April 7, 1994-Rwanda Remembers: The beginning of the genocide throughout the country is proof that Rwandan state had planned the extermination of Tutsi

By Dr. Bizimana Jean-Damascène
On 7 April 2020 at 11:04

The genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi was planned, and this is reflected in the massacres and the hateful speeches which preceded it, but the planning of the genocide is demonstrated above all in the way in which the massacres began at the same time in all the regions of Rwanda, similar massacres which targeted the Tutsi, whether they were children, adults, women, the sick on their hospital beds, in places of prayer and churches and everywhere else.

After President Habyarimana’s plane was shot down by those who planned the Genocide, Colonel Theoneste Bagosora and other extremists organized meetings to organize the massacres, ordered the erection of barriers throughout the country, and the same night the Tutsi started to be killed.

Since April 7, 1994, Tutsis across the country have been killed, until the criminals lost the war and fled the country with the assistance of the French.

It is in this context that the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG) will outline the way in which the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi was implemented throughout the country on a daily basis. The following document relates to the events of April 7, 1994.

1. ELEMENTS OF THE PRESIDENTIAL GUARD AT THE HEAD OF EXTERMINATION OF TUTSI RESIDING IN THE CITY OF KIGALI

On the night of April 6 to 7, 1994, after President Habyarimana’s Falcon 50 was shot down, Interahamwe militias and members of the Presidential Guard placed numerous barriers in the city of Kigali and began to kill Tutsi.

The Interahamwe and members of the Presidential Guard intended in particular to exterminate the Tutsi who had taken refuge at the Amahoro Stadium in Remera, where UNAMIR soldiers had taken up positions. This plan was thwarted by fighting by RPF Inkotanyi troops against members of the Presidential Guard, which saved many Tutsis and other members of the population who had taken refuge at Amahoro Stadium.

Among those who had taken refuge there and who were saved by the RPF Inkotanyi, is the Belgian François Veriter who was a consultant in the field of governance, responsible for the supervision of various projects in Rwanda funded by the United Nations Program Development (UNDP).

On the same date, Major Aloys Ntabakuze, commander of the para commando battalion which was installed at the Kanombe military camp, ordered the members of this battalion to kill the Tutsi and the members of the opposition who lived near this camp military, in the locality called Kajagari.

As of this date, nearly 17 Tutsi, including many religious, were killed at the Christus Jesuit Center in Remera. Among those who were killed was Father Jesuit Chrysologue Mahame, aged 67, who directed this center and who was among the founders of the “Association of Volunteers for Peace” (AVP), dedicated to defending the rights of person and the promotion of peace. They were all killed by members of the Presidential Guard and the Kanombe para-commando battalion, in collaboration with Interahamwe.

2. ASSASSINATION OF POLITICIANS OPPOSED TO THE GENOCIDE

Within the framework of getting purge of politicians members of the opposition to the Habyarimana Government and who were opposed to the execution of the Genocide, first the Prime Minister, Mrs. Uwilingiyimana Agathe, were immediately killed as well as the ten soldiers of the Belgian contingent of troops from the UN who were responsible for its protection. They were first tortured before being massacred by Rwandan army soldiers commanded by Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2007 by a Belgian court. After serving his sentence, he was sent to Rwanda where he currently resides.

Among those who were killed are also Kavaruganda Joseph, President of the Constitutional Court, Minister Fréderic Nzamurambaho, President of the PSD party, Me Félicien Ngango, Vice-President of the PSD, and his wife Odette Ubonabenshi, Faustin Rucogoza, Minister of the information and member of the MDR, as well as Landouald Ndasingwa, member of the PL and who was very quickly assassinated by members of the Presidential Guard.

Radio Muhabura of the RPF Inkotanyi was the first to denounce the massacres of Tutsi and Hutu politicians opposed to the Genocide. The commander-in-chief of the RPF Inkotanyi troops declared that the RPF had the prominent duty to protect the innocent members of the population who were being killed, and he gave his instructions to stop the Genocide.

3. AS PLANNED, THE EXTERMINATION OF TUTSI BEGAN NATIONWIDE AFTER THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT HABYARIMANA WAS ANNOUNCED.

On the night of April 6, 1994, radio stations Rwanda and RTLM broadcast a press release signed by Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, director of the cabinet to the Minister of Defense, on his behalf, announcing the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana and asking the population to stay at home, in order to organize the massacre of Tutsi without them being able to flee; immediately, through the city of Kigali, especially in the localities of Kacyiru and Kimihurura, the Interahamwe installed barriers and began to kill the Tutsi. At the same time, the massacres of Tutsi began throughout the country. The massacres were coordinated by the “bourgmestres” and the other local authorities.

The massacres immediately started in Giciye Commune, in Gisenyi, many Tutsi were killed, including the wife of Bazivamo Christophe, then head of an agro-pastoral project in this region.

In the Bicumbi Commune, in Kigali, the Juvenal Rugambarara Bourgmestre started to implement the Genocide against the Tutsi. This same Rugambarara confessed before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to have personally killed nearly 100 Tutsi, and he was sentenced for the crime of genocide.

On April 7, 1994, the Tutsi massacres reached Nyamata, in Bugesera, and Sake, in Kibungo Prefecture.

In the former Runda Commune, in Kamonyi District, the massacres also started on April 7, 1994. The Tutsi who resided there were killed in the localities of Biharabuge, near the Nyabarongo river, in Ruramba, in Isenga, on the bridge from Nyabarongo, in Gasharara, in Idongo, at the petrol station of Runda, at the barrier of Bishenyi, while others were thrown into Lake Cyabariza. Great genocidaires are from Runda and started the Genocide there; among them Kamana Claver, a construction entrepreneur, Uwimana Pélagie, teacher, and Ndayambaje Sixbert, Mayor of Runda.

On the same day in the former Kayenzi Commune, in Gitarama, the Tutsi were massacred in Cocobeka and Intwari, near the Nyabarongo river, currently in Kamonyi District.

In the Gisuma Commune, in Cyangugu Prefecture, the gendarmes began to kill the Tutsi just as in Ruramba in the Nyaruguru region.

In Muko Commune, in Gikongoro Prefecture, currently in Nyamagabe District, nearly 100 killers, led by the chief of the communal police and the mayor Kayihura Albert, killed six Tutsi who had taken refuge in the parish of Mushubi, among them the accountant of the commune, Michel Gacendeli, and his family.

In the town of Gisenyi, Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, who commanded the Gisenyi military camp, immediately organized a meeting attended by Interahamwe, Impuzamugambi, soldiers and gendarmes, and during which it was decided to install barriers everywhere in town and start killing all Tutsi. Most of the Tutsi were killed in their homes, vehicles transported the bodies of the victims to throw them in graves dug for this purpose in the cemetery of Gisenyi which was now called by the killers, "Commune Rouge".

At Nyundo, the massacres began immediately and continued for the next few days. More than 800 Tutsi, including many women and children, had taken refuge in the Catholic parish of Nyundo and were almost all massacred. This massacre was planned and coordinated by Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva.

On the evening of April 7, 1994, nearly 50 Tutsi were also killed at the catholic minor seminary of Nyundo while some 150 others were massacred in the Catholic parish of Busasamana, in the diocese of Nyundo.

Also on the same day, in Kabasheja, currently in the Rugerero sector, in Gisenyi, Tutsi who had been brought from the Rubavu Commune by Interahamwe were killed while others were killed in the Center St Pierre, in a house in the bishopric, in the old Rwandex of Gisenyi, in the parish church of Stella Maris and in the “Commune Rouge”.

Massacres also took place in the Mutura and Rwerere regions, in Mudende and in the Bigogwe region, where the Tutsi were killed by soldiers from the Bigogwe military camp commanded by Lt Colonnel Alphonse Nzungize.

4. THE EXTERMINATION OF TUTSI WAS INITIATED IN MUKINGO COMMUNE AFTER A MEETING CHAIRED BY NZIRORERA JOSEPH

On April 7, 1994, a meeting was chaired by Nzirorera Joseph who was Secretary General of the MRND, and in which participated Colonel Ephrem Setako, Harerimana Emmanuel, Bourgmestre of the Commune of Mukingo, Colonel Augustin Bizimungu, Casimir Bizimungu, Jean Baptiste Nyabusore, Esdras Baheza, Jonathan Bambonye, ​​Jean Damascène Niyoyita, Dominique Gatsimbanyi, Bourgmestre de la Commune Nkuli, Assiel Ndisetse and Lazare Ndangiza.

The Interahamwe stayed outside, awaiting the decisions that would be made. It was decided to start the massacres of the Tutsi, to distribute weapons to the population and to install barriers in various places. Colonel Bizimungu was appointed to implement the decisions taken, and after the meeting, he distributed weapons to the population and to the leaders of the Interahamwe, including bourgmestre Kajerijeri and the Baheza Esdras, a businessman of Byangabo.

All the Tutsi who had taken refuge at the Higher Institute of Agriculture and Livestock ISAE Busogo were killed while police and Interahamwe killed some 43 others who had taken refuge in the catholic parish of Busogo.

On that date of April 7, 1994, around 3 p.m., all the Tutsi in the region of Busogo had been killed, so that the Interahamwe who called themselves Amahindure, a group of killers from the Mukingo Commune, went to kill in other regions in Ruhengeri; It was in this context that they went to kill the Tutsi who had taken refuge at the Court of Appeal in the town of Ruhengeri, as well as in Nyabihu, Musumba (Nkuri) and Nyakinama.

Tutsi who had taken refuge in Bugarama in Cyangugu Prefecture, currently in Rusizi District, after having been chased, removed from their homes to be killed and thrown into the Rusizi, Ruhwa and Rubyiro rivers. These massacres were organized by Yussuf Munyakazi and the director of the CIMERWA factory, Marcel Sebatware who fled to Belgium from which he received naturalization.

Tutsis were also killed in Gikundamvura (Hinduka) in Cyangugu Prefecture, in Rusizi District, in the center of Kivuruga in Gakenke District, at the Musasa Commune office, in the former Kigali Ngari Prefecture and its surroundings, in Muhondo in Gakenke District, at the Tare Commune office in Kigali Ngari, at Nemba hospital and in the center of Gakenke.

On the same day, Tutsi were also killed in Kananira in the Nkunku region (Cyangugu), as were other Tutsis who had taken refuge in the Adventist church of Hesha, currently in Mukamira Sector after being brought from the Nanga sector in Ruhengeri Prefecture (currently in Nyabihu District), like other Tutsi who had taken refuge at the Adventist church of Gisizi in Muringa Sector, Nyabihu District, other Tutsi who had be arrested and brought at the military camp of Mukamira, just like those who had taken refuge in the church of Rambura in Sector Rambura in District of Nyabihu, those who had been taken to the military camp of Bigogwe in Prefecture Gisenyi, and the Tutsi who had taken refuge at Byahi Sector in Gisenyi Prefecture, currently in Rubavu District.

CONCLUSION

The Genocide against the Tutsi was planned and carried out by the state. The fact that since the morning of April 7, 1994, the Tutsi were at the same time massacred all over the country, from Kigali, Gikongoro, Cyangugu, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and elsewhere, demonstrates without a doubt that the Genocide had been planned by the Rwandan government.

Commemorating the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, safeguarding the evidence, is necessary because it is a way of providing support for unity and reconciliation among Rwandans and of safeguarding the benefits brought to Rwandans by the current Government. Recalling the history of the Genocide is necessary to fight against those who deny or minimize it, as well as those who are hostile to the reconstruction of the country.

Done in Kigali on April 7, 2020
Dr. Bizimana Jean-Damascène
Executive Secretary
National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)


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