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Reply to the open letter from 43 parliamentary representatives to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs

Civil society organisations from the Democratic Republic Congo have expressed their opposition to a planned visit by French MPs to genocide commemorations in Rwanda this month. The organisations accuse the MPs of turning a blind eye to the horrendous atrocities committed by Paul Kagame’s regime in Rwanda, DR Congo and the Great Lakes region over the last 20 years. Experts on the region describe Kagame as “the greatest war criminal in office today.”

The signatories of the open letter sent to Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, published in “Le Monde” on Febuary 19, 2016 [1] wish to go to Kigali, where since 1994 the dictatorship and terrorist regime of Mr Kagame has reigned unopposed, “so as to give their support to the people of Rwanda during the commemoration of the genocide”. This is a curious initiative to demonstrate solidarity with a government that is already accused of the worst abuses of human rights since 1990, while the French nation at the present time is entirely in support of the struggle against terrorism that struck with such ferocity in France in 2015.

We recognize that genocide in 1994 struck the Tutsis of Rwanda but also hundreds of thousands of Hutus as attested by the Gersony Report [2] and the testaments of members of the Australian armed forces [3]. We can but witness with stupefaction the limits of compassion of the signatories.

In other respects, current Rwanda’s government has been involved in several mass killing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kofi Annan, UN General Secretary, in his letter of June 29 1998 [4], addressed to the Security Council, noted the conclusions and proof of violations of human rights or international humanitarian rights, of crimes against humanity and acts of genocide. Killings were carried out by the AFDL and their allies in the Rwanda Patriotic Army. The Garreton Report [5] published at the end of the 1990s and the Mapping Report[6] publish in 2010 reiterated the terms relating to crimes against humanity and acts of genocide and spoke of mass killing carried out in the eastern Congo by the same offenders.

English Rabbis in their turn warned international opinion on Congolese genocide and on the deafening silence in response to these mass killing from the international community [7].

Thereafter in 2014, the Spanish lawyer Jordi Palou Loverdos launched an appeal for truth and justice in the Great Lakes Region in support of BBC 2 who broadcasted the documentary “Rwanda’s untold story” [8]. The program systematically deconstructs the officially issued story reproduced by western media and the on-going tragedies that had devastated Great Lakes regions since 1990: Burundi, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is therefore crucial to remind the signatories that Paul Kagame’s dictatorial regime has today amassed dozens of reports on human rights violations[9], crimes against humanity and even crimes of genocide in the regions of the Great Lakes and in particular in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

One cannot avoid noting that the massacres and attacks against the civilian population in Congo that are documented in UN reports[10] and resolutions mentioned previously, do not compel from the parliamentary representatives, the same compassionate degree of solidarity.

Furthermore, the signatories cannot ignore the fact that the Rwandan President Paul Kagame who has been in power since 1994 has sworn each time to humiliate any French representative at this ceremony as France has officially not requested a pardon for “having taken part in the Rwandan genocide”. It was in this way that Renaud Muselier who was Minister for Foreign Affairs was publicly kicked out by Paul Kagame himself from the Kigali Stadium where the ceremonies were taking place and was forced to fly back to Paris.

It has now been twenty years that the genocide of the Congolese people has passed in sil ence and at the present time we are talking of 8 million dead. No politician or media group wants to break this “Omerta” (law of silence) to put a stop to this frenzy of death. Let us remember the war in the former Yugoslavia: everyone pointed the finger at the Serbian regime but years later history has taught us that those responsible for the massacres were not only from Serbia.

“What must be fully understood, certain individuals who act as the dictator Paul Kagame’s lobbying, who operate under cover of certain NGOs to defend the regime such as EGAM, Survie, SOS Racisme, FIDH,CPCR etc are aware of the Achilles Heel of certain French politicians and they do not hesitate to go against France’s higher interests or to call into question the honor of the French Armed Forces to make publicity for themselves or to make any sort of small gains that might act in favor of the dictator by justly using the word “genocide” even if they must accuse themselves or other French politician of crimes they did no t commit” [11].

Sir, should you agree to the request from the 43 parliamentary representatives to go and demonstrate their solidarity and compassion not to all the victims of the insane actions of those in the region of the Great Lakes but to a terrorist and criminal regime, this would be a denial of the millions of dead in the Congo as well as the thousands of Congolese women, children and babies who were raped, mutilated and buried alive, as well as those victims in Rwanda and Burundi.

During the conference on “Rwanda, la verité des acteurs” (Rwanda, the truth about those responsible) that took place in the French Senate on 4 January 2014 [12], P. Reytjens, a professor from Antwerp University and a recognized specialist of the region of the Great Lakes, declared that: “Those who deny or minimize Tutsi genocide are qualified to be negationist or revisionists. The same classification remarks should be applied to those who attempt to deny or dispute the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army on the civilian population in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Whoever committed these crimes must be sued so as to ensure that they never happen again”.

This initiative by the 43 French parliamentary representatives, obviously denies the war crimes and crimes against humanity (even crimes of genocide) committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front and their ally the Rwandan Patriotic Army since 1990 in the region of the Great Lakes.

Should the Minister of Foreign Affairs agree to this request, it would trample on France’s reputation as a great nation, a country that defends human rights and would acknowledge that France has made an allegiance with a dictator who can be described as “the greatest war criminal in office” by Great Lakes Region’s specialists, and who does not miss any opportunity to insult the country that welcomed us  and to whom we owe both respect and acknowledgement.


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10 Résolution 1304 (2000) du 16 juin 2000 / Résolution 1332 (2000) du 14 décembre 2000 / résolution 20781 (2012) du 28 nov201

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Congolese collective associations




Copy addressed to:

Noël Mamère, Gironde’s Ecologist Member of Parliament, member of the foreign affair commission, Bègles’ Mayor;

Danielle  Auroi,  Puy-de-Dôme  ’s  ecologist  Member  of  Parliament,  chairperson  of  the  European  Affairs Commission;

Sylviane Alaux, 6th district of Pyrénées-Atlantiques PS Member of Parliament;

Brigitte Allain, Dordogne’s ecologist Member of Parliament;

Pouria Amirshahi, 9th district of Member of Parliament;

Huguette Bello, 2nd district of Reunion GDR’s Member of Parliament; Esther Benbassa Val-de-Marne’s ecologist Senator ;

Marie-Christine Blandin, Nord’s ecologist Senator ;

Jean-Pierre Blazy, 9th district of Val-d’Oise’s PS Member of Parliament;

Michèle Bonneton, Isère ‘s ecologist Member of Parliament;

Marie-George Buffet, 4th  district of Seine-Saint-Denis’s PCF Member of Parliament, former youth and sport minister;

Jean-Jacques Candelier, 16th district of Nord’s PCF Member of Parliament;

Fanélie Carrey-Conte, 15th district of Paris’s PS Member of Parliament;

Sergio Coronado, 2nd district of French living abroad‘s ecologist Member of parliament; Ronan Dantec, Loire-Atlantique’s ecologist senator;

Annie David, Isère’s PCF senator;

Charles De Courson, 5th district of Marne’s UDI Member of Parliament ; Jean Desessard, Paris’s ecologist senator ;

Cécile Duflot, 6th  district of Paris’s ecologist Member of Parliament, Former minister of housing and territory equality;

William Dumas, 5th district of Gard’s PS Member of Parliament ;

Hervé Féron, Meurthe-et-Moselle’s PS Member of Parliament, Tomblaine’s mayor ;

Aurélie  Filippetti,  1st   district  of  Moselle’s  PS  Member  of  Parliament,  former  minister  of  culture  and communication;

Jacqueline Fraysse, 4th district of Hauts-de-Seine’s Member of Parliament ; Geneviève Gaillard, 1st district of Deux-Sèvres’s PS Member of Parliament; Jean-Marc Germain 12th district of Hauts-de-Seine’s PS Member of Parliament;

Nathalie  Goulet,  Orne’s  UDI  senator,  deputy  chairperson  of  foreign  affairs,  defense  and  armed  forces commission of French Senat;

Laurent Grandguillaume, 1st district of Côte-d’Or’s PS Parliament Member; Meyer Habib, 8th district of French living abroad‘s UDI Member of Parliament

Jean-Christophe Lagarde, 5th district of Seine-Saint-Denis’s UDI Member of Parliament and Drancy’s Mayor;

Jean-Jacques  Lasserre,  Pyrénées-Atlantiques’s  UDI  senator,  Chairperson  of  Pyrénées-Atlantiques’s  local assemby;

Pierre Laurent, Paris’senator, national secretary of french comunist party, chairperson of European Left ; Jean-Pierre Maggi, 8th district of Bouches-du-Rhône’s RRDP Member of Parliament;

Jean-Pierre Masseret, Moselle’s PS senator;

Paul Molac, Morbihan’s ecologist Member of Parliament;

Jean-Philippe Nilor, Martinique’s GDR Member of Parliament;

Philippe Noguès, 6th district of Morbihan’s divers gauche Member of Parliament; Marcel Rogemont, 8th district of Ille-et-Vilaine’s PS Member of Parliament; Barbara Romagnan, Doubs’s PS Member of Parliament;

Jean-Louis Roumégas, Hérault’s ecologist Member of Parliament ; Eva Sas, 7th district of Essonne’s ecologist Member of Parliament; Gabriel Serville, 1st district of Guyane’s GDR Member of Parliament;

Cécile Untermaier, 4th district of Saône-et-Loire’s PS Member of Parliament and

Jacques Valax, 2nd district of Tarn’s PS Member of Parliament.