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Secretary Christopher and other top officials saw in Rwanda

 "genocide and partition" as early as April 26

 

 

U.S. Intelligence Warned 'Genocide' in Rwanda 

Clinton Administration Waited  to Use Word 

 

National Security Archive (Washington, DC). March 29, 2004

New Documents And Report Highlight Array Of Info Before U.S. Policymakers

U.S. intelligence reports concluded that the slaughter in Rwanda ten years ago amounted to genocide as early as April 23, 1994, while policymakers debated for another month over whether to use the word publicly, according to a new report and declassified documents posted on the Web by the National Security Archive.

Obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, the documents illuminate the vast array of 'information and intelligence' available to Clinton Administration officials during the crisis, as well as the policymaking committees and working groups that used the information.

The documents reveal:

* The CIA's top secret National Intelligence Daily, circulated to President Clinton, Vice President Gore and hundreds of senior officials, featured the slaughter in Rwanda on a daily or near-daily basis in April and May 1994, including an April 23 analysis that Rwandan rebels will continue fighting to "stop the genocide, which...is spreading south";

* The State Department's intelligence briefing for Secretary Christopher and other top officials saw in Rwanda "genocide and partition" as early as April 26, reporting declarations of "a 'final solution' to eliminate all Tutsis", but the U.S. did not officially declare the killing genocide until May 25;

* U.S. officials, including Secretary Christopher and Secretary Perry, met with and telephoned counterparts such as UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali, Gen. Romeo Dallaire, and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe throughout the crisis, with Gen. Dallaire pleading with USAID head Brian Atwood that "without U.S. equipment, UNAMIR can do virtually nothing" to save civilians in Rwanda;

* U.S. officials met throughout April and May with human rights and humanitarian agency representatives concerned with Rwanda, including a May 17 meeting where International Committee of the Red Cross official Jean de Courten told State Department Under Secretary Timothy Wirth the "mass killings" in Rwanda compared to the "genocide in Cambodia".

Archive consulting fellow William Ferroggiaro, who wrote the report and obtained the documents through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, said, "The documents show that despite Rwanda's relative unimportance to U.S. interests and despite other crises demanding their attention, U.S. officials had the capacity and resources to know what was happening in Rwanda. In a sense, the system worked: Diplomats, intelligence agencies, defense and military officials--even aid workers--provided timely information up the chain to President Clinton and his top advisors. That the Clinton Administration decided against intervention at any level was not for lack of knowledge of what was happening in Rwanda."

Ferroggiaro also serves as a research consultant to "Ghosts of Rwanda", a special two-hour Frontline documentary that will be broadcast on PBS on April 1, 2004.

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The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by publication royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.

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Source: For the report, go to: http://www.nsarchive.org/NSAEBB/NSAEBB117

 

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History of the Genocide in Rwanda

As the smallest country in Africa with the largest population, 7 million, Rwanda has had to overcome famine, overpopulation, and, most recently, a massive genocide which reduced their population by a huge amount. The country of Rwanda has had an interesting history due to their two supposed ethnic groups, the Hutus, the majority, and the Tutsis, who consist of about 15-18% of the population. The Tutsis were more prominent in the royalty and hierarchy of the country but most of them were still peasants. The Hutus were the farmers and the Tutsis ran the cattle. During the time of European Colonization, the Belgians came to Rwanda and decided to further the gap between the peaceful Hutus and Tutsis. The Belgians saw the Tutsis as more like themselves; therefore, they took them under their wing and educated them and brought them up to be the upper echelon of society. The Europeans created tribal cards to differentiate between the two groups. Believing that they were just furthering what the Tutsis had created, the Belgians created a class system. Due to their presence, the Belgians made the discrimination between the two groups greater and yet the Hutus and Tutsis were still living together peacefully. The Hutus, having no power, accepted the role of the oppressed.

In 1962, Rwanda gained their independence from Belgium. The Europeans, however, left the country in a state of discord due to the majority of Hutus who were able to gain back their power from the Tutsis, who were viewed as feudal overlords. Soon the Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (PARMEHUTU) came into power. The once oppressed Hutus decided to take revenge and many Tutsis were killed. 200,000 Tutsi refugees fled to neighboring country to escape the violence that was taking place in their country. . .  .—Trincol

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A Brief History 1400 - 1994

Once, Hutus and Tutsis lived in harmony in Central Africa. About 600 years ago, Tutsis, a tall, warrior people, moved south from Ethiopia and invaded the homeland of the Hutus. Though much smaller in number, they conquered the Hutus, who agreed to raise crops for them in return for protection.

Even in the colonial era—when Belgium ruled the area, after taking it from Germany in 1916—the two groups lived as one, speaking the same language, intermarrying, and obeying a nearly godlike Tutsi king.

Independence changed everything. The monarchy was dissolved and Belgian troops withdrawn—a power vacuum both Tutsis and Hutus fought to fill. Two new countries emerged in 1962—Rwanda, dominated by the Hutus, and Burundi by the Tutsis—and the ethnic fighting flared on and off in the following decades.

It exploded in 1994 with the civil war in Rwanda in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Tutsi rebels won control, which sent a million Hutus, fearful of revenge, into Zaire and Tanzania.

In Burundi, the Tutsis yielded power after a Hutu won the country's first democratic election in 1993. He was killed in an attempted coup four months later, and his successor in a suspicious plane crash in 1994, in which the Hutu leader of Rwanda was also killed.CNN

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Why is there conflict between Tutsis and Hutus?

The bloody history of Hutu and Tutsi conflict stained the 20th century, from the slaughter of 80,000 to 200,000 Hutus by the Tutsi army in Burundi in 1972 to the 1994 Rwanda genocide in which Hutu militias targeted Tutsis, resulting in a 100-day death toll between 800,000 and 1 million.

But many observers would be surprised to learn that the longstanding conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi has nothing to do with language or religion—they speak the same Bantu tongues as well as French, and generally practice Christianity—and many geneticists have been hard-pressed to find marked ethnic differences between the two, though the Tutsi have generally been noted to be taller. Many believe that German and Belgian colonizers tried to find differences between the Hutu and Tutsi in order to better categorize native peoples in their censuses.

Generally, the Hutu-Tutsi strife stems from class warfare, with the Tutsis perceived to have greater wealth and social status (as well as favoring cattle ranching over what is seen as the lower-class farming of the Hutus). The Tutsis are thought to have originally come from Ethiopia, and arrived after the Hutu came from Chad. The Tutsis had a monarchy dating back to the 15th century; this was overthrown at the urging of Belgian colonizers in the early 1960s and the Hutu took power by force in Rwanda. In Burundi, however, a Hutu uprising failed and the Tutsis controlled the country.WorldNews

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Hutu vs Tutsi

With the arrival of catholic missions in the African great lake Region, there was a resistance from Tutsi community against conversion. The missionaries were successful with the Hutu. Properties of Tutsis were taken away from them and given to Hutus. This was the beginning of the conflict between the two ethnic groups.

Culturally, Rwanda has a monarchy system of Tutsi monarch, the Mwami. The other area that is the northwestern part is ruled by Hutu society. The rule of the king was demolished after it received independence. Currently there seem to be no cultural difference between the Tutsi and Hutu and they speak the same Bantu language. There were marriages between a Tutsi and a Hutu. The child was reared up as per the father’s culture. The impression is that Tutsi is a class and not an ethnic identity. But there are several dissimilarities in the two groups of societies.

German rulers gave special status to Tutsis as the rulers found them to be superior to Hutus. Tutsis are well turned-out people in relation to Hutus, who are shy and timid. This earned Tutsis the chance to get educated and find a place in the government. The Hutus were in majority and this special status sparked off conflicts between the two groups. This policy was followed by the Belgians who took over control of the region after World War I. Finally in the year 1959, Belgians changed their stand and allowed Hutus to form the government through proper mandate.DifferenceBetween

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Tutsi, Hutu and Hima—Cultural Background in Rwanda

Burundi and Rwanda had already become separate Tutsi kingdoms before European occupation as the Tutsi-Hima empire broke up.  The Tutsis were a minority in both territories, and currently make up about 15% of the Burundi population and about 9% in Rwanda.  But do not overlook the fact that the Tutsis and Hutus had intermarried considerably, even with the tribal class distinctions.

Some Tutsis have more Bantu features than the "pure" Tutsis.  But the Tutsis have commonly been referred to as "the tall ones" and the Hutus "the short ones."  Many observers of the region comment that there has been no real difference other than superficial differences in features, and that the "tribal" division referred to in recent history was a class distinction exploited by the Germans and treated only by the colonialists as a difference in ethnicity.

The Colonial Era
Animosity between the "indigenous" people and the Tutsis increased due to the German, then the Belgian, colonial pattern of indirect rule.  The colonials chose the Tutsi minority as their ruling class under the suzerainty of the Belgian Empire.

Under German colonial domination from 1890, Germany first occupied what is now Burundi until the end of World War 1, when Burundi and Rwanda were joined by the League of Nations under Belgian administration as Rwanda-Urundi.

Initially Belgian indirect rule supported Tutsi power, but tension built between the two tribes.  Clashes have broken out periodically in both countries.  The Tutsis have remained dominant in military and politics in Burundi, though recently Hutus have been brought into the government.OrvilleJenkins

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Hutu and Tutsi

It has been theorized that the distinctions between Hutu and Tutsi were not emphasized until the area was colonized by European settlers. When conducting census counts, the Belgians separated Africans into Tutsi and Hutu groups based solely on appearance or wealth. The colonists believed that the Tutsi were superior because they were taller and had longer noses and therefore more similar to Europeans. On this basis, only Tutsi were allowed to participate in government or seek education. Naturally, this caused dissatisfaction among the Hutu majority. In 1959, the Belgian government reversed this practice and implemented a Hutu government. Civil wars and genocides instigated by both sides have occurred periodically ever since.Mahalo

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Hutus vs. Tutsis

The ethno-racial clashes between African tribes have been particularly murderous in Rwanda and Burundi because these two small areas are the densest in Africa. Rwanda, for example, has about seven million people in an area the size of Vermont – not a lot by Western European standards, but very dense for Africa. In this relatively small area there have lived for centuries, side by side and at each other's throats, two very different racial tribes: the Hutu and Tutsi. The Tutsi are familiar to all those who saw the grand epic movie, King Solomon's Mines (the 1950 version with Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr); they are a tall, slender, graceful, noble-looking tribe, there called the Watusi. The Tutsi are an Ethiopid, Nilotic people. The Hutu, on the other hand, are short, squat Bantu, a closer approximation to what used to be called "Negro" in America. "Negroes" are now called "black," but the problem here is that the skin color of both the Tutsi and the Hutu are much the same. The real issue, as in most other cases, is not skin color but various character traits of different population groups.

The crucial point is that, in both Rwanda and Burundi, Hutus and Tutsis have coexisted for centuries; the Tutsi are about 15 percent of the total population, the Hutu about 85 percent. And yet consistently, over the centuries, the Tutsi have totally dominated, and even enserfed, the Hutu.LewRockwell

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Hutu and Tutsi  

By Aimable Twagilimana

Gr 5-9—A Rwandan linguist explains the people of Rwanda and Burundi. He deals primarily with Rwanda, and a large portion of the book (17 pages of 60) concerns Hutu/Tutsi politics and violence since 1959. This emphasis tends to obscure the roots of the problem in the colonial period. Twagilimana accurately stresses that the Hutu, Tutsi (and Twa) share language, religion, and space, with their identities having been somewhat flexible and based on unequal status. He discusses the European colonials' racial stereotypes but does not specify the profound impact of European "scientific" racism, which assumed that Tutsi and Hutu were different "races," with the Hutu born to be forever inferior.Western-educated Africans absorbed this view. Moreover, the Belgians therefore recruited Tutsi to dominate the Church, army, and civil service; most secondary school places went to the Tutsi minority; Hutu kingdoms were "Tutsified"; and changes in land rights benefited the Tutsi. —School Library Journal

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As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda

By Catherine Claire Larson

Rwanda—bloodied, scarred and nearly destroyed by the 1994 brutality of the Hutu genocide of Tutsis—is now called an uncharted case study in forgiveness by author Larson, who was inspired by the award-winning film As We Forgive. Individual stories form prototypes: there is Rosaria, left for dead in a pile of bodies, who forgives her sisters killer. And Chantal, whose family is brutally murdered yet who forgives her neighbor for the crimes. Devota, mutilated and left for dead, survives, forgives and eventually adopts several orphans. Each story is horrible and deeply personal as Larson mines the truths of forgiveness deep in each ones tale. Helpful interludes offer readers hands-on ways to facilitate forgiveness and take the next step to reconciliation in their own lives. This isn't an easy book to read or digest, yet its message is mandatory: Forgiveness can push out the borders of what we believe is possible. Reconciliation can offer us a glimpse of the transfigured world to come.—Publishers Weekly

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Rwanda Ten Years after   Rwanda Genocide Conference  Clinton Administration  The Struggle Odes  Ode #95

The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (Film Review by Kam Williams)

 

 

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Rape Crisis in Congo Tied to Mining ActivityWashington Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, helped launch an international awareness raising campaign called V-Day in 2007 to end sexual violence in eastern Congo. UNICEF estimates that hundreds of thousands of girls have been raped in the last decade in the two eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu. "Corporate greed, fueled by capitalist consumption, and the rape of women have merged into a single nightmare," Eve Ensler said at U.S. Senate hearings on May 13. "Women's bodies are the battleground of an economic war." Ensler said that international mining companies with significant investments in eastern Congo value economic interest over the bodies of women by trading with rebels who use rape as a tactic of war in areas rich in coltan, gold and tin.

"Military solutions are no longer an option," she said. "All they do is bring about the rape of more women." The United States has invested more than $700 million in humanitarian aid and peacekeeping to Congo, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Prendergast said this money will do nothing to root out the economic causes of eastern Congo's conflict and sexual violence.

He said a comprehensive long-term strategy to combat rape needs to change the economic calculus of armed groups. Prendergast asked senators to support the Congo Conflict Minerals Act, which was introduced by Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold in April of this year.

The bill aims to break the link between resource exploitation and armed conflict in eastern Congo by requiring companies trading minerals with Congo or neighboring states to disclose mine locations and monitor the financing of armed groups in eastern Congo's mineral-rich areas.

"The sooner the illicit conflict minerals trade is eliminated, the sooner the people of Congo will benefit from their own resources," said Prendergrast. U.S. consumers, Prendergrast said, can also help by pressuring major electronic companies - from Apple to Sony - to certify that cell phones, computers and other products contain "conflict-free minerals," a campaign tactic popularized by the Sierra Leone-based film Blood Diamonds.     Such a process would use a tracking system for components, similar to that developed in 2007 under the Kimberly Process. This international certification scheme ensures that trade in rough diamonds doesn't fuel war, as it did in Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone during the 1990s.

Germany has already developed a pilot fingerprinting system for tin that could be expanded to other minerals and help establish certified trading chains, linking legitimate mining sites to the international market. Truthout

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Congo has attracted attention in the media [as a place that is suffering] systematic rape in war. One statistic quoted is 200,000 rapes since the beginning of the war 14 years ago, and it is certainly an underestimate.

When in Congo, I met government representatives and particularly women who had been raped and violated. It was interesting but also disappointing - nothing is getting better and more and more civilians are committing rapes.

But I should be fair and say that there has been progress, the government has introduced laws against rape, it has a national plan and there is political will. There is a lot to do to implement the legislation, but now there is an ambitious legal ground to stand on to be implemented by the police, judiciary and health care. Margot Wallstrom - "There Is Almost Total Impunity for Rape in Congo"

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How did Rwanda cut poverty so much?—16 February 2012—The small African nation of Rwanda recently announced that it had cut poverty by 12% in six years, from 57% of its population to 45%. That equals roughly a million Rwandans emerging from poverty -- one of the most stunning drops in the world.It's a remarkable achievement for Rwanda, which has emerged from civil war and a bloody ethnic genocide in the 1990s. How did it happen? The Times quizzed Paul Collier, director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, about the  numbers.

How did Rwanda cut its poverty so much?—There were one or two helpful events, notably the rise in world coffee prices, which pumped money into the rural economy, but, of course, overall the global economy since 2005 has not provided an easy environment for success. Hence, most of the achievement is likely due to domestic policies. Rwanda is the nearest that Africa gets to an East Asian-style “developmental state,” where the government gets serious about trying to grow the economy and where the president runs a tight ship within government built on performance rather than patronage. There were strong supporting policies for the rural poor—the “one cow” program [that distributed cows to poor households free of charge], which spread assets, and the improvements in health programs. Alongside this, the economy was well managed, with inflation kept low, and the business environment improved, both of which helped the main city, Kigali, to grow. Growth in Kigali then spread benefits to rural areas—the most successful rural districts were those closest to Kigali.

When you say well managed, what do you mean? What choices did the government make that were signs of good management?—Basically, [President Paul] Kagame built a culture of performance at the top of the civil service. Ministers were well paid, but set targets. If they missed the targets there were consequences. Each year, the government holds a whole-of-government retreat where these performances are reviewed: good performance rewarded, and poor performers required to explain themselves.An example is the strategy to improve Rwanda's rating on the World Bank's “Doing Business” annual rating, where over the course of six years the country moved from around 140th to 60th in the world rankings. Each component of the ratings was assigned each year to an appropriate minister. So over time, a cadre of government officials has been built up who believe in their ability not just to strategize but to get things done.— LaTimesBlogs

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Related files:  Rwanda Ten Years after   Rwanda Genocide Conference  Clinton Administration  The Struggle Odes  Ode #95  Thinkable Genocide

Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U. S. Role in Congo