Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April 2014, 10:56 GMT

Rwanda: Update to End July 1995

Publisher WRITENET
Author Gérard Prunier
Publication Date 1 August 1995
Cite as WRITENET, Rwanda: Update to End July 1995, 1 August 1995, available at: [accessed 23 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


1.1 A Country in Shock

As we mentioned in our previous Update on Rwanda (January to March 1995)[2], the population of the country is still psychologically traumatised by the consequences of the 1994 genocide. Some recent texts are particularly revealing as regards this situation[3], which the fast-moving attention of the developed world seems to have already left behind. What a psychologist would call 'the labour of mourning' has not really been taking place for a number of reasons:

•                normal life has not restarted, largely for economic reasons;

•                Hutu leaders in exile still brazenly deny the genocide ever happened;

•                foreigners keep insisting on 'reconciliation' without defining their term; and

•                the process of international justice is so incredibly slow that many people have stopped believing it will ever take place.

1.2 The Question of the International Tribunal

The task of the International Tribunal is therefore among the highest priorities. Yet the situation seems to be stagnating, if only because the international search for the killers still does not appear to be in earnest[4] The very small team working with the International Tribunal prosecutor, Judge Richard Goldstone, has compiled a list of about 400 main criminals[5], but very few of those have been indicted and even fewer arrested. So far former factory manager Alphonse Higaniro and former university professor Vincent Ntezimana have been arrested in Belgium, while Interpol international arrest warrants have been issued for four more people[6] Genocide advocate Léon Mugesera has been charged in Montréal[7], and after the presence of a number of genocide organisers in Cameroon had been revealed[8] President Biya promised that he would either charge or deport them[9] although it does not seem that action was indeed taken. In France, Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, the former curate of the Sainte Famille parish in Kigali, was accused of collaborating with interahamwe militiamen in drawing up death lists[10] and eventually arrested and charged[11] The total number of criminals detained or actively looked for is only around ten. Many of the known organisers such as Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, Captain Pascal Simbikwanga, former 'President' Théodore Sindikubwabo or former 'Prime Minister' Jean Kambanda are not only at large, but travelling internationally without being stopped while crossing borders. This led the Rwandese president, Pasteur Bizimungu, to remark that 'we are left alone'[12]

Prosecutor Goldstone is faced with a daunting task indeed: his budget is totally insufficient, judges have been recruited very slowly and he has only five investigators[13] He managed to symbolically open the International Tribunal in the Hague on 27 June 1995[14]14, but there are strong doubts that he will be able to issue the first indictments before the end of this year as he had planned[15]

1.3 The Problem of UNAMIR

The 5,700 men of the UNAMIR contingent are another legacy of the controversial mandate of the United Nations in Rwanda. Their relationship with the local population is often poor, not infrequently with good reason. To see UN soldiers swagger in full combat gear into a grocery store to buy milk in a perfectly peaceful and quiet street in Kigali[16], while it is well known that they did nothing while 800,000 human beings were massacred[17] under their eyes, is not conducive to mutual respect. The situation has further deteriorated because contingents from some of the poorest nations have been involved in various offences such as influence peddling and smuggling[18], while tactlessness was at times carried to the point of indecency[19] The Kibeho massacre[20] where once more the UNAMIR forces let several thousand people be butchered under their eyes without reacting did not improve their image. In June, the United Nations agreed to reduce their strength from 5,700 to 2,330, with a planned progressive scaling down to 1,800 by October 1995[21]

1.4 The Problem of the UN Human Rights Commission

In our previous Update[22], we strongly criticised the functioning of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, noting that it was politically timid about investigating present violations and completely inefficient in elucidating the circumstances of the genocide. Soon after a thoroughly documented report by the independent human rights organization African Rights noted (in even more severe form) exactly the same shortcomings we were pointing out last April[23] A joint report by Human Rights Watch Africa and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, while agreeing in more moderate terms with this assessment, expressed some hope that these failings were being slowly corrected[24] Recent reports from the field unfortunately do not seem to lend themselves to such optimism[25]

1.5 The Role of the Churches

The churches, mostly Catholic but also Protestant, have been a fundamental structure in Rwandese social and cultural life. With the considerable shortcomings of civil administration today, their role would normally be expected to be even more important. But this cannot be so because their role during the genocide is now violently questioned, including by some of the Church circles which are now under criticism[26] Collusion with the former government, refusal to accept the genocide as such, unacceptable behaviour by some members of the clergy during the massacres - many previously unspoken issues are now being brought to the surface. The case of Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, which we have already touched upon, is particularly significant. Although not one of the main organisers of the genocide (his name ranks only as no 421 on the list of criminals compiled by the International Tribunal Research Team), he is accused of having selected victims for the interahamwe summary executions, of having informed on people trying to run away, of having carried weapons throughout the Battle of Kigali and of having forced young Tutsi girls to sleep with him to save their lives[27] Such a case makes it very difficult for the Church to defend its imprisoned clergy, although, typically for the state of prisons in Rwanda, the probably guilty ones are lumped together with the obviously innocent[28] The attitude towards the churches takes on a definite political colour, supporters of the new regime usually being the most critical[29], while opponents who at times are discreet supporters of the old order, the Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement (MRND), tend to defend them[30] So far George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, during a visit he made to Rwanda in May, is the only major international Church figure who has courageously accepted his Church's share of responsibility[31] This evasion of moral duty is having a disastrous effect on the consciousness of a traumatised population, which would like to look up to its religious leaders for guidance and which now feels that Church attitudes and actions are more determined by political choices than by pastoral motivations.


2.1 The Political Climate

All testimonies point to administrative insufficiencies, political impotence on the part of the civilian authorities, especially the police and the judiciary, and the growing importance of the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA), which seems at times not to serve but to replace the government[32] In a move starkly reminiscent of the old regime, the new government has re-introduced residence permits for Kigali, 'to ensure a better administration'[33] Liberal Hutus who had at first agreed to serve the government are slowly drifting away, such as Public Prosecutor François-Xavier Nsanzuwera who discreetly left for Brussels[34] or Jean-Damascène Ntakirutimana, Chief of Staff in Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu's cabinet, who resigned[35] and took refuge in Nairobi. The latter later voiced strong criticism of the functioning of the present regime, declaring:

'much as I can condemn the genocide of last year, I still cannot accept the revanchist style in which the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) runs the country today .... For thirty years the Hutu had power and today it belongs to the Tutsi assisted by a few token Hutu among whom I figured for more than a year .... The RPF denies that there is any ethnic problem today with the same energy it used in denouncing the ethnic imbalance of the old regime .... It was necessary to find a new system and we were a few to believe that the RPF victory would enable us to achieve a real change. But the RPF has simply installed a new form of Tutsi power .... The radicals from the two sides reinforce each other and what the RPF is doing today boosts up the position of the Hutu extremists in the refugee camps'.[36]

A series of revelations in the French daily Libération appears to bear J.D. Ntakirutimana out[37] The paper obtained several confidential documents written by the Directorate of Military Intelligence about various matters, including internal security. In those the main Hutu party, the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (MDR) which is led by Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu, is described as 'part of a conspiracy'. And other Hutu figures in the government such as Finance Minister Marc Ruganera of the Parti Social Démocrate (PSD), Colonel R. Kanyarengwe, nominally the Chairman of RPF, Minister of Public Service and Vice-Prime Minister or Seth Sendashonga, Minister of the Interior and long-standing RPF militant are all lumped together and characterised as representing 'the internal enemy'. This violently ethnic reading of the political situation, even if it remains the minority vision of certain extremist segments of the RPF, is nevertheless a growing tendency about which we already warned in the conclusion to our previous Update[38]

2.2 Internally Displaced Persons and the Kibeho Massacre

By late March there were about 220,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps in Southern Rwanda[39], down from a figure of around 600,000 in late 1994. During April the government which saw these camps as a festering sore of former interahamwe, a view which had a certain amount of truth in it, decided to close them down. The problem is that given both the endemic insecurity in the hills and the relentless propaganda of the former militiamen who knew that they would be screened out during the closure operations, the peasants were scared and refused to move. The government decided to use force, with tragic results. The RPA started the operation at Kibeho on 18 April by burning part of the shelters down[40] Clashes immediately resulted in ten deaths[41] but the operation was not stopped. The results were tragic[42] The authorities started by describing the violence as the result of 'a military confrontation'[43] but many converging testimonies describe the RPA firing upon the crowd in cold blood[44]

But in fact our last expression might be misleading: the RPA soldiers' blood is unlikely to have been really cold as they fired. We can fairly confidently say that the massacre is a horrible but 'logical' consequence of the failure of the international community to ensure the setting up of an international tribunal to judge the 1994 genocide within a reasonable period of time. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the trauma dimension of Rwanda today. Rwanda is a country full of living dead. The foreigners, even those whose profession it is to help, do not seem to either understand or to really care. Failure to provide some form of catharsis is leading to tragedy and Kibeho might not be the last[45] In a pitifully confused war of numbers the French medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières started by claiming there had been 8,000 casualties, a figure at first accepted by the UN in New York and Geneva, while on the ground UNAMIR was talking about 4,000[46] Later UN authorities scaled down their figure to 2,000 after confronting the government which admitted only to 338 dead[47] Nobody came out of this confusion looking very innocent, the NGO appearing guilty of exaggeration, the UN of overhasty acceptance and later of accommodation, UNAMIR trying to minimise the fact that it had done absolutely nothing to stop the firing which had lasted one whole day, and the RPF government insisting on an obviously false casualty figure[48]

Soon after, the other camps were closed down[49] But the displaced persons who were forced to leave went through a terrible ordeal[50] The government later published a report concluding that the RPA soldiers had indeed fired on unarmed civilians (although it stuck to its figure of 338 casualties) but attributing the violence to 'confusion'[51]

2.3 Justice and the Prison Situation

The situation in this respect is appalling. The jail population is huge and it keeps growing. It was estimated at 30,000 in April[52] and at 41,000 by mid-June, which represents an increase of about 1,600 per week[53] The situation is all the more tragic because the Rwandese jails were never constructed to hold such large numbers. In Gitarama for example, there are 6,500 inmates in a jail built to hold 1,000 at the most. People are packed to the rate of one person per square metre and the available space is continually reduced. Under such conditions the death rate is extremely high. In Gitarama, Médecins Sans Frontières have witnessed about 1,000 deaths in the last eight or nine months, i.e. about five per day[54] Deaths by suffocation because of overcrowding are frequent: on 17 March twenty-two people died that way[55] and a further twenty-eight suffocated in Rusatira Prison on 26 April[56]

The hostility towards the detainees is relentless and the very fact that they are detained makes them be considered as guilty. Doubtless many are indeed guilty but a fair number are just the victims of private quarrels, slanderous denunciations or plain bad luck. Some are even political detainees for reasons other than the genocide.

A major factor in this jail overpopulation is that people keep being arrested but very few are brought to trial. One reason is that there are only twenty-six magistrates when an estimated 700 would be needed[57] Another reason is that judges who tried freeing those prisoners who seemed quite obviously not guilty in order to ease off the overcrowding saw their decisions overturned by RPA soldiers and even in some cases ended up in detention themselves[58] An attempt at starting trials for the genocide aborted after one day[59] Foreign protests to the government about the whole situation seem to have fallen upon deaf ears[60]

2.4 The Ghost of Ethnic Partition

Given the continued insecurity in Rwanda and the slow motion civil war in Burundi, some people have begun to voice the notion that it would be a good idea to partition the two countries and to create a Hutuland and a Tutsiland[61] The notion was given a veneer of respectability in May when the U.S. under-secretary of state for African Affairs, George Moose, made a declaration in that direction in a joint statement with the Kenyan president, Daniel Arap Moi[62] After a certain amount of discussion in international circles[63], the idea slowly withered because of its unpracticability and probable high cost in human lives. But given its 'beautifully rational quality' one should expect to see it resurrected in case of further violence in the two countries.

2.5 The Economic Situation

As we discussed it in our previous Update, the aid figure pledged in Geneva last January was already substantially inferior to the needs and to what the UN had requested[64] The UN had launched an appeal for US$ 1,474 million[65] Theoretical pledges during the conference had reached US$ 587 million and the result was described as 'massive help'[66] But when the dust settled down, firm pledges were pegged at US$ 573 million and by mid-May actual disbursements from bilateral sources (pledges of US$ 321 million) stood at US$ 44.7 million or about 14 per cent of the total[67] The country is on the brink of starvation, and it is only because over two million of its population are outside as refugees and 800,000 are dead that the rest can eat.

Unlike the U.S., the European Union decided to freeze its aid after the Kibeho massacre[68] But it was satisfied with the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry and decided to restart aid in July[69] However, it will be some time before aid will have a sufficient impact to begin to put back whatever is left of the Rwandese economy on its feet.


Still unsolved a year after their massive flight, the question of the refugees remains at the centre of the whole Rwandese conundrum. The refugee population, complete with its army, finances and government, is like a second and smaller unofficial Rwanda outside the official one. According to UNHCR, there are 1,920,000 registered refugees[70] a figure which could easily be increased by 5 or 10 per cent to include the unregistered ones. The numbers in themselves are a political bone of contention, General Paul Kagame, the Rwandese Vice-President and Minister of Defence talking rather of 'one million or so refugees'[71]

3.1 The Situation in Burundi

There are about 200,000 Rwandese Hutu refugees in Burundi, a paradoxical situation given the slow-motion civil war now taking place between the Tutsi-dominated Army and the Front de Défense de la Démocratie (FDD) Hutu guerrillas[72] Of these refugees about 116,000 are in the northern provinces of Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo and Muyinga where the Burundi conflict has been at its worst. In April, after some of the camps in Ngozi had been attacked by mysterious 'armed men' (probably Burundese Tutsi 'Sans échec' militiamen) a sudden panic threw an estimated 30,000 refugees on the roads, trying to reach the camps in the Ngara District of Tanzania. This led to border closure by the Tanzanian Army and a very difficult situation for the refugees who were caught between their unknown Tutsi assailants and Hutu extremists from the camps. The latter went as far as throwing grenades at the UNHCR lorries which were trying to bring them back to the original camp sites[73] Although matters have calmed down somewhat in the camps themselves, the situation remains very tense because FDD guerrillas now operate in Muyinga Province from refugee camps in Tanzania, which causes the Burundese army to chase them back across the border, thus considerably increasing local tension[74]

3.2 The Situation in Tanzania

With around 400,000 Rwandese refugees all settled in the small area of Ngara District, Tanzania is a major element in the refugee equation. Unlike the Burundese authorities (especially the army), which are largely hostile to the refugee presence, and unlike the Zairian government which is involved in a very complicated political game with the remnants of the old Rwandese regime, the Tanzanian government is probably the most neutral and fair of those who were forced to shelter thousands of refugees at the time of the genocide. Since as we will see the majority of the refugees have no intention of going back and since the local problems (contrary to the situation with Burundese refugees) have been more or less contained, the camps have little by little taken on an air of permanency[75]

3.3 The Case of Kenya

Kenya is a very peculiar case in that although it does not give asylum to very many Rwandese refugees (probably 2-3,000, most of them unregistered), the refugees there are politically extremely active and seem to enjoy a discreet welcome on the part of the Nairobi authorities[76] The extremist paper Kangura, run by Hutu Power propagandist Hassan Ngeze, has resumed publication, this time in Kenya[77] Many of the people who are high on the International Tribunal list of suspected genocide criminals are frequently seen in Nairobi, or entering or leaving the country. The phenomenon is visible enough to have attracted the attention of the local press[78] For months after the government had changed in Kigali, the Rwandese Embassy in Nairobi remained in the hands of the former regime with the complicity of the Kenyan Government[79] In a remarkable show of non-cooperation, Kenyan authorities later expelled two diplomats from the Rwandese Embassy within a period of two months, after suggesting in an oblique manner that they had been conspiring against the country[80] This has of course all to do with the close alliance between Kigali and Kampala as opposed to the hostility between Uganda and Kenya.

3.4 The Zairean Problem

With over one and a half million refugees, the magnitude of the Rwandese problem in Zaire almost defies the imagination. Zaire is also the regional area where the political centre of gravity of the former regime is located.

The first that should be said in order to understand the situation is that the vast majority of the refugees have absolutely no intention of returning to Rwanda as long as the RPF government is in power[81] And for those few who are willing to try, the situation is often fraught with danger[82] The political control of the former authorities over 'their' people is almost total. As a refugee in Goma was telling a French TV journalist: 'We came here with our orders and we now wait for our return orders'[83] If during 1994 and earlier this year the former government authorities had to use intimidation and at times violence to keep their charges in a state of obedience, the April 1995 Kibeho massacre has radically changed the situation. After Kibeho, there was no more doubt about the intrinsically evil nature of the RPF regime, and the problem for the old MRND guard became more their internal divisions and quarrels than any sort of reluctance to obey on the part of the refugee mass.

This brings us to the issue of the Rassemblement pour la Démocratie et le Retour (RDR). Created on 18 April 1995[84], the RDR has at times been presented as 'a new refugee organization willing to open a dialogue with the regime in Kigali'[85] This seems to be an over-hopeful assessment. The RDR is the creation of François Nzabahimana, former Minister of Commerce in the 1991-1992 Nsanzimana cabinet. As Executive Secretary of the Popular Banks network, he was later accused of being one of the financers of the interahamwe militias. As soon as his movement had been announced, he received the full support of the former Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR)[86], which does not exactly suggest a fresh direction[87] The other officers of the RDR, although they have been carefully chosen so as not to be open to the accusation of having participated in the genocide are not exactly liberals either[88]88, and one is tempted to agree with Rehabilitation Minister Jacques Bihozagara who called it 'the MRND under another name'[89] Although RDR leader Kanyarushoki had declared that he 'agreed with the idea of an international tribunal of justice'[90], later when the Tribunal actually opened he stated that the RDR would not collaborate in handing over genocide suspects[91] RDR circles are generally dominated by an attitude of denial which leads them either to claim that the genocide did not actually happen or even, more brazenly, to pretend that it was the Hutu who were the victims of this genocide[92] Thus the RDR seems simply to be a diplomatic structure set up by the slightly less tainted members of the old guard to try to satisfy the demands of the international community about 'a political opening' and 'a broadening of the base of government'.

A last and perhaps main point concerning the Rwandese refugees in Zaire: are there now plans for an armed offensive against Rwanda in the near future? This is of course a question which is very difficult to answer, especially since reports by various human rights groups, published recently, have tended to confuse the situation. A report by Human Rights Watch, published in May 1995[93]93, obscured the situation by putting on the same plane arms deliveries which took place during the genocide or soon after and supposed arms deliveries which would have been more recent, but which were not substantiated by any serious evidence[94] Since France which had been compromised in the genocide was again mentioned, the press played upon these 'revelations', mixing up the past and the present, fact and supposition[95] This was followed by denials from all interested parties[96] But later a second and much more solidly documented report was published by Amnesty International[97] This report gave evidence of arms deliveries made to the ex-FAR through the agency of various international arms merchants rather than through the direct agency of foreign governments as Human Rights Watch had asserted, a development which was much more believable. It is to be noted that in both cases the reports insisted on a degree of collaboration from the Zairian government, something which seemed more or less obvious to all direct observers.[98]

The border clashes which occurred in April were not repeated[99], but training seems to have gone ahead. An interesting aspect is the financing. Before the 1994 catastrophy, Rwanda, which has no gold production, was exporting gold to a value of about US$ 15 million a year. For the twelve months period from mid 1994 to mid 1995, its precious metal exports have fallen to US$ 42,000, while Kenya's gold export has increased from practically nothing to US$ 14 million[100] Since neither Rwanda nor Kenya produces gold, the shift simply reflects a transfer by the Rwandese connection of illegal Zairian gold exports from one country to the next. This financial flow, which before 1994 was controlled by Rwandese establishment figures (and still is controlled by the same group) very likely contributes to the arms purchases.

It is of course impossible to know what the intentions of the former Rwandese leadership are. But, as a French journalist who has followed closely the whole crisis recently remarked, it is impossible for the men of the old akazu to keep their followers in obedience indefinitely. If significant developments do not take place soon, their troops could start to disband. Thus an attack could very well take place later this year, after the August crops (so that the Hutu civilian population has time to stockpile food) and before the November rains which make communications difficult[101] Their strategy would then be to try to gain a territorial foothold within the country, however small, and then to negotiate with the Kigali regime. However, an aggressive return of the extremist Hutu would serve as a direct provocation for the extremist Tutsi who are impatient for action inside the RPF camp. It is therefore unfortunately likely that the armed invasion, even if it were only moderately successful, would cause some elements of the RPF to commit massacres of Hutu civilians[102] This is not at all a deterrent to the Hutu extremists for several reasons:

•                widespread massacres of Hutu civilians would probably cause donors to cut off aid to the Kigali regime;

•                confusion would set in in the minds of world public opinion, thus considerably blurring the image of the 1994 genocide;

•                mass killings of Hutu civilians by the RPF would lastingly solidify the hold of the former leadership over the minds of the Hutu population. Such killings would thus help rather than hinder the invaders.


Although it is of course difficult to provide definitive answers to the problems of a very fluid situation, a certain number of elements stand out in the Rwandese case.

Firstly, the extreme slowness, to say the least, of the international community in setting up an International Tribunal to judge the 1994 genocide, which plays into the hands of both sets of extremists. On the RPF side it enables Tutsi extremists to tell their community that the West cares very little indeed about their tragic fate, that they are left to themselves in a cruel and indifferent world where the strong eat the the weak and where the solution is thus for them to definitely crush and dominate the Hutu for the next century. The tardiness of aid disbursement and the lack of reaction when the Tutsi commit human rights violations such as the Kibeho massacre all tend to confirm the picture of international indifference. Those very same facts are observed by the Hutu extremists based in Zaire, who are now convinced that the international community will look the other way as they rearm, train and regroup. They are now sure that only force and cunning will pay, and triggering a massacre of their own community so as to regain victim status in the eyes of the world is a definite possibility.

Secondly. the Rwandan economy has not been restarted. If the refugees actually all did return, the resulting situation, especially in terms of food supply, would be chaotic.

However, the refugee population is extremely unlikely to come back as a result of negotiations, since there is very little enthusiasm for its return on the part of the government, in spite of official declarations, and since the former authorities do all they can to deter 'their' population from returning. The Kibeho massacre, confirming spectacularly the worst fears of the Hutu refugees, seeming to bear out the truth of the former government's propaganda and displaying openly the impotence of the international community in ensuring any serious form of security in the country, acted as a powerful deterrent to large scale return. Thus the situation can be considered as blocked until some new element opens it up, possibly violently. Further movements of refugees and internally displaced persons can reasonably be expected within the next few months or a year at the most.


The views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of UNHCR.


[2]. Gérard Prunier, Rwanda: Update to End of March 1995, WRITENET (UK) for UNHCR/CDR, April 1995.

[3]. See for example José Kagabo, 'Après le génocide' in Les politiques de la haine: Rwanda-Burundi 1994-1995. Special issue of Les Temps Modernes (July-August 1995), pp 102-125.

[4]. François Misser, 'Searching for the killers', The New African (April 1995).

[5]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting RTBF [Brussels], 5 April 1995

[6]. Le Soir, 5 March 1995

[7]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Canada, 22 June 1995

[8]. Pascal Musabe, former Central Bank President, the historian Ferdinand Nahimana, known from Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, former Liberal Party Secretary General Justin Mugenzi and Joseph Nzirorera. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 10 April 1995; Le Monde, 12 April 1995.

[9]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 23 June 1995.

[10]. Libération, 20 June 1995, 8-9 July 1995.

[11]. Libération, 30 July 1995. For a discussion of Fr Munyeshyaka's case, see below, 1.5 The role of the churches.

[12]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 7 April 1995.

[13]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Africa No 1 [Libreville], 17 May 1995.

[14]. Le Monde, 29 June 1995

[15]. See interview with Assistant Prosecutor Judge Honoré Rakotomana in Le Monde, 2-3 July 1995

[16]. Personal observation by the author. Kigali, 18 January 1995.

[17]. This figure is the author's personal estimate of the number of victims of the genocide. See Gérard Prunier, The Rwandese Crisis (1959-1994): History of a Genocide, (London: Hurst, fc October 1995).

[18]. 'Tentative de fraude à l'import des Indiens', Imvaho Nshya [Kigali], 10-16 April 1995.

[19]. This was the case when on 7 April 1995, the first anniversary of the genocide, UNAMIR boasted in its daily record sheet of achievements about 'coffin supplies for the burial ceremonies'. Stephen Smith, 'Le pouvoir rwandais pousse les soldats de la paix vers la sortie', Libération, 2 June 1995.

[20]. See below, 2.1 Internally displaced persons and the Kibeho massacre.

[21]. United States Information Agency [New York], 9 June 1995; Le Monde, 11-12 June 1995.

[22]. Gérard Prunier, Rwanda: Update to End of March 1995.

[23]. African Rights, Rwanda: A Waste of Hope - The United Nations Human Rights Field Operation, (London, March 1995).

[24]. Human Rights Watch Africa and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, Rwanda: The Crisis Continues, (New York and Paris, April 1995).

[25]. Author's interview with French medical NGO personnel returning from Rwanda, Paris, 18 July 1995.

[26]. In the already quoted special issue of Les Temps Modernes the article entitled 'Les divisions de l'Eglise rwandaise', pp 91-101, is written by an anonymous priest. And even the very prudent White Father periodical Dialogue felt obliged to feature a conventionally critical piece: Rik De Gendt, 'L'Eglise du Rwanda n'arrive pas à surmonter la crise', No 183 (May-June 1995). It is of course immediately balanced by a 'justification' article 'Christianisme et génocide', written by a Swiss Dominican Father, Clau Lombriser.

[27]. See Christian Terras: 'Le Touvier rwandais sous haute protection de l'Eglise de France', Golias, No 43 (July-August 1995). In addition to this article and others which denounce the activities of Fr Munyeshyaka, there is a 36 page in-depth study called 'Rwanda: la machette et le goupillon', detailing the various failings of the Catholic Church during the genocide. The Catholic establishment is fighting strongly to preserve its image in Rwanda, with Dialogue publishing a testimony aimed at exculpating Fr Munyeshyaka, (No 184, July-August 1995).

[28]. See La Lettre du Continent, 20 April 1995.

[29]. See the criticism of the Baptist Church in Rwanda Rushya, No 58 (1 April 1995).

[30]. See Le Messager Intumwa, No 53 (April 1995).

[31]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 12 May 1995.

[32]. For a good summary of these testimonies see Human Rights Watch Africa and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, Rwanda: The Crisis Continues.

[33]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 8 June 1995.

[34]. Author's interview with a Rwandese diplomat, Paris, 5 June 1995. Judge Nsanzuwera is no supporter of the old regime and in a very courageous and candid book called La magistrature rwandaise dans l'étau du pouvoir éxécutif: la peur et le silence complices de l'arbitraire, (Kigali: CLADHO, 1993) he had denounced the vices of the judiciary under the rule of President Juvénal Habyarimana.

[35]. Le Monde, 15 June 1995

[36]. Le Monde, 23-24 July 1995.

[37]. Stephen Smith, 'Le Rwanda passé au crible du renseignement militaire', Libération, 18 July 1995.

[38]. Gérard Prunier, Rwanda: Update to End of March 1995.

[39]. Human Rights Watch Africa and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, Rwanda: The Crisis Continues.

[40]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 18 April 1995.

[41]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 19 April 1995.

[42]. Press coverage was massive. See Stephen Buckley, 'At least 2,000 refugees die in Rwandan violence', The Washington Post, 24 April 1995; '2,000 Hutu refugees are killed in Rwandan massacre, UN says', International Herald Tibune, 24 April 1995; Donatella Lorch, 'As many as 2,000 are reported dead in Rwanda', The New York Times, 24 April 1995; 'Entre 5,000 et 8,000 Hutus ont été massacrés par l'armée Tutsie', Le Figaro, 24 April 1995; 'Horror in refugee camp', The Independent, 28 April 1995.

[43]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 23 April 1995.

[44]. See for example the testimony of photographer Paul Lowe in Libération, 15 May 1995, or that of an anonymous aid worker in Nigrizia, (June 1995).

[45]. This should be seen in conjunction with what we described above, in 1.5 The role of the churches. Without the churches, without international justice, with an RPF government which is run by former outsiders in the strict sense of the word (as the RPF radicalises itself, the role of government members who were inside during the genocide and who are generally Hutu is becoming less and less important), the plight of the survivors and of their families is getting more and more acute. Undigested grief, rank hatred, frustrated desire for revenge is the order of the day. Nobody is dealing with that collective psychological bomb.

[46]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 24 April 1995.

[47]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 24 April 1995.

[48]. Counting bodies on the pictures taken by Paul Lowe on that day (22 April 1995) already gives a number higher than the one accepted by the Rwandese Government. In a private interview a UN official in charge of the situation and who knew Rwanda well gave this author the figure of 4,200 dead estimated by Australian UNAMIR soldiers on the spot as the best and most probable approximation. Author's interview, New York, 25 April 1995.

[49]. Le Monde, 25 April 1995.

[50]. The numbers of IDPs were down to slightly more than 150,000 at the time of the Kibeho slaughter. An estimated 67,000 went back to their original homes, 23,000 fled to Burundi and some 60,000 were left unaccounted for. UN and NGO personnel estimate that, although it is is unlikely that large massacres have taken place, many IDPs were robbed, brutally treated and often killed by local Tutsi as they left the ruins of their camps. See Libération, 23 June 1995.

[51]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 19 May 1995.

[52]. Human rights Watch Africa and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, Rwanda: The Crisis Continues.

[53]. Stephen Smith, 'Rwanda: justice entravée, prisons surpeuplées', Libération (15 June 1995).

[54]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 5 July 1995

[55]. Collectif des Ligues et Associations des Droits de l'Homme au Rwanda (CLADHO), Kigali, 1 April 1995.

[56]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 28 April 1995.

[57]. Human Rights Watch Africa and Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, Rwanda: The Crisis Continues.

[58]. Ibid.

[59]. Le Monde, 8 April 1995.

[60]. The ICRC has repeatedly protested against the prison conditions but to no avail. See Le Monde, 2-3 April 1995).

[61]. This author had a two hour discussion on the subject with a member of the US National Security Council who only reluctantly gave up the idea regretting that, although it seemed unworkable 'it sounded so beautifully rational'. Author's interview, Washington D.C., 24 April 1995.

[62]. Agence France Presse, [Nairobi], 27 May 1995.

[63]. See Salamina Jube, 'Hutu State, Tutsi State', The New African, (July 1995).

[64]. Gérard Prunier, Rwanda: Update to End of March 1995.

[65]. United States Information Agency [New York], 18 January 1995.

[66]. Pierre Hazan, 'Une aide internationale massive pour le Rwanda', Libération, 20 January 1995.

[67]. Dialogue, No 183 (May-June 1995), p 107.

[68]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 11 May 1995.

[69]. Libération, 5 July 1995.

[70]. Le Monde, 6 April 1995.

[71]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 15 May 1995.

[72]. See Gérard Prunier, Burundi: Update to the End of July 1995, WRITENET (UK) for UNHCR/CDR, August 1995.

[73]. Jean-Philippe Ceppi, 'Les réfugiés Rwandais pris en tenaille', Libération, 3 April 1995.

[74]. See Gérard Prunier, Burundi: Update to the End of July 1995. One can say that the Rwandese and Burundese situations have meshed from the points of view of refugees, security and guerrilla operations. There are a number of Rwandese refugees now within the ranks of the Burundese FDD and the Tutsi-dominated armies of both countries cooperate in anti-guerrilla operations on their eastern borders.

[75]. Tara Gruzen, 'Tanzania huge refugee city appears there to stay', The East African, (15-21 May 1995).

[76]. La Lettre de l'Océan Indien, 'Kenya: la base arrière des Hutus Rwandais', (1 April 1995).

[77]. It is regularly reviewed in the Revue de la Presse Rwandaise, published by the White Father periodical Dialogue in Brussels.

[78]. Gichinga Ndirangu, 'For Rwanda's sake, Kenya must kick out its fugitives', The East African, (9-15 January 1995).

[79]. La Lettre de l'Océan Indien, 1 April 1995.

[80]. Jacques Nziza in April and his successor Théodomir Igiraneza in May. See The East African, (29 May - 4 June 1995).

[81]. For a good analysis of this mood see 'Crime and nourishment', The Economist, 10 April 1995.

[82]. François Fritscher, 'Les Hutus Rwandais tentent un périlleux retour', Le Monde, 2 May 1995.

[83]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting France 2 TV, 11 April 1995.

[84]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 18 April 1995.

[85]. 'Des Hutus disposés au dialogue avec le gouvernement Rwandais', Le Monde, 23 June 1995.

[86]. Dialogue, No 183 (May-June 1995), p 108.

[87]. The ex-FAR are still under the command of Major-General Augustin Bizimungu, one of the main organisers of the genocide.

[88]. Ambassador Pierre-Claver Kanyarushoki, President Habyarimana's former envoy to Kampala, was the government representative during the Arusha negotiations. Jean-Marie Vianney Ndagijimana was President Habyarimana's Ambassador in Paris, who changed sides in April 1994. After being chosen by Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu as Minister for Foreign Affairs he served for four months in Kigali and disappeared with US$ 187,000 while on his way to New York.

[89]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 20 June 1995.

[90]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 23 May 1995.

[91]., BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 2 July 1995.

[92]. This attitude is very well described in an article in The Economist, 3 June 1995, entitled 'You are saying we did it?'.

[93]. Human Rights Watch Arms Project, Rearming with Impunity: International Support for the Perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide, (New York: Human Rights Watch, May 1995).

[94]. This led to the report being severely criticised by Stephen Smith in 'Livraisons d'armes au Rwanda: retour sur un rapport contestable', Libération, 31 July 1995.

[95]. See Alain Frilet, 'Les Français réarmeraient l'ancienne armée rwandaise', Libération, 30 May 1995.

[96]. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 30 May 1995.

[97]. Amnesty International, Rwanda: Arming the Perpetrators of the Genocide, London, 13 June 1995.

[98]. Author's interview with French NGO medical staff working in the refugee camps around Goma, Paris, 6 June 1995.

[99]. Frederic Fritscher, 'Tension à la frontière Zaïre-Rwanda', Le Monde, 14 April 1995.

[100]. La Lettre de l'Océan Indien, 13 May 1995.

[101]. Jean Hélène, 'Les impatiences des réfugiés rwandais', Le Monde, 26 July 1995.

[102]. The first victims would very likely be the 42,000 detainees.

[1] This issue paper update, and previous ones of November 1994 and April 1995, were prepared by Gérard Prunier, WRITENET (UK), on the basis of research including interviews and personal observation, for his forthcoming book The Rwandese Crisis 1990 - 1994: History of a Genocide (London: Hurst, f.c.). The original issue paper, 'La crise rwandaise: structures et déroulement', was published in Refugee Studies Quarterly, vol 13, Nos. 2 and 3 (Summer/Autumn 1994).

Search Refworld