If the generic theme adopted by the post-Genocide government in Rwanda is ‘Never Again: ‘Remember, Unite, Renew’, the specific theme for this 24th commemoration of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi is: Fighting genocide denial.
Last week, I reminded that denial is the last phase of genocide, which occurs before, during and after. Denial is the continuation of genocide by other means.
For anyone committed to preventing genocide, fighting denial must be a priority.
A Genocide in nature shocks the entire mankind and injures the human conscience, hence the term ‘Crime against Humanity’.
In other words, by attempting to eradicate one group, a member of the human species, one is attacking mankind as a whole, and threatening to deprive mankind of one of its children.
Without the Tutsi, the world would lose balance. God wanted the world to have Tutsi amongst infinity of other groups.
In ways that are known and unknown to us, Tutsi contribute to completing the human condition, at the same level as any others.
Having met them personally, I know at least that their absence would make this planet a boring place…
Only fools believe they can achieve a genocide. It is practically impossible to eradicate a group in its entirety; mighty evil powers can go at great lengths to try, but as we have seen with the holocaust, human resilience is undefeatable and to quote Greek Poet Dinos Christianopoulos ‘They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds’.
However, as time goes by, genocide and in this case genocide ideology evolves, adapts and readjusts.
Jambo ASBL is ‘Genocide light’. Subtle, camouflaged, to ensure that those who are out to fight genocide ideology do not detect it.
However, having spent years in exile, having lived in Rwanda under Kayibanda and Habyarimana; having lived in Rwanda immediately after the Genocide and for 24 years ever since, our bigotry detectors are permanently switched on; to quote Joseph Heller in catch-22, ‘Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.’
A revisionist debate, as subtle as it may be, is not what Rwandans are lacking today. That the message can be masked by sophisticated ‘democracy and NGO’ speeches does not deceive anyone; the proof, these democratization messages appear just before and during the period of commemoration.
It is absurd that descendants of the killers claim to be victims, not of their unenviable fate, but survivors of the abomination of their parents, and that they continue with their demagoguery to torment the survivors.
It is indeed appalling that this ideology persists. In fact, the mere existence of the Tutsi is an insult to genocide revisionists.
A crime is personal. Children are not responsible for the crimes of their parents. However, children whose parents initiated genocide ideology or are in prison, sentenced to Genocide, extermination, Crimes against Humanity and other such inhuman crimes must be extra cautious.
My heart cringes when I hear a young man named Mbonyumutwa – after his father, calling himself a victim; or Victoire Ingabire, the daughter of Pascal Gakumba, a known killer sentenced to life in prison and committed suicide, calling herself Rwanda’s democracy champion.
I am terrified when French intellectuals engage in demagoguery in the Genocide against the Tutsi and questioning what happened in Rwanda to camouflage their Government's role.
I feel like it’s the Rwandan nightmare all over again. Imagine Hitler’s son crawling out of hell to start a right wing party in Germany. Just imagine that for a second.
Now imagine an association of former Nazi’s children and relatives, calling themselves survivors of World War Two and starting a pro-democracy NGO in a country that has political conflicts with Israel.
Europeans never put denial and genocide ideology into perspective. Europeans criticise countries that use their current political conflicts with Israel to deny the Holocaust, yet French media does precisely that: They use their political conflicts with President Kagame or with Rwanda to trivialise the Genocide against the Tutsi, to harbour Genocide perpetrators and to sponsor genocide ideology.
On March 18, 2018, French journalist Natacha Polony described what happened in Rwanda as “on avait des salauds face à d’autres salauds”. (We had bastards facing other bastards).
For Natasha Polony, women who were raped, children who were killed, elders, innocent civilians, and most importantly the 60 000 Tutsis of Bisesero who were abandoned by the French army to be killed by militiamen in June 1994, were simply bastards.
Natasha Polony is no different from Jambo ASBL, in the sense that their common enemy is the person who stopped them and the genocide.
Indeed according to retired Lt Colonel Guillaume Ancel, one of the senior commanders of the French operation in Rwanda during the genocide, the French Army continued to arm and pay genocide perpetrators in DRC to support them to return to Rwanda and ‘finish the job’.
Like Jambo ASBL and Natash Polony, any other genocide denier or ideologue out there, all use the refined language of democracy, so much so that the word has become traumatizing to me personally and some survivors I know.
We think to ourselves, why does Democracy mean our extermination? Why are the yesteryear’s killers, todays’ democracy champions? Is there a place for us in the so-called democracy land?
The answer comes next week.
The views expressed in this article are of the author.