Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Truth about Genocide still Haunts Kagame

Rwandan strong man, Paul Kagame was incensed by Spanish Judge, Fernando Andreu’s arrest warrant for 40 of the top brass in Kagame's regime. This did not go down well with Kagame who described the judge as arrogant and asked him to go to hell.

His was, as usual, to jump the smoking gun. He’s been hollering to the international community for its declension to give over genocide that he "stopped" his way by taking over and ushering in a draconian regime.

But again, looking at how genocide was perpetrated in Rwanda, Kagame will one day be implicated. He has been using the media and international fora to push the mess under the carpet. But, unfortunately for him, it does not go away or under.

The international community has been dealing with this case exparte in that all Hutu (both adults and minors) are regarded as killers! This is not the first or last time such international concerns have surfaced after Kagame succeeded to gag the media in Rwanda. This has been oft-reported and condemned by Human Rights Watch.

The world deserves to know what transpired in Rwanda in 1994. Prime questions are: Who brought down the presidential jet that killed two presidents, Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi? Why is the figure given by Rwandan authorities bigger than the actual number of the ethnic Tutsi said to have been killed in the genocide?

Statistics shows that by then, Rwanda had the composition of 9 percent of Tutsi. The population then was 8,206,450 (Source: 1993 CIA World Fact book) If this is what it actually was, the whole Tutsi population would have been wiped out. This means ten percent of Rwandese was Tutsi. This is approximately 820,000. We're told 1,000,000 ethnic Tutsi were butchered. Where did the difference come from? Many questions still beg answers. What does the history of military confrontations between Tutsi-led RPF and the then authorities in Kigali say?

Going back to the Spanish Judge, He investigated the matter after a human rights group filed a complaint. Under Spanish law, a court can prosecute alleged human rights crimes, even if they take place abroad. The judge said that, after taking power, the army under Kagame carried out mass killings of Hutu in Rwanda and in refugee camps in neighbouring DRC, then Zaire.

The Judge also indicted the Rwandan officers for the murder of 9 Spanish citizens, including six missionaries. He said he had evidence implicating President Kagame, who has immunity from prosecution. In 2006, a French judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, issued indictments against nine close aides of Mr Kagame, sparking a huge diplomatic row.

But again, is it fair for a foreign power to indict a head of state? Can any of African judges do this to a western leader? Why not? It is a shame however. But if African rulers have rebuffed from putting their houses in order, what should we expect? Charles Taylor knows this too well. Kagame ought to borrow a leaf.

Though the dead tell no tales, chances are one day the so-called genocide in Rwanda will surface so as the truth to be known.

OFF THE CUFFS: Kagame is not short of controversy. Early this year he was quoted urging the Kenyan army to "intervene" during the impasse resulting from the rigging of elections that saw Kenya plunge in carnage and anarchy.

Not before long, he was accused of invading the DRC where his army alongside that of Uganda killed people and stole wealth. In other development, some journalists-cum-activists will meet in Montreal Canada to deny the occurrence of genocide in Rwanda!


By Nkwazi Mhango
Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He is a Journalist, Teacher, Poet, Human Rights activist and member of the Writers' Alliance of New Foundland and Labrador (WANL)

Source: The African Executive Magazine-Nairobi.

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