Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch



Welcome to
Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:http://www.rwandadocumentsproject.net/gsdl/cgi-bin/library


Monday, April 25, 2011

Rwanda Genocide: Excuse for Predator Drones over Africa?

KPFA Weekend News Rwanda 04:23:2011.mp3
KPFA Weekend News, 04.23.2011: Law Professor and legal scholar Charles Kambanda and Rwanda Genocide survivor, writer, and activist Aimable Mugara spoke to KPFA Weekend News about the truth of the Rwanda Genocide story, as more and more lobbying groups push for Pentagon campaigns to stop genocide, even with Predator Drones.
Transcript by Ann Garrison
KPFA Weekend News Host: The prevailing narrative  of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide is that extremist Hutus massacred 800,000 or more Rwandan Tutsi and moderate Hutu, who tried to protect them. But, many scholars, journalists, and human rights investigators now argue that both Tutsi and Hutu massacred one another because of their ethnicity.
The truth is now more and more significant for all Africa, as NATO wages war in Libya, and U.S. policy lobbyists promote a proposal to use Predator Drones to "stop genocide," specifically to stop the next Rwanda or Darfur from happening elsewhere in Africa, such as Libya or Sudan. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to a Rwandan American legal scholar and a Rwandan Genocide survivor about the Rwandan massacres of 1994.
Ann Garrison: Rwandan American legal scholar Charles Kambanda is an ethnic Tutsi and a former member of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party, who left Rwanda when he became disillusioned with Rwandan President Paul Kagame. He says that extremist Hutu did indeed massacre Tutsi in 1994, but that extremist Tutsi also massacred Hutu, as they advanced to victory in the Rwandan Civil War which had begun in 1990. The war began when General, now President, Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front Army of refugee Tutsis invaded Rwanda from Uganda in 1990.
Professor Charles KambandaCharles Kambanda: The Rwandan conflict goes back before colonial times; it goes back before independence. These two peoples have failed to share power. They have failed to create a framework for power sharing. Whoever is in power wants to take it all. And this is where we have the genocide Each side was killing the other because they wanted to eliminate them. And actually, it was also a military tactic. The Hutu were eliminating the Tutsi because they didn't want the Tutsi to support their fellow Tutsi who were fighting the government. The Tutsi on their side were killing the Hutu because they didn't want the Hutu in their territory to cross over and join the Hutu government.
An ordinary Rwandan knows that saying that the Hutu and the Tutsi died in the genocide, is the truth. But politicians think by saying that the Hutu also died, then you are going to ask them accountability, because if you say that the Tutsi were killed by the Interahamwe, and you also say that the Hutu were killed, then you need to know who killed them. And if you start mentioning who killed them, those politicians who are in power, Kagame and the others, will be called to answer for crimes.
KPFA: Aimable Mugara, a Rwanda Genocide survivor now living and working in Canada, says that bullets broke the windows of his family's home on April 6th, 1994, when he was 13 years old, and his family soon sought refuge, first in neighboring Congo, then Kenya, then Canada, and that, as a teenager, he suffered from deeply internalized racism, because Hutu people were blamed for all the massacres:
Aimable MugaraAimable MugaraAimable Mugara:  The popular culture has represented the 1994 genocide as a Tutsi genocide, where only innocent Tutsis were killed by Hutus. There is this belief by some people that all the Hutus are evil.  There is this belief by some people that all the Hutus hate Tutsis and that all the Hutus want the Tutsis dead.
I remember when I went to see the movie Hotel Rwanda, I came out, and there was this group of Canadian girls, and one teenage Canadian girl said, "I wish all the Hutus were dead." And I was not completely surprised by it because even I myself for at least five years since 1994, I never ever felt comfortable saying I was born a Hutu.  I felt like, even though I know that I was 13 years old in 1994, and I did not do anything, I could not have done anything to stop what was going on, I still felt that, 'It's all my fault, what happened, and I have no reason to live, and I have no right to live.'  But eventually with time I thought about it more and I realized that the way that the Hutu people have been demonized, it's not right. People need to realize that by demonizing an entire group, you're contributing to the whole culture of genocide.  That's when you feel that 'Oh, since those people are evil, it's OK if they die. Since those people are evil they have no right to have children anymore.' That kind of culture really shocks in this day and age.
KPFA: Aimable Mugara's blog is Rwanda Human Rights and Democracy. He also contributes to the OpEdNews and the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper. His report, "Medical Student Intern Found Guilty Because He Survived Genocide," has just been published on the Bay View site, sfbayview.com.
For Pacifica, KPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.
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