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August 1995

PO Box 3836, Kigali, Rwanda

Tel: 00 250 501007 Fax: 00 250 501008
Table of Contents
Acronyms and Explanatory Notes .......................................................................................... vii

SUMMARY ........................................................................................................................... 1

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 4

The 1973 Watershed: Women Come Into Their Own As Allies Of Killers .................... 5

BACKGROUND ................................................................................................................... 10

LENDING A BIG HAND IN THE MASSACRES AND KILLINGS .............................. 14

Women who Led the Killings .......................................................................................... 15

Bernadette Mukarurangwa .................................................................................... 15

Félicitée Semakuba ................................................................................................ 19
Léoncie Nyirabacamurwango ................................................................................ 20
Maman Aline ......................................................................................................... 21

Women Who Were Coerced Into Killing ......................................................................... 22

Women Among The Crowds Of Attackers ...................................................................... 24

Athanasie Mukabatana .......................................................................................... 27

Louise Uwamahoro ................................................................................................ 27
Gaudence Kantwaza .............................................................................................. 28

Women Accused of Killing Their Husbands and Children .............................................. 29

Intimate Murders: Women Who Turned on Their Neighbours ........................................ 31

Madeleine Senguri ................................................................................................. 33

Spéciose Mujawayezu ........................................................................................... 34
Jeanne Mukamugemana ......................................................................................... 35
Solina Rwamakombe ............................................................................................. 36
Mme Suzanne ........................................................................................................ 36

Girls Complicit in The Murder of Fellow-Pupils ............................................................. 36

Solange Uwamahoro .............................................................................................. 37

Marie Louise Uwizeye ........................................................................................... 38
Angéline Musafiri .................................................................................................. 38
Gaudence Uwamahoro .......................................................................................... 38
Alphonsine Uwizeyimana ...................................................................................... 39

Singing In Praise Of Genocide: Ululating The Killers Into Action ................................. 39

Betraying The Hunted ...................................................................................................... 39

Looting The Dead ............................................................................................................. 44

Women Who Encouraged Their Men To Rape ................................................................ 44

MINISTERS IN THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT .......................................................... 49

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko .................................................................................................... 50

Agnès Ntamabyariro ......................................................................................................... 58


Rose Karushara: The Butcher of Kimisagara ................................................................... 60

Odette Nyirabagenzi: The Terror of Rugenge .................................................................. 67
Euphrasie Kamatamu: Stalking Muhima .......................................................................... 72
Madeleine Kankuyo ......................................................................................................... 77
Thérèse Nyirabititaweho .................................................................................................. 77
Mamashura Mwajuma ...................................................................................................... 78


Valérie Bemeriki .............................................................................................................. 80

Stéphanie Nyirasafari ....................................................................................................... 82
Agenesta Mukarutamu ...................................................................................................... 82

THE UNTHINKABLE: NUNS WHO JOINED THE KILLERS .................................... 84

Sister Gertrude Mukangango and Sister Julienne Kizito of Sovu, Butare ....................... 84
Sister Bernadette Mukarusine, Sister Bénédicte Mukanyangezi, Sister Josephine 102
Uzamukunda and Sister Pétronile Nyirabirori of Shyorongi, Greater Kigali ..................
Sister Elizabeth of Nyamasheke 104

TEACHERS AND SCHOOL INSPECTORS .................................................................... 106

Angéline Mukandutiye ..................................................................................................... 106

Bernadette Nyirabukeye ................................................................................................... 111


MEDICAL INSTITUTIONS ...............................................................................................

Elianne Mukahirwa .......................................................................................................... 114

Nurses at the University Hospital in Butare (HUNR) ...................................................... 117
Employees of the University Centre for Public Health (CUSP) ...................................... 120
Dr. Jeanne Nduwamariya ................................................................................................. 124
Mme Siméon Remera ....................................................................................................... 128
Nurses at Kigali Central Hospital (CHK) ........................................................................ 129
Josephine Mukaruhungo ................................................................................................... 132
Laurence Nkundabanyanga and Patricie Kanyarengwe, Maternity Hospital, Gisenyi .... 133

CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................................... 136


AVEGA Association of the Widows of the Genocide of April 1994 (Association des Veuve du
Génocide d'Avril de 1994)
CDR Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (Coalition pour la Défense de la République)
CND National Council for Development (RPF headquarters from December 1993)
FAR Rwandese Armed Forces (Forces Armées Rwandaises)
GP Presidential Guard (Garde Présidentielle)
MDR Democratic Republican Movement (Mouvement Républicain Démocrate)
MRND National Revolutionary Movement for Development (1975-91) and National
Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (1991-4) (Mouvement
Républicain pour le Developement et la Démocratie/Mouvement Républicain National
pour la Démocratie et le Développement)
PDC Christian Democratic Party (Parti Démocrate Chrétien)
PL Liberal Party (Parti Libéral)
PSD Social Democratic Party (Parti Sociale Démocrate)
RTLM Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines
RPA Rwandese Patriotic Army
RPF Rwandese Patriotic Front
UNAMIR United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda

Inkotanyi is used to refer to the RPF by both its allies and opponents. The term, which means "fierce
fighter" in Kinyarwanda, was the name given to one of the battalions of King Rwabugiri in the
nineteenth century.

Inyenzi, meaning "cockroach" in Kinyarwanda, is a term of abuse for the RPF made popular by the
Habyarimana government. The term has another connation; after the massacres and expulsions of Tutsis
in 1959-63, a group of refugees, called Inyenzi, tried to stage a comeback and were defeated. The term
was intended to imply that the RPF had the same objectives, and was equally destined to fail.

"Refugee": The vast majority of the people we interviewed referred to those who fled their homes and
places of sanctuary as "refugees," although they were not refugees under international law, not having
crossed an international boundary. Throughout the report, we have used the term as it has been used by
Rwandese themselves, except when, due to the context, there is a danger of confusion between refugees
who have crossed international boundaries and internally-displaced persons.

Rwandese names: Each family member has his or her own individual surname, as well as first name.
Some urban middle class families use family surnames shared by their children, but this is still
comparatively rare. Hence siblings can have different surnames, and having a common surname is not a
sign of being related, but of coincidence.
The genocide of the Tutsi and the killing of Hutu political opponents which took place in Rwanda
between April-July 1994 has highlighted women's role in sustaining conflict and their potential for
inflicting extraordinary cruelty. Not all women participated of course, and neither did all men. Many
women, as well as many men, refused to kill and took risks to save their friends, colleagues and
neighbours. Nevertheless, women participated in the slaughter in countless ways, though to a much
lesser extent than men since there were few women in the best known of the killing machines — the
army, gendarmerie and trained militia, the interahamwe.

The killings would never have claimed so many lives if the killers had not adopted a strategy to
involve as much of the population as possible — men, women and even children as young as eight. The
hundred days' genocide was no spontaneous outburst. It followed instructions from the highest levels of
the political, military and administrative hierarchies. At an intermediate level, huge numbers of civilian
administrators, journalists, businessmen, civil servants, academics, schoolteachers, students,
housewives, doctors, nurses, peasants, traders, judges, priests, nuns, staff of local NGOs and employees
of international agencies were involved, both directly and indirectly.

Some women, including young girls in their teens, were participants in the carnage, hacking other
women and children, and sometimes even men, to death. Some of these women joined the killings
willingly. Others were forced in the same manner that men were forced, at the point of a gun, by threats
and other forms of intimidation. They participated in massacres and in the murder of their neighbours as
well as strangers. They joined the crowds that surrounded churches, hospitals and other places of
refuge, wielding machetes, nail-studded clubs and spears. They excelled as "cheerleaders" of the
genocide, singing and ululating the killers into action. They entered churches, schools, football
stadiums and hospitals to finish off the wounded. Above all, women and girls stripped the dead — and
the barely living — stealing their jewellery, money and clothes. Most victims of the massacres were
buried completely naked because of women's looting sprees inside the places of massacres.

Both educated women and peasants identified the people to be killed, pointing out who was a Tutsi,
or an "unreliable" Hutu on account of their politically moderate views. Many educated women,
including teachers, civil servants and nurses, made lists of people to be killed which they gave to the
soldiers, militia and local government officials organising the pogroms. The people they exposed were
not merely nameless refugees, but their own neighbours, friends, colleagues, and sometimes even their
own relatives. Many women refused to shelter the hunted and forced people out of their homes. Just as
some men refused to host people their wives agreed to protect, many women hounded out victims
hidden by their husbands. There is no evidence that women were more willing to give refuge to the
hunted than men. Some mothers and grandmothers even refused to hide their own Tutsi children and

Women told the killers where people were hiding, screaming out their names as the terrified quarry
ran for their lives. Some women provided the petrol with which people were burnt alive, either
individual families or groups of refugees huddled in mosques and the buildings of parishes. Some
women and girls were seen at roadblocks, checking ID cards. Those they identified as Tutsi were
almost always killed.

Educated women bear a special responsibility for the breadth and depth of women's participation in
the killings. There were two women ministers in the interim government, a regime whose raison d'être
was genocide and the elimination of political opponents. Both women promoted the genocide; for
Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, ironically the minister for women and the family, the participation was
brutally direct. She regularly visited places where refugees had been congregated and personally
supervised the selection of hundreds of Tutsi men for the slaughterhouse.

Some of the most cruel local government officials who organised the killings, especially in Kigali,
were women. In Kigali alone, women like Odette Nyirabegenzi, Rose Karushara and Euphrasie
Kamatamu are personally responsible for the death of thousands of people. Other women who were
committed extremists before April 1994 helped to prepare the ground for the genocide, in particular a
number of female journalists with Radio Rwanda, the private radio station, Radio Télévision Mille
Collines (RTLM), and others who worked for the written press.

Educated women of every category participated in the genocide. Some female nurses handed over
to the soldiers and militia patients and refugees who had come to hide in their hospitals. They also
colluded in the murder of their colleagues. More than any other profession, teachers played a key role.
Women teachers and school inspectors were no exception. A number of them distinguished themselves
in the genocide. Even nuns were involved. A number of nuns are not only accused of closing the door
on their desperate parishioners and other refugees, but of identifying and handing people over to the
killers, and collaborating with them in other ways. One nun, Sister Julienne Kizito of a convent in
Sovu, Butare, spent the three months of the genocide in the company of those carrying out the killings
in Sovu, handing them the petrol with which they burnt people alive in front of her.

Many of the women whose crimes are detailed in this report went on their killing sprees in the
company of their children. Just as some boys accompanied their fathers when they went to hunt and
kill, both boys and girls accompanied their mothers who had turned into killers. Many ordinary women,
who did not themselves kill but who looted the living, as well as the dead, took their daughters along
when they went to clean out their neighbours' houses or to strip the corpses left behind after large-scale

The most prominent female killers, such as Pauline Nyiramasuhuko and Rose Karushara, the
councillor of the sector of Kimisagara in Kigali, had their sons as their drivers and escorts, and partners
in crimes. Many of these young men were prominent killers in their own right, but the reputation of
their mothers as fierce killers heightened their reputations among the militia, provided them with access
to ammunition and gave them additional opportunities to kill, abduct, loot and rape.

Both at the national and international level, women and girls have been described as the principal
victims of the genocide in Rwanda, thus obscuring the role of women as aggressors. This is not true.
Throughout the genocide, Tutsi men, particularly the educated and wealthy, or young men who were
physically strong and feared as future RPF soldiers, were the primary target. It is precisely because men
were decimated that most of the survivors are in fact women and girls, many of them widowed,
orphaned, homeless, disabled and left alone with the burden of looking after the remaining members of
their families. Another factor which has highlighted women's suffering in the genocide is the extent to
which Tutsi women and girls were raped.

Another argument to minimise women's responsibilities for their own actions is to claim that
women killed because they were obliged by their husbands and men folk. The strong tradition of
obedience to authority in Rwanda made it easier for the architects of the genocide to encourage or force
both men and women to become murderers. But the husbands and parents of several of the women
accused of complicity in the genocide are living in towns and hills visited by African Rights, next to
witnesses and survivors whose testimonies have sent their wives and children to prison or out of the

But focusing exclusively on women as victims of the genocide does not help the survivors. The
national and international failure to address women's involvement in the genocide and murder of Hutu
political opponents reinforces the impunity that is enjoyed by genocidal criminals. Many of these
women are living in comfortable exile in Zaire, Kenya and Europe. Some of them have been employed
by international organisations in the camps for refugees in Zaire, Tanzania and Burundi. Women who
have killed have been given responsibilities for the welfare of the refugees, including that of
traumatised children. Some of the nuns are being protected by the church. Thousands more are living in
Rwanda, confident that their crimes will never be revealed. Many of them are in government service,

working as nurses, teachers and civil servants, sometimes in the very institutions where they committed
unspeakable crimes. Others have been arrested in Rwanda. The detention of women, including nuns,
elderly women and mothers with small children, on charges of genocide, has been used by the killers
and their apologists, or critics of the government, as propaganda and as a weapon to deflect attention
from the genocide.

Taking advantage of the blanket protective cover of their "innocence", women have returned by the
thousands to the regions of Rwanda neighbouring Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania. Leaving their
husbands, fathers and brothers in the camps, many of them return to reclaim their property, at the same
time providing information for their men folk on their reconnaissance visits. These women rent out
their property, often evicting the survivors of the genocide whose homes have been destroyed, or they
cultivate their fields. Some of this money returns to the camps, and a per centage is no doubt used to
terrorise the innocent refugees and destabilise Rwanda. Many of these women are of course themselves
guilty of nothing, just as not every male refugee is a killer. But the ease with which they have been able
to exploit the label of "innocence" makes it easier to use them as a front for men and women who are

The extent to which women were involved in the holocaust of 1994 raises profound and disturbing
questions about the health of Rwandese society. It is also a reminder of just how formidable is the task
of ensuring that justice is done in Rwanda, without which there can be neither peace nor reconciliation.


Not So Innocent
When Women Become Killers

"When you begin extermination, no one, nothing must be forgiven.

But here, you have merely contented yourselves with killing a few
old women."

Agnès Ntamabyariro, minister of justice, speaking in Mabanza,

Kibuye, at the end of June 1994.

"Félicitée Semakuba threw grenades as if she were sowing beans. I

saw her on her knees shooting into us. Mme Semakuba did all this
whilst she was pregnant."

Gorette Mukandamage, in an interview with African Rights in

Ndora, Butare, 20 July 1995.


In recent decades, there has been a vigorous debate about women and conflict. Historians, sociologists,
psychologists, journalists, government representatives, women's organisations, human rights groups,
United Nations agencies and aid organisations have written books and articles, organised meetings and
made films that have looked at the role of women in armies, liberation movements, former female
fighters in post-war societies, as well as the impact of conflict on women's lives as individuals and as
women with family responsibilities. In particular, the extent to which women made significant
contributions to military and political struggles in countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and
Vietnam, has sharpened debate about conflict as an opportunity for women to challenge and redefine
traditional stereotypes of women's work. The fact that in most countries the positive experiences made
during wartime have not usually resulted in enduring gains for women as a whole, or even for the
women who joined fighting forces, has ensured that the discussions and exchanges continue.

The extent to which unarmed civilians are increasingly brutalised by internal conflicts has made it
urgent to analyse and understand the impact on women's lives, in order to alleviate the consequences
and assist women's abilities to prevent and withstand conflicts. Publicity about the widespread use of

rape as a weapon of war in Bosnia has heightened international awareness of women's suffering in wars
throughout the world.

But little attention has been paid to the role of women in sustaining conflicts and their capacity to
inflict cruelty, not as organised fighters who are members of armies, but as "ordinary" people who
become killers in the course of wars, and in the case of Rwanda, genocide.

In common with many other countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world, historically women as a
group did not play a major role in armed battles in Rwanda. The history of pre-colonial Rwanda is
dominated by accounts of wars between kingdoms of the Great Lakes. Almost every society has tales of
individual women who became famous warriors, their fame due in part to the fact that they were
women and not expected to resort to arms. Rwanda is no exception. A myth has grown around a girl by
the name of Ndabaga who, many decades ago, went into battle when her community's men folk had
been practically annihilated. She is credited with extraordinary courage and formidable fighting skills,
assets that brought victory to her side. Since then, the name "Ndabaga" is used to describe a desperate
situation which calls for unusual means. In a tribute to another powerful woman who played an
important historical role, Mrs. Habyarimana was nicknamed "Kanjogera," after a famous queen in
Rwandese history known for her domineering and highly political role.

But the involvement of substantial numbers of women in political violence in Rwanda is relatively
recent, beginning, according to a wide range of people, in 1973. African Rights has spoken to a number
of the people who were forced to flee the killings and anti-Tutsi campaigns of terror in 1959 and in the
early-sixties. They do not recall that women participated in those attacks.


The anti-Tutsi purges of educational institutions in 1973 have been called "the intellectuals' genocide."
State organised political violence swept schools and seminaries as well as the university in Butare.
Except in Gikongoro where there were indiscriminate killings, the aim was to terrorise and force Tutsis
out of educational establishments, and also out of the civil service.

Many Rwandese believe that the then Minister of Defence, Juvénal Habyarimana, provoked the
violence as a pretext to launch the coup d'état which he had planned. Whatever the truth, it is clear that
the attacks had the blessing of the government. But the government did not need to send tanks to
schools; the dirty work was done for them by members of the educated elite, girls as well as boys, men
as well as women.

For women, it was a first; the beginning of their widespread participation in violence. Like their
male counterparts, Hutu women in schools and work places formed what were called Comités du Salut
Public, or "Public Rescue Committees." The women's task was to identify Tutsi girls and women in
schools and workplaces. A number of girls who had been at École de Karubanda in Butare and
interviewed by African Rights were beaten by their fellow-pupils and subjected to a reign of terror. In
the face of resistance from the victims, some of their tormentors did not hesitate to ask for the
intervention of police or soldiers stationed nearby. Many Tutsis, including some of those interviewed
by African Rights, were hidden by foreign teachers, missionaries or expatriates who had been sent to
Rwanda as technical experts. A number of girls, reported by these "Public Rescue Committees" were
interrogated by intelligence officers, accused of helping the Inyenzi, armed exiles who had tried in the
early sixties to stage a comeback.

Many of the students, intellectuals and churchmen who played an active role in 1973 went to
occupy important posts in Rwanda in the eighties and early nineties. Some of them went on to become
prominent members of Habyarimana's ruling single party, the MRND, or of CDR, or belonged to

MDR-Power, the extremist faction of MDR. Some individuals would emerge as important ideologues
for the extremists. A significant number were extremely active in the genocide.

Some of the women at the École de Karubanda who are accused by fellow-pupils of having played
a criminal role in the events of 1973 include:

• Gaudence Mukakabego;

A former MRND representative in Gikongoro, she is thought to be in Zaire. In 1973, she is said to
have led a campaign to have the expatriate director and teachers of Karubanda expelled, accusing them
of defending the Tutsi pupils. The director was suspended and replaced by a man more acceptable to
the extremist ideas of the pupils involved in the purges;

• Monique Mujawamariya;

A member and formerly head of the human rights organisation, Association for the Defence of
Human Rights and Civil Liberties (ADL), Ms. Mujawamariya is currently based in Canada but
continues to work on issues related to Rwanda. In 1973, together with a group of other girls, Ms.
Mujawamariya collaborated with a group of male pupils from schools and the university in Butare,
including a certain Léon Mugesera, in order to hound Tutsi girls out of the school. Mugesera later
became a leading extremist. Monique and other members of her group helped to make a list of "wanted"
Tutsi pupils. The list was displayed, with the title "Pupils below are required to return immediately to
their families";

• Immaculée Mukamugema;

• Immaculée Nyirampara;

A former MRND member of parliament and member of the central committee;

• Agnès Uzamushaka;

She later became a close collaborator of Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, the préfet of Kigali and the man
who devastated Kigali during the genocide;

• Antoinette Mukagasore;

A former employee of an orphanage called Bébé-Kacyin which had been established for displaced
children from Byumba;

• Odette Uwimana;

She came to be known as "Satan" because of her prominent role in the events of 1973. The genocide
started when she was working in an organisation called Turengere Abana which was owned by Mathieu
Ngirumpatse, secretary general of MRND. She is currently employed by the Parish of Nyamirambo in

• Séraphine Mukarwego;

A former member MRND member of parliament for Kibungo;

• Sister Isabelle Nibakure;

• Anastasie Kabanyana;

An employee of the Ministry of Health in Kigali;

• Vénérande Musabyimana;

• Thérèse Kamuzima.

In 1973, Immaculée Nyirampara and Odette Uwimana took some of their Tutsis fellow-pupils to the
security service. Some of the girls they accused were imprisoned, for example, Emeritha Mukandarasi,
charged with possessing letters from the Inyenzi.

It comes as no surprise that many of the girls who were pursued by their fellow pupils in 1973 were
killed in the genocide.

After 1973, the first organised campaigns of violence took place in October 1990, in the wake of the
RPF invasion. The Tutsi communities in northwest Rwanda were the first to pay the price for the RPF
invasion. In Kibilira, Gisenyi, Tutsis were murdered, their houses burnt, their cows slaughtered and
their food stocks destroyed. There was a wave of indiscriminate killings, intended to punish and
discourage support for the RPF. Nearly ten thousand people, most of them Tutsi, but also some Hutus
who were considered as too moderate, were arrested and detained for periods of up to six months.
Educated women, whether in politics, civilian administration or in the professions, did not disappoint
the regime. An International Commission visited Rwanda in January 1993 on a human rights fact-
finding mission. They visited Kibilira and reported that:

In cellule Makoma, sector Gatumba, the responsable de cellule Yozefina Mugeni beat the drum, a usual
sign of alarm, to bring people running. She told them they should burn the houses of the Inyenzi, meaning
the Tutsi, because they wanted to exterminate the Hutu.1

Many of the men and women who were arrested or subjected to interrogation were denounced by
women who were their colleagues and neighbours. As the testimonies in this report show, a significant
number of the educated women who were in the forefront of organising attacks during the genocide,
denounced people in 1990 and helped to create a climate of fear. Articles written by a number of female
journalists in the government newspaper, Imvaho, called for draconian measures against anyone
considered an ibyitso, or an RPF "accomplice," a term that was used to refer to the Tutsi inside Rwanda.

One of the Imvaho female journalists who urged the government to punish the ibyitso and
encouraged the population to hunt for them is Hélène Nyirabikari. A few weeks after the outbreak of
war, she wrote:

It was on 3 November when the Inyenzi attacked Gatuna [on the border with Uganda]. But on 6
November the RPF took control of the region. On 8 November we made our way to the spot to find out
what was actually happening. From Kigali to Gatuna, there were many roadblocks controlled by soldiers
and civilians. This proves the number of Rwandese people who support our armed forces in chasing out
the enemy from Rwandese territory. These people are well armed with spears, arrows, bows, machetes,
pruning knives, masus, axes and swords. Next to all these roadblocks, these relentless people have lit
fires to fight the cold of the region. They are really ready to fight the enemy.

At about 1:30 p.m., we met the inhabitants of Kibari [Byumba]. They were coming from the hunt of
Inyenzi accomplices. They were not pleased as they had not captured a single Inyenzi despite the rain and
fog which marked that day.

They were well armed to such a point that if they had been lucky enough to find an Inyenzi, [they]
would have bravely beaten him. May these people continue on the same path with the same courage.

1 International Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in Rwanda Since October 1 1990, Report,
March 1993, p.6.

These Inyenzi are looters, they take and seize whatever they find in their way. They loot hens and slit
the throats of goats! These are the bandits who claim to be bringing us democracy! We are very happy
with the fact that the accomplices, ibyitso, were arrested and the people of Byumba hope to definitively
defeat the enemy and its accomplices.

These Inyenzi have now gone astray, they are like bees without a queen, that is the reason for their

In a later issue, she talked of her visit to Ruhengeri in early February 1991, after a lightning attack
by the RPF on 23 January. They held the town for a day, freeing all the prisoners in the prison. The
success of the attack came as a shock to the government and its supporters.

One thing is certain, the ibyitso are still in this country. No-one understands, neither the people, nor the
leaders, how the town of Ruhengeri could have fallen into the hands of the Inyenzi in this way. There had
to be accomplices for this operation to succeed. They showed the Inyenzi the interior, if not [they] would
not have know where the town was situated!

Our immediate wish is that of creating a special commission which will point out these accomplices
who facilitate access to the Inyenzi. In addition, the communal policemen should receive sophisticated
weapons with which to face the common enemy of Rwanda.3

Hélène Nyirabikari is still on the staff of Imvaho.

Stéphanie Nyirasafari also called for strong measures against the ibyitso in the wake of the RPF
attack against Ruhengeri.

Not all the accomplices have been arrested yet. The attack on Ruhengeri town shocked a large number of
people and it raises questions. It is not understandable how the Inyenzi came from the frontier and
[managed to] get into the prison and into Ruhengeri town and into Ruhengeri gendarmerie camp. They
looted plenty from the commercial bank. This introduction shows that there are accomplices facilitating
access to the RPF.

Everything must be done to look for accomplices in all the organisations and ministries of this
country. You must be vigilant and track down everyone suspected. Another thing which shows that the
Inyenzi have accomplices in the interior of the country is that they continue launching attacks. They have
accomplices in the whole country; their plans of attack have been discovered. Let us be vigilant.4

In a previous article, she called upon the government to ensure that it appointed only loyalists
as its representatives, and to step up the campaign to arrest the ibyitso.

The accomplices are still amongst us:

1991 was baptised by the President of the Republic, [as the] year for rebuilding what had been destroyed.
It is a good name as the enemy which attacked us really destroyed the country. At a time like this, when
our country's economy is weak, it is very difficult to repair this country but the country must concentrate
on the following points:

Firstly, strengthen steps to arrest the ibyitso. You must look for all the enemies of Rwanda who are
hiding amongst us. These accomplices are the ones who provoke quarrels between the population which
run the risk of causing a civil war.

Representatives of Rwanda abroad must be changed in order to appoint people who support the
regime in place.

2 Hélène Nyirabikari, "The Inyenzi who attacked Gatuna are pirates," Imvaho, No. 869, p.8, 19-25 November
3 Hélène Nyirabikari, Imvaho, No. 880, p.1-2, 4-10 February 1991.
4 Stéphanie Nyirasafari, Imvaho, No. 880, 4 -10 February 1991.

Amongst the enemies of Rwanda are even those whose studies are being paid for by the government
or those who are sent abroad to work.

Next, you must severely punish the accomplices of the Inkotanyi identified; we must not do what we
did when Valence Kajeguhakwa,5 who finally managed to flee the country, was arrested. Even now,
there is Anselme Sakumi,6 a trader, who has been arrested, he has recently been released. It would be a
shame if he too flees Rwanda when he is heavily suspected. Real peace will come when all the
accomplices are dismissed from the country.7

Marie Harerimana lives in commune Mbazi in Butare and has been working at the University
Centre for Public Health (CUSP) for a number of years. Herself a Hutu, her husband, a Tutsi, and two
of her three sons were killed in April. Interviewed by African Rights in Butare on two occasions, she
spoke at length about the role of educated women in helping to prepare the ground for genocide.

Educated women participated, particularly in preparing for the genocide. This was apparent in the
indoctrination meetings for young Hutu boys and girls. They were told that a Tutsi was so bad he wasn't
even human, but a snake. They added that in 1959, the Hutus had made the mistake of not killing off all
[the Tutsis] and so should not make the same mistake. Lists of people to be killed were drawn up at these

In 1990, when the regime in power was arresting accomplices of the RPF ibyitso, some Hutu women
arrested people simply because they were Tutsi. Here I can name Concessa Nyirabigirimana and
Antoinette Nyirabakungu. Both of them were teachers at the Groupe Officiel de Butare (G.O.B.). In
1990, they both imprisoned certain Tutsi teachers who worked at G.O.B. More recently, during the
genocide, the two women handed over [to be killed] a nurse called Evérine who lived nearby, at
Kabutare. Both of these women are from Cyangugu, from communes Gishoma and Gisuma. They are
now in Cyangugu. 8

The "lessons" that were learned between 1973 and 1994 by women, particularly many educated
women, were put to deadly use in the genocide unleashed on 6 April against the Tutsi community and
in the murder of many politically moderate Hutus. In this report, women and men, Tutsi and Hutu, have
come together in a spirit of common purpose — to give the lie to the account of the genocide which
paints all women as helpless victims and bystanders.

5 Valence Kajeguhakwa was a businessman in Gisenyi. He was arrested in October 1990. He fled the country
after his release and joined the RPF. He is currently a member of parliament representing the RPF. After he left
the country, his businesses were shared out among civilians and military officers close to the Habyarimana
6 Anselme Sakumi, a businessman in Kigali and an active member of the human rights organisation,
Kanyarwanda, was killed in the first days of the genocide.
7 Stéphanie Nyirasafari, Imvaho, No. 876, 7 -13 January 1991.
8 Interviewed in Mbazi, Butare, 1 June 1995.


Rwanda is a small landlocked country in central Africa. Although lying just south of the Equator, its
high altitude and hilly topography make it a green and fertile country, with plentiful rainfall. Partly for
this reason, Rwanda is also the most densely-populated country on the African continent—before the
genocide it was home to about seven million people. It is an overwhelmingly rural country, with over
90% of its people making their living from the land.

A second reason for Rwanda's high population is that it escaped the ravages of the nineteenth
century slave trade. This was due to the fact that, along with its neighbours to the north and south,
Rwanda had a sophisticated precolonial state system, with a strong military. The Rwandese state first
developed in the sixteenth century, and reached the height of its powers in the nineteenth century.
When the first Europeans arrived a century ago, they found a true nation: the Banyarwanda people. The
Banyarwanda were divided into three groups: Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The three shared the same
language, the same customs, the same political institutions, and the same territory. What made them
separate was not that they were distinct "tribes", but that they were distinct categories within the same

The colonialists projected their own theories of racial typology of the Banyarwanda. The Tutsi they
identified as aristocratic rulers, and concluded that they had originated in Ethiopia. Though numbering
perhaps fifteen per cent of the population, the colonial powers—first Germany and then Belgium—
preferred to rule extensively through the Tutsi, cementing their position at the apex of the hierarchy and
enabling them to exploit the other groups more effectively. The Hutu majority were characterised by
the Europeans as peasants, and consigned to the status of serfs. In the north-west, where Hutu leaders
had wielded authority over Hutu and Tutsi alike, the colonialists sought homogeneity and imposed
Tutsi overlords, creating a deep resentment that lasts to this day. The tiny minority of Twa who consist
of two distinct groups, the Impunyi hunter-gatherers of the north-western forests, and a caste of potters,
were marginalised and mistreated by both Hutu and Tutsi.

A hierarchical but nonetheless flexible and reciprocal political system was transformed into a rigid
politicised caste structure. Unable to adapt, the structure shattered as independence approached. The
powerful Roman Catholic church and the Belgian rulers switched their support to the Hutu, recognising
that the Tutsi could not retain exclusive power in any democratic system. In 1959, following the
unexpected death of the Mwaami (king) Mutara Rudahigwa, who had been a force for moderation,
Hutu leaders incited the population against the Tutsi. Perhaps ten thousand were killed in 1959 and
their homes burnt. Many more fled as refugees to neighbouring countries. Over the following seven
years, perhaps twenty thousand Tutsi were killed in a series of pogroms, while about a hundred and
fifty thousand fled the country. The Tutsi population in Rwanda was halved.

After independence in 1962, Rwanda was ruled by President Grégoire Kayibanda and his
Parmehutu party, on an explicitly ethnic political platform. All policies favouring Tutsi were reversed,
but such was the latter's dominance among the educated, that the middle classes—notably the
professions and commerce—continued to be largely Tutsi. However, the army, police and civil service
were dominated by political appointees of Parmehutu.

In 1973, a further round of anti-Tutsi violence resulted in a coup d'état led by the Minister of
Defence, Major-General Juvénal Habyarimana. Kayibanda was deposed and died shortly afterwards.
The violence in 1973 began as an attempt to purge seminaries and the university of Tutsi, but rapidly

9For a more detailed study of the historical background to the genocide, see African Rights, Rwanda: Death,
Despair and Defiance, Chapters 1&2, second edition, published in August 1995 by African Rights.

developed into a full-scale ethnic purge of all educational institutions. Habyarimana, who many people
believe instigated the violence in order to justify the coup he planned, presented himself as a force for
moderation and progress: he adopted policies avowedly supporting national unity and stressed the need
for economic development, using community self-help. In 1975, Rwanda became a single party state
under the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND).

During Habyarimana's first decade in power, there was stability and an emphasis on development.
In particular, communal rural development projects, such as terracing hillsides and growing woodlots.
With tragic irony, the name interahamwe which was later used for the MRND militia, was used to
describe those who came together to further communal development. Rwanda received generous
international assistance. However, Habyarimana's rule became increasingly authoritarian and corrupt.
Habyarimana was the first northerner in power, which became increasingly concentrated in members of
the President's Akazu (literally: "little house" or clan) from the north-west, in particular close relatives
of his wife. Not only Tutsi but Hutu from other parts of the country were excluded. Access to
educational opportunities, scholarships abroad, senior positions in government, parastatals and the
armed forces, as well as credit facilities were weighted heavily in favour of people from the north.

Meanwhile, Tutsi refugees in neighbouring countries were exposed to discrimination and abuse,
notably in Uganda. In 1982-3, thousands of Tutsi refugees were expelled from south-west Uganda by
the then government of Milton Obote. The extraordinary brutality of Obote's counter-insurgency
campaigns in the Luwero triangle, in which Rwandese refugees were deliberately targeted, drove many
of them into Rwanda. But Habyarimana refused to accept them. The experience encouraged many of
them to join the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Museveni, which succeeded in
capturing Kampala and forming the government in 1986. Even though a number of them held very
senior positions in the army and government, Rwandese were never fully accepted into Ugandan
society. On the contrary, their contribution to Museveni's success sharpened the resentment of many
Ugandans, especially among people opposed to Museveni. Unable to return home, they increasingly
sought a military solution to the problem of their statelessness. In strict secrecy, the exiles, especially
those based in Uganda, set about creating a military organisation. In time, they formed an alliance with
a number of senior politicians who had fallen out with President Habyarimana and left Rwanda. On 1
October 1990, the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded northern Rwanda from Uganda.

The war came at a disastrous moment for the Habyarimana government. For several years it had
been under pressure from its western donors to adopt a structural adjustment programme. In 1990 it
finally agreed. This involved a public sector pay freeze and a devaluation of the currency, plus other
austerity measures. Combined with the collapse of coffee prices (Rwanda's main export) in 1989, these
cut deeply into the country's prosperity and, as elsewhere, undermined support for the government. At
the same time, Habyarimana was under domestic and international pressure for political liberalisation.
After holding out for many months, he capitulated in July 1990, and Rwanda was overtaken by a
political renaissance. Numerous political parties were formed, together with independent journals and
human rights organisations. Much of the debate that was unleashed was highly critical of the

Democratisation against a backdrop of war and economic crisis was hazardous from the start. The
President responded with a series of strategies designed to split and undermine the civilian opposition,
and defeat the RPF. The name (but not initials) of his own party was changed, to National Republican
Movement for Democracy and Development. At the same time, a hard-line Hutu extremist party, the
Coalition of the Defence of the Republic (CDR) was formed by some of his closest colleagues,
articulating positions that neither Habyarimana nor his party could publicly be associated with.
Meanwhile, Habyarimana infiltrated his supporters into the opposition parties, splitting all the major
ones save the Social Democratic Party (PSD). Thus for example, the Liberal party was split into two
factions, a pro-government group headed by the extremist Justin Mugenze, and an anti-government
faction headed by Landoald Ndasingwa. The largest opposition party, the Democratic Republican
Movement (MDR), was similarly divided.

From October 1990 until August 1993 the war continued on-off, with intense fighting interspersed
with negotiations under regional and international auspices. The RPF quickly overran northern districts
of Rwanda, and the fighting displaced over three hundred thousand people. The government responded
by increasing the size of the army from five thousand to thirty-five thousand men, importing arms from
France, Egypt and South Africa and mobilising militia forces, notably the Interahamwe, the militia of
MRND. A ceasefire was negotiated but broke down in February 1993; a further month of intense
fighting drove another six hundred thousand people from their homes. A new peace agreement,
mediated by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and signed in Arusha, Tanzania, on 4 August
1993, formalised the peace agreement and Habyarimana's rapprochement with both the RPF and the
civilian opposition. With strong support from the UN, and in particular from Belgium, the Arusha
accords laid down a formula for power sharing with the civilian opposition and a timetable for the
establishment of transitional institutions, including the integration of RPF fighters into the national
army, preceding elections for a democratic government. A United Nations Assistance Mission to
Rwanda (UNAMIR) was sent to oversee the implementation of the military aspects of the accords.

The Arusha accords generated a wave of optimism throughout Rwanda: They were seen as a model
for power sharing, and opened up the prospect for peace and democracy.

Throughout 1993 and into 1994, the chief obstacle to the peace accords was a series of obstructions
thrown up by the government, either on their own account or by using the CDR. These manoeuvres
frustrated the opposition, as well as the international mediators, who convened a series of meetings to
pressure President Habyarimana into honouring his word. But the President was also under intense
pressure from his own supporters not to yield. He travelled to Tanzania on 6 April to meet with the
leaders of neighbouring countries. He gave in to the international pressure and agreed to speed up the
transition to democracy. At 8.30 p.m. that same evening, as his aeroplane approached Kigali airport, it
was shot down, killing all on board, incluidng the newly-chosen President of Burundi, Cyprien
Ntaryamira, senior members of Habyarimana's staff and the French crew.

On 8 April, an interim government headed by President Théodore Sindikubwabo was formed,

entirely under the control of Hutu extremists.

The first announcement of the news in Rwanda was broadcast by a private radio station, Radio
Télévision Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), which was in the hands of the most committed
extremists. The plane crash was the signal for the genocide of the Tutsi, since 1990 described as the
"accomplices" of the RPF, and the execution of moderate Hutus. Within half an hour, road blocks had
been flung up across the city of Kigali. Early on the 7th, the killings began, in Kigali and in many parts
of the country. The first targets of the violence were moderate Hutu senior politicians opposed to the
extremists' political agenda. Within twelve hours of the plane crash, the political parties that formed
part of the government had lost many of their leaders, including the most senior woman politician,
Prime Minister Agathe Uwiligiyimana. Outspoken journalists, human rights activists, priests — all
those who had international contacts and who could give an accurate picture of the killings — had
either been killed or forced to go into hiding.

The genocide of the Tutsis started early on 7 April in many communes and regions. While some
regions remained calm, notably Butare and Gitarama, even where killings did not begin straightaway,
the homes of Tutsis were burnt from 7 April and they were subjected to physical threats and verbal
intimidation. Terrified and disoriented by the ferocity with which they were hunted and hounded, they
ran to their churches for solace and protection, a traditional sanctuary in times of trouble.

In the afternoon of 7 April, the six-hundred strong RPF battalion based in Kigali broke out of its
headquarters and engaged the Rwandese Armed Forces, the Presidential Guard and the Interahamwe in
battle. The RPF forces stationed in the north of the country launched a simultaneous offensive on all
fronts. Over the weeks, it became increasingly apparent that the RPF had decided to seek an all-out
military solution to the genocide, to inflict a crushing military defeat on the interim government and to
overrun the entire country.

Over the next three months, Rwanda lived through a genocide and a war. Unfortunately, most
international observers confused the war and the genocide, a confusion that prolonged the genocide and
cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Throughout the critical months, the United Nations and various
international agencies were consistently calling for a ceasefire. There is no evidence that a ceasefire
would in any way have contributed to stopping the killing of civilians. Indeed, the massacres continued
unabated when the RPF declared a ninety-six-hour ceasefire. Negotiations for a ceasefire in fact suited
the interim government and helped to prolong its life, and hence its genocide. There were never any
battles in the préfectures with the highest casualties — Kibuye, Cyangugu and Gikongoro. In Butare,
which was also devastated, there was only one battle, in July. Key actors in the international
community squandered precious time and moral leverage by confusing the killings and the war.

The interim government was routed in early July. The RPF's military victory brought the genocide
to an end. Tragically, it was too late for most of Rwanda's Tutsi population. Such was the speed of the
genocide that most of them were dead by the end of April — within three weeks of the launch of the

What took place in Rwanda between April-July 1994 was no mindless violence, no undisciplined
explosion of "ethnic animosity." It was deliberate, calculated genocide, planned and carried out by
politicians and civic leaders. Using propaganda, bullying, the promise of looting and outright force,
many ordinary people were made into members of the interahamwe, and were compelled to kill.

The aim of the Hutu extremists went beyond the physical extermination of every Rwandese Tutsi.
The aim was to transform the collective identity of the Hutu as well. One strategy was to deprive the
Hutu of moderate leaders: killing the most prominent on the first day frightened those who could
replace them and forced them to go into hiding or into exile. Another component was to make an
example of any Hutu who tried to protect his or her Tutsi family members, friends or neighbours.
Killing some of the people who showed the courage to be human sent a powerful message throughout
the community. Still more radical was the aim of creating a nation of people complicit in the genocidal
killing. The extremists wanted everyone to be tainted with the blood of those who had died.

The first step in this project to dehumanise a nation was the development and propagation of the
extremist ideology. They played upon and created fears and frustrations in the Hutu populace, at all
levels. The war with the RPF had created a sense of insecurity and displaced hundreds of thousands of
people who were easy prey to the extremists' propaganda. Economic crisis was threatening prospects of
unemployment for many salaried people. There was a serious problem of access to land for young men.
The historians, ideologues, academics, journalists and songwriters who crafted the extremist ideology
disseminated a version of history that described all Tutsis as the perpetrators of historical injustice
toward the Hutu and describes them as a people, anxious once again to dominate the Hutu. The
relentless propaganda, underpinned by an educational system that divided the Rwandese people and
which reinforced many dangerous historical myths and stereotypes, created a political consciousness in
the Hutu community that the extremists could play upon to encourage people to kill their neighbours
and colleagues.

Despite the violent rhetoric, many communities and individuals refused to turn into killing
machines. The solution was force. The Presidential Guards and trained interahamwe were brought into
massacre the Tutsi — but also to compel the local Hutu to kill the Tutsi. The scene was set for the
pogroms of 1994, one of the greatest crimes against humanity in the twentieth century.


More than a million people were killed in a hundred days in Rwanda between 6 April and 4 July 1994.
Local government officials, anxious to kill the largest number of Tutsis as quickly as possible, herded
them into stadiums, churches, mosques, hospitals, schools, government buildings and gathered them on
the open ground. These "sanctuaries" were repeatedly attacked by armed servants of the state as well as
peasants and educated people. Initially, many Hutus, frightened by the panic that gripped the country,
also fled to these places of refuge. In an effort to break communal solidarity and isolate the Tutsis, the
Hutus were ordered to leave before the killings began.

Some people stayed on their hills and in their towns, determined to fight back. Tutsi and Hutu set
up local defence committees together. But these committees collapsed either because the Hutus were
encouraged or forced to abandon them or because well-armed soldiers intervened. In this most unequal
of conflicts, the "war of bullets versus stones," the victims had no chance. Assault by well-armed units
from the Rwandese Armed Forces and Presidential Guard, with assistance from the gendarmes and the
trained militia, the interahamwe, was the most common method of breaking local resistance. The result
was always victory for the attackers, whose modern weapons overwhelmed the defenders with their
firearms and limited supply of stones to throw.

The large-scale massacres were carried out as military operations. The attacks were led by soldiers
and gendarmes. The refugees were sprayed with tear-gas. This crippled their chances of resistance and
forced the living and the barely-living to cough and sneeze, after which they were finished off with
machetes by the men and women waiting outside. Their civilian supporters — men, women, girls and
boys — surrounded the area to kill those who attempted to escape with machetes, nail studded clubs
(known as masus), swords, sharpened bamboo sticks and spears.

And there they were killed — in the tens of thousands. On 20 April, at the Parish of Karama in
Butare, between thirty-five and forty-three thousand people died in less than six hours. On 15 April,
two thousand people were crushed to death by Caterpillar bulldozers inside the church at the Parish of
Nyange in Kibuye. On 15 April, at the Parish of Kibeho in Gikongoro, famous throughout Rwanda for
its revelations, about seven thousand people died a brutal death inside the church and in the surrounding
buildings, riddled with bullets and blown up by grenades in an attack led by a priest. Those who tried to
escape were mowed down by local villagers wielding machetes and masus. The wounded and some of
those who had hidden under corpses were subsequently burnt alive inside the church.

Those who were not killed in large-scale massacres died in a genocidal frenzy. They were macheted
at roadblocks, incriminated either by their ID cards or by their "Tutsi" looks. They were burnt alive or
were thrown, dead or alive, into pit latrines and rivers. They were drowned or forced to jump into rivers
to escape the terror of death with a machete. Patients were dragged out of their hospital beds and shot
inside hospital compounds. The wounded were pulled out of Red Cross ambulances and killed on the
roadside. Husbands were forced to kill their wives and mothers their sons. With a gun to their head,
some brothers became each other's executioners. Families became separated in the mayhem, or because
they had made a conscious decision to separate so as not to be wiped out in a single attack. Hiding in
the forests and bushes where they were hunted by their fellow-citizens, sometimes accompanied by
dogs trained to be merciless, they were forced to eat grass, or to lick the dew on the grass when it

Tens of thousands of people congregated in a few "safe" areas, such as the bishopric of Kabgayi in
Gitarama, the Kamarampaka Stadium and the camp of Nyarushishi in Cyangugu and the churches of St.
Famille and St. Paul's in Kigali. These "protected" areas were guarded by gendarmes that were at best
unreliable and at worst loyal to the militia. They were in fact death camps, particularly for Tutsi men
and boys, especially the educated and wealthy, who were abducted and executed nearby on a regular

Those who survived crawled out of holes and ceilings, stumbled out of mosquito-infested swamps,
came down freezing hilltops or wandered out of the thick, rain soaked forests of the south and west of
Rwanda. The majority were malnourished, many of them on the point of death. There was, of course,
no medical care for the life-threatening wounds inflicted by bullets, grenades, machetes and the array of
weapons that were intended to tear people apart, and, in the words made infamous by Nazi SS officers,
"turn them into smoke." Weak from months of hunger, sickness, thirst, lack of medical care and fear,
many could not walk when their moment of freedom came. They had to be transported on
wheelbarrows or carried on the backs of soldiers.


The extremists who set up the interim government and planned the genocide had crafted a wide array of
policies with which to cajole and frighten the population into a killing frenzy. But when it came to mass
murder, there were a lot of women who needed no encouragement. Some were inspired by their own
extremist views. Others saw the extermination of the Tutsi as an opportunity to ingratiate themselves to
those in power. For others, the genocide was a chance to enrich themselves by expropriating the
property of their victims, or an opportunity to settle scores with enemies, real and imaginary. Some
women showed such extraordinary cruelty that they can only be described as evil and perverted.
Whatever the motive, some of these women organised and led the attacks in which hundreds of people
lost their lives. A number of them shot refugees; but more often, women hacked other women, and
children, and sometimes even men, to death with machetes and masus.

When African Rights visited the commune of Ndora in Butare in July, its residents commented that
their sous-préfecture, Gisagara, had contained an exceptionally large number of high-ranking killers. A
number of the people who distinguished themselves in their eagerness to kill their neighbours were
women. In addition to some of the women living in Ndora who took leading roles in the killings, Ndora
was also the hometown of the minister for women's affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, a leading figure in
the genocide (see below).

Bernadette Mukarurangwa

"Take up your machetes, kill all the Tutsis, don't spare a single one."

As the hunt for Tutsis got underway in Ndora, they ran for the hill of Kabuye. But there was no safety
on this hilltop where thousands of them were massacred. One of the women most consistently
implicated in the massacres in this area is Bernadette Mukarurangwa, a former teacher and
parliamentarian. The mother of five children, she was married to a fellow-killer, Innocent Nzamwita, a
university lecturer. Numerous witnesses testified to her central role in the killing.

Jean Baptiste Bemera is an agricultural supervisor. He lives in Uruyange cellule, Muzenga sector in
Ndora commune and is a Hutu. He is forty-seven and is married with seven children.

I knew Bernadette very well. A road leading to the sous-préfecture of Gisagara ran between our houses.
Bernadette's cellule of Nduba is on one side of the road and mine, cellule Uruyange, is on the other side.
She was a teacher before, then a member of parliament and finally, a genocidal killer.

We have known each other since primary school. She was lucky enough to continue her secondary
education at Save. She was very good until becoming a fierce MRND member.

Everything started with multipartyism and, in about 1993, she started striking up close relationships
with vigorous, unemployed peasants from our sector. Her friends were, in fact, bandits as we heard that
they were her interahamwe.

The killing in Mugenza began immediately after a visit by president Théodore Sindikubwabo on 21
April. The meeting was witnessed by a councillor of Muzenga sector called Célestin Nzabonankira. A
Hutu, he lives in Nduba cellule, Muzenga sector. He is thirty-three and is married with six children.
Célestin described the visit of the president.

He only came with some soldiers and stopped at Gisagara trading centre and made a speech which didn't
even last two minutes. He said, 'Move apart from the people who say that this war does not concern them.
I don't want people who support radio Muhabura (to avoid saying the RPF) in this sous-préfecture any

Célestin said that "It was as if the devil had descended upon the hill; the massacre of Tutsis." In July
1995, the authorities came to bury the remains of twenty-five thousand Tutsis who had tried to escape
from the huge massacre at Kabuye hill, and had been killed in small groups throughout the area.
Célestin had no doubt who was primarily responsible.

The massacre in my sector was sponsored by Bernadette Mukarurangwa, daughter of François

Kajeguhakwa and Catherine Nyirambeba. Her husband, Innocent Nzamwita, an employee of the
Ruhengeri campus of the National University, was also terrible. Bernadette had been a member of
parliament for five years at least. She was a teacher before, at Ntobo primary school in Ndora commune.
Her parents had already died when the genocide happened. We lived in the same cellule as Bernadette
and we knew each other very well. What she did in this commune, and more especially in our sector, is
beyond imagination.

It was very early in the morning of 22 April when she ordered certain hard-hearted Hutus to kill all
the Tutsis in our sector. She even took the lead, walking with them in attacks. Certain good-hearted
Hutus like myself and others did not appreciate this inhuman gesture as the Tutsis were our neighbours.
But through lack of means, we witnessed these horrible events.

There was a large, merciless roadblock just at the entrance of her house. She had taken on leading
bandits from our neighbourhood who were to carry out meticulous searches of Tutsis. She even said that
the sous-préfet of Gisagara, who is originally from Nyaruguru, should die. But as certain criminals said
he was Hutu, he was spared and, he too, participated in the genocide. Everywhere in the sector, she
would just indoctrinate: 'Take up your machetes, kill all the Tutsis, don't spare a single one...' After
eliminating almost all the Tutsis, Bernadette passed a new law which was even going to create a war
between the Hutus. She said that even Tutsis married to Hutu men had to be killed. The Hutus who had
married Tutsis fiercely opposed this decision and decided to take their revenge. And so Bernadette's
decision was rejected.

After having been stained with the blood of innocent Tutsis, Bernadette started selling Primus [beer]
and her house became a meeting place for the criminals to share out Tutsis' belongings and to drink.
Certain interahamwe had taken in Tutsi girls to rape. Bernadette ordered them to be killed, as well as the
children of Hutu women married to Tutsis, regardless of sex. That is what was done. Tutsi children were
killed by their uncles, grandfathers...

Bernadette had a gun that she entrusted to her husband during the genocide to kill people. Her
brother, [who was] also at her house, came from Kigali with grenades and gun. He killed a lot too.
Bernadette and her family are now living in the refugee camps in Burundi. A driver for an NGO, IOM,
who worked in the camps told us this.

All the Tutsis of Gisagara had faked their identity cards well before, in 1959, but they were killed.
For example the families of Jean Manyagihugu, a trader; Juvénal Ntaganzwa, a teacher and Célestin
Nsabimana, a teacher.

I conclude by saying that no-one can support Bernadette on this hill.10

Jean Baptiste Bemera, the agricultural supervisor, confirmed the sequence of events after 22 April,
and the role of the member of parliament.

As soon as [Sindikubwabo] left, the killing started. Bernadette Mukarurangwa was the one who took
over. Putting up roadblocks here and there, starting with one at her house. Her husband, her brother from
Kigali - all three of them were terrible. Bernadette had given her gun to her husband.

The killing had already started by 11:00 a.m. Seeing this, I decided not to go to the roadblocks
anymore. Among the militiamen trained by Bernadette even before were Shimiye, Kamanayo
(responsable of my cellule), Ntawanganyimana alias 'Cyanira' and Nteziryayo.

Bernadette indoctrinated the people into killing all the Tutsis, and the attacks followed them even
onto Kabuye hill where they had withdrawn. Bernadette spent all day at the roadblock of her house just
to command the killings. She ordered the militiamen to kill all the Tutsi girls and women they had
abducted to rape, which the militiamen did. She gave out the order to kill all the children of Hutu women
married to Tutsis, and this order was followed. Aside from her barbarity, Bernadette sold Primus and the
criminals were the only ones who went there to drink.

During the genocide I quarrelled with Bernadette twice. Firstly, she came by to threaten me, asking
why I had refused to go on the night patrols. This was about 25 April. She told the militiamen to attack
me. But, as my family were strong (I was Hutu like her) my brothers defended me and her intention came
to nothing.

Another time, the militiamen caught a young Hutu man who said that he was a prisoner at
Karubanda [Butare's central prison]. They decided to take this man to the headquarters, [that is]
Bernadette's house. I followed them. When they got there, they explained the situation to Bernadette and
asked her what they should do with this fellow. Bernadette told them to take him to Kilihira11 for the
Inkotanyi. The man was handed over. I objected, saying he should rather be helped, for he was firstly
Hutu and then because you could see that he was physically weak, and finally because he was going to
the neighbouring commune of Muganza. So the militiamen decided not to kill him but forced him to
return to Karubanda. The man set off but I don't know if he got there.

With the arrival of the Inkotanyi at Nyanza, in short, with the Inkotanyi progress, Bernadette's
cruelty increased. She came by to give out an order to exterminate even Tutsi women married to Hutu
men. The Hutus opposed this, telling her to start off with the killing of the wife of the bourgmestre of
Ndora, Célestin Rwankubito, that of Chancellor Vénant Ntabomvura... The decision was eventually
thrown out.

Bernadette fled when the Inkotanyi came to the commune of Mugusa at Musha centre. She left on
foot with her husband and her five children. They carried their luggage on their heads.

Her militiamen stopped her, asking where she was going as she was clearly the one who had led all
the operations. She spent all night at the roadblock and it may be that she gave fifty thousand francs to
her militiamen to let her through. That was interesting! The next day she continued on her way with her
husband and her children and arrived at the Kibilizi roadblock in Nyaruhengeri commune. The
interahamwe took away their gun. Certain Hutus who were coming backwards and forwards told this all
to us. Bernadette is now in the Rwandan refugee camps in Burundi.12

A number of Hutu widows of the genocide living in Ndora have accused Bernadette of having their
husbands and children killed. One of them is Monique Mukarutabana. She lost her husband, Jean Bosco

10 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 19 July 1995.

11 Located in Byumba, Kilihira was the last meeting place between the Habyarimana government and the RPF
before the Arusha process began.
12 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 20 July 1995.

Seburikoko, a medical assistant at the University Centre for Public Health (CUSP) and three daughters
out of five children in the genocide. She is thirty-five and lives in Uruyange cellule, Muzenga sector.

The genocide started in Ndora after Sindikubwabo's meeting and the indoctrination of Bernadette
Mukarurangwa, member of parliament, who incited the Hutus to rise up as one to kill the Tutsis.

It was 10:00 a. m. on Friday 22 April. My husband was not at the house. He was in Butare town as
he was working at CUSP as a medical assistant. He was called Jean Bosco Seburikoko. An attack from
Bernadette's house came and invaded our house. She was part of this attack which looted, destroyed and
burned my house.

Men were the only ones targeted on the first day. As my house had already been destroyed, I
decided to go back to my parents' house, still in Muzenga, with my children. As my father is originally
from Huye and had faked his identity card well before, it was difficult to find him. In addition to this, my
brother was a FAR soldier and had rank of adjutant. He is called Joseph Kayijamahe and is currently in
Gako where he is undergoing training for integration into the RPA.

I just hid my only son at my parent's house and the girls stayed within reach of everyone. I didn't
think they could be killed and they often came by my brother, the adjutant's house. He was on the battle
field but his wife was there.

Monique's nephew was Bernadette's godchild. But such was Bernadette's determination to
exterminate all Tutsis that she did not even hesitate to kill Monique's children.

A few days after the massacre of refugees at Kabuye, probably towards the end of April, Bernadette
launched an attack against us, saying that all the children of Bosco, my husband, should die. So the
interahamwe collected and killed my three daughters, Kantengwa, a pupil in her third year of primary
school, Kayigirwa, in her fourth year of primary school and Uwamariya who was in her first year of
primary school. Luckily, my son was not discovered and he eventually escaped. He is the eldest in my

See how Bernadette was against my family and my children, even though she was the godmother of
the child of my older sister Béatrice. I couldn't understand her but since we, that is the descendants of my
father, were considered Hutu despite our height or physical appearance, we were free to walk around.

Another time, Bernadette delivered a soldier from my sector. He was admitted to Butare Groupe
Scolaire hospital. Indeed, this soldier's parents were at Muzenga and they had faked their identity cards to
become Hutu well before. He thought that they had been spared. When he got to the hill, this soldier saw
that all the members of his family had been killed. Unfortunately, he wasn't armed and when the
interahamwe saw him they alerted Bernadette who came by to give out the order to kill him so that he
wouldn't take revenge on the Hutus. Effectively, the interahamwe killed him. This was at the roadblock at
the house of the so-called member of parliament.

Bernadette was the one who gave out the order to kill the children of the following Hutu widows:

• Béatrice Kubwimana, married to Charles Ayabagabo, Tutsi. All her children and her husband
were killed;

• Cécile Nyirandugu, married to Emmanuel Rugemintwaza, Tutsi. Her husband was killed and
the children were abducted to [Bernadette's house].

Monique described the fate that her victims would like to visit upon Bernadette.

If we had a chance to see Bernadette, we would kill her ourselves.

She spoke of the efforts by the widows to help each other and to see that justice is done, even when
the criminals are family members.

I am currently staying with my family. As elsewhere with most of the Hutu widows, we have made a sort
of Association of April 1994 Widows and there are now twenty-five women. In our association, the
Hutus outnumber the Tutsis by far. Amongst these Hutu women, there are those whose brothers have
been imprisoned. They have been really affected by the genocide. Our association is called Abisunganye
"those who help each other". We are still poor, with hardly fourteen thousand francs when we had
foreseen building houses so that we didn't have to stay with our families anymore. The association is a
gathering of widows just from my sector.13

Félicitée Semakuba

"She threw grenades as if she were sowing beans. I saw her on her knees shooting into us. Mme
Semakuba did all this whilst she was pregnant."

Félicitée Semakuba, a former gendarme from Cyangugu, is another woman who has been accused of
participating actively in the genocide in Ndora. She has the dubious distinction of carrying out her
murderous activities, including shooting unarmed refugees herself, while pregnant. She collaborated
with Bernadette Mukarurangwa and worked closely with one of her brothers, an employee of Gisagara
Health Centre.

Génévieuve Mukarutesi, thirty-three, lives in cellule Rugara, sector Ndora, where she is a farmer.
Like so many Hutu women in Rwanda, she has been forced to pay for the "mistake" of marrying a Tutsi
man; her husband and three of her four children were murdered in the genocide.

I am Hutu. My husband was called Viateur Ndamage, an archivist at CUSP. He was killed at Kabuye in
the genocide because he was Tutsi.

We were forced to leave our property on 22 April. On this date, the situation deteriorated sharply in
our sector. The Hutus wanted to exterminate the Tutsis. My husband was Tutsi and we had four children,
three boys and one girl. Like other Tutsi families, we went to Kabuye hill where there were a lot of us,
about fifty thousand. At least forty thousand perished on this hill.

The first attack was led by Hutus from our district directed by a pregnant Hutu woman who was
armed with a gun and a lot of grenades. She is Mme Félicitée Semakuba, a former gendarme. She is
originally from Cyangugu, probably Gisuma or Gafunzo commune. She was together with her brother,
Silas, who worked at Gisagara Health Centre.

During this attack, I, myself, saw Mme Semakuba with a gun and grenades. She was on her knees
shooting into the crowd of refugees all the while giving out orders to her team. She would often get up to
throw grenades; she was very active. But, as there were so many refugees, they repulsed the attack by
throwing stones. Mme Semakuba went and asked for a reinforcement of soldiers from Butare after
realising that the three attacks she had just directed against us had not achieved a great deal. When the
Butare soldiers arrived, they told the Hutus to separate from the Tutsis, which is how I came to leave the
crowd with my four children as I was Hutu. I don't know how my husband died. What I do know is that
he was killed there.

Having lost her husband, Génévieuve was left with the responsibility of protecting her children
from the predators.

I am not originally from Ndora and when I wanted to go back to my husband's land, the Hutus refused.
Our house had already been destroyed. So I made my way to my commune of origin where my parents
lived. It is Shyanda commune, sector Bweya, cellule Gisanze. All along the road my children were
abducted and killed by Hutus. I lost three of them, two boys and one girl. I was left with my oldest son
called Richard Bayingana, a twelve-year-old student in his fifth year of primary school at Gisagara. It is
hard to explain how my son was saved. It was the will of God who didn't want me to be left alone.14

13 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 20 July 1995.

14 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 19 July 1995.

Gorette Mukandamage is another Hutu widow who holds Félicitée Semakuba responsible for the
killing sprees in Ndora which have deprived Gorette of the love and support of her husband and two
children. Gorette, who is from the cellule of Nyabitare, suffered at the hands of both Félicitée and
Bernadette Mukarurangwa.

My husband was called Alfred Ndambaje and he was a farmer. He was killed in the genocide because he
was Tutsi. I also lost my two children, the only ones I had; a girl and a boy.

I am Hutu. But as I had married into a Tutsi family, I followed them to Kabuye hill where there were
so many of us it is difficult to count how many.

With her brother Silas, Mme Semakuba came to kill almost every day. I saw Mme Semakuba with a
gun and a lot of grenades. She threw grenades as if she were sowing beans. I saw her on her knees
shooting into us. I saw her with my own eyes more than five times. I would dare say that she was the one
who killed my husband as my husband was killed on 25 April when an attack of soldiers launched an
assault against us in which she took part.

The group [of soldiers] asked the Hutu women to leave the Tutsis. That's how I came to leave with
my three children. [They] were killed when I got to my own family under orders from the accursed
former member of parliament, Bernadette Mukarurangwa. In this attack of 25 April, there were also
criminals who had come from Mugenza commune with their bourgmestre, Elie Ndayambaje.

Mme Semakuba did all this whilst she was pregnant. What is a shame is that she is still in Rwanda.
Information that comes by us says that Mme Semakuba and her brother are in Cyangugu.15

Léoncie Nyirabacamurwango

"Léoncie went looking for lists and communal documents to enable her to draw up an exhaustive list of
people to kill."

Léoncie Nyirabacamurwango lives in Uruyange cellule, Muzenga sector and has been accused of
participating in the genocide. She was an instructor at IGA (a Kinyarwanda acronym which stands for
communal centre of reading and writing). She has been arrested and is currently detained at Karubanda
Prison in Butare. Her husband, Vianney Bunege, is not known to have participated at all in the genocide
and continues to live at his home.

One of those prepared to testify against Léoncie Nyirabacamurwango is Josephine Mukarutesi, a

twenty-one year old Tutsi peasant who lives in Nyabitare cellule in Ndora sector.

With the outbreak of the killings in our sector, my mother who was Hutu was forced to leave her
property and go back to her parents, my grandparents. As we knew girls were often spared, I decided to
leave with her given that my two brothers had already been killed on Kabuye hill.

You can't tell by my size or physical appearance that I am Tutsi. That's the main reason why I am
still alive. During the genocide, I went almost everywhere since there were some leading criminals in my
mother's family, some real interahamwes.

I am an eyewitness to all the obscene acts that Mme member of parliament Bernadette
Mukarurangwa did in collaboration with Mme Léoncie Nyirabacamurwango, who was arrested about
four months ago.

As far as these two women were concerned, you shouldn't spare a single Tutsi. [There was] no
question of crossbreeding between the Hutus and Tutsis. Léoncie went looking for lists and communal
documents to enable her to draw up an exhaustive list of people to kill. She was therefore able to identify
Hutu women who had married Tutsis and had children with them. The first time the two women put out

15 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 19 July 1995.

the order to kill Tutsis girls, descendants of Hutu mothers, it was applied in certain cellules like Nduba,

In our sector, the order had not been enforced. It was necessary to wait for Mme Pauline
Nyiramasuhuko to visit her parents who lived in the same cellule as me. During her visit, the two women
rushed to tell her about the problem that certain interahamwe were still keeping Tutsi girls in their homes.
Mme Nyiramasuhuko, surrounded by her brothers, said that it was a shame to see that Ndora commune
had come last since Tutsi girls were still alive.

After saying these words, several Tutsi women and girls were killed by the interahamwe who had
raped them. But I was lucky that the interahamwe who was protecting me didn't kill me. All the same, I
had to pay money.

Amongst the girls killed because of this speech were the three daughters of Marguerite who was
Hutu and who currently lives at Rugara; and also Scholastique...

Léoncie was even determined to kill a girl that Léoncie's own mother had saved.

During this period, there was a daughter of Sylvestre Muhiza who had faked her identity card and lived at
the house of Léoncie's mother who had agreed to protect her. Mme Léoncie forced her to take off all her
clothes and took her to the roadblock herself where the girl was once again raped before being killed.16

Annonciata Nyirangendahimana, forty-two, lives in the cellule of Rugara. A Tutsi whose Hutu
husband had died before the genocide, she was welcomed by her in-laws which gave her a measure of
protection against Léoncie's campaigns.

After the killings started on my hill, I fled to Kabuye hill where I found other hunted Tutsis like me. I
spent a day there. As my husband, who was no longer alive, was Hutu, I had the idea of going to my in-
laws. They welcomed me and looked after me during the tragedy.

We lived very close to Léoncie. What I did not see with my own eyes I heard from the criminals.
But, as I was privileged to be able to move around, I saw a lot with my own eyes.

The amount of times Bernadette and Léoncie passed our house to go and launch attacks against Tutsi
families in the company of leading killers! They were actually their guides and moreover they were the
so-called intellectuals of the region. Léoncie had the list of people to kill as she had faked their identity

Given that she was a supervisor at the communal office, she was well experienced in this obscene
act of rounding up those who had tampered with documents and identity cards.

The two women sponsored the assassination of Tutsi women and girls who the interahamwe hadn't
yet killed. They also wanted the Tutsi women married to Hutus killed but there was fierce opposition to
this idea. Nyiramasuhuko came to Ndora just once. She came to visit her mother who, even now, stays at
Ndora in Nyabitare cellule. She said the Tutsi girls and women should also be liquidated. Thus the
conspiracy of these two women was successful in certain cellules.17

Maman Aline

Maman Aline ran a hairdresser's shop in Kigali. She was arrested in September and is in the Central
Prison of Kigali. The mother of four children, she gives thirty-four as her age. A member of MRND,
she worked closely with the councillor of the sector of Rugenge, Odette Nyirabagenzi, one of the most
important planners of the genocide in the city of Kigali (See below).

16 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 20 July 1995.

17 Interviewed in Ndora, Butare, 20 July 1995.

Innocent Iyakaremye, thirty, worked in a music shop in Kigali. Although a Tutsi, he did not initially
feel "wanted." He was in a crowd of people when Maman Aline killed Spéciose Karakezi, a wealthy
Tutsi businesswoman and the mother of six children. At the time, Spéciose's husband and children were
on holiday in Uganda. In late June, Innocent spoke with Lindsey Hilsum of The Observer in Kigali.

Maman Aline was a friend of Odette. One morning they brought a woman, Spéciose Karakezi. The
interahamwe refused to kill her because she had given them money. Maman Aline demanded to kill the
woman herself. There were some displaced women from Gisozi18 who had pointed sticks. They tried to
penetrate her vagina with them. They opened her legs and Maman Aline penetrated her vagina with a
stick. Then [a woman called] Pauline came along with a big masu and hit her on the head. Maman Aline
was wearing a wax print dress and had grenades tucked into her waistband. She took Spéciose's clothes
off and put them on.

Bonaventure Niyibizi worked with USAID as an agricultural economist. He witnessed this brutal
scene from the church of St. Famille where he was hiding at the time. He also spoke with Lindsey

It was April 14th. Spéciose's neighbour, Jacqueline Rangira, was killed at the same time. Soldiers
bombarded the block of flats [which is just next to St. Famille, up the hill] until the women came out.
That's when they were killed. Spéciose's body was taken away soon, but Jacqueline's remained for some

These accusations against Maman Aline have been repeated by Rwandese human rights
organisations who have conducted their own investigation into the genocide in Kigali.

She directed the group of women who killed Mme Spéciose Karekezi and the wife of the lawyer Rangira.
Maman Aline is an interahamwe who collaborated closely with the councillor Odette Nyirabagenzi. She
transported interahamwe in her vehicle to places where the plan of genocide was executed. In the city of
Kigali, she was seen in the sectors Rugenge, Muhima and Gatsata.19

Predictably, Mama Aline denies the accusations and protests her innocence from her new home in

Many other women took a lead role in the killings. They include Agnès Bakamirintasi, president of
the interahamwe in the cellule of Kibenga, Ndera in the préfecture of Greater Kigali. She has been
identified by numerous survivors as having been very active in the massacre at the Parish and Small
Seminary of Ndera on 9 April and generally in the killings in the area.


Not all women who killed did so from conviction, enjoyment or evil. The extremists were determined
that the entire Hutu populace should participate in one way or another in the genocide, and this meant
that many women killed through coercion or threat. One of those who did so is Devota Mariya
Mukazitoni, twenty-four, a peasant from Rutonde in Kibungo.

The macheting began the day after the President was killed. From the 6th-9th [April] there was no
problem in our sector of Nsinda. The ordinary people knew that the President had died but still they lived
in peace. But near us, in Mukarange and in Kabane, houses were burning. But then soldiers brought
mobs of interahamwe from different communes who made a lot of noise in our sector. On Saturday both

18 This is a reference to people who had been displaced by the fighting between the government of Habyarimana
and the RPF. Many of the people living in the displaced camps became fearsome killers during the genocide.
19 Rapport De l'Enquete Sur Les Violations Massives Des Droits De L'Homme Commises Au Rwanda A Partir
Du 06 Avril 1994, Premiere Phase, p. 211, published on 10 December 1994 in Kigali by a commission of inquiry
established by CLADHO-Kanyarwanda.

Tutsis and Hutus began to run away. We went to Irundu and Rubira on Saturday [9th]. There was a
marketplace in the woods in Irundu; the local people said we should gather there to give each other
support. Then the former bourgmestre [of Murambi] Jean Baptiste Gatete and the bourgmestre of
Kayonza, Senkware, brought guns and grenades there. I did not see the two bourgmestres again but
whenever anyone made inquiries about where weapons were coming from, the names of Gatete and
Senkware would always come up.

After three days, the people of Irundu went back to their homes. After that we also decided to go
back to Nsinda. Hunger was our main motivation for going back. When we reached Gikaya, we met
about ten soldiers with some interahamwe, both young and old men. (Women had not yet been recruited.)
There were nine of us in our group when they stopped us, four women and five men. One of the women
was my godmother. We had no idea why they had stopped us. They took us back to our places of origin.
The soldiers instructed us to loot; we had to pack the goods onto the back of lorries belonging to the
soldiers. After that they said that women were cowards and were only good enough to finish off the ones
who did not die straightaway. They gave me a big masu and told me to clean up a man who had been
shot in Nsinda. I knew the man because he was from Nsinda. I had to hit him three times before he died.

We left the place and walked on. Some of the local people then turned against me and my
godmother. They said that my godmother was a Tutsi and therefore I was also a Tutsi agent. They said I
must kill my godmother. They began to insist and started beating me up. When I felt that the beating was
too much, I gave in and hit my godmother with the machete. When I started, the others also joined in and
began hitting her with their machetes. She did not die immediately. While this was happening, a young
man jumped out of his hiding place. The whole group of attackers began to chase him. I decided to chase
him as well instead of killing my godmother. But three of the interahamwe brought me back to make sure
that I completed the job. They gave me a masu to finish her off and I did.

The councillor, Kaniziyo Munyakaringa, was there. He was the main activist whipping people up.
[He finally escaped when the RPF took control of the area]. The others who were organizing the killings
were Juvénal Kayibanda from the cellule of Kibare. He was one of the leaders. The others were
Ruzindana, a full-time professional interahamwe and Jip Munyanziza; he had no full-time employment
except that he acted as a carrier on market days. They went around saying that whoever did not kill
would have to be killed.

Shortly after this, RPF soldiers reached Kayonza. Government soldiers ran away in one direction
and the interahamwe in another direction. When the soldiers started fleeing, they told civilians to return
to their homes. We felt this was too dangerous but we did not know what else to do. I was one of those
who went towards Kayonza which meant that we ran into the advancing RPF force. Of course I was
scared. But how could I know what fate awaited me wherever I went? The options looked tight. Of
course I hoped they would spare me but by that time, I almost didn't care. I felt I had become like an
animal. The RPF told us to go behind their front-line. When we got to Kayonza, it was crowded. Some of
us moved onto Mukarange and occupied some empty houses. Six days later, people who had seen us kill
others pointed us out to RPF soldiers. I confessed and was imprisoned, first in Kayonza and now here.
From my commune, I was the only person who was pointed out. But there were also others from
Kabarondo and Muhazi.

She explained that one of the people who reported on her was a young woman who "my elderly
father had picked up in Nsinda to make himself young again" but who had managed to escape her
father. She added that in Nsinda even her father had been rounded up to participate in the killings. "But
he was so old that he could not keep the pace."

Devota said that she used to have a membership card for the Liberal Party but was then "liberated"20
by the MRND who gave her their card. But she had not had prior contact with the interahamwe. Her
testimony concludes with a powerful expression of the social consequences of her participation in the

20This term, which is also used as a euphemism for rape, refers to the efforts of political parties to poach
members from each other.

Yes, many other women were forced to do similar things. We did not have professional interahamwe in
my area before 6 April. The bourgmestre brought interahamwe from other communes when the killings
started on the 9th. Officials did not come before the President's death to turn Hutus against Tutsis.

People like Gatete should be punished. In fact they should be killed for forcing people to kill their
neighbours. Yes, I am afraid of returning to Nsinda because of the fear of revenge from the families of
the people I killed.21

Yuliana Mukanyarwaya, thirty-seven, is a peasant and the mother of six. She used to live in
Nyagatoro, commune Muhazi, in Kibungo. After her arrest, she left the children with her mother. Like
the others, she was eager to stress how she had been coerced into killing. This was no special pleading:
many survivors readily admitted that peasants like Yuliana were reluctant murderers.

I had had no connections with the interahamwe before the Saturday after the President died [9 April].
The bourgmestres of Kayonza and Murambi brought machetes, spears and masus which were kept at the
offices of the sector. People collected the weapons there. Our councillor, Silas Kinyogote, and another
official of the cellule, Augustin Gatabazi, came to our homes and told people to kill anyone who did not
agree with the MRND and CDR, Hutus who had run away from other sectors and all Tutsis. But in fact
Hutus in our sector who thought they might be killed for political reasons had already run away. Soldiers
were also telling residents to kill.

When they told us to kill, many people refused. I was one of those who refused. They beat me up so
badly with rifle butts that the baby I was carrying on my back, a two-month-old girl, died. My husband
also refused. They took me to the office of the commune; the wounded were gathered outside the office.
They gave you a person to finish off. I killed an old man, seventy-year-old Cyeribera, with a masu. He
was a peasant from our sector. Shortly afterwards, the RPF arrived. The relatives of Cyeribera who had
managed to hide informed the RPF. I was taken to Kayonza where I spent one night and was then
transferred to Kabuga. I was the only person in our sector but others were arrested in Kayonza.

The people behind these killings should be put where they have put others. I don't know what will be
done with me, But eventually I will have to go back to my home. Where else can I live? Of course I
realise that it will be very difficult to live in harmony with the neighbours whose relatives we have killed.
I cannot say whether we will be forgiven. But if we are, I don't see that I have any choice but to go back
to my children and my home.22


As well as the more prominent women who organised or led the killings, many women and girls
participated in lesser roles. Survivors of massacres consistently report that women and girls numbered
in the crowds that besieged them in parishes and other places where they sought refuge, and wielded
machetes and other weapons.

Adelice Mukabutera, twenty, and her family are peasants. They lived in Sovu, commune Huye in
Butare. They took refuge at the monastery of Sovu where they were forced out by the Mother Superior
(see below). They were obliged to await their death at Sovu Health Centre (C.S.S.) where there was a
concerted attack on 22 April. Retired soldiers and communal policemen were among the attackers.
Adelice expressed her shock at the participation of women and girls in the assault, and at their cruelty.

I withdrew into one of the C.S.S. rooms and the attacks started. The explosion of grenades, violent shots
from the communal policemen with guns, the throwing of stones and shots from the criminals' bows and

21 Interviewed in Kabuga, Greater Kigali, 27 May 1994.

22 Interviewed in Kabuga, Greater Kigali, 27 May 1994.

There were women shouting, saying, 'Finish off these serpents, they are very bad...' All the windows
of the room we were in had already been broken. Bullets came in, hitting a lot of the refugees. I saw that
my death was inevitable. So I decided to leave the bedroom and to see, if by chance, a bullet killed me. I
left and when I got outside was hit by a bullet underneath my left collar-bone; the bullet went through to
my shoulder-blade and I fell to the ground. But I didn't die. Some minutes later, I tried to get up. Once
again, I was shot at. But the bullet passed under my left ear; it touched me but it was not fatal. Finally, I
was hit by a third bullet which hit me on right side, between my collar-bone and my shoulder-blade. I
fell, almost dead, to the ground. I was bleeding heavily but I quickly regained my hearing. At about 6:00
p.m., the criminals left as they had killed almost all the Tutsi refugees who were at C.S.S. About six
thousand refugees were killed, their bodies bathed in blood. In the night, I tried to get up but couldn't
stand up as I had lost a lot of blood.23

Nyiramwiza, an eighteen-year-old secondary school student, lived in the cellule of Kanyegenyege,

sector Muhigi in the commune of Mwendo in Kibuye. The killings started early on the morning of 7
April in the neighbouring areas of Gikongoro and refugees, many of them wounded, started to pour into
Mwendo. Fear forced the Tutsis of Mwendo to sleep in the bush on the night of the 7th. Over the next
few days, refugees fleeing neighbouring sectors such as Shoba, began to arrive in Muhigi. Nyiramwiza,
her mother, brothers and sisters sought refuge in the literacy class of the office of the commune. The
classroom was already full of refugees. There was a huge massacre on 15 April. Nyiramwiza described
the aftermath.

On Sunday the 17th, the interahamwe and their allies, that is women and girls, came to attack us. It was
about 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. We were in the literacy class. There had been two communal policemen
who were assuring our security. But when they saw the attack coming, they left the place without saying
anything to us. The militia made us go outside. All the refugees were looted before they were massacred.
There were about three thousand of us. They selected educated people amongst us. They were killed a
short distance from the literacy classroom. After having chosen the educated people, they took us to
Kigoma, near the office of the sector. There were about two thousand of us. The interahamwe encircled
us and began to kill us. Among the killers, there were some Batwa who lived near the sector of Kigoma.
There were also girls and women among the attackers. They included Donatile Nikuze, a student in the
private secondary school of Birambo. She is the daughter of Bigwatira. There was also the daughter of
Nyirababiligi. She is currently in Kigoma. They killed until about 5:00 p.m. By then, there were only
fifty refugees left. We went to the commune office of Mwendo.

Nyiramwiza eventually escaped and returned to her hill where she was hidden by a Hutu neighbour,
a woman who lived on her own. In July, she walked to Gitarama and eventually arrived in Kigali. Her
parents, siblings and numerous other relatives were killed.24

Beata Niyoyita, a peasant farmer from Ntarama in Bugesera, was one of thousands who sought
sanctuary at the church of Ntarama where there was a military assault on 15 April, followed by an
attack carried out by armed civilians, including women and girls.

A group of soldiers and interahamwe attacked the church. They made holes in the back walls and threw
grenades through the holes. Everyone tried to take cover. The interahamwe then came in with their
machetes and began massacring. At least one uniformed soldier continued to shoot into the church to
protect the interahamwe until they were right inside church and had begun their 'work.' The interahamwe
included women and young boys, about eleven to fourteen, carrying spears and sharpened sticks. They
used these to beat a lot of children to death.25

Brother Félicien Bahizi was a student in the Grand Seminary of Kigali. He had gone home to
Muhumbano, commune Kagano in Cyangugu for the Easter holidays. He went to assist the thousands
of refugees who had gathered at the Parish of Nyamasheke.

23 Interviewed in Sovu, Butare, 13 August 1995.

24 Interviewed in Kigali, 2 March 1995.
25 Interviewed in Nyamata, Bugesera, 30 May 1994.

Wednesday the 13th is the day I gave up hope. At about 10:30 a.m., when I was preparing a meal for the
refugees at the secondary school for boys just next to the parish, I heard the sound of many guns, the
explosion of grenades and the yells of people who were singing. We became really afraid. One of the
girls helping me distribute the food looked at me and said 'This is our last day of life.' I found the courage
to look outside. I saw that the parish was surrounded by a lot of people. There were so many people that
you would have thought the whole commune had turned up. They had every kind of weapon—guns,
grenades, clubs and of course machetes. There was a group of leaders wearing banana leaves, carrying
spears and dancing. The group included all categories—men, women, young girls and young boys. There
were boys as young as eight. I became overwhelmed by a sense of desperation and anger. But I was also
afraid, worried that they would throw the grenades at the buildings which would collapse on top of us.26

Seven-year-old Pierre Nsengumuremyi survived the massacre at the Parish of Mibilizi in Cyangugu
where he lost his father. After a major massacre on 18 April, the men and boys who remained alive
were taken out and killed near the parish. Some of the young boys were selected and led out to be killed
by their own classmates. Pierre was one of the male children who was spared. Together with the
women, girls and boys who survived, he was evacuated to a camp in Nyarushishi in the commune of
Nyakabuye. The interahamwe and their civilian supporters, including women, continued to terrorise the
refugees until the very end of the genocide. At the time of the interview in mid-February, Pierre was
living in an orphanage in Kamembe.

Fear never left us even at Nyarushishi because the horrible interahamwe were always there and kept
attacking us. They lived near our camp. There were also some soldiers at the camp. But this did not take
the fear away because the interahamwe were still cruel. One day we woke up. And what did we see? That
our camp was surrounded by the interahamwe who had a lot of machetes and other things they wanted to
use to kill us. Some of these interahamwe were women who had thrown stones at us in Mibilizi.27

A nun from Muyira in the préfecture of Butare expressed shock at the behaviour of members of
their congregation, men as well as women.

They seemed like they had gone mad, literally mad. I could not believe these were the same individuals I
knew. There were even catechists among the attackers. One of the catechists forced a priest amongst us
to get down and searched his pockets, taking all the money he had on him. But the sight I really could not
believe was to see a woman I knew well with a machete. And she was holding it against us whom she
knew so well. Can you imagine the fate of someone they did not know? Can you imagine what they
would do to some poor person they fell upon hiding in a sorghum field? It makes me shudder even now
just to think of it.28

An expatriate staff member of MSF-Holland was in Butare in April 1994, part of a team that was
trying to set up a field hospital. He arrived in Butare on 20 April. He and his colleagues were forced to
abandon their plan and to leave Butare. The killings, the violence surrounding the care of wounded
Tutsis at the hospital and the danger of transporting wounded Tutsis made it impossible for them to
help the people who most needed their assistance. African Rights interviewed him in Nairobi in the
spring of 1994.

There were even women, ordinary women, waving clubs with nails just outside the hospital. If I had not
been in Rwanda myself, I could not believe the things I saw with my own eyes.29

Some of the women who participated in these attacks remain anonymous; others have been named.
Three of those who killed in the massacre at the Parish of Kaduha and at the health centre of Kaduha in
Gikongoro have been identified by several survivors who are now living either in Gikongoro or in
Butare. The eye-witnesses interviewed by African Rights include Bernadette Uwamariya, who lives in
Rugarama sector, commune Karambo in Gikongoro and Pascasie Mukankundiye now resident in

26 Interviewed in Kamembe, Cyangugu, 15 and 16 February 1995.

27 Interviewed in Kamembe, Cyangugu, 15 February 1995.
28 Interviewed in Ngenda, Bugesera, 2 June 1994.
29 Interviewed in Nairobi, 1 May 1994.

Ringanwe sector, Nyaruhengeri commune in Butare. Bernadette and Pascasie were students in the
medical section of the Centre for Technical Training (CEFOTEC) in Butare. Sister Melgitta Kösser, a
German nun in charge of the health centre of Kaduha, was helping to pay their expenses. The two girls
had returned to Kaduha for the Easter holidays to help Sister Melgitta in the health centre when they
learned that President Habyarimana had been assassinated. Between 7-20 April, thousands of refugees
whose homes had been burned, and others who had survived massacres elsewhere in the commune,
gathered at the Parish of Kaduha. On 21 April, the parish suffered a massive attack in which at least
fifteen thousand people, and possibly many more, perished. Some of the survivors took shelter at the
health centre. After the church had been "cleaned up," it was the turn of patients at the health centre to
be butchered. Some of the killers who helped to kill the patients and the wounded were women and
girls. As the health centre is located very near the parish, and the main hospital of Kaduha, Bernadette
and Pascasie witnessed the unfolding brutality. They commented:

From the day after Habyarimana's death, refugees started coming in large numbers to the parish. They
were Tutsis fleeing the fires, for their houses were burning. They came from all corners of all the
communes in the sous-préfecture of Kaduha. Some where in the parish. Others, who hadn't found a place
in the church, were in Kaduha primary schools' buildings.

At the beginning, Sister Melgitta helped all these people, finding porridge for them and treating the
seriously wounded. On 21 April, all these people were killed. As there were some sick Tutsi refugees in
the main Kaduha hospital just opposite the health centre, we witnessed their massacre that same day.

They added:

And what is amazing is that amongst the killers were women and girls who were finishing off these sick
Tutsis such as:

Athanasie Mukabatana

Athansie Mukabatana, a teacher at the School of Nursing of Kaduha, is from Cyangugu. When this girl
saw the attack arrive near the hospital, she quickly jumped over the gate of the hospital to get into the
compound. She didn't even wait for the gate to be opened. You see the enthusiasm this girl had for
finishing off these sick Tutsis. She had a machete and went into the hospital with the other assassins. She
made all the sick Tutsis go out, often dragging them out. And once outside, she killed them with a strike
from the machete. She made several trips and all the dead were on the hospital grass.

She is doubtless presently in Cyangugu as she knows that there isn't anyone to accuse her there.

Louise Uwamahoro
Louise Uwamahoro was an auxiliary nurse at Kaduha Health Centre (CSKA). She is from Nyaruhengeri
in Butare. This girl was also with us at Kaduha Health Centre. She was terrible. She had a long sword.
Every evening she took it and made it look as if she was sharpening it by dragging [the blade] along the
cement. It made a noise. Afterwards, she left for the roadblocks below CSKA with the male killers.

She could even have killed us but was afraid of Melgitta since even the other criminals were afraid
of attacking Melgitta's centre.

This girl is still a nurse, but this time at Musange Health Centre in Gikongoro.

Gaudence Kantwaza
Gaudence Kantwaza was also a student at CEFOTEC. She is from Musange and was also at Kaduha [for
the holidays] as Melgitta was paying for her studies.

After Melgitta left [in June], she was in charge of the shop in which the food was stocked. Instead of
giving this food to the survivors who were with us, she sold it to the interahamwe. She even refused to
take in a young Tutsi boy, Aimable Hamana. Before the genocide, he had been her friend. This young

man was a trader; he came to CSKA for refuge. This girl only hid him for two days and then threw him
out. The young man left as the girl said that she was going to alert the militiamen if he did not leave. And
so this young man left, in spite of everything. When he got outside, he was killed at the roadblock.30

Marie Gorette Mukakalindi worked at CSKA. Like Bernadette and Pascasie, the only reason she
escaped the killings is because she was an employee of Sister Melgitta. The killers had no qualms about
decimating the refugees at the parish or dragging wounded people, including babies, out of the hospital.
But they allowed the Tutsi employees of Sister Melgitta to live. Marie Gorette spoke of the
participation of other women and girls in the massacres at Kaduha.

They invaded the health centre to kill the patients. Among the patients who were killed I remember the
wife of Frédéric Senkware who lived in Joma, and her daughter, Liberata Kayibeyita.

The attackers included several women and girls, including Marthe Mukandinda, the daughter of
Gisèle Umutaboba Kajeguhakwa, who was in her third year of nursing school. Two women who worked
at the hospital, Valéria and Lidia, helped to finish off the patients. Gisèle was even walking around the
streets to finish off any bodies that were lying on the ground.31

Vicentia Mwisizina, twenty-two, has been employed at CSKA since 1987. She lives in Nyakiza
sector, Karambo commune in the sous-préfecture of Kaduha. According to Vicentia, Athanasie
Mukabatana forced the sick out of the hospital and killed them with a machete.

I was at Kaduha health centre on 7 April. On the following day, Tutsi refugees from all over the sous-
préfecture of Kaduha which encompasses communes Muko, Karambo, Musange and Musebeya, rushed
to the parish which is made up of two primary schools and the church. During the week, the number of
refugees increased. Sister Melgitta Kösser helped us and brought porridge for the refugees. We were shut
up in the health centre, unable to go out because we were Tutsi. I was with Marie-Gorette Mukakalinda
and Bernadette Uwamariya, pupils who are now in their fifth year of nursing, and Pascasie
Mukankundiye who is in her fourth year of nursing, all at Groupe Scolaire Officiel de Butare. We were
together from the beginning to the end. So they are witnesses to what I am going to say.

It was on 21 April when groups of attackers who had come from all four corners of Gikongoro,
surrounded us in a one kilometre radius. The killings had already started at about 8:00 a.m. However, at
about 4:00 in the morning, the assassins had thrown a grenade into the house of a teacher at EAVK [The
Agricultural and Veterinary School of Kaduha] called Dénis Kanyamashokoro.

The genocidal workers preferred to surround Kaduha hospital just opposite our health centre. It was
a big hospital close to our centre. A small street separated us. From where we were, in the staff room of
Kaduha health centre, we could easily communicate with those at the hospital.

At about 9:00 a.m., the killers came to the hospital. That's when we saw Athanasie Mukabatana. She
is originally from Cyangugu and has been a teacher at École des Sciences Infirmières de Kaduha for a
year and a half. She was armed with a machete. She was very active. She came into the hospital and
forced the sick outside and killed them with a machete. She made several trips. She knew where to hit; on
the head. As soon as she had finished, she threw them onto the grass opposite the hospital. I wasn't the
only one who saw it. You can ask the four girls who were there and who were with us at Kaduha health


To the killers who planned the genocide, it was not only necessary to exterminate the Tutsi and to kill
the Hutu who frustrated their dream of a Rwanda people only by extremists. They wanted the Hutu

30 Interviewed in Butare, 30 July 1995.

31 Interviewed in Butare, 4 and 5 April and 21 July 1995.
32 Interviewed in Butare, 21 July 1995.

people bound together by the blood of genocide. The psychological disintegration of the Tutsi and the
creation of a permanent social and psychological no-man's land between the two communities was an
integral part of their vision. To this end, Hutu men were told to kill their Tutsi wives. Hutu uncles and
grandfathers were encouraged to betray their Tutsi grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Hutu women
married to Tutsis were ordered to execute their children or to deliver them to the killers.

The majority of people refused to follow these barbaric orders and were often killed as a result.
Some agreed to do so in order to save their own skins. But there have also been accusations from both
men and women, Hutu and Tutsi alike, that some men voluntarily handed over their Tutsi wives and
that some women delivered their own children into the hands of the killers. The people who committed
these crimes are of course reluctant to talk. But some women have been denounced by their neighbours,
and in some cases, by their Tutsi husbands who survived the genocide. Almost all the people who have
been detained dismiss the accusations.

African Rights visited Gitarama prison on 9 August 1995 and interviewed two women accused of
killing their children or other relatives, or handing them over to be killed. One of them is Immaculée
Mukakibibi, married to Landouald Rutakamize. They had four children; the eldest was eight. They
lived in Nganga cellule, Gitovu sector, Nyabikenke commune in the préfecture of Gitarama. According
to several witnesses, Immaculée facilitated the murder of the two children who had remained with her.
She denies the accusations. She gives the name of the man she holds responsible for their deaths. But
she has been unwilling to bring formal charges against him.When asked what she was waiting for, she
failed to respond.

My parents live in Gasiza cellule, Mugunga sector, Nyabikenke commune. After the death of
Habyarimana, two weeks went by before the killings started in my sector. That's when my husband fled
to Kabgayi parish with my two children; my other two stayed at the house with me, busy helping me find
a way of fleeing with something. Instead of running to Kabgayi, I preferred to go to my parents with my
two children and we stayed there. My father is called Jean Gasiga and my mother is Thérèse Nyirabarera.
I was still with my children, a six-year-old girl and a boy of eight. The girl was called Ayinkamiye and
the boy was Nahagaze.

I continued to hide my two children and often moved them around so that the assassins wouldn't
discover them. A few days after the end of May, I thought it best to go and hide my children somewhere
else, at the home of my paternal aunt who lived in a place called Mugwato.

On the way, I was accompanied by my brother and his wife. I had the misfortune of meeting some
militiamen who asked me to leave the children behind and return to the house. There was a certain
Habamenshi amongst them. He threw these two children into the Nyabarongo river. This Habamenshi
was from Kageyo cellule, Mugunga sector.

And so, we returned empty handed. I didn't plead with them not to kill my children as the
interahamwe were without mercy.

After the RPF took power, my husband and my two children returned and moved into another house
as the one we had before the genocide had been destroyed. I didn't go and see them first. It was my
husband who came looking for me, asking how our children had been killed. I explained it all to him and
he left. This was in July. He went accusing me to the councillor. I explained what happened [to the
councillor] as my husband had said I was the one who killed my children. The councillor is called
Fumbije from Mugunga sector. On 28 October, my husband went to see the soldiers at Kiyumba sous-
préfecture, Nyabikenke commune. They came and arrested me.

During the interview with African Rights, the following questions were asked.

AR: Did the militiamen from your sector know your husband?

IM: No.

AR: Did the children have their identity cards with them?

IM: No.

AR: Did you have yours?

IM: Yes.

AR: Of which group?

IM: Hutu.

AR: How were small children without identity cards and with a Hutu mother stopped by militiamen who
didn't know them?

Immaculée Mukakibibi did not reply.

AR: Did you try to defend your children in any way?

IM: No.

AR: Had your husband threatened you before?

IM: No.

AR: Had you had a disagreement before the genocide?

IM: No.

AR: Why is it that after having suffered for a relatively long time, the first thing your husband did after
returning was to have you arrested, having spent years and years living with you?

IM: I don't know.

According to Immaculée's file in the prison, she has been accused by several people, and not only
by her husband. Nevertheless, given the seriousness of the crimes with which Immaculée is charged, it
is necessary to undertake a far more detailed investigation in order to ascertain the truth behind the
charges. It was clear to us that Immaculée Mukakibibi is implicated, in one way or another, in the
death of her children. It may be that she saw their death as inevitable and did not want to anger the
interahamwe by begging them to spare her children. Many other people accused by close relatives,
friends and neighbours of delivering their loved ones to the killers have sought this defence. It might be
true or it might be a lie used to cover up their own involvement. Given the situation that prevailed in
Rwanda between April-July 1994, it is not possible to generalise. Each case must be studied and
decided on its own merits.

On 5 March 1995, the Association of the Widows of the Genocide (AVEGA) held a meeting at the
church of St. Famille to plan activities to mark International Women's Day, 8 March. Two women from
Bugesera recognised a woman from their area who they accused of having killed her own husband and
her five children. The women knew her well and laid a series of detailed charges against her which she
seemed incapable of answering without contradicting herself and tripping over her responses. She
accepted the accusation that she had never been back to Bugesera since early July, but could give no
satisfactory explanation. Despite the strong urge to lynch her on the spot, a group of women were
selected to accompany her to the gendarmerie. She was kept at the gendarmerie overnight in
anticipation of a visit the next day to her home village, accompanied by her two accusers. African
Rights has not been able to follow up the case.

Unfortunately, other cases which must be examined have been reported, a grim testimony to the
depravity of the killers' genocidal project.

Such a large number of people would never have died in Rwanda in 1994 if they had not been betrayed
by their neighbours, many of them people they had considered friends and with whom they were linked
in a variety of ways. Many of the survivors can give the names of the people who killed their loved
ones and friends, and who tried to murder them, precisely because these killers were the men and
women who lived in their neighbourhood.

In early May 1994, a religious news service, News Network International (NNI), quoted a Danish
missionary, Nils Rechter, who had been evacuated from Gisenyi. Rechter was the business manager of
the Seventh Day Adventist University in Mudende, Gisenyi.

Rechter... says he witnessed Hutu villagers--including women and children--slowly beating Tutsis to
death. "We tried to avoid seeing it when it happened," he told NNI. "They did not kill with [guns]. They
used sticks; they used machetes and knives," he said.

"It is so difficult to understand... It is their neighbors; it is their own friends they are killing,"
recalled Rechter. "It is unbelievable."33

The "unbelievable" happened to many people in Rwanda in 1994. Liberata Mukasakindi's ten hour-
old baby boy was beaten to death in the commune of Musambira in Gitarama by an elderly
grandmother from her village she knew well. At the time of the interview in June 1994, Liberata had
just been evacuated to the commune of Ntongwe where the grandmother who murdered her baby was at
liberty. Liberata, and several other women who had suffered at her hands, pointed her out to a
representative of African Rights. The RPF commander who was in charge of Ntongwe at the time said
he had received complaints that this elderly woman had murdered more than a hundred Tutsi baby
boys, many of them the children of neighbours. African Rights is not aware if she was arrested and if
so, whether she is still in detention.

Liberata was pregnant when the killings started in her commune. Her husband, Justin Rwagitera,
was killed on 28 April. The bourgmestre of the commune fled when he realised he could not prevent the
killings. The new bourgmestre, Abdirahman, was dedicated to the government's policy of genocide. As
soon as he took office, the killings started in earnest. At first, the target was Tutsi men, and then Tutsi
boys. Abdirahman ordered the mothers who had sought refuge at the office of the commune to kill their
own sons.

A few mothers killed their sons in the hope of protecting themselves. But the majority, including myself,
refused. I told them that I had spent too many nights pregnant and waiting for my sons to be the one to
kill them. As I was very heavily pregnant at the time, the idea of killing my own children appeared even
more mad.

Somehow, I managed to flee with the children. We headed in the direction of our home. But before
we got there, my labour pains started. I took another woman to help me. We went into the bush and I
delivered a baby boy. I could only regard this as unfortunate under the circumstances. [Tutsi men and
boys, including babies, were the killers' main target.] The other woman was afraid to hide with us in the
bush as the baby's cries would alert attackers. I continued hiding in the bush the whole day with my

Liberata had spent no more than a few hours with her new-born baby son when a neighbour decided
that he had already lived too long.

33 Richard Nyberg, "Fleeing Missionaries Witnessed 'Unbelievable' Brutality", News Network International, 10
May 1994.

In the evening, an old woman, a neighbour, passed by on her way to fetch water. As I knew her, I greeted
her. I also hoped that as a grandmother, she would understand my predicament. She asked me about the
delivery. I told her that I had had the baby, not wanting it known that it was a boy. She asked me about
the child with a lot of sympathy in her voice. She requested that I let her see the baby. I was afraid. But
what could I have done? When she saw it was a boy, she commented 'Aha, so you have given birth to
another Inyenzi? You are not going to live yourself.' She picked up a stick and hit the child. He groaned
only once and then he was dead. He was ten hours old by then. She then added 'The other ones you have
will do. After all, I hear they do well in school.'

She then told me to bury the child. But I refused. I told her 'The blood of my child is on your hands.
You bury him yourself.'

Not satisfied with killing Liberata's baby son, this same woman "unleashed" her sons on Liberata
and her remaining children.

She went back to her house and unleashed her sons on us. When her sons arrived, they set upon my
seven-year-old boy, Emmanuel Mugiraneza. One of them commented, 'This future Inyenzi, he has to go,
otherwise he will be ruling over us when he is older.' They dug a small hole first. Then they pierced him
with a sword and while he was still groaning, they threw him into the hole.

It was now afternoon and I was left with my daughter, eleven-year-old Immaculée Mukandahiro and
my four-year-old son, Théogène Uwilingiyimana. They pointed to me, saying, 'Come on, let's kill you.
We don't want the cockroaches marrying you.' In fact I was still bleeding from the birth. One of the
attackers gave me a slap and hit me with a masu on the arm. At the same time, they started macheting
Théogène on the head. I literally saw his brains spill out of his head. Immediately afterwards, they gave
me a major blow on my back with a masu. I passed out.

Liberata and Immaculée were thrown into a pit latrine together with Théogène's body. The pit was
covered with lumps of dry soil and cassava stems so as to bury them alive. When Liberata regained
consciousness, she heard her daughter calling out to her.

I looked around and realized that I was covered in shit. I saw that my daughter was practically drowned
in shit. But she was even more scared of death. She started begging me to get us out of the place, saying
that the attackers had planned to kill us in the toilet.

It was of course much more difficult for me to crawl out than for my daughter. Well, you can
imagine my problems. I was still very weak from the birth and the mighty blow to my back. But we
managed to crawl out and to hide in the bush. Despite the condition I was in, the best food we could get
were raw potatoes. Living on this and like this lasted another four weeks after which the RPF took the
area. When they came, we of course had no way of knowing what was going on. But as they walked past,
they were talking aloud. I recognized the voice of an RPF soldier who was from our area which gave me
the confidence to come out. We were rescued yesterday.34

In December 1994, Rwandese human rights organisations, CLADHO and Kanyarwanda, published
a report of more than a thousand pages in which they identified the men and women responsible for
planning and carrying out the genocide in the city of Kigali. The report spoke of the crimes committed
by a number of women in the cellule of Kivugiza, sector Nyamirambo in the commune of Nyarugenge.
These women include Madeleine Senguri, a member of CDR; Petronilla Mukafurere, a member of
MRND; Solina Rwabukombe, a teacher; Jeanne Mukamugemana, a court clerk and the wife of Gaspard
Nsabiyumva, a leading interahamwe in Kivugiza and, amongst others, Eugénie Mujawamariya, CDR
member, an employee of the ministry of youth and a close friend of Simon Bikindi, a singer whose
songs did much to whip up anti-Tutsi sentiments in the country. These women worked closely with a
number of the principal male killers of Kivugiza such as Léonislas Ntahontuye known as "Micombero,"

34 Interviewed in Ntongwe, Gitarama, 10 June 1994.

an employee of the National Bank of Rwanda, Gaspard Nsabiyumva, a bank employee and Ponzaga, a
mechanic at a military camp in Kigali.35

Over several days, African Rights conducted interviews with a wide range of survivors in Kivugiza.
All of them pointed the finger at the same women, some of them civil servants and employees of
parastatals. Their accounts, which mention some of the women noted in the December report of the
local human rights groups, are detailed and corroborate each other. These women are accused of having
provided lists of Tutsis living in the neighbourhood to the killers, informing the killers of the
whereabouts of Tutsis in hiding and refusing sanctuary to their neighbours. Some of these women were
armed during the genocide and accompanied the local thugs as they searched their quarry. As elsewhere
in Rwanda, many of the women and men who participated in the killings in 1994 in Kivugiza had also
played an active role in the imprisonment of civilians in 1990, identified as RPF "accomplices". Some
of the women in Kivugiza are also said to have been active in the killings and purges of 1973.

One of the many people who spoke of their activities is Bernadette Nyiramatabaro who survived by
using a false Hutu identity card. Bernadette highlighted the participation of the following women:

Madeleine Senguri

Madeleine Senguri is from Ruhengeri and is employed by Rwandex, a coffee factory. In October 1990,
Mme Senguri started her own personal genocide by arbitrarily arresting Tutsi men and women, accusing
them of being accomplices of the Inyenzi. Léonard Ruremesha was one of the people she arrested. He
was freed some months later but unfortunately died in the genocide.

During the genocide, Mme Senguri was armed with grenades and sometimes carried a gun. It wasn't
difficult for her to get hold of these [weapons] as her husband, also a killer though not as bad as Mme
Senguri, was a former military officer in the Habyarimana regime.

I managed to get a false Hutu identity card, for which I sweated a lot and paid for dearly. This card
only prevented the militias from coming to look for us. But they often threatened to kill us and my
husband and I were obliged to give something to them.

Desperation drove Bernadette to seek refuge at the home of Madeleine Senguri. Madeleine's
husband welcomed Bernadette. But Madeleine was determined to drive her out.

The threats increased and one day, I decided to go to Mme Senguri. Her husband welcomed me and told
me that he did not have a problem with me being Tutsi. When Mme Senguri returned, from I don't know
where, armed with grenades and a machete, it touched off an explosion. She started threatening me. Her
husband intervened on my behalf. But this didn't help as the woman was eager to attack me. Her husband
realised this and evacuated me during the night, advising me to find a way of leaving the district. As I
had my Hutu identity card, it would not be difficult for me to hide in districts where I was not known.

Mme Senguri had three wicked sons; Eric Senguri, Egide Senguri and the third whose name I have
forgotten. These sons were evil interahamwe from Kivugiza. They accompanied their mother in carrying
out the killings of Tutsis. At Kivugiza, for example, there was a district nicknamed Gitutsi. Mme Senguri
and her sons decimated many Tutsis who lived there.

Another serious thing that Mme Senguri did was to accompany a certain 'Micombero,' a notorious
assassin in Kivugiza, to the killing of Odette, the wife of a certain Léonald Sebukayire who managed to
escape and who now works for Mille Collines Hotel. Odette was killed by Mme Senguri and
'Micombero'. These criminals have now fled to Zaire.

Bernadette's account was confirmed by Virginie Mukazi, an employee of the Red Cross.

35 Rapport De L'Enquete Sur Les Violations Massives Des Droits De L'Homme Commisses Au Rwanda A Partir
Du 06 Avril 1994, Premier Phase.

Madeleine Senguri started her evil well before the genocide. She was employed by Rwandex and
imprisoned a lot of people during the October 1990 war. She became wild. She said that she would
mistreat the Tutsis and the only woman she would spare would be her Tutsi friend Suzanne
Twagiramariya. We lived together, and she did save this woman.

But her kindness did not extend to other Tutsis.

It is very difficult to find the words to describe what she did during the genocide. There are no words to
express it. She handed over people to be killed. She directed the Presidential Guard to the house of a
Tutsi man called Stanislas Rwabuhindi on 8 April. The whole family of seven people were killed. The
following day, they were all buried in their yard. She had all the neighbours killed besides, of course,
Suzanne. She handed over the Mushimire family to be killed; the family of Gasamagera who was an
employee of the ministry of public works and the Nyirumulinga family.

After the assassination of the Mushimire family, she installed her two sons, as evil as Cain, in the
victims' houses and the belongings, looted from the other families, were kept there as her own house was
too small to contain them.

You cannot find the words to describe the wickedness of this woman. She was well armed with
grenades and a spear.

Unable to find a safe refuge in her neighbourhood, Virginie returned to her home where she
suffered a violent attack (See below, under "Betraying the Hunted"). Her assassins took her, half-dead,
to a pit.

She accompanied me to the pit. Also, before this failed attempt to kill me, she came with the famous
Anastasie [Mukamuganga, a secretary in the ministry of health] to check that I really was at home.36

Madeleine Senguri continued to fight on until Kivugiza fell to the RPF, fleeing at the last minute.
She went to Zaire. But there are rumours amongst her former neighbours that she has returned to
Rwanda and is living in the north of the country.

Spéciose Mujawayezu

Spéciose Mujawayezu is from Nyabisindu commune in Butare and worked in one of the courts.
According to Bernadette:

This woman was an interahamwe and played an important role in the genocide. She had Julienne
Mukanyarwaya killed, together with her brother Bosco, who studied at the University, and Julienne's son,
Gilbert. She led the criminals and after the assassination of this family, looted the victims' goods,
hoarding them in her own house.

She relentlessly pursued Tutsis and others sympathetic to the Tutsis. Another thing that Mme
Spéciose did was to participate in the massacre of Tutsis who had fled to the Mosque called Kadhafi. The
interahamwe invaded the mosque and chased out all the Tutsis who had taken refuge there, putting them
in a house at Kivugiza. They brought cans full of petrol, poured the petrol about inside the house and
then threw in the grenades; everyone was burned alive.

Spéciose was there during this savagery. She is still in Kigali and still works for the law. She has
been arrested more than twice. But after a relatively short period, she is released. She is supported by
some people in authority as she was part of Emelance's37 group. Mme Spéciose knew all the graves at
Kivugiza in which Tutsis were thrown after being killed.

Virginie Mukazi added:

36 Interviewed in Kigali, 16 July 1995.

37 Emelance Matebo, a nurse working at CHK, has been identified by many people as implicated in the genocide.

Spéciose Mujawayezu was a real racist. When Martin Bucyana [president of CDR] died38, the people of
Gikondo [in Kigali], particularly from Gatenga, rose up against the Tutsis from this district. That's where
Bucyana lived. When they saw what was happening, the Tutsis from this part of town left Gikondo for
other districts they believed to be calmer. Five men went and stayed at Mme Spéciose's house at
Kivugiza as she had rooms to let.

Spéciose worked closely with a certain Flodouard who was head of MRND. Preparatory meetings
for the genocide were held at his house. When Spéciose was at one of these meetings, soldiers came,
spoke to her and then went off to kill the people [who had rented out her rooms]. They shot them.
Spéciose had told [these men] that their security would be guaranteed at her house and they had believed

Jeanette Uwantege, who lived next door to Spéciose, and whose own family was wiped out in April,
also attested to the role she played in the genocide and confirmed the account given by Bernadette and

Charlotte Kananga, a primary school teacher at Kivugiza, lost her husband, Simon Kananga, an
employee of the Banque Commercial du Rwanda (BCR) and their two children in the genocide. They
were killed at Murambi in Byumba, Charlotte's hometown. Charlotte has lived in Kivugiza for many
years. Charlotte was arrested at the beginning of the war in October 1990 as an "accomplice" of the
RPF. She was released after some months and was able to resume her teaching career. Charlotte and
another resident of Kivugiza, Agnès, who keeps a kiosk where she sells beer, accuse a number of
women from Kivugiza of active participation in the organised slaughter of civilians. They include:

Jeanne Mukamugemana

Jeanne Mukamugemana worked as a court clerk in Kigali. She is accused of accompanying her
husband, Gaspard Nsabiyumva, while he went on his killing sprees in Kivugiza and to have informed
the militia of the whereabouts of refugees, including young children. She worked closely with Solina
Rwamakombe (see below).

38 He was assassinated on 22 February 1994 in Butare.

Solina Rwamakombe

Solina Rwamakombe, a close ally of Jeanne Mukamugemana, was married to Onésphore

Rwamakombe, the former bourgmestre of the commune of Muvumba in Byumba. She used to work for
an agricultural project in Byumba. Solina and her husband fled Byumba, the front-line in the war
between the government and the RPF and settled in Kivugiza where both of them would play leading
roles in the genocide. Her husband worked in Murambi in Byumba during the week, but Solina
remained in Kigali. He participated actively in the slaughter of Tutsis in Murambi, working closely
with the former bourgmestre of Murambi, Jean Baptiste Gatete, one of the most notorious killers in
1994. He returned to Kivugiza a few days after Habyarimana's death, saying the "work" in Murambi
was finished, and it was time to begin cleaning up Kivugiza. One person who did not let him down was
his wife. Charlotte and Agnès described her activities:

Together with Jeanne Mukamugemana, Solina Rwamakombe compiled lists of Tutsis to be killed in the
cellule, including young children. She said they shouldn't spare a single baby, not even foetuses.

She had a lot of people killed in Kivugiza, putting Tutsi names down on the list as they came to
mind and passing the list on to leading killers.

Together with a trader named Suzanne, (see below) Solina Rwamakombe helped to hand over
Charlotte's husband and children. She is also responsible for the death of Wilson Kayinamura and his

Solina and her family are currently living in Goma.

Mme Suzanne

The name of Suzanne, a trader married to Blaise, a sculptor from Gisenyi, was mentioned repeatedly by
the survivors in Kivugiza. She is accused of helping to deliver Tutsi women from Kivugiza to their
deaths, including Agnès, who miraculously escaped. At the beginning of the genocide, Suzanne came to
Agnès' house. Agnès was hiding in her backyard. Suzanne carried out a thorough search of the house
while a group of killers gathered at the entrance of the yard. Suzanne told them, "It's a pity. I couldn't
find her; I looked everywhere but I didn't find her." She returned to Agnès' house together with the
militiamen and looted it.

Suzanne collaborated closely with a nurse called Priscilla Nishimwe who denounced many people
and showed the killers where refugees were hiding. Priscilla and Suzanne are said to have led the attack
against Charlotte's home where they abducted their maid, Odette Mukamwezi.

Suzanne is living in Zaire.39


It is not only women who participated in the killings. Girls, some of them as young as fourteen and
fifteen, were seen waving machetes. In Kibeho, Gikongoro, some girls have been identified by their
fellow-pupils as having played a role in the murder of their schoolmates.

The genocide was launched when schools were closed for the Easter holidays. But the Groupe
Scolaire Marie Merci of Kibeho (GSMMK) was open; the students had remained to catch up on lessons
they had missed during a strike. Fear and tension built up at the school and among the students as the
Tutsi children watched massacres of Tutsis take place all around them — at the Parish of Kibeho, the
hospital and the primary school. The "clean up" in Kibeho continued until the killers ran out of victims.

39 Interviewed in Kigali, 12 July 1995.

Finally, all the Tutsi students were asked to leave the school and were segregated in the nearby College
of Kibeho. On 7 May, eighty-two of them, boys and girls aged between twelve and twenty, were shot
and hacked to death by fellow-pupils, villagers and the gendarmes who had been sent to protect the
youngsters. There were just eight survivors. Some girls were abducted by their teachers and repeatedly
raped. All eight suffered the depths of human misery and degradation in their efforts to stay alive.
African Rights has interviewed three of the survivors, Théophile Zigirumugabe,40 Hyacinthe
Uwimana41 both of them currently living in Kigali, and Azéna Ibyimana,42 now studying in
Rwamagana, Kibungo. They have named several girls in their school as collaborators of the soldiers
and peasants who killed their friends and who tried to murder them. They include:

Solange Uwamahoro

Solange Uwamahoro, a fifth year economics student who lived in sector Muhima in Kigali, is
accused of handing over her Tutsi schoolmates to be killed.

According to Hyacinthe:

This girl was an active member of the group of GSMMK girls responsible for sending their Tutsi
colleagues to their deaths; she made up a list of the Tutsi students.

The day after the 14 April massacre of refugees at the Parish of Kibeho, the watchman of the girls'
dormitory, Gervais, alias 'Kimbo,' found a baby, barely alive and hardly able to sit up. He took it to the
dormitories where it cried all night, probably because of the unfamiliar surroundings. With support from
Patricie and other extremists, Solange said she didn't want to hear the cries of a Tutsi baby. She
threatened the watchman. At about 8:00 in the morning, under orders from Solange, Gervais took the
baby, cut it into two and threw it's remains into a toilet. It was horrible.

Théophile confirmed the account given by Hyacinthe:

She was an extremist and a member of the committee of Hutu students charged with sending Tutsi pupils
to their deaths. She spent several nights with the soldiers negotiating and arranging for the death of the
Tutsis at GSMMK.

One of the most serious things she did was this; On 15 April, the day following the slaughter of the
Tutsis at Kibeho church, 'Kimbo', the watchman of the girls' dormitories found a baby among the corpses
at the church which he took to the dormitory. When he got there, the famous Solange Uwamahoro,
together with Jeanne from the third year of biochemistry and Patricie, also in the third year of
biochemistry, shouted out, saying that the baby annoyed them. They eventually forced 'Kimbo' to kill it
and throw it into the toilet. When this was done, the girls danced around, saying that God had sent all the
Tutsis to their deaths.

Azéna was in her third year of economics when the genocide started. Azéna was lucky to escape the
killings. She is in Rwamagana, Kibungo, where she has continued with her studies. She spoke of
Solange's efforts to whip up the Hutu students against the Tutsi pupils.

On 16 April, a massacre of Tutsi students was organised [but did not take place]. In the dormitories, this
girl stopped all the other Hutu students from sleeping, saying they had to be vigilant, that they didn't want
to be taken by surprise and miss out on the chance of beating the Tutsis.

She often left the school grounds to spend the day with the assassins close to her grandfather's
house. She gave them lists of Tutsis to kill and elaborated plans to kill off these students.

Marie Louise Uwizeye

40 Interviewed in Kigali, 29 June 1995.

41 Interviewed in Kigali, 3 July 1995.
42 Interviewed in Kigali, 4 July 1995.

Marie Louise Uwizeye, a third year biochemistry student from Cyangugu, has also been accused by
Hyacinthe and Théophile of participating in the murders. She lived in the cellule of Kimicanga in
Kimihurura, Kigali.

Hyacinthe spoke of Marie Louise's collaboration with those planning the murder of the Tutsi

Together with others, this girl left the dormitories at night to go and give a list of Tutsi pupils to eliminate
to the gendarmes stationed at the home of the director of the school, Father Emmanuel Uwayezu. [This
priest is himself deeply implicated in the massacre at GSMMK, as well as killings elsewhere in Kibeho].

Marie Louise was so vicious that she even wanted to hand over her Hutu neighbours who looked
like Tutsi. She insulted and threatened any Hutu pupil who wanted to speak in favour of the Tutsis.

Amongst the gendarmes she gave the list to were Munderere and Komayombi, who were real

Marie Louise is enrolled in the secondary school of Nyamasheke in Kagano commune, Cyangugu, at
the Penitent Sisters.

Théophile continued:

From 15 April onwards, after the death of the refugees at the church, this girl led intensive negotiations
with the soldiers who were meant to be guarding us. The aim of these negotiations was to put into action
the plan of killing the Tutsi pupils.

She verbally accused the prefect of discipline, Fabien Karekezi, a Hutu, of supporting the Tutsis.
She also accused Josephine Mukashema, the head girl, a fifth year biochemistry student, of being Tutsi
and so deserving to die. Luckily, Josephine escaped.

On 3 May, some days after the beginning of her meetings with the soldiers, the Tutsi and Hutu
students were separated. Then on 7 May, at least eighty-two Tutsis were killed. After they had been
killed, Louise looted their bodies, taking their watches, skirts etc.

I must add that in order to successively carry out her obsessive plan, Louise and other extremist girls
spent many nights with the soldiers.

Angéline Musafiri

Hyacinthe also accuses Angéline Musafiri, a third year biochemistry student and head girl of the
lower school, of handing over Tutsi pupils to die. She threatened Hyacinthe, accusing her of trying to
hide her Tutsi ethnicity in an effort to escape the killings and of teaching the Tutsi students Inkotanyi
songs. She fled to Zaire but has now returned and lives in Kigali. Her accusations were confirmed by
Théophile and Azéna.

In addition, these three survivors have accused several other girls of pointing Tutsi students out to
the killers and threatening Hutu students who were considered too "soft" on the boys and girls who a
short while ago had been their friends and classmates. They include:

Gaudence Uwamahoro
Gaudence Uwamahoro was in her third year of economics and is from Cyangugu. She is now studying at
Kigali Lycée. Apart from threatening Tutsi pupils and looting their property after they were killed, she is
also accused of involvement in the massacre of refugees at the Parish of Kibeho;

Alphonsine Uwizeyimana

Alphonsine Uwizeyima, a fifth-year biochemistry student and Jacqueline, a third- year biochemistry
student, are accused not only of identifying Tutsi students, but of searching and inventing incriminating
information about them to encourage their murder. They are said to have spread rumours that the Tutsi
pupils were preparing a final attack against the Hutus. They spied on Hutu pupils, and even beat some of
them up, in order to discourage any solidarity between the two groups. Both girls are still in Rwanda.

Patricie and Jeanne, both in their third year of biochemistry, are said to have been particularly active
in creating hysteria and fear in the school. On 3 May, they refused to eat anything until all the Tutsis at
the school had been eliminated. To heighten the climate of panic, they apparently went around saying
that 'The days left for Tutsis could be counted on one hand.'


Dozens of survivors interviewed by African Rights found it difficult to find words to describe the terror
they felt as crowds waving machetes, spears, swords, masus and sharpened bamboo sticks descended
upon their places of refuge, singing and chanting. Very often, groups of women ululated their men into
the "action" that would result in the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children, many of
them their own neighbours.

Zakia Uwamugira, forty-two, comes from the cellule of Gisenyi, commune Rubavu in the region of
Gisenyi. She fled with her husband and six children to Goma in early July 1994. Her husband died of
cholera in Goma. She returned to Rwanda on 28 July with her children. She said that her own mother
was Tutsi and that she had not been able to save her. At the time of the interview in late January, she
was imprisoned in Gisenyi. She had been arrested in September, accused of killing a man and a woman
who were her neighbours, encouraging the interahamwe to kill and for some activities she undertook
while in the refugee camp of Muyange. She denies the charges of murder and having been involved in
political activities in Zaire. But she readily admits encouraging the interahamwe through songs.

I am accused of being there when people were being killed and singing. I admit I did this. I was there
when people were being killed. Many people. I joined the animation just as I would join any other choir.
I did not have any idea that such encouragement would result in a genocide. But I came back from Goma
because I did not think I had done anything wrong. I went to Goma because I thought maybe people
would think I was an accomplice of the former regime. But then I decided to come back because I
realised I had not done anything that was wrong.

Asked how she could regard singing alongside armed people on their way to mass murder as
"joining a choir," she kept insisting that "she had not done anything wrong." Asked if she stopped
participating once she understood that this was a killing machine and not a choir, Zakia was unable to
give a clear response.43


Scores of Tutsi women and young girls interviewed by African Rights were rescued or assisted in their
hiding places by men who had been family friends, neighbours or acquaintances. Many of them were
turned out of Hutu homes by women who often threatened to inform the interahamwe if their husbands
continued to shelter these women or took any additional steps to assist them. There were men who
asked their women folk to throw out neighbours who sought their assistance. There were also women
who turned their backs on people they knew in their hour of need.

In late January, African Rights interviewed Frida in the commune of Nyamagabe in Gikongoro,
where the town of Gikongoro is situated. She did not want her real name revealed for fear of reprisals

43 Interviewed in Gisenyi, 30 January 1995.

from her in-laws and neighbours. The fact that her husband is Hutu protected one of her sons who was
staying with his parents when the genocide started. The other son, who was staying with her parents in
the countryside in Gikongoro, was murdered. In addition to her son, she lost her parents, four brothers,
four sisters and two of her uncles. They were all killed in Gikongoro. The houses of all her relatives
have been destroyed.

Frida is one of the few Tutsis who stayed in her home throughout the genocide and did not go into
hiding. This has given her an intimate knowledge of the people responsible for the killings in her area.
She said that she and some other Tutsi women married to Hutu men in her area were spared for fear that
their grown sons may seek revenge if their mothers were murdered. She had no doubt about the
responsibility of women in the pogroms of 1994.

Even women and children were involved. Women identified you to the killers, saying 'This one is a
Tutsi.' If a woman saw you hiding and causes so much alarm that she ensures you are taken out and
killed, then she is a killer.44

Virginie Musabyemariya, thirty-two, lost her husband and five children in different massacres in
their commune of Karengera, Cyangugu. She survived the killings in her sector of Nyamahunga and a
massacre in a football field in Gashirabwoba, but was left with serious wounds on the head and
shoulders. Out of four thousand refugees at Gashirabwoba, only four women survived. Two of them
were murdered as the other victims were being thrown into mass graves and toilets at Nyamahunga.
Only two women remained. One of them was Virginie.

One of the people who was asked to bury the victims was a man called Ildephonse Mushumba. He took
me to his home. He was kind-hearted and wanted to hide me. But his wife, Félicitée, and his two sons,
Callixte and his younger brother, told Ildephonse that if he did not want to kill me, they would kill me. It
is for this reason that during the night, he took me to the forest near the area I come from. He left me
there, saying he was going to go and see if there was anyone in my family who was still alive.

Fortunately, he found Virginie's mother and told her where he had left her daughter.45

Jean Berchmans Munyambo, a primary school teacher in Ndera, Greater Kigali, fled together with
his wife, Rose Uwampayizina, a teacher in the primary school of Munini, and their four children. His
family perished in a massacre at the Parish of Ndera on 9 April. Jean Berchmans escaped and was
forced to hide in many different places. On one occasion, he went to the home of an old widow he
knew. She hid him for five days, after which he was no longer at ease.

On the 21st [of April], she completely changed her behaviour. She could no longer stomach me. She told
the militia who had come over from Kanombe that I was at her home. It was her shepherd who told me of
these plots. So on the 22nd, I started walking towards Remera.46

Virginie Mukazi worked for the Rwandese Red Cross in Kigali and lived in the cellule of Kivugiza,
sector Nyamirambo in commune Nyarugenge. On 8 April, her older sister was killed together with her
husband and five children in Kivugiza. Afraid for her own life, Virginie ran to the house of a
neighbour, Samuel Munyantarama. He agreed to hide Virginie in his house. But a number of women
who lived in the neighbourhood and who knew Virginie well did not approve of Samuel's gesture of
kindness. A number of them visited Samuel's house while Virginie was hiding there.

One of these evil women was Anastasie Mukamuganga who is currently a secretary in ministry of health.
She had the card of CDR.

44 Interviewed in Nyamagabe, Gikongoro, 20 January 1995.

45 Interviewed in Karengera, Cyangugu, 14 February 1995.
46 Interviewed in Ndera, Greater Kigali, 27 March 1995.

When she saw me, she approached me, saying that the Tutsis should all be eliminated. She scared
me with her vicious words. I decided to confront her and asked her what she would do if I had come
seeking refuge at her house. She answered spontaneously, saying that she simply wouldn't accept me or
else she would abandon the house, leaving me alone. Every time she left [Samuel's house], militiamen
came to search the house, but Samuel would always try to defend me.

Another woman who visited was Maman Zuèna. Every time she left, militiamen came by to take me
away. But by some miracle, Samuel managed to dissuade them. I realised that the searches were getting
more and more intense and that Samuel had had enough. His younger brother, a soldier, threatened to
chase me out. I thought it was better to leave Samuel's and go back to my own house which was still
intact. Samuel promised to do everything he could to thwart the militiamen.

One day, militiamen came to my house. I tried to hide my daughter, Solange Rutagengwa, at Maman
Zuèna's house. But she categorically refused, shouting 'help' as if I constituted some sort of threat. And so
we went back home. Luckily, that day the militiamen asked for ten thousand francs and then left.

But her neighbours had not finished with Virginie.

My brother, Géorges Ngendaneza, was a mechanic/driver at the military garage. As mechanics and
drivers were much sought after (by the government), my brother, his wife and children were spared.

Afraid for her life, Virginie went to the home of another kind neighbour, a woman who did not let
her down. But she continued to be followed by the women who did not want her to live.

Very early in the morning of 24 April, I had a kind of premonition and went to the house of a kind
woman called Dancilla. At about 10:00 a.m., Anastasie Mukamuganga came to see me there. She left.
Some minutes later, still before midday, Eugénie came (See above for her details about her role in the
genocide). Eugénie saw me and asked if I was still alive. It was not as if she was in the slightest bit
worried about me.

After she left, I realised it was useless to stay with Dancilla and I went back home. When I got
home, there were two successive attacks on the house and money and valuables were taken. They said
they wouldn't kill me as I was an employee of the Red Cross.

Finally, the famous 'Micombero,' the militiaman from Kivugiza, sent four interahamwe to kill me
off. They came and asked me for money. I didn't have any. [But they] searched me down to my
underwear and then took me to the place they kill people; it was littered with bodies. They forced me to
lie down. And then one of them hit me at the back of my head with a masu. I didn't feel any pain because
the blow was so hard. They thought I was finished with and left. Luckily, just after they drove me to the
grave, my brother, the mechanic-driver who worked for FAR, came by. They told him that I had already
been taken to the grave. He took the car and came to where I was, half-dead, and carried me away. I
couldn't talk. I was basically on the point of death. He evacuated me to CHK [Kigali's principal public
hospital] and took me to the operating theatre. But even when I was being evacuated, Mme Eugénie said
that even if I was evacuated I wouldn't be able to go back to Kivugiza. She was with Mme Senguri.

Virginie was finally rescued by the ICRC in mid-May.47

Emmerence Mujawamariya had given birth to her first child, a little girl, only ten days before the
genocide began. From the commune of Bwakira in Kibuye, she was a secretary at the primary school of
Nyange where her husband, who is Zairian, was a teacher. They lived in Nyange, close to the Parish of
Nyange. As a Zairian, her husband did not feel threatened and remained at home. Emmerence took
refuge at the parish. When she realised that their death was inevitable, Emmerence decided to take her
baby back to her husband. Arguing that it was better to be killed in her home where he could at least
give her a decent burial, he persuaded her to stay with him instead of returning to an anonymous death
at the church.

47 Interviewed in Kigali, 16 July 1995.

Early the next day, the 15th, a neighbour, Mme Théoneste Nyakarundi, told the militia that during the
night, she heard someone talking to my husband. A meticulous search of our house followed and I was
discovered. Before the search, my husband had told the militia that I was not in the house. So when the
killers saw me, they gave the machete to my husband and told him to finish me himself. He refused. They
terrorised him. I was on the floor. I saw that my husband had begun to cry. I found the courage to tell the
killers 'Do what you want but very fast.' One of them asked for money in order to leave us. My husband
gave the sum he had. But they had already shoved me outside.

They started to walk Emmerence back to the parish. She had another close escape.

When we got near the commune office, the killer that my husband had paid joined us, together with
my husband. He forced his colleagues to let me return to my house. They left for the parish together with
my husband to find the baby.

Finding herself alone under the circumstances did nothing to reassure Emmerence.

I started walking back to my house. I felt I would not make it that day. I felt overwhelmed by a sense
of complete panic.

An unexpected gesture of kindness deflected Emmerence from her bleak reflections — but only for
a brief period.

A woman who lived near me called me and hid me in her room. She told me that if I went home, I
would not last five minutes. A group of attackers from Kibilira in Gisenyi passed the house on their way
to the Parish of Nyange. This accursed woman, Mme Théoneste Nyakarundi, told them to search the
home of the woman who had sheltered me. I don't know how she knew that I was there. They surrounded
the house and two of them came into the house. They searched all the rooms. But when they came to the
bedroom where I was hiding, the ones outside said that they had spent long enough to discover whether I
was there or not. The killers left without seeing me. It was a great surprise for me.

The killers' impatience saved Emmerence from certain death. Shortly afterwards, two thousand
people, including some of her immediate family members, were bulldozed to death at the parish. Her
husband managed to save her baby.48

At the very moment that their life was at stake, many people were turned out by the very people
with whom they had social ties. Belancille Muhimirundu, an eighteen-year-old peasant from Rurama in
Karengera, Cyangugu, had the door shut in her face by the wife of their father's godson. The family
became separated in the panic and fear that swept every Tutsi community in April. Belancille and her
younger sister went to look for shelter in the home of their father's godchild. Belancille explained his
wife's reaction to their call for help.

We wanted him to take us into his home. Or at least to tell us what was being planned in the area so
that we could have better ideas. We got to his home only to find that he was not there. He was taking part
in the patrols. We talked to his wife. We asked her when he would be back. She replied 'Even if a year
passes and there are still Tutsis about, we will continue to kill the Tutsis.' She told us to go to Nyakabuye,
adding 'Go there. There they have said they do not plan to kill the Tutsis.' It was just a way to get rid of

Belancille and her sister were eventually saved by a councillor they did not know: he hid them in
the home of his old father.49

Caritas (not her real name) is a peasant in her mid-thirties and the mother of three children. She
lived in Musambira in Gitarama. Her husband was macheted immediately the killings started in their
sector and fled their home. She hid the three children in her house. Afraid that they would die of

48 Interviewed in Kigali, 30 April 1995.

49 Interviewed in Karengera, Cyangugu, 16 February 1995.

hunger, she sent them to the health centre at Cyakabiri. On the fourth day, the children did not return. In
the evening, Caritas ran to the home of a woman who was a friend and a neighbour.

When I arrived, the friend started a loud argument, shouting at the top of her voice about the RPF being
banned and how it was wrong to have anything to do with the RPF. Because she was yelling so hard,
everybody got to know I was there. I started running and her brother and her husband chased me. They
caught me and beat me up. They left me and I hid in the bush for two days.

Unfortunately, Caritas was discovered by three men who were neighbours who proceeded to rape
her, each man taking his turn. She then sought shelter in the home of a family she knew. She was
welcomed by the woman of the house but forced out by the husband. She took refuge in the commune
office of Musambira and survived a massacre there in mid-April.50

For Tutsi children, one of the most traumatic aspects of the hunt was the failure of some Hutu
relatives to protect them. Some children and youngsters were refused refuge or even handed over to the
killers by their grandparents, uncles and aunts. A number of mothers, grandmothers and maternal aunts
failed to stand by their relatives. An example is the case of Niragire, a ten-year-old girl. Her father was
Tutsi and her mother Hutu. In late May 1994, she was living at the orphanage in Gahini Hospital
together with her two brothers, Mbonimpa, seven, and Simbavura, four. They were from Isasabirago in
the commune of Gikoro, Greater Kigali.

Niragire's father, Nzaramba, a casual labourer, was killed by the interahamwe with a machete in
front of his children. Subsequently, their home was burned down. The children and their mother took
refuge with the mother's family at Gasagara. Niragire described what happened when they got there.

When we got to our grandparents, my mother's brothers told her that they would have problems hiding
Tutsis. Since we are Tutsi, we were a problem. They told her to choose between leaving with us, or
staying behind and chasing us away. She chose to stay behind and told us to go away, saying, 'Let them
leave.' Our grandfather said, 'Let them leave and be killed by the interahamwe.'

We left the next morning and walked to Kinyami in the commune of Rukara. We took this road
because it was the same road mother had taken when she was bringing us to grandfather's house. What
we wanted to do was to go home. We did not know where else we could go. There were many other
people fleeing so we joined them. In the evening we arrived at a school where we spent the night. The
next day, the Inkotanyi arrived. We were taken first to Rwamagana Hospital because all three of us had
fallen very ill with malaria. When we got better, we were brought to the orphanage in Gahini. We have
not heard anything from our mother since.51

Claudine (not her real name) is a seventeen-year-old school-girl from the cellule of Gahinga, sector
Winteko, commune Cyimbogo in Cyangugu. After their home was attacked on the morning of 9 April,
Claudine and her younger brother ran to the home of their grandmother. On the way, her brother was
caught in an ambush and murdered. Claudine reached her grandmother's home. But her grandmother
would not let her stay. A young Hutu girl came to her help and advised her to seek sanctuary at the
Primary School of Nyakanyinya. Claudine arrived there on the evening of Monday, 11 April. Two days
later, there was a massive attack which targeted only men and boys. The women were spared so as to be
raped, again and again.


In every single massacre investigated by African Rights in 1994 and 1995, every survivor — women,
men and children — has commented on the fact that women and girls played a prominent role in

50 Interviewed in Ntongwe, Gitarama, 11 June 1994.

51 Interviewed in Gahini, Kibungo, 28 May 1994.

looting the dead and the barely-living. Throughout Rwanda, thousands of women and young girls
walked through churches, priests' rooms in parishes, schools, hospitals, maternity clinics, football
stadiums and government buildings, snatching clothes from the dead, kicking over corpses and the
seriously wounded as they searched for money, watches and other materials. Almost invariably, there
were wounded people and survivors hiding underneath corpses. Sometimes, the women and girls helped
to finish them off before they robbed them. Very often, the survivors of massacres stayed on in these
slaughterhouses for lack of alternatives. Where there was a sizeable number of survivors, the militia
continued to surround the building, either as a form of terror or in order to obtain fresh supplies of
grenades and bullets. On many occasions, as in the Parish of Mibilizi and the Parish of Shangi, both in
Cyangugu, the survivors were left to await their fate, while the militia and local government officials
drew up lists of educated men to weed out, and to select the boys that desperate mothers had dressed up
in girls' clothes. Throughout this ordeal, women and girls continued to loot the corpses that lay nearby.

When militia attacked the Parish of Mubuga in Kibuye on 15 April, women and young children
looted the victims. It was no different in Cyangugu. Chantal, a woman who survived two separate
massacres at the Parish of Hanika in the commune of Gatare said of an attack that took place on 12

This time, they did not want to kill everyone. They went after the men and boys, without forgetting
educated women and girls. The militia came sector by sector. They selected the refugees from their sector
to finish off... I was fortunate because I was not well known in the region as I did not come from the area.
I pretended to be dead. There were some refugees in the priests' houses. The houses were looted, doused
with petrol and burnt down. Women who were allies of the interahamwe accompanied them and came to
steal clothes from the dead.52

All the people who survived a series of massacres at the Parish of Shangi, commune Gafunzo in
Cyangugu, commented on the alacrity with which women and girls stole from the dead. Efraim
Rudakubana, who lost his wife, one-year-old son, mother, three brothers and two sisters at the parish,
watched as the killers combed the nearby forest looking for survivors to bury the dead. But before they
were dumped in a mass grave, the dead were stripped.

All the dead were completely undressed by women and girls amongst the interahamwe.53

Angélique also spoke of the participation of women in the massacres at the Parish of Shangi.

Some women even killed, others encouraged the killing. But above all, women looted the dead. They
spared no one. That is why everyone was buried naked.54


Systematic rape was one of the instruments of genocide used to devastating effect by the extremists.
Unlike in the case of the killings, there is no evidence that the architects of the genocide had prepared
lists of women they wanted to see raped, nor indeed that specific instructions went out to the
interahamwe that they should rape women. But the exhortation to kill, destroy and humiliate the Tutsi,
seize their property, slaughter and eat their cows and defile the churches where they sought refuge had a
clear implication: rape their women. Women — and girls — were the "spoils" of the genocide.55

52 Interviewed in Kamembe, Cyangugu, 17 February 1995.

53 Interviewed in Kamembe, Cyangugu, 17 February 1995.
54 Interviewed in Shangi, Cyangugu, 20 February 1995.
55 For a detailed account of the rape and abduction of women and girls during the genocide, see African Rights,
Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, second edition, pp.748-797.

And throughout Rwanda, women and girls were raped — in their homes, in the bushes, in the
hospitals, churches and camps where they had sought sanctuary and at roadblocks. Many of them were
gang-raped. Their tormentors included soldiers, militia, gendarmes, peasants as well as educated men.
Some of them suffered horrific physical tortures before they were raped. They were raped and abducted
by strangers and by people they knew, including their teachers, neighbours and even by some local

Like their men, some women went along with the view that Tutsi women were the rewards of the
genocide. The testimony of Juliana (not her real name), a nineteen-year-old fifth-year secondary school
student on the Gitarama side of Nyabisindu, highlights the extent to which the conquest of women was
seen as the "spoils" of the killing. Juliana was under intense pressure from her abductor's female
relatives to give herself to him. Though she did not suffer the extreme cruelty to which so many Tutsi
women were subjected, Juliana's account is revealing about the way in which her status was reduced to
a chattel, even in the eyes of other women.

Juliana is the only survivor of her immediate family. Her parents, three sisters and two of her
brothers were killed in Nyanza, Gitarama, on 14 April. When the killings began, the family ran in
different directions. Juliana, her two remaining brothers and a younger sister, fourteen, went to the
Butare side of Nyabisindu. Her brothers continued on and Juliana, her sister and a friend hid in a trench.
The three young women were captured on 16 April. Juliana's younger sister was abducted by the leader
of the local killers. Juliana was taken to a cliff and watched as several people were macheted and
clubbed in front of her. She was protected by some neighbours from those determined to kill her.
Juliana's future abductor, Marcel, a driver, then arrived and succeeded in saving her from execution.
Juliana said she had seen him in the neighbourhood, but had never spoken to him. For Rwanda in 1994,
he had an unusual character for an abductor

Along the way, he tried to rape me. I cried, cried and pleaded with him. He left me alone. He seemed
genuinely upset at seeing me so distraught. He told me that in future I should regard him as a brother. He
took me to hide at the home of his elder brother, the one who had tried to save my life.

While I was there, a Tutsi man who had been hiding in the bush came to the house. He had been so
overcome by hunger that he took the risk. He made a deal with the owner that he would pay him for food
and in exchange they would hide him. But then the interahamwe began to check houses. He was hidden
in the cowshed and I hid in the bush. They discovered the man and led him away. The owner told me that
they killed the Tutsi man and fined him for hiding a Tutsi.

With these developments, Marcel became worried about my security. He proposed hiding me at his
mother's house. When I got there, I became terrified about the things they said were happening around
us. Some members of the family had witnessed some of the awful things the interahamwe were doing to
Tutsis, both men and women.

They said that some women had been taken to the roadside and forced to watch the killing of Tutsi
men, after which they would be given lectures by one of the key killers, one Karaguye. They said he told
them 'You Tutsi women, you have no respect for Hutu men. So now, choose between death and marriage
to a Hutu interahamwe.' He promised them that their death would be more cruel than the one they just

Then they went looking for the most filthy-looking vagabonds, jigger-infested and God knows what
else. They looked for the kind of man who was least likely to get a woman under normal conditions.
There were so many women that they could not find enough of these dirty men. But so intense was the
fear of being killed that the women would plead and ask these men to take them.

The status of Juliana as "booty" became clear from the attitude of Marcel's family—reflected in the
exchanges between her and Marcel himself. All his female relatives became involved, constituting what
she called a "court of women" to decide her fate.

After a few days, the mother started pestering her son for leaving me alone. She said that 'Everybody else
is getting married and here you have a woman. What are you keeping her for?' It was true that he had left
me alone. I think he too wanted to take me by now but he did not know where to start. The earlier
incident had clearly frightened him. To push me, he came with a story which I knew was a lie, saying that
members of CDR had ordered all Hutu men to kill Tutsi women they had taken, or else run the risk of
being killed themselves. He said it was already known that I was with him. He said the choice was mine.
I begged him, asking him to tell them that we were married when we were not. He dismissed this as a
stupid idea, blackmailing me by claiming that I did not want him because he was Hutu. He threatened me
by saying, 'Drop your Tutsi arrogance.' He added: 'In any case, you will not find a Tutsi man afterwards
as they have all been killed.' I said it was nothing against him but that I just was not ready for marriage.
He asked, 'So when will you be ready?' I replied: 'In about four years.' He laughed. 'Well, right now you
have a choice to make. And that choice is between marriage and death.' I told him that I preferred death.
He laughed even louder, saying, 'You can afford to say that because you are here, protected in my
mother's house. You should see how your fellow Tutsis are urinating in their pants, pleading with Hutu
men to take them they are so afraid of death. You don't know what kind of death you face; otherwise you
wouldn't talk this rubbish.'

I kept pleading with him. He finally agreed to say that we were married. But he accepted not to take
me by force only after I agreed to marry him voluntarily once the war was over. When he told people we
were married, some people believed him. Others did not. His mother of course knew the truth. After
some days, she started threatening to throw me out unless I agreed to marry her son for real. Trying to
twist my arm, she said 'Your only objection to my son is the fact he is Hutu.' She brought some elderly
women to the house to insult and intimidate me. These women accused me of being childish. One of
them said 'Many women of your kind have been taken by dog-like vagabonds. And here you are,
rejecting this nice young man. Your sister, who is only fourteen, is already married. What are you
waiting for?'

By then, I knew where my sister was. We started visiting each other at night. She said she had no
choice but to sleep with her abductor. He was a real killer and had she refused, she would have been
killed. I understood her situation. I knew that what gave me the strength to resist was a confidence, an
instinct, that those people would not kill me.

Nevertheless, the old woman continued to pester her son to take me. She kept saying that I was the
only Tutsi woman in the area living with a man without being turned into a wife. The old lady, her
friends, his age-mates who had already abducted Tutsi women, began to taunt him publicly about being
impotent. I knew this and of course I could imagine the effect on him.

Marcel now began to use all the diplomacy he could. He sent his sister-in-law to intercede on his
behalf. She is the wife of Marcel's brother who first hid me. I had gotten along well with her.

She began by pointing out the stupidity of the mess we had created. She advised me to take a leaf
out of my sister's situation, a young girl who was being kept by a much older killer. She added 'At least
you are with decent people. And don't fear for your future. You will still be able to get properly married.'
The old lady, seeing that threats did not move me, also tried to be diplomatic. She pointed out that she
could not go on hiding me without marriage to her son, saying that my choice was to leave them and run
the risk of getting killed. But I refused.

One morning, the old woman came to see me, accompanied by two other elderly women and her
daughter-in-law. They really harangued and threatened me. While I was being tried by this court of
women, Marcel himself came in. He was in a complete state. He informed me that I had to leave their
house and that he was planning to take me to Karege, the leader of the killers in the whole area, higher
than my sister's abductor in the local order of killers. He really was beside himself with fury. It became
clear to me that he was serious. I got annoyed with him and said that I was more than capable to taking
myself to the killers. He insisted on taking me. I argued back, saying that since all he wanted was for me
to get out of their house, I was ready to leave on my own. I got up to leave. He looked very worried and
started following me. His mother told him that he was forbidden from bringing me back to her home
unless it was for marriage. I sent a message to my sister's abductor, asking him to come and escort me to
Karege's place.

My sister's abductor arrived and told me to 'Stop being so childish.' He asked me, 'Are you superior
to all these other women?' I did not answer him, but requested him to take me to the house where I knew
a cousin was hiding. When we got there, a member of the family hiding my cousin told me that Hutu
houses suspected of hiding Tutsis were being carefully searched. Telling me that one of my two brothers
who I hoped was alive had recently been killed, he advised me to 'Get realistic.' I took this to mean give
in to Marcel. He added, 'If you are interested in complicating your life, you don't have to do much. There
are killers everywhere.'

This conversation was taking place on the street. Marcel was somewhere behind me. Suddenly he
came up to me. Telling me not to talk to him, he told me to follow him. He took me to another house, a
relative of the man who was keeping my sister. Shortly after that, Marcel left because he got a job in
Butare. He promised to come back for me.

Juliana had resisted the combined pressure of Marcel's family. But the pressure to murder Tutsi
women was mounting.

In the meantime, people in Nyanza got to know that my sister and I survived by getting married. I
learned, from my sister's abductor, that the sous-préfet called a meeting in Nyanza and declared that 'If a
snake wraps itself around a milk calabash, you don't let the snake survive just for the sake of saving the

This was taken as a big order to hunt Tutsi women down. When they went to Marcel's mother house,
of course they did not find me there. They beat up a Hutu girl whom they found there, trying to make her
reveal my whereabouts. But she did not in fact know. Instead, she took them to see my little sister. They
tried to force my sister to say where I was hiding. She did not know. So they killed my sister. When we
heard that, the man hiding me said he could not afford to keep me. I was completely distraught by the
news of my sister's death. I did not consider it worth living anymore. I asked them to hand me over to the

I decided to go to the killers myself. I started walking towards Karege's house. An entrepreneur who
had been building a house for my dad tried to dissuade me from giving myself up. He offered to hide me.
I did not pay any attention to him. I was so sick of hiding I did not even want to hear the word. He kept
following me, trying to convince me that it was wrong to allow my sister's death to decide the fate of my
own life. But my sister was all I had left. Now that she was gone, I could not see what there was to live
for. I was also reluctant to go with this man. I wanted to avoid a repetition of the problems with Marcel,
especially as I could not be so confident that he would be as nice as Marcel.

While I was struggling with this dilemma, an acquaintance of this man passed us by. He asked the
entrepreneur about the health of his wife and children. When I heard the word wife, I began to think that
maybe I would have less problems with him once he took me to his house. I accepted to go with him. But
he did not take me to his house and family. Instead, he hid me in a house he was building which was not
yet complete. A young girl of about fifteen or sixteen and her younger brother also came to hide in the
house. They were from a Tutsi family that was known to be very wanted. People had seen them come to
the house, all of which made me afraid. The entrepreneur made arrangements with a young interahamwe
to guard me. He tried to convince me that I would have no problems. Whatever the danger, what choice
did I have anyway?

I discovered there was a conspiracy between the two men. They tried to scare me by saying that if I
went to Nyanza, where my father was well-known, I would undergo a very painful death, with a lot of
torture. They said that interahamwe at every roadblock had my name and description.

The young interahamwe came to take me, that is to rape me. He took me to his house. He did not
touch me for the first day, saying he wanted to give me time to get used to him. He informed me that the
deal he had made with the entrepreneur was for him to have me. Just to make sure I got the message, he
displayed a lot of grenades and bullets. He told me: 'Make your choice.' This time I had no choice but to
submit. I explained everything that I had gone through. But he was not moved. He kept me for five days.
When I reflected on everything, the only consolation I could find was to tell myself that if I had
submitted to Marcel, I would have been raped for a much longer period.

Like many young women who had been raped, and left alone in the world after the murder of
everyone she knew and loved, Juliana saw no point in continuing her life. Her torment was made worse
by the extremists' propaganda on the radio, which maintained that the Rwandese army was defeating
the RPF and that there was no hope for Tutsis. She decided to kill herself with the grenades of her
abductor. But he had put them away, frustrating her desire to commit suicide. Juliana and a group of
older women were saved when the area fell to the RPF. 56

56 Interviewed in Nyanza, Gitarama, 15 June 1994.

"When you begin extermination, no one, nothing, must be forgiven. But here, you have merely
contented yourselves with killing a few old women."

Agnès Ntamabyariro, minister of justice, speaking in Mabanza, Kibuye, at the end

of June 1994.

When Agnès Ntamabyariro made this appeal to the people of Kibuye, the region with the largest Tutsi
population in Rwanda, nearly a quarter of a million Tutsis had been murdered in Kibuye. But
Ntamabyariro, one of the two women in the interim government, and the minister of justice, was afraid
that a few Tutsis might have escaped. In her view, the people of Kibuye had failed.

The other woman member of the cabinet, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, is one of the ministers who
played the most direct and systematic role in the killings. Her numerous crimes are detailed below.
Ntamabyariro and Nyiramasuhuko are not only responsible for the actions they undertook as
individuals. They also bear, along with all their male colleagues, a collective responsibility for the
policy of genocide adopted and executed by the government of which they were members, policies
which they promoted. Throughout the genocide, both women remained at the heart of a cabinet, whose
members, including both the president and the vice-president, toured their préfectures of origin, urging
the population to kill Tutsis and Hutus opposed to extremism.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko
"I cannot even kill a chicken. If there is a person who says that a woman, a mother, killed, then I'll
confront that person."

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the minister for women and family affairs in both the last government of
Habyarimana and the interim government, was in fact dedicated to the systematic elimination of Tutsi
families. Most of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko's "work" was carried out in Butare, her home region. She
began organising the killings even before the removal and murder of the préfet, Jean Baptiste
Habyarimana, who succeeded in preventing massacres during the first two weeks of the genocide.

African Rights has interviewed a wide range of survivors who were eyewitnesses to the systematic
acts of abduction and murder carried out by Pauline Nyiramasuhuko from late April to late June in the
town of Butare, and in the commune of Runyinya, on the border with Gikongoro. Nyiramsuhuko
dressed in a military uniform and accompanied her militia to the places where Tutsi refugees had sought
sanctuary, such as the office of the préfecture and the primary school attached to the Episcopal church
in Butare. She stood by her Peugeot van and gave instructions to the militia, entreating them "not to
spare anyway, not even the foetus or the old."

Eager to set Butare on fire, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko could not forgive the préfet, Jean Baptiste
Habyarimana: under his instructions and vigilant eye, a wide range of local government officials were
forced to conceal their sympathies for the policy of genocide, and to keep the peace. But
Nyiramasuhuko had two important allies in the interim government, the president, Théodore
Sindikubwabo and the prime minister, Jean Kambanda, who both come from Butare. On 19 April,
Sindikubwabo visited Butare and called upon the population "not to remain unconcerned" about
developments elsewhere in the country. The same day, Habyarimana was dismissed as governor and
replaced by a hard-line military commander, Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi, and a civilian governor, Sylvain
Nsabimana, who could both be relied upon as allies. The killings began in the town of Butare on 20
April. Kambanda also visited Butare and held meetings with a wide range of doctors and academics,
men as well as women, to ensure that Butare caught up with the rest of the country.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko herself comes from Butare, the commune of Ndora. Her husband, Maurice
Ntahobari, was the rector of the National University which has its main campus in Butare. They lived in
the town of Butare where during the genocide, one of their children, Arsène Chalôme Ntahobari,
became a much-feared interahamwe, responsible for a number of murders, rapes and looting sprees.
Mother and son worked closely together to carry out the policy of genocide in Butare.

One witness to Nyiramasuhuko's activities was Prisca Mukagashugi, who has worked in the family
planning department of the University Centre for Public Health (CUSP) in Butare since 1978.
According to Prisca, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko played an important part in laying down the foundations
for the mass murders at Butare. She ranked the minister for women's affairs alongside the prime
minister and the president as the most responsible for the genocide in Butare.

Apart from indoctrinating [the people], Pauline took care of the logistics for the militiamen who came in
from Kigali to set fire on Butare. She distributed grenades and supplied the petrol for the burning down
of houses in the rural areas and distributed machetes and other useful equipment to the assassins. The
daughters of Bihira, a Tutsi businessman from Butare, were kept at her house for [her son] Chalôme, to

Pauline began to incite the killings even while Butare was still quiet. She began in the commune of
Runyinya, where there was a huge number of Tutsis to kill, for in addition to the residents, thousands of
people who had fled the neighbouring region of Gikongoro had congregated in Runyinya. One of these
refugees was Grâce Hagenimana who lived in cellule Kiduha, sector Vumbi in Runyinya. Grâce had

given birth a few days before the launch of the genocide. She had named her baby UNAMIR, reflecting
the widespread hope that UNAMIR's presence had created in the country.

She tried to protect her four children after her husband, Emmanuel Simugomwa, was killed in

In our commune, the Hutus started threatening the Tutsis around 16 April because of what [they] had
seen in Gikongoro. They had burned down all the Tutsis' houses there. Those who hadn't been killed
there then came looking for refuge in our commune. But [the situation] had been aggravated by the
increased inflammatory visits which Pauline Nyiramasuhuko paid to our commune to incite hatred.
Everyone knew her van [which] often came to our commune, broadcasting on the megaphone that the
Hutus must fight the common enemy who were accomplices of the Inkotanyi. She meant the Tutsis in the
interior country.

On 16 April, our houses were burned down and we withdrew into the Runyinya mountains. But I
wasn't from Runyinya and my appearance did not look Tutsi. I decided to hide my identity card which
revealed my ethnic group, take my children and head towards my native commune [of Nyaruhengeri]
where I had lived with my parents. This was just about two weeks after the birth of my baby whom I
nicknamed Unamir. We spoke about this name a lot at the time.

I wasn't intending to go to my commune, since the Hutus there knew me from A to Z, but to head for
Butare town, going through Nyaruhengeri. At all the roadblocks I lied, [saying] that I was Hutu and that I
was taking my Tutsi children to their father's house [which was] just ahead. I knew that I was leaving
him behind. My husband was called Emmanuel Simugomwa. He was killed at Runyinya.

When we got to Nyaruhengeri, I took up with Hutu families so as to find out if my parents and
family were really still alive. But I heard that they had all been killed right at the beginning. I continued
towards the town and finally arrived at EER [Episcopal Church of Rwanda] on 18 April, just two days
after Nyiramasuhuko's final and inflammatory visit to Runyinya.

But leaving Runyinya did not allow Grâce to escape from Pauline Nyiramasuhuko. After a few
days, Grâce and the other refugees were told to leave the church, where they had occupied the primary
school, so that classes could resume for those who were fortunate enough not to be afraid for their lives.

That's how we got transferred to the office of the préfecture in Butare. This was in mid-May. I didn't see
Nyiramasuhuko at EER even though it was only about a hundred metres from her house.

During my brief stay at the préfecture, I saw Nyiramasuhuko take out Tutsis to kill many times. She
said we weren't human beings. On the contrary, she said we were dirt. Each time she came to the office
of the préfecture, she was in a van driven by her son, Châlome. She came with a group of high ranking
interahamwe militiamen.

She stayed beside the van and always gave them orders. She said they had to quickly get rid of the
dirt in the office of the préfecture so that employees of the préfecture could regain their sanity. She would
often tell the assassins not to spare anyone. For example, at the time of the abductions of the children of
Mbasha, [who were] well-dressed children with little ties, Nyiramasuhuko said they had to go and fetch
these Inyenzi flowers. She laughed, saying that it was very surprising to see that up till then, the Inyenzi
continued to dress up like flowers. These children were killed with their mother. Their father was taken
away in the evening of that same day.

Until our transfer to Rango, Nyiramasuhuko came to abduct people. She didn't want any survivors
and couldn't stand the idea of our being taken to Rango.57

Fortunately, Grâce and her four children survived Pauline's depredations and are currently living in

57 Interviewed in Butare, 19 July 1995.

Jacqueline Nibonka is from the commune of Ngoma in Butare but was living in Runyinya in April.
She accuses Nyiramasuhuko of inciting violence, abducting and killing a young man and causing the
death of Martin Rusamaza, his wife and their young daughter. Jacqueline's experience of the killers
began on 18 April, on the eve of the explosion of violence in Butare.

Until then, the Hutus of my commune had not yet risen up against the Tutsis. But certain people in
authority, including Mme Nyiramasuhuko, came to incite the local Hutu population into killing us.
Nyiramasuhuko came to Runyinya on 18 April with her driver. She abducted Alexis, a young Tutsi man
who had come to visit his family who lived in Runyinya. [He] normally worked in the préfecture of
Butare as an accountant. She left with Alexis, threatening him for he was a member of the Liberal Party
and was Tutsi. The young man didn't come back. We don't know how he died.

As the situation deteriorated, Jacqueline fled to Butare to join her older sister who worked in the
maternity wing of the University Hospital. But the clouds were already gathering. After the massacre of
Tutsis at the hospital, she was taken to the house of a doctor in Buye, a residential quarter of the town,
where she heard more news of the activities of the minister responsible for family affairs.

Whilst in Buye I regularly followed the news of the horrors our Tutsi colleagues were subjected to. I
heard about the deaths of Wini Kantengwa, a teacher at the university, her husband Martin Rusamazi, a
teacher at the Groupe Scolaire des Parents, previously the Technical Training Centre, and their little girl,
Vanessa Umutoniwase Rusamaza. Mme Nyiramasuhuko ordered this family to be killed.58

After the green light was given for the genocide in Butare on 20 April, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko was
among the most active in organising the massacres. One of those who suffered at her hands is Jeanne
Umurerwa, who lived in Butare town in her father's house. On 20 and 21 April, their home was attacked
by a group of soldiers, and on the following day by the minister herself.

On 22 April, Nyiramasuhuko's van came by, this time full of fierce militiamen. Some of the militiamen
stayed behind the door, opposite the entrance, with Nyiramasuhuko. Nyiramasuhuko ordered them not to
spare anyone. When I heard this, [and being] alone, I went round to the back of the house and hid in a
corner of our compound. That day I saw Nyiramasuhuko dressed in a military uniform. And so the
militiamen invaded our house and abducted six people including my twelve-year-old son. All these
people were put into Nyiramasuhuko's van and driven towards Kabutare [prison] where they were killed.

My little sister, Félicitée, however, had a Hutu suitor called Vincent and even had a baby by him
who was some ten months. They would have been married if the genocide hadn't happened. My eldest
daughter of nineteen years was at Kibeho; she managed to escape. A Hutu man saved her and took her to
Zaire. She came back a few months after the RPF took power.

After the attackers left, Jeanne went back into the house, and found her parents and two other
children were still alive. But Nyiramasuhuko had not finished with Jeanne's family. As the defeat of the
interim government neared, she redoubled her determination to locate and murder Tutsis.

After the fall of Gitarama, Robert Kajuga's militiamen came to Butare. [Kajuga was president of the
interahamwe.] Roadblocks were erected more or less everywhere. A roadblock was put up just in front of
our door. It was at the beginning of June or end of May when the number of roadblocks multiplied. I saw
Nyiramasuhuko again, dressed in military uniform. She had come to give orders to the militiamen at the
roadblock opposite our house. She told them to organise a meticulous search of all the houses suspected
of still keeping Inyenzi, i.e. Tutsis.

For almost the whole of June there weren't any attacks directed at our house.

On 27 June, still in military uniform, Nyiramasuhuko once again came to the roadblock opposite our
door. She asked the militiamen there what they were waiting for to carry out their orders. At about 10:00
p.m., an attack made up of several militiamen jumped into our compound. And there we were, once again
trapped by an attack brought about by Nyiramasuhuko. I locked myself in a room that was used as a shop

58 Interviewed in Butare, 18 July 1995.

and they didn't find me. Some [of the] children went into the ceiling. My parents, Félicitée and her baby
were abducted and, except for Félicitée's child who they spared saying it was theirs, killed on the same
day towards Mukoni, at the bottom of the university campus. They left [the child] at Karubanda where
Terre des Hommes was.

Then they looted almost everything. After they left, I hid more or less everywhere, with Hutu
families and in the bushes near my house until the Inkotanyi came to Butare.

All in all, I saw Nyiramasuhuko three times during the genocide, in military uniform busy giving out
orders to the genocidal killers and militiamen at the roadblocks opposite our house.59

Few who were present in Butare at that time did not see the minister of women's and family affairs
at "work". Aurélie Nyirazina comes from a comfortable peasant family. She lost her husband, Vincent
Nduwumwami, and eight of her eleven children in the genocide. Aurélie lives in the cellule of Kiduha
cellule, Vumbi sector in Runyinya. She first saw Nyiramasuhuko in Runyinya.

As the days went by, things got progressively worse in our commune. We saw Nyiramasuhuko's van
travel around our commune. A few days later, the burning down of Tutsi houses in Runyinya started.
When this began, we went into the Runyinya forests high up in the mountains.

A week after Habyarimana's death, Nyiramasuhuko's same van came back into our neighbourhood,
this time with a megaphone, commonly called a phonograph. The van stopped at Muyogoro centre,
between the commune of Huye and Runyinya. Nyiramasuhuko spoke into this megaphone, saying it was
necessary to kill the Inyenzi, [including] foetus or old person.

After her departure, attacks were launched against us. But we continued to hide in the massive
Runyinya mountains of Vumbi sector.

Aurélie sought security with various Hutu friends. Her four children and husband were killed, and
she was taken to an Episcopal church close to Nyiramasuhuko's house in Butare town.

During my brief stay there, I never saw her. It was the soldiers who came at night, especially at around
11:00 p.m., to take out Tutsis to kill. There were a lot of us there, from almost all the préfectures in the
country, as people had said nothing was going to happen in Butare.

In May, the militiamen adopted a strategy of saying that calm had returned to our hills. The next day,
I was one of the first to go back to our hills.

But this was merely the prelude to a new wave of killings.

We had hardly arrived at the bottom of the university hospital when we ran into an interahamwe
roadblock. There were about four of us: three women and a baby. There was a deep grave, about twelve
metres, close to the roadblock. They stopped us and asked for our identity cards. But we didn't have them
[with us] and they started killing us. They hit us with masus and then threw us into the grave. I was the
last to be thrown into the grave. I was with Grégolie Mukamana, Marthe and her baby.

Aurélie and Grégolie were wounded but still alive.

There were a lot of decomposing bodies in the grave. Grégolie and I stayed in this grave. A few days
later, Grégolie climbed out, using the small ditches or holes she had dug out all around the sides of the
grave. It was about 5:00 in the morning.

Meanwhile, the interahamwe came by to throw more bodies into the grave. Each time they came, I
told them that I wasn't dead yet. I asked them to be good enough to come and kill me but they refused.
The new bodies fell on top of us and we would put them under us.

59 Interviewed in Butare, 19 July 1995.

Six days later, I tried my luck in climbing out, using the same small ditches made by Grégolie. But
as my feet were swollen, whenever I got near the top, I fell back into the grave, like a stone falling from
the sky. After two or three tries, I escaped. But I assure you I crawled into the surrounding bushes to
hide. I was wearing a blood-stained skirt and a sweater which were giving off a really nauseating smell.

After warming up in the sun, I made my way to my married daughter's house at Vumbi. My left arm
was paralysed and my feet swollen, not to mention my ribs which were almost all broken. I spent some
days there busy recovering. But seeing the number of soldiers constantly coming round to threaten them
because of me, I thought it was better to stop creating problems for my children. In the night, I decided to
go back to the Episcopal church.

I arrived at the University Hospital at 5:00 a.m. I had forty francs on me [and went] to the bottom of
the maternity hospital where Hutu women and girls who had fled the Inkotanyi made porridge. They
thought I was mad. All the same, I bought a cup of porridge for twenty francs. After eating that, I headed
towards the office of the préfecture in Butare as there weren't anymore refugees at the Episcopal Church.
This was at the end of May.

At the office of the préfecture, Aurélie watched as Pauline Nyiramasuhuko selected Tutsi men for
the slaughterhouse.

At the préfectoral office, I couldn't count the number of times the accursed Nyiramasuhuko came by in
her van, full of militiamen and driven by her son Chalôme, to select Tutsis to kill. On average, I would
dare say Nyiramasuhuko came at least three
times each night to take Tutsis away to kill. There were some soldiers who had escorted her and she said
not a single Inyenzi should be spared. These abductions were always led and accompanied by
Nyiramasuhuko who said the enemy of the country was the Tutsi, especially the intellectuals.

Aurélie stayed there until the remaining refugees were transferred to Rango in Butare. Her two
daughters whose husbands are Hutu have gone to Zaire with their husbands. With her husband and her
other children dead, Aurélie is now living alone in Butare.60

One of the people who saw Nyiramasuhuko from the primary school of the Episcopal church is
Libérée Mukarugwiza. Libérée is from cellule Rugarama, sector Vumbi in Runyinya. She currently
lives in the district of Cyarabu of Butare. She left Runyinya for Butare after neighbours destroyed her
house on 18 April.

I lived at the University Hospital from 22 April and spent more than two weeks there. We were under an
avocado tree, opposite [the departments of] paediatrics and emergencies. There were many of us, as
many Tutsi students of the Butare campus of the university had decided to join us.

Since my arrival there, soldiers, in the company of some Hutu students, abducted students to kill at
the bottom of the maternity hospital towards IRST [Institut de Recherche Scientifique et Technologique].
Amongst the students who pointed their colleagues out, I can name Théophile, son of the former member
of parliament, Zacharie Banyangiriki. He delivered two students, Assumpta and Aimable [to their

When I saw this, I thought it was better to go to the primary school at the Episcopal church which
was just near the compound of the evil Nyiramasuhuko. At night, as in the day, people were abducted.

I saw Nyiramasuhuko there. She came at night when the abductions took place. [She came] with a
lot of interahamwe in her Peugeot van whose colour they had tried to change by coating it with oil and

I saw her clearly. She came out of her van but didn't come amidst the refugees. She just gave out
orders from where she was, near the van. She made a lot of rounds, at least four per night from 8:00 p.m.

60 Interviewed in Butare, 17 July 1995.

I decided to go back to the University Hospital (HUNR) as we were really exposed to
Nyiramasuhuko and her children's constant insults at the Episcopal church primary school. When I got to
HUNR, the abductions continued. But by then, the young Tutsi boys' ordeal was over and it was the turn
of the young girls who were raped before being killed. Luckily, we were transferred by trucks to Butare's
préfecture office as Dr. Jotham [Nshimyumukiza, director of the University Hospital] had openly said
that there was no need for the Inyenzi to be in front of his hospital.

I can't estimate the number of times Mme Nyiramasuhuko came by the préfectoral office, always in
her van, at night to abduct people to kill. She never left [the van], but stayed close to it, threatening the
militiamen to hurry up. I stayed there until we were evacuated by buses supplied by préfet Sylvain
Nsabimana who had decided to send us off to die in Nyaruhengeri. [But] the militiamen of this commune
refused to kill us and we returned on foot to Rango in Ngoma commune during which the militiamen
stole all our clothes, even our underwear. Our clothes were taken by women. We stayed there until the
RPF came.61

Nkusi, sixteen, is from the town of Butare. He was one of the many refugees at the office of the

It all started in Butare on 20 April. A lot of Tutsis were killed on the following days. I left our
neighbourhood to hide in the préfectoral office where there was such a large number of Tutsi refugees
from all corners of the country. Accompanied by interahamwe and with her military escort,
Nyiramasuhuko attacked us there. She was in her Peugeot van which was dark in colour, very dirty.

The militiamen she had brought started selecting Tutsis to kill. We tried hiding from them and
luckily, they left without finding us. This was repeated many times and each time we miraculously
escaped. Nyiramasuhuko was there every time the militiamen came by to take people away. I can't say
that she killed with her own two hands, but during the genocide there were so many ways of killing,
including, for example ordering the criminals about like she did. There was a sous-préfet who said he felt
sick every time he saw us. It is just as well the préfecture decided to move us to Nyaruhengeri. From
there we went back to Rango. At Rango, I tried to find a way of getting back to town.

Nkusi's return to Butare resulted in a close encounter with Nyiramasuhuko.

When I arrived opposite the mosque, which was some distance from the university campus, I saw Mme
Nyiramasuhuko, sitting with her children at the roadblock just opposite their house. I was still too far and
they hadn't seen me yet. I went around, going through the University Hospital to get to the préfectoral
office. I was taken from there to Karubanda orphanage by a Hutu woman who was a friend to my mother.
I stayed until the end of June when I was evacuated to Burundi by Terre des Hommes.62

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko remained determined to hunt out and kill Tutsis from the beginning of the
genocide to the final days. One of those who witnessed her activities during June at close quarters is
Marguerite Musabyimana, a teacher at Butare Groupe Scolaire who is currently living in the city of
Butare. Marguerite comes from the cellule of Rwamagana, sector of Karama in the commune of the
same name, Gikongoro. Along with thousands of other refugees, she fled to the Parish of Cyanika,
arriving on 11 April. By 13 April, the parish was so crowded that "it was really difficult to find
somewhere to put your feet." Soon afterwards, the refugees felt so threatened that they began to try to
escape. Marguerite's sister bribed two gendarmes to evacuate their family to the Benebikira convent,
close to Butare Cathedral.

Two or three days after we got to Butare, we heard some sort of advertisement: a car with a megaphone
inviting all of Butare to attend a meeting that Sindikubwabo, Kambanda, Nyiramasuhuko were going to
hold in the house which before used to be the 'palace of the MRND.'

This meeting triggered off the violence and the beginning of the genocide in Butare town.

61 Interviewed in Butare, 20 July 1995.

62 Interviewed in Butare, 20 July 1995.

Marguerite and her family escaped by hiding in a wood shed, and briefly in the priests' houses at the
cathedral. For several weeks they hid under the wood in the convent again, until the fall of Gitarama to
the RPF when large numbers of soldiers came to Butare. Angry and agitated, the soldiers made a
thorough search for all concealed Tutsis. Marguerite was discovered.

At the beginning of June, the soldiers came into the convent, for a final search for RPF accomplices, i.e.
Tutsis. After having searched all the rooms in the convent, they forced the workers to take out the wood,
one by one. We were all discovered: four boys and ten girls. It was about 1:00 p.m. Realising that this
was the end, the mother superior, Agnès, called Colonel Muvunyi. Meanwhile, the boys were already
being tied up and tortured. The soldiers called Father Kabera who came quickly. The soldiers asked
Father Kabera if it would not be better to kill us with grenades. But Kabera said that if they threw the
grenades, as the Inyenzi were very dangerous, we would hide under the earth of a cemetery. What cheek
and from a priest! He added that it would be better to kill us off some other way. [Father Etienne Kabera
of the diocese of Butare played a key role in furthering the genocide in Butare].

Col. Muvunyi ordered the captives to the office of the préfecture, where they fell under the mercy
of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko.

When evening fell, the abductions began. It was about 6:00 p.m. when the soldiers came together with
the préfet, Sylvain Nsabimana. They took Professor Mbasha of Karubanda [school] away to the Small
Seminary. They took Pierre away, a student at the university.

In the night of the same day, the famous Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, accompanied by her interahamwe,
including her son Chalôme, arrived. The van stopped, and right there, in full view was Nyiramasuhuko,
in a black uniform. I don't know whether it was a military uniform or not. I saw it all. She stayed by the
van and ordered the militiamen to 'hurry up.' She said it in a loud voice. That's when the militiamen
started the selection. They took the wife and two children of Mbasha, who they had abducted just a few
hours ago. Mbasha's wife was saying, 'Have pity, have pity on my children' and I clearly remember
Nyiramasuhuko saying, 'Kill her quickly.' The woman was killed before being put into the van. Even the
clothes she was wearing, like the wax print dress, were thrown there, soaked with blood. There was also
another Tutsi girl called Triphine. When the interahamwe went to take her, she cried out in a loud voice,
'Save me, save me'. Nyiramasuhuko said, 'Don't take long, slit her throat.' The girl was seized on the spot
and thrown half-dead into the van.

Every time the van was full. They would go and finish off all these people towards Kabutare prison
and then come back. That day they made three trips in the presence of Nyiramasuhuko.

Finally, it was Marguerite's turn to be abducted.

On the third trip they took me. We got near the van, facing Nyiramasuhuko. I said to an interahamwe
who was leading me away that even if they were going to kill me, I had been moved from Ruhengeri by
the RPF. They asked me my name. I told them I was called Emerthe. I lied. They took me back.

Marguerite and a few other Tutsis were saved from Nyiramasuhuko's manic determination to wipe
out Butare's Tutsi population by the interim government's attempts to appease international opinion.
Having killed all the Tutsi men and boys, Tutsi women and girls, weak from fear, lack of food and
sleep, were mingled with Hutu street boys in order to exaggerate the number of Tutsis in town.

The following day, the same militiaman came, calling out the name of Emerthe. Nobody replied. As he
didn't see me, he left. We stayed there with the almost daily abductions. On 18 June, Nyiramasuhuko
came back. That night some soldiers came by. They refused to let Nyiramasuhuko abduct the other
Tutsis, saying that it was necessary to reserve us for the international media, to show us to the
international community. Nyiramasuhuko insisted, but in vain. Towards the end of June, we were finally
taken to Rango by bus. There were at least two hundred and fifty individuals but two thirds were young
Hutu street boys. As for the Tutsis, there were only women and girls on the point of death.

There was a White Father at Rango called Father Danilo. He came from Burundi to give us food.
Thanks to this food, the militiamen spared us as every time they came by, it was to seize our foodstuff.
They spared us because they wanted the food for themselves. We stayed at Rango until the Inkotanyi

A priest in Butare spoke of Nyiramasuhuko's disappointment that there were still some Tutsis alive
at the end of the genocide. In the face of mounting international evidence about the extent of the
genocide, the interim government decided, at the end of June, to parade some of the remaining Tutsis in
the hope of winning international support. At the end of the month, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray,
president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, visited Butare.

Mme Nyiramasuhuko did not want to hear the word 'Tutsi'. [When] Cardinal Roger Etchegaray came to
Butare, he was welcomed by bishops from Butare, Gikongoro, Cyangugu as well as by leading political
figures, including Mme Nyiramasuhuko. We were all together in the buildings of the Small Seminary of
Karubanda. There were seven Tutsi priests and seminarists.

The officials of Butare wanted to show the Cardinal that the Kambanda government didn't kill. To
prove this, they brought him to the Small Seminary. The delegation came. Mme Nyiramasuhuko was
surprised to see us. She said in a loud voice, in Kinyarwanda, 'How can there be such a high number of
Tutsis in Butare?' When they left, we really started to panic. But thank God we escaped.64

Apart from the ravages she caused in Butare and in Runyinya, on one occasion during the genocide,
Pauline Nyiramasuhuko visited her commune of origin, Ndora. She told the killers of Ndora that their
commune "had come last" as Tutsi girls were still alive. Inspired by her incendiary words, several
women and girls were immediately murdered by the militia.

Pauline Nyiramasuhuko is currently head of social services in Inera camp for refugees in Bukavu.
Looking after unaccompanied children is one of her responsibilities. The camp is run by Caritas. In
mid-August, she was interviewed by Lindsey Hilsum for the BBC. Nyiramasuhuko commented:

I do not believe that the Hutu people committed genocide because it is not possible. [Some of] our
leaders are married to Tustis. They [the Tutsis] are in this camp. It is true that all who are in the party of
the president [Habyarimana] are said to be interahamwe. Even old people of a hundred years are
interahamwe, because it's a generic name which should not be demonised. Even babies being born are
interahamwe, but the name has been demonised and given to all Hutus.

She was asked if the interahamwe constituted a militia.

No, that's not true, it's false. It's a name they have demonised. The interahamwe are the people of the
MRND. These are people who have never been divided. And they are still not divided.

She was asked if women killed.

I have no example [of that]. It's not possible because one did not know [how] to massacre like that. We
know that the RPF was composed exclusively of Tustis. And the Tutsi of Rwanda were collaborators.
What happened was that one day people begun to kill each other because the RPF was taking their
territory. If the RPF had accepted a ceasefire, what happened would not have happened... I lived in the
south of the country. At the University there was a brigade of the RPF who made a list of Hutus to kill,
saying that if the RPF arrive, we'll jump on them... We have the documents.

Lindsey Hilsum asked her what she did during the war.

We moved around the region to pacify. We went to pacify a little everywhere. We can show you... We
wrote a pacification document saying people shouldn't kill each other. But when the RPF arrived, people

63 Interviewed in Butare, 17 July 1995.

64 Interivewed in Butare, 4 July 1995.

killed each other in panic. It's war. Saying it's genocide, that's not true. We said we have been attacked
from the outside....It was the Tusti who massacred the Hutus.

When told that witnesses had accused her of killing people, she replied:

I am ready to talk to the person who says I could have killed. I cannot even kill a chicken. If there is a
person who says that a woman, a mother, killed then I'll confront that person... The RPF have put on their
list all intellectual Hutus. I'm amongst those Hutu who have been to university. I studied law. All women
who went to university are seen as killers.

Lindsey Hilsum gave her details of the accusations, including the charge that Nyiramasuhuko had
insisted on killing Mbasha, a teacher at the Small Seminary of Butare, and his children. She continued
to insist on her innocence.

Does he exist? A professeur Mbasha? Maybe you got the name wrong. It's not a Rwandese name.

But they say you killed, you led the militia in Butare etc.

It's not true. I worked in Kigali. I had responsabilities in Kigali. I couldn't move around as I might have
done. It was during the war. And for my own security I was with the whole group. I am amongst the few
educated Hutu women. It's impossible. The Tusti in power in Rwanda just want Tustis to be educated. At
Independence, they educated everyone. And amongst those who went to university were a few Hutu
women and that's why you'll see all those on the list.

Are you willing to face an International Tribunal?

I am very much available... I would like the international Tribunal to begin today.

Agnès Ntamabyariro

Agnès Ntamabyariro, a lawyer, was minister of justice in the interim government. She had occupied the
same post in the last Habyarimana regime. She used to be a magistrate in Nyanza, Gitarama, and at one
time worked in an institution that raised credit for women. A member of the central committee of the
Liberal Party (PL), she belonged to the extremist wing. She played a key role in helping President
Habyarimana and the leading extremists in PL to split the party, a process which did much to weaken
the strength of Habyarimana's moderate political opponents and to hold up the implementation of the
Arusha Accords.

She comes from Mabanza in the préfecture of Kibuye. When African Rights visited Mabanza in
March, witnesses spoke about the incendiary speeches she gave towards the end of the genocide in
order to encourage the killings. As the interim government fled to Gisenyi in fear of the RPF advance,
she travelled from Gisenyi to Mabanza. She used a microphone to rally the population, criticising them
for "contenting themselves with killing only a few old women." To urge them on, she told them that
"When you begin extermination, nothing, no one must be forgiven."


Civil Administrators — préfets, deputy préfets, bourgmestres, councillors and responsables — were
instrumental in preparing the ground long before the genocide was launched on 6 April. A number of
them had been extremely active in organising and implementing the massacres that took place in
Gisenyi, Bugesera and Kibuye which took place between late 1990 and 1992. After the October 1990
invasion by the RPF, a substantial number of them also took the lead in identifying Tutsis as RPF
"accomplices", an accusation that led to the imprisonment of about ten about thousand people. From
late 1993 to March 1994, some of them toured their préfectures, often in the company of ministers who
originated from those regions. They distributed weapons, engaged in violent rhetoric against Tutsis and
moderate Hutus regarded as "sell-outs" and urged the population to be "vigilant" against "infiltrators."

All préfets, deputy-préfets and bourgmestres are presidential appointments. Assistant bourgmestres
are normally proposed by the Minister of the Interior but must be approved by the President. In the era
of the one party state, préfets, bourgmestres and other local government officials were members of the
MRND. After the introduction of multiparty politics, very few of the eleven préfets joined the political

The extent of the close co-operation between the extremists and local government officials became
apparent on the evening of 6 April after it became known that President Habyarimana's plane had
crashed. The speed with which the mass killings began very early on the morning of the 7th in many
regions, including remote hills, is due entirely to the fact that senior local government officials were

A formidable bureaucracy of death had been created. From 7 April, these officials helped to
distribute weapons to the population, called meetings in which they encouraged Hutus to kill Tutsis,
burn their homes and eat their cows and to report Hutu "accomplices" to the authorities. They pointed
out the homes of individuals and families to be eliminated, sometimes working from lists that had been
prepared before 6 April. They made transport available for killers, allowed the curfew to be ignored
when it came to the free circulation of the killers, co-ordinated the collaboration of the interahamwe
from different préfectures, encouraged and facilitated the movement of killers from one sector and
commune to another and even from one region to another. They made alcohol available to militias,
ignored the pleas for help from beleaguered communities and worked in countless ways with
politicians, businessmen, professionals and security officials whose agenda was to kill. Finally, for a
number of officials, the participation was brutally direct: they shot refugees themselves, accompanied
the killers when they went to abduct refugees from places of sanctuary and were seen at roadblocks,
either to decide the fate of refugees or to give moral support to the militia in their "work." Some of
them also tried to prevent the survivors from escaping to other communes, préfectures or over the
border into Burundi and Zaire. Some local government officials even travelled to Zaire during the
genocide to encourage the deportation of Tutsis who had escaped.

Some local government officials resisted the call of mass murder and did their best to protect the
vulnerable in their communities. Some eventually relented and let the killers implement their
programme; others fled after they were threatened. A few persisted and paid with their lives, and that of
their families. But the majority were eager accomplices, either because of their own extremism or out of
political opportunism.

There were no women among the préfets, deputy-préfets and bourgmestres. But a number of women
occupied the post of councillor in various sectors, especially in the City of Kigali. Almost without
exception, these women distinguished themselves by their extraordinary cruelty. They were in fact
downright vicious.

Rose Karushara: The Butcher of Kimisagara

"The Tutsis were thrown into the Nyabarongo river as paper is thrown into the dustbin."

Rose Karushara, fifty-three, was a councillor in the sector of Kimisagara, commune Nyarugenge in
Kigali. She lived in the cellule of Kimuhoza in Kimisagara. Karushara is originally from the commune
of Bwakira in Kibuye. She used to sell beer before she was put in charge of Kimuhoza cellule. She was
then appointed as councillor of Kimisagara by the bourgmestre, François Karera, who was a close ally.

Rose Karushara took an extremely active role in the genocide, wearing military uniform throughout.
A tall and physically strong woman, she used to beat up the refugees herself before handing them over
to her interahamwe for the final kill. She distributed firearms to the assassins and was seen frequently at
the roadblocks in her sector, deciding on the spot whether refugees should be killed or allowed to live.
She held meetings with the militia at a place called Ntaraga in Kimisagara. The plans that led to various
massacres were drawn up at Ntaraga. The distribution of weapons to the interahamwe in Kimisagara
was carried out at her house. Many of the people massacred in her sector, both residents and refugees,
were thrown into the Nyabarongo river, or their bodies were dumped in a mass grave situated around
the hides and skins factory known as SODEPARAL. Others were killed in front of her house while she

Like a lot of extremists in positions of authority, Karushara used her power to enrich herself.
Regarded as exceptionally corrupt, she began her threats against Tutsis immediately after the war began
in October 1990. Knowing her susceptibility to money, many of the Tutsi men in Kimisagara were
forced to buy her off. While she was in charge of Kimuhoza cellule, during the period that Karera was
in power, she constructed and bought many houses, an initiative that her salary could not have

Karushara, a widow, is the mother of five children, three boys and two girls. Two of her sons,
Mugenzi and Mutabaruka, were drivers. The third, Pascal Karegeya, was a secondary school student.
One of her daughters, Mukaperezida, was married and lived in Cyahafi. The second daughter,
Nyirandegeya, was a single mother. Twenty-four-year-old Mutabaruka was her driver during the
genocide and carried a gun. The two of them drove around the other sectors of the commune to ensure
that the "work" was being carried out as planned. Another of her sons, Pascal, was also a killer, and
took it upon himself to murder people who were "wanted" by his mother. It is a testimony to the
success of Rose Karushara as a killer that a particularly high number of people, both residents and
refugees, were killed in her sector. After "cleaning up" Kimisagara, Rose Karushara lent her
considerable "expertise" to the killers in the neighbouring sector of Cyahafi.

One of the men sought after by Karushara was Flaudouard Ntiyamira, a staff member of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs since January 1992. He lived in Kimuhoza cellule in Kimisagara.

I knew Rose Karushara very well, even before she was nominated to be councillor for Kimisagara. She
lived in Kimisagara, next to Electrogaz. When the Inkotanyi attacked in October 1990, Mme Rose started
her threats against the Tutsis. As she was very materialistic, we gave her money to calm her down.

She was a giant, very strong and often beat up the men who came to her house for beer. With the
progressive advance of the RPF, Rose became more and more wild. She managed to get hold of the
gendarmes guarding her house and trained them. [They were] the future militiamen. These gendarmes
guarded Electrogaz at the same time; it was said that the Inkotanyi could poison the water. From then on,
no Tutsi could park outside her gate. We just passed by on the road and saw how the militiamen trained.

In 1992, Rose was imprisoned because a young Tutsi boy was killed near her residence. She was
only imprisoned for a few days and then released by François Karera.

With the death of Bucyana [on 22 February 1994], death squads invaded our neighbourhood of
Kimisagara and a lot of Tutsis left their families. In the evening, Radio Muhabura said that Rose had
started threatening the Tutsis in her sector and, doubtless scared, she stopped the threats. Some soldiers
came and set up in the neighbourhood with their families, saying that the military camps were saturated.
But we knew very well that they had come to kill and would kill at any opportune moment. For example,
a first sergeant, Innocent Kayibanda, lived next to me. He would come round for a drink and would often
reveal their secrets. Moreover, it is thanks to him that I am still alive.

But it was Habyarimana's death that gave Rose Karushara the chance to prove her "loyalty" to the

With the death of Habyarimana, things turned upside down in one go. Very early on the morning of 7
April, there had been already been an attack against my house. As usual, we followed the Kimisagara
road, believing that the UNAMIR soldiers or Rwandese soldiers would save us. When they attacked my
house, there was no-one at home. I think the attackers acted prematurely as the other militia were in a
meeting at Rose's house.

On 8 April, at least a hundred Tutsis were killed. The plan was decided at Rose's house. When I saw
what was happening, I went to the first sergeant's house with quite a lot of money. I asked him to hide
me. He said they were only looking for accomplices of the Inkotanyi, in other words people that the
militiamen could accuse of something. I stayed with him all day. I went back home in the night but didn't
sleep. I had six children and my wife who were hiding with a Hutu friend.

I saw how Rose would go around with a G3 gun, often in the UNDP [United Nations Development
Programme] bus which she had no doubt looted.

Flaudouard soon found out that being an "accomplice" of the RPF simply meant being a Tutsi.

On 10 April, militiamen came and accused me of being an RPF spy in Kigali. I said I wasn't. They led me
out on to the road and asked the other residents. They defended me, saying that I didn't bother anyone in
the district. I was spared but was forced from then on to come onto the road and man the roadblocks like
the other 'patriotic' Rwandese. Anytime I met violent interahamwe, I gave them money.

On 2 May, the militias came and attacked me. The sergeant protected me and they went to tell Rose
that the soldiers were protecting an Inyenzi. Rose summoned a meeting in which she gave the order to
kill all the Inyenzi in less than two days. The Inyenzi in question were the Tutsis.

And there was in fact no delay in implementing the order because on 5 May, Rose's own son, called
Pascal, came and fired on me. I crossed my arms and begged for pardon. The bullet touched my left arm
and a part of my stomach. I fell down as if dead. But I was still [able to] move. I heard him say 'Finish
him off.' Since he did not have another bullet in his gun, he went to fetch another gun from a militia base
which was nearby. I took advantage [of his absence]. As they thought that I was on the point of death, I
ran like mad towards Nyabugogo. I fell upon a roadblock manned by soldiers. I lied and told them that I
was a victim of shelling by the RPF. They took pity on me and put me in a van going to CHK.

At 5:00 p.m., Flaudouard left CHK for the church of St. Famille. While talking to the soldiers
manning the roadblock at the entrance to the church, he fainted. As he was still bleeding, they called for
medical help. Flaudouard remained at St. Famille until he was evacuated by UNAMIR on 21 June when
he forced his way into one of their vehicles. Unfortunately, Flaudouard's wife and six children did not
survive the genocide. They were murdered in Kimisagara after the militia failed to kill Flaudouard

Flaudouard added that he was still at Kimisagara when, between 14 and 20 April, Rose took militia
to her commune of origin in Kibuye.

Some people believed that she had fled Kigali. But on her return, when the militia boasted that the Tutsis
of Kibuye had all been killed, we understood the reality.65

One of the most detailed testimonies against Karushara comes from Callixte Rwamunyana who
lived in Nyamabuye in cellule Kimisagara. He is forty and has worked for the hides and skins factory,
SODEPARAL, since 1986. Callixte comes from the commune of Kagano in Cyangugu. He saw people
being killed in front of Karushara. The fact that he is Hutu and was not active in one of the political
opposition groups, gave him the freedom to walk around. His employment at a factory which became
the graveyard for many of Karushara's victims provided him with additional opportunities to record
Karushara's activities. Callixte has accused Karushara of throwing at least five thousand Tutsis into the
Nyabarongo river.

I came to Kigali in 1986 from Kagano. As soon as I arrived in Kigali, I became co-ordinator in
SODEPARAL. I decided to live in Kimisagara, in Rose Karushara’s sector, close to SODEPARAL. We
knew each other from then on. I went to her house and she also came to see me. Rose Karushara was a
woman who was stronger than many men and she knew it very well. She always put men down. She even
used to beat them up. In 1990, she became a very active MRND member. All her children became
interahamwe. She had a communal policeman called Ndahiro as her bodyguard since multipartyism. She
got very rich to the detriment of the population that she claimed to lead. She built houses everywhere in
the neighbourhoods. Even in her own compound, there was a large number of tenants.

Callixte detailed one of Karushara's contribution to the pogroms of 1994, the military training of
young boys between 1992-93.

A few days after the start of the October 1990 war, some soldiers were sent to guard and monitor
Kimisagara Electrogaz. It was said that the RPF could poison it. Nearly all these soldiers lived at Rose
Karushara’s home where beer was sold and brochettes were made. Between 1992-1993, she started
recruiting future interahamwe criminals. She chose young Hutu boys of fifteen and older. They went for
military training at the sector office where they learned to shoot and throw grenades. There were at least
fifty of these young boys. Their trainer was called Sebitabi, a sergeant from Ruhengeri who lived at Rose
Karushara’s house.

Rose Karushara had killed in Cyahafi a man who was a butcher, because of clashes this chap had
had with her daughter, Mukaperezida. This man was killed in Karushara’s compound by the watchman of
Kimisagara sector office, Gahakwa, and also by blows from Karushara and Asumani who was a friend of
Karushara’s [other] daughter, Nyirandegeya. After having killed this chap, his body was put in a
wheelbarrow. An employee of Karushara called Pauline threw it next to the water house of Kimisagara
Electrogaz. This created some trouble. Pauline was arrested and imprisoned, then released. It was then
Rose and her daughter Mukaperezida’s turn to be imprisoned at Kigali Central Prison, together with
Gahakwa, the watchman. However, their imprisonment didn’t last long as the bourgmestre, François
Karera, and the préfet, Tharcisse Renzaho, intervened for their release.

According to Callixte, Karushara and the thugs she had been training were in action in Kimisagara
within minutes of the news that President Habyarimana had been assassinated.

After the death of Habyarimana, immediately, that is just some minutes after the news, the same
interahamwe trained by Rose Karushara and her allies surrounded all the Tutsi families. The
neighbourhood was completely sealed off. By the following day, almost all the Tutsis from Karushara’s
cellule had been killed, notably:

• Gahunga, employed by Electrogaz. He was killed together with his pregnant wife. These people
were executed in front of Rose Karushara, and their bodies put on top of each other in front of Karushara
who was sitting next to a tree just at the entrance of her house. It was about 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, 7th

65 Interviewed in Kigali, 2 August 1995.

• Alexis Ruzibiza, a mason.

Karushara also went in search of moderate Hutus in her area. Several of them were killed. Callixte
identified the following:

• Kabuguza, who had married a Tutsi woman, Alphonsine, and who was a moderate. This man had a
garage at Kinyoni, next to the Nyabarongo river. He was abducted and killed with a machete in front of
Karushara, whilst his wife was burned alive with petrol. Amongst the people who burned Kabuguza’s
wife was Karushara’s youngest child;

• Martin, a moderate Hutu who worked for the government. He was also killed on Thursday, 7 April;

The list is very long. You can’t count all the victims. During the genocide, Rose carried her gun and
dressed in interahamwe uniform, underneath which she wore a military shirt. She was far too tall to find
her size of military trousers. She had her Toyota van even before the genocide. But during the genocide,
she looted so many cars that her compound was full of cars. Her sons who were drivers had [also] looted
a lot of cars, all kinds.

As I was Hutu and wasn’t at all threatened, I knew a lot of things about Karushara and other
criminals. She launched attacks in the different neighbourhoods of Kigali town and even in other
préfectures. For example, when she heard that some Kimisagara Tutsis had managed to flee to Gitarama,
she decided to launch attacks there. She went and attacked a place called Nkoto in commune Runda,
Gitarama. She also went to attack in the préfecture of Kibuye, her commune of origin. We saw her on the
morning [of her departure] when she came in the van. She took a lot of interahamwe, the most violent,
and named the place where she was going to 'work,' a term meaning to kill Tutsis. In the night, when
these interahamwe returned, they told us how the journey was.

I also did night patrols. Karushara supervised almost all the roadblocks before going for a drink with
her military lovers who pretended to guard Electrogaz.

Calling Karushara "the queen mother of Kimisagara," Callixte described her efforts to ensure that
Tutsis from other communes of Kigali and from Kibungo could not escape to Gitarama, a préfecture
that was initially calm.

She often went to the border between her sector and the commune of Butamwa. [Here, there were] a lot
of Tutsis from Kibungo and Kigali who wanted to flee towards Gitarama. Karushara and her allies killed
a lot of people. At least five thousand people were killed, all thrown into the Nyabarongo river under
orders from Karushara. The Tutsis were thrown into the Nyabarongo river as paper is thrown into the
dustbin. I know several places where Karushara and her interahamwe threw Tutsi corpses here in
Kimisagara. I am ready to show all these mass graves.

Karushara continued to kill people right until the very end, not even sparing a few people hiding in
the home of her own sister.

Three days before the fall of Kigali, Karushara had certain Tutsis, such as Onésphore Ncogoza, and two
boys of about sixteen years, killed. They lived at the home of Karushara’s younger sister called
Uwimana, a single mother who lived in Kimisagara, not far from Rose’s house. Lt. Richard, who lived at
Electrogaz, refused to assassinate these three people. But Karushara who spent the best part of her time at
Rushashi where she had fled and who only returned two or three times a week to Kimisagara, gave the
order to kill these three people.66

Nsanzimana Medali, thirty-six, is the successor to Rose Karushara. He was appointed councillor for
Kimisagara on 18 July 1995. Between August 1994 to July 1995, he continued his previous profession
of teaching. He is originally from Kimisagara and lives in the cellule of Kamuhoza.

66 Interviewed in Kigali, 14 August 1995.

I have known Rose Karushara for a very long time. Her evil dates back a long time. She was a very
authoritative woman, a giant, almost a man. After being appointed councillor, Rose Karushara became
terrible. She grew enormously rich by creating problems for people. In order to extricate themselves, they
had to give her something. This is how she got very rich and built several houses in Kimisagara.

With multipartyism, she became a fierce MRND member. She wanted all the inhabitants to be
MRND followers. She began to enforce this by force. That is how she created an association called
Abiseki “Abishyizehamwe ba Segiteri Kimisagara,” the United People of Kimisagara sector. She put
almost all the Kimisagara civil servants down on a list and forced them to join this association. I refused
to join because her only aim was to collect money for the benefit of her MRND party. Some brave
Kimisagara men also did not want to join. Rose started openly threatening those of us who had refused to
join her association. From then on, she started the creation of the interahamwe, recruiting young boys
who came to train at the office of her sector.

In 1993, she had a fellow called Pascal Hategekimana killed. It was on 3 May. This fellow had been
abducted from his home in Cyahafi by Karushara’s son, Mutabaruka, and the watchman of Kimisagara
sector office called Gahakwa. Pascal had had problems with Karushara’s daughter and Karushara had
him killed. Because of this affair, Rose was arrested with her daughter. But she was promptly released,
through the intervention of Tharcisse Renzaho and François Karera.

After her release, Rose Karushara continued her business of creating a climate of insecurity in the
whole sector. [There were] many threats [because of] the grenades of these young boys trained under her
blessing etc...

According to Medali, Karushara's expertise in "acts of vandalism" were put into practice in April

On 8 April, we had gone on to the road as we didn’t know that they were going to start the systematic
elimination of all the Tutsis and moderate Hutus of Kimisagara. When I got to the road, I saw Rose with
my own two eyes busy distributing grenades and guns to the criminals. She was in a Volkswagen van
with her son.

Karushara did not waste time in looking for Medali and others on her target list.

On 9 April, [she] asked her militia where my body was. Immediately, a large scale attack was launched
against me. But I managed to flee to Mount Kigali. At about 7:30 p.m. on 18 April, Rose Karushara,
accompanied by many interahamwe, launched a massive attack on the home of a Hutu man called Sugira,
who worked in finance. He was killed with his wife, his three children and three of his staff. Karushara
said this attack had to be completed quickly.

Rose Karushara killed people at night, as well as in the day. At night, Karushara co-ordinated the
abductions and the massacres of Tutsis. Karushara had people killed up until July.

Medali explained his efforts to escape Karushara.

I stayed at home. Every time the groups of attackers passed close by, I hid. My time hadn’t come yet. On
18 April, Karushara led an attack against the home of a Tutsi man called Muswahiri and killed nine
people. Seeing that I was protected by some Hutus whom I had helped, Rose Karushara decided to use
RTLM. She announced my name on this bloody radio, saying that I was a communal tutor of
Nyarugenge, that I made contributions to the RPF, and as I had been arrested in 1990 as an ibyitso, it was
over for me. A huge attack took me by surprise on 22 April. They took me first to Ntaraga, a place where
the interahamwe met before launching their attacks, to decide on my life or death. Luckily for me, some
Hutus opposed the idea of killing me and decided to take me to Renzaho. When we got to Renzaho’s
place, he decided to put me in prison. As he was very busy with the massacre of St. Famille, he didn’t
have the time to finish me off.

I was in prison for one month and fifteen days. I was released on 28 June and was forced to return to
Kimisagara. They thought that I would not get there, that I would be finished off half-way. But
surprisingly, I managed to get to my sector without any problem. When I arrived there, [I noticed that] a

lot of the leading sponsors [of the genocide] were no longer living in Kimisagara. They had fled intense
shelling from the RPF which had multiplied its offensive against the FAR. Karushara was living in
Rushashi in Greater Kigali and came rarely to give directives. I heard she had fled there in June. She left
Kimisagara for good on the night of 3 July when the RPF took the entire capital of Rwanda.

Not satisfied with the extraordinary toll she had achieved in Kigali, Karushara helped in "working"
other préfectures.

Rose launched attacks in Munyunzwe, commune Masango and in Nkoto, commune Runda commune,
both in Gitarama.67

Karushara saw the genocide as an opportunity not only to "cleanse" Kimisagara of the Tutsi, but
also to settle the fate of politically active Hutus opposed to the MRND. One of them is Etienne
Niyonzima, currently an MDR member of parliament and a resident of Kimihurura in Kimisagara. With
supporting documents in hand, during an interview with African Rights, he accused Karushara of being
a member of the death squads and of helping to prepare for the genocide.

Since the appointment of Rose Karushara as a councillor in Kimisagara in 1983, she [became] well
known for her violence against innocent civilians. People spoke out against her and wrote letters about
her destructive role. But the regime in place at the time did not react. She was a member of the death
squads and this protected her; she could not be punished.

With multipartyism, the people she had threatened rose up against her as members of the opposition
and wrote up a substantial document exposing Rose's violations of human rights.

Etienne then detailed her involvement in the genocide.

Mme Rose played a prominent role. She was one of the organisers of the genocide. Everyone knew about
the meetings and training of the militias that took place at her house, where the gendarmes kept guard
and trained the future militiamen. Rose was also one of the people who executed the barbaric plan of
killing the Tutsis. There are people whom she killed with her own two hands, others whom she had killed
and others she forced out of their homes.

She destroyed several of her victims' houses. She was well armed with a gun, grenades, a belt of
bullets and killed several people with a gun, including Sizirahiga, a communal policeman in Nyarugenge.
She attacked the Alphonse Ndegeya family, burning Alphonse with tyres. She asked the interahamwe to
kill the Jérôme Gakoko family, Emmanuel Butare, his wife Spéciose and their son Rwakavubi.

In town, accompanied by the president of the interahamwe in Kimisagara, Bernard Gatabazi, she
attacked the hide-out of Mr. Mutaganda and then killed him. The victim's wife is still alive and she can
testify. She gave the order to kill Mme Béata Umurerwa and her four children. She destroyed my house
and looted my belongings.68

The sector of Cyahafi lies next to Kimisagara. Not satisfied with the ravages she left behind in her
own sector, Karushara set out to ensure that Cyahafi, over which she had no administrative
responsibilities, caught up in the race to finish the Tutsi and their Hutu "accomplices."

Jean Nepomscène Nyangezi, forty-five, used to live in Cyahafi where he was a trader. He now lives
in Muhima and continues to trade at Nyarugenge central market. He used to sell shoes in Cyahafi.
Karushara apparently had problems finding shoes to fit her, on account of her unusual size, she came to
depend on Jean to supply her with the right-size shoes, a fact that helped him survive Karushara's
determination to kill all Tutsis in Cyahafi.

67 Interviewed in Kigali, 14 August 1995.

68 Interviewed in Kigali, 3 August 1995.

I am from Kibilira, Gisenyi. My parents were killed in the 1960s. As I have been disabled from birth, I
wasn't able to farm and decided to trade which is what I do now.

I have lived in Kigali for twenty-eight years. I've stayed in different neighbourhoods in this town
and I know it from A-Z. And everyone knows me. Fortunately or unfortunately, people were mistaken by
my identity card. I lived in Cyahafi during the genocide and had a permit from the councillor, saying that
my identity card had been lost, which she gave me with no problem as this councillor thought I was
Hutu. I roamed around for the whole period of the genocide.

I know Rose Karushara, councillor of the neighbouring sector of Kimisagara, very well. We knew
each other even before she was appointed councillor. She had a beer parlour and I often went there for a
drink. She was much stronger than men with a terrible physical strength. Our friendship was reinforced
by the fact that I sold shoes and Rose Karushara had such very large feet that she found it difficult to find
shoes to fit. She needed size twelve or more. I had the task of finding shoes of these sizes. She liked me
very much for this.

Under the rule of the bourgmestre of the commune of Nyarugenge, François Karera, Rose Karushara
was appointed councillor of Kimisagara and our friendship got stronger and stronger. One day, she put
me onto the list of unlucky people who had to be helped by benefactors. She said that I shouldn't even
pay market taxes. These favours were given because of the shoes that I often gave her and which she
didn't pay for.

Even if Rose was kind towards me, she was unkind towards everyone who didn't speak the same
language as Habyarimana. On many occasions, she herself hit and beat up people who were not singing
the praises of Habyarimana.

Jean Nepomscène described the fanaticism that took hold of Karushara after the October 1990 war
and the introduction of multipartyism.

With multipartyism and the RPF war, she became obsessive. She started training up future April 1994
interahamwe at her house, with the help of soldiers who came to her place under the pretext of guarding
Electrogaz water so that the RPF wouldn't pollute it. And so Rose became a distributor of grenades even
before the genocide. At Kimisagara, we often heard the explosion of grenades all through the night and
people being threatened. Kimisagara sector [became] known as the place of grenade explosions.

Even before the genocide, Rose stopped me from frequenting the hotel 'Chez Lando' where I often
went to sell things. She forbade me from going there, saying that I shouldn't collaborate with the likes of
Landouald Ndasingwa, first vice-president of PL [moderate wing] and owner of the hotel.

Jean Nepomscène spoke of Karushara's behaviour during the genocide.

During the genocide, I saw Rose Karushara more than once. We even spoke together during this time.
All the times I saw her, she wore the MRND clothes. [She had] grenades and was carrying a small gun,
not a pistol.

One day, she came to town where we were. She asked if I knew a certain Mutaganda, a Tutsi trader
who lived in Kimisagara. I said I knew him. She gave me the job of finding out where he was hiding in
town, promising a good reward. I said yes. However, I knew where this guy was hiding and we did
everything we could to help get him to St. Famille church where there were other refugees.
Unfortunately, a few days later we saw Rose Karushara come back with her green Toyota, carrying
Mutaganda. She drove around town showing us she had found him. She was the one who had gone and
abducted him from Ste. Famille and had him killed.

There was a restaurant that belonged to a fellow called Mbogo where almost all the interahamwe ate.
I went to eat there without any problem. All the communal policemen went there, and even the major

interahamwe. His restaurant is located near SOCOBICO and I often found Rose there with the famous
Kantano69 of RTLM.

I also clearly remember that Rose was the one who killed a Nyarugenge communal policeman called
Sezirahiga. We were at Mbogo's restaurant and the policemen came to eat, like the rest of us. Rose
arrived with an exercise book which she leafed through and then called Sezirahiga. She put him into her
van. She was with her son who was a driver. We heard a gun shot. Rose came back and said that
Sezirahiga was an Inyenzi who facilitated the access of young Tutsis into the RPF.

Rose also came to the market on several occasions during the genocide. She selected people to kill
off by their physical appearance [i.e. if they 'looked' Tutsi]. I don't know all Rose's children but I know
that she had a young boy who was a driver and a young girl who worked in Nyarugenge commune as a
typist. Rose Karushara didn't only kill in her sector, she was a star who operated in nearly the whole city
of Kigali.70

Karushara is currently living in the Kivu region of Zaire.

Odette Nyirabagenzi: The Terror of Rugenge

Odette Nyirabagenzi became councillor of the sector of Rugenge, commune Nyarugenge in Kigali, a
few days after the war began in October 1990. She was an active member of MRND. Residents of
Rugenge say that she was a fanatic long before 6 April and that her home was a reference point for
interahamwe activities.

Her name comes up repeatedly in the testimonies of people who took refuge in the churches of St.
Famille and St. Paul, both located in Rugenge. In interviews with a wide range of people who hid in
these two churches, every single survivor held her personally responsible for the death of countless
people. She worked closely with the principal killers in the city of Kigali, including the préfet, Col.
Tharcisse Renzaho, Angéline Mukandutiye (see below), a school inspector and Father Wenceslas
Munyeshyaka, the priest in charge of St. Famille. Her collaboration with Angéline was so close that
most people interviewed about Odette invariably spoke about Angéline and vice versa.

Odette's family are originally from Byumba. But her father had lived in Kigali for a long time, in
the cellule of Kabasengerezi. Her father was a long-term councillor of Rugenge and remained in his
post until his death, a position his daughter came to inherit. But unlike his daughter, Odette's father was
extremely popular. When her father died, Odette presented her candidature for the post in 1990 and
lost; the winner was Pierre Sebushishi. But drawing upon the goodwill towards her father, she took
second place and was appointed as deputy councillor. Pierre Sebushishi did not remain in his post for
long as he did not get along with the bourgmestre of Nyarugenge, François Karera, and Angéline
Mukandutiye, two influential personalities in the commune. Karera dismissed Sebushishi shortly after
the war began in October 1990, his place inherited by Odette, loyal to Karera. In the words of one
resident of Rugenge, Thérèse Mukagatare, "The dismissal of Mr Sebushishi confused us because he had
not done anything to be suspended. During the genocide, his wife and child were killed, to show you
that the regime of Habyarimana could not stomach him."

Thérèse Mukagatare was a primary school teacher at Ste. Famille since 1979. She lived in the
cellule of Kabasengerezi in Rugenge.

I lived in the same cellule as Odette Nyirabagenzi who was my friend, as well as the friend of my whole
family. In addition, I had worked for a long time with Angéline Mukandutiye who was our inspector of
schools. She was also my friend. In short, I knew these two women before and during the genocide.
Odette's father who was councillor of Rugenge for a long time, until his death, was a good man. All the

69 The incendiary broadcasts of Kantano Habimana were also witty, making him the best known journalist at
70 Interviewed in Kigali, 11 August 1995.

residents liked this man. Odette and the Zairian man with whom she had a child, got married only a few
days before the genocide [started]. Some weeks later, her husband died. He had been ill. He was lucky
not to witness the barbarities of his wife during the genocide. Odette was the instrument of François
Karera, the [former] préfet of Greater Kigali. [After a long period as bourgmestre of Nyarugenge, Karera
was appointed as préfet of Greater Kigali, a post he occupied during the genocide.]

Everything changed with these two women when multipartyism started. They became MRND, from
head to foot. At the beginning of multipartyism, Angéline brought MRND cards and a big book to the
primary school for us to register. She gave the cards and the book to the director, Innocent Nyoni. He
was a Tutsi from Gitarama who was killed during the genocide. The teachers of the primary school at St.
Famille saw a trap in these cards and decided not to register for any political party. There were thirty-
nine teachers. We justified our position by saying that a good educator, in order to avoid partiality, must
remain neutral.

With the Arusha Accords, the tension began to mount in our area as elsewhere in the city of Kigali.
The members of MRND, the future killers, became aggressive, especially on the days they had meetings
or demonstrations. I lived very near Odette's house. I could see Angéline dressed entirely in MRND
clothes coming to see Odette so they could go to demonstrations. With the death of Bucyana, things went
from bad to worse. Since I lived next to a young man who was a hundred percent CDR, I could see that
we were going to be killed at any moment.

Thérèse had additional reasons to be fearful as her daughter had been imprisoned in October 1990
as an RPF "accomplice."

As soon as the genocide began, Odette sent her militia in pursuit of the Tutsi men of Rugenge. Her
thugs hunted for Tutsi men in St. Famille and St. Paul's, as well as the missionary language centre of
CELA. She was physically present on every occasion when men were taken out of these churches and
CELA and massacred. She took an active part in selecting the men who were to die. A substantial
number of the men who died in these massacres were residents of Rugenge, a fact that all the survivors
interviewed by African Rights attributed to Odette's determination to do good "work." She came to St.
Paul's on several occasions to publicly castigate the priest in charge, Father Célestin Hakizimana, for
his refusal to hand over refugees to the militia. According to Thérèse:

The threats were already out in the open. As Odette was materialistic, she was gathering money from
Tutsis who pleaded with her to help them escape. Many of these Tutsis made their way to St. Famille.

The next day [the 8th], killings began in the neighbourhood. Odette was at the head of the attacks,
driving around everywhere in search of Tutsi families. The fact of living next door to a CDR man was
extraordinary luck for me. This CDR man was my former pupil; every time there was an attack, he hid
me and my children and told me everything that was happening with regard to the genocide. For
example, he would tell me that the attackers had gone to get a supply of guns and other ammunition at
Angéline's house who was in permanent telephone contact with Odette.

On 13 April, I realised that things were deteriorating. I decided to leave the area. I took advantage of
the absence of the CDR man. I was helped by a Hutu man who had been a watchman at St. Famille
Primary School for a long time. This is how my children and I managed to arrive at St. Paul's church. I
had wanted to go to St. Famille, but the watchman who knew very well the cruelty of Wenceslas
suggested I go to St. Paul's.

Thérèse and her family took refuge at St. Paul's church on 13 April. One of the people to be killed
there by Odette's militia was Thérèse's son, Antoine Gasarabwe, a secondary school student.

During my stay at St. Paul's, I did not see Angéline. But I cannot count the number of times that Odette
Nyirabagenzi came to attack St. Paul's, armed with a G3 gun and a pistol, accompanied by interahamwe
militia. Odette was present during all the abductions that took place at St. Paul's. She participated in the
selection of the victims. On the final attack, which took place on 14 June, Odette, accompanied by
genocidal killers from all the corners [of Kigali] who had come to pick out the refugees from their area,
invaded St. Paul's. Odette was very threatening to Father Célestin, telling him that Kameya had been

discovered and that he should not continue to hide people if he did not want St. Paul's burnt down.
[André Kameya, former editor of Rwanda-Rushya, was particularly sought after by the killers.] That day,
at least sixty educated men and young men were murdered, including my son, Antoine Gasarabwe,
known as "Gasindikira", a pupil in his sixth year of secondary school at College APACOPE. Odette was
very pleased with the death of Kameya, [killed on 15 April] as she had been the day Rukundo [was
killed] on 24 April.71

Particularly anxious to kill as many educated Tutsi men from Rugenge as possible, Angéline was
restless in her search for André Kameya, whose newspaper had been sharply critical of the
Habyarimana regime.

The day of Habyarimana's death, the Presidential Guard invaded our neighbourhood in search of André
Kameya, the editor of Rwanda-Rushya. He lived in the same cellule as us, only a few metres from my
house. But as Kameya was not at home, the Presidential Guard continued to look for him. They did not
find him; he had jumped over into the enclosure of the Sisters of Marie Thérèse of Calcutta just below
our homes.

Odette discovered his hideout in mid-June and had him killed. She danced with joy in front of the
refugees at St. Famille, saying that "the biggest fish had been caught."

Thérèse was evacuated from St. Paul's during the RPF rescue mission. She is currently working as
the director of St. Famille Primary School.72

Bonaventure Niyibizi, an agricultural economist with USAID, lived in Rugenge with his family. For
Odette, he was the "enemy" personified: a well-educated, confident, Tutsi professional male fluent in
both French and English who worked in a foreign institution. Even more "incriminating," he had been
imprisoned in October 1990 for four and a half months, accused of attending RPF meetings in Nairobi.
He knew he would be a target and immediately went into hiding on 7 April. But Odette was determined
he should not escape her.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I hid near my home. I tried to follow things on the radio. I noticed a lot
of movement around the house of Odette, the councillor of Rugenge, who is personally responsible for a
lot of killings in the Rugenge area. I noticed a private car, with the number plate of GB 2436, bringing
soldiers, policemen and looted goods to her house. On Sunday, I asked my neighbours, who had friends
in the military, if we could go with them. They told me, 'There is no way a Tutsi can get through the
roadblocks that have been set up everywhere.' Finally on the 12th [Tuesday], I decided to risk going to
St. Famille. I put my family inside, took the wheel in my hands, and drove like mad to the church.
Fortunately, it is very nearby and we made it.

Bonaventure was on the list for execution by the interahamwe when they invaded St. Famille on 15
April. They killed a hundred and twenty Tutsi men and boys, mainly professionals, businessmen and
students. But they did not find Bonaventure.

The only reason I escaped the massacre of the 15th [April] is because I was inside the church, where
mass is said, at the time of the attack. When I saw the militia arrive, I locked the door and told my
children to keep very, very quiet, which they did. I learned later from people at the church that they were
specifically looking for me. Odette knew the people she wanted killed in our area and so they came
looking for her targets. When they asked for me, some of the Hutu people they asked told them that I had
been killed and my house destroyed. When they saw my car, which must have been noted for them, they
were told it was broken. That day, they came back five times looking for specific people like myself.73

71 On 22 April, a large group of interahamwe visited St. Paul's church, saying they were looking for a man called
Rukondo, whom they accused of having given an interview to the RPF radio. They did not find him that day.
They returned on the 24th, greatly reinforced. They found Rukondo and also took eight other men, all of whom
were executed near St. Paul's.
72 Interviewed in Kigali, 21 June 1995.
73 Interviewed in Kabuga, Greater Kigali, 16 June 1994.

On 14 June, sixty-two men, the overwhelming majority of them Tutsis, were taken out of St. Paul's
church and executed. Thirty-eight were killed in one swoop, at least sixteen of them from Rugenge. On
17 June, the RPF launched a rescue operation and took most of the remaining refugees to safety. On 18
June, African Rights interviewed a number of the survivors at Kabuye, Greater Kigali, where they had
been evacuated. According to the survivors, it was no accident that such a high proportion of the
victims were from Rugenge. Residence in Rugenge was one of the principal criteria precisely because it
was an opportunity for Odette to kill the evidence of her crimes. One man commented "There were too
many of us at St. Paul's who knew the terrible things she had done. It was important to kill us all so the
world would not know what she had done." Odette's victims from Rugenge included:

• François Murasandonyi, a mechanic who was originally from the commune of Mubuga in
• Diogène Rubaduka, a businessman from Kibuye;
• Emmanuel Nyarwaya, a first-year student in the faculty of pharmacy at the University of Rwanda
who came from Kigali;
• Alphonse Ntagungira, a second-year student in the faculty of economics from Cyangugu;
• Sebasura Twaha, a businessman from Kigali;
• Jean Pierre Mugabo, a businessman from Kigali;
• Antoine Gasarabwe, alias "Gasindi," a sixth-year student at the college of APACOPE from Kigali;
• Christian Kubwimana, a businessman from Gisenyi;
• Edouard Munyaneza, a trader from Gitarama;
• Callixte Kayumba, a shopkeeper from Kivumu in Kibuye. He had only spent two nights at the
church before the massacre;
• Fidèle Gakwaya, a veterinarian from Shyanda in Butare;
• Emile Rubayita, an employee of Electrogaz from Kigoma in Gitarama;
• Venant Rugambwa, an employee of the Méridien Hotel from Greater Kigali;
• Bosco Muyoboke, an electrician from Kigali;
• Innocent Hategekimana, alias "Nyalisaya," a fourth-year student at a school in Mushubati. He came
from the commune of Rubavu in Gisenyi;
• Wellars Musonera, a driver/taxi man from the commune of Rwamatamu in Kibuye.

Anatalie Mukagatare was a nursing student in Kabgayi, Gitarama. She lived in the cellule of
Bwahirimba in Rugenge. She took refuge at CELA together with her brother and was there when the
killers, accompanied by Odette, killed more than thirty-five Tutsi men on 22 April. Anatalie and her
brother, Onésphore Habishuti, later transferred to St. Paul's where one of the many men killed under
Odette's orders was Anatalie's brother.

The genocide took place while we were on Easter holidays. With the death of Habyarimana, the night
was characterised by shots and sporadic explosions of firearms. On 7 April, as we lived in the same
cellule as the famous Angéline Mukandutiye, the inspector of Nyarugenge, the massacres did not take
long to begin. Normally, there were not many militia in our district and this is why the first killings were
carried out by Presidential Guards. Very early in the morning, soldiers belonging to the Presidential
Guards killed [Julienne] Kanakintama, a nurse with Electrogaz who did not live far from Angéline.

The climate became very tense. I could see militia going in great numbers to the house of Angéline.
They came back fierce and furious, [armed] with ammunition like grenades. This is how we became
aware of the enormity of the consequences [that] Habyarimana's death [had]. [His death had already]
been very disastrous for Tutsis. Seeing that, we took the decision to leave the district since the number of
Tutsi victims killed was already high.

Anatalie and Onésphore, arrived at CELA on 11 April.

There were a lot of us at CELA. Some of the refugees went to St. Paul's, especially after the departure of
the White Fathers of CELA for Butare. [After that] many of the refugees, seeing that there was no
protection, preferred to quit the place. I thought of going to St. Paul's on 22 April, after the massacre by
interahamwe accompanied by Odette Nyirabagenzi, Angéline Mukandutiye, Munyakazi [head of the

gendarmerie in the sector of Muhima] alias CDR, Tharcisse Renzaho and other genocidal criminals. My
brother and I took advantage of the night of 22 April to go to St. Paul's.

At St. Paul's, the refugees discovered that there was no escape from Odette.

At St. Paul's, each time that the militia came to attack us, Odette Nyirabagenzi was present, wearing
military uniform and carrying either a gun or a pistol. I saw her with my own eyes. It really was her who
was screaming a lot, telling Father Célestin that he had to let them enter St. Paul's. She saw how much
Father Célestin was opposed to their entering St. Paul's. Odette told him that from then on, they would no
longer negotiate with him and that he would see if he was not careful with these refugees that he was

The first time I saw her at St. Paul's was two days after my arrival there. It was the 24th of April. In
May, I saw her again at the head of a group of interahamwe, still in military uniform and with a gun and a
list. She recited the names of the people she wanted. For the most part, these were young men from her
area of Rugenge. When we saw that the militia were coming almost every day, we took the decision to
hide in the interior of the church, in the cellar or in the all-purpose room where different ceremonies took
place. When Father Célestin saw them coming, he used to tell us to hide ourselves, [saying] that the wild
people were coming. And we went to hide.

Anatalie described Odette's hunt for André Kameya and her satisfaction at his death.

Towards the middle of June, we were outside together with some other women, warming ourselves in the
sun. A lot of militia came. Odette was dancing, saying that Kameya was dead. She said that to Father

But Kameya's murder did not satiate Odette's desire to murder Tutsi men.

We were obliged to go inside, into the all-purpose room. Then the selection began, by looking at identity
cards. Odette Nyirabagenzi was among the genocidal killers who selected people on the basis of their
identity card. They made people get up, demanding their identity card and then making them leave. They
took many young men. They removed their shoes and their clothes. They were tied together by their
shirts, two by two. They were killed just below St. Paul's. This attack, led by Odette, picked up a number
of people, including my brother Onésphore Habishuti, who had resisted up to then. Other people were
taken, including Emile, Gasindi, J. Paul...

After the assassination that day, Odette told us that the next time they came back, it would be to burn
down St. Paul's. Luckily, two or three days after this abduction, when we were really desperate, an RPF
rescue mission freed us. And that is how the suffering of St. Paul's came to an end.74

Dominique Rurangirwa, twenty-eight, has worked at the Ministry of Transport and

Telecommunications since 1988 and lives in Rugenge. He lived in the same neighbourhood as Angéline
Mukandutiye, and feared that he was a target from the outset: his parents had been killed by the army in
October 1990, accused of being "accomplices" of the RPF. Together with his twin brother, Anselme,
Dominique took refuge at CELA.

On 20 April, Father Wenceslas came by. We refused to let him into our establishment as we knew
exactly what he was looking for. Before leaving, he said: 'Wait, you will see'. Effectively, on 22 April,
the assassins came by with préfet Renzaho, councillor Mme Nyirabagenzi, inspector Mme Mukandutiye
and other militiamen and soldiers. They abducted at least one hundred people. As Anselme and I were on
the list [of targeted people] we hid in the nearby grave.

Dominique saw Odette again, when she came to show off her joy at Kameya's death. Like most
survivors of St. Famille, Dominique believes that Father Wenceslas revealed Kameya's hideout to

74 Interviewed in Kigali, 6 July 1995.

On 14 June he was handed over to be killed, almost definitely by Abbé Wenceslas, because the
militiamen who went to pick him up passed by St Famille church. The militiamen were accompanied by
Mme Nyirabagenzi and, without a single hesitation, opened the door to the room in which André Kameya
was hiding. Mme Nyirabagenzi danced around saying that the biggest fish had been caught.

Dominique left with the rescue mission on 17 June.75

Euphrasie Kamatamu: Stalking Muhima

"During the genocide, Euphrasie always carried her rosary around, despite the fact that her
hands and heart were stained with blood."

Euphrasie Kamatamu, fifty-one, was the councillor for the sector of Muhima, commune Nyarugenge in
Kigali. Kamatamu is originally from the commune of Kagano in the préfecture of Cyangugu. She was a
member of MRND and her husband, Thomas Habyarimana, an employee of the postal service, was the
president of CDR in Muhima.

During the genocide, Kamatamu's house became the principal meeting place for the killers of
Muhima. All her children, including her daughters, are said to have participated actively in the
genocide. The meetings in which lists of Tutsis to be killed were compiled were held at her house and
the lists were kept there. Weopons and ammunition were kept at her house and the distribution of arms
was carried out there. She worked closely with the head of the gendarmerie in Muhima, and
accompanied the militia under her control to the homes of her would-be victims. She toured the
roadblocks at Muhima to check the progress of the "work". Kamatamu had cultivated the image of a
deeply religious woman. Throughout the genocide, she continued to attend mass regularly and to wear
her rosary.

Kamatamu has been replaced as councillor by Nkuliliyinka, previously a teacher at Muhima. He

and his wife who live in Ruhurura II cellule in Muhima, lost three of their four sons during the
genocide, two university students and a secondary school student. They knew Kamatamu and her
family for many years prior to the genocide. In addition to the ties between the two families before
1990, Nkuliliyinka taught the children of Kamatamu in Muhima.

I have been a victim of my ethnicity for a long time. Before 1961, I lived in Shyorongi commune
[Greater Kigali]. With the events of that period, my house was completely destroyed and I was forced to
move in with my in-laws in the city of Kigali, Muhima sector to be more precise. I was a teacher at the
primary school then.

When I arrived in Muhima, I built myself a house and that's when I first made contact with the
family of the famous Euphrasie and her husband, Thomas Habyarimana, who is employed by the postal
service. They are both from Cyangugu.

I was lucky to have been able to continue my teaching career at the École Primaire d'Application at
St. Michel. I became more and more of a citizen of Muhima and friends with the Kamatamu family. My
wife was a good friend of hers. As she was also a very religious woman, they used to attend morning
mass together. They were part of the religious community like that of Marie Legion. We paid each other

Nkuliliyinka was arrested in October 1990, accused of being a supporter of the RPF. His wife
turned to their friend Kamatamu for help.

When the October 1990 war started, my husband was imprisoned in Kigali's Central Prison for being an
Inkotanyi 'accomplice.' They accused him of being one of the Tutsis who was preparing for the marriage
of Kigeli, an ancient King of Rwanda whom they said the RPF wanted to re-install. As the councillors

75 Interviewed in Kigali, 8 July 1995.

had the last say in whether or not to release the victims, I asked my colleague Kamatamu to help me
lighten my husband's file. Kamatamu promised to do everything she could to help.

A few days later, I again asked when my husband's file would arrive. Mme Kamatamu answered that
my husband was innocent as his file contained absolutely nothing but that his release depended on the
goodwill of bourgmestre François Karera and the préfet. She also added that she was beginning to get
sick of the incessant visits of the Inyenzi. I understood. From the time of my husband's arrest onwards,
she and her husband never once came back to our house.

Nkuliliyinka was released after six months. After another six months of unemployment, he was able
to resume his teaching career at the Primary School of Muhima, where he taught Kamatamu's children.
Nkuliliyinka explained how Kamatamu changed with the era of multipartyism.

With multipartyism, Mme Euphrasie became MRND and her husband CDR. She started to verbally
threaten the Tutsis, at the same time still going to morning mass. You should remember that Mme
Euphrasie was elected thanks to the intervention of François Karera, doubtless to increase the number of
his instruments or to prepare fertile ground for the future MRND party.

Wth the death of Bucyana, she became very aggressive, saying that the Tutsis had killed him. That's
when things started heating up in Muhima.

With the death of Habyarimana, Kamatamu's verbal threats against Tutsis turned into a full-scale

The death of Habyarimana triggered off the explosion. Roadblocks were set up throughout Muhima and
everyone was forced to go there. I was also obliged to spend the day at a roadblock which was just beside
my house, below a private secondary school, APACOPE. We said that we were against the Inkotanyi
who had infiltrated the neighbourhood. Some of the Tutsis were abducted at the roadblocks and killed.
We waited for our turn.

Kamatamu went everywhere, checking on the Tutsis at the roadblocks. She supervised the progress.
Whilst we were at the roadblocks, some other Hutus went
around killing and looting from the Tutsis who stayed at their home. Each Tutsi family would normally
send a representative to the roadblock.

At night, the killers were at Kamatamu's house, preparing the programme for the following day and
to stock up on ammunition that was kept there. The sector office was transferred to Kamatamu's house
where even communal policemen who had put up a roadblock, including a certain 'Ninja', could be
found. In May, when the foreign media said that the killers had murdered a large number of innocent
Tutsis, Kamatamu said that the killings should stop for the moment, in order to win over the confidence
of the international community. She said that they should reserve the Tutsis who were going to
accompany Habyarimana [i.e. to die].

Effectively, Habyarimana's burial was planned on 5 July, the date he had organised the coup d'état in
1973. Afterwards, as our Hutu friends told us, on the day before and after the burial, there would be a lot
of victims. [They] told me that I was going to be crucified on 4 July. This was true as more than two
Hutus who had gone to Euphrasie to organise the activities of the following day told me.

After some weeks, Nkuliliyinka discovered that participation in the roadblocks was not sufficient to
protect a Tutsi family from the genocide.

In June, I was still at the roadblock. At about 1:00 p.m. my son Théogène Nkuliliyinka called me to eat.
He was going to stay in my place until I came back. As soon as I left, he was killed. He was a young boy
in his fourth year at APACOPE College. From then on, I felt destroyed and decided not to go back to the
roadblock. I was going to stay at home until my crucifixion on 4 July 1994.

The murder of one son was followed by news of further tragedy in the family.

In May, [Euphrone] the son of Kamatamu who studied at the National University came to Butare. He
came to my house and told me that my two sons who were studying there were dead. He was very proud
when he said this. So I thought he must have been the one who killed them. They were Diogène who was
in his third year in the faculty of medicine and Théophile, in his second year of mathematics. And then
there was the death of my youngest. It was horrible for me.

Early on the morning of 4 July, I was ready to die. To everyone's surprise, RPF soldiers came to free
us. I now stay with my only son. The three others were killed.

Nkuliliyinka summed up Kamatamu's role in the genocide.

I clearly remember how, during the genocide, Euphrasie always carried her rosary around, despite the
fact that her hands and heart were stained with blood. A lot of Tutsis from Muhima were handed over to
be killed by Euphrasie, such as Idrissa the son of Gasasira. Before killing him, they took him to the
councillor's house as some of the militiamen wanted him dead whilst others didn't. The problem was
solved by the councillor who told them to get rid of the rubbish that was in front of her; that was the
green light to kill him and that is what happened.76

Like many other killers, Euphrasie Kamatamu made a handsome profit from the genocide. She is
accused of selling forged ID cards to Tutsi women and girls, after which she would immediately point
these women and girls out to the militia.

Emerthe Twagiramariya lived in the cellule of Ruhurura II in Muhima, close to Euphrasie's house.
She was staying in the house of Seleman, a relative. In the first days of the killing, Emerthe's
neighbours paid off the Presidential Guard. But they were not left in peace for long.

On 10 April, there was an attack. Three vans full of well-armed people, including councillor Kamatamu,
Nkulikiye and other great sponsors of the genocide, were stationed in front of the gate of our enclosure.
Our gate was opened and then [there was an] invasion by soldiers. The councillor remained behind the
gate. The assassins entered, destroying the windows, forcing the doors, looting and killing a lot of people
that day. At least fourteen people were killed. Gunfire, grenade explosions, the screams of people being
killed and of the criminals — it was horrible.

The killers' greed gave Emerthe a chance to escape the frenzy of killing. They spent their time
stealing everything they could take, including the family's minibus and car. One of the young men in
the house fought back against the killers with a grenade, but was killed himself. Emerthe then came out
of her hiding place.

I came out of the little room to help in loading the corpses of the victims into the truck as I saw that
women and girls were not yet targeted. It was at that moment that the councillor [Euphrasie] said she did
not see the corpse of Seleman, or of his child or of his wife among the corpses. She said that she would
allow the assassins to rest, but as these bodies had not yet been found, it was necessary to continue the
hunt for people. The killers told her that Seleman's family had escaped. It was Nkulikiye who replied.
And in fact, Seleman and his children had jumped over the enclosure when the attackers arrived. His
wife, Mukecuru, hid with a Hutu family somewhere in the district and they were subsequently evacuated
by a government soldier who was a close friend. However, their son, Idrissa Nsanzimfura, thirty and a
businessman, was still in the room that had been ignored, underneath the bed. We stayed there, under the
bed, with his aunt, Agnès Uwirereye, and a girl who was a friend, Azaïna.

Euphrasie Kamatamu continued to stalk the people of Muhima right to the end of the genocide.

On 13 May, a group of militia who had come to loot, discovered us and made us come out. Before killing
us, a member of the group said that it was necessary to take us to the home of the councillor so that she
could have the last word. It was said that the region of Kigali had decided to put an end to the massacres.
Richard, Issa and Muneza, all from Muhima, were among the killers who discovered us.

76 Interviewed in Kigali, 12 July 1995.

Emerthe described the "presentation" to the councillor.

It was about 11:00 a.m. when we arrived at the home of the councillor. The militia asked her what should
be done with us. She said that Idrissa, who had gone to Kilihira77 to see the Inkotanyi, could not be
allowed to live. And indeed, the militia had a photograph of Idrissa at Kilihira, in the company of
Inkotanyi, at the time of a football match between the Bakombozi [PSD youth-wing] and the Inkotanyi
during the period of the Arusha Accords. The militia left us at a roadblock near Kamatamu's house until
9:00 p.m. when a certain James, alias 'Intarissable' ('Inexhaustible') gave a cup of tea to Idrissa. He told
him 'You are a Muslim. Drink your last cup of tea.' Then he shot him, as well as his aunt and Azaïna. I
was reserved for another day. That same night, I left Muhima in order to hide with people who lived in
Gakinjiro. I remained in Gakinjiro until the fall of Kigali.

Emerthe spoke of the conduct of Euphrasie Kamatamu prior to the genocide.

Kamatamu was cruel even before the genocide. She had given false residence permits to Tutsis which
said 'Mode 4.' When policemen asked you for your identity card and they saw it said 'Mode 4,' they
would beat you. Hutus were given cards that said 'Mode 3.' It was an agreement among the killers to
make people suffer.78

The accounts provided by the Tutsis who survived the hunt in Muhima are confirmed by Bosco
Harerimana, who is Hutu and is a Nyumbakumi, the administrative head of a group of ten houses. Aged
thirty-two, he is a mason and lives in the cellule of Ruhurura II.

I knew Kamatamu very well, before and during the genocide. I was born here in Muhima in 1963 and for
the whole period before and during the genocide I was never pursued because I was Hutu.

Before Kamatamu became a councillor, we noticed that, like so many others, she prayed a lot,
always attending mass at St Famille, Wenceslas' home. This was a woman who didn't like Tutsis at all.
Her husband and children even hated the Tutsis.

During the genocide some of the Tutsis fled to Kamatamu's [house], of course after having given her
a large amount of money. For example, a certain Cyanzahire and his wife, Perpétue, stayed there for
some days. A few days later she threw them out and had them killed by a certain Nkulikiye, a leading
killer of Muhima, helped by 'Ninja', a policeman who acted as Kamatamu's escort throughout the

During the attacks, they would travel in a Suzuki jeep to wherever Euphrasie wanted, where she
would supervise the road blocks and provide ammunition. Her son had a gun and manned a bloody road
block next to his mother's house which was next to a place to fetch water.

Bosco spoke about Kamatamu's direct participation in the attacks in Muhima.

Kamatamu launched the attacks in the district. On 14 April, for example, she led the attacks which killed
the children of Jean, alias 'Vitesse.' The two victims were Kamali and Ngirinshuti. She handed over a
young man called Idrissa Nsanzimfura, son of Seleman Gasasira, to be killed. I witnessed this young
man's death. The militias took him to the councillor's house for the final word. She told the militias to
finish him off. He was killed with a bullet from an interahamwe who was missing a few fingers nick-
named 'Intarissable'. They accused Idrissa of being a Tutsi and having photos of the Inkotanyi.

Kamatamu said that a lot of Tutsis were going to cover Habyarimana's body and others would be his
pillows. This meant they were going to kill a lot of the remaining Tutsis on 4 and 5 July. I was Hutu, so
the killers told me their plan.

Bosco described Kamatamu's strategies to obtain money from her victims.

77 Kilihira is the last seat of negotiations, in Byumba, between the government of Habyarimana and the RPF
before the Arusha peace process began.
78 Interviewed in Kigali, 4 August 1995.

Kamatamu was very bad as she took money from the victims whilst lying to them, [telling them] that she
was going to give them papers which would allow them to move around. But these same people were
killed with her complicity.

She had looted so much that there was no more room left in her house; all the goods from
APACOPE College were there - computers, typewriters and other things.79

Ali Rigamba lives in cellule Ruhurura II in the sector of Muhima. He has been appointed as the
responsable of his cellule.

I have known Euphrasie Kamatamu for a long time. Well before multipartyism, Euphrasie was liked by a
lot of people. She always prayed. She regularly attended all the morning services from Monday to
Sunday. She carried a rosary and when the Catholic prayer groups were being created, Euphrasie was
president of Légion Marie [Mother of God] here in Muhima.

With multipartyism, she changed little by little. And then she broke off relations with the Tutsis. She
started forcing MRND cards onto people. No-one could refuse her for fear of being liquidated. In about
1993, she started organising recruitment meetings for future interahamwe. A communal policeman called
'Ninja' trained these militia. At the time of the MRND meetings and demonstrations, we saw how violent
all these interahamwe, citizens of Muhima, were and [how they were being] supported by the councillor,
Kamatamu. 'Ninja' lived at Kamatamu's house and Kamatamu's sons even dated his daughters. Her
whole house was full of assassins. But it didn't stop her from wearing her long rosary.

With the death of Habyarimana, Kamatamu used the assassins she kept at her house to unleash a
reign of terror against certain residents of Muhima. The fact that Ali is Hutu did not shield him from
Kamatamu's rage: his son had left to join the RPF, making his family "suspect" in her eyes.

The death of Habyarimana touched off an explosion. Things turned completely upside down in Muhima.
Euphrasie Kamatamu distributed arms and interahamwe uniforms to all the Hutus who wanted to kill the
Tutsis. The lists of Tutsi people to kill were made at her house. She organised the criminals who went off
to finish these people. Next to my house, everywhere, there were interahamwe roadblocks. Euphrasie
came almost every day to give out new orders.

I was threatened because my son had joined the RPF in 1992. He was called Emile Rukungira.
Unfortunately, he died on the battle field. Euphrasie had reserved people to kill at the time of
Habyarimana's funeral on 5 July. I was on the list because of my son who was in the RPF. There were
also Tutsis on this list, like the current councillor of Muhima, Nkulikiyinka, as well as other Tutsi
widows that the criminals hadn't killed yet.

Ali confirmed the charge that Kamatamu used the killings as an opportunity to loot on a wide scale,
and also to make a profit out of fear.

Euphrasie looted a lot during the genocide. All the property, including computers, of APACOPE, a
college in Muhima, were looted by her children. She was against all the students who studied at this
college. She said that it was an Inkotanyi school; almost all the students and teachers were killed. She
asked for a lot of money in order to issue passes to Tutsi women whose identity cards had been lost.
After putting the money into her pocket, she handed over these very people to whom she had given the

She handed over a lot of people including a young man called Idrissa who was a trader. The
criminals had refused to kill him, preferring to take him to the councillor’s house for the last word.
Euphrasie said ‘take this dirt in front of me away, he’s an Inkotanyi.'

Kamatamu's hunt for the "accomplices" of the RPF cost Ali the lives of his young daughter and son.

79 Interviewed in Kigali, 4 August 1995.

She directed the interahamwe who came and took away my young girl, Evode Mukangira, who was a
final year student in the secondary school at St. André Groupe Scolaire of Kigali. She was abducted by
the interahamwe with her little ten year old brother called Nshimirimana. They were both killed by the
criminals in Goma in Zaire.80

Kamatamu is currently living in Zaire.

Madeleine Kankuyo

Another woman who has been widely accused of participating in the killings is Madeleine Kankuyo, an
employee of the ministry of planning and a Nyumbakumi, an official in charge of ten households in a
cellule of Kivugiza, sector Nyamirambo in commune Nyarugenge, Kigali. According to a number of
survivors in Kivugiza, she worked closely with the préfet of Kigali, Col. Tharcisse Renzaho, and the
préfet of Greater Kigali, François Karera, in organising and carrying out the killing of Tutsis in
Kivugiza. Together with a number of other women whose activities have been detailed in the section on
"Intimate Murders", she made lists of people to be killed, and was continually making notes of those
who had not yet died. She has also been accused of responsibility for the death on 24 April of a young
man who was a lodger in her home. After the interim government fled to Gitarama, RTLM made an
urgent appeal asking her to join the government. She left for Gitarama and the people of Kivugiza were
spared her cruelties. She is believed to have returned from exile and to be hiding in Kigali.

Thérèse Nyirabititaweho

Thérèse Nyirabititaweho was in charge of the cellule of Gahinga, Winteko sector, commune Cyimbogo
in Cyangugu where she lived and where she sowed terror during the genocide. A number of residents of
the cellule of Gahinga, fortunate enough to have escaped, confirmed her active involvement in the
genocide. These witnesses include Théodore Nyilinkwaya, a former teacher and currently a judicial
police inspector in Kigali; Fulgence Karangwa, a trader in the market of Kamembe, Cyangugu;
Pacifique Kabalisa, a student at the university of Butare who was home for the holidays; Séraphine
Nyiransababera and Vénantie Kantarama.

According to these survivors, she patrolled the streets with the killers from the sector. She often
sang in order to encourage the killers. She joined in searching the bushes, forests and all other
conceivable hiding places, looking for Tutsis who might have escaped. She called meetings to incite
people to kill their neighbours. She worked closely with her son, Alexandre Rwagasore, crowned as the
head of the killers in the cellule of Gahinga.

Dressed in uniform, Nyirabititaweho frequently went to the communal office to stock up on

ammunition during the genocide. She collaborated with Cyprien Murengezi, director of the Sonafruit
factory in the commune of Cyimbogo who was a key advisor to the préfet — and butcher — of
Cyangugu, Emmanuel Bagambiki. Murengezi supplied her with ammunition. Once she returned to her
cellule and sector, she told the residents that "the godfather has supplied us with judges," meaning

Like most of the other women in local government positions discussed in this report,
Nyirabititaweho had become obsessed with serving President Habyarimana after the introduction of
multipartyism. She praised the MRND party at every opportunity. She wore interahamwe uniform as a
badge of her loyalty. In the words of one survivor, "she became an interahamwe through and through."
A few days after the beginning of the war in October 1990, she had several Tutsi men imprisoned,
claiming that they supported the RPF. One of those she imprisoned was Théoneste Karangwa, a
successful trader, and Albert Senuma, a driver. They were released in 1991. But she continued to
threaten them, finally driving Karangwa to leave the countryside and seek security in the town of

80 Interviewed in Kigali, 14 August 1995.

Kamembe. It was in Kamembe that he was burned alive on 7 April. Albert Senuma was also killed
during the genocide, at the Parish of Mibilizi in Cyimbogo.

Nyirabititaweho is living in Bukavu in Zaire with her family.

Mamashura Mwajuma

Mamashura Mwajuma, responsable of the cellule Gacuba 1 in the town of Gisenyi, was accused by
several women and even children interviewed by African Rights in Gisenyi, of having played a very
active role in the genocide. Several of these women had complained to the authorities about her. But at
the time of the interview in late January, she was still at large. Marie Madeleine Nyiranshuti, from the
sector of Gisenyi in the commune of Rubavu, has accused her of being responsible for the death of her
husband, Esron Nyampeta. Esron was abducted from his home and driven to a mass grave near the
centre of town which, drenched with blood, became known as "commune rouge." Asked why
Mamashura had not been arrested, Marie Madeleine replied:

I do not know. I cannot understand why the brigade has not taken action against this woman. She has
many daughters who protect her. She has other powerful protectors.81

81 Interviewed in Gisenyi, 31 January 1995.


It is impossible to exaggerate the extensive role played by the media in preparing the genocide. Journals
like Kangura, the mouthpiece of the most fanatic extremists of CDR, Umurwanashyaka, the newspaper
of the MRND, Le Courrier du Peuple, Echo des Milles Collines, Pawa, Interahamwe, Inter and,
amongst others, La Médaille Nyiramacibiri disseminated the ideas and propaganda of the extremists.
Either because of their own political views or because they were controlled by certain politicians and
army officers, journalists employed by these papers were determined to undermine public confidence in
negotiations to end the war and to establish a political future based on the principle of power-sharing.
To this end, they claimed that the RPF was planning to wipe out the Hutus, thereby urging Hutus to
"strike first."

But despite the negative role of these newspapers, in Rwandese society, as in many other countries
with a high rate of illiteracy, their impact was not as great as that of the spoken word. Radio broadcasts
are a far more effective means of reaching large numbers of people. In this context, hysteria-provoking
reportage of both the national radio, Radio Rwanda, and the private station, Radio Télévision Libre des
Milles Collines (RTLM), set the stage for the political polarisation of the early nineties.

RTLM was set up by a hard-core of extremists. It started broadcasting in September 1993 and had
programmes in both Kinyarwanda and French. It was dedicated entirely to encouraging hatred between
Hutus and Tutsis and to ridiculing the Arusha peace process. To this end, it sought to marginalise the
importance of political parties opposed to the extremist agenda and to embarrass moderate politicians
like Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana. It sought to destroy the credibility of UNAMIR as an
"honest broker" in the implementation of the Arusha Accords by describing it as "pro-RPF." It sought
to sharpen the divisions in Rwandese society by arguing that Hutu and Tutsi were mutually antagonistic
races that could not live together. It tried to shake the population's confidence in the Arusha peace
process by arguing that the RPF was an "anti-Hutu" organisation bent on reintroducing the Tutsi
monarchy and subjugating the Hutu population. The rhetoric fostered a sustained mood of agitation and
contributed significantly to the coming of the "final solution."

RTLM hired a number of journalists, some of them extremely clever, who used a mixture of
humour, caricature and invention to get their politically dangerous message across.

During the critical months of April-June, RTLM, like Radio Rwanda, was an important weapon of
genocide. RTLM was the first radio to announce the crash of President Habyarimana's plane. The crash
was the signal for the genocide: RTLM wasted no time in setting the country on fire. It immediately
attributed responsibility for the crash to the RPF, the Tutsis and the Belgians who the extremists
branded as "pro-RPF." To cement Hutu solidarity and turn every Hutu against all the Tutsis, two days
later it claimed that senior Hutu members of the RPF, including its chairman, Col. Alexis
Kanyarengwe, had been assassinated.

RTLM encouraged its listeners to telephone and establish the hideout of refugees, a prelude to
massacres and house-to-house searches. Lamenting what it considered the slow pace with which Tutsis
were being butchered, RTLM told its listeners that the graves of Tutsis were "only half full." It called
for volunteers to "help fill up" these graves. Listeners were urged to look in cupboards, under beds, in
ceilings and every possible corner where the "enemy" might be hiding. No distinction was made
between the RPF and civilian Tutsis: they were all "cockroaches" and "snakes" who must be
exterminated. It tried to demoralise the targets of the genocide and Hutus that refused to kill by

claiming that the RPF was losing the war. It tried to frighten all Hutus into joining the killings by
issuing vicious threats against those who hesitated.

Valérie Bemeriki

Valérie Bemeriki has a well-earned reputation as a virulent extremist. Before and during the genocide,
she was one of the RTLM journalists who took it upon themselves to ensure that the genocide was
thorough. Before joining RTLM, she had gained an apprenticeship in extremism in MRND where she
was active as a key propagandist. During the ceremony to sign the Arusha Accords in Tanzania in
August 1993, she arrived wearing the uniform of the interahamwe. At the time, she was writing for
Umurwanashyaka. She also used to be a journalist at L'Interahamwe, published by the youth wing of

In a broadcast on 10 April 1994, Valérie read out a long list of "RPF officials" living in various
sections of Kigali. This list was, she claimed, found on an RPF "spy" in the course of a search. The
purpose of reading out the list on RTLM was to encourage the population to hunt for these people. To
this end, she provided all the necessary details: their full names, profession, and even sometimes the
places they were known to frequent. She concluded:

There are indeed thirteen names on the list which carry a sort of cross. This means that these people
represented, on a temporary basis, the 'Inyenzi-Inkotanyi' in the cellules or sectors, awaiting the elections
[expected in the context of the Arusha Accords]. Their orders were to infiltrate. They were expected to
use these people [whom they had infiltrated], for example for the transfer of people and for all other
needs which arose in the sector or establishments within their competence. At the bottom of this list,
there is mention of 'PMM coordi,' [which is] the 'People's Mass Mobilisation,' one of the known
structures of the RPF. I think this is a reference to 'co-ordination.' And it is signed by a certain
Mwambali. So this is how in these sectors, the Inyenzi-Inkotanyi have spread out their spies in order to
accomplish their projects.

Of course, among these projects, assassinations are to be found. That is clear. For you know how the
Inyenzi-Inkotanyi act, and even today, they are doing it. That is to say that there are things to watch out
for. Everyone must watch very carefully, to see how things happen, while we wait that things work out,
that people recover their security. [People] must rise so that we find these people wherever they are who
are conniving with the Inyenzi to kill... to kill Rwandese people. For they have spread their spies

You have heard their names, with their sectors and their cellules. This is the content of these lists.
Those who have a doubt about these lists, or who would like to say something about them or who would
like to look for these people, I am still keeping these lists. They can continue to telephone us, so that I
can give them all the explanations, but it would just be to give them the names.

In a moment, I am going to ask the technician to play for us a song: 'No present to the enemy.' [The
message of the song was the total extermination of the Tutsi. To spare any of them would be a 'present'
that the Hutu could ill-afford]. And then there will be a conversation that I have prepared with the leaders
of our country, the deputy governor of the Greater Kigali region, François Karera. [Karera is one of the
best-known killers in Rwanda]. And after this song, we will have the conversation in question.

In another broadcast, this time on 13 April, Valérie returned to some of her cherished themes during
the genocide — the need to remain vigilant against RPF "infiltrations," the exposure of RPF
"accomplices" and the dangers of the RPF military advance.

As we have not stopped saying, everyone is suddenly fleeing. They leave en masse and flee. You know
when they leave like that, in a disorderly fashion, even the Inkotanyi find the occasion to mingle with
them. It's what we call 'infiltrations.' And when they [the RPF] arrive somewhere, they begin to commit
horrors; they kill and they do other things and then afterwards, they lie, saying 'we have taken the
country, we have arrived in the capital, we have taken it.'

She then cites the names of various places people have fled and explains that they have gone
towards the region of Gitarama. (The interim government had fled to Gitarama on 12 April.) Angry that
the préfet of Butare, Jean Baptiste Habyarimana,82 had refused to implement the orders of the
government to kill, she set to poison people's minds against him.

It is in fact true that during the flight to Gitarama, little Inyenzi get mixed up with the people, and
afterwards, they scatter over the hills. I insist on telling you this, that especially at Gitarama and Butare,
the Inkotanyi are saying that the region of Butare is where they are going to make their breakthrough and
it is where they find the weakness.

We are not unaware that there are 'accomplices' on all sides, above all that even the préfet of Butare
has himself said that he is a member of PL [Liberal Party] but that for him when the RPF comes, he will
become a follower of the RPF. This shows that he is already working for the RPF. That we know; he has
himself confirmed it. These are not things that we are inventing in his place. He said it several times, that
when the RPF comes, he will go to the RPF. This shows that for the RPF to be able to come, he must
work to ensure that they come. This the people must understand, the citizens should understand. It is
difficult to understand how we could have a doubt that someone who confirms that he is a follower of the
RPF is an accomplice of the RPF and that he is working for them. To work for the RPF, that is to say that
he will do nothing except look for ways to wrench power from the hands of the 'majority people'
[rubanda nyamwinshi] a term favoured by the extremists to refer to the Hutu people] who are the Hutus,
to put it in the hands of the minority people, the Tutsi. Since this is his race, it is understandable...

It has often been said and repeated that the Inkotanyi have accomplices who go where they are. This
is what I am warning about Gitarama and Butare, that [the people] keep their eyes open, for amongst
them, there are plenty of ibyitso who go everywhere while working for the Inkotanyi, to ensure that the
Inkotanyi come there...

What we are really saying to you is that the people look carefully at what is happening around them,
that they observe carefully if the people with them are not plotting against them. For these plotters are the
worst. The people must rise up, unmask these plotters. It is not a difficult thing to see if a person is in the
midst of plotting against you. For as the people go, while fleeing the Inkotanyi, [they will] mingle with
them and they will meet these plotters because they have prepared the way for them and they let them

Fearful of the political and military implications of a flight out of the capital and the surrounding
areas, Valérie then urges the population to stay put, telling them that there is peace in the country.

Valérie pledged her own loyalty to the regime, to make it appear not only strong, but more
importantly, legitimate.

We, we are behind it, our government, which has been installed in accordance with the laws. Those who
want to take as a pretext that the RPF does not recognise it, those are on their side. If the RPF does not
recognise it, that's its business. It has no right to come and command us in this country saying 'Do this
and do that.' It should look after its affairs and we will look after ours. And when the time comes to put
all that together, we will meet each other at the same table and they will talk to each other. But that is not
to say that the Inkotanyi do not recognise this government. If they don't recognise it, that's up to them.
We, we installed it according to the laws. What we must do, is we must support it.

82 This is a reference to Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, the only Tutsi governor of a region and the most senior
civilian administrator who consistently and vigorously resisted the orders to begin the genocide. As a result of his
efforts, during the two weeks following Habyarimana's death, except for isolated incidents in the countryside, the
region of Butare did not experience major massacres and welcomed tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the
massacres in the neighbouring regions. The interim government, frustrated with his refusal to kill, dismissed him
on 19 April. Large-scale massacres began in Butare on 20 April. Habyarimana was subsequently murdered along
with his family.

Although Valérie Bemeriki was the best known of the female broadcast journalists, other women,
including Tacienne Mukakibibi, worked at Radio Rwanda throughout the genocide.

The interim government and its supporters saw the radio as their most important instrument in
getting their message across in the most histrionic fashion. Nevertheless, the printed press continued to
play its part in promoting the genocide, just as a number of newspapers had played a critical role in
preparing the ground prior to the holocaust.

Stéphanie Nyirasafari

Stéphanie Nyirasafari, the former editor-in-chief of the government newspaper, Imvaho, comes from
the commune of Rukavu in Gisenyi. She was in Nyamirambo, Kigali, during the genocide. As a known
critic of the Arusha Accords and a member of the CDR party, she was amongst the journalists who
stirred up hatred through the issues of Imvaho following Martin Bucyana's death at the end of February
1994. In the months leading up to 6 April, she wrote articles railing against government critics. In one
article, she said "A little war was needed to shut opponents of the Habyarimana regime up."

She is currently living in Goma.

Agenesta Mukarutamu

Agenesta Mukarutamu is from the commune of Kiyombe in Byumba. She often wrote racist and
inflammatory articles for La Relève of the Rwandese Information Office (ORINFOR). She warned that
the Inkotanyi wanted to introduce a monarchy, and called upon the population to be "vigilant." She
often wrote for Imvaho. In a special issue released after the interim government had been installed, she
lashed out against the RPF. She attributed the death of Habyarimana to the Inkotanyi and said that there
would be subsequent revenge attacks against the Tutsis.

A journalist with Radio-Rwanda for a number of years who witnessed some of Agenesta's crimes is
Louise Kayibanda. When the genocide started, Louise and her family fled Kigali and took refuge in
Gitarama, eventually joining more than thirty thousand Tutsis who gathered at the diocese of Kabgayi.
Louise told African Rights that a fellow journalist at Radio Rwanda was abducted and murdered under
the orders of Agenesta Mukarutamu at Kabgayi.

At the end of April/beginning of May, Agenesta Mukarutamu came to Kabgayi where she found
thousands and thousands of refugees. Viateur Kalinda who is also a journalist for Radio-Rwanda and
from Byumba like Agenesta, was one of these refugees. Mukarutamu noticed Kalinda in the crowd and
asked the executioners what they were waiting for. No sooner said than done; Kalinda was abducted and
killed at Kabgayi.83

During the genocide, Mukarutamu wrote an article entitled, "The RPF has plunged us into
mourning" in a special issue of the journal which appeared in April 1994. Calling the interim
government "the saviours" of Rwanda, she wrote:

The RPF had always killed Hutu political leaders and the Rwandese people, with their President
Habyarimana, have always been patient. Habyarimana did not want to shed blood. The RPF continued its
bad actions to [the extent of] killing Habyarimana and Ntaryamira. That time the water overflowed and
the people showed their anger. By killing Habyarimana, the RPF thought that it was finished, that they
were going to march on Kigali as they liked. But they were surprised to see that there was a group of
Hutus who rose up to put an interim government in place which had Théodore Sindikubwabo as its
president. It is surprising to see that the RPF does not accept the Kambanda government.

83 Interviewed in Kigali, 2 July 1995.

The RPF continued to kill innocent civilians all over the country. The entire country was plunged
into mourning by the RPF. They are even preventing the refugees from going to Tanzania even though
they have just displaced 3,000,000 (three million) innocent civilians.

At the time, when the whole world put forward a peaceful solution to the Rwandese crisis, based on
negotiations between the two antagonists, the RPF refused this proposition and dared put forward the
opinion that they could not accept our current leaders, 'Abatabazi,' the saviours! The RPF says that the
soldiers of the Presidential Guard must be chased out of FAR! This is really inconceivable to all
Rwandese who love their country. The Rwandese have had enough of this trouble the RPF continues to
create in our country. They want to continue the massacre of Hutus regardless, but they are quite
mistaken. There are some Hutus who still love their country and who do not want to become RPF
hostages! They are prepared to fight body and soul!

Agenesta Mukarutamu is said to be living in Nairobi.

"Sister Gertrude Mukangango told us that the moment had come for the soul of the Tutsis
to separate from the body."

It is difficult to convey the warmth that comes into the voice of survivors when they speak of the nuns
at the Parish of Shangi in Cyangugu or the Sisters of Calcutta who lived near the church of St. Famille
in central Kigali. In common with nuns throughout Rwanda, they hid vulnerable people, particularly
educated men, they tried to facilitate their escape, they kept the killers at bay, treated the wounded,
provided a home for abandoned children, cooked food and fetched water for the refugees. They gave
them moral support and kindled the flame of hope during a bleak and terrifying time. Their kindness, as
that of many priests, is remembered with great depth of feeling.

But some other nuns are remembered in Rwanda for their evil deeds. A number of these nuns were
known for their extremist views before April 1994; they saw the genocide as an opportunity to play
their part in the "final solution."

Massacres of Tutsis have taken place in Rwanda on a number of occasions since 1959. But 1994
was the first time that priests and nuns have been targeted and killed. A number of the priests who were
murdered were Hutu, punished for their refusal to embrace the extremists' cause. About a hundred
members of the religious community died. Some of these priests and nuns died because of the collusion
between the killers and a disturbingly large number of priests, and nuns who supported the genocide.84
These priests and nuns were no doubt encouraged in their stand by the position taken by the most senior
churchmen of both the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, including the two Archbishops, who
were close to President Habyarimana. They not only failed to protest against the genocide, but went out
of their way to confuse the world.

Sister Gertrude Mukangango and Sister Julienne Kizito of Sovu, Butare

Gertrude Mukangango, from Kamonyi in Gitarama, was the Mother Superior in the convent at the
Monastery of Sovu, Butare. Sister Julienne Kizito, known as "Gapyisi" ("Animal") from the cellule of
Kigarama in Sovu, was a nun at the same convent. Both nuns, who are from the Benedictine
congregation, are currently living in Belgium. But the distance has done nothing to diminish the
memory of the cruelty they wreaked in Sovu.

The accusations against Mother Superior Gertrude and Sister Julienne are detailed, compelling and
come from many different survivors and direct witnesses — men and women, Tutsi as well as Hutu.
When African Rights visited Sovu on 21/22 July 1995, without any previous announcement of our visit,
there were so many direct witnesses to the crimes of these two nuns that it was difficult to make a

Some priests and nuns in Rwanda and Belgium have tried to defend Mother Superior Gertrude.
They argue that criticism of her conduct comes principally from a number of Tutsi nuns at the
monastery whose relatives had taken refuge there and whom Sister Gertrude was unable to protect
without, they say, exposing all the refugees to danger. This is untrue. Firstly, as the testimonies below
show, the accusations against the two nuns come from residents of Sovu who were eye-witnesses.
Secondly, Sister Gertrude forced all the refugees out of the monastery, handing them over to the militia

84 For a discussion of the attitude of the churches in the face of the genocide, and of the priests and nuns who
killed or encouraged the killings, see African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, pp. 895-930.

and or soldiers. There is no evidence that she sacrificed the relatives of her fellow-nuns in order to save
thousands of other refugees.

The gates of the monastery were closed to the refugees, even though the nuns were fully aware of
the killing around them and conscious that churches, monasteries and convents would be the most
obvious sanctuary sought by the hunted. Despite their refusal to welcome the refugees, thousands of
them forced their way into the convent, driven by desperation. Calling the terrified refugees "dirt" that
should not sully a "sacred place", Sister Gertrude brought armed soldiers to the convent to force the
refugees out, even though the genocide was well underway and the refugees could have been killed by
the soldiers themselves. Many of the refugees she drove out, including immediate family members of
Tutsi nuns at the convent, were in fact killed immediately after they left the convent.

Sister Julienne has been accused of working directly with the killers, standing in their midst while
they massacred refugees, handing out jerrycans of petrol which were used in her presence to burn
people alive. One of the people burnt alive in front of her with the petrol from her jerrycans was a Tutsi
employee of her own convent. She is also accused of distributing the belongings of the refugees to the
criminals with whom she collaborated. The two nuns are also accused of working closely with some of
the greatest killers in the commune of Huye, including the bourgmestre, Jonathan Ruremesha.

In late July, African Rights visited the scene of some of the crimes that have been levelled against
Mother Superior Gertrude, and particularly Sister Julienne, the Health Centre of Sovu (C.S.S.) and the
convent which is currently an orphanage for children from the camp of Kibeho disbanded in April. At
the Health Centre where people were burnt alive, their charred rags are still there. The garage in which
Tutsis were burnt alive with the petrol supplied by Sister Kizito is still there.

Consolée Mukeshimana, thirty, originally from commune Ruhashya in Butare, is one of the people
who provided a detailed testimony about the nuns' conduct during the genocide. Prior to April, she was
living in the cellule of Kigarama in Sovu and had been employed at the Health Centre of Sovu for eight
years. Since 1 December, she has been working as a nurse in internal medicine at the University
Hospital in Butare. The mother of two children, she was pregnant when the genocide started.

I had been working at the Health Centre of Sovu since a long time. It was already eight years and this
Health Centre belonged to the Benedictine Sisters of Sovu of which the famous Gertrude and her
neighbour, Sister Julienne Kizito, were members. I was married at Sovu more than six years ago. So you
see: I lived in Sovu even before being married. I knew the Sisters of Sovu very well and they too knew
me very well.

We stayed in our homes in Sovu at least a week and some days after Habyarimana's death. We left
our families on 17 April, around 11:00 a.m. The Tutsis of Sovu formed a huge clan of the Abaha and
they were very numerous and grouped on the same hill.

Sunday the 17th of April, I was coming from the first mass when a woman called Berthe
Nyiransabimana, who is Hutu and in charge of our cellule told us that our clan was going to be attacked
by CDR people coming from Gikongoro and that we should look for ways to flee. And indeed in the high
mountains of Huye, we could see houses burning. It was the same thing in Gikongoro.

My husband, Claver Karanganwa, worked in the Butare office of the French Cultural Centre since
1981. Faced with such a situation, adult males and young men decided to stay on the hill and obliged us,
the women, girls and children, to go and take refuge towards the Health Centre of Sovu. So, we went to
the C.S.S. of the Benedictine Sisters of Sovu who did not make any gesture of assistance towards us
during our entire stay there. I remember very well the only thing they did for us: they sent to us a Tutsi
man who had been a watchman in their monastery since ten years, Jean Sebuhinyori, and who had a
daughter who was a nun there, Sister Régina Niyonsaba. She is currently a student at Groupe Scolaire in
Save. They sent this man, it seemed, to take a census so that they could feed us. But it was a lie. They did
not give us anything to eat until our killing. That day [when the watchman came] we were three thousand
and five hundred refugees.

Our men stayed on the hill and defended themselves until 20 April, the date on which they came to
join us down there. They told us that the Hutus of Sovu, under the direction of Emmanuel Rekeraho, who
was an adjutant in FAR, were relentless about eliminating the Tutsis. On 20 April when our men left our
houses, there began the dirty work of looting, destroying and burning our houses.

As for us, we sent a delegation to go and alert the bourgmestre of Huye, Jonathan Ruremesha.
Around 10:00 a.m., the bourgmestre came in his van with three soldiers. He went and parked in the
shopping centre of Buruhukiro in front of the house of Callixte Karabayenga, a Tutsi businessman who
was killed together with his entire family during the genocide. What did the bourgmestre do at the
shopping centre where there were a lot of Tutsis who were waiting for a word from the bourgmestre?
Upon his arrival down there, we heard three grenade explosions. The survivors came from this shopping
centre with the speed of a warship towards C.S.S. where we were.

They told us that the message of the bourgmestre had been to tell the Hutus that they had the right to
take up arms and to kill the Tutsis. And he in fact distributed grenades and guns to some criminals who
were there. It was Kamanayo, a former FAR soldier who threw the first grenade which had killed some
Tutsis such as Bonaventure [Rangira]. Some were seriously wounded. The bourgmestre also took
Cassien Karido, a driver with the FAO [Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN] as a hostage.
Karido had a sort of factory in Sovu for making small local axes. And all the axes which killed all the
Tutsis of Sovu were ordered from there. Unfortunately, Karido did not know this since his little factory
had existed for a long time. The bourgmestre had taken him hostage, telling him to give them the guns of
the Inkotanyi which he was keeping in his house. But finally he freed him and he was killed in Sovu
some days later.

The bourgmestre had also given grenades to Mathias of the cellule of Karuhaya in sector Sovu. His
father is called Bagirubwira and he is still there [in Karuhaya]. The evening of 20 April, we saw how our
houses were burning on our hills. Our men came with our livestock, consisting of many cows, goats etc...

On 21 April, there was a massive attack against the refugees at the Health Centre.

On 21 April, towards 9:30 a.m., the interahamwe, or rather the Hutus of Sovu, attacked us. The attack
was led by Rushyana of MDR-Power and two young men, twins, Gakuru
and Gato, sons of Baributsa who is in detention in Butare. When they threw grenades, we dispersed. At
that moment, we were around seven thousand refugees coming from Mubuga in Gikongoro and other
communes of Butare such as Gishamvu, Maraba, Huye etc...

The survivors of the attack fled to the monastery in the hope that a house of God would provide the
protection they had not found in a health centre.

When we dispersed, we took different directions but many people walked towards the monastery of Sovu
where the entry gate and the chapel were tightly locked. But the refugees agreed to make a gap in their
wall through which we passed. I was able to get inside the interior of the convent, in a room where there
were four of us, a woman, a boy, a girl and myself.

Mother Superior Gertrude, however, was anything but welcoming.

Seeing that we were in the room down there, Sister Gertrude Mukangango came to threaten us to leave
the room and to get outside. Faced with such a threat, I could not stand it. I told her we refused to leave
the room and that we were going to die down there. She told me that I would regret it. Immediately she
went out and took the new car, a Mazda minibus that had just been bought, and she left. Some minutes
later, she came back with a communal policeman of Huye, Joseph Bizimana, and six soldiers in her
minibus. She had come from the house of the bourgmestre of Huye. She got out of the minibus and came
where we were. She told the soldiers, and I quote 'There they are, they refused to leave our room.' The
soldiers quickly put us out outside, pushing us out with guns and kicks. At the time, I was pregnant.

We arrived outside where there were a lot of refugees sitting in the courtyard of the chapel of Sovu.
Gertrude saw that this was not enough. She told the soldiers to make us leave the monastery, saying that
the monastery must not be destroyed on account of Tutsis. There were also some Hutu people who were
at the seminary there. These people were also threatening us, saying that God wanted us killed. What

religion [was there] at Sovu? The soldiers made us all return to the C.S.S. We refused but we could not
hold out in the face of such a threat. Nevertheless, there were religious nuns of Sovu who had succeeded
in hiding their family members in the monastery in such a way that Sister Gertrude did not know about it.
There were also in the monastery Tutsi workers [of the monastery] who had remained there. In any case,
about eighty Tutsis were still in the monastery.

We remained there on 22 April. The whole day we heard gunfire and grenades [exploding] near us.
It was the massacre of Tutsis who were in the monastery of Gihindamuyaga of the Benedictine Brothers.
It is about a kilometre and a half from Sovu.

Meanwhile, a white nun, called Maman Jean Paul from the Carmelite Sisters in the Parish of
Rugango, came to look after people at C.S.S. The last time she came to Sovu, probably around 20 April,
she had left me the key of a house which was part of the buildings of the Centre, telling me to occupy it.
She felt sorry for me because we had worked together. She returned to Rugango and returned to her
country. I occupied this house. My husband and children left that same night and returned to Sovu. They
told me that they were going to hide in the home of Hutu friends. I refused to follow them.

Consolée's hope that staying at the Centre would offer security was short-lived. There was a
concerted attack at 8:00 a.m. on 23 April. Killers included communal policemen and retired soldiers, as
well as Sister Julienne Kizito.

The communal policemen included Joseph Murwanashyaka, Cassien Uwizeyimana, Xavier Nsababera,
Bizimana and Munyankindi. The soldiers included Pascal Karekezi and Kamanayo. When the attack
arrived very near us, I entered my house and I observed what happened through a window. Before the
beginning of the attack, I saw a nun from Sovu, Maman Julienne Kizito, in the middle of the criminals.
Next to her was a jerrycan of petrol and she had a list in her hands. She gave this jerrycan of petrol to a
criminal whom I was not able to recognise.

The massacre started at about 9:00 a.m. The killing continued until 5:00 p.m. However, at about
2:00 p.m., the house where I was had been set on fire by petrol and I left it. When I got outside, I was
shot at. But unfortunately for these criminals, I was not wounded. But I felt dizzy and I fell on the
ground. I slept in the middle of the victims who were on the ground. I stayed stretched out but I could
hear everything.

Towards 5:30 p.m., six gendarmes arrived and stopped the killings. They told the criminals to loot
only. These gendarmes told the women and girls who were not yet dead to come. They said they were
going to protect them. When I heard that, I also got up. We were a lot of women but the courtyard of the
Centre was strewn with the corpses of the victims. You couldn't find anywhere to put your feet. They
made us come down. When we arrived on the Butare-Gikongoro road, they told us to sit down. They
took up their positions and we thought it was all over for us. But they spoke amongst themselves and
they made us go back to the C.S.S. in a hurry. It was already late. We left once again for the C.S.S., in
the middle of the bodies of our families who had been killed. During the night, I left these corpses
because I saw that the criminals were going to come back the following day.

After escaping the massacre, Consolée wandered from one neighbour's house to another as she
sought refuge, in vain.

I went first to the home of Joseph Kanyabugande of Gihindamuyaga since my mother-in-law was his
maternal aunt. He refused to take me in. I walked to [the house of] his brother, Elie Singirankabo but he
also refused me. I walked to [the home] of Ignace whose child was my godchild. But there too, I saw that
he was not for welcoming me.

On the brink of despair, Consolée decided to ask the militia to kill her.

In the morning, I went to the interahamwe roadblock. I asked the militia to kill me. They refused. I sat
next to them but they did not kill me. Some hours later, I deceived [their] vigilance. I pretended I was
going to the toilet and I walked towards [the home of] the husband of my older sister who is Hutu. Down
there, I met my children and my husband. A bit of relief.

But the consolation did not last. The genocide turned many relatives not only into strangers, but into

After some days, my sister's husband began threatening to hand us over. At night, when he came back
from patrols, he cried out, saying that he had Inyenzi in his house. Seeing that, my husband decided to
leave during the night. I don't know where he was killed. The following day, my sister agreed to hide me
in different places with her neighbours without her husband's knowledge. [This continued] until the
arrival of the RPF. My children stayed with my sister there, at Gihindamuyaga. When the RPF arrived,
my husband's sister was killed as he was still armed with his traditional arms.85

Consolée's account was confirmed in its entirety by the testimony of Domatile Mukabanza, a
peasant who lived in the cellule of Kigarama in Sovu. She herself is originally from the sector of
Nyanza in commune Huye. The mother of six children, five of them were killed in front of her. Her
oldest daughter had escaped just before the massacre which killed her brothers and sisters. (See below
for her testimony). In a detailed and moving testimony, Domatile described the betrayal she
experienced at the hands of several women, including nuns, her own maternal aunt and the infamous
minister of women's affairs, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko.

About ten days after the death of Habyarimana, we were obliged to leave our houses because the Hutus
of Sovu, directed by certain criminals like Emmanuel Rekeraho, a former soldier, wanted to kill us.
Nevertheless, the men and young men remained on the hill in order to put up some resistance. At Sovu
Health Centre, there were about three thousand and five hundred refugees, according to the census which
was taken. The nuns said they were going to give us food. But we were killed before they gave us
anything to eat. We spent the night outdoors, there at C.S.S. Certain Tutsi nuns of Sovu, like Sister Marie
Bernard, Sister Scholastique, Sister Bernadette and Sister Fortunée, took members of their families to try
and hide them in their monastery. Three days after our arrival at C.S.S., we saw the van of the
bourgmestre of Huye pass by the Centre, going towards the shopping centre of Buruhukiro where our
men were meeting. Some minutes later, we heard grenade explosions. We saw our men coming at full
speed with their herds to C.S.S. They told us that the bourgmestre came with six soldiers to distribute
grenades and guns and [that] already there were victims, like Bonaventure Rangira.

The arrival of the men increased the number of refugees. Domatile estimated the number at about
seven thousand.

Our men were really discouraged to the point that they even threw down their tools of protection, saying
that it was all over for us.

On 21 April, at about 10:00 a.m., men shouting 'MDR-Power' invaded us. Leading [the group] were
the twins of Baributsa and Rushyana who was MDR-Power. They threw grenades. We scattered towards
the monastery of the Benedictine nuns of Sovu. It was difficult to enter their enclosure as their entry gate
had been locked tightly. I passed through the barbed wire, with my baby on my back.

There were a lot of us down there. Many of the refugees gathered around the chapel which was also
locked tightly. It was then that Sister Gertrude Mukangango came out in order to threaten us into leaving
the monastery. She was accompanied by Sister Julienne Kizito, originally from Sovu. We refused and
Sister Gertrude took the Mazda minibus. I don't know where she went. But she came back with six
soldiers who were well armed and a communal policeman. She asked these soldiers to make us come out
of the monastery. She told them that she did not want the blood of Tutsis in the monastery. Small
children begged her to hide them but she shoved them off outside, telling them to follow their parents.
These soldiers told us to sit down in front of the chapel. Afterwards, they forced us to go back to the
C.S.S. where we spent the night. Our livestock had already been looted.

On 22 April, we stayed there in total desolation since we could hear gunfire all around us, [from] the
city of Butare and at Gihindamuyaga.

85 Interviewed in Butare, 21 July 1995.

Domatile described Sister Julienne's role in the massacre of 23 April. Tutsi men were the target of
the assault. According to Domatile, not a single Tutsi man escaped.

23 April, at about 8:00 a.m., there was the final attack of the genocidal killers. All the communal
policemen, retired soldiers, trained interahamwe, all of them well armed and accompanied by men and
women carrying traditional weapons, all that jumble of killers invaded us. Before attacking us, they stood
apart to plot a little. We saw them. Amongst them I saw Sister Julienne, the daughter of Semanyana of
Sovu. She was in the middle of talking to those taking part in the attack. I saw that she was giving them a
list. No doubt, it was the list of the Tutsi workers and refugees who remained in the monastery. Next to
Sister Kizito was a man called Karangwa from Gihindamuyaga who was dancing in front of her with a
spear in his hand.

They shot and threw grenades until about 5:00 p.m. We saw that above all, the criminals were
looking for men. The gendarmes arrived [around 5:00 p.m.] and stopped the killing. They grouped us
together, saying that they were going to assure our security. But when we arrived on the Butare-
Gikongoro road, they forced us to sit down on the grass. Some of them wanted to finish us off. There was
not a single man amongst us. I don't think a single Tutsi man had escaped. They obliged us to go back to
Sovu Health Centre where we spent the night in the middle of the corpses.

The killers returned the next day. When they arrived, there followed one of the poignant scenes that
became a common feature of the genocide — the would-be-victims begging their tormentors for a
kinder death, to be shot with guns rather than hacked with machetes.

On the 24th, the criminals came back at 8:00 a.m. Mathias was in the front with a gun. Many of the
refugees begged him to kill them with a gun. But often he refused. There were a lot of them and before
attacking us, they made us give them all our belongings — handbags, suitcases, watches, clothes etc... —
which still remained. My oldest daughter took advantage of this opportunity to escape. The fellow to
whom she gave a bag of things that belonged to the refugees saved her until the end of the genocide.

As soon as they had looted everything, the criminals then set about killing the refugees. Domatile
watched as five of her six children were killed in front of her.

The criminals obliged us to line up in rows of thirty refugees. The lines were formed. I put my four
children in front of me and my baby on my back. I told my children to pray since we were going to die
soon. The criminals made us go a little outside of C.S.S. and killed us just below the centre. They took
first of all my five children and they were all killed in front of my eyes. Then they hit me with a blow of
the spear into my back which pierced the baby and wounded me seriously.

A huge scar on her back was clearly visible at the time of the interview in late July 1995.

The baby fell on the ground. He was already dead. As for me, they hit me a lot with the masu everywhere
on the head. I fainted. Some minutes later, I felt something warm on my face. It was the blood which was
flowing. I regained consciousness. I tried to open my eyes and I saw a certain Innocent Habyarimana
who comes from my native hill of Nyanza. I tried to get up. I told him that even if he killed me, I came
from the same place as him. He asked me where exactly I came from. I implied the name of my father.
Straightaway, he gave me three blows of the machete on the head. This time, I felt I had been finished
off. It was at about 10:00 a.m. Around 1:00 p.m., I was able to hear again. I heard the voices of certain
criminals like Adjutant Rekeraho and Gaspard, alias 'Nyiramatwi.' They were saying 'Bury quickly
because at 2:00 p.m., we are going to finish the Tutsis who are at the commune office of Huye.' They
gathered the bodies of the victims and buried them on Karido's land, which was next door.

Despite her serious wounds, Domatile refused to die. The killers hoped that throwing her into a
river would "do the job."

My turn arrived. I heard them say 'This one is called Domatile.' You would have thought that at the same
time, they were taking a census of the dead in order to tick off on the list the Tutsis to kill. Then they
threw me into a small river. Finally, they gave me the 'little hoe' on the head, the weeding hoes.

During the night, it poured with rain. The torrent removed the soil on top of us. I came alive once
again. It was about 2:00 a.m. I was so thirsty. I opened my mouth to catch some drops of water. When I
opened my eyes, I saw that the rain had thrown up a lot of the corpses.

At about 4:00 a.m., I got up with a lot of difficulty, supporting my neck with my hands as I had been
hit with a machete. I could not walk on my two legs. I felt dizzy. I crawled like a baby in order to go and
sleep under a tree. I was completely naked.

The following night, I walked towards Mbazi, to my mother's relatives. My mother is Hutu. When I
got there, I was chased away, first by my maternal uncles. It was the same thing with my maternal aunt.

Unable to find protection even from her own relatives, Domatile took refuge among the dead.
Eventually, she found one man who had the courage to be human.

I returned to the cemetery of Sovu where I spent the whole day. The following night, I walked towards
the home of a certain Joseph Kanani. He looked after me for a month.

But the rest of his family did not share the impulse to save Domatile.

Afterwards his children began to threaten him on account of me. And as they said that peace had been re-
established, I left the place to go to the commune office to request permission to move around. The
bourgmestre spit out curses against me. But still, he gave me the paper. I don't know how he wrote on
this paper that I am Hutu.

With the paper in her hand, Domatile walked towards the city of Butare. Once again, she found the
spirit of charity lacking in yet another nun.

When I arrived at the home of the nuns of Ngoma [commune of the city of Butare], the Congregation of
Abizeramariya, I was chased away by the Mother Superior even though Sister Josephine had welcomed
me. I walked towards the University Hospital of Butare where I spent the night. As there were a lot of
soldiers and interahamwe there, I spent only one night, 27 May. The following day, I went to the office
of the préfecture where the van of Nyiramasuhuko used to come, from 9:00 p.m. onwards, to abduct
Tutsis to kill. That happened at least three times during the night. One day, Nyiramasuhuko came in
broad daylight. She spoke with the bourgmestre of Ngoma, [the seat of the office of the préfecture]
Kanyabashi, who was there with other bourgmestres of Butare. Without doubt, they had come to receive
new orders. Nyiramasuhuko talked to Kanyabashi, telling him to remove the 'dirt' in his commune as
quickly as possible.

In the meantime, my head had really swollen. I spent the entire day under the burning sun of June
when I still had not healed. Seeing that I was going to die and that I had my laissez-passer which said I
was Hutu, I decided to go back to the home of Joseph Kanani, the kind-hearted Hutu man. He looked
after me and let me stay until the arrival of the RPF which saved us.

Domatile now shares a house in Huye, which used to be a former co-operative, with her daughter
who escaped, and a group of Hutu widows of the genocide.86

Her daughter, twenty-year-old Lucie Mugorewase, also spoke about Mother Superior Gertrude and
Sister Julienne.

I am the daughter of Joseph Mwerekande, a Tutsi killed in the genocide, and Domatile Mukabanza.
Everything my mother has told you is true. We were separated on 24 April at the time of the killings of
my younger sisters and other women and girls who had escaped the day before.

I wanted to speak in order to accuse the Benedictine sisters of Sovu, the famous Mother Superior,
Gertrude Mukangango and Sister Julienne Kizito known as 'Animal' because of her wickedness. These
two nuns delivered innocent refugees to their deaths. This is how they carried it out.

86 Interviewed in Huye, Butare, 21 July 1995.

Firstly, Mother Superior Gertrude tried to find out how many of us there were and sent one of the
workers to take a census. She had lied, saying it was to find out how to feed us but she didn't give us
anything. There were some refugees from the families of the Tutsis Sisters who were at [the convent of]
Sovu. The Mother Superior forced them out, saying that calm had been restored on the hill whilst the
assassins were waiting for them near the convent. All these people, more than fifty, were executed by the
communal policemen and other criminals who used guns and traditional weapons against them.

Gertrude did this deliberately, knowing full well what danger awaited them. It was at the beginning
of May. I was lucky to have been saved by a young interahamwe who told me everything. I was also able
to talk to the watchmen and employees of C.S.S. who told me everything.

As for sister Julienne Kizito, alias 'Gapyisi,' she was the co-ordinator of activities at the convent. For
example, she knew almost all the faces of the refugees of Sovu who were there. As she is from Sovu, this
was easy.

When the interahamwe came, they initially addressed her. They called her their representative,
saying that she was a real 'Sister' who would not tolerate Inyenzi in her convent.

And indeed, she could not tolerate the Tutsi refugees as she had herself delivered an employee of the
convent called Gérard Kabirigi who was hiding in the convent. Sister Kizito pointed him out to criminals
like Adjutant Emmanuel Rekeraho, Joseph Habyarimana and Gaspard Rusanganwa, alias 'Nyiramatwi'
and Innocent Nyundo who always accompanied Sister Julienne Kizito in the van which took the refugees'
goods such as motor cycles, bicycles... to Huye communal office. She participated in the looting of the
refugees' belongings for the advantage of her brothers who led the attacks.

Sister Kizito supplied the petrol to pour over this fellow, Gérard Kabirigi, and then the criminals put
a match to him. Kabirigi ran around in flames and eventually fell to the ground and died.

All the interahamwe, rather the criminals, were delighted at the death of Kabigiri which raises
worries even today. Several Hutus in Sovu can give an account of Kabigiri's death. They will not hesitate
in saying that Sister Kizito was the one who supplied the petrol. I can point out two Hutu women who are
reliable sources and can confirm what I am saying: Josepha Mukarwego and Vénérande Mukankusi. [See
below for their testimonies]. They both live near Sovu health centre.

Amongst the people who were in the convent and delivered by the two Sisters are: Anastase
Nkurunziza, Béatrice Ntakirutimana, Cyrile Ndanga, Valérie Nyirakimonyo, Odette Nyirahabimana,
Népomscène Kamanzi and many of the convent's employees. Most of these victims were decimated with
their entire families.

[The Sisters] collaborated with some of the leading genocidal killers in Huye like Pierre Rushyana
and his sons, Jean Maniraho, Etienne Rugombyumugabo, Théoneste Kagina. The supreme chief [of the
killers] was Jonathan Ruremesha, bourgmestre of Huye.87

The sense of loss and grief that dominates the lives of survivors has been exceptionally
communicated by Vénéranda Mukankusi who lost her husband, Emmanuel Karekezi, and seven of her
nine children in the genocide. Two daughters, aged twenty and twenty-two, survived, if that is the right
word, and were with their mother at the time of the interview (see below for their testimonies). Their
bodies bear witness to the determination to kill them: both girls are marked by extensive scars caused
by injuries from grenades, bullets and blows from machetes and masus. Vénéranda, who is herself
Hutu, comes from Nkima sector but lives in cellule Kigarama. She is fifty-two years old.

I am pure Hutu. My mother is called Bernadette Nyirambonyubwabo and she is Hutu. My father is called
Joseph Ngirabatware. He is also Hutu and they are both still alive.

We arrived at Sovu Health Centre on the night of Sunday 17 April. We had fled the insecurity on
our hill as we had heard that Hutus were going to kill Tutsis.

87 Interviewed in Huye, Butare, 22 July 1995.

The following day, that is Monday 18 April, we spent the day there and on Tuesday the 19th, Sister
Kizito, daughter of Semanyana, accompanied by Mother Superior Gertrude, came by. She told us to put
our names down on a list to receive food. After the census, there were three thousand five hundred of us.
Older and young men hadn't come yet. They had stayed on the hill, united with some Hutus who had not
yet understood that it was a genocide against the Tutsis.

On 20 April, very early in the morning, a group of militiamen came. When they launched the first
grenades, we fled to the convent with our luggage. Then, the criminals told the Hutus to separate from
the Tutsis. That's when I went back to my house. When I got home, my house hadn't yet been destroyed.
A few minutes later, I felt I should go back and join my children and my husband there at the monastery
of Sovu. It was about 11:00 a.m.

Sister Kizito and Sister Gertrude threatened us about leaving their monastery. But we refused and
tried to show them the danger that prevented us from returning to the C.S.S. It was then that Gertrude left
in her car. She came back with some soldiers and a communal policeman who forced us to go back to the
C.S.S. Me, I left my luggage at C.S.S., since I knew as a Hutu, I could get them back.

When we got outside, my husband told me to return to our home. I obeyed. I went back and told
myself that I should prepare something for them to eat.

On 21 April, there was an attack. But it was not strong and the refugees were able to contain it. I saw
that things were not going to be alright and I went to spend the night with the refugees. The evening of
the 21st was the beginning of the destruction of our houses. My house was completely destroyed.

Vénéranda described her despair and powerlessness on 23 April as she watched armed killers,
including women and girls, on their way to murder her family. Unable to do anything to protect her
loved ones, she watched as Sister Julienne distributed the petrol which was used to set people on fire.

Very early on the 22nd, I went back. As my house had already been demolished, I went to the home of a
Hutu friend, Muvunyi, a young married man who had only one child. On the 23rd, very early in the
morning, there was an attack on a huge scale. Communal policemen who the bourgmestre Ruremesha
had sent down there, soldiers, Hutu criminals, women, girls, all of them armed, were going towards
C.S.S. When I saw them, my heart jumped. I saw that they were going to kill my family. I went with
them, crying, pleading with them not to kill my husband and my children.

At the beginning of the massacre, I was neither among the killers nor among the victims. I just
watched. I saw Sister Kizito with seven litre jerrycans full of petrol. She distributed them to the
criminals. Since the refugees were not in the courtyard, but had locked themselves inside the buildings,
they poured the petrol on the house and set it alight. Sister Kizito was still there and she gave several
jerrycans of petrol. My children were killed that day. But my two daughters had taken refuge in the
garage. I believed that they had been burnt down there.

Understandably, Vénéranda found it difficult to describe her emotions.

I left the place in a state of madness. I wanted to kill myself. When I got to Muvunyi's house, I could do
nothing else except cry out for help. The following day, a man who was himself a militia, went to see if
there wasn't any member of my family who had survived. He was able to find my daughter of twenty-two
whom he took to my family in Nkima. She was seriously wounded but by luck, she had escaped. She
remained there until the RPF took power.

The children Vénéranda lost are four sons: Habyarimana, seventeen; Habimana, fourteen; Kamana,
twelve and Karemera, eleven, and a daughter, seven-year-old Muhimpundu.

Having lost most of her family, Vénéranda went to the C.S.S. to reclaim her property, only to
discover that Sister Julienne Kizito was not only a killer, but also a thief.

Some days later, I went to see the Benedictine Sisters of Sovu to get my belongings back, since I had
seen Sister Kizito putting things of value in the van. She transported them towards the office of the
commune. When I arrived there [the monastery], I told Sister Kizito, who knew me even before the
genocide, that I wanted to take my luggage. This included clothes, beans, sorghum, cooking utensils etc...
She was with a certain Gaspard, known as 'Nyiramatwi.' She told him to call Karekezi, a prominent
killer, so that he could come and finish me off. She screamed insults against me, telling me to go away
since I was an accomplice of the 'snakes' [i.e. Tutsis]. That day, I saw the cruelty of the nuns. My wish is
to see the two Sisters brought before a court of justice.88

Séraphine Mukamana, twenty-two, is one of Vénéranda's daughters who escaped the attempt to
burn them alive.

On the night of 17 April, a large number of us arrived at Sovu Health Centre. We were almost
exclusively women, girls, children, widows and the elderly as the Tutsi men and young boys had stayed
on the hill to face the eventual attack. On 18 April, we were still at the health centre and without any help
from the Benedictine Sisters. However, some family members (parents, brothers and sisters) of the Tutsi
Sisters took advantage of the night to go and hide in the convent instead of staying in the open air like us.

On 19 April, we heard the explosion of grenades [on the hill] where our Hutu and Tutsi men of Sovu
had joined forces to fight together against any eventual attack. At the Health Centre, we were overcome
with fright and fled to Sovu convent. As the door was locked, some jumped, others made gaps in the
convent wall of Cyprus trees to get through.

[Together] with some refugees, we managed to reach the convent storey house. And then the Mother
Superior, Gertrude Mukangango, immediately came, forcing us to get down. But we refused, purely and
simply. She left in her Mazda car. After a few minutes, she came back, this time with a communal
policeman of Huye called Joseph Bizimana and six soldiers. Gertrude led them to the room in which we
were [hiding]. These soldiers forced us out and we quickly descended the stairs. When we got to the
convent courtyard, these same soldiers forced all the refugees to take their bags and go down to the
Health Centre. Sister Gertrude said that we constituted some sort of dirt in the convent and that we were
even disturbing the visitors who were training there.

Séraphine spoke of the promises to help the refugees which Sister Gertrude and Sister Julienne did
not keep.

We left for the C.S.S. When we got there, these soldiers left and Gertrude and Julienne Kizito brought
sheets of paper to count us. According to our census there were about three thousand five hundred of us.
The list was given back to Gertrude who told us that she was going to see how to send us something to
eat. She was lying.

On 20 April, a large group of the Tutsi men who had stayed on the hill came to the C.S.S. with their
herds of cattle. They told us we were going to die as bourgmestre Jonathan Ruremesha of Huye was
coming to distribute grenades and guns to the Hutus of Sovu and had given them a mission of getting rid
of the Tutsis. The number of these new-comers almost equalled three thousand five hundred. That is
why I can say that there were seven thousand Sovu victims.

On 21 April, there was an attack led by a certain Rushyana, MDR Power, in the company of
criminals like Gakuru and Gato, Baributsa's twins, and other assassins [Gakuru and Gato came from
Kigali and were trained interahamwe]. The attack didn't cause human damage but our cows and a certain
number of our possessions were taken.

Séraphine described the attack of 22 April.

Very early in the morning of 22 April, a Friday, a large scale attack had us surrounded from 8:00 in the
morning. It was as if all the men, women and children had come to kill us. Almost all the communal

88 Interviewed in Huye, Butare, 21 July 1995.

policemen of Huye were there, as well as retired soldiers of Huye, armed with grenades and guns. The
killings started at about 9:00 a.m.

Séraphine was surprised to see girls among the attackers.

A certain group of people, including me, had taken refuge inside the garage of the Health Centre. We did
everything to hold the door of this garage. This garage had a sort of cellar and some refugees were in this
cellar of almost two metres. The criminals shot into the door but we refused to leave, despite the holes
these bullets made in the door. A communal policeman called Xavier particularly shot into us. We saw
the faces of some of the criminals through these [bullet] holes. What shocked me was that there were
certain girls [taking part] in the attack, like Athanasie, daughter of Thaddée who held a masu in her hand.
This girl now sings in the choir at the Catholic church of Rugango.

Séraphine was inside the garage when the killers set it on fire with about seven hundred men,
women and children inside.

Eventually, the criminals realised that it was almost impossible to reach us and decided to lock us in
with a large padlock before burning the garage. They poured petrol over the garage and they burned the
garage. The heat and the smoke overcame us. We were forced to stop pushing the door. But the fire
hadn't yet reached the inside of the garage except, of course, the heat and the smoke. As there were far
too many of us in the garage for its size, many of the refugees suffocated to death. There were about
seven hundred of us refugees [there]. Some of the men were looking for a way out by opening the door.
But the criminals had locked us in from the outside. And so these Tutsi men used their machetes to make
an exit in the door. The door was solid. Even so, they managed to make a small escape route. However,
all the refugees who went out through this gap were quickly overpowered by the criminals outside. A lot
of refugees preferred to go out and die from the blows of the interahamwe rather than by suffocation.

The killers did not think the petrol was burning the refugees fast enough.

The criminals passed burning dry banana leaves through the same gap to burn us more. My body too was
touched, but not seriously and so were my clothes. When the criminals saw that the petrol hadn't killed us
all, they decided to enter the garage where there were quite a lot of victims who had suffocated. They had
their traditional weapons. They started killing those of us who were still alive. That's when I received
masu blows on my forehead and machete blows at the back of my head. I fell to the ground. I was in a
coma for almost the whole night.

At about 4:00 in the morning of 23 April, I came out of the coma but I was seriously wounded. I
heard cries for help from the other unfinished victims and others who were in agony, ready to give up
their souls. I left the garage to sit down outside in the health centre and wait for the return of the
criminals in the morning to finish me off.

Having survived the attempt to burn alive all the refugees in the garage, the following day
Séraphine observed Sister Julienne as she toured the victims of the fire.

The criminals came back at about 7:00 a.m. There were a lot of women who were barely alive. But
almost all the men were dead. That same morning, I saw Sister Kizito come to the Health Centre. She
moved all around the victims' bodies. She saw notes [money] which the victims had torn before dying.
She walked through all the rooms in the health centre where the victims' corpses lay. She said it was the
best way of killing them, seeing how bad the Tutsis were. She said all the Tutsis were very wicked
because they had ripped up their notes before dying. I was still sitting at the health centre. She saw me. I
heard and saw all that Kizito did on that morning of 23 April.

Kizito finally left. The criminals stayed behind, admiring the bravery of Kizito whom they described
as their Sister who was ready to help them finish off all the Tutsis by supplying petrol.

Séraphine was saved by a killer from Sovu called Muvunyi. She was taken to the home of her
grandparents in Nkima on 24 April.

Adelice Mukabutera, twenty, is Séraphine's younger sister. She confirmed Séraphine's account,
recalling bitterly Sister Gertrude's reference to the refugees as "dirt."

On 19 April, we fled to the convent as we had just heard three grenades explode. But unfortunately, the
Mother Superior, Gertrude, didn't want us to stay. She called the soldiers from Butare [town] who came
and forced us to leave the convent and go, once again, to the C.S.S. She said that we were dirt in the
convent and that we were disturbing the visitors who were there, at Sovu convent, for training. So we
returned to the C.S.S. Kizito and Gertrude brought sheets of paper to count the refugees saying that they
were going to give us something to eat. Our number had increased to three thousand five hundred. It was
19 April.

Adelice was very badly wounded in the attack on 22 April. She was hit by three bullets, the third
one leaving her almost dead. She described Sister Kizito's reaction to the sight of more than six
thousand corpses at C.S.S.

On Saturday morning on 23 April, the criminals came back. But my attention was caught by the famous
Sister Julienne Kizito who had come to walk about all the bodies of the victims with a list in her hand. It
was as if she was busy checking her list [to see] that all the refugees had been killed. The list she had was
the one that had been made at the time of the census on 19 April.

She saw notes of money torn up and said that the Tutsis were too bad for dying in that way. I saw
that she was really proud of the fact that all the refugees had been killed.

The killers told the surviving women and girls to line up in rows so they could be finished off. One
of them, a man called Munyentwari, helped Adelice so that she did not have to queue up for her death.
He promised to return that evening to help her. He kept his word and took her to his family, eventually
transferring her to the home of her grandparents in Nkima.

Josée Mukarwego, forty-six, is also from Kigarama. A mother of seven, all her children died in the
genocide, as well as her husband, Joseph Rubayiza. Josée is a peasant. Like Vénéranda, she is a Hutu
married to a Tutsi, leaving her to face impossible predicaments during the genocide. The fact that her
husband had had a false Hutu identity card for a long time did not help them. Their neighbours knew
that he was a Tutsi. That was sufficient to condemn him to death.

It was Sunday [17 April] when Hutus from Maraba came to attack. Some people were in fact coming out
of the first mass. The bourgmestre of Huye, Ruremesha, had come to our sector. But the Hutus of our
sector did not yet know what they should do. They believed that it was Presidential Guards who were
going to kill. They too were afraid and they allied themselves with the Tutsis in order to confront
eventual attacks. For this reason, the attack of the 17th did not cause victims. It was quickly repulsed.

On Monday, women of all ethnic groups took refuge very early in the morning at Sovu Health
Centre. I was among those women. But the men remained together on the hill in order to fight against
these attacks. Around 11:00 a.m., we were very many and still united, Hutu and Tutsi. The Hutu and
Tutsi set up a barrier, not far from the C.S.S., on the Butare-Gikongoro road. No one thought of fleeing
because we were united.

But this unity could not withstand the official policy of breaking down communal solidarity.

After some minutes, the van of the bourgmestre came from the commune. When he arrived at a place
called Buruhukiro, two policemen with guns who had been in the bourgmestre's van, threw grenades into
the crowd which was there, without making any distinctions. Two men were seriously wounded but they
did not die immediately. It was Rangira, a Tutsi, and Matabaro, son of Isaïe, a Hutu. What showed that it
was about ethnic segregation is that when the two men got up, Rangira was killed with machetes and
masus by the Hutu he had been with, while Matabaro remained untouched, protected. He finally

Understanding the "reality" put women like Josée in a difficult situation.

Seeing that, we discovered reality. Every Tutsi who had had the courage to stay at home left. In the
meantime, a little before 11:00 a.m., I had returned to my house where my children and their father had
still remained. So my husband and my children came down towards C.S.S. I remained with my youngest
son and my mother-in-law, Josephine Nyirarukwavu, who was old and who was recovering from malaria
and not in a position to go immediately to the C.S.S. We had to go there gently. We looked for ways to
skirt around the Hutus in order to arrive at C.S.S. The moment when we arrived near the enclosure of a
Hutu man named Semajangwe, who in addition was my husband's godfather, he gathered up a lump of
earth which he threw at my mother-in-law. It hit her on the head. The old lady fell down on the ground. I
didn't have the heart to leave her. I picked her up. But she couldn't walk any longer. I guided her towards
an avocado tree so that she could at least get her breath back. However, when the communal policemen
threw grenades, people dispersed, the Tutsi towards C.S.S. and the Hutu towards their respective homes.

Finally, Josée, her mother-in-law and her son reached the Health Centre.

I left the old lady and my child down there. Some hours later, we descended towards the sorghum fields
where we spent a whole day. In the evening, I told my mother-in-law to stay with my youngest son while
I went to see if the others had managed to arrive at the C.S.S. When I got there, I met my oldest son who
showed me my husband. I asked him what we should do. He did not reply to me. I left the place. I went
up to return to where my mother-in-law and son were. But already, they were looting, destroying and
burning the houses of the Tutsi. Nevertheless, I was able to arrive at the place where they were. As soon
as I arrived there, I saw my husband. I asked him to go and ask the Hutus who had been our friends
before the genocide if they could not help us, especially as my husband had falsified his ID card since a
long time ago.

In their hour of need, Josée and her husband discovered the speed with which the policy of
genocide had already destroyed the ties of friendship.

My husband went to a man called Daniel. He asked him for help in removing our children from C.S.S.
But Daniel told him that they should be left there to die. In addition, he told him that they lacked petrol.
Otherwise, they would have even burnt down our house as we had fled. Joseph, my husband, came back
and told me this. We went back to our house where we spent the night.

On Tuesday the 19th, my husband woke up very early in the morning to go to the C.S.S. to see if our
children were still there. On his way, he met three Hutu men, Kavumbutsi, Rukara and Kageyo who told
him that he too was on the list of people to be killed. He came back immediately and told me this. He told
me that he could not die on his own and that he was going down to the C.S.S. to die with the others. He
told me to bring his mother to the C.S.S. And then he was gone. Faced with such a situation, I wondered
what I was going to do. I called my son, Kazungu, and told him to tell my mother-in-law to get up so that
we could prepare potatoes for those who had spent the night at the C.S.S. It was very early in the
morning. We took our luggage, including food.

But instead of going to the C.S.S., Josée and her two companions went to the monastery in Sovu.

We spent the night there with some other Hutu refugees who had spent the night there since the 17th.
Mother Superior Gertrude and Sister Kizito came. They told us that we constituted some kind of dirt in
the monastery, on account of which we should leave a place that was sacred. We refused. Sister Gertrude
took her car and she went to bring soldiers. It was about 2:00 p.m. When they came, the soldiers forced
us to go to the C.S.S. When we arrived at the C.S.S., Gertrude told Karido and Kabera to count the
citizens of only two cellules, Kigarama and Karuhayo. After the census, the lists were transmitted to the
Mother Superior, Gertrude. We were at least three thousand and five hundred refugees, without counting
the citizens of other cellules. There were a lot of refugees. She said she was going to give us food. From
that day onwards, we were given communal policemen to protect us.

On Wednesday the 20th, we heard the sound of gunfire and grenades coming from the area around
us, in the city of Butare and from Gihindamuyaga. Xavier, one of the group guarding us, told us that we
shouldn't be afraid since nothing was going to threaten us as they were present. Some refugees were
reassured by these words. An old Tutsi man, Murangira, gave him a cow to thank him which Xavier
immediately took to his house.

On Thursday the 21st, we stayed there without any assistance. On Friday, at about 8:00 a.m., there
was an attack. The shooting started. All the Hutus were united. I was still with the Tutsis and I saw that I
too should die with them even though I am not Tutsi. At the last minute, on account of the fact that we
[her husband and children above eighteen] had false Hutu cards, a man from Nkima named Kamanzi
appeared. He told me to leave. I replied that I could not leave since I did not have my ID card on me. He
told everyone who had Hutu ID cards to leave. My daughter was big and even she had a false card. Since
my husband had a false Hutu card, he left with my children. My oldest son, Edouard, had been wounded
by an arrow during the confrontations. I saw that his intestines were hanging out. He had been hit by a
man called Rutegesha.

The possession of a Hutu card was not sufficient protection in a such a situation where the
neighbours, who knew the victim's ancestry, were ready to betray him or her. Knowing this, Josée's
husband and children were confused and divided, leaving her torn between them.

The villagers of our cellule knew very well that my husband had falsified his ID card. My oldest son
refused to leave C.S.S. I left with my husband and three of my children. The others remained there.
When we arrived on the grass a little below, a genocidal killer called Rushyana told the criminals that
they should not look at ID cards since Joseph Rubayiza, my husband, was Tutsi. Straightaway, the
criminals arrested them there. I saw all this. Since they knew me very well, that I was pure Hutu, they did
not touch me physically. They took the machete and they cut up my children, except those at C.S.S., and
my husband into pieces in front of me.

Frozen with shock and horror, Josée said she did not move.

Another man, Rutamujyanye, said that it was man who gave birth and not woman, to confirm that my
children were Tutsi. Among these criminals, there were people who came from Nkima and who knew me
very well. They tried to calm me down.

Josée then continued to detail some of the most damning evidence against Sister Kizito.

At that moment, I saw there the daughter of Semanya, that is Sister Julienne Kizito. She had a seven-litre
jerrycan of petrol. Kabirigi, a Tutsi worker at the C.S.S. was also in this confusion. His house is still
down there. She gave the petrol to an interahamwe from her family called Niyonsenga. He poured the
petrol over Kabirigi and set him on fire. Immediately, Kabirigi ran while burning. This same nun was
there and it really was her who had just given the petrol. Me too, I was there. It was the day that my
family died.

But the killers were not satisfied with murdering Josée's husband and three children in front of her.

I continued to observe how these criminals killed people. They continued at the C.S.S. They killed my
remaining children. My oldest son who had been wounded by an arrow had hidden in the garage. The
criminals set the garage on fire. But the garage did not burn down completely. Nevertheless, the smoke
killed people and forced others to leave in order to be battered to death outside. My mother-in-law was
killed down there in front of my eyes. She pulled up her clothes that the criminals wanted to wrench from
her before they killed her. They killed her and afterwards took her clothes.

Having killed her husband, her seven children and her mother-in-law, the killers had to decide
Josée's fate.

At the last minute of the killings, the criminals of Nkima told me to leave or to go back to my husband's
land. But where? My house had been destroyed to the ground. I didn't know what to reply. There were
other criminals there like Rekeraho, Rusanganwa, Rushyana, the three who commanded the killings.
They told me that if I stayed there, I would be killed. I left to go to the home of my maternal uncle where
I stayed the night.

Unable to accept their deaths, the following day Josée went in search of survivors among her
children. She did not find her children. Instead, she discovered Sister Kizito continuing her criminal

When I woke up the next day, I told myself to go back to the C.S.S. to see, if by chance, there was one of
my children who had not been finished off. I went to the garage, thinking that perhaps my oldest son had
not been killed. When I arrived there, Sister Kizito, still with the jerrycans of petrol, was there with the
criminals who were verifying if all the bodies were really dead. Sister Kizito was still distributing petrol.
Next to her were Rekeraho and Byomboka. She could see very well that this petrol was being used to
burn Tutsis and she continued to serve it.

While surveying the toll of the "work" executed by Sister Kizito and her fellow-killers, Josée met
up with a "fate-mate", another Hutu woman whose Tutsi husband and children had been decimated.

There was another Hutu woman, Juliette, who had experienced the same problem as myself. She too was
searching the corpses to see if a child of hers had survived. She told me that all of mine were dead. She
showed me their bodies. Juliette had spent the night in the garage even though she is Hutu. She had
refused to leave her family and she watched them all die.

Summing up the roles of Mother Superior Gertrude and Sister Julienne in the genocide, Josée

Sister Gertrude I saw at the beginning when she chased us out. But Sister Julienne Kizito was very active
in the genocide.

Apart from the direct participation detailed above, Josée added "She used to give lists to criminals."
Josée remained in the home of her maternal uncle till the end of the genocide. She is now living in a
house in Huye which she shares with other widows.

We are both Tutsi and Hutu widows of the genocide living here. We don't have people who give us
assistance except for maize.89

A worker at the monastery confirmed the account given by the survivors and witnesses of the nuns'

On the 18th of April, refugees started going to the convent. They were accommodated at the health
centre. [The diocese] of Butare immediately sent twelve bags of rice under the leadership of Laurien
Ntezimana. Mother Gertrude refused to give this rice to the refugees; she preferred to put this rice in the
shop. She didn't want the interahamwe militia to notice that she was helping the refugees. The people
who hadn't brought anything [with them] really suffered from hunger.

On the 25th, Gertrude Mukandango handed over other people, especially their own workers, visitors
who came to the meetings and other neighbours of Sovu. Once again, Rekeraho and Rusanganwa ordered
the interahamwe to kill all these refugees, with machete blows and other weapons they had. Refugees
who had money gave a large amount to a gendarme called Alphonse, originally from Sovu, so that he
could kill them with a gun. He did it.

Instead of saving the little children, who held out their hands to her saying, 'Have pity parent, you
are a person of God', Sister Gertrude threw them into the hands of the militia telling them, 'Go on, follow
your parents. These children cried a lot and died with their parents. At that time, sixty refugees were
killed in the convent.

However, there were certain refugees still hiding in the convent, notably the parents and family
members of certain sisters from different places. Rekeraho came to count them and saw that they were
elderly people, children and widows. He demanded that they stay in the convent, [saying] that it wasn't
these survivors who were going to ensure the survival of the Tutsi dynasty. Other refugees who were
there came from far away préfectures and Rekeraho said that he didn't want to kill people from other
préfectures as they were not his problem. Rekeraho's decision was not appreciated by Gertrude who
wanted all these refugees to leave. Rekeraho didn't come back to the establishment. Gertrude intensified

89 Interviewed in Huye, Butare, 21 July 1995.

her threats against the Sisters who had refugees in the convent. They were Sister Bénédicte who had her
niece from Kigali with Emma-Marie Dusabe, the wife of Alphonse Rutsindura, and her children as well
as her little child and her baby. [There were also] Sister Bernadette's parents and family members, Sister
Marie-Bernard's four brothers. Sister Fortunata's parents and family members, Sister Régine's mother and
her two children, Sister Thérése's younger sister.

The Mother Superior insulted the nuns day and night, saying they wanted to kill her, that we were
accomplices of the Inkotanyi, that they should chase us out to die in the bushes. Another idea came to her
mind. She said that she hadn't any food, that we should give money. We gave her money but she was not

Clearly, the nuns whose own parents, brothers, sisters and other close relatives had come to them
for protection could not be expected to hand them over to killers. Nor was it likely that the relatives of
the nuns would volunteer to walk out to their own death.

Faced with this situation, Gertrude made a plan with Rusanganwa and the bourgmestre of Huye
commune, Jonathan Ruremesha, to chase the refugees out of the convent.

On the morning of 6 May, in church after the prayers of Laudes, Gertrude said this publicly: 'Before
God all-powerful, I ask all the Sisters who have refugees in this establishment to put them out quickly so
that the interahamwe don't destroy this convent. If the Sisters continue to refuse to put them out, they [the
refugees] will be forced out.'

She took the car and she left with Gaspard Rusanganwa, alias 'Nyiramatwi'. No one knew where she
had gone. At about 3:00 p.m., the interahamwe surrounded the monastery. After a moment, there was
bourgmestre Ruremesha's car parked with some policemen. We saw Rusanganwa and Gertrude who had
gone to call them, come. They made all the refugees leave. The policemen forced them out and looted

The refugees from Sovu and Maraba were forced to return to their homes. After leaving the
establishment, the interahamwe killed them. Others were shot by the policeman, Xavier, who was
guarding the establishment. Bourgmestre Ruremesha drove those who had come from other places away
in his van. We don't know where they were killed.

Several Tutsi Sisters of the monastery were later killed. They are Sisters Fortunata, Bernadette and
Thérèse. The other Sisters left Rwanda just before the fall of Butare. After a stay in Gikongoro, they
were evacuated to the Central African Republic. In August, they arrived in Belgium, via France. Some
of the Sisters have returned to Rwanda. But Sisters Gertrude and Julienne remained in Maredret in
Belgium, sheltered and protected by the head office of their congregation. They were apparently
moved, towards the end of August, to Ermeton in the region of Namur.

On 13 February, Sister Marie-Jeanne, eighty-two, a Belgian Sister at the monastery in Sovu, was
interviewed in Belgium by a Belgian journalist. Sister Marie-Jeanne was evacuated from Rwanda on 18
April. Neither Sister Marie-Jeanne nor any other foreign nun or priest was in Sovu when the killings
began. They have not conducted interviews with the survivors in Sovu. But, embarrassed by press
reports and inquiries about Mother Superior Gertrude, Sister Marie-Jeanne had no hesitations in
proclaiming Sister Gertrude's innocence.

Journalist: I was told Sister Gertrude was here.

S.M.J.: Well, in principle she is here. But as she is very tired, she is at Ermeton to rest, and today,
she is at Scourmont.

Journalist: So it is not possible to see her?

S.M.J.: No, no. She has left for Scourmont because she is having a week of complete rest. She was
terribly shaken by all the events since the month of April and then afterwards a lot of problems. She is,
little by little, managing to overcome it, but it isn't easy... You're a journalist, perhaps?

Journalist: I am an independent journalist. This is what allows me to have the greatest freedom of
expression and also to give others the possibility to express themselves... It is in this context that I would
have liked to meet her. Because she would have, with me, the possibility exactly to respond, for you
know very well that there are certain accusations levelled against her.

S.M.J.: Yes.

Journalist: Precisely, I would like to give her the possibility of being able to explain herself.

S.M.J: But I think she is in the middle of writing down all she experienced and which lies behind
the accusations... I believe she is putting this on paper for now... She told me that she would send me her
text when she had finished it. She has left now for a week in Scourmont and I still haven't received
anything, maybe [the plan is] to finish it there. I could ask her if she would agree to send it to you.

Journalist: I will leave you my address and telephone numbers in any case.

S.M.J.: But if it is not indiscreet to ask you, how is it that there are accusations against Mother

Journalist: My Sister, when there in an international summons issued against someone...

S.M.J.: But is it true, is it accurate that it is against her? I only read in Le Monde that there was a
sister from Butare for which there was a summons, and is it accurate, is it really against her? She did
everything she could to defend the others at our [convent] in Sovu. She even paid them to spare the
Sisters' families. But they took the money and killed them anyway.

Journalist: That is only an assumption.

S.M.J.: But we know who is making these noises.

Journalist: Meaning?

S.M.J.: People whom I would very much like not to talk about.

Journalist: But precisely, my Sister, I am here to give you the chance of contradicting those people's
allegations and if they did it negatively, that's exactly why I am here.

S.M.J.: I don't know who could have made an official statement. This I don't know. But I know that
there had been conflicts around the place and that things have been said against her.

Journalist: Around the Sisters, are you saying?

S.M.J.: Yes.

Journalist: Within the congregation?

S.M.J.: Yes. That is exactly why I am very restricted.

Journalist: I understand. Were you yourself on the spot at the time of the events?

S.M.J.: No. I stayed until 18 April. And we really thought of staying with the Rwandese Sisters but
at that time the situation was turning very badly against the Belgians. And we were two Belgians, in the
foundation, so Mother Gertrude, who was the Superior since the preceding year, said: 'No, I don't want
you to stay. Things are really changing for the worse here, in the south.' And there was just one more
chance to leave for Burundi. One last chance with the Poles. And so she made us leave. We had ten
minutes to leave. So we decided to return to Belgium.

Journalist: How did it happen that there is tension between the Sisters?

S.M.J.: Because family members were killed. And the Sisters thought that the Superior could have
done more to save them. But it is wrong. She really did everything she could. But at a certain time, the
interahamwe arrived, saying that as they were sheltering Tutsis, they were going to kill everybody,
including the Sisters. And so it was the bourgmestre, I think, and yet another important person who said:
Sister Gertrude, it will serve no purpose to keep the guests. They have to leave or else they will certainly
kill you all. She felt responsible for the community [of Sisters] before anything else. For the thirty-five
Sisters who were there. And so she asked the guests to leave. We had about sixty guests and amongst
them were family members who had come for refuge. So she asked everyone to leave. She really did it to
save the Sisters' lives...[O]n the question of Mother Gertrude, I would personally prefer that there was no
publicity about this accusation. I hope things will settle down.

Journalist: It is not for us to decide. That is, if there is any publicity it will be made by the International
Tribunal, it will be made firstly by people responsible for justice in Rwanda, and then in Belgium and
they are the ones who will eventually ask. Right now, I don't think it is a question of publicity but rather
of clearing something up and eventually helping Sister or Mother Gertrude to explain herself.

S.M.J.: You know her?

Journalist: No.

S.M.J.: I think it would be best to wait for her to put her account down on paper and then, if she
agrees, I will send it to you. Because to make her repeat it one more time is to throw her to the ground
because she is exhausted.

Journalist: Quite. Besides, if she writes it, it is to transmit it. So I think she will accept to send it. And
then, once I've had the time to read the file, if she agrees, I'll come back and interview her.

S.M.J.: We read in the Libre Belgique, I think, that Léon Mugesera had been arrested in Canada.90
Then he was released under caution. But that one, there was proof. And it is recorded with his famous
speeches delivered in the Gisenyi area.

Journalist: There are some serious allegations.

S.M.J.: Yes, because he really aroused the people. Whilst with Mother Gertrude, these are
complaints from people who believed that their family could have been saved and it is being repeated.
You know how Rwanda is and especially now. But already before, there had been a campaign of
dishonesty there in the last few years which poisoned the whole country.

Journalist: But the guilty must be judged.

S.M.J.: Yes, but what is happening now, so it seems, is that denunciations are made to settle scores.
And then you are put in prison where you stay and there is no justice to release you.

Journalist: There are, even so, two Sisters of Saint-Francis who are in prison because they, supposedly,
killed thirty children.

S.M.J.: Yes.

Journalist: But it isn't only the Sisters in prison. Faced with more than 500.000 dead. There may be
some injustices in the denunciations, but it is the consequence of the many deaths there were.

S.M.J.: Yes, evidently.

90Léon Mugesera, an academic, is an important exrtemist ideologue. In 1992, he gained notoriety for his speeches
and broadcasts which incited the Hutu population to massacre Tutsis. In his most famous speech, which has been
recorded and which was delivered on 22 November 1992, he called for the Tutsis to be "returned" to their
mythical ancestral homeland of Ethiopia "via the short cut of the Nyabarongo river." The speech caused a storm
and he eventually fled the country and settled in Canada. He was arrested in Canada on 27 January 1995,
ostensibly for transgressing immigration laws. But his arrest was prompted by publicity about his role in
propagating the ideology led to the genocide.

Journalist: One shouldn't deceive oneself. There are priests who took part in one way or another in the
actions. We can't say or can no longer say automatically that there is neither a Sister nor a priest who
hasn't erred in his/her ways. There are proven cases. Now, for these two Sisters, there are some
statements. But it doesn't mean that they are guilty. Even if they must stay in prison. It is the International
Tribunal's role.

S.M.J.: Yes.

Journalist: Are there other Rwandese Sisters here?

S.M.J.: Yes. For the moment there are only three here.

Journalist: Do they want to go back?

S.M.J.: Yes. there are one or two who say no, never again will I return to this country. But I believe
that they will change their minds when the others go. They are homesick. But its still too early. Then
there are those who don't have any family anymore. But personally, I think they should return, to
participate in the reconstruction of the church. I believe that its only Christianity that can reconcile the
people. If not, nothing will happen, we will stay in a spiral of vengeance. Who knows.

Journalist: But all these people had been baptised.

S.M.J.: Yes, they had been baptised. But it is necessary to make them conscious about their

African Rights has learned that Sister Marie Jeanne has since died.

Sister Bernadette Mukarusine, Sister Bénédicte Mukanyangezi, Sister Josephine

Uzamukunda and Sister Pétronile Nyirabirori of Shyorongi, Greater Kigali

Shyorongi has become well-known in post-genocide Rwanda as the parish of the first two nuns to be
arrested and accused of crimes in connection with the genocide. They are Sister Bernadette Mukarusine
and Sister Bénédicte Mukanyangezi who are currently in the central prison of Kigali. Two other nuns
from Shyorongi, Sister Josephine Uzamukunda and Sister Pétronile Nyirabirori, have also been accused
by survivors of participating in the genocide. They are currently living in Bukavu. The four sisters are:

• Sister Bénédicte Mukanyangezi, the Mother Superior at Shyorongi. She was also the bursar of the
secondary school which had more than three hundred girls as students. She is from Cyangugu;

• Sister Bernadette Mukarusine, a former pupil of Sister Bénédicte at a domestic science school. She
comes from the cellule of Gisiza in the sector of Shyorongi, commune Shyorongi. She was in charge of
the tailoring workshop at Shyorongi;

• Sister Josephine Uzamukunda is from the cellule of Kigarama, sector Shyorongi in the same
commune. She obtained medical trading and was an auxiliary nurse and midwife at the health centre. She
was in charge of the hospital and health centre of Shyorongi;

• Sister Pétronile Nyirabirori was the director of the secondary school since the school was founded in
1988. She is from Cyangugu.

Shyorongi, which is located in the préfecture of Greater-Kigali, is situated about fifteen kilometres
from the city of Kigali and lies on the Kigali-Ruhengeri road. The establishment of Shyorongi is vast. It
encompasses the buildings of the École Normale Technique, École Normale Primaire, a secondary
school, a health centre, a nutritional centre, a hospital, the buildings of the Catholic Parish of
Shyorongi, a tailoring workshop and the residences of the Penitent Sisters, known also as the Sisters of
St. Francis of Assisi.

Shyorongi was also home to a large number of soldiers. A military camp was located about two
kilometres from the buildings mentioned above. The interahamwe of the area worked closely with
soldiers in carrying out the genocide in Shyorongi which began on 9 April. Massacres took place in
several sectors of the commune, including the Pentecostal Church of Rwintare in the sector of Rusiga,
in a region called Kiziba which straddles the sectors of Rusiza and Shyorongi, in an area called Kana
which is close to the sectors of Nzove and Kanyinya and in the home of a Tutsi man, Alphonse
Ndibyariye, where many people sought shelter. He lived near the residence of the nuns. The massacres
and killings in Shyorongi were directed by Major Pierre Habimana, known as "Bishyushya", based at
the nearby military camp.

In late April 1995, African Rights visited Shyorongi on several occasions and interviewed a wide
range of survivors who had spent most, if not all, the period of the genocide in one of the buildings at
the Shyorongi complex. The eyewitnesses who accuse the four nuns at Shyorongi of complicity in the
genocide include Annonciata Mukabaranga who used to work for the Banque Populaire of Shyorongi,
Jacqueline Umugiraneza, a student in Shyorongi, Jean Pierre Rusanganwa, a communal policeman in
Shyorongi, Caritas Muteteri, a teacher at the Primary School of Shyorongi, and amongst others,
Catherine Kayiraba and Gloriose Mukankubito, residents of Shyorongi.

Some of the accusations concern all four nuns; others are specific to particular individuals. Below
we present the details from the testimonies of the survivors mentioned above.

The nuns are accused of trying to discourage refugees from taking shelter in their buildings. To
keep them away, they asked soldiers to guard the premises. They left for Kabgayi in Gitarama on 13
April. They left with two Yugoslav priests, Father Marc and Father Miko. Before leaving, Father Marc
hid a young man, Emmanuel Mulisa, in the ceiling of his house. Mulisa was in his sixth year at the
Small Seminary in Ndera and had come home for the holidays. Father Marc left him food and drinks.
No one knew that the young man was there.

The four nuns who have been accused of various crimes returned from Kabgayi in May. They found
a few refugees in their buildings who had been hidden by soldiers who wanted to save them. The
refugees were:

• Jacqueline Umugiraneza;
• Chantal Uwanyiligira;
• Marie Paul Kayiranga, Chantal's younger sister;
• Pascasie Kampororo;
• Angella Mukamagera.

After their return, the Sisters made inquiries among the soldiers and local interahamwe to establish
whether certain Tutsis they named had been killed. As some of the nuns came from Shyorongi, their
familiarity with the area made it easier for them to identify their victims. Through their local contacts,
Sister Bénédicte and Sister Josephine discovered that Pascasie and Angella were in their building. The
girls tried to flee. The two nuns cried out and called the military. The soldiers forced the two girls to
leave the building. Pacasie was eventually killed. But Angella managed to escape and lives in Kigali.

In May, Sister Josephine and Sister Bernadette also chased away the children of Rucakatsi, who is
currently in charge of the cellule of Kagari in the sector of Shyorongi. During this same period, Sister
Bénédicte kicked Chantal out of the health centre during the night. Chantal was raped before she was

Towards the end of the genocide, the same nuns betrayed the young man whom Father Marc had
left in the ceiling. They apparently discovered his whereabouts from the watchman. The killers obliged
Emmanuel Mulisa to come down from the ceiling. He is reported to have been killed in a brutal fashion
before he was buried near the avocado trees planted in the Parish of Shyorongi.

According to Caritas Muteteri:

During the first week of the genocide, Sister Bernadette sent a soldier named Cyrile, a first sergeant, to
search the home of Kaneza, a Tutsi who had been the bourgmestre of Shyorongi from 1988-91. She had
told them that there were guns and grenades and that Inkotanyi were hiding there. But he did not find
anything. She pointed out other Tutsi houses to soldiers which were also searched.

Annonciata Mukabaranga levelled very precise charges against Sister Bernadette.

In the first week of the killings, Sister Bernadette sent two young boys out of the health centre. They are
Benjamin Kenebo and Boniface Sogokuru, the sons of Michel Munigantama, a teacher at the Primary
School of Shyorongi. She advised the interahamwe to finish the boys quickly with a small hoe. By
miraculous chance, the little boys escaped and are now living in Shyorongi.91

The survivors who provided this information, whose names have been noted above, lived in the
Shyorongi establishment under the protection of an officer of FAR, Major Mathias Murengerantwa,
who is currently in the army. They all paid warm tribute to his kindness and his efforts to save them.

Sister Elizabeth of Nyamasheke

At least five thousand people, and possibly many more, were killed at the Parish of Nyamasheke,
commune Kagano in Cyangugu between 15 and 17 April. As the killings and burning of homes started,
refugees, including a number of priests and students of seminaries, poured into the parish from Kagano
and other communes in the region. The priest in charge of the parish, Father Ubald Rugirangoga, did
his best to assist and protect the refugees. Elsewhere in Cyangugu, and Rwanda, many nuns helped
local priests prepare food for the refugees, provided them with water and found hiding places for the
men who were the most sought after. But neither clergymen nor laymen who survived the siege at
Nyamasheke can recall a single kind gesture that was extended by the nuns who lived nearby, the
Sisters of the Order of St. François. They did not welcome refugees and are accused of betraying some
of them to the militia. In particular, Elizabeth, the Sister Superior, who was known for her extremist
views prior to the genocide, has been accused of handing over refugees and forcing others to leave their

Nuns and priests in Rwanda are extremely circumspect in their criticism of their brethren, even in
the face of genocide. But Father Sébastien Gasana was prepared to talk about the conduct of Sister
Elizabeth. Father Sébastien fled the Parish of Nyamasheke on 14 April in anticipation of a major
massacre that duly occurred on the 15th. He took refuge with the Sisters of the Order of St. François.
But he did not feel welcomed by the Sisters.

I am a witness to the fact that a young man called Jean Muligande from Kagano came to hide in Mataba.
One of the nuns cried out and went to call the interahamwe. The interahamwe came and killed him. What
I can confirm is that the nuns at the convent did not hide anyone. I left after that for fear of being
exposed. It was clear that the nuns and I did not speak the same language. One nun, Elisabeth, told me to
leave since some people knew I was there.92

There are a number of other nuns in Rwanda whose conduct during the genocide merits scrutiny.
African Rights has not had an opportunity to undertake its own research concerning the accusations
against these nuns.

91 Interviewed at Shyorongi, Greater Kigali, 26 April 1995.

92 Interviewed in Cyangugu, 18 February 1995.


More than any other profession, academics, teachers, school inspectors and the directors of schools,
including primary schools, participated actively in the genocide. Throughout Rwanda, they helped to
organize the killing squads and took a lead role in the hunt for victims and in carrying out the
massacres. In some cases, teachers murdered children who attended their own schools, or even learned
in their own classes. Many academics and teachers are also directly responsible for the death of their
colleagues. In Butare, Cyangugu and other regions, university professors and teachers manned
roadblocks, checked ID cards and handed those identified as Tutsi to the militia. Some of these teachers
and academics wore military uniform throughout the genocide; many of them were armed with guns
and traditional weapons.

A large number of lecturers at the National University in Butare participated in the genocide,
betraying friends and colleagues. They also identified to the killers some of their Hutu colleagues who
were considered too moderate. A substantial number of doctors at the University Hospital who also
taught at the university were amongst the killers (see below). A number of these academics, teachers,
school directors and school inspectors were women.

Angéline Mukandutiye

"Don't fire in the air. Fire directly at your target."

A blackboard in the home of Angéline Mukandutiye, a director of primary schools in the commune of
Nyarugenge, Kigali and the head of the interahamwe militia in the sector of Rugenge. The blackboard
provided details of her killer squads' areas of responsibility.93

One of the best known killers in Rwanda is Angéline Mukandutiye, forty-four, the mother of four
children and an inspector of primary schools in the commune of Nyarugenge. In addition to her cruelty
and her close relations with many of the most prominent killers in Kigali, her notoriety comes from the
fact that she is a Tutsi. She is the best known of the small group of Tutsis who played an active role in
the genocide. She lived in the cellule of Bwahirimba, sector Rugenge in commune Nyarugenge.

Angéline is originally from the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi. Her husband, an employee of the
parastatal, Electrogaz, is related to the family of President Habyarimana's wife, Agathe Kanziga. Before
the introduction of multipartyism in 1990, she was greatly appreciated both as an educator and as a
friend and neighbour. She was looked upon as a devoted teacher who had a special gift with children
and who had a strong interest in promoting cultural activities for the benefit of children, especially in
the field of dancing.

But after 1990, Angéline became an MRND fanatic, a party she had, according to her, joined when
she was twenty-two. She became the president of the interahamwe in the sector of Rugenge.

During the genocide, Angéline became the terror of refugees in the Nyarugenge area. Her home
became the headquarters for the interahamwe, many of whom stayed there. Meetings were organized at
her home to prepare lists of Tutsis to be eliminated, and to plan strategies for finding Tutsis who were
known to have escaped. Arms and ammunitions were kept at her house. She worked closely with the
councillor of Rugenge, Odette Nyirabagenzi, and the priest in charge of St. Famille church, Father

93 Quoted in Rwanda 1994: A Report of the Genocide, p.14, published by Physicians for Human Rights (UK) in
December 1994.

Wenceslas Munyeshyaka. She was a leading member of the team of killers who came to abduct Tutsi
men and boys from places of refuge in Nyarugenge, such as the churches of St. Famille and St. Paul's,
and who were subsequenly executed nearby.

The massacres in which Angéline was directly involved in selecting the victims include:

• The assassination on 15 April of a hundred and twenty refugees at St. Famille;

• The murder of seven young people at the church of St. Paul's on 24 April;

• The death on 24 April of seventeen young men at the building of the J.O.C. (Jeunesse Ouvrière

• The murder of forty-four young men at the church of St. Paul's on 14 June;

• The massacre of about a hundred Tutsi men at St. Famille church on 17 June 1994;

• The death of eight young Tutsi men at the church St Famille on 18 June 1994.

Servelien Mudenge was in his fifth year of secondary school at the Lycée Notre Dame de Citeau in
Kigali. He lived in the cellule of Bwahirimba. He spoke about the conduct of Angéline during the

I knew Angéline and Odette well before the genocide. There were not many interahamwe in our area of
Rugenge, except towards the valley of the district, an area called "Groupement."

I lived very near Angéline's house. She was a mother who was well-liked. She used to like to make
small children dance. I even think she had a ballet composed for these child dancers. With the beginning
of the war of October 1990, Angéline began to show her cruelty, getting people who were described as
'accomplices' detained, such as Mme Innocent Gumiriza, an employee of Rwandatel [the government's
telecommunications company], who was later killed during the genocide.

With the death of Habyarimana, interahamwe came from all the corners of Nyarugenge to reinforce
those of our district. All these militia made their way to the
home of Angéline. This was right at the beginning of the genocide, the 7th of April, when the
Presidential Guard were in action. The militia were receiving instructions at the home of Angéline. When
we saw that this house in our neighbourhood had been transformed into the headquarters of assassins
where they received instructions and ammunition, we decided to flee our district and take refuge at St.

Angéline continued to torment her neighbours at St. Paul's.

I saw Angéline at least three times demanding the removal of people to be killed. She came with Odette
Nyirabagenzi, who used to come every day to St. Paul's. One day when they came together, they
threatened to kill Father Célestin if he did not allow them to remove Inkotanyi from St. Paul's.

Angéline knew my older twin brothers very well. She came on 15 June, to say that she would give a
holiday if Father Célestin would give her the twin captains of the RPF. This was a reference to my
brothers, Dominique and Anselme. As for Odette, she was dancing that day in front of Father Célestin,
telling him that it was useless to hide 'cockroaches,' and that even André Kameya had been discovered.
And in fact, Kameya had been discovered the day before, on the 14th, in the buildings of Kinyamateka.94
After the abduction, on 14 June, of several young men, the genocidal criminals left, telling us that they
would come back to burn us alive.

94Kinyamateka is the newspaper of the Catholic church in Rwanda. Its offices in Kigali are located near the
churches of St. Famille and St. Paul's.

It was in this climate of despair that on the night of 16 June, the rescue operation of the RPF freed
us. When some of the refugees heard the gunfire of the Inkotanyi on 16 June, they thought it was the
criminals who had come back to burn us as they had promised. The RPF soldiers had a hard time
convincing them that they had come to free them.95

Further evidence against Angéline comes from Thérèse Mukamusenyi, who is currently working at
the offices of J.O.C. [Jeunes Ouvriers Catholiques]. Before the genocide, she worked for a petrol
company, la Société Générale de Pétrole in Kigali. Thérèse lived in the cellule of Kabasengerezi in
Rugenge. According to Thérèse, she had been a close friend of Angéline's since 1978.

Before [the era of] multipartism, Angéline was a good person, very sympathetic. I noticed her kindness
especially during cultural events by pupils. She loved to dance with the pupils. One could see that she
really got on with the pupils, that she was a good educator.

We were very sociable, visiting each other often. The genocide began when she had promised to
find my son, Eric, a place in a school very near our house for his teacher training. My son was in his final
year of secondary school. She used to like my little girl of two years very much.

During the genocide of April, I was in the monastery of Bizeramariya near the church of St. Famille.
I had arrived there some days after the assassination of Habyarimana. Some hours after the looting of this
convent, we went to St. Famille where Father Wenceslas used to threaten us a lot by telling us that we
were paying for the RPF. That was on 17 June 1994. Armed with a pistol, and sometimes with a G3 gun
and wearing a bullet-proof vest, Wenceslas refused certain Tutsis access to the interior of St. Famille. He
had given an order to a watchman not to let in any more Tutsis, under pretext that the place was
saturated. But as this watchman could be corrupted, it was sufficient to give him a thousand francs to let
you enter.

I stayed inside the church with my little girl. I did not leave the tabernacle and the altar. I left the
altar of St. Famille on 17 June, when there was an unprecedented invasion of the church. It was the day
after the evacuation of refugees from St. Paul's church by the RPF. I recall very well that Munyeshyaka
had said that morning that we should expect reprisals from Hutu militia since the RPF, he said, had just
assassinated all the Hutus at St. Paul's. He said that knowing that we were surrounded by Hutus who had
fled the zone of combat in Gisozi and which outnumbered us by far.

It was towards 10:00 a.m. when the interahamwe arrived on 17 June. They entered the church. At
the head [of the interahamwe] was Angéline Mukandutiye, Col. Munyakazi, soldiers and militia, all
mixed up. But before entering the interior of the church, the killers spent a few minutes with the fearsome
Wenceslas, no doubt for the blessing of their ignoble acts.

So then he [Wenceslas] came into the church with a pistol in his hand and two soldiers he was
escorting. Angéline Mukandutiye stared furiously at the desperate refugees. She climbed onto the
tabernacle and saw me. She looked at me and to everyone's surprise, greeted me. She asked me where the
other members of my family were. I told her that I did not know as we had taken refuge in different
places. She asked me to point out the young Tutsis amongst us who spent the whole night firing upon
them in the neighbourhoods. Without any fear, I told her that in the church, there were no young armed
people who were firing upon them during the night. I asked her how someone who had just spent more
than a week without food could afford the luxury of spending the whole night firing upon people. She
stared at me and she went towards the other people who were unfortunate like me. That day, I saw her
search the trousers of the victims. She took the young men she wanted. That day, a lot of young men and
two girls were killed. The bodies of the victims lay for two days in the courtyard of the St. Famille
church. After that, Father Wenceslas obliged the Tutsis who remained to transport the bodies of the
victims and to hide them from journalists and UNAMIR soldiers who were due to come and evacuate
[the refugees]. I left St. Famille after the fall of Kigali.96

Gorette Rubanguru, a librarian who hid in the church of St. Famille, told Lindsey Hilsum of The

95 Interviewed in Kigali, 4 July 1995.

96 Interviewed in Kigali, 6 July 1995.

I saw Angéline come to St. Paul's with Odette. They said the militia should kill the Tutsis, eliminate
them. They had a list and they called out the names of those who were to die.

Alphonse [not his real name], a Tutsi who said he had avoided politics, fled his house in Rugenge
on 7 April, taking refuge in a convent. He eventually went back to his house because of the lack of
food. On the 10th, he discovered that the interahamwe were in his neighbourhood. As he knew Odette
and had no history of conflict with her, he asked Odette for refuge and she agreed to hide him in her
house. In late June, he was interviewed in Kigali by Lindsey Hilsum. He described the close relations
between Angéline and Odette.

The interahamwe lived in the house of Angéline Mukandutiye. They spent the night there. In the morning
they came to Odette to get their orders for the day. Then they went out into the quartier. I saw it. They
were active eighteen hours a day. I heard them but could not see them. [He was hiding in a backroom].
The orders were given by Angéline. Then they would leave for the operations. I had the impression that
they were going to earn some money. [Most of the killers exacted money from the would-be victims in
exchange for promises of protection.]

Until the month of May, people believed they [the MRND] would win. So we didn't have a problem.
All interahamwe killed people; but they had two or three people whom they protected. The interahamwe
also evacuated them. Odette gave them beer. The interahamwe were wild.

What did Odette look like?

She was tall, weighed about 88 pounds and wore a traditional wax print dress. In the first few days she
was happy. But then she became aggressive. [In mid-May,] soldiers came and told her the truth, that they
were going to lose the war. Then she became aggressive. Her children were evacuated to Gisenyi at the
end of April. Her husband had died three months earlier. Odette gave me advice - she said 'Maman
Aline97 must never know you are here.' Some of the interahamwe knew I was there. I promised I would
give them money when the war ended. These women were dangerous. Odette said if they [Angéline and
Maman Aline] knew I was there, it would be death for me. There were people killed in the quartier every
day. On May 13th, they found pictures of the Inkotanyi at my house. The boy who found them came and
asked for money. He told Odette. She was very angry and said she could do nothing for me. So I asked
her to evacuate me to the Mille Collines Hotel. She had a driver. I went with a police escort. It was in the
morning at 7:00 a.m. If the interahamwe had known I was leaving the neighbourhood, it would have been
very bad for me. Their operations were from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In a report published in December 1994, Rwandese human rights organisations detailed the identity
of people who are accused of having played a role in the genocide in the city of Kigali. They made the
following comments about Angéline:

Her home became the headquarters of the interahamwe. That is where the trained interahamwe lived who
constituted the escort of the president. Regular meetings were held at her home, the purpose of which
was above all to make up lists of the [T]utsis who remained, to specify their places of refuge and to
organise the attacks to eliminate them. Before attacking, all the assassins used to pass by this
headquarters to get a supply of weapons and ammunition. These operations used to take place in view of
and to the knowledge of everyone from 7/4/94 at 13:00.

Mme Angéline is one of the sponsors of abductions followed by assassinations of about a hundred
Tutsis at the church of St. Famille and at the convent of the Sisters of Calcutta on 16/4/94, of 35 young
people at CELA on 22/4/94, of 7 young people at the National Pastoral Centre of Saint Paul on 24/4/94,
of 17 young Tutsis at J.O.C. on 24/4/94, of 44 young people at the National Pastoral Centre on
14/6/1994, of Mr. André Kameya in the offices of Journal KINYAMATEKA on 15/6/1994 and of 8
young Tutsis at the church of Saint Famille on 18/6/94. She is also responsible for the massacre of about
a hundred Tutsis at the church of Saint Famille on 17/6/1994.

97 See chapter I for details about Maman Aline's role in the killings in Kigali.

Even though she is the offspring of a Tutsi man and a Hutu woman, Mme Angéline Mukandutiye is
a special case. She used to make it clear that she was defending the cause of her party, MRND, in
eliminating all the Tutsis whom she qualified as partisans of the RPF-Inkotanyi.98

Like thousands of Rwandese who left the country in July 1994, Angéline is currently a refugee in
Zaire, living with her husband and five children in a small make-shift hut in Katale refugee camp, north
of Goma. But despite her murderous record, she was able to get a job with the Dutch branch of the
medical humanitarian agency, Médecins Sans Frontières where she was employed until late June when
her background was revealed to MSF-Holland by a journalist. Like many of the killers living in Zaire
and Tanzania, Angéline could be hired by an international humanitarian organisation with an office in
Kigali because of the conspiracy of silence about the genocide and the lack of careful screening
procedures by aid organisations in hiring staff in the camps. The irony is that MSF-Holland hired her to
work in their mental health programme in the camp, looking after people who have been traumatised by
their experiences in Rwanda.

When Lindsey Hilsum interviewed Angéline in Katale, she said she welcomed the opportunity to
"clear" her name. Nevertheless, for a woman confident about her innocence, she refused to have her
photograph taken.

People in Kigali say you were involved in the killing. Is it true?

I'm glad you asked me that. I want the chance to answer. It's not true. I was in the MRND - it was my
right to choose a party. They [people from other parties] wanted to attack me all the time. I was pursued
because I was in that party.

What did you do in April?

I stayed in my house all the time. They say I killed Tutsis. But I'm a Tutsi. Many of my family were
killed. My brother - the only boy in the family - and all his family [were killed]. It's a question of politics.
They say these things because I was from the President's region and because I was MRND.

They say you worked with Maman Aline and Father Wenceslas.

Mama Aline - she wasn't there in the sector. Wenceslas - I couldn't go to mass because my family had
been massacred.

But people saw you at St. Famille.

How many people saw me at St. Famille? I heard on the radio that a teacher and an old man who lived
near me said they saw me. I wonder how they can say such things. It was all political... Odette wanted to
be a councillor. There was a group of men in the MDR who didn't want her. But I thought a woman was
capable. Once when I was in my house I heard radio Muhabura [RPF radio] saying Mme Angéline is at
the préfecture. All this was said during the war by people who were my political enemies. During the war
I never saw the préfet [of Kigali].

Did you see Odette?

I saw Odette. I had a telephone and she came to my house. [These people who say they saw me] - if they
were hidden how did they see what went on in my house? They say they were hidden. So the
interahamwe were negligent, then. Why weren't they killed? [The implication here was not necessarily
that the interahamwe should have killed them but that the witnesses must have been lying]. I knew the
population. The interahamwe of the MRND were suffering because of losing their President.
Habyarimana was our father. The father was killed and the children reacted.

98Rapport De l'Enquete Sur Les Violations Massives Des Droits De L'Homme Commises Au Rwanda A Partir
Du 06 Avril 1994, Premiere Phase, pps. 188-189.

So you understood why the interahamwe killed Tutsis?

It was a brutal reaction against enemies which had entered the family. There were many assassinations
caused by the RPF.

How did you react?

I couldn't react. I had lost family members. It's political. Find me one person in the MRND who told you
that [I killed]. They're all PL, PSD and MDR.

Are you willing to face an International Tribunal?

I hope it does not delay. I am available.

Would you face trial in Rwanda?

I don't agree with being tried in the country. Why did I come here? I would like to return to my country
but I can't be forced back. We left our house and cars and people have taken these things. But I'm not
scared. My conscience is clear. They had better look after our things. I have heard that they started to
knock down our house.

Bernadette Nyirabukeye

Bernadette Nyirabukeye was a teacher at Nyakanyinya Primary School in commune Cyimbogo,

Cyangugu. She is accused of having played a major role in organising the killings in the sector of
Nyakanyinya. In particular, she is said to have had lists of the refugees compiled, especially of the
teachers who had fled to Nyakanyinya. She apparently sent people to give her reports about the
situation of the refugees and to note down their names.

Long before the genocide, she is said to have threatened Tutsi teachers and Hutu teachers opposed
to the Habyarimana regime. She is directly implicated in the death of Tacianne Mukamusoni, the head
of Nyakanyinya Groupe Scolaire whom she later replaced.

Bernadette lived close to the Nyakanyinya Primary School, the scene of a large-scale massacre on
13 April. According to a number of residents of Nyakanyinya and people who had escaped to
Nyakanyinya, Bernadette came to the school to witness the murder of the refugees. Marie Claire
Mukankuranga and Adèla, the sister of Tacianne Mukamusoni, have testified to her presence at the
school. As both Marie Claire and Adèla had children with Hutu men, they were spared and were able to
walk around. Other eyewitnesses to her activities during the genocide include Marie Nyinawumwami,
at the time a teacher in Nyakanyinya; Athanasie Mukamazimpaka, a teacher in the cellule of Ruhimbi;
Pacifique Kabalisa, a university student in Butare who had come to visit his family for the Easter
holidays and Faïna Mukantagara, previously a teacher at Nyakanyinya and currently a teacher in Kigali.

One of the teachers that Bernadette wanted killed was Tacianne. After schools were re-opened in
Nyakanyinya in May, it is reported that Bernadette, in front of the pupils and other teachers, dramatised
the events of Tacianne's death, showing how Tacianne begged pardon from the militiamen who killed
her, after they had apparently undressed her completely and forced her to go round the playground. At
the same time, Bernadette apparently said that she did not know how to thank the Presidential Guard
who had begun "the good act of eliminating the enemies, [i.e. the Tutsis] from the country."

The bodies of the victims of the 13 April massacre had been dumped in graves and pit latrines near
the school. From the beginning of June, worried about international condemnation of the massacres,
Bernadette is reported to have invited the councillor of Nyakanyinya sector to discuss ways of
concealing the graves.

Bernadette worked closely with a group of teachers. They include Zacharie Nsanzurwimo, a teacher
at Nyakanyinya and president of MRND in his sector of origin, Gihundwe, as well as Jean Damascène

Karerangabo, a teacher at Nyakanyinya who is also from Gihundwe and a prominent interahamwe. He
has been arrested and is in prison in Cyangugu. Another teacher who supported her was Candide
Kamuyumbo, a teacher at Nyakanyinya who lived in Winteko.

Finally, Bernadette, who had many debts weighing upon her, is said to have seen the genocide as an
opportunity to kill the evidence of her indebtedness. Pacifique Kabalisa explained why the genocide
was "good" for her.

Bernadette had acquired a lot of debt, notably at the Banque Populaire in Cyimbogo and in the small
mutual aid associations of teachers of Nyakanyinya. She owed the latter an enormous sum of money. One
could say that the genocide helped her a lot because she was just about to be taken to court on account of
these debts. She is now no longer in debt as some of the teachers from her association have been killed,
some have fled and others are scattered around the country. All the documents have been looted and
there are no papers left to incriminate her.

Bernadette Nyirabukeye is currently living and teaching in the commune of Cyimbogo in

Cyangugu, where she is the director of a school in Nyamagana.


Despite their specially protected status under the law, during the genocide hospitals, health centres and
maternity clinics were turned into slaughterhouses and death factories. Doctors, nurses, medical
assistants, Red Cross workers and hospital staff were murdered. Civilians who were looking after
wounded relatives and refugees who fled to hospitals in search of sanctuary were killed in huge
numbers. Wounded Tutsi women and girls were taken out of their hospital beds to be raped and
abducted. Some were subsequently executed. Pregnant women, mothers who had just given birth, new-
born babies and thousands of refugees were macheted and blown apart by grenades inside maternity

Tutsi medical staff were among the primary targets of the genocide on account of their education
and status. A number of Hutus in the political opposition were also doctors and medical assistants.
Their education and status in the community made them potential leaders; therefore they had to be
eliminated. At the same time, a substantial number of doctors, nurses and medical assistants, women as
well as men, took an extremely active role in the killings, both inside their own hospitals and in their
neighbourhoods. They identified their Tutsi colleagues and the refugees' hiding places to the militia and
soldiers. Some of them handed over wounded Tutsi patients to the killers. Others refused to treat
wounded Tutsis. Some of them wore military uniform and carried guns and grenades, stalking their
towns and villages, looking for victims.

Elianne Mukahirwa

Kibuye Hospital, located in commune Gitesi in the town of Kibuye, experienced several large-scale
attacks. In common with a number of other hospitals and health centres in Rwanda, some of the staff of
Kibuye Hospital themselves turned into killers. Kibuye Hospital also has the sad distinction that known
prostitutes of the town were mobilized to kill Tutsi children who were hiding in the hospital.

A wide range of survivors and witnesses have accused Elianne Mukahirwa, a nurse, of killing
Tutsis children who had taken refuge at Kibuye Hospital. Caritas Kabagwiza has accused this nurse of
murdering four of her five children at the hospital. Caritas, a secretary in Kigali, lived in sector
Nyarugunga in commune Kanombe with her husband, Jean Berchmans Rwakabayiza, a customs agent,
and their children. Unsettled by the rising political tension in Kigali in early 1994, Caritas and the
children decided to stay with her parents who lived in Bwishyura, commune Gitesi.

When the killings started in April, Caritas left four of her children in the care of a male Hutu nurse
who was a family friend, and then herself took refuge at the nearby Gatwaro Stadium. Elianne is said to
have taken advantage of a momentary absence of this male nurse to lead the militia to the room where
he had hidden the children.

I took advantage of the night to leave the stadium for the hospital. A Hutu nurse, Jean Rwibasira, who
was a great friend of my family, worked at the hospital. I wanted to leave some of my children in his
care. He accepted to take care of them. I left a girl and two boys. I spent two days at the hospital. There
too, there were many refugees, particularly people who were badly wounded. There was little medical
care to give them. Many of the nurses did not want to care for them. Instead, they threw unkind words at
them. The refugees who were not sick were always being told to leave the hospital and go to the stadium.
I could not hold out against this pressure which came daily. So I joined the others at the stadium.

Caritas went to the stadium with one of the children, eleven-year-old Angélique Mugolewindekwe,
who was in fourth year of primary school. A huge number of the refugees at the stadium were
massacred on 18 April. Caritas survived but Angélique died. Another daughter, Yvette, was also in
stadium, together with her aunt, and survived. The carnage heightened Caritas' fears for her children at
the hospital. She started walking towards the hospital.

Before I could even get to the hospital, I fell into the ambush of a group of interahamwe who were
patrolling the area near the hospital. Amongst them was a young man called Muyekure who I had worked
with at the Méridien Hotel in Kigali. When I saw him there at the barrier, together with the militia, I had
the desire to provoke him so that he would kill me quickly. I said to him, in a loud voice, 'Bonaventure,
you too, you have become an interahamwe.' He looked at me with a very cruel eye. His comrades asked
him if he knew me. He told them that we had worked together at the hotel. They asked him if I was an
'accomplice' of the Inyenzi. The guy told them that I was 'Good, and welcoming.' His comrades were not
used to seeing me in the area since I had lived in Kigali for a long time. They told him to figure out how I
could be saved.

He took me to a room in the hospital which served as a stockroom for all the things they had looted.
I stayed there the whole night. He brought me something to eat. I asked him to go and see if my children
were still with the nurse whose name I have already told you. When he came back, he told me that most
of my children had been handed over to the interahamwe by a nurse at the hospital by the name of
Elianne Mukahirwa. Only one girl remained, Yvette, who was in class six of primary school. [He told
me] she had been abducted by whores to become a cook for them [see below]. This accursed nurse had
apparently taken advantage of the absence of Jean to deliver my children. I asked him to do everything he
could to bring Yvette back to me in the stockroom. He did so, using another militiaman named Hassan, as
an intermediary.

Five days later, Caritas asked the same militia to help her and her remaining daughter escape to Ijwi
Island which they did, after she promised to pay them.99

African Rights has also interviewed the surviving child, thirteen-year-old Yvette Umuhoza. In a
separate interview, Yvette provided additional details about Elianne's activities in the hospital.

After the militia had left [the stadium], the survivors tried to jump out in order to go and hide somewhere.
My mother, my aunt and I were still alive and we were able to jump. My mother had been able to hide
some of the children with a nurse, a friend of mother's who worked at the hospital. We left the stadium to
hide near Lake Kivu. But we were arrested by a group of interahamwe. We dispersed. I went in the
direction of the hospital. My aunt was killed on the spot.

Yvette took refuge at Kibuye Hospital where her sisters and brothers had already been hidden by
their mother's friend. On the 19th, the day after the massacre at the stadium, militia attacked the
hospital. They did not find Yvette and her siblings.

Towards the end of the morning, a woman nurse came to the room where we were. She opened the door
and said to the militia 'Voilà, there are the Inkotanyi.' The interahamwe made us come out of the hospital.
They killed my little brothers first. I was carrying the youngest [child] on my back. The militia killed her.
When my turn arrived, two prostitutes who were there helping them and undressing the dead, asked the
militia if they could have me as their maid. The interahamwe accepted. I left with the prostitutes. One of
them was called Vestine. At her home, I never rested. From morning to night, I was working — cooking,
washing, cleaning, work of all sorts.

After three days, a man came and told me that he wanted to take me to the place where my mother
was. I refused to go with him. The next day, he came back with a cloth that belonged to my mother and
begged me to go with him. But I refused because I knew the militia stole the clothes of the people they
killed. Finally, he forced me to go. He took me to Lake Kivu where I saw a boat transporting a woman
who I quickly recognized as my mother. It was very early in the morning. We arrived at Ijwi Island. We
passed some time there. The hunger and the poverty — we were really unhappy.100

Xavèra Mukasharangabo, twenty-one, used to work at the Home St. Jean, part of the complex of the
Parish of Kibuye in commune Gitesi. She survived a massacre on 17 April at the Home St. Jean. She
returned to the Home as she did not know where else to go to escape the killers. But after two weeks,
she and her companions discovered that the authorities knew they were hiding there. Convinced that
they would be killed, they sought help; Xavèra and the rest of the group were evacuated in a Red Cross
vehicle to Kibuye Hospital, hoping to find in a hospital the safety that had eluded them in a church. But
the behaviour of some of the nurses ensured that they found neither shelter nor kindness at Kibuye

There were some nurses at the hospital who threatened us, saying 'There, the girls we thought had been
killed, there they still are.' Among these nurses was Elianne Mukahirwa who comes from the commune
of Gitesi. She killed children. She put a mark on Tutsi children in the hospital by shaving them. She also
killed the children by pointing them out to the militia. One day, I hid in the pharmacy. This woman came
in and said to Alphonse, a colleague of hers who was a pharmacist, that she had 'worked' the Tutsis and
that if, at that moment, she could be shown some Tutsis, she would go and kill them. There are many
other survivors who can testify to what this woman did. This woman is still working at the hospital

Bernadette Muroruhirwe, twenty-nine, was a teacher in Gatwaro. She lived in Kiniha, sector
Bwihyura in Gitesi. Her four children were all killed during the genocide. Two of the children died in
the massacre at Gatwaro Stadium and one child at the church in Kibuye. The remaining child was
abandoned along the way. While hiding in the bushes near the hospital, she met her niece who had

99 Interviewed in Kigali, 18 March 1995.

100 Interviewed in Kigali, 21 March 1995.
101 Interviewed in Gitesti, Kibuye, 12 March 1995.

escaped the hospital. Bernadette met another survivor who suggested that they seek assistance at the
hospital. They set out for the hospital at night. But they were discouraged by the screams of refugees in
the hospital who cried out for help as they were being murdered. Bernadette and a few companions
decided to remain in the bush, near the hospital. The group decided to hide separately.

No one knew where their neighbour was hiding. One night, by accident, I came across a young girl of
eleven called Yvette Umutoni. I am her maternal aunt. She told me that she had just escaped the killings
at the hospital. She added that all the refugees at the hospital had been killed. She talked about a nurse by
the name of Elianne Mukahirwa from Kigesi in the sector of Gitarama, commune Gitesi. She said she
came from a region there called Gomba, above the primary school of Nemba. This woman was married
in that area to a man called Ngabonziza who used to work in agriculture. Yvette told me that it was this
nurse who made lists of children to be killed, including the children of Silas Niyongira, who had himself
just been killed at the bottom of the hospital, along with his wife. His children and his mother had taken
refuge at the hospital. It was this Mukahirwa who led a group of militia to the rooms occupied by the
family of Silas who were then killed. Yvette also told me that the baby she was carrying on her back, her
younger sister by the name of Lilianne Uwase, had fallen into the hands of this nurse and a group of
interahamwe. They had killed the child with a masu.102

Théoneste Musabyimana, an eighteen-year-old peasant from the commune of Gitesi fled to one of
the steepest hills in Rwanda, Karongi. But the killers pursued the refugees on the hilltops. He took
refuge in his sister's home, hoping that her Hutu husband could provide him with a measure of
protection. His brother-in-law was already a marked man in the eyes of the militia, angry that he had
committed the "crime" of marrying a Tutsi. He tried everything to help Théoneste. In desperation,
Théoneste's brother-in-law visited Kibuye Hospital, to see if the hospital might provide a refuge for
Théoneste. Théoneste recalled his memories of the hospital.

He went many times to the hospital because he had the impression that the sick would not be touched by
the genocide. He also thought that the Red Cross would be in a position to welcome and protect
survivors. But when he came back from the hospital, he told me that things were not good there either.
He said that workers at the hospital were divided. He said that some of the Hutu staff had killed their
colleagues. He also told me that there was a woman there called Elianne who was horrible. She had the
young children who had taken refuge there killed. Her cruelty was such that my brother-in-law spoke of
it often.103

Mamerita Uwamariya, a thirty-year-old teacher at Gatwaro Primary School delivered a baby girl at
Kibuye Hospital on 10 April 1994. Herself Hutu, her husband, Léonard, was Tutsi. He stayed with her
at the hospital. Her anguish for her husband's fate increased as she watched Tutsi patients, nurses and
refugees slaughtered inside the hospital compound. Both husband and wife knew that his death was a
matter of days. Crying as she recalled her last moments with her husband, Mamerita commented on the
use of prostitutes to hunt and kill Tutsis at Kibuye Hospital.

He sat on the edge of my bed and we talked about our past. He told me about recent dreams he had had
with all sorts of premonitions. Then a soldier came into the room. He opened the room and asked 'Why
are you keeping the window closed?' Can't you see that the room is very stuffy?' Shortly after that, a lot
of people armed with all sorts of weapons came into the room. They took my husband away. When they
went outside, I heard a man ask 'But why have we left the mother and the kids?' In Kibuye, the killers
moved around with the prostitutes of the town. One of these women replied 'For the women and children,
we will come back in the night.'104

102 Interviewed in Kibuye, 13 March 1995.

103 Interviewed in Byimana, Gitarama, 14 March 1995.
104 Interviewed in Gitesi, Kibuye, 13 March 1995.

Nurses at the University Hospital in Butare (HUNR)

Home to the main campus of the national university and the seat of some of the oldest and best known
schools and seminaries, Butare is regarded as the intellectual centre of Rwanda. The University
Hospital (HUNR) enjoyed the prestige of being the country's principal teaching hospital. Many of the
doctors who worked at the hospital also taught at the university.

But in 1994, the University Hospital in Butare became a veritable slaughterhouse. There were a lot
of people to kill in Butare. The fact that the town had remained calm in the first two weeks of the
genocide had attracted thousands of refugees from neighbouring préfectures. As soon as the killings
started in the town of Butare on 20 April, Tutsi patients and refugees who had hidden in the hospital
were murdered inside the hospital compound. Some doctors refused to treat wounded Tutsis. The
largest massacre inside the hospital took place on 28 April. The killings, which were facilitated by the
extent to which a significant number of doctors and nurses at HUNR collaborated actively with the
killers, continued until the fall of Butare. These doctors and nurses identified their Tutsi colleagues to
the killers, provided them with lists of Tutsi patients and betrayed their hiding places. This
collaboration was made easier by the fact that there is a military camp located very near the hospital.
Some of the nurses helped to identify Tutsi colleagues and patients to these soldiers.

Disappointed at the pace of the killings, doctors, academics and other educated people in Butare
invited the prime minister of the interim government, Jean Kambanda, to Butare. The purpose of the
meeting was to pledge support for the interim government's policy of genocide. But it was also intended
to lure victims out of their hideouts by declaring the return of peace, and to call on patients to come
once again for treatment at the hospital. The doctors, nurses and academics who attended the meeting
spread the message that "peace had been re-established." People who had been hiding in the hospital
also came out. All of them were killed.

Apart from the nurses who worked at HUNR, some of the women who worked at the University
Centre for Public Health (CUSP) were also extremely active in the genocide, as were other women
doctors and nurses who worked at the Groupe Scolaire Hospital of Butare, or in private practice. A
number of these women are married to men who were doctors, staff members of CUSP or other
university departments and who themselves played important roles in the genocide. Some of the nurses
are currently in detention in Butare along with their husbands.

The female nurses at HUNR who have been identified by a substantial number of colleagues and
survivors as having actively participated in the genocide include:

• Françoise Uwamurengeye;
• Juliette Mukamunana;
• Flaurence Mukanyangezi;
• Béate Mukamusana ;
• Constance Rwaliye;
• Immaculée Nyirahirwa;
• Cécile Maniraho;
• Elisabeth Nyirashishi;
• Marie Claire Uwimpaye;
• Mukandekezi .

Oda Umubyeyi was employed at HUNR pharmacy from 1982 to 1994. She lives in the cellule of
Ngoma A, Ngoma sector in the commune of the same name. She works now as a trader in the Cyarabu
neighbourhood of Butare, close to Butare town market. Her husband was killed at Ngoma on 22 April.

After Habyarimana's death, there was a day when we did not go to work. Then on 8 April, the HUNR car
came by to take me to work. It continued like this until 16 April. That day, I was on duty at HUNR. My

husband, Damien Gashagaza, a Tutsi trader, telephoned me and said that he had been attacked but had
managed to escape with my children. They had left the house some moments before the attackers arrived.

As I knew that everyone took me for an Inkotanyi, I regarded my death as inevitable. I decided to
stay at HUNR and told my husband to arrange to bring me our little baby. I told him to hide my other
children at a Hutu woman's house called Virginie who was my friend. The following day, my husband
managed to bring me my baby. He said that the other children were at Virginie's and that he had decided
to go to the house and die there.

In the meantime, Tutsis from rural communes in Butare and from Gikongoro came in large
numbers, seeking protection and medical assistance at the hospital.

On about 20 April, things got worse. Soldiers, accompanied by university students, started the
abductions, followed by the assassination of Tutsis at the hospital. We heard shooting almost
everywhere, especially at the bottom of the maternity hospital.

Oda arranged to get a card for her child to be accepted into to the paediatric ward. She was admitted
as his helper. But as she was also a nurse and a chemist, she was required to work. Her position gave
her many opportunities to observe her fellow nurses at "work."

Whilst I was there, I saw a group of women who were for the killing of Tutsis and chased and pointed
out Tutsis to kill. They were Cécile Maniraho who lived in Tumba; Marie Claire Uwimpaye, the sister of
Dr. Jotham [Nshimyumukiza, the director of HUNR] who at that time even handed over her sister-in-law
who was working for MSF and who had fled to HUNR. She pursued and killed her outside the room at
the beginning of May as soon as she arrived.

There was also a group of extremist employees like Françoise Uwamurengeye from Cyangugu,
Constance Rwaliye and Charlotte Ryumeko, two Burundians who worked in the maternity hospital.

Since 1990, this group was notorious and always threatened the Tutsis with Berthe Nyiraruhango, a
doctor in ORL [ear, nose and throat] and her husband Anatole Gumiriza, a HUNR accountant. They were
very racist and said all the Tutsis should die.

As for Constance Rwaliye, she hunted the sick Tutsis at HUNR. She was the one who handed over
to the killers a man called Protais Nyangezi, a laboratory assistant at HUNR. She searched everywhere,
even in the tents which were in the hospital. She is presently in the Ngozi refugee camp in Burundi.

8 May was serious. Even the Tutsi nurses were progressively killed. By pure chance, a Hutu soldier
hid me in Mbazi where I stayed with a Hutu family until the RPF took power. The soldier who saved me
is called Aloys Mazimpaka from Ruhengeri.105

Jacqueline Nibonka is a second year student at École Sociale de Karubanda in Butare and lives in
commune Runyinya in Butare. Feeling insecure in Runyinya, towards the end of April Jacqueline and
other close family members sought refuge in the hospital where Jacqueline's older sister, Génévieuve
Kayitesi, worked in the maternity wing. She described the conduct of some of the nurses.

We were in Runyinya during the genocide. That's where we lived. However, my older sister Génévieuve
Kayitesi worked in the kitchen at HUNR where she still is today. She had come to Runyinya to visit us
when the death of Habyarimana took place. Seeing that the situation had become chaotic in the
neighbouring commune of Gikongoro, we decided to seek refuge in Butare, at HUNR. I was with my
older sisters, Génévieuve, Renata Uwibambe, Césalie, Mukamusonera and Devota. My two little sisters
and my parents stayed in the commune and that's where they died. Besides Génévieuve, we had other
acquaintances at HUNR. For example, the gynaecologist, Dr. Mbarutso, had married my maternal aunt
and the famous director of the university hospital during the genocide, Jotham Nshimyumukiza, was
Mbarutso's son-in-law. They were good friends of ours.

105 Interviewed in Butare, 24 July 1995.

When we got to HUNR, Kayitesi continued working and we went to the tents at the bottom of the
hospital. These tents had served as accommodation for the Burundian refugees at the time of Ndadaye's
death. [Many Burundi refugees fled to Rwanda in October 1993 after the assassination of President
Melchior Ndadaye]. But we didn't stay there long as the abductions led by soldiers and students of UNR
had already started. The director of HUNR gave us papers authorising us to be at HUNR. Together with
my sisters, we were sent back into the wards, two by two, a patient and someone looking after the sick.

I was in maternity ward No. 5. I was sick and my older sister, Césalie, was my guardian. We spent
three weeks there before receiving Hutu identity cards to enable us to leave the hospital. I was six months
pregnant. Our older sister Génévieuve had no problem at HUNR. She helped us and often moved us from
one room to another to hide from the watch of the HUNR female staff or social workers who were
terrible. These women had very close relations with the soldiers and were the ones who gave them lists of
sick Tutsis to abduct and kill. During my stay at HUNR in Butare, I heard some of these dangerous
women's comments.

• Flaurence Mukanyangezi, a social worker in the maternity hospital. She lives in Matzyaso and is
still at HUNR maternity hospital.

• Placidia Niyonsaba, a nurse in the maternity hospital and resident of Uruyange Home, opposite
Butare Groupe Scolaire Officiel. She is now in Zaire.

• Françoise Uwamurengeye, a worker in physiotherapy at HUNR who often came to the

maternity hospital.

These three girls spent almost all day in the maternity hospital busy telling each other how the genocide
was succeeding. Placidia and Uwamurengeye said to the other one, Mukanyangezi, how they were going
to help with the killing of Tutsis including Mlle Espérance, a very slim girl who was employed by PRB
(Project Rizicole de Butare) and who also lived in Uruyange Home. They said that those Tutsis fell like
trees when they were shot by their brothers, Habyarimana's soldiers.

Some of the nurses set up a bar in the university hospital surgery and sold Primus beer. They drank
with soldiers from the military camp nearby. These nurses and employees of the hospital include
Flaurence Mukanyangezi, Françoise Uwamurengeye, Mukandekezi, Marie Claire and Immaculée
Nyirahirwa. This group of girls helped hand over a lot of wounded or sick Tutsi refugees who had come
to the hospital in May.

As for Flaurence, she related in turn how the plan of eliminating the Tutsis was made in their night-
club in the surgery. She said that with the other employees like Philomène Mukandekezi, Elisabeth
Nyiranshishi (both in Zaire) they delivered their Tutsi HUNR colleagues to their deaths by pointing our
their hiding places to the soldiers. They did this in connivance with the director of the hospital. She also
said that the clothes she was wearing had been looted from the victims.

Marie Claire Uwimpaye, who was part of the group of evil workers, was the sister of the HUNR
director, Dr. Jotham Nshimyumukiza. The Tutsis employees they were talking about were Triphine,
Hawa, Vénantie and Juliette.

I heard everything that I've just told you from their mouths and I would dare to repeat it in front of
them. After having received a Hutu identity card, I left HUNR to live in Buye at the house of Dr.
Mbarutso who had married my maternal aunt.106

Devota is Jacqueline's older sister with whom she lives. Devota is currently working for Oxfam in
Nyamata, Bugesera.

My older sister, Génévieuve Kayitesi, managed to hide me in the department of surgery during the
genocide. Kayitesi had succeeded in gaining the trust of a Hutu militiaman who was employed at HUNR
called Athanase who is currently in Zaire. This militiaman knew that my little sisters were somewhere in
the cellar. But he didn't touch them.

106 Interviewed in Butare, 23 July 1995.

There were seriously wounded Tutsis in the surgery who had been brought into intensive care. It
would be good to find a way of asking, for example Béate Mukamusana, where she put these patients. At
night, this criminal woman brought in a group of soldiers and they made all the patients leave in
wheelbarrows and stretchers and finished them off at the bottom of HUNR. Béate Mukamusana helped
these soldiers in moving the patients and putting them out.

Flaurence Mukanyangezi held all the HUNR keys. She went around opening up the rooms to see if
there were any Tutsi refugees hiding in them. [As a result of] these searches, she handed over quite a lot
of Tutsis, the majority being students of UNR/CUB. She also delivered to her death a woman called
Marie from her area of Matzyaso [in Butare] who had fled to the hospital. After the assassination of this
woman, Flaurence was very proud. She said that where there weren't people from Matzyaso [that] she
represented them. This was to say that Marie had fled to HUNR thinking that she would be able to escape
death. But that this was not the case as Flaurence was there in the place of the Matzyaso killers.

I stayed there in the surgery in the room where my sister Génévieuve had locked me in until the
arrival of the RPF.107

Employees of the University Centre for Public Health (CUSP)

"Every time Tutsi families were killed, you could tell how happy these women were."

A number of female employees of the University Centre for Public Health (CUSP) are among the
educated people in Butare who worked hard to ensure a successful genocide. Those who have been
accused include:

Félicitée Musanganire;

Félicitée Musanganire is from Gitarama. She has fled abroad.

Thérèse Uwimana;

Thérèse Uwimana is from Gisenyi;

Epa Karugwiro;

Epa Karugwiro is originally from Gitarama;

Marie Rose Mukarurangwa;

Marie Rose Mukarurangwa is from commune Huye in Butare. She is living in Zaire;

Philomène Mukamuzima;

Philomène Mukamuzima is from Nshili in Gikongoro;

107 Interviewed in Butare, 23 July 1995.

Marcelline Musabyemariya;

Marcelline Musabyemariya is from Ndora commune in Butare. She has been arrested, along with
her husband who was a lecturer at the Butare campus of the National University;

Thérésie Nyiramisago ;

Thérésie Nyiramisago is from Shyanda in Butare. She is the younger sister of the president of the
interim government, Théodore Sindikubwabo. She is living in Zaire;

Annonicata Kantengwa;

Annonciata Kantengwa is from Ngoma in Butare. She is living in Zaire.

One of the employees of CUSP who has levelled detailed and precise charges against her former
colleagues is Marie Harerimana. Marie lives in commune Mbazi in Butare and has been working at
CUSP for seventeen years. Like so many Hutu women in Rwanda, her life has been devastated because
she had married a member of what the extremists called the "enemy." Her husband, Ignace Rutazigwa,
a statistician at the préfecture of Butare, and two of her three sons were killed. Interviewed by African
Rights in Butare on two occasions, she spoke at length about the role of educated women, including
nurses and health professionals, in the preparation and execution of the genocide.

After the death of Habyarimana, all work was suspended. At CUSP too, we weren't able to work for
some weeks. My family was threatened because I had married a Tutsi man called Ignace Rutazigwa. He
was killed with my two sons. I returned to my work at CUSP, where I have worked since May 1978. It
was in 1978 that I met Annonicata Kantengwa and Thérésie Nyiramisago, Sindikubwabo's sister; I met
the other CUSP employees there. This is to show you that I knew the people I am talking to you about
very well.

There are women who stand out as having participated in the preparation or execution of the
genocide, such as Philomène Mukamuzima, a nurse. This woman was part of the [Pauline]
Nyiramasuhuko group and was an intimate friend of the younger brother of Juvénal Habyarimana, Dr
Séraphin Bararengana. Philomène used to say the Tutsis weren't human and should all be killed off. In
June, Philomène told us that the Inkotanyi could not beat the FAR. She added that even if the Inkotanyi
did come to power, she wouldn't live under the same roof as them. She is now in Gikongoro. She also
collaborated with the famous Dr. Eugène Rwamucyo108 and Mme Fébronie Nsaguye, a parliamentarian
at Butare, at meetings held for preparing the genocide.

Marie spoke of her colleagues at CUSP.

There are other women like Thérèse Uwimana, Annonciata Kantengwa, Marie-Rose Mukarurangwa, who
has fled, Thérésie Nyiramisago, who has fled, and Marcelline Musabyemariya who is in detention in
Butare. All these women worked at CUSP and were always at meetings for preparing the genocide. They
used to say to me, 'Bad luck to you for going after Tutsi men'. It was a way of provoking me as I was
married to a Tutsi.

In May, Thérèse said that the 'work' hadn't finished yet as she still saw Tutsis around. This was not
true. She saw Hutus who looked like Tutsis. She added that this was her chance, as her children had
known the wickedness of the Tutsis. Her sons manned roadblocks at Nyanda and in the commune of
Huye. They had guns and grenades. Thérèse Uwimana has fled with her husband and children.

Before taking up my career again at CUSP in May 1994, I first asked Thérésie Nyiramisago if it
would be dangerous for me to go back to CUSP. Cécile Nyirasikubwabo, a Hutu like me, was killed
when she came back to work at CUSP because she did not share the ideas of the extremist group at
CUSP. A group of women who collaborated with the soldiers assassinated her when she was coming

108 Dr. Eugène Rwamucyo, who is currently living in the Côte d'Ivoire, worked at CUSP and played an extremely
active role in the killings in Butare.

home from work on the first day [of her return to work]. Mme Nyiramisago reassured me that I was in no
danger. So I started my work where I met the following medical workers:

Marie named Marie Rose Mukarurangwa, Philomène Mukamuzima, Marcelline Musabyemariya,

Thérésie Nyiramisago, Annonicata Kantengwa, Epa Karugwiro, Thérèse Uwimana and Flaurence.

When I resumed my work in May 1994, all these women were at CUSP. There were some moments of
resignation when they saw me. But we eventually learned to live together. Firstly, I knew about their
sympathies before the genocide. And in the conversations they held in May, they just related how such
and such a person had been killed. They took a census of the Tutsis at CUSP who weren't yet dead and
who should die. They often spoke about Prisca Mukagashugi [an employee in the family planning
department]. But as she was hidden by a high ranking soldier, the reports this group of women made did
not lead to the expected results. I was well aware that they were pleased with the fact that their plan of
action was over 80% successful.

There was another Hutu woman called Spéciose Munganyinka who worked at CUSP. This woman
had married a Tutsi man called Panglas Twagiramutara, a lecturer at the university in Butare. This
woman hadn't yet returned to work. She was still hiding her husband. Her husband was eventually
discovered and killed in June. You should have seen how much these women rejoiced in the death of this
man. They celebrated. Every time other Tutsi families were killed, you could tell how happy these
women were. It was the same case with the death of Rangira, his wife and daughter in June. This group
of women were quick to celebrate. [When we got] our salaries, this group of women said that it was
necessary to organise a grandiose ceremony, with the victims' money, on 5 July to celebrate the victory of
the Hutus. [5 July is the anniversary of Habyarimana's 1973 coup d'état.]

During the genocide my son, who was hiding at the office of the préfecture, often came to see me at
CUSP. These women started murmuring. It was obvious that they were annoyed by my son's presence
[on account of being a Tutsi]. So I told my son not come to CUSP anymore. The last day I was with these
women was the weekend of 1 July. They had panicked as the RPF had arrived at Rubona. They got onto
the buses and fled to Gikongoro and Cyangugu.109

Félicitée Musanganire, a nurse with the AIDS project at CUSP, has been singled out as particularly
vicious. Her husband, Dr. Pierre Mugabo, worked at HUNR and has also been accused of participating
in the genocide. She is from Gitarama. Husband and wife have both fled the country.
Vénuste Rudasingwa worked at Hotel Faucon in Butare during the genocide. He comes from the
commune of Rwamatamu in Kibuye where his wife was killed. He accuses Felicitée Musanganire of
threatening to kill him and giving directives to the killers.

I have lived in Butare for a long time and I work at Hotel Faucon. I escaped because I was in a place
where I wasn't really known and, as I had a false Hutu identity card, the killers were unable to find me.
Hotel Faucon was functional throughout the genocide despite threats from some of the genocidal killers
who came looking for some of workers who had Tutsi identity cards and, who were eventually killed.
They were Karekezi, a gardener; Védaste alias 'Moyibi,' a gardener; Bosco, a waiter; Gilbert, a waiter;
Safari alias 'Kajisho,' a waiter and Lévérien, a gardener.

Some women really participated in the genocide. For example, I saw how Mme Nyiramasuhuko
passed by here and how, in position at the roadblock just opposite the Faucon Hotel, she gave out
directives to the soldiers and peasants at the roadblock that all the Tutsis should be killed.

Another woman who threatened me face to face was Félicitée Musanganire, Pierre Mugabo's wife.
Together with her husband, she had a lot of teachers in Buye killed. They looted much of the victims'
belongings and had a shop full of looted goods here, opposite this Faucon Hotel. This woman often came
there to work and oversee the entries as her husband stayed in Buye for his activities.

One day, I had the misfortune of going into her shop. She was there and she started threatening me.
She said she didn't understand how, up till now, Tutsis were still alive. She said, 'You, for example, why

109 Interviewed in Mbazi, Butare, I June 1995 and in Butare on 22 July 1995.

haven't you been killed yet?' I told her that it still wasn't my turn. She said our Faucon hotel hid many
RPF accomplices but that the problem was soon to be quickly solved. Unfortunately for her I had my
Hutu identity card.

Effectively, a few days later there was a meticulous search for Tutsis at the hotel and all those Tutsis
[earlier named] who worked there were killed. Seeing how influential she was with the soldiers who,
during that period, had control over life and death, I decided not to show up in front of her and be killed
in turn.110

Jeanne Rwiyegura has been employed in the CUSP accounts office since 1972.

I have been at CUSP for a long time, about twenty-three years in CUSP accounts office. Because of this,
I held all the keys to the accounts office. Habyarimana's death took place when I had these very keys [in
my possession.] [But] as I was Tutsi, I was afraid of going back to work as the group of extremists at
CUSP wouldn't spare me.

My husband, Dr. John, an ophthalmologist, is not Rwandese and he was able to walk around. A few
days after the start of the massacre of Tutsis in Butare, some of the basic services resumed like the
markets, the medical services and even the primary schools. I had to return the office keys that were in
my possession so that CUSP could stock up on items which needed to be paid for. I received messages
asking me to present myself at work, give back the keys and then return home.

When my husband wanted to return them himself, the CUSP employees refused, saying that I also
had to show them the books. That's when Alphonse Karemera, head of the faculty of medicine and a
family friend, sent me a note telling me not to be afraid of going back to work.

Knowing the extremism of some of her colleagues made this a perilous journey.

On 18 May, I took all the keys, my husband put me into the car and we left for CUSP. He dropped me off
near the CUSP entrance where he stayed. I entered the centre, opened the accounts office and invited the
CUSP employees in to stock up on what they needed. I was outside standing in front of the office door
which was wide open.

Some of Jeanne's female colleagues then conspired to ensure that her worst fears would come true.

Three women, Félicitée Musanganire, Annonciata Kantengwa and Marcelline Musabyemariya got
together to hand me over. Félicitée Musanganire, a nurse for the CUSP AIDS project, picked up the
telephone and called the gendarmes. She was with Marcelline who is now detained in Karubanda. After
two or three minutes, a team of gendarmes arrived. Unfortunately for Félicitée, two of the gendarmes in
this team were my husband's friends. They were amazed when they found him at the entrance. When
Félicitée telephoned them, she said that a bandit had attacked CUSP. My husband told them that it wasn't
anything to do with banditry but that, quite simply, I (his wife) had come to return the office keys.

As these gendarmes knew my husband very well and were surprised that Félicitée had lied to them,
they entered CUSP, came to where I was, just in front of my office, greeted me and, for a second,
watched what I was in the middle of doing: inviting the workers to take and claim what they needed.
After a short moment, these soldiers left. I noticed that I was being surrounded by many people,
including Félicitée. My husband came and, in a loud voice, told me to leave with him or stay in the
office. They knew each other and some were even his friends. I said I'd leave with him. I wanted to give
the keys to CUSP's deputy director, Augustin Ntabyera. But he refused them, saying I should arrange a
hand-over before leaving. I told them that I'd come back another time and presented them with the books.
I told them to check all the figures in my absence and that I was ready to support whatever was missing.
They refused. I threw the keys to the ground and left with my husband. I don't know until now why they
didn't jump on me and finish me off but they looked at each other as if each one was afraid of making the
first move. I went to our parked car and we left. So that is how I managed to escape from the gendarmes
whom Félicitée wanted to kill me off by describing me as a bandit111.

110 Interviewed in Butare, 27 July 1995.

111 Interviewed in Butare, 26 July 1995.

Jean Baptiste Mugaragu has been a medical assistant at CUSP for many years. He described the
various ways in which the extremist ideology manifested itself at CUSP prior to 6 April 1994,
threatening the lives of Tutsis as well as Hutus like Jean who did not subscribe to this ideology.

I am originally from Masango in the préfecture of Gitarama. I have lived in Butare for a long time where
I did my secondary school studies. After [completing] these studies, I came to CUSP in 1981 [where I
am] up to today.

All I know about the genocide is that it had been prepared at length. Here in CUSP, even if I am not
in a position to say what such and such a CUSP employee exactly did in the genocide, at least I knew
what they were saying before and during the genocide.

For example here in CUSP, there had been elections for the new CUSP director and the only two
candidates were Dr. Abeli and Dr. Callixte Gasana. The extremists wanted Gasana to win the elections,
whereas I, according to my judgement, thought that Dr. Abeli was more competent than the other and I
gave him my vote. But I assure you, I have been threatened since. Among these people who didn't want
Dr Abeli to be elected were even girls and women who worked with me. They described him as "pro-
Tutsi". They said he shouldn't betray the 1959 revolution. In other words, the Hutus absolutely had win.

There was a group of women trained by the formidable Eugène Rwamucyo who always threw bad
words at Tutsis and Hutus who weren't for their language. Like Félicitée Musanganire who worked in the
AIDS project here in CUSP. For her, the death of the Tutsis was the victory of the Hutus. She would say
that all the Tutsi accomplices of Inkotanyi would soon die. It was the same for other women like
Marcelline Musabyemariya and Philomène Mukamuzima. Epa Karugwiro said that she couldn't talk to
Tutsis. In the same group as these female killers, I shouldn't forget to cite the case of Thérésie
Nyiramisago, Rose Marie Mukarurangwa and Annonicata Kantengwa. They put their ideology into
practice during the genocide. The little time that we spent together in May showed me that they
supported the genocide of the Tutsis a hundred per cent. In May, I was obliged to take a break when I
had a heart attack and got hepatitis.

It is not only doctors at the University Hospital that participated in the genocide in Butare. Several
doctors at the Groupe Scolaire Hospital (HGSOB), also known as Kabutare, have also been condemned
by colleagues and survivors for their role in the killings. One of the most active was Dr. Jeanne

Dr. Jeanne Nduwamariya

"You could tell that she was proud of the fact that the Tutsi were being killed."

Dr. Jeanne Nduwamariya, a doctor at the Groupe Scolaire Hospital of Butare (HGSOB), is widely
regarded as one of the most fanatical extremists in the medical fraternity in Butare. She used to go to
various roadblocks to give the militia the names of certain women who should be killed. Her husband,
Dr. Jean Chrisostome Ndindabahizi, the regional health director for Butare, was also active in the
genocide. They are both believed to be living in Gabon.

Dr. Nduwamariya is from Ndora commune in Butare. But she lived in the cellule of Gitwa in sector
Tumba. When African Rights visited the cellule of Gitwa on 28/29 July, a substantial number of
residents, both Tutsis who had escaped her efforts to kill them, and Hutus who saw her "in action",
provided detailed, corroborating evidence.

Dr. Nduwamariya is accused of being behind many of the killings that took place in Tumba, a
district in Butare principally inhabited by day students and university lecturers. Dr. Nduwamariya and
her husband held many meetings at their home with the killers.

Chantal Mukazayire, a woman whose death Dr. Nduwamariya paid for, was a cashier at the Banque
Populaire in Butare. She lives in Gitwa. Chantal and her siblings were orphans, having lost their mother
in 1992 and their father in 1984.

Well before the genocide, I regarded Jeanne's family as family friends. They visited us and we visited
them. We used to watch good videos. Their children, Jeannette, who was in the third year of secondary
school, and Patrick, who studied at a Belgian school in Butare, spent most of their time at our house. My
older sister, Espérance Gahongayire, who was an assistant midwife, worked together with Jeanne. The
fact that we almost lived together reinforced our affinity.

With the start of the October 1990 war, our relationship began to deteriorate, especially with Jeanne
who started stopping her children from coming over to our house. But we hadn't noticed any change with
her husband yet. Things continued like this between Jeanne and us, until the death of Habyarimana.

With the death of Habyarimana, Dr. Nduwamariya's home immediately became a take-off point for
the killings in Tumba.

Right from the start, preparations for the exterminations were made: many meetings [were held] at
Ndindabahizi's home with some Tumba peasants from my cellule. Soldiers often went to the meetings.

Their neighbourhood was attacked on 21 April. Afraid and disoriented, Chantal ran into the sitting
room of Dr. Nduwamariya.

On 21 April, at about 11:00 a.m., we heard shooting in our neighbourhood. It was Tutsi houses being
attacked by the Presidential Guard. We panicked. No-one knew where to go. Some of the Tutsis went in
the direction of the sorghum plantations. I had lost all sense of where I was going and fled into Jean
Chrisostome Ndindabahizi's lounge. It was a big surprise as I had entered their house whilst they were
sitting in the lounge, busy chatting with a lieutenant from Habyarimana's army. He was fleeing the RPF
and was telling them about the massacres in Kigali.

When I got there, I asked them to save me. The two men left to see what was actually happening in
the neighbourhood. I stayed with Jeanne who threatened to return me to my house. I begged her to hide
me but she refused. I left her house but didn't want to return to my own home. I went and hid in their
sorghum plantation just beside their wall. I stayed there. Luckily, the soldiers didn't attack our house.

Chantal became more afraid as she discovered that Dr. Nduwamariya had put a price on the death of
her family, and especially on Chantal's head.

I had an older sister, Francine Murekatete, who was a nun at the Emmanuel community. She had helped
the peasants in my cellule a lot. They said we should be protected because of this kindness from my older
sister who was with the family at home. They told us to return quietly to our house. Jeanne wasn't happy
that the killers didn't want to finish us off. Her worker, Gérard, who liked us very much, told us that his
boss, Jeanne, wanted us all dead. He told us that she had even put a lot of money aside for the person
who was going to finish us off and especially for the person who was going to kill Chantal, me. Her
worker told us that the boys from the cellule that she had approached refused and that she was in the
middle of settling the matter with the gendarmes.

On 14 May, tragedy struck Chantal's family as the killers hired by Dr. Nduwamariya set out to
accomplish their task.

In the afternoon of 14 May, a gendarme came to tell us that we were going to die in the night since
Jeanne Nduwamariya had paid him to kill us. But we were naive and we took what the gendarme said
lightly. We didn't even know where to go as we were exposed quite simply to death. I remember on that
day, after the gendarme left, our older sister, the nun, told us to pray and to prepare ourselves for death
instead of continuing to live this living death. Our life was not worth living. Effectively, during the night
of the same day the gendarmes invaded our house and killed six people: my three older sisters including
the nun, my younger brother and the two children of my two older sisters.

My older sisters' bedrooms were attacked first. We took advantage of this by leaving through
another door, with another Tutsi girl friend called Florence, [going] into complete darkness. We went to
stay at the home of a Hutu man, Laurent, who lived opposite us and whose sons were criminals. But as he
was grateful for my older sister's kindness, he hid us. Every day he told us how Jeanne wasn't satisfied
that I had not been killed. She had sent her worker everywhere in the neighbourhood to see if my body
was amongst the dead.

Searches were organised here and there for me. Realising that I was about to be discovered, Laurent
begged another criminal called Dominique to hide us. This man protected us until the arrival of the RPF.
Dominique said that Jeanne was ready to give one hundred thousand francs to the person who could
show her my body.112

The accounts given by people who experienced Dr. Nduwamariya's cruelties first-hand have been
confirmed by Hutu residents of Tumba. One of them is Séraphine Nyiragwiza, thirty, who lives in
Gitwa cellule. Séraphine, who has two children, lost her husband in the genocide. Séraphine and her
children had gone to Tumba a month before the genocide to stay with her mother. Séraphine spoke of
Dr. Nduwamariya's hunt for Chantal.

The genocide of the Tutsis did not spare me even though I was Hutu. My husband, who was Tutsi, had
been assassinated in the first days following Habyarimana's death. As I was Hutu, I walked around the
neighbourhood but couldn't go far because certain criminals could easily kill my children since they
knew that their father was Tutsi. I saw the evil of some of the assassins with my own eyes. My attention
was attracted by the famous Jeanne Nduwamariya who worked at HGSOB. She had a white car, with a
gun inside, in which she went around. She said she had to see Chantal Mukazayire [see above] and that
she was going to finish her off herself.

Nearly everyone on this hill liked Chantal's family. They were orphans who managed to get by
despite all the difficulties. Their older sister, a nun, was very helpful. We will never forget the impartial
help she gave to the poor.

Jeanne Nduwamariya had mobilised a lot of leading assassins to kill Chantal. But as many people
liked Chantal and her family, this didn't happen and Chantal escaped.

She gave an advance of ten thousand francs to the person who could find Chantal's body. Some of
the criminals made fun of Jeanne. They said that they were going to continue taking her money just for
accepting that they were going to show her Chantal's body.113

Another witness to Dr. Nduwamariya's relentless hunt for Chantal's family is Nsanzurwimo, eighty.
He also lives in the cellule of Gitwa.

I was born in this cellule. I know the hearts of almost all the people living in this cellule. What happened
in this country goes beyond the imagination; intellectuals have killed their colleagues. These so-called
intellectuals participated in pushing the peaceful peasants into killing and into seizing the Tutsis'

He described Dr. Nduwamariya's determination to wipe out Chantal's family.

Jeanne was very wicked. She didn't want there to be any survivors from the Berchmass [Chantal's father]
home. She did everything to exterminate all the members of this family but in vain since we liked this
family very much. For example, I hid Chantal's younger brother called Gapalata for three weeks. He is
now an RPF soldier. I expected searches every day; criminals sent by Jeanne came looking for the
members of the Keza and Berchmass family [Keza is a nickname given to Chantal's mother]. These
criminals told us openly, 'We have been sent by Jeanne Nduwamariya. We want a young girl called
Chantal. She has a good reward waiting for us after completing this mission.'

112 Interviewed in Tumba, Butare, 29 July 1995.

113 Interviewed in Tumba, Butare, 28 July 1995.

Jeanne Nduwamariya had her car in which she went around. You could tell that she was proud of the
fact that the Tutsi were being killed. Her husband was also terrible but, according to me, he was less
dangerous than his wife. One day, I showed Dr Ndindabahizi a woman called Laurence Kanayire and
asked him if she could be spared. He looked after her and didn't kill her. This woman is still alive. But if
it was Jeanne, I assure you this woman would not have escaped!114

In the cellule of Gitwa, African Rights interviewed the woman referred to by Nsanzurwimo,
Laurence Kanayire, whose house was close to that of Dr. Nduwamariya and Dr. Ndindabahizi. As
Laurence was ill, the killers decided to let her live and suffer. This lease of life gave her opportunities to
watch Dr. Nduwamariya pursue her victims and celebrate the genocide. Laurence works for
CURPHAMETRA, a pharmaceutical centre at the university.

Five days after the first killings in my cellule, I made the cowardly decision of returning to my house. I
had had enough of hiding here and there when I really felt death close by.

As you see, I live almost on the same land as Jean Chrisostome Ndindabahizi. During my stay at
home, I was threatened on several occasions. But as my health was progressively deteriorating, instead of
killing me, the assassins preferred to let me suffer. During this suffering, I managed to see and hear many
things from the accursed woman, Jeanne Nduwamariya.

She had taken a lieutenant into her family who had fled the RPF in Kigali. There were [also] two
gendarmes who often went to see her. Jeanne passed here, in front of our house, many times in her car,
with a gun, asking where this girl called Chantal was. I saw her myself, busy saying how she must find
her and that she was going to finish her off herself.

She said that it was necessary to find a Hutu who had beaten the record of killing many Tutsis to
whom she would give the mission of killing and bringing her Chantal. However, Chantal's family was
well supported by the neighbouring Hutus because of Chantal's older sister, Francine, who was a nun.
That woman had really helped the poor people of our cellule, giving them blankets, medical care, food...
And so many Hutus wanted to protect this family despite the attacks which Jeanne kept on sending to
liquidate this family, especially Chantal.

In mid May, an attack made up of these two gendarmes, who were Jeanne's great friends, and some
peasants who had been bribed, attacked Chantal's family and they finished off some members. They were
her three older sisters, Francine, Espérance and her baby, Spéciose and her baby and younger brother.
They were all thrown into the Kayabo latrine, a little above in Cyarwa sector.

Very surprisingly, Chantal and her friend Laurence were not found. Jeanne went mad. She mobilised
all the assassins whom she had bribed to search everywhere for Chantal. These boys searched almost the
whole circle of family and friends of Keza and Berchmass, Chantal's parents. They came to my house and
told me to hand Chantal over to them. I told them that I hadn't seen her since the beginning of the
tragedy. They went all over my house and even into my ceiling, which they even destroyed. They
moaned, saying that they were going to miss out on the rewards promised by Jeanne if they did not find
Chantal. They were surprised to see how much Jeanne wanted Chantal's head. Amongst the boys who
searched me and who said that they were sent by Jeanne Nduwamariya I can name Faustin, son of the
former councillor of Tumba, Félicien Kubwimana; Nsengiyumva who even carried an axe and
Emmanuel, son of Setako. He killed many people.

As for her husband Ndindabahizi, he too was terrible. When he came one day to see me, he was
wearing a belt on which were a lot of grenades.115

Marie, who is responsible for laundry at HGSOB has no doubt about Dr. Nduwamariya's guilt.

I was living in Tumba, at a place called Mukoni to be precise, near the road that goes to Burundi. I was
saved from the genocide by a Hutu man called Evariste Ngamije, the deputy director of the university

114 Interviewed in Tumba, Butare, 28 July 1995.

115 Intervewiewed in Tumba, Butare, 29 July 1995.

laboratory. [He] took me to his home and I spent all day hiding in his ceiling. [His] house was next door
to that of Jeanne Nduwamariya. I'd say that Dr. Jeanne led the killing of Tutsis in Tumba together with
killers like her husband and Dr Sosthène [Munyemana]. [Dr Sosthène] had the Tumba sector office key
where he imprisoned Tutsis before finishing them off.

Mme Jeanne had a peculiar voice. She spoke like a man. Her voice was frightening and I would
panic just at the sound of it. She said a party should be prepared for 1 July because by then all the Tutsis
and their accomplices would have been killed. All day long, she would just ask the militiamen who lived
at her house whether such and such a Tutsi woman had been killed. She compiled a list of Tutsis to be
killed and held an infinite number of meetings at her house in which killers like Sosthène and others
participated. She said all the Tutsi women and their husbands should be taken to the mass grave near the
church at Cyarwa. She asked the militiamen to find plots of fertile land which belonged to the Tutsis for

Odette Musabyimana is a nurse who has been working at HGSOB since 1992. Her husband, an
employee of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in Butare, was Tutsi. He was killed on 22
April. She spoke at length about the close collaboration between Dr. Nduwamariya and a Dr. Balthazar
who worked at HGSOB.

Dr. Balthazar organized the genocide at Kabutare together with Dr. Thélesphore Iraguha who was in
charge of the dispensary at HGSOB and who has been arrested in Butare. Dr. Balthazar and Dr. Jeanne
Nduwamariya had a small anti-Tutsi propaganda group at HGSOB. The group also included Dr. Chantal,
an anaesthetist, Ildéphonse, a laboratory assistant and Florida, a nurse who is currently in Tanzania. This
group of assassins played an important role in the killings at Kabutare. These killings shocked people
because [the area of] Kabutare was a place of intellectuals, doctors and teachers from the Groupe
Scolaire of Butare.117

Marie Harerimana, an employee of CUSP, also spoke of the role of Dr. Nduwamariya.

During the genocide, Jeanne Nduwamariya said she would only rest after the total extermination of all
Tutsi women who knew how to drive. She sent her brother, Speratus Sibomana, who is also a killer, off
to find out if the Tutsi women of Butare town had been killed.118

Mme Siméon Remera

Gema was a nurse at the dispensary in Rango in Butare. Her husband, Siméon Remera, was head of
CDR at the level of the préfecture of Kigali and was one of the principal organisers of the killings in
that region. One of the people who knew her well and who spoke about her role in the genocide is
Jeanne Mukabera.

During the genocide, this woman came to my house with her two little girls. She had just come from
Anastasie Twagiramariya's house, a teacher in Tumba, who was killed a few days later. I welcomed her
as I had done before the genocide. This was in May. She said that I was lucky as my husband had
protected me and no-one could harm me. She continued saying that she knew how to kill the Tutsis, that
she knew where the vulnerable spot to strike them was, that even her children knew this as well as she
did. She told me that the killers of Butare had just sent two bus loads of militiamen to Burundi to kill and
identify the Tutsis who had escaped to Burundi.

According to many residents of Tumba, Gema worked closely with Dr. Sosthène Munyemana.
Vincent Kageruka, like many other people, was imprisoned in the Tumba sector office by Dr.
Munyemana. Vincent is currently a local government official in Butare. Gema visited the detainees to
express her displeasure that they were still alive.

116 Interviewed in Butare, 6 June 1995.

117 Interviewed in Butare, 2 April 1995.
118 Interviewed in Butare, 22 July 1995.

During my imprisonment at the sector of Tumba office by Dr. Sosthène, Gema and Hitimana's wife,
Vénantie, all nurses, the first in Rango and the second at Karubanda prison, used to come [to see us].
[They used to say] 'Why haven't these Inyenzi been killed yet? They'll end up leaving. They need to be
exterminated as quickly as possible.' There were eleven Tutsis detained by Sosthène.119

Jacqueline Uwimana, who is herself Hutu, has accused Gema of being involved in the murder of
Jacqueline's Tutsi mother-in-law and several children, as well as looting the land and property of Tutsis
who had been killed.

Gema was worse than her husband. My Tutsi mother-in-law was seriously wounded by the killers but she
hadn't died. She was with three other children. As I knew Gema very well, and as she had looted all the
goods from Rango dispensary whilst she was there, I asked her if there was a way of dressing my
mother-in-law's wounds. She accepted at first. But the second time, she refused. On that same day, my
mother-in-law and the group of children with her were all killed. All I know is that my mother-in-law had
told Gema where she was [hiding]. After her death, Gema took all their possessions, starting with their
house, doors, armchairs and other material goods.

Gema was in charge of distributing the Tutsi victims' land. All the good plots belonged to her. In
order to appropriate the victims' plots in complete peace, she did everything to exterminate all the
members of the targeted family, indeed even the little children. She took our four cows because my
spouse was Tutsi. She is also the one who killed the Minani family, a veterinarian here in Tumba.120

Nurses at Kigali Central Hospital (CHK)

Many people were killed inside Kigali's main public hospital, Centre Hospitalier de Kigali (CHK).
Hundreds of wounded civilians who were brought to the hospital in the early days of the conflict were
finished off inside the hospital by both soldiers and militias. Some of the patients were shot outside the
morgue. The killings at the hospital took place at night. Many relatives looking after family members
and refugees who sought sanctuary were also murdered inside the hospital compound.
Medical staff at CHK and survivors have identified a number of nurses at CHK as having
participated in the killing of both patients and refugees. These nurses include:

• Stéphanie Ndayambaje;

Stéphanie Ndayambaje, a member of PDC, was head of personnel at CHK. Fifty- five, she is
from Gitega sector in the commune of Nyarugenge in Kigali. She is living in Goma, Zaire.

119 Interviewed in Tumba, Butare, 29 July 1995.

120 Interviewed in Tumba, Butare, 29 July 1995.

• Providence Nyiramondo;

Providence Nyiramondo, forty-nine, is living in Goma, Zaire.

• Edithe Mukakabera;

• Philomène Mukandamage;

Philomène Mukandamage is reported to have died at the end of 1994.

• Marie Josée Bananeza;

Marie Josée Bananeza is from the commune of Bulinga in Gitarama. She studied nursing in
Rwamagana and completed her studies in 1983. She lived in the sector of Kimisagara with her husband
and two children. She continued to work at CHK and was arrested in July. She is currently in Kigali
Central Prison.

• Josephine Mukaruhungo;

Josephine Mukaruhungo, originally from the commune of Kibilira in Gisenyi, lived in Kivugiza,
sector Nyamirambo. She is currently in Zaire.

A nurse working at CHK whose husband and children were killed, was forced to treat the
interahamwe who had occupied room number seven. She spoke to African Rights on condition of
anonymity. She has accused Stéphanie Ndayambaje of direct participation in the killings that took place
there. Her accusations have been confirmed by other employees of the hospital.

Ndayambaje was really wicked. She handed over a woman who worked at Kagorera. The victim had
hidden at CHK on 13 May. Stéphanie summoned a sub-lieutenant called Pierre, one of the soldiers who
massacred the teachers at Kigali Lycée, and ordered him to kill her.

She also refused to give the refugees the blankets the Red Cross had allocated for them. She said she
wasn't going to give blankets to Inyenzi.

The charge of being responsible for the death of the maid in the Kagorera household was confirmed
in the report published by local human rights organisations in December 1994. According to the report,
the young woman was hiding in the laundry room of CHK.121

Violine Umurerwa has worked in CHK since 1993. When the killings started, she was working in
the general ward. She lives in Kiyovu in Rugenge. She spoke of the activities of several of the nurses at

I arrived at CHK right at the beginning of Habyarimana's death. Soldiers picked us up from our homes so
that we could help the sick who were [at CHK]. I got there on 9 April.

When I got there, I stayed in the general ward with Caritas and Monique. As I was sort of new at
CHK, my colleagues weren't that interested in me. I had only been there
for about a year. I was able to leave my ward and walk around the other wards, like maternity and ORL.
Whilst I was there, I noticed how dangerous some of the women [nurses] were, such as Stéphanie
Ndayambaje. She collaborated closely with the soldiers who lived at CHK, especially with Lt. Jean
Pierre, to whom she gave a list of Tutsis to kill. She knew her staff. Anyone who wasn't a staff member
or who was Tutsi was considered a foreign body and she would put them down on the list to

121 Rapport De l'Enquete Sur Les Violations Massives Des Droits De l'Homme Commises Au Rwanda A Partir
Du 06 Avril 1994, Premier Phase.
122 Interviewed in Kigali, 15 July 1995.

The same nurse who requested anonymity named other nurses who participated in the genocide,
giving details of their actions.

Providence Nyiramondo worked in the same department as Stéphanie Ndayambaje. She also handed over
a lot of Tutsi refugees hiding at CHK to be killed, including Mr Rutsindintwarane, a candidate of the
Liberal Party for parliament under the broad based transitional government of the Arusha Accords, and a
follower of Landouald Ndasingwa [the moderate wing of PL].

At the beginning of April, just a few days after the death of Habyarimana, Rutsindintwarane sought
refuge at CHK. Providence directed him to a room where he could hide. But then she immediately called
in the interahamwe militias who where staying in room number seven at the hospital. The interahamwe
killed Rutsindintwarane. The interahamwe were there to eat so that they could kill the seriously wounded
Tutsi refugees the Red Cross had brought to the hospital. Providence was one of the evil women who
compiled lists of sick Tutsis who had been evacuated by the Red Cross. She also handed over a boy
called Innocent Karekezi of Cyahafi whom she knew. She brought in the interahamwe who killed him.

Jeannette Mukankusi also worked at CHK in the general ward. She handed over the child of Evariste
Sisi to be killed; [Evariste Sisi] is now a parliamentarian for the Liberal Party. This child came to the
hospital with Sisi's mother-in-law for refuge. Jeanette Mukankusi called in the militiamen from room
seven to kill them. This was planned with the women already mentioned, including Stéphanie,
Providence and Berina but it is clear that Jeannette was the one who called in the assassins.123

Jeanne Mukesharugo was a nurse at the maternity wing of CHK between 1970 and almost to the
end of the genocide. She was at CHK from 9 April until 23 May when the staff were transferred to
Kabgayi and Butare, following intense bombardment of the area around the hospital. She is now
working in the department of internal medicine at CHK.

I arrived at CHK on 9 April, escorted by Habyarimana's soldiers, to help out with the wounded soldiers
and pregnant Hutu women. They were the only ones privileged for treatment at CHK. Tutsis were being
killed at the roadblocks on the road leading to CHK. But some were able to make their way to CHK
hospital where they hid in the wards. There were some other seriously wounded Tutsi women who the
Red Cross staff had picked up. Some of them were pregnant...

I was in the maternity hospital with my Tutsi colleague, Françoise Mukankusi, who managed to
escape to CHK but who, unfortunately, was killed later. Other Tutsi women who were at CHK worked in
the emergency wards, such as Caritas, Monique and Violine. We knew each other very well. But even
though we spent all our time there, even the nights, we couldn't talk to one another in case our colleagues
accused us of plotting.

Jeanne then named what she described as "some of the terrible female nurses and employees at

Jeannette Mukankusi revealed the hiding place of the mother-in-law and child of member of parliament,
Sisi Evariste. Even the Hutu workers at CHK confirmed this before they fled.

Josée Bananeza didn't want Tutsis to be treated either and handed them over to the assassins in the
following way. My colleague Françoise and I had hidden some Tutsi women in the maternity hospital,
putting them into beds to make out they were really sick. But then we were not the only ones to patrol the
sick. And so these women were finally discovered by Bananeza and two others, Philomène
Mukandamage and Edithe Mukakabera. They went to alert Dr. Bénoît and a soldier living at CHK
nicknamed 'Kamashini.' These damned women pointed out the room numbers of these unlucky Tutsis. At
about 10:00 p.m. that same day, someone called Emmanuel Birandagaye who worked at CHK,
accompanied by 'Kamashini' and Edithe Mukakabera, went around all the maternity wards, checking
identity cards and saying that the enemy, the Inyenzi, were hiding in the hospital. That is when these
Tutsis refugees were abducted and carried off by 'Kamashini.' One of the women who was abducted was

123 Interviewed in Kigali, 29 June 1995.

Jeanne Bitega, who was pregnant and had bullet wounds in her back. I treated her and delivered her
baby. She managed to escape and is still alive. Thank God.

One of the women who was refused treatment was Gasamagera's sister-in-law who had a baby of
about six months and had an infection in her reproductive organs. She was thrown out of the maternity
hospital by Joseé Bananeza.

Providence Nyiramondo also [worked] in CHK. She supported Stéphanie by compiling lists of
Tutsis to kill which they gave to the soldiers at CHK.

One night I decided to sleep in the maternity hospital to get at least a little rest, as at the general
ward we spent all night with our eyes open. When I got there, I was surprised to see a group of women
collaborating with the soldiers. [These soldiers] who pretended to be guarding the hospital asked the
patients for their identity cards. There were some nurses whose names I do not know. But I did recognise
some of the faces, including that of Josée Mukakabera. At about 1:00 p.m., the patients with Tutsi
identity cards were taken from their bed. I don't know where [they were taken] to. But what I do know is
that they never came back.

Another nurse she named is Edithe Mukakabera.

She worked with me in the maternity hospital. As I said, there were some sick Tutsis and Tutsis refugees
at CHK during the genocide. This woman did not want to see them. She put them on a blacklist which
she gave to the soldiers at CHK. She said that the Inyenzi had come into CHK and should be found, even
under the beds, exactly like RTLM had told her. In the end, almost all these sick people were killed
before the staff of CHK were transferred to Kabgayi and Butare.

Philomène Mukandamage is from Byumba but was living in Nyamirambo before the genocide. This
so called woman openly insulted us many times saying, 'There they are, the Inkotanyi, sons of
cockroaches, your days are limited, you are going to pay for what you have done...'

When we went to eat in the canteen, she would threaten us so much we regretted coming. (She has
also fled).

Apart from that, we couldn't leave our wards for fear of running into the militiamen or the soldiers
who lived at CHK and to avoid being handed over to the assassins by some of the staff who are heavily
implicated in the events.

I left the hospital on 20 May when one of the assassins and younger brother of an officer called
Murasampongo told us that the Tutsis who stayed at CHK would be liquidated as follows: on 4 July, a
certain number of Tutsis would be killed at CHK; on 5 July more Tutsis would be killed to accompany
Habyarimana to the grave; on 6 July the last of the Tutsis would be killed to cover Habyarimana's body.
After I heard this, I arranged to go back to my neighbourhood of Nyamirambo, in cellule Rwezamenyo
where I hid until the fall of Kigali. I left CHK on 23 May when the bus came to pick people up for
Kabgayi and Butare. I refused to get on the bus. Under cover of the night, I went to Mille Collines hotel
where I was saved.124

Josephine Mukaruhungo

Josephine Mukaruhungo is originally from the commune of Kibilira in Gisenyi though her parents lived
in Ruhengeri. She is the widow of a former military officer in FAR who died many years ago. She lived
in the cellule of Kivugiza, sector Nyamirambo in Kigali where memories of her cruelty and her political
fanaticism remain vivid. Charlotte Kananga is a primary school teacher in Kivugiza. Agnès runs a stall
where she sells beer. Both Charlotte and Agnès testified to having seen Josephine carrying a masu
during the genocide, of looting from people driven from their homes and of being directly implicated in

124 Interviewed in Kigali, 15 July 1995.

the death of several residents of Kivugiza. Among the victims she killed with a masu, they named a
teacher, Edithe, and her children, as well as the children of a certain Kamatari.125

Virginie Mukazi, an employee of the Red Cross who lives in Kivugiza, also spoke of Josephine's
involvement in the genocide, and her previous political and criminal activities.

Josephine Mukaruhunga participated in the meetings of the genocidal killers at the house of Gaspard
Nsengiyumva, a leading killer [in Kivugiza. See above]. During the genocide she delivered certain Tutsis
to their deaths by putting them on a list of people to kill.

Josephine always said that her commune of Kibilira had done well to get rid of the dirt well in
advance, the dirt she was referring to was the Tutsi. People who knew her in 1973 said that she had done
some scandalous things to hand over Tutsis.

In 1990, Josephine imprisoned people from Kivugiza. Virginie was summoned to Josephine's house
for an interrogation but was subsequently released. But two other women, Mme Mukabalisa and Mme
Florida, were imprisoned and were killed in April. She also imprisoned employees of CHK in 1990 and
some from the ministry of health.126

Several other nurses at CHK are said to have been involved in the killings in their areas of
residence. But African Rights has not been able to investigate these cases.

Apart from CHK, there were also committed extremists among the medical staff at King Faisal
Hospital in Kigali, including Domitilla Uwizeye, director of administration and finance.

Laurence Nkundabanyanga and Patricie Kanyarengwe, Maternity Hospital, Gisenyi

After war broke out in October 1990, the government's reprisals against the Tutsi community in
Rwanda began with the northwest region, the préfectures of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri, the heartland of
extremism. From late 1990 to early 1993, there were periodic massacres and a relentless campaign
against the Tutsi living in this area. Witnesses accuse Laurence Nkundabanga, a nurse at the maternity
hospital in Nyundo, and Patricie Kanyarengwe, an employee of the hospital, of being at the centre of a
group of educated people in Gisenyi dedicated to turning public opinion against the Tutsi, designated as
the "enemy." Together with their husbands, they have been linked to most of the killings and acts of
intimidation that took place in Nyundo from early 1991. They have been identified by survivors of the
genocide as having been extremely active in the "clean up" of the Tutsis living in Nyundo. One of the
people who has given a detailed account of their activities prior to the genocide and during the genocide
is Isaïe Sagahutu, previously a teacher and currently the director of the journal, Imboni. Isaïe escaped
the genocide. Unfortunately, his wife, Olive Nsinga Sagahutu, a nurse, and his four children were not
so fortunate.

They both stood out because of their hostile attitudes and actions towards their Tutsi colleagues which
took the form of verbal attacks, such as insults and harsh words, and unfair treatment at work, which
included 'losing' the files of the Tutsi staff.

They were openly opposed to the Bishop of Nyundo [Mgr. Wenceslas Kalibushi] who was
considered by the genocidal killers as the protector of the Tutsi in Nyundo. They ruined [the hospital] by
selling on the black market medicines, equipment from the maternity hospital as well as food

They manipulated public opinion by saying the Tutsi personnel killed mothers and their new born
babies and that those at the dispensary poisoned the sick. This was all to stir up hatred and to create a
climate favourable to genocide.

125 Interviewed in Kigali, 12 July 1995.

126 Interviewed in Kigali, 16 July 1995.

Together with their husbands (Fidèle Nkundabanga, a nurse at the hospital of Gisenyi and Marc
Kanyarengwe, an employee of Maïserie de Mukamira) they were one of the first group of looters and
killers at Nyundo since October 1990 and, more especially, since February 1991. Meetings made up of
military officers, civil servants, teachers, traders, priests and a Burundian nun called Véronique
Ndorimana from the order of the Sisters of Agnès, were held in the home of these two women and at
Nyundo maternity hospital.

As Isaïe's wife was herself a nurse at the maternity hospital, the activities of Laurence and Patricie
had a direct effect on his family life.

On 7 February 1992, groups of looters and killers attacked the Tutsi personnel in the the school,
maternity hospital, dispensary and bursary in Nyundo. During my absence, my wife, Olive, was
wounded, my children were thrashed and my house looted. We learned later that my wife was
particularly targeted because Laurence had spread around a rumour [according to which] my wife was
going to replace her as head of the maternity hospital and I was going to be director of the Lycée, [with
the result] that the Hutus would subsequently be pushed out.

On 7 April, Isaïe and his family, afraid for their lives, sought protection at the Small Seminary of
Nyundo. There was an attack late in the afternoon.

On 8 April, the two women went to the Small Seminary after the killings to make sure our bodies were
there. When they found out that mine was not, they started looking for me everywhere, together with
their evil companions and with the help of some soldiers. They didn't find me for I was destined to live to
tell the tale.

On 10 April, there was a lull and I managed to escape with some priests. We left [at the Cathedral]
the bodies of our families behind as well as a lot of seriously wounded survivors. The survivors spent
almost one month in fear and desolation. The killers cut off all the water, electricity and food supplies.
We heard that the terrible Laurence played a particularly brutal role in this.

The two women opened a private dispensary in Nyundo some days before the beginning of the
killings. No one understood why until it became clear that it was to stock up on the medicines taken from
the diocesan dispensary which had been almost totally destroyed. You should see it. This is how these
two women took a particularly active role.127

Another witness is Ildephonse Bwanakweri who comes from Nyundo.

I want to give my testimony about two women who participated in the preparation and execution of the
genocide in Nyundo. They are Laurence Nkundabanyanga and Patricie Kanyarengwe. Both of them
worked in the maternity [hospital] in Nyundo. They distinguished themselves by the following: the
persecution of their Tutsi colleagues, especially Olive Nsinga, organising the theft of material and
medicines and then accusing their Tutsi colleagues in order to create a climate of mistrust and insecurity
and the training of a group of criminals who were being prepared to implement genocide.

Already in the month of February 1991 and May 1992, the two women took an active part in the
looting of homes belonging to Tutsis in Nyundo. In April 1994, they became famous for sending groups
of killers to the Small Seminary and the bishopric of Nyundo to kill Tutsis. They stopped the supply of
water and food to the Tutsis confined in Nyundo, waiting to be killed.

They opened a private dispensary with the medicines [they took] from the dispensary of the diocese
of Nyundo.128

Emile Bukizi, who comes from Kanama in the region of Nyundo, also spoke of Laurence and

127 Interviewed in Kigali, 28 June 1995.

128 Interviewed in Nyundo, Gisenyi, 18 August 1995.

Laurence Nkundabanyanga and Patricie Kanyarengwe have been training genocidal killers since
February 1991. On 7 April 1994, Laurence cried out when she learned that Tutsis had taken refuge at the
Small Seminary of Nyundo, saying 'Do they think it is a citadel which cannot be attacked?'

Both women persecuted the Tutsi in their workplace. They killed many Tutsis in April 1994, in
collaboration with their husbands and other members of CDR and MRND parties in Gisenyi. They
visited the seminary and the cathedral of Nyundo in order to identify the corpses and know who might
still be alive, in order to pursue them.

They opened a dispensary in Nyundo where they assembled the medicines they had looted from the
dispensary of the diocese of Nyundo.129

Both women and their husbands fled to Goma.

129 Interviewed in Nyundo, Gisenyi, 18 August 1995.

The widespread participation of women in the genocide of 1994 is a fact that cannot be denied or
explained away. The responsibility lies not only with the chief male architects of the genocide, whose
strategy was to include as much of the population as possible. The responsibility also lies with many of
Rwanda's educated women. The extent to which many of them were willing and active participants, the
encouragement they provided to illiterate women and the example they set is a significant factor in
explaining why such a high proportion of women became killers. Hundreds of educated women —
ministers, civil servants, local government officials, doctors, nurses, teachers, school inspectors,
journalists and the staff of local and international NGOs — used their education, experience and
standing in the community to urge less fortunate women to commit genocide. They did so against the
deeply-ingrained habit in Rwanda of obeying official orders.

But rare exceptions, it is not the educated women implicated in the genocide who are paying the
price. None of the women who played the most prominent role in the killings are in Rwanda. Exploiting
the advantages that their education has given them, they are living in Zaire, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya
and, amongst other countries, Belgium. Some of them are working for international humanitarian
organisations operating in the camps for refugees. Pauline Nyiramusuhuko, the former minister for
women and the family, is in charge of social services in Inera camp in Bukavu run by Caritas. Until a
few weeks ago, Angéline Mukandutiye, one of the best known killers in Kigali, was working in the
mental health programme run by MSF-Holland in Goma. Others have used their contacts to gain
protection; Gertrude Mukangango, the Mother Superior in the monastery of Sovu in Butare, and Sister
Julienne Kizito from the same convent, are being sheltered in Belgium by their order. The two nuns
were in Maredret and are said to have been transferred to Ermeton in Namur, following publicity about
their role in the genocide.

Even in the intermediate level of responsibility, there are few educated women among those who
have been arrested in Rwanda. About a thousand women have been detained, accused of complicity in
the genocide. Only a small per centage are educated women.

Outside Rwanda, a number of highly educated women (and men) are waging a campaign of
disinformation to hide the truth and to confuse the world about the nature of the genocide and women's
role in the pogroms. One of them is Clotilde Twagiramariya, a graduate student in urban planning at
Rutgers University in the U.S. In a recent article entitled "Women as Victims of Power Conflicts: The
Case of Rwandan Refugee Women," she wrote:

The civil war took the form of a genocide, which placed all Tutsi on one side as victims and all Hutu on
the other as killers. Hutu women caught up in the war face an additional burden: the stigma of being
labeled as killers.

Hutu women are not killers, many are victims of the ethnic conflicts fomented by those who fight for
power in Rwanda. What we deplore in these circumstances is the weak position that women are always
in; they can do nothing to stop or prevent such catastrophic events from happening. As in many other
situations in their lives, women suffer from men's delusions of grandeur and, because of their status as
women, they suffer most the consequences of men's games.

Referring to the victims of cholera and other diseases in the wake of the exodus to Goma, Ms.
Twagiramariya writes:

Many are rural women, others are nurses and teachers, many are mothers and wives, and some are
innocent girls who don't know anything about the real motives of the war and had ever been involved in
the killings but who also experienced the loss of loved ones. They are now refugees only because a Tutsi

Government ousted a Hutu one (emphasis added). They are now suffering and living stressful life
conditions because of ethnic conflicts and power struggles. Why?

Ms. Twagiramariya then gets to the heart of the matter.

Why did all of these women have to flee when it was obvious that they had not been involved in the
killing? There were no women in the militia, but women had to flee with the militia. Women did not
participate in the politically and militarily motivated killings, but they are the ones who are suffering the
most in the aftermath of the war.

Taking issue with a writer who recommended an end to international support for the refugees, Ms.
Twagiramariya comments:

[Catherine O'Neill] forgets that those camps are mainly populated by women and children who are not
"murderers, thieves and politicians" but victims of war.

In a statement that shows either complete ignorance of what happened in Rwanda or wilful refusal
to face the facts, she adds:

Regarding the situation of Hutu refugee women, a dialogue has to be initiated between them and the
Tutsi refugee women who went back to Rwanda; the two groups should share their suffering and try
together as women to find a solution to their problems. Women of both groups suffered more than men in
their lives as refugees because of their gender. Both experienced discrimination, hunger and all kinds of
abuses because of their gender. Not many women in both groups are involved in politics and power
plays, but many have suffered abuse and starvation—even at the hands of men of the same ethnic group.
Both groups have to go beyond ethnicity and discuss the situation as women who need long-lasting peace
for their families and their country. Women share the same feelings of caring and nurturing and they can
be united as women, united by their gender to save the country from collapsing. By putting gender first,
Rwandan women will have a forum to discuss their own problems, which are their families' problems and
their nation's problems.130

Presenting the problem as an issue that pits "Hutu" women against "Tutsi" women is used as a
politically divisive strategy. As the testimonies in this report show, dozens of Hutu women and men
suffered at the hands of the women who decided to support the project to eliminate Tutsis and Hutus
opposed to the extremists' political vision for Rwanda. Nor have Tutsis, women and men, held back
from identifying Tutsi women who participated in the killings.

Traits d'Union is published in Belgium by a group of Rwandese and Belgians. In an article

published in December 1994, Florence Uwamahoro examines the impact of political conflict on
Rwanda, the war as well as the genocide. In this article, the genocide is represented as a "response" to
the war. No distinctions are made: all women are equally helpless victims of what "ethnic and regional
politics" and what the writer calls "the politics of democratisation."

The war that has consumed our country since October 1990 has turned everything upside down. The
country has suffered a huge loss of human life and material wealth. Our hearts are full of grief and tears.
The country is full of orphans and widows. There isn't any peace anywhere. Inter ethnic violence and
vengeance have made our hearts pound and worry, suffering and grief have thrown Rwandese, and more
especially the women, into a constant, nameless torment.

In olden days, the Rwandese woman was described as the "heart of the home" and mother of the
family. The war that erupted with an incredible violence, cloaked in ethnic and regional politics, has
today led to terrible massacres. Those who call themselves "Inkotanyi" reigned terror in the Byumba,
Ruhengeri and Kibungo regions and then flared up the rest of the country.

130 Clotilde Twagiramariya, "Women as Victims of Power Conflicts: The Case of Rwandan Refugee Women,"
Bulletin of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, Nos. 44/45, Winter/Spring 1995.

Ms. Uwamahoro then gives a "reason" for the launch of the genocide.

Not to be outdone, in April 1994 the former leaders launched a genocide which even killed our children
and old people and destroyed everything, to such an extent that the number of survivors in some places
could be counted on one hand.

The Rwandese woman has endured it all. She has been the victim of extreme humiliation which has
left her with profound and long lasting scars: she has been orphaned, widowed and has lost brothers and
sisters, friends and neighbours.

The Rwandese girl has been abducted. [S]he is doubled over from the weight of the experience,
from walking day and night in the sun and the rain into an unknown destination which should have been
her refuge. Like her parents who once carried her on their backs, she has lost her loved ones; parents,
brothers and sisters, not forgetting her age mates.

Before the war started, the Rwandese woman had taken a great leap forward in her development.
She had created movements and associations aimed at her advancement. She had access to important
posts in the state administration. She fought for her rights, through participation in various meetings etc.

But all this has changed because of various reasons arising from ethnic antagonism.

Many women have lost their husbands and their children. They no longer have someone to look after
them nor to support them in times of weakness.

A terrible consequence of the war is that the men from both ethnic groups have been decimated.
Because of this, women will be forced to carry out certain tasks that their culture forbids them to do: they
will have to build a new house to replace their damaged one or the one which, on their return from exile,
they found completely destroyed. They will have to transport the sick on stretchers to the hospital and
comfort those who have had the misfortune of losing a loved one etc...

Women were forcefully abducted by criminals who subjected them to all sorts things. They have
carried unwanted pregnancies and have been infected with serious diseases such as gonorrhoea, syphilis
and AIDS. It is extremely difficult as no-one is there to care for them or to simply offer them relief from
their pains. All this just increases their agony and their grief.

The women are also deeply concerned about their ever increasing numbers, whilst the men and boys
have been or are being exterminated by the "politics of democratisation" which has disappeared anyone
expressing ideas opposing those in power. Several regions are inhabited solely by women, or have
become pasture land for the cows!

As a result of the evil practise of illegally taking in women, we will soon witness the birth of
children destined to lead miserable lives, whilst those who gave them life will be too distressed to feed
them or so bitter about their own lives that have been soiled by these criminals.

The violence which plunged Rwanda into a state of mourning is indescribable. But it is necessary to
work together to find solutions to some of these problems.

The women will have to organise and get together at meetings aimed at guiding them in their new
roles (temporary) such as the way to promote their interests and of those in their charge.

It would be good if the ethnic problem in Rwanda, the cause of all this trouble, was put aside so that
Rwandans, with the help of men of the church, the state and NGOs, can live in harmony and dialogue.

On the basis that all the women of Rwanda are equally innocent victims and helpless bystanders,
Ms. Uwamahoro calls upon them to "forgive each other."

We, women, have suffered so much that we can, now more than ever, be messengers of peace. With an
open heart, we must forgive each other for all the pain we have caused each other. The war wreaked

havoc for the Hutus as well as for the Tutsis. It is not easy but we have to learn to forgive so that love can
prevail over hatred and vengeance.131

The national and international reluctance to address fully women's participation in the genocide
reinforces the impunity that is enjoyed by genocidal criminals. Many of the women named in this
report, and countless others whose crimes remain to be exposed, are living in comfortable exile in
Africa and in Europe. Many of those who remain in Rwanda continue in their jobs, confident that there
are no witnesses left to tell the tale. They are working in NGOs or in government service as nurses,
teachers and civil servants. Some nurses are working in the hospitals where they committed their
crimes. Some women have gone to work and live in regions where they are unknown.

Some women who sought refuge in neighbouring countries have taken advantage of the blanket
protective cover of women's "innocence." They have returned to the regions of Rwanda neighbouring
Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania. Leaving their husbands, fathers and brothers in the camps, many of them
return to reclaim their property, at the same time providing information for their men folk on their
reconnaissance visits. These women cultivate their fields or rent out their property, often evicting the
survivors of the genocide whose homes have been destroyed. Some of this money returns to the camps,
and a per centage is no doubt used to finance the policies that keep the refugees as hostages and
destabilise Rwanda. Some of these women are killers. Others are themselves guilty of nothing, just as
not every male refugee is a killer. But the ease with which all women can exploit the label of
"innocence" makes it easier to use them as a front for men and women who are killers.

The recent expulsion of refugees from Zaire has made the question of women's involvement in the
genocide more timely. Many of the women are reluctant to return to Rwanda precisely because they
participated in mass murder and they will be, and must be, judged for their crimes.

131 "La femme, messagère de paix," Traits d'Union, No. 6, 24 December 1994.


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