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Sunday, January 31, 2010
Habyarimana Family Rejects Mutsinzi Report (27 Jan 2010)
The Habyarimana Family categorically rejects the Mutsinzi Report! (27 Jan. 2010)
[If US foreign policy were really driven, as my President Obama has contended on a number of occasions, by Americans’ love of Freedom, Justice and Democracy, the privatized military adventures that brought death en masse to Yugoslavia and Rwanda would never have taken place. But because the US—and, really, the rest of the NATO-occupied world—has become a sort of nuclear-militarized ‘Bates Motel,’ where a morbid, narcissistic fantasy is being defended from encroachments by a persistent and unforgiving Reality with mass murder that is post facto charged to its victims, the swelling tide of judicial evidence that is breaking against the US/UK/EU/NATO-version of events has called forth ever-more hysterical and mawkishly sentimental apologias for this consensus false-consciousness.
Now Boris Tadic, the comprador president of Serbia, is trying to get his parliament to pass a resolution acknowledging his country’s responsibility for what he would have as the defining event of the Bosnian war: the 1995 Srebrenica genocide of 8,000 Muslim men and boys. In 2007 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held that Serbia was NOT responsible for this alleged mass crime, which is still legally unproven though all too frequently stipulated to.
And an equally cynical, if slightly less craven, attempt at puttying up the cracks in a steadily disintegrating false history of genocide has been filed by the current Kigali military dictatorship of Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) with their issuing of the Report of the Mutsinzi Commission of Independent Experts on the 6 April 1994 missile strike that took the lives of all aboard the Rwandan president’s Falcon 50 executive jet, including two duly-elected African heads of state, and triggered the so-called genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and ‘moderate’ Hutus in 100 days.
Both these would-be genocides have been the primary concerns of the two UN ad hoc tribunals in The Hague (for Yugoslavia) and Arusha, Tanzania (for Rwanda), which share a single Appeals Chamber. The legal precedents for proving this crime of genocide are dodgy at best (Srebrenica was stipulated to after plea-bargained confessions from alleged collaborators dropped a guilty verdict on the ill-defended Drina Corps Commander, Radislav Kristic), and completely fatuous at worst (as in the ICTR Military 1 trial, where, after acquitting the so-called brains of the Rwandan Tutsi genocide, Col. Théoneste Bagosora, Major Aloys Ntabakuze and Lt-Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva, of any ‘planning or conspiracy’ in the Rwandan genocide, the three FAR officers were convicted of the ‘genocidal crimes of others’ on the basis of a June 2006 Appeals Chamber order to take ‘judicial notice’ of the crime. That is to say, the trial chamber should consider the Rwandan genocide a ‘natural fact of Jesus,’ so widely believed in as to be beyond any need for evidentiary verification.
Here is another refutation of the Mutsinzi Report for you (yeah, you’re welcome.). This one’s from the family of the martyred Rwandan President, Juvénal Habyarimana—from his three sons, Léon, Bernard and Jean-Luc. When one considers the absolute UnReason to which the enemies of Historical Truth and Justice have had to resort—the morally bereft Philip Gourevitch’s racist discounting of the Rwandan revolution under President Habyarimana as a thirty-year (communist) genocide springs to mind here—the future of the thinking world seems truly dank. –mc]
The Habyarimana Family categorically rejects the Mutsinzi Report! (27 Jan. 2010)
Communiqué from the family of the late Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana concerning the recently issued Rwandan Report by “the Committee of independent experts” on the terrorist attack of 6 April 1994.
Following the release of the “Mutsinzi Report” on the 6 April 1994 attack which took the lives of 12 fathers from Rwanda, Burundi and France*; we, the family of Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, feel an obligation to warn the public of the attempted manipulations of and diversions from the reality of this terrorist act that took our father from us. We want first of all to impeach the objectivity of this “Independent Committee of Experts,” whose use of the word ‘independent’ is a mere embellishment for its desperate need to get across. Everyone knows [or should know—cm/p] that Mr. Jean Mutsinzi, head of the Commission, is a founding member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF, currently holding state power) and the former Chief Justice of the Rwandan Supreme Court, also under the same RPF regime. His proximity to Paul Kagame is even better known and we do not expect that this Commission he leads is going to cast any suspicion on the party of which he is a founding member or on his colleagues and comrades-in-arms, including Kagame, himself, though they have been found, by international judicial investigations, to be the instigators and commanders of this attack.
We wish to draw the public’s attention to the fact that besides the dubious independence of this Rwandan Commission, it was only conceived in April 2007 and set up by the Rwandan government in November 2007 to begin its work in December of that year, or nearly 14 years after the fact. This is incontrovertible evidence of the indifference of the Rwandan government, since the RPF came to power, on the subject of finding the truth behind this terrorist act. This indifference was even confirmed by Paul Kagame, himself, at the end of 2006 when he stated on the international airwaves (on the BBC’s Hard Talk and on RF1) that he is not at all interested in clearing up the death of President Habyarimana; he said he could not care less about it.
The authorities in Kigali claim to have written to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) demanding the establishment of an international commission of inquiry and that their demand was never followed up on. We can just imagine the insistence with which the RPF administration must have made this demand! We believe that if the Kigali government had really wanted an international inquiry, that inquiry would have taken place and Paul Kagame would not be talking about how such an investigation into the death of President Habyarimana did not interest him at all. Moreover, out of respect for the Burundian people, whose president, Cyprien Ntaryamira, also died in the attack and, therefore, on Rwandan soil, this same government would normally have had to recognize its duty to see that such an international investigation were initiated.
It is well known that the Rwandan genocide was triggered by the 6 April 1994 attack. For 15 years, Paul Kagame and his forces have been unwilling to shed any light on this terrorist act, without which Rwanda and, doubtlessly, the whole of the Great Lakes region would never have descended into chaos. This paralysis due to the indifference of the Rwandan government has shown that the RPF wants to avoid, at all costs, that its responsibility in the genocide be revealed in any definitive way. Since 1998, a French anti-terrorist court has been investigating this attack. Contrary to what is stated in the Mutsinzi Report and by those who would deny the truth, the French investigation was begun in response to a complaint filed by one of the families of a French victim in the attack and not ordered by the French authorities. The independence, objectivity and professionalism with which the French judiciary led this investigation could only be questioned by those who were directly involved in this attack or those who want the history of the Rwandan genocide to continue as a perversion of reality. The French investigation, in which we took part as plaintiffs, is to this day the only credible judicial investigation into this attack. To ridicule and minimize more than 11 years of work by men and women who specialize in such investigations, and the struggle against international terrorism, would be an insult to the victims as well as to the justice after which we all strive.
We must remember that the French judges were not the only ones to have demonstrated and substantiated the involvement of Paul Kagame and the RPF in this attack. Well before the French, Mr. Michael Hourigan, an Australian investigator assigned to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), filed a report in May 1997 with the UN and the ICTR. This report clearly assigned responsibility for, and named Paul Kagame and the RPF as the authors of, the 6 April 1994 attack. As soon as the new rulers of Kigali were found to be responsible, Hourigan and his team were ordered to halt their investigation.
After years spent in charge of the investigations of the ICTR and feeling the impossibility of getting to the truth while charging only Hutus, Mme Carla Del Ponte revealed her desire to investigate the crimes committed by the RPF. She was especially interested in shedding light on the attack of 6 April 1994 and aligned herself with those who believed that this attack fell within the mandate of the ICTR. She said: “If it turns out the RPF was behind this attack, the whole history of the genocide would have to be rewritten.” This expressed intention to bring justice for all the victims cost her her job as Chief Prosecutor at the ICTR after pressure from Paul Kagame was applied to the UN.
The Spanish justice system, which also investigated the genocidal crimes committed in Rwanda and the DRC, likewise designated Paul Kagame and the RPF as the instigators of this attack. The Mutsinzi Report assigns responsibility for the attack to the government forces at that time (ex-FAR), particularly to superior officers [Col. Théoneste] Bagosora, [Major Aloys] Ntabakuze and [Lt-Col. Anatole] Nsengiyumva. These officers were being prosecuted at the ICTR and are being held in Arusha. It must be noted that throughout their trial, these officers diligently demanded that the ICTR open an investigation into the assassination of the Rwanda head of state so that the responsibility for the genocide could be brought to light. Their conscientiousness was never respected!
We wondered, therefore, how people already being tried for genocide and after fighting for years to prove their innocence, could put the rope around their own necks by demanding that the ICTR investigate a crime that they, themselves, were alleged to have committed? We believe that if these officers had actually been responsible for this terrorist act, the event that triggered such a monstrous tragedy, the ICTR would immediately have taken up the case.
The number of witnesses heard by the Mutsinzi Commission (557 of them) does not give any credibility to its conclusions. Any informed person knows that Rwanda is a country where personal freedoms are violated on a daily basis and disappearances have become banal. To have a difference of opinion or to point a finger is enough to wind one up in prison or dead. The International Organizations in Defense of Human Rights that never cease to challenge the RPF regime can testify to this. Under these conditions, how can we ignore the pressure and fear that these different witnesses, ex-FAR for the most part, suffered through to give testimony clearing the RPF and incriminating their brothers in arms?
We also must recall that within our family there are two direct witnesses to the attack who were at our home in Kanombe at the time it took place. They are both absolutely positive: The missiles were fired from the hill in Masaka (or from the valley next to it). These eye-witnesses were facing the hill in Masaka at the moment the presidential plane was making its final approach, and Camp Kanombe was to their right and just behind them. Obviously, neither one was interviewed by the Mutsinzi Commission. So, unless the geography or topography of this part of Rwanda has changed since April 1994, the conclusions of the Mutsinzi Report on this subject are nothing but brazen lies.
The Mutsinzi Report produces as evidence some photographs of the wreckage of the president’s plane, photos taken by one of the president’s sons who was an eye-witness to the attack, and yet it does not include his testimony. We recall that this witness, Jean-Luc Habyarimana, gave his version of the facts while testifying before the “Bruguière” investigation and twice to the ICTR.
But what is completely unbearable for us is to have our mother accused of being responsible for the murder of her husband. The Mutsinzi Report indicates that at the end of March 1994, President Mobutu of Zaire (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo) informed Mme Habyarimana of preparations for an attack on her husband and that she did not convey this information to the President despite the insistence of the Zairian president. Even if absurdity cannot kill, it is difficult to imagine anything more cynical. Did this Commission question Presidents Mobutu and Habyarimana before their deaths? Was this information unexpected by Mme Habyarimana? Why did President Mobutu choose to inform his Rwandan counterpart through his wife when he knew he would be meeting with President Habyarimana in Gbadolité on 4 April 1994?
Then the Report specifies that Mme Habyarimana confessed all this over the telephone to French President Mitterand on 6 April at 9:30 pm, when the French president called to express his condolences! Mme Habyarimana never spoke to President Mitterand that night.
Such baseness on the part of this Commission and its false witnesses can only reinforce the negative view we have of it.
To us, the conclusions of the Mutsinzi Report were known in advance because its authors could not stray from the mission, to whitewash the RPF and its chief, assigned them by the Rwandan government.
We will renew our confidence in French justice to shed light on this act of terrorism and continue to deplore the International Community’s foot-dragging on this issue, now 15 years down the road from the event.
Without a serious and credible elucidation of the attack of 6 April 1994, the Rwandan genocide will continue to be instrumentalized by those who have no interest in the truth’s ever being known. We take this opportunity to remind the International Community that it has a duty to aid all the victims in obtaining real justice. This will permit all the people of Rwanda to begin to work for the sort of remembrance that will bring them true reconciliation.
--Paris, 25 January 2010--
For the family of Juvénal Habyarimana:
Léon Habyarimana Bernard Habyarimana Jean-Luc Habyarimana
********************* * List of the victims of the 6 April 1994 terrorist attack:
1. Major-General Juvénal HABYARIMANA, President of the Republic of Rwanda;
2. Mr. Cyprien NTARYAMIRA, President of the Republic of Burundi;
3. Mr. Bernard CIZA, Burundian Minister of Planning, Development and Reconstruction;
4. Mr. Cyriaque SIMBIZI, Burundian Minister of Communication and government spokesman;
5. Major-General Déogratias NSABIMANA, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army;
6. Ambassador Juvénal RENZAHO, Diplomatic Adviser to the Rwandan President;
7. Colonel Elie SAGATWA, Personal Secretary and Chief of Security to the Rwandan President;
8. Doctor Emmanuel AKINGENEYE, Personal Physician to the Rwandan President;
9. Major Thaddée BAGARAGAZA, Aide de Camp to the Rwandan President and Second in Command of the Presidential Guard;
10. Major Jacky HERAUD, Pilot of the Presidential Falcon 50 aircraft;
11. Commander Jean-Pierre MINABERRY, Copilot of the Presidential plane;
12. Chief Adjutant Jean-Michel PERRINE, Navigator/Flight Engineer on the Presidential plane.