Friday, 3 September 2010

Another African genocide?

The mainly-Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front is justly praised for ending the genocide in that country in 1994, after 800,000 people had been slaughtered by Hutu extremists in just 100 days – the fastest mass murder in history. The story is chronicled in the film Hotel Rwanda.

Now though, the Tutsis find themselves accused in a leaked United Nations report of genocide in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. When the genocidal Rwandan government was overthrown, more than two million Hutus are thought to have fled into the Congo, where some resumed attacks on Tutsis.

The Rwandan government then began backing Tutsi militias, who eventually overthrew the regime in Kinshasa. Other countries got involved – Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola – with the suspicion that they were trying to get their hands on a share of the Congo’s immense mineral wealth, and at least 5 million people died.

The leaked report accuses the Rwandans of killing tens of thousands of Hutu men, women and children. Rwanda has dismissed the findings as “insane”, and threatened to pull out of UN peace-keeping missions, which could be quite a blow for the organisation. The current commander of the joint UN-African Union mission in Darfur is a Rwandan.

(See also A Disastrous History of the World and my blogs of Jan 23, March 23, Sept 23, Oct 30, Dec 15, 2009 and Feb 25, 2010)


  1. Unbelievable that it still goes on and on... one of the best reports from '94 came from World Music fan and presenter of rare intelligence and energy, Andy Kershaw. In the wars recently with domestic dramas threatening to disgrace him, he has apparently been forgiven by the mighty BBC and will soon be back in the saddle. Er, sorry, not very disastrous, but nearly was, for him at least.

  2. I think it was Saladin who said: "Refrain from shedding blood, for blood that is shed seldom sleeps." How true today, as they say in the sermons.