The United Nations Organisation and many international non-governmental organisations have never got along well with today’s Rwanda and most likely never will. It should therefore not come as a surprise when the organisations make it their habit to periodically poke needles at the government of Rwanda.
The birth of this bad breath, especially with the UN, dates back to the days of Rwandan refugees who were scattered in different countries of the world. By the time of the attack on Rwanda by some of these refugees, in 1990, the UN had long fallen into the blissful slumber of having done away with the problem of these refugees.
As did the then government of Rwanda and as suggested by the late Habyarimana, the UN also believed that the refugees would eventually melt into the populations of the countries sheltering them. The refugees, on their part, had long dismissed the organisation as an ineffectual bunch of spoilt personages.
After all, some Rwandans had run to the UN for mitigation of the Rwandan problem at independence and had come back empty-handed. Throughout the years of exile, from 1959 to 1994, the refugees never received any assistance from the UN, which in fact looked on disinterestedly as they were put in concentration camps where they succumbed to disease or starvation, sometimes even being put to death by hostile hosts.
No wonder, then, that at no time did the Rwandan Patriotic Front take the UN seriously. When their peace keepers were airlifted at the whiff of a looming genocide and the remaining thin contingent was given orders not to intervene in the ongoing slaughter, it was déjà-vu and RPF knew it would go it alone.
So, when RPF finally took over, it had had it up to the neck. When the UN insisted on participating in the rehabilitation of the country, the new Rwanda said no, thank you. And when it wanted to ‘magnanimously’ donate its equipment, the government, in the words of late Claude Dusaidi (Bless his soul), rejected those “junk plastic jerry-cans and discarded engine parts”. The UN will never forget or forgive that ‘arrogance’.
As it has done, then, the UN was bound to dust its 1997 report in which it accused the ‘Kabila-père’ army and ex-FAR/Interahame of atrocities and present it as a new ‘mapping report’ of acts of genocide by RPF/A. What Rwandans should know is that they have not seen the last of that report, for it will be re-dusted again and again and clothed in a different skin, depending on what the UN will need to cover up.
Of course, true to its nature, the UN has done such a shoddy job of it that, apart from the similarly tainted rights groups and the sworn enemies of Rwanda, no right-thinking individual can believe the report. Who can believe word of mouth from the quoted NGO employees in the area who are not even named, knowing their penchant for whipping up international sympathy as a way of fundraising?
The fact of the matter is that the intention of the ex-FAR/Interahamwe to ferry other Rwandans into the then Zaïre was to empty Rwanda, apart from using them as a human shield. Once in camps, refugees also acted as a reserve from which to draw trainees for the insurgency.
Having been assisted by France to cross with all their military hardware, the insurgents had enough arms but could supplement them using the assistance the refugees received, in addition to the military assistance France continued to give them.
Therefore, the priority for the new Rwandan government was to repatriate its citizens and repopulate the country, as well as ridding the ex-FAR/Interahamwe of the training reserve and source of funding. Practically every minute of the day, Rwandan leaders explained this scenario to the UN but, not surprisingly, never managed to make an impression.
It is then that Rwandan authorities decided to send the army into Zaire and repatriate more than three million refugees. It was not a walk-over, though, as ex-FAR/Interahamwe constituted a well-equipped army. Understandably, then, the fight to extricate refugees from them took its toll.
Considering the urgent need for the repatriation of these refugees and the costly engagement (in life and resources) with ex-FAR/Interahamwe, RPA could not possibly have the time to methodically plan and execute a genocide. That, moreover, would be forgetting their history of having single-handedly stopped genocide in Rwanda.
The UN knows this but, apart from wanting to divert attention from the scandal of now over 240 Congolese women raped under the nose of a UN peace-keeping contingent, it has to humour ex-Secretary-General Kofi Anan, who instituted that investigation and made sure it was fully funded.
In his time, he in turn was attempting to divert attention from a scandal of his own of ordering the UN peace keepers not to intervene in the 1994 genocide and recalling a large chunk of them instead. But he was also paying homage to his predecessor and fond colleague, Boutros Bouttros-Ghali, whose links to France, just like himself, are an open secret.
These characters know they are the ones who should be investigated. At least they know they should have investigated France, which created the Congo problem in the first place, when it off-loaded the whole armed génocidaire machine onto the D.R. Congo territory and continued to arm it. They know their peace keepers who sit and do nothing and are only known for exchanging guns for minerals should be investigated. They know the UN is a moribund body which is famous for doing nothing.
But we are talking about the world of the sane here and ours is not. Rwanda, therefore, should brace for more assaults because all these organisations work in tandem. It is no coincidence, for instance, that Amnesty International should rush out a report on some articles of the constitution. The organisation totally ignored the request of opinion to them by the Rwandan government on how to amend those same articles.
When will Rwandans be heard? When they are being gagged, oppressed, killed or used to kill in genocide, they will not only say it loud and clear but will decidedly stop it, as history bears them witness. Still, they know that that will not stop these organisations from churning out reports.
Next it will be Human Rights Watch, Reporters Sans Frontières, et al. Nababwira iki (it’s your pain), sing on!