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June 20, 1994: preparations for the destruction of tutsi in Bisesero and launching of the “operation insecticide”


In June 1994, in Kibuye Prefecture, as well as in many other parts of the country, massacres had taken place and very few Tutsi were still being discovered in their hiding. In Kibuye, the remaining Tutsi were in Bisesero. There have been decisions by the Government, the Kibuye Prefecture and the Armed Forces to bring together the forces and equipment to kill the Tutsi who were still defending themselves in Bisesero against the Interahamwe.


There are documents which show how Kibuye was especially targeted by the genocide under the Government’s willpower. The fact that the Genocide was carried out everywhere except in Bisesero till June 1994 where there was still resistance, called the attention of all government agencies.

There are two (2) letters of the Prefect Clement KAYISHEMA dated 09/06/1994 and 12/06/1994 to the Minister of Interior and Communal Development, Edouard KAREMERA who was from Kibuye in the former Mwendo Commune, requesting to carry out what he called “ratissage” that is hunting or elimination; in the Bisesero Sector where Tutsi were still alive.

In his response on June 20, 1994, Minister KAREMERA wrote a letter to Prefect KAYISHEMA informing him that the Cabinet meeting held on 17/06/1994 had decided that the Commander of army in Gisenyi Military Sector, Lt Col Anatole Nsengiyumva, will send troops to assist the Gendarmery of Kibuye to attack Bisesero no later than 20/06/1994.

Minister KAREMERA reminded Prefect KAYISHEMA that after the decision of the Cabinet, he wrote to his counterpart Minister of Defense, Augustin BIZIMANA, urging him to immediately comply with the decision of the Government.

KAREMERA goes on to inform Prefect KAYISHEMA that the Minister of Defense had executed it because he had written to all the concerned military commanders on 20/06/1994 urging them to comply with the instructions. Further, KAREMERA requested Prefect KAYISHEMA to do his utmost to monitor the implementation of the operation in Bisesero, to mobilize people of Gishyita, Gisovu and Gitesi communes, and to report to Minister KAREMERA on the course of the massacre in Bisesero.

Minister KAREMERA concluded the letter of 20/06/1994, telling Prefect KAYISHEMA that the Government was ready to provide all the necessary weapons for the operation, including the protection of infrastructure such as the Gisovu Tea Factory and Karongi Electrogaz.



On 23/06/1994, Prefect KAYISHEMA wrote a letter to the Commander of the Kibuye Gendarmery, Major JABO Jean Baptiste, which he called “Security in Bisesero”. In this letter, Prefect KAYISHEMA informed Major JABO that in connection with the implementation of the content of the letter written by the Minister of interior on 20/06/1994. Regarding the attack on Bisesero, Kayishema informed him that awareness among the people of the Communes close to Bisesero had been intensified and that it had been done since the last two months of April and May, adding the statement: “As you also know” which was like showing that they both knew the plan.

A new thing mentioned by KAYISHEMA in the letter was that he told the Commander of the Kibuye Gendarmery that for the operation to exterminate Tutsi of Bisesero to start, they needed the equipments and people for support, which would come in support of the initiative implemented by the Gendarmery and the Interahamwe from Gisenyi on June 20, 1994.

KAYISHEMA went on to tell the Kibuye Gendarmery Commander that the operation needed to be monitored and carried out as soon as possible so that it could be completed without delay, so that it did not face any difficulties of not achieving its desired goal. In order to improve preparations for the massacre of Tutsi in Bisesero, soldiers from Gisenyi ordered by Lieutenant Colonel Anatole NSENGIYUMVA assisted the gendarmes in Kibuye as it had been requested by the Government.

In addition, with the help of several Interahamwe members from the special gang called TURIHOSE from Gisenyi, they joined forces with those from the Mugonero led by Obed RUZINDANA and his brother Joseph MPAMBARA and those from Cyangugu in Bugarama led by Yussuf MUNYAKAZI.

All these Interahamwe were transported by ONATRACOM Government Buses and were gathered in Gishyita market where they joined those from Kibuye, especially those from Gishyita, Gisovu and Rwamatamu Communes led by Michael MUHIMANA, Vincent RUTAGANIRA and Bourgmestres Aloys NDIMBATI of Gisovu, Charles SIKUBWABO of Gishyita, Abeli ​​FURERE of Rwamatamu, Alfred MUSEMA who ran Gisovu tea factory and others.

The killers attacked Bisesero on June 27, 1994, they destroyed the Tutsi who were still fighting the Interahamwe in the Bisesero hills. It was a three-day-long (3) attacks, and it was carried out in the eyes of French troops who had reached Bisesero as they were camping in Gishyita within three (3) kilometers of the site of the massacre in the Bisesero Mountains. More than 2,000 Tutsi from Bisesero were exterminated in just those three (3) days.


The Government meeting on June 20, 1994 considered the rapid elimination of Tutsi across the country and launched “Operation Insecticide” which started in Bigogwe. The use of the term "Insecticide" as a pesticide was to compare Tutsi like the Inyenzi, and had to be killed with insecticide as soon as possible and die as the Inyenzi are killed by such a pesticide. According to various testimonies, Operation Insecticide was assigned to a French Captain Paul BARRIL.

Operation Insecticide consisted of two parts. The first was related to the immediate extermination of the Tutsi in the country, who were considered as accomplices of the Inkotanyi, in order to prevent the Inkotanyi from finding their allies inside the country. The second which Captain BARRIL's launched in the Bigogwe military base, was to teach the military and the Interahamwe how to infiltrate in the parts of Rwanda already taken by the RPF-INKOTANYI to recapture them.

According to the NYIRAMASUHUKO diary, as part of the "Operation Insecticide", the Cabinet decided to continue to implement all the "Auto-defense civile" regulations, as announced by the Government on May 25, 1994, to increase the supply of mortar guns. 82, 105, 120 and 122 and R4 ammunitions. The Cabinet meeting also decided to find a way to fight the infiltrators in its controlled areas, and decided to do everything possible to restore the parts lost during the war.


Examples of various letters between the government and the military administration unequivocally indicate that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda was a massacre organized by the state. It is contradictory to those who deliberately deny that there is no written evidence of the preparations of the Genocide against the Tutsi. The so-called operation de ratissage in Bisesero and the Operation Insecticide were planned by the KAMBANDA government to kill Tutsi in Bisesero and elsewhere in the country, where they had not yet been killed at the end of June 1994.  They are among the evidences that the Rwandan government had issued instructions and weapons to kill Tutsi all over the country.


Done at Kigali on June 20, 2020

Dr BIZIMANA Jean Damascène

Executive Secretary

National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG)