How doctors, nurses and medical staff committed genocide in Southern Province

By Dr. BIZIMANA Jean Damascène
On 15 May 2020 at 04:53

Hundreds of Tutsi have been killed in hospitals and health centers across Rwanda, and many have been killed by doctors and other staff at hospitals and clinics. After the Genocide, the doctors who committed Genocide escaped justice. For some of them, the Prosecutor General’s Office issued arrest warrants and are now wanted by Interpol. Sadly, all those who fled abroad disguised themselves and continued their medical work in the countries where they had taken refuge.

Last time we introduced you to the doctors and nurses who committed genocide in Butare town, Huye District. In this article we highlight the role of some of the doctors and nurses who worked in hospitals, health centers, clinics and health institutions in the Southern Province.

In this document, CNLG shows fifty-six (56) doctors and seventy-three (73) nurses who committed the crime of genocide.


1. Kabgayi Hospital, Muhanga

Dr Niyitegeka Théoneste was born in Cyeza, Muhanga District in 1964. He graduated from high school in Rilima, 1984 and attended university education in Russia where he specialized in paediatrics. In 1994 during genocide and after, he worked at Kabgayi Hospital. On 05/02/2008, the Gacaca Court of Appeal of Gihuma in Nyamabuye Sector (Muhanga) convicted him of complicity in the Genocide committed at Kabgayi Hospital and sentenced him to fifteen (15) years of imprisonment. Dr Niyitegeka Théoneste is detained in Rubavu Prison.

2. Nyanza Hospital, Nyanza

Dr Higiro Pierre Celestin alias Majambe was one of the organizers and implementers of the Genocide in Nyanza. He was a key member of the CDR. On 02/06/2009, the Gacaca Court of Nyanza City convicted Dr Higiro Pierre Celestin of genocide, which included the killing of Tutsi hospital staff, demonstrating a plot to carry out genocide through planting a bomb at his residence and spreading lies that it was planted by Tutsi for them to be killed and making a list of Tutsi to be killed.

Dr Higiro was charged in the same case with Basomingera Wellars who was sentenced to nineteen (19) years in prison and Mwemezi Bertin who was sentenced to seven years (7) years in prison and he died there. They collaborated in the killings at the hospital and in Nyanza City. Dr Higiro Pierre Celestin was sentenced to life imprisonment with special provisions by the Gacaca court. The defendant is being held in Nyanza Prison.

3. Kaduha Hospital, Nyamagabe

No doctor committed genocide in Kaduha hospital except other staff including a nurse called Rutaboba Tasiyani who was born in Cyangugu. He pleaded guilty and was released. In addition, he testified in Gacaca Courts but he died suddenly and was said to have been poisoned by those who feared he would expose their role in genocide. Others are two nurses called Mukamana Lidia who has been sentenced to nineteen (19) years and Nyiramana Catherine who has been sentenced to 25 years. Both are being held in Nyamagabe Prison.

4. Kigeme Hospital, Nyamagabe

Dr Twagiramungu Edson was in charge of Kigeme Hospital during the genocide and committed genocide at the hospital. He currently lives in Kenya. In addition, nurses Munyentwari Rodrigue and Mutiganda Evariste were also involved in the massacre of Tutsi at Kigeme Hospital.

5. Munini Hospital, Nyaruguru

No doctor committed genocide in Munini Hospital. The nurse called Nyirinkindi Thomas, participated in the massacre at Munini and Kibeho. He was sentenced in absentia by Gacaca.


1. Ruhashya, Huye

Léopold Munyakayanza was a nurse, and had run the Ruhashya health center since the 1980s. He was initially a soldier in the ex-FAR, after his demobilization he worked as a nurse. He lived in Mahembe in the former commune of Ruhashya, in Butare. He played a very big role in the extermination of Tutsi together with Nyawenda Esdron who was bourgmestre of Rusatira and who fled to Belgium.

Leopold Munyakayanza and bourgmestre Esdron Nyawenda led meetings that planned the extermination of Tutsi from Rusatira, such that when President Theodore Sindikubwabo and the Prime Minister of the genocidal government Jean Kambanda came to Butare on April 19, 1994 to incite to begin the genocide in this region, Léopold Munyakayanza and Esdron Nyawenda were already ready to begin the extermination of Tutsi in the commune of Ruhashya.

On April 23, 1994, Léopold Munyakayanza led attacks against the Tutsi of Rusatira, who made several victims, including Twagiramutara Laurent who was a veterinarian at ISAR Rubona, and who was killed with all his family, were also exterminated, Kanyandekwe who was an accountant at ISAR Rubona and all his family, Ruzindana who is agronomist of Rusatira Commune and his family and many other Tutsi killed particularly at Kinkanga.

The wife of Léopold Munyakayanza, whose name was Iyamuremye Apolinariya, head of the social service (social worker) at the Rusatira health center also participated in the massacre of Tutsi. The two fled Rwanda after the genocide. Munyakayanza is probably died in exile and his wife lives Iyamuremye Apollinarie lives now in France.

2. Mugina health center, Kamonyi

Budengeri Jean Chrysostome was a nurse and was also in charge of child immunization program in Mugina and Ntongwe communes. He committed genocide in Mugina and Kinazi in collaboration with Bourgmestre Martin Ndamage, Major Pierre Claver Karangwa, a businessman called Francois Twagiramungu, Bourgmestre of Ntongwe Charles Kagabo and other interahamwe. After leaving Rwanda, he first settled in Zambia, became one of the founders of the FDLR in Zambia, and was its first vice president. He has since fled justice in Norway to date. Another nurse who committed genocide at Mugina health center was Umurerwa Annonciata who completed her sentence.

3. Kinazi health center, Ruhango

KAGABO Charles, was the head of the Kinazi dispensary in the former Ntongwe commune. During the genocide, he was appointed the Bourgmestre of Ntongwe by the Interim Government, after the assassination of Bourgmestre Alfred Habumugisha. Charles Kagabo was born in the former Nyakabungo sector of Ntongwe, studied in Butare - Indatwa (GSOB) in the medical assistant department. He first worked at Nyanza Hospital and was famous for exterminating Tutsi in Ntongwe and in Mugina Communes.

He circulated in the entire commune telling Tutsi to go to the commune’s office to be protected there, once they became a big number, he took away their traditional weapons that they had come with, and then sent soldiers, Interahamwe and Burundians to kill them. He is also accused of Nyamukumba massacre at a football ground where many Tutsi that he had sent to Ruhango were killed.

In 2008 he was tried in absentia by several Gacaca Courts: Gikoma Assembly in Ruhango Sector, Gitisi Assembly in Bweramana Sector; Rutabo Assembly in Kinazi Sector and Nyakabungo Assembly in Ntongwe Sector. All of these Gacaca assemblies sentenced him to life imprisonment with special provisions.

4. Gatagara health center, Nyanza

Dr Hakizimana Jean Marie Vianney, who headed the health center, was involved in the killing of patients at the health center and in the killings at the Center for the Disabled (HVP Gatagara) in collaboration with Brother Jean Baptiste Rutihunza, who headed HVP Gatagara. Dr Hakizimana lives in Uganda and Brother Rutihunza Jean Baptiste lives in Italy.

5. Nyamure health center, Nyanza

Ndahimana Matthew, was the director of the health center and was born in Mbuye in Nyanza District, Kibilizi Sector. He concluded high school from the Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare (GSOB) in 1985 in the Department of Medical Assistants. He worked for CHUB and CHK in Kigali but during the genocide he was the director of the Nyamure health center in the former Muyira commune.

He was involved in the killings that took place in the entire Nyanza District. Ndahimana fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Congo-Brazzaville and later to Gabon. When he returned to Rwanda, he was aware that he would inevitably be held accountable for his role in the genocide. He has been in Nyanza (Mpanga) prison since 1997.

During his trial with Gacaca, he acknowledged his role in the genocide, claiming that he used hospital ambulance to carry out the killings, and participated to numerous attacks in Nyanza, Kibilizi, Nyamure, Rwezamenyo, Karama and many other parts of Nyanza and Amayaga.

He was the one who brought gendarms from Nyanza to fight the Tutsi who had previously resisted in the Mayaga area where they had taken refuge. He pleaded guilty to multiple offenses that he was accused of. Nyamure Sector Court of Appeals sentenced him to 30 years imprisonment in December 2009.

6. Ntyazo health center, Nyanza

Kabanda Alexis, who was the director of the health center, chaired the genocide preparations meetings and completed his sentence.

7. Kibilizi health center, Nyanza

Karasanyi Esdras, was the director of the health center, killed wounded Tutsi who were brought at the health center and took part in the attacks and he died.

8. Gikongoro health center, Nyamagabe

Rwasa Eugene was a nurse from Nyaruguru District (Ruramba). He was convicted by the Gacaca Court of Ngiryi Sector (Gasaka Sector) on 05/03/2010 on charges of handing over Tutsi girls who had taken refuge in Nyamagabe Health Center to be raped and killed.

After he was sentenced to life imprisonment, he immediately disappeared. He is said to have fled to Uganda. His wife, Kabarere Venantie worked at SOS / Gikongoro and has been sentenced to life in prison for killing 29 orphans who had fled from Kigali SOS Kacyiru. She is being held in Nyamagabe Prison.

9. Jenda health center, Nyamagabe

Mugwaneza Léonard was the director of the health center. He is from the former Cyangugu Prefecture, Kirambo Commune. He was involved in the massacre of Tutsi who were hospitalised at Musange Health Center and those who had taken refuge at Musange Commune office. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia and lives in Uganda (Kampala) where he works in a clinic.

10. Kibeho health center, Nyaruguru

Mutazihana Nathanael was the director of Kibeho dispensary. He was sentenced on 05/7/2007 by the Gacaca Court of Kibeho Sector to 25 years imprisonment to be served as follows: 12.5 years doing Travaux d’Intérêt Général (TIG), 8.5 years in prison and to end up with a 4-year suspended imprisonment sentence. He only carried out the imprisonment sentence but he has not yet done the TIG and he works in Rwinkwavu.

11. Busanze health center, Nyaruguru

Munyankindi Thomas, a former medical assistant who committed genocide in the former Nshili commune. He fled to Burundi.


This list (those that CNLG managed to find out) of some of the doctors and nurses who committed genocide is published in addition to the one published yesterday about the City of Butare. It shows that many of those who were in charge of treatment of people but betrayed the standards of their profession. It also shows how the Genocide against the Tutsi was a supernatural crime where doctors and nurses quit their careers of protecting lives and chose to kill.

The CNLG calls on the countries hosting these doctors and nurses who committed genocide, and has given them the job of treating people, to suspend them from the medical profession and to remove them from the list of doctors and nurses who are allowed to practice medicine and to be brought to justice as soon as possible.

CNLG commends all those who continue to take part in this international justice campaign so that the perpetrators of the Genocide who fled the country can be held accountable for their actions.

Done at Kigali on May 15, 2020

Dr. BIZIMANA Jean Damascène
Executive Secretary
National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)