By The Rwandan Lawyer
Ngeze Hassan the chief editor of the sadly famous journal which mediatized the ethnic hatred and was part of factors triggering the genocide of 1994 has passed the 2/3 of imprisonment which allows him to benefit from the release on parole as the other convicted who ended up this required enjoyed this legal favor. While other inmates were freed by the IRMCT without resorting to the Rwandan government, Ngeze Hassan has requested this condition release was addressed to the Rwandan Minister of Justice as if he expects from Rwandan authorities a favorable feedback. What are the reasons driving this sadly genocide journalist to recourse to Rwandan authorities for his eventual release? Isn’t he a double agent as many observers thought about him since a longtime?
Hassan Ngeze, born 25 December 1957, is a Rwandan journalist and convicted war criminal best known for spreading anti-Tutsi propaganda and Hutu superiority through his newspaper, Kangura, which he founded in 1990.
Ngeze is best known for publishing the “Hutu Ten Commandments” in the December edition of Kangura in 1990, which were essential in creating and spreading the Hutu supremacist ideology.
Ngeze Hassan is perceived in two aspects; in one side, he is a journalist mediatizing the interethnic hatred in favor of Hutu; on the other side, he is an infiltrated RPF agent with a fierce mission of worsening the governance of the Hutu regime in terms of failure to protect all its citizens in the eyes of international community.
2.1. Ngeze Hassan as extremist journalist pro-hutu
Ngeze was the Editor-in-Chief of the bimonthly Kangura magazine, which was initially intended as a counterweight to the anti-government newspaper Kanguka.
In December 1990, Ngeze published the Hutu Ten Commandments (sometimes called the Ten Commandments of the Bahutu) in Kangura, which made disparaging remarks about Tutsis in general and Tutsi women in particular. With the Hutu Ten Commandments, Ngeze revived, revised, and reconciled the Hamitic myth (Tutsis were considered by the Europeans to be a “Hamitic race” superior to the “Negroid” populations of Sub-Saharan Africa based on their having more Caucasoid facial features; that is, the idea that the Tutsis were foreign invaders and thus should not be part of the Hutu-majority country).
Ngeze fled Rwanda in June 1994 as the country fell to the RPF. He was arrested in Mombasa, Kenya on July 18, 1997, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003, by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2007, the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR reversed some of his convictions, but confirmed others. It also changed his life sentence to one of 35 years’ imprisonment. The charges of “aiding and abetting the commission of genocide in Gisenyi prefecture; direct and public incitement to commit genocide through the publication of articles in his Kangura newspaper in 1994; aiding and abetting extermination as a crime against humanity in Gisenyi prefecture” were upheld. On 3 December 2008 he was sent to Mali to serve his sentence of imprisonment.
2.2.Ngeze Hassan, as dubble agent pro-RPF
Previously, Ngeze Hassan was journalist of Kanguka headed by Rwabukwisi Vincent a.k.a RAVI which was publishing articles pro-tutsi and calling upon tutsi to upraise against the regime of Habyarimana and was a staff of SODEVI a company belonging to Valens Kajeguhakwa a tutsi businessman who will flee to Uganda joining RPF during its battles accompanied with the then general manager of Electrogaz named Pasteur Bizimungu who will play a crucial role during Arusha Peace Agreements and will be appointed Head of State from 1994 to 2000.
Nothing justifies the sudden reversal of political position so that the ancient tutsi defender became the worse enemy by creating a pro-hutu journal called Kangura which was then calling on Hutu to be aware of their very enemy publishing articles and Hutu commandments inculcating ethnic divisionism.
There is impression from many analysts that this journalist more much scientifically may have been entrusted a mission to mediatize the ethnic extremism and attract Hutu leaders who considered him as a dynamic journalist espousing the national cause and decided to support him while they were not aware of the effects of such a policy in the international diplomacy and thus justifying the invasion of RPF against such a divisionist political regime. This version is also confirmed by the presence of RPF elements in the Interahamwe militia to exacerbate the killings.
Information from reliable sources report that he met high command of RPA in Uganda and received from it confidential documents and was detaining a gun so that the intelligence commander colonel Nsengiyumva Anatole after having detected his real identity, decided to arrest him to finally establish his individual liability but was prevented by other high ranked authorities.
2.3. The application addressed to Rwandan Attorney General
The Rwandan government has been always in conflicts with ICTR on its slowness of trials and on some of its decisions which released people like Mugenzi Justin, ancient chairman of PL; Protais Zigiranyirazo the former prefet of Ruhengeri and brother-in-law of Habyarimana; Prosper Mugiraneza and Andre Ntagerura former ministers, all but a few. If really Ngeze Hassan had not any link with RPF during the struggles, the Rwandan government will react either by the administrative silence as if it did not receive the letter or overtly reject the application especially through a political response according to which it did not agree with the penalty he was sentenced to given the gravity of facts and that therefore there is no reason to decide anything on the ridiculous application of a criminal. If the concerned is their agent who effectively served their political interests, they can decide to respond by a nihil obstat without additional comments.
The political position of the sadly famous journalist named Ngeze Hassan seems controversial on all levels since the delivery of his application for conditional release addressed to the Rwandan Minister of Justice. Indeed, even if he did not attend studies to exert his profession of journalist, he succeeded to mobilize the majority of people on the Hutu cause more than other journalists. The issue not yet fully handled is to know his motives because this extremist policy constituted a double-edged sword which impacted on the Hutu public psychology against the Tutsi rebellion; on the other side, it helped to justify the political program and diplomacy of RPF before the international community vis-à-vis the hutu power then described a divisionist regime disrespecting fundamental rights of its citizens thanks to horrible image of massive pogroms. If Ngeze Hassan was driven by RPF mission, he will have been a worst manipulator who ever existed in Rwandan politics.