Rwanda: "RPF had no foreign support"; Sam Louis Gisagara rebuts Uwe Freisecke's view that Rwanda's 1994 genocide was an international conflict, not an internal one, and thus the blame must be spread far and wide.

Author:Gisagara, Sam Louis
Position:Right of Reply - Brief Article

As a Rwandan in the diaspora and a frequent visitor to both Rwanda and Uganda -- countries I call my cradle - I cannot let Uwe Freisecke's "dossier" (The Rejected Testimony, NA, Nov & Dec) go unchallenged. My political sojourn led me to trade unionism at an early age. In 1977, I was imprisoned by Idi Amin in Uganda when I was 24; in fact, I was sentenced to death on 24 April 1977 by Amin's regime, but by the grace of God, I managed to escape to Kenya.

The purpose of the above brief biography is to assure any reader that I have some political experience worth sharing.

Freisecke asserts without justification and evidence that Rwanda's 1994 genocide was "an international conflict and not an internal one". He further alleges that the "international conflict" ignored the social, historical and political dynamics within Rwanda, and blames Britain and the USA for it.

Yet, he fails to discuss these "dynamics within Rwanda" because he doesn't want to say that since 1959, Rwanda had been taken over by Hutus under the guise of "democratic majority". This had led to racist policies by the various Hum governments meant to annihilate the Tutsi minority.

As a result, between two and three million Tutsi were either killed or forced to go into exile as refugees in neighbouring countries, including Uganda and DRGongo.

Though Uwe's historical chronology of the emergence of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) might be correct, he fails to authenticate the reasons for its creation. I was at the first meeting convened in Nairobi in 1978 from which RANU, the precursor of the RPE was formed.

Though some Rwandans had been born in Uganda, they were not recognised as Ugandans, neither did they consider themselves as such. They were discriminated against by both Ugandan institutions and politicians...

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