General Romeo Dallaire
by Christopher Black
January 25, 2009
Photo:UNAMIR military force commander, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire.
The murder of two African presidents
The idea that the Rwandan government planned the genocide of the minority Tutsi population in 1994 rests primarily on the statements of the enemies of that government who need the idea of a genocide in order to justify the final act of aggression against Rwanda by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) so-called and its allies. That final act of aggression was the RPF offensive launched the night of April 6, 1994 with the massacre of everyone on board the jet aircraft of President Habyarimana, the Hutu president of Rwanda and President Ntaryamira, the Hutu president of Burundi.
The two presidents were returning from a meeting called by President Museveni of Uganda to discuss the implementation of the Arusha Accords, the peace agreement between the Rwandan government and the RPF-Ugandan forces which had invaded the country in 1990. Also on board the plane was the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff, other dignitaries and a French military crew. The plane was shot down by anti-aircraft missiles as it approached Kigali airport. It is now established that the plane was shot down by the RPF with the cooperation and assistance of western powers including the United States of America, Britain, Belgium and Canada. President Ntaryamira was the second Hutu president murdered by Tutsis. President Ndadaye of Burundi was murdered by Tutsi officers of the Burundi Army in October of 1993.
British and US interests
The attack on the plane was the culmination of a long-planned war by the RPF and its allies. The war began in 1990 when Ugandan soldiers of Tutsi origin invaded Rwanda under the name of the RPF. This act of aggression by Uganda was supported by both Britain and the USA. Those countries provided the encouragement and the financial, material, logistical, advisory and training support necessary, flowing it all through the Ugandan Army to the RPF. The American and British instigated and controlled the war as a means of advancing their grand strategy of invading Zaire to seize control of the vast resources of the Congo basin.
The first attack was repelled and the RPF then adopted terrorism and guerilla operations to undermine Rwanda. Several other major attacks took place in the following three years. At the same time, the western allies of the RPF pressured the Rwandan government to come to terms with the RPF and in 1993 at Arusha, Tanzania, a series of negotiations resulted in the signing of the Arusha Accords. The Rwandan government was forced to make several major concessions to the RPF even though it could only claim, at best, to represent 15% of the Rwandan population. The Accords called for the establishment of a transition government sharing power with the RPF, leading to elections of a final government. However, it was known by everyone that the RPF could never win such elections and could only win power by force of arms and treachery.
The Accords also called for the presence in Rwanda of a neutral UN force to help keep the peace during the process. That force, known as UNAMIR, was headed by Jacques Roger Booh-Booh and, under him, the military force commander, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire.
As UN documents show, Dallaire was aware, at least from December 1993, and probably before, that the RPF, with the support of the Ugandan Army, was daily violating the Accords by sending into Rwanda men, materiel, and light and heavy weapons in preparation for a final offensive. Dallaire kept this information from his boss Booh-Booh and the Secretary General, Boutros-Ghali. The RPF was assisted in these violations of the Accords by the Belgian contingent of UNAMIR and the Canadian officers involved who turned a blind eye to the RPF and Ugandan Army smuggling into Rwanda men and materiel and even assisted them in doing so all the while protesting that the Hutu regime was hiding weapons, a charge which has never been proved.
In conjunction with the military build-up by the RPF and its allies, including the infiltration into Kigali, the capital city, of up to 10,000 RPF soldiers, western journalists and western intelligence services masquerading as “human rights” organizations began a concerted propaganda campaign against the Government and through it the Hutu people, accusing it of various human rights abuses, none of which were substantiated. The RPF engaged in assassinations of officials, politicians and civilians, and attempted to cast the blame on the government. Dallaire assisted in this campaign by suppressing facts concerning these crimes and openly siding with the RPF propaganda statements.
A country pushed to the brink
These actions, combined with the stresses of the war on the economy and the social fabric of the country, mass unemployment, a large internal refugee population fleeing RPF attacks, and the breakdown of the government’s ability to function caused by the collapse of revenue from coffee and tea exports, resulted in a tinderbox. Only a spark was needed for the country to explode. That spark was the murder of the much-loved President and the country-wide offensive launched by the RPF and its allies the night of April 6, 1994.
From the very start of their offensive, the RPF began a propaganda campaign claiming that they were motivated by the need to stop a “genocide”. This entirely false claim was never questioned by the western press, always eager to support their governments, even in the face of the fact that the Rwandan government several times asked the RPF for cease-fires so that civilian attacks on civilians could be stopped, and the fact that Rwanda, then a member of the Security Council, demanded that 5,000 more UN troops be sent to assist in controlling the situation a request refused at the instigation of the US.
They stepped up this campaign as the war progressed. On April 13, 1994 the RPF demanded the trial of the Rwandan government and army for “genocide” before an international tribunal, echoing the threat made to President Habyarimana by Herman Cohen  on behalf of the US in the fall of 1993 that unless Habyarimana ceded all power to the RPF his body would be dragged through the streets of Kigali and his government tried by an international tribunal. This demand at one and the same time:
criminalized the Rwandan government,
justified the RPF and American refusal to negotiate terms with “criminals”,
prevented the government from obtaining support and assistance from its major western ally, France,
destroyed any support it had in the international community and public opinion, and finally,
justified the brutal RPF military dictatorship over the people of Rwanda and the refusal to allow Hutus any power in Rwanda.
The RPF and its allies succeeded in all these objectives and continue their
propaganda campaign today with continuous show trials both in Rwanda, through
the Gacaca “trial” system and through the show trials of Hutus taking place at
the American and British controlled Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal in Arusha,
Two major problems with RPF claims of genocide
However, there are two major problems with the RPF claims. Firstly, there is a surprising lack of evidence of a genocide of Tutsis. In fact, the only independent study of those killed in Rwanda in 1994, being conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Maryland indicates that there were approximately 250,000 people killed, not the 800,000 plus advanced by the RPF and that for every Tutsi killed two Hutus were killed and those mainly by the RPF. This is confirmed in the recently released book, Rwanda, Histoire Secrete (2005, Edition du Panama) written by a former RPF officer named Abdul who states that the RPF shot down the plane [for further sources on this key issue see APPENDIX below] and that there was a genocide not of Tutsis by Hutus but of Hutus by the RPF.
Secondly, there is a stunning lack of documentary evidence of a government plan to commit genocide. There are no orders, minutes of meetings, notes, cables, faxes, radio intercepts or any other type of documentation that such a plan ever existed. In fact, the documentary evidence establishes just the opposite.
The "genocide" fax
This lack of documentation is the Achilles Heel of the RPF-western claims of genocide. Something was needed to fill this void. That something is the so-called “genocide” fax supposedly sent to New York UN HQ on the night of January 10th-11th 1994 and which first made its appearance in public on November 28th, 1995 when it was placed in the UN files in New York and contemporaneously leaked to a journalist in Belgium and the London Observer.
This fax is the single document upon which the claims of a planned genocide rest. It was supposedly sent by General Dallaire to General Baril, another Canadian general at the Dept of Peace Keeping Operations in New York. It sets out the claims of a UN informant named Jean Pierre Turatsinze that the ruling government party planned to exterminate Tutsis, was training civilians for that purpose and that there was a plan to kill Belgian soldiers to provoke the withdrawal of UN forces. This fax has been trumpeted by the ICTR prosecution as the key to the plan to commit genocide. However, all the evidence presented at the Tribunal and elsewhere establishes that, in fact, the fax is a fabrication.
On November 5th, 1995 the RPF organized a conference in Kigali to amplify
support for their claims of genocide and for the trial and punishment of those
responsible. This conference failed to provide any documentary evidence of such
a claim. At the same time a UNAMIR commission was created by its new head, Mr. S
Khan and which included several UN officers who went through all the UNAMIR
cables, faxes and reports to determine whether there had been any prior
indication of such a plan. Not one document was found, especially the “genocide”
fax. That report is dated November 20th , 1995.
Fax on the fast track
Then, mysteriously, a few days after the release of the UN report, on November 28th, 1995 a fax machine at the UN offices in New York received a fax of a copy of a code cable dated January 11th 1994 sent by Dallaire to General Baril. The problem is that the person who sent the fax to New York that day was a Colonel R. M. Connaughton of the British Army, based at Camberly, Surrey, England, the home of the British Military Academy, Sandhurst as well as several other British Army establishments. His name and fax number appear at the top of the document. There was no cover letter explaining who sent it, why it was sent, nor is there anything indicating why this document was accepted by the UN in New York and placed in the DPKO files.
This document has typed on its face, “This cable was not found in DPKO files.
The present copy was placed in the files on November 28th, 1995.” It is signed
by Lamin J. Sise, a UN official. The document contains other handwritten notes
made on it after its receipt that day.
However, the copy of this document presented by the Prosecutor at the ICTR for the last ten years has had the name and fax number of the sender, Sise’s note and other notes removed. It is this doctored version of the cable that the Prosecutor tried to present as an exhibit in the Military II in October, 2005, through a prosecution witness, Lt. Col. Claeys, an officer of the Belgian Army and one of the men who claims to have drafted and sent the original cable. But the prosecution suffered a major setback and embarrassment when defence counsel objected to the attempt to make this doctored version an exhibit and entered into the record the copy of the fax contained in the DPKO files bearing the name of the British Army source.
Both General Dallaire and Lt. Col. Claeys have testified that the contents of the fax as set out in the fax presented by the prosecution are identical to the contents of the fax or cable sent the night of January 10th-11th, though interestingly Dallaire states that Claeys was not involved in drafting the fax, whereas Claeys insists he was. It is clear that Dallaire testified to the contrary when he was faced on cross-examination in the Military I trial with statements made by Claeys in 1995 to Belgian investigators and in 1997 to the Belgian Senate, that the fax sent that night dealt only with weapons caches and seeking protection for the informant and contained nothing about killing Tutsis or killing Belgian soldiers. In order to eliminate this embarrassing fact, Dallaire simply erased Claeys from the picture.
It is clear from the the fax itself and the surrounding circumstances, that there was a fax sent that night but it was not the one now presented to the ICTR and the world as the one sent by Dallaire.
The informant was presented to Dallaire by Faustin Twagiramungu , a Rwandan opposition candidate for Prime Minister and an opponent of the Rwandan government and a sympathizer of the RPF. He has since stated that he told Dallaire and his staff that the informant claimed to have information only about weapons caches and he was surprised to hear years later that the informant had information about the killing of Tutsis and Belgians.
General Dallaire does not mention such a fax before November 1995. There is no mention of plans to kill Tutsis or Belgians contained in notes of meetings between the informant and Claeys which followed the first meeting with the informant described in the fax. Again, the principal subject mentioned in those meetings is weapons caches. Neither Dallaire nor any of the Belgian commanders acted as if they had received any such information. There was no action taken by them to put their men on alert or to take precautions. There was no response from New York to such a fax. There exist only responses to a fax concerning weapons caches, but this original fax is nowhere to be found.
It is clear that Dallaire sent a fax that night and that it concerned only weapons caches and seeking advice from New York regarding the protection of the informant. In fact, the subject heading of the “genocide” fax is not “genocide” or “killing” but an innocuous “Request For Protection of Informant”. The present fax was fabricated using the original fax which dealt with weapons caches only by cutting out some of the paragraphs of that fax and pasting in new paragraphs about killing Tutsis and Belgians. This is supported by the fact that the paragraphs are numbered 1 through 13 but there is no paragraph 12. Further the only reply to a fax sent that night from Kigali refers to a paragraph 7 as the action paragraph. But in the fax as presented by the prosecution the action paragraph is paragraph 9, the paragraph seeking advice on protection of the informant. Also Paragraph 11 states that Dallaire will meet with Faustin Twagiramungu to brief him on events but as we know that man states that he was never told of such information coming from the informant. Lastly, paragraph 2 states that the killing of Belgians would “guarantee Belgian withdrawal from Rwanda” something that could only be known after the fact.
Nobody told Booh-Booh
One last curious fact is that Dallaire states he bypassed protocol by sending the fax without the signature of his boss, Booh-Booh or his seeing it. He states that this is the only occasion when this happened. This only makes sense if, in fact, he did not violate protocol as he never sent this fax in the first place. His version is a way of getting around the fact that Booh-Booh never saw what is now called the “genocide” fax. Booh-Booh testified at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal the week of November 21, 2005 that he never saw the fax Dallaire says he sent and that further that General Dallaire never mentioned to him in their meeting of January 12, 1994 that the informant mentioned the killing of Belgians or Tutsis. Booh-Booh also testified that when he and Dallaire met with several western ambassadors, including the Belgian ambassador, Dallaire never mentioned the killing of Belgians or Tutsis to them either nor in their meeting with President Habyarimana. In those meetings Dallaire spoke only about allegations of weapons caches.
New colonialism masquerading as “international justice”
All these circumstances can lead to one conclusion only; that the fax is a fabrication after the fact and that a fraud is being committed on the people of Rwanda and the world and the judges of the Rwanda war crimes tribunal. This fabricated fax is being used to try to condemn the accused on trial before the ICTR and to support the now discredited idea that a genocide was planned by the former Rwandan government against the Tutsi population of that tragic country. However it is becoming increasingly clear that General Dallaire worked with the RPF throughout the period of his mandate in Rwanda in violation of the UN mandate. Booh-Booh states that he provided military intelligence to the RPF as well as covering up their preparation for their final offensive and through his false testimony at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal and his book continues to act on behalf of powerful interests in his own government and that of the United States and Britain.
The fabrication of the “genocide” fax is one more nail in the coffin of the Rwanda war crimes tribunal, ready to be buried under the weight of accusations of selective prosecution, political bias, unfair procedures, trial by hearsay, perjured testimony and the cover-up of the murder of two African heads of state and all in the name of a new colonialism masquerading as “international justice”.
1) In his book, Abdul Ruzibiza states that he was one of the men involved in the shootdown as part of the shootdown team. He was an officer in the RPF. He is dues to testify at the ICTR in the coming weeks if his security can be assured. He is presently in hiding in Norway.
2) Hourigan Report. This report (a copy of which is in the author's possession) was written by an Australian lawyer acting as the head of the investigative team at the ICTR assigned by then prosecutor Louise Arbour to determine who shot down the plane. She was acting under the theory that "extremist" Hutus in the Rwandan government shot down the plane. Hourigan and his team were successful in finding three members of the shootdown team who stated they were RPF and that they were assisted by a foreign power (unnamed) and that they had the documents to prove it. They asked for protection. When Arbour was presented with these facts she ordered the investigation closed. The author was informed by a former FBI agent who worked at the ICTR that she did so on the instructions of the US ambassador in Rwanda. (Which would make her guilty of being an accessory to a war crime as the murder of a head of state in a war is a war crime and it is evident that the murder of the president and army chief of staff was the first action of the RPF offensive.) This report was first published in the National Post in Canada by a reporter named Stephen Edwards in 2001.
The UN at first denied this report existed. But several defence counsel demanded its production so it was then "found" and sent under seal to the judges at the ICTR. They then released it to several defence teams.
Hourigan wrote this report to the oversight office for some reason and is a summary of the complete file. Several requests have been made to have the complete investigative file released, without success. Hourigan is now said to be working as a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.
3. Jean Piere Mugabe the former head of RPF intelligence who also fled the regime also stated in 2001 that Kagame and the RPF shot down the plane.
4. French investigative judge Brugiere investigating the shootdown on behalf of the families of the French crew leaked (or someone in his office did) a copy of the report to a French journalist with the English name Steven Smith last year who published its findings in Le Monde that it was the RPF who shot it down with the assistance of others.
5. Former Secratery General Boutros-Boutros Ghali stated this year that he had met Brugiere at a conference and was told by the French judge that the CIA was "heavily implicated" in the shootdown.
6. The RPF was the only force in Rwanda which had anti-aircraft missiles to the knowledge of the Force Commander Dallaire. Dallaire arranged for the closure of the western approach to the runway at the request of the RPF. This made it easier for the RPF and others to track the plane as it came in from the east. The Belgian contingent of the UN force was in control of the airport area and the area from which the missiles were fired. A Belgian unit (later killed at Camp Kigali) were the only people caught by the army coming out of the firing area after the shootdown when the army threw up a cordon to try to catch the culprits.
7. Wayne Madsen a former US intel officer who wrote, CIA Covert Operations in the Great Lakes Area, 1990-93, states that (and testified to this before the US Congress in 2001 when hearings were held by Cynthia McKinney into the Rwanda and Congo wars) that the CIA, using a Swiss front company used that company to rent a hangar at the Kigali airport in which they assembled the missiles. He also states that the US hoped to kill at the same time Mobutu of Zaire and Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya all in in one fell swoop (they were supposed to attend the same meeting and be on the same flight) in order to seize control of all central and east Africa. At that time the US 6th fleet was cruising off Mombasa and there were 600 US Rangers on stand-by to assist the RPF in Burundi.
8. Charles Onana a well-know journalist writing on this subject wrote about his investigations and that it was the RPF, as did Canadian author Robin Philpot in his book It Didn't Happen That Way In Kigali (loose translation of the French title).
7. Honore Ngambo, Mobutu's former chief of security published a book earlier this year in France in which he recounts the last meeting between Mobut and the Hutu president two days before he was killed in which the President stated that he was told by Herman Cohen he was basically a dead man and that he heard from his agents in the RPF camp that they were going to shootdown the plane. He confronted Dallaire with this and that he knew Dallaire was involved and Dallaire just replied "No one will believe you".
8. The author possesses a radio intercept of a message sent by Kagame to his forces in the field the night of the shootdown stating that the "Target is hit" and encouraging his forces to take to the field and that they would be in Kigali and were receiving support from their friends in the south, that is from Burundi—US and Burundian forces the latter of which actually invaded Rwanda in May to link up with the RPF coming form the north. Other radio messages were intercepted referring to the fact the RPF had the assistance of the Belgians in the UN forces who were fighting alongside them. The Belgians deny this of course.
 For an earlier essay entitled “ Persecution not Prosecution” (October 2004) see http://www.sandersresearch.com/Sanders/NewsManager/ShowNewsGen.aspx?NewsID=747
 Herman Cohen is a former US Secretary of State for African affairs who served under the elder George Bush. He is a consultant to American business firms operating and trading in Africa. He also provides strategic advice to African governments.
© 2003-5. Sanders Research Associates. All rights reserved.
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