Was war against Rwanda in 1990 By Tutsi Rebels Justified?

Could be…could be not, who’s to say?”

Just kidding!

Nakedmaninatree posed these questions on his blog, so I wanted to address them here, so as not to take away from his post on DRC.

But it is important to understand the reason why Kagame and the Tutsi were fighting and attempting to oust Habyarimana as they did. The Tutsi were being oppressed and discriminated against in a land that was as much theirs as it was to the Hutus (as far as I understand).

This is a very interesting statement, and it’s also important to note that Kagame had never lived in Rwanda after his family fled as refugees (so if there was any discrimination to experience, he didn’t experience any). While he may have been concerned about other Tutsis living in Rwanda, I don’t really think his overall goal was to liberate them. I think he prefers that they are the upper and ruling class though. Which was ultimately his goal.

Also, it’s important to note that during the period following 1959-1962, those Tutsi who remained in the country (who were a very large number also by the way) married and intermarried with other Hutus. Everyone was mixed with everyone else. It’s rare to find someone who is of “pure” blood, although children are associated with their fathers’ ethnic group. There was relative peace for the remaining Tutsi, but there were some who were discriminated against. It’s bound to happen, bigotry exists EVERYWHERE. There were also social programs put in place (such as affirmitive action in the USA) to account for the fact that the Tutsi were a minority. Not the smallest minority in Rwanda by the way but the largest minority.

This means the Tutsi were fighting simply for a place to live. Because so many were exiled from Rwanda they became a burden for other countries who were forced to hold them because the Hutu and Tutsi could not come to a conclusion on how to live side-by-side in their native lands.

Like I said here, they lived so peacefully side by side, that it’s rare to find a “pure” blood in the sense that they descent from Tutsis only for ever. They intermarried, went to the same schools, etc. Another reason why using the framework that there was a genocide against the tutsi  and  that tutsis were the only victims of the massacres is very inaccurate in many cases in what happened in Rwanda. It’s true, a lot of Tutsi died and certainly it was genocide, however, there were other simultaneous conflicts that really complicates things, such as the extreme rpf rebels. Many people were targeted for associating and working with them as an extremist group, so a lot of people (both hutu and tutsi) became victims of their political associations with the rpf not just because they were Tutsis. Although like I said, genocide against tutsi was a reality amongst the confusing layer of other political bloody conflicts.

The Tutsi attempted to retake their natural position as citizens of Rwanda without discrimination and the Hutu wanted them to remain gone and continue to live under discrimination. While Habyarimana advanced things for the Hutu (as Kagame has done for the Tutsi) neither of these things are without their repercussions on the other ethnicity.

There is no evidence that supports claims that Habyarimana did not want the Tutsis to return to Rwanda. In fact, I believe that there is evidence to the contrary. True there are repercussions for most things, but characterizing one whole group of people as “genocidaires” is just wrong.

And to Tutsi credit when they were advancing in on Rwanda and overthrowing the country it was the Tutsi who kept the war military-related while the Hutu were involving innocent civilians. BUT with saying that – much of the plundering of the Congo and displaced civilians within the Congo today are the result of the Kagame/Tutsi government.

Actually, during 1993 before genocide occurred, there were over one million internally displaced persons within Rwanda. Those people were fleeing the extremist Tutsi Rebels, not the Rwandan Government. Because they could have fled into Uganda where the rebels were coming from and the Rebels could have protected them from the Rwandan Government, but instead, they fled into urban areas including the capital of Kigali.

I hope this answers some of your questions. I do appreciate thought provoking questions, so I’ll look out for more. Also, note that what I’m writing is not so much placing blame, but more to provide historical accuracy based on the mystification that has occurred regarding this story.

15 Responses

  1. As I have just learned about your site I have admittedly read little on it to get a broader understanding of your views on this whole situation. However I think I can easily conclude that your sentiments lie on the Hutu side of the situation – and I do not mean that as an insult in any way shape or form, that is perfectly acceptable and even noble in many regards considering it was most definitely NOT the whole Hutu ethnicity that was involved in killings – and pretending Hutus as a whole were “genocidaires” is an incorrect blanket statement.

    With that being said I think it’s acceptable to say that there were tense relations between the two ethnicities after the situation in the 1960s (which I am not even entirely familiar with), but the displaced populations of Tutsi is verifiable. Other countries housed what was the greatest refugee areas at the time. It was most certainly a large matter. The relations were sour between the races despite the ones who could look past it (as they were only human, we all are).

    With this tension both innocent Hutu and innocent Tutsi suffered. With the Hutu majority government with Habyarimana there were documented discriminatory laws in place including one stating Hutu men were not allowed to marry Tutsi women. I have no doubt this law was ignored by the more rational of groups just living their everyday lives side-by-side with Tutsis, but the fact that it was law under Habyarimana shows discriminatory practices.

    Additionally Habyarimana and Mobutu worked together in some forms of oppression you yourself readily admitted. But given all of that Habyarimana does seem to have been the reason for the holding back of the genocide – and that shouldn’t be underestimated. He had enough power to retain white supremacists and one can readily see why such prejudice laws may’ve been in place if wealthy Hutu supremacists were threatening or demanding from Habyarimana. Honestly I don’t know why the reason didn’t start before but I think there is significance to the fact that the “genocide” did not start until after his unknown assassination.

    I put genocide in quotes because this tension had created innocent blood on both ethnicities. Perhaps this tension had been building for a while – as I have not lived there I do not know. But it was definitely documented that there was systematic murders by Hutus of Tutsi. With that being said I am positive not all Hutu took part and most likely some Hutu died attempted to help their Tutsi friend. Additionally this attack by Kagame this whole time is controversial – any war is. But even as he never lived there himself there was a strong sense of resentment by his culture – and that is understandable considering the exiled situation. Because of the discriminatory laws under Habyarimana it is unlikely the Tutsi would’ve come back with such a disadvantage – they had their pride to look after.

    And of course with this attack Hutus will flee as it is the “enemy.” But it is important to recognize that the Tutsi were fighting a battle they thought was worthy and have as decent argument as the Hutu have for not wanting them to come back with the previous power they enjoyed before the exile. But it was the Hutu that only have the documented proof of the systematic murders of civilians which did not seem to occur under Tutsi power.

    With that being said since Tutsi power took hold the government has continued to manipulate regional issues through inciting tensions among local groups. This results in many innocent deaths and can be arguably as bad as the genocide.

    Make no mistake – I am an American. I know what it is like to be shamed by members that share a similar culture. I find many qualities of America appealing and support-worthy but there are countless Americans who give the rest of us a bad name. And the “rest of us” are really the majority. Most Americans are not as cruel, dumb, and cold hearted as many of the people who have encouraged these terrible situations, but yet I am linked to them by cultural identity only. Upon speaking to me you’ll know I don’t support many of American foreign policy and that it is the result of corporate controls that keep these entangling treaties. Just as it would be wrong to claim all Americans (or MOST Americans) are bad it would be wrong to say all or most Hutu are bad – that is insane.

    Which is why I think it’s important to not try and weight the sides. It is important to show that BOTH Tutsi and Hutu have made (and are currently making) their mistakes – but to recognize them and be apart of the new Hutu-Tutsi friends pact that agrees to live peacefully among each other respecting the others differences. Ego has no place in the 21st century.

    I in no way am saying your thoughts are wrong, I just notice an emphasis on shifting the blame off the Hutu and more on the Tutsi – considering the wrap Hutu got that is understandable. But I think it’s most important to reforge a nation.

  2. Its Just absurd to Read this Posting. The person who posted it is agenocider himself or herself. You can not say that Tutsi were fighting just to get a place where to leave because they were burdens to the countries where they were staying. The world is injust. When the hollocust was stoped in 1945 , it is alledged that 10 million Germanys died but i have never had any body saying that it was a double hollocust. The same thing when you wake up and post such writing. For your information kagame has ever lived in rwanda. So he knew the suffering that the Tutsi were going through.
    Never write things just beacuse of sentiments you should base yourself on founded facts.
    Thanks

  3. @nakemaninatree – For some reason your responses keep coming up as spam. Dunno. But thanks for an awesomely long and interesting response!

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on the reconciliation part. Unfortunately I don’t think that can happen until there is leverage for both groups, and they are equally socially represented.

    I have to respond more though, and I will. Also, check out this response I provided on another post.

  4. @Joseph – Umm…I’m allowing your comments to show exactly the type of comments I don’t allow. Please don’t come on my blog calling people genocidaires…mmkay? Thx.

    If you have a sound argument, properly written, not trying to hate monger among people, I will allow it. Next time you post something like this, can’t say the same.

    Nowhere in my original post did I say they were fighting for a place to live just because they were burdens to other countries. I said, it was right for them to try and negotiate means of power sharing as Rwanda is rightfully their country as it is the Hutus…if only you had bothered to read. And I also said, kagame didn’t live in Rwanda after he was exiled along with his family. Did you really bother to read? Or do you like going around calling people genocidaires the world’s favorite and quite clearly the most effective gag order that attempts to suppress the truth?

    Like I said, write out a great counter-argument with your evidence if you have it.

    Thanks for visiting though. Do stop by again.🙂

  5. Bravo joseph: These people think they know our history. The reasons to why they are writing all this nosense is because they are not happy due to the fact that kagame stopped the Tutsi genocide yet the whole world was just watching. the world has failed to bring peace in the middle east. Yet kagame has managed to bring stability in Rwanda and in the region. I think people should not be influenced by those who did the genocide. they should rather come and see what is happening in Rwanda at the moment.

  6. @Ngabonziza:

    Ah, Kagame, America’s favorite African bitch. Yeah, the world stood by and watched Kagame assassinate two presidents, armed him while he terrorized two countries under the pretenses of saving Tutsi from genocide and promoted all those who helped him. History is funny that way.

    The level of terrorism that exists for citizens who dare dissent or assert themselves is unbelievable in Rwanda right now. Real democratic right?

    And we’re so quick to point fingers at “those who did the genocide” right? How do we know if you’re not among them and you contributed to the genocide?

  7. To everyone –

    I think it could be easily agreed that with power in this modern world tends to breed corruption. This is true where I live here in America and it is true in the small country of Rwanda. There are very few national or global leaders with power that are not facilitating corruption or discrimination in some form.

    Kagame may not have been born in Rwanda but I have a great comparison for the importance of this fact. When Africans were shipped to America as slaves the first generation of “freed” blacks after the Civil War did NOT forget about what the government had done to the previous generation. Additionally the American government may have “freed” the slaves but they were still discriminatory toward the whole African-American race.

    Similarly Kagame felt he could not forget the struggle of his people to live in the country in which they came from even though he was first-generation Ugandan (or whatever he was). The situation the Tutsi had to live in were not better in Uganda than Rwanda – to the Tutsi Rwanda was their home.

    But with the power he gathered he sacrificed innocent lives. This is a natural consequence of power – the corruption – the use of force. And Kagame replaced to previous person of power – Habyarimana, who was also corrupted by power instilling discriminatory laws. Today there may be stability in Rwanda (this is something I personally am unaware of) but at what expense to the Hutu? Does Kagame instill similar discriminatory laws for the trade of stability?

    Additionally Kagame has used his greed to continue the plundering of Congolese raw material. Kagame has been at the root of inciting ethnic tensions in Eastern Congo because Kabila did not allow Rwanda to control the Congolese government. And likewise the original Kabila has equally as dubious a past as Kagame or Habyarimana. There are no reasons to celebrate these leaders – they will continue to do what they will do regardless. The obvious thing is to focus on the reconciliation.

    If you are a Hutu you say “I recognize that there were terrible atrocities on both sides during the last half-century. But I, personally, am not one of those Hutu who committed that act and I am ready and mature enough to make peace with my Tutsi neighbor.” Likewise if you are Tutsi you say the same thing only switching “Hutu” and “Tutsi” around.

    Laying blame – especially if you did not lose someone personally from the mess – is not effective in creating peace. If you did lose someone personally the best thing you could do for that person is not become what had killed them – and what killed them was blanket blaming… of a whole ethnicity. There was an individual who pulled that trigger – it is your job to never be that individual and dissuade others (not through blame but through connections) to be the person behind the trigger. And the best way to make sure nobody is behind that trigger is resolving a half-century long battle that has no winners and only losers.

    To Sunkissed – I appreciate your response and read your entry. I understand your beliefs and your resources and there may be verifiability to it all. It’s hard since the documentation was scrapped to ever know if it was a forgery or not. But whether it was the Tutsi/Americans who killed Habyarimana or Hutu extremists themselves it’s secondary to fighting for peaceful and civil relations.

  8. nakedmaninthetree –

    I don’t want you to feel as though you are moderating between Hutus and Tutsi because 1. you don’t have to, and 2. that’s not what this discussion is about 3. it probably won’t stop the back and fourth because this issue is much more than a discussion on a blog. Because even as everyone might “agree” here, innocent people are dying, and being tried for crimes they didn’t commit, while some of the criminals walk around free. And the world supports and perpetuates that system because they don’t know any better. The information has deliberately been kept from them. I’m doing my research and finding out a lot.

    Also, you should be real careful about assuming the identity of posters, and their association/identification. Because as you can see, without knowing my identity or background, I’ve also been labeled a genocidaire. Real peculiar don’t you think?

    EVERYONE:

    As long as criminals continue to roam free with IMPUNITY, there may be no peace or reconciliation for Rwandans. Once the playing field is leveled for both sides, and both sides can speak freely about their experiences and what occurred and what they saw, without one group’s experiences being trivialized, and this forceful suppression of information is stopped, real progress can be made.

    This discussion, at least for me, and the majority of my other posts deals with the issue of accountability. A whole group of people has been demonized and blamed for crimes which were committed by extremists in BOTH SIDES due to deliberate misinformation and propaganda. The playing field needs to be leveled so that the involved parties can come to terms with what happened and they can find sustainable solutions for peace.

    One minor (major actually) detail that seems to be constantly overlooked is that there were probably as many if not more (definitely more) Hutus who died during the genocide because of the simultaneous war and political tension/conflict which is often overlooked. Some sources claim that for every Tutsi that was killed, two Hutus were killed. Yet only Tutsi were victims worthr remembering right? WRONG. They are the only ones who are “allowed” to talk about victims they lost in the genocide period, they are the ones who are “allowed” to heal from the atrocities, while innocent Hutus who also lost people in the genocide, who know a different reality of what happened are paying for Kagame’s crimes.

    And let’s not simplify what happened and label them moderates, because that’s assuming that they along with ALL TUTSIs supported the extremist Tutsi Rebels (a subjective claim that should be left up to the individuals to speak for themselves – which they can’t because if they do and they disagree with the “moderate” label being given to them and they don’t support the Tutsi rebels they are automatically “genocidaires”). Notice how anyone who speaks otherwise is considered a “genocidaire” regardless of being Rwandan.

    I am simply providing a voice for the voiceless.

  9. Everyone has the right to contribute an intellectual perspective of whatever issue that faces the human race. The world is becoming smaller and a genocide in Rwanda is a genocide in United States. We may not loose people in United States but the pictures we see on TV screens are equally humiliating. We feel as though part of us has died with those in such tragedies. the problem with revolutionaries, especially armed ones, is that they end up producing a worst-state of terror than their predecessors. Che guevarra, Fidel Castro, Kagame, Museveni are typical examples.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am a Rwandan by Nationality who believes that the world has failed in Rwanda once again by delaying the prosecution of the RPF members. Currently, I am working on petitioning the US government to fund a tribunal for RPF members. Please join me in doing so for your respective governments. Simply the culture of impunity must be stopped once for all. We do not need sacred cows anymore and anybody who sheds human blood should be held accountable.
    Judging by the results that followed the RPF invasion, one can simply conclude that the Tutsi revolution was not worth all the blood. Kagame knew early in advance that any attempts to cieze Kigali by force would lead to genocides. The decision to strike president Habyarimana’s plane was a poor military strategy. The poor fellow had just returned after signing a peace deal with his-would be assassinators. This made many Rwandans to lose confidence in the governing institutions and resulted to Anarchy. Considering that just rigging elections in Kenya can spark ethnic tension, there is no doubt that the killing of Habyarimana sparked the genocides.

    The former US Ambassador to Rwanda has denied vehemently that he does not think the Hutu government in Kigali had any plans to exterminate the Tutsi before president Habyarimana’s death. He believes that such a plan would not have gone unnoticed by the CIA. The latest findings reveal that the CIA was actively involved in the Rwandan cataclysmic fighting on the side of RPF Kagame without the knowledge of the Department of State. No wonder most top US officials were surprised by the events!!!

    Again, there is this top USAID diplomat who organized a Tutsi conference in Washington DC to attack Rwanda. The guy has now confessed after realizing that it will never be simple for Kagame.
    Although, Kagames RPF managed information wisely and manipulated the books, it seems they never succeeded. Their techniques included killing people and finally incinerating bodies so as to kill evidence. This is recorded by a 1996 New York Times.

    People like me still managed to survive, and to keep quiet is to comply with this tyrants. That is why we shall never stop until justice prevails. God bless Rwanda

  10. to keep quiet is to comply with this tyrants.

    Absolutely. I couldn’t have said it better myself. There is so much misinformation out there…and some people can only take the real information in small doses. But I appreciate your contribution.

    If you would like, email me more information about the petition you’re working on, and I can make a blog post and other announcements about it. Email at: backtomyrootsblog at gmail.com

  11. Soon, Rwandan schoolchildren will be studying history again, after a 14-year moratorium.

    What will they be studying, truth or propaganda?

    http://claudeadams.blogspot.com/2008/05/rwanda-toward-real-history.html

  12. thanks for sharing clawman. that was an interesting read. i’ll bring it up to the main page.

  13. […] politics, and fails to inform viewers that the conflict Dallaire was monitoring started when Rwanda was attacked and invaded by a rebel group from neighboring Uganda. She also fails to tell viewers that these […]

  14. […] heated debates insued as more people learned about the RPF’s crimes against Rwanda before 1994, and how successful propaganda was concocted in their favor from the very beginning such as the […]

  15. […] thing many do not realize is that the RPF is notorious for terror and intimidation. From the time they attacked a sovereign nation in 1990 and creating a four year war that culminated in the genocide, to the five million deaths in the […]

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