Gersony Report to the UNHCR

03 December, 2007

The Gersony Report: It's Findings and more.

In 1994, as the UNHCR and the U.S. Embassy in Kigali encouraged Rwandan Hutu refugees to come back to Rwanda, reports of wide scale massacres emanated out of the countryside. The UNHCR appointed a team (led by Robert Gersony) to investigate. This team was unique because it was the only team that was allowed to travel freely though the country without RPA escorts. They visited 41 communes and 9 refugee camps to collect evidence. In his findings, Mr. Gersony states he believes that the RPA committed genocide against Hutu in Kibungo, Butare, and parts of Kigali and between early April to mid-September 1994, the RPF killed between 25,000-45,000 Rwandans, both Hutu and Tutsi. At times, Hutu prisoners were used as slave labor to dig the mass graves and dump the bodies in.

The report was so damaging to the UNHCR, RPF and UNAMIR that UN officials covered it up in October 1994, despite the fact UNHCR officials on the ground (on the order of UNHCR head Ms. Sagato Ogata) stopped encouraging Rwandan Hutu refugees to return to Rwanda because of the killings, as reported in the New York Times at the end of September. Mr. Gersony was instructed never to talk about it publicly. The public would even be told in later years that the report never existed. In her book "The Turbulent Decade," Ms. Ogata describes Gersony "formalizing his report for presentation to the commision of experts" on October 11, 1994. In his recent book on the Congo, Mr. Gerard Prunier said Kofi Annan told then VP Kagame, the late Seth Sendashonga (then Interior Minister), PM Faustin Twagiramungu, and President Pasteur Bizimungu the UN would withhold the report to allow the RPF government time to consolidate after providing them with a copy of the report. The report made its way to the UN Commission of Experts on Human Rights via then UN Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali. Mr. Gersony briefed the commission in Geneva. However, they inexplicably basically dismissed the report (pg. 15). Mr. Gersony later allegedly told Mr. Prunier during a meeting with him that he had never written a "fully developed version" of his findings because he knew they would not be published. Instead, he had only "field notes" in "documentary form." (pg. 466) When Alison des Forges made several requests to the UN for the report, she was told the report didn't exist.

The report was also potentially damaging to the United States, a strong supporter of the new Rwandan government. As described by Mr. Prunier in his book, then Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Timothy Wirth was given orders by the State Department to discredit the report. Mr. Wirth travelled to Kigali and several places in New York, spreading disinformation by attacking Gersony's methodology and claiming it was a "Hutu conspiracy." He also delivered carefully crafted propagandic press statements. (pg. 31)

Though a physical report itself doesn't appear to exist, a cable from Mr. Shaharyar Kahn to UN HQ in New York gives the findings and is available below. Mr. Gersony and his team subjectively concluded from the investigation that the RPA committed genocide against the Hutu. The cable also shows Kofi Annan (then Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping) and Mrs. Sagato Ogata, head of the UNHCR, expressing their concerns if the report were to be released publicly. According to Mr. Kahn, he and Mr. Annan later concluded that RPA massacres did occur, but they were not genocide, contradicting the findings of Mr. Gersony, a seasoned investigator.

"By not publishing the Gersony report and other information about RPF´s massacres, a blank cheque was issued to continue the murders," said academic Rwandan expert Dr. Filip Reyntjens of the University of Antwerp to Denmark newspaper "Information" writer Gunnar Willum. Dr. Reyntjens went on to say in the article of 28 June 1999, "Publication of the report would have prevented the RPF to commit the massacre of over 200,000 Hutu refugees in Zaire," says Reyntjens. "The RPF has used the genocide to legitimate massacres on this civilian population. The same way that Israel has used the holocaust to legitimate attacks on the Palestinians," says Reyntjens.

According to the same article, then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan summoned the Rwandese UN Ambassador in 1999 in order to ask the Rwandese Government to soften its criticism of Annan in connection with an internal UN enquiry of the UN Secretariat's role in the genocide in 1994. The enquiry was carried out, as a result of the newspaper Information´s disclosures in autumn 1996 that UN top officials received many warnings that genocide was under way, which were all ignored.

The second cable is from Refugees International, who had a station across the Tanzanian-Rwandan border. It describes in detail some of the RPA massacres and served as input for the Gersony Report.

Cable 1: (Gersony Cable)

Cable 2: (Refugees International)

Thanks to Canadian Barrister and ICTR defense counsel Mr. Chris Black for providing these pdf documents. References to Mr. Prunier's book do not necessarily constitute an endorsement of his book
manyamuala { 09.10.10 at 7:27 pm }
The question the world must answer is what/who stopped these two “powerful” African elites: Mr. Boutros-Boutros Ghali (the UN Secretary General from Egypt) and Mr. Kofi Annan (the UN under Secretary from Ghana during Ghali’s UN reign) from exposing the events that caused the 1994 genocide in Rwanda?
Had these two African men had human conscious, the Rwandan genocide which took close to 1,000,000 innocent lives and the genocide in Congo which followed it with close to 7,000,000 Congolese dead, would have been prevented.
The campaign of misinformation by the western power brokers at the UN indicates that no African on planet earth has human rights protection? The African “ruling elites” are merely proxy murderous on the take!