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Acts of violence and killings targeting the Tutsi in the first Republic (1962-1973): acts committed against the Tutsi in 1962 in Cyangugu Prefecture

As stated in the study conducted by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) on the history of the Genocide against the Tutsi in former Cyangugu Prefecture, after Rwanda had gained independency on July 1, 1962, the first Republic headed by president Kayibanda was put in place. On November 24, 1962, a constitution endorsing Rwanda as a Republic founded on democracy (articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10) and laws that would respect human rights in accordance with international laws was adopted. What is shocking indeed is that, since the instauration of the Republic, the legal provisions in relation to respect of human rights were never implemented because the Tutsi continued to be harassed and killed , simply because they were Tutsi.

In 1962, PARMEHUTU had already manifested itself as well established; it established a militia called “abajenesi” composed by its younger partisans. The youthful militia appeared to have been given the mission to destabilize the Tutsi, attacking them in their homes, beating them and looting their properties. During those abhorring acts, the youth were always beating drums singing in day time “Mort! Mort! Mort!sasa tunakuja!”, (death !death !death! Now we are coming) to show that they would kill whoever would try to interfere with them as they compared themselves with death.

They were always characterized by acts of violence perpetrated against the Tutsi. They beat everyone on the spot in the families they entered and killed whoever would not give a collateral. To save their lives, the Tutsi offered to them cows or money so they could leave.


Click here to read the findings of the study: