REFLECTIONS : France, truth passes through fire without getting scathed!

Congratulations, Ms Rose Kabuye! Those fabricated charges from that grandiloquent ‘lone-ranger’ cowboy, Judge Jean Louis Bruguère, have been dropped like the dirty drivel they are.

Congratulations, Ms Rose Kabuye! Those fabricated charges from that grandiloquent ‘lone-ranger’ cowboy, Judge Jean Louis Bruguère, have been dropped like the dirty drivel they are.

Lucky son of a gun Briguère, that he is no longer in the eye of the storm of public glare! If he were a man of honour, he would commit suicide. He is not, of course, so let him content himself with licking his wounds of shame.

And he is not alone, as I was reminded when I reread a blog interview of sometime ago that Alain Chevalérias did with Hogard. Indeed, it makes for pathetic reading.

To jog your memory, Colonel Jacques Hogard was one of three commanders of the companies that formed ‘Operation Turquoise’, itself an ad-hoc outfit that was under the command of Général Claude Lafourcade.

‘Opération’ was the spirited but futile military attempt that was launched by France to rescue ex-FAR/Interahamwe as they faced eminent defeat by Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) fighters.

In the end, the ‘opération’ only succeeded in arming them and seeing them safely across the border, into Zaïre (D.R. Congo)! Yet, as Hogard says, the French soldiers were an elite force that was in three formidable formations.

The first, ‘Forces Spéciales’, was under the command of Col Jacques Rosier. The second, ‘Troupes de Marine’, was under the command of Col Patrice Sartre while the third, ‘Régiments de Légion’, was commanded by our Col Hogard.

In Hogartd’s words, “the units that were deployed belonged to the elite of the French army. Moreover, we were reinforced by African contingents.”

And, “the French soldier has great qualities. He is capable of giving a lot of his time and can take a lot of pain to double, nay, triple his capacity to work without rest or sleep”.

Like me, I am sure, you are asking yourself what happened to that “French soldier”!  Where was he to exhibit those miraculous qualities during ‘Opération’, together with the African contingents?

We know that if the French soldier exhibited any great qualities in anything, it was in raping and pillaging! Which was not at all exceptional, as ex-FAR/Interahamwe were doing a singular job of it on their own.

It is no wonder, though, as the French soldier and the Rwandan soldier of that time seemed to be birds of a feather. Hence, the admiration for each other, as Hogard so blatantly demonstrates to us.

In response to Alain Chevalerias’s question, Hogard describes late president Habyrimana’s segregating administration as very good.

He praises Rwanda of the time for its road network, its infrastructure and health system, even when they did not exist.

To avoid scrutiny, he quickly jumps to a topic he most feels at home with: abusing General Romeo Dallaire. A Canadian general, he laments, who lets the UN reduce his troops without protest!

To Hogard, if Dallaire had been a courageous man, he’d have resigned. As if a French colonel who led his men in raping innocent Rwandan women has an iota of dignity that he can advise about!

Of course, we know better. We know how strongly Gen Dallaire protested, the many faxes he sent, asking for additional troops.

We know Habyarimana’s weapons caches that he wanted to raid, and we know the diplomatic war he wedged against the Habyarimana leaders.

However, Hogard becomes dirt bizarre when he talks about an American lieutenant-colonel who tries to spy on him in his ‘Operation’ station.

He gets rid of him, he assures us with bloated confidence, by writing on one of the rations’ cardboard: “Forbidden to unauthorized persons!” 

When the “American spy” asks to whom it is addressed, Hogard floors him with: “Who speaks English here?” Then he delves into the revelation that he got from the involvement of this “spy”.

The revelation was that Paul Kagame was being used by Yoweri Museveni, the latter also used by Britain and USA, together with Israel.

The plan of the super powers was to create a “Tutsi Empire” whose grand finale was to control the resources of D.R. Congo!

That, however, is not the greatest alarm. The killer alarm for Hogard today lies in the fact that “we are witness to a rapid and unexpected warming of Franco-Rwandan diplomatic relations through the initiative of Bernard Kouchner.”

For information, the Mucyo Commission report, a result of an investigation initiated by the Rwanda government to determine French involvement in the genocide of Batutsi, has implicated 20 military and 13 government officials.

Among them, there are the then French president Francois Mitterrand and his three successive prime ministers. And among the high-ranking military officers is a certain Colonel Hogard!

“I strongly wish,” pleads Hogard, “that French authorities have the courage to take a bold position vis-à-vis Rwanda government and its President to reject these abominable accusations.”

Poor Hogard and company! Now shone of their counter weapon, they would seem to have the odds heavily against them and, as the Nigerians say, the noose is ‘fast a-comin-oh’!