The Globe and Mail and Rwanda


General Romeo Dallaire speaking in 2017 PHOTO/Wikipedia

Canada’s paper of record pulled another layer off the rotting onion of propaganda obscuring the Rwandan tragedy. But, The Globe and Mailhas so far remained unwilling to challenge prominent Canadians who have crafted the fairy tale serving Africa’s most ruthless dictator.

Last month, a front-page Globearticle added to an abundance of evidence suggesting Paul Kagame’s Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) shot down the plane carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana, which sparked the mass killings of the spring of 1994. “New informationsupports claims Kagame forces were involved in [the] assassination that sparked Rwandan genocide”, noted the headline. The Globe all but confirmed that the surface-to-air missiles used to assassinate the Rwandan and Burundian Hutu presidents came from Uganda, which backed the RPF’s bid to conquer its smaller neighbour. (A few thousand exiled Tutsi Ugandan troops, including the deputy ministerof defence, “deserted” to invade Rwanda in 1990.) The new revelations strengthen those who argue that the responsibility for the mass killings in spring 1994 largely rests with the Ugandan/RPF aggressors and their United States/British/Canadian backers.

Despite publishing multiple stories over the past two years questioning the dominant narrative, The Globehas largely ignored the Canadians that shaped this Kagame-friendly storyline. I have writtena number of articlesdetailing Roméo Dallaire’s important role in this sordid affair, but another widely regarded Canadian has offered significant ideological support to Kagame’s crimes in Rwanda and the Congo.

As Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in the late 1990s, Stephen Lewis was appointed to a “Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Surrounding Events”. Reportedly instigated by United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and partly funded by Canada, the Organisation of African Unity’s 2000 report, “The Preventable Genocide”, was largely written by a Lewis recruit, Gerald Caplan, who was dubbed Lewis’ “close friendand alter ego of nearly 50 years.”

While paying lip service to the complex interplay of ethnic, class and regional politics, as well as international pressure, that spurred the “Rwandan Genocide”, the 300-page report is premised on the unsubstantiated claim that there was a high level plan by the Hutu government to kill all Tutsi. It ignores the overwhelming logic and evidence pointing to the RPF as the culprit in shooting down the plane carrying President Habyarimana and much of the army high command, which sparked the mass killings of spring 1994.

The report also rationalises Rwanda’s repeated invasions of the Congo, including a 1,500 km march to topple the Mobutu regime in Kinshasa and subsequent re-invasion after the government it installed expelled Rwandan troops. That led to millions of deaths during an eight-country war between 1998 and 2003.

In a Democracy Nowinterview concerning the 2000 Eminent Personalities report Lewis mentioned “evidence of majorhuman rights violations on the part of the present [Kagame] government of Rwanda, particularly post-genocide in the Kivus and in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” But, he immediately justified the slaughter, which surpassed Rwanda’s 1994 casualty toll. “Now, let me say that the [Eminent Personalities] panel understands that until Rwanda’s borders are secure, there will always be these depredations. And another terrible failure of the international community was the failure to disarm the refugee camps in the then-Zaire, because it was an invitation to the génocidairesto continue to attack Rwanda from the base within the now- Congo. So we know that has to be resolved. That’s still what’s plaguing the whole Great Lakes region.”

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