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The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide denounces the organization in Belgium, of a negationist conference by the Seth Sendashonga Institute

The Seth Sendashonga Institute (IScid) is organizing a conference-debate on the denial of genocide perpetrated against Tutsi on 23 February 2019 in Brussels. This association created on May 1, 1999 in Brussels is clearly a forum of deniers, the common denominator of which is the propagation of genocide denialist ideas.           

This denial conference held two months before the commemoration of the genocide committed against the Tutsi is more than ever a proof of the existence of gravediggers of memory who coalesce to erase the memory traces of this genocide consecrated by all the authorized international bodies.

The speakers, from Filip Reyntjens, Faustin Twagiramungu, Jean Baptiste Nkuliyingoma, Johan Swinnen, Gustave Mbonyumutwa, and Dr Innocent Biruka, all share denialist positions and strive to stain the memory of the victims and erase the traces of this last genocide of the 20th century. They defend the false formulation of "Rwandan genocide" with the aim of attempting to enthrone an imaginary genocide allegedly committed against Hutu.

Now, it is a matter of public notoriety that there was only one genocide committed against the Tutsi, as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda clearly stated in the very first judgment that it gave in Akayesu case: "It is clear that the 1994 massacres in Rwanda had a specific objective: to exterminate the Tutsi, chosen specifically because of their belonging to the Tutsi ethnic group, and not because they were RPF combatants (...) This is a genocide that was committed in Rwanda in 1994, against the Tutsi as a group "(ICTR, Akayesu Trial Judgment, 2 September 1998, paragraph 18).

The thread running through Filip Reyntjens' publications since the end of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi is a web of lies and falsifications of history. One of his strategies is to use all manner of manipulations, such as books, articles and colloquia to demonize Tutsi victims, to attack the leadership of the country incarnated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front and thus overthrow the responsibility for the genocide by attributing it to the Tutsi.

This is also the case of the former Belgian Ambassador to Rwanda from August 1990 to April 1994, Mr Johan Swinnen. In the most abject way, Johan Swinnen knowingly interferes with the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi and the massacres. But before the genocide, he was in Kigali flirting with the regime of Habyarimana, the planner of the genocide. During these years, he became aware of all the preparations for the genocide and either ignored it or was a passive accomplice of the genocidaires. Rather than questioning himself today, he prefers to collaborate with the deniers, to offer a rereading of the history of Rwanda by denying the specificity of the extermination of the Tutsi to establish a wrong version of the facts.

This recycling of history is what Gustave Mbonyumutwa and his negationist association Jambo ASBL also does. This association was created in Belgium by children or relatives of genocidaires sentenced by international justice or by Rwandan courts for their involvement in the genocide committed against Tutsi. The members of Jambo ASBL employ many strategies, ranging from the organization of denial conferences, candidacies to municipal elections, filing complaints that aim to create a judicial forum where deniers from all sides would be invited to dwell on their unhealthy theories.

Faustin Twagiramungu, an old veteran of denial conferences and statements, is also among the speakers of the day. He proposes to ramble over the Rwandan genocide terminology. He says that in Rwanda, there have been clashes between the majority and the ethnic minority, that the majority are right, that minorities are wrong. He explicitly denies the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. He pretends to ignore that he observed the unfolding of this genocide, and that if he is alive, he owes it to the RPF who saved him from the genocidaires who tracked him down to eliminate him as an opponent of the Habyarimana regime.

It is the same for Jean Baptiste Nkuliyingoma, one of the tenors of the Republican Democratic Movement MDR-PARMEHUTU, this extremist political party which, created in 1959, was revived in 1991 by the nostalgic of ethnic hatred. Many leaders of this Party, including Shingiro Mbonyumutwa and Jean Baptiste Nkuliyingoma, former journalist of the state radio of the single party MRND, still embody today a divisive ideology that they seek to perpetuate in Belgium in order to blur the preparations for the 25th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi.

In sum, these facts show that conference-debates such as that organized by the Sendashonga Institute in Belgium on February 23, 2019 are part of denialist activities organized by individuals nostalgic of the former genocidal regime. They must therefore be denounced and the organizers unmasked.

CNLG commends in advance all those who recognize and act for the dignity of the victims and survivors of the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. It encourages Rwandans and friends of Rwanda to join forces in the fight against genocide denial.

 

 

Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascene

Executive Secretary

Press Release