Good morning Rose. Thought I’d just continue filling you in on events here in Rwanda from my own standpoint. Your arrest has created quite an upheaval all across the country.
I drove from Kigali to Gisenyi on Wednesday, the day they took you to France. I first of all left at 10 o’clock in the morning, but when I reached Shyrongi, there was such a line of lorries and cars behind a huge throng of angry marching people that I turned back.
Then, I got stuck in Nyarutarama as crowds were gathering to march to the German radio station, I joined them for a while, but people were a little aggressive so I decided to go back to my car.
By now it was about noon and I asked the traffic police if the road was free from Kigali to Gisenyi. They assured me it was, so I set off again. As you know, Gisenyi is a three hour drive, well; it took me over five hours to get back.
All along the road, in every village and hamlet, people were demonstrating, angry people were demonstrating. As a matter of fact, in Nkamira the crowd surrounded my car and started beating on it.
Of course, the security was present and they cleared the crowd, but believe me, I was more than a little scared. An angry crowd is always impressive and when its anger is directed to you personally, then it’s another story.
The thing is, they see a white person, a “muzungu” and that’s enough to set them off, they can’t be bothered about where you come from. They know that the white world has wronged them and they don’t like it one bit.
However, the good thing about it is that this has provoked a reaction among all Rwandans. Your arrest has accomplished a lot, in showing that 14 and a half years of advocating reconciliation is definitely bearing fruit in bringing the Rwandans together as one nation, one people.
It has proven that there is a definite wind of change blowing across the country, a positive wind. And as I said in my first letter to you Rose, the Rwandans have no desire whatsoever to go back to ’94, or even to what it was like prior to the genocide.
As you know, this was a land locked country, one language, one national radio and television, a government who practiced division among their own people.
Today, Rwanda is boasting three languages, several private radio stations, and there’s more coming, a free country where no one is discriminated against. A common purpose, development for the whole population.
So the French seem to be somehow coming to their senses and they did not dare lock you up in a prison cell.
“Où est la France d’antant, La Grande France”, Where is the France of times gone by, The Great France, the France of Charlemagne, of, “Le Roi Soleil”, The Sun King, as Louis 1V liked to call himself.
His famous phrase, “Ote toi de mon soleil”, (Get yourself out of my sun). Where is the chivalrous France of d’Artagnan, of valor, honor, loyalty to the King, patriotism to death?
The France of Molière, of Voltaire, of Verdun, of General De Gaulle, of ‘La Résistance’, that France seems to have disappeared. Come on, Mr. Sarkozy (President of France), let’s see how you shape up under this onslaught.
A small African country dares to defy you, throw you out, bring shame on you, show you up under the spotlight, microscope you.
Bravery has no price. Ignominy has no colour, race nor creed.
However, it takes courage to own up, to step down and bow your head. Own up to what, you might ask? Own up to Mitterrand’s administration being involved in helping Habyarimana prepare and execute the genocide.
Own up to the Turquoise sham, in coming to Rwanda under the pretext of saving Tutsis in the middle of July when many of them were already dead.
When in actual fact, the French army established a safe corridor so that the leaders of the genocide could escape to the Congo, bringing with them the Interahamwe militia who have since then remained a threat to this country.
Own up to the hoax cooked up by Judge Bruguiere under the most doubtful of evidence. Own up to trying to shift the blame of the genocide to those who put their lives on the line to stop it and who did stop it as the rest of the world remained shamefully passive.
The issue is too great, genocide should never be taken lightly, never be minimized. As a race it is our duty, as the most supposedly intelligent beings on this planet to refuse genocide, to make it extinct, like slavery, like the inquisition, like other ignominious behaviourisms the human race has been guilty of in the recent past and over the centuries.
Hold up there Rose, any way you will be triumphant and the day you’ll come home Rwanda will rejoice as one people, one nation on its way to true healing.