Why Paul kagame should be in the ICC with Bosco Ntaganda

paul kagame

To most Congolese, the sidelining of  the”Terminator” will not change anything on the ground-in terms of security. Especially as Bosco Ntaganda was a pawn in the banditry cartel of Rwanda and Uganda. So, the real sponsors of insecurity in the region are still at large – that is to say their ability to murder,rape,plunder,enslavement,displacement and enlisting child soldiers, is still very intact.

Many people within the Rwandan community have listened to this testimony including, dictator Paul kagame’s former inner circle such as;
1.Jerome Nayigiziki
2. Gervais Condo
3. Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa
4. Dr. Gerald Gahima
5. Jonathan Musonera
6. Col. Patrick Karegeya
7. Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
8. Joseph Ngarambe
9. Dr Emmanuel Hakizimana
10.Jean Paul Turayishimye
Why this testimony is genuine, it was aired by a blog radio owned by them and non has disputed the content of the testimony.

“I’ll give you my testimony about what happened in the Congo, where I was a soldier of the RPA, (now known as the RDF, Rwandese Defense Force, before being assigned to the DMI (Directorate of Military Intelligence). At the time, we were sent to kill the refugees in Kisangani at the command of Captain Shema of the DMI and Lieutenant Frank Bashimake. In their escape the refugees walked on the roads until Kisangani, and when arrived at Kigangani, they were blocked by the river; it’s there that they perished. I will tell you about what occurred there, Rwandan friends”, declared the former DMI member who recognizes himself as a former RPF killer, now a refugee in Europe, and who did not want to reveal his name or address for his safety and that of his family. He delivered his story in Kinyarwanda on Itahuka radio on Saturday February 9th . Radio Itahuka is a web radio founded by the platform of the Rwandan National Congress (RNC), a platform initiated and directed by old personalities of the RPF, formerly close to Paul Kagame.

A refugee transformed into a killer

Born in Rutshuru in Eastern Congo, this former DMI is a descendant of the former Tutsi refugees driven out of Rwanda in 1959. He joined the rebellion of the RPF in 1993, a year before the victory of the movement on the Habyarimana’s reign. Shortly after, he was assigned to the infamous DMI (Directorate of Military Intelligence), the Rwandan military intelligence agency indicted for its role in the execution of thousands of Rwandans and foreigners.

“”I want to give my testimony on Rwandan leaders in general and what they have done since the RPF launched the war of liberation. I’ll tell you because it makes me very sick at heart and that is what pushed me into exile again”, he said.

Objective: to liquidate any Hutu on Congolese soil

“We attacked and massacred Rwandans brutally and in unimaginable ways, the one who commanded us and who, on his turn, was under the command of General Paul Kagame and Jacques Nziza, asked for all Hutu refugees on Congolese soil to be assassinated and they further announced that those who refuse to do so will be executed on the spot. (…) Among my colleagues there were some who were executed because they refused to obey orders. “We put refugees fleeing Tingi-Tingi NDRL a refugee camp) in trucks and sent them off to several places: we led some of them on the other side of the river, a place they called “left bank”. Thousands and thousands were massacred there. Another place is Devansende, it is within 59 kilometers of the town of Kisangani: in this place we massacred several thousands of people. We had dug holes where we threw the bodies, we did not make any distinction: children, women and aged people, everyone had to go because the orders were to kill every Hutu on Congolese soil. We employed all means that were at our disposal: bullets, agafuni (used hoes), plastic bags over their heads, tying their hands behind their backs, etc…..”, he continued.

“We killed until we were exhausted. Some refugees were even dying of hunger. Captain Shema told us that we tired ourselves for our country. ’There are many of them.If we do not eradicate them they will come back to chase us out of the country’, he liked to repeat.This witness also sheds light on the perpetrated massacres in Mbandaka, in the area of the Equateur: “On the left bank of Mbandaka, we also massacred a lot of people, because refugees were stuck there, they could no longer move. Religious individuals who tried to intervene suffered the same fate on their turn. After their death, we pillaged their vehicles and later used them to transport and burn the bodies.

“People whom we massacred were all civilians. For example, in Rafasenti, we made the refugees believe that we were going to bring them back to Rwanda. We made them get into several trucks, especially the men, and more than 4000 of them were loaded. They were all killed on the same day.

“Those who escaped death are those who were picked up by the UNHCR from the forests. They are the only ones who were able to escape us. (…) Our criminal activities proceeded from 1997 up to 1998 when Laurent Kabila asked us to leave”, the former agent of the DMI specified.

Leave no trace

According to the witness, every effort was made ​​in order to not leave any traces of these massacres, because the international community was already following the situation of these refugees. “We had dug pits in the surroundings of the city of Kisangani; everything was well-planned and highly driven by General Paul Kagame. Bodies piled up in these mass graves as the cubic meters of firewood. At the top we covered the graves with tarps, this allowed us to easily open and put other bodies in.Once the holes filled we would burn them. Each night we used motor boats to carry the ashes and throw them in the Zaire River (Congo River). Throughout what we did, we were ordered not to rest, it was obliged to carry out orders so we wouldn’t get executed on our turn. We were small soldiers under the orders of General Paul Kagame, General Nziza and General Kabarebe,who was our direct leader on the field. Captain Shema commanded our section’’, the witness reported.

The killers were carefully selected

According to the witness, the killers were thoroughly chosen, they were selected among Tutsis from Congo, because according to him, the command of the APR did not trust Tutsis from Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania to carry out this mission which was to be fast, well made and especially discrete. The choice was made mainly on Tutsis originating from the Congo. The witness even affirmed that the guards closer to Paul Kagame, who ensure his security and property, are those coming from the Congo, because the strong man of Rwanda would not trust his compatriots from Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi.

“Before the massacres, a meeting was held in the town of Kisangani one evening, led by captain Shema, now a Major, and his assistant lieutenant Bashimake who today is Captain and chief of brigade 408 of the police force in Ruhengeri. During this meeting, we were asked a question: ‘According to you, why are you here from only one ethnic group?’ We answered: ‘We do not know anything of it’. Thus they explained us that if we were onlyTutsi, it was that we had a job todo, without specifying what it this job was . We did not know each other because we came from different battalions, (…). Captain Shema explained to us that it was the General staffthat had chosen us for this work; this is why we could not say “I refuse to do it or I am sick”. In Kigali we were selected by where we were born, our family and our country of origin”, said the witness.

Keep away unwanted witnesses

The witness also delivers his account of why his squadron was to take away witnesses, especially NGOs which were likely to take steps in order to know the ground of refugees. “We were ordered to retain the humanitarians in the town of Kisangani, if necessary to shoot at them to make them believe that certain places were dangerous. I give you the example of the Red Cross; we killed some of its members because they were obstinate to know the truth” he said.

In his opinion the humanitarians were prevented from going to the spot of the massacres before the executioners finished their work. “We contained the humanitarians in Kisangani until we transferred the bodies to 150km inside the forest to not leave evidence for the investigators. (…) Captain Shema and Lieutenant Frank Bashimake ordered us to work over 24hours without resting”. He affirms that they even fired on aircrafts of the United Nations with heavy weapons. The planes were flying over the area of the killings in an attempt to try and understand what was happening. “When we fired on a plane, it did not pass above the same zone again ” he says.

“When the United Nations started to raise suspicions on our atrocities regarding Kisangani, the press questioned Paul Kagame on the massacres which were made on the ground. The latter did nothing but deny. Kabarebe who directed the Rwandan soldiers to Congo, answered the same thing and Kabila (NDRL Joseph Kabiba, the father ) also denied the facts. They all said that no Hutu refugee was killed on the Congolese soil. We were astonished to hear that on the spot , we followed BBC all the time”.

The former soldier also gave the examples of unquestionable officials who were eliminated because they had supervised the massacres. “The regime wanted to ensure their eternal silence”. It is the same case for majors Ruzindana and Birasa, who were eliminated by the DMI and Bagire who died poisoned. “What I am sure of is that everyone who was used for the massacres went into exile or was killed after” Me too, when I left the country in March 2006, they wanted to kill me. Major Birasa, chief warrant officer Abbas who supervised the massacres in the Kami camp, lieutenant Rushoke who was known to be the cruelest of all, all of them were assassinated in the Kami camp and then transported towards Nyungwe forest ” the witness affirmed.

The massacres in Rwanda

The witness also told the radio operator Itahuka about certain cases of massacres in Rwanda to which he assisted directly or indirectly. He reconsidered the massacres which were made at the regional stadium of Ruhengeri (in the North of Rwanda) in 1998, on the orders of Gasheja who directed the battalion 408 of Ruhengeri, and Gasana, who directed brigade 408 of Ruhengeri. According to the ex-soldier, these officers picked up people from Nyakinama, Kinigi, Nyamutera and Giciye, and gathered them in the stadium of Ruhengeri. People arrived to the stadium tied up in container trucks, and then they were gradually led to the Mukamira camp to be killed. According to the witness, the bodies were transported in the same trucks towards the forest of Nyungwe in a place that they called “Icyokezo” (Kinyarwanda word meaning “grill”, to be burned there.

The former DMI agent affirmed that Nyungwe forest was useful in 1997 and 1998, as the place where they burned the bodies of the people who were killed all over Rwanda. According to him, at Kugiti Kinyoni (near Kigali) there were feared barriers. ‘’People from Ruhengeri, Kibuye, Gitarama and Butare were arrested; we looked at the origin of the person and [their] facial characteristics. We chose especially those who still had the strength to fight, it was called” guca Imbaraga Abahutu” (to discourage Hutus)”. He affirmed that this climate of terror had ended up persuading people to not take taxis because once inside, one was not sure to return, especially those who were coming from Gisenyi and Ruhengeri did not cross any barrier. They were stopped and led to camp Kami, a camp that, according to him, shelteredin its cellar a prison where people were kept before being killed. “All these massacres were coordinated and supervised by Jacques Nziza”, he said. To transport the bodies of Kami camp towards the Nyungwe forest, the witness affirmed that they used a blue Benz mark truck plundered in Congo.

Massive use of poison

The witness also evoked the cases of assassinations through poison. “There were also people who were poisoned. The market of poison was in the hands of the Indians, it is them who imported it to Rwanda to sell it to the DMI. This poison was often injected by syringe. The poison was generally used to assassinate known people of whom it was impossible to eliminate in the mass without drawing attention. This is why it were the tops graded, like captain Mutiganda and captain Burabyo who personally occupied themselves to use this method. The person to be eliminated was invited to a meeting or was approached in a festival; one waited until he was inattentive to put the poison in his glass”, affirmed the witness who said to have been in charge of a mission of eliminating a colleague himself:

«One day I was given poison to put in the milk of Sankara who was in prison at that time. I did not do it because he was a man of integrity. In his songs, he defended the rights of soldiers. . They did not know that I had not poisoned Sankara’s milk, and said to him: “you’re really lucky, you ingested poison and you’re still alive’’. »

The massacres of Tutsi refugees at Mudende

The former DMI officer also returned to the massacres of Tutsi refugees from 1959 who returned to Rwanda in 1995 after 30 years of exile in Congo. The witness was shocked that Paul Kagame and Nziza decided to eliminate them and attribute their death to the Hutu rebels (abacengezi) from Congo, while in this period, the eastern border of Congo was under the control of the new Rwandan government

Indeed, these refugees upon their return to Rwanda were installed at Mudende, not far from the university that bears the same name, and in Nkamira. “The massacres proceeded at night, in the morning all the soldiers who were guarding the camp had been recalled.” The General Munyakazi who directed brigade 211 of Gisenyi, and to who the victims reached out during the events, wanted to go to the place of the massacres to intervene but he was prevented from doing so because those who were in charge of the assassinations were the men of Kagame who came from Kigali. However, the majority of the guards who are close to Paul Kagame comprise out of sons of these assassinated people. “These guards do not know it, this is why I deliver this testimony”, declared the former agent of the DMI. “At that time, several military personnel including the relatives of the murdered that night, wanted to demonstrate, but they had to resign and return to their camps after general Kagame threatened to liquidate them all».

On October 1st , 2010, the massacres of the Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1996 and 2002 generated a report of investigation of the High Commission of the United Nations on the Human Rights, known under the name of Mapping Report. According to this document, these massacres could, if proven in front of a competent jurisdiction, be described as genocide.

Translated by Clémentine Kwitonda



  1. The Congolese government is committed to supporting the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of the crimes committed in North Kivu. The government spokesman, Lambert Mende Omalanga, said, Saturday, March 23 at Radio Okapi, referring to the violence perpetrated by armed groups in this part of the country.

    ” When these investigations are completed, we have no doubt that the office of the ICC prosecutor opened a case concerning serious matters close to Bosco Ntaganda , “said Lambert Mende responded that the transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC.
    He also expressed satisfaction that Rwanda and the United States of America have cooperated to facilitate the transfer of the deposed general of the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC).

    Meanwhile, Ida Sawyer, a researcher with the NGO Human Right Watch (HRW), is convinced that the transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC will restore the truth about many atrocities he committed in Ituri (Orientale Province). “War crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed between 2002 and 2003 while he was in the ranks of the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), Thomas Lubanga.”

    British NGO also promotes Prosecutor International Criminal Court to prosecute other crimes investigations by officers of the regular army as well as foreign armies in North and South Kivu.
    ” The transfer of Ntaganda to the ICC is a victory for all victims of atrocities committed by his men in the eastern DRC and also activists Congolese human rights which have long been documented and denounced these crimes “, welcomed Ida Sawyer in an interview with Radio Okapi.

    The NGO Human Rights Watch also expressed readiness to assist the ICC prosecutor to pursue broader inquiries into crimes committed in North and South Kivu.
    In a statement issued Saturday, March 23 by his spokesman, the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Kin-Moon is firmly convinced that the transfer of Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC will advance the cause of peace in the DRC and the fight against impunity in the region.

    He also congratulated the Governments of the United States, Rwanda and the DRC for their involvement in the rapid transfer of Bosco Ntaganda in The Hague.


  2. I and other victims of atrocities that were committed in Rwanda during the 1994 war and genocide have recently learnt with deep shock that Brigadier Kabandana is now serving as military attaché at the embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in the United States of America.

    As I outline in my testimony which is attached to this letter, Brigadier General Kabandana is one of the officers of the current army of the Republic of Rwanda who are responsible for a horrific massacre which took place at Gakurazo, Gitarama Prefecture, on June 5,1994
    The Government of the Republic of Rwanda has failed to investigate and prosecute, in good faith, the persons who were responsible for the above mentioned massacre, as the attached letter addressed to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda demonstrates. Rather bring the persons who are responsible for this particular massacre to justice, the Rwandan government has rewarded the perpetrators of the atrocity with promotions in the army hierarchy and appointment to very high public offices in Rwanda.
    Perpetrators of international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide should under any circumstances not be allowed to serve as diplomats accredited to the United States. States have an unyielding obligation under international law to punish persons in their territories who are responsible for such crimes, or to extradite them to jurisdictions that are able and willing to do so.
    The purpose of this letter is to request your Department to exercise the power vested in it by the laws of the United States of America to ensure that Brigadier Kabandana is either brought to justice for his crimes or, at the very least, barred from continued service as military attaché at Rwanda’s embassy in the United States of America.

    I would also like to put the government of the United States on notice that should Brigadier Kabandana be permitted to continue to serve in the position of military attaché at Rwanda’s embassy in the United States of America, I and some other victims of the atrocity referred to in my testimony will without doubt seek to use all available legal means to have Brigadier Kabandana brought to account for his crimes, either before the courts of the United States or the courts of other states able and willing to try the Brigadier Kabandana under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
    Esperance Mukashema

    Cc: -H.E. Barack Obama
    President of the USA
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20500
    -H.E. Leon E. Panetta
    Defense Secretary
    1400 Defense Pentagon
    Washington, DC 20301-1400
    – Human Rights Watch
    350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
    New York, NY 10118-3299

    -Amnesty International
    1 Easton Street
    WC1X 0DW, UK
    Witness Testimony on the Massacre of Bishops and other church officials by Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPA) soldiers and officers on June 5, 1994 at in Gakurazo, Rwanda .

    My name is Esperance Mukashema. I am a survivor of the Rwanda genocide. I am of Tutsi ethnicity, as were my mother and father. I was married to the late Gasana Cyprien who was also Tutsi. My late husband was killed by Interahamwe Militia members at the beginning of the Genocide.

    I miraculously survived the attacks in which most of my family perished and was able to get help in escaping to the compound of the Josephite Brothers order at Gakurazo, in the Gitarama region of Rwanda. The Josephite Brothers hosted and protected me and many other Tutsi throughout the period of the Genocide until July 1994 when the RPA, the Army of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, captured and took control of the Gitarama region.

    The following is my personal, eyewitness testimony concerning a massacre that was committed by members of the RPA at Gakurazo in which my son, Richard Sheja, was one of the victims.

    The RPA attacked and captured the town of Kabgayi on June 2, 1994. Kabgayi is a historical city well known for its religious significance. It was headquarters of the region’s Catholic Church Diocese and home of Catholic bishops, priests, nuns and brothers belonging to a wide range of religious congregations and associations with members from all genders and ages. The city is also home to many primary and secondary schools, seminaries, colleges and a major hospital. Kabgayi used to be a town that everyone considered as safe.

    At the time of the RPA’s capture of Kabgayi, there was a very large number of internally displaced people and refugees who had already sought refuge in the town. These people had fled their homes in fear of being killed. They came to Kabgayi and sought refuge in the premises of the Catholic Diocese because they believed that their proximity to the bishops would ensure their safety. Prior to the 1994 genocide, Catholic clergy had historically wielded a very strong social influence and were very respected and obeyed. Their voice carried a lot of weight. It was believed by many people that the militia responsible for the genocide in other parts of the country would not dare attack this “holy city” and fatally harm the religious leaders and members of the various religious organizations who were living in Kabgayi or the refugees who had sought shelter with them.

    What the Interahamwe militia dared not do, (attack the religious leaders and the refugees under their protection), the RPA did.

    Three bishops were present at Kabgayi at that time of its capture by the RPA: Mgr Thaddee Nsengiyumva (the Bishop of Kabgayi), Mgr. Vincent Nsengiyumva (the Archbishop of Kigali) , and Joseph Ruzindana (the Bishop of Byumba). With the bishops were a large number of other high ranking members of the clergy, including assistant bishops, priests, nuns, brothers, lay church leaders and youth leaders.

    The attack against the town of Kabgayi, was carried out by the 157th Battalion of the RPA, which was commanded by Col (now Lt. General) Fred Ibingira. Following the capture of Kabgayi, the RPA moved all the non-clergy displaced persons and refugees to the locality of Gakurazo. I and my three kids (eight year old son, six year old daughter and four year old son), had already taken refuge at Gakurazo for more than two month.

    However, the bishops, other priests and their staff were first taken to a placed called Ruhango, where they were held, under constant guard, in a house close to the municipality office.

    On June 5, 1994 the bishops and other clergy members were transferred again from Ruhango to Gakurazo, where the non-clergy had been moved to. The RPA officers told the Bishops that they were being moved to Gakurazo because Gakurazo was a clean and pleasant place befitting their status. The bishops and other clergy members arrived at Gakurazo around 12 pm under the escort of soldiers who were under the command of Major (now Brigadier General) Wilson Gumisiriza, who was assisted by, among other officers, Lieutenant Innocent Kabandana, Lieutenant Wilson Ukwishaka and Sergeant John Butera.

    Upon arrival at Gakurazo, the Bishops (under the leadership of Archbishop Vincent Nsengiyumva of Kigali Diocese led prayers in the Chapel while a Burundian priest in charge of the Novitiate made sure that there were enough rooms for accommodating the members of the clergy who had been transferred from Ruhango. During the course of the evening of that fateful day, the soldiers who had accompanied the bishops and other clergy members from Ruhango summoned the clergy members to attend a meeting in the cafeteria. The bishops and the clergy members duly complied and took seats in the cafeteria. The Vicar-General of Kabgayi, Mgr. Innocent Gasabwoya, had my son seating on his lap.

    Myself also was in the cafeteria at the beginning of what we thought was a genuine meeting. While I was stepping out of the room to take sleepy son to bed, my daughter followed us. Before I could reach the door of the cafeteria, some RPA soldiers entered and ordered the females to get out of the room immediately. On my way out, one of the soldiers suggested to also take my son Richard with me, but when I went back, Mgr Gasabwoya told me that the kid was in safe hands. Everyone else, except the bishops and the clergy, was asked to leave the cafeteria. As I was entering into my room, I heard shootings coming from the cafeteria. I heard my son yelling, calling mom for help. I returned to the cafeteria and witnessed the massacre. The RPA soldiers totally ignored my son plea and shot him in his back. All the people who had stayed in the cafeteria were shot dead by RPA soldiers. Only one priest miraculously survived the gruesome carnage.

    After the massacre, Lieutenant Ukwishaka blew a whistle calling for attention and gathered all the refugees into the courtyard. The officer told us that the massacre that had just taken place had been carried out by one soldier who wanted to revenge his own family. The officer then took us to the cafeteria to show us the bodies of the victims.

    There were bank notes of currencies from many countries (including US dollars and Rwandan Francs) spread all over the floor of the cafeteria. The bishops had apparently hidden money under their cassocks. The RPA soldiers who were at the scene ordered the Burundian priest who was in charge of the Novitiate to pick up and put together all the money that was on the floor and give it to them.

    The day after the massacre, the bodies of the victims were buried in a mass grave. It is during that time that it was reported that the French intervention mission in Rwanda (Operation Turquoise) was about to be deployed. RPA officer Kabandana came to Gakurazo again and ordered all the refugees to move to the locality of Kinazi, Gitarama. After we arrived at Kinazi, some RPA soldiers, including the above named Kabandana and Butera, came and instructed the Burundian priest, Brother Vivens, and Mgr Gasabwoya’s brother to provide them with a truck to carry certain supplies. The soldiers also took away the three men and the three were never seen again. We presumed that they were killed by Butera and Kabandana.

    Done at s’Heerenouek on February 18, 2013

    Esperance Mukashema

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