Genocide against the Hutu People

Paul Kagame

War criminal: Paul Kagame


The RPF separated men from women and put them in separate houses before burning them all down using grenades and high artillery. Thousands fled to Nyacyonga Camp. Shortly after the displaced Rwandans gathered there, Paul Kagame himself arrived at the camp and took a machine gun and shot the kids and women in the neighboring market. Other RPF soldiers killed hundreds of displaced people from Byumba and Kibungo prefectures. People were crucified and pregnant women had their stomach cut open. The fetuses were given to their supposed fathers before they were killed by akandoya.

Paul Kagame

Paul Kagame is a cold blooded killer


Paul Kagame and his accomplices of the RPF/A(Rwanda Patriotic/Front Army) should be held accountable for the genocide committed against the Hutu people, Congolese and also Tutsi of Francophone(interior) background.
How can the entire world turn a blind eye on such crimes-Crimes of genocide??
Paul Kagame is a cold blooded murderer that has killed innocent women,men, boys,girls and pensioners because they happened to be Hutu or Tutsi that never left Rwanda.
The west should be ashamed for being in company of such a ruthless killer. I wonder what advice a man like Tony Blair gives to a known killer of innocent African people: that don’t worry, No one will ever touch you??
Just like a classic Fascist genocidal, Paul Kagame has made huge posters reminding people of the “genocide against the Tutsi”, although more Hutus had also been massacred.
Its high time Paul kagame and his disciples of doom stoped using the excuse of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda(FDLR) to commit more murders and rapes in DR Congo. It doesn’t make sense to label them the perpetrators of the official western propagandist “1994 genocide”, when 90% of FDRL fighters were either children below the age of ten and some were born in DR Congo.

So, who should be wanted for crimes of genocide? The answer is Paul Kagame, Bosco Ntaganda and Laurent Nkunda.

Paul Kagame

Paul kagame always looked a killer


All those harbouring and protecting a known killer should know one thing; that Paul Kagame is not a god but just another cold blooded fascist killer whose time will one day come.

The UN Security Council, international NGOs, key Rwandan politicians and the commander of the UN forces Romeo Dallaire, and scholarly literature cannot all be Hutus and genocidals when they all say the same thing “RPF War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity, and Crimes of Genocide !!”
In April 1994, the RPF under Colonel Kayonga went from house to house in Remera, Kigali killing businessmen, intellectuals, politicians, and all members of their families. RPF soldiers executed unarmed civilians who fled to Amahoro Stadium.

Following are the names of the people executed by the RPF. The list is
not exhaustive.

– Ndagijimana, Celestin, Chief Administrator officer at IMPRISCO

– Claudien Habarushaka, former prefect of Kigali;

– Baliyanga, Sylvestre, then prefect of Ruhengeri, his wife and
children;

– Jean-Marie Vianney Mvulirwenande’s wife and children;

– Mujyanama, Theoneste, former attorney general;

– Habimana, Aloys, former director in the ministry of agriculture;

– Stanislas Niyibizi’s wife and children;

– Hategekimana , Raphael, director of Village Urugwiro

– Major Bugenimana, Helene and her children;

– Bahigiki, Emmanuel, former secretary general in the ministry of
planning, his wife, and children;

– Gahutu, Jean, his wife and his children;

– Nsengiyaremye, Theodore, pharmacist, his wife and his children;
Munyangabe, Marcel, former president of the General Accounting Court, his wife and his children;

– Ndaziramiye, Herson, his wife and children.

– Gashegu, Dismas, former vice chancellor of the National University
of Rwanda;

– Mbanzarugamba, Felicien, employee at Bralirwa, his wife and
children;

– Kayibanda, Irenee, employee at Societe Nationale d’Assurances
(SONARWA);

– Hategekimana, Jean, president of the Court of Kigali, his wife and
children;

– Mupenda, Frederic, employee at the ministry of public works

– Donat Hakizimana, his wife and children.

– Nyungura, Emile, his wife and children;

According to Human Rights Watch and the FIDH, by April 25, 1994 the
RPF had opened a corridor from Kigali to Byumba. It evacuated
civilians from Amahoro Stadium, Kigali to Byumba. Some of the people it evacuated were summarily executed in Byumba. Among them was Gregoire Kayinamura, vice president of MDR, Norbert Muhaturukundo, employee at the ministry of information, and Sebulikoko, Celestin, businessman. This list is not exhaustive. So far, no RPF soldier has been prosecuted.

From April 7, 1994 through August 1994, the RPF summoned people to public meetings. After people had gathered to listen to RPF officials, RPF soldiers massacred them. The following terms are reminiscent of these episodes: kwitaba inama or to attend a public meeting; kwikiza umwanzi or to get rid of the enemy, and gutegura or to clean up a place.
When people were summoned to attend a public meeting, they were summarily executed.
When people were summoned to clean up a place to supposedly
resettle internally displaced people, they were summarily executed.

When people were summoned to attend a public meeting to learn how to smoke out interahamwe, they were asked to tie each other arms behind the back using ropes. Then they were summarily executed.

A UNHCR report prepared by a team of three people headed by Robert
Gersony on these numerous massacres that occurred as the RPF took
control of Rwanda in 1994 was buried under pressure from the United
States and the UN. According to Human Rights Watch and the FIDH, “From August 1 through September 5, the team visited ninety-one sites in forty one of the 145 communes of Rwanda and gathered detailed information about ten others”.
They go on to say that “A written note produced by the UNHCR estimated only that the RPF had killed thousands of persons a month, but Gersony himself reportedly estimated that during the months from April to August the RPF killed between 25,000 and 45,000 persons, between 5,000 and 10,000 persons each month from
April through July and 5,000 for the month of August. In press
accounts based on leaked information, the figure most often cited was
30,000.”

Massacre of unarmed civilian at Kibeho, prefecture of Gikongoro.

UNAMIR, non-government organizations and international news media
witnessed this massacre. More than 8,000 people died.

RPA soldiers removed dead bodies at night and took them at other locations so that international news media and non government organizations could not count them.

Massacres of tens of thousands unarmed Hutu civilians, mostly women, children and elderly, by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, in Kanama in October-November 1997.
The Rwanda Patriotic Army accepted the responsibility for these crimes, but none was punished or even prosecuted for these crimes against humanity.

To repair the tarnished image of Kagame’s regime, Colonel Ibingira who ordered this massacre was sentenced to one year of under house arrest.

Massacres of tens of thousands of unarmed civilians, mostly women,
children and elderly in the caves of Nyakinama, Bugoyi, in 1998. The
international media and the international community confirmed the
massacres and Rwandan Patriotic Army admitted to the crimes.

Massacres of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Hutu civilians villagers, mostly young boys, women, children, and elderly in the villages across Ruhengeri and Gisenyi in 1997-1998, by the Rwandan Patriotic Army.
These massacres occurred under the command of General Kayumba
Nyamwasa. He was then the highest-ranking military officer in charge of military operations in the prefectures of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri.
The international community confirmed the massacres.

Paul Kagame is implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity

By Alphonse F. Furuma

The following is a non-exhaustive list of cases in which Paul Kagame and his collaborators are implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since 1991.

1. Systematic execution of the Hutu who attempted to join the RPA Military Training Wings for example in Nakivale, Gishuro, Karama and Gabiro from 1990 up to 1994.

2. Systematic massacres, laying of mines, looting of properties, demolition of homes and other building as well as destruction crops so as to displace the population and create an RPF/RPA controlled territory free of the Hutu. These crimes were carried out for example in the Districts of Muvumba, Ngarama, Bwisigye, Kiyombe, Mukarangye, Cyumba, Kibali, Kivuye, Cyungo, as well as in Kinigi, Butaro, Cyeru and Nyamugari from 1990 to 1992. Military operations were carried out against known civilian targets, in most cases peasants. Known Refugee Camps and densely populated villages and Towns were routinely shelled with 120 mm motors, 107 mm rocked launchers and 122 mm guns mounted on hill tops overlooking such locations. Examples of these incidents include the shelling of Rwibare Refugee Camp in Muvumba, Kisaro Refugee Camp in Buyoga as well as Byumba and Ruhengeri Towns in 1991 and 1992.

3. When the Arusha Peace Talks for Rwanda started in 1992, Paul Kagame launched a deliberate policy to create a Tutsi Land through Hutu massacres, massive population displacement, property appropriation and land grabbing in the North East, East, South East and in Central Rwanda. This is the policy we saw at work in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

4. Routine execution of Hutu prisoners of war between 1991 and 1994. The only exceptions being the ones kept alive for the purpose of show off to Journalists and for the exchange of prisoners of war with the Government side in the framework of the Arusha Peace Agreement.

5. Assassination of Hutu elites including members of the RPF/RPA like Member of High Command Muvunanyambo who was killed in 1992 as well as many civilian cadres recruited in the entire demilitarized zone in Northern Rwanda between 1992 and 1994. Once again, the districts most affected include Muvumba, Ngarama, Bwisigye, Kiyombe, Mukarangye, Cyumba, Kibali, Kivuye, Cyungo, Kinigi, Butaro, Cyeru and Nyamugari.

6. Periodic Revenge massacres against the Hutu population whenever the Regime in Kigali massacred the Tutsi. For example such revenge massacres were carried out in the RPA Offensive of February 1993 covering the entire North of the Country. The offensive was launched over night, by morning several districts had been taken over by the RPA and in the hours and days that followed the Hutu were hunted and short at on sight. In one location in the District of Ngarama, at least 134 people were massacred and buried in shallow graves.

7. From 1992 up to 1994, politico-military cadres were infiltrated behind government lines to carry out terrorist activities especially in urban areas. From 28th December 1993 to 6th April 1994, this time using the RPA Unit in Kigali, more people were trained, arms distributed and an urban terrorist campaign launched against civilian targets in Kigali City. These terrorist groups, among others, targeted high profile politicians including the late President Juvenal Habyalimana, former Minister Gatabazi, Gapyisi and Martin Bucyana. For example President Habyalimana had been a target for assassination between January and April 1994 at a swearing ceremony of the Broad Based Transition Government scheduled to have taken place at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kigali.

8. Counter genocide massacres covering the entire Country from boarder to boarder were launched immediately the genocide started. All RPA Units were under orders to kill any Hutu on sight and for several months, many soldiers did kill as many Hutu as they could.

9. The massacre at Rwesero Seminary on 21 April 1994, which included seven priest who had taken refugee there.

10. The massacres at Kabgayi on 5th June 1994, which included three Catholic Bishops and other Church leaders.

11. The massacres by the RPA Kigali Battalion in the hours and days immediately following the launching of the genocide; for example the killing of Hutu families in locations north of Kigali City like Kimihurura and Remera.

12. The killing of Hutu families evacuated from Kigali in April 1994 when a safe corridor had been created between Kigali and RPF/RPA Headquarters in Byumba Town.

13. The massacres in the Province of Gitarama especially in the Districts of Masango, Mukingi, Mushubati and Tabwe. In the District of Masango alone, at least 500 peasants are estimated to have been massacred and buried in mass graves between July and August 1994.

14. The massacres carried out in Butale Province where the largest number of people killed was at a locality known as Kucya-Semakamba.

15. The massacres of internally displaced people in camps or in transit to their homes. The most widely known case is the Kibeho massacre at a UN protected Camp in which between 4,000-8,000 people lost their lives at the hands of an RPA Unit.

16. The Directorate of Military Intelligence from 1990 up to 1994 operated Hutu detention, torture, assassination and burial centers in different locations of the country. One of the most notorious locations was at Kinyami District Headquarters where at least hundreds of civilian Hutus were arrested, detained, tortured, killed and buried between April and July 1994.Bodies were exhumed in 1997 by the military, the remains were burnt with diesel and acid and disposed of in the Akagera National Park. Member of Parliament Evalist Burakari was assassinated because he was a witness. The victims, who were mostly Hutu elites, were picked especially from the Districts of Kibali, Buyoga, Kinyami, Rutare, Muhura and Giti.

17. Gabiro Barracks has since 1994 served as a Hutu killing ground. Every time there is a security crisis, the Hutu especially in urban areas and the Eastern parts of the Country, are rounded up, blindfolded, packed on lorries, transported to Gabiro Barracks and killed. The Barracks has specialized killers and tools including iron bars, acid, diesel and a caterpillar.

18. Counter Insurgency massacres carried out in the North West from 1995 up to 2001. Tens of thousands and may be hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives at the hands of RPA Mobile Forces. Specific examples include the massacres carried out in Kanama District on 12th September 1995 in which 110 Hutu peasants were massacred in revenge for one Tutsi Officer killed by Hutu rebels. Many more massacres took place in the same locality especially between October and November 1997.

19. The massacre of a large number of people hiding in caves in the Ruhengeri-Gisenyi region during the counter insurgency operations of 1998. RPA Units sealed off the caves and massacred the refugees with explosives. Examples include the massacres in the caves of Bugoyi.

20. Massacres in containers. During routine security operations or counter insurgency operations, the Hutu are rounded up, their hands tied and the heads covered with air tight plastic materials. They are then loaded on to containers which are locked, driven to the Akagera National Park where they are parked under the direct sun and the victims left to die slowly due to congestion, heat, thirst and suffocation. Some of the supported of Former President Pasteur Bizimungu’s Party rounded up in various locations of Gisenyi Province following his arrest were massacred in this manner.

21. The indirect massacres of genocidaires suspects in detention centers. Thousands of genocidaires suspects were deliberately allowed to die off slowly due to inhuman detention condition. In mid 1995, it was estimated that 13 % of over 100.000 detainees were dying due to terrible detention conditions. In Gitarama Prison alone, about 1.000 out of about 10.000 detainees died in the year 1995.

22. The routine execution of genocidaires suspects in detention centers especially in 1997. RPA Units disguised as Hutu rebels attacked detention centers to kill detainees. Examples of such massacres include Bugarama Prison in Cyangugu on 14th April 1997, Muyira in Butare on the 14th of January 1997, Gisovu in Kibuye on the 23rd of January 1997, Runda in Gitarama on the 14th February 1997, Maraba in Butare on 7th May 1997, Gatonde in Ruhengeri in May 1997, Ndusu in Ruhengeri on 10th May 1997, and at Rubavu as well as at Kanama in the same year.

23.
Execution of thousands of members of the Ex-FAR since 1994, having surrendered or returned from exile and sometimes with their entire families.

24. Assassination of foreign nationals suspected of monitoring RPA massacres. Examples include a Briton and a Cambodian, both of them UNHCHR Observers killed on 4th January 1997, Fr Vallmajo of Spain killed at Nyinawimana in April 1994, Fr Claude Simard from Canada killed on 17th October 1994, 3 Spanish employees of MEDICOS del MUNDO on 18th January 1997, Fr Guy Pinard from Canada on 2nd February 1997, Fr Curick Vjechoslav of Croatia and Fr Duchamp from Canada in Kigali in 1998.

25. The massacre of Hutu refugees in the DRC between 1996 and 1997 including; about 8,000 by early December 1996 as the refugee camps in the Kivu region were destroyed; 250 in a forest at Musenge next to the Rwanda border at about the same time; 22,500 by the time some of the refugees reached Walikale, Masisi, Shabunda, the South Kivu Mountains and Kalemie in late December; 300 at Mboko and several hundred others at Moba at about the same time; 135, 000 from Walikale and Masisi in transit to Amisi and Tingi-Tingi in mid January; 24,500 in the Shabarabe-Kalima-Tshimanga-Shabunda area on their way to Kalemie in early February; 55,000 from Amisi and Tingi-Tingi to Ubundu by late February, 40,000 in the camps of Kisesa and Biaro near Kisangani between 21st and 26th April and 2,500 at Mbandaka and Wendji on 13th May 1997.

26. The massive looting of movable property, systematic demolition of buildings and appropriation of Hutu properties between 1990 and 1995. Since 1992, the RPF/RPA had a fully fledged department responsible for looting all movable property for immediate use or for sell. These properties ranged from food, medical supplies, to Computers and vehicles. Homes, Shops, MAGERWA National Warehouse, Ministries, NGOs and the UN were all massively looted. Collections centers for the loot included RPF General Headquarters at Rubaya in Commune Cyumba, Mulindi Tea Factory, Byumba Town, Rwagitima Trading Center in District Gituza and Gabiro Barracks. In the case of buildings belonging to prominent Hutu, RPA Field Engineers were under instructions to demolition them. This was done in Kibungo Town, Remera in Kigali City and in Gitarama Town.

27. Assassinations, disappearances and detention of high profile politicians and Army Officers. For example former Minister Seth Sendashonga and Colonel Lizinde Mugabushaka were assassinated in exile in Nairobi; Member of Parliament Evalist Burakari, Asiel Kabera, Major Alex Ruzindana, Gratien Munyarubuga were assassinated in Kigali; Colonel Agustin Cyiza and Member of Parliament Dr Leonidas Hitimana have been disappeared, while former President Pasteur Bizimungu, former Minister Charles Ntakirutinka, Colonel S. Biseruka and others have been detained for several years without a fair trial.

28. Paul Kagame has pursued a long term agenda to occupy East DRC and encourage its secession by creating so called Congolese rebels with a view to realizing perpetual control of the region so as to prevent independent investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Hutu Refugees in 1996/1997, for economic exploitation and for containing Paul Kagame’s perceived Hutu military threats. This is precisely why Paul Kagame re-invaded the DRC in 1998 and indeed the very reason he has twice invaded that Country this year alone. This is the reason why Paul Kagame has just invaded the DRC again. We need to mention that complementary technical, political and economic measures aimed at informal integration of the economies of Rwanda and East DRC have been introduced since 1996.

29. Paul Kagame and his collaborators have since 1994, been deeply involved in fueling the conflict in Burundi through direct incursions to fight alongside Tutsi soldiers and indirectly through the clandestine delivery of military supplies via Kanombe International Airport and by road to Bujumbura.

Editors Comment:

I would like to ask a simple question to all those that keep pointing a finger of Genocide to only the Hutu/Interahamwe people:
The entire world is very aware that bodies in thousands were washed by River akagera(Eastern Rwanda) to Lake victoria in Uganda in 1994(official genocide year). The entire Eastern,Northern and some parts of Central Rwanda had been under Paul Kagames control from 1992 to 1994.
Then, how is it possible that the interahamwe managed to carry all those bodies from other parts of Rwanda and dumped them in River Akagera, who killed all those people if it wasn’t Paul Kagame?

Have all your brains left your heads and now reside in your Bums?

All those people that continue to protect and pamper a cold blooded genocidal, Paul Kagame, are all part and parcel of the genocide.
Like any fascist Propaganda machine, the west has been good at concealing Paul Kagame’s genocide and crimes against humanity.

May the Souls of those innocent people that were killed by Paul Kagame and his accomplices Rest in Peace.
We will never forget you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 thoughts on “Genocide against the Hutu People

  1. MY TESTIMONY, by Deus Kagiraneza.
    My name is Deus Kagiraneza. I enlisted in the army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)-Inkotanyi during the Rwandan civil war in 1990. I was an intelligence officer within the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). After the RPF victory in 1994, I was appointed
    interim Prefect of the Ruhengeri province. Later, I became a member of the Parliament before returning back to the army. Currently I am a political refugee in Belgium.
    In the course of my functions as RPF official, I witnessed large scale massacres and assassinations by DMI both during the guerrilla war and after we overthrew the Government.

    THE GUERRILLA WAR YEARS.
    Young Tutsis were recruited into Rwandan Patriotic Front from Burundi, Rwanda, and Zaire.
    Many of them, especially those from Rwanda, were coldly executed on suspicion of spying or being Hutu. Educated young people were particularly targeted. Military officers were afraid that
    these educated recruits may end up replacing them at the top of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA).
    Those suspected of being either Hutu or spies were sent to the DMI for further questioning and torture. Later on, they were hit on the headfront by the back of a hoe, called “agafuni”, with
    instant death result.
    The use of agafuni was to avoid drawing attention of the Government Army on our hideouts, but most importantly to keep the secret of the murders from other recruits.

    Following are those responsible of the DMI at the time of these organized Massacres:
    1. KAYUMBA NYAMWASA (Currently Major General and Chief of Staff of the Rwandan
    Patriotic Army)
    2. Jackson RWAHAMA (currently Lieutenant Colonel and Chief Judge at the Military Court)
    3. Jack NZIZA (currently Lieutenant Colonel and head of DMI)
    4. Dan MUNYUZA (currently Major)
    5. Joseph NZABAMWITA Joseph (currently Major, and Military Auditor and prosecutor)
    6. Jean Jacques MUPENZI (currently Major and Head of Intelligence of Gendarmerie).

    These officers are all from Uganda, were always the protégés [of Paul Kagame], and have led the army from the guerilla period up today.
    Major Dan Munyuza and Lt.Col. Jackson Rwahama bear the full responsibility for the lives of young Tutsis we eliminated at the Training Wing of Gishuro, Byumba.
    These large scales physical elimination, arbitrary executions, and murders were committed both at the DMI and within military units. French speaking young Tutsis, sarcastically labeled “Intellectuals” were systematically subjected to abuses and arbitrary killings, to the extent that those from Burundi deserted in large numbers. Their parents had to send a delegation to Paul Kagame to inquire about the killings. Paul Kagame denied and lied about the facts and no officer
    was punished.

    AFTER WE OVERTHREW THE GOVERNMENT.
    We had a mission to physically eliminate anyone, especially the Hutu, who did not support the RPF. We accomplished that mission in Ruhengeri where I was the prefect, and all over the
    country as well. Most of the prefects and administrative authorities were RPA military officers.

    The most brutal massacres of Hutus, just after we overthrew the Government, happened in Gitarama and Butare. The Prefect of Gitarama Major SEWANYANA had the bodies of Hutus buried in mass graves in Kabgayi. The Prefect of Butare, Major ZIGIRA, ordered the massacres of Hutu in Save and Kabutare.

    All these massacres were ordered by and committed under the full
    knowledge of the Head of the Rwandan Patriotic Army. Colonel Ibingira systematically massacred Hutu from Kibungo, Bugesera, Butare, to Gikongoro. He is also responsible for the massacre of internally displaced people (IDP) in Kibeho.
    Recently, in 1999, around 70 Tutsi military officers from the clan of Abanyiginya [Kigeli Ndahindurwa’s clan] were executed in Nasho, Kibungo. Colonel Bagabo, a war invalid, who was
    the Gendarmerie Deputy Chief of Staff and is now the Chief Judge of the Military Court, along with Major John ZIGIRA, the head of Military Police bear the full responsibility for these
    massacres.

    I ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
    The current government committed these horrendous massacres and crimes. I held an important position within the government and participated, under the orders of my army supervisors, in
    some of these crimes. This is why I have chosen the road to exile and I am ready to provide more detailed testimonies. I offer my unconditional support to all Rwandan loving people who are
    determined to overthrow the criminal and bloodthirsty regime led by General Paul Kagame.
    Deus Kagiraneza.
    Belgium

  2. “I HAVE BEEN THROUGH HELL”. PART 1 – Interview de JC Nizeyimana par David Barouski (DB) (DH RWANDA)

    “I have been through Hell, have known horror, and now that I have escaped, I want to testify in the name of all the men and women who did not have my luck and who died in Hell.” – Marie Béatrice Umutesi.

    (“Surviving the Slaughter.” Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. 2004.)

    1. Introduction

    On the night of 27 June 2006, it was warm and dry in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. A typical day since it wasn’t rainy season. It was nearly 18:30 and the sun had already settled down below the horizon. Gratefully, the temperature would soon cool down a bit. I rolled out of the bed in my hotel room and trudged up the long winding staircase to the dining room, where Hotel Okapi serves a famous (and delicious) breakfast buffet every morning beginning at 06:30. On this particular evening, I went outside to make a phone call on my portable (cell) phone because the reception emitting from the Mobile Telephone Networks’ (MTN) tower was very difficult to pick up from inside my room. I strolled casually past the front desk and the internet café connected to the hotel. Behind the front desk on the bleach white wall hung a framed official presidential picture of Paul Kagame. Sometimes, I got a strange and irrational sensation the picture itself was watching me as I would walk by. I later learned every business in Rwanda was required to have a framed picture of President Kagame on display. I was also told those who were less enthusiastic about his regime would often put the picture back in the manager’s office instead of in a public place. In contrast, one of the primary schools run by Ibuka1 that I visited in Kigali proudly displayed a very large and regal portrait painting of him over the headmaster’s desk. As I stepped outside the hotel, I immediately turned around to face the hotel, which was opposite the street. Hotel Okapi is a relatively small hotel near the city center next to a plot of land that was boarded off by wooden planks because it was designated to be the site of a new housing complex, one of many already under construction all over the city. Behind the wooden planks was a labyrinth maze of mud homes with aluminum foil roofs where the poorest people that I encountered in the city lived. They all resided on the bottom of the hills that slope away from the city. I made my call and began talking, oblivious to the environment around me. The streets of Kigali were virtually barren after dark every day.

    One night, I ventured out after dark and walked south of the hotel down the hill. I only encountered two people along the way. Both of them gave me a nervous glance as they swiftly walked past me in the opposite direction. I later learned that this behavior has been the norm since the Arusha Accords were signed in 1993. As I spoke on the phone, I casually noticed a small red dot appear on the wooden posts. It wasn’t long before it began moving around erratically. It reminded me of those low-power laser pens and key-chains I have seen in the United States (U.S.). Sometimes, young kids use them to drive their teachers crazy in school (but not me of course). Some university professors in the U.S. use them to point things out on overhead projectors during a lecture or presentation. It seemed so grossly out of place that I initially ignored it as an oddity caused by my state of being overly tired. After about ten seconds or so, it disappeared. “See,” I thought, “It was just my imagination.” I continued conversing for a few minutes before I finally turned around to face the street. After I finished turning around, I lifted my gaze and stiffened instantly. Directly across the street in front of me was a black Toyota Landcruiser without any license plates. All its windows were tinted black. I knew instantly it was a government vehicle from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). I quickly shifted my eyes to glance from left to right without turning my head to see if there was anybody else around. A quick survey revealed the street was completely vacant. No one came running out of the shadows to ambush me. I was alone in a standoff with the vehicle’s occupants. Then, from the passenger-side window facing me (the left-hand side of the vehicle facing the front of the jeep), the same red laser beam shined out brightly and quickly swept across my eyes, blinding me very briefly. It was in that moment I realized it wasn’t my imagination after all. The laser rotated back around and settled squarely on my sternum right where my heart is. It held there steadily in position for several long seconds, and then it blinked out of existence. Suspecting the situation might escalate dramatically if I tried to run away; I kept talking in a normal tone of voice on the phone and did not alert the caller for the time being. I paced back and forth outside the front of the hotel for a few more minutes while keeping a watchful eye on the vehicle. The laser did not appear again and the vehicle had both its engine and headlights turned off. The vehicle’s occupants did not make any moves. I hung up the phone and walked back into the hotel at a normal pace past the front desk and sat down in the dining room at the back of the hotel for several minutes to try and absorb what had just happened. Meanwhile, nobody working at the front desk, in the restaurant, or the internet café said a single word to me the entire time. It was like nothing ever happened. I did not see anyone particularly suspicious in the hotel at the time nor did I hear the vehicle drive off quickly with screeching tires. I slowly went back by the front door and peered outside. The vehicle was gone. It slipped off quietly into the night and I did not see it again that night. Afterwards, I refused to flee the country.

    Roughly a week after this incident, I attended the Liberation Day ceremony at Amahoro Stadium on 4 July 2006, where President Kagame came and made his annual speech to the crowd. As was to be expected, the Presidential Guard was stationed at the stadium’s entrances to screen everybody before allowing them passage inside. Their weapons reminded me of the CAR-15s some U.S. Special Forces units used to use. Unmistakably mounted on each Presidential Guard’s rifle was a laser-sighted scope. Though I was only in Rwanda for a very short time, I was able to catch a glimpse of daily life under the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and its leader Paul Kagame.

    I experienced a portion of the same oppressive environment described by Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana (or “Chris” as he is known to his friends), who lived in this climate of oppression for several years. Chris is a proud umuhutu who is not an active politician, ex-soldier, or former militia member. Instead, he is a self-proclaimed “free thinker” who rejects the RPF’s authority and refuses to accept Paul Kagame’s genocide dogma and the “official” version of what happened in 1994. He is also what the RPF would call a “Hutu intellectual.” That is to say, he is a multilingual Hutu who attended a university overseas, where he earned a master’s degree in economics at Moscow University.

    Chris is a survivor in every sense of the word. Not only did he survive several RPF massacres carried out in the north of his country in 1993-1994, he also survived the Zairian2 refugee camps near Goma and in Mugunga and is an eyewitness to the horrendous crimes committed in the RPF-controlled zone. Though he is originally from the Jenda (Nyabihu District) of the Ruhengeri Prefecture,3 one of the areas hit hardest by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA),4 he lived in Gisenyi during 1993-1994, where he was a professor at the High Institute of Management and Computing. This town, across the border from Goma, Zaire, was an area journalists and United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) peacekeepers did not go during the genocide.5 Today, he lives exiled from his homeland. He was once called to testify at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) but decided to refuse the summons. Now, for the first time ever, he is going public with his testimony. Chris has two general themes in this interview. One is a harrowing personal account of the things he experienced and witnessed in Rwanda and Zaire. The other is a unique insight into the broader issues affecting Rwandans and the Diaspora community as a whole. In providing this testimony, Chris aspires to dispel the many widely disseminated lies and disinformation surrounding his country’s genocide and the RPF’s admonishment of innocent Hutu for their own political gains.

    He implores the international community to uphold the standards of law and prosecute all those who have committed grave criminal acts against humanity in Rwanda. It is only through this act that he feels all the traumatized people of Rwanda can truly begin a national reconciliation and healing process. Chris rejects the RPF’s one-sided version of events and wants the international community to facilitate an independent, rational, and impartial investigation of the Rwandan genocide. Lastly, Chris wants this interview to serve as a memorial to all the forgotten victims of the RPF’s crimes and dedicates this testimony in their beloved memory, particularly the many members of his family that were lost. Contrary to popular media depictions, it was not just the Tutsi who lost everything in the genocide. Untold thousands of innocent Hutu and Tutsi were victims of the horrendous violence that engulfed Rwanda beginning in 1990. I would like to dedicate my efforts in this endeavor not only to all the innocent Rwandan, Congolese, Burundian, Ugandan, and Tanzanian victims, but also to Chris for his bravery in coming forward with his story and his humbleness in sharing such trauma openly with me.

    A special thank you also goes out to A.F. and T.H. Hopefully I will be able to thank you properly someday. The following interview is a transcript of a four-hour interview recorded in early May 2007. It was supplemented with clarification questions delivered through several subsequent correspondences with Mr. Nizeyimana. Since English is not Mr. Nizeyimana’s first language, I changed some verb tenses and the plurality of certain words to make the manuscript more readable. Therefore, the transcript is not verbatim. Mr. Nizeyimana reviewed and approved the final draft to ensure the intended meaning of all his words was intact and the native Kinyarwandan words and names were spelled correctly. It is also important for the reader to understand the RPF changed the names of the prefectures, communes, cells, districts, and streets across most of the country. Chris has deliberately chosen to use the old names so as not to confuse anyone who decides to investigate his claims.

    2. The Testimony of Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana.

    David Barouski (DB) : I’m going start from the beginning and try to progress chronologically. I’d like to start at the beginning of the Rwandan War (1990-1993). In 1990, when the RPF invaded Rwanda from Uganda, what was it like in your country? Did the Rwandans know the RPF were going to invade?

    Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana (JCN): Tutsi first fled the country in 1959 to Uganda mostly, but also to other neighboring countries like Burundi and Zaire. This was during the so-called “Hutu Revolution” after the Tutsi monarchy was removed. It wasn’t because they (Tutsi) didn’t accept the country. No. The Tutsi left because they didn’t accept living under a republic regime where the people who were their slaves during the monarchy (Hutu) are now free to choose their own destiny and hold political office. So, in 1979, a political party was formed by the Tutsi in exile.6 Most of the members were in (Yoweri) Museveni’s administration in Uganda because they helped the NRM (National Resistance Movement)7 take power in Uganda. They were fighting in Mozambique with Museveni, where cruelties, vandalism, torture, and rape became their daily job.8 Those people who made up the RPF leadership: General Fred Rwigema, (Chris) Bunyenyezi, and (Peter) Bayingana…all of them were there and when they came back to Uganda and took power, Museveni appointed them into his administration. That’s where Paul Kagame started his career as the Chief of the Ugandan Internal Security and Intelligence Service where he interrogated, tortured, and killed Ugandans who were real or imagined opponents of the NRM. After Museveni took power, he promised he would help the Tutsis take back Rwanda. That’s why, in the late 1980s, they (RPF) started spreading propaganda against President Habyarimana to prepare for war. The RPF created a radio station called Radio Muhabura that they used for propaganda and spreading rumors. They also printed newspapers in Kampala and used RPF infiltrators to sell the papers in Kigali to spread these lies and rumors with the intent of inciting riots against Habyarimana so that later, lynching would take place throughout the country. The aggression officially started on October 1st, 1990, in the north of my country near the region I was born, where Rwanda has its border with Uganda. The aggression was aided by the same pro-RPF press and radio stations I mentioned that were sponsored by RPF backers, including the U.S., U.K. (United Kingdom) and Belgium. They told the world at the beginning of the war that the RPF was only fifteen kilometers from the Kigali to create panic and confusion. Their propaganda aimed to hammer the international community with lies. The propaganda also spread the idea that it was not an aggression from an outside country, but a civil war.

    DB: So it was covering up the illegality of the war, the fact members of the Ugandan army had defected and were invading a sovereign nation.

    JCN: Exactly. Exactly. What was important, the RPF had to plan something like this carefully. It had to be labeled a civil war. If it was about foreign countries, a war between foreign aggressors and Rwandans, it was going to be really difficult to say Hutu extremists planned the genocide in advance. That’s why, for the RPF, the genocide was planned at the beginning the war. They started by admonishing and prejudicing Hutus through their propaganda. They used all kinds of harsh words to create a rift between Hutu and Tutsi while also dividing the north and south of the country as part of their main strategy.

    DB: Are you saying you believe the RPF planned to incite genocide and began to do so back when they invaded in 1990?

    JCN: Yes, because the final aggression that started on April 6th was the final attack, but since the beginning, they had planned to seize power and in order to seize power it was not in their interest to join a transitional government because they would eventually lose the elections anyway. Imagine any country, anywhere you go, the United States or any country from Europe, Asia…you can’t find a minority ruling the country. The only way for the RPF to do this, they had to find a shortcut that could help them seize and retain power and they have to use force and fear to maintain it. They also had to get support from all the countries that had their own interests in the region. When the aggression started, the RPF told the world they wanted to bring back democracy to Rwanda. This was a smokescreen to hide their real agenda: minority rule. They got financial aid, advising, and military training from the U.K. and the United States through Uganda.

    DB: Do you know who specifically was financing the RPF in the beginning, regardless of if they are foreign nationals or Rwandans?

    JCN: U.S. and U.K. multinationals supported the RPF so that they could get access to loot Central Africa’s mineral resources, particularly in Zaire. To reach this goal, the RPF had to be connected to the Clinton Administration because they were the most influential in the U.N. There were also organizations that supported the Tutsi refugees based in the United States. Can you imagine the shameful attitude of the U.S. administration’s representative Herman Cohen against the Rwandan nation? He said that President Habyarimana’s body, the state symbol of Rwanda, would be dragged through the streets of Kigali and his government would be tried by a special tribunal.9

    DB: When did he say this?

    JCN: Before the 6th of April. It was incredible to hear that. As a U.S. representative, you know, he had to justify what was going to happen within one month, two months, three months, and so on. Also, the aggression was an opportunity for U.S. multinationals linked to the Bush (George Herbert Walker) administration to get access to Congolese and Rwandan mineral resources. For more information, just refer to my website10 and you will find out who those multinationals were that kept busy by looting in both countries during RPF aggressions in Rwanda and the Congo as well. To get an idea of the scope of the war, it is very easy to get information and details in Addis Ababa, where you will find people who were hired to fight for the RPF. They will tell you that the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia recruited foreign fighters for the RPF.11 These soldiers came from Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and South Sudan to fight against the Rwandan Government. Obviously, there is no need to say that the 1990-1994 war was a civil war as it was described before and after the RPF seized power. Even today there are Somalis living in Rwanda with full Rwandan citizenship and still others who were disappointed and left for Europe. That is why, at the end of the day, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) said Paul Kagame was linked to Al-Qaeda without giving more detailed information.12 Many of those guys fighting with the RPF were actually terrorists, but that label was not used with those countries at that time because it was before September the eleventh, 2001!

    DB: So they fought along with the RPF? What year did this happen?

    JCN: Just after the assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana, on April 6th, 1994, when the final aggression was launched. There were Somalis, Ethiopians, Eritreans, South Sudanese, you know, and also there were soldiers from the Burundian Army under the command of Colonel Bikomagu attacking from the south of Rwanda and Tanzanian soldiers were occupying part of the eastern region of Rwanda.13 You remember that the Tanzanians fought with Museveni to get rid of Idi Amin.14 Yet, the campaign was still to talk about civil war in Rwanda, which was not true.

    DB: So Somali fighters were helping the RPF?

    JCN: Yes, and as I said before, many of them are still there. Also, some are back in Ethiopia today and if you ask them, they will openly tell you they have been fighting in Rwanda.15

    DB: Let me ask you this. Now, as you probably know, the United States military was in Somalia, in Mogadishu and in October 1993, 18 U.S. military members were killed and the U.S. withdrew. Later, while the genocide was already underway and the Clinton Administration knew about it because of reports from the State Department and satellite photographs,16 President Clinton created PDD-25 (Presidential Decision Directive),17 which essentially said the United States could not participate in any peacekeeping operations unless there was a geostrategic interest. When the U.S. failed to reinforce the United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping mission and eventually reduced its size, PDD-25 was later used as an excuse because the U.S. supposedly had no strategic interests in Rwanda.18

    JCN: That’s not true.

    DB: You don’t believe that at all?

    JCN: No, I don’t believe that because the people who said that are the same people who supported the RPF through financial aid and military support, the same ones who said they had no interest in the region. When President Clinton decided not to send help to Rwanda…you know you can browse on the Internet or ask people who were linked to the U.S. administration and you will find out that Bill Clinton knew exactly what was happening in Rwanda but decided not to intervene due to a hidden agenda. A U.N. intervention would have stopped the fighting and cut off the RPF’s main objective: to seize power and keep it by force.

    DB: Do you believe they (Clinton Administration) purposefully decided not to intervene in Rwanda and not to allow the U.N. to have a meaningful intervention?

    JCN: Yes, but not because it was like you explained to me. A peacekeeping force meant an end to hostilities against Tutsi civilians and thus the RPF rebels could not seize power by force because they told the world they were fighting to stop Hutus from killing Tutsis. There is no denying that after they (Americans) refused to intervene, they aided the RPF by using mass media committed to copying and pasting the same chosen images and the same information to support Paul Kagame as he was fighting “to stop the genocide” perpetrated by Hutu militias or “extremists” as the press called them.

    DB: When the genocide broke out, there were people in the Security Council who said, you know, we need… General Dallaire was asking for five thousand five hundred troops, I believe. After a number of delays by the U.S., the RPF, and the U.K., it was proposed to create a safe zone in the north of Gikongoro, I believe. It was going to be an operation similar in planning to Operation Turquoise, which was created later by the French. The U.N. was wanted to let all civilians to gather in a neutral zone where the U.N. soldiers would protect them and let the Rwandan Government negotiate a ceasefire with the RPF while the civilians were out of the way and could not be harmed. Now what happened was, first of all, General Kagame told General Dallaire that any U.N. force deployed in Rwanda would be taken as aggressors and therefore would be attacked by the RPF. He told Dallaire that too his face during a meeting, the same meeting he said the RPF would not cooperate with the U.N. if Booh-Booh remained in the country.19

    JCN: That’s what Kagame said.

    DB: And Rwanda had a seat in the Security Council at the time.

    JCN: I remember. But also remember that, at that time, we had the so-called “La Baule” meeting where French President François Mitterrand asked African nations to accept democratic values. This demand also went to President Habyarimana and Rwanda. The opposition parties in Rwanda that formed were used by the RPF to divide the country and they used the opportunity to talk about democracy while the RPF and its allies were busy planning regime change. They had to create an impractical situation so that the parameters to urge the war to resume would be available. In this context, the U.N Special Representative, the guy you just mentioned…

    DB: Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh.

    JCN: Yes, Jacques Roger Booh-Booh tried to be neutral in the conflict. He tried to get a ceasefire, but at the same time, General Romeo Dallaire did whatever he could to hide RPF operations during the calm period right after the Arusha Accords were signed. Ongoing killings and awful massacres committed by the RPF in the north were not reported to the international community and no investigation ever started by UNAMIR was finished. The RPF continued its preparations for war in the demilitarized zone whereas strict controls were enforced in the government zone.

    DB: If I can back up a bit, you mentioned the propaganda war the RPF started in the late 1980s. Can you provide details on how this worked?

    JCN: Well, the radio broadcast into Rwandan territory while the newspapers and magazines were printed in Uganda and sent by infiltrators to Kigali and other parts of the country.20 How this was done was actually very easy. After the Arusha Accords, it was agreed that an RPF division of six hundred soldiers would be stationed in Kigali at the parliament building. Instead of having six hundred, they eventually had-as people will tell you-thousands of RPF infiltrators in Kigali. They were escorted by UNAMIR forces in Kigali and other parts of the country, especially in the Kibuye Province. General Romeo Dallaire told the Rwandan Government that RPF transports from Kigali to Mulindi21 and from Mulindi to Kigali were for water provisions! This claim has nothing to do with reality. They were delivering ammunition and supplies. Once the troops and infiltrators were in place, they organized the RPF fronts and supply lines in Kigali, from Mulindi to the CND (Conseil National de Développement) parliament building, and from the CND to different districts of Kigali.

    DB: Were they were in civilian clothes?

    JCN: Yes and other infiltrators were, of course, hiding inside the Parliament building where nobody else was allowed to go in. There was no control at all; no mechanisms in place to allow both parties equal rights to check each other’s positions. What is very dramatic is that only the Rwandan Government was checked for violations of the Accords. We can’t forget that the U.N. was supposed to come to Rwanda as a neutral party, a party to help Rwandans reach and enforce a peace agreement. Unfortunately, the U.N. commander, Mr. Dallaire was totally under RPF sway, control and command.

    DB: That’s quite a claim. How could you say that?

    JCN: The Bangladeshi and Ghanaian representatives who were there can always testify to what I say.

    DB: The UNAMIR soldiers?

    JCN: Yes. They described how RPF military officers always held meetings with Mr. Dallaire.

    DB: Were they private meetings?

    JCN: They were at UNAMIR headquarters and the RPF used the HQs for their own military means.

    DB: What was said at these meetings?

    JCN: They shared maps so the RPF would know exactly where Rwandan Government soldiers were positioned in the country. It was to keep track of their movements. Always after such meetings, there were attacks on the Rwandan Government’s side of the demilitarized zone by the RPF attachment, the one inside the FAR (Armed Forces of Rwanda) zone. It was very easy for the RPF because there were different units-including UNAMIR-that had to go and check both sides for violations of the Arusha Accords. However, instead of doing their job, they gathered information to give to the RPF.

    DB: Let me be clear, you’re saying that General Dallaire frequently shared military intelligence with RPF officers?

    JCN: Precisely.

    DB: Which RPF officers did he meet with?

    JCN: There were many different people, but I can mention Charles Kayonga. That one I know for sure because he commanded the RPF Advance Military Division stationed at the Kimihurura Parliament Building. French journalist and investigator Pierre Pean gave more details on this issue.

    DB: Why would General Dallaire do such a thing?

    JCN: Because it was his commitment. His reasons are known by those who financially and militarily supported the RPF. He was committed to this because he was sent by the French-Canadian Government, the U.K., and the U.S. He had to cover up RPF crimes and do whatever he could to let the RPF seize power in Rwanda. He was committed to help the RPF rebels by all means including the sharing of details about the Rwandan Government policies and the FAR positions. He also allowed RPF ammunition and fighters to infiltrate Kigali.

    DB: Did General Dallaire know the genocide was going to happen?

    JCN: As part of a pre-arranged agenda, he knew he had to talk about plans for mass killings of Tutsis before the genocide started so that the RPF could seize power in Rwanda. This could also be used by the U.S. and U.K. as an explanation for their support of the RPF because if they tell the public the RPF stopped the genocide, everybody thinks their country gave military aid to the good guys. As I told you before, without such a massive crime committed by the other side in the conflict, the RPF would have been unable to seize power through democratic elections where both ethnic groups would have representatives to supervise the elections. Dallaire himself even said that he cannot believe a genocide against the Tutsi were planned.22 Many people remember General Dallaire said he had information a genocide was being planned according to a controversial fax he said he sent to U.N. headquarters. Later, that fax could not be found anywhere. It was a lie when he said he sent a fax to the U.N, he knew there was no fax. The Canadian Government adopted a strategy of protecting him from prosecution when he became a Canadian senator. If you need more information about that, please read the findings of Cameroonian journalist Charles Onana. Let me say again, Romeo Dallaire never sent that fax to the U.N.

    DB: That fax, they called it “The Genocide Fax,” and a copy of it was later sent over to a reporter at the New Yorker named Phillip Gourevitch. He wrote a number of articles on it and it really launched his career. He got a book deal out of it.

    JCN: Yeah, I remember the name. He was the only public person at the time to have the information on the fax!23

    DB: The person who gave the information contained the fax, which talked about Hutu militias’ plans to kill Tutsis and Belgian peacekeepers, was an acquaintance of Faustin Twagiramungu,24 correct?

    JCN: He was an RPF infiltrator by the name of Jean-Pierre Turatsinze.25

    DB: Yea, that’s the name I have too. What can you tell me about him?

    JCN: The guy was Twagiramungu’s informant. Faustin Twagiramungu had no idea the guy was working for the RPF. The informant told him Interahamwe26 are going to kill Tutsi. He said that he was one of the core members of the Interahamwe youth organization of the MRND (National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development),27 so he knew about everything they were planning. He said he knew the ruling government was going to kill Tutsis and I believe, according to Twagiramungu´s statement, the reality was that this wasn’t true. He was being manipulated by the RPF. After that, people found out Dallaire did not send that fax. It was actually sent by a military officer from the U.K. The fax that Dallaire did send to the U.N. was never found as I said before. Later, they did find a fax at U.N. headquarters, but the fax said the sender’s name was a U.K. military officer and not General Dallaire.

    DB: Do you know his name?

    JCN: I cannot tell you right now, but I will find it.

    DB: So was Mr. Turatsinze an Interahamwe or was he an RPF infiltrator?

    JCN: Obviously, he was an infiltrator. He was not working for the MRND. He tried to convince Twagiramungu that he was not just an ordinary militia member, but a well-informed and high-ranking member. Twagiramungu himself said he was manipulated by this man. Why did the informant come forward at a time the country was talking about adopting democratic values and ending the war? Once the fax was sent, nobody was talking about the peace process. It was about the preparations for genocide now. The information in the fax changed the focus of the international community, it disrupted the peace process. Since Mr. Turatsinze was an infiltrator, he was killed by the RPF after he talked to Twagiramungu because he knew too much information and his job was finished. As you yourself know, the RPF kills people who know too much information when they are done using them. This is Paul Kagame’s policy.

    DB: Sorry, but I have to back up a bit. We were talking about those people from the Horn of Africa.

    JCN: The Ethiopians, Somalis, Eritreans…

    DB: Yea. How did that relationship come about with the RPF? Is there a cultural or ethnic link to the Tutsi refugees in Uganda?

    JCN: People say all of them, Ethiopians, Eritreans, and Tutsi came from the same Hamitic race. However, pro-RPF philosophers argue that there are no Bantu, Hamitic, or Nilotic races. The point of this philosophy is to say there are no ethnic groups in Rwanda, only Rwandans. The president, err, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia…Meles Zenawi, and the other one, the President of Eritrea…President Afwerki, together with President Kagame were all hailed to the world as the new leaders of Africa by Prime Minister Tony Blair at the U.N. The reality is that these guys were chosen because there was political conflict between western countries and France in Africa at the time. These three were backed by western powers against France. These so-called `leaders`, in reality, are criminals that are ready to serve their backers’ interests at any cost. The only way they can stay in power is to have a U.S.-backing, so they do whatever is necessary for the U.S. administration even if their own people die.

    DB: Now, I have to back up even farther now, to 1990. In 1990, Paul Kagame was not leading the RPF when they first came into your country. It was General Fred Rwigema. Did Rwandans know Paul Kagame was in the United States and if so, what did they think of that?28 How did that make Rwandans view him? Did it change anything?

    JCN: Ok. At the beginning of the war in 1990, Rwandans heard on the radio that the RPF was headed by Rwigema. After about the 4th of October, he was killed and they said that he was replaced by Paul Kagame, who was in the U.S. Kagame came back to Uganda to replace him and supervise all RPF military operations, but ordinary RPF soldiers did not want him to lead.

    DB: Why was that?

    JCN: Because they knew him as a criminal. Referring to his background as the chief of Uganda’s Security and Intelligence Division before the invasion of Rwanda, he was the one who tortured and killed many Ugandans, as I said before. Also as I said before, when Kagame returned to Uganda and brought the RPF back into Rwanda, the aggression was not shown as a Ugandan invasion, not as an outside aggressor, though these men were all from the Ugandan Army. There is no way you can talk about that as a civil war because those Tutsis fought for the Ugandan Army for many years. What is also difficult is the fact that the ICTR has, up-to-now, never shown any real proof that Habyarimana planned a genocide. I believe the definition of the word “genocide” was negotiated to support the RPF leadership because the U.N. Security Council said that deciding on the definition of genocide was the ICTR’s decision even before the trials began. This meant the U.N. said there was a genocide, but it was a genocide that had yet to be defined by the ICTR! In my understanding, the conclusion made on the definition had to be given after the chief judge declared that a genocide was committed in Rwanda. One or two years ago, RPF backers asked the ICTR to decide, without sufficient evidence, that the genocide was committed only by Hutus against Tutsis! I totally disagree.

    DB: Do you personally believe there was a genocide?

    JCN: I believe, I still believe that the RPF planned for mass killings of civilians and they also planned to kill many Hutu in Rwanda. I believe the RPF planned the genocide one hundred percent. I’m not talking about the Rwandan Tutsi genocide; I’m talking about the Rwandan genocide that includes both Tutsi and Hutu, the real definition of the Rwandan genocide. Tutsis were killed as planned by the RPF leadership and these killings were supposed to be a bridge for Paul Kagame to seize power in Rwanda, a sine qua non condition to seize power in Rwanda.

    DB: With respect, let me ask you this. Do you believe or do you deny the Rwandan Armed Forces, militia like the Interahamwe, and members of the gendarmes killed thousands of Tutsi?

    JCN: I believe Interahamwe were involved in the killing of many innocent Tutsi and also some Hutu for political reasons. At the same time, like I told you, and everybody knows, the numbers of Tutsi killed does not correspond with the numbers given by the RPF Government. This is Kagame’s scenario. After the U.N. gave their figures on the number of people killed, the RPF said they would have their own investigation and then they gave their own numbers. First of all, I should tell you that very few estimates were given. The U.N. said from 100,000 to 500,000 total were killed and independent organizations like some NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) said 250,000 were killed. Then the RPF gave its own number and said about 800,000 Tutsis were killed, a number that was widely broadcasted in the U.S., U.K., and Belgian press. At the same time, I want to know… if you know about Rwanda, you know that many people were killed and according to the RPF version, all of them were either Tutsis or politically moderate Hutu. How many Tutsis were living in Kigali according to the 1993 census that was done? The real truth is that Hutu were the majority living in Kigali. At the same time, where are my brothers and sisters!? Where are my friends!? All of them were…they talk about moderates. Why this confusion? Why are they saying all these people were Tutsis or `moderate` Hutus? What I have just said, I am very confident in. The RPF will never investigate. The RPF will never accept an independent investigation and they want us to take this as an axiom. I know this one hundred percent. If anyone believes what I am saying is not true, let’s go and open an investigation! Let’s use DNA to find out what really happened to my people, to other people, to my fellow citizens! DNA was used in Bosnia and Croatia. Why not in Rwanda? We all want to know who really got killed. Who killed who? In Kigali and Kigali´s neighborhoods, in the northwestern region where I am from, where most of the people died, you had a Hutu majority. Where I am from, in Ruhengeri, there weren’t many Tutsi living there and nobody ever talks about how many Hutu were killed there from 1990 up to today. We need to know the whole truth. Against conventional wisdom, I believe that the victims of this violence were fairly evenly distributed between Hutu and Tutsi, taking into account the total percentage of each ethnic group. According to some estimates, the majority of the victims may even have been Hutu. There is widely accepted demographic data showing that there simply wasn’t a large enough number of Tutsi living in Rwanda at the time to account for all the reported deaths.29 Definitive numbers aren’t possible because the death tolls vary so much. The world has not yet confronted the true scale of Hutu deaths from 1990 to1994, and from 1995 up to now beginning with the Kibeho massacre in 1995, and including the 1996, 1997 and 1998 massacres of returning refugees, which totaled about three and a half million deaths.

    Footnotes

    1 Note: Ibuka is a Kinyarwandan word meaning “remember.” It is th

  3. “I HAVE BEEN THROUGH HELL.” PART 2 – Interview de JC Nizeyimana (DH RWANDA)

    DB: Where were you in 1993?

    JCN: In 1993, I was in Rwanda.

    DB: Where in Rwanda?

    JCN: Gisenyi, because I was teaching at the Gisenyi High Institute of Management and Computing, called the Institut Saint Fidele in French. I was working as the chief academic officer.

    DB: Can you describe the February offensive of 1993 by the RPF?

    JCN: Oh, yes, I will never forget that. I was in Gisenyi at that time. I heard that the RPF were attacking Ruhengeri. That’s my town, my hometown. People said many people were gathered into houses. Then RPF rebels used grenades and threw them inside the houses. You had women and kids in those houses that were blown up into pieces. Nevertheless, I was lucky because, at that time, I had to attend a marriage in Ruhengeri. A friend of mine, ok? Laurent Uwimana.

    DB: Ok.

    JCN: I was in Ruhengeri the day before the attack, on February 7th, that is why, I cannot forget it.

    DB: I see.

    JCN: The family I was celebrating with, all of them got killed. Laurent’s girlfriend, parents, and relatives were all killed.

    DB: You lost so many friends there…..

    JCN: If you want, I can tell you names, ok? I don’t want to hide anything, it´s about the truth; it’s about Paul Kagame´s cruelties. Many of my friends and classmates were killed over there. I knew one friend, Jotham Dusabimana, who graduated at Moscow University where I attended. He went to see his girlfriend in Ruhengeri on February 8th and he never came back. Ok. I went back to Gisenyi the day before because I had to work in the office at the College the next day, but I know how they got killed. Some of them were even crucified like Jesus Christ. They killed ordinary people to make everyone afraid so they would flee the region. The RPF needed people to flee so infiltrators could blend in with the displaced people and gather information.

    DB: So the RPF put people in different camps around the country and then they hid spys with the refugees?

    JCN: Yes, the displaced people.

    DB: I see.

    JCN: There were thousands who were displaced and killed and there is no report on what happened in the Ruhengeri and Byumba prefectures. Workers sent to investigate were killed by the RPF. Unfortunately, there is also no report about that incident. Thousands were killed there. The RPF separated men from women and put them in separate houses before burning them all down using grenades and high artillery. Thousands fled to Nyacyonga Camp. Shortly after the displaced Rwandans gathered there, Paul Kagame himself arrived at the camp and took a machine gun and shot the kids and women in the neighboring market. Other RPF soldiers killed hundreds of displaced people from Byumba and Kibungo prefectures. People were crucified and pregnant women had their stomach cut open. The fetuses were given to their supposed fathers before they were killed by akandoya.1 Many were killed with an agafuni.2

    DB: Are you saying Paul Kagame did this personally? He killed those people?

    JCN: Yes. Personally…and when I see him getting a visa, going to the U.S…. it’s shameful! When I see Americans…..I understand they don’t get the right information from institutions and universities, but, you know… it’s shameful. I cannot believe that such a criminal would be granted a Doctorate of Law degree by a U.S. university….it’s not possible. People who were killed that day in February…who knows about that? Who knows about them? Nobody. Americans know nothing about that. I would like to let Americans know about the extreme cruelty of Paul Kagame. He killed willingly and tortured people…he is more a criminal than a statesman. If I can give a kind of a…. it’s serious. It’s very serious. If someone doesn’t believe me, let’s go have an independent investigation right now. It’s very easy to get information. Have it not be under RPF supervision and then go and tell people that you are part of a team investigating what happened in Rwanda. Right now, investigators only get information from one source, from one side, from RPF leaders and RPF party members.

    DB: What was Ruhengeri like after the attack?

    JCN: After the attack…well, there was only wreckage. People said the town was destroyed one hundred percent. The prison was destroyed and, ah, the hospitals were also destroyed. The hospital was run by a group of French doctors and it was a modern hospital as far as I remember, with modern equipment, experienced workers, you know, and after that everything was destroyed. Many people fled from the hospital to the university, were many students were killed. Others fled to Kigali and Butare. That’s why the university in Ruhengeri shut down. Then, Paul Kagame announced on Radio Muhabura, “Those who are now displaced, I’m going to find them and all of them are going to be dumped into Lake Kivu.”

    DB: He announced this on the radio personally?

    JCN: Yes, he did. I remember it well. Many others can confirm what I say because they also heard the broadcast. He wanted to kill them all.

    DB: Now, you were still in Gisenyi at the time, correct?

    JCN: Yes.

    DB: You left Ruhengeri the day before the RPF came?

    JCN: You mean Ruhengeri? I left the evening they attacked! 4:00 P.M…ok. I went back to Gisenyi because I had to work at the university the next day. That evening at 9:00, the same night I left to go home, the Byumba Prefecture was attacked by the RPF. The next day, they arrived in Ruhengeri Prefecture.

    DB: Can you describe what happened to you after the attack on Ruhengeri?

    JCN: After the attack, I was really shaken up and I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t go there and my people, my friend who I mentioned, Jotham and his girlfriend were reported killed. Laurent’s girlfriend told me that her parents were killed that same night. I could not believe I was there. I knew that Jotham would never be back. Those images still cause me to hallucinate sometimes.

    DB: He was from Gisenyi also?

    JCN: No. He was from Ruhengeri, from Jenda, from the countryside just like me. The RPF also killed Philippe Gakwerere, the Inspector of Mining along with his family during these attacks. They killed a classroom full of students in Musanze School. Women and children were killed in Nyamagumba. In Nyarutovu Commune, over several days, hundreds were killed. They even killed patients at the hospital in Kinigi Commune. Many died in Ngarama in Byumba Prefecture. There was another guy, Barengayabo, President of the Appeals Court; he was killed with his wife and children on February 8th. One time before that, he escaped death because he spent the night in another town. That’s why he was able to survive. Then he went back home, I don’t exactly know the details, but I had information from Seth Sendashonga about it because he was a friend of mine after he fled to Kenya. He called me and asked me to work with him. The day he was killed by the RPF, when I learned he was killed by RPF in Nairobi, I had told him that I was not comfortable to go out of the country. After that, when he got killed, I couldn’t sleep. I learned so much from him. I still have some of his documents here.

    DB: Why did Mr. Sendashonga leave the RPF? I mean, he had been with them for quite some time….

    JCN: First of all, Seth Sendashonga was a Hutu who was believed to be one of the main RPF figures before and after the RPF seized power. I asked him the same question.

    DB: Right. He was a Hutu.

    JCN: Yes, and it was very difficult for me to trust him. When he first called me, I told him, “I heard about what you said all the time when I was in the refugee camps near Goma, so I don’t want to get involved with you. I cannot trust you.” He told me, “Jean-Christophe, I understand your position, but you cannot say that what I said and what I have done was really wrong. I really believed we (RPF) were bringing democracy to Rwanda, but I found out that it’s not possible under Kagame’s rule. That’s why I left and I tried to save myself after I found out I was tricked. It is not possible to implement democratic objectives so I decided to find another way to liberate our country.” That’s what he told me. He was a brilliant mind. He prefaced the RPF membership’s Umuryango. Before he died, we met every day in Nairobi in different places and worked on ways to bring democratic values to Rwanda. To reach this goal, we have to first inform the international community about what happened. He even told me he was originally supposed to be the president of Rwanda. That’s what he wanted me to understand.

    DB: Did you believe him at the time?

    JCN: (Pauses) Yes. According to the job he did for RPF and after I realized his determination to tell the whole truth, yes, I did believe him.

    DB: Do you think they promised him the presidency to get him to work for them?

    JCN: Yes. They promised him, but once his job was finished, he became disposable to Kagame. Paul Kagame did not want him to be president. Paul Kagame said, “I will use those Hutu to reach my goal.” After that, Paul Kagame publicly announced that everybody is nothing, but he meant Hutu are nothing. Once his Hutu allies are useless to him, they are thrown into prison or killed. He knew too much information. Seth was killed on May 14th around 4:00 pm at the Nairobi round-a-bout from the Gigili U.N. headquarters. I was not there with him, but we were supposed to meet that very same evening. If I was with him…I don’t know what would have happened to me.

    DB: One of the more memorable things to me was when the ICTR witnesses like Mr. Sendashonga starting getting killed outside of Rwanda, even in Europe and the international community did nothing publicly to investigate the murders. Specifically, I’m actually referring to Mr. Juvenal Uwillingiyimana, who was killed in Brussels.3 Later, they found his naked body in a canal.

    JCN: Oh yea, I remember, yes, a tragic story.

    DB: He was executed differently in that his hands were cut off. What was the significance of that? Was it a message?

    JCN: Ok, yes. I don’t know if you have details on Kagame’s strategy… I told you that the genocide was negotiated. Since the genocide was negotiated, it had to be labeled. You must have a label, a definition. You have to maintain it, you have to prepare, and you have to do whatever you can to reinforce that label, that definition among the targeted people. Ok. In that context, the RPF and Paul Kagame asked Rwandans to testify against their own relatives and against the former government so that every single testimony refers to the genocide as the definition the RPF wanted the world to see; that only Hutu extremists killed Tutsis. Paul Kagame’s strategy has always been to recreate what happened to fit into his scenario, to have people testify and say that these people on trial at the ICTR are guilty and thus they have to be thrown in prison for life or be killed. Most importantly, genocide must be recognized as a terrible crime and the perpetrators must only be Hutus. The prisoners had to accept they were guilty and some of them were even released after they gave false testimonies against other, more well-known prisoners, political and government officials. If a prisoner refuses to accept their guilt, especially a well-known prisoner, the RPF sometimes paid people to give false testimony against those who refused to cooperate. Some prisoners who said nothing or refused to declare their guilt were tortured until they admitted their guilt. Also, they were threatened by ICTR investigators, “If you don’t do this, your wife and your kids will be killed, and then you will be killed too.” This is just what happened to Uwilingiyimana.

    DB: So the removal of his hands was part of the torture he endured to force him to cooperate. Was that the message to the Rwandan community?

    JCN: To the Rwandan community, it means that, if you are asked to testify against your friends, parents, whatever, you have to do it. If you don’t cooperate, you will be killed. Nobody can deny that the RPF has death squads flourishing in Europe. I am afraid the European countries are not able to protect us against these RPF death squads. They even let RPF killers come and search for those who are saying anything other than Kagame’s scenario. We say that we cannot…I just want to emphasize the fact that I will never accept the scenario as told by the RPF. They know Paul Kagame cannot tolerate opponents, especially those who challenge him about the genocide. He wants everybody to see the genocide only how he defines it. That guy Uwilingiyimana, he worked closely with Habyarimana. I mean, he was a former minister in Habyarimana’s administration and was believed to be his close friend. People also said he was close to the so-called “Akazu”4 meaning that he knew everything and was an important figure. You should know that the term Akazu is really just another label to characterize and qualify the enemy so his testimony would back up the idea that the genocide was planned only by Hutu extremists. He was called to testify and was told to accept the RPF’s version of the genocide story. He was told to confirm that Hutu planned the genocide in advance and killed Tutsis. He refused. He said he would never accept this. After they found out he was not willing to change his mind, they unfortunately decided to torture and kill him. The people guilty of threatening Uwilingiyimana were from the U.N. and working for the ICTR at the time. They were two Canadians, Richard Renaud5 and another guy named Rejean Tremblay,6 along with a Belgian guy named André Delvaux.7 Later, I saw on T.V. Tremblay and another person I don’t want to mention here together with Louise Arbour,8 and they were talking about how they were working with the ICTR to track down Hutu and force them to testify. It was incredible!9

    DB: Now, so I get this correct, the ICTR workers investigating Mr. Uwilingiyimana were the ones on the T.V.?

    JCN: Yes. This plan started with a guy named Akayesu who was being tried in Arusha.10 He was forced to testify to things in which he himself did not believe in. He also was forced to sign a document. If he did not sign it, he was told he would be killed. The investigators told him that he would be released or get a very short time of imprisonment if he signed it. Everyone should also know about the hate speech of Paul Kagame given this April in Murambi. He said he did not kill enough Hutu in 1994. He actually admitted he is trying to think of a way to carry this out again. Then, only one or two weeks after his speech, there were killings in southern Rwanda near Butare, in the previous Mbazi Commune, and in other places. Then, his speech transcript was censored and changed on the Internet. Other places removed the audio file of his speech from their websites.

    DB: I didn’t see any reports about the killings. I did not know about that.

    JCN: I have heard the killings were carried out by Jean de Dieu Mucyo. No reports have been given about it in the papers. In the same context as Akayesu, there are men and women who are specially trained to give false testimony, like the well-known Kimisagara accusers. There are men and women from Kimisagara, Bugesera, and Kibuye who are brought to Kigali to be specially trained for that. This started after Hillary Clinton came and offered a reward for the first rape conviction at the ICTR. Suddenly, all these women came forward to the ICTR to testify and then Akayesu was convicted for rape and many others followed! To know exactly what I am talking about, ask the defense attorneys in Arusha. They will tell you all about these women’s false allegations. For instance, they will say, “Oh, we were raped by this man for one, two weeks, etc.” After the cross-examination session, it’s obvious they are lying. Some of them will even admit it, but then they cannot to go back to Rwanda. This is a matter of fact. Do you realize that? Sometimes, when asked about conflicting facts in their testimony, these women reply, “I am sorry, I have forgotten,” or, “It wasn’t my idea.” If they testify otherwise though, there is a problem. This problem is real but it is minimized by ICTR prosecutors who maintain the genocide was planned and executed only by Hutu extremists. This is why the ICTR, through its prosecutors, is under RPF control. The ICTR has become the main source of money for the judges and attorneys who had a chance to get a job there. They are there to get rich. It is also about getting a reputation, about being known. The thing is, the prosecution must be done according to the will of Paul Kagame. There is one man who I owe much respect because said he couldn’t do his job under such conditions. That’s why he resigned on September 30th, 1996. A former ICTR judge named Richard Goldstone from South Africa said on the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) that what is happening at Arusha has nothing to do with the rule of law! “Nobody can talk about ICTR partiality. If we are going to reconcile Rwandans, we have to work under the rule of law. All crimes that have been committed between January 1st and December 31st, 1994, must be prosecuted, including RPF crimes committed against Hutus. We have to investigate and find out why so many people died and find out exactly what happened.” That’s what he said. From my side, when I came back to Rwanda for the second time in 1996, on the 17th of November, I personally saw people getting beaten, imprisoned, and killed by the RPF. My brothers and my sisters died in these conditions. I’d like to give you the names of some of my family members who were murdered by the RPF. Domitille Uwimana, who was working for the Red Cross, was raped for one week at the gendarmerie headquarters in Gisenyi before she was killed along with her one-year child named Nshuti. My brother, Charles Kizito Bwanakweli, disappeared on January 23rd, 1997. Diane and her sister Fifi, six and eight years old, and my other brothers Nshimiye and Ndagije, sixteen and seventeen years old, were also killed. At Mukamira Centrum in Nkuli Commune, the RPF massacred my cousin Josephine Mukagatare, her six children, and her husband Serushago. They killed my cousin Dativa, her mother, her three sisters, her brothers Emmanuel, Dusabe, Ntabugi, Kazehe, and her father Aloys Kanyabitaro. Rose was killed by the RPF on the morning of April 7th at Remera, in Kigali town. My uncle, Stanis Baganizi, was together with his wife Theresia, a tutsi woman (umugwabira) and their four children were burned alive in their house at Nyundo, in Gisenyi.

    DB: Where were you in Rwanda?

    JCN: Ruhengeri.

    DB: So, you came back through Goma?

    JCN: Yeah. I was living near Goma in the camp at Mugunga on Lake Kivu. The camp was attacked by the RPF and we had to flee to Sake. Then we were forcibly sent back to Rwanda on November 14th, 1996.

    DB: So you left Congo at the time Mugunga was destroyed.

    JCN: Yes. I was living there at the time the massacres started. I fled to Sake where I stayed a couple of days before coming back to Rwanda.

    DB: What happened in Mugunga? Can you describe what you saw?

    JCN: Well, what I saw there…was just like, um…I have never been in the Sahara Desert before, but I think the day the RPF attacked must have been like that. It was very hot, a very hot afternoon. In the beginning, you know, there was intense artillery falling on the camp. I don’t know how to describe that, I’m not military. I am not a soldier. Before the attack, it was so hot in that camp we didn’t know how much worse the situation could possibly be. The roads were crowded with crying children and anxious women. First of all, before the attacks, I saw people in Mugunga who looked like journalists, white journalists, approaching us. They came to us and said that they wanted to know how we were doing and they asked if they could help somehow. They said they were working for an NGO but did not specify what organization they were working for.

    DB: How many of them were there?

    JCN: I saw three.

    DB: Did they have any accents? Did they sound British, American, South African…

    JCN: American accent, yes, there was one American there. British accent, yes, there was also one British guy. But South African I can’t say because I don’t know. I’m not sure where the third guy was from. I don’t believe they were journalists or NGO workers. They were wearing khaki shorts with small khaki shirts that had four pockets, two on top, two on bottom. At the same time, I couldn’t pay too much attention to them because I was in panic. We knew the RPF was approaching the camp and a bloodbath was about to happen. I had to decide very quickly if I wanted to go back to Rwanda or move ahead into the huge Congolese forests and mountains.

    DB: What did they say that made you suspicious of them?

    JCN: After they left, many people were shot and others were mutilated. When the RPF arrived at the camp, we didn’t know where exactly the rifles were shooting from and I don’t really know which side those ground troops attacked from. So many people got killed.11 I saw wounded people being helped into a Toyota vehicle. Many of them were mutilated and their arms and legs were blown off. There was so much blood on the road. The vehicle went towards Sake, where there were medical facilities. I am sure that those people who went there as NGO workers wanted to collect information so they could help the RPF attack the camp.

    DB: Why did you go to Sake?

    JCN: The first people who left Mugunga and went to the Rwandan border right away ran into the RPF and were killed. I couldn’t pass through. I just wanted to go with the crowd because I thought I would have a better chance to survive. I had to wait until later. If they found out I was somebody who knows something, I mean that I was educated, I would be killed. I couldn’t leave Congo that way. I even had to wear very dirty clothes so the RPF soldiers wouldn’t think I went to school.

    DB: So most of the intellectuals decided to stay there in Congo?

    JCN: Yes. Unfortunately, many of them got killed. I can’t say for sure who survived the RPF mass-slaughters. I know many of my friends got killed, including a classmate of mine, Banzi Wellars. He and his wife never returned to Rwanda. They were educated in mathematics. Those who survived the forest…there were many massacre sites in Congo were thousands of Hutu were killed. I know so many who died, but I won’t talk about them because there is not enough time for that. Many of the people who were butchered in Kibeho and in the Congo were teachers from Butare University.

    DB: So they went into the forest and decided to take their chances and those who survived the forest ended up at the Tingi-Tingi camp.

    JCN: Not only at Tingi-Tingi, but also later at Ubundu, Kisangani, Mbandaka, and many other sites where Hutus were slaughtered by RPF soldiers. There is one lady who lives in Switzerland who knows exactly how refugees were butchered by RPF soldiers. My people are ready to testify but most of them have not had an opportunity to do so like me. When I left Rwanda, I was with my wife and our daughter, Vanessa. She was the only child we had together. I told my wife I knew I would be killed by the RPF so I have to go to Congo without her. I was with a friend and my brother-in-law, Dr. Deo Twagirayezu. By the way, he’s also ready to testify publicly. He lives in exile in Europe. He’s suffered so much because he lost almost his entire family to RPF massacres. Ok. We had some money we were going to share and I said to my wife Catherine, “Go home ok, I’ll never see you again. I know I’m gonna die, but what I can do…maybe you will be safe, I don’t know, but please try to survive.” That’s what I told her. I was in tears of course. I kissed her for what I thought was the last time. After that, I left and when I arrived at the border between Rwanda and Congo at Gisenyi, an RPF soldier guarding the border there asked me, “Where are you going? Where are you staying?” I told him I was going to Butare.12 He looked at me with anger and said, “We will find you anytime.” There were thousands of people crossing while I was there. If you had any kind of document that showed you were educated, you could not survive. I saw many people who went to Congo before me that were killed. I also had some diplomas for my students. I hid them under a big stone before I left. Like so many of my fellow Rwandans, I had to destroy all my remaining documents, including my identity card. Our cloths were so worn…you could not imagine that we had not moved anywhere before this. There was one place at the border where the RPF separated some of the men from the women and they were led away. I don’t know where they were taken but I never saw any of them again. There was one lady from the Red Cross working there who called me over and said that I should not cross the border, it was too dangerous.13 She took me to her place where I stayed with my wife and child in Gisenyi for the night. Those who crossed over on that day, many of them got killed. We couldn’t find any of them on our way back to Nkuli Commune. That could have been me. As a matter of fact, in 1996 and 1997, RPF military officers serving in Ruhengeri Prefecture that killed people were promoted. As a reward for killing people in Ruhengeri, the RPF promoted soldiers to different positions in the ministries. People like (Deus) Kagiraneza were promoted to command the Ruhengeri Prefecture. (Gerald) Gahima, (Diogène) Bideli, (Charles) Zilimwabagabo, and many others killed thousands of Hutu in Ruhengeri. The RPF arbitrarily arrested people and put them in Ruhengeri Prison. Later, they were killed and their relatives were not even allowed to bury the body. You know Zac Nsenga? He represented Rwanda as the Ambassador to the United States. He was in Ruhengeri killing people also. As a promotion, he was given the post of Ambassador to Washington DC. It’s incredible! One time, Paul Kagame came personally to Ruhengeri and he called everybody to meeting. He blamed the local population for supporting the ex-FAR and Interahamwe. He even called on some of the attendees to stand up and explain why they were supporting the militias. He told them they would be held responsible for what would happen to them. He personally ordered the RPF soldiers there to kill everyone present at the meeting and he left after that. Hundreds of people were killed that evening. The killing occurred in Nkuli Commune, on the hills near the Gatovu secondary school. When I came back to Rwanda in November 1996, there were no military troops; no RPF soldiers were in the military camps. All of them were spread out across the country. You had twenty-five to twenty-six RPF soldiers in each commune. They had permission to kill any anyone they even suspected of disagreeing with the RPF. The other soldiers were known as the Local Defense Forces, or Abakada. They arrested, killed, looted, and terrorized Hutus throughout the country. They started training with the RPF in 1995 up to 1998. General Nyamwasa was the chief commander of military operations in Ruhengeri Prefecture. He organized all the massacres in that area. Throughout that prefecture, you had one hundred to four hundred soldiers total with twenty-five here, twenty-five there, twenty-five there, and they killed people every day after a few interrogations. They would shoot a friend of yours or maybe your brother and the way they killed him was so incredibly horrible that you couldn’t recognize him anymore. After that, they told us the people they killed were Interahamwe and they said the killings were proof for those who wouldn’t accept that we had Interahamwe living among us. They said, “This is the sentence for all those who committed genocide.” We didn’t even know who the Interahamwe really were. In reality, it was every single Hutu! We were all just told the Interahamwe were evil and were the enemy. We all knew that tomorrow any Hutu could be accused of being an Interahamwe, a common enemy that had to be destroyed, by anyone if they wanted us dead. We lived in constant fear. After that, we had to get food from the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) because when we returned to our houses after arriving back from Congo, we found they were occupied Tutsi returning from Uganda that supported the RPF. The UNHCR representatives told us they were going to give us papers that could be used to move from the countryside through the commune to go and get food. As I said, when we got back from Congo, all of our homes were forcibly occupied by Tutsis. You had no rights to reclaim the house that belonged to you. No. Anyone who said anything was accused of being an Interahamwe and was put in prison or executed. Those who asked RPF officials for their property back were also killed.

    DB: Where were you at this time?

    JCN: In Ruhengeri Prefecture. My family lived in a plastic sheet outside and we could say nothing about it. We had to worship those who had stolen our houses. It was slavery.

    DB: Ok.

    JCN: Because our homes were taken away by the RPF. We had to sleep outside and the UNHCR did nothing to help us. All they did was give us those papers. You had to use them during your travels inside the country. At the same time, that permit was proof you were a returnee from Congo, and that meant you were a refugee, an enemy who fled. It made it very easy for the RPF militias and the Local Defense Forces to identify you and kill you. Many of the returnees were reported missing. Others were imprisoned and still others were killed. That’s why I refused to travel anywhere and you know what, I still hate the UNHCR for that. I was forced to stay there in the countryside and couldn’t sell anything that belonged to us for food. Everything we had there was taken for the Tutsis’ enjoyment. We needed to buy documents such as an ID card, but this was not possible. We weren’t considered Rwandan citizens. We were treated like second-class citizens by everyone, even the U.N. So the only way to travel was to get an identity permit with your picture on it (Attestation d’Identité Complete) otherwise we were exposed to imprisonment, disappearances and killings. There was a soldier at every checkpoint for population control on the way to Kigali. Even in Kigali, we were checked every day, every morning, and every night.14 When we came back to Rwanda, people in Gisenyi who wanted to go to Cyangugu could not go through Goma as a shortcut and cross the border back into Rwanda at Bukavu. The RPF didn’t allow us to do this. Instead, we had to walk through Ruhengeri, then Kigali, Gitarama, then to Butare, Gikongoro and finally Cyangugu. We were forced to walk the entire way by the RPF. Do you understand? Many of the people who walked those hundreds of kilometers died on the way. There were UNHCR vehicles parked along the entire path, but they did not help anyone. It was so many kilometers to walk! Five hundred kilometers!? Six hundred kilometers!? Maybe even eight hundred kilometers?! I don’t know exactly but we did exactly the same thing as those people who fled into the Congo forests!

    Footnotes

    1 Note: Akandoya is a Ugandan word meaning to tightly bind both arms behind the victim’s back with such pressure that the ribs break.

    2 Note: An agafuni is an old used hoe.

    3 Note: Juvenal Uwilingiyimana, a Hutu, was the former Minister of Parks. His naked and maimed body was found in a canal in Brussels on 17 December 2005.

    4 Note: The word Akazu means “little house.” In this context, it refers to a tight knit group of Hutu Bushiru, an area that included the Karango Commune President Habyarimana was born, and the Giciye Commune, where his wife Agathe Kanziga was from. She was reportedly well-connected and her “clan” wielded tremendous influence within the government. They were all Bakiga, which is a term generally referring to Hutu living in north-central and northwestern Rwanda (Byumba, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi). Bakiga resisted the Tutsi monarchy and were political opponents of the Hutu living in southern Rwanda, where Rwandan President Grégoire Kayibanda was from. Recent ICTR testimony by Jean-Marie Vianney Nkezabera, a member of the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (MDR), said the Akazu did not exist and were a creation of the political opposition parties to isolate President Habyarimana and discredit his leadership abilities. (“Akazu, Opponent’s Invention (Witness),” Hirondelle News Agency. 8 March 2007.)

    5 Note: Chief of Investigations at the ICTR.

    6 Note: Chief of Legal Proceeding at the ICTR.

    7 Note: Mr. Delvaux was a police inspector at the time.

    8 Note: Louise Arbour was the Chief Prosecutor of the ICTR at the time. During her tenure, ICTR judge Richard Goldstone (South Africa), Judge Honoré Rakotomana (an ICTR Prosecutor) and Mr. Alphonse Breau ([then] Director of Investigations) asked Australian lawyer Michael Hourigan to investigate the shoot-down of President Habyarimana’s plane. After completing his investigation, he concluded the RPA was responsible. When he presented his findings to Ms. Arbour, she abruptly shut down the investigation without warning. (Affidavit of Michael Andrew Hourigan. Filed at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. 27 November 2006.) After her tenure at the ICTR was completed, she was promoted to the Supreme Court of Canada and is currently the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. At the end of May 2007, she visited Rwanda and lauded their rebuilding efforts, but said the gacaca trials are progressing too slowly. (“UNCHR Chief Happy With Reforms, Advises on Gacaca,” The New Times. 27 May 2007.)

    9 Note: According to a note left by Mr. Uwilingiyimana before he died, Mr. Delvaux, Mr. Renaud, Mr. Tremblay, Stephen Rapp (an American who was serving as Chief of Prosecutions at the time), and Chief Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow visited him on 5 October 2005. He says in the letter his life was threatened by Mr. Tremblay and Mr. Delavaux if he didn’t cooperate and incriminate Protais Zigiranyirazo, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, Edouard Karemara, and Michel Bagaragaza. (Letter to the Prosecutor of the ICTR. Juvénal Uwilingiyimana. 5 November 2005. http://www.internationalcrimesblog.com/Nov5_letter.pdf.) There have been other allegations of witness intimidation and tampering. One witness stated he was threatened to testify in support of Protais Zigiranyirazo and Tharcisse Renzaho accused Rwandan officials of intimidating defense witnesses. Several of the witnesses will no longer testify in the trial because of threats. (“The ICTR Orders an Inquest on an Eventual Pressure on a Witness,” Hirondelle News Agency. 4 April 2007; “Renzaho’s Defense Accuses Kigali of Witness Intimidation,” Hirondelle News Agency. 17 May 2007; “An ICTR Lawyer Denonces (sic!) the Threats Made to his Witnesses,” Hirondelle News Agency. 12 June 2007.)

    10 Note: Jean-Paul Akayesu was a teacher, school inspector, and MDR party member. He was also mayor of the Taba Commune. One woman who testified against him was killed with her family in mid-January 1997. Officially, the murders were committed by Hutu insurgents.

    11 Note: The RPA attacked Mugunga from the northeast and the east in a strategic pincer attack. (Then) Colonel James Kabarebe led the RPA unit that approached Mugunga from the east and (then) Colonel Fred Ibingira led the RPA’s 7th Battalion approaching from the northeast. (Génocide de Mugunga. R94.org. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW8j-o3JPrY.) RPA soldiers approaching from the east stole vehicles from the United Nations High Commissionner for Refugees (UNHCR) and forcibly loaded Rwandan medical patients at NGO clinics into the vehicles and moved them to Nkamira. The NGOs were also prohibited to distribute food to returning refugees. (“Rwanda: Human Rights Overlooked in Mass Repatriation.” Amnesty International. AFR 47/002/1997. 14 January 1997.)

  4. “I HAVE BEEN THROUGH HELL”. PART 3 – Interview de JC Nizeyimana (DH RWANDA)

    DB: Now in 1996, in March, then again in October while you were in Congo, there were several Spanish priests and nuns killed in Rwanda. Do you know anything about these incidents?

    JCN: What happened there, every outsider…priests, nuns, none of them could survive because they were accused of supporting the former regime. The RPF killed many of the priests all across the country and as you know many of Rwanda’s religious figures were assassinated in Gakurizo. They slaughtered bishops, nuns, and priests, especially Hutus. Another reason to kill the Spanish priests was because they helped resist the Tutsi monarchy in the past. They empowered Hutu with education through their missions. Also, the Spanish priests knew the RPF massacred Bagogwe,1 who the RPF said were killed by Interahamwe. The RPF believed the Spanish priests and nuns were reporting RPF massacres of Hutu to the international community and NGOs.

    DB: Do you believe now, we saw that the RPF was particularly violent towards Hutu in the north, towards the so-called “Bakiga.”

    JCN: Yes.

    DB: Do you believe that comes from their resistance to the monarchy? That Paul Kagame was carrying out an old feud so-to-speak?

    JCN: Yes, I believe that is true. Even before when we had the monarchy in the country, it was rejected in the north and many of my fellow citizens, I mean those who were educated, were still threatened for not collaborating with the regime. I remember in 1996, Tito Rutaremara, the RPF’s main philosopher, his brother Jill Rutaremara,2 General Nyamwasa, and Antoine Mugesera, another RPF philosopher who actually is changing the history of Rwanda in Butare University, organized a meeting were they wanted to learn why the Bakiga did not accept a monarchy and minority rule. It was held in Ruhengeri town. Dr. Twagirayezy was there as an attendee and he actually wants to testify about this event as I told you before. They brought a document for everyone to sign as a contract agreeing to RPF rule in order to bring security back to the region and the person who signed it took an oath not to undermine the RPF’s efforts. Many of the people that gathered there were killed; especially those who refused to sign the document.

    DB: Some individuals have brought up Paul Kagame’s own unique bloodlines that extend back to the monarchy. Does this influence his domestic policies?

    JCN: In my country, we have a president, but we really have an unofficial monarchy. You know, in that country we have two competitive clans: Abanyiginya and Abega. They have been killing each other for power, you know, and whatever clan was in charge of the monarchy always killed local Hutu chiefs to expand their influence. Have you ever heard about the Kalinga?

    DB: Yes, I have heard about that. It was a symbolic royal war drum.

    JCN: Yea, they hung the testicles of Hutu from it for about four centuries.

    DB: I have heard of it before, but I always wondered if it was real or just propaganda to demonize the monarchy.

    JCN: It’s true. It’s true.

    DB: Do you think his ties to the royal family help him keep the loyalty of some RPF members? 3

    JCN: I know that he is related to one of the royal family, I don’t know, one of them was killed in the genocide.

    DB: Oh, yes. That was his aunt. It’s his aunt Rosalie Gicanda. She was the Queen Mother.

    JCN: Yes, I heard about that, but I already know, Kagame does not want the rule of a monarchy to become official because the king has to answer before the Tutsi council, “Abiru”, a council that holds the real power over the country. That is exactly the same council used in gacaca courts today to decide every Hutu’s fate.

    DB: Are you saying that if he formally becomes king, he would have to answer to somebody?

    JCN: Yes, and this is the big issue. Kagame is from the Abega tribe, so he hates the Abanyiginya who for four centuries were ruling the country before a revolution took place in 1959 to overthrow the monarchy and install a Republican regime. He is the king of Rwanda under the president’s label. He decides everyone’s destiny, takes or gives to anybody he likes or dislikes. The entire power is in his hands. Whoever says anything contrary to his will gets arrested or killed by his death squads. He says how everything must be done. I think you understand this.

    DB: I saw President Kagame speak at Amahoro Stadium on Liberation Day last year and it was particularly remarkable how different his attitude was during his speech from his trips abroad. His delivery and word choice had so much more conviction and was so stern compared to when he is speaking abroad.

    JCN: Also, in 1996, Kagame said that he would destroy the refugee camps in Congo anytime he wanted due to the fact they did not listen to him when he asked them to return to Rwanda. Then, after they forcibly returned, he invited the public to Amahoro Stadium and he had a group of Hutu refugees march before everyone in the stadium. He said, “You see these Interahamwe marching in front of you. They aren’t human anymore. Look at them! And they tell people they can attack Rwanda! They are nothing! Nothing!”

    DB: Now in 1997, there were a number of assassinations in your country. In January and February, you had several U.N. observers killed.

    JCN: If it was January or February, I don’t remember, but the killings were blamed on ex-FAR while it was really more RPF crimes. All of those ex-FAR who were sent back to Rwanda were told they would be integrated into the new RPF army. Many of them believed that and later in January they were killed together with their families and neighbors. This carnage took place in Rwanda during thirty straight days of killings. RPF soldiers and Local Defense Forces started by killing the high ranking ex-FAR officers together with their wives, children and all their neighbors so that nobody could testify. They killed everybody within one kilometer of the targeted neighborhood.

    DB: Do you know Kiswahili by chance?

    JCN: Yes, I do.

    DB: You know the word, “Fagia?”

    JCN: Yeah, fagia means “finish the job.”

    DB: Ok. I am aware that Kagame….

    JCN: Yes, that’s…

    DB: …used that word to speak of such operations.

    JCN: …to finish the job.

    DB: So essentially, it’s….it’s a complete extermination of one’s bloodline in a sense, if it’s a targeted individual.

    JCN: Yes. “Fagia” meaning to kill him or them, those who were targeted….nobody could survive.

    DB: Yes.

    JCN: We know that many people here, there, everywhere were killed in a different manner. The RPF used akandoya and other times, they forced someone to kill their own friend, bury them, and then the RPF killed them also. They used such cruel methods, not just killing someone but humiliating them first.

    DB: What you just described, this was all around Ruhengeri?

    JCN: Yes, Ruhengeri Prefecture was like….it was horrible.

    DB: Now, when the U.N. observers were murdered on the 4th of February, I have it at the Karengera Commune near Cyangugu and that a Briton was among those killed. Only about a week earlier, several Spanish medical workers for Medicos del Mundo were killed and an American worker was among those wounded.4 There’s currently a pending lawsuit against several Rwandan military officials for this incident.5 What were these events about?

    JCN: The RPF was always up there in 1997. They were always by the border area. We were told Interahamwe were crossing the border and killing people, but for us in the north, we never saw any Interahamwe as far as I can remember, but we saw many people getting killed. There were times around one hundred people were killed in Cyamabuye Pentecostal Church and in several schools, but they officially reported these killings were criminal acts by the Interahamwe, but this was not true. The RPF and Local Defense Forces killed everybody in the area and at the end of the day, RPF local authorities reported that all of them were killed by Interahamwe or by ex-FAR insurgents crossing over from Congo. The soldiers would even take weapons with them and leave them with the bodies and say they were Hutu infiltrators. Nobody could take a risk and say that RPF was involved in those massacres. Another trick that the RPF used is they went to your home at night and brought a pair of boots and left them there. In the morning, they came back and said that you were using the boots to help Interahamwe cross Lake Kivu into Rwanda. As a result, they killed those people and told everyone they were helping the insurgents.Those Spanish citizens, they died like so many Rwandans did. They were not killed by insurgents; they were killed by RPF soldiers and LDF (Local Defense Forces). As I said earlier, the RPF killed Bagogwe in that area and said the Interahamwe killed them. They added that the genocide is underway again. Those aid workers knew about this and were going to report it.6

    DB: Then in February, as I mentioned, another priest was killed and then several U.N. were killed in Karengera.

    JCN: Cyangugu?

    DB: Yea. Was this a similar situation?

    JCN: Yes. The RPF believed those guys were giving information to the international community and the RPF had a policy to kill without being seen or finish the job without any eyewitness to their crimes. That’s also what happened to the Canadian priest in Ruhengeri and to the Croatian priests and so on…

    DB: I want to ask a question specifically about the Local Defense Forces. When I was in Rwanda, as I was coming in from the countryside, I saw soldiers in camouflage uniforms patrolling along the road to Kigali, particularly around the forests. In the forests, there were also soldiers blending in amongst the forest, presumably for border security. In Kigali, there were armed men, typically young, who wore pink uniforms, but not the prison uniforms. I was told by Rwandans they were called the “Local Defense Force.” Who were these different groups of soldiers?

    JCN: You have guys who, most of those guys in the countryside roads are RPF. The Local Defense Force does not wear a uniform out there. They look like ordinary Rwandans. But all in all, they were Abakada as we Rwandans call them. Those guys travel in groups of five, all men, and they patrol the area they are in charge of. They are not paid and they do whatever they want in the area they control. Their main training camps are in Mutobo, Gabiro, and Gishari. But also, there are these so-called “Rasta,” who are Hutu soldiers, sometimes even ex-FAR, that work for and are under RPF supervision.7

    DB: So it is a paramilitary unit.

    JCN: A paramilitary unit as you said, yes, but they received training from RPF officers. They even make maps and generate plans together with RPF soldiers for their military operations.

    DB: That helps clarify things for me a bit. Now just one more question with regards to specific military units. One well-known military unit in Rwanda is the Presidential Guard. In Rwanda today, in current times, what role does this unit play? What is their mission? Is it only to provide physical protection for President Kagame?

    JCN: The Presidential Guard, what it is…ok. Everywhere President Kagame goes in the country; they are part of his escort and must be there with him. They are all chosen to do the job, you cannot volunteer. It is run by Frank Nziza. They are mostly used in special death squad missions inside and outside the country. There is no denying also they have received training by U.S. Special Forces and some of them, including U.S. intelligence-gathering units, are based in Kigali-Kacyiru.

    DB: When I was in Kigali, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tour the KIST (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology) school grounds. I asked some of the students there what they were going to do once they graduated. All of them told me they were going to work for their country. Since it is a technology-education school, they said they were going to work for firms like Terracom and other state-owned telecommunications firms. What is the relationship between schools, jobs, and political ideology in Rwanda?

    JCN: Let me explain to you the job situation as I understand it. In the countryside, we were told by Rwandans coming from Kigali there was nowhere to go. I went to Kigali by taxi and got a job at Sulfo-Rwanda Industries, an Indian-owned mining company. When I worked there, every intellectual Hutu had to pay 5,000 Rwandan Francs8 every week to their supervisor. This guy who worked there, he was a friend of Rose Kabuye’s9 husband. He told me if I didn’t pay him every week, he will come back to find me and my new home would be 1930, meaning the central prison in Kigali. I was afraid so I paid every week on Friday. They told me, “You have to know what happened to other Hutus.” He also told me he’s saving my life and I actually do agree with that. After that, I decided to try and find another job. I went for an interview with the UNDP (United Nations Development Project) and a Tutsi woman refused to give me access to the person in charge of interviews. She said I had to bring proof that I have a job from the Ministry of Industry. I told her, “No, I got a job at Sulfo-Rwanda you cannot ask me to bring such proof. Everyone there knows me.” She responded, “That’s your business.” Then I left and understood I would never get that job.Also, there was a guy connected to Sulfo-Rwanda, Froduald Karamira, who was killed on February 14th, 1997. I was in Nkuli Commune on that day, which is now known as Buhoma District. He was accused of being a Hutu extremist so he fled to India through his contacts at Sulfo-Rwanda. He was arrested in Bombay and instead of being sent to the ICTR, he was deported back to Rwanda. In return, India was given a contract to supply the RPF military with TATA vehicles. Karamira admitted he was guilty and the RPF took him and a woman lawyer to Nyabugogo and shot them in public. However, the real reason he was shot was so the RPF could confiscate his property, just like they did with Kabuga’s properties. Clever, huh?Every Hutu lived like this. You had to work for the government, for the RPF. They used other workers to keep informed about every newcomer, everyone who’s starting work. To understand this, let me give you an example. Today, when you graduate, you must go to a training center at Gikondo for brainwashing to get a job. Every semester, some graduates are chosen to be sent there from among all the universities in Rwanda. Nobody knows where that person is going and then they return later, both Hutu and Tutsi, determined to kill anyone who opposes the RPF. You spend six months at the center. They give you a list of people to hate, people who are supposed to be opponents of the RPF. People are taught to hate their own parents and friends if they oppose the RPF. These people spy on everyone else at work and report suspicious people to the Department of Military Intelligence. After one and a half years of living in this hell, I fled to Nairobi.

    DB: That was when you eventually moved out of Africa?

    JCN: At that time, my wife was regularly travelling to Kigali. Many people thought she looked like a Tutsi so she didn’t have as much trouble. The third time she went there, her friends were killed. She came back and told me to leave. We got a traveling permit and I traveled to Kigali. The last day I fled to Kampala and from there I went to Nairobi. After Seth died, I left Africa. I am not afraid to say that. I have nothing to hide.DB: What happened in Bwindi Forest in 1999?JCN: You know Americans were killed there right?

    DB: Well, there were reports that an armed group came and killed some western tourists. Some said it was Interahamwe, others said it was a Ugandan rebel group like the ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) or NALU (National Army for the Liberation of Uganda). There were different….

    JCN: If you ask me that question, I will ask you why you the Bagogwe tribe got killed in Gisenyi. Who is the perpetrator? The same one who killed the American tourists: the RPF soldiers and Paul Kagame. After Madeline Albright arrived in Rwanda….

    DB: This was where?

    JCN: I was in Rwanda, in the countryside, in my commune of origin. Albright left to go to Congo or something like that. After they left Rwanda, Bagogwe were killed by the RPF and they reported the Interahamwe did it. Albright and…I don’t remember the other one; she was in African Affairs Department.

    DB: That would be Susan Rice.

    JCN: Yes, Miss Susan Rice. She also came back to Rwanda with Albright and met with Paul Kagame. After the meeting she approved his allegations that the Interahamwe killed the Bagogwe. Everybody knows that version of facts is incorrect. The Prefect of Gisenyi, Epimaque, said on Radio Rwanda the Bagogwe were killed because they were stealing potatoes. Kagame got mad about that and removed him. Exactly the same thing happened to the tourists, the American tourists. This was an act of terrorism.10 On that same day, in Jenda District, where I was born, and also in Nkuli, RPA soldiers killed at least 500 civilians on November 21st. Susan Rice did not say anything about this. Why did she condemn this crime and accuse Hutus before an independent inquiry team went there to investigate?

    DB: Are you saying the RPF committed all those crimes?

    JCN: Of course, I know this for sure. I also know that they even killed Tutsis in different areas, including a Tutsi agriculturist in Ruhengeri. I don’t know his name unfortunately, but he was an agriculturalist who worked at the plantations in the countryside of Nkuli and Karago communes. He was killed at the Adventist Church in Rwankeli, Nkuli Commune with his wife, children, and fifteen neighbors. The RPF blamed the Abacengezi.11 In total, seventeen people were killed that day in the same area.

    Also that year, in January 1997, one RPF soldier was killed in public because he was supposed to kill some people, but did not. There was a Hutu woman who came to ask for her husband’s house back because it had been taken over by Tutsis. For this courageous act, the woman had to die. The soldier who was ordered to shoot her did not do so and that RPF soldier was killed for not following instructions. He was shot in public. So when Paul Kagame says he punished those who were involved in killings, it’s not really true. The RPF soldiers who did follow such orders, they were glorified and promoted to the highest military rankings. For example, Colonel Ibingira after he massacred displaced people in Kibeho. There was also (Faustin-Kayumba) Nyamwasa, (Jackson) Nziza, (Gerald) Gahima, (Charles) Zilimwabagabo…as a matter of fact; the RPF punishes those who don’t kill Hutus. Can you believe that? You can’t believe this. But it’s true.

    DB: Let’s talk about another one of those cases you just mentioned. Can you tell me about Kibeho?

    JCN: Yes, Kibeho, I cannot forget that because I had a good friend who was killed there. Remember, you asked me in the beginning about how people in Butare were killed by the RPF soldiers while U.N. forces were there? University workers, students, and teachers were massacred in front of the U.N. peacekeeping forces. At first, the Rwandans who ended up in that camp were going to flee to the southern region of Congo, but this did not happen because they were told they would be protected by the U.N. peacekeeping forces. At that time, Octave Iligukunze, a classmate and a friend of mine at Moscow University was there. He was there with other Hutu intellectuals at the camp and… you know what, I’ll never, ever see him again because the RPF killed all of them. They were told to go to Kibeho and after that, Paul Kagame gave an ultimatum and told them leave the camps. He said the RPF is going to close the camps in Rwanda starting with Kibeho because it was not necessary for them to stay open because the country is now safer than it was before. The result was catastrophic, unspeakable killings done with U.N. and UNHCR complicity. The RPF started by using machine guns and mortars to destroy the camp; destroy the houses, to destroy all the people. They killed women, children, and young guys from the university that were there. This was a bloody planned genocide as I told you before; genocide planned very well by the RPF leadership. No Hutu intellectual could be allowed survive. If you survived Kibeho, you had to go to the countryside and stay there until you disappeared or were killed very far from the U.N. observers in Kigali. We had no rights. We were treated animals that had to be butchered. No more, no less. Luckily, I had a chance to escape and go to Kigali. How did I get there? Through bribery and corruption…using whatever I could so that I could go there.

    DB: To Kigali?

    JCN: Yes. I know how my friends got killed at the same time as I left my area for Kigali, but you have asked me about Kibeho so…Kibeho was really our tragic history to live with. I don’t…I compare it to the Jewish Auschwitz. During the morning, starting at about 04:00, they started shooting and using all kinds of weapons, including heavy artillery to kill them. They killed a lot of innocent people. They did not care. U.N. soldiers from Australia that were there have said they are ready to testify anywhere if they are asked. They saw everything.12 There was also an organization that included this lady named Kleine who has a website where you can find pictures of the mass graves.13 You have seen those?

    DB: Yea, I’ve seen those.

    JCN: So the guy, Paul Kagame, decided to close the camps using this guy named Fred Ibingira, who was promoted to the rank of General a few months later. He worked with Jacques Bihozagara, who was first promoted to be the Rwandan Ambassador to Belgium then later as the Ambassador to France for having killed so many people. You know that I talked about him already. He was killing people in Ruhengeri before getting appointed to a higher position. Also, there was Major Rubagumya Gacinya, who headed the CID (Criminal Investigation Division) and was recently named the military attaché at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington D.C.

    Now, let’s talk about happened to my people, my fellow citizens. President Bizimungu went to Kibeho because he was afraid of Kagame and he told everybody only a few hundred were killed there. At the same time, how many really died? Most people say eight thousand people but I met a guy from the UNHCR who told me twenty-one thousand died, including Kibeho and the surrounding area.

    DB: I found some similar information that I would like to share with you and get your reaction. It started on the 22nd or 23rd, but the day after the killings, the United States Embassy sent its Defense Attaché Officer (DAO), whose name is Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Odom, along with Mr. Mickey Dunham, the Operations Officer in the Defense Attaché Office at the U.S. Embassy to Kibeho to find out exactly what happened.14

    JCN: Yea.

    DB: They spoke with Sam Kaka, Colonel Nyamwasa, Charles Muhire, and Lieutenant Colonel Karenzi. When they left, they told U.S. Ambassador David Rawson that 2,000 were killed in Kibeho. Now this is what Lieutenant Colonel Odom, a well-trained and veteran military officer said was his reasoning for his estimate. He determined eight thousand or more bodies could not possibly have been moved overnight because there were only five thousand RPF soldiers in the area, which wasn’t enough manpower to move that many bodies and also remove all the shell casings it would have taken to shoot that many people.15After that, Ambassador Rawson called in a lawyer named Maurice Nyberg, an American who was part of the U.N. Special Investigations Unit that eventually became the ICTR. Anyway, he investigated Kibeho for a month and stayed with Lieutenant Colonel Odom at the house of the U.S. Embassy’s Political Officer at the time, (then) Ms. Laura Lane. Whatever Mr. Nyberg discovered was never made public.16 The reason I bring this up, first it is clear the U.S. was on the ground in Kibeho very quickly after the event. Second, there are no indications they ever interrogated any surviving refugees in the camp. What are your thoughts on this?

    JCN: Of course, this is ridiculous and shameful. I don’t understand how the U.S. could support such criminals.

    DB: To move on from that subject, you, now in 1993, you were in Moscow for graduate school?

    JCN: Yes, up to February 28th, 1993.

    DB: Can you tell me what happened when you got back to Rwanda?

    JCN: Well, I told you about the February attack in 1993. I thought there would be peace in Rwanda; otherwise I wouldn’t have gone back. What I remember is that the RPF signed the Arusha Accords. Rwandans thought those accords would be implemented, but the RPF had another agenda. Many people in Rwanda were hopeful the fighting would end, but, for the U.S. and the U.K., as RPF backers, this would be a tragedy because the RPF would lose the elections because they killed so many people and nobody wanted them in power after what they experienced. That is why RPF had to step up to the second level; to step up to the killing of Hutu political leaders like Gatabazi, Bucyana, Rwambuka and Gapyisi. The RPF expected the Hutu to react by killing Tutsis so the RPF could resume hostilities and say they were defending Tutsi, but this did not happen. Eventually, they stepped to the 3rd level and eliminated President Juvenal Habyarimana and hoped Hutus would be too angry to stay calm. Without that, the RPF could not seize power and accomplish the final agenda of going to the Congo to payback their debts to their backers.

    DB: You believed the Arusha Accords would hold?

    JCN: Myself, yes. I believed Hutu and Tutsi finally had a chance to live together without too many problems.

    DB: Where did you go when you first arrived back in Rwanda?

    JCN: I stayed in Kigali because I came back with Jews, Russian Jews who wanted to establish a company in Kigali for mineral resources.

    DB: Do you know the name of the company?

    JCN: Excuse me?

    DB: Do you know the name of the company?

    JCN: (Long pause)

    DB: That’s ok if you don’t remember.

    JCN: (Laughs) I will be telling you sometime maybe. I had a problem with the Rwandan Government because they said we cannot accept their offer because there was already another company mining the mineral resources. They did not want the Russians to go in there. They asked me to pay six thous-…er, six million Rwandan Francs unfortunately. I refused. I was so angry. In the end, we had to negotiate and we paid four to five million for the startup costs.

    DB: So at some point, you said you went home to…er, you said you accepted a job at the university in Gisenyi.

    JCN: What happened to me was, after that, people from the MRND said, “This guy, Jean-Christophe is not helping so we have to work with someone else, we have to discuss directly with the Russians.” They decided to remove me and send me to Gisenyi. Before I came back to Rwanda, I had not even heard of this university, but I went because they asked me to and I had no choice.

    DB: Who asked you to go?

    JCN: They were people from the MRND. One of them belonged to Habyarimana’s family. They were angry with me, but I really don’t want to talk about this. Actually, in 1993, this is why I decided to pursue my PhD studies in Canada. First, I had a proposal from the U.S. Embassy, but later I decided to go to Canada after winning a French speaking scholarship that gave me the possibility to pursue PhD studies. I told the Canadian Embassy not to tell anyone because I was afraid they would find out and put an end to my dreams. I later resigned from the institute after March 5th and I got a letter from the Rwandan Embassy in Canada that I was chosen to fly to Canada. I didn’t tell anyone at the university where I was going for security reasons. Fortunately, at that time, everything went smoothly. What happened later in the beginning of April, it was unthinkable for me because the Canadian Embassy told me I had to prepare to leave for Canada in April 1994. Then, you know what happened next.

    DB: Right.

    JCN: The death of Habyarimana.

    DB: You mentioned that you first had an offer to go abroad through the U.S. Embassy. How did you forge ties with the United States Embassy?

    JCN: Ok, first of all, I needed books for my studies at the Institute so I got some contacts the embassy and they put me in touch with their Political Affairs officer named Linda. She told me there was no problem and she was going to help me. She said she could also get books from the U.S. and she did. I got many books from her. She also gave me a pass to attend a July 4th celebration held at the U.S. Embassy in 1993. After that, she told me that I could maybe get a Fulbright Scholarship to go to the U.S. and get my PhD. I said, “Ok. I have to tell those MRND guys who sent me to the university.” They told me that there was no problem to go to the U.S. I just had to wait and decide with Linda. In January 1994, she told me I really should go, but I thought the Arusha Accords would hold so I did not go. I have no idea if she knew that something was going to happen and was trying to warn me. I regret that I did not go because of what happened to me after that was not really….it was my fault. I made a mistake.

    DB: But you honestly believed the Arusha Accords would work?

    JCN: Yea.

    DB: Ok. So you told Linda Buggeln at the U.S. Embassy you were not going to go and the Arusha Accords were already signed but not implemented. Then there were a series of political assassinations in Rwanda. You mentioned these names earlier. Gapyisi, Rwambuka, Gatabazi, Bucyana…what can you tell me about what it was like in Rwanda at that time? Who was responsible for these killings and did they influence the intensity of the genocide?

    JCN: As I told you before, the killings were part of the strategy of genocide, so that mass killings of Tutsi would occur in Rwanda. It was a plan that was initiated by the RPF leadership because the RPF knew they could not seize power under the Arusha Accords. They had to have mass killings of Tutsi so they could start the final aggression and say that they were fighting to stop the killings when all they really wanted was to seize power. They had to get people to kill Tutsis and the killing of Hutu in the northwest of my country was obviously not enough to generate that kind of hate. People got angry and their anger was rising day after day towards the RPF, but they were not attacking Tutsi civilians. The second step was to create strong tension between the people to prepare them for killing. You are going to ask me how. In the beginning, they started by killing the heads of prefectures. They watched the reaction from the government, from others, you know, the chairmen of political parties, and they saw Rwandans acting disciplined. Rwandans were not reacting to every single RPF attack, every assassination. So they said, “Ok, we have people in power that really have influence in this country. Let’s start with them.”They started by killing Emmanuel Gapyisi of the MDR (Democratic Republican Movement) in May 1993.17 Gapysi was very intellectual and he was supposed to replace Habyarimana, as I understood it at the time. He was from the south, but was supported by Hutu in both the north and the south. He created a kind of a…he was in the right place at the right moment. The RPF saw that he was going to replace Habyarimana and possibly help unite Hutu in the north and the south, which was not in their interests.Then in August 1993, the RPF decided to really raise tensions by killing Fidele Rwambuka, the Mayor of Kanzenze Commune from the MRND party. These assassinations were trigger points and each time the RPF killed one of them, they thought the militias of their political parties would react by killing Tutsi, which would allow the RPF to resume aggressions. When they killed Fidel Rwambuka, there were riots but no lynching, so nothing happened.In February 1994, they killed Felicien Gatabazi of the PSD (Social Democratic Party). He was going home and the RPF killed him at the gate to his house. People say that Eric Hakizimana led the death squad that killed him. In 1993, when the RPF was killing people in the north and they attacked Ruhengeri, they destroyed the electricity source, water supply…they destroyed everything. Gatabazi, who was the Minister of Public Works, said, “We can’t trust the RPF anymore. What they did is a crime against humanity. How could they do this knowing that ninety percent of the population used that water? Why did they destroy it?”18 After he said that, he was killed because the RPF knew they would no longer have his support. You see, he went too far because he sent the Abakombozi19 to train with RPF soldiers in Mulindi. They thought he had no right to criticize them. That’s why they killed him. After he was killed, Abakombozi militias of the PSD got angry and started riots with the CDR (Coalition for the Defense of the Republic)20 militia, the Impuzamugambi21, who they thought had killed Gatabazi. This was just what the RPF wanted. See, after Gatabazi was killed, the RPF began using Radio Muhabura to spread lots of rumors about who had done it. Infiltrators in Kigali helped out by telling people in town. You know the big difference rumors can make during wartime. Still, Habyarimana did not believe it. He told everybody to stop the riots because this is exactly what somebody wants us to do. We must stop. Everybody did stop, but divisions were created between the parties. It also made the Rwandan conflict look like a civil war to the outside world and that is what the RPF wanted. Unfortunately for them, the Hutu stopped rioting and they still did not kill Tutsi. The next day, the RPF did a very smart move from their viewpoint. They killed Martin Bucyana, the CDR’s president. By killing the head of the “extremist” party, they thought for sure Tutsi were going to be killed because they knew the CDR would blame the RPF and kill Tutsi civilians who they thought were RPF infiltrators in revenge. Also, Bucyana was killed when he was travelling from Cyangugu to Butare in his own car. The RPF killed him knowing that, if he was killed in the area where Gatabazi was born, the CDR might also blame the Abakombozi for the killing and the Abakombozi would start riots with the CDR militias again. At the same time, Radio Muhabura said the Hutu militias were responsible to make sure there was mass confusion. The RPF also got help from the international community, who were only saying in the press that Bucyana was an extremist, like he deserved to be killed. That way, nobody cared that he was killed and nobody would ask questions about who really killed him.The RPF was increasing tensions to get an explosion of violence. I myself can say that tensions were much worse after each political killing. Sometimes during the latest riots after Bucyana’s death, there was lynching. After that, people did not want to be around anyone they didn’t know. You would go to a new place, for example a bar, and the people there would say to you, “Who are you? Don’t you know the RPF is going to be here in two weeks? Get out of the bar!” Then people, including infiltrators, were going around telling Hutu, “You have to get armed, the enemy is increasing every day.” Infiltrators were also committing random killings in the city. They would drive by somewhere on a motorcycle and use a grenade somewhere that people had gathered. Myself, I had Tutsi family friends, but we became divided by stereotypes. While all of this is going on, one of these politicians were killed, somebody’s friend and a member of a powerful political party. The RPF expected people to react! Still, it did not happen! The RPF and its allies were very angry with that. They did not understand what kind of people they were dealing with.

    DB: Where the FAR and Presidential Guard compromised by RPF infiltrators by the time President Habyarimana was killed?

    JCN: I really don’t know for sure but I do not think so. Other units were infiltrated but not the Presidential Guard. The RPF did offer Major Ntabakuze millions of dollars to work for the RPF, but I was told he refused.So the final step, the final job, was to kill President Habyarimana, the president’s staff, and Déogratias Nsabimana, the FAR Chief of Staff who went with him to Tanzania. They were killed coming back from a meeting about implementing the Arusha Accords. What the RPF did is obvious. That series of assassinations, the killers showed deep knowledge of Rwandans’ limits of tolerance. It was the last possible step in something they had planned for a long time. I believe they chose April 6th because Paul Kagame thought the militias were at their breaking point and they would kill with the most anger because of the tensions.22 They knew that people were already very angry and prepared to kill because they were paranoid and thought so many Tutsi were RPF sympathizers. The RPF knew people would get revenge this time. That’s why you saw those people killing everybody after President Habyarimana. The country had not only Tutsi, who were financing the RPF, but you had infiltrators, RPF infiltrators in so many places. You must know Valens Kajeguhakwa, who was with the RPF, said they even used priests to hide RPF weapons in churches. Everyone knew this and unfortunately, the Hutu militias found documents and RPA identity cards on many people in the churches and that is why so many people believed this and killed so many people in the churches. They realized they had been betrayed and because of the tension, because of the situation after the killing of President Habyarimana, the FAR and gendarmes were unable to control the militias. The country was beheaded and the genocide could only be planned by someone who knew the consequences of the 6th of April and it was not a surprise to anyone to see the RPF attack in Kigali and Kanombe on the same night Habyarimana died.

    DB: President Habyarimana had a famous nickname did he not?

    JCN: Huh?

    DB: He was called, “Ikinani.”

    JCN: Ok!

    DB: The Invincible.

    JCN: The Invincible. What that means, he said so because when he went to Ruhengeri, he said that at the time we had many political parties in the country. So they had to go and vote. He had been in power for many years and he said he was going to stay there. He also said to everyone, “My Interahamwe are going to win.” Radio Muhabura told everyone Habyarimana was not invincible to the RPF. The truth is, people who wanted democracy would never have voted for the RPF over Habyarimana, and he knew that. So the RPF knew they had to somehow mobilize opinion against the MRND.

    Footnotes

    1 Note: The Bagogwe are a sub-group of Tutsi pastoralists who live in northwestern Rwanda around Gisenyi and Ruhengeri.

    2 Note: Jill Rutaremara is currently the Military Spokesman for the RPA.

    3 Note: In pre-colonial times, before the ethnic (or racial within Rwanda) identity of Hutu and Tutsi deeply divided the country; clans (ubwoko [singular]) formed the foundation of Rwandan society and identity. The clan is the most abstract form of patrilineal kinship in Rwanda but its members do not trace back to a common ancestor. Clans do not regard ethnic identity and all clans have both Hutu and Tutsi members. Clan membership does not bestow a social status or privilege to its members and clans do not have a “leader” or person in charge. (Government of the Republic of Rwanda. “The Counting of the Genocide Victims: Final Report.” Ministry for Local Government: Department of Information and Social Affairs. November 2002. pg. 7.) The only possible exceptions were the Abanyiginya and Abega clans. However, originating from one of these clans does not afford an elevated social status to its members because other sub-divisions within the clan, such as lineage, are more indicative of social status. Rwandan mythology says these two clans hold a sacred origin because the Rwandan Kings were chosen from these clans. In pre-colonial times, the King was believed to be a divine being sent by God and was considered to be the physical embodiment of Rwanda itself. (Mamdani, Mahmood. “When Victims Become Killers.” Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2002. 3rd Edition. pg. 54-55, 79.) The Queen Mother came from the Abega clan. (Martins, Ludo. “Rwanda: The Responsibility of Belgium in the Creation of a Racist Ideology.” Report Presented at the Conference on Rwanda. English Translation. Brussels, Belgium. 5 April 1997; Prunier, Gérard. “The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide.” New York, New York: Columbia University Press. 1995. pg. 9.) As the Rwandan refugees from the late 1950s-very early 1960s grew up in Uganda, they we

  5. “I HAVE BEEN THROUGH HELL”. PART 4 – Interview de JC Nizeyimana (DH RWANDA)

    DB: Can you comment of the recent release of former president Pasteur Bizimungu?

    JCN: Bizimungu is just like the situation with releasing those kids from prison. Kagame said publicly it was for national reconciliation. He made Bizimungu write a letter to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Bizimungu had, in fact, already written a letter to Kagame earlier asking for clemency, but Kagame lied and said he never wrote such a letter. It was not Kagame’s good will that released him. Bizimungu is a finished man. He is very sick and cannot do anything. The way he was treated in prison…they will never let him leave Rwanda. He knows too much. They are afraid of what he will say. He can’t apply for exile. It’s incredible. What I see is Paul Kagame becoming god, in my own country. Anything that happens must be ordered by him. Only he has the power to let you survive. This is why many prisoners are freed all at once, usually along with RPF infiltrators mixed in with them. The infiltrators ask the prisoners about their crimes to find out who really killed who and report to military intelligence.

    DB: What was the reason he was released?

    JCN: He went to prison on multiple charges. After Bizimungu found out the real agenda of the RPF after Kibeho, he said, “I’m gone. I’m going to found my own political party PDR-Ubuyanja (Party for Democratic Renewal).” His party brought in many followers like Ntakirutinka. Some of the party members were killed by the RPF and then Bizimungu was sent to prison to stop any attempt to create a serious opposition party to the RPF. The RPF wanted to control the forum. They had no use for all those political parties and Bizimungu’s party could have competed for the presidency.

    DB: Is this also why former Speaker Sebarenzi was considered a threat?

    JCN: Yes. It was the same arrangement. I think he left the country because he was considering joining that party, then he later founded a political party after he was in exile.Back to the prison system…it’s unbelievable. Every commune has two hundred RPF and Local Defense Forces. They arrest any Hutu in the north they want. After holding them for several days, they tell him he can go free, but first he must sign a document stating he killed Tutsi during the genocide. He also must also name four Hutu and say they killed with him. It can be any four Hutu; they don’t really care if they actually committed any crimes. If you refuse, you stay in jail. So for every one that is released, four go in jail. When something happens to make the RPF look bad to the international community, they release most of these prisoners and say it is for national reconciliation to look good.1 Others are tried in gacaca. All those prisoners have to say, “Oh yes, we killed Tutsis.” Nobody wants to stay in those prisons.2 For five thousand Rwandan Francs, you can have somebody sign a paper accusing anybody you want of genocide. Then that person is thrown in jail. The Red Cross even knows about this system. They kept lists of the prisoners they met with. Every time they went back to those prisons, people on their list had disappeared.

    DB : You know Paul Wolfowitz, the World Bank’s President?

    JCN : He fooled everybody when he went to Rwanda. People think the World Bank is going to help them, but Wolfowitz said he was proud of Rwanda and that the country was going well. He was saying how prisoners working on the plantations are a good thing. You can go to Butare, Kigali, more so in the north, you will see what those prisoners are doing. As I said, they are forced to work on plantations owned by RPF leaders. I found out also that foreign NGOs are using this labor force! I know of some Belgian NGOs for sure. There needs to be an investigation into this. They use the cheapest kind of labor where you pay nothing and then the same NGOs ask for donations from their own countries to give to Rwandans! They keep the money and they don’t need to pay their workers. They even use these kids as labor and they will never go to school!

    They say gacaca is for the national reconciliation, but who is there on trial? Only Hutus. It doesn’t concern the Tutsis. Who is a Hutu? He is a genocidaire! They are the only ones who committed genocide and yet so many Hutus died during the genocide as well. Those who killed them now run the gacaca courts and at least seven hundred and fifty Hutu are added to gacaca every year. Imprisonment in Rwanda is a tool just like the genocide is a tool. It is a tool to stay in power. The RPF even said so. After the genocide of 1994, the RPF told everyone to always be sure and talk about the genocide with everyone, especially foreigners, or else we will lose power in this country.

    DB: Where did they say this

    JCN : Radio Muhabura. It was January 1997 at 08:30 on a Sunday. I don’t remember the date exactly but everybody knows about it. You can ask people and they will tell you the RPF told everybody they must always talk about the genocide or else they are lost. It was announced by Antoine Mugesera and Rutaramara. They said, “We must portray ourselves as victims.” We (Diaspora) know how many people really got killed. We have the study from the University of Maryland.4 The RPF uses the genocide to ensure Hutu do not approach power. They try to control everything. When they took power, they renamed all the streets, reorganized the prefectures created provinces, and changed the spelling of many names. They did this to confuse investigators and erase that history from the minds of the next generation of Rwandans.

    DB: That’s ironic you should mention that last point because one individual I met in Rwanda laughed at the map of Kigali I had because all the streets were labeled wrong. They were labeled with their old names. Moving on, one of the forgotten topics in the Great Lakes region is Burundi. As you know, in the space of less than a year, Burundi lost two Hutu presidents to assassinations. The first president who was assassinated, Melchior Ndadaye, was killed by the Armed Forces of Burundi (FAB) in Bujumbura.5

    JCN: With the help of Paul Kagame.

    DB: That was precisely my line of questioning. I have heard of such claims. Can you comment on that? Is there any truth to them?

    JCN: Ok. The reason I know that RPF was involved is because when Ndadaye was killed, I was, at that time, politically active. My friends and I created the Ndadaye Foundation at the CEPGL headquarters in Gisenyi. It was part of an administration that was in five countries including Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda. After he was killed, we received some MPs (Members of Parliament) from Bujumbura who came to thank us for doing a great job because they really appreciated our unforgettable deeds. We all respected Ndadaye because he was democratic and respected all ethnic groups. He was working for his country and wanted to reunify Burundians. Unfortunately, President Buyoya got a job from the European Union (EU).6 I don’t know why people supported him.When President Ndadaye was elected, it could not be accepted by the RPF because a Hutu in power in Burundi, especially when Tutsi are trying to seize power in Rwanda… it could not happen. It would cause turmoil in Rwanda. That’s why they decided to kill President Ndadaye. For the continuation of Tutsi rule in both countries. The day he was killed, Paul Kagame was in Bujumbura. I was told by the MPs who came to visit us in Gisenyi that he was there in a hotel where he spent his holiday. During his stay, he met with the Chief of the Army, Bikomagu.

    DB: And yet, if I recall correctly, Colonel Bikomagu was later acquitted for his role in the assassination.

    JCN: Yea. They set up everything just like with Gatabazi and Bucyana.

    DB: Does the Rwandan community believe the RPF was involved in the assassination?

    JCN: Yes. In fact, President Ndadaye had many supporters in Rwanda. Thousands of people came to Gisenyi to support the foundation and I spoke to them. I remember when I talked to them and they were so keen to support the foundation. They supported people who wanted to bring democratic values to their countries. Of course, we must remember also the other Burundian Hutu president, who was killed along with President Habyarimana. His name was Cyprien Ntaryamira. Then, you had President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya escape to the U.S. Embassy and come out of hiding after the coup by Buyoya.

    DB: How are relations between Rwanda and Burundi today?

    JCN: The relations are still good because the government does the will of Kagame.

    DB: Yet, current President Pierre Nkurunziza is a Hutu.

    JCN: Yes, he’s a Hutu, but he is willing to leave him alone if he takes orders. We know that the former Chairman of the FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Front for the Defense of Democracy) party was in Kigali supporting Paul Kagame officially.7 He was asked by Paul Kagame to remove some members of his party that did not agree with RPF policy in Burundi. After he tried to do so, he got in trouble with some old MPs who removed him instead. Today, he is in prison because he said four guys, including former President Ndayizeye, were planning a coup, but it was not true and Ndayizeye was dismissed from the courts.8

    DB: This is a broad topic, but the single most influential event in your country recently is probably the Brugière arrest warrant. One thing…

    JCN: Ok. I just remembered. The U.K. officer, the military officer who sent the fax to the U.N. was Colonel R.M. Connaughton of the British Army, based at Camberley, Surrey in England, the home of the British Military Academy. His nameand fax number appear at the top of the document. It was sent to Maurice Baril at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in the U.N. There was no cover letter explaining who sent it or why it was sent. There was no document confirming that it was received and accepted by the U.N. ad hoc authorities.

    DB: Ok. Thank you.

    JCN: You’re welcome.

    DB: Ok. When the arrest warrant came out, there were large protests in Rwanda. What was behind all that?

    JCN: The people were incited to demonstrate. First of all, the Rwandan people knew nothing. Most of them do not even know where the French embassy is. Those people had to be brought there by buses and trucks. Who paid for that? Those poor people? Who was angry with the French in the first place? Kagame and the RPF-the real criminals-who asked everyone to demonstrate. The demonstrators destroyed the French Embassy and the French Cultural Center. Rwandans demonstrated once before when ICTR prosecutor Carla Del Pointe went there. She was investigating RPF crimes also and wanted to try them at the ICTR. Why is it that Rwandans are only demonstrating when an international person is doing something the RPF doesn’t like?The way the country is run where people become so frustrated…they are in constant fear and terror. They are terrorized because they must do whatever the RPF tells them. During elections, people have to stand in line and vote one after another. The way it works, you have to go and stand behind the box of the person you are voting for, so everybody knows it. If you do not do this, your vote is lost and in some places, if you don’t vote RPF, the soldiers will ask you to go and vote again, this time for the RPF. In the same way, during demonstrations, you cannot stay at home because the abakada go to every house to see who is still at home. Anyone who is at home is threatened, “We will remember you.” Nobody can say no, yet most Rwandans who are protesting do not know who Brugière is at all. If the warrant was something that really had no basis, why does the RPF refuse to go and testify to clear their names? Why does Paul Kagame refuse to testify? He knows he has killed people. Those nine people could go to a French judge and explain what they did, but they don’t. Why not if they are innocent?For the French, it was about the French crew members who died in the plane with Habyarimana. When the Libyans shot that plane down years ago, Gaddafi turned over those who committed the crime. Why doesn’t Paul Kagame do the same? If the international community ever approaches him with criminal charges, he will threaten to use ordinary Rwandans who had nothing to do with it, like in these demonstrations.9

    DB: In closing, I want to leave it open to you for any comments you may have about anything. Is there anything at all you would like to say, any focused message you would like to give or something you want to add?

    JCN: What I want to say concerns the attitude of the American and British administrations before, during, and after the massacres in my country. The U.S. administration refused to intervene while Rwandans were getting killed. The administration refused to investigate when the American tourists were killed in the Congo by the RPF. The U.S. refused to investigate when Dian Fossey was killed. Inquires should be taken seriously by the powerful democratic countries. They should try to help us so all Rwandans can finally be free. There is no other way these nations can apologize to us for what happened other than by giving us freedom from these criminals. We need justice. To apologize to Rwandans, the international community must send the RPF to justice. We cannot accept anything else. I listen to how my kids talk about wanting to go to America, but at the same time, they are in exile because somebody in the White House helped the RPF kill their uncle and other people they loved. It’s an embarrassing situation for me as a father. It’s shameful and I get angry because I know the United States can still help us go home to a place where we won’t be killed or oppressed. Paul Kagame is killing his own people, even today. He’s killing and destroying everybody and now he’s blackmailing those who helped him, saying, “If you don’t do this for me, I’m going to tell everybody how you helped me take power,” or “If you don’t do this, I will do that.” Please don’t wait for Paul Kagame to kill more people. Now is the right time to listen to me as a Rwandan who honestly likes Americans. Please help us so we can have a free country to organize a democratic society. Rwandans will not cut ties with Americans after the RPF leaves. We know so many of you were not told the truth about what happened in my country. It is not the fault of the whole country, just those people in the administration who aided the RPF.That’s it. That’s what I wanted to say. For me personally, I want to see my kids raised back home in Rwanda. I want to see everybody’s kids grow up without being incriminated by what happened in 1994, or by what somebody says their parents did in 1994. We have to respect each other and we have to respect our ethnicity. We can’t be afraid of our neighbors. We cannot live that way. Please help those of us who can’t go back to help rebuild our country. We need support and it is possible. Thank you very much.

    David Barouski is an African Affairs researcher focused on Central Africa and a Political Science student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He is a regular contributor to ZNet/ZMagazine. His work has also appeared in Waheen Online, the Somaliland Times, Golis News, Congo Vision, and the Congo Panorama. He authored the book, “Laurent Nkundabatware, his Rwandan Allies, and the ex-ANC Mutiny: Chronic Barriers to Lasting Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” and he traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda in 2006. He can be contacted at BarouD@hush.com.

    Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana is a Rwandan national from the Jenda (Nyabihu District) of the former Ruhengeri Prefecture. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Moscow University and is a former Professor at the High Institute of Management and Computing in Gisenyi. He is the author of “A Compendium of RPF Crimes,” “Hutus: Victims of Verbal Indoctrination,” and several other articles available at info-Burundi.net. He currently lives in exile.

    Footnotes

    1 Note: One fairly recent example of this occurred in January 2007, when the Ministry of Justice released eight thousand prisoners. (“Rwanda Announces Upcoming Release of 8,000 Prisoners,” Hirondelle News Agency. 25 January 2007.)

    2 Note: Hundreds of Rwandans fled the gacaca courts for the Congo during the first two weeks April 2007. In June 2005, nearly ten thousand Rwandans fled to Burundi for the same reason. (“Hundreds of People Fleeing the Gacaca Tribunal Towards the RDC,” Hirondelle News Agency. 17 April 2007.)

    3 Note: At the time this interview was conducted, Mr. Wolfowitz had not yet resigned from the World Bank.

    4 “Rwanda 1994: More than Genocide.” Christian Davenport, Allan Stam. University of Maryland. http://www.umd.edu/features/rwanda.html; http://www.geodynamics.com.

    5 Note: President Melchior Ndadaye was assassinated at the Muha Barracks by Tutsi Armed Forces of Burundi (FAB) soldiers from the 11th Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and the 1st and 2nd Parachute Battalions (led by Chief-of-Staff Colonel Jean Bikomagu and former Burundian President, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza) on 20 October 1993. Journalist Charles Onana uncovered documents from the International Christian Democrat stating they were warned on 18th October about the coup attempt and informed them General Paul Kagame was in Bujumbura travelling on a Burundian passport during the days leading up to the assassination. He reportedly met with outgoing President Pierre Buyoya and blessed the coup. Paul Baril was hired to investigate the coup threats and he reportedly concluded the RPA was actively involved. However, as a French mercenary involved in Operation Turquoise, Mr. Baril’s potential bias against the RPA should be noted. (Onana, Charles. “Les Secrets de la Justice Internationale.” English Translation. Paris, France: Editions Duboiris. 2005; Brugière, Jean-Louis. “The Report by French Anti-Terrorist Judge Jean-Louis Brugière on the Shooting Down of Rwandan President Habyarimana’s Plane on 6 April 1994.” Article 45. English Translation. 17 November 2006.)

    6 Note: Mr. Buyoya, a Hima, became Burundi’s President again in 1996. He received his military training in Europe and he is now a visiting fellow at Brown University in Rhode Island, U.S.A. The term “Hima” in this context, refers to a sub-group of Tutsi hailing from Southern Burundi.

    7 Note: Shortly after Rwanda severed ties with France following the release of Judge Brugière’s arrest warrants, Chairman Rajab Hussein visited President Kagame at Village Urugwiro and told him, “I am here to assure the President of our government’s support at this time when relations (between Rwanda and France) are not good.” (“Burundi backs Rwanda on France,” Robert Mukombozi. The New Times. 30 November 2006.)

    8 Note: In late August 2006, former Hutu President Domitien Ndayizeye was arrested by the Burundian Government and charged with plotting a coup that included a plan to assassinate President Nkurunziza, the Secret Service Chief, and several military officials. Some of the journalists and radio personalities who reported on his detention were accosted and thrown into jail on claims they were threatening public order. Suspected rebel leader Alain Mugabarabona said he was tortured by the Documentation Nationale (Burundi’s Presidential Guard and police force) and forced to implicate Mr. Ndayizeye in the plot. (“Burundi’s Ex-President in Court,” BBC News. 25 August 2006.)The case took an interesting turn in late December 2006 when prosecutor Gaudence Ndayizeye said D. Ndayizeye and Mr. Mugabarabona met with General Laurent Nkundabatware, General James Kabarebe, and General Salim Saleh to plan the coup. He called the group the “Club of Kampala” and said their aim was to get a sympathetic rebel group in power (led by Mugabarabona) that would allow Burundi to be used as a rear base for General Nkundabatware to attack the Congo with the help of Rwanda and Uganda. (“Guerre à l’Est : Voici Comment est Aidé Nkunda pour Attaquer la RDC : Révélation sur un Réquisitoire,” DigitalCongo 3.0. English Translation. 23 December 2006. http://www.digitalcongo.net/article/39809.) Rwandan military officials denounced the allegations as unfounded and baseless.Burundi’s Tutsi Minister of Defense General Germain Niyoyankana denied there was ever any coup plot and claimed the Army’s intelligence division had neither received nor observed any indications of such a plot. In the end, Mr. Ndayizeye, former Vice President Alphonse Marie Kadege, FAB officer Damien Ndarisigaranye, lawyer Isidore Ruyikri, and politician Deo Niyonzima were acquitted of all charges on 15 January 2007. Mr. Mugabarabona was sentenced to 20 years and Tharcisse Ndayishimiye, who admitted attending meetings with the accused, was sentenced to 15 years.

    9 Note: The ICTR ruled they have no jurisdiction to try President Kagame and other RPF/RPA officials accused of committing crimes in 1994. The Rwandan Government has asked the International Court of Justice to overturn the warrant. In particular, General Charles Kayonga and General Jack (Jackson) Nkurunziza (Nziza) claim the warrant has restricted them to the point they can no longer carry on the duties their respective jobs require.

Comments are closed.