Rwanda: April 24, 1994 - Tutsi Killed in Kabgayi, Ruhango

April 24, 1994 was the 18th day of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Killings had spread across Rwanda, especially in the southern region. Massacres of Tutsi took place in different parts of the former Gitarama Prefecture, in current day Muhanga, Ruhango and Kamonyi districts.

Tutsi refugees began arriving in Kabgayi, in Muhanga on April 20,1994. They sought refuge at St Leon Petit Seminaire, St Joseph College, Major Seminary Philosophicum Kabgayi, at Kabgayi Hospital and in the former TRAFIPRO buildings, later named CND during the Genocide.

ALSO READ: April 23, 1994: Tutsi thrown into Nyamagana pond, Burundians take part in killings

Tutsi refugees had sought to enter the Kabgayi Cathedral but were denied entry by Thaddee Nsengiyumva, the Bishop of Kabgayi.

Interahamwe entered the schools. Some of the Tutsi refugees were killed in the schools, others were taken away to be killed in the Kabgayi forest. Women and girls were raped.

Killings at Kabgayi continued through June. Mass killings were reported on May 5, May 24 and June 1.

ALSO READ: April 22, 1994: Catholic nuns turn away Tutsi seeking refuge at monastery

Members of the clergy were also killed after being betrayed by their colleagues. One notable priest who took part in the killings in Kabgayi is Emmanuel Rukundo.

In 2009, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Rukundo guilty of genocide crimes and in October 2010 sentenced him to 23 years in prison.

ALSO READ: April 22, 1994: Catholic nuns turn away Tutsi seeking refuge at monastery

Also on April 24, 1994, Tutsi were killed in Mayunzwe, one of the sectors of Tambwe Commune in current day Ruhango District.

On that day, more than 850 people were killed in the sector, most of them on a hill called "Calvary."

In Nyakarekare, also Ruhango, 30 Tutsi refugees were killed in ADEPR Mbuye, a Pentecostal church, and they were dumped into a pit at a nearby slaughterhouse. The killing was organised by Mbuye sector councilor Daniel Mafurebo.

ALSO READ: April 21, 1994: UN ignores warnings, adopts resolution to withdraw some troops from Rwanda

In Bikungo bya Mukinga, in Kamonyi District, Maj Pierre Claver Karangwa, the head of National Gendarmerie Investigation Service ordered the killing of Tutsi who were being taken to Kabgayi.

ALSO READ: Genocide suspect Karangwa re-arrested in Netherlands; what does it mean?

The Tutsi were gathered in a house, which was later set on fire at the orders of Karangwa. Others were thrown in a pit toilet and burnt.

Karangwa, who fled to the Netherlands after the Genocide, was arrested by Dutch police first in May 2022 and later rearrested in October 2023

AllAfrica publishes around 400 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.