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Publié par JMV Ndagijimana

Helmut Strizek


The Influence of the International Background on the Creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)


An Historian’s View


This paper intends to point out the importance of the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s (RPF) influence on parts of the private human rights movement and the UN Commission on Human Rights in the establishment of the ICTR.


The idea to ask for a Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is closely linked to the RFP’s accusation that the Habyarimana regime planned the genocide against the Tutsi population before the RPF attack on 8 February 1993. The RPF rebels based their claim on the report of the “International Commission of Investigation on Human Rights Violations in Rwanda since October 1, 1990” (ICI)[1]. The Commission had been dispatched to Rwanda from 7 to 21 January 1993[2] at the request of Rwandan human rights groups opposed to President Habyarimana. The ICI Report indeed contained such accusations. The RPF and its supporters were aware that the ultimate conquest of power in Kigali could lead to mass murders against the Tutsi population. The rebels had the idea to use this possibility for their cause from the beginning. They undertook the necessary steps to create a situation where desperate Hutu would in fact perpetrate mass murder against the Tutsi; however, it was crucial that the Rwandan Government first be accused of planning genocide. This allegation would justify their aggression, hence inevitably creating the situation in question. The genocide was conceived to convince the world that the subsequent military regime, lead by the RPF, would be the only solution to stabilize Rwanda after such an event. Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana recently summarized this fact in a breathtaking booklet, in which he explains how Paul Kagame sacrificed the Tutsi population within Rwanda with this intent.[3] The ICI Report proved very successful in hiding the intentions of the RPF and blaming “Hutu extremists” in advance for all the evil that would occur. The RPF succeeded in soon having the ICI conclusions published in official UN documents.
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[1] As far as I could verify, the report was never published in English. It was handed out to the press in early March 1993 with the mention “Embargo 8 mars 1993, 11:00” in French with a short English summary by Africa Watch/New York and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH)/Paris. The original title is: „Commission Internationale d’Enquête sur les Violations des Droits de l’Homme au Rwanda depuis le 1er octobre 1990 (7-21 janvier 1993). Rapport final“.

[2] The ICI was composed – under the influence of persons like Gasana Ndoba, et al. – by a group of “like-minded” legal experts (William Schabas, Eric Gillet, René Degni-Ségui, et al.) and human rights activists (Jean Carbonare, Alison Des Forges, Philippe Dahinden, et al.). The ICI was mainly financed by Africa Watch (later named Human Rights Watch)/New York and FIDH/Paris. The technical organization at the Africa Watch headquarters in New York was undertaken by Alison Des Forges who at that time appeared on the international pro-RPF scene after Rakiya Omaar had to leave Africa Watch because of her US-critical position following the deployment of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia in late 1992.

[3] Ndagijimana, Jean-Marie Vianney. 2009. Paul Kagame a sacrifié les Tutsi.  Orléans: Editions La Pagaie. 164 p.; ISBN 978-2-916380-07-0.

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