A Jury of Her Peers?

The U.S. Re-trial of Rwandan Beatrice Munyenyezi

Beatrice Munyenyezi is a Rwandan woman who survived the genocides in both Rwanda (1991-1995) and Congo (1994-1998), both of which were facilitated by Paul Kagame and the U.S. and British-backed Rwandan Patriotic Front guerrillas.  She has been fighting for her life in the United States under attack by the Department of Homeland Security.

The text to follow is an expanded version of an unpublished OP/ED submitted to Concord Monitor on February 25, 2013, following the outrageous jury trial of Beatrice Munyenyezi in Concord, New Hampshire, USA.


Rwandan boys in Kigali, Rwanda — are they “Tutsi”? or “Hutu” — selling white children’s dolls and other western garbage commodities. 

Photo c. keith harmon snow 2000

February 2013 has seen three major international developments related to Rwanda.  One of these the government of Rwanda wants us to know about; the other two they do not.

First, on February 21, a “jury of her peers” in New Hampshire found Beatrice Munyenyezi guilty of lying on her immigration forms to gain U.S. citizenship.  This is an innocent woman who has suffered horrors and abuse that most of us will never know.  Being a “Hutu” from the Great Lakes of Africa has always meant trouble. (Here is the background story on the persecution of Beatrice Munyenyezi.) The Kagame regime and U.S. press have peddled the news of this trial verdict far and wide, ostensibly showing that justice has been done for the victims of genocide once again.

Second, on February 16, 2013, the Rwandan regime of Paul Kagame is exposed after $10 million in precious coltan disappears in Tanzania on route from Rwanda to Italy. [4] Coltan, short for columbium tantalite, is one of the precious rare earth minerals (columbite, tantalum, pyrochlore, germanium, tin, wolframite, etc.) being plundered from the blood drenched Congo.  Rwanda does not produce these metals domestically, and the Kagame regime hides their occupation and plunder in Congo.  The story of this shipping container full of coltan disappearing in Tanzania is a story the Kagame regime and its partners in plundering the Congo do not want us to know about.

Third, on February 4, 2013, a court of appeals at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) acquitted two former Rwandan government “Hutu” ministers after a lower court sentenced them to 30 years in prison. [1] To date, the ICTR has acquitted all former “Hutu” government and military officials — the supposed “masterminds” of genocide in Rwanda — of conspiracy to commit genocide.  The regime of Paul Kagame in Rwanda does not want us to know that the ICTR, even with the help of Pentagon lawyers from the Judge Advocate General corps, has not been able to prove that there was a plan to commit genocide against the French-speaking Tutsis killed in Rwanda in 1994.

These are three recent international developments all involving the Kagame regime in Rwanda, all related to organized crime committed by the Kagame regime, all part of a story that most of us know little about.  Was the jury in New Hampshire informed of these incidents?

The trial in New Hampshire was tightly controlled, the lawyers for the defense of Beatrice Munyenyezi were not permitted to present evidence of the massive war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Kagame regime. They were not permitted to present evidence of mass murder in Rwanda committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front guerrillas as they invaded from Uganda. The jury was not allowed to hear evidence of the Kagame regimes hunting down and assassinating dissidents, survivors of genocide, opposition political candidates, journalists or human rights defenders.  The jury was not allowed to hear anything about the climate of terror inside Rwanda today.

The prosecutor, backed by ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon and Pentagon analysts, was allowed to say anything they want.  They even presented “witnesses” and “survivors” whose tales of beheadings and butchery influenced the jury against Beatrice Munyenyezi solely on the basis of the fact that she was supposed to be somewhere nearby when such alleged killings occurred.

One of the witnesses brought in for the staged trial was Thierry Sebaganwa Ukobizaba.  This Rwandan man from Matyazo, a section of the city of Butare, where Beatrice Munyenyezi is alleged to have committed her genocide crimes.  Mr. Ukobizaba testified that his mother was beheaded, and he sobbed on the witness stand until the judge ordered a break, returning after to continue his testimony.  However, Mr. Ukobizaba was not in Rwanda during the period in question — the so-called 100 days of genocide from April to July 1994.  Mr. Ukobizaba left Rwanda and returned only after the victory of the RPF in July 1994.  But Mr. Ukobizaba’s testimony looked and felt genuine, and the jury was stirred to compassion.

“Such staged episodes stir up empathy,” notes one Rwandan genocide survivor.  “It is probably true that his mother was beheaded but that has nothing to do with Beatrice Munyenyezi.”

Why is the Kagame regime so afraid of Beatrice Munyenyezi?  Why did the Pentagon wait more than 16 years to produce satellite photos taken over Rwanda during the civil war of 1994?  Such photos were never provided to the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR).  What is it that the Kagame government doesn’t want us to know?

Mun-yen-YEZ-i.  Judged by a “jury of her peers”?  Is it possible?

Let’s look at some of the deeper issues, the deeper history that a “jury of one’s peers” might want to understand.

Before 1885, “Tutsi” kings ruled the agriculturalist “Hutu” people in Rwanda, and it was a brutal feudal system where the subservient “Hutu’s” were enslaved. Cattle were the riches of the kingdom: any “Tutsi” who lost their herds were forced to descend to low “Hutu” status, while any “Hutu” lucky enough to gain cattle and increase their herds — though this rarely happened — could ascend to the “Tutsi” ruling class, the aristocracy.

Based on simplified propaganda in the western mass media, we people of the west think of “Hutu” and “Tutsi” as tribes, but these are fluid social categories that defy our comprehension.  We don’t understand Rwandan names, the Kinyarwanda language, the history, or the complexity of ethnicity in Africa.

Mun-yen-YEZ-i.  Even the woman’s name evokes the specter of Africans wielding machetes, slaughtering family members, chaos and mass murder, at roadblocks, you know, African savagery.  Hollywood movies (e.g. Hotel Rwanda) are made of such tales.

Mun-yen-YEZ-i sounds too much like Inyenzi — the term falsely used to portray the “Hutu” people as killers.  In popular Hollywood films and pseudo-documentaries, the Inyenzi term is equated with “cockroaches” and attributed to the “Hutu” power terminology supposedly used to dehumanize the “tutsis”.  But Inyenzi is a term created and proudly used by the “Tutsi” elite guerrillas who invaded Rwanda under cover of night, the predecessors to the RPF who committed terrorist acts, including assassinations and bombings on buses and in cafes in Rwanda in the 1960s, 1970s.

The N.H. prosecutor had an easy task.  He only had to incite fear and loathing in the jury, and he was licensed by the Judge to do so, and he was backed up by decades of western racist propaganda and Tarzanesque imagery of savages, tribes and “Hutus” killing “Tutsis” with machetes, and with modern day Tarzan heroism from the likes of “actorvist” Ben Affleck (who has business relations with the Kagame regime).

Rwanda is comprised of 85% “Hutu” people, and 15% minority “Tutsi” people.  How did the “Tutsi” minority — the supposed “victims of genocide” — end up being in control after the campaign to exterminate them?

Once the Europeans arrived in Rwanda, first the Germans and then the Belgians backed the “Tutsi” aristocrats in their domination of the oppressed “Hutu” masses.  At Rwanda’s “independence” in 1959, the arrogant, oppressive, murderous “Tutsi” ruling class fled Rwanda.  The aristocracy move out onto the world stage, appealing to the world Non-Aligned Movement.  These were the oppressed “Third World” populations of Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, etc., who were fighting for global liberation of people of color.  The Non-Aligned Movement took up the elite “Tutsis” call to arms,  and the “Tutsi” aristocrats were provided arms and funds to fight the white colonizers in Rwanda.  But the “Tutsi” elites also sought revenge on their former “Hutu” subjects.  Instead of being correctly portrayed as the perpetrators and invaders of Rwanda, from the 1960s and 1970s, these exiled “Tutsi” aristocrats were portrayed, internationally, as the victims, and so the “Hutus”, the actual victims of elite “Tutsi” guerrilla insurgencies, were falsely portrayed as the killers — indeed, genocidaires.

While the US/USSR Cold War raged on, the Belgians and then French backed “Hutu” regimes in Rwanda.  The stage was set for the 1990 invasion of Rwanda by the now Ugandan “Tutsi” elites.

In 1988, the English-speaking “Tutsi” exiles (raised in Uganda, N. America and Europe) plotted to conquer Rwanda and by 1994, succeeded, with the help of the Pentagon.  “Tutsis” were killed, indeed, but the English-speaking “Tutsi” invaders facilitated the “genocide” — if we apply the language of the establishment narrative, the language of the victors, — of “Tutsi” who had stayed behind in Rwanda,  Excepting certain “Tutsi” businessmen who funded the RPF “Tutsi” invasion, the elite “Tutsi” exiles of the 1960s and 1970s distrusted all French-speaking “Tutsi” who had stayed behind in Rwanda.

The English speaking “Tutsi” in power in Rwanda today continue to persecute the “Hutu” people, everywhere, exacting revenge, for example, with policies to sterilize “Hutu” peasants.  The “Tutsi” masses — again, around 15% of the total population — are also subject to the ruthless, arbitrary and capricious terrorism being committed by the Kagame regime.  This is a nasty dictatorship.

Instead of holding the Kagame regime to account for mass murder — first in Uganda, then Rwanda, then and now in Congo — the backers of the RPF insurgencies and plunder have invested, just as the west did in Chile under dictator Augusto Pinochet. Rwanda is held up as a model of democracy, the safest country in Africa, a business and tourist mecca.  This is the not the reality for the ordinary Rwandans, for the street children, the rural poor, the average man, woman and child in Rwanda.

At present, the “Hutu” people are also removed to and isolated on remote islands, surrounded by miles of water and armed soldiers, indoctrinated with official brainwashing doctrine on “genocide ideology”, often falsely charged with “genocide” crimes, and sometimes disappeared. The people of Rwanda are terrorized into submission and silence, and this is true for the “Hutu” and ordinary “Tutsi” survivors. But the crimes of the Kagame regime were not revealed to the jury in New Hampshire.

In 2010 a United Nations report finally named the Rwandan “Tutsi” genocide against “Hutus” which occurred in Congo.  In 1996, then Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame led the “Tutsi” invasion of Congo and slaughtered at least 300,000 innocent “Hutu” refugees.  The ongoing occupation and plunder of the Congo is always dismissed as the necessity of defending Rwanda’s “Tutsi” against “genocidaires (read: “Hutu”) lurking in eastern Congo


The Canadian Banro Gold Corporation gold mining operation in the blood-drenched South Kivu territory was made possible only with the support and continued collaboration of the terrorist Kagame regime.

Photo:  The Canadian Banro Gold Corporation

Forty top “Tutsi” military officials have been indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the same Spanish court that indicted Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.  Someone is blocking Interpol from making these arrests. The New Hampshire jury knew nothing of the long list of crimes, the war crimes indictments or arrest warrants issued by the Spanish court.

Beatrice Munyenyezi survived the slaughters in Rwanda (1990-1994) and Congo (1995-1998).  She survived as a refugee, but she is permanently stigmatized as a “Hutu” and automatically assumed to be a genocidaire.  Western academics, think tanks, politicians and the mass media have all supported the dehumanization of the “Hutu” people — and that is one of the stages in genocide.

While proudly and humbly pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, Beatrice Munyenyezi did so even after having endured years of the insufferable abuse that was quite naturally bestowed upon a French-speaking black African immigrant arriving in the USA.  She made friends and helped others who were less fortunate than her.  She is a member of a local church and well-known for her kindnesses.

The New Hampshire “jury of her peers” understands none of the deeper issues behind the history of “Hutu” and “Tutsi” in Rwanda, and none of the deeper issues used to mask the Kagame dictatorship, the false stories told by Kagame at colleges like the University of Hartford, or the political economy of genocide and Rwandan holocaust industry.  The parameters of the trial insured that jurors would never understand the long history of organized crimes by “Tutsi” criminals who now control Rwanda and plunder Congo and sell themselves as the heroes, when, in fact, they are the killers.

The New Hampshire jurors were probably good, kind people who want to make the world a better place, people trying to do the right thing.  Maybe they are farmers, teachers, housewives.  The jurors have not failed in their assignment: their decision was based on what they were allowed to know.

However, a jury of Beatrice Munyenyezi’s peers would not be people from New Hampshire.  There were no Rwandans, no Africans, no people of color seated in the jurors box.  There were no African Americans.   This was a jury of our peers, indeed, but it was an all-white judge and jury — ill-prepared to understand the incredible and sad tale of Beatrice Munyenyezi, and prevented from doing so.

Keith Harmon Snow is the 2009 Regent’s Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California Santa Barbara, a former human rights and genocide investigator with the United Nations, and an award-winning journalist and war correspondent. You can visit his websites AllThingsPass and KeithHarmonSnow Read other articles by Keith.