The Mail and Guardian of November 27, 2020 published a lengthy article by Judi Rever and Benedict Moron, titled; “Top- secret testimonies implicate Rwanda’s president in war crimes.” For those familiar with Rever’s writings on Rwanda, there is nothing new in the article. It is the usual recycled concocted lies that have previously been challenged by experts based on available evidence related to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
According to scholars, genocide is a process that develops in 10 stages that are predictable but not inexorable. Using Dr. Stanton’s model, the 10 stages include; Classification, Symbolization, Discrimination, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarisation, Preparation, Persecution, Extermination and lastly, Denial.
Rever and other foreign individuals belonging to the hate group against the person of President Paul Kagame and the RPF, are actively engaged in propaganda to fulfill the last stage of genocide – denial. There is nothing new and surprising. Their futile aim is to turn perpetrators of genocide into victims, and victims and those who stopped the genocide turned into killers and villains. What Rever and her associates forget, is that the whole world was watching when the Genocide was taking place.
Before examining the recycled old lies, peddled by the Mail and Guardian, let’s first understand who Rever is and what she stands for. Internet sources describe her as a freelance journalist based in Montreal, and has published stories on Rwanda in Canada’s leading newspapers. A close examination of all her publications on Rwanda, reveal her genocide denial, revisionism, double- genocide conspiracy theory and hatred for President Kagame and the RPF. In simple terms, according to her writings. There is nothing good whatsoever that has happened in Rwanda.
Where does she pick that hatred from? Around 1997, Rever worked in the great lakes region. She was based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the correspondent of Radio France international. She got to know Patrick Karegeya, and their relationship went beyond being casual friends. When Karegeya fled Rwanda to South Africa, the two became lovebirds. Rever cohabited with Karegeya in the same apartment, as his concubine. She assumed the role of being Karegeya’s personal secretary and spokesperson. Karegeya was then one of the leaders of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terror organization. Rever became part of Karegeya’s RNC recruits who were more zealous than the militia who used machetes to kill the Tutsi in 1994. She is now using the pen as her weapon to assist those who used machetes to perpetrate genocide.
Rever’s negationist claims are similar to those made by British journalist-historian and Holocaust denier, David Cawdell Irving. Starting from 1959 when Irving was a student at the University of London, he wrote a “secret supplement” to the Carnival Times; a university magazine, where he referred to Hitler as “The greatest unifying force Europe has known since Charlemagne.” He later authored several books on the military and political history of the second world war focusing on Nazi Germany. The books include; The Destruction of Dresden (1963), Hitler’s War (1977), Churchill’s War (1987) and Goebbels: The Mastermind of the Reich (1996). Through his writings, Irving claimed that, Hitler had neither ordered the extermination of the Jews nor known about the Holocaust. In 1998, he is said to have openly denied the Holocaust by sadistically mentioning that the Jews were never killed by gassing at the Auschwitz concentration camp!
The English court established that Irving was an active Holocaust denier, anti-Semite and racist. His work as a historian was discredited. The point here is that for every genocide committed, there are people like Irving and Rever who work day and night to change history and deny what happened, while at the same time, claiming that those who stopped the genocide were the perpetrators and killers. What Rever and other likeminded individuals are doing to distort and deny the genocide against the Tutsi is expected, as history reveals. What is different is how they are dealt with. One tweep who read Rever and Moron’s article in the Mail and Guardian, had this message for her:
‘Dear @JudiRever we are a generation of Africans who will not make your kind a Prayer item or turn the other check. We will defend ourselves! If it means writing an opinion piece every day to correct your falsehoods we shall do so. We will tell our stories.
More than 60 academics and researchers, lawyers and public officials from around the world have condemned Rever’s genocide denial and double genocide conspiracy theories.
What constitutes Judi Rever’s recycled fabricated lies? She often claims that President Kagame was involved in war crimes. This is an old concocted lie that goes along with the false claim that Kagame ordered the shooting down of Habyarimana’s plane. The allegations have been thrown out of courts for lack of material evidence.
The shameful allegations against a sitting president who single handedly commanded an army that liberated the country and stopped the Genocide, were started in 2016, by a French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, acting on behalf of his client – Habyarimana’s widow Agatha Kanziga. In 2012 Bruguière’s successor, Judge Marc Trévedic challenged the theory that RPF shot down the plane and pointed at Hutu extremists who were close to president Habyarimana. A team dispatched by the French inquiry had been to Rwanda and visited the scene of the plane crash and established that the trajectory of the missile was so close to the target. Judge Trévedic’s report showed that the missile that struck the plane was fired from Kanombe military camp which was controlled by Habyarimana’s army.
In 2017, Trévedic’s successor, Judge Jean-Marc Herbaut decided to close the case. In 2018, the French court threw out the case completely.
Where does the top secret story claimed by Rever come from? Who are Rever’s sources? Consider her love affair and connections with Patrick Karegeya. Most of the time she claims anonymous and questionable sources who are known to include; genocide suspects on the run, RPA/RDF deserters, self-exiled criminals and so called experts on Rwanda who are sympathizers of those who committed genocide, like the Belgian professor Filip Reytjens, who was close to the Habyarimana government, Peter Verlinden, Kenneth Roth, and the likes.
Rever refrains to quote objective researchers and publishers like Gen. Romeo Dallaire who was commander of the UN forces in Rwanda during the Genocide and wrote the book, Shake Hands with The Devil. She will never mention research publications by Linda Mervin and Phil Clarke. This shows her deliberate choice of negative sources mostly based on hearsay and bar stories. Most of the so called refugees she interviews give her their concocted stories on why they left Rwanda as all asylum seekers do which must reflect political harassment to easily justify and win asylum applications especially in western countries! They are made up stories. They are fake, and they have to demonize Kagame and his leadership. That’s what Rever happily picks as top secret!
What other writers on Rwanda say about Rever’s work
Raphaël Doridant, is a member of the editorial board of Billet d’Afrique who also co-edited a book on the responsibility of the French Government in the crimes committed in Rwanda (LA complicite de la France dans le Genocide des Tutsi au Rwanda (L’Harmattan 2009). His article titled, “genocide of the Tutsi – Judi Rever in the Mirror of Bisesero” (published on July 2, 2020, with an earlier published version in French), described Rever’s claims on Bisesero.
The claims on Bisesero killings of the Tutsi, where Rever alleges that they were killed by RPF with the, “commandos from the RPF battalions infiltrated inside the Hutu militia.” This is not only bizarre but grossly irresponsible and cynical. Raphael put it this way: “Evidently Judi Rever has made no effort to read the judgments of the ICTR about the genocide in the Bisesero area, in spite of the fact that the judges spent months hearing testimony and the cross-examination of witnesses, both the prosecution and the defense and examining the material evidence, before passing the sentence first in the Trial Chamber and then in the Appeals Chamber.
“Judi Rever sweeps away the enormous work of the ICTR in establishing the facts. She is happy instead to rely on indirect or anonymous or dubious witnesses. One of the witnesses she quotes claims that ‘those who participated in the operation told him this and further claimed there were members of the commandos of Kagame’s battalions’.
“Another one heard members of the RPF say in bars ‘what they had done and how many Tutsi they had killed’. Anonymous sources ‘establish that hundreds of members of RPF commandos went down to Bisesero and the surrounding areas,’.
Rever, conveniently and selectively keeps silent on available ICTR documentation and testimonies revealing the involvement of government forces, political elites like Clement Kayishema, Mathew Ngirumpatse, the government forces, the role of the French army that was in Operation Turquoise, and others, in the massacre of the Tutsi in Bisesero.
ICTR documents that Rever conveniently ignores to mention that implicate the French and the government forces have no evidence whatsoever of RPF forces in Bisesero.
Below are some excerpts of ICTR documents:
A meeting with Prime minister Jean Kambanda, Minister of the Interior Edouard Karemera and Prefect Clément Kayishema was held on 3 May in Kibuye, in which Kayishema reported there was serious insecurity caused by those gathered in Bisesero and requested reinforcement to resolve the problem. A meeting was held the same day at which Karemera and the chairman of the MRND (Mouvement Républicain National pour le Développement – President Habyarimana’s party) Mathieu Ngirumpatse publicly incited the crime of genocide. Kambanda and Niyitegeka were also present.
The most severe attacks occurred in the Bisesero area 10 days later on May 13 and 14, 1994. Kayishema participated. He “directed the assaults […], gave instructions to the soldiers […] or gave orders to the assailants to begin the assault.”.” For his part Niyitegeka was one of the leaders in a large-scale attack by armed attackers against Tutsi refugees at Muyira Hill [Bisesero]
On June 18, 1994, Minister of the Interior Karemera, acting on behalf of the Interim Government, ordered a “mopping-up” operation in Bisesero. To this end, he wrote to Lieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, who was the commander of the Gisenyi Operational Sector, Clément Kayishema, who was the prefect of Kibuye Prefecture, and the commander of the Kibuye Operational Sector, requesting their assistance in the operation.
Testimonies of Ex-French soldier, Captain Guillaume Ancel, who was part of the French contingent in Operation Turquose, challenge Rever on her Bisesero lies. In his book, “Rwanda, la fin du silence,” Captain Guillaume writes that, “The main objective of ‘Operation Turquose was to help the genocidal government and to impinge on those who wanted to stop it.’’ The man who was on the battlefield, would have been in a better position to know if RPF forces ever infiltrated the area with an intention to kill the very people they were fighting to rescue!
What is in the Mapping report?
The mapping report was challenged as it did not merit both in content and procedure. Introduced as a ‘leaked report from UN’ was enough to signal that it did not meet the formal procedure of how UN reports are presented. It was a backdoor maneuver and a black marketeering that should have embarrassed the UN. It was flawed and irresponsible by allowing individuals and organizations with similar views like those of Rever, to manipulate the UN process with intentions of re-writing Rwandan History. In the same style of genocide negationists, the flawed methodology of the report relied on anonymous sources, hearsay, inconsistence and unidentified investigators. It is the same Rwanda hate group against the person of President Kagame and the RPF that wished to sneak the report in the UN, but it backfired and was buried with the contempt it deserved.
Doridant further examines Rever’s fabricated narratives that cannot pass even for an amateur fiction movie, in the following statement:
“She thus reinforces the idea of ‘the accusation in the mirror,’ which consists of falsely attributing to the RPF and more broadly to the Tutsis the project of the genocide of the Hutus at the very moment when the Hutus extremists were preparing that of the Tutsis. For Judi Rever, genocidal intent is no longer the prerogative of the Rwandan interim Government and the Hutu extremists, it belongs to Paul Kagame’s RPF.
Such a blatant attempt at distorting history, and such impudence, leaves us speechless. Her work is a painful reminder of what French historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet wrote about how a negationist operates: «The deception is intended to appear as something it is not – an effort to write and understand history. The negationist does not build a true story. It is not about revising history.»
This is a matter of shameless deception, and the effect is to murder the victims a second time, Doridant concludes.
If Judi Rever has any human heart remaining in her, and knows that journalism requires abiding by professional ethics, she should reflect on the essay, “A hundred years,” by CP Scott, who was the editor for Manchester Guardian in 1921. In this essay considered as the blueprint for independent journalism, Scott coined the famous phrase reminding journalists that, “comment is free, but facts are sacred.” Propaganda, so called, by this means is hateful.