The more it changes: they can change their name, but their ideology is constant | New times

Towards the end of 1994, the genocidal armed forces and their “interim” government in exile were against the wall. Although they had reconstituted their forces, recycled them and rearmed them, with the considerable support of friendly African heads of state, backed by the French government at the time, major problems had arisen.

First, the Sindikubwabo – Kambanda government in exile was dysfunctional. Many members had abandoned the camps in Zaire for a more luxurious refuge elsewhere.

The funds looted in Rwanda or collected through extensive fundraising had been diverted and diverted to the private accounts of the leaders. The population, held hostage in the refugee camps, was becoming restless and, more worrying still, the reputation of the military and political leaders stank the skies for having carried out the genocide against the Tutsi, and embarrassed their international supporters for this reason.

It was under these conditions that Augustin Bizimungu, commander of the Ex-FAR and associated militias called a one-week conference at GOMA, in early September 1994, to analyze the reasons for their defeat and define a strategy to regain power. .

Shortly after the meeting, Bizimungu demanded an immediate cabinet reshuffle, which quickly resulted in no big changes.

In a series of subsequent meetings held in Bukavu and Mugunga camp, Bizimungu and Bagosora lost patience with political leaders and decided to remove the government-in-exile and appoint a new politico-military group to represent the refugees. This group was to be called the Rally for the Return of Refugees and Democracy in Rwanda (RDR).

This organization, subsequently led by a certain Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, had the primary goal, in Bizimungu and Bagosora’s understanding, of renaming the Ex-FAR into a legitimate political movement, a restyling of the ‘genocidal’.Akazu ‘. The message was that the millions of people then held hostage in a frozen exile were the real Rwandans who should be in power in Kigali, that the genocide, or what they called the “horrors of the past” should be forgotten and forgiven, and that the real bad guys were the RPF, foreign invaders who had no homeland – as Bagosora so memorably put it – and who had nothing to do in Rwanda.

In this context, Democracy for the RDR was seen in purely ethical terms and, like PARMEHUTU and the MRND (D) / CDR before it, was seen as the exclusive prerogative of the majority (Hutu) and not of all of them. population. The RDR lobbied for what it called “the truth about the Rwandan tragedy”.

This truth, as the group understood it, was explicitly stated in the infamous document released by one of its founders, Theoneste Bagosora, in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 1995.

The document is an apology for genocide and a diatribe against the inability to complete the extermination, by a man later convicted and jailed for genocide by an international tribunal.

Navigating the treacherous waters of camouflaged extremism has not been a walk in the park for the heirs to the political mantle PARMEHUTU, MRND (D), CDR. The failure of the genocide project and their politico-military defeat against the RPF were a bitter pill to swallow.

The undeniable socio-economic benefits of the RPF-led post-genocide inclusive governance philosophy revealed the bankruptcy of the murderous ethno-regionalist and exclusionist policies of their political sponsors.

Consequently, their brand of “political opposition” was reduced to genocide denial, revision and denial in the face of heavy national and international opprobrium for the murderous sectarianism that plunged Rwanda into the genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. , the RDR was forced to constantly change brands.

It became FDU / Inkingi in 1998, and more recently, in Dalfa / Umurinzi. The mind-boggling soup of acronyms and names is an attempt to obscure and mask the fact that the vision of the leaders of the group and the movement remains the protection of the criminals and the masterminds of the genocide against the Tutsi, and paradoxically to recover for them , the political posts that the 1993 Arusha Accords anticipated.

Part of the challenge for the RDR and its successor organizations has been the regionalism that partly underpinned its formation. In mid-1995, at the Legacy Hotel in Nairobi, members of the clergy, including former Anglican Archbishop Augustin Nshamihigo and Bishop Aaron Ruhumuliza of the Free Methodist Church, were called to mediate between John Kambanda and his former ministers of the “southern regime”, and a northern clique. allies with the Akazu which had been the spearhead of the genocide and the driving force of the new organization. Akazu won but the argument never ended and continued to simmer in the RDR and its successor organizations. This is not surprising since murderous bigotry is in the founding DNA of these groups.

As the French say, “What goes around comes around’, despite the continuous rebranding.

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