Kangura No. 13

The Legend of the Gift of Power and Milk

In ancient times, the respective ancestors of the Batutsi, Bahutu and Batwa each received from the hands of Imana (God) a jar of milk. Gatwa, the ancestor of the sons of the stone, fell asleep and spilled the milk in his sleep. Gahutu, the ancestor of the sons of the hoe, emptied the jar after his first few hours of sleep. In the morning, Gatutsi, the ancestor of the sons of the pasture, was found awake, watching over the milk and offering it to God. Imana told him, “Thou shalt reign over the others.”

There are obvious political connotations to this legend. By divine decree, power belongs to the best of the three castes (the Tutsi caste) and with it comes wealth, symbolized by milk. According to the lakeside people, such is the Old Testament of power. In fact, this myth, aimed at legitimizing power is an attempt to perpetuate an outdated order, notably since the 1959 Rwandan revolution that placed the true people in control of a postcolonial post-feudal State. Nevertheless, since that time, they have made numerous attempts to disrupt peace throughout the region due to their vengefulness and nostalgia for the feudal regime.

Dangerous nostalgia, victorious in Burundi, where the people have not yet been able to do away with the old order… (missing text) The nostalgia victorious in Uganda, since Yoweri Museveni, himself a Tutsi, was able to gain power in Kampala thanks to the support of Rwandan feudal lords. Such was also the case in North Kivu, where the Tutsi feudal lords, like a spider, sought to preserve aristocratic advantages, and participate in the tacit alliance to dismantle by any means the only normal nation in the region: Rwanda.

The attack on Rwanda, on 1 October 1990, is an example of a myth attacking the rule of law. It was people who are nostalgic about the feudal regime unrelentingly taking arms against democracy. It was an attempt to impose on history the restoration of a hegemonic dream, which, in our eyes, will inevitably lead to decline, i.e. the domination of the “Bantu” masses by the “Hamite” minority.

Thus, in the eyes of the invaders, the Rwandan revolution, which placed the Hutu majority in power, constitutes an insult to the Hamite constellation that claims, by divine decree, to have the right to reign over the entire African Great Lakes Region.

Politically, Rwandan leaders have no better ally than the people themselves. No country, not Belgium, France, Zaire, or the United States can replace the power of a people that have already proven their determination to refuse to be pushed around. We must also keep in mind that negotiations should serve the interests of the people. And if the negotiations are held, we believe that it is necessary to further democracy, until the multiparty system is put in place, as President Habyarimana had promised before the rebels invaded Rwanda. There is no doubt that these opportunists, who by nature and instinct believe themselves to be superior, have anticipated the President of the Republic’s attempts at democratization to undermine them. They are afraid to gauge themselves by the only acceptable criteria that would allow them to claim the right to power: the ballot box.

In this regard, Rwanda is well ahead of its neighbors. While in Burundi, the Tutsis in power are waiting to see what the South-African whites will do once the blacks are in control; Rwanda boasts three decades of majority rule. While Uganda hides under vague expansionist tendencies, and attempts to recover from the scars of the long civil war from it which it barely emerges, Rwanda has enjoyed exemplary stability and the sound management of a modern State, strong enough to discriminate positively against the social minorities in its society.

In this regard, no other state can teach Rwanda a lesson. Only Juvénal Habyarimana’s Rwanda has implemented a policy of ethnic and regional balance. The Tutsi minority is represented well beyond its demographic quota in fields such as education, justice, transportation, the economy, etc. But as the Kinyarwanda proverb says, “Nta mpera y’umorozi.” Tutsi assailants are well aware of the conciliatory policy implemented by Habyarimana’s regime in favor of their ethnic group. They also know that Rwanda had almost completed its negotiations with its neighbors to peacefully resolve the refugee issue. They are well aware that the Rwandan regime is opening to the multiparty system. Nevertheless, they are a minority who think in terms of a feudal system, these Tutsis also know that they will never enjoy sufficient support from the Rwandan people to gain power in any other way than through violence. They do not want a multiparty system that would place them indefinitely on the side of the minority opposition. They are trying to seize power to impose their feudal dictatorship before the implementation of the multiparty system and the political reform advocated by the current Rwandan regime.

Moreover, we are convinced that if Rwanda takes the lead as a model of democracy, it will contribute to dealing the terrorist forces in the whole region a decisive blow. The neighboring; people will follow its example and reject the tyranny of the, current oligarchies in power, because the return of refugees alone cannot bring peace to the region. It is only with the advent of the majority rule in all the states in the region that peace will be achieved, and only then, will the States contain the improper use of force and weapons to resolve ethnic and regional conflicts.