Many are beginning to learn the hard way that Genocide is not a laughing matter

As the Kandt House Museum in Kigali is holding an exhibition to honour various diplomats who used their posts during the 2nd World War to save Jews in Europe, the European continent is a theatre of opposites.

In Brussels, the Belgian State and some senior army officers are being sued for abandoning thousands who had sought refuge in one of their camps in Kigali and were subsequently massacred.

The Belgians have gone to great lengths to absolve themselves, feigning ignorance of the real threat posed by Interahamwe militia and armed soldiers who had surrounded their camp.

It is a story that has been haunting them for decades and it never seems to go away, especially during this period that we are about to commemorate yet another anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Just across their border, in France, One of the French officers who took part in the ill-famed Operation Turquoise (which was in Rwanda under the guise of humanitarian mission, yet in actual fact it had been deployed to prop up the genocidal regime) was again spilling beans and implicating his superiors for their implication in the Genocide.

He was fending off attacks from all sides, especially those who wanted to save face after being unmasked. To add insult to injury, during a programme on RFI aired last week, a French journalist, Natacha Polony, triggered a Twitter storm when she described the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi as a conflict pitting “a**holes against other a**holes”.

We are usually never taken aback during this period when everyone appoints themselves experts of the Rwanda tragedy, but rarely do we encounter this level of ignorance and insensitivity. The bright side of the gaffe is that the head of RFI has apologised and will today air another debate that they hope will set the record straight.

But quite evidently, the Genocide against the Tutsi still haunts many.


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