Rwanda: 1994 RPF soldiers’ victims’ bodies discovered in Rulindo

By Arnold Gakuba

The news of VOA of 15th April 2021 in Kinyarwanda talked of the discovery dead bodies of 1994, earlier this week, in Rurindo district, Shyorongi sector, Rutonde cell near Kigali city. Since the discovery of four bodies, their funeral remains a dispute. 

The dead bodies appeared to have been placed in two small cartons covered by the pouch and the blue bag and the Voice of America reporter found them on the porch.

Mr Emmanuel Ndayisenga, one of the builders of the old porch, said they had found the bodies which had been built on. Ndayisenga says that the bodies were not buried as soon as they were found. 

The four bodies found in the house included those of Mr. Issa Habumuremyi’s relatives: his father Francois Muhatanyi, his mother Valerie Nyirabahinzi and his old brother Habiyaremye Bahati.

Issa Habumuremyi and his sister Patricia Mukanyirigira told the VOA that in 1994 they saw RPF-Inkotanyi soldiers shoot their relatives and immediately buried them where the bodies were found. 

The Voice of America has tried to reach on phone the Rwandan Army Spokesperson so that he comments on this issue but failed. 

The reporter to the VOA said that as soon as the bodies were unearthed, there was a great debate about where to bury them and who should burry them; whether in the public cemetery or in the memorial site of the genocide against the Tutsi.

Mukanyirigira says that both local people and local authorities knew that their brothers had been killed at this place but they did not have financial means and said that those unearthed them should burry them.

The VOA approached Mr. Papias Shumbusho who leads Rutonde cell, who said that the victims were not genocide victims and did not know where the bodies were.

Mr. Shumbusho testified that the reason for the delay in the burial was that there has been dispute between the landlord and the relatives of the victims. He confirmed that the landlord would come to bury them.

The local authorities said that the owner of the house is Adalbert Hacineza, a police officer in eastern Rwanda. The report states that the house was built between 1996 and 1997. The question is if really there are no other bodies under the house as the authorities order to stop the search after unearthing four bodies.  

The Voice of America called Hacineza on phone to find out if he had built the house without knowing that there were victims but his phone did not pass through. His father, Daniel Hacineza, who gave him the land, is now living in Muhanga in the former Gitarama province.

However, neighbors find that the fact that the authorities have not been quick to bury these bodies, they did not respect for human dignity.