The 38 attempt to support their belief in “Hutu Power” responsibility for the shoot-down by claiming that this “carefully planned genocide” was followed immediately by “roadblocks…all over Kigali” and a rapid targeting of Rwanda’s political opposition, which was allegedly opposed to Habyarimana because they feared power sharing with the RPF under the Arusha Accords. This is what we might call streaming lies. As we feature in our recently published book, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later, even the US and UK-vetted ICTR uniformly rejects the charge that Hutu political and military figures engaged in a “conspiracy to commit genocide” against the country’s minority Tutsi population prior to the April 6, 1994 shoot-down of the Habyarimana jet. But this has never prevented Linda Malvern and the open letter’s co-signers Roméo Dallaire, Gregory Stanton, Gerald Caplan, Frank Chalk, George Monbiot, Andrew Wallis, et al., from repeatedly asserting that such a conspiracy was fairly adjudicated and determined to be real by the ICTR’s trial and appeals chambers, and this repetition of the “conspiracy to commit genocide” fraud feeds into the lie-stream here.
While Malvern and the other 37 claim a readiness to spring into action by the alleged “Hutu Power” conspirators as of April 6, the fact of the matter is that the Hutu military and political leadership was completely unprepared for the post-assassination crisis, the Armed Forces of Rwanda (FAR) were in immediate retreat from the advances of the vastly militarily superior RPF, and were unable to prevent Rwanda from being conquered by the RPF in less than 100 days—let alone putting a stop to localized killing sprees. By contrast, Kagame’s RPF—including armed RPF cells in hiding across the country—was ready to initiate a military offensive at the moment that the shoot-down of Habyarimana’s jet was confirmed.
The further lie by the 38 is that the Hutu conspirators carried out their nefarious plans because they feared power-sharing with the RPF, and the loss of privileges this would have entailed. But as Bruguière and many others have pointed out, it was Kagame and his RPF that was confronted with losing everything via the free and fair elections scheduled by the Arusha Accords, given the ethnic voting blocks that had prevailed in Rwanda for decades. The 38 contest the finding of University of Michigan academics Christian Davenport and Allan Stam that more Hutu than Tutsi were killed in Rwanda in 1994.
But they refute it solely by mentioning “eye-witness testimony” and by listing the names of alleged research reports by Amnesty International, UNICEF and others, while failing to cite any specific findings of estimated numbers killed and the ethnic composition of the deaths. The 38 also resort to the conventional accusatory tactic of charging Davenport and Stam with “attempts to minimize the number of Tutsi murdered, a typical tactic of genocide deniers”—when the going gets tough, sling mud. Davenport and Stam use an aggregating methodology that we find logical and plausible in dealing with a very confusing environment—working from data estimating total pre-April 6, 1994 Tutsi and Hutu members of the population, and post-July 1994 numbers of Tutsi survivors.