That attention is now focused on the October 1st official release of the UN essay, "The Mapping Exercise", which documents Kagame's murders of "hundreds of thousands" of Hutu refugees who were seeking sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The knowledge of the 547-page document, which deals with the period between 1993 - 2003, has so far come to the attention of the world through the leak to the French newspaper, Le Monde. It has caused an outbreak of reaction from all quarters, by both those wanting to have the document released and those who want to suppress it, most notably Kagame himself.
In a blackmailing attempt to Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, he has threatened to withdraw the Rwandese contingent of UN peace keepers from Darfur. But the Rwandese army, which has been involved in the "genocide" in DRC, cannot be expected to have the moral competence to keep the peace in another region; and the UN should accept Kagame to withdraw his soldiers, despite the other ramifications. Indeed this is what former Rwandese solicitor general and researcher with the US Institute for International Law, Gabriel Gashana, advises.
In the Voice of America's Straight Talk Show ten days ago, presenter Shaka Ssali, put the issue of Mapping and Kagame's "genocide" against the Hutu to Gashana; the New York's Human Rights Watch's Carina Tarishian; International Criminal Court's Luis Moreno Ocampo; and, the Independent's managing editor, Andrew Mwenda.
Tarishian, who is based in Kigali, ably presented the Human Rights Watch position on the murders, which she said are still continuing in eastern DRC, and that Kagame is continuously trying to avoid their independent investigation. Kagame goes as far as accusing the 13-man team that did the Mapping as biased, without presenting counter evidence.
Not surprisingly, Mwenda has bought into this position, strenuously defending Kagame on the killings and accusing Tarishian and all the "colonially"-minded "whites" of patronizing Africans whom he thinks have the capability to find a "political solution" to this criminal enterprise.
Mwenda cannot do any better than being an apologist for Rwanda since he is a frequent visitor to the Kagame court and recipient of his generosity to the Independent in huge advertisements, supplements and advertorials. But in this global world one can no longer confine themselves and must come to the attention of people in Argentina or [New] Zealand, and indeed that is Mexican Ocampo's role as ICC prosecutor.
It is why Ocampo is following Sudan's Field Marshall Mohammed al Bashir, for the atrocities and population displacement in Darfur; and the reason some of the new "bleed of African dictators", according to Ssali, should be tried by the ICC.
The mark, "the new breed of African leaders", was initially made by then-president, Bill Clinton, in the early 1990s in a flattery to this murderous and thieving lot. Now, Clinton himself is coming to the attention from the Mapping report because of his support for Kagame and possible advice and involvement in the DRC murders, attempted cover up and the prevention of the release of this report.
One of the pieces of interest that this report is likely to shed light on is the assassination of Rwandese president, Juvenal Habyarimana that triggered the 1994 killing of the 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Controversy has ever surrounded the circumstances that led to the murder.
Preliminary information indicates that it was the work of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) that had delinked from its parent army, the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF). Accordingly UPDF received surface-to-air missiles from Byelorussia that it passed to the RPF.
The missiles were then conveyed to Masaka Hill overlooking Kanombe Airport outside Kigali. There are even claims that it was the soldiers from UPDF who manned the missile batteries that destroyed the plane as it was readying to land at Kanombe. This is now part of the subject of a new investigation by a French team of researchers that landed in Rwanda last week.
These are the bare facts that the Mapping report may provide. However, what may cause consternation in the report are the characters involved. Clinton is mentioned; undoubtedly Kagame, who commanded the RPF, cannot escape responsibility; and equally Uganda's president, Mr. Yoweri Museveni, will find it difficult to avoid complicity because of the Siamese-twins nature between the UPDF and RPF, then.
This may explain why there is such a strenuous effort to have the report not officially published; and the nature of the murders characterized as "genocide". For those who are susceptible to the whims of the ICC, it could mean lengthy terms in prison if arrested.
|< Prev||Next >|