May 2, 1994: The Implementation of the Genocide Perpetrated against Tutsi

By Dr. BIZIMANA Jean Damascène
On 2 May 2020 at 12:01

On this date of May 2, 1994, the genocidal government continued to implement its plan of extermination of Tutsi, here below is the attempt to exterminate refugees mainly Tutsi who had taken refuge at the Hôtel des Mille Collines and in churches in the city of Kigali, May 2, 1994.

1. Attempted assassination of Tutsi refugees at the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali

On May 2, 1994, the government of the killers planned to massacre the Tutsi who were refugees at Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali: during the genocide perpetrated against Tutsi, some refugees, mainly the Tutsi took refuge at the Hotel des Mille Collines where they continued to pay Paul Rusesabagina to be able to be accommodated.

On May 2, 1994 the government of the killers wanted to massacre them but the French press, as well as the intervention of Dr. Bernard Kouchner prevented the massacre disseminating the news in France, in the same time, the civil society in France denounced this massacre, which obliged Mitterand to advise the Rwandan genocidal government not to kill these refugees.

The journalist Vincent Hugueux of the newspaper L’Express wrote on June 2, 1994 that on May 2, 1994, person in charge of Africa at the French presidency, Bruno Delaye told General Augustin Bizimungu the Rwandan chief of staff that if they kill the refugees from the Hôtel des Mille Collines that would give a bad image at the international level, and consequently France would have difficulty continuing to assist Rwanda.

Another newspaper Billets d’Afrique published by the NGO Survie in France, confirmed this information in its number 31 published in February 1996. Another French newspaper, Liberation, of May 25, 1994 wrote that the genocidal government had placed its agents at the Hôtel des Mille Collines to monitor refugees.

Among the killers who frequently came to the Hôtel des Mille Collines was Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka.

2. Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka massacred Tutsi at the Church of the Holy Family and its surroundings

Several witnesses affirm that on various dates between April 8 and the first week of July 1994, at the Sainte-Famille parish, at Saint-Paul church and at CELA in Kigali, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA participated in meetings held to organize the massacres and kidnappings of Tutsi civilians with Colonel Tharcisse RENZAHO, Odette NYIRABAGENZI, Angeline MUKANDUTIYE, Lieutenant-Colonel Laurent MUNYAKAZI, other soldiers and Interahamwe. Subsequently, Tutsi civilians who had taken refuge in the Sainte Famille parish, the Saint Paul pastoral center and CELA in Kigali were massacred.

a. Murders

According to survivors of the Holy Family and Saint Paul massacres, on April 13, 1994, within the grounds of the Holy Family parish, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA, shot dead a young Tutsi. He also killed two young Tutsi, each aged 18 and 20. The same day he shot a 22 year old Tutsi girl.

On or around June 17, 1994, at the Sainte-Famille parish in Kigali, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA incited an Interahamwe to kill a Tutsi girl named Hyacinthe RWANGWA, alias baby.

b. Rape and other sexual violence repeated on Tutsi girls

Victims of rape were able to testify that on April 21, 1994, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA, at the Sainte-Famille parish, encouraged an Interahamwe to rape a young Tutsi civilian refugee at the Sainte Famille parish.

At the end of June 1994, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA, at the Sainte-Famille parish in Kigali, raped a young girl who herself testified to this rape.

c. Kidnappings followed by assassinations

On April 24, 1994, at the Saint-Paul Pastoral Center in Kigali, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA helped Interahamwe, including Léonard BAGABO, to kidnap seven young Tutsis, including Emmanuel RUKUNDO, journalist, Aristarque RUTSINDUKA, building and public works engineer, and MAZIMPAKA, student, knowing that these people would be killed. These people were taken to the Rugenge sector office to be killed.

On June 14, 1994, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA, helped soldiers search and identify Tutsis who had found refuge at the Saint Paul pastoral center in Kigali while knowing that they were on the list of people to be killed.

On this occasion, 60 Tutsi civilians, including Antoine MARIE, Zacharia GASARABWE alias Gasindi, Charles RUTSITSI, Emmanuel NYARWAYA, Diogène RUBADUKA, Twaha SEBAJURA, and André KAMEYA, who had been identified by Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA, were kidnapped by the attackers and killed.

d. Justification of the genocide and Negationism

On August 2, 1994, Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA signed with 28 other Rwandan priests in Goma a negationist document sent to Pope John Paul II in which they justified the genocide committed against the Tutsi and putting the responsibility for the killings on the RPF, thus innocent of the real perpetrators of the genocide. This document deeply shocked all international opinion.

e. The ambiguities of French justice

France has always refused to try Wenceslas Munyeshyaka. Multiple warning signs have shown for almost twenty years that France did not want to try Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA for the crimes he committed in Rwanda.

Indeed, it was on July 25, 1995 that information was opened against MUNYESHYAKA by the investigating judge of Privas (France) for "genocide, crimes against humanity and participation in a group formed or in an agreement established in with a view to the preparation of these crimes on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction provided for in the New York Convention of 1984 against torture ”.

After multiple signs of refusal to try Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA, France has been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for non-respect of the fair trial, in particular the non-respect of the reasonable time. (ECHR, Yvonne Mutimura against France, judgment June 8, 2004).

On June 21, 2007, the ICTR issued arrest warrants against Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA. Munyeshyaka’s indictment has been under seal since 2005.
At the insistence of France, we do not know for what legitimate reason, on 20 November 2007, the ICTR relinquished the benefit of French justice of the proceedings against MUNYESHYAKA.

Countless letters rogatory have been conducted in Rwanda to hear nearly seventy witnesses and gather evidence to support the accusation. It is incomprehensible that the Paris Prosecutor’s Office considers them unfounded when the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda had considered them serious and justifying the indictment of Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA.

The prosecution requested that Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA not be returned to the assizes, which was confirmed by the investigating judges.

However, overwhelming testimony from survivors of the genocide, and even testimony from the genocidaires, is unanimous to confirm that Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA himself committed or helped to commit mass killings and rapes on Tutsi refugees from the Holy Family Church and Saint Paul.

These facts were confirmed by the Rwandan justice which found the guilt of Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA and sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment in the same trial as the late general Laurent MUNYAKAZI.

The position of French justice, therefore, raises many questions as to the importance it attaches to the genocide committed against the Tutsi.

A dismissal for a person like Wenceslas MUNYESHYAKA whose role in the genocide was demonstrated during several letters rogatory can only confirm the apprehensions of survivors that France does not want to judge the brains of the genocide.

This attitude can be explained, moreover, by knowing that the government of François Mitterrand helped and participated in the planning and execution of the genocide committed against the Tutsi between October 1, 1990 and July 1994.

Done at Kigali on May 02, 1994

Dr. BIZIMANA Jean Damascène
Executive Secretary
National Commission to fight Genocide (CNLG)