Many a time, I am mesmerised by the insensitivity and cynicism with the content of some reports from rights bodies. True, some reports from Kenneth Roth and his cohorts have been instrumental as whistle blowers in cases where the rights of people are at the peril especially, in autocratic regimes.
But equally, some of their reports lack objectivity, are driven by cynical desires and are an epitome of racial supremacy, where Africans will always be seen in the stone age mirror.
Take a look at a recent letter from Human Rights Watch to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) entitled “Letter to the Prosecutor of the ICTR Regarding the prosecution of RPF crimes.”
This particular letter called upon the ICTR prosecutor to expedite the issue of indictments against members of the RPF/RPA for so-called ‘war crimes’ committed during the 1994 civil war.
The question of trying RPA/RPF has always been portrayed in different lenses by different individuals. Some for sinister intentions and others for political capital.
If one dug deep into the history of the RPA and its four-year protracted war, you will find that this movement has always had a strict code of conduct dating back to its bush days. Its chairman is a well known no-nonsense character, who wields an iron-fist when it comes to issues of indiscipline.
Who doesn’t know that RPA executed corporal punishments for its officers including the rank and file that committed crimes during the four year guerrilla war?
Ironically these very rights bodies obsessed with hanging the RPA/F were the same ones condemning this movement for its capital punishments at the time.
Even now, the government has never turned down any evidence leading to subsequent prosecution of RPF members accused of any crimes.
It has demonstrated the will of justice as evidenced in last year’s trail of Gen. Gumisiriza and his lieutenants in relation to the Kabgayi killings.
But for HRW to water down this landmark trial and treat it as a ‘whitewash’ is an insult that ought to be treated with the contempt it deserves.
For the New York based rights body to say it was “extremely disappointed” by this trial, simply because two of the accused were acquainted and others convicted, is a reflection of the cynical motive behind their agenda.
To them, they will rest their case once President Kagame, (who ideally is guilty of running a strict disciplinary apparatus) is humiliated alongside his colleagues who picked this country from the ashes of 1994 to a new “bright light” on the African continent.
By concluding that the trial of Gumisiriza and his group was “a political whitewash and a miscarriage of justice” is not only an insult to our justice system but a clear indication that HRW has a political agenda its serving.
And by castigating the transfer of RPF files to Rwandan jurisdiction, HRW is not only insulting the conscience and professional conduct of the ICTR prosecutor and his team but also playing the racial supremacy card, one where a fair and honest justice system is a monopoly of the classical courts of London, Paris, New York etc.
What happened to the element of impartiality that defines the functioning of such rights bodies?
The New York-based organisation risks being classified among the group of those cold-blooded characters who have been amplifying the negationists/ revisionists theory at the misery of the survival of the 1994 Tutsi genocide.
How else would one explain their description of the unfortunate Kabgayi killings as “a planned military operation involving more senior officials?” Isn’t this a clear indication that HRW watch is an apologist of the genocide? Wouldn’t one be forced to believe that their scripts on Rwanda are edited by the likes of Rusesabagina or Mugesera?
Just like revisionists, HRW is using illegitimate distortion of the historical records to make events appear in a more or less favourable light that indeed favours their new school of thought.
Recall that revisionism appeals to the intellect, using a number of illegitimate techniques to advance a view such as the “tens of thousands” allegedly killed by RPF as cited by HRW.
And recall that revisionist invent “ingenious but implausible” reasons for distrusting genuine documents such as the ICTR prosecutors instruments placing the onus of trying RPA cases on the government of Rwanda, which HRW is quashing.
Surprisingly or rather cynical, instead of prevailing hard on the ICTR to meet its completion strategy by transferring cases to Rwanda, HRW is instead calling for extension of its mandate. What a sinister intention indeed!!
HRW, do not fall in this trap. You are a respected body which prides itself for its impartiality. You should not be a smokescreen of other people’s political agendass at the expense of your mission and vision.
And if you (HRW) want to dwell on the RPF charges, perhaps you should read into the latest Judge Bruguire’s script on how these allegations have become a mere hogwash.