A call for truth and justice in the African Great Lakes Region

 

Belgian Col. Luc Marchal, center, commanded Belgian troops at the U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda in 1993-1994.  Marchal signed and circulated the Appeal for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa to others who have been involved by their work and/or humanitarian commitments.  He joined this march in Brussels for the freedom of Victoire Ingabire and other Rwandan political prisoners in 2011.
Belgian Col. Luc Marchal, center, commanded Belgian troops at the U.N. Assistance Mission in Rwanda in 1993-1994. Marchal signed and circulated the Appeal for Truth and Justice in the Great Lakes Region of Africa to others who have been involved by their work and/or humanitarian commitments. He joined this march in Brussels for the freedom of Victoire Ingabire and other Rwandan political prisoners in 2011.

On Oct. 1, 2014, BBC2 broadcast a documentary, “Rwanda’s Untold Story,” on the tragedies which have devastated the Great Lakes Region of Africa since 1990, especially Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This documentary methodically deconstructs the narrative that has been made official by most of the Western media.

The signatories of this appeal, who have been actors or observers in the African Great Lakes Region, through their work and/or humanitarian commitments, wish to congratulate and express their support to the BBC journalists and management who have significantly contributed to establishing the previously ignored historical truth.

International justice has been instrumentalized and has not fulfilled its role:

— Essential documents such as the Gersony Report or the Hourigan Inquiry have not been taken into consideration by the ICTR.

— Ms. Carla Del Ponte was going to issue indictments following the special investigation into the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) crimes but, in 2003, she was removed from her position of ICTR chief prosecutor after the intervention of several member states of the U.N. Security Council.

— The 1998 U.N. Garreton Report and the 2010 U.N. Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1993-2003, which both implicated the Kigali regime for its action in DRC, did not result in any legal action.

— The attack on the plane carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi is considered by a great number of observers and commissions of inquiry as a key element in the escalation of violence and the outbreak of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda; therefore, it is not acceptable that 20 years later the perpetrators and the actors should not be known, tried and convicted.

International justice has been instrumentalized and has not fulfilled its role.

At a time when the European Parliament has awarded Dr. Denis Mukwege the 2014 Sakharov Prize for his work in favor of the women victims of rape and sexual violence during the armed conflicts that have torn the Eastern DRC for almost 20 years, it is unacceptable that those responsible for these crimes against humanity or genocide which have caused several million deaths in the DRC should not be indicted, prosecuted and convicted.

Peace can only be achieved if justice is rendered fairly and equitably. Therefore the signatories call upon the U.N. to set up at the earliest the structures and procedures permitting the prosecution of all those responsible for all the crimes perpetrated in this region since 1990: war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

The signatories ask that the political pressures and media bias which aim at discrediting the French and Spanish judicial investigations that implicate the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front be denounced. We cannot help being astonished by the silence in almost all French language media after the broadcast of the documentary by the BBC, whose professionalism and deontology are internationally recognized.

It is unacceptable that those responsible for these crimes against humanity or genocide which have caused several million deaths in the DRC should not be indicted, prosecuted and convicted.

Only truth and impartial justice will help restore peace to the region. The signatories of this call reiterate their support to the BBC and call upon it to continue its work of presenting information and truth in the dramatic events that took place in Rwanda and in the Great Lakes region. This will be the best way to respond to the criticisms of the last October.

Signatories

BEUNZA, Professor Pepe, Spain, first Spanish conscientious objector

BONET JPUIGERT, Joseph, Spain, member, GEES (Grup d’Empordaneses i Empordanesos per la Solidaritat)

BOULE, Pierre, Canada, lawyer

CABOT-VIDAL, Spain, human rights activist

CANET, Professor Francesc, Spain, former Member of Parliament

CARRERO, Juan, Spain, founder “Veritas Rwanda Forum”

CASOLIVA, Joan, Spain, INSHUTI Association

CASTRO ELCACHO, Pedro, Spain, financial investor

CLAEYS BOUUAERT, Thérèse, Belgium, sociologist

COMELLAS HUMET, Sergi, Spain, engineer

CONSTANT, Raphaël, France, head of Martinique Bar Association

CREPEAU, Pierre, Canada, anthropologist and writer, in charge of the foundation of the University of Butare (Rwanda)

CUADRAT i PELACH, Professor Nuria, Spain,

CUSSAC, Colonel Bernard, France

DE BEULE, Christiaan, Belgium, Rwanda – Burundi asbi

DE LA CAMARA, Belen, Spain, Mediator

DESGAGNE, Bernard, Canada, Journalist

ERLINDER, Professor Peter, USA, ICTR defense attorney

FARRES Josephina, Spain, INSHUTI Association

FRUCHARD, General Michel, France, ex African matters counselor, French Ministry of Defence

GARRISON, Ann, USA, print and radio journalist

GENTILINI, Professor Marc, France, Honorary President, French Medecine Academy, honorary President, French Red Cross

GISPERT, Maria, Spain, Contractor

HABYARIMANA, General Emmanuel, Switzerland, Geopolitical scientist, President, Virtus Panafricaine de Géopolitique

HERMAN, Professor Edward S., USA, Writer and teacher

HOGARD, Colonel Jacques, France, area commanding officer, Operation Turquoise

KALINGANIRE, Pascal, USA, human rights activist, Organization for Peace, Justice and Development in Rwanda and Great Lakes Region

KAZADI KABIMBA, Richard, DRC, lawyer

KÖCHLER, Hans, Austria, President, International Progress Association

LAFOURCADE, General Jean Claude, Professor, France, Commanding officer, Operation Turquoise

LIONDJO, Philippe, Switzerland, President, Swiss chapter, CLD

LIGA DEL DRETS DEIS POBLES, Spain, human rights NGO for the African Great Lakes Region

MARCHAL, Colonel Luc, Belgium, Commanding Officer, Kigali Sector, United Nations Mission In Rwanda, 1993-94

MATATA, Joseph, Belgium, Coordinator, Center for the Fight against Impunity and Injustice in Rwanda

MBEKA, Joseph Salomon, Belgium, human rights activist

MOLINA, Amparo, Spain, President, Federation of Black Africa Committees

MUKASINE Florentine, Netherlands, Netherlands Coordinator, Women’s International Network for Democracy and Peace

NDAGIJIMANA, Jean-Marie France, Former Rwanda Foreign Minister

NDAYISABA, Elysee, Belgium, President, Assistance to Victims of Conflict in Central Africa

NDJOKO, Bénédicte, Switzerland, teacher, human rights activist

NKINAMUBANZI, Pierre – Claver, Canada, President, CRC (Rwandan Congress of Canada)

NYABIRUNGU MWENE SONGA, Raphael, Professor, DRC, Dean, Kinshasa Law Faculty

NYIRANKUNDWANKIZE, Daphrose, Belgium, Belgium Président, Women’s International Network for Democracy and Peace

OLIVAR, Joan, Spain, Geographer

OLIVER GONZALES, Antoni, Spain, Lecturer

PACHA VINCENTE, Carlos, Spain, Engineer

PALOU, Sergio, Spain, Economist

PALOU – LOVERDOS, Jordi, Spain, lawyer for the Rwandese, Spanish and Congolese victims, lawyer,

International Forum for Truth and Justice in the African Great Lakes Region

PETERSON, David, USA, Writer and researcher

PHILPOT, Robin, Canada, publisher and author books on the African Great Lakes region

PHILPOT, John, Canada, Lawyer

PLOURDE, Philippe, Canada, Lawyer Legal Assistant for defence team at the ICTR

PONS, Jordi, Spain, Inshuti association

PUIG-LOVERDOS, Oscar, Spain, economist

PUTS, Jean-Paul, Belgium, Surgeon (former Rwanda war and humanitarian surgeon – 1994 – 1996)

RAFFIN, Madeleine, France, Caritas Gikongoro director (1991 – 1993)

REID, Timothy B., Canada, former Investigations & Justice Reform Officer U.N. Human Rights

Field Operation in Rwanda & former DDRRR Team Leader for South Kivu – U.N. Mission in DRC (MONUC)

REVER, Judi, Canada, Journalist

ROBARDEY, Colonel Michel, France, Counselor, Investigation police (1990-1993)

ROMERO ALVAREZ, Jordi – Xavier, Spain, Theologian

RUTIHUNZA, Théobald, France, President, RIPRODHOR

SAYO ROURA, Ester, Spain, Member, GEES (Grup d’Empordaneses i Empordanesos per la Solidaritat)

SBOLGI, Mauro, Belgium, Administrator, S.I.R.E.A.S association

SIROIS, André, Canada, lawyer and legal translator, first coordinator of the ICTR’s linguistic services

SOLER ROS, Maria, Spain, Member, GEES (Grup d’Empordaneses i Empordanesos per la Solidaritat)

TERES BONET, Noria, Spain, Justicia i Pau

VALLMAJO, Marti, Spain, brother Joaquim Vallmajo killed in Rwanda 04/26/94

VILA TRIOLA, Spain, Pere

VILLENA, Rafael, Spain, President of Coordonadora ONG Saladaries, de les comanques gironines I l’Alt

VINCENT, Colonel André, Belgium, commanding officer, Belgium technical military assistance (1991 – 1993)

WEYL, Fréderic, France, Lawyer

RwandaGenocide from x on Vimeo.

The BBC documentary with French subtitles