Economic Genocide in Rwanda

excerpted from the book

The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, 2003, paperback [first edition 1997]



Part A

The IMF and the World Bank set the Stage

The Rwandan crisis, which led up to the 1994 ethnic massacres, has been presented by the Western media as a profuse narrative of human suffering, while the underlying social and economic causes have been carefully ignored by reporters. As in other "countries in transition", ethnic strife and the outbreak of civil war are increasingly depicted as something which is almost "inevitable" and "innate to these societies", constituting "a painful stage in their evolution from a one-party state towards democracy and the free market." The brutality of the massacres shocked the world community, but what the international media failed to mention was that the civil war was preceded by the flare-up of a deep-seated economic crisis. It was the restructuring of the agricultural system under IMF-World Bank supervision which precipitated the population into abject poverty and destitution.

This deterioration of the economic environment, which immediately followed the collapse of the international coffee market and the imposition of sweeping macro-economic reforms by the Bretton Woods institutions exacerbated simmering ethnic tensions and accelerated the process of political collapse. In 1987, the system of quotas established under the International Coffee Agreement (ICA) started to fall apart, world prices plummeted and the Fonds d 'égalisation (the state coffee-stabilization fund), which purchased coffee from Rwandan farmers at a fixed price, started to accumulate a sizeable debt. A lethal blow to Rwanda's economy came in June 1989 when the ICA reached a deadlock as a result of political pressures from Washington on behalf of the large US coffee traders. At the conclusion of a historic meeting of producers held in Florida, coffee prices plunged in a matter of months by more than 50 percent.' For Rwanda and several other African countries, the drop in prices wreaked havoc. The farmgate price had fallen to less than 5 percent of the US retail price of coffee. Resulting from the trade of coffee at depressed international prices, a tremendous amount of wealth was being appropriated in the rich countries to the detriment of the direct producers. (See Chapter 5.)

The Legacy of Colonialism

What is the responsibility of the West in this tragedy? First it is important to stress that the conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi was largely the product of the colonial system, many features of which still prevail today. From the late 19th century, the early German colonial occupation had used the mwami (King) of the nyiginya (monarchy) installed at Nyanza as a means of establishing its military posts. However, it was largely the administrative reforms initiated in 1926 by the Belgians which were decisive in shaping socio-ethnic relations. The Belgians used dynastic conflicts explicitly to reinforce their territorial control. The traditional chiefs in each hill (colline) were used by the colonial administration to requisition forced labor. Routine beatings and corporal punishment were administered on behalf of the colonial masters by the traditional chiefs. The latter were under the direct supervision of a Belgian colonial administrator responsible for a particular portion of territory. A climate of fear and distrust was installed, communal solidarity broke down and traditional client relations were transformed to serve the interests of the colonizer. The objective was to fuel inter-ethnic rivalries as a means of achieving political control, as well as preventing the development of solidarity between the two ethnic groups which would inevitably have been directed against the colonial regime. The Tutsi dynastic aristocracy was also made responsible for the collection of taxes and the administration of justice. The communal economy was undermined and the peasantry forced to shift out of food agriculture into cash crops for export. Communal lands were transformed into individual plots geared solely towards cash-crop cultivation (the so-called cultures obligatoires).

Colonial historiographers were entrusted with the task of "transcribing" as well as distorting Rwanda-Urundi's oral history. The historical record was falsified: the mwami monarchy was identified exclusively with the Tutsi aristocratic dynasty. The Hutus were represented as a dominated caste.' Identity cards were issued indicating "ethnic origin". The latter had been defined arbitrarily on the ownership of heads of cattle, with the Tutsi as "cattle owners" and the Hutus as "farmers".

From imposed socio-ethnic divisions, the Belgian colonialists developed a new social class, the so-called "nègres évolués" recruited from among the Tutsi aristocracy, and the school system was put in place to educate the sons of the chiefs and to provide the African personnel required by the Belgians. In turn, the various apostolic missions and vicariates received under Belgian colonial rule an almost political mandate. The clergy, for example, was often used to oblige the peasants to integrate the cash crop economy. These socio-ethnic divisions - which have unfolded since the 1920s - have left a profound mark on contemporary Rwandan society.

Since independence in 1962, relations with the former colonial powers and donors became exceedingly more complex. Inherited from the Belgian colonial period, however, the same objective of pushing one ethnic group against the other ("divide and rule") largely prevailed in the various "military", "human rights" and "macro-economic" interventions undertaken from the outset of the civil war in 1990. The Rwandan crisis became encapsulated in a continuous agenda of donor roundtables (held in Paris), cease-fire agreements and peace talks. These various initiatives were closely monitored and coordinated by the donor community in a tangled circuit of "conditionalities" (and cross-conditionalities). The release of multilateral and bilateral loans since the outbreak of the civil war was made conditional upon implementing a process of so-called "democratization" under the tight surveillance of the donor community. In turn, Western aid in support of multiparty democracy was made conditional (in an almost symbiotic relationship) upon the government reaching an agreement with the IMF, and so on. These attempts were all the more illusive because since the collapse of the coffee market in 1989, actual political power in Rwanda rested largely, in any event, in the hands of the donors. A communiqué of the US State Department issued in early 1993 illustrates this situation vividly: the continuation of US bilateral aid was made conditional on good behavior in policy reform as well as progress in the pursuit of democracy.

"Democratization" - based on an abstract model of inter-ethnic solidarity envisaged by the Arusha peace agreement signed in August 1993 was an impossibility from the outset and the donors knew it. The brutal impoverishment of the population which resulted both from the war and the IMF reforms precluded a genuine process of democratization. The objective was to meet the conditions of "good governance" (a new term in the donors' glossary) and oversee the installation of a bogus multiparty coalition government under the trusteeship of Rwanda's external creditors.

In fact, multipartyism - as narrowly conceived by the donors contributed to fuelling the various political factions of the regime. Not surprisingly, as soon as the peace negotiations entered a stalemate, the World Bank announced that it was interrupting the disbursements under its loan agreement.'

The Economy since independence

The evolution of the post-colonial economic system played a decisive role in the development of the Rwandan crisis. While progress since independence in diversifying the national economy was indeed recorded, the colonial-style export economy based on coffee (les cultures obligatoires) established under the Belgian administration was largely maintained, providing Rwanda with more than 80 percent of its foreign exchange earnings. A rentier class with interests in coffee trade and with close ties to the seat of political power had developed. Levels of poverty remained high, yet during the 1970s and the first part of the 1980s, economic and social progress was nonetheless realized: real GDP growth was of the order of 4.9 percent per annum (1965-89), school enrolment increased markedly and recorded inflation was among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa - less than 4 percent per annum. 5

While the Rwandan rural economy remained fragile, marked by acute demographic pressures (3.2 percent per annum population growth), land fragmentation and soil erosion, local-level food self-sufficiency had, to some extent, been achieved alongside the development of the export economy. Coffee was cultivated by approximately 70 percent of rural households, yet it constituted only a fraction of total monetary income. A variety of other commercial activities had been developed including the sale of traditional food staples and banana beer in regional and urban markets.' Until the late 1980s, imports of cereals, including food aid, were minimal compared to the patterns observed in other countries of the region. The food situation started to deteriorate in the early 1980s with a marked decline in the per capita availability of food. In overt contradiction to the usual trade reforms adopted under the auspices of the World Bank, protection to local producers had been provided up to that time through restrictions on the import of food commodities.' These were lifted with the adoption of the 1990 structural adjustment program.

The Fragility of the State

The economic foundations of the post-independence Rwandan state remained extremely fragile. A large share of government revenues depended on coffee, with the risk that a collapse in commodity prices would precipitate a crisis in the state's public finances. The rural economy was the main source of funding for the state. As the debt crisis unfolded, a larger share of coffee and tea earnings had been earmarked for debt servicing, putting further pressure on small-scale farmers.

Export earnings declined by 50 percent between 1987 and 1991. The demise of state institutions unfolded thereafter. When coffee prices plummeted, famines erupted throughout the Rwandan countryside. According to World Bank data, the growth of GDP per capita declined from 0.4 percent in 1981-86 to -5.5 percent in the period immediately following the slump of the coffee market (1987-9 1).

The IMF-World Bank Intervention

A World Bank mission traveled to Rwanda in November 1988 to review Rwanda's public expenditure program. A series of recommendations had been established with a view to putting Rwanda back on the track of sustained economic growth. The World Bank mission presented the country's policy options to the government, as consisting of two "scenarios". Scenario I entitled "No Strategy Change" contemplated the option of remaining with the "old system of state planning", whereas Scenario II labeled "With Strategy Change" was that of macro-economic reform and "transition to the free market". After careful economic "simulations" of likely policy outcomes, the World Bank concluded, with some grain of optimism, that if Rwanda adopted Scenario II, levels of consumption would increase markedly over 1989-93 alongside a recovery of investment and an improved balance of trade. The "simulations" also pointed to added export performance and substantially lower levels of external indebtedness.' These outcomes depended on the speedy implementation of the usual recipe of trade liberalization and currency devaluation, alongside the lifting of all subsidies to agriculture, the phasing out of the Fonds d'egaliSation (the State coffee Stabilization Fund), the privatization of state enterprises and the dismissal of civil servants.

The "With Strategy Change" (Scenario II) was adopted. The government had no choice. A 50 percent devaluation of the Rwandan franc was carried out in November 1990 barely six weeks after the incursion from Uganda of the rebel army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

The devaluation was intended to boost coffee exports. It was presented to public opinion as a means of rehabilitating a war-ravaged economy. Not surprisingly, exactly the opposite results were achieved, exacerbating the plight of the civil war. From a situation of relative price stability, the plunge of the Rwandan franc contributed to triggering inflation and the collapse of real earnings. A few days after the devaluation, sizeable increases in the prices of fuel and consumer essentials were announced. The consumer price index increased from 1.0 percent in 1989 to 19.2 percent in 1991. The balance of payments situation deteriorated dramatically and the outstanding external debt, which had already doubled since 1985, increased by 34 percent between 1989 and 1992. The state administrative apparatus was in disarray, state enterprises were pushed into bankruptcy and public services collapsed." Health and education disintegrated under the brunt of the IMF-imposed austerity measures: despite the establishment of "a social safety net" (earmarked by the donors for programs in the social sectors), the incidence of severe child malnutrition increased dramatically; the number of recorded cases of malaria increased by 21 percent in the year following the adoption of the IMF program, largely as a result of the absence of anti-malarial drugs in the public health centers; and the imposition of school fees at the primary-school level led to a massive decline in school enrolment."

The economic crisis reached its climax in 1992 when Rwandan farmers, in desperation, uprooted some 300,000 coffee trees." Despite soaring domestic prices, the government had frozen the farmgate price of coffee at its 1989 level (RwF 125/kg), under the terms of its agreement with the Bretton Woods institutions. The government was not allowed (under the World Bank loan) to transfer state resources to the Fonds d'égalisation. It should also be mentioned that a significant profit was appropriated by local coffee traders and intermediaries serving to put further pressure on the peasantry.

In June 1992, a second devaluation was ordered by the IMF, leading at the height of the civil war - to a further escalation of the prices of fuel and consumer essentials. Coffee production tumbled by another 25 percent in a single year." Because of over-cropping of coffee trees, there was increasingly less land available to produce food, but the peasantry was not able easily to switch back into food crops. The meager cash income derived from coffee had been erased, yet there was nothing to fall back on. Not only were cash revenues from coffee insufficient to buy food, the

prices of farm inputs had soared and money earnings from coffee were grossly insufficient. The crisis of the coffee economy backlashed on the production of traditional food staples leading to a substantial drop in the production of cassava, beans and sorghum. The system of savings and loan cooperatives, which provided credit to small farmers, had also disintegrated. Moreover, with the liberalization of trade and the deregulation of grain markets - as recommended by the Bretton Woods institutions (heavily-subsidized) cheap food imports and food aid from the rich countries were entering Rwanda with the effect of destabilizing local markets.

Under "the free market" system imposed on Rwanda, neither cash crops nor food crops were economically viable. The entire agricultural system was pushed into crisis. The state administrative apparatus was in disarray due not only to the civil war, but also as a result of the austerity measures and sinking civil service salaries - a situation which contributed inevitably to exacerbating the climate of generalized insecurity which had unfolded in 1992.

The seriousness of the agricultural situation had been amply documented by the FAQ which had warned of the existence of widespread famine in the southern provinces." A report released in early 1994 also pointed to the total collapse of coffee production as a result of both the war and the failure of the state marketing system which was being phased out with the support of the World Bank. Rwandex, the mixed enterprise responsible for the processing and export of coffee, had become largely inoperative.

The decision to devalue (and "the IMF stamp of approval") had already been reached on 17 September 1990, prior to the outbreak of hostilities, in high-level meetings held in Washington between the IMF and a mission headed by Rwandan Minister of Finance Mr. Ntigurirwa. The "green light" had been granted: as of early October, at the very moment when the fighting started, millions of dollars of so-called "balance of payments aid" (from multilateral and bilateral sources) came pouring into the coffers of the Central Bank. These funds, administered by the Central Bank, had been earmarked (by the donors) for commodity imports, yet it appears likely that a sizeable portion of these "quick disbursing loans" had been diverted by the regime (and its various political factions) towards the acquisition of military hardware (from South Africa, Egypt and Eastern Europe)." The purchases of Kalashnikov guns, heavy artillery and mortar were undertaken in addition to the bilateral military aid package provided by France which included, inter alia, Milan and Apila missiles (not to mention a Mystère Falcon jet for President Habyarimana's personal Use).'6 Moreover, since October 1990, the armed forces had expanded virtually overnight from 5,000 to 40,000 men requiring inevitably (under conditions of budgetary austerity) a sizeable influx of outside money. The new recruits were largely enlisted from the ranks of the urban unemployed of which the numbers had dramatically swelled since the collapse of the coffee market in 1989. Thousands of delinquent and idle youths from a drifting population were also drafted into the civilian militia responsible for the massacres. And part of the arms' purchases enabled the armed forces to organize and equip the militiamen.

In all, from the outset of the hostilities (which coincided chronologically with the devaluation and the initial "gush of fresh money" in October 1990), a total envelope of some US$ 260 million had been approved for disbursal (with sizeable bilateral contributions from France, Germany, Belgium, the European Community and the US). While the new loans contributed to releasing money for the payment of debt servicing as well as equipping the armed forces, the evidence would suggest that a large part of this donor assistance was neither used productively nor was it channeled into providing relief in areas affected by famine.

It is also worth noting that the World Bank (through its soft-lending affiliate, the International Development Association (IDA) had ordered, in 1992, the privatization of Rwanda's state enterprise Electrogaz. The proceeds of the privatization were to be channeled towards debt servicing. In a loan agreement, co-financed with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Caisse française de développement (CFD), the Rwandan authorities were to receive in return (after meeting the "conditionalities") the modest sum of US$ 39 million which could be spent freely on commodity imports." The privatization carried out at the height of the civil war also included dismissals of personnel and an immediate hike in the price of electricity which further contributed to paralyzing urban public services. A similar privatization of Rwandatel, the state telecommunications company under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, was implemented in September 1993.8

The World Bank had carefully reviewed Rwanda's public investment program. The fiches de projet having been examined, the World Bank recommended scrapping more than half the country's public investment projects. In agriculture, the World Bank had also demanded a significant down-sizing of state investment including the abandonment of the inland swamp reclamation program which had been initiated by the government

in response to the severe shortages of arable land (and which the World Bank considered "unprofitable"). In the social sectors, the World Bank proposed a so-called "priority program" (under "the social safety net") predicated on maximizing efficiency and "reducing the financial burden of the government" through the exaction of user fees, lay-offs of teachers and health workers and the partial privatization of health and education.

The World Bank would no doubt contend that things would have been much worse had Scenario II not been adopted. This is the so-called "counterfactual argument". (See Chapter 3) Such reasoning, however, sounds absurd particularly in the case of Rwanda. No sensitivity or concern was expressed as to the likely political and social repercussions of economic shock therapy applied to a country on the brink of civil war. The World Bank team consciously excluded the "non-economic variables" from their "simulations"...


Part B

Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa

From the outset of the Rwandan civil war in 1990, Washington's hidden agenda consisted in establishing an American sphere of influence in a region historically dominated by France and Belgium. America's design was to displace France by supporting the Rwandan Patriotic Front and by arming and equipping its military arm, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA).

From the mid-1980s, the Kampala government, under President Yoweri Musaveni, had become Washington's African showpiece of "democracy". Uganda had also become a launchpad for US-sponsored guerilla movements into the Sudan, Rwanda and the Congo. Major General Paul Kagame had been head of military intelligence in the Ugandan Armed Forces; he had been trained at the US Army Command and Staff College (CGSC) in Leavenworth, Kansas which focuses on warfighting and military strategy. Kagame returned from Leavenworth to lead the RPA, shortly after the 1990 invasion.

Prior to the outbreak of the Rwandan civil war, the RPA was part of the Ugandan Armed Forces. Shortly prior to the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda, military labels were switched. From one day to the next, large numbers of Ugandan soldiers joined the ranks of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). Throughout the civil war, the RPA was supplied from United People's Defense Forces (UPDF) military bases inside Uganda. The Tutsi commissioned officers in the Ugandan army took over positions in the RPA The October 1990 invasion by Ugandan forces was presented to public as a war of liberation by a Tutsi-led guerilla army.


Financing both Sides in the Civil War

A process of financing military expenditure from the external debt had occurred in Rwanda under the Habyarimana government. In a cruel irony, both sides in the civil war were financed by the same donor institutions with the World Bank acting as watchdog.

The Habyarimana regime had at its disposal an arsenal of military equipment, including 83mm missile launchers, French made Blindicide, Belgian and German made light weaponry, and automatic weapons such as kalachnikovs made in Egypt, China and South Africa [as well as] (... armored AML-60 and M3 armored vehicles." While part of these purchases had been financed by direct military aid from France, the influx of development loans from the World Bank's soft lending affiliate the International Development Association (IDA), the African Development Fund (AFD), the European Development Fund (EDF) as well as from Germany, the United States, Belgium and Canada had been diverted into funding the military and Interhamwe militia.

A detailed investigation of government files, accounts and correspondence conducted in Rwanda in 1996-97 by the author - together with Belgian economist Pierre Galand - confirmed that many of the arms purchases had been negotiated outside the framework of government to government military aid agreements through various intermediaries and private arms dealers. These transactions - recorded as bona fide government expenditures - had, nonetheless, been included in the state budget which was under the supervision of the World Bank. Large quantities of machetes and other items used in the 1994 ethnic massacres - routinely classified as "civilian commodities" - had been imported through regular trading channels .14

According to the files of the National Bank of Rwanda (NBR), some of these imports had been financed in violation of agreements signed with the donors. According to NBR records of import invoices, approximately one million machetes had been imported through various channels including Radio Mille Collines, an organization linked to the Interhamwe militia and used to foment ethnic hatred."

The money had been earmarked by the donors to support Rwanda's economic and social development. It was clearly stipulated that funds could not be used to import: "military expenditures on arms, ammunition and other military material "o26 In fact, the loan agreement with the World Bank's IDA was even more stringent. The money could not be used to import civilian commodities such as fuel, foodstuffs, medicine, clothing and footwear "destined for military or paramilitary use ". The records of the NBR, nonetheless, confirm that the Habyarimana government used World Bank money to finance the import of machetes which had been routinely classified as imports of "civilian commodities"."

An army of consultants and auditors had been sent in by the World Bank to assess the Habyarimana government's "policy performance" under the loan agreement." The use of donor funds to import machetes and other material used in the massacres of civilians did not show up in the independent audit commissioned by the government and the World Bank under the IDA loan agreement (IDA Credit Agreement. 2271 -RW).29 In 1993, the World Bank decided to suspend the disbursement of the second installment of its IDA loan. There had been, according to the World Bank mission, unfortunate "slip-ups" and "delays" in policy implementation. The free market reforms were no longer "on track"; the conditionalities including the privatization of state assets had not been met. The fact that the country was involved in a civil war was not even mentioned. How the money was spent was never an issue."'

Whereas the World Bank had frozen the second installment (tranche)

of the IDA loan, the money granted in 1991 had been deposited in a Special Account at the Banque Bruxelles Lambert in Brussels. This account remained open and accessible to the former regime (in exile), two months after the April 1994 ethnic massacres."


Postwar Cover-up

In the wake of the civil war, the World Bank sent a mission to Kigali with a view to drafting a so-called loan "Completion Report"." This was a routine exercise, largely focussing on macro-economic rather than political issues. The report acknowledged that "the war effort prompted the [former] government to increase spending substantially, well beyond the fiscal targets agreed under the SAP." The misappropriation of World Bank money was not mentioned. Instead, the Habyarimana government was praised for having "made genuine major efforts - especially in 1991 - to reduce domestic and external financial imbalances, eliminate distortions hampering export growth and diversification and introduce market based mechanisms for resource allocation . The massacres of civilians were not mentioned; from the point of view of the donors, "nothing had happened". In fact, the World Bank completion report failed to even acknowledge the existence of a civil war prior to April 1994.


In the Wake of the Civil War: Reinstating the IMF's Deadly Economic Reforms

In 1995, barely a year after the 1994 ethnic massacres, Rwanda's external creditors entered into discussions with the Tutsi-led RPF government regarding the debts of the former regime which had been used to finance the massacres. The RPF decided to fully recognize the legitimacy of the "odious debts" of 1990-94. RPF strongman Vice-President Paul Kagame instructed the Cabinet not to pursue the matter nor to approach the World Bank. Under pressure from Washington, the RPF was not to enter into any form of negotiations, let alone an informal dialogue with the donors.

The legitimacy of the wartime debts was never questioned. Instead, the creditors had carefully set up procedures to ensure their prompt reimbursement. In 1998 at a special donors' meeting in Stockholm, a Multilateral Trust Fund of 55.2 million dollars was set up under the banner of postwar reconstruction. In fact, none of this money was destined for Rwanda. It had been earmarked to service Rwanda's "odious debts" with the World Bank (i.e. IDA debt), the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

In other words, "fresh money" - which Rwanda will eventually have to reimburse - was lent to enable Rwanda to service the debts used to finance the massacres. Old loans had been swapped for new debts under the banner of post-war reconstruction." The "odious debts" had been whitewashed; they had disappeared from the books. The creditor's responsibility had been erased. Moreover, the scam was also conditional upon the acceptance of a new wave of IMF-World Bank reforms.


Post War "Reconstruction and Reconciliation"

Bitter economic medicine was imposed under the banner of "reconstruction and reconciliation". In fact, the IMF post-conflict reform package was far more stringent than that imposed at the outset of the civil war in 1990. While wages and employment had fallen to abysmally low levels, the IMF had demanded a freeze on civil service wages alongside a massive retrenchment of teachers and health workers. The objective was to "restore macro-economic stability". A downsizing of the civil service was launched." Civil service wages were not to exceed 4.5 percent of GDP, so-called "unqualified civil servants" (mainly teachers) were to be removed from the state payroll."

Meanwhile, the country's per capita income had collapsed from $ 360 (prior to the war) to $ 140 in 1995. State revenues had been tagged to service the external debt. Kigali's Paris Club debts were rescheduled in exchange for "free market" reforms. Remaining state assets were sold off to foreign capital at bargain prices.

The Tutsi-led RPF government, rather than demanding the cancellation of Rwanda's odious debts, had welcomed the Bretton Woods institutions with open arms. They needed the IMF "greenlight" to boost the development of the military.

Despite the austerity measures, defense expenditures continued to grow. The 1990-94 pattern had been reinstated. The development loans granted since 1995 were not used to finance the country's economic and social development. Outside money had again been diverted into financing a military buildup, this time of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA). And this build-up of the RPA occurred in the period immediately preceding the outbreak of civil war in former Zaire.


Concluding Remarks

The civil war in Rwanda was a brutal struggle for political power between the Hutu-led Habyarimana government supported by France, and the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) backed financially and militarily by Washington. Ethnic rivalries were used deliberately in the pursuit of geopolitical objectives. Both the CIA and French intelligence were involved.

In the words of former Cooperation Minister Bernard Debre in the government of Prime Minister Henri Balladur:

What one forgets to say is that, if France was on one side, the Americans were on the other, arming the Tutsis who armed the Ugandans. I don't want to portray a showdown between the French and the Anglo-Saxons, but the truth must be told."

In addition to military aid to the warring factions, the influx of development loans played an important role in "financing the conflict." In other words, both the Ugandan and Rwanda external debts were diverted into supporting the military and paramilitary. Uganda's external debt increased by more than two billion dollars, - i.e. at a significantly faster pace than that of Rwanda (an increase of approximately 250 million dollars from 1990 to 1994). In retrospect, the RPA - financed by US military aid and Uganda's external debt - was much better equipped and trained than the Forces Armees du Rwanda (FAR) loyal to President Habyarimana. From the outset, the RPA had a definite military advantage over the FAR.

According to the testimony of Paul Mugabe, a former member of the RPF High Command Unit, Major General Paul Kagame had personally ordered the shooting down of President Habyarimana's plane with a view to taking control of the country. He was fully aware that the assassination of Habyarimana would unleash "a genocide" against Tutsi civilians. R PA forces had been fully deployed in Kigali at the time the ethnic massacres took place and did not act to prevent it from happening:

The decision of Paul Kagame to shoot Pres. Habyarimana's aircraft was the catalyst of an unprecedented drama in Rwandan history, and Major-General Paul Kagame took that decision with all awareness. Kagame's ambition caused the extermination of all of our families: Tutsis, Hutus and Twas. We all lost. Kagame's take-over took away the lives of a large number of Tutsis and caused the unnecessary exodus of millions of Hutus, many of whom were innocent under the hands of the genocide ringleaders. Some naive Rwandans proclaimed Kagame as their savior, but time has demonstrated that it was he who caused our suffering and misfortunes... Can Kagame explain to the Rwandan people why he sent Claude Dusaidi and Charles Muligande to New York and Washington to stop the UN military intervention which was supposed to be sent and protect the Rwandan people from / the genocide ? The reason behind avoiding that military intervention was to allow the RPF leadership the takeover of the Kigali Government and to show the world that they - the RPF - were the ones who stopped the genocide. We will all remember that the genocide occurred during three months, even though Kagame has said that he was capable of stopping it the first week after the aircraft crash. Can Major-General Paul Kagame explain why he asked MINUAR to leave Rwandan soil within hours while the UN was examining the possibility of increasing its troops in Rwanda in order to stop the genocide

Paul Mugabe's testimony regarding the shooting down of Habyarimana's plane ordered by Kagame is corroborated by intelligence documents and information presented to the French parliamentary inquiry. Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.

Despite the good diplomatic relations between Paris and Washington and the apparent unity of the Western military alliance, it was an undeclared war between France and America. supporting the build up of 4 Ugandan and Rwandan forces, and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo including several hundred thousand people who died in refugee camps.

US policy-makers were fully aware that a catastrophe was imminent. In fact, four months before the CIA had warned the US State Department in a confidential brief that the Arusha Accords would fail and "that if hostilities resumed, then upward of half a million people would die". This information was withheld from the United Nations: "it was not until the genocide was over that information was passed to Maj-Gen. Dallaire [who was in charge of UN forces in Rwanda]."

Washington's objective was to displace France, discredit the French government (which had supported the Habyarimana regime) and install an Anglo-American protectorate in Rwanda under Major General Paul Kagame. Washington deliberately did nothing to prevent the ethnic massacres.

When a UN force was put forth, Major General Paul Kagame sought to delay its implementation stating that he would only accept a peacekeeping force once the RPA was in control of Kigali. Kagame "feared [that] the proposed United Nations force of more than 5,000 troops (...) [might] intervene to deprive them [the RPA] of victory"." Meanwhile, the Security Council, after deliberation and a report from Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, decided to postpone its intervention.

The 1994 Rwandan "genocide" served strictly strategic and geopolitical objectives. The ethnic massacres were a stumbling blow to France's credibility which enabled the US to establish a neocolonial foothold in Central Africa. From a distinctly Franco-Belgian colonial setting, the Rwandan capital Kigali has become - under the expatriate Tutsi-led RPF government - distinctly Anglo-American. English has become the dominant language in government and the private sector. Many private businesses owned by Hutus were taken over in 1994 by returning Tutsi expatriates. The latter had been exiled in Anglophone Africa, the US and Britain.

The Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) functions in English and Kinyarwanda; the University, previously linked to France and Belgium, functions in English. While English had become an official language alongside French and Kinyarwanda, French political and cultural influence will eventually be erased. Washington has become the new colonial master of a francophone country.

Several other francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa have entered into military cooperation agreements with the US. These countries are slated by Washington to follow suit on the pattern set in Rwanda. Meanwhile in francophone West Africa, the US dollar is rapidly displacing the CFA Franc - which is linked in a currency board arrangement to the French Treasury.

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