Saturday, April 17, 2010

Who Ordered The Killing Of Hutu Refugees In Congo?

Paul Kagame has invited bloggers to prepare questions ahead of the "Tea Party" Blogger event in Edmond Oklahoma.

Here is my two cents:

Just before the outbreak of the "second Congo War" the UN passed a resolution concerning the crimes committed against hutu refugees inside Congo july 13 1998:
"The Security Council this evening condemned the massacres, other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law committed in Zaire/Democratic Republic of the Congo and especially its eastern provinces, including crimes against humanity. In a statement read out by its President, Sergey V. Lavrov (Russian Federation), the Council deplored the delay in the administration of justice and called on the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to investigate immediately allegations contained in the report of the Secretary-General's investigative team. It called on the Governments to bring to justice anyone found to have been involved in those crimes.The Council expressed its readiness to consider additional steps to ensure that the perpetrators of the crimes and atrocities were brought to justice"
 This resolution was based on a report by a special investigation team working directly under the Secretary General of the UN that investigated human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the DRC. One of the investigators and co-signers of the report,  Reed Brody, stated at the time:
"Some questions remain unanswered at the level of the United Nations (and here is the million dollar question, colored opinions):  Who ordered the mass killings of hutu refugees during the war,  Laurent-Désiré Kabila or Paul Kagamé?"

Beneath I have some interesting further reading related to the investigation of these crimes. The investigations have continued. If you have any interesting links for me, post them below.

The New York Times has an article  about the team of United Nations human rights investigators here.

 An aid worker replied to a report in the guardian in september 2007 about a massacre that occured in Shabunda in 1997:
The silence behind the Congo massacre

Ruaridh Nicoll's report ('The hidden massacre', Focus, last week) is the first account I have seen of the mass killings of Hutu people at Shabunda in eastern Congo in February 1997. I was by that bridge in May or June that year and I asked a villager about the killing. He thought that more than 1,000 people had died at that spot.
What Nicoll does not go into is the international context of these killings. While France trained and supported Hutus who became killers before and after the genocide of 1994, the British and Americans supported the Tutsi army in exile and in government.
Reports of the massacres and starvation of refugees made by an American missionary were ignored and, in effect, suppressed. The Anglophone policy seemed to be that it was necessary to defeat the Hutu paramilitary Interahamwe in exile lest they reinvade Rwanda, but the great majority of the victims of this policy were innocent women and children.
The United Nations was guilty of negligence amounting almost to complicity in this counter-genocide. As far as I know, this wider story has not been investigated. It should be.
Jasper Elgood
Dolgellau, Gwynedd
 The guardian reported back in november 2007: 

"The United Nations is preparing to send a 16-strong team into the Democratic Republic of the Congo to map human rights abuses, 11 years after 200,000 refugees disappeared and following a continental war that has cost the lives of an estimated four million people. "

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