By The NewTimes
The Guardian’s decision to embrace and give platform Hutu-Power figures and their talking points has attracted the attention of Rwandans. Recently a convict criminal, Victoire Ingabire, was allowed to mislead the public regarding her conviction in Rwandan courts. Her article, “My story proves Rwanda’s lack of respect for good governance and human rights,” comes in the midst of a series of publications revising historical facts around the genocide against the Tutsi. This has left Rwandans wondering why The Guardian, a British newspaper, seems determined to lend a hand to the growing denialist movement in the West.
While many are willing to believe that western newspapers uncritically embrace “freedom of speech” or would acquiesce to the suggestion that The Guardian’s editors are simply ignorant and too lazy to fact-check when it comes to reporting on Africa, in general, and Rwanda in this case, this dubious defence wouldn’t stand scrutiny upon learning that dissenting voices, mainly from Rwanda, have been denied the opportunity to debunk the lies peddled against their country on the same platforms where misrepresentations, omissions and fabrications enjoy immunity. Indeed, if freedom of speech was the cause they claim to be defending, the logic would apply to both sides of the argument. However, the refusal to publish anything that contradicts the current anti-Rwanda narrative clearly indicates a malicious intent on the part of those in charge at The Guardian.
But let’s ask the basic questions that the editors at The Guardian should have asked. Who is Victoire Ingabire and what is her story? Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza is the daughter of Therese Dusabe, a genocide convict who enjoys impunity in the Netherlands. Dusabe was accused, among other genocide crimes, of having killed Tutsi women who came to give birth at the health centre of the former Butamwa Commune (current Mageragere sector) where she was a nurse. In August 1998, only 5 months after President Bill Clinton’s visit to Rwanda, Ingabire Victoire, walking in the ideological footsteps of her mother, took the helm of the Rally for the Return of Refugees and Democracy in Rwanda (RDR), a “political” party formed in Mugunga – in former Zaire – refugee camps by the masterminds of the genocide against the Tutsi and whose armed wing was made of ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias.
Among the founding fathers of RDR were the notorious genocide masterminds, Theoneste Bagosora, Ferdinand Nahimana and others who led the Cameroonian branch of the party and were later convicted by the International Criminal Court for Rwanda (ICTR). During his visit, President Clinton referred to this group which was, only five months later, to be led by Victoire Ingabire in these terms: “In the northwest part of your country, attacks by those responsible for the slaughter in 1994 continue today.”
In 2009, Ingabire Victoire’s new “political” party, FDU-Inkingi, itself a splinter group of these genocidal outfits, was pinned by a UN group of experts report for its ties to the FDLR, the genocidal armed militia which the United States lists as a terrorist group. Later, in 2010, the vice-president of FDU, Joseph Ntawagundi, who had returned in Rwanda in Ingabire’s company was caught up by his past. Facing damning testimonies, including that of his own wife, he pleaded guilty to direct participation in the Tutsi genocide for having called for the killing of eight persons. It is worth noting that, at the time of Ntawangundi’s arrest, Ingabire Victoire defended her vice-president tooth and nail, claiming that the charges were politically motivated.
On the 15th of October 2010, The New Times reported the arrest of Victoire Ingabire “on suspicion of being involved in subversive activities. Ingabire was arrested after she was implicated by Maj Vital Uwumuremyi, a former rebel commander in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) who was intercepted trying to sneak across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – Rwanda border.” Further evidence of Ingabire’s connections with genocidal groups roaming in eastern DRC were provided by Dutch authorities after a search had been conducted at her house in the Netherlands.
It is also worth noting that this evidence was damning enough to prompt Ingabire’s husband, Lin Muyizere, to petition The Hague Court in a bid to block the transfer of the incriminating documents to Rwanda. In November 2011, the Dutch embassy informed the Rwandan ministry of foreign affairs that the Court in The Hague had dismissed Muyizere’s petition. “The judge ruled that the objections of Muyizere were not admissible. This means that all legal obstacles for sending the said evidence to Rwanda have been cleared,” read the Dutch embassy’s note verbal in part.
On December 13th, 2013, the Supreme Court increased Victoire Ingabire’s jail term from the initial eight-year verdict of the Hight Court to 15 years, after it found her guilty for, among other crimes, forming armed groups to destabilise the country, and minimising the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. What Ingabire omits to the say in her misleading piece is that both she and the prosecution had appealed the first sentence, which the prosecution found too lenient. All this information is available in the public domain if The Guardian was a newspaper that serves the truth.
Moreover, Ingabire insists on her condemnation for genocide minimization because she knows that her audience in the West remains, to date, unable to identify with the pain on Rwandans and their outrage towards Ingabire’s despicable comments at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial. On that fateful day, Ingabire equated the planned mass murders of a more than a million Tutsi to the crimes attributed to the RPF, echoing the double genocide theory peddled by genocide masterminds before, during and after the genocide against Tutsi.
Clearly, Ingabire has no defence to offer when it comes to her association with genocidaires and her plans to launch an armed struggle to overthrow the Rwandan government. This is why her story in the Guardian omits these details. It reads as if she was born in 2010, had only exercised her freedom of speech when she was arrested and convicted, and had no criminal background to answer for.
No one believes that editors at The Guardian are unable to fact-check Ingabire’s assertions, whether on her condemnation, the impressive economic strides made by Rwanda since 1994 or on the state of human rights. On this particular issue of human rights abuses, the modus operandi remains the same. Allegations against the government, with no evidence to back them, are treated as established facts. However, if we were to stick to established facts with the aim to safeguard commonwealth values that The Guardian supposedly shares, everyone would agree with British MP Andrew Mitchel’s views that “Britain harbours a guilty secret which should worry all decent people who care about its role in the world.” Indeed, if we truly care about common values, shielding genocide fugitives, as Britain does, isn’t something to be proud of but something that everyone should condemn.
If Ingabire truly cared about commonwealth values, she would call for the extradition of the five genocide fugitives living in the UK whenever given a platform in a British newspaper. If she was principled in her defence of Human Rights, she would even call for the extradition of her own mother, a genocide convict whom many believe she helped escape to the Netherlands. She would also seek forgiveness for her involvement with mass murderers, starting by those who controlled refugee camps in Zaire and were launching murderous attacks on Rwanda. But, evidently, this is really not about common wealth values. It’s about rewriting the history of Rwandan under the guise of human rights concerns and Ingabire Victoire is fronted as yet another anointed “hero” fighting the Rwandan “dictatorship” after the resounding failure of the “Hollywood hero” project.
Ironically, on the Hollywood “hero” too, British Courts agreed with the views of many Rwandans. On the evidence presented by Paul Rusesabagina in defence of four genocide suspects living freely in the UK, Judge Antony Evans didn’t mince his words. “In reality what it [Rusesabagina’s testimony] did was to expose the background to this evidence and show that the evidence was not of an independent expert, but rather of a man with a background strongly allied to the extremist Hutu faction, and as such cannot be considered as independent and reasoned,” Judge Evans ruled.
The question is: Will The Guardian and regime change sponsors ever learn?
Source: The New Times – Rwanda