Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bahindiro's Heroic King, Really?

May 8th 2012 Pan Butamire, an excellent blogger, posted a beautiful summary of how Rwanda's RPF frames it's regional role in the context of Rwanda's history which explains it's internal and external propaganda strategy:
"But maybe there is no panic here. Maybe there is cold calculation at the heart of it all. Cold calculation whose expression we may find in a distant city, in a distant land, in a distant era.

Berlin, Germany, 1884/5. Rwandans may never know what was discussed in the Berlin Conference. They may never know how the partition of Africa was decided on. But they know that, whatever the method of decision, at the end of it they came out the ‘tinier’ for it.

From a vast country that covered swathes of eastern Congo, southern Uganda and north-western Tanganyika, Rwanda became the tiny hill of Central Africa. There is no doubt that having a strong, centrally-organised administration had something to do with it. No one wants a strong, bothersome influence near when they set out to ‘civilise’ a region.
So, at the Berlin Conference, they all – repeat, all – agreed to crop Rwanda until it became a hilly patch of land. Also, Germans and Belgians may have disagreed on everything but, as colonialists, they were in agreement when it came to ‘partitioning’ Rwandans into three ‘races’. Yes, later improved to ‘ethnic groups’ to cater for the culture, language, et al, Rwandans share. Still, a ‘different-races’ construct.

The truly ‘tiny’ clan (not ‘tiny’ land!) of Bahindiro that provided a leader was turned into a representative of a whole section of Rwandans. To cap it all, these were branded “invaders from Ethiopia and further north”. Rwanda became a land of a ‘thousand’ disparate hills and ‘three’ disparate races.

From then on, this is the narrative about Rwanda that the Western world has driven and continues to drive. This is the holy cow. There are, of course, other ‘cows’ for other countries. But for Rwanda, this is the ‘untouchable’ elephant in the room.

And that explains a whole horde of things that would need more than a ‘thousand’ pages to delve into."
Abdul Ruzibiza once introduced himself as a descendant of the Bahindiro clan
« Par mon père, je suis tutsi, issu de la souche des « Abanyiginya-Abahindiro ».
Eugene Rwamucyo's thorough blogpost sheds light on this same period, before the Berlin conference, when he writes on the not so heroic Bahindiro king Mibambwe who pretended to offer reconciliation to the hutu king Mashira of Nduga by offering his daughter NYIRANTOBWA and asks the hand of the daughter of Mashira, BWIZA, for his son Gahindiro. During the party that was arranged Mashira and all his sons were killed. That's how the rule of the Ababanda ended. A wedding that reminds us of the Saint-Barthélemy massacre in France that decapitated the leaders of French Calvinism.

Digital Congo, which I would call 'Kabila PR', suggests Kigali is playing a similar game with the tutsi community in eastern-congo today when it claims Kigali actually supports the beheading of the tutsi community leadership in Congo through these international arrest warrants.

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