By Ann Garrison
“Come January 2nd 2015 I don’t think UN (MONUSCO) will dare attacking FDLR and its more than 250,000 Hutu refugees under its protection in Eastern Congo. Before August 3rd 1993, when the Arusha Agreement was signed between the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and the Habyarimana’s Rwandan government, I had a very naive positive picture of the UN and particularly its peacekeeping missions around the world. For the last twenty one years, alongside millions of other Africans of the Great Lakes region, I have been victim of the same institution that could’ve protected our people against the systematically elaborate slaughter; I have also learnt a lot about the role of UN in serving US foreign policies. Thus going after FDLR this time would confirm in the mind of many that MONUSCO and those behind its selective actions and inactions, is only a very highly funded criminal entity aimed at preserving their regional business interests.” Ambrose Nzeyimana
On 10.07.2014, CBS aired a five minute news piece titled “Militia accused of Rwanda genocide facing onslaught,” produced with the aid of the ENOUGH Project to End Geocide and Crimes Against Humanity, a non-profit corporation sheltering under the umbrella of the Center for American Progress, the Democratic Party’s corporate funded think tank and organizing operation. The Enough Project was founded by career intelligence professional John Prendergast, who now identifies as a human rights activist, and Gayle Smith, who now serves as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of the National Security Council. Prendergast, Smith, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, and UN National Security Adviser Susan Rice are the best known proponents of a doctrine known as “Mass Atrocity Prevention,” meaning US obligation to undertake humanitarian military interventions. The Rwandan Genocide and the Holocaust are centerpieces of this military doctrine. In Presidential Study Directive 10, which created the inter-agency Mass Atrocities Review Board, President Obama wrote that, “Sixty-six years since the Holocaust and 17 years after Rwanda, the United States still lacks a comprehensive policy framework and a corresponding interagency mechanism for preventing and responding to mass atrocities and genocide.”
It is therefore not surprising that the ENOUGH Project would collaborate with CBS to promote a military “onslaught” against the “militia accused of Rwanda Genocide” without reference to the abundance of well documented books and reportage that have upended the widely held belief about the massacres that came to be known as the Rwandan Genocide. These include Surviving the Slaughter, Dying to Live; A Rwandan Family’s Five Year Flight Across the Congo, Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa, Accidental Genocide, Rwanda 1994: The Myth of the Akuza Genocide Conspiracy and Its Consequences, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later, and the recent BBC documentary “Rwanda’s Untold Story.“
The CBS report quoted a UN official, who said that, “The FDLR are here living with their wives and children. Maybe we need the Marines or special forces with special equipment to engage and neutralize them. I’m not quite sure with our blue helmet and the blue flag [of the U.N.], we can neutralize them.” US Special forces are the preferred agents of Mass Atrocities Prevention interventions, as outlined in the Mass Atrocities Prevention Military Handbook produced by the Harvard Kennedy School and the Pentagon.
So, with US Marines and/or Special Forces this close to engaging in a “military onslaught” in the heart of Africa, I decided to see what I could learn about its target, the FDLR militia. The most obvious way to start was to find out how the FDLR explain themselves, so I made inquiries until someone sent me the FDLR’s founding document, the Nasho Declaration, which follows here. I was told that FDLR leadership held a meeting in Lubumbashi, DR Congo, and produced the Nasho Declaration, which they then read on local radios and in front of media in the year 2000, though the written statement was not published until April 6, 2001, on the seventh anniversary of the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. -Ann Garrison
STATEMENT BY DEMOCRATIC FORCES FOR THE LIBERATION OF RWANDA -FDLR- (FORCES DEMOCRATIQUES DE LIBERATION DU RWANDA DEMOCRATIC LIBERATION FORCES OF RWANDA)
Translated from French
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) take this opportunity of the commemoration of the inter-ethnic massacres in Rwanda to present their sincere condolences to the Rwandan People. The condolences and mutual solidarity are especially expressed to the families of the victims of this unprecedented human tragedy.
The FDLR take this opportunity to make a strong call for justice, an end to impunity in Rwanda, and a state of law with democratically elected institutions. The FDLR condemn all criminals and culprits regardless of their ethnic background or political affiliation.
– Considering that security and reconciliation among all elements of Rwandan Society cannot be guaranteed without peace and justice,
– Considering that the international community and media continue to promote the interests of the conqueror, at the detriment of the conquered, by supporting the current dictatorial and bloodthirsty regime in Rwanda,
– Considering the ever increasing number of refugees and innocent people detained in Rwanda prisons,
-Given that any person opposed to the current regime in Kigali is falsely accused of being Interahamwe or genocidaire, and that the accusation demeans, discriminates, and destroys the human dignity of those accused,
-Considering that in Rwanda dictatorship replaced democracy,
-Given the continued hegemonic invasion of the region by the regime in Kigali,
-Profoundly saddened by the daily persecution of Rwandan people,
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) consider that the Rwandan people cannot remain passive spectators of the destruction of their country and the relentless extermination of the population at the whim and megalomania of General Paul Kagame. They call the attention of the international community to the extreme plight of the Rwandan people. The international community must acknowledge the right for the Rwandan people to liberate themselves using all available means. The FDLR are prepared to face the challenge of liberating Rwanda and to free their fellow citizens nowadays reduced to slavery by a clique of professional killers and corrupt thugs who form the inner circle of Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)-INKOTANYI led by Paul Kagame.
The FDLR asks Mr. Paul Kagame to abandon the logic of war, to stop using genocide as a commercial fund, and to finally engage on the path of a comprehensive inter-Rwandan dialogue.
The Rwandan people are fed up.
Ten years and five months ago to the day, Rwanda and its people sank into extreme poverty, injustice, and an unjustified and deadly war. The war was launched on October 1, 1990 by the coalition of NRA/FPR-Inkotanyi with the support of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda. The time bomb that was launched from the Northeastern Rwandan border decimated everyone in its path from embryos to elderly people who resisted the invasion by a clique of cynical individuals seeking power at all costs.
The tragic situation reached its fiercest levels in the night of April 6, 1994 with the assassination of Presidents General Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi along with their entourage. In fact, the assassination was the opportunity for the RPF and its army the RPA to resume their 4-year invasion and war that had already created despicable conditions in Rwanda. The RPF and RPA intensified the fighting and massacred anyone on the hit lists established by its agents who had infiltrated all levels of the Rwandan administration. Unfortunately, the international media embargo on RPF’s opponents did not allow the truth on the massacres committed by RPF and RPA to come out.
From April 1994 to July 1994, when the RPF seized power in Kigali, thousands of our compatriots, from all ethnic groups, had been massacred in horrible conditions; millions more had fled to neighboring countries, especially Tanzania, Burundi, and Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda have always strongly condemned and reiterated their condemnation of those barbaric acts. The criminals, not the scapegoats, must be brought to justice.
When the RPF-Inkotanyi seized power, it chose to institutionalize vengeance and hatred by promoting hatred groups such as Ibuka and AVEGA Agahozo. Instead of bringing peace, promoting reconciliation and justice, and defending human rights principles, RPF-Inkotanyi created a terrorist and police government and militarized all political and civil institutions.
At the judiciary level, Rwanda has become a huge prison. About 200,000 people have been held in filthy prisons, containers, dungeons, private confinements, leaking bathrooms, military camps and military positions without access to human rights organizations. Most of these detainees have neither official charges nor judicial files. Those outside prisons spend their productive time finding and bringing food to the detainees.
With the militarization of the administration, General Kagame has dispatched death squads in the villages to terrorize or massacre the people. Hundreds of thousands of people are forced into concentration camps, called imidugudu, where death squads select people to summarily execute on simple suspicion or accusation of not supporting the RPF. Under RPF, Rwanda has arguably become the only country in the world where killing a person has become a game and death squads roam and rule the country.
The policy of lies and hypocrisy, initiated with the invasion of Rwanda, has allowed General Kagame to blindfold the international community on the war crimes
and crimes against humanity committed by the RPF. In fact, according to human rights organization, more than 3,000,000 Rwandan have been killed since October 1990. With its the responsibility in these massacres, the RPF has foiled any attempt by the International Community to investigate the assassination of President Habyarimana, to conduct a census of Rwandans killed since 1990 or determine the circumstances of these massacres, to find those responsible, and to punish the culprits. Currently, testimonies establishing the responsibility of General Kagame for the assassination of Presidents Habyarimana and Ntaryamira abound. The testimonies demonstrate how General Kagame is the planer, executor, and beneficiary of the assassinations.
With its extreme megalomania and warmongering and expansionist ambitions, the militaro-political oligarchy of RPF invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leaving a trail of death and rape and looting the natural riches of this country.
The FDLR condemn the barbaric and ignominious aggression that tarnishes the reputation of the Rwandan People. Hence, the FDLR hold Kagame and his army responsible for genocide of the Rwandan people, war crimes and crimes against humanity and economic crimes committed in Rwandan and in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.
The current regime of Kigali imposes its rule by ways of the arms. Benefits of the 1959 Social Revolution are denied to the People. Democratic rules and symbols of national independence are trembled with. The FDLR oppose these dilatory maneuvers aimed at erasing the symbols of freedom from slavery and servitude.
The bloodthirsty, expansionist, and hegemonic regime of Kigali is now gangrened by corruption and nepotism. In order to attract more international aid in order to sustain its aggression against the sovereign states of the Region conducted sham elections.
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda reject the fake elections. The elections were coercive, unfair and nontransparent. Paul Kagame has suffocated all political parties and organizations but the RPF. The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda urge all countries that value peace, justice, and democracy and the International Community in general to condemn these elections intended to legitimate a bloody dictatorship the RPF is. Furthermore, Kagame and his clique being responsible for the Rwandan tragedy do not deserve to govern the Country and therefore, cannot organize legitimate elections.
On several occasions calls were made to the Kigali regime to open up for dialogue with armed and unarmed opposition in order to bring back democracy and the respect of basic human rights. To these calls the RPF responded with arrogance, disdain and systematic repression. Nevertheless, FDLR support the idea of an International Conference of Peace in the Great Lakes Region. The Conference will constitute an ideal forum for debating the lack of democracy and the source of insecurity. The Conference will become a privileged place where regimes in power must start dialogue with their oppositions without distinction or exclusion. The dialogue will lead to durable solutions to the crises destroying the countries and the People of the region.
The FDLR invite Rwandans inside the country and in the Diaspora to defend their cause, claim their rights, and reject the intimidation by the RPF. In fact, in order to discourage people from rejecting the RPF and its crimes, to deny their rights to the refugees, and to suffocate and behead any opposition, the so-called genocidaire lists are established on the basis of false accusations. Anyone who refuses to serve the RPF or denounces its crimes is labeled genocidaire Interahamwe. This concept has lost its meaning to designate the bad person from RPF’s perspective.
The FDLR believe that criminals must be found and punished. However, as the voice for the voiceless, the FDLR urge the International Community and host countries to reject the lists established by RPF and not to use them as a reference or a basis to decide on the cases of Refugees and asylum seekers. The FDLR ask that the refugees be given the right to express their opinion and claims against the regime of Kagame.
The RPF wants the international community to believe that Rwandans who fled the country in 1994 are genocidaire. However, recent events point to the contrary. The exile of the two Prime ministers of the RPF, the Speaker of the Parliament, Ministers, Members of the Parliament, Ambassadors, high ranking civil servants and business people who had rallied behind the RPF, high ranking military officers of the RPA and the recent resignation of some of the founders of the Rwandan Patriotic Front show that those who fled in 1994 had anticipated the current dangers posed by the RPF regime.
The Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda invite the Rwandan People to adhere to its objectives and the international community to support its program. The Objectives of the FDLR are to:
– Promote long lasting peace in Rwanda and the region;
– Establish a regime based on universal principles of the rule of law, the multiparty system of democracy, free and honest elections organized on the basis of one man = one vote principle, as well as the republican values;
– Promote moral values with strict respect of life and human dignity, honesty, truth, freedom, individual emancipation, equality, justice, respect, brotherhood, confidence, and interdependence among the Rwandan people;
– Work for national reconciliation and reconstruction and for social and economic development of the country;
– Establish the truth on the Rwandan tragedy, in order to punish the culprits and to rehabilitate all victims without distinction;
– Promote peace as well as co-operation between Rwanda, the neighboring nations, and the International Community;
– Ensure good management of the public property.
The FDLR are committed to the guarantee of individual and collective fundamental freedoms, the respect of minority rights, the protection of cultural identities, the right of the Rwandan people to establish a state of law and a democratic rule based on the cultural values of Rwanda and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The FDLR invite Rwandans of all ages to raise up as one and mount a strong resistance against the ignominious and dictatorial regime of Kigali in order to restore Democracy and equitable justice, the respect of human rights, and peace in Rwanda and in the Great Lakes Region of Africa in order to achieve development for the benefit of all people of the region.
Together victory is ours!
Signed in NASHO, April 6, 2001,
Alexis Nshimyimana FDLR Spokesperson
This week, the FDLR released a statement available here, which says that they are prepared to disarm and engage in dialogue with the Rwandan government.