Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageTwo decades on.EPA

The arrest of Rwanda’s intelligence chief Karenzi Karake by the British government, seems to be part of a long-running attempt by a number of countries to issue justice for Rwanda’s bloody history.

Karake is being held in London after Spain called for his arrest for his alleged involvement in revenge killings after the 1994 Genocide in his country.

While taking action now might help ease the consciences of those who failed to stop the massacres when they were actually happening, it does little to actually help the people of Rwanda.

The backstory

On the night of April 6 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana was assassinated by unknown fighters while flying back to Rwanda. This event triggered the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi which ravaged the entire country as neighbours killed neighbours. The perpetrators claimed massacres were needed in order to protect the nation from the invading Tutsi-dominated Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), which Rwanda had been fighting since 1990.

Hutu extremists believed the RPF wanted to re-establish Tutsi ethnic dominance over the majority Hutu population, just as happened during the Belgian colonial period of 1922-1962.

Within days of the start of the killing, other countries retreated from Rwanda. They removed their citizens and downgraded the UN aid mission there. The world looked away as within around 100 days, over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The massacres only ceased when the RPF’s military wing, the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) fully invaded the country and expelled the genocide forces into eastern Zaire, now named the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Long silence

Of course, events of this kind are never quite that easy to define. Genocide is inevitably composed of various elements that all play a role in how the causes of conflict are remembered.

Karake is an example of this problem. He is accused of committing mass atrocities against Rwandan civilians both during and after the genocide yet he fought for the RPA – credited for bringing an end to the massacres. Stories such as his, and of the Rwandans killed by the RPA during the genocide are less well-known.

Within months of the end of the genocide, the UN Gersony Report estimated that the RPA killed anywhere between 25,000 to 45,000 people during the genocide. But the report was suppressed by the UN in order to foster improved relations with the new RPF-dominated Rwandan government.

imageIn Rwanda, genocide is discussed selectively.Adam Jones, PhD, CC BY-SA

The massacres are not openly discussed in Rwanda. The RPA, now named the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), does not deny that some of its troops participated in revenge killings.

I have spoken to RDF commanders who admit that killings took place, but attribute most of the individual cases to circumstances involving troops succumbing to mental insanity after witnessing the results of previous massacres.

Despite this willingness to discuss the subject, the military shies away from public discussion of the massacres. Justice for the victims was found only through closed military court cases.

Many Rwandans fear talking about revenge killings for concern of being accused of minimising the genocide – which is illegal under genocide denial laws. In my research, one Rwandan quietly commented that it would take another two generations before Rwandans feel free to openly discuss RPA killings.

Moving on

Karake’s arrest does not help Rwanda grapple with its past or offer justice to the victims of the genocide. It instead reinforces Rwanda’s sense that it cannot rely on other countries to help in a meaningful way. It is but the latest example of international hypocrisy from the countries that failed to stop the genocide in 1994. They took no action back then and now arrest someone who actually did.

Rwanda is still trying to understand its history in order to move forward. We have to accept that it will take time for the country to fully recover and be ready to handle all the complexities of its bloody past. Arresting Karake might seem like justice, but it happens at the expense of Rwanda’s development.

Jonathan R. Beloff does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/karenzi-karake-arrest-is-just-more-international-hypocrisy-over-rwanda-43723


The Conversation

Politics

Prime Minister Visit to the United States of America

I will travel to the United States of America with my wife Jenny, from 19-27 September, visiting Washington D.C, Chicago, Ohio and New York.   It was an honour to accept President Trump’s genero...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Additional Australian Government assistance to help people affected by the Queensland and New South Wales bushfires

The Australian Government will deliver new income assistance to people affected by the bushfires in Queensland and New South Wales.   We have activated the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Monash Freeway upgrades moving forward for Melbourne commuters

An extra 36 kilometres of new lanes will be added to the Monash Freeway under a joint Australian and Victorian Government plan to bust congestion in Melbourne’s east.   The Morrison and Andrews ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Ways to Take Control Over Your Startup's Public Image

The way in which others see your business only seems like something that you have no control over. After all, it’s their own subjective matter, right? Well, the concept of branding represents a sc...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

How Digital Futures Platforms are Changing it All

Some people still remember the days when you had to be in one of the world’s centers of finance in order to be able to trade with futures. Technology has developed a lot since then and trading wit...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

Your Ultimate Guide on Making an Office Cleaning Checklist

A cleaning list is simply a list that guides cleaners on what should be done. Several factors determine the type of cleaning list for your business premises.  The cleaning checklist usually provided ...

Clean Group - avatar Clean Group

Travel

Travelling Tips and your Roots: Who’s Looking out for Home?

If you lead a life of travel, chances are you know that not everyone gets the same kick out of living as a nomad. Today we focus on those ‘left behind’ – how do you nurture the valuable people in yo...

News Company - avatar News Company

TOURISM NT LAUNCHES NEW BRAND

New tagline revealed, new campaign set to launch ‘Different in every sense’ will replace Tourism NT’s ‘Do the NT’ tagline from today as part of a new brand positioning aimed at attracting more vi...

Matthew Ongarello - avatar Matthew Ongarello

Family-Friendly Island Camping Spots in Australia

Australia is a popular location for camping, and it is easy to understand why. The geographic make-up of most areas in the continent is ideal for outdoor adventures, with several beautiful beaches, ...

News Company - avatar News Company

ShowPo