Kwibuka24: Victims, savages and saviours; a genocide denial metaphor

Remembrance vigil to honor the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi. File.

The Genocide regime in Rwanda and its regional and international allies were defeated. Militarily. There was no truce or armistice nor power-sharing agreements; there was a complete and irreversible defeat.

The Rwanda Patriotic Front beat them in every battle, captured every hill, every city and ultimately seized the capital city, Kigali and declared unilateral victory. This is what happened in Rwanda from the 1st of October 1990 to the 4th of July 1994.

Genocide regimes, however strong and devastating they may be, are meant not to last – thank goodness.

As they machinate their plans to exterminate minorities and while they execute the said plans, they are usually protected and emboldened by some strong allies; who promise full military and diplomatic cover.

But as history has shown us, over and over again, this does not stop genocide regimes from miserably crumbling to their feet.

The reason the genocide regime lost, can simply be found in its name. In its defeat, the demoniac regime took one million of our people with it. 24 years later we still remember them as if it was yesterday.

We do not remember the killers; we do not want to. But every year, we remember and commemorate our people.

Why then, would you ask, do I waste my time talking about killers, in the month of commemoration of victims of Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi? The truth is, I am asking myself the same question. This is a piece I didn’t particularly enjoy.

But I am writing as a duty to the victims, and to their survivors. I am writing to fight the last phase in a Genocide process: ‘Denial’. You see, a genocide is executed in ten stages; namely: 1. Classification, 2. Symbolization, 3. Discrimination, 4. Dehumanization, 5. Organization, 6. Polarization, 7. Preparation, 8. Persecution, 9. Extermination and 10. Denial.

The tenth stage of ‘Denial’ happens before, during and after the genocide. The intent of denial is to absolve the killers of any wrong doing. To erase the past. It happens in many forms: Outright denial, to mean the genocide never took place, or to play down its scale, or to say victims caused their own death, to accuse victims of being killers too: This is a specialty of French media…

Genocide denial is perpetrated by different actors. 1. Yesteryear allies of the defeated genocide regime; 2. Killers who managed to evade justice, 3. Disgruntled relatives to the genocide perpetrators: This bond is strong because it is grounded in collective defeat, humiliation, shame and entrenched hatred of the survivors and their protectors.

There is a fourth category called newly found allies:

Newly found allies are of two types and are driven by two things: 1. if they are of the same group as the victims of the genocide, they ally with killers because they are politically opposed to the government which favors survivors. 2. If they are foreigners, they defend killers for financial/career gains: In this alliance everyone believes they are using the other and might drop them when time comes, there is no trust or skin in the game, which is why this alliance is weak and never lasts.

The bond uniting all these different groups is one: To finish the job; to exterminate the survivors and silence their supporters. You may think the last four paragraphs are about Rwanda; in reality they are standard about genocides worldwide.

There is only one technique used by deniers of the genocide perpetrated against Tutsi, which is new and should be considered by scholars: ‘Collective criminalization/collective victimization’.

Planners of the Genocide against the Tutsi thought that in order to evade aftermath justice, they would encourage the entire population to kill, and force the international community to declare a general amnesty.

Although they never succeeded to rally the entire population in their genocide plans, this has not stopped deniers to try and convince anyone that the Tutsi in Rwanda accuse ALL Hutu and ALL French people of having committed genocide.

In this they have partly succeeded. That’s too many concepts that I will be developing during this commemoration period, for today though, I would like to speak about Ijambo ASBL.

Genocide deniers based in Belgium who are offspring and relatives of genocide perpetrators, are grouped in an NGO called Jambo ASBL. Jambo is a Kinyarwanda word that means: ‘Word’ or ‘expression’ and ‘ASBL’ means NGO. By calling themselves ‘expression NGO’, they are playing to international media and NGO’s tune, who both say that in Rwanda there is ‘lack of freedom of expression’.

Their expressed intent is to promote inter-Rwanda/Greatlakes region dialogue and democracy, etc. Their concealed but intrinsic message is to say that in Rwanda there is a Tutsi government which, controlling the narrative has imposed a genocide of their people, yet there was either no genocide per se, or there were two, three genocides, or at least large scale massacres perpetrated by Tutsis on the Hutu in retaliation.

To western audiences these young people tick all the good boxes, especially since, as they claim themselves, they have taken Belgian citizenships. And add that they are victims – not of the genocide – but of ‘the tragedies of the Greatlakes’.

Here we have a situation of ‘Black victims’ of ‘black atrocities’ who want to ‘bring democracy to black people’ using ‘White help’; A perfect Makau Mutua’s Human Rights’ metaphor: ‘Victims, Savages and Saviors’.

I will end here for now, and continue with Jambo News in Part II next week. Just remember: The Genocide regime and its regional and international allies were defeated. Militarily! By the RPF. The RPF is still here, in Power!

The views expressed in this article are of the author.


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