Stop bragging that RPF stopped the Rwandan genocide
Rwandan government and some misinformed media outlets should stop bragging that RPF soldiers should not be touched because they stopped genocide.
It is well documented that RPF leadership was interested in taking power and not in stopping genocide.
Here are some few facts:
● During the Arusha Peace negotiations, RPF opposed a large contingent of UN troops to oversee the implementation of the agreement. Faced with the intransigence of RPF, the government delegation, agreed on a contingent of 2,500 people, half of what it wanted. It dragged on negotiations on this issue Jan –June 1993 to prepare for war.
● The RPF opposed international military intervention for fear that it would prevent it from taking total power while the security council was discussing the matter. Refer to the letter written to the security council on the 30th of April 1994 (3 weeks after the massacres started).
● When war resumed and massacres started after the assassination of late President Habyarimana (by whom???), RPF rejected an offer for a meeting on the 8th April 1994, by the then FAR military crisis committee set up on the 7th April to examine how to manage the new crisis.
● On 8th April 1994, the RPF asked all foreign troops to quit within 48 hours declaring they would be considered as enemy combatant if they stayed longer.
● On 12th April 1994 the RPF rejected a truce offered by the governmental forces in order to fight those who were carrying out massacres of civilian populations.
● I challenge anybody to show evidence of any RPF declaration where RPF was asking for international intervention to stop massacres. Or where RPF was pleading that if the UN left, there would be more Tutsi victims.
● On the 30th of April, RPF made a statement opposing UN initiatives for a deployment of international forces in order to help curb the massacres of civilians. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and to many observers, an intervention would have saved tens of thousands lives. The RPF declared that the genocide was over and that there was nobody to save; yet it claims to have stopped genocide. HRW confirms that thousands of Tutsi were still alive and calling for help.
● Gen. Dallaire, commander of the UN forces in Rwandan (UNAMIR), testified under oath before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, that Gen. Paul Kagame told him those civilian killings were to be considered as “collateral damage” for his war plan. In fact, genocide became an excuse and the Interahamwe and those behind them became unknowingly RPF’s strategic allies by helping to turn the international community against the government in power. Soon we shall get testimonies of Tutsi survivors accusing RPF of having sacrificed Tutsis inside Rwanda for the sake of getting to power.
● The former U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, Robert Flatten, testified in June 2005 at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that he personally warned Gen. Kagame and President Habyarimana that if either of them resumed war by breaking the Arusha Accords cease fire, they would be responsible for thousands of civilian casualties from retaliatory killings that U.S. State Department documents predicted should the war resume…
● In the testimony of Col. Marshall (former Deputy UN troops commander in Rwanda) at the Criminal International Tribunal for Rwanda on 2/12/2006 “From my experience, my conclusion is that the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) had one goal, seizing power by force and keeping it to themselves”, “For me, it is the Rwandan Patriotic Front which has perpetrated the attack (shooting the presidential aircraft). Not once, never have I sensed the desire to make concessions, to smooth rough edges, to reach a consensus”. The assassination triggered genocide.
These are some of the facts people should consider before giving Kagame and his movement RPF any credit for stopping the genocide. It is sickening when people, on purpose or confusedly, distort the truth and brag on how RPF stopped genocide.
Not only do we have evidence that RPF didn’t seek to stop the genocide, but soon or later, people will have the right to know who started the genocide in first place. If anything, we need another UN commission of enquiry to establish the RPF role in deliberately creating conditions that led the country and the region into a catastrophe of such magnitude. Kagame and his men have still to answer the accusations of the French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, the Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu and the Oklahoma Lawsuit and many more to come.
The facts described in the many damning reports, including the Gersony report, Carla del Ponte, documents at the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and many others, do not go away because RPF is in a denial state and exercises heavy-handed and large-scale political hooliganism. Time to face the truth is long overdue.