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Thread: Rwanda (catch all)

  1. #1
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Rwanda (catch all)

    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.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-31-2012 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Add Mod's note

  2. #2
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Big step for Rwanda: Abolish Capital Punishment

    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

    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

  3. #3
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default More on this

    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

  4. #4
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default Thanks, Tom

    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.

  5. #5
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default French Link?

    Interesting BBC story here 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.

  6. #6
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Francophone Africa Forever at Whatever Costs

    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

  7. #7
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default Rwanda Again

    This 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.

  8. #8
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Broken Relations

    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

  9. #9
    Council Member CaptCav_CoVan's Avatar
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    Default Rwanda

    Excellent book on the topic is "A People Betrayed:Rwanda" by L.R. Melvern, a journalist who was there during the slayings.

  10. #10
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Conspiracy to Murder

    The above title is Linda Melvern's latest. 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

  11. #11
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    Default Conspiracy

    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?

  12. #12
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Genocide Plans and Start Dates

    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
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 12-08-2006 at 01:44 PM. Reason: more info

  13. #13
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default And so it continues...

    Another BBC link on this one.

  14. #14
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default A new book on Rwanda

    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/blog.html/

    [edit]http://www.allanthompson.ca/
    Marc
    Last edited by marct; 02-01-2007 at 05:47 PM.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  15. #15
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Link is Down But See USIP for Same Issue

    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. 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
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 02-01-2007 at 05:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default A new book on Rwanda

    Hello Marc !

    Hors d'oeuvres will be served
    Jeeez ! Free food !!! Do we have to do anything ? How are Canadian Hor d'oeuvres anyway

    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 . You remember, JTK gets the next frozen Canadian. We promised !

    Regards, Stan

  17. #17
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Stan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Hello Marc !
    Jeeez ! Free food !!! Do we have to do anything ? How are Canadian Hor d'oeuvres anyway
    That's the tough life of he academy... work (food), work (booze), work (???)!!! The ones at Carleton aren't to bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    I have the same problem, the link is down but remain very interested.
    I just fixed it in the post - this one works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Maybe you could call them (they could per se....join the Army . 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
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  18. #18
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default "Join our unique, Participant Observation Summer program. All expenses included!!!"

    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

  19. #19
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Invite Thompson to "Talk" Here, Hey?

    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

  20. #20
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    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

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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