His Excellency Emmanuel Macron
President of the Republic of France
WILL FRANCE SUCCUMB TO BLACKMAIL?
This is my third letter to Your Excellency.
In previous letters I brought to your kind attention the plight of the Rwandan people, President Kagame’s inhuman manipulation of the uneasy conscience of the French people with regard to Rwanda, and the ambiguous response of the French Government that oscillates between a silence born of guilt, and measures that point to succumbing to Kigali’s blackmail.
In my letter of December 26, 2017, I explained to you President Kagame’s erratic and aggressive behaviour towards Rwandan citizens and France:
First, there is the unresolved question of who is responsible for the shooting down of the plane in which the Presidents of Rwanda (Juvenal Habyarimana) and Burundi (Cyprien Ntaryamira) and all their entourage, including French citizens, perished. Like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in June 1914 and the trigger of World War I, this tragic event was the firing shot that triggered the subsequent genocide that has claimed both Tutsi and Hutu. From what I know, nothing unnerves and scares President Kagame like the French investigation on this matter. The investigation is an existential threat to him.
Second, there is much work that has been done by the international community to bring to justice the perpetrators of the genocide against Tutsi. Sadly, against all evidence presented by various United Nations reports, including the DRC Mapping Report (1993-2003) that found Rwanda responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly acts of genocide against Hutu and Congolese people, President Kagame’s regime has not been challenged to account for these heinous crimes.
Western powers, notably the United States and the United Kingdom, out of guilt and geostrategic interests, have cushioned President Kagame’s regime from accountability. The resulting culture of impunity that this has fuelled extends far beyond the borders of Rwanda, with far reaching implication in decades ahead.
Third, the extended political crisis in Rwanda that began in 1959, punctuated by civil war, refugees, genocide, massive destruction of life and property, and regional destabilization has never ended. The actors have changed but the thrust of Rwanda’s internal lack of freedom, democracy and the rule of law is centuries-old.
President Kagame has just crowned himself Life-President in a sham referendum and rigged electoral process. He seeks to perpetuate his power using a clique of exclusively Tutsi military officers, absolute closure of political and civil space, assassination and imprisonment of political opponents, marginalization of Hutu who have been banished to the margins of society as second class citizens, a policy of attrition against dissenting Tutsi elements, massive socio-economic inequalities, and corruption that favours President Kagame, his family, and those in his immediate entourage.
Fourth, and finally, President Kagame’s regime has become the default destabilizing influence in the Great Lakes region of east and central Africa. Acting alone or on behalf of some Western powers, Rwanda has sponsored wars of aggression and proxy wars against the Democratic Republic of Congo, while continuing to destabilize Burundi and Uganda.
In a nutshell, Your Excellency, as long as President Kagame’s regime alienates its own citizens, antagonizes Rwanda’s neighbors, fails to account for its culpability for crimes it has committed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and for the shooting down of the plane that triggered massive loss of life, it will always look for a scapegoat in France to deflect attention from the real causes of Rwanda’s protracted political crisis.
Early this year on March 11, 2018, I wrote to you a second letter in which I further highlighted President Kagame’s motives and actions:
For President Kagame and his FPR/DMI, any attempt to shed truth on the assassination of two African Presidents, French citizens and top leaders of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994, and on the full accounting of the tragic events that followed (including the genocide against Hutu) is an existential threat that must be fought with every resource available. It is a profitable business model that has served the regime so well since 1994, and there is absolutely no possible way to change course until it is rendered obsolete through a creative destruction process.
In this regard, President Kagame has weaponized his narrative by aggressively manufacturing reports that regularly try and convict French political and military leaders as genocidaires( Mucyo Report, 2008; Muse Report, 2018); banishing French as a language of instruction in Rwanda for almost 100 years; expelling a French Ambassador to Rwanda; paying fortunes to academics, media, and civil society organizations to amplify the false narrative; vilification of the French Socialist Party and French institutions (especially the military); mobilizing Tutsi against France as their eternal enemy; and pointing to dark spots in France’s imperial history (Algeria, Indochina) to galvanize anti-French emotions in Africa and beyond.
Any French leader who fails to recognize this basic lesson will ultimately put himself/herself on the wrong side of history, and risk being judged harshly by future generations of Rwandans, French and humanity in general.
Like Rwanda’s tragic drama, on 10 October, 2018, French Prosecutors demanded to the investigating judge in the case of shooting down of the plane in which two African Presidents and all their entourage died to be dropped due to ”insufficient evidence”.
Should the French Investigating Judges acquiesce to this politically and racially motivated demand, it will be one of the greatest betrayals and blackmails in modern history.
This is not a case of insufficient evidence, for the writing is clearly on the wall, at least among Rwanda’s citizens.
What the Investigating Judges already have on the files is substantial. If more is needed, the best way forward is not to close the case, but to move on to the logical conclusion within the French Justice System, or to hand over the case to the United Nations Security Council. After all, the assassination was committed during the period when the United Nations presided over the implementation of the Arusha Peace Agreement.
In writing to you, I would like to make sure that you understand that a Rwandan, and international , historical matter of this magnitude is not for you and the French Government alone to decide on. That duty and obligation belongs primarily to the Rwandan people, and secondarily to the international community, which includes France.
France cannot afford to make such a costly mistake for the second time in one country, in just less than three decades.
First, it allied itself with the criminalized forces of the MRND/CDR which committed genocide of the Tutsi.
Second, in rewarding President Kagame and his FPR/DMI with innocence in a landmark assassination that triggered the genocide of Tutsi and Hutu, and crowning his Foreign Minister (Louise Mushikiwabo) as the Secretary General of the Francophonie, France seems not to be a good student of its own dark past in Die Bien Phu and Algeria.
In future reckoning when history finally decides, you too, Mr. President, alongside the United States, United Kingdom, President Kagame and his FPR/DMI, and the United Nations will be on trial.
I would like to assure you that we shall leave no stone unturned until a full accounting is done so that this and future generations of Rwandans can begin to heal at last,
Please accept, Your Excellency, my highest regards and consideration.
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
The Rwanda Truth Commission