Rwanda dismisses UN report on killings
A DRAFT un report says the Rwandan army that ended the 1994 slaughter of more than 500,000 people retaliated with barbaric killings in Congo two years later that also could be classified as a genocide.
The report also says Rwanda’s rebel allies, tied to the current Congolese president, helped kill tens of thousands of Hutus – the majority of whom were women, children, the sick and the elderly.
“upon entering a locality, they ordered the people to gather together… Once they were assembled, the civilians were bound and killed by blows of hammers or hoes to the head.”
The systematic and widespread attacks “could be classified as crimes of genocide” by a competent court, the draft said.
The leaked report is a major embarrassment to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, an ally of the united States and Britain and whose government long has claimed the moral high ground for ending the 1994 genocide of Tutsis that included the killings of some moderate Hutus. Le Monde, the French newspa
that first leaked the report, says Kagame is threatening to withdraw Rwandan troops in the un-African peacekeeping force in Darfur if the genocide allegations are officially published.
Congo’s President, Joseph Kabila, was also a commander of the Congolese rebels named in the report at the time of the attacks. Congo’s government yesterday denied the accusations and derided the report as partisan, incomplete and unjustifiable.
“The deeds are presented as if it is the Congolese who are the assassins, the genociders, when it is totally the opposite,” it said in a 50-page response to the un.
Rwanda’s government said the report was “dangerous and irresponsible”, risked creating more instability in the region, and suggested it was leaked to divert attention from un peacekeepers’ failure to protect civilians in a recent mass rape atrocity.