Giving the right name to the Genocide against the Tutsi is a good move by UN

Using the right appellation of the 'Genocide against the Tutsi' is important in fighting its denial. That’s why I thank the UN for the effort towards the fight against genocide denial.
Mourners place roses on a mass grave at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Gisozi, last week, in honour of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. (John Mbanda)
Mourners place roses on a mass grave at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, Gisozi, last week, in honour of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. (John Mbanda)

Editor,

RE: “UN adopts correction on appellation ‘Genocide against the Tutsi’” (The New Times, January 28).

Using the right appellation of the “Genocide against the Tutsi” is important in fighting its denial. That’s why I thank the UN for the effort towards the fight against genocide denial.

When talking about the Genocide without specifying the group that was targeted by the “genocide”, it creates a loophole that enables genocide deniers to carry on their evil mission of distorting historical events with insinuations like “inter-ethnic war” between the Hutu and the Tutsi whereas the Genocide against the Tutsi had been planned and tried for decades.

For instance, on the dates of 7th- 21st January, 1993, a delegation of international experts composed of Jean Carbonare (France), Dr Philippe Dahinden (Sweden), Prof. René Degni-Segui (Côte d’Ivoire), Me Eric Gillet (Belgium), Dr Alison Des Forges (USA), Dr Pol Dodinval (Belgium ), Rein Odink (Netherlands), Halidou Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso), André Paradis (Canada), and Prof. William Schabas (Canada) conducted an investigation on killings in Rwanda at the time.

Their report was released in March 1993, and stated that the killings that targeted the Tutsi in Rwanda and members of the opposition were led by top officials including President Habyarimana himself, members of his family, and his closest faction.

“The responsibility of the Head of State and his immediate entourage, family members among others, is heavily present in the massacres perpetrated against the Tutsi and members of the opposition,” read the report.

The committee found several unmarked graves in the prectures of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi. Examination of the bodies found that they were mostly young men, and most of them had multiple fractures to the face and skulls, caused by blunt instruments.

In March 1991 alone, 277 bodies were found. The victims were Tutsi (Abagogwe).

These massacres had taken place in different communes of Ruhengeri, and Gisenyi, including, Nkuli, Kinigi, and Mukingo in Ruhengeri, Gaseke, Giciye, Karago, Mutura, Kanama, Rwerere in Gisenyi.

The Commission concluded that the local civilian and military authorities, including Charles Nzabagerageza, the prefect of Ruhengeri and Côme Bizimungu of Gisenyi, were involved in the killings, as were the mayors of the respective communes.

Besides, the simulation attacks held in Bigogwe Military Barracks followed by the murder of the Tutsi living near the barracks is a good example of the testing of the “genocide” where, on the night of 4th February 1991, sustained gun fire was heard inside the military establishment.

It is thus of great importance to use the right reference “the Genocide against the Tutsi” to fight those who take advantage of unspecific references to deny and trivialize it despite the thousands of facts proving that it was a long-term plan to exterminate the Tutsi.

Bemba

 

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