It’s now official that the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) had nothing to do with the downing of former President, Juvenal Habyarimana’s Falcon Jet and the 17-year-old mystery can now rest in peace.
Going by the conclusions contained in the investigations done by the two French Judges, Marc Trévidic and Nathalie Poux, the individuals responsible for this act are cadres of MRND, the inner circle of Habyarimana that used to dine and wine with him under the Akazu grouping.
They are the very savages responsible for mayhem that befell this nation and whose hands will forever drip with the blood of over a million Rwandans who perished during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
That the report, from these two French Judges, has vindicated the RPA, is not necessarily ground-breaking news. In my humble view, it did not necessitate the most intelligent brains or rocket scientists or sophisticated investigations to conclude that the RPA had no hand in this assassination.
The entire mystery was hidden in the words of one; Theoneste Bagosora, when he announced after storming out of the Arusha peace talks that he was going to prepare an ‘apocalypse.’ Clearly, this disaster that Bagosora was preparing for had to begin with the elimination of the most prominent obstacle in the equation, his boss at the time.
The confusion, for all these years, has been a mastermind of Genocide revisionists, some whose active role in this mass murder remains unquestionable and others (mainly foreign elements) trading this propaganda as a means of survival. Sadly their source of livelihood is now cracking before their faces.
But now that the truth has come to light, the most pertinent question is --- What next?
I think Rwandans are owed explanations as to why the world had to play cat and mouse over an issue that was clearly a simple matrix to solve. The time and resources spent in explaining these fictitious allegations, instead of concentrating on developmental issues, is something we will never get back.
Therefore, much as the quack indictments issued against the top command of the RPA, by the disgraced Jean Louis Bruguiere have, again, been proved as politically motivated, this retired French Judge, should not go scot-free.
By compromising his professional expectations, and causing disgrace and shame to the legal fraternity, the first group of people that should be interested in cleansing their image and redeeming their profession are the ‘learned’ men and women in the robes. They need to ask Bruguiere why he had to act in such a disgraceful manner.
Secondly, the families of the French men killed in the plane should not rest their case. The hunt for the truth as to who is responsible for the death of their people has been made easier since it clearly points a figure to the culprits. The mastermind, Theoneste Bagosora is locked up at the ICTR. Go find him.
Their government too can provide some explanations since the Military garrison from where the missiles were launched was also occupied by a contingent of French troops.
Thirdly, Habyarimana’s children need not look elsewhere for answers as to who is responsible for the death of their father.
Fourthly, individuals, especially senior RDF commanders who were wrongly implicated and indicted by Judge Bruguirre and the Spanish Judge, should be compensated for the damages they suffered. Their reputation was brought into question, their movement was restricted which affected their work and their time and resources were spent on responding to fictitious charges.
Whichever court issued these indictments should have the competence to order for reparations.
For the Rwandan Genocide survivors whose misery has been a source of pride to some evil characters and whose history has been distorted by this narrative, Justice must be sought for this deliberate distortion of history that tries to hide the planning process of the slaughter.
Lastly, if renown revisionists, namely Ann Garrison, Philip Reyntjens, Kenneth Roth, Suzan Thomson, Peter Erlinder, etc, are to remain relevant, they should eat humble pie and accept facts as presented by a competent and independent judicial process other than stick to fiction that clearly brings their reputation into question.
Indeed, now that the truth is out, what the Rwandan people want is no more empty rhetoric on a subject that evokes memories of pain in their history. Let’s use this truth to build a future hinged on facts and not fiction or fertile imaginations.
On twitter @aasiimwe