Open Letter of Protest at President Kikwete’s genocide denial and revisionist declaration
New York, NY 10017 USA
212-963-5012 fax: 212-963-7055
May 28, 2013
RE: Open Letter of Protest at President Kikwete’s genocide denial and revisionist declaration at 50th Anniversary of African Unity, Addis Ababa
On May 26, at the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete made a statement that will go down in history as one of the most dehumanizing. Speaking at during the meeting for the parties concerned by the regional Peace Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Kikwete wants the FDLR genocidal force treated as victims. From President Kikwete’s understanding, the genocidal forces waiting to exterminate Tutsis have to be given red carpet welcome to thank them and thereby allow them to continue their agenda.
We, the Association of Genocide Student Survivors and Alumni (AERG/GEARG), want to set the record straight that President Kikwete’s statement has exposed the following:
1. He has declared his shameless and insensitive support for the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi;
2. He disregarded the would-be human morals for all the sane people of the world who regard and have condemned the genocide, and the genocide perpetrators as the worse criminals the world has ever experienced;
3. President Kikwete declared himself as Genocide denier and revisionist, and unfortunately implicated the people on whose behalf he made this genocidal statement;
4. He either has a short memory or he deliberately decided to ignore the most recent horrors of genocide victims whose remains trekked unforgettable routes through his river Kagera up to the their current resting place where over ten thousand souls are laid to rest in Kansesero and Lambu on the shores of lake Victoria. May God bless the Ugandan citizens, who unlike Kikwete, offered their humane hearts and resources to give those remains a honorable burial place;
We request President Kikwete to borrow a leaf from such experience other than providing moral backup to the same perpetrators who still have the spirit to return and exterminate us once and for all;
We want to remind President Kikwete that we know our history, let him leave us alone. We know how to manage our post Genocide challenges. If he has chosen to support those who want to accomplish their unfinished mission of genocide against the Tutsi, he should be rest-assured that he will never succeed because we shall never die again;
We want to remind President Kikwete that, as orphans and widows who survived through unbearable suffering, today live and share daily life with those who killed us but have however confessed and apologized to the entire Rwandan society for their crimes committed against us;
On February 17, 2005, while visiting Rwanda, when he was Foreign Affairs Minister of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete toured the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre, where more than 250,000 remains are laid to rest. In the memorial book, Kikwete wrote: “It is horrifying, saddening, and pitiful too. Let this be a reminder once again for such abominable things to happen again. Let us say never again, and make sure it really doesn’t happen again”.
We wonder whether a difference of about eight years has left President Kikwete in complete loss of memory of what he said at Gisozi. It is shameful that Kikwete can abuse the welcome accorded to him by Rwandans back in 2005, and the following year, as President, as well as the countless times he has visited.
His utterances at the AU present a miscarriage to the late Mwalimu Nyerere legacy for the unity and brotherhood of the Tanzanian peoples, and all African communities. In making his negationist statement, President Kikwete has not only dishonored Nyerere’s Vision but also dehumanized the Tanzanian peoples as unconditional accomplices to his genocide denial and revisionist comments.
If the UN Secretary General is planning peace for this region, at the same time as people like President Kikwete rekindle the seeds of destruction, what peace will be achieved?
We, undersigned, the student survivors, ask for nothing less than an apology for the despicable utterances.
- EAC Heads of States
- The President of the United States of America
- The African Union
- East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
- All Embassies Accredited to Rwanda
- The National Assembly of Tanzania
- The Rwanda Civil Society Platform