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« Book Review: Lion Man and Other Stories | Main | Frances Dirty War in Cameroon (VI): The French Expeditionary Force »

November 26, 2006


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In 2006 France remains the only "ex-colonial power" to maintain expeditionary forces in Africa. What they did in Cameroun was carried out in Rwanda in 1994, and repeated in Congo-Brazzaville in 1998 barely four years after the French genocide in Rwanda. France, with no small help from Uncle Tom Koffi Annan, sucessfully concealed the atrocities in Congo-Brazza where the re-installation of their puppet-tyrant, Dennis Sassou Nguesso, came at the cost of 250,000 Congolese lives. Chirac went as far as instructing the head of one French news organisation to halt the departure of its journalist on the tarmac of the airport as there were about embark and report on Congo-Brazza.

Evil France, as we speak is recidivating in Cote d'Ivoire!

The article below speaks for itself.

The French Tell Lies in Broad Day Light
By Stephen Buckingham, The New Times (Kigali) 27/11/06
Nov 29, 2006, 09:08

Our old friend, the very old and very deluded French judge, who seems to have made it his life's work to 'Get Kagame' - like a Stallone Hollywood movie - has voiced his fantasy allegations again - strangely enough just after the conclusion of a Rwandan investigation into the participation of French troops in the Genocide.

This is what I know, from corroborated findings, well documented and undisputed.

1: As Habyarimana's executive Falcon 50 jet - a present from President Francois Mitterrand, of France - approached Kanombe at just before 8:20 p.m.. on 6th April 1994; all the lights at the airport went out.

2: At 8:23 two missiles were launched at the approaching plane and the second blew the plane apart. And the airport lights came on again.

3: The missiles were fired from Masaka Hill, an area patrolled by the Presidential Guard, not the PPF.

4: White men were seen jumping into a jeep and leaving the area at great speed immediately after the missile fire.

Let me comment on these points:

At that particular time, every one was tense and expecting something to happen, like a boil about to burst. Even those of us living in Kenya could sense that things were coming to a head. The events of the first week of April 1994 were no surprise. They should have been no surprise to the world, as Lt. Gen. Dallaire had been reporting to the UN for weeks that something was brewing. His communications are on record.

I have lived on the Kanombe side of Kigali for nine years and even when the whole area has been in blackout, I have never seen the airport go dark. How do we get such precise timings of the events if someone were not expecting something to happen?

I have many friends who definitely heard two explosions, on that night and at that exact time.

The point of missile firing is calculated by the position and spread of the plane wreckage. Ironically since most of the debris fell within the compound of the presidential palace, the missiles, or the missile which hit, must have come from the Masaka Hill area.

Being a muzungu, I am amazed at how I can be seen in the dark. If eye witnesses say they saw muzungus leaving Masaka Hill in haste on that night -
8:20 plus, totally dark - then I believe them.

A French judge in his dementia, relying on hearsay and spurious testimony, openly declares that Paul Kagame shot down the plane. He falls just short of saying that Kagame actually launched the rockets himself, but he implies it..

The whole issue of who shot down the plane is long over and done with. The fact that it is now being raised again is an international smoke-screen to vindicate the French role in the Genocide. They merely advised the Rwandan Government troops, it is said. I know otherwise. Operation Turquoise provided a safe haven for innocent civilians fleeing the latter days of the Genocide. I know otherwise.

First let me comment on Operation Turquoise: Several friends of mine in the RPF at the time said that both in the early days of conflict and in the days of Operation Turquoise when they raised their guns to sight the targets, they saw without shadow of doubt French troops opposed to them. That's no mistake; after all how many Rwandese troops are white and wear French army insignia on their uniforms?

I have also many civilian friends - survivors - and one very close friend in particular, who witnessed French soldiers assisting Interharamwe at checkpoints here in Kigali. At one particular checkpoint at a place where the road divides in Nyramirambo, this friend witnessed French soldiers beating people indiscriminately, heavily, almost to the point of death and then handing them over to the Interharamwe to do what ever they decided.

The reputation of the French military 'advisors' was lower that that of a snake. It must be added that the Belgian troops here were also thought of in much the same vein. They were seen as marauding mercenaries, enjoying violent bullying, demanding the best accommodation, food and women that Kigali could offer. It could well go some way to explain the violent deaths of the Belgian UN Peacekeepers. It's not unusual. Look at the behaviour of the American and British troops in Iraq today. I'm sure many Iraqis would like to get their hands on the soldiers who have beaten and abused them.

Things did not end with the RPF take over. I visited the Meridian Hotel, as it was, as late as August 1995. It was no more than a floor to ceiling brothel for the UN staff here. Let us not pretend that it was anything else, or that the practical on the ground assistance from the UN helped the ordinary Rwandan in any beneficial way whatsoever.

So let's have an end to this nonsensical 'blame shifting' twelve years after the Genocide. Rwanda is trying to work out her own policy to deal with the past. Most of that policy is trying to put the past behind us - without forgetting it - and moving on to a new united Rwanda. What business does a mad French judge have in fabricating lies about his own country's involvement in this tiny nation, thousands of kilometers from Paris and a million miles away from the Hollywood intrigue he would like to create?

I have not even mentioned Paul Rusesabagina - star of Hotel Rwanda - who has obviously made so much money and gained such a heroic status from the movie that he thinks he can come back here and take over as president. Who are you, sir? You do not even warrant a mention in most of the accepted books about the Genocide. I have read. Did you suddenly become a notable character after the movie? President Bush proclaimed you to be a hero, but who told him about you? His advisors have been none too reliable on other matters.

If the people who finally rescued you from Rwanda were so evil, why has it taken you twelve years to come up with the accusations? Everything was fine and dandy when you were in the Hollywood limelight. Now the spotlight is on someone else.

So what do we believe in this new era of information? We are daily bombarded by a thousand and one stories, and each day the story changes. What was the truth yesterday, is a lie today. How can we tell one from the other? In most cases it is simple common sense. Currently there are so many fairy tales about Rwanda floating about. My simple answer is, "Come and see for yourself, and then make a judgment. Don't sit in an office in Paris or New York and judge the world on a phone call. Look into the eyes of your informers and decide which is true and which is lies."

One major problem in gathering the truth from survivors is that they are still in fear of reprisals and despite the good work of Gacaca, there are still cases of retribution which draw a veil of silence over the past. There are others who seek their own absolution by raising false allegations against others. This is a big problem, but it is an internal problem which mad French judges have nothing to do with. It is something Rwandans must come to terms with themselves.

The factual information for this article was drawn from close friends, survivors and the following books:

Shake Hands with the Devil: Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire.

A People Betrayed: L. R. Melvern

The Rwanda Crisis: Gérard Prunier.

Source: Ocnus.net 2006

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