Untold Story Vl.

Untold Story part Vl.

19th December 1960

Fifteennth session


Agenda item 45.



Wrritten statement by King V.Mwami of Ruanda.

Note by the secretariat:The following statement has already been circulated to the members of the fourth Committee.

I thank you warmly for having given a favourable reception to my request to be heard by the fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly with regard to the political situation in Ruanda-Urundi.This is also an opportunity for me to pay a tributeto the United Nations and the secretary-General for this mark of solicitude for the Ruandese people whom I represente.My thanks go also to the Chairman and members of the United NationsVisiting mission,whose wiserecommendations regarding the trust Territory,had they been followed by the Administering power,would have avoided the present dissaster in Ruanda and the threatening tension prevailing in Burundi.

My presence at the United Nations is justified by the fact that,in my capacity as Mwami,my first duty is to defend the interests of the people who raised me to this office.However,I hasted to make it clear that even if I had no other qualification than that of a simple citizen of Ruanda,I would have appeared before this Assembly as a patriot,because I do not think that any well-born Ruandese can remain indifferent to the drama which is now taking place in our country.

In saying that Ruanda is at present undergoing a real human drama, I am not at all exaggerating.«Drama is indeed the proper tarm,because thausands of people have been killed;thousand of refuhgee are many wandering about with no shelter,their property having been looted;there are many prisonera,particularly political prisoners;many people ,including two of my own brothers,are subjected.»


Untold story part ll.

My first impulse was to give you a detailed account of the tragic events which have plunged Ruanda into mourning for a year, of the remote and immediate causes and of their repercussions on the political, social and economic life of the country, but I thought that it would be tedious to repeat what is already contained in the report which I delivered to the united Nations Visiting Mission during it recent stay in Ruanda-Urundi.

I will confine myself merely to looking back and pointing out the various preparatory phases of today’s tragic situation when, on 28th July 1959,I was called upon by popular vote to preside over the destinies of Ruanda, my first concern was to make a solemn declaration in favor of democratic regime, and specifically of a constitutional monarchy corresponding to the people’s aspirations.

I then undertook a journey in order to restore calm to the country which had been disturbed for a moment by the untimely death of the Mwami Mutara lll.The enthusiastic well come which I was everywhere awarded presaged an era of national peace.This,however,was short lived. Political parties arose, and the Belgium Administration, contrary to what their asked and obtained of me in the form of a statement that I would remain above party, supported certain political parties.Belgiam civil servant took an active part in the creation of political movements, while merciless persecution was lunched against other parties.

Meanwhile I was legally invested by the Belgian Government, but an untowar incident very nearly occurred .This concerned taking an oath in accordance with a formula provided for in the Decree of14thJuly 1952,a formula which I regarded as out of date because it contained no clause concerning my constitutional start after discussions which were frequently stormy, I managed to obtain the consent of the Governor of Ruanda-Urundi to the insertion of that clauses.

We then began to go through a period of unrest, which was a prelude to the disturbances full of bloodshed which were not long in breaking out. Because of my warning to the Belgian Administration of Kigali (capital of Ruanda) denouncing their biased policy, and my refusal to join in it,I was systematic opposed by the Belgian civil servants. I informed the Governor of Ruanda-Urundi of this state of affairs and h lulled my anxiety with the hope that a remedy.

Untold story part lll.

Would be found.i insisted that a regime of democratic freedoms should be inaugurated for all the political parties and that,with regard to myself, I should have a body of advisers that would be the precursor of an independent democratic institution.On each occasion,however,my proposals were indefinitely post poned.

In the meantime the November disturbances broke out. Many reports from various sources were submitted to the United Nations Visiting Mission concerning those events so as to assist it in forming an opinion on the disturbances, and hence it is superfluous at this point to review what happened.

One fact, however,that I must emphasize is the responsibility which the Trusteeship Administration bears for these disturbances. Its delay in intervening although  it had the necessary forces available, the particular zeal with which certain Belgian officials fostered the disturbances and advantage which the Administration seized to get rid of its political enemies or those who were even suspected of being enemies leave no doubt as to its guilt.

That responsibility weighed so heavily that at one time the Administration tried to unload it on to me. These events were widely publicized by the local and the Belgian press, and the political leaders backing the Belgian colonial administration accused me of being the instigator of the disturbances.

However dishonest it was, this strategies was none the less clever, for if world opinion ,through well –conducted propaganda,could be made to accept that I was responsible for the November disturbances,the Belgian Administration would be cleared .

Everybody in Ruanda knows,however,of the many appeals  in which I urged the Administration Authority to take action to restore law and order but which received no response for several days, and of my personal efforts to prevent disaster and of the hundreds of people who owed their lives to the hospitality  which I gave them in my residenmce.once the military regime had been imposed on the state,the trusteeship Administration, having assumed extraordinary power, proceeded to carry out mass arrests  and to issue controlled residence orders ,often with no other charge than the political color of those concerned .The stand I then took was to express disapproval of those unjust acts and to  propose various measures for national reconciliation .My correspondence on that subject with the Governor of Ruanda-Urundi,the minister for African Affairs and His Majesty King Boudouin himself.

Untold Story part IV.



Part IV.

Is extremely voluminous: I will make it available to any members of this Assembly who would like to have confirmation of my assertions. My suggestions for reaching a truly national settlement for the restoration of peace, in collaboration with the Belgian Administration, ran up against an impregnable wall of preconceived ideas.

 I even went beyond the normal limited in my concessions by proposing the formation of a provisional government composed mainly of Belgian, but it was of no avail. The only response took the form of personal harassments which I would not mention if they did not constitute an attack on the institution which I represent; I refer to my arrest for twenty four hours, when I underwent s close interrogation by Belgian solders, the repeated searches of my residence and the seizure of my documents, the sacking of my mother’s house and many other acts of that kind.

A provisional Special Council was set up, appointed by the Belgian Administration, composed of two representatives each of certain political parties of Ruanda. That council was a tool used by the Administration to carry through its programme: to discredit the monarchy,to ensure the monoloply of the pro-Belgian Administration parties and to give a legal basis to various measures,often inhuman,taken against part of the population.

Thus we come to the United NationsVisiting Mission,whose arrival had been so much desired by the population.The recommandations emanating from what that Mission observed in situ,contained a remedy for the political deadlock with which the Trust Territory was faced.

But the Administration Authority,which had at first subscribed to those recommandations,ultimately jesttisoned them.For example,the communal elections envisaged for the month of June-July and which ,following the Visiting Mission’s recommendation,were to be postponed to a later date after the Round – table conference,ewre put back to the original dates after the Mission’s departure .

The round – table conference did not take place and was replaced by talks between the Minister for African affairs and certain political leaders.Here I must say that the manner in which the Administering Authority avaded the mission’s recommendation,of which the population had already been informed,impaired the prestige of this Organization.

I will not dwell on the communal elections organized by the Belgian Administration in Ruanda in june and July 1960;it is well known that these elections,which were prepared in an atmosphere of unrest and organized under a reinforced military regime,were anti-demiocratic,to say the least.

Untold Story part V.

I was not allowed to return to Ruanda while the elections were being held there,and I remained at Usumbura.i did everything I could toobtain permission togo to Brussels and make a statement to the Belgian Government on the tragic situation in Ruanda;for I was still under the delution that my country’s plight was merely the unfortunate work of local Belgian officials.The minister for African Affairs,who had at,and Mr.Harroy,the Governor,withdraw the passport he had given me.

In the face of this non-co-operation on the part of the Administration,I had no alternative but to appeal to the United Nations.This is how I came to Visit the Secretary-General of the United Nations at Leopoldville,against Mr.Harroy’s wishes.

Mr.Hammarskjold granted me an interviews and told me that the question of Ruanda-Urundi would be dealt with at the present session of the General Assemble.While I was at Leopoldville changes occurred in the Belgian Government ,and a new Minister received the portfolio of African Affairs.

Inmy stead fast desire to avoid extereme solution and to co-operate with the Administering Authourity,I wrotte to congratulated himon his appointment and to inform him of my willingness to work with him in finding a national and equittable solution to the problem of Ruanda.Though ths letter remained unaswered ,I was assured through other channels of the Minister’s good intertions,and I awaited his decision.

I was looking forward to meeting him,on his invitation,to discuss the problems of Ruanda,when I leaned that on the conclusion of his tour of Ruanda-Urundi he had set up a provisional Government and had decided that I should remain outside  Ruanda untill the compeletion of the forthcoming legislative elections,which would decide the future institutions of the country.This decision scarcely surprised me,accustomed as I was to this sort of attitude on the part of the Belgian Administration.

Before concluding,I should like to mentin he baseless accusation often levelled at me by the Belgian Administration and supporters.They accuse me of being feundal and of being under the thumb of a single party.Nothing could be further from the truth.There is nothing feudal about me,and my democratic proposals speak for themselves  in this connection.It is obvious that I will never support the sort of democracy that Belgium has instituted in Ruanda.

Untold Story Vl.



Part Vl.


Furthermore, the Belgian Administration does not like my programmer for the country’s early independence, and any coincidence between my programmer and that of the nationalist parties does not mean that I am under their thumb.

I should like to add that I am not clinging to power and that I do not seek personal advantage. I proved this by proposing to the Belgian Administration that referendum should be held on my acceptability under the supervision of the United Nations Mission when it was in Ruanda-Urundi.

The Administration turned down my request because it knew very well that I have the majority of the population on my side. I accept and always I will accept the people’s verdict; what I cannot accept is that the Belgian Administration should influence or distort this verdict in favor of the parties that are pledged to serve it.

In the light of what I have already said and of the steadily deteriorating situation –territories hitherto free from unrest have recently been screwy tried by the preparations for the installation of the provisional Government, and thousands of the refugees have once more flocked towards kivu,Uganda,and Tanganyika territory; and in this connection I wish to thank the Governments of that province and those countries for their aid to the refugees and also the secretary –General’s Special representative at Leopoldville for responding to my appeal and sending members of the international Red Cross – in the light of the above, I wish to draw the special attention of the United Nations to the grave problem of these refugee, which can be equitably solved only by their re-integration and compensation for loss of property.

Mr. Chairman and and gentlemen, it would appear from the study of the situation in the trust Territory, and of the Ruanda in particular, that the Belgian Administration no longer able affect alone the national reconciliation which is the key problem in the peaceful development of the country.

It follows from this that the United Nations ought to assume the responsibility of finding a truly national solution of the trust territory’s problems. For a solution of this sort to be ffective, several preliminary conditions must be met:

Termination of the military regime, withdrawal of Belgian troops, and their replacement by a national police force trained under United Nations supervision. The United Nations should arrange a round –table meeting of representatives from all the Territory’s political parties in order that they may reach agreement on.

Untold Story Vll.

«Facts of history and geography,»               

Measures for achieving national reconciliation and a programme for Ruanda-Urundi’s independence. And a United Nations permanent Commission should be appointed and empowered to supervise the implementation of the measures approved by the United Nations in an effort to lead the Trust Territory from political chaos and guide it harmoniously towards independence.

It is likewise important that, among the measures contemplated for achieving national reconciliation, the United Nations request Belgium to provide the necessary safeguards for my return to my country, so that I may offer my co-operation, which I believe would assist the restoration of peace, the establishment of democratic political institutions and social and economic progress.

With regard to this last field, which I have not discussed in this survey, not because I underestimate its importance but because of insufficient data, I can, nevertheless, make a prognostication, which is not very fovcurable to the policy of isolation imposed on Ruanda-Urundi by the Belgian Government in abolishing, for example ,its customs and economic union with the Congo.

There is, however, reason to hope that the United Nations Economic Commission which has just completed a survey mission in the Trust Territory will propose solutions likely to promote its economy. I should also like to speak briefly of the nature of the future relations between Ruanda-Urundi:

I hope that a close union may be maintained. In this, I endorse completely  the Trusteeship Council’s  resolution which state that, ”Nothing the Views of both the Administration Authority and the Visiting Mission  that this problem should be settled by the representatives of Ruanda – Urundi themselves, it wishes to emphasize and to draw to the attentic of the political leaders of Ruanda-Urundi the dangers inherent in extreme particularism and the desirability of working out durable common political institutions and common destiny.

In view of the essential community of interests and the «Facts of history and geography» the council is conviced that the best future for Ruanda-Urundi lies in the evolution of a single,united and composite  state with such arrangements for the internal autonomy of Ruanda-Urundi as may be agreed upon by their representatives “.As part of the role I would have to play in the country, I would offer my collaboration in carrying this resolution into effect.



Part Vlll.

I am certain, Mr. Chairman, that the United Nations, towards which the eyes of the people of Ruanda-Urundi are turned,will unhesitatingly  take the necessary measures to lead the Trust Territory out of its present deadlock and guide it towards independence in order and peace.

I thank you,

Mr. Chairman.


KIGELI V Mwami of Ruanda


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