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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

An open letter to authors of ‘Forbidden Stories’: The dogs bark, but the Rwanda caravan passes

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You boast a lot these days about being a group of 50 journalists working in 17 media outlets in 11 countries. But with two exceptions, these countries are all European, which you always forget to mention.

Would this embarrass you? I also hear that this investigation cost you six months of effort and two million dollars and I want to have a little fun: all that for that?

This is the first big lie and it is not by chance that Colette Braeckman of the Belgian daily Le Soir called your media campaign a “conjuration” before Aline Cateux, her colleague from the same newspaper, rightly repulsed by your negationism, brutally slammed the door. I always wonder why the Western media focuses on Rwanda while remaining silent on Ukraine and so many other challenges their societies face.

If Black Africa interests them to this extent, don’t they know that in neighbouring DR Congo the Tutsi are massacred and eaten and that these scenes of cannibalism where we hear that the Tutsi’s flesh is too good, filmed in the middle great cries of joy, continue to go around the world?

Shame on you! Shame on you!

Your media conspiracy made you the laughing stock of your colleagues around the world, but the way I felt about it can only be different.

I, Yolande Mukagasana, a survivor of the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994, I ask you this evening on behalf of my beloved husband Joseph who was already an orphan of the 1963 genocide in Gikongoro, cut with a machete on April 13, 1994, then killed with gun at the roadblock of sub-prefect Karera François in Kivugiza in the City of Kigali; I am also calling on you on behalf of my children Christian, Sandrine and Nadine to find out what gives you the right to spit your slime on my grieving memory.

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Above all, do not talk to me about the search for truth because your texts are based on the testimonies of [genocide] deniers despised by all, such as Charles Onana, Judi Rever and Michela Wrong and on those of Rwandans suspected or even convicted of genocide and condemned as such. You know well that no truth will ever come out of these foul-smelling mouths.

As for you who gave them the floor, do you not have children? I feel like you have no idea what it means to have lost a loved one. I am tempted to ask you to put yourself in my place but I know you are completely incapable of doing so. You are racist and like so many racists, you will defend yourself with indignation. You are definitely very strange creatures, ladies and gentlemen, great humanists. No, you are not racist: you simply don’t care that my husband and my children died in such terrible conditions just because they were Tutsi!

I know that your hatred towards President Kagame does not start today. As soon as I settled in Europe, in February 1995, I noticed that certain Europeans did not stop defaming the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) which single-handedly put an end to the 1994 genocide. Paul Kagame saved me from hell and whether you like it or not he is and will forever be my hero. Your attitude symbolizes that of the West which, after having looked away from the horror that we were experiencing 30 years ago, does not hesitate today to reopen the wounds of the victims.

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I always knew that your only objective was to not give Paul Kagame a minute of respite so that he would not have time to serve his people. But you ended up realising that Kagame is not alone, that he has all the Rwandan youth with him. In Rwanda, when you trample a flower, more than ten others bloom at the same time and in the same place.

Do you want me to tell you the secret of our success? In our country, as soon as a small opportunist is pushed aside, at least ten serious patriots rise up to replace him. Kagame works as a team, a team that reflects his image.

“The dancer’s sorrow does not prevent him from dancing well.” Allow me to explain to you this Rwandan proverb that you certainly do not know: we survivors who are not ungrateful, despite our pain and our difficulties, we help to rebuild souls but also the economy of this country. We have joined hands to create a rule of law. You don’t like it? Well, we don’t care about your petty frustrations.

I, Yolande Mukagasana, am only a Rwandan citizen who has never campaigned in a political party. I am just attentive to the progress of my country since April 7, 1994 and vigilant towards all those who wish us so much harm. I believed them to be evil out of simple ignorance, but today I realize that their cruelty is deliberate and that they will not shy away from any historical falsification to destroy my people.

It’s unbearable in the end. They kept silent when it was necessary to raise their voices and now, they raise their voices when they have nothing more to say. At a time when human rights are increasingly violated in your countries, you claim to be concerned about their respect in other countries. Feigned indignation!

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Thirty years of hatred… My God, what tenacious hatred is yours! Continue to give a voice to the deniers and to all those who are still angry today at not having succeeded in killing all the Tutsi! This will be of no use because no matter what, Rwanda will continue to keep its head high, Rwanda will continue its march forward.

 

 

 

The author is a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda

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