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THE CLOSURE OF BBC AN OUTRAGE TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN RWANDA

Posted by rwandaonline on May 4, 2009

Kagame shut down BBC transmission in Rwanda

Kagame shut down BBC transmission in Rwanda

I’m somewhat hopeful that Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s decision to ban local BBC broadcasts in the Kinyarwanda language will finally wake up those in the United States and elsewhere who still believe that he’s a benevolent ruler who has the interests of all Rwanda’s people at heart. Kagame contends that the BBC is giving airtime to “genocide deniers,” by which he usually means “political enemies of his regime.” The accusation is laughable. It’s not as though we’re dealing with the equivalent of FOX News here; the BBC does a better job of reporting unbiased news from central Africa than just about anybody.

This month marks the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan genocide, during which a well-organized group of Hutu extremists, backed by the Rwandan army, carried out a detailed plan to murder as many Tutsis and moderate Hutus as possible. They succeeded in killing 800,000, and would have gotten further had it not been for the push of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. The RPF was a rebel army led by Tutsis whose families had lived in exile in Uganda since ethnic cleansings that occured around the time of independence from Belgian rule. The genocide ended when the RPF took control of Kigali and began to consolidate its rule outside of the capital. The Hutu extremists, meanwhile, pushed the civilian Hutu population out into refugee camps in Tanzania, Burundi, and, most importantly, Zaire, where between 1 and 2 million of them ended up. The refugee camps in Zaire were constructed close to the Rwandan border in direct violation of international law, and they were immediately militarized by those who committed the genocide. The camps were then used by extremist Hutus as bases for launching raids back into Rwanda.

The above facts are by and large not in dispute. What is in dispute, however, is the intentions of the Uganda-raised Tutsis who took over the government in Kigali and who are still in power today. They quickly consolidated power after making some symbolic overtures to moderate Hutus that rapidly fell apart. They also oversaw and allowed the murder of tens of thousands of completely innocent Hutus as revenge. Eventually, the government came to be led by Paul Kagame, who had been the general in charge of the RPF invasion.

Trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Kagame understood the tactics of modern war, and by all independent accounts, his takeover of Rwanda was not designed to stop the genocide but rather to take and hold on to power. The new RPF-led government used the Rwandan base of power to launch an invasion into Zaire, at first for the purpose of dealing with the security threat from the militarized refugee camps. Soon, Rwanda was stealing Congo-Zaire’s resources, propping up the rebel who started Zaire’s civil war, propping up another rebel who kept the fighting going aftr the “wars” were over, and directly contributing to the deaths of 5 million Congolese. As Jocelyn Kelley so eloquently puts it, what happened in the Congo was not “spillover” from the genocide. It is not accidental.

Anybody who says these things in print automatically becomes an enemy of the Rwandan government. Alison Des Forges, the most knowledgable American expert on Rwanda before her untimely death in February, said them. She was banned from travel to the country. Gerard Prunier, one of the greatest Francophone experts on the region, says them in his new book. I have little doubt that Kagame is furious with him right now.

More than anything, I felt a great sense of relief in reading the first few chapters of Prunier’s work. Finally, someone reputable has says these things that everyone who studies the region knows to be true: the Rwandan government is not benificent. Its members allowed terrible war crimes to happen in the wake of the genocide, crimes that were just as bad as what was done to the Tutsis. Moreover, the government does not treat all Tutsis as though they are equal. It is an authoritarian regime. There is no political freedom, no free press, and no room for dissent in today’s Rwanda.

All of this is dressed up in the language of reconciliation and the need for a strong central government to rebuild the country. Kagame is a masterful politician and tactician; he manipulates everyone from Bill Clinton to Rick Warren into believing that he has the best interests of the region at heart. That, plus a whole lot of Western guilt over the genocide, means that Kigali has seen considerable economic development and foreign direct investment in the past few years.

But that progress comes at a terrible cost. An army that stopped a genocide after it killed 800,000 turned around and killed between 20-40,000 more innocent people. They are in very large part responsible for the massive suffering that continues to this day in the eastern Congo, where the situation continues to worsen. And shutting down a newscast will only draw attention to the very thing Kagame wants to hide most. He is sitting on a time bomb. Rule by a minority of a minority without any space for dissent won’t work forever, and Kagame is smart enough that he should know that his jig will eventually be up.

We can and should have sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of innocent Rwandans who died fifteen years ago this spring. The Hutu extremists took the lives of mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and cousins, rich and poor, educated and not.

But their deaths do not mean that the people who took the place of those killers are automatically worthy of our trust. Or our foreign aid.

Of course, Kagame’s plan to teach every Rwandan English may cause this particular tactic to backfire. It’s still very easy to pick up the BBC World Service broadcasts the government can do nothing about – in English – with a $5 shortwave radio. Here’s hoping the West is listening

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Museveni a self declared Machievallian of Africa

Posted by rwandaonline on May 4, 2009

the man who has destabilized the region

the man who has destabilized the region

Museveni; Machiavellian evil incarnate. He has packaged and repackaged himself so packaged and repackaged himself so successfully that while Charles Taylor has been marched to a court, and Omar al-Bashir faces arrest, every American Administration beginning with Ronald Reagan has considered him an “ally”. Will Obama break the mold? We won’t hold our breath. What might not be apparent to readers of a recent article in The New York Times, under the by-line of Howard French, is that both Howard French and Mahmood Mamdani, whose book he reviews, suffer from similar afflictions. On initial scrutiny, scratching the surface a bit, one might conclude the common maladies to be their status, prestige, career interests, and the hunger for acknowledgment. Looking deeper however we find that both help to cover up the truth about the atrocities occurring in the region in Africa that they have both been writing about. “A Continent For The Taking,” French’s summary of his years as a New York Times bureau chief in Africa (1993-1999) — is devoid of serious attention to the subterfuge of multinational corporations; absent any real discussion of covert operations; flippant in its treatment of racism; and wholly supportive of the white supremacy that has Africa under a stranglehold. French at least notes that a genocide was perpetrated against the Hutus in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the Paul Kagame military machine; and to his credit he expresses a bit of outrage about that. But whatever door to the truth was minutely cracked open during the abuses against Hutu refugees who fled the 1994 killings in Rwanda was sealed shut. French dropped his concern for Congo — what little of it that seemed to exist — and moved on to become a Times bureau chief in Shanghai. French’s treatment of Nigeria, 1993-1997, on the pages of the New York Times, is more a mirror to his own youth and shallow understanding than anything else; and the ghost of Ken Saro Wiwa — and all the other Nigerians sacrificed for the petroleum genocide there — will certainly haunt him. For if you read his summary of the Saro-Wiwa story in his “Continent….” you must more importantly go back and read French’s trivial pursuits on the pages of The New York Times prior to November 10, 1995; and then the back peddling on the pages of the Times after Nov 10, 1995; culminating in The New York Times triumph over truth, which appeared in the form of a two-full page Propaganda “advert” about the Ogoni story, earning the Times some $136,000. To see Howard French lauding Professor Mamdani in his review is rather apropos of how the system feeds itself and supports those of its kind. What is important to note is who Mamdani is and where he comes from, and that is what should inform peoples’ understanding of his position vis-a-vis Sudan or the Great Lakes of Africa. Indeed, extended a bit further South, we get a glimpse of how poorly — out of foolishness? Fear? Service to Empire? — Mamdani conveys his version of “reality” re: Mugabe in Zimbabwe, by reading the scathing critique of Mamdani on Mugabe written by Professor Horace Campbell. Now there is something worth talking about. Mamdani is never mentioned in Howard French’s “Continent….”, but neither are Maurice Tempelsman, or Donald Easum; yet, to borrow from the title of French’s book, the “Taking” of a Continent as Africa was easily achieved with the help of these agents of repression and organized white collar crime. Indeed, French lauds former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in “Continent,” but never mentions the relationship between Obasanjo and Easum; or their ties to the Africa-America Institute, another Tempelsman-backed entity whitewashing truth with white supremacy; and to the assassination of Nigerian President Murtala Muhammad in 1976. Back to Mamdani. When Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni ascended the throne in Uganda after their war against Milton Obote’s government between 1980-1985, Mamdani was all over it. There must be some skeleton’s in Mamdani’s closets, as he maintained tight relations with Museveni and Kagame to some degree for several years. So much so that when Kagame and James Kabarebe marched into Congo, wiping out the Hutu refugee camps, Mamdani was fairly silent. Mamdani was silent about the conflagration in Rwanda from 1990-1995, and only posthumously, meaning after so many Hutus and Tutsis had been killed there, did he conjure up his version of an expose in his book “When Victims Become Killers.” Madeleine Albright, Philip Gourevitch and the New Yorker magazine concocted a “new breed of African leaders”; Kagame, Museveni, Wamba Dia Wamba, John Garang, Laurent Desire Kabila and Meles Zenawi. When these men were all studying Marxism at the University of Dar-Es-Salaam in Tanzania in the 1970s, it seems Mamdani was there too. When Kagame and Kabarebe marched back into Congo in 1998, for the second invasion, slaughtering left and right, Mamdani went with them from Kigali, traveling with Jacques Depelchin, who was already funding the so-called RCD “rebels” of Museveni, Kagame and Wamba; before the RCD’s many pathological fractures. Where does Howard French situate these people? French personally told me that he had “dogged Maurice Templesman.” He was quite proud of his acumen as a reporter determined to get to the bottom of the Tempelsman matter; and yet, Tempelsman not only eluded French in real life, but also eluded any mention what-so-ever in French’s “Continent.” Accident? Self-censorship? Intentional obfuscation? Incidental omission? We’re talking about Maurice Tempelsman; right up there with King Leopold as one of the greatest enduring enemies of the people of Congo, Liberia, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Central Africa Republic, Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone. Another curious feat of magic is attempted recently, April 25/26, by Jacques Depelchin, in his critique of the Foreign Policy article by Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills titled “68 Million Congolese Can’t be Wrong.” Depelchin, who funded the RCD, ostensibly split from Mamdani in 1998 out of Mamdani’s supposed concern for “objectivity”. It’s no wonder that Mamdani says so little about Museveni and the US-Israeli-UK backing of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, who play a role in the killing in Darfur, as sure as any Hutu is today certain to be labeled a “genocideare.” Howard French sums up the Museveni -SPLA story in a single sentence: “Our latest love affair with a Ugandan dictator stemmed mostly from Museveni’s willingness to sponsor an insurgency in Southern Sudan against that country’s Islamic Fundamentalist government.” If there is a glimmer of Hope — after all, French subtitles his book “…The Tragedy And Hope Of Africa,” it is that Howard French dared to press the limits as much as he did. French is an African American and Mamdani is a Ugandan of Indian ancestry. The system — the White supremacist system — is so ruthless and unforgiving against such people who “step out of line” that they can certainly be seen as men in line as fall guys when someone, anyone, ostensibly needs to be held to account for Africa’s woes. Such is the nature of system predicated on black [African] fall guys, who take the heat, and the white collar war criminals who don’t. Perhaps the shortcomings of such works as “Continent….” and “When Victims Become Killers,” can be placed in their proper contexts. James Baldwin comes to mind: “It is the innocence that constitutes the crime.” Tell it to the millions and millions of dead and the millions and millions more perpetually destined to suffer the abuses of the “humanitarian” misery industry, the Western profit sector, across Sub Saharan Africa. We don’t see Mamdani or French writing about that. Please post your comments online or submit them to Milton@blackstarnews.com

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OBAMA FINISHES 100 DAYS IN WHITEHOUSE WITH THUMBS UP

Posted by rwandaonline on April 30, 2009

Sure, 100 is a nice round number, but why do we critically judge presidents on what they’re able to accomplish in just their first 100 days? After all, they’ll be the leader of the free world for (at least) 1460 days. The short answer? Blame FDR.
Franklin Roosevelt came into office amidst a massive financial crisis. Unemployment was high. Banks weren’t loaning money. America had a confidence problem. The one bright spot for Roosevelt was a Democratic Congress. (Sound a little familiar?) The new president went right to work. In just over 100 days, a first version of the New Deal was launched and Congress passed 15 major bills. As The L.A. Times reports:
The initial storm set a tone for the rest of Roosevelt’s first term: constant action, bold experimentation, unprecedented expansion of the authority of the federal government. Since then, journalists and political analysts have embraced the 100-day report card for new presidents.
Pretty tough yardstick to be measured against. And Barack Obama knows it. As president-elect, he told “60 Minutes” that he had been brushing up on Roosevelt’s initial days:
“There’s a new book out about FDR’s first 100 days. And what you see in FDR that I hope my team can emulate is not always getting it right, but projecting a sense of confidence and a willingness to try things and experiment in order to get people working again.”
And like FDR, Obama’s found plenty to keep him busy. He passed a $787 billion stimulus bill; he approved a troop increase in Afghanistan and set a withdrawal timeline for Iraq; he signed orders to close Guantanamo Bay detention center, ban the most harsh interrogation methods and reverse the ban of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Does this mean he has a near-frantic three-and-a-half years ahead of him?
There’s still much debate about whether or not the first 100 days are actually a good measure of the rest of a president’s term. Jimmy Carter had a notably rough first 100 days and was easily beaten in the next election. Ronald Reagan started strong and handily won a second term. But Bill Clinton’s famously rocky start was followed by high approval ratings and a second term. David Greenberg wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal:
The main reason that the hundred days are an unreliable indicator of future performance is the same reason we watch them so closely: They constitute the period in which the public is just getting to know the new president, and in which the president is just getting to know his new job.
But Michael Watkins, who wrote “The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for Leaders at All Levels” disagrees, saying the first 100 days actually tell us a lot about what’s to come. He explains on HarvardBusiness.org:
The first hundred days mark is not the end of the story, it’s the end of the beginning. Leaders entering new roles can stumble badly and still recover. But it’s a whole lot easier if they don’t stumble in the first place. And that’s why the transition period matters so much.
While we may not be able to predict whether his first 100 days will help usher in a successful presidency for Obama, the economic turmoil he still has to contend with indicates that his second 100 days will be just as busy.
-Sarah Parsons
Yahoo! News bloggers compile the best news content from our providers and scour the Web for the most interesting news stories so you don’t have to.

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RWANDAN GENOCIDE A WHITEWASH FULL OF FALSE NARRATIVE FROM USA

Posted by rwandaonline on April 19, 2009

False Narrative: Whitewashing Rwanda Genocide

By Keith Harmon Snow

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

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

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

To say that Des Forges was “amongst the first voices calling for the killings to be declared genocide” in 1994 is an Orwellian ruse. The genocide label applied by Alison Des Forges and certain human rights bodies in May of 1994 was misdirected, used to accuse and criminalize only the majority Hutu people and the remnants of the decapitated Habyarimana government; much as the genocide and war crimes accusations have been selectively applied against President Omar al-Bashir in Sudan.

The Clinton Administration refused to apply the genocide label: to do so might have compromised an ongoing U.S.-backed covert operation: the invasion of Rwanda by the Pentagon’s proxy force, the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A).

According to U.S. intelligence insider Wayne Madsen, Des Forges’ criticisms of the U.S.-brokered pact between Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila in December 2008 “earned her some powerful enemies ranging from the murderous Kagame, who will not think twice about sending his agents to silence critics abroad, and international interests who want nothing to prevent them from looting the DRC’s vast mineral and energy resources.”

“With U.S. military forces of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) now backing a joint Ugandan-DRC offensive in the northeastern DRC to wipe out the Lord’s Resistance Army,” wrote Madsen on 16 February 2009, “with hundreds of civilian casualties in the DRC and Uganda, and a secret pact worked out between Kabila and Kagame to permit Rwandan troops to occupy the eastern DRC, the target of both operations is securing the vast territory that is rich in commodities that the United States, Britain and Israel—all allies of Uganda and Rwanda—want badly.

Those commodities are gold, diamonds, columbium-tantalite (coltan), platinum and natural gas.” Massive oil reserves are also at stake, with major concessions bifurcated by the international border. Ongoing petroleum sector investment (exploration and exploitation) in the region involves numerous western extraction companies—many being so-called petroleum “minors” likely fronting for larger corporations—including Hardman Resources, Heritage Oil and Gas, H Oil & Minerals, PetroSA, Tullow Oil, Vangold Resources, ContourGlobal Group, Tower Resources, Reservoir Capital Group, and Nexant (a Bechtel Corporation subsidiary).

Billed as a “tireless champion” and “leading light in African human rights,” there is much more to this story than the western propaganda system has revealed: Alison Des Forges and Human Rights Watch (HRW) provided intelligence to the U.S. government at the time of the 1994 crises, and they have continued in this role to the present. Des Forges also supported the show trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), institutionalizing victor’s justice and shielding the Kagame regime.

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

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

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

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

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

Des Forges own death in a plane crash garnered major coverage.

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

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

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

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

In other words, the initial act of aggression, the RPA/F invasion, was institutionally protected and the war crimes that set the stage for the conflagrations in Rwanda and Congo went unpunished.

Later in 1993, Rwandans Ferdinan d Nanimana and Joseph Mushyandi, representing four Rwandan organizations under the Rwanda Associations for the Defense of Human Rights, challenged the DesForges commission in their 26-page document, “A Commentary on the Report of the International Commission’s Inquiry on the Violation of Human Rights in Rwanda since October 1990.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICTR defense attorney Christopher Black reports that reliable sources confirm that US Special forces were with the RPF all the way through the war. “My client testified in June that U.S. Hercules [C-130 military aircraft] were seen dropping troops in support of the RPF…”

Further, on 9 April 1994, three days after the so-called “mysterious plane crash” where Burundi’s President Cyprien Ntaryamira and President Habyarimana were assassinated, some 330 U.S. marines landed at Bujumbura’s airport in Burundi, ostensibly to “rescue Americans” in Rwanda.

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

The result was a coup d’état: we won. The 2003 Frontline interview with Alison Des Forges exemplifies her continuing role in whitewashing U.S. involvement in war crimes and genocide in Central Africa. “Kagame received his military education under the Pentagon’s Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) at the Command and General Staff College of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, beginning in 1990,” wrote John E. Peck of the Association of African Scholars (2002). “His sidekick, Lt. Col.

Frank Rusagara, got his JCET schooling at the U.S. Naval Academy in Monterey, California. Both were dispatched to Rwanda in time to oversee the RPF’s takeover in 1994. Far from being an innocent bystander, the Washington Post revealed on July 12, 1998 that the United States not only gave Kagame $75 million in military assistance, but also  sent Green Berets to train Kagame’s forces (as well as their Ugandan rebel allies) in low intensity conflict (LIC) tactics. Pentagon subcontractor Ronco, masquerading as a de-mining company, also smuggled more weapons to RPF fighters in flagrant violation of UN sanctions. All of this U.S. largesse was put to lethal effect in the ethnic bloodbath that is still going on.”

“This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power,” Des Forges wrote, blaming “Hutu Power”. However, her assertions about a “planned” Hutu genocide—”They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter”—collapse under scrutiny.

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

“Kagame assigned some people to work with Alison Des Forges,” says Ugandan Human Rights activist Remigius Kintu, “and also to assist her in fabricating and distorting stories to suit Tutsi propaganda plans.”

According to the International Forum for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, whose discoveries resulted in the high courts of Spain issuing international indictments against 40 top RPF/A officials: “Between 1990 and 1994, the RPA waged a systematic, pre-planned, secretive but highly organized terrorist war aimed at eliminating the largest number of Rwandan people possible—bodies were hacked to pieces and incinerated en masse.

From 1994, once the RPA violently seized power, a terror regime was created, and developed, and a criminal structure parallel to the state was set up to pursue pre-determined kidnappings; torturing and raping of women and young girls; terrorist attacks (both directly and by simulating that the same had been perpetrated by the enemy); illegal detention of thousands of civilians; selective murdering; systematic elimination of corpses either by mass incineration or by throwing them into lakes and rivers; indiscriminate attacks against civilians based on pre-determined ethnic categories for the elimination of the predominant ethnic group; and also to carry out acts of war in Rwanda and Congo.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is evidence that the RPA/F pursued “pseudo-operations”—death squads committing atrocities disguised as government soldiers—and evidence that at least some of the infamous Interahamwe militias pursued their campaigns of terror in the pay of the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army.

“She concealed the fact that from 1990 the war caused an unprecedented economic poverty and that the one million internally displaced people tore the social fabric apart!” wrote Dr. Helmut Strizek, a former German official who had called for Des Forges’ resignation from HRW.

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

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

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

“I have also discovered during the course of my investigations into the ICTR that, at the start of the trial in 1997, she introduced a forged fax that was purported to be written by General Dallaire in 1994. This fax, maintained Des Forges, concerned the ‘planning of genocide’.”

New Yorker staff writer Philip Gourevitch spread the mythology of “The Genocide Fax” far and wide. Gourevitch’s first pro-RPF/A disinformation piece appeared in the New Yorker in December 1995; in May 1998 the New Yorker published Gourevitch’s “The Genocide Fax,” a charade fed to him by Madeleine Albright’s undersecretary of state James Rubin.

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

It is certainly possible that Alison Des Forges was unaware of the original fabrication, but she and Human Rights Watch never changed their tune, and they never denounced the fabrication.

Charles Onana continues: “It was on the basis of this false document that she called for the condemnation of Jean-Paul Akaseyu. To lend credibility to this first trial process, the ICTR, with astonishing lightness and irresponsibility, condemned this man to life. The Tribunal had no proof. The judicial dossier is slapdash and skimpy, but that has no importance. This was Alison Des Forges first great victory.”

“She then decided to pursue a Rwandan refugee living in Canada: an ideal target,” Onana adds, referring to Leon Mugesera. “He had the misfortune to be Hutu. For her, this man was a ‘planner of genocide’. But where is the proof? Alison Des Forges has none, but she wants to see this man in prison. Having deciphered or seen through Alison Des Forge’s arguments, the Judge of the Canadian Federal Tribunal concluded witheringly and without pity: ‘I note above all the relentlessness with which Mme Des Forges launched her diatribe against M. [Leon]Mugesera, and am astonished by the lack of care she has demonstrated in drawing up the report for the International Commission of Enquiry and in her Expert Assessment.’”

“The Canadian judge did not hesitate to qualify Mme. Des Forges as partisan, demonstrating ‘a prejudice or preconceived position against Léon Mugesera’. He concluded that she could not be considered an objective witness, adding that no correctly informed tribunal could take her allegations seriously. Nevertheless it was on the basis of the same arguments, and of the same fantasy report published in 1999, that she accused numerous Rwandans, all Hutu.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The mass media was flooded with “Rwanda genocide” disinformation between April and July of 1994, and advertising that served up subliminal seduction and white supremacy often surrounded these “news” clips.

Alison Des Forges continued to remain silent about Western corporate and military interests in the Great Lakes region to her death. A perfect example of this silence is the very unrevealing March 2008 interview by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum titled “Alison Des Forges: The Impact of Rwandan Genocide in Congo.”

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

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

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

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

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

Kagame’s ruthless Directorate of Military Intelligence has dispatched agents to Europe to eliminate RPF opponents; some of these agents are operating under cover as bogus asylum-seekers in Europe and North America.

As of January 20, 2009 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began reopening all cases of Rwandan asylum seekers, and is criminalizing and threatening to deport legitimate refugees to Rwanda, actions that violate the 1951 United Nations High Commission for Refugees Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.

Genocide And New Speak

Editor’s Introduction: Ordinarily, we don’t write introductions to articles or essays published in The Black Star News but the following column by Keith Harmon Snow warrants it.

Snow has been at the forefront, as has this newspaper, in exposing Western duplicity in Africa and how U.S. and U.K. corporate and government interests have caused the deaths of millions of Africans; all for the love of money.

In the end, the African actors, the bit players really, are the ones who are blamed; wars of blood money and profits are referred to euphemistically by major newspapers, including The New York Times as “tribal wars,” so that Americans can nod their heads and continue on with their lives without bothering to ask any further questions.

After all, “tribal wars” are endemic to Africa; they always happen. Africans just wake up one day, grab machetes and start chopping off their neighbors’ heads to satisfy “blood lust;” a term actually once used by Time magazine to explain what the magazine contended was the reason for the Rwanda massacres of 1994.

Meanwhile, no one writes about the Western companies that somehow just always happen to be around digging the gold and the diamonds and ferrying off the timber and the young Congolese girls, even as the chopping off of heads and limbs occur.

But Keith Harmon Snow, whose long report follows, is not with the program. He is the anti-New York Times kind of reporter; and the anti-New Yorker magazine; and, anti-BBC and anti-Washington Post kind of journalist.

In fact, he is beyond being a mere journalist. He is the type of forthright individual that corporate media would refer to as “radical,” in order to impugn his reputation, without having to challenge him on a single fact. He salvages a little respectability for the profession of journalism, which has been corrupted by corporate media.

He is a crusader with a mission; his goal is to expose United States’ and Britain’s roles in the genocide in Uganda and in the Congo; with characters like Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri K. Museveni and Sudan’s Omar Hassan al-Bashir all playing the bit roles.

Snow writes long; he cannot help it because he feels the pain of the Congolese and the Ugandans and he wants someone somewhere –here in the United States and Britain– to pay a price. He might be accused of being overly passionate; one has to be, when one feels the kind of indignation that Snow feels. When it is a matter of genocide no article can be too long. Readers that bear with Snow and read all his words will learn information not found in the corporate media.

Corporate media are often accomplices to crimes against humanity. Sometimes in a most perverted manner. Take The New York Times’ resident Sudanese genocide expert, Nicholas Kristoff. If Kristoff really cares about the suffering of Africans, and not just about winning a Pulitzer Prize as he did for his Sudanese crusade, don’t you think he would lend his big pen to expose with equal passion the suffering of Congolese and Ugandan civilians; or might that lead to the indictment of Kagame and Museveni, “friends” of United States interests? Why would a humanitarian be selective in fighting against genocide unless there was a hidden agenda?

Thank the creator for the Internet. In the past, the world was held hostage to the tyranny of selective coverage and cover-ups by newspapers such as The New York Times and writers like Kristoff. He is a hero to Africans in his own mind. The Internet era has broken the monopoly of disinformation and misinformation once enjoyed by elite media.

Many years ago, George Orwell had warned against the dangers of propaganda, or what he called “New Speak.” We hear New Speak every day; where everything is turned upside down, killers are praised, while innocents are marched off to shallow graves in the forests. New Speak celebrates murderers as heroes and denounces victims.

Although successive generations have always declared “never again;” and “not on our watch,” as surely as the sun rises, humanity never fails and genocide always occurs. New Speak always exonerates the killers. New Speak is public relations disinformation; black becomes white; red is yellow; and bad is good.

As one of the characters in Orwell’s 1984 puts it: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

Ah, yes; New Speak has helped send millions of Africans six feet under or to the crocodiles in the Kagera river, the Nile, and Lake Victoria.

Take Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni as an example; he is a master New Speaker. He has single-handedly, with the assistance of U.K. and U.S. financing and military hardware, caused the deaths of more than eight million Africans –half a million or more in Uganda; one million in Rwanda; seven million in Congo. Please see http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10455.pdf   

Yet, at least up until the time President George W. Bush left office, he was treated like some respected elder statesman of politics in the West.

He is such a smooth New Speaker that he attends the funerals of people whom he has reportedly eliminated in Uganda. He is such a smooth operator that he even secured an audience with President Bush in the White House in 2007 even though The Wall Street Journal had already reported on June 8, 2006, that he is being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes committed by his troops and militia in Congo between 1998-2003 and conceivably, like Liberia’s former president Charles Taylor, and like Sudan’s president al-Bashir, he too may be indicted by the ICC.

While President Bush could ignore the inconvenient truth and entertain Museveni in the White House, praising him for fighting HIV/Aids, even as he used his other hand to eliminate millions of Africans, it is difficult to imagine how President Barack Obama, a constitutional law professor, could ignore the smell of blood emanating from the Ugandan. Then again, on this earth, anything is possible.

Rwanda‘s Kagame is another master New Speaker.

Earlier this week, he presided over memorial ceremonies for the victims of the 1994 massacres. Kagame indulges in this macabre exercise each year even though he was instrumental in the very genocide which he now “mourns”: he commanded the invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990 and a French court has concluded that he ordered the missile downing of the presidential plane carrying Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntayamira of Burundi, sparking the 100 days of mass murders.

Western media had also prepared the global community for the eventual demonization and criminalization of all Hutus –even the ones who never participated in the mass murders of 1994– with a racist campaign against them in major magazines such as The New York Times magazine and The New Yorker, both with circulation in the millions.

One of the first media volleys against the Hutus was an article by Alex Shoumatoff, published on June 20, 1992 in The New Yorker, where he described people he had observed while travelling in Burundi, which has the same ethnic combustibility between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis; at that time Burundi’s army and government were controlled by the Tutsi minority.

“There were three obvious Tutsis,” Shoumatoff wrote, of the people he saw in a taxi cab, “Tall, slender with high foreheads, prominent cheekbones, and narrow features.” He added: “They were a different physical type from the five passengers who were short and stocky and had the flat noses and thick lips typical of Hutus.”

Almost three months later, an even more insidious article by Shoumatoff, “Rwanda’s Aristocratic Guerrillas,” was published on December 13, 1992, in The New York Times magazine. By this time, the invasion of Rwanda was in its second year and the RPF had already committed numerous massacres against Hutu civilians, as a lexis-nexus search of news reports will reveal. These crimes were glossed over or ignored in Shoumatoff’s article and all contemporary and subsequent accounts in major newspapers such as the Times.

Moreover, Shoumatoff was married to a Tutsi woman who was the first cousin of the RPF’s spokesperson and he was met at Entebbe airport in Uganda by RPF officials who guided him to the zones they controlled. So, The New York Times knowingly participated in the demonization campaign against the Hutus, who make up 85% of the population in both Rwanda and Burundi.

“In the late 19th Century,” Shoumatoff, acting as an unofficial propagandist for the invading army wrote in The New York Times magazine, describing Tutsis, “early ethnologists were fascinated by these ‘languidly haughty’ pastoral aristocrats whose high foreheads, aquiline noses and thin lips seemed more Caucasian than Negroid, and they classified them as ‘false negroes.’ In a popular theory of the day, the Tutsis were thought to be highly civilized people, the race of fallen Europeans, whose existence in Central Africa had been rumored for centuries.”

Shoumatoff added, of the Tutsis: “They are not a race or a tribe, as often described, but a population, a stratum, a mystical, warrior-priest elite, like the Druids in Celtic society.” As for the Hutus, they were far from resembling warrior priests: as Shoumatoff revealed, they were “short, stocky local Bantu agriculturalists.” [To read more critique of Western media demonization of Africans, please see “The Hearts Of Darkness, How White Writers Created The Racist Image of Africa,” (Black Star Books, 2005)]

Yes, henious crimes against humanity and war crimes occurred in Rwanda, not only in 1994, but right from the time of the Uganda-sponsored invasion in 1990. Yet, the account here shows, many people would rather pretend that the atrocities started in 1994.

Some of the people who participated in the crimes have been caught and tried; many who have been tried and convicted did not even participate; those prosecuted so far have been only Hutus.

The story can never be complete when others involved in the same crime are exonerated through New Speak–some are outside Rwanda, including Museveni, for sponsoring the invasion and reportedly for supplying the missile used to down Habyarimana’s jet; others, indicted and unindicted criminals now govern Rwanda.

But ours is a mere introduction.

Let Keith Harmon Snow tell the sordid story.—-Milton Allimadi

Posted in RWANDA | 1 Comment »

THE RWANDA GENOCIDE IS FULL OF MERE FABRICATIONS

Posted by rwandaonline on April 19, 2009

THE RWANDA GENOCIDE FABRICATIONS

Human Right Watch, Alison Des Forges &

Disinformation on Central Africa

 

6 April 2009

 

keith harmon snow

http://www.allthingspass.com

  

Bill Clinton who supported RPF Propaganda

Bill Clinton who supported RPF Propaganda

O

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

To say that Des Forges was “amongst the first voices calling for the killings to be declared genocide” in 1994 is an Orwellian ruse. The genocide label applied by Alison Des Forges and certain human rights bodies in May of 1994 was misdirected, used to accuse and criminalize only the majority Hutu people and the remnants of the decapitated Habyarimana government (much as the genocide and war crimes accusations have been selectively applied against President Omar al-Bashir in Sudan).

 

The Clinton administration refused to apply the genocide label: to do so might have compromised an ongoing U.S.-backed covert operation: the invasion of the Pentagon’s proxy force, the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A).

 

According to U.S. intelligence insider Wayne Madsen, Des Forges’ criticisms of the U.S.-brokered pact between presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Joseph Kabila (Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC) in December 2008 “earned her some powerful enemies ranging from the murderous Kagame, who will not think twice about sending his agents to silence critics abroad, and international interests who want to nothing to prevent them from looting the DRC’s vast mineral and energy resources.”

 

“With U.S. military forces of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) now backing a joint Ugandan-DRC offensive in the northeastern DRC to wipe out the Lord’s Resistance Army,” wrote Madsen on 16 February 2009, “with hundreds [sic] of civilian casualties in the DRC and Uganda, and a secret pact worked out between Kabila and Kagame to permit Rwandan troops to occupy the eastern DRC, the target of both operations is securing the vast territory that is rich in commodities that the United States, Britain and Israel—all allies of Uganda and Rwanda—want badly. Those commodities are gold, diamonds, columbium-tantalite (coltan), platinum and natural gas.”

 

Massive oil reserves are also at stake, with major concessions bifurcated by the international border. Ongoing petroleum sector investment (exploration and exploitation) in the region involves numerous western extraction companies—many being so-called petroleum ‘minors’ likely fronting for larger corporations—including Hardman Resources, Heritage Oil and Gas, H Oil & Minerals, PetroSA, Tullow Oil, Vangold Resources, ContourGlobal Group, Tower Resources, Reservoir Capital Group, and Nexant (a Bechtel Corporation subsidiary).

 

Billed as a “tireless champion” and “leading light in African human rights,” there is much more to this story than the western propaganda system has revealed: Alison Des Forges and HRW provided intelligence to the U.S. government at the time of the 1994 crises, and they have continued in this role to the present. Des Forges also supported the show trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), institutionalizing victor’s justice and shielding the Kagame regime.

 

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

 

 

 

The volcanoes region of the Zaire-Uganda-Rwanda border in 1991, seen in relative peace here, was then just beginning to suffer the destabilizing effects caused by the U.S.-backed invasion of Rwanda by Ugandan troops and the Rwandan Patriotic Army.

Photo keith harmon snow, eastern Zaire, 1991.

 

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

 

THE MYSTERIES OF A PRESIDENT

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The report noted that ‘hundreds of thousands’ of Rwandans were made homeless and forced to flee, prior to January 1993, but these casualties of the RPF/A invasion were not attributed to international crimes of peace against a sovereign government committed by an invading army—the RPF/A guerrillas covertly backed by the U.S., Britain, Belgium and Israel—but instead merely to ‘war’. In other words, the initial act of aggression, the RPA/F invasion, was institutionally protected and the war crimes that set the stage for the conflagrations in Rwanda and Congo went unpunished.

 

Later in 1993, Rwandans Ferdinand Nanimana and Joseph Mushyandi, representing four Rwandan organizations under the Rwanda Associations for the Defense of Human Rights, challenged the Des Forges commission in their 26-page document, A Commentary on the Report of the International Commission’s Inquiry on the Violation of Human Rights in Rwanda since October 1990.

 

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

 

Ferdinand Nanimana was later sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide. Many members of the Rwandan human rights organizations he worked with prior to April 1994 were subsequently killed.

  

Like other researchers who have endlessly perpetuated the disinformation, Des Forges made no attempts to correct the record. In 1992, human rights researchers Rakiya Omaar and Alex de Waal established the London-based NGO African Rights. In August 1995, African Rights published Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, another pivotal ‘human rights’ report that manufactured the ‘genocide’ fabrications, set the stage for victor’s justice at the ICTR, and began the process of dehumanizing millions of Hutu people and protecting the true terrorists. In 1995, Omaar and de Waal recycled the disinformation in the left-leaning Covert Action Quarterly under the title “U.S. Complicity by Silence: Genocide in Rwanda.” Since 2003, Alex de Waal has been one of the primary disinformation conduits on Darfur, Sudan.

 

This woman [Omaar] of Somali origin is an RPF agent,” says Jean-Marie Higiro, former director of the Rwandan Information Office (ORINFOR). “[Today] she has her office in Kigali. In 1994 she was at Mulindi [Rwanda], the headquarters of the RPF. As the RPF conquered territories from the Rwandan Government Forces [FAR], she collected information fed to her by the RPF.”

 

“An intensive back and forth activity between this so-called British human rights organization, African Rights, and the intelligence services of the [Kagame] President’s office and the Rwandan military, has been observed,” wrote Hotel Rwanda star Paul Rusesabagina. “Her investigators are very close to the [RPF/A] military intelligence apparatus, and the modus operandi of both appears to be similar.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

ICTR defense attorney Christopher Black reports that reliable sources confirm that US Special forces were with the RPF all the way through the war. “My client testified in June that U.S. Hercules [C-130 military aircraft] were seen dropping troops in support of the RPF…”

 

Further, on 9 April 1994, three days after the so-called ‘mysterious plane crash’ where Burundi’s President Cyprien Ntaryamira and President Habyarimana were assassinated, some 330 U.S. marines landed at Bujumbura’s airport in Burundi, ostensibly to ‘rescue Americans’ in Rwanda. More centrally however, Uganda—with U.S. trained forces and U.S. supplied weaponry—launched its war against Rwanda as a proxy force for the United States of America. The result was a coup d‘etat: we won. The 2003 Frontline interview with Alison Des Forges exemplifies her continuing role in whitewashing U.S. involvement in war crimes and genocide in Central Africa.

 

“Kagame received his military education under the Pentagon’s Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) at the Command and General Staff College of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, beginning in 1990,” wrote John E. Peck of the Association of African Scholars (2002). “His sidekick, Lt. Col. Frank Rusagara, got his JCET schooling at the U.S. Naval Academy in Monterey, California. Both were dispatched to Rwanda in time to oversee the RPF’s takeover in 1994. Far from being an innocent bystander, the Washington Post revealed on July 12, 1998 that the United States not only gave Kagame $75 million in military assistance, but also sent Green Berets to train Kagame’s forces (as well as their Ugandan rebel allies) in low intensity conflict (LIC) tactics. Pentagon subcontractor Ronco, masquerading as a de-mining company, also smuggled more weapons to RPF fighters in flagrant violation of UN sanctions. All of this U.S. largesse was put to lethal effect in the ethnic bloodbath that is still going on.”

 

“This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power,” Des Forges wrote, blaming ‘Hutu Power’. However, her assertions about a ‘planned’ Hutu genocide—“They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter”—collapse under scrutiny.

 

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

 

“Kagame assigned some people to work with Alison Des Forges,” says Ugandan Human Rights expert Remigius Kintu, “and also to assist her in fabricating and distorting stories to suit Tutsi propaganda plans.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Since the inception of the ICTR its decisions have been decisively biased—victor’s justice—in favor of protecting the Kagame regime and its backers. Thus it is no surprise that the former top military leaders of the Habyarimana government—Colonel Théoneste Bagosora and Major Aloys Ntabakuze—were sentenced to life imprisonment for acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, an act of genocide is not an organized, calculated, systematic genocide.

 

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

 

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

 

THE GENOCIDE FACTS

 

In contradistinction to the establishment narrative accusing the ‘Hutu leadership’ of an ‘organized’ and ‘planned’ genocide were the countless acts of genocide committed through a spontaneous uprising of the Hutu masses—people who had been brutalized, disenfranchised, uprooted and forced from homes; people who had witnessed massacres and rapes of family members; people who were themselves the victims of brutal atrocities. These were more than a million internally displaced Rwandan Hutus, people who had been terrorized by the Rwandan Patriotic Army from October 1990 to April 1994, as it butchered its way into Rwanda; and possibly a million Burundian refugees, Hutus who suffered massive reprisals in Burundi after the first civilian President, Melchior Ndadaye, a democratically elected Hutu, was assassinated by the Tutsi military in October 1993. There is evidence that the RPA/F pursued “pseudo-operations”—death squads committing atrocities disguised as government soldiers—and evidence that at least some of the infamous Interahamwe militias pursued their campaigns of terror in the pay of the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army.

 

 “She [Des Forges] concealed the fact that from 1990 the war caused an unprecedented economic poverty and that the one million internally displaced people tore the social fabric apart!” wrote Dr. Helmut Strizek, a former German official who had called for Des Forges’ resignation from HRW. “And these people knew that Tutsi rebels [RPA] caused their misery. They did not wait for ‘instructions’ in order to revenge, once no one was able to maintain public order after the April 6 [1994] assassination [sic] and resumption of hostilities by the RPF.”

 

“Alison Des Forges is no longer,” writes Charles Onana. “Peace be with her soul! She nonetheless leaves behind her many victims of injustice, who she painstakingly accused, using false testimony, before the International Criminal Tribunal Court for Rwanda (ICTR).”

 

Alison Des Forges provided expert testimony in 11 genocide trials before the ICTR, including the ‘Military I’ trials that condemned Col. Theoneste Bagosora and two others on December 18. Des Forges also testified in genocide trials in Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada.

 

Charles Onana continues:

 

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

 

“I have also discovered during the course of my investigations into the ICTR that, at the start of the trial in 1997, she introduced a forged fax that was purported to be written by General Dallaire in 1994. This fax, maintained Des Forges, concerned the ‘planning of genocide’.”

 

New Yorker staff writer Philip Gourevitch spread the mythology of  “The Genocide Fax” far and wide. Gourevitch’s first pro-RPF/A disinformation piece appeared in the New Yorker in December 1995; in May 1998 the New Yorker published Gourevitch’s “The Genocide Fax,” a charade fed to him by Madeleine Albright’s undersecretary of state James Rubin. Gourevitch’s fictional book We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families was funded by the euphemistically named U.S. Institute for Peace and written in league with the Kagame regime. It is certainly possible that Alison Des Forges was unaware of the original fabrication, but she and Human Rights Watch never changed their tune, and they never denounced the fabrication.

 

Charles Onana continues:

 

“It was on the basis of this false document that she called for the condemnation of Jean-Paul Akaseyu. To lend credibility to this first trial process, the ICTR, with astonishing lightness and irresponsibility, condemned this man to life.  The Tribunal had no proof. The judicial dossier is slapdash and skimpy, but that has no importance. This was Alison Des Forges first great victory.”

 

“She then decided to pursue a Rwandan refugee living in Canada: an ideal target. He had the misfortune to be Hutu. For her, this man was a ‘planner of genocide’. But where is the proof? Alison Des Forges has none, but she wants to see this man [Leon Mugesera] in prison. Having deciphered or seen through Alison Des Forge’s arguments, the Judge of the Canadian Federal Tribunal concluded witheringly and without pity: ‘I note above all the relentlessness with which Mme Des Forges launched her diatribe against M. [Leon] Mugesera, and am astonished by the lack of care she has demonstrated in drawing up the report for the International Commission of Enquiry and in her Expert Assessment.’”

  

“The Canadian judge did not hesitate to qualify Mme. Des Forges as partisan, demonstrating ‘a prejudice or preconceived position against Léon Mugesera’. He concluded that she could not be considered an objective witness, adding that no correctly informed tribunal could take her allegations seriously. Nevertheless it was on the basis of the same arguments, and of the same fantasy report published in 1999, that she accused numerous Rwandans, all Hutu.”

  

“It was thus that she devoted the penultimate day of her examination, during the process against the military, to presenting Colonel Bagosora, Hutu, as the king pin in the genocide. The Tribunal in the long-running ‘Military I’ trial did not accept the ‘planning of genocide’ that Alison Des Forges never ceased to hammer on about by means of her pseudo-fax of 11 January 1994. She lied, lied and lied again. She tried a come-back or to recover her credibility by criticizing her ‘hero’ Paul Kagame, the organizer the 6 April 1994 assassination of two presidents.” 

 

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

 

Timothy Longman and Des Forges, the co-authors of the HRW treatise, Leave None To Tell The Story, both worked with USAID, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon. Des Forges was a member of the HRW board from 1988 and was “principal researcher” on Rwanda and Burundi, 1991-1994. In this period Des Forges also consulted for USAID, and collaborated with the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council. Simultaneously, Des Forges worked with, informed and influenced U.S. Congress-people, Permanent Representatives at the United Nations, the U.N. Under-Secretary General, and U.N. Special Rapporteur for Rwanda and Special Rapporteur for Summary and Arbitrary Executions. Des Forges also pumped the disinformation into the academic world through her high-level ties to human rights committees, African and Africana Studies departments and the elite African Studies Association.

 

In the same period, Des Forges constantly influenced the U.S. media through special briefings to the editorial boards and reporters of the New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, and Associated Press, and she was frequently presented as an “expert” on genocide in Rwanda for CNN, 60 Minutes, Nightline, All Things Considered, BBC, Radio France Internationale, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company. Such relations explain the mass media’s consistency in producing the monolithic disinformation about Rwanda that shielded the illegal U.S.-backed and covert RPF/A (Ugandan) guerrilla insurgency. The blanket media coverage falsely situated the “Rwanda genocide” as it is now widely misunderstood: 100 days of genocide, 800,000 to 1.2 million Tutsis killed with machetes; the ‘highly disciplined’ RPF/A stopping the genocide. Such is the disinformation that indoctrinated the English-speaking media consumers and created a mass psychological hysteria about Rwanda that persists to this day.

 

Timothy Longman worked with Des Forges in Rwanda in 1994 and has worked regularly with both USAID and HRW on contracts in Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, throughout the late 1990’s and into the present; Longman worked in Rwanda on one USAID contract for Management Systems Incorporated, a firm whose clients include the Pentagon. Longman also worked as a consultant for HRW in the spring of 2000 conducting field research in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and producing “a detailed report on human rights conditions in rebel-controlled areas.”

 

 

The Des Forges and Longman position vis-à-vis their whitewashing of the Tutsi-led RPF/A-organized genocide in Rwanda certainly explains the sanitation of HRW reports, and it raises questions, for example, about how Human Rights Watch ‘researchers’ navigate their ‘work’ in rebel (read: Rwandan and Ugandan) controlled areas in DRC. It also raises questions about how, why and when HRW does or doesn’t expose the western operatives, non-government organizations and multinational corporations: a singular example is the Human Rights Watch report that mildly exposes the criminal operations of Anglo-Gold Ashanti—a company partnered with the Bush-connected Barrick Gold Corporation—in eastern DRC. HRW says nothing about Moto Gold, Mwana Africa, Banro Resources, Hardmann Oil, Tullow Oil, De Beers, H Oil & Minerals, OM Group, Metalurg, Kotecha, International Rescue Committee—and the many proxy armies, militias, gun-runners and other organized white collar war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Congo.

 

The role of HRW as an intelligence conduit to the U.S. Government is incidentally confirmed by Samantha Power in her book A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide—a whitewash of U.S. and allied war crimes for which she was rewarded with a Pulitzer Prize. While Power’s “bystanders to genocide” thesis about Rwanda is a total inversion of the facts, she notes in passing that “Human Rights Watch supplied exemplary intelligence to the U.S. Government and lobbied in one-on-one meetings” in April and May 1994, and that Alison Des Forges and other HRW staff visited the White House on April 21, 1994. Samantha Power is currently a member of the National Security Council in the administration of President Barack Obama.

 

Alison Des Forges continued to remain silent about western corporate and military interests in the Great Lakes region to her death. A perfect example of this silence is the very unrevealing March 2008 interview by the U.S. nationalist and Zionist U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum titled Alison Des Forges: The Impact of Rwandan Genocide in Congo.

 

Timothy Longman also produces significant pro-US propaganda about Sudan. Thus it is important to note that amongst the key USAID conduits for disinformation and covert operations in Sudan today is Roger Winter, one of the primary architects of the RPF/A guerrilla war, organized from Washington in 1989, that led to the loss of at least twelve million lives in the Great Lakes of Africa since October 1990. Alison Des Forges, of course, never mentioned Roger Winter or his colleague in covert operations, Susan Rice, the Obama Administration’s Ambassador to the U.N.

 

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

 

“I don’t know how assassins could control icing on the wings or why it was necessary to bring down 50 other people just to silence her,” says ICTR lawyer Chris Black, commenting on the speculation that Alison Des Forges was assassinated by ‘plane crash’. “It would have been much simpler to kill her in all sorts of other ways. But she was no big critic. She made some noises, but it was just to give Human Rights Watch some credibility.”

 

 

“I hold a strong belief in the plane crash being planned,” says Remigius Kintu. “These international cabal members have no mercy to hide their crime in something like this and could care less about the other people on the plane. As for Roger Winter, he was the chief logistics boss for [RPF] Tutsis until their victory in 1994, operating from 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW in Washington D.C.”

 

The zeal displayed by Alison Des Forges and Human Rights Watch in the pursuit of justice and human rights appears in sharp contradistinction to their absence of zeal in pursuing the architects of the criminal invasion of Rwanda on 10 October 1990, the double presidential assassinations of 6 April 1994, and all kinds of other nasty corporate conspiracies in Central Africa.

 

Thus while the world commemorated the 15th Anniversary of the “Rwanda Genocide” on 6 April 2009, innocent Rwandan asylum seekers and critics of the Kagame terrorist regime, all over the world, live under perpetual fear of being hunted down, branded as genocide perpetrators, ostracized, and persecuted by an illegitimate one-party dictatorship comprised 40 military officials indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by two international courts.

 

According to insiders from Rwanda, Kagame’s ruthless Directorate of Military Intelligence has dispatched some 300 agents to Europe to kill RPF opponents; some of these agents are operating under cover as bogus asylum seekers in Europe and North America. As of January 20, 2009 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began reopening all cases of Rwandan asylum seekers, and is criminalizing and threatening to deport legitimate refugees to Rwanda, actions that violate the 1951 United Nations High Commission for Refugees Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.

 The FDLR condemn the heinous crimes committed by the coalition of the RPA/RDF and the FARDC against Rwandan refugees and Congolese civilians in eastern DRC and call for their perpetrators to be brought to justice.


The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda ( FDLR ) strongly condemn the unspeakable violations of human rights that the coalition formed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army – Rwandan Defence Forces (RPA/RDF) and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) are committing against the Congolese civilian populations and the Rwandan Hutu refugees located in the eastern DRC and call for the perpetrators of these crimes to be brought to justice.


The FDLR judge unacceptable that the hunt for Rwandan Hutu refugees on the territory of the DRC continues under the eyes and the silence of the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC), the international media and members of the International Community present in the DRC as if those Rwandan refugees were not human beings but beasts that must be destroyed at all costs by weapons.


The FDLR condemn the killing of 63 Rwandan Hutu refugees that has taken place over the last two weeks in the regions of MIANGA and CYAMAKALA in Masisi territory and whose perpetrators are no more than elements of the coalition of the RPA (RDF) and the FARDC.

 

The FDLR condemn also the various crimes committed by that coalition in order to punish civilians accused of sympathizing with the FDLR . Thus, on 13 and 14 April 2009, after a crushing defeat in the fighting that the coalition had launched against a unit of the FDLR in Buleyi in the territory of Lubero, the same coalition has fired indiscriminately and without mercy on the civilian population with heavy artillery killing 7 Congolese villagers and wounding another dozen of people who were in their fields.


The FDLR condemn also the various battle fields started on 17 April 2009 by the coalition of the RPA (RDF) and the FARDC against the FDLR Abacunguzi in several localities of North Kivu including Kanuni, Gishonja, Bushalingwa, Bukumbirwa and Ngerere and declare once again that they will do everything possible to protect themselves and defend the Rwandan refugees and Congolese civilians who live with them against the attackers wherever they may come from.


The FDLR consider unfortunate that this coalition continues to engage in unnecessary fighting without worrying about the safety of civilians and vulnerable people who are in these areas.


The FDLR urge once again the International Community and all peace-loving people to condemn that war which is unnecessary, senseless and unjust and which is ravaging the eastern DRC. They remind the troops of the coalition of the RPA (RDF) and the FARDC of their obligations to respect international humanitarian law and the International Conventions on the rights of refugees.

 


The FDLR remain convinced that the Rwandan problem which is essentially political can not be solved by war or other terrorist acts that the coalition of the RPA (RDF) and the FARDC are carrying out in the Kivu region, but rather by a direct dialogue between the Kigali regime and its opposition.


Done in Paris on 17 April 2009

 


Callixte Mbarushimana


Executive Secretary of the FDLR


(Sé)

BSN Editor’s Introduction: Ordinarily, we don’t write introductions to articles or essays published in The Black Star News but the following column by Keith Harmon Snow warrants it.

Snow has been at the forefront, as has this newspaper, in exposing Western duplicity in Africa and how U.S. and U.K. corporate and government interests have caused the deaths of millions of Africans; all for the love of money.

In the end, the African actors, the bit players really, are the ones who are blamed; wars of blood money and profits are referred to euphemistically by major newspapers, including The New York Times as “tribal wars,” so that Americans can nod their heads and continue on with their lives without bothering to ask any further questions.

After all, “tribal wars” are endemic to Africa; they always happen. Africans just wake up one day, grab machetes and start chopping off their neighbors’ heads to satisfy “blood lust;” a term actually once used by Time magazine to explain what the magazine contended was the reason for the Rwanda massacres of 1994.

Meanwhile, no one writes about the Western companies that somehow just always happen to be around digging the gold and the diamonds and ferrying off the timber and the young Congolese girls, even as the chopping off of heads and limbs occur.

But Keith Harmon Snow, whose long report follows, is not with the program. He is the anti-New York Times kind of reporter; and the anti-New Yorker magazine; and, anti-BBC and anti-Washington Post kind of journalist.

In fact, he is beyond being a mere journalist. He is the type of forthright individual that corporate media would refer to as “radical,” in order to impugn his reputation, without having to challenge him on a single fact. He salvages a little respectability for the profession of journalism, which has been corrupted by corporate media.

He is a crusader with a mission; his goal is to expose United States’ and Britain’s roles in the genocide in Uganda and in the Congo; with characters like Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Yoweri K. Museveni and Sudan’s Omar Hassan al-Bashir all playing the bit roles.

Snow writes long; he cannot help it because he feels the pain of the Congolese and the Ugandans and he wants someone somewhere –here in the United States and Britain– to pay a price. He might be accused of being overly passionate; one has to be, when one feels the kind of indignation that Snow feels. When it is a matter of genocide no article can be too long. Readers that bear with Snow and read all his words will learn information not found in the corporate media.

Corporate media are often accomplices to crimes against humanity. Sometimes in a most perverted manner. Take The New York Times’ resident Sudanese genocide expert, Nicholas Kristoff. If Kristoff really cares about the suffering of Africans, and not just about winning a Pulitzer Prize as he did for his Sudanese crusade, don’t you think he would lend his big pen to expose with equal passion the suffering of Congolese and Ugandan civilians; or might that lead to the indictment of Kagame and Museveni, “friends” of United States interests? Why would a humanitarian be selective in fighting against genocide unless there was a hidden agenda?

Thank the creator for the Internet. In the past, the world was held hostage to the tyranny of selective coverage and cover-ups by newspapers such as The New York Times and writers like Kristoff. He is a hero to Africans in his own mind. The Internet era has broken the monopoly of disinformation and misinformation once enjoyed by elite media.

Many years ago, George Orwell had warned against the dangers of propaganda, or what he called “New Speak.” We hear New Speak every day; where everything is turned upside down, killers are praised, while innocents are marched off to shallow graves in the forests. New Speak celebrates murderers as heroes and denounces victims.

Although successive generations have always declared “never again;” and “not on our watch,” as surely as the sun rises, humanity never fails and genocide always occurs. New Speak always exonerates the killers. New Speak is public relations disinformation; black becomes white; red is yellow; and bad is good.

As one of the characters in Orwell’s 1984 puts it: “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

Ah, yes; New Speak has helped send millions of Africans six feet under or to the crocodiles in the Kagera river, the Nile, and Lake Victoria.

Take Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni as an example; he is a master New Speaker. He has single-handedly, with the assistance of U.K. and U.S. financing and military hardware, caused the deaths of more than eight million Africans –half a million or more in Uganda; one million in Rwanda; seven million in Congo. Please see http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/116/10455.pdf

Yet, at least up until the time President George W. Bush left office, he was treated like some respected elder statesman of politics in the West.

He is such a smooth New Speaker that he attends the funerals of people whom he has reportedly eliminated in Uganda. He is such a smooth operator that he even secured an audience with President Bush in the White House in 2007 even though The Wall Street Journal had already reported on June 8, 2006, that he is being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes committed by his troops and militia in Congo between 1998-2003 and conceivably, like Liberia’s former president Charles Taylor, and like Sudan’s president al-Bashir, he too may be indicted by the ICC.

While President Bush could ignore the inconvenient truth and entertain Museveni in the White House, praising him for fighting HIV/Aids, even as he used his other hand to eliminate millions of Africans, it is difficult to imagine how President Barack Obama, a constitutional law professor, could ignore the smell of blood emanating from the Ugandan. Then again, on this earth, anything is possible.

Rwanda‘s Kagame is another master New Speaker.

Earlier this week, he presided over memorial ceremonies for the victims of the 1994 massacres. Kagame indulges in this macabre exercise each year even though he was instrumental in the very genocide which he now “mourns”: he commanded the invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in 1990 and a French court has concluded that he ordered the missile downing of the presidential plane carrying Presidents Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntayamira of Burundi, sparking the 100 days of mass murders.

Western media had also prepared the global community for the eventual demonization and criminalization of all Hutus –even the ones who never participated in the mass murders of 1994– with a racist campaign against them in major magazines such as The New York Times magazine and The New Yorker, both with circulation in the millions. One of the first media volleys against the Hutus was an article by Alex Shoumatoff, published on June 20, 1992 in The New Yorker, where he described people he had observed while travelling in Burundi, which has the same ethnic combustibility between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis; at that time Burundi’s army and government were controlled by the Tutsi minority.

“There were three obvious Tutsis,” Shoumatoff wrote, of the people he saw in a taxi cab, “Tall, slender with high foreheads, prominent cheekbones, and narrow features.” He added: “They were a different physical type from the five passengers who were short and stocky and had the flat noses and thick lips typical of Hutus.”

Almost three months later, an even more insidious article by Shoumatoff, “Rwanda’s Aristocratic Guerrillas,” was published on December 13, 1992, in The New York Times magazine. By this time, the invasion of Rwanda was in its second year and the RPF had already committed numerous massacres against Hutu civilians, as a lexis-nexus search of news reports will reveal. These crimes were glossed over or ignored in Shoumatoff’s article and all contemporary and subsequent accounts in major newspapers such as the Times.

Moreover, Shoumatoff was married to a Tutsi woman who was the first cousin of the RPF’s spokesperson and he was met at Entebbe airport in Uganda by RPF officials who guided him to the zones they controlled. So, The New York Times knowingly participated in the demonization campaign against the Hutus, who make up 85% of the population in both Rwanda and Burundi.

“In the late 19th Century,” Shoumatoff, acting as an unofficial propagandist for the invading army wrote in The New York Times magazine, describing Tutsis, “early ethnologists were fascinated by these ‘languidly haughty’ pastoral aristocrats whose high foreheads, aquiline noses and thin lips seemed more Caucasian than Negroid, and they classified them as ‘false negroes.’ In a popular theory of the day, the Tutsis were thought to be highly civilized people, the race of fallen Europeans, whose existence in Central Africa had been rumored for centuries.”

Shoumatoff added, of the Tutsis: “They are not a race or a tribe, as often described, but a population, a stratum, a mystical, warrior-priest elite, like the Druids in Celtic society.” As for the Hutus, they were far from resembling warrior priests: as Shoumatoff revealed, they were “short, stocky local Bantu agriculturalists.” [To read more critique of Western media demonization of Africans, please see “The Hearts Of Darkness, How White Writers Created The Racist Image of Africa,” (Black Star Books, 2005)]

Yes, henious crimes against humanity and war crimes occurred in Rwanda, not only in 1994, but right from the time of the Uganda-sponsored invasion in 1990. Yet, the account here shows, many people would rather pretend that the atrocities started in 1994.

Some of the people who participated in the crimes have been caught and tried; many who have been tried and convicted did not even participate; those prosecuted so far have been only Hutus.

The story can never be complete when others involved in the same crime are exonerated through New Speak–some are outside Rwanda, including Museveni, for sponsoring the invasion and reportedly for supplying the missile used to down Habyarimana’s jet; others, indicted and unindicted criminals now govern Rwanda.

But ours is a mere introduction. Let Keith Harmon Snow tell the sordid story. — Milton Allimadi, BlackStar News

False Narrative: Whitewashing Rwanda Genocide

By Keith Harmon Snow

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

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

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

To say that Des Forges was “amongst the first voices calling for the killings to be declared genocide” in 1994 is an Orwellian ruse. The genocide label applied by Alison Des Forges and certain human rights bodies in May of 1994 was misdirected, used to accuse and criminalize only the majority Hutu people and the remnants of the decapitated Habyarimana government; much as the genocide and war crimes accusations have been selectively applied against President Omar al-Bashir in Sudan.

The Clinton Administration refused to apply the genocide label: to do so might have compromised an ongoing U.S.-backed covert operation: the invasion of Rwanda by the Pentagon’s proxy force, the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A).

According to U.S. intelligence insider Wayne Madsen, Des Forges’ criticisms of the U.S.-brokered pact between Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila in December 2008 “earned her some powerful enemies ranging from the murderous Kagame, who will not think twice about sending his agents to silence critics abroad, and international interests who want nothing to prevent them from looting the DRC’s vast mineral and energy resources.”

“With U.S. military forces of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) now backing a joint Ugandan-DRC offensive in the northeastern DRC to wipe out the Lord’s Resistance Army,” wrote Madsen on 16 February 2009, “with hundreds of civilian casualties in the DRC and Uganda, and a secret pact worked out between Kabila and Kagame to permit Rwandan troops to occupy the eastern DRC, the target of both operations is securing the vast territory that is rich in commodities that the United States, Britain and Israel—all allies of Uganda and Rwanda—want badly.

Those commodities are gold, diamonds, columbium-tantalite (coltan), platinum and natural gas.” Massive oil reserves are also at stake, with major concessions bifurcated by the international border. Ongoing petroleum sector investment (exploration and exploitation) in the region involves numerous western extraction companies—many being so-called petroleum “minors” likely fronting for larger corporations—including Hardman Resources, Heritage Oil and Gas, H Oil & Minerals, PetroSA, Tullow Oil, Vangold Resources, ContourGlobal Group, Tower Resources, Reservoir Capital Group, and Nexant (a Bechtel Corporation subsidiary).

Billed as a “tireless champion” and “leading light in African human rights,” there is much more to this story than the western propaganda system has revealed: Alison Des Forges and Human Rights Watch (HRW) provided intelligence to the U.S. government at the time of the 1994 crises, and they have continued in this role to the present. Des Forges also supported the show trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), institutionalizing victor’s justice and shielding the Kagame regime.

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

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

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

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

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

Des Forges own death in a plane crash garnered major coverage.

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

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

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

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

In other words, the initial act of aggression, the RPA/F invasion, was institutionally protected and the war crimes that set the stage for the conflagrations in Rwanda and Congo went unpunished.

Later in 1993, Rwandans Ferdinan d Nanimana and Joseph Mushyandi, representing four Rwandan organizations under the Rwanda Associations for the Defense of Human Rights, challenged the DesForges commission in their 26-page document, “A Commentary on the Report of the International Commission’s Inquiry on the Violation of Human Rights in Rwanda since October 1990.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICTR defense attorney Christopher Black reports that reliable sources confirm that US Special forces were with the RPF all the way through the war. “My client testified in June that U.S. Hercules [C-130 military aircraft] were seen dropping troops in support of the RPF…”

Further, on 9 April 1994, three days after the so-called “mysterious plane crash” where Burundi’s President Cyprien Ntaryamira and President Habyarimana were assassinated, some 330 U.S. marines landed at Bujumbura’s airport in Burundi, ostensibly to “rescue Americans” in Rwanda.

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

The result was a coup d’état: we won. The 2003 Frontline interview with Alison Des Forges exemplifies her continuing role in whitewashing U.S. involvement in war crimes and genocide in Central Africa. “Kagame received his military education under the Pentagon’s Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) at the Command and General Staff College of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, beginning in 1990,” wrote John E. Peck of the Association of African Scholars (2002). “His sidekick, Lt. Col.

Frank Rusagara, got his JCET schooling at the U.S. Naval Academy in Monterey, California. Both were dispatched to Rwanda in time to oversee the RPF’s takeover in 1994. Far from being an innocent bystander, the Washington Post revealed on July 12, 1998 that the United States not only gave Kagame $75 million in military assistance, but also  sent Green Berets to train Kagame’s forces (as well as their Ugandan rebel allies) in low intensity conflict (LIC) tactics. Pentagon subcontractor Ronco, masquerading as a de-mining company, also smuggled more weapons to RPF fighters in flagrant violation of UN sanctions. All of this U.S. largesse was put to lethal effect in the ethnic bloodbath that is still going on.”

“This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power,” Des Forges wrote, blaming “Hutu Power”. However, her assertions about a “planned” Hutu genocide—”They seized control of the state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the slaughter”—collapse under scrutiny.

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

“Kagame assigned some people to work with Alison Des Forges,” says Ugandan Human Rights activist Remigius Kintu, “and also to assist her in fabricating and distorting stories to suit Tutsi propaganda plans.”

According to the International Forum for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, whose discoveries resulted in the high courts of Spain issuing international indictments against 40 top RPF/A officials: “Between 1990 and 1994, the RPA waged a systematic, pre-planned, secretive but highly organized terrorist war aimed at eliminating the largest number of Rwandan people possible—bodies were hacked to pieces and incinerated en masse.

From 1994, once the RPA violently seized power, a terror regime was created, and developed, and a criminal structure parallel to the state was set up to pursue pre-determined kidnappings; torturing and raping of women and young girls; terrorist attacks (both directly and by simulating that the same had been perpetrated by the enemy); illegal detention of thousands of civilians; selective murdering; systematic elimination of corpses either by mass incineration or by throwing them into lakes and rivers; indiscriminate attacks against civilians based on pre-determined ethnic categories for the elimination of the predominant ethnic group; and also to carry out acts of war in Rwanda and Congo.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is evidence that the RPA/F pursued “pseudo-operations”—death squads committing atrocities disguised as government soldiers—and evidence that at least some of the infamous Interahamwe militias pursued their campaigns of terror in the pay of the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army.

“She concealed the fact that from 1990 the war caused an unprecedented economic poverty and that the one million internally displaced people tore the social fabric apart!” wrote Dr. Helmut Strizek, a former German official who had called for Des Forges’ resignation from HRW.

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

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

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

“I have also discovered during the course of my investigations into the ICTR that, at the start of the trial in 1997, she introduced a forged fax that was purported to be written by General Dallaire in 1994. This fax, maintained Des Forges, concerned the ‘planning of genocide’.”

New Yorker staff writer Philip Gourevitch spread the mythology of “The Genocide Fax” far and wide. Gourevitch’s first pro-RPF/A disinformation piece appeared in the New Yorker in December 1995; in May 1998 the New Yorker published Gourevitch’s “The Genocide Fax,” a charade fed to him by Madeleine Albright’s undersecretary of state James Rubin.

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

It is certainly possible that Alison Des Forges was unaware of the original fabrication, but she and Human Rights Watch never changed their tune, and they never denounced the fabrication.

Charles Onana continues: “It was on the basis of this false document that she called for the condemnation of Jean-Paul Akaseyu. To lend credibility to this first trial process, the ICTR, with astonishing lightness and irresponsibility, condemned this man to life. The Tribunal had no proof. The judicial dossier is slapdash and skimpy, but that has no importance. This was Alison Des Forges first great victory.”

“She then decided to pursue a Rwandan refugee living in Canada: an ideal target,” Onana adds, referring to Leon Mugesera. “He had the misfortune to be Hutu. For her, this man was a ‘planner of genocide’. But where is the proof? Alison Des Forges has none, but she wants to see this man in prison. Having deciphered or seen through Alison Des Forge’s arguments, the Judge of the Canadian Federal Tribunal concluded witheringly and without pity: ‘I note above all the relentlessness with which Mme Des Forges launched her diatribe against M. [Leon]Mugesera, and am astonished by the lack of care she has demonstrated in drawing up the report for the International Commission of Enquiry and in her Expert Assessment.’”

“The Canadian judge did not hesitate to qualify Mme. Des Forges as partisan, demonstrating ‘a prejudice or preconceived position against Léon Mugesera’. He concluded that she could not be considered an objective witness, adding that no correctly informed tribunal could take her allegations seriously. Nevertheless it was on the basis of the same arguments, and of the same fantasy report published in 1999, that she accused numerous Rwandans, all Hutu.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The mass media was flooded with “Rwanda genocide” disinformation between April and July of 1994, and advertising that served up subliminal seduction and white supremacy often surrounded these “news” clips.

Alison Des Forges continued to remain silent about Western corporate and military interests in the Great Lakes region to her death. A perfect example of this silence is the very unrevealing March 2008 interview by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum titled “Alison Des Forges: The Impact of Rwandan Genocide in Congo.”

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

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

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

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

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

Kagame’s ruthless Directorate of Military Intelligence has dispatched agents to Europe to eliminate RPF opponents; some of these agents are operating under cover as bogus asylum-seekers in Europe and North America.

As of January 20, 2009 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began reopening all cases of Rwandan asylum seekers, and is criminalizing and threatening to deport legitimate refugees to Rwanda, actions that violate the 1951 United Nations High Commission for Refugees Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.

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

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A FAILED COUP D’ETAT AGAINST THE DICTOATOR KAGAME

Posted by rwandaonline on April 19, 2009

There was a failed coup d’etat against Paul Kagame the current President of Rwanda. Majority of those involved in that Coup d’ Etat are from Kagame’s Tutsi tribe. There is no surprised because this was prophesied by the Mzee Magayane long away from what is happenning in Rwanda to take place. So what next since Kagame is not going to step down and ask for forgiveness to have caused a wild slaughter of both Hutus and Tutsis ever since he attacked Rwanda in 1990.

Around 1800 Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) members were forcefully demobilized recently, a few weeks after the independent newspaper Umuseso reported a failed coup to oust Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s President since the resignation and subsequent arrest and detention of first post-genocide President of the Republic Pasteur Bizimungu, in 2000 and 2002 respectively. Among them, 80 officers and non-commissioned officers were booted out of the army in a demobilization exercise that independent observers qualified as politically motivated. A group of RDF senior officers including Maj. Gen. Kayizari Ceaser, Brig. Frank Rusagara and Brig. Eric Murokore were forcefully demobilized while others like Brig. Jean-Bosco Kazura, former Special Presidential Advisor on Security and Defence and Col. Tom Byabagamba, the once mighty Commanding Officer of the Presidential Protection Unit, were relieved of their duties, in what observers describe as the result of cold but tough infightings within the army, Kagame regime’s centre of power. Persistent rumours in Kigali City and on Rwandan Internet based discussion groups add that Brig. Frank Rusagara, former Commandant of Rwandan Military Academy, located in the premises of the former National University of Rwanda campus of Nyakinama, now in Musanze District, former Ruhengeri Prefecture, has fled the central African tiny country amidst RPF controlled media’s public relations campaigns presenting Rwanda as a stable state. Last December, Col. Mulisa and Col. Kamili Karege were arrested and accused of coup attempt against Paul Kagame’s government in a closed doors Supreme Court deliberation, a charge they denied according to Umuseso. The duo is detained in undisclosed detention facilities and don’t receive any visits neither from relatives nor from national or international Human Rights activists, according to well informed sources in the Army. If confirmed, Brig. Frank Rusagara’s flight would be a grave manifestation of increasing tensions within the RPF centre of power where three groups of courtesans, one closed to Gen. James Kabarebe, RDF Chief of Defence Force and former Kagame’s aide de camp, cronies closed to Col. Emmanuel Ndahiro, the Chief of National Security Service and former Kagame’s personal doctor and those closed to James Musoni, current Minister of Finance and most influent civilian cadre in RPF government who is also in charge of Rwandese Patriotic Front finance commission. Observers notice that a wave of dissent whithin the RDF occurred since Kagame engaged himself in rat-cat dirty and bloody game in Eastern DR Congo where he used and abused Congolese Tutsis in a proxy-war led by renegade FARDC officer Laurent Nkunda in the name of protecting his fellow ethnic brothers and sister’s against what he once called a new genocide before sending his troops directly with the consent of DR Congo’s President Joseph Kabila. While in Kinshasa, the consequences of the so-called joint-operations were discussed in the media, in Kigali where freedom of the press doesn’t exist, the manifestations of discontent are silent but more intense not within the civil society but within the military, a state of things that shows that Rwanda is rather under military rule since July 1994. French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière accused Paul Kagame of having masterminded the shooting down of the Rwandan presidential jet in April 1994, a terrorist attack that observers consider as the trigger of Rwandan genocide while Spanish judge Andreu Merelles accused him of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in Rwanda and in DR Congo. But both judges didn’t issue any arrest warrants against him because their national laws don’t allow such action against a sitting Head of State. Source: UDF-Inkingi United Democratic Forces (UDF) is the main political organization of the Rwandan opposition in exile. Recently, the UDF leadership has made it clear that UDF-Inkingi will take part in the 2010 presidential elections in Rwanda. However, reliable sources attest that the RPF government in Kigali is planning to block UDF’s participation to this presidential race.

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15 YEARS AFTER THE BRUTAL DEATH OF HABYALIMANA AND NTARYAMIRA

Posted by rwandaonline on April 7, 2009

The Late Habyalimana a day before he was murdered by RPF

The Late Habyalimana a day before he was murdered by RPF

It Has Been 15 Years Since The Assassination Of Habyalimana And Ntaryamira, The Two Hutu Presidents Of Both Rwanda And Burundi But The International Criminal Court Has Not Yet Brought To Books Those Terrorists Behind The Killing, Which Sparked The Fratricide In Rwanda. This is a full description of what happened since October1, 1990. This is to help the younger Rwandese generation to know what contains the history of their beloved country Rwanda.

INTRODUCTION
The assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on the evening of April 6, 1994 when they were from a peace negotiations in Arusha, Tanzania. This was the catalyst for the Rwandan Genocide. The airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda. Responsibility for the attack is disputed, with most theories proposing as suspects either the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) or government-aligned Hutu extremists opposed to negotiation with the RPF. The Hutu Extremist theory is believed to have disseminated by the RPF propagandists who wanted to distract the world on the terrorism investigations. But whichever the case two Hut presidents were assassinated by RPF in order to carry out its agenda to take over power by force. This set in motion some of the bloodiest events of the late 20th century.

The Jet of Habyalimana leaving Arusha on 6 April 1994

The Jet of Habyalimana leaving Arusha on 6 April 1994

BACKGROUND OF THE RPF INVASION IN RWANDA
In 1990, the Rwandan Civil War began when the Rwandan Patriotic Front, dominated by the Tutsi ethnic group, invaded northern Rwanda from Uganda. Most of the RPF fighters were either refugees or the sons of refugees who had fled ethnic purges by the Hutu government in the middle of the century. The attempt to overthrow the government failed, though the RPF was able to maintain control of a border region. As it became clear that the war had reached a stalemate, the sides began peace negotiations in May 1992, which resulted in the signing in August 1993 of the Arusha Accords to create a power-sharing government. This happened in Arusha in Tanzania where the complicity of Museveni, Nyerere, United Kingdom, and USA were present.
However, the war radicalized the internal opposition. There were some greedy Hutus such as Twagiramungu who succumbed to RPF pressure and they re-aligned with Tutsi led RPF in order to get power from backdoors.  But the more the war continued the more Hutus discovered that it was not about power and leadership or returning of Tutsi refugees from Uganda, but the return of serfdom and slavery which was eradicated in 1959 during the UN sponsored Referendum. The more of a threat the RPF became, the more mainstream the Hutu freedom ideology became. This portrayed the RPF as an alien force intent on reinstating the Tutsi monarchy and enslaving the Hutus that had to be resisted at all costs. This political force led to the collapse of the first Habyarimana government in July 1993, when Prime Minister Dismas Nsengiyaremye criticized the president in writing for delaying a peace agreement. This was because of what Hutu satirical expression of Inda nini which refers to Hutu greediness. Nsengiyaremye Dismas was not concerned by the threats that the RPF was causing to the country but his higher chance of becoming the Prime Minister and later the President of Rwanda after the departure of Habyalimana. President Habyarimana who was a member of Mouvement Revolutionaire pour le Developement du Rwanda MRND, dismissed Nsengiyarmye and appointed Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who was seen as less sympathetic to the RPF, in his stead. However, the main opposition parties then refused to support Madame Agathe’s appointment, each splitting into two factions: one calling for the unwavering defense of Hutu Power and the other, labeled “moderate” that sought a negotiated settlement to the war. As Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana was unable to form a coalition government, ratification of the Arusha Accords was impossible. The most extreme of the Hutu parties, the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic, which was reminding Hutus the way their ancestors were enslaved by Tutsis over 500 years of servitude and serfdom known as Ubucakara (Corvee).
The security situation deteriorated throughout 1993. the RPF distributed small arms among all young Tutsis which led to Hutus to start arming themselves to counter RPF to take over power by force. The UN peacekeeping mission MINUAR clandestinely supported RPF by allowing it to bring its military into the Capital of Kigali in disguise of firewood. February 1994, Roméo Dallaire, the head of the military force attached to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), which had been sent to observe the implementation of the Arusha Accords, informed his superiors, “Time does seem to be running out for political discussions, as any spark on the security side could have catastrophic consequences. But the UN did not do any thing to curb the situation since the United States had vested interest in Rwanda insecurity in order to go and loot DR Congo, the UN couldn’t take any measures to facilitate the Arusha Accords. 
In the United Nations Security Council, early April 1994 saw a sharp disagreement between the United States and the non-permament members of the council over UNAMIR. Despite a classified February Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysis predicting half a million deaths if the Arusha process failed, the U.S. was attempting to reduce its international commitments in the wake of the Somalia debacle and lobbied to end the mission. A compromise extending UNAMIR’s mandate for three more months was finally reached on the evening of Tuesday, the fifth of April. Meanwhile, Habyarimana was finishing regional travel. On April 4th, he had flown to Zaire to meet with president Mobutu Sese Seko and on the sixth flew to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for a one-day regional summit for heads of state convened by Tanzania’s President Mzee Julius Nyerere Kambarage who was supporting the RPF, and was aware of the assassination. On the return trip that evening he was joined by Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira, and a couple of his ministers, who preferred the faster Dassault Falcon 50 that the French government had given to Habyarimana over his own presidential plane. They also wanted to go talking about the business of their two countries which were under threats from Tutisis.
According to interim Prime Minister Jean Kambanda’s confession to the ICTR, President Mobutu Sese Seko of neighboring Zaire, (now DRC) had warned Habyarimana not to go to Dar-es-Salaam on April 6. Mobutu said this warning had come from a very senior official in the Elysée Palace in Paris. There was a link between this warning, said Mobutu, and the subsequent suicide in the Elysée of François de Grossouvre, a senior high-ranking official working for President François Mitterrand, an official who had killed himself on April 7 after learning about the downing of the Falcon.
 Description of attack

The presidential jet was a Dassault Falcon 50 given by Francois Mitterand who was the President of France and a very close friend to Habyalimana Juvenal.
Shortly before 8:20 pm local time (6:20 pm UTC), the presidential jet circled once around Kigali International Airport before coming in for final approach in clear skies. A weekly flight by a Belgian C-130 Hercules carrying UNAMIR troops returning from leave had been scheduled to land before the presidential jet, but was waved off to give the presidents priority.

A surface-to-air missile struck one of the wings of the Dassault Falcon, before a second missile hit its tail. The plane erupted into flames in mid-air before crashing into the garden of the presidential palace, exploding on impact. The plane carried three French crew and nine passengers.
The attack was witnessed by numerous people. One of two Belgian officers in the garden of a house in Kanombe, the district in which the airport is located, saw and heard the first missile climb into the sky, saw a red flash in the sky and heard an aircraft engine stopping, and then another missile climb. He immediately called Major de Saint-Quentin, part of the French team attached to the Rwandan para-commando battalion Commandos de recherche et d’action en profondeur (CRAP), who advised him to organize protection for his Belgian comrades. Similarly, another Belgian officer stationed in an unused airport control tower saw the lights of an approaching aircraft, a light traveling upward from the ground and then the aircraft lights going out. This was followed by a second light rising from the same place as the first and the plane turning into a falling ball of fire. This officer immediately radioed his company commander, who confirmed with the used control tower that the plane was the presidential aircraft.

A Rwandan soldier in the military camp in Kanombe recalled,
You know, its engine sound was different from other planes; that is, the president’s engine’s sound … We were looking towards where the plane was coming from, and we saw a projectile and we saw a ball of flame or flash and we saw the plane go down; and I saw it. I was the leader of the bloc so I asked the soldiers to get up and I told them “Get up because Kinani [a Kinyarwanda nickname for Habyarimana meaning “famous” or “invincible”] has been shot down.’ They told me, “You are lying.” I said, “It’s true.” So I opened my wardrobe, I put on my uniform and I heard the bugle sound.[14]
A Rwandan officer cadet at the airport who was listening to the Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines heard the announcer state that the presidential jet was coming in to land. The spoken broadcast then stopped suddenly in favor of a selection of classical music

Twelve people were killed. They were:
1. President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana
2. President of Burundi Cyprien Ntaryamira
3. Bernard Ciza, Burundian Minister of Public Works
4. Cyriaque Simbizi, Burundian Minister of Communication
5. General Deogratias Nsabimana, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Defence Forces
6. Major Thaddée Bagaragaza, responsible for the “maison militaire” of the Rwandan president
7. Colonel Elie Sagatwa, Member of the special secretariat of the Rwandan president, Chief of the Military Cabinet of the Rwandan president
8. Juvénal Renaho, foreign affairs advisor to the Rwandan president
9. Emmanuel Akingeneye, personal physician to the Rwandan president
French aircraft crew:
10. Jacky Héraud (pilot)
11. Jean-Pierre Minoberry (copilot)
12. Jean-Michel Perrine (flight engineer)
Immediate reaction
Chaos ensued on the ground. The Presidential Guard, who had been waiting to escort the president home from the airport, threatened people with their weapons. Twenty Belgian peacekeepers who had been stationed along the perimeter of the airport were surrounded by the Presidential Guard and some were disarmed.[15] The airport was closed and the circling Belgian Hercules was diverted to Nairobi.

In Camp Kanombe, the bugle call immediately after the crash was taken by soldiers to mean that the Rwandan Patriotic Front had attacked the camp. Every soldier rushed to his unit’s armory to equip themselves. Soldiers of the paracommando brigade Commandos de recherche et d’action en profondeur (CRAP) assembled on the parade ground at around 9 pm while members of other units gathered elsewhere in the camp.
At least one witness stated that about an hour after the crash there was the sound of gunfire in Kanombe. Munitions explosions at Camp Kanombe were also initially reported.

The senior officer for the Kigali operational zone called the Ministry of Defence with the news. Defence Minister Augustin Bizimana was out of the country, and the officer who took the call failed to reach Col. Théoneste Bagosora, the director of the office of the minister of defence, who was apparently at a reception given by UNAMIR’s Bangladeshi officers. The news of the crash, initially reported as an explosion of UNAMIR’s ammunition dump, was quickly relayed to UNAMIR Force Commander Dallaire. He ordered UNAMIR Kigali sector commander Luc Marchal to send a patrol to the crash site. Numerous people began calling UNAMIR seeking information, including Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and Lando Ndasingwa. Madame Agathe informed Dallaire that she was trying to gather her cabinet but many ministers were afraid to leave their families. She also reported that all of the hardline ministers had disappeared. Dallaire asked the prime minister if she could confirm that it was the president’s plane that had crashed, and then called UNAMIR political head Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh to inform him of developments. Madame Agathe then called back to confirm that it was the president’s jet and he was presumed to be on board. She also asked for UNAMIR help in regaining control of the political situation, as she was legally next in the line of succession, but some moderate ministers allied to her had already begun fleeing their homes in search of safety.

At 9:18 pm, Presidential Guards whom a UNAMIR report described as “nervous and dangerous” established a roadblock near the Hotel Méridien. Several other roadblocks had been set up prior to the attack as part of security preparations for Habyarimana’s arrival. The patrol of UNAMIR Belgian soldiers sent to investigate the crash site was stopped at a Presidential Guards roadblock at 9:35 pm, disarmed and sent to the airport.
Soldiers in Camp Kanombe had interpreted the bugle after the crash to mean that the RPF had attacked the military camp and ran to arm themselves. Units had gathered at assembly points by around 9 pm. One such unit was a section of the para-commando brigade CRAP, which was ordered to collect bodies from the crash site. Later, two French soldiers arrived at the crash and asked to be given the flight data recorder once it was recovered.

A Rwandan colonel who called the army command about 40 minutes after the crash was told that there was no confirmation that the president was dead. About half an hour later, roughly 9:30, the situation was still confused at army command, though it appeared clear that the presidential aircraft had exploded and that it had probably been hit by a missile. News then arrived that Major-General Déogratias Nsabimana, the army chief of staff, had been on the plane. The officers present realized that they would have to appoint a new chief of staff in order to clarify the chain of command and began a meeting to decide whom to appoint. Col. Bagosora joined them soon afterward. At about 10 pm, Ephrem Rwabalinda, the government liaison officer to UNAMIR, called Dallaire to inform him that a crisis committee was about to meet. After informing his superiors in New York of the situation, Dallaire went to attend the meeting, where he found Bagosora in charge.

Long-term events
The assassination was taken by Hutu extremists as a signal to implement a plan for the mass killing of Tutsis and Hutu moderates who supported a negotiated end to the war. The death toll of the Rwandan Genocide is commonly estimated at 800,000, though some estimates top one million. The RPF invaded, eventually capturing the country and installing a new government. About 4 million refugees fled to neighboring countries, due to fear of RPF retribution. The Great Lakes refugee crisis thus became increasingly politicized and militarized until the RPF supported a rebel attack to exterminate remaining Hutus whom they had not been able to kill or jail when they captured power in 1994. 

The refugee camps across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1996. The rebel Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo continued their offensive, in what some call the First Congo War, until they overthrew the government of Mobutu Sese Seko. In 1998, the new Congolese president, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, had a falling out with his foreign backers, who began another rebellion to put a more amenable government into place.

The resulting Second Congo War (1998-2003) drew in eight nations and became the deadliest conflict since World War II, killing an estimated 3.8 million people.The Burundi Civil War continued after the death of Ntaryamira, both being sustained by and feeding into the instability in its Rwandan and Congolese neighbors. Over 300,000 people would die until a government of national unity was established in 2005.

At some point following the April 6 assassination, Juvenal Habyarimana’s remains were obtained by Zairian President Mobutu Sese Soko and stored in a private mausoleum in Gbadolite, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). Mobutu promised Habyarimana’s family that his body would eventually be given a proper burial in Rwanda. On May 12, 1997, as Laurent-Désiré Kabila’s ADFL rebels were advancing on Gbadolite, Mobutu had the remains flown by cargo plane to Kinshasa where they waited on the tarmac of Kinshasa International Airport for three days. On May 16, the day before Mobutu fled Zaire, Habyarimana’s remains were burned under the supervision of Indian Hindu leader.

Responsibility

There have been several reports since 2000 stating that the attack was carried out by the RPF on the orders of Paul Kagame, who went on to become president of Rwanda. However, all such evidence is heavily disputed and many academics, as well as the United Nations, have refrained from issuing a definitive finding. Especially having in mind that UN was involved in the whole plan to assassinate Habyalimana as its major funder the USA influenced all steps in investigations and support to RPF. According to all reports published by Peter Erlinder and Michael Hourigan who were working at the ICTR as  chief prosecutors. They discovered a lot about who shot Habyalimana’s plane and the USA involvement in planning genocide in Rwanda. Mark Doyle, a BBC News correspondent who reported out of Kigali through the 1994 genocide, noted in 2006 that the identities of the assassins “could turn out to be one of the great mysteries of the late 20th Century. The BBC has been one of the powerful propaganda media that supported RPF and disseminated RPF lies to frustrate Hutu refugees in exile.

A January 2000 article in the Canadian National Post reported that International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda prosecutor Louise Arbour had suppressed a report detailing accusations by three Tutsi informants that the RPF under Kagame had carried out the assassination with the help of a foreign government. The UN later clarified that the ‘report’ was actually a three page memorandum by investigator Michael Hourigan of Australia, who had been unsure of the credibility of the information and simply filed it into archives. The UN then sent the memo on to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where defense attorneys had expressed interest in using it on behalf of their clients.
In 2004, a report by French anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, investigating the deaths of the French aircraft crew, stated that the assassination had been carried out on the orders of Paul Kagame. The report relies heavily on the testimony of Abdul Ruzibiza, a former lieutenant in the RPF, who states that he was part of a cell that carried out the assassination with shoulder-fired SA-16 missiles.

Ruzibaza later published his testimony in a press release, detailing his account and further accusing the RPF of starting the conflict, prolonging the genocide, carrying out widespread atrocities during the genocide and political repression.[ The former RPF officer went on to publish a 2005 book Rwanda. L’histoire secrete with his account. Bruguière reportedly says that the CIA was involved in Habyarimana’s assassination.

In November 2006, Bruguière issued another report accusing Kagame and the RPF of masterminding the assassination. In protest, Kagame broke diplomatic relations between France and Rwanda. Linda Melvern, author of Conspiracy to Murder: the Rwandan Genocide, noted
The evidence the French judge had presented alleging President Kagame’s involvement in the murder of his predecessor was very sparse, and that some of it, concerning the alleged anti-aircraft missiles used to down the presidential jet, had already been rejected by a French Parliamentary enquiry.

Bruguière also issued arrest warrants for nine Kagame aides, in order to question them about the assassination. In November 2008 the German government implemented the first of these European warrants and arrested Rose Kabuye, Kagame’s chief of protocol, upon her arrival in Frankfurt. Kabuye apparently agreed to be transferred to French custody immediately in order to respond to Bruguière’s questions. All these 15 years have been marked by an untold genocide carried out by the RPF and there is none has ever reported about it. Millions of people from Butare, Gikongoro, Byumba, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi, and Gitarama, without forgetting Kibuye have been murdered in a cold blood slaughter. The UN has gotten evidence which they have refused to release. This led to the resignation of the ICTR prosecutor Carl Del Ponte. Koffi Annan should be a witness in this new case that Rwandans want to file to ask why the ICTR hunt only Hutus only and yet there are clear evidence of how Kagame gave instructions to shoot Habyalimana’s plane which ignited the fratricide in Rwanda.

AT THIS 15TH FRATRICIDE COMMEMORATION WE HONOR HABYALIMANA’S AND NTARYAMIRA’S DEATH I HOPE IT WILL BRING NATIONAL RECONCILIATION.

Posted in RWANDA | 2 Comments »

A STORY OF NIGHTMARE AND ATROCITY TOLD BY AN 8YEAR OLD GIRL

Posted by rwandaonline on April 6, 2009

Clémentine Igilibambe ’09
University of Dayton Quarterly, Winter 2007

A Tale of Atrocity, Nightmare and Hope: Once Upon a Time in Rwanda
By Matthew Dewald
Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by an evil monarch. One day the long-suffering people rose up against him and drove him and his clan from the land.
Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by a benevolent monarch. One day base and evil people rose up against him and drove him and his clan from the land.

Once upon a time there was a girl, 8 years old, roused in the middle of the night and sent by her mother into the darkness with her two older brothers. She dodged bullets and bombs and stepped over the mutilated bodies of her neighbors, bodies cut by machetes and smashed by nail-studded cudgels wielded by other neighbors in a methodical slaughter fueled by ideas about power and race, history and revenge.

Once upon a time, there was such a time and such a place and such a little girl. This time was April 1994. The place was and still is Rwanda. The girl is names Clémentine Igilibambe. This is her story.

Clémentine lived in a big house with her parents and brothers and sisters. Her father was an international businessman who traded in building materials. Her mother was director of a school for seamstresses and helped sell building materials at the family store.

The family lived in Gisenyi, near the shores of Lake Kivu, a resort area in northwestern Rwanda. “We went often,” she said. “We went and sat at the beach. I loved looking at the water and walking in the water. A lot of white people came there too.”

The new house was one of five her family owned. Inside its walled compound there was a warehouse, a store for selling building supplies, a plot of sugar cane and an outdoor kitchen. There were houses for the maids, and they had many. One for cooking, one for cleaning, one for tending the cows and the chickens, others for other tasks. Clémentine’s parents paid for their education.

At the back of the family’s compound was the refugee house.

Refugees were common in Rwanda in the early 1990s. They were driven from one place to another by a conflict that had raged hot and cold since 1959, when an army dominated by one ethnic group, the Hutu, overthrew a monarchy and ruling class dominated by another ethnic group, the Tutsi. The monarchy and tens of thousands of refugees fled Rwanda, others were slaughtered and the victorious Hutu established a government and gained independence from Belgium in 1962.

What for the refugees was a loss of life, wealth and nation was for the new leaders a revolution. Thus were borne divergent tales of one kingdom that parents told their children, one of an oppressive Tutsi regime brought down by the long-suffering Hutu people, another of a good Tutsi king brought down by the treacherous Hutu. One nation, two tales.

Many Rwandans told neither tale but wished simply to live their lives free of hunger and flight, politics and war, repression and violence.

Over the next decades, refugees, mostly Tutsis, formed insurgent armies and fought unsuccessfully to retake the country. The Hutu leadership of the Rwandan government responded with reprisals against Tutsis and Hutu political opponents within the country.

In 1990, the Rwanda Patriotic Front, an insurgent army of refugees, launched a new invasion from Uganda, and a Tutsi refugee named Paul Kagame soon after became the RPF’s leader. The fighting displaced and killed more than 600,000 until a tenuous peace agreement was signed in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1993. It was this fighting that refugees comeing to Clémentine’s home were fleeing.

That is a bit much to explain to an 8-year-old girl like Clémentine. When refugees arrived at the gates at her family’s home simply said, “Your uncles and their families are coming to stay.”

“We believed them,” Clémentine said, “because our families are so huge.”

She did not always welcome them.

“I was a little selfish kid,” she said. “We had all of this money and I could have whatever I wanted. Then five families showed up and they had all of these kids and all of a sudden I had to share my stuff. The families would come and go, come and go.”

Then one evening, in one moment, in the crash of one small plane, everything in Clémentine’s life changed. The plane had been hit by two rockets over Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, about 60 miles from Clémentine’s home. Among the 11 killed was Juvénal Habyarimana, a Gisenyi native and the Hutu president of Rwanda who seized power in 1973. He was returning from negotiations on the implementation of the Arusha Accords in Tanzania.

The plane went down on the evening of April 6, 1994. Who shot it down is a matter of international dispute. It may have been Tutsi rebels. It may have been Hutu extremists within the government who opposed the president’s concessions. It may have been Hutu moderates planning a coup d’etat. There are many accusations, but there is no international consensus.

What is known with certainty is that by the morning of April 7, the most massive, efficient and lethal campaign of genocide since the mid-century Nazi regime was under way. It would last 100 days and kill an estimated 800,000. Within hours of the president’s death, ordinary citizens suspected of being Tutsi were being killed at makeshift roadblocks. Roving army units using prepared lists assassinated political opponents. By midday, the dead included Rwanda’s prime minister, the president of Rwanda’s highest court, the minister of agriculture, the minister of labor and community affairs, and the minister of information.

In his memoir, Shake Hands with the Devil, Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire, head of the U.N. peace-keeping forces writes, “By noon on April 7 the moderate political leadership of Rwanda was dead or in hiding, the potential for a future moderate government utterly lost.”

The violence spread quickly from Kigali. Targeted killings of Tutsi and Hutu moderates began occurring all over the country. By the evening of April 7, the RPF had launched an invasion of Kigali and warned the U.N. to stay out of its way.

This was the new world in which 8-year-old Clémentine found herself after the president’s plane went down.

“For me, it fell apart just like that,” she said, snapping her fingers. “I knew there were Hutus and Tusis, but I didn’t know there were problems between them until then. We intermarried. We had Tutsis and Hutus as best friends. This is when I learned that these two people are different.”

Being Clémentine is complicated. Her father is Hutu. Her mother is mixed Hutu and Tutsi. At a recent dinner honoring scholarship donors and students, a video was shown that included her—she is now a UD student on scholarship—as a smiling girl in Nairobi, Kenya, where her family lived for several years after fleeing Rwanda. She wears a red top and a leopard print fabric wrapped around her skirt. A white strand of beads around her neck compliments the white band keeping the hair out of her eyes. She sways her body in rhythm as she dances with other girls her age dressed like her. All are refugees, all have broad smiles on their faces like hers. The sun shines brightly.

The video does not show her dance teacher, Cyprien Kagorora, nor does it show the famous Rwandan pop singer under whom Kagorora once studied, Simon Bikindi. Bikindi is now on trial at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha. He is charged with using his fame and talent to indoctrinate and incite members of the Interahamwe militias, one of the chief agents of the genocide. Bikindi has pled not guilty.

Clémentine’s father was out of the country on business those days in early April 1994, so she remained secluded within the walled compound of her home with her mother, who was pregnant, and her siblings. She saw trucks coming and going on the road outside, bringing people with machetes and wooden bats studded with nails.

She heard repeated cries. “Kill him. Kill him.”

“One day I climbed a ladder to see what’s going on. I saw bodies right outside. Their heads were chopped off.”

The wall was about 8 feet high. The ladder she climbed was made of wood.

“I didn’t even cry. I remember my reaction. I went up and I looked around for about 10 seconds. After that I climbed down slowly and went and sat on the veranda and looked into space. I didn’t know what I thought. I didn’t know what to think.”

After about two weeks, a maid awoke Clémentine one night and said, “We have to go now.” The RPF was advancing on Gisenyi, and the genocide was about to be compounded by civil war.

“My dad…had taken our big truck. We only had a small car. My mom, pregnant, got into the car with my younger siblings. The car was full, so me and my brothers walked alongside. There were bombs exploding everywhere. There were bullets everywhere. People were dying. And then a bomb went off near us. My two brothers and I dove for cover and when we got up, my mother’s car was gone.

“We walked for two days. I think it was two days. We stopped to rest at a clearing once. We thought our mother and brothers and sisters had been killed. When I went to sleep it was dark and when I woke up it was dark. I don’t know if I woke up that same night or the next. We were just following this line of children, maybe 20 of them. I knew a couple of them from before. There were other vehicles on the road and bodies everywhere. We jumped over them. On the first day, it was like, ‘Whoa,’ but then we got used to it. It wasn’t like, ‘There’s a body!’ It was ‘Just keep going.’

“We were walking toward the border (at Goma, Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). I was thinking, ‘If I could just get across that little stick (the barrier at the border crossing), I will be safe. I will be out of Rwanda.’ We were begging the border guards to let us go through. There were five or six of them with guns holding back the crowd. They robbed everyone. I had a little bag my mother had given me when we left. I don’t even know what was in it, but they took it at the border. I was relieved. It was getting heavy.”

“I feel like I stayed there an hour begging. For anyone in that situation, five minutes feels like forever.”

Finally, she crossed the border into Goma with her brothers, Epaphrodite and Marcellin, ages 10 and 12, respectively. Clémentine did not know it, but she was part of one of the largest mass movements of refugees in human history. Roughly 2 million Rwandans fled the country, mostly to camps just across the border. Another 1.7 million were internally displaced. More than half of Rwanda’s 7.5 million were uprooted or dead.

After crossing the border into Goma with her two older brothers, “we were just walking,” Clémentine said. “We didn’t know where we were going. We knew we were out of Rwanda and we just kept going. Finally, we got to an abandoned house, and we stayed there for three weeks with about 40 other kids.

“We hadn’t eaten in two days. We saw a couple of kids get some food out and we all tackled them. We ate snails, grass. Once or twice other refugees passing by gave us some food.

“My brothers would always say, ‘Eat faster and you’ll feel full.’ My parents had made me go to church by I had never prayed. I thought my parents were dead. I prayed all the time then. Today, I think that’s what brought my parents back.

“I would sit outside crying and praying. One day I was there, sitting on a rock watching the road, praying and crying, and my parents drove up. I’ve never seen anything as awesome as that in my life.”

Her mother pregnant, her family with nowhere to go, Clémentine and her family went into the city and rented an apartment for three months. It was their bad luck that someone with an expensive jeep had a habit of parking it in front of their building. One night, when her father was in Kenya trying to find a way to move the family there, the Congolese police decided they wanted the jeep.

“They came and knocked at our house and demanded the keys,” she said. “My mom told them, ‘It’s not my car.’ They threatened to kill her. I got out of bed and went under it where I could see what was going on…I’m under the bed trying not to cry so they wouldn’t come in our room. I was thinking, ‘I’m gonna die. I’m only 8. I have so many dreams.’ I don’t know why, but I had always wanted to marry a white person.

“They took everything we had and finally left. Three days later, my dad came home and we moved to a refugee camp.”

The family, including a new baby brother was born in Goma, spent two months in Makumba Camp in Congo. Millions of refugees were crowded into similar camps.

“Some people had tents,” she said. “Those are the fortunate people. People were laying in the dirt. They would just take a piece of clothing and lay down on it. There was a lot of smoke from people cooking. Wives were crying. Husbands were frustrated and beating their wives. People were dying every day of cholera.

“I used to pray a lot. I thought that my little brother was going to die. My mother had no milk for him. She refused to eat so we could.”

Her father continued to travel to Kenya and eventually found place for the entire family. They stayed in Nairobi fiver years and applied annually for visas to the United States.

“During my stay in Kenya, I started growing up. …That’s when I started to realize something serious was going on. I realized my parents lost weight. They weren’t eating for a week at a time, only drinking water so we could eat. …That’s one thing I’ll never forget in my whole life, the way my parents sacrificed.”

Money was always running out, and the family lived in six different homes in five years. Then one Tuesday, here family received a letter saying they would leave for the United States in two days. Her uncle, a UD staff member at the time, was sponsoring them, and they would come to Dayton. The family sold its possessions and took a taxi to the airport.

“I thought, ‘I’ve always dreamed of marrying a white person, and now I’m going to the U.S. There are a lot of white people there.”

After waiting in the airport and fearing her family would not be allowed to board, she finally took her seat on the plane and looked out the window as Nairobi got smaller and then disappeared.

“In my whole life, from ’94 to ’99, I feel like that was the first time I took a deep breath and thought, ‘I’m going to be OK. It’s over. I lost a lot of friends in the war but I’m going to be OK.’ That’s when I thought, ‘I’m going to do humanitarian work.’ That’s when the passion of what I’m doing now came to me.”

Clémentine today is beginning her junior year at UD. She is a human rights and international studies major who speaks six languages. She is co-founder and president of UD’s Afrika Club and a member of the Student Leadership Council, the World Youth Alliance and the U.N. Agents of Change. She sees law school and work with refugees in her future. Clémentine is also working to raise money for scholarships so that orphans in Rwanda can attend UD after high school.

Being Clémentine remains complicated. In the West, the Rwandan rebel leader turned Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, is widely celebrated. President George W. Bush presented him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2005. Kagame’s victory is generally credited with stopping the genocide while the West turned its back. He has introduced reforms to reduce ethnic divisions; passports and other identity cards no longer define the bearer’s ethnicity, for example. Rwanda’s currency now depicts its natural beauty and resources, not its leaders. The government is an aggressive critic of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, arguing that its trials of the genocide’s leaders are too slow.

Clémentine is also a critic of the ICTR, though she believes it is biased against Hutus. She believes that RPF leaders, many of whom now lead Rwanda’s current government, should also stand trial for war crimes. The RPF and its successor, the RPA, summarily executed genocide suspects and massacred innocent civilians as it established control of the country in 1994, according to a U.N. commission and several human rights groups. “If the ICTR completes its trials without providing justice to victims of crimes committed by both sides in Rwanda, the tribunal’s legacy will be at risk,” Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth wrote in an open letter to the United Nations in June 2006.

She also distrusts the gacaca, the village court system set up to try the tens of thousands of ordinary people accused of participating in the genocide. The rules of evidence are too informal, Clémentine believes, and Hutu are sometimes convicted on the word of a single witness. Supporters point out that often only a single witness remains.

In her mistrust of the current government, Clémentine has company. Paul Rusesabagina became famous when his story was told in the film Hotel Rwanda. He has criticized the current government in speeches and his autobiography. Now he “is being denounced by some in his country as a traitor and a criminal,” Terry George, the film’s co-writer, director and producer, wrote in a Washington Post editorial in May. Resesabagina, Rwanda’s hero, no longer travels there out of fear for his safety.

As there was once a large, unsettled Tutsi diaspora, so there is now a large Hutu one living uneasily in exile. Subsequent battles between Rwanda’s new government and remnants of the old Hutu regime who fled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo have brought years of war that continues today. In these battles, Kagame faces a Gordian knot he hasn’t yet cut: defeating a Hutu insurgency while reassuring ordinary Hutu refugees that he is not their enemy. In the ruins of Rwanda, in refugee camps and in rebel bases in the bush, the two tales of Rwanda continue to be told.

Such talk concerns Julius Amin, chair of UD’s department of history and an expert in African history.

“One of the fundamental questions is not being asked: How did it get to this situation?” he said. “The crisis is still there. Some of the fundamental issues still have not been addressed. Only by asking and answering this can Rwanda move forward. Families have been shattered. Communities have been shattered. Those things cannot be shelved. They must be dealt with. Kagame ended the genocide. Were Hutus killed in the process? Sure, but a point is being missed by trying to focus all of the attention on the president.”

Clémentine doubts she will ever return to Rwanda. She fears more mass killings lie in Rwanda’s future.

“What happened was genocide, but other things happened too. We have to give respect to all who died in the war, not just the Tutsis killed by the Hutu, not just the Jutu killed by the RPF, but also the Twa. No one ever talks about them.”

The Twa, hunter-gatherers indigenous to Africa’s Great Lakes region, numbered about 30,000 inside Rwanda before the genocide. The United Nations estimates that 10,000 were killed.

Clémentine now focuses on helping refugees, like those her family once took in and she herself once was. There were nearly 15 million refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide at the beginning of 2005, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. The people of Rwanda no longer rank in the top 10 in either category.

“My role is to help those who have suffered because they’re not as fortunate as I am now. I don’t want to concentrate on the political side of it. I want to help the victims, whether Hutu, Tutsi or Twa. I want to concentrate on the education of orphans. By educating the people, maybe one day they’ll go back to Rwanda and use their education to make a better country. …The big issue is that so many people lost their lives. Whether it was genocide or a civil war, I just know a lot of people were killed.”

She hopes for peace and reconciliation. Rwanda is by most accounts a country of breathtaking beauty, a land of mist-covered mountains and rolling green countryside. It is the place where God comes to sleep at night, according to a Rwandan saying. It hurts Clémentine that her country is now synonymous with genocide.

“I want to have children,” she said. “I want them to be proud of being from Rwanda.”

She may one day tell them a story of her country, one that begins, “Once upon a time, there was a kingdom and a hose by a lake and a little girl, 8 years old…”

 

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FDLR Memorandum addressed to the President of the Security Council of the United Nations

Posted by rwandaonline on April 4, 2009

FDLR Memorandum addressed to the President of the Security Council of the United Nations on the war waged by the RPA / FARDC coalition in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mr President,

The FDLR Leader Dr.Ignace Murwanashyaka

The FDLR Leader Dr.Ignace Murwanashyaka

The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) are pleased to send you this note to request your intervention on behalf of a political solution to put an end to the unnecessary, senseless and unjust war that the Rwandan and Congolese armies have decided to impose to populations living in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) so that this war may be condemned and stopped before a humanitarian catastrophe decimate again innocent people of the African Great Lakes region, a region that has already paid in the past heavy price in hegemonic wars imposed by the Kigali regime and its sponsors.

 

 

Mr President,

Since January 20, 2009 , the coalition of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) with the support of the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) is currently conducting an unjust and senseless war in the east of the DRC against what the coalition calls armed groups but apparently on the ground, this war is waged against the FDLR, any Rwandan Hutu refugee in DRC and against any person suspected by the coalition of sympathizing with the FDLR.

The FDLR remain convinced that this war is senseless and useless because since its creation on May 1st, 2000, our Organization has repeatedly called the Kigali regime and the International Community to privilege a peaceful process to resolve the political problem of Rwanda which is the basis of the presence of their members in eastern DRC, the existence of several thousands of Rwandan refugees and opponents to the current regime in Kigali of all ethnicities scattered throughout the world, but with the deep aspiration to return and live in dignity and peace in their homeland.

Mr President,

This war which is waged not only against the FDLR, but also against indigenous Congolese populations and Rwandan Hutu refugees located in the DRC, is unfair because it ignored all offers of peace made by the FDLR to the Kigali regime and the principles of the Universal Human Rights Declaration. The RPA/FARDC coalition tramples international humanitarian law, and practices a manhunt of Rwandan Hutu throughout the territory of the DRC as hunting game. The crimes that the RPA/FARDC coalition is committing are neither more nor less than a genocide against the Hutu ethnic group. The FDLR declare that sooner or later the perpetrators of such crimes must answer before justice for their crimes.

This war is senseless, because it aims at maintaining by force of arms, a dictatorial, hegemonic, ruthless and unpopular regime already imposed on the peoples of the African Great Lakes region, especially the people of Rwanda .

Contrary to the propaganda of the armed RPA/FARDC coalition, this war is not a defensive war but a war of aggression and prevention, and aims at militarily destroying the political opponent of the regime in Kigali i.e. the FDLR while since their inception, the organization has never carried out attacks against Rwanda, but it has always requested that an inter-Rwandan dialogue be held to peacefully resolve the political problem of Rwanda. The FDLR have repeatedly expressed their desire to return peacefully and with dignity in their country without any drop of blood is lost.

By taking responsibility for starting this war, the Kigali regime and the Congolese authorities should be prepared to assume all the consequences that will result from that act and take subsequent responsibility. The same is true of MONUC that loud and clear through the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, Mr. Alan Doss, has welcomed this dirty and deadly war in which its forces are actively fighting alongside the coalition troops.

The militaristic approach which consists in trying at all costs to solve a political problem by giving to the Rwandan regime a blank check to destroy an opposition whose claim is the right to participate actively in the management of their country, the search for truth about the Rwandan tragedy, the bringing to book of all the perpetrators of the Rwandan tragedy, including members of the current regime in Kigali, is false, unjust and unsustainable.

The FDLR urge the Security Council of the United Nations to openly disavow this militaristic and bloodthirsty approach, unequivocally condemn and take sanctions against warmongers in the African Great Lakes region.

Mr President,

On many occasions the FDLR have sent a cry of alarm about the plight faced by the Rwandan refugees and the ravages of war. They have often alerted the International Community of the danger of another war in the African Great Lakes region and its consequences. Unfortunately, this cry has never met a single ear.

Will one wait until there is a million displaced in North Kivu as it was the case in Nyacyonga, near Kigali , Rwanda in late 1993-early 1994 for the International Community to open its eyes to the plight of Rwandan refugees in the DRC and the Congolese people in Kivu?

Will one wait until some other 5 million Congolese people die so that the Security Council of the United Nations may act?

It’s time to act to protect Rwandan refugees in eastern DRC and the Congolese populations living in the area. The silence and the inaction of the UN, African Union and European Union are not likely to reassure the people of the region.

Mr President,

The FDLR remind you that they have sent several letters and memoranda to officials of the United Nations without ever having a reply, and they especially draw your attention to the memorandum they sent on 21 September 2007 to the UN Security Council (a copy is annexed to the present), whose content remains valid.

The FDLR take this opportunity to reiterate their desire to return immediately, with dignity and peacefully in their country and ask the Security Council of the United Nations to support any initiative aimed at establishing a framework of direct talks between the FDLR and the regime in Kigali .

Done in Berlin on February 18, 2009

 

Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka

President of the FDLR.

CC:

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secrétaire-Général de l’ONU,

Heads of States Members of the UN Security Council (ALL),

Col. Mouammar Kaddafi,  Chairman of the African Union

M. the Chairman of the European Union

Heads of States members of the Conference on the African Great Lakes Region (ALL)

Mr. Jean PING, Chairman of the African Commission

Mr. José Manuel Barroso, Chairman of the European Commission

 

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FDLR Memorandum addressed to the President of the Security Council of the United Nations

Posted by rwandaonline on April 4, 2009

FDLR Memorandum addressed to the President of the Security Council of the United Nations on the war waged by the RPA / FARDC coalition in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mr President,
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) are pleased to send you this note to request your intervention on behalf of a political solution to put an end to the unnecessary, senseless and unjust war that the Rwandan and Congolese armies have decided to impose to populations living in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) so that this war may be condemned and stopped before a humanitarian catastrophe decimate again innocent people of the African Great Lakes region, a region that has already paid in the past heavy price in hegemonic wars imposed by the Kigali regime and its sponsors.
Mr President,
Since January 20, 2009 , the coalition of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) with the support of the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC) is currently conducting an unjust and senseless war in the east of the DRC against what the coalition calls armed groups but apparently on the ground, this war is waged against the FDLR, any Rwandan Hutu refugee in DRC and against any person suspected by the coalition of sympathizing with the FDLR.
The FDLR remain convinced that this war is senseless and useless because since its creation on May 1st, 2000, our Organization has repeatedly called the Kigali regime and the International Community to privilege a peaceful process to resolve the political problem of Rwanda which is the basis of the presence of their members in eastern DRC, the existence of several thousands of Rwandan refugees and opponents to the current regime in Kigali of all ethnicities scattered throughout the world, but with the deep aspiration to return and live in dignity and peace in their homeland.
Mr President,
This war which is waged not only against the FDLR, but also against indigenous Congolese populations and Rwandan Hutu refugees located in the DRC, is unfair because it ignored all offers of peace made by the FDLR to the Kigali regime and the principles of the Universal Human Rights Declaration. The RPA/FARDC coalition tramples international humanitarian law, and practices a manhunt of Rwandan Hutu throughout the territory of the DRC as hunting game. The crimes that the RPA/FARDC coalition is committing are neither more nor less than a genocide against the Hutu ethnic group. The FDLR declare that sooner or later the perpetrators of such crimes must answer before justice for their crimes.
This war is senseless, because it aims at maintaining by force of arms, a dictatorial, hegemonic, ruthless and unpopular regime already imposed on the peoples of the African Great Lakes region, especially the people of Rwanda .
Contrary to the propaganda of the armed RPA/FARDC coalition, this war is not a defensive war but a war of aggression and prevention, and aims at militarily destroying the political opponent of the regime in Kigali i.e. the FDLR while since their inception, the organization has never carried out attacks against Rwanda, but it has always requested that an inter-Rwandan dialogue be held to peacefully resolve the political problem of Rwanda. The FDLR have repeatedly expressed their desire to return peacefully and with dignity in their country without any drop of blood is lost.
By taking responsibility for starting this war, the Kigali regime and the Congolese authorities should be prepared to assume all the consequences that will result from that act and take subsequent responsibility. The same is true of MONUC that loud and clear through the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, Mr. Alan Doss, has welcomed this dirty and deadly war in which its forces are actively fighting alongside the coalition troops.
The militaristic approach which consists in trying at all costs to solve a political problem by giving to the Rwandan regime a blank check to destroy an opposition whose claim is the right to participate actively in the management of their country, the search for truth about the Rwandan tragedy, the bringing to book of all the perpetrators of the Rwandan tragedy, including members of the current regime in Kigali, is false, unjust and unsustainable.
The FDLR urge the Security Council of the United Nations to openly disavow this militaristic and bloodthirsty approach, unequivocally condemn and take sanctions against warmongers in the African Great Lakes region.
Mr President,
On many occasions the FDLR have sent a cry of alarm about the plight faced by the Rwandan refugees and the ravages of war. They have often alerted the International Community of the danger of another war in the African Great Lakes region and its consequences. Unfortunately, this cry has never met a single ear.
Will one wait until there is a million displaced in North Kivu as it was the case in Nyacyonga, near Kigali , Rwanda in late 1993-early 1994 for the International Community to open its eyes to the plight of Rwandan refugees in the DRC and the Congolese people in Kivu?
Will one wait until some other 5 million Congolese people die so that the Security Council of the United Nations may act?
It’s time to act to protect Rwandan refugees in eastern DRC and the Congolese populations living in the area. The silence and the inaction of the UN, African Union and European Union are not likely to reassure the people of the region.
Mr President,
The FDLR remind you that they have sent several letters and memoranda to officials of the United Nations without ever having a reply, and they especially draw your attention to the memorandum they sent on 21 September 2007 to the UN Security Council (a copy is annexed to the present), whose content remains valid.
The FDLR take this opportunity to reiterate their desire to return immediately, with dignity and peacefully in their country and ask the Security Council of the United Nations to support any initiative aimed at establishing a framework of direct talks between the FDLR and the regime in Kigali .
Done in Berlin on February 18, 2009

Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka
President of the FDLR.
CC:
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secrétaire-Général de l’ONU,
Heads of States Members of the UN Security Council (ALL),
Col. Mouammar Kaddafi, Chairman of the African Union
M. the Chairman of the European Union
Heads of States members of the Conference on the African Great Lakes Region (ALL)
Mr. Jean PING, Chairman of the African Commission
Mr. José Manuel Barroso, Chairman of the European Commission

The FDLR Leader Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka

The FDLR Leader Dr. Ignace Murwanashyaka

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