A French media publication, based in Rouen, capital of the northern French region of Normandy, and a port city on the river Seine, has put the spotlight on the activities of Rwandan genocide fugitives residing there.
Last week, the online publication, Le Poulpe, reported that in Rouen, Rwandan genocidaires and members of an armed group continue to exercise their influence on the diaspora with impunity for the past two decades.
According to the publication, for the past 20 years, these genocide fugitives have gained influence and used asylum seekers hosting facilities’ structures for their own benefit.
These “sinister individuals are actively involved,” it adds, in the support of Victoire Ingabire, head of FDU-Inkingi that has links with terrorist groups that are offshoots of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe militias, perpetrators of the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Egide Mutabazi, 43, a survivor of the Genocide, told The New Times that he was surprised to hear of a city in another country where the organisers and perpetrators of the Genocide are well organized in a such a manner, and with impunity.
He added: “Clearly, the listed organisations of former militants of Habyarimana’s regime at Rouen and La Seine-Maritime are Genocide negationists. The international community should work together to stop such organizations.
“What is the lesson from what happened in Rwanda 25 years ago if criminals or their relatives continue to support FDLR militia that wants to finish the work they did not finish? France as a country should avoid being the refuge of unpunished Genocide perpetrators. France should send them to Rwanda for trial or try them if its government believes, really, in Never Again.”
European capital of the genocidaires
Referring to Rouen as the European capital of the genocidaires, Le Poulpe highlights how, after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the first people to settle in the region of Normandy were intellectuals close to the collapsed genocidal regime who were hostile to the new leadership in Kigali.
Le Poulpe notes that they created their own regional structure, based in Rouen. The statutes of the Association of Rwandans of Normandy (ARN) were drafted on May 24, 2003 and filed in prefecture on June 25 that same year, with Rwandans from the region of Kigali and northern Rwanda at its helm.
France is home to, among others, Agathe Kanziga, widow of former President Juvenal Habyarimana, Manasse Bigwenzare, a former judge, Sosthene Munyemana, nicknamed “the butcher of Tumba” for atrocities he was involved in southern Rwanda, and Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a Catholic priest accused of having a direct hand in killings in parts of Kigali.
Between 2001 and 2004, Le Poulpe noted, Marie-Merci Habyarimana, the youngest daughter of Juvénal Habyarimana did her studies as an engineer in Rouen.
“A few years later, Joséphine Mukazitoni, the wife of Félicien Kabuga, the great financier of the 1994 genocide, would also reside there,” Le Poulpe noted.
Kabuga, the elusive Rwandan businessman, has been and still is the most wanted suspect of the 1994 Genocide. Kabuga, known as the Financier of the Genocide, was a very wealthy businessman during the Genocide and a major shareholder of hate radio station RTLM.
Among others, according to the French paper, Rouen has become a holiday resort for the relatives of people accused by the now-defunct International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) established by the UN to try masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The city is also a haven for some of the architects of the Genocide, it is noted, such as Issa Nyabyenda, former editor of the international edition of Kangura magazine, one of the major genocidal media 25 years ago.
The newspaper aimed to expand and stir anti-Tutsi hatred to the entire Great Lakes region. Nyabyenda’s former boss, it is noted, still lives in France under an assumed name.
The paper also details how members of the DR Congo-based FDLR militia group which comprises elements blamed for the 1994 Genocide have found a safe haven in the French city.
One of them is Emmanuel Ruzindana, a man responsible for political affairs in the FDLR hierarchy.
It is also noted that Col Augustin Munyakayanza, another senior member of the military command of the terrorist organization, settles more secretly in the agglomeration.