Paul Kagame, Africa's Hitler?
'Shake Hands with the Devil', a film about the Rwandan Genocide featuring Canadian Senator Romeo Dallaire, has revived debate in the subject. This is perfectly normal because, 13 years after the event, this gruesome crime is still unresolved.
Initially, the media imposed the version that the Rwandan Genocide was planned and carried out only by Hutus (The ethnic group mentioned here is the one to which an individual is reputed to belong. It may be different from the actual ethnic group to which the individual himself identifies and ethnic group in which the individual is classified by the holder of power). But against all odds, after spending more than a billion dollars (U.S.) and employing the intelligence services of the United States, England, Canada, Belgium and Israel, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has yet to find any physical evidence for their thesis of a central planning of the genocide.
This result was quite predictable from the outset. In fact, intelligence gathering was and still is Paul Kagame's best strength. His agents had infiltrated all spheres of Rwandan society even before October 1990. So, if evidence of planning the Rwandan Genocide by Hutus ever existed, Kagame would have made it available to the ICTR immediately and thus would have definitively silenced skeptics.
Despite this void, all the experts remain certain: the killings in 1994 were so systematic that they must have been pre-planned. Then, one must ask, who was the planner? Who was the mastermind? Since investigations on the Rwandan Government's side have (so far) failed to find any evidence of pre-planning by Hutus, would it not be logical to investigate the other warring side, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)?
Here are some observations: 1. Kagame fanned hatred against those deemed Tutsi by committing systematic massacres against the predominantly Hutu population. In 2001, in an open letter to Kagame, Alphonse Furuma, a former RPF officer, confirmed the deliberate nature of the massacres in these terms: "From the time Arusha Peace Agreement was being negotiated up to as late as 1996, you (Kagame) carried out a deliberate policy of using all means possible to reduce the Hutu population in the Umutara, Kibungo, and Bugesera regions."
The crimes of Kagame's army are documented in great detail by Lieutenant Abdul Ruzibiza, another former member of the RPF (See his book "Rwanda: Histoire secrète," Panama. 2005). As it would happen in other countries in similar circumstances, these systematic massacres by Kagame's men, reputed Tutsi, against the population, mostly Hutu, stirred up hatred against those deemed Tutsis and weakened the moderate political forces which were dominant at the beginning of the war (October 1990-February 1993). The fact that it was reputed Tutsis committing systematic massacres against other population groups is, by any standard, the worst form of hate propaganda against those deemed Tutsi
Kagame used the worst possible means of terrorism to destroy the social peace that existed between Rwandan ethnic groups under Habyarimana's regime, which lasted for 17 years without ethnic conflict. 2. Kagame destroyed the coalition between the interior opposition parties and the RPF, which prevented the war from escalating into an ethnic-based conflict. In 1992, the major interior opposition parties, the MDR (predominantly Hutu), the PL (predominantly Tutsi) and the PSD formed a political coalition with the RPF (predominantly Tutsi). With that coalition, the conflict was formally a political battle for power sharing and political representation.
The negotiations already underway in Arusha, Tanzania, aroused great hopes for peace among Rwandans. Unfortunately, political analysts failed to consider one very important point: the success of the negotiations would have prevented Kagame from obtaining absolute personal power. Kagame sought any pretext to destroy the coalition and thus thwart the peace negotiations.
On 08 February 1993, claiming Bagogwe (a sub-group of Tutsi) had been massacred by Rwandan government forces, Kagame ordered a massive attack on the Ruhengeri Prefect. The death toll was very high and over 40,000 Hutu civilians were massacred. Consequently, the pressure on interior opposition parties at the Arusha negotiations became untenable. It was not justifiable to be in a coalition with a party that massacred innocent civilians en masse in broad daylight. The coalition of interior opposition parties with the RPF shattered. In addition, each political party split into two factions: one called Hutu Power, a pro-Hutu and anti-RPF faction, while the other was pro-RPF and anti-MRND.
Confrontation on an ethnic basis was now difficult to avoid and the slightest spark could now start the dreaded ethnic-based war. 3. In his testimony (http://www.inshuti.org/ruzibiza.htm), Ruzibiza tells that long before 1994, Kagame had instructed his men who had infiltrated Rwanda, particularly within the Interahamwe (a militia that participated in the genocide of interior Tutsis), to massacre interior Tutsis in such a way that the crimes could be attributed to the government forces and militias. Here are, according to Ruzibiza, some on the list of those Kagame had instructed his men to exterminate "Every interior Tutsi (sacrificing interior Tutsis); intellectual Tutsis deemed to oppose RPF ideology, for example 'Lando'; and regrouped Tutsis living in remote places."
In the same testimony, Ruzibiza reveals, "It was a common strategy for Kagame to order the assassination of opposition politicians or Tutsi personalities in order to justify the resumption of hostilities on the ground that the government was violating human rights." 'Lando' was the nickname of Landoald Ndasingwa, an intellectual Tutsi, founder and leader of the PL political party. He was married to a Canadian lady named Hélène Pinski. The couple and their two children, Malaika and Patrick, were massacred very early on 07 April 1994. Contrary to popular belief, the testimony of Ruzibiza and many other facts suggest that Ndasingwa and Pinski were massacred by agents of Kagame who wanted to eliminate any legitimate political opposition to the RPF after the war was over.
4. On April 06, 1994, the plane transporting President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down by a missile. As would be expected, this terrorist act sparked a human tragedy of unthinkable proportion: the Rwandan Genocide. The investigation of French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguière concluded that this terrorist crime was commissioned by Paul Kagame. This terrorist assassination was carried out despite the fact that in February 1994, following the assassination of Felicien Gatabazi (leader of the PSD party) and Martin Bucyana (leader of the CDR party), President Habyarimana had demonstrated that he still held ultimate authority and was still capable of maintaining law and order in his country by bringing a halt to the social unrest caused by these murders.
Andre Guichaoua, a professor at the University of Paris, agrees that these assassinations were ordered by Kagame. 5. In April 1994, while the interior Tutsis were being massacred, Kagame and his men opposed the intervention of international forces. Charles Muligande, the current Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, was part of the delegation that was sent to the United States to seek support from Washington for this opposition. Ruzibiza revealed in his testimony that during the genocide, Kagame personally ordered his troops not to rescue interior Tutsis from militias.
In 1999, in an open letter to Paul Kagame, Jean-Pierre Mugabe, an ex-intelligence agent of the RPF, denounced the assassination of young Tutsis, who joined the RPF from Rwanda and Burundi, by Kagame's troops. Ironically, those young Tutsis joined the RPF with the goal of coming back to Rwanda by force to defend their parents. All these actions seem coherent: Kagame could not instruct his infiltrators within the Interahamwe to activate the massacre of interior Tutsis while allowing these young Tutsis to take more responsibility in his army and, in the end, permit his regular troops to come to the aid of the same interior Tutsis, his infiltrators in alliance with the Interahamwe, were killing.
6. Among the founders of the Interahamwe are Anastase Gasana (now exiled in the United States), rewarded with the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs in Kagame's regime and Desiré Murenzi, who was placed at the head of a major oil company. Also troubling is the fact that Robert Kajuga, the Tutsi President of the Interahamwe, is the brother of a Rwandan businessman named Husi (killed during the Rwandan Genocide), who, according to several sources, had funded the scholarship of Janet Nyiramongi, Paul Kagame's wife.
These indications point to the fact that the militia Interahamwe was, from the beginning to the end, manipulated by Kagame's secret services. These previous observations demonstrate, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Paul Kagame had done everything possible to ensure that interior Tutsis were exterminated.
Therefore, it has to be concluded, in the words of Kagame himself in his speech delivered on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, that, "Indeed the Rwandan Genocide was premeditated, calculated and cold blooded." However, in light of these facts, we must now add that the mastermind of the genocide of the Rwandan interior Tutsis is Kagame himself. That is the sad and terrible reality the international community, who gave a carte blanche to Kagame, has (so far) refused to confront.
Yet, if the above cited criminal acts would had been committed by Rwandans deemed Hutu, they would have been condemned by the whole world for committing the crime of genocide against Tutsis. Instead, Kagame, because he is a reputed Tutsi, had a red carpet rolled out for him across Europe and in America. This differential treatment of Rwandans, based on ethnicity, is sheer racism in flagrant contradiction to the democratic values of our time.
by Guillaume Murere Ph. D. Gatineau, Québec, Canada.