A Jury of Her Peers? The U.S. Re-trial of Beatrice Munyenyezi - by keith harmon snow

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.

An unpublished OP/ED submitted to Concord Monitor (N.H.) on February 25, 2013, following the outrageous jury trial of Beatrice Munyenyezi in New Hampshire, USA.

keith harmon snow
12 March 2013


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.

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.)

February 16, 2013: The Rwandan regime is exposed after $10 million in precious coltan disappears in Tanzania on route from Rwanda to Italy. [4] Rwanda does not produce these metals domestically: the Kagame regime hides their occupation and plunder in Congo.  

February 4, 2013:  A trail chamber for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda found two former "Hutu" ministers not guilty 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 "masterminds") of conspiracy to commit genocide.  The regime of Paul Kagame in Rwanda does not want us to know this.

Three recent international developments involving the regime in Rwanda, all related to organized crime, all related to the current Paul Kagame dictatorship in Rwanda: all part of a story that most of us know little about. 

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?

Before 1885, "Tutsi" kings ruled the agriculturalist "Hutu" people.  Cattle were riches: "Tutsi" who lost their herds descended to low "Hutu" status, while "Hutu" who gained cattle (rarely) could ascend to the "Tutsi" ruling class. 

Westerners 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.  The N.H. prosecutor had an easy task.  Hollywood movies (e.g. Hotel Rwanda) are made of such tales.

Rwanda is 85% "Hutu", 15% "Tutsi".  How did the "Tutsi" minority ("victims of genocide") end up in control?

Europeans backed "Tutsi" domination of "Hutu" masses.  At Rwanda's "independence", 1959, the arrogant, oppressive, murderous "Tutsi" ruling class fled Rwanda, and appealed to the world Non-Aligned Movement (Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, etc.) who provided arms and funds to fight the white colonizers in Rwanda, but the "Tutsi" elites sought revenge on their former "Hutu" subjects.  "Tutsi" were portrayed, internationally, as victims, and the "Hutu" victims of guerilla insurgencies were falsely portrayed as killers -- indeed, genocidaires.

While the US/USSR Cold War raged on, the Belgians and then French backed "Hutu" regimes in Rwanda.  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 this: excepting certain "Tutsi" businessmen who funded the "Tutsi" invasion, the "Tutsi" exiles of the 1960s distrusted all French-speaking "Tutsi" who had stayed behind.

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. [2]

"Hutu" are also isolated on remote islands, surrounded by water and armed soldiers, indoctrinated with official doctrine on "genocide ideology", often falsely charged with "genocide" crimes, and sometimes disappeared.[3] 

In 2010 a United Nations report finally named the Rwandan "Tutsi" genocide against "Hutus".  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.

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.

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.  Pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, she endured the insufferable abuse -- quite naturally bestowed upon a French-speaking black African immigrant arriving in the USA -- with humility.

The New Hampshire "jury of her peers" understands none of the deeper issues, and 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.  

The New Hampshire jurors were probably good, kind people who want to make the world a better place, do the right thing.  Maybe they are farmers, teachers, housewives.  The jurors have not failed: 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 Regent's Lecturer in Law & Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recognized for more than a decade of work challenging official narratives on war crimes and genocide.  A genocide investigator who has worked for the United Nations and other bodies, he is considered persona non grata in Rwanda and Ethiopia.


[1] http://allafrica.com/stories/201302041817.html.

[2] http://www.africomnet.org/communication-resources/highlights/927-rwanda-...

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/01/world/africa/01rwanda.html?_r=0

[4] http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/Consignment-theft-exposes-rot-at-Dar-port/-/2558/1696136/-/120hqpj/-/index.html .


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March 12, 2013

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