A government official Leon Mugesera’s 1992 inflammatory speech calling for mass slaughter of Tutsis energised Hutu extremist to plan and execute Rwanda’s 1994 genocide!

Editor of Rwanda’s only English daily has written an editorial, urging the world to protect Mandinkas from being terminated by President Yahya Jammeh. In the editorial published below, the editor explained why the world must not sit idle and allow a replica of Rwanda’s genocide in which over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were hacked to death. Jammeh’s inflammatory public statement was the exact speech that a ruling party regional official Leon Mugesera delivered in 1992. The statement, delivered to over 1,000 people, was replayed several times on national media. This laid foundation for the 1994 genocide.

Read Rwandan editor’s take on the Gambian leader’s hate speech.

One would have thought that what happened in Rwanda in 1994 would have served as a lesson to the world.

One would have thought that the ghost of ethnic hatred would not haunt this continent again, but it seems that is not the case.

But what is most worrying is when a Head of State openly makes threatening remarks against a section of his population.

That is none other than the controversial Yahya Jammeh, President of Gambia, who threatened to eliminate the Mandinka ethnic group “one by one” and put them “where even a fly cannot see them”.

Words like that coming from a Head of State should indeed be taken seriously, and Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, was quick to sound the alarm.

Dieng knows what he is talking about when it come to matter of ethnic cleansing and incitement to commit Genocide by people in authority and who wield enormous powers of persuasion.

For over ten years he headed the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He saw first-hand the effects of Genocide and the role of leaders in fanning it.

So when Jammeh calls the Mandinka names such “enemies and foreigners, he is paving the way for impunity and the world should be worried. We saw the devastating effects of Leon Mugesera’s inflammatory speech in 1992, now we are seeing a re-enactment in Gambia.

Will the world just be contented with mere “condemnations” or will it flex its muscles and take decisive measures?

Courtesy of New Times of Rwanda

Ends

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