A lot of water has passed under the bridge. But like truth despite the passing time, the latter stands still.
The remains of his aeroplane and bodies of both Burundian and Rwandan presidential teams on board fell down on his house near the international airport of Kigali [Rwanda].
I am here referring to the late Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana who was assassinated on 6/4/94, while returning from Tanzania where he had attended peace talks with his regional peers.
He was loved by many among Rwandans. Even among those who didn’t like him, because they wanted political change after his long stay in office of 21 years, the majority didn’t wish his death.
The shooting down of his aeroplane on Paul Kagame’s orders plunged Rwanda into an unprecedented genocide primarily targeting Tutsis.
This tragedy targeted as well Hutus who also died in hundreds of thousands during and after the 100 days running from 6/4/94 to 4/7/94 when the Rwandan Patriotic Front [RPF] of Paul Kagame won the civil war the rebel movement had started on 1/10/90.
Eighteen years on, no international and independent inquiry has been set up to identify the perpetrators of the crime which killed simultaneously President Habyarimana of Rwanda and President Ntaryamira of Burundi and caused mayhem in Rwanda.
Since then, a general cover-up orchestrated by RPF and its Western backers has prevailed through different forms: International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Mucyo Report.
But history does not stop. New events impact it with their undeniable nature. On 16/1/10, Victoire Ingabire, leader of FDU-Inkingi, visited the Genocide Memorial in Kigali, few hours after her arrival in the country.
She was coming back home after sixteen years in exile to compete against President Paul Kagame in the presidential elections of 2010. She made a historic announcement.
“For example, if we look at this memorial, it only stops at people who died during the Tutsi genocide. It does not look at the other side – at the Hutus who died during the genocide. Hutus who lost their people are also sad and they think about their lost ones and wonder, ‘When will our dead ones be remembered?‘”
She was immediately accused by RPF regime of denying the Tutsi genocide by uttering that there were Hutus who had been killed at the time. What she said on that day is one of many acts of accusations for which she has been imprisoned since 14/10/10.
Victoire Ingabire broke a taboo by publically lashing out that truth in the complexity of the Rwandan tragedy. Rwandans, more inside their country than outside, hadn’t dared before to publicly refer to it in a different narrative other than the one officialised by the Rwandan regime.
RPF continues to proclaim that there has only been a genocide committed against Tutsis. Hutus victims who died before during and after the same period in quite similar circumstances, them too being targeted because they were simply who they were, are politically ignored.
Adding misery to injury, RPF accuses Hutus collectively for having committed the genocide against Tutsis. As a consequence of such attitude, the former have been marginalised, dispossessed of their properties, unfairly imprisoned through Gacaca, and denied all opportunities and fundamental rights that a fairer society offers to its citizens.
From her prison, Victoire Ingabire has relentlessly continued to encourage those among Rwandans who want political change in their country to become fearless and seek steadily their rights. If they don’t stand up, and challenge the status quo, nobody else will do on their behalf.
For the first social revolutionaries of 1959, who irreversibly changed the structures of the Rwandan society as they had prevailed for almost four hundred years, it must have been also highly challenging and quite daring on their part. They had however to get it done to transform the dominant social for the better.
On 6/4/12, another act of defiance to Paul Kagame’s discriminatory regime is staged in Paris by Rwandans protesting against the manipulation of the assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana by the RPF regime and its Western backers.
The history of Rwanda for the last eighteen years has been written by RPF and its sponsors to accommodate their respective interests.
The majority of Rwandans has been denied space and time to express their pain or views on their long suffering since 6/4/94. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands have died without seeing any light at the end of that dark channel.
Victoire Ingabire removed the first layer of their suffering on 16/1/10. Another important layer is uncovered on 6/4/12 in France when the significance of what happened eighteen years ago will come out in the open from its narrative as kept so far in Kagame’s closet.