Friends of Evil (Foreword)

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Book
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“Friends of Evil” will be a troubling surprise for anyone who believes — as most probably do in North America and Europe -– that the 1994 Rwanda genocide is a thing of the past and a lesson learned for the international community.

The book is based on extensive new research and documentation which will a revelation even to Rwanda experts.  The first part shows how in 1994-95 the “Hutu Power” perpetrators of the genocide, allowed by the international community to regroup in eastern Congo, reorganized themselves behind a new organization called the RDR, and developed their military and political strategy to return to power in Rwanda.  Genocide denial was a central element of that strategy, as was the goal of gaining reentry into Rwandan political life.  The second part shows the extraordinary degree to which Western “civil society,” and particularly several NGOs in Europe, have been complicit in this genocidal strategy.

But perhaps all this should not be a surprise at all. The attitude of Europe and North America toward Rwanda during the preparation and implementation of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis ranged from the active complicity of French authorities and media to the passivity and feckless “humanitarianism” elsewhere.  This attitude stemmed from indifference, ignorance and no doubt an element of racist arrogance.  These are deep-rooted and stubborn habits, easy to revert to once Western establishments processed the shock of 1994 through hand-wringing regret and partial admissions of guilt.

It is hard for genocide perpetrators to face up to their crimes.  It is also hard for their abettors and the bystanders to move beyond whatever arguments or narratives serve to lessen their responsibility.

This helps explain the tolerance and the space given to exponents of Hutu Power ideology and genocide denial in Europe and North America since 1994, by governments, media, human rights organizations and NGOs.  But is does not make it acceptable.

This book is both an education and an appeal for Europe and North America to do better: to put an end to impunity, and to confront the racist ideology that still threatens to sabotage the emergence of a new and peaceful Rwanda.  The scores of known Rwandan perpetrators in Europe (especially France) and North America need to be tried or extradited to Rwanda.  Their armed forces in eastern Congo need to be definitively defeated.  Their ideological sympathizers and supporters need to be silenced.

Holocaust denial is not tolerated in Europe and North America, but denial of the genocide of the Tutsis is.  This is morally wrong.  It is also strategically wrong.  The future of Germany is assured.  The future of Rwanda is still at stake.


Richard Johnson