Rwanda & the USA

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Sat Oct 7 15:09:21 PDT 2000

I hope that the myth (reproduced by Leo Casey here) that the U.S. government did not intervene in Rwanda in support of Paul Kagame & the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) will disappear from left discourse.


Joan Casòliva and Joan Carrero

...Joan Carrero is a non-violence activist. In 1974 he was the Spanish State's third conscientious objector, and over these last five years he has carried out various actions in favour of the peoples of the African Great Lakes. He has received, amongst other awards: The Courage of Conscience, in Massachusetts, and the Memorial Paz y Solidaridad entre los pueblos (Peace and Solidarity between Peoples) from SERPAJ. He presides over the S'Olivar Foundation in Estellencs, Mallorca, and is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize of the year 2000.

Joan Casòliva is Professor of Religion in IES Llobregat of Sallent (Catalonia) and member of the Inshuti Association, Friends of the peoples of Rwanda and Burundi, of Manresa. He is a member of the Cristianisme i Justícia (Christianity and Justice) seminar on Africa....

... 4.2. The United States

Just as France's role has always been public and notorious, that of the United States has been none too clear for many analysts. Because of this we want to stretch ourselves to show evidence of its implication.

At the start of 1996 Ronald Brown, United States Secretary for Commerce, publicly explained that which for many observers was already becoming evident: "The era of the economic dominion and commercial hegemony of Europe over Africa has ended. Africa interests us". There are many facts that demonstrate this interest, amongst which we will detail the following:

- a. Some members of the RPF who attacked Rwanda from Uganda in 1990 had acquired military training in the USA within the framework of the IMET programme.

- b. Between 1989 and 1992 the United States delivered economic aid of 183 million dollars to Uganda. This aid was the equivalent of the sum total of aid from the United States to Uganda over the preceding 27 years4. The World Bank (IDA) has awarded Museveni, the Ugandan President, only up until March 1997, 1,800 million dollars.

- c. The United States is the main supplier of arms to Uganda with sight of their use in the Great Lakes region. There are North American military in the old Entebbe airport in Nakasongola, in Kabamba, Ssingo, Nkozi, in the Ssese islands and in other mobile units in Uganda, training Ugandan and Rwandan military5.

- d. The United States and Great Britain prevented Rwanda from turning to the UN Security Council concerning Ugandan aggression, under the pretext of a lack of material evidence. These same countries made the work of the United Nations Mission charged with the control of the Rwandan-Ugandan frontier (MONUOR) inefficient. Not only did they oppose the reinforcement of MONUOR with men and material, but they also declined to condemn Uganda when those responsible for MONUOR reported that the country was impeding the realisation of their mission.

In this way the United Nations and Great Britain have for a considerable time blocked the Security Council decision concerning the deployment of the international force provided for in the Arusha peace agreements. The first MINUAR soldiers did not reach Rwanda until November 1993, almost four months after the signing of the accords that could not be applied without this international force. The delay provoked tensions between the Rwandan government and the RPF, and also within the parties.

- e. The United States embassy in Rwanda was the first to evacuate the country the next day, 6th of April 1994, the day on which the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were assassinated, an event that unleashed large scale massacres. More energetic measures taken in collaboration with the other countries or in the United Nations Security Council headquarters would have prevented the extermination of the population.

- f. The United States blocked the adoption and application of Resolution 1080 (1996) adopted by the UN Security Council of 15-11-96 concerning the deployment of a multinational force for the protection of the refugees and the civil population terrorised in the east of ex-Zaire. This force would have been able to prevent the killings.

- g. During his visit to Rwanda in September 1996 a member of the North American Congress, Johnston, pleaded in favour of a politics consisting of the forced return of refugees to Rwanda. This is totally in contra to the Geneva Convention and to the international laws concerning the treatment of refugees. Johnston said:

"Stop feeding them, take your store of food aid inside the frontiers, try to get the Rwandan and Tanzanian armies to enforce discipline, and provide a security force to give personal escort to the refugees, making them cross the frontier and steering them to the food distribution centres".

- h. The declaration of the North American Ambassador in Kigali, 21-01-97 states:

"The humanitarian agencies must leave eastern Zaire and stop feeding the assassins. These will then scatter into the countryside searching for something to eat and will release the hostages. If we do not act in this way we will save the children of Tingi-Tingi but we will ruin the chances of the children in Rwanda's interior who will be assassinated or left orphans"6.

The North American embassy in Rwanda gives full approval to Kagame's government, openly minimising the problems and human rights violations, and the international humanitarian agencies have the impression that America is downright hostile towards them. A North American embassy official told Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) that he was supporting all that Rwanda did to counter the work of an investigative mission into the atrocities committed in ex-Zaire. He challenged PHR to present proof of serious human rights violations in Rwanda and the DR of Congo7.

- i. The North American administration has concealed the genocide of the Rwandan refugees in ex-Zaire. Under its pressure the final version of the United Nations report has been modified with the result that the term `genocide' has been substituted by the word `massacre'. In the UN it is explained that `following deep discussions' in New York the report's authors `themselves' decided to retract the term `genocide'8. What is more, the report concludes with the recommendation that Kabila and Kagame themselves investigate the perpetration of the massacres. With this, the very same authors of the massacres are being asked to investigate themselves, a ridiculous result. With this action Washington has tried to preserve the moral integrity of its proteges, now that the latter are using the Tutsi genocide as an ethical excuse for their ethnic dictatorship.

- j. Nick Gordon, a British reporter, has investigated and reported that the RPF regime has built crematory ovens in the Rwandan regions of Bugesera, Ruhengeri, Byumba, Kibungo, Nyungwe and other places where thousands of Hutus are assassinated and their bodies burnt while those responsible in the United States avert their gaze9.

- k. A member of the Clinton administration, questioned about the United States' massive military assistance to Rwanda, declared that "it was necessary to establish a very powerful military regime in the area of the African Great Lakes in order to impose military solutions to the conflicts"10.

- l. Aside from receiving materials of war, Rwanda and Uganda actively participated in the following training and military assistance programmes:

Rapid Intervention Force (RIF). Also called the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI), this programme began in 1995. Although other African countries participated, notably Senegal, particular emphasis is given to Rwanda and Uganda in the name of the genocide. Thousands of soldiers and Tutsi officials take part each semester in these programmes of military training consultancy for Green Berets, an elite unit of the Third Division of Special Forces at Fort Bragg (North Carolina).

International Military Education and Training (IMET). This programme offers a very advanced military training. In the past, many of the Third World dictators as well as their execution squads have received this training. This is the case with the `Tonton Macoutes' of Haiti and the bloody brigades of Chile, Argentina and other countries. Many Tutsi officials have been trained in Fort Bragg and in Fort Leavenworth (Kansas). It is within this programme's framework that Kagame, then an official in the Ugandan army, took part in a military training during 1993 in the company of a number of Ugandan officials.

Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET). This programme is supervised by the Marines, the Land Army and the Airforce. The objective of this training is to improve the Tutsi troops' military experience. The Third and Fifth Special Forces units participate. They are taught a number of military disciplines: camouflage techniques, combat preparation, mobility of reduced units, maintenance of battle equipment, nocturnal navigation etc.

Rwandan Interagency Assessment Team (RIAT). This project was conceived to evaluate the efficiency of all the military training given to Rwandan soldiers and officials with the objective of recommending, if necessary, solutions for their improvement.

North American businesses already had an intense presence in Mobutu's Zaire. This is intensified with Kabila's arrival.

-m. A Pentagon report, addressed to Congress, details the participation of the North American army in the training of the Rwandan armed forces since 1994. According to this the United States broadened its co-operation with the Rwandan army just when the latter was implicated in aiding the Congolese rebels in the overthrow of Mobutu's regime11. Le Soir reports that, two days prior to the second invasion of the Congo, on 02-08-98, North American military experts were sighted near the border. Moreover two United States warships were operating up in Matadi, in the Atlantic Ocean, providing a communications network between Goma, Kigali and Kitona. At the same time they were sending communications to the control tower of the Kitona military airport. Furthermore: "North American instructors were training Serb, Columbian, Somalian and South African mercenaries in Dedia near the island of Idjwi, in the Congolese province of South Kivu"....

[Endnotes omitted but available, along with the full article, at <>) *****

There is documented evidence, as you can see above, that the U.S. government supported the RPF's taking over Rwanda (at least beginning with preparations for its 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda) as part of its game plan of reshaping the future of the Central African region (ousting now useless dictators like Mobutu, diminishing European influence over Africa, exploiting Central African -- especially Congolese -- natural resources more efficiently, etc.). The invasion of Congo (formerly Zaire) by the now-Tutsi-dominated Rwanda and Uganda has been aided by the U.S. government. The Congolese situation is a dicey one; first Kabila broke with his (mainly) Tutsi backers from Rwanda, Uganda, & Brundi, and then "In August 1999, only a month after the signing of the Lusaka ceasefire agreement, a new dynamic of conflict emerged within the anti-Kabila alliance and further complicated Africa's seven-nation war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A major battle took place between the Ugandan People's Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), resulting in the death of over six hundred troops and civilians" (< htm>). Moreover, as Casòliva and Carrero note, "The countries of the region, grouped within the SADC (South African Development Community) support Kabila. All, with the exception of South Africa, have shown themselves to be unanimously opposed to the pretensions of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi" (<>).


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