Monday, June 7, 2010

The Erlinder case, con'td.

The case of detained American Peter Erlinder continues to muddle the real issues in Rwanda. (See this representative article). While Western supporters have come to his aid and succour, the remains the very real issue of what will become of the Rwandan opposition when his case is resolved and he leaves the country.

Does anyone have any information on Ingabire's decision to hire Erlinder to defend her? He is far from the best choice given the political dynamic in Rwanda. Surely she is more politically astute than this? Aligning herself with someone who believes that the RPF organised and implemented the genocide belittles her broader (and significant) argument that Rwandans of all ethnicities were killed in 1994.

Oh, and the argument of Erlinder's supporters that, as an American citizen, he should be released because of the amount American donor aid to Rwanda smacks of more than colonialism (something that feeds into the RPF government's narrative about sovereignty). It also suggests that Erlinder's life is worth more because he is American. Rwandans deserve better than that.


  1. Mrs Thomson,
    Mrs Ingabire has been trying to be as consiliatory as possible because talking about the RPF crimes by just saying that rwandans of all ethnicities were killed in 1994 is very far from the truth.
    As someone from Byumba -northern province now-, i can tell you that the RPF was wiping people out of its way since 1991, and this was done in a well planned and organised manner. and i am not even talking about after 94.
    As for Mr Erlinder, since he never said what he is accused of saying( which is not all false by the way) in rwanda, he did not violate any law.
    The irony in this is that his american citizenship is working against him.
    See why on

  2. Erlinder's main argument in his article about the Military 1 Trial is not that the RPF planned the genocide, but that no planning of genocide took place by Habyarimana's government prior to the shooting down of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi april 6th 1994.

  3. It is good to agree with you for a change.

    "Surely she is more politically astute than this?"

    It seems not and not surprisingly. For her to believe that she can waltz back into Rwanda after 16 years and be treated as a credible candidate - particularly after the further loss of credibility concerning her assistant - is surely a delusion? Yes she was presumably put up to it by members of the opposition with dirtier hands than hers - and the Ambassador in The Hague who has since run away - but the sooner she goes back to her children in Holland - with the new visa the (embarrassed) Dutch have given her the better for her and everyone.

    As for Erlinder he also seems to have assumed that as a lawyer and an American he was somehow above the law and that the prosecutor would not dare touch him. He did not even bother to ask to be accredited to practice law in Rwanda.

    Once again he seems to have believed his own propaganda. The news of his health problems and the taking of an overdose - which all seems to be admitted as far as I can tell - further calls into question his decision to go to Kigali in the first place and therefore his soundness of mind.

    Finally, his suggestion that the organised and systematic slaughter of women, children and the elderly, was a "normal reaction by Bagasora to the 1990 RPF invasion" seems not only wrong but bonkers too.

    Ingabire and Erlinder may just be two of a kind.

  4. Susan, as Rwandan, I will give you a little bit about Rwandan history before the Rwandan genocide that you do not seem to be aware of.

    In Rwanda, there are two groups of Tutsis. The extremist Tutsis who grew up in neighboring Uganda and the moderate Tutsis who grew up in Rwanda. The extremist Tutsis who grew up in Uganda have never liked the moderate Tutsis who grew up in Rwanda and other countries. Whereas the extremist Tutsis believe they are royal blood who are born to rule, the moderate Tutsis consider themselves normal human beings. But somehow the extremist Tutsis have used the moderate Tutsis as pawns to be sacrificed in their quest for power.

    On January 28, 1993 exactly 15 months before the so-called "Tutsi genocide", it was the first time that anyone had ever mentioned the word "genocide" in relation to Rwanda. This word was mentioned by extremist Tutsis who were part of the RPF rebel group. From that moment on, these extremist Tutsis in the RPF started using the word "genocide" in all their interviews, their speeches, their written materials, everything. On the other hand, on February 8, 1993 exactly 11 days after the first mention of that word, the extremist Tutsi forces in the RPF butchered 40,000 unarmed Hutu civilians in one day in the regions of Ruhengeri and Byumba in Rwanda. Since then, the extremist Tutsis in the RPF escalated their killings of the Hutu civilian population over the following 15 months. This appears to have been a calculated effort to provoke the Hutu extremists into mass revenge killings, which would then be labeled "genocide" and with the international community on their side, the extremist Tutsis can take over power. The extremist Tutsis' wishes appear to have been granted on April 6, 1994 when they finally killed two Hutu Presidents, president Habyarimana of Rwanda and president Ntaryamira of Burundi as well as the Hutu Chief of Army.

    The Hutu extremists after 15 months of sustained provocations launched into mass revenge killings against moderate Tutsis that have since been labeled the "Tutsi genocide."

    A fair review of Rwandan history that fully examines all the actions that have been taken by extremist Tutsis since January 28, 1993 when they first claimed "genocide" can only lead to one conclusion: the extremist Tutsis continuously intentionally provoked extremist Hutus over a 15 month period into the mass killings until the extremist Hutus were foolish enough to oblige them.

    Rwanda will never move forward until the crimes against humanity committed by extremist Tutsis are acknowledged too. The saddest part in all this is that the moderate Tutsis and the moderate Hutus are the ones that have suffered whenever the extremist Hutus and the extremist Tutsis decided to kill people.

  5. Susan, I also have another question for you. Since you call your opinions as grounded in Academia, can you go through the official documents (US government, UN, Rwandan government, etc) that Erlinder uncovered through his defense work at the UN tribunal first? The documents are found at the Rwanda Documents Project web site. Just go through a few of them and you will see overwhelming evidence that Kagame did everything he could think of in order to trigger the 1994 genocide.

  6. I have been reading the reports of Ms Thomson since i discovered this blog but today I know that she must be a supporter of RPF regime.Ms Thomson, why do you think all the people must to back the official propaganda from Kigali ( Saying that only Tutsis were killed in 1994)? Why would we omit to talk about the massacre of Hutus, while we know very well that it happened? If you real know Rwanda you may be aware of genocidial actions of the RPF in Ruhengeri and Byumba from 1991 until 2001 against Hutus. You may know Nyacyonga and Kabyayi in 1994 and Kibeho in 1995, in DRC in 1996-1998 and more.... I think you like most of Western people believe that Hutus are not human enough to recognize their suffering.
    You reports make me know that you love RPF in your heart but you are just frustated to be deported in Ingando humaliation camps, where only Hutus are supposed to go. We know our reality more than whoever in this world and even more than rich and clever-self-calling Canadians. Please stop manupilation!

  7. She is our hero all that tutsi must go away back to etiopia where they coming from.
    America must ytake them away or else when we coming to power again with ingabire,they will not enjoy me.
    This is Bantu people talking.

  8. which kind of bloggers black hearts!