The genocide accusation originally made in the leaked UN report has been proven false after the publication of the final UN Mapping Report on the DRC and Rwanda’s comments. Human rights organizations that strongly supported the double genocide thesis of the report have ceased to refer to genocide in their latest reactions.
Why does the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) not come out clean on the issue and acknowledge its mistake?
After Rwanda’s substantiated objections to the draft report, the OHCHR decided to distance itself from the genocide allegation in the final report by presenting counterfactual elements that show the accusation is false. However, for reasons only known to OHCHR, they lacked the basic decency to remove the allegation altogether -- caving in to the authors’ desire to prove their double genocide theory.
The well organized leak to the media focused specifically on the accusations of genocide against the Rwandan army, despite the report’s allegations against a host of nations. To further clarify the double genocide thesis of the report, the head of the Mapping exercise investigation team, Luc Cote, published an article the day after the first leak in the French newspaper Le Monde saying that what happened in Congo “was the same thing” as what happened during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
We end up with a kafkian situation. A UN report formulates extremely grave genocide accusations based on the absolute lowest evidentiary standard. “Reasonable suspicion,” chosen by the authors, is a lesser standard of proof in US law than probable cause, preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence, and beyond reasonable doubt. The authors then proceed to negate their own accusations citing contradicting facts, but they insist on keeping the now discredited accusation within the report.
By participating in this trivialization of the crime of genocide, the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights undermines the cause it is supposed to serve as well as its own integrity. The effects of such behavior will reach far beyond just the DRC case.
OHCHR has many more questions to answer. The changes made to the final version of the UN Mapping Report partially respond to only one of Rwanda’s objections related to the context of the intervention in the DRC. The one and only time the authors finally chose to recognize the accurate context of events in the DRC – a war of self-defense aimed at repatriating millions of innocent civilian refugees taken hostage by genocide perpetrators – they were forced to acknowledge a laundry list of mitigating facts that very successfully negate the genocide accusation.
What about the other comments that strongly question the factual base of the report? All incriminated countries have produced comments on the report. Three of them have, for example, noticed that in many instances their armies have been mentioned in places where they were not deployed. Rwanda has submitted 30 pages of densely substantiated objections covering all aspects of the report from its historical context, through the methodology, to the interpretation of the law, and finally to the intention of the authors.
An outright lie illustrates this report is flawed and dishonest. On multiple occasions, the authors assert that their mandate as set out in the “Terms of Reference” (TOR) [p.542] – a short three page document – required them to make legal classifications of crimes. The authors state: “nonetheless, as described previously, the Terms of Reference of the Mapping Exercise required it to carry out a general legal classification of the crimes committed, including genocide [paragraph 510].” In fact, neither the words “legal classification” nor “genocide” are anywhere to be found in the TOR, which does however explicitly recognize the limits of this mapping exercise, stating “it should gather basic information…and not replace in-depth investigations into the incidents uncovered.” This blunt lie on the TOR made by the authors to cover up their defamatory objectives is damaging enough to the integrity of the report to spark an official assessment of other very serious comments made by incriminated countries.
It is a disgrace for the UN to now associate itself with the egregious manipulations in this report after failing to prevent or even contain the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and later facilitating the militarization of the refugee camps controlled by genocide perpetrators in Eastern Congo, the origin of so much suffering.
The author is an Advisor in the Office of the President of Rwanda
Note to Comms:
The underlined words in blue will be linked online to the actual documents. This is extremely important for our demonstration.
The references are as follows:
UN Mapping Report on the DRC
Luc Cote’s article in AFP 27 August
Terms of Reference of the Mapping Exercise (p.542)