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    France accused in Rwanda Genocide


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    Re: France accused in Rwanda Genocide

    No comment on this, other than to say that it is rather in vogue for third world countries to blame "the haves" for their problems. Can you say reparations? I knew you could.



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    Re: France accused in Rwanda Genocide

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    No comment on this, other than to say that it is rather in vogue for third world countries to blame "the haves" for their problems. Can you say reparations? I knew you could.
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    Re: France accused in Rwanda Genocide

    This was posted on another board by a very highly respected and highly placed member of the military about the allegations.

    "There is a great deal of difference between being accused of genocide and being guilty of it. These charges have been out there many times before. Some are true, some are not. The most egregeous charges are those connecting France with the triggering event of the Rwandan genocide - the assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira - the Hutu Presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi respectively. They are also the charges closest to being true.

    France was concerned that rapproachement between moderate Hutus and Tutsis would facilitate return of the Tutsi diaspora from neighboring countries - Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. The Anglophone tendencies of the Tutsi diaspora would threaten French influence in the region. So, the French tended to support Hutu extremists, who were committed Francophones. The story goes that the French were concerned that talks for reconcilliation between Habyarimana and Tutsi exile leader Paul Kagame were progressing to the point of success, threatening the position of the hard-line, pro-French Hutus.

    Shortly after the assassination, moderate Hutu leaders remaining from the Habyarimana regime were also assassinated, and Belgian UNAMR forces were also attacked, captured, tortured and killed. French forces evacuated successfully with a few Rwandan officials. Hutu extremists, led by Jean Kambanda, then took over the government and initiated the genocide, using radio code words to signal a well-planned effort. Over the next 90 days, nearly 1 million people were killed - most of them hacked to death by machete.

    The real controversy is the reaction, or lack thereof, of Western forces in the region. The UN forces, led by Canadian General Dallaire, were restricted by their Chapter VI ROE, and were forbidden to take offensive action beyond self-defense. In defense of their honor, they disobeyed that order on several occasions before they were evacuated, and were able to save many Tutsi and moderate Hutus, at least for a while. Eventually they were forced to evacuate with Western civilians. Leaving Rwanda broke the spirit of General Dallaire - he's a shell of who he once was.

    US troops were in Burundi and Uganda, but were forbidden to act. Larger contingents of French, British, and Belgian troops were also deployed throughout Africa, and could have been dispatched to Rwanda early in the crisis, possibly preventing much of the carnage. But, with the memory of Somalia and Black Hawk down fresh in their minds, the American people were reluctant to get involved in Africa again.

    President Clinton could have ordered US troops to move without Congressional or US public approval, but he refused to do so. The cover story that we didn't know about the genocide until it was too late is absolutely untrue. We knew what the code words were, and we knew what they meant. We also knew where the radio tower was that was broadcasting the hate-filled messages that spurred the Rwandan people to butcher their neighbors, but we refused to take it out. There is no defense for our inaction.

    As it was, we had a small SOF contingent in Uganda that worked endlessly and tirelessly to train, equip, and prepare the RPF in southern Uganda under Paul Kagame for their march to Kigali to end the genocide. When the RPF was ready, they began to move south, well prepared by US and other SOF, and marched on Kigali. The Genocide ended in mid-July when Kagame and the RPD entered Kigali and overthrew the extremist Hutu regime. The killing went on for a few days, but quickly died out without the leadership to support it and encourage it.

    Anyone who was in Rwanda during that time in July 1994 knows exactly what human beings are capable of doing to each other. The Hutu genocidaires fled Rwanda into eastern Congo, and from there launched raids into Rwanda. Mobutu, leader of Zaire, supported the Hutu genocidaires, setting up the circumstances that led to the first Congolese war in 1996, which ended in 1997 when Mobutu fled and Kinshasa fell. The Second Congolese War started a year later in 1998, and is still going on today. Over 8 million people have been killed by the constant conflict and war in the Great Lakes region since 1994.

    Rwanda under Kagame has politicized the genocide, in part to bolster his own leadership and reputation, and in part to demonize his enemies. The US is supportive of Kagame, to the point of calling him a democratically elected leader. He is none of those words. But, he is powerful, and the Rwandan military is the most efficient force in Africa. Rwanda is called the "Israel of Africa," and not without reason. Both states have a powerful and recent genocide memory that guides their security policy. It's been said that if you want to know how Rwanda will react, imagine Israel in the same situation. It's more true than not.

    France isn't guilty of all that Kagame accuses them of, but they aren't innocent either. The truth will probably never be known, because everyone, including Kagame, has an interest in keeping it hidden. People involved in any part of this will never forget what they saw."



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