View Full Version : The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide

Paul Rigby
04-07-2010, 07:09 PM

The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa 16 Years Ago. 7 April 1994

by Michel Chossudovsky

Originally written in May 2000, the following text is Part II of Chapter 7 entitled "Economic Genocide in Rwanda", of the Second Edition of The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order , Global Research, Montreal, 2003. This text updates the author's analysis on Rwanda written in 1995 , which was published in the first edition of Globalization of Poverty, TWN and Zed Books, Penang and London, 1997. To order the Second Edition of The Globalization of Poverty, click here .

This text is in part based on the results of a study conducted by the author together with Belgian economist Pierre Galand on the use of Rwanda's 1990-94 external debt to finance the military and paramilitary.

The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.

From the outset of the Rwandan civil war in 1990, Washington's hidden agenda consisted in establishing an American sphere of influence in a region historically dominated by France and Belgium. America's design was to displace France by supporting the Rwandan Patriotic Front and by arming and equipping its military arm, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA)

From the mid-1980s, the Kampala government under President Yoweri Musaveni had become Washington's African showpiece of "democracy". Uganda had also become a launchpad for US sponsored guerilla movements into the Sudan, Rwanda and the Congo. Major General Paul Kagame had been head of military intelligence in the Ugandan Armed Forces; he had been trained at the U.S. Army Command and Staff College (CGSC) in Leavenworth, Kansas which focuses on warfighting and military strategy. Kagame returned from Leavenworth to lead the RPA, shortly after the 1990 invasion.

Prior to the outbreak of the Rwandan civil war, the RPA was part of the Ugandan Armed Forces. Shortly prior to the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda, military labels were switched. From one day to the next, large numbers of Ugandan soldiers joined the ranks of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). Throughout the civil war, the RPA was supplied from United People's Defense Forces (UPDF) military bases inside Uganda. The Tutsi commissioned officers in the Ugandan army took over positions in the RPA. The October 1990 invasion by Ugandan forces was presented to public opinion as a war of liberation by a Tutsi led guerilla army.

Militarization of Uganda

The militarization of Uganda was an integral part of US foreign policy. The build-up of the Ugandan UPDF Forces and of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) had been supported by the US and Britain. The British had provided military training at the Jinja military base:

"From 1989 onwards, America supported joint RPF [Rwandan Patriotic Front]-Ugandan attacks upon Rwanda... There were at least 56 'situation reports' in [US] State Department files in 1991... As American and British relations with Uganda and the RPF strengthened, so hostilities between Uganda and Rwanda escalated... By August 1990 the RPF had begun preparing an invasion with the full knowledge and approval of British intelligence. 20

Troops from Rwanda's RPA and Uganda's UPDF had also supported John Garang's People's Liberation Army in its secessionist war in southern Sudan. Washington was firmly behind these initiatives with covert support provided by the CIA. 21

Moreover, under the Africa Crisis Reaction Initiative (ACRI), Ugandan officers were also being trained by US Special Forces in collaboration with a mercenary outfit, Military Professional Resources Inc (MPRI) which was on contract with the US Department of State. MPRI had provided similar training to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Croatian Armed Forces during the Yugoslav civil war and more recently to the Colombian Military in the context of Plan Colombia.

Militarization and the Ugandan External Debt

The buildup of the Ugandan external debt under President Musaveni coincided chronologically with the Rwandan and Congolese civil wars. With the accession of Musaveni to the presidency in 1986, the Ugandan external debt stood at 1.3 billion dollars. With the gush of fresh money, the external debt spiraled overnight, increasing almost threefold to 3.7 billion by 1997. In fact, Uganda had no outstanding debt to the World Bank at the outset of its "economic recovery program". By 1997, it owed almost 2 billion dollars solely to the World Bank. 22

Where did the money go? The foreign loans to the Musaveni government had been tagged to support the country's economic and social reconstruction. In the wake of a protracted civil war, the IMF sponsored "economic stabilization program" required massive budget cuts of all civilian programs.

The World Bank was responsible for monitoring the Ugandan budget on behalf of the creditors. Under the "public expenditure review" (PER), the government was obliged to fully reveal the precise allocation of its budget. In other words, every single category of expenditure --including the budget of the Ministry of Defense-- was open to scrutiny by the World Bank. Despite the austerity measures (imposed solely on "civilian" expenditures), the donors had allowed defense spending to increase without impediment.

Part of the money tagged for civilian programs had been diverted into funding the United People's Defense Force (UPDF) which in turn was involved in military operations in Rwanda and the Congo. The Ugandan external debt was being used to finance these military operations on behalf of Washington with the country and its people ultimately footing the bill. In fact by curbing social expenditures, the austerity measures had facilitated the reallocation of State of revenue in favor of the Ugandan military.

Financing both Sides in the Civil War

A similar process of financing military expenditure from the external debt had occurred in Rwanda under the Habyarimana government. In a cruel irony, both sides in the civil war were financed by the same donors institutions with the World Bank acting as a Watchdog.

The Habyarimana regime had at its disposal an arsenal of military equipment, including 83mm missile launchers, French made Blindicide, Belgian and German made light weaponry, and automatic weapons such as kalachnikovs made in Egypt, China and South Africa [as well as ... armored AML-60 and M3 armored vehicles.23 While part of these purchases had been financed by direct military aid from France, the influx of development loans from the World Bank's soft lending affiliate the International Development Association (IDA), the African Development Fund (AFD), the European Development Fund (EDF) as well as from Germany, the United States, Belgium and Canada had been diverted into funding the military and Interhamwe militia.

A detailed investigation of government files, accounts and correspondence conducted in Rwanda in 1996-97 by the author --together with Belgian economist Pierre Galand-- confirmed that many of the arms purchases had been negotiated outside the framework of government to government military aid agreements through various intermediaries and private arms dealers. These transactions --recorded as bona fide government expenditures-- had nonetheless been included in the State budget which was under the supervision of the World Bank. Large quantities of machetes and other items used in the 1994 ethnic massacres --routinely classified as "civilian commodities" -- had been imported through regular trading channels. 24

According to the files of the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR), some of these imports had been financed in violation of agreements signed with the donors. According to NBR records of import invoices, approximately one million machetes had been imported through various channels including Radio Mille Collines, an organization linked to the Interhamwe militia and used to foment ethnic hatred. 25

The money had been earmarked by the donors to support Rwanda's economic and social development. It was clearly stipulated that funds could not be used to import: "military expenditures on arms, ammunition and other military material". 26 In fact, the loan agreement with the World Bank's IDA was even more stringent. The money could not be used to import civilian commodities such as fuel, foodstuffs, medicine, clothing and footwear "destined for military or paramilitary use". The records of the NBR nonetheless confirm that the Habyarimana government used World Bank money to finance the import of machetes which had been routinely classified as imports of "civilian commodities." 27

An army of consultants and auditors had been sent in by World Bank to assess the Habyarimana government's "policy performance" under the loan agreement.28 The use of donor funds to import machetes and other material used in the massacres of civilians did not show up in the independent audit commissioned by the government and the World Bank. (under the IDA loan agreement. (IDA Credit Agreement. 2271-RW).29 In 1993, the World Bank decided to suspend the disbursement of the second installment of its IDA loan. There had been, according to the World Bank mission unfortunate "slip-ups" and "delays" in policy implementation. The free market reforms were no longer "on track", the conditionalities --including the privatization of state assets-- had not been met. The fact that the country was involved in a civil war was not even mentioned. How the money was spent was never an issue.30

Whereas the World Bank had frozen the second installment (tranche) of the IDA loan, the money granted in 1991 had been deposited in a Special Account at the Banque Bruxelles Lambert in Brussels. This account remained open and accessible to the former regime (in exile), two months after the April 1994 ethnic massacres.31

Postwar Cover-up

In the wake of the civil war, the World Bank sent a mission to Kigali with a view to drafting a so-called loan "Completion Report".32 This was a routine exercise, largely focussing on macro-economic rather than political issues. The report acknowledged that "the war effort prompted the [former] government to increase substantially spending, well beyond the fiscal targets agreed under the SAP.33 The misappropriation of World Bank money was not mentioned. Instead the Habyarimana government was praised for having "made genuine major efforts-- especially in 1991-- to reduce domestic and external financial imbalances, eliminate distortions hampering export growth and diversification and introduce market based mechanisms for resource allocation..." 34, The massacres of civilians were not mentioned; from the point of view of the donors, "nothing had happened". In fact the World Bank completion report failed to even acknowledge the existence of a civil war prior to April 1994.

In the wake of the Civil War: Reinstating the IMF's Deadly Economic Reforms

In 1995, barely a year after the 1994 ethnic massacres. Rwanda's external creditors entered into discussions with the Tutsi led RPF government regarding the debts of the former regime which had been used to finance the massacres. The RPF decided to fully recognize the legitimacy of the "odious debts" of the 1990-94. RPF strongman Vice-President Paul Kagame [now President] instructed the Cabinet not to pursue the matter nor to approach the World Bank. Under pressure from Washington, the RPF was not to enter into any form of negotiations, let alone an informal dialogue with the donors.

The legitimacy of the wartime debts was never questioned. Instead, the creditors had carefully set up procedures to ensure their prompt reimbursement. In 1998 at a special donors' meeting in Stockholm, a Multilateral Trust Fund of 55.2 million dollars was set up under the banner of postwar reconstruction.35 In fact, none of this money was destined for Rwanda. It had been earmarked to service Rwanda's "odious debts" with the World Bank (--i.e. IDA debt), the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

In other words, "fresh money" --which Rwanda will eventually have to reimburse-- was lent to enable Rwanda to service the debts used to finance the massacres. Old loans had been swapped for new debts under the banner of post-war reconstruction.36 The "odious debts" had been whitewashed, they had disappeared from the books. The creditor's responsibility had been erased. Moreover, the scam was also conditional upon the acceptance of a new wave of IMF-World Bank reforms.

Post War "Reconstruction and Reconciliation"

Bitter economic medicine was imposed under the banner of "reconstruction and reconciliation". In fact the IMF post-conflict reform package was far stringent than that imposed at the outset of the civil war in 1990. While wages and employment had fallen to abysmally low levels, the IMF had demanded a freeze on civil service wages alongside a massive retrenchment of teachers and health workers. The objective was to "restore macro-economic stability". A downsizing of the civil service was launched.37 Civil service wages were not to exceed 4.5 percent of GDP, so-called "unqualified civil servants" (mainly teachers) were to be removed from the State payroll. 38

Meanwhile, the country's per capita income had collapsed from $360 (prior to the war) to $140 in 1995. State revenues had been tagged to service the external debt. Kigali's Paris Club debts were rescheduled in exchange for "free market" reforms. Remaining State assets were sold off to foreign capital at bargain prices.

The Tutsi led RPF government rather than demanding the cancellation of Rwanda's odious debts, had welcomed the Bretton Woods institutions with open arms. They needed the IMF "greenlight" to boost the development of the military.

Despite the austerity measures, defense expenditure continued to grow. The 1990-94 pattern had been reinstated. The development loans granted since 1995 were not used to finance the country's economic and social development. Outside money had again been diverted into financing a military buildup, this time of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). And this build-up of the RPA occurred in the period immediately preceding the outbreak of civil war in former Zaire.

Civil War in the Congo

Following the installation of a US client regime in Rwanda in 1994, US trained Rwandan and Ugandan forces intervened in former Zaire --a stronghold of French and Belgian influence under President Mobutu Sese Seko. Amply documented, US special operations troops -- mainly Green Berets from the 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, N.C.-- had been actively training the RPA. This program was a continuation of the covert support and military aid provided to the RPA prior to 1994. In turn, the tragic outcome of the Rwandan civil war including the refugee crisis had set the stage for the participation of Ugandan and Rwandan RPA in the civil war in the Congo:

"Washington pumped military aid into Kagame's army, and U.S. Army Special Forces and other military personnel trained hundreds of Rwandan troops. But Kagame and his colleagues had designs of their own. While the Green Berets trained the Rwandan Patriotic Army, that army was itself secretly training Zairian rebels... [In] Rwanda, U.S. officials publicly portrayed their engagement with the army as almost entirely devoted to human rights training. But the Special Forces exercises also covered other areas, including combat skills... Hundreds of soldiers and officers were enrolled in U.S. training programs, both in Rwanda and in the United States... [C]onducted by U.S. Special Forces, Rwandans studied camouflage techniques, small-unit movement, troop-leading procedures, soldier-team development, [etc]... And while the training went on, U.S. officials were meeting regularly with Kagame and other senior Rwandan leaders to discuss the continuing military threat faced by the [former Rwandan] government [in exile] from inside Zaire... Clearly, the focus of Rwandan-U.S. military discussion had shifted from how to build human rights to how to combat an insurgency... With [Ugandan President] Museveni's support, Kagame conceived a plan to back a rebel movement in eastern Zaire [headed by Laurent Desire Kabila] ... The operation was launched in October 1996, just a few weeks after Kagame's trip to Washington and the completion of the Special Forces training mission... Once the war [in the Congo] started, the United States provided "political assistance" to Rwanda,... An official of the U.S. Embassy in Kigali traveled to eastern Zaire numerous times to liaise with Kabila. Soon, the rebels had moved on. Brushing off the Zairian army with the help of the Rwandan forces, they marched through Africa's third-largest nation in seven months, with only a few significant military engagements. Mobutu fled the capital, Kinshasa, in May 1997, and Kabila took power, changing the name of the country to Congo... U.S. officials deny that there were any U.S. military personnel with Rwandan troops in Zaire during the war, although unconfirmed reports of a U.S. advisory presence have circulated in the region since the war's earliest days.39

American Mining Interests

At stake in these military operations in the Congo were the extensive mining resources of Eastern and Southern Zaire including strategic reserves of cobalt -- of crucial importance for the US defense industry. During the civil war several months before the downfall of Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila basedin Goma, Eastern Zaire had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields (AMF), a company headquartered in President Bill Clinton's hometown of Hope, Arkansas.40

Meanwhile back in Washington, IMF officials were busy reviewing Zaire's macro-economic situation. No time was lost. The post-Mobutu economic agenda had already been decided upon. In a study released in April 1997 barely a month before President Mobutu Sese Seko fled the country, the IMF had recommended "halting currency issue completely and abruptly" as part of an economic recovery programme.41 And a few months later upon assuming power in Kinshasa, the new government of Laurent Kabila Desire was ordered by the IMF to freeze civil service wages with a view to "restoring macro-economic stability." Eroded by hyperinflation, the average public sector wage had fallen to 30,000 new Zaires (NZ) a month, the equivalent of one U.S. dollar.42

The IMF's demands were tantamount to maintaining the entire population in abysmal poverty. They precluded from the outset a meaningful post-war economic reconstruction, thereby contributing to fuelling the continuation of the Congolese civil war in which close to 2 million people have died.

Concluding Remarks

The civil war in Rwanda was a brutal struggle for political power between the Hutu-led Habyarimana government supported by France and the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) backed financially and militarily by Washington. Ethnic rivalries were used deliberately in the pursuit of geopolitical objectives. Both the CIA and French intelligence were involved.

In the words of former Cooperation Minister Bernard Debré in the government of Prime Minister Henri Balladur:

"What one forgets to say is that, if France was on one side, the Americans were on the other, arming the Tutsis who armed the Ugandans. I don't want to portray a showdown between the French and the Anglo-Saxons, but the truth must be told." 43

In addition to military aid to the warring factions, the influx of development loans played an important role in "financing the conflict." In other words, both the Ugandan and Rwanda external debts were diverted into supporting the military and paramilitary. Uganda's external debt increased by more than 2 billion dollars, --i.e. at a significantly faster pace than that of Rwanda (an increase of approximately 250 million dollars from 1990 to 1994). In retrospect, the RPA -- financed by US military aid and Uganda's external debt-- was much better equipped and trained than the Forces Armées du Rwanda (FAR) loyal to President Habyarimana. From the outset, the RPA had a definite military advantage over the FAR.

According to the testimony of Paul Mugabe, a former member of the RPF High Command Unit, Major General Paul Kagame had personally ordered the shooting down of President Habyarimana's plane with a view to taking control of the country. He was fully aware that the assassination of Habyarimana would unleash "a genocide" against Tutsi civilians. RPA forces had been fully deployed in Kigali at the time the ethnic massacres took place and did not act to prevent it from happening:

The decision of Paul Kagame to shoot Pres. Habyarimana's aircraft was the catalyst of an unprecedented drama in Rwandan history, and Major-General Paul Kagame took that decision with all awareness. Kagame's ambition caused the extermination of all of our families: Tutsis, Hutus and Twas. We all lost. Kagame's take-over took away the lives of a large number of Tutsis and caused the unnecessary exodus of millions of Hutus, many of whom were innocent under the hands of the genocide ringleaders. Some naive Rwandans proclaimed Kagame as their savior, but time has demonstrated that it was he who caused our suffering and misfortunes... Can Kagame explain to the Rwandan people why he sent Claude Dusaidi and Charles Muligande to New York and Washington to stop the UN military intervention which was supposed to be sent and protect the Rwandan people from the genocide? The reason behind avoiding that military intervention was to allow the RPF leadership the takeover of the Kigali Government and to show the world that they - the RPF - were the ones who stopped the genocide. We will all remember that the genocide occurred during three months, even though Kagame has said that he was capable of stopping it the first week after the aircraft crash. Can Major-General Paul Kagame explain why he asked to MINUAR to leave Rwandan soil within hours while the UN was examining the possibility of increasing its troops in Rwanda in order to stop the genocide?44

Paul Mugabe's testimony regarding the shooting down of Habyarimana's plane ordered by Kagame is corroborated by intelligence documents and information presented to the French parliamentary inquiry. Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.

Despite the good diplomatic relations between Paris and Washington and the apparent unity of the Western military alliance, it was an undeclared war between France and America. By supporting the build up of Ugandan and Rwandan forces and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo including several hundred thousand people who died in refugee camps.

US policy-makers were fully aware that a catastrophe was imminent. In fact four months before the genocide, the CIA had warned the US State Department in a confidential brief that the Arusha Accords would fail and "that if hostilities resumed, then upward of half a million people would die". 45 This information was withheld from the United Nations: "it was not until the genocide was over that information was passed to Maj.-Gen. Dallaire [who was in charge of UN forces in Rwanda]." 46

Washington's objective was to displace France, discredit the French government (which had supported the Habyarimana regime) and install an Anglo-American protectorate in Rwanda under Major General Paul Kagame. Washington deliberately did nothing to prevent the ethnic massacres.

When a UN force was put forth, Major General Paul Kagame sought to delay its implementation stating that he would only accept a peacekeeping force once the RPA was in control of Kigali. Kagame "feared [that] the proposed United Nations force of more than 5,000 troops... [might] intervene to deprive them [the RPA] of victory".47 Meanwhile the Security Council after deliberation and a report from Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali decided to postpone its intervention.

The 1994 Rwandan "genocide" served strictly strategic and geopolitical objectives. The ethnic massacres were a stumbling blow to France's credibility which enabled the US to establish a neocolonial foothold in Central Africa. From a distinctly Franco-Belgian colonial setting, the Rwandan capital Kigali has become --under the expatriate Tutsi led RPF government-- distinctly Anglo-American. English has become the dominant language in government and the private sector. Many private businesses owned by Hutus were taken over in 1994 by returning Tutsi expatriates. The latter had been exiled in Anglophone Africa, the US and Britain.

The Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) functions in English and Kinyarwanda, the University previously linked to France and Belgium functions in English. While English had become an official language alongside French and Kinyarwanda, French political and cultural influence will eventually be erased. Washington has become the new colonial master of a francophone country.

Several other francophone countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have entered into military cooperation agreements with the US. These countries are slated by Washington to follow suit on the pattern set in Rwanda. Meanwhile in francophone West Africa, the US dollar is rapidly displacing the CFA Franc -- which is linked in a currency board arrangement to the French Treasury.

Notes (Endnote numbering as in the original chapter)

19. Written in 1999, the following text is Part II of Chapter 5 on the Second Edition of The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order. The first part of chapter published in the first edition was written in 1994. Part II is in part based on a study conducted by the author and Belgian economist Pierre Galand on the use of Rwanda's 1990-94 external debt to finance the military and paramilitary.

20. Africa Direct, Submission to the UN Tribunal on Rwanda, http://www.junius.co.uk/africa- direct/tribunal.html Ibid.

21. Africa's New Look, Jane's Foreign Report, August 14, 1997.

22. Jim Mugunga, Uganda foreign debt hits Shs 4 trillion, The Monitor, Kampala, 19 February 1997.

23. Michel Chossudovsky and Pierre Galand, L'usage de la dette exterieure du Rwanda, la responsabilité des créanciers, mission report, United Nations Development Program and Government of Rwanda, Ottawa and Brussels, 1997.

24. Ibid

25. Ibid

26. ibid, the imports recorded were of the order of kg. 500.000 of machetes or approximately one million machetes.

27. Ibid

28. Ibid. See also schedule 1.2 of the Development Credit Agreement with IDA, Washington, 27 June 1991, CREDIT IDA 2271 RW.

29. Chossudovsky and Galand, op cit

30. Ibid.

30. Ibid.

32. World Bank completion report, quoted in Chossudovsky and Galand, op cit.

33. Ibid

34. Ibid

35. See World Bank, Rwanda at http://www.worldbank.org/afr/rw2.htm.

36. Ibid, italics added

37. A ceiling on the number of public employees had been set at 38,000 for 1998 down from 40,600 in 1997. See Letter of Intent of the Government of Rwanda including cover letter addressed to IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus, IMF, Washington,http://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/060498.htm , 1998.

38. Ibid.

39. Lynne Duke Africans Use US Military Training in Unexpected Ways, Washington Post. July 14, 1998; p.A01.

40. Musengwa Kayaya, U.S. Company To Invest in Zaire, Pan African News, 9 May 1997.

41. International Monetary Fund, Zaire Hyperinflation 1990-1996, Washington, April 1997.

42. Alain Shungu Ngongo, Zaire-Economy: How to Survive On a Dollar a Month, International Press Service, 6 June 1996.

43. Quoted in Therese LeClerc. "Who is responsible for the genocide in Rwanda?", World Socialist website athttp://www.wsws.org/index.shtml , 29 April 1998.

44. Paul Mugabe, The Shooting Down Of The Aircraft Carrying Rwandan President Habyarimama , testimony to the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), Alexandria, Virginia, 24 April 2000.

45. Linda Melvern, Betrayal of the Century, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, 8 April 2000.

46. Ibid

47. Scott Peterson, Peacekeepers will not halt carnage, say Rwanda, rebels, Daily Telegraph, London, May 12, 1994.

Paul Rigby
05-23-2010, 05:21 PM

VIDEO: Criminal Defense Lawyers Dispute The History of the Rwanda Genocide

by Ann Garrison


This week, as the conference dates approached, The New Times published several articles condemning it and quoting Rwanda's Chief Prosecutor Ngoga saying that, ""For a few years now, some defense lawyers at the ICTR have badly deviated from their professional duties and turned into activists and advocates of genocide denial."

Ngoga and The New Times thus drew international attention to the significance of the conference to the ongoing struggle over disputed histories of Rwanda's 1994 tragedy and related violence in Central Africa, both before and after. Last week Ngoga warned Ingabire that she might be jailed once again if she continues speaking to the press.

The ad hoc Conference organizing committee also said that they are defending the right to freedom of speech and thought and expect the conference to be a non-disruptive exchange of ideas that would be subjected to public critique, and historical/scientific evaluation, as the ideas exchanged at the Nov. 2009 Hague Conference on the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda were.

They said that Rwanda Chief Prosecutor Ngoga had mischaracterized the historic Military-1 Trial Judgment of February 2009, which completely rejects the theory that what the world has come to know as the Rwanda Genocide was the result of a longstanding conspiracy, planned well in advance of April 1994, as the Nazi death camps were planned by the Third Reich.

They reaffirmed that the Military-1 Trial Judgment of February 2009, in the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda had:

· Acquitted all four defendants of “planning or conspiracy” to commit genocide, or other crimes, either before or after April 6, 1994;

· Acquitted the highest ranking officer to be tried at the ICTR, Gen. Gratien Kabiligi, of all charges; and,

· Acquitted Col Bagosora (who is represented by Me. Rafael Constant of Paris not Mr. Erlinder) of all charges that occurred before April 6 and after April 8, 1994.

The committee also said that "Rwandan President Paul Kagame's regime habitually calls its political opponents 'criminals' as has been demonstrated in the arrest and prosecution of Madame Victoire Inagabire and others, in the run-up to the August presidential elections, and, that "Kagame used the same tactic to virtually eliminate political opposition in the 2003 sham presidential election that formalized his monolithic regime."

The Conference organizing committee rejected the Kagame government’s efforts to make it illegal to question the role of Kagame’s ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front Party (RPF) in crimes that the RPF instead accuses its opponents of.

They said that Kagame and the RPF's responsibility for the assassinations of the Presidents of Burundi and Rwanda is the subject of French and Spanish indictments, and a wrongful death civil case in U.S. federal court, and that RPF responsibility for these crimes has been confirmed by former Chief ICTR Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, and others from ICTR Prosecutor’s Office.

Members of the ad hoc organizing committee of this week's International Criminal Defense Conference in Bruxelles were Professor Peter Erlinder, Me. Beth Lyons, Me. Ken Ogetto, Me. John Philpot, and Me. Andre Tremblay.

Paul Rigby
09-15-2010, 06:47 PM

Who was Behind the Rwandan Genocide? The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups

by Christopher Black

On August 26, the French newspaper Le Monde revealed the existence of a draft UN report on the most serious violations of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo over an eleven-year period (1993-2003).1 The massive draft report states that after the Rwandan Patriotic Front's takeover of Rwanda in 1994, it proceeded to carry out "systematic and widespread attacks" against Hutu refugees who had fled Rwanda to neighboring Zaire (now the DRC) as well as against the Hutu civilian population of the DRC in general. Crucially, it concludes that the pattern of these attacks "reveal[s] a number of damning elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified as crimes of genocide."2

The draft report was leaked to Le Monde out of the plausible fear that its most damning facts and charges against the armed forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front and President Paul Kagame would be expunged prior to its official release. Sure enough, one week later, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay announced that the official report's release would be delayed until October 1 "to give concerned states a further month to comment on the draft," and even "offered to publish any comments alongside the report itself."3

Such an unprecedented offer by the UNHCHR follows from a number of factors, including the role that Rwandan troops play in UN peacekeeping operations, and the fact that earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Kagame to serve along with Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as co-chairs of a new Millennium Development Goal Advisory Group. According to the New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch -- who, after Alison Des Forges, did as much as anyone to sell the official version of the 1994 "Rwanda genocide" to the West, and clearly remains on very friendly terms with the Kagame dictatorship -- "top Rwandan officials [have been speaking] freely and on the record about their efforts to have the draft report quashed." As Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo confided in Gourevitch, "If it is endorsed by the U.N. and it's ever published, . . . if the U.N. releases it as a U.N. report, the moment it's released, the next day all our troops are coming home. Not just Darfur, all the five countries where we have police."4

A third, no doubt more decisive factor is that the Kagame dictatorship is a client of the United States and "acts as a mercenary for U.S. interests in Africa," as Glen Ford observes; the current conflict between this dictatorship and the UN "threatens to reveal the United States' role as enabler in the deaths of as many as six million people while Washington's allies occupied and looted the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo."5 It is Washington's ties to Kagame' RPF, ultimately, as well as London's and Brussels', that public discussions of the draft UN report should turn the spotlight on.

But this is not the first such report to have been drafted by the UN -- nor is it the first one to be covered up. As early as October 11, 1994, Robert Gersony, an employee of the U.S. Agency for International Development then attached to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, made an oral presentation to the UN Commission of Experts on Rwanda. Gersony had been dispatched to survey the situation inside Rwanda to determine if conditions were right for a return of the Hutu refugees who had fled the RPF. Instead he found that the RPF had been committing systematic massacres of the Hutu population in Rwanda starting in April 1994 and continuing through the date of his presentation.

On page 4 of the UN record of Gersony's oral presentation, we read:

"Significant areas of Butare Prefecture, Kibungo Prefecture, and the southern and eastern areas of Kigali Prefecture have been -- and in some cases were reported to remain as early as September -- the scene of systematic and sustained killing and persecution of the civilian Hutu populations by the [Rwandan Patriotic Army]. These activities are reported to have begun, depending on location, between April and July 1994, immediately following the expulsion from each area of former Government military, militia and surrogate forces. These [Rwandan Patriotic Army] actions were consistently reported to be conducted in areas where opposition forces of any kind -- armed or unarmed -- or resistance of any kind -- other than attempts by the victims of these actions to escape -- were absent. Large scale indiscriminate killings of men, women and children, including the sick and elderly, were consistently reported."

And on page 6 we also learn that "an unmistakable pattern of systematic [Rwandan Patriotic Army] conduct of such actions is the unavoidable conclusion of the team's interviews."

The Gersony report is identified in a cover letter dated October 11, 1994, from one Francois Fouinat to Mrs. B. Molina-Abram, the Secretary to the Commission of Experts on Rwanda. In this brief letter, Fouinat explains:

"We refer to the UNHCR's briefing to the Commission of Experts on Monday, 11 October 1994.

"As requested by the Commission, we are forwarding herewith a written summary of Mr. Gersony's oral presentation and copies of some field reports sent to UNHCR Headquarters by UNHCR Field Offices.

"We are confident that as agreed by the President of the Commission of Experts, these documents will be treated as confidential and only be made available to the members of the Commission."

I possess copies of these two UN documents from October 1994 because they are part of the evidence-base at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where I serve as the lead defense counsel for Hutu former General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, once the Chief of Staff of the Rwanda Gendarmerie. The documents were found by my legal assistant purely by chance while scanning the prosecution's Electronic Disclosure System, which contains hundreds of thousands of documents that are not indexed in any order. My assistant came across them as part of a package of material organized by Robert Gersony himself while he was assigned to the UNHCR. It must be assumed that Mr. Gersony thought the documents relevant, as they affected the fate of the Hutu refugees.

At the ICTR, the brief cover letter by Francois Fouinat bears the index number "R0002906." The next 14 pages of R0002906 contain the Gersony report and are numbered sequentially with an 'R' -- prefix number used by the ICTR for documents contained in its Rwanda files.

Because I possess the series of ICTR documents beginning with R0002906, I also have in my possession an even more astonishing document the true historical significance of which has once again been underscored by the leaked UNHCHR report: Namely, the copy of a letter from Paul Kagame to his fellow Tutsi Jean-Baptiste Bagaza of Burundi, dated August 10, 1994.

Let me share with you an exchange that took place on November 18, 2008 in the Military II trial at the ICTR.6 What was said in court that particular day explains how these documents came to light. I was one of the speakers.

Mr. Black,7

"Mr. President, before I do that -- that takes place, I have something which I would like to raise of great importance, I think.

"Yesterday my legal assistant found by accident, something, I think of grave importance for this Tribunal and for the world. It's a letter from General Paul Kagame dated the 10th of August 1994 to Jean Baptiste Bagaza, . . . in Burundi. It's marked 'confidential'.

"I didn't have time to make copies, so I want to read it to you. It has an 'R'-number. R0002905. It's in French, so please bear with me to make a loose translation. It says -- it's only one page and it is short:

'Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza, we have the greatest honour to extend our sincere gratitude to you both for your financial and technical support in our struggle that has just ended with the taking of Kigali.

'Rest assured that our plan to continue shall be pursued as we agreed at our last meeting in Kampala. Last week I communicated with our big brother Yoweri Museveni and decided to make some modifications to the plan. Indeed, as you have noted, the taking of Kigali quickly provoked a panic among the Hutus who fled to Goma and Bukavu. We have found that the presence of a large number of Rwandan refugees at Goma and the international community can cause our plan for Zaire to fail. We cannot occupy ourselves with Zaire until after the return of these Hutus. All means are being used for their return as rapidly as possible. In any case, our external intelligence services continue to crisscross the east of Zaire and our Belgian, British and American collaborators, the rest of Zaire. The action reports are expected in the next few days.

'Concerning the Burundi plan, we are very content with your work to ensure the failure of the policies of FRODEBU. It is necessary to paralyze the power of FRODEBU until the total ruin of the situation in order to justify your action that must not miss its target. Our soldiers will be deployed, this time, not only in Bujumbura, but in the places you judge strategic. Our elements stationed at Bugesera are ready to intervene at any moment. The plan for Burundi must be executed as soon as possible before the Hutus of Rwanda can organize themselves.

'In the hope of seeing you next time at Kigali, we ask you to accept, dear brother, our most respectful greetings'.

General Paul Kagame
Minister of Defence (signed by his assistant Mr. Rwego8)

"The importance of this letter if you have grasped it fully cannot be overstated. It means the attack on Rwanda from 1990 was not the prime objective of Kagame and his collaborators. Zaire was always the prime objective. That their excuse for the attack on Rwanda about establishing democracy and return of refugees, was completely false. That the invasion from Uganda had only one purpose: to clear the path through Rwanda to Zaire. That the return of refugees, as many witnesses have stated, was not for humanitarian reasons, but to clear the path for the invasion of Zaire. It means that the Americans, British, particularly with Kagame and Museveni, planned the invasion of Zaire [sic] in 1994, probably before that. It means that the excuse given for the invasions of Congo since this letter was written to clear the 'Interahamwe' or 'genocidaires' is completely false. No mention is made of 'Interahamwe'. No mention is made of 'genocide'. It means, since this was received, it looks like a date stamp of this tribunal, 8th December 1994, that the Prosecutor of this Tribunal has been hiding information indicating a conspiracy to commit a war of aggression against Congo-Zaire, Zaire and all of the war crimes have flowed from it since and the continuation of those wars in Congo now begun 14 years ago, if not longer. And that the principal parties are the principal parties stated in this letter. It indicates that the prime target, Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi, that they want to suppress the Hutu population in order to carry out their plan. Democracy was never their concern. And it indicates that the Prosecutor was in -- had information in a territorial and temporal jurisdiction of this Tribunal under rule -- under Statute-Article 1. That they are also concerned with war crimes committed in neighboring states.

"So, here you have the smoking gun, the letter, planning the invasion of Zaire with the Americans and British. And it confirms our theory all the way through this trial that the Belgians were involved with those other countries. And again, there must be -- and this, as a colleague pointed out, is page 8 of 12. So where are the other eleven pages of -- what other letters do they have in their hands? And again, it indicates that these men have been stitched up, falsely accused, in order to clear them out of the way so this plan can take place. If this is published in the New York Times or Washington Post, the whole picture of the war in Rwanda and the wars n Congo would change.

"So I ask the Prosecutor, once again, where is that file? And in fact I would like them to produce the indictment against Kagame9 because I want to see what he's been charged with, exactly what crimes and where. So, again, I ask for this file to be produced and I ask why they have not acted. Mr. Jallow and Louise Arbour and everybody else have been protecting the RPF which has now resulted in millions of deaths in the Congo and continues up till today and what is going on in Congo now.

"And I state openly that the Prosecution office is complicit with this invasion of Congo and is responsible themselves for all those murders in Congo because they've hidden this for a long time and they could have exposed it many years ago and stopped the invasions.

"If the international community, that is, other than the United States and the Britain, had been aware of what was going on, it would never have taken place. But they sit there and they accuse us, my client, and the other officers here of committing crimes, they knew what they were doing in Zaire. I don't think they can even shave and look in the mirror in the morning."

Mr. President,10

"Counsel, having said all of that, why don't you send this to the New York Times?"


"It will be sent . . . whether they publish it I do not know."11

In the days after this letter was exposed the prosecution accused the defence of having fabricated the letter and raised questions about its authenticity.

I replied, first, that the letter bears a sequential ICTR index number with an 'R'-prefix -- the prefix used for Rwanda documents.

Second, as mentioned above, this letter was found among the package of material organized by Robert Gersony while assigned to the UNHCR.

Third, the letter was date-stamped "December 8, 1994" by the ICTR. Presumably, this was its date of receipt by the ICTR.

Fourth, it is also noteworthy that the letter that we know was created no later than December 8th 1994 speaks of moving the Hutus out of the way in Zaire and this is exactly what happened. First the UN tried to force them back into Rwanda and partly succeeded. But the mass of refugees refused to return, so in 1996 the attacks on the Hutu refugee camps began, forcing them to flee into the Congo forest. There is a lot of testimony by Hutus who were either forced at gunpoint to return to Rwanda or experienced the manhunt against them conducted by the RPF and its allies.

Fifth, the letter is further authenticated by noting that the addressee (the Burundian Tutsi Jean Baptiste Bagaza) did in fact carry out a coup d'état in Burundi against a more moderate Tutsi and turned against the Hutu political group called Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi (FRODEBU, or Front for Democracy in Burundi). Unquestionably, Bagaza and Kagame were allies. According to the testimony of expert witness Dr. Helmut Strizek before the ICTR:

Q. "Very well, doctor, let's move toward the end. What clarification would you like to make on the relationship between Bagaza and Kagame when the president's aeroplane was shot down?"

Strizek. "If my memory serves me right, Bagaza had left the country, and I think returned after or before the assassination of Ndadaye. Bagaza was a hardliner, a Tutsi hardliner, so there was an alliance between the two of them, and they wanted to prevent a Hutu president from being in charge of Burundi."

Strizek. "Jean-Baptiste Bagaza was a Hima or Tutsi president of Burundi who took power when he overthrew President Micombero, who had been responsible of anti-Hutu genocide in 1972. He was in power for some time. . . .
"In my opinion, it's quite clear that Bagaza and Kagame follow the same line."12

Sixth, the man whose signature appears on the letter on behalf of Paul Kagame, Mr. Rwego, confirmed to a member of the defence team that he did in fact sign it.

The accidental discovery of this August 10, 1994 letter from Paul Kagame to his "Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza" was met with an immediate reaction by the prosecution, who accused the defence of fabricating it, pointing out a typo in the letterhead. But this line of criticism failed, as it was shown that there are other letters in existence from the RPF on the same stationary, with the same typo in the letterhead, and these letters are regarded as authentic.

That someone regarded the letter as authentic and dangerous is highlighted the fact that I was followed by a Tanzanian police officer the night after I produced it in court and was forced to complain about this surveillance in court the next day. Yet the prosecution continued its attacks on the letter's authenticity, even though the document came from the files of the prosecutor. And this important revelation during the Military II trial was never reported in the mass media -- though I did send it to many journalists, including the New York Times.

Now that the draft UN report on the atrocities committed by the RPF in the Congo has been leaked, the findings of the very first UN report of RPF atrocities against the Hutus beginning in 1994 should also be recognized and addressed.

The UN must explain why the record of that 1994 presentation by Robert Gersony was marked "confidential" and why the latest draft UN report does not refer to it.

The prosecutors at the ICTR must explain why they hid these documents from the defence for nearly 15 years, and why, even though they have these documents in their possession, they have never once used these documents to bring charges against a single member of the RPF.

Last, Paul Kagame and his American, Belgian, and British collaborators must explain the meaning of the letter -- and in particular, the meaning of the phrase, "plan for Zaire."


1 Christophe Châtelot, "L'acte d'accusation de dix ans de crimes au Congo RDC," Le Monde, August 26, 2010. For some additional news reports, see: "UN Uncovers Possible Genocide in Congo: Report," Agence France Presse, August 26, 2010; David Lewis, "Rwandan Army May Have Committed Genocide -- UN Report," Reuters, August 26, 2010; Judi Rever, "UN Lawyer Says Congo Butchery Resembled Rwandan Genocide," Agence France Presse, August 27, 2010; Michelle Faul, "UN Draft Report: Rwandan Army Attacks on Refugees in Congo in the 1990s Could Be Genocide," Associated Press, August 27, 2010; "DR Congo Killings 'May Be Genocide' -- UN Draft Report," BBC, August 27, 2010; Max Delany, Rwanda Dismisses UN Report Detailing Possible Hutu Genocide in Congo Christian Science Monitor, August 27, 2010; Chris McGreal et al., "Leaked UN Report Accuses Rwanda of Possible Genocide in Congo," The Guardian, August 27, 2010; Xan Rice, "Returning Refugees: Lush Land the Prize That
Could Reignite Ethnic Conflict in DRC," The Guardian, August 27, 2010; Howard French, "U.N. Report on Congo Offers New View of Genocide Era," New York Times, August 28, 2010; Colum Lynch, "U.N. Says Rwandan Troops Carried Out Mass Killings in '90s," Washington Post, August 29, 2010.

2 See "Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, draft report dated June, 2010, para. 517.

3 "UN Report on Rights Violations in DR Congo to Be Released Next Month," UN News Center, September 2, 2010.

4 Philip Gourevitch, "Rwanda Pushes Back Against UN Genocide Charges," New Yorker Blog, August 27, 2010.

5 Glen Ford, "Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U.S. Role in Congo Genocide," Black Agenda Report, September 1, 2010.

6 The Military II trial concerns the joint trial of General Augustin Bizimungu, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Gendarmerie, Major Nzwonyemeye, Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, and Captain Sagahutu , Commander, Squadron A of the Reconnaissance Battalion.

7 Let the record show that I have written here exactly what I said in court. The translation in the trial transcripts is a bit garbled, and I have corrected the text accordingly.

8 Reference ICTR document number R0002905, letter dated August 10th, 1994, date stamped by the ICTR 8th December, 1994. Marked as page 8 of 12.

9 Defence counsel had been informed by a member of the prosecution that an indictment exists against Paul Kagame for war crimes and is being held by the ICTR for the appropriate time. In order to determine whether this was correct information the defence counsel several times asked the prosecution to provide that indictment as it would affect the defense. The prosecution never denied its existence and the defence was advised to bring a motion to request it.

10 Judge Asoka Da Silva of Sri Lanka, Presiding Judge, Tria, Chamber III, ICTR.

11 Transcript, Military II Trial, November 18th, 2008, pages 1-3.

12 Transcript, Military II Trial, November 24th, 2008, page 62, lines 19-24; and page 63.

Christopher Black serves as Lead Counsel for the Hutu former General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff, Rwanda Gendarmerie, in Military II trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Paul Rigby
10-09-2010, 05:14 PM

The Rwandan Genocide: Revenge Tragedy

by John Laughland

Those who take the Rwandan genocide of 1994 as the supreme case for armed intervention should learn about its aftermath

As a hardened opponent of military interventionism and international war crimes tribunals, I find I am often floored when Rwanda is invoked. ‘How can you possibly advocate standing idly by when hundreds of thousands of people are being massacred?’ is a difficult question to answer. The events in Rwanda in 1994 have become the supreme moral reference point for interventionists, long after other similar causes célčbres have vanished from memory, because to contemplate the scale and method of killing there is to stare into the very heart of darkness.

William Hague last year expressed the prevailing sense of certainty when he said casually, ‘We are all agreed that we would intervene if another Rwanda were predicted.’ Returning to the theme of intervention last month, Mr Hague also cited Congo as an example of a country ravaged by war which Britain, committed as it is to human rights, ought to do something to stop. And who could disagree with that? Although almost unreported, the Congo wars, which have lasted since 1996, have claimed the lives, directly and indirectly, of more than five million people.

As it turns out, Mr Hague unwittingly put his finger on the very thing which invalidates the case for interventionism. For at the end of August, shortly before he spoke, the draft of a United Nations report had been leaked which details a decade of atrocities committed in Congo by the Rwandan army and its proxies and allies. The atrocities include large-scale massacres of civilians, essentially the Hutu refugees who had fled into neighbouring Congo (then Zaire) after the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front under General (now President) Paul Kagame took power in 1994.

Eventually published on 1 October, the report is the first official admission that there is another side to the Rwandan story, but it has taken 16 years to get this far. According to the usual narrative, the Tutsis now in power were victims of genocide committed by the previous Hutu regime in the period April to June 1994. That genocide was planned in advance, and the Hutu génocidaires even assassinated their own president by shooting down his aircraft on 6 April 1994, in order to have a pretext to start the killing. According to this new report, it is possible that genocidal mass killing continued for a decade after 1994, only this time committed by Tutsis against Hutus and without attracting the world’s attention.

The report even said that the atrocities could be classified as genocide. Rwanda — where in August President Kagame was re-elected for another seven-year term as president with a modest 93 per cent of the vote — reacted with fury. A spokesman for the Rwandan government said, ‘It is immoral and unacceptable that the United Nations, an organisation that failed outright to prevent genocide in Rwanda… now accuses the army that stopped the genocide of committing atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.’ The Rwandan Tutsis are determined to protect their reputation as victims of genocide, not perpetrators of it.

This is not the first time that allegations about massacres committed by Tutsis and the RPF have been communicated to the United Nations. Immediately after the events of April-June 1994, a US overseas aid official, Robert Gersony, found that between 5,000 and 10,000 Hutu were being killed every month by the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Army. But his report was suppressed by the UN, apparently with encouragement from Washington: Gersony was told never to write up his findings. It was not until 2008 that defence staff working at the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda chanced upon a written report of Gersony’s oral testimony, hidden among the prosecutor’s files. The document was published online last month.

Human Rights Watch has documented the way the report was stifled and speculates that this was done because Kagame was America’s ally. It is true that President Kagame, who trained at the US Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, was happy to be photographed with George W. Bush in the Oval Office, and that regime change in Rwanda was part of a general increase of American power in Africa. But what that interventionist organisation overlooks — precisely because of its energetic advocacy of international war crimes tribunals — is that the United Nations had its own interest in maintaining the line that the Tutsis were only victims. In the very weeks when Gersony was about to submit his report (September-October 1994), the UN was preparing to bolster its power by creating an International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which duly occurred by Security Council resolution on 8 November 1994. That tribunal’s remit, drawn up with the events of April-June 1994 exclusively in mind, is effectively limited to the killing of Tutsis, and so far it has never prosecuted anyone on the Tutsi side. In 1994, then, the UN was incapable of admitting there could be right and wrong on both sides because this would have immediately killed off its pet project. By creating the ICTR, the UN was committing itself institutionally to a one-sided version of events which whitewashes the Tutsis and the RPF.

That version, now finally destroyed by this latest report, has actually been coming apart at the seams ever since the creation of the ICTR — not that you would know it because the mammoth trials, which often last for over a decade, go largely unreported. The original claim that the Hutus assassinated their own president has never been proven. On the contrary, many believe now that the order to shoot down the presidential plane (the act which precipitated the mass killings) was given by Kagame himself, and that the RPF needed to assassinate President Habyarimana to seize power in Rwanda by violence: by the end of 1993, Habyarimana was committed to a peace process leading to elections, which the minority Tutsis (the country’s traditional aristocratic elite, and the backbone of the RPF) were certain to lose.

When they unearthed the unpublished Gersony testimony in 2008, defence lawyers at the ICTR also came across a letter from Paul Kagame, dated August 1994, which speaks of ‘our plan for Zaire’ (Congo). If the letter is genuine, it could provide proof that Kagame and the RPF were in fact plotting to invade Congo after seizing power in Rwanda: Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels did indeed overthrow President Mobutu of Zaire in 1996, starting the ten-year war. Chris Black, one of the lead defence lawyers, argues that both Rwanda and Uganda were planning the invasion as early as 1990, Kagame having initially been an officer in the army of Uganda, the country where he lived from the age of four. The RPF had invaded Rwanda in 1990, with Ugandan backing, before being repulsed: according to this theory, the eventual seizure of power in Kigali in 1994 was only part of a larger conspiracy to push on further west into the Congo, where fabulous mineral wealth awaits any conqueror.

If Black is right, then the prosecutors at the ICTR, and the United Nations generally, have not been prosecuting war criminals since 1994. They have instead been prosecuting the victims while covering for the aggressors. If he is right, the war in Rwanda was not an explosion of irrational violence — as at least one Hollywood movie maintains — but instead a classic war between states, Uganda and Congo, inside which was wrapped a civil war between the two rival social and ethnic groups in Rwanda. And if the world has never wanted to see these simple truths, it is because it has been blinded by the intense moralism of prosecutions for genocide: the ICTR’s statute and judgments are based on a three-month snapshot of a war which has, in fact, been going on, to and fro, for decades.

Not only is it psychologically difficult to accept that the victim of yesterday can become the butcher of tomorrow, but also the designation of one side as a victim can actually facilitate his butchery. Yet we should have learned long ago that revenge is inherent in the very nature of war itself. As Clausewitz urged, war is a precise series of reciprocal acts in which the deeds of one side are dictated by those of the other. Because international criminal tribunals tend to prosecute commanders rather than direct perpetrators, they adjudicate policies (or supposed policies) rather than actual crimes. They thus tend to condemn one side more than the other. Military interventionism reposes on the same moral judgments as such trials, because it is inevitably intervention to support one party to a conflict against its enemy. Both interventionisms give carte blanche to the designated victim, enabling him to continue the cycle of violence with impunity. Far from promoting peace, therefore, the application of the criminal law to war can actually fan the flames of fighting, because so-called international ‘justice’ is nothing but the continuation of war by other means.

Magda Hassan
01-07-2011, 07:58 AM
Paul Kagame: “Our Kind of Guy”
by Edward S. Herman * (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#auteur125238), David Peterson* (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#auteur125239)
What if we got it wrong about the massacres that ripped across Rwanda in 1994? According to Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, what really happened was not a genocide by the Hutu Power against the Tutsis, but a secret U.S. war that butchered an equal number of victims on both sides of the Hutu-Tutsi divide. At the heart of this slaughterous game we find the impervious Paul Kagame.

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif http://www.voltairenet.org/local/cache-vignettes/L400xH300/_0_-10-4eb38.jpg (http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/jpg/_0_-10.jpg)Bill Clinton and "Our Kind of Guy", Paul Kagame. Back in 1995, a senior Clinton administration official, commenting on Indonesian President Suharto, then on a state visit to Washington, referred to him as “our kind of guy”. [1 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb1)] He was speaking about a brutal and thieving dictator and double-genocidist (first in Indonesia itself, then East Timor), but one whose genocide in Indonesia terminated any left threat in that country, aligned Indonesia militarily as a Western ally and client state, and opened the door to foreign investment, even if with a heavy bribery charge. The first segment of the double-genocide (1965-1966) [2 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb2)] was therefore serviceable to U.S. interests and was so recognized by the political and media establishment. Indeed, following the mass murders in Indonesia proper, Robert McNamara referred to the transformation as a “dividend” paid by the U.S. military investment there [3 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb3)], and in the New York Times, James Reston called Suharto’s rise a “gleam of light in Asia”. [4 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb4)]
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame clearly is another “our kind of guy”: Like Suharto, Kagame is a double-genocidist, and one who ended any social democratic threat in Rwanda, firmly aligned Rwanda with the West as a U.S. client, and opened the door to foreign investment. Later, and far more lucratively, Kagame helped carve out resource-extraction and investment opportunities for his own associates and the U.S. and other Western investors in neighboring Zaire, the massive, resource-rich Central African country renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1997 during the First Congo War (ca. July 1996 - July 1998).
For many years Kagame has been portrayed in the Western mainstream media as the savior of Rwanda, having allegedly terminated the genocide committed against his own minority ethnic group, the Tutsi, by the Hutu majority (April - July 1994) [5 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb5)]. He and his supporters have long justified the Rwanda Patriotic Front’s military invasions of Zaire - the DRC as a simple pursuit of the Hutu genocidaires who had fled Rwanda during the war within, and Kagame’s conquest of, the country. This apologetic, long considered fraudulent by many marginalized dissidents, has finally come into question even within the establishment with the leak [6 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb6)] and then wide circulation of a draft UN report prepared for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (i.e., "Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003 (http://www.genocidewatch.org/images/DRC10_06_xx_Report_Draft_Democratic_Republic_of_th e_Congo_1993-2003.pdf)", June, 2010).
Not only does this report catalogue the massive atrocities committed in the DRC over a ten-year period, it attributes the responsibility for the most serious of these atrocities to the RPF. "There is no denying that ethnic massacres were committed and that the victims were mostly Hutus from Burundi, Rwanda, and Zaire", the draft report quotes the findings of a 1997 UN inquiry (para. 510). Factoring-in the "scale of the crimes and the large number of victims" as well as the "systematic nature of the attacks listed against the Hutu…[p]articularly in North Kivu and South Kivu…suggests premeditation and a precise methodology" (para. 514). The draft report’s section on the "Crime of genocide" concludes: "The systematic and widespread attacks…which targeted very large numbers of Rwanda Hutu refugees and members of the Hutu civilian population, resulting in their death, reveal a number of damning elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified crimes of genocide" (para. 517) [7 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb7)]. As Luc Cote, a former investigator and head of the legal office at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), observed: "For me it was amazing. I saw a pattern in the Congo that I’d seen in Rwanda. It was the same thing. There are dozens and dozens of incidents, where you have the same pattern. It was systematically done". [8 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb8)]
Actually, this was not the first time the UN had pointed to Kagame’s genocidal operations in Rwanda and the DRC. Even before the 1997 inquiry (quoted above), the surviving written summary of Robert Gersony’s oral presentation at the UN in October 1994 reports "systematic and sustained killing and persecution of the Hutu civilian populations by the [RPF]" in southern Rwanda from April through August of that year, and "Large-scale indiscriminate killings of men, women, [and] children, including the sick and the elderly…." The Gersony report estimated between 5,000 and 10,000 Hutu deaths each month from April on. "It appeared that the vast majority of men, women, and children killed in those actions were targeted through the pure chance of being caught by the [RPF]". ("Summary of UNHCR Presentation Before Commission of Experts," October 11, 1994.) Importantly, the members of this UN Commission agreed at this time to treat Gersony’s testimony and evidence as "confidential", and ordered that it should "only be made available to members of the Commission"—who promptly suppressed its findings [9 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb9)]. (See the letter written on UN High Commissioner for Refugees stationary by François Fouinat, addressed to Ms. B. Molina-Abram of the Commission of Experts on Rwanda, October 11, 1994.)
Among the many other UN reports on the DRC, the second in the series by the UN Panel of Experts on the “Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo” (S/2002/1146 (http://unbisnet.un.org:8080/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=12780969S7M5Q.18598&profile=bib&uri=full=3100001%7E%21689604%7E%212&ri=2&aspect=subtab124&menu=search&source=%7E%21horizon#focus), October, 2002) also stands out. The UN Panel estimated that by September 2002, some 3.5 million excess deaths had occurred in the five eastern provinces as “a direct result of the occupation of the DRC by Rwanda and Uganda” (para. 96). This report also rejected the Kagame regime’s rationale that its armed forces’ continued presence in the eastern DRC was needed to defend Rwanda against hostile Hutu forces terrorizing the border region and threatening to invade it; instead, the "real long-term purpose is…to ’secure property’", the UN countered (para. 66) [10 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb10)]. But though this 2002 report was not ordered suppressed the way the 1994 Gersony report was, it was nevertheless ignored in the Western media, despite the fact that 3.5 million deaths greatly exceeds the highest toll attributed to the "Rwanda genocide” of 1994.
This suppression was surely a result of the fact that Kagame is a U.S. client, whose deadly efforts in the DRC were actually in line with the U.S. policy of opening up the country to U.S. and other Western mining and business interests. In fact, in answering questions on this leaked report, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley admitted that “We do have a relationship with Rwanda apart from the tragic history of genocide and other issues in the 1990s. Rwanda has played a constructive role in the region recently. It has played an important role in a variety of UN missions. It is in our interest to help to professionalize military forces. And we work hard on that in various parts of the world. So we have engaged Rwanda.” [11 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb11)] Crowley and company hadn’t gotten around to studying that draft UN report at the time. But then, on the other hand, there were those earlier UN reports of Kagame’s mass killings of civilians in both Rwanda and the DRC, which led to no discernible U.S. or UN response (except, as noted, suppression). Could it be that these were the acceptable responses of those “professionalized military forces”, as they have been to the performance of the professionalized forces of Suharto and the U.S.-trained Latin American troops fresh out of the School of the Americas (http://www.voltairenet.org/article165093.html)? Could it be that these horrors were also “dividends” and a new "gleam of light”—in Africa?
It is interesting to note that the first New York Times article on the draft UN report, by Howard French, refers to the difficulty encountered in getting this new report out—it was in fact leaked first to Le Monde in France by insiders who were concerned that its really critical parts might be excised before its release. The UN had already felt it necessary to show the draft to the Kagame government for comments [12 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb12)], and that government’s denunciation of this “outrageous” document was spelled out in a full paragraph in the NYT article. As French explained it, there were “difficulties over seven months” in getting the report released over the objections of a government “which has long enjoyed the strong diplomatic support from the United States and Britain”. [13 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb13)]
Perhaps the UN insiders and media were emboldened to act by the remarkable 93 percent vote total obtained by Kagame in the August 9, 2010 presidential election, where he seems to have gotten massive support from the Hutus whose relatives and ethnic compatriots he was busily slaughtering on such a large scale in the DRC. This election got enough publicity to put Rwanda back on the media stage, if only briefly, with even the U.S. administration expressing mild “concerns” over "what appear to be attempts by the government of Rwanda to limit freedom of expression" (Philip Crowley, August 9) [14 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb14)] and urging voluntary reforms. Suppose credible evidence was found by the UN that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez had massacred thousands of refugee women, children, elderly, and wounded in a neighboring country. Can you imagine the UN asking Chavez to comment on a draft report on his activities, and granting him seven months before someone leaked it to a major newspaper?
We may note also that this possible DRC genocide is discussed by Howard French and the rest of the mainstream media within the partially exonerating context of “The Genocide” of 1994, where Kagame was allegedly the savior who ended a Hutu-engineered mass killing. As French writes, following the established Western party-line, “In 1994, more than 800,000 people, predominantly members of the ethnic Tutsi group in Rwanda, were slaughtered by the Hutu”. [15 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb15)] In this and other current mainstream reports there was, first, the primary genocide of the Tutsi by the Hutu, which it now appears may have been followed by a secondary genocide in response by the Tutsi against the Hutu.
But this context is based on a monumental establishment lie about the first genocide, and in fact the great difficulty in publicizing the mass murder in the DRC has an obvious common source with that lie: namely, as Kagame is a servant of the U.S. and other Western imperial powers, reports of his crimes are ignored by Western officials and avoided in the mainstream media. The truth, which Howard French and his associates cannot admit, is that the real 1994 genocide was also mainly the work of Paul Kagame, with the assistance of Bill Clinton, the British and Belgians, the UN, and the mainstream media [16 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb16)].
Paul Kagame relies on the myth of his savior role to maintain his domination of Rwanda [17 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb17)], although this merely supplements his primary dependence on force. But he has made “genocide denial” a crime, with the standard model of the "Rwandan genocide" taken as the truth, so that those contesting his power can be treated as “genocide deniers” or “divisionists” and prosecuted for crimes against the Rwandan state. On this basis, Peter Erlinder, a U.S. lawyer and lead defense counsel at the ICTR, was arrested when he arrived in Rwanda in late May to represent Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, a Hutu opposition political candidate, who had also been arrested and barred from running for political office. Although Erlinder was released on bail in mid-June, his arrest and the systematic crackdown on opposition parties and candidates prior to the August election has been awkward for defenders of the savior and standard model [18 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb18)].
As to the mythical character of that model, consider the following:
http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/pictos/puce.gif The “triggering event” in the first genocide is generally accepted to have been the April 6, 1994 shooting down of the jet carrying Juvenal Habyarimana, the Hutu president of Rwanda, and Cyprien Ntaryamira, the Hutu president of Burundi. There is overwhelming evidence that this shootdown was organized by Paul Kagame. This was the conclusion of Michael Hourigan, an investigator who researched the subject for the ICTR in 1996 [19 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb19)]. But his report on this to ICTR prosecutor Louise Arbour was set aside, after consultation with U.S. officials, and the ICTR failed to engage in any further investigation of the “triggering event” over the next 13 years. Why would the ICTR, a creature of the U.S.-dominated Security Council, drop this subject unless credible evidence pointed to the U.S.-supported Kagame and the RPF?
http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/pictos/puce.gif An even more extensive investigation of the “triggering event” by French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière concluded that Kagame needed the "physical elimination" of Habyarimana in order to seize state-power within Rwanda before the national elections called for by the 1993 Arusha Accords, elections that Kagame almost certainly would have lost, given that his minority Tutsi were greatly outnumbered by the majority Hutu [20 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb20)]. Bruguière also noted that the RPF alone in Rwanda in 1994 were a well-organized military force, and ready to strike. And the politically weak but militarily strong Kagame-led RPF did strike, resuming its assault on the government of Rwanda within two hours of the Habyarimana assassination. This suggests advance knowledge as well as planning and an organization ready to act, whereas the Hutu planners in the establishment’s mythical version of these events seem to have been disorganized, overmatched, and quickly overpowered. In less than 100 days, Kagame and the RPF controlled Rwanda. On the assumption that the shoot-down was central to the larger plan of Hutu Power and genocide, this would have required a miracle of Hutu incompetence; but it would be entirely understandable if it was carried out by Kagame’s force as part of their plan to seize state-power.
http://www.voltairenet.org/local/cache-vignettes/L220xH161/1-2462-2-6e497.jpg (http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/jpg/1-2462-2.jpg)After expelling the Catholic clergy accused of supporting the genocide, Paul Kagame invited 2 000 evangelical missionaries trained by Pastor Rick Warren, and proclaimed Rwanda "a nation under God". Pastor Warren was chosen by Barack Obama to give the invocation at his presidential inauguration. http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/pictos/puce.gif Kagame was trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and has received steady U.S. material and diplomatic support from the time he assumed command of the RPF shortly after the RPF’s invasion of Rwanda from Uganda in October 1990 [21 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb21)], a serious act of aggression that was somehow not taken seriously in the Security Council, up to and beyond the RPF’s final assault on the Rwandan state that began on April 6, 1994. During that April assault, when the “genocide” was presumably well underway, the remnants of the Rwandan government urged the UN to provide more troops to contain the violence, but Paul Kagame didn’t want more UN troops as he was sure of a military victory, and—surprise!—the United States was also against such a troop addition. In consequence, the Security Council greatly reduced the number of UN troops in Rwanda—a bit hard to reconcile with the standard account that the locus of primary responsibility for the 100 days of killings resides with "Hutu Power" (and killers) and their genocidal plan. The apology in 1998 by Bill Clinton on behalf of the "international community" for "not act[ing] quickly enough after the killing began" [22 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb22)] was unconscionable hypocrisy. Rather than failing at some non-existent humanitarian objective, the Clinton administration facilitated Kagame’s conquest of Rwanda in 1994, so Clinton shares Kagame’s criminality for the violence in Rwanda and for the violence that the RPF extended so ferociously into the DRC for so many years.
http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/pictos/puce.gif As regards evidence on the killings, there is no doubt that many Tutsi were killed, although mostly in sporadic bursts and localized vengeance killings, not as the result of a systematically planned operation of Hutu commanders. Only the Kagame forces seem to have killed on a systematic and planned basis. And their killings were played down by the UN and United States. Not only was the 1994 Gersony report on Hutu killings by the RPF suppressed by the UN, an internal memorandum to the U.S. Secretary of State in September 1994 that reported the killing of "10,000 or more Hutu civilians per month" by Tutsi forces also never saw the light of day, except for its unearthing by Peter Erlinder and its use as evidence at the ICTR [23 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb23)]. When the U.S. academics Christian Davenport and Allan Stam, who were initially employed by the ICTR to document all deaths in Rwanda during 1994, concluded that the "majority of victims are likely Hutu and not Tutsi", they were promptly fired. "The killings in the zone controlled by the FAR [i.e., the Armed Forces of Rwanda] seemed to escalate as the [RPF] moved into the country and acquired more territory", they write, summarizing what they consider the "most shocking result" of their research. "When the [RPF] advanced, large-scale killings escalated. When the [RPF] stopped, large-scale killings largely decreased." [24 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb24)]
Would it not have been incredible for Kagame’s Tutsi forces, the only well-organized killing force within Rwanda in 1994, whose surges on the battlefield were systematically accompanied by spikes in deaths, and who were able to conquer Rwanda in 100 days, to have been unable to prevent Tutsi deaths from exceeding the Hutu deaths by a large margin, as the standard model of the "Rwandan genocide" holds? Indeed, it is incredible, and should be considered a propaganda myth.
http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/pictos/puce.gif This myth is also incompatible with basic population numbers. As we first reported elsewhere [25 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb25)], and will now repeat here (see Table 1, below), the official 1991 census of Rwanda determined the country’s ethnic breakdown to be 91.1% Hutu, 8.4% Tutsi, 0.4% Twa, and 0.1% "other." Thus out of Rwanda’s 1991 population of 7,099,844 persons, Rwanda’s minority Tutsi population was 596,387, compared to a majority Hutu population of 6,467,958. Additionally, as Davenport and Stam point out in their Miller-McCune article, the Tutsi survivors organization IBUKA claimed that "about 300,000 Tutsi survived the 1994 slaughter"—a number which means that "out of the 800,000 to 1 million believed to have been killed then, more than half were Hutu". [26 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb26)] In fact, it is highly likely that far more than half of those killed in Rwanda during the April-July 1994 period were Hutu; and of course after the RPF seized state power in July, Hutu deaths inside both Rwanda and later the DRC continued unabated for another decade-and-a-half.
Concluding Note
http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/gif/00.gifThere is great continuity in U.S. policy in the Third World, and it is not pleasant. Thus a Bill Clinton official could find the mass killer Suharto “our kind of guy” in 1995, and Suharto received steady U.S. support for 33 years, through the administrations of Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton, until his downfall during the Asian currency crisis in 1998. In a more recent time frame, extending from 1990 to today, Paul Kagame, an even more ferocious mass killer, has gotten support from the first George Bush, Bill Clinton, the second George Bush, and now Barack Obama (whose Deputy Secretary of State hadn’t gotten around to looking at the draft UN Report on Kagame’s mass killings in the DRC). It is interesting, also, to see the media treat this latest “our kind of guy” so kindly, with the liberal New Yorker’s Philip Gourevitch even comparing Kagame to Abe Lincoln (in his 1998 book We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families), and Stephen Kinzer publishing a hagiography of this deadly agent of U.S. power (A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It [2008]).
This leaked UN report and the negative publicity generated by Kagame’s sham election in August 2010 may open up the mainstream a bit to a more honest examination of this U.S.-supported mass killer. But that is no sure thing, given the value of his service to U.S. power in Africa, and given the U.S. establishment’s deep commitment to a narrative that for many years has protected and even sanctified the “man who dreamed”.
http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/jpg/0-102.jpgEdward S. Herman and David Peterson are co-authors of The Politics of Genocide, published in 2010 by Monthly Review Press.

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http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif Edward S. Herman (http://www.voltairenet.org/auteur125238.html?lang=en)
Edward S. Herman is professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has written extensively on economics, political economy, and the media. Among his books are Corporate Control, Corporate Power (http://www.amazon.com/Corporate-Control-Power-Twentieth-Century/dp/0521289076) (Cambridge University Press, 1981), The Real Terror Network (http://www.amazon.com/Real-Terror-Network-Terrorism-Propaganda/dp/0896081346) (South End Press, 1982), and, with Noam Chomsky, The Political Economy of Human Rights (http://www.amazon.com/Political-Economy-Human-Rights-Reconstruction/dp/0851242723) (South End Press, 1979), and Manufacturing Consent (http://www.amazon.com/Manufacturing-Consent-Political-Economy-Media/dp/0375714499) (Pantheon, 2002).

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David Peterson (http://www.voltairenet.org/auteur125239.html?lang=en)
An independent journalist and researcher based in Chicago, David Petersen has co-authored numerous articles with Edward S. Herman.

This author's articles http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/pictos/imprimer.gif (http://www.voltairenet.org/auteur125239.html?lang=en)

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif Rwanda’s national population as of 1991, broken-down by its two largest ethnic groups

[27 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb27)]
Prefectures Hutu Tutsi Totals [28 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb28)] Butare 618 172 (82,0 %) 130 419 (17,3 %) 753 868 Byumba 761 966 (98,2 %) 11 639 (1,5 %) 775 933 Cyangugu 489 238 (88,7 %) 57 914 (10,5 %) 551 565 Gikongoro 401 997 (86,3 %) 59 624 (12,8 %) 465 814 Gisenyi 708 572 (96,8 %) 21 228 (2,9 %) 731 996 Gitara 764 920 (90,2 %) 78 018 (9,2 %) 848 027 Kibungo 596 999 (92,0 %) 49 966 (7,7 %) 648 912 Kibuye 398 131 (84,8 %) 69 485 (14,8 %) 469 494 Kigali 822 314 (90,8 %) 79 696 (8,8 %) 905 632 Kigali City [29 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nb29)] 180 550 (81,4 %) 39 703 (17,9 %) 221 806 Ruhengeri 760 661 (99,2 %) 3 834 (0,5 %) 766 795 TOTALS 6 467 958 (91,1 %) 596 387 (8,4 %) 7 099 844 Urban 313 586 (83,9 %) 57 186 (15,3 %) 373 762 Rural 6 154 365 (91,5 %) 558 265 (8,3 %) 6 726 082

[1 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh1)] David E. Sanger, "Real Politics: Why Suharto Is In and Castro Is Out," New York Times, October 31, 1995. As Sanger described the Clinton administration’s embrace of Suharto: "When [Suharto] arrived at the White House on Friday [October 27] for a ’private’ visit with the President, the Cabinet room was jammed with top officials ready to welcome him. Vice President Gore was there, along with Secretary of State Warren Christopher; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Shalikashvili; Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown; the United States trade representative, Mickey Kantor; the national security adviser, Anthony Lake, and many others. ’There wasn’t an empty chair in the room’, one participant said. ’No one used to treat the Indonesians like this, and it said a lot about how our priorities in the world have changed’….[Indonesia is] the ultimate emerging market: some 13,000 islands, a population of 193 million and an economy growing at more than 7 percent a year. The country remains wildly corrupt and Mr. Suharto’s family controls leading businesses that competitors in Jakarta would be unwise to challenge. But Mr. Suharto, unlike the Chinese, has been savvy in keeping Washington happy. He has deregulated the economy, opened Indonesia to foreign investors and kept the Japanese, Indonesia’s largest supplier of foreign aid, from grabbing more than a quarter of the market for goods imported into the country….’He’s our kind of guy’, a senior Administration official who deals often on Asian policy."
[2 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh2)] "1965 : Indonésie, laboratoire de la contre-insurrection" (1965: Indonesia, laboratory of counter-insurgency), by Paul Labarique, Réseau Voltaire, 25 May 2004.
[3 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh3)] On Robert McNamara, see Noam Chomsky, Year 501: The Conquest Continues (http://www.southendpress.org/2004/items/Year501) (Boston: South End Press, 1993), p. 126. "Particularly valuable," Chomsky notes, with direct relevance to the story of Paul Kagame’s rise, "was the program bringing Indonesian military personnel to the United States for training at universities, where they learned the lessons they put so use so well. These were ’very significant factors in determining the favorable orientation of the new Indonesian political elite’ (the army), McNamara argued" (p. 126).
[4 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh4)] James Reston, "A Gleam of Light in Asia," New York Times, June 19, 1966.
[5 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh5)] The most widely cited account of what we regard as the standard model of the "Rwandan genocide" is Allison Des Forges et al., "Leave None to Tell the Story": Genocide in Rwanda (http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1999/rwanda/rwanda0399.htm) (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999).
[6 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh6)] The existence of this draft UN document was first reported in France by Christophe Châtelot, "L’acte d’accusation de dix ans de crimes au Congo RDC (http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2010/08/26/l-acte-d-accusation-de-dix-ans-de-crimes-au-congo-rdc_1402933_3212.html)", Le Monde, August 26, 2010.
[7 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh7)] See "Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003 (http://www.genocidewatch.org/images/DRC10_06_xx_Report_Draft_Democratic_Republic_of_th e_Congo_1993-2003.pdf)," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, June, 2010. Here we emphasize that although this report was leaked to the media and then circulated widely, we do not know whether it will be revised before its eventual official publication (scheduled for October 1, 2010), and how dramatic the revisions will be.
[8 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh8)] Judi Rever, "Congo butchery resembled Rwandan genocide: UN lawyer (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iJzDZXdibBnSA349xi-zeqwMYO2g)," Agence France Presse, August 27, 2010.
[9 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh9)] See the treatment of Robert Gersony’s oral presentation before the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as the written order by the Commission of Experts on Rwanda to suppress Gersony’s findings, in Christopher Black, "The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups (http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/black120910.html)", MRZine, September 12, 2010.
[10 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh10)] Mahmoud Kassem et al., Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/2002/1146 (http://unbisnet.un.org:8080/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=12780969S7M5Q.18598&profile=bib&uri=full=3100001%7E%21689604%7E%212&ri=2&aspect=subtab124&menu=search&source=%7E%21horizon#focus)), UN Security Council, October, 2002.
[11 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh11)] U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley, "Daily Press Briefing (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2010/08/146439.htm)", U.S. Department of State, August 30, 2010.
[12 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh12)] See Philip Gourevitch, "Rwanda Pushes Back Against UN Genocide Charges (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/08/rwanda-united-nations.html)," New Yorker Blog, August 27, 2010.
[13 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh13)] Howard French, "U.N. Report on Congo Offers New View of Genocide Era (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/world/africa/28congo.html?_r=1&src=me)," New York Times, August 28, 2010.
[14 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh14)] U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley, "Daily Press Briefing (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2010/08/145819.htm)," U.S. Department of State, August 9, 2010.
[15 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh15)] French, "U.N. Report on Congo Offers New View of Genocide Era (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/28/world/africa/28congo.html?src=me)."
[16 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh16)] See Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, The Politics of Genocide (http://www.monthlyreview.org/books/politicsofgenocide.php) (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010), pp. 51-68. For an electronic copy of this section of our book, see "Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Propaganda System (http://www.monthlyreview.org/100501herman-peterson.php)," Monthly Review 62, no. 1, May, 2010.
[17 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh17)] The myth of the Paul Kagame-led Rwandan Patriotic Front ending rather than triggering and participating in—and even perpetrating—the mass atrocities of 1994 known as the "Rwandan genocide" was propagated by Alison Des Forges et al. in "Leave None to Tell the Story": Genocide in Rwanda (http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1999/03/01/leave-none-tell-story). "The Rwandan Patriotic Front ended the 1994 genocide by defeating the civilian and military authorities responsible for the killing campaign", we read in the chapter devoted to the RPF. "Its troops encountered little opposition, except around Kigali, and they routed government forces in operations that began in early April and ended in July" (p. 692). The entire chapter that Des Forges et al. devoted specifically to "The Rwandan Patriotic Front" (pp. 692-735) must be understood as an attempt to propagate this myth by which the Kagame dictatorship has justified its rule by violence since 1994 and the pillage that followed.
[18 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh18)] See Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, "Peter Erlinder Jailed by One of the Major Genocidaires of Our Era—Update (http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/hp170610.html)," MRZine, June 17, 2010.
[19 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh19)] See Affidavit of Michael Andrew Hourigan (http://hungryoftruth.blogspot.com/2009/09/michael-hourigans-affidavit-to-ictr.html), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, November 27, 2006. For other sources that discuss the suppression of the Hourigan memorandum, see Robin Philpot, Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard (http://www.taylor-report.com/Rwanda_1994/) (E-Text as posted to the Taylor Report Website, 2004), esp. Chap. 6, "It shall be called a plan crash"; Steven Edwards, "’Explosive’ Leak on Rwanda Genocide (http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/36/441.html)", National Post, March 1, 2000; Mark Colvin, "Questions unanswered 10 years after Rwandan genocide (http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2004/s1077423.htm)", PM, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 30, 2004; Mark Doyle, "Rwanda ’plane crash probe halted’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6348815.stm)", BBC News, February 9, 2007; Nick McKenzie, "UN ’shut down’ Rwanda probe (http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/un-shut-down-rwanda-probe/2007/02/09/1170524298428.html)," The Age, February 10, 2007; and Tiphaine Dickson, "Rwanda’s Deadliest Secret: Who Shot Down President Habyarimana’s Plane? (http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=11133)", Global Research.com, November 24, 2008.
[20 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh20)] Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, Request for the Issuance of International Arrest Warrants (http://www.taylor-report.com/Documents/BrugiereReport-English.pdf), Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, November 17, 2006, p. 12 (as archived by the Taylor Report website).
[21 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh21)] Two early reports on the Paul Kagame-led Rwandan Patriotic Front’s 1994 overthrow of the remnants of the Habyarimana government are worth referencing here: Steve Vogel, "Student of War Graduates on Battlefields of Rwanda," Washington Post, August 25, 1994; and Raymond Bonner, "How Minority Tutsi Won the War," New York Times, September 6, 1994.
[22 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh22)] "Clinton’s Painful Words Of Sorrow and Chagrin (http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/26/world/clinton-in-africa-clinton-s-painful-words-of-sorrow-and-chagrin.html)," New York Times, March 26, 1998.
[23 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh23)] See George E. Moose, "Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda (http://www.rwandahumanrights.org/docs/UNHR-US-STATE-DEPT-REPRISAL-KILLINGS-RWA.pdf)," Information Memorandum to The Secretary, U.S. Department of State, undated though clearly drafted between September 17 and 20, 1994. This document was called to our attention by Peter Erlinder, the director of the Rwanda Documents Projec (http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library) at William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, ICTR Military-1 Exhibit, DNT 264.
[24 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh24)] Christian Davenport and Allan C. Stam, "What Really Happened in Rwanda (http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/what-really-happened-in-rwanda-3432/)?" Miller-McCune, October 6, 2009.
[25 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh25)] See Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, "Adam Jones on Rwanda and Genocide: A Reply (http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/hp140810.html)," MRZine, August 14, 2010, specifically Table 1, "Rwanda’s national population as of 1991, broken-down by its two largest ethnic groups."
[26 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh26)] Davenport and Stam, "What Really Happened in Rwanda? (http://www.miller-mccune.com/politics/what-really-happened-in-rwanda-3432/)"
[27 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh27)] Adapted from Table 4.2, Répartition (en %) de la population de nationalité rwandaise selon l’ethnie, la préfecture ou le milieu de résidence, in Recensement general de la population et de l’habitat au 15 aout 1991, Service National de Recensement, Republique Rwandaise, p. 124. Table 4.2 reported the national population of Rwanda, ca. 1991, by ethnicity and expressed as percentages (i.e., here the percentages inside the parentheses). Based on Rwanda’s total population (7,099,844) at the time, we’ve simply calculated the related approximate totals in the second and third columns for Hutu and Tutsi (e.g., 7,099,844 x 8.4% = 596,387 for the total Tutsi population of Rwanda at the time of the 1991 census). Note that these numbers are to be regarded as approximate totals.
[28 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh28)] Note that although we’ve omitted separate columns for the Twa and Other ethnic groups that were listed in Table 4.2 (1991), our Totals column here includes the totals for Twa and Other..
[29 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article167972.html#nh29)] Note that Kigali City’s total is separate from the total for Kigali Prefecture.

Paul Rigby
01-25-2011, 07:52 PM
AUDIO: KPFA CONGO NEWS-Expanded Question & Answer between KPFA’s Ann Garrison & Africa Investigator Keith Harmon Snow

by Ann Garrison

Global Research, January 25, 2011
Afrobeatradio - 2011-01-24

On Sunday, 01.23.2011, I called veteran Africa investigator Keith Harmon Snow for KPFA Weekend News regarding the second anniversary of the outset of the catastrophic 2009 Eastern Congo Offensive. As is always the case with “sound bite news,” I couldn’t include most of our conversation, but Keith was kind enough to write out his answers to the questions I’d sent for AfrobeatRadio.net. We at AfrobeatRadio consider Keith’s website, Conscious Being Alliance and the various audio recordings of his presentations, including, recently, his Lecture on Profiteering from Genocide in Central Africa , at the Brecht Forum in New York City, to be some of the best investigative reporting and analysis of African issues available. -Ann Garrison

Listen to audio

Here are the original questions and my original typed replies.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Most Americans, including those who campaigned hardest for Obama, would have a near impossible time making sense of this. Few would recognize the acronyms of the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF), the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), or the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Keith Harmon Snow: There has been a US backed campaign to destabilize, depopulate, and colonize eastern Congo/Zaire since the first US-supported invasion of 1996, which occurred under William Jefferson Clinton, and which followed the US destabilization and coup d’etat in Rwanda. The US and its allies are deploying their proxy army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) — renamed the Rwandan Defense Forces or RDF about 10 years ago – in our secret campaign to balkanize Congo and create a Republic of the Volcanoes in this region. This would be an expansion of Rwanda achieved through the annexation of the Kivu provinces of Congo, possibly along with Maniema Province. Uganda for its part, with US support, would like to annex the Ituri province. These campaigns are backed by multinational corporations, and the goals are political, military and, mostly, economic.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: So, what sense does it make, to say that Barack Obama invaded Congo, the heart of Africa, on his Inauguration Day?

Keith Harmon Snow: The US backed military invasion of 20 January 2009 included US military commanders, special forces, military advisers, technicians and other US military personnel, and it involved weaponry supplied by the US and Britain.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Can you explain the CNDP militia and the significance of its integration into the Congolese army, the FARDC, on January 20, 2009?

Keith Harmon Snow: First, the name CNDP – Congress for the Defense of the People – couldn’t be further from the truth. The CNDP was a Rwandan Tutsi based militia that was created by Rwandan war criminals that had infiltrated Eastern Congo, infiltrated troops into eastern Congo, and that mobilized, armed and economically empowered Rwandan Tutsi civilians that had infiltrated eastern Congo in recent years and in recent decades. There was a tripartite agreement between Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni, and the president of Congo – another Rwandan – Joseph Kabila – which worked behind the massive propaganda of “peace talks” to advance the military campaign to infiltrate and control eastern Congo. By quote “integrating” these Rwandan militia elements into the Congolese National Army the Rwandan program was advanced through a kind of Trojan horse operation.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Can you explain the arrest of Laurent Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda’s assumption of CNDP leadership in his place?

Keith Harmon Snow: This was a cosmetic move with no real importance, meant only to pacify certain international calls to arrest and remove the self-proclaimed General Laurent Nkundabatware. Both Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda were documented war criminals. Nkunda of course knows too much, he is too much of a liability to Kagame, and so he is living a very good life at present in Rwanda.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: And, what about the UN Mapping Report leaked on August 26th, then finally released on October 1st?

Keith Harmon Snow: Well, that report, while revealing and progressive, in the sense of holding certain armies and individuals accountable for war crimes, was also a whitewash of the real situation. On one hand it introduced, for the first time, some credible evidence, produced by international bodies and the United Nations, that the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries committed genocide against unarmed Hutu people – mostly women and children – in Congo from circa 1995 to 1999. At the same time the evidence and facts are distorted and downplayed, and the criminality of Rwanda and Uganda are downplayed and even questioned, and the numbers of dead and kinds of atrocities are downplayed or distorted, and there is absolutely no mention of western agents or militaries or corporations involved in the killing. For example, we know the names of US diplomats, USAID officials, and military commanders involved in hunting down and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Hutus, mostly women and children.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: What do you think this operation, the 2009 Eastern Congo Offensive, which began on Obama’s Inauguration Day, says about the racial justice that many hoped the election of Barack Obama would represent?

Keith Harmon Snow: The operation called “Umoja Wetu” resulted in massive war crimes, and Barack Obama is no symbol or agent of racial equality, but just another US official involved in persecuting people of color everywhere, and through all sorts of horrible deprivations and war crimes.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: And what about the racism inherent in this mission to “hunt down Hutu militias”?

Keith Harmon Snow: Well, this is more nonsense—the whole “hunt for Hutu genocidaires was a key element of the psychological operation against the western English-speaking world to cover up for western imperialism and the commission of massive war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide—and plunder of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of minerals, timber, and lives. Under this psychological operation—using such propaganda films as Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April and Shake Hands With The Devil and Beyond the Gates—the English-speaking world suffers a collective mental illness about what really happened in Rwanda. Instead of the racist story about Hutus killing Tusis with machetes in 100 days of genocide, the truth is that the US, British and Israeli military and their Ugandan and Rwandan proxy forces are responsible for genocide against both Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, Congo and Burundi. Who are the victims? The innocent civilians in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo and they are still suffering massively under US overt and covert operations in the Great Lakes region.

Many thanks to Ann Garrison, David Landau & Anthony Fest, and the KPFA Weekend News. -Keith Harmon Snow