We are used to read in the newspapers and magazines that articles are the sole responsibility of their authors. For that, I answer Théobald Rutihunza, because I doubt that all the members of RIPRODHOR (Réseau International pour la Promotion et la Défense des Droits de l’Homme au Rwanda) which he claims to be the president are so obsessed to subscribe to the press release signed by him.
This reaction is written and signed by someone who was in the service of the Cyangugu Diocese from 1982 to 2002, whose boundaries coincide with those of the former Cyangugu Prefecture, to which Karengera is added (formerly Kibuye Prefecture, former Rwamatamu Commune).This witness is called Jean Ndorimana and was the vicar general of the diocese from 1988 to 2002. He knows Rutihunza well for having "collaborated" with him, when the latter was Prefect of Cyangugu.
Dear Rutihunza, after this brief introduction of myself, I would like to speak to you openly. I am convinced that, apart from a few small particularities whose exploits you praise, the history of Kinyaga does not differ in any way from that of the other regions of ancient and modern Rwanda, since monarchy to today, including the tumult of political parties established since 1957. The killings perpetrated against the Tutsi in Rwanda since 1959 have not spared Cyangugu Prefecture. Those perpetrated by the former Prefect of Cyangugu, Pascal Ngirabatware (nicknamed Gahini since then), in 1963, have nothing to envy those of the former Prefecture of Gikongoro of the same year, perpetrated by the former Prefect André Nkeramugaba. The massacres in Nyungwe forest are no different from the drownings in Mwogo, Rukarara and Mbirurume rivers.
In ordinary times, I walked all over Cyangugu. During the genocide, I covered all the events in a journalistic way and I went wherever it was possible to go. I have known, followed and lived very closely the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 which I reported on date by date, hour by hour, school by school, convent by convent, parish by parish and municipality by municipality in the Prefecture of Cyangugu; and even beyond, by radio and telephone, from April 6 until July 19. This communication was facilitated by André Ntagerura who, as Minister of Transport and Communications, served well his home prefecture, just as other Ministers did in their home regions, each in his capacity. Unfortunately, these phones and buses donated by André Ntagerura were finally the other side of the coin, double-edged sword. They facilitated the "success" of the genocide.
This book of the chronicle of the genocide that I published during my stay in Italy is entitled: RWANDA 1994. IDEOLOGIE, METHODES ET NEGATIONNISME DU GENOCIDE DES TUTSI A LA LUMIERE DE LA CHRONIQUE DE LA REGION DE CYANGUGU. DE RECONSTRUCTION. EDIZIONI VIVERE IN, MONOPOLI (BARI) 2003, ITALIA.
Providence spared me assassination at the hands of Prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe. I rubbed shoulders with them almost every day during the genocide. All this made me a piece of museum, still alive, of this tragedy that I am happy to report, although with death in my soul, when I think of the Tutsi whom I welcomed at the Cathedral of Cyangugu, of which I was vicar, and some of whom were killed in front of my own eyes by these genocide organizers.
Rutihunza is well aware of all of this. He was in Rwanda but he does not say where. However, instead of encouraging reconstruction, himself looted and embezzled reconstruction funds; and now he denigrates those who devote themselves to the reconstruction of Rwanda and the reconciliation of Rwandans. The RPF placed its trust in him and entrusted him with Cyangugu Prefecture, but he betrayed this trust. Since he has no argument against these misbehaviours, he destroys what the RPF and all Rwandans who devote themselves to the reconstruction of their country are doing. I would like to know from Rutihunza what would have become Rwanda if the RPF had not stopped the genocide!
1. WHAT IS RIPRODHOR ?
RIPRODHOR is a denialism association that was founded by dissidents from LIPRODHOR (League for the Promotion of Human Rights in Rwanda), of which Rutihunza is a member. As its name suggests, RIPRODHOR promotes and defends human rights in Rwanda. But, instead of defending human rights, Rutihunza and his association have fallen into denialist ideology. They promote and defend the rights of Rwandans 6,000 km away. If Rutihunza loves Rwanda, WHY Doesn’t he come back to Rwanda to help with reconstruction. He neither promotes nor defends anything. He destroys. His embezzlement of public funds and other mistakes cannot prevent him from returning to Rwanda. Even those who have done worse than him are welcome.
2. Theobald Rutihunza character and his past
a. The character
Theobald Rutihunza was born in Matare, former Nyakabuye Commune, formerly Cyangugu Prefecture, currently Rusizi District. After a few years at the Petit Séminaire de Nyundo, he entered Ecole des Sous-Officiers (ESO), and then he practiced in the ex-FAR. After his military career, he taught at Mwezi Parish Primary School. After teaching, he got trained in Rural Development in Lyon, France. On his return to Rwanda, he worked at CIMERWA (Cimenterie du Rwanda) in Bugarama, from where he was appointed the Prefect of Cyangugu after the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi.
After being dismissed from the post of Prefect, he tried several times to escape Rwanda illegally; he was often intercepted at the Rwandan-Zairean border Goma-Gisenyi, and returned to Rwanda. Why did he want to get out of Rwanda illegally? He is now based in Lyon, having been exfiltrated by his second homeland, France. From there he still spreads the denialist ideology under the cover of his association.
b.Serious crimes against Rwanda and the population of Cyangugu
During the Government's visit to Cyangugu in 1996, Theobald Rutihunza was accused of all offences by his close collaborators and by the Prefecture's partners. Below is a list of those offenses.
b.1.Irresponsibility and refusal of collaboration
Rutihunza had made Cyangugu Prefecture his private ground. He was unlucky to have three Tutsi Sous-Préfets, a situation that had never taken place in Rwanda. The latter themselves had the misfortune to come across a racist Prefect. He rarely went to the office and, in his absence, locked up all documents and stamps. None of the Sous-Préfets could sign any document with a supporting stamp, and so on….
b.2. Deliberate unwillingness to coordinate aid and carelessness towards genocide survivors
It's not a secret to anybody: directly after the genocide, as everywhere in Rwanda, in Cyangugu too, many NGOs were crowded: UNHCR, RED CROSS, SNV, SAVE THE CHILDREN, CARITAS and others, registered or not. Some of the staff of these NGOs had left Rwanda at the beginning of the genocide, without greeting anyone; and then they came back with their heads held high to practice the policy of tied aid. In economics, we call tied aid this system of rich countries which send aid accompanied by their citizens intended to manage them, and who return to their countries with the same money, while the assisted country has people who have the same capacities as these expatriates, if not more!And that with all the possible abuses: sexual abuse, fraud and the trade in people and drugs! In Cyangugu we had such NGOs and such people. Instead of managing them, Rutihunza joined them in the embezzlement. He was accused of not coordinating aid from these NGOs.
There was a lot of confusion in the destination of aid to the genocide survivors. Several NGOs bump into each other on the same site, for the same beneficiaries, and without any appointment between them. Same or different aids for the same groups to the detriment of others. I say this as director of the Caritas diocesain at the time. Lack of coordination! For Prefect Rutihunza, it didn't matter. During the meeting chaired by President Pasteur Bizimungu, in the presence of Vice-President Paul Kagame and other local authorities or from Kigali, neither him nor the sous prefet in charge of Social Affairs knew how many survivors of the genocide counted in the Prefecture. Two years after the genocide!
The President instructed the Prefect Rutihunza to set up a Commission to coordinate aids. This was at the suggestion of the signatory of this article. Rutihunza set it up, but he neither chaired it nor attended any of its failed sessions. For him, the survivors of the genocide counted for nothing.
An example that goes in the same direction: at a certain time, it was necessary to move the orphans of the genocide from the APEEDUC School (Association des Parents pour l’Enseignement et l’Education de Cyangugu) to the CENA (Center for Unaccompanied Children) held by the Jesuits. This transfer was necessary because at the first site these orphans had no security. Some had even been victims of grenades… There was even sexual abuse. For the transfer, Rutihunza called the meeting for 9:00 am, but until noon he wasn't there yet. The former Commander of Gendarmery, Firmin Bayingana (currently Brigadier General), decided to go and pick him up from Bugarama, where he stayed every day. General Bayingana had to drive the Cyangugu-Bugarama-Ntendezi belt to get Rutihunza in Ntendezi and bring him to the Jesuit Novitiate at around 1:00. Rutihunza was indifferent and shameless; he pretended to open the meeting and then gave us the floor; he went again in his business, and we moved the Orphanage.
b.3. Thirst for money: embezzlement of funds and public property
b.3.1. Fake invoices
Poor Prefect! Rutihunza vegetated between Cyangugu and Bugarama. Rarely in the office! He lived in Bugarama and set foot in Cyangugu from time to time. As he had worked at the Bugarama Cement Plant before being appointed Prefect, he lived in the houses of the Cement Plant Staff. He made appearances in Cyangugu and he was given false invoices at the Centre diocésain de Pastorale, stating that he had stayed there. For one or two nights he was given an invoice for three weeks or a month. Imagine this in a bloodless country emerging from genocide! This was to the detriment of the Prefecture. The diocese was never paid, as the monitoring mission concluded that the stays declared by Rutihunza had never taken place.
b.3.2. Misappropriation of funds from an alleged orphanage project
Directly after the genocide, the survivors of the genocide in general, the widows and the orphans in particular, constituted a source of illicit enrichment and a bait of profit for the opportunists, and for certain irresponsible survivors unfortunately (Ba Mpemuke ndamuke: I don’t care whether I am dishonest, as long as it pays me off). All of these cheated NGOs and other benefactors in order to profit from their aids, to the detriment of the victims of the genocide. Rutihunza was one of those dishonest exploiters.
As part of the embezzlement of funds intended for genocide orphans, Rutihunza misled the vigilance of the Rhineland Palatinate Twinning Office, claiming to design an orphanage project in Cyangugu Prefecture, Giheke, in front of the office of the former Gisuma commune.
This is because they were accused of having intelligence with the RPF, but that the Interahamwe took them away from them, and that they probably killed them. The Prefect, escorted by the Commanders of Place and gendarmery, with two vans full of gendarmes and soldiers, dared to use such language!
Rudolf Fischer, Former Director of the Rhineland-Palatinate-Rwanda Office, returned home to Germany because his term of office was over, but he was also crying because he had shaken hands with the devil. He cried in front of me as the one in charge of their project in the Diocese of Cyangugu. Rumours would have circulated according to which he would have been accomplice of Rutihunza in the embezzlement of these funds. But anyone who collaborated with Fischer knows that this complicity did not take place, and that it was not as a result of this embezzlement by Rutihunza that Mr. Fischer was recalled.Everyone feels that, as the project coordinator, he has done his job very well in Rwanda. In short, Prefect Rutihunza embezzled funds intended for genocide orphans by claiming to build them an orphanage.
b.3.3. Looting of Cement Plant vehicles
At one point, Rutihunza was caught by Cyangugu Gendarmery, with a Mitsubishi vehicle that he had looted from the Bugarama Cement Plant. The vehicle was taken from him, but he was not bothered. Who says he only looted one vehicle?
3. The officers and senior officials from Cyangugu praised by Rutihunza
Rutihunza in no way points to the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi of Cyangugu by the Hutu population of Cyangugu. He slips over the words. He bows in memory of the victims, but he says nothing about the perpetrators of this genocide. He seems to recognize the genocide, and then he applauses and exempts the organizers.Intellectual dishonesty! They are crocodile tears like those of Butros Butros Ghali, Bill Clinton, or Koffi Annan in Musha (Rwamagana District), and many others. We are used to this diplomatic style. Since Rutihunza praises these officers and high-ranking officials from Cyangugu, why doesn’t he name and blame those who instigated the killings of this once-united population?
He is content to excuse the officers and civil servants from Cyangugu, and praise Operation Turquoise, which only came to the aid of his friendly government in disorder and its defeated army.As if Cyangugu was only populated by the small tens of thousands of survivors of Nyarushishi, added to the survivors of Bisesero taken away by the French, after having made others killed.
3.1. Senior officials
- General Gratien Kabiligi: he is from the former Kamembe Commune. His role during the war and the genocide is known. He left Mutara, Kibungo and Bugesera…. And arrived in Kinshasa on foot, chased by the RPF. His defeat did not prevent him from organizing infiltrations into Rwanda from Bukavu and having the survivors killed in his own region. He is not the only genocidaire to have been acquitted by the ICTR.
- Lieutenant Colonel Claudien Singirankabo, nicknamed Museveni, from Mutimasi, former Cyimbogo Commune; he was in charge of civil defense in the Prefecture, and therefore also of the distribution of weapons to the Hutu population, to kill the Tutsi of Cyangugu.
- Lieutenant Colonel Innocent Bavugamenshi, originally from Runyanzovu, former Cyimbogo Commune. It is true that he was not shy. He always wore his white rosary around his neck, but that doesn't make him a 100% innocent. I hope he recited it from time to time. His intervention at the last minute in favour of the survivors of Nyarushishi is commended by some people. You can't compare him to the genocidaires, but he could have done more at times. No doubt he feared for his life!
- Colonel Augustin Cyiza, originally from Shangi Parish, in Bushenge if I am not mistaken. No one knows where he was before Nyarushishi. He only emerged there during the defeat of June-July, when the defeated army fled to Cyangugu pending French intervention. Why didn’t he come for pacification in his native region, and especially to prevent the militiamen and the killer "Terminador" Yusufu Munyakazi, in his parish of Shangi?
3.2. Senior government officials
- Minister André Ntagerura, originally from Mpinga, former Karengera commune, Mwezi Parish. During the genocide, he was based in Rusizi to receive arms and ammunition passing through Bukavu, saying that the RPF had occupied the north. He declared it to whoever wanted to hear it, including the signatory of this article. He was sending these weapons and ammunition in Cyangugu as well. Responsible for public transport and communications, he did not need to ask anyone for permission to mobilize the buses. What argument can be made to acquit him? If he did not support the genocide, he had only to disassociate himself from the genocidal government.
- The Prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki, originally from Bumazi, former Gisuma Commune, Shangi Parish. His promotion from Sous-Préfet of Kigali Ngali to the rank of Prefect of Cyangugu was due to the "success" of the genocide in Bugesera in 1992. Bagambiki is matched only by former President Théodore Sindikubwabo, who set fire on Butare, his home prefecture, on April 18. Wherever Bagambiki arrived, supposedly for pacification, the Tutsi refugees there were killed on the same day. Let us quote only these cases, by passing:
o In Nyamasheke on April 13-14, after the meeting at the former Kagano Commune;
o In Hanika, after a meeting in Bitaba, 2 km from the parish. The people said to him: "What should we do with these people who are dying and rotting in the church and in the vicarage"? He replied: "Why are you still keeping them there"? That was to say: "Eliminate those who are still breathing, and then clean the vicarage". The soonest you can.
o In Cyangugu on May 19 at 3.30 p.m., during the assassination of Joseph Boneza, former priest of Mibirizi Parish, in Gihundwe: The Prefect Bagambiki forbade the bishop to go and take the body of Joseph Boneza, telling him that he did not guarantee security against the Interahamwe for anyone who went to look for Boneza's body. With the vehicle that Father Boneza was driving, the assassin immediately went to the Prefecture to give the report to Bagambiki.
o Bishop Ntihinyurwa had already prepared a mattress in his car to go and collect Boneza's body. Boneza was killed by a soldier dispatched by Edouard Bandetse who had his headquarters in Mibirizi, on the orders of Samuel Imanishimwe, who pursued Boneza in a pickup to Gihundwe. Prefect Bagambiki supervised the entire operation. On hearing of Boneza's assassination, as if he was dealing with naive people, Bagambiki called the bishopric to ask where this priest was going if they didn't have a meeting! And then he opposes his funeral! Joseph Boneza was not buried with dignity until a year after his assassination, thanks to an old woman who showed the grave he had been thrown into.
o In Cyangugu on May 30 at 8:00 p.m., Bagambiki supervised the assassination of Priest Alphonse Mbuguje of Kabgayi; this priest, passing through Cyangugu, had been taken to the Brigade on the 27th at noon. After the news of his assassination, Bishop Ntihinyurwa called Bagambiki to ask for an explanation, because he had supposedly been taken for an interrogation which the bishop had asked to be associated with. Bagambiki replied that Father Mbuguje had been taken to Gitarama for questioning where he had committed the crimes with which he was accused. This was not possible, because the RPF already occupied Nyanza and all of Mayaga. It was impossible to get to Gitarama. I brought food to Mbuguje every evening. One evening, a nice gendarme who was on duty made me read the register on Mbuguje's file: "RPF accomplice priest"! The following evening, the same gendarme called at the bishopric to tell me that I should no longer bring food to Father Mbuguje because he had been carried out of the Brigade. The next morning, the driver of medical assistant Pie Nzeyimana who was in charge of picking up the bodies, went to the bishopric and told us that Mbuguje's body was lying in Gatandara, 1 km from the bishopric!
o Someone has said that if Bagambiki wasn’t fearful, he was cruel. I told him he was pretty mean and cynical. He coordinated the killings with the little Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe who was sacrificed at the Arusha altar in place of his leader who was all in the Prefecture: President of the Republic, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Defense,…He blessed Yusufu Munyakazi's expeditions everywhere: at Cyangugu Cathedral on April 11 at 11am; that April 11, Yusufu militiamen dispersed the refugees at the cathedral, 5 of whom were shot at the Cyangugu military camp. I asked Lieutenant Imanishimwe for an audience for the release of these people.
He arranged to meet me, but the gate guards refused to let me in. Fortunately for me, after that refusal, I broke into the room where the Prefecture Security Council was meeting, and explained to the Council the damage caused by Yusufu's militiamen. The meeting was interrupted. With Father Modeste Kayibwami, we succeeded in redeeming the people who were tied up in front of the room where the meeting was being held. The guns were pointed at them, they were waiting to be shot. Bagambiki reticently approached the soldiers, and begged them to release them. And then, with him and the bishop, we went to the Cathedral. There, Bagambiki asked the small number of refugees there not to move. After his visit, two other expeditions arrived which were driven away by the gendarmes who fired in the air.
The 6th of those picked up by the soldiers was the seminarian Egide Hakizimana who fled by swimming to the Amani Center in Bukavu, opposite, run by the Jesuits. Lieutenant Imanishimwe went by car to claim him, but the Jesuits told him that they were unaware of the presence of a certain Egide in their house. Egide is now the prison director in Nyagatare, after Huye, Kigali…Let us imagine how ashamed Imanishimwe would have been if he had been imprisoned in Rwanda and not in Arusha and Mali!)!
In Shangi, Bagambiki had however forbidden to touch the Community of the Sisters of St. François, because the Superior, the good sister Madeleine Mukamuzima, had studied with his wife in Nyamasheke. Killing with one hand and saving with the other, we were used to this tragedy during the genocide. Would it be worth the candle to Bagambiki? When Yusufu Munyakazi arrived, Sister Madeleine, always smiling, asked Yusufu Munyakazi: "Yusufu, is it true that you are coming to kill us too?" The other replied, "I will not kill you, unless you are hiding adult males". The sister reassured him that there were no males in their community. But there were dozens of them! So Yusufu launched the final assault on the refugees from the Shangi parish, then continued with his militiamen to celebrate in Bugarama. Wasn't Félicien Baligira in Shangi ?
On April 15, Bagambiki took his son-in-law Georges Nkusi out of the Cyangugu presbytery. Among the people whom Bagambiki had killed, after having taken them out of the presbytery of the Cathedral, is Georges Nkusi, his son-in-law by affinity; the latter had married Bagambiki's niece. The two “took refuge” by Bagambiki’s place, but the latter only took in his niece and chased her husband away. This is how Georges Nkusi, even though Hutu, but wanted by Bagambiki, took refuge in the Cathedral. I even put him up in one of the guest rooms because he was not well. It was from there that Bagambiki made him to get out through Samuel Imanishimwe.
Bagambiki knew very well that Georges was in hiding in the Cyangugu presbytery, and I often gave him over the phone. He brought him the tablets for the disease commonly known as "goute" because it was his wife who held them. And when Bagambiki could not find me, he would throw the tablets to the sisters, telling them: "Bishop Ndorimana knows what it is". He took them to the bishopric and not directly to the presbytery, to avoid seeing Georges. When Bagambiki came to pick up the people hidden in the presbytery, I said to him: "Are you taking Georges out too"? He replied, "He is no better than the others. All are accused of being accomplices of the RPF and they send it contributions ". I denounced this delict to the ICTR as well as all the other crimes against Bagambiki, but, in return, the ICTR acquitted Bagambiki.
A few days before his kidnapping, Georges Nkusi had come to my room to explain to me the motive for Bagambiki's hatred of him. Before the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, Georges Nkusi, as deputy prosecutor in Cyangugu, had the notorious Yusufu Munyakazi put in prison for one day, because he had killed a person in Bugarama. Georges, the deputy prosecutor, took this step pending completion of the investigation. Bagambiki called Georges and ordered him to release Yusufu immediately. Georges replied that, in conscience, he could not go beyond the ethics prescribed to him by his profession. Since then Bagambiki has harboured a hatred of Georges that has gone so far as to deliver him to the militiamen at the Kamarampaka Stadium. It is clear that, already before the genocide, Bagambiki collaborated with Yusufu Munyakazi in the matter of genocide in sight.
Félicien Baligira, Member of Parliament and Secretary of the CND (Conseil National de Développement, name of Parliament under Habyarimana regime), originally from Bushenge, Shangi parish. He headed the so-called Shangi Pacification Commission. On April 27, he supervised the banishment of 42 Tutsi deemed undesirable by the attackers. Baligira escorted the 42 banished to Kamarampaka Stadium, with Father Aimé Mategeko as chaplain! These outcasts were among the few survivors of Shangi.
Ironically, among these banished people was Epimaque Kayitarama who was the assistant bourgoumestre of Charles Karorero whom he replaced as bourgoumestre at the head of the Gafunzo commune after the genocide, while the former bourgoumestre was sentenced to life imprisonment. Mategeko, originally from Shangi, sent by the diocese, supposedly for pacification, languishes in Mpanga, while Baligira spends his good days in the land of Mitterrand!!
What did the powerful Baligira do to prevent the Shangi killings, carried out by the militiamen, and especially by the expedition of Yusufu Munyakazi? It is simply because these authorities colluded with Bagambiki. Nobody was to stop neither the militia nor Yusufu Munyakazi.
Théodore Munyangabe, originally from Nyabitekeri, Shangi parish, Deputy Prefect in charge of Economic Affairs; always deployed by Bagambiki in malicious elimination missions of Tutsi. He was sent to Mibirizi on April 18 by the Security Council of the Prefecture, escorted by the customs officer Rusizi I, a certain Ngagi, a hired killer, and the appointed hired killer, Edouard Bandetse, originally from Kigurwe, between Muhanga and Runyanzovu, in front of Mibirizi parish. The latter had set up his General Staff 1 km from the parish, at the trading center called ku Ngoro. These three were supposedly deployed to secure the situation of the Tutsi refugees at the Mibirizi presbytery! We send killers for pacification! After the elimination of Tutsi from the Mibirizi presbytery, Munyangabe returned to Cyangugu declaring: "Powerless that I am, I was betrayed by Bandetse". A representative of the Prefect, escorted by soldiers deployed by the Prefecture, who allows himself to be contradicted by the crook Edouard Bandetse, ex-seller of cigarettes! What does Rutihunza say!
Since we are talking about Bandetse, let's come back to Bagambiki. During the meetings in Mibirizi where we also visited the Tutsi lying in the halls of the parish following the grenade shells, Bandetse boasted with morbid joy in front of the Prefect, the Commander of the place, the ICRC and the diocesan authorities, for having supervised the destruction of the hospital, looting medicines and vehicles, breaking down the safe and driving out the sisters who ran this hospital in the diocese. He apologized for the mistake of chasing Dr Beata, Hutu, and Sister Donata, Hutu from the father's side. During this meeting, Bagambiki shouted at the microphone: "Hutu men, Hutu women, Tutsi men, Tutsi women, are you afraid of Inyenzi-Inkotanyi: that is to say, the RPF”? All answered with one voice: NO. Like Tutsi there was only me. It was just me who didn't answer. I led the bishopric, as responsible for social works in the diocese. The other Tutsi were lying in the halls of the parish, hit by grenade explosives.
But as these killers realized that they too could get sick, they had the nerve to demand the reopening of the hospital that they had destroyed. With what means did the diocese ask them? They were speechless. And these genocidaires followed one another at the bishopric to demand the reopening of the hospital. I remember the visit of the agronomist Ripa Bantari, president of CDR in the Prefecture, currently in Georgia in America, and of the businessman Katamobwa of Bushenge. They claimed the reopening of the hospital on behalf of the CDR. The Bishop Thaddée Ntihinyurwa asked them for the report on their contribution in terms of medicines, staff salaries, and other logistical means. They had nothing. He received them for two minutes, and then he dispatched them after informing them that they were wasting his time.
Thanks to the Diocese of Reggio Calabria in Italy, twinned with the Diocese of Cyangugu, this hospital was temporarily rehabilitated with 75,000,000 Rwf in 1995. It is so humiliating to say to friends: "Help us to rehabilitate such a structure destroyed by those that it served”! Do you realize that, dear Rutihunza?
To complete the list of civil servants from Cyangugu, let's talk about Théobald Rutihunza. Give honour where it is due. If there is honour!
Dear Rutihunza, have you followed the path of the nationals of your dear Prefecture? Where were you at that time? Where were you during and immediately after the genocide? What have you done in favour of your dear Prefecture? You praise others and say nothing about yourself! What were you doing? What have you done to limit the damage of the genocide and its consequences in your area? You will no doubt claim that you were wanted and hiding somewhere. Hidden because you sympathize with the RPF, and that was why you were identified to be appointed Prefect! An RPF sympathizer who loots, steals and embezzles the funds to be used for the population in his charge! Where did the RPF get you from? Do you at least have some feeling of gratitude towards the RPF? You are neither the first nor the last ungrateful. The RPF has seen it all, and it will certainly know some.
Apart from the regionalism that Rutihunza prides himself on, what did these officers and civil servants from Cyangugu do to save their Prefecture from the disaster that befell on it and in which each of them had a decisive role? None of them know how these Tutsi got to Nyarushishi. These personalities publicised by Rutihunza are like that bird that incubates the eggs laid by other birds and then claims the chicks.
4. Nyarushishi: To whom and to what do these survivors owe their salvation?
To Colonels Bavugamenshi, Cyiza, and the French? NO. Simply to the beast and wicked complicity of the French with the Rwandan authorities of that time. Where were these saviours between April 8 and June 11, when the last survivors were evacuated from Kamarampaka Stadium to Nyarushishi?
How many Tutsi did Cyangugu Prefecture have before the genocide? Only to count the tens of thousands of Tutsi buried in Nyamasheke, Shangi, Hanika, Gashirabwoba, Karangiro, Nkanka, Mibirizi, Mashyuza, Nyarushishi, Muyange, Stade Kamarampaka, and so on ... How many survivors counted Nyarushishi camp? Let's do the comparison. And then these Colonels and their bosses of Operation Turquoise bring down the number to the 8,000 survivors of Nyarushishi to declare themselves saviours! Why weren't these Tutsi eliminated in Cyangugu Cathedral when in other parishes they had been eliminated? How about the Kamarampaka Stadium and Nyarushishi before the arrival of these so-called saviours? Whoever doubts this pretext and this complicity can think about it.
4.1. How was the Nyarushishi camp formed?
Initially, the Kamarampaka Stadium had 5,000 Tutsi displaced from Cyangugu Cathedral, at the request of the Bishop Thaddée Ntihinyurwa, who implored the protection of these survivors from the civil and military authorities. The meeting took place in the bishopric of Cyangugu on Thursday April 14 at 11 am; there were 5 of us: the bishop, the vicar general, the Prefect, the army commandant and the commandant of gendarmery. These civil and military authorities who identified the Kamarampaka Stadium as a place of protection for these survivors the next day. To these were added a few hundreds who came from Munyove through Nyarushishi, with their cows without pasture, and reached Cyangugu Primary School next to the Cathedral. Afterwards, 400 Tutsi arrived at night from Nkanka parish on foot, and 600 from Gihundwe ADEPR on a Daihatsu which did 4 or 5 turns.
The Kamarampaka Stadium began to be occupied on Friday April 15, 1994 at around 5.30 p.m. The Tutsi refugees at the Cyangugu Cathedral were joined at the Stadium by these others from the Catholic and Protestant parishes of the surroundings, were the first occupants of the Nyarushishi camp.
On April 16 at around 4.30 p.m., the same authorities came to pick up from the Cathedral and the Diocesan Pastoral Center 4 people who had been afraid to go to the Stadium. Imanishimwe broke down the doors of the presbytery to take out the businessman Jean Marie Vianney Habimana, nicknamed Gapfumu. Bagambiki himself took out of the Pastoral Center 3 businessmen including Ananie Gatake, nicknamed Problem. They were all taken to the Stadium. I followed them because I was going to look for a lady who was to look after Father Innocent Gashugi, former Shangi Parish priest who was ill, and was going to be transferred from the Cathedral to the Rusizi Health Center. The brave grand parish priest Innocent Gashugi was the first occupant of the Cathedral cemetery for whom the site was identified at his death. The cynical Bagambiki was at the funeral. His bodyguard helped us dig the tomb and fill it.
These 4 people joined 13 others, and then the army commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ladislas Munyarugerero made the call in my presence. He kept the list in his black Diary. The 16 victims included traders, government officials, teachers and businessmen. The list is in my book cited above on pages 57-58.
The first 16 victims left the Stadium, under the supervision of Prefect Bagambiki, Lieutenant Samuel Imanishimwe and Prosecutor Ndorimana. The 17th person, who got out of the van, was Madam Marianne Banguwiha from the PSD (Social Democratic Party), who, in front of Lieutenant Colonel Munyarugerero, proclaimed her innocence, because she was Hutu. She was hosted with the latter, to be evacuated to Congo at night, while the poor 16 Tutsi were shot 20 minutes later, in Gatandara, between the Stadium and the Judicial Brigade.
Asked by the bishop on the phone about the death of these people whose authorities had promised to provide security, Bagambiki replied that these people were taken to the Brigade for questioning.
This is because they were accused of having intelligence with the RPF, but that the Interahamwe took them away from them, and that they probably killed them. The Prefect, escorted by the Commanders of Place and gendarmery, with two vans full of gendarmes and soldiers, dared to use such language!
Dear Rutihunza, who is misleading the French and the world, are you unaware of this event? And that’s just a kick-off from the authorities! Kick off for a one-sided game that will last until your friends the French arrive! Does your RIPRODHOR promote and defend Rwandan human rights in general or only Hutu human rights? Are not the Tutsi Rwandans? If you do not know it, the first right of every human being is the right to life. And know that the life of the Hutu is no better than that of the Tutsi.
These survivors of Cyangugu Cathedral and Kamarampaka Stadium are the founders of the Nyarushishi camp, thanks to the ICRC, and not thanks to the prefectural authorities, always at the request of the diocese which had hosted and maintained them until then.
4.2. Hats off to the ICRC - GENEVA
The Tutsi of Kamarampaka Stadium and Nyarushishi owe their lives to Providence and the ICRC. It is unbelievable that from April 15 to June 11, 1994, the big part of the displaced from Cyangugu Cathedral and others who joined them at Kamarampaka Stadium remained alive.
Let us not forget that Samuel Imanishimwe's soldiers were withdrawing some from the Stadium, on the basis of pre-established lists. The gendarmes in charge of their security were only ceremonial. They had set up a trading center there, and their customers were the same refugees. Imanishimwe sent more senior soldiers there to withdraw those they delivered to the militiamen. Among the soldiers of Commander Imanishimwe, there was a certain second lieutenant, Iradukunda, nicknamed Kajisho because he was one-eyed, and who, indeed, had lost an eye where no one knows. He was very dangerous. He said he had to kill the Tutsi because he had lost his eye on the battle against the RPF. But which of the Tutsi from Cyangugu at Kamarampaka Stadium had his eye removed?
All communications from the Stadium reached the Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace by telephone which was in the premises of the Stadium. Kajisho's name kept coming up with every phone call. The phone has been cut since the killing of the watchman, when the militia discovered these communications; because, as soon as the refugees alerted, Bishop Ntihinyurwa went there to interrupt the dirty work of these militiamen. And they would say, "Well, are you preventing us from doing our job?" And he answered them: “We have put these people in the hands of the authorities. Which authority sends you to take these people”? They were leaving; but they took advantage of his absence from Cyangugu to withdraw some.
Arrival of the ICRC at Kamarampaka Stadium
One fine day of April 22 around noon, the Vicar General of the diocese, Jean Ndorimana, who was also parish priest of the Cathedral, made a jump to the Prefecture and saw ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) agents from Geneva on the road. They were operating from Bukavu. They wanted to enter to Prefect Bagambiki to ask him to see the Tutsi gathered at the Kamarampaka Stadium. Without waiting for the audience, the vicar general quickly leads the ICRC to the bishopric, puts it in contact with the bishop, and after a small meeting during which he gave them the approximate number of Tutsi gathered at the Stadium and their conditions, all went to the Stadium with the bishop. The ICRC started to take care of the wounded and sick. He drove some to the Rusizi Health Center.
A quick aside: at the ESPOIR Team Regional Stadium, there was only one faucet working, and all the toilets were blocked. We had encouraged the refugees to dig themselves toilets in the Stadium, but with which strengths? Until then, they lived on rice and beans bought on credit by the diocese from a certain Manasseh from around Nyamasheke, in Bitare. It was just two trailer trucks! The cooking was done at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, and the food was brought to the Stadium in cloth sacks. Manasseh had around his store in Kamembe a guard of forty gendarmes in civilian clothes. When he brought me home to sign the check without cover, he informed me of the death of Colonel Alexis Kanyarengwe, reported by RTLM (Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines). In order to get out of his home safe and sound, I asked him to broadcast the death of this “enemy” of the Nation everywhere. It was the first time I saw a grenade, shown to me by the soldier who was supposed to escort me.
A Congolese Major (Congo Brazzaville) did not want me to be escorted by one of his soldiers. He said to her cowardly: "Do you think that this blue beret will protect you more than those of the guards of Agathe Uwilingiyimana (former -Prime Minister)"?
At the Stadium, we showed everything to the ICRC. Since then, the international community has learned that at the Kamarampaka Stadium in Cyangugu there were approximately 8,000 Tutsi threatened with death and hunger. Thanks to the ICRC! Food purchased on credit by the diocese was running out. We sent some to other parishes.
It happened that near Lake Kivu there was an enormous reserve of food intended for the Burundian refugees formerly based in Nyarushishi and Bugarama, but who, since the outbreak of the genocide, had vanished into the wild, some in Burundi, in the Congo, and others who mingled with the Interahamwe… It is this food that the Red Cross intended for the refugees in the Stade, and in Nyarushishi later. Nyarushishi had everything as logistics: water, toilets, tents, kitchen….
What did the prefectural authorities, Colonels Bavugamenshi and Cyiza, and the French give to the Tutsi at Kamarampaka Stadium and Nyarushishi? They all took advantage and abused the presence of these refugees by claiming to restore their image which will never be rekindled.
4.3. France's policy at the UN under the pretext of Nyarushishi
France's honourable fine, if honour is there -, in the name of Resolution 929 of June 22, 1994, is nothing but a deceitful child. The UN votes on June 22, and then the French forces were in Goma on the 23, and in Cyangugu the same day! How long does it taketo take off from the Central African Republic (this was the Foreign Legion based in the Central African Republic) and land in Goma and Bukavu-Kavumu, and arrive in Cyangugu in armored vehicles? Everything had been prepared before!
Let us recognize that there were Tutsi in Nyarushishi. Is this the first time that France had recognized that the Tutsi in Rwanda were threatened? The French soldiers themselves checked the identity cards on the barricades, they delivered Tutsi to the militiamen, and then France claims to come to the aid of the survivors!!! The day will come when the Third World will be free from neo-colonialism. This day is already approaching across Africa. And Rwanda is at the forefront!
4.4.A not so stupid analysis
France, which intervened militarily in Rwanda in the War against the RPF in 1990, officially and shamefully returned home, but with the objective of returning to Rwanda, under any pretext. But France didn't really leave Rwanda; it was still determined to help old allies. Official France has not left Rwanda.
Towards the end of the genocide, France made the UN vote on Resolution 929 to return to Rwanda under the name of OPERATION TURQUOISE, by establishing the so-called Safe Humanitarian Zone. It did so in the name of the 1975 Military Cooperation under Juvénal Habyarimana, because it had not yet recognized the genocide. But it just wanted to cover up the genocidal government and help them reach the Congo with its army, by making them believe in a tactical withdrawal. We are used to these designations from France in Africa and elsewhere: Turquoise in Rwanda, Barkanes in Mali, and other names in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Asia ... France made itself gendarmery for the Third World, especially African. And then it steps in when it has nothing more to save. In what capacity does the UN grant France these favours?
How France, which has been alongside the FAR since military cooperation in 1975, France, which has fought alongside them since 1990 and was defeated with them; how did this France feel sorry for the Tutsi in June 1994? Why did they land from Bukavu directly on Nyarushishi? To show that they love the Tutsi? Didn’t they know, since April and even long before, that the Tutsi were threatened, without waiting for Nyarushishi or Bisesero? Does France think we are so stupid that we cannot do this analysis? We must pity the UN for believing so easily in France's manoeuvres.
Our analysis is that France dictated to the genocidal authorities not to kill the survivors of Stade Kamarampaka and Nyarushishi because they were going to be used as a pretext for their return to Rwanda. Thus it was going to exfiltrate the Government and its defeated soldiers to the Congo. If not, where did France's turnaround with regard to the poor Tutsi come from?
Why did France expand the so-called Safe Humanitarian Zone on Cyangugu, Gikongoro and Kibuye, and immediately on June 23? The famous Foreign Legion only came from the Central African Republic. France sensed the strong pressure of the RPF on these areas, pressure which would have made it possible to storm the genocidal fugitives. It is not for nothing that there were clashes between the French and the RPF in Kibuye, and in Sovu between Butare and Gikongoro. The goal of taking Butare and Kigali has not been successful for France. The RPF was already there and waiting for them anywhere and at any time! President Kagame replied to the person who asked him to prevent his soldiers from advancing because there was a very strong army that was going to intervene: “My soldiers are so advanced that I cannot stop them. But, don't these people have bodies as vulnerable as ours"?
It seems that the day on which the French arrived at the Rwandan-Zairean border at Rusizi I, on June 23, the militiamen had surrounded the Nyarushishi camp to exterminate it, and that Colonel Bavugamenshi dispersed them by inviting them to meet their French friends at the border. It would be all in his honour, just as he would have tried to dialogue with Edouard Bandetse, but in vain. The militiamen would then have descended at full speed to the border; and they saw themselves on TV with “LONG LIVE OUR FRIENDS: THE FRENCH” banners!
4.5. After Nyarushishi: rearmament by France and infiltrations
God knows how many infiltrations took place in Rwanda from the Congo, after the genocidaires were gathered in the Congo camps.In defiance of all international laws, the refugees mixed with the genocidaires were installed in front of Rwanda, both on the side of Goma and Bukavu. All these infiltrations targeted genocide survivors and infrastructure. Why weren’t there any from Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, when the Hutus, genocidal or not, had taken refuge in all the neighbouring countries? How did Mobutu, who collaborated with France for the resumption of power in Rwanda by the genocidaires, end?
What is France's record after Nyarushishi? On the presence of Operation Turquoise in Rwanda and its motivations, one only has to read Lieutenant Colonel Guillaume Ancel's book: Rwanda, The End of Silence: Testimony of a French Officer. Les Belles Lettres, "Mémoires de Guerre"Collection, 2018, 224 pages (ISBN978-2-251-44804-6) This officer was part of Operations Turquoise. He reveals all the secrets hidden behind France’s intervention in Rwanda at the end of June 1994.
5. Attempted escape and exfiltration of Rutihunza in France
After several attempts to escape Rwanda illegally, Rutihunza was exfiltrated to France, Lyon, where he joined his in-laws.We have explained above his relations with Lyon. From there he wants to promote and defend human rights in Rwanda while he violated them in a number of ways when he was in Rwanda. I am sure that if Rutihunza appeared before any court he would plead not guilty, as do all genocidaires and thieves. There would not be lack of devil's advocates in France or Rwanda to exonerate him! Just like in Arusha there were some.How do you expect a Belgian, Cameroonian or Congolese lawyer living in France to plead not guilty for a criminal who committed crimes in Cyangugu, facing eyewitnesses to the genocide? I called them devils advocates.
6. Acquittals of the Organizers of the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in Cyangugu by the ICTR and convictions by the Rwandan Courts
Rutihunza canonizes the ICTR and the genocidaires acquitted by him. He condemns the Gacaca courts and acquits the genocidaires tried by them. On the side of the ICTR, he praises the release of General Gratien Kabiligi who led military operations and organized infiltrations into Cyangugu from Bukavu. These infiltrations caused great material and human damage, especially among the victims of the genocide. He also praises the release of Prefect Bagambiki and Minister Ntagerura about whom we have talked enough above. As for the judgments made by the Gacaca courts, he only speaks of the conviction of Sous-Préfet Théodore Munyangabe, while there are many others. For those acquitted or convicted, he shows no circumstance during which they would have done something in favour of the Tutsi of Cyangugu.
I would be surprised if Rutihunza did not go to Arusha to plead on either side's defense. He may have gone there to testify in vain on behalf of Yusufu Munyakazi, the butcher of Cyangugu and Kibuye; as have some, like Thomas Nahimana and others. He does not quote Yusufu Munyakazi because he was convicted by the ICTR. And Yusufu is not the only Cyangugu genocidaire to have been convicted by the ICTR. Intellectual dishonesty on the part of Rutihunza: He only cites the innocent and never speaks of the condemned, yet also of Cyangugu.
Of all those whose release he praises or deplores the condemnation of, he does not mention a single gesture that they have taken to avoid the elimination of the Tutsi in their beloved Prefecture. He contented himself with praising those who would have helped the Tutsi of Nyarushishi, as if Cyangugu was only inhabited by 8,000 Tutsi.
Dear Rutihunza, the more than 50 witnesses who came from Cyangugu to Arusha on behalf of those you unload were disappointed by the whitewashing of Bagambiki and Ntagerura, as well as of Gratien Kabiligi. Little Lieutenant Manishimwe was their scapegoat.
Dear Rutihunza, do you know the judges and lawyers of the trial session of these genocide organizers in Cyangugu? Do you know how these organizers were acquitted? I'll explain it to you.
If you don't know, with a few exceptions, and Rwanda's are quite a few in number, but Arusha's, no: in this world there is no jurisdiction without corruption. In the corruption at the ICTR, for the organizers of the genocide in Cyangugu, there was the hand of a Power that one can imagine. And if I cited France, I wouldn't be wrong. I proved to you that France returned to Rwanda via Cyangugu because it had made a compromise with the authorities so that they did not kill the survivors of Stade Kamarampaka and Nyarushishi. They wanted to come back under the pretext of protecting them; but with the aim of exfiltrating the defeated Government and its army. How could she not do everything at the ICTR to cover her local accomplices?
Here's how it all went in Arusha. In the trial there were three judges: Jamaican Lloyd Georges Williams, president; the Russian Yakov Ostrovsky, judge; and the Slovenian Pavel DolencIls, judge.
After the parade of more than 50 witnesses, all against the 3 organizers of the genocide in Cyangugu, and certainly other defense witnesses, the judges voted, the president for the conviction of all three; and the other two for the liberation of Bagambiki and Ntagerura, and the only sentence for poor Lieutenant Imanishimwe.
They voted, and the two judges were certainly sold, were against the president. After this disappointment, the president, the only black in the team, also highly regarded for the conduct of the trial, resigned from this session and from the ICTR.
Dear Rutihunza, after everything you have just read, can you acquit Emmanuel Bagambiki who was president of everything in the Prefecture? Can you acquit André Ntagerura who was listened to in the government? His buses carried weapons and ammunition as well as the killers. Who coordinated this transport without an order from the Minister? Originally from Cyangugu, by bus he distributed these weapons in Cyangugu and elsewhere in the country; he sent state buses everywhere to kill, destroy and loot. What did he do to disassociate himself from the genocidal government?
I do without these lawyers who ask stupid questions that make them think they are going to make you lose your mind. Even questions of French grammar! I told them that I went to Arusha neither to learn nor to teach French.
Since the genocidaires (euphemistically called defendants) did not have the right to speak, they only cringed their teeth. Especially the little Lieutenant who, certainly, regretted having in front of him a person whom he did not kill when he had all the power.
As mentioned above, Rutihunza took refuge in France after failing in his duties entrusted to him by the Government. He was a negationist, and he still is.
Before launching his slurs, Rutihunza bowed to the victims of the genocide. Crocodile tears like those who did nothing when they could stop the genocide! He does not criticize the instigators of the genocide and almost the entire Hutu population of his Prefecture who obeyed blindly.
Rutihunza attacks the RPF that stopped the genocide as well as all those who fight against it, who work for the reconstruction of Rwanda and the reconciliation of Rwandans. In this statement and in many others, he is wrongly attacking Father Ubald Rugirangoga from the same region as himself, who has yet transcended feelings of vengeance and resentment. He helps those who have eliminated members of his family; he deserves credit for helping genocidaires and victims of genocide to meet and reconcile. From the parish of Mushaka, his apostolate excelled in many parishes, even beyond the diocese of Cyangugu. This apostolate earned him the medal of merit from the supreme authorities of Rwanda.
Can Rutihunza and his RIPRODHOR say what they are doing for their Prefecture on behalf of the victims of the genocide to whom he bowed, and for the population of Cyangugu in general? Can they say what they are doing for their region, and for Rwanda in general? Let’s not lose hope. But if our dear Rutihunza wants to earn his living in France, let him earn it honestly, objectively and humbly, but without discrediting people, and behave like other honest refugees who are content with their situation. He should also know that among those who read his writings, there are many who are smarter and more objective than him, and who are familiar with the real situation in Rwanda. Let him stop misinforming international opinion. Welcome to Rwanda!
KIGALI, AUGUST 2020.