Looking back on a year of reporting about the corona virus pandemic, German journalist Ralf Arnold wrote:

What was the motto of the legendary television journalist Hanns-Joachim Friedrichs? “You can recognize a good journalist by the fact that he does not make common cause with anything, not even with a good cause; that he is everywhere, but doesn’t belong anywhere.” … In the last few years, something called “attitude journalism” has emerged. It is an intellectual and moralizing arrogance that I think is spreading more and more. You simply belong to the “good guys”, to those who are on the “right side.” One believes that one has to instruct the mistaken citizen. It is no longer a question of neutrality, but of representing the “right cause,” and surprisingly often this coincides with the interests of the government… But this is increasingly alienating journalists from a good part of their clientele. In the 1990s, the red carpet was rolled out to us reporters, editors, and presenters when we showed up anywhere in the country. Today we almost have to be happy when people don’t shout “Lying press!” [Lügenpresse; a term adopted by the Nazis in the Third Reich for the Jewish, communist, and foreign press; S.R.]. Of course, this term is wrong and should be rejected because of its history, but we journalists play a large part in the increasing alienation.[1]

One could pick any historical point to find the roots of this attitude journalism, as it was certainly evident during the great wars of the 20th century and the cold war period. However, during a brief period between the 1960s and 1980s, there was a bit of a “golden age” when there was more objective, investigative and confrontational journalism of the kind described above by Mr. Friedrichs. But then when the Berlin Wall came down, there was suddenly a reappearance of a “great game” involving new global rivalries. The United States, through NATO and its willing “international community,” set its sights on Yugoslavia and Central Africa.[2],[3] In the former, socialism had to be replaced with free markets, and strategic military bases were needed. In the latter, French influence needed to be eliminated and resources had to come under American control. The wars that were needed for this goal, in both regions, were savage ethnic conflicts that shocked the world, as they seemed to have erupted unexpectedly. There were public relations campaigns that described these wars in simplistic terms as conflicts between black-hatted Serbs and Hutus, and white-hatted Croats, Bosnians and Tutsis. Journalists and governments fell into line with the new “attitude journalism” and accepted this crafted official narrative unquestioningly. As a result, the public never saw the hidden hand of Washington that planned these transformations. The proximate horrors were undeniable, and the war crimes were morally indefensible, but very few journalists wanted to look into the grey zone between designated good guys and bad guys or illuminate the ultimate causes of these wars. Those who did were severely denounced.

Pierre Péan (1938-2019) was one of the exceptional journalists, and he paid a high price for it. He was an author, journalist and essayist who wrote on various aspects of French history and politics, but most notably on Africa and France’s relations with African nations. Some described him as an investigative journalist, but he rejected this term for its associations with the brand of journalism that came out of the Watergate era. He believed many investigative journalists had become followers of given narratives, often deceived by the information presented to them by their subjects. He preferred to say he was a journaliste d’initiative, conducting his own in-depth research. He said in 2011, “I don’t wait to report on an investigation. I start one myself.”[4]

Pierre Péan’s work was always controversial, but never more so than when he challenged the accepted narrative of what happened in Rwanda in 1994. His interpretation was particularly unwelcome in France where the liberal and left media—which had until then been more supportive of his critical views of France’s role in the exploitation of Africa—were unable to accept that France was not complicit in pre-meditated genocide during its intervention in Rwanda in June 1994.

Pierre Péan’s investigations led him to believe that in the case of Rwanda it was not France but Britain and the US that were ultimately responsible for the Rwandan tragedy through their support of a war of invasion carried out by Tutsi exiles and the government of Uganda. While he was controversial enough in France, he was at least able to publish two books in French on Rwanda and the Central African region. In the English-speaking world, publishers have had no interest in translating his work, while there have been several books and articles alleging France’s deliberate complicity in genocide. Thus here in this article, is a rare translation of  Pierre Péan’s work. Part 1 is a translation of part of a radio broadcast made shortly after he died, and Part 2 is a translation of his preface to his book Carnage:The Secret Wars of the Great Powers in Africa. A translation of Chapter 6 of this book can be found here.

Although he remained unknown outside of French-speaking countries, several contemporary journalists and researchers cited his work and also took up the task of revealing the non-orthodox narrative of the Rwandan tragedy—authors such as Judi Rever who in 2018 wrote In Praise of Blood: The Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.

In the years since Carnages was published, the obvious flaws in the orthodox narrative have become more apparent. As repression in Rwanda has become increasingly intolerable and impossible to ignore, Rwandans inside and outside their country are speaking out more than they used to.[5] The original narrative might have decayed much sooner if not for all the NGOs, political leaders, religious leaders and billionaire and pop star philanthropists who are on the record for praising President Paul Kagame as a beacon of hope for Africa.

Part 1

From a broadcast made shortly after Pierre Péan died, August 2019

Pierre Péan (excerpt from an earlier broadcast): I’ve been writing since 1969, so it’s been a long time. I worked on the KGB. I worked on the [French] Secret Service. I’ve worked on very, very delicate subjects, but what I’ve seen in investigating Rwanda is beyond anything I’ve seen before, and perhaps the most important part of my book [Black Furies, White Liars], is “white liars” because this whole story—and Charles Onana has already talked about it quite a bit—is that I think the important thing about the Rwandan tragedy, perhaps already taught in military schools, is how it was conducted. It’s a pretty extraordinary thing… Today the truth, whether in Rwanda or in the Great Lakes, and therefore especially in Congo, cannot be told, cannot emerge within the propaganda system that has been imposed.

Even before the first shot of the Tutsi rebellion, they [the Tutsi army in exile, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)] understood that it was a change of eras and that propaganda was essential—not classic propaganda but propaganda made for the NGOs who were becoming important actors at a time when the power of states was diminishing. Therefore… it was brilliant strategy. It was evil, but it was also brilliant. It was to act, before the first shot, as victims, and to impose until this day, the notion that they are the ones who were assaulted and they are the victims. So the word genocide was uttered by those who made the propaganda, even before the first shot, so much so that when the war started, thanks to the support of Uganda… There had been huge massacres in northern Rwanda, but so skillfully did they manage the terrain that no journalist was able to go there. Journalists were only allowed to go to the area controlled by [the Rwandan government]. [They ran the propaganda] so well that as the war unfolded, in the course of these tragedies, the media, the NGOs, and all the associations, developed a story that has absolutely nothing to do with reality. Thanks to the imposition of the word genocide on one side, against the Tutsis, this word prevented any possibility of accessing the truth.

Judi Rever: Pierre Péan was a very great journalist who inspired me greatly. He was a role model for me and other people because he was deeply rooted in subjects that most of us avoid, and he dug up disturbing subjects. He did it with integrity and honesty. He was a person, in my opinion, who could not bear false claims. He loved to expose the hidden side of society, and in doing that, he educated us and showed us how our society actually works. He’s always been interested in the facts. He was a master at exposing the RPF, Western and Rwandan propaganda. He was the first journalist, along with Quebec’s Yvon Patrie and the Belgian Pieter Verlinden, to expose the RPF’s deep criminality. He’s been subjected to legal threats, that have come to nothing, it must be said. But all of this was painful for him. He suffered because of the unique thinking among the French media and intellectuals, and French and Western NGOs. It’s very sad, but from a personal point of view, I just wanted to say about Pierre, with whom I corresponded in recent years, that he was kind. He was a very good person. I understood why he was always getting scoops because he could really talk to people of all social levels and all nationalities. He was a person with an open mind. He supported my work, and I felt solidarity with him. He’s no longer here with us, and it’s very sad, but I think of him and I come back to his work that inspires me.[6]

Part 2

Author’s Preface to Carnage: The Secret Wars of the Great Powers in Africa (©Fayard, 2010).[7]

More than eight million dead? Who talks about it?

The modern history of Africa is written by activists who sort out the good dead and the bad dead with the sieve of repentance. Didn’t the president of SOS Racisme say that “to evoke the blood of the Hutu is to smear the blood of the Tutsi”? In the rubble of the Berlin Wall, the “end of ideologies” allowed the emergence of a new militancy which, under the respectable pretext of helping the poor countries of Africa, looks at them only through the distorting prism of the original fault of slavery, supposed to be continuing to this day through colonialism and then neo-colonialism. In short, the ills of Africa could only be explained by one word: France.

Since the end of the Cold War, the Great Lakes region has become one of death and unhappiness amid almost total indifference, with two million Rwandans exterminated in 1994 inside Rwanda, more than six million Rwandan and Congolese deaths in the former Zaire, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese killed, numerous Ugandan victims, and more than half a million Angolan deaths, millions of displaced people, four heads of state and hundreds of ministers and other murdered leaders, tens of thousands of women raped, and shameless looting. This area has the sad privilege of having suffered more damage than that of all the wars that have taken place around the world since the end of the Second World War. And yet the media, the vast majority of them, speak about and mourn only the hundreds of thousands of Tutsi victims of Rwanda, and denounce the Hutu as the only ones directly responsible for these butcheries. The French are alleged to have helped them in their horrible task, making François Mitterrand and Édouard Balladur reincarnations of Hitler, and French soldiers the equal of the Waffen SS. This is the official version, displayed not only by Paul Kagame, the current President of Rwanda, but also by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the vigilante arm of the international community, and by the United States, the United Kingdom and the majority of other countries.

I was convinced by my investigations that Paul Kagame had ordered the attack on the plane carrying Juvenal Habyarimana, his predecessor—an attack that triggered the Tutsi genocide and Hutu massacres in April 1994—when it was attributed to Hutu extremists, so I decided in 2004 to try to understand what had really happened in Rwanda and to get my own understanding of this tragedy. I quickly discovered the incredible misinformation that had accompanied Paul Kagame’s seizing of power, as well as the methods used to discourage those who would be tempted to oppose the orthodox narrative.

These are methods that work like weapons of mass destruction. Thanks to an abusive analogy made between the genocide of the Tutsi and the Holocaust, the guardians of the official truth treat the offenders as deniers, revisionists, racists, and even anti-Semites. Despite this threat, I continued my investigation, and in 2005, in Black Furies, White Liars, I analyzed the Rwandan tragedy as a war launched by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). It was a daring campaign, composed almost exclusively of Tutsi recruits from the exiled diaspora—supported by the Ugandan army and protected by the American secret services—against the regular government of Rwanda which had been aided by France until 1993. I saw that there were neither good guys nor bad guys in this tragic story littered with mass atrocities against Hutus and genocide of Tutsis.

As soon as the book was released, and for the next four years, I was the subject of attacks of a rare vehemence, notably following a complaint by the organization SOS Racisme, of which I was once a sponsor, for racial defamation and incitement to racial hatred, not to mention a complaint in Belgium launched by 217 Tutsi Rwandans each claiming 10,000 euros in damages. The trial at first instance culminated in the intervention of Benjamin Abtan, former president of the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF), who on the one hand compared my book to Mein Kampf and claimed on the other hand to have met survivors of the Rwandan massacres who were seized with fear at the mere mention of my name. “An emotion which, on the other hand, in the references that are mine,” he declared, “can only remind me of the effect of the name Faurisson on the victims of the Holocaust.” At seventy years of age, I had thus become, for a fraction of the French elite, a racist, revisionist, denier and anti-Semite.

Having delivered only the results of my investigation, I had become, in the eyes of some, a new Faurisson.[8]

This trial and the virulent media attacks that accompanied it discouraged me from closing my “Rwanda” file. Rather than focus solely on preparing for my trial, I decided to resume my investigation and extend it into the history of the Great Lakes and Central Africa region in order to understand how and why a truncated version of the history of the Rwandan tragedy was established. At first, I tried to trace and analyze the maneuvers that prevented the United Nations from investigating the attack on Rwandan President Habyarimana’s Falcon 50. Then I looked at other efforts to block the ICTR’s attempts to prosecute the crimes committed by the RPF. It soon became clear to me that Washington had been the conductor of this conspiracy of silence. From this challenge, I have tried to understand why the US administration has deployed such energy since 1994 to ensure the impunity of Paul Kagame. It then became apparent that these maneuvers were simply part of the logic of protecting the “strategic interests” of the United States in Central Africa. From then on, I have been working to uncover the actions—open and clandestine—of the United States since the 1980s in the Great Lakes region. These were aimed at a new sharing of areas of influence on the African continent, and they involved the “geological scandal” that constitutes the pursuit of the fabulous underground resources of Zaire (now Congo), which are coveted by all.

I started from a few questions that had been raised in 1998 during the Parliamentary Information Mission on Rwanda, chaired by Paul Quilès. Édouard Balladur, Prime Minister from 1993 to 1995, pointed out that everyone had seen that ethnic rivalries had been used in turn by a particular external power, and that in the end the question arose about who had wanted to oust France from this geographical area, and for the benefit of whom. François Léotard, a former defense minister, said that the terms used in the press at the time—”errors of analysis,” “complicity,” “hypocrisy,” “silence,” etc.—to describe France’s policy in Rwanda were indicative of a scandalous smear campaign. He demanded that the details be studied in order to uncover who the real beneficiaries were. As for François Loncle, elected MRG, after thanking the speakers for overcoming their cautious reluctance to discuss the involvement of the United States in Africa, Zaire, and Uganda in particular, and having felt that it was shown that the United States armed the RPF before and after the genocide, he had questioned whether the American involvement had not been underestimated by the French intelligence services. On this point there may have been differences of opinion within the government or the presidency of the Republic. Alain Juppe, former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1993-1995), after confirming the reality of American involvement, concluded by considering that France may have underestimated the will of some to act other than through diplomatic means; that is, by means of using force. At this stage of my investigation, these questions were more than enough for me to serve as a working hypothesis.

First, I tried to see more clearly the RPF’s preparations for the war of conquest of Rwanda, then I sought to establish the support that the rebel government had enjoyed during the war. I did this before trying to unravel the tangle of secret wars that took place in Congo from 1996 and which claimed some six million lives.

Officially, from October 1996, Zairean Laurent-Desiré Kabila waged a war of liberation in order to oust the corrupt President Mobuto Sese Seko. The reality was very different. Laurent-Desiré Kabila was then only a puppet of Kigali, Kampala and Washington, placed at the head of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL). A new butchery, after that of Rwanda, this time aimed at exterminating the Hutus who had fled Rwanda, declared “extremists” by propaganda, took place in a deafening media silence. The French secret services were fully aware that American Special Forces, secret services and American aircraft were informing Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers in their hunt for the Hutu in the immense eastern region of Congo. The French executive then questioned whether French forces should stop the march of Kabila and his “godfathers” on Kinshasa. Effective misinformation about France’s role in Africa in general, and Rwanda in particular, now made it impossible to launch a counter-offensive. Doing so would have put French and Americans face to face on the battlefield. Jacques Chirac ultimately decided not to send French special forces to Kisangani in early 1997.

From the outset, my investigation was difficult, for in our time—the one that began after the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989—which is wrongly said to be more “transparent,” the most important facts are evaded. But if one looks closely at the strategies more or less avowed but that are important to hide, one sees they employ clandestine methods—of Special Forces, agents of secret services, states acting on behalf of other states, mercenaries. Moreover, these games in the shadows are further obscured by specialized agencies, public or private, which produce misinformation in a continuous stream, since war is now fought as war of words. Even when they are not constrained from acting, journalists, pressured by the demands of productivity and therefore by the lack of time, find it increasingly difficult to approach the truth.

To show this difficulty in seeing clearly what has happened in Central Africa since the late 1980s, I think it is worth recalling the first scoop made after the fall of the Berlin Wall by the Belgian journalist who was considered to be the top specialist in Central Africa, Colette Braeckman. This scoop was the starting point of the great upheavals to come in Central Africa, upheavals that would last two decades.

Marshal Mobutu had begun to feel pressure from citizens demanding democratic reforms. Zairian students were very agitated and were opposing the repressive forces of power in harsh face-to-face clashes. In this context, on May 22, 1990, Colette Braeckman launched news of the so-called Lubumbashi massacres in Le Soir, a leading Brussels news journal. In her words, dozens of students had their throats slit, killed by the elite troops of the Zairian regime. Some students claimed that President Mobutu personally attended the operation, descending from a helicopter that landed near the campus, but no confirmation could be given for these testimonies. In the edition of Le Soir of June 15, 1990, Colette Braeckman hammered the nail again, saying about the fate of the bodies of the victims that rumors continued to fly, if not contradict each other. Some referred to the fact that the corpses were dumped in abandoned mine shafts. Others said that they were transported that night to Gécamines [a state-owned company], and brought into the copper-processing blast furnace. But since then the drivers who carried out macabre transport have been untraceable. She wrote that people claimed that some bodies were dumped from a plane in flight, and some claimed that bodies were discovered in Upemba Park, in Shaba [formerly-Katanga.] The international press, following in the footsteps of the Great Belgian Expert, became hysterical. With these two articles, Colette Braeckman can boast of having sounded the huntsman’s bugle call against Mobutu, a hunt that was to end seven years later. Her scoop was indeed the source of terrible sanctions against Zaire and the demon who ruled it. It caused the final collapse of a democratic transition already in bad shape. At the time, Belgium, France and the United States openly wished for Mobutu’s departure. However, the revelations of Le Soir have since been completely investigated and debunked, notably in the book by Louis Alphonse Koyagialo Ngbase te Gerengho, entitled Massacre of Lubumbashi. Published in Kinshasa in 2005, it shows that there was only one death!

After many months of investigation, well established in the reconstruction of the “secret wars between friends”—between France and the United States, with the help of the British, and Belgians—I already saw the plan that would allow me to arrange my findings in a coherent way. But the discovery of the role of Roger Winter, wearing the official cap of director of the US Committee of Refugees, disturbed my quiet assurance.

All of a sudden there appeared a very high-ranking man who for thirty years had been at the fulcrum of all the conflicts and rebellions of the region. In the early 1980s, Winter was found in the bush alongside Yoweri Museveni, a rebel soon to be the head of Uganda. Then he stands not only alongside the Tutsi rebels who are preparing to go on to the military conquest of Rwanda, but also alongside John Garang, the leader of the rebellion in South Sudan, in his fight against Khartoum. He stood by Paul Kagame after he was in power in Rwanda, near Byumba. Finally, he accompanied Laurent-Desiré Kabila as soon as Museveni, the CIA and Paul Kagame decided to make the former rebel leader their Trojan horse to overthrow Mobutu in Zaire. A former actor in the Iran-Contra affair revealed to me that Roger Winter had been the maestro of everything that had taken place in the Great Lakes region from the mid-1980s. He also said that Winter was a friend of Dani Yatom, who would later be the head of Mossad. He coordinated the actions of the American and Israeli services. From then on, I tracked down Roger Winter and sought to know the role of Israel, the state actor that had escaped my attention.

I discovered that since its creation,  Israel has paid great attention to Africa, which gives it the strategic depth it does not have in the Middle East, where it is surrounded by countries to its east that are hostile to it. I also discovered that Israel is the only state to have a comprehensive, coherent and stable vision of Africa, a vision that ensures a great continuity for its African policy—and this is a subject that is very little known. With this in mind, beyond Egypt, Israel has always taken a particular interest in Sudan, the largest country in Africa, which it considers a potentially threat to its security, as it is linked to its traditional enemies. This attention is being exercised from the countries bordering Sudan—Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Central African Republic, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, formerly Zaire).

 Israel, however, has not limited its interest to these African countries alone. It has sought, and is still seeking, support for his fight against Arab countries, so Africa is often affected by clashes in the Middle East. Sometimes alone, but most often associated with the United States or even the United Kingdom, Israel has been a major African player. Its leaders, since Ben Gurion, consider Africa to be “a matter of life and death.”

From this new perspective and my readings about these geostrategic interests, it remained to be seen whether Israel had helped Paul Kagame take power in Rwanda and to understand why it had done so. It was also important to know why, today,  Israel remains one of its most determined defenders. David Kimche, former leading figure of Mossad, who has led many actions in Africa, and was also one of the actors in the Iran-Contra affair, has explained that Rwanda is “the Israel of Africa,” that Paul Kagami is one of the “most remarkable and eminent leaders in Africa, and probably in the world,” and that “Rwanda is lucky to have its own David Ben Gurion at a critical time in its history.”

I came to wonder if there were links between my book Black Furies, White Liars, the geopolitical interest held by Israel in Rwanda, and the attacks I was subjected to by the UEJF, the UPJF and intellectuals like Elie Wiesel.

In any event, this new issue of Israel in my investigation would call into question the research plan I had imagined. It required me to give greater importance to Uganda and to Yoweri Museveni, its president, who, long before he took office, had attracted the attention of Mossad and British services. Museveni, once at the head of his country, felt that Uganda was too small for his ambitions and he started to dream aloud of a Lebensraum [living space] encompassing Rwanda, Burundi and the Congolese region of Kivu. Museveni became the darling of the United States, Great Britain and Israel, while the fall of Mobutu seemed inevitable. Museveni became the “godfather” of the conquest of Kigali by the Tutsi rebels. Without the weapons and soldiers of the Ugandan army, Fred Rwigema and Paul Kagame would not have embarked on this war.

At first, Washington and its allies cautiously assisted the RPF before fully committing to it in 1993. Its offensive to control Rwanda coincided perfectly with the American aims for Central Africa. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States and its allies decided to reshape the map of Africa in order to reduce France’s influence. These had to be secret wars by proxies since the parties involved could not confront each other directly, as they were too closely related within multiple alliances, including NATO. Rebel movements, African states, mercenaries and multinational corporations have been widely used in these various strategic and economic battles, with the conquest of Congo and its priceless riches being the obvious corollary of the war waged in Rwanda.

The Rwandan tragedy and its Congolese continuation cannot be deciphered if they are not linked to another secret war, this one targeting Khartoum. In the early 1990s, an anti-Islamic front was formed to overthrow the Sudanese government. It was first translated into clandestine actions before joint military action by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and the newly Democratic Republic of Congo [then Zaire] was envisaged. After the abandonment of this radical solution, Israel advocated the break-up of the country. In the eyes of the United States, Great Britain and Israel, these actions strengthened the status of Museveni and his two friends, John Garang, the south-Sudanese fighter, and Paul Kagame, the RPF leader. The various actors of this anti-Khartoum front felt that a regime change in Kigali was necessary to make it more coherent and stronger.

The genocide of the Tutsi, and the mass atrocities against Hutus and Congolese are in a way the collateral damage of the conduct of these sorcerer’s apprentices in countries where ethnic tensions were already very high. And they obviously do not want to have the curtain lifted on their actions in the Great Lakes region. They have made every effort to designate the Hutus and their French allies as solely responsible for the Tutsi genocide, and they have sought to portray the massacres in Congo as part of legitimate actions against the Interahamwe, the Hutu genocidaires.

After 9/11, the new Bush administration made the fight against terrorism its main strategic priority, a terrorism defined as not only targeting America, but also embracing anti-Israel actions and demonstrations. Already seen as the vital reservoir of raw materials needed for its development, Africa has become a crucial battleground in the fight against the new enemies of the American hyperpower. In this context, Washington has fully embraced the Israeli worldview, and in particular its geostrategic conception of Africa, thereby agreeing that part of the continent should be integrated into the field of Middle Eastern confrontation. U.S. strategists have thus included the harassment of the Khartoum regime (or the overthrow of it) and the break-up of Sudan in their own objectives. During the Cold War, Israel had already served as the West’s policeman in Africa. The new geopolitical situation led Washington to reinstall  Israel to its former role, convinced that the Israelis had the best counter-terrorism specialists.

To know all the truth about the many subjects I discuss in this book, we will have to wait until the archives of the CIA, MI6, Mossad and DGSE open many years hence. I am therefore fully aware that my investigation is far from exhaustive. There are inadequacies, and, despite the precautions I took, the chance of errors cannot be totally ruled out because the (real) witnesses, when I found some, were not very talkative, and the most interesting among them demanded anonymity. All these difficulties have forced me, here and there, to resort to conditionals and to express some doubts or even my ignorance. But this investigation will nevertheless, I hope, go beyond conventional wisdom, dispel the smokescreen that today constitutes the Françafrique concept, convince the reader that this story is more complicated than what we are told, and pave the way for new investigations.

This book is a larger view of the modern history of Africa in which I will show, at the very least, that the most commonly accepted version, endorsed by radical voices, does not allow for a vision consistent with reality. With my passion for Africa already half a century old, the reader will understand that my narration is at times intimately linked to my relationship with my subject.

Notes


[1] Ralf Arnold, “The Mainstream Bubble,” Off-Guardian, February 6, 2021. Translated from German by S. Robinson. https://off-guardian.org/2021/02/06/the-mainstream-bubble/.

[2] Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia (Verso, 2002).

[3] Edward Herman and David Peterson, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later (Real News Books, 2014).

[4]Interview avec Pierre Péan,” France Inter, 2011/09/20, 10:45~, https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/la-bas-si-j-y-suis/la-bas-si-j-y-suis-20-septembre-2011.

[5] Luc Rugamba, ”A Rosa Parks in Rwanda” (Une Rosa Parks au Rwanda), Jambonews, February 5, 2021, https://www.jambonews.net/actualites/20210205-une-rosa-parks-au-rwanda/. An example of the cracking façade is the protest of a mother of four who took to YouTube to speak out. Unable to withstand the oppressive government measures that worsened during the corona virus pandemic, she declared, “I’m not an enemy of the country nor suicidal. You can’t be suicidal when you’re a mother of four. I have known the life of an orphan myself, and I know that there are people who depend on me, but I could not remain in my corner, silent in the face of so much distress and injustice that my fellow citizens are experiencing. I had to say this and say it now. Take what I say any way you want. Put me in jail if you like. Blame me, and even if you kill me, I’m ready for all this. I am at peace with my conscience that prompted me to speak on behalf of Rwandans, to cry out their pain, to tell you that behind our smiles lies an immense pain, and that behind our silence, we are not at all satisfied with our situation…. It is time that you free Rwandans so that they can enjoy rights in their own country, that they know peace and joy …. My fellow Rwandans, it is time that you free yourself from fear and speak out, remove your distress, claim your rights and stop pretending to be happy when you are not happy at all… It is time for everyone to do what they have to do to ensure that Rwandans have peace… My name is Idamange Irya Mugwiza Yvonne, and I must tell you that I am not crazy. Do not pretend that I am mentally ill. I am not here to beg for food. I am not hungry. Also, I have not planned to commit suicide. Let no one say tomorrow that I committed suicide. My only ‘suicidal action’ is having made this video. I am a mother and my children need me… I am confined to my home. I do not risk being the victim of a road accident, and I am on good terms with my servants. They will not strangle me. If something happened to me, it would only be because of what I have said… And even if something bad happens to me, someone else will speak like me. There will always be people to denounce injustice. Today Rwanda no longer needs a leader guided by appeals to ethnic identity, whether it is a Hutu who claims to be defender of Hutus, a Tutsi defending Tutsis or a Twa defending Twa… Rwanda today needs a leader who loves Rwandans and Rwanda, who has a patriotic spirit and would be willing to sacrifice himself for his fellow citizens.” Yvonne was arrested on February 15, 2021 for inciting public disorder. The police report described her as having exhibited behavior that mixes “politics, criminality and madness on different media platforms.”

[6] “Judi Rever pays hommage to Pierre Péan” (Judi Rever rend hommage à Pierre Péan) Radio Itahuka, August 11, 2019, YouTube Channel: Itahuka Ijwi Ry’ Ihuriro Nyarwanda Tube, https://youtu.be/3J9Lyj712t8. Both quotations in Part 1 are from this source.

[7] Pierre Péan, Carnage: The Secret Wars of the Great Powers in Africa (Carnages : Les guerres secrètes des grandes puissances en Afrique) (Fayard, 2010). English translation by Dennis Riches. The extract is published on this blog is an excerpt from the work cited—intended as non-commercial fair use for research purposes.

[8] Robert Faurisson was famous for having written a book denying the Holocaust, famous perhaps only because of Noam Chomsky’s defense of his right to self-expression but not of his views.