The nation of Rwanda lives in the hearts of many people due to the horrific genocide which swept the country during the 1990s that resulted in the deaths of untold thousands of Tutsi people by the Hutu government. After the Tutsi army was able to regain control of the nation, it was hoped a new era of peace and respect for human life would become the norm. Alas, those who once were persecuted all too often adopt behaviors of their enemies rather than behaviors of peace and democracy. An election looms and the government of Rwanda has decided it must win the contest. A simple solution is placing in prison those who oppose the government or, just kill a few to send the message of how to vote. Andre Kagwa Rwiscreta, a senior member of the opposing party was found hacked to death, the fourth such killing of critics in the past few months.
A few weeks ago, an editor of a newspaper which opposes the government initially had his paper closed and shortly after had his life closed. Rwanda has suffered too much in the past decades to renew hate and violence as the norm of behavior. Remember the genocide and return to the path of democracy.
A decade ago, the Tutsi people of Rwanda were attacked by Hutus and subjected to the horror of a genocide in which over 800,000 were killed. Today, according to a UN report, the government of Rwanda is providing military support to Tutsi rebels fighting in the Congo who have helped to kill over 5,000,000 and drive millions of others into exile. The report also cites evidence the government of the Congo is also helping to fuel conflict. As the UN investigating committee notes, “this is the most concrete evidence so far of direct government involvement in militias. For years, Rwanda and Congo have been dancing around the international community, saying prove it. This proves it.”
Among the horrible events discussed in the report is efforts by the government of Rwanda to recruit soldiers, including children and supply military equipment for a war that is genocidal in operation. How can people who endured a genocide just fifteen years ago, support genocide!! On the flip side, it appears the Congo government is supporting the Hutus who kill people in Congo. Who are these leaders?
The Rwandan government has issued a 500 page report that alleges France was aware of preparations for the genocide and the French military in Rwanda helped to plan and carry out the killings of members of the Tutsi minority. It accuses French troops in Operation Turquoise of acts of murder and rape against Tutsi people of whom 800,000 were slaughtered by the Hutu majority. The Rwandan government calls on international bodies to indict French officials for their role in the Rwandan genocide.
French Defense Minister Herve Morin rejected as “intolerable” the allegations by Rwanda concerning the supposed role played by French forces in the genocide that led to the death of 800,000 Tutsis. Morin was in Rwanda and argues, “I still remember what the military did to save hundreds and thousands of human lives in abominable conditions.” he claims a French parliamentary investigation cleared French troops of any inhumane behavior.
Perhaps, it is time for the African Union or the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation since charges of genocide should not be lightly made or disputed.