Rwanda - Jubilee
Year of Evangelisation
is taken from the ANB-BIA Dossier, 15th. May, 2000.
Belgium, April 2000
- © Reproduction
authorised, with usual acknowledgment.
Last year, the Church in
Rwanda celebrated its Centenary. On the 2nd. February, 1900, missionaries arrived
at the Mwami's court. [a] One hundred years on, how
are things going?
Can we really justify a
celebration such as a Jubilee? (1) After all, there's
a bishop in prison, and both he and the Church in Rwanda are having to defend
their past actions. The Jubilee programme has had to take into account Bishop
Misago's appearances in court. [b] How can
we possibly celebrate, keeping in mind what happened during the period of the
genocide and remembering the unspeakable massacres that took place? Christians
are accused of having taken part in the genocide and the Church as having initiated
it. Indeed, there is reason for the Church to wonder whether the occasion of
the centenary is a time of Jubilee or a time of trial.
However, the needs of truth
and justice call for an appraisal of the situation. We must examine our past
history in both its negative and positive aspects. We must not be afraid
to face up to our failures, our shortcomings, our omissions, our weaknesses.
Everything must be examined in detail. It is indeed a critical
moment for all of us, and it's a real pity that the Church in Rwanda
has to go through this exercise in such circumstances. There are tremendous
pressures against the Church; terrible charges to face up to; the Church's
apostolic workers are killed, detained, or are in exile.
In the eyes of the public,
the Church is on trial for its alleged or real involvement in politics. The
fact is, the Catholic Church has been positively and actively present in many
domains, for which the people remain grateful and will remain unfailingly attached
to their Church.
The Church in Rwanda is
present at all times, be it in times of difficulty or when all is going well.
Some even accuse it of being 'too present': i.e. present everywhere ...
too powerful ... you can't get away from it. One
ambassador put it this way to a missionary who had just been ordered to leave
the country: "The Church's presence is harmful". Others say the Church is "young,
much appreciated, but easily impaired". (2) Statistics
confirm that the Church is present on all of Rwanda's one thousand hills, in
all sections of national life.
People's memories and understanding
of events, have been clouded by the genocide, and
because of this, other interpretations have been given to the situation of the
Church. The fact is, if there had been no genocide, then the Church's presence
in Rwanda would have been seen as a real and unquestionable success.
Christianity spread rapidly
throughout Rwanda. In the 1930s, people were talking about the "Spirit blowing
like a tornado across the country!" Rarely have there been so many conversions
over so short a period. We may well understand the missionaries' enthusiasm
for what was taking place. In their wildest dreams they never dared hope for
so much, all the more so as they had just been expelled from Uganda. Leaving
aside their motivations or the strategies they adopted in their work of evangelisation,
let us simply say that they wanted to 'convert' and bring to Christianity as
many Rwandans as they possibly could. And they succeeded.
initially a question of getting established. Parishes (they used to be called
'missions') were set up everywhere. Once a Christian presence had been guaranteed
in the middle and around the extremities of Rwanda, the missionaries were able
to spread out throughout the length and breadth of the land. Today, there are
133 parishes (with approximately 500 outstations attached to the parishes).
There are 9 dioceses. Readers will get a better idea of the general picture
when we explain that an average parish covers some 200 square kilometres (77
sq.mls), and a diocese an average of 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 sq.mls).
Rwanda was said to be the
most Catholic country in Africa, some giving the percentage of Catholics as
high as 80% of Rwanda's total population. This is of course exaggerated or at
least it shows a poor knowledge of available data. To get a proper
appreciation, one has to take an average between parishes with a high
percentage of Catholics and those which have less. The parish with the highest
percentage of Catholics is, of course, Save (the first mission), totalling 85%.
The parish with the lowest percentage of Catholics is Gatare in Gikongoro Diocese,
with Catholics numbering only 0.7% of the local population. In this way, the
Catholic population on a national level, is 51% of Rwanda's total population.
Baptisms continue everywhere.
Let's take just one example: Byimana Parish, with a Catholic population of 82.22%
had 1,284 Baptisms in 1998. The same year, Save Parish had 2,536 catechumens
- of Good Quality and Numerous
Once the missionaries had
established their 'Parish Plants', their next priority was to bring as many
people as possible to the waters of baptism. They genuinely wanted to develop
a flourishing Local Church. The missionaries were
preoccupied with training good quality and numerous local personnel - first
of all to assist the missionaries and then eventually to replace them. All credit
to the White Fathers and the White
Sisters who, as a matter of policy, refused to look for vocations for
their own congregations. Rather, they were concerned with building up a true
local Church with its own leaders. Their pastoral methods differed from other
missionary congregations elsewhere which prioritised the recruitment of local
priests and nuns for their own congregations and institutes. In Rwanda, the
first Rwandese White Sister was professed only in 1961, and the first Rwandan
White Father was ordained priest only in 1983.
Very soon, Rwanda had its
own local diocesan clergy as well as local religious congregations for nuns,
priests and religious. The first two local priests were ordained on the 7th.
October, 1917. Note that the Rwandan clergy were very soon placed in positions
of responsibility within the Church. In sharp contrast to the colonial power,
the Church was the very first organisation to entrust
Africans with important responsibilities. In 1919, the diocesan clergy took
over Murunda Parish. In 1935, three Rwandan priests were asked to found a new
Parish (Janja). On the 25th. March, 1956, for the first time in the whole of
Africa and even in the world, a black bishop consecrated a white bishop. On
the 18th. April 1961, for the first time in Africa, the local clergy took over
the running of the seminary.
the Religious in Rwanda, Bishop Hirth wanted to found
two local congregations - one of men and the other of women. [d]
In 1912, he founded the Josephite Brothers and the First Profession in the Congregation
took place in 1916. The first Josephite Superior General, Brother Laurent, was
elected on the 11th. January, 1953. Bishop Hirth founded the Benebikira Sisters
in 1913. In 1919 the first Sister was professed in the Congregation. The first
Benebikira Superior General, Mama Teresa, was elected on the 12th. January,
1953. On the 24th. April 1956, Father Raphaël Sekamonyo founded a totally
Rwandan congregation, the Bizeramariya. Other foundations took place in recent
years - some in response to a call from young people who wanted to consecrate
their lives to God, but who lacked a more advanced education (they possibly
had only been to primary school) and who at the same time, didn't see the necessity
of catching up on their education for their future apostolate among the rural
population. (Bishop Blaise Forissier and Bishop Louyis Gasore founded such Congregations
to cater for these needs).
in recent years, quite a number of international religious Congregations, both
male and female, have come to our dioceses to work within the context of our
diocesan charitable services (also for state-run charitable services). In Rwanda,
they saw the possibility of attracting many vocations to their ranks, so much
so that they established a number of training houses (29 for Sisters and 19
for Mens' religious Congregations). Butare Hill is called the 'Little Vatican'
because of its numerous training houses.
The Church is said to be
omni-present in education and the medical/social field. What's the reality of
the Church has taken on the responsibility of running many schools from primary
level upwards - private schools such as seminaries; grant-in-aid schools run
by the Church but subsidised by the State; state schools which the state has
entrusted to the Church such as the famous Butare School Group. The National
University was founded by the Dominican Fathers, who ran it until 1974. The
Church was asked to take on this responsibility because the colonial power,
Belgium, was unable to do so. The first Education Agreement between the State
and the Churches was signed in 1925. The Catholic Church did its best to increase
the number of schools. There was a dire necessity
for qualified personnel to train the teachers needed in the schools, so the
Josephite Brothers and Benebikira Sisters saw a major part of their vocation
dedicated to the field of education.
Unfortunately, as in many
other countries, youth unemployment is a major concern
in Rwanda, and the Church has risen to the challenge by establishing education
programmes for the unemployed outside the regular school system. In colonial
times these took place in 'Social Centres'; following independence, the Church
established Rural Education Centres (CERAI) for young people who had to leave
school without completing their education and who had to make a 'go of it' for
The Church's involvement
in the field of education has always been a ticklish problem
in Rwanda. Already in colonial times, a number of people were calling for the
schools to be freed from the influence of dioceses and parishes. Following independence,
some were talking about an "intolerable situation". Today the State is being
urged to shake-off the Church's hold over education.
If the Church wanted to
hang on to the schools, it was because it was able to influence young people.
All the children attending Church-run primary schools, had
to attend catechism classes and were baptised in Primary Five (there was no
obligation to be baptised but I've never known anyone who refused). In secondary
schools, however, it was quite common to come across non-Catholic students.
The Church made sure it was present among those who had successfully completed
their education, as in every aspect of an educated society.
The Church is also present
in the medical/social field. But unlike the Church-run schools where the Church's
policy was to actively proselytize among the students, in the medical/social
field, the Church put everything it had at the service of the entire
population, especially the poorest and those living in the remotest areas.
The Church is running hospitals
and health centres where health care is provided for the people; where very
ill people are admitted to hospital; where pregnant women are taken care of
until they have given birth or who have just given birth. The health centres
are also nutritional feeding centres for poorly nourished children and where
mothers are given some training in providing basic dietary needs for the family.
There is, of course, a programme for family planning. However, the Church won't
allow its health centres to get involved in large-scale contraception programmes
which are extremely expensive and which need a medical follow-up. An under-developed
country such as Rwanda is unable to afford such a programme. The Church, instead,
insists on responsible parenthood (education and
information instead of simply distributing mere gadgets the population will
have to buy and, of course, has no means of doing so).
The Church is committed
to the social sector through several charitable organisations
(too many to be listed here). These organisations help destitute and elderly
people, the blind and the handicapped. There are also specialised Centres for
development purposes. Butare Diocese, under the leadership of Bishop Jean-Baptiste
Gahamanyi, is to the forefront in this type of work - the other dioceses have
soon followed suit. Why? Because the Church is convinced
that it has a mission to the 'whole person' - body and soul, and so must concern
itself with the individual's physical well-being as well as his/hers spiritual
needs. You often hear it said: "Mens sana in corpore sano - a sound mind in
a sound body". The Encyclical 'Populorum Progressio' added that development
is a new name for peace. The Church must concern itself with the entire person
and involve itself in every form of human advancement. That's why parishes are
involved in development issues. The risk is, of course, that the Church, instead
of appearing to be poor in itself and concerned with the needs of the less fortunate,
is seen to be rich and powerful (a State within the State); at the same time
it is continually begging for money it needs for its charitable work, from abroad.
on Rwanda is complete if it does not mention the ethnic problem. All the more
so, if such a report were to refer to the Church's action and influence in this
area, and were to accuse the Church of having aggravated, if not having caused
the ethnic problem. First of all, I would have liked to have said that the Church
regrets the thesis put forward by Bishop Classe who,
in order to gain the sympathy of the royal court and the tribal chiefs, stated
that the "Tutsis are superior". [e] All I can do is to affirm
that on this occasion, Bishop Classe certainly didn't speak for the whole Church
in Rwanda. It's unfair to judge the Church and all
its work during 100 years in Rwanda, on the basis of a few unhappy positions
adopted by some of its representatives.
What's being said today
and the accusations spread around, would have us believe that in 1994, the Church
in Rwanda was largely Hutu. Figures show just the opposite. The clergy and the
religious congregations were mainly Tutsi.
The ethnic problem remains
a major challenge for the Church. So what's to be
done? The Church must root out all tribalism in its own ranks, and then in Rwandan
society in general. The Church must cooperate with civil society, with the educated
classes, with the leaders, indeed, with anybody who wishes to achieve reconciliation
among the Rwandan people. Even if a certain kind of propaganda
is still circulating which continues to cast aspersions on the Church, the people
have never lost confidence in it. The Church is there to help the country be
reconciled with itself. If Rwandans want to achieve reconciliation with each
other, they must be reconciled with the Church. Why? Because the Church in Rwanda
is not a foreign body in Rwandan society; it is not a handful of expatriate
missionaries. Rwandans form the Church. The number
of Catholics in Rwanda is such that it would be a gross error to exclude them
from the work of achieving national reconciliation and reconstruction. It should
be noted that when preparations for the Jubilee were underway, Catholics were
to the forefront in emphasising the need for reconciliation.
A Christian in today's Rwanda,
especially the priests and Religious, all belong to a particular ethnic group,
but, more importantly, they belong to Christ, and in Christ we are all brothers
and sisters, no matter our tribal origin. In Christ there can be no divisions.
It must be said that when
it comes to the question of financing the Church in Rwanda, the missionaries
gave us the bad example of expecting everything to
come from Western countries; they did not teach us to take care of ourselves
even if the offertory collection during Mass was an established fact by 1928.
So, when it comes to running our schools and hospitals, or when a new church
has to be built, or scholarships must be provided for needy students, then we're
only too quick to hold out our hands for 'manna from heaven' i.e. from Europe.
And that's not normal. We should be prepared to accept responsibility
at the very least for ordinary recurrent expenses such as running our parishes
and paying our apostolic workers. What's happening at present, shows we're living
over and above our means.
It's not just a question
of money. It's a whole pastoral strategy. My past experiences as former Vicar-General
of Butare Diocese only strengthens me in my viewpoint. In my time I instituted
an awareness programme that the Church in Rwanda must be self-supporting, that
we must not continue to live like expensive irresponsible people. I insisted
that every time a parish priest agreed to establish a parish financial council
(with an open and above-board accounting system), the parishioners for their
part, must agree to pay for certain parish activities, from their small means
available. This did help to reduce the money the priest had to find, for example,
for running the parish vehicle. Parishioners began to feel they were responsible,
together with their priests, for the smooth running of their parishes. Thus,
there was a commitment by the laity towards their parish
at a local level.
The fact is, parishes must
become self-supporting, whether they want it or not, because Europe will not
go on and on sending 'bank transfers' to their brothers and sisters in Africa.
In Europe, the younger generation is growing increasingly fed-up with supporting
'the Missions'. And this is only normal. The Church must take care of itself.
The present-day pastoral
strategy of the Church in Rwanda, means that the laity must play its true
role as members of the Church. Particular mention should be made of our
catechists and our community leaders in the Small Christian Communities. Vatican
II insisted that the laity, by the very fact of their baptism, must be prepared
to take on responsibility in their Church. Also, in many places there are fewer
priests and we're not getting any younger! This particular problem does not,
as yet, apply to Rwanda as our seminaries are absolutely full. But acknowledging
the laity's rights and duties has nothing to do with the lack of priests.
It's important to educate
lay people to play their role in the Church of God. The Bishops of Rwanda have
set up an ad hoc Commission to study this issue, but so far, it hasn't
produced much by way of results. Pressure is mounting on the bishops from various
quarters such as former seminarians, catechists, Small Christian Community leaders,
members of Catholic Action and the Charismatic Renewal and from others among
the laity, to ensure that the laity's true role as the 'People of God', is recognised.
The Church in Rwanda could avail itself of the local Pastoral Centre, but we
can only note that those who regularly attend the conferences and updating sessions
in large numbers are sent by the bishops from Burundi and Congo RDC's Kivu Province,
rather than from Rwanda. Also, more sisters than laity attend the conferences.
If we want the laity to
become truly responsible, we have to train them. And the training provided must
take into account that the laity do not only belong to the educated section
There was a time when the
Church wanted to up-root traditional religion (indeed, do away with all idols
and signs of what was once described as 'vain observances'). That time is now
over. Traditional religion is now seen as a 'stepping stone' to Christianity.
God's word needs to be part
and parcel of Rwandan culture, so much so that Rwandan Christians think, pray
and act both as Rwandans and as Christians. We are a Roman Catholic Church,
but this is first and foremost Christ's Church established in Rwanda.
It is high time that current
theological thinking, our catechism and our liturgy become specifically
Rwandan, while remaining faithful to the teaching of the Universal Church.
People have to be imbued with the Spirit, and feel they can express their faith
in Jesus Christ according to the genius of their own culture. Why not teach
theology in Kinyarwanda at the major seminary, in
the religious training centres and in catechist schools? Don't forget, Rwanda
has the enormous advantage of having the same language throughout the country.
of God in Rwanda have already made great progress in the field of inculturation,
especially among groups which have been influenced by the Charismatic Renewal
or by their experiences in Kibeho (apparitions are said to have taken place
here). [f] People sing and dance during liturgical celebrations,
but all this remains a bit too 'cosmetic'. The Bishops have made some steps
towards inculturation by publishing the Bible in Kinyarwanda. But it's not enough.
A Prophetic Church
The Church in Rwanda has
been blamed for keeping silent. This is only true in part. Many people, especially
those who set out to criticise the Church, are unaware of the bishop's many
The Church must change its
way of speaking. It must be prepared to 'risk all for the sake of Jesus' and
not limit its prophetic role to ex-cathedra statements and pastoral letters.
The faithful must feel that all the pastors speak the same language and share
the same boldness.
must be present in human rights issues. It's not
enough simply to set up Justice and Peace Commissions. Father André Sibomana
and his fearlessness in speaking out must not remain an isolated case, never
to be replaced when he disappeared from the scene. [g] Even
a bishop must not be left to speak out alone. The Church in Rwanda must be prophetic
in the service of justice and peace. It must have the courage to speak up for
those who have no voice; it must have a preferential option for the poor; it
must pay due attention to present appeals emanating from the people. Some people
will always accuse the Church of involving itself in politics - even when keeping
silent, the Church will be accused of practising a policy of silence. Far better
to take a stance on human rights issues, to adopt a policy for justice, peace
and unity. The Church must learn to side with its laity who know the issues
And what about the
Media? Here's a working tool just waiting to be of service. Sad to say,
the Church doesn't make much use of the Media, and when it does, only utilizes
it poorly. Don't forget, there are some publications such as 'Dialogue' and
'Kinyamateka', which could be better availed of. We (clergy and laity), have
really got to see how we can make better use of the Media. We must dare to speak
in Rwanda is also criticised for not being sufficiently 'missionary'. The same
was said when Sekou Touré drove the missionaries from Guinea and, again,
when Bagaza did likewise in Burundi. [h] "Rwanda", it was
stated, "could have sent some priests to lend a helping hand to their brothers
and sisters in need". Even within Rwanda, it's not right that a diocese such
as Gikongoro can't get any help from neighbouring dioceses, which, while not
having an overwhelming number of personnel to spare, could
lend a hand. On the other hand, it's rather curious that Gikongoro is said to
be lacking priests when one of its parishes, Kibeho, had at least one priestly
ordination per year from 1970 to 1990.
Following the events in
1994, Rwandans are now to be found in the four corners of the world, but it
certainly wasn't planned. Before this diaspora, the only Rwandan missionaries
were religious from international congregations. Those who 'lend to God' will
be repaid a hundredfold. The Church in Rwanda must learn to give freely beyond
its own frontiers. A Church must be missionary or does not exist.
The genocide proved one
thing vis à vis the Church: Christianity in Rwanda is still rather like
a flock of sheep following one another, and is still present on a superficial
level; in-depth evangelisation has still to be done. But this doesn't mean the
Church, in preaching love and the brotherhood of humankind, tolerance and 'togetherness',
has failed the people. It rather shows that a long road still lies ahead.
The Church has arrived.
It has established its structures and institutions. Now it has to build on the
message that has already spread throughout the country. And that's proving no
easy matter, even in a Europe where the Gospel has been preached for nigh on
2000 years and where Pope John Paul II has launched the second evangelisation.
What's now needed is proper
planning and a comprehensive, soundly-reflected pastoral strategy - sadly lacking
for the moment. We look to the new generation of bishops for guidance in this
On the 10th. November, 1959,
Pope John XXIII established the Catholic Church's hierarchy in the Belgian Congo
and Rwanda-Burundi. Yes, the mustard seed has already grown high, it has already
produced some fruit, but it needs more fostering: we still need to trim it,
to dig around it and to add some fertiliser. With God's help, the harvest looks
promising. May it prove so in the future.
Note [a] Mwami
(King) at the time was Musinga. Return
Note (1) Some people, suffering
from recent events, felt that they had to protest against the celebration of
the Jubilee. They said: "The time for rejoicing has not yet arrived". But their
understanding of Jubilee as simply a time for rejoicing, is wrong. In fact,
it is a time for repentance, for pardon and reconciliation (Leviticus 25, 8-22).
The present Jubilee has come at just the right moment, to help us come to terms
with our history. The condition being that we admit that we are 'ill' and that
we turn to Jesus whose love will heal us. Message read by Bishop Kizito Bahujimihigo
on the occasion of Christmas and the New Year 2000 in 'Notre Lien', no. 3 (January-December
Note [b] Bishop Augustine Misago - was
born in Ruvune, Byumba Diocese, in 1943, and he became Bishop of Gikongoro Diocese
in 1992. He was arrested on the 14th. April, 1999, and held in Kilgali Central
Prison, accused of being involved in the 1994 genocide. These include incidents
such as: the disappearance of 30 school girls at Kibeho; the murder of three
priests at Cyanika; and the massacre of about 20,000 people at Kibeho Parish
for the Accusations - The Rwandan
Catholic Bishops, the Vatican and various Catholic media sources have claimed
that Bishop Misago was a victim of the Rwandan Government's conspiracy against
the Catholic Church in Rwanda and R. D. Congo. The comments made by Archbishop
Marcello Zago, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of
Peoples, concerning the Bishop's arrest summarize what many Church leaders think
about the situation in Africa. "Public opinion cannot fail to see that in many
African countries the Church is subject to persecution. Bishop Misago is not
the only one to be targeted. Efforts to weaken the Church, under different pretexts
and for different reasons, are seen throughout central Africa, particularly
in the region of the Great Lakes. Attacking bishops in Rwanda, and now also
in the Congo ... is obviously part of a broader plan
that involves the whole of Africa: it is good that the Church and people in
general realize this."
"Why are they against the Church?" the Archbishop
replied "They want to weaken the Church because she is a force which opposes
inhuman systems. This part of Africa is living the same situation as Latin America,
with the spread of religious sects and cults. One notes pressure to spread these
cults, probably with support from various international economic organizations.
At a time when the people are still insecure and bewildered, these sects are
exploited as a means of dividing and weakening the Church and taking away her
members. ... The Church simply cannot approve what
is taking place: ethnic clashes, one group dominating the other, arbitrary trials
and sentences without proof, all in total absence of any prospect of reconciliation."
Frederic Rubwejanga, of Kibungo
Diocese and Vice-President of the Rwandan Bishops' Conference, was asked by
should someone accuse the Church of genocide?" He replied: "The reasons
are not at all clear and I cannot say that I know them. One may be that people
tend to confuse the Church as a whole with her individual members. Crimes committed
by individual Christians are blamed on the Church as institution. It has often
been said that the Catholic Church, to which many Burundians belong, played
a part in the genocide. But this affirmation does not hold under careful examination.
In this regard the Pope spoke words which should be heeded. He said that the
Church cannot be held responsible for acts committed by some of her members
and that these individuals must have the courage to admit their personal responsibility."
accusers are not just the Rwandan Government. Various publications throughout
the world have levelled accusations at the Catholic Church and Bishop Misago.
They include 'African Rights' (UK), in 'Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance';
'Solidaire' (Belgium) and 'Golias' (France).
Acquittal - The Prosecution asked
for the death sentence. Eventually all accusations against Bishop Misago were
dropped and he was found not guilty of complicity in the 1994 genocide. The
Bishop was released from prison on the 15th. June, 2000. Return
Note (2) Title
of a video-cassette published in 1990 as a preparation for the Pope's visit
Note [c] See
the facts and figures about the Church and a map of Rwanda on pages 8, 10
Note [d] Mgr. Jean-Joseph Hirth
was a White Father born at Spechbach-le-Bas, Alsace, France on the 26th. March,
1854. He arrived in Rwanda from Uganda in November, 1912, and died on the 6th.
Note [e] Bishop Léone Classe
was a White Father born in France in 1874. He arrived in Rwanda on the 21st.
March, 1901 and died on the 31st. January, 1945. Return
Note [f] There have been reported
apparitions of the Blessed
Virgin at the Kibeho Church which began on the 21st. November, 1981. After an
official enquiry commission the then Bishop (Jean-Baptiste Gahamanyi) gave permission
for public worship there in 1988. Return
Note [g] Mgr. André Sibomana died
on the 9th. March, 1998, after an illness (Lyell's Syndrome) which began in
1976. He was born in 1954 and ordained in 1980. He was the Editor of a Rwandan
Catholic newspaper 'Kinyamateka', President of the 'Rwandan Association of Journalists'
and of the 'Association for the Defence of Human Rights and Public Freedom'
('Association Rwandaise pour la Déefense des Droits de la Personne et
des Libertées Publiques'). Mgr. Sibomana "denounced the [previous Habyarimana]
regime and its abuses of power, breaking with the Archbishop and others in the
Hierarchy who continued to give Habyarimana largely unquestioning support" (IPEP
14.74.). He was awarded the 'Reporters Beyond Frontiers' prize in 1994.
This did not stop Mgr. Sibomana being accused of involvement in the 1994 genocide
after the Rwandan Patriotic Front took power. Other human rights organisations
made similar accusations but 'Amnesty International' and 'Reporters Beyond Frontiers'
have praised his work, and the OAU's IPEP stated that "André Sibomana
was another remarkable priest as well as a human rights activist whose name
should stand with those honoured German clerics who defied the Nazis." (IPEP
Note [h] Ahmed Sekou Touré
(1922-1984) was President of Guinea for 22 years. He worked with Kwame Nkhrumah
(Ghana, 1909-1972) for Pan-Africanism during the time that African countries
were becoming independent. Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (born 1946) was President of
Burundi between 1976 and 1987. He overthrew Michel Micombero (1940-83) and did
much to unite the country, but several confrontations with the Catholic Church
came to a head in 1985 when the Government introduced many curbs on Church activities. Return
International Fides Service (http://www.fides.org/home-ing.htm);
'Leave None to Tell the Story, Genocide in Rwanda', Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org);
'Death Despair and Defiance', African Rights; Amnesty International (http://www.amnesty.org);
'The Angels Have Left Us by Hugh McCullum;
'Hope for Rwanda' by André Sibomana, Laura Guilbert & Hervé
'Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide', 'IPEP' 'International
Panel of Eminent Personalities to
Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda and the Surrounding Events',
OAU, 7th. July, 2000. (http://www.oau-oua.org/document/ipep/ipep.htm);
'A People Betrayed, The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide' by Linda Melvern;
'The Rwanda Crisis History of a Genicide' by Gérard Prunier.
The article appeared in "White Fathers - White
Sisters" (UK), issue 357, of April-May, 2001.
is taken from the ANB-BIA Dossier, 15th. May, 2000.
Belgium, April 2000
- © Reproduction
authorised, with usual acknowledgment..
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