How genocidaire Government hid behind a fake communiqué to kill Tutsis in Bugesera

On 8 March 2021 at 10:53

The National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG) recently released a book dubbed ‘The Preparation and Execution of Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda’ embodying facts proving how the leadership of former President Habyarimana Juvenal prepared and executed Genocide.

Bugesera is among places where Tutsis were brutally killed in 1992 during attempts that preceded the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

From page 40 to 44 of the book, the book narrates how Tutsi were cruelly killed in the night of 4th leading to 5th March 1992 in Bugesera, Eastern Province.

The killing was executed by Interahamwe militia in collaboration with the then republican guards and soldiers from Gako military camp.

The massacre was preceded by a communiqué inciting Hutus to kill Tutsis aired on Radio Rwanda on 3rd March 1992 and read by a journalist Bamwanga Jean-Baptiste on order of Nahimana Ferdinand who was the then Director General of National Broadcaster (ORINFOR).

As he read the fake communiqué, Bamwanga said it was released by Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) leadership that it featured names of top officials in Habyarimana’s regime that FPR targeted to kill through collaboration with cadres inside the country.

Bamwanga said that the piece of writing was discovered in Nyamata from a Tutsi businessman known as Gahima François who was the Chairperson of Liberal Party (PL) in the area.

In fact, the unfounded information is considered a direct way to sensitize Hutus to kill Tutsi.

Figures released by a committee established by Kigali Prefecture on 5th March 1992 shows that the massacre saw 36 Tutsis killed in former Commune Kanzenze, 309 houses and 573 kitchens set ablaze. Among others, 165 cows, 268 goats and 28 pigs went missing that time.

In Commune Ngenda, 36 people were killed, 74 houses and 119 kitchens were burnt while 112 cows, 111 goats and 16 pigs went missing.

The massacre in Commune Gashora saw 84 Tutsi killed, 216 housed and 288 kitchens burnt. Livestock that went missing include 188 cows, 325 goats and 28 pigs.

The report shows that 16,239 Tutsi were displaced and fled to different places including Government’s buildings, churches in Nyamata, Maranyundo, Ruhuha, Musenyi, Karama, Gitagata, Mayange, Rango, Ntarama, Murago, Kigusa and Kayenzi.

CNLG says that the commission that made the report was only comprised of public servants some of whom were directly involved in the killings which makes it unauthentic.

CNLG pointed out that masterminds who should to face justice for the killings in Bugesera include former Minister for local administration and communal development, Faustin Munyazesa for not condemning leaders who orchestrated the killing; the Minister of Justice, Matthieu Ngirumpatse who didn’t bring to book perpetrators and the préfet (governor) of Kigali, Emmanuel Bagambiki who organized meetings that prepared for the killings.

Others include the vice governor préfet, Faustin Sekagina ; the Bourgmestre (mayor) of Commune Kanzenze, Fidèle Rwambuka for overseeing the killing, Colonel Pierre Célestin Rwagafirita, Gendarmerie (Rwanda’s Policing unit the pre-Genocide period ) Chief of Staff for not sending troops to stop the killings and protect their belongings; Colonel Venant Musonera, the Commander of Gako Military Camp, soldiers from the camp who took part in the killings and Ferdinand Nahimana, the Director General of ORINFOR.

CNLG also says that more people who should to face justice for the killings include Radio Rwanda journalists Jean-Baptiste Bamwanga and Jean-Baptiste Nubahumpatse who read the communiqué mobilizing people to kill.

Other people associated with the killing are; Dominique Muhawenimana, the former Intelligence Officer in Kanazi Sub-Prefecture who spread rumours that Tutsi especially leaders of PL political party in Nyamata including Gahima had intentions to exterminate Hutus; the first vice prosecutor in Nyamata, Déogratias Ndimubanzi who whose acts were denounced by human rights activists and independent media houses for his role in Bugesera killings.

Prolonged persecution, rape

Following the killing of Tutsis in the night of 4th to 5th March 1992 in Bugesera, an umbrella organization of five human rights groups namely; ADL, LICHREDOR, ARDHO, Kanyarwanda and AVP deeply investigated the killing and came up hurting realities.

The first report released on 1oth March 1992 showed that 300 Tutsis were killed. Some of them had been dumped in rivers while others were burnt inside their houses.

The report also established that approximately 15,000 Tutsis were displaced living in critical conditions especially those who had fled to Parishes and schools in Nyamata, Maranyundo, Ruhuha and Rilima.

The report condemned leaders who took part in the killings especially the Bourgmestre of Commune Kanzenze, Fidèle Rwambuka; the Sous-Préfet of Kanzenze, Faustin Sekagina; the first vice prosecutor at Kanzenze court, Déogratias Ndimubanzi and the head of intelligence services in Kanazi Sous-Prefecture, Dominique Muhawenimana.

On 30th March 1993, these organizations carry out more investigations in Bugesera to identify the state of security in Bugesera, one year after these killings.

In the report released on 5th March 1994, these organizations revealed that many displaced Tutsis had not returned home that they were often abused by members of CDR political party.

Among others, the report highlighted that teens had been raped by soldiers from Gako military camp at different times. The killing of Tutsis continued accusing them of collaborating with Inkotanyi.

Some of victims include Nyabyenda and Anastase killed for working for an official in the Ministry of Finance called Mbarute.

Another one called Butera was killed by soldiers in Nyarurama (Commune Ngenda) on 6th March 1993. Many Tutsis were beaten and crippled like an old man called Mutabazi beaten by Gendarmerie troops on 21st February 1993 at the headquarters of Commune Kanzenze.

Lieutenant-colonel Claudien Singirankabo the commander of Gako military camp said that the killings were a result of attacks waged by RPF claiming that his mother was killed by Inkotanyi in Ruhengeri.

EX-FAR soldiers and Interahamwe brutally killed Tutsis in Bugesera following rumours aired on Radio Rwanda that RPF targets to kill officials in the then Government. Photo taken as players acted out the film on the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.