Rwanda dis­misses UN re­port on killings

The Scotsman - - International - MIcHELLE FauL

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.

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