The Kagame Regime is the enemy of free-thinking Rwandans. On almost every occasion that someone — Rwandan or otherwise– has spoken up about the repression by the regime, the government builds a case for a smear campaign against critics.
Following smear campaigns are disappearances, prison sentences, and assassinations. In countless cases, the Kagame regime has combined prison sentences and assassinations.
Such is the case of Aimable Karasira, a university professor, musician, and famous YouTuber who speaks out on issues affecting ordinary Rwandans. He is bold and energetic, charismatic, and charming. He is also fearless, humane, and compassionate. His human values and compassion are demonstrated in the platform he built and used to address injustices affecting his fellow citizens within Rwanda. Unfortunately, Aimable Karasira has been a target of formal and informal smear campaigns and demonization by the RPF since 2019.
How Does Rwanda Smear & Outcast Dissenters?
Demonization and smear campaigns are run formally (by the government) and informally (by Kagame’s or his regime’s supporters). Formal smear campaigns typically utilize government tabloids and propaganda newspapers as well as known agents of the Rwandese Patriotic Front. In a coordinated attack, publications run articles demonizing and smearing Kagame critics while RPF agents take to social media to slander the victim. Inside the country, intelligence services track people down to express free thought against the Kagame regime.
Meanwhile, domestic and global supporters of Paul Kagame run informal smear campaigns. Those operating outside of the country compliment formal Kagame agents by spreading rumors about the victim and using “innocent criticism” to fuel anti-victim sentiments. They often claim the victim is too radical and should temper their criticism of the government, meanwhile overlooking blatant governmental abuses of power. They feign support while spreading the idea that the victim will eventually be “punished” for speaking out and us the fear of punishment as their reasons not to speak out against the regime.
Channels withing the government of Rwanda such as The Rwanda Diaspora also known as The Rwandan Community Abroad (RCA), the Center for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) and Ibuka often spearhead these informal movements. Even though CNLG is an official govenrment entity, the RCA and Ibuka present themselves as unaffiliated with the government. These channels seem harmless and front as anti-genocide and genocide survivor advocates. However, their demonstrated commitment to the Kagame regime and erasure of Rwandan Genocide survivors who do not align with the regime prove otherwise. Ibuka and CNLG serve as attack dogs for the Kagame regime, often using the 1994 genocide as blackmail against the victims of their smear campaigns. Abroad, RCA and Ibuka members conduct community surveillance and are coordinated and financed by Rwandan embassies in countries they operate in. They harass critics globally and infiltrate with the intent to destroy groups that are critical of the government. This isn’t conspiracy talk, either. It is a well-known fact among Rwandans that this happens. Global journalists, such as those at the New York Times, are also beginning to pick up on these tactics. Kagame’s advisor, general James Kabarebe stated recently in a vitriolic speech that they conduct these types of activities abroad intending to destroy exiles and refugees or Rwanda.
These cover-ups work two ways. First, they distract the general population from the abuses of power under the Kagame regime, including the ongoing killings within the country and the Congo (including babies). Second, these slur campaigns scare others into refraining from discussing the issues for fear of what will happen to them. The cycle continues in Rwanda until the newest targeted victim is willfully disappeared by government agents, indefinitely imprisoned, assassinated, or a combination of one or more of these events.
About Aimable Karasira
Aimable Karasira is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide that took place in 1994. The RPF won the war during which the genocide occurred, and the party claimed to stabilize the country. However, during their “stabilization efforts,” the RPF massacred hundreds of thousands of people– including Karasira’s parents and two siblings who had survived the initial genocide. Talking about his family and what was done to them by the RPF after the genocide has brought the hammer of government newspapers, the groups mentioned above, agents, and sympathizers of the government onto Aimable Karasira’s shoulders.
Supporters of the Kagame regime have even accused him of denying the genocide, which he has openly talked about surviving. In Rwanda, denying the genocide is a crime. Misinformation and false rumors by RPF agents about his genocide denial increased calls for imprisonment across the country. This all culminated in Karasira being arrested on May 31st, 2021.
For three weeks, Karasira has been held without a single appearance in court. During this time, he has reportedly been held in the Kicukiro jail without contact with other inmates. Rwandan law states he is supposed to appear in court within three days of his arrest, so his detainment without court appearance is unlawful.
On the weekend of June 19th, Karasira was moved to an unknown location with the claim that he contracted Coronavirus. Readers and defenders of global justice worldwide should be worried about this. Karasira has been quarantined for the last three weeks in a jail cell by himself, begging the question of how and where he picked up the virus. Those who have a working knowledge of the injustices of the Kagame regime understand this news is likely grim. The government might have detained Karasira to a torture chamber. It’s also possible that they plan on assassinating him and covering up the death as a coronavirus death. His safety has been in danger for years now, but he may be in much greater danger of being assassinated with this claim.
This would not be the first of such inmate deaths at the hands of the government. Countless outspoken critics of the Kagame regime have been assassinated in Rwandan jails. Kizito Mihigo died in police custody, and the government of Rwanda claimed that he committed suicide. There are dozens of cases of prisoners who the government has shot, and the government attempted to cover up the deaths by claiming they were trying to flee jail or prison. Many of these victims were shot while handcuffed.
What Can Be Done To Stop This?
Citizens of donor nations are generally unaware of their governments supporting repressive regimes like the one in Rwanda. One thing they can do is to share this article widely to ensure the rest of the world or their networks are informed about this issue.
Knowing about the injustices and human rights violations done by the Kagame regime, donor nations such as the US and the UK must withhold aid to Rwanda and be wary of accounts about dissidents coming from the government. The Netherlands, in particular, funds Rwanda’s judicial system — a system that has been proven to be broken. Their withholding of aid would go a long way to spark change at the government level. When criminals such as Kagame are given resources, they commit more crimes. Holding off on aid sends a message that human rights violations will never be rewarded and begs the regime to change its standards.
Donor nations must call for an immediate release of Aimable Karasira and other prisoners of conscience and political prisoners. These include Paul Rusesabagina (the real-life hero of the Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda), Deo Mushayidi, Mitsindo Viateur and many more innocent Rwandans languishing in prisons. They must also produce poet Bahati Musa who has been missing since early February 2021.
It’s unclear precisely how Paul Rusesabagina ended up in Rwanda after flying from U.S. to Dubai.
Rwandan prosecutors on Thursday requested a life sentence for the man who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda as he faces terrorism charges, while his family asserts that he faces mistreatment and an unfair trial.
Paul Rusesabagina, once praised for saving hundreds of ethnic Tutsis from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide as a hotel manager, faces charges related to attacks by an armed group inside Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.
The nine charges include the formation of an irregular armed group, membership in a terrorist group and financing terrorism. Prosecutors seek to link him to activities that killed at least nine people.
Rusesabagina, a Belgian citizen and Texas resident, has denied the charges, arguing his case is politically motivated in response to his criticism of Rwanda’s longtime President Paul Kagame.
Rusesabagina alleges that he was abducted last year while visiting Dubai and taken to Rwanda, where he was charged. But a court ruled that he was not kidnapped when he was tricked into boarding a chartered flight.
Rwanda’s government has asserted that Rusesabagina was going to Burundi to co-ordinate with armed groups based there and in neighbouring Congo.
“My father Paul Rusesabagina is a political prisoner. He is accused of invented charges, and zero evidence against him has been presented in the Rwandan kangaroo court,” daughter Carina Kanimba tweeted after the prosecution sought the life sentence.
The family also has said Rusesabagina was being denied access to food and water, but Rwanda’s prison authority has denied it.
Rusesabagina’s case has received global attention.
This month the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice said it had filed a formal submission in the U.S. recommending sanctions against Rwandan Justice Minister Johnston Busingye and the head of the Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Col. Jeannot Ruhunga, for their role in Rusesabagina’s detention.
Rusesabagina stopped appearing in court in March, saying he doesn’t expect justice after his request to postpone the trial to prepare his defence was rejected.
His attorney, Felix Rudakemwa, has asserted that Rusesabagina’s legal papers were confiscated by prison authorities.
The Oscar-nominated 2004 film Hotel Rwanda starred Don Cheadle as Rusesabagina. A year later, president George W. Bush awarded Rusesabagina the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Stating the truth about repression and atrocities committed by Paul Kagame’s regime in Rwanda is treated as a criminal offence. Speaking the truth is criminalized. Kagame’s government which uses physical violence, torture, assassinations, and enforced disappearances as tools to silence independent voices has mastered the practice of making up charges using ill defined laws to carry out its repression. In high profile cases such as presidential challengers in elections such as Victoire Ingabire, Diane Rwigara and Fred Barafinda; lengthy prison sentences and detentions are given to candidates challenging Kagame. To set up individuals for arrest, torture, dissappearance or assassinations, the Rwandan government uses its propaganda newspapers as well as individual members of the government or the ruling party, who run smear campaigns to demonize the targetted individuals. After that, charges are made up, critics arrested, sham trials held and lengthy detentions or prison terms are served. In more alarming cases, after the smear campaign by members of the ruling party and members of the government, those who are targetted or dissappeared, never to be seen or heard from again.
Stating the truth about repression committed by the ruling Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) government had a high price even for journalists. Uwimana Agnes Nkusi and Saidath Mukakibibi served seven and four year sentences respectively for criticizing Kagame. Another journalist, Cyuma Hassan, was held in pre-trial detention for nearly a year for reporting on the RPF government’s destruction of poor people’s houses at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Even gospel singers are not spared. Kizito Mihigo, a popular gospel singer was assassinated in a police cell in February 2020. Kizito had previously served four years in prison for singing a song calling out killings by the RPF. Kagame took it so personally that he verbally attacked Kizito Mihigo in a speech shortly after the song was released. Now the government has tuned on another singer, Aimable Karasira for his expressions on YouTube and his music. With all speech being stiffled in the country, Rwandans have turned to youtube as a tool to freely express themselves. In turn, the government has aimed its wrath on YouTubers. A few months prior to Karasira’s arrest, another outspoken YouTuber who criticized the regime, Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne, was also arrested and has spent the last three months in pretrial detention.
Aimable Karasira is a popular singer and a phenomenal spokesperson for the common Rwandan person. Karasira’s YouTube channel is one of the most popular channels among Rwandans at home and abroad. He was arrested on May 31,2021 by the Rwanda Investigation Bureau and charged with genocide denial, justifying the genocide and divisionism.
Karasira has been under constant surveillance, pressure and harassment that are similar to the lead-up to the arrests of Kizito Mihigo, Victoire Ingabire and Diane Rwigara. Like Kizito Mihigo, Aimable Karasira is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Karasira has openly spoken about surviving the genocide and also about the fact that after surviving the genocide, his parents and sister were killed by the RPF after the genocide. The RPF, in power since 1994, is responsible for killing millions of people inside Rwanda and the Congo. The RPF party members and Rwandan security agents also carry out assassinations, abductions, kidnappings, and other illegal activities abroad. In fact, official members of the RPF take an oath that states: “If I betray you or stray from the RPF’s plans and intentions, I would be betraying all Rwandans and must be punished by hanging”; they also swear to fight “enemies of Rwanda, wherever they may be,”. A recent BBC report includes such a swearing-in ceremony taking place in the UK.
RPF members, mostly military but also civilian, take part in attacks against those who speak out against the RPF and the regime inside Rwanda and abroad. The RPF also has unofficial members: those who did not take the oath but serve in various capacities including surveillance inside and outside the country, infiltration, smear campaigns, demonization of critics, whitewashing of RPF crimes, and harrassment of Rwandans worldwide. One of the most notorious groups that serves the RPF in this capacity is IBUKA, an organization setup to represent interests of Tutsi genocide survivors. However in reality, the group is a hate group that acts as a branch of the government. In fact, Tutsis such as Karasira, Kizito, Idamange and countless others who reject the RPF’s repression, crimes and hate-mongering openly reject IBUKA. In turn, IBUKA serves as one of institutions that constantly harasses such survivors instead of serving its purpose of supporting survivors; members of IBUKA also harrass any other Rwandans who refuse to partake in silent complicity with RPF crimes.
Since 2019, Karasira had been under constant harassment by high-ranking authorities in Rwanda as well as high-ranking members of the RPF, with character assassination as the main tool of harassment. This is usually a sign of things to come in terms of disappearance, being illegally detained, or having trumped-up charges brought up against the targeted individual, Karasira in this case. I warned about this plan on multiple occasions in 2020 on various platforms including an article on the BlackStarNews. In fact, the ramping up of this character assassination campaign had already yielded results prior to his arrest: he was fired as a university lecturer in fall 2020 for statements he made on his social media accounts. The leading figures in the smear campaign against Karasira are government official Edouard Bamporiki and member of the RPF Tom Ndahiro, two individuals notorious for spreading hate within and outside of Rwanda.
The accusation against Karasira that he denies the 1994 genocide, a crime in Rwanda, does not hold water as he openly speaks about surviving the same genocide. Only in Rwandan officials’ logic does a person deny the same thing he testifies to have survived. It is total nonsense. Idamange, another genocide survivor is facing similar charges. The unstated “crime” he committed is that he openly talks about his family members who were killed by the RPF as well as other atrocities committed by the RPF inside Rwanda and in the Congo. Similarly, Idamange is accused of denying genocide because she refuses to be silent while the regime uses the genocide she survived as a tool of repression on Rwandans and blackmail against the international community.
In a previous article, I wrote that “Aimable Karasira is in danger of losing his liberty due to the Rwandan government’s witch hunt of those who disagree with its practices.” The cases of real life hero of the film “Hotel Rwanda” Paul Rusesabagina who was abducted in DUBAi in August 2020, taken to Rwanda, tortured and made to face trumped up charges as well as Aimable Karasira, Kizito Mihigo, Idamange, Diane Rwigara, and Victoire Ingabire are just a small representation of thousands of victims of this regime’s pattern of egregious violations of human rights, civil rights, and freedom of law-abiding, peaceful dissenters.
The above mentioned cases among thousands of others must be taken seriously by Rwanda’s donors. Donor nations must demand immediate release of those among them who are still imprisoned or are in detention such as Aimable Karasira and Idamange. In particular, donors such as the Dutch government that focus on Rwanda’s judiciary must act immediately or cease funding of this system that perpetuates injustices.
Rwanda receives foreign aid from western nations such as the US, the UK and the European Union. Donor nations should cease providing aid to Rwanda until these horrible practices of killing, abducting, torturing, and assassinating people inside and outside of Rwanda stop. The world must raise its voice against Paul Kagame and his death squads around the world as well as against his repression inside of Rwanda. Sharing this article and demanding the release of Aimable Karasira and Idamange are steps individuals may take to help today by shining light on these atrocities.
For years, UN investigators secretly compiled evidence that implicated Rwandan President Paul Kagame and other high-level officials in mass killings before, during and after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The explosive evidence came from Tutsi soldiers who broke with the regime and risked their lives to expose what they knew. Their sworn testimony to a UN court contradicted the dominant story about the country’s brutal descent into violence, which depicted Kagame and his RPF as the country’s saviours.
Despite the testimonies, a UN war crimes tribunal — on the recommendation of the United States — never prosecuted Kagame and his commanders. Now, for the first time, a significant portion of the UN evidence is revealed, in redacted form.
In early July 1994, as the genocide in Rwanda was nearing its end, Christophe, whose real name and location are being withheld for safety reasons, was recruited by the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
Christophe, a medical student before the war, was assigned to care for wounded RPF soldiers in Masaka, a neighborhood in the southeast of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
The RPF was on the brink of winning the war. It was the culmination of a bloody campaign that began in 1990 when its forces invaded Rwanda from their base in Uganda, where their Tutsi families had been forced into exile for three decades.
Their struggle for political power in Rwanda took a drastic turn on 6 April 1994, when a plane carrying Rwanda’s then president Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was shot down in Kigali, killing everyone aboard, and abruptly ending a power-sharing deal that was supposed to end three-and-a-half years of violence. The plane attack set off a killing spree that left hundreds of thousands of Tutsis dead, mostly at the hands of their Hutu countrymen. By mid-July, the RPF had routed the former Hutu government, and purportedly put an end to the massacres.
From his battle clinic in Masaka, though, Christophe saw that the killings were continuing. “People were disappearing,” he recently told the Mail & Guardian. Many of the new recruits Christophe treated began to share sobering details about what they were being ordered to do to Hutu civilians — men, women and children who had no apparent connection to the killing of Tutsis. These Hutus were being arrested in different areas of the capital by RPF officials, they said, and brought to a nearby orphanage called Sainte Agathe, where they were summarily executed.
The young recruits told Christophe that they were being forced by their RPF superiors to tie up civilians and kill them with hammers and hoes, before burning the victims on site and burying their ashes. It was grisly, traumatising work conducted daily, they told him.
Many of the soldiers asked Christophe to provide them with a sick leave note to avoid taking part in the killings. “They didn’t want to kill anybody,” he said. One of the recruits told Christophe that over a mere five days, more than 6 000 people were slaughtered at the orphanage.
In late July, the RPF sent Christophe and thousands of other recruits to Gabiro, a military training camp located in eastern Rwanda, on the edge of the vast wilderness that made up Akagera National Park. The rebel army had established a base there earlier in the war, and it was off limits to international nongovernmental organisations, United Nations personnel, and journalists.
The RPF had begun to recruit Hutu men, promising them safety if they joined the RPF cause. Many heeded the call. But at Gabiro, Christophe saw that these new Hutu recruits had been deceived. Instead of receiving training, on arrival they were screened by military intelligence agents, taken to a field and shot.
Even Tutsi recruits from Congo, Burundi and Uganda, whom military intelligence considered disloyal or suspect, were disappearing, he said.
Even more chilling, though, were the truckloads of Hutu civilians Christophe witnessed arriving in another part of the camp, in an area he could see from a distance. Every day, for months on end, he said, RPF soldiers killed these Hutus and then burned the bodies. Backhoes — which Christophe referred to by their brand name, Caterpillar — worked day and night burying their remains. “You could see the trucks, you could see the smoke. You could smell burning flesh,” Christophe told M&G. “All those lorries were bringing people to be killed. I saw the Caterpillar and could hear it. They were doing it in a very professional way.”
As the massacres continued, Christophe became worried that as a witness he, too, could be a target. Some soldiers, traumatised by what they were forced to do, tried to escape Gabiro. But they were caught and executed, he said. To his relief, in April 1995, he was transferred out of Gabiro, and a week later, he fled Rwanda and never returned.
Several years after leaving, Christophe began speaking to investigators from the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The tribunal, set up in the aftermath of the genocide, was tasked with prosecuting the most serious crimes committed in 1994. Publicly, the tribunal focused exclusively on prosecuting high-level Hutu figures suspected of organising and committing genocide against Tutsis. But privately, a clandestine entity within the ICTR, known as the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), gathered evidence of crimes committed by the RPF. By 2003, investigators at the SIU had recruited hundreds of sources, with dozens giving sworn statements.
According to a summary report submitted to the ICTR’s chief prosecutor in 2003, the SIU’s investigative team had gathered explosive evidence against the RPF. Numerous witnesses corroborated Christophe’s testimony that the RPF had engaged in massacres of Hutu civilians in Gabiro and elsewhere before, during, and after the genocide. Sources testified to the SIU that the RPF was behind the 6 April 1994 attack on Habyarimana’s plane.
Former soldiers even told investigators that RPF commandos undertook false flag operations. Some commandos, operating in civilian clothes, had allegedly infiltrated Hutu militias, known as Interahamwe, to incite even more killings of Tutsis in a bid to further demonise the Hutu regime and bolster the RPF’s moral authority in the eyes of the international community.
In the report, UN investigators listed potential RPF targets for indictment, including President Paul Kagame himself. But when the tribunal officially wound down in 2015, the more than 60 individuals who were convicted and jailed for genocide and other war crimes were all linked to the former Hutu-led regime. Not a single indictment of the RPF was ever issued by the UN; all evidence of RPF wrongdoing was effectively buried.
Christophe met with investigators three times, and provided a written, sworn testimony to the tribunal, but for nearly two decades, his testimony, together with that of dozens of other RPF soldiers who witnessed RPF crimes, have remained sealed in the tribunal’s archive.
The informants who testified against the RPF to the tribunal faced serious risks, and some were kidnapped, according to the investigators. However, it is widely believed by our sources that the unredacted witness statements are already in the possession of the RPF. One statement is unredacted because the witness died in 2010.
Since 1994, many human rights researchers, journalists, academics and legal experts at the ICTR have contended that the crimes committed by the RPF were not comparable in nature, scope, or organisation to the Hutu-led atrocities against Tutsis.
The Rwandan government has asserted that any crimes committed by members of the RPF were only acts of revenge that have already been tried by the competent Rwandan authorities.
These testimonies, which include gruesome details about RPF massacres — often from soldiers who directly participated in the killings — challenge that understanding. Although these accounts do not in any way prove culpability, they may constitute prima facie evidence needed for indictments.
Taken as a whole, the evidence collected by the SIU suggests that RPF killings were not a reaction to the killing of Tutsis but instead were highly organised and strategic in nature. If proven by a court, the RPF not only played a seminal role in triggering the genocide by shooting down Habyarimana’s plane; its senior members also engaged in widespread, targeted massacres of civilians before, during and after the genocide.
Many of the RPF commanders implicated in the crimes documented by the SIU have held, or continue to hold, important positions in the Rwandan government and military. Kagame, who was the leader of the RPF at the time of the 1994 genocide, has been the president of Rwanda since 2000 and remains a close ally of the United States.
General Patrick Nyamvumba, who was head of the Gabiro training camp, served as the head of the Rwandan military from 2013 until 2019, and before that, from 2009 until 2013, as commander of Unamid, the joint UN-Africa Union peacekeeping force in Sudan. He was also minister of internal security until April 2020.
Lieutenant Colonel James Kabarebe, whom witnesses cited for his leading role in massacres in northern Rwanda and in planning the assassination of Habyarimana, was Rwanda’s minister of defence from 2010 until 2018 and remains a senior adviser to Kagame. General Kayumba Nyamwasa, who was head of the RPF’s military intelligence during the genocide, is alleged to have conceived and organised the RPF infiltration of Hutu militia and the mass killings of Hutu civilians throughout Rwanda. Nyamwasa fled the country in 2010 and is a major figure in the Rwandan opposition in exile.
Neither the RPF, the Rwandan president’s office, the Rwandan Media High Council, nor Nyamwasa responded when asked for comment on the documents. On Twitter, Yolande Makolo, an adviser to Kagame, dismissed an M&G query about the documents and called the questions “ridiculous”.
Filip Reyntjens, a Belgian political scientist who has spent decades studying Rwanda and provided expert testimony to the ICTR, said the RPF’s legitimacy is based on saving Tutsis and stopping the genocide, and that any critical examination of its real record would undermine that official narrative.
“The legitimacy of the RPF is in large part based on its image as representing and defending the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. They are the ‘good guys.’ Any evidence that points to the RPF committing massive crimes or having a role in shooting down the presidential plane, an act that sparked the genocide, challenges that legitimacy, which is why they have to fight it tooth and nail,” Reyntjens told the M&G.
Christophe, whose statements and interviews with the M&G are corroborated by other witnesses who offered similar testimony, said he believed the killings that he witnessed at Gabiro could not have been carried out as revenge for the crimes individual Hutus committed during the genocide.
The killings by the RPF went on “for too long [ and] were too programmed and well organised,” to amount to retaliation, he said.
The Gabiro massacres
Other witnesses bolstered Christopher’s account, providing testimony that the RPF began killing at Gabiro in April 1994, shortly after Habyarimana was assassinated. Speaking to investigators in French, one witness, a former soldier who joined the RPF in 1992, told investigators that displaced Hutu civilians from villages in northern Rwanda were brought to Gabiro aboard tractor-trailer trucks, and left at a residential complex called the House of Habyarimana, 3km from the military camp.
The intelligence officer selected the intelligence staff and instructors to execute the people brought by trucks … The soldiers tied their elbows behind their backs, and one by one, made them walk to a ‘grave site’ above the House of Habyarimana, where they were shot … These summary executions were done day and night between four and five weeks that I was there … By the end of April, early May, after two weeks of summary executions, the smell of corpses reached the Gabiro camp. Two bulldozers were used to bury the bodies.
The witness said he participated in burning bodies using a mixture of oil and gasoline to turn the corpses into ash in a forest near another training camp called Gako. The soldier in question said a lieutenant called Silas Gasana who was in charge of security for a man referred to as “PC-Afandi”, oversaw the killings at Gabiro. “PC-Afandi” is a military moniker for Kagame, according to former members of the RPF who were separately interviewed on the topic.
The witness told investigators that Gasana was in communication with Nyamvumba, who at the time was the operations commander and chief instructor at Gabiro.
Another former RPF soldier who was sent to Gabiro in mid-April 1994 told the tribunal:
Many trucks came from different regions around the camp. Recruits who went to get firewood could see these trucks pass. In two instances, while I was about a kilometre from our camp looking for wood, I personally observed these trucks. They were tractor-trailers, or semi-trailers. The vehicles had 18 or 24 wheels with no licence plates. They drove past me, very close. They were full of men, women, children and old people. They were brought to an area near the houses of the former head of state, near the Gabiro airstrip, and massacred.
The witness said the victims were from northern areas of Rwanda and were killed so that Tutsi refugees living in Uganda could acquire their land. The testimony highlighted the RPF’s alleged practice of falsely blaming Hutus for atrocities they didn’t commit.
The main objective of these massacres … was to prepare the land and pastures for the people who had been [Tutsi] refugees in Uganda and who were repatriated. Until today, anyone [that is Hutus] who might think of living there without having returned from Uganda, would run the risk of being accused of being an Interahamwe.
Other witnesses spoke of killings at the military camp on the edge of the park. A former intelligence officer described Gabiro as a main “killing hub”.
The officer took part in operations in Giti, in northern Rwanda, from April 1994, in an area where no Tutsis had been killed during the genocide. Despite the commune being safe for Tutsis, RPF special forces killed up to 3 000 Hutus there, he testified.
Between two and three thousand [civilians] were executed in the commune of Giti, and were buried in mass graves and latrines. Thousands of other victims were brought to Gabiro. It was a killing hub, above all isolated and near Akagera Park … At one point, victims from areas surrounding Giti began to arrive in military trucks, on their way to Gabiro, where they were simply eliminated.
Massacres in northern Rwanda before the Genocide
Anumber of former RPF soldiers testified that Hutu civilians were attacked prior to the genocide, in particular in northern Rwanda.
One soldier said that as soon as the RPF seized an area — which he referred to as a “liberated zone” — Hutus living there were systematically slaughtered.
The [RPF] was convinced that Hutus were uncontrollable, so it was better to get rid of them. That’s why a systematic ethnic cleansing was organised in these ‘liberated zones’. Two methods were used to achieve this goal. The RPF would organise murderous attacks, where hundreds of Hutu peasants were killed. The survivors would then flee and empty the zone. The RPF would also spread rumours about imminent attacks, a tactic that would cause peasants to flee.
A RPF soldier who served in the northwestern region near Ruhengeri testified that in 1993, the purpose of his unit was to “kill the enemy and bury or burn their corpses.” The soldier said he was part of this unit until August 1994.
The goal of our group was to kill Hutus. That included women and children. We killed many people, maybe 100 000. Our unit killed on average between 150 and 200 people a day. People were killed with a cord [around their neck], a plastic bag [over their head], a hammer, a knife, or with traditional weapons [machete, panga]. The bodies were then put into mass graves or sometimes burned.
In their summary report, SIU investigators cited a host of methods used by the RPF to kill victims, including strangling them with cords, smothering them with bags, pouring burning plastic on their skin, and hacking Rwandans with hoes and bayonets.
The RPF infiltration of Interahamwe
According to three testimonies, RPF soldiers wore uniforms seized from the [Hutu government] Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) and used government-issued weapons to commit crimes in false flag operations. One former RPF soldier described the logic behind RPF attacks against civilians in a demilitarised zone before the genocide:
The most important task was to destabilise the regime by killing civilians. Once they [the RPF] withdrew, they spread the rumour that the [Habyarimana] regime was incapable of protecting civilians.
These RPF commandos, known as “technicians”, embedded within the Interahamwe, were stationed in zones controlled by the Interahamwe and participated in killing civilians at road blocks during the genocide, according to the witness. “They even killed Tutsis,” said one former RPF soldier.
Another former RPF soldier, who was based in Kigali from April to July 1994, witnessed similar events. He told investigators that RPF commandos dressed up as government soldiers or disguised themselves as members of the Interahamwe, and used machetes to kill Tutsi civilians at roadblocks. The witness claimed the RPF deployed more than two battalions of these commandos in the capital alone.
They checked IDs [and] killed people by machete exactly like the Interahamwe, so no one would be suspicious.
False flag operations continued until well after the end of the genocide, according to various testimonies.
Triggering the bloodbath
Early on in the genocide, it was widely believed that Hutu hardliners were responsible for shooting down the president’s plane in a bid to hold on to power. The belief in this hypothesis remains widespread. However, RPF informants told the tribunal that the RPF planned and executed the attack on Habyarimana’s plane.
A number of former RPF soldiers said the RPF unearthed secret weapons caches immediately preceding the 6 April attack to prepare for battle. Sources told the SIU that Kagame and his senior commanders held three meetings to prepare the attack. In the summary report, UN investigators “confirmed” the existence of a RPF team in charge of surface-to-air missiles, which were allegedly transported to Kigali from the RPF’s military headquarters in northern Rwanda, near the Ugandan border. SIU documents named the individuals who allegedly brought the missiles into the capital, hid them and fired them on April 6, 1994, and included Kagame and Nyamwasa as potential targets for indictment.
One witness testified that before the attack on the plane, on the night of 6 April, RPF soldiers were told to get ready:
On 6 April 1994 at 19:00 hours, the order was received from Kayonga to be on ‘stand-by one’. This meant to be in full battle dress and ready for an attack. All the companies moved outside the camp into the trenches … At approximately 20:30 hours, I saw the president’s plane crash.
Another witness was later told by an intelligence agent that the RPF was indeed behind the plane attack:
He told me that it was the RPF who shot down Habyarimana’s plane. When he realised his indiscretion, he threatened me with reprisals if I didn’t keep it to myself.
The testimonies support the work of an earlier investigation undertaken in 1997 by the ICTR, by a lawyer called Michael Hourigan, who collected evidence indicating that the RPF was behind the plane attack. Louise Arbour, the UN tribunal’s chief prosecutor at the time, shut down the probe and told Hourigan that she did not have the mandate to investigate acts of terror, according to a number of interviews Hourigan gave after he quit his job in frustration with her decision. In later years, Arbour told The Globe and Mail newspaper that Kagame’s government blocked efforts to investigate RPF crimes and the tribunal did not have the resources to carry out such an inquiry safely.
In 2000, Carla Del Ponte, who took over after Arbour, made it clear she intended to indict the RPF. “For me, a victim is a victim, a crime falling within my mandate as the [Rwanda tribunal’s] prosecutor is a crime, irrespective of the identity or ethnicity or the political ideas of the person who committed the said crimes,” she said in a speech in 2002. “If it was Kagame who had shot down the plane, then Kagame would have been the person most responsible for the genocide,” she later said at a symposium organised by the French Senate.https://www.youtube.com/embed/mzSGKIF2rYs?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1
But in 2003, the US government warned Del Ponte that if she went ahead with her plans to indict the RPF, she would be fired, according to her memoir. Within a few months of a tense meeting she had with Pierre-Richard Prosper — then US Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, who had served as a prosecutor for the ICTR from 1996 to 1998 — Del Ponte was removed from the ICTR.
According to this leaked memo, dated 2003, Prosper struck a deal with the court to transfer jurisdiction for prosecuting RPF crimes — and evidence of RPF crimes collected by UN investigators — from the UN tribunal to the Rwandan government.
Prosper is currently a partner at Arent Fox, where he advises and represents the Rwandan government in international arbitration and litigation, according to the firm’s website . Prosper did not respond to our request for comment.
Hassan Jallow, Del Ponte’s successor, who oversaw the court’s prosecution until it closed in 2015, was ultimately unwilling to indict the RPF. In 2005, he defended the ICTR’s decision not to prosecute the RPF, writing that Kagame’s army had “waged a war of liberation and defeated the Hutu government of the day, putting an end to genocide.”
Since 1994, several other UN agencies have investigated RPF attacks on Hutu civilians, both inside Rwanda and in neighbouring countries. These reports were also suppressed, or became the focus of vigorous denials from Kigali. Although they address other alleged crimes of the RPF, they corroborate the SIU’s general findings that the RPF committed widespread, targeted crimes against Hutus.
Robert Gersony, a US consultant, was hired by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the summer of 1994 to assess whether it was safe for Hutu refugees who had fled Rwanda to neighbouring countries to return home. Gersony’s 1994 report was never officially made public, but according a version that was leaked in 2010, investigators concluded that the RPF killing of Hutus during the genocide was “systematic” and resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians.
The UN Mapping Report, which investigated abuses committed by pro-Rwandan forces in the DRC between March 1993 and June 2003, concluded that attacks against Hutu civilians in that country, “if proven before a competent court, could be characterised as crimes of genocide.”
Efforts by France to investigate the shooting down of Habyarimana’s plane have similarly failed to establish any accountability. In 2006, after a lengthy investigation, a French judge issued arrest warrants for several RPF officials in connection with the assassination of the Rwandan president, a move that triggered a diplomatic row between Kigali and Paris.
In December 2018, a court dismissed the case against the RPF, citing insufficient evidence to proceed to a trial and, on 3 July this year, an appeals court in Paris confirmed the decision and agreed not to reopen an investigation.
Researchers have recently attempted to estimate the number of victims of violence, both Tutsi and Hutu. In January, the Journal of Genocide Researchpublished several studies that estimated between 500 000 to 600 000 Tutsis were killed during the genocide, and between 400 000 and 550 000 Hutus lost their lives in the 1990s.
Marijke Verpoorten, an academic at the University of Antwerp, says it remains impossible to establish a reliable death toll of the killings of Hutus. Instead, she attempts to estimate how many Hutu lives were lost in the 1990s, either as a direct result of violence, or indirectly, after the rapid spread of contagious diseases in refugee camps, and the dire war conditions. She arrives at a “guesstimate” of 542 000, although admits there is a very large uncertainty interval.
Yet only one ethnic group has been internationally recognised as victims. Inside Rwanda, community-based gacaca courts tried more than 1.2-million alleged perpetrators of the Tutsi genocide. An official genocide survivor fund does not recognise Hutus who were killed, even if they lost their lives trying to protect Tutsis. Hutus are not allowed to publicly grieve their loved ones or request justice for RPF crimes in Rwanda.
After formally closing, the ICTR became a residual tribunal — now called the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT) — and continues to search for high-profile, alleged Hutu génocidaires. In May, French police arrested 87-year-old Félicien Kabuga, who had lived in hiding for 26 years. He stands accused of financing the genocide against Tutsis by funding an extremist radio station. Kabuga has denied the allegations and is currently in the Hague awaiting a trial.
The MICT did not respond when asked for comment on prosecuting RPF officials.
RWANDA : LE GOUVERNEMENT EXPOSE SA POPULATION AUX RISQUES DU CORONA VIRUS
Depuis le lundi 16 mars 2020, la ville de Kigali a repris l’opération de démolition de maisons dans les quartiers pauvres de la capitale pour laisser la place à de riches promoteurs immobiliers. Les propriétaires sont obligés de démolir leurs maisons sous la supervision des autorités locales, de la police et du célèbre DASSO (service de sécurité de l’administration du district). Les autorités locales embauchent des démolisseurs lorsque les propriétaires osent résister.
Les victimes en appellent à toute personne qui peut plaider en leur nom. Elles dénoncent le processus qui a abouti à la destruction de leurs maisons et accusent les autorités de « les vendre aux riches », violant les lois du pays, y compris la Constitution (article 34) qui stipule que la propriété privée, qu’elle soit la propriété individuelle ou collective, est inviolable. Le droit de propriété ne doit pas être empiété sauf dans l’intérêt public et conformément aux dispositions de la loi. Il doit y avoir une compensation appropriée.
Or, les autorités ordonnent la destruction de ces maisons sans compensation appropriée. Selon les dires de la population, elles ont procédé à une évaluation arbitraire des propriétés il y a trois ans, et n’ont jamais payé les frais d’indemnisation arrêtés. Les propriétaires sont sommés de déguerpir contre 90 000 francs rwandais (94 $ US ou 80 £ UK), supposés être un loyer de trois mois en attendant que des maisons soient trouvées pour les victimes. Cette somme est illusoire car elle ne suffit même pas pour un loyer d’un mois : la demande étant de loin supérieure à l’offre, les prix de location ont flambé.
Par ces destructions sauvages, des familles entières sont jetées dans la rue, en cette période de fortes pluies au Rwanda et où tout le monde doit prendre des mesures restrictives pour se protéger contre la pandémie de coronavirus.
De même, les enfants de ces familles sans abri ne peuvent pas aller à l’école et courent un risque très important de tomber malade à cause des conditions de vie.
Dans la vidéo ci-dessous, on entend une dame crier en disant qu’elle a 5 enfants, que le mari l’a abandonnée et qu’elle est revenue de la République démocratique du Congo en tant que réfugiée tutsie sans aucun parent au Rwanda. Elle n’a pas d’autre endroit où aller sauf retourner en RDC.
Des informations plausibles font état des arrestations de personnes qui ont osé dénoncer cette barbarie auprès des journalistes. Elles sont susceptibles d’être inculpées en vertu des articles de la Constitution qui condamnent la diffusion de fausses informations ou propagande susceptible de provoquer une opinion hostile au gouvernement (art. 194) ; de provoquer des soulèvements ou des troubles au sein de la population (art 204) ou d’entraîner des manifestations illégales (art 225).
Il est utile de souligner que par ces agissements, le gouvernement expose ces familles au risque de virus corona Covid-19 et aurait dû retarder cette opération qui ne requiert aucune urgence. En effet, il est cynique, voire criminel que le gouvernement rwandais puisse envoyer des familles entières errer tout en donnant des directives de confinement à cause du corona virus.
L’on ne le dira jamais assez mais le gouvernement rwandais vient encore de dévoiler son vrai visage. Il a érigé l’injustice en mode de gouvernement et affiche le mépris total à l’État de droit et une inhumanité envers les plus vulnérables que sont les enfants, les mères allaitantes, les personnes âgées.
Dans des interviews diffusées par des chaînes de TV en ligne, la population précise que les promoteurs immobiliers qui ont acheté le terrain sont représentés par un certain Karera Dennis, ancien directeur de la police nationale, grand frère du ministre de la Justice Johnston Busingye et homme de main du président Kagame.
De fait, au lieu d’avoir de la compassion pour ces pauvres qui n’ont plus de logis, le président Kagame a donné une réponse qui laisse plus d’un pantois. Il a dit :
« En fait ailleurs, ils apportent des machines à chenilles «tinga tinga», des bulldozers, ils soulèvent la maison et ses occupants et ils jettent le tout quelque part ». De là à lier cela aux dires des habitants lésés que la démolition vise également à tracer une route destinée à désengorger l’école privée Green Hills de la première dame, il n’y a qu’un pas.
Il n’est tard pas pour le gouvernement rwandais de se ressaisir et de réparer le plus tôt possible les torts causés à ces personnes qu’il a réduites au statut de sans-abris, sans parler de risques sanitaires auxquels il les expose.
Avis aux lecteurs:Nos articles peuvent être reproduits à condition de citer le nom d'auteur et le site web source.Notice to readers: Our articles may be reproduced provided the author's name and the source website are cited.
Déclaration de reconnaissance du crime de génocide contre la population Hutu:
Nous, universitaires, experts, chercheurs, survivants, défenseurs des droits de l’homme, défenseurs des libertés civiles et de la justice sociale, responsables religieux,
A la suite de l’initiative de recherche de la GCRHR sur les crimes commis par l’Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) au Rwanda, puis en République Démocratique du Congo (ancien Zaïre) par l’intermédiaire de son allié congolais, l’Alliance des Forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL), contre des membres du groupe ethnique hutu,
Sur base de notre propre évaluation indépendante d’experts de toutes les informations fiables disponibles, des recherches antérieures et des faits sur le sujet des massacre à grande échelle des Hutu par rapport à la convention de génocide,
Après avoir examiné la définition officielle du crime de génocide par la Convention de Génocide de 1948 des Nations Unies, qui définit le génocide comme l’un quelconque des actes ci-après, commis dans l’intention de détruire, ou tout ou en partie, un groupe national, ethnique, racial ou religieux, comme tel :
a) Meurtre de membres du groupe ;
b) Atteinte grave à l’intégrité physique ou mentale de membres du groupe;
c) Soumission intentionnelle du groupe à des conditions d’existence devant entraîner sa destruction physique totale ou partielle;
d) Mesures visant à entraver les naissances au sein du groupe;
e) Transfert forcé d’enfants du groupe à un autre groupe,
Après avoir soigneusement et minutieusement comparé toutes les informations et faits fiables, annexés à la présente résolution, concernant l’assassinat de membres du groupe ethnique hutu du Rwanda et de l’ancien Zaïre aux actes susmentionnés dans la définition faisant autorité du génocide, en particulier les actes a, b et c,
Notant que, d’après les informations et les faits disponibles, les massacres de la population de l’ethnie hutu ont été perpétrés sur base d’un plan presque identique, conçu pour tuer autant de victimes que possible, quels que soient leur sexe, leur âge ou leur nationalité,
Sachant que les rapports des experts des Nations unies sur les massacres de Hutu dans l’ex-Zaïre concluaient que les meurtres avaient révélé un certain nombre d’éléments inculpatoires les qualifiant de crime de génocide,
Notant qu’après le rapport de l’ONU sur la cartographie, l’ONU a recommandé de prendre de nouvelles mesures pour prévenir, enquêter, faire cesser et punir les crimes décrits dans son propre rapport afin de s’acquitter de ses obligations en vertu de la convention sur le génocide,
Par la présente, nous déclarons et reconnaissons comme CRIME DE GÉNOCIDE les massacres des centaines de milliers de personnes hutu rwandaises au Rwanda et de réfugiés hutu rwandais, de réfugiés hutu burundais et de citoyens hutu congolais en RDC du fait de leur appartenance au groupe ethnique hutu et sans distinction d’âge, de sexe ou de nationalité, par l’Armée Patriotique Rwandaise et son allié congolais, le groupe rebelle de l’Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre
Nous appelons la communauté internationale à s’acquitter de ses obligations en vertu de la convention sur le génocide et à agir collectivement pour traduire en justice les auteurs de ce crime de génocide.
Global Campaign for Rwandans Human Rights (GCRHR)
FONDATION IBUKABOSE RENGERABOSE
Millions have perished in hands of Paul Kagame (AKAGA-94)
Worse than coronavirus (COVID-19), there is kagamevirus (AKAGA-94). His first victim dates back to 1994, Bill Clinton. The latter contaminated Habyarimana and Ntaryamira, they had less immunity and could not survive it. And then, millions of Rwandans and Congolese had it, an unnamed disaster!
Since then, kagamevirus kills non-stop, young and old, every day, every minute. He kills at night, he kills in broad daylight, and boasts of it. He kills from Uganda, he only knows how to kill and terrorize anyone who dares to resist him. Degrading detention centers are dedicated to him, these are in fact his palaces used to isolate the surviving victims, connected to a hope of medicine / miracle for healing.
Dear friends Microscopes, let’s quickly find the miracle molecule against akaga94! This is urgent!
A free translation from french by this blog’s admin
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Notice to readers: Our articles may be reproduced provided the author's name and the source website are cited.
De sa propre voix, alors qu’il était en prison, feu Kizito Mihigo a déclaré qu’avant sa détention illégale, il avait été torturé, les généraux de l’armée et les hauts fonctionnaires, tels que les ministres, le vice-président du Sénat rwandais se sont relayés pour le torturer . Parmi eux Continue reading →
Ceux qui ne savent pas ce que ce terme signifie, quand il désigne des écrivains, des artistes, des hommes politiques ou des journalistes qui analysent et s’expriment sur les événements de 1994 au Rwanda, peuvent écouter Kizito Mihigo.
Feu Kizito explique très bien l’origine de cette insulte populaire que le régime de Kigali, ses sympathisants et ses soutiens utilisent à travers les médias, les sites internet clandestins, les réseaux sociaux, les livres, les articles de presse, les conférences publiques, contre ceux qu’ils haïssent, qu’ils veulent tuer et qu’ils maudissent.
Pour Kizito, « A chaque fois que tu évoques les autres victimes, des gens qui sont morts, du FPR, tu es totalement traité de négationniste et de révisionniste. (…) Je suis au courant qu’il y a beaucoup de Rwandais qui ont connu pas mal de violences qui ne sont pas encore reconnues comme étant un génocide… Il faut que chaque souffrance soit reconnue… ».
C’est précisément ce que je fais depuis 20 ans en publiant sur la tragédie du Rwanda et le drame du Congo-Zaïre et qui est exprimé clairement dans mon dernier livre : « Rwanda, la vérité sur l’opération Turquoise » .
Faire entendre la souffrance et les massacres de tous les Rwandais, quelque soit leur ethnie ou leur religion est ma ligne constante depuis 20 ans. Idem pour les Congolais. C’est pour avoir eu l’audace de faire cela, et de le faire sur le plan scientifique, documents et preuves à l’appui, que le régime de Kigali et ses thuriféraires me vouent aux gémonies et me traitent avec d’autres chercheurs comme Allan Stam, Christian Davenport ou Judi River de « Négationniste ». Pierre péan, Patrick Mbeko et d’autres écrivains sérieux ont essuyé la même insulte.
Est donc « négationniste », aux yeux du régime de Kigali et de ses amis, celui qui ose dire et prouver que les victimes de crimes contre l’humanité ou de génocide se trouvent dans tous les groupes ethniques du Rwanda et même chez les Congolais.
Faut-il souligner que ces derniers n’ont jamais pris part au conflit du Rwanda mais qu’ils sont exterminés chez eux par les troupes de Paul Kagame depuis 20 ans ?
L’usage du terme « négationniste », totalement insignifiant sur le plan de la recherche scientifique concernant le Rwanda n’a qu’un seul objectif : étouffer la vérité et discréditer, disqualifier, marginaliser, ostraciser, ceux qui poussent au questionnement, à la réflexion, à la réconciliation par la vérité au Rwanda.
Il faut haïr et éliminer, physiquement, socialement, intellectuellement, économiquement, tous ceux qui refusent, comme Kizito Mihigo, de choisir un groupe de victimes parmi les différentes victimes rwandaises. C’est pour cela que le régime de Kagame et ses amis traitent sans arrêt les chercheurs qui remettent en cause leur version erronée de l’histoire tragique du Rwanda de « Négationnistes ». Ce terme est leur unique système de défense dès qu’ils sont face à des révélations. C’est aussi leur arme privilégiée quand ils n’ont rien à dire, rien à apporter dans le débat scientifique désormais ouvert au niveau international.
Quand ils n’ont ni faits ni preuves à opposer à la science, quand ils sont outrés de voir leur version mensongère s’écrouler comme un château de carte, quand plusieurs chercheurs compétents et exigeants refusent de se soumettre à la doxa, ils les traitent de « négationnistes ».
Espérant ainsi qu’ils ne seront ni écoutés ni entendus. C’est l’arme du totalitarisme et de ceux qui qui sont réfractaires au débat intellectuel et scientifique. C’est ainsi qu’ils mènent, dans les universités et dans les médias, une guerre sournoise et violente, une guerre psychologique contre le savoir.
Leur spécialité reste l’invective, la violence verbale et la terreur. C’est ce qu’ils ont fait en traitant Kizito Mihigo de « Négationniste » et même de « terroriste ».
Lui, le pacifique, le rescapé tutsi de 1994, qui voulait que la souffrance et les massacres de tous les Rwandais soient pris en compte. Lui, Mihigo, qui était contre la discrimination entre les victimes, donnait la migraine au président rwandais. C’est pour cela, qu’on l’avait emprisonné. C’est pour cela qu’on l’a « suicidé ».
C’est pour les même raisons qu’ils ont mis mon ami Déo Mushayidi en prison. Lui aussi, rescapé Tutsi de 1994 et défenseur de la vérité pour toutes les victimes rwandaises de 1994, a été traité de « terroriste ». Ils ont traité mon cher Déo de « Négationniste », de « révisionniste » et de divisionniste ».
Le « Négationnisme » est une maladie contagieuse au Rwanda. Tout le monde peut l’attraper. Tutsi, Hutu ou Twa. Il suffit de parler des Tutsi, Hutu et Twa comme ayant, tous, été l’objet de crimes contre l’humanité en 1994. On devient rapidement « négationniste » et il n’y a aucun médecin pour vous soigner. D’ailleurs, les journalistes commencent à vous éviter, vos amis aussi. Bref, on devient suspect, infréquentable et porteur du coronavirus-Négationniste.
Comme Kizito Mihigo, Déo Mushayidi a toujours prôné la réconciliation entre Rwandais et exigé la vérité pour tous. Ils ont tout fait pour l’incarcérer et pour le faire oublier. Le monde entier a aujourd’hui oublié Déo alors qu’il est vivant dans une prison sordide au Rwanda. Soyons clairs, Déo Mushayidi est en prison et il ne faut pas nous dire qu’il s’est « suicidé ». Non !! Il n’a pas d’envie de suicide.
Les organisations des droits de l’Homme courageuses devraient chercher à le rencontrer et demander le réexamen de son dossier. Il a été fabriqué comme celui de Mihigo.
Mon ami Déo résiste en prison, dans l’indifférence générale, mais il ne veut pas se suicider. Je demande donc à tous ceux qui ont à cœur Kizito et son combat de se mobiliser pour la libération de Déo Mushayidi. N’attendons pas l’irréparable. Levons-nous ! Levez-vous pour Déo Mushayidi ! Du fond de sa prison, il a besoin de vous, il a besoin de nous.
Déo est un prisonnier d’opinion, c’est un martyr de la liberté, c’est un héros de liberté de la presse et de la liberté d’expression au Rwanda. Il purge une peine de prison à perpétuité alors que toute sa famille fut exterminée en 1994 et qu’il avait soutenu Paul Kagame. Quand il a commencé à s’exprimer sur la nécessité d’une commission vérité et réconciliation au Rwanda comme ce fut le cas en Afrique du Sud, Déo est devenu dangereux… C’est pour cela que je vous prie de ne pas oublier Déo….
Ne le laissons mourir en prison comme Kizito. Du fond de sa prison, il espère un regard, un geste d’attention et d’amour, une aide si petite soit-elle. Il a besoin de nous. S’il vous plaît faisons quelque chose pour Déo, l’autre Kizito encore en vie !