Information
Date of Transmission9 December 1993
Name of TapeC9 K/95
SourceMinistry of Information
Prosecution ExhibitP.36/10
Name of TranscriberRosine Uwimana
Date of Transcription12 May 2000
Duration60 Minutes
QualityGood
Original PDF

R.T.L.M. Tape 0146

Side A

Speaker: Kantano HABIMANA, Journalist for R.T.L.M.

The time is exactly 10:45 AM, that is to say, a quarter to eleven. Your Radio station, R.T.L.M., will now broadcast your announcements. A while ago, we were announcing the list of successful candidates in the COOPET examination, namely, Marie Josée UWAMUGIRA, Bonaventure GASORE, Assumpta MUREKATETE, Jean Baptiste NDAYAMBAJE and Charlotte MUSHIMIYIMANA. I shall also announce their addresses so that the message can get to them clearly. Since employment opportunities have become so scarce, I would not want them to blame the R.T.L.M. for missing the opportunity offered by COOPET.

Marie Josée UWAMUGIRA’s address is care of Charles MUNYAKARAMBI of MINCOMART. Bonaventure GASORE’s address is care of Jacqueline MUKASINE of the Caisse Sociale in Rwanda. Assumpta MUREKATETE is care of Samuel MUNYANEZA of MINAGRI. Jean Baptiste NDAYAMBAJE is care of Edmond NSANZUMUKIZA, and Charlotte MUSHIMIYIMANA is at the Reverend Sisters’ home in Nyamirambo. COOPET would wish all these persons to report today … for what they call “an interview for final selection.” The idea is to know how to express oneself and then later determine …

Moreover, people write to us; people do write to us. Our fans write to criticize us about what we said. That is proper. For instance, I just came across somebody on the way and he followed me and said: “Kantano, why do you defend the interests of the M.R.N.D. party?” I think that is not true. I did not come here to defend M.R.N.D. interests. The M.R.N.D. has party leaders and officials to defend the party adequately. I am not defending the M.R.N.D. in any way. The problem is that I do not believe in the words attributed by the Inkotanyi to the M.R.N.D. They lay mines and the M.R.N.D. is blamed; it is the M.R.N.D. that is blamed for beating the Interahamwe in the region; it is Silas who is accused of throwing the grenades. But Silas is good and it is common knowledge that he is incapable of committing such a reprehensible act. Er … is it about what has been happening in Kidaho, Nkumba and Nyamugari, where the M.R.N.D. is said to be killing its members in order to increase membership? Or are we talking about what is happening in Mutara, where the M.R.N.D. is accused of planning the crime? On no account can I admit that; even if those acts were attributed to any other party, I cannot accept that, and this is understandable. This has nothing to do with defending a party, as I believe that would be a mockery to those who lost their relatives.

It will be like mocking the people and moreover, it is not indispensable. What is a party? A party is made up of persons. It is solely for making fun of people. You kill a baby for belonging to what party? It is possible for somebody to choose another party in the future. But those who kill people do so without knowing that they are members of their party. It is possible for someone to change parties. Must everyone belong to the M.R.N.D.?

Do you not find people leaving other parties like the M.D.R. to join the M.R.N.D. or other political parties? Who are you then in the P.L.?

3:30

Killing somebody solely because of his/her party membership is an outrageously wicked act, as he/she might change parties. So why kill him/her? I believe that he/she is a human being. Attributing such killing to a political party is due to the cynicism of politicians and other persons whose reasoning defies all understanding. Dear Sir, you followed me for nothing, I am not protecting the M.R.N.D. in any way. I only protect persons. Opinions and actions are imputed to the party just in a bid to deride others. Moreover, people are writing to us to report that they got a letter stating what I said about a certain André RWUBATSE, an Inkotanyi agent and former employee of Byumba prefecture, and one Jean NKABURA residing in Rugarama secteur, Kidaho commune in Ruhengeri. Er … this RWUBATSE resides in Butete secteur in Kidaho, Ruhengeri! I believe that he is addressing those who know places in the commune … I found that quite a number of people listen to Radio R.T.L.M.; thus, I cannot refrain from talking about it to them. It is true that NKABURA is the father-in-law of RWUBATSE’s daughter. NKABURA’s son is … 2nd Lieutenant Pascal NIYONSENGA and he is married to Consolée UWASMARIA, RWUBATSE’s daughter. So he was in Camp Mukamira. And he went on to state that if they participated in the denunciation, no one would deny the facts. No one can doubt the fact that NKABURA was not on good terms with KANYAMIBWA because KANYAMIBWA was richer that him. The late Callixte KANYAMIHIGO was a neighbor to Eric HAKIZIMANA, who was fighting him seriously because he was a member of the M.R.N.D. HAKIZIMANA is a primary schools inspector … in Kidaho secteur. He will not hesitate to denounce somebody because, er, he adds “I shall alert the R.T.L.M. about the people who say that you hate the Tutsis; and I heard that there are Tutsis who will harm you.” But people must stop exaggerating! Not all Tutsis are wicked; some of them are wicked. Not all Hutus are good, some of them are wicked. Of the ethnic groups, there are some wicked Twas … This shows that human nature remains the same among all the ethnic groups in Rwanda, among all the men in Rwanda. But what type of person got it into his head that the R.T.L.M. hates the Tutsis? What have the Tutsis done to incur our hatred? A Tutsi, (he smiles) who … and which way are the Tutsis hated? The mere fact of seeing a Tutsis strolling about forces you to say he has a beautiful nose, that he is tall and slim, and what not. And you grudge him for that? If he has a beautiful, aquiline nose, you also have your own nose that is fat and which allows you to breathe enough air to ventilate your lungs.

7:00

Radio R.T.L.M. does not hate the Tutsis. It has no conflict with them. It does not feed them and they are not under its charge. Who in the R.T.L.M. therefore hates the Tutsis? Is it Kantano? What reason would he have to hate the Tutsis? None of them gave me bed and board. Is there any of them I may have fed? … More especially as we go our separate ways! When I go about the shopping district in the Mateus neighborhood, they surround me and do whatever it is they do, etc. … [He smiles]. Do I say things that they do not like? Possibly so. [Incomprehensible]. That is their business. But I cannot remain quiet in the face of the atrocities committed by the Inkotanyi for fear of squabbles with the Tutsis. That is impossible! I cannot hide the atrocities committed by the Hutus for fear of provoking disputes with them. We must disapprove of all bad people. If the world were made up of only bad people, then Rwandans would be bad irrespective of their ethnic origin. That person adds that he would warn us because the person might be mentally deranged and seeking to harm us. If you see a vehicle, no. AB 8589 coming to the Radio R.T.L.M. station, be careful. Oh … This Radio … this vehicle with registration no. AB 8589 should not come here because we have no parking facilities. He says that one KABAGEMA, who once attended a rally organized by RUKOKOMA and Agathe in Nyanza, lost his pistol during the social activities. Then the gendarmes arrested him for illegal possession of a pistol, detained him for some days in Nyanza, and from there he was transferred to Gitarama.

He was detained there for at least one month before being released after he tendered a gun permit, which his sister had obtained for him. He now has a gun permit. But the question is why he waited until his release to tender the gun permit. If that pistol had been used to commit a crime, who was responsible for such a crime? How strange it is for the military authorities to have kept silent over such things? This means that the situation must be combated, or else the Inkotanyi, who are now described as mere criminals, would assail Rwanda, whereas the situation is serious.

9:48

We thank the person who sent in this letter and we believe that what he says is true. Thank you very much for your warning and counsel. However, I feel that nobody would lose his head to the extent of bothering us on the pretext that we hate the Tutsis, the M.D.R., C.D.R., M.R.N.D., the whole lot. That is not true. Our sole aim is to ferret out the truth and inform the Rwandan population thereof. What we hate or like should be left to our conscience.

You are still tuned to Radio R.T.L.M. broadcasting from Kigali. The time is 10.55 a.m. in our studios. We shall continue until 12 noon, with a small musical interlude.

[Music]

Let us listen to some soft music by Bob Marley while we read your urgent messages, since we can always listen to the song again, whereas your messages are urgent. Some of those to whom the messages are addressed must make haste to attend funerals or attend to other important business. So our Radio must act fast, with lightning speed. We would like to air your messages to speed up things. Right away! The ATAVORWA association hereby announces to members of the association that one of their fellow members named Froduald alias PDG, died this morning, the ninth instant, at the Kigali hospital. All members of the association are kindly requested to attend the funeral ceremonies at 2 p.m. today. Alphonse NSABIMANA, Jean-Bosco MBAHIYA and Aloys NTIVUGURUZWA signed this announcement. I am spelling out their names because you might recognize a friend among them and feel obliged to lend him a hand.

In a moment, we shall read out this ATAVORWA announcement once more inviting its members to attend the funeral of a member today at 2 p.m. Hurry up then for the funeral of this brother.

12:12

Another announcement pertains to an auction sale. The Bailiff in the Kigali Court of Appeal hereby informs the public of an auction sale to enforce judgment RC17.087/91RCA10.570/Kigali, a judgment having force of law pronounced by the Kigali Court of Appeal against Sylvestre RWAMURANGWA, to pay damages to Evariste MUSENGIMANA residing in Gikondo, Kigali -Ville prefecture. The number of the house is 603/03/09 and he has an attestation issued by the Bourgmestre of Kicukiro commune on 23/111993 certifying that the house belongs to Sylvestre RWAMURANGWA. The auction sale will take place on Sunday, 12 October at 10 a.m.

N.B: a 6 % tax shall be immediately deducted in favor of the Public Treasury. Done in Kigali, on 2 December 1993

Bailiff at the Kigali Court Alphonse KAYIRANGA.

Talking about Alphonse KAYIRANGA, I recall that KAYIRANGA was elected by the extraordinary congress of the P.L. and became Chairman of the party. Hence his dispute with Justin MUGENZI. He is holding a press conference today at the Diplomat Hotel. Those who have the time should go and listen to what the Tutsi P.L. thinks of the Hutu P.L., and this will unleash hostilities. Right! Politics has put politicians in a critical position and they are to be pitied. As journalists, we can only carry on with the entertainment.

We shall join them if they let us alone; otherwise we shall leave them totally free. This morning, someone told me that I spent the whole, night uttering bad words about Mrs. Agathe UWIRINGIYIMANA and that he did not know the type of person I was!

16:06

But it is strange! I was not the one; it was not I. What could I have done? She wrote a newspaper article and I could not but seize the opportunity to comment thereon. I was not out to make random comments, but rather to put a finger on the truth. You see, someone can call for help under the pretext that he was about to be eliminated. So I say it is an abnormal situation for our Prime Ministers to go on exile at the end of their tenure or when elections are fast approaching, under the pretext that they are going to be eliminated, and then return later, shamelessly. For instance, Dismas NSENGIYAREMYE fled alleging that people were seeking to eliminate him. Did he, by any chance find out later that those who were after him no longer had the means to eliminate him? Did he find they had died? How come no one has killed him till date? It is astonishing. Even if he hears somebody threatening to kill him, why should he be killed? Even if there are people who want to kill him, he is not imputing the intention to the persons who want to kill him; not to them. He imputed bad intentions to some, because they wanted to eliminate him, but does not say how they intended to go about it. Those who want to eliminate him intend to do so politically. There are in fact two ways of eliminating somebody, and those seeking to eliminate him politically are in the same political party as he is. Where will other people come from to eliminate him? People should stop deceiving international opinion by bawling and taking advantage of the forum at their disposal. That is what we tell them.

We, journalists, are trying to tell the population to watch out. The mere fact of being a politician does not confer on his speeches an aura of the gospel truth. The mere fact that an individual singles himself out and cries for help, alleging that he was about to be killed in no way deters people. And if an individual later declares that he is going to be eliminated, he should be able to identify the connivers rather than hide them. As for playing a guessing-game by saying that may be President HABYARIMANA … that it seems that President HABYARIMANA … It appears that President HABYARIMANA will not attend the cabinet meetings … And if he does not, let her really preside over the cabinet meetings to show that she is the “Iron Lady.” Is that right? Supposing he falls ill, will she not conduct cabinet meetings? She would say there are now three cabinet meetings that could not hold; that shows that the Government is not strong. This means that when a person is tired and no longer has the force, she should not look for scapegoats.

You are still tuned to Radio R.T.L.M. broadcasting from Kigali. The time now is 11.24 a.m. in our studio. Let us listen to some music.

18:36

This is Radio R.T.L.M. broadcasting from Kigali. It is now almost 11.40 a.m. in our studio. People who are excited will soon become mad because of the R.T.L.M., and it is evident that those who have lost their heads will definitely go mad. There are some people who usually telephone to say what they want and analyze any word uttered by any other person; it is their right. This is Radio R.T.L.M., your radio station … A motorcycle taxi operator has just telephoned me for instance … to say that I am casting doubt on their reputation when I hold that some of them rape women, that perhaps this haaa! Does he think that no one knows about it? I did not mean all those motorcycle taxi operators, but those who rape and are really known. I can even show them to you at once. Saying that it is the journalists who rape women and not the motorcycle taxi operators is a way of bandying words. There may be journalists who do so, but that is due to personal weaknesses. But I did say that some motorcycle taxi riders take their passengers to places where criminals are lurking and afterwards claim that a trap was laid for them and that they did not know about it. The fact is that they deliberately abuse drunken lady passengers they collect from the bars. To those who transport street prostitutes returning late from the bars and rape them “on the red carpet,” I say it is a bad practice they ought to shake off. The same applies to teachers who fight with students. I know very well that in schools, even in primary schools, there are some untouchable, undisciplined, students. But when a teacher starts fighting with students, they may hurt him. Imagine the case of a teacher whose teeth are knocked out by a student with his head; it is the teacher who would be more ridiculed and not the student. I believe that the teacher, this Victor NIYITEGEKA and a Zairian named PALUKU, as well as the other named KAZINDU teaching at the ETM (École Technique Muhazi) must calm down and perhaps penalize the students by subtracting marks but definitely not fighting with them. What would you say if a student pierced your eye in the course of fighting with him? It is not good to fight with your students at the ETM; you must rather reduce their marks for bad conduct. Moreover, fighting with students for wearing political party emblems or sporting NDADAYE’s photograph is not advisable, as the students of that institution are adults; a secondary school student has a right to choose whatever political party he likes. It is like starting serious problems for the student because he is sporting a party emblem and slap the student because of that or because he has NDADAYE’s photograph, just because you are in a position of authority. As a matter of fact, a secondary school student has his own ideas and rights, just like you do and he can challenge you if you want to curtail his rights.

22:06

Somebody in UTEXRWA put the following question to me: “Kantano, what is happening, for you are a sports lover? Tell us …you say nothing to us, you say nothing, not even as Rayon Sport is about to play a match against Etincelles. So allow those who want to forecast the results to telephone you.” Well, thank you Eric of UTEXRWA, and my greetings to all the UTEXRWA workers; they are friends of the R.T.L.M., I know. You are quite right; the R.T.L.M. will also transmit sports news. We are busy making preparations for coverage of the match, but in the next few days we shall give you the latest news. We have decided to do so, as we have young listeners and people who love sports and amusements. Generally, our radio station is for leisure. Thus, there is no reason not to provide amusements. Thank you Eric for reminding me about it I shall do my best. Persons wishing to phone in their forecast for the Rayon Sport-Etincelles match could do so. Football lovers know the behavior of players … but that is changing. I also heard yesterday that referees were invited, and it is perhaps to issue them directives. So we are calling on you, referees, not to tarnish the image of our football. It is true that referees also have to make efforts. Who makes the cape, makes the bonnet.

The players must respect the spectators by refraining from leaving the pitch either because they are tired or have cramps. They should not dash out of the pitch because they are exhausted, as the spectators pay their money to watch the match, get drenched by the rain or hurry to come and spur the players on. Such behavior is painful to those who like you and come to encourage you. You walk off the field when there are regulations allowing you to call out or do something else; and you can even win the match later just as you can lose. Life is not made only of victories. There are also failures. Each failure should not always lead to suicide. I would like to tell those who understand French that one cannot get everything in life. You can succeed in some endeavors and fail in others.

24:18

…things are different in football, as there are many imponderables. Now a player may miss scoring even though he is right in front of the goalpost. Another time he would play carelessly but score a goal. No one is master of the situation and this should not be a source of discord. Sports are sports. Then there are those who bring political problems and regionalism into sports. It is rather unfortunate to hear someone declaring that such a team, perhaps Rayon Sport belongs to the R.P.F. or the M.D.R., or may be Etincelles belongs to M.R.N.D. or C.D.R. I remember that before, when political problems made headline news, as the Inkotanyi had inflamed people, a match was played and people were shouting that the players belonged to the C.D.R., whereas they [the players] belonged to the R.P.F. or the P.L. they would miss the ball and fall down just because the spectators were shouting C.D.R., C.D.R. This is to our discredit that a young man … capable of playing football and get people interested is discouraged. A match is a match! And the region of origin does not matter; the important point is for you to be satisfied with the player’s game. Was Bakari’s game not satisfactory? And what of Pele and the others? What relationship is there between politics and the game? In political parties, uh-huh. The M.D.R. members realized that in political parties, the game lasts ninety minutes. You can spend ninety happy minutes watching, but I do not believe that you can live through one happy day in a political party.

Meanwhile things are changing. Politics is not a game and vice versa. We should draw a distinction between the two. And whatever the native region of a team, it does not follow that the team belongs to such political party; nor is it because the chairman of a party resides in Kiyovu that he should be dubbed an Interahamwe or a member of the M.R.N.D. Nor should the sole fact that RENZAHO happens to be their president. No! That is not possible. Therefore, there is no link; the players are at liberty to belong to any political party of their choice. There is no reason to mix the R.P.F. and the P.L. and come up with M.D.R. That is not feasible.

You are still tuned to the independent radio R.T.L.M. The time now is 11.48 a.m., and we shall talk of other issues on the dot of 12 noon. In twelve minutes people will be rushing to the restaurants for the lunch break. We are prepared to air advertisements for restaurant owners. We aired an advertisement for a restaurant in a hidden location, and the owners came to report that customers now know the said restaurant.

27:06

Once it became known to the public, people went there and returned disappointed, saying: “Nothing you said in your advertisement is really working. When we got there, we found no one to give us spoons, to serve us soup; we did not find any of these things and ended by eating banana without a serving of beans; we finished eating the beans without anybody.” Well! This goes to show that people who bring in advertisements should be ready for perfection. If you promise to serve orders within five minutes, then … you should be in a position to serve customers, so they can eat and leave. Among the restaurants that resorted to our services is the “Normal,” located by Electrogaz. That is where there had been disorder a while ago, when three grenades were detected. It is true that three grenades were effectively discovered, but they were removed. I do hope that Restaurant Normal is prepared to serve its customers who will soon be coming there in a moment for lunch. We hope that the pizza and sorghum bear are ready at the Pizza Restaurant so that customers will lack nothing. I then hope that those in these restaurants enjoy their meal. We are doing this because these restaurants had contracted us to run advertisements for them. Let others follow suit and also invite us to taste their meals. [smiles]. Let us listen to some music.

Your Radio R.T.L.M. broadcasting from Kigali. We shall read the urgent messages, as you want your Radio station to announce your messages promptly. That is also an asset that makes this radio station popular. As for the journalists and other persons who take delight in press conferences and follow political debates lest they are overtaken by political events … The committee elected today by the P.L. national congress meeting from 13 to 14 November 1993, is organizing a press conference at 5.30 p.m. at the Diplomate Hotel. You are all invited to come in droves to listen to the members of the said P.L. committee. Come and listen to their views as well as those of the P.L. party. This announcement is of course drafted in good French. I see it is signed by André KAMEYA, Secretary General of the P.L. party, who was equally elected by the national congress of the P.L. party meeting in Meridien Hotel … [interruption].

End of Side A

Side B

… I am hungry. Nothing can be done; we shall sign off in a few moments and we ask you not to feel isolated. We shall resume broadcast and 6 p.m. I shall end with this urgent message:

The committee elected by the national committee of the Parti Liberal, during the national congress of 13 and 14 November 1993 is organizing a press conference today at 5.30 p.m. in Diplomate Hotel. Come in large numbers and I believe we shall be given explanations about the rift in the P.L. party. You have heard that MUGENZI is preparing to organize another congress er … and then there is what is commonly known as Hutu P.L. and Tutsi P.L. will the Hutu P.L. win the day or will it be the Tutsi P.L.? Or for how long will this confusion go on The MPs will belong to which P.L.? The situation prevailing within the parties is beyond understanding. Therefore, they will furnish some explanations. Come to ask them many questions so that they can furnish explanations. The executive committee elected by the national congress is organizing the press conference today at 5.30 p.m., in Diplomate Hotel. Signed by Andre KAMEYA, Secretary General. All are invited.

The national congress of the P.L. which met on 13 and 14 November is organizing a press conference today at 5.30 p.m., in Diplomate Hotel. Signed by Andre KAMEYA, Secretary General of the P.L. party.

The national congress is organizing the press conference today at 5.30 p.m., in Diplomate Hotel. André KAMEYA was elected Secretary General, while Charles KAYIRANGA was elected Chairman of the P.L. in replacement of MUGENZI who was unconvinced and therefore stood his ground. We shall have the opportunity to get explanations in the Diplomate Hotel at 5.30 p.m., when the congress, the committee presided over by KAYIRANGA will send us some of its views. I therefore bid you goodbye and hope that those with something to eat do enjoy their meal and forbearance to those who cannot afford a meal. These are hard times, but there is nothing we can do about it. There are those who take one meal a day, others take two, whereas others throw away the leftovers which are picked up by street children from the dustbins at the roadside. In any event, I wish you courage, be comforted. A banana eaten with joy, a little wind and some air will sustain you. The important point is to have peace of mind. Goodbye then; you were in the company of Kantano HABIMANA, assisted by our technician, KAMANZI.

4:00

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI, Editor-in-Chief of R.T.L.M.

Your independent radio played a lot of music for you this morning, which you certainly enjoyed. We are busy gathering information, and the most striking item is that the Government of Rwanda and the R.P.F. will hold negotiations today. We have our journalists, Kantano and Philippe MBIRIZI to cover the event. We shall keep you informed of happenings. This is Gaspard GAHIGI here with you, but I shall soon go to seek news for you. Please, go on listening to music pending my return with news for you. Continue listening to music. I trust the technician who is young and would give you suitable tunes; I shall be joining you in a minute.

[Music]

I have just had an interview with an Inkotanyi deserter who returned freely. So, hear for yourself how serious the Inkotanyi problem is, and the extent it has reached. I would want especially the youths to understand what to expect when they join the Inkotanyi ranks. So, I would like you to listen to the interview I had with an Inkotanyi.

Dear R.T.L.M. listeners, I am right now with an Inkotanyi named Emmanuel NIYIBIZI, a short, black young man wearing the Inkotanyi uniform and boots. He is 27 years old and hails from Mugusa commune in Butare. The said Emmanuel NIYIBIZI is a Hutu and surrendered to the Rwandan Armed Forces on 22 November. I would like to interview Emmanuel NIYIBIZI, an Inkotanyi soldier who surrendered to the Rwandan Armed Forces on 22 November. I would therefore interview you, Emmanuel NIYIBIZI, and ask you to tell us how and why you surrendered to the Rwandan Armed Forces.

6:00

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI, Surrendered R.P.F. Soldier

What compelled me to surrender to the Rwandan Armed Forces is that the situation now is very serious. They killed people; they killed the Hutus under the pretext that they were leaving the Inkotanyi positions to join the positions held by the Rwandan Armed Forces, in order to convey information about the Inkotanyi activities. In my opinion, these were false accusations against the persons who were killed. I therefore left the Inkotanyi position in a commune, in a commune, in Kibari commune, Nyankenke secteur, to the position held by the Rwandan Armed Forces. However, the reason was that a few days before, there (coughs) in … the Miyove region, the Inkotanyi perpetrated atrocities. One afternoon, at about 2 p.m., two youths went to a place located downhill and a little behind the Inkotanyi position to bathe. On their way back, the Inkotanyi asked them where they had been and they answered that they had gone to bathe. The Inkotanyi did not believe them, and instead thought that they had gone to the positions held by the Rwandan Armed Forces to pass on information about the number of Inkotanyi present in Miyove, the trenches in which they are and their activities. The youths were caught before they could explain anything; their hands were bound behind their backs with solid ropes.

They were led downhill where mass graves had been recently dug and beaten to death with small hoes and immediately buried. Shortly afterwards, about a week later, while we were still in the south of Miyove, at about five hundred or six hundred meters away, our unit was about six hundred meters from this other unit, a boy disappeared at around 5 p.m., without straying far. He had just gone downhill to visit a farmer who had promised him tobacco. At that time there were some inhabitants in the buffer zone and others who were behind our position and in front of the Inkotanyi position; others were behind the Inkotanyi positions. Thus, we used to pass by members of the population when going to fetch water or get foodstuff, and we would chat with them. They asked us for tobacco, and whoever had any, would give them some. The boy in question had asked somebody for tobacco, and they agreed that he should return to collect the tobacco.

9:36

In the evening, the boy went back for the tobacco. On his way back, he was asked [by the Inkotanyi ] where he had been. He had just been gone for only one hour or so. The boy answered: “T went downhill to take the tobacco that a farmer had promised me.” The Inkotanyi retorted that he was lying and that they had discovered that the Hutus on whom they had bestowed confidence were causing them problems. They added that he was not the first, nor would he be the last that they had caught. They went on to say that they had no control over our plans and that we were becoming impossible for them. They released him and we thought the matter had ended. Later, around 3 a.m., they came for the boy. We were sleeping in the same tent. And then.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Since you spent the night in the same tent, you ought to know his name. Who was he?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

I do not know his name, but I knew his commune and first name.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

What commune does he come from and what is his first name?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

He is a native of Muyira commune, but I cannot recall his name even though I knew it.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

It does not matter, you will remember his name. Tell us how he was abducted that night.

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

Yes … the boy was abducted and he was asked to say where he had gone that evening. He then replied that the explanation he had given earlier remained the same. He reiterated that he had gone to fetch the tobacco a farmer had promised him. As he started speaking, he was told that he was lying and asked whether he was not aware of what had happened in Miyove two days earlier. The boy answered that he knew what had happened, but that as far as he was concerned, things had happened in a different manner.

He was not allowed to give proper explanations; his hands were bound behind his back and he was promptly bashed to death with a small hoe.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

On what part of the body did they hit him with the hoe? How was that hoe? What was its size? On what part of the body did they hit with the hoe?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

The small hoe was beginning to wear out. It is the kind of short-handled hoe people move around with. You carry it around all the time and never lose it. You aim and strike the victim on the head, where the brain is. Once you hit someone thus, death is instant. The person so hit can never live: death is inevitable. Moreover, you usually deal more the victim on the head, where the brain is Once you hit someone thus, death is instant. The person so hit can never live: death is inevitable. Moreover, you usually deal more than one blow; you deal two or three blows. After the crime, a sergeant among the killers came uphill where I was sitting in front of the tent to observe what was happening. He asked whether I was not aware of the reason for the boy’s death. I stated that I knew nothing, but that even though we lived in the same camp, and were both soldiers, I did not know his program. I did I know where he had gone, especially as he had not told me about it.

13:30

He answered that I was supposed to know, as we lived together and were both natives of Rwanda. I told him that we might have been both Rwandans, but that no one was to be held responsible for a matter he knew nothing about. He reacted by pointing out that I was well aware of the matter and that they knew that I was doing the same thing. They said that the local population had informed them that we used to pass by to the Rwandan Armed Forces positions. I replied that in any event, I knew nothing about it and went nowhere. I told him to put me under surveillance and kill me if I was caught going to the RAF positions. He warned that their last trick would be reserved for me, that I should watch out and that I would be put under strict surveillance, that I would be killed upon being caught. He said that it would not take long, since they were aware that I was engaged in such acts; so all they had to do was to catch me. He concluded that I was not always present, and I was not always visible when on duty.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Right. After your colleague’s death, were you not afraid to hear those words?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

After my colleague’s death, I made a link between several past incidents, and became scared. I told myself there was nothing to expect after witnessing the killing of four persons, except my inevitable death. I wondered what to do. lf I stayed, the slightest misstep would spell my elimination. I therefore put on my uniform, took my rifle and a grenade. I went downhill, attempting to escape; and by chance, I headed for one of the latrines without being seen. I then descended right to the “mu Cyicumi” centre.

16:12

I stopped on the Cyicumi road overlooking the tea plantation, because their patrol is always there. I feared falling into a trap and decided to wait till daybreak, when the patrol would have left, to proceed. I therefore descended at about 6 a.m.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

You then escaped at night?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

There was enough light for someone to recognize somebody one hundred meters away. I left without telling anybody, since they had just collected information from me, and then … one cannot tell who one’s enemies are. I was not popular at that particular juncture; I was under suspicion. We were not far from the Rwandan Armed Forces positioned less than one kilometer away.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

How did you manage to see the Rwandan Armed Forces in their positions?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

We were in fact on top of a hill and the Rwandan Armed Forces occupied part of Byumba town and had pitched tents on a nearby hill. That is where I landed. The Inkotanyi soldiers were suspicious because those positions were near. Moreover, when we were on the other side, on the Kiyombe side, they said nothing because they realized that no soldier could escape without being caught by their Military Police. The Inkotanyi did have MP moving ahead of them and arrested any soldier roaming in that area without permission. Once arrested by the MP, such a soldier is locked up while enquiries are made in the other units to identify any soldier reported missing.

18:30

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Continue telling us about your journey. You have just said that you got to a little centre, towards the position of the Rwandan Armed Forces. Tell us how you approached them.

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

Upon arriving at the centre, I asked people whether there were any Inkotanyi soldiers around. They said that there were none, and that they had left that morning. I immediately came down the hill, crossed a small river and then started to climb until I reached an area inhabited by farmers. But my view was obstructed by a hill, so I could not see the position of the Rwandan Armed Forces on the other side of the hill. I did not know that there was a nearby path leading to the position. So I asked the farmers to show me where the Rwandan soldiers were. They asked me where I had come from to ask them such a question. I did not answer them and merely requested that they indicate the direction. They told me that they did not know which way, that I could climb and that I might perhaps find them higher up. They did not show me the way, but I climbed the hill and luckily, I met some people transporting someone on a stretcher, followed by an old man. I greeted the old man and asked him where the soldiers were positioned. He informed me that they were close by, uphill. I continued to climb in the company of the old man and caught up with those conveying the patient on the stretcher.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Did you still carry your rifle and grenade?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

I still had them. When I approached them, I was alone. I did some soul-searching and felt that, as a deserter, I might bring some problems for the farmers, if the soldiers thought that the farmers had led me, to them. I therefore decided to slow my pace, while the farmers continued to climb. I walked at the same pace with the old man, who was rather slow. I explained my situation to him and he asked me to allow him proceed alone to avert any suspicions that he was my guide. I told him to climb on when I realized that the position was about five hundred meters away …It was so near that the hill could be seen. It was a kind of plain like this. I told him to proceed alone, and that I was going to walk alone, as I had perceived the positions.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Please speed up your narrative and tell us how you reached the position.

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

I therefore climbed after the old man and when I went about fifty meters, I acted like a soldier: I raised the rifle and the grenade; in short, my hands were up like this. I continued ascending and when the soldiers saw me, they realized I was a soldier and not a farmer; they noticed the rifle. Therefore they came out of their tents and asked me where I came from. I explained the situation and stated that I had just escaped from the Inkotanyi positions; that I was an Inkotanyi soldier and was surrendering to the Rwandan Armed Forces. The soldiers then ordered me to drop the rifle and take four steps forwards and then stop. I did so; then they ordered me to take a further four steps forwards; which I did. They asked me my registration number, but I told them that we had none. They ordered me to continue climbing. I took a further three or four steps and stopped; after which they picked up the rifle and later…

23:00

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

What type of weapon was your rifle?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

It was a Kalashnikov. And … this grenade … we

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

What type of grenade was it?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

It was a stick grenade, the type made up of a stem, with a wire inside.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

The one … manufactured in China?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

They picked them up, searched me and found nothing. A Warrant Officer who was among them asked me about the situation and I explained everything to him. He then assured me that my protection would be guaranteed and that I was not the first to defect. He added that if it were possible, any alert persons who found a way out should come to them. I told them there were willing persons, but that they were killed if they made a slip in their attempt to escape.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Let us go back a bit; tell us how many people were with you there?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

You mean in the Inkotanyi ?

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Yes, in the Inkotanyi, when you were preparing to escape.

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

In fact, it was a whole battalion.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

How many people make up a battalion?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

A battalion comprises between six hundred and one thousand soldiers. It was “a battalion.” There is no limit as you sometimes find seven hundred soldiers in a battalion. So I cannot say for sure that they are limited to such and such number. Sometimes they are one thousand and so on and so forth.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Since you were in that zone, I would like you to talk about those battalions if you know about them. How many were you? How were you and how are the Inkotanyi disposed in that zone?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

The situation is such that the battalions are in this mountainous zone. There is a battalion in Miyove, commanded by Major BAGABO. We were part of another battalion which is very far behind and that is where Major DODO is positioned.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Meaning that you were far behind Major DODO’s position?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

As a matter of fact, I belonged to Major DODO’s battalion called the “Bravo Mobile Force.” We were in fact a “coy.”

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

What do you mean by “coy?”

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

What?

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Does a “coy” mean a company or …?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

Oh! A “coy” was divided into three.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

How many soldiers are there in a “coy,” a company? I would like our listeners to understand us. How many soldiers are there in a company?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

In principle, a company sometimes comprises between 150 and 300 soldiers. We were ahead, at the top of a hill and we formed a platoon.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

How many soldiers are there in a Platoon?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

A Platoon has between fifty and seventy soldiers. We were 55 then. And then … Could you please repeat your question?

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

I wanted to know how R.P.F.-Inkotanyi battalions were, How many are there in the zone where you were? How are the battalions disposed? That is as far as we got, and you just answered that you were part of Major DODO’s company.

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

I cannot remember the number of soldiers in the battalion commanded by BAGABO; our battalion was in DODO’s zone, which represented Bravo. Bravo had another group of soldiers who were not on the spot; all the soldiers are not there, some left for training in Uganda and I do not know the nature of the training. They would take one or two.

28:12

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

Let us speed up in order not to bore our listeners. You told me how your troops were disposed. When did you join the Inkotanyi and in what attacks did you take part?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

I personally took part in the 8 February attack …

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

This attack was mounted where?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

We were on the Hunga hill, commonly known as Kabongoya. We descended on Ngoma Bridge and from there we climbed to the top of the Kabongoya hill from Nyagahita. At the beginning of hostilities, we left the Hunga hill to Kabongoya and then went down to Kabo … from Nyagahita. We went across Nyagahita from the Nyagahita centre. We did not proceed to Mutara; we instead went to the Gihengeri region. Once there, we climbed to a place called Gikombe and marched towards the positions of the Rwandan Armed Forces on top of the Bwisige hill. We passed through a small centre at the top of a hill, after the climb from Gihenge … Gihengeri. We climbed to a rocky place and came out at a small valley, from where we climbed towards the position of the Rwandan Armed Forces to engage in combat. We reached there first and, after digging, the Rwandan Armed Forces noticed our presence.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

You were approximately how many soldiers?

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

Well, we were many … We were a battalion, er, all of us made a battalion.

Speaker: Gaspard GAHIGI

You told me that a battalion was between 600 and 1,000 men.

Speaker: Emmanuel NIYIBIZI

We were then a battalion, and I think that we were approximately 600 plus about 70 I did not reckon with. The 70 were Ugandan mercenaries incorporated into the battalion, as the battalion from Uganda was at the time fighting in Ruhengeri and were not with us. On the contrary, the Ugandans in Ruhengeri were in the various Byumba battalions. The Ugandan mercenaries fighting in our battalion would be paid at the end of the war and return to their country. We therefore went up and dug trenches. But the Rwandan Armed Forces noticed us, advanced on us and attacked. They attacked us with sustained fire and established their superiority over us. We fled through a place … [interruption].

End of Tape