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M-A Lagrange
01-01-2002, 05:10 AM
Moderator at work

I have merged eight threads on Rwanda to this renamed thread; seven of them concerned the genocide along a variety of themes, including book reviews (ends).


Kagame has been re elected with 96% of the votes. Let say it's a joke.

Carl, I concure with some of your idea on the capacity of military dictatorship to install the roots for economic develpment but the problem is the "next stage".

If you take Ivory Coast... The result is not that good.

Not saying that Kagame did a bad job for Rwanda but the development of his country is bound to the presence of armed groups (pro or anti Kagame/Rwanda) in DRC. Which in fact does not offerts strong perspectives for the future.

Tom Odom
10-16-2006, 04:21 PM
For those who have sometime questioned the Rwandans' ability to see beyond the immediate I would offer this:


'Capital punishment is of no use to Rwanda'
Independent Online - Friday October 13, 2006 (http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=qw1160724422555B265)
By Gabriel Gabiro Kigali - Rwanda on Thursday moved a step closer to outlawing capital punishment, as the country's powerful ruling party endorsed the move over the objections of survivors of the 1994 genocide. (read more)>Africa; Death Penalty

Many outsiders expected the Rwandans (meaning the RPF) to be unmerciful after the genocide; indeed, they surprised me by their moves toward reconciliation when such steps seemed impossible. If this step away from capital punishment becomes official, it is further evidence of such thinking.

Best

Tom

Tom Odom
10-17-2006, 08:18 PM
Key consideration in COIN is always amnesty and reconciliation. To a certain degree this more plays toward both those ends.

a. Builds support among Hutu majority for reconciliation

b. Builds international support that the new GOR is capable of adressing reconciliation after genocide

The other aspect of this is that it also addresses accountability. The Int Criminal Tribune on Rwanda will close fairly soon; the ICTR and its EU sponsors have not agreed to turning over high level suspects who have not been tried to Rwanda because of Rwanda's capital punishment laws. With the revocation of such laws, those high level suspects will most likely be turned over and they will not enjoy the relative comforts of prisons outside Rwanda. In that regard, it will help the new GOR enforce its ideas of accountability, especially with genocide survivor organizations that are not happy with the idea of no capital punishment.

Best

tom

Steve Blair
10-17-2006, 08:44 PM
This is an interesting area to follow, especially since feelings run (understandably) high in this area. If it can work here, similar techniques may work well in other areas.

Steve Blair
10-24-2006, 06:11 PM
Interesting BBC story here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6079428.stm) regarding the French and Rwanda. One of the more provocative bits is:


"France has not expressed regret," AFP quotes Mr Bihozagara as saying during his three-hour testimony.

He added that even after the genocide the French government had not apprehended genocide suspects living in France.

Tom Odom
10-24-2006, 07:31 PM
Operation Turquoise was aimed only at protecting genocide perpetrators, because the genocide continued even within the Turquoise zone," Mr Bihozagara said.

Very close to the truth, Op Turquoise was ORIGINALLY intended to restore the former government and when that proved impossible in the glare of international attention, it shifted to preserving the former government under the shield of the "humanitarian" zone. Meanwhile, genocide did continue inside that zone.

Let's just say that France is less than popular in Kigali (at least in the GOR and military). French actions (under and over the table) before, during, and after the genocide served France's overarching concern to retain Rwanda as a member of the Francophone Africa bloc.

Frankly some of the French doings harken back to what the French were willing to do in Indochina (the use of former SS troops) and Algeria (torture and general mayhem), only they were doing it through the client former government and its associates and looking the other way. Meanwhile France (and the US let this happen) forestalled and then delayed reaction to the genocide.

Best
Tom

Steve Blair
12-04-2006, 05:09 PM
This (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6205572.stm) might be of interest, Tom. Looks like the French just can't keep their mitts out of Africa.
Mr Kagame has always accused France of backing the Hutu extremists, known as the Interahamwe.

"If there is a judge, a credible judge... [he] should be asking the role of the French in the genocide," he said.

Tom Odom
12-04-2006, 05:54 PM
Yep Steve!

I have been tracking. Rwanda asked the French embassy to leave and severed relations. France has been bulldogging Rwanda every step of the way since the former regime fled.

Best
Tom

CaptCav_CoVan
12-04-2006, 05:59 PM
Excellent book on the topic is "A People Betrayed:Rwanda" by L.R. Melvern, a journalist who was there during the slayings.

Tom Odom
12-04-2006, 06:40 PM
The above title is Linda Melvern's latest. (http://www.amazon.com/Conspiracy-Murder-Genocide-Linda-Melvern/dp/1844675424) She does a good job of exploiting documents found later in the camps and in government offices that showed the genocide planning was a longstanding effort, not something concieved in 1993 as the Arusha accords were signed.

Best

Tom

Strickland
12-06-2006, 12:09 AM
Sir, please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but from what I understand, Bagasora (utilizing the Interhamwhe) was amongst a handful of "architects" of the genocide. As I now understand it, the French are claiming that Kagame / RPF were responsible for shooting down Juvenal Habyarimana's plane, and thus responsible for the genocide that followed. Is this correct?

Tom Odom
12-06-2006, 02:56 PM
Adam,

Taking a longer view of the "genocide" as a Rwandan government policy is useful in understanding the flow of events as they culminated in early 2004.

From independence with the flip flop of the Belgians in using the Tutsis as a control element for their colony to supporting the Hutus as the majority in the newly emergent independent Rwanda, sanctioned organized and supported violence against the Tutsis was very much a stated and unstated GOR policy. The results were periodic massacres that in manner if not numbers (though in the thousands) served as precursor models for 94. The Tutsi expatriate rebel factions--directed largely toward restoration of the royal family--incursions into Rwanda in the 60s (not many and not well done) did serve as sparks (or excuses by the GOR who exaggerated the threat) for massacres of the Tutsis. These massacres stimulated the Tusti diaspora into surrounding African countries and abroad into Europe, the US, and Canada.

Habyarimana seized control in in 74 as I recall promising to end this cycle of violence. In may ways he did but his use of the single party state with the MRND as its core included a 99% exclusion of Tutsi participation in any political process. This--the so called golden era of Rwanda--lasted until the late 80s when 2 events started to unhinge the equation. First of all African regimes could no longer count on the Cold War to keep the flow of donor assistance coming without political reform. Second the collapse of the world coffee market--the long pole in the Rwandan economic tent--was a disaster for Habyarimana's single party state. Commencing in the early 90s pressures from donors forced the President to start opening up the political process. And the internal poltical process amoung Hutus was explosive and often violent.

Parallel to these events, the RPF structured itself as a rebel/insurgent force that woulld force the GOR to accept the Tutsi expatriates (a million if not more) back into Rwanda. Initial efforts with the Oct 90 invasion were a disaster and Kagame as the new leader had to restructure and rebuild the RPA even as he held on to Rwandan territory against the GOR and the French. Habyarimana used the RPF threat against his opponents inside the country. Massacres of Tutsis took place on a scale of the early 60s; political violence against Hutu opponents of the regime was also common. But even within the regime, hardliners coalesced among the President's wife's family. That is where the gencoide plans really started to form up. French roles in all of this were both open in training the old army and advising/training/supplying hardline elements like the Interhamwe--the militia of the MRND.

Arusha was signed in 93 and by its terms the RPF won its fight; Implementation of Arussha sputtered along until April 94 when Habyarimana caved and agreed. That was his death warrant among the hardliners including his wife. France supported the GOR and the hardliners even after the UN embargo was placed against arms shipments. France gave shelter to hardliners as they fled; I saw a used Mercedes parking lot in Goma where GOR and hardliners parked their vehicles only to whisked away to safety--largely courtesy of the French.

The French charges against Rwanda are a smoke screen to cover Paris's role after Rwanda recently opened an investgation into all of this. Gerard Prunier's analysis of who shot the plane down still applies; he like me on the ground saw no logic in an RPF decision to shoot Habyarimana down. In contrast, the hardliners stood to gain and they used the event as a trigger for the genocide. Dallaire's recounting of events lays out how immediately killer squads started to fan out as well as the role of Radio Television des Milles Collines in orchestrating events over the air waves.

Long answer I know

Best
Tom

Steve Blair
12-07-2006, 09:15 PM
Another (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6218110.stm) BBC link on this one.

marct
02-01-2007, 04:45 PM
I thought some people (i.e. Tom and Stan) would be interested in this


Book launch – The Media and the Rwanda Genocide

Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) cordially invites you to the public book launch of The Media and the Rwanda Genocide, edited by Professor Allan Thompson. Wednesday, February 7, 2007
6:30 p.m.
Tory Building foyer
Hors d'oeuvres will be served

Allan Thompson, Assistant Professor at Carleton University, is launching The Media and the Rwanda Genocide, the first book to explore both the international and local dimensions of the media equation during the genocide. "More comprehensive and accurate reporting about the Rwanda genocide could have changed the behaviour of the perpetrators, mitigating the slaughter'', writes Thompson in the book.

Allan Thompson is currently promoting the book in the U.K., East Africa and the U.S. He is writing a fascinating blog on his experiences at http://www.allanthompson.ca (http://www.allanthompson.ca/blog.html/)/blog.html/ (http://www.allanthompson.ca/blog.html/)

[edit]http://www.allanthompson.ca/

Marc

Tom Odom
02-01-2007, 04:51 PM
the link is down but I will keep trying

But in the meantime, I particpated in an On the Spot Forum Panel in April 2004 at USIP on this very subject:


On the Spot in Rwanda: The Challenge to Diplomats and Journalists in Reporting the Genocide. (http://www.usip.org/events/2004/0414_wksrwanda.html) It has been ten years since the genocide in Rwanda, which saw its most intensive slaughter in the spring of 1994. In light of the 10-year anniversary of the tragic events in Rwanda, on April 14 the Institute hosted a special roundtable discussion with three journalists and three diplomats who were on the ground in Kigali and in the region at the time. Moderated by Michael Southwick, former Institute Africa specialist and then deputy chief of mission to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, the session featured discussion of the multiple challenges faced by journalists in their efforts to obtain and report the story as it unfolded and the role of American diplomats in the region to shape the response of policymakers. The panel discussion was followed by a general question and answer session moderated by Southwick.

Speakers
(Note: 1994 Affiliations listed for all speakers)

Panel I

Alex Belida
Voice of America
Donatella Lorch
New York Times
Jennifer Parmalee
Washington Post
Panel II

Thomas Odom
U.S. Military Attaché to Rwanda and Zaire
David Rawson
U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda
Michael Southwick, Moderator
Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Kenya
Of Related Interest

The USIP site still has the audios for our presentations.

Best Tom

Stan
02-01-2007, 05:28 PM
Hello Marc !


Hors d'oeuvres will be served


Jeeez ! Free food !!! Do we have to do anything ? How are Canadian Hor d'oeuvres anyway :confused:

I have the same problem, the link is down but remain very interested.

Maybe you could call them (they could per se....join the Army :eek: . You remember, JTK gets the next frozen Canadian. We promised !

Regards, Stan

marct
02-01-2007, 05:51 PM
Hi Stan,


Hello Marc !
Jeeez ! Free food !!! Do we have to do anything ? How are Canadian Hor d'oeuvres anyway :confused:

That's the tough life of he academy... work (food), work (booze), work (???)!!! The ones at Carleton aren't to bad.


I have the same problem, the link is down but remain very interested.

I just fixed it in the post - this one works.


Maybe you could call them (they could per se....join the Army :eek: . You remember, JTK gets the next frozen Canadian. We promised !

Yeah, but I keep telling you, the bounty's not high enough. If the US forces really want to sell it to Canadian academics and students, they need a campaign along the lines of "Join our unique, Participant Observation Summer program. All expenses included!!!"

Marc

Stan
02-01-2007, 06:06 PM
Hi Marc,
You know, that's not a bad slogan. We've gone through so many, I don't which one to use anymore. That and the Army Chief of Staff is sending all retirees new pins, cause he didn't like the last set. Hmmm, what did that set the Army back for ?

Will give the link another shot now.

Thanks, Stan

Tom Odom
02-01-2007, 06:07 PM
Marc,

I emailed Thompson. You should invite him to join the SWJ to blog or start a discussion thread on his book. Maybe we need an author's forum?

Best

Tom

marct
02-01-2007, 06:10 PM
Marc,

I emailed Thompson. You should invite him to join the SWJ to blog or start a discussion thread on his book. Maybe we need an author's forum?

Best

Tom

Not a bad idea, Tom. I'm going to try to get to the launch, so maybe I can chat with him there.

Stan, if I get there, I'll let you know about the dors d'oeuvres :D

Marc

Stan
02-01-2007, 06:11 PM
THE NEWS MEDIA PLAYED
A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE 1994 RWANDA GENOCIDE: LOCAL MEDIA FUELLED THE KILLINGS, WHILE THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA EITHER IGNORED OR SERIOUSLY MISCONSTRUED WHAT WAS HAPPENING. This book is a startling record of the dangerous influence that the media can have, when used as a political tool or when news organisations and journalists fail to live up to their responsibilities. The authors put forward suggestions for the future by outlining how we can avoid censorship and propaganda, and by arguing for a new ethic in media reporting.

Tom's reporting, albeit short were dead on.
When CNN couldn't or in some cases wouldn't go outside the magic forcefield of the airport, they would rearrange the bodies and take new shots.


Thanks for the link !
Stan

Tom Odom
02-01-2007, 07:23 PM
Like I said I will read this book with great interest because as it is presented here it goes against everything I encountered then and since then. As stated above we talked this issue at USIP. Those reporters were all on the ground and they reported accurately without any spin control that I am aware of. I also believe that US government officials--especially Dave Rawson--were very very accurate in theri reports.

The spin came from above; prohibtions on using the word genocide in public statements and reporting cables were absurd and ultimately damning.

If I were to find fault with the media in Rwanda, it was later when there was a shift change reporters; the new folks tended to come in without any grounding and took events out of context. But this was not a media-only trait; you could tell who had been Rwanda for more than a day (I exaggerate) by the reaction to the Kibeho IDP camp disaster. Media, new military units, and individuals reacted with near hysteria. 2000+ dead was a startling event; compared to the genocide it was a blip of violence on a very large Rwandan chart. Some reporters who had been there took it in stride; the newbies did not.

Finally I would say what I said at the USIP conference in Aprill 2004: we--David Rawson and I--made the very real possibility of a larger war as clear as we possibly could. Bob Gribbin as David's successor did the same. our warnings went unheeded--or at least without significant reaction. More people died in the Congo War afterward than died in the Rwandan Civil War and genocide. Media and governments alike have largely ignored that fact.

Goma as Stan indicates was a different story; there the media stayed in their little compound and used bodies for stage props to make the scene look different. Here we played to the media--the classic being the "CNN airshow" directed out of the White House against our recommendations.

Again I look forward to seeing what Thompson has to say.

best

Tom

tequila
02-17-2007, 11:55 PM
A French judge with political aspirations has been making waves over the assassinations of President Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, widely seen as being the trigger event that set off the Rwandan genocide in 1994. This LATIMES article (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-rwanda17feb17,1,6526397,print.story?coll=la-headlines-world)sums up the charges. Essentially the judge is accusing current Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the Rwanda Patriotic Front of killing the Presidents in an attempt to seize political power in Rwanda.

I was wondering what Tom or Stan or others here with experience in central Africa think of the charges.

Tom Odom
02-19-2007, 02:30 AM
Typical French reaction; France's role in all of this is pretty clear, one of complicity before and after the genocide. This latest thing came about because Rwanda tossed their embassy out a couple of months ago.

I have commented on this elsewhere on SWJ. More comments later as I am on the wife's PC :eek:

Dallaire's book also has some excellent points on this subject.

Best

Tom

Stan
02-19-2007, 10:43 AM
Hey Tequila !
Sorry, had to register in order to read the article :o

This is not the first time Magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere has been knee-deep in Sub-Sahara, only to later perform a total reversal. In 1993 during Zaire's worst military uprising, French ambassador Philippe Bernard was shot while observing a bank robbery across the street from his embassy.

Magistrate Bruguiere stated the murder took place in an attack on the French embassy. One week later, he nearly apologized to the Zairian government and stated that the French Ambassador to Zaire was killed by a stray bullet.

The building was sprayed with .50 rounds, so I guess a stray bullet could be in fact correct :confused:

I wonder if the magistrate will get into facts surrounding Operation Turquoise and probable evidence of French involvement (or lack thereof) by allowing former military and Interahamwe to continue the genocide.

On the other hand, Rwanda's Government won't be getting anywhere fast:

http://www.gov.rw/government/rwandalaunch.html


The lack of an adequate number of prosecutors, judges, and lawyers to try cases exacerbates the already bad situation. At the present rate, it would take over 200 years if Rwanda was to rely on the conventional court system to deliver justice.

tequila
02-19-2007, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the perspective, guys. I agree, especially since evidence seems to indicate that the Rwanda genocide was long pre-planned by Hutu Power elements and not just a spur-of-the-moment reaction.

Strickland
02-21-2007, 12:17 AM
While I in no way understand the issues to the extent that others do, there is still "enough" evidence to implicate any number of individuals or groups to include French mercenaries, Kagame/RPF, Habyarimana's extended family, Bagasora, etc. Whether Kagame is directly responsible is impossible to tell with the available evidence; however, one must ask, as Dallaire does in his book, "why did Kagame take so long to advance on Kigali or attempt to facilitate the end of the general genocide during his operations in April-July 1994?"
While simply my opinion, I do not think Kagame is responsible for the shooting-down of Habyarimana's plane; however, I fail to appreciate his motivations for allowing so many of his potential supporters (moderate Hutu and Tutsi) to fall victim to the Interhamwhe and Impuzamugambi militias. In the end, I have to assume that winning the war was more important than ending the genocide to Kagame, and that he would defend himself by saying that the allies in WWII understood that the best way to end the Holocaust was to win the war.

Stan
02-21-2007, 11:31 AM
I fail to appreciate his motivations for allowing so many of his potential supporters (moderate Hutu and Tutsi) to fall victim to the Interhamwhe and Impuzamugambi militias. In the end, I have to assume that winning the war was more important than ending the genocide to Kagame

I agree with you there, and also assume the war was more important.
I don't know of anyone ever asking President Kagame what his priorities were between April and July of 94. If anyone did, it would have been Tom.

I don't want to take sides, but in terms of sheer numbers of those involved in the genocide, it would be fairly difficult to stop the killings, which were taking place all over the country as well as in Zaire. In a sense, winning the war and the subsequent retreat of Rwandan military into Zaire did bring most of the genocide to a halt.

The Rwandan government's website describes genocide as if one had a bad smoking habit. It's that, or very poorly translated into English.


The first massacres in Rwanda took place in 1959. Thereafter, almost in a regular manner, killings of the Batutsi became a habit. In the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s massacres of Batutsi were common. Between April and July 1994, over 1 million Rwandese people, mainly Batutsi and some Bahutu opposition were killed by the genocidal regime. So many people were involved in the killings. Those who planned and organised the genocide include the late President, Major General Juvenal Habyarimana, top government officials, including members of the so-called Provisional Government, the presidential Guard, the National Gendarmerie, the Rwanda Government Forces (FAR), the MRND-CDR militia (Interahamwe), local officials, and many Bahutu in the general population.

Preparation to carry out genocide by these groups involved the training of the militia, the arming of both the militia and some sections of the population, the establishment and widespread use of a hate radio called Radio television Libre de Mille Collines (RTLM), and the distribution of lists of those who were to be targeted.

Tom Odom
02-27-2007, 03:50 PM
Adam,

good question and i believe you have the answer already--ending the war was the best way to end the genocide.

Dallaire has a point but also misses the point: the RPA very often used manuever to unhinge the ex-FAR's defenses and then would allow them to bug out rather than slug it out. The single exception to this was Kigali and even there the RPA did use the indirect approach when possible. Remember that one of the key chips on the bargaining table to exchange civilians was when the RPA started rounding up Hutus--the exchanges then began.

As for motivations in the shoot down, I still point to Prunier's analysis as the best and most concise.

Best

Tom

Tom Odom
03-13-2007, 03:11 PM
I have no ample words to introduce this, so I will let the reader decide for themselves after reading this devastating chronology of U.S. complicity in one of the darkest times of contemporary history. Just how knowingly complicit some main characters were is a burning question that remains, but the timeline I put together is deeply disturbing....

See African News Analysis Blogspot for Conspiracy Theory on Rwanda (http://africannewsanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/03/us-involvement-in-rwanda-elephant-in.html)

Best

Tom

Stan
03-13-2007, 04:49 PM
Hey Tom !
Although we covered this in today's correspondences, I thought I would share it with our folks herein, so that it is clear, that the reader must also decide for themselves what is fact from fiction.

I think Barouski would have been better served to have just copied your book and replaced the cover :wry: . He used all your work to generate his blog, and then couldn't get the facts right.

I felt some relief lookiing at his profile where Barouski admits to traveling the DRC and Rwanda. At least he can say he was there before getting all the facts ass-backwards :D


International Military Education and Training (IMET) was the first U.S. training program instituted for the RPA. It began in 1994 before the Genocide officially began after the assassination of President Habyarimana.

I started the IMET program in Rwanda nearly two decades ago thank you very much. Barouski was still wearing pampers then.


Ltc. Harvey also recommended reinstating the IMET program with Rwanda once the peace process was underway.

How could it be restarted if it only just began in 94 ? What a bonehead !


Zairian DAO Thomas Odom
You never told me you were a Zairois :eek: Did you report this on your DD398 ?


Operation Support Hope was run directly by the U.S. without any U.N. oversight.
I seem to recall tons of 'UN oversight' much like a toothache.


General Jack Nix was in charge of JTF-Goma and he brought a 10 man counterintelligence and human intelligence (HUMINT) crew with him. The Department of Defense’s (DOD) HUMINT branch was run by General Jack Leide at the time.

10 man COIN and HUMINT were exactly in which tent ?


Ltc. Odom, Rawson’s DAO (and a DIA agent I like that one the best !


It is noteworthy some reports of U.S. arms shipments and U.S. soldiers’ involvement in the war were provided by the French external intelligence agency Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE). The French supported their former African colonies and President Habyarimana’s government in the 1990s. Since the U.S. was actively evicting francophone influence from Africa during this time period, U.S. support of the RPA did not bode well with the French. The French had ample motive to spread false information to damage the U.S’s repuation.
And this would be Babbit :D

You are indeed famous !
Regards, Stan

Van
03-14-2007, 01:30 PM
Pet peeve: These sensationalist clowns act like people should be shocked about the Defense Attache/DIA thing. Like the staff of a Russian embassy is just there to hand out medical supplies and lollipops?

Given that the first move in the Peloponnesian War (431 BCE) was for the Tyrant of Athens to lock down the Spartan embassy to deny the Spartans intelligence on Athenian war preparations, noone has any business suggesting that the connection between intel and diplomacy is new, unexpected, or even particularly sinister.

Tom Odom
03-14-2007, 01:58 PM
Hey Tom !
Although we covered this in today's correspondences, I thought I would share it with our folks herein, so that it is clear, that the reader must also decide for themselves what is fact from fiction.

No problems, Stan

I just found it amusing...I wonder however just how much travel in the DRC and Rwanda this guy did. Some of his sources--the Kathi Austin testimony to Congress for instance--were BS fabrications. You know that drill--you drum up a "fact" and cement it as reality by going before a committee and saying it is true. As quoted in the blog here is Austin's "testimony":



I have been traveling to Rwanda since August 1994, and have had considerable contact with U.S. military personnel on the ground from 1994 and to the present day. I first learned of U.S. counter-insurgency training in early 1996, when U.S. military personnel distinctly told me that they were providing counter-insurgency training, and that they were also assisting our training in how to launch surgical strikes—those were the exact words—into Eastern Congo. I have not been able to independently verify that other than the information provided me by U.S. military personnel in the region. I have observed full-dress military personnel in Western Rwanda since early 1995, and, again, these were the areas where the counter-insurgency training was said to have taken place; and that sort of mitigated against my belief that it was classroom training that was being conducted. It was very clearly military exercises taking place on the ground in Western Rwanda in the border regions as early as the beginning of 1996.”

The US military training in early 1995 was under my supervision and it was strictly demining related. When you read this "testimony" you rapidly see that it does not attest to anything beyond unsourced commments and assumptions. And by the way I knew Austin and introduced her to the RPA senior leaders.

I had a WP reporter in South Africa call me in Florida in 1997 while I was recovering from 3 surgeries asking if we had trained the RPA to get them ready for the Congo. I laughed and told her that the RPA was more than qualified to take on whatever the Congo could field.

I sent this all to Ambassadors Rawson and Gribbin yesterday. Bob Gribbin said he found it most curious that this individual would use his book--which states there were no US forces involved in the Rwandan move on the Congo--to argue that US forces were there.

I too liked the "DIA agent" as well...:wry:

Best

Tom

Stan
07-09-2007, 08:34 AM
Rwanda's The New Times (http://www.newtimes.co.rw/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1171&Itemid=54)' webmaster has started a very intriguing two-part summation regarding French involvement in the Rwandan Genocide.


Last week, a French newspaper, Le Monde, published a report indicating that l’Elysée – the office of the French president – was privy to the arrangements of Rwanda Genocide long before it struck. Given the significance of that information, The New Times, will today and tomorrow reproduce the article, which was translated from French to English. Following is the first part of the two-day series.

The Genocidal plot was launched on April 6, 1994. It is a matter of massacres, refugees and French soldiers on June 29,1994, in the conference room where a minister’s cabinet meeting takes place with (then French president) François Mitterrand. It is a matter of Rwanda, where France had just launched a humanitarian operation named as “Turquoise”.

“I had not been informed of the drama inside the country. Historically the situation has always been dangerous,” former French president François Mitterrand said, during the meeting before the assassination of then Rwandan president (Juvenal Habyarimana) on April 6. 1994.

Tom Odom
07-09-2007, 01:17 PM
To force a strong and immediate diversion of the media That radical engagement of that Elysée section is not of the same opinion. In the message of February 26 to the president, Pierre Joxe, the defense minister, worried about the French position and believes that sending two further sets of troops would not be “the best way”. Around François Mitterrand, in the safe palace, we want to defend and justify, at whatever cost, the French politics.

On March 3, to complete their missions, the general Quesnot propose to the president to incriminate the rebellion by imposing “A strong and immediate re-orientation of the information of the French media on our politics in Rwanda by reminding as well the severe attacks on human rights of RPA: systematic massacres of civilians, ethnic cleansing, displacement of population….” On March 7, 1993, an agreement is finally reached between the two parties in conflict.

Despite the poor translation, it is an interesting read. The above extract highlights France's long-standing policy to preserve whatever the cost Francophone Africa. Whole and partial conspiracies revolve around the thesis that the Rwandan Patriotic Front was the lead engine of an Ango-Saxon ploy to seize Africa.

Tom

Wanda, Fish C.
10-03-2007, 02:02 AM
Gentlemen,
Doing a piece on RPA's success as irregular force from October war 1990 to establishment of RPF government in Kigali. All data maps or general suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bob

Tom Odom
10-03-2007, 12:28 PM
Gentlemen,
Doing a piece on RPA's success as irregular force from October war 1990 to establishment of RPF government in Kigali. All data maps or general suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Bob

Bob,

Read my book (http://www.tamu.edu/upress/BOOKS/2005/odom.htm) and look at the articles on Rwanda on here in SWJ Magazine.

Tom

Stan
11-02-2007, 08:23 AM
NAIROBI (Reuters) (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL0111132220071102) - "Amnesty International urged governments on Friday not to send anyone suspected of crimes during Rwanda's 1994 genocide to be tried in the country, saying it had serious concerns over the justice system."


The central African country wants suspects in the 100-day slaughter of 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus to be transferred to its custody.

But Amnesty said that despite improvements in the Rwandan justice system, it had serious concerns about Kigali's ability to investigate and prosecute genocide-related crimes fairly, impartially and in line with international standards.

"We recognize the importance of Rwandan national courts taking responsibility for investigating and prosecuting persons accused of the heinous crimes," Erwin van der Borght of Amnesty's Africa Program said in a statement.

"However, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that the rights of both the accused and the victims will be fully respected and protected by these courts."

Stan
11-17-2007, 03:58 PM
More than a decade later, French involvement in the genocide may actually surface. In October of last year, reports of a Rwandan hearing (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article611830.ece) claims of French complicity may come to a head.


After nearly one and a half years of inquiry, the Mucyo commission (http://allafrica.com/stories/200711170017.html)has finally handed over a 500-page report on France's alleged role in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide to President Paul Kagame and four other senior government leaders.

The commission president Jean de Dieu Mucyo submitted the report yesterday to Kagame, Senate President Dr Vincent Biruta, Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, Chief Justice Aloysia Cyanzayire and Vice Speaker Polisi Denis, who stood in for Speaker Alfred Alfred Mukezamfura.

However, the report's contents are yet to be made public as both Mucyo and Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama - who also attended the ceremony at Village Urugwiro - declined to give its details during a post handover press briefing.

According to a statement from the President's Office, the report covers a wide range of issues and is heavily laden with information previously unknown, indicating the depth and magnitude of involvement of key players in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide.


Pressed on whether their report implicates France in the 100-day slaughter of at least one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus, Mucyo only said: "Yes there is (that) responsibility."

goesh
11-19-2007, 05:01 PM
Rwanda, like the nazi genocide against the Jews, needs to nag and haunt nations for generations to come. So many stood by idle as the butchery by machete went unchecked and so few who tried to help are left with the horror of witnessing it and horror of knowing so much of it could have been stopped.

ancien
12-07-2007, 10:59 PM
The problems in Rwanda didn't start in '94 or in the '50 or '60. Keep in mind that the colonial time draw borders true comunities. In the '50 en '60 there was a sociale revolution going over Africa for independence and social standards. Donth forget that many africans participated in the european wars and both world wars. After the independence of Rwanda, there was a refugee progress of tutsi to the nabouring countries. Soon after, the insergency started from Uganda, That event led with the counterincergency by Belgian troops hunting the incergents all the way back to Uganda where they countered Britisch Troops. These insergencies kept on going until 1990. From there on the story has been told that the genocide started by the result of the shootdown of the airplaine.

There still has to be a lot of investigations on the history of the genocide, most of all the attack of the airplane, the different flows of powers (akazu, amasusu, etc) the responsability of western nations, the result of moderate politicians in the destabilisation of the country.
Most of all, we shoud remember that a western form of democraty thus not work on a African nation.

grtz

RTK
12-08-2007, 02:45 AM
More than a decade later, French involvement in the genocide may actually surface. In October of last year, reports of a Rwandan hearing (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article611830.ece) claims of French complicity may come to a head.

I have two Rwandan's in my course right now. I talked to them the other night about this. I was absolutely blown away by what they told me regarding French involvement. Neither are very fond of the French.

Stan
12-08-2007, 06:29 PM
Hey Ryan !
I bet those folks have lots more to tell.


I have two Rwandan's in my course right now. I talked to them the other night about this. I was absolutely blown away by what they told me regarding French involvement. Neither are very fond of the French.
There's a November 2006 rehash here at The Independent from 08 DEC 07.

French accused of complicity in genocide that killed a million in Rwanda (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article1956572.ece)


The commission is also examining Operation Tur-quoise, the 1994 French military intervention that was ostensibly aimed at saving Rwandan lives. Human rights groups in France claim French soldiers tricked thousands of Tutsi survivors out of hiding, and abandoned them to the Interahamwe militia...

Close links existed between France and Rwanda, the tiny African country ruled by a Hutu dictatorship for 20 years. France was its biggest supplier of heavy military equipment, and sent troops in 1990 to help repel a military offensive from Uganda by the largely Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front, (RPF), against the corrupt president, Juvenal Habyarimana.

During nearly three years of civil war, in some instances senior French officers took operational battlefield control. In 1993, an international peace agreement replaced the French with UN peacekeepers, to monitor creation of a power-sharing democracy.

For years, the French government denied any part in the genocide. Its own parliamentary enquiry in 1997, calling the genocide one of the greatest tragedies of the century, admitted only that France had underestimated the threat...

By 1994, the Rwandan army had become a "military protégé" of France. Before the genocide, 47 high-ranking French army and gendarmerie officers were with the Rwanda military. French officers were attached to the élite battalions, the Presidential Guard, the para-commandos and the reconnaissance battalion.

Tom Odom
12-09-2007, 02:42 PM
Ancien

Indeed the problems go way back before the 1990s. The continent as a whole has yet to recover from colonialism and often the lack of recovery was a self-inflicted failure, one often extended i the parameters of the Cold War.

Ryan

Ask them if they know me. If they do not ask 'em if they know Frank Rusgara, Charles Muheri, and Karake Karenzi (all my old contact circle).

Best

Tom

ancien
12-09-2007, 03:09 PM
The problem today is that a lot of people are pointing fingers in the direction of the criminal minds behind it whatever there side may be. Up ontil 94 nobody wrote a book on the case that the frensh where training the FAR for the cenario of a genocide. Personelly I don't believe that. The issue of training committed by frensh and belgian lies in the untherstanding that rwanda was a state and not some rebelgroup. The case that the frensh trained direct or indirect the militia lies to the fact that it was not to commit genocide, but to create a extra force to the FAR, mostly in a rear position while the FAR was fighting the FPR. Taken in account that the FAR was a army not whordy the name, army. Its difficult to make the assumption that sush a gang could plan a orchistrated genocide.

As always, the concorer writes the history.
Biggest problem today is that Rwanda is far from any reconciliation attemt so problems in the future wil occure.

grtz

Stan
12-09-2007, 04:40 PM
...Majority of the rebel members are largely blamed for the 1994 Genocide.

Rwanda: U.S. Backs Call for Sanctions On FDLR (http://allafrica.com/stories/200712080014.html)


The United States has pledged support to efforts by regional governments to secure UN Security Council sanctions against the ex-FAR/ Interahamwe militias who are now grouped under the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

US President George Bush signed an executive order imposing sanctions on seven rebel leaders involved in the conflict in the DRC.

Others blacklisted are Congolese rebel leader General Laurent Nkunda, Khawa Panga Mandro, Viktor Anatolijevitch Bout, Sanjivan Singh Ruprah, Dimitri, Igorevich Popov and Douglas Mpano.

ancien
12-09-2007, 11:02 PM
The issue of the FDLR is well documented as wel as all the other so called rebel groups that are actife in the DRC. The DRC is a ideale climate for suche organisations. It has the legal status of a state but it has no managmentplatform. So, there is a big gap that gets filled in by missionary and NGO's who provide a more constructive effort. On the other hand you find all sorts of rebelgroups who try to fill in the gap of nongoverment, by endorsing there ruling over the area that they controle.

Back on topic. From a more personal point of view. If the nations that where involved in the Rwanda peace process did not stick there noses in the wind when it got from bad to disaster, the problem could be contained to minimum civilian casualties and perhaps a peace was still possible.

grtz

ancien
12-10-2007, 12:14 AM
The story concerning the assasination on president Habyarimana reflects on the recuperation of SAM tubes from Masaka. The event shows they where send to Zaire.
Conclusions:
According to UN files surten people where aprehended by UN and handed over to the FAR.
If the attackers got away, why leave the tubes to be find?
Are the tubes from the SAM's accualy the weapons that where used?
If the FPR was behind the attack, they where not captured, so why leave the tubes?
If the FAR was behind the attack, why do they come out with the missiles?

note: They came up with the tubes 3weeks after the attack.

georgev
12-10-2007, 09:10 PM
Hi!
I was impressed by your story. However, you have to ask somebody who was involved in the event (?!!!!???).
No comment! If that, I will be ......I know much more about the event, but.........Big brother
Regards,
George

ancien
12-10-2007, 09:20 PM
sorry, I did not now that it was a sensitive issue

grtz

Stan
12-18-2007, 01:17 PM
The New Times (Kigali) EDITORIAL (http://allafrica.com/stories/200712180216.html)

Rwanda: Use All Diplomatic Means to Curb Genocide Ideology


The news that members of the Chamber of Deputies have summoned Education minister Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya and Local Government minister Protais Musoni to explain to them the measures the two ministers have put in place to curb genocide ideology in schools, is welcome. This follows a report showing alarming levels of the ideology in some selected secondary schools, where it is apparent it is openly abounding.

However, the summon should be taken with a pinch of salt.

The huge numbers involved of people who subscribe to the killer mentality is the one that is worrying, and the objective is to whittle it down by luring people out of that mindset.

...like the Holocaust and the Nazi adherents. Even when the Nazi flame did not die down in the German hearts completely, the Jew-hate ideology was controlled as the appalling results of the original supporters of Nazism were reviled publicly, and the young taught tolerance and unity.

Stan
01-06-2008, 01:05 PM
Hirondelle News Agency (http://www.hirondelle.org/hirondelle.nsf/) (Lausanne), 4 January 2008 (Media for Peace and Human Dignity)


Paris
French writer-journalist Pierre Pean has been charged in court for complicity to racial slandering and racial provocation and hatred following the publication in November 2005 of his book on the Rwandan genocide - "Noires Fureurs, Blancs Menteurs (Black Furies, White Liars)".

A hearing to plan the trial is scheduled for 5 February 2008 before the 17th chamber of the correctional tribunal of Paris, according to Hirondelle sources.

The association SOS Racisme had filed a complaint in October 2006, describing Mr Pean book on the genocide in Rwanda as "negationist".

In Kigali, Rwandan capital, François Xavier Ngarambe, former President of Ibuka, said his intention was "to mobilize the Rwandan community living in Europe but also to support the national media, within the limits of means, to follow the trial".

A score of passages of the books are targeted for racial defamation and provocation to discrimination, violence and racial hatred. Pean writes, in particular, that "the culture of the lie and dissimulation dominates all the others in the Tutsis or that the Tutsi rebels "succeeded until now in completely falsifying Rwandan reality, to allot to others their own crimes and acts of terrorism, to demonize their enemies".

Claude Durand, editor of Mr. Pean's book, is also charged in the court.

Stan
01-14-2008, 10:44 AM
Rwanda: (http://allafrica.com/stories/200801140199.html) 6900 Genocide Suspects in Congo, More to Come - Says Government


As part of the November 2007 agreement between Kigali and Kinshasa to flash out Rwandan extremist rebels - the FDLR - from the eastern DRC - dubbed the 'Nairobi Communiqué', Rwanda was to compile a list of Genocide criminals among the rebel ranks. In return DRC would have them handed over to face justice - which Kigali says is basis for lasting regional stability.

"We have compiled a list of 6945 individuals but cannot give it to you because it was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that asked us to do that", Ms. Domitilla Mukantagazwa, Executive Secretary of the Gacaca Courts told RNA on Wednesday. "You can contact them (Foreign Affairs) for any more details you need".

However, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Charles Murigande first refuted any suggestion that his office was in possession of the list.

"The Information (you have) is false because we have not got the list", he said but later changed his tone when RNA insisted. "We are still waiting for the 'full list' from a number of sources because we are not the ones doing it anyway".

The issue of whether all the people among the rebel ranks of the FDLR are Genocide suspects remains of contention depending on who you talk to.

Outspoken Human Right Watch Africa Expert Ms. Alison Deforge at some pointed late last year doubted if there were more than five Genocide suspects among the rebels because as she put it, Kigali has not provided the list.

Much more at the link


EDIT: The Rwandan government's current list of Category One genocide suspects can be viewed here (http://www.gov.rw/government/category1.htm) on the government's home page.


a) Persons whose criminal acts or whose acts of criminal participation place them among the planners, organizers, instigators, supervisors and leaders of the crime of genocide or of a crime against humanity;

b) Persons who acted in positions of authority at the national, Prefectorial, Communal, Sector or Cell level, or in a political party, the army, religious organizations or in a militia and who perpetrated or fostered such crimes;

c) Notorious murderers who by virtue of the zeal or excessive malice with which they committed atrocities, distinguished themselves in their areas of residence or where they passed;

d) Persons who committed acts of sexual torture or violence.

Stan
01-16-2008, 07:47 PM
France stops genocide transfer (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7191590.stm)


'Invalid' warrants

France's Supreme Court has overruled a decision to hand over a Rwandan genocide suspect to an international tribunal in Tanzania...

Dominique Ntawukuriryayo is accused by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of coordinating the killing of up to 25,000 Tutsis in April 1994.

His lawyer, Thierry Mausis, told the BBC an earlier ruling was overturned because of procedural violations.

Two other Rwandan suspects held last year in France were subsequently freed.

Former UN Deputy Commander to Testify for Ex-Rwandan Top Soldier (http://allafrica.com/stories/200801160116.html)


Colonel Luc Marchal, former number two of the United Nations Forces in Rwanda, will Wednesday be the first witness to testify for General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, the former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan gendarmerie...

Colonel Marchal, currently retired, was the assistant of General Romeo Dallaire, who was the head of the United Nations force in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.

He has already testified in 2007 for genocide accused General Gratien Kabiligi, former official for the operations of the chief of staff of the army, in the Military I trial.

General Ndindiliyimana is defended by Christopher Black (Canada) and François Lurquin (Belgium).

Armenians Protest Genocide Revisionism in Brussels (http://allafrica.com/stories/200801160524.html)


The Armenian community in Belgium says it is outraged at the aggression of a survivor of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda by a top government official who has not even been punished, RNA reports.

Belgium daily Le Soir reported that the Director of External Trade in the Brussels Regional government had used hate language against Mr. André an employee of the same local office.

The unnamed Brussels official according to witnesses said: "Should it be the person with a taller size and light colour, I will kill him...the Rwandan Genocide is not over yet!".

The Armenian community says the reaction of the regional government is also 'shocking' because instead of punishing the official, he was to be given a 3-month paid leave. The Armenians have described this as 'gratifying the guilty'.

Norfolk
01-22-2008, 05:26 PM
This is interesting:

BLAIR APPOINTED AS CONSULTANT TO PRESIDENT KAGAME (http://www.misna.org/news.asp?a=1&IDLingua=1&id=204200), MISNA, 21 January, 2008:


Former British prime minister Tony Blair shall soon start consulting for the government of Rwanda said Kigali’s ‘The New Times’ quoting a politician close to president Paul Kagame: “Everything started during a meeting between Kagame and Blair, then I discussed the situation of our country with the former British premier” said David Himbara, head of the Office for the Presidency and Political Strategy.

There are only a couple more lines at the link and they only add a little, basically saying that Blair will be confirmed in the appointment when he visits Kigali next month. I wonder what this means for the situation in the Great Lakes and Great Rift Valley regions? Is this just more of a formalization of existing ties, or a prelude to something more ambitious?

Tom Odom
01-29-2008, 08:22 PM
This is interesting:

BLAIR APPOINTED AS CONSULTANT TO PRESIDENT KAGAME (http://www.misna.org/news.asp?a=1&IDLingua=1&id=204200), MISNA, 21 January, 2008:



There are only a couple more lines at the link and they only add a little, basically saying that Blair will be confirmed in the appointment when he visits Kigali next month. I wonder what this means for the situation in the Great Lakes and Great Rift Valley regions? Is this just more of a formalization of existing ties, or a prelude to something more ambitious?

Just saw this...

I started laughing immediately just cause I know how French hardliners will react. They will of course see it as absolute proof that 1990 til now has all been an Anglophone plot to "steal" Africa...

As for the meat of this agreement, I suspect it is meant as a counter to French influence against Rwanda in European circles.

Stan
01-29-2008, 10:47 PM
Well, the French certainly didn't wait long to get in on the act...better late than never, eh ?


APA-Kigali (Rwanda) (http://www.apanews.net/apa.php?article53115) French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will be in Kigali over the weekend for bilateral discussions aimed at normalizing relations between the two states...

Murigande declined to give details of the key issues to be discussed.

\"I cannot go any further in commenting on that issue. For details you will have to wait until the right time,\" he said.

On Wednesday, Paris announced that Kouchner would visit Rwanda in a bid to normalize ties that were strained after the 1994 genocide and broken in 2006.

And then there's this slight detail to be ironed out...


Rwanda: French Army And Genocide (http://allafrica.com/stories/200801290529.html) - Documents That Remains Secret to This Day

RNA can exclusively reveal that it has gotten hold of secret French Ministry of Defence memorandum that the French Parliamentary Mission of Information for Rwanda, in charge of examining French policy on Rwanda from 1990 to 1994, did not deem worth making public.

RNA correspondent in France Mr. Serge Farnel, who acquired the two documents, says they show that the French military and political establishment ensured the media was kept in the dark, and knew that the massacres targeting Tutsis were bound to take place anyway.

One document states the concern of the Army of not showing the media French soldiers avoiding any intervention to stop the mass slaughter to which they are close witnesses. The other document shows evidence that the French Army knew, as early as April 8 1994, that these massacres in Kigali were targeting the Tutsis.

more at the links

ancien
02-09-2008, 10:30 AM
The judge issued international arrest warrants against the 40, including Gen. James Kabarebe, whom the judge said is believed to be the chief of staff of Rwanda's military; Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, whom the judge said is believed to be Rwanda's ambassador to India; and Lt. Col. Rugumya Gacinya, whom the judge said is believed to be a military attaches at Rwanda's embassy in Washington, according to court documents

more at the link (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/02/06/spain.indictments.rwanda/index.html)

Tom Odom
02-11-2008, 05:21 PM
Five of the Spanish victims were missionaries. The bodies of four of them were found in late 1996 after they were tortured, and shot or hacked to death with machetes, the documents said, while a fifth is still missing.

Three other Spaniards were shot to death in early 1997 while working for a non-profit medical group providing aid to Hutu refugees in Rwanda, the documents said.

The majority of the victims during the wave of terror, the documents said, were Hutu Rwandan refugees or Congolese civilians, mainly Hutus as well.

I departed Rwanda in March 96 so I missed this with the Spanish missionaries. But in late 1996 with the RPA's move on the camps in Zaire, the massive return of Hutu refeugees pushed the already simmering insurgency into high gear.

Bob Gribbin was the Ambassador at that time and he offers comments on RPA heavy handiness inside Rwanda--as well as the countermeasures Kagame took to bring the Army under firm control. Notably key RPA officers like Karake Karenzi were put in field commands along the Zairian/Congolese border plus former ex-FAR Hutu officers who had been integrated into the RPA in late 94 were commanding battalions in the RPA by that time. At the same time, the RPA/rebel push on Kinshasa and the Congolese War were ongoing. The court seems to have luumped all of that with the COIN effort inside Rwanda; they were connected but they were not the same.

As for the 22 witnesses who provided testimony, again we have the same thing that has gone on with the Hutu Power IO effort since the genocide and its aftermath. I have been personnally vilified by that effort as have others like Tony Marley and Rick Orth so I am not surprised by any of this.

Tom

ancien
02-11-2008, 06:57 PM
The situation after the genocide toward the invasion of the old Zaire is not very complex and probebly predictable at that time. There was a security problem in Rwanda by the escaped FAR/militias and because the RPA went a few times after them in Zaire, they experienced minimum countering by the FAZ. So one thing led to the other.....

For all you gents who have a intrest, I would recommend this (http://www.amazon.com/Danse-du-l%C3%A9opard-Lieve-Joris/dp/2742738118/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202754983&sr=1-16) (french).
The author has no political idee in this, but it gives a very good discription on wat was going on right after the invasion by Kabila.

regards

Stan
02-11-2008, 07:39 PM
For all you gents who have a intrest, I would recommend this (http://www.amazon.com/Danse-du-l%C3%A9opard-Lieve-Joris/dp/2742738118/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202754983&sr=1-16) (french).
The author has no political idee in this, but it gives a very good discription on wat was going on right after the invasion by Kabila.

regards

Thanks for the link, Ancien!
She was well known and respected among the Belgians in Zaire, but I never met her.

Here's an English link to Lieve's Bio (http://www.nlpvf.nl/basic/auteur1.php?Author_ID=27) and her 2001 book, The Leopard's Dance (http://www.nlpvf.nl/book/book2.php?Book=24).


When Kabila tried to get rid of the allies who had helped him to power, a new uprising broke out in the east and Kinshasa became a beleaguered city. Foreigners fled en masse, but Lieve Joris decided to stay. The Leopard’s Dance shows what lies behind the television reels about one of Africa’s largest nations; hers is a harrowing portrait of a threatened land, but at the same time an act of homage to a people who have mastered the art of survival like no other nation in Africa.

ancien
02-11-2008, 08:50 PM
Thanks Stan, I did not now her work was available in english.
I did not read her other books yet but 'the leopard's dance' includes sounds and smels.
Things you would never tel at home because nobody would believe you :D

Stan
02-11-2008, 09:02 PM
Things you would never tel at home because nobody would believe you :D

Tom would :eek: and I'd certainly believe every word of it (he also makes a mean grill and always serves beer with dinner) :p

Tom Odom
02-11-2008, 09:17 PM
Tom would :eek: and I'd certainly believe every word of it (he also makes a mean grill and always serves beer with dinner) :p

Much of what we saw on a daily basis in Zaire simply would not be beileved in a rational world because the Congo is ultimately irrational.

The Leopard's Dance seems much like Michela Wrong's In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz (http://www.amazon.com/Footsteps-Mr-Kurtz-Disaster-Mobutus/dp/0060934433) in which she recounted the "fall" of Kinshasa and the "surprise" collapse of the DSP. She did manage to get in Mo's lake house in Goma that was just 150 meters or so from where Stan and I lived for 40 wonderful days.

Bob Gribbin's (http://www.amazon.com/Aftermath-Genocide-U-S-Role-Rwanda/dp/0595344119/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202764576&sr=1-1) book does an excellent job of explaining how and why Kagame decided that Kabila the father had to go. Basically it amounted to the realization that Kabila was acting too much like Mobutu in dealing with his enemies in the Congo even as he began to accomodate the enemies of Rwanda.

Best

Tom

ancien
02-11-2008, 09:52 PM
Thanks for the link's, sir
I sure will read ambassador Gribbin's book.

I can't say mush about Kabila, He is the one that got away in '64.
In the end they all turn social, progressif on us. Putting the problems (and blaim) in the hands who ones helped them.
Time for BBQ and beeres :)

regards

Tom Odom
09-04-2008, 03:23 PM
I have not gone through the other articles but the one on Reconciliation in Rwanda is weak, poorly researched, and simplistic in its level of understanding. Considering I made available 2 US Ambassadors, and 2 Defense Attaches to support the project and none of us were contacted, I guess I should not be surprised.

Amnesty, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Rwanda (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/NewEnglish/Rwanda.pdf) - Major Jeffrey H. Powell, U.S. Army Failure to grant amnesty has mired the reconciliation process in Rwanda after the genocide there in 1994. gets a thumbs down from me. :(

The September-October 2008 edition (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/Military%20Review-200810310001-DOC.pdf) is now online. The full line up is on the SWJ blog. (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/09/2008-military-review-september/)

marct
09-04-2008, 03:56 PM
I'm just downloading it now, but I have to say that the website gets an F- from me on usability. No online (html) tables of contents, not proper search, huge pdf files, absolutely crappy colour combinations all combine to make he reader totally frustrated.

Michael F
09-05-2008, 02:15 PM
About the overall quality of the article, it really surprises me: For Military Review to publish such historically (On his return flight,
Hutu extremists in the Presidential Guard shot down
his plane on its approach to Rwanda’s capital city....), geographically ("Dar-es-Salaam, Burundi") inaccurate document is surely an all time low.

It looks to me like the author tried to apply to a country he barely knows, a concept AR2he thinks he knows.

Sad, because, this looked to me as an interesting topic for an article.

Tom Odom
09-12-2008, 01:39 PM
First a hat tip to Linda Melvern who sent me this article from Macleans.Ca!

This is an interesting piece. My only criticism of General Dallaire was that he had never been on an operational UN mission before he took UNAMIR. That lack of experience seemed to me to limit his understanding of how UN missions really run.

Thoughts from our Canadian brothers?

Tom


Dallaire's deadly error (http://www.macleans.ca/canada/national/article.jsp?content=20080820_93682_93682)
In his memoirs, former Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie offers a harsh critique of Roméo Dallaire's leadership during the genocide
August 20, 2008 |

Former Maj. Gen. Lewis MacKenzie speaks to Senior Writer Michael Friscolanti

In the 1990s, after the Cold War ended and Canadian peacekeeping troops found themselves embroiled in increasingly dangerous conflicts, the nation's generals acquired a prominence not seen since the Korean War. The first to become a household name was Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, UN commander of Sector Sarajevo in 1992 during the Bosnian civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and now author of the forthcoming memoir Soldiers Made Me Look Good (Douglas & McIntyre, Sept. 20). He was followed by Maj.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire, force commander of UNAMIR, the ill-fated UN peacekeeping force during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The two men have come to symbolize opposing poles to Canadians urging a more forceful international intervention in the world's murderous ethnic conflicts.

sullygoarmy
09-12-2008, 04:22 PM
MAJ GEN Dallaire has an entire chapter in the book, "Leading Up" by Michael Useem where he goes back and relooks how forceful he was at alerting his bosses about the impending massacres and what he could have done differently. Very insightful and probably the most interesting chapter in the book.

Personally, to compare Sarajevo to Rwanda is comparing Apples to Sushi...there is no comparison. To completely different situations ranging from the level of international support to the freedom of maneuver granted to the commander on the ground. Dallaire actually had some of his troops kidnapped and executed, yet he was not able to conduct more aggressive actions according to his higher HQs. It really is a sad story overall. If Dallaire had said "F#*K It: We'll do it live" and disregarded his higher's orders, there is a chance that some of the massacre would have been prevented. There is also a very high probability that he and ever member of his command would have been killed as well.

If you get a chance, "Leading Up" is worth the read.

Tom Odom
09-12-2008, 04:58 PM
MAJ GEN Dallaire has an entire chapter in the book, "Leading Up" by Michael Useem where he goes back and relooks how forceful he was at alerting his bosses about the impending massacres and what he could have done differently. Very insightful and probably the most interesting chapter in the book.

Personally, to compare Sarajevo to Rwanda is comparing Apples to Sushi...there is no comparison. To completely different situations ranging from the level of international support to the freedom of maneuver granted to the commander on the ground. Dallaire actually had some of his troops kidnapped and executed, yet he was not able to conduct more aggressive actions according to his higher HQs. It really is a sad story overall. If Dallaire had said "F#*K It: We'll do it live" and disregarded his higher's orders, there is a chance that some of the massacre would have been prevented. There is also a very high probability that he and ever member of his command would have been killed as well.

If you get a chance, "Leading Up" is worth the read.

Sully I understand Dallaire's take on how his HQs responded and I watched events from across the border. Dallaire in his own book describes the process in detail. I would compare UN operations in Sarajevo, Rwanda, Somailia, and Lebanon on the basis that they are UN operations. Key to that discussion is understanding what is possible in a UN operation--especially as a Force Commander--what is less possible, and what is impossible.

Force Commanders do not command their contingents like a US division commander or a Canadian division commander commands their brigades. No US commander has to worry that his brigade commander will pick up the phone and call Washington asking for orders. Force Commanders do everyday. They cajole and coerce.

That is exactly what happens in UN operations and MacKenzie described it in his discussion. I saw it happen as a UN observer in Lebanon working around UNIFIL and again as US Defense Attache working with UNAMIR2 and Dallaire's successor, MG Tousignant. Note that Tousignant in April 1995 ignored UNDPKO orders to pull his forces out of Kibeho (Aussie, Zambian, and UN Mil Observers) before the camp clearing operation went south. He was able to do that because his contingent commanders agreed to stay, not because he ordered them to.

Note also that Dallaire was able to keep one good armed unit--the Ghanians --because Henry Anyidoho as his deputy and a Ghanian brigadier--ignored his own country's orders and stayed. Remember too that Dallaiire's number 3, the Belgian Colonel whose name escapes me right now was courtmartialed as a scape goat by the Belgian government for putting the Belgian soldiers at risk--when it was Brussels who set their ROE.

I offer all of this because when you read Dallaire's book read it from the perspective of a commander who is used to having units follow his orders without question and who also assumes that his higher headquarters actually cares what the current situation is on the ground other than how it reflects on that same headquarters. Both of those assumptions are very large and equally flawed. Even had UNDPKO said ok to the preemptory raids that Dallaire wanted to execute, I personally doubt that Brussels would have agreed to them. Dhakka would not have cared but Dallaire would not have used the Bangladeshis. That would have left him with the Ghanians and his Military Observers (who are unarmed).

The only way an intervention would have worked with UNAMIR would have been to renforce it with additional capable national contingents--like those that came in and pulled out all the whites. I don't fault General Dallaire for what he was able to achieve under very bad conditions; I question some of his assumptions about what he as a UN Force Commander could have done.

The same sort of assumptions got rolled into the plan for Op Support Hope. Dallaire in his parting shots called for the resurrected and reinforced UNAMIR2 to be used as a means to draw all the Rwandan refugees home. The US planners picked up on that and I listened to then BG Jack Nix brief in Goma how the USJTF was going to use food and water to coax the refugees home. Of course, that plan ignored the fact that those refugees had just slaughtered almost one million of their neighbors back at home. They had fled under the direction of their extremist leaders who had told them they would get slaughtered if they went home. They stayed--for the next 2 years.

In any case, we are getting a taste of this with NATO in Afghanistan. Good discussion.

Best

Tom

Rex Brynen
09-12-2008, 05:47 PM
I'll weigh in on this one.

I'll start by saying that I've never been a big Lewis Mackenzie fan--I've always thought him a bit of a showboat, and I don't think his "successes" in Sarajevo are quite what he, and the Canadian media, made them out to be. He does speak and write well, though.

I've discussed Rwanda with Dallaire a few times, and in my opinion (and I'll defer to Tom as the expert) he overestimates what UNAMIR could have done to have ended the genocide, even with orders to do so—which he didn't have. He does seem to have been a bit naive about how to handle DPKO, the UN Secretariat, and the UNSC.

I think it is armchair quarterbacking of the worst sort for Mackenzie to suggest that there was a great deal that UNAMIR could have done had Dallaire ignored/invented/reinterpreted orders. In Bosnia, UNPROFOR largely consisted of highly professional NATO contingents, all backed by relatively strong support for the mission in national capitals and countries. In Rwanda Dallaire had relatively few strong contingents, with the strongest one (the Belgians) operating under restrictive caveats and ultimately withdrawing. In fact, it is not at all clear that contingents would have obeyed "orders" from the UNAMIR force commander to get more heavily engaged in trying to prevent mass killings, nor is it clear that they would have been that successful given their deployment and very modest numbers, capability, and mobility.

Finally, I've noticed a tendency of some in DND to disparage Dallaire as an engineering officer with inadequate peacekeeping experience. However, I don't remember anyone at DND recommending that Canada offer an immediate augment of combat forces to UNAMIR when the blood was flowing in the streets...

An excellent book on why and how the UN machinery did what it did is Michael Barnett's Eyewitness to Genocide (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=U49kfeY3a20C&dq=barnett+rwanda&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=87d4l4Y5p9&sig=Z-xc1-YiCvnsmErTEIaOkYd_VvU&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result).

Tom Odom
09-12-2008, 06:03 PM
I'll weigh in on this one.

I'll start by saying that I've never been a big Lewis Mackenzie fan--I've always thought him a bit of a showboat, and I don't think his "successes" in Sarajevo are quite what he, and the Canadian media, made them out to be. He does speak and write well, though.

I've discussed Rwanda with Dallaire a few times, and in my opinion (and I'll defer to Tom as the expert) he overestimates what UNAMIR could have done to have ended the genocide, even with orders to do so—which he didn't have. He does seem to have been a bit naive about how to handle DPKO, the UN Secretariat, and the UNSC.

I think it is armchair quarterbacking of the worst sort for Mackenzie to suggest that there was a great deal that UNAMIR could have done had Dallaire ignored/invented/reinterpreted orders. In Bosnia, UNPROFOR largely consisted of highly professional NATO contingents, all backed by relatively strong support for the mission in national capitals and countries. In Rwanda Dallaire had relatively few strong contingents, with the strongest one (the Belgians) operating under restrictive caveats and ultimately withdrawing. In fact, it is not at all clear that contingents would have obeyed "orders" from the UNAMIR force commander to get more heavily engaged in trying to prevent mass killings, nor is it clear that they would have been that successful given their deployment and very modest numbers, capability, and mobility.

Finally, I've noticed a tendency in DND to disparage Dallaire as an engineering officer with inadequate peacekeeping experience. However, I don't remember anyone at DND recommending that Canada offer an immediate augment of combat forces to UNAMIR when the blood was flowing in the streets...

An excellent book on why and how the UN machinery did what it did is Michael Barnett's Eyewitness to Genocide (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=U49kfeY3a20C&dq=barnett+rwanda&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=87d4l4Y5p9&sig=Z-xc1-YiCvnsmErTEIaOkYd_VvU&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result).


Thanks, Rex. I know nada about MacKenzie. Linda Melvern sent me that this AM because she is looking at the Mil Review article on AR2 and Rwanda :(

Funny that DND would disparge the guy they picked for the job but then again look at the Pentagon in action. Agree completely with your concerns about abilities to actually intervene--at least as they apply to the forces under Dallaire at that time. The story inside the UN is indeed a sad one and the US was a key contributor to the mess. My key concern/insight is on the issue of understanding the nature of being a Force Commander.

Best all,

Gotta go sit out another friggin hurricane...

Tom

carl
09-13-2008, 09:57 PM
Dhakka would not have cared but Dallaire would not have used the Bangladeshis.


Is that because they were incompetent?

Norfolk
09-14-2008, 10:47 PM
Carl: Some countries contribute troops to UN missions just to earn hard currency. The troops committed are, not surprisingly, often quite indifferent, or worse.

Sticking a toe into this whilst wearing hip-waders.

Several years ago during Grad school, my adviser was scheduled to debate Gen. Dallaire on what UN forces should have done in Rwanda. He called me in to discuss the matter while he prepared for the debate; we agreed that whatever the risks, UN troops had to make the effort to stop or impede the unfolding genocide as best as possible, even going so far as to make a desperate stand in order to provoke a US or NATO-led rescue mission. In a comfortable office, and not having a fraction of the knowledge about the matter that I do now (which is still pitiable), it was easy to latch onto an alternative course of action. My adviser took this position to the debate with Gen. Dallaire. Years later, and rather better informed, I realize that if Gen. Dallaire was unable to handle the situation, it was not his fault. Now I rather regret the conclusions that we came to in my adviser's office years ago.

Never met Gen. Dallaire, but met Gen. MacKenzie once, two or three months before he was sent to Sarajevo. A remarkable general, didn't talk down, at, or above you, and didn't put on an act. He introduced himself to us as being "from that other English-speaking Regiment", pointing to his PPCLI belt-buckle as he did so. It is interesting that Gen. MacKenzie is the hero of those in the Army who came to loathe the UN, while Gen. Dallaire has become the symbol of all the failed UN missions that Canadian troops have taken part in. Perhaps Gen. MacKenzie is right in what should have been done; but the reality was Gen. Dallaire probably could not have done it, but he did what he could. But MacKenzie himself is a man determined not to let the mistakes that occurred during the '90s happen again. I do not fault him for that.

Rex: One of the Canadian officers with Dallaire in Kigali, Brent Beardsley, is instructing at McGill in recent years?

sullygoarmy
09-15-2008, 12:05 PM
Tom,
Great feedback and thanks for adding to my knowledge. I pulled out "Leading Up" again last night and reread Dallaire's chapter on his take on Rwanda plus with the added perspective from your comments. You have a lot more experience in this realm than I do. Even in Kosovo, we were part of a U.S. command with U.S. units. Dallaire's command consisted of a broad mix of different countries (24 was the total I think) and backgrounds. I agree totally with what you said regarding having units which follow your orders to the letter versus the strange world that is the U.N.

I've got a PPCLI officer working a few cubes down from me in the HQs. I'll have to ask him if he knew either of these two Canadian Generals.

Thanks all for the great discussion. Still a very relevant subject for all of our futures!


Rex - we had Michael Barnett come and speak to our class last year at Fort Leavenworth. He discussed his take on the UN and used Rwanda as his case in point. Very disheartening to hear just how anemic the U.N.'s real power is when it comes to getting in between people trying to kill (or massacre) each other. He also gave a good pitch on his take on constructivism which was interesting in itself.

davidbfpo
09-15-2008, 10:17 PM
Is that because they were incompetent?

Carl,

I recall - probably from Tom's book - that the Bangladeshi battallion "took the gap" and disintegrated, only to reform across the Ugandan border. A remarkable military achievement.

Elsewhere you can find odd comments on the suitability of national contingents serving with the UN; diplomatically phrased in official UN reports on reforms needed in peacekeeping.

Contrast the praise for the Jordanian infantry battallion in Eastern Slavonia (former Yugoslavia) and the almost complete absence of comment on the Egyptian battallion in Sarejevo, at the start of the Bosnian UN involvement (alongside French & Canadian units I recall).

Yes, I accept very different situations.

Meantime back to my armchair.

davidbfpo

jhpowell2
09-24-2008, 02:45 AM
http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/p4013coll3&CISOPTR=2229&filename=2230.pdf

In conjunction with the AR2 Article in MR, this is my monograph from SAMS last year.

Major Powell

jhpowell2
09-25-2008, 03:06 AM
[QUOTE=Tom Odom;55861]I have not gone through the other articles but the one on Reconciliation in Rwanda is weak, poorly researched, and simplistic in its level of understanding. Considering I made available 2 US Ambassadors, and 2 Defense Attaches to support the project and none of us were contacted, I guess I should not be surprised."



Mr. Odom,

If you have the opportunity, please read my monograph which is hung at the bottom of this page.

I think you will find that my research was in-depth, although it did not include an interview with you. I did review the slide show that you emailed to me (which you must not remember because of your assertion that we never had contact) and I did read your book and it was insightful and kindled my desire to read more about the genocide through academic means such as annotated literature and journal articles. I did read Ms. Melvern's book, and I thought it was magnificent. Overall, I read and researched 39 sources. At times, I felt like I slept with the UN Bluebook under my head. Unfortunately, I was only given 2750 words in MR and I failed to adequately communicate all of my knowledge for two reasons; 1) the article was written at the beginning of my research in August and September, 2) I did not want to come off as accusatory toward a NATO ally.

I would like to refute something directly from the SWJ Board; The assertion below this posting that Habyarimana's plane was shot down in Dar es Salam is categorically incorrect. It was shot down on approach to Kigali.

I would love to continue this discussion if anyone else would like to critique my monograph and the article.

I feel that it is a solid piece of academic work.

Major Jeff Powell

Michael F
09-25-2008, 09:40 AM
Sir,

Because there seems to be a misunderstanding in your post, I feel it is necessary to clarify a few points.

Please read my previous post again… I refered to historical and geographical errors:

Historic: You wrote “On his return flight, Hutu extremists in the Presidential Guard shot down his plane….” That’s a blunt, non academic statement. It’s an opinion. Academics as well as magistrates around the world are divided about this question. Stating it was done by the Presidential Guard is choosing one and only one of the multiple scenario (FPR, Mercenaries, French military,…). This is (and will probably remain) an enigma.

Geographical: I never doubted the plane was shot on approach to Kigali. If you read back my post, I just make a quote out of your article....page 86 “During this effort, Rwanda’s President Habyari¬mana flew to Dar-es-Salaam, Burundi, to meet with other signatories of the accords.”
Dar-es-Salaam is not in Burundi but in Tanzania……

I did not mention other historic errors.

One of the most surprising is about the 1996 RPA intervention in then Zaire “The RPA incursion also led to the Zaire government’s fall and a UN Mission that secured the Zaire-Rwandan border”. You surely refer to resolution 1080 which gives the UN green light to a Multinational operation (led by CAN General Barrill) in the great lakes BUT…..:

•Its mandate was not to secure the border but to help and protect the refugees, allow them to return to Rwanda,
•It only lasted a month.

It did not have the mandate or the time to “secured the Zaire-Rwandan border” as you write.
(Confer www.journal.dnd.ca/frgraph/vol2/no1/pdf/11-20_f.pdf)

Sir, i do not doubt you did your best to write this article, i do know for a fact that any article is unperfect (because we are humans after all) and criticizing is easy, and i will be pleased to further discuss this with you on this forum or via mail.

Michael F

Tom Odom
09-25-2008, 02:31 PM
MAJ Powell,

I wouild agree that you contacted me once to say that your wife liked my book. And yes I sent you a brief that I had given on Rwanda. Beyond that I recall no contact and certainly none on the meat of your paper, whether we are talking monograph or Mil Review article. Ambassador Robert Gribbin and Ambassador Dave Rawson both joined SWJ for the Rwandan part of the AR2 project at my invitation to assist. We also had on board the former G2 of UNAMIR 2. They are the "we" I referred to when I said we had not been contacted. I should have said beyond initial contact with me.

My comments above regarding depth of research are about the Mil Review article. As for the monograph, I will read it. But when it comes to publishing in Mil Review, we are talking a wider forum than your monograph and more limited space. That means you cannot make errors regarding the location of Dar es-Salaam, the date of Rwandan independence, or whether France was a colonial power in Rwanda. The same applies to leaps of connnection regarding the identity of President's Habyarimana's killers.

Two other Rwandan hands have looked at the Mil Review article. One was retired Ambassador Gribbin. Ambassador Gribbin was my second ambassador and was on the ground from January 1996 through 1998. COL (ret) Rick Orth has also looked at the Mil Review piece. Rick as a major was the DIA analyst on the war and genocide. He spent 60 days with me in the fall of 1994 and after my 18-month battle with DIA to make it happen, replaced me in Kigali as the Defense Attache in 1996. Rick stayed in Rwandan through 1998. He too has serious issues with the Mil Review article.

Genocide is not driven by frenzy

My issues beyond errors of fact already discussed lay in logic and tenor. For example, using the metaphor of a US city of 780,000 that is wiped out in a frenzy of killing. First of all, the metaphor is incorrect mathematically. Roughly one million of 7 million Rwandans living in the country died in the genocide. Still using a 781,000 figure as .78 million, that loss represented 11 percent of the population. To put that in parallel to a US population of 305 million, 34 million Americans would have to die in that same 100 day span. Loss of a city of 780,000 sounds horrific. How does one describe loss of 34 million? How would you kill 34 million people in 100 days without using a weapon of mass destruction?

One thing is sure: you don't kill 11 percent of a population of 7 million in 100 days using small arms and machetes in a "frenzy". This seems to be the easiest way to put the Rwandan genocide in a box--portray it as a frenzy of genocidal killers--by inference African genocidal killers who are by assumed definition lesser beings capable of the horrors visited on the victims of Rwanda. That portrayal is certainly convenient and it does vividly set the stage for describing Rwanda in 1994. It is also convenient when the suggesting some form of post-genocide amnesty is the only way forward.

The Rwandan genocide was a coldly calculated act of political murder, applied on a massive scale. That is critical when considering the amnesty, reconciliation, and reintegration process. The premeditated nature and cold blooded nature of the gencoide was the central thesis of Linda Melvern's work, Conspiracy to Murder, the Rwandan Genocide.

Understanding history when it is mythology that counts

Like many Westerners and most Rwandans, you got twisted up in Rwandan history, legend, and European manipulation. The country was not born of European colonialism and the calculated policies of Belgium, Germany, and France in the 19th Century. The Rwandese existed long before the Europeans came and that longevity is central to the discussion of their origins. The modern nation-states of Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (or Zaire) were colonial creations. First Germany in the 19th Century and later Belgium in the 20th Century distorted extant ethnic lines and mores to ease their conquest and control of the Kinyarwandan-speaking peoples. France was not a colonial power in what became Rwanda. France's role in Rwanda evolved as a part of its post-colonial policies toward francophone Africa, policies still in effect in the 21st Century.

When it comes to understanding Hutus and Tutsis, myth, legend, and facts become interchangeable. You took the position that Hutus and Tutsis are " ethnically and anthropologically the same." In doing you have vaulted into the realm of myth. In the interest of building unity, the RPF has made that myth a central tenet of its accepted dogma, which places the blame for the war and genocide on the Belgians. In contrast, the central tenet of Hutu Powa was and still is that the Tutsis are alien invaders who entered Rwanda in ages past and conquered the area. Somewhere in between those two polar positions, there is a balanced truth that has yet to be agreed upon. Most scholars on the subject remain ambivalent and frankly unsure about the divisions between the Tutsis and the Hutus. To describe it as ancient as Cain and Abel is pure hyperbole. Physical differences do exist between the classic stereotypes; Paul Kagame certainly fits the classic Tutsi model. Yet those divisions are not absolute. For that matter two of my closest contacts in the RPA were the G2 then LTC Karake Karenzi and the G3 Colonel Charles Muheri. Both were short and hardly fit the common "Tutsi" model. The same was true of Colonel Sam Kaka then Chief of Staff of the RPA. Although customary divisions are Tutsis as herders and Hutus as farmers, more scholarly analyses suggest that the real divide was more a served and servant split along feudal lines.

If there is no basis of an ethnic divide, then how did it emerge? You state rightly that the Germans and the Belgians exploited said divide, implying that it existed before they arrived. And later you state that resentment from the societal divide has been a constant threat to Rwandan security. I question to which Rwanda you refer because post-genocide Rwanda under the new government is very different from the former Rwanda under the Revolutionary National Development Movement (MRND), the party of the former regime. Internal unrest between the ascension of the Habyarimana regime in 1973 and the RPF invasion in 1990 was minor. These were referred to as the "good years" when posed against the earlier pogroms of the Kayibanda regime 1962-1973 and the post-RPF invasion Habyarimana regime.

Regardless of period, violence did occur and most of it was anti-Tutsi. It was always government sanctioned if not openly directed. It was not a case of separate ethnic neighborhoods warring against each other. Hutus and Tutsis live intermixed on the same hillsides. Since such violence drew support from the communal structure, a call to local Hutus to massacre their neighbor Tutsis was a well-practiced drill by the early 1990s.

It was also always political in nature; I am not sure why you even mentioned tribe in discussing the issue. The Hutus and Tutsis never lived apart in tribes. They lived and still live interspersed on the same hills. There was a single-party state until the post 1990 liberalization allowed other parties to emerge. In any case, there was no "perception" that nepotism played a role in government and justice; nepotism--especially that practiced by the Clan Madame (the President's hardliner Hutu wife) was an open book.

Tom Odom
09-25-2008, 02:43 PM
I will continue my concerns on the Mil Review article:

Understanding the war, Arusha, and the genocide

Although it maybe convenient to essentially call this a squabble between Hutu and Tutsi, the crisis and was anything but simple. It was not a failure" to form a mutually nurturing society'" between Tutsis and Hutus that led to war and then genocide. In many ways the war began in 1960 with the move to independence. From the Hutu hardliner perspective, the aim was simple: dominate and if necessary exterminate the Tutsis and ultimately any Hutu who challenged them. The hardliner reasons for that policy were complex. Certainly there was a solid ethnic core of resentment and hatred of the Tutsis within the hardliner agenda. But the hardliner agenda was as much as against any Hutu challenge to the MRND grasp on power as it was against the Tutsis. With the opening of the political system in the early 1990s in tandem with the RPF invasion, much of the hardliner political violence was against the moderate Hutus. I use the term hardliner because even the most moderate of Hutu political parties had a hardliner element that split into a separate wing of the party. The National Defense Committee (CND) emerged from hardliner elements in the MRND, shepherded by Madame Habyarimana clique. That clique orchestrated much of the pre-genocide anti-moderate violence in a effort to hold onto their privileged status. For them, the war was an all or nothing struggle, a stance given to final solutions such as genocide.

For the RPF, especially with Paul Kagame in command of the army, the war was won when discussions began at Arusha. From then on, the RPF used military force as a means to move those discussions forward. When the former regime began to stall and also sent its gangs to kill Tutsis in government-controlled territory, Kagame unleashed an RPF offensive in early 1993, halting some 15 miles from Kigali and withdrawing as part of an agreement to resume the talks. Only with the resumption of the war in April 1994 and the genocide, did the RPF objective change to military victory, as in miltary domination of Rwanda.

The same absolutists versus incremental dichotomy prevailed in the Arusha talks. The government delegation and its associated Hutu political parties approached the talks like the President; a stall tactic and an opportunity to wear down their enemies internal (other Hutu challengers) and external (the RPF). In contrast, the RPF delegation took the talks seriously and they came prepared. They "won" the negotiations process as handily as Kagame's army won on the battlefield. Where both sides at Arusha failed was in the exclusion of the hardliner CND. The RPF said the CND members had too much blood on their hands and would not accept them. The Hutus at the negotiations were content to allow that exclusion. In retrospect, if there was any opportunity for amnesty as proposed under the AR2 model to work, it was during Arusha and would have required accommodating the CND. Arusha was a form of amnesty--its central flaw was that it exluded those who were most likely to unhinge it, the hardliners of the CND. The opportunity for such an amnsety was therefore slim, and one not fully taken.

The signing of the Arusha accords on August 1993 began an eight-month long interim where by the UN deployed UNAMIR to monitor and assist in the implementation of the agreement and assist in the security of Kigali. UNAMIR hand neither the mandate nor the manpower to "enforce" the Arusha accords. The RPF moved a battalion into Kigali and took up an aggressive defensive posture while waiting developments. The government under Habyarimana stalled and the hardliners probed for triggers to set of a holocaust, preferably one that would prompt the withdrawal of UNAMIR. Of course that came with the shoot down of the President's plane as it returned from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Although I have always felt that logic and motivation to assassinate the President pointed to the Hutu hardliners, no source allows the absolute surety necessary to say that it was the Presidential Guard. The shoot down triggered the genocide; it did not spark it. The genocide was set for execution and the shoot down set it in motion.

Genocide was an absolute last throw of the dice for the hardliners. Colonel Bagasora was a key player in forming a new government willing to put genocide into play. He was not, however, a solitary actor and he could not have single handedly put a new government in place. The trials of the International Criminal Tribunal at Arusha have proved that beyond doubt. Genocide began slow and spread outward; the government used the communal government system, the militias established by the MRND and CND, and all elements of the security forces to carry out its plans. Where frenzy entered into the equation was when the government frantically tried to get the "work" done before they lost the war militarily. Like the Nazis of WWI who kept the trains and extermination camps running as long as possible, the hardliners kept the genocide going until they finally withdrew into Goma and Bukavu. The French Operation Turquoise to a large degree made it safer for the hardliners to continue killing their victims inside the protected zone. For discussions of the French role, I would recommend Andrew Wallis, Silent Accomplice: The Untold Story of France's Role in the Rwandan Genocide as well as the books by Linda Melvern and Stephen Kinzer. See also Gerard Prunier The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide; Prunier was with the French headquarters.

Tom Odom
09-25-2008, 02:49 PM
I continue:

Post-genocide but still war

Rwanda's civil war did not as you state end in 1993 with the Arusha ceasefire. More importantly, the same war did not end with the retreat of the hardliner government, military, and militias with much of the Hutu population into Zaire, Tanzania, Burundi, or behind the French lines drawn for Operation Turquoise. Rather the Rwandan civil war morphed into two separate but linked conflicts. The internal war left the RPF dominant on the Rwandan battlefields but politically on the defensive with a staggering array of challenges to face. It is important to note that the RPF unilaterally declared a ceasefire after the former regime forces (ex-FAR) crossed into Goma. The external war moved into the refugee camps outside Rwanda and for the moment inside the internally displaced camps established under French protection. The former government and its forces were utterly defeated inside Rwanda; they began rebuilding for the next fight as soon as I saw them marching through Goma in July 1994. Politically, the desperate act of genocide had welded the Hutus to hardliner cause. They had won the initial phase of the Rwandan civil war politically.

Despite the doubts of a large cast of doubters and naysayers, Paul Kagame recognized that fact in 1994. The RPFs adherence to Arusha was not a smoke screen to legitimize the new government of Rwanda. Kagame and nearly all of my RPF contacts--all inner circle--told me that they had to get the refugees and IDPs back on the hills. They -- the RPF--could not hold Rwanda militarily with a large part of the population in exile. They themselves had been in exile. The RPF put in to effect the provisions for reconciliation and reintegration established under the Arusha accords. In October 1994, I had the opportunity to visit the Gako military reintegration center established to bring in ex-FAR officers, NCOs, and soldiers into the ranks of the Rwandan Patriotic Army. It was a reltively small effort, some 100 "students" in attendance. But there were two remarkable aspects to the effort. First was that it was taking place, in earnest on the heels of a genocide. Second was that the students were split evenly between ex-FAR and RPA; ex-FAR students could and did in some cases fail. So did some RPA students. Parallel to the military reintegration effort, the RPF moved to establish a new government in accordance with the Arusha accords. That government included a Hutu president. Kagame became the Vice President and Defense Minister and remained the only general officer in the RPA for the next 18 months while I was there.

Of course, it was not smooth sailing given the problems facing the new government. Nearly a million dead were scattered across the country side. Survivors were emerging and a million formerly exiled Tutsis returned over the next year. Some 750,000 Rwandan Hutus remained in the IDP camps first established under Operation Turquoise and 1.5 million remained outside the country. Cross border attacks began sporadically as did attacks from the IDP camps.

There were two central issues relevant to a discussion of AR2. Killing a million people in 100 days with small arms and machetes is manpower intensive. If each killer accounted for victims, that meant there were 250,000 murders out there either inside Rwanda or in the refugee camps. The survivors know who those people were. The killers could and did continue to kill survivors and many of the latter sought revenge. Even the RPA which had shown remarkable discipline in the war for far had taken in many survivors into its ranks. Revenge killings were not uncommon.

If ever there was a possibility of killing driven by frenzy in Rwanda, it was the fall of 1994 and the initial part of 1995. The new government under the watchful eye of the RPF moved to reduce tensions through arrests and reduction of the IDP camps. In a country with prison space for about 10,000 and no police, lawyers, or judges, the arrests reduced one problem--continued killings and revenge killings--and created another--horrific overcrowding in the prisons. As for reduction of the IDP camps that began slowly with the assistance of UNAMIR. It culminated in the clearing of the camp at Kibeho, a last holdout for hardliners. There under the eyes of UNAMIR, frenzied killing on the part of the hardliners and then the RPA did take place, killing by my own estimation some 2,000 in one horrific bloodletting. Despite the tragedy, Kibeho ended the IDP camp issue inside Rwanda and it provided key lessons for the issue of clearing the refugee camps the next year.

Meanwhile the hardliners in those refugee camps grew stronger. In November 1995, the RPA cleared Iwawa Island of a forward operating base the extremists had established just inside Rwandan waters on Lake Kivu. When no solution came forward for the main refugee camps, the RPA launched a brilliant envelopment that separated the Hutu extremist forces from the Hutu refugees and the latter picked up in mass and walked home.

Like other problems, this solution created new ones. While most of the extremists were drawn off by the RPA attacks into Zaire, many were in the refugee stream. The new government did not allow the international community to establish intermediate camps; wanting no repeats of the Kibeho tragedy, the refugees were escorted to their homes without screening. That decision saved lives but also allowed an insurgency to transplant itself with the returning refugees. By 1997 western Rwanda was the scene of a vicious insurgency and counterinsurgency with the insurgents receiving continued support from the reassemble extremist forces in eastern Zaire, support countenanced and added to by Mobutu.

In 1997, the RPA working covertly with the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) launched an attack into Zaire with the central objective of removing Mobutu and his cronies from power. The attack brushed aside extremist Hutu forces and after months of marching through dense tropical jungle took Kinshasa virtually unopposed. When the new government in Kinshasa switched support to the extremists Hutu forces still in the eastern DRC (Zaire), Rwanda launched another covert attack in 1998 that failed and sparked the larger central African War. That war officially ended in 2002 with the Pretoria Agreement; in reality it became its own self-sustaining tragedy despite the deployment of the largest UN peacekeeping force to date. As of 2008 some 4 to 5 million Congolese, Rwandans, and other Africans have died as a result, most from disease and starvation. It continues.

Nonetheless the 1997 invasion and 1998 resumption of the war in the DRC had a stellar effect of removing a sustainment base for the insurgents fighting inside Rwanda. From then on, the insurgents' sole support was the Hutu population now back on Rwanda's hillsides. Two measures taken by the RPA high command effectively ended the insurgency. The first I had witnessed in October 1994; ex-FAR Hutu graduates of the Gako reintegration camp commanding integrated Hutu and Tutsi units of the RPA took the fight to the insurgents. Second and as parallel to the first, the RPA high command gave command of the most troublesome areas to its best commanders. One was the former G2 of the RPA, Colonel Karake Karenzi. With the orders to change tactics and restore discipline to units that had on occasion turned on civilians, Karenzi took command. By years end, the insurgency was on its final legs. Militarily it lost a series of pitched battles. More importantly, it lost the confidence of its soldiers who defected joining large numbers of civilians who had fled to communal camps to avoid being forced to join it. Why? Because they and the defecting soldiers recognized that the Big Promise offered by Hutu Powa to reclaim Rwanda was no more than another Big Lie.

As highlighted in one of my former ambassadors, the honorable Robert Gribbin in his book, In the Aftermath of Genocide: the U.S. role in Rwanda, April 25th, 1998 was a watershed event in Rwandan post-colonial history. On that day, the new government of Rwanda after establishing and using a due process of law, executed 22 men and one woman for their roles in planning and executing the genocide. As Ambassador Gribbin puts it, those executions marked the end of impunity in Rwanda for those who killed and it jump started the criminal processes while setting the stage for gacaca in the next decade. The execution was the only one in post-genocide Rwanda. Arusha and the ICTR could not impose a death sentence for even the worst of the offenders. In 2007, Rwanda formally ended capital punishment.

Tom Odom
09-25-2008, 02:58 PM
Wrapping up:

Political reconciliation: cloaking reality in hyperbole and theory
In finishing this essay, I would summarize by offering my own questions to resurface reality cloaked by hyperbole and dogged application of AR2 theory. Before doing so let me just say that while AR2 may have utility as a mental framework its application in causal format is naive if not sophomoric.

Only a “victor’s justice? First in a case of civil war-genocide-and more war like Rwanda, exactly how and when should the new government offer amnesty? Understand also that Arusha was already a failed amnesty, one killed by genocide. When neighbors slaughter neighbors under government orders who is deserved of amnesty and who is not? Understand that in establishing the ICTR in Arusha and arm twisting the new government in Rwanda to accept that decision, the international community removed the most culpable from Rwandan justice altogether.

Like the former Hutu regimes, the RPF killed or exiled its adversaries? A one to one equation that states the current government is no different than the previous regime is morally bankrupt. Has the RPF reacted against its enemies? Yes. Has the RPF stacked one million bodies? No. As one who has personally had to nudge childrens' skulls aside to keep from stepping on them, I would caution that dismissing the GOR's concerns about genocidal ideology as Tutsi political and ideological beliefs is naive at best. Forgive me but I would ask how you came up with the phrase "Tutsi ideology" in the first place?


The failure to grant amnesty has mired the reconciliation process? Nearly one million dead and we somehow expect them to forgive and move on? I heard "they need to move on" repeatedly in 1994-1996 from DC visitors. I always asked would they propose that Jerusalem forgive the Nazis--then in 1994 (95 or 96)? So why would they expect the Rwandans to simply move on as if they were changing a shirt. Frankly I was amazed at the restraint shown and my amazement grew over time. That the RPF went ahead with the Arusha Accords, put a Hutu in as President, and begin active integration of former FAR officers by October 1994 was incredible.

The policies of the current regime neither include nor forgive Hutus. They do not recognize that throughout the civil war both sides committed atrocities against each other? The first statement is flat wrong. There have been and still are Hutus in the government and in the military, Paul Kagame has told me personally and I have written about his acknowledgement that revenge killings have taken place. There is simply no basis of comparison between the genocide of nearly 1 million people and revenge killings afterward. Frankly I see this statement as Human Rights Watch pabulum in response to Kagame's refusal kowtow to their demands. For discussions on that I would recommend Stephen Kinzer.

In contrast to the key judgment offered in the article, I would say that Rwanda is truly remarkable for the progress it has made since the genocide ended. Yes, there many reasons to doubt its future. That unfortunately is true for many countries, especially in Africa. One thing to me is relatively certain: for better or for worse, no one man is more important to Rwanda than Paul Kagame. Mired is simply not a word I would apply to him or his leadership

Regards,
Tom

jhpowell2
09-25-2008, 05:22 PM
Thanks for your comments.

I am disappointed that you feel the work was so inadequate, but your feelings coincide with mine when I read books about our current conflict.

It is good to see you have a forum to post your "essay" for others to glean your perspective.

Major Powell

Tom Odom
11-05-2008, 01:43 PM
COL Rick Orth (Ret) and I got our shortened letters to the editior in the issue of Mil Review (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/repository/MilitaryReview_200812310001-MD.xml)

Amnesty, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Rwanda,

LTC Thomas P. Odom, USA, Retired, author of Journey into Darkness: Genocide in Rwanda—I certainly support study of the Rwandan civil war and genocide as a case of post-conflict resolution, reintegration, and reconciliation. As the U.S. Defense Attaché in Zaire from 1993-1994, and then Rwanda 1994 to 1996, I lived through the initial stages of that process. But the recent article in Military Review, “Amnesty, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Rwanda” (AR2) by Major Jeffrey H. Powell (September-October 2008), suffers from errors of fact, superficial research, and poor analysis.

Errors of fact

“The calculated policies of Belgium,
Germany, and France divided Rwanda against itself for easier colonial rule. These policies of 19th century rule had a lasting effect…”
● Germany and Belgium were the colonial powers in Rwanda, not France.
● Belgium did not become a colonial power in Rwanda until the 20th century.

“After independence in 1959…” Rwanda achieved independence in 1962.“In August 1993, when regional and international actors arranged detailed peace negotiations to be enforced by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), a brokered reconciliation effort began.”
● The Arusha Accords were signed in August 1993; the negotiations
began in July 1992.
● “UNAMIR’s mandate was: to assist in ensuring the security of the capital city of Kigali; monitor the ceasefire agreement, including establishment of an expanded demilitarized zone and demobilization procedures; monitor the security situation during the final period of the transitional Government’s
mandate leading up to elections;assist with mine-clearance; and assist in the coordination of humanitarian assistance activities in conjunction with relief operations.”* UNAMIR did not have an enforcement mandate and was not equipped or manned for such a mission.

“…Rwanda’s President Habyarimana flew to Dar-es-Salaam, Burundi, to meet with other signatories of the accords. On his return flight, Hutu extremists in the Presidential Guard shot down his plane….”
● Dares-Salaam is in Tanzania, not Burundi.
● To date, there has been no definitive resolution as to who shot the plane down.

Depth of research

As a long time Rwanda watcher and author, I would recommend but one book as a must have for such a paper: Human Rights Watch, Leave None to Tell the Story.

Cloaking reality in hyperbole and doubtful analysis

The article is a classic case of making reality fit academic theory by cloaking reality in hyperbole and doubtful analysis. I would summarize by offering my own questions to resurface the reality of Rwanda.

● Genocide as an act of “frenzy”? You don’t kill 11 percent of a population of 7 million in 100 days using small arms and machetes in a “frenzy.” The Rwandan genocide was a coldly calculated act of political murder applied on a massive scale.

● Only a “victor’s justice”? In the case of genocide committed during a civil war, as in Rwanda, exactly how and when should the post-genocide government offer amnesty? The signed Arusha Accords provided defacto and dejure amnesty for the new government that was to be formed under them.

● “Like the former Hutu regimes, the RPF killed or exiled its adversaries?”
A statement that the current government is no different than the previous regime is morally bankrupt. Has the RPF reacted against its enemies? Yes. Has the RPF stacked one million bodies? No.

●“The policies of the current regime neither include nor forgive Hutus. They do not recognize that throughout the civil war both sides committed atrocities against each other”? There have been and still are Hutus in the government and in the military. Paul Kagame told me personally that revenge killingshad taken place. I knew RPA officers who went to prison for such events.

● “The failure to grant amnesty has mired the reconciliation process”? Frankly I was amazed at the restraint shown and my amazement grew over time. I would say that Rwanda is truly remarkable for the progress it has made since the genocide ended. One thing is relatively certain: for better or for worse no one man is more important to Rwanda than Paul Kagame. “Mired” is simply not a word I would apply to him or his leadership.

*Rwanda, UNAMIR Mandate, United Nations.

Tom Odom
11-05-2008, 01:50 PM
And Rick Orth's:

Rwanda COL Rick Orth, USA, Retired, (Sub Saharan Africa Foreign Area Officer)—The study of Rwanda has much to offer professional military officers, especially about civil war, genocide, difficulties of peace support operations, insurgency, counter-insurgency, and lastly how a post-conflict country rebuilt itself despite the good intentions of the international community. I have over 14 years working Rwandan issues, either directly or indirectly, first as an intelligence analyst covering Central Africa (1994-1996), then as the Defense Attaché to Rwanda (August 1996-October 1998), culminating as the military advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (August 2006-May 2008). I wrote three articles concerning
Rwanda: “Four Variables in Preventive Diplomacy: Their Application in the Rwanda Case,” Journal of Conflict Studies, Spring 1997; “African Operational Experiences

in Peacekeeping,” Small Wars and Insurgencies, Winter 1996; and “Rwanda’s Hutu Extremist Genocidal Insurgency: An Eyewitness Perspective.” Major Jeffery H. Powell’s recent Military Review article, Amnesty, Reintegration, and Reconciliation,”unfortunately distorts the valuable lessons Rwanda has to offer due to factual errors and flawed analysis. Detailed research might have alleviated these problems.

Factual Errors. The Rwandan case is complex and nuanced just as Rwandan society; therefore, any study requires in-depth research, which was apparently not done when writing this article: “a genocidal frenzy” the Rwandan genocide was not. Rather the Rwandan government used genocide as an instrument of counterinsurgency against the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army. The Habyarimana government trained the militia (INTERAHAMWE) of the MRND party in insurgency and terrorist techniques. It planned on launching an insurgency/terrorist campaign against the Broad Based Government that would come to power as a result of the Arusha Accords signed in August 1993. Additionally, the government sponsored a sophisticated propaganda campaign targeting the peasant population. Furthermore, Rwanda historically is an ordered society respecting authority. The Hutu extremists who planned, then commanded, the genocide used these tools in a methodical manner.

“The Belgians, for instance, designated Tutsis as the administrators and Hutus as the workers under their rule.” The Germans and Belgians initially relied on the ruling elite in Rwanda; they did not designate, but reinforced, the Tutsi already in power. Incidentally, The Rwandan Kingdom existed centuries before the Germans colonized Rwanda in the late 1890s. In fact, the areas of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri (later to become bastions of Hutu extremism) remained Hutu controlled and the Mwami (Rwandan king), only exerted control of these areas with the aid of German colonial troops.

“The genocide law passed in 1996 determined four levels of interahamwe.” The 1996 Genocide Law determined four levels of genocidaire, not INTERAHAMWE. The author failed to mention the 100,000s in Rwanda jails accused of genocide and the huge burden this had on the Rwanda justice system, the government’s use of Gacaca to ease the case back log.

Flawed Analysis. Using a model “amnesty, reintegration, and reconciliation AR2,” and then trying to make the Rwandan case fit, distorted the reality of the Rwandan case presented in this article.

“The RPF also has not acknowledged facts pointing to the illegal actions of some members of the RPA during the conflict and the possible need to grant amnesty to them as well.” This sounds much like the criticism of human rights activists and does not take into account the hundreds of RPA/RDF officers and soldiers sitting in military jails or since released having served their sentences for crimes against the Rwandan people. Then there are those who were executed under the RPA Code of Military of Justice, again criticized by the International Community, for criminal acts against the population. The system is not perfect but it is not one of impunity either.

“And without amnesty, reintegration, and reconciliation, Rwanda will face bleak prospects in the future, which could include another civil war. . . . The policies of the current regime neither include nor forgive Hutus.” Rwanda has had a policy of reintegration. While the policy does not fit the AR2 model and is not perfect, the Rwanda experience has proven successful. Concerning Ingando camps, in early 1998 over 1,700 EX-FAR completed reorientation
training. From this group over 400 were screened and immediately joined the RPA to fight the EX-FAR and INTERHAMWE. These new counterinsurgents knew the physical geographic and social terrain and, thus, defeated the insurgents. More recently, one of the biggest acts of forgiveness was the incorporation of a key EX-FAR Brigadier General into the Rwandan Defense Forces (the Government changed the name of the Rwandan Patriotic Army). If this is not amnesty, then what is?

Stan
11-05-2008, 07:35 PM
Thanks for your comments.

I am disappointed that you feel the work was so inadequate, but your feelings coincide with mine when I read books about our current conflict.

It is good to see you have a forum to post your "essay" for others to glean your perspective.

Major Powell

MAJ, Not quite sure where to go with this as I intentionally kept out of it for some time. Having worked in that region for more than a decade, I went away feeling politicians both at home and at post spent little time concerning themselves with real evidence based not only on factual history, but ground zero reporting. In sum, they were content with current politics and spent little time with reality.

I can only help but now wonder what a junior politician would conclude having never visited the dark continent, and thus rely on reading material to fill the intellectual void.

I read your monograph and must echo the comments herein.

J Wolfsberger
11-05-2008, 08:37 PM
I didn't comment when this first came up, and didn't follow the thread, since I thought 800,000 murdered Tutsis was necessary and sufficient to account for the mired "reconciliation process."

A couple of points in the interim while I read the original article and Tom's postings:

1. At the time, the Belgian government and Pope John Paul II were asking the international community to intervene and stop the killing.

2. The Clinton administration - my recollection is Bill Clinton during a press conference, but it could have been Albright - said that no action was planned since "we" didn't have any "reliable information" about what was happening.

3. A senior UN official, whose name I can't recall, stated in an interview that the subject of whether to label events in Rwanda a "genocide" was a matter of serious debate. If they decided to use they label, then articles in the UN charter would trigger and the UN would be forced to push for a military response.

The source of this information was NPR at the time - both All Things Considered and The Morning Edition.

I'm pretty confident in the accuracy of my recollection. My outrage hasn't diminished one bit in the years since.

Tom Odom
11-05-2008, 09:05 PM
I'm pretty confident in the accuracy of my recollection. My outrage hasn't diminished one bit in the years since.

You are correct. I still get angry when one of them says, "we didn't know" or something similar. We did a panel (Amb David Rawson, me and a panel of 3 reporters who were on the ground) for the genocide and post genocide. Dave rawson handled during genocide and he was clear in stating he felt he gave accurate reports. The reporters said the same. I said that not only was the USG and world remiss during the genocide--that the same floks ignored or downplayed reporting in the post genocide period that the war was not over. That is why we have the Congo mess today.

The same folks would come through the embassy in Kigali and say, "they have to get over it" like a it was a cold or a bout with the flu. One even said he was there to slap Kagame over human rights--in Sep 1994 when bodies were still rotting everywhere--because soldiers from RPA might be doing revenge killings.

Then look at our response to 9-11 and tell me how we suggest that 800K--that number is now actually 1.1 million by GOR census--is something you declare amnesty for or get over.

That is why I was amazed when the RPA started integrating ex_FAR soldiers in October 1994.

Best

Tom

Tom Odom
12-19-2008, 05:34 PM
Nearly 15 years but at last this walking, talking piece of excrement was found guilty.


Rwandan Officer Found Guilty of 1994 Genocide (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/world/africa/19rwanda.html?ref=world)
ACCRA, Ghana — A senior Rwandan military officer charged with being one of the masterminds of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda was convicted on Thursday by a United Nations court in Tanzania of genocide and sentenced to life in prison.

Col. Theoneste Bagosora, 67, is the most senior military official to have been convicted in connection with the genocide, in which bands of Hutu massacred 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu. He was a leading Hutu extremist and the cabinet director for Rwanda’s Defense Ministry at the start of the slaughter. He and three other senior army officers had been on trial since 2002 at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania.

Incredibly the court said there was no conspiracy:


However, the court cleared Colonel Bagosora and the others on trial of conspiring to commit genocide before April 7, 1994. The trial lasted six years, during which 242 witnesses were heard.

Ms Desforge is equally out to lunch yet again.



The exclusion of the conspiracy charge against the men is a blow to Rwandan officials, said Alison Desforges of Human Rights Watch, because it undercuts their argument that the genocide was not a one-time event but the inevitable product of an anti-Tutsi atmosphere dating from the colonial era.

“It brings us back to reality and says this genocide was a discrete historical event related to a specific set of circumstances,” Ms. Desforges said.

So the genocide was a spontaneous expression of hatred that just happened?

Linda Melvern's work disproves that line of thinking. Romeo Dallaire would also (I think disagree).

Good on the conviction. But the court blew it on the conspiracy. This will heighten conflict in the Congo, not reduce it.

Tom

Stan
12-19-2008, 08:18 PM
Tom,
Sadly, we saw this coming when former PM Kambanda shocked everyone by pleading guilty (early 98 ?). That relatively short trial kept most like Bagosora out of the lime light with Rwanda desperately trying to put someone behind bars.


“The conviction should send a signal to all people with ongoing responsibility for atrocities in Congo,” he said. “If they are in effective control of armed forces, whether they are state troops, a rebel group or guerrillas, they are potentially criminally liable.”

Jeez, now that's a threat :wry:

Tom Odom
09-21-2009, 10:44 AM
I will let President Kagame's words speak for him. They make it clear why I and many others hold him in high regard.


Why the U.S. Needs Africa (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/20/AR2009092001296.html)Africa and the United States may be on the verge of a new partnership, not one of dependency and aid but one of shared ideas, vision and investments that increase our mutual prosperities. To begin this improved relationship, both must accept urgent and substantial changes in the nature of our bond....

Rwanda has moved from instability to reconciliation and sustainable development largely through our Vision 2020 strategy. The primary principles of this strategy include macroeconomic stability; wealth creation to reduce dependence; and a shift from an agriculture-based economy toward a knowledge-based economy, with a vibrant service sector. We have enacted and consistently enforce a rule of law that counters corruption and supports our ambitious reform agenda. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged our progress, and the importance of "policies based on evidence and measurable results," during an Aug. 5 speech in Kenya. Rwanda's ranking as the top global reformer in the World Bank Doing Business 2010 report illustrates what can be achieved with vision and engagement.

M-A Lagrange
09-22-2009, 04:26 PM
Tom,

With all due respect, I disagree, this is pure rethoric. Especially coming from Kagame.
The guy did not develop his country by being a good boy but by making war in DRC. We both have visited the same places cope with never ending mess of a collective fault from the west.
Today I have to deal with a former officer from RFP who explained me in detail how it was cool to smuggle diamonds and coltan in 98 and 2002.
Kagame did not and never had development vision. He has needs and military-political vision. That's all. All what he did he could do it because of DRC weakness.
and it's the same problem in bordering countries. None of the guys has a vision. In the best case they have the willingness to become rich.
Saying so, I must admit that Kagame is extremely good politician and he did what we did not in 94.

J Wolfsberger
09-22-2009, 04:57 PM
The guy [Kagame] did not develop his country by being a good boy but by making war in DRC.

That's a very large assertion. Could you elaborate, please?


We both have visited the same places cope with never ending mess of a collective fault from the west.

What, exactly, are you trying to say here?


Today I have to deal with a former officer from RFP who explained me in detail how it was cool to smuggle diamonds and coltan in 98 and 2002.

Clearly, a corrupt officer to some greater or lesser degree. Can you demonstrate that he was/is representative of the entire RPF? And further, how this reflects on Kagame's sincerity or effectiveness?


Kagame did not and never had development vision. He has needs and military-political vision. That's all. All what he did he could do it because of DRC weakness...In the best case they have the willingness to become rich.


Again, that's a very large assertion. Could you demonstrate, please, that he has no plans/vision/intentions of developing Rwanda? That he's only using the rhetoric to conceal military adventurism for personal gain?

M-A Lagrange
09-23-2009, 06:18 AM
Dear Wolfsberger

To make the answer short, I will recommend you to have a look to the report on illegal exploitation of natural resources in DRC by the UN. What ever you and I may think about that big non functional administration, they issued there one of their most accurate work on economical and human right abuses by all countries from the regions.

On an more recent development/economical point, Rwanda has pass a legislation on environment that is viable for the country only by using DRC natural resources, especially for energy. Charcoal access is one of the very much underestimated causes of war in the Kivu, just as cattles.
On a belgian news paper (sorry, I will look for the link later on please), the financial volume of charcoal smuggling between Rwanda and DRC was estimated to 15 millions US$ a year. And we are talking about fire charcoal for daily use. This illegal trade was in 2008/09 and previously in the hands of corrupted (?) FARDC, RPF, CNDP, FDLR... But reality shows that in the bordering regions of Rwanda, it is the main source of domestic energy for households. May point is that environment policy made by Kagame (or its councelors) was pureposely made with the knowledge that it was non viable for Rwanda without access one way or another the natural resources of DRC.

The same with cattles. The agriculture regulation and environment policy in Rwanda makes pastoralism difficult. But pastoralism is the base of rwandan culture and is an important part of their agriculture (sorry, once again, I do not have access to my data, will try to give figures later). This, as domestic energy was based on the rational of externalisation of pastoralism to DRC.
The financial volumes of illegal taxes collected by CNDP from cattle transumance from rwanda to DRC and back has been evaluated to several million $/years. (An estimated average price of 1$/cattle heads gives incredible figures).

Laurent Nkunda CNDP was not, far from it, defending Tutsi in North Kivu. He was controling the roads of cattle and charcoal between DRC and Rwanda. To please new US administration, Rwanda did arrest Nkunda. But now a new former CNDP pro rwanda guy is settled exactly at the same place than Nkunda. Well, not exactly but few kilometres east long the border as Nkunda was a bite too far inside DRC.
The vision of Kagame is not Rwanda development, it is the expension of Rwanda by illegal occupation of DRC through millitias and supported armed groups (there again, please go to the UN report, for once they did good job).

Rwanda is facing a reallity: it is a too small country with a too big population. The theory and vision of "vital space" of rwandese authorities is close to the fascist one. But saying this, it is necessary to admit that Rwanda is a non viable place as its economy and political system is.

Just a last remark: as most of the people who worked in East DRC and Great Lakes, I have been shocked by the genocide. And face it: we all watched it start and grow without doing anything.
But saying that 98 war was not decided by rwanda and that illegal exploitation of coltan, diamons... by rwandan officers is just not knowing the background of the guys and history. That war started the day J. Kabila send his rwandese councerlors back home. (he wanted to be independant).
Except if Kagame is an angel being abused by even his close family and top ranked officers (once again, all is in UN report), you cannot say he has no responsabilities.

But may be that is the vision? But once again, does rwanda development worse 3.5 million peoples life in addition of the 800 000 once from the genocide?
Or once again, do we look at africa saying it is a dark hole full of savages, "one massacre there is nothing" ?
It is not because they do not have malls or silicon valley that the guys are not articulated politicians and more we consider that it is a savage place, more they will just go for killing in the name of good governance and development.

We should be practical sometime, because they are. The old trick of look what my right hand is doing while you do not see what the left one is doing is not only our monopole.

Tom Odom
09-23-2009, 06:43 AM
The guy did not develop his country by being a good boy but by making war in DRC. We both have visited the same places cope with never ending mess of a collective fault from the west.

MA

We will have to disagree on Kagame.

Is Paul hardnosed and calculating? Yes. You would have to be to do what he has done since 1990.

Is he the typical corrupt figure we both know? I don't think so; to the contrary he was brutally direct in dealing with corruption when I knew him and when people I am close to knew him.

Did Rwanda exploit its military successes in the DRC? No doubt. With the West's record in Africa, I find it curious that we would even consider stepping up on that soap box.

The blame for the fiasco in the DRC goes across international boundaries. The overall situation is abhorrent. It was in the making over decades, not just since 1998.

Rwanda however has changed dramatically.

Lastly let me add that I have long said that Paul Kagame ultimately is perhaps Paul Kagame's greatest threat. That to me will be the true test of his leadership: whether he will be able to pass on a stable government and become that most rare of African leaders, a former president.

Regards
Tom

Michael F
09-23-2009, 10:02 AM
MA

We will have to disagree on Kagame.

Is Paul hardnosed and calculating? Yes. You would have to be to do what he has done since 1990.

Is he the typical corrupt figure we both know? I don't think so; to the contrary he was brutally direct in dealing with corruption when I knew him and when people I am close to knew him.

Did Rwanda exploit its military successes in the DRC? No doubt. With the West's record in Africa, I find it curious that we would even consider stepping up on that soap box.

The blame for the fiasco in the DRC goes across international boundaries. The overall situation is abhorrent. It was in the making over decades, not just since 1998.

Rwanda however has changed dramatically.

Lastly let me add that I have long said that Paul Kagame ultimately is perhaps Paul Kagame's greatest threat. That to me will be the true test of his leadership: whether he will be able to pass on a stable government and become that most rare of African leaders, a former president.

Regards
Tom

My own impressions are mixed.

Economy: Paul Kagame is surely a hard nosed politician and an excellent salesman (His country depends for 50% on budget aid coming from abroad).

The Rwandan economy due to the genocide and structural problems (demography, lack of land,...) was in ruins when he came to power. Now ???? It still depends a lot on Foreign aid (still around 50%) but macro figures have been stabilized and GDP growth exceeds the population growth. Is he interested in development ? SURE. He needs it to keep control of the country (like most presidents).

Corruption: Kagame's allergy to corruption is well known, but does it really cover the whole span ? UN reports have shown in the past that people close to Kagame have made a lot of money in DRC. Did Kagame benefit of this money ? Possibly but not sure. Did he benefit from their support to his DRC policy because it brought them so money ? Sure. In conclusion, high level corruption during the wars in DRC and until very recently was tolerated as it reinforced Kagame's control over these guys and ensured they will support his policy. One bad point.

BTW: Sorry Tom but your historic argument about "With the West's record in Africa" is a bit empty. It just would justify anything (from "let's kill Christians because they killed Muslims during the crusades" to "you Germans have nothing to say because of AH") and would certainly be direguarded by Kagame himself as an excuse to repeat the errors of the past.

The DRC fiasco has multiple sources, but surely the Rwandan intervention of 1998 did not help DRC (and did help some in Rwanda). Let's be realistic now, since then Kagame understood he had more to gain by transforming Rwanda into an African Singapore with a veneer of democracy than by continuing to play the interventionist policy (entering DRC to hunt down the FDLR and staying). Why ? First, he needs the international community (aid donors) to like him (50% of the budget, international recognition,...). With RDF in DRC, everyday this image was tarnished. Second, internally, the risks was great to so some men of power use DRC as a training ground for their future ambitions inside Rwanda (making money, prestige,...that one day could lead to them challenging Kagame). Third, to control the population he needs to give them jobs, health,... DRC only enriched a few and did not benefit the average Rwandan "Joe", but further fuelled the impression of a regime orientated towards the defense of its own interests and those of the Tutsi community.

In conclusion, Kagame is not a clear cut mix between a successfull entrepreneur - Elliot Ness and Ghandi. No way. He is a very realistic politician who needs a good international reputation, development and support from inside his regime to stay in power. Hey...he is no superhero, nor a villain. :wry:

M-A Lagrange
09-23-2009, 11:18 AM
Tom,

We do actually agree on many things. You and I recognise that he is a brutal leader and that is fine for me. The reasons behind it can be argued in many ways and for ever. We probably will disagree, fine. Lets not be kids.

Paul Kagame had a vision of what he wanted Rwanda to be. Alright, that is true. But are you saying that what is needed is an enlighten dictator to bring a country at take off point? (if such rostrow old fashion view is still realistic). This solution was the one in West Africa for nearly half a century. The result is Ivory Coast.

Well, I have to admit that South Sudan failure to be is also due to the too early death of John Garang. (See the situation and black hole we are in my thread on Sudan)

The question of the vision of Rwanda development you are addressing is important as what is happening in the Kivu actually seems to be an endless repetition of a vision that comes to its limits.

I fully agree that Rwanda did change (but at what cost!). But now it is time to change the vision and the strategy. Relying on DRC weakness and building up ethnical conflicts time is over, or should be over.

I believe that Kabila and Kagame did the first move, one by arresting Nkunda, the other by putting efforts to arrest genocide criminals. It is time now to have partnership, agreements, negotiations based on other tricks than a militia colonel on a hill. Rwanda and DRC cannot live one without the other.

My point on the environmental policy of Rwanda is at the heart of the problem, just as the question of population. Rwanda is a well regarded by the World Bank and is trying hard to stay a good pupil. This is normal; they do not have much to offer to China. So it is difficult for them to attract the new, biggest donor in Africa.

Unlike Angola or DRC, Rwanda has very little to offer. So they play on their capacity to provide insecurity. This option is also the starting point of the economic boom. The question is now to not let down Rwanda and support it to turn its economy into a stable machine that cannot use the violenct 'Plan B' to reproduce itself. Apart from being a hub for regional transaction and/or transformation what do they have to offer?

Like other places, the USA cannot back up Rwanda economic stability for ever. And all the point of “neo-conservative-colonialism”, even for military purposes, is to have it in the other way.

As insane it might be, achieving DRC stability passes through Rwandan stability and the reverse. By placing Rwandese counsellors in Kinshasa might be just be the looks good really bad idea. Unlike DRC, Rwanda has limited natural resources but strong governance. Exporting governance is much more difficult than legally exporting Congolese resources to be transformed in Rwanda and then to counter Chinese easy money attractiveness.

Not being a fan of the French President, his plan for Kivu, which is a close copy of the US one, is not that bad. But still, we end up in the problem of the Kivu and Rwanda political space.

Tom Odom
09-23-2009, 01:02 PM
BTW: Sorry Tom but your historic argument about "With the West's record in Africa" is a bit empty. It just would justify anything (from "let's kill Christians because they killed Muslims during the crusades" to "you Germans have nothing to say because of AH") and would certainly be direguarded by Kagame himself as an excuse to repeat the errors of the past.

Michael,

Hardly. The Crusades were a matter of centuries ago. Western exploitation of the Congo is still on going. When you see missionary NGOs involved in gold and diamond smuggling in the middle of the 1994 refugee crisis, that is not a matter of centuries.

As what Kagame thinks and does, I have talked to the man, many times He has little time for those who want to apply different standards to what Rwanda does versus what the US, France, Belgium, or any other country does on the continent.

Again you can believe what you want to. Development measures abound and not all for Rwanda are good. But across the board, they are far better than they were in 1994. I said that I respect the man and that he has shown a vision for the future that goes beyond his personal fortune.

MA

Yes we can agree on much. In particular a vision that incorporates security in the Kivus as well as development.

But neo-conservative-colonialism is just another label that adds nothing to the discussion.

Regards
Tom

M-A Lagrange
09-23-2009, 01:52 PM
Tom

It is just disabused cinical political humor from long disabused ex relief worker...
As you pointed, there are no good no bad guys. what you think and what I think on domestic politics has little to see with the discussion.
Won’t do it again. ;)

Tom Odom
09-23-2009, 02:34 PM
MA

No worries

Tom

Tom Odom
12-03-2009, 08:53 AM
This has got to really go over well in Paris :wry:


Cricket-loving Rwanda becomes 54th member of the Commonwealth (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article6936983.ece)

Rwanda became the 54th member of the Commonwealth yesterday and the second nation to join that was not once part of the British Empire.

The Commonwealth summit approved Rwanda’s entry at its two-yearly gathering in Trinidad and Tobago. Britain pushed hard for the admission of the former Francophone country.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “Rwanda has made progress towards the Commonwealth’s core values in areas of democratic process, rule of law, good governance, protection of human rights and equality of opportunity.”

davidbfpo
12-03-2009, 09:26 AM
The BBC also reported:
Almost simultaneously, Rwanda re-established diplomatic ties with France after a three year silence.

Hopefully France will not take umbrage or diplomatic pique; as an aside France now has the banking portfolio in the European Commission, which IMHO rather outweighs the Rwanda news.

Returning to Rwanda it is an odd development; some in Whitehall are rather uncertain about the relationship. So is Mozambique's membership, which is a legacy of Samora Machel's help in resolving the exit from Zimbabwe in 1980.

Tom Odom
12-03-2009, 09:34 AM
Good catch, David!

Wonder how long they (relations with France) will last?

I wonder likewise on how this all plays out; Kigali has been very stiff necked when it comes to EU pressure on various issues. I can see that tendency causing issues in the commonwealth relationship as well.

Best
Tom

Michael F
12-03-2009, 10:18 AM
Rwanda integrating the Commonwealth is merely symbolic of a shift between a Francophone to anglophone world but symbols are crucial in Rwanda.

Several factors have led to that move. Some of the main :

* Kagame wants to (re)create a Rwandan identity on new bases (new flag, new anthem, new language, new history, new sports....). Moving from the francophone cultural world to the anglophone was a perfect way to do it,
*The new elite comes from Uganda has been eductated in an anglophone environment, its allies are mostly anglophone,
* The country's economy is focused on the EAC (which members countries are mostly english speaking),
* Bad relations with France

The Commonwealth is a perfectly inoffensive (ineffective?) organisation but allows Rwanda to mark a clear shift in its history. BTW Rwanda is still a nation member of the "Francophonie" (the French equivalent of the Commonwealth). :p

davidbfpo
08-08-2010, 08:42 PM
Listened today to fascinating BBC Radio profile of President Kagame, even No.1 was interested and wanted to know what I thought of him.

BBC link, to broadcast and short text(below):http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t834t

The text:
On Monday Rwanda goes to the polls, amid claims that the Hutu opposition has been brutally quashed, and free speech stifled by President Paul Kagame and the majority Tutsi government. The man who has led this tiny landlocked state since the genocide in 1994, taking it from basket case to emerging African success story, has been seen as a saviour, steering a traumatised country to democracy. He outlawed talk of ethnicity or division, and instilled discipline and ambition in colleagues and citizens alike. Aid money has been spent effectively: 19 out of 20 children are in school, the country has a health system. He changed the official language from French to English, banned plastic bags, and is pushing broadband internet connections. Sleeping little, Kagame reads voraciously about economic successes like Singapore or Korea, and has transformed Kigali into a clean and modern capital city. He uses a PR agency, has a facebook page, and occasionally tweets: but he's also accused of censorship and control of the media. Once praised by Clinton and Blair as a leader, Kagame is now under attack for banning political parties, and the unexplained and brutal murders of opposition politicians and journalists. Almost uniquely among Africa leaders, Kagame faces no personal allegations of corruption or nepotism. Kagame wants another term of office, and will get it. He denies any involvement in the assassinations, but says that the scale of the horror experience in Rwanda means the country needs a strong hand, and that the West doesn't understand.

In the absence of Tom & Stan this may only be limited interest.

carl
08-09-2010, 02:40 AM
David:

Thank you for posting the profile of Kagame. I am interested, especially in DRC, central Africa and the RSA.

Where did Tom and Stan go?

JMA
08-09-2010, 07:12 AM
David:

Thank you for posting the profile of Kagame. I am interested, especially in DRC, central Africa and the RSA.

Where did Tom and Stan go?

What is your interest in the RSA if I may ask?

JarodParker
08-10-2010, 02:40 AM
Thanks for sharing David. I read this other piece (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10479882) also on BBC a few days ago but forgot to post it on here. It's truly sad to see the country and the man going down this path even though in his mind he's got a good reason for doing what is being alleged. Doesn't the saying go, "a tyrant will always have a pretext to his tyranny."

carl
08-10-2010, 05:26 AM
I am going to play the devil's advocate here. There are at least 5 countries I can think of Spain, Chile, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan that spent decades under the control of some pretty ruthless strong men. But during those times the economic foundations were laid that allowed at least 4 of them and maybe all 5 to give a good life to their citizens. Political foundations were laid also that have allowed 4 of them to be more free than the average state (I don't know much about Singapore politics). So that is something to think about.

Who knows how Rwanda will turn out. The story is still unfolding. Highlighting the potential crimes though is a good thing.

davidbfpo
11-07-2010, 01:08 PM
Came across this article in The Spectator, a month old now, which makes uncomfortable reading, citing a UN report on atrocities in the DRC by the RPF and others:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/6344793/revenge-tragedy.thtml

Yes the author opposes military interventionism and this passage indicates the tone:
the war in Rwanda was not an explosion of irrational violence — as at least one Hollywood movie maintains — but instead a classic war between states, Uganda and Congo, inside which was wrapped a civil war between the two rival social and ethnic groups in Rwanda.

I offer no view, others here know far more.

Tom Odom
11-08-2010, 03:28 PM
Came across this article in The Spectator, a month old now, which makes uncomfortable reading, citing a UN report on atrocities in the DRC by the RPF and others:http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/6344793/revenge-tragedy.thtml

Yes the author opposes military interventionism and this passage indicates the tone:

I offer no view, others here know far more.


I saw some of that reporting and yes it is of concern. However, I also found the sourcing to be repetitive and overlapping from reporting from my time on the ground, reporting that while disproved contines to circulate, as indicated by the reports now under discussion.

For instance:


Human Rights Watch has documented the way the report was stifled and speculates that this was done because Kagame was America’s ally. It is true that President Kagame, who trained at the US Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas,

is classic stretching of some facts and absolute falsification of other points. HRW documentation is simply repeat repeat repeat something enough times and it becomes fact. Calling Kagame a US ally buys into the French line that this was all an Anglo-Saxon plot to undermine Francophone Africa.

As for Kagame "training" at CGSC; he was there about 6 weeks before he left when Fred Rwigema was killed and Kagame went back to take command of the RPF. Kagame could have taught CGSC.


Tom

davidbfpo
10-04-2011, 12:25 PM
An allegation made by an ex-RPF veteran, now in exile and sentenced in his absence to jail:
Theogene Rudasingwa said he heard Mr Kagame boast in 1994 that he ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana.

"By committing that kind of crime Kagame has the responsibility in the crime of genocide," he told the BBC.

President Kagame has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15165641

davidbfpo
01-10-2014, 10:45 AM
A short NYT op-ed on the original informant for the UN commander's request to UN HQ to take pre-emptive action:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/opinion/the-shroud-over-rwandas-nightmare.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_ee_20140110

CrowBat
01-12-2014, 10:30 PM
I am going to play the devil's advocate here. There are at least 5 countries I can think of Spain, Chile, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan that spent decades under the control of some pretty ruthless strong men. But during those times the economic foundations were laid that allowed at least 4 of them and maybe all 5 to give a good life to their citizens. Political foundations were laid also that have allowed 4 of them to be more free than the average state (I don't know much about Singapore politics). So that is something to think about.

Who knows how Rwanda will turn out. The story is still unfolding. Highlighting the potential crimes though is a good thing.
The 'problem', if you like, is that the Rwandan economic fundations are laid with help of gold, diamond and koltan stolen from the DRC, and over the bodies of (according to conservative estimates) some 3,5 million of slaughtered Congolese civilians, plus about 300,000 'missing' Rwandan Hutus (those that should've been 'spontaneously repatriated from refugee camps in the then eastern Zaire, in October-November 1996, but disappeared ever since).


is classic stretching of some facts and absolute falsification of other points. HRW documentation is simply repeat repeat repeat something enough times and it becomes fact. Calling Kagame a US ally buys into the French line that this was all an Anglo-Saxon plot to undermine Francophone Africa.

As for Kagame "training" at CGSC; he was there about 6 weeks before he left when Fred Rwigema was killed and Kagame went back to take command of the RPF. Kagame could have taught CGSC.
Perhaps it is so that Kagame could've taught the CGSC. But I would still like to know few things:

1.) Since when is the CGSC accepting 'cadets' that are actually members of 'some African insurgency movements'?

Namely, as of the time Kagame went to the CGSC, he was intelligence officer for Museweni's Ugandan People's Army, sure. But, he had no Ugandan citizenship: like so many of leading officers of the UPA, Kagame was a Banyarawanda - a descendent on Rwandan refugees that fled to Uganda in the 1960s, without citizenship, educated by various UN- and private aid agencies - who joined Musweni's NRA while this was still a small-scale insurgency, in the early 1980s. So, how comes the CGSC accepted him at all?

2.) Although the chief of Museweni's MilIntel, Kagame was already working on building up the network of other Banyarawandas (including Rwiegma, Kabarebe etc.) that were later to form the nucleus of the PRF/PRA. Somehow, I strongly doubt Museweni had no clue about Kagame's 'covert' activities (otherwise Musweni wouldn't have survived as prez until today). But, if he knew about this activity, and he knew he could expect a quasi 'mass desertion' of Banyarawandas from his military, why did Museweni tolerate all of this?

Except, of course, this was in his interest?

3.) How comes the meteor-like raise of Kagame's career started only after he was introduced (by Museweni) to certain Marxist-cum-wealthy-buzinezman named Laurent Kabila, of Zairian origin but living in Tanzania? And how comes around the same time this certain Kabila was establishing contacts to certain Jean-Raymond Boulle, a diamond-handler from Mauritius, but best-known in the USA for his exploration of the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas at the time the latter place was governed - by pure accident, I guess - by certain William Jefferson Clinton?

Now, in some other places, well outside the USA, Boulle is better known as co-owner of various 'Branch...' companies, which in turn are known for their connections to various PMCs (like EO from South Africa or MPRI from the USA).... But, I guess, this is not the case in the USA?

Well, perhaps it is better known in the USA that this certain Mr. Clinton later became a president, and that members of his administration - such like certain J. Stapleton Roy (then Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, under Madleine Albright), or certain Walter Kansteiner (member of the National Security Board) - were at the same time or subsequently affiliated with such companies like Scowcroft Group, Kissinger Associates, Moto Gold etc., etc., all of which have had 'strong interests' in Zaire (later DRC)?

Perhaps all of this is 'just an accident'...?

4.) I can't stop wondering: how comes a country as utterly destroyed as Rwanda was as of 1994-1996 period, and piss-poor already from before the war of 1990-1994, has found the money to establish five well-equipped mechanized infantry brigades (some of which were driving ex-Israeli Tiran-5 MBTs), and then support these during a 10-month long invasion of Zaire (an area some 200 times larger than Rwanda)?

I guess it's 'impossible' that the necessary funding could have been related to the US1 billion loan Boulle granted 'to Kabila' (together with one of his private BuizJets), right?

5.) Finally, for what was certain Roger Winter - better known as the head of a certain think-tank in the DC, especially well-known for creating what is nowadays Southern Sudan - decorated by Paul Kagame (in public) on 4 July 2010?

davidbfpo
03-15-2014, 01:31 PM
A little late Friday surprise from a Paris court:
A Paris court has delivered France's first-ever conviction for genocide, sentencing a Rwandan former intelligence chief to 25 years in prison over the 1994 killings of at least 500,000 people in the African country.

The landmark trial of 54-year-old Pascal Simbikangwa sets off what could be the first of dozens of French trials into one of the 20th century's greatest atrocities - two decades after it happened.

In a late night verdict after 5 ½ weeks on trial, he was found guilty of genocide and complicity to crimes against humanity.

Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10699799/Rwandan-ex-intel-chief-found-guilty-in-Frances-first-ever-genocide-trial-f.html

davidbfpo
03-15-2014, 01:38 PM
For reasons I do not completely understand Rwanda is emerging as a capable and willing power in Africa. It is after all a small, landlocked country with a number of currently happy donors helping a rapidly expanding economy and has as this thread mainly refers to a horrific recent history.

Rwanda's role, especially in the covert and military sphere, in the Congo (DRC) has been the subject of many posts on another thread, which is far larger 'Gazing in the Congo (DRC): the dark heart of Africa (new title)' at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2129

In a recent discussion with intelligence professionals Rwanda came up and was described by one retired practitioner as having Africa's best intelligence service, including a capable SIGINT unit.

Africans may dislike a European parallel, but Rwanda does seem to be akin to Prussia. A small country "punching way above its weight".

A contrary view of Rwanda, focusing on President Kagame:http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2014/01/10/kagames-iron-fist-could-rekindle-rwandan-civil-war?src=usn_tw

JMA
03-15-2014, 04:41 PM
Rwanda is being more than a little naughty I fear:

South Africa links Rwanda diplomats to attacks (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-26546105)

Firn
08-14-2014, 09:21 PM
I plan to do some trekking, better funded but shorter in time then in years gone by, and mountaineering in along the Albertine Rift (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rift_Valley) in Burundi*, Rwanda and Uganda.

Any particular safety/important issues I should be aware of? Preperation material other then the usual guides?

Thanks for dropping me a short PM. Please don't write too much, just pointers.

*Got that mostly covered by a close friend of a distant relative, a catholic missionary of many years there.


P.S: If it is fine with the moderators let it stay for a while to delete it possibly later.