By: Joshua Abdul Ruzibiza.
“The question of RPA soldiers who are regularly killed is very complex. The assassinations differ in their forms, but they all are due to what follows:
When you work for the RPA and you lose the confidence of the army, you become a dangerous element, likely to reveal secrets;
When you start to foster a hostile environment towards the FPR, you can also make revelations;
When you are married to a Hutu woman or a woman born of Hutu and tutsi parents;
when you do not agree with RPA human rights violations;
when you are suspected of collaborating with the opponents of Paul Kagame.
There were also other reasons. Colonel Charles Ngogawas assassinated because he competed with the commercial milk market of Major General Paul Kagame. More than six times, the milk of Colonel Charles Ngoga’s cows was poured right in the middle of the road by bodyguards of President Kagame. He asked whether the strong man of Kigali really believed he had fought for Rwanda’s freedom. These sour words constitute, from now on, an imminent danger, more so as he was shown to have plotted with those who were preparing a coup. Finally, he was killed with a very violent poison poured in his drink by Colonel Dan Gapfizi.
Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson Rutayisire, called Shabani, former ORINFOR director, was shot by Lieutenant-Colonel Mulisa on the order of Major General Paul Kagame. He was suspected of being the head of a group of soldiers exiled in Uganda who did not approve of the way Kagame directed the country. These soldiers were persuaded that Major General Paul Kagame made serious errors which will be difficult to correct later, like killing and wrongfully imprisoning the population, to blame all Hutus of committing genocide, and enroll many known Interahamwe militiamen in the RPA.
Major Rachid Mugisha (alias Kyojo) was killed by an injection administered by Major Dr Joseph Ntarindwa at the military hospital in Kanombe. The execution order came from the DMI which received its order from Major General Kagame in person. It seems that he was assassinated because of his friendship with Captain Serwanda, himself assassinated under the pretext he was preparing a war against the FPR. Major Mugisha also caused his assassination by his character as he did not support injustices within the army.
Major Alex Ruzindana was assassinated some time after his demobilization from the RPA. It was claimed that he belonged to the group of soldiers who prepared a coup d’etat. He was cut down by Captain Butera. That it was believed he wanted to make a coup d’etat is due to the fact he was openly opposed to the massacres and assassinations of people because of a difference of opinion. He was persuaded that if someone did not stop it, the country would fail.
Major Dr Ndahiro and Dr. Jean Gahungu were killed towards the end of July 1994, near Rwamagana in the direction of Kayonza. In a car Major Dr Ndahiro drove, they fell into a ambush. The driver tried to dodge these killers and lost the control of the car. The two officers and one of the members of their escort were killed in this accident. Major Ndahiro was eliminated not only because he had made brilliant studies, but also because he did not like the intrigue. In spite of his relations with Inkotanyi, Dr. Jean Gahungu was eliminated because his/her son had a strong friendship with the family of president Juvénal Habyarimana (today his/her son married one of Habyarimana’s daughters).
Major John Birasa and Captain Eddy perished in a ambush which was set up by Birasa’s deputy. The major was killed because he did not accept the faulty operation of the FPR and an army mercenary. In the years 1993-1994, it was he who was responsible for the logistics of the soldiers who infiltrated Kigali and sowed insecurity in all corners of the country. He also took part in the attack against President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane. By killing him, they wanted to prevent him from revealing what occurred, especially because he started to show his dissatisfaction of the way in which the country and the army were being directed.
Captain Hubert Kamugisha was used by Major General Paul Kagame to commit several atrocities, in particular the assassinations of politicians, including Minister Félicien Gatabazi of the PSD, Martin Bucyana of the CDR and others. He was also used to place mines in Rwanda, particularly in the town of Kigali at the beginning of the year 1994. He was used to collect more thorough information during the days which preceded the attack against the presidential plane. In the final analysis, contrary to the majority of the others, he was not rewarded and he is not even assembled in rank for all the work which he had been able to achieve. His public dissatisfaction caused a move from the DMI to the 17è Battalion (He was relegated to the units that had nothing to do with intelligence). A few days after, he was killed by bullets following a DMI conspiracy on order of Paul Kagame and it was reported he had committed suicide. It is important to recall here that he was the only officer of the RPA who faced very dangerous situations while mixing with Interahamwe and knowing that, if he were discovered, he was likely to be tortured and killed in agony. However, he remained a captain while young people than majors or lieutenant-colonels were promoted to him.
Captain S. Kavuma. This officer was demobilized from the RPA because he did not get along any more with the RPF’s methods. On the way to Uganda, he was stopped at the frontier station at Gatuna. He was taken to the DMI in Kami and killed using a worn hoe (agafuni).
Captain David Sabuni. He disapproved of the RPF’s methods, in particular the unfair promotions and nominations at the director positions in the RRA. He decided to go into exile in Uganda. Paul Kagame convened a military meeting where he asked for all the brigade commanders to use all the means at their disposal, in collaboration with the DMI, to repatriate all the soldiers who had exiled themselves in Uganda. Thus Colonel Mubarakh Muganga tried to come into contact with Captain David Sabuni. When he managed to meet him, he lied to him and said that he had explained the problem to President Paul Kagame who, also, found it comprehensible. Colonel Muganga invited the captain to return to be restored in his rank of lieutenant and continue to fight against the RPF’s methods. Captain Sabuni initially had some hesitations but Colonel Muganga reassured him by promising that he took care of business. The colonel then sent money to him and the means necessary to return at his discretion. Arriving at Gatuna, the captain was bound by the DMI and assassinated after a lengthy torture.
Shown to want to launch a war against the RPA, Captain Serwanda was killed with the Akagera National Park with his escort. The news was quickly spread that he was killed while trying to organize an armed rebellion in the forest to reverse the capacity of the FPR. But the true reasons of his elimination were completely different. They wanted to get rid of him.
Lieutenant Aloys Rupari was assassinated in Mulindi (Kanombe) by soldiers of the Republican Guard commanded by Lieutenant Bosco Ndayisaba who recieved orders from Captain Silas Udahemuka. He was killed because he denounced the injustice that characterized the arrests and imprisonment of masses of the population.
Second Lieutenant Dan Ndaruhutse, a bodyguard of Paul Kagame in the Republican Guard, was killed at the same time as another soldier who was suspected of having taken part in a plot. Ndaruhutse had nothing to do with this business. He was killed quite simply because dared to ask why his fellow-soldiers were killed brutally.
Their killer said that he had been likely to fall on the second lieutenant, because he was required to disclose secrets of the Republican Guard. The two soldiers were thus assassinated on order of Captain Silas Udahemuka.
Lieutenant Karegeya, who was in the 3rd battalion with the NDT during the war of 1994, was killed by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Kayonga in Kigali sometime after the end of the war. Oncraignait which it does not reveal information relating not only to the attack against the presidential plane of Habyarimana, but also of the assassinations of politicians like Félicien Gatabazi, Martin Bucyana, Emmanuel Gapyisi and Emmanuel Bahigiki.
This soldier, originating in Kibungo, had lived a long time in Kigali before joining the RPA. He was used in espionage carried out in Rwanda and in Kigali in particular. He helped to obtain Rwandan indentity cards for RPA soldiers who infiltrated Kigali before the genocide. He did it in collaboration with Captain Charles Karamba, Colonel Lizinde and close relations of Kanyarengwe who were in the adminisitration.
Lieutenant Rwagasana, a Hutu who spoke English and French, was used as a translator-interpreter for Paul Kagame in the war. He was cut down by Captain Jimmy Muyango in the 101st Battalion. His elimination was explained by the fact he was Hutu, and he did not have any more confidence in the High Command that ensured Kagame’s safety, that he knew all the correspondences of Kagame, and that he held fundamental information on the assassinations of politicians, including Juvénal Habyarimana. His death was described as accidental. He was replaced by Lieutenant Jean-Bosco Kazura as the translator-interpreter.
Lieutenant Dan Twahirwa was liquidated following the sour remarks he made at the time of his stay in the Kibungo military prison with regards to the high command of the RPA, the DMI, and the legal military services that imprisoned soldiers unjustly.
Lieutenant Fred Gatumbura was the driver of Paul Kagame for several years and thus knew many secrets. After loosing his credibility in the army following rumours he had a direct family ties with a Hutu (and after these rumours were reinforced by his relations with a Hutu woman with whom he was even going to marry in Kibuye) He was poisoned and everyone was led to believe that he had died of AIDS.
Second Lieutenant Peter Sempa. He was the personal bodyguard of Paul Kagame since the beginning of the war. After being suspected of supporting the counter-cells, one deduced he could reveal to them crucial information relative to the death of Juvénal Habyarimana, because he had taken part in the loading of the missiles. Thus, military authorities had him directly put in the battalions that fought in Zaire. It is there that he was cut down at the time of an attack simulated by the elements of the RPA which had led him there.
Deputy-Lieutenent Jean-Claude Ruraza belonged to the DMI. He was suspected of not supporting the program to exterminate the population whereas this was the principal task of any DMI officer. The RPA preferred to eliminate him as I already described in the part which relates to the war.
First Sergeant Nyirumuringa was shot in Kigali at the place where he often went to drink. He had been used against his will to transport corpses and people to be taken out to Nyungwe Forest where they were incinerated. He was killed to prevent him from telling anyone later.
I do not intend to recount all the victims, because there are too many. There is reasonable evidence from the few cases I raised. They can be available to whoever will bring a lawsuit against these criminals. I also took care not to evoke all those who were killed during the war. Their number is so high that I reserve a whole book for them that will start with Major General Fred Rwigyema and Major Peter Bayingana and will evoke their comrades in arms until today.
Except the soldiers of the RPA, Kagame also killed elements of the ex-FAR who had joined the RPA. I will quote some examples of those who were eliminated because they expressed their dissatisfaction on the massive arrests and the repetitive massacres of members of their Hutu ethnic group.
Major Lambert Rugambagye was killed in the military prison of Kibungo at the beginning of the year 1997. As he did not have anything to be reproached for, he was allowed to denounce the atrocities the RPA was committing. Even Inkotanyi which dared to act on him were killed. He was unaware of this.
Dated October 24, 1997, Gitarama, Captain Théoneste Hategekimana, commander of the Gendarmes in Gitarama, was assassinated. He was a victim because of his open opposition to the massive arrests and massacres of the population, in particular of Hutu intellectuals like during the setting of the RPA infiltrations in Gitarama prefecture. Assassinations of ex-FAR and people were carried out because they had soldiers of the FAR abound in their families. We will not hesitate to add other names of victims as soon as we are in possession of sufficient information on the circumstances of their deaths.
Lieutenant Abdul Joshua Ruzibiza, Rwanda: Secret History, Panama: Paris, 2005. ISBN: 2-7557-0093-9. pg. 420-429.