The evidence of a criminal case against President Paul Kagame and associates is overwhelming. A UN report that leaked to the French newspaper Le Monde on August 26 and scheduled to be officially released on October 1st confirms evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly a genocide committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during its invasion by Rwandan and Ugandan troops in 1996. All things considered, this report does not tell the whole story about what happened in Congo as a result of this invasion.
Similarly, nothing in this report is new ( read Gersony report) More crimes committed by troops under Paul Kagame’s leadership, whether in Rwanda before and after 1994 and in Congo from 1996 to as recent as 2008, have yet to be acknowledged. This report covers “only the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law” in the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003. “Although the primary objective of the Mapping Exercise is not to identify the alleged perpetrators or people who should be held accountable for their actions, it was nevertheless necessary to gather basic information relating to the identity of alleged individual or group perpetrators”, says the report. Thus, the National Rwandan Army under President Paul Kagame, the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo (AFDL), then a rebel group under late President Laurent Kabila, and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (Ugandan national Army) under President Yoweri Museveni are on the long list of people and organizations that could face charges for various crimes committed in war in Congo. There has never been any doubt that the Rwandan army was in Congo in part to hunt down the Hutu people. This UN report repeatedly describes the killing of Hutus across the Congo such as this one. “The killings around the former camps of Katale, Kahindo and Kibumba and in the Virunga National Park continued for several months.” They killed with bombs, guns, machetes, knives, hummers and locking people in huts and burning them live.
On the question of a possible genocide, the report underscores that there was a targeted killing of Hutu. “There is no denying that ethnic massacres were committed and that the victims were mostly Hutus from Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire. The joint mission’s preliminary opinion is that some of these alleged massacres could constitute acts of genocide…” For charges of genocide, the report suggests that “(A)n in-depth investigation in the territory of the DRC would clarify this situation.” The Congolese Hutu are also referred to in this report as Hutu Banyarwanda. Like those from Burundi, they were targeted even if they had nothing to do with 1994 Rwandan genocide. They were targeted only because they share the same ethnic background as those who committed the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. It is worthwhile noting that Hutu and Tusti are residents and citizens of Rwanda Burundi, Congo and Uganda in the Great Lakes region.
Although the DRC has obligations under international law, there is little hope that the findings in this report will lead to prosecution any time soon. The weak government in Congo is a hindrance to any effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. Also, the Congolese President Joseph Kabila was a soldier in the rebel group AFDL led by his late father, President Laurent Kabila and fought alongside the Rwandan army as they carried out some of these killings. Consequently, it is unlikely that President Joseph Kabila would encourage any judicial process that could link him as well as his father to the crimes. Given the current Rwandan military influence in the region and in Congo in particular, such a move could have political implication for President Kabila vis as vis Rwanda on whom he depends now to keep his head above water in a country where he is unpopular.
Also, the Rwandan government has been trying to stop the United Nations from releasing the report by saying that “it is absurd for the UN, which deliberately turned its back on the Rwandan people during the 1994 genocide, to accuse the army that stopped the genocide of committing atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” In fact, taken over by guilt for the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the world looked away as the Rwandan army committed these crimes detailed in this mapping exercise.
Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) believes that the time for those who committed the crimes in the Congo to face justice is overdue. Today more than ever before there is hope because President Paul Kagame, the first on the list of the accused, has lost credibility on the international scene as far as promoting democracy, freedom and human rights in Rwanda. AFJN’s advocacy to the United State government for justice and accountability for the victims of the wars in Rwanda and the Congo continues. It is AFJN’s hope that the Obama administration will chose the side of the victim and let justice be served.
More resources on Rwanda
The Rwanda Documents Project
Who was Behind the Rwandan Genocide? The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups
Faces of War: Congo — The hidden horrors of a war the world ignored
Dispute Over U.N. Report Evokes Rwandan Déjà Vu By HOWARD W. FRENCH and JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
The UN Reports: Major Atrocities in Congo 1993-2003
The Leaked UN Report: The contradictions of General Paul Kagame (Video)

Dispute Over U.N. Report Evokes Rwandan Déjà Vu by By HOWARD W. FRENCH and JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

UN report on Congo genocide could be game-changer

Dissecting Rwandan criticism of UN report on Congo genocide

Learm more abou the Rwandan genocide ( The Rwanda Documents Project)