On June 4, 1994: The Capture of Kabgayi Devasted Kambanda's Government

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On June 4, 1994: The Capture of Kabgayi Devasted Kambanda's Government

Yanditswe Jun, 04 2020 10:02 AM
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On June 4, 1994, the KAMBANDA Government announced that its troops had lost the City of Kabgayi and the clashes between the Rwandan Army Forces (FAR) and the Rwandan Patriotic Front forces take place near the town of Gitarama. In the cabinet meeting on the same day and the subsequent ones, it was decided to increase the number of weapons among the interahamwe, to tighten control over how the regulations of auto defense civilewere implemented, to assess how it was being carried outand to continue searching for weapons around the world to accelerate the genocide. Diaries for KAMBANDA and for some of his Ministers were accessed and have also been used as evidences in their trials before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The Diaries outline how the Genocide plot continued to intensify at the end of May and the beginning of June 1994. Many Government meetings held during those days examined how to find guns, ammunition and other equipment to deal with the RPF-INKOTANYI and accomplishthe Genocide plan.

1.  THROUGH GOVERNMENT MEETINGS, KAMBANDA GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO INTENSIFY THE MASSACRE OF TUTSI

NYIRAMASUHUKO wrote in her diary that the Government meeting of June 1, 1994 approved that the Ministers would continue to monitor the execution of the Genocide through the program called "auto-defense civile" across prefectures. Gitarama was to be monitored by Minister Callixte NZABONIMANA. Gisenyi was assigned to two Ministers namely: Augustin NGIRABATWARE and Jean de Dieu HABINEZA. As for other prefectures, Ministers in charge were supposed to monitor the program as usual. In an effort to speed up "auto-defense civile", NYIRAMASUHUKO was in charge of monitoring the program in Butare Prefecture.

On May 31, 1994, NYIRAMASUHUKO wrote in her diary that she had held meetings in Muyaga, Rusatira, Ruhashya and Nyabisindu Communes. She did not mention people that she held meetings with but said that they discussed about the battle and wrote that "it is impossible to supply food to those who are fighting,thus they have to eat what they find."

NYIRAMASUHUKO went on to describe how the Genocide should continue and said: "to search all households, clearing bushes everywhere, cutting down forests, buying warm jackets for people, finding machetes, strengthening the security and finding about 2,000 young people reliable for no more than two days and wearing dried banana leaves as a mark for people with the samedetermination.”

NYIRAMASUHUKO also mentioned the names of the authorities who should lead the search for youth in Butare to be added to those who were committing genocide in the communes and providing them with the agreed upon materials:

Maraba Commune: The former director of Butare Prison called MUNYERAGWE was in charge of recruitment of 30 young men;

Ruhashya Commune: 30 young men to be recruited by the Prosecutor in Butare called Mathias BUSHISHI;

Rusatira Commune: 60 young men to be recruited and the activity to be led by Sylvain HARINDINTWALI, the former head ofInvestigation Service in Butare;

Mugusa commune: 60 young men to be recruited and the activity to be led by the Prefect, Colonel Alphonse Nteziryayo;

Runyinya and Gishamvu communes: no number has been indicated but NYIRAMASUHUKO wrote that the operation would be led by sous prefect Assiel SIMBALIKURE.

The plan to increase the number of interahamwe throughout the country was widespread because in Jean KAMBANDA's diary of 04 June 1994, he had written that in order to defeat the enemy, 30 young men should be recruited from each commune; i.e. young men 30x145 = 4350; this activity wasassigned to Minister NYIRAMASUHUKO.


It was also reported that weapons imported from South Africa would arrive in Rwanda on Monday, June 7, 1994before noon.

The NYIRAMASUHUKO diary also stated that more attention should be paid to Ngoma Commune (Butare) to search for people who were hiding in the forests because ¾ of the land of Commune consisted of forests. She added that everyone should be responsible for something and that at least five (5) responsibles should be appointed in each cell. She also wrote that the National University of Rwanda would like to receive firearms to prepare for "auto defense civile" and that the University was ready to provide funds for those guns.

The plan to accelerate the genocide of Tutsi who had not yet been killed on the mentioned dates was also reflected in the diary of Jean KAMBANDA who was the Prime Minister, Augustin NGIRABATWARE who was the Minister of Planning and Edouard KAREMERA who was the Minister of Local administration. KAMBANDA and KAREMERA were sentenced to life imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and NGIRABATWARE was sentenced to thirty-five years in prison.

2.  CABINET MEETINGS STRENGTHENED TACTICS FOR ACQUIRING WEAPONS AND AMUNITIONS FROM ABROAD TO FIGHT AGAINST FPR-INKOTANYI AND FULFIL THE GENOCIDE PLAN

On June 1, 1994, NYIRAMASUHUKO wrote that a Government meeting was held to discuss the progress of the war and to be informed that the government forces in the 96th Battalion based in Muvumba had been defeated and fled to Byumba continuing to Rwamagana, Kibungo, Bugesera, Nyanza and Rukondo.

NYIRAMASUHUKO noted that the Government meeting found that the soldiers needed equipment and that they had a problem with accomplices in the military, and that there was lack of adequate coordination between the military and the Government because some of them wanted to negotiate with the enemy on their own.

NYIRAMASUHUKO wrote that the meeting of Ministers of June 1, 1994 also discussed the purchase of firearms, ammunition and other military equipment. She wrote that the government had provided nine million USDollars($ 9,000,000) for the purchase of weapons in Egypt.

In addition, another four million and two hundred thousand US dollars ($ 4,200,000) was put aside for the purchase of weapons through a French man Dominique Lemonnier and followed up by Colonel BAGOSORA and Lt. Colonel Jean Bosco engineer RUHORAHOZA. Nyiramasuhuko further wrote that there were another two million two hundred thousand US dollars ($ 2,200,000) that had been given for the purchase of weapons for seven months, and that there was hope that those weapons would reach Rwanda (delivery guaranty). NYIRAMASUHUKO also indicated that KARAMIRA was on a mission abroad to buy weapons but that he had not yet returned.

From Jean KAMBANDA's diary, it is clear that the June 1, 1994government meeting decided that the Bank of Kigali should be forced to provide foreign currency to be able to buy those weapons.

The issue of where the Government would raise the money from was also written by NGIRABATWARE in his diary stating that in a meeting of June 06, 1994, the Government decided that the foreign currency in SONARWA should be withdrawn and used for the purpose.

In the KAMBANDA’sdiary on the Cabinet meeting held on June 4, 1994, it is written that the meeting also discussed the plan to recruit about 1,500 mercenaries to help government forces.

At a meeting with KAMBANDA, the Chief of Defense Staff and the Gendarmery on June 5, 1994, as stated in his diary, it was agreed that the mercenaries would be recruited from the United States and the Belgium.

The meeting of June 4, 1994 also confirmed that the City of Gitarama was occupied by the RPF-INKOTANYI Armed Forces, which is why a military prefect,Major UKURIKIYEYEZU Jean-Damascène, was appointed to replace Fidele UWIZEYE.


For the government meeting held on June 06, 1994, Jean KAMBANDA's diary indicated that more money had been spent on two contracts to import weapons in China. The first contract consisted of one million and six hundred thousand US dollars ($ 1,600,000) and the other one for two million two hundred thousand US dollars ($ 2,200,000).

The meeting also revealed that there was a contract signed by the Government of Jean KAMBANDA with an unspecified Frenchman. The Frenchman was later identified as Dominique Yves Lemonnier, a former businessman and owner of DYL INVEST based in Annecy, France.

3.  CABINETMEETINGSRESOLVED FOR INTENSIFIED TEAMWORK IN CARRYING OUT GENOCIDE AND IMPROVE THE IMAGE OF THE CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT

In the diary of KAMBANDA, about discussed issues during the meeting of June 4, 1994, he wrote that his government's image was very bad abroad, and that efforts should be made to improve it. KAMBANDA did not say that the cause of the damage was the killings by his government, but that was it.KAMBANDA said that France was ready to help them but has demanded that KAMBANDA and his government would find evidences that Uganda was providing support to the RPF-INKOTANYI, and hence France would have a reason to explain the aid that they were ready to give to the KAMBANDA government.

The strategies to ensure the telecommunications activity are clearly reflected in the diary of NGIRABATWARE where it is stated that the Government meeting of June 06, 1994 approved the signing of agreements of three companies from France and United States specializing in communication. They were supposed to help them cover up the genocide, and approved that the President and the Prime Minister should take action to explain the struggle that they were involved in, which was the Genocide.

It was also agreed that President Theodore SINDIKUBWABO should travel to Addis Ababa in the African Union to carry out a so-called "lobbying" (advocacy) action among African countries, and to initiate media war.

NGIRABATWARE also wrote that the Cabinet meeting found out that members of Interahamwe and the military were not treated equally which was leading to problems of misunderstanding and yet there was a need to unite in order to defeat the enemy.

The June 6, 1994 meeting also stated that there were accomplices among the Armed Forces, some of whom were Tutsi.As for Banyanduga,there were also accomplices due to the problem ofregionalism.

The issue was also written by KAMBANDA in his diary, where he said that there was divisionism in the military but added that "the issue of accomplices in the gendarmery should not be exaggerated." Although KAMBANDA seemed to undermine the issue of divisionism in the Gendarmery, it was a lie. At various previous meetings, like the one of June 4, 1994, divisions in the gendarmery were widely discussed.

It is clear from the KAMBANDA diary that during this meeting they also considered replacing General NDINDIRIYIMANA Augustin at the leadership of the Gendarmery and considered the list of candidates who could replace him but they did not agree on any. Among the candidates discussed were: Colonel NYIRIMANZI, Colonel RUTAYISIRE, Colonel NTIWIRAGABO and Colonel RWARAKABIJE.

NGIRABATWARE wrote that the June 6, 1994 meeting decided to intensify the functioning of the "auto-defense civile" and the government would give means to the people to be able do it and encouraging the displaced people to go back to their homes. To that end, NGIRABATWARE wrote that the Government had decided to establish a system of "auto defense civile" in each Commune and each Sector, and that the Ministers would reach out to the people, to monitor the day to day progress of the program, instead of daily Ministers meeting in the office.

CONCLUSION

By June 1994, the genocide had already taken the lives of many Tutsi in all prefectures of the country. According to transcripts of the meetings of the criminal government found in the diaries of the Prime Minister Jean KAMBANDA, and some of the Ministers, which were used in their cases at the ICTR and they were convicted of the crime of genocide, the KAMBANDA government was the one that carried out the plot to exterminate the Tutsi. The plan had been organized prior to the shooting down of President HABYARIMANA's plane and was planned by himself and his group.

Done at Kigali on June 4, 2020

Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascène

Executive Secretary

National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)



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