Saturday, January 14, 2017

Memo to the current Rwandan Opposition: Original Crime Against Peace occurred 1 Oct. 1990

[As we bid farewell to the ravaged carcass of American Democracy, fought over by the Fascist war wing of the Democratic Party (Clinton, Biden, Albright, etc.) and snatched by the neo-feudal liquifactionists of Authoritarian Idiotocracy that is 'Trumpism', we thought it amusing to look back at how things in the realm of geopolitics were eight years ago.  Libertarian know-nothings, and this includes those wrapped in the red flag of eternal revolution, will eventually find reasons--and cobble together disinformation into memoranda of understanding--to hate whoever occupies State Power--and this is always personal and highly psychologized hatred--esp. if the President is a fellow leftist.  So here is how we were before the victory of the hair stylists removed Reason, History, Justice and Decency from consideration in our critiques of daily life.--mc]
Col. Jacques Hogard of Épée
Pierre Péan
Bernard Kouchner


THAT JUSTICE BE DONE! Col. Jacques Hogard Interviewed by Alain Chevalérias

THAT JUSTICE BE DONE! Col. Jacques Hogard interviewed by Alain Chevaléria--translated from the French by CM/P

[These early Obama days in France are all abuzz over the new Pierre Péan book pantsing Bernie Kouchner, “Le Monde Selon K.” (kind of a riff on another French journalist’s work, Karl Zero's fucku-Bush-a-mentary, "The World According to W.", or Oliver Stone's cute comedy, just plain 'W'.--W's even pictured caressing K on Péan’s cover.).

The shock in this so-called 'livre de choc' seems to be that Dr. K's double dipping, his conflicts of interest between doctor’s bag and diplomatic portfolio--or maybe it's his private investment portfolio's the rub--that the French Dr. (as PP affectionately refers to K, and not to be confused with my Dr. French in Steppling’s ‘Sea of Cortez’) was working his Humanitarian hustle in order to take money off a bunch of vile African dictators. Think of Lenny dressed up as a priest soliciting donations for a leper colony--only not as funny.

But Paris is really burning over the cheap shots they think Péan has taken at the poor old soixante-retard founder of Medecins Sans Scruples (MSF, MDM and all other similar med groups he may have claimed, at one time or another, were, in fact, founded by others). Questioning the Foreign Minister’s patriotism and the genuineness of his dedication to the emergency health needs of the victims of certain sides in certain wars calls into question the real intentions of the whole Human Rights movement with its innumerable NGOs, of the foreign policy of the Sarkozy government, even of the French national spirit.

As with Péan's previous great book, “Noires fureurs, blancs menteurs,” the French shyster community has gotten its suits and briefs all up in a sweaty bunch over PP's allegations that Kouchner expressed a certain ‘cosmopolitanism’ ('Anglo-Saxone cosmopolitanisme' is how Péan qualifies it) when he refused to stand for the Marseillaise, after having risen for 'God Save the Queen' (and not the Pistols' version, either) at a private screening of a France/England rugby game. All this is in just the 11-page teaser of the 330-some page book. But it is taken to be a suggestion of K’s dual-use as a diplomat/businessman in the service of the highest bidder. It has even been said (in Le Figaro, as I recall) that both Sarko and K are sayyam, homegrown Israeli agents. But you have to be super careful with that kind of insinuation in this country where every other guy is known to be an enemy collaborator by every other guy; where a Vichy functionary, after becoming the Socialist president of the Republic, ordered the extradition, trial and condemnation of a Nazi occupation functionary who had merely followed Pétain’s orders in deporting French Jewish children.

Well, if you'll remember, a want of national pride or respect and the placing of personal gain over national weal were charges made against the Jews back in the day. And since anti-Semitism is in such vogue these days as an instant invalidation of political or historical writings (no critical thought required, and, certainly, no need to read the book), Péan is straight away being sized up for another ‘Hate Speech’ beef.

In his earlier book on Rwanda, Péan cites an old Tutsi historian, Antoine Nyetera, who contends that the Tutsi culture of Rwanda was a culture of the lie. That little bit of historical trivia took up all of four pages in this fat book, but the many pro-RPF, pro-genocide survivor organizations, like IBUKA, AVEGA and SOS Racisme (which the Jewish Péan actually helped found) were all over PP with charges of racial discrimination and inciting racial hatred faster than you can say ‘the Bruguière Report.’ He was acquitted of all this humbug, of course, but with the subsequent arrival from Kigali of the Mucyo Commission Report, charging France with aiding and abetting the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus between 6 April and 16 July 1994, one had to start wondering where this tiny, densely populated tea plantation of a country was finding all its surplus vitriol.

Well, our Colonel Jacques Hogard, in this interview with Alain Chevalérias, goes quite a ways to explaining what is really behind the current France-Rwanda feud. And as you should have no problem guessing if you’ve ever glanced at this blog, the answer is the “US and A,” and its culture of criminally insane wastage.

With a steadier hand now on the helm in Washington, can we here in France, and all you all all around the world, hope to get our history in proper enough order to hand off to our kids, and to get the likes of Sarkozy and Kouchner the hell out of it?

Not until President Obama can come to grips with the real history of the decade-long Clintonian crime spree that birthed this Central African bloodbath, the responsibility for which its instigators, the RPF, the Kagame Reich and its Gallic collaborators, are trying to fob off on France. And while French President Sarkozy may have, for some unfathomable reason, lumbered his nation with the toxic offices of the craven narcissist Bernie Kouchner, US President Obama, too, responding to what we can only call The Terror, has taken upon himself that malignant waste product from the Balkan wars of the 1990s that is the visibly deranged and jellied eel-like Richard Holbrooke.

Down with the Occupation! Death to all Collaborators!! Long Live the Resistance and the People’s Struggle for Peace and Justice!!! --mc]


Interview with Col. Jacques Hogard: 
That Justice Be Done!

by Alain Chevaléria

27 January 2009

{Alain Chevaléria is the webmaster of the site [where the original French version of this interview can be found--cm/p], which regularly publishes analyses of Terrorism as well as information on current international and geopolitical events. He is a professional journalist, author of several books on bin Laden and, most recently, on the Mujahadin of the Iranian People.}

Alain Chevaléria: Colonel Jacques Hogard, who are you?

Jacques Hogard: I was born in 1955 into a family of officers. So I was raised in the military tradition. My father served in the naval infantry [the Marines] and I spent many years of my youth in Africa, following him from post to post. Naturally, I also chose a career in the military. After leaving Coëtquidan [a French military school in Brittany--nb] in 1979, I decided on the infantry, and then I joined the Foreign Legion before being assigned to the 2nd REP [Paratroopers Regiment]. This was in the 80s, with interventions in Lebanon, Chad and the Central African Republic. I spent several great years there as a lieutenant and captain. Then I followed the normal career track. I joined the Army Chief of Staff in Paris as a young superior officer in 1989 to prepare the École de guerre [War College]. Then I found myself stationed in Djibouti from 1992 to 1994. I had a very intense stay there. At that time, the country was experiencing attempts at destabilization from elements originating in Ethiopia, with the routing and collapse of the Eritrean Army, followed by the Afars rebellion which threatened the capital, Djibouti [In Djibouti, beginning in 1991, tensions between Afars and the Issa-dominated government resulted in an Afar rebellion]. I had a great deal of personal sympathy for this ethnic group. Having spent my teenage years in the country and having returned several times as a young officers with the 2nd REP, I knew their characteristics and, especially, their fidelity to France. In Djibouti I also had the opportunity to take part in the spring 1994 intervention in South Yemen, but, also, before that, in 1992/1993, in Somalia at the time of “Operation Restore Hope.” A great show. I was the “Chief of Operations” for the French force “Oryx” sent along with the multinational forces under American command. My tour in Djibouti ended with the intervention in Rwanda in 1994. Then I came back to France, where I continued my career with the Legion before joining the Special Operations Command (COS), created in 1992. Again in 1998-1999, I had the opportunity to command a detachment of Special Forces ordered to open the way for the French Army to enter Kosovo. It was then I got the feeling that I had nothing more to do in the Army, having done everything that really interested me. I took early retirement on 16 December 1999. After attending a seven-month course at the Centre de Perfectionnement des Affaires (CPA)[a Business School in Paris], held at the Chamber of Commerce, on 1 September 2000, I was taken off the active duty rolls of the Army after 26 years of service.

A.C.: Let’s talk about Rwanda! When did you get to Rwanda, or, more precisely, Eastern Zaire, now the DRC?

J.H.: I arrived there at the end of June 1994, coming from Djibouti. We landed in Goma, the Zairean town on the border with Rwanda, which served as the staging point for the forces of the French intervention. Our mission was to put an end, by any means necessary, including force of arms, to the massacres that were taking place on the other side of border in Rwanda. These mass killings had broken out after the attack on 6 April 1994 against the President of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana, and his Burundian counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira. We had to reestablish order and security as well as, to whatever extent possible, the necessary agreement to carry on a dialogue between the two communities. Goma is situated on the shores of Lake Kivu and was chosen because it has a hard-surface runway that can accommodate large cargo planes like the Antonovs and Ilushians chartered by the French military from countries of the ex-Soviet Union. Thanks to them, we were able to project a nearly three thousand man force in record time.

A.C.: What flags were these planes flying under?

J.H.: Russian and Ukrainian, I think. They were old military aircraft refurbished by civilian air-charter companies.

A.C.: But why planes from countries of the old USSR?

J.H.: France didn’t have any large strategic transports. At that time, we asked the US to furnish us with the means to fly our troops and equipment into Rwanda. The US refused because they were opposed to any French intervention there. It should be further emphasized that the Clinton Administration did all it could to create serious difficulties for France. The Chief of Staff, with the full support of the government, decided to call on the Russians. We understood that these chartered planes would cost us, but the Russians doubtlessly were pleased to make the deal for this mission because of the sweet irony of the situation.

A.C.: What kind of force did you have to stop the massacres?

J.H.: “Operation Turquoise”, commanded by General Lafourcade, was made up of about 2,800 men in three tactical groups. The first group to arrive, made up of Special Forces, was commanded by Col. Jacques Rosier, the most decorated soldier in France. It included a detachment of the 1st RPIMa [Régiment de Parachutistes d’Infanterie de Marine], a detachment of Navy Commandos and a detachment of Air Force Para-Commandos. It was assigned its own helicopters and C160 cargo plane, and was pre-positioned at the Rwandan border, awaiting the vote on UNSC Resolution 924, which would authorize the French intervention in Rwanda at the head of a multinational coalition force. The second group, commanded by Col. Patrice Sartre, was made up of Navy troops, particularly its prestigious regiment, the RICM (Régiment d’Infanterie de Char de Marine)[Marine Tank Infantry]. I was at the head of the third group, which was composed, essentially, of combat units assigned to regiments of the Legion, stationed in Africa or in France.

A.C.: Isn’t it a little surreal to assign such a small force to stop the massacres?

J.H.: We actually had a ridiculously small body considering the size of the mission at hand. But the units deployed were from the elite of the French Army. And then, we were also reenforced by African troops. So I had in my command the Chadian detachment. One hundred fifty additional men, which made a big difference when we had only 400 to start with! They had a big job to do. We didn’t lack in personnel, but the French soldiers were of the highest quality. They gave a great deal of their time and of themselves. They doubled, maybe even tripled their efforts by giving up their personal time and their sleep.

A.C.: France had signed a defense agreement with Rwanda. What was that?

J.H.: We had a military cooperation agreement with Kigali, signed in 1975 under Giscard d’Estaing, but not a defense agreement in the strictest sense. So some reduced elements of the French Army were in Rwanda as part of that military cooperation agreement in October 1990, when the Tutsi rebels, recruited in Uganda under the supervision of the Ugandan Army, launched an offensive against Rwanda. Just to go back a little: it all began in 1961, at the time of Rwandan independence. The Hutu majority (85% of the population) revolted against the Tutsis, who had, until then, exercised absolute power over them. Many Tutsis chose exile in Uganda. There, they made a home, and many of them became part of the guerilla movement led by the current president, Yoweri Museveni, against the government of Milton Obote in Kampala. When these guerillas took power, many Tutsis were given important jobs in the new Ugandan Army. Some were even made heads of very important departments, like today’s Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, who was the number two man in Military Intelligence. He was a Colonel in the Ugandan Army and was trained in the US. [at Ft Leavenworth, Kansas]

A.C.: So Kagame is a comrade in arms with the current Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni . . .

J.H.: Yes, at a certain moment, all these Rwandans became a little too visible to the Ugandan people, and Museveni decided to encourage them to return, in force, to their nation of origin, counting on this, also, to expand his influence in Central Africa. For me, without any doubt, Museveni already had his eye on the mineral riches of Kivu, today very prominent in the news with all the activities of the warlord Laurent Nkunda.

A.C.: Since August 2008, in Kivu, doesn’t it seem that a reenactment of the invasion of Rwanda is taking place--but this time the invasion is against Congo, the ex-Zaire--and it is coming from Rwanda?

J.H.: Absolutely. This time we see Laurent Nkunda, a Tutsi from Congo, organizing a rebellion against his own country of origin with the help of his Rwandan neighbor. In October 1990, Museveni’s Uganda encouraged the Tutsis, under the banner of the RPF[1], to overthrow the government in Kigali. Rwandan President Habyarimana, seeing his country under attack by a neighbor and finding himself in great difficulty, asked for help from France and Zaire. The Zairean Army, badly trained and undisciplined, was not up to the job. Nevertheless, at that time, French President [François] Mitterand thought he could settle the problem by rushing two companies of paratroopers. On his orders, the first detachment of “Operation Noroît” was sent in October 1990. Renewed every four months, this intervention would last a little more than three years, until October 1993. It was ended right after the Arusha Accords were signed in August 1993, under pressure from Western powers, and especially from France. You have to give Mitterand credit because his supported of the government of President Habyarimana was not unconditional: “I support you militarily,” he said essentially. “So I allow you to stay in power, but you are going to have to open your country up to democracy.”

A.C.: Yes, because this Habyarimana was not a great democrat . . .

J.H.: He was an African head of state of his era, like many others. Authoritarian, paternalistic, his regime was based on a one-party system. It was a sort of ‘enlightened despotism,’ committedly Christian, that practiced the politics of quotas, allocating to the Tutsis 15% of the military posts, the university positions, and even places in the seminaries where priests were trained, as the vast majority of the population, both Hutu and Tutsi, were Catholics.

A.C.: There are many African countries in which the minorities are not represented at all in the power structure.

J.H.: Yes, this is why I can say, without any irony on my part, that Rwanda, under the Habyarimana regime, was a developing country in every sense of the term. It had a real administrative organization, a highway system in good condition, a functioning infrastructure, a medical organization and even health centers in every community. One day each week, the population was invited to give its time to maintain the roads and public spaces. I described the Habyarimana regime as paternalistic and even authoritarian, but it was not a totalitarian regime like today’s Kagame regime is. You didn’t see kidnappings, assassinations, deportations, sessions of political reeducation, people’s courts or arbitrary arrests. All these things are abundantly present in today’s Rwanda. In December 1993, in keeping with the terms of the Arusha Accords, the last French troops left Rwanda and gave way to the UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda), about 2,800 men provided by countries like Belgium, Ghana or Bangladesh.

A.C.: So, the French military was not present in Rwanda at the time of the massacres in 1994 . . .

J.H.: No, there were no longer any French troops on Rwandan territory after December 1993. Only about 17 military advisers were left, if memory serves, who wore Rwandan military uniforms and served as technical assistants. They had no combat mission, but were assigned to give technical instruction and training. It is an important point and one which must be stressed. Because there are the most irresponsible rumors extant accusing France of crimes that were supposed to have been committed during the genocide. While its forces had been gone from the country for several months. So I repeat, on 6 April 1994, the date the genocide began, the only foreign military present in Rwanda was that of the UN. [emphasis in original]

A.C.: So it was wearing Blue Helmets?

J.H.: Yes, wearing Blue Helmets and commanded by a Canadian general, Roméo Dallaire, who, eight days after the genocide began, without protesting, allowed the UN to reduce his troop-strength by 90%. The UNAMIR thus went from 2,800 men to 280, at the order of the UN Security Council. A totally mad decision! If he had been a responsible and courageous man, an officer worthy of the title, General Dallaire would have resigned immediately and returned to his country, to Canada. This is what the Spanish General, Vicente Diaz de Villegas, did last October, in Kivu, when he realized the he did not have the means necessary to end the violence provoked by the attack of Nkunda and his Tutsi rebels.

A.C.: OK, let’s go back to your arrival at the Rwandan border in 1994. As you said, you were part of Operation Turquoise, mounted with the authorization of a UN Resolution . . .

J.H.: Yes, voted with the abstention of the US, which did not, however, use its veto. Madeleine Albright, then Secretary of State, right away described Operation Turquoise as an “abnormal operation.” As if you could call an operation designed to put a stop to these unprecedented massacres “abnormal.”

A.C.: It’s a paradox, France, alone, with some other African countries, stepping in to stop the blood shed, today finding itself in the dock accused of crimes by the government in Kigali.

J.H.: In this context, France was even the first to speak of genocide in Rwanda. It was Alain Juppé, French Foreign Minister at the time, who first mentioned it. The International Community dummied up. Worse yet, the US did everything it could to prevent any intervention.

A.C.: Why didn’t the US want a military intervention to stop the genocide?

J.H.: Here we are at the heart of a problem that is still with us today. Neither Rwanda nor Burundi was a country that particularly interested anyone: both little, overpopulated agricultural countries, whose territories, until today, had not revealed any important resources. On the other hand, they are close to the Congolese provinces of Shaba, the former Katanga, and of Kivu, which scientists agree is a ‘geological scandal,’ as it’s hiding such vast mineral wealth. Recently, interest in Kivu has grown with the discovery of uranium and coltan, a rare metal much appreciated by industrialists for its resistance to corrosion.

A.C.: Are the mineral riches of Kivu being exploited by Congo?

J.H.: Absolutely not. You just have to ask yourself who is interested in this extraordinary mineral potential. Certainly, there is little Rwanda, with Kagame in charge: the pupil of Museveni who is trying to outdo his master. But I can see that behind this downstage player is the upstage shadow of the US, the UK and, I believe, also Israel. These three powers, I learned while on the ground there, have a very clear vision of the possibilities of this region and of the stakes in making this war, which is for the control of the primary resources there.

A.C.: Do you have any evidence for this?

J.H.: Museveni’s Uganda is a totalitarian regime. You also see the US working to build an alliance between Kampala and Kigali, between Museveni and Kagame. For example, after Kagame’s victory in Rwanda, it was the US Army Corps of Engineers that built the highway between these two capitals. Washington also supplied the armored M113s and other military equipment to the victorious Tutsi army. [nb--A huge number of M113 Armored Personnel Carrier variants have been created, ranging from infantry carriers to nuclear missile carriers.]

A.C.: Were you a witness to precisely any of these facts?

J.H.: One incident especially struck me. When I was in charge of the southern part of Turquoise, in the southeast of Rwanda, one beautiful day I watched an unmarked American C130 land. A Jeep Cherokee rolled out of it with an American Army Rangers Lt.-Col. on board. He said his name was James Babbit, if memory serves, and worked as the Defense attaché at the American Embassy in Brazzaville, in Congo. He spoke our language [French] like you and me. He said to me:

“I am assigned as a liaison officer to your tactical Chief of Staff.”

“Liaison Officer, but with whom?” I responded. “Are there any American troops on the ground here?”

I told my boss, General Lafourcade, who commanded the operation.

“Yes, the orders came from the top,” he told me. “You stay close to him and be careful.”

In fact, this strange liaison officer didn’t stop getting information, acting like a spy at the center of our general staff. That became very annoying. I couldn’t get a written message to General Fourcade without his being around it. I had to ask him to keep his distance. Irritated, I wrote on a box of combat rations: “Forbidden to unauthorized persons” and I stuck the note up at the entrance to the part of the HQ used for transmissions.

Mad as hell, he asked me: “Who is this notice intended for?”

Looking him straight in the eyes, I replied: “Who speaks English around here?”

He grumbled that it was not very friendly.

I shot back: “What’s really not very friendly is the manner in which you’re acting.”

A.C.: How did this affair end up?

J.H.:Two days after this incident, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a sergeant of the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment on watch at the HQ. He had discovered the American liaison officer going through my desk. As a precaution, I kept all important documents with me in a brief case. He wasn’t going to find much! Nevertheless, I asked him what he was doing in there. He said he couldn’t sleep, and that he was “just looking for some magazines to amuse himself with.” This incident allowed me to get him moved out of there the next morning. It struck me, because some friends of the special operations commander’s had warned me: “With the Tutsis, there are always some US or British Special Forces.” I made the connection.

A.C.: How did this American officer work and, above all, with whom was he in liaison?

J.H.: He was all over the radio equipment and obviously in contact with Kigali, where the Staff Offices of the UNAMIR and its chief, General Dallaire, were located. But, Dallaire, as is well known to the public, worked very closely with Kagame. Logically, he was also in liaison with elements of the American forces present throughout the region. The real question is what were these American forces doing there and who was directing them on the ground? If you consider all these little indictations, you can see that what has been happening in Kivu since last August is just a continuation of the American offensive in the region to which I was a witness in 1994. It’s really like a Russian doll. In Kivu, you have Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi and a puppet of Kagame, the president of Rwanda. Above them, pulling the strings, you have Museveni, the Ugandan and his tribe, the Himas of Ankole, cousins of the Rwandan Tutsis. One floor up are the US and Great Britain. In their immediate perimeter there is Israel, which is very interested in the region. You know, too, that Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister, has recently become an official adviser to Paul Kagame. This is not by chance. If you have the opportunity, read the excellent novel, “The Mission Song,” by John Le Carré. This sympathetic writer, despite coming out of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, describes exactly, in this book which came out in 2006, what is going on in Kivu today. This is not from some kind of premonition, but because of a real understanding of the situation on the ground.

A.C.: Many people believe that the election of Barack Obama is going to change American policies. Do you think that will be the case in Africa, in the Great Lakes region?

J.H.: I think after we get past the Obamania, we will discover that Obama is an American who defends American interests, above all and without scruple, whatever might be the finer qualities of the individual himself. Anecdotally, it is interesting to note that President Obama’s father was a Kenyan Luo, a Nilotic East African tribe relatively close to the Tutsis. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton, the new Secretary of State, is still the wife of Bill Clinton, who, as President, actively supported Museveni. I don’t think that things are going to stop, but, on the contrary, that they are just getting started. The Clinton Administration is back!

A.C.: Do you have any tangible evidence of an Israeli intervention in this conflict?

J.H.: Nothing tangible, but the presence of Israelis is prominent. They have military advisers with the Ugandan and Rwandan Armies. They express a remarkable determination to install themselves in the Francophone zone, in the Central African Republic, for example.

A.C.: And in Côte d’Ivoire [Ivory Coast] . . .

J.H.: You’re right to mention Côte d’Ivoire. They have installed themselves there and not for any philanthropic reasons.

A.C.: Along these lines, you know that Nkunda, the Tutsi from Kivu, is a convert to evangelism. He is what is called a “born again.” He says he has converted his men to this version of Christian fundamentalism. He wears an insignia on his uniform which carries the inscription, in English: “Rebels for Christ.”

J.H.: Yes, that doesn’t surprise me and it typifies the problem posed by these Christian sects that originate in America. They are very active in Central Africa and in Western Africa, like in Ivory Côte d’Ivoire, where Laurent Gbagbo and, especially, his wife, Simone, are themselves converts to this movement. I see in this form or evangelism a vector for American penetration to take control of Africa, more specifically, of Francophone Africa. Returning to Rwanda, under the Habyarimana government, a minority faction of Hutus, very active, formed the opposition. They are now called “moderate Hutus” and they accompanied the Tutsis on their rise to power. But, many of them belonged to these Protestant churches close to evangelism. I don’t think that this is a coincidence. Also, the RPF assassinated a significant number of Rwandan Catholic bishops, expressing a hatred for Rome that was impossible to hide. This caused about forty Rwandans close to Kagame and Kagame, himself, to be investigated by a Spanish Judge and named on international arrest warrants for assassinations committed, in particular, against Spanish churchmen. We can easily see how the Catholic church interfered with Kagame’s bigger plans.

A.C.: When did you leave Rwanda?

J.H.: I only stayed 60 days during the summer of 1994. That’s all in the title of the little book I wrote on the subject.

A.C.: We watched France try to bring peace to Rwanda by supporting the Arusha Accords. So, why is Kagame making all these accusations of genocide against France?

J.H.: In my opinion, the Franco-Rwandan feud is principally the result of the hatred engendered against our country by one man, the current Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame. When he was the leader of the RPF and the chief of the rebellion, he came to France, in 1992 or 1993, to meet with political leaders. Paul Dijoud, the director of the Africa desk at the Quai d’Orsay, called attention to this meeting at the Hilton Hotel on the Avenue Suffren in Paris. Kagame was accused of carrying illegal arms. He spent 48 hours in custody, and was questioned by the French police in a manner judged to be less than diplomatically correct. Humiliated, Kagame has obviously hung onto this bad memory. Recently, he related the story to President Sarkozy when the two met at the UN General Assemby in New York last October.

A.C.: Aren’t there also reasons of a strategic nature?

J.H.: Some strategic reason, perhaps. But I believe that, first and foremost, the French interfered with Kagame on his way to seizing power. Apparently, he played along with the Arusha negotiations in 1994, but this kind of political discussion was not at all this style. He could not bring himself to play second fiddle in a Rwanda reconciled and at peace. He wanted absolute power, and he has made that very clear today.

A.C.: The war had to continue . . .

J.H.: Yes, in his eyes, the war had to continue. It was out of the question for him to accept a role in the opposition. He knew he could not gain power through elections, him being a Tutsi in a country that is 85% Hutu. He needed an event to trigger the renewal of hostilities that would allow him to change the direction of history. That’s why he ordered the assassination of President Habyarimana, his predecessor. He knew very well that it would provoke a cataclysm.

A.C.: Leading to a genocide of his own ethnic group, you believe?

J.H.: I don’t know if his plan, if his cynicism, went that far. He did know, however, that this event had a high symbolic value and would trigger widespread massacres that would, in turn, legitimate his intervention, the return of the war, his seizure of power and his long-term installation as head of the country, without the international community being able to raise a single objection. His legitimacy was cinched when he presented himself as the one who put an end to the abomination of the massacres, but also as a member of the victim ethnic group. At the same time, in this very cynical way, he was able to get rid of the Tutsis from inside Rwanda, those Tutsis he mistrusted because the had stayed in Rwanda after 1961 and lived under majority Hutu rule. To him, these unfortunate brothers from inside the country were just renegades and traitors to the cause of Tutsi greatness! Kagame is, at once, a strategist, which he has well demonstrated, and a cynic, of which there can no longer be any doubt.

A.C.: Allow me to find that a little fantastic: we have a military leader using the genocide of his own people, in full view of the international community, to extend his power and influence with the support of the Anglo-Saxons, the Americans and the British united. For that, he reignites the war and stokes its murderous fires because the end of hostilities would mark the end of the expansion of his power and territory. That seems a lot like something else . . .

J.H.: Yes, that does very much resemble something else. In fact, it is quite a well-known and simple scheme.

A.C.: A condition putting in place a propaganda campaign meant to . . .

J.H.: Yes, a condition that would bring about good propaganda, that he had the intelligence to create.

A.C.: All this so he could drive his foot soldiers toward Zaire . . .

J.H.: Yes, this plot, intended to establish a ‘Tutsi Empire,’ is not just a dream, but also a reality that is still taking shape.

A.C.: What are the accusations being made against you?

J.H.: The Mucyo Commission, ordered by the Rwandan authorities, is supposed to have established proof of crimes allegedly committed by the French in Rwanda in the course of the genocide of 1994. Some members of this commission came secretly to France in 2007. Strangely, they never sought to contact us, neither me, nor most of the other people charged. The report issued by this commission is accompanied by a communiqué from the Rwandan Attorney General. To it is attached a list of 33 names of French personalities, “those most implicated in the Rwandan genocide,” to use their words. Besides 20 military officers, there are 13 civilians, including François Mitterand, ex-Prime Ministers Edouard Balladur, Alain Juppé, Dominique de Villepin, and several French ambassadors. My name appears among those of the 20 accused officers. What’s funny is, as you know, I didn’t get there with the French troops until the end of the genocide, on a UN mandate, and only to put a stop to the killing. Before that I had never set foot in Rwanda.

A.C.: Why did the Rwandan authorities get themselves all off into such a fantastic set up?

J.H.: It’s a political deal, a kind of tit for tat after the accusations made by Judge Bruguière against people close to Kagame in his report on the investigation of the assassination of President Habyarimana. This report provoked the breaking off of diplomatic relations between Rwanda and France two year ago. It issued nine international arrest warrants. A tenth could not be issued because it was intended for Kagame, himself, and, as a sitting head of state, he has immunity. The nine people accused are implicated in the terrorist attack that cost the life of the Rwandan President, his Burundian counterpart, their entourages, as well as the French flight crew of the Falcon 50 presidential jet.

A.C.: It really was a terrorist act, and not just an act of war, because the assassination of President Habyarimana, of his Burundian opposite number and their companions, took place after the signing of the Arusha Accords. Besides, if my memory serves, the RPF, Kagame’s party, had gained representation inside the Rwandan political structure . . .

J.H.: Exactly right. As prescribed by the accords that had just been signed, a battalion of the RPF was installed in Kigali, at the CND, the site of the former Parliament. Kagame took advantage of this to introduce the surface-to-air SAM 17 missiles that his commandos would use to carry out the attack. Judge Bruguière is not the only one to know this. Michael Hourigan, assistant prosecutor at the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), an Australian, had already reported it. He was dismissed from his functions at the ICTR for it. Kagame could not forgive France for proclaiming loud and clear a truth that greatly embarrassed him.

A.C.: How did the French authorities react to these accusations against their political leaders and military officers?

J.H.: I took part in two meetings a the Élysée, a few months ago. It should be first acknowledged that Kagame’s principal objective is to obtain the withdrawal of the Bruguière report and the quashing of the arrest warrants issued against his close collaborators. He is on his way to getting this done by promising in exchange to forget all about the Mucyo Commission Report: a compilation of false accusations and horrors, of gratuitous murders, of acts of torture, and of sordid rapes. The rapes hold an important place in the report. To answer your question, we, the officers charged, have asked the President of the French Republic, Chief of the Army, to clearly condemn this document. We were assured that President Sarkozy would do it publicly at the beginning of November. It’s the beginning of December now and nothing has come out yet.

A.C.: Is this why you have decided to speak to the press?

J.H.: Not entirely. We have witnessed a rapid and unexpected rekindling of French-Rwandan diplomatic relations at the instigation of Bernard Kouchner. It must be recognized that our Foreign Minister is an old friend of Kagame’s. He met him in the maquis in 1992. I think that a certain Third World sensibility plays an important part in the fascination that the military chief Kagame holds for him. I can see it because the man has charisma. Whatever else, though it may seem incredible, Kagame is Kouchner’s friend. Kouchner, who defends Human Rights, has closed his eyes to the exactions being committed in Rwanda today.

A.C.: How do you explain the arrest of Rose Kabuyé, implicated in the assassination of President Habyarimana, according to the Bruguière report?

J.H.: We are in the middle of a thoroughly staged operation. Lt.-Col. Rose Kabuye currently holds the position of Kagame’s chief of protocol. She was sent to Europe on a mission, with full knowledge of its purpose. The Germans had warned her that coming to their country on private business, without diplomatic cover, would oblige them to arrest her on the international warrant that had been issued in her name. After more than a month of round trips to the Old Continent, she was stopped at the Frankfurt airport last November 9th [2008]. She was extradited to France but not jailed, as should have been expected, but held in a large Paris hotel, then in a very comfortable apartment! She even had a visit from her husband and children, and, seemingly to avoid a growing scandal, was quickly authorized to return to Rwanda to celebrate the Christmas holidays! I don’t have the slightest doubt that Bernard Kouchner intervened to get her this favorable treatment[2]. Proof of the arrangement is that she was traveling on a normal passport and not a diplomatic passport, which would have protected her from arrest.

A.C.: How did Kouchner manage to maintain credibility considering his relations to Kagame and his avowed friendship with François Mitterand, when the former French president is, himself, charged in the Rwandan [Mucyo] report?

J.H.: I can’t answer that, but we must not tolerate these accusations against the French State. I am not a fierce defender of François Mitterand, but I know that he was never a cause of the genocide.

He said: “I am going to rein in my friend Habyarimana to create more democracy, and we will come to an arrangement for peace and civil accord.”

This seems to me to be based on fundamentally good intentions. To accuse him today of having contributed to the planning of a genocide is indecent. I really wish the French authorities had the courage to take a clear position vis-à-vis the Rwandan government and its leader, to reject these abominable charges and let Justice do its job. We hear a lot about independent Justice, but it’s now or never if we’re going to make our actions conform to our principles. Don’t forget that the crew of President Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 were French. Their families, who filed a legitimate complaint with the court, should be able to see Justice done! I don’t think we have the right to deny them this, even under the pretext of international diplomacy.


[1] Rwandan Patriotic Front, the Tutsi rebel party of Paul Kagame.

[2] On 23 December 2008, Rose Kabuye was authorized to leave French territory so she could return to Rwanda to celebrate the holidays. According to her lawyer, she was ordered to return to France no later than 10 January (2009). This is extraordinary leniency toward someone charged with multiple murders.

[Translated from the French by CM/P]

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