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Tribunal: ICTR
Accused:BAGOSORA, Theoneste
Type of Decision:Indictment (Amended)
Case Number:ICTR-96-7-I
Date of Decision:31-07-1998
Heading:Statement of the Facts
Reference to case-law:
Paragraphs: -



5.1 From late 1990 until July 1994, Théoneste Bagosora, Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Augustin Bizimungu, Aloys Ntiwiragabo, Gratien Kabiligi, Protais Mpiranya, Aloys Ntabakuze, François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye, Anatole Nsengiyumva, Augustin Bizimana and Tharcisse Renzaho conspired among themselves and with others to work out a plan with the intent to exterminate the civilian Tutsi population and eliminate members of the opposition, so that they could remain in power. The components of this plan consisted of, among other things, recourse to hatred and ethnic violence, the training of and distribution of weapons to militiamen as well as the preparation of lists of people to be eliminated. In executing the plan, they organized, ordered and participated in the massacres perpetrated against the Tutsi population and of moderate Hutu.

5.2 In a letter dated 3 December 1993, certain FAR officers revealed to the UNAMIR Commander the existence of what they called a "Machiavellian plan" conceived by military who were mainly from the North and who shared the extremist Hutu ideology. The objective of the Northern military was to oppose the Arusha Accords and keep themselves in power. The means to achieve this consisted in exterminating the Tutsi and their "accomplices". The letter indicated moreover the names of political opponents to be eliminated. Some of them were in fact killed on the morning of 7 April 1994.

5.3 On 10 January 1994, UNAMIR was informed by an Interahamwe leader of the details of a plan to exterminate the Tutsi population and its "accomplices".

Speeches and Incitement

5.4 The incitement to ethnic hatred and violence was a fundamental part of the plan put in place. It was articulated, before and during the genocide, by elements of the FAR on the one hand, and by members of the Government and local authorities on the other.

5.5 On 4 December 1991, President Juvénal Habyarimana set up a military commission. The commission was given the task of finding an answer to the following question: "What do we need to do in order to defeat the enemy militarily,in the media and politically?" Lt. Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva and Major Aloys Ntabakuze were members of this commission, presided by Colonel Théoneste Bagosora,

5.6 In a letter dated 21 September 1992, the General Staff of the Rwandan Army ordered that an extract from the commission report be circulated among the troops. The letter came from the office of the Chief of Intelligence (G-2), namelyLieutenant Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva. The extract defined the main enemy as follows: "The Tutsis from inside or outside the country, who are extremists and nostalgic for power, who do not recognize and have never recognized the realities of the Social Revolution of 1959, and are seeking to regain power in Rwanda by any means, including taking up arms." The secondary enemy was defined as: "Anyone providing any kind of assistance to the main enemy". The document specified that the enemy was being recruited from within certain social groups, notably: "the Tutsis inside the country, Hutus who are dissatisfied with the present regime, foreigners married to Tutsi women...". Among the activities the enemy was accused of, the document mentioned "the diversion of national opinion from the ethnic problem to the socio-economic problem between the rich and the poor".

5.7 The document and the use made of it by the senior officers aided, encouraged and promoted ethnic hatred and violence.

5.8 As from 1993, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora and Aloys Ntabakuze made statements wherein they identified the enemy as the Tutsi, and their sympathizers as the Hutu in the opposition.

5.9 As part of the negotiations for the Protocol on integration of the Armed Forces under the Arusha Accords, the officers from the North saw their powers eroded. This reality they could not accept made it opportune for to them to exacerbate the discourse of ethnic hatred and violence.

5.10 Colonel Théoneste Bagosora participated in the Arusha talks, and openly manifested his opposition to the concessions made by the Government representative, Boniface Ngulinzira, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the point of leaving the negotiation table. Colonel Théoneste Bagosora left Arusha saying that he was returning to Rwanda to "prepare the apocalypse". On 11 April 1994, Boniface Ngulinzira was assassinated by the military. His death was announced on RTLM in these terms: "We have exterminated all the accomplices of the RPF, Boniface Ngulinzira will no longer go and sell the country to the RPF's advantage in Arusha. The Peace Accords are only scraps of paper, as our father, Habyarimana, had predicted".

5.11 At the time of the negotiation of the Arusha Accords, several meetings of Army officers including Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, Lt. Col. Anatole Nsengiyumva and Major Aloys Ntabakuze were held notably at Kanombe military camp . During the same period,Aloys Ntabakuze and Théoneste Bagosora urged the military to reject and show their disapproval of the Arusha Accords. In August 1993, Aloys Ntabakuze even ordered his men to abduct the Prime Minister and bring her to Kanombe Camp. The operation was cancelled while it was under way on the orders of the Chief of Staff, General Déogratias Nsabimana.

5.12 Several senior officers in the Rwandan Army, including Théoneste Bagosora, Gratien Kabiligi and Aloys Ntabakuze, publicly stated that the extermination of the Tutsi would be the inevitable consequence of any resumption of hostilities by the RPF or if the Arusha Accords were implemented. Furthermore, on various occasions, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora declared that the solution to the war was to plunge the country into an apocalypse in order to eliminate all the Tutsi and thus ensure lasting peace. These statements were often made in the presence of senior officers, includingAnatole Nsengiyumva. The latter stated moreover that the implementation of the Arusha Accords would unleash war.

5.13 On 4 April 1994, three days before the beginning of the genocide, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora reasserted that the only solution to the political impasse was to eliminate all the Tutsi.

5.14 Towards the end of March 1994, in the presence of a group of Belgian Army officers, the Chief of Staff of Rwandan Army, General Deogratias Nsabimana, and Colonel Gratien Kabiligi spoke of the possibility of eliminating the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) and the Tutsi within a short time. Moreover, during the genocide, Gratien Kabiligi expressed his satisfaction with the crimes perpetrated by the Interahamwe militia against the civilian Tutsi population.

5.15 The characterization of the Tutsis as the enemy and of members of the opposition as their accomplices was echoed by politicians, notably by Léon Mugesera, MRND Vice-Chairman for Gisenyi préfecture, in a speech he made on 22 November 1992. Broadcast on the state radio and therefore reaching a much larger audience, Léon Mugesera's speech already at that time was an incitement to exterminate the Tutsi population and their "accomplices".

The Militia Groups

5.16 The creation of the youth wings satisfied two of the political parties' concerns: to mobilize young people and to sensitize them to politics. The MRND and CDR followed the example of the MDR and RPF, which had already institutionalized their youth movements. Political rivalries during the multi-party period exacerbated tensions. The "Interahamwe" and "Impuzamugambi" began to be drawn astray from the time they were used to oppose with violence the political demonstrations organized by parties of the opposition.

5.17 In order to ensure that, when the time came, the extermination of the enemy and its "accomplices" would be carried out swiftly and effectively, it was necessary to create a militia that was structured, armed and complementary to the Armed Forces. For the militia to be represented nationally, Interahamwe committees were created at prefecture level.

5.18 As from 1993, and even before that date, anxious to radicalize the Interahamwe movement, the leaders of the MRND, in collaboration with officers of the FAR, decided to provide military training to those members most devoted to their extremist cause and to other idle youths. Furthermore, weapons were distributed to them.

Training of the Militia Groups

5.19 The training was supervised by military, includingProtais Mpiranya, Aloys Ntabakuze, Anatole Nsengiyumva, Léonard Nkundiye, and civilian authorities. Training was conducted simultaneously in several préfectures around the country: Kigali, Cyangugu, Gisenyi and Butare, as well as in the Mutara sector. Training also took place in military camps, notably Gabiro, Gako, Mukamira and Bigogwe, as well as around these camps or in neighbouring forests.

5.20 In the Mutara sector, Colonel Léonard Nkundiye supervised the training of the MRND militia, the Interahamwe.

5.21 Moreover, in 1993, the implication of Colonel Léonard Nkundiye's men in the training given was confirmed by internal inquiries which were ordered following a telegram sent to various units, as well as to the General Staff, by the Commander of the Rwamagana military camp. The telegram revealed the implication of soldiers from the Mutara sector in the training in question.

5.22 In Kigali préfecture, Protais Mpiranya and Aloys Ntabakuze supervised the training of the MRND militia, the Interahamwe.

5.23 In Gisenyi préfecture, between June 1993 and July 1994, Anatole Nsengiyumva supervised the training of the MRND militia, the Interahamwe, and that of the CDR militia, the Impuzamugambi.

5.24 On 10 January 1994, a leader of the Interahamwe militia informed UNAMIR that 1,700 militiamen had undergone training and that they could eliminate 1,000 Tutsis every twenty minutes.

5.25 The secret training of the militiamen became more and more notorious. They could on some occasions be seen training in public places or on their way to the training sites, while chanting slogans inciting the extermination of the enemy.

Distribution of Weapons

5.26 In order to implement the plan for the extermination of the enemy and its "accomplices", the militiamen were to receive weapons, in addition to military training. Hence, the military and civilian authorities distributed weapons to the militiamen and certain carefully selected members of the civilian population in various préfectures of the country.

5.27 In 1993, President Habyarimana declared in Ruhengeri that the Interahamwe had to be equipped so that, come the right time, "ils descendent".

5.28 Before and during the events referred to in this indictment, Augustin Bizimana, Théoneste Bagosora, Protais Mpiranya, Anatole Nsengiyumva, Aloys Ntabakuze and others distributed weapons to the militiamen and certain carefully selected members of the civilian population with the intent to exterminate the Tutsi population and eliminate its "accomplices".

5.29 In February 1993, without the knowledge of the Minister of Defence, James Gasana, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora arranged for weapons to be distributed to the bourgmestres of Gisenyi. The weapons were taken from the Army's logistics base in Kigali and were then distributed by the bourgmestres to certain carefully selected civilians in Gisenyi.

5.30 From July 1993 to July 1994, the Minister of Defence, Augustin Bizimana, who replaced James Gasana, encouraged and facilitated the acquiring of weapons for MRND militants by openly asserting that the Ministry of Defence was a Ministry of the MRND. He personally received several influential members of the MRND, the CDR and Interahamwe in his office.

5.31 From June 1993 to July 1994, in Gisenyi, Military Commander of the préfecture, Anatole Nsengiyumva and his subordinates participated in the distribution of weapons to the militiamen.

5.32 Towards the end of 1993, in an open letter broadcast on national radio, the Bishop of the diocese of Nyundo, in Gisenyi préfecture, denounced the distribution of weapons in that prefecture.

5.33 Due to the proliferation of weapons in Kigali-ville préfecture, UNAMIR put in place a disarmament program, titled Kigali Weapon Security Area (KWSA). The program came into effect in early 1994. Concurrently, in cooperation with the Chief of Staff of the Gendarmerie, Augustin Ndindiliyimana, UNAMIR organized search operations in Kigali. The effectiveness of the operations was compromised by General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, who gave advance information on the locations targeted in the searches to Mathieu Ngirumpatse, MRND Chairman. The latter passed the information on to the Interahamwe, who immediately moved the weapons.

5.34 On 7 January 1994, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, Augustin Bizimana, Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Déogratias Nsabimana, Robert Kajuga and other influential MRND members participated in a meeting at the MRND headquarters in opposition to the disarmament program. It was decided at this meeting to use all possible means to resist the implementation of the disarmament, and also to hide weapons at various locations.

5.35 On 10 January 1994, UNAMIR was informed by an Interahamwe leader of the existence of weapons caches in Kigali and a plan to eliminate the Tutsi population. It instructed one of its officers to uncover the exact locations of the weapons. That officer identified several caches throughout Kigali, in places controlled by members of the MRND, notably at the party headquarters in Kimihurura, in a house belonging to General Augustin Ndindiliyimana. During the search of that house, the UNAMIR officer discovered several firearms and cases of ammunition. The informer asserted that, as regards the military aspects of his duties, he was under the orders of MRND Chairman, Mathieu Ngirumpatse, and the Army Chief of Staff, Déogratias Nsabimana. Moreover, he informed UNAMIR that the weapons that had been distributed came from the Army.

Establishment of Lists

5.36 Having identified the Tutsi as the enemy and the members of the opposition as their accomplices, members of the Army General Staff, civilian authorities and militiamen established lists of people to be executed.

5.37 In 1992, at a meeting, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora instructed the two General Staffs to establish lists of people identified as the enemy and its accomplices. The Intelligence Bureau (G-2) of the Rwandan Army established the lists under the supervision of Anatole Nsengiyumva. The lists were regularly updated under the authority of Anatole Nsengiyumva and afterward of Aloys Ntiwiragabo.

5.38 In 1993, following a traffic accident, a list of the type described above was found in the vehicle of the Chief of Staff, Déogratias Nsabimana. During the events, some of the people on that list were killed.

5.39 On 10 January 1994, an Interahamwe leader informed UNAMIR that he had received orders to establish lists of Tutsi to be eliminated.

5.40 From 7 April to late July, military and Interahamwe massacred members of the Tutsi population and moderate Hutu by means of pre-established lists, among other things.

Precursors Revealing A Deliberate Course of Action

5.41 The political and ethnic violence of the early 1990s was characterized by the use of the elements of the strategy which achieved its finality in the genocide of April 1994. The massacres of the Tutsi minority at that time, including those in Kibilira (1990), in Bugesera (1992), and those of Bagogwe (1991), were instigated, facilitated and organized by civilian and military authorities. On each occasion, a campaign of incitement to ethnic violence, conducted by local authorities, was followed by massacres of the Tutsi minority, perpetrated by groups of militiamen and civilians, armed and assisted by the same authorities and by certain military personnel. On each occasion, these crimes remained unpunished and the authorities implicated were generally not taken to task.

5.42 Cooperation between the Interahamwe and certain military personnel, particularly those in the Presidential Guard and the Para-Commando Battalion, was manifested in early 1994 in opposition to the implementation of the institutions provided for under the Arusha Accords. On 5 January 1994, at the time of the swearing-in ceremony of the Broad-Based Transitional Government, the Interahamwe organized a demonstration in cooperation with members of the Presidential Guard. They prevented political opponents from entering the Conseil national de développement (CND). The swearing-in of the members of the Government did not take place. In the end, only the President, Juvénal Habyarimana, was sworn in.

5.43 On 8 January 1994, Interahamwe, in complicity with elements of the Presidential Guard and the Para-Commando Battalion dressed in civilian clothes, again organized a demonstration near the CND. On that occasion, the Interahamwe had hidden weapons very nearby and were equipped with radios provided by the Presidential Guard. That demonstration was intended to provoke and cause injury to the Belgian UNAMIR soldiers.

Modus Operandi

5.44 Finally, as of 7 April 1994, throughout Rwanda, Tutsis and certain moderate Hutus, began to flee their homes to escape the violence to which they were victims on their hills and to seek refuge in places where they had traditionally felt safe, notably churches, hospitals and other public buildings such as commune and préfecture offices. On several occasions, gathering places were indicated to them by the local authorities, who had promised to protect them. For the initial days, the refugees were protected by a few gendarmes and communal police in these various locations, but subsequently, the refugees were systematically attacked and massacred by militiamen, often assisted by the same authorities who had promised to protect them. During the numerous attacks on the refugees throughout the country, personnel of the FAR, military or gendarmes, who were supposed to protect them, prevented the Tutsi from escaping and facilitated their massacre by the Interahamwe. On several occasions, these FAR personnel participated directly in the massacres.

5.45 Furthermore,soldiers, militiamen and gendarmes raped, sexually assaulted and committed other crimes of a sexual nature against Tutsi women and girls, sometimes after having first kidnapped them.

Last Modified: 26-02-2013 10:24:53 (Documentation SIM)
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