Numerous friends have asked me recently why I think Pope Francis acted in a way that was so painful for and damaging to millions of Rwandans and Congolese? At the end of the second part of this article I put forward two possible reasons for such ill-judged behaviour. Today I will analyse one of those reasons which is, I believe, the direct result of pressure exercised by the most powerful global media to ensure the imposition of a global ‘truth’. This truth is based entirely on the accounts of the Tutsi heirs to a feudal aristocracy whose Machiavellian tendencies have assumed legendary proportions, and whose cunning has led even the diplomatic services of the Vatican to believe in the myth of ‘one’ genocide -that of the Tutsis- which dominates the world view of historical events in the region today.
When writing his latest book on Rwanda, Pierre Péan, the investigative journalist and author, simply for referring to the culture of lies and manipulation endemic in the elite Tutsi hierarchies, was subjected to the most unbelievable intimidation by the Rwandan government and various NGOs who, whilst claiming to act in defense of human rights, are actually in cohorts with that government. In spite of the fact that French law finally found in his favour, he was subjected to a gruelling court case for supposed defamation of the Tutsi ethnic group and a harrowing campaign against his person. In an article entitled “Rwanda: the ‘Kagame method’”, the journalist Hubert Martin wrote in ‘Liberté politique.com’ on the 26th September 2009, referring to the case against Pierre Péan: ‘All those who regard the Africans as amateurs know nothing of Kagame and the current regime in Rwanda […]. When it comes to political manipulation, our leaders should realise that, in comparison with the people in power in Kigali, they are little more than choirboys’. I would go so far as to say that this can also be applied to the Vatican diplomatic services which, in the kindest interpretation, have been manipulated like puppets by the puppet masters in Kigali.
Under any circumstances, by begging God’s pardon for the Tutsi genocide, Pope Francis has given credence to a very particular version of the Rwandan tragedy. By virtue of the great moral authority he exerts worldwide, he has converted these events, at least for hundreds of millions of Catholics, into an unquestionable truth which will be brought to mind whenever people hear the words ‘Tutsi genocide’. And especially by referring to the responsibility for that genocide of ‘the Church and its members, amongst them priests, monks and nuns who gave in to hatred and violence and in so doing betrayed their evangelical mission’ while making no reference whatsoever to the hundreds of Hutu clerics who were not assassins but victims (not only in the spring of 1994 but also in more recent years), the Pope strongly reinforced belief in the prevailing version. In this version the Church and the clergy played a fundamental part in the genocide, together with intellectuals, heads of government and the Armed Forces – precisely the Hutu elite which was to be wiped out.
The great problem is that, if Pope Francis has allowed himself to be convinced by the shadowy influence of certain lobbies or by the media conspiracy surrounding this distorted version, then he has a critical responsibility to history and to the millions of victims. This is precisely the opposite of the role played by Monseñor Christophe Munzihirwa, who showed himself to be clear sighted and pious in his outspoken accusations of manipulation by the Tutsi lobbies, their plan for the extermination of the Hutus, in particular of the Hutu elite. If the interpretation of events that Pope Francis has helped to establish, and thereby converted into official doctrine, is inaccurate (owing to lies or omissions) his declarations would truly be the most terrible thing to have happened on that terrible day, far more serious than his warm reception of a notorious criminal in the anteroom preceding the Vatican Apostolic library, a space reserved for guests of honour.
Denialism is itself a punishable crime. But concealing relevant facts, even about events that have already been judged, is another form is perjury and an equally serious crime. The statement “I vow to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is the well-known declaration of witnesses and suspects in many legal procedures. As such, in the face of a devastating instance of genocide like that of Rwanda in spring 1994, we have a moral duty to ask ourselves ‘Is the systematic massacre of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis in the so-called ‘hundred days of blood’, a massacre beginning on the 7th April, perpetrated by Hutu extremists and owing to its ethnic component, a genocide…is that the whole truth?’ The answer is that it is only a part of the truth. A further question concerns the magnitude of the massacre and the falsification and exaggeration of the number of Tutsi fatalities which has undoubtedly taken place. In order to ensure peace in Central Africa, it is crucial that the dominant myth of ‘one’ genocide is debunked.
The story of the ‘one’ genocide, one planned by the Hutu people and their government, has totally dominated the panorama for many years. However, it is no longer feasible to maintain the farce on the international stage. Even the United Nations, despite being blocked for many years by western powers who it had implicated in its findings (as disclosed by Carla del Ponte, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in her memoirs), documented many instances of mass killings of Hutus, carried out by Tutsi extremists from the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Rwandan Patriotic Army.
It should be pointed out that the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide also refers to the intention of partially destroying (not necessarily wiping out entirely) a national group, whether ethnic, racial or religious. It is an outright lie to say, as did Alison des Forges, the great ‘expert’ from Human Rights Watch in the Rwandan dossier, that Judge Fernando Andreu ‘was obliged to prove the intention to eliminate the Hutu ethnic group in its entirety’ before being able to confirm genocide against the Hutus. It would seem that, according to this bizarre logic, the massacre of 3,000,000 Hutus does not constitute genocide whilst that of 300,000 Tutsis does. Undoubtedly, the principal objective of the planning and execution of the attacks on Hutus in refugee camps in Eastern Zaire from October 1996, as well as their subsequent persecution was ‘to kill the greatest possible number of Hutus’. This was the order received, as testified by various ex-soldiers of the RPF/RPE.
The Tutsi extremists were part of the Ugandan Army, the NRA (National Resistance Army), and descendants of the former Rwandan ruling classes. On the 1st October 1990, the reconquest of the country belonging to their ancestors began – from Uganda – with a violent outbreak of intimidation and the overthrow of Juvénal Habyarimana’s republican government, in its majority Hutu. It was financed by powerful Western benefactors, aided clandestinely in various ways including with military aid, and this international aggression was either concealed or justified in the most important international forums. Finally, some four years later, these powerful lobbies and their regional beneficiaries, with the invaluable help of the influential mass-media available to them, achieved their prime objective. They were able to portray the aggressor as the victim and to paint the RPF as the true representative and emancipator of the persecuted Tutsi ethnic group, who not only liberated the Tutsis but also halted a genocide. According to these bodies, the genocide was comparable to that of the Nazis in the Second World War, both by virtue of its premeditated nature and its gravity.
Effectively, after almost 4 years of unparalleled aggression, and the subsequent assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana, the Hutu Rwandan president, as night fell on the 6th April 1994 (curiously almost exactly the same time and on the same day that I am now writing), the most fanatic Hutus unleashed their wrath, their fear and their long-held resentment, committing a horrific genocide. It is astonishing to discover the proof that, in previous years the RPF had attempted to provoke generalized chaos and the same insurgency on the part of the Hutu extremists. It is also remarkable to discover that, many years before the genocide of spring 1994, the RPF tried on many occasions to justify the grave instances of international aggression by accusing the Habyarimana regime of genocide.
The study of the terrible massacres posterior to the assassination of the president reveal that they took place in extremely complex circumstances, and that the authors of the crime and their motives were extraordinarily diverse. The RPF – an organization recognized by a minority of the population – sought this chaos in order to justify their intervention, fully aware that the impending democracy would put paid to their aspirations to supremacy.
But as the unstoppable violence rose to a climax with the RPF’s final offensive, coinciding with Habyarimana’s assassination, and the extensive massacre of Hutu civilians reached its peak and generalized and bellicose behaviour spread throughout the country, an extremist Hutu militia in its turn unleashed its violence against a majority of innocents whose only crime was to form a part of the Tutsi ethnic group, whilst never participating in the massacres. The Hutu militia then became the real protagonist of the slaughter, going so far as to force even ordinary people to participate in it. There was however another determining factor, largely ignored after the widespread violence, whose root cause was not the ethnic identity on which, until now, the blame for the violence has been firmly placed. The claim that Tutsis were murdered purely on the basis of their ethnic origin is a skewed and insufficient explanation, and a falsification of their brutal extermination. Without taking into account the true determining factor to which I am referring, these events will never be truly understood:
“….above all, it was the terror of a return to the old regime, the fear of finding oneself once again subject to oppression, which explained the fury of a population possessed by desperation.” (Carnage of a Nation : Genocide & Massacres in Rwanda (1994) by Edward Kabagema, page 112. Editorial Milenio 2005, Lleida. This is the only phrase in the entire book italicized to emphasize its importance).
Given that the perpetrators were precisely those descendants of the feudal Tutsi lords of times gone by, ethnicity undoubtedly played its part as a factor in the desperation and panic provoked by the fear of return to brutal oppression. The massacre perpetrated in the spring of 1994 by the Hutu extremists was qualified as genocide for that reason and it cannot be denied that the ethnic component was present, as it is in all instances of genocide. But it can in no way be compared to the “final solution” of the Nazis.
The Jews were innocent of any crimes against Germany, unlike the extremists of the RPF. They did not assassinate the German president nor any other high ranking politicians. They did not seek absolute power, unlike the RPF nor did they seize power in Germany only to hold onto it by exterminating hundreds of thousands of Germans. At no time did they attack a neighbouring country and overthrow its head of state, as the RPF did in the Congo. It is an outrage, an opinion shared publicly by Doctor Helmut Strizek, specialist in this conflict, diverse defense lawyers from the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) and numerous other impartial observers and analysts, to have attempted to convert the tribunal into a new Nuremberg and, in so doing, hide from public opinion the fact that the role of the great international aggressor, played back then by the Nazis, now corresponds not to the regime of Juvénal Habyarimana, but rather to the Hima-Tutsi so-called “liberators” and their great Western sponsors. There is a world of difference between an oppressed minority and one seeking to oppress the majority, as was the intention of the Tutsi extremists.
According to incredibly powerful international media, the Tutsi genocide was premeditated well in advance of its implementation. Nevertheless, thanks to the extraordinary work of the defence lawyers of dozens of Hutu politicians and military personnel accused of being the principal instigators of the genocide, as well as that of various members of the ICTR chambers, the doctrine of a planned genocide prior to the 7th of April 1994 has been shown to be an artificially constructed theory with very clearly defined objectives.
In fact, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide does not stipulate premeditation as one of the prerequisites for classifying certain crimes as genocide. It only refers to the intention to exterminate – partially or totally – a particular group. Nevertheless, there was an attempt to convince the world of the existence of said premeditation with the aim of associating the genocide carried out by the Hutus with the planned extermination of the Jews by the Nazis. The ICTR was surreptitiously charged with the mission of imposing the doctrine of a genocide planned well in advance. It has been unable to supply proof of any such planning, despite its status as a UN organism generously financed, since 1994, by an international community unaware of or complicit in the hidden agenda imposed on it by the United States and Great Britain, which is markedly different from the official agenda.
On the 18th of December 2008, towards the end of what was an historic trial for Rwanda lasting over six years, the ICRT found Colonel Theoneste Bagosora guilty of the organization and instigation of genocide, along with Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva. A fourth official, General Gratien Kabiligi, was absolved. What was new about the verdict was that it absolved them all of any possible conspiracy to genocide prior to the assassination which took place on the 6th April 1994. We must emphasize the significance of this verdict, which has not been granted sufficient importance: the very same men who, according to the hard core of the exponents of the official doctrine, were the brains behind the genocide, had been absolved of its planning!
The accepted axiom applied to the role of liberator of the RPF/RPE still appears today as the inescapable unendurable anthem sung by the mass media, despite being wholly untrue. This ditty plays again and again in its effort to lessen the gravity and trivialize the mass crimes of the RPF posterior to the Bloody Spring, and even to justify them and to ask for clemency towards the understandable feelings of vengeance which motivated them. It rings out to minimize the severity of the crimes committed after spring 1994, but never as the soundtrack to crimes committed previously nor even those of the same epoch. That is a song which nobody cares to sing. It is as if they had never occurred, as if the RPF had not appeared on the scene until spring 1994, even as if it had been created for the sole purpose of halting the genocide. Such is the power of distortion wielded by the mass media that, in practise, they can even change the order of events according to their whims, and downplay to the absolute minimum crimes numerically much greater than those of Hutu extremists.
The genocide suffered by hundreds of thousands of Tutsis in Rwanda’s interior came to an end with the RPF victory when it won control of the country. But it is well documented that the RPF elite had no interest in ending the genocide. The cupola of this criminal organization was only interested in one thing: seizing power as quickly as possible. Two events are incontrovertibly documented: all their strategies systematically and calculatedly denied the massacres being carried out at that time by Hutu extremists, and any military activity was exclusively oriented towards seizing power with no concern for the legality of the methods. This is recorded at judicial level: on the 6th February 2008 the Spanish National Court judge Fernando Andreu Merelles, issued a warrant for the arrest of forty RPF/RPE leaders and also, in spite of his presidential immunity, imputed Paul Kagame, then leader of the RPF/EPR. The crimes of which they are accused could not be more serious: genocide, crimes against humanity, people and goods protected under international law in the case of armed conflict, membership of terrorist organizations, terrorist activities, pillage of natural resources and the murder of nine Spanish citizens.
All this becomes more serious when one realises that the RPF, in order to seize power, opted for a modus operandi which made provocation and chaos their principal strategies. Indeed their strategies were – and are- so perverse that they leave the average human being powerless, incapable of imagining such a degree of psychopathy. They actively sought chaos in order to justify military intervention and to ensure that the chance of a democratic framework was nullified. The approach of democracy was so close, and their minority group would have had no possibility of gaining the absolute power which was their only objective.
In particular, they opted for political assassination, fully aware that this would be the catalyst of genocide. Without the elimination of the Rwandan president, who was supported by the majority of the Rwandan population (including a great number of Tutsis), they would never seize the power they so desired. On the 17th of November 2006, the French anti-terrorism judge, Jean-Louis Bruguière, who for many years investigated the assassination during which the presidential Falcon 50 was shot down, killing the Hutu presidents of Rwanda and Burundi together with 10 of their companions, issued a warrant for the arrest of nine RPF/RPE leaders. Likewise, given the clear involvement of Paul Kagame, and his presidential immunity which impeded, and continues to impede, the possibility of his appearance before a national tribunal, Bruguière considered it apt for him to appear in front of the ICTR, for which it could be subject to persecution. As such, a request was issued via a diplomatic route, officially informing the general secretary of the United Nations of elements pertinent to the investigation as well as the charges directed at Kagame.
The cupola of the RPF had no interest in halting the huge massacre of their own people living in the Rwandan interior for the last three decades. Indeed the Tutsi elite regarded them as traitors, for having not gone into exile when the Tutsi monarchy was democratically rejected in 1961. Furthermore, this criminal cupola did anything it could to block any international intervention which might have halted the genocide. They knew that such an intervention would have hindered their relentless bloody march to power and effectively managed to avoid it.
In truth, the great international sponsors, fundamentally Western lobbies acting via the US and UK governments, were themselves equally interested in avoiding international scrutiny, and in camouflaging their attempts to turn Rwanda, together with the already faithful Uganda, into the neurological and military centre of a desirable new zone of influence; resource rich Central Africa. François Mitterrand’s France would have to be expelled, and the door closed to China and any other emerging powers.
Finally, there remains the question of the inflated figure of one million victims of the Tutsi genocide. As was shown by the exhaustive investigation of the American professors Christian Davenport and Allan C. Stam, approximately three hundred thousand Tutsis may have died in “the” genocide or at most, four hundred thousand. If we contrast this information with other highly reliable figures contributed by the ex-Minister of Defence of the multiparty transition government James K. Gasana, Political Science activist Nkiko Nsegimana or experts on Central Africa, professors Filip Reyntjens and Stefaan Marysse, we see that the proportion of victims of one or the other ethnic group is approximately one Tutsi to every ten Hutus, or at the very least one Tutsi to every eight Hutus.
Even prior to December 1994, the Interior Minister of the victorious RPF government, repeatedly reported the continuing massacre of the Hutus, and mentioned a total figure of 2,101,250 Rwandan victims up to that date. His protests cost him his life; he was assassinated just before testifying to the ICTR. Later victims of the systematic ethnic cleansing carried out by the RPF in the Rwandan interior and the massive killing of Hutu refugees in Zaire would need to be added to that figure. We are talking about 40% of the total population of Rwanda, and six million Congolese. All of this appalling information makes it easy to understand the depth of the wound opened by Pope Francis’ in his request for forgiveness for the “genocide suffered by the Tutsis” to Kagame with absolutely no reference to the immense majority of victims. I’ll finish with reference to my book “The Time of the Great Philanthropists” in which I analyze Davenport and Stam’s report and the personal process which led them from the official doctrine to the discovery of the truth:
“’According to the census, in 1994 there were six hundred thousand Tutsis living in Rwanda; according to Ibuka – the association of survivors – three hundred thousand of them survived the 1994 bloodbath. This leads us to believe that, of the approximately eight hundred thousand to one million Rwandans killed in the spring of 1994, more than half were Hutus. This conclusion was highly significant; it suggested that the majority of victims belonged to the same ethnic group as the government which, in its turn, led to the understanding that the desire for genocide – or the attempt on the government’s part to exterminate an ethnic group – was not what had motivated all the massacres, or part of them, the Hundred Days of Slaughter.’
These are the conclusions of two decent human beings, not inclined to be swayed from their convictions by criticism, blackmail or direct attack: more than half of the 800,000 victims of the genocide of spring 1994 were members of the Hutu ethnic group, which utterly invalidates the claim that ethnicity was the only or principal motivation behind the massacres.
Along with Peter Erlinder [President of the Association of Lawyers for the Defence of the ITPR and ex-president United States National Union of Lawyers], the two professors obtained some crucial maps and the declarations of around twelve thousand witnesses. With the collaboration of an expert from Arcview-GIS, a company specializing in spatial cartography, they managed to establish the positions of the RAF (Rwandan Armed Forces) and of the battle front, practically day to day, throughout the entire war. They also took advantage of the information, published by Alan Kuperman of the American Defence Intelligence Agency, referring to the approximate positions of RPF units from beginning to end of the war, contrasting them with statements made by ex-members of the RPF in various interviews, all of which served to confirm their analyses and evaluation. The massacres appeared not only in the RAF-controlled territories but also in territories occupied by the RPF, as well as along the front between the two armed forces. There was a direct relation between RPF advances and intensification of the massacres on a large scale, which totally contradicts the theory that the objective of the RPF invasion was to end the genocide. The campaign of genocide on the part of the Hutu extremists can only explain part of the massacres, and not the greater part. The new government and the ICTR have hindered any investigation of the massacres which still go unrecognized in the official version. The metaphor most cited with reference to the outbreak of violence in Rwanda in 1994, that of the Holocaust, is completely inappropriate…”