Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication[1] -- by Maitre Christopher Black

[Christopher Black is a good friend of mine. He, along with his Canadian colleague Maitre Tiphaine Dickson, got me interested in the Rwanda dossier—in fact, Chris got me into the Yugoslavia dossier from which he led me into the Rwanda dossier—and brought me to Africa in April 2004 to meet his client, Major General Augustin Ndindilyimana, ex-chief of the Rwandan National Gendarmerie. The General's Book on Rwanda is the book I’m writing for General Ndindiliyimana.

Chris's article here is as timely and cogent as it is heartbreaking. Timely, because the potted ‘Rwandan Genocide of One Hundred Days’ has become the template for subsequent Humanitarian Genocides; heartbreaking, because all Chris's dedication to Justice, Historical Truth, and the best interests of his client's defense, will probably not make it much past the various e-lists of the already convinced. Will Michel Collon and Ludo Martens at the Belgian Workers Party read and take heed of Chris' story—a story not particularly kind to Belgium and its fey support of Kabila’s Congo? Will the French, especially the French Left, finally stop slobbering about 'Nous sommes tous les génocidaires' long enough to twig to the fact that they, too, as business partners of the Habyarimana government of Rwanda, were targeted as a nation and murdered as individuals in the US/UK/UN-backed campaign to turn Francophone African clientage Anglophone?

That this bogus 'genocide fax' has been passed back and forth across the Arusha Trib's bar for the last ten years like a bowl of soggy peanuts is further evidence that the system of international ad hoc tribunals has no basis in any legality. It is, in fact, like the so-called UN reparations commission before it that administered the murderous sanctions against Iraq and forced the Iraqis to pay the costs of their own destruction with their own oil money—and their own life's blood—merely another means for waging war against nations that would pretend to a certain independence from the financial and commercial and, especially, military machinations of Western waste capitalism.

But Chris's revelations here seem, sadly, to be like casting pearls before brain-dead swine, and another sterling example of how 'waste capitalism' wastes its finest talents—those talents that it is unable to contaminate with its own self-devouring malignancy, careerism—by expelling them to the dark geopolitical netherworlds that are mostly passed over by the kliegs of the news media—and when affairs like the criminal aggressions against Rwanda or Yugoslavia or Iraq are recognized by the likes of the NYTimes, as in the recent piece on Ramsey Clark's defending Saddam Hussein, or anything by Marlise Simon on President Milosevic's being physically and in other ways unfit to continue outing of The Hague Tribunal as just another of Mad Albright's dull follies, it is usually to point out the silly eccentricities of the players and generally to trivialize the whole proceeding as the inept prattlings of a moot court.

But, thanks to Chris, here is the real deal on what happened in the inky past of that ever-darker continent. And as long as we have legal advisers like Maitres Black and Clark—and the always-on-my-A-Team, Tiphaine Dickson (whose contributions to the general body of knowledge on the political and legal history of Central Africa and the on-going genocide of the hapless poor in Eastern Congo—and, certainly, her diligent care for my understanding of all this—should not be neglected here),—with this kind of representation, we will, none of us, have any excuses for copping a nolo on that radical commitment to understanding, revealing and promoting the true history of our times. Without this sense of historical vérité, we can never be fully human. –mc ]


The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication (12/01/05 12:00 PM)

December 1, 2005

View from Rwanda:

The Dallaire Genocide Fax: A Fabrication[1]

Chris Black

Since 2000, Chris Black has been a lead counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal For Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania. From that perspective he has seen that Rwanda was not a situation in which the United States and its allies failed to act. On the contrary, it was an example of direct interference by the United States and its allies. Why? Three reasons: the US wished to replace the Hutu regime which did not want to cooperate with US aggression towards Mobutu in Zaire. Secondly, the US wants to reduce French influence in central Africa. The final US objective was and is control of the vast resources of the Congo.

The murder of two African presidents

The idea that the Rwandan government planned the genocide of the minority Tutsi population in 1994 rests primarily on the statements of the enemies of that government who need the idea of a genocide in order to justify the final act of aggression against Rwanda by the so-called Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and its allies. That final act of aggression was the RPF offensive launched the night of April 6, 1994, with the massacre of everyone on board the jet aircraft of President Habyarimana, the Hutu president of Rwanda, and President Ntaryamira, the Hutu president of Burundi.

The two presidents were returning from a meeting called by President Museveni of Uganda to discuss the implementation of the Arusha Accords, the peace agreement between the Rwandan government and the RPF-Ugandan forces which had invaded the country in October 1990. Also on board the plane was the Rwandan Army Chief of Staff, other dignitaries and a French military crew. The plane was shot down by anti-aircraft missiles as it approached Kigali airport. It is now established that the plane was shot down by the RPF with the cooperation and assistance of western powers including the United States of America, Britain, Belgium and Canada. President Ntaryamira was the second Hutu president murdered by Tutsis within a six-month period. President Ndadaye of Burundi was murdered by Tutsi officers of the Burundi Army in October of 1993.

British and US interests

The attack on the plane was the culmination of a long-planned war by the RPF and its allies. The war began in October 1990 when Ugandan soldiers of Tutsi origin invaded Rwanda under the name of the RPF. This act of aggression by Uganda was supported by both Britain and the USA. Those countries provided the encouragement and the financial, material, logistical, advisory and training support necessary, flowing it all through the Ugandan Army to the RPF. The American and British instigated and controlled the war as a means of advancing their grand strategy of invading Zaire to seize control of the vast resources of the Congo basin.

The first attack was repelled and the RPF then adopted terrorism and guerilla operations to undermine Rwanda. Several other major attacks took place in the following three years. At the same time, the western allies of the RPF pressured the Rwandan government to come to terms with the RPF and in 1993 at Arusha, Tanzania, a series of negotiations resulted in the signing of the Arusha Accords. The Rwandan government was forced to make several major concessions to the RPF even though it could only claim, at best, to represent 15% of the Rwandan population. The Accords called for the establishment of a transition government sharing power with the RPF, leading to elections of a final government. However, it was known by everyone that the RPF could never win such elections and could only win power by force of arms and treachery.

Enter Dallaire

The Accords also called for the presence in Rwanda of a neutral UN force to help keep the peace during the process. That force, known as UNAMIR, was headed by Jacques Roger Booh-Booh and, under him, the military force commander, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire.

As UN documents show, Dallaire was aware, at least from December 1993, and probably before, that the RPF, with the support of the Ugandan Army, was daily violating the Accords by sending into Rwanda men, materiel, and light and heavy weapons in preparation for a final offensive. Dallaire kept this information from his boss Booh-Booh and the Secretary General, Boutros-Ghali. The RPF was assisted in these violations of the Accords by the Belgian contingent of UNAMIR and the Canadian officers involved who turned a blind eye to the RPF and Ugandan Army smuggling into Rwanda men and materiel--and even assisted them in doing so--all the while protesting that the Hutu regime was hiding weapons, a charge which has never been proved.

In conjunction with the military build-up by the RPF and its allies, including the infiltration into Kigali, the capital city, of up to 10,000 RPF soldiers, western journalists and western intelligence services masquerading as “human rights” organizations began a concerted propaganda campaign against the Government and through it the Hutu people, accusing it of various human rights abuses, none of which were substantiated. The RPF engaged in assassinations of officials, politicians and civilians, and attempted to cast the blame on the government. Dallaire assisted in this campaign by suppressing facts concerning these crimes and openly siding with the RPF propaganda statements.

A country pushed to the brink

These actions, combined with the stresses of the war on the economy and the social fabric of the country, mass unemployment, a large internal refugee population fleeing RPF attacks, and the breakdown of the government’s ability to function caused by the collapse of revenue from coffee and tea exports, resulted in a tinderbox. Only a spark was needed for the country to explode. That spark was the murder of the much-loved President and the country-wide offensive launched by the RPF and its allies the night of April 6, 1994.

From the very start of their offensive, the RPF began a propaganda campaign claiming that they were motivated by the need to stop a “genocide”. This entirely false claim was never questioned by the western press, always eager to support their governments, even in the face of the fact that the Rwandan government several times asked the RPF for cease-fires so that attacks on civilians could be stopped, and the fact that Rwanda, then a member of the Security Council, demanded that 5,000 more UN troops be sent to assist in controlling the situation, a request refused at the instigation of the US.

They stepped up this propaganda campaign as the war progressed. On April 13, 1994, the RPF demanded the trial of the Rwandan government and army for “genocide” before an international tribunal, echoing the threat made to President Habyarimana by Herman Cohen[2] on behalf of the US in the fall of 1993, that unless Habyarimana ceded all power to the RPF his body would be dragged through the streets of Kigali and his government tried by an international tribunal. This demand, at one and the same time, criminalized the Rwandan government, justified the RPF and American refusal to negotiate terms with “criminals”, prevented the government from obtaining support and assistance from its major western ally, France, destroyed any support it had in the international community and public opinion and finally justified the brutal RPF military dictatorship over the people of Rwanda and the refusal to allow Hutus any power in Rwanda.
The RPF and its allies succeeded in all these objectives and continue their propaganda campaign today with endless show trials both in Rwanda, through the Gacaca “trial” system, and through the show trials of Hutus taking place at the American and British controlled Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania.

Two major problems with RPF claims of genocide

However, there are two major problems with the RPF claims. Firstly, there is a surprising lack of evidence of a genocide of Tutsis. In fact, the only independent study of those killed in Rwanda in 1994, being conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Maryland, indicates that there were approximately 250,000 people killed, not the 800,000-plus advanced by the RPF, and that for every Tutsi killed two Hutus were killed and those mainly by the RPF. This is confirmed in the recently released book, Rwanda, Histoire Secrete (2005, Edition du Panama), written by a former RPF officer named Abdul Ruzibiza, who states that the RPF shot down the plane [for further sources on this key issue see Appendix below] and that there was a genocide not of Tutsis by Hutus but of Hutus by the RPF.

Secondly, there is a stunning lack of documentary evidence of a government plan to commit genocide. There are no orders, minutes of meetings, notes, cables, faxes, radio intercepts or any other type of documentation that such a plan ever existed. In fact, the documentary evidence establishes just the opposite.

The "genocide" fax

This lack of documentation is the Achilles Heel of the RPF-western claims of genocide. Something was needed to fill this void. That something is the so-called “genocide” fax supposedly sent to UN HQ in New York City on the night of January 10th-11th, 1994, and which first made its appearance in public on November 28th, 1995, when it was placed in the UN files in New York and contemporaneously leaked to a journalist in Belgium and the London Observer.

This fax is the single document upon which the claims of a planned genocide rest. It was supposedly sent by General Dallaire to General Baril, another Canadian general at the Dept of Peace Keeping Operations in New York. It sets out the claims of a UN informant named Jean Pierre Turatsinze that the ruling government party planned to exterminate Tutsis, was training civilians for that purpose, and that there was a plan to kill Belgian soldiers to provoke the withdrawal of UN forces. This fax has been trumpeted by the ICTR prosecution as the key to the plan to commit genocide. However, all the evidence presented at the Tribunal and elsewhere establishes that, in fact, the fax is a fabrication.

On November 5th, 1995, the RPF organized a conference in Kigali to amplify support for their claims of genocide and for the trial and punishment of those responsible. This conference failed to provide any documentary evidence of such a claim. At the same time, a UNAMIR commission was created by its new head, Mr. S Khan, and it included several UN officers who went through all the UNAMIR cables, faxes, and reports, to determine whether there had been any prior indication of such a plan. Not one document was found, and certainly not the “genocide” fax. That commission report is dated November 20th , 1995.

Fax on the fast track

Then, mysteriously, a few days after the release of the UN report, on November 28th, 1995, a fax machine at the UN offices in New York received a fax of a copy of a coded cable dated January 11th, 1994, sent by Dallaire to General Baril. The problem is that the person who sent the fax to New York that day was a Colonel R. M. Connaughton of the British Army, based at Camberly, Surrey, England, the home of the British Military Academy, Sandhurst, as well as several other British Army establishments. His name and fax number appear at the top of the document. There was no cover letter explaining who sent it, why it was sent, nor is there anything indicating why this document was accepted by the UN in New York and placed in the DPKO files.

This document has typed on its face, “This cable was not found in DPKO files. The present copy was placed in the files on November 28th, 1995.” It is signed by Lamin J. Sise, a UN official. The document contains other handwritten notes made on it after its receipt that day.

However, the copy of this document presented by the Prosecutor at the ICTR for the last ten years has had the name and fax number of the sender, Sise’s note, and other notes, removed. It is this doctored version of the cable that the Prosecutor tried to present as an exhibit in the Military II trial in October, 2005, through a prosecution witness, Lt. Col. Claeys, an officer of the Belgian Army and one of the men who claims to have drafted and sent the original cable. But the prosecution suffered a major setback and embarrassment when defence counsel objected to the attempt to make this doctored version an exhibit and entered into the record the copy of the fax contained in the DPKO files bearing the name of the British Army source.

Conflicting testimony

Both General Dallaire and Lt. Col. Claeys have testified that the contents of the fax as set out in the fax presented by the prosecution are identical to the contents of the fax or cable sent the night of January 10th-11th, though, interestingly, Dallaire states that Claeys was not involved in drafting the fax, whereas Claeys insists he was. It is clear that Dallaire testified to the contrary when he was faced on cross-examination in the Military I trial with statements made by Claeys in 1995 to Belgian investigators and in 1997 to the Belgian Senate, that the fax sent that night dealt only with weapons caches and seeking protection for the informant and contained nothing about killing Tutsis or killing Belgian soldiers. In order to eliminate this embarrassing fact, Dallaire simply erased Claeys from the picture.

It is clear from the the fax itself and the surrounding circumstances, that there was a fax sent that night but it was not the one now presented to the ICTR and the world as the one sent by Dallaire.

The informant was presented to Dallaire by Faustin Twagiramungu, a Rwandan opposition candidate for Prime Minister, an opponent of the Rwandan government and a sympathizer with the RPF. He has since stated that he told Dallaire and his staff that the informant claimed to have information only about weapons caches and he was surprised to hear years later that the informant had information about the killing of Tutsis and Belgians.

General Dallaire does not mention such a fax before November 1995. There is no mention of plans to kill Tutsis or Belgians contained in notes of meetings between the informant and Claeys which followed the first meeting with the informant described in the fax. Again, the principal subject mentioned in those meetings is weapons caches. Neither Dallaire nor any of the Belgian commanders acted as if they had received any such information. There was no action taken by them to put their men on alert or to take precautions. There was no response from New York to such a fax. There exist only responses to a fax concerning weapons caches, but this original fax is nowhere to be found.

It is clear that Dallaire sent a fax that night and that it concerned only weapons caches and seeking advice from New York regarding the protection of the informant. In fact, the subject heading of the “genocide” fax is not “genocide” or “killing” but an innocuous “Request For Protection of Informant”. The present fax was fabricated using the original fax, which dealt only with weapons caches, and cutting out some of the paragraphs of that fax and pasting in new paragraphs about killing Tutsis and Belgians. This is supported by the fact that the paragraphs are numbered 1 through 13, but there is no paragraph 12. Further the only reply to a fax sent that night from Kigali refers to a paragraph 7 as the action paragraph. But in the fax as presented by the prosecution the action paragraph is paragraph 9, the paragraph seeking advice on protection of the informant. Also Paragraph 11 states that Dallaire will meet with Faustin Twagiramungu to brief him on events, but, as we know, that man states that he was never told of such information coming from the informant. Lastly, paragraph 2 states that the killing of Belgians would “guarantee Belgian withdrawal from Rwanda”, something that could only be known after the fact.

Nobody told Booh-Booh

One last curious fact is that Dallaire states he bypassed protocol by sending the fax without the signature of his boss, Booh-Booh, or his even seeing it. He states that this is the only occasion when this happened. This only makes sense if, in fact, he did not violate protocol because he never sent this fax in the first place. His version is a way of getting around the fact that Booh-Booh never saw what is now called the “genocide” fax. Booh-Booh testified at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal the week of November 21, 2005, that he never saw the fax Dallaire says he sent and that, further, General Dallaire never said anything to him in their meeting of January 12, 1994, about the informant's mentioning the killing of Belgians or Tutsis. Booh-Booh also testified that when he and Dallaire met with several western ambassadors, including the Belgian ambassador, Dallaire never mentioned the killing of Belgians or Tutsis to them either, nor did he mention it in their meeting with President Habyarimana. In those meetings Dallaire spoke only about allegations of weapons caches.

New colonialism masquerading as “international justice”

All these circumstances can lead to one conclusion only: that the fax is a fabrication after the fact and that a fraud is being committed on the people of Rwanda and the world, as well as on the judges of the Rwanda war crimes tribunal. This fabricated fax is being used to try to condemn the accused on trial before the ICTR and to support the now discredited idea that a genocide was planned by the former Rwandan government against the Tutsi population of that tragic country. However it is becoming increasingly clear that General Dallaire worked with the RPF throughout his UN assignment in Rwanda in violation of the UN mandate. Booh-Booh states that Dallaire provided military intelligence to the RPF, as well as covering up their preparation for a final offensive, and, through his false testimony at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal and his book, continues to act on behalf of powerful interests in his own (Canadian) government and those of the United States and Britain.

The fabrication of the “genocide” fax is one more nail in the coffin of the Rwanda war crimes tribunal, ready to be buried under the weight of accusations of selective prosecution, political bias, unfair procedures, trial by hearsay, perjured testimony, and the cover-up of the murder of two African heads of state, and all in the name of a new colonialism masquerading as “international justice”.


1) In his book, Abdul Ruzibiza states that he was one of the men involved in bringing down the Presidents' plane as part of the shootdown team. He was an officer in the RPF. He is due to testify at the ICTR in the coming weeks if his security can be assured. He is presently in hiding in Norway.

2) The Hourigan Report: This report (a copy of which is in the author's possesion) was written by an Australian lawyer acting as the head of the investigative team at the ICTR assigned by then prosecutor Louise Arbour to determine who shot down the plane. She was acting under the theory that "extremist" Hutus in the Rwandan government shot down the plane. Hourigan and his team were successful in finding three members of the shootdown team who stated they were RPF, that they were assisted by a foreign power (unnamed), and that they had the documents to prove it. They asked for protection. When Arbour was presented with these facts she ordered the investigation closed. The author was informed by a former FBI agent who worked at the ICTR that she did so on the instructions of the US ambassador in Rwanda. (Which would make her guilty of being an accessory to a war crime, as the murder of a head of state in a war is a war crime, and it is evident that the murder of the president and army chief of staff was the first action of the RPF offensive.) This report was first published in the National Post in Canada by a reporter named Stephen Edwards in 2001.

The UN at first denied this report existed. But several defence counsel demanded its production so it was then "found" and sent under seal to the judges at the ICTR. They then released it to several defence teams.

Hourigan wrote this report to the oversight office for some reason, and it is a summary of the complete file. Several requests have been made to have the complete investigative file released, without success. Hourigan is now said to be working as a lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.

3. Jean Piere Mugabe, the former head of RPF intelligence who fled the regime, also stated in 2001 that Kagame and the RPF shot down the plane.

4. French investigative judge Brugière, investigating the shootdown on behalf of the families of the French crew, leaked (or someone in his office did) a copy of the report to a French journalist with the English name Steven Smith last year. Smith published its findings in Le Monde which stated that it was the RPF who shot down the Presidential jet with the assistance of others.

5. Former UN Secratery General Boutros-Boutros Ghali stated this year that he had met Brugière at a conference and was told by the French judge that the CIA was "heavily implicated" in the shootdown.

6. To the knowledge of UNAMIR Commander Dallaire, the RPF was the only force in Rwanda which had anti-aircraft missiles. Dallaire arranged for the closure of the western approach to Kigali airport at the request of the RPF. This made it easier for the RPF and others to track the plane as it came in from the east. The Belgian contingent of the UN force was in control of the airport area and the area from which the missiles were fired. A Belgian unit (later killed at Camp Kigali) were the only people caught by the army coming out of the firing area after the shootdown when the army threw up a cordon to try to catch the culprits.

7. Wayne Madsen, a former US intel officer who wrote, CIA Covert Operations in the Great Lakes Area, 1990-93, states that (and testified to this before the US Congress in 2001 when hearings into the Rwanda and Congo wars were held by Cynthia McKinney) that the CIA, used a Swiss front company to rent a hangar at the Kigali airport in which they assembled the missiles. He also states that the US hoped to kill at the same time Mobutu of Zaire and Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, all in in one fell swoop (they were supposed to attend the same meeting and be on the same flight) in order to seize control of all central and east Africa. At that time the US 6th fleet was cruising off Mombasa and there were 600 US Rangers on stand-by to assist the RPF in Burundi.

8. Charles Onana, a well-know journalist, wrote about his investigation into the shooting down of the Presidents' plane and found the RPF responsible, as did Canadian author Robin Philpot in his book It Didn't Happen That Way In Kigali (loose translation of the French title).

7. Honore Ngambo, Mobutu's former chief of security published a book earlier this year in France in which he recounts the last meeting between Mobut and the Hutu president two days before he was killed in which President Habyarimana stated that he was told by Herman Cohen that he was basically a dead man, and that Habyarimana heard from his agents in the RPF camp that the 'rebels' were going to shootdown the plane. He confronted Dallaire with this information, and that he knew Dallaire was involved, and Dallaire just replied "No one will believe you".

8. The author possesses a radio intercept of a message sent by Kagame to his forces in the field the night of the shootdown stating that the "Target is hit" and encouraging them to take to the field and that they would meet in Kigali and would receive support from their friends in the south, that is from Burundi—US and Burundian forces actually invaded Rwanda in May to link up with the RPF coming form the north. Other radio messages were intercepted referring to the fact the RPF had the assistance of the Belgians in the UN forces who were fighting alongside them. The Belgians deny this, of course.


[1]For an earlier essay entitled “ Persecution not Prosecution” (October 2004) see

[2] Herman Cohen is a former US Secretary of State for African affairs who served under the elder George Bush. He is a consultant to American business firms operating and trading in Africa. He also provides strategic advice to African governments.


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