April 15, 1994: Tutsi drowned in Lake Muhazi, children smashed onto walls

April 15, 1994: Tutsi drowned in Lake Muhazi, children smashed onto walls
April 15, 1994: Tutsi drowned in Lake Muhazi, children smashed onto walls

Africa-Press – Rwanda. As the Genocide against the Tutsi continued to unfold, between April 15-16, in Rwamagana, an incident happened where the Tutsi who had sought refuge at the Muhazi Commune offices tried to repel an Interahamwe attack by using two guns they accessed from the commune offices.

On that day, when the Interahamwe attacked, a Tutsi government soldier named Kanamugire broke into the commune building and took some guns which he gave to Come Ndayambaje and Gatete Anaclet, two of the many Tutsi who were taking refuge at the offices.

With the guns, they managed to disperse the Interahamwe and find their way to escape out of the place and flee to Lake Muhazi, hoping to use boats to join Inkotanyi at the other shore in Murambi.

On their way to the lake, they were met by government soldiers who fought them, and as a result, they were out of bullets by the time they reached the lake.

They managed to reach the lake and managed to put a few people into small boats. However, Interahamwe followed them to Kavumu and threw them into Lake Muhazi.

Massacres at Ruhengeri Court of Appeal

At Musanze High Court, formerly known as Ruhengeri Court of Appeal, more than 400 Tutsi were killed there, after they had gathered at the place to seek refuge.

Dismas Nzanana, the Sous-prefet of the area had told them that they would be protected and facilitated to flee to DR Congo, but on April 15, 1994, Interahamwe attacked the place, and killed a large number of the Tutsi who were there.

Those who survived were taken to Ruhengeri hospital and later killed at Mukungwa river by using grenades and smashing children to the walls.

Massacres in Nyarugenge

Meanwhile in Kigali, massacres were going on too.

Many Tutsi were killed at the roadblock on Nyamirambo hill near Mount Kigali. Records say it was very difficult to survive at this roadblock.

One of the key Interahamwe leaders at the roadblock, Hassan Rubayiza, was later convicted by Gacaca Courts for Genocide crimes and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Massacres at Nyarubuye Catholic Parish

At Nyarubuye Catholic Parish in Kirehe district, many Tutsi from the communes of Rukira, Rusumo, Mugesera and Birenga sought refuge at Nyarubuye Catholic Parish.

On the morning of April 14, there were several attempts to attack them, but they managed to repel the Interahamwe.

The militiamen went to ask for reinforcement at the gendarmerie station located in Nasho. A gathering of gendarmes, soldiers and militiamen made an attack on April 15 and killed the Tutsi at the parish.

Research carried out by Professor Paul Rutayisire and Privat Rutazibwa identified 742 genocidaires who were actively involved in the massacres of Nyarubuye.

Massacres at Muganza Catholic Parish, Nyaruguru

At the beginning of the Genocide against the Tutsi, many Tutsi sought refuge at Muganza Catholic Parish in Nyaruguru. Many of their houses had been burned down and their lives were in danger.

On April 11, 1994, 8,600 Tutsi refugees were registered at the parish in the morning. The number increased, reaching 11,000 in the evening of the same day.

On April 15, the killers supported by government soldiers stormed Muganza parish and murdered the Tutsi there.

Many more massacres took place in various parts of the country on April 15, including in Ntarama, Bugesera where about 3,000 Tutsi were killed in church.

In addition to this, a horrible massacre took place at Cyahinda Parish, Nyaruguru between April 14 and 15, claiming 32,000 lives.

Ladislas Ntaganzwa, a former bourgmestre of Nyakizu played a key role in the attacks by requesting for the gendarmes (policemen) from Butare to come and support the Interahamwe in the killings. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment for genocide crimes.

In Kamonyi, the killers cut men and boys with machetes without killing them. They would then pack them in a car and throw them in the Cyoganyoni water dump in Bishenyi marshlands.

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