On April 15, 1994, the criminal government continued to implement its genocidal plan to exterminate Tutsi throughout the country. As part of remembering the victims of the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) continues to recall the history of this Genocide, how it was implemented on a daily basis, and ci -after how he was executed across the country on April 15, 1994.

  1. The slaughter of Tutsis at former Ruhengeri court of appeal 

Musanze High Court building formerly called Ruhengeri Court of Appeal was the killing site of over 400 Tutsis who were moved from different communes of Ruhengeri Prefecture as a part of strategy to easily kill them. Most of them were from Busengo sub-prefecture (in the current Gakenke District) who were seeking refuge there hoping to be safe.

The then Sous-prefet of Busengo Dismas NZANANA ensured protection to all who were seeking refuge and told them that nothing bad would happen to them while at the same time he was talking to the former Ruhengeri Prefect ZIGIRANYIRAZO Protais behind their back asking him to send all Tutsis in Ruhengeri city so that they can be killed there.

NZANANA told Tutsis that he will provide transport to seek refuge in the former Zaïre (current Democratic Republic of Congo) and instead government-owned buses took them to the former Ruhengeri Court of Appeal. On April 15, 1994 the Interahamwe militia from everywhere in Ruhengeri including the so called « Amahindure » group who had already killed Tutsi in the former Mukingo Commune came to help Interahamwe to kill all Tutsis in the court building.

Those who survived were taken to Ruhengeri hospital and later killed at Mukungwa river after firing grenades to them at the hospital and smashing children on the walls.

  1. Tutsi massacred in Nyange – former Kivumu Commune

The history of Nyange at the catholic church as well as its neighboring area during Genocide is unique. It is in the former Kivumu Commune, Birambo sub-prefecture which was composed of three communes namely: Bwakira, Kivumu and Mwendo in Kibuye Prefecture. The history shows the long and tiring journey of thousands of Tutsis who fled to Nyange catholic church believing they would find safe heaven at that holy place. Few days later, the renowned priest SEROMBA Athanase ordered to demolish the church using a caterpillar and all Tutsis inside were killed.

After the death of Rwanda’s President Habyarimana Juvenal on April 6, 1994, mass killing of Tutsi started immediately in Kivumu commune and took the lives of many civilians including Grégoire Ndakubana, Martin Karekezi and Thomas Mwendezi.

Due to those attacks, Tutsi from various sectors of Kivumu Commune fled from their homes to administrative buildings and churches including Nyange church hoping to be safe. The Mayor of Kivumu Commune along with communal police gathered all Tutsi refugees from various sectors of Kivumu and took them to Nyange Parish. Arriving there, the Priest Athanase Seromba   requested information on Tutsi who had not yet arrived at the Parish and wrote their names on a list which he handed to the Mayor Grégoire Ndahimana to search and bring them at the Parish to kill them easily in the church.

The attacks were led by various people especially a businessman called Gaspard Kanyarukiga, a teacher called Télesphore Ndungutse and Anastase Nkinamubanzi who worked for an Association called Astaldi that was constructing the road connecting Rubengera and Gisenyi and he is the one who brought the caterpillar that demolished Nyange church. Seromba conspired with Grégoire Ndahimana who was the Mayor of Kivumu Commune, Fulgence Kayishema who was the investigation officer in the same commune, Télesphore Ndungutse, Gaspard Kanyarukiga and many more to kill the Tutsis.

  1. Massacre of Tutsis at Ruhanga Anglican Church (EER Ruhanga)

In 1994, many Tutsis lived on the hill of Ruhanga and other surrounding hills in the former Gikoro commune.  When the Genocide started, some Tutsis took their spears and arrow bows with and fled to Ruhanga hill. When the Interahamwe started to fight them, they took children, women and older people inside the church and started to fight back using their traditional weapons and stones.

After Interahamwe realized that the Tutsis resisted the killing, they called upon the support from Rwamagana gendarmery and the helicopter came to shoot the Tutsis and the survivors were chopped with machetes by Interahamwe. After that, killers went to the church and used petrol to burn alive those who were in the church where very few survived. Among the victims, there were also a Hutu pastor and his family members who opposed the killing of Tutsi and decided to stay with them and died there. The church was later on transformed into a genocide memorial.

  1. Massacre of Tutsi in Ntarama Catholic church

When Genocide started, Tutsis from Ntarama tried to resist and fought Interahamwe militia back. When the fight became harder for Tutsis as Interahamwe were reinforced by soldiers, they started to enter in the church of Ntarama. The fact that the massacre was continuously increasing across Bugesera, other Tutsis from Kanzeze, Kayumba and Nyamata were all gathering in Ntarama to seek refuge. On April 15,1994, buses full of Interahamwe and soldiers from elsewhere as well as those from Ntarama massacred about 3000 Tutsi refugees who were in the church. They used guns, grenades as well as traditional weapons.

On 15 April 1994, at Cyugaro school, many Tutsis were killed including those who lived near the school and those who had just survived from the massacre of Ntarama church.  Those who survived at Cyugaro school took refuge in the papyrus swamps called CND during Genocide and they would return back at night to look for food which they cooked at the schools and go back to the swamps before the dawn. 

  1. Tutsi massacred at Cyahinda Parish, Nyaruguru

Between 14 and 15 April 1994, Interahamwe killed about 32,000 Tutsis who have taken refuge at Cyahinda church. Those killed in Cyahinda Church were from Nyakizu and its neighboring communes like Mubuga, Kivu and Nshili. Those who commanded the killings are Ntaganda Ladislas who was the Mayor of Nyakizu commune, Busoro Sous-prefect Assiel Simbarikure, Festus Nyamukaza who worked closely with Ntaganzwa, Pastor Francois Bazaramba of Union of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (UEBR Nyantanga), Celestin Batakanwa, Geofrey Dusabe, Celestin   Rucyahana (a former military) and many others. 

All Tutsis were gathered at Cyahinda parish since Mayor Ntaganzwa and other Interahamwe had closed all pathways to Burundi and sensitized Tutsis to go to Cyahinda where they were told to be protected. After gathering them all, Ntaganzwa requested support of gendarmes from Butare with the help of Major Cyriaque Habyarabatuma and they exterminated all Tutsis who were at Cyahinda Parish.

Another aspect of Genocide in Cyahinda was the survival of Priest Charles Nshogoza who tried to escape by hiding at the parish’s staff called Alexis until the Mayor Ntaganzwa searched for him in collaboration with Sergeant Corneille Ndindayino until they found him and brought him at the parish, tortured him and finally killed him. It was in May 1994. 

  1. Tutsi massacred in Cyiryamocyinzovu –Kamonyi

Cyiryamocyinzovu is opposite the former office of Taba commune led by the Mayor Jean Paul Akayesu during the time.  The killing in Taba Commune became tough from April 8, 1994. The roadblocks were put in place everywhere especially at Rwabashyashya, Buguri, Gishyeshye and near Remera-Rukoma Hospital.  

From April 13, it was very tough and many Tutsis started seeking refuge at Taba commune office. KUBWIMANA Silas who led MRND in Taba Commune held a meeting in Cyiryamocyinzovu, and said that the enemy is a Tutsi who should be killed before they put Hutu in the pits already dug by the former. From then, they started taking few Tutsis at the killing site in Cyiryamocyinzovu where they have named CND to kill them and especially from 8 to 15 April a big number of Tutsis was killed.

Kubwimana was the killer leader and ordered who to kill, and who to spare for him to kill later. Killers were staying at the commune waiting for Kubwimana’s daily killing instructions.

On April 14, 1994, Tutsis came in big numbers at Taba Commune and found Interahamwe there waiting for them. Interahamwe were instructed to take any Tutsi who comes at the commune to Cyiryamocyinzovu and kill them. Some of Interahamwe were in charge of killing while others were in charge of covering bodies with slight topsoil. After using various weapons including guns, machetes and clubs, bodies were dumped in the long trench and covered with soil. 

  1. Tutsi massacred in Gasetsa, the former Kigarama commune of Kibungo

In Remera Sector, over seven thousand (7000) Tutsis were killed from April 8, 1994 and the real end took place between 14 and 15 April 1994. The history of Genocide against the Tutsis preparation and implementation in Remera Sector, especially in Gasetsa Centre, is based on actions of former authorities originating from there.

They led all the preparations and implementation of Genocide against Tutsi in Gasetsa centre. Those were Col RWAGAFIRITA Pierre Célestin, Col RENZAHO Tharcisse, MUGIRANEZA Prosper, KABAGEMA Ferdinand, MUGIRANEZA Emmanuel, MULINDA and MURWANASHYAKA. The latter was among Interahamwe who headed the attacks to kill or to order the killing of Tutsis using various weapons (clubs, hammer, Cutters, machetes, spears, arrow bows, grenades…).

  1. Tutsi massacred in Gihara, Kamonyi

Gihara Parish is located in Runda Sector, Kamonyi District. When the Genocide was becoming harsh, Tutsis started to flee towards Gihara Parish. They arrived on April 10, 1994 and the Spanish Priest called SINAWOLA Leonard welcomed them and did his best to feed them. However, his staff were not happy about it until they refused to buy food for Tutsi refugees even though he had given them money to do so.

There was a local criminal group who called themselves Abajepe (name used for Presidential Guards) that was led by NYECUMI, KANANI and Eugene and started to attack Tutsi refugees at the Parish. They were using KAMANA Claver car which was driven by his young brother KAYITANI.

The killers chopped men and young boys with machetes without killing them and when they become very weak, killers packed them in a car and throw them in Cyoganyoni water dump located in Bishenyi marshlands.  Alternatively, they would take them to Nyabarongo river in which a big number of Tutsis were thrown. 

During the massacre, Priest SINAWOLA Leonard went back home, and the killings continued once men were completely wiped out at the Parish, the killers started to take women and throw them alive in Nyabarongo river.  As soon as they arrived at Nyabarongo, some were thrown alive, others were put in a small house near Nyabarongo river known as Ruriba bridge and they were raped, and also later thrown in the river. 

April 15, 1994 was the last day for all Tutsis who had taken refuge at Gihara Parish as well as those across Runda.  

  1. Tutsi massacred in Nyabikenke, Muhanga

When Genocide started from April 10, 1994, Tutsis were seeking refuge at Nyabikenke Commune. The killers started attacking them from April 14 but on April 15 they were all killed; some at the same place others who managed to escape were killed on the way to Kabgayi. Kiyumba Genocide memorial was constructed in the area and 717 Tutsis are buried there in dignity.  Most were killed around the memorial and while others were escorted to a placed called Budende and thrown in Nyabarongo river.

Those who led the killing of Tutsis in Nyabikenke commune were the former Minister of youth Nzabonimana Callixte, the Mayor of Nyabikenke Commune KARUGANDA Anatole, NGARAMBE Vincent, and KAMARI Isaac who worked in MINITRAPE, among others.

  1. Tutsi massacred in Muyongwe Sector in the former Tare commune – Gakenke.

Many Tutsis from Muyongwe were killed after being tortured by Interahamwe. They were killed by attacks from Rushashi in a place called Kinyari, preparations and trainings were given at Kigali Ngari Sous-prefecture. During their refuge seeking journey, many Tutsis were tortured. The meetings planning the massacre were led by Rushashi Sous-prefecture authorities and Mayors of its communes as well as sector councilors of Shyombwe and Joma sectors. This place of Shyombwe and Kinyari commercial center was called CND.

  1. Tutsi massacred in Muhazi Commune, Gishari – Rwamagana

From 12 to 14 April 1994, many Tutsis were seeking refuge at Muhazi commune. From 15 to 16 April 1994 they were killed after being attacked by Interahamwe, a Tutsi Kanamugire who was one of Habyarimana’s soldiers broke into the communal building and took some guns which he gave to Come NDAYAMBAJE and to Gatete Anaclet and they used the guns to disperse Interahamwe. 

This allowed Tutsi who were in the Commune building to escape and headed to Muhazi Lake hoping to use the boats in the lake to join Inkotanyi at the other shore in Murambi. However, they met government soldiers, a Warrant Officer MUTABARUKA and KANANURA and fought them towards the Muhazi Lake to take the boat, but boats were all locked and others broken. 

After running out of bullets, they found a small boat which they managed to put few people in and took them to Murambi as Inkotanyi had already embarked there. Meanwhile, Interahamwe followed them from the commune to the shore of Kavumu where many Tutsis hoped to escape to the other shore of Muhazi, but all of them were thrown in Muhazi.  Although some Tutsis tried to escape using the small boat Interahamwe swimmed following them and killed them slowly in the boat. All of these including those from the commune building and on the shore of the lake were all killed at the shore of Kavumu on 16 April 1994.

  1. Tutsi massacred in Kigali Sector, Kitabi center, Nyarugenge

There was a roadblock located in Kigali Sector, Kitabi centre on top of Nyamirambo hill near Mount Kigali next to the Military camp which was led by Interahamwe militiamen called RUBAYIZA HASSANI and KIBUYE KARUNGU.  RUBAYIZA was the chief at the roadblock and all Tutsis from Mwendo in Kigali, Kabusunzu and Nyamirambo and those in the surrounding area were put in a tent built there to cover for the rain. Later, Interahamwe were brought and helped to chop and dump Tutsis in the mining pits nearby.

 Many Tutsis were killed at this roadblock and Rubayiza would call on soldiers’ support whenever some Tutsis resisted. No one could survive at the roadblock.  The killing occurred from 15 to 17 April 1994. Rubayiza was convicted by Gacaca Courts for Genocide crimes and has been sentenced to special life imprisonment in Mageragere.

  1. Massacres of Tutsi at the Catholic parish of NYARUBUYE

From April 10, 1994, the Catholic parish of Nyarubuye welcomed very many Tutsi who came from the communes of Rukira, Rusumo, Mugesera and Birenga; the latter being survivors fleeing the massacres which had taken place on April 12 and 13 in the city of Kibungo and at the Catholic parish of Zaza. These killings took place following the meeting held on April 12, 1994 at the Huye military camp. It was chaired by Colonels Pierre Celestin Rwagafirita and Anselme Nkuliyekubona during the course in the presence of the mayors of Birenga Melchiade Tahimana, Rusumo Sylvestre Gacumbitsi, Kigarama Mugiraneza Emmanuel, Mugesera Gakware Léopold, Sake Sylvain Mutabaruka and many others in which was decided to accentuate the genocide.

On April 14, 1994, another meeting took place at the Huye military camp, bringing together the same people certainly to assess the massacres and accentuate the genocide where it was not yet completely consumed as Nyarubuye. On the morning of April 14, there were several attempts to attack militiamen in Nyarubuye who were repulsed by the Tutsi.

The militiamen went to ask for reinforcement at the gendarmerie station located in Nasho. A gathering of gendarmes, soldiers and militiamen has taken place since April 14 at the Nyarutunga, a commercial center under the supervision of bourgmestre Sylvestre Gacumbitsi and other Hutu power leaders and prepared for the assault on Nyarubuye.

In the early afternoon of April 15, 1994, the attack on Nyarubuye began with the participation of the bourgmestre Gacumbitsi himself, who killed on the spot with the machete an old well-respected Tutsi in Nyarubuye, named Murefu. The Hutu leaders of Nyarubuye participated in this attack, including the named Evariste Rubanguka judge of the Rusumo cantonal court, Karamage Isaïe sector advisor Nyarubuye, Rugayumukama Daniel militia leader, Edmond Bugingo teacher, Ntezimana Léonidas, Hakizamungu Antoine, Gisagara François, Ryamugwiza Déogratias Jean alias Misumari, and many others.

Research carried out by Professors Paul Rutayisire and Privat Rutazibwa in 2007 identified 742 genocidaires who were actively involved in the genocide in Nyarubuye.

  1. Massacre of Tutsi at the Catholic parish of Muganza, Nyaruguru

The Tutsi of the former Kivu commune where the parish of Muganza was located began to take refuge there from April 7 fleeing the attacks which threatened them. Several Tutsi houses were already burned down under the supervision of the mayor Juvenal Muhitira and Father Joseph Sagahutu. Sub-prefect Biniga also came to the scene at the very beginning of the genocide and held a night meeting with the mayor Muhitira and Father Sagahutu during which the hunt for Tutsis was decided.

As of April 11, 1994, 8,600 Tutsi refugees were registered in the parish in the morning and their number increased daily until reaching 11,000 in the evening of the same day. It was on this day that the parish of Muganza suffered the first attack and the Tutsi defended themselves.

The next day April 12, another major attack took place led by the bourgmestre Muhitira and the sub-prefect Biniga Damien and it failed so that at the same time another attack was carried out at the neighboring parish of Kibeho and that the refugees Tutsis managed to defend themselves. Biniga and Muhitira then decided to focus on Kibeho first and come to settle the Muganza massacre once the Kibeho massacre is over.

On April 15, the day after the extermination of Kibeho, a gang of killers supported by soldiers stormed the Muganza parish and decimated the Tutsi refugees there.



The Genocide against the Tutsi was planned and carried out by the state. The fact that since the morning of April 7, 1994, the Tutsi were at the same time massacred throughout the country, from Kigali, and elsewhere, demonstrates without the slightest doubt that the Genocide was planned by the State Rwandan.


Done at Kigali, 15/4/2020


Dr Bizimana Jean Damascene

Executive Secretary

National Commission for the fight against genocide

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