By Jean Gatera
When a Rwandan living in France confessed to setting fire on an iconic Cathedral in the French city of Nantes – which happened on 18th July– as usual groups of Rwandan exiles in Europe, mostly composed of genocide fugitives and their many sympathisers, tried to use the incident to tarnish Rwanda. “This man was a member of the RPF party in Rwanda,” claimed many social media accounts associated with genocidaires, or deniers of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.
French media reframed from mentioning the name of the suspect, only referring to him as “Emmanuel A.” Pro-genocidaire groups, however, using social media wasted no time leaking the name of the fire suspect as Emmanuel Abayisenga, and tried to disingenuously link him to the Rwandan community in France.
On its part the Rwandan diaspora organization in France – the decent, law abding people whom the genocide suspects consider sworn enemies – have issued a press statement making clear that the suspect was not in any way linked to them. The group, “Communauté Rwandaise de France” (CRF) reiterated its warning about dangerous elements of Rwandan origins living in France.
Saddened by the arson attack, CRF condemned it saying: “the individual (the suspect) is completely unknown to us. We do not know his track record or his motives.” CFR also reiterated some important points in its statement. “For many years we have not relented to alert the authorities of the presence in France of potentially dangerous individuals that committed the most serious crimes, who then fled Rwanda and its neighboring countries to evade justice.”
This was in obvious allusion to the genocide suspects in France. “No wonder the genocidaires are always trying to find anything to smear not only Kigali, but the community of non-criminal Rwandans. The latter are the genocidaires’ biggest threat!” a social media commentator said.
CRF, among its other activities, also often details how culprits of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda still operate, and indoctrinate their younger generations in the ideology of genocide.
French authorities had not yet publicly confirmed the identity of the suspect in the cathedral fire since, according to knowledgeable sources, asylum seekers sometimes change their identity to give themselves more chances of securing their asylum claims. “But even if it turned out to be true that the arsonist is a Rwandan asylum seeker, it would mean that the individual is at odds with Rwanda!” a Diaspora source said.