Wednesday, September 1, 2010

“If you succumb to Kigali’s pressure, you will be held responsible”, UN Secretary is told

By Eugene Ndahayo
President, The Support Committee for UDF-Inkingi
August 30, 2010

Here is the letter addressed to the UN Secretary General on behalf of the Rwandan people:
Brussels, August 30, 2010

Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
UN Secretary General
Plaza, P. O. Box 20
New York, NY 10017,

Subject: DRC Mapping Exercise

Mr. Secretary General,

The Support Committee for UDF-Inkingi just read excerpts from the draft of the UN report on serious crimes including genocide, committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), against the Hutu refugees.

The French newspaper Le Monde (edition of August 26, 2010) and the International News organization based in the USA, The Christian Science Monitor, stated that the Kigali regime might be pressuring the United Nations so that the report can be dismissed or at least be watered down. Specifically, the Kigali regime would like that you simply erase the word “genocide” from the report. The Rwandan government has even threatened to withdraw from the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan, if its demands were not met.

The official statement released by the Rwandan government, dated August 27, 2010, confirmed this information to the press. Indeed, the deliberately aggressive tone used by the Rwandan government betrays its intention to do anything to intimidate and blackmail the United Nations. This is a usual RPF practice since its accession to power in 1994.

Mr. Secretary General,

In October 1994, the American Robert Gersony, then consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), accused the new RPF regime of having killed at least 30,000 Hutus since coming to power, following investigations conducted during three weeks in eastern Rwanda and one week in refugee camps in Tanzania .

As soon as the first elements of the draft report were published in the press, the Kigali regime threatened to terminate the operations of the UNAMIR, if the report was validated. The UN then succumbed to the combined pressures of Kigali and its lobbies and demanded that the UNHCR seal the report, while promising a counter expertise investigation. A joint committee composed of representatives of UNAMIR and the Rwandan Ministry of the Interior completed the investigation in one day following a visit to Rwamagana. The representative of the secretary of the UN, Shaharyar Khan, refused to validate the report of the UNHCR. Since then, the “Gersony report” has simply disappeared from the archives of the United Nations, according to a communication made to the defense counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

In October 1994, in the wake of the controversy around the “Gersony report”, the Irish Karen Kenny, representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Rwanda, resigned. She believed that “in four months without a car, without a budget and, most importantly, without observers to deploy, she had just served as an alibi” .

On April 22, 1995, in the presence of Australian and Zambian peacekeepers from UNAMIR, the Rwandan Patriotic Army massacred Hutus that were internally displaced in Kibeho. The UN did nothing to make sure that the guilty were punished. Instead, it just asked the Rwandan government, which was the prime suspect, to investigate and prosecute.

In 1997, the Special Reporter of the UN commission in charge of human rights in DRC, the Chilean Roberto Garreton, released a damning report on crimes committed by the RPA against the Hutu refugees in DRC. The Kigali regime immediately began an intensive pressure to suppress the report and block a UN mission that was requested by President Laurent Desire Kabila with the mandate to confirm the results of the Garreton mission. The UN mission had to pack their bags following obstruction by the authorities who were under hostage of Kigali.

Mr. Secretary General,

At the end of your recent meeting with Spanish Prime Minister, you requested the Kigali regime to shade the light on recent assassinations, including the assassination of journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage, deputy editor of the newspaper Umuvugizi, and the first vice-president of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka. To our knowledge, nothing has been done so far.

If it were proved that the UN is about to succumb once again to pressure of a regime accused of serious offenses in order to suppress or tone down the report, the Rwandan people would hold you responsible for their plight, because you would have breached your mission as the guarantor of peace and respect for human rights for all.

The fact that the Kigali regime threatens to withdraw its troops from Darfur does not seem to be a reason to succumb. The presence of troops that are under pressure to serious suspicion of genocide is also not good news for a mission that has been deployed following acts of genocide and for which the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been seized. It would be an honor for the UN to have troops with a blank criminal record and free from all suspicions.

Mr. Secretary General,

Rwanda is at a crossroads. Not to take this opportunity to send a strong message to the Rwandan authorities to finally comply with human rights would be a bad omen for the credibility of the UN and a disservice to the people of Rwanda.

We hope that wisdom will prevail; that the report will be released without any external interference. Moreover, in view of the international obligations of repression of genocide, it will be up to the UN to establish a judicial mechanism to ensure that perpetrators do not go unpunished.

Please accept, Mr. Secretary General, the assurances of my highest consideration.

For the Support Committee for UDF-Inkingi

Related Materials:
UN urged to take its responsibilities in regard to Kagame’s army genocide crimes


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