We have learnt from reliable sources that the Directorate of “witness protection & victims support unit” of the General Prosecution Office has been instructed to embark on the recruitment of prisoners who have pleaded guilty to the crime of genocide, to be involved in propaganda work for the regime in return for special treatment while they are serving their sentences.
It is our very considered view that such plan is divisive for it seeks to demonise a section of the population, using self-confessed criminals to provide evidence that there is a group that has a congenital genocidal ideology, and that it adds salt into the injury of Tutsi survivors, by providing resources to reward people who pleaded guilty to committing genocide, while the needs of survivors are not adequately met.
This Machiavellian plan would consist of:
1. Declaring before a camera that since their childhood they were taught by their parents, grandparents, and teachers and by the Habyarimana regime that Tutsi are very cruel.
2. Writing messages to:
- Parents and relatives asking for forgiveness and asking them not to commit the same crime that they are being punished for;
- External opposition telling them that their criminal plans will not succeed and asking them to stop trivialising genocide;
- Neighbouring countries asking them not to get involved in genocide;
- International community denouncing those who trivialise genocide.
3. Ultimately to be sent to schools and youth centres to make public presentations.
According to our source, once the President has received these commitments, he would authorise the release of funds to reward self-confessed “genocidaires” by giving them better treatment than other prisoners.
The new initiative comes in the wake of the international outcry over the change of constitution to allow President Kagame to stand for election until at least the year 2034. Drumming accusation of genocide has been the most effective political weapon any time that the regime has felt threatened.
If the plan were to materialise, there would be nothing new in essence, but rather the tactics used. After 1994, the regime used Tutsi survivors of genocide to get rid of real, potential or imaginary Hutu “enemy”. Then in order to appease survivors of genocide, it called the population to provide decent burials for victims of genocide. Later when it wanted to canvas international sympathy and aid, the regime forced Tutsi survivors of genocide to exhume their loved ones, wash their remains, an abhorrent practice in the Rwandan cultural norms, and take them to government designated centres.
The latest tactic now is to use criminals who have pleaded guilty to the genocide crime to blackmail Hutus, Tutsi opponents, neighbouring countries and the international community. As Ian Barrel columnist and foreign correspondent, observed, this is a strategy of “a repressive regime that has played on the conscience of the world to silence dissent, crush critics and devastate its neighbour in a conflict that has left more people dead than any war since the Second World War”.
We call upon the Rwandan regime to abandon this alleged plan and the international community, particularly friends of the regime to pressure the Rwandan regime to give up on this Machiavellian plan which carries within itself seeds of destruction of the Rwandan social fabric.
Done in London, June 22, 2016
Commission for External Relations and Spokesperson FDU-Inkingi