To Orwell Today,
Great website. I am researching President Kagame's campaign that stopped the genocide from a military perspective, but can't find very much substantial information. The coverage of the genocide itself is shamefully thin (in my opinion) in proportion to the horror, but I can't find much of anything on the actual military campaign - the standard military narratives and so on.
Can you point me toward anyone you know or have heard of that could help me with this research?
It's great to have your voice joining my refrain that the world wants to hear stories about General Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Front and how they came down from exile to set their people free from tyranny and - in the midst - stopped a genocide.
I heard a few stories when I was in Rwanda, for example, what it was like for the RPF living in the Virunga Volcanoes between 1994 and 1990 (when they came down from Uganda and then Musevini shut the border and wouldn't let them back in). Sometimes it got so cold that the blood in their veins started to coagulate.
And I've heard some flimsy details about what it was like marching up and down those thousands of hills for weeks on end, and what it was like being shot at from above in Akagera Park with no cover.
But I've yet to find a book or any narrative dedicated to describing General Kagame's military conditions and the RPF campaigns. But if and when I do, I'll share the info with "Orwell Today" readers. Perhaps there's a book in the works as we speak, and if not, perhaps one will soon be written.
There is a Kinyarwanda language website (sent recently by Sharangabo) which has pictures and songs of the RPF. See RPF INKOTANYI WEBSITE
The map above is from Linda Melvern's book MACHETE SEASON and shows a good overview of the RPF offensive.
In his book SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL Romeo Dallaire makes some allusions to the leadership and professionalism of the RPA:
"...An RPF column that had left Mulindi [northern border near Uganda] by foot on April 8 had arrived, singing, at the RPF garrison in the CND [building in Kigali] this morning [April 10]. Two days of walking over sixty kilometres through enemy territory, carrying heavy packs and weapons, and they got to Kigali still singing. They were kids -- young, tough and dedicated. There was no doubt in my mind that they would win this war. But could they save their people?...I thought Kagame...was possibly one of the greatest practitioners of manoeuvre warfare in modern military history..."
I was thrilled to be in Rwanda on July 4th last year, which was the 12th anniversary of the day the RPF took Kigali - effectively ending the war, with final success up in Gisenyi area a week or two later. See RWANDA LIBERATION DAY 2006
Articles on my website so far that concentrate on General Kagame and the RPF can be found under the section HOW KAGAME BECAME LEADER.
All the best,
Colin says the Ugandan journalist Onyano-Obbo writes about Rwanda
Amani tells stories of military campaigns that should be included in a book about Kagame and the RPF
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