On his first day as president, Museveni correctly stated that to solve a problem, we must get to the root cause first. We therefore cannot solve Great Lakes problems which are adversely impacting Uganda without understanding the historical conflicts between Batutsi and the rest. But since Rwanda genocide of 1994 which has been presented incorrectly as a genocide against Batutsi only, it has become virtually impossible to talk about Batutsi wrongdoing before or after 1994. The moment you raise a finger you are immediately accused of inciting another genocide against Batutsi and threatened in various ways to keep you silent. The international guilt over Rwanda genocide caused many to turn the other way when Batutsi massacred Bahutu inside and outside Rwanda. But I think the tide has turned and bold people are beginning to speak out and the world is beginning to listen and react, albeit slowly.
I am on record for advocating peaceful solution to Great Lakes problems through negotiations on a win-win basis so that all people in the region live in peace, security and happiness. I have been very vocal against use of force except in self defense. I get surprised when some commentators accuse me of inciting genocide. These are people who have benefited from international silence as Batutsi and those connected with them have taken advantage since the genocide of 1994 to do what they want with impunity and want the status quo to continue. So they are attempting to damage my character and record with a view to silencing me for good. As long as I am alive silencing me won’t happen.
There is sufficient information that Batutsi have committed genocide against Bahutu in Rwanda, Burundi and DRC as I recorded a few days ago but the international community turned the other way. In 1972 Batutsi committed genocide against Bahutu in Burundi to more than 50,000 in three months (The Africa Report January 2008). After they captured power in Rwanda Batutsi systematically committed genocide against Bahutu as evidenced for example by Kibeho camp, northwest area and southern and southeastern regions of Butare, Kibungo and parts of Kigali prefectures (Debra Liang-Fenton 2004 and Sadako Ogata 2005).
In the 1994 genocide both Tutsi and Hutu (opposition forces and dissidents) were targeted and massacred (Adebayo Adedeji 1999; Debra Liang-Fenton 2004). Therefore it is wrong to talk about the massacre of Tutsi only in the 1994 Rwanda genocide and ignore the massacre of Hutu. In all it is estimated that over 800,000 Tutsi and Hutu were massacred within 100 days (The Africa Report January 2008).
Those wishing to absolve Tutsi massacre of Hutu in Eastern DRC have argued that Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) entered DRC to eliminate genocide criminals only (genocidaires and Intelahamwe). In this regard, in an interview with Daniel K. Kalinaki which was published in The Africa Report January 2008, Kagame concurred and boasted “We did that [elimination of genocidaires and Intelahamwe] very very successfully, absolutely”. But there is a problem because the genocidaires and Interahamwe were not separated from civilian refugees in camps. That this is true can be deduced from an observation recorded by Ogata former UN High Commissioner for refugees. She wrote “The preferred solution would have been the deployment of an international separation force that could have put an end to militarized camps by dividing the civilians from the military and protecting refugees. Closely keeping law and order, such a force could have demobilized the soldiers and handed over genocide criminals to face justice in Rwanda. However, the international community was not in possession of such a force. Nor was there any political will to face and intervene for the protection of refugees and victims” (Sadako Ogata 2005).
Consequently RPA attacks on refugee camps were indiscriminate killing of civilian men, women and children. The survivors dispersed into the forest. However, Rwanda authorities were facilitated with information about refugee movements obtained from satellite surveillance of the forest area, helping Rwanda army to track and massacre them. The slaughter of Hutu refugees and Congolese Hutu in DRC provoked demands for an international investigation (Liang-Fenton 2004). UN investigations confirmed mass murder “against Rwandan Hutu refugees during the 1996-97 Zaire war, and slaughter inside Rwanda since 1994, which first came to light with the murder of 8,000 men, women, and children at Kibeho camp in southwestern Rwanda in April 1995 (Executive Intelligence Review or EIR) October 23, 1998).
Two points have been underlined.
First, Batutsi and Bahutu have committed genocide against each other since 1972. Therefore continuing to treat Batutsi as victims and Bahutu as genocidaires is wrong. This categorization including those born after 1994 has put Bahutu in a very difficult situation because any time they try to complain about violation of their human rights, they are reminded they are genocidaires or bad guys who should keep quiet. So, they have suffered a great deal in silence.
Second, Batutsi in Uganda under the leadership of Museveni collectively but incorrectly described as Banyankole have accumulated economic, political and military power at the expense of others. Sam Njuba who knows Museveni way back at Dar es Salaam University in the 1960s says: “These people [Batutsi] have their own agenda and they know what they want.
“They have continued grabbing everything. They will continue to grab and grab until a doctor advises that stealing is too bad. … They are from poor backgrounds and everything they see they want to steal it. They grab land, they build hostels, they have hospitals, they have hotels, they have banks”(Uganda Observer October 11, 2009).
Uganda is waking up and won’t allow this abuse to continue. Batutsi or their surrogates are hitting back invoking the possibility of another genocide against them in order to call upon the international community to come to their rescue while they continue to steal as Njuba elaborated. Thankfully, the tide has turned and the international cover they have enjoyed since 1994 is growing thinner by the day. Their strong western supporters are also beginning to recast their support. Similarly Batutsi should drop the use of genocide as a defensive tool because it has outlived its usefulness.
Secretary General & Chief Administrator, UDU