GENOCIDAIRES DENY RWANDA GENOCIDE
To Orwell Today,
Regarding KILLING HABYARIMANA NOT GENOCIDE are you insane? You mouth off like you have not the faintest idea of what YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.
If Habyarimana never dies then the ATROCITIES never take place, and anybody with sense that you apparently lack, would know that by killing the tyrannical President of 21 years it would destabilize the country, in a time of invasion and unrest, into an ETHNIC STRUGGLE and the blood of countless innocents by factions, not necessarily divided, vying for POWER!! It creates an intense power vacuum, with countless dead, when you kill a tyrant that ruled for two decades!!!!
As for genocide, read up on an event called the Holocaust to learn what the systematic killings of peoples look like: completely ostracize, alienate, deport, and execute with very organized institutions in place to carry out directives and achieve targets.
Rwanda can barely organize to bring running water, but they can have a genocide of one exact people. Ask anyone with more sense than a door knob, they will tell that more Hutus died than Tutsi.
In the Holocaust, were Germans dying in schools and streets with Jews? Nope. That was genocide: Jews systematically eliminated for Hitler's Final Solution to remove them.
In Rwanda, not the case, because IT WAS CHAOS. Leaders of government that were Hutu, and establishment, had their families butchered in the street: people murdering cousins and neighbor against neighbor!!! It was all out CHAOS after years of seething hatred, not only ethnically or class struggles, but political grievances were carried thru the machete.
Hmm, not too organized when YOU CAN'T BURY THE BODIES!!!!! Read up on Burundi to learn about ethnic struggle in the region: STRUGGLE, CONFLICT, not genocide. WAR CRIMES yes, but genocide is a whole other story.
In fact read up on any genocide in history. Better yet JUST read up on Rwanda and how politically disenfranchised people are to this DAY under Kagame. If YOU DO ANYTHING, study Kagame's link to LAURENT NKUNDA.
That article that has so enraged you wasn't written by me (although I agree with what it says). It was written by a journalist from the Afrol news agency and I posted it on my website three years ago under the heading KILLING HABYARIMANA NOT GENOCIDE.
But it seems you must have just now discovered it on my "Orwell Today" website.
You tell me to "read up" and "study" on genocide, Rwanda, Kagame and Nkunda but in fact I've been doing that for years. You can find hundreds of articles on my website under the sections RWANDA'S GOOD MAN KAGAME & KNOW NKUNDA CONGO & READING ON RWANDA & RWANDA GENOCIDE HORROR & RWANDA SHALLOW GRAVES REVIEW...
Pastor and doctor son aided Rwanda genocide, BBC, Feb 19, 2003 (A pastor in the Seventh Day Adventist Church has been found guilty of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Seventy-eight-year-old Elizaphan Ntakirutimana is the first church leader to be found guilty of genocide by the tribunal and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. The judges said they took into account his previous good character and also his current frail health. The tribunal based in Arusha, Tanzania, heard that the pastor had personally driven Hutu attackers to places where Tutsis had taken refuge. His son, Doctor Gerard Ntakirutimana was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment for murdering Tutsi civilians. Up to a million people are said to have been killed in a series of massacres by Hutu extremist militias against Rwanda's Tutsi minority in 1994. The pastor and his son, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, are the ninth and tenth people to be convicted by the court since its creation in November 1994....)
Ntakirutimana, Elizaphan, Hague Justice Portal, Feb 19, 2003 & Ntakirutimana, Gerard, Hague Justice Portal, Feb 19, 2003
I remember first reading about the pastor and his son the doctor in the book WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILIES by Philip Gourevitch. After getting your email I dug out my copy and "read up" on the story of their involvement in the massacres at the 7th Day Adventist church and hospital and then later at Bisesero Hill (a place to which I paid homage when I was in Rwanda for the second time. See BISESERO HILL OF SORROW & BISESERO SURVIVOR SAW FRENCH & BISESERO HILL HAUNTS CONGO).
Below are some excerpts from Gourevitch's book which you can click to enlarge for reading, including a map to help visualize the location:
...Just before you fell into the great inland sea of Lake Kivu, you would come to another hilltop village. This hill is called Mugonero, and it, too, is crowned by a big church...Mugonero is the headquarters of the Seventh-Day Adventist mission. The place resembles the brick campus of an American community college more than an African village; tidy tree-lined footpaths connect the big church with a smaller chapel, a nursing school, an infirmary, and a hospital complex that enjoyed a reputation for giving excellent care. It was in the hospital that Samuel Ndagijimana sought refuge during the killings.... Samuel was a medical orderly in the hospital.... In the early days of April 1994 he saw Hutu militiamen conducting public exercises outside the government offices in Mugonero.... On April 6, a few nights after this activity began, Rwanda's long-standing Hutu dictator, President Juvenal Habyarimana, was assassinated in Kigali, and a clique of Hutu Power leaders from the military high command seized power....
At work Samuel observed "a change of climate".... Dr Gerard made no secret of his support for Hutu Power. Samuel found this shocking, because Dr Gerard had been trained in the United States, and he was the son of the president of the Adventist church in Kibuye, so he was seen as a figure of great authority, a community leader - one who sets the example....
After a few days, when Samuel looked south across the valley from Mugonero, he saw houses burning in villages along the lakefront. He decided to stay in the church hospital until the troubles were over, and Tutsi families from Mugonero and surrounding areas soon began arriving with the same idea. This was a tradition in Rwanda. "When there were problems, people always went to the church," Samuel said. "The pastors were Christians. One trusted that nothing would happen at their place." In fact, many people at Mugonero told me that Dr Gerard's father, the church president, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, was personally instructing Tutsis to gather at the Adventist complex. Wounded Tutsis converged on Mugnero from up and down the lake....
An Adventist pastor and his son were said to have worked closely with the mayor in organizing the slaughter at Rwamatamu. But perhaps Samuel did not hear about that from the wounded he met, who came "having been shot at, and had grenades thrown, missing an arm, or a leg." He still imagined that Mugonero could be spared.
By April 12, the hospital was packed with as many as two thousand refugees, and the water lines were cut. Nobody could leave; militiamen and members of the Presidential Guard had cordoned off the complex. But when Dr Gerard learned that several dozen Hutus were among the refugees, he arranged for them to be evacuated. He also locked up the pharmacy, refusing treatment to the wounded and sick - "because they were Tutsi," Samuel said. Peering out from their confines, the refugees at the hospital watched Dr Gerard and his father, Pastor Ntakirutimana, driving around with militiamen and members of the Presidential Guard. The refugees wondered whether these men had forgotten their God."
Among the Tutsis at the Mugonero church and hospital complex were seven Adventist pastors who quickly assumed their accustomed role as leaders of the flock.... For several days, all was calm. Then, toward evening on April 15, the policemen said they had to leave because the hospital was to be attacked the next morning. They drove away in a car with Dr Gerard, and the seven pastors in the hospital advised their fellow refugees to expect the end. Then the pastors sat down together and wrote letters to the mayor and to their boss, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, Dr Gerard's father, asking them in the name of the Lord to intercede on their behalf.
"And the response came," Samuel said. "It was Dr Gerard who announced it: 'Saturday, the sixteenth, at exactly nine o'clock in the morning, you will be attacked.'" But it was Pastor Ntakirutimana's response that crushed Samuel's spirit, and he repeated the church president's words twice over slowly: "Your problem has already found a solution. You must die.".... "You must be eliminated. God no longer wants you."....
He saw Dr Gerard drive toward the hospital with a carload of armed men. Then he heard shooting and grenades exploding.... There were many attackers, Samuel recalled, and they came from all sides - "from the church, from behind, from the north and south. We heard shots and cries and they chanted the slogan "Eliminate the Tutsis.".... They killed the people at the chapel and the school and then the hospital. I saw Dr Gerard, and I saw his father's car pass the hospital and stop near his office. Around noon, we went into the basement.... The attackers began to break down the doors and to kill, shooting and throwing grenades. The two policemen who had been our protectors were now attackers. The local citizenry also helped. Those who had no guns had machetes or masus. In the evening, around eight or nine o'clock, they began firing tear gas. People who were still alive cried. That way the attackers knew where people were, and they could kill them directly."....
Sometime before midnight on April 16, the killers at the Mugonero Adventist complex, unable to discover anybody left there to kill, went off to loot the homes of the dead, and Samuel in his basement, and Manase hiding with his murdered wife and children, found themselves unaccountably alive. Manase left immediately. He made his way to the nearby village of Murambi, where he joined up with a small band of survivors from other massacres who had once more taken shelter in an Adventist church. For nearly twenty-four hours, he said they had peace. Then Dr Gerard came with a convoy of militia. Again there was shooting, and Manase escaped.
This time, he fled high up into the mountains, to a place called Bisesero, where the rock is steep and craggy, full of caves and often swaddled in cloud. Bisesero was the only place in Rwanda where thousands of Tutsi civilians mounted a defense against the Hutus who were trying to kill them. "Looking at how many people there were in Bisesero, we were convinced we could not die," Manase told me. And at first, he said, "only women and children were killed, because the men were fighting." But in time tens of thousands of men fell there, too.
Down in the corpse-crowded villages of Kibuye, live Tutsis had become extremely hard to find. But the killers never gave up. The hunt was in Bisesero, and the hunters came by truck and bus. "When they saw how strong the resistance was, they called militias from far away," Manase said....
Samuel, too, had found his way to Bisesero. He had lingered in the Mugonero hospital, "full of dead," until one in the morning. Then he crept out of the basement and, carrying "one who had lost his feet," he proceeded slowly into the mountains.... Unlike Manase, he found little comfort at Bisesero, where the defenders' only advantage was the terrain. He had concluded that to be a Tutsi in Rwanda meant death. "After a month," he said, "I went to Zaire." To get there he had to descend through settled areas to Lake Kivu, and to cross the water at night in a piroque - an outrageously risky journey, but Samuel didn't mention it.
Manase remained in Bisesero. During the fighting, he told me, "we got so used to running that when one wasn't running one didn't feel right." Fighting and running gave Manase spirit, a sense of belonging to a purpose greater than his own existence.... In this way, Manase survived.
...In Mid-July of 1994, three months after the massacre at the Mugonero Adventist complex, the church president, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, fled with his wife to Zaire, then to Zambia, and from there to Laredo, Texas. It wasn't easy for Rwandans to get American visas after the genocide, but the Ntakirutimanas had a son named Eliel in Laredo, a cardiac anesthesiologist who had been a naturalized United States citizen for more than a decade. So the pastor and his wife were granted green cards - "Permanent resident alien" status - and settled in Laredo.
Shortly after they arrived, a group of Tutsis who lived in the Midwest sent a letter to the White House, asking that Pastor Ntakirutimana be brought to justice for his conduct during the Mugonero massacre.... On the second anniversary of the Mugonero massacre, a small group of Tutsis descended on Laredo to march and wave signs outside the Ntakirutimanas' residence. They hoped to attract press coverage, and the story was sensational: a preacher accused of presiding over the slaughter of hundreds in his congregation....
When I returned to New York in September of 1996, a week after my visit to Mugonero, I learned that the FBI was preparing to arrest Elizaphan Ntakirutimana in Laredo. The United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, sitting in Arusha, Tanzania, had issued an indictment against him, charging him with three counts of genocide and three counts of crimes against humanity....The indictment was a secret, as were the FBI's plans for an arrest. Laredo, a hot, flat town, tucked into one of the southern-most bends of the Rio Grande, overlooks Mexico, and the pastor had a record of flight....
I went to...the address I had for Dr Eliel Ntakirutimana in Laredo...there was nobody at home.... Down the street I found a man spraying his driveway with a garden hose.... He told me..."That's the house. Fancy cars they drive. They moved out about a month ago.... In the morning I drove there....
Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana was a man of stern composure. He sat in a wing chair in the doctor's parlor, clutching a manila folder in his lap, and wearing a gray cap over his gray hair, a gray shirt, black suspenders, black pants, black square-toed shoes, and squarish wire-rimmed glasses. He spoke in Kinyarwanda, the language of his country, and his son translated. He said, "They are saying I killed people. Eight thousand people." The number was about four times higher than any I had previously heard. The pastor's voice was full of angry disbelief. "It is all one hundred percent pure lies. I did not kill any people. I never told anybody to kill any people. I could not do such things."
"When the "chaos" began in Kigali, the pastor explained, he didn't think it would reach Mugonero, and when Tutsis began going to the hospital, he claimed he had to ask them why. After about a week, he said, there were so many refugees that "things started turning a little weird."....
Then on Saturday, April 16, at seven in the morning, the two policemen from the hospital came to Pastor Ntakirutimana's house. "They gave me letters from the Tutsi pastors there," he said. "One was addresed to me, another to the mayor. I read mine. The letter they gave me said, 'You understand they are plotting, they are trying to kill us, can you go to the mayor and ask him to protect us?" Ntakirutimana read this, then went to the mayor, "I told him what my message from the Tutsi pastors said, and gave him his letter. The mayor told me, 'Pastor, there's no government. I have no power. I can do nothing."....
The pastor made himself out as a great patron of Tutsis. He said he had given them jobs and shelter, and promoted them within the Adventist hierarchy. He lifted his chin and said, "As long as I live, in my whole life, there is nobody I tried to help more than Tutsis." He could not understand how Tutsis could be so ungrateful as to make accusations against him. "It looks as if there is no justice anymore," he said.
The name Ntakirutimana means "nothing is greater than God," and the pastor told me, "I think I'm closer to God than I have ever been in my life." He said, "When I see what happened in Rwanda, I'm very sad about it because politics is bad. A lot of people died." He didn't sound sad; he sounded tired, harassed, indignant. "Hatred is the result of sin, and when Jesus Christ comes, he's the only one who's going to take it away," he said, and once more, he added, "Everything was chaos."
"They say you organized it," I reminded him.
"He said, "Never, never, never."
I asked him whether he remembered the precise language of the letter addressed to him by the seven Tutsi pastors who were killed at Mugonero. He opened the folder in his lap. "Here," he said, and held out the handwritten original and a translation. His daughter-in-law, Genny, took the documents to make me copies on the fax machine. Dr Ntaki wanted a drink, and fetched a bottle of scotch. The lawyer, Gora-Gongora, told me, "I was always against this meeting with you." Genny brought me the letter. It was dated April 15, 1994.
Our dear leader, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana,
How are you! We wish you to be strong in all these problems were are facing.
We wish to inform you that we have heard that tomorrow we will be killed with our families.
We therefore request you to intervene on our behalf and talk with the Mayor.
We believe that, with the help of God who entrusted you the leadership of this flock,
which is going to be destroyed, your intervention will be highly appreciated,
the same way as the Jews were saved by Esther.
We give honour to you.
The letter was signed by Pastors Ezekiel Semugeshi, Isaka Rucondo, Seth Rwanyabuto, Eliezer Seromba, Seth Sebihe, Jerome Gakwaya, and Ezekias Zigirinshuti.
Dr Ntaki walked me out to my car. In the driveway, he stopped and said, "If my father's committed crimes, even though I am his son, I say he should be prosecuted. But I don't believe any of it."
Twenty-four hours after we met, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana was in his car, driving south on Interstate 80 toward Mexico. To the FBI agents who were tailing him, his driving appeared erratic - he would speed up, slow down, change lanes, and again accelerate abruptly. A few miles from the border, they pulled him over and took him into custody. The arrest went almost unnoticed in the American press. A few days later, in the Ivory Coast, the pastor's son Dr Gerard was also arrested, and he was quickly transferred to the UN tribunal. But the pastor had a United States green card and the rights that came with it, and he retained Ramsey Clark, a former Attorney General, who specialized in defending politically repugnant cases...."
[end of quoting from We Wish To Inform You]
I notice, in re-reading those passages from Gourevitch's book, that Pastor Ntakirutimana says the killings were "chaos", not genocide. That's what you say too, when describing the genocide. You say it was only "chaos". Could it be that you are related to Elizaphan - perhaps one of his sons?
If you are, then in a way, we've come full circle and have connected through Gourevitch's book, which I read for the first time in 1998, and which fueled my passion for learning more about the genocide and Rwanda.
In your case it's the letter that was written to your father (if he's your father) by the seven Tutsi pastors, a copy of which was given to Gourevitch, and inspired the title of his book WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILIES.
In my case, I took that book with me when, as an independent journalist, I covered the event of President Kagame's first visit to Canada and, upon meeting him, asked if he would sign my copy of WE WISH TO INFORM YOU..., which he did, below a letter he wrote, on the inside front page. See RWANDA'S LIVING LEGEND IN LONDON
As you suggested in your email, I've done some further "reading up" on the Rwandan genocide and below are some links to articles about Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and Dr Gerard Ntakirutimana. Orwellianly, in their chosen careers, they abandonded their oaths of saving souls, and saving lives, respectively.
...conversation continues at REALLY RANTING RE RWANDA
Obituary for Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, Times, Jan 22, 2007
...Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana passed away in Arusha, Tanzania. He was 83 years old.... The funeral service will be Friday, Feb 2, 2007, at 12:30 p.m. at Dunamis Ministries, 1601 Shiloh Dr; Laredo, Texas 78045.... Interment will follow at the family plot in the Laredo City Cemetery, 3200 Meadow; Laredo, Texas 78041. Pallbearers will be Alain Ntakirutimana, Craig Ntakirutimana, Fidele Rugira, Jean Pierre Ntakirutimana, Josh Ntakirutimana, Pierre Muremankiko, Remi Nzahumunyurwa, Roy Ntakirutimana, Didier Ntakirutimana and Cedric Munyakayanza....
The Religious Affiliation of Elizaphan Ntakirutimana. Famous Seventh-day Adventists, July 15, 2005
...The unprecedented genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994, when members of the Hutu tribe slaughtered almost a million Tutsi people, remains current news within Adventism. At present, the International War Tribunal in Rwanda is pursuing the case against an alleged war criminal, former pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a Hutu Adventist and a [Seventh-day Adventist] denominational leader at the time of the Rwandan massacres. The tribunal is charging Ntakirutimana and his son Gerard, also a [Seventh-day Adventist] denominational employee at the time, with genocide and crimes against humanity. According to the charges, both of the men "participated in an attack on the men, women and children" that resulted in the massacre of between five thousand and ten thousand Tutsis - fellow believers and non-Adventists alike - who had sought sanctuary in the denominational compound at the Mugonero church and hospital complex.
In March 2000, at the time of Ntakirutimana's extradition from the United States to the United Nations detention facility in Arusha, Northern Tanzania, another Rwanda murder caught the attention of international media. Assiel Kabera, an Adventist adviser to the former Rwandan president Pasteur Bizimunga, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman in the Rwandan capital Kigali. Kabera's father was one of the seven Tutsi ministers who had pleaded for the lives of their people in the moving letter submitted to pastor Ntakirutimana one day before the Mugonero Church massacre. According to well-informed sources, Kabera was shot because he spoke frankly and openly about the events in 1994...
Rwandan Pastor and His Son Are Convicted of Genocide, NewYorkTimes, Feb 20, 2003
...Mr. Ntakirutimana is not the first member of the clergy to be held on genocide charges.... But this case became known above all because of the astonishing letter that six Tutsi pastors wrote to him while they were at the church compound caring for refugees. The letter begged him for help, saying, "We wish to inform you that we have heard that tomorrow we will be killed with our families." The group was indeed killed. During the trial, the letter was used as a prosecution exhibit. A witness, the son of one of the six clergymen, said the letter had received a cold reply saying nothing could be done...
UN Tribunal Convicts Pastor and Son of Genocide, Hirondelle Foundation, Feb 19, 2003
Arusha - Judges at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Wednesday unanimously pronounced former Seventh day Adventist pastor, Elizaphan Ntakirutimana and his son medical doctor Gerard Ntakirutimana guilty of genocide in connection with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The pastor and son have been sentenced to 10 and 25 years in jail respectively. "Pastor Ntakirutimana distanced himself from his (ethnic) Tutsi pastors and flock in their hour of need", presiding judge, Erik Møse of Norway concluded after the judgement. As for Gerard Ntakirutimana, 45, the judge said that "as a medical doctor, he took lives instead of saving them". Pastor Ntakirutimana, 78, is the first clergyman to be convicted of genocide by an international tribunal. The pastor and son, seating next to each other, remained expressionless as the judgement and the sentence were read out. Pastor Ntakirutimana, was the president of the west Rwanda Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) area at the time of the genocide. He was based at Mugonero SDA complex in Kibuye province. His son, Gerard Ntakirutimana, 45, was a doctor at the SDA hospital in the complex. The two are mainly accused of luring ethnic Tutsi refugees into Mugonero SDA complex before bringing in militias to kill them. They are also accused of participating in the pursuit and killings of Tutsis in the Bisesero hills in Kibuye. The refugees were fleeing from extremist Hutu militias.
The trial began in September 2001 and closed in August 2002. The chamber found the pastor and his son guilty of conveying armed attackers to Mugonero complex where unarmed predominantly Tutsi men, women and children had taken refuge. The judges further ruled that there was sufficient evidence that Gerard Ntakirutimana participated in the attacks that led to deaths of hundreds or thousands of refugees. They were found guilty of participating in the attacks on Bisesero hills. However, the two have been acquitted of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The chamber also said that in its sentence, it had taken into account the fact that the two had been people of good conduct prior to the genocide. "This is a victory for the victims of Mugonero and Bisesero", lead prosecutor for the Ntakirutimana trial, Charles Phillips told Hirondelle shortly after the sentencing...
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