Letter from CNLG to Public Editor of The Globe and Mail re. article by Geoffrey York & Judi Rever
Dear Ms. Stead,
The story published by Geoffrey York and Judi Rever in The Globe and Mail on 24 February 2017, “Seized Weapon Sheds Light on Mystery of Rwandan Genocide”, grossly and deliberately distorts the historical record.
As the writers must certainly know, the missiles referred to in the alleged September 2016 report from the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo cannot possibly be connected to the attack on the Rwandan presidential airplane on 6 April 1994, which marked the start of the Genocide against the Tutsi, in which more than one million Rwandans were killed.
The two public reports cited in the article, the 2010 UN Group of Experts Report and the 2015 Small Arms Survey , both identify the missiles in question as SAM-7s. However, the French inquiry referred to in the article considers that the airplane was shot down with SAM-16s.
This wilful obfuscation is the latest in a series of thinly-sourced advocacy articles and “too-good-to-be-true” scoops by these journalists, including Ms. Rever’s most tendentious and extreme articles published outside The Globe and Mail, which seem deliberately timed to influence the course of the French judicial inquiry and prevent it from being definitively closed.
This raises the question of whether external parties with a political agenda are dictating The Globe and Mail’s reporting, resulting in a pattern of biased coverage that creates doubt about the impartiality of your paper.
The truth about the most painful chapter of our nation’s history is of the utmost seriousness for survivors of the Genocide against the Tutsi and Rwandans in general. We call on The Globe and Mail to carefully consider whether continued coverage of this kind serves to erode public understanding of one of the 20th century’s most notorious mass crimes.
Dr. Jean-Damascène Bizimana
Executive Secretary, National Commission against Genocide (CNLG)
Former Vice Chairperson, Commission of Independent Experts Investigation of the Crash of the Rwandan Presidential Aircraft on 6 April 1994 (Mutsinzi Commission)