A deep-rooted conspiracy against Rwanda has finally come to the surface. Ever since the fall of the genocidal regime in Rwanda, I have been hesitant to admit the existence of a high-level politically motivated scheme against the people and the government of Rwanda– although all indications pointed to such likelihood.
Even after the whole world folded its arms as a Genocidal regime in Kigali worked round the clock to eliminate a section of its people, ultimately resulting into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which cost a million lives, I still had the feeling that, perhaps, the UN’s indifference was more to do with manipulated reports on what was happening on the ground, or, at worst, the general coldness with which African issues are treated on the world stage.
And, despite all that has happened in this region since 1994 including the UN’s failure to solve the same genocidal forces’ existence in the DR Congo, and to ensure the arrest of Genocidal architects who continue to freely roam most Western capitals, I still hung onto the belief that, at least the UN had learnt a lesson or two from its past tragic failure.
As an ordinary Rwandan, who, like majority of, if not all, Rwandans, bore the blunt of Genocide and all the indescribable challenges it left behind, I was among those who always thought that the world body, and indeed, the international community, would finally rally behind Rwandans’ search for a better future, one that embodies unity and shared development aspirations, as well as regional cohesion.
Unfortunately, all these hopes came crashing down on me on Friday, August 27. I woke up to the news that a draft UN report, alleging that Rwandan forces between 1996 and 1998 killed Hutus in the DR Congo, had been leaked. Killings that qualify to be called a genocide.
Genocide by the then Rwanda Patriotic Army( now Rwanda Defence Forces)? Thats absolute rubbish. Nonetheless, I was quick to read in detail the document, whose basis of leakage to France’s Le Monde newspaper was fear by its proponents that the accusations would be thrown out after Kigali has given its side of the story.
That someone was so bothered that Rwanda would finally have the opportunity to clear her name, rendering the allegations irrelevant, is indeed revealing. It was an attempt that sought to mudsling a rather highly disciplined and people-centred military force, which, as it appears, annoyed many when it took up arms to liberate this country, let alone toppling the genocidal regime, a then darling of some powerful western establishments.
The act of leaking the report to the western media, of which some sections have, of late, turned into a conduit through which sworn enemies attempt to discredit and demonize Kigali, is typical of the recent media reports that vigorously accused the Rwandan government of committing human rights abuses, without a mention of emerging evidences that seemed to absolve the Government.
Similarly, the architects of the latest allegations wish Rwanda’s side of the story never gets public. And they will surely use the media to advance their cause following their successful inclusion of these unfounded claims in the draft UN report. Whether or not the allegations will be included in the final report, these conspirators will continue to promote these allegations as truth.
The claims that APR/RDF may have committed genocide crimes against Rwandan refugees in the then Zaire (now DRC) are based on accounts by suspicious sources, most of them NGOs with links to anti-Rwanda elements in the western world, or harbour anti-Rwanda sentiments, themselves.
In one of the supposed cases of these killings, the architects of the report, unjustifiably reject the notion that incensed Congolese villages in Kasese region, Kisangana, attacked and killed some Rwandan Hutu refugees in Kasese I and II camps, after the latter had allegedly killed some Kasese villagers.
The authors of the report, instead, chose to justify the villagers’ action, by claiming that the residents were ‘visibly’ incited by units of APR and AFDL, the rebel force of the late Laurent Desire Kabila, who would later become DR Congo’s president after the fall of ex-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
The report attempts to downplay the fact that millions of Rwandan Hutu refugees were safely repatriated, and smoothly resettled in Rwanda in the course of and after the first Congo war.
The fact that these Rwandans returned home in a record time without a hand of the international community, again, seems to have earned Rwanda more enemies, especially those who saw ‘humanitarian’ jobs heavily affected by the massive repatriation. These are some of the witnesses to the UN ‘Mapping Exercise’.
It is unfortunate that the UN can allow to be manipulated to this extent, against a people who have, for the past 16 years, struggled so hard to find their footing amidst unprecedented challenges.
Could it be that the UN is deliberately letting these lies out to distract the world from paying attention to the damaging findings that its own peacekeeping force (MONUSCO) in DR Congo may have lost all the confidence and trust among the communities they are meant to protect?
The world body was shamed when it emerged recently that up to 180 women and children were raped and defiled by FDLR rebels, between July 30 and August 3, and the victims only brought the matter to the attention of an NGO, instead of the peacekeepers themselves, who had earlier conducted patrols through the same villages after the crimes had been committed.
Nonetheless, I still believe the UN can still save its face, at least among Rwandan and Congolese citizens.
James Munyaneza is an Editor, The New Times