Freelance journalist Judi Rever joins me this week for an in-depth discussion of her new book In Praise of Blood: The Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Judi talks about her first experiences in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide while reporting in Congo in the late 1990s. Judi discusses what it was like to uncover the true nature of both the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and its actions before, during, and after the genocide. We then move onto Paul Kagame himself and the structure of the RPF. Judi and I talk about Kagame’s life in Uganda, his close relationship with Yoweri Museveni, and his time as head of Ugandan intelligence.
Judi also talks about the much feared Directorate Military Intelligence (DMI). She talks about the structure of the DMI and how it functioned as the nervous system of the genocide. We then move onto the political ideology of the RPF and what it would ultimately achieve. Judi and I discuss its extreme views which saw the mass slaughter of Hutus all across Rwanda and the seizing of land as a result. Judi talks also talks about how Kagame and the RPF have turned Rwanda into a nation of spies and informants.
In the second hour Judi and I talk about the Byumba Stadium Massacre, and how it acts as a template for RPF’s crimes throughout the genocide and afterwards. Judi explains how the RPF tactic of luring injured and starving Hutus into a central area under the pretense of providing aid was used through about the genocide. We discuss how under Kagame’s direction, burning bodies avoided the existence of mass graves, which could be discovered on satellite photos. Later on we talk about the assassination of Juvenal Habyarimana.
Judi explains the reality of the assassination, which was in fact carried out by the RPF on orders from Paul Kagame. We talk about the significance of this event and how the media is beginning to openly talk about the true nature of the assassination. Judi and I also touch on western collaboration with Rwanda. Judi explains the CIA’s role in aiding Rwanda during the genocide and afterwards during its military operations in Zaire that overthrew Mobutu. We also talk about the exploitation of minerals in Congo by western companies under the auspices of the Rwandan military.
We finish the conversation by talking about Kagame’s silencing of activists, whistleblowers, and journalists in both Central Africa and Western Europe. Judi discusses the importance of speaking out and what we can do to expose Kagame and the RPF’s massive crimes.