(GIN) – Rwandan President Paul Kagama is said to be fuming over a leaked U.N. report that ties him to the massacres of Hutu men, women, children and the elderly.
The massive 600-page “mapping” report, prepared for the UN but leaked to Le Monde, a French newspaper, says that after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Tutsi-led Rwandan troops and their rebel allies targeted, chased, hacked, shot and burned Hutus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, from 1996 to 1997.
"The majority of the victims were children, women, elderly people and the sick, who were often undernourished and posed no threat to the attacking forces," notes the report which suggests these killings could be considered "crimes against humanity, war crimes, or even genocide."
Rwandese Minister of Justice Tharcisse Karagurama called the report “worthless.”
The report flies in the face of strong European and U.S. support for the Rwandan president and challenges the narrative that only Rwandan Tutsis were genocide victims.
Govt spokesman Ben Rutsinga attacked the investigators for “failing to consult with Rwanda even though they found time to meet with over 200 non-governmental representatives.”
But Luc Cote, the Canadian war crimes prosecutor who headed the 34-member UN probe, countered: "All this [evidence] put together, submitted to a court of law, may constitute elements from which you can infer the intent to destroy a group as such, which is genocide.”
“It is never too late for justice,” says Sipho Mthathi, Human Rights Watch director in South Africa. “It is unfortunate that the report has taken this long but we hope now it can be acted upon.”