April 25,1994: France made every effort to prevent that the killings be called Genocide


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April 25,1994: France made every effort to prevent that the killings be called Genocide

Yanditswe Apr, 25 2020 13:59 PM | 20,367 Views

On April 25, 1994, the criminal government continued to implement its plan to exterminate Tutsi. This document points out some of the locations where Tutsi massacre took place on this date in 1994.

1. French continued to support the criminal government in the UN Security Council, opposing the use of the term "genocide".

Since the beginning of the genocide on April 7, 1994, French authorities have been concerned that RPF would win the war. They did not want to hear that Tutsi were being killed by the government that had already planned to terminate them, and French had all the information. Consequently, in order to fight their so-called "enemy": the RPF, France has made every effort to prevent any decision by the UN Security Council on the Genocide against the Tutsi.

This was especially evident on April 21, 1994, when the 921 resolution regarding the killing which was taking place in Rwanda was being discussed. The French ambassador to the Security Council made every effort to prevent that the killings be called Genocide. 

The UN security council followed the advice given by the French ambassador to the United Nations, and the resolution was taken as the UN security council was “saddened by the unrest” and “unnecessary killings” which was taking place in Rwanda. It was not clear who carried out the killings, or giving appropriate label of Genocide to the killings and yet the United Nations had all the necessary evidence for it to be called genocide. 

2. Tutsi massacre at the former Commune Mbazi office, Huye  

When the genocide started in Mbazi, all the people were committed to stop the attacks from Maraba commune. Initially all men including Hutu and Tutsi fought the attacks. Prefect NSABIMANA Sylvain and SIBOMANA Antoine, the Bourgmestre of Mbazi Commune went to the junction of Mbazi and Maraba and told the people who had come to fight attacks to go home and fight the enemy from their homes as the enemy was a Tutsi. It was around 3pm, and when they went home they started attacking Tutsi homes during the night and drove them out. The following day, Bourgmestre SIBOMANA Antoine told them that if you want to burn grasses you must first gather them, hence they gathered all Tutsi who were fleeing at the Byiza Stadium. He further said that when the snake is wrapped around the calabash used separate milk and butter (very respected in Rwandan culture) you have to break it.  He said this in order to frighten Hutu so that they don’t hide Tutsi unless they chose to die with them. 

On April 22, 1994, Prosecutor SEBUSHISHI accompanied by SIBOMANA Antoine (Bourgmestre) and NSABIMANA Sylvan (Prefect) came to reassure the Tutsi refugees that they would be protected to prevent them from fleeing, but this was a plot to keep them together. 

On April 25, 1994, early morning, a soldier with the rank of warrant officer called GATWAZA together with the residents of all sectors of Mbazi commune surrounded Byiza stadium and started throwing grenades and bullets, and traditional weapons (Clubs, machetes, spears ...) they killed until 10 am when the ammunition and grenades got finished. GATWAZA told Interahamwe to keep surrounding the stadium until he comes back with more ammunition from Ngoma Military base. When he came back at 2pm, killers were still killing with traditional weapons. More than 7,800 Tutsi were killed at Byiza Stadium

3. Massacre of Tutsi at Save, Shyanda commune, Butare

In the former Shyanda commune where Save sector is now located, the Genocide started late from April 20, 1994. Tutsi started to flee at the Commune and at Save Parish and their killing started from April 21 to 25, 1994. Those killed there had come from Ndora, Muganza, Nyaruguru and Ruhashya. 

In Shyanda, Tutsi and Hutu were intermarried and the fact that Shyanda was dominated by PSD (Abakombozi) made the Tutsi feel that local Hutu would not kill them because PSD and MRND (Interahamwe) were not on good terms. 

Shyanda people had not started killing Tutsi (saying that they were intermarried) until Sindikubwabo and Nyiramasuhuko Paulina came to Butare and Shyanda respectively for mobilisation to kill Tutsi. Paulina Nyiramasuhuko told them to kill Tutsi and Hutu women will be given other Hutu partners.

Interahamwe went to the home of Paulina Nyiramasuhuko's sister-in-law called Leocadia, (Ntahobari's sister, Nyiramasuhuko's husband), who had married a Tutsi man called Saveri, and took their eldest daughter Epiphania, who had just finished school and worked at the university and her brother and threw them into a pond called Disha and the young man was first molested before being thrown in a pond.

Interahamwe doubted Hutu of Shyanda with regards to implementing genocide, hence they appointed special leaders in each sector who were known for their cruelty and were responsible for leading the massacre and continuing to incite the Hutu to kill the Tutsi, and to control any Hutu who did not kill so that they can be questioned. 

Those who led the killing were: Shyirambere Theophile, Shyanda Commune Bourgmestre, Ngiruwonsanga Xavier, the Gatoki Sector councilor, Hategekimana Jean, Nyabyenda, Rukundo Deo, Nkezabera, Nzabandora Pierre was the councilor, Ngirabanyiginya Antoine was the councilor, Gatera (veterinarian), Habyarimana claude (a student). 

The school inspector called Batisita alias "type" who was in charge for the massacre throughout Save. In Gisanze there was Nzabankebuka who had been Bourgmestre, and Zivu was in charge of the Deputy Bourgmestre.

The Interahamwe were ordered to gather all Tutsi at Shyanda Commune from the 20th. Gathering them together was a way of ensuring that everyone was there in order to look for the missing Tutsi. 

On April 25, all people who had been gathered at the commune were taken to Rwasave in 2 phases; they took the first one and killed them and returned for the next to ensure they are all killed. Residents of Karama and Save were taken to Disha pond. Many Tutsi were killed at Shyanda commune and at Save Catholic Parish.

Roadblocks were established at Gatoki led by Ngayisenga Francois, on the main road at bus park (ku Cyapa) and it was led by councilor Ngiruwonsanga Xavier, in the junction of commune and was led by Nzabirinda Hyacinthe, at Musekera it was led by Matabaro Edouard.

4. Tutsi massacre in Gihisi, at the football ground, Nyanza

Gihisi, at the football play ground is in the former Kigoma commune, there was a dangerous roadblock. A large number of Tutsi was gathered there mostly from Nyabisindu Commune and those living in Gihisi, Kigoma Commune.

After gathering them in big numbers, they took them to the forest called Kinihira because it was a place where the RPF Inkotanyi forces used meet with the Rwandan delegation in peace talks. It was the forest of Murwanashyaka who was also a prominent interahamwe and played a key role in killing them. Others were killed in the forest called ARUSHA of MIVUMBI who was also a key Interahamwe and massacred Tutsi in Gihisi. In particular, women and children were gathered in MUHIMPUNDU's house near the roadblock and the playground and they were guarded by Interahamwe.  

It was a way to gather them, rape them and then kill them after. They were later killed in Kinihira forest with traditional weapons. Prominent figures included Nzigiyimfura Vincent, a famous businessman in Nyanza and his car which carried Interahamwe militia when they went to kill Tutsi in various parts including Gihisi. His car was also used to transport the killing equipment including machetes and more. Another person who participated in the killing was a gendarme called BARAHIRA. 

Murwanashyaka who owned a forest   in which Tutsi were killed was sentenced to life in prison in abcentia and till now he hasn’t faced justice.

5. Tutsi Massacre in Muyira commune, Nyanza

Tutsi of the former Muyira Commune started to flee on 20th April, 1994 from various hills of Mututu, Mulinja, Busoro, Munyinya, Mukoma, Matara, Nyakibungo and elsewhere. Some were able to flee to Burundi because they lived near Akanyaru and crossed over to Burundi. Those who were not close to Burundi were attacked by killers but they tried to fight back. Local Hutu of Muyira did not immediately take part in the killings because in the early days they also helped Tutsi to defend themselves because they were attacked by Bugesera people. However, some of them (Hutu) who were trained by Bandora, a prominent businessman at Ruhuha in Bugesera participated in the attacks. Though Tutsi tried to defend themselves, on April 20th, 1994 soldiers killed some with gunshots and Interahamwe killed less energetic as they could not run fast. 

On 21st April 1994 another attack from Bugesera and Busoro came but Tutsi defended themselves and reversed it though it left some casualties. On the same day, they immediately fled at Muyira Commune, others to the Mulinja Catholic church, others to Nyamure hill and some to ISAR. 

On 22/4/1994 another attack comprising soldiers, killers from Bugesera and Muyira communes, took place. Tutsi also tried to reverse the attack but it killed many people. 

A councillor of Kayanza sector who was not behind the killings told Tutsi that those who portray a Tutsi look should go backward in the attack because on that date there were still a few Hutu who were helping them fight. On that day, a soldier made it clear to Hutu that they should not help Tutsi but should kill them and take over what Tutsi owned. All Hutu immediately transformed and started killing Tutsi like Twagirimana Jean. The more people dispersed in the attacks, the more they fled to different places, especially at Muyira Commune and Nyamure hill.

On April 25, 1994, an attack killed about 50 Tutsi who were in Foyer's house, including those who had been active in defending in the previous attacks. Among the killers, included Hutu who first helped them to fight like Daniel, retired from the army and Twagirimana Jean. About 500 Tutsi who had taken refuge at the Mulinja Catholic church were killed. They were taken from the church and misleadingly told that they are being taken to Muyira Commune to protect them, but the killers attacked them at Ruhubika and killed them.

On April 26, 1994, about 25,000 Tutsi who had taken refuge at Muyira Commune were slaughtered. A huge interahamwe attack killed all the Tutsi without help from soldiers.

Muyira in the Mayaga region, there is a memorial site with more than 150,000 Tutsi who are buried there in dignity.

Those who were involved in the killings included: Berinkindi Claver, a businessman, he was sentenced to life in prison by a Norwegian court, Muhutu Adalbert, a former MRND MP and he first led Muyira commune, Rusatsi Hezekiah, a councilor who succeeded the Bourgmestre during the Genocide against the Tutsi. Ntawuyangira Augustin who was a teacher and is serving his sentence in Mpanga Prison, Rulinda Edouard who was a teacher and lives in Malawi, Rukemampunzi Jean, a businessman, Ruzindana Silas who was a businessman and now lives in Congo Brazzaville, Celestin who was a soldier, Bugirimfura who was a Brigadier of Muyira commune and many others.

8. Tutsi Massacre in Nkomane, Nyanza

During the night of April 25 to 26, 1994, more than a 100 Tutsi were killed at Nkomane at the former bridge of Nkomane river. The bridge linked Matyazo and Muyaga communes currently Ntyazo Sector, Nyanza District.  Most of them came from Ntyazo commune, Karama sector, Cyimvuzo, Rusatira, Ruhashya, Mugusa communes and elsewhere. Some of them first fled to Karama hill where many Tutsi also died. As they were trying to run away from interahamwe attacks, they went to ISAR Songa where they met other Tutsi. After that, they fled again to Burundi through Muhero at Akanyaru river. When they arrived at Nkomane, one and a half hour away from Akanyaru river, there was a roadblock and they were killed right there. 

Some of the prominent killers at the roadblock were Gasharu cell leader called Ntamahungiro Paul. There were also killers like Muhanarite Augustin and Ngirabatinya. The killers then requested support from those who owned guns including MUGANZA Joseph and trained interahamwe called RUSHAGAZA Epaphrodite and NKOMATI. They were killed by guns, machetes, clubs and others weapons. After that their bodies were thrown in the bridge and in the trenches. It was hard to survive the attack because it was in the valley and other attacks had come from behind them. 

9. Tutsi massacre in Butansinda, Nyanza

Many Tutsi from Kigoma commune and its suburbs were massacred in Butansinda. There was a very dangerous roadblock surrounded with excavated pits in which dead bodies would be thrown. Some of the killers included NZARAMBA Isaac, Interahamwe leader and a businessman as well as KALISA Aloys, school inspector.

10. Tutsi massacre at Ruhashya, Huye

In the early days of the Genocide, in Ruhashya the entire population, Tutsi and Hutu went to fight the killers from Kinyamakara commune in Gikongoro. Bourgmestre Rudakubana Martin also joined forces with the people to avert the attacks, but after attending a meeting of April 19, 1994, he returned as a changed person and he was wearing military uniform.

On Mwogo bridge, the Tutsi were defending themselves but they were defeated when Bourgmestre Charles Munyaneza of Kinyamakara Commune shot on them and they were dispersed and started to flee. After learning that anyone to hunt was a Tutsi, Kinyamakara killers along with those from Ruhashya immediately started killing, looting and destroying their houses from Rwaniro Sector and continuing to Ruhashya Commune. The attacks were led by Col Simba Aloys, Charles Munyaneza who was the Bourgmestre of Kinyamakara, Masabo Nyangezi Juvenal a singer, Mucumankiko Silas and other Interahamwe. They joined the leaders of the massacre in Ruhashya Commune including Bourgmestre Rudakubana Martin, Batsinda Patrick, a gendarm called Ntibagororwa, Kibega and others. They killed Tutsi who were gathered at Ruhashya commune from Gikongoro, Maraba, Ruhashya Rusatira and Mbazi. 

11. Tutsi massacre at EPR Gituntu, Karongi

More than 171 Tutsi fled to EPR Gituntu because they had hoped for peace and survival as some were members of the church and felt that they would be safe in the house of God.  Tutsi had come from various parts of the country including the former Mutuntu, Mugano and other sectors.

The former church leader RWAMUHIZI Alphonse was first killed and others were also killed while others tried to hide but were later killed with machetes and clubs. 

MURAGIZI Gabriel who was the Bourgmestre of Mwendo Commune ordered to kill them and among those who led the attacks was an evangelist named BIKORIMANA accompanied by various other killers. 

Massacre of Tutsi continued. This was done in a way that every so-called Tutsi would be killed, most of whom were killed while fleeing. On this day many were killed in administrative buildings, communes, in churches because people falsely believed that they could survive in such places.

Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascène

Executive Secretary

National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)

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