Ruanda (Continuación)

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, made a hurried and unexpected visit to Kigali last week to persuade Rwanda's president, Paul Kagame, not to carry out a threat to withdraw all Rwandan peacekeepers from UN duty – including troops protecting civilians in Darfur. The UN delegation would be well aware of the security council's shameful decision to pull its peacekeepers out of Rwanda in 1994, at the height of the genocide of the Tutsi people. It was Kagame's Rwandan Patriotic Front that eventually brought the genocide to an end.

A withdrawal of Rwandan troops would cripple UN efforts in Darfur. But it would be wrong to underestimate the Kagame threat, for it comes in a furious response to a leaked UN draft report that suggests that this same Rwandan army may itself have committed genocide in the course of a "relentless pursuit" of Hutu refugees in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo from 1996 to 1998.…  Seguir leyendo »

No one is quite sure what to make of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. Since his re-election this month with 93 percent of the vote, the United States has reacted warily. The White House cited “a series of disturbing events” in a statement that pointedly congratulated “the people of Rwanda,” not Kagame himself. “Democracy is about more than holding elections,” the statement said.

This is a step in the right direction. The United States and others must continue supporting Rwandans without directly boosting Kagame.

Why is this uncertain embrace necessary? After all, Kagame has made his country one of Africa’s development stars.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2009 I visited North Kivu in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a region that for decades has been locked in a seemingly intractable conflict. Peacemaking had for a long time seemed an impossible task. Monusco, the UN force deployed to the region – lacking proper helicopter lift capacity and struggling with the vast and impenetrable jungle – had been unable to fulfil even the most basic duties of civilian protection.

The state capital, Goma, a town struck by conflict and natural disasters, swarming with eager NGOs and UN staff flitting from Land Cruisers to pizza restaurants, is almost a Conradian caricature.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘When are we going to Rwanda?” my 13-year-old daughter kept asking. She wanted to go there as soon as I was asked to visit the country to show solidarity with its people. She wasn’t asking in a naive, childish way; she knew that it was a serious thing, marking the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Initially, the scheduling wasn’t working out, but Hannah kept on reminding me.

And so, almost a year later — thanks to her and the Aegis Trust — I’m standing in the Kigali Genocide Memorial, trying to get my head around what happened in 1994, what that means for Rwanda today and what, if anything, it might mean for the rest of us.…  Seguir leyendo »

Alors que le ministre des affaires étrangères français, Bernard Kouchner, entreprend une tournée africaine qui l'amènera au Rwanda et en République démocratique du Congo (RDC), la situation à la frontière de ces pays ne cesse d'être volatile. Longtemps à couteaux tirés, ces deux pays se sont rapprochés en 2009, à la suite des pressions de la communauté internationale. Ce rapprochement s'est traduit par l'arrestation d'un des principaux seigneurs de guerre de la région, Laurent Nkunda, ex-leader du mouvement rebelle tutsi, le Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), l'intégration de ses troupes dans l'armée congolaise et la traque contre la milice des Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), sinistres héritiers du génocide rwandais de 1994, installés depuis en RDC.…  Seguir leyendo »

The conflict in eastern Congo over the past 12 years has been as much a surrogate war between Congo and neighboring Rwanda as an internal ethnic insurgency, as a United Nations report underscored last week. The only way to end a war that has caused five million deaths and forced millions to flee their homes in Congo’s two eastern provinces is to address the conflict’s international dimensions. The role of Rwanda — which borders the provinces and which denied the accusations in the United Nations report over the weekend — is of prime importance.

The international community has worked hard to resolve the conflicts among the various parties: the sovereign states of Rwanda and Congo as well as the assorted militias and private armies that are sponsored by these two governments and by opportunistic local warlords.…  Seguir leyendo »

Après le réquisitoire du juge Bruguière, qui fit porter la responsabilité du génocide des Tutsis du Rwanda en 1994 sur les actuelles autorités de Kigali, voici venu le temps de la réplique. Dans un rapport rendu public le 5 août, une commission rwandaise chargée, voici près de deux ans, de «rassembler les preuves montrant l’implication de l’Etat français dans le génocide» conclut à la «responsabilité» de la France dans «la préparation et l’exécution du génocide».

Les deux thèses sont aujourd’hui sur la table. Elles sont bien sûr inconciliables. Et témoignent de la profondeur d’un différend vieux de dix-huit ans qui ne cesse de se creuser pour atteindre des extrêmes.…  Seguir leyendo »

There is remarkable television footage shot in the first days of the genocide in Rwanda. It shows a large room in the French Embassy in Kigali filled floor to ceiling with shredded documents. This was probably the paper trail that might have revealed the depth of involvement between the Elysée Palace and the Hutu faction responsible for massacring hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and opposition Hutu.

This week Rwanda's commission of inquiry published its findings into the role of France in the genocide of 1994. The report - the fruit of two years' work that includes the testimony of 638 witnesses, including survivors and perpetrators of genocide - is damning.…  Seguir leyendo »

It happened just 14 years ago -- the slaughter of roughly a million people here in only 100 days. "More people had been killed more quickly than in any other mass killing in recorded history," writes Martin Meredith in his book "The Fate of Africa."

And yet today there are few visible traces of the genocide that began in April 1994. It's not that Rwandans have forgotten, but that they seem to have willed themselves to live in the present. That makes this place feel different from other post-conflict states I know, such as Iraq and Lebanon, where the past and present are congealed in a wound that never heals.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ruanda es un pequeño país anclado en la región de los Grandes Lagos y fronterizo con Uganda, Tanzania, la República Democrática del Congo (ex Zaire) y Burundi. Un 80% de sus ocho millones de habitantes son hutus; casi todo el resto, tutsis.

Desde el fin de los años 1980, Francia apoyaba abiertamente al presidente hutu Habyarimana, a pesar de lo que se sabía en todos los observatorios internacionales: que las Fuerzas Armadas Ruandesas (FAR), junto con las milicias hutus, estaban involucradas en una feroz represión de todos los opositores tutsis; entre ellos, la fuerte minoría tutsi exiliada en Uganda y organizada en el Frente Patriótico Ruandés (FPR).…  Seguir leyendo »

En febrero, el juez de la Audiencia Nacional Fernando Andreu dictó 40 órdenes de arresto internacional por delito de genocidio en Ruanda y la República Democrática del Congo contra otros tantos militares que ocupan altos cargos en el actual Gobierno. Entre los muertos, nueve españoles: seis misiones y tres miembros de Médicos del Mundo.

En Ruanda, el misionero Joaquim Vallmajó, poco antes de ser torturado y asesinado junto a otros cinco compañeros, fue abofeteado por el coronel Rwahama mientras le espetaba "No volverás a informar a nadie, Vallmajó". Sin embargo, su voz silenciada resuena hoy más ampliada. Las denuncias de Quim eran certeras y perturbadoras.…  Seguir leyendo »

We are used to seeing aged Holocaust survivors with faded photographs, telling their stories to remind the young and forgetful. So it is shocking to meet a 31-year-old genocide survivor with memories so fresh they bleed.

I talked to Freddy Mutanguha in a field of white crosses, near a half-finished monument to perhaps 800,000 victims of the Rwandan genocide. "My mom," he recalled, "gave money to be killed by a bullet, because she saw the machetes and knew what they would do to her. But the bullet was too expensive."

The mass violence of Hutu against Tutsi left a nation of corpses -- and a nation of stories.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Andrew Wallis, the author of 'Silent Accomplice: The Untold Story of France's Role in the Rwandan Genocide' (THE TIMES, 05/12/06):

The hastily arranged car boot sale outside the French Embassy in downtown Kigali last Monday did good business. On offer were laptop computers, televisions, three-piece suites and, well, even the cars themselves. Given the decision taken by the Rwandan Government ten days ago to expel the French Ambassador, his staff and to close all official French buildings in the tiny Central African country, there was clearly little expectation of a return.

Behind these scenes of gloomy embassy employees packing and selling their diplomatic and domestic baggage is a recent history between France and Rwanda steeped in a mire of blood and guilt.…  Seguir leyendo »

By James Smith, chief executive of the Aegis Trust (THE GUARDIAN, 21/11/06):

The Guardian published an article that centred on a five-month-old report on the Murambi genocide site in Rwanda (Two years late and mired in controversy: the British memorial to Rwanda's past, November 13).

Two years late for what? It may have been desirable to open the memorial centre two years ago, but no opening date had been set. The Aegis Trust, a British charity, was asked by the Rwandan government to help convey the genocide story at Murambi, where 50,000 Tutsis were slaughtered in 1994. We do not drag our feet on such projects.…  Seguir leyendo »

Par André Guichaoua, professeur à l'université Paris-I, témoin-expert auprès du bureau du procureur du TPIR depuis 1996 (LIBERATION, 23/05/06):

epuis plus de dix ans, les commémorations du mois d'avril donnent l'occasion aux autorités rwandaises de rappeler les responsabilités internationales dans le déclenchement et l'accomplissement du génocide des Rwandais tutsis. Cette année, la relance des accusations a été particulièrement agressive. Parmi les autorités et puissances étrangères, le président Paul Kagame a nommément dénoncé à plusieurs reprises, les Nations unies, la France et la Belgique (par exemple le 26 avril, lors de diverses interviews accordées au cours de sa visite au Canada).…  Seguir leyendo »