Evil Irony: Offsprings of genocide perpetrators turned deniers, and pretend genocide survivors

On 13 May 2020 at 05:22

We are in a period when Rwanda is commemorating 100 days of genocide; a period when the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was executed with shocking efficiency. As Rwandans tread into resilience, reconciliation and national reconstruction, there is a breed of perpetrators that is bent on promoting revisionism and denial.

Some of these revisionists claim to be genocide survivors so that they can win favour and sympathy from the international community, including the host countries where they sought refuge after their 1994 atrocities. How ironic that genocide perpetrators have turned into genocide deniers and then claim to be genocide survivors.

These chronic sowers of hatred and merchants of death are scattered throughout the world in both developed and developing countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Canada, and even in countries such as Australia and New Zealand where genocide ideologists founded an outfit of Rwandan Association of Queensland to promote the lethal thinking.

Some of the individuals that are bent on promoting genocide ideology are profiled below.

Bene Gatebuke

Claude Gatebuke and his sister Alice, who live in Nashville, Tennessee, are descendants of Gatsinzi Gatebuke, a native of Gisenyi in the former Kayove Commune.

They both claim to be genocide survivors. But those who knew Gatsinzi Gatebuke testify that he hated Tutsis so much so that he could not sit at the table to eat with them.

Gatebuke runs the African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN), made up of himself, his sister, and Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, who use it to raise money from those who do not know the truth about Rwandan history.

Claude Gatebuke is renown for spreading genocide denial through different projects

Denise Zaneza, Europe Coordinator of “Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights”

Claude Gatebuke works closely with Denise Zaneza, a prominent woman who denies the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. She is the eldest daughter of Marcel Sebatware from Mukingo commune in Ruhengeri, who lives in Belgium and is accused ofinvolvement in the Genocide.

Denise Zaneza, a prominent woman who denies the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide [CNLG] indicates that Sebatware is in self-exile in Belgium, hiding behind political activities to obscure his role in the Genocide against the Tutsi. He is a commissioner and one of the founders, along with Victoire Ingabire, of the FDU-INKINGI party in Belgium.

Denise Zaneza claims to be a human rights activist and is the Europe coordinator for the denialist organisation called “Global Campaign on Rwandan Human Rights”, "and a genocide survivor." It is all a disguise because she is not a Genocide survivor.

Jambo Asbl

Jambo Asbl, operating in Belgium, is an organization that claims to protect humanity, yet aims to deny and belittle the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Among its leaders is Placide Kayumba, founder and CEO of Jambo Asbl, the son of Dominique Ntawukuriryayo, who became Sous-Prefet of Gisagara during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In 2010 he was sentenced by the ICTR to 25 years in prison. He was convicted of leading a massacre on Mount Kabuye, killing more than 30,000 Tutsis.

There is also Natacha Abingeneye, the President of Jambo Asbl, the daughter of Juvénal Uwiringiyimana who became the Minister of Trade and was an MRND activist. In June 2005 he was summoned by the ICTR, where he died before his trial ended.

Another one is Gustave Mbonyumutwa, son of Shingiro Mbonyumutwa, who prosecuted by the Gacaca courts for his role in the Genocide against the Tutsi, and the grandson of Dominique Mbonyumutwa, one of the founders of MDR Parmehutu, who became the first President of Rwanda in 1961.

Also among the members of Jambo Asbl is Liliane Bahufite, daughter of Colonel Juvenal Bahufite who led the massacre in Gisenyi in 1990-1993. He was also a spokesperson for the militia that carried out the Genocide after they fled to Zaire.

Laure Nkundakozera Uwase, former Secretary-General of Jambo Asbl, and editor-in-chief of Jambo News in collaboration with Ruhumuza Mbonyumutwa, is the daughter of Anastase Nkundakozera, who was convicted by the Gacaca Courts of genocide against the Tutsi, and whose mother, Agnès Mukarugomwa, was a prominent MRND activist.

The current leader of Jambo Asbl, Robert Mugabowindekwe, is the son of Lt Col Éphrem Rwabalinda who served as Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of Habyarimana’s Armed Forces. During the Genocide, Lt Col Rwabalinda was sent to Paris between 9-13 May 1994 to meet with French military leaders.

The message that he had brought when he was received by General Jean-Pierre Huchon included demands for weapons to confront the RPF Inkotanyi.

The Jambo team also includes Norman Ishimwe Sinamenye, the Secretary-General. His father, André Sinamenye, was born in Gikongoro, he was not involved in the Genocide but was against the government that organized it. From 1991 to 1994 he was a member of the PSD.

IGIHE has since learned that Norman Ishimwe’s father was unhappy with the path his son has taken, and even tried to get him out of the Jambo Asbl but wasn’t successful.

Placide Kayumba is among its leaders, founder, and CEO of Jambo Asbl

Unlike Robert Mugabowindekwe, Laure Uwase, Natacha Abingeneye, Placide Kayumba, Ruhumuza, and Gustave Mbonyumutwa and others, Norman Ishimwe, was not indoctrinated into genocide denial by his parents, but through his friend in Jambo Asbl.

Jambo Asbl uses many tactics to minimise and negate the Genocide against the Tutsi. Despite their recent pretence of using of UN-accepted language, they are quick to add to the "genocide against the Hutus." They do not agree with the role of the Interim Government (that executed the Genocide), the MRND, the Hutu Power, and the FAR were involved in the genocide, but claim that the Interim Government wanted to restore peace.

René Mugenzi in the UK

René Mugenzi last year appeared on Al Jazeera television claiming to have survived the Genocide. However, his father, Joseph Mugenzi, is suspected of involvement in the Genocide, has fled justice, and is believed to be hiding in the Netherlands.

René Mugenzi last year appeared on Al Jazeera television claiming to have survived the Genocide

Peter Mutabaruka, of Peace at Home (Amahoro Iwacu)

Peter Mutabaruka lives in the UK with his father, Celestin Mutabaruka, one of the infamous “UK Five” fugitives who are suspected of involvement in the Genocide against the Tutsi. The 64-year-old Celestin Mutabaruka, a pastor in the Community Church, is accused of being involved in the massacre of Tutsis of Bisesero at Kibuye in 1994.

Peter Mutabaruka is the son of Celestin Mutabaruka who is accused of being involved in the massacre of Tutsis of Bisesero at Kibuye in 1994.

Despite his father’s actions, Peter Mutabaruka continues to accuse the Rwandan government of violating human rights, and in 2017 launched a campaign called Amahoro Iwacu, in which he called for the removal of the President of Rwanda. He uses social media sites extensively, particularly Facebook and YouTube.

Deniers in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada

Others continue to deny the Genocide and have already multiplied in Australia and New Zealand, where their activities have been highlighted during the #Remembrance26. They continue to use the “Genocide in Rwanda”, instead of the UN-mandated name, Genocide against Tutsis.

These include Nelson Muhirwa and his wife Yvette Muhirwa from Australia, who use social media sites such as YouTube, to allege that the RPF has committed crimes against Hutus. Others are RNC militants, including Robert Mukombozi and Kalisa Mubarak.

In countries such as Canada, there is Louise Uwacu, who also claims to have survived the Genocide. She spreads genocide denial working closely with Claude Gatebuke and other genocide deniers.

Louise Uwacu’s family fled from Ruhengeri to Zaire after the RPF defeated those carrying out the Genocide.

Other influencers include Eric Udahemuka, spreading falsehoods on YouTube and other hate speech broadcasters, especially through Ikondera Libre TV, which is widely used by genocide deniers.

One of the political analysts who spoke to IGIHE said that the new generation of Tutsi Genocide deniers is using social media to spread genocide ideology and minimise the Genocide. “Such acts have to be fought until they stop.”