Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rwanda-Gate: The Forgotten (But NOT Gone) Scandal of the Clinton-Democrats in Africa


U.S. v France


The Forgotten (but NOT Gone) Scandal of
The Clinton Democrats in Africa

translated from the French & adapted by CM/P
La France dans la Terreur Rwandaise
(Chapter 18)
Charles Onana

The Real Position of the US in the Peace Negotiations over the Rwandan Crisis

While France was busying itself finding a political or diplomatic solution to the conflict, the US, very discretely supported a military solution, that is, the same expedient option that Paul Kagame, as head of the ‘Tutsi rebellion’, had chosen.  During the peace negations in Arusha, the US even sent its military ‘advisors as observers’ to Tanzania.  One of these military advisors, Lt. Col. Anthony Marley, a long-time trainer of Tutsis in the U.S., represented the State Dept.  We will return to him to discuss his dealings with Paul Kagame in Uganda.

The military dimension would come to be essential to the Americans as they began to use Uganda as a sort of ‘sub-contractor’ for furnishing necessary logistical support to the ‘Tutsi rebellion’.  This arrangement, which was never officially recognized, appeared in the testimonies of both African and Western observers, as well as in the decisions and in certain reports by the American administration.

At the time of the first attack by ‘Tutsi rebels’ against Rwanda, on 1 October 1990, it appeared that certain of the invaders were serving in the Ugandan National Resistance Army, and among these was their leader Paul Kagame, who received military training in the U.S. at the behest of the Pentagon in one of its IMET programs (International Military Education & Training).[1]

Remigius Kintu

According to Remigius Kintu, leader of the Ugandan Opposition in exile in the U.S., Col. Tony Marley confirmed to him that seven of the ten supposedly Ugandan soldiers trained in the U.S. at that time were in fact Tutsi members of the RPF/RPA.  And Paul Kagame was, himself, trained at the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, while other officers in the rebellion received their training in Louisiana, California, and Oregon.

Breaking up is hard to do.

During the early 1990s, U.S. support for the Tutsis was being amped up: in the final year of George H.W. Bush’s presidency, the White House asked Congress for a 33% increase in the Pentagon’s IMET budget ($200,000 for the programs in 1992-93) for training officers in the Ugandan Army.  This increase might have seemed odd, as Ugandan President Museveni was facing no threats from either inside or outside his country.  His power had been consolidated, and he had absolutely nothing to fear from a totally leader-less opposition.  In fact, the American financial aid was essentially meant for those elements of the ‘Tutsi rebellion’ in the Ugandan Army who were already preparing a war against the Habyarimana regime they intended to topple.  It is thus clear that the Americans, as early as the beginning of the 1990s, had taken the side of supporting the destabilization of the Habyarimana government from Uganda.

It was also at this time that the U.S. began discretely suppling weapons to the ‘Tutsi rebels’ within the Ugandan Army.  In September 1992, less than two years before the terrorist attack of April 1994, a scandal broke in the American press over the illegal transfers of arms, and especially of missiles, to Uganda.  Some of the Ugandan president’s inner circle were charged by the U.S. Justice Dept. with smuggling around 400 TOW missiles and 34 launchers, as well as a number of Chinook CH-47C helicopters, worth about $15 million.

         400 TOWs                  and         a few choppers = $15 mil.

The Ugandan president’s personal secretary, Innocent Bisangwa-Mbuje, and the Ugandan Ambassador to the U.S., Stephen Kampipina Katenta-Apuli, were considered by US investigators as the lynch pins in this operation.  Among others involved were a retired General in the Egyptian Air Force, Mounir Fahmy Barsoum, a retired officer from the Egyptian Army, Col. Sultan Abou Sharaf, a former-adviser to the Ugandan government and an American national, Diane Lewis, and an American arms dealer based out of New York, Nezih Kent.  The U.S. Justice Dept. would also name several accomplices, among whom were the Ugandan Minister of Defense, General David Tinyefuza, the permanent Secretary of Defense, Ben Mbonye, and two high-ranking Libyan officers.

In the month preceding the raid by U.S. Customs Officials, a front company was created in Orlando, FL, under the name The Poseidon Trade Group.  It was behind this front company that the players in this deal would get together, sometimes in Orlando, sometimes at JFK in New York.  The Egyptian Colonel Sharaf, who represented the Ugandan authorities in this deal, had, himself, created a shell-company in Geneva under the name Myrion Holding, Ltd., to facilitate the smuggling of the TOW missiles and the helicopters.

Their plan was to pass off the TOWs and launchers as ‘construction materials’.  The arms had to be transported by boat from Jacksonville, FL, to Entebbe, Uganda, by way of Limassol, Cyprus.  As for the helicopters, they would have to be transported to Uganda by a Libyan company based in Malta.  When the U.S. Justice Dept. found out about the involvement of this Libyan business, they immediately set about looking into whether this (even) indirect involvement of Libya in the deal would constitute a violation of the UN Security Council’s 1991 arms embargo against Tripoli.

Worried about the effects his personal secretary’s being arrested on American soil would have on his relations with the U.S., the Ugandan head-of-State decided to put up a one million dollar bond for his boy and financed it by mortgaging the $20 million in contraband merchandize through the “Uganda House”, an institution within Uganda’s mission to the United Nations in New York City.  The Justice Dept agreed to free Innocent Bisangwa-Mbuje and drop the charges against him, but on one condition: that he testify against the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni.  Then things got real weird real fast.

In reality, the American customs officials considered Museveni’s personal secretary to be the key player in this missile smuggling deal and figured he was pretty well informed on the arms traffic between Uganda and the U.S.  This is why the Justice Dept. was interested in cooperating with him and, in the end, getting specific information from him on the exact position held by the Ugandan head-of-State in this whole business.

From the evidence gathered by the investigators, the case seemed much more volatile than it had in the beginning.  The Dept. of Justice was threatening to charge President Museveni personally.

          DoJ             v                King M7

The entire plan was about to blow up after certain important members of the Bush administration found out that Museveni was on the verge of becoming the principal target of the US Justice Department’s investigation and that it would be hard for the CIA and the DIA to pretend not to know about the intended final use of these weapons.

Faced with this troubling situation, backfires were immediately lit.  The Ugandan government told U.S. Justice that all these weapons were meant for the war against poaching and gorilla trafficking in the Great Lakes region.  The lie was huge, but the judges, under great political pressure, began to back off.  One detail got by the American investigators:  the kind of juice that Museveni’s allies had within the Washington power-establishment.  As the Justice Dept. gradually tightened the screws on Innocent Bisangwa-Mbuje, President Museveni’s personal amanuensis, the U.S. State Dept. and its lawyers intensified their lobbying efforts in the courts.

Victory in this match with the U.S. Dept. of Justice was about to be declared for Museveni and the ‘Tutsi rebellion.’

With the ascension of Bill Clinton to the U.S. presidency, Yoweri Museveni became the central figure in America’s foreign policy for Africa.  So it became mandatory to avoid bothering this corrupt autocrat the U.S. planned to depend on as leader of its political offensive in Central Africa.

After the new POTUS had been sworn in, the pressures from the CIA and the State Dept. were redoubled to quash the prosecutions of Museveni’s private secretary and all the American nationals and Egyptian officers involved in this arms trafficking case.

Sisters in Neo-Colonialism

The whole affair took a hard political turn because of certain influential members of the Clinton administration who were strong supporters of the Ugandan president:  people like Madeleine Albright and Susan Rice.  A real arm-wresting match broke out between the Justice and State Departments.

First, Federal Judge Kendall Sharp announced that all charges against the principals in the Orlando Arms Trafficking case were being dropped due to “insufficient evidence.”  The Federal Prosecutor, Bob Genzman, who had opened the case to begin with, fought back:  “We totally disagree with the court on the facts and the law in this matter.”  He added:  “Unfortunately, given the court did not submit this case to a jury, the Public Prosecutor cannot file an appeal.”

But justice actually reared its head after the file, which was being handled by the CIA and the Pentagon, was hacked into.  Then the case of the Orlando Arms Traffickers took a less judicial turn.  Because it seems that certain of the missiles intended for the Ugandan military were, in fact, to be used in the war against the Sudanese government of President Omar al-Bashir.  At this time, Washington was looking to get rid of Sudan’s head-of-State, Omar al-Bashir, whom they accused of supporting international terrorism and, especially, radical Palestinian movements.[2]

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir

This sudden halting of the investigation into missile smuggling by the Ugandan Army for the benefit of the ‘Tutsi rebellion’ in Rwanda, and intent on the destabilization of those African regimes considered ‘undesirable’, is stark testimony to the sort of double-dealing the U.S. was up to, as well as to the significant influence of certain secret interests.  It was just such interests that would guide American involvement in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, generally, for years to come.
Sirs  Eric Lubbock             and            Douglas Hurd

In light of these discoveries, a former British MP in charge of Human Rights, Eric Lubbock, decided to go to Douglas Hurd, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, to complain about the U.S.’s secret activities in Africa and the dangerous political situation currently existing in Uganda:  “We have received disturbing reports about recent developments in Uganda, where, on 6 August 1992, the Ugandan president issued a decree banning political parties, against the advice of Parliament and contrary to current norms in many African countries.”

Mr. Lubbock added:  “If it is revealed that President Museveni tried to come by those missiles on the down-low, in violation of U.S. laws, it would not be appropriate for us to continue giving assistance of any kind to Uganda, especially in the form of military aid and training, and this is how it should continue until the president resigns and free and fair elections can be held in the country.”

Douglas Hurd, visibly ill at ease, replied to the British MP :  “Political parties were not banned in Uganda, but their activities have been curtailed for some time.  A domestic debate has gone on about whether a government that must answer for its actions should have to return to a system of multi-party democracy.”

Douglas Hurd’s lame arguments in defense of the Museveni regime are not at all convincing.  Even the U.S. Ambassador in Kampala, Michael Southwick, was quite direct that “Museveni’s dictatorial practices make him a dangerous man” in the sub-region, a statement that would lead the Ugandan president to characterized the American’s words as impolite and totally out of place.

With all of that, the U.S. continued to play its double game, officially supporting Peace on one hand, while secretly sending military aid and training to the ‘Tutsi rebels’ on the other.  To better understand this attitude, it is necessary to look at the investments that, in certain sectors of the American economy, are valorized by Kagame and his ‘rebels’.

The investigative journalist and former NSA analyst, Wayne Madsen, confirms that the destabilization of the Great Lakes region has been part of a longstanding project at the Pentagon and White House and that, in this perspective, the involvement of the U.S. in the internal affairs of Rwanda has been on-going for some years:  “The destabilization of Central Africa, and of Rwanda in particular, really began in 1994.  The Hutu-dominated government of Rwanda[3] was an obstruction to Washington’s plans.  However, the involvement of the Intelligence Services in Rwanda’s internal conflicts dates to before the Clinton administration.  This interference actually arose during the presidency of George H.W. Bush.”[4]
Wayne Madsen--like Snowden
but with REAL Information

We’ve been able to verify Wayne Madsen’s statements by consulting different confidential reports from the Bush (1) administration showing that beside the hidden military support to the ‘Tutsi rebellion’, the U.S. carried on certain activities on the diplomatic level that demonstrated they were not in favor of keeping President Habyarimana in power even if they showed a certain official moderation toward his regime.[5]

It was the Rwandan ambassador in Washington, Aloys Uwimana, who brought us what he had learned over time:  “I came to Washington on 1 October 1997 from Tokyo, where I had been the ambassador since 1984.  The Rwandan case blew up with the famous conference of Rwandan refugees in Washington (August 1988), organized by Roger Winter[6], then director of the American Committee for Refugees.  A fierce defender of the RPF and a friend of Museveni’s, Winter would support the RPF to the end.
Roger Winter, the Christian Scourge of Muslim Sudan

"This conference produced a declaration of war against the Rwandan government.  In fact, one of its resolutions called for Rwandan refugees to be returned to the country by force if the Rwandan government would not permit them to return freely and unconditionally.  President Habyarimana must have realized the danger here because he instructed me to approach the Tutsi leaders and to invite them to take part in all the events organized by the Embassy, like the meetings of MRND cells abroad or diplomatic receptions . . .

“This is how I met certain leaders like Alexandre Kimenyi, editor-in-chief of Impuruza, a magazine of unprecedented virulence against the Hutu, calling them ‘ants’, or one George Rubagumya, who traveled regularly between the U.S. and Uganda.”

The Rwandan ambassador goes on:

"For the American government under Bush senior, the inescapable solution was the adoption of a multi-party political system and economic reforms, especially of the [neo-Liberal] ‘structural adjustment’-kind.  For Bush, this would deprive the RPF of any argument.  Through the State Dept., the U.S. president applied a great deal of pressure on the Rwandan government in this direction, and when it carried out these policies, President Bush sent a personal, hand-written message to his Rwandan counterpart congratulating him and assuring Habyarimana of the full support of his government.

"I got along very well with the Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, Herman Cohen, to the point that we were able to work smoothly together throughout this difficult period.  However, at the beginning of the crisis, I told Herman Cohen that this war was not aimed at Rwanda, in which the U.S. has always claimed loud and clear that it has no strategic interest.

"When I told him this war was aimed at Congo-Zaire, he said I was crazy.

"In the opinion of many observers, Habyarimana’s principal misfortune was his not allowing Rwanda to serve as a rear-base from which to hunt Mobutu, whom the US had already cut loose.   I don’t have any formal evidence for this.  But if the attitude of the Bush government was rather reserved on the matter, the Pentagon was always very pro- RPF.
                                        George Moose       and             Prudence Bushnell

"Clinton’s coming to power was going to change the whole game: with Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State, George Moose at African Affairs and Prudence Bushnell at the Central African desk that handled Rwanda.  I remember two incidents that, in looking back, might have been quite revealing.  One day, George Moose, Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs, invited my Burundian colleague and me to lunch.  In the course of the meal, he asked us a question:  ‘In your opinion, what head-of-State is the leader of the Great Lakes region of Africa?’  We started right off by elimination.

"We eliminated Mobutu, who had become the bête noire for the Americans; Museveni was implicated in the invasion of Rwanda; the Burundian president [i.e., Melchior Ndadaye, murdered by Burundian Tutsi army officers in October 1993] was too young and lacked experience; and, finally, Tanzania was still holding a grudge against Habyarimana for what, according to them, had happened to President Kayibanda.  So that only left Habyarimana.  Sometime later, the American government sent out a military mission that criss-crossed the capitals of the sub-region, Kinshasa, Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura, and Dar-es-Salaam.  It was during this mission that the decision to assassinate Habyarimana was finalized.[7]"
Burundian president Melchoir Ndadaye--
first of three duly-elected Hutu heads-of-State 
to be murdered by 'Tutsi rebels' between 
October 1993 and April 1994

Let’s stop and take a closer look at two points in this testimony:  the pressuring of Habyarimana and plans for his elimination.

 Ø    Pressures on Habyarimana

State Dept's African-hand Herman Cohen

We dug up a confidential US State Dept. document dated 15 July 1992 that discusses with great specificity these pressures.  Examining Washington’s discrete methods, the document was written by Robert Pringle and addressed directly to Herman Cohen:

"We suggest calling the Belgian Foreign Minister and the French Director of African Affairs, [Paul] Dijoud to exhort them to keep up the pressure on Habyarimana to apply the Rwanda-RPF [Arusha] accords and give support to the machinery of peace keeping,  (. . .)

"The points concerning Dijoud:
Elysées' Africa-hand Paul Dijoud

"We are particularly concerned that the Rwandan political leaders, especially President Habyarimana, are rejecting what has been accomplished by their negotiators because they feel they are conceding too much to the RPF.  We think if you call Habyarimana and urge him to support the application of the Accords, it would help greatly.  We look forward to more actions in this vein by getting another important figure involved, either with a phone call to Habyarimana or a personal letter to the Rwandan president.

"If the question of US support comes up, we expect to keep up our current level of technical assistance throughout the peace process.

"The points concerning Claes:
Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes

"Western diplomatic efforts toward encouraging peace in Rwanda seem to have been paying off more quickly than expected.  Nevertheless, it is obvious that the agreement is fragile and that the peace process is going to need much greater effort from Rwanda’s foreign friends.  We are particularly concerned that Rwandan political leaders, especially President Habyarimana, are rejecting what has been accomplished by their negotiators, because they have given up too much to the RPF.  We think it would be useful if you could bring this subject up with Habyarimana and strongly urge him to support the implementation of the agreement.

"We look forward to acting in the same fashion by getting another important figure involved, either by telephoning Habyarimana or by sending a personal letter from this personality to the Rwandan president.  We hope you will be in a position to bring some financial support to the Observers Group.  (If it comes up) while we expect to maintain our current level of technical assistance, it will be difficult for us to do more because of reductions in the budget for security aid to Africa. (. . . )

"The Belgians came to us to let us know that Habyarimana would be in Brussels some time during the next week.  We think he also intends to go to Paris.  According to the discussions we have had with the Belgian representative in Arusha, Belgium would be amenable to a contribution of as much as $1 million to support a mission of observers for the peace process.  Without reporting this payment, it would be good to ask Claes if he thinks Belgium might give a financial contribution to the peace process.

"The French also expressed a desire to make a financial contribution.  While we should be able to put together $300-$500,000 to support the peace process in Rwanda, you must not make any promises before the allocation of funds has been decided.  A demand for funds on this matter has already been differed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense pending the outcome of the Arusha negotiations.  We are going to try again to put these funds together, but nothing is certain for the moment.  . . .”

It is apparent that the U.S. carries on its lobbying through political personalities and French and Belgian diplomats.  When Herman Cohen went to meet with Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes and French government representative Paul Dijoud on the matter of Rwanda, it was above all meant to pass Washington’s message on to President Habyarimana.  It is clear from this cynical action that the US was banking on Habyarimana’s bending over for the Arusha Accords, even though they were fully aware that he found the terms totally unacceptable because they disproportionately favored the RPF.

Along with these various pressures being applied to Habyarimana, the CIA developed a very specific set of questions about the working relations of force that prevailed on the ground and especially on the role and the interests of France in the region.  These questions also pertained to identifying important figures within the RPF. 

So it is surprising that all these facts establishing the real and continuing U.S. interest in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region did not stir more attention from the French parliament.

Indeed, it seems clear that the United States followed the crisis in Rwanda very closely, as is further shown by different official reports and numerous confidential notes from the Pentagon, the State Dept., and the CIA.  There are even diplomatic cables containing information of capital importance on the analyses and observations of American diplomats present on the ground, as many from the Bush as from the Clinton administrations.
      Bruno Delaye       and    Jean-Marc Sablière
Team France

In 1992, for example, a confidential note from the U.S. ambassador in Paris indicates very clearly that Herman Cohen, during his visit to France in December, had a discussion about Rwanda with President François Mitterrand, his advisor Bruno Delaye, and his Director of African Affairs Jean-Marc de Sablière.  The note points out, among other things, that President Habyarimana was very nervous and seemed to have 'too many problems,' that he wrote to President Mitterrand asking for a meeting, that he said he was prepared to accept 90% of the RPF/RPA demands, but that he could not accept the political marginalization of his own party the MRND[D].  The note specifies that according to Bruno Delaye, President Habyarimana believed that a long period of transition would help greatly to stabilize his country.  For that it would be necessary to hold the first free elections at the regional level to assure the stability of the regions.  According to the same note, Mr. Sablière felt that the Quai d’Orsay was not convinced that the RPF/RPA had completely rejected the military solution.

Herman Cohen stressed that ‘the rebellion’ was able to capture a large part of the country during the fighting in the summer of 1992 and was very much convinced that power is gained through war, but that, according to Washington, the RPF knew they were in no position to govern Rwanda because they represented all too small a minority of the population.

Jeffrey Davidow (State)     and     Janet Leader (U.S. Embassy)
Team America

Another document, another analysis:  In a confidential diplomatic cable from June 1992, we learn that Deputy Asst. Secretary of State Jeffrey Davidow on 5 June sat with members of the ‘Tutsi rebellion’ before their meeting with representatives of the Rwandan government in Paris.

         Pasteur Bizimungu                  Frank Mugambage           Patrick Mazimhaka
                                                           Team RPF

At this meeting, which involved RPF officers Pasteur Bizimungu, Patrick Mazimhaka, Frank Mugambage, and the number-two at the U.S. embassy in Rwanda, Joyce Leader, the discussion involved giving advice to the representatives of the RPF before their discussions with the Rwandan government officials.  It was Mr. Davidow’s suggestion that the RPF not refuse the idea of letting the French mediators take part in the negotiations.

With a cynicism so often characteristic of diplomacy, Jeffrey Davidow pointed out that “a mediator should not so much be impartial as powerful.  Because the weight France puts behind Habyarimana is an important lever that no other mediator has.  France will be able to furnish or mobilize resources after an agreement is reached.”

The American diplomat also asked if the RPF had considered the political overture being made by Habyarimana as an opportunity to participate, as a political party, in the Rwandan political process.  Pasteur Bizimungu said the RPF would agree to participating in the political system, but did not know just how they could put down their weapons before the institutions and mechanisms that keep Habyarimana in power were dismantled.

This discussion shows the several kinds of political and military pressure that were being exerted on Habyarimana to remove him from power and, especially, the RPF/RPA's taking a good deal of advice from their American coaches.

The military offensive of 9 February 1993 launched by the RPF/RPA, to the great surprise of one and all, and creating thousands of dead and displaced inside Rwanda, was represented by the rebels as “legitimate.”  At the time, this attack created limited indignation and the media questioned certain European public figures on the silence of the American authorities.  This silence was understandable considering the abundance of information on this brutal raid available to the Americans.  Here is the evidence.

A seven-page confidential report put together by the U.S. State Department in February 1993, just after the attack, clearly notes: 

"The RPF attack in the North of Rwanda with its accompanying atrocities indicates that the rebels have no intentions of sharing power with President Habyarimana.  On the contrary, the RPF in Tutsi hands is looking to control the government in Kigali and to force Habyarimana to step down. (. . .)

"While the RPF has not as of yet taken any of the principal towns in the country, it currently dominates a third of the nation's territory and holds the military initiative. (. . .)  The attacks by the RPF over the past two weeks have led to the displacement of more than 600,000 persons. (. . .)

"Considering the persistence of their attacks and their official declarations that they expect the fighting to go on for months, it seems that the RPF is trying to gain more than just a simple advantage in the Arusha negotiations.   Rather than wanting to share power with Habyarimana, the rebels seem to be looking for his quick capitulation.  Paradoxically, on 9 January, the RPF obtained major political concessions from the Habyarimana regime in the protocols of the Arusha talks.  By teaming up with the Opposition parties, the RPF has succeeded in isolating Habyarimana’s party, the MRND[D][8], along with the extremists of the CDR.

"The RPF are also hoping the French will leave off supporting Habyarimana.  The leaders of the RPF probably believed that France could not continue much longer to support a regime that is so often criticized for its violations of Human Rights.  The recent attacks by the RPF show their military strength.  This movement has demonstrated such intransigence that Habyarimana and the MRND[D], more than ever, dread making any arrangement with it.
The S.F. Milkman    and        The Rwandan General

"In October 1993, President Habyarimana visited the U.S. to find out the true intentions of the Clinton administration.  During his meeting with Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Habyarimana thanked the U.S. for its support in the Rwandan peace process and for its participation in the Arusha negotiations.  Secretary Christopher, in turn, congratulated the Rwandan president for instituting Democracy in his country and for his political courage in bringing about the signing of the Peace Accords with the RPF/A.

The American Secretary of State also asked Habyarimana for more details on the new multi-party system instituted in his country.  The Rwandan Chief-of-State said that Rwanda was definitively finished with the single-party system now that the constitution had been revised and a dozen new political parties had come onto the scene.  He also asked the US to get more involved in consolidating the Rwandan peace by sending in UN Peacekeepers.  Christopher wanted to know what countries had already pledged troops to Rwanda, to which Habyarimana responded that Belgium, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt would all be amenable to doing so.

Habyarimana added that he had also asked the UN Secretary General to approach France on this issue, but that Boutros Boutros-Ghali had expressed serious reticence at involving the French because of the strong opposition by the RPF/A to the presence of any French troops in Rwanda.  Habyarimana said he would also accept a Belgian participation in the UN contingent.

The Rwandan president reaffirmed his good will by indicating that once the UN force was in place, five Ministerial portfolios would be handed over to the RPF; that would make up, according to him, a solid base for a strong national consensus.  Under these conditions, the new government would have the responsibility of maintaining the security and stability of the country for the twenty-two months that were expected to lead up to holding free and democratic presidential elections.

In hopes of pulling together all the conditions that would lead to this process, Habyarimana asked for help from the International Community and for financial aid from the IMF and the World Bank to save his country from succumbing to the poverty and the economic crisis brought on by the war.

What Habyarimana did not know at this time was that his ambitions for peace and stability for the region were not shared by his American interlocutors.  Quite the contrary, the Clinton administration had already decided to go all in for a military victory by the RPF/A and was counting on just that prospect to size up the Rwandan president’s state of mind.  This meeting would not be fruitful for Habyarimana.  It allowed the American authorities to have confirmation of the fact that the Rwandan president was prepared to grant all sorts of concessions to the RPF/A in following his logic of peace and democratization.

If the Rwandan Chief of State was ready for an electoral rather than a military confrontation with the RPF/A, President Clinton and his team already knew that the RPF/A would very soon remove Habyarimana from power permanently.

In light of this information and of Washington’s “sponsorship” of the RPF/A, one might wonder just what was ultimately served by the Arusha Accords.  President Habyarimana was asked to democratize his country, and he did.  He was asked to negotiate with the ‘Tutsi rebels’, and he did.  He was asked to make concessions to the rebels, and he did so to such an extent that even the Americans said he had gone too far!  So much so that the rebels did not hesitate to violate every cease-fire.  In reality, the International Community tried in all kinds of ways to pull the Rwandan president out of this losing political game.

The U.S. ambassador to Rwanda, Mr. Robert Flatten, recapitulated very well the ambiguities of the International Community’s relations with Habyarimana:  “I think there came a moment when Habyarimana figured that he was being rejected, he was being asked to leave the negotiating table, as he was no longer taking part, and he knew not how, as president of the Republic, he could return to the negotiations, to re-involve himself in the negotiations.”[9]

Ø    The project for the elimination of Habyarimana

On this most important issue, there are still Americans furnishing relevant clues.  We found a report from 13 January 1994, classified SECRET, from the CIA to the White House and State Dept.—this is more than two months before the attack.  It is entitled “Comments by a high official of the Rwandan Patriotic Front on the RPF’s strategy in the negotiations for the Integration of Forces.”

In this report it says:  “The military strategy regularly adopted by the Rwandan Patriotic Army was to force the Rwandan government to come to the negotiating table by weakening their authority to govern in the country while at the same time mobilizing the forces necessary to overthrow the regime of President Juvénal Habyarimana in case of failure in the negotiations.  The RPA thinks this strategy has been effective until now and that no change is anticipated for the moment.”

The same report adds:  “During the ceasefire, the RPA succeeded in solving several problems:  seeing to the overall reinforcement of its troop-presence at the front; taking advantage of the ceasefires to train and equip its men while building up sufficient stocks of arms and ammunition, medicine and food and supporting its troops in the field.  During the resumption of hostilities, the RPA continued the politicization of its military by actively appealing for contributions to buy food from its supporters in Zaire, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, and in Europe and the US.  These appeals for donations allowed the RPA to gather several thousand American dollars that were specifically allocated for buying weapons on the International market.  In the field, the RPA continues to supply itself with food in part by capturing it from the Rwandan Army (FAR) and the rest from the public markets along the Rwandan-Ugandan border.”

The source of the information in this report is considered to have “good access”, which in the argot of the intelligence community means that it came from someone who was well inserted or already well established within the RPF/A.

The attitude of the US at the time of the deployment of the International
Observers Mission along the Rwandan-Ugandan border
"The First Victim of War is UN Neutrality" (Old African saying)

The whole mission was set up so this surveillance would be outrageously cooperative with the RPF/A.  Considering that the porousness of the Ugandan border was allowing arms to be easily supplied to the RPA, the UN Security Council adopted on 22 June 1993 Resolution 846 authorizing the deployment of UNOMUR (United Nations Observers Mission in Uganda and Rwanda—MONUOR in French), that is, stationing observers along the border between the two countries.  Before the vote on this Resolution, the RPF wrote to the President of the Security Council to oppose any form of monitoring on the part of the UN observers.  This objection was automatically seconded by the U.S., which would express its hostility to the observer mission out of fear it would expose Uganda’s support for ‘the rebellion’.
Jean-Bernard Mérimée covering all the Exits

France’s representative to the UN, Jean-Bernard Mérimée, in a presentation before the French National Assembly, spoke of “the problems encountered by the observation mission, which needed materiel means, especially helicopters, while the U.S. was making things very difficult, claiming, something we all understand, financial reasons for not supplying the helicopters in sufficient numbers.”[10]  Nevertheless, 81 observers, whose effect would be purely symbolic, were posted to nearly 150 km along the border.

In February 1993, after the RPF/A offensive, State Dept. envoy Lt. Col. Anthony Marley, dispatched into the field to supervise certain secret activities alongside the RPA, had to meet with Paul Kagame in the utmost discretion.  A face-to-face on the Ugandan border had to be arranged very quickly.  The Ugandan Defense Minister, Amama Mbabazi, took charge of this and asked a Ugandan officer to contact Paul Kagame directly.  The US ambassador also sent a letter to President Museveni to assure him that Kagame had gotten the message.  The Americans knew that the RPF/A were at the point of taking power in Rwanda, so the meeting with Tony Marley was decisive.
                 Ugandan Minister Amama Mbabazi     and    Lt. Col. Tony Marley (rt of Susan Rice)

On 25 February at 8:30 am, the mission chief at the U.S. embassy in Kampala, Ellen Shippy, and Lt. Col. Marley, jammed into an embassy vehicle and headed out for Gatuna (north of Rwanda) on the Ugandan border, where they were going to meet with the RPA.  The rebels sent an escort to accompany their American guests to Mulindi, the headquarters of the rebellion.

Ellen Shippy with Lt. Col. Marley (rt of Susan 'ouch' Rice)

The talks were finally conducted in Rwandan territory controlled by the RPA.  In the course of this meeting, Kagame deplored the reinforcement of the French military presence in Rwanda and the support France was giving to the Habyarimana regime.  He pointed out that the RPA troops were not currently fighting the French, though if that became necessary, the RPF/A forces would be able to face down the French.  He spoke out especially against the silence and “the apparent inaction of the U.S.” toward the Habyarimana regime, which, Kagame felt, did not respect the Arusha Accords.

On the matter of all those displaced by the war, Kagame told Col. Marley that between 7,000 and 10,000 people, fleeing combat in the zone controlled by the RPF/A, had crossed the border into Uganda seeking refuge.  Kagame denied, however, all allegations that the Ugandan army was supporting the ‘Tutsi rebels’ in their combat.  Ugandan military vehicles seen openly assisting the soldiers of the RPF/A were, he said, the vehicles of theirs sympathizers and their civilian contributors.  One of these vehicles that broke down during the fighting had to be abandoned with its license plates still on it.  But it was decided that from then on the license plates would be removed from those vehicles donated to the RPF/A so as “not to embarrass their donnors.”  He denied that the RPF/A was responsible for Human Rights violations or crimes against civilians. 

Out of this long meeting came an agreement for the visit of an American delegation to the Rwandan tea factory that had recently come under the control of the rebels and was already generating substantial interest among U.S. investors, and the assurance that Kagame’s messages would be transmitted to Washington.

The difficulty the US had with using the term ‘genocide’ to describe the mass
killings of 1994.

To get out from under the biased and fragmented vision of the Rwandan tragedy that has prevailed for the last twenty years, we have tried to enrich the discussion by bringing in pieces of evidence that have been overlooked until now.  We want to help those who do not as yet know what is really at stake in this case to get out of the stale French polemics of “Françafrique” into which they have for so long been locked.

Contrary to appearances, the appropriate discussion of the “genocide” has missed points essential to any understanding of this case, like the geopolitical battle between France and the U.S. in this region of Africa.

Ironically, use of the term “genocide” was avoided for a long time by the American authorities.  Why?  Not only would their support for the ‘Tutsi rebels’ have made the Americans the natural defenders of a “Tutsi genocide”, but the U.S. government’s quickly taking a position on the “genocide” would have answered this question and closed down all debate on the term.

The hesitations and great reservations of the Clinton administration and of the President, himself, on the use of the term “genocide” prove that from the U.S. government's standpoint, the analysis of the facts is far from obvious.  Since the attack of 6 April 1994, the American authorities, though perfectly informed on the situation, refrained from condemning the “genocide”.  It is not until much later that the term entered the official discussion. 
The late Christine Shelley--
dead at 54 of cancer in 2006
(perhaps Bad Faith is carcenogenic--just saying)

So on 29 April 1994, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Dept., Christine Shelley, explained, “the term genocide retains a very specific legal significance.  Though it is not strictly determined in a legal fashion.  Other factors come into play here.”  Visibly disturbed, she seems to hold an idea that is contrary to Reality.

The next day, 30 April 1994, after a seemingly endless eight-hour discussion, the Security Council voted for a resolution that condemned “the massacres” in Rwanda, but no one in this sky-box of the well-informed spoke of genocide.  It must be said that the reports sent to the Security Council by the UN representative posted to Rwanda were numerous and very well documented.  Moreover, for months and even more after 6 April, the White House was closely following what was happening on the ground thanks to multiple official sources from the Pentagon, the State Dept. and various coded satellite link-ups that transmitted live images directly to President Clinton’s office.

At the United Nations, U.S. representative Madeleine Albright was covering their tracks.  On 5 May she said:  “What’s happening in Rwanda was we were in the process of thinking that a small UN force could handle the situation on the ground and suddenly a plane carrying two presidents is shot down and that started an avalanche.”  The “Tutsi genocide” is still not mentioned by this prominent personality who has been especially committed to the cause of the RPF and is the principal supporter of Paul Kagame within the U.S. government.

On 11 May, at a State Dept. press briefing, a reporter asked spokesperson Mike McCurry if, since 6 April 1994, certain criminal acts committed in Rwanda would constitute “a genocide.”  McCurry responded, “I don’t know if there is a legal qualification on this subject.”  Another high official, himself also very well informed, a month after the massacres began, still did not know how to qualify what was happening in Rwanda.
Mike McCurry--another genocide denier?

On 25 May, during another of Mr. McCurry’s press briefings, the question arose again.  And again he responded, “I have to admit that I do not know the answer.  I do know that the stakes are being seriously considered.  I think there is a strong inclination in the Department here to see if what is happening in Rwanda constitutes acts of genocide.”

On 10 June 1994, in the midst of the war and the massacres, Christine Shelley is on the spot for another press briefing.  Again a question about the “genocide”:  “How many acts of genocide does it take to make a genocide?”  Her first response is neat:  “That's just not a question that I'm in a position to answer.”  Another reporter was a little pissed off and punched up the same question: “Have you been instructed not to use the term genocide?”  Her reply shot back:  “I’ve been instructed to use the best terms.  There are expressions that we use, and we try to be precise in our use of them.  However, I have not been told to use or not use this or that thing.  But I have definitions. I have a phraseology that has been carefully examined, and we are able to use it according to the specific situation we have to deal with and according to the actions that we have to describe.”

The 10 June 1994 edition of the New York Times talks about how the Clinton administration has ordered its spokespersons not to acknowledge the term in front of the cameras:  “Don’t use the term genocide, instead use an interrogatory form or better yet speak of possible exactions.”  This instruction is both logical and normal if the Clinton administration wants to avoid a fundamental discussion being opened up and having its secret relations with the Rwandan ‘Tutsi rebels’ brought into the light of day.  Bill Clinton, himself, knowing better than anyone else what is really going on in Rwanda never wanted to use the term “genocide,” always choosing the term “massacres,” which seemed to correspond better with the reality and his intimate awareness of the file.

When he went on his African Tour in 1998, President Clinton did not even plan a stop in Rwanda.  To go and hang out with the Rwandan authorities to commemorate the victims of the “Tutsi genocide” was obviously not one of his things-to-do list.  It was at the insistence of his Special Envoy to the region, Cynthia McKinney, that he wound up including Kigali on his itinerary.  However, he made his remarks from the airport, where he only stayed for a few hours.

The Hon. Cynthia McKinney, D-Georgia
(nearly all her good deeds have been punished)

Several days after this lightning-visit, Paul Kagame thanked Congresswoman McKinney for talking President Clinton into stopping off in Rwanda:  “On 25 March, 1998, Rwanda was honored by the visit of H.E. William Jefferson CLINTON, President of the United States of America.  It was a historical moment for our nation.  To the people of Rwanda, President Clinton’s visit was unequalled as a morale booster at this period when we are struggling with the after-effects of genocide.  Fully aware of what it took for Rwanda to be included on the itinerary of President Clinton’s visit to Africa, I want to thank you for the very important role you played to make it possible.”[11]

Leader of the Jews of Africa (i.e., Tutsi)
meets with his Israeli homologue

On 12 April 1999, five years after the Rwandan tragedy, the White House organized a dinner for “The Millennial Evening” dedicated to The Holocaust, with a theme of:  “The perils of indifference, lessons from a violent century.”  On this particular evening, many members of the Jewish community, among them Elie Weisel, took the podium to descry the crimes of the Second World War.  In attendance that evening was a Rwandan Tutsi woman.  Her name, Nyiramilimo.  She is a doctor and a survivor of the events of 1994 in Rwanda.  This woman, who contributed a great deal in the way of hateful untruths to the book of The New Yorker’s Philip Gourevitch[12], had come to sell her version of the genocide to Bill Clinton.  In her presentation she stressed that it was just good fortune that had permitted her to survive.
Georges Rutaganda--the Real Hero of
Hotel Rwanda, villainized in the Hollywood story 
by the craven RPF-collaborator
Paul Rusesabagina.

This was her most shameful lie, covering up a very disturbing reality:  In fact, this Tutsi woman owed her life to Georges Rutaganda, former-vice president of the Interahamwe—the 'Extremist Hutu militia' [sic[13]]—close to the party in power [the MRND{D}] in 1994, arrested in 1995, sentenced by the ICTR to life in prison for genocide and crimes against Humanity, where he died in 2010[14].

Fueled by hatred for her Hutu concitizens, this lady berated the dignitaries at the front tables of this clambake with how the survivors and their tormentors could never live in the same country, even though they might all be Rwandans.  While one might be a bit put off by the virulence of her discourse at this most reverent soirée, Bill Clinton, always courteous, emphasized that this kind of tragedy must be prevented and that the “Rwandan massacres are all the more distressing because they were committed with rudimentary weapons.”  If President Clinton was alluding here to the machetes used by the ‘Extremist Hutu’, he failed to mention the more sophisticated and heavier weapons furnished to the ‘Tutsi rebels’, in part, by the U.S. and Uganda.  Whatever the case may be, given his strong understanding of the Rwandan dossier, Clinton in 1999, five years after the facts, was still refusing to use the term “genocide.”

In his 2004 autobiography, President Clinton returned to the events in Rwanda and expressed his regrets:

“With a few thousand soldiers and the help of our allies, even taking into consideration the time it would have required to deploy them, we could have saved lives.  Not to have tried to put a stop to the tragedies in Rwanda remains one of the greatest regrets of my presidency.”[15]  

Even ten years after the events, Bill Clinton could still not bring himself to describe the massacres in Rwanda as “genocide.”


[1] For specificity’s sake:  Paul Kagame, who was Director of  Intelligence in Uganda in 1990, did not lead the 1 Oct. 1990 invasion, for he was in the early stages of (and never completed) his training at the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  The invasion force was led by Ugandan Deputy Defense Minister Fred Rwigema, who was killed early-on under suspicious circumstances and, after some back and forth, replaced on Museveni’s orders by a repatriated Kagame. (See Chapter 1 of The Generals Book on Rwanda at:
[2] Onana, Charles, Al-Bashir Darfour: la contre-enquête, Paris, Duboiris, 2010.
[3] “Hutu-dominated government” was more of a misnomer in 1994 than ever, as by the time of the Habyarimana assassination there was already a broad-based transitional government in place, with an important number of ministerial portfolios held by “Opposition” or “Tutsi-“ and RPF-supported parties.  After the political reforms of 1990-93, the only fact that might justify such a distinction is that the MRND[D] party still represented a vast majority of the Rwandan people, hence the “Hutu” label.
[4] Madsen, Wayne, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-99 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999)
[5] In a confidential note from March 1990 by the US Ambassador to Rwanda, careful attention was to be paid to the nominations of FAR officers, and particularly close attention was to be paid to Colonel Leonidas Rusitira.
[6] Roger Winter is a founding father of the Democratic Party’s neo-colonialist foreign policy in Africa.  His ‘Orwellian’ work for ‘Peace in Sudan’ has made extraordinary contributions to stoking and prolonging that longest of wars in that most devastated of regions.  From the leadership of his American Committee for Refugees and his driving role in the USAID-Africa and as State Dept. representative to Sudan, not only has Winter poisoned the African continent with the bloody chaos of sectarian war that guarantees the continued resource-theft by his clients in Western extraction industries, and intoxicated the U.S. and International Community’s consciousness with the righteous outrage and desperate fear that necessarily cover up his criminality, but he has spawned operatives like Susan Rice, Samantha Power, John Prendergast, and even George Clooney, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who continue to corrupt the Obama administration’s attempts at progressivism from within and render the President a Foreign Policy eunuch.  And speaking of ‘Orwellian’ shit, here’s a NYTs puff piece on Winter:
[7] Presented in confidence to the writer [Onana].
[8] Founded in 1975, the MRND (for the French Mouvement Révolutionaire National pour le Dévelopement), the single, mass ruling party of Rwanda, received a make over during the reforms of 1991 that initiated multi-party politics to the country.  So in 1993, it was strictly known as the MRNDD (for, still in French, Mouvement Républicain National pour la Démocratie et le Dévelopment).
[9] Testimony of American ambassador Robert Flatten in the Military I Trial before the ICTR, case number ICTR-98-41-T, Chamber 1, June 2005.
[10] Assemblée nationale française, tome 3, volume 2, p.138.
[11] It should be noted that his tone was not at all the same when Cynthia McKinney denounced Kagame for his responsibility in the 6 April 1994 attack and the crimes of the Tutsi rebellion in Rwanda and Congo.  When the Congresswoman had gathered the documents implicating the Rwandan authorities and was preparing to present them to the UN, Kagame’s men tried to break into her home in Atlanta to steal the evidence she had.
[12] Gourvetich, Philip, We Wish to Inform You . . . etc., (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), 1998.
[13] The term ‘Interahamwe’ has been distorted much in the same way ‘genocide’ has.  And the term ‘Extremist Hutu’ has no real antecedent in Reality, i.e., there were NO Extremist Hutu.  Or Moderate Hutu, for that matter.  Those Rwandans who supported and defended their country—their homes and families—against the foreign invasion of Oct. 1990 and the subsequent occupation and reign of terror that came to be euphemized as the “Tutsi rebellion” were referred to as ‘Extremists’ to normalize the murderous Western-backed campaign for regime change in Rwanda.  If the U.S. had been invaded as Rwanda was, the 'Extremists' would have been called 'Patriots'.
[14] For more details on how Georges Rutaganda saved the lives of Tutsis and members of the UNAMIR, see the book by ex-UNAMIR intelligence officer, Amadou Deme: Rwanda 1994 and the Failure of the UN Mission: The Real Truth. ($56+ on Amazon)
[15] Clinton, Bill, My Life. 2004.

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