Rwandans living in Australia on October 19 condemned claims by a subversive element cum genocide denier based in there, Noel Zihabamwe, who alleges he was threatened by the Rwandan government because he refused to be its agent.
Zihabamwe’s unacceptable actions, Diaspora leaders noted, aim to defame the government of Rwanda.
Evariste Ngenzi, chairperson of the Rwandan Diaspora of New South Wales, explained how the news media in Australia is used for a hidden agenda to “prepare the ground for smooth migration to Australia” for relatives of people like Zihabamwe who deny and trivialise the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Zihabamwe’s father was an ex-FAR - remnants of the genocidal army - who died in 1995, which explains his animosity towards the government of Rwanda today.
Another known genocide denier, Amiel Nubaha, is reportedly based in Queensland, Australia. Nubaha’s father, Froduard Rukeshangabo, also in Australia, is alleged to have directed mass murder and torture of the Tutsi in Eastern Province during the 1994 Genocide.
According to Yvonne Kagaga, vice chairperson of the Rwandan Diaspora of New South Wales, there are varying reasons why the country has become a haven for such people.
Kagaga told The New Times that the fact is that there is no law in Australia condemning acts of genocide denial and deniers.
“When Genocide deniers arrive here, they misuse the freedom of speech and start practicing their criminal ideology which also affects the community, mostly the people who were affected by genocide.
“Also, as there are no many survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi living in Australia, these criminals feel safe and confident to exercise their denial practices as the chance to be recognised here is minimal.”
Diaspora sources also told The New Times that some Rwandans living in Australia are fugitives sought for the crimes of genocide including some already tried and convicted in absentia by Rwandan Gacaca Courts.
But there are also those now referred to as a new breed of genocide deniers.
These ones pose as survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi but they are not, and, have a hidden agenda to distort the Genocide, with revisionist propaganda.
They are younger generation descendants of Rwandans directly or indirectly linked with the massacres in Rwanda more than two decades ago.
Shedding light on why things are as they are, Ngenzi noted that Australia resettled many Rwandan refugees after 1994. Most were in Rwanda when the Genocide was perpetrated.
“Most of them might have played a role in it, so denial of the crime is obvious,” he said.
Again, he noted, far-away Australia has no much interest in Rwanda “and doesn’t really understand what denial of the Genocide committed against the Tutsi is.”
Besides, he noted, there is not any legal framework to address that issue.
“Rwanda’s detractors use genocide denial as a way to oppose the current Rwandan government; and bring about the notion of double genocide. The children of the genocidaires, who are now grownups, have the same ideology as their parents,” he added.
Worse still, sources say, Australia is now a haven for Rwandan “subversive groups” who espouse the deadly Hutu Power ideology. These groups, as noted, joined hands with other active anti-Kigali subversive groups, especially members of the Rwandese National Congress (RNC), a terror group led by Kayumba Nyamwasa.
These, it is said, are the same elements who established the Rwandan Association of Queensland.
Jean B Kayigamba, a Rwandan who has done extensive research on these groups, told The New Times that: “They think Australia is far away from Rwanda. For too long, they have exploited the naivety and generosity of gullible Australians who ignore that some of these people are just genocide fugitives or their offsprings.”
“But some members of these communities have close ties to the so-called opposition parties like the extremist Ishema Party, and terrorist groups like the P5 whom they fund and support. They have all one thing in common. They are genocide deniers and espouse the Hutu Power ideology.”
Theogene Ngabo, the Queensland association’s current chairman is a mobiliser for the MRCD-FLN militia.
The MRCD President, Paul Rusesabagina, known for the fictional Hollywood movie Hotel Rwanda, is a genocide denier who frequented Australia before his arrest last month.
Rusesabagina who is now in court in Rwanda was arrested over terrorist attacks by the Forces de Libération Nationale (FLN) militia group he is believed to have created and funded.
Also in Australia, among others, is Pacifique Gakindi, the former chairman of the association in Queensland.
In December 2018, at least nine unarmed civilians lost their lives in militia attacks claimed by FLN, the military wing of Rusesabagina’s MRCD political coalition.
Kayigamba noted that of late, a new pattern has emerged.
He said: “Some of these people, in a bid to facilitate reunification with some of their family members left in Rwanda, have thrown spurious allegations that the latter have been abducted and disappeared by Rwanda security organs.”
“This is the case of Noel Zihabamwe who told ABC that his brothers were murdered without any tangible evidence. But it is not a secret that he is a friend of the defrocked priest Thomas Nahimana, president of the extremist Ishema Party, who is his frequent guest. And then you wonder; is this just a coincidence?”Follow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames