Mr. Kagame filed two complaints against me claiming he had been slandered in the book I wrote (Les secrets du génocide rwandais – Enquête sur les mystères d’un président, published by Éditions Duboiris) where I explicitly accused him in the case of the April 6 1994 attack in Rwanda which had claimed the lives of two heads of state and of a French crew member. After submitting offers of evidence and just as were about to obtain the dates of the hearing, we were surprised to learn that my lawyer had received a letter of withdrawal from Mr. Kagamé and the Rwandan government – after we had had to spend several months gathering that body of evidence in the French courts.
I think they had underestimated the voluminous file against them that I had amassed about Mr. Kagame and the Rwandan Patriotic Army during five years of investigations. It just so happens that in the file we had put confidential accounts from the United Nations, a letter from Kofi Annan who believes that the Rwandan Patriotic Army had perpetrated crimes against humanity. Likewise, the file contained the draft constitution of the (unauthorized) party of Pasteur Bizumngu, former president of the country currently in prison in Kigali and former high RPF official who has stated in his file that Kagamé’s own party, the RPF, had committed crimes against humanity. Not to mention witnesses such as the former French Minister of Cooperation, Bernard Débré, or the commander in chief of the Belgian blue helmets in Rwanda, Colonel Marchal, or even a diplomat from Cameroon who had served as assistant of the personal representative of the U.N. Secretary-General in Rwanda when the attack took place and the tragedy began; or even journalist Pierre Péan who had investigated the file of the attack. All those people were probably going to crush President Kagame and the Rwandan government at the witness stand. For the first time, the latter had been afraid of being humiliated by a journalist’s investigations.
All those people had evidence that Mr. Kagame is the author of the April 6 1994 attack that unleashed the entire tragedy in Rwanda. Above all, they were afraid that, after presenting themselves as the victims of the genocide, everybody was finally going to see that there were also executioners among the Tutsi of the RPF and that, paradoxically, none of them is in the least worried at present about the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The surprise or, to say the least, the upheaval [my evidence] was going to cause in these proceedings currently taking place at the ICTR were the elements that curbed the zeal of President Kagame at the French courts.
Charles Onana is an investigative journalist and French essayist who works mainly in the area of the African Great Lakes, he is the author of four books on the subject. He is the founder of Éditions Duboiris.