A positive outcome from the leaked UN report has so far been achieved. The need for justice is from now on so paramount that after the world has an approximate picture of what happened years ago in Democratic Republic of Congo, it will become quite impossible to stop the quest for honouring the fallen victims. Atrocities including acts of a genocide character against Hutu refugees and Hutu Congolese took place and were perpetrated by RPA/AFDL and other military and militia forces between 1993 and 2003.
Since extracts of the report went out on August 26th, Kigali has been out with nails and teeth stretched at their full length, screaming that the investigation was malicious, unprofessional, threatening that it would call home its peacekeepers forces if its criminal activities in Congo during the time covered by the report were qualified as genocide in character. According to Kigali, the report has not even any legal value. For those familiar with the Rwandan political scenery, it is straightforward to notice that the same energy which has been deployed to see the report redrafted, has been regularly used to blackmail the international community which willingly or not failed to prevent or stop in time the Rwandan genocide.
Kigali has used the Rwandan genocide, blackmailing, time and again to seek compensation for failure on the part of the international community. The genocide has been a justification to cover up human rights abuses, to oppress the population, to deprive individuals of their properties, to segregate among citizens, to silence politicians or any dissent voice. There are thousands of people languishing in Rwandan prisons for many years, not because of their involvement in the genocide but only because Kagame’s regime wants them there for its strategic political, economic and social aims.
I don’t think there are many people among those ardently seeking that the UN report is not changed when it is finally published, who don’t only want to see justice being done. I am quite certain that none of them would want to use the publication of clear accusation of Kagame’s army crimes as a business mean to achieve financial or political gains, as this has been the case for the Rwandan government since 1994. No one could be as cunning as the Rwandan president to go beyond getting the memory of their murdered relatives and compatriots honoured.
For many years, which have now become decades, voices from relatives of the victims, academics, NGOs, activists from around the world, have called for justice in the Great Lakes region. Postponing to address current impunity of leaders of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, despite their serious responsibilities in the making of the human disaster of the African continent, is dangerously hindering sustainable development of an area considered to be the engine of the continent. And the sad side of the story is that it is not only Congo which has been targeted so far, but the whole African central region including countries such as Congo Brazzaville and Cameroun. The geopolitics from US, UK and other Anglo-Saxons allies which are at play since the end of the cold war early the 90s don’t care about African lives as long as they get their minerals.
Since October 1990, millions of people have died because of Kagame and Co’s wars in the Great Lakes region. Calling genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity crimes committed in Democratic Republic of Congo doesn’t count much for the departed. None of these appellations will bring them back. But they need justice. The suffering of their survivors is ongoing. Whatever is finally retained in the final version of the UN report people should press to have a special tribunal for Congo to try the perpetrators. I don’t need genocide in the report, but I seriously need to see justice being done for the sake of those who cannot be with us anymore, not for their own fault but only because of Kagame’s army and its allies in the plundering of Congo’s minerals.