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Accueil du site > 20- ENGLISH - MATERIAL AND REVOLUTION > Class Struggle In Rwanda

Class Struggle In Rwanda

samedi 20 mai 2017, par Robert Paris

Class Struggle In Rwanda

A History of Rwanda and Burundi

History of Rwanda

1959-1961 : The False « Revolution »

1959 : The Role of Church (in french)

Habyarymana 1959 (in french)

1959 : The Manipulation of Racial “Revolution”

From 1990 to 1994 : From Class Struggle to Genocide…

Wrestling in Africa 1988-1991

1990 : Human Rights Report for Rwanda

Political and Social Unrest in 1989-1990 in Rwanda and in Africa

Revolts in Africa in 1988-1991 : from Côte d’Ivoire to Algeria, from Benin to Mali with the fall of Moussa Traore and also from South Africa to Rwanda ...

1992 : Agathe Uwilingiyimana (in english)

1992 : Agathe Uwilingiyimana (in french)

Fascist speech (pre-genocide) by Léon Mugesera in Kabaya (in French)

1993 Human Rights Report : RWANDA

1994, The Massacre

Capitalism is violence : Rwanda 1994

The Rwandan Genocide : The True Motivations for Mass Killings

Rwandan genocide

2011 : Rwandan textile workers strike

Rwandan textile workers strike against unfair labor practices, 2011

2015 : Struggle for power threatens to tear apart workers union

2017 : Trade unions petition

2017 : Miners Petition for Pension Benefits

2017 : Official Rights of Workers and Unions in Rwanda

6 April 1994 - 6 April 2012 : Rwanda, a massacre and a warning to workers and peoples all over the world

The origins of the Rwandan genocide : the social revolt (without any ethnic character) of January 1990 and January 1992

1990-1992, it is the years of the social and political revolt, against the dictatorship and the misery, in Rwanda.

The ruling classes then pretend to retreat, to grant democracy to save the state and the armed forces from popular anger.

1994 is the year of the riposte of the ruling classes : genocide. The ruling classes organize the massacre by forcing the Hutu population to massacre the Tutsi population by using all the bodies of power, the army, the police, the prefects, the Catholic hierarchy and, of course, the fascist bands formed in The four years

In 1990, it was the social revolt that took to the streets of the capital, Kigali, braving the military dictatorship, as part of an almost general upheaval in Africa (remember the fall of Moussa Traoré in Mali ). For two years, all the oppressed have risen up, whatever their origins, and they have braved power to such an extent that it has been forced, in order to calm the revolt, to put members of the democratic opposition at the head of the government. The genocide of Rwanda is a massacre of state and with the bail of all the great powers. Like all other fascist massacres. This is not specific to Africa ... Let’s not forget it.

French imperialism under the leadership of the "socialist" president François Mitterrand (as well as the special cell of the Elysée for Rwanda) and the right-wing government Balladur-Léotard, was not passive ; Support for Hutu extremists on several levels : military : before the genocide by blocking the advance of the RPF on Kigali and teaching the art of killing future genocidal militias ; During the genocide by delivering weapons and communication materials and helping to ethnically sort victims by publishing identity cards with the words "Hutu" and "Tutsi" and then during identity checks. Let us not forget that during the years preceding the genocide, the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army is a French officer.

What interest could France, led by François Mitterrand helped by Vedrine and also by Balladur, Leotard, helped by De Vilepin, help African fascists to carry out such a massacre ?

What interest could France, led by Francois Mitterrand helped by Vedrine and also by Balladur, Leotard, helped by De Vilepin, help African fascists to carry out such a massacre ? It’s really unbelievable !

The fascist genocides always seem incredible, inexplicable and the great powers always pretend to discover them but they have always been accomplices. And this for a class reason : there was never a fascist massacre without a serious social threat on the ruling classes.

Habyarimana’s ferocious regime of dictatorship, supported by France, is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain itself in power. Since 1990, the poor population of the country is in revolt, all ethnic groups confronted, against the dictatorship and the misery. In 1992, the regime was challenged by a real uprising of the population of the capital Kigali. On the other hand, it is threatened by the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front), a party with a Tutsi majority, supported by Uganda, behind the US and England. He is forced to back down, accepting that power be shared with leaders of democratic mobilization. On April 6, 1994, the President’s plane was shot down. This event serves as a pretext for the new Rwandan Interim Government (IRG), set up in the French embassy under the aegis of the ambassador, to trigger the long-planned Tutsi genocide. The Radio of the Thousand Hills urges the Hutus to "eradicate the Tutsi cockroaches", while the army sets the example and distributes the machetes. The Hutus who refuse to participate in the massacre are murdered. More than one million Tutsis will be massacred within 100 days. French imperialism, under the leadership of the "socialist" president François Mitterrand (as well as the special cell of the Elysée for Rwanda) and the right-wing government Balladur-Léotard, was not passive ; Support for Hutu extremists on several levels : military : before the genocide by blocking the advance of the RPF on Kigali and teaching the art of killing future genocidal militias ; During the genocide by delivering weapons and communication materials and helping to ethnically sort victims by publishing identity cards with the words "Hutu" and "Tutsi" and then during identity checks. Let us not forget that during the years preceding the genocide, the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army is a French officer.

The report of the National Assembly on the situation in Rwanda reports that :

"In 1990, France financed a project to support air navigation security for 1.5 million francs with the provision of maintenance and maintenance equipment at Kigali airport. It also takes over the crew of the presidential plane, a Falcon 50 funded by a budgetary aid of 60 million francs. In addition, the President of the Republic announced on May 25, 1989 in Dakar a debt forgiveness which in 1990 saved a saving of 36.4 million francs. France is among the countries that support the structural adjustment plan put in place in Rwanda at the end of 1990. (...) The very sharp deterioration of the Rwandan economic situation at the dawn of the 1990s put an end to the illusion of Self-sufficiency on which the country’s economy had been based since the 1970s.

Until then, and unlike Burundi, Rwanda refused any agreement with the IMF that would require a devaluation under a structural adjustment program ; A rigorous program of its own, which has largely contributed to forging its reputation as a poor but economically sound country, has been imposed on itself. Indeed, this image has been used to develop important bilateral cooperation with European countries in particular. In 1991, bilateral and multilateral aid accounted for 21.5% of Rwanda’s GDP (5) and 60% of its public expenditure for development ; The OECD estimates that the total amount of annual aid provided to Rwanda over the period 1990-1993 ($ 50 per capita) is $ 343 million, compared to $ 35 million annually for the period 1971-1974 .

The continued degradation of internal and external balances has revealed the limitations of such a policy, even more so in the context of budgetary redeployment in favor of military spending, which rose from 1.9% of GDP in 1989 to 7.8% 1992. A Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP), supported by the IMF, the World Bank and by most of the countries and organizations in Rwanda, including France, has been in place since the end of 1990. (...) When Rwanda undergoes the RPF offensive on 1 October 1990, does France consider that it can intervene, both to protect its nationals and in the framework of the military cooperation agreement concluded in 1975, without being in contradiction with the principles of the discourse of La Baule. (...)

In la Baule, President François Mitterrand reminded him that "France will continue to be your friend and, if you wish, your support, internationally as well as internally" and the President goes on to state that "France will All its effort to contribute to the efforts that will be made to move towards greater freedom ". (...) In a speech delivered on 5 July 1990, President Juvénal Habyarimana announced the end of the cumulation between his office as President of the Republic and President of the single MRND party, as well as the beginning of a democratic process With the recognition of the multiparty system.

Mr. Michel Lévêque, former Director of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1991, before the Mission, correlated these decisions with the talks that took place between Presidents François Mitterrand and Juvénal Habyarimana. Margin of the La Baule summit, which had focused on the need for institutional reforms in Rwanda and the issue of refugees. "Following these pressures, President Juvénal Habyarimana agreed to reactivate the Rwandan commission and the Rwanda-Uganda committee on refugees." (...) The attack launched by the RPF on 1 October 1990, which was compounded by economic difficulties, political demands and the awakening of Rwandan society, had to prove - by the reactions it had to provoke on the part of the authorities Of Kigali, that ethnicity remained a "dormant political resource", to quote Professor André Guichaoua, without, however, regionalism disappearing. (...)

The Church and the State represent the only organized forces within the Rwandan society. Just as the administrative and political framework is powerful, the Church of Rwanda has a hierarchical and administrative face that accentuates the rigid character of this society. This objective alliance between the State and the Church is reflected in particular in the existence of split administrations : for example, there is a system of vocational training provided by the State and, at the same time, an internal training ’Church. Similarly, the Church has used for its own benefit the traditional system of umuganda, which has been devastated by colonization, which the experts of the International Labor Office (ILO) assimilate to real forced labor. Thus, just as each Rwandan owed half a day of communal work to the State, under penalty of sanctions, so the Church had developed such a system for the benefit of his works, sanctioning resistance through refusals of sacrament. (...) The first owner, the first employer and the first investor after the State, at the end of the eighties, the Church represented a major economic and social power in Rwanda, especially in a particularly depressed economic context, By reducing civilian public spending. (...)

On 9 October 1990, the Rwandan Ministry of Justice admitted the arrest of some 3,000 people. In fact, the figures are estimated at 10,000.

According to Gérard Prunier, "these arrests are not aimed at supporters of the RPF (very few, not all of them known to the police) ; They are blindfolding the educated Tutsis and the protesting Hutus, in fact anyone who is not well-known to the ruling elites (and even their friends and working relationships, and arrests often serve to liquidate debts by getting rid of Creditors) as well as residents of other African countries, mainly Zairians and Ugandans, because even modest traders are always good at financial pressures. "According to the same author, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Theodore Mujyamana, at the time declared :" We have strong evidence of the guilt of all the detainees ... and being released is not proof of ’innocence. "

In fact, the grounds for arrest are often vague and few trials will take place. Beyond these arrests, other manifestations of the stiffening of the regime will intervene, such as the replacement of the Attorney General, Mr. Alphonse-Marie Nkubito, considered too liberal.

The Minister of Defense, speaking on the national radio, will ask the population to track down the infiltrators. This call will be immediately acted upon. Some of the RPF soldiers, defeated, will take refuge in the region of Mutara, in the northwest of Rwanda. This area is a traditional area of ​​Tutsi emigration to Uganda. However, 348 Tutsi civilians will be massacred there between 11 and 13 October 1990, and more than 500 houses will be set on fire in the commune of Kibilira alone. While this is a massive massacre, given the massive nature of the exterminations in the region, its characteristics deserve attention. First, none of the victims is a RPF combatant ; Nor do they appear to be proved sympathizers of this movement : it would indeed be extraordinarily risky to display such sympathies and the Tutsis retain the memory of the persecutions of the period from 1959 to 1962.

Then, the massacres are committed by the peasants under the leadership of the civil authorities, according to the well-known rules of collective labor. Asked about the revolt that would have pushed the peasants of the northwest to massacre the Tutsis, President Juvénal Habyarimana responds placidly in a press conference : "It is not a revolt. Everyone obeys. "Finally, the local leaders under whose authority the massacres were committed will not be disturbed by the central power.

The Mutara massacres can thus be defined as follows : following a RPF attack, they appear as a system of both intimidation and revenge in response to it. Rwandan Tutsis are treated as hostages liable to lose their lives in retaliation for attacks by the RPF. Co-ordinated by a local authority, these massacres are by no means individual acts. Finally, the fact that they are localized shows that they are not co-ordinated centrally, but the fact that they remain unpunished testifies to the complaisant gaze of the central government on these bloodthirsty acts. Thus, the killing of Rwandan Tutsis in response to the RPF’s actions appears to be an organized solution, which enjoys a friendly indifference from the central authorities. (...)

It is appropriate to consider the question of ethnic mention on identity cards. We know that at least in cities and on the roads, identity cards were one of the main instruments of ethnic genocide. Insofar as the term "Hutu", "Tutsi" or "Twa" was used, a simple verification of identity cards made it possible to know the ethnicity of the person checked for possible elimination. However, it could be envisaged that the delay in the distribution of the new identity cards could be attributed to France itself. This opinion emerged very clearly during the missionary’s hearing of Mr. André Guichaoua. He said : "The system of ethnic school and vocational quotas was formally abolished in November 1990, as was the mention of ethnic identity cards. The new cards are then ordered from French companies. On 26 May 1994, the cultural adviser of the French Embassy told the Ministry of Cooperation that they were in the process of being delivered the week in which the attack on the presidential plane took place. Why are you late ? Does this version match the reality ? It should be noted that no identity card without mention of ethnic origin will be issued until April 1994 ".

To Mr. Jacques Myard, who was astonished at such an assertion, and then to President Paul Quilès, who inquired about the relationship between the distribution of the new identity cards and the functions of the French cultural attaché, Mr. André Guichaoua Then replied that "it was by a declaration of the cultural attache before the General Assembly of the personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Cooperation and the French Cooperation Fund that he had learned that the embassy had Had been seized of this request in 1990 and that the identity cards had to be delivered during the week when the presidential plane had been shot down. "

He added that "with regard to identity cards, insofar as the abolition of the mention of ethnicity was requested in November 1990, it was important to know whether an order had been placed, under what conditions And to whom, and if the explanation then broadcast in Kigali, namely that the maps were being printed, corresponded to reality. "

Mr Pierre Brana, the rapporteur, asked him more specifically whether he attributed the delay in the implementation of the reform "to the identity card supplier, that is to France." André Guichaoua argued that, in any case, "the answer was certainly internal to Rwanda, since a supplier could not impose a decision in such a field" but "it was symptomatic that it was considered useful to do this Announces in full genocide, as if there was a French responsibility in this file. "

To the extent that this was a more widely shared sentiment, the Mission wished to verify all the information on this issue. During their hearings, Mr Jean-Christophe Mitterrand and Mr Jacques Pelletier stated that France had requested that the ethnic mention on identity cards be deleted.

Mr. Jacques Pelletier, then Minister of Cooperation, even confirmed to President Juvénal Habyarimana during his visit to Rwanda in November 1990 that the fact that the Rwandan identity cards "bear an ethnic mention" seemed to him to be mind-boggling. President Juvénal Habyarimana found this indication normal because it had always been so. The practice had been established in the days of the Belgians, and they had continued. " However, President Juvénal Habyarimana told him that "he thought that this mention could be suppressed. "Jacques Pelletier added that, to his knowledge" there were no requests for assistance from the Government of Rwanda for the manufacture of identity cards without ethnic mention. "

He also indicated that the fact that there was no request to his ministry "was not, in itself, surprising. The modification of the identity cards was not a considerable expense and Rwanda could take charge of it on its budget or go to another country because fortunately France was not the only one to have cooperation with Rwanda. "(...)

On 8 January 1992, demonstrations of unknown magnitude in Rwanda shook the main towns of the country, including Butare, Gitarama and especially Kigali, where 50,000 people marched to protest against the new government. A new day of protests is being convened for January 15, but the authorities forbid it and the protesters who pass by are arrested. However, given the scale of the pressure, President Juvénal Habyarimana finally agreed to sign a compromise with the opposition. Under this compromise, the Nsanzimana Government would be replaced by a Coalition Government. The latter, which would include MRND Ministers, would nevertheless be headed by a member of the MDR.

On 3 October 1990, the President, François Mitterrand, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, Roland Dumas and Hubert Védrine, as well as Admiral Jacques Lanxade on a trip to the Middle East : "On October 4, after a night in Abu Dhabi, the whole delegation arrived in Jeddah where it Was received at lunch by King Fahd. Shortly before this luncheon, two messages arrived, from the Elysee and the General Staff. These messages indicated that serious risks of abuses existed in Kigali and that President Juvénal Habyarimana requested the intervention of the French army. A very brief and brief Defense Council was held in Riyadh under the presidency of the President of the Republic, following which an order was issued to send two companies as quickly as possible to Kigali, With the mission to protect Europeans, French installations and to control the aerodrome in order to ensure the evacuation of French and foreign who requested it. These troops should not interfere in any way with the policing issues that were the responsibility of the Rwandan Government. "

This is Operation Noroît. The Noroît detachment under the command of General Jean-Claude Thomann consisted of a tactical staff of 40 persons and two companies - 1st and 3rd companies of the 8th RPIMA - each of 137 persons, totaling 314 men. 3rd company was responsible for intervening in the city, the 1st company called external company was responsible for the protection of the airport. The PC of the Noroît detachment was installed at the Hotel Méridien and General Jean-Claude Thomann will emphasize the practical value of setting up such an establishment. Noroît companies are asked "to adopt a discreet attitude" because it can not be created "the feeling of our commitment alongside the FAR".

The action of the Noroît forces is limited to the city of Kigali and to the airport, and the exits outside these places remain subordinated to the authorization of the staff of the army.

In his mission report, General Jean-Claude Thomann, the operations commander, noted that there were many roadblocks in the vicinity of the main towns, most often held by the gendarmerie or the Rwandan army, and checkpoints held by "Civilians who prohibit the access of certain villages of the bush and thus make it possible to filter the people of the hills. Civilian roadblocks are guarded by a dozen men armed with machetes ". He also noted the enthusiastic reception of the populations and the Rwandan armed forces reserved for the French soldiers. (...)

Operation Noroît is part of a larger unit whose components are on the one hand the technical military assistance agreement of 18 July 1975 on which President Juvenal Habyarimana supports his request for assistance and which will justify the Colonel Gilbert Canovas to carry out an advisory mission to the FAR, and diplomatic action based on the principles set out in La Baule’s speech (democratization, pluripartism, power sharing ...). (...)

The Ambassador of France Georges Martres places himself in the logic of an external aggression which can more easily justify the intervention and the aid of France.

On October 7, he posed the problem : "The political choice is crucial for the Western powers that help Rwanda and especially Belgium and France. Either they consider above all the external aspect of the aggression and an increased commitment on their part is necessary on the military level to cope with it. Or they take into account the internal support of this movement (RPF) ... it will probably lead to the seizure of power by the Tutsis or at least by the Métis class ... If this second choice was retained, A delicate negotiation with military pressure would be necessary to guarantee the security of the European population with the prospect of replacing the difficulties of the assailants with those resulting from a Rwandan national army which would feel abandoned. "

In a telegram dated 27 October 1990, the Ambassador expressed a clearer view of the arrival of Libyan aircraft at Kampala airport on 23 and 24 October. Seizing this opportunity to insist on the need to highlight the character of external aggression in the media, he believes that France will be more at ease to help Rwanda if it is clearly shown to international public opinion That this is not a civil war. The situation would be much clearer and much easier to deal with if the northeastern part of the country was cleaned before further diplomatic action.

During his hearing, Mr Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, Counselor for the Presidency of the Republic for African Affairs from 1986 to 1992, recalled that on 19 October 1990 he had drawn up a note to the President of the Republic "indicating that the situation in Rwanda was influenced by the position in the conflict of the neighboring countries and that regional consultation between the different countries of the zone was the only way to stabilize the situation" and that "our military presence risked therefore As long as a political solution could not be found. "

Mr. Jean-Christophe Mitterrand then stated that "the President had commented negatively on this solution on the sidelines, but on the other hand he approved the principle of a mission to be carried out by the Minister for Cooperation, Mr. Jacques Pelletier. "

Accompanied by Mr. Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, Minister of Cooperation Jacques Pelletier visited the Great Lakes region from 5 to 9 November 1990. This visit took place after the Mwanza meeting on 17 October between the Presidents Juvénal Habyarimana and Yoweri Museveni and Gbadolite from 23 to 27 October between the Heads of State of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes countries, who had laid down the principle of a ceasefire controlled by a group of observers Zairean, Burundian, Ugandan, Rwandan and RPF representatives, and the creation of an African interposition force.

In this context, as Jacques Pelletier pointed out during his hearing, "the French Government had had two objectives since the beginning of the conflict : a very visible objective, namely to help a country to ensure its security against External aggression, and a less talked about, but equally important, goal to change the regime in place. "

End of the extracts from the report for the French National Assembly.

An explosive situation in the face of a military dictatorship : massive demonstrations in Kigali : 100,000 on 8 January 1990, then on 15 January 1990, and then the general revolt in 1992 in the capital Kigali, before which the regime pretended to accept a compromise with the Moderate leaders of the democratic opposition (while preparing the bloodbath)

On 8 and 15 January 1990, more than 100,000 demonstrators traveled the streets of the capital Kigali. "In the early autumn of 1990 Rwanda was going through a deep crisis that was slowly spreading throughout the country," Gérard Prunier writes. The burning issues that cause this mobilization are not the so-called ethnic issues but the social and political issues, the crisis, the misery, the corruption of the regime and the dictatorship. It is the corruption in schooling that gives the spark setting fire to the powders.

A teacher, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who was the first to be murdered at the start of the genocide, denounced the traffics in the results of the baccalaureate that allow the children of the ruling class to be received by striking the top of the list of receipts. It is undergoing a violent repression by the army, but the population takes the cause of it. The mobilization in her favor is impressive and will make her one of the leaders of the democratic opposition which aims at the democratization of the country, including the multi-party system. In fact, the popular revolt had a social base all the more important that the ruling class was absolutely incapable of satisfying popular aspirations, having even difficulty imagining how it would share an ever-smaller cake between competing The bourgeoisie, the RPF and the opposition. Coffee and tea receipts, severely affected by falling prices on world markets, are falling worryingly. As for the hopes aroused by the development of tourism, they will have been cut short with the outbreak of the war. In 1991, the budget deficit, which was supposed to not exceed 2.6 billion Rwandan francs, reached 10.5 billion francs. State expenditure has skyrocketed : the army’s compulsory force, which is compulsory, has almost tripled. In the two years following the popular movement against the regime is going to go on and on. It culminated in 1992 with massive demonstrations in Kigali and the big cities. In the capital, almost half of the population goes down into the streets and conspires with the military. The Democratic leaders of the movement are then called upon to participate in the government alongside the members of the army and the far right. The "realistic" democratic opponents agree to govern with the assassins who have already demonstrated their capacity of nuisance many times. In the movement of opposition to the dictatorship, there are both Hutus and Tutsis. But if the military regime has momentarily retreated, forgotten the single party and called certain opponents to the leadership of the government, it is only partly postponed. Taken between two fires, between RPF outside and popular revolt inside, the leaders set off in search of a fascist-type solution. In order to regain a popular base, the ruling classes turned to the declassés of the capital and the poor of the countryside, and based on the prejudice so frequently used in Africa : ethnism. Media outspokenly calling for Tutsi genocide, such as the "radio of a thousand hills" claim that Tutsi is synonymous with pro-RPF and claim that if the Hutus do not kill Tutsis, they will be killed. And to bind to them a part of the population they oblige him to get wet at their sides. Anyone who has killed will no longer be able to take sides for the RPF to accuse them of crime. This led to the first massacres, in 1990 and 1993, in which Hutus were forced to kill Tutsis. Hence also the formation of militia of poor recruits and trained to kill.

April 1990 : The Head of State of Rwanda Mr. Juvenal Habyarimana completed an official visit to France on Friday, 6 April, during which he met Mr. Mitterrand.

20 June 1990 : speech by Mitterrand in favor of multipartyism at the Franco-African summit in La Baule. At the end of 1990 : Lieutenant-Colonel Chollet of the French army organizes the Rwandan army and Paul Barril works for the Akazu, a presidential family clan

October 1990 : On October 17, Zaire withdrew its troops from Rwanda where they helped the regime in place. On October 18, 1990, dictator Juvenal Habyarimana, on a visit to the Elysee, received from President Francois Mitterrand the promise of French military aid in exchange for a promise of political openness to the opposition.

Operation Noroit : French engagement in the war against the RPF under the pretext of helping the evacuation of the French. The French contingent stopped the RPF offensive at the gates of Kigali for the first time and then helped the government to arrest its opponents in the capital. The authorities accuse the entire Tutsi community of complicity with the RPF armed forces that are attacking power from Uganda. 4,000 Rwandan Tutsis treated as "suspects" of sympathy with the RPF are arrested without trial. "We must unmask as quickly as possible the assailants infiltrated in the population," says the president to explain the campaign of national denigration to which the Rwandans are invited today. It is a great opportunity for authorities and individuals to get rid of a neighbor, a co-worker or an opponent. A simple telephone call is enough, the soldiers arrive a few minutes later, embark the suspect by handing over the identity check to later. It was necessary to open a stadium for a few days to put the overflow of the interrogated.

Thus, as of October 1990, the main dignitaries of the regime acted brutally. As in the dark hours of the Habyarimana dictatorship, they brandished the specter of the "internal enemy" and did not hide their intentions not to let themselves be carried away : in a few hours, 10,000 people, usually Tutsis but also moderate Hutus Considered as allies of the RPF, were arrested and parked in the Kigali stadium. In the provinces, the authorities, bourgmestres, prefects, and zone commanders, urged the Hutus to attack their Tutsi neighbors. In Giseny prefecture, for example, 300 Tutsis were killed, thousands more wounded Or obliged to flee, their houses burned, their property plundered. Other massacres of this kind took place elsewhere.

November 1990 : "We are ready to help you financially to solve the refugee problem," said French cooperation minister Jacques Pelletier on Thursday (November 8th) after a mission to the region.

December 1990 : In its December issue, the all-new bimonthly Kangura (close to the Rwandan army leadership) spells out the "Ten Commandments" that the Hutu (the majority ethnic group in power since 1959) are supposed to apply. A "Hutu citizen" who allies with the Tutsi in his affairs will be considered "traitor". Worse, "the Hutus must stop having pity on the Tutsi" and, allying themselves with their "Bantu brothers", be "firm and vigilant against their common Tutsi enemy". This appeal to racial hatred does not seem to have moved President Habyarimana’s government, nor did the judicial institutions seem to be quick to react when it comes to "suspects" of Tutsi origin.

June 1991 : the establishment of a multiparty system which gives rise to a dozen official parties and some sixty private newspapers. In fact, the parties, associations and newspapers that are critical of the regime are constantly worried and attacked, while the Hutu press and right-wing organizations are favored by the authorities. Yet opponents of the MDR, the PL and the PSD cultivate realism, moderation and refuse to rely on popular revolt.

November 1991 : mass demonstration in Kigali against the dictatorship in place on Sunday 24 November. The president is obliged to cede the multiparty system.

On 1 November 1990, withdrawal of the Belgian troops, replaced by the French troops.

Between 1990 and 1994, thanks mainly to the support of France, the Rwandan army increased from 5,500 to 35,000. France supplies weapons through several channels (sale of weapons by groups established in France, direct and indirect transfers of equipment from the French Army, and France has supplied most of the heavy weapons, assault vehicles, Heavy weapons and helicopters used by the Rwandan government during the RPF war.

Le Monde 23 June 1994 : "An intense and often clandestine military aid".

The regime receives military equipment for hundreds of millions of euros. These weapons had an impact on the genocide. French troops train troops, including civilian militiamen, they advise and mentor the troops of the Rwandan government.

Interamwhe militiamen were trained by French military advisers, notably in the Bagogwe camp. They taught the genocidaires how to kill a man with a machete !!! French soldiers contributed to ID card checks between October 1990 and 1993. At the same time, many such checks were used to eliminate people labeled Tutsi. The French authorities have kept these military engagements largely secret.

1990 was a pivotal year throughout Africa.

At the very moment when the great demonstrations in Rwanda broke out, social and political unrest was taking place throughout Africa : workers’ revolt in Mozambique, youth demonstrations in Côte d’Ivoire, violent troubles in Gabon. All this in January 1990 ....

In fact, that year, because of the economic crisis of the capitalist system in which the world had been inexorably sinking for more than twenty years, the whole African continent was caught in a turmoil of unprecedented social struggles. More than any other region in the world, Africa, which was more vulnerable because it had been in operation for centuries, was suffering painfully from the consequences of the crisis. Due to the fall in commodity prices on the world market, the living conditions of the masses had deteriorated considerably, mainly because, on the one hand, because the funds were increasingly empty, States had no longer the means to provide the necessary public services and raise wages and, on the other hand, that under pressure from the IMF and in accordance with the IMF’s structural adjustment They were blocking wages, decreasing student grants and organizing mass layoffs, both in the public and in the private sector, by enacting laws enabling employers to do whatever they wanted.

All these attacks of the world bourgeoisie through the politics of its local servants eventually triggered the anger of the different African layers. It expressed itself in different ways : riots of hunger following an increase in the price of bread, as in Morocco or Tunisia, but especially strikes and revolts. It was the entire African continent that was shaken. In Abidjan, Douala, Lomé, Libreville, Bamako, Kinshasa, Douala, etc., in most of the African capitals, thousands of people, workers, students, women, Ie they no longer accepted to live as before. They went down into the street to cry out their anger against misery. They stood up against the IMF’s adjustment plans, demanded the stoppages of redundancies, increased wages, scholarships and better conditions for studies. These strikes, riots, revolts were going to shake the dictatorships, make some move back or even fall others, as in Mali, for example, in 1991.

This unprecedented wave of events, some of which, such as the youth revolt in Algeria in 1988, had begun years before 1990, this flood of events forced French imperialism to press its local lackeys to Modify somewhat the facade of their dictatorial regimes. Thus many dictators who had previously sworn that in their lifetime they would not establish the multiparty system would eventually backtrack and accept that there were parties other than their own. To complete the picture, it was during the same period that, under pressure from the imperialist powers, in South Africa, frightened by the almost permanent explosion of the townships and ghettos, the white bourgeoisie decided to meet The leadership of the ANC in Lusaka, Zambia, to discuss the prospect of a smooth change of apartheid in the form of a negotiated solution with the black bourgeoisie. Here and there, the aim of all these operations was evidently to seek to defuse the anger of the popular masses, to domesticate it, by diverting it to formal changes in order to prevent it from leading to a contagious questioning of the social order.

Rwanda also had the same problems as other African countries. The fall in commodity prices had created enormous difficulties in the country : between 1985 and 1988 coffee prices had fallen by 30%, and tea prices by 40%. The price of tin also dropped to such an extent that, in 1985, Somirwa, a mining company whose tin holdings provided the government with 25% foreign exchange earnings and employed 8,000 people, had gone bankrupt . Thus the masses were confronted with the same problems as elsewhere : precariousness, misery, dismissals, followed by a deep dissatisfaction. As early as 1989, the single-party regime was increasingly criticized, including from within. In the same year, thirty-three intellectuals dared to publish an open letter calling for free elections. In 1990, under pressure from the French street and imperialism, like other dictators, Habyarimana agreed to set up a national commission for the establishment of a multiparty system. However, before it presented the results of its work, several opposition political wars, independent trade unions, human rights associations and a diverse free press were created.

In front of the former single party, the MRND, the National Revolutionary Movement for Development, which changed its name to the MRNDD, the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development, a whole series of bourgeois political parties Moderate liberals to openly racist, anti-Tutsi parties. The most important of these was the MDR, the Republican Democratic Movement. Led by rival Hutus of Habyarimana, originating from the central and southern region, this party wanted to be the heir to the Parmahutu of the former dictator Kayibanda. Many of these parties, if not most, were extremists of the MNRD, the party of the dictatorship. Their ambition was above all to share power with the clique of the "Akazu", "the household" of the dictator. Moreover, although generally defined as Hutu or Tutsi, these parties were often organized around the personal ambitions of a few individuals and appeared to represent the interests of a particular region rather than an ethnic community. For example, the MDR from the MNRD, led by Hutus, claimed to defend the interests of central and southern Hutu away from the management of affairs since the seizure of power by the northern Hutus. The same was true of all the other parties. For this reason, accusing Habyarimana’s party of exclusively concentrating power in the hands of the Hutu of the North, the only ambition of all these parties was to put pressure on the dictatorship in order to achieve a re-partition of power in the form Of rebalancing to the benefit of each other.

The popular uprising of 1992

Agathe Uwilingiyimana, a teacher from southern Rwanda, denounces the fact that the exams are held annually and that the Hutu youths of the Northern ruling classes (the president’s region) receive examinations each year. A military commando assaults Agathe Uwilingiyimana. Thousands of Rwandans brave the armed threats of the Interahamwe in the streets, gathering in a demonstration in solidarity with Agathe Uwilingiyimana in late summer 1992.

January 1992 : "On 8 January 1992, demonstrations on a scale unknown in Rwanda shook the main towns of the country, including Butare, Gitarama and especially Kigali, where 50,000 people marched to protest against the new Government. A new day of protests is called for on January 15, but the authorities forbid it and the demonstrators who pass by are arrested. (Quote from the Quilès report)

February 1992 : pro-French journalist Simon Catherine writes : "The French military do not fight directly, but it is true that they bring a" plus "to the Rwandan army. Paradoxically, this French presence is both criticized by the opposition and hailed as a kind of "pledge" given to the process of democratization. Even those who deny it have admitted, even recently, that it has prevented "too big humanitarian bribes". The French media agreed to endorse in the name of humanitarianism the exactions sustained in Rwanda by France.

March 1992 : massacres organized by the power in the south-east of the country, repetition of what will be the genocide.

In any case, the dictatorship of Habyarimana was shaken by this situation. It was weakened by the protest movement that was developing in the country. Above all, it had lost the confidence of a fringe of its petty-bourgeois social base. And it was in this situation that the first RPF attack came. The Great Powers aim at a sharing of power with the RPF In addition to the growing internal protest movement and the pressures of the rich countries which wanted political stability, this attack placed the Habyarimana dictatorship under the Triple pressure. The combination of these three elements, namely street demonstrations, pressure from the imperialist powers and raids by the RPF, in a context marked by enormous economic difficulties due to the fall in commodity prices, would all weigh more Still on power to the point of forcing it to contend with the opposition and agree to discuss with it. Thus, in March 1992 and June 1993, a transitional government was formed with the opposition parties. In August 1992, between the dictatorship of Habyarimana and the entire opposition, both political and military, engaged in discussions and negotiations which would last several months before reaching a set of agreements called "The Arusha Accords", from the name of a Tanzanian city where they were concluded in August 1993.

conclusions

In the years 1988-1991, a wave of popular movements destabilized most of the African regimes and even overthrew several (for example, the military dictatorship of Moussa Traoré in 1991 in Mali). Rwanda, which is beset by the same economic and political problems, the burden of external debt and the dictatorship, is no exception. On 8 and 15 January 1990, more than 100,000 demonstrators traveled the streets of the capital Kigali. In the two years following the popular movement against the regime is going to go on and on. It culminated in 1992 with massive demonstrations in Kigali and the big cities. In the capital, almost half of the population goes down into the streets and conspires with the military.

Democratic leaders of the movement are then called upon to participate in the government. In the movement of opposition to the dictatorship, there are both Hutus and Tutsis. But if the military regime has momentarily retreated, forgotten the single party and called certain opponents to the leadership of the government, it is only partly postponed. Taken between two fires, between RPF outside and popular revolt inside, the leaders set off in search of a fascist-type solution.

In order to regain a popular base, they turned to the downgraded of the capital and the poor in the countryside and based on the prejudice so frequently used in Africa : ethnism. Media outspokenly calling for Tutsi genocide, such as the "radio of a thousand hills" claim that Tutsi is synonymous with pro-RPF and claim that if the Hutus do not kill Tutsis, they will be killed.

And to bind to them a part of the population they oblige him to get wet at their sides. Anyone who has killed will no longer be able to take sides for the RPF to accuse them of crime. This led to the first massacres, in 1990 and 1993, in which Hutus were forced to kill Tutsis. Hence also the formation of militia of poor recruits and trained to kill.

This "strategy", widely promoted by French political and military leaders, was adopted from the moment when, under US pressure, President Habyarimana was forced to sign the Arusha Accords. In these agreements, which envisage the division of power between the dictatorship, the internal opposition and the RPF, the Rwandan ruling class as well as the French leaders saw the end of their domination of the country. The French embassy in Rwanda says "the Arusha accords are neither good nor inescapable". It is a support for the most radical clan known as "Akazu" or clan zero who, around the president’s wife, prepares the genocide. The plan was prepared as early as 1992 (when ambassadors and UN staff transmitted information to both Belgium and Canada) when the popular movement became threatening. The assassination of Habyarimana, regardless of who committed it (Kagame is now accused of having fomented him, which may be true but which does not change the infamy of the perpetrators of the genocide). Gives the signal on the evening of April 6th.

The first act of the bands of killers was to assassinate the so-called "moderate" Hutus, that is to say all those who somehow opposed the dictatorship or Share in the revolt against misery. The massacre then reached within a few days the genocide, aimed at the extermination of all the Tutsi as well as of all the Hutus who refused to participate. In the midst of genocide, the Rwandan leaders, and not the underlings, were officially received in Paris. Jean Bosco Barayagwiza, leader of the Hutu extremist party, the CDR, and the radio of a thousand hills, and Jérôme Bicamumpaka, foreign minister of the genocidal government, said interim, were welcomed on 27 April 1994 at the Elysée, Matignon and the wharf Orsay. The massacre has been going on for 21 days. The French state continues to arm and finance them. It will continue to support them in the months and years that follow. It is perhaps not surprising, nor new, to see in a poor and backward African country a power to resort to the methods that were those of European fascist powers. And it is not surprising to see France "democratic" presided over by the Left to support it. Formerly a fierce dictatorship in its entire colonial empire, now supporting dictators, often equally ferocious, who maintain the imperialist order in return, France, like all bourgeois powers, is clear on one point : fascism is a valid Revolutionary social risks. The massacres of the Ottoman empire were never criticized by the great powers at the time, nor were those of Hitler when they were against the Jews, the cause of revolutionary social destabilization in Eastern Europe, and those of Saddam Hussein against The Kurds and the Shiite poor when they rose up.

Fascism is always a solution for the bourgeoisie in any country where it believes that social and political destabilization risks leading to revolutionary social risks. Let’s not forget it !

What was the reason for the Rwandan genocide ? For the Rwandan ruling classes ? And for French imperialism ?

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