Kangura No. 40

Integration of the Inkotanyi Into the Rwandan Armed Forces: Combine the Good and the Bad Elements

Bonaparte Ndekezi

Talks between the Government of Rwanda and the Inyenzi-Inkotanyi are going on in Arusha. Though these talks have not been successful and will achieve nothing, we have been informed that the present stage is devoted to consideration of the procedure for integrating the R.P.F.-Inkotanyi combatants into the Rwandan Armed Forces. Some underestimate this procedure, whereas it is very difficult or almost impossible. It is conceivable that such integration will pose problems.

First of all, let’s find out whether this integration has succeeded elsewhere. Let’s consider, for instance, two countries near us: Uganda and Angola, given that “the cow begins to graze around its enclosure.”

Let’s begin with Uganda: You are aware that after chasing Tito Okello and his soldiers out of power, the Museveni rebels (N.R.A.) immediately overran the country. No Ugandan soldier was integrated into the N.R.A. On the other hand, these rebels rushed to share out posts within the government among themselves and to grant themselves military ranks. Any rebel who so desired was elevated to the rank of officer in breach of the rules governing the Ugandan armed forces. President Habyarimana could be cited as witness, for he decorated them with military badges on Museveni’s invitation. Ugandans who were later authorized to join the N.R.A. were not able to accede to posts of responsibility. Proof is that all high-ranking “officers” are all foreigners (The Inyenzi who fled the 1959 social revolution).

You would be surprised if I were to inform you that the Chief of Staff of the Museveni rebels is an Inyenzi called Christophe Mugisha Muntu, ranked “Deputy Chief of Staff’. This Inyenzi is a descendant of an Inyenzi called Muntu-wera. Just see how they edge their way in and out. Other influential Inyenzi among the Museveni rebels were:

  • “Major-General” Fred Rwigema, an Inyenzi who was in charge of military operations in the northern region of Uganda.
  • “Major” Peter Bayingana, an Inyenzi who was in charge of the medical service.
  • “Major” Chris Bunyenyezi, an Inyenzi who commanded one “brigade” in Northern Uganda.

All these three Inyenzi were killed in Mutara by the Rwandan Armed Forces.

“Major” Kagame, an Inyenzi that you know very well was in charge of military intelligence service before the attack on Rwanda, as well as others like “Commander” Kayitare or “Colonel” Wasswa…

Museveni released his Inyenzi on us. Some are dead and the survivors want to be integrated into the Rwandan Armed Forces.

Angola is another recent example. Cohabitation between the government armed forces of Angola (M.P.L.A.), and Jonas Savimbi’s party (Unita) has not been possible. We should however recall that the government armed forces of Angola or Savimbi’s, are all composed of Angolans. They all fought the colonizer (Portugal) and later became so disintegrated that they are now fighting each other. These two examples are enough to prove that the integration of the Inkotanyi into the Rwandan Armed Forces is a delicate issue. We must first understand that this integration must comply with the rules governing the Rwandan Armed Forces as well as their discipline. To be recruited in the Rwandan Armed Forces, one must be a physically fit Rwandan with good conduct, life and morals. He must love his fatherland and show it publicly. Being a Hutu would be an advantage, even though it is written nowhere. It is true that Rwanda is different from Burundi where the armed forces are composed of one ethnic group (the Tutsis). But…! Descendants of Musinga worsened the situation!

The other problem is making a distinction between an Inkotanyi from Rwanda and another from elsewhere. They all claim to be Rwandan refugees whereas we know that there are few Rwandans among the Inkotanyi. A good number of them are Zaïreans, Burundians, Ugandans…Let us not dwell on the notion of good conduct, life and morals since the Inkotanyi show their true colors wherever they arrive. How can we accept armed forces that spend the day to kill, steal, rape…? Needless to mention the patriotism of the Inkotanyi. Ultimately, let’s suppose that Rwanda closes its eyes and softens the conditions, how many Inkotanyi are fit to take up a military career? They should first come and undergo all the military training that Rwandan soldiers are subjected to and then they will realize how easy it is to consider another person’s duty easy.

Another issue that arises is to know the number of Inyenzi of Rwandan nationality among the Inkotanyi in order to enable Rwanda to have armed forces not exceeding its capacity. Should it be necessary to reduce the military strength, I feel that it would be proper to start with the Inyenzi, for to demobilize members of the Rwandan Armed Forces under the pretext that the Inyenzi have arrived, would be unfair to the Rwandan soldiers because they have committed no offence, and in addition, we still need them.

Another issue that continues to arise concerns the cohabitation of the Inyenzi and the Rwandan Armed Forces. Some say they will be eliminated gradually unless they are given their own military camps, which is, moreover, impossible. The crux of the matter is to know how to rank these Inyenzi, “the so-called officers,” among Rwandan army “officers.” In fact, this area has been legislated. To be an officer of the Rwandan Armed Forces, one must have completed secondary school and undergone training in higher military schools. In Rwanda, we know, in particular, the E.S.M. of Kigali and the E.R.M. of Belgium. Surely, we have no doubts that other military schools exist. But Rwanda will not accept this manner of granting military ranks to the Inkotanyi as if it were a settlement on a cow. The Inkotanyi include lieutenants, captains, majors, colonels, or even generals who know neither to read nor write. Rwanda is therefore going to have illiterate officers who hold cards they receive upside down; left alone reading them. If Rwanda were attacked (say by Burundi), and this is possible, would the brave be able to fight by the side of these people? Ask yourself that question and answer it.

Certain advisers of the Prime Minister, His Excellency Nsengiyaremye, have told him to approach Bucyana, a Mushi, coax and make him give up the leadership of the “Parti de la Coalition pour la Defense de la République” as well as the interests of the majority people composed essentially of Hutus and urge him to resign forthwith. Thus, Nsengiyaremye urged these brave persons determined to consolidate benefits accruing from the 1959 revolution, namely the republic and democracy, which the Tutsis and their accomplices want to destroy because of their personal and regional interests. The main ideas ensuing from their discussion which lasted for more than two hours are:

Nsengiyaremye: “Mr. Martin Bucyana, dear brother, we are both from the same region, greater Nduga, it would be very advantageous for you to leave the M.R.N.D., the so-called Abakiga party of Habyarimana. In fact, even though you argue that this party is defending Hutu interests, you are not doing that more than those of us from the M.D.R., P.S.D. and other Hutu majority parties. We too are perfectly aware of this principle. On the other hand, this C.D.R. party is misleading you. It was formed by those who want to monopolize and maintain power, that is, M.R.N.D. supporters who are exclusively Abakiga. How come the others like Nsekalije have maintained ministerial portfolios for seventeen (17) years, whereas after a stint at Minitransco, you were transferred to the papyrus swamps of Zaza, miles away? Yet, if you take my advice, I could improve your situation so considerably that you would regret all the time you wasted at the place where you were put. I urge you to examine your conscience and I tell you sincerely that the General on whom you are counting, no longer has a place. In fact, he would have left you if he had found a refuge. We will welcome with applauds and cries of joy, pots of milk and honey, for even the prodigal son was welcome with love and warmth by his father and close relatives.

“Coming back to the issue of the Tutsis and the R.P.F., you agree that I am a true Hutu, different from Twagiramungu, who is fighting for the post of President or to oust me from my post and who is suspected of having changed his ethnic group. Even when I was still a student in Belgium, it was Ngulinzira, wrongly called a Tutsi, and I who prepared and had signed documents condemning the grabbing attitude of the minority ethnic group and requesting that the majority people, composed of the Hutus, have a fair share in the government and economy of the country.

“Personally, I know very well that the R.P.F. is the number one enemy of the Hutus, for even Bizimungu, Kanyarengwe, Lizinde and other Hutus are just a front designed to show the international community that the Inkotanyi are not operating racial segregation; otherwise, the R.P.F. is concerned only with Tutsi interests. However, I urge you to be understanding, for my position and future do not allow me to speak openly as you of the C.D.R. do.

“Furthermore, I know that if I or any other Hutu, became President of the Republic, the Inyenzi-Inkotanyi (it’s on you that I secretly confer the position of Inyenzi) would continue to fight his regime. To me this strategy of claiming powers that outstrip by far those of the Head of State, is explained by the fact that they feel that once we share their views, they will seize the opportunity to overthrow the current President and gradually control all the power. I was very disappointed when I learnt that they had launched other bloody attacks while the talks were in progress, for the situation I had condemned in Kibuye had arisen again. Nevertheless, those of us who have problems with the General, including all those from the south of the country, because he killed our people and blocked our access to schools and good posts in the government, in short, by delaying progress in all areas, feel that by joining the R.P.F., which has weapons and receives political support from foreign countries, it would be easier for us to weaken Ikinani and his cohort and evict him from the throne he believes is God-given. Would you not have realized that the Inkotanyi have for long made this idol tremble, and that subsequently, we have stripped him of all powers he prided himself on Moreover, rest assured: after achieving our objective to conquer power, we will send out a cry of alarm those who must die will die, the Bagogwe case is nothing compared to…”

Bucyana (his reply): “Your Excellency the Prime Minister, I am neither more intelligent nor more respectable than you even though I am older and your elder in politics. However, I would like to inform you that all your statements are baseless. At this time of democracy based on multi-party politics, you must not frustrate any recognized party and prevent it from expressing itself or acceding to power as if it were monopolized or inherited by some. The C.D.R. is not a regional party. It is not subjected to anyone whatsoever and does not belong to an individual. Furthermore, it is not because I am from the south that I must follow you blindly or for whatever reason. And then, if this were not a pure lie, you cannot say that you, yourself, and the parties that have allied with the enemy, are defending the Republic as well as the interests of the majority Hutu people, whereas you are betraying them. In fact, many Rwandans rushed to join the M.D.R. and D.S.P. parties thinking that it was the Parmehutu party (that Habyarimana’s coup d’état had unfairly dissolved) and the Aposoma of late Gitera, the great Hutu leader, that were being revived. Is it really conceivable that these parties have been misled up to the point where they prefer to ally with the Shitani-Ntutsi (Tutsi demonic snake) and this for the purpose of acceding to power? You will be surprised! You, yourself, assert that the R.P.F. is an enemy. Do you therefore think that you are more intelligent or cunning than the R.P.F. to imagine that one day you would be in a position to take the upper hand as if they were sleeping? Do you not think that the crimes the Tutsis are currently committing against Habyarimana who had inordinately favored them, or the refugee excesses directed towards him as if he had expelled them in 1959 while he was still very young, will not be reversed against those who took pleasure to support these bloodthirsty persons?

“It is obvious that misunderstanding exists between individuals. It is normal that Murego who had been detained for twelve (12) years because of his views, oppose the government that imprisoned him. The same can be said of Twagiramungu who cannot in any way have the same views as the person responsible for the death of his father-in-law in mysterious circumstances. Strongly convinced that it was the Abakiga who had poisoned him, Gatabazi can only but track them down. Furthermore, the Gitarama people who had been ousted from power did not remain inactive whereas they attribute the death of their politicians to Habyarimana and Lizinde. Kanyarengwe, Lizinde, Bizimungu (?) and Biseruka who narrowly escaped can only but revenge on their opponent. The spirit of vengeance and fight against the enemy is part of human nature.

“What can neither be supported nor tolerated is the extermination of a crowd of people wishing to eliminate the person you hate, even without certainty that he will be hit. Furthermore, he can maintain himself or be maintained in power from which his opponents wanted to oust him, since the latter have become the scum following their silly and animal conduct. To our knowledge, nobody has burnt down his house because it was invaded by cockroaches, or naja nigricollis. To tell the truth, which power in the world has been untouchable? His regime is toppled either through democratic elections or by other forces, which do not exterminate the population with bullets or which do not ravage the country. Rwanda does not lack such forces. Besides, if you know me very well, I have never in my life favored my personal interests, I have, at all time, been preoccupied with the pursuit and defense of the interests and safety of the majority people. I am of the opinion that we agree.”