Remains of Hutus killed by RPF assimilated globally to remains of Genocide Victims

By The Rwandan Analyst


During the genocide commemoration procession carried out in April 2018 at the memorial site of Musanze located behind the headquarters of High Court Detached Chamber of Musanze, the representative of Ibuka of the northern province, Mr. Rwasibo during his remarks underlined that the soil of the site was visibly shaken from top to bottom and therefore explained that they had found out that people buried there are confusedly genocide victims slaughtered in 1994 and Hutus killed by infiltrators in 1997-1998 and to solve this issue they had been obliged to distinguish their respective remains. Is it materially possible to distinguish such remains after more than 20 years? What objective criteria did they base on to distinguish them? can we locate where are now remains of Hutu killed by RPA? Such questions asked by any objective analyst are responded throughout the present article.

1.Summary and arbitrary executions organized by RPA

Within a day or two of the renewal of conflict, RPF soldiers began assassinating persons associated with the Rwandan government, the army, or political groups thought to be hostile to the RPF. In many cases, the soldiers sought out the targeted persons at their homes and also killed family members or others, presumably to eliminate any witnesses. RPF troops reportedly killed Sylvestre Bariyanga, former prefect of Ruhengeri, and his family on April 9 in the Remera section of Kigali. They are also accused of slaying Col. Pontien Hakizimana, former officer of the National Police, his wife and children and Major Helene Bugenimana, National Police officer, and three of her children, who were at Hakizimana’s house. On April 12, RPF soldiers dressed as government troops, supposedly killed Emile Nyungura, a leader of the PSD party. In the Gishushu section of Kigali, some RPF troops are said to have slain Felicien Mbanzarugamba, an administrator of the Bralirwa brewery and others are reported to have killed Emmanuel Hitayezu, former minister of planning as well as his Tutsi wife. Théoneste Mujyanama, former minister of justice, and his family, were executed on April 16 while in another incident, Phénéas Bwanakeye of Kibuye was slain with thirty-two others in the household of his son in the Remera section of Kigali. On April 13, Emmanuel Bahigiki, former secretary-general of the planning ministry, left his home with his family and some Tutsi whom he had beenprotecting under the escort of RPF soldiers; the Tutsi were told to go on ahead but heard the shots that killed Bahigiki and his family. Claudien Habarushaka, former prefect of Kigali, was last seen being escorted by RPF soldiers. 

A number of people who had taken refuge under UNAMIR protection at Amahoro stadium were taken away by RPF soldiers and then “disappeared.” Among them were Charles Ngendahimana, younger brother of the assassinated politician Emmanuel Gapyisi, and Doctor Prudence, a physician who had been treating the injured and wounded in the stadium. 

Outside of the capital, too, persons of some stature in the community were reportedly killed by RPF troops, sometimes after having been well-treated for a brief period. Josias Mwongereza, a prosperous merchant from Kigali, spent the months of April to June at Gasharu, in his home commune of Murama in Gitarama prefecture. Although known to be a member of the PSD, Mwongereza was not particularly active in politics. When the RPF first arrived at Gasharu, they found some fifty people at his residence, both family members and Tutsi to whom he had given shelter. After several days, the military authorities insisted that everyone be evacuated further behind the lines. They were moved to Ruhango for several days and then the group was divided. The Tutsi were sent to Kigali or Kabuga and on or about June 25 Mwongereza and his family were escorted away at night by RPF soldiers and were slain. Six of the seven vehicles in which the family had been traveling disappeared and one, a Mercedes 190, ended up at the Finance Ministry. RPF soldiers occupied Mwongereza’s properties and declared that they would leave when the proprietor himself appeared to claim them back. 

When the RPF arrived in the commune of Muyira in Butare prefecture on June 7, they reportedly promised to protect a local leader named Faustin Sekamonyo and his Tutsi wife. The family took up residence in a house next to the commune andchildren in the family worked for the RPF, including two sons who served as drivers for the soldiers. A family friend who came to visit them on June 10 found the house empty and said he was told by an RPF soldier that they had been killed by other soldiers. 

Eustache Kubwimana, a PSD leader and others of his party initially seemed to have established a good relationship with the RPF who arrived in their commune of Kigembe in Butare prefecture on July 7. But after they wrote the new authorities with suggestions on how to win public trust, five of those who had signed the letter were taken to the communal office by soldiers and never returned home. Kubwimana then fled to Burundi. 

A group of Americans and Rwandans working for Care International in Byumba prefecture sought to return to Kigali after hearing that Habyarimana’s plane had been shot down. When they encountered a group of RPF soldiers, Daphrose Nyirangaruye, who was unarmed and posed no threat to military forces, was killed while others in the delegation were permitted to continue on their way. 

Also in Byumba, later in April, RPF soldiers killed a Spanish priest, Joaquin Valmajo, and three Rwandan priests: Abbés Joseph Hitimana, Faustin Mulindwa, and Fidèle Mulinda. On April 25 soldiers intercepted Father Valmajo and his Rwandan colleagues at Kageyo and prevented them from continuing on to Rwesero. They insulted them in front of UNAMIR soldiers, who did not intervene, and ordered them to go to the town of Byumba. Once there, Father Valmajo was in touch with Spanish authorities by radio for three days and then disappeared. After urgent inquiries from the Spanish government, an RPF official requested information from Col. Kayumba Nyamwasa, then deputy head of the general staff of the National Police and effectively the head of military intelligence. Colonel Kayumba reported that RPF soldiers had killed the priest and this conclusion was passed on to the Spanish government. 

RPF soldiers in some cases specially targeted the families of officers and soldiers of the Rwandan army. Several Rwandan army officers complained to Dallaire during April, May, and June about relatives who had been killed by theRPF. In one case, a Rwandan officer who signed the Kigeme declaration mentioned above found twenty-three of his family slain near the town of Gitarama. 

By April 25, the RPF had opened a corridor from Kigali to Byumba and had begun evacuating thousands of people to this position behind the lines. They took some from existing sites for the displaced in Kigali, like the Amahoro stadium or the Roi Faysal hospital, and collected others as they moved from house to house in those neighborhoods that they controlled in the city. Tens of thousands of other displaced persons gathered at Rutare, north of Kigali, where the RPF established a camp. Eventually some 35,000 persons would be housed in Byumba while another 150,000 would be at Rutare. 

At Byumba, the RPF executed some forty political leaders or persons of importance in civil society and at Rutare they killed another twenty or so. The RPF began executing these people even as they were escorting them to supposed places of safety. One human rights activist was taken to be killed on the road to Byumba but was saved by the screams of his wife. Because she was a Tutsi and the niece of a RPF officer, she was able to prevent the execution of her husband. 

The RPF Department of Military Intelligence (DMI) reportedly killed Celestin Seburikoko, an important Tutsi businessman originally from Butare, because he had supported the MRND. Like many in his position, he had contributed to Habyarimana’s party as well as to the RPF and to the MDR, attempting to ensure his own security no matter which group ended up dominating the government. According to one witness, Kagame personally inquired about this case when the DMI seized Seburikoko at the end of April or beginning of May. Apparently convinced of Seburikoko’s harmlessness, Kagame reportedly agreed to prevent his execution, but ultimately did not and the businessman was slain two or three days later. 

A former sub-prefect and employee of the Ministry of Youth, Norbert Muhaturukundo, was also reportedly executed at Byumba as was Charles Mbabajende, one of the staff of the human rights organization LIPRODHOR, killed on May 8. In another case, a member of the human rights group ADL was detained for eight days and warned to give up his human rights activities when he was released. 

As tens of thousands of persons gathered at a huge RPF camp at Rutare, RPF authorities selected out community leaders and intellectuals whom they took away “to help organize the camp.” They were not seen again. One of those was Come Kajemundimwe, a physics teacher at a secondary school in Kigali. Educated in the U.S.S.R. where he had founded an association to bring together Hutu and Tutsi students, he had often opposed the Habyarimana government. As punishment he had been relegated to teaching secondary school instead of being posted to the university. He was said to have protected more than fifty people, Tutsi and Hutu, at his home in Kacyiru during the genocide. He was preparing to move the entire group to his home region of Cyangugu when RPF soldiers arrived and sent them to Rutare camp. Several days later, Kajemundimwe disappeared in the company of other people of education and stature. 

Political leaders and leaders of civil society who had seen the RPF as their rescuers and who expected to collaborate with them were frightened and angered by the executions and “disappearances” of their colleagues. Some of them wanted to leave Byumba but the RPF, anxious to maintain the appearance of collaborating in a multi-ethnic, multi-party coalition, made it impossible for them to go. A number of them protested to Kagame and other RPF authorities, both orally and through written notes. Seth Sendashonga, responsible for liaisons between this group and the RPF, wrote six memoranda to Kagame about the “disappearances” and killings and the resulting disaffection among supposed collaborators. At one point, the protesters met with Sendashonga and RPF chairman Kanyarengwe tovoice their fear and anger. The RPF leaders promised to convey the concerns of the group to Kagame, but the effort brought no change. 

The most widely known and condemned of executions by RPF soldiers were the slayings of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Kigali, three other bishops, and ten priests at Byimana parish, near Kabgayi in early June. The one priest who survived the attack related that the group of clergy were arrested by the RPF at Kabgayi and moved to Byimana on June 2. Several days later soldiers who were guarding the clergy burst into the room where they were gathered and shot them dead. The priest who managed to flee was later captured by RPF soldiers who agreed to release him only after he accepted their version of events, that is, that the soldiers carried out the killings in reprisal for the slaughter of their own families. When the RPF officially admitted responsibility for the slayings several days later, it declared that one of the murderers had been killed in flight and that the others were being sought and would be tried. Apparently none was ever caught and RPF authorities have never made public any proof to substantiate their claim that the slayings were unauthorized reprisal killings. Archbishop Vincent Nsengiyumva was known for his closeness to Habyarimana, but not all in the group held such a position. Bishop Thaddée Nsengiyumva, who was also murdered, had favored political reform and had sought to distance the church from Habyarimana’s government. 

2.Summary Execution of Persons Accused of Genocide

RPF authorities insisted that both personal acts of vengeance and more general killing of those thought to have committed genocide were prohibited. Even very young and just recruited soldiers understood and repeated this to foreign journalists. On April 17, Kanyarengwe asserted that the RPF priority was to stop the killings and “to arrest the criminals and hand them over to courts, so thateveryone could defend himself and be punished according to his crime.” RPF vice-chairman Denis Polisi reiterated the policy a month later. Speaking of some 2,000 prisoners captured by RPF troops, he declared:

They will be held until a time comes when we can try them in properly constituted legal institutions. We have no policy of killing any one of them and it is our intention that we bring them to justice. 

Four months later, RPF spokesman Major Wilson Rutayisire reportedly said that there were only “about 200” detained for genocide, raising the question of the fate of the others. RPF soldiers apparently regularly executed persons whom they thought guilty of genocide and, in contrast to statements made to foreigners, some of them readily admitted this to other Rwandans. At Kabuga, a RPF post just outside Kigali, an officer named Gasore assured a person who inquired about the situation in the area south of Kigali, “Don’t worry. We have taken vengeance for you in Bugesera….” In that area, where thousands of Tutsi had been killed in and near Kanzenze, the RPF had killed 300 Hutu, he reportedly said. Another survivor of the genocide who spent some time at an RPF post near Kizi, outside the town of Butare, declared:

I saw the the RPF soldiers bringing bodies in trucks at night and throwing them in toilets at Mwogo, near where they had dug their trenches. They brought men already wounded with their arms tied behind their backs. They brought no women. The soldiers were proud to show us that they were avenging us. We were ill at ease with this. We saw them dump bodies also in toilets of shops and houses at the little commercial center. 

Another witness related that persons leaving Zone Turquoise were held in the camp at Kizi, near the limit of the zone controlled by the French. There they were searched and interrogated. Survivors of the genocide who were temporarily lodged in shops at the commercial center joined in accusing those alleged to have participated in the genocide. In late August, the RPF supposedly put into effect a regulation requiring that an accused person had to be denounced by at least five persons before being executed. One accused person was reportedly hit on the head and thrown into a mass grave, but managed to escape and fled back to the Zone Turquoise. 

In some cases, RPF soldiers simply assumed that any people still alive in a community had killed Tutsi. When a survivor at Kabuga asked the RPF officer Gasore about the fate of people at Ndera, near Kigali, he is said to have replied that probably everyone in that region was dead, whether Hutu or Tutsi. “When we arrived,” he said, “we supposed that those still alive were alive because they had collaborated and we killed them all.” According to another witness, RPF soldiers decided that the people they found alive in the Bugeramanga sector of Murama commune, Gitarama prefecture, had all participated in the genocide. They killed some thirty people by striking them with hoes and then throwing grenades into the house where they were gathered. Among those slain were some Tutsi as well as Hutu. A witness from Butare prefecture related a similar event. Describing the arrival of RPF troops in early July, she said:

The first day, they killed in turn. The militia killed those who came out of hiding to flee, and when the RPF arrived here and found the bodies, they killed the others who were still alive on the spot. 

After the first days of combat, the RPF made more of an effort to investigate the past behavior of people before condemning them to “disappearance” or execution. In some cases, they turned to survivors who were or appeared to beTutsi to judge others. One witness related his experience when the RPF arrived at his house in Kigali on April 20:

They asked the women in the household, who looked Tutsi—but in fact were not—if the rest of us were “good.” When the women answered, “yes,” we were all taken away without trouble for evacuation. 

The soldiers consulted Tutsi first of all, but if they found Hutu whom they judged to be reliable, they also asked their opinion about others. In Muyira, the soldiers used survivors to guide them to the homes of supposed perpetrators and also asked a Hutu of importance in the community to name killers. When RPF soldiers arrived in the commune of Rusatira in early July, they killed persons pointed out by a Hutu councilor. At most houses, they threw the dead into latrines, but at one house with a flush toilet, they burned the bodies. 

Soldiers sometimes arranged for survivors to denounce supposed killers among the crowds grouped at camps for displaced persons. In April, RPF soldiers separated the men from the women among the displaced who had taken refuge at the Amahoro stadium, then protected by UNAMIR. They brought in survivors to point out supposed killers among these people and then removed those identified from the stadium. Those persons were never seen again. 

On June 11, RPF soldiers directed some 1,500 people of Mukingi commune to gather in the sector of Mahembe, near the Nyagafunzo stream, where they stayed for about two weeks. During that time Corporal Mandevu and a soldier named André Pake (nicknamed Brown) were in charge. At one point, the soldiers separated the men from the women. They questioned survivors and others aboutwho had participated in the genocide. On the basis of that information they took away some eighty people who were never seen again. 

In Rango, south of Butare, RPF soldiers summoned local people and displaced persons from neighboring communes to two meetings, one on July 8 and another on July 11. At the first meeting, they read a list of names of men, in most cases just their Christian names. They warned that any who did not come forward would be caught later. Those taken were locked up that night at the Rango Health Center and then “disappeared.” When the wife of one man asked soldiers where he had gone, she was told that he had gone to be interrogated and would return. She never saw him again. At the second meeting, soldiers asked survivors to identify purported killers and they then took those named away in vehicles. Those taken away did not return. On July 22, the hundreds of displaced persons who had been grouped at the parish of Save were called to a final meeting before being sent back to their homes. Soldiers asked the families of victims to point out the presumed killers. Some two hundred persons so indicated were taken away for interrogation. Most were never seen again but about a dozen were later released. Some of those freed, including a man named Mugiraneza, were taken away again by soldiers a few days later. 

In addition to gathering information from survivors and others in the community, RPF soldiers also conducted their own interrogations to discover supposed perpetrators of the genocide. During the last days of April or the first days of May, a foreigner reportedly witnessed the execution of persons in Gahini after they had been interrogated by soldiers. In Byumba and Kigali it was mostly soldiers of the DMI who did the questioning. Soon after arrival in Byumba, displaced persons from Kigali were summoned one after another to be questioned. One witness observed that the number of persons lodging in the same large room of a secondary school with him dropped from some one hundred to about sixty in the course of several weeks. Those who left had all been taken away by RPF soldiers. If the person being summoned was with other family members, the whole group was generally taken at once. Sometimes they left under the impression thatthey were being moved to Mulindi where they would have better lodgings and where they could assist in formulating government programs. But they were never seen again. They were ordinarily transported in two vehicles, a Volkswagen Jetta and a minibus. One evening at about 7 p.m., the witness and another man were summoned by soldiers and transported to a house near the hospital. They were both questioned but were eventually permitted to return to their lodgings. Another witness recalled his experience in Byumba:

The first day, I was imprisoned with fourteen people. They then took them all out. The same thing happened the next day and the day after. They put people in the room with me, then took them out and they did not return. This went on for eight days when they released me. 

One woman recounted that she had seen many people “disappear” during the three months that she was at Byumba, including women, children and household workers. She declared,

On June 2, two soldiers came to take my husband away. They came in civilian clothes, but I knew they were soldiers. Today they work for the DMI….After several weeks I went to the authorities to ask where my husband was. I went to Karera Denis, a captain who was the commander at Byumba. They said my husband was working for “the family,” the “umuryango,” as they called it. They said I should wait for him, that I might even have to wait four years before I heard from him. That was June 28, 1994. 

A foreign doctor working in Byumba reported two people killed and two wounded by RPF soldiers in mid-May and stated that others, including women, had come to the hospital for treatment for wounds they said had been inflicted by the RPF troops. He added that those recently wounded were “victims of witchhunts,suspected collaborators.” He remarked that “There is a family-by-family screening” of new arrivals that amounts to “almost a paranoia.” 

A witness from Rutare camp also declared that he saw groups of men being marched off behind a nearby school and that they did not return. 

When the RPF troops advanced through the commune of Ngenda, in the region known as Bugesera, south of Kigali, they reportedly directed the local people to a camp at Rutonde. After two days, the RPF soldiers took away the young men from the camp and, the day after, took away some older men. One who was taken but was able to return to the camp reported that others had been tied up, beaten on the head until dead and then thrown into the river. When the wife of one man who had supposedly been killed in that way tried to flee, she was caught by RPF soldiers who killed the child on her back and two other women by blows to the head. The woman herself was beaten on the head with a nail-studded club but survived. She showed a human rights investigator the scars of the beating. 

On July 13, RPF soldiers gathered several hundred displaced persons from Ntyazo, Ngenda, and Runyinya communes at a site near the town of Butare. They told them they were to be transported either to the stadium in town or back to their home communes. Instead they took them to buildings of the Groupe Scolaire and nearby veterinary school where they separated the men from women. The soldiers eventually released most of the women and a few of the men, but many of the men were held for interrogation and later “disappeared.” Witnesses in the area declared that for two days they had heard the sounds of people being killed in the woods next to the school. 

RPF soldiers occupied the grounds of the Kivumu church, north of Gitarama, during the month of July and used the site as a camp for displaced persons. During that month, they killed several hundred men, apparently after having interrogated them. Those who helped bury the dead stated that most had their arms boundbehind their backs and that they had been beaten to death. A researcher from Human Rights Watch/Africa was shown three mass graves on the grounds. 

When the RPF took Kigali on July 4, they ordered the population to assemble in several locations around the city. One person who was directed towards the site in Kacyiru reported:

And then they began to interrogate everyone there, especially the young men. To ask you what you were doing during this massacre. What you did. Especially since there were a lot of militia left when the city was taken by surprise. They didn’t have time to get out of the city. They [the RPF] wanted to do a triage, the innocent and then the victims and those really guilty of genocide. 

The witness added that most of those interrogated had been men, that women were questioned less often. The questions asked concerned not just behavior during the genocide, but also political party membership and ethnic group. After questioning, those found suspect were put in a building apart which was called the house of the ibipinga, or the opponents. Those found probably trustworthy were pressed to join the RPF as soldiers and they were housed in a building belonging to the social security administration (caisse sociale). The new recruits were interrogated again concerning their activities and their ethnicity. The witness stated that relatively few Hutu passed the second interrogation. Those who did not were sent to the house of the ibipinga. 

After a few days, the new recruits were transferred to a RPF post at Masaka. According to the witness, some 120 of the new recruits were assigned to a detail called “manpower,” which was carried out at the headquarters of the DMI at Masaka. There the recruits killed civilians, first tying their arms and legs and then striking them in the head with a hammer or other blunt instrument. According to the witness, the bodies were burned and what remained was buried. He declared that he could smell the burning flesh and see the smoke every day. Himself a medical assistant, he said he was never assigned to do this work, but he did give medical excuses to about ten recruits who were disgusted by the duty and wanted a way to avoid it. He said that from what he heard, he believed that thousands wereslain in this way. The witness asserted that he was transferred about one month later to a military camp at Gabiro in the Akagera game park where the same kind of slaughter and burning of bodies took place in a detention camp adjacent to the military camp. 

The witness, described as credible by a former high-ranking RPF official, gave testimony that was convincing in its spontaneity and detail. Some of the practices he described, such as the screening by interrogation, the pressure on young men to join the RPF, and the use of the English term “manpower” among RPF soldiers, have been mentioned by other witnesses. We have no direct confirmation of his most serious charges, but there is some indirect corroboration. U.N. officials stumbled across a large number of bodies in a Kigali stadium several weeks after the RPF took power, to the great anger of RPF soldiers, and some U.N. officials had been told that there was a special RPF squad for disposing of bodies by burning them. (See below.) Journalists present in Kigali during July reported seeing a column of young men being marched under RPF guard to an unknown destination. When they questioned the authorities about them, they received different and not very credible explanations of who the young men were and where they were going. Four months after the events described by the witness, several U.N. employees arrived unexpectedly by helicopter at the Gabiro camp and observed large numbers of civilians, including women and children, who rushed forward, apparently to try to make contact with them. Soldiers reportedly drove the people back, beating them with sticks. The RPF commander of the camp was extremely angry at the U.N. employees, interrogated them at length, and detained them for several hours. Agents of the DMI interrogated the U.N. employees several times in the days after the incident. 

3.The Gersony Report Does Not Exist”

Gersony reported the results of his mission to Madame Sadako Ogata, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who in turn informed the secretary-general. Boutros-Ghali and some of his subordinates were concerned not just about the extent of the abuses alleged and the eventual impact of the information on the still fragile Rwandan government, but also about the negative publicity for UNAMIR and other U.N. agencies operating in Rwanda with no apparent awareness of such atrocities. He directed Kofi Annan, who was traveling in northeastern Africa, to change his plans and go to Rwanda. There, on September 19, Annan, Gersony, and the secretary-general’s special representative, Shaharyar Khan, briefed the Rwandan prime minister, the minister of foreign affairs and the interior minister onGersony’s findings. The Rwandan government officials admitted that some soldiers had engaged in reprisal killings. But they rejected Gersony’s allegations about the scale and the systematic nature of the killings and declared that it was impossible for thousands to have been killed without attracting attention. 

The news of Gersony’s findings must have reached Washington soon after they arrived in New York. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs George Moose contacted Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Prudence Bushnell in Bujumbura where she had just arrived from Kigali and directed her to return immediately to Rwanda to discuss the findings with officials there.

Annan and Khan went to visit one of the regions mentioned by Gersony and Bushnell, too, went down to the border region to attempt to check on Gersony’s charges, but the time was too brief and their contacts too limited to allow them to learn anything new. 

Annan, apparently at Boutros-Ghali’s direction, reportedly informed the Rwandan prime minister that the U.N. would do its best to minimize the attention given to Gersony’s findings because the international community understood the difficult context in which the new government was operating. In the meantime, the information would be treated as awaiting confirmation—that is, it would be kept confidential. Without endorsing Gersony’s findings, Annan nonetheless stressed that the killings must stop immediately. General Guy Tousignant, who had replaced General Dallaire as commander of UNAMIR, conveyed the same message even more bluntly to other ministers in the government, declaring that Gersony was probably right and that the slaughter must end. In the meantime, the UNHCR suspended its organized repatriation of refugees and UNAMIR posted some onehundred peacekeepers to the southeast, one of the regions where the most violence had been reported. 

4.International Responsibility

Faced with full and horrifying information about a genocide where the moral and legal imperative to act was overwhelming, major actors at the U.N. and in various national governments had failed to intervene. Burdened with the guilt of this failure, they confronted a more complex situation when Gersony revealed the apparent extent of RPF killings.

Gersony’s conclusions seemed solid, based as they were on a substantial body of data. Although the brief visits to the field by U.N. and U.S. representatives and the short-lived investigative commission did not confirm his findings, neither were they extensive enough to invalidate them. In addition, on September 15, Human Rights Watch/Africa published a report documenting the Mukingi massacre and other killings and reporting on the existence of mass graves at sites where RPF troops had organized a camp for the civilian population.

Leading authorities at the U.N. and in national governments were troubled by this information. They wanted the slaughter to end but they were reluctant to make any criticisms that might weaken the new Rwandan government. As one U.S. policymaker described the situation:

We have three choices. Support the former genocidal government. That is impossible. Support the RPF. That is possible. Support neither. That is unacceptable because it might result in the those responsible for the genocide coming back to win. 

Timothy Wirth, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, met Gersony in Kigali in late September and found the presentation of his work “compelling.” Wirth discussed the killings of civilians described by Gersony and by the Human Rights Watch/Africa report with authorities in Kigali, but without getting any conclusive response from them. In a briefing in Washington several weeks later, both Wirth and Assistant Secretary of State Moose rejected the conclusion that RPF killings were “systematic” and Wirth suggested that Gersony had been misled by prejudiced informants. Moose remarked, however, that the U.S., like Belgium and Germany, was supporting the RPF “with its eyes open.” He added that UNAMIR forces were going to be deployed more rapidly in Rwanda, presumably in hopes that their presence would reduce killings by the RPF. 

By refusing to deal openly and firmly with accusations of killings by the RPF, the U.N. and the international community shielded the RPF from reproach and from demands for increased international scrutiny of its policies and practices. The pressure brought by Annan, the U.S., and perhaps others behind the scenes, however, strengthened the position of moderates within the government who were seeking to end attacks on civilians. Partly in response to international pressure, partly in response to changes within Rwanda itself, RPF authorities ordered soldiers to stop killing civilians. The number of civilians slain diminished markedly after late September. 


Without exhausting all the cases of Hutus slaughtered by RPA during struggles and just after its victory and beyond Rwandan borders with DRC, remains which unceasingly buried are of only Tutsi but also those of Hutus and the RPF regime profits of their availability to renew the session and seize the occasion to exacerbate the ethnic hatred as remarked during the annual ceremonies of commemoration of genocide. 


1  Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Paris, April 22, 1996; by telephone, Montreal, November 23, 1996; Nairobi, February 8, 1997; Brussels, June 21, 1997 and October 19, 1997. .

2 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Paris, April 22, 1996; by telephone, Nairobi, May 9, 1998; Joseph Matata, “Les Massacres Planifiés de Civils Hutu dans la Prefécture de la Ville de Kigali,” p.3

3 Anonymous, “Massacre Par le FPR en Juin 1994 d’Une Cinquantaine de Membres de la Famille du Commercant Mwongereza Josias en commune Murama-Prefecture de Gitarama au Rwanda,” September 14, 1994; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Paris, April 22, 1996. 

4Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Paris, February 19, 1998.  72 Correspondence from family members, December 22, 1995.  

5 Jean Hélène,“Fuyant les exactions commises par le FPR.” 

6  Correspondence from family members, December 22, 1995

7 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Paris, April 22, 1996; Société des Missionnaires d’Afrique, “Communique de Presse,” June 24, 1994.. 

8 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Brussels, June 21, 1997; Montreal, September 24, 1997; Jean Hélène, “Vengeances rwandaises,” Le Monde, September 7, 1994

9 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Paris, April 22, 1996; by telephone, Nairobi, February 8, 1997; Faustin Kagame, “Je n’ai pas vu le même film d’horreur que vous,” L’Hebdo, May 19, 1994, p. 15. 

10 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Brussels, June 21, 1997; New York, May 10, 1998. 

11 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Paris, April 22, 1996; by telephone, Nairobi, March 7, 1998; Mujawamariya, “Rapport de Visite, Effectuée au Rwanda,” pp. 47-50.  80 Ibid.; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, by telephone, Nairobi, February 8, 1997; by telephone, Washington, February 27, 1998.  .

12 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Nairobi, March 7, 1998; written communication to Human Rights Watch/FIDH, Kigali, March 27, 1998. 

13 ibid

14 Jef Vleugels and Guy Theunis, Société des Missionnaires d’Afrique, fax no. 17, June 9, 1994; Amnesty International, “Rwanda: Reports of killings,” pp. 7-8; Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 271-72. 82 Mark Fritz, “Rwanda, Rebels with a Cause,” Associated Press, May 16, 1994 and “Rwanda, Life After Death,” Associated Press, May 17, 1994.

15 Mark Fritz, “Rwanda, Rebels with a Cause,” Associated Press, May 16, 1994 and “Rwanda, Life After Death,” Associated Press, May 17, 1994.

16 “RPF president interviewed on battle for Kigali, RPF objectives,” Radio Muhabura, SWB, April 21, 1994

17 Buchizya Mseteka, “Rebels Blast U.N. Delays.” 

18 Serge Arnold, “Government Considers Amnesty for Militiamen,” AFP, September 23, 1994, FBIS-AFR-94-186, September 26, 1994

19 86 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, December 12, 1996.

20 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Washington, February 27, 1998. 

21  Jef Vleugels and Guy Theunis, Société des Missionnaires d’Afrique, fax no. 23, August 24, 1994.

22 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, December 12, 1996

23  Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, March 21, 1998.  

24  Alter-Ciné interview, Gikongoro, September, 1994. 

25 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, February 23, 1997. 

26 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Paris, February 19, 1998. 

27 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, February 26, 1997.  

28 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Paris, April 22, 1996; Nairobi, February 8, 1997; by telephone, Nairobi, May 9, 1998; Matata, “Les Massacres Planifiés de Civils Hutu,” p.3. 

29 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Butare, July 8, 1996; Nyabisindu, July 9, 1996; Mukingi, July 10 and 13, 1996.

30 Human Rights Watch interviews, Butare and Rango, August 27, 1994. 

31 Human Rights Watch/Africa, “The Aftermath of Genocide in Rwanda,” p. 4.  102 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, May 19, 1996. 

32 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, June 22, 1998. 

33 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Arusha, February 23, 1997. 

34 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, May 14, 1996. 

35  Aidan Hartley, “Western Doctors Toil to Save Survivors of Rwanda Killings,” Reuters, May 18, 1994. . 112 Lt. Col. Karenzi Karake to H.E. The Vice President and Minister of Defence, 21 December 1994, Re: Act of Threat to National Security; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Geneva, April 26, 1998. 113 Field notes, July 1994; Lindsey Hilsum, “Rwandan Rebels Advance as French Forces Hang Back,” Guardian, July 2, 1994. 114 Field notes, July 1994. 115 Human Rights Watch interviews, Kigali, August 25, 1994. 

36 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, May 14, 1996; February 23, 1997. 

37 Amnesty International, “Rwanda: Reports of killings,” p. 7. 

38 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Butare and Rango, August 27, 1994. 

39 Human Rights Watch/Africa, “The Aftermath of Genocide in Rwanda,” p. 3. 

40  Alter-Ciné interview with a former RPF soldier, Nairobi, March 1996. 

41 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Paris, April 22, 1996, Nairobi, by telephone, February 8, 1997.

42 ibid

43 Frédéric Fritscher, “Chasse à l’homme à Kigali,” Le Monde, July 8, 1994; Agence France Presse, “Dans Kigali libére, une population encore parquée,” July 6, 1994, BQA No., 14250, July 7, 1994

44  Ibid. and UNHCR “Note, La Situation au Rwanda,” p. 3.   

45 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, by telephone, New York, March 22, 1998 and Nairobi, April 28, May 7 and May 9, 1998.

46 Ibid.

47 U.N. Suspends Refugee Repatriation Program,” AFP, September 28, 1994, FBIS-AFR-94-190, September 30, 1994.

48 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, by telephone, Nairobi, April 28 and May 9, 1998.

49 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Nairobi, April 28 and May 9, 1998

50 Human Rights Watch, notes from U.S. State Department briefings, September 22 and October 11, 1994. 

51 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Nairobi, April 28 and May 9, 1998