Editor’s note: This article contains some graphics descriptions of killings.
Ten years have now passed since the genocide in Rwanda, which may have taken a toll of over a million lives in its 100-day run. However, if current news headlines are any indication, the agony of many parts of Africa continues unabated.
At Ground Zero, a number of startling revelations came to light as the world marked the 10th anniversary of a plane crash that killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and set in motion the genocidal horror. For example, previously classified documents that were recently released indicate that the administration of former U.S. president Bill Clinton – he of rabidly pro-abortion fame – knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in 1994, but buried the information to justify its inaction.
“It’s powerful proof that they knew,” charges Human Rights Watch researcher Alison des Forges.
Daily intelligence reports reveal that senior Clinton officials used the words “genocide” and “final solution” within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to discuss the matter publicly because Clinton had already decided to do nothing.
Current Rwandan president Paul Kagame, however, is directly blaming France for the genocide. He says that France supplied weapons, logistical support and senior military planners to the militants responsible for the murders.
Meanwhile, retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire, who was in charge of the futile UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, is now warning that the “big powers’ self-interested racism” could allow another genocide to occur.
His recent book, Shake Hands With the Devil, described how UN officials left his 2,000-member contingent powerless in 1994, despite dozens of his pleas for help. He estimated that a peacekeeping force of just 5,000 could have prevented most of the carnage. Instead, the force was cut to a paltry 270.
The world just did not want to hear it, Dallaire said. He was told that Rwanda was of no value in any way, shape or form. In addition, three million more people were left homeless or ravaged by an AIDS epidemic in the wake of the genocide and inept aid programs. The event also stoked two civil wars in neighboring Congo.
The LifeSite news service, the internet arm of Interim Publishing, as long ago as Dec. 10, 1998 was speculating that the Rwandan genocide may have been part of an overall depopulation agenda for Africa. In a special report on that date (www.lifesite.net/ldn/1998/dec/981210b.html), LifeSite pointed out that the UN could have easily stopped the slaughter, but did not want to.
Many lives could have been saved by jamming radio transmissions that were directing the killing. In addition, despite galling inaction on the genocide, the UN was quick to “cover Rwanda with rubber” (condoms) in place of food, medicine and other critically needed aid. In fact, in 2001, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) pumped $7 million into Rwanda for “population control” efforts.
“It is reasonable to conclude that there may have been some persons in Western government and UN high positions who did not oppose the massacres, and possibly even welcomed them, because of a Western perceived need for massive de-population and destabilization in Rwanda,” LifeSite concluded.
Survivors and witnesses of the slaughter gathered in the Rwandan capital of Kigali this past April 4 to discuss its consequences and how it might be prevented elsewhere. Attendees heard how the term “never again,” coined after the Jewish Holocaust under the Nazis, was reduced to a mere slogan, because the Rwandan disaster was shown on TV screens around the world, yet no one intervened.
On the other hand, observers point out that Rwanda has made more progress than many could have imagined. The current president, Paul Kagame, says his country refuses to be held hostage by grief and mistrust. His government has worked hard to promote reconciliation, most notably through an experiment in community justice in which accused persons are tried by their neighbours.
Economically, Rwanda has rebounded remarkably. With foreign aid, it is rebuilding its shattered infrastructure. Yet, much remains to be done, as more than 60 per cent of Rwandans live on less than one U.S. dollar a day.
In other parts of Africa:
An April 2 report from Human Rights Watch said “massive atrocities” were occurring in the Darfur region of western Sudan. A scorched earth campaign saw government forces and Arab militias killing, raping and looting civilians. The military indiscriminately bombed civilians, while government forces and militias destroyed villages and conducted brutal raids against the Fur, Masaalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. About one million civilians were thought to have been displaced by the terror campaign. The hostilities follow the pattern of previous campaigns against non-Muslim elements in the south of the country.
A March 2 WorldNetDaily story carried the tragic account of Majok, a 12-year-old Sudanese boy and former slave who had been repeatedly raped, sodomized and beaten by government soldiers. Majok said he saw other slave boys suffer the same fate. Another slave boy, Yal, was beaten and said he saw three other slaves killed, and another who had his arm hacked off. Up to 200,000 people are estimated to have been enslaved in the Sudan. Some of Africa’s most aggressive Islamic militants, who hold power in the Sudanese government, are being blamed for the situation.
Lord’s Resistance Army rebels were reported to have killed 337 people in March in Uganda’s worst massacre in years, near the town of Lira. Most of the victims were civilian residents of a refugee camp. Earlier, in February, more than 200 people were reported dead after a three-hour “orgy of violence” in the Barlonyo refugee camp, again blamed on the Lord’s Resistance Army. The army has become notorious for atrocities against civilians and has abducted thousands of children, who are forced to work as soldiers or concubines.
The BBC reported in February on a “mutilation horror in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” in which at least 100 unarmed civilians were killed and then had their blood drained and put into bottles. Faces and genitals were cut off. The horror was blamed on a militia general dubbed “the Ripper.”