The Rwandan genocide: What Africans should learn?

On April 6th, 2014, it is exactly 20 years since the assassination of two African presidents namely Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi occurred, and US, UK and other interested parties have obstructed every effort to get the perpetrators of that horrible act prosecuted.

The murder occurred when the plane which was carrying the two presidents and their respective delegations was approaching for landing to the international airport of Kigali. It was around 8.31 pm. The Rwandan president and his Burundian colleague were coming from a regional peace meeting in Dar-es-Salaam. But they had been ambushed by Ugandan president Joweri Museveni who wanted his protégé Paul Kagame to take power in Rwanda.

The two illustrious victims were both Hutu, part of the wider Bantu community which span many countries of the region even further south in South Africa. In Burundi, six months prior to April 6th, another elected Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye, had been assassinated by extremist Tutsis. Tutsis and Hutus died before, during and after the official timeframe given to the Rwandan genocide which started from April 6th, 1994 to July 4th, almost 3 months later. There were Rwandan casualties on October 1st, 1990 when the Rwandan Patriotic Front of President Paul Kagame had first attacked Rwanda from Uganda.

Tens of thousands of Hutu farmers were massacred in the north of Rwanda, area through which RPF had advanced to occupy initial territories inside the country. During the three and half years that the civil war lasted before the fatidic date, the rebel movement created a state of instability for the Habyarimana government to the point that the worst could be expected. With its tens of infiltrated cells across Rwanda of which existence and activities were revealed by Valens Kajeguhakwa and Lieutenant Joshua Abdul Ruzibiza, two RPF insiders, the group was persistent in placing explosive grenades in market places, public coaches, and assassinating Hutu politicians, then blaming these crimes on the government side.

If there has been any planning of the genocide, since the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda failed to prove the accused Hutu so far of being responsible, the logic calls to investigating RPF camp. The justice of victors is prevailing. Hutu and Tutsi victims who survived until today know exactly who the murderers of their people are. The Rwandan regime has been fighting vigorously to clear itself from any criminal responsibility and put all the blame on Hutus and France and other international actors who failed to intervene.

Informed observers are well aware that RPF and Kagame personally committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and even acts of genocide both in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. From October 1st, 1990, he has benefited from the unconditional support of Uganda, US and UK so far. And because of that backing, between 500,000 and 1 million died during the 100 days of the Rwandan genocide, more Rwandans died after inside the country and in DRC; more than 6 million of Congolese have perished without US and UK being outraged by the scale of the catastrophe. They are in business.

Against this background of unspeakable crimes, Canadian citizen of Congolese origin, Patrick Mbeko, author of several books on the geopolitics of Central Africa, is suggesting what Africans should learn from these sad events of the last two decades and undertake to reverse the sinister trend which is taking hold of more and more countries across the continent. He is of the opinion that:

Africans must reclaim the sovereignty of their countries, as did Latin American nations. We have what it takes to bargain with: they need our mineral resources.

Another argument is that the world is no more dependent on one superpower. China and Russia are there too. We need to learn to navigate through to defend African interests.

At some extent, if Africans were unable to investigate for example those who commission the Kagame, Museveni and any others alike, in plundering African resources, we could at least vigorously request reparation for the crimes committed against our people. There is a precedent: Libya of Kaddafi had managed to get from Italy compensation for the wrong that Italian colonization did to Libya.

This could be a sign that we are becoming responsible of our own destiny. It is understandable that when we leave our future in the hands of our exploiters, we end up not even knowing how to get some justice for the crimes that affect our people. We might even naively ask our oppressors to provide us with that justice we crave for. Obviously this would be ironic.”

Books by Patrick Mbeko:

Le Canada dans les guerres en Afrique Centrale

Le Canada et le pouvoir tutsi du Rwanda


What is your opinion about this?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s