Monday, October 25, 2010

HUMANITARIAN AID TRAPPED -- UN--Aid that Kills (pt 3)

HUMANITARIAN AID TRAPPED -- UN--Aid that Kills #RC303: [another excerpted from] Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali and the Hunting down of Refugees by General Paul Kagame's Army. -- by Faustin Ntilikina
[This, our third installment in the UN—Aid that Kills series, is dedicated to all those well-intentioned, though seemingly deluded (as they refuse to recognize or consider the abundant evidence against the International Humanitarian mafia) Friends of Rwanda and Congo, who continue to clamor for Truth, Justice, Peace, Reconciliation and Relief, at the very gates of their torturers, their occupiers, their oppressors and their killers.

Headlines like:

UN Demands Obama Investigates Torture
Rapport de l'ONU sur le génocide des Hutu au Congo

describe how the servile and craven media continue to aid and abet the UN cover-up of the hideous crimes it has, itself, not only been complicit in, but actually, in many cases, singlehandedly committed for the sake of Western, predominantly US, imperialism. The needless irrigation of the forests of eastern Congo with the innocent blood of many millions of terrorized and fleeing human souls, is a far greater—and far more obscene waste of natural resources than all the leaking oil wells, shipwrecked tankers and dynamited pipelines combined—and more like the genocides of native Americans and Australians than any other war related mass slaughters.

So with this third part of the series we return to the writer we featured in part two: former Rwandan Armed Forces officer, Faustin Ntilikina, from his “Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali and the Hunting Down of Refugees by the Army of General Paul Kagame.” This is strong stuff Ntilikina has written, and these images continue to haunt the imagination long after one has finished the book—and they seem even more effecting, more moving, and more painful with each rereading. {I am told that an English-language edition is forthcoming, but I don't know for sure.}

And lest we be accused of sentimentality or of being ‘pornographers of violence’ with these lurid images of the deaths of the innocent and defenseless, it should be considered that all current efforts, replete with photos of beheadings and various other mortal injuries, by the self-proclaimed Opposition, toward the reform Rwandan politics by removing the devil incarnate, Paul Kagame, as head of that country, are as feckless as they are solipsistic and ahistorical. Not to acknowledge and condemn the recent arrest of the Executive Secretary of the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Callixte Mbarushimana, on an ICC warrant (see Charles Onana’s new book, Al-Bashir and Darfur: a Counter-Investigation, out {in French} on Éditions Duboiris {}, on this relatively new International gang of extra-judicial tormenters of Africans), and the recent death in custody (otherwise known as ‘execution’, or just plain ‘murder’) of Georges Rutaganda, a vice-president of the Interahamwe (and the only vp who didn’t turn snitch for the ICTR) and one of the first representatives of Rwanda’s majority party, the MRND, to be convicted (against all evidence) by the ICTR in one of its most self-(pre)serving judgments to date, is to turn one’s back on the very history of the country, the homeland and the people, one seeks to redeem with such bootless petitions to the UN and the US State Dept., the original destroyers of that history.

So forgive us if these images rob you of sleep; try to remember that the millions and millions of refugees who were driven from their once peaceful homes in Rwanda and into the inhospitable forests of Congo, by forces financed, armed, trained, and commanded by, and in total service to, Western Waste Capital, will never wake up again. —mc]


Humanitarian Aid Trapped

From Ubundu, the refugees who had made it across the Lualaba River found themselves in front of an impenetrable forest into which there was a barely discernable opening. It was what remained of a railroad right-of-way. This railway route, hidden beneath the abundant vegetation, dated from the glory days of colonial expeditions.

Just off their boats, the refugees were funneled toward the North by guides and members of the Congolese Red Cross, obviously briefed on, and even experienced in, the cause of the AFDL (Alliance de forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo—cm/p). The only other explanation for this rush was that the local military commander, the famous Colonel, did not want this lot in his port. Then, it seemed imperative that everyone leave, toward Kisangani along the railroad trail, as if they were taking the shortest route to meet the troops of the Alliance. The guides do all they can to discourage the refugees from heading toward the West. They describe, with all due exaggeration, the inhospitable nature of the forest and, in the most minute detail, the dangers that a traveler might encounter: unfordable streams, swamps, nothing to eat, poisonous snakes, various diseases . . . The refugees, who by now trusted no one and seriously doubted the good faith of their immediate benefactors, really had no choice. They were hungry and tired. They could only follow this providential opening and through it reach some relief. They had weathered hard trials since the destruction of Tingi-Tingi was followed by two weeks of marching without rest and the terrifying crossing. And due to this state of things, they knew neither where they were nor where they were going. In this march toward hope, the refugees tried to convince themselves they were in good hands and pressed on.

Soon the rail line became a series of little encampments, each about one-day’s walking distance from the next. The most important concentrations were at Obilo, 82 km from Kisangani, at PK 52, 52 km out, at Biaro, 41 km, and at Kasese, 27 km. These little centers, which before the arrival of the Rwandan refugees were no more than crude little depots for re-supplying travelers with fruit and brochettes of monkey meat, would become, for several months, the odd witnesses to the suffering and cruelty of Mankind. Because the pain that was inflicted on the Rwandan refugees between March and April 1997, and that these camps saw, and some even lived through, would also fall on the local residents along this road to perdition.

Despite the presence of NGOs and some reserves of food and medicine in Kisangani, the refugees could not get any further than Kasese; for reasons of security again, as the AFDL leader would say. Then, in an about-face, the NGOs came to meet them. They installed their posts at Obilo. They invited all those who came from Ubundu (125 km) to regroup in this camp which was given the name, as humorous as it was cynical, “The Peace Camp,” in Kinyarwanda, “Inkambi y’Amahoro.” The news of this camp, put out by the High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR) and then passed along by NGOs, was that these refugees were going to be returned to a semblance of good health before being given the choice to go back home willingly, or to be resettled in Zaire or some other country. This is how the story is told by those who came there for aid. The Rwandan intellectuals who survived the crossing of the Lualaba river collaborated on this project. They did not want to take part powerlessly in a disaster like what happened in Ubundu, where hundreds of thousands of people threw themselves into the river out of disgust for life and the loss of all hope. They quickly set up a committee to run the camp, which sent a delegation north to encourage refugees to come back to Obilo.

During this time, the Rwandan elements of the AFDL took the initiative after the conquest of Kisangani on 15 March 1997. They sent reconnaissance units toward Ubundu to “organize” the refugees. Sure of bagging their prey without undue effort, their attitude was not aggressive. Intelligence agents spread out along the route, dressed as young boys from the city or as Congolese aid workers. They often came along with Humanitarian Aid workers and were tasked with briefing the military teams and disinforming their victims. The language was the same: They invited the refugees to rejoin the camps, especially the one at Obilo, which had, in record time, received sufficient food, shelter and provisions for emergency healthcare, for all the survivors who arrived there.

The refugees who pushed on the farthest to the North were stopped at Kasese. There was no official significance to Kasese, but it had as many inhabitants as any of the intermediary stops. The Congolese Red Cross, which had been infiltrated by agents of the Rwandan Army was the only Humanitarian Organization that took any interest in this camp. More or less one day’s walk from Kisangani, this improvised site was, first and foremost, a staging area and a fork in the road where these people had to make their ultimate decision. The refugees had elsewhere been called “Hitamo,” meaning “choose.” They had to choose between waiting for the roads to Kisangani to open so they could, best case scenario, return to Rwanda, or head off toward the West, where the forest was known to be very hostile.

Those who arrived first, and were pushed to get back with the Humanitarian Organizations, around 16 March, tried the road to Kisangani. They ran into a military roadblock set up by the Rwandan Forces just 5 km from the entrance to the city. There the refugees were sorted by sex and age after quick on-the-spot interrogations. The men were then taken under heavy escort to different places. Several witnesses cite André Kagimbangabo and Fréderic Karangwa, the former Prefects of Cyangugu and Butare, respectively, as being among those separated out and killed around this roadblock. Aloys is one of the witnesses who saw them leave Kasese. He said that the two Prefects, accompanied by several other refugees, including a certain Bagezaho, had chosen to push on to Kisangani to surrender themselves to the head of the AFDL, an act referred to in Kinyarwanda as “kwishyira mu maboko ya Kiabila,” or delivering oneself over to Kabila. They did not yet know that Kabila was himself an agent in what he thought was “his war against the dictator Mobutu.” These three ex-authorities were murdered and then savagely mutilated in the presence of their families, according to another witness.

The practice of sorting out and breaking up of groups was a nightmare for those who were in the camps of Mugunga et Katale-Kahindo. At Kasese, faced with uncertainty, some chose to wait and learn more. The undecided were especially those who were still with their loved ones or adults with small children. They were afraid for themselves to return to Kisangani, but they especially dreaded seeing their children and close family member suffer once again the trek across 700 km of swamps and forests, before reaching the border of Congo-Brazzaville. Sometimes, pushed to be done with these moments of anguish and uncertainty, the little groups formed and left. Toward Kisangani or toward the West, the direction was of little importance, because, sooner or later, life would end.

On 23 March, around 1 pm, the Rwandan troops were ready and went into action. The camp of “Kasese-Hitamo” was, naturally, the first to be attacked. The moment chosen was when the camps provisional committee had called everyone to consider going back to Obilo, about 50 km to the South, which received more consistent aid and where the HCR was organizing for an eventual return to Rwanda. The attack on the camp made up the minds of the still undecided. The attackers ran in firing at point blank range with assault rifles and rifle-launched grenades. The refugees died in the thousands. The survivors spread out into the Nature they had for some time been reluctant to face, but from which they still expected sustenance and protection. The Rwandan troops continued their movement toward the South by taking the road in the opposite direction from the one the refugees had taken. At each staging area it was the same scene. They fired into the crowd. The number of victims was horrifying. The mortally wounded, who believed they had momentarily escaped death, threw themselves into the forest, which promised them little. Driven by a ferocious instinct to survive, they came out of the forest and headed back along the railroad trail. There, they sat down and waited for the aid workers or death, because they could do nothing else. The narrow path left by the railroad was quickly strewn with the dead or dying, whom the marchers shoved off into the brush to make themselves a little space.

The witnesses and all those who took pity on the fate of the refugees spoke only of the people killed. The reality is that for each death, there were two or three wounded, an orphan, and others who continued to suffer from various afflictions for several more days. With each attack, there were children separated from their parents in excruciating conditions and that no one could help. François is a witness whose photo, taken holding a baby in agony, was seen around the world thanks to the documentary film by Hubert Sauper, Kisangani Diary—Loin du Rwanda. He shared his feeling of the moment with me, as well as his memories of these difficult times.

There are some moments of this ordeal that cannot be forgotten. I will always keep the memory of
these very young children separated from their parents and abandoned by passers-by, whose fate
in that jungle could only be tragic. Images of babies crying while they continue to suck at their
dead or dying mother’s breast constantly come back to me. Visibly conscious of the dangers they
faced if their mothers did not continue to march with the others, these young children went so far as
to beat the corpses to wake up their parent who is, sadly, asleep forever. Other scenes, even harder
to bear, were of adults, who could no longer run to escape the slaughter, choosing to end their lives
sitting next to a pile of corpses or near other people who were in the last throes of a mortal illness,
of exhaustion or of gangrene.

Under these conditions, all these refugees would die, far outside the gaze of the world, so that no one could see them or even talk about them. I noticed with great regret—I, who would presume to dedicate this story to them—that their names have not even been entered on the rolls of the deceased.

Continuing their journey toward the South, General Paul Kagame’s soldiers attacked Obilo, “the Peace Camp,” which was transformed in an instant into a veritable death camp. Some ran for the brush, others, hopeless and no longer able to run, accepted death. Those who had avoided death were regrouped at Biaro (Km 41), a camp for the survivors of Obilo, who could not bear the suffering, and for those who chose to be candidates for repatriation to Rwanda. At Karese, some 15 km north of Biaro, other refugees gathered in anticipation of returning home. The two camps were officially the responsibility of the HCR and some NGOs. In reality, the Rwandan military hierarchy would never tolerate this little rest stop for the Hutus in a zone entirely under its control. The 1995 massacres at Kibeho in Rwanda are reminders of this.

First, the troops tracked the refugees as they hung around outside the two camps, all the while infiltrating the centers of the NGOs in Biaro and Kasese. Realizing they were surrounded and constantly under threat of imminent death, the refugees resigned themselves merely to getting back into the camps as candidates for repatriation to Rwanda under international protection. Many of them came out of the forests. The numbers reached 100,000 just for the camp at Biaro in mid-April 1997. Then, the Rwandan troops gradually took over the camps, furnishing security, supervising the distribution of food, and even “protecting” the transfer to Kisangani of candidates for repatriation. The HCR wound up cutting a deal with the AFDL to give the Alliance control over all the logistics involved with repatriation. This is when they had total domination of the camp and the NGOs began to accept the word of the devil as the Rwandan troops put their plan into action. The military hierarchy set everything they had to work for the elimination of as many refugees as possible by surrounding them, but with maximum discretion. They broke out their plan and the full range of their strategies and methods to create incidents. They brought in their torturers and gravediggers who had been preparing for this filthy job for a long time. Humanitarian Organizations, even those acting in good faith, were taken in all the way to the end. They showed concern for the disappearance of refugees, they showed revulsion at the sight of obvious massacres, but they did nothing to stop or even denounce these premeditated crimes—for lack of evidence. Some NGOs went so far as to get themselves kicked out of the camps for wanting to know too much or for getting mixed up in those things “they hadn’t seen.”

On the other side of honesty, the HCR and other organizations, however well informed about the reality of things, continued to invite the refugees to come back to the “death camps,” to facilitate their return to Rwanda. They blindly held on to this radical approach to the solution of the refugee problem in eastern Zaire, a policy some countries seemed to have negotiated with or even entrusted to the Rwandan government. The sad truth is that General Paul Kagame took advantage of this international blessing to wipe out the demographic and political potential of his opponents, while at the same time taking control of the natural wealth of the Eastern Congo, which served to guarantee his domination of the Rwandan and Congolese people. Who among his foreign observers and benefactors would have been dumb enough not to figure out the military intentions of the RPA or not to notice the facts on the ground. The Rwandan soldiers had not come as Good Samaritans! Tharcisse, who has already been part of this story, survived for a long time in the camp at Biaro before being repatriated by plane from Kisangani. He describes the game run on the refugees:

The special teams from the RPA regularly came through the camps to sort out the refugees.
The names of intellectuals and of the leaders of the refugees were first read off of prepared lists.
Then, the able-bodied men and young people were invited to join the ranks of the Rwandan
Patriotic Army. The numbers were too good to be true: the army recruited about 50,000 men
to overthrow President Mobutu. Finally, the women, the children and those who were worn out
were regrouped according to their home prefecture to be conveyed to Kisangani or toward a little
transit camp. The intellectuals were invited to join the meetings for the organization of the camp
or the formation of convoys. In reality, they were taken to the sites where they were massacred or
put on the road toward Kisangani, where they were tortured during interrogation sessions. From
there they ended their treks either in a mass grave or in a river, or in Kigali after being
transferred in a military aircraft. Those volunteers who were found to be fit candidates to join the
army were regrouped and taken to some phony training camps where they were dealt with by
teams of torturers assigned to these secret places. There they were either clubbed to death with
blows to the temple or machine gunned in an area where they had been rounded up beforehand.

The bodies were then thrown in the rivers or burned on a pyre prepared by teams of grave diggers who had traveled with the troops since the beginning of the offensive. Trucks loaded with firewood were going into these areas that were out of bounds for the refugees and coming back out empty. The stench of burning flesh and of bodies in purification was evident all the way inside the camps. For the columns of refugees being led on toward Kisangani or the “little camps” organized according to home prefecture, the game was to set up ambushes, in complete collusion with the escorting troops. Tharcisse goes on:

One day in April, a thousand refugees, warned and organized in advance, headed out on the road to Kisangani. They were encircled by about thirty soldiers who marched, arms at the ready, in front, behind and on both sides of the column. After about an hour’s march, the refugees came under fire from the flanks all along the column. The attackers launched grenades and fired automatic rifles. The escorts disappeared without returning fire while the refugees fell mortally wounded, or plunged headlong into the forest desperately seeking cover. The troops lying in ambush fired into the brush for so long that they emptied their clips and even used up their reserves. While waiting for more supplies, some Hutu troops in this assault unit yelled in Kinyarwanda to their refugee brothers and sisters:

“Mwagenda mwa bintu mwe. Ntabwo tubarasa”—“Get outta here, you idiots. We’re not going
to shoot you.” They advised the refugees hunkered down in the brush to save themselves by
running away. Some, driven by that last taste of life, crawled inch by inch through the underbrush
without much hope for one last reprieve. Others, dying or already dead from fear or from a
disgust with life, waited out their last hours in agony.

Similar incidents happened frequently. But there were also cases of “miraculous survival.” Often, it was the entire group that was able to escape, especially when they were being conducted by young Hutu or Congolese soldiers, who, themselves, were on the verge of cracking up from all the horrors they had taken part in since October 1996.

Besides the official convoys headed for Kisangani, little groups of fifty or so people were regularly isolated. They were led off to “the slaughterhouse” on a prepared site for executions with all the necessary materiel to hide the evidence. For several days, soldiers could, in a systematic fashion and following an intricately detailed plan, do as they pleased with the victims of this butchery. The lists of those on their way to Kisangani and those who had “volunteered for army enlistment” appeared to be totally official. No pushing or shoving, each refugee being registered would get his turn at mortality. Only the smell of burning corpses and of decomposing cadavers regularly reminded passers by and those who waited their turn to die that they were on the highway to hell.

During the night of 21-22 April 1997, General Paul Kagame’s men, with AFDL forces for cover, decided, as they had at Kibeho in Rwanda back in 1997, to be done with these Hutu camps in the territory they controlled. They attacked at night with machine guns and massacred the inhabitants of Biaro and Kasese. But the morning of 22 April brought the real horror show. In stead of the troops usually manning the principal routes of access, the humanitarian aid workers and the occasional journalist found the camps empty but for a carpet of dead bodies among which writhed the wounded and near-expired who had, by some miracle, escaped death.

At the time, the HCR spoke of 85,000 refugees who had been reported missing for, at least, the last two days. Had they gone back into the forest? The HCR did not even pose the question. They were content to announce that a few tens of thousands of these refugees had returned to the camp a week later, hungrier, more exhausted and more terrorized. They had waited for death because they could no longer resist in this forest controlled every inch by hostile troops. These were the strong who came back, the weaker ones were already dead or busy dying.

By the beginning of May, such incidents had become so frequent as to be considered daily occurrences. So, while speaking of a disaster that had struck on Saturday, 3 May 1997, where 91 refugees were suffocated and crushed to death inside over-loaded box cars heading from Biaro to Kisangani, Paul Stromberg, the spokesman for HCR in the Great Lakes region, searched for and found the words to explain this horror. He admitted, for example, that “except for firing in the air, the (Rwandan) troops had not had the means to control the crowd. He acknowledged, however, that the loading up of the refugees was marked by a “total and complete panic ( . . .).” He goes on, “. . . you can more easily control loading an airplane or a truck, but a six or seven car train is very difficult. The people literally threw themselves into the train. . .” It is a mortal shame that an official of the HCR would say, “We asked them immediately to stop the evacuations by train--the one time we examined the situation.”

New investigative book on Sudan: Al-Bashir & Darfur: The Counter-Investigation - by Charles Onana

New investigative book on Sudan: Al-Bashir & Darfur: The Counter-Investigation - by Charles Onana
[Here's the Press Release for Charles Onana's new book on Sudan and its president, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, their relations with the Palestinians, Iraq and China, and the International Criminal Court (ICC or Rome Court, another Tribunal in The Hague) and its Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, and how all this has put Sudan at the top of the West's hit-list.

The book is currently only in French (cm/p translated this Press Release as a gesture of solidarity with one of our favorite geopolitical analysts of African affairs—Onana was among the first to pull the covers off that imperialist melodrama about warring tribes of machete-wielding savages bringing about the mass killings of 1994, now known as the Rwandan Tutsi genocide of 100 days—and THE first journalist to incur the litigious {and fruitless} wrath of Rwanda's self-elected president, Paul Kagame, with the publication in 2002 of his “The Secrets of the Rwandan Genocide” (which, Mr. Onana tells me has just been rendered into English), wherein he anticipated by several years French anti-terrorist Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière's finding that Kagame and his RPF were responsible for the deaths of the two Hutu Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira, respectively, that supposedly triggered the mass killings, when he had the Falcon 50 executive jet carrying the two African heads of state, their entourages and the French civilian flight crew, blown out of the sky above Kigali’s airport on 6 April 1994 with two SAM 16 missiles borrowed from Ugandan NRA stocks); but even if Elmore Leonard or Richard Price or Jean Le Carré were to translate Onana's book, it is difficult to imagine this monumental work's being welcomed by the anglophone reading public, ever-content to baste in its own ignorant, self-righteousness.

Too many consensus bad guys (if George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Mia Farrow and Brangelina think Al-Bashir is the genocidaire of Darfur, well, . . . then . . . I guess he's gotta be, right?) are shown to be more the patriotic defenders of their nations' material and human resources against US/UK/Israeli and UN imperialist strivings, than the ruthless exploiters unto assassins of their own peoples.

But if any of I.F. Stone's journalistic courage and dedication to Historical truth still exists in that sadly degraded literary culture that is the US's, and if its new, seemingly bibliophilic President has any genuine concern for peace and reconciliation through Truth and Justice in the land of his paternal ancestors, even with all the yellows at The Huffington Post and the outright war criminals at the NYT, The New Yorker and the NYRB turning readers heads toward phoney History, fake Art and False Consciousness: then Charles Onana's work (along with that of Pierre Péan, Gaspard Musabyimana, Edouard Karemera and Faustin Ntilikina) just might have a shot at being the first genuine, independent Central African analyst to be translated and published in English—and—why not?—racked on the front shelves of Barnes & Noble. —mc]


New investigative book on Sudan: Al-Bashir & Darfur: The Counter-Investigation

For Immediate Release:

This consensus-shattering book by Charles Onana, published by Éditions Duboiris,
480pp, 20 euros, 2010

Regarding his 1994 arrest by the Sudanese Secret Services and eventual transfer to agents of French counter-intelligence, the famous Venezuelan, pro-Palestinian revolutionary and terrorist, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, better known as ‘Carlos,’ recently told journalist Charles Onana: “I was locked away for 15 years in French jails because of Khartoum’s betrayal of the traditional generosity and honor of the Arab peoples. That, in itself, should discourage people from suspecting me of being particularly forgiving toward the Sudanese regime, however, I am in full support of national sovereignty for the Sudanese, based on revolutionary principles and out of respect for Justice.”

This astonishing testimony as well as the exact circumstances of Carlos’ arrest in Khartoum are reported in the exceptional book by Charles Onana, focused on the charges brought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, for the “genocide of Black (Africans) in Darfur.”

At the end of his counter-investigation, which took two years in Sudan, the US, Canada and France, the journalist discovered that some sixty American, pro-Israel organizations met under the tent of Save Darfur, with the support of Elie Wiesel, of the actor George Clooney, of the Bush government and of Bernard Kouchner, to work for the destabilization of the regime of President Al-Bashir, who had taken part in the 1973 Yom Kippur war against Israel. Al-Bashir had also been opposed to the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Because of his pro-Palestinian commitment, the Sudanese Head of State, who had opened the gates of his country to all Palestinian organizations, including Hamas, became the target of pro-Israel organizations such as Save Darfur in the US and Urgence Darfour in France.

Having been put on the black-list of countries that support international terrorism in 1993 by Bill Clinton and the US State Department, Sudan, in order to be rid of this image, first turned Carlos over to France then offered the Americans to arrest and deliver Osama bin Laden (1996). But, as Onana points out, the White House categorically refused Sudan’s offer. Since that time, Sudan has lived under the threat of US economic sanctions, and its President is currently being accused by the Prosecutor at the ICC of being responsible for “a genocide in Darfur.” Indignant over the attitude of the West, Al-Bashir decided to contract the drilling of his nation’s abundant oil reserves to China, a country which has always supported the right of the Palestinians to self-determination. After that, an international coalition formed to get rid of Al-Bashir and to impose a new war on Sudan.

This counter-investigation, thoroughly documented and set directly against the current of today’s media discourse on Al-Bashir and Darfur, brings about a new understanding of the different facets of the contemporary battle being waged by the US, Israel and China in Africa and Sudan.
The author describes and analyzes the impact of foreign interference on this country. He especially reveals the hidden face of International Justice and particularly the Prosecutor at the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the principal artisan of the international arrest warrant against President Al-Bashir.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

5 October 2000--The Beginning of the End - by Mick Collins - for the Conference held by П О К Р Е Т З А С Р Б И Ј У [Movement for Serbia]


5 October 2000--The Beginning of the End - by Mick Collins - for the Conference held by П О К Р Е Т З А С Р Б И Ј У [Movement for Serbia]
[Yesterday, on 5 October 2010, I was in Belgrade before a Conference called by П О К Р Е Т З А С Р Б И Ј У [Movement for Serbia] to discuss the importance of this date, 10 years ago, on the present and the future of Serbia. As I tried to listen to all these speakers, almost all of them speaking Serb, but from the full spectrum of national politics, I realized that when your country is under attack from foreign invaders (i.e., being bombed and infilitrated and having the government subverted by the sworn enemies of your country) , there are really only two political positions you can hold: You're either a Nationalist (a patriot committed to the defense of your home and family and friends, at any cost) or you're a Collaborationist (willing to make a deal to save as much of your own ass as you can, and damn the 'cost of collateral damage' to the rest of your countrymen . . . and women and children--kind of a 'Pull up the ladder, Jack, I'm aboard!'-thing).

During the 1990s wars in Yugoslavia, I can remember the US media, especially CNN, dissing certain Serbian leaders, like Presidents Karadzic and Milosevic and the Radical Party leader, Dr Seselj, for being ‘Nationalists.’ Others, the ‘Collaborationists,’ were called 'moderates,' 'Liberals,' or even ‘Democrats.’ Now, say, you're watching a movie about WWII France: whom do you sympathize with? The Resistance (the partisan maquis)? Or the Petainists (the Nazi agents who executed orders from Berlin) in Vichy? The latter group, strangely enough, included future Socialist President François Mitterand, a small-time functionary in the Vichy government, who turned on his German colleague from back in the day, Klaus Barbie, when trying in the 1980s to distance himself and his Socialist Party from their ‘Collaborationist’ past.

So, anyway, it didn't take me long to know which side in the Balkan wars I was for—I should mention that I've never considered History a spectator sport, a big game you can impartially watch from some corporate-sponsored Olympian Skybox, but the sort of contest where you're either on one side or the other. And if you pretend to be neutral, it means you're betting the aggressors will win and give you a fat job in their new comprador administration. I always felt for the side being bombed, the side being betrayed in all the negotiations, the side finally being militarily occupied: and since the name 'Yugoslavia' had been stricken from the record at the onset of the illegal secessions of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, that meant I was for the Serbs.

I learned all I could and wrote in defense of Yugoslavia and Serbia; I militated against the bombing of the Serbs (and not just the 78-day NATO terror-bombing of Serbia over Kosovo, but also the thousands of NATO sorties flown over the Bosnian Serb territories, and the NATO and MPRI-led onslaught against Serbs in the Krajina, that greatest of all ‘ethnic cleansings’ known as Operation Storm (all of which were fuzzed out in the media by all the chest pounding over the potted 'Genocide at Srebrenica’); and I got in on the founding of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic back in October 2001.

Again, on 5 October 2010, I found myself before an audience of Serbs to defend the paper I am posting below—to tell these people the significance of what happened to THEM and the effects it would surely have on THEIR futures. Well, I've been an actor all my professional life, and I can't remember ever turning down a script. But this thing that I wrote—well, I just couldn't play it before this particular audience.

So, I apologized for my presumption (another thing, as an actor, I’ve learned never to do) in trying to present what I thought war very esoteric yet cogent information to people for whom it certainly was 'daily bread.' I told them how all the times I have come to Serbia in the past, I have been met by very kind and decent people who did everything they could to tell me about what happened to them. So, I would not presume to read them what, I imagined, in the West, would be very elucidating information about the coup that marked the beginning of the end of Serbian democracy.

I had asked my ten-year old son, Max, who accompanied me to Belgrade, to write a few words, as he'd also accompanied me, in March 2009, to the 10-year anniversary of the NATO bombing over Kosovo. When he read me what he’d written, in his little boy's voice, I was deeply moved, and my role in all that had gone on these last 10 years vis a vis the Serbs was brightly illuminated.

He read to me off this little piece of paper: ‘I want to thank all the people in this room for teaching me about Serbia and all that happened to it. About the terrible suffering of the people. And I want to wish all the people a very happy future.’

Well, when Max took the mike, the general feeling of militancy in the room changed the tenor of his words—but the sentiment of gratitude—of Max's gratitude for getting to know real heroes, like Duci Simonovic and Vlada Krjsljnen and Chris Black and so many others—was exactly what I felt, and I let him close out my presentation.

The Movement for Serbia will publish this article in Serb, I imagine, but I wanted all you non-Serbs (and especially you anti-Serbs) to read this so you might see that the real possibility for classical tragedy, for tragic heroism, still exists. And the Resistance in Serbia will continue until Serbia is free of its current economic, financial and military occupation; until all the UN and NATO political prisoners (in The Hague, in Arusha, and throughout the world) are freed; and until Truth brings about International Justice and Peace for all good men. –mc]


5 October 2000: The Beginning of the End

The events of 5 October 2000, wherein the duly-elected government of Yugoslavia was violently overthrown, and its principal media outlet, RTS, and its Parliament building ransacked, looted and burned, have come, in the West (as I will refer to the domain of Globalized Waste Capital, e.g., the countries of Western Europe and North America), to be known and shamelessly promoted by the UN, the US, the EU, as well as by government sponsored NGOs, like the Campaign for Peace and Democracy or Freedom House or the National Endowment for Democracy or that den of spooks over at the OSCE[1], as one of the first successful examples of ‘a meta-electoral forced regime change.’ The same hustle was pulled later in Ukraine and Georgia, and has been attempted more recently, but with less success, in Zimbabwe and Iran.

The Yugoslav presidential elections of 25 September 2000, which were to choose, for the first time since Tito’s death in 1980, by popular vote, what was an appointed position, had gone pretty much as expected, with the leader of the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), Slobodan Milosevic, receiving about 33% of the vote, while the other parties of the badly misnamed Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) divvied up the rest, the lion’s share, around 48%, going to its putative leader, Maitre Vojislav Kostunica. Since no candidate polled 50%+1 vote, a constitutionally mandated second round was scheduled for the 8th of October 2000. But Yugoslav or Serbian democracy did not survive the violence of that 5th day of October 2000, and under threat of yet more bloody NATO aggression, as Belgrade was surrounded by armed gunmen, the presidency was illegally ceded to the DOS.

As, in May 1999, I watched a huge projection-TV image—live from Belgrade TV—of the 78-day (and night) NATO ‘terror bombing of Yugoslavia[2]’ on the wall of a little restaurant in the east of Paris, in Montreuil, called the Café Yougoslavie[3], I thought, ‘This is it. This is the end of civilization as I’ve known it. This is the moral nadir of Western militarism. How could NATO and the US and France go any lower than wantonly to attack an old friend like Yugoslavia, like Serbia, an ally who had stood with them victoriously in the two great wars of the 20th Century?’ Certainly, after destroying a significant part of its industrial and communications infrastructures and poisoning its environment with dioxin in the water and depleted uranium dust in the air, there was no more damage that NATO could inflict on Yugoslavia—or on Serbia and Montenegro, which was all that remained of it.

Of course, I was being fat headed. Those anti-democratic forces who had previously dropped the only two atomic bombs ever used in anger on a strictly defeated Japanese civilian population in 1945—who had even echoed the 1941 Nazi bombardment of Serbia with its own three-day aerial siege of Belgrade around Orthodox Easter in April 1944—and who had torpedoed every Balkan peace agreement, either by convincing its clients (Croatia and Bosnia) to renege or hold out for a fatter deal, or by arranging to have some terrorist attack splatter blood all over a Sarajevo marketplace or breadline, and have their media blame it on the Serbs: as old as I am, I should have known such inhuman forces would know no bounds.

After moving from Southern California to Paris in 1995, I was more and more amazed at how the lexicon used to describe events in the Balkans was being changed and how quickly its Western enemies (and even many of its putative friends) had abandoned the very name of this founding member of the UN, Yugoslavia[4]. This name for the ‘nation of Southern Slavs’ had, immediately on the outbreak of the illegal secessionist ‘civil wars,’ universally become ‘the ex-Yugoslavia’ or ‘the former-Yugoslavia’ or ‘l’ancienne Yougoslavie,’ and was often being conflated or confused with its principal Republic, Serbia. As they both shared the same capital, Belgrade, these two distinct political entities, with separate political powers and military responsibilities, became synonymous. Which greatly streamlined the process of demonizing all things Yugoslav or Serb: there was no distinction made between the presidency of Serbia and that of Yugoslavia—especially where it concerned President Milosevic. Since Yugoslavia came to be considered as the equivalent of the ancient nationalist dream of a ‘Greater Serbia,’ while president of ‘the lesser’ Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic was assumed to be in charge of the ‘aggression’—which became the Western code of ‘National Self-Defense’—by the Yugoslav Army (Susan Woodward called the JNA ‘the 7th Republic’ in her ‘Balkan Tragedy’) against the other secessionist territories. This expedient conceit, which allowed Yugoslavia to commit aggression and wage war against itself, would have much more dangerous and damaging consequences than just stirring up my petty confusion.

And the more I read: besides Susan Woodward, there were Lord Dr. David Owen’s ‘Balkan Odyssey’; Misha Glenny’s ‘The Fall of Yugoslavia’; Brian Hall’s ‘The Impossible Country: A Journey Through the Last Days of Yugoslavia’; then in French, Alexander Del Valle’s ‘Guerre contre l’Europe: Bosnie, Kosovo et Tchéchénie’; Dr. Gilles Troude’s first small book on Yugoslavia, ‘Un pari impossible?’; Michel Collon’s ‘Poker Menteur’ and ‘Monopoly’; then back to English for Diana Johnstone’s wonderful ‘Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions’; and, finally, when I joined the editorial committee of ‘Balkans Infos,’ a little monthly sheet put out by Jean Paul Sartre’s former-secretary, and, at one time, my close friend and mentor, Louis Dalmas—in fact, it was comrade Dalmas who introduced me to two real French heroes and two of Serbia and Yugoslavia greatest friends, Me Jacque Vergès and General Pierre Marie Gallois (it is with the greatest sadness that I report the loss, in August of this year, of General Gallois, whose statement on the NATO bombing I had the honor of translating and presenting here in Belgrade in March 2009): the more I learned about the history of Yugoslavia, the more the fog of lies, manipulations and disinformation began to clear and the more apparent it became that the UN and military humanist NGOs everywhere had been covering for the West’s initial aggression against the last socialist federation in Europe, and were blaming the villainy that drove the dismemberment of Yugoslavia on its victims, the Yugoslavs/Serbs, themselves.

But Serbia remained at peace and became a refuge for all those, from every nationality and ethnic group, who sought to escape the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. Serbian President Milosevic had negotiated the Dayton Peace Agreement, which guaranteed that Serbia would have the primary authority in settling any and all problems within its southern province of Kosovo. And it was hard to see through the sheep’s clothing the US and EU had donned to hide their lupine venality and guarantee the profitable spread of misery throughout the Balkans.

However, the 1999 NATO terror bombing, which doubled as close air support for the invasion and faux insurgency by Western proxies, the Kosovo Liberation Army [KLA or UCK, in Albanian], racked focus on many aspects of this, by then, decade-long war. NATO’s bombing was a confession that this had not been a ‘civil war’ as it was so popularly billed, but that the initial foreign aggression that ignited the war, the crime against Peace, the mother of all war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to the Nuremberg principles, was NATO’s own. It also made clear that the ultimate goal in breaking up the Yugoslav Socialist Federation was to impose Western commercial and financial interests as intermediaries in the relations—one could rightfully say ‘privileged relations’—between Serbia and Russia. Just as Enron had interceded in the deregulated Croatian energy market, severely spiking the cost of living in Tudjman’s new ‘Free State’, and Richard Holbrook, from his broker’s chair at Credit-Suisse/First Boston, had interceded to reopen lines of Russian gaz between Hungary and Bosnia after they had been closed for non-payment: so now is Serbia to become the privatized domain of Western Waste Capital and its people the slaves of US and EU Business interests and the inordinate increases in cost of living brought about by Western-brokerage of formerly privileged Russian energy supplies.

NATO’s occupation of another former-Russian sphere of influence, foreshadowing the political-hijackings of Ukraine and Georgia and other former-Soviet territories, was further confirmed as the reason for the Balkan war(s) with the US’s establishment of strategic military bases in Bosnia (Eagle Air Base in Tuzla, the former Muslim hideout, from whence have been launched aerial raids against Iraq and Afghanistan and soon, perhaps, Iran), and in Kosovo (Camp Bondsteel, the largest foreign US military base build since Vietnam).

So, loss of sovereignty, loss of financial and commercial autonomy, degradation unto total elimination of essential public services like education and healthcare—is it yet another irony that NATO would inflict higher rates of fatal illness like cancer with its use of nuclear weapons on the Serbian people, and then privatize the healthcare system right out of reach of most Serbs?—and the mutilation, the disfigurement of Yugoslav/Serbian History beyond recognition: This is what lies down the Yellow Brick Road to Europe. And you don’t have to take my word for it; ask the Greeks or the Spanish or the Poles.

After the 1999 bombing greatly clarified the war for me, it also became clear that I had to get involved—that I had to do whatever I could to start to make things right. Street demonstrations (Paris allowed only one), Balkan Infos editorial pieces, and finally my blog, CirqueMinime/Paris, were the only ways I had to express solidarity with Serbia. This renewed involved in the struggle for Truth and Justice did, however, get me my only son, Maximilien.

Until 5 October and the arrest and imprisonment of President Milosevic in Belgrade’s central jail (where no charges were ever brought against him) and his eventual kidnapping for ransom by PM Zoran Djindjic—for what else can you call an illegal extradition for the promise of $17 million in ‘aid’ money?—to the illegitimate UN ad hoc Tribunal at The Hague.

After 5 October, I became chillingly aware that NATO and the West had not fully exhausted their capacity for evil. And that their anti-democratic urges, their neo-feudal longings—which for want of a better word I will call Fascist—had much more misery in store for Slobodan Milosevic and his people.

During the bombing, the visibly demented NATO commander, General Wesley Clark, clearly stated that the end purpose of bombing Yugoslavia over Kosovo was the removal of President Milosevic from political life—much as Richard Holbrook had removed Dr. Radovan Karadzic from the political life of the Republika Srpska with a bogus promise of immunity from prosecution by the UN court. But there were certain Americans who were much more concise in their explanations for this kind of murderous criminal aggression: Liberal LA Times syndicated columnist Willaim Pfaff wrote that the Serbian people had ‘asked for it,’ and needed to be bombed and bombed very hard to make them aware of their mistake in electing Slobodan Milosevic to three terms as their President.

So, if the bombing was about forcing regime change in Serbia, about ‘imposing democracy’ by removing a ‘Stalinist dictator,’ then the bombing failed. But NATO was not out of aggressions. Sufficient political pressure was brought to bear so that the regular legislative and municipal elections of 27 September 2000 would also, for the first time, bring the presidency of Yugoslavia to a vote of all the people. In July 1997, after serving two terms as president of Serbia, Milovevic was appointed to a four-year mandate as Yugoslav president by the National Parliament—while Serbia had a Western-style presidential system, Yugoslavia’s was more like the German system of an appointed Chancellor. Much to the chagrin of his associates and advisers, President Milosevic proposed cutting his presidential mandate short and standing for early election in 2000. This was very much an expression of his confidence in Yugoslav democratic principles, as well as a solid belief that the people approved of the stunning rehabilitation of the country his administration had brought about since the end of the bombing.

But the nearly $77 million the USAID invested in OTPOR & other such hired hooligans’ indoctrination in and equipping (not to say ‘arming’) for the hijacking of Yugoslavia’s first popular presidential election in the name of Democracy has paid significant dividends. The forces working against Independence, National Sovereignty and Democracy in Europe (including Russia), as embodied by the OSCE, which aided and abetted Wm Walker in his staging of the potted massacre at Raçak that begat the Rambouillet conference, which, with its Annex B, made the bombing a foregone catastrophe, have not rested in their efforts to militarily surround Russia and the CIS and leverage large commissions on all sales of their vast natural—especially energy—resources.

My favorite example of anti-democracy (i.e., Fascism) at work in Yugoslavia post 5 October, is, when the EU/NATO cabal just could not seem to get their compradors elected—even after neutralizing the two most powerful national parties, the SPS and SRS, by imprisoning their leaders as war criminals unto genocidaires—because in a sophisticated democracy like Serbia’s, any election that does not turn out 50%+1 of its eligible voters is considered null. So Javier Solano worked double shifts to have this principle, essential to the democratic ideal of majority rule, stricken from the rulebook. Sic transit the power of the None-of-the-Above vote.

And while Europe was plying Serbia with its commercial charms, that judicial arm of NATO’s military domination, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia, continued or prolonged the Western aggression that dismembered that once proud country. And when, in 2001, President Milosevic was illegally transferred (if ‘kidnapped’ is just too strong for you) to the old Nazi lock-up in The Hague, Scheveningen, and his trial was being billed by CNN and their ilk as the Political Trial of the Century: it was then that I had a premonition of a tragedy in the making.

Just as the goal of the Western powers was not to see a free and fair election in Yugoslavia in 2000—for even if President Milosevic had lost in the first and second rounds, he still would have been a part of the Opposition and, needless to say, would have posed a major impediment to the NATO/EU plans for his country—it became quickly apparent that a fair trial (on what ever charges the Prosecution could finally agree upon) was not what awaited Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague, either.

As arguments for and against his defending himself were entertained, I was naïve enough—or creeped out enough by the theatrics of the ICTY—to advise him not to present a defense at all. I thought he should file a motion for dismissal on the grounds that the Prosecution had not proved its case—and that is only if one is charitable enough to credit the Prosecution with ever having a case.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” But even a lifetime in the Theatre had not prepared, me to be a spectator at—even, perhaps, a participant in, as I was present at the founding of the ICDSM, right here in the Sava Center in October 2001, such a classic tragedy. President Milosevic could no more have stood mute than Timon of Athens or King Lear could have accepted their banishment from their lands and their people. It was Milosevic’s tragic heroism that drove him to rescue the History of the Serbian nation and all its varied peoples. The ICTY certainly did not deserve—nor seem very much to appreciate—the History class he held before them for four years. And today’s Serbian comprador government has even bowed a patient knee to the idolatries of false humanitarianism by attending the commemoration of that other UN cash-cow, the so-called genocide at Srebrenica, and even paid a polite call on its former executioners at the Atlantic Alliance’s home office in Brussels, seemingly in hopes of pledging that sadistic fraternity.

And it was the feckless incompetence and cynical irrationality of this grotesque Star Chamber, the ICTY—they had neither the evidence nor the skills to railroad President Milosevic into a conviction; and their institutional instinct for self-preservation made it impossible for them to acquit him without implicating themselves in the primal crime against the Peace that had been committed by the Western powers against Yugoslavia—and covered up by their UN godfathers.

They did the only thing they could do to eliminate this existential threat—an unspeakable and cowardly thing—they took the life of Slobodan Milosevic. By violently suppressing Serbia’s popular political tradition on 5 October 2000, they delivered his people into political servitude at the hands of their once and future tormentors. And they gave an important historical boost to the anti-democratic and immoral forces—the Forces of False Consciousness—that will exploit—then waste—the very last breath of powerless people everywhere.

Mick Collins.

Meulan, France
1 October 2010

End Notes:

[1] While serving as an independent monitor of the 2007 Dumas elections in Moscow, I tried to convince I tried to convince the election chairman, Mr. Cherov, that the OSCE, which had pulled all its monitors from this election, was no friend of Russia or any Slavic country. He got very angry with me.

[2] ‘Terror bombing’ was the term used by Newsweek magazine to describe this NATO aggression.

[3] Today it’s called ‘Il y a une fois la Yougoslavie’ [Once upon a time there was Yugoslavia]

[4] Though in 2000 the country was no longer referred to as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia [SFRY] and Yugoslavia’s UN seat was being withheld, it was still being called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia [FRY]. With its anti-democratic enemies having succeeded in effectively removing all references to Socialism [not to mention burying its former, more communist monikers, like ‘Democratic Federal Yugoslavia’ {1943} or ‘The Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia’ {1963}] and busily at work trying to make the same excision of Slavic references by prefixing Yugoslavia [meaning the nation of the Southern Slavs] with ‘ex-‘ or ‘Former-’ (some even stooped to underhandedly and ex-officiously changing the ‘F’-word from ‘Federal’ to ‘Former’), it was not until 2003 that the nation was officially renamed ‘Serbia and Montenegro.’

UN-Aid that Kills-[pt 2]: [from] Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali & the Hunting of Refugees by General Paul Kagame's Army. - by Faustin Ntilikina

The UN--Aid that Kills--#RC202: [excerpted from] Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali and the Hunting of Refugees by General Paul Kagame's Army. -- by Faustin Ntilikina
[As I contemplate the UN draft report recently leaked to Le Monde and consider the stark hypocrisy of it, the brazen betrayal of its former collaborator, Paul Kagame and his RPF government today renewed in Kigali, and the pathetic cowardice of this International snitch in calling attention to Rwanda’s crimes in Congo as a way to fuzz out its own—the punk’s way out when the truth is about to hit the warden’s desk and all hopes of a gay bar on D block vanish in the frenzied anticipation of his impending gang-sodomizing by the joint’s Great Powers: my imagination reeled in disgust and staggered back to a book that changed my whole outlook on Central Africa, in general, and the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in particular.

Fautin Ntilikina’s “Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali and the Hunting of Refugees by General Paul Kagame's Army” is still only in French and has only the dimmest hopes of ever getting the English translation it deserves. But this essential work (in cm/p’s humble translation below) will be the subject of the next two parts of our series, The UN—Aid that Kills.

Thinking of just how fey is the UN’s hippedy-hopping onto the Kagame-bashing band wagon—kind of like American Business, after bankrolling the reconstruction in the 1930s of the Third Reich with its myriad promises of destroying Judeo-Soviet Bolshevism, suddenly deciding in 1941 that they were, really, all along, anti-Fascist (with just a minor in anti-Communism)—and this on the split-ends of feckless attempts by some well-intention, though less well-informed, Arusha Defense lawyers to make the RPF’s double assassination of two popular (Hutu) African presidents on 6 April 1994 a civil matter in an Oklahoma City Federal court, rather than one of the more heinous crimes their employers (the UN, which created and supports the illegal ad hoc Tribunals in The Hague and Arusha) have spent the last nearly 20 years covering up; or the bootless protests of any number of Rwandan exile ‘Opposition’ groups, who continuously appeal to the UN for justice and succor, seeking to insinuate themselves into that tiny country’s electoral process (a process premised on the sanctity of the myth of the minority Tutsi genocide of 1994, and codified by Kagame and his legal talent in the Rwandan Constitution of June 2003, just to make any such ‘Opposition’ impossible or, at least, un-survivable), so as to, somehow, inherit the title to what is laughably called Rwandan democracy, but is really just a sort of Walmart for the natural riches ripped off from Congo—outta nowhere, I get an email about Garrison Keillor’s contemplating the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

How existentially absurd it is that all this oil is destroying the planet because of Mankind’s addiction to petroleum—and all this being observed from a seat in a kerosene-sucking airliner as he sips a cocktail from a plastic glass and records his feelings on a coltan-based computer. Yet with all the hair-pulling and chest-pounding over the wasting of the earth’s essential bodily fluid, very little attention is paid to how the life’s blood of several million African has been wantonly wasted, spilt in forests of eastern Congo.

Even in Obama’s offensively ignorant speech to the UN General Assembly, in which he singled out Iran and the DRC for scolding, he distracted the World body’s attention (all too easily and willfully distracted) from the truly horrendous implications of the US and its allies, and especially the World body, itself, in these crimes against humanity unto genocide, through the use of that hackneyed and hysterical old Vagina Monologues dodge, ‘rape as an weapon of war.’

What I wouldn’t give for brother Obama to read brother Ntilikina’s book and see the really grotesque absurdity of his comment about Congo!

So, why not start here?

These are excerpts from “Rwanda: The Taking of Kigali and the Hunting of Refugees by General Paul Kagame's Army.” I told the author, who was an officer with the Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR) and has compared the battle for Kigali with the battles for Moscow or Stalingrad, of a vivid image I carried away from my first reading of his book a year and a half ago—like a nightmare I couldn’t shake:

—Sick and starving refugees were waiting for food and medicine to be dropped to them, when in the distance they saw a white plane with blue markings. Certain the UN was coming through on its humanitarian promises, the refugees ran to meet the plane. As this C130 Hercules was almost over them, the side doors slid open and machine guns open up, while what might have at first appeared to be food parcels turned out to be incendiary bombs. Thousand were killed outright, and thousands more were left to wait for death to deliver them from the pain and horror of their existence.—

I asked him if this was really from his book, or had I better watch what I eat after midnight. He sent me the following sections of his book.

I wonder how Garrison Keillor would compare these two existential absurdities? –mc]

1. Destruction of the camps at INERA, Kashusha and ADI-Kivu (South Kivu)

On 21 November 1996, many troops of the RPA [the Army of Paul Kagame’s RPF—cm/p] came from Numbi, a center located further north and connected to Masisi by a trail that would support vehicles. These were the same troops who had attacked and destroyed the camp at Mugunga a week before. They were reinforced by some Tutsi militias who were trained in Rwanda and turned back from the ranches of Ngungu and Matanda in a foreshadowing of the operation to attack the camps. Throughout the night they surrounded the village of Shanje by occupying the high ground overlooking the refugees’ installations.

In the morning, a small plane flew over the zone trailing red and white banners that seemed to announce the arrival of Humanitarian Organizations. The presence, higher in the sky, of a four-engined C130 {Hercules} confirmed the general feeling of relief.

The refugees, already envisioning food packages parachuting down, started to come out of their hiding places. It is at this moment that General Paul Kagame’s soldiers showed themselves and opened fire. Like sheep being attacked by a pack of wild beasts, the refugees spread out when the shooting started. But the place offered no protection; the walls of the few houses in the village would not stopped a tossed rock.

Reflexively, the refugees tried to get back to the foot of the hills, trying to find some blind spots. In this panicked scramble, they exposed themselves even more to the crossfire of machine guns and especially to the mortar fire that had earlier been trained on them.

Encouraged by the luck they seemed to have on their side, those who escaped the gun fire began to climb the hills. You had to get skinny, crawl on your belly, to move toward the summit, toward life.

When the first climbers had gotten half-way up the slope, the little plane came back, this time it was firing on them with an on-board machine gun.
According to witnesses, it dropped ‘these fiery packets’, the only way they were described. Those who did not die of their wounds continued to climb the hill, as if they were resolved to go to their meeting with death. At the approach of this enraged crowd moving in on them, the RPA troops deployed on the heights began to pull out, opening up breaches where those who were fleeing could be swallowed up.

So, after a long and anxious moment, several thousand refugees found their way out of the net, leaving behind them the hundreds of dead and wounded, who would either be finished off, or abandoned to await death alone.

And then, more than 5,000 survivors of the mass-killing were captured and forced, under heavy escort, to return to Bukavu and Rwanda. Along the way back, men and teenage boys were systematically cut out of the driven throng to be slaughtered in the brush, and usually with cold weapons. Others were killed openly in public places under the stunned gaze of the rest of the column. The reason often given for these public executions was attempted escape, a crime for which, it was well-known, the penalty was death. They were also gunned down in the open fields.

2. The Assault on the Sake Basin (Attack on the camps of North Kivu)

The morning of 15 November, I was somewhere down on this lava plain, without any kind of cover. As part of my close family, I have two nieces aged 10 and 12. They had miraculously arrived in Katale, without their parents, two weeks before, via the horrible road through the volcanoes. I saw in their innocent gaze a will and courage to face up to this test. I also saw in them the hope of survival, and from then on they were always with me. But I have never felt so responsible for anyone.

Heading off on the trails blazed by those who went before us, we ran full-out toward the front of the pack in hopes of reaching the foot of the mountain where there is a thick vegetation and where we might avoid being shot on sight.

The sky was clear when my group began to climb the mountain. At each open space, the fugitives’ only weapons against the enemy were their numbers, their cries and their breath. The first line of the fleeing refugees were felled by the bullets of individual guns. The second line were killed by grenades. The pressure from the lines of refugees that followed ended up forcing the gunners to give up their positions and retreat to the next clearing higher up the hill.

Encouraged by the luck that still seemed to be with them, the waves of refugees continued to take advantage of these openings and broaden the front by rushing into the small covered spaces inside the banana groves.

In a few hours, the whole base of the hill had become an enormous battlefield. For this battle, Paul Kagame’s troops were not short on means. The RPF soldiers had brought with them heavy weapons that they had had the time to place in strong positions.

Several witnesses, like Chistophe, a refugee who had remained in the camp and was subsequently repatriated by force, saw at least one small plane armed with machine guns and rockets to back up the ground troops by keeping the refugees from making it further up the hill.

3. The great abandonment

It had already been a month since the first attacks on the refugee camps. First, in South Kivu, then in North Kivu. The attackers had come from Rwanda, wearing their national uniforms, in order, once and for all, to defeat the Hutu refugees.

Camp after camp, they killed and littered their trail of death with the bodies of hundreds of their countrymen—and women and children.

And this extreme solution was not condemned, either by the HCR [the UN High Commissioner for Refugees], or by the UN Security Council, or by the powerful nations who were [or were not] members of this Council.

On the humanitarian scene, in the beginning of November, the UN decided to help these unfortunate refugees by launching a gigantic humanitarian intervention. The Staff Headquarters for this Intervention Force was set up in Kampala, Uganda.

The Force was commanded by Canadian Army General Maurice Baril, already well-known in UN administrative circles for his partiality [his loyal support of fellow Canadian and UN General Roméo Dallaire, with his self-admitted pro-RPF bent—cm/p] in the UNAMIR’s handling of the Rwandan problem during the war and the mass killings of 1994.

UN officials did not hide their real motives when they placed the operation’s headquarters in Uganda, the strong ally of Rwanda in the war against the refugees.

As for General Baril, his proposals left no doubt in the minds of those whose survival depended on his initiatives. Rather than working with officials in Zaire, the country where the refugees found themselves, Baril decided to go through Kigali to ask for authorization to put his troops on the ground.

And at the end of operations, despite regular over-flights by reconnaissance aircraft and the use of other state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, each report from the Humanitarian Force announced that the refugees could not be found.

After several weeks of ‘fruitless’ searching, the Humanitarian Force concluded that the refugees had all gone back home and that aid would be channeled through Rwanda.

4. Death in the shade

How many remained as prisoners in the forests in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo? A quick accounting will give us an idea of the number of people who were chased like wild game into that equatorial forest from November 1996.

In the beginning, there were 200,000 refugees from Katale who left Rukwi on 18 November and subsequently suffered heavy losses at the Rushoga river. With any hopes of getting to the ‘free zone’ dashed, the survivors of these massacres resigned themselves to living, at once, among the local populations and their assailants.

Then there were the 500, to 600,000 refugees from Mugunga and Kibumba, half of whom had been effectively repatriated or killed by the Kigali regime during the attack on the Sake Basin. At least 200,000 survivors got to the Masisi region and tried to go on toward Walikale.

Finally, there were the 300,000 refugees from the Bukavu region who were nearly all led toward the West and got past the cross-country highway at Busurungi. Knowing that estimates from February 1997 of those who managed to get beyond Walikale and into the Tingi-Tingi region were about 200,000, the half million refugees who did not make this count continued to drag themselves through the forests of the Masisi and Walikale zones in the east of the DRC. They were condemned to wander there for the rest of their lives, terrorized and hunted day and night, and all this in a state of extreme deprivation.

Before the RPF launched its war of 1990, each one of these people had a family, a profession, personal possessions and prospects. From one day to the next they had to abandon all of this. They survived in a vegetative state imposed on them by two years in the refugee camps.

They only held on because they had hope and confidence that international arbitration would become interested in their situation and would one day return them to their country, their things, their activities, and their dignity.

After October 1996, the violent attacks on the camps, and on the refugees, made crystal clear the true intentions of the Rwandan regime. This government did not want their return; it wanted their annihilation.

After RPF troops took control of the Bukavu-Walikale road in mid-December 1996, there was no longer anything to hope for. They were resigned to living under persecution, in misery and chaos, and in despair.

For several weeks, they counted on the imminent arrival of the Humanitarian Aid Force created by the UN Security Council and commanded by General Maurice Baril. Hope was also nourished by the appearance of these airplanes that each day were flying over them as they trudged along the route connecting the many encampments, blue camps, white camps or green camps, extending from East to West, that took them several days walking to reach.

To the crushing disappointed of these wanderers, the daily radio reports claimed the refugees could not be found. How could such a long column of souls escape detection by modern military equipment so sensitive as to be able to read the license number on a car hidden in the underbrush?

And what if General Baril’s troops were on the side of the hunters or only pretending to play the old Humanitarian game?

I know the gravity of this accusation, but the facts are there.

Despite the technical means at its disposal, this International Force wound up admitting it was unable to fulfill its mission, leaving the field wide open for Paul Kagame’s forces to have their way with a defenseless people.

In this underbrush where there is neither a road, nor a telephone, these refugees became aware that they could no longer count on International Solidarity or Conventions for their survival. They concluded that they had been abandoned. They were alone to face their suffering, alone to face the physical, mental and moral degeneration that was stalking them. Many among them were already at their final resting place.

The UN--Aid that Kills (pt 1) - The RPF's Bloody Record & the History of UN Cover-ups - by Christopher Black

Intro to our Series: The UN--Aid that Kills--The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups--by Christopher Black

[Lately, Paul Kagame and his neofeudal-military dictatorship in Kigali have come in for a lot more heat than ever before—at least from friends and crimeys. Now the Princes of the Pentagon and the Secretaries at State are starting to question whether 'real democracy' [i.e., participatory democracy with majority rule—oops! Sounds like ‘Hutu Power’, huh?] can be developed in a thoroughly privatized, nearly ideal model of an MBA [Military/Business Authoritarian] state.

The Lords of Capital have once more shoved their gnarly fist up their argyle sock-puppet, the United Nations, to play yet another Guignol entitled “Humanitarianism R Us'. And for the second year running, the UN has singled out plucky little Rwanda to be bitch-slapped for running the most atrocious hustles in the Your-Resources-or-Your-Life racket—where, as will global terrorism, the take always winds up in the same pockets.

If the media ever starts giving out Philip Gourevitch Ignorance & Hypocrisy in Journalism awards, those pens men in the UN's International Experts department should win year in and year out. The illegal ad hocs alone, the ICTY in The Hague (for Yugoslavia, which the UN helped drive out of existence a full decade ago), and the ICTR in Arusha (for adjudicating crimes committed in Rwanda and the surrounding region between 1 Jan. and 31 Dec. 1994--except those committed by the UN and its favored-member states), have brought craven, conniving judicial villainy to sub-Caligulan levels.

Here's CM/P's Minadef, Chris Black, sharing some of his personal experiences in the Tanzanian Halls of Connivery. This piece will stand on its own as an introduction to our latest series on one of the greatest forces for the vile exploitation and expansion of human misery in the last 70 years: the UN.

Stay tuned to find out just how they ran their foul regime-changing game in the Age of Global Waste. --mc]


The Rwandan Patriotic Front's Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups
by Christopher Black

On August 26, the French newspaper Le Monde revealed the existence of a draft UN report on the most serious violations of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo over an eleven-year period (1993-2003).[1] The massive draft report states that after the Rwandan Patriotic Front's takeover of Rwanda in 1994, it proceeded to carry out "systematic and widespread attacks" against Hutu refugees who had fled Rwanda to neighboring Zaire (now the DRC) as well as against the Hutu civilian population of the DRC, in general. Crucially, it concludes that the pattern of these attacks "reveal[s] a number of damning elements that, if they were proven before a competent court, could be classified as crimes of genocide."[2]

The draft report was leaked to Le Monde out of the plausible fear that its most damning facts and charges against the armed forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Front and President Paul Kagame would be expunged prior to its official release. Sure enough, one week later, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, announced that the official report's release would be delayed until October 1 "to give concerned states a further month to comment on the draft," and even "offered to publish any comments alongside the report itself."[3]

Such an unprecedented offer by the UNHCHR follows from a number of factors, including the role that Rwandan troops play in UN peacekeeping operations, and the fact that earlier this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Kagame to serve along with Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as co-chairs of a new Millennium Development Goal Advisory Group. According to The New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch -- who, after Alison Des Forges, did as much as anyone to sell the official version of the 1994 "Rwanda genocide" to the West, and clearly remains on very friendly terms with the Kagame dictatorship -- "top Rwandan officials [have been speaking] freely and on the record about their efforts to have the draft report quashed." As Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo confided in Gourevitch, "If it is endorsed by the U.N. and it's ever published, . . . if the U.N. releases it as a U.N. report, the moment it's released, the next day all our troops are coming home. Not just Darfur, all the five countries where we have police."[4]

A third, no doubt more decisive factor is that the Kagame dictatorship is a client of the United States and "acts as a mercenary for U.S. interests in Africa," as Glen Ford observes; the current conflict between this dictatorship and the UN "threatens to reveal the United States' role as enabler in the deaths of as many as six million people while Washington's allies occupied and looted the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo."[5] It is Washington's ties to Kagame's RPF, ultimately, as well as those of London and Brussels, on which public discussions of the draft UN report should turn their spotlight.

But this is not the first such report to have been drafted by the UN -- nor is it the first one to be covered up. As early as October 11, 1994, Robert Gersony, an employee of the U.S. Agency for International Development, then attached to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, made an oral presentation to the UN Commission of Experts on Rwanda. Gersony had been dispatched to survey the situation inside Rwanda to determine if conditions were right for a return of the Hutu refugees who had fled the RPF. Instead, he found that the RPF had been committing systematic massacres of the Hutu population in Rwanda starting in April 1994 and continuing through the date of his presentation.

On page 4 of the UN record of Gersony's oral presentation, we read:

"Significant areas of Butare Prefecture, Kibungo Prefecture, and the southern and eastern areas of Kigali Prefecture have been -- and in some cases were reported to remain as early as September -- the scene of systematic and sustained killing and persecution of the civilian Hutu populations by the [Rwandan Patriotic Army]. These activities are reported to have begun, depending on location, between April and July 1994, immediately following the expulsion from each area of former Government military, militia and surrogate forces. These [Rwandan Patriotic Army] actions were consistently reported to be conducted in areas where opposition forces of any kind -- armed or unarmed -- or resistance of any kind -- other than attempts by the victims of these actions to escape -- were absent. Large scale indiscriminate killings of men, women and children, including the sick and elderly, were consistently reported."

And on page 6 we also learn that "an unmistakable pattern of systematic [Rwandan Patriotic Army] conduct of such actions is the unavoidable conclusion of the team's interviews."

The Gersony report is identified in a cover letter dated October 11, 1994, from one Francois Fouinat to Mrs. B. Molina-Abram, the Secretary to the Commission of Experts on Rwanda. In this brief letter, Fouinat explains:

"We refer to the UNHCR's briefing to the Commission of Experts on Monday, 11 October 1994.

"As requested by the Commission, we are forwarding herewith a written summary of Mr. Gersony's oral presentation and copies of some field reports sent to UNHCR Headquarters by UNHCR Field Offices.

"We are confident that as agreed by the President of the Commission of Experts, these documents will be treated as confidential and only be made available to the members of the Commission."

I possess copies of these two UN documents from October 1994 because they are part of the evidence-base at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where I serve as the lead defense counsel for Hutu former General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, once the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Gendarmerie. The documents were found by my legal assistant purely by chance while scanning the prosecution's Electronic Disclosure System, which contains hundreds of thousands of documents that are not indexed in any order. My assistant came across them as part of a package of material organized by Robert Gersony himself while he was assigned to the UNHCR. It must be assumed that Mr. Gersony thought the documents relevant, as they affected the fate of the Hutu refugees.

At the ICTR, the brief cover letter by Francois Fouinat bears the index number "R0002906." The next 14 pages of R0002906 contain the Gersony report and are numbered sequentially with an 'R' -- prefix number used by the ICTR for documents contained in its Rwanda files.

Because I possess the series of ICTR documents beginning with R0002906, I also have in my possession an even more astonishing document, the true historical significance of which has once again been underscored by the leaked UNHCHR report: Namely, the copy of a letter from Paul Kagame to his fellow Tutsi, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza of Burundi, dated August 10, 1994.

Let me share with you an exchange that took place on November 18, 2008, in the Military II trial at the ICTR.[6] What was said in court that particular day explains how these documents came to light. I was one of the speakers.

--Mr. Black:[7]

"Mr. President, before I do that -- that takes place, I have something which I would like to raise of great importance, I think.

"Yesterday my legal assistant found by accident, something, I think of grave importance for this Tribunal and for the world. It's a letter from General Paul Kagame, dated the 10th of August 1994, to Jean Baptiste Bagaza, . . . in Burundi. It's marked 'confidential'.

"I didn't have time to make copies, so I want to read it to you. It has an 'R'-number. R0002905. It's in French, so please bear with me to make a loose translation. It says -- it's only one page and it is short:

'Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza, we have the greatest honour to extend our sincere gratitude to you both for your financial and technical support in our struggle that has just ended with the taking of Kigali.

'Rest assured that our plan to continue shall be pursued as we agreed at our last meeting in Kampala. Last week I communicated with our big brother Yoweri Museveni and decided to make some modifications to the plan. Indeed, as you have noted, the taking of Kigali quickly provoked a panic among the Hutus who fled to Goma and Bukavu. We have found that the presence of a large number of Rwandan refugees at Goma and the international community can cause our plan for Zaire to fail. We cannot occupy ourselves with Zaire until after the return of these Hutus. All means are being used for their return as rapidly as possible. In any case, our external intelligence services continue to crisscross the east of Zaire and our Belgian, British and American collaborators, the rest of Zaire. The action reports are expected in the next few days.

'Concerning the Burundi plan, we are very content with your work to ensure the failure of the policies of FRODEBU. It is necessary to paralyze the power of FRODEBU until the total ruin of the situation in order to justify your action that must not miss its target. Our soldiers will be deployed, this time, not only in Bujumbura, but in the places you judge strategic. Our elements stationed at Bugesera are ready to intervene at any moment. The plan for Burundi must be executed as soon as possible before the Hutus of Rwanda can organize themselves.

'In the hope of seeing you next time at Kigali, we ask you to accept, dear brother, our most respectful greetings.'

'General Paul Kagame
'Minister of Defence (signed by his assistant Mr. Rwego[8])'

"The importance of this letter, if you have grasped it fully, cannot be overstated. It means the attack on Rwanda from 1990 was not the prime objective of Kagame and his collaborators. Zaire was always the prime objective. That their excuse for the attack on Rwanda, about establishing democracy and return of refugees, was completely false. That the invasion from Uganda had only one purpose: to clear the path through Rwanda to Zaire. That the return of refugees, as many witnesses have stated, was not for humanitarian reasons, but to clear the path for the invasion of Zaire. It means that the Americans, British, particularly with Kagame and Museveni, planned the invasion of Zaire [sic] in 1994, probably before that. It means that the excuse given for the invasions of Congo since this letter was written, to clear the 'Interahamwe' or 'genocidaires,' is completely false. No mention is made of 'Interahamwe.' No mention is made of 'genocide.' It means, since this was received, it looks like a date stamp of this tribunal, 8th December 1994, that the Prosecutor of this Tribunal has been hiding information indicating a conspiracy to commit a war of aggression against Congo-Zaire, Zaire and all of the war crimes have flowed from it since and the continuation of those wars in Congo, now begun 14 years ago, if not longer. And that the principal parties are the principal parties stated in this letter. It indicates that the prime target, Hutus in Rwanda and Burundi, that they want to suppress the Hutu population in order to carry out their plan. Democracy was never their concern. And it indicates that the Prosecutor was in -- had information in a territorial and temporal jurisdiction of this Tribunal under rule -- under Statute-Article 1. That they are also concerned with war crimes committed in neighboring states.

"So, here you have the smoking gun, the letter, planning the invasion of Zaire with the Americans and British. And it confirms our theory all the way through this trial that the Belgians were involved with those other countries. And again, there must be -- and this, as a colleague pointed out, is page 8 of 12. So where are the other eleven pages of -- what other letters do they have in their hands? And again, it indicates that these men have been stitched up, falsely accused, in order to clear them out of the way so this plan can take place. If this is published in The New York Times or Washington Post, the whole picture of the war in Rwanda and the wars in Congo would change.

"So I ask the Prosecutor, once again, where is that file? And, in fact, I would like them to produce the indictment against Kagame[9] because I want to see what he's been charged with, exactly what crimes and where. So, again, I ask for this file to be produced and I ask why they have not acted. Mr. Jallow and Louise Arbour and everybody else have been protecting the RPF which has now resulted in millions of deaths in the Congo and continues up till today and what is going on in Congo now.

"And I state openly that the Prosecution office is complicit in this invasion of Congo and is responsible, themselves, for all those murders in Congo, because they've hidden this for a long time and they could have exposed it many years ago and stopped the invasions.

"If the international community, that is, other than the United States and Britain, had been aware of what was going on, it would never have taken place. But they sit there and they accuse us, my client and the other officers here, of committing crimes; they knew what they were doing in Zaire. I don't think they can even shave and look in the mirror in the morning."

--Mr. President:[10]

"Counsel, having said all of that, why don't you send this to The New York Times?"


"It will be sent . . . whether they publish it, I do not know."[11]

In the days after this letter was exposed, the prosecution accused the defence of having fabricated the letter and raised questions about its authenticity.

I replied, first, that the letter bears a sequential ICTR index number with an 'R'-prefix -- the prefix used for Rwanda documents.

Second, as mentioned above, this letter was found among the package of material organized by Robert Gersony while assigned to the UNHCR.

Third, the letter was date-stamped "December 8, 1994" by the ICTR. Presumably, this was its date of receipt by the ICTR.

Fourth, it is also noteworthy that the letter that we know was created no later than December 8th, 1994, speaks of moving the Hutus out of the way in Zaire, and this is exactly what happened. First, the UN tried to force them back into Rwanda and partly succeeded. But the mass of refugees refused to return, so, in 1996, the attacks on the Hutu refugee camps began, forcing them to flee into the Congo forest. There is a lot of testimony by Hutus who were either forced at gunpoint to return to Rwanda or experienced the manhunt against them conducted by the RPF and its allies.

Fifth, the letter is further authenticated by noting that the addressee (the Burundian Tutsi Jean Baptiste Bagaza) did, in fact, carry out a coup d'état in Burundi against a more moderate Tutsi and turned against the Hutu political group called Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi (FRODEBU, or Front for Democracy in Burundi). Unquestionably, Bagaza and Kagame were allies. According to the testimony of expert witness Dr. Helmut Strizek before the ICTR:

Q: "Very well, doctor, let's move toward the end. What clarification would you like to make on the relationship between Bagaza and Kagame when the president's aeroplane was shot down?"

Strizek: "If my memory serves me right, Bagaza had left the country, and I think returned after or before the assassination of Ndadaye. Bagaza was a hardliner, a Tutsi hardliner, so there was an alliance between the two of them, and they wanted to prevent a Hutu president from being in charge of Burundi."

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Strizek: "Jean-Baptiste Bagaza was a Hima or Tutsi president of Burundi who took power when he overthrew President Micombero, who had been responsible for anti-Hutu genocide in 1972. He was in power for some time. . . .

"In my opinion, it's quite clear that Bagaza and Kagame follow the same line."[12]

Sixth, the man whose signature appears on the letter on behalf of Paul Kagame, Mr. Rwego, confirmed to a member of the defence team that he did, in fact, sign it.

The accidental discovery of this August 10, 1994, letter from Paul Kagame to his "Dear Brother Jean Baptiste Bagaza" was met with an immediate reaction by the prosecution, who accused the defence of fabricating it, pointing out a typo in the letterhead. But this line of criticism failed, as it was shown that there are other letters in existence from the RPF on the same stationery, with the same typo in the letterhead, and these letters are regarded as authentic.

That someone regarded the letter as authentic and dangerous is highlighted by the fact that I was followed by a Tanzanian police officer the night after I produced it in court, and was forced to complain about this surveillance in court the next day. Yet, the prosecution continued its attacks on the letter's authenticity, even though the document came from the files of the prosecutor. And this important revelation during the Military II trial was never reported in the mass media -- though I did send it to many journalists, including The New York Times.

Now that the draft UN report on the atrocities committed by the RPF in Congo has been leaked, the findings of the very first UN report of RPF atrocities against the Hutus beginning in 1994 should also be recognized and addressed.

The UN must explain why the record of that 1994 presentation by Robert Gersony was marked "confidential" and why the latest draft UN report does not refer to it.

The prosecutors at the ICTR must explain why they hid these documents from the defence for nearly 15 years, and why, even though they have these documents in their possession, they have never once used these documents to bring charges against a single member of the RPF.

Last, Paul Kagame and his American, Belgian, and British collaborators must explain the meaning of the letter -- and, in particular, the meaning of the phrase, "plan for Zaire."


[1] Christophe Châtelot, "L'acte d'accusation de dix ans de crimes au Congo RDC," Le Monde, August 26, 2010. For some additional news reports, see: "UN Uncovers Possible Genocide in Congo: Report," Agence France Presse, August 26, 2010; David Lewis, "Rwandan Army May Have Committed Genocide -- UN Report," Reuters, August 26, 2010; Judi Rever, "UN Lawyer Says Congo Butchery Resembled Rwandan Genocide," Agence France Presse, August 27, 2010; Michelle Faul, "UN Draft Report: Rwandan Army Attacks on Refugees in Congo in the 1990s Could Be Genocide," Associated Press, August 27, 2010; "DR Congo Killings 'May Be Genocide' -- UN Draft Report," BBC, August 27, 2010; Max Delany, Rwanda Dismisses UN Report Detailing Possible Hutu Genocide in Congo Christian Science Monitor, August 27, 2010; Chris McGreal et al., "Leaked UN Report Accuses Rwanda of Possible Genocide in Congo," The Guardian, August 27, 2010; Xan Rice, "Returning Refugees: Lush Land the Prize That Could Reignite Ethnic Conflict in DRC," The Guardian, August 27, 2010; Howard French, "U.N. Report on Congo Offers New View of Genocide Era," New York Times, August 28, 2010; Colum Lynch, "U.N. Says Rwandan Troops Carried Out Mass Killings in '90s," Washington Post, August 29, 2010.

[2] See "Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo between March 1993 and June 2003," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, draft report dated June, 2010, para. 517.

[3] "UN Report on Rights Violations in DR Congo to Be Released Next Month," UN News Center, September 2, 2010.

[4] Philip Gourevitch, "Rwanda Pushes Back Against UN Genocide Charges," New Yorker Blog, August 27, 2010.

[5] Glen Ford, "Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U.S. Role in Congo Genocide," Black Agenda Report, September 1, 2010.

[6] The Military II trial concerns the joint trial of General Augustin Bizimungu, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Gendarmerie, Major Nzwonyemeye, Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, and Captain Sagahutu , Commander, Squadron A of the Reconnaissance Battalion.

[7] Let the record show that I have written here exactly what I said in court. The translation in the trial transcripts is a bit garbled, and I have corrected the text accordingly.

[8] Reference ICTR document number R0002905, letter dated August 10th, 1994, date stamped by the ICTR 8th December, 1994. Marked as page 8 of 12.

[9] Defence counsel had been informed by a member of the prosecution that an indictment exists against Paul Kagame for war crimes and is being held by the ICTR for the appropriate time. In order to determine whether this was correct information the defence counsel several times asked the prosecution to provide that indictment as it would affect the defense. The prosecution never denied its existence and the defence was advised to bring a motion to request it.

[10] Judge Asoka Da Silva of Sri Lanka, Presiding Judge, Trial Chamber III, ICTR.

[11] Transcript, Military II Trial, November 18th, 2008, pages 1-3.

[12] Transcript, Military II Trial, November 24th, 2008, page 62, lines 19-24; and page 63.


Christopher Black serves as Lead Counsel for the Hutu former General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Chief of Staff, Rwandan Gendarmerie, in the Military II trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.