Friends of evil (Chapter 5): How to wage continued genocide and terrorism

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Book
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In the last months of 1994, as indicated in earlier chapters, the FAR was busy planning the future political framework and strategy of the defeated genocidal regime. Many things had been done as per plan. Unleashing terror was also part of the strategy which they aimed to organise and carry out.

On February 21, 1996 Major General Bizimungu, the FAR leader in Zaire, sent an Information Bulletin (I.B) No. 003/96 of January 15, 1996 to his two division commanders, Col. Renzaho (North Kivu) and Col. Ntiwiragabo (South Kivu).[1] The memo accompanying the I.B was copied to the heads of intelligence and operations.

Bizimungu directed the recipients’ ‘particular attention’ to the points which concerned urgent terrorist operation inside Rwanda. The army headquarters and military divisions were required to “quickly attain a better degree of operation planning and coordination.”

Choice of objectives, he said, “must aim at having a psychological impact causing panic, especially among the members of the RPF and expatriates.” They were also required to look for ways and means to increase the involvement of the civilian population inside Rwanda in what he called “the struggle”, meaning “economic sabotage, dissemination of tracts, sensitization, information…” These operations were to complement other military operations inside Rwanda, which included locating RPA deployments and encouraging “massive desertions within the RPA”.

The information in the I.B was thorough to objective, strategies and actions to be taken. The I.B spoke about increased insecurity in Rwanda.    Thus, terrorist acts armed robbery, petty crime and other criminal acts.

The I.B reported massive desertions at all levels (civil and military), laying emphasis on “Important Hutu personalities” who have fled “after disagreements with some important officials of the Kigali regime” and on “Tutsi businessmen afraid of another war, which would deprive them of their business.”

The I.B spoke about “continued field operations” inside Rwanda. During the last three months of 1995, the operations became “regular and attained satisfactory results”. It wrote that it was clear that many “RPA soldiers were not keen on another big war”.

To achieve better results, the I.B reported there was a need to accelerate infiltrations into the country, to improve technical and psychological training for the staff infiltrated forces, to plan operations, to search for material, and to “put in place a permanent commandment and liaison teams inside the country.”

The I.B featured reports that “some enemy activists have been physically eliminated.” It also indicates that: “There were some sabotage activities in some prefectures.” The I.B said that even though the civilian population was favourable to the RDR cause, they fear the RPF reprisals, which the I.B said were the reason why “many people flee the country after sabotage activities.”

What it meant, in other words, is that the RDR and its forces, created such a flight of people to further justify the claim that the RPF was unpopular. Within the 1st Division[2], at the level of operations, the focus was on “attacking small positions inside the country, placing mines, destruction of bridges and energy equipment.”

The I.B had reports of how the operations carried out inside Rwanda “provoked a movement of panic among Kigali authorities and some businessmen”. The I.B stressed the need to reinforce this movement with more actions, in a “better planned and coordinated manner,” especially in the north and south of Rwanda and at the same time, to maximise the psychological impact.

The I.B called for encouragement to be given to the population in Rwanda to give false information to the RPF. Another instruction was to “take advantage” of what they called “the slackening of control” observed in Mutara and other regions where “many Tutsi live, to cause insecurity with sabotage actions which have a great psychological impact in order to cause the population to doubt the RPF capacity to defend them.”

As far as the use of media for their cause was concerned, the I.B said that the FAR and the RDR (civilians), “must enhance the press and propaganda campaign to increase discord within the RPA by pointing out cases showing distrust toward Hutu soldiers, more particularly those from the ex-FAR”. It was also pointed out that available information in their publications such as the Lettre du RDR and INDAMUTSO must be given to Battalion commanders.

Reflecting on what was happening inside Rwanda, the I.B expressed concern that the Constitution has been “amended by the Parliament and English was declared the third language after Kinyarwanda and French” and “the notion of genocide introduced.”

On the plus side, the I.B reported that Rwanda’s relations with France were increasingly deteriorating “due to discourteous comments towards France and its leaders…accused of supporting the genocide.” Also: “Kigali continues to get on the wrong side of France and made new enemies in the international community by expelling NGOs (…)”

Politically

In Bizimungu’s I.B, the FAR laid out a political action program and the division of labour. The RDR (civilians and the military) was instructed to prevent the RPF from improving their mark in diplomacy and the press, by multiplying interventions in diplomacy and the media “to reveal the RPF’s hideous crimes”; to reach out non-aligned countries, which were or are on the side of the USA; and to get in touch with countries like France, Egypt as well as “our compatriots who have access to the UN diplomatic milieu.”

The RDR was instructed to organize press conferences in countries like France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Canada. For countries like the USA, Italy, Spain, Portugal and England, RDR branches and their affiliated associations were to be mobilized to be more active.

The RDR was also tasked to create in at least one European country and Canada, associations for the defence of human rights in Rwanda, aiming at denouncing “the hideous RPF crimes” and putting pressure on the UN, the UNHCR, the European Union, the International Tribunal…”

These associations should be composed of both Rwandans and nationals. Note: This is how organisations like CLIIR, OPJDR, SOS-Rwanda Burundi, and many more today, came into existence.[3]

The RDR, furthermore, was obligated to identify “(Rwandan) government personnel, beginning with politico-administrative, judiciary and financial posts, in order to show the world the RPF’s ethnistic policy and convince Rwanda donors that it undermines the quality of human resources and national reconciliation; and to recruit quickly some Tutsi among the genocide survivors or the returnees who are really opposed to the RPF’s hegemony and who are ready to denounce it publicly; and castigate the unconditional support from the UN and other countries like the US and England to the Rwandan Government.” Note: RDR Press Releases, since 1995, have followed this line. And Prof. Reyntjens followed suit.

The military and political wings had to act together in some assignments. One of those actions was to counteract possible attempts of Rwanda’s former Prime Minister Twagiramungu and others, who they thought would have an influence on the refugees.

For this, the RDR had to follow closely political and diplomatic agents inside and outside Rwanda; and to create a common platform among key political associations representing the refugees. Another close collaboration required between the FAR and the RDR was to support and accelerate the degradation of the situation inside Rwanda.

For this the RDR and the FAR were to “target in all their actions, the person of Kagame and his politico-military staff, alert Hutu personalities who are still in the country about the dangers of death which threaten them and if necessary facilitate their flight;   convincing them that nothing else would prevent the government from persecuting the Hutu except a military and political defeat; and create an intelligence network in the country.”

The RDR, I would say, achieved some success, in this regard, especially in the mission to convince “Hutu personalities” to abandon their posts in the government and to choose to live in exile. There was such a wave of departures, especially during the period between mid-1995 and late 1996.

On the side of FAR, their major duty was to “increase insecurity in Rwanda to enhance the war in diplomacy and the press; targeting vital points and pro-RPF foreign organizations and intensifying destabilization acts which could easily be attributable to the RPA, to break the RPA’s feeling of a definitive victory.”

The FAR was also tasked to continue with the “destruction of all infrastructures to paralyse towns and centres where the population is mainly Tutsi;” carry on destabilization in bigger cities like Kigali and Butare; “identify the NGOs which are remaining in Rwanda and target enemies among them;” and to target Tutsi senior magistrates to counteract the control of the Tutsi on the judicial system and to prevent its functioning as long as Hutu magistrates were marginalized.

On the economy

The FAR, assessed socio-economic situation in Rwanda, as critical, taking into account the level of agricultural production, purchasing power, corruption and misappropriation of funds, and the situation of the “Banques Populaires” network. The adopted policy was to:

–        Keep Rwanda in socio-economic crisis or even worsen it.

–        Paralyze  the economy by damaging electricity, water and petrol stations;

–        Study how to destabilize importations;

–        Devise and apply strategies aiming at starving more places where Tutsi populations are concentrated, mainly Kigali city and other relevant urban centres.

–        Take advantage of financial embezzlements to facilitate destabilization actions and use  corruption to obtain documents and information; encourage the detainees’ parents and detainees themselves to resort to corruption for the improvement of detention conditions and for escape; and

–        Encourage the few Hutu who might still have access to Treasury coffers to practise embezzlement for the common cause; and to steal money from the “Banques Populaires” where they were operational.

Diplomatically

The FAR affirmatively assessed that the Zairian authorities felt embarrassed by international pressure to arrest the “intimidators” who acted to prevent the voluntary return of refugees to Rwanda.

It was therefore recommended for the FAR and the RDR to get around these challenges:

–        Set  a calendar for realistic actions to initiate repatriation in security and dignity before the beginning of the electoral campaign;

–        Double efforts to track down infiltrations of enemies in the camps and the region. For that purpose, they must not only cooperate with Zairean information services, but also recruit and train Banyarwanda information services for the Hutu cause throughout the Kivu region;

–        Sensitise  the local military authorities to organize patrols in and around the National Park to control closely the activities of Ngezayo Foundation;

–        Counteract  the expansion of Anglophone powers in the region, by establishing military, political and economic alliances with the leaders of Francophone countries including Zaire;

–        Define and quickly carry out appropriate actions to get “intimidators” released and to prevent other arrests by mobilizing the refugees so that they can show solidarity with those who get arrested.

–        Follow closely the evolution of the war in Burundi and discuss and agree with the Burundi rebels under Leonard Nyangoma about mutual support. The defeat of the Burundian army would be a great asset for the liberation of Rwanda.

–        Encourage the Hutu to be combative and united like the Tutsi and to carry out sensitization activities.

President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania was not appreciated by these genocidaires, because of his re-launching of the East Africa economic Community to which Rwanda and Burundi could eventually adhere.

The then Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete’s visit to the refugee camps was interpreted as showing the intention of Tanzania to help the Government of Kigali to solve the problem of refugees.

The RDR and FAR decided on the creation of networks for RDR coordinators, providing political training to youth and sensitizing the refugees about the behaviour to adopt if they return to Rwanda in an unexpected way.

The FAR instructed the RDR to double efforts to approach the Ugandan opposition to discuss modalities of collaboration with them. With regard to Kenya, the FAR assessment was that President MOI was preoccupied by the improvement of his external image, after tough international criticism of his declaration castigating the I.C.T.R and other criticism of his regime by Western human right associations. The FAR urged that genocide suspects and their lawyers collaborate to castigate the partiality of the ICTR.

 

Precise strategies of terror

On March 25, 1996, at Mugunga camp in Goma, the head of FAR Military intelligence Lt. Col. Juvenal Bahufite sent a memo[4] to the FAR commander, Major General Bizimungu. The well thought out memo focused on what should be done to achieve a rapid return to Rwanda.

In his introduction Bahufite said that it was the October 1, 1990 war against them “by the anti-democratic fascist RPF forces” which brought about a massive exodus of Rwandans in July 1994. Thus, he said: “members of a people that deserved much respect were reduced to the genocide perpetrators of the century, and what used to be called Rwanda Armed Forces, had been reduced to “F”, Forces. In his view, these were to be replaced by another force because their government had lost sovereignty.

To correct past mistakes, Bahufite proposed what he described as “preliminary activities to the preparation of a rapid return,” organised within a body called a “coordination cell”. This was to be a strong cell, in charge of coordinating the activities of the refugees towards their return and acting as the politico-ideological brain for the planning and follow-up of those activities. To make it more cohesive, the cell would be made up of people “objectively chosen” from among the military and the civilian forces. Civilian members should be trained to work well with the military, with the purpose of maintaining discipline within both components.

The essential actions of the cell were to revolve around “insecurity in Rwanda and the behaviour to be adopted by refugees.”  The first objective was to convince the international community that life in Rwanda led by the RPF was excruciating.

Concrete actions to create insecurity were to be strengthened. Such actions, he emphasised: “should target expatriates from countries that are allies of the RPF such as the United States of America, Canada, England and Holland—and would have the direct effect of limiting the expatriate presence in Rwanda and therefore limit investments. Sabotage actions shall also be intensified in a carefully chosen targeted region so as to make it accessible to refugees once they are expelled from host countries. In such a region, “all expatriates without exception and all the Tutsi and Hutu accomplices of the RPF should feel threatened to the point they will decide to leave it under the control of the liberation forces.”

While calling for “reinforcing communication and contacts with the Hutu inside the country”, Bahufite observed that the ‘Rwandans outside the country’ were in a better position to lead a struggle against the RPF than those living inside the country; “the latter are in a better position to undermine and paralyse the RPF system. Thus, all available information against the RPF must in one way or the other reach those inside the country who have espoused the cause of refugees, especially intellectuals.” This, as said, was to enable refugees to remain united with their compatriots who have remained inside Rwanda. With the help of those regular contacts they had, would enable “…to win over the Hutu against the RPF and its Government.”

Refugees should have well informed representatives in all corners of the world where there is a Rwandan Hutu. This would allow regular and easy denunciation of what he called ‘the villainous acts’ of the RPF.

Bahufite predicted that “gradually, refugees will change the international opinion about the RPF.” Their representatives, he suggested, “should be aware of the weakness of refugees vis à vis big countries that are allies of the RPF.”

Instead of confronting those countries, he said, they should multiply contacts with their populations with a view of getting them to know the reality about Rwanda. “Such reality should be conceived inside the coordination cell (indoctrination ideology designed to tarnish the image of the RPF). It should be noted that even individual contacts should not be neglected. In that way all the blame shall be imputed to the RPF and its government.”

The head of intelligence also emphasised that the RDR should find all means to galvanise various associations that were springing up to support the cause of the refugees, like (Rwanda Pour Tous, United Democratic Parties…). Since such associations were looking for members, he suggested it was necessary to infiltrate them in order to get their support and be informed about their activities. This, he said, would allow the RDR to “gain supremacy over all those groups that claim to represent Rwandan refugees.”

In his view, it was also necessary to form “a working group in charge of denouncing the bad political activities of some humanitarian NGOs working in refugee camps and individuals who were determined to force refugees to go back home.”

These agents, he said, should work in close collaboration with the various refugee associations in different camps. Bahufite felt it would be useful to identify ‘Tutsi refugees’ who really support the cause of the Hutu refugees. “Such people can contribute by declaring that there are no persons intimidating refugees in camps and that it is the RPF that is at the origin of Rwanda’s misfortunes by its 1990 attack.”

Finally, he emphasised, it was vital “to collaborate with other Bantu races of Africa that are threatened by Hamites. (…) the Hutu of Masisi, the Bantu of Kenya, and Uganda etc.” As much as possible, he said, they “should envisage uniting the forces and concentrating them in the successive liberation of the Great Lakes countries under Hamite domination.”

 

 

Evil minds

In the minutes of a military Operations meeting held in Bukavu-Zaire on April 25, 1996 and chaired by Brigadier General Gratien Kabiligi, who was the FAR’s second in command, their planned attack on Rwanda included the “elimination” of genocide  survivors. “The  adopted method  is  to  cleanse  the  countryside  to  be  able  to  live. That  consists of  the  physical  elimination  of  any  supporters  of  the RPF  cause  (acolytes,  sponsors, supporters…)—those who escape will find refuge in urban centres or in parishes. Ops will lay landmines and traps; destroy roads and public buildings. The war must be mobile: attack in urban centres and hide in the countryside. The principle of cleansing the countryside by eliminating RPF sympathizers and especially the best-known survivors has been approved. That will allow our men to settle easily into rural areas and to take action in small urban centres and against other specific positions.”[5]

Other participants in this meeting were: Lt.Col J. Bosco  Ruhorahoza  (Chief of Operations 1st  Division); Capt. J. C. Ntirugiribambe (chief of Military Intelligence 1st  Division); Maj. Léopold Majyambere (Officer in the department of Operations in the 1st  Division); Lt. Juvénal  Malizamunda (Off Operations 1st  Div & Secretary to the meeting); Maj. Alexis Rwabukwisi  (Commander of 13th  Brigade); Capt. Elie Nsanzabera  (Commander of 136th   Battalion);  Lt.  Frédéric Baziruwiha (Commander of 134th Battalion); Lt. Turatsinze Victor  (Commander of Kagoma  Battalion); Lt. Damien Maniraguha (Commander of Vautour Battalion); Capt. Gérase Harelimana (Commander of 132 Battalion); Lt. Joseph Habyarimana (Commander of 133rd  Battalion); Lt. Ndangamira (Off 13th  Brigade).

On August 14, 1996, General Bizimungu issued a decree which was sent to  Célestin MONGA (The alias of  Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho) and César KAMATE (the alias of Col. Ntiwiragabo) and copied to John SIMBA (the alias of Dr. Innocent Butare), the RDR’s Secretary General[6]

The decree says: “Long before Kigali feared a resumption of the war even without any serious hints, the intensification of the activities following the declarations of PALIR pushed the people in power to deploy a large military-political anti-guerrilla campaign. The way the campaign was led shows the enemy is haunted by war, and is determined to reduce the resistance of the friendly population, … Therefore, we face a dilemma of either continuing and intensifying our activities to destroy the economic fabric and undermine the enemy’s morale, or suspending them while awaiting the availability of means enabling us to protect the population. The chosen option was to continue the activities, while ameliorating the political education of the population to convince them to accept the worst sacrifices.”

Bizimungu’s instructions in this decree are highly interesting: In order to protect “the population and maintain their fighting spirit”, he laid out the following objectives and activities for the pursuit of their struggle:

–          Suspend the operations in the regions actually targeted by the enemy and move them to non-affected zones.

–          Develop radio propaganda aimed at denouncing the activities of the enemy against the population.

–          Forge relationships with human rights organizations and supply them regularly with detailed and precise reports.

–          Increase the involvement of Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers in field operations.

Bizimungu listed the following tasks to better destroy the morale of the Kigali government and undermine Rwandan economy:

–          Eliminate politicians (ministers, members of parliament…), enemy high-ranking civil and military officers (officers, especially higher ones, central administration, local administration and parastatal administrators);

–          Maintain a campaign of intimidation supported by terrorist acts forcing the enemy population to leave rural areas for urban centres or for the MUTARA area;

–          Harass the enemy population in settlement sites;

–          Maintain the fear of poisoning among the Tutsi;

–          Recruit political leaders among the friendly population and train them in the dissemination of war propaganda ;

–          Eliminate any isolated military staff;

–          Intensify the harassment of weakly defended positions;

–          Recruit RPA Hutu soldiers and incite them to persuade their fellow Hutus to disassociate themselves from the enemy, to carry out activities that will be attributed to the RPA, to protect the friendly population, and to provide operational information and supply them with military equipment;

–          Carry out hold-up operations in banks with the help of friendly agents to ensure escape and concealment  inside the country;

–          Eliminate or extort enemy business people in important trading centres;

–          Train the friendly population in selling dear to the enemy and refusing them agricultural manpower;

–          Train the friendly population to not buy enemy products;

–          Target persons occupying Hutu property illegally to terrorise them and eventually eliminate them;

–          Train the friendly population to destroy enemy goods and property (houses, vehicles, crops, plantations, cattle…)

–          Continue sabotaging electrical installations and if possible attack transformers;

–          Set stations, warehouses and factories on fire;

–          Destroy communication lines, bridges and main roads, telephone exchange centres, telecommunication relay antennas;

–          Attack enemy[7] and especially State-owned large goods transport vehicles;

In his conclusion Gen. Bizimungu said: “We must especially develop a media and psychological campaign through the training and setting up of a pool of propaganda experts inside the country and if possible with the support of radio broadcasts. We must now start the training of the first network of propaganda staff.”


[1] This section is, largely based on this document, which is in the Author’s Archives.

[2] The FAR in Zaire had two military divisions. One in North Kivu under the command of Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, and another in the south Kivu under the command of Col. Aloys Ntiwiragabo.

[3] For instance the appearance and intensification of CLIIR’s propaganda date from May 1996.

[4] The content of this section is based on this hand written document which is in the author’s archives

[5] The document is available in the Author’s Archive)

[6] ROR No. 001/96 Decree of July 31, 1996, Bulengo, 14th August, 1996. Signed by Kamanda Yves an alias of name Gen. Augustin Bizimungu. Document in author’s archives.

[7] Note: In the above text Enemy=Tutsi

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