Senator shares fresh insights into roots of 1994 Genocide in new book

Revisionists who claim that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was triggered by the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana will have to change the note chords on their mustical instruments following the release of a new book.

Revisionists who claim that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was triggered by the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana will have to change the note chords on their mustical instruments following the release of a new book.

In the book, Inzira ya Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi mu Rwanda (A path to Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda), Senator Dr Jean Damascene Bizimana argues that the plan to kill the Tutsi was hatched way back by Belgians with extremist ParmeHutu political party, even before the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) was created.

The book, written in Kinyarwanda, was launched on Wednesday.

The author shows that genocide ideology started in 1957 and began to be experimented in 1959, culminating in the full-scale execution in 1994.

Dr Bizimana shows that in 1963, the word “genocide” was used in Rwandan history by Swiss researcher Denis Gilles Vuillemin after he observed the massacre of the Tutsi in Kaduha and Cyanika in the south of Rwanda.

The book also mentions that a Belgian researcher, Luc De Heusch, who was in Rwanda then, also said the plan to kill Tutsis was established by Belgians with ParmeHutu even before the RPA invasion.

Genocide planners

The book accuses President Gregoire Kayibanda of initiating, through his ParmeHutu party, the genocide ideology as seen in his public speeches full of hatred.

In the speeches, the book says, Kayibanda always insulted, and threatened the Tutsi warning that they were destined for death.

The author accuses Habyarimana–who took power in 1973–and his government of following in the footsteps of Kayibanda to teach hatred and genocide ideology through his party MRND and even got it inscribed in judicial documents.

The author shows that genocide ideology was taught and implemented in different aspects of the country such as in education, which remained a preserve of one ethnic group (Hutu). 

Dr Bizimana writes that the army was the reserve of the Hutu and that this prepared ground for the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

On the book and its content, the author says what sets it apart from others published on the same subject is that he included new facts.

“I used documents that had never been used in other books. For example, documents that were used in 1990-1994 to track the collaborators of RPA. The papers showed that the people were accused of being Tutsi as a crime,” he said.

These documents, he added, were found in secluded places and in non exploited documentation in various government offices.

Speaking to The New Times, Dr James Vuningoma, the executive secretary of Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture, said such books can help deepen understanding of Rwandan history.

“I call on all Rwandans, especially the youth, to read this book as it is one of the best resources for anyone who wants to know how bad politics divided us,” Dr Vuningoma said.

Dr Jean Damscène Gasanabo, the director of documentation and research on genocide at the National Commission for the fight against Genocide, said they will be offering the book for free to educational centers so that the young generation are able to access it.

The English and French versions of the book will be released in the next two weeks.

 

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