Admit that you were wrong about Rwanda

Posted: October 15, 2010 in Genocide Denial
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By JEAN-PAUL KIMONYO, Wednesday, October 13 2010

Conceding that the genocide accusations against the Rwandan army are no longer tenable after the publication of the final UN mapping report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda’s comments, human rights organisations that had supported the double genocide thesis have ceased to refer to the alleged crimes in their latest reactions.

Why doesn’t the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) come clean on the issue and acknowledge its mistake?

After Rwanda’s substantiated objections to the draft report, the OHCHR decided to distance itself from its earlier genocide allegations by presenting counterfactual elements that make the accusation itself irrelevant.

However, for reasons only known to OHCHR, it has not had the common decency to remove the allegations altogether.

The well-organised leaking of the report to the media focused on the accusations of genocide against the Rwandan army, yet the report made allegations against a host of other nations.

The head of the mapping exercise investigation team, Mr Luc Côté, was quoted extensively in an article appearing the day after the first leak in the French newspaper Le Monde, saying that what happened in the Congo “was the same thing” as what happened during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

We now end up with a kafkaesque situation. A UN report formulates extremely grave accusations of genocide based on the absolute lowest evidentiary standards. “Reasonable suspicion,” chosen by the authors, is a lesser standard of proof in US law than probable cause, preponderance of the evidence, clear and convincing evidence, and beyond reasonable doubt.

By participating in this trivialisation of the crime of genocide, the OHCHR undermines the cause it is supposed to serve as well as its own integrity.

The effect of such behaviour will go far beyond just the DRC case.

The OHCHR has many questions to answer. The changes made to the final version of the UN mapping report only partially respond to one of Rwanda’s objections relating to the context of its intervention in the DRC.

The one time the authors chose to recognise the context of events in the DRC — as a war of self-defence aimed at repatriating millions of innocent civilian refugees taken hostage by genocide perpetrators — they were forced to acknowledge a list of mitigating facts that negates the accusation of genocide.

What about the comments that question the factual basis of the report? All the incriminated countries have produced comments on the report. Three of them have noted that in many instances, their armies have been mentioned in places where they were not deployed.

Rwanda has submitted 30 pages of objections covering all the sections of the report and questioned the intentions of the authors.

On multiple occasions, the authors assert that their mandate as set out in the “Terms of Reference” (TOR) [p.542] — a three-page document — required them to make legal classifications of crimes. However, neither the words “legal classification” nor “genocide” are in the TOR.

This blatant lie by the authors bent on covering up their defamatory objectives is enough reason to question the integrity of the report.

It is a disgrace for the UN to associate itself with the egregious manipulations in this report after failing to prevent or contain the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Dr Kimonyo is an adviser in the Office of the President of Rwanda.


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