Thursday, February 10, 2011

More on Mubarak's arms exports to genocidal Rwandan regime

In researching the question of Mubarak's arms sales to the genocidal Rwanda regime, I contacted Linda Melvern, author of the book "A People Betrayed, the role of the West in Rwanda's genocide".

She writes:

"I have no evidence to show that Egypt broke the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council on May 17 - but do have evidence which might be useful to you and which I outline below in paragraphs taken from the revised edition of A People Betrayed which was published last year. I would be most grateful if you use any material you make clear where it came from...It is worth noting (see below) that representatives of the Rwanda government that was perpetrating genocide were welcomed to Cairo during the genocide".

Extract from the book :

Six weeks before the genocide, in February 1994, another contract was concluded between the Ministry of Defence in Cairo and the Rwandese government for $1 million of mortars and ammunition. Rwanda asked for urgent delivery. For the regime in Kigali, the Rwandan embassy
in Cairo was pivotal. During the genocide, some US$1.4 million was transferred there, the money coming from the Banque Nationale du Rwanda, passing through the Rwandan embassy in Nairobi, then on to Cairo, where it was paid into the Commercial International Bank of Egypt. Whether or not this money was to pay for weapons has not been ascertained.

[the anti-genocide forces of Kagame, who is now President, and, sadly, on the path that leads to dictatorship] later discovered that the governments of France and Egypt had hosted high-level talks with members of the interim government and appeared ‘to be masterminding the current proposal for the deployment of a UN intervention force as a result of those talks’. The RPF wanted both Egypt and France to be censured.

It was business as usual for the extremists, relying on two important
allies – France and Egypt. Throughout the genocide, with money looted from government coffers, the extremists resupplied their stocks of weapons on the open arms market. There are letters and invoices, bank statements and money transfers, a paper trail to show that, once the genocide was under way, $US13 million of Rwandan government money passed through the Banque Nationale de Paris. Money was
also transferred from the government system to Rwandan embassies in Washington, Moscow, Kinshasa, Bonn and Tokyo and to the Rwandan consulate in Pretoria.

The [UN] Security Council set up an inquiry into the arming of the former Rwandan government forces. This International Commission of Inquiry was chaired by Ambassador Mahmoud Kassem of Egypt, an appointment made by Boutros-Ghali, to collect information and investigate reports relating to the supply of arms to former Rwandan government forces.

RL: Brilliant. The Egyptian UN Secretary General appoints an Egyptian to investigate an Egyptian/French arms deal to genocidal regime.



At first glance I was tempted to applaud the Egyptians for their uprising against Mubarak but now feel forced to ask the question – is this a case of better the devil you know?

As is common following the demise of a dictator the country can and possibly will fall into civil unrest and potentially civil war.

Alternatively we may see a democratically elected Muslim regime stylie government take over which I make no comment on other than it would destabilize the region when considering Israel. I wonder?

DocRichard said...

Hi Gideon

We do indeed know that Mubarak is a devil.

To characterise the pro-democracy demonstrators as demonic would be way off the mark. They are youth, mainly non-ideological, secular, and modernised. Their courage is immense, and I hope you have read here (YouthUprising tag) of the cooperation between Muslims and Christians taking place.

There is a clear syndrome of flouting of all authority after the fall of a dictator, but civil war does not follow of necessity.

The Muslim Bogeymen are there, but they are definitely not Khomeni.

I believe in the positive force of democracy to pull extremists towards moderation.

Repression and the War on Terror are Osama bin Ladens' recruiting sergeants.

Blair knew Iraq war would increase the terrorist threat

I agree that we cannot be certain of the outcome. This is in the nature of things relating to the future. But the balance of probabilities is that Mubarak staying will make things worse, add to the instability, lead on to a repressive backlash, make Egypt a pariah state, and stimulate Islamic extremism and suicide bombings.

Get the raw data from, #jan25, #tahrir, #egypt.

Thanks for commenting as ever.