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By early April, the increasingly vicious incitements to hatred and violence, the frequent predictions of imminent catastrophe, the recurring delays in implementing the Accords, the widespread awareness of training and arming of militia, and the threat that UNAMIR and other foreign actors might end or reduce their role in Rwanda had all caused great anxiety, particularly among people in the capital. Both the Hutu Power group and the RPF understood the likelihood of violence and were moving their forces into position.

Hutu Power advocates were far from done implementing their “self-defense” program, but they did already have some 2,000 militia in place in Kigali. In addition, there were some 7,000 regular troops in Kigali and its environs, although not all of them were combat troops.1 Many feared renewed battle, but those committed to Habyarimana were buoyed by the new solidarity of Hutu Power and felt a renewed sense of purpose. On April 3, a RTLM commentator declared that the people were ready to serve as a “fourth column” against the “enemy.” He said:

The people, there is the real shield, it is the true army that is strong...the armed forces [i.e., the regular Rwandan army] fight, but the people, they say: we protect your rear, we are your shield. The day when the people rise up and want no more of you, when they hate you all together and from the bottom of their hearts, when you make them sick to their stomachs, I...I wonder then where you will escape to. Where will you go?2

The RPF had strengthened its position by secretly bringing arms and several hundred troops into Kigali to supplement the 600 soldiers permitted by the Arusha Accords. The movement had also grown politically, both in Kigali and throughout Rwanda. With a RPF role in government assured by the peace agreement, supporters previously reluctant to declare their loyalties now acknowledged that they were RPF members. Political organizers who had gone to the RPF zone for training programs returned home eager to recruit new members. By early April, the RPF had some 600 cells throughout the country, 147 of them in Kigali. With each group counting between six and twelve members, this made a total of between3,600 and 7,200 persons who had openly or privately declared their support for the RPF. The greatest number, some 700 to 1,400, were in the capital.3

Well-aware of the training and arming of the Interahamwe, the RPF had begun exploring the organization of a joint militia with the MDR and the PSD to counter possible attacks. The MDR rejected the plan but the PSD was still considering it in early April. Few RPF members had firearms.4 Those who did had apparently not received them from the movement but had bought them on their own initiative. During the genocide, Hutu Power supporters talked incessantly about “infiltrators” and their stocks of arms. Although the RPF soldiers brought into Kigali in contravention of the terms of the peace agreement could be called “infiltrators,” unarmed and untrained Tutsi citizens—even if they happened to back the RPF—could not be described by that term. When these Tutsi residents were attacked after April 6, virtually all resisted with sticks, stones, machetes or spears, not with Kalashnikovs or grenades.5 The vast majority who survived owed their lives to their own strength, good fortune or the assistance of Hutu, not to previous military training.

The Attack on Habyarimana’s Plane

The genocide of the Tutsi, the murders of Hutu opposed to Habyarimana, and the renewed war between the Rwandan goverment and the RPF were all touched off by the killing of President Habyarimana. This extremely significant attack remains largely uninvestigated and its authors unidentified.

Habyarimana died on Wednesday evening, April 6, 1994, when the plane bringing him home from Dar es Salaam was shot down. He had been attending a meeting of heads of state where he had supposedly finally consented to put in place the broad-based transitional government. The president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, who had also attended the meeting, had decided to fly home inHabyarimana’s plane rather than in his own. He too died in the crash as did General Nsabimana, chief of staff of the Rwandan army, and several others. As the plane was coming in for a landing, it was hit by ground to air missiles shot from a location near the Kigali airport. The Rwandan army later stated that it had recovered two launchers from the missiles. The registration numbers on the launchers identified them as SA 16s, sophisticated weapons that require a certain level of training to be used sucessfully.6

The RPF, politicians opposed to Habyarimana, and the circle of his own supporters all might have wanted the Rwandan president dead and could have found the means to bring down his plane.

The RPF might have launched the missiles either because they believed that Habyarimana would never permit the Accords to be implemented or, conversely, because they thought he was about to do so and they preferred a clear military victory to sharing power as part of a coalition. In support of allegations of RPF responsibility for the crime, former French Minister of Cooperation Bernard Debré, asserted that records of RPF communications prove that their soldiers were ordered to begin advancing towards Kigali on the morning of April 6.7 Some Rwandans present in the region north of the capital at the time also assert that RPF troops began their march south before they could have known of Habyarimana’s death.8

Hutu moderates, either alone or with the RPF, could have assassinated the president. The small group who had supposedly discussed the possibility of a coup with Prime Minister Uwlingiyimana a few days before might have believed that killing Habyarimana offered the only hope of preempting the violence that was planned.9

Some in Habyarimana’s own circle might have wanted to eliminate him to avoid the installation of a new government that would diminish their power. The CDR and even MRND leaders had criticized Habyarimana for talking with Museveni in early March and some feared that he would return from Dar es Salaam ready to implement the Accords. Enoch Ruhigira, Habyarimana’s chief of staff,says that the president had, in fact, made such a decision and had told him to bring an announcement to that effect to the airport when he came to welcome him home.10 The expectation that the new government was about to be installed would have increased pressure on Hutu Power advocates to launch the violence immediately, whether fully prepared or not. Once the new authorities were in place, the RPF would take over the Ministry of the Interior and Communal Development and the MRND would lose control of the administrative structure so helpful in mobilizing the population. Some of the Hutu Power group, including Bagosora himself, would lose their posts and would have no more authority to give orders.11

There are indications that Bagosora and other soldiers may have expected something to happen at the time of Habyarimana’s return. According to one witness, Bagosora left Kigali for vacation on March 30 or 31 but then suddenly returned on April 4. Several witnesses assert that soldiers of the Presidential Guard had put up barricades and were patrolling the neighborhood inhabited by ministers and other MRND leaders, either before or within minutes after the plane was shot down.12 Sporadic gunfire began almost immediately after the crash in the vicinity of the Kanombe camp that housed the Presidential Guard. Soon after, soldiers from the paracommando battalion, one of those most closely linked to the hard-liners, began killing the people who lived on Masaka hill, the site from which the missiles had been launched. These soldiers of one of the best trained units in the Rwandan army apparently continued the sweep against the Masaka civilians for thirty-six hours after the renewal of combat with the RPF, when they could presumably have been better used against the military foe. Since the local people clearly had not been the ones to shoot the missiles, the soldiers could not have been seeking revenge and may have been trying to eliminate witnesses to the crime.13

Habyarimana’s supporters accused the Belgians of involvement in the assassination, but never presented any proof. Others have suggested that the French—probably a nucleus of powerful individuals rather than the government as such—assisted in assassinating a leader who was no longer useful to them. According to some European intelligence sources, the missile launchers bore numbers that identified them as weapons that France captured from Iraq during the Gulf War. One French soldier confirmed this information and another reported attempts to buy such missiles from a private arms dealer and from a French company authorized to export them.14 The French government denies these allegations. A source in the United States intelligence service thought it unlikely that France had captured the missiles in Iraq but that it could well have obtained them elsewhere.15 Former minister Debré claimed that the U.S. was the source of the missiles, having provided them to Uganda which then gave them to the RPF.16 Uganda did in fact have some of the missiles, as did other governments in the region like Tanzania and the Sudan. Mercenaries could also easily have purchased the weapons and put themselves and the missiles at the service of anyone ready to pay their fee.

Other unexplained elements suggest a link to French actors. The plane, a gift of the French government, was operated by a crew of three French citizens, supposedly employed by a private company. French officials recognized that the crewmembers had died in the service of their country, but undertook no public investigation into the downing of the plane. Nor did French authorities draw attention to the murders of two French policemen, apparently communications experts, and the wife of one of them, who were found in a house near the airport and killed by the RPF on April 8.17 In another unexplained case, François de Grossouvre, a confidant and adviser to President Mitterrand on African affairs, committed suicide on April 7 at the presidency in Paris. De Grossouvre had been linked to Habyarimana and to Captain Paul Barril, a former French policeman whohad been employed to provide security for Habyarimana. Barril, who was in Rwanda on April 7, continued in the service of Madame Habyarimana, notably in trying to persuade the press that the RPF was responsible for downing the plane.18

Responsibility for killing Habyarimana is a serious issue, but it is a different issue from responsibility for the genocide. We know little about who assassinated Habyarimana. We know more about who used the assassination as the pretext to begin a slaughter that had been planned for months. Hutu Power leaders expected that killing Tutsi would draw the RPF back into combat and give them a new chance for victory or at least for negotiations that might allow them to win back some of the concessions made at Arusha.

The Presidential Guard began the slaughter of Tutsi and other civilians shortly after Habyarimana’s death. Sixteen hours later the RPF came out of their headquarters to engage the Rwandan soldiers and the war had begun again.

Taking Control

Bagosora In Command

With the death of Habyarimana, Colonel Bagosora took charge. The minister of defense, Augustin Bizimana, and two members of the general staff, Col. Aloys Ntiwiragabo and Col. Gratien Kabiligi, were abroad and the chief of staff had died with Habyarimana. When sixteen high ranking officers got together to decide on a course of action just after the crash, Bagosora ran the meeting. Although only a retired officer, he took precedence over senior officers in active service, he says, because he was the ranking official present from the Ministry of Defense and the meeting was “to discuss questions of a politico-military nature.”19 Bagosora prevailed in taking the chair, but he lacked strong support in the group. Some senior officers closest to him, such as the commander of the Presidential Guard, the commander of the paracommandos, and some of the territorial commanders, were absent.

Bagosora proposed naming Col. Augustin Bizimungu, then commander at Ruhengeri and an officer whom he could trust, as the new chief of staff. The group rejected Bizimungu, who was junior in rank and experience to a number of other officers. Col. Léonidas Rusatira, present at the meeting, was the senior ranking army officer and a northerner, but Bagosora saw him as a rival. Some time before,Bagosora and his supporters had succeeded in relegating Rusatira to the command of the Ecole Supérieure Militaire, a school where he had no combat troops under his orders. Rusatira’s name was proposed, but, perhaps anxious to avoid a conflict during this time of crisis, the officers passed over him and chose Col. Marcel Gatsinzi as interim chief of staff.20 At that time, Gatsinzi was commanding the southern sector in Butare. Originally from Kigali, he was not a member of the inner circle of powerful officers from the northwest and would be unlikely to be able to mobilize a following strong enough to challenge Bagosora and his group.21

Bagosora pushed hard for the military to take control of the government, but on this matter, too, he was rebuffed. General Dallaire, who was at the meeting, declared that any military take-over would result in the immediate withdrawal of UNAMIR. He urged the officers to make contact instead with Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana to arrange for a legitimate continuation of civilian authority. Bagosora adamantly refused the suggestion, which Dallaire made several times.22 Bagosora, like other Hutu Power advocates, distrusted Dallaire, whom he believed favorable to the RPF. Under pressure from the other officers, Bagosora did agree to consult the special representative of the secretary-general. Booh-Booh also insisted that some form of civilian authority was necessary and Bagosora finally accepted that advice. Like Dallaire, Booh-Booh pressed for contacts with the prime minister and again Bagosora refused, saying that “the military would not accept her” and that “her own government and the Rwandan people had rejected her.”23 Bagosora had only contempt for Mme. Uwilingiyimana who had, he later asserted, “morally and materially demobilized” the Rwandan army when it was fighting for its life against the RPF.24 Acting on Booh-Booh’s recommendation that the MRNDprovide a candidate to replace Habyarimana as president, Bagosora contacted the party leaders to ask them to nominate someone to the post.

At the meeting with the military commanders, Dallaire asked them to keep the militia under control and to recall to barracks the Presidential Guard, which was already out on the streets. Bagosora assured Dallaire of “all necessary cooperation required by the situation” and asked in return that UNAMIR keep close watch over the RPF headquarters at the CND. Dallaire saw the importance of having the peacekeepers visible throughout the city and he arranged for them to do joint patrols with the National Police.25

“The Prime Minister Isn’t Working Anymore...”

As discussions went on for an orderly transition, soldiers and National Police were active throughout the city preparing just the opposite. Since Gatsinzi had not yet come from Butare, Bagosora was the effective military commander and apparently directed these operations in a series of private telephone conversations carried on during the meeting. He also had at his disposal a direct and private radio link with the Presidential Guard.26

Rwandan soldiers blocked Belgian UNAMIR troops at the airport twenty minutes after the plane crashed. Within an hour, soldiers of the Presidential Guard and the reconnaissance battalion were blockading the home of the prime minister. Two hours later soldiers from the Presidential Guard began evacuating MRND politicians and their families from the neighborhood of Kimihurura to a military camp. They ordered leading politicans from other parties to remain in their homes in the same neighborhood. The Ministry of Defense had recently transferred responsibility for the security of MRND leaders from the National Police to a unit of the regular army, an arrangement which facilitated their evacuation on April 6.

Lt. Col. Innocent Bavugamenshi feared violence as soon as he heard that MRND politicians had been moved to the military camp and other leaders left behind. As head of the National Police unit responsible for other political leaders, he sent reinforcements to the home of the prime minister and tried in vain to get others from UNAMIR and from National Police headquarters. His commander, General Ndindiliyimana, could not be found, either at home or at headquarters. Atabout midnight, Bavugamenshi was informed of the first killing of a government official, the administrative head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.27

Between 1 and 2 a.m., Interahamwe were out on the streets patrolling. By 2:30 a.m., the military had blanketed the middle of the city so thoroughly with barriers that UNAMIR soldiers ordered to the home of the prime minister needed three hours to cover a distance usually traversed in fifteen minutes.28

Mme. Uwilingiyimana had been alterted to the danger she faced half an hour after the crash and she called for more protection from military headquarters. The additional police sent by Bavugamenshi never reached her home. At 1 a.m., Booh-Booh had informed her that the military rejected her authority, but she refused to flee. She arranged for UNAMIR soldiers to escort her to the radio station in the morning so that she could speak to the nation and show that the civilian authority was in control and committed to the Arusha Accords. This was exactly what those in command intended to prevent. When one officer called headquarters to ask about gunfire he had heard at about 5 a.m., Lt. Col. Cyprien Kayumba, the officer on duty, supposedly told him “That’s us. We want to keep the prime minister from going to the radio.”29 Shortly after that, a UNAMIR officer told Rwandan soldiers at the radio station that the prime minister would be arriving shortly to make a broadcast. The Rwandans replied, “The prime minister isn’t working anymore...”30 Other Rwandan soldiers told a different group of peacekeepers that only orders from the minister of defense, whose authority was then being exercised by Bagosora, could permit the prime minister to address the nation on the radio.31

When UNAMIR soldiers arrived in four jeeps at the prime minister’s home on the quiet, tree-lined street soon after 5:30 a.m., Rwandan soldiers opened fire onthem and immediately disabled two of the four jeeps. The peacekeepers, unable to withdraw, and Mme. Uwilingiyimana waited in vain for reinforcements. Just before 8:30, she and her husband tried first to scale the wall to get to the residence of an American diplomat next door. When that proved impossible, they fled in the other direction to the adjacent home of a U.N. employee.

Rwandan soldiers took the fifteen UNAMIR peacekeepers prisoner and, at about 9 a.m., delivered them to the Kigali military camp, only a few hundred meters from the prime minister’s residence. There the five Ghanaian peacekeepers in the group were led away to safety and the ten Belgians were left at the hands of a furious crowd of soldiers, including a number who had been wounded in the war. The Rwandan soldiers had been prepared to hate the Belgian troops by months of RTLM broadcasts and believed the rumor—spread by their officers and later broadcast by RTLM—that the Belgians had helped the RPF shoot down Habyarimana’s plane. They set upon the Belgian peacekeepers and battered most of them to death. The surviving Belgians took refuge in a small building near the entrance to the camp. They killed a Rwandan soldier and got hold of his weapon. Using that, they fought off the attackers for several more hours.32

At 10 o’clock that morning, about one hundred officers of the Rwandan armed forces assembled under the leadership of Bagosora to discuss a transitional government. The meeting took place at the Ecole Supérieure Militaire, just adjacent to the camp where the UNAMIR soldiers were being held. Bagosora once again proposed that the military take control of the government, but was once again rebuffed by his fellow officers who argued that soldiers had no place in politics. They did agree, however, to create a “crisis committee” to assist civilian politicians in forming a government. At about 10:30, the camp commander came to inform Bagosora and General Ndindiliyimana that Belgian soldiers were under attack at the camp, but they did nothing, not even shortly after when the sound of gunfire from the camp interrupted the meeting briefly.33

Just before 11 a.m., Dallaire drove to the meeting, passing by the entrance to the military camp where he saw that several UNAMIR soldiers lay on the ground. He wanted to enter the camp, but was prevented from doing so by his Rwandanmilitary escort. At the meeting, he did not raise the question of the UNAMIR soldiers at the camp until the session ended at about noon. Dallaire then asked Ndindiliyimana to intervene to rescue them. Ndindiliyimana reportedly told him that Bagosora would take care of the problem.Throughout the day, Dallaire tried repeatedly to obtain permission to enter the camp, but Bagosora, who was clearly in charge, refused to allow him to do so. Dallaire believed that his troops and resources were too limited to fight his way into the camp to rescue the peacekeepers.34

As the leaders of the Rwandan armed forces debated the future government in the presence of the commander of the U.N. peacekeepers, soldiers continued their search for the current prime minister in the neighborhood just across the road from the meeting place. Capt. Gaspard Hategekimana of the Presidential Guard, apparently in charge of finding the prime minister, kept checking at various barricades, insisting that Mme. Uwilingiyimana could not have escaped the blockade that had been in place since the night before. Shortly before noon, soldiers discovered Mme Uwilingiyimana in her hiding place. Other soldiers in the area heard the applause and shouts of joy and knew that she had been captured. She came out quickly and without struggle, apparently because she wanted to protect her children who were hiding in the same area. She tried to persuade the soldiers to take her to the military camp. A small group, including some from southern Rwanda, were willing to do so. Others refused and wanted to execute her immediately. Captain Hategekimana reportedly arrived and gave the order to kill her on the spot. A lieutenant of the National Police, who was in training to become a judicial officer, shot the prime minister, blowing away the left half of her face. Witnesses who came to the house soon after found her nearly naked body on the terrace and carried it into the house. Another witness who passed an hour or so later found that her dressing gown had been thrown up over her upper body and that a beer bottle had been shoved into her vagina.35 Her husband and two other men werealso slain, but her five children escaped and were eventually brought to safety by Capt. Mbaye Daigne, a Senegalese officer of the U.N. contingent.36

Officers leaving their meeting just after noon learned that the prime minister had been killed. At that time, Bagosora went to the military camp next door. Shortly after, Rwandan soldiers renewed the attack on the last Belgians, overcame their resistance, and killed them in the early afternoon.37

Early that same morning, soldiers and police had executed the two candidates for the presidency of the transitional assembly, Félicien Ngango of the PSD, and Landoald Ndasingwa of the PL, one of whom would have replaced Habyarimana according to the Arusha Accords. They had also murdered Joseph Kavaruganda, the president of the Constitutional Court, who would have been needed to swear in new authorities. RTLM had targeted Ndasingwa since December and, in February, the radio station had remarked of Kavaruganda that “we should rid ourselves of [him], one of the biggest accomplices of the RPF.”38 Rwandan soldiers and National Police had attacked the other heads of opposition political parties, either killing them or forcing them to hide or flee. They had worked from lists that allowed them to locate their victims efficiently.39

By mid-day April 7, the Presidential Guard, with the help of soldiers of other elite battalions and some National Policemen, had eliminated those leaders who could have legitimately governed. Bagosora, who was giving the orders to these soldiers, had failed in his effort to get himself installed officially as head of a new government, but he still had the chance to influence—if not to dictate—the choice of persons who would form a new government. At the same time, Rwandan soldiers had killed ten Belgian peacekeepers, the first step in the plan revealed inthe January 11 cable for getting rid of an effective UNAMIR force. The afternoon of April 7, both Bagosora and Ndindiliyimana told Dallaire that the killings at Camp Kigali showed that it might be best for Belgian troops to leave Rwanda.40 While the leadership of the Rwandan armed forces and of UNAMIR sat in the meeting room at the military school, just outside the decisive blows had been struck against both Rwandan and foreign forces that could have assured a peaceful transition and that could perhaps have averted a genocide.

Ambiguities and Double Language

In the afternoon of April 7, Bagosora carried on the pretense of restoring order by issuing a press release in the name of the Rwandan army about efforts “to stabilize the situation in the country rapidly.” Knowing that it was the Presidential Guard and other elite units that were engaged in slaughter throughout the city, he “invited” the armed forces to “restore order in the country.” Fully aware that the prime minister and other leading officials had been slain, he urged creating the “conditions necessary for authorities to work in good order.” He asked the “government in power” to do its job knowing that there was no such government. He called for speedy implementation of the Arusha Accords although preventing this had been his stated objective for months. And he asked the population to resist all efforts to increase hatred and all kinds of violence even as he was presumably counting on just such hatred and violence to achieve his objective.41

Many military officers understood that Bagosora and his supporters were saying one thing and doing another. One officer observed, “The official orders were to restore order. But it was clear that, in fact, other orders were also being given.”42 A high-ranking officer declared in a sworn statement that there were “operations carried out by soldiers, including those of the PG [Presidential Guard] which implemented a preestablished plan that was known to a hidden network.”43 When a senior officer ordered Col. Muberuka, who commanded the zone of Kigali, to have the Presidential Guard halt their attacks, he replied that he had tried to doso but that the immediate commander of the unit asserted that all his troops were already in camp.44

Not everyone playing a double game was part of the “hidden network.” In the first day or two, other officers, unsure who would finally dominate and what the program would be, temporized and tried to please superiors—and foreigners—who had different objectives. Commanding officers made commitments that their subordinates failed to honor, leaving open the question of whether it was the superior officer or the subordinate who was obeying instructions from the hidden network. Throughout the first days, for example, Ndindiliyimana repeatedly professed willingness to collaborate with UNAMIR, but many of his men delayed or refused participation in joint patrols, sometimes asserting they had received no orders to do so. In one case, National Policemen even backed a hostile crowd attacking UNAMIR soldiers. In another, Ndindiliyimana reportedly sent National Police to protect endangered people at the Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO), a technical school in Kigali, but the troops joined the assailants rather than stopping them. Elsewhere in Kigali, National Police officers at a barrier confronted each other over the question of whether armed militia should be allowed to pass without being disarmed. Each was obeying a different set of instructions.45

Not even the new chief of staff was safe from the double game. Bagosora had called Colonel Gatsinzi in Butare at 2 a.m. to inform him of his nomination and to insist that he come to Kigali before dawn. Gatsinzi refused to travel at night, given the uncertainty of the situation. When he did arrive in the capital the next day, his vehicle was fired on as it approached the city and one of his escort was wounded. The newly named interim president, Dr. Théodore Sindikubwabo, was also traveling with Gatsinzi. It is unclear whether one or both were targeted and by whom, but the attack may have represented one more effort to prevent the installation of a civilian government or of a military chief of staff not chosen by Bagosora himself.46

With Gatsinzi at least nominally in command of the armed forces, he, Rusatira, and Ndindiliyimana sought to wrest control from Bagosora. When the crisiscommittee met on the evening of April 7, they refused to allow him to run the meeting. He insulted the others, particularly Rusatira and boycotted the rest of the meeting. The others made some plans for bringing the Presidential Guard under control and for setting up a government based on the Arusha Accords.47

To outvote Bagosora was much simpler than it would have been to outfight him. The Presidential Guard, with the best trained and best armed soldiers in the Rwandan armed forces, stood outside the normal command structure and had been under the orders of Col. Elie Sagatwa, Habyarimana’s private secretary who had died in the plane crash. Bagosora reportedly took control of this unit after Sagatwa’s death and also had the loyalty of the commanders of the reconnaissance and paracommando battalions, the other two strongest units in the Rwandan army. The Presidential Guard numbered between 1,300 and 1,500 men, having been strengthened soon after the Arusha Accords by the transfer of two companies from the paracommandos.48 The majority of these troops were posted in Kigali. With some 800 men of the paracommando and reconnaissance battalions, this made a total of some 2,000 elite troops that Bagosora could count on. In contrast, Rusatira, head of a school instead of a fighting unit, had about 100 soldiers at his command, his personal bodyguard and the staff and students of his school. Gatsinzi headed a battalion, but it was located in Butare. Ndindiliyimana commanded thousands of National Police, but, with the resumption of the war, some of the force was integrated into the regular army command, thus limiting his freedom of action. He had perhaps 1,000 men in Kigali and its vicinity but his troops lacked both the battle experience and the heavy weaponry of combat soldiers.49 In addition, they had surrendered many of their best weapons, R 4 rifles, to UNAMIR in mid-March as part of the process of creating a weapons-free zone for Kigali, while the Presidential Guard had not given over any of theirs. Before dawn on April 7, the reconnaisance battalion recalled to Kigali the armored personnel carriers that theyhad sent to Rambura, in the north, to evade UNAMIR control.50 Bagosora’s clear superiority in arms and troop strength was no doubt one reason the other officers preferred to challenge him at the committee table rather than on the battlefield.

Resumption of the war late in the afternoon of April 7 complicated the struggle for dominance within the Rwandan government forces. RPF leader Tito Rutaremara had warned Ndindiliyimana and Bagosora that the RPF would attack if the slaughter of civilians did not stop. When the killings continued, RPF troops came out of their CND headquarters and engaged the Presidential Guard.51 With the RPF in the field, those opposed to Bagosora had the possibility of cooperating with them to restore order and they explored this possibility through the good offices of Dallaire. General Kagame was receptive and even sent Seth Sendashonga with an offer to create a joint force composed of 300 soldiers each from the RPF, the Rwandan army units opposed to Bagosora, and UNAMIR to bring an end to the massacres.52 During the weekend of April 9 to 10, Radio Muhabura, the voice of the RPF, encouraged Rwandan government soldiers to dissociate themselves from their fellows who were slaughtering civilians. They even publicized the names of officers who, they said, were threatened because they had refused to participate in such killings.53

The senior officers opposed to Bagosora either could not bring themselves to join forces with the long-standing enemy or did not believe that they could lead a substantial number of soldiers into such an arrangement. They looked instead to the international community for support. Dallaire would have liked to help what he saw as a “new army,” but he was blocked by the narrow interpretation of the mandate as well as by a shortage of troops and equipment. Ndindiliyimana explored the possibility of foreign support with the Belgian ambassador Johan Swinnen on the evening of April 7 and Rusatira had contacts with Swinnen, with representatives of the U.S., and with a French general in Paris. But diplomats inKigali, as well as their ministries back home, were all focused on evacuating citizens of their own countries. No one had resources to offer to dissenters who hoped to oust Bagosora and stop the slaughter of Rwandans.54

The Interim Government

Early on the morning of April 8, Bagosora assembled party leaders to fashion a civilian government, all of them, not surprisingly, from the Hutu Power end of the political spectrum. The MRND was represented by its president Mathieu Ngirumpatse, Edouard Karemera, and Joseph Nzirorera, an intimate of the Akazu; MDR by its Power leaders, Froduald Karamira, the Hutu Power orator of October 1993, and Donat Murego, one of those originally courted by Habyarimana in March 1993; and PL by its Power advocates, Justin Mugenzi and Agnes Ntamabyaliro. It had been difficult to locate representatives of the PSD because its entire national committee had been killed or was in hiding, so two members of the political committee, François Ndungutse and Hyacinthe Nsengiyumva Rafiki were pressed into service. In attendance for the PDC were Jean-Marie Vianney Sibomana, Célestin Kabanda, and Gaspard Ruhumuliza, another who had been attracted by Habyarimana a year before.55

On the recommendation of MRND leaders, the group decided to install Dr. Théodore Sindikubwabo, an aging pediatrician and politician from Butare as president. Described by another public official as “someone with no personality,” Sindikubwabo was a lonely figure, who was often found reading in his office. He had barely held on to his seat in the parliament at the time of the last election and played the figure-head role of president of that body with suitable docility.56 Claiming that the Arusha Accords had not yet taken effect, the politicians made Sindikubwabo president of Rwanda under the terms of the 1991 constitution.

For prime minister the politicians settled on Jean Kambanda, a far younger and more vigorous man, but one with relatively little standing or experience at the national level. An economist and banker, he had unsuccessfully challenged AgatheUwilingiyimana for the post of prime minister in August 1993. On April 7, Kambanda had fled to a nearby military camp where Karamira and Bagosora found him the next day and offered him the post. He reportedly accepted unwillingly and was driven away in a military vehicle.57

Sindikubwabo and Kambanda supported different parties—the MRND and MDR-Power—but both were from Butare. In addition, the minister of family and feminine affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, who had held the same post in the previous government, was from Butare, as was a newcomer to politics, Dr. Straton Nsabumukunzi, who was named minister of agriculture. The minister of interior, a hold-over from the previous cabinet, happened to be abroad at the time and refused to return to Rwanda.58 Until a replacement was named at the end of May, the administrative head of the ministry acted in his place. He was Callixte Kalimanzira, also from Butare. Never before had Butare been so well represented in the most important positions of power. In inviting so many southerners to join them, Hutu Power advocates hoped both to increase their legitimacy generally and to augment the effectiveness of their control in the south. The arrangement corresponded exactly to what Bagosora had specified in his diary in early 1993 when he had written “War for the Bakiga, Politics for the Banyanduga.” “Bakiga” meant people of the north and “Banyanduga” meant people of the central and southern part of the country.59

Bagosora presented the interim government to the crisis committee and other high-ranking military officers soon after its formation on April 8. As they looked over the proposed new authorities, the military officers saw quickly that Bagosora “had chosen these men himself and that this was not at all what the meeting the night before had decided.”60 But the same officers who for two days had resisted Hutu Power in the military incarnation of a Bagosora now accepted it in thepolitical form of a self-proclaimed government. With the RPF pushing ahead vigorously, they felt pressure to shun politics and devote themselves completely to the work of being soldiers. Perhaps they also felt that they had taken their opposition as far as they could given the relative troop strength of the two sides and the absence of encouragement from foreign powers. Having accepted a proposed government that fell far short of the balanced group that some had expected, the crisis committee adjourned, never to meet again.61

The interim government presented itself as a legitimate continuation of the previous one, formed, like it, under the terms of an agreement between the parties signed on April 16, 1992. The party representatives summoned by Bagosora to set up the government even drew up a protocol to make their arrangements look proper.62 But anyone aware of the divisions within the parties and acquainted with the positions of their representatives could see through the pretense: the interim government may have adhered to the letter of the 1992 arrangement, but it completely violated the spirit, representing as it did a single point of view. In announcing its goals, the interim government carried on the deception. The interim president Sindikubwabo declared that the new government would rapidly re-establish security and would continue negotiations with the RPF in order to install the broad-based government within six weeks. The actions of the new authorities would reveal what the words did not. Security would be limited to Hutu who supported their position and serious negotiations would not take place. The third of the stated goals, to cope with the problem of famine was genuine, a response to the increasingly serious shortage of food in the country.63

The interim government took office on April 9 and fled from the capital on April 12, just after the first RPF troops from northern Rwanda arrived in Kigali to reinforce those previously quartered in the city. It operated for a number of weeks at Murambi, near the capital of the prefecture of Gitarama, before fleeing further west and then north to Gisenyi and leaving Rwanda in mid-July.

Launching the Campaign

The Initiators

By April 6, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans counted themselves part of Hutu Power, but those who launched the genocide and slaughter of Hutu adversaries were few in number. The initiators appear to have included military officers like Bagosora and the commanders of the three elite units, Major Protais Mpiranya of the Presidential Guard, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemye of the reconnaissance battalion, and Major Aloys Ntabakuze of the paracommando battalion, as well as Lt. Col. Léonard Nkundiye, formerly head of the Presidential Guards, Captain Gaspard Hategekimana, who oversaw the execution of the prime minister, and Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, who apparently directed killings in the central residential area of Kigali and celebrated them afterwards in noisy parties at his home.64 Given the number of attacks that took place almost immediately in the northwestern prefecture of Gisenyi, Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva, the local commander, seems to have been among the first implementers of the killing plan.65 Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, a military man who was prefect of Kigali, quickly marshalled his administrative subordinates to organize the patrols and barriers needed to capture and kill Tutsi. He also maintained links with the militia who accorded him immediate obedience when he went around the city.66

Some militia were out in the streets before dawn April 7 and others, identifiable as MRND and CDR members through their distinctive caps, were digging up buried weapons at daybreak.67

The president and vice-president of the Interahamwe, Robert Kajuga and George Rutaganda, as well as the heads of the MRND and the CDR, Mathieu Ngirumpatse and Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, may have called them out. Ngirumpatse and other politicians, such as Froduald Karamira, Joseph Nzirorera, Edouard Karemera, Justin Mugenzi, and Donat Murego, put together the interim government at the request of Bagosora and hence were responsible for thecomposition of this group that put the state at the service of genocide. They also mobilized their followers, directly and by radio, to join in the killings.

Some members of the akazu appear to have played significant, but less public, roles. Witnesses present during the first two days after the plane crash claim that Mme. Habyarimana was involved in political decisions, including the naming of Gatsinzi to the post of chief of staff of the army, an assertion which she has denied. The witnesses also declared that she and others followed events closely and that “...all the family that was there, including the religious sisters, rejoiced when they announced the death of one or another opponent. It was the Presidential Guards who announced that and they boasted about these murders.”68 Madame Habyarimana was evacuated from Rwanda on April 9 by the French government. She may have continued to influence decisions from Paris, but it is unlikely that she was involved in detailed management of political affairs at that distance.

The activities of others close to the Habyarimana family should be investigated for possible links to killings. Michel Bagaragaza, the director of the Rwandan tea marketing office OCIR-Thé and linked to Mme. Habyarimana, was at home on April 6 and 7 near the parish of Rambura, supposedly to prepare for a family wedding. Rambura was the site of some of the first killings outside Kigali. Three priests at the parish were slain at dawn, followed soon after by three Belgian volunteers who worked at a school run by persons linked to the akazu, including Bagosora.69 During the days of large-scale slaughter, Colonel Rwagafilita, a member of the akazu, was frequently seen at the military camp in Kibungo. Soon after militia and military had massacred some 1,000 people at the St. Joseph Center at the bishopric, a witness found Rwagafilita at the camp drinking beer with Cyasa Habimana, the local head of the Interahamwe who had led the attack, and the camp commander, Col. Anselme Nkuliyekubona.70

The first killers, like the first leaders, represented only a small part of the number who would finally be drawn into participation. In Kigali, where theviolence was most concentrated, they included more than a thousand Presidential Guards along with several hundred troops from other elite battalions or from the National Police. The militia provided another 2,000.71 Outside the capital, assailants killed Tutsi at sites that were widely dispersed, but relatively few in number, perhaps some two dozen in the first day or two. The killers who responded to the initial call to slaughter probably numbered no more than 6,000 to 7,000 throughout the country.

For the first few days, it was not clear how many more of the hundreds of thousands who had been influenced by the ideas of Hutu Power were prepared to kill, rape, maim, burn, or pillage in its name. But by the middle of the following week, the initiators were assured of the support they needed to attempt the wholesale elimination of the Tutsi.

Sharpening the Focus on Tutsi

By Monday, April 11, an estimated 20,000 Rwandans had been slain, the vast majority of them Tutsi.72 But because some of the first victims had been highly visible Hutu and because assailants continued to target Hutu adversaries of the MRND and the CDR, many Hutu also feared for their lives. They saw the killings as broader than a genocide and as constituting also an extreme form of kubohoza with victims chosen on partisan, regional or economic grounds. Both in Kigali and elsewhere, Hutu cooperated with Tutsi in fighting off militia attacks or they fled together to places of refuge. Often Hutu made such decisions not just because of their political beliefs but also because of ties of family or friendship with Tutsi.73

Bagosora and his supporters set out to reorient the violence on more specifically ethnic grounds, both to break the bonds between Hutu and Tutsi and to win over Hutu from outside the MRND and the CDR who feared that the new authorities had seized power for the exclusive benefit of these parties. They first distanced themselves from the “serious troubles” that had resulted in the murders of Hutu political leaders, like Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana, and blamed thesecrimes on unruly troops acting without orders.74 Then on April 11 and 12, political and governmental leaders began working more actively to build an anti-Tutsi alliance that cut across party and regional lines.

On Monday, April 11, the new authorities summoned the prefects to Kigali, but only five attended the meeting. Four posts were vacant—one because the Ruhengeri prefect had just been killed by the RPF—and two other prefects did not attend. The meeting was brief and seemingly inconclusive. The interim prime minister had hardly come to terms with his new power, the minister of interior was absent and represented by a subordinate, and the success of the new authorities was hardly assured. Still the session permitted national leaders to track the progress of the slaughter and to evaluate the willingess of the administrators to be drawn into further action. After making their reports, the prefects were sent home without clear orders or any additional resources to end the violence. In this highly centralized political system where superiors regulated even minor details of policy implementation, the absence of a message was itself a message: attacks were to continue.

The next day, both political and governmental leaders began mobilizing popular support for genocide. By inciting the people against Tutsi, they clarified the indirect message delivered the previous day to the administrators. Speaking on Radio Rwanda early on the morning of April 12, MDR-Power leader Frodauld Karamira told his listeners that the war was “everyone’s responsibility,” an idea that would be repeated frequently in the next few weeks. He called on people to “not fight among themselves” but rather to “assist the armed forces to finish their work.”75 This was a directive to the MDR-Power supporters to forget their differences with the MRND and the CDR and to collaborate with them in tracking Tutsi. Without this collaboration, advocated by Karamira since his “Hutu Power” speech the previous October, the genocide would have remained limited to strongholds of the MRND and the CDR.

An hour later, Radio Rwanda broadcast a press release from the Ministry of Defense. It denied “lies” about divisions in the armed forces and among Hutu generally and insisted that:

Soldiers, gendarmes [National Police], and all Rwandans have decided to fight their common enemy in unison and all have identified him. The enemy is still the same. He is the one who has always been trying to return the monarch who was overthrown....the Ministry of Defence asks Rwandans, soldiers and gendarmes the following: citizens are asked to act together, carry out patrols and fight the enemy.76

One witness recalled: “They talked only about uniting together, saying we had to fight the enemy. They said that parties and kubohoza were no longer important.”77 In the streets of Kigali, people were singing a little song that told it all:

Umwanzi wacu n’umwe Our enemy is one

turamuzi We know him

n’umututsi78 It is the Tutsi.

The RPF sought to counter this effort to redefine the violence on ethnic grounds. On Radio Muhabura, Kagame denounced the use of ethnic strife as a pretext and declared that it was clear “that these acts of murder are political.”79 Much as Radio Muhabura had played upon divisions between moderate and Hutu Power soldiers, so, too, it stressed the partisan and regional nature of attacks on civilians.80

RTLM in turn sought to discredit the image of Hutu-Tutsi cohesion within the RPF by broadcasting a false report that Kagame, the Tutsi general, andKanyarengwe, the Hutu president of the RPF, had killed each other in a power struggle.81

As RTLM and Radio Rwanda increasingly defined the Tutsi as the target, officials moved to prevent their escape from the country. On April 13, an officer of the army general staff telephoned the official in charge of immigration at the Butare prefecture and ordered him to grant no more authorisations for travel to adjacent countries. That night, Tutsi attempting to cross the river to Burundi were slaughtered at Nyakizu. Authorities in Gisenyi also refused permission to Tutsi to cross into Zaire.82 As Mugesera had declared in November 1992, and many others had echoed since, authorities had made a serious mistake in permitting Tutsi to flee after the 1959 revolution. That mistake, they said, must not be repeated.

Military Opposition: The April 12 Statement

After having permitted Bagosora to install the interim government, the senior officers opposed to him briefly suspended open political action. Whether motivated by hope, fear, or opportunism—or simply absorbed in combat with the RPF—they made no public protest as the bodies mounted on the streets of Kigali. But, on April 12, Rusatira, who had presented himself to foreign diplomats as the liaison of the new government three days before, decided that he must seek to halt the slaughter.83 That day he escorted dozens of persons whom he had been sheltering in his own Kigali home to Gitarama. En route Rusatira saw many cadavers, including those of two National Policemen shot because they were Tutsi or because they had been trying to defend civilians. At Gitarama he sought out political leaders and tried in vain to persuade them to halt the killings. When Rusatira returned to Kigali, he enlisted nine other officers to sign a statement that he drafted. Without the approval of the interim government, they had the declaration broadcast on the radio, calling for an “end to this tragedy.” They proposed a truce to facilitate talks with the RPF to “promptly restore order in the country and install the broad-basedtransitional government, in order to avoid continuing to spill innocent blood for no reason at all.”84

This effort came too late. The initiators of genocide had chosen their strategy and were prepared to stand behind it. Bagosora and his supporters were outraged by the officers’ initiative and regarded it as proof that the signers were traitors. Rusatira was informed that a squad of the Presidential Guard was to assassinate him that night and went into hiding. Soon after, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education André Rwamakuba and MDR-Power leader Shingiro Mbonuyumutwa reportedly denounced the officers who had signed the statement during a public meeting at Kibilira, in Gisenyi prefecture. Whether to respond to the senior officers or to external pressure, the interim government named a delegation to talk with the RPF, but the discussions went nowhere.85

Strategies of Slaughter

Priority Targets

From the start, in Kigali and out on the hills, leaders directed two kinds of killing: that of specific individuals and that of Tutsi as a group.86 The organizers aimed first to eliminate any authorities who could stand in the way of their taking power. They kept track of their deaths and, according to one military witness, “passed on the news of each assassination like a trophy.”87 They were angered at the escape of a few intended victims, like Prime Minister-designate Faustin Twagiramungu, and pursued them relentlessly. The organizers also sought to kill other individuals who had criticized the Habyarimana regime and who could be expected to criticize the interim government: leaders of the MDR, PL, PSD, and PDC who rejected Hutu Power, members of the judiciary, human rights activists, clergy, journalists, and other leaders of civil society. Most of the targeted political authorities were Hutu, as were many of the leaders of civil society. In addition, theorganizers marked particular Tutsi as priority targets, either because of their wealth and influence or because of their real or presumed support for the RPF.

As early as daybreak on April 7, the organizers had already distributed lists of the names of these specially targeted persons, both Hutu and Tutsi, to squads of killers. At 7:30 that morning, one Rwandan soldier on the outskirts of the city heard gunfire near his house. When he went out to see what was happening, he observed a typical scene:

...I saw nine soldiers of the paracommando battalion and of the GP and a civilian who was apparently guiding them. He held a list of names in his hand. It was a list of people to be killed. They went to another neighbor and threw grenades and shot open the door of the house. They killed the people inside. They left on foot. My household worker, whom I sent to follow them, told me later that they had shot at a series of houses (four families).88

Radio RTLM involved the general public in hunting down named individuals, directed killers where to find them and then announced their murders. One person who was targeted recalls that he and others at risk listened to RTLM because it “indicated the victims and we wanted to know if we were on the list of people selected to be hunted.”89 On April 8, announcer Valérie Bemerki told listeners that RPF hiding at the home of Tutsi businessman Antoine Sebera had been attacked and “now they are being grilled right they are burning.”90 In fact, Sebera’s home had not yet been attacked but the report set it up as a target and it was besieged and burned soon after. Several days later, Noël Hitimana announced that the home of Joseph Kahabaye in Kivugiza was a RPF bastion, with many agents hidden in the ceiling. Militia attacked the area within hours and killed Kabahaye. Charles Kalinjabo, too, was murdered after having been denounced on RTLM.91 On April 10, Bemerki read a list of thirteen “responsables du FPR,” important agents of the RPF, their addresses, places of work, and where they spenttheir leisure time. The information had supposedly come from a document found in the possession of a RPF agent. Asserting that these people were preparing to kill Hutu, Bemerki urged all people who wanted security to “rise up” against these “spies”: have heard their names, with their sectors and their cells, so we find that these people are really plotting with the Inyenzi-Inkotanyi in order to kill...Rwandans.92

She invited listeners who would like to look for these persons to call her for more information.

Targeted individuals who escaped were tracked by authorities to the other side of Kigali, to other communes, or even to the island of Idjwi in Zaire.93 Tutsi who fled to the large displaced persons camps at Kabgayi in central Rwanda were followed by people from their home regions who appeared, list in hand, to search for them among the crowds. In one well-known case, a group of Tutsi assembled in this way at Kabgayi were stripped naked and forced on a bus that took them to Ngorerero in Gisenyi, where they were killed.94

Even when assailants were preparing to massacre large numbers of Tutsi at places of refuge, they often had in mind specific persons whom they wanted to be sure to kill. A survivor of the massacre at Mugonero hospital in Kibuye reported that he heard such a list read over a loudspeaker before the attack began.95 Another survivor declared that once the killing was finished,

They sent people in among the bodies to verify who was dead. They said, “Here is the treasurer and his wife and daughter, but where is the younger child?” Or, “Here is Josue’s father, his wife and mother, but where is he?” And then, in the days after, they tried to hunt you down if they thought you werestill alive. They would shout out, “Hey Josue, we see you now” to make you jump and try to run so that they could see you move and get you more easily.96

Thorough Elimination: “Begin on One Side...”

As squads sought out the most wanted victims on the morning of April 7, Bagosora was reportedly overheard directing the commanders of the elite military units, “Muhere aruhande,” “Begin on one side...,” ordering a systematic sweep of Tutsi and opponents of Hutu Power from one side of the city through to the other.97

A witness in the section known as Remera related the progress of the killers in her neighborhood in telephone conversations every half hour of the first night of the genocide. She told a Human Rights Watch researcher in the United States how a group of soldiers were shooting people in houses on the street below her home. Then she recounted how they were moving up her street, from one house to the next. With the sound of gunfire in the background, she described how three neighbors from the house next door were being executed at the corner of the street. When the soldiers banged on her own door, she hung up the phone. She fled, hid for several days, and was finally evacuated to safety.98

Both RTLM and Radio Rwanda identified areas of Kigali to be attacked, like Gikondo or the buildings of the law faculty of the university. RTLM announcer Hitimana congratulated those who had searched out Tutsi:

...the population is very vigilant, except in certain sectors...where people are still downcast; otherwise, everywhere else, they have sacked all the houses, the rooms, the kitchens, everywhere! They have even torn out all the doors and windows in all the uninhabited houses, [and] in general they find inkotanyi hidden inside. They have searched everywhere!...If they [the inkotanyi] gethungry, they’ll all come out before you arrive. That is why you must act very fast! Force them to come out! Find them at whatever cost.99

Georges Ruggiu, the Belgian announcer who worked for RTLM, enthusiastically joined in inciting violence. He alerted listeners that:

around the hill Mbunabutuso [sic, Mburabuturo], in the woods...suspect movements of people have been observed...People of Rugonga [sic, Rugunga], of Kanongo [sic, Kanogo], by the gas station, pay attention, go to check out that woods, go ensure security and that the inyenzi have not gotten in there.100

By mid-day April 7, assailants were killing and pillaging Tutsi in the northwest, in the town of Gisenyi, and at Byangabo, Busogo, Busasamana, Mudende, Muramba, Kivumu, and Rambura; south of Kigali, at Ruhuha and Sake; northeast of Kigali at Murambi; in Gikongoro at Muko and in the far southwestern town of Cyangugu. Later that night and the next day, the killers began their “work,” as they called it, in other regions in the east and west.


At first assailants generally operated in small bands and killed their victims where they found them, in their homes, on the streets, at the barriers. But, as early as the evening of April 7, larger groups seized the opportunity for more intensive slaughter as frightened Tutsi—and some Hutu—fled to churches, schools, hospitals, and government offices that had offered refuge in the past. In the northwestern prefecture of Gisenyi, militia killed some fifty people at the Nyundo seminary, forty-three at the church of Busogo, and some 150 at the parish of Busasamana. A large crowd including Burundian students and wounded soldiers took on the task of massacring hundreds of people at the campus of the Seventh Day Adventist University at Mudende to the east of Gisenyi town.101 In Kigali,soldiers and militia killed dozens at a church in Nyamirambo on April 8 and others at the mosque at Nyamirambo several days later. On the morning of April 9, some sixty Interahamwe led by Jean Ntawutagiripfa, known as “Congolais,” and accompanied by four National Policemen, forced their way into the church at Gikondo, an industrial section of Kigali. They killed more than a hundred people that day, mostly with machetes and clubs.102

RTLM encouraged these attacks on April 8 when announcer Hitimana broadcast advice which he described as especially credible because it came from “a Doctor [whom] I really trust.” The “Doctor” said that seeing people gathering in churches was “not good at all,” especially when the RPF had put them there along with grenades and other arms. RTLM followed up this general counsel with specific warnings about the church and the mosque in Nyamirambo that spurred almost immediate attacks on these places of worship.103

Even when news of the massacres began to spread, some Tutsi still sought sanctuary in public places because the choice seemed no worse and perhaps better than staying at home or attempting to flee much further away. Some did, in fact, survive at the gathering places, either as the fortunate few who escaped at the time of a massacre or because their place of refuge was not attacked. In the two most remarkable cases, some 24,300 Tutsi in the camps at Kabgayi, a large church complex in the central province of Gitarama, were rescued by the arrival of the RPF and another 10,000 at Nyarushishi, in Cyangugu, were protected by National Police under Colonel Bavugamenshi until the arrival of French troops under Operation Turquoise. Tutsi at Rukara in eastern Rwanda were saved when the gunfire from advancing RPF troops frightened away assailants who were besieging the church.104

Beginning in the week of April 11, government officials exploited the Tutsi impulse to seek refuge and promised them protection if they would assemble in designated sites. Those who declined the offer were often forced to go there anyway. This effort was so general throughout the country that it must havereflected orders from above. As Rwandans remarked, “it was like sweeping dry banana leaves into a pile to burn them more easily.” The prefects of Kibuye and Cyangugu directed Tutsi to assemble in the local stadiums. In Kivumu commune, Kibuye prefecture, the burgomaster reportedly drove a white pick-up truck around to gather Tutsi who were straggling along the road. He was anxious to get them to Nyange church, where they would later be massacred by a bulldozer that flattened both the church and the people inside. In some cases, authorities did not order the massacre immediately after people assembled, apparently because they were waiting to gather either the maximum number of people or the forces necessary to attack them. In the meantime, they restricted supplies of food and water to the displaced persons, or prohibited them completely, so weakening the population in readiness for the attack. Often several National Policemen or communal policemen “guarded” the displaced persons. This “protection” reassured the Tutsi and encouraged them to remain quietly at the site. If any did try to leave, the “guards” were there to stop them.105

From April 11 to the first of May, killers carried out the most devastating massacres of the genocide, in some cases slaying hundreds or even thousands of people in one or two days. This kind of slaughter took place near the ETO school in the city of Kigali; at Ntarama and Nyamata in Kigali prefecture; at Kiziguro in Byumba; at Musambira, Mugina, and Byimana in Gitarama; at Nyarubuye church, Rukara church, Rukira commune, and the St. Joseph center in Kibungo; at the church and stadium in Kibuye town, Mubuga church, Birambo and Mugonero church and hospital in Kibuye prefecture; at Shangi, Nyamasheke, and Mibirizi churches in Cyangugu; at Kibeho, Cyanika, and Kaduha churches in Gikongoro; at Cyahinda, Kansi and Nyumba churches, Butare hospital and the university in Butare; and at Nyundo Cathedral in Gisenyi.

When Hutu who had feared attack because of their political convictions heard that “Tutsi alone were for killing,” most left their places of refuge to return home. But other Hutu, particularly those who had taken refuge with Tutsi family members, remained in the churches, schools, and hospitals. Killers generally tried to restrict slaughter to the Tutsi and directed others to leave before the attack. Oftensoldiers, National Policemen, or militia verified identity papers to ensure that only those classed as Hutu left.106

Hutu with Tutsi relatives faced wrenching decisions about whether or not to desert their loved ones in order to save their own lives. At Mugonero church in Kibuye, two Hutu sisters, each married to a Tutsi husband, faced such a choice. One decided to die with her husband. The other chose to leave because she hoped to save the lives of her eleven children. The children, classed as Tutsi because their father was Tutsi, would not ordinarily have had the right to live, but assailants had said that they could be allowed to depart safely if she agreed to go with them. When she stepped out of the door of the church, she saw eight of the eleven children struck down before her eyes. The youngest, a child of three years old, begged for his life after seeing his brothers and sisters slain. “Please don’t kill me,” he said. “I’ll never be Tutsi again.” He was killed.107 If assailants tried as much as possible to kill only Tutsi, so they tried, too, to kill all Tutsi. Survivors and other witnesses from many parts of Rwanda speak of the killers approaching the destruction of the crowds at a church, hospital, or hilltop as a piece of work to be kept at until finished. One compared killers to government workers putting in a day at the office; another likened them to farmers spending a day at labor. In case after case, killers quit at day’s end, to go home and feast on food and drink they had pillaged or been given, ready to come back the next morning, rested and fit for “work.” At Mugonero hospital, after hours of slaughter, assailants tossed tear gas cannisters in among the bodies. They wanted to make any survivors cough so they could locate them and finish them off.108 If killers were too tired to complete the “work” on any given day, they assured the Tutsi that they would come back. And, generally, they did.

Impeding Flight: Barriers and Patrols

Organizers tranformed practices once instituted to promote security into mechanisms for genocide and the killing of political adversaries. Even before the October 1990 invasion, guards maintained barriers on roads and paths where they examined the papers and belongings of passersby. More recently the administrationhad established patrols to check rising crime and political attacks within neighborhoods in town or out on the hills. Soldiers or National Police manned important barriers on main roads, but it was communal police and citizens themselves who were responsible for the others and who made up the neighborhood patrols. In Butare town, workers at the university and other persons with salaried employment hired zamu or nightwatchmen to do this work in their stead. Security committees at the various levels from sector to prefecture oversaw the implementation of these measures within their areas of jurisdiction.

At the start, authorities instructed Rwandans to stay at home. The curfew allowed authorities and local political leaders to put in place the barriers and patrols necessary to control the population, multiplying them in communities where they were already functioning and reestablishing them in places where they were no longer in operation. Tutsi as well as Hutu cooperated with these measures at the start, hoping they would ensure their security. The hope was disappointed. RTLM, which had at first encouraged Tutsi to join Hutu at the barriers and on the patrols, subsequently began advising listeners to look carefully at coworkers and examine their motives for participation. Incited by such messages from the radio and from local leaders, Hutu in some communities turned on Tutsi at the barriers or on patrols and killed them.109

By restricting movement, the barriers made it less likely that people at risk would dare to flee and they also offered a means of catching those who did try to escape. Their keepers scrutinized papers, particularly that line under the photograph that gave the ethnic affiliation of the bearer, to ensure that no changes had been made or false data entered. They examined facial characteristics and configuration of the body to “expose” Tutsi who were trying to pass as Hutu. In some cases, they wrongly assumed that Hutu were Tutsi because they looked Tutsi. They checked passersby for other supposed signs of links with the RPF, marks on their shoulders made by the rubbing of a gunstrap or traces on their ankles resulting from the chafing of boots, or even scars or other marks that could be labeled tattoos indicating loyalty to the RPF.110

Barriers were often set up in front of local bars or in nearby commercial centers. Local businessmen or other well-to-do people sponsored barriers, whichmeant supplying the guards with food, drink, and sometimes marijuana as well.111 As in the past, soldiers and National Police manned barriers on the main roads while communal police, militia, and other civilians guarded others. Even at the barriers maintained by civilians, at least one of the guards would often carry a firearm and others might have grenades as well as machetes.

The guards, drunk or sober, had the power of life and death over those who sought to pass and sometimes over persons captured and brought to them by patrols in the area. In considering the case, they might evaluate if the person looked Tutsi or was known personally to any of them as being Tutsi or a RPF supporter. They might also weigh how much the person could pay to save his or her life and, if a woman, how desirable she would be either as an object for rape or for longer-term sexual service. Then the guards as a group, or the leader among them, decided whether the person was to be killed on the spot, raped, kept for service or future execution, or perhaps released. Barriers sometimes served as temporary places of detention.

Some barriers were manned by opponents of the genocide who participated under threat of death to themselves or their families if they were to refuse. Survivors remembers these barriers as “good” ones where Tutsi would not be killed and where the guards might warn of more dangerous barricades further down the same road.112

Patrols searched for Tutsi in and out of their houses, in the fields, in the bush, in the swamps, wherever they might be hiding. Often they invaded the homes of Hutu as well under the pretext of verifying reports about hidden arms or a stranger who was residing there. They checked the space between ceiling and roof, under the beds, in the cupboards, in the latrines. In the search, they often helped themselves to whatever goods attracted them. In addition to the patrols that did regularly scheduled tours of the neighborhood, there were others organized in response to reports from informers who had noticed suspicious indications, such as unfamiliar clothes hung out to dry in a backyard or unusual kinds or quantities of food being purchased.113

Rape and Sexual Servitude

During the genocide, tens of thousands of women and girls were raped, including one who was only two years old.114 The assailants raped as part of their attempt to exterminate Tutsi, some of them incited by propaganda about Tutsi women disseminated in the period just before the genocide. The women had been depicted as devious and completely devoted to the interests of their fathers and brothers. Generally esteemed as beautiful, Tutsi women were also said to scorn Hutu men whom they found unworthy of their attention. Many assailants insulted women for their supposed arrogance while they were raping them. If assailants decided to spare the lives of the women, they regarded them as prizes they had won for themselves or to be distributed to subordinates who had performed well in killing Tutsi. Some kept these women for weeks or months in sexual servitude. In the commune of Taba, women and girls were raped at the communal office, with the knowledge of the burgomaster.115 At the Kabgayi nursing school, soldiers ordered the directress to give them the young women students as umusanzu, a contribution to the war effort.The directress, a Hutu, Dorothée Mukandanga, refused and was killed.116

Assailants sometimes mutilated women in the course of a rape or before killing them. They cut off breasts, punctured the vagina with spears, arrows, or pointed sticks, or cut off or disfigured body parts that looked particularly “Tutsi,” such as long fingers or thin noses. They also humiliated the women. One witness from Musambira commune was taken with some 200 other women after a massacre. They were all forced to bury their husbands and then to walk “naked like a group of cattle” some ten miles to Kabgayi. When the group passed roadblocks, militia there shouted that the women should be killed. As they marched, the women were obliged to sing the songs of the militia. When the group stopped at nightfall, some of the women were raped repeatedly.117

Crimes of Extraordinary Brutality

Some killers tortured victims, both male and female, physically or psychologically, before finally killing them or leaving them to die. An elderly Tutsi woman in Kibirira commune had her legs cut off and was left to bleed to death. A Hutu man in Cyangugu, known to oppose the MRND-CDR, was killed by having parts of his body cut off, beginning with his extremities. A Tutsi baby was thrown alive into a latrine in Nyamirambo, Kigali, to die of suffocation or hunger. Survivors bear scars of wounds that testify better than words to the brutality with which they were attacked. Assailants tortured Tutsi by demanding that they kill their own children and tormented Hutu married to Tutsi partners by insisting that they kill their spouses. Victims generally regarded being shot as the least painful way to die and, if given the choice and possessing the means, they willingly paid to die that way.

Assailants often stripped victims naked before killing them, both to acquire their clothes without stains or tears and to humiliate them. In many places, killers refused to permit the burial of victims and insisted that their bodies be left to rot where they had fallen. Persons who attempted to give a decent burial to Tutsi were sometimes accused by others of being “accomplices” of the enemy.118 The Hutu widow of a Tutsi man killed at Mugonero in Kibuye expressed her distress at the violation of Rwandan custom, which is to treat the dead with dignity. Speaking of Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana of the Adventist church, she stated:

What gives me grief is that after the pastor had all these people killed, he didn’t even see to burying them, including his fellow pastors. They lay outside for two weeks, eaten by dogs and crows.119

Strategies of Survival


Tutsi fought for their lives at Bisesero, Karongi, and Nyamagumba in Kibuye; at Nyakizu, Nyamure, and Runyinya in Butare; at Bicumbi and Kanzenze and in the swamps of Bugesera in Kigali; at Gashihe in Gisenyi; at Gisuma and Cyangugu stadium in Cyangugu; at Kibeho and Kaduha churches in Gikongoro; at the Muhaziand Rukira communal offices in Kibungo.120 The names of these and other major sites of resistance are known, but unrecorded are the thousands of places where Tutsi struggled hand to hand with their aggressors, in their homes, on the paths and in the fields. Each place of struggle has its own story of heroism, but most share common elements: Tutsi (in the early days, in some places, mixed groups of Tutsi and Hutu) repelled the initial attack; the aggressors obtained reinforcements in people and material, usually from soldiers or National Police; the aggressors attacked repeatedly until they overcame the resistance. Some Tutsi survived, hidden among the bodies or elsewhere, or by fleeing.

At some sites, the besieged people formulated strategies for fighting or for fleeing. At Rubona in Butare and at Bisesero at Kibuye, resisters used a tactic called “merging,” or kwiunga.121 This involved lying down and waiting until assailants had moved in among the intended victims, then rising up to face them in close combat. This tactic decreased the likelihood that assailants would shoot because they would fear being caught in fire from their own side. The two sites where the tactic was used are far apart and probably had no communication between them during the genocide. Perhaps the RPF had taught this way of fighting during training sessions for its adherents or had disseminated it in some other way. At Bisesero, where the numbers of resisters were large and the struggle long, the Tutsi put into place a command structure. Leaders directed the combat and even beat those who refused to advance under attack.122 In Nyakizu, most Tutsi were besieged for only a few days under attack, but they too worked out a division of tasks in the combat. When they decided to flee, they arranged the departure of groups at different times and in different directions to increase their chances for escape.

The best known case of resistance was that of Bisesero, a mountainous ridge in Kibuye where Tutsi stood off militia and military from April 8 until July 1. In explaining why Tutsi had fled to Bisesero, one survivor related:

We fled to the hill because it was high and we could see the attackers coming....It had lots of woods on it and so many hiding places. The attackers would come to kill during the day and at night they would go off to eat and drink.123

Others recalled that Bisesero had been an important site for defense at the time of the 1959 revolution, a consideration which determined the choice of site for people in other prefectures as well. According to some witnesses, Radio Muhubura encouraged Tutsi to assemble at Bisesero.

During the genocide people living in the town of Kibuye became used to the sound of the vehicles rolling by en route to Bisesero with their loads of assailants. Obed Ruzindana, a local businessman and prefectural head of the CDR, is accused of having led attacks on the hilltop along with a councilor, Mika Muhimana. One survivor declares that Dr. Gerard Ntakirutimana, son of Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, who headed the Adventist church, came to the hill often, “wearing white pants and a white and red sweater and carrying a R4 rifle.” The witness thought that Dr. Ntakirutimana would help him because their fathers had exchanged cattle, a sign of a close and enduring bond. He says, “So I fled to Ntakirutimana for protection, but instead he shot at me.” The burgomaster, Charles Sikubwabo, a former soldier, helped organize the repeated assaults on the hill. From time to time, Alfred Musema, head of a nearby tea factory, came to observe.124

The local militia, gathered from three surrounding communes, was not enough to overcome resistance on the hill, so the organizers called in reinforcements from a considerable distance. A militia leader well-known in Cyangugu, John Yusufu Munyakazi, brought his men from that prefecture and both militia and soldiers came from Gisenyi. In late April, the resisters, using spears and machetes, killed a lieutenant of the Presidential Guard and four National Policemen. There followed a respite of two weeks. Then on May 13, soldiers, backed by eight busloads of militia, charged the hill. They killed thousands of Tutsi. According to a survivorwhose wife and mother were killed there, the assailants “speared women through the vagina to their heads, saying ‘May you give birth to a child.’”125

During the weeks on the hilltop, the Tutsi first consumed supplies they had brought with them and then foraged for food and stole from the fields of farmers. The attackers were divided into two teams, those who assaulted the hill during the day and those “who went around at night trying to find where people were hiding by smelling or seeing their cooking fires.”126

The prefect, Dr. Clément Kayishema informed his superior on May 5 about the continued existence of “a little spot of insecurity in the Bisesero zone,”127 and wired them on June 2 to request “military reinforcements to help the population monitor the [areas of] high altitude.” Perhaps to ensure a prompt and positive response, Kayishema reminded his superior that this region included a radio transmitter, an installation of Electrogaz, and the tea factory. He also reported that there were RPF infiltrators among incoming refugees and that an RPF attack was rumored to be coming from Nyanza to the east and from Idjwi island in Lake Kivu.128

The prefect got the response he wanted some two weeks later when the council of ministers instructed the military commander at Gisenyi to send troops to join the National Police at Kibuye “to lead a search operation, with the help of the population, in sector Bisesero...which has become a sanctuary of the RPF.” The interim government insisted that the operation be “finished definitively” by June 20 at the latest, perhaps because they anticipated the arrival of French troops of Operation Turquoise at about that time.129 The attack took place, killing and maiming many of the ragged and starving survivors who clung to life on top of the hills. A foreign witness present in Kibuye town heard the militia and troops coming home shouting their ibyivugo, a formalized boast that dates to the precolonialperiod, declaiming the numbers they had slain and the details of how they had killed them.

A survivor estimated that of the thousands of Tutsi hidden in the woods on top of the Bisesero hills, fewer than 1,500 survived.130

Flight, Hiding, and Buying Safety

Many of the Tutsi alive today fled in search of safety, some many times over. A young man from Bisesero first fled south with a group heading for Burundi, but they were caught in the Nyungwe forest by the Presidential Guard. They escaped and made their way back to Bisesero. He tried again, heading southeast, planning to circle through the northern part of Gikongoro to reach the RPF zone. Forced to retreat again to Bisesero, he started out a third time to the northeast, through Birambo but once more was driven back to the hilltop. As he remarks, “All this was in April, the month that would not end.”131 Some fled from one place to another, like a group that escaped from the massacre at Kibeho and went to Muganza and from there to Cyahinda and from there to Agatobwe to Nkomero and finally across the border to Burundi. Tracked by assailants from their places of origin, harassed by new attackers along the way, those in flight traveled at night, frequently backtracking and following circuitous routes. One witness needed six days to traverse a distance that he could normally walk in two hours.

Many hid in every imaginable kind of space: latrines, ceilings, unused wells, in trees, in empty buildings in the city and in fields of sorghum or sugar cane. Some profited from a momentary distraction or temporary weakening of will on the part of a captor. One woman at the crowded Kabgayi camp who was selected for killing by militia begged the chance to suckle her infant one last time. While she was doing so, her captor got bored and looked away and she disappeared into the crowd. A teenaged girl was lined up with others waiting to be killed at the edge of a grave. When the killers began to dispute the division of the spoils taken from the victims, she sped off into the night. Some bought their lives once with a watch or a small sum of money; others made payments to soldiers or militia every day or every week throughout the genocide. Some negotiated a temporary reprieve through wit and promises, staying alive day by day.

Resisters in places like Bisesero or the Bugesera swamps seem to have been largely self-sufficient, but others who survived through flight, hiding, or buying their safety usually needed help from Hutu. Some of those who opened their doors,showed a path, or delivered food acted from principle, responding to a sense of common humanity with the victim, even if a stranger. Some acted from family feeling, friendship, or sense of obligation for past services rendered. Others sold their help, but, in doing so, they, too, saved lives.

Authorities and political leaders defined aiding Tutsi as helping the “enemy.” In many places, they specifically ordered Hutu not to assist Tutsi and threatened them with death or other punishment if they did so. Hutu who disobeyed such orders and were caught often had to pay fines. In some cases, the protectors, like those whom they were trying to protect, were raped, beaten, or killed. These cases were widely known in local communities and often led other Hutu to refuse or end their assistance to Tutsi.132 When an elderly Tutsi in Bisesero appealed to an old Hutu friend to hide his grandsons, the old friend responded, “I would like to, but I can’t. The orders are that I must not.”133

1 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, by telephone, Montreal, May 22, 1996; by telephone, Antwerp, April 15, 1997; Brussels, October 20, 1997.

2 RTLM, April 3, 1994, recorded by Faustin Kagame (provided by Article 19).

3 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews with a former UNAMIR officer, Plainsboro, New Jersey, June 13, 1996; by telephone, Nairobi, March 22, 1996; Kigali, February 14,1997.

4 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, by telephone, Nairobi, March 22, 1996; Kigali, February 14,1997.

5 Among the cases of Tutsi with firearms are Antoine Sebera in Kigali, two persons at Ndora commune and others with guns and grenades at Sake commune. Article 19, Broadcasting Genocide, Censorship, Propaganda & State-Sponsored Violence in Rwanda 1990-1994, October 1996, p. 125; African Rights, Rwanda, Death,Despair, pp. 1056-7.

6 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 44-45; Stephen Smith, “6 avril 1994: deux missiles abattent l’avion du président Habyarimana,” Libération, April 6-7, 1996. 7 Assemblée Nationale, Mission d’information commune, Enquête, Tome III, Auditions, Volume I, p. 415. 8 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Atlanta, September 2, 1996. 9 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp.34-35. 10 Ibid., p. 23. 11 Aboganena, “Bagosora S’Explique,” p. 19. 12 Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles, Compte-Rendu de la Commission rogatoire internationale exécutée au Rwanda du 5 juin au 24 juin 1995, Dossier no. 57/95, pp. 2, 22; République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no. 143. This and depositions cited hereafter from this source are all from dossiers labeled CRIM/ KK/KGL 95, CRIM/KK-DA/KGL/95 or an abbreviated form of these designations (confidential source). 13 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois jours, pp. 25, 27. 14 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois jours, p. 45; Patrick de Saint-Exupéry, “France-Rwanda: Dangereuses Liaisons,” Le Figaro, March 31, 1998. 15 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Washington, September 7, 1996. 16 Assemblée Nationale, Mission d’information commune, Enquête, Tome III, Auditions, Volume I, p. 416. 17 Smith, “6 avril 1994.” 18 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 30-31; Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, pp. 217-19. 19 Commandement des Forces Armées Rwandaises en Exil, “Contribution des FAR,” p. 91; Bagosora, “L’assassinat,” p. 9. 20 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République, PV no. 0259, no. 253, no. 143; Police Judiciaire près le Parquet du Procureur du Roi de Bruxelles, No. 41.312, dossier 57/95; Commandement des Forces Armées Rwandaises en Exil, “Contribution des FAR,” p. 91. 21 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, p. 53. 22 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Plainsboro, N.J., June 14, 1996; Commission d’enquête, Rappport, pp. 420-21. 23 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, p. 54. 24 Bagosora, “L’assassinat,” p. 9. 25 Reyntjens reprints the minutes of the meeting in Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 125-6. 26 General Roméo Dallaire, “Answers to Questions Submitted to Major-General Dallaire By the Judge-Advocate General of the Military Court” (confidential source); République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no.0142, 148 ; Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours,” p. 57. 27 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no. 143. 28 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no. 0033, no. 0034, no. 143, and no. 0146; [Belgium] Auditorat militaire près le Conseil de guerre, Declaration Pro Justitia, January 3, 1995 (confidential source); Lt. Col. J. Dewez, Kibat [Kigali Battalion], “Chronique, 06 avr-19avr 1994,” September 1995, pp.7, 9, 12, 13-14,16, 18. 29 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no. 0148. 30 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, p. 67; République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République, de Kigali, PV no. 143. 31 Dewez, “Chronique,” p. 13. 32 Ibid., pp.11-14; Dallaire, “Answers to Questions;” Alexandre Goffin, 10 Commandos Vont Mourir (Editions Luc Pire, n.p. n.d.), pp. 63-65, 73-77; Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 67-69. 33 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0370, no. 0146, no. 0034, no. 020l, and no. 0112; [Belgium] Auditorat militaire près le Conseil de guerre Declaration Pro Justitia, January 3, 1995. 34 Dallaire, “Answers to Questions.” 35 Opponents had often called the prime minister a whore and accused her of sexual relations with other political leaders. The first woman to hold such high office in Rwanda, she was said to have been raped in an attack by political adversaries two years before. 36 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0370, no. 0146, no. 0034, no. 020l, and no. 0112; [Belgium] Auditorat militaire près le Conseil de guerre, Declaration Pro Justitia, January 3, 1995; Guichaoua, Les Crises Politiques, p. 709. 37 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0370, no. 0146, no. 0034, no. 020l, and no. 0112. 38 Communiqué de Mme. Annunciata Kavaruganda; Declaration of Louise Mushikiwabo, Appendix of Declarations and Statutory Materials in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Default Judgment, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, No.94 Civ. 3627 (JSM), Louise Mushikiwabo, et al., against Jean Bosco Barayagwiza. 39 Dewez, “Chronique,” pp. 7, 9,16; Human Rights Watch interview, Kigali, October 29, 1994; Human Rights Watch interview, by telephone, Nairobi, May 5, 1994; Dallaire, “Answers to Questions.” 40 Dallaire, “Answers to Questions.” 41 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 132-33. 42 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, January 26, 1996. 43 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no.0142. 44 Ibid. 45 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no. 0004; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Plainsboro, N.J., June 14, 1996; January 26, 1996; Brussels, August 3, 1998; Dewez, “Chronique,” pp. 11-12,19; Goffin, 10 Commandos, p. 100. 46 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, p. 83. 47 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV no. 0259, 0142; Police Judiciaire près le Parquet du Procureur du Roi de Bruxelles, No. 41.312, dossier 57/95 (confidential source). 48 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, May 26, 1997. 49 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, by telephone, Antwerp, April 15, 1997 and Brussels, October 20, 1997; Police Judiciaire près le Parquet du Procureur du Roi de Bruxelles, No. 41.312, dossier 57/95. 50 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0034, no.143, no. 0370; Police Judiciaire près le Parquet du Procureur du Roi de Bruxelles, No. 41.312, dossier 57/95. 51 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 82-83. 52 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Plainsboro, N.J., June 14, 1996; by telephone, Nairobi, March 7, 1998. 53 Radio Muhabura, April 11, 1994, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, AL/1970 A/5, April 13, 1994. 54 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Plainsboro, N.J., June 14, 1996; by telephone, Brussels, April 27, 1997 and July 22, 1998; Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, p. 84. 55 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 86-87 and note. 56 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Plainsboro, N.J., June 14, 1996; by telephone, Kigali, November 8, 1996; Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles, Deposition de Témoin, September 18, 1995 Dossier 57/95. 57 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, May 26, 1997; Notes of Chris McGreal, interview with Jean Kambanda, Bukavu, August, 1994. 58 Faustin Munyazesa had been minister of interior since 1991, during the period of smaller-scale massacres of Tutsi and preparation for the genocide. He remained in Dar es Salaam after the April 6 meeting that he had attended with Habyarimana. When he heard of the plane crash, he exclaimed, “Forget Rwanda! It is finished! It is finished! It is finished!” Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Kigali, December 19, 1997. 59 Bagosora, “Agenda, 1993,” entry for February 15. 60 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0142. 61 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Plainsboro, N.J.; June 14, 1996; Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 90-91. 62 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, pp. 134-6. 63 Ijambo Perezida w’Inama y’Igihugu Iharanira Amajyambere Dr. Sindikubwabo Théodore Ageza ku Banyarwanda Kwa 8 Mata 1994, enclosed in Fawusitini Munyazeza, Minisitiri w’Ubutegetsi bw’Igihugu n’Amajyambere ya Komini, [actually signed by C. Kalimanzira] to Bwana Perefe wa Prefegitura (Bose), April 21, 1994 (Butare prefecture). 64 Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles, Compte-Rendu de la Commission rogatoire internationale exécutée au Rwanda du 1er au 13 mai 1995, dossier no. 57/95. 65 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0133. 66 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, New York, May 15, 1996. 67 Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles, Deposition de Témoin, September 18, 1995 Dossier 57/95. 68 Auditorat Militaire, Bruxelles, PV no. 1013, Dossier no. 02 02545 N94 C8 (confidential source). Two sisters of Habyarimana were members of a religious congregation. 69 Commission d’enquête, Rapport, pp. 461-62. 70 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kibungo, January 30, 1995; Commission pour le Mémorial du Génocide et des Massacres au Rwanda, “Rapport Préliminaire d’Identification des Sites du Génocide et des Massacres d’avril-juillet 1994 au Rwanda,” February 1996, pp. 113-5. 71 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Bruxelles, May 26, 1997. 72 Terry Leonard, “New Fighting is Reported in Rwanda as Foreigners Flee,” Associated Press, April 11, 1994. 73 Human Rights Watch interviews, by telephone, Kigali, April 7, 8, 10, 1994; Dr. Clément Kayishema, Préfet, “Rapport sur la Sécurité dans la Précture Kibuye,” April 10, 1994, p. 3 (Kibuye prefecture). 74 Ijambo Perezida w’Inama y’Igihugu Iharanira Amajyambere Dr. Sindikubwabo Théodore Ageza ku Banyarwanda Kwa Mata 1994 (April 8, 1994). 75 Radio Rwanda, “Radio Rwanda broadcasts appeal by official of the pro-army faction of the MDR,” April 12, 1994, SWB, AL/1970 A/2, April 13, 1994. 76 Radio Rwanda, “Defence Ministry communique urges Rwandans to ignore ‘the lies’ of RPF radio,”April 12, 1994, SWB, AL/1970 A/5, April 13, 1994. 77 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Mukingi, July 10, 1996. 78 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, February 14, 1997. 79 “RPF Leader Kagame Says His Forces Will Act Against the Presidential Guard,” April 9, 1994, SWB, AL/1968 A/4, April 11, 1994. 80 Radio Muhabura, “RPF radio reports killings by presidential guards and pro-Habyarimana militia,”April 11, 1994, SWB, AL/1970 A/5, April 13, 1994. 81 Agence France Press, “RPF official tells AFP that reports of death of RPF leader are a ‘rumour,’”April 11, 1994 SWB, AL/1970 A/5, April 13, 1994. 82 Des prêtres du diocèse de Nyundo, “Des Rescapés du Diocèse de Nyundo Témoignent,” p. 59 and Soeur Patricia Massart, “A Butare, Au Jour Le Jour,” p. 78, Dialogue, no.177, August-September, 1994. For Nyakizu, see chapter nine. 83 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, July 22, 1998. 84 Colonels Rusatira, Gatsinzi, Muberuka, Ntiwiragabo, Kanyamanza, Murasampongo, Hakizimana and Lieutenant Colonels Rwabalinda, Rwamanywa, and Kanyandekwe, “Communiqué du Commandement des Forces Armées Rwandaises,” Kigali, April 12, 1994. Ndindiliyimana was said to have supported the statement but did not sign. 85 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Brussels, April 27, 1997. 86 Jean-Pierre Godding, “Refugié d’un Rwanda à Feu et à Sang,” Dialogue, no. 177, August-September 1994, p. 39. 87 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0370. 88 République Rwandaise, Parquet de la République de Kigali, PV. no. 0146. 89 Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles, Deposition de Témoin, September 18, 1995 Dossier 57/95. 90 Article 19, Broadcasting Genocide, p. 125. Sebera had been one of the Tutsi named in the above-mentioned September 1992 military memorandum defining the enemy. 91 Ibid., p. 127. 92 RTLM broadcast, April 10, 1994, recorded by Faustin Kagame (provided by Article 19). 93 African Rights, Rwanda, Death, Despair, p. 439. 94 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Butare, March 7, 1996; Commission pour le Mémorial du Génocide et des Massacres au Rwanda, “Rapport Préliminaire,” p. 67; African Rights, Rwanda, Death, Despair, p.439. 95 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 12, 1995. 96 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 12, 1995. 97 Reyntjens, Rwanda, Trois Jours, p. 58. 98 Human Rights Watch/Africa, eight interviews, by telephone, Kigali, April 7, 1994. Many relatives and friends of Rwandans in Europe and North America received similar calls. The Belgian peacekeepers’ log of these days gives some sense of the horror. See Dewez, “Chronique.” 99 Police Judiciaire près le Parquet du Procureur du Roi de Bruxelles, PV no. 30339, Dossier 36/95. 100 Ibid. 101 G. Leonard, “Le Carnage à Busogo,” pp. 31-33; Godding, “Refugié d’un Rwanda à Feu et à Sang,” p. 40; and Des prêtres du diocèse de Nyundo, “Des Rescapés,” pp. 60-61, 64-65, Dialogue, no. 177, August-September 1994; Agence France Presse, “Massacres de Rwandais dans une mission franciscaine au nord du pays,” Bulletin Quotidiend'Afrique, no. 14189, 11/04/94, p. 39. 102 U.S. Committee for Refugees, “Genocide in Rwanda: Documentation of Two Massacres during April 1994,” pp. 4-9. 103 Article 19, Broadcasting Genocide, Censorship, Propaganda & State-Sponsored Violence in Rwanda, 1990-1994 (October 1996), pp. 130-131. 104 U.S. Committee for Refugees, “Genocide in Rwanda,” p. 16. 105 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, July 11, 1996; Kivumu, July 9, 1996. In some cases, the guards did in fact protect people at these sites. See chapter 8. 106 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, August 29, 30, 1994; Butare, October 2, 1994; Kibungo, January 30, 1995; Nyarubuye, March 5, 1995; Kigali, July 7, 1995; Kigali, July 11, 1996; U.S. Committee for Refugees, “Genocide in Rwanda,” p.6. 107 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 13, 1995. 108 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 12, 1995. 109 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, by telephone, Brussels, January 26, 1997. 110 Tribunal de Première Instance de Bruxelles, Deposition de Témoin, September 18, 1995 Dossier 57/95; Fergal Keane, Season of Blood, A Rwandan Journey (London: Viking, 1995), p. 168. 111 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Maraba, June 14, 1995; Chrétien et al, Rwanda, Les médias, p. 266. 112 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Butare July 12, July 13, 1996. 113 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Maraba, June 14, 1995; Butare, October 21, 1995. 114 Human Rights Watch/FIDH, Shattered Lives, p.24. 115 Fondation Hirondelle, “L’ancien maire de Taba aurait encouragé au viol de femmes Tutsies,” October 23, 1997. 116 Boniface Musoni, “Holocauste Noir,” Dialogue, no. 177, August-September 1994, p. 88. 117 Human Rights Watch/FIDH, Shattered Lives, pp. 54, 62-64. 118 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Brussels, February 26, 1997. 119 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, September 9, 1995. 120 Human Rights Watch interviews, seven by telephone, Kigali, between April 6 and May 28, 1994; Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, September 9, 12, 13, 1995; Commission pour le Mémorial du Génocide et des Massacres au Rwanda, “Rapport Préliminaire,” pp. 92, 136, 142, 148-58, 173-76, 186-8, 241; Missionnaires d’Afrique, Guy Theunis and Jef Vleugels, fax no. 12, May 9, 1994. 121 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Rusatira, March 23, 1996; African Rights, Resisting Genocide, April-June 1994, Witness, No. 8, p. 16. 122 African Rights, Resisting Genocide, p. 17. 123 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 12, 1995. 124 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, September 9, 1995; July 11,1996. 125 Ibid. 126 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 12, 1995. 127 Dr. Clément Kayishema, Préfet, to Monsieur le Ministre de l’Intérieur et du Développement Communal, no. 0286/04.09.01, May 5, 1994 (Kibuye prefecture). 128 Dr. Clément Kayishema, Préfet, telegram to Ministre MININTER, no. 003/04.09.01, June 2, 1994 (Kibuye prefecture). 129 Edouard Karemera, Ministre de l’Intérieur et du Développement Communal to Monsieur le Lt. Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva, Commandant du Secteur Opérationnel de Gisenyi, no classification number, June 18, 1994 (Kibuye prefecture). 130 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interview, Kigali, September 9,1995. 131 Ibid. 132 Human Rights Watch/FIDH, interviews, Butare, May 29, 1995, Kigali, July 18, 1995; Brussels, December 18, 1995; Human Rights Watch/FIDH, Shattered Lives, pp. 66-67. 133 Human Rights Watch/FIDH interviews, Kigali, July 12, 1995.

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