Dr Jean Paul Gouteux: Posthumous “UMURINZI” Rwanda’s Campaign Against Genocide Medal
Motivated by scientific inquiry and the desire to serve the poor, you worked in Rwanda and other African countries for 20 years.
In 1993, you were among the first French people to raise the alarm, starting with your friends, colleagues and through the press, about the impending genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. You agonized over the fact that countless innocent people were massacred in broad daylight and that nobody raised an eye-brow.
When the genocide was over, you committed to unearthing and exposing the involvement of the French political and military establishments through meticulously researched written works, , including: “Un génocide secret d’Etat: la France et le Rwanda”, and “La Nuit Rwandaise: l’Implication française dans le dernier genocide du siècle”.
Confronted with a court case as a result your work to make known the truth of what happened in Rwanda, you bravely defended yourself and triumphed.
You remained in the vanguard of those who fought negation and marginalization of the genocide of Tutsis, and those who profess that genocide is endemic on the African continent.
In your last days, you took an outspoken stance regarding justice for the victims of genocide. You were tireless in your campaign to bring the French Government to pay compensation to genocide survivors.
You will be remembered for your committed friendship, impactful writings, invaluable humanitarian work, and unwavering advocacy on behalf of survivors of genocide.
And so today, in a special tribute, I, Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby posthumously award you, Dr Jean Paul Gouteux “UMURINZI”, Rwanda’s Campaign Against Genocide Medal.
Jean Carbonare – Posthumous “UMURINZI” Rwanda’s Campaign Against Genocide Medal
You rose above a youth marked by poverty, discrimination and imprisonment by the Nazis in France. Driven by compassion, you organized assistance for wounded and neglected African veterans of the Second World War in your hometown.
Your pursuit of justice led you to Africa where through your involvement with Rwandan refugee students in Senegal, you learned in 1989 of the persecution of Tutsis by the fascist regime in Rwanda, and without hesitation helped to inform members of the French parliament of the growing crisis.
From the beginning of the liberation struggle of the Rwandese Patriotic Front, you worked diligently to make known the cause of the RPF in Belgium and France, helping to shape European public opinion on the situation in Rwanda.
You were part of a committee of the International Federation of Human Rights established to investigate the massacres of the Bagogwe in the Northern Rwanda. But long before the committee released its findings; you had raised the alarm on radio and television networks in Europe, that what was happening was a rehearsal of the genocide against Tutsis and appealed for immediate intervention.
Because of your unwavering faith in post-genocide Rwanda, you were among the few foreign supporters at the inauguration of the new Government of National Unity and Reconciliation.
Your dedication to Rwanda continued through ARDEC, the organization you helped found, to assist in construction of homes for genocide survivors; and through your active role as an advocate for the post-genocide government that was setting out to rebuild a collapsed nation.
The people of Rwanda will always be indebted to you for your exceptional vigilance, commitment to justice, unwavering solidarity and selfless contribution to the cause of a persecuted people.
And so today, in a special tribute to you, I, Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, by the virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby posthumously award You Jean Carbonare “UMURINZI”, Rwanda’s Campaign Against Genocide Medal.