Quite a number of people have e-mailed in to express their shock at my ‘slanderously’ explicit language last Sunday, but they must understand that I am talking about slanderous facts.
I am sorry for hurting your sensibilities, esteemed readers, but I am a firm believer in the fact that the Genocide against Batutsi must be faced squarely as the stark horror that it was.
In fond memory of those who perished at the hands of Rwandan and French Génocidaires, and in respect of the ever traumatised survivors, let us not mince words in exposing the atrocities perpetrated by French soldiers in ‘Opération Turquoise’.
Only, I am hard-put to find language barbaric enough to do justice to the description of these atrocities. French soldiers committed many violent vulgarities in many areas, not only Nyarushishi camp, and I can’t help assaulting you with another slanderous example.
Take Flore, for one: she was 14 years old when one Interahamwe, known as Masudi, miraculously saved her from death and delivered her at Kamarampaka stadium, Cyangugu. On noticing her, a huge French soldier led the little girl to a tent.
The girl welcomed this gesture, naively thinking the White man had taken pity on her: she couldn’t have been further from the truth.
When the huge man started ripping off her dress, the girl tried to cling on to it because she thought he was going to only kill her after all, and she did not want to die naked. Yes, ‘only kill’, because it had become the easier alternative.
Poor little girl, the horror of what was going to happen did not dawn on her even when the man lifted her like a feather and placed her on his mattress and started raping her.
She believed he was in the process of murdering her, and made up her mind not to scream while dying, in spite of the enormous pain. As blood flowed, the soldier just wiped it off as he continued his macabre business.
When the soldier saw that the little girl was going to faint, he dismounted and redirected his phallic battering to her mouth. There again, however, the little Flore started vomiting and the massive soldier had to stop.
Sobbing silently, the girl continued to bleed profusely as she had been torn badly, and she was unable to put her legs together.
The soldier then stuffed the bleeding Flore into a t-shirt and, practically lifting her, led her outside the stadium where he dumped her.
To escape, Flore painfully crawled towards a bush where she thought she could hide but, as luck would have it, an old woman passing by came to her aid. The woman hired a bicycle and took her to her place and, for a month, she nursed Flore until she ‘healed’.
‘Healed’ in inverted commas because, understandably, such a girl cannot heal. Traumatised and permanently broken, Flore today belongs to ‘the living dead’, a group of survivors of the Genocide against the Batutsi who have gone through experiences that are so devastatingly dehumanising that their world has for ever been crushed.
And this is only the second of a massive body of examples of the active participation of French soldiers in the Genocide. The French participated side by side with FAR/Interahamwe in looting property; shooting Batutsi dead or hacking them to death in homes and at roadblocks; throwing them to their death out of helicopters; and dumping them into latrines, natural pits or rivers.
In all this, the Mitterrand government enthusiastically supported them by putting all finances and sophisticated weaponry at their disposal, as it did at the disposal of FAR/Interahamwe, whom it had so passionately trained.
All of which explains the ridiculous extent to which some in the French government are going in denying the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi ever occurred.
In Rwanda, therefore, no one is surprised that the Mitterrand-sympathiser remnants in the French government should, in a bizarre twist, continue to desperately try blaming the Genocide on the gallant RPA combatants who stopped it.
This sickly crusade is gang-driven by a motley cabal of faded politicians, gangster judges and carnivorous journalists. With only a gullible and ineffectual international community to fall back to, Rwanda must expect a long-drawn-out and bruising fight ahead.
But then again, when hasn’t that fight been there? And, to the credit of her sons and daughters, Rwanda has never disappointed! With hope in the future, she trudges on. Her spirit will not be killed.