As part of an Open Letter to General Paul Kagame by Francis Muhoozi
Allow me Mr. President to bring to your attention some of the facts regarding yourself – General Paul Kagame, and your Tutsi Rwanda Patriotic Army’s criminal records well documented and pending:
A. Before April 1994
Massacre of Burundian refugees resettled in Commune Muvumba and massacre of the Hima in Commune Muvumba, Prefecture of Byumba in October 1990 when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded Rwanda from its military bases in south western Uganda. There were open massacres of the population of Shonga, Commune Muvumba, Prefecture of Byumba. The RPF occupied Shonga from October 1990 until its victory in July, 1994. The RPF decimated the population living in Shonga.
Between 1991 and 1992, RPF massacred Hutu in the communes of Bwisigye, Cyumba, Cyungo, Kibali, Kivuye, Kiyombe, Mukarange, Muvumba, and Ngarama of the prefecture of Byumba. Massacres were also carried out in the communes Butaro, Cyeru, and Nyamugari of Ruhengeri. Some of the people from these communes were taken to Uganda and disappeared. RPF killings generated massive internally displaced persons who sought refuge at makeshift camps. The RPF shelled these camps although these internally displaced persons were not armed.
On February 8, 1993, the RPF attacked the town of Ruhengeri and massacred unarmed civilians. During the attack the RPF summarily executed a large number of civilians including Barengayabo, President of the Appeals Court and Philippe Gakwerere, Inspector of mining and their families. During its military offensive of February 1993, the RPF massacred unarmed civilians in Ngarama, Commune Gituza, Prefecture of Byumba.
On May 18, 1993, the RPF assassinated Emmanuel Gapyisi, a member of the political bureau of the Democratic Republican Movement (MDR) and president of MDR in the prefecture of Gikongoro.
On August 25, 1993, the RPF assassinated Fidele Rwambuka, mayor of the commune of Kanzenze, prefecture of Kigali and a member of the central committee of the Republican National Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND).
In the night of November 17 and 18, 1993 the RPA under Colonel Kayizari massacred 48 unarmed civilians in the sous-prefecture of Kirambo, prefecture of Ruhengeri. In the same month of November 1993, the RPF Massacred of unarmed civilians in Commune Mutura, prefecture Gisenyi and Commune Bwisigye, prefecture of Byumba. The United Nations Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) investigated the massacre of Mutura and Kirambo and never published its findings.
On February 21, 1994, the RPF assassinated Felicien Gatabazi, the executive secretary of the Social democratic party (PSD).
On February 22, 1994, the RPF assassinated Martin Bucyana, president of the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR). Colonel Karenzi of the RPF coordinated these political assassinations.
On March 15, 1994 RPF soldiers under Colonel Kayonga carried out the assassination of Nathanael Nyilinkwaya, director of the tea factory of Cyohoha Rukeri, his wife, and two factory employees. From 1991 to 1993, RPF agents planted mines and bombs on roads, minibuses, and public places. Some of these agents were arrested carrying explosives. Others were arrested crossing into Rwanda from Burundi, Tanzania, and Zaire (the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
B. From April 6th, 1994 to present
According to a UN secret report and to Jean-Pierre Mugabe, a former RPF official, General Kagame ordered the shooting down of the plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundi counterpart, Cyprien Ntaryamira. The plane was shot down on April 6, 1994 at 8:30 PM as it was about to land at Kanombe International Airport. Presidents, their aides and the crew died instantly on the impact.
In April 1994, the RPF under Colonel Kayonga went from house to house in Remera, Kigali killing businessmen, intellectuals, politicians, and all members of their families. RPF soldiers executed unarmed civilians who fled to Amahoro Stadium. Following are the names of the people executed by the RPF.
The list is not exhaustive:
- Ndagijimana Celestin, Chief Administrator officer at IMPRISCO
- Claudien Habarushaka, former prefect of Kigali
- Baliyanga, Sylvestre, then prefect of Ruhengeri, his wife and children
- Jean-Marie Vianney Mvulirwenande’s wife and children; – Mujyanama, Theoneste, former attorney general
- Habimana, Aloys, former director in the ministry of agriculture
- Stanislas Niyibizi’s wife and children
- Hategekimana , Raphael, director of Village Urugwiro
- Major Bugenimana, Helene and her children
- Bahigiki, Emmanuel, former secretary general in the ministry of planning, his wife and children
- Gahutu Jean, his wife and children
- Nsengiyaremye, Theodore, pharmacist, his wife and children
- Munyangabe, Marcel, former president of the General Accounting Court, his wife and children
- Ndaziramiye, Herson, his wife and children
- Gashegu, Dismas, former vice chancellor of the National University of Rwanda
- Mbanzarugamba, Felicien, employee at Bralirwa, his wife and children
- Kayibanda, Irene, employee at Societe Nationale d’Assurances (SONARWA)
- Hategekimana, Jean, president of the Court of Kigali, his wife and children
- Mupenda, Frederic, employee at the ministry of public works
- Donat Hakizimana’s wife and children
- Nyungura, Emile, his wife and children
According to Human Rights Watch and the FIDH, by April 25, 1994 the RPF had opened a corridor from Kigali to Byumba. It evacuated civilians from Amahoro Stadium, Kigali to Byumba. Some of the people it evacuated were summarily executed in Byumba. Among them was:
- Gregoire Kayinamura, vice president of MDR
- Norbert Muhaturukundo, employee at the ministry of information, and
- Sebulikoko, Celestin, businessman
This list is not exhaustive:
So far, no RPF soldier has been prosecuted.
On April 21, 1994 the RPF killed Catholic priests who had sought refuge at Rwesero Seminary. These priests are:
- Christian Nkiliyehe
- Anastase Nkundabanyanga
- Joseph Hitimana
- Gaspard Mudashimwa
- Alexis Havugimana
- Celestin Muhayimana
- Augustin Mushyenderi
- Fidele Mulinda
So far, no RPF soldier has been prosecuted.
On June 5, 1994 RPF soldiers summarily executed three Catholic bishops:
- Vincent Nsengiyumva, Archbishop of Kigali
- Thaddee Nsengiyumva, bishop of Kabgayi
- Joseph Ruzindana, bishop of Byumba;
Nine Catholic priests were also executed with the bishops
- Mgr. Innocent Gasabwoya, former General Vicar Bishop of Kamonyi
- Mgr. Jean-Marie Vianney Rwabilinda
- Father Emmanuel Uwimana, Chancellor of the minor seminary of Kabgayi
- Father Sylvestre Ndaberetse
- Father Bernard Ntamugabumwe
- Father Francois Xavier Muligo
- Father Alfred Kayibanda
- Fidele Gahonzire Human
RPF soldiers also executed Brother Jean Baptiste Nsinga, President of St Joseph Brothers. So far RPF soldiers responsible of these killings were slightly prosecuted compared to their crimes. RPF soldiers summarily executed priests, nuns, and pastors.
From April 7, 1994 through August 1994, the RPF summoned people to public meetings. After people had gathered to listen to RPF officials, RPF soldiers massacred them. The following terms are reminiscent of these episodes:
kwitaba inama or to attend a public meeting
kwikiza umwanzi or to get rid of the enemy
and gutegura or to clean up a place
When people were summoned to attend a public meeting, they were summarily executed. When people were summoned to clean up a place to supposedly resettle internally displaced people, they were summarily executed. When people were summoned to attend a public meeting to learn how to smoke out Interahamwe, they were asked to tie each other arms behind the back using ropes. Then they were summarily executed. Human Rights Watch and the FIDH have reported these massacres in the publication mentioned earlier.
A UNHCR report prepared by a team of three people headed by Robert Gersony on these numerous massacres that occurred as the RPF took control of Rwanda in 1994 was buried under pressure from the United States and the UN. According to Human Rights Watch and the FIDH ‘from August 1st through September 5th the team visited ninety-one sites in forty one of the 145 communes of Rwanda and gathered detailed information about ten others.’
They go on to say that “A written note produced by the UNHCR estimated only that the RPF had killed thousands of persons a month, but Gersony himself reportedly estimated that during the months from April to August the RPF killed between 25,000 and 45,000 persons, between 5,000 and 10,000 persons each month from April through July and 5,000 for the month of August. In press accounts based on leaked information, the figure most often cited was 30,000.” As for the massacre of unarmed civilian at Kibeho, prefecture of Gikongoro, that UNAMIR, non-government organizations and international news media witnessed more than 8,000 people died.
Pasteur Bizimungu, then president of Rwanda, urged the international community to accept the death toll of three hundred people. RPA soldiers removed dead bodies at night and took them at other locations so that international news media and non government organizations could not count them. Massacres of tens of thousands unarmed Hutu civilians, mostly women, children and elderly, by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, in Kanama in October-November 1997. The Rwanda Patriotic Army accepted the responsibility for these crimes, but none was punished or even prosecuted for these crimes against humanity.
To repair the tarnished image of Kagame’s regime, Colonel Ibingira who ordered this massacre was sentenced to one year of under house arrest. On the list of massacres are also those of tens of thousands of unarmed civilians, mostly women, children and elderly in the caves of Nyakinama, Bugoyi, in 1998. The international media and the international community confirmed the massacres and Rwandan Patriotic Army admitted to the crimes.
Massacres of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Hutu civilian villagers, mostly young boys, women, children, and elderly in the villages across Ruhengeri and Gisenyi in 1997-1998, were also committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army. These massacres occurred under the command of General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, the former chief staff of the APR who you attempted to assassinate on 19th June 2010 in South Africa. He was then the highest-ranking military officer in charge of military operations in the prefectures of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri. The international community confirmed the massacres.
Also on the sinister list of massacres is an estimated 200,000 Hutu civilians in the refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former Zaire in 1996-1997. The United Nations, the USA, and European Union confirmed the massacres and the Rwandan Patriotic Army admitted to these crimes, but none was prosecuted. These crimes were called “acts of genocide” by the International Non-Government Independent Commission set up by the United Nations to inquire on crimes committed in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The following military officers participated in the massacres of these Hutu refugees:
- Colonel James Kabareebe, commander of the military invasion of former Zaire
- Colonel Ibingira
- Lieutenant Colonel Murokore
- Colonel Nzaramba
- Retired Colonel Nduguteye
- Colonel Jackson Rwahama
- Major Jacques Nziza, Director of the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI)
- Lieutenant Colonel Wilson Rutayisire
- Major Dan Munyuza
- Commander David
- Commander Godfrey Kabanda
- Lieutenant Colonel Kiago
Summary executions were operated on the soldiers of the ex-FAR (Forces Armees Rwandaises) and their families after they returned from the refugee camps of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania from 1996. Those who escaped assassination are rotting in jail.
The following listing is not exhaustive:
- Colonel Stanislas Hakizimana, assassinated along with his family, relatives, and neighbours on January 21, 1997
- Colonel Stanislas Bangamwabo has disappeared
- Lieutenant-Colonel Augustin Nzabanita assassinated while in prison in Gisenyi on January 23, 1997
- Lietenant-Colonel BEM Antoine Sebahire assassinated along with his wife
- Major Laurent Bizabarimana assassinated in Nyarutovu on January 18-19, 1997
- Major Lambert Rugambage assassinated in January 1997
- Major Rutayisire assassinated while in RPF ideological training known as ingando
- Captain Alexander Mugarura, assassinated
- Captain Theodore Hakizimana, assassinated
- Captain Jean Kabera, assassinated
- Lieutenant Francois Nsengimana, assassinated
- Lieutenant Faustin Nsengiyumva, assassinated
- Lieutenant Edouard Nsengiyumva, assassinated
- Major Martin Ndamage rotting in a military prison
- Major Athanase Uwamungu, rotting in a military prison
- Captain Isidore Bwanakweri rotting in a military prison
Extrajudicial executions of detainees by members of the security forces some of which have been documented by Amnesty International, are for example:
- Execution of 12 detainees at Muyira solitary confinements, prefecture of Butare on January 14, 1997
- Executions of more than 20 detainees at Gisovu dungeons, prefecture of Kibuye on January 23, 1997
- Execution of six detainees at Runda dungeons, prefecture of Gitarama on February 14, 1997
- Execution of 10 detainees at Maraba dungeons, prefecture of Butare on May 7, 1997
- Execution of 15 detainees at Gatonde dungeons, prefecture of Ruhengeri
- Execution of six detainees at Ndusu dungeons, prefecture of Ruhengeri on May 10, 1997
- Execution of 95 detainees at Rubavu dungeons and an unknown number at Kanama dungeons
The disappearances of many Rwandan citizens (journalists, businessmen and ordinary people) and the detention of Rwandan citizens in private houses has been common under RPF. The figure for these prisoners has been a rolling number year after year of around 125,000 of whom more than 30 percent were believed to be innocent.
Foreign nationals were not spared from the killings. Father Valmajo of Spain, was killed at Nyinawimana in April 1994; Father Claude Simard, a Canadian killed on October 17, 1994; three Spanish employees of the non government organization Medicos del Mundo killed on 18 January 1997; Father Guy Pinard, a Canadian killed on February 2, 1997; Father Curick Vjechoslav of Croatia assassinated in Kigali in 1998, and Father Duchamp, a Canadian.
Your regime detained 4,554 minors for allegedly taking part in the genocide. Some were arrested when they were as young as 8 years old. The children who were under 14 years old when they were arrested have been sharing overcrowded filthy prisons with adults.
To accelerate the decimation of the Hutu, General Kagame’s regime has resorted to two strategies. One has consisted of rounding up Hutu males and sending them to prison for allegedly participating in the genocide of Tutsi. Today 135,000 Hutu live in filthy crowded prisons where they die of epidemics slowly. Some have had legs amputated and others have lost feet or toes. The second strategy was to round up able body Hutu young males and sends them to the front in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) after receiving minimal military training. The concentration camp for young Rwandans at Island Iwawa featured in the New York Times by the journalist Jeffrey Gettleman in May 2010 can hint on Kagame’s modus operandi.
It is on record how Tutsi who came from Uganda occupied houses and banana fields in Kibungo and chased out Hutu from their properties. These Hutu have been relocated into concentration camps euphemistically called “villages” by the RPF regime.
C. Killing or targeting Tutsi opponents or would be opponents
From 1990 to 1994 the RPF encouraged Tutsi refugees living in Burundi and Zaire (DRC) and the territory controlled by the then Rwandan government to send their sons to join the RPF in Uganda and northern Rwanda to serve as military manpower. Many young people responded to RPF recruiting effort.
The RPF labelled these idealist young people “French speaking”. It suspected them of being spies for the Rwandan government. Many of them were executed. Major Dan Munyuza, in charge of the training wing at the time and Colonel Jacques Nziza, director of the Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) were responsible for the murder of these innocent people. Both Munyuza and Nziza led the first invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where they are responsible for the massacre of more than 200,000 Hutu. Munyuza and Nziza still serve in the RPA.
The later is responsible for the assassination of former RPF interior minister Seth Sendashonga and former RPA Colonel Theoneste Lizinde in Nairobi Kenya. He used to be the director of DMI. He is on record to have gone in the US setting up mobile RPA hit squads that were to go after Rwandan exiles.
In March 05, 2000 Assiel Kabera, advisor to former president Pasteur Bizimungu was assassinated. Lieutenant Colonel Wilson Rutayisire Shabani, former director of Radio Muhabura during RPF war and former director of the Rwandan Information Office was assassinated in Kisangani, DRC by the RPA in June 2000. Other individuals the RPF has disposed of are Victor Bayingana, a businessman and his wife Kagaju. The family of Pastor Emmanuel Gasana of Parish of Nyamagana, Commune Kigoma, Prefecture Gitarama and his family along with Pastor Joseph Karamage who was appointed to replace Emmanuel Gasana. James Habarugaba assassinated in front his home on his way from work. Professor Francois Munyamarere of the Rwanda National University Nyakinama was assassinated on his way from work. The businesswoman Ms. Mugambira shot to death in her shop in Kigali. Some officials and military officers have fled the country; among them are Christophe Hakizabera, Major Ntashamaje, and Major Kwikiriza. A former Member of Parliament, Mr. Mbanda was imprisoned for criticizing the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
Some prominent Tutsi have managed to escape RPF hit squads. They are: Joseph Sebarenzi Kabuye, exiled in the United States; Valens Kajeguhakwa, member of the Transitional national Assembly (NTA) and businessman; Sisi Evariste, member of NTA and businessman, exiled in Uganda; Doctor Kayijaho, president of Ibuka, exiled in Canada, former BP FINA Director General Jean Bosco Rutagengwa, Founder of Ibuka, exiled in USA, former AVEGA-AGAHOZO (1994 events widows association) President Chantal Kayitesi, exiled in USA, and former Prosecutor Edward Kayihura, exiled in USA. Recent ones to be named are General Kayumba Nyamwasa and Colonel Patrick Karegyeya in South Africa.