Open Letter to Goucher College on the Suspension of Munyakazi

Below is a letter that was written on behalf of Munyakazi the Rwandan Professor of French at Goucher College, who was dismissed for allegations of having taken part in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. It is addressed to the college’s president, and has very useful information for anyone interested in learning more about the discrepancies in this case, and the handling of the Congolese situation. It raises extremely interesting points for those examining this case. Writers of the letter are encouraging everyone to send this letter to the president of Goucher college (president at goucher dot edu) including name and city/state/country of sender in solidarity.

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing this note to express my disappointment with your removal/suspension of Mr. Munyakazi as French professor at Goucher College. Especially disheartening is the fact that Mr. Munyakazi was removed from his professorship based on unsubstantiated allegations. At the same time, I would like to commend your perspicacious views that were expressed in the New York Times article, On Trail of War Criminals, NBC News Is Criticized, regarding the independence and objectivity being applied to this case (1). It is increasingly clear that anyone who expresses any dissenting opinion from that of the Rwandan Government is accused of being a Genocidaire. According to the same New York Times article, allegations against Mr. Munyakazi were written after he made a speech contradictory to that of the Rwandan Government’s version on the genocide of 1994 (1).

In a country that prides itself on freedom of speech especially in erudite institutions, it is surprising that an unsubstantiated accusation leads to the suspension of a professional. This is to an extent, a contradiction to the first Amendment of the American Constitution. Once the truth about this case comes to light, one could effectively avoid a major disaster for involved parties. Like other cases before Mr. Munyakazi, this instance may simply be a matter of the Rwandan Government looking to silence one of its critics.

For instance, in 2005, a former Rwandan Minister, Juvenal Uwilingiyimana experienced a series of disturbing occurrences related to his role in the Rwandan Genocide. While he was not directly accused of having perpetrated genocide crimes, Uwilingiyimana was coerced into providing false testimony against his former colleagues. When he refused, his body was found after a mysterious death (2). Furthermore, in 2006, Dr. Vincent Bajinya was also falsely accused of partaking in genocide crimes in 1994 by a reporter working for the BBC. He was fired from his job, and his life practically ruined. An independent investigation into his indictment discovered a Rwandan Government’s network of people whose purpose is to scout any dissenting opinions abroad and silence them (3). Could Mr. Munyakazi also be a victim of these networks?

More troubling is that even Americans who dare to contradict the Rwandan Government’s storyline are labeled genocidaires. Case in point, Dr. Peter Erlinder an outspoken critic of the Rwandan Government, has been accused by president Kagame of being a Genocidaire (4). Consider also the case of former US Ambassador to Burundi. Mr Krueger has been accused of providing weapons to Rwanda’s opposition rebels. These preposterous claims have never been substantiated (5). Such silencing tactics are employed to prevent the world from learning about the Rwandan Government’s continuing atrocities against Rwandan and Congolese people. It is regrettable that your college has inadvertently become complicit with the Rwandan Government’s punitive quest to suffocate, silence, kill, and torture anyone who may denounce their crimes against humanity.

It is extremely important to note that through two independent investigations, the Rwandan Government was indicted for war crimes, and crimes against humanity by anti terrorist French Judge Bruguière in 2006 (6), as well as Spanish judge Andreu Merelles in 2008 (7). Also in 2008, when Human Rights Watch called for the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda to end the culture of impunity, and prosecute Rwandan Government officials’ involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, Human Rights Watch’s top official Alison Des Forge was banned from entering Rwanda (8). Curiously enough, additional testimonies from former Rwandan Patriotic Army officers have surfaced detailing high ranking Rwandan officials’ war crimes during the Rwandan genocide in 1994 (9), (10).

Everyday numerous reports from the likes of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and other independent journalists are surfacing detailing the Rwandan Government’s involvement in the on-going genocide against the Congolese people. So far, an estimated six million lives have been lost. Among violent crimes being detailed by UN reports at the hands of Rwandan officials and their proxies are rape as a weapon against countless women, sodomizing teenage boys by forcing them to have sex with their own mothers before they are hacked to death, the use of child soldiers (11), amputations, displacement of millions of Congolese people (12), the destruction of Rwandan refugee camps claiming over 300,000 lives in a matter of several months (13), and committing massacres such as the ones in Kibeho in 1995 (14), just to name a few. Perpetrators of such crimes should not be allowed by the civilized world the moral high ground to judge anyone.

It is disheartening and frankly discouraging to learn that such a government has succeeded in making Goucher College take an action that may be unnecessary and could potentially ruin one’s professional life. Please consider looking into the actual facts surrounding Mr. Munyakazi’s suspension. I strongly believe that you will find him to be a victim of the Rwandan Government’s punitive actions against those whose opinions deviate from their official story line. This government is determined to fight, suppress and better yet, eliminate anyone or anything that would provide light to the world into its own crimes in the Great Lakes region of Africa. It is deplorable that the Rwandan Government has found a way of making your institution a victim in their global attempts to remove any dissenting opinions. However, I am confident that this case will be an opportunity for your institution to understand some additional elements of the Rwandan tragedy. Your reaction to the way this case was handled is commendable and I encourage you to remain impartial in this matter.

Should anyone in your college be interested in learning more, the following links will provide references to a rich documentation from reputable organizations and agencies about the topic.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Notes:

1. February 10, 2009; New York Times, NBC’S On Trail of War Criminals; by Brian Stelter

2. Former Rwandan Minister Juvenal Uwilingiyimana’s letter to the ICTR prosecutor

3. Rwandan Government sets up networks to scout dissenting voices and silence them

4. The Real Authors of the Congo Crimes. Nkunda has been arrested but who will arrest Kagame? By Dr Peter Erlinder

5. Former US Ambassador to Burundi Mr Krueger Interview

6. French Warrant seeks associates of Rwanda’s Kagame; by Reuters

7. Spain indicts 40 Rwandan officers, Los Angeles Times

8. Rwanda: End Bar on Human Rights Watch Staff Member; by Human Rights Watch

9. Former RPA Officers and President Kagame’s body guard Abdul Ruzibiza’s Testimony

10. Major General Paul Kagame behind the shooting down of late Habyarimana’s plane: an eye witness testimony, 2nd Lt. Aloys Ruyenzi, Press release, 18 January 2005

11. Lasting Wounds, Human Rights Watch

12. December 2008 UN Report

13. Fuir ou Mourir au Zaire: Le vécu d’une réfugiée rwandaise – To Flee or to Die in Zaire: Tales of a Rwandan Refugee; by Beatrice Umutesi

14. Wikipedia on Kibeho Massacres of April 1995

Other references to consider are under the following links from Amnesty International:

Rwanda: Alarming resurgence of killings

Rwanda: Ending the silence

Rwanda: The hidden violence: “disappearances” and killings continue

10 Responses

  1. […] Back To My Roots wrote an interesting post today on Open Letter to Goucher College on the Suspension of MunyakaziHere’s a quick excerptWikipedia on Kibeho Massacres of April 1995… […]

  2. I know woefully little on this topic, but now find it to be of great interest. Not to say I know NOTHING about it, but that what I know from the past is such surface info, I’d not feel comfortable commenting. Being at liberty at present( as in I do not have a job lol), I am going to look into it further. Thank you. ~Mary

  3. Hi Mary. Thank you for your comment on my blog. And thank you even more for your interest in this subject.

    It’s too bad you don’t have a job, but you could gain a wealth of knowledge in the meantime.🙂

    Feel free to ask any questions regarding the matter. There are plenty of sources and resources on this blog and on the web to help you in your quest for the truth.

    If you do not want to leave comments, you can also email me at backtomyrootsblog at gmail dot com.

    I hope to “see you” back.🙂

  4. Keith,

    You are doing a good job by exposing the truth behind the Rwandan genocide.
    It is time that the international community recognise that Kagame played a major role in the Rwanda genocide.
    In fact without Kagame ‘s invasion to Rwanda 6 million people killed in Rwanda and Congo could be alive now.
    But with the British and Americans’ support to Kagame’s regime, there is long way to go to bring justice to all Rwandans.

  5. Hi Pierre,

    thanks for your comment on my blog. but who is keith and what are you referring to?

  6. Dear Sunkissed,

    My guess is that Pierre may be referring to Keith Harmon Snow the author of the article #3 in the above open letter to the president of Goucher College.

    Thanks

  7. ah, you might be right ingma. thanks.

  8. Just dropping by.Btw, you website have great content!

  9. Keep up the excellent work here. I’m gonna reference this blog to all of my friends and people I know who were affected by the war. It’s great to finally see the truth out.

  10. kagame and musseveni the hitlers of the great lakes with Tony blair support and bill Clitton as a result 6 millions deaths in the congo 1 millions deaths in Rwanda majority are Hutus,300000 women rapes in DRC.
    with the Blessing of Rick Warren and Andrew young.with the western medias calling those tropical Nazis the JEWS of modern Africa.
    thank God For the French and the Spanish arrest Warrant theirs lies are been exposed each Day.Justice is surly but slowly getting to those greaters killers of the century.

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