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Portions of this testimony appear in the July 26, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. See also testimony by Wayne Madsen, and article "UN's Rwanda Tribunal Tainted by Expediency."

Report by Uwe Friesecke,
Prepared for the Defense Team
In the Ntagerura Case,
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,
Arusha, Tanzania,
June 25, 2002

Strategic Considerations of the
Rwandan Catastrophe of 1994

If one searches for the reason of the Rwandan catastrophe of 1994 strategic factors are more often neglected than acknowledged. But without taking them into account, the truth cannot be found. And justice becomes selective. While local actors are being punished, the often more powerful international culprits go untouched. The events in Rwanda in 1994 were not an internal armed conflict. They were caused by international intervention from the outside. To limit the discussion one-sidedly to the internal dynamics of Rwandan society and history neglects the fact that it were interventions from the outside, which set the conditions for the catastrophe to unfold and helped one side of the conflict to conduct its military operations. Western powers, most prominently the Anglo-American powers with the Francophone powers acting as competing junior partners, have caused the crisis in the Great Lakes region of Africa during the 1980s and 1990s in a twofold manner and are therefore responsible for the human catastrophe that followed.

First, they ruined the region like the rest of the continent through the International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) structural adjustment policy economically. Secondly, they intervened with covert operations to manipulate simmering conflicts for the purpose of political controle. The combination of both led to the desaster in Rwanda in 1994. To understand this, the following strategic considerations must be taken into account:

  1. Events in Rwanda in 1994 have to be seen in the context of the war which started in 1990 and continued in the series of armed conflicts in the Central African region up to the present. It becomes clear that these conflicts are largly founded on a geopolitical strategy of Western powers, most prominently the United States and Great Britain, towards Africa, which can best be characterized as neocolonialist.

  2. The specific involvement of the US and British governments with the party which started the war in 1990, amounts to a far reaching political, if not juridical indictment of those governments for the criminal consequences of their actions.

  3. The economic conditions, imposed by the international financial institutions on the Habyarimana government destroyed the social fabric of Rwanda right at the time when war was launched against it, intensifying the sense of desperation among the population.

  4. The political struggle over the right of refugees to return turned into a violent powerstruggle and the ghosts of Rwanda's past, of the conflict between the majority and minority population groups, came back full force. The assassinations of three Hutu Presidents within a period of six months escalated the tensions to the bursting point.

  5. The Western powers never showed any serious committment to be the guarantor of the questionable Arusha peace agrement. After its breakdown, concious of its consequences, they decided against an intervention to stopp the carnage.

  6. Events in Rwanda and the region show, that the motivation for Western policy in Africa is not just interest in raw materials. It is also based in the devilish ideology of population controle.

  7. Those considerations show, that the often-disseminated theory, that events in Rwanda in 1994 were the result of one ethnic group having committed genocide against another ethnic group is not based on the totality of facts. Therefore, it is highly questionable to consider members of the political elite of this first group to be guilty of having committed genocide, because of their affiliation and government function. Such accusations become even more questionable in the case of Andre Ntagerura, who had been known for his pro-development commitment.
1. Anglo-American neocolonial desire.

The October 1, 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda by troops calling themselves members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), started a process of devastating regional wars, which has not stopped to this day. In Rwanda the war resulted in the assumption of power by the RPF in July of 1994. Two years later Rwandan, Burundian and Ugandan troops invaded Zaire, erased the camps of refugees which had fled from Rwanda and Burundi in Zaire's Kivu province, and drove a so called rebel force, the Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF), with its new leader Laurent Kabila, all the way to power in Kinshasa in May of 1997. One year later troops from Uganda and Rwanda again invaded Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, under the pretext of supporting rebel movements, the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD). The armies of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola intervened to save the Kinshasa government and in a stationary war faced the invading forces along a frontline dividing the Congo.

The Financial Times of London called this cynically "Africa's First World War".[1] The magnitude of human suffering and the loss of life goes far beyond anything the world has seen since World War II. A conservative estimate would put the number of dead resulting directly or indirectly from the conflicts in East/Central Africa in the last twelve years at more than 5 million. But they could be as many as 8 million. In the meantime, the Ugandan and Rwandan controlled rebel forces in Congo's East loot the country of its natural recources, especially diamonds and coltan, like never before.

How was it possible that after the end of the cold war in 1990, the world allowed this part of Africa to collapse to such debth of barbarism and suffering? Was not a peace dividend promised to the countries of the developing sector? And was Africa not supposed to receive a double dividend from the end of the cold war and of the apartheid system in South Africa? It would be naive to try to find answers to these questions in the local conditions. Africa has become the target of a dangerous new form of unilateralism which emerged after the Soviet Union disintegrated as a superpower. In Africa the Anglo-American alliance of Great Britain and the United States led this type of unilateralism to new extremes with old methods. The new extremes are the dimension of exploitation of the natural recources of Africa and of the devastation inflicted upon the population. The old methods are covert military and intelligence operations to exploit and manipulate local and regional conflicts for the purpose of political and economic control. The new unilateralism confronts Africa with an attempt by the Anglo-American establishment to recolonise the continent.

The British press led this discussion openly. One example is an article by Norman Stone in the August 18, 1996 edition of the Observer under the title "Why the Empire must strike back: Only a programme of 'enlightened re-imperialism' from Europe can put right the bloody mess made of its former colonies in Africa".[2] Stone argued:

"Liberian massacres have become so commonplace as not even to rate a casual news item. Somalia is a continuing mess, worsened by the absurd recent international antics to rescue it. No one seems to have any idea what might be done about Rwanda and Burundi, where the massacres go on.... Re-imperialism now begins to make sense again, and the Europeans would be in a good position to push through some sort of international mandate...Now with much of Africa a bloody mess, we are back to where we were before 'the Scramble of Africa' got underway in the 1880s....

"A hundred years ago, it would have seemed obvious to well-intentioned observers of the African scene that an international mandate should be given to civilized states to intervene in the maintenance of order. Empires do not have to be formal or tyrannical...There are times when they do good, and the post-independence history of Africa shows that this is one of them."

The hypocrisy, though, is that much of the "bloody mess" was created by Western policies of economic and financial injustice towards Africa which is inherent in the policies of the old Bretton Woods institutions World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). And furthermore very often Western governments and secret services have bloody hands from intervening directly into the affairs of African nations. It took 40 years for the Belgian government to admit its involvement in the murder of Patrice Lumumba in Congo in January of 1962 and to apologize for it.[3] It took 30 years for the British Foreign Office to release the documents which show that Britain and Israel were the real force behind the 1971 Idi Amin coup against Milton Obote.[4] It does not need to take again 30 or 40 years until investigations show how the US and British governments were involved in the series of wars and powerchanges in Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo starting in October of 1990. The evidence is already clear today.

In April and May of 2001 US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney sponsored hearings before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights Committee on International Relations on the humanitarian crisis in Central Africa.[5] In her opening statement McKinney said:"The accounts we are about to hear today assist us in understanding just why Africa is in the state it is in today. You will hear that at the heart of Africa's suffering is the West's, and most notably the United States' desire to access Africa's diamonds, oil, natural gas, and other precious resources. You will hear that the West, and most notably the United States, has set in motion a policy of oppression, destabilisation and tempered, not by moral principle, but by a ruthless desire to enrich itself on Africa's fabulous wealth. While falsely pretending to be the friends and allies of many African countries, many western nations, and I'm ashamed to say most notably the United States, have in reality betrayed those countries' trust and instead, have relentlessly persued their own selfish military and economic policies. Western countries have incited rebellion against stable African governments by encouraging and even arming opposition parties and rebel groups to begin armed insurrection. The Western nations have even actively participated in the asssassination of duly elected and legitimate African Heads of State and replaced them with corrupted and malleable officials. Western nations have even encouraged and been complicit in the unlawful invasion by African nations into neighboring countries."

The hearings heard testimony how Commonwealth companies, such as American Mineral Fields, Inc. or Barick Gold, Inc., which counted former US President George Bush, sen., and former Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney as members of its International Advisory Board, were making deals about future mining rights with rebel forces in the Congo during the wars.[5a] The hearing discussed how the activities of these companies during the first Rwandan invasion of Congo/Zaire in 1996 overlapped the activities of US intelligence operatives in connection with the advance of Laurent Kabila's Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL). Such officials were from the US Embassies in Kinshasa, Kigali, and Kampala, as well as from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

The hearing heard testimony how US covert operations supported the first Rwandan invasion of Congo in 1996 as well as the second one in 1998. Part of the support was an official US training program, called Enhanced International Military Education and Training (E-IMET) which was conducted for the RPF government in Kigali prior to the invasion of Congo-Zaire in October of 1996. But during the 1996/97 and again during the 1998 to the present campaign of the Rwandan and Ugandan military inside the Congo, covert operations of US forces including mercenaries or PMCs (Private Military Contractors) such as Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) from Alexandria, Virginia, USA, played a critical role.[5b] Sources in the Great Lakes region have repeatedly reported the presence of black US soldiers among the Rwandan and rebell forces. The US Pentagon and intelligence agencies supposedly also supplied and still supply satellite and other intelligence to the invading forces during the different phases of combat in Eastern Congo.

In summary, Wayne Madsen stated at the congressional hearing on May 17, 2001: "It is beyond time for the Congress to seriously examine the role of the United States in the genocide and civil wars of central Africa, as well as the role That PMCs currently play in other African trouble spots like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, angola, Ethiopia, Sudan and Cabinda. At the very least, The United States, as the world's leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example of a critical self-inspection."[5b]

If it is so clearly established that US and British Commonwealth private and government interests were involved in those operations which the RPF government in Rwanda started for occupation of the Congo since 1994, the question arises, how deeply were they involved before that in the process from 1990 to 1994 when the RPF took power in Rwanda?

2. U.S. and British governments on the side
of the attacking war-party.

Emergence of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and the invasion of Rwanda in 1990

In the course of the powerstruggle in Rwanda after 1959 tens of thousands of Tutsi fled into exile to neighbouring countries or overseas. By the middle of the 80s a Rwandan Tutsi diaspora was well established in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Uganda, Kenya, and other African countries. Many were young children when they left with their parents or had already been born in exile.[6] They only knew about Rwanda from the memories of their parents. In Uganda the Rwanda Refugees Welfare Association (RRWF) was organized. It later became the Rwandan Alliance for National Unity (RANU). Between 1981 and 1986, the year Museveni took power in Kampala, RANU operated from Nairobi, Kenya. Its seventh congress was held again in Kampala in December 1987, when the name was changed into Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF). It had now become a political organisation striving to achieve the return of the refugees and their children to Rwanda.

During the Obote regime in Uganda thousands of Rwandans in exile joined Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) and fought with him until victory in 1986. The two most prominent were Fred Rwigyema, who commanded the RPF troops at the beginning of the invasion of Rwanda on Oct. 1, 1990 and Paul Kagame, who took over the military command of the RPF after Rwigyema was killed. Rwigyema knew Museveni from exile in Tanzania in the 70s. Both Rigyema and Kagame belonged to the small group of Museveni friends, who started his guerilla war in Uganda in 1981. Museveni, Rwigyema and Kagame belonged to what some have called the 'Dar Es Salaam Kindergarten' of left radical revolutionaries firmly entrenched in the ideology of Franz Fanon and his glorification of violence as a means of revolutionary change.

A further consolidation of the RPF's strategy to mobilize the exile community for a return to Rwanda took place at the world congress of Rwandese refugees held in Washington DC in August of 1988. This congress was organized by the Association of Banyarwandans in Diaspora in Washington, supported by the US Committee of Refugees, a government funded organisation, the executive director of which was Roger Winter. The Banyarwanda newsletter at the time thanked Winter for his"daily efforts and contacts on their behalf."[7] Roger Winter became a committed lobbyist for John Garang, the rebell leader and Museveni ally of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), and for the cause of the RPF in Washington. He was among the RPF troops when they made their final move towards Kigali in the summer of 1994.In November of 1996, during the attack of ADFL and Rwandan forces on the Muganga refugee camp outside of Goma in Eastern Zaire, he was with Laurent Kabila. Of the later he spoke during testimony to the House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights on Dec. 4, 1996, in Washington.

The role of Roger Winter among the RPF raises a critical question. How much was he as a US official involved in influencing the decision of the RPF to adopt a policy of the right of refugees to return by force to Rwanda? It is not known that he ever discouraged the RPF leadership from their strategy of violent return. On the contrary, from his praise for the RPF's military victory in Rwanda in 1994 one can only conclude that he was supporting it. Possibly he encouraged the RPF leadership in this strategy. This constitutes a serious problem for the US government at the time and it should be further investigated. Rwanda had an internationally recognized government, which enjoyed normal diplomatic relations to Washington, other states, and the United Nations. How then could the US government directly or indirectly support the RPF, which was committed to fighting their way back into Rwanda by violent means? It fits into the strategy to use rebel warfare as a means of changing power in Africa, which later became so obvious in Washington.

The declared RPF intention to return to Rwanda by force should have prompted a strong counterreaction from the US government, because it clearly is a violation of international conventions.

One should just imagine if East German refugees, of which there were tens of thousands in West Germany during the 60s, had organized themselves into an organisation which would have attempted to invade the GDR in 1980. This would probably have caused WW III. But more likely, it would have been stopped early by the US, British and French military forces in Germany.

The RPF leadership drove its committment to return to Rwanda, if need be by force, to its conclusion and invaded Rwanda from Uganda on Oct. 1, 1990. The overwhelming majority of these well armed fighters were active members of the Uganda National Resistance Army (NRA). The military leaders of the RPF were all high ranking officers in Museveni's army. So it would be fair to say, that on Oct. 1, 1990 the Ugandan Army invaded Rwanda, even if they called themselves "rebells". Fred Rigyema, the commander of the RPF forces, was a major general of the NRA and its Deputy Commander. Paul Kagame was a major in the NRA and Head of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Dr. Peter Baingaina was also a major and head of the NRA Medical Services. Chris Bunyenzi was a major and commanding officer of the NRA's 306 Brigade. Major Sam Kaka was commanding officer of the military police.[8]

Even though President Museveni of Uganda has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the invasion beforehand, this is not credible. Especially because his assurances to Rwandan President Habyarimana that he would stopp the "Rwandan boys" were never fullfilled. Preliminarily, the RPF invasion suffered a serious defeat from the Rwandan army, which received military support from France, Belgium and Zaire. Of the 4,000 men invasion force, approximately 1,800 were killed and the remaining were driven back over the boarder to Uganda. If President Museveni had seriously wanted to end the invasion, he could have done it then. But, instead, the RPF under the new leadership of Major Paul Kagame, who had for this purpose come back from his training course at the United States Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, was able to regroup and prepare for the next attack. This was only possible with massive logistical support from the Ugandan army. This alone proves that the Ugandan President was committed to this war.

The invasion of Rwanda in October of 1990 took place while world attention was already focussed on the United States build up for the war against Iraq, which began in January of 1991. Iraq was punished because of its invasion of Kuwait in the summer of 1990. But, for the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda, a different logic applied. That invasion was not only not critizised, but fully supported by the US and British governments.

The US Pentagon had a military training program for Ugandan officers. Major Kagame was part of this. When he left Fort Leavenworth in the middle of an unfinished course to go back to Uganda, the US military and intelligence services knew for what purpose, to lead troops in a war in Rwanda. Only four month after the RPF invading force was crushed in Rwanda and driven back into Uganda, Kagame had managed to assemble a new force of 5,000 well equipped men to strike against Ruhengeri on January 23, 1991. By the end of 1992 the RPF force in Rwanda numbered about 12,000 men. To keep such an army supplied with food, uniforms, weapons, transportation, and communication, means the deployment of a significant logistical apparatus and financial resources. While some of the money may have been contributed by the Tutsi diaspora worldwide, the core of the support could only have been state sponsored. The Ugandan military and thereby the Ugandan government was supplying the RPF.

It was, ironically, the Ugandan President himself, who admitted to this support for the RPF. In an article for the Ugandan newspaper The Monitor, he wrote on May 30, 1999 that "Uganda decided on a two-course action: 1) to help the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) materially so that they are not defeated; 2) to encourage the dialogue between President Habyarimana and the Rwandese in the diaspora." In the same article, Museveni recalls, how he had trained the RPF leader Fred Rwigyema as young boy in Mozambique for guerrilla warfare and how Rwigyema, than a mayor general, was among 4,000 men of Rwandan origin, who were part of Uganda's new army.[9] Museveni than explaines that in 1996 he gave Maj. Gen. Kagame, by than in power as Minister of Defense in Kigali, the idea to "recruit a force of about 1,200 soldiers from among the Masisi Tutsi, train them and make them part of the Rwanda Patriotic Army, in order to keep them as a stand-by force." Kagame actually implemented the idea and by August of 1996 had 2,000 of them ready for the invasion of Congo/Zaire which was the beginning of L. Kabila's march to power.[10] The Uganda President describes in these articles exactly the same modus operandi that he followed in preparing the invasion of Rwanda in 1990. Museveni had these several thousand men and high ranking officers of Rwandese origin as a stand-by force for an attack on Rwanda in his army, the Uganda National Resistance Army (NRA). When they attacked, they were called "Tutsi-rebels" even though they were the Ugandan army.

As reflected in press coverage of the time, Western governments and secret services were fully aware of these methods of special warfare, Uganda used against its neighbours. For example, Germany's senior Africa correspondent Gunther Krabbe published an analysis in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung with the title "Africa's Specialist for Guerrillas: where the Ugandan Head of State Museveni interferes."[11]

Nevertheless, the Uganda government was not only politically supported by the West but economically, it was and still is fully dependent on the US and British governments. To this day, half of the Ugandan budget is financed by donors. In 1987 Lynda Chalker, Britain's Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, worked for an agreement between the government of Uganda and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was reached in June.[12] Since that time the Ugandan government implemented the IMF's policy of structural adjustment. Currency devaluation, budget austerity, privatisation, market deregulations, and tarif liberalisation made the Uganda of President Museveni the IMF's show case for Africa. And the praise for him was unanimous among Western governments, finance officials, and bankers, especially from Uganda's former colonial power, Britain. The praise for Yoweri Museveni, the former radical Maoist and admirer of Franz Fanon's theory of revolutionary violence,[13] was so much, that he was invited to give a speech to the 1995 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos.[14]

Lynda Chalker, who was not just a member of the cabinet of John Mayor, but also of the Queens Privy Council, was enjoying among the closest relations to the Ugandan President. Richard Dowden, one of Britain's most senior Africa editors correctly spoke of the "strong personal chemistry between Baroness Chalker, the Minister for Oversees Development, and President Museveni. One of her first trips to Africa was to Uganda in 1986, days after Museveni took power, and the relationship between the baroness and the philosopher-fighter has blossomed."[15]

Sources report, that he introduced the RPF leader, Paul Kagame to her. After the RPF took power in Kigali in July of 1994, Lynda Chalker was the first high ranking western official to visit Kigali. She immediately set up an embassy in Kigali, which Britain did not have before. During her visits to the region, besides seeing Museveni in Kampala, she would always stopp over in Kigali, where Paul Kagame would rearrange his schedule to meet with her. After she left her government position, Chalker became an advisor to the World Bank and to the Davos World Economic Forum. She also entered into a business relationsship with the Dutch multinational Unilever. And her relationship to the RPF leader, now President of Rwanda, is still close. In the US President Museveni and Vice President Kagame were well connected to the government, including to such semiofficial groups as the Prayer Breakfeast.

For Western, in particular Anglo-American strategists Yoweri Museveni epitomized the new generation of African leaders, who ironically changed from radical Marxists in the 1970s Dar Es Salaam University, to liberal market reformists during the 1980s and 90s and who would be used by the US and British governments for their geopolitical interests in Africa. Besides implementing the IMF's policies, Washington and London at the beginning of the 1990s built up an alliance around the Ugandan government against the so called fundamentalist threat from Sudan in the North. Secondly, they started a joint operation between Uganda and the RPF of Rwanda to rearrange the entire powerstructure of Central and Southern Africa. The war in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 was the beginning of this process. This Anglo-American design became more obvious during the following events in Congo. That is why President Nujoma of Namibia in 1998 called the march of Rwandan and Ugandan troops into Congo a security threat to Namibia, and together with Zimbabwe, deployed troops to stop it.

After Laurent Kabila took power in Kinshasa, the London Times of May 20, 1997 describes the Anglo-American geopolitics behind Kabila's success. "In November last year Washington gave diplomatic support to the mainly Tutsi rebellion in eastern Zaire which grew into a revolution and toppled Mr. Mobutu last weekend. As a result French officials saw an 'Anglophone conspiracy' behind Mr. Kabila's movement in which Britain supplied the know-how of the imperial era, and Americans the money and military training necessary for the Tutsis to storm across Zaire in only seven month. There may be some truth in the conspiracy theory. Among the beneficiaries of Zaire's change of regime have been George Bush, who along with former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, is a member of the advisory board of Toronto-based Barrick Gold, which bought a gold concession for 80,000 sqare kilometres in northeast Zaire from the then rebels. But the conspiracy is deeper and more subtle." The article than describes the alliance of the new African leaders, Anglo-American strategy would count on: Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, John Garang of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), Issias Afewerki of Eritrea and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.[16]

While the local population keeps starving and dying, the Rwandan and Ugandan controlled rebel movements in Eastern Congo today deliver precious raw materials to Europe and North America. The senior German journalist with 40 years of experience in Central Africa, Peter Scholl-Latour, recently reported about a revealing incident in the summer of 2000 which he was told about by reliable sources in Kigali. When tensions grew between the former allies Rwanda and Uganda and fighting erupted among their troops in the Congo, the US Undersecretary of State for Africa, Susan Rice, personally threatened both governments with consequences if the supply of the strategic mineral Coltan to the US would not immediately resume.[17]

3. Rwanda's economic ruin.

During the 1970s and the first years of the 1980s Rwanda enjoyed relative economic stability and food selfsufficiency. Rwanda had one of the best road systems in the region, and post and telephone services as well as electricity supply were expanding. The health and education systems were improving, and the government had ambitious plans for further development. But, as in the rest of Africa, these plans were all aborted under the pressure from the international financial institutions. In April of 1984 the government of President Habyarimana introduced a program of 'rigour and austerity' which suspended many projects. Effected also by falling coffee prices and high import costs, especially for petrol, Rwanda began to slide into economic crisis. In June of 1989 the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) collapsed under pressure to liberalise the world markets in favor of the big multinational coffee traders. With 75% of Rwanda's export earnings coming traditionally from coffee, the price collapse reduced Rwandas foreign earnings by 50%. In 1988 and 1989 the country was effected by serious drought causing a famine in the south. Thousands of refugees who streamed into Rwanda, fleeing from neighbouring Burundi made the situation for the government even more difficult.

Under those circumstances, the international financial institutions IMF and World Bank mercilessly pushed the Rwandan government into implementing a structural adjustment program. The elements of this policy were the same notorious measures which had already failed elsewhere in Africa, but in the case of Rwanda, it pushed the country into economic disintegration at the very moment when it was attacked by the invasion from Uganda. The first devaluation of the Rwandan Franc was carried out in November 1990. This led immediately to large increases of the price of fuel and essential consumer goods. In June of 1992, in the middle of the war, the IMF insisted on the next devaluation increasing prices even further. The other measures of the SAP were trade liberalisation, lifting of subsidies to agriculture, privatisation of state enterprises and the retrenchment of civil servants. But as the government was the biggest employer with 7,000 employees in central government and more than 40,000 in local administration these measures proved to be a desaster, especially also because the government had to cope with hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled the war from the north.

By 1990, the government had to divert about 10 million dollars of the meager budget recources a year to the payment of foreign debt. Rwanda was caught in the same debt trap as almost all other African countries beginning in 1980. Rwanda started out with less than 200 million dollars foreign debt in 1980. Despite the fact that the Habyarimana government payed millions of dollars back every year, the total debt more than trippled to about 700 million dollars by 1990.[18]

The strangulation of African countries by the foreign debt is one of the worst crimes against humanity Western governments and their financial institutions have committed, because it has more than anything else contributed to creating poverty, desease and human death. In 1980 Subsaharan Africa had about 80 bn dollars foreign debt. By the end of the 1990s this had increased to more than 250 bn dollars, even though the African countries in the meantime had payed more than 200 bn dollars back.

For Rwanda, the effects of the foreign debt strangulation and the structural adjustment measures meant the destruction of the social fabric of society, which went parallel to the destruction caused by the war, and was almost complete by the beginning of 1994.

4. Rwanda's fall into violence and revenge.

The economic crisis made it more and more difficult for the Rwandan government to envisage the large scale reintegration of returning refugees of the Tutsi community abroad. Nevertheless, in 1990 President Habyarimana was ordering different government departments to prepare plans for the return of those refugees. He himself went to refugee camps in Uganda to discuss this. And a bilateral commission between Rwanda and Uganda was set up to develop plans for the return of the refugees. The commission met in Kigali in July of 1990 with the participation of the UNHCR and representatives of the OAU. An action plan for different options for the refugees was agreed upon and delegates from the refugee camps were supposed to visit Rwanda at the end of September 1990. The next meeting of the commission was scheduled for Jannuary 1991. But, instead, war started in October of 1990. Habyarimana had also agreed to constitutional changes towards democratisation following the La Baule summit of Francophone African States in June of 1990. The leadership of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and their allies in Kampala have never answered the question, why, despite those changes in President Habyarimana's government attitude, they attacked Rwanda militarily, if their only concern was to return to their home country and to help build democracy. Maybe they were just driven by narrow interests. But for the political strategists in Washington and London, who encouraged and supported their war, this cannot be cited as an excuse.

Lynda Chalker could have put pressure on the Ugandan President to stick to negotiations with President Habyarimana about the settlement of the refugee question and not go to war. As the Ugandan government depended for its survival entirely on money from the Western donors, in particular from Britain and the United States, the US government could have used their influence among the Rwandan refugees to prevent them from preparing for war. Instead, both governments did the opposite and encouraged the war drive. Therefore these Western governments bear responsibility for the disaster which followed in Rwanda and culminated in the carnage in 1994. In this way the internal eruption of violence in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 was also directly caused by the US and British governments adoption of their special form of unilateralism. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the Bush, sen. administration brought back war as a justified means of solving international conflicts. It was applied on a grand scale with Desert Storm against Irak in 1991. In the African context the war in Rwanda and later in Congo followed the same logic.

In Rwanda the war began spreading panic and the invaders were not at all wellcomed as liberators. In 1991 there were more than 100,000 displaced persons who had fled from the war in the north southwards. At the beginning of 1992 this had increased to 300,000. And the new RPF offensive in February of 1993 caused a stream of almost 1 million refugees inside the country. Under these circumstances and the disintegrating economy, it can be explained that the old traumata of Rwanda's and Burundi's history, of the tensions between the two major population groups Hutu and Tutsi, came back full force. The Rwanda Revolution of 1959 with the ensuing violence, and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Hutu in Burundi in 1972 were a reminiscence of the fragile relationship between them in the past. When then the democratically elected Hutu President of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye, was assassinated by the Tutsi military in Bujumbura in October of 1993, just three month after the Rwanda parties had signed the Arusha peace agreement, the ground for compromise in Rwanda was further destroyed. The spiral of violence escalated. Finally, the shooting down of the Presidential plane on April 6, 1994, killing President Habyarimana of Rwanda, President Ntaryamira of Burundi, the chief of the Rwandan army General Nsabimana, the commander of the Presidential Guard, Major Bagaragaza and a number of other officials had the effect equivalent to throwing a hand-grenade into an ammunitons depot. This now ment that in the course of 6 months three Hutu Presidents were assassinated. The existing tensions burst out into an orgy of violence and mass killings. For months already the country was under the effect of widespread suspicion whether one was with the government of Habyarimana or the invading forces of the RPF.

To this day, no investigation of the circumstances of the deadly attack on President Habyarimana's plane took place. Neither the RPF government in Kigali, nor the United Nations, or the Western governments undertook one. Only one thing is clear, this could not have been done in Africa without the active involvement of Western intelligence services. And whoever ordered it knew about the consequences. It would lead to the total breakdown of any basis for implementing a compromise agreement between the RPF and the Habyarimana government which it did.

5. The failed Arusha peace negotiations and
Western refusal to intervene in case of greatest need.

The US and British governments' attitude towards negotiations between the two war parties in Rwanda show the same questionable approach as their support for the war in 1990. The premise of these negotiations, which started under US and French guidance in July of 1992, was to justify and legitize the RPF's invasion after the fact. They had engaged in warfare against an internationally recognized souvereign government, and yet they were accorded the same status as this government. The question about which the negotiations took place from the beginning, was not really the sharing of power, but the gaining of power of the RPF. That this ended in the questionable formula of 60% for the government forces and 40% for the RPF forces and the sharing of 50% of all command posts of the future army was obviously no contribution to building trust among the adversaries.[19]

While negotiations between the government and the RPF went on in Arusha beginning in July of 1992, the war went on. In February of 1993 the RPF launched a massive offensive, which brought their troops within 50 kilometres of Kigali. Under pressure from Western governments the Arusha agreement was signed in August of 1993. But it soon became obvious that those Western governments had no interest in guaranteeing the implementation through the United Nations. Delegations of the Rwandan government and the RPF warned the Security Council in September of 1993 of the collapse of the agreement if a significant UN force would not be deployed rapidly to Rwanda. When the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) was finally established on Oct. 5, 1993, it had neither sufficient manpower nor logistics nor a strong enough mandate to be a guarantor for the peace process. UNAMIR was in no position to react against the rising violence in the country.

The United Nations have admitted to their failure in Rwanda in 1993 and 1994.[20] The real scandal though is the behaviour of the governments in the UN Security Council which were first of all responsible for UNAMIR's weakness. Secondly, especially the American and British governments refused any effective military action of the UN to the consequences of the fatal killing of President Habyarimana. Against the urgent request from the UN commanders in Kigali, the UN Security Council decided to reduce rather than to increase the manpower for UNAMIR. Thus, the explosion of violence against civilians and the mass killings which followed the death of the President took their toll without limits. The US, British, French and Belgian governments were fully aware of the carnage going on. Why did they not act? On April 21, the UN Security Council decided to wihtdraw UNAMIR, but one week later the same Security Council decided to increase UNPROFOR for the Balkan by more than 6000 troops. Were the Western governments calculating to have the RPF take power first, and only than intervene, like US troops did in July of 1994 to help the stranded Rwandese refugees in Goma, Zaire?

6. War as a means of population control.

The action and non-action of Western governments, in particular of the US and British governments, in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 of actively supporting a war and refusing to intervene when it was needed to save civilians, were, as we have shown, driven by geopolitical considerations. As later events in Rwanda itself and in the Congo make clear, this policy continues to this day. It reveales the utter hypocracy of Western governments, when they speak of their concern for human rights and good governance in Africa. In reality their policy is driven by nothing but strategic considerations to having access to vital raw materials. That Western powers in persuance of this strategic aim take into account the loss of life of millions points to an even more devilish side of the world-view adhered to by parts of the Western political elite. This is called the dogma of population controle. As ugly as wars may be, but, they reduce populations quite effectively. If African populations can be reduced, the longterm strategic danger that African nations would use up their precious raw materials for themselves can be eliminated. This is the ugly truth behind the paradigm shift Western Africa policy underwent during the last 30 years. Thus, Western powers foment wars and destabilisations of governments in Africa. Than, they only have to find the rebels, mercenaries or warlords to make the deals for taking the raw materials out of the continent, leaving the local population to their fate in misery.

During the days of Africa's liberation struggle in the 1950s and 60s the rapid economic development of Africa to levels of standards of living comparable to Western Europe or the United States was the generally accepted policy orientation. Underdevelopment was considered the problem, not overpopulation. This changed with the introduction of the irrationalist Malthusian dogmas of the Club of Rome in 1971 and the first World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974. From then on, socalled overpopulation was regarded as the problem for Africa, not underdevelopment. Starting with the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 "Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests", authored by than National Security Council Secretary Henry Kissinger for the United States Government in December of 1974, Neo-Malthusianism was widely introduced into the policy formulations of all Western governments and international organisations like the United Nations.[21] Other policy outlines of governments and thinktanks followed the same line, for example Jimmy Carter's Global 2000 plan. Malthusianism also became the dominant ideology in Western universities and the media, and increasingly changed public opinion., so much so that the horrific human catastrophe, the worst since World War II, which has been unleashed since 1990 in Central Africa finds no adaequate recognition, neither with Western governments nor with the general public.

7. Conclusion and the case of Andre Ntagerura.

Andre Ntagerura was a very senior member of the last government of President Habyarimana. He also belonged to the central committee of the MRND. Before being the Minister of Transportation and Communications in the first government in April of 1992 which included opposition parties, he held other portfolios before, like Social Affairs and Public Works. The MRND included him as Minister of Planning in the list of Ministers they were proposing for the broad based government agreed upon in the 1993 Arusha peace negotiations, to which the RPF did not raise any objections at the time. Minister Ntagerura had the reputation of a very competent technocrat in his field more so than a politician. He was a well respected and competent negotiator in regional organisations such as the Kagera Basin Organisation (KBO) of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania where he was working on linking Rwanda by rail through the Central Corridor to the Tanzanian railsystem to reach the port of Dar Es Salaam. He was also promoting a Northern Corridor via Uganda and Kenia to the port of Mombassa. He was committed to developing the transport- infrastructure of Rwanda and its neighbors, because he regarded this as key for overcoming the misery of the people living in the region. In this context, he reportedly was a respected Rwandan representative with international organisations such as the World Bank. In May of 1994 Ntagerura led the Rwandan government delegation to Arusha to try and negotiate a ceasefire agreement with the RPF.

The Habyarimana government was the legitimate government of Rwanda in 1990. Like any other government it clearly had the right to buy weapons and defend the country, when it was attacked. Mainly with French assistance the government increased the army from 5,000 to about 50,000 men in 1993. Given the guerilla tactics, the invading forces were using, it is understandable for the military and political leadership of the country to also organize militias. Between the end of 1990 and the beginning of 1994 the government faced a total onslaught amidst the collaps of the economy and the desperate effects of more than 1 million refugees uprooted by the advancing enemy troops. That groups of extremists played an ethnic card within the broader context of the governments efforts to survive cannot be held principally against every member of the government or the old ruling party. The stock-taking of the 1990-1994 events in Rwanda would not be complete without mentioning, that atrocities and mass-killings were committed on both sides of the political divide. But the internal human catastrophy in Rwanda would not have happened without the military, political, and intelligence services intervention from the outside. Unless the truth about this aspect of the Rwanda tragedy is uncovered, justice can not be done.

Political analysis has to uncover the processes which lead to desasters such as the catastrophe in Rwanda during the last decade of the 20th century. The contribution of political analysis to justice and reconciliation exists in drawing lessons from it. After the people of Rwanda and Burundi have lived through the horrors of fratricidal wars again and again during the second half of the 20th century, they will only be able to find longlasting peace and reconciliation among themselves if the attitude and policy of the Western powers towards this sorrow stricken part of Africa changes. The policy of promoting economic misery and conflicts must be replaced by finally creating peace through real development.


[1] Financial Times, London, November 14, 1998.

[2] The Observer, London, August 18, 1996

[3] BBC News, London, February 5, 2002.

[4] The Monitor, Kampala, March 31, 2002

[5] "Covert Action in Africa: A Smoking Gun in Washington, D.C." news brief from U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, April 16, 2001.

[5a] News brief Cynthia Mc Kinney: Statement by Keith Snow and Wayne Madson

[5b] Prepared Testimony and Statement for the Record of Wayne Madson before the Subcommittee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2001.

[6] "Rwandese Refugees in Uganda, Ogenga Otunnu," in The Path of Genocide, The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire, New Brunswick, N.J.: Surke Transaction Publishers, 1999.

[7] Impuruzu newsletter, June 1988.

[8] "An Historical Analysis of the Invasion by the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPF) Ogenga Otunnu," in The Path of Genocide, The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire, New Brunswick, N.J.: Surke Transaction Publishers, 1999.

[9] The Monitor, Kampala, May 30, 1999.

[10] The Monitor, Kampala, June 1, 1999.

[11] Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 21, 1995.

[12] New African Yearbook 2001, London: IC Publication.

[13] Yoweri T. Museveni, "Fanon's Theory on Violence: Its Verification in Liberated Mozambique."

[14] Yoweri Museveni, "What Hope for Africa?" address to 1995 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland.

[15] Richard Dowden, "Uganda Slips Through West's Democracy Net."

[16] Sam Kiley, "New Leaders Take Africa's Destiny Into Their Own Hands," in The Times of London, May 20, 1997.

[17] Peter Scholl Latour, Afrikanische Totenklage, Bertelsmann Verlag, 2002.

[18] Debt tables from World Bank data.

[19] Bruce Jones, "The Arusha Peace Process," in The Path of Genocide, The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire, New Brunswick, N.J.: Surke Transaction Publishers, 1999.

[20] Statement by the UN Secretary General, Dec. 16, 1999.

[21] NSSM 200, Dec. 10, 1974, Executive Summary.

Selected Bibliography

New African Yearbook 2001, London: IC Publications.

The Path of Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire, New Brunswick, N.J.: Surke Transaction Publishers, 1999.

L.R. Melvern, A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide, London: Zed Books, 2000.

Gerard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, 1997.

Helmut Strizek, Ruanda und Burundi von der Unabhaengigkeit zum Staatszerfall, Cologne: Weltforum Verlag, 1996.

Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalisation of Poverty Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms, 1997, 2001.

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