The Moon Landing and the Presidency of Paul Kagame of Rwanda have much in common. Both are shadowed in conspiracy theories. There is a network of those who believe that the Moon Landing was a great conspiracy on the part of the United States Government and faked in order to intimidate the then Soviet Union. President Kagame has convinced his loyal followers that there is a grand conspiracy against his rule and the right for Rwanda to move forward after the 1994 Genocide on the part most of the World Community.
Both of these Conspiracy Theories hold little truth. But here’s the problem: If you don’t believe in the Moon Landing, no one gets hurt (unless you’re standing in a room of astronauts – then I’d suggest you keep your opinion to yourself). If you are Rwandan and don’t believe in Paul Kagame’s conspiracy theory, there can be a severe price to pay if you speak out with your belief.
Professor Linda Melvern chronicled what she called the conspiracy against Rwanda. She says that this conspiracy is fueled by “Hutu Power ideologues,…fugitive genocidaires, and their supporters.” This is only partially true. Yes, there are fugitive genocidaires who have fled Rwanda and seek an armed and violent return. But, we must remember the genocide is at the time of this writing 19 years old. The most active genocidaires of that time would be close to age 40 now. Therefore, while some of the genocidaires are still seeking return, many have had 19 years to develop a new life and to settle. Please note that I am NOT defending the genocidaires! Genocide is a horrible crime – quite possible the worst crime that can be committed! I am saying that President Kagame is keeping the fear of Genocide alive so that he can remain in power.
Melvern’s division of Hutu and Tutsi also plays into Kagame’s hands. While right now, under Kagame, technically it is illegal to claim to be anything but Rwandan – the labels Hutu and Tutsi are illegal, by making people fear the Hutu Conspiracy, Kagame again seems like the savior. Tribe and race cannot be erased because one declares it to be so. What can be erased is our ultimate allegiance to them. For example, I am a white American male. I try to use the “whiteness” for statistical purposes only when I have to fill out forms asking for my race. I may also use my race when celebrating my heritage from my ancestors from Italy, Sweden, and Ireland. Since those ancestors were white, by default, my race comes into play, but it is not at the forefront of what I celebrate. On St. Patrick’s Day, I eat Irish food and wear green. I remember my Irish grandfather. Being white is only a factor in that my Irish Ancestors were white. I honestly don’t think about it on that day.
By erasing Hutu and Tutsi divisions – except when it’s convenient – such as when discussing the Genocide of the Tutsis, Kagame has attempted to erase the past of a nation. Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda should see themselves first as Rwandans, but they should also be allowed to celebrate their uniqueness. This does not take away from Rwanda. It adds culture and builds up Rwanda. By calling the Genocide the Genocide of the Tutsis, Kagame has made it illegal for Hutu families to properly mourn the loss of those whom they have lost in the Genocide. It is true that more Tutsis were killed. But it is more true that Rwandans were killed.
Melvern’s article claims that there is a master plan that wants to violently overthrow Kagame because the Hutu majority wants to be in power. This could be true in some circumstances, but on the whole, do people really want more war? There have been elections in Rwanda, and where has the violence come from? In the last election, one of Kagame’s opponents was beheaded. Of course the murderer was never found. Does it take a rocket scientist to link Kagame’s 93% win with the beheading of an opponent? Why was political opponent Victore Ingabire jailed (and at the time of this writing remains in jail) because she mentioned that Hutu families should be allowed to mourn their dead? Then she was charged and convicted on “thought crimes?” How exactly does one prove a thought crime? Her crimes were partially based off of Wikipedia articles (something that any Academic knows is not a credible source) and admitted lies on the part of the prosecution. Her case is now in appeal. Does any of this sound like a violent overthrow attempt? To me it sounds like people following the political process and being jailed or murdered.
Melvern’s largest error is that she blames Europe and the United States for this conspiracy against Rwanda. Nothing can be further from the truth. Kagame has been the favorite “African Son” of the West for years. He was trained at Ft. Leavenworth in the United States. This is a place where only the top US Generals get to be trained. An average US Soldier does not train there. He has received countless dollars in aid from the West and continues to do so. When the Group of Experts named Rwanda as sponsoring the M23 Militia that has invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United States refused to take any action. In a very short press release after weeks of the report being released, President Obama made a short phone call to President Kagame telling him to stop all interaction with M23. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has vehemently defended President Kagame’s dictatorial regime. So, there is no Western government threat against Rwanda!
Let’s be clear:
*The only people who deny the 1994 Genocide are sadistic people. They are obviously wrong. No one except for the sadistic few believe the Rwandan Genocide did not happen. To say otherwise is a lie.
*Only a sadistic few would say that anyone deserved to be killed in the Genocide. Most people have sympathy for ALL Rwandans because of the Genocide! I do, and everyone I know who knows about it do.
*Very few want a violent overthrow of Kagame. To be on record: I am NOT calling for an armed or violent takeover! Let the political process work, and let it work as it is intended. Stop the scare tactics of opponents and quit murdering them!
*The reason there is so much opposition against Kagame’s Rwanda has nothing to do with the citizens of Rwanda. I, for one, wish the best for Rwanda. Our problem is with the leadership’s bloodlust. Human Life has become expendable to the Kagame regime. The regime has sparked the 2 Congo wars that have killed an official 6 Million People (and probably more).
(When bringing this up in a Twitter conversation, I was sickened on 2 occasions when 2 different people asked me something to the effect of, “Oh, did you go out there and count all the dead bodies?” Where is the human compassion?)
*Since I have mentioned the Congo, all the blame cannot be put on Kagame. The Congo is very unstable. President Joseph Kabila is a weak president (at best) or an uncaring dictator (at worst). Again, all of the blame is NOT on Kagame, but at the same time, when there is an unstable situation, more instability is not needed. While Rwanda is free to defend its borders, making incursions into the Congo to go after the genocidaires was questionable. There was no distinction made between actual murderers and civilians.
Conclusion: The grand conspiracy theory that says that the world lies about Paul Kagame and Rwanda is simply untrue. It plays off of peoples’ sympathy for the 1994 Genocide. Kagame is a dictator – plain and simple – who rules by scare tactics and an iron fist. His first and only quest is power. Rwanda has made great gains under his rule – that cannot be denied. The economy is up, the nation is beautiful, and the streets are safe. These positives, however have to be looked at through the lens of what brought them there. They were brought on the blood of innocent people and maintained through deceit and emotional hostage holding.
 Hutus are one tribe along with Tutsis in Rwanda. The Twa people are a third tribe making up only 1% of the population. During the ’94 Genocide, mostly Tutsis were massacred, but Hutus were killed as well. By saying this, I have committed a crime of “Double Genocide Ideology” in Rwanda which is harshly punished.
A Genocidaire is one who participated in the mass killing of the Genocide.
 To see documentation of this see the Mapping Report of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: http://www.friendsofthecongo.org/pdf/mapping_report_en.pdf
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