On April 8th, 2021, as Rwanda just entered the Commemoration Week, a certain Lonzen RUGIRA released a paper called “ISO NI NDE? The relentlessness of genocide deniers” in what seems to be a rebuttal to JAMBO asbl members, which he considers as “the resurgence of denial of the genocide against the Tutsi”.
First and foremost, let us put the record straight. The attacks on JAMBO asbl have nothing to do with fighting “genocide denial” or “genocide ideology” as it has been repeated ad nauseam these last few years. Had that been the case, The Rwandan Government, CNLG or IBUKA or at least one person in this world, would have already filed a complaint against JAMBO asbl in Belgian courts!
In reality, JAMBO asbl is under constant media attacks since it has been, for over a decade now, one of the most “relentless” exposers, in Europe, of RPF-Inkotanyi mass crimes and Human Rights abuses.
Yet RUGIRA’s paper, published on panafricanreview.rw platform, would have gone unnoticed if the Rwandan Minister of Justice, Johnston BUSINGYE and Communication Advisor in the President’s office, Yolande MAKOLO, had not quoted him in their Tweets.
It is not the first time that Lonzen RUGIRA’s public opinion is valued by the very highest authorities of the Rwandan state. Last year in April 2020, he exposed a Minister of State who dared to express his conception of what a genuine KWIBUKA should mean. A few days later, that Minister was fired by presidential order.
Even the members of the President’s family like and retweet his posts, especially Ange KAGAME, whenever it comes to sustaining RPF’s ideology.
This time, Lonzen RUGIRA is reviling JAMBO asbl and its members while paradoxically inviting them to “embrace the truth as the “currency of forgiveness”” and to enter a “virtuous circle as credible and trusted members deserving the community’s good fortune”.
Before reaching this benevolent conclusion, RUGIRA posed the question “Iso ni nde? (who is your father?)” and developed a cumbersome argumentation trying to reconcile the concept of “individual criminality” with the dogma of “collective responsibility” that JAMBO asbl members should bear.
Once decoded, RUGIRA’s complex paper is revealed to be a message to JAMBO asbl members, which is inviting them to ask for forgiveness for what their parents are supposedly accused of, and thus, avoid social and community consequences, as well as preserve their own descendants from being cursed…
This is interesting. But what if this was a concern for a whole generation and not only for JAMBO asbl members?
A generation whose ascendents are wrongfully or rightfully accused of having committed serious crimes including genocides, crimes against Humanity, war crimes and countless political assassinations.
The good news for JAMBO asbl members is that they are very much familiar with the question “Iso ni nde” and they perfectly know how to deal with it. It seems the more they answer it, the less it gets asked …
RUGIRA’s concern should therefore shift towards the offspring of the “mass murderers” identified by the Mapping Report for instance.
What would the descendants of “genocide perpetrators” indicted in the arrest warrants of the Spanish Judge Fernando MEIRELLES reply to the question: “Iso ni nde”?
What kind of mobilization are they doing to “cleanse their forebearers of the responsibility for genocide”?
What about the heirs of those who are proud to murder anyone who betrays “Umuryango” on the excuse that a famous red line has been crossed?
What are the children of those who shot the presidential plane on April 6, 1994 answer concerning their forebearers?
“Iso ni nde” is a question that will be asked to every Rwandan more than once in their life, and the offspring of today’s or yesterday’s RPA/RPF criminals will not escape from it.
If Lonzen RUGIRA is truly concerned about answers from descendants of “killer parents and grandparents”, maybe he should write an essay about those whose parents are still killing to remain in power today?
I am sure all Rwandans, at home or abroad, would be interested to read such a paper.
Who would not want to know how children reacted after their father had confessed on national TV that he was not “apologetic” for murdering former comrades?
Reading Lonzen RUGIRA’s article with a dispassionate mind is an eye-opener. He has nailed a difficult, yet needed debate that must take place between generations, especially within the RPF-Inkotanyi circles.
The key question being: how to preserve innocent children from bearing the criminal record of their forebearers, and ultimately, how to prevent political criminality from passing from a generation to another?
Instead of wasting intellectual energy with virtual assaults against inexistant genocide deniers – is there really anyone refuting that Tutsi in Rwanda were victims of a genocide in 1994? – perhaps RUGIRA should reflect on how the RPF-Inkotanyi will bequeath its criminal record to the next generation, as this is probably the biggest threat to a truly reconciled Rwandan society.