La France accusée d'avoir distribué des armes aux civils dans la Zone Turquoise
Kigali, 13 déc. (ARI) - Le témoin N° 15 a indiqué à la Commission rwandaise que les soldats français de l'Opération Turquoise ont distribué des armes à des civils hutu dans l'ex-Préfecture de Gikongoro, a établi l'Agence Rwandaise d'Information (ARI).
Ce témoin qui a requis l'anonymat s'était fait enrôler dans l'armée rwandaise en novembre 1990. Il avait même combattu contre le FPR (Front Patriotique Rwandais, au pouvoir depuis 1994). Après qu'il eût quitté l'armée en juin 1991 pour raison de santé, il s'est retiré dans sa commune d'origine, à Muko, située à Gikongoro.
Quand les soldats français de l'Opération Turquoise sont arrivés à Gikongoro, ils ont demandé à la population s'il y avait parmi elle des jeunes originaires de Gikongoro sachant manier des armes.
Ce témoin N° 15 fait partie des jeunes sélectionnés qui ont reçu des armes des mains des soldats français avec autorisation de posséder une arme dans la Zone Turquoise. La mission assignée aux jeunes sélectionnés était de s'assurer qu'il n'y a pas des soldats du FPR qui s'infiltrent dans la Préfecture.
Le véhicule de la Région Sanitaire de Nyamagabe a été mis à la disposition du groupe. Le carburant utilisé était donné par des soldats français. Par ailleurs, le témoin N° 15 dit que les soldats français ont procédé au remplacement des bourgmestres des communes par ceux de leur choix.
Le témoin N° 15 a parlé également du refus des soldats français de secourir les Tutsi réfugiés à Gikongoro après avoir échappé aux tueries dans les collines de Bisesero. Ces Tutsi ont dû barrer la route en se couchant à même le sol pour contraindre les soldats français à les mettre dans leurs jeeps.
Les soldats français ont alors tiré en l'air pour obliger les Tutsi à dégager la route. Les Interahamwe ont alors accouru vers le lieu après avoir entendu le crépitement. Les jeeps des soldats français ont démarré en laissant ces Tutsi à la merci des Interahamwe et des villageois munis des houes et des massues. (Fin).
ARI-RNA/ Gén. / D.M/ 13. 12. 06/ 15 : 00 GMT
Kigali, December 13th (RNA) – The Mucyo French probe has heard that Genocide fugitive - Nteziryayo Emmanuel - now living in the UK - was given "10million as appreciation" by French officials for having been "very cooperative" with managing the cocaine project in Nyungwe forest, RNA has established.
According to anonymous probe Witness XVI, Nteziryayo who was Bourgmestre of Mudasomwa commune – Cyangugu province (covering a portion of Nyungwe forest) was given authoritative control over a controversial project Unité de Gestion de la Zone 4 (Projet Nyungwe UGZ-4) - that on paper was a forestry project – but instead "government used it as cocaine preparatory station".
As Witness XVI who was also Bourgmestre of Karengera Commune (bordering Mudasomwa) and "good friend" to Nteziryayo explained – around August 1994, as the French were retreating and leaving out of military pressure from the RPF, some French soldiers went through Nyungwe – harvested the up to 25 hectares of cocaine – loaded onto helicopter in huge packs disguised as tea for unknown destination.
Apparently, Nteziryayo confided in him (witness) that "French officials" and then fleeing Government officials "rewarded" him with "10m" – then "destroyed" all the cocaine plantations after harvest - "killed" all the workers of the UGZ-4 project and "dumped their bodies over-flight into Nyungwe forest." The project was apparently managed by one – Ibanzabigwi Déo.
"Infact when we (all government officials, interahamwe and ex-FAR) fleed into Zaire (DRC), Nteziryayo was very wealthy – he even bought a car – became a very prominent businessman and started planning to flee to Europe", the seemingly knowledgeable former administrator said. And indeed he did go to Europe.
Queries on which currency Nteziryayo was paid, the Witness said he did not ask the recipient. But observers say 10m Rwandan francs then could be equivalent to about 50million PLUS Rwandan francs at present because of inflationary changes.
In August 2006, Nteziryayo Emmanuel was uncovered in the UK by The Guardian on Burundian nationality and claiming he was fleeing persecution – changed names – lived in a council estate in Manchester and on welfare benefits as a refugee with his family.
On first encounter with the journalist - Nteziryayo insisted he was Ndikumana. But when told his real identity had been discovered, he said, "Yes, it is true." He would however not explain why he was living under a false name and a Burundian identity, saying only: "It is a private matter.", and closed the door!
According to Witness XVI, in glasses - smartly dressed and speaking with confident posture – indicative of the vast evidence he was prepared to divulge, French soldiers that used to supervise in his commune devised a method whereby dead bodies of killed Tutsis were ripped open around the stomach and stones were inserted in them (copses) such that they were heavy to sink in Lake Kivu.
"The French soldiers gave us tactics of recognizing Tutsis by looking at their feet for gum-boot marks, gun-belt markings on shoulders and of course on Indangamuntu (national ID) for Tutsi ethnicity", the witness narrated confidently.
"To show that French really wanted all 'enemies' dead", he remarked, "I was myself roughed up at onetime in my home at night by French soldiers because I had aided one – Kanyeshyamba Jean-Claude to flee to Burundi". The escapee had been former school-mate and "friend" to the witness.
Like he had told the commission before about people dumped in Nyungwe from helicopters, the Witness himself said he discovered "two savagely damaged bodies" that had been dumped by the French helicopters. Apparently, the bodies were tied up hands-back (Kandoya), broken bones protruding through flesh from the distant fall – and "seemed to have been tortured terribly."
Along the testimony, like other witnesses that held public office, the Bourgmestre had a prepared document that he read from and mainly dwelt on hypothetical evidence - describing how France meddled in every aspect of Rwanda – eventually abetting the Genocide.
Cyangugu (now part of Western Province) was part of the infamous Zone Turquoise – a UN authorized "humanitarian cordon" that the French established to cover Kibuye and Gikongoro provinces as well.
It was in this Zone that French soldiers, according to evidence already heard – raped – looted property – destroyed some – mimed civilians – protected the fleeing genocidal government – harvested cocaine – provided weaponry – and later helped the Interahamwe to regroup in Zaire for an unsuccessful "return" into Rwanda. (End)