Open Letter To President Paul Kagame


Black Star News
May 28 2009

The detainees of the ICTR, signatories of the present document,
have judged it necessary to react to your racist and discriminatory
intentions announced by several Rwandan personalities on the occasion
of the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan "genocide", celebrated on
Nyanza hill, at Kigali, 11 April 2009. The Rwandan government stated
that 5,000 people were taken from the Official Technical School
(ETO) at Kicukiro, 11 April 1994, and were then massacred at Nyanza
hill. Those who stated this were Charles Muligande, M. Simburudi,
president of the IBUKA Association which represents the Tutsi survivors
of the "genocide" and the deputy mayor of Kigali, and Dr. Augustin
Iyamuremye, senator and former chief of the civilian intelligence
services in the Rwandan government of 1994.

We think that the things said do not take any account of the truth
or the reality of the history of our country, but instead, have
as a purpose the terrorizing, intimidating and humiliating of the
Hutu people of Rwanda, who are globally accused of having planned and
committed a "genocide" against the Tutsis. Our reaction is motivated by
the fact that the RPF regime wants to wipe from the history of Rwanda
the revolutionary period that liberated the people of Rwanda from the
yoke of a feudal monarchy and ushered in national construction once
the country had achieved its independence. The ultimate objective of
the RPF is clearly to erase from the history of Rwanda the benefits of
the republican period to better support their false thesis according to
which the Hutus only marked the history of the country with barbarism
and "genocide" of the Tutsis. It is a false and divisive vision,
and clearly, by propagating it, you have abandoned the interests of
the Rwandan people.

1. Pre-colonial and Colonial Rwanda cannot be a model The deputy
mayor of Kigali stated, "We want to change history in order to present
another Rwanda that is not that of the period between 1959 and 1994,
a Rwanda like it was before; the one we inherited from our ancestors;
the Rwanda of children who live without division, without hate, without
discrimination." Thus the RPF regime pretends that in the pre-colonial
and colonial periods the ethnicities composing the Rwandan nation
lived harmoniously in peace, understanding and solidarity. It is a
complete reversal of history.[1]

The feudal-monarchical regime of Rwanda is not a model to propose to
Rwandans today. It was a period of social, political, economic and
cultural inequality and led to the social revolution of 1959. Many
writers, including eminent Tutsis in positions of high authority,
have written about this.[2]

We think that in the search for durable solutions for our country,
the RPF must stop the manipulation and falsification of Rwandan
history. We believe that the remedy is to search for a democratic
political compromise in a sincere dialogue between the power and its
opponents. Such a step cannot be accommodated with obscurantism of
the past. We condemn without reservation all attempts to rewrite the
history of Rwanda for propaganda and ideological aims that seek the
monopolization of power by the Tutsi ethnic group to the exclusion
of the others that make up Rwandan society.

2. The Planning Of The Criminal War by the RPF Is The Essential Cause
of the Rwandan Tragedy Minister Muligande stated that "the ‘genocide’
of the Tutsis was planned by the government defeated in July 1994,"
without furnishing the least proof of this alleged planning. Very
simply, he stated that the ‘genocide’ was taught over a long time by
the MDR/PARMEHUTU and later by the MRND. Such statements are nothing
but propaganda. The MDR and MRND parties never practiced racism or
discrimination against the Tutsis. It is well known that under the
Habyarimana regime, between 5 July 1973 and the war in October 1990,
the Hutus and Tutsis lived in symbiosis. The ethnic divisions of
1990-1994 were the consequence of the strategy of destabilization
carried out by the RPF to rally the Tutsis of the interior of Rwanda to
the cause of the RPF Tutsis from Uganda, who had invaded the country,
as a means of attracting sympathy in world opinion.

Following the social Revolution of 1959, a number of Tutsi dignitaries
could not accept the democratic changes proclaimed by the people,
and fled the country, and, for many years, systematically rejected all
offers by the government to return peacefully and participate in the
construction of the country as Rwandans. They took the Tutsi refugees
hostage and prevented them from returning to Rwanda as long as they
were not sure of taking back their former power to exercise to their
class advantages. The Tutsi Diaspora dominated by these extremists
preferred to organize a movement of "liberation" called the INYENZI[3]
and conducted several attacks against Rwanda in the 1960s with the
aim of taking power by force of arms. It is for this reason that all
the calls made by the Rwandan government to the refugees for their
peaceful return to the country were made in vain.[4]

The MRND party practiced a policy of peace, national unity and progress
that was enormously beneficial to the Tutsis of the country. [5] It
is false and unjust to accuse the MRND of having persecuted Tutsis
or having refused the right of return to those Tutsis wishing to come
back to Rwanda. Everyone knows today that it was the RPF who torpedoed
the Accords signed between Rwanda and Uganda under the auspices of
the UNHCR on 31 July 1990. Instead of permitting the delegation of
refugees expected in Kigali at the end of September 1990 to go to
Rwanda and work under the auspices of that Accord to bring about the
mass return of refugees, the RPF launched a surprise attack against
Rwanda on 1 October 1990, beginning its war of aggression.

You must have the courage to recognize that this war, launched at the
moment when a political solution had been found to the refugee problem,
is the origin of the Rwandan tragedy. The RPF sowed desolation and
created divisions, a climate of terror and distrust among a population
subjected to four years of RPF violence. By these terrorist attacks
and subversion, the RPF provoked the total destabilization of
Rwanda.[6] The RPF planned and executed the attack of 6 April 1994
that took the lives of Presidents Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and
Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, as well as those of their respective
entourages and the French flight-crew, knowing full well that the
attack would provoke violence in the country. Directly after shooting
down the presidents’ plane, they attacked on all fronts, precipitating
total chaos throughout the country. It was the RPF that planned the
destruction of the country. This is attested to by the inability of
the prosecutor at the ICTR to prove that any plan to commit genocide
existed. Indeed, all the heavy condemnations of genocide pronounced
against the Hutus before the ICTR are founded on the illegal judicial
notice ordered by the Appeals Chamber on 16 June 2006.[7] In Rwanda,
courts continue to condemn the Hutus, en masse and without evidence,
for allegedly planning "genocide," all the while refusing any debate
on the question.[8]

Despite the judicial notice imposed by the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR
on 16 June 2006, in order to condemn the accused at the Tribunal for
political reasons, the controversy over this issue continues. Conscious
of their enormous responsibilities in the Rwandan tragedy, the RPF
has not missed a single opportunity to cry about the "genocide of the
Tutsis." So, it was not without some thought that Minister Muligande
stated on 11 April at the Nyanza memorial at Kigali: "We had the
chance to win the war to get recognition of the genocide. If not,
we would have become the Armenians whose genocide is still contested
because they lost the war." M. Muligande is very conscious of the
responsibilities born by the RPF, even if he does not have the courage
to admit them. The RPF abuses its current position by imposing the
"genocide" of the Tutsis and practicing victors’ justice over the
vanquished.[9] The leaders of the RPF must stop falsifying history
with ideological propaganda and find the courage to recognize their
heavy responsibility in the Rwandan drama.

3. The Reality of the Numbers of Dead in the Rwandan Tragedy Loss of
life is always regrettable. But the reality of the numbers of dead in
the "Rwandan genocide" remains a great mystery fifteen years after
the events. Even if public opinion agrees with the figures ‘800,000
to one million’ victims, so many other numbers have been advanced
by experts, the UN, NGOs and the RPF, from 250,000 to 2 million,
that total confusion reigns. Gerard Prunier recognizes that there is
no systematic accounting and that the numbers depend on opinion more
than empirical facts.[10] The Rwandan government of the RPF prefers
to maintain this confusion. That is why it has refused to reveal the
numbers of survivors of the "genocide," from which it would be easy
to evaluate the number of dead Tutsis and dead Hutus. It prefers
to keep things blurred so the world does not know the extent of
the massacres committed against the Hutus by the RPF, and, thereby,
to inflate the number of Tutsi victims. It is necessary to note that
the Census of the population organized under the supervision of the UN
(UNDP, UNFAP, CEA), with the aid of countries like the USA and Canada,
that concluded on 15 August 1991, fixed the total number of Tutsis
in the country at 8.4% of the population of 7,099.844. Thus, those
numbers that suggest that the entire Tutsi population was massacred
between April and July 1994 are simply fantasies. It is no secret
to anyone that many Tutsis survived even if the government in Kigali
does not want to publish the figures. We contest these numbers that
only create confusion that the regime exploits to manipulate national
and international opinion for ideological reasons.

Concerning the dead interred at Nyanza hill in Kigali, Captain
Lemaire, commander of the Belgian detachment at the ETO in Kicukiro
in April 1994, testified before the ICTR that the refugees there
numbered between 1,000 and 2,000[11], and not the 5,000 claimed
by the RPF. Given the circumstances prevailing at the time, the
extermination of 5,000 people in several minutes, in open terrain,
is simply impossible. On the contrary, reliable witnesses state
that the majority of those buried at Nyzana hill are Hutu refugees
massacred by the RPF on 22 and 23 May 1994, while they attempted to
flee the RPF troops who had just captured the garrison at Camp Kanombe.

The deputy mayor of Kigali City presented the Gisozi memorial
as a sacred site for pilgrimage and a sad memorial to the
"genocide." According the official declarations of the government,
this place holds 250,000 human skulls. However, they cannot be
those of the residents of the prefecture of the city of Kigali
as is claimed. Indeed, the total population of Kigali City was,
according to the census of 15 August 1991, 221,806, of whom 81.4%
were Hutu, and 17.9% Tutsi. Using a figure of 3.2% growth per year,
the total population of Kigali City would have been no more than about
240,000 inhabitants in 1994, with the Tutsi population estimated at
no more than 50,000. This figure does not accord with the 250,000
skulls exhibited at the Gisozi memorial, especially when one recalls
that many of the Tutsis in Kigali survived the war.[12] The number
of skulls is even more incomprehensible when one considers that the
city of Kigali has other memorials, notably that at Nyanza and Rebero,
where the remains of thousands of others are on display. This example
shows how important the manipulation of numbers is at a national level.

Several witnesses have stated before the ICTR that Gisozi was occupied
by the RPA (the army of the RPF) from 8 April 1994. Therefore, it was
the RPF that ethnically cleansed the zones of Gisozi-Kagugu and Kabuye
in the Rutongo commune, the prefecture of Kigali, and liquidated all
the undesirables, including those displaced persons from the refugee
camps at Nyacyonga and Rusine, who had fled to the city after their
camps were bombarded by the RPF. Several former members of the RPF have
denounced the massacres of thousands in these zones.[13] All these
people were summarily executed by agents of the DMI (the Directorate
of Military Intelligence of the RPF) in the military camp at Kami,
which was captured by the RPF in mid-April 1994. These massacres
were an essential part of the RPF plan to eliminate as many Hutu
intellectuals as possible. Today, the same logic of annihilation of the
Hutu elite followed by the RPF is behind their lists of alleged "Hutu
genocidaires" that include those already tried and acquitted. This
is the same logic followed by the famous law of forced confessions
that lead to the denunciation of, and false statements against,
the innocent. The "gacaca" trials are part of an extra-judicial
system contained in every jurisdiction. They are used by the regime
to eliminate all undesirables. We want to insist that you remember
that you, yourself, Mr. President, who first suggested this strategy,
when, in 1996, at Nyamirambo, in a large meeting organized by your
party, you stated that it would be necessary to have the patience
"to empty a barrel of water with a coffee spoon."[14] The damage of
your genocidal policies have exceeded all bounds, and we demand that
you end them immediately.

4. The Responsibilities of the International Community in the Rwandan
Drama The highest authorities of Rwanda have spoken out critically
on the role of the international community in the "genocide." So, in
your speech of 7 April 2009, you castigated the attitude of the UN as
"cowardice," saying: "We are not the ones who abandoned the people who
needed protection; they left them to be killed; are they not guilty? I
think that too is cowardice; they left before a single shot was fired!"

We are convinced that such stinging speeches vis-a-vis
the international community cannot be allowed to pass
indefinitely. However, we invite this same international community
to react quickly, those who encouraged and supported your criminal
project to take power by force of arms; through the disastrous actions
of UNAMIR commanding General Roméo Dallaire, to whom you announced the
imminent cataclysm on 2 April 1994[15], and who did nothing to stop
it; and the no less criminal actions of the successive prosecutors
at the ICTR in Arusha, whom you have succeeded in cowing with your
reign of terror.

We regret that the UN did not help Rwandans peacefully resolve
the conflict that you brought to the country in 1994, notably by
effectively pressuring Uganda and the RPF and condemning the war of
aggression of which Rwanda was the victim. The UN did not even condemn
the various violations of ceasefires and peace agreements the RPF had
signed. The international community complied with your ultimatum of 12
April 1994 that all foreign forces leave the country in 12 hours or
be attacked, which accelerated the retreat of UNAMIR from Rwanda at
a time when it was needed most.[16] The vote in the Security Council
for a resolution to reduce the UNAMIR forces, an action weighted with
consequences, aided your organization in its Machiavellian plans to
take power in Kigali as quickly as possible.[17] The UN betrayed the
Rwandan government after it had launched anguished appeals for help to
stabilize the security situation in the country. The UN was paralyzed
by the USA and the United Kingdom; it could not intervene in time to
send the 5,500 men of UNAMIR II. The Security Council only decided
to take this action after the RPF victory. Those forces arrived in
Rwanda after you had seized and consolidate state power. They helped
you by not reacting to your massacre of the innocents, including the
4,000 refugees you murdered at Kibeho in April 1995.

Not only do we accuse the RPF of having chased the international
community from Rwanda at the moment when they were most needed, but
we also believe that the decisions of the UN were gravely prejudicial
to the people and government of Rwanda in permitting the bloodbath
that brought the military victory of the RPF. These same decisions
gave the RPF the legitimacy to continue its massacre of the Rwandan
people, while crediting it with having stopped the "genocide" and
conferring the authority to judge its real victims.

We note with great disappointment that the presence of UNAMIR II did
not deter you from continuing the massacre of the defenseless Hutu
population, throughout Rwanda in 1994-95, and we will not forget the
silence of the UN in the face of the innumerable atrocities committed
by your troops when they attacked the refugee camps in the east of
the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire) and relentlessly pursued
their Hutu prey into the forests of Congo. We want to remind you
of the 200,000 Hutu refugees who were horribly massacred by your
troops in 1996-97. We think that the complacency of the international
community toward your inhuman actions does not exonerate you of your
responsibilities in the Rwandan drama. We demand justice for all
Rwandans, Tutsi, Hutu and Twa, who were killed or today live with
severe trauma because of your criminal policy.

5. The Theory of a Double Genocide Minister Muligande vilified "those
who try to diminish the genocide, to deny it, by inventing the theory
of a ‘double genocide,’ arguing that there were the deaths of Hutus
during the genocide." He clarified his thoughts by referring to the
Second World War, where "there was a genocide of the Jews, but also
of 20 million Russians. However, the genocide is recognized as having
been against the Jews. It was the same thing with the high number of
German soldier’s deaths which surpassed the number of Jews killed,
arguing that the Germans were killed to stop the genocide."

Your adviser’s words show that the leaders of the RPF admit having
massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent Hutus. However, we think
that this comparison is nonsense and that the events in Rwanda in
1990-1994 bear no comparison with the history of the Second World
War. The launching of World War II in 1939 remains entirely the
responsibility of the German government, just as the invasion of
Rwanda from Uganda in October 1990 remains the responsibility of the
state of Uganda and the RPF. Hitler launched his offensive to conquer
countries and during that long conquest, the Jews were denounced,
arrested, killed or deported to concentration camps, principally
in Germany. The Jews did not take up arms against Germany. If it is
necessary to make a comparison, it is rather the RPF and its allies
that made war against Rwanda and who, in their mad conquest of power,
massacred hundreds of thousands of Rwandans.

Your soldiers, Mr. President, conducted a war of extermination; they
violated the cease-fire agreements and the Arusha Accords to take
power by force of arms without any concern for the security of the
population. How can you explain to Rwandans that you were concerned
with the protection of the civilian population while you obstinately
refused all cease-fire proposals between April and July 1994? And
why did you literally depopulate all the regions you seized? What
can you say when 4,000 Hutu refugees were massacred by your troops a
Kibeho in April 1995? These are the sad realities of the RPF regime
that you want to hide behind the abusive charge of "negationism,"
and thereby stop the parents of victims from expressing their grief
and denouncing the injustices committed against them?

6. Pardon and Reconciliation It is clear from the present account
that the RPF committed crimes and carried out massacres against a
defenseless civilian population for the sole reason that they were
Hutus.18 Minister Muligande wants to cover up this sad reality by
stating the Hutus had to die because the RPF fought to stop the
genocide. The coalition of the NRA (Ugandan army) and the RPF did
not attack Rwanda in 1990 to stop a genocide. The manhunt conducted
against the peasants of Rwanda, throughout the war, was not designed
to stop a "genocide" against the Tutsis. It is delusional to try
to deny the responsibility of the RPF in the deaths of hundreds of
thousands in Rwanda and the DRC, or to minimize them, arrogating to
yourself, alone, the right of inquiry, solely because of your military
victory. We think that with such logic, national reconciliation is
impossible. So you want to hide the truth of the tragic events that
plunged Rwanda into mourning and implicate your closest collaborators,
civil and military. Also, we consider that the time has come for your
regime to see the reality in front of its face, instead of continuing
your indecent ideological propaganda that has shamefully exploited
the unhappiness you have inflicted on the Rwandan people.

The policies of your regime have irremediably alienated the Rwandan
people from any hope of national reconciliation, even with the artifice
with which you have tried to seduce various visitors to Rwanda, there
is no remedy for this very profound evil. The persecution of the
Hutus accused of an "ideology of genocide" is a way to criminalize
the Hutus forever; not only those who were alive in 1994, but also
those yet to be born. It is sufficient to accuse them of the ideology
of genocide to oppress the Hutus and justify their oppression to the
world. This policy, that has made the vast majority of Rwandans pariahs
in their own society, is inescapable, because it has become a force
of marginalization and exclusion of the Hutus in order to ensure the
domination of the Tutsis. A dialogue between power and its opponents is
the only way to get beyond of this impasse. But after having decreed
that only the Tutsis were victims of the war that you launched,
and that the Hutus do not even have the right to cry for their dead,
or, even worse, to bury them with dignity, the prospect of political
dialogue with your opponents is not on your agenda, unlike the desire
for peace that occupies the other national leaders of the region: in
Kenya, Burundi, RDC, Uganda, Central Africa. You installed the gacaca
jurisdiction that has the mandate to criminalize all Hutus and to force
them into self-denunciation and the denunciation of others. In order to
allow your regime to eliminate all your political adversaries, present
and future! Such a system bodes ill and bears all the characteristics
of fascism; it is the purveyor of unhappiness for your and for the
people of Rwanda. This is why we respectfully demand that you end it.

Rwanda must face up to a number of deficiencies. The RPF regime cannot
make up for them with the humiliation, marginalization and exclusion
of the majority of the Rwandan people, for whom you reserve only
unjust and degrading treatment. This is why we encourage all the men
and women of good will in Rwanda and around the world to join in a
sincere and constructive dialogue between the power and its opponents
in order to build a solid foundation of Truth and Justice for a real
Rwandan national reconciliation. We invite the Rwandan government
to consider that there can be no national reconciliation based on
manipulation, lies and propaganda, on humiliation, inferiority and
intimidation, on an ideology of genocide used to silence Hutus
who claim their rights. No power, no foreign force can resolve
the political problems of Rwanda. It is the Rwandans, themselves,
who must resolve these difficult situations. As head of state it is
entirely your responsibility to bring Rwandans to the path of true
reconciliation by denouncing all actions and speeches that are as
provocative and divisive as those spoken during the ceremonies of the
15th anniversary of the "genocide" by your close collaborators. In any
event you must understand that such speeches do not serve your regime
insofar as they are contrary to the vital interests of the Rwandan
people and are not going to bring peace and national reconciliation. It
is not possible to have national reconciliation as long as the RPF
continues to refuse to recognize its clear responsibilities in the
Rwandan tragedy, by making the Hutus responsible for a drama that the
RPF, itself, planned and executed throughout the long war of 1990-1994.

Please accept, Excellency, Mr. President of the Republic, the
expression of our high consideration.


Joseph Nzirorera General Augustin Ndindiliyimana Colonel Tharcisse
Renzaho Colonel Ephrem Setako Callixte Kahmaanzira Captain Innocent
Sagahutu Edouard Karamera

Copied to all UN agencies including the Security Council, all
judges and prosecutor of the ICTR, news organizations, NGOs and
other organizations

English translation by Christopher Black, Barrister, Toronto, Canada
[email protected]


1 Many historians, including Tutsis such as Alexis Kagame, wrote
about the Rwanda of the colonial period.

2 In the New review, Book XXVIII, no. 12 December 1958, pages 594-597,
the Abbe Bushayijia, a Tutsi priest who sat on the supreme counsel
of the country, denounced the injustices and inequalities of that
epoch in these terms: "The feeling of injustice that is sensed at a
given moment, the roman plebiens vis-a-vis the patricians, the serfs
vis-a-vis the lords in the old regime, is such that today it distresses
the Bahutu compared with the Batutsi. They seek their emancipation,
their place in a world free and equal for all."

3 Journal Kanguka No 52 Anne 1992. In his interview in this journal,
M.M. Aloys Ngurumbe, former Inyenzi chief, explained the origin of
this term. He stated that it was a nom de guerre for those Tutsi
terrorists of the period 1960-67. He explained that this acronym
stood for Ingangurarugo Yiyemeje Kuba Ingenzi.

4 Msg. Andre Perraudin, A Bishop In Rwanda, Editions Saint Augustin,
2003, pp 276-77.

5 Valens Kajeguhakwa, From the Land of Peace to the Land of Blood
and After, Editions Remi Perrin, 2001.

6 Many credible witnesses, including members of the RPF, have confirmed
that terrorist and subversive activities were carried out inside
Rwanda by the RPF over the long course of the war.

7 This decision, taken to accommodate the ICTR completion strategy,
is against the Statute of the Tribunal since the matter of planning
remains a contested issue.

8 The acquittal, on December 18, 2008, of all the accused in the
Military I trial, a judgment against which the prosecutor has not
appealed, provoked protests in Rwanda. Certain authorities in the
RPF are agitated and state that it’s as if someone wanted to place
the responsibility for planning the genocide on them. That agitation
is justified as they know very well that they are the ones responsible.

9 Carla del Ponte, Confronting Humanity’s Worst Criminals and the
Culture of Impunity, Other Press, New York, 2009, pp 177-192 , 223-241.

10 Gerard Prunier, Rwanda, 1959-1996, History of a Genocide, 1997.

11 Transcripts of September 30, 1997, pp 61, 110, 146-147. It must
be noted that this includes Hutus and Tutsis both.

12 Note by translator: General Dallaire states that he saw 14,000
Tutsis being led out of the city by RPF forces in mid-April. Bernard
Kouchner on his visit to Kigali in late May stated there were
then 20,000 Tutsis still in Kigali, and it is known that many fled
the fighting in the city early on after the RPF began its siege of
Kigali. The Tutsi prince Antoine Nyetera testified in the Military II
trial that he saw thousands of Tutsis alive in the stadium when the
RPF rounded up all inhabitants as Kigali fell to their forces and
began executing Hutus. Therefore the number of dead Tutsis killed
in Kigali cannot be more than 15,000, and must be lower than that,
as many escaped the fighting.

13 All this evidence is to be found in the archives of the ICTR,
e.g., in the document listed as R0000230 of 9 February 2002.

14 E Ndahayo, Rwanda. Les dessous des cartes, Ed. L’Harmattan, Paris,
2002, p.157.

15 Roméo Dallaire, Shake Hands With the Devil, Random House, Canada,
2003, p 279 (French edition).

16 See the Belgian intelligence report no. 940412/305 of 12 April 1994.

17 See the Belgian intelligence report no. 940412/305, 12 April
1994. 18 See for example the file established by the Spanish judge
Andreu Fernando Merelles and many statements and reports available
in the files of the ICTR.