By Joan Karera
The prime minister of “the interim government” of Rwanda at the height of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi, Jean Kambanda, has month published a book in French, “Les Interahamwe du FPR: Au cœur de la planification du génocide au Rwanda”, with the aim to transfer responsibility for planning and executing the genocide to those who put an end to it, the RPF.
“It is highly unprecendented for a convict of an enormous crime like genocide to publish a book; this is shocking,” a Rwandan social media commentator said.
While describing himself on the cover of the book, Kambanda claims he is “a victim of injustice by the office of the prosecutor at the ICTR”, a statement that shocked and brought anger to anyone who knows Kambanda. “What an irony! I was expecting the convict to write his remorse, regrets, haunts of Tutsi blood he has on his hands,” reads a tweet by a genocide survivor. That was after anti-Rwanda campaigners and genocide deniers had started to promote the book on social media by someone that was a top perpetrator of the Genocide.
After former president Habyarimana’s plane crash, Kambanda was appointed prime minister of the interim government that then proceeded to executed the Genocide that shocked the world as one of the worst in history. Kambanda chaired different meetings that followed-up the execution of the genocide against Tutsi. In a meeting of June, 4, 1994, he wrote in his agenda that in order to defeat the RPF and to accelerate the genocide against Tutsi, 30 additional young men from each of the 145 communes should be recruited. Kambanda’s agenda was used as one of the pieces of evidence in his trial ICTR trial.
“Auto-defense civile” were directives he had issued on May, 25, 1994, aimed at mobilizing Interahamwe to continue carrying out killings against Tutsi civilians.
Kambanda, who is currently serving life sentence in Mali, on May, 1, 1998 was the first to plead guilty at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to the six counts which were contained in the indictment against him.
Kambanda’s confessions at the ICTR were for his participation in the genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity, plus his infamous speech that guns should not be for the military personnel only but rather everyone should use them for ‘personal defense’.
All these facts are available for even foreigners to see Kambanda is a top genocidaire, commentators said, wondering what kind of people would even publish the book. Observers say the fact only anti-Rwanda campaigners and genocide deniers – mainly FDU-Inkingi, Jambo asbl, among others – are promoting or publicizing Kambanda’s book show “it’s true aim”. “Everyone can see that it is a continuing plan of genocide deniers who have been hard at work to deflect the crime upon the RPF,” said a commenter on Facebook.