“Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters,” says a West African proverb. We, the hunted, need to start telling our own story.
In reaction to an invitation from the University of Cambridge to the Canadian author of the book “In Praise of Blood, the crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” Judi Rever, for a talk on 21 April 2021, a list of western and other scholars, journalists, scientists, researchers and historians wrote to the Chancellor raising their concerns about the platform offered to her to present her findings of 20 years of investigative work in the Great Lakes region.
Her book, substantiated with more than 200 Rwandan Patriotic Front’s defectors, former soldiers and survivors, brings up the discreet killings that Kagame’s forces committed ruthlessly against Hutus in the dark while the Interahamwe slaughtered Tutsis in the daylight. She concludes by acknowledging the genocide perpetrated against Tutsis, and at the same time questions why the RPF’s masses crimes, among them a genocide against Hutus has not only been ignored but the perpetrators are internationally praised instead of being pursued.
We, the undersigned, Judi Rever’s work supporters and survivors of the RPF’s masse crimes, are world’s citizens, Hutus and Tutsis that life spared miraculously from October 1st, 1990 to 2003, almost for a purpose to tell the world the only truth experienced by direct witnesses of what happened. From that period, there are crimes our parents and families fell victims of and which were erased from the history books that our “scholars” don’t mention at all in their research work.
These crimes took place initially between the start of the civil war and April 6th, 1994 when president Habyarimana was assassinated. Tens of thousands of peasants from Byumba and Ruhengeri in the north east of Rwanda died in the hands of the RPF, but aren’t accounted for anywhere. The second period that saw the decimation and masses killings of our people, that the Mapping Report characterised as of genocide nature once investigated by a court, occurred between 1993 and 2003 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We feel strongly wronged and angered when some personalities, whatever their intentions and academic or professional credentials, claim to represent what we experienced without any mandate from us. They should stop. On one hand, their opposition to the presence of Judi Rever at the University of Cambridge shows their lack of any humanity. They should be ashamed. On the other hand, some of them have built their careers on spoon-fed lies provided by the RPF of president Kagame. Consequently, they find it hard to keep quiet when the truth is offered a public stand. If they don’t do something, they could irremediably risk their credibility and future. To some extent, their situation could seem understandable, but not excusable because there are the lives of the survivors of the genocide against the Hutus on the line.
What is surprising is that some of Judi Rever’s discreditors know the truth but publicly display and pretend an incredible ignorance at the extent of defending the crimes’ perpetrators, because that suits them and their interests. Their attitude inclines to demonstrate that it’s not anymore about what Judi Rever explains from her book, but what they want her to cover up by not stating the facts, as they themselves did for the last 27 years.
As Pr Charles Kambanda wrote on October 24, 2014 in an open letter at the release of the BBC documentary ”Rwanda: Untold Story,“ while reacting to a similar group of personalities, ”Genocide denial should not become a social-political tool to suppress critical thinking, human intelligibility and human freedoms.” Judi Rever’s detractors should respect her freedom of expression as long they fear to discuss in an open debate her findings on a second genocide in Rwanda.
From the source which compiled the signatures, we learn that they collected 352 including some from the children of feu president Habyarimana. Their list was sent to the Centre for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge organising the talk.