30 Years Since The French Genocide In Rwanda

The question that has to be asked is why is it that this reality is not being exposed, especially with the uprisings against French domination in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger taking place today?

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Rather than kill this young boy, his father said that a Hutu gang cut his Achilles heels so that he couldn't walk. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

Its been 30 years since the French genocide in Rwanda and due to misinformation being spread its time to take a hard look at what really happened in 1994.

The French DGSE, the Directorate-General for External Security, France’s CIA, organized, funded, instigated and protected the Rwandan Hutu based Interahamwe death squads that massacred hundreds of thousands of mainly minority Tutsis, though many Hutus considered sympathetic to the Tutsis were slaughtered as well

We know this because the French Parliament held hearings on the Rwandan genocide and though they claimed they, the French, were not directly responsible, enough information was made public to expose this smokescreen.

To understand the French Genocide in Rwanda requires some historical background. Rwanda, and neighboring Burundi, were French colonies that were “granted independence” when the move towards neo-colonialism in Africa was developed by the colonial powers after World War II. The French had placed Tutsis, a minority ethnic group, into positions of power in their colonial administration the better to control the majority Hutu population. After “independence” under French neo-colonial rule, the French provoked a series of ethnic based violent outbreaks, mini-genocides really, to destabilize Rwanda, and Burundi, to prevent any sort of nationalist independence movement from gaining power.

The slaughters that took place in Rwanda, directed mainly towards the Tutsi minority by the Hutus, drove thousands of Tutsi’s, who were economically privileged due to their dominant status under the French in the colonial period, out of Rwanda, fleeing the country mainly to neighboring Uganda, which had been colonized by the British.

Arriving in Uganda, the Tutsi refugees found themselves in a country that had been devastated by a civil wars based in part on ethnic divisions instigated by the British. Uganda’s first president, Milton Obote, was overthrown in a coup by the infamous Idid Amin. Idi Amin in turn was eventually driven from power in a bloody civil war by Yoweri Musuveni.

Musuveni recruited many of the Tutsi refugees into his military and intelligence service. Without tribal connections they were completely beholden to Musuveni and quickly rose through the ranks to achieve senior positions. Paul Kagame became head of intelligence and eventually head of the Tutsi exile based rebel army. With this army and Musuveni’s backing Kagame launched a war against the Hutu based government in Rwanda to win control of the country.

The French wanted at all costs to hang on to their neo-colonies in Rwanda and Burundi. The extent they went to do this led to the Rwanda genocide.

Part of the misinformation about the French role in this brutal crime, the slaughter of some 800,000 people in a matter of about 3 months, is trying to blame the US for backing Kagame, and to blame Kagame, a Tutsi, for the slaughter of his own people. little or no mention of the French puppet death squads of the Interahamwe or the French role in creating, arming and instigating these killers.

No doubt the US was supportive of Musuveni during this whole affair but the US had much more serious matters to deal with than a couple of small countries in Central Africa with little critically strategic importance.

In 1992 the US under the Clinton/Tony Lake mafia had launched the disastrous invasion of Somalia with their Black Hawk Down debacle and by 1994 were struggling to get the situation “stabilized” so they could pull out without being blamed to much for the damage they had done.

In 1994 strategically critical South Africa, with Africa’s largest economy, was emerging from the Apartheid period and well into what has been called the neo-Apartheid dispensation. The new Mandela led government was not about to make any serious changes and the promises to nationalize the land stolen from its original inhabitants were quickly forgotten and the white owners continued business as usual. The gold, platinum and diamond mines remained in the hands of their western owners and there wasn’t anything revolutionary being planned by the Mandela government so the US wasn’t to concerned though they had to keep an active hand in controlling the new government.

What the US was really worried about was all the upheaval that occurred in 1991 when the strategically critical Horn of Africa saw Africa’s first successful armed struggle complete its independence war and the new country of Eritrea was born. As a part of this Ethiopia saw it government led by the Mengistu regime destroyed by Eritrean armored columns marching into its capital Addis Ababa and replaced by Eritrea’s erstwhile allies in the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). The Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF), after completely crushing what was left of Mengistu’s once Soviet back army and Mengistu spirited out of Ethiopia in an US military transport to exile in Zimbabwe, withdrew from Ethiopia and set about establishing a new government in Eritrea and rebuilding their country destroyed during the genocidal Ethiopian colonial occupation.

The EPLF was a truly revolutionary, independent movement determined under the leadership of Issias Aferwerki to build what was unofficially a socialist country, non aligned and independent and became the first country in Africa to reject the predatory loans the banksters at the IMF and World Bank dangled in front of them.  This was not something the US could tolerate and once it became clear that President Issias Aferwerki could not be bought or bullied the US turned to Ethiopia to once again attempt to recolonize Eritrea.

As US National Security Advisor Tony Lake was preoccupied with the Horn of Africa amongst other strategic hot spots in Africa little time or effort was spared to deal with a growing crisis in central Africa, “the French problem”  the outbreak of a civil war in Rwanda.

When Paul Kagame Tutsi exile based army supported by Uganda began its invasion of Rwanda the French warned Kagame that as Kagame recounted “that if he didnt give up his attempts to take Rwanda he wouldn’t have any of his people left if he succeeded”. 

Simply put the French were willing to wage an out right genocide to protect their central African empire and this they did.

The French genocide began when the plane carrying Rwanda’s President was shot down over the capital Kigali and the Interahamwe was unleashed by the French to carry out the horrendous massacre.

The French had thousands of well armed troops in Rwanda including armored personnel carriers that could have quickly crushed the lightly armed Interahamwe death squads. But they didnt, and sat back and allowed the particularly brutal killings to go on for months. Most of the Tutsi’s and their Hutu “sympathizers” were literally chopped to death with machetes, flown into Rwanda on French military transports.

The Interahamwe were instigated and directed by a radio station funded by the French, where popular songs were mixed with calls to “kill the cockroaches”, the Tutsis. The Interahamwe had been recruited by DGSE agents, funded, trained and then unleashed to do their dirty work on behalf of the French. This is something is seems no one writing on this genocide seems to know, even though the French Parliament hearing on this brought this information into the public domain.

The crimes of the French in neo-colonial Africa were not restricted to Rwanda and Burundi as the Al Jazeerah documentary “The French African Connection” exposed at length. The French were deeply involved in major crimes in Africa in an attempt to prolong their control over African resources, something they are desperately attempting to maintain in the Sahel region of Africa today.

The French genocide in Rwanda in 1994 was one of the worst crimes of the French in Africa but was not unique with other “mini-genocides” carried out on behalf of France by their DGSE mafia over the course of decades after the imposition of French neo-colonialism after WW2.

The question that has to be asked is why is it that this reality is not being exposed, especially with the uprisings against French domination in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger taking place today?

Thomas C. Mountain

Thomas C. Mountain is an historian and educator who lived and reported from Eritrea from 2006 to 2021. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com or you can follow him on Twitter at @thomascmountain

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