I have visited Rwanda, read Dallaire's book, visited the Genocide Memorial Centre in Kilgali, seen the documentaries The Last Just Man and Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Rome'o Dallaire, and heard him speak at the University of California, Berkeley, all of which support Kagame's version of the genocide.
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After years of systematic disinformation about the genocide, there exists a collective ignorance about what really happened in Rwanda and who was responsible.
What actually happened? Kagame was trained at the U.S. Army Command and Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas. Major-General Kagame returned from Leavenworth to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) shortly after the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda by Ugandan forces, which has been misrepresented as a "civil war" or "war of liberation" by a Tutsi-led guerilla army.
The so-called civil war was in reality a brutal struggle for political power between the Hutu-led coalition government of Juve'nal Habyarimana supported by France and the RPF-backed Tutsi forces backed financially and militarily by the United States. The Hutu-Tutsi rivalry was used deliberately in the pursuit of U.S. strategic and geopolitical objectives by establishing a U.S. sphere of influence in Central Africa, a region historically dominated by France and Belgium. What was at stake? The region's vast geostrategic mineral wealth, i.e., cobalt, oil, natural gas, copper, uranium, tin, coltan, cassiterite, gold, and diamonds.
In April 1994, according to French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis BruguiÃ¨re and many others, the RPF shot down the plane carrying Rwandan President Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira, which was the catalyst for the Genocide.
By July 1994, the RPF completed its coup d'etat and consolidated its power in Rwanda. According to the recently leaked United Nations draft Report, the Hutu militia along with Hutu civilians fled across the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, then known as Zaire. Rwanda, aided by Congolese rebel forces, pursued them. These combined forces systematically massacred hundreds of thousands of Rwandan and Congolese Hutus, the majority of which were children, women, and the elderly. It could be said that a second genocide occurred.
The government of Paul Kagame has maintained political power and manipulated public sympathy by promoting a highly politicized ideology of genocide. Anyone who challenges the official story is branded a "genocide negationist," a "genocide revisionist," or "killers of remembrance" by the Kagame regime. Even the Genocide Memorial Centre promotes his version of the Genocide. And while in Rwanda, our guide highly recommended Dallaire's book.
Kagame is now one of our men in Africa. He was recently reelected President and is well on his way to becoming a president-for-life. Will the U.S. reevaluate its relationship with Kagame? Probably not. The U.S.'s geostrategic stakes are too high.
I give General Dallaire the benefit of the doubt that he did not know about the international intrigue surrounding the events before, during, and immediately after the genocide. He was the good soldier, even a brave one, obeying orders emanating form the United Nations. But he knows now and it is a disservice to those hundred of thousands murdered during the genocides to remain silent. I challenge General Dallaire to set the record straight and publicly castigate Rwandan President Kagame.
Yes, Dallaire shook hands with the devil; one of the devils is surely Paul Kagame.