Share Button

Genocide in Cyangugu: acts of violence and killings committed against the Tutsi in Shagasha tea factory

Shagasha tea factory

Shagasha tea factory is located in the former commune of Gisuma, currently Giheke Sector, and Rusizi District. Until the perpetration of the genocide against the Tutsi, the Shagasha tea factory was headed by Callixte Nsabimana who was said to be the cousin of President Juvénal Habyarimana.

After the RPF had launched the liberation war in October 1990, Tutsi employees of at the Shagasha factory were since then subjected to persecutions. They were referred to as accomplices of the RPF, cockroaches, and nasty among others. Due to Nsabimana Callixte’s hatred against the Tutsi, he established a roadblock at the entry of the factory so that no RPF operative could enter the factory. As explained by an interviewee in 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, in 1991, Callixte Nsabimana requested that lists of all Tutsi working for the factory be elaborated. Those put on the lists were either persecuted or fired. Among those fired include Nkaka Jean who worked in tea plantation whom Nsabimana Callixte said was fired due to arrogance of the Tutsi. 

The interviewee explains that in what was called “assuring security of the factory” Callixte Nsabimana brought a total of 37 youngsters and equipped them with machetes and axes under the pretext to assure the security of the factory. Most of those youngsters were former soldiers or communal policemen from Gisenyi.

In 1992, Callixte Nsabimana started acts of persecuting the Tutsi including frequently search their homes, requesting them to provide identification documents, holding them at work over the normal working hours and others. Nsabimana had given to all employees papers containing their full identification including ethnic group and have to carry it with them wherever they could go. He also instructed the youngsters on the roadblock at the entry of the factory to taunt all the Tutsi and deny entry to whoever would be defensive. The interviewee explains that on the top of those ignoble acts were Nsabimana Callixte, Sebudagari, Semondo, Karekezi, Nzigihima, Gratien, Rwamwaga Victor, Nkusi, and Munyakazi nicknamed Gihenera, Donat, Ntakiyimana and others.

Nsabimana Callixte had extreme hated against the Tutsi to the extent that he even gave the right to his youngsters to go and uproot the flags of PL and PSD political parties that were in the area. He referred to those political parties as of Tutsi ethnic group. He behaved as if he headed the whole region and was hateful to the Hutu who were partisans of the MDR party. He held meetings with Prefect Emmanuel Bagambiki and security guards of the factory. He told them that the only enemy they had was the Tutsi and that should they be distracted, the enemy would exterminate them. Nsabimana Callixte fled the country due to what he did.