On April 27, 1994, the massacre of Tutsi continued and many Tutsi were killed. Soldiers especially the former President Habyarimana Juvenal's bodyguards, other soldiers and gendarms have been very dominant in accelerating the Genocide in the south. This document shows some locations where more than one hundred and fifty thousand Tutsi were killed in one day.
During the genocide, the French Government hosted senior leaders of Hutu power
France is the only country that continued to collaborate with the criminal government even though they knew the government was carrying out genocide. On April 27, 1994, 3 weeks after the beginning of genocide, two representatives of the criminal government i.e Jerome Bicamumpaka and Jean Bosco Barayagwiza were hosted in Paris, Champs Elysee and Matignon whereas America and Belgium had refused to give them visa. They held talks with French officials, including the Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, Foreign affairs Minister, Alain Juppe and Bruno Delaye, who headed the Office in charge of Africa at the Office of the President.
Barayagwiza, who was the director of administration and finance in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as one of CDR executive committee members, one of the founders of RTLM; a powerful tool for genocide propaganda. Bicamumpaka was a dedicated extremist, a member of MDR power as well as a minister of foreign affairs in the criminal government. During the United Nations council meeting, he fiercely said that genocide against the Tutsi was imperative.
Human rights activist groups put pressure on France, and expressed a concern over France's hosting of murderous people. France said that they had received a Rwandan delegation to continue talks with both sides. However, they later said it was a private visit. France knew very well who they were talking to, they also knew the political support needed by the criminal government to keep the genocide going.
Tutsi massacre in Gikonko, Gisagara
Mugusa commune was led by the Bourgmestre Kabayiza Andre. Before becoming a Bourgmestre, he was working in the prime Minister’s Office in 1992 and had replaced Kanyamanza Onesphore. The former Bourgmestre Kanyamanza is the one who coordinated all activities related to planning and execution of genocide. They also brought soldiers, the one who was called “Adjida” and was later made the principal of Gikonko High School. He was from Gisenyi and was like the genocide commanding officer. He issued instructions relating to the establishment of roadblocks, trained Hutu youths on how they would kill Tutsi and so on.
The director of PRB (Rice Processing center), called Nkusi Augustin helped soldiers to receive instructions related to genocide planning and implementation through his phone in the center. Also, genocide planning meetings were held at the factory. The list of Tutsi to be killed was compiled by the Bourgmestre in collaboration with former Bourgmestres and Councillors.
It started in the Buhoro Sector which was inhabited by many Burundians. They started slaughtering and eating Tutsi cows. The councilor came to the Commune and he was given police officers and the agronomist. He took the Burundians at the commune and when they arrived, Adjida released them saying that they had made a mistake of eating cows while their owners were still alive. He told them to kill the owners first and then eat the cows. It happened during the first dates of April on April 8 or 9, 1994. Tutsi from Rusatira, Ruhashya, Shyanda, Mbazi and Mugusa communes were gathered at the Gikonko commune. More than 25,000 Tutsi were killed on April 27, 1994.
Gathering them took about two days where the councillors used loudspeakers and called them to the football ground. After that, soldiers shot them from the upper side of the ground and other killers with traditional weapons had surrounded the ground.
The leading killers included the deputy bourgoumestre called Sylvestre, together with his father Mugenzi, the former Gikonko Councillor Twagirayezu, Kayitare Yusi, the director of CERAR school and he was the president of CDR in the commune. Brigadier of the commune called Athanase and school inspector called Muramba.
Tutsi massacre at NYAMURE hill, Muyira sector, Nyanza District
Nyamure hill was located in the former Butare prefecture, Ntyazo commune, Nyamure sector, Gatare cell. It is currently in Nyanza District, Muyira sector, Nyamure cell, Gatare village. Many Tutsi started to flee to Nyamure hill on April 20, 1994 and they joined others who had arrived before. They spent a week there till April 27, 1994 when a major attack came and killed them all. They had taken refuge there because they thought the genocide would not be very severe as it was and they thought it was just a short time conflict so that they would return home. In addition, many would have fled to Burundi which shared borders with Ntyazo, Muyira and Ntongwe communes. They also thought it would be easier for them to defend themselves using the stones on that hill and that is what happened when they were attacked.
Many Tutsi were from Muyira, Ntyazo and Rusatira communes, Butare prefecture and from Kigoma and Ntongwe communes in Gitarama prefecture and elsewhere.
Those who could, had brought little food which they shared with many others and got finished immediately. Due to hunger and thirst as they were staying on the top of the hill far from their fields, they started to form small groups to go and fetch nourishment from their closest fields during the night but it was very scary as the attacks started on April 21, 1994. Later, they started to slaughter and eat their cows.
They arrived on April 20th and on the 21st major attacks mainly composed of many citizens and interahamwe started to attack and kill them. They had machetes, clubs, spears and many other traditional weapons. Only guns were used after realising that Tutsi were defending themselves using stones and few bows they had.
From April 22nd to 26, 1994, many attacks kept on coming and more Tutsi were still coming for refuge. More especially, on April 25th, 1994 killers had used another way and reached Tutsi refugees from the top of Nyamure hill and Tutsi started to flee from Nyamure. Among those who fled to the side of the killers 10 were killed immediately and others were continuously killed on their way to fetch food from the fields. During the time, leaders and interahamwe continued to lead the attacks and to mobilise people to kill.
At the forefront there was the Bourgmestre of Muyira commune called MUHUTU Adalbert, Twagiramungu Zacharie, MDR president in Ntyazo commune, various councillors of Ntyazo commune; Murindahabi, the councillor of Nyamure, Murindahabi Isaie of Gatonde sector and Mutabaruka who was the councillor of Kayanza sector. There were also many trained interahamwe like Sendima, Munyaneza Gaspard and others. In addition, Ndahimana, who was a doctor and the leader of Nyamure health center sent a health center car to fetch interahamwe and police officers from Muyira and Ntyazo communes.
There was also Munyakayanza and Mbarubukeye (teachers at Nyamure primary school) who played an important role in mobilising people to kill and lead attacks. More particularly, they participated in the killing of Tutsi who had taken refuge at Rwezamenyo hill opposite to Nyamure hill and students from Nyamure primary school who believed that they would be protected by their teachers who in turn killed them. There was also a citizen called Gakuba who used grenades.
On April 26, 1994, killers spent a night at the base of the hill and surrounded Tutsi refugees to avoid anyone could survive. On the morning of April 27, 1994, major attacks were directed to them using guns, grenades, traditional weapons and they were no longer able to defend themselves. Many soldiers and gendarms from Nyabisindu sous prefecture, Nyanza and others who had spent two weeks at Muyira commune with bourgoumestre MUHUTU Adalbert, others were coming from Nyanza on the same day. There were also police officers from Muyira and Ntyazo communes as well as interahamwe from Bugesera via Busoro.
Soldiers set up a gun at Nyamure primary school and started to shoot. Tutsi were very afraid due to high death toll and serious injuries and the remaining ones descended on the hill but they could not survive the killers who had surrounded the hill. After the gunshots, killers climbed the hill to finish off those who were breathing and to take away their clothes. In general, 22,378 Tutsi were killed at Nyamure hill, their bodies were left lying around due to their huge number.
Those who led the attack included Bourgoumestre of Muyira commune, MUHUTU Adalbert who was sentenced to life in prison but fled to Zaïre, Twagiramungu Zacharie, who was the president of MDR in Ntyazo commune, Police officers of Muyira commune led by Ruberandinda Claver, Gasanganwa, Bazarama and Bizoza. Ruzindana Silas, a major businessman in Muyira centre, Nyamiyaga whose car also transported interahamwe to Nyamure. He was also sentenced with life imprisonment but fled to Congo Brazzaville.
Genocide against the Tutsi was planned and implemented by the Government. The fact that Tutsi were killed from the morning of April 7, 1994, it is undeniable that it was a government’s planned agenda.
Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascène
National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)