READER HAS RWANDA CONFUSION
To Orwell Today,
I am interested in knowing what happened in Rwanda during 1990-1994 and I have come across many articles and mostly I trust your website since you are an independent journalist. I would like to ask you or to know what do you think about this article:
The Truth about the Rwandan Genocide, by Thimothy Kalyegira, Uganda Record, Oct 12, 2009
I don't know much but I have read many stories that the government of Habyarimana planned the genocide against Tutsi tribe. And most of the Hutu killed their neighbors for revenge. But now I am reading other stories that the government of Kagame killed Hutus in Congo. Is this possible?
I am confused about this country. I ask your opinion because I know you have done much work and visited Rwanda according to your website.
Myself I am a university student studying political science and here in Sweden we don't have much information about Rwanda or it seems that no one is interested in writing about it.
I can understand why you'd be confused, as would anyone who didn't have a solid understanding of the logistics (let alone the reasons) behind the Rwandan genocide.
The author of that article you sent is saying that there was no planned genocide of the Tutsi by the Hutu Habyarimana government and that instead it was a genocide of Hutu by Tutsi and that supposedly Kagame let the Hutu government escape from Kigali and then Kagame's Tutsi soldiers slaughtered Tutsis themselves so that it would be blamed on the Hutu army.
The article doesn't mention that for years leading up to the genocide the Habyarimana government was spending all the money it was receiving from the World Bank and IMF on importing weapons - facilitated by the one-time Foreign Minister of Egypt who later became head of the United Nations - Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali - the position he held from 1992 through 1996, leading up to, during and following the Rwandan genocide. The head of the UN Security Council at the time (in charge of UN peacekeeprs in Rwanda) was African Kofi Annan from Ghana who was subsequently Orwellianly promoted as head of UN (in spite of, or because of, enabling the Rwandan genocide). See RWANDA ARMED FOR GENOCIDE
Nor does the article mention anything about the national ID cards used by the Habyarimana government to separate Tutsi from Hutu. Otherwise it would have been difficult to tell the difference between Hutu and Tutsi because for five hundred years they'd been intermarrying and their physical features are often indistinquishable - ie not all Tutsi are tall and thin and not all Hutu are short and stocky. The so-called "race-card" was just another way of "dividing and conquering" so as to instill ethnic hatred among the masses so as to take the pressure off the incompetent, corrupt government. This is explained in the recent article:
Do the Hutu and Tutsi of Rwanda nurse ancient hatred?, by Andrew Mwenda, Independent, Aug 17, 2010
Another major point the article you requested I read failed to point out was the social atmosphere in Rwanda in the lead-up to the genocide where HATE RADIO - sanctioned by the Habyarimana government - was blasted out every waking moment brainwashing the populace (mainly peasants who didn't read or have access to any other news source) into frenzies of fear and hatred against Tutsis so that when the order came to kill, the people would be psychologically, mentally and emotionally ready.
Nor does the article mention that weapons - millions of machetes imported from Communist China - were put into the hands of the masses so they could "get to work" killing their neighbours (and members of their own family) if they were labelled "Tutsi".
Also, in the article you sent, the point-of-view of the author is obviously anti-Western-World, ie anti-American/anti-British and pro-Chinese, going so far as to gloat over the fact that China will soon be master in Africa and the rest of the world (including here in Canada and the United States).
This pro-China, anti-Colonial outlook is a recurring theme in the African press - and even in the Western press - these past several years, and there is never any criticism of China, or Russia or other African countries' roles in the Rwandan genocide.
I've been disappointed, as I read the Rwandan newspapers, at how anti-American and anti-British the Rwandan government is - even though the vast majority of their funding comes from we Western World taxpayers whose hands are constantly bit by the mouths we're feeding all over the world - including those of our own greedy, ravenously hungry politicians.
Any prominent person who speaks out against the colonization of Africa by China (and they're colonizing North and South America too) is eliminated - as in what happened to Laurent Nkunda - the hero of Congo who was fighting the same genocidal forces that perpetrated the Rwandan genocide. Also, Nkunda demanded Congo's resources for Congo - just like Partrice Lumumba did in 1960 - and he's paid the same price - his freedom and his life. See NKUNDA SAY CONGO OWNS RESOURCES & CONGO IS LUMUMBA LAND & CHINA'S AFRICAN EMPIRE & AFRICA SILK ROAD TO CHINA & DARK FATE OF AFRICA.
The top Rwandan general - the one who lured Nkunda to Rwanda and then had him arrested - was recently promoted to Minister of Defence and held meetings with China's Ambassador and afterwards extolled the virtues of their friendship - including having the Rwandan army trained by China.
Kabarebe, Chinese envoy discuss military cooperation, by Edmund Kagire, New Times, Aug 18, 2010
To me it seems that Kagame betrayed the revolution - the one where he said he was protecting Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa in Rwanda and creating a country based on the rule of law and democracy - when he arrested Nkunda who was ALSO fighting to protect his people - the Congolese no matter what their tribe. Afterall, most of the soldiers in Nkunda's CNDP army weren't Tutsi, but Hutu and other Congolese tribes, as were the people in the villages he was protecting. See KABILA KILLS, RAPES & BLAMES NKUNDA & NKUNDA SAY UN CRIMINALS IN CONGO & NKUNDA CONGO'S ONLY PROTECTOR
The proof is in the pudding that Congo has gone to hell since Nkunda's been gone:
How did rebels rape 200 women just miles from UN base in Congo?, by David Usborne, Independent, Aug 27, 2010
Violence brings death & trauma for people living in Kivu Congo, Doctors Without Borders, Sep 6, 2010
Regarding your question about whether I think the government of Kagame committed genocide against Hutus in Congo, my answer is "no". I think the UN report that came out accusing Kagame and his RPF army is a diversionary tactic meant to cover-up the killing on a genocidal scale that is happening in Congo NOW and has been happening there since Nkunda was arrested almost two years ago.
I'll be watching events in Rwanda very closely this week when Nkunda is again scheduled to appear in Rwandan court. If Kagame once again fails to prove to the world that Nkunda is alive and safe, then - just like JFK - I'll be crying for Congo. And I'll be crying for Rwanda too, because it will mean that Kagame HAS betrayed the revolution - and the people of Rwanda, Congo and worldwide who believed in him. See NKUNDA DUE HIS DAY IN COURT & HOW OR WHERE'S NKUNDA? & JFK CRIED FOR CONGO.
All the best,
Reader Hiram asks my thoughts on the Rwandan situation and Kagame
Political arrests will hurt Rwanda, Independent, Oct 5, 2010 (...There is also a pending case of a Congolese national, Gen. Laurent Nkunda, who was arrested in Rwanda on January 22, 2009. He has never appeared in court, his family has expressed serious concerns.... The Constitution of Rwanda, which Kagame vowed to protect a few weeks ago, guarantees all these detainees and every Rwandan citizen a right to appear in court and to a fair hearing....)
KAGAME MISTER BIG STUFF
The Truth about the Rwandan Genocide
by Thimothy Kalyegira, The Uganda Record, Oct 12, 2009
...The Sanders report stated: "There is a stunning lack of documentary evidence of a [Habyarimana] government plan to commit genocide. There are no orders, minutes of meetings, notes, cables, faxes, radio intercepts or any other type of documentation that such a plan ever existed. In fact, the documentary evidence establishes just the opposite." (View from Rwanda: The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication, Sanders Research Associated Ltd., December 1, 2005). It also should be noted that there are two general views of the RPF government. The first is by the mainly English-speaking White western nations who --- since they are Anglophile like the Ugandan-born RPF leaders of 1990 --- not surprisingly view the RPF as liberating heroes who intervened just in time to stop a horrific genocide in 1994. Then there is the French, German, Belgian, and to some degree Spanish view, that questions the shooting down of that plane, has issued arrest warrants for top RPF leaders, arrested some like the protocol official Rose Kanyange Kabuye.
Since the 1990s and the end of European Communism, the English-speaking nations have dominated the world's media and diplomatic circuit and that is the reason and the reason alone, that the true perpetrators of the 1994 genocide remain untouched, as world opinion remains hostile to the French-speaking Hutu. However, as we are starting to see, America and Britain are on the wane as world powers. Britain has now been overtaken by China in economic size. Their troops are bogged down in Afghanistan. The United States is a superpower that remains so only because its national economy is kept afloat by heavy borrowing from China. American troops are also beleagured in Afghanistan and Iraq. When that future time comes when these two countries are no longer influential in media and diplomatic terms, the truth of the Rwandan genocide --- which was simply Luwero Part II --- will come out.
Do the Hutu and Tutsi of Rwanda nurse ancient hatred?
by Andrew Mwenda, Independent, Aug 17, 2010
...Even basic knowledge of Rwanda would show 500 years of intermarriage and other social mechanisms of status change, made it difficult to separate Hutu from Tutsi. That is why the Habyarimana government had to rigidly enforce an Identity Card system. More critically, many Hutu supremacists have actually been married to Tutsi women. For example, former president Gregory Kayibanda was married to a Tutsi. Karisiti Habimenshi was one of the leaders of the 1959 Hutu revolution and till his death took pride in having helped defeat Tutsi rebels in the 1960s. His wife is Tutsi. Therefore, Kayibanda’s ethnic revolution and acidic campaign against the Tutsi could not have been because he hated them but because it was politically functional for him. Social relations across the Hutu-Tutsi divide are even more complicated when you dig deep into Rwanda’s social terrain. Take the example of Michel Makuza, father of the current prime minister of Rwanda Bernard Makuza. He was the intellectual leader of the 1959 “revolution” and a close Kayibanda ally. He was married to a Tutsi; some claim that his wife was a distant relative of President Paul Kagame. The wife of the late Seth Sendashonga is also said to be Tutsi and distantly related to Kagame. The point here is that one’s ethnicity is not cast in stone and concrete; it is hard to find a “pure” Hutu or Tutsi or one without relatives in the other group. The story of deeply entrenched primordial ethnic hatreds between Hutu and Tutsi is a myth that lives in the imagination of many outsiders that is difficult to find in Rwanda itself. In Rwanda, it exists as a fringe. Politicians may use it to garner votes. But this is only dependant on many other intermediate factors that they cannot control.
Take the example of Rwanda in 1994. The Habyarimana regime had sought to create a mass consciousness among the Hutu against Tutsi ever gaining power in that country with a considerable measure of success. However, the Hutu were not homogenous themselves. Habyarimana came from the north which under colonial rule had provided soldiers to the army. He had overthrown Kayibanda from the south which under colonial rule had produced the educated strata. So Habyarimana began his rule by purging the southern intellectuals including starving Kayibanda to death. This set divisions among Hutu of the north against Hutu from the south. As Habyarimana’s rule consolidated, Hutu were divided further this time along clan. Habyarimana was a Mushiru and his regime was seen in that light. As power increasingly went into the hands of his village mates and in-laws from Gisenyi in north-western Rwanda, Hutu from other districts began accusing him of creating akazu (kitchen cabinet). So the contours of division now went along clan lines and districts of origin.
When the first political parties were created in 1991, they split Rwanda along these lines of grievance. There emerged the MDR which was the old Premahutu party of Kayibanda and led by Faustin Twagiramungu. In fact Twagiramungu’s wife is a daughter to Kayibanda. There came the PSD party. Then came the PL led by Lando Ndasingwa, the only Tutsi in Habyarimana’s cabinet. These political parties became signatories of the Arusha Peace Accords signed in 1993. The accords had three elements: First to secure a ceasefire, second to establish a government of national unity composed of all parties to the accords and third to organise a general election on a multiparty basis. The ceasefire had been secured. Problems began when it came to swearing-in a government of national unity. For here all positions; cabinet, army, intelligence and civil service were to be shared.
The principles to the agreement were Habyarimana’s MRND and RPF each of whom would take 40 percent of the positions in government. The other parties shared 20 percent. Within the context of Rwandan politics at the time, the main adversary of the opposition parties (largely Hutu) was Habyarimana. Because he controlled the army, the effective way to challenge Habyarimana’s power was to ally with RPF because it had the military capacity to counter him. So the MDR, PSD and PL entered an informal understanding with the RPF for cooperation. This understanding realigned politics in Rwanda. Habyarimana realised that in the ensuing government of national unity, his party would be in a minority. On the other hand, parties like the MDR had calculated that given its Tutsi ethnic base combined with the effectiveness of the ideology of Hutu power, RPF stood no chance of winning the planned election. But if they could leverage RPF’s military power and add unto it their electoral strength, they would be able to gain and hold power. But Habyarimana and his extremist allies saw it differently. They realised that RPF (read Tutsi) was going to capture power by allying with Hutu political parties. The understanding between RPF and the other political parties had realigned the politics in a way that created a real possibility that Tutsi could actually get into power.
Habyarimana decided on a double-pronged strategy. First, he created CDR, a Hutu extremist political party as his fifth column. It argued that Rwanda is for the Hutu only. Initially, the CDR rejected all the Arusha Accords and was actually excluded from the power sharing arrangement. But when this became clearly untenable, CDR supported by Habyarimana began demanding inclusion. The aim was to dilute the strength of RPF and its allies. Secondly, Habyarimana fostered divisions within the other political parties causing them to split between their moderate and extremist wings. In the ensuing contest, the extremists joined Habyarimana while the moderates leaned to the RPF. These contestations caused the failure to swear-in the government of national unity on five occasions from December 1993 to April 1994 when Habyarimana was killed.
Now, under the terms of the ceasefire, the RPF had been made to withdraw from its occupied territories to its area before the May 1993 offensive. The areas from which the RPF withdrew were declared a demilitarised zone under the UN which organised local elections. Although all parties were free to participate, only the MRND and RPF fielded candidates. RPF sent its Hutu leaders like Sendashonga, Bizimungu and Kanyarengwe to campaign on its behalf. In a surprising and shocking turn of events, RPF won all the local seats except for the top job of burgomaster which was won by MNRD. When a contingent of the RPF military was sent to Kigali as agreed in Arusha, people lined up the streets cheering its entry.
These incidents changed the strategies of the architects of Hutu power. They had succeeded in creating a widely shared social consciousness among elites and even ordinary Hutu that the Tutsi have no right to rule in Rwanda. However, it was clear that there were many intermediate factors that altered the political balance at different twists and turns that made their ideology wobbly. Short of genocide, their campaign to create a permanent wedge between Hutu and Tutsi would never succeed. Therefore, genocide was not born of some entrenched hatred of Tutsi by Hutu. On the contrary, the background above shows it was a product of the failure of such politics. If the architects of Hutu power were convinced that there was not a chance in hell that Hutu and Tutsi would create an alliance, they would not have sought a “final solution.” Why then did masses of ordinary Hutu civilians pick machetes to kill Tutsi who were their friends, neighbours and relatives?
Many people believe that Hutu turned out en masse to kill Tutsi out of hatred. But this belief cannot stand the test of simple commonsense. Very few human beings would seek to kill people they hate. An explanation that seems powerful is FEAR. The architects of the genocide put a price on the head of any Hutu who did not participate: DEATH. So many Hutu participated in the genocide to save their own lives. Secondly, many Hutu were told that if Tutsi came, they (Hutu) would be exterminated. So many Hutu joined the bandwagon in a perverted search for pre-emptive self defence. These subtle reasons never find expression in both the pro and anti RPF literature largely because of the complexity of the problem but also because of ignorance and prejudice. This background explains why it has been possible for Rwanda to achieve a large measure of reconciliation. It also sheds light on why RPF has been able to consolidate itself in power. Finally and more critically, it explains why Kagame can easily win a free and fair election in Rwanda in spite of being Tutsi in a majority Hutu electorate.
Rwanda Minister of Defense and Chinese envoy discuss military cooperation, by Edmund Kagire, New Times, Aug 18, 2010
KIGALI - THE Minister of Defence Gen. James Kabarebe, yesterday, met the Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, Sun Shuzhong. The Ambassador revealed that the two parties discussed military cooperation adding that the forces of the two countries maintain good levels of cooperation in terms of training and logistics. “You know we have friendly relations between China and Rwanda, including our military sides, but this time I am here to talk about some future plans between the two armies,” Shuzhong told journalists. “We have many programmes between China and Rwanda that are coming. We have training programmes coming up where Rwandan soldiers go to China for training. I think it’s very important for all of us to know about the military and the development of both sides.” The Ambassador noted that China is not only focussing on involving itself in economic development in Africa, but also security matters such as peacekeeping on the African continent. “The Chinese government supports capacity building plans for the Rwandan army. It is very important for us to have this kind of cooperation,” Shuzhong said. According to the Defence Spokesperson, Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara, the Chinese envoy also delivered an invitation to the Rwandan Defence Minister from his Chinese counterpart to visit with a delegation on a cooperation and fact-finding mission. “We have always had good relations with China, so that visit will be aimed at discussing ways of strengthening the existing cooperation. For instance, this year, China will train 21 Rwandan officers,” Rutaremara said. “That’s not all, most of the equipment we use on the peacekeeping mission is obtained from China as well as other non-military equipment like emergency boats on L. Kivu and the speed boats used to counter smuggling.”
Gen. Laurent Nkunda case set for Rwanda military court hearing, New Vision, Apr 3, 2010 (Rwanda's Supreme Court has ruled that only the country's military court can hear a plea seeking the release of former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda, his lawyer said on Saturday... Nkunda has been under house arrest since Jan. 22, 2009 after entering Rwanda from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where his CNDP rebel force had repeatedly routed the army. After two wars between the Great Lakes neighbours and years trading accusations of backing the other's rebels, Rwanda and Congo mended relations in a deal that analysts say hinged on Nkunda's arrest and Rwandan help ending the rebellion. But Nkunda has not been charged in Rwandan courts, nor has the central African nation yielded to Congolese calls to transfer him to Kinshasa, which accuses him of war crimes. Bokanga said the court argued that General James Kabarebe, Rwanda's Chief of Defence staff, was responsible for Nkunda's detention and so only a military court would determine his fate..."
RWANDA'S GOOD MAN KAGAME & KNOW NKUNDA CONGO
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