Genocide Culpability Deserves Pope Benedict XVI’s Apology - At a Minimum

Part 2 cont’d I have extensively read the testimony the genocidaire Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda gave to the ICTR investigators. It is from an individual who does not express remorse, but, at least sheds light on truth.
L-R : Former PM Jean Kambanda ; Sister Maria Kizito Mukabutera (L), and her Mother Superior Sister Gertrude Mukangango participated in the  massacre of some 7,000 people seeking refuge at her convent in southern Rwanda.
L-R : Former PM Jean Kambanda ; Sister Maria Kizito Mukabutera (L), and her Mother Superior Sister Gertrude Mukangango participated in the massacre of some 7,000 people seeking refuge at her convent in southern Rwanda.

Part 2 cont’d

I have extensively read the testimony the genocidaire Prime Minister, Jean Kambanda gave to the ICTR investigators. It is from an individual who does not express remorse, but, at least sheds light on truth.

He is better than many leaders of the Catholic Church who have mastered crimes cover-up including genocide.

On the first day they started quizzing him, September 25, 1997, Kambanda spoke about bystanders and denial.

“I say again, that during the massacres I didn’t see a single person, be it a civil, political, religious, or moral authority or an expatriate ... state in public his opposition to the massacres. Today, you can ask all bishops who are in Rwanda, and who were there in Rwanda during the massacres. You can ask all the soldiers who were in Rwanda at the time of the massacres. You can ask the entire population that was there during the massacres. I didn’t see a single soul stand up and say “I am against”.

In this statement, five times, Kambanda use the word “massacres” instead of “genocide”. For a confessed perpetrator, it is understandable.

What he may not know is that powerful men of the cloth in the Vatican remain unsympathetic to victims.

Jean Pierre Karegeye, dared ask Kolvenbach the source of his allegations. The answer? Was the Rwandan Catholic Bishops!

Kambanda said he had noted that those who were guilty of genocide “were doing everything to deny even the obvious.” For example, that people between April and July 1994, were killed because of their ethnic origin.

He continues: “They even go as far as refusing that people were killed during the period in question. To this end, we fabricated all kinds of alibis in which lies had pride of place.”

One, and most important decisions they made to enforce denial, was to establish “the responsibility” of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and the international community in the “Rwandan catastrophe”. 

Kambanda says: “Contrary to what one may think, this was the easiest part to prepare since everyone was willing to make a contribution.”

To bolster genocide denial and accuse others instead, Kambanda says his genocidaire government in Bukavu and Goma quickly established NGOs to carry out the task.

The first was SOLIDAIRE-Rwanda ASBL which was supposed to do investigations in South Kivu, Burundi and Tanzania. The second was called LIRDHO (Rwanda Refugees Human Rights League) and, the third, AJPR (Association for Justice and Peace in Rwanda)
LIRDHO and AJPR, basically, were subsidiaries of SOLIDAIRE- Rwanda.

The findings of Solidaire were published in three volumes under the title “The Untold Side of the Story of the Massacres in Rwanda”.

LIRDHO’s task was to reproduce part of the SOLIDAIRE’s report but only findings which fall after July 1994.  What AJPR did, was to reproduce SOLIDAIRE’s report with a different title: “The Other Face of the Genocide”.

According to Kambanda, investigations for these reports “were carried out by teams set up” by his “intelligence services”. 

These reports, by the genocidaire machinery have been widely quoted by known academicians like Filip Reyntjens with or without knowledge of the real source. Or, like the Belgian Catholic priest, Serge Desouter, who argues that in the case of Rwanda, genocide is nothing more than a political campaign by Tutsis.

Several Catholic News agencies, like Fides and Misna, and Newspapers, have blatantly used the discourse of genocidaires to deny genocide. One good example is the Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano, which in May 1999 published an editorial affirming “double genocide” in Rwanda.

The Catholic Church is grappling with sex scandal to protect its dignity. Genocide is fundamentally an attack on human dignity and worth. 

If only the Catholic Church thought to increase its dignity by extending recognition and respect to the victims and survivours of genocide. 

So many hearts still cry for the harmless Tutsi who were so sadistically annihilated in 1994 and in the 1950s and 1960s, with clear knowledge or complicity of the clergy.

Not only does this tragedy weigh heavily on my backbone, I am distressed, as should all of us, which many of their killers are at large and continue to activate their extreme hatred of the Tutsi. 

Given the opportunity, they would try and regain power so as to put the finishing touches to their criminal project.
They are empowered in this aim by the likes of Desouter and Kolvenbach when the events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are subjected to distortion and denial.

In a country which is predominantly Christian thousands of people sought sanctuary in churches but were killed there with full knowledge or complicity of priests and bishops.

Their choice of the place of safety was based on a false belief that nobody would attack them in places believed to be sacred. People went to their relatives’ places for safety-later only to be handed over to the killers because they were Tutsi. 

The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis was a total act.  They were to be destroyed in their entirety, every single one of them.  It was not enough that they should die, they had to be killed in cruel and unusual ways.  Their killers competed to outdo one another. 

Teacher turned against student; doctors gave their Tutsi patients lethal injections; nuns turned away terrified helpless people; and priests stood at the front of the mob and directed its fury at Christians cowering in their churches. 

From dawn to dusk, groups of men gripping their work tools trudged through the marshes and knocked on closed doors looking for hiding places. 

So much energy, so much thinking in the cause of genocide!  What could the victims have done to deserve such a fate? 

To be continued…

tndahiro@gmail.com

 

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