Now subsequently, since the events in 1994, literature, film, you know, academic opinion has pointed the finger towards certain individuals for being the mastermind of what unfolded. The prosecution, Alison Des Forges, various other academics, allege that there was a conspiracy to commit the genocide, to commit the, the death of, of these 800,000 Tutsis.
And the finger, for many, would point directly at Colonel Bagosora. He was a known Hutu extremist. He is alleged to have been involved in the training and creation of the civilian militia, the Interahamwe. Those are the men with the machetes.
He is alleged, at the time, of the downing of the presidential plane on the evening of the 6th of April, 1994, to, in the power vacuum that resulted, as a result, that occurred as a result of the president’s death, to have convened – well first, to have orchestrated the assassination of political opponents, some moderate Hutus and Tutsi parliamentarians, including the Prime Minister, and to have then convened an interim government that was sympathetic to the Hutu Power cause.
And then from there, to have instigated the mass slaughter of these 800,000 people. Now, his name comes up frequently in the literature, in film. I believe in the film Hotel Rwanda, he’s sort of seen as the, a little bit, or maybe he has a cameo as the evil architect of it all. In General Dallaire’s book, Shake Hands with the Devil, he’s talking about shaking hands in a meeting with General Bagosora.
The prosecution alleged, in some of their evidence that’s presented before us in the case, that, you know, in 1993 and in early 1994, Colonel Bagosora made comments that predicted the apocalypse, to which the prosecution say that meant the extermination of the Tutsis.
So the case is important in that A, it’s the leading military figures who are alleged to have orchestrated the violence that occurred in Rwanda, but it’s the first case at the Tribunal that will decide or go somewhere into deciding the extent to which there was pre-planning of the genocide.