Rwanda Warriors


Paul Kagame

The following is taken from the book WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILES: STORIES FROM RWANDA, by Philip Gourevitch, published in 1998:

excerpts from page 209 to 226:

In 1961, Paul Kagame watched Hutu mobs torching Tutsi compounds around his parents' home on the hill of Nyaratovu, in Gitarama. He was four years old. He saw a car his father had hired for the family to flee in coming up the road, and he saw that the arsonists saw it, too. They dropped what they were doing and began running toward his house. The car got there first, and the family escaped north to Uganda. "We grew up there," he told me. "We made friends. The Ugandans were hospitable to us, but we were always being singled out. There were always reminders that we'd never be accepted because we were foreigners."...

I once met a woman from the southwestern Ugandan town of Mbarara, who had been in secondary school with Paul Kagame in the early 1970s. I asked her what he was like back then. "Skinny," she said, and then she laughed, because calling Kagame skinny was like calling water wet. You couldn't see him without wondering if you'd ever seen a skinnier person. He stood an inch or so over six feet, and his trousers legs hung as if empty--the creases flat as blades. ...When she said he was skinny, she added, "He was a refugee," suggesting that his build told of misfortune, not aristocracy. She also said that he was a top student, and liked music--"I used to see him hang about the record shop until closing time"--but that was about the limit of her recall. "I didn't pay much attention to him," she said. "He was Rwandan."...

When Kagame was growing up in Uganda, people of Rwandan descent constituted one of the larger minority groups. Most were believed to have been Hutu by ancestry, but in the Ugandan context the labels Hutu and Tutsi stood for little more than different historical experiences: nearly all Tutsis were political refugees, while Hutus were primarily descendants of precolonial settlers or economic migrants. Despite the widespread assumption that Hutus and Tutsis carry a primordial germ of homicidal animosity for one another, the exiled Rwandans got along peacefully in Uganda, Kenya, in Tanzania, and--until Hutu power politics spilled over in the early 1990s--in Zaire. Only in Burundi did refugees find the politics of Hutu and Tutsi inescapable.

"In exile, we saw each other as Rwandans," Tito Ruteremara, one of the Rewandese Patriotic Front's founders and political commissars, explained. "Living outside Rwanda, you don't see each other as Hutu or Tutsi, because you see everyone else as strangers and you are brought together as Rwandans, and because for the Ugandans, a Rwandan is a Rwandan."

So the refugees understood themselves to be as their neighbors imagined them, and they recognized in this identity not only an oppression or humiliation to be escaped but also a value to be transformed into a cause. Here was "the sentiment of national unity" and "the feeling of forming but one people" that the historian Lacger had observed underlying the colonial polarization. And to the founders of the RPF, Rwanda's postcolonial Hutu dictators had, in the name of majority rule, done even more than the Belgians to subvert that idea of the nation. The counterrevolution the RPF eventually proposed followed from this straightforward analysis. To salvage the spirit of Rwandanness for all Rwandans, from the skinniest to the fattest, lest the possibility of solidarity be destroyed forever--that was the idea...

Naturalization is rarely an option in Africa; only a few Rwandan refugees ever acquired foreign citizenship, and those who did often obtained it through bribery or forgery. In Uganda, discrimination and hostility toward Rwandans intensified in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s under the devastating dictatorships of Milton Obote and Idi Amin. By then, international aid for Rwandan refugees had largely petered out. In contrast to the outpouring of attention for those who fled Rwanda in 1994 after the genocide, Kagame said, "for more than thirty years we were refugees, and nobody talked about us. People forgot. They said, 'Go to hell.' They would say, 'You Tutsi, we know you are arrogant.' But what does arrogance have to do with it? It's a question of people's rights. Do you deny that I belong to Rwanda, that I am Rwandan?"...

Political leaders often love to tell about their childhoods, those formative years, happy or sad, whose legend can be retroactively finessed to augur greatness. Not Kagame. He was an intensely private public man; not shy -- he spoke his mind with uncommon directness -- but entirely without bluster. A neat dresser, married, a father of two, he was said to like dinner parties, dancing, and shooting pool, and he was a regular on the tennis courts at Kigali's Cercle Sportif; his soldiers revered and adored him and had put his name in many chants and songs. He was certainly the most discussed man in Rwanda, but he did not care, in his public life, to be charming or, in any conventional sense, charismatic. I mean, he gave off very little heat, and yet his coolness was commanding. Even in a crowded room he cut a solitary figure. He was a tactician; his background was in military intellilgence, reconnaissance, and guerilla warfare; he liked to study and anticipate the moves of others, and to allow his own moves to carry surprise.

"I have wanted to be original about my own thinking, especially in regard to my own situation here," he once told me, adding, 'Not that I don't realize that there are other people out there to admire, but it is just not my habit to admire anybody. Even if something has worked, I think there are many other things that could work also. If there'a anything else that has worked, I would certainly pick a bit from that. But if there could be another way of having things work, I would like to discover that. If I could have some original way of thinking, that would be OK with me."

Except for the phrasing, he sounded like the poet Rilke on love and art, but Kagame was speaking about leadership in governance and in war, and most of all--as always--about being Rwandan. He wanted to find an original way of being Rwandan, and Rwanda clearly needed one. Still, originality is a dangerous enterprise, and Rwanda was a dangerous place. Kagame said he wanted to be "exemplary," so he was careful about his own example, and perhaps it was his quest for an original response to his truly original circumstances that made him wary of allowing others to imagine the lost world of his childhood. There were influences, of course, but the only one he ever seemed inclined to talk about was his friendship with another Rwandan refugee boy named Fred Rwigyema.

"With Fred," Kagame told me, "there was something personal on either side. We grew up together almost like brothers. We were so close that people who didn't know automatically thought we were born of the same family. And even as kids, in primary school, we would discuss the future of the Rwandans. We were refugees in a refugee camp in a grass-thatched house for all this period. Fred and I used to read stories about how people fought to liberate themselves. We had ideas of our rights. So this was always eating up our minds, even as kids."

In 1976, when they were in secondary school, Rwigyema dropped out to join the Ugandan rebels, led by Yoweri Museveni, who were fighting against Idi Amin from bases in Tanzania. Kagame didn't see Rwigyema again until 1979, when Amin fled into exile, and Kagame joined his friend in the Museveni faction of the new Ugandan army. In 1981, when the former dictator Milton Obote again seized power in Uganda, Museveni returned to the bush to fight some more. His army consisted of twenty-seven men, including Rwigyema and Kagame.

As more young Rwandan exiles in Uganda joined the rebel forces, Obote cranked up a virulent xenophobic campaign against the Rwandan population. Mass firings and inflammatory speeches were followed, in October of 1982, by a campaign of murder, rape, and pillage, and close to fifty thousand Rwandans were forcibly expelled and sent back to Rwanda. Habyarimana stuck them in camps, where many died, until they were forced back to Uganda in 1984. Two years later, when Museveni took power, at least twenty percent of his army was of Rwandan origin. Rwigyema was near the top of the high command, and Kagame became director of military intelligence.

It was against this backdrop that Habyarmiana had declared, in 1986, that there could be no further discussion of a right of return for Rwandan refugees. The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) was founded the next year as a clandestine movement committed to armed struggle against the Habyarimana regime. Titi Ruteremara led the political wing, and Rwigyema spearheaded the fraternity of Rwandan officers in the Ugandan army who became the core of the RPF's military force. "We had felt the beginnings of this, fighting in Uganda," Kagame said. "Fighting there was to serve our purpose, and it was also in line with our thinking -- we were fighting injustice -- and it was perhaps the safest way to live in Uganda at that time as a Rwandan. But deep in our hearts and minds we knew we belonged in Rwanda, and if they didn't want to resolve the problem politically, armed struggle would be the alternative."

I once asked Kagame whether he had ever considered at that point that he could become the Vice President of Rwanda and the commander of its national army. "Not by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "It was not even my ambition. My mind was just obsessed by struggling and fighting to regain my rights as a Rwandan. Whatever that would propel me into was a different matter."

In earlier generations, when Africans spoke of "liberation" they meant freedom from the European empires. For the men and women who formed the RPF, and for at least a half dozen other rebel movements on the continent in the 1980s and 1990s, "liberation" meant climbing out from under the client dictatorships of Cold War neocolonialism. Coming of age in an ostensibly free and independent Africa, they saw their predatory leaders as immature, as sources of shame rather than of pride, unworthy and incapable of serving the destiny of their peoples. The corruption that plagued so much of Africa was not just a matter of graft; the soul was at stake. And to this rising generation, the horror was that the postcolonial agony was being inflicted on Africans by Africans, even when the West or the Soviet Union had a heavy hand in it. Museveni, whose example in rebellion and later in building up Uganda from bloody ruin had stimulated the RPF, once told me that Africa's failure to achieve respectable independence could no longer be blamed on foreigners; "It was more because of the indigenous forces that were weak and not organized."

Because Museveni was under intense domestic pressure in the late 1980s to rid his army and government of Rwandans and to strip Rwandan ranchers of much of their land, he has often been accused of organizing the RPF himself. But the mass desertion of Rwandan officers and troops from his army at the time of the invasion in October of 1990 was a surprise and an embarrassment to the Ugandan leader. "I think at one point Museveni even called us treacherous," Kagame told me. "He thought, 'These are friends who have betrayed me, and never let me get involved.' But we didn't need anybody to influence us, and in fact the Ugandans were very suspicious of us. They didn't even appreciate our contribution, the sacrifices we had made. We were just Rwandans--and really this served us very well. It gave us a push, and it helped some weak people in Uganda feel that they had solved a problem when we left."

More astonishing even than the secrecy of the Rwandans within Uganda's army was the RPF's intensive international campaign to mobilize support in the Rwandan diaspora. "It was funny," an Ugandan in Kampala told me. "In the late eighties, a lot of these Rwandans were becoming very involved with their heritage, organizing family gatherings. They would get everybody together and make a tree, listing every other Rwandan they knew: names, ages, professions, addresses, and so on. Later, I realized they were maknig a database of the entire community, and well beyond Uganda--through all of Africa, Europe, North America. They were always having fund-raisers here for engagements, weddings, christenings. It's normal, but there was pressure to give a lot, and you couldn't understand the money involved. At one wedding of two big shots, it was fifty thousand dollars. So you'd ask about the great parties they must be having with so much money, but no--everything was bare bones. Well, we didn't get it at the time."

From the start, the RPF leadership was made up of Hutus as well as Tutsis, including defectors from Habyariman's inner circles, but its military core was always overwhelmingly Tutsi. "Of course," Tito Ruteremara said. "Tutsis were the refugees. But the struggle was against the politics in Rwanda, not against the Hutus. We made that understood. We told people the truth--about the dictator, about our politics of liberation and unity with debate--so we grew strong. Inside Rwanda, they were recruiting by force and coercion. For us it was everyone volunteering. Even the old women went to work on plantations to get some money. Even if you were a sick man who could only afford to say a small prayer--that was good."

The Ugandan who had watched in puzzlement as Rwandans drew family trees and raised funds had a friend whose husband was Rwandan. "The morning of October 1, 1990, this woman's husband said to her, 'This is going to be a very important day in history.' He wouldn't say more, just 'Mark my words.' She and her husband were very close, but it wasn't until she heard on the news that night that Fred Rwigyema had gone over to Rwanda taking his people that she knew what he was talking about."

Museveni responded to the RPF's invasion of Rwanda by ordering the Ugandan army to seal the border and block the mass desertion of Rwandans, who were stealing every bit of equipment they could grab. He also contacted Habyarimana to urge negotiations. "We tried to bring peace," Museveni told me. "But Habyarimana was not willing. He was busy mobilizing Belgium, mobilizing France. Then he started accusing me of starting it all. So then we left the thing to run its course." Tito Ruteremara laughed when he recalled those first days of the war. "Habyarimana was a very stupid man," he said. "When he blamed Museveni, he saved us. Now, instead of stopping us from crossing into Rwanda, Museveni closed the border from the other side--so we couldn't turn back. So Habyarimana actually forced us to keep fighting him, even when we might have felt like we were losing."

Kagame followed the initial reports of the RPF invasion from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was enrolled as an Ugandan in an officer training course. On the second day of the war, Fred Rwigyema was killed. A story went around that he was assassinated by two of his officers, who were, in turn, courtmartialed and executed. Later, the RPF took to saying that Rwigyema was killed by enemy fire, and that the two officers were killed in an enemy ambush. However that may be, within ten days of Rwigyema's death Kagame quit his course in Kansas and flew back to Africa, where he deserted his Ugandan commission and replaced his murdered friend as the RPF field commander. He was a few days shy of his thirty-third birthday.

I once asked if he liked fighting. "Oh, yes," he said. "I was very annoyed. I was very angry. I will still fight if I have reason to. I will always fight. I have no problem with that." He was certainly good at it. Military men regard the army he forged from the ragtag remnants of Rwigyema's original band, and the campaign he ran in 1994, as a work of plain genius. That he had pulled it off with an arsenal composed merely of mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and, primarily, what one American arms specialist described to me as "piece of shit" secondhand Kalashnikovs, has only added to the legend.

"The problem isn't the equipment," Kagame told me. "the problem is always the man behind it. Does he understand why he is fighting?" In his view, determined and well-disciplined fighters, motivated by coherent ideas of political improvement, can always best the soldiers of a corrupt regime that stands for nothing but its own power. The RPF treated the army as a sort of field university. Throughout the war, officers and their troops were kept sharp not only by military drill but also by a steady program of political seminars; individuals were encouraged to think and speak for themselves, to discuss and debate the party line even as they were also taught to serve it. "We have tried to encourage collective responsibility," Kagame explained. "In all my capacities, in the RPF, in the government, in the army, my primary responsibility is to help develop people who can take responsibility indiscriminately."

In tandem with political discipline, the RPF earned a reputation for strict physical discipline during its years as a guerilla force. Across much of Africa, a soldier's uniform and gun had long been regarded--and are still seen--as little more than a license to engage in banditry. During the four years of fighting in Rwanda, marriage and even courtship were forbidden to RPF cadres; thievery was punished with the lash, and officers and soldiers guilty of crimes like murder and rape were liable to be executed. "I don't see the good in preserving you after you have so offended others," General Kagame told me. "And people respected it. It brought sanity and discipline. You don't allow armed people freedom to do what they want. If you are equipped to use force, you must use it rationally. If you are given a chance to use it irrationally you can be a very big danger to society. There's no question about it. Your objective is to protect society."

At the end of the war, in July of 1994, even many international aid workers regarded the RPF with awe and spoke with stirring conviction of the righteousness of its cause and conduct. The RPF had hardly gone to war for humanitarian reasons, but it had effectively been the only force on earth to live up to the requirements of the 1948 Genocide Convention. That RPF elements had carried out reprisal killings against alleged genocidaires, and committed atrocities against Hutu civilians, was not in dispute; in 1994, Amnesty International reported that between April and August "hundreds--possibly thousands--of unarmed civilians and captured armed opponents" had been killed by RPF troops But what most vividly impressed observers in the waning days of the genocide was the overall restraint of this rebel army, even as its soldiers were finding their ancestral villages, and their own families, annihilated.

"The RPF guys had this impressive clarity of purpose about them," James Orbinski, the Canadian doctor who worked in Kigali during the genocide, told me. "They had ideas of right and wrong that were obviously flexible--I mean they were an army--but basically their ideas and actions were a hell of a lot righter than wronger. Armies always have a style. These guys--their uniforms were always ironed, they were clean-shaven, and their boots were shined. You'd see them walking around behind their lines, two guys holding hands, sober, proud to be there. They fought like hell. But when they came into a place, you didn't see the usual African looting. I remember when Kigali fell, a guy took a radio from a house, and he was immediately taken out and shot."...

Heroes, Saviors, Heralds of a new order. Kagame's men--and boys (a lot of them weren't clean-shaven, just too young for a razor)--were all those things in that moment. But their triumph remained shadowed by the genocide, and their victory was far from complete. The enemy hadn't been defeated; it had just run away. Everywhere one went, inside Rwanda and in the border camps, to RPF leaders and to Hutu Power leaders, to relief workers and to foreign diplomats, in the hills, in the cafes, even inside Rwanda's packed prisons, one heard that there would be another war, and soon. Such talk had begun immediately after the last war, and I heard it almost every day on each of my visits. ...The only way it might be avoided was for a no-nonsense, battle-ready international force to overwhelm and disarm the fugutive Hutu Power army and militias in the UN border camps, and that was never going to happen; instead we were protecting them. So one waited, and wondered what the war would be like, and with time it occurred to me that this anxious expectation was a part of it: if the next war was inevitable, then the last war never ended.

In this climate of emergency and suspense, neither at war nor at peace, the RPF set out to lay the foundations of a new Rwandan state, and to create a new national narrative that could simultaneously confront the genocide and offer a way to move on from it. The Rwanda that the RPF had fought to create--with all Rwandans living peacefully inside the country for the first time since independence--was a radical dream. Now, the existence of a rump Hutu Power state in the UN border camps forced that dream to be deferred, and Kagame began saying that if the international community would not sort out the genocidaires in Zaire from the general camp population and send the masses home, he would be prepared to do it himself. 'We want people back," he told me, "because it is their right and it is our responsibility to have them back, whether they support us or not."...

It annoyed Kagame and his RPF colleagues that Rwanda's new government was routinely described in the international press as his government, and labeled "Tutsi-dominated" or, more pointedly, "minority-dominated." A moratorium had been imposed on political party activities, but in the spirit of the Arusha Accords the government included many members of the old anti-Hutu Power opposition parties in top posts. What's more, sixteen of the twenty-two cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Justice and the Interior, were Hutus, while the army, which was quickly doubled in size, to at least forty thousand men, included several thousand former officers and enlisted men from the ranks of Habyarimana's old army and gendarmerie. As President Pasteur Bizimungu, who was Hutu, told me, to speak of Tutsi domination echoed "the slogans or the way of portraying things of the extremists," when, for the first time in the hundred years since colonization, "there are authorities in this country, Hutu and Tutsi, who are putting in place policy so that people may share the same fundamental rights and obligations irrespective of their ethnic background--and the extremists don't feel happy about that."

Kagame, for whom the office of Vice President was specially invented, did not deny that the RPF formed the backbone of the regime, and that as its chief military and political strategist he was the country's most powerful political figure. "He who controls the army controls all," Rwandans liked to say, and following the total destruction of the national infrastructure during the genocide this seemed truer than ever. But Kagame imposed institutional checks on his own power--who else could impose them"--and when he said that he could remove those checks, he was only stating the obvious. He may even have been overstating the case, since it was never clear, after the genocide, that he had complete control of the army, but he was trying to explain what it meant that he had chosen not to be an absolute leader in a country that had no experience of anything else. And he said, "I never had any illusions that these political tasks were going to be simple."

One of the first acts of the new government was to abolish the system of ethnic identity cards, which had served as death tickets for Tutsis during the genocide. ...Rwanda had no police and no working courts; the great majority of its legal professionals had been killed or had themselves become killers, and while suspected genocidaires were arrested by the thousands, many Rwandans preferred to settle their scores privately, without waiting for the state to be established...

I felt tempted, at times, to think of Rwanda after the genocide as an impossible country. Kagame never seemed to afford himself the luxury of such a useless notion. "People are not inherently bad," he told me. "But they can be made bad. And they can be taught to be good."

He always sounded so soothingly sane, even when he was describing, with characteristic bluntness, the endless discouragements and continued anquish that surely lay ahead. He spoke of all the woes of his tiny trashed country as a set of problems to be solved, and he seemed to relish the challenge. He was a man of rare scope--a man of action with an acute human and political intelligence. It appeared impossible to discover an angle to the history he was born into and was making that he hadn't already reckoned. And where others saw defeat, he saw opportunity. He was, after all, a revolutionary; for more than fifteen years, his life had consisted of overthrowing dictators and establishing new states in the harshest of circumstances.

Because he was not an ideologue, Kagame was often called a pragmatist. But that suggests an indifference to principle and, with a soldier's stark habits of mind, he sought to make a principle of being rational. Reason can be ruthless, and Kagame, who had emerged in ruthless times, was convinced that with reason he could bend all that was twisted in Rwanda straighter, that the country and its people truly could be changed--made saner, and so better--and he meant to prove it. The process might be ugly: against those who preferred violence to reason, Kagame was ready to fight, and, unlike most politicians, when he spoke or took action, he aimed to be understood, not to be loved. So he made himself clear, and he could be remarkably persuasive.

We always met in his office at the Ministry of Defense, a big room with translucent curtains drawn over the windows. He would fold his antenna-thin frame into a big black leather chair, I would sit to his right on a couch, and he would answer my questions for two or three hours at a stretch with a quietly ferocious concentration. And what he said mattered, because Kagame was truly somebody of consequence. He made things happen.

Several times, when I was sitting with him, I found myself thinking of another famously tall and skinny civil warrior, Abraham Lincoln, who once said, "It is to deny what the history of the world tells us is true to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And, when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion as others have so done before them . . . whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or of enslaving freemen." Kagame had proven himself quite effective at getting what he wanted, and if Kagame truly wanted to find an original response to his original circumstances, the only course open to him was emancipation. That was certainly how he presented it, and I don't doubt that that was what he wanted. But the time always came when I had to leave his office. Kagame would stand, we'd shake hands, a soldier with a side arm would open the door, and then I would step back out into Rwanda...[end of quoting from Gourevitch]

Kagame: Quiet soldier who runs Rwanda. BBC, Nov 14, 2000
Mr Kagame's first allegiance was to Rwanda...Together with Fred Rwigyema, a longstanding friend, Kagame was instrumental in establishing the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), drawing heavily on Rwandan soldiers who had fought alongside him in the NRA.Colleagues hint at an ascetic temperament, presenting the president as an incorruptible teetotaller and strong disciplinarian...Like the RPF as a whole, Mr Kagame downplays any ethnic agenda in Rwanda, presenting himself as a Rwandan and not a Tutsi. He is a frank and forthright critic of the United Nations, believing the UN could have done far more to prevent the genocide of 1994...

Interview: President Paul Kagame (Ghosts of Rwanda). Frontline, Jan 30, 2004


Rwanda may send troops to Congo (Nkunda only force against FDLR, the Hutus who did 1994 genocide). Guardian, Sep 17, 2007

KAGAME STRATEGY OF PEACE (reader says Rwanda has capability to guard its borders & doesn't need to cross into Congo)

"Rwanda not aiding us" says Nkunda (want peace process in Kinshasa). New Times, Sep 16, 2007


Nkunda waiting for Kabila response (wants to negotiate & join army for cooperation against negative forces). VOA/AmerProgress, Sep 14, 2007


Averting nightmare scenario in Congo (on brink of a major war & 17,000 UN peacekeeping troops are doing nothing to stop it). American Progress, Sep 12, 2007


Kagame says Nkunda's grievances legit ("should be viewed differently to FDLR who are guilty of genocide...won't discuss FDLR but when it's about Nkunda they move tanks"). NewTimes, Sep 11, 2007

Listen to interview with Laurent Nkunda (asks UN for peace...was told UN "just observing & didn't have any position to take"). VOA, Sep 10, 2007

Dallaire at new Shake Hands movie (UN soldiers played bluff with howling mobs of knife-wielding Hutu hooligans bent on butchering every last Tutsi in Rwanda). CanadaCom Sep 10, 2007

RWANDA'S SILENT FRIENDS (Dallaire has made no comment on Hutu genocidaires attacking Congo Tutsis)

Rwanda fears Congo conflict spillover ("If the UN can't keep peace there, then what are they there for?"). VOA, Sep 9, 2007


Congo fighting lights tinderbox flame (UN flying soldiers & supplies to help Kabila pound Nkunda using Russian-built helicopters) & Nkunda calls for Congo peace (Kabila DRC & UN attacking him) & Air raid 'kills 50 Congo rebels' (Mi-24 gunships against Nkunda) & Congo fighting in gorilla habitat (rangers have fled their posts) Reut/BBC/Guardian, Sep 5, 2007

Kabila troops move toward Nkunda (may ally with Rwandan Hutus) & 'State of war' in eastern Congo (Kabila & UN forces support Hutus who kill Nkunda-supported Tutsis). VOA/BBC, Sep 1, 2007

Rwandan Hutus kill gorilla ranger (& gorillas killed recently in Congo). AllAfrica, Sep 1, 2007

CONGO WRONG ON NKUNDA (reader says Hutus hate)

Rwanda's political opposition to merge (vowing to return & 'liberate' Rwanda). RNS, Aug 28, 2007

KILLED AT KIBEHO (reader sends photos of Internally Displaced Persons at Kibeho)

Congo FDLR aim to destabilise Rwanda (unleashing terror & murder) & Rwanda dismisses lies against officer (made by forces of genocide). NewTimes/Afriquenligne, Aug 27, 2007

Congo struggling to stay in one piece (Kabila blames problems on Nkunda a Congolise Tutsi protector). New Vision, Aug 24, 2007

Reader says that for many Congolese "banyarwanda", Nkunda is their Hope

HUTUS HATE RWANDA IN DARFUR (reader opposes a Rwandan general being appointed Deputy Commander of the AU/UN mission to help Darfur

LUMUMBA-LIKE LAURENT NKUNDA (reader explains how General Laurent Nkunda came to be the protector of Tutsis in the Congo)


Rwanda's former king eyes return (King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa says he was forced from his throne illegally). BBC, Aug 17, 2007

Malicious attack on Rwandan UN-General baseless. New Times, Aug 17, 2007 (The United Democratic Force-Inkingi (UDF-Inkingi), an amalgamation of extremist genocidaires, made wild and unfounded allegations against Major General Karenzi Karake and indeed against the Government of Rwanda. In the International Commission of Inquiry of 3rd May 1995, on the incident at Kibeho, the name of Major General Karenzi does not feature anywhere in the report. The findings of the report on the other hand clearly absolve the RDF, then RPA....


Rwandan UN Darfur-head war criminal? (opposition accuses for Kibeho assault). AllAfrica, Aug 15, 2007

Hutu genocidaires pillage Congo village (no intervention from thousands of UN forces based there). AllAfrica, Aug 15, 2007

BELGIANS & HABYARIMANA DEATHS (reader asks where the Belgian soldiers died & President Habyarimana's plane went down)

Rwandan gets 20-yrs in genocide trial (murder of 10 Belgian soldiers). NewEur, Aug 9, 2007


RWANDA CIVILIAN HEROES (reader tells RPF stories)

KAGAME RFP MANEUVERS ANYONE? (reader is researching President Kagame's military campaign that stopped the genocide)



PRAY DON'T BE NEUTRAL (reader says Kagame's RPF stopped the genocide and will neutralize ex-FAR/Interahamwe who are still trying)

RWANDA VIEW FROM TANZANIA (reader says Kagame waged war to give Rwanda dignity)







Rwanda: The Stimulant. New Times, May 22, 2006
At President Paul Kagame's recent trip to Uganda to be at President Yoweri Museveni's swearing-in ceremony at Kololo, Kampala he was cheerfully received by the mammoth crowd of supporters and witnesses at the airstrip. As Museveni introduced his heads of state guests one by one, the ululations which greeted Kagame on the mention of his name were not only deafening; they were humbling, very humbling indeed....At Kololo one got the feeling that Ugandans wrapped a "thank you Kagame and your people, living and dead" in the loud applause he received, for what they did while they served in the Ugandan army. For once Ugandans agreed in unison that they owed Rwanda gratitude. Their pleasant noise was a welcome verbal expression, which made good company for another pay-back gesture made in kind during the 1990-94 RPF struggle. And the occasion was appropriate.

RPA-KAGAME A PT-109 MOVIE (reader describes how Kagame started with zero after saving Rwandans from the genocidaires)

RWANDA RWIGEMA'S HERO RUTAREMARA (reader sends photo of Tito)

KAGAME'S HERO FRED RWIGEMA (reader sends photo of Fred)

RWANDA'S ROSE (reader sends a photo)

RWANDA'S WARRIORS (reader sends a photo)

KAGAME'S ARMY RWANDA'S HEROES (Rwandan soldier defends Kagame)

"Mixed perceptions of "Heroes' Day" (February 1 will be public holiday). NewTimes, Feb 2, 2006
"...The dead people and the living gallant soldiers contributed a lot to Rwanda's liberation from the past political turmoils the country experienced. Heroism should not be a reserve of the dead only; even the living ones need recognition and praise." But to Maria Mukankomeje, 45, a resident of Gikondo,the only person she regards as a hero is H.E Paul Kagame, because he rescued them from the Interahamwe and helped create peace and stability in the country.


Genocidees criticise "Hotel Rwanda" ("nothing but fiction"). AngolaNews, Feb 28, 2006

"Hotel Rwanda" Rusesabagina no hero. All Africa, Mar 1, 2006
..."Rusesabagina came in as a businessman who threw out whoever failed to pay for the room. He sacrificed nothing. He was just managing a hotel in a way that did not reflect the presence of a crisis..."

Reader wants me to open my eyes and think about Kagame's heroism

Reader says I may be wrong about Rwanda's Kagame

Reader says giving Paul Kagame a Nobel Peace Prize would honour those who offered their lives in order to stop genocide

H. E. PAUL KAGAME (Official Website for the President of Rwanda)


Reader sends season's greetings from Rwanda

"Western propaganda minimizes President Kagame's role in stopping the genocide", says reader from Rwanda, Dec 7, 2004

INTERVIEW WITH PAUL KAGAME. Talking Point, BBC, Feb 8, 2004

Interview: President Paul Kagame (Ghosts of Rwanda). Frontline, Jan 30, 2004
...I told him [Dallaire] first of all, that I thought generally, he maybe as a person was a good man. But he was serving a very hopeless organization, an organization maybe that has no principles, that follows no principles, that is just, in my view, useless, though it serves all of us and serves the international community. I was talking about the U.N. I told him how I thought personally that was wrong for him as a general with an army, armed, to see people being killed, and you don't save them because there is something called a mandate? So if a mandate does not address saving people, what is it for? I told him, I said if I was ever to serve the U.N., and that situation developed, I would cease to be a member of the U.N. and just say I'm leaving, or I will disobey the orders of the U.N. and try to save the people until they sacked me. I told him I cannot serve as a general who will sit there and see people being killed and do nothing about it...


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~