APRIL 22, 1994: The day 35,000 Tutsi were Killed at Former Huye Commune Office

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APRIL 22, 1994: The day 35,000 Tutsi were Killed at Former Huye Commune Office

Yanditswe Apr, 22 2020 14:46 PM
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On April 22, 1994 the criminal government continued their plan to exterminate Tutsi in all regions of the country. This document points out some of the locations where Tutsi massacre took place on this date in 1994.

1.  TUTSIS KILLED IN "CENTRE D’ETUDES DES LANGUES AFRICAINES" (CELA), NEAR “CENTRE NATIONAL DE PASTORALE SAINT-PAUL

On that day, the militias Interahamwe killed male Tutsi refugees who had taken refuge in "CELA", Kigali, under the instructions of authorities including the prefect of Kigali, Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho, the killing was controlled by Major Laurent Munyakazi, councillor Odette Nyirabagenzi; the Interahamwe leader, inspector Angeline Mukandutiye, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and Jean Bizimana, Bourgmestre of Nyarugenge commune.

2.  TUTSIS KILLED AT THE FORMER OFFICE OF HUYE COMMUNE

Tutsis fled to Huye commune from Huye, Mbazi, Butare Ville Ngoma/Matyazo, and Gikongoro. Police and soldiers confined the area for three days after cutting all water pipes to let them die of thirst and hunger. On April 22, 1994, at around 3pm, a convoy full of soldiers and notorious interahamwe including NKURIKIYINKA Tharcisse, SEMAKABA Deo, MUGANGA Joseph, KAMPAYANA Aloys, GAKWAYA Hyacinthe, KABANZA Ildéphonse, Pascal HAREKEKEZI a soldier born in Huye and others who were led by Bourgmestre RUREMESHA Jonathan attacked. On that day, more than 35,000 Tutsis were killed, some of whom were burned with petrol to death and became ashes, which (ash) was later buried in dignity after the Genocide. About 42,008 bodies were buried at the local Genocide Memorial.

There were also massacres of Tutsis who had taken refuge in Groupe Scolaire Rukira. About 326 children and women were killed in Muyogoro cell, and the killers immediately set their bodies on fire and dumped them in a pit in Akagarama Village.


The leading killers who incited people to kill Tutsis were: BARAVUGA, who was a councillor; BIZIMANA Joseph, was a brigadier; RUREMESHA Jonathan, was the Bourgmestre of Huye commune; Dr Cyprien, he lived near the Commune. Genocide planning meetings were held at his home;

The militias Interahamwe: Kampayana Aloys, Nkurikiyinka Tharcisse, Rugengamanzi Vianney, Uzabakiriho Vedaste, Devota, Sebera Canisius, Karemera (alias Tariyani), Kamanayo Jean Baptiste, Muvunyi Christophe, Ngiruwigize Innocent, Gahondogo Paul, Mugerwa Boniface.

3.  TUTSIS KILLED IN SOVU AT SISTERS’ MONASTERY AND HEALTH CENTER

The Tutsis had taken refuge in the Benedictine Sisters’ monastery in Sovu and at their Health center. The nun in charge of the monastery, MUKANGANGO Consolata (Sister Gertrude) and her partner MUKABUTERA Julienne (Sister Kizito) refused to receive them, but Tutsis convincingly entered the monastery, while others went to the health center. Approximately 5000 and 6000 refugees had also taken refuge in the Catholic parishes of Rugango and Gihindamuyaga. On April 22, 1994, at 8:00 am, the monastery and health center were surrounded by Interahamwe, soldiers sent by Lt Col Muvunyi Tharcisse from ESSO, communal police, gendarmes and civilians in order to kill Tutsi refugees.

The killers who were involved were Rekeraho Emmanuel, the former MDR president in Huye commune who accepted his role in genocide and is imprisoned, Sisters MUKANGANGO Consolata and MUKABUTERA Julienne, Rusanganwa Gaspard (alias Nyiramatwi), Jonas Ndayisaba, Councillor Jean Baptiste Muvunyi and others. MUKANGANGO Consolata (Sister Gertrude) was convicted of genocide crime in 2001 by a Belgian court and sentenced to 15 years in prison.  Her colleague MUKABUTERA Julienne (Sister Kizito) was also convicted of genocide crime and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

4.  TUTSIS MASSACRE AT GISAGARA, KANSI SECTOR

The genocide against Tutsi in Kansi Sector was most severe on April 22, 1994 across the Sector. Tutsis were killed at Lake Cyamwakizi: and most of them were from Huye, Nyaruguru, Nyamagabe and other parts of Gisagara. When they arrived at the Gikore Center, Interahamwe took away all their belongings, tied them up, tortured them, and dragged them down the road to Cyamwakizi naked and tied behind. They were killed one by one on the way and when they arrived to Cyamwakizi they chopped and threw the remaining into the water. Those who were surviving were followed by the killers on the boat and killed them with spears in the lake. Countless Tutsis were killed there and many bodies could not be found to be buried in dignity.

Genocide planning meetings chaired by Hakizayezu Augustin also called Mvaravara took place in different places:  Mbeho za Nyaruhengeri and at Karambizi. Nyange, meeting took place at Oscar Murekezi’s home and was led by Mujyarugamba, a Brigadier of Nyaruhengeri Commune. At school (Linganwe), meetings were chaired by Sebera Ferdinand.


The prominent killers included: Sematama Gaspard, Hakizimana Augustin, Sebera Ferdinand, Rugemintwaza Gaspard, Kajuga Pierre, Kabandana Emmanuel, Habinshuti Beda, Habimana Simon, Bisomimbwa Antoine, Gakwaya Narcisse, Bikorimana, Sikubwabo alias Sagihobe, Munyaneza Joseph who killed many people in Nyange.


Those who led the killing: Bisomimbwa Antoine, a Councillor, Munyaneza Joseph, a police officer, Gakwaya Narcisse, a Councilor, Bikorimana, the veterinary, Sebera Ferdinand, a Councilor, Jerome from Nkundabagenzi who was a police officer.

The genocide was so unhuman that the killers killed even their nephews. Those who were going to be killed were told that they were going to board them in the buses to Burundi. At one point, people were informed that peace was restored and those who were in hiding should come out. They did their best to ensure that no Tutsi would survive. Most people were killed at Lake Cyamwikizi, Kansi Parish, Munini wa Nyange, Nyakibingo, at Mbeho and Gahehe.

5.  TUTSIS MASSACRED AT NZARATSI HILL, RUHANGO

The Tutsis who fled to Nzaratsi hill tried to defend themselves using stones, bows and other few traditional tools but later were killed by the Interahamwe. Some Tutsis arrived on the night of 20th April, 1994 and that night was a nightmare, some continued to Byimana but they were expelled by the High Priest of Byimana parish called DAGIJIMANA Joseph and returned to Nzaratsi hill. The mountain was called Calvary by the killers because of the Tutsis who were taken from its bottom up to the top. More than 800 Tutsis from different parts of the country were killed there.

6.  TUTSI KILLED ON BIBARE HILL (BUNYONGA), KAMONYI

Bibare Mountain is located in Nyenyeri Village, Bunyonga Cell, Kamonyi District, but in the past it was in Kayenzi Commune which was ruled by MBARUBUKEYE Yohani. Tutsis from Rutobwe, Nyabikenke, Musambira commune were among those who fled to Bibare hill and joined Tutsis who already lived there. The genocide started on April 17, 1994, but they fled to Mount Bibare on April 18, 1994. On that day, an attack led by BUYUMBU came and Tutsis defended themselves and the attack was repelled. On April 21, 1994, Buyumbu went to the Commune to appeal, claiming that Bibare had become Nyamagumba. He then brought a major attack involving Bourgmestre MBARUBUKEYE Yohani, soldiers, police and a large number of civilians.

The identified soldier was Sergeant Major MISAGO. The attack of April 22, 1994, was a major one attended by a large number of Hutu and Twa civilians, one attack came from Rutobwe commune, another from Marenga, another from Nyabihunyira and one from Iraro. All the attacks met on the hill and surrounded it.

 
Hutu women were put in front on the attacks and Tutsis killed some of the Hutus which made the killers use grenades and guns. After using heavy weapons, population started to use traditional weapons to finish off those who were still breathing. There were also many roadblocks in the area so that no one could escape.  A major roadblock was established at Nduguri, another one in Cyanika Center, there was a roadblock at Sebazungu place and Rukokwe. In general, there was a roadblock in every Center and in the junction of Sectors.

Perpetrators of massacre in Bibare and Kayenzi in general include Bourgmestre MBARUBUKEYE Yohani, BUYUMBU Evariste sentenced to 30 years, GASHAGAZA Theoneste, Councilor MBONYIYEZE Deogratias, TWAGIRIMANA, KAYANIRE, cell leaders like NZIKORUHARI Barthazar, MUGARURA, HABIMANA Siliro and many others.

7.  MASSACRE OF TUTSIS AT KABAKOBWA HILL

Tutsi refugees fleeing the massacre from Nyaruguru started to increase from April 17 to April 19, 1994 and were dispersed in Sahera and Nkubi sectors of Ngoma Commune, Butare Prefecture. The Bourgmestre of Ngoma commune, Kanyabashi Joseph, ordered that the refugees should be grouped and taken to Kabakobwa hill and cell leaders would go house to house to inform Tutsis that they should join others at Kabakobwa hill.

On the 22nd April, 1994, many killers, dominated by soldiers, gendarmes, police and the Interahamwe, surrounded them and gunshot them.  Soldiers were led by Lt. Colonel MUVUNYI Tharcisse, Interahamwe from Nkubi and Sahera, HABYARIMANA Pascal who was the councilor of Sahera, URAYE Edouard, RIBERA Simeon, Major Cyriaque HABYARABATUMA who was in charge of the Gendarmery, police including NSANZABAHIZI Mathias and BIZUMUREMYI Pascal

Conclusion

The genocide against the Tutsi was planned and carried out by the government. The fact that since the morning of April 7, 1994, Tutsis have been massacred in different parts of the country at the same time demonstrates that it was a government’s planned agenda.

By Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascene,

Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide




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