So how could Rwanda’s western backers have so misjudged their man? Guilt, with a dollop of self-interest, is the reply. Kigali denies the specific charges. It will no doubt seek to denounce them as genocide denial — a criminal offence in Rwanda. But Wrong does not deny the genocide. Rather she is disputing the RPF’s narrative of what happened next, when the genocidaires were finally routed. In doing so she reminds readers that the truth can, of course, prove messy and that just because you have suffered appallingly does not mean that everything you do thereafter is justified. As for the outsiders, including British Conservative and Labour politicians, who have over the years backed Rwanda and broadly shrugged at the critiques, it is, she contends, a case of “Tread softly for you tread on my dreams”.
Rwanda’s Paul Kagame — is he just another dictator?
I warned these Anglican churches about the murder and the church leaders operating within the RPF years ago and they chose to ignore me. Mbanda regularly showers Kagame with praise in public, but they don’t know or don’t care:
These Anglicans are naif comme les blancs:
When will they wake up? Thad Barnum warned about silence, but they have failed to apply his warnings to today.
Unfortunately I lost many old posts from my blog in a WordPress upgrade. I am re-posting some of them now.
One of the Wikileaks cables from 2008 that came out of the US embassy in
Kigali addressed the subject of who governs Rwanda; you can view it here. It says in part:
An analysis of the ethnic breakdown of the current Rwandan
government shows Tutsis hold a preponderant percentage of senior
positions. Hutus in very senior positions often hold relatively little
real authority, and are commonly “twinned” with senior Tutsis who
exercise real power. The military and security agencies are controlled
by Tutsis, generally English speakers who grew up as refugees with
President Kagame in Uganda. The 28-member cabinet is evenly split among
Tutsis and Hutus, but most key ministries are in the hands of Tutsis
(Hutu ministers do head Health and Agriculture, ministries which affect
the lives of most Rwandans). While the Rwandan government (GOR)
presents itself as a champion of national unity and equal opportunity,
de-emphasizing ethnic identity and ostensibly opening positions
throughout society to those of skill and merit, political authority in
the country does not yet reflect this ideal. Ethnic identity is still
keenly felt and lived, and ordinary Rwandans are well aware of who holds
the levers of power. The long-term stability of Rwanda depends upon a
government and ruling party that eventually shares real authority with
the majority population.
President Kagame is a Tutsi. So, too are the important
Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Infrastructure, Local
Government, and Information. Close Kagame confidant, Chief of Defense
Staff General James Kabarebe, is Tutsi, as are the chiefs of the army
and air force, the military district commanders. and the heads of the
Rwanda National Police and the National Security Service (although
some Rwandans joke that short-statured Air Force Chief Muhire is Twa).
Indeed, all are English speakers who grew up in Uganda. Some major
positions are held by Hutus, but their actual authority often appears
limited, and they are widely perceived to be “twinned” with more
powerful Tutsi colleagues.
For all the government’s exhortations to Rwandans to abandon ethnic identities and work in common on national goals, a policy that in fact has much to recommend it, the political reality is self-evidently otherwise. People remain keenly committed to their ethnic identities, and everyone is aware of which person holds which position and to which group he belongs. While the practical end-point for such a project may be years away. if this government is ever to surmount the challenges and divides of Rwandan society, it must begin to share real authority with Hutus to a much greater degree than it does now.
The upcoming ACNA Assembly features two troubling speakers: Rwandan Archbishop Laurent Mbanda and the apologist Ravi Zacharias. Why are these men troubling? Zacharias was discovered to be inflating his credentials a couple years ago, something he apologized for, but only when caught in the act. Professor John Stackhouse gets to the point about why this is troubling:
Well, when your whole job is to tell the truth as accurately, carefully, rigorously as possible, when what you’re really asking people to do by setting forth your credentials – which literally comes from the same word as creed or credo – why I should be believed, then you really take on a tremendous burden to speak very circumspectly. And if right out of the gate your credentials are suspect, then what are people supposed to do in the audience when he makes certain claims? Are they all supposed to hit their phones, or tablets and start checking everything you say because the stuff they can check isn’t quite true. Isn’t quite true. And I think as soon as we get into the it’s not quite true phase, I think you’re done. I just don’t think you can continue as an apologist if you’re not going to be scrupulous about telling the truth in a way that you can predict your audience will understand. Otherwise, you’re in the wrong game.
Zacharias was also involved in a strange ongoing exchange of texts with a woman that may or may not have been inappropriate on his part. We will never know because there is an NDA between the parties, but the gist of the case can be seen here and here. Perhaps it was an extortion attempt, but the credential inflation is still a serious matter and giving him a platform at the Assembly is not necessary.
When it comes to Archbishop Mbanda, you have a man who does nothing but praise a dictator who kills his own people in the Rwandan police state, it would be akin to St. Paul praising Nero as a visionary leader. I have documented this extensively on this site, see this link. Unfortunately it seems that ACNA continues in its uncritical approach to Rwanda, which Mbanda is exploiting, with the new development that GAFCON’s next bishops meeting in opposition to Lambeth will take place in Kigali next year.
It would be one thing if the Rwandan bishops asked for prayer in the face of an oppressive state, but instead they trumpet this evil regime as if it is a great thing. In the future, ACNA’s unthinking acceptance of this narrative will look quite bad, but as of yet this has produced no change in our conduct.
I have been in the
presence of the Presidents, about four, in our region, and every time I
ask the Lord, “Lord give me the strength to just raise your flag, just
in a small humble way.” And recently when, you know, we met, the
President Kagame with many delegates we talked business and after were
done we were to go and in my heart I said, “Oh Lord, I’m failing you
help me!” And I put up my hand and asked, I said, “Your excellency,
would you allow me to kindly pray in this place?” He said, “Of course
Nathan” because we bumped into each other in some high school, so we
knew each other a little bit.
And he was right there, it’s a big,
big, you know, Presidential hall. And I just felt I need to move and
pray with him there, something crazy, some of these things happen. So,
I, I said, “if I move the security will think I’m in, you know, I’m up
to something.” But I said anyway, “don’t worry” so I walked right across
and as I stood behind him, near him, we were almost the same height, so
I said, “yeah, I think it’s fitting to put my hand on him.” I prayed,
and we all got out so I said, “who knows when I will ever have the
opportunity like this?” Praise be to God.
Bishop Gasatura discusses the much-touted reconciliation process in
Rwanda between the Hutu and the Tutsi. He goes on to make the astounding
claim that “Kagame honors the Lord”:
In Rwanda the story of
forgiveness, healing, peacebuilding and reconciliation has been a very
painful journey, has been a heartbreaking journey, has been a painful,
excruciating journey, has been a very, very, hostile journey, but it has
been a worthwhile journey. We thank God for the leadership whom we
believe God has used in some way because Kagame honors the Lord.
He doesn’t proclaim Christianity openly, many of his ministers, members
of Parliament and Senators they honor the Lord. When you come in the
Presidential Prayer Breakfast that’s when you see it, it’s, it’s just
moving. And we have no doubt that God has used that government to be used as his instrument like he used King Darius. And, Rwanda is changing partly because of the work of the church and government and other forces.
Bishop Gasatura then claims that Kagame was used by God to stop revenge after the genocide of 1994:
When the genocide was beaten and stopped, the very first policy that was put in place was a policy of no revenge, Kagame, somehow was used by God
to say, “If we never stop this bloodletting and revenge this vicious
cycle will never stop.” So he put in place like a general an order,
which had not gone into policy and law, that nobody was allowed
whatsoever to shed blood of someone who had killed even 200 of your
family members, the government will handle that, nobody (should) take
the law in his hands. And today that policy has gone into practice, into
law, and a Commission of Unity and Reconciliation has been put in place
to re-educate and help the Rwandans unlearn the wrong and poisonous
history that they were taught. And if that was not supported by the
Church, praying and interceding and teaching, and you know, repenting,
it would never go far.
Fact checking the Bishop
Does Kagame honor the Lord?
One of his former cabinet ministers told me, “Like all of us, he grew
up Catholic. He has never seriously practiced any faith.Before those he
trusts, he ridicules faith in God, and those who believe.”
Furthermore, Kagame is a murderer who crushes all dissent in the open
prison that is Rwanda, not quite the qualities of a leader who honors
Did Kagame stop the bloodletting?
To the contrary, the entire reign of Kagame is covered in blood. Look
at just a couple of the thousands of examples; first, former Kagame
bodyguard Aloys Ruyezni wrote:
The Murder of Religious Leaders in Rwanda
The 157th Battalion, led by (then) Col. Fred Ibingira, killed many
innocent people in Mutara, Kibungo, Bugesera, Gitarama and elsewhere
during the final attack to take control of the country. This includes
the bishops who were murdered in Kabgayi. The 157th Battalion’s I.O.,
Wilson Gumisiriza, organized a section of his staff to kill the bishops.
It was led by (then) Sgt. Kwitegetse (alias Burakari), who was briefed
on the mission by Gumisiriza. Gen. Kagame
gave the final order to kill the bishops to Col. Ibingira. He gave him
the order in these words: “Remove those rubbishes,” or “Fagia,” in
Maj. Silas Udahemuka was appointed by President Kagame to
supervise the killing of civilians during 1994 and afterwards. He would
complete his assigned operation and then report back directly to Gen.
The example of Festo Kivengere
Bishop Gasatura rightly praises the example of Ugandan Bishop Festo
Kivengere, and says he wants to be like him. However, Kivengere spoke up
against his dictator, Idi Amin, and had to flee Uganda because of it.
Bishop Festo wrote:
A suffering Church can bless a nation and provide a
refuge to which the suffering society may turn for healing, for
liberation and hope. This was proved in Uganda as the Church came under
more systematic attack, and hundreds of martyrs’ deaths were added to
that of the archbishop’s.
Bishop Gasatura is knowingly or unknowingly spreading falsehoods about Rwanda and the nature of Paul Kagame.
On New Year’s Day in South Africa, a Rwandan defector (Patrick Karegeya) who has spoken out forcibly against the tyrannical nature of the Kagame regime was found in a hotel, strangled to death with a curtain cord. He had been led there by a “friend” visiting from Rwanda. It is reasonably certain that the Rwandan government ordered his assassination as they have multiple dissidents over the years.
At first, Rwandan sycophants and high-ranking government officials took to Twitter to deny any connection to the killing. But lately, they have started saying that Karegeya had it coming. This culminated today at the annual Prayer Breakfast in Kigali, where Church officials came to hear President Kagame essentially defend this extra-judicial murder in glowing terms. He said:
I was elected and sworn in as the leader of this nation so I can aggressively defend it. But each Rwandan has their role to play. My job as President is to confront and defend Rwanda against people who want to destroy what we have been building.
Let’s see some other things he said and see who attended this insane ceremony:
There are those who have forgotten so soon, who were made who they are by this country but turned against it. Our faith should be lived, we should see it in your actions. The God who gave us power to build our nation also gave us power to protect it.
The dictator who recently ended support for the terrorist M23 said:
Those who are actively plotting against this country stand no chance; with God’s grace we have the ability to defend it. Every Rwandan has got a stake in our progress, through quality service. God blesses us but we should be thankful while guarding our progress…
The notorious Antoine Rutayisire with the Dictator
The mass murdering Kagame said:
betraying your country and wishing the worst for it is costly. We should have the strength and courage to do good things and defend your country. There is no politeness when it comes to people who commit treason against their own country. A country makes you who you are you betray it?
According to a news report, the dictator said when news of Karegeya’s death broke; several government officials were “busy on Twitter denying. That was unnecessary. People must be ready to pay for their action.”
We should not be blamed for those whose interest is to destroy what Rwandans have built. Those who criticize Rwanda know how far they go to protect their own nation. Those who forget how far they have come from should remember they cannot put themselves above nation and people of Rwanda.
And lest we forget, American bishops have said not a word in protest of this cozy relationship with a wicked regime.
Here are some more pictures from this event, which is a testimony in pictures to what I have been saying for almost two years now:
If the West knows about ethnicity in Rwanda at all, it is in the familiar form of the Hutu and Tutsi. However, there are further sub-groups and clans within these broader configurations. One clan that features prominently in the story of Bishop John Rucyahana and his support for M23 is the Bagogwe clan.
Who are the Bagogwe? This article (in French) explains the roots of the Bagogwe ethnicity inside Rwanda:
Bagogwe are Tutsi whole hand. Indeed, in the former Rwanda, Bagogwe families regrouped into clans. The family clan was more than an ethnic identity. It is recognized by clan membership. The most important lineages were “abega” the “abahumuro” and “abatsobe.” …The identity was also related to the area occupied by a population. Thus, Bagogwe assumed the name of the region they occupied, the Bagogwe, the namesake of a rocky hill “in Iberia rya Bagogwe” …It is far from a designation of a sub-ethnic group or a sub-race. (Note that this is a Google translation and could be improved upon).
Jason Stearns says of the Bagogwe that “clan identity amongst the Tutsi does play a difference, as does their socialization within the RPF. We currently see some divides between the Bagogwe, mostly from Masisi, and what is usually referred to as Banyanduga or Bajomba, many of whom are from Bwisha in Rutshuru. This is reinforced by a class divide – Bagogwe are often poor cattle-herders.”
Stearns is referring to divisions among the Bagogwe from the Congo who
have participated in rebel movements fomented by Rwanda, but there is a
strong Bagogwe presence inside Rwanda itself. In fact, prior to the
outbreak of the genocide in 1994, the Bagogwe were themselves targeted
for genocide by the Habyiramana regime in the towns of Ruhengeri and
Bigogwe. Amnesty International wrote that the Bagogwe clan “was targeted for elimination”(AFR 47/02/92).
The Bagogwe as Soldiers for Kagame
It seems that after the RPF took over in Rwanda, the Bagogwe were often used to do Kagame’s dirty work. According to former Kagame bodyguard Aloys Ruyenzi:
In 1996, many Banyamulenge and Bagogwe were recruited by the DMI and integrated into RPA battalions (for example, the 59th Battalion) and the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL-CZ) forces to participate in the mass killings in Zaire. The murder of Hutu refugees located near Kisangani started on the “Live Goshe” road near Lubutu. The next massacre occurred on Gafasende Road, located 59 kilometers from Kisangani. The RPA feared these killings would be detected by the human rights organizations that were pressing for an on-site investigation. The DMI staff was ordered to exhume the all the bodies from the mass graves, burn them, and then throw all the ashes into the fast-flowing waters of the Congo River.”
In November 2009, Jason Stearns talked about unrest brewing in the DRC again, and said that “…previously the Tutsi faction was represented mostly by upper class Tutsi from Goma and Jomba, while this time they seem to be mostly from the lower class Bagogwe clan from Masisi.
The leader of the Bagogwe faction inside both M23 and the CNDP, which was the precursor to M23, was Bosco Ntaganda. Some of this ethnic background is explained in this story:
…Rwanda is aware that although it can influence M23, it does not have control over it. For example, one of the factors behind the current infighting in the rebel group is clan politics and rivalries. Ntaganda is from the Bagogwe clan alongside Baudouin Ngaruye. Meanwhile Makenga is also from the same Bagogwe clan but grew up in Rucuru among Banyejomba clan of former CNDP leader, Laurent Nkunda. Ntaganda has always seen himself as a rival to Nkunda and enjoys large support among the Bagogwe. This meant that Makenga could never rival him for support in the clan which made him court the Banyejomba. Ntaganda has since used his identity to wrestle control from Makenga.
Ntaganda, a hardliner, has the support of the Bagogwe Tutsi clan from the mountainous Masisi region, who have tired of the dominance of Nkunda’s Rutshuru-based Tutsis in the rebel leadership. Support for both CNDP and M23 came from Bagogwe inside Rwanda. During the CNDP rebellion, the US embassy in Kigali sent a cable pointing out that there was fundraising for Laurent Nkunda and CNDP occurring among the Bagogwe in Rwanda: Reports of financial contributions to the CNDP by private individuals come as no great surprise. Mission recently heard reports of informal collections of funds for Nkunda among the Bagogwe, a Tutsi clan that straddles the Rwanda – DRC border, and which claims him as a member. Reports of CNDP recruiting in the refugee camps also continue, as do reports of demobilized Rwandan soldiers “re-mobilizing” themselves by voluntarily crossing to join Nkunda.
The following table outlines the backgrounds of three rebel leaders who operated for Rwanda in the DRC.
Bagogwe, Banyejomba clan
Bagogwe, Banyejomba clan
Rucyahana’s Bagogwe Connection
Where does Bishop John Rucyahana fit into this picture? In 2012, the UN said that Rucyahana was the “president of the Bagogwe community”:
John Rucyahana has been the head of the Anglican Church at Ruhengeri, president of the Bagogwe community from Rwanda, and President of the Rwandan National Unity and Reconciliation Commission.
Details about this role in the Bagogwe community are lacking, but Rucyahana’s fundraising and recruiting efforts for M23 were clearly in support of the Ntaganda faction, as subsequent evidence makes clear.
…Rwandan officials who had previously supported Ntaganda, and who could no longer control his network in Rwanda or his actions in the DRC, decided to sideline him from M23 and to dismantle his support in Rwanda. In late December 2012, Rwandan authorities arrested RDF Col. Jomba Gakumba, due to his close ties with Ntaganda, according to former RDF officers and an M23 collaborator. A former Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) member, two former RDF officers and a politician loyal to Ntaganda, told the Group that Bishop John Rucyahana, a Ntaganda ally in Rwanda who recruited politicians and raised funds for M23, had to stop his collaboration (emphasis added). The Group has sought clarification from the Government of Rwanda on the matter and is awaiting a response.
A “civil war” of sorts broke out between the two factions within M23, with Bosco’s faction losing badly because Rwanda was determined to eliminate him. Anyone who helped him was arrested:
…on 10 March 2013, Rwandan authorities arrested Gafishi Semikore and Theo Bitwayiki, while they attempted to help Ntaganda from Rwanda by supplying him with small quantities of ammunition, food and medical supplies during the hostilities between the two factions in Kibumba.
With Rwanda hunting him, Bosco Ntaganda had to flee for his life. How he was able to do so is laid out for us by the UN and sources such as this:
Hailing from Northwestern Rwanda and from the reclusive Tutsi Bagogwe’s ethnics, generally hostile to the current Rwandan government dominated by Tutsis from Uganda and Burundi, General Ntaganda could rely on a network of incorruptible clansmen. So he was moving from relative to relative, avoiding highly circulated areas and moving in trucks carrying staples to the capital city Kigali. While the DMI killing squad was looking for him in Gisenyi, the volcanoes and Masisi, he had already crossed Kinigi on his way to Kigali. He reached Kigali late at night on Sunday, where a trusted relative was waiting for him. Early morning, the relative dropped him off close to the US Embassy (emphasis added), to where he walked in and asked for being sent to the International Criminal Court.
The UN’s account of Bosco’s flight says:
On 15 March 2013, Ntaganda clandestinely crossed the border into Rwanda using a small path in the Gasizi area, with one escort…he reached Kigali with the help of his family, and arrived at the United States embassy on 18 March where he requested to be transferred to the ICC, without the prior knowledge of Rwandan authorities. Subsequently, Rwandan authorities arrested an individual suspected of having aided Ntaganda’s escape, and interrogated Ntaganda’s wife and brother.
According to confidential sources, the situation of bishops Rucyahana and Kolini is bad because since (a) the escape of Bosco Ntaganda into the American embassy in Rwanda and (b) intense external pressure to end support for M23, Paul Kagame has abandoned the bishops. A sign of this abandonment is his open admission that churches support M23 as a Tutsi self-protection campaign. A source says that Bishop Rucyahana cannot travel outside Rwanda on orders of the Government (or without its explicit permission); and that in fact Rucyahana’s own driver assisted Bosco Ntaganda to escape to the American embassy. If true, this means that Rucyahana’s driver is or was a relative of Bosco’s all along.
In short, Rucyahana (a) had a driver related to Bosco Ntaganda, (b) was the President of the Bagogwe community in Rwanda, and (c) was sidelined when Bosco’s support network was eliminated as part of the M23 civil war.
The civil war between Bosco’s faction and the Makenga faction may have hurt Bagogwe support for M23, since many native sons of the Bagogwe were betrayed by Paul Kagame.
The UN says: The Group notes that M23 recruitment in Rwanda has decreased since the dismantling of Ntaganda’s recruitment network; community leaders in northern Rwanda who supported Ntaganda have ceased collaborating with the M23. […] Demobilized Rwandan soldiers have been killed on M23 frontlines in the DRC. The Group obtained the identities and addresses of seven families residing in the northern Rwandan villages of Bigogwe and Mukamira, whose sons fought in the ranks of M23 as demobilized soldiers and died during the fighting between Makenga and Ntaganda.
It is not as clear why Bishop Kolini would support M23, although he preached and served among the Bagogwe in the eastern Congo for many years, and his support for Paul Kagame is probably unwavering. He is also connected to the current bishop of Boga, the Rt Revd William Bahemuka Mugenyi. He has connected the severely weakened AMiA to Bishop William which means that Kolini has ongoing contact with clergy in the DRC.
Rucyahana has appeared in the US recently as part of Kagame’s
Presidential Advisory Council. Presumably, he is engaged in what Rwanda
calls, “Kwicazwa ku gatebe” – literally “being made to sit on a small
chair.” When you fall out of favor with Paul Kagame, you must keep
silence and wait, hoping that someone else will soon fall out of favor
and a replacement will be needed.
Warren’s relationship with Rwandan President Paul Kagame
is also of concern. Kagame was the leader of the rebel Tutsi forces that
brought an end to genocide in 1994. Yet as president, he has overseen a
military that continues to occupy parts of the Democratic Republic of
Congo. Human-rights observers such as Amnesty International and even the
U.S. State Department accuse Kagame of not only stripping Congo of its
natural resources, but also of mass rape, burning villages, and
murdering civilians. Rwandan leaders reject these claims, yet the
human-rights community maintains their accuracy.
Years of African corruption in the wake of colonial
puppetry have created rifts of distrust between those who are suffering
and those with friends in high places. Although Kagame is an improvement
from past leaders, his connection to former regimes and to ongoing
human-rights concerns should trouble anyone seeking to work with him.
Coming to the defense of Kagame, current Anglican Bishop Augustin Ahimana Murekezi of the Kivu diocese wrote a response in Christianity Today. He said:
It is also our duty to inform American Christians that
there has been a malicious campaign to demonize Rwanda’s leaders,
distorting the political situation. This distortion emanates from people
often hiding behind so-called humanitarian organizations. Some have a
hidden agenda of distracting the international community so that their
own role in Rwanda’s tragedy cannot be exposed.
When Rwandan troops decided to pursue the genocidal
forces and their sponsors in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in
1996 and 1998, they did so in the light of day. The peace we enjoy today
in our country is mainly a consequence of that action. When our troops
pulled out of DRC in 2002, it was under the intense gaze of
international observers and media. So accusing Rwandan troops today of
continuing “to occupy parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo” is
The advance of M23 towards Goma started in earnest on 15
November with an attack on Kibumba, approximately 20 km north of Goma.
After some success in pushing back M23 on the first and second days of
the offensive with significant and robust support by MONUSCO, which is
estimated to have resulted in high casualties to M23, the Congolese
armed forces later succumbed to a larger, well-organized and
well-supplied force. Following the setback of its first attack on
Kibumba, the subsequent speed, efficiency and success of the renewed M23
offensive were rendered possible by a sudden increase in the group’s
combatants, coordinated multi-pronged attacks and attacks with
coordination between infantry and fire support, all capacities that are
not characteristic of former integrated CNDP elements. Furthermore,
MONUSCO observations of the command and control ability of the attacking
force, the effective coordination of its fire support, the quality of
its equipment and its general fighting ability, particularly during
night- time, all suggested the existence of external support, both
direct and indirect.
Let’s be clear, “external support” means “the Rwandan Army.” The
wars that Bishop Augustin defended involved horrific atrocities, as
outlined in the Mapping Exercise report of the UN. Wikipedia says that
the Second Congo War “and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people,
mostly from disease and starvation, making the Second Congo War the
deadliest conflict worldwide since World War II.” In fact, the
Mapping Report says that the Armée patriotique rwandaise (APR – the
Rwandan Army), went after ethnic Hutu’s regardless of their lack of
involvement in the 94 genocide:
Several of the incidents listed appear to confirm that
multiple attacks targeted members of the Hutu ethnic group as such, and
not only the criminals responsible for the genocide committed in 1994
against the Tutsis in Rwanda and that no effort had been made by the
AFDL/APR to distinguish between Hutu members of the ex-FAR/Interahamwe
and Hutu civilians, whether or not they were refugees.
30. The intention to destroy a group in part is
sufficient to constitute a crime of genocide and the international
courts have confirmed that the destruction of a group can be limited to a
particular geographical area. It is therefore possible to assert that,
even if only a part of the Hutu population in Zaire was targeted and
destroyed, it could nonetheless constitute a crime of genocide if this
was the intention of the perpetrators. Several incidents listed in this
report point to circumstances and facts from which a court could infer
the intention to destroy the Hutu ethnic group in the DRC in part, if
these were established beyond all reasonable doubt.
The incidents of horror from this war could be enumerated at length, but here is a sample of what the Rwandan Army did:
On 21 October 1996, units of the AFDL/APR/FAB attacked Lubarika camp
and village, killing an unknown number of Rwandan and Burundian
refugees, as well as Zairian civilians who were trying to flee the
village after the departure of the FAZ. The soldiers forced local people
to bury the bodies in four large mass graves. On the same day, soldiers
also burned thirty refugees alive in a house in the village of
Kakumbukumbu, five kilometres from Lubarika camp.
On 24 November 1996, in the village of Mwaba, units of the
AFDL/APR/FAB burned 24 Burundian Hutu refugees from the Biriba camp
alive. On their arrival in Mwaba, the soldiers arrested those present in
the village. After questioning them, they freed the Zairian civilians
and imprisoned the Burundian refugees in a house which they then set on
On 22 October 1996, in the Rushima ravine between Bwegera and
Luberizi, units of the AFDL/APR/FAB killed a group of nearly 550 Rwandan
Hutu refugees who had escaped the Luberizi and Rwenena camps a few days
before. Soldiers inter- cepted the victims at the checkpoints set up in
the surrounding area. Between 27 October and 1 November 1996, under the
pretext of repatriating them to Rwanda, units of the AFDL/APR/FAB led
an unknown number of additional refugees into the Rushima ravine and
In January 1997, AFDL/APR units killed at least thirty Rwandan and
Burundian refugees, mostly with knives, on the Bukavu to Walungu road,
around sixteen kilometres from the city of Bukavu. The victims had been
arrested as part of a combing operation. Before killing the victims, the
soldiers often tortured and maimed them.
Between 15 November and 16 November 1996, AFDL/APR units arrested an
un- known number of Rwandan Hutu men from the Lac Vert camp and Mugunga
and executed them. Some were bound and then thrown alive into Lac Vert,
where they drowned. Others were shot in the head and their bodies
dumped in the lake.
This could go on and on. Suffice it to say that these wars and those
who instigate them should not be defended, but decried. Going after the
humanitarian organizations instead is astonishing.
On July 23, 2012, an article appeared on the online New Times site that claimed to be penned by retired Bishop John Rucyahana. In the article, he advocated that the African Union should give those in the Eastern Congo – those living under the M23 ‘rebellion’ supported by Kigali – “the option for a referendum to choose where they should belong” meaning secession from Congo and becoming part of greater Rwanda. The article disappeared from the web. Here it is, pulled from the archives:
I Saw a Clear Vision
BY RT. REV. JOHN RUCYAHANA July 23, 2012
I saw African leaders from different parts of Africa together in a committed and serious discussion and I saw them come to an agreement. They agreed to research into the past of their continent and examine its difficult experiences and the causes of its upheavals.
They scrutinised tricks employed by colonialists to perpetuate those maledictions and failures in order to understand the present conditions that they are faced with, in political, economic, social and other related areas.
I saw the leaders’ concern mounting at the realisation that they needed to recapture state power and get a good grip of real leadership so as to give due value to the deaths of African heroes before them: King Musinga, Rudahigwa, Rwagasore, Lumumba, Majoro. Samora Machel, King Kabalega, S Biko, K Nkruma, Sankara.
Each African nation recited their fallen heroes who fell at the hands of foreign aggression. Soon after that, they set to recapture the African Hope and to engage that hope to restore the African dignity, bring true independence and reject laziness and dependency.
They committed themselves to work and to relate with only those who accorded them their due respect without any more tricks and derogation.
They got the cloud of dependency blown off their brains and transformed every national policy to suit their people’s aspirations, moved to educate their citizens and transform their people into productive and responsible citizens.
Wake up Africa! The arrest and charging of Rose Kabuye is just a warning to the whole of Africa. The arrest of Rose Kabuye, Rwanda’s Director General of State Protocol, is the European re-colonisation testing signal to the whole of Africa.
European powers, France and Germany, want to test the ability of Africans to interpret that action. Rwanda may feel the blow alone but the test is for the whole of Africa. Today is Rwanda, tomorrow it could be any other of the African countries.
If Rwanda alone interprets that action, will the rest of Africa cooperate and fight the arrogance of countries like France, Germany and Spain?
The next point is to make it a European policy. The whole of Africa will have signed their death warrant. Please Africa “wake up!”
Rwanda, it is time for you to live, you have existed for long, now is the time to rise and live with hope and dignity. Beware, however, that you have to fight for that dignity and nobody will give it to you as a present. You will have to earn it.
You have suffered enough: the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that was supervised by France’s Mitterrand, supported by Boutros Boutros Ghali, Mobutu, the French government and military machine and those who caused the deaths of millions of dear ones crippled Africa and Rwanda in particular.
It is obvious that France hates to see a miracle of Rwanda rising to what it is to day. Rwanda suffered at the colonialist’s partitioning of Africa, and her dear people and precious land were made part of Uganda and Congo.
As though that was not enough, the people of Rwanda are being persecuted and Rwanda is being unfairly accused. Enough is enough.
Africa’s leaders should wake up and shake off the colonial imposition bequeathed on her by the Western world and learn to work and fight for African dignity and restoration.
The African Union should endeavor to correct all mistakes done on Africa with all the energy within its power and ability. Those damages which are thought to be beyond repair can be redeemed productively.
For example, the problem of Congo is uncalled for, and D.R. Congo alone has the duty to put an end to the strife. If the Congolese do not recognise the people in Eastern Congo as their fellow Congolese, the African Union should give them the option for a referendum to choose where they should belong.
Finally, the African Union should redeem its dignity and shape Africa’s destiny and stop being manipulated and exploited by her former colonial exploiters.
In conclusion, Africa should condemn very strongly and reject the European effort to re-colonize Africa by use of International Courts and other means being used to threaten the Sovereignty of African leadership.
The writer is the Bishop of Shyira Diocese EAC, Chairman- Prison Fellowship International, Rwanda Chapter, Chairman- Hope Rwanda.