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Genocide in Cyangugu: acts of violence and persecutions committed against the Tutsi in Gisakura tea factory

Gisakura tea factory

Gisakura tea factory is located in the former Kagano commune, currently Bushekeri Sector in Nyamasheke District.  In 1994, when the genocide against the Tutsi was perpetrated, Gisakura tea factory was headed by Anatole Mubiligi from Gikongoro in the former Karambo at Bunyoma, currently Kibumbwe Sector, and Nyamagabe District.

The Tutsi who worked for this factory were insulted, and given demonizing names like Mazuru and Inyenzi (cockroaches) among others. They were persecuted by their peers employees   mainly Ngiruwonsanga François and Alphonse who were mechanical technicians, and Théoneste who was director of operations.  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, on 13th October 1990, Ngiruwonsanga and Barinda beat their peer employee called Cyubahiro Innocent, the incident took place near the water tank in the compound of the factory; they alleged that Inyenzi, his colleagues had invaded the Umutara region and exterminated the Hutu.

The interviewee adds that apart from senior employees of the factory who were dauntless to persecute their Tutsi peers, there were also others who had come from Mulindi tea factory including Rwiririza Anastase, Habineza Albert and Twagiramungu who were foremen who used to tell   Cyubahiro and Ntibiramira Innocent that the Tutsi colonization would never end.   Wherever the Tutsi would be, he/she was treated as a traitor with close collaboration with RPF-Inkotanyi, which they said was made of their Tutsi equals.

During all these acts of violence committed against the Tutsi in Gisakura tea factory, the head of the factory, Anatole Mubiligi did nothing, he neither punished the perpetrators nor gave them justice. He turned a blind eye. This culture of turning a blind eye to those persecuting others fueled the Hutu who worked for the Gisakura tea factory who heightened acts of violence and persecutions against their Tutsi peers on daily basis until April 1994 when the genocide was openly perpetrated.