When genocide deniers head UN groups
President Kagame has shared some details of a private phone conversation he had with his DR Congo counterpart Joseph Kabila.
Kagame was speaking at an extra-ordinary session of the RPF’s National Executive Committee at a gathering of hundreds of members of the ruling party at the Sports View Hotel in Remera Thursday evening last week. In less than a minute of his speech he brought up the Congo issue. The President, who was speaking in Kinyarwanda, said, “You have no doubt been hearing of these events in Congo and how we are being accused of ‘this and that’, and now we have reached the point where we are now resigned to shouldering our own problems, as well as the problems of some neighboring countries.” (Tuzikorera umugogoro wacu twikorere n’uw’abandi!)
The President continued, “I will tell you, for example that some representatives of these countries who have been saying they will suspend, or cut their aid to us”…
(He did not name any countries, but the US has cut some military aid, the UK has talked of suspending some, and a few reports had it that the government of The Netherlands too was cutting aid, though a departing envoy of that country recently made it clear in news reports that his government was satisfied with Kigali’s rebuttals of a UN report alleging Rwandan support of the M23 rebel group fighting the Congolese government)
…“they have been coming to my office and asking for my help, to arrest some individual in Congo.” (Again the President mentioned no one, but everyone knew the individual he was alluding to – Bosco Ntaganda, leader of the M23).
“I asked these people how they could expect me to help them arrest someone in another country and they had no answers, none at all!”
At this point the President’s voice changed tone to a murmur, mimicking the voices of whoever representative of these foreign governments was in his office, asking him to arrest foreign rebels, “Aahh, you see, the thing is that you can help with this arrest…” Kagame then resumed talking in his normal voice. “What do these people really want from us? How can they ask us to arrest non-Rwandans, moreover in other countries?” At this point the President was speaking with real exasperation.
“I told these people who are coming with their impossible requests, ‘do whatever you want in the Congo but keep us out of it! Just leave us alone! Go and camp in the Congo and stay there and do everything you want there, but what you do is absolutely no concern of Rwanda’s and please leave alone to deal with our own problems’!”
Kagame then says, “After these requests that I arrest someone in Congo became persistent, I decided to pick up a phone, and called President Kabila.
“I said to him, ‘people are constantly asking me to arrest individuals in your country, what is this’?
“President Kabila replied that he too had no idea what that was! He only said this: I know of some undisciplined fellows in the east, but that is all.”
Kagame paused and looked for a moment at the audience. “That is all Kabila told me, that there were a few people of indiscipline, and he had no idea what those telling me to arrest anyone in Congo was talking about.”
The public by now has grown used to international news reports – originating in The Guardian newspaper of London, the BBC and the Economist magazine and picked up by several other outlets all over the world alleging that Rwanda is responsible for the fighting in eastern Congo, with the accusations originating from leaked reports by a UN “group of experts”. They allege it is Rwanda training and arming the M23 in eastern DR Congo, led by Bosco Ntaganda.
The report by the group of experts (GoE), with its hastily slapped together addendums are really strange document, especially coming from a body of allegedly neutral people appointed by a world body like the UN. They are the most shoddily compiled, mendacious, utterly-lacking-in-objectivity allegations that not even the most drunken, third rate policeman would ever think of writing, leave alone upending their signature upon.
A report that accuses an entire government of complicity in war crimes, without interviewing a single member of that government, while its writers at the same time are rooting that the leader of that government be taken to the International Criminal Court can only be written by haters with a kangaroo court mentality. A report so shoddily sourced (it is obvious that many of its allegations, when not pulled out of thin air, are by sworn enemies of Kagame and the Kigali administration), a report with assertions so weakly supported (imagine getting some individuals, from only you know where, having them allege they have been trained by the Rwandan army to join a rebel group and, basing on what these individualshave to say, indict a president upon that), such a report can only be written by haters on a relentless course of vendetta. And only the fact that such a report is accusing the government of a poor African government with little international clout can make a newspaper like The Guardian and others like that get away with quoting, and publicizing it as if it were the untrammeled truth.
For anyone who cares to follow issues objectively, the leader of the GoE, Steve Hege is motivated by a strange, anti-Kagame, anti-Rwanda bias that one can only begin to understand when it is discovered he is an out and out sympathizer of the FDLR.
Hege completely gives himself away with some of his writings and utterances. A case in point is a newsletter article he wrote in February 2009 entitled Understanding the FDLR in the DR Congo. This is a piece of writing that, while painting the FDLR as a noble group of armed combatants fighting for their rights, is also filled with choice observations like this: “Economic and political power (in Rwanda) remains resoundingly concentrated in the hands of the Ugandan Tutsi elite from the RPF.”
“What do these people really want from us? How can they ask us to arrest non-Rwandans, moreover in other countries?”
Leave alone the fact this assertion is demonstrably false, it actually amounts to hate speech of the kind that people who eventually commit genocides, anywhere, normally make against the targeted group. Ugandan Tutsi elite? What is a Ugandan Tutsi elite? Does spending your years in exile, your parents having fled your country in terror amidst pogroms, make you a “Ugandan” and an “elite”? And now it has befallen Hege to decide for Rwandans who is, or is not a “legitimate” Rwandan? And this is the person heading the “group of experts”. No wonder he has been scrambling to erase evidence, on the Internet, of these writings of his after fact checkers busted him. He has taken all evidence of his hate speech from his website, but, like they say, once on the Net, always on the Net…A simple Google search soon leads you to all Hege’s pro-FDLR propaganda.
The head of the GoE has a deep ideological affiliation with the FDLR, his noble armed combatants, who of course are infamous for their numerous acts of mass murder in the Congo, the fact that they perpetrate more rapes than any other group in that lawless country, and whose leadership comprises of some of the most notorious genocidaires wanted by international justice: Callixte Mbarushimana, Ignace Murwanashyaka and others.
These are Hege’s bosom friends, the gentlemen and ladies many among whose ranks perpetrated the Genocide 1994 (keeping in mind of course that that genocide wasn’t the only one perpetrated against Rwanda’s Tutsis, for it is the parents of the FDLR leadership whose extremist ideology was, is and always will be that Tutsis should be exterminated from the face of the earth, something they began in 1959, on through the sixties, intermittently through the seventies, up to the horrific events of 94).
These are the people that Hege fights for; they are the people very many strange, hate-spouting men and women, many of them academics sheltered from the sunshine of reality and truth for too long – Andre Gouichaoua, Peter Erlinder, Charles Onana, Ann Garrison, Susan Thompson, Pierre Pean and many other genocide deniers, and all those who like to trivialize the Genocide – fight for.
There is no doubt about it: the head of the UN Group of Experts, the same one busy leveling accusations against the Rwandan leadership that he fails to prove, again and again. This man Steve Hege. Is a denier of the Genocide.
Follow Shyaka Kanuma on Twitter: @ShyakaKanuma