I wish to react to the article, “How Genocide was first experimented in Bugesera”, published in the Sunday Times on February 2.
It isn’t a surprise that Bugesera would be chosen by President Juvénal Habyarimana and his genocidal henchmen as the testing ground for their “Final Solution” for the Tutsi. Many Tutsis were originally forcibly transferred to this formerly tsetse fly-infested area from other regions of Rwanda by the Kayibanda regime in the early 1960s, with hope that they and their herds would perish at the hands of the deadly insects.
The MDR Parme Hutu would thus cleanse the country of their presence without having to physically kill them and draw international opprobrium.
It should be remembered that the British philosopher and mathematician Sir Bertrand Russell was by then already slamming the (so-called) international community and the United Nations for looking on passively as Rwanda’s Tutsis were being massacred en masse in state-sponsored pogroms, which he was already referring to as the first genocide since the Shoah.
While their herds died out, many of the Tutsis forcibly transferred to Bugesera survived and, together with their subsequent offspring, represented one of the largest concentrations of the Tutsi population in Rwanda, making Bugesera an ideal choice as a macabre laboratory for the MRND (Mouvement Républicain pour la Démocratie et le Dévelopement) – the genocidal regime’s ruling party – and CDR (Coalition pour la Défense de la République) – an exclusively extremist Hutu party – test run in mass killings and the public relations management of its aftermath.
Mwene Kalinda, Rwanda