Share Button

DOCTORS, NURSES AND MEDICAL STAFF ROLE IN THE GENOCIDE: NORTHERN, WESTERN AND EASTERN PROVINCES

Hundreds of Tutsi have been killed in hospitals and health centers across Rwanda, and many have been killed by doctors and other staff working at hospitals and clinics. After the Genocide, the perpetrators of the Genocide escaped justice. For some of them, the Prosecutor General's Office issued arrest warrants and are now wanted by Interpol. Sadly, all those who went abroad disguised themselves and continued their medical work in the countries where they had taken refuge.


We have published a list of doctors and nurses who have been involved in the genocide in Butare city, currently in Huye District and those who worked in the Southern Province. In this document we highlight the role of some of the doctors and nurses who were working in hospitals, health centers, clinics and health structures in the Northern Province, the Eastern Province and the Western Province.

 

I.                   HOSPITALS

 

1)      Ruhengeri Hospitals, Musanze

 

Dr Birihanze Gervais: He was the director of the hospital. Together with Dr Bigirankana Aloys, they led the act of searching for Tutsi who had taken refuge in Ruhengeri Hospital, handing them to Interahamwe to kill them, including the death of Nzitabimfura Paul and others who had survived the massacre at the Ruhengeri Court of Appeal.

Dr Birihanze Gervais was sentenced to fifteen (15) years imprisonment by the Gacaca Court of Kabaya Sector, Ruhengeri Town on 18/04/2007. Now out of prison after serving his sentence, he has returned to normal life.

Dr Bigirankana Aloys: He was born in 1952 in the former Cyeru commune of Rugendabari Sector, now in Burera District. He completed his secondary education at Shyira, Gahini and Mburabuturo in the College Officiel de Kigali (COK) where he graduated in 1973, and immediately continued medicine studies at the University of Rwanda in Butare. He worked at CHK until 1982 when he went to study in Dakar (Senegal), he returned to Rwanda in 1986 as a surgeon. Prior to the genocide he had been a member of the CDR. He was among those who were given a gun.

After the genocide he worked at CHUK and taught at Gitwe University until he was summoned to Gacaca. He was initially sentenced to twenty-six (26) years in prison but appealed. On 18/04/2007, the Kabaya Sector Court of Appeal, Ruhengeri Town, sentenced him to sixteen (16) years imprisonment after he was convicted of killing patients and wounded survivors of the genocide in the Court of Appeal of Ruhengeri including Nzitabimfura Paul who was killed in surgical service led by himself.

He was also confirmed to be the one who ordered the search for so-called "Inyenzi" meaning Tutsi in Ruhengeri Hospital. He is serving his sentence in Musanze Prison.

 

2)      Kiziguro Hospital, Gatsibo

Dr Rwamakuba Emmanuel was mentioned to have participated in the attacks in Kiziguro area including that on April 11, 1994 at the parish. The Tutsi who had taken refuge by the Priests’ place were thrown into a pit of about thirty (30) meters depth.  On 07/12/2007, the Gacaca Court of Agakomeye Cell, Kiziguro Sector (Gatsibo) convicted the doctor of genocide crime, which included controlling the massacre at Kiziguro Catholic Parish, throwing Tutsi alive in the pit, torturing and mocking corpses. The court sentenced him in absentia to thirty (30) years after he escaped.

 

There were also two nurses from the hospital, Mutabazi Cyprien and Gatsinzi, who collaborated with Dr Rwamakuba Emmanuel.


3)      Kibungo Hospital, Ngoma


Dr Karangwa Amuri pleaded guilty and was sentenced on 08/08/2006 by the Gacaca Court of Kibungo sector for twelve (12) years in prison. In particular, Sindano Emmanuel from Burundi was famous in the killings in Kibungo hospital, Cyasemakamba and in Economat G
énéral of Kibungo Catholic Diocese, setting up roadblocks and controlling them to choose Tutsi to be killed.

At Kibungo hospital, there were also nurses Bizimana Déogratias and Ruzindana Déogratias who participated in the killing of patients, participated in the attacks and mobilized the population to kill Tutsi.

On 23/10/2007, he was sentenced by the Gacaca Court of Karenge Cell, Kibungo Sector, Ngoma District, to 30 years in prison in absentia because as soon as the genocide was stopped he fled to Burundi, his home country.

 

4)      Rwinkwavu Hospital, Kirehe


Dr Bizimungu Charles
was the director of Rwinkwavu Hospital during the Genocide. He was involved in the killing and handing over of Tutsi who had taken refuge in the hospital, including the family of Muramutsa, and another man killed at Mpirindi after being handed over to Interahamwe by Dr Bizimungu Charles.  On 15/11/2007, the Gacaca Court of Cyabajwa II, Rwinkwavu Sector, sentenced him to fifteen (15) years in prison and he completed his sentence. He lives in Gicumbi District where he was born.

 

5)      Rwamagana Hospital, Rwamagana

Dr Ngongo Gabriel from Burundi was a member of the CDR extremist group. The 1994 genocide took place shortly after he had left Rwamagana, but he is said to be one of the organizers of the killings in the area, although the Gacaca Courts in Rwamagana District did not see him for trial.

 

6)      Mibilizi Hospital, Rusizi

Two nurses from the hospital, Ndagijimana Gérard and Habimana Léon, were convicted by the Gacaca Courts for their involvement in the genocide, including the killing of Tutsi at the hospital and at Mibilizi Parish. They completed their sentences.

 

7)      Bushenge Hospital, Nyamasheke

At Bushenge hospital, the perpetrators of the genocide were nurses who included Kubwimana Jean Marie Vianney alias Gatuza who fled the country after the Gashirabwoba II Assembly sentenced him to thirty (30) years of imprisonment on 30/08/2007. There was also Ntambiye Anicet who was sentenced for life imprisonment with special provisions and Ngabo Théodore who died.

 

8)      Kibogora hospital, Nyamasheke

Dr Habiyeze Lawurenti was involved in the massacre at Kibogora. He was convicted of genocide by Gacaca court and sentenced to thirty (30) years imprisonment. He died in prison.

In addition, there were prominent nurses in committing the genocide at Kibogora Hospital who included: Munyarukiko Filipo who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and completed his sentence. There was also Bizimana Yohani nicknamed Gisura, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison and also completed the sentence. The two collaborated with another hospital worker called Kanyaru Asiyeli, who was sentenced to fifteen (15) years and also completed his sentence.

 

9)      Mugonero Hospital, Karongi

At Mugonero (Kibuye) the killing was led by the director of the Adventist Church Hospital, Dr Ntakirutimana Gérard who was born in Ngoma (Kibuye) in 1957. He collaborated with his brother Esdras Ntakirutimana, and their father Pastor Ntakirutimana Elizaphan who led the Mugonero Adventist Church.

He was arrested in Cote d'Ivoire on 29/10/1996 and transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha (Tanzania) on 30/11/1996. He appeared in court on 18/09/2001 and was convicted of crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity by the ICTR. He was sentenced to twenty-five (25) years in prison.

Dr Ntakirutimana Gérad was sent to Cotonou, Benin to be imprisoned and the sentence was supposed to be completed in October 2021 but the Judge Theodor Meron released him on 29/04/2014 before he completes his sentence. He had been incarcerated in the United Nations prison since June 27, 2009 and was due to complete his sentence in October 2021.

 

10)  Kibuye hospital, Karongi

 
Dr Twagira Charles
was the director of Kibuye Health District (Région sanitaire) transferred from Kabaya Hospital at the time of the multi-party recognition in Rwanda. He was convicted of genocide in Kibuye, Gacaca Court of Bwishyura sentenced him to life imprisonment.

He arrived in France in 2006 and began to be prosecuted by the French courts in 2014. At the time, he was a doctor at Paul DoumerHospital where he was suspended from his post in 2018.

Dr Kayishema Clément became famous for killing when he was the prefect of Kibuye. He was born in Gitesi (Kibuye) Commune in the current Bwishyura Sector (Karongi) in 1954. He worked at Kibuye Hospital from 1992 when he was appointed as Kibuye Prefect until 1994. He was the leader of all the killings that took place in the former Kibuye Prefecture.

On 12/06/1994 he personally wrote to the Minister of Defense requesting military equipment to train the youth in an effort to strengthen the Interahamwe while planning to kill in Bisesero.  He fled to Zaire and was arrested in Zambia on 02/05/1996 and was taken to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

On May 21, 1999, Dr Kayishema was sentenced to life imprisonment in a case involving Obed RUZINDANA, who was also known for the massacre, and was sentenced to twenty-five years (25). Dr Kayishema appealed, but on June 1, 2001, the Appeal Chamber upheld his earlier conviction. He died in the United Nations Prison in Mali on 29/10/2016 due to HIV/AIDS.

Eliane Mukahirwa was a nurse famous in the killings at the hospital and at Gatwaro stadium. She killed Tutsi children who had been taken to Kibuye Hospital, including four children of Kabagwiza Caritas and Jean Berchmans Rwakabayiza, a customs officer in Kigali but whose children had been taken to his father-in-law's house in Kibuye Town to seek refuge.

 

11)  Kirinda Hospital, Karongi

Dr Kamanzi Antoine was the director of Kirinda Hospital. He is one of the leaders of the massacre at Kirinda Hospital and the School of Nursing, where they killed Tutsi and threw them in Nyabarongo. On 28/10/2008, the Shyembe (Karongi) Gacaca Court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment with special provisions.

Dr Nkurunziza Edouard was a Burundian, who was also a doctor at Kirinda Hospital during the genocide against the Tutsi. On 13/09/2007, the Shyembe Cell Gacaca Court sentenced him to 30 years in prison on charges of participating in the attacks and the killing of a Tutsi who had fled to Kirinda from Kaduha.

 

12)  Gisenyi Hospital, Rubavu

Dr Zirimwabagabo CharlesaliasGakara was the prefect of Gisenyi between September 1993 and December 1994. He was involved in the preparation and implementation of the genocide in the former Gisenyi Prefecture. He was convicted by the Gacaca Courts and sentenced to life imprisonment.

In collaboration with a group of killers including Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva, Bernard Munyagishali and others, had formed the Gisenyi city assassination squad called "Intarumikwa". Dr Zirimwabagabo was the 2nd Vice President of the extremist group of the Liberation Party (P.L. power) led by Justin Mugenzi (President), Agnes Ntamabyaliro (1st Vice President) and Emmanuel Rwagasana (the General Secretary).

 

Dr Ndererimana Védaste was the director of Gisenyi Hospital born from Ruhengeri. He was convicted of genocide crimes carried out in Gisenyi Town and sentenced to life imprisonment by ordinary courts before the Gacaca Courts started their work. He died in prison.

There were also nurses who worked at Gisenyi Hospital in collaboration with their leader Dr Ndererimana Vedaste to kill Tutsi. These are Nkundabanyanga Fidele, Mukarugaba Christiane popularly known as Vumbura who was born in Rusizi District and completed the sentence of twelve (12) years and Sindayikengera Fabien who was sentenced to nineteen (19) years imprisonment and escaped justice.

 

 

13)  Muhororo Hospital, Ngororero

 

Dr Mugiraneza Frédéric: was the Chief Medical Officer of Muhororo Hospital and a prominent member of CDR political party, the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic – CDR, of Hutu extremists. He was the first to raise the CDR flag at Muhororo.

Nteziryayo Jean Baptiste nicknamed Solide: he worked at Muhororo Hospital as a medical assistant before becoming the Bourgmestre of Kibilira Commune. He was born in Rongi sector, now in Muhoro Sector, Ngororero District. He was involved in the massacre of Tutsi in Kibilira between 10 and 15/10/1990, when the liberation struggle started as he was the Bourgmestre of Kibilira commune.

HABYALIMANA's government ruled that he was a killer and removed him from leading the commune on 17/10/1990 and imprisoned him with others who included Ndayambaje. NTEZIRYAYO was detained for a few months and returned to work at Muhororo Hospital. Gacaca courts did not try him because he had been placed in the first category.

 

II.                HEALTH CENTERS

1)      Rwankeri, Adventist Church Health Center ", Nyabihu

The Adventist Church health center in Rwankeri was in the former Nkuli commune, currently in Nyabihu district. The former mayor of Nkuli, Matthias Mpiranya, who exterminated the Tutsi in this commune in 1991, lived 200 meters from this health center. The ex-mayor of Mukingo, Kajelijeli Juvénal also had his usual residence 1 kilometer away. The former minister and secretary general of the MRND, the mastermind of the genocide in this region also had his residence there. Other genocidaires such as Colonel Ephrem Setako lived in the vicinity of the Rwankeri health center.

Several extremist pastors and incumbents of this health center followed one another until the arrival of Kanyabukamba, who came from Mudende University. The Tutsi massacre was carried out between 1991 and 1994.

Kanyabukamba formed a group of killers including: Ndekezi, the director of the Rwankeri Adventist College, he fled to Canada, Nzarora who taught at the college, he lives in Uganda and many of the staff at the health center. Several people were killed, including Pastor Mutabazi and his son Havugimana, Pastor Kanamugire, Doctor Masabo, as well as the family of Pastor Rwakana.

On April 7, 1994, Colonel Ephrem Setako came to Rwankeri and executed before the Interahamwe, Pastor Semisabike, a Hutu married to a Tutsi woman who was trying to save his wife. After this gesture, Kanyambukamba and the other militiamen continued the killings in Rwankeri and its surroundings.

Nzirorera Joseph died in detention in Arusha where he was prosecuted for the crime of genocide, Col Setako was found guilty by the ICTR and sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment, he died in detention, Kajelijeli Juvenal was found guilty genocide by the ICTR and sentenced to 45 years' imprisonment, he is serving his sentence in Mali, Mpiranya Matthias died before being prosecuted.

After the genocide, Kanyabukaba left Rwanda and is said to have fled to Nigeria after Zaire. There he would have continued his studies. Several other genocidaires who worked in Adventist church institutions in Mudende and Rwankeri have fled to the United States and Canada.

2)      Murambi, Rulindo 

MUKARWEGO Verediyana was a nurse. She was born in Kabuye, Gasabo District in 1966 and attended high school at the Kabgayi School of Nursing, where she graduated in 1989 and started her career at Murambi Health Center in the former Mugambazi Commune.

On 28/10/2008, the Gacaca Court, Kabuye Assembly sentenced her to nineteen (19) years in prison on appeal for the murder and cutting off a man called Ntigurirwa. She is detained in Ngoma Prison. Her husband, Mutsindashyaka Placide who also committed genocide, completed his sentence of nineteen years in prison (19).

3)      Shyorongi, Rulindo

Uzamukunda Joséphine was a nun from the Penitentes de Saint Francois congregation who treated patients at Shyorongi health center where she was born. She was convicted of genocide crime, imprisoned and carried out TIG in Rusiga/Rulindo and she has returned to the convent.

4)      Nyange, Ngoma 

HABIMANA Laurent: in 1994 he was the Deputy Director of Nyange Health Center at his home in the former Mugesera Commune. He graduated from the School of Nursing in Kigali (EAM) and graduated from high school in 1983.  From then he worked at various health centers such as Kirehe and Nyamugali in Kirehe District now, Rukoma and Nyange in Ngoma District.

He was imprisoned in 1997 for genocide crimes when he had returned from exile in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was first tried in 2000 by the Kibungo Court of First Instance and sentenced to life in prison for genocide crime. When Gacaca Courts began, he was tried by Mugesera Sector Assembly and Gatare assembly of Appeal, and the sentence remained the same. Despite the completion of the Gacaca Courts, the review was pending. He is serving his sentence in Rwamagana Prison.

5)      Congo Nil, Rutsiro

Twagirayezu Denis was convicted of genocide crime which he carried out at Congo Nil Catholic Parish.  He collaborated with Father Gabriel Maindron and Father Urbain Twagirayezu.

 

6)      Kinunu, Rutsiro 

Mbarushimana Ephrem committed genocide crime at Kinunu Catholic Parish. He was born in the former Kayove Commune (Gisenyi) and fled justice.

 

 

7)      Nyundo, Rubavu

The health center had a number of prominent nurses in the killings: A nun of the Abenebikira congregation called Sister Celine Bamporiki played a significant role in the killing of some of the Nyundo Tutsi assisted by Father Edouard Nturiye nicknamed Simba. Sister Céline, who died in Musanze prison in 2018, was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Nyiranzubahimana Laurence fled to Uganda before the completion of the judgment. She is the wife of Nkundabanyanga Fideli, a nurse at Gisenyi Hospital who also killed Tutsi. There was also Libonande Anastase who also fled and KanyarengwePatirisiya, who worked in the maternity room at Nyundo.

Other Nyundo perpetrators of the genocide were social workers Bendantarama Agathe and Dusabemariya Patricie. Both had studied in a social work school in Karubanda (Huye) and both are being detained in Musanze Prison.

Bendantarama Agathe was born in 1958 in the former commune of Ruhondo, now in Musanze District. When she returned from exile in Congo, she worked at an orphanage of Nyundo from 1997 to 2009 and was imprisoned for genocide crimes. Nyarugunga Assembly (Kanombe) sentenced her to 30 years in prison.

Dusabemariya Patricie was born in Mutura commune (Rubavu district) in 1960. From exile in Congo in 1996, she returned to work at the Ecole d’Art de Nyundo from 2001   until her incarceration in 2009. She has been charged with several crimes of genocide which included murder, persecution of Tutsi, participation in genocide preparation meetings, inciting people to carry out genocide at Nyundo and the surroundings. She was sentenced for life imprisonment and she is known for Kanyankiko nickname in prison.

 

8)      Rambura, Nyabihu


Ngaboyisonga Felicien was a nurse at Rambura Health center, he was sentenced in absentia by the Gacaca Court of Cyahafi, Nyarugenge District for thirty years imprisonment (30) after convicting him with the killing of three (3) priests of Rambura Parish and looting of the Parish’s belongings which included a car and money.

Conclusion

This list shows that among those who were in charge of treating people, deceived the standards of their profession. It also shows how the genocide against the Tutsi was a supernatural crime where doctors and nurses quit their careers of protecting lives and chose to kill.

The CNLG calls on the countries hosting these doctors and nurses who committed genocide, and has given them the job of treating people, to suspend them from the medical profession and to remove them from the list of doctors and nurses who are allowed to practice medicine and to be brought to justice as soon as possible.

CNLG commends all those who continue to take part in this international justice campaign so that the perpetrators of the genocide who fled the country can be held accountable for their actions.

 

Done at Kigali on May 16, 2020

 

Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascène

Executive Secretary

National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)