Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Erlinder on Tour: Documents Prove U.S. Complicity in Rwanda Genocide and Congo Wars

KPFA Weekend News Anchor Cameron Jones:  American Law Professor Peter Erlinder is set to begin a speaking tour to present his 70-page compilation of original UN documents and evidence, as well as his analysis of what actually happened in Rwanda between 1993 and 1995. Erlinder says that the U.S., its allies, and the Rwandan government are collaborators in an ongoing coverup of the truth at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania.  KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story.

Law Professor Peter Erlinder speaking
to the National Lawyers Guild, holding
a duplicate of the pink prison garb
he wore while incarcerated in Rwanda,
after traveling there in May of 2010
to defend opposition leader
Victoire  Ingabire Umuhoza,
who is now in prison herself. 
KPFA/Ann Garrison:  Peter Erlinder, international criminal defense attorney, and law professor at Minnesota's William Mitchell College of Law, will begin his speaking tour at George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C. on January 24th, then visit Philadelphia's University of Pennsylvania and Temple University Law Schools, then, Fordham University Law Shool and the Brecht Forum in New York City, and the University of Pittsburgh. The tour will coincide with DePaul University's Journal of Social Justice's publication of his original UN documents and evidence, and his analysis of what actually happened in Rwanda, at the time of the epic massacres now known as the Rwanda Genocide. Professor Erlinder spoke to KPFA from his home in St. Paul Minnesota:

KPFA:  What do you think Americans most need to understand about what happened in Rwanda, and then in Congo?  What does this have to do with us?

Peter Erlinder:  Well, I think that what this has to do with us I'd like to answer first.  The United States has played an active role in destabilizing the Great Lakes Region of Africa for the last 25 years.  It's a role that the American people, however, do not understand, and because they don't understand it, they're not able to take action to change it.  But with respect to Rwanda, what the evidence in the files show, that have been kept secret until I was able to get them, is that actually it was the Pentagon that created the RPF, grew them from 2500 to 25,000 troops in a period of two years, provided the material and the support necessary for them to take over the country, that at the same time the State Department was attempting to get the RPF to agree to give up its power and to enter into a minority position in the government, the Pentagon was continuing to support them and make them an even larger military force, so there was no incentive for them to give up their militarily superior position.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the Rwandan opposition leader
that Professor Peter Erlinder traveled to Rwanda to defend
was taken, head shaven, handcuffed, and in pink prison garb,
to a Kigali court in handcuffs, where she was again denied
bail, on January 20, 2011. 
And the American people should also know that the UN documents and US government documents from FOIA disclosures that we have show that a U.S. engineered cover-up of RPF crimes began in August of 1994 because the State Department found out that the Pentagon was actually behind the RPF and therefore was responsible fundamentally for the Rwanda Genocide.  And that it's that connection to the United States that the American people don't know and is not acknowledged.  That's also the reason that the Rwanda Tribunal has had to prosecute only one side, because if Kagame ever is prosecuted, it's quite sure that he will explain the role of the United States in making him who he is.

It's also true that in 1996 and 1998, Rwanda and Uganda, both with the support of the US and UK, invaded the eastern Congo and have occupied the eastern Congo since that time.   Reports to the UN Security Council from experts that were engaged by the Security Council have reported repeatedly, 2001, 2, 3, 2008, 2010, that the armies of Uganda and Rwanda are occupying the eastern Congo, killing millions of people, at least six million, and raping the resources of the Congo.   But unfortunately, because both of these are proxy armies that are convenient for the United States, we don't hear about those crimes, and the perpetrators of the crimes are not called before the International Criminal Court, and the American people are in a position where they don't realize that their country is actually responsible for the massive crimes in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, and we should care about that greatly because these crimes are being done in our name.

KPFA:  Peter Erlinder, thank you for speaking to KPFA.  For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I'm Ann Garrison.

Audio link:

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