It has been a while the Rwandan government using threatening and blackmailing techniques to get what it wants from the international community. The Rwandan genocide that it has renamed Tutsi genocide is at the centre of its strategy. According to its apparent understanding, it can do anything even unimaginable as committing war crimes and acts of genocide against other ethnic groups in the Greatlakes region and get away with it.
On August 19th, Paul Kagame wrote in the Financial Times a broad justification of his government actions. ‘It is important to look at the challenges my country has faced,’ he says. Whatever the challenges, in today’s world, there can never be acceptance of the fact that a crime can be punished by committing another one. After the Rwandan genocide of 1994, committing war crimes and acts of genocide against Hutus was apparently acceptable for RPA from the very beginning. This is an analysis which emerges from the attitude of Kigali against any allegation of crimes it has been accused of in the past.
The leaked UN report specifically accuses RPA/AFDL forces for having committed crimes against Hutu refugee and Congolese Hutu which could constitute a crime of genocide. ‘While we always knew that there had been large massacres of Hutu refugees in the Congo, this is the first rigorous investigation, and the first time an international body has thrown its weight behind charges of genocide,’ says Jason Stearns.
Paul Kagame is not Raskolnikov, the murderer of Alyona Ivanovna, in Crime and Punishment of Doltoyevski. But unfortunately like him, he seems to have deliberately drawn so much attention to his crimes that everything is today catching up with him, despite all the efforts he has made to hide them. According to Jason Stearns, referring to the report, evidence that the UN team has uncovered about committed crimes points 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.
In the past there have been UN reports (Gersony, October 1994 and Garreton, 1997) which didn’t get beyond the desk of their authors, when they didn’t disappear from UN archives. For the current report, Eugene Ndahayo, president of the support committee for FDU-Inkingi explains in a letter send to Ba-Ki Moon that, ‘if it were proved that the UN is about to succumb once again to pressure of a regime accused of serious offenses in order to suppress or tone down the report, the Rwandan people would hold you responsible for their plight, because you would have breached your mission as the guarantor of peace and respect for human rights for all.’
Many pending or forthcoming issues are supposedly and currently being discussed on all possible consequences of altering or not altering the draft report. Glen Ford goes even as far as to analyze how agreeing to see Kagame’s forces as genocidaires would impact on US policy on Africa. Whoever leaked the UN document is part of actors of good. Sooner or later it will be impossible to continue covering up crimes which are now in the public eyes.