Thursday, 16 September 2010

That leaked UN 'genocide in Congo' report..

Today President Kagame of Rwanda is in London to deliver the annual Oppenheimer Lecture at the IISS. This is seen as a sign of international respect for a leader who has spearheaded fifteen years of development and economic growth, and is seen by the British and US governments as a model for the rest of Africa.

His Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) took power by bringing to an end the genocide of his Tutsi people in 1994 - as the UN stood by.

But a new draft UN report, leaked, but to be formally released on October 1st, accuses President Kagame's RPF of committing appalling atrocities in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo as they pursued Hutu genocidaires. The report even suggests that the very soldiers who stopped the genocide of the Tutsis committed a second genocide, against the Hutus in the forests of the Congo - an allegation which robs President Kagame of his legitimacy.

The president has reacted angrily, threatening to withdraw Rwandese peacekeepers from Darfur, saying the UN's failure to stop genocide against the Tutsis invalidates any criticism of the RPF.

He told Channel 4 News: "To accuse Rwandan forces, or Rwanda, of committing genocide in the Congo or anywhere else for that matter, other than what happened in our own country, is just absurd. To say people feel insulted and very angry is an understatement."

Channel 4 has obtained footage (posted above) from film makers Ofelia de Pablo and Javier Zurita, of the training in forensics of Congolese Police and army personnel who will excavate the graves where the bodies of the RPF's victims are believed to lie. There have also been obtained, interviews with some survivors from those massacres in the late 1990s, which suggest that, at the very least, President Kagame has a case to answer. Channel 4 tell us that they saw just a little of what was happening and that the UN report confirms their worst fears.

On Baobab, The Ecomonist's blog on African politics, economy and culture, appears this insightful post on the subject. The readers' comments too are quite interesting..

1 comment:

ColoredOpinions said...

Thanks for making me aware of all those links. I will certainly wright on the developments in the great lakes region and compare the views from different parts of the world with my own.