The Rwandan government’s threat to withdraw its 3,400 personnel serving with the UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur (see my blog of Sept 3) seems to have had the desired effect. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon quickly jetted into the Rwandan capital, Kigali, to tell President Paul Kagame that he was “disappointed” about the leaking of a UN report accusing Rwandan forces of murdering tens of thousands of Hutus in the Congo.
A team from the UN’s office for the High Commissioner on Human Rights has catalogued more than 600 incidents, and it claims that President Kagame’s Hutu forces were involved in more than 100 of them.
In 1996, for example, Rwandan troops are said to have gone to the Chimanga refugee camp. They told the refugees they would be going back home. Then, on an apparently pre-arranged signal, they opened fire, killing up to 800.
Back in 1994, it was President Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front that put an end to the mass murder of Tutsis by extremist Hutus in Rwanda. Many of the perpetrators fled to the Congo, where they hid among a million other Hutus who had fled fearing for their lives under the new regime. It was when the genocide organisers started re-grouping that President Kagame ordered the invasion.