The time of the universal judges

Part II The African countries, which signed with the “North” (euphemism for the West)    “negotiated” agreements, often with “the assistance” of “experts” from the North, awake one morning and find their goods have been taken away, their freedom of action curtailed and even their sovereignty challenged.
Bruguiere
Bruguiere

Part II

The African countries, which signed with the “North” (euphemism for the West)    “negotiated” agreements, often with “the assistance” of “experts” from the North, awake one morning and find their goods have been taken away, their freedom of action curtailed and even their sovereignty challenged.

The colonialists they had gotten rid of by the front door returned through the back door. To tell the truth, the question is not whether the colonialism is back, but whether it ever left Africa.

President Paul Kagame recently underlined the chaos that would henceforth govern international life, if any judge in any place on the planet and for any pretext gave himself the right to name any citizen of any country to be sought by the police of any country.

It would depend on the mood of each judge to stop any state from functioning. Government by judges is an old dream of the West. There is now an attempt to make it come true and find some use.

“Each time an African country reaches a certain degree of independence, means are found to break it, or bring it back  to itsformer state.  It is attacked in all possible ways. One can use aid,money, political pressure, democracy, human rights…     Now the new instrument used is international justice, which is used by the West against developing countries “[2], said Paul Kagame recently.

The time has come for universal judges! The time has come to dispense justice like blind Themis, the Greek goddess of justice. With blindfolded eyes, she impassively determines the destiny of people without caring to know even their geographical location. She is evidently the mother of Western justice!

It seems not to matter at all whether the political judges Merelles or Bruguière never set foot in Rwanda. It does not matter whether or not the judges at the Hague or in Arusha know where Ituri (RDC) or Rwanda are located, let alone taking into account their ignorance of the languages and the cultures!

The judicial mask they wear is from another world, the world of infallible divinities. To be independent, they must be blind like Miss Themis!

The world does not yet have a universal government; why should there be universal justice with universal judges? Justice is a noble instrument to help those who decided to unite themselves into a Nation to adhere to the laws that bind them together. Justice, in other words, underpins the politics within a Nation.

A universal Nation does not yet exist. What would be the purpose and basis for universal Justice? Does it have jurisdiction over the individual? The citizen of the world does not exist yet. Does it have jurisdiction over a certain territory?

There is not yet one united nation for humankind. At the risk of disappointing the thousands of African emigrants who rush to the West, there does not yet exist a universal citizen.

What is called today “the International Community” (IC) is still a vague and formless aspiration that no one can see or locate. It seems to be a reference to a handful of rich countries that impose their will over the rest of the world in accordance to the power each of them can wield.

For some people, when it is convenient to them, the International Community may even come to mean only one or two of them. Thus, when Rwanda is judicially attacked by France or Spain, some are unashamedly delighted to see Rwanda be “internationally judged”[3]. It is true that they soon contradict themselves by complaining that “Rwanda has become a protectorate of the EU”[4], which is, nevertheless, an important if not an indispensable member of the IC!

In this context, universal justice can only apply the law of the strongest. Actually, even within nations that are better defined than the vague IC, the fiction of justice independent of politics is often shattered by those who claim to be exemplary in practicing and defending it.

The “Zoe’s Arch” affair in Chad was not solved by justice, in spite of some appearances, but by an agreement between Sarkozy and Deby on the basis of their respective strengths.

When the priest Theunis was arrested at Kigali airport in Rwanda for alleged complicity in genocide, it was not Belgian justice which claimed him; it was Belgian politicians who pestered Rwandan political authorities day and night for his release.

When the prosecutor of the ICC stuck out his chest to claim Lubanga (from Ituri in RDC), it was the French secret service who first put him under interrogation before dumping him to the Hague.

Bemba (“more of a political than a legal target”, according to OBSAC, (ibid) was arrested because he was a threat to Kabila who is supposed to uphold the “democratic system” set up with the material and financial help if the IC which consisted of only three or four Western countries.

In all important matters, the main preoccupation is not with independent justice, it is brute force or blackmail through foreign aid or the interests of powerful countries. In short, it is politics.

In this regard, it is edifying to remember the tussle between the French investigating magistrate Brigitte Raynaud and the Minister of defense at that time, an episode recalled to us by  the Mucyo Commission Report[5].

The judge wanted to inquire in Rwanda into the behavior of French soldiers of the Turquoise mission accused by Rwandan citizens of having perpetrated crimes of “complicity in genocide and/ or complicity in crimes against humanity” The Minister of defense used all means to block the investigation, with the assistance of the public prosecutor’s office.

She wrote to the judge: “we do not have in this country the military means to protect you.”

Referring to a note concocted in her ministry and falsely attributed to French secret services, she wrote that the judge’s mission “could prove to be inappropriate because the position of the Rwandan authorities was going to be radicalized” after the publication of Pierre Péan’s book highlighting the responsibility of RPF in the setting off the genocide and the good work done by  French forces from 1990 to 1994.

In addition judge Bruguière was going to publish the result of his investigations which could lead in the coming weeks to naccusations against Kagame”. For the minister of defense, they were all one, whether it be Péan and Bruguière who kept no secret from her, or the investigating magistrate. They were fighting on the same side.

In the end, the judge managed to travel to Rwanda, despite everything, and carried out her work independently, without any hindrances and without meeting any of the dangers she had been warned about.

The public prosecutor’s office (a government office!) claimed that the travel of the judge and her work in Rwanda did not have any legal value. It cancelled the results of her investigation, which it had commissioned.

The judge who was still naïve enough to believe in the independence of the judiciary, was relegated to functions where her inopportune independence would no longer be able to obstruct government affairs and the army of the Republic.

Some people go so far as to say that there is a nonaggression pact, not only between France and the main perpetrators of the genocide, but also between France and the ICTR in Arusha, whereby calling the French Army into question would mean the end of France’s collaboration with this court.[6]
This collaboration consists primarily in keeping an eye on the ICTR.

This court is heavily staffed the French and their  friends: judges, lawyers, experts, media, etc. There is little to oppose the assumption that there is a secret oath of collusion between France and the defunct armed forces of Habyarimana! [7]

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. A human rights NGO cannot say that because there is no NGO advocating for the duties of the citizen.

What comes first, the individual or society? Should the rights of the individual be given priority over the rights of society? Are the rights of the individual to be considered in exclusion of his/her obligations to society? Here opinions diverge. The West made a ruling on the issue and the rest of the world had only to comply.

This imperative choice of the West is not just for the West! It is for the whole world. Organizations are set up to ensure that this choice is complied with throughout the world (Human rights NGOs, election observer commissions, etc....).

Henceforth, this unilateral choiceshall be a precondition for dealing with the West. If perchance any nation becomes recalcitrant, it will be brought back to the right path, by force if need be. The West, has given itself the right of interference!

The “preconditions” imposed by the West were not there at the time of political independence. They are more recent. It is in the seventies that African delegates fought in vain against the insertion of these “preconditions” in the agreements between Europe and its old colonies: the Yaounde Convention, the Lome Convention, the Cotonou Convention, etc.

“I give you the money, you give me the right to watch over your country “. This rule is still a prerequisite today.

In Accra (from the 2nd to 4th September), at the third “High Level Forum on the Effectiveness of Aid”, there was a clash over the issue of reducing the “preconditions” and “gradually eliminating aid with strings attached”.

In addition, the recipients of aid themselves made transparency a prerequisite, which is in conformity with the requirements of the donors who retained the right to determine the allocation and use of their aid funds. [8]

To understand what is meant by “preconditions” it is necessary to know that the most important of them is democracy which must be established in the developing countries. Indeed, the West adopted democracy and made it its own “stock-in-trade”.

The West claimed ownership of democracy, as it claimed ownership of most of the other rich inheritance of humanity. It is the West, we are told, and more specifically Greece, which invented democracy.

In fact Greece, for the average Westerner, invented everything and that was called at one time “the Greek miracle”.[9]A Swiss writer wrote, in the same vein that it is Greece, (read the West), which invented love [10]  and so on

Actually, several studies led by UNESCO showed that all human societies have a feeling of equality between human beings and the conviction that no man alone could govern the others without their consent. Rwandans have a saying that “the true sovereign of a person it is his/her own heart.” That is the essence of democracy.

It is true that democracy found here and there conditions that were   more or less favorable to its growth, but that is not enough for such and such a group or country to impose a monopoly interpreting what it is.

We should not be misled on the meaning of the word “democracy”. It is true that it is a Greek word; the West borrowed it, but it did notinvent it. Why shouldn’t others borrow it and adapt it to their specific situation?

The West conquered the world and is likely to dominate it for a long time. The rest of the world should not be resigned, but try to propose its own values of civilization.

At present, it is sub-Saharan Africa which least dares to assert itself; the result of this is that quite a lot of people have the conviction that Africa has no civilization and can contribute nothing to it.[11] Il is not astonishing that the West has easily found allies there to oppress the people. There is need for self-esteem anddignity.

It is necessary however to avoid any blind sectarianism. Westerncivilization has great values. Meeting with the West may have enriched and could still enrich all humanity.

Recognizing and putting its values into practice requires a lot of discernment. It might be necessary to have a user’s manual for western practices, maybe even for other civilizations.

[1]   See “CPI: « Amateurisme et manipulations politiques »    OBSAC 28.6.08 Amateurism and political manipulations)

[2]  Paul Kagame. Interview with Colette Braeckman in Le Soir of 6.9.08

[3]  Filip Reyntjens. Political Chronicle of Rwanda and Burundi 2007-2008, p.1

[4]  Luc Marchal. Congo-Rwanda : la difficile recherche de la vérité (suite) August 2008

[5]  Republic of Rwanda: Report of the Independent National Commission responsible for of evidence indicating the role of the French State in  thegenocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994, Volume 2, p.314 (French version)

[6]   See  l’EXPRESS, French weekly    quoted by “the Mucyo Report”  ,Vol. 2, p.316-317 (French version)

[7]   See also S.M. Sebasoni, Un Aveu indirect ? La justice française et le génocide des Tutsis du Rwanda. DHR Dec. 07

[8]   “DEVELOPMENT: A splendid, confused and positive dialogue on aid “(IPS 05/09/2008)

[9]    The term is attributed to Ernest Renan, French Writer   (1823-1892).

[10]    Denis de Rougemont. L’Amour et l’Occident 1939 et 19721939 and 1972.

[11]    Speech of Nicolas Sarkozy  at  Sheik Anta Diop University in Dakar. 26.7.07

EndsPart II

The African countries, which signed with the “North” (euphemism for the West)    “negotiated” agreements, often with “the assistance” of “experts” from the North, awake one morning and find their goods have been taken away, their freedom of action curtailed and even their sovereignty challenged.

The colonialists they had gotten rid of by the front door returned through the back door. To tell the truth, the question is not whether the colonialism is back, but whether it ever left Africa.

President Paul Kagame recently underlined the chaos that would henceforth govern international life, if any judge in any place on the planet and for any pretext gave himself the right to name any citizen of any country to be sought by the police of any country.

It would depend on the mood of each judge to stop any state from functioning. Government by judges is an old dream of the West. There is now an attempt to make it come true and find some use.

“Each time an African country reaches a certain degree of independence, means are found to break it, or bring it back  to itsformer state.  It is attacked in all possible ways. One can use aid,money, political pressure, democracy, human rights…     Now the new instrument used is international justice, which is used by the West against developing countries “[2], said Paul Kagame recently.

The time has come for universal judges! The time has come to dispense justice like blind Themis, the Greek goddess of justice. With blindfolded eyes, she impassively determines the destiny of people without caring to know even their geographical location. She is evidently the mother of Western justice!

It seems not to matter at all whether the political judges Merelles or Bruguière never set foot in Rwanda. It does not matter whether or not the judges at the Hague or in Arusha know where Ituri (RDC) or Rwanda are located, let alone taking into account their ignorance of the languages and the cultures!

The judicial mask they wear is from another world, the world of infallible divinities. To be independent, they must be blind like Miss Themis!

The world does not yet have a universal government; why should there be universal justice with universal judges? Justice is a noble instrument to help those who decided to unite themselves into a Nation to adhere to the laws that bind them together. Justice, in other words, underpins the politics within a Nation.

A universal Nation does not yet exist. What would be the purpose and basis for universal Justice? Does it have jurisdiction over the individual? The citizen of the world does not exist yet. Does it have jurisdiction over a certain territory?

There is not yet one united nation for humankind. At the risk of disappointing the thousands of African emigrants who rush to the West, there does not yet exist a universal citizen.

What is called today “the International Community” (IC) is still a vague and formless aspiration that no one can see or locate. It seems to be a reference to a handful of rich countries that impose their will over the rest of the world in accordance to the power each of them can wield.

For some people, when it is convenient to them, the International Community may even come to mean only one or two of them. Thus, when Rwanda is judicially attacked by France or Spain, some are unashamedly delighted to see Rwanda be “internationally judged”[3]. It is true that they soon contradict themselves by complaining that “Rwanda has become a protectorate of the EU”[4], which is, nevertheless, an important if not an indispensable member of the IC!

In this context, universal justice can only apply the law of the strongest. Actually, even within nations that are better defined than the vague IC, the fiction of justice independent of politics is often shattered by those who claim to be exemplary in practicing and defending it.

The “Zoe’s Arch” affair in Chad was not solved by justice, in spite of some appearances, but by an agreement between Sarkozy and Deby on the basis of their respective strengths.

When the priest Theunis was arrested at Kigali airport in Rwanda for alleged complicity in genocide, it was not Belgian justice which claimed him; it was Belgian politicians who pestered Rwandan political authorities day and night for his release.

When the prosecutor of the ICC stuck out his chest to claim Lubanga (from Ituri in RDC), it was the French secret service who first put him under interrogation before dumping him to the Hague.

Bemba (“more of a political than a legal target”, according to OBSAC, (ibid) was arrested because he was a threat to Kabila who is supposed to uphold the “democratic system” set up with the material and financial help if the IC which consisted of only three or four Western countries.

In all important matters, the main preoccupation is not with independent justice, it is brute force or blackmail through foreign aid or the interests of powerful countries. In short, it is politics.

In this regard, it is edifying to remember the tussle between the French investigating magistrate Brigitte Raynaud and the Minister of defense at that time, an episode recalled to us by  the Mucyo Commission Report[5].

The judge wanted to inquire in Rwanda into the behavior of French soldiers of the Turquoise mission accused by Rwandan citizens of having perpetrated crimes of “complicity in genocide and/ or complicity in crimes against humanity” The Minister of defense used all means to block the investigation, with the assistance of the public prosecutor’s office.

She wrote to the judge: “we do not have in this country the military means to protect you.”

Referring to a note concocted in her ministry and falsely attributed to French secret services, she wrote that the judge’s mission “could prove to be inappropriate because the position of the Rwandan authorities was going to be radicalized” after the publication of Pierre Péan’s book highlighting the responsibility of RPF in the setting off the genocide and the good work done by  French forces from 1990 to 1994.

In addition judge Bruguière was going to publish the result of his investigations which could lead in the coming weeks to naccusations against Kagame”. For the minister of defense, they were all one, whether it be Péan and Bruguière who kept no secret from her, or the investigating magistrate. They were fighting on the same side.

In the end, the judge managed to travel to Rwanda, despite everything, and carried out her work independently, without any hindrances and without meeting any of the dangers she had been warned about.

The public prosecutor’s office (a government office!) claimed that the travel of the judge and her work in Rwanda did not have any legal value. It cancelled the results of her investigation, which it had commissioned.

The judge who was still naïve enough to believe in the independence of the judiciary, was relegated to functions where her inopportune independence would no longer be able to obstruct government affairs and the army of the Republic.

Some people go so far as to say that there is a nonaggression pact, not only between France and the main perpetrators of the genocide, but also between France and the ICTR in Arusha, whereby calling the French Army into question would mean the end of France’s collaboration with this court.[6]
This collaboration consists primarily in keeping an eye on the ICTR.

This court is heavily staffed the French and their  friends: judges, lawyers, experts, media, etc. There is little to oppose the assumption that there is a secret oath of collusion between France and the defunct armed forces of Habyarimana! [7]

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. A human rights NGO cannot say that because there is no NGO advocating for the duties of the citizen.

What comes first, the individual or society? Should the rights of the individual be given priority over the rights of society? Are the rights of the individual to be considered in exclusion of his/her obligations to society? Here opinions diverge. The West made a ruling on the issue and the rest of the world had only to comply.

This imperative choice of the West is not just for the West! It is for the whole world. Organizations are set up to ensure that this choice is complied with throughout the world (Human rights NGOs, election observer commissions, etc....).

Henceforth, this unilateral choiceshall be a precondition for dealing with the West. If perchance any nation becomes recalcitrant, it will be brought back to the right path, by force if need be. The West, has given itself the right of interference!

The “preconditions” imposed by the West were not there at the time of political independence. They are more recent. It is in the seventies that African delegates fought in vain against the insertion of these “preconditions” in the agreements between Europe and its old colonies: the Yaounde Convention, the Lome Convention, the Cotonou Convention, etc.

“I give you the money, you give me the right to watch over your country “. This rule is still a prerequisite today.

In Accra (from the 2nd to 4th September), at the third “High Level Forum on the Effectiveness of Aid”, there was a clash over the issue of reducing the “preconditions” and “gradually eliminating aid with strings attached”.

In addition, the recipients of aid themselves made transparency a prerequisite, which is in conformity with the requirements of the donors who retained the right to determine the allocation and use of their aid funds. [8]

To understand what is meant by “preconditions” it is necessary to know that the most important of them is democracy which must be established in the developing countries. Indeed, the West adopted democracy and made it its own “stock-in-trade”.

The West claimed ownership of democracy, as it claimed ownership of most of the other rich inheritance of humanity. It is the West, we are told, and more specifically Greece, which invented democracy.

In fact Greece, for the average Westerner, invented everything and that was called at one time “the Greek miracle”.[9]A Swiss writer wrote, in the same vein that it is Greece, (read the West), which invented love [10]  and so on

Actually, several studies led by UNESCO showed that all human societies have a feeling of equality between human beings and the conviction that no man alone could govern the others without their consent. Rwandans have a saying that “the true sovereign of a person it is his/her own heart.” That is the essence of democracy.

It is true that democracy found here and there conditions that were   more or less favorable to its growth, but that is not enough for such and such a group or country to impose a monopoly interpreting what it is.

We should not be misled on the meaning of the word “democracy”. It is true that it is a Greek word; the West borrowed it, but it did notinvent it. Why shouldn’t others borrow it and adapt it to their specific situation?

The West conquered the world and is likely to dominate it for a long time. The rest of the world should not be resigned, but try to propose its own values of civilization.

At present, it is sub-Saharan Africa which least dares to assert itself; the result of this is that quite a lot of people have the conviction that Africa has no civilization and can contribute nothing to it.[11] Il is not astonishing that the West has easily found allies there to oppress the people. There is need for self-esteem anddignity.

It is necessary however to avoid any blind sectarianism. Westerncivilization has great values. Meeting with the West may have enriched and could still enrich all humanity.

Recognizing and putting its values into practice requires a lot of discernment. It might be necessary to have a user’s manual for western practices, maybe even for other civilizations.

[1]   See “CPI: « Amateurisme et manipulations politiques »    OBSAC 28.6.08 Amateurism and political manipulations)

[2]  Paul Kagame. Interview with Colette Braeckman in Le Soir of 6.9.08

[3]  Filip Reyntjens. Political Chronicle of Rwanda and Burundi 2007-2008, p.1

[4]  Luc Marchal. Congo-Rwanda : la difficile recherche de la vérité (suite) August 2008

[5]  Republic of Rwanda: Report of the Independent National Commission responsible for of evidence indicating the role of the French State in  thegenocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994, Volume 2, p.314 (French version)

[6]   See  l’EXPRESS, French weekly    quoted by “the Mucyo Report”  ,Vol. 2, p.316-317 (French version)

[7]   See also S.M. Sebasoni, Un Aveu indirect ? La justice française et le génocide des Tutsis du Rwanda. DHR Dec. 07

[8]   “DEVELOPMENT: A splendid, confused and positive dialogue on aid “(IPS 05/09/2008)

[9]    The term is attributed to Ernest Renan, French Writer   (1823-1892).

[10]    Denis de Rougemont. L’Amour et l’Occident 1939 et 19721939 and 1972.

[11]    Speech of Nicolas Sarkozy  at  Sheik Anta Diop University in Dakar. 26.7.07

Ends

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