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Acts of violence and killings committed against the Tutsi in Cyangugu Prefecture during the liberation war: acts of violence committed through night patrols and surveillance on road blocks

Acts of violence and killings committed against the Tutsi in Cyangugu Prefecture during the liberation war: acts of violence committed through night patrols and surveillance on road blocks

 

As explained by the study conducted by the national Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) on the history of the genocide against the Tutsi in the former Cyangugu Prefecture, since October 1, 1990, after the RPA launched the liberation war, order to establish night patrols and road blocks across the country was issued. To implement the order in Cyangugu Prefecture, bourgoumestres toured the sectors from October 10, 1990 to October 15, 1990 conducting meetings with the population to support security, and urged all the citizens to participate in night patrols with weapons that can help to defend themselves whenever they could be attacked by the enemy (spears, machete, clubs...)

 

After night patrols and road blocks were established, night patrols were conducted until the morning. Road blocks were operational during the daytime where whoever passing was requested to provide their identification documents; those who failed to provide the documents were reported to communal authorities. As shown in the minutes of the security council of Nyakabuye commune, which took place on November 23, 1990, at least 10 people should be on each road block. The duty of Sector councilors was to supervise operations of night patrols and road blocks and report to the bourgoumestre of the commune.

 

The heightening of night patrols in Cyangugu Prefecture was reiterated by the prefecture’s Prefect as shown in letter No 2238/04.09.01/4 dated November 27,1990 which Prefect Kagimbangabo André wrote to all the bourgoumestres of giving them instructions on management of road blocks and night patrols

In this letter, the Prefect requested the bourgoumestres to make more efforts in supervision of road blocks and night patrols. He explained that no road block should be attended by one or two individuals only. There should be many individuals attending to one road blocks, and people should seek ways to make shifts. He also emphasized that those attending to a road block should not be empty-handed, and rather requested communal authorities to mull measures so that those on road blocks or night patrols could be equipped with weapons to defend themselves in case they could be attacked.

 

The night patrols and road blocks were characterized by constant persecutions of the Tutsi as explained by Aaron Nzajyibwami, an investigator who represented public prosecution in Nyakabuye, who , in his report , stated that some people took  felt that participating in night patrols or security surveillance at road blocks granted them the rights to commit acts of violence against the Tutsi. Even though he reported this, nothing was done to stop the violence against the Tutsi, rather, many of them continued to be victims of acts of violence on allegations of being spies of the RPF_Inkotanyi