Rwanda Information Portal

Rwanda: Soldier kills commander at a Genocide memorial, shoots self

Private Jacques Niyongabo on Sunday shot and killed his superior, Capt Stan Nyirinkindi, and wounded Lieutenant Innocent Sekiromba before he turned the muzzle on himself.

The deceased Captain Nyirinkindi was the commander of A Company of 17th Battalion attached to the 501 Brigade in the Western Province.

The shooting took place at a Genocide memorial vigil in Karangiro cell in Rusizi District.

“The soldier killed himself after shooting his commander who he was escorting. He also wounded the Lieutenant on the leg…up to now investigations are still going on to ascertain the real cause because residents say it happened after a quarrel,” Celestin Kabahizi, the Governor of Western Province said in an interview.

According to sources, the two officers were trying to calm down an irritated Niyongabo who had picked a quarrel with a resident and they tried to disarm him. In the process, he pulled the trigger on them before shooting himself dead.

When contacted, Rwanda Defence Forces spokesperson Maj Jill Rutaremara confirmed the incident, saying that the soldier shot his commanders as they tried to avert a scuffle between him and the residents.

“We are suspecting that it could have been caused by trauma because this soldier has had no history of improper conduct, however, this is not conclusive because investigations are still ongoing,” said Rutaremara when contacted last evening.

According to unconfirmed reports, Niyongabo is said to have lost both his parents to militia during the insurgency a few years after the Genocide.


April 13, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Government recognises the dissident group that ousted Bernard Ntaganda from PS Imberakuri leadership

The Rwandan Minister of Local Government has officially recognised the dissident group that ousted Bernard Ntaganda from PS Imberakuri leadership.
So, PS Imberakuri Leader Ntaganda is no longer a legally recognised political party leader in Rwanda.

April 13, 2010   No Comments

Rwanda: Gacaca courts closure scheduled for June 30

Gacaca courts "Inyangamugayo"

Gacaca courts "Inyangamugayo"

Kigali – The Executive Secretary of the National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions (NSGJ), Domitille Mukantaganzwa, has announced that the Gacaca courts would wind up their proceedings by the end of June 2010.

The Gacaca courts, adapted from a form of Rwandan traditional justice, were created in 2001 as an attempt to try the bulk of Rwanda’s genocide suspects. These adapted village courts, whose judges (“Inyangamugayo”) are chosen from the community, can hand down sentences up to life imprisonment, which is the maximum penalty in Rwanda.

Several previous deadlines have not been met until now and it is hoped that this new end of mission date will be respected.
Ms. Domitille Mukantaganzwa highlighted that 355 out of 416 administrative districts had already completed their trials and submitted their final reports.

“After the closing of the trials in all districts at the end of April, three months will be devoted to writing an overall final report. The official closure of the Gacaca trials at the national level is thus scheduled for June 30”, Domitille Mukantaganzwa stated.

She added that two bills, one with respect to the end of the Gacaca jurisdiction, the other on the closing of the NSGJ will soon be submitted to the government.

April 13, 2010   No Comments

Rwandan refugees refuse to leave Uganda

Kampala  –  About 10 000 Rwandans living in a Ugandan refugee camp are refusing to go home eight months after they were instructed to leave, an official said last week.

Uganda has taken away their right to cultivate land in the camp in an effort to compel them to leave.

“We have about 10 000 Rwandans remaining in Nakivale,” said Festo Wafuta, assistant commandant of the camp near the Rwandan border.

“They say they will not go home, one, because of land issues in Rwanda, and the other is … these gacaca courts,” he added, referring to Rwanda’s local justice initiative to try genocide crimes at grass-roots level.

All Rwandan refugees remaining in Uganda, the vast majority of whom are Hutus, the majority group that carried out the 1994 genocide, were told last year to leave Uganda by July 31 following a decision by both governments and the UN refugee agency that Rwanda is safe for all ethnic groups.

Any Rwandan who wants to stay in Uganda as a refugee has to provide a compelling explanation to camp officials.

“Their reasons have not been not convincing at all,” Uganda’s State Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Tarsis Kabwegyere said, insisting that fear of the gacaca courts was not a valid reason to remain in Uganda.

“If they are criminals, let them face the law,” he said. “Our settlements are not a sanctuary.”

The minister said the decision to cut off cultivation rights was taken because there were refugees from the Democractic Republic of Congo who were more deserving of the scarce land in Uganda.

But Wafuta, who is based permanently in Nakivale, said the land directive has had no impact.

“They are remaining with land for residence, and receiving food aid,” he said.

Of concern to Kabwegyere was that in recent weeks some 400 Rwandans who had left the camp returned there.

April 13, 2010   3 Comments