Jambonews FR - Restons informés

Tutsi survivors calling out Paul KAGAME.

Tutsi survivors calling out Paul KAGAME.

How is this possible?

It all started with an open letter from Diane RWIGARA on July 15[1]

In this letter, the former presidential candidate dares to call out Rwandan President Paul Kagame on extrajudicial killings that are currently raging in Rwanda as well as in the diaspora, and which are increasingly affecting Tutsi survivors of the 1994 genocide[2].

The letter, which received no official response from the President, stirred strong reactions, among others from the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) and IBUKA, the two official organizations that are supposed to defend the memory of the victims of the genocide, as well as safeguard justice and protection for the survivors. These organizations were mentioned by Diane RWIGARA to have failed in their duties[3].

Two weeks later, on August 3, 2019, a second open letter[4], this time signed by nearly thirty Rwandans living in exile, and all claiming to be survivors of the genocide against the Tutsi, added to the reproaches formulated by Diane RWIGARA. In this second letter, these survivors were demanding accounts to Paul Kagame, for the crimes he “would let commit” against those who escaped the worst tragedy 25 years ago.

With these two letters, many observers would raise the question to how it is possible that Paul Kagame, himself a Tutsi and credited for having put an end to the 1994 genocide, could end up in the crosshairs of survivors of the same genocide?

To answer this disturbing question, we propose a three-point analysis:

Rwandan society, more complex than it seems?

First, we must know that the socio-political movements in Rwanda are not based on ethnic groups, contrary to what has been popularized in recent years, where they keep hammering that there are Tutsi on one side and Hutu on the other[5].

Rwandan society is much more complex than that, as evidenced for example by the declination of Kiga / Nduga[6]among Hutu or the declination of Abega / Abanyiginya[7] among Tutsi, whose episodical struggles for power have cost many lives in the history of the country before 1990.

From 1990 onwards, a new declination was added to the Rwanda society, talking about “Tutsi from inside”, which included Diane RWIGARA and “Tutsi from outside”, of which Paul KAGAME was a member. The first were victims of the 1994 genocide and the second have been credited for having put an end to it, and sometimes, for having provoked it[8].

In addition, even among the so-called Tutsi “from outside”, a certain variation also exists between those who have been refugees in Uganda and all the others, to the point that the social and political dynamics of Rwanda end up being reduced to ” clans “, made up of a few groups who simply share the same interests at a given moment.

The separation between the KAGAME clan and the NYAMWASA clan in the 2000s, both ex-Tutsi soldiers of the Ugandan army, is a good example.

With such complex socio-political environment, it is not surprising that there may be Tutsi citizens who have survived the genocide, addressing a Tutsi President who “has put an end” to the same genocide, asking him about the “benevolence” he was supposed to guarantee to the survivors, on top of the traditional protection to which every Rwandan citizen is entitled.

The RPF of the 1990s vs the RPF of the 2000s?

A second element that could explain the reproaches of the Tutsi survivors against President Paul Kagame, is undoubtedly the metamorphosis of the RPF for the past 25 years. The RPF went from a return movement of Tutsi refugees (at least in appearances) to a State-Party having control over all the state apparatus as well as the most lucrative activities of the private sector[9].

This stranglehold, which could only be achieved by a hard wing of the party, with the complicity of the army and the police, would not tolerate any misbehavior of its members and would repress any dissent in terror and violence, no matter the ethnicity, the “survivor” status or even their past contribution to the cause of the RPF.

The case of Assinapol RWIGARA, Diane’s father, is certainly the best example.

This wealthy Tutsi businessman operating “from inside” during the 80s, has long supported the RPF, before, during and after the war of 90-94. Despite his immense contribution to the war effort, Assinapol RWIGARA was, according to his family, murdered in Kigali on 4 February 2015 by national police[10] .

More and more former Tutsi “from inside”, who are survivors of the genocide, no longer recognize themselves in the “mafia” governance of the RPF and the fact that they have been recently treated as “collaborators” or “denialists” by the pro-RPF press[11] is an additional sign that marks the break-up line with the RPF.

As for the former Tutsi “from outside”, who come from Uganda or elsewhere and are dissociating themselves from the “new” RPF-Inkotanyi, they are simply considered as traitors and classified as terrorists who undermine security of State, such as David HIMBARA, Tribert RUJUGIRO, or Théogène RUDASINGWA[12].

The guarantee of “NEVER AGAIN “?

Finally, a third element that could explain why the Tutsi survivors now dare to defy the RPF-Inkotanyi, is that other politico-military organizations are positioning themselves more and more to guarantee a “NEVER AGAIN” to all Rwandans.

Since its military victory against the former Rwandan Armed Forces in July 1994, the RPF-Inkotanyi has positioned itself as the only politico-military organization on this planet capable of guaranteeing to Rwandans, Africans, as well as to the whole world, that the tragic events that occurred in Rwanda would never happen again.

Beyond its potential responsibility in the events that provoked or amplified the genocide against the Tutsi (from inside), the RPF quickly positioned itself as the one who put an end to it, and de facto, the one that can prevent it from happening again. 

Yet, the alliances of politico-military organizations opposed to the RPF, have shown in recent years that the guarantee of “NEVER AGAIN” is no longer the exclusivity of the RPF-Inkotanyi.

On the contrary, where the RPF-Inkotanyi exacerbates “ethnic” tensions by cultivating the apartheid of memory, the collective guilt of the Hutu and the falsification of history[13], other politico-military formations offer a truly reconciling message, which values all the tragedies that the Rwandan people experienced in the 1990s.

An example of this, is found in the P5 Platform, which brings together both Hutu and Tutsi like Victoire INGABIRE as emblematic leader of the FDU, carrying one of the most beautiful messages of peace, or Etienne MASOZERA, president of the AMAHORO PC party.

This is also the case for the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), a political-military coalition between the Tutsi rebel Callixte NSABIMANA “Sankara” and the Hutu rebel Wilson IRATEGEKA.

The issue of “NEVER AGAIN” is often relegated to the background of Rwanda’s socio-political priorities, yet it is the main argument used by the RPF to keep Tutsi under its control, especially those “from inside” who survived the 1994 massacres.

To summarize

Since the military conquest of power by the RPF-Inkotanyi in July 1994, it is the first time that the President of the Republic, also President of the state-party RPF, is publicly questioned on the fate that is reserved to Tutsi survivors of the genocide, also referred to as “former Tutsi from inside”.

It is an unequivocal sign that the RPF-Inkotanyi, which succeeded in rallying beyond the Tutsi even in the 1990s, is no longer considered as the only politico-military organization capable of defending an ethnic minority by providing democratic governance in Rwanda.

On the contrary; democracy in Rwanda has been in a coma for 25 years. Tutsis are more afraid than ever, and Hutu are simply hated as such [14]. Only those who walk in the steps of RPF-Inkotanyi are left alone and can enjoy their country. Yet, a single misstep could be the end of anyone. 

How long can such a situation last, knowing that more and more voices from all ethnicities are rising up against this system, both inside and outside the country?

After 25 years of ruling, is it not time for the RPF-Inkotanyi to defuse all these “socio-political tensions» amongst Rwandans, by opening the political space as it is permanently requested by opposition parties as well as civil society organizations living in exile[15] ?

Once again, the ball is in the RPF-Inkotanyi’s court.

[1] http://dianerwigara.com/lettre-ouverte-au-president-paul-kagame

[2] http://www.rwandanlivesmatter.site

[3] http://fr.igihe.com/politique/la-jeune-politicienne-diane-rwigara-confond-les.html

[4] http://www.therwandan.com/fr/lettre-ouverte-au-president-kagame-par-les-rescapes-du-genocide/

[5] https://blogs.mediapart.fr/faustin-kabanza/blog/090517/hutu-et-tutsi-pour-une-reecriture-de-l-histoire-du-rwanda

[6] Kiga / Nduga are two regions of Rwanda (North / South) where a socio-political fracture between “Hutu” emerged during the July 1973 coup in which Major-General HABYARIMANA, a Mukiga, driven out of power Gregory KAYIBANDA, a Munyenduga. 

[7] Abega / Abanyiginya are two clans of royal lineage among “Tutsi” in pre-colonial Rwanda, who have clashed for generations for control of the throne.

[8] http://www.slateafrique.com/841726/genocide-rwandais-un-ancien-rebelle-tutsi-detaille-ses-accusations-contre-paul-kagame

[9] https://www.lepoint.fr/economie/rwanda-crystal-ventures-fer-de-lance-economique-du-parti-au-pouvoir-30-07-2017-2146858_28.php

[10] http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20150314-rwanda-mort-assinapol-rwigara-famille-denonce-assassinat-kagame.

[11] http://www.therwandan.com/fr/rwanda-qui-est-genocidaire-qui-est-negationniste/

[12] https://www.newtimes.co.rw/news/kayumba-terrorist-not-democrat-he-wants-world-believe

[13] https://www.levif.be/actualite/belgique/des-rwandais-denoncent-l-apartheid-de-la-memoire/article-normal-1085073.html

[14] See Olivier Nduhungirehe’s notes on the subject: http://www.therwandan.com/rwandan-diplomat-in-great-turmoilolivier-nduhungirehes-true-nature-has-been-exposed/

[15] http://www.rfi.fr/afrique/20181114-rwanda-opposition-paul-kagame-lettre-p5-plateforme-victoire-ingabire



© 2019 Jambonews