Sad Memories at Ten

Posted: October 29, 2010 in Evidence Material
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Reuters 1Apr 2004 Westerners Shun 10th Anniversary Rwandan Genocide By REUTERS Filed at 11:30 a.m. ET KIGALI (Reuters) – Western leaders were conspicuously absent from a list of foreign dignitaries scheduled to attend memorial ceremonies in Kigali next week marking the tenth anniversary of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Some 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates were shot, hacked and clubbed to death in 1994 by Hutu extremists during 100 days of butchery that was initially ignored by world leaders. With the exception of Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, only African leaders have so far confirmed they would attend memorial events planned for April 7, when the tiny central African country will remember its legions of dead. Among those confirmed to attend is Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, whose government was recently accused by a senior U.N. official of carrying out systematic killings of villagers in ethnic attacks reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide. “We invited the whole world and anyone who wants to share our reflections, we invite them to be here,” Robert Bayigamba, Rwanda’s Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, told journalists at a news conference in response to questions about Omar al-Bashir’s expected presence at the anniversary. ANNAN – “I COULD HAVE DONE MORE” U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was head of peacekeeping operations at the world body during the 1994 massacres, will not attend Rwanda’s memorial, said Bayigamba, whose ministry is overseeing next week’s events. Annan last week accepted institutional and personal blame for not doing more to prevent the Rwandan slaughter, saying, “I realized after the genocide that there was more that I could and should have done to sound the alarm and rally support.” Heads of state expected to visit Kigali on April 7 include South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki, Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Chad’s Idriss Deby. The list would be updated if other dignitaries confirmed they were coming, Bayigamba added. The United States, which has come under fire this week for avoiding the use of the word “genocide” for fear it would spark a call for action Clinton administration officials were loathe to take, will be represented by Pierre-Richard Prosper, the U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes. France has yet to announce who it will send to Rwanda following weeks of heightened tensions between the two countries over each other’s role in the genocide. Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused France of “direct” involvement in the genocide in response to a French judge’s report blaming him for ordering the downing of a plane carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana which triggered the genocide. Relations between France and Rwanda’s Tutsi-led government have been strained ever since.

BBC 1 April, 2004 New genocide ‘would not be stopped’ Kofi Annan has said he wished he had done more in 1994 International bodies would still be unable to deal with genocide in Africa were another Rwandan-type conflict to begin today, a spokesman for Rwanda’s Human Rights Commission has said. There is general agreement that international organisations were slow to react to the genocide, which began 10 years ago. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan last week said he realised after the genocide that “there was more that I could and should have done.” But Tom Ndahiro of the Rwandan Human Rights Commission said he remained “sceptical” that world authorities would act differently and faster to a similar situation today. “I agree with anybody who says the world has not learnt a lesson,” he told BBC World Service Africa Live programme. “The reason I say that is for what happened between April and July 1994 the signs were clear. When the genocide was unleashed against Tutsis, the diplomats in the United Nations, especially the powerful nations, acknowledged that a crime of genocide was going on in Rwanda. “[But] the genocide leaders were accommodated in various countries and could maintain their hate propaganda, passing their messages, without anybody saying, ‘please stop – what you did is enough’.” Interests As well as the UN, Mr Ndahiro added that he felt the Organisation of African Unity (OU) – now replaced by the African Union – was also to blame. It had failed to prevent the genocide leaders from leaving Rwanda and continuing their violent message, he said. The best thing to happen for Rwanda would be the South Africa version of truth and reconciliation Freeman Tettey, Ghana Rwanda: What lessons learnt? Eric, a survivor of the genocide, said he agreed with Mr Ndahiro’s comments. He also criticised France for its “negative role in the genocide,” and he added that he felt individual countries would also be restricted from acting quickly. “I don’t think that they can do much, because they have their interests that they are fighting for,” he said. “Those interests I don’t think today have changed. “They neglected the genocide, they left it happening… the UN army commander in Rwanda used to give a full report of what we happening. “They left it happening. I do not think they would do anything today.” But Desmond Ojako, a spokesman for the African Union and its predecessor the OAU, said he felt the pan-African organisation had acted as well as it could in 1994. “I must disagree that the then-OAU didn’t do it’s own bit,” he told Africa Live. “It must be recalled that the resolution of serious conflicts of that nature is the sole duty of the Peace and Security Council of the United Nations.” He argued that the OAU had deployed two operations, Enmog 1 and Enmog 2, in Rwanda before the UN and that they had been relatively successful in keeping the peace. “It was when we left Rwanda that the genocide was committed,” he added. ‘Worse than terrorism’ And he stressed that the AU was now capable of using its knowledge of what happened in Rwanda to prevent it recurring. “Anyone saying that we cannot do anything, we have not learnt any lessons – that person is joking,” he said. It is estimated 800,000 died in the genocide “We have a brand new organisation that is less than two years old, that has already done so much to make sure that such a thing does not repeat again. “We have said that the failure of the international community to prevent and punish genocide will never happen again. “To this effect we have done a lot of things – Africa has realised that genocide is a criminal violation, worse than terrorism.” Specifically, he pointed out that an AU Peace and Security Council was set up two weeks ago with elected members. It replaced the AU’s central organ for conflict prevention, management and resolution. Mr Ojako said this Council would be “better equipped to stop genocide being committed again in Africa.” “Every institution needed to stop genocide is right now in place here,” he added.

Reuters 1 Apr 2004 Ex-Rwandan president Bizimungu goes on trial Thu 1 April, 2004 17:41 KIGALI (Reuters) – Former Rwandan president Pasteur Bizimungu has gone on trial on charges of trying to set up an armed militia group seen as a threat to national security in a country still traumatised by the 1994 genocide. The trial of Bizimungu, who was arrested more than a year-and-a-half ago, was delayed by an unsuccessful appeal to Rwanda’s Supreme Court seeking the dismissal of charges that also included illegal possession of firearms. If convicted, the former president could face up to 20 years in prison, the Rwandan state attorney general Emmanuel Rukangira said. Bizimungu denied all the charges. “My lord these are politically motivated charges of which I plead innocent,” he said. The hearing adjourned until April 20. An ethnic Hutu, Bizimungu was appointed president when the ruling Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) took power after the 1994 genocide by Hutus in which 800,000 people were slaughtered, most of them Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus. He resigned in March 2000 after a fall out with top RPF members and was replaced by President Paul Kagame. The prosecution accused Bizimungu and a former minister Charles Ntakirutinka of inciting civil disobedience and spreading partisan politics aimed at dividing Rwandans along ethnic lines. The former president has also been charged with diverting at least $100,000 given by a regional political body to his personal account in a local bank.

Hirondelle News Agency (Lausanne) 2 Apr 2004 Seven Heads of State to Attend Genocide Commemoration Seven heads of state and government have confirmed their presence at the ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the genocide, on April 7th, the Hirondelle News Agency has learnt. The leaders include Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Umar al-Bashir of Sudan, Idriss Deby of Tchad, Mwai Kibabi of Kenya, Yoersi Museveni of Uganda. Tanzania will be represented by its Prime Minister Frederick Sumaye and Burundi, by the Vice-President Alphonse Marie Kadege. Of the Western countries Belgium will send the most important delegation, led by the Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt. France will be represented at the ministerial level. The Minister for Youth Sports and culture, Robert Bayigamba also announced that the UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan, will not come to Kigali. However, Kofi Anan has called on the whole world to observe a minute of silence at 12.00 noon on 7th April in memory of the genocide victims. The commemoration programme indicates that an international conference on the genocide will be held from 4 to 6 April and the memorial in Kigali will be inaugurated on April 7. A ceremony to pay tribute to the victims will also take place on April 7th at the Kigali Amahoro National Stadium in the presence of a big crowd. There will also be the inauguration in Kigali of a memorial for the 10 Belgian peacekeepers killed when the genocide began. On the evening of the 7th, 10 steles will be erected at the “Kigali Camp” where the Belgian troops were killed in a more private ceremony to which Belgian officials and families of the dead will attend. The Rwandan Minister for Youth Sport and Culture also said onRadio Rwanda that a total of 7 million US dollars from donor countries will be spent in the genocide commemoration ceremonies. Most of the money will be directed towards genocide memorial sites. The Belgian ambassador to Rwanda, Marck Vedapt has, on its part, donated 1.5 million euros for the genocide ceremonies.

Reuters 2 Apr 2004 Rwanda Resigned as West Skips Genocide Anniversary By Finbarr O’Reilly KIGALI (Reuters) – Rwanda said on Friday it was disappointed that Western leaders would not attend memorial ceremonies in Kigali next week to mark the tenth anniversary of the country’s genocide. World leaders initially downplayed the 1994 slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates killed by Hutu extremists who mostly hacked and bludgeoned their victims to death with machetes, spiked clubs and garden tools. Government officials and organizers of memorial events planned for the April 7 anniversary said they were dismayed that Western leaders had again turned their backs on the tiny central African country as it remembers its legions of dead. “I’m not surprised and I don’t think many people here would be because the general feeling in Rwanda is that (the West) has not learned lessons from what happened here,” said Alfred Ndahiro, an advisor to President Paul Kagame. “We learned our lesson that we have to fend for ourselves, which is obviously still the case,” Ndahiro added. Kagame’s Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front ended the genocide in July 1994 after ousting the extremist Hutu regime that had carefully planned and then carried out the mass killings while the world delayed taking decisive action. “The lack of interest now just highlights that the genocide in Rwanda is still not really taken seriously,” said Stephen Smith, director of Aegis Trust, a British-based genocide prevention organization. Aegis Trust will open a multimillion-dollar genocide museum in Kigali on April 7 with memorial speeches and a minute of silence to be held at the site, located next to mass tombs containing the remains of hundreds of thousands of dead. “There’s been a lot of talk about regret over not doing enough to stop the genocide, but it has not transferred into action or foreign policy,” Smith told Reuters in Kigali. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was head of peacekeeping operations at the world body during the 1994 massacres, recently accepted institutional and personal blame for not doing more to prevent Rwanda’s 100 days of slaughter. Annan, however, will not participate in the Kigali ceremonies, organizers said. He was snubbed by Kagame during a visit in 1998, though relations have subsequently improved. With the exception of Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, only African leaders have so far confirmed they would attend Rwanda’s memorial events with a handful of Western countries sending low-level delegations.

IRIN 2 Apr 2004 Census finds 937,000 died in genocide KIGALI, 2 Apr 2004 (IRIN) – A census carried out by Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports found that 937,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutus died during the 1994 genocide, an official announced on Thursday. “These are the people who died during the 100 days [April-June 1994] of mayhem and who we were able to find out their names, age and their places of birth,” Robert Bayigamba, the minister for youth, culture and sports, said at a news conference in the capital, Kigali. He said the death toll could increase when the Gacaca justice system becomes fully operational as many perpetrators of the genocide were expected to testify about the people they killed. The Gacaca trials, based on traditional communal justice, are expected to begin later this year. The genocide death toll has often been conflicting, with various organisations quoting figures between 500,000 and one million. “We shall come up with the exact figure after the Gacaca courts complete their work,” he said. Meanwhile, the Rwandan government wants former first lady Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana arrested for her alleged role in planning the execution of the genocide, an official told IRIN on Friday. The government maintains that Habyarimana, along with her two brothers, Selaphe Rwabugumba and Protais Zigiranyirazo, were “key masterminds” of the genocide and must be brought to justice either in Rwanda or at the Tanzania-based UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). “We have sent out a formal request to Interpol to have these people arrested and brought to justice for crimes of genocide,” Emmanuel Rukangira, a state attorney, said. Rwanda claims Habyarimana now lives in France while her brothers are in Belgium. “They were key members of the Akazu clan,” Rukangira said. The Akazu, or the “inner circle”, comprised close relatives of Agathe and Juvenal Habyarimana and their allies. The Akazu allegedly orchestrated the genocide. Some members of the Akazu, like Zigiranyirazo and Col. Theoneste Bagasora, are already facing trial at the ICTR. Rwanda recently announced that it was preparing a list of 300 suspected masterminds of the genocide who are still at large and living in Europe, North America and Australia. “It is high time that these people who have been trotting around the world were brought to justice,” Rukangira said. Regarding plans for the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the genocide, Bayigamba said at least six heads of state and other high-ranking government representatives, were expected in Kigali on 7 April for the occasion. He said Rwandans would begin a week of mourning on Monday, during which remains of some genocide victims would be buried in dignity and flags will fly at half-staff. “We commemorate the genocide to give honour and dignity to the victims of genocide, reflect on the past and strive to move to a better future,” he added.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution 3 Apr 2004 ajc.com Ethnic atrocities have left scars in Rwanda 10 years later, country appears peaceful — on the surface By CRAIG NELSON The Published on: 04/03/04 NYAMATA, Rwanda — The leader of the mob thrust a hoe into Marcellin Kwibuka’s hand. “Kill her,” the man ordered. Kwibuka is a Hutu. The woman lying at his feet was an ethnic Tutsi. She was also his wife. The decision forced upon Kwibuka: Kill her and save himself and their children, or all would die. Kwibuka’s harrowing choice during Rwanda’s season of blood 10 years ago set an almost unimaginable standard for human cruelty, even by Rwanda’s ignominious yardstick. In 1994, the government of this tiny Central African nation, led by extremist ethnic Hutus, set out to exterminate the minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus. About 800,000 people died in 100 days in one of the most ferocious mass slaughters in history. No outside nations stepped in to halt the carnage. Under a government amnesty last year, more than 23,000 confessed killers were freed and returned to their towns and villages to live alongside the survivors of the killings and rapes. Today, Africa’s most Christian country appears peaceful on the surface. As Rwanda prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of its unimaginable bloodletting Wednesday, it has made more progress than most could have imagined, refusing, in the words of Tutsi President Paul Kagame, “to be held hostage” by grief and mistrust. But peel away the layers of the lives of people like Kwibuka and there is tension, anger and grief as they struggle to cope with what happened 10 years ago. When the genocide broke out, Rwanda was a country of 7.7 million people, 85 percent Hutu and 12 percent Tutsi. Tutsis had been in power until three years before independence in 1962, when the Tutsi king died and Hutus rebelled with the connivance of Belgian colonial administrators. Hundreds of thousands of Tutsis fled into exile, until a 1990 invasion from Uganda by a Tutsi-led rebel army culminated in negotiations for a power-sharing agreement. The often tense politics did not keep Rwandans like Kwibuka, a Hutu, and Françoise, a Tutsi, from marrying or owning businesses or worshipping together. But by April 1994, as power sharing appeared imminent, extremist Hutus and state-run radio inflamed ethnic fears of a Tutsi takeover. And on April 14, 1994, a mob of more than 100 people gathered in front of Kwibuka’s house. “They had machetes and clubs, some studded with nails called nta mpongano, which means ‘no pity,’ ” he says. “I met the militia leader, Samuel Nikobali, at my door.” “We’vecome for your animal,” Nikobali said. “Which animal?” asked Kwibuka. “Your wife.” ‘Tutsis . . . will perish’ The trigger for the slaughter of the Tutsis came with the mysterious shootdown of a plane carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu. Blame was placed upon the Tutsis, and within hours, a well-laid plan for genocide was implemented. Within a week Rwandan government soldiers had killed 10 Belgian peacekeepers, and all but a handful of U.N. peacekeepers were withdrawn. In the United States, the Clinton administration was wary of African entanglements after losing Army Rangers while supporting U.N. efforts in Somalia the year before. For the next 100 days, the killers did their work as the radio blared, “All Tutsis will perish. . . . Slowly, slowly, slowly, we will kill them like rats.” Death came to Kwibuka’s front door immediately. Françoise’s name, like that of each of the estimated 930,000 Tutsis living in Rwanda, was on a liquidation list. Even so, Kwibuka had hoped Françoise might be spared because he was a Hutu and the owner of a popular restaurant. But as the mob clamored for blood in front of his mud home, it was plain none of that mattered. On April 10, policemen, local councilmen and members of a feared Hutu militia had come to Kwibuka’s farm in search of Françoise, 24. Three times she hid as Kwibuka paid off her pursuers with cash and told them she had fled to a nearby town. But on April 14, the mob would not be turned away. “Whether we find her today or not, we’re going to kill you. We aren’t taking your money anymore,” Kwibuka recalls the militia leader saying. “When she heard them threaten me, she came out of the banana trees and said, ‘Don’t kill him. It’s me you’re after.’ The crowd parted as she walked over and stood beside me. . . . Angered that I’d lied to them, they hit me on the head with a club.” As he recalls how Françoise volunteered to die, he turns away to dab his eyes with a handkerchief. Kwibuka says Françoise calmly asked if she could speak to her children a last time. Inside her home, she took the hands of 4-year-old Dunyi and 2-year-old Janet to say goodbye. She asked Claudette, Kwibuka’s 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, to look after the children. In her husband’s ear she whispered, “I’m going to die now.” ‘Kill me here’ When they returned outside, they were marched behind the house. “Kill me here,” Françoise told the militia leader Nikobali as she began to pray. One man asked if she was finished praying, then struck a glancing blow at her head with a machete, knocking her to the ground. Before more machetes could rain down, Nikobali screamed, “Stop!” “Kwibuka must kill her himself,” he said as he handed the husband a machete. “Either help us, or we will kill you and your children and burn your house.” “My arm was numb and I dropped it,” Kwibuka said. “I thought about all the hardships we had gone through together and the kind of death she was going to suffer at my hands. I heard someone yell, ‘Go get the children and burn the house.’ “By that time, Françoise was pleading with me. ‘Why are you taking so long? . . . Do it. God knows it’s not you who’s killing me. I won’t live if you die.’ ” “Suddenly, I got the strength to go through with it,” Kwibuka remembers. “They handed me a hoe and she turned face-down on the ground. As she prayed, I hit her once on the left side of the head. ‘Hit her again,’ people screamed. I hit her again, and she was dead.” Kwibuka winces when he recalls looking up from Françoise’s body and seeing their children watching. He had not realized that they had followed their parents outside. Later his 4-year-old son kept repeating, “Dad killed Mom.” Freedom, forgiveness After the gang moved on to kill the Tutsi wife of another Hutu man, Kwibuka buried Françoise near the house with the help of Hutu neighbors. But he was immediately forced to go hunt down other Tutsis, he says. He says he killed no one, but in February 1995 — nearly seven months after a Tutsi rebel force ended the genocide and took control of the country — he was arrested, confessed to killing Françoise, and was jailed with up to 120,000 other suspected perpetrators of genocide. Kwibuka’s land and property were seized. Claudette, along with his other children and tens of thousands of other Rwandans, drifted from one family member to another. Last year, after nine years in jail, Kwibuka was freed under a government amnesty. He and his children were reunited and returned to the family farm. “[The children] understand that I was forced to do what I did and had no choice,” he says. If they hold their mother’s death against him, they do not tell him. Kwibuka says he is at peace. “She prayed for me before I did it,” he says. “I’m sure she has forgiven me.”

Reuters 4 Apr 2004 Rwanda’s Kagame Scolds Outside World Over Genocide By REUTERS Filed at 5:17 p.m. ET KIGALI (Reuters) – Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday accused the outside world of deliberately failing to prevent genocide, opening a week to mark the tenth anniversary of the killing of some 800,000 fellow countrymen. The United Nations, the United States and European countries have all faced criticism for failing to intervene during the three-month genocide in Rwanda, which ended in July 1994 when Kagame seized the capital at the head of a rebel army. “We should always bear in mind that genocide, wherever it happens, represents the international community’s failure, which I would in fact characterize as deliberate, as convenient failure,” Kagame told the start of a genocide conference. “How could a million lives of the Rwandan people be regarded as so insignificant by anyone in terms of strategic or national interest?” he told the meeting at a hotel used 10 years ago as a base by military planners directing the massacres. “Do the powerful nations have a hidden agenda? I would hate to believe that this agenda is dictated by racist considerations or the color of the skin, I hope it is not true,” he said. Speakers opening the three-day conference said the world had compounded its lack of intervention to stop the slaughter by failing to help the survivors, many of whom were infected with AIDS by the militiamen who raped them during the massacres. “The international community still continues after the genocide to display total indifference to the survivors’ unspeakable moral and physical suffering,” said Francois Garambe, chairman of the Ibuka genocide survivors group. Stephen Smith, director of Aegis Trust, a British-based charity dedicated to preventing genocide, said the world’s failure in Rwanda had left the country with a terrible legacy of trauma which should encourage preventive action in future. “In this city, you know, there are still more nightmares than dreams, because you know personally, that just 10 years ago, someone hacked your father to death, sliced through your brother, raped your mother,” he told several hundred delegates. “Never forget Rwanda, let it be a dangerous, unsettling, unnerving memory,” he said. “A VERY GOOD MAN” Sunday, a Rwandan cabinet minister said a 2001 census showed there were 937,000 victims of the genocide, reviving a debate over the death toll which has seen conflicting numbers of deaths proposed ranging from 500,000 to one million. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, created by the United Nations to prosecute perpetators, estimates that “some 800,000 Rwandans were killed” between April and July 1994. Rwanda’s genocide began after a plane carrying the Rwandan and Burundian presidents was shot down on April 6, 1994, triggering an attempt by Hutu extremists to exterminate their opponents to preserve the Hutus’ decades-long dominance. The conference ahead of a formal memorial ceremony on Wednesday will draw participants from around the world, including Canadian former lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire who led a U.N. force in Rwanda during the killings. He has been haunted by guilt over his failure to save more lives. Kagame paid tribute to Dallaire in his speech as a “very good man,” and revealed for the first time that he had considered seizing the weapons of Dallaire’s force to use in his military campaign but had decided against the idea. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was head of peacekeeping at the world body during 1994, accepted institutional and personal blame last month for not doing more to prevent the Rwandan slaughter. Declassified documents revealed last week that U.S. intelligence officials were using the word “genocide” in Rwanda even as officials in former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s administration avoided the word in public for fear it would spark calls for action. Kagame has accused France of “direct” involvement in the genocide, saying it provided weapons to the killers.

VOA 4 Apr 2004 Conference Seeks Ways to Prevent Repeat of Rwanda Genocide Alisha Ryu Kigali, Rwanda 0In the Rwandan capital, Kigali, a three-day conference, aimed at finding ways to prevent a repeat of the horrific 1994 genocide in that country, opened on Sunday. The conference launches more than a week of official events to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the genocide that left more than 800,000 people dead in 100 days. A gathering of several hundred diplomats, Rwandan government officials, academics from the United States and Europe, and aid agency representatives listened solemnly, as genocide survivor, Fredrick Gachondo, 32, opened the conference at Kigali’s new Intercontinental Hotel. The ethnic Tutsi Rwandan told the audience the story of how he was hunted down by a mob of ethnic Hutu extremists on April 12, 1994. Mr. Gachondo says he was hiding behind a house when several Hutu militiamen, carrying spears and machetes, came looking for him. He says he knew all of them. They were once his friends and neighbors, but that didn’t seem to matter. Mr. Gachondo says the militiamen stabbed and cut him over and over again. Then, they robbed him of his money and left him to bleed to death. Ten years ago on April 7, Hutu extremists began a bloody, government-orchestrated campaign to exterminate their long-time Tutsi rivals. By the time a Tutsi-led rebel army ended the genocide in July, hundreds of thousands of Tutsis, as well as politically moderate Hutus, had been massacred throughout Rwanda. With the help of historians, psychologists, sociologists and other experts scheduled to speak, conference organizers say the three-day gathering will seek to understand the root causes of the 1994 genocide and how to prevent it from happening again. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who led the army that stopped the genocide, says the need to find a solution is urgent. He warns the hatred that sparked the killings of Tutsis continues to pose a threat to the country’s attempts to form a cohesive, peaceful society. “The forces and the ideologues responsible for the genocide in our country have been defeated. They have not been destroyed. They still exist. Now, the big question is how can we uproot these forces of evil and ensure they are no longer a menace to our societies?,” he said. Another topic of discussion during the conference is likely to focus on how to get the international community more involved in efforts to prevent genocide in Rwanda and elsewhere in the world. On Sunday, President Kagame strongly condemned the United Nations and individual Western nations for failing to intervene in 1994, charging that racism may have played a part in their decision to ignore the Rwandan pleas for help. Late last month, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was in charge of peacekeeping for the world body in 1994, accepted institutional and personal responsibility for not doing more to stop the slaughter.

Xinhua 5 Apr 2004 Rwandan president calls for genocide-preventing mechanism Rwandan President Paul Kagame Sunday urged the international community to establish an effective mechanism to prevent reoccurrence of horrible killings like the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Opening an international conference on the genocide, Kagame said that establishing such an effective mechanism will help avoidmore losses of innocent lives and more bloodshed. The conference is part of the commemoration week launched by the Rwandan government to commemorate those dead in the genocide 10 years ago. The 10th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide that claimed about one million lives in three months falls on Wednesday. Kagame said that the international community failed Rwanda whenit was plunged into a frenzy of hatred and killings from April to July 1994. He questioned whether the lack of a mandate for using force by the United Nations peacekeepers could exempt the international community’s obligation to stop inhuman crimes. “What are their arms for? If they cannot stop killings, why arethey in this country? How about giving their weapons to us so thatwe can use them to protect our people?” asked the president. Some 2,500 blue helmets were stationed in the tiny African country to monitor the implementation of a peace accord signed late 1993 by the then Hutu government and the Tutsi-dominated Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) led by Kagame. They refrained from being drawn into the killings of Tutsis andmoderate Hutus and clashes between the Hutu army and the RPF forces when a terrible massacre swept the country after the assassination of then Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana in a missile attack on his plane on April 6, 1994. The genocide destroyed so many Rwandan families and threw the survivors into sadness, loneliness and poverty, Kagame said, adding that the 1994 tragedy is a failure of the international community. “The last 10 years are years of deep reflection of the genocideand its consequences,” he said. As for the government’s efforts to heal wounds of the nation, Kagame said that reconciliation has taken root in the Rwandan society and people have come to the knowledge that they must love each other and unit to rebuild the country into a new one. About 500 representatives, including officials, diplomats, nongovernmental organization workers as well as scholars attended the conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Kigali, which will last for three days. Some participants, when speaking at the opening ceremony, called on the international community and the Rwandan people to draw lessons from the genocide in order to prevent it from replaying. A survivor narrated how he survived from the mass killing and what had happened around him during those bloody days. The one-week commemoration will reach its climax on Wednesday at the official ceremony at the Amahoro Stadium of Kigali.

BBC 5 Apr 2004 Preventing another genocide By Alison De Forges Human Rights Watch A decade since the Rwandan genocide, leaders of national governments and international institutions have acknowledged the shame of having failed to stop the slaughter of the Tutsi population. ‘Hate media’ played a key role in the genocide At the 2004 Stockholm International Forum, “Preventing Genocide: Threats and Responsibilities,” many renewed their commitment to halting any future genocide. Honouring that pledge will require not just greater political will than seen in the past but also developing a strategy built on the lessons of 1994. The genocide in Rwanda began suddenly after the killing of the president, but the attitudes and practices that made it possible developed over a period of years. Tutsi massacres For decades the government had practiced discrimination against Tutsi, the people who would be targeted during the genocide. The post-independence government categorized citizens by ethnicity and, continuing a practice of the Belgian colonial regime, required all adults to carry documents identifying their ethnic group. These identity documents were used to select Tutsi for slaughter during the genocide. During the three years before the 1994 genocide, government officials, soldiers, national police, and leaders of political parties incited and directed 16 massacres of Tutsi, each of which killed hundreds of unarmed civilians. The army also killed hundreds of Hima, a people related to Tutsi, during a military operation in 1990. Killers and other assailants went unpunished if their victims were Tutsi or members of parties opposed to the authorities. Hate media For three years before the genocide, newspapers like Kangura had identified Tutsi as “enemies of the nation,” to be scorned and feared. A private radio, supported by many influential government, military, and political figures, broadcast the same message with increasing virulence and effect in the nine months before the genocide was launched. Lack of accurate information of what was happening on the ground also fuelled the killings Alison De Forges But no one intervened to actually stop the calls to hatred or to promote the broadcast of countervailing messages of tolerance. Silencing the radio broadcasts would not only have ended this particularly effective form of incitement and the delivery of specific orders. It would have showed that the international community rejected the legitimacy of the genocidal message and those who were delivering it. Conflicting reports One other way to prevent genocide is to be alert to impact of negative models in nearby regions. In late 1993 and early 1994 tens of thousands of Hutu and Tutsi were slain in neighbouring Burundi. These killings, skilfully exploited by Rwandan propagandists, significantly increased tensions in Rwanda. Both the slaughter and the absence of international reaction to it encouraged the planners of genocide to proceed with the attempt to eliminate Tutsi in Rwanda. Rwanda may start an inquiry to probe the role of foreigners on the genocide Lack of accurate information of what was happening on the ground also fuelled the killings. In 1994 the governments most involved in Rwanda – France, Belgium, and the United States – had substantial information about the situation on the ground but they shared this information with only a few others. Non-permanent members of the Security Council – with the exception of Rwanda, depended for information on the UN secretariat. From the field, the head of the UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, General Romeo Dallaire, and the representative of the Secretary-General, Jacques-Roger Booh- Booh, sent very different descriptions of events to the secretariat in New York. In preparing briefings for the Security Council, the secretariat favoured Mr Booh-Booh’s interpretation, which gave no sense of the systematic and ethnically based nature of the killing. Relying initially on this information, the non-permanent members agreed to withdraw most of the peacekeepers. Lack of support There was equally a need to identify and support opponents of the genocide. At the start a vast number of Rwandans opposed the genocide. When potential leaders of resistance, including military officers, appealed for foreign support in the first days of the killings, they were refused. Instead of supporting these resisters, the Security Council undermined them by reducing the already inadequate number of peacekeepers. Faced with this overwhelming pressure and feeling abandoned by the international community, the resisters either went into hiding or became active participants in the genocide. Foreign aid Rwandan government officials, military officers, and political leaders who directed the genocide claimed to be legitimate authorities giving appropriate orders for the self-defence of the population. This pretext of legitimacy made it easier for them to persuade people to violate usual moral and legal prohibitions. By remaining silent the international community appeared to acquiesce in these claims to legitimacy. States and other international actors must send clear condemnations of the genocidal government combined with the announcement that direct foreign assistance would forever be denied to the government. Policy change Imposing an arms embargo on the genocidal government can also effectively prevent similar incidents. Many civilian killers used machetes or homemade weapons. But soldiers, national police, and thousands of militia used firearms in launching attacks on churches, schools, hospitals and other sites where thousands of Tutsi had gathered. The UN Security Council established an arms embargo, but only late in the genocide. Had the embargo been imposed earlier, the killers would have had fewer arms at their disposal and would have been less effective in their attacks. Lack of support led some resisters to join in the killings Some governments, particularly France and several African governments, continued to support the Rwandan government throughout the genocide. This limited the impact of condemnation by those other governments that did finally take a stand against the slaughter. The United States and the United Kingdom, failed to press the French effectively enough to produce a change in policy. Genocides are complex phenomena, each with its own peculiar configuration and dynamics. These lessons will not provide the full answer to stopping the next genocide, but they provide a starting point for those who are determined to act in defence of our common humanity. Reuters Rwanda marks genocide with many leading perpetrators still at large April 6, 2004 Kigali: Rwandans confront the challenges of hunting down and punishing the perpetrators of its genocide during a week of reflection that began yesterday to mark the 10th anniversary of the slaughter of about 800 000 people. Seeking justice for genocide victims has proved one of the toughest challenges for Rwanda, burdened by more than 80 000 prisoners accused of crimes during the 1994 massacres and the knowledge that many top suspects are still at large. “The forces and ideologues responsible for the genocide in our country have been defeated; they have not been destroyed. They still exist,” said Rwandan President Paul Kagame. “The real question is: how can we uproot these forces of evil and ensure that they are no longer a menace to our societies?” Participants are due to discuss justice and reconciliation before a memorial ceremony tomorrow to bury some victims found in a tomb housing the remains of about 250 000 people. Many Rwandans believe justice is an essential part of the painful process of reconciliation, serving both to acknowledge suffering and perhaps reveal the fate of individuals who disappeared during the 100-day frenzy. “After a genocide, after a mass killing, establishing the truth is extremely important,” said Ervin Staub, a psychology professor from the University of Massachusetts and a Holocaust survivor. One of the most pressing issues is how to deal with about 80 000 suspects held in overcrowded Rwandan jails, whose trials for their suspected role as rank-and- file killers rather than organisers will take decades to resolve using normal courts. Rwanda has introduced a system of village courts to speed up the process, training local judges and asking neighbours to act as informal juries. The system has accelerated the process of sifting through the legions of suspects, but human rights groups have warned of the dangers of false accusations. Progress in finding more senior suspects accused of masterminding the killings has also been slow.

New Zealand Herald 6 Apr 2004 nzherlad.co.nz Turning a blind eye to genocide 06.04.2004 Ten years ago 1.3 million Rwandans were slaughtered as the international community stood by. LIZ MACINTYRE remembers As the world marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, questions are still being asked: How could it happen? And why was the international community so reluctant to call genocide by its name? All around the Gisozi Memorial Site, the busy capital city of Kigali is humming. Cranes work on building sites, vehicles roar, people walk and ride to and from work, the market and school, and the Rwandan flag flutters in the breeze. The Memorial Site, built on the side of a hill, is a still point, peaceful in spite of the soldier with machinegun guarding the gate. The modern building is the resting place of over 250,000 people killed in the frenzied 100 days of killing in 1994 that we now call the Rwandan Genocide. Some are interred in family lots in coffins, stacked in burial vaults. They have been identified, and their burial has a semblance of order. Others have their anonymous bones displayed behind glass doors, mute testament to the slaughter. Why? That was one of the comments in the visitors’ book. Indeed, it is hard to fathom why. Even the survivors and the ones still awaiting trial find it difficult to explain. Put simply, it was the culmination of decades of ethnic division and persecution of a minority group, the Tutsis, by the Hutus. There are many reasons given: the influence of colonisation, with the Belgians deciding to back the majority Hutus decades ago; the French desire for the French language to predominate over English, spoken by the Tutsis; ethnic jealousy of one race towards another considered more beautiful, more graceful and perhaps more successful. The flashpoint was the assassination of the long-standing Hutu dictator, President Juvenal Habyarimana, who had long preached hatred of the former ruling tribe, the Tutsis. Alphonsine Murebwayire, the co-ordinator of the Memorial Site project, explains clearly, from her point of viewas a Tutsi survivor. “In 1959 true persecution of the Tutsi started, and my people spent 30 years in exile. Then occurred regular mass killings in ’63, ’67, ’73, ’91 and ’94, which was the final plan for the extermination of the Tutsi people.” That is how the Tutsis remember their recent history – as a series of little genocides, and they recite the years by heart. Final plan: final solution. The language of this genocide is chillingly similar to that of Nazi Germany, as was the process: years of preaching hatred, racial jealousy, propaganda and the final solution – extermination. For the Hitler Youth, Rwanda had the Interahamwe, and for propaganda there was state-owned Rwandan Radio and newspapers. Murebwayire continues with her history lesson: the root cause of the genocide goes back to colonial times where the colonial powers adopted a policy of dividing the people to rule over the ethnic groups. After the persecution in 1959, when thousands of Tutsis fled into Uganda, they were not allowed back, and negotiations with President Habyarimana failed. So, they started to fight, and their relatives back in Rwanda began to be killed in retribution. By then the exiled Tutsis had formed their own army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a threat to the Hutu Government. In 1994, when the final solution began, the Tutsi and Hutu moderates sought refuge in hotels, hospitals, schools, and churches, and the leaders collaborated with the killers and betrayed them. Then the people were finished off with traditional weapons, knives and machetes, and there were killings and tortures, rapes of women and young girls, babies ripped from the wombs of pregnant Tutsi women. All this occurred within a very limited period – 1.2 million people within 100 days. Murebwayire recites this calmly and without emotion, as if the facts are awful enough. Rwanda is still coming to terms with the role of the churches in the genocide. One church in Nyarubuye, in eastern Rwanda, was the scene of systematic slaughter over a number of days – the Tutsi seeking shelter had been betrayed by the clergy. The dead still lie in the church, bundles of bones and cloth. The scene is repeated in many churches throughout Rwanda. Murebwayire turns to the purposes of the memorial: to give a decent burial to the murdered, to fight the ideology of genocide, not only in Rwanda but in the world at large, to educate the children and help a new generation to understand what happened, so that it does not happen again. We go down into the memorial building, into a labyrinth of quiet corridors and circular foyers where on shelf upon shelf, the skulls, arm bones, leg bones and clothes and jewellery of the victims are neatly stacked behind glass doors. If these bones could talk, these gaping brown skulls, these thin long bones, what would they say? They all have their stories. Some tell of violent death by beatings to the skull. Some have neat holes where a hammer dealt a death blow; others a splintering crack from an axe or machete; still others were stove in by rifle butts. This was primitive killing hand to hand, person to person, neighbour against neighbour and family members against each other. Those in mixed marriages were told to kill their Tutsi wives and children. Uncles killed their nieces and nephews without mercy, having loved them all their lives, up till the moment of madness. Their clothes lie piled beneath the bones, and the scraps of beaded jewellery, metal bracelets, precious possessions, ID cards with Tutsi under ethnic group, mute testimony to a country’s shame. It is a relief to leave them there, and ascend to the bright sunshine and the activity of the day. But the Rwandans are right to build a memorial. There are other genocide memorials around the world, including the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington, opened in 1993, just a year before the Rwanda genocide. They sell buttons there for US$1 apiece, with the words “Remember” and “Never Again”. They were selling them while the genocide was going on in Rwanda. As the 10th anniversary is marked tomorrow, we will see interviews with Major General Romeo Dallaire, Canadian commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda at the time of the killings. He tried from January 1994 to alert the UN that extermination of the Tutsis was imminent, but his urgent faxes did not filter through to the UN Secretariat or the Security Council. He needed more troops and weapons. He reckoned 5000 troops and permission to use force would defeat the Hutus, and set the peace process in train. He was refused, and after Belgian UN troops were killed, his force was slashed by 90 per cent, leaving only 270 troops with a mandate basically to sit and watch the slaughter. It was only when the New Zealand Ambassador to the Security Council, Colin Keating, and the Ambassadors of Spain and Czechoslovakia began to agitate for the killings to be recognised as genocide, and for the return of UN troops, that the Security Council prepared to vote for 5500 troops. By then it was May, and most of the killings had been done. The sticking point seems to have been the reluctance of world powers to call the systematic killings and extermination of Tutsis genocide. If the killings were called intertribal skirmishes, or even civil war, it meant the international community did not have to become involved. It was an African problem, one of many African problems. Once it was recognised as genocide, the wheels of the UN started to turn, and troops were sent into Rwanda, more in fact than Dallaire had requested. But by then, of course, it was too late. * Liz MacIntyre is communications manager for World Vision New Zealand. She visited Rwanda last year. .

Reuters 7 Apr 2004 Rwanda Pauses to Remember Its Massacres By REUTERS Filed at 5:59 a.m. ET KIGALI (Reuters) – With Western leaders conspicuous by their absence, Rwanda marked the 10th anniversary of its genocide on Wednesday as bewildered and angry as ever at the world’s failure to stop one of the 20th century’s great crimes. “We will see each other again in heaven,” a choir sang under hot, sunny skies at a memorial site as a crowd of barefoot Rwandans in tattered clothes watched from a hilltop as African presidents arrived in gleaming four-wheel-drive vehicles. Women in traditional dress held up portraits of lost loved ones, some of the 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates killed amid dithering by Western nations who were preoccupied by other crises and unwilling to put their troops in harm’s way. “It will take eternity for the detestable and guilty indifference of the international community to be forgotten,” said Louis Michel, foreign minister of the former colonial power Belgium, which lost 10 peacekeeping troops to Hutu killers on April 7, prompting Brussels to withdraw its other soldiers. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who has repeatedly criticized the outside world for failing to intervene to stop the 100-day slaughter, lit an eternal flame at the memorial site as workers buried 15 coffins in a mass grave nearby. Human rights groups say it will be impossible to ensure such genocides never recur as long as powerful nations remain apathetic about impoverished countries in turmoil. “The risk of genocide remains frighteningly real,” U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a statement. “The world must…act decisively to stop it when prevention fails.” For many ordinary Rwandans, most of whom scratch a living as peasant farmers in one of the world’s poorest countries, the legacy of trauma and grief wrought by the genocide is far from healed. Many women were infected with AIDS during mass rapes, and thousands of children were orphaned. “It’s a day of tragedy, it’s the day of the start of the killing,” said Desire Katabirwa, 50, a business consultant. “Reconciliation is a process that happens slowly. I hope that it will not take long, but it may need years.” The streets clinging to Kigali’s many hillsides were quieter than usual, with shops closed and many people choosing to stay at home or head for memorial services at the Amahoro stadium. The United States, Belgium, France and Britain were singled out for blame by participants at a genocide conference in Kigali this week. Annan, head of U.N. peacekeeping during the genocide and a Nobel peace prize winner, has also come under fire. “I would like to say very clearly here that I consider that this is a disgrace that he had the Nobel peace prize,” Belgian senator Alain Destexhe told the conference. Among the guests were Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and senior officials from Burundi and Tanzania. The site at Gisozi on one of Kigali’s hillsides consists of mass graves containing the remains of an estimated 250,000 people killed in the city, as well as a museum with graphic displays and video presentations of the events of 1994. Rwanda’s ambassador to Kenya, Seth Kimanzi, appealed for the hunt to be stepped up for some 300 planners of the genocide, who he said were suspected to be hiding in South Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

News 24 SA 7 Apr 2004 Kigali plays the blame game As Rwanda prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of a genocide that claimed up to a million lives, accusations about responsibility for the slaughter abounded in Kigali on Tuesday. France, Belgium, the United States, Britain the United Nations and the Roman Catholic church all came under fire for allegedly contributing to or failing to prevent the 100-day orgy of ethnic bloodshed. Ten years later, there is no question that in the case of Rwanda in 1994 the outside world failed to honour its pledge of “never again” made after the Nazi Holocaust, and acrimony still surrounds the specific actions and inactions of individual members of the international community. This was the central theme of a conference of Rwandan and foreign experts held this week in Kigali, which ended on Tuesday, the eve of the main commemorative events in the capital. Delegates agreed that Rwanda should set up “an independent commission of enquiry” into the role of France, which was a close ally of the Hutu regime that planned and carried out the genocide. Recent weeks have seen volleys of accusations about the genocide fly between Paris and Kigali. Conference delegates also called on “the United Nations, responsible states actively complicit or complicit through silence… to pay reparations.” They also said the UN Security Council should adopt a resolution “that explicitly recognises and unequivocally condemns the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda”. Louis Michel, the foreign minister of Belgium, Rwanda’s former colonial power, called on “countries that bear a responsibility for this odious crime” to apologise, as Belgium did in 2000. Detestable indifference “It is all too clear that the Belgian authorities of the time did not do enough to avoid the worst, and it will take forever for the international community to forget its detestable indifference,” said Michel. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian general who commanded UN peacekeeping troops deployed in Rwanda in 1994, denounced the “criminal responsibility” of the international community during the conference. He singled out Security Council permanent members France, Britain and the United States for not giving the peacekeeping mission the means to halt the genocide. Speaking to Belgian television, Michel lambasted Dallaire for his “insulting” words, those of one who “personifies cowardice in the light of the responsibilities he didn’t assume.” Gerry Caplan, a Canadian academic, waded in with charges that the Catholic church, Belgium, the United States, Britain and above France all had a lot to answer for. “The French government waited until 1995 before apologising for France’s role in deporting Jews to Germany. “Perhaps we’ll have to wait another 50 years for the French to apologise for the genocide,” Caplan told the conference. Unlike France, the UN, the United States and Belgium have all made some kind of declaration of contrition with regard to the events of 1994 in Rwanda.

BBC 11 April, 2004 Hutus ‘attacked Rwanda village’ By Robert Walker BBC correspondent in Kigali Remnants of Hutu militias crossed into DR Congo after the genocide Rwanda’s army says it has repulsed an attack by Hutu rebels from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. A military official said at least 16 rebels were killed attempting to attack a Tutsi village inside Rwanda’s border. Rwanda is currently commemorating the 10th anniversary of the genocide in which some 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, were killed by Hutu militias. Remnants of the militias regrouped after the genocide in Congo, from where they continue to operate. Details about the rebel attack, which occurred late on Thursday night, are only now emerging. The head of Rwanda’s armed forces, Major General James Kabarebe, told the BBC a force of some 250 Hutu rebels crossed into north-west Rwanda with the aim of killing Tutsis. But he said they were intercepted by the Rwandan army, and at least 16 rebels were killed. Wounded General Kabarebe said the insurgents then fled back into DR Congo, carrying a number of wounded with them. The attack appears timed to coincide with commemorations marking the 10th anniversary of the genocide, and it is seen as an indication of the rebels’ intention to fight on. Last year their military leader surrendered and returned to Rwanda, raising hopes that others would follow. But instead, a more hardline leadership has now taken command. The Rwandan government estimates there are still up to 20,000 rebels. They include members of the extremist Hutu militias who fled to Congo after participating in the genocide. Previous attempts by the rebels to infiltrate Rwanda were crushed by the Rwandan army, but human rights groups reported widespread army abuses against civilians in the process.

VOA 29 Apr 2004 Children’s Summit Opens In Kigali Joe De Capua Washington De Capua interview on Rwandan children’s summit[Download] (MP3) De Capua interview on Rwanda children’s summit.[Stream] (MP3) In the Rwandan capital, Kigali, a two-day children’s summit got underway Thursday. Two hundred fifty children from around the country are meeting to discuss their experiences ten years after the genocide. They range in age from 10 to 16. The summit is being sponsored by UNICEF and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission. Bintou Keita is the UNICEF representative in Rwanda. From Kigali, she spoke to English to Africa Joe De Capua about the children’s summit. She says, “The purpose of all of this is to listen to children, what they experienced during the genocide, what are the consequences for them today? And what are their views on the way the country is implementing the Convention for Child Rights? And also how the process for unity, peace and reconciliation is going on for them and their families, communities and schools?” She says the children will also present a vision of the Rwanda they wish to live in. Ms. Keita talks about the goals of the summit. She says, “It’s a renewed commitment from all the stakeholders. So we need everybody on board from the government, the donor community, the children themselves.” She says the summit precedes the National Summit for Adults On Unity and Reconciliation, which is to be held in about two weeks.

Source: http://www.preventgenocide.org/prevent/news-monitor/2004apr.htm

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