April 24, 1994: The implementation of the Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi throughout the Country

On 24 April 2020 at 02:00

On April 24, 1994, massacres of many Tutsi continued across the country. Soldiers especially the former President Habyarimana Juvenal’s bodyguards, other soldiers, and gendarmes have been very dominant in accelerating the Genocide in the south. This document shows some locations where more than one hundred and fifty thousand Tutsi were killed in one day.

Tutsi massacre at Mayunzwe, Ruhango

Mayunzwe was one of the six sectors of Tambwe commune, which was home to many Tutsi. In 1994, Tambwe was led by the former brigadier of the commune, MUREKAMBANZE François, who is in exile and has played a key role in the massacre of many Tutsi. More than 850 people were killed in the sector, most of them were killed at a place called “Calvary” on April 24, 1994.

Tutsi had been evacuated from their homes from 21/4/1994 and were taken to the mountain called Calvary. They were killed by wooden clubs called “Nta mpongano y’umwanzi”, machetes and other traditional weapons.

The main perpetrators of the killings were Sebuhuku who led the attacks and a member of the MDR, Murekambanze Francois, Hitimana Fulgence alias Rubara, Mundanikure Faustin, Sibomana Alphonse, Rwagahungu Pascal alias Gace, Niyonsenga Selemani, Rwasa Cyprien, Nyandwi alias Caporal, Ntwari, and others. There were other killers from other places who did not live in Mayunzwe like Uwayisaba of Bamwara and Gasuguri from Rukaza and others.
MUREKAMBANZE François, who played a key role in the massacre of many Tutsi, is in exile and is being hunted by justice.

Tutsi massacre at Kabgayi, Muhanga

There were many Tutsi refugees at St Léon Petit Seminaire, at St Joseph College, at Major Seminary Philosophicum Kabgayi, in the former TRAFIPRO buildings (later changed name to CND during the Genocide) and in Kabgayi Hospital. On the other hand, no Tutsi managed to take refuge at Kabgayi Cathedral because Bishop NSENGIYUMVA Tadeyo, the priest of Kabgayi, refused to take refugee inside for the fear of destroying it. As soon as you entered Kabgayi there was a roadblock and many Tutsi could not even enter the above-mentioned establishments. Tutsi arrived in Kabgayi from April 20, 1994.

Since their arrival, Interahamwe would come to pick some Tutsi and kill them inside and outside the schools mentioned and in the Kabgayi forest. Kabgayi was a refuge for Tutsi from different parts of the country; hence Interahamwe from other prefectures would come up with a list of Tutsi who had fled to Kabgayi and took them to be killed.

Apart from killing Tutsi, women, and girls were taken to be raped and they would be brought back or never returning. Sometimes killers would throw grenades at the so-called CND and killing hundreds of people. Many Tutsi at Kabgayi were also killed by famine and illness caused by a lack of water. When the dead bodies became so many, the entire area started to smell bad. Then they decided to take Tutsi elsewhere to be killed. They brought a pickup to take them and they started with educated and rich Tutsi, men and youth, and went to kill them elsewhere. The most known are those who were taken to Ngororero at Nyabarongo and religious who were taken to Bukomero and other unknown places. There are some dates on which mass execution of Tutsi took place, these are May 5, 1994, May 24, 1994, to June 1, 1994.

On June 2, 1994, after learning that Inkotanyi were close to Kabgayi, Hutu refugees woke up early and left. Only Tutsi were left and there was a plan to exterminate them and they were also prepared to die because they had been surrounded by the killers. So, when the bullets’ shots started, Tutsi thought they were starting to shoot at them, but they saw Inkotanyi from a place called CND at Kamazuru. The killers fled without implementing their plan to exterminate the Tutsi. The Kabgayi genocide memorial is home to more than 10,000 people.

Religious were taken from Major Seminary, St Joseph and other Kabgayi houses to be killed after abandonment and betrayal by their colleagues. We can mention Father Emmanuel Rukundo, who committed a massacre in Kabgayi, he raped Tutsi women before handing them over to be killed. On 2nd October 2010, Rukundo was convicted of genocide crime by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

Tutsi massacre at Bibungo bya Mukinga, Kamonyi

On April 24, 1994, a major attack on Mugina that killed Tutsi who had taken refuge in Mugina, some who had managed to get inside the church had managed to survive until killers ordered them to get out and they were immediately killed on the field. Killers said that they will not kill women and children, hence they decided to take them to Kabgayi. They were women, girls, and children and many of whom were wounded.

When they arrived in Bibungo, they met Major KARANGWA Pierre Claver, the head of the National Gendarmery Investigation Service, and asked them where they are taking them and killers told him that they are taking them to Kabgayi. Major Karangwa prohibited them and ordered Tutsi to be killed on spot, they took them into the nearby house of a Tutsi called MOKO and others were put in the toilet pit alive. Major Karangwa gave them petrol to burn them in the house as well as those in the toiled pit who were burnt alive.

Major Pierre Claver Karangwa fled to the Netherlands and he has not been brought to justice.

Tutsi massacre at Nyakarekare, Ruhango

During the genocide, more than 30 Tutsi took refuge at ADEPR Mbuye church but were all killed. The killing was organised by MAFUREBO Daniel, a former Councilor of Mbuye Sector in collaboration with Nyakarekare cell leader called MISAGO Emmanuel alias RUSUMO. They were killed by local people, and thrown into a pit near the slaughterhouse.