The Government of Rwanda today described the leaked draft of "DRC Mapping Exercise" as malicious, offensive and ridiculous.
“By its own admission, the Mapping Team "was not concerned with pursuing in-depth investigations or gathering evidence of sufficient admissibility to stand in court, meaning that they employed the lowest evidentiary standard to investigate these allegations”
The timing of the leak of this draft report is quite revealing; it appears that the UN is attempting to divert international attention from its latest failure in the Great Lake Region where recently hundreds of Congolese women were savagely raped under the watch of its peacekeeping force MONUSCO, a situation directly resulting from its failure to manage the post-genocide refugees crisis of 1994 in the then Zaire.
"It is immoral and unacceptable that the United Nations, an organization that failed outright to prevent genocide in Rwanda and the subsequent refugees crisis the is the direct cause for so much suffering in Congo and Rwanda, now accuses the army that stopped the genocide of committing atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo," said Mr. Ben Rutsinga, an official in the Office of the Government Spokesperson.
The report is a dangerous and irresponsible document that under the guise of human rights can only achieve instability in the Great Lakes Region and undermine ongoing efforts to stabilize the region, particularly at a time when unprecedented progress is being made in establishing peace, security and economic collaboration.
According to Mr Rutsinga, "Given the gravity of its mission, the Mapping Team's failure to consult with Rwanda even though they found time to meet with over 200 NGO representatives is shocking and shows complete disregard for fundamental fairness. While NGOs are entitled to their opinions, their work should not form the basis of genocide or war crimes allegations against Rwanda or any other nation. Why such due diligence eluded a team of supposedly seasoned human rights investigators is hard to fathom."
The report makes extremely serious allegations - of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity - based on questionable methodology, sourcing and shockingly low standard of proof.
"By its own admission, the Mapping Team "was not concerned with pursuing in-depth investigations or gathering evidence of sufficient admissibility to stand in court, meaning that they employed the lowest evidentiary standard to investigate these allegations," said Mr Rutsinga.
According to Mr Rutsinga, the report fundamentally misrepresents the episodes it describes by failing to explain the circumstances at play during this difficult period in our history. "It is a fact that Rwanda's intervention in the DRC was a matter of survival and the direct consequence of the irresponsible and insensitive management of the refugee camps by the UN and the international community subsequent to the genocide. Rwanda, at great cost and sacrifice, managed to turn around a tragic situation and create new era of regional collaboration and increasing prosperity."