There is a saying in Kinyarwanda: “Uwububa abonwa n’uhagaze” (He who crawls on his stomach, reveals himself to the one who stands.)
When Judge Jean Louis Bruguière issued his arrest warrants against the Rwandan authorities who had just stopped the genocide against the Tutsi, the Rwandan government had no illusions about the politicized nature of the process and had chosen at the time to sever all relations with France. Later the French will learn from Wikileaks that the French judge was acting under the orders of the Elysee, the Rwandans themselves had never doubted it.
More than two decades later, the mandates have been quashed but France is still trying to rewrite history. At the beginning of the month, yet another scandal shook the famous “research commission on French archives relating to Rwanda and the genocide of the Tutsi”, known as Duclert. Prone to scandals of the same nature, the composition of the said commission had shocked research circles since its creation in April of last year.
Indeed, all credible researchers on the issues of Rwanda had been excluded. Later, that is to say last week, we learned in the Canard-enchainé that one of the key researchers of the famous commission, Madame Julie d’Anduran had previously made publications minimizing the genocide against the Tutsi and praising the role of the French army in Rwanda at the time of its execution.
Her background and intentions thus laid bare, the researcher had to resign from the said commission, not before the leaders of an ‘Association of Contemporary Historians of Higher Education and Research’ (AHCESR) had for a time taken her defense, before retracting and resigning collectively in a rather funny twist.
Funny: The word to describe the state of mind of a Rwandan in the face of all this Franco-French deception. It would have been even funnier, if Mr. Duclert and his team thus discredited, had followed the example of the AHCESR and made hara-kiri. How can one still trust such a commission, when it has been “contaminated” by a revisionist for almost a year and a half, which constitutes the most of its mandate? Will they, Duclert and his commission, present to us in their methodology a process of ” ded’Anduranisation” after the departure of the revisionist?
The French media claim that the report of the commission is awaited by the Rwandan community in France. This is a joke! Rwandans, from France and Rwanda are calling for the archives to be declassified to the public so that everyone can consult them. They expect nothing from Julie d’Audrain-style impostors. The French seem surprised, but the Rwandans knew it from the start. For such a commission to be credible, the process of selecting its members should have been carried out jointly with the Rwandans, since they are the first to be affected. Imagine a commission of cats, supposed to establish their role in the suffering of mice.
If there is a Frenchman who during his lifetime injured the conscience of the survivors of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994, it is Pierre Péan. His book “Black Furies and White Liars” was unspeakably cynical. Confusing the executioners with the victims, and accusing those who stopped the genocide, namely the Rwandan Patriotic Army, of causing the death of their own brothers and sisters to access power. Péan’s book is so cruel that one wonders what the Tutsi could have done to him. For example, we find entire passages from Mein Kamph, the macabre book by Hitler, justifying the extermination of the Jews, Péan having contented himself with replacing “Jew” by “Tutsi”.
What is the crime of the Tutsi in his eyes? To have survived the total extermination which was sponsored by the French state and to have defeated a genocidal army supported by France. The book “Black Fury and White Liars” has inspired Holocaust denial and revisionism for the past 26 years, including providing conspiracy theories to defense attorneys during trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, established to repress the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity. The book would also be the source of the arrest warrants issued by a French judge, which have since been disproven, then canceled by his successors, not to mention hundreds of articles in the French media taking up the same accusation-in- mirror’.
For the survivors of the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Pierre Péan is the reincarnation of the devil. Seeing, upon his death last year, the French president – the same who appointed this Duclet commission – pay him such a tribute, without a single word on the negationism that characterized his life, is a demonstration of the hypocrisy of the French government as to its real desire to renew relations with Rwanda. This foreshadowed the outcome of the work of this umpteenth commission.
And from its creation, I took the opportunity to denounce the statements of the former deputy Jacques Myard, himself a member of a previous commission on the subject – known as Quilès of 1998, affirming that: “L’Élysée decided to appoint a commission [of historians] to establish the truth about the tragedy of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 when the Hutus and Tutsis massacred each other …” I wanted to point out, as a Rwandan researcher, that this French commission did not concern us in any way. We did not wait for France to tell us what happened in our country, or what happened to our parents, our uncles, our aunts, our cousins, our brothers and sisters.
This commission is also not to establish any truth about what happened in our country, or to inform us about anything. We Rwandans understand the role of France in the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994.
We have clear ideas about the technical, diplomatic and financial support provided to the genocidal regime before, during and after the genocide by the ‘French State.
We are extensively well informed about the training provided by the French army to the Rwandan army and the interahamwe militias who served as death squads.
We saw with our own eyes the Mitterand and Habyarimana processions marching through Kigali, we heard the killers chanting ‘long live France, long live the French, long live the French army, long live cooperation’.
The whole world witnessed, during several sessions of the UN Security Council, such eloquent speeches by French representatives, permanent members of the said council, defending the genocidal government, then a non-permanent member, which denied what was happening in Rwanda, at the time of the events.
The few survivors of Bisesero remember the abandonment of a patrol by the French soldiers who discovered them hidden in the mountains, wounded and without medicine or food, then abandoned to the killers, who were camping nearby.
Everyone remembers the French soldiers who were on barriers in Kigali, separating Tutsi and Hutu then handing over the Tutsi to the executioners;
We are aware of Murambi’s cruelty, when the French military created a volleyball court over a mass grave to hide the bodies of freshly killed Tutsi from UN investigators.
Finally, we have heard the testimonies of Tutsi women raped by French soldiers. We know the identity of the executioners who live today in France under the protection of the French state, 26 years after the genocide.
Last year, the French intelligence services (DGSE) finally accused Hutu extremists of being responsible for the attack on President Habyarimana’s Plane, an element that had served as a pretext to trigger the large-scale extermination of Tutsi. This came after more than a decade of resistance against bogus arrest warrants issued by a French judge against the leaders of the current Rwandan government, those who precisely stopped the genocide.
Once again these so-called revelations from the DGSE have taught us nothing. We have always known who shot down the plane carrying Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Ntaryamira. We conducted our own investigations and concluded that these were the same extremists in collusion with experts from the French army.
We have been fighting for 26 years against a systematic disinformation campaign by the DGSE services aimed, like Pierre Péan, at confusing the executioners with the victims, and in particular, as the American writers Andrew Wallis and British Linda Melvern uncovered, by false assassination alerts distributed to other Western services, supposedly targeting genocidaires and their supporters on the run in the West, in order to sabotage their extraditions to Rwanda to face justice; It is to be believed that the French are afraid that the genocidaires could admit the extent of the support received from the French state.
The debate on French archives is no different from the debate on the identity of those who shot down President Habyarimana’s plane. In reality these two elements do not change anything in the facts, on the scale, the identity of the executioners or the course of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi.
This last minute French commission then, is a purely French affair, especially since the real experts on the subject, the only ones who understand Kinyarwanda and Rwanda were excluded, to leave known revisionists and deniers.
I therefore specified that we expected nothing from this attempt to explain to the French how the so-called ‘country of human rights’ was able to become an accomplice in the most appalling drama of the end of the 20th century, in brief, an attempt that only serves the killers and their French accomplices to face their own demons, a form of justifying the unspeakable: the unjustifiable.
I cannot end this article without quoting the French writer, Jean François Dupaquier, co-author of: ‘Médias of genocide’ who spoke at the International Conference on the Genocide, held in Kigali in April last year: ‘If war is the continuation of politics by other means, negationism is also the continuation of the Genocide by other means’, and to address Mr. Vincent Duclert who was present in the room:’ You have been chosen to lie, to distort reality and downplay the well-documented role of the French government in the Genocide against the Tutsi. I wonder how you accepted the task. Here in Rwanda they have a philosophy which has helped them to recover, ‘Agaciro’. It means ‘Dignity’. I invite you to be inspired by it …’ Mr. Duclert who had shouted to signal his presence in the audience, stood up to justify himself. It reminded me of Churchill’s famous comment to another British politician: “He is asked to stand, he wants to sit, and he is expected to lie.”