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22/05/1994: capture of Kanombe airport and Kanombe military camp, a fatal blow for the genocidal government

On May 22, 1994, Kanombe Airport and the Kanombe military camp were taken by RPF Inkotanyi soldiers, a very important date in the RPF’s campaign against the genocide. The genocidal government nevertheless continued to massacre Tutsi in the areas it controlled.

 

1) The capture of Kanombe airport and Kanombe camp, a fatal blow to the genocidal government

On Saturday May 21, 1994, RTLM urged to "kill Dallaire". The FAR fired on UNAMIR HQ. On May 22, 1994, Kigali Airport and Kanombe camp were taken by the RPF Inkotanyi who chased away the killers. The capture of the Kanombe airport and military camp is one of the great successes of the campaign against genocide undertaken by the RPF Inkotanyi.

The same day Theodore Sindikubwabo wrote to President Mitterrand that his troops had withdrawn from the airport because of insufficient ammunition. He thanked him for the support "so far" and asked him for urgent help. He also phones her.

2)      Tutsi massacre at Kigeme Hospital, Nyamagabe 

Kigeme Hospital is located in Nyamagabe District, Gasaka Sector in Kigeme Cell. On April 7, 1994, the killers started to massacre Tutsi in Mudasomwa Commune.  Kigeme Hospital started to receive 8 wounded staff of EMUJECO in Mudasomwa and more injured people from Kitabi tea factory. On April 13, 1994, several wounded Tutsi from Rukondo commune, where the Tutsi had taken refuge at ADEPR Maheresho, started to arrive at the hospital. The injured people were so many that the hospital was obliged to call back staff who were on leave as well as students from the Groupe Scolaire Kigeme who were doing internship to help the injured.

During that time, although those who were injured were helped, some of them were taken away secretly to be killed after being treated. In addition, there was a car that used to come at night and take Tutsi who had been brought in for treatment and falsely claimed to have taken them to Murambi to keep their security but they were killed at Mwumba roadblock.

On May 22, 1994, on Pentecost day at around 6 am, Interahamwe attacks from Mudasomwa, center of Kigeme, Gatyazo and other places came.  They carried Tutsi who were still alive along with their caterers and some Tutsi doctors who worked there and took them near the hospital’s kitchen to be killed. Those who survived were hidden in the corners and under the beds, especially in the private rooms because the attackers did not enter inside.

After killing them, Prefect Bucyibaruta Laurent accompanied by Bourgmestre Semakwavu and Captain Sebuhura Faustin came. Those who survived the attack were taken in a car to Murambi where many Tutsi were killed and among those taken there were injured people with wounds and yet they knew that they would not get doctors there or food.

So far the victims killed in the hospital with their identities are about 29 but the death toll is more than that because the identities of injured people who were brought on a daily basis were not known.

Those who were involved in the killings included Twagiramungu Edson, who was the director of the hospital, Philip, who was a businessman in the center of Kigeme,  Zimbabwe was the driver of the Anglican Archbishop Kayumba Normand, Gasana venuste was a businessman, Kamugi Christophe, Mukono son of Karamage, Kibuye, Munyentwari Rodrigue, Mutiganda Evariste, Ngoga of Gasarenda, Mbiligi, Munyenkware, who was sentenced by the Gacaca and died in Prison, Minani, Nyiraneza, some of the guards  who include Karuranga David, the Interahamwe and the Hutu population.

1)      Tutsi massacre at Nyamirembe - CND, Kamonyi

In early May, the killers came up with a plan to kill people who had not yet been killed and then said that peace was restored and that they would no longer kill women and girls because they had no race. At that time, many Tutsi, mostly women and children, came out of hiding, from their homes and bushes for about two weeks and some started to carry out household activities in the homes of their hosts, others started going to Kayenzi church.

The killers gathered Tutsi at a place called CND at about 4 pm. Victims were first raped by all killers one by one and then KANUSU and his brother both sons of KARAGIZO suggested that there was a good way of torturing them using an ironing machine as they had done it to the Tutsi at the University of Butare.

Hence, they took ironing machines with charcoal, LINI heated them up, and started burning their private parts like the breasts, the thighs and the genitals. While burning them, they were accusing them of illegal possession of firearm and a radio which they use to communicate with Inkotanyi and that their parents used to go to Kinihira and so on.

Because of pain, some of the girls and women, like MUKAMANZI Eularia and Atharia, daughter of MUNYANKINDI, admitted that they had all of those and they first took them to Eularia's house and dug up in the garden but they could not find any gun and again took them to Atharia's home in Gaji, where they also didn’t find any.

As the killers walked with the girls that night, they were naked and the whole body was suffering from iron machine injuries. After missing the guns at Atharia's home, they decided to kill them at Munyankindi's house.  They dumped them in the Toilet at that house.

Some of the victims at the scene were identified as MUKAMANZI Eularie, Atharia, KANAKUZE, MUKANYONGA, Rosette and others.

Many Tutsi were killed that day but the above mentioned ones were very tortured. The perpetrators included KANUSU and his brother and LINI were in a big attack but those were at the forefront.

 

CONCLUSION

The genocide against the Tutsi was planned and carried out by the government. That plan continued to be implemented across all zones under the criminal Government’s control.

 

 

Done at Kigali on May 22, 2020

 

Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascène

Executive Secretary

National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)