the Tutsi to support their fellow Tutsi who were fighting the government. The Tutsi on their side were killing the Hutu because they didn’t want the Hutu in their territory to cross over and join the Hutu government.
An ordinary Rwandan knows that saying that the Hutu and the Tutsi died in the genocide, is the truth. But politicians think by saying that the Hutu also died, then you are going to ask them for accountability, because if you say that the Tutsi were killed by the interahamwe, and you also say that the Hutu were killed, then you need to know who killed them. And if you start mentioning who killed them, those politicians who are in power, Kagame and the others, will be called to answer for crimes.
Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza in custody, while in transit between court and Kigalii, Rwanda’s 1930 maximum security prison.Ann Garrison: Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the opposition presidential candidate and leader, is now in maximum security prison for expressing what’s called the double genocide theory, for going to the Kigali memorial and asking where the memorial to the Hutus was has said that Kagame risks another explosion of violence by practicing the same politics of exclusion that the Hutu president, Habyarimana did. Do you feel the same danger?
Charles Kambanda: I believe that is a great analysis. There is total lack of power sharing in Rwanda. And that is the reason why the 1994 genocide surfaced. I believe we are likely to have the same thing in the future.
Ann Garrison: The United States has been a big supporter of President Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Government, but, this week, on the anniversary of the events that triggered the genocide, President Obama did refer, in his statement honoring those who died, to the Rwanda Genocide, not to the Tutsi Genocide. Does this mean that in Rwanda he would be subject to prosecution if he weren’t the President of the United States?
Charles Kambanda: Absolutely. We have many cases of people who have been prosecuted under their law against minimizing genocide. In Rwanda if you don’t say “Tutsi Genocide” and you say “Rwandan Genocide,” they put you in a double genocide theory category. Those people who say the “Rwandan Genocide” are subject to prosecution in Rwanda. President Obama’s message is clear. He is talking about the Rwandan Genocide, not the Tutsi Genocide. Remember, the Rwandan government has had to amend its Constitution. At first we were talking about the genocide of the Tutsi and the Hutu moderates. Now, we are talking about the Tutsi Genocide. The Rwandan Constitution is clear now. I think suddenly last year they amended the Constitution to read Tutsi Genocide. Victoire Ingabire is in prison today because of saying “double genocide.” President Obama today, if it were not for the powers he has as a President, Kagame would be saying President Obama is a denier of the Tutsi Genocide. And it is interesting that President Obama did not include the words Tutsi Genocide, because it means he did not write in the interest of the government of Rwanda.
Ann Garrison: Professor Kambanda, thank you so much for talking to us today. Hopefully this will be a step towards the reconciliation that you’re hoping for.
Charles Kambanda: Thank you.
Ann Garrison: An archive and ongoing coverage can be found at For AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

U.S./U.N. cover-up of Kagame’s genocide in Rwanda and Congo

U.S./U.N. cover-up of Kagame’s genocide in Rwanda and Congo
A long-standing code of silence inside the U.N. is coming to an end regarding what is probably the largest genocide ever since the U.N. founding: the genocide committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front since 1990

Paul Kagame’s RPF, in what James Traub describes in Foreign Policy as a “typical episode,” “kidnapped refugees, many of them women and children, and brought them to a camp, allegedly under the pretext of returning them to Rwanda. The refugees were then brought out in small groups. From the report: ‘They were bound and their throats were cut or they were killed by hammer blows to the head. Their bodies were then thrown into pits or doused with petrol and burned. The operation was carried out in a methodical manner and lasted at least one month.’”
On Aug. 27, the French daily Le Monde leaked the news that a long report by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay [3] of South Africa calls the “systematic, methodical and pre-meditated crimes perpetrated against the Hutu” by the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) in Zaire in 1996-1997 “crimes against humanity, war crimes, and even genocide crimes.” The report has not yet been officially released but is already circulating freely.
The victims were “mostly children, women, the elderly and the sick.” The investigation looks at the crimes perpetrated in Zaire/Congo throughout the decade 1993-2003. Rwanda is not the only country incriminated. But, according to Le Monde’s Jean-Philippe Rémy, the RPF’s systematic extermination of Rwandan Hutu refugees and other Congolese Hutu – either by violent force or by systematically blocking food supplies sent especially to them – could be considered “the crux of the report.” At any rate, it is clear this extensive report is “devastating, especially for Rwanda,” as Christophe Châtelot, in turn, points out in the excellent cover article [4].
Nevertheless, both articles end by reaching the same major erroneous conclusion stated by most of the press articles that have appeared since the report was leaked: the need, they say, to establish a tribunal with jurisdictional authority over these crimes. Not only does such a court already exist but, on Feb. 6, 2008, it already issued arrest warrants against 40 RPF top officials who are allegedly responsible for the crimes in Congo referred to in the new U.N. report.
An elderly Rwandan woman in a refugee camp in Congo in 1997 was one of countless victims of Rwandan forces making repeated forays into United Nations-administered camps that, according to the New York Times, housed roughly a million Hutu who had fled the genocide in Rwanda. – Photo: Roger Lemoyne via Getty Images
This court is Spain’s Audiencia Nacional (National Court) which, pursuant to the principle of universal justice, possesses full jurisdiction to prosecute this kind of crime. It is by virtue of this principle, for example, that the arrest of Augusto Pinochet was possible in London and that today the Interpol and the SIRENE network are acting on the 40 arrest warrants cited above. Let us also remember that the four Spanish Marist clergymen who were accompanying the Hutu refugees and who had previously condemned internationally this huge slaughter were murdered by the RPF in the Nyamirangwe refugee camp in eastern Congo on Oct. 31, 1996.
In my opinion, there are various other errors in Jean-Philippe Rémy’s article. Rémy is much too quick to endorse some interpretations of the motives behind the crimes that hardly match the facts and are at this point almost untenable today. The most outrageous interpretation states that “the Rwandan intervention sought to prevent the refugees from coming together and, led by the ‘genocidaires,’ rising in revolt to attack Rwanda from their refugee camps at the other side of the border, in the former Zaire. The approach was to empty the entire region. Part of the refugees will return to Rwanda, another will be killed at the camps, others will flee across Zaire where they will be hunted down.”
Could a huge mass of human beings consisting mostly of malnourished women, elderly people and children come together and rise in revolt? Besides, shouldn’t there be a mention of the other goals the RPF pursued with that slaughter – those that many honest analysts actually rank as the main goals? That is,
• controlling the mineral fields in eastern Zaire, exactly where the “annoying” refugee camps were located; putting an end to the presence and diverting the attention of the international community related to those fields, which could derail the plans these criminals and their powerful allies had in Zaire;
• “correcting” as far as possible the demographic imbalance between Hutu and Tutsi which the RPF viewed as excessive, while at the same time averting a big international scandal under the guise of “hunting down the genocidaires”;
• having a submissive and controlled Hutu population, devoid of intellectuals or leaders, repopulate some of the regions in Rwanda that the RPF “operations” had left so deserted that they could potentially become a permanent black mark for the RPF that the international community would readily decry.
Unfortunately, the U.N.’s 14-year silence has had tragic consequences. Thousands of conniving silences have allowed those criminals basking in the bogus moral halo of having allegedly halted the genocide by Hutu extremists in the spring of 1994 to continue causing, with utter impunity, tremendous suffering in Rwanda and Congo!
But the report, whose recent leak has spurred widespread international coverage, could be the beginning of the end for Paul Kagame, who at the time was already head of the RPF and is now also president of Rwanda. True, up to now, it has only been a leak.
But the facts of the report are now in the public domain, above and beyond the sequel of pressures, blackmails and deals about to take place from now on, hushed and behind the scenes of the high political and economic circles of our times, primarily with the purpose of eliminating the word “genocide” from the text. Indeed, at long last more and more analyses are appearing about this situation which some of us had already been analyzing 14 years ago as the incidents themselves were occurring.
Already as early as October 1996 and more pointedly from February 1997 onwards, we condemned the massive massacres of Rwandan and Congolese Hutu being carried out in true genocidal manner, the cremation of tens of thousands of bodies, the extermination through starvation etc. Our documents were signed by some 20 Nobel laureates, as well as by heads of the political groups of the European Parliament.
How could our world leaders not possibly have known of crimes on such scale? How could Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs not have known either?
As soon as the U.N. report was leaked, Rwanda described the allegations against its soldiers, such as these shown in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as “outrageous.” – Photo: AFP
We ourselves had those documents handed to Bill Clinton and others truly and ultimately responsible for this genocide. In addition to the diplomatic channels, Elie Wiesel, survivor of the Nazi extermination camps and Nobel Peace laureate, promised our colleague Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a Nobel Peace laureate as well, to personally hand them to Bill Clinton in the meeting he was to have with the president shortly thereafter.
On the other hand, on Feb. 24, 1997, after my 42-day fast at the European Parliament in Brussels, I personally handed these documents to Abel Matutes1 [7], native of Ibiza, who was Spain’s minister of foreign affairs at the time. Inocencio Arias, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was with him at that meeting. I, in turn, was accompanied by Mercé Amer, Socialist regional/autonomic secretary of Mallorca.
Spanish state television TVE vetoed the news of this meeting, where documents of such serious nature and signed by such prominent people were being presented to the minister. The Brussels correspondent of TVE came over to me and told me how badly she personally felt: She had been following our fast and admired what we were doing together with Commissioner Emma Bonino, but she added that the news had unfortunately been vetoed and that, much to her regret, she wouldn’t be able to film.2 [8]
As it was, heightened tension reigned at the meeting due to the assassination of three Spanish volunteers of Médicos del Mundo merely a few days before. We now know that the RPF perpetrated this crime, even though the strong propaganda machine of the international godfathers of this criminal organization had managed within hours to get the world media to attribute this triple murder to extremist Hutu once again.
Indeed, it’s so true that the U.N. report doesn’t make any major revelations that even now, after its leak, I will hardly be making any changes in the second edition of my book, “África, la madre ultrajada” (“Africa, The Violated Mother”). The news is not the fact that the RPF perpetrated a genocide on such a large scale.3 [9]
In this genocide, the count of ethnic Hutu, both Rwandan and Congolese, violently eliminated by the RPF since 1990 should be estimated at hundreds of thousands at least. The scale of this genocide is even much larger if we consider the millions of victims, not only Hutu but also from other Bantu ethnic groups in Congo – or simply “not Hima-Tutsi,” as the racist RPF elite calls them.
They died not only through violent force but primarily due to starvation and other reasons related to the aggressions inflicted on Zaire/Congo by Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi in their genocidal attempt to establish in that region an empire controlled by Hima-Tutsi clans.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights has merely investigated the tip of the iceberg of this genocide, since it has looked at merely 600 violent incidents only in Congo and only from 1993 to 2003. It is a genocide in which already as early as 1997 – that is, one year before the second and deadliest invasion – the report of the U.N. team headed by the Chilean Roberto Garretón [10] documented the investigation of around 40 locations in Congo and put the death count at up to 100,000.
A hint of the scale of this genocide can be found in a report by the International Rescue Committee which estimates 5.4 million victims in Congo until 1997 – in excess of the normal mortality figures – due to causes related to the aggressions staged there.
That’s not the news. The real news is something else: namely, that in a move that breaks the code of silence that has reigned within the U.N. for too many years, the High Commissioner for Human Rights reveals that the U.N. Security Council and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan before him – the same parties who less than a year ago accused some of us of financing the genocidaires – have actually spent more than a decade covering up the continuous genocide carried out by the RPF from Oct. 1, 1990, until today, which probably constitutes the largest one since the U.N. was founded!
Jean-Philippe Rémy’s article cited above is entitled, precisely, “A Long Set of Obstacles to Justice and Truth.” As Glen Ford well said in the analysis he wrote shortly after the leak of the report, “Rwandan Crisis Could Expose U.S. Role in Congo Genocide [11],”4 [12] we are facing “a political crisis that threatens to disrupt Washington’s plans to dominate the continent.
“At stake is not only the reputation of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, an alumnus of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but the larger American strategy for militarization of Africa and exploitation of her riches. …
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visits Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Kagame’s farm in Muhazi.“Carnage on such a scale could not have occurred were it not for the connivance of the United States, which has nurtured Kagame at every juncture. …
“The leaked U.N. report cannot be put back in the bottle. Kagame, who labels all critics ‘genocidaires’ or apologists for genocide, is exposed as ‘the greatest mass killer on the face of the earth, today,’ as described by Edward S. Herman, co-author of ‘The Politics of Genocide.’ Kagame’s mentors and funders in the U.S. government, who aided and abetted his genocide in Congo, must be held equally accountable – if not more so, since United States corporations derive the greatest benefit from Congo’s blood minerals, and the U.S. military gains the most advantage from Rwandan and Ugandan services as mercenaries at America’s beck and call in Africa.”
The Rwandan government has reacted by making virulent threats, and the High Commissioner has postponed the report’s release until Oct. 1. The following weeks will be marked by a fierce struggle to delete the word “genocide” from the report, since this classification would require the immediate intervention of the international community.
Nevertheless, something new is happening in this great conflict as a significant movement of pieces appears to be taking place on the board. Another fact also evidences this: The important Gersony report [14]5 [15], up until recently eerily unavailable, suddenly surfaced this past Sept. 7. It is another honest report, done as early as 1994, but in this case by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
The report has remained suppressed since then and high-ranked U.N. officials even denied it had ever existed. It documents the systematic ethnic cleansing of Hutu, genocidal in nature, carried out by the RPF in the Rwandan interior6 [16] during 1994.
The investigative team led by Gersony examined the assassination of some 30,000 Hutu by the RPF, but only looked at crimes perpetrated during a two-month period and in merely three prefectures. However, similar to the recent report by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, “[T]he massacres condemned in the Gersony report represented only the visible tip of a monumental iceberg consisting of hundreds of thousands of victims butchered by RPF troops since October 1, 1990 in the areas occupied by the military.”
Rwandan refugees massacred in a camp in DR Congo. – Photo:
Former Rwandan Foreign Minister Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana makes this statement in his excellent book recently published, “Paul Kagame a sacrifié les tutsi”7 [18] (“Paul Kagame has sacrificed the Tutsi”). Upon receiving a photocopy of the Gersony report, I asked him to confirm its authenticity, which he did, although he added that an annex is missing.
Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana, of mixed Hutu-Tutsi descent, had testified in the lawsuit we filed at the Spanish National Court and is now the person responsible in France for the Intra-Rwandan Dialogue we have been sponsoring since 2004. This extraordinary Rwandan witnessed first hand the wheeling and dealing behind the suppression of the compromising report.
The entire horse-trading took place in the U.S. Department of State in early October 1994 between Hutu Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu from the RPF – albeit always under the watchful eye of “consultant” Charles Muligande – and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs George Moose. Pasteur Bizimungu had actually gone to argue that “a ‘post- genocide’ was going on, while at the same time, the RPF military was getting away with massacring entire groups of people without the international community expressing any disapproval.”
Seeing George Moose’s excessively understanding reaction to the Rwandan president’s case, Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana inferred what was going to happen with the Gersony report, as it indeed turned out: That meeting “sealed the fate of the Gersony report once and for all.”
Vianney Ndagijimana resigned from his post as minister a few weeks later “in order not to be an accomplice of the ethnic cleansing practises” and went into exile “to bear witness of this silent genocide, as disgraceful and reprehensible as the Tutsi genocide, and to publicly condemn it worldwide.”
Others didn’t act with such ethics and integrity: Kofi Annan, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping at the time; Shahryar Khan, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Rwanda; Timothy Wirth, Undersecretary for Global Affairs, including matters of human rights; Brian Atwood, director for Africa of USAID, which had financed the investigation aimed at determining whether the interior of Rwanda was equipped for the return of Hutu refugees.
“Kagame’s army and allied militias knowingly committed wholesale killings of Hutus, often ‘mostly children, women, old and ill people.’ Indeed, the (leaked U.N.) report goes on to say that some of the attacks could have amounted to a genocide,” according to The Economist.
Prior to the meeting of the Rwandan president with the assistant secretary of state, all individuals cited above had met several times with Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana, on one occasion with Robert Gersony present. The former minister described that some of them had spoken very harshly to the Rwandan president. But the fact is that the Gersony report was suppressed and none of the people mentioned above ever condemned the terrible ethnic cleansing that had taken place nor the cover-up of such an important piece of evidence.
Kofi Annan showed the report to Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana and even let him read it but refused to give him a copy. Thus, already back then the future U.N. Secretary-General knew very well that the theory of a double genocide was not wrong. And it is certainly far from being a form of negationism and hence a crime, as Ramón Lobo has dared state in the Spanish daily El País.
Good heavens! – daring to label as criminals Judge Fernando Andreu, who accuses Kagame and 40 top officials from the RPF of committing crimes of genocide, and now High Commissioner Navi Pillay, who signs the recent U.N. report!
Yet this journalist is not alone. Many are the know-it-all analysts, who have no qualms writing about any matter of the moment, even about conflicts as serious and complex as this one – or who, rather, have only listened to the powerful rhetoric of the Manichean official doctrine that resolutely maintains that the story of the genocide is one of genocidaires on the one side and noble liberators on the other.
On the contrary, Kofi Annan and current Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon know that the accusations made by Judge Fernando Andreu Merelles are well-founded: “crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against individuals and property protected in the event of armed conflict, membership in a terrorist organization, terrorist acts, pillage of natural resources and the assassination of nine Spanish nationals.”
As we suspected and made public at the time, Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to bill genocidaire Paul Kagame as the superhero of the struggle against hunger and other evils plaguing our world have possibly infuriated and mobilized the group of people with integrity still to be found at that big organization which is the U.N. Let’s just hope that Navi Pillay doesn’t end up sacked for the same reasons for which others were ousted in former times: U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali, ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) prosecutor Carla del Ponte, among many others.
Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana spent years wondering why the secretary-general had decided to embargo the Gersony report. In a meeting at the headquarters of the Tribunal of The Hague in November 2002, Carla del Ponte confirmed to him what he had been suspecting all along. The former minister writes in his book:
“[W]ithout avoiding [the subject], she acknowledged that this report was under the jurisdiction of the ICTR and that it should have ordinarily been included in the dossier of crimes perpetrated in Rwanda in 1994 by one of the warring parties. Unfortunately, she added, all efforts to obtain the Gersony report as well as various other U.N. reports providing evidence of the crimes committed by the RPF had proved to no avail up until then. She continued: ‘I sent an official request to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Ogata,8 [20] asking her for that report, but I ran into a wall. …
“Carla del Ponte admitted that, in despair, she also requested that Robert Gersony be heard by the ICTR prosecutor – again to no avail. Once again the U.S. government expressed its opposition, ruling it inadmissible! As we can see, Paul Kagame enjoys the protection of one or more of the superpowers which have a veto right [in the U.N. Security Council] and are able to dictate its agenda at the heart of the U.N. organizations. You don’t need to be a wizard to know that the Clinton administration, surely embarrassed and ridden with guilt for having opposed the deployment of U.N. troops to stop the genocide, has preferred focusing on the bottom line of the massacres of hundreds of thousands of innocent Hutu civilians.”9 [21]
A boy in Rwanda passes election posters a few days before the presidential election on Aug. 9, 2010. “Rwandan President Paul Kagame was reelected with 93 percent of the vote in the country’s elections earlier this month, but there were widespread reports that journalists and opposition politicians had been imprisoned or killed. Now a leaked U.N. report suggests that Rwandan troops may have committed war crimes and massacred tens of thousands of people in the late 1990s,” reported Newsweek on Aug. 27, the day the report was leaked. – Photo: Marc Hofer, AP
Let’s hope that the time has come; let us hope that those who pull the strings realize that sustaining this sham, this disgraceful impunity, is untenable at this point. We firmly believe that those of us outside the U.N. should help enable those upright individuals within the organization to keep it from serving the interests of the Trilateral Commission10 [23] and of other powerful and elitist groups instead of serving the interests of peoples. In this respect, we share the views expressed by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mallorquinian Sen. Pere Sampol, who was vice-president of the government of the Balearic Islands and knows well the mazes of political intrigue.
At any rate, what I stated in the preface of my book might begin to prove true: “When this monumental tragedy gets the coverage it deserves in the big media, it will become one of the most embarrassing chapters in the annals of the United Nations, of the entire Western world, in general, and in particular, of José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero’s Socialist government.”
Spain’s prime minister, however, may still be able to change fate. He just needs to continue on the path he started by not meeting with Paul Kagame in Madrid; he just needs to refuse to co-chair together with this criminal the Advocacy Group of the Millenium Development Goals. He just needs to cooperate with Spain’s Audiencia Nacional on the legal proceedings against the 40 top officials of the RPF. He just needs to meet – at long last – with the families of the nine Spanish victims.
Juan Carrera of the International Forum for the Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region, a Nobel Prize nominee, has campaigned for years against impunity there. In 1996, he walked over 600 miles to Brussels and a year later went on a 42-day hunger strike in front of the European Union Council headquarters to persuade the EU to stop the atrocities in the DR Congo. With Spanish Sen. Sampol he successfully pushed for a lawsuit in Spain against members of the Rwandan government on behalf of Spanish victims who died in Rwanda after the genocide. The lawsuit resulted in the indictments of 40 of Rwanda’s current top and former military officials for genocide crimes and other human rights abuses. He can be reached by emailing [24].He is currently one of the 12 Spanish members of the Trilateral Commission. [ [26]]
  1. He is currently one of the 12 Spanish members of the Trilateral Commission. [ [26]]
  2. The media, however, were allowed the photo-op de rigueur of that meeting. See Chapter 2 of [27]. [ [28]]
  3. In the article mentioned above, Jean-Philippe Rémy comments on the statements made by one of the initiators of the report: “[T]here have been too many cases of massacres which have been concealed to the eyes of outside witnesses … These ‘concealed elements’ as well as those ‘things never said should have been brought to light a long time ago,’ the same source said. ‘It was well-known that this was a huge thing,’ the person added.” [ [29]]
  4. Black Agenda Report, translated for Rebelión by Mariola and Jesús María García Pedrajas. [ [30]]
  5. It can be found in “C:\Unearthed ‘Gersony Report’ the U.N. said it never existed [31]” at The Proxy Lake. – mht [ [32]]
  6. The RPF first carried out the ethnic cleansing in the areas they were seizing in the spring of 1994, the same spring when the Hutu extremists were carrying out their own genocide of the Tutsi in the areas under their control. Primarily, however, it was the cleansing carried out by the RPF after its full-fledged victory on July 18. [ [33]]
  7. Editorial La Pagaie, pages 134-141. [ [34]]
  8. As I pointed out in my book, Sadako Ogata is also a member of the Trilateral Commission. [ [35]]
  9. Pages 140-141. [ [36]]
  10. Almost everyone who has played a key political role in the Rwandan conflict has been or still is a member of the Trilateral Commission and/or has attended or attends the meetings of the Bilderberg Group: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Kofi Annan, Madeleine Albright, Bill Richardson, Sadako Ogata, Susan Rice, Raymond Chrétien, Jean Chrétien, Hillary Clinton or Bernard Kouchner. This list does not take into account the higher number of members of the Foreign Relations Council or of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. [ [37]] URLs in this post:
    [1] [Translate]: http://sfbayview.comjavascript:show_translate_popup
    [2] Image:
    [3] report by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay:
    [4] cover article:
    [5] Image:
    [6] Image:
    [7] 1: #footnote_0_14132
    [8] 2: #footnote_1_14132
    [9] 3: #footnote_2_14132
    [10] report of the U.N. team headed by the Chilean Roberto Garretón:
    [11] Rwandan Crisis Could Expose U.S. Role in Congo Genocide:
    [12] 4: #footnote_3_14132
    [13] Image:
    [14] Gersony report:
    [15] 5: #footnote_4_14132
    [16] 6: #footnote_5_14132
    [17] Image:
    [18] 7: #footnote_6_14132
    [19] Image:
    [20] 8: #footnote_7_14132
    [21] 9: #footnote_8_14132
    [22] Image:
    [23] 10: #footnote_9_14132
    [26] ↩: #identifier_0_14132
    [28] ↩: #identifier_1_14132
    [29] ↩: #identifier_2_14132
    [30] ↩: #identifier_3_14132
    [31] C:\Unearthed ‘Gersony Report’ the U.N. said it never existed:
    [32] ↩: #identifier_4_14132
    [33] ↩: #identifier_5_14132
    [34] ↩: #identifier_6_14132
    [35] ↩: #identifier_7_14132
    [36] ↩: #identifier_8_14132
    [37] ↩: #identifier_9_14132
    [38] Merchants of death: Exposing the corporate-financed holocaust in Africa:
    [39] Africom’s covert war in Sudan:
    [40] The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s bloody record and the history of U.N. cover-ups:
    [41] Congo’s quest for liberation continues:
    [42] Cynthia McKinney: Rwanda, release Professor Peter Erlinder:

Rwanda Genocide: Honoring the Dead Without Honoring the Lies

 0  1
On April 7 the United Nations began its annual commemoration of the anniversary of what we know as the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, when as many as one million Rwandans were slaughtered in 100 days.
The ceremonies raise several questions for all those who contest the received history of the Rwanda Genocide: How to honor Rwanda’s dead without honoring the lies?
And, how to honor six million more Congolese dead, but not commemorated, in the ongoing aftermath of the Rwanda Genocide when Rwanda’s war crossed its western border into neighboring D.R. Congo?
Though both tell the received history of the Rwanda Genocide; the BBC and Wikipedia mark its outset not on April 7th, as the UK, UN, and Rwandan officialdom do, but on April 6th, when, in 1994, the assassination of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira triggered the ensuing panic and violence that grew into the horror of the next 100 days and beyond. The two presidents were flying home from a conference between east and central African leaders in Tanzania, held to discuss ways to end violence between ethnic Hutus and Tutsis from Burundi and Rwanda, when their plane was shot out of the sky over Rwanda’s capitol, Kigali.
On the evening of April 6, 1994, the BBC reported:
The deaths of the presidents, both Hutus, look likely to make the situation in both states [Rwanda and Burundi] worse. Heavy fighting has already been reported around the presidential palace in Rwanda after news of the deaths spread. News agencies in Kigali said explosions have been rocking the city but it was not immediately clear who was involved in the fighting.
Carla del Ponte, lead prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals on Rwanda and Yugoslavia, in her book “Madame Prosecutor; Confrontations with Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the Culture of Impunity,” tells the story of how she was fired by the UN after announcing her intent to prosecute sitting Rwandan President Paul Kagame for the assassination of Presidents Habyarimana and Ntaryamira that triggered the genocide.
The received history says that former President Bill Clinton and the rest of the world stood by and let extremist Hutus murder up to a million Rwandan Tutsis and moderate Hutus until current Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) army arrived in Kigali to end the killing, restore order and begin a reconciliation process. Volumes of interviews, testimonies, mass-grave exhumations and identifications as well as statistical analysis by five different teams of investigators, tell a far more complex story that includes a psychosis-induced mass-murder. Five teams of investigators came to varying sets of conclusions which University of Michigan Professor Allan Stam explained in Coming to a New Understanding of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Four out of five teams concluded that the vast majority of those who died were Hutus.
French is Dead, Long Live English!
Some say that Clinton could have stopped it with a phone call because the US and UK were backing Kagame’s RPF Tutsi Army, whose advance from the north after the assassinations stirred waves of panic and consequent violence in southern Rwanda.
But, whether he could have stopped it that easily or not, and/or at what point, the Rwanda Genocide ultimately represented the triumph of the US, the UK, and their allies over France in a fierce scramble for Central Africa’s vast natural resources, including the dense mineral wealth in eastern D.R. Congo.
President Paul Kagame, an English speaking Rwandan refugee in Uganda from the age of two, rose to become an officer in Uganda’s Army, then Intelligence Chief, then RPF Commander, after training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where future generals learn to plan invasions.
The RPF army invaded Rwanda across its northern border with Uganda in 1990 and arrived victorious in Kigali at the end of the 100 days following the Habyarimana and Ntaryamira assassinations.
Though reported to have stood by during the genocide, the US moved in to build a large military base in Rwanda almost as soon as the RPF triumphed, as reported in the New York Times, July 27, 1994:
The United States is preparing to send troops to help establish a large base in Rwanda to bolster the relief effort in the devastated African nation, Administration officials said today.
(Administration officials’ claim that relief was the base’s purpose is disputed by those who dispute the history of the genocide.)
All Rwandans share the native African language, Kinyarwanda, “Rwanda” for short, but before the English-speaking RPF victory, urban, educated Rwandans also spoke French, the language of the dominant European power and thus the language in which Rwanda conducted international business.
The new RPF rulers declared English the language of business, causing enormous stress and dislocation to French-speaking Rwandan professionals, and in November 2009, the Commonwealth Heads of Government welcomed Rwanda, a former member of the Commonwealth’s equivalent, La Francophonie, as a member.
Shortly thereafter, “French is dead; long live English in Rwanda!” a news report from the English stream of French-based satellite channel, celebrated the end of 100 years dominance of the French language and French business ties.
Law Professor Peter Erlinder, former National Lawyer’s Guild President, lead defense counsel for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, and author of the Rwanda Documents Project, offered these comments on the commemoration of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide:
“Commemorating the ‘Rwandan Genocide’ is certainly a noble goal, but without acknowledging the role of the current Rwandan President Kagame in the assassination of Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, and the crimes committed by his forces in their 90-day assault to seize power in 1994, whether those crimes are called ‘Genocide’ or ‘Crimes Against Humanity,’ converts a solemn remembrance into a farce of political deception and ‘cover-up, organized by the dominant member of the UN Security Council and Kagame’s most-important backer, the government of the United States.
“Investigating judges in France and Spain have indicted Kagame and his RPF forces. US government and UN documents from 1994 confirm that Kagame’s RPF is guilty of mass-killings during all of 1994, which continue in the eastern Congo to this day. More than 6-million have died as a result of the Kagame-initiated war and violence in Central Africa and the former Chief UN Prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, has concluded that Kagame’s RPF is responsible for crimes that have been charged to the side that lost the Rwandan Civil War between 1990 and 1994.
“In 2009, the four top-military leaders of the vanquished army have been acquitted of planning or conspiring to commit genocide, or any other crimes, in the UN Tribunal.
“Del Ponte has publicly said that she was fired from her UN job by the US in 2003, when she insisted on prosecuting Kagame and the RPF.
“There is much, much more to a ‘genocide remembrance’ than meets the eye even when the UN is involved and history is ignored, or ‘covered-up’ in the interests of superpower geopolitical interests.”
Never again?
This admonition from the web pages of the UN’s 2010 Rwanda Genocide commemoration could not more perfectly describe Rwanda as it is now, under Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his ruling RPF Party:
Warning Signs of Genocide
The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, working with other genocide experts, has compiled a list of warning signs that could indicate that a community is at risk for genocide or similar atrocities. It includes:
• the country has a totalitarian or authoritarian government where only one group controls power
• the country is at war or there is a lawless environment in which massacres can take place without being quickly noticed or easily documented
The UN is at least good for comic relief, but pretending that these were warning signs of Rwanda’s past, and not its present, does not honor the dead. It honors the lies told by the US, the UK, and the UN to cover their responsibility for the loss of millions of African lives.
Senator Russ Feingold calls for political space in Rwanda
On March 2nd, as grenades exploded in Kigali, and Kagame’s political targets fled the country, Senator Russ Feingold, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Africa, read the Feingold Statement on the Fragility of Democracy in Africa, into the Congressional Record, calling on President Barack Obama to make human and political rights a condition for the support of the US and other “donor nations” in Africa.
Feingold stressed the urgency of the Rwandan political situation, with presidential election polls approaching in August.
The Africa Faith and Justice Network, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Friends of the Congo, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Group, Reporters without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Greens/European Free Alliance, have also called for a free and fair election in Rwanda and an end to civil and human rights abuses.
This is advocacy within a very narrow, very contradictory political space, that of Western parliamentary democracy within the larger context of an unsustainable Western scramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources, driven by the West’s unsustainable, growth-driven culture and economy.
Ann Garrison is an independent journalist and contributor to the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Digital Journal, KPFA and KMEC Radio News, and her own blog, Plutocracy Now: the War and Plunder Report. More of her radio/video reports available on YouTube.

Kagame Started the Genocide in Rwanda, then Congo

To the City of Atlanta, former Mayor Andrew Young and Bernice King:
Individuals and organizations listed below have come to know that the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, is organizing what he calls Rwanda Day, a meeting with the Rwandan Diaspora and the American public in the city of Atlanta.
We, the Congolese and Rwandan Diaspora, indigenous of the Congo and Rwanda, together with friends of these two countries, denounce and strongly condemn the fact that the president of Rwanda is allowed to organize such a meeting on American soil with the blessing of the authorities of the City of Atlanta.
Our condemnation is based on the fact that the people of the African Great Lakes regions have suffered from the abuses committed by Paul Kagame and his government for 24 years now.
We would like to bring the following basic facts about Paul Kagame to the attention of all Americans who are committed to peace and social justice:
  • In 1990, Gen. Paul Kagame invaded Rwanda heading a detachment of the Ugandan army dominated by Rwandan Tutsis like himself. He destabilized the country and committed numerous mass murders in the north of Rwanda.
  • In 1994, when the city of Kigali was surrounded by camps filled with desperate refugees fleeing Kagame’s army in the north, President Kagame pushed the country into a state of panic, terror and genocidal violence by ordering the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents as they returned from peace talks in Arusha, Tanzania, which were meant to end the conflict.
Rwandans and Congolese joined forces to protest the first Rwanda Day, held in Chicago, Illinois, in 2011, and at each Rwanda Day since.
Image: Rwandans and Congolese joined forces to protest the first Rwanda Day, held in Chicago, Illinois, in 2011, and at each Rwanda Day since.
  • In 1996 and 1998, Gen. Paul Kagame joined Gen. Yoweri Museveni in invading the Democratic Republic of the Congo, creating havoc in the country which resulted in deaths that the International Rescue Committee estimated to be as high as 5.4 million between January 1997 and January 2008. Since at least seven years of war and conflict were not counted in the IRC’s epidemiological study, the death toll is no doubt much higher.
  • Gen. Paul Kagame has never stopped plundering the Democratic Republic of the Congo since his first raids and today Rwanda is a major exporter of coltan (ore used in the manufacture of mobile phones, playstations and military electronics), although Rwanda itself has no coltan reserves.
  • Gen. Paul Kagame has fueled wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by creating and supporting proxy militias such as the M23 that have helped him cover up his plundering of the country.
  • Gen. Paul Kagame rules Rwanda with an iron fist. Political space is locked down favor of a minority. Nonviolent political challengers to Kagame, including Victoire Ingabire and Deo Mushayidi are incarcerated.
A protester at Rwanda Day in Boston in 2012 held up a poster calling for the freedom of Rwandan political prisoner and opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
Image: A protester at Rwanda Day in Boston in 2012 held up a poster calling for the freedom of Rwandan political prisoner and opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
  • Gen. Paul Kagame does not hesitate to resort to political assassination inside and outside Rwanda’s borders. In 2010, journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was gunned down in the streets of Kigali, after letting the editor of the publication he wrote for know that he was about to release evidence of Kagame’s complicity in the attempt to assassinate his former general, Kayumba Nyamwasa, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kagame’s former intelligence chief, Patrick Karegeya, was the last known to pay with his life for becoming a critic of the Kagame regime. Karegeya was found hanging in a Johannesburg hotel on New Year’s Day this year. This case is still under investigation, but Kagame’s response to the murder was to warn Rwandans, in a public speech, that “you can’t betray Rwanda without paying the price.”
All statements mentioned above have been duly documented by various U.N. reports, documented news reports including video footage, and legal judgments:
  • In July 16, 1997, the U.S. House of Representatives hearings before the Committee on International Relations about the Democratic Republic of the Congo revealed that Paul Kagame’s RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) had invaded Congo-Zaïre and that it was assassinating Hutu refugees in Eastern Congo-Zaïre. In 2006, President Obama, who was then a senator from Illinois, authored the Congo Relief Security and Democracy Promotion Act. Section 101(5) and (6) of Obama’s 2006 Congo legislation reads:“(5) The most recent war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which erupted in 1998, spawned some of the world’s worst human rights atrocities and drew in six neighboring countries.“(6) Despite the conclusion of a peace agreement and subsequent withdrawal of foreign forces in 2003, both the real and perceived presence of armed groups hostile to the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi continue to serve as a major source of regional instability and an apparent pretext for continued interference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by its neighbors [Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi].”
Rwanda Day protest, London 2012
Image: Rwanda Day protest, London 2012
  • In 2008, The Spanish National Court indicted 40 Rwandan officers on charges of mass murder, crimes against humanity, terrorism, genocide against Rwandans, Congolese and Spanish citizens in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Judge Fernando Andreu of Spain’s National Court also declared that he had sufficient evidence to implicate current Rwandan President Paul Kagame, but he also added that he could not indict him because of his presidential immunity.
  • The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) issued a report on the Congo called “The United Nations Mapping Exercise Report.” This report affirms that the Rwandan government is responsible for the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Congo. Moreover, the observation of some of the crimes committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has led investigators to say that some elements “if proven before a competent court, could be characterized as crimes of genocide.”
  • On April 15, 2013, the Report of Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) expresses concerns about the political space in Rwanda. It observes that there are many political constraints and that freedom of association and expression is not guaranteed. It also raises the question of the imprisonment of opposition leader Madame Victoire Ingabire.
  • In a letter dated Dec. 12, 2013, from the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo addressed to the chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the U.N. experts argue that Rwandan Defense Minister James Kabarebe was commanding the M23 militia then terrorizing DR Congo and that Rwanda provided continuous support to M23 from Rwandan territory. The most consistent forms of support were through recruitment and provision of arms and ammunition, particularly during periods of combat. M23 also received troop reinforcements directly from the Rwandan army in August. During the October fighting, Rwandan tanks fired into DRC in support of M23.
  • On Sept. 10, 2014, Magistrate Stanley Mkhari sentenced four men each to eight years in prison in a South African court, saying that they had been proven guilty of a ‘‘politically motivated’’ attempt to assassinate Kayumba Nyamwasa, Paul Kagame’s former defense chief, in June 2010. The plot, the judge wrote, originated in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
Kagame Day protest, Toronto 2013
Image: Kagame Day protest, Toronto 2013
The United States, which takes pride in its democratic history, and the City of Atlanta, which played such a proud role in the American Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King, cannot want to appear to the world as supporters of dictatorship and mass murder, but allowing Paul Kagame to organize “Rwanda Day” in Atlanta tells the world that they are.
The violation of human rights is no more acceptable in Africa than in the United States or anywhere else in the world. We like to believe that human beings, wherever they are, are entitled to justice and that it is a denial of justice to host an event created to let a regime with bloody hands promote itself, while the millions it killed remain compelled to silence in death because we do not have the courage to speak for them and say enough is enough.
A message from a Congolese citizen, Philippe Lomboto Liondjo: “Please do not insult Martin Luther King’s memory and the spirit of the honorable struggle for Civil Rights by allowing a killer such as Gen. Kagame to organize his Rwanda Day in Atlanta.”

BK Kumbi, spokesperson, Don’t Be Blind This Time (Switzerland-DRC)
Don’t Be Blind This Time, Swiss citizen movement
Bruce Dixon, Managing Editor, Black Agenda Report (USA)
Glen Ford, Executive Editor, Black Agenda Report
Milton Allimadi, Editor-in-Chief, Black Star News (USA)
Frank LeFever, retired neuroscientist, Pacifica WBAI Local Station Board member (USA)
Ann Garrison, Journalist and Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize Winner (USA)
Maurice Carney, Executive Director, Friends of the Congo (USA)
Kambale Musavuli, Student Coordinator and Mining Researcher, Friends of the Congo (USA-DRC)
Kweku Lumumba, Secretary General, World African Diaspora Union, Georgia (USA)
Christopher Black, ICTR Defense Counsel (Canada)
David Peterson, co-author of the upcoming book, “Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later” (USA)
Claude Gatebuke, Rwandan Genocide survivor, Executive Director, African Great Lakes Action Network
Theophile Murayi, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda
June Terpstra (USA)
Lisanga, Congolese political association (France)
La LUCHA, mouvement citoyen RD Congo
Soledad Mora, Comités Umoya-Madrid (Spain)
Magloire Mpembi, doctor and novelist (Canada-DRC)
Jean-Mobert N’Senga-la, LUCHA, (DRC)
Momi M’Buze Noogwani Ataye Mieko, Congolese writer and activist
Monique Mbeka, Congolese film maker (Belgium-DRC)
Philippe Lomboto Liondjo, Congolese performer, actor and activist (Switzerland-RDC)
Olivier Mukuna, Journalist (Belgium)
Lopango Ya ba Nka, Congolese music band (Germany-RDC)
Willie Ratcliff, Publisher, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper
Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper
JR Valrey, Producer, Block Report Radio, Associate Editor, SF Bay View (USA)
Anne Onidi, Journalist (Switzerland)
Nicolas-Patience Basabose (RSA)
Elengo (Switzerland-DRC
Victoria Dimandja (GB-DRC)
Youyou Muntu-Mosi (France-DRC)
Nadine Bena (France-DRC)
Jean-Jacques Tadoum (USA)
Leopold Mbala (USA-DRC)
Ekutsu Mambulu (DRC)
N’siala Kiese Patrick (Belgique-Drc)
Meta Nabou Cisse (Belgique)
Derrick Onyeri (Denmark-Uganda)
Nadia Nsayi (Belgiques-DRC)
Jean-Baptiste Paul (France-Haïti)
Rosa Moro, Journalist (Spain)
Flavia Garrigos Cabanero (Spain)
Dina Martinez (Spain)
Damiàn Socías Picornell (Spain)
Pedro Espinosa Bote (Spain)
Ana María Martínez Rodamilans (Spain)
Fuencisla de Andrés (Spain)
Ana Espinosa González (Spain)
Pedro Espinosa (Spain)
Maite Cobas (Spain)
Jaime Lara (Spain)
José Hernández (Spain)
Mingu Haro (Spain),
Marlene Ibarra (Ecuador)
Nella Azana (GB-DRC)
Vincent Conrad Ball (GB)
Kibsoo Diallo (Egypt)
Djallil Saada (Switzerland)
Benjamin Itzkovich (Switzerland)
Dieudonne Aoche (USA-DRC)
Lucie N’goma (France)
Paul Alain (France)
Judith Bass (Switzerland)
Juan Carlos Hernandez (Switzerland)
Mang Holenn Christian (RSA)
Leslie Luboloko Lusinda (RSA)
Patrick Kegbia (RSA)
Billy Lukinu (Angola)
Stacey Koyenyi (GB)
Kitondua Diasivi (France)
Ive Mass (GB-RDC)
Matondo Kapella (RDC)
Gloria Omoyi (France-RDC)
Gugu Ngwenya (RSA-RDC)
Owandji Olenga Lokolo Lopaka (RDC)
Sosthene Banda Badou (Poland-Tchad)
Bebelle Dembo (North Irland)
Anthea Harris (GB)
Claudine Mamona-Cullin (Austria)
Sala Naambwe (Canada)
Demunga Hassani (Canada)
S. Mathieu Gnonhossou (USA-Rwanda)
Philippe Faradja Byaombe , Congolese Student Organisation-Pretoria (RSA)
Aimant Lutonadio (Germany-RDC)
Sophie Teuwen (Senegal)
Ibrahim Touré (Algeria-Mali)
Dadao Mupulu (RDC)
Kalengula Wha Kalengula (USA-RDC)
J.L. Bondoko Ekolonga (RDC)
Motaouakkil Abdellatif (Morocco)
Paul Otshudi Loma (GB)
Dolly Kimpiatu Fofo Lukata (USA-DRC)
Raphaël Berland (France)
Beatrice Léonard Lomami (USA-DRC)
Freddy Aigle (DRC)
Ambrose Nzeyimana (GB-Rwanda)
Dady Dalla (USA-DRC)
Dalila Choukri (France)
Kakiese Nicole (Belgium-DRC)
Dominique Diomi (USA-DRC)
Joachim Mbala (GB-DRC)
Patience Ngoba-Mushidi (Germany-DRC)
Joyce Mbaya (USA-DRC)
Yiokito Ilangwa (RSA-DRC)
Patricia Athena (Sweden
Yaa-Lengi Ngemi, President, Congo Coalition
Nii Akuetteh, Founder, The Democracy & Conflict Research Institute (DCRI)
Ed Herman, co-author of the upcoming book, “Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later”
Keith Harmon Snow, human rights investigator and war correspondent, Conscious Being Alliance
Robin Philpot, Baraka Books Publisher, author of “Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa
Kevin Alexander Gray, author of “The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama,” contributor to Counterpunch and The Progressive
Nita Evele, Congo Coalition – Stop the Genocide in Congo-Zaire
Phil Taylor, Taylor Report Producer and Host, CIUT 89.5 FM, University of Toronto, former defense investigator for the ICTR
Kumbi Bénédicte Ndjoko, historian and activist, Don’t Be Blind This Time
Jean Nepomuscene Manirarora, Secretary-General, Foundation for Freedom and Democracy in Rwanda
Jennifer Fierberg, Contributor, African Global Village
For more information, contact Friends of the Congo, 202-584-6512 or 718-865-6512 and Committee for Unity of Black Immigrants and Americans, 404-401-8817.

Rwanda: obscuring the truth about the genocide

Rwanda: obscuring the truth about the genocide
Far from being radical, the attacks on France for its role in the 1994 war are designed to whitewash Western intervention more broadly.
Last week, the Rwandan government published the findings of its commission of inquiry into the role France played in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. It found French diplomats, military leaders and politicians – including former president François Mitterand – complicit in the genocide.

Considering that the current Rwandan leadership has vilified France ever since it launched its bid to seize power in Rwanda in October 1990, eventually winning power in July 1994, it is not surprising that it should now up the stakes against its long-time enemy. The new strongman of Rwanda, President Paul Kagame, is fortunate that he has unswerving support from the United States, Britain and Belgium, and a cheerleading media in these countries which can be counted upon to give his report into France’s role in the genocide maximum impact.
But the truth is that France’s major mistake was to find itself on the wrong side of the moral parable that has been imposed by Western observers on Rwanda’s recent tragic history. A war that was complicated by considerable international intervention has become over-simplified into a morality tale of good versus evil, in which France has been branded as part of the ‘evil side’. Such a simplification further obscures the truth about what happened in Rwanda in 1994, and whitewashes the role of Western intervention more broadly.
According to the moral parable of Rwanda, the good guys were the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which invaded Rwanda in 1990 because it had no other means of protecting the persecuted minority of ethnic Tutsis inside Rwanda and of making the then Hutu-led government accept the right of return of Rwandan Tutsis living abroad as refugees. The bad guys were in the Rwandan government and armed forces. When the international community had helped Rwandans achieve a negotiated settlement, the worst elements among the bad guys drew up a plan to secure Hutu domination once and for all by planning and then implementing genocide against Rwandan Tutsis.
By the time the good guys – the RPF – had fought them off, their evil mission had been largely completed. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Tutsis were dead. Genocide had occurred, and the Western world had simply looked on passively. The United States refused to label the war that took place as a genocide in order to resist the clamour for international intervention to save lives. France was the only force on the United Nations Security Council to respond by sending in French forces under Operation Turquoise. But France’s real motivation was not to save lives, but to shore up its erstwhile allies: the bad guys. The French helped them escape Rwanda so that they would not have to answer for their crimes.
A moral analysis like this is compelling because it provides a clear pathway through a maze of complicating factors. For journalists, this moral signposting of the Rwandan genocide leads the way to great copy about the bravery of the heroes and the moral turpitude of the villains. For governments, it provides the crucial element of legitimacy that is the essential underpinning of their right to rule. The Rwandan regime under Paul Kagame depends on this version of events for its support and survival. And so do its principal sponsors, the United States and Great Britain.
As the force that relieved Rwanda from genocide, the RPF – whose leadership currently runs Rwanda – has exploited this version of events to remind Western governments that they failed to live up to the ‘Never Again’ principle that was the driving force behind the passing of the Genocide Convention at the United Nations in 1948. While they battled the genocidaires in 1994, the Western world simply looked on. Except France, that is. But as a supporter of the former, pre-RPF regime, France’s motives for intervening were highly questionable.
It may be the most widely told story of Rwanda, but this version of events is deeply flawed. While the US may have been embarrassed by this account, appearing less than heroic during the months of Rwanda’s greatest torment, it is far easier for it to live with this embarrassment than to be confronted with the facts of how it did intervene in this region of Africa in the early 1990s and since Kagame came to power.

The ‘plane crash’ debate

In fact, the three most influential Western players in Rwanda at this time – the US, France and Belgium – all intervened in ways that created the conditions that made mass slaughter inevitable. Contrary to the prevailing version of events, after its initial deployment of troops defending Rwandan leaders against the RPF’s October War in 1990, by means of Operation Noroît, France recognised that the US and Uganda were behind the RPF and had no desire to become isolated as the sole defender of the Rwandan government. So it increasingly made its military support conditional upon the government’s commitment to serious negotiations with the RPF. According to an informant from the French Ministry of Cooperation, France’s decision to disengage was already evident in 1990: ‘We did not want to remain alone…there were great powers behind the RPF. Uganda could send 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers.’ (1)
The Kagame government’s latest salvo against France, in the shape of its commission report fingering the French for their support for the genocide, is in fact part of an increasingly desperate search for political legitimacy. The weakest point of the Rwandan moral parable is the question of what caused the re-eruption of the war in 1994 and the subsequent descent into mass slaughter. The start of the bloodiest stage of the war is far more complicated than the moral storytellers – who blame it on the then evil government’s determination to secure Hutu domination – would have us believe.
It was an act of international terrorism that triggered the return to war. In early April 1994, an aeroplane carrying Hutu President Juvénal Habyarimana was blown out of the sky by a missile attack that had been planned for several months. Apologists for the RPF have tried hard to blame the attack upon hardline Hutu conspirators, but they have produced nothing of substance to back up this claim. Rather, there is an accumulating amount of evidence that the RPF was responsible for the missile attack – and it is this evidence that has put the current RPF government, led by Kagame, on the back foot. It is the government’s defensiveness on this issue that lies at the heart of the current France-bashing.
The UN’s own investigator, Michael Hourigan, first came across compelling evidence of the RPF’s responsibility for assassinating President Habyarimana and the other unfortunate occupants of his plane. However, it appears that under pressure from Washington, the UN agreed to shut down its investigation into the missile attack. Another UN investigator, Robert Gersony, came across evidence of RPF atrocities and was also silenced; the UN even stated that his report ‘did not exist’.
These inconvenient truths threatened to muddy the clear waters of moral certainty that the Rwandan parable provides. The Rwandan regime has lived behind the shield of international powers which have worked hard to keep the matter of the plane shooting off the agenda. For all of its 13 years of operation, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), whose brief is to establish the truth of what happened in 1994, has ruled that the matter of the President Habyarimana’s assassination (which it chooses to refer to simply as a plane ‘crash’) is not within its remit. When one of the ICTR’s chief prosecutors, Carla Del Ponte, expressed her desire to dust off the investigation into the allegations against the RPF, stating that ‘if it is the RPF that shot down the plane, the history of genocide must be rewritten’ (2), she was abruptly relieved of her position and moved to The Hague.
Del Ponte’s successor at the ICTR, the Gambian Hassan Bubacar Jallow, subsequently confirmed that the shooting down of the aircraft is ‘not a case that falls within our jurisdiction’ (3).  It is ironic that the ICTR’s first chief prosecutor, Richard Goldstone, has expressed his view that the plane attack does fall within the remit of the court and ought to be investigated. ‘It is clearly related to the genocide, by all accounts [it was] the trigger that started the genocide and it would have been very, very important from a justice point of view, from victims’ point of view, to find out.’ (4)
However, the ICTR’s deputy prosecutor, Bernard Muna, felt cavalier enough about the issue to tell the ICTR’s legal adviser, Kingsley Moghalu, that ‘after all, there was a state of war, and Habyarimana could be considered a legitimate target’ (5).  This is an extraordinary statement from such a senior figure. The missile attack was, among other things, a deliberate violation of Article 1 of the Arusha Accords of 4 August 1993, which stated: ‘The war between the Government of Rwanda and the Rwandan Patriotic Front is over.’
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the secretary-general of the UN at the time of the Rwanda tragedy, is also emphatic about the cover-up of the investigation into the plane shooting: ‘It is a very mysterious scandal. Four reports have been made on Rwanda: the French Parliament Report, the Belgian Senate Report, Kofi Annan’s UN report, and the Organization of African Unity report. All four say absolutely nothing about the shooting down of the Rwandan president’s plane. That just goes to show the power of the intelligence services that can force people to be quiet.’ (6)
Building upon the evidence received by the UN investigator Michael Hourigan, the French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière conducted his own enquiry on behalf of the family of the French pilot who died in the missile attack, along with the presidents of both Rwandan and Burundi and senior government and military figures. Bruguière’s report is thoroughgoing and detailed. I have interviewed one of the several RPF dissidents who briefed the judge: Aloys Ruyenzi. A former member of Kagame’s guard, Ruyenzi states categorically that he was in the room when Kagame gave the order to shoot down the president’s plane, and names all those who were present. The meeting was between 2pm and 3pm on 31 March 1994 (7).  The Kagame government reacted in its customary fashion to these revelations about the shooting down of the plane: it launched a character assassination of all the Rwandan contributors to Bruguière’s report, and condemned Bruguière for being, well, French.

Western complicity: what about the US?

Yet there is more than the legitimacy of the Rwandan government at stake in this latest retelling of the moral parable on Rwanda. The RPF would not have sustained its war without diplomatic support from Washington. The US intervened to legitimise the RPF’s war, even though the justifications for it had by that time proven to be baseless. The first invasion in 1990 was timed, not to force a reluctant Rwandan government to allow refugees to return, but to disrupt arrangements already in place to accommodate returning refugees.
Rather than being a desertion from the Ugandan military (the RPF leadership were in top positions in the Ugandan state), the invasion of Rwanda in 1990 was a joint Ugandan-RPF venture. President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda was keen to have an ally in power south of the border. More importantly, he wanted to be rid of his Rwandan refugee ‘problem’. The issues of land occupation by Rwandans, and suspicions about the leverage that Rwandans in top official positions enjoyed in the Ugandan government, had generated Museveni’s first political crisis since he took power in 1986.
Behind Uganda was its closest international ally and sponsor, Washington. It was US intervention, in the person of secretary of state for African affairs Herman Cohen, which chose not to condemn the RPF’s invasion and Uganda’s support for it, but rather to support the military recovery of the RPF upon its initial defeat. Cohen coerced President Habyarimana not only to negotiate a ceasefire with the RPF, but to enter negotiations with it in order that a stake for the RPF in a new government be agreed.
By July 1992, Rwanda no longer had a single-party regime but a coalition government and a new democratic constitution. The constitution guaranteed freedom of political organisation and prohibited discrimination on any grounds, ethnic or otherwise.
Of course, it takes more than a constitution to bring about democracy, but it was a promising start and presented another opportunity for the US to tell its Ugandan ally Museveni to pull the plug on the RPF or face the end of the privileged ‘New African Leader’ status that it had bestowed upon him. There was nothing to prevent the RPF from campaigning for support inside Rwanda alongside the other opposition parties. Nothing except the fact that the RPF was feared and loathed by the majority of Rwanda’s population. And yet, Washington was happy for the RPF to intensify its war. In February 1993, the RPF violated the Arusha ‘peace process’ with its heaviest offensive to date. It is arguably the case that if there had not been French forces around the capital Kigali, the RPF may have succeeded in seizing power at that time. The offensive resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of nearly a million people, living in miserable conditions in makeshift camps. This offensive did more than anything else to generate hatred for the RPF and, tragically, for the local Tutsi population who were assumed to be in league with the overwhelmingly Tutsi RPF.

How human rights lobbyists boosted the RPF

The RPF had violated the negotiations process with another round of death and destruction. But thanks to coordinated human rights lobbying, the RPF returned to the negotiating table unapologetic about its own conduct and full of moral indignation at the evils of the Rwandan government. A suspiciously well-timed human rights report was published in 1993, accusing the Rwandan government of gross violations of human rights. Some of its authors even accused it of genocide. The government had been responsible for atrocities against civilians in response to the RPF’s initial invasion, and had admitted to them. It objected to the report’s bias: the investigators had made only a token effort to investigate allegations of atrocities committed by the RPF, spending only a few hours interviewing people in the presence of RPF soldiers.
Thanks in large measure to the impact of this report, the RPF was able to take the moral high ground and use the negotiations as a vehicle for translating its military gains into political gains. RPF intransigence and military strategy was facilitated in no small measure by the human rights crusade that was launched against the Habyarimana-led coalition government.
But France, too, played a vital role in prodding the Rwandan government to reach a political settlement with the RPF. According to the French writer Agnes Callamard, it was not just pressure from the US that was applied to get Habyarimana to sign the Arusha Accords in 1993 – ‘it is doubtful if Habyarimana would have signed the peace accords, which gave heavy concessions to the RPF, without pressure and guarantees from the Elysée through François Mitterand’s personal emissaries, and possibly from representatives of the Military Mission of Cooperation, specifically Général Huchon, Colonel Cussac – the French military attaché and head of the French military Assistance Mission in Rwanda, and his assistant, Lieutenant Colonel Maurin.’ (8)
Having secured a virtual coup in the 1993 negotiations – the RPF had won 50 per cent command of the envisaged unified army and enough seats in the proposed transitional government to block anything that was against its interests – the RPF had emerged as the strongest party. The problem it now faced was the scheduled elections where its unpopularity would have been exposed. Local elections in the demilitarised zone that was created in the wake of the February 1993 offensive pointed the way – the RPF was massively defeated at the hands of the former ruling party.
Faced with the prospect of being downsized to a small party by the Rwandan electorate, and with clear support from the US and Belgium, it would appear that the RPF’s interests could only be further advanced with a return to the battlefield. With the promised departure of French forces from Kigali in December 1993, the military path to the capital was clear. What was needed by the RPF was a justification for resuming the war.

The Rwandan war re-erupts

The assassination of President Habyarimana by means of the missile attack upon his plane set off a round of killings of opposition political figures by elements of Habyarimana’s Presidential Guard on one hand, and killings of members of the former ruling party by the RPF on the other. Massacres of Tutsi civilians by Hutu militia soon followed in Kigali, and then spread across the country. But, contrary to the conventional story, RPF forces were on the march long before any massacres occurred.
Peter Erlinder, the lead defence council for the ICTR, stated categorically in a letter to the Canadian prime minister in 2006 that the final offensive of the RPF was ordered by Kagame within minutes of learning of the successful missile attack, ‘long before any retaliatory, civilian killings had occurred anywhere in Rwanda’ (9).
Three years of mounting fear, insecurity and material deprivation (much of Rwanda was by this time in the grip of famine) came to a head. Rwanda’s hastily (but constitutionally) appointed government of surviving ministers fled the capital. The army was pinned down in one losing encounter with the RPF after another. In these anarchic conditions, Rwanda’s defenceless Tutsi population bore the brunt of murderous hatred generated by an ethnically polarising war.
The RPF won the war and took power in July 1994. Africa then witnessed the largest mass exodus in its history. Over two million Rwandans voted with their feet and moved to former Zaïre and Tanzania. The United States, Britain and Belgium in particular rushed to recognise the new regime in Kigali.
Even greater numbers were still to die. The new Rwandan regime’s invasion of various refugee camps and its forced repatriation of refugees, the massacre of internally displaced people in Kibeho in April 1995, and two invasions of what became the Democratic Republic of Congo by the ruling RPF – all of this has brought the death toll of civilians to a level that is the highest of any conflict since the Second World War. The number of ministers leaving the new government and later dying in mysterious circumstances continues to rise. Accountability on the part of the Rwandan regime for these violations is waived by its sponsors in Washington, London and Brussels. Whenever challenged on these matters, officials from these capitals will reply that this was the force that liberated Rwanda from genocide, and continued Western backing for it is necessary to ensure that the genocidaires never return to power.

The truth behind the moral parable

But facts are stubborn things. Bruguière’s charges will not go away. The matter of the assassination of two heads of state is the Achilles heel of the Rwandan government. If the RPF’s responsibility for the plane shooting as a planned move towards reigniting the war in Rwanda is proven, what can be said about the diplomatic protection given to the RPF by the US and other Western powers? How can the leader of the ‘war against terror’ – America – explain its suppression of the facts about the assassination of two heads of state? What do we make of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda’s brief to foster reconciliation by establishing the truth and ending a culture of impunity?
In The Times last week, Linda Melvern wrote about ‘a large room in the French Embassy in Kigali filled floor to ceiling with shredded documents. This was probably the paper trail that might have revealed the depth of involvement between the Elysée Palace and the Hutu faction responsible for massacring hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and opposition Hutu’ (10).  Holding on to the moral parable of Rwanda and endorsing Kigali’s invective against France may work for now. But facts – about the start of the war, the actions of the RPF, and the role of Western intervention more broadly in pushing Rwanda to the brink – are stubborn things…
Barrie Collins is a writer on African affairs and author of Obedience in Rwanda: A Critical Question published by Sheffield Hallam University Press in 1998.
Previously on spiked
Barrie Collins reported from the waiting room of the Rwandan genocide tribunal. Tara McCormack criticised the indictment of Sudanase President Omar al-Bashir for genocide. Julie Hearn looke at Kenya and the myth of Afrian barbarism Brendan O’Neill said Somalia is a case study of the dangers of moralism in international affairs, and that Darfur has been damned by pity. Or read more at spiked issue Africa.
(1) ‘French Policy in Rwanda’, A Callamard included in The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaïre, H Adelman and A Suhurke, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999, p. 178, note 19
(2) Interview with Carla Del Ponte, Aktuelt, 17 April 2000. Cited in Le drama rwandais : Les aveaux accablants des chefs de la Mission des Nations Unies pour l’Assistance au Rwanda, E Karemera, Editions Sources du Nil, 2006
(3) Bush and Other War Criminals Meet in Rwanda: The Great “Rwanda Genocide” Coverup, P Erlinder, Global Research, 20 February 2008
(4) April 6th 1994 Attack Fits ICTR Mandate – Goldstone, Hirondelle News Agency, accessed 12 December 2006
(5) Rwanda’s Genocide: The Politics of International Justice, K Moghalu, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005 p.52
(6) Second Thoughts on the Hotel Rwanda, Philpot, R, Race and History, 26 February 2005
(7) ‘Major General Paul Kagame behind the shooting down of late Habyarimana’s plane: an eye witness testimony, 2nd Lt. Aloys Ruyenzi Press release, 18 January 2005 (Ruyenzi re-affirmed his statement to the author in an interview in Paris)
(8) ‘French Policy in Rwanda’, A Callamard included in The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaïre, H Adelman and A Suhurke, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, 1999, p.163
(9) Open letter to Prime Minister Harper: Regarding state visit of current President of Rwanda, P Erlinder, 6 April 2006 (Copy passed on to author by Erlinder. Emphasis in the original)
(10) The murky truth about France and genocide, L Melvern, The Times, 8 August 2008

Lawyers Who Reveal the Truth: The Arrest and Threats to the Life of Attorney Professor Peter Erlinder

Lawyers Who Reveal the Truth: The Arrest and Threats to the Life of Attorney Professor Peter Erlinder
The Arrest and Threats to the Life of Attorney Professor Peter Erlinder for producing  relevant UN records before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The arrest of   attorney  Professor Peter Erlinder by the government of Rwanda headed by President  Paul Kagame, his deteriorating medical condition and the false information given by the Chief of Police Rwanda  that Professor Peter Erlinder,
Lead Defense Counsel before the Security Council appointed Special International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, President of the  Association  des Avocats de La Defense  before the ICTR,  earlier a Judge  of  the International Criminal Tribunal for Afghanistan at Tokyo, attempted to commit suicide while in jail, by taking  50 tablets of prescribed blood pressure tablets and tranquilizers  which his daughter Sarah Erlinder,  an attorney in Arizona has described as an attempt on his life, by laying the ground work to kill him and pass it off as suicide.
This has outraged  prominent associations of Lawyers the world over including  Counsel for Defense at the ICTR and the ICC, many of whom are considering withdrawing from all proceedings of the Security Council appointed Special Tribunals,  in view of the which hunt to which Professor Peter Erlinder is being subjected for bringing forth documentary evidence from UN and US records during the course of the trials that exposed the Rwanda Patriotic Front of President Paul Kagame, a military officer trained at Fort  Leavenworth in the United States, for being responsible  for the special military operation against the then  Rwandan government and  a major role in the  killings  in Rwanda, of both Tutsis and Hutus, in which the RPF was a key  player which was subsequently passed off  by international propaganda through the  global media  as a genocide only against one group, the Tutsis, to camouflage the role of  the RPF led by President Kagame in the assassinations of then President of Rwanda  Habyarimana and  the President of Burundi  for the take over of Rwanda and the subsequent aggression into Central Africa for  the control of the region for the  ”blood diamonds”, ” blood casserite ( tin) and “blood colten”(cellphones) of the Eastern Congo in which already 6 million have been killed, with  the government of Rwanda acting  as a surrogate for outside powers,  in the  “Great Game ” for Africa.
The Special Tribunal for Rwanda was  established by a Security Council influenced overwhelmingly by two members of the Security Council , to camouflage the developments in the region, the military backing to the  Ugandan -RPF  invasion  and subject to trials  only the political  opponents of the Rwanda Patriotic Force of Paul Kagame .
The tepid response of the government of the United States to  the arrest and continuing detention of Professor Peter Erlinder  who was arrested at Kigali on 28th May when he arrived to appear as one of the Defense Counsel for a leading Opposition candidate of the United Democratic Forces , also charged with genocide denial,  despite the deterioration of his medical condition and the  US  government’s  diplomatic clout in Kigali,  having trained  70, 000    Rwandan troops and given President Kagame  substantial military aid while camouflaging his role in the tragedy of Rwanda,  investigated by the well and respected Australian QC Michael Hourigan  who recommended to the then Chief Prosecutor Lousie Arbor that Paul Kagame be prosecuted ,  has resulted in more questions than answers all over the world  on the shenanigans behind the appointment of these Security Council Special Tribunals and the approach of their Chief Prosecutors  who were hired, fired and replaced by more convenient appointees  . Equally  exposed is the  stand of the government of the  United States of America   in Rwanda and Eastern Congo along with the  government of the UK , both  prime movers in the appointment by  the Security Council of specially constituted  International Criminal Tribunals  for Yugoslavia and Rwanda among others,  now being seen as an effort  to camouflage military and political  interventions,  to take over the economic space of the former Republic of Yugoslavia and a resource rich region of Africa , among other regions  ,by selective use of the charge of  ethnic cleansing and genocide, to protect  surrogate governments , while dooming its opponents.
The death of former President Milosevic came as a relief to the prime movers behind the  ICTY,  in view of the overwhelming evidence available, produced  before the ICTY that the Serbs were equally victims of attacks as were the Bosnian Muslims, that these  attacks were being carried out between various ethnic and religious groups of former Yugoslavia  despite UN forces being in absolute  control in certain  areas  and that the invesigation revealed that Croats had earlier  targeted the Serbs  and  the Kosovo Liberation Army comprising  of  rogue and criminal elements were also  used as an instrument for the restructuring of former Yugoslavia , to justify the bombing which killed more people than  Serbian military forces in Kosovo. From one region to another targeted for occupation and economic control,  the world  is witness to collective killings , sectarian strife and death squads,  of which Iraq is another example .
It is established from the nature of evidence  now before the ICTR, produced from the records of the UN by Professor Peter Erlinder as Defense Counsel  ,  that the real reason for the illegal arrest of Professor Peter Erlinder and the threat to his life from the government of Rwanda which is a surrogate of  other governments, is the painstaking documentation of this thoroughly professional and competent  Lead Counsel who  established the truth behind the tragedy of Rwanda , the killings of both Tutsis and Hutus and the role of the Rwanda Patriotic Front led by President Paul Kagame .
 Lawyers at the ICTR have expressed their desire to withdraw from all proceedings in view of the intimidation and threat to Professor Peter Erlinder .The International Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association ( ICDAA) at the recent conference held in the first week of June at Kampala in Uganda , among other associations and individual lawyers all over the world have condemned and protested Professor Erlinder’s arrest and continuing detention as ‘ an attack on the right to Counsel and independence of Counsel and an attack on the independence of the ICTR for Rwanda “ . The   Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers adopted by  UN General Assembly Resolution   in  1990 at  paragraphs 16 and 17 mandates that Governments shall ensure that lawyers are not threatened or intimidated and that their security is adequately safeguarded  while discharging their functions . It cannot be denied either by the government of Rwanda or the United State government that Professor Peter Erlinder was in Rwanda only to perform a professional duty as requested by the Opposition candidate who had appointed him as a Defense Counsel against similar charges levied to deter by the government of Rwanda .
 Professor Christopher Black of Toronto , Canada , who is a  Barrister and another Lead Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,  has stated that -” The real reason for the arrest and detention is that Professor Peter Erlinder has written and spoken of overwhelming evidence from UN records produced before the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal that it was the RPF( the present government of Rwanda ) that started the war which resulted in the deaths of Tutsis and Hutus and the killings in the Congo . This is not even debatable in the true sense . The alleged law under which he is charged is designed to suppress the truth  about the war in Rwanda in order for a brutal regime to maintain its totalitarian control of a tragic country . The US government’s tepid response to his arrest no doubt springs from the of this regime and their desire to maintain the three military bases to control the resources of Central Africa . Professor Peter Erlinder is in jail simply for informing the world of the facts . A thought crime . This is a complete suppression of free speech and historical  records . It is fascism pure and simple “.

The Security Council having constituted the ICTR before whom the truth has emerged of the reality of the tragedy of Rwanda , is now duty bound through the Secretary General and the UN Human Rights Council to ensure the safety and liberty of Professor Peter Erlinder who as pro bono Counsel who had volunteered for the ICTR , in the course of his research into UN records along with other Counsel placed the records before the ICTR along with the oral evidence available from diplomatic chanceries including of the United States . Public opinion  had already earlier  learnt that international warrants had been issued by Courts in Spain and France to members of the Kagame government for war crimes , crimes against humanity amounting to genocide, to which President  Kagame’s government has not responded .Would that amount to denial of genocide: not appearing before the Spanish and French Courts?
This is a new phase which we are witnessing, with governments collaborating in the arrest, detention and assassination of those lawyers who simply reveal the truth available  in  documentary and other  records in defense of their clients. As I write, it has been reported that bail was denied by the Court in Rwanda on 7th June despite the Counsel for Professor Peter Erlinder submitting to the Court in Rwanda that Professor Erlinder was in urgent need of medical treatment for which he desired to return to the United States .It is necessary to maintain a daily vigil for Professor Peter Erlinder ‘s  release, even while contrasting what he faces to the impunity granted to those who invade and attack countries, bomb civilian populations and continue the illegal blockade of Gaza who never face a single Security Council constituted Tribunal . It is necessary for lawyers associations in all affected countries to be vigilant against attacks on their professional colleagues and protect the democratic rights and civil liberties of citizens .
Niloufer Bhagwat is Vice President of the Indian Association of Lawyers.