The Media Shouldn’t Give Succour to Ingabire’s Revisionist Rhetoric

Last month, Victoire Ingabire earned herself the most vicious distinction for being the first and only person to publicly espouse a revisionist and Genocide denial position, in relation to the Genocide against the Tutsi, on the Rwandan territory. Indeed the kind of extremist rhetoric she has been articulating in the last month is nothing new to the Rwandan public. The difference here is that Ingabire is rubbing salt in the wounds of the Genocide survivors, right at the scene of the crime.

Last month, Victoire Ingabire earned herself the most vicious distinction for being the first and only person to publicly espouse a revisionist and Genocide denial position, in relation to the Genocide against the Tutsi, on the Rwandan territory.

Indeed the kind of extremist rhetoric she has been articulating in the last month is nothing new to the Rwandan public. The difference here is that Ingabire is rubbing salt in the wounds of the Genocide survivors, right at the scene of the crime.

On her arrival in Kigali after 16 years of self-imposed exile, the top item on her agenda was an immediate visit to the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site where, standing on the graves of the victims – 250,000 of them – Victoire Ingabire went on to tell the world that there were two Genocides in Rwanda.

Diabolic as it is, make no mistake about, Ingabire has a fringe constituency, mainly in Europe and North America who subscribe to her revisionist line. However, before Ingabire did it at Gisozi, the revisionist forces had never had a voice in Rwanda or the East African region for that matter.

For the editorial management of a respectable regional publication – The East African – to choose to give space to a known revisionist and Genocide denier, simply boggles the mind. Indeed the newspaper could easily label our observations as sentimental or even emotional. Tell that to the United Nations.

Ingabire’s dossier is much deeper than the editors at Nation Media Group think. Her membership and active role in the upper echelons of FDLR are well documented.

Victoire Ingabire’s name features prominently on United Nation’s list among the top leaders and active fund-raisers of the FDLR, an organization included on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups.

It was only this week that a senior United States legislator recommended the publishing of the names of all FDLR leaders.

Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois, Deputy Senate Majority leader, made the declaration on his visit to Goma in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Victoire Ingabire is already listed and has been exposed, as member of a terrorist organization FDLR, by none other than the United Nations itself. The question is: Why should a regional publication seek to give succour to such an individual?

The objectives and outcomes of the ideology that FDLR and Ingabire represent are not a remote concept. The Rwandan people, who were at the receiving end some sixteen years ago, still remember as if it happened yesterday.

Indeed, having declared “I do not waver on my genocide ideology” some readers gave her the benefit of the doubt, believing that maybe the quote was an error that Ms Ingabire would rectify.

It’s now coming to a week and we haven’t heard any correction to that effect. Clearly, Ingabire knew what she was talking about and she shouldn’t be second-guessed.

Reports that Ingabire’s interview with The East African was masterminded by some intelligence organizations within the region, with a long history of using journalists as agents and assets, if true, do not augur well for regional stability.

Apart from re-affirming what she describes as her “genocide ideology”, the interview was a joke calculated to introduce Victoire Ingabire to The East African readers.

Her tirades against such national institutions and programmes as Gacaca, unity and reconciliation, as well as gender equality cannot be dignified with a comment, given the fact that they have been recognized the world over, for the critical role they have played in the recovery and subsequent development of the country.

Victoire Ingabire is an individual frozen in time. Ever since she was initiated into the Parmehutu mindset and view society, which evolved into the Genocide ideology in Rwanda, her view of the world has remained static.

Her ideological roots are often betrayed by the kind of language that has characterized her declarations and news releases.

Since her return last month, Ingabire has been communicating to the public through inciting but coded messages, the same language that characterized the founders of the Genocide ideology in Rwanda, including Dominique Mbonyumutwa, one of her ideological ancestors and extremist politician whose grave Ingabire visited to pay homage, soon after she arrived in the country.

And her statements in English and French, vicious as they are, sound much more sanitized compared to her Kinyarwanda versions which are designed to incite the Rwandan public.

For those granting Victoire Ingabire the platform and media channels to articulate her views, her recent interview with The East African where she doesn’t mince her words about her unwavering commitment to her Genocide ideology, should serve as a wakeup call demonstrating that to certain Rwandan politicians, Genocide is an unfinished business.

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