In a new book, Canada journalist Judi Rever details the brutal actions of Rwandan President Paul Kagame and the RPF. In this essay for OpenCanada, she explains the need to uncover the story and asks: why has the world stayed so silent on the issue?
Rwandan refugees carry their belongings on their way
to Ruhengeri refugee camp August 1, 1994, shortly
after returning back to the country which they fled
because of the war between government troops
and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).
If that sounds terrifying, it hardly equates to the decades’ long nightmare experienced by Rwandan journalists, activists, Hutu civilians and Tutsis who refused to endorse these crimes and managed to defect. For their honesty and courage they have been accordingly silenced, hunted down, jailed or killed since Kagame took power. For many years, Western governments and a vast majority of journalists, rights groups and academics refused to believe the people who fled. They believed the propaganda of the RPF, whose army won a savage war in which Tutsis and Hutus committed genocide against each other.
If we had only listened to all victims — and not just those inside Rwanda over which the RPF has exerted control — we could have lessened or possibly prevented the wave of bloodshed after July 1994, when Kagame seized power. But the world did not listen. His intelligence apparatus set about killing Hutu males, in particular Hutu recruits or soldiers of the previous regime. These were acts of androcide. Hundreds of thousands more Hutus were killed in the counterinsurgency and in the forests of Congo.
The following are just a few of the alarming reports the West chose to deliberately conceal: