Lucas got it wrong on Rwanda

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame

SIR: I read Olabode Lucas exposition on Burundi and Rwanda and his correction of Professor Akinterinwa, which appeared in The Guardian May 31, 2015. As revealing as it was, there were missing links.

I doubt if the writer is in tune with the history of Rwanda, otherwise he wouldn’t have enthused thus: “Unfortunately, the minority Tutsi exemplified by President Paul Kigame are ruling with the backing of the military made up mainly of ethnic Tutsi. This unacceptable situation of the minority lording it over the majority was the major reason for the unfortunate Rwandan genocide of the 1990s.”

This is not correct. Rwanda was governed by the majority Hutu before the genocide. The late President Juvénal Habyarimana was a Hutu and was assassinated by Hutu conspirators in the army because of his pro-Tutsi and, all-inclusive style of governance. It is one death the majority Hutu found convenient to blame on the Tutsi – so as to prosecute the genocide – which was systematically planned many months before Habyarimana assassination.

Long before then, a large population of the minority Tutsi had fled Rwanda due to the subjugation they suffered under the Hutu majority government. These atrocious acts forced certain extremists Tutsi to take up arms against the Hutu in a civil war.

Maybe Lucas needs to watch the movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’ so he could get the import of how Tutsi (minority), moderate Hutus and Twas were gang-raped and butchered by soldiers of the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda and the Rwandan Defence Forces, village heads, and civilians.

A country that the West forgot to help with their double standard (France and Belgium) until the minority Tutsi Paul Kigame then a rebel warlord fought hard with his rag-tag army to defeat a federal army interested in exterminating the Tutsi, a class they gleefully nicknamed cockroaches not fit to live. But for Paul Kigame and his RPF forces that ended the genocide with a military victory, I doubt if there would have been a remnant of the Tutsi population in Rwanda.

Rwanda under the leadership of minority Tutsi President Paul Kagame so far has received support from all Rwandese such that you don’t hear citizens align to their heritage of Tutsi, Hutu and Twa any more, there is peace, stability, and economic growth, and the country is stamping out corruption more than Nigeria.

• Simon Abah, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

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