Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rwanda according to Stephen Kinzer


While the world turns it's eyes away from the war in Congo to the war in Gaza, Stephen Kinzer is using this to help his friends in Kigali. Yesterday he published this article "Accessories to the crime" in the Guardian about the ICTR sentencing to life imprisonment of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora after convicting him of
"genocide and crimes against humanity and war crimes" He then adds: "One thing will be missing, though. In the modern age, prisons that hold war criminals, political murderers and other terrorists are populated mostly by brutes like Bagosora – people easily portrayed as thugs from thuggish places. So the newly convicted genocide mastermind will not have the chance to exchange thoughts with his more genteel enablers.

In a just world, Bagosora might have French company in his cell block. Without steadfast support from France, which armed the genocidal regime and helped train its killers, the slaughter would have been impossible. So it seems only fair that a few French aristocrats be held responsible. One candidate would be former foreign minister Alain Juppe, who built a framework within which the slaughter could be carried out by telling the world that it was not genocide but "tribal war" in which opposing groups were equally guilty. There could also be room in the block for others who shielded the Rwandan regime as it killed, among them Edouard Balladur, Dominique de Villepin and Hubert Vedrine.

No one ever took more delight in these men's company than the lifelong Francophone Boutros Boutros-Ghali, so it would be a shame to leave him off the cellblock.
By some standards Bill Clinton too could qualify for a cell on Bagosora's block.
"
Kevin John Heller wrote on Opinio Juris november 19th 2008:
"Concerning the RPF’s actions, however, Kinzer is completely silent. No mention of the tens of thousands of innocent Hutus that the RPF murdered before, during, and after its rebellion. No mention of the the RPF’s authoritarian rule over Rwanda. No mention of Rwanda’s invasions of the Congo, which helped trigger the genocides there. No mention of Rwanda’s open support of the murderous Congolese rebel, Laurent Nkunda."

40 officers of the Rwandan army have been accused of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide by a spanish court, but Stephen Kinzer stays completely silent on that too.

Peter Erlinder of William Mitchell College of Law and a Lead Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), says in this article "Rwanda: No Conspiracy, No Genocide Planning ... No Genocide?"
"that if - as the ICTR recently ruled in the "Military I" trial - alleged "masterminds" Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and fellow top Rwandan military officers engaged in no conspiracy and no planning to kill ethnic civilians, the tragedy that engulfed Rwanda in 1994 may not properly be called a "genocide" at all... "


We don't read anything about this in Stephen's article, apparently Erlinder does not need an answer either.


Recently a UN report confirmed the sordid role Rwanda is playing in supporting Nkunda. The Netherlands and Sweden blocked budgetsupport for the regime in Kigali. The sordid role Rwanda and Uganda have played in the Great Lakes region, the military support of the US army for these countries. The hundreds of thousands of people kept in Rwandan prison without proper trial. All of these issues are not mentioned in Stephen Kinzer's article. That leads to the inevitable conclusion that Stephen Kinzer is actually spreading propaganda for the current undemocratic regime in Kigali. Propaganda that has enabled them to garner enormous amounts of money, arms and political support in the US and the UK. Kinzer's article is aimed at making sure the US keeps up it's military and financial support of this undemocratic regime.As I wrote on november 14th:
For those who have been following the Rwandan news from a "Kinzer" perspective over the last decade will wake up one day to see that they actually have been lied to for a very long time. And that the suffering of the people in Congo is actually extended every time these articles get published in influential media in the west.

No comments: