The cross gave a more than laudatory report on the “long report” by journalist Patrick de Saint-Exupéry, published in Crossing, a book published by Les Arènes in the Reporters Collection. “Investigation and wonderful travelogue from Kigali to Kinshasa, Crossing is first of all a solid deconstruction of the theory of double genocide which prevails in certain circles. The genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi by the Hutu extremists in Rwanda in 1994, did not respond to that of the Hutus by the Tutsi in DR-Congo (ex-Zaire), two years later ”, is it written in the introduction of the article.
So we read Crossing. And we want to express our outrage.
The stake of this “odyssey in the heart of Africa” would be to “ Check the accusations of the French authorities repeated tirelessly for more than twenty years: a genocide would have taken place in the heart of the Congolese equatorial forest, hundreds of thousands of men and women would have been massacred with indifference “. In reality, the real issue is to discredit the United Nations report documenting the unpunished mass crimes of which the Congo has been the tragic theater.
This “Mapping” report was highlighted by Dr. Denis Mukwege during his speech to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 2018: “ As I speak to you, a report is molding in the drawer of an office in New York. It was written after a professional and rigorous investigation into war crimes and human rights violations perpetrated in the Congo. This investigation explicitly names victims, places and dates but avoids the perpetrators. This report of the Mapping project established by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, describes no less than 617 war crimes and crimes against humanity and perhaps even crimes of genocide. What is the world waiting for to be taken into account? “
→ READ. Investigation In the DRC, Doctor Denis Mukwege’s fight for justice
Among the countries often cited is Rwanda, suspected of having massacred an incalculable number of Rwandan Hutu refugees and Congolese civilians. More serious, the attacks, “ apparently systematic and generalized “From AFDL / APR (Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo / Rwandan Patriotic Army)” reveal several damning elements which, if proven in a competent court, could qualify as crimes of genocide “.
Before starting his journey, the investigative journalist prepares his investigation in the company of the senior Rwandan officer who led the AFDL / APR military operations aimed at dismantling the camps and tracking down Hutu refugees across Zaire. , and who is therefore one of the alleged perpetrators of the mass crimes committed during this “crossing”. Its “investigation” continues with “witnesses” met in 4-5 localities. Among them, only seven speak vaguely to him about the massacres, since none of them witnessed the events directly. From these few “testimonies” and an alleged absence of traces, he disqualifies the Mapping report. Unable to deny the atrocities, he presents them as regrettable consequences of the vagaries of war or of the collateral damage of the fighting.
He even tries to make believe that the Mapping report itself concludes that there was no clear intention to destroy the Hutu ethnic group. In reality, the report very cautiously formulates only one hypothesis: ” The question of the genocide against the Hutus remains unresolved to this day. It can only be decided by a judicial decision based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. “
We will have understood, we cannot put on the same footing Crossing and the Mapping project report. On the one hand, a few conversations with 4-5 expatriates and a dozen Congolese. No direct witness, no Rwandan refugee met and questioned. No questions about the very many mass graves that could contain evidence of mass crimes. On the other, the work of a team of 33 Congolese and international experts who examined more than 1,500 documents and obtained information from 1,280 witnesses in order to corroborate or refute the violations listed.
Why this attempt to denigrate the Mapping report?
The Mapping report is a sword of Damocles on the heads of the leaders of the countries implicated in the mass crimes perpetrated in Congo-Zaire and it entails for those most responsible for these atrocities obvious risks of questioning. The first is to have to appear in court one day and be prosecuted for war crimes or, worse yet, for possible crimes of genocide against the Hutu ethnic group.
The second big risk is that, if it is established that mass crimes were committed in the Congo in 1996-1997, some come to wonder whether the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a political organization to which the RPA belongs, did not also committed, previously, the same kind of crimes in Rwanda. All the “dissenting voices”, who unambiguously recognize and condemn the genocide against the Tutsis but who, for the sake of objectivity, dare to speak of these “other” crimes, are often qualified as “revisionists”. , even of “deniers”, with the obvious aim of discrediting or silencing them.
→ TRIBUNE by Vincent Duclert. Rwanda: letter of hope from Kigali
The third risk is that the end of this blindness, voluntary for some, involuntary for others, on these mass crimes does not lead to a radical questioning of the official historical narrative, propagated for 25 years, which presents Paul Kagame and his armed movement like the “ saviors who put an end to the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda and the liberators who drove Mobutu from power ”. This narrative is largely accredited in the world, broadcast by most of the media and received as the word of the gospel by a large part of the public.
Paradoxically, and fortunately, Crossing there is a strong risk of producing the opposite effect from that sought. Critical journalists and readers may well be drawn to this Mapping report and discover for themselves the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.