Kwibuka25: Nigerian scholar calls out France over genocide fugitives

Dr Philip Afaha, the Nigerian historian presenting his paper at the University of Abuja. Courtesy.

A Nigerian scholar has called out France on what he called hypocrisy, when it comes to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

This was during the event to mark the 25th commemoration of the Genocide on Sunday, which was held in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Addressing students, government officials and other

mourners, including diplomats, Dr. Philip Afaha, the Dean of the faculty of History and Diplomatic studies at the University of Abuja scoffed at what he called hypocrisy of the Paris government.

Rear Admiral Samuel Ilesanmi Alade (Rtd) who was part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda. Courtesy

The event was hosted at the University of Abuja.

He specifically picked issue with the team of experts picked last week by French President Emmanuel Macron to probe the role of France in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Nigerian historian delivered a paper titled

At the event, Afaha delivered paper titled “Beyond Rwanda: A Genocide and the Purpose of History.”

He said: “While I was writing this piece on Rwanda, a significant event occurred; President Macron of France announced that he has constituted a high powered committee to probe the role of French troops in the 1994 Rwandan genocide after exactly 25 years stringent denials of complicity.”

“Curiously, the committee’s terms of reference does not include an explanation of the rationale behind France offer of asylum and protection from persecution of the ring leaders of that senseless killing. The hypocrisy of Paris is as nauseating as it is insulting to common sense.”

The commemoration ceremony in Abuja was well attended, mainly by the youth. Courtesy 

France continues to harbour key architects of the Genocide and 25 later, just two have been tried while no one has ever been extradited to Rwanda to face justice.

Afaha told the largely youthful audience that it is a historical fact that French troops trained and aided militia to kill their compatriots in Rwanda.

“It is a curious irony that the accused has become the judge. That is the tragedy of the current world order. I will come back to this later.”

He then went on to offer the audience, especially the students, what he termed as a simpler definition of genocide, and a better glimpse into what transpired in Rwanda in 1994.

For 100 days, starting April 7, in 1994, the Tutsi people were subjected to indiscriminate killings, worsened by the inhumane and degrading afflictions the victims had to endure, including rape, torture, and all sorts of endless emotional sufferings.

The scholar said that while most of the lead perpetrators were ferried off and accommodated in France and other western countries immediately after normalcy returned to Rwanda, something else – a conspiracy – was playing out at the UN.

“The real conspiracy to silence the genocide narrative and prevent international sanctions on evil collaborators played out in the UN until the global body admitted, lamely, that genocide actually occurred, without a hoot on sanctions on foreign collaborators or reparations to Rwanda.”

“Sadly, the UN system allowed France and other super powers to walk free ostensibly because the guilty are the judge – they are the permanent members of the Orwellian UN Security Council.”

Rear Admiral Samuel Ilesanmi Alade (Rtd) who wrote and launched a book on the 1994 Genocide titled “The Making of a Million Smiles – Reflections of Rwanda’s Rise from the Ashes” in January also made a presentation.

Alade was a UN military observer in Rwanda in 1994 “and witnessed the devastation first hand.”

Rwanda’s envoy to Nigeria, Stanislas Kamanzi, said 25 years ago, humanity was defeated by evil and afforded to lose to insanity and recklessness an excess of a million innocent lives, as a matter of paradox, under the passive watch of insensitive multilateral platforms, with the UN Security Council at the helm.

“For a hundred days, life became an elusive dream for the victims while their killers made it mercilessly worthless,” he said.

Kamanzi, among others, said that as part of this 25th Commemoration, programs tailored for the youth were initiated, to help them get a better grasp of the stakes at play.

The youth, he said, have to be deeply immersed, as active agents, in the dynamics of the perpetuation of the fundamentals of the contemplated change.