jeudi 5 janvier 2012

Rwanda: Back on the attempt which caused one million deaths.*

On April 6, 1994, two missiles felled the plane of President Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda while preparing to land at Kigali airport. This attack was used as a reason the outbreak of the genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda and the massacre of Hutu political Democrats, killing about one million people in one hundred days.

What could think of President Habyarimana twenty-five minutes before his death?

         On 6 April 1994 to 20 hours before his death sudden and somewhat premature, what could think the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, 57 years and 102 Kg?
         Only he could have said, but evidence suggests he had found the awful day from start to finish. Getting up at dawn to the center of negotiations in Dar es-Salaam, on the edge of the Indian Ocean, he had to pester its strong inside against this destination too far - nearly 1,200 miles - and too hot, while yesterday, the center of Arusha, altitude as temperate as Kigali and only 754 kilometers - was available.
         In general, Juvenal Habyarimana loved daydreaming in his personal aircraft when the crew of three French gave him a rare sense of security. When sag in the butter-colored leather chair of his tri-jet Falcon 50, he had sometimes, according to relatives who traveled with him, a kind of euphoria and a first proved easier.
         Maybe he was the indomitable child from this seasoned dictator: a bit naive admiration for aircraft, especially jets. Despite the wear of a long quasi-absolute power that had laid low many illusions, wheezing and grace of this metal bird remained for him synonymous with luxury and escape.

Fan jet.

         It was not for nothing that the President of the Republic of Rwanda had built his villa in the axis of the single runway airport in Kigali, Rwanda's capital. Impossible that the house did reveal to visitors what it was: old-fashioned, cement, ugly.
         Around, some peacocks, chickens, a pig and a snake pit where a vegetated boa obese. At least this mini zoo allowed the presidential residence, failing to fly, to reach the top of bad taste. And not redeemed within any kind of external impression.

The top of bad taste.

         The master of the house liked the ivory-white lacquered furniture style noodle / rococo inspired the worst soap opera on the Far West. And gold-plated taps, which gave the bathrooms a luxury pissy.
         On both sides of the bed, huge, too big for one man (for years he was a separate room with his wife Agathe and was reluctant to show him any affection) enthroned two bedside tables made of legs of a naturalized Elephant. A trophy shot, he said, by his friend Valery Giscard d'Estaing. Remember when the first president to satisfy his friend ran two passions: hunting big and small.
         The only real attraction of the place was a wooden spiral staircase topped by a huge chandelier and a device that hid secret: the night of a button hidden in his room, Juvenal Habyarimana could activate the electrical contacts placed on each step, connected a ring.           
A dictator elected and reelected between 97% and 99.9% not be too careful, in Africa and elsewhere.

Stairs on alert.

         But what did the monstrous building, more of a bunker than a house. Two kilometers from the landing zone, Juvenal Habyarimana was better placed than anyone to enjoy the roar of the engines that interrupted any conversation.
         Master of the earth and men of Rwanda as the former "Mwami" (kings), the President could, looking up to heaven, dreaming that these aircraft were as many kites he was the son connected it to the invisible world. And at night, the windows of airliners were the big flashing Christmas lights hanging from the tree imagination.
         A force to be wary of everyone and everything, Habyarimana was now a slight tendency to delirium and took the sound of jet engines for the ultimate in modernity.
         Any psychologist would have revealed that this fantasy crystallized his desire to escape. In this April 6, 1994, back home he was still a pleasure?

The desire to flee.

         Best about the job of president is that wherever you go, everyone feels obliged to display a wide smile and ostensibly confident. Conversely, for twenty-one years in office, Habyarimana had learned to write a simple man of character, affable, available, provider of security and good humor.
         But under the battering blows of the rebellion and betrayal he felt was mostly in his own camp, the varnish had cracked in recent months, digging all kinds of injuries, reopening old wounds.
         And it was worse this fatal April 6, 1994 afternoon, where he had been obliged to drop everything to which he clung: exercise, seemingly almost absolute power.

The battering of the rebellion.

         What is power? Does it really? Power over whom? About yourself? At what price? Had he not been forced to survive adversity, Juvenal Habyarimana would have liked to philosophize about these issues.
         The gap was first dug with his wife Agathe Kanziga he could see she stealthily federated against him and in his relatives, a gang of Hutu hardliners.
         Men greedy, desperate to defend their pensions and their networks businessmen, capable of mounting complex and highly structured networks without leaving a trace on the paper.
         Scion of a line of wrens Hutu Northwest Rwanda, Agathe had a growing influence in the presidential household in Rwanda was called derisively the Akazu: an allusion to the royal enclosure at the time of the dynasties Tutsi, the official propaganda accused of all evils.

Under the yoke of a gang of Hutu hardliners.

         Under the guise of defending the "rubanda nyamwinshi" (the majority people, understood the Hutu "),
a new Hutu noble caste was constituted, which had insidiously taken the place of the old monarchy.
         Insider was called ORP new preferred plan: Originally from the Regional President. A dual code formulation because everyone knew that Habyarimana was the son of an obscure employee of Mission of Uganda Revenue without lineage worthy of the name.
         The real president was combined with local women, as was that of Madame. The Akazu, it was she and her family. Only. And therefore the ORP, her "family jewels".

The Madame’s ORP.

         Habyarimana was losing his famous control of himself when he saw his wife openly challenge him. The point of hitting, brought the servants. Agathe had become accustomed to her husband's infidelities, which were only brief affairs, especially that no  woman Tutsi was mentioned. In that way, the honor was, somehow preserved the Devil. Or so she thought.
         This did not prevent President Francois Mitterrand, said sex expert in "low", to judge that the wife of his friend Habyarimana, was the devil.
         When Juvenal Habyarimana had married her, Agathe was all honey, a quivering femininity deployed. But with the passage of time, under its reserved air, his eyes beneath his words and a false humility, Madame Queen proved to be a gall. She had no equal to humiliate or demean her husband do without air.
         And as in the days of kings, the servants had vented by spreading problems of the couple. Now, Agathe Habyarimana was decked out the name of a former queen of Tutsi cruelty legendary Kanjogera-the-bloody.
         It was said that for sunrise, Kanjogera based on a spear whose tip pierced the belly of a Hutu slave lying on the ground. Thus the revival of the Queen accompanied by the dreadful rattle of a clown.


         It is also said that sometimes, at the height of exasperation, Habyarimana was beating his wife and she was cast as refuge for several days at Archbishop Vincent Nsengiyumva, the archbishop of Kigali who felt for her a vibrant friendship.
         These rumors were false but surely delighted the common people who hated Agathe Kanziga like Marie Antoinette, France, in 1789.
         The time of landing in twenty minutes, Juvenal Habyarimana would soon probably not his wife to cross-bunker in the house whose entrance gate flanked by two armored cars was Panhard.
         Dark perspective. No doubt she was going to throw in a corner next heavy criticism since he had to capitulate in Dar es-Salaam. Since he had resigned himself to betray the cause of the "majority people", a cause to which she had devoted herself as a religion.
         Abandoned wives often take refuge in mysticism, but is it for the benefit of their husbands? The President was missing almost none of the apparitions of the Virgin in Kibeho, a small town lost in southern Rwanda, where the trance of one or the other "conspicuous" - political messages disturbing - were set as clockwork.
         For his devotions reach their goal, Agathe had installed in the attic of the presidential residence two chapels: one Christian, the other animist. A double mystic shot. You can never be too careful.
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*-Article published in Afrikarabia of January 3, 2012 by Jean-Francois Dupaquier, a graduate of Sciences.Po, writer, former editor of Daily Paris and then in the”Evénement du Jeudi”, has been an astute observer of  Rwanda and Burundi and expert witness at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
He has authored include:
-La Justice Internationale face au drame rwandais
(The International Justice against the Rwandan tragedy), Karthala, Paris, 1996.
-Burundi 1972. Au bord des génocides (Burundi 1972. The brink of genocide),
in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Chrétien, Karthala, Paris, 2007.
L’Agenda du génocide. Le témoignage de Richard Mugenzi, ex-espion rwandais (The Agenda of the genocide. The testimony of Richard Mugenzi, former Rwandan spy), Karthala, Paris, 2010.

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