Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Numerous genocide survivors who were able to bear witnesses in judicial proceedings treating the 1994 Rwanda genocide have been killed under "mysterious" or not so mysterious circumstances. The latest is Habib Ganafa Hakizumwami who was murdered last Friday.

Back in January Human Rights Watch said Rwandan police and judicial authorities needed to ensure prompt and effective law enforcement to deal with recent killings of participants in the justice system for genocide known as gacaca.

At the same time the Hirondelle News Agency wrote, "Policies of tolerance and reconciliation have led to less and less punishment for criminals and now some people are not afraid of killing." Hirondelle is an Arusha-based news service specializing in reporting United Nations trials of Rwandan genocide suspects.

Genocide survivors are likely to be wiped out if the Rwandan government does not step up security for genocide survivors and brings to justice murderers intent on destroying evidence in genocide trials, Hirondelle quoted Ibuka (Remember) spokesperson Benoit Kaboyi as saying.

The following is from New Times (Kigali)

65-Yr-Old Genocide Survivor Murdered
By Daniel Sabiiti

A sixty five-year-old man identified as Habib Ganafa Hakizumwami was murdered last Friday by unidentified persons in Ruvumera village, Gahogo cell, Nyamabuye sector.

Gafana was attacked at 8.30pm as he returned home from the trade exposition in Muhanga.

His body had deep cuts with a tooth and eyes removed by the alleged killers.

According to residents, Gafana was strangled to death and later his body dumped in Nyabisindu, a kilometer away from his home. The corpse was found near two homes in the middle of the road and none of the residents alerted local authorities until 3.p.m on Saturday.

Police said five people have been arrested in relation to the murder and investigations are still going on. Uwimana, the deceased's daughter, claims the killing is related to fears that the old man and his wife could give information to Gacaca court. The couple witnessed the horrible acts during the 1994 Genocide and many residents have been attacking their family.

"My father survived the Genocide and had a lot of information on the killings in this area. He survived then, but the killers have been skeptical as to when he would leak the information," Uwimana said.

Uwimana added, "Gafana was not killed by unknown people because at the time we separated (in the expo) some young men had been following us and wanted to take him away from me but I refused. The old man insisted that he would walk himself back home but was attacked and killed 30 minutes."

The Association of Genocide Survivors (IBUKA-Muhanga) has protested over Gafana's death and continued cold-blood killings and torture of Genocide survivors.

"We regret such acts of intended killings of survivors that have been evident in the last three years. This is an act of intimidation and IBUKA will not succumb to the blood-thirsty people," Eugene Karangwa, Ibuka-Muhanga president stated

Terrified residents in Muhanga said that such killings or attacks are on the increase in the area. Before Gafana's killings, 23-year-old Yvette Uwizeyesu, was stabbed thrice by a young man only identified as Arisen. Jean Damascene Nyandwi, survived drug addicts at Gitarama Taxi Park when residents came to his rescue.

Eight-year-old Issa Nsenginyunva, was murdered by unidentified persons in Gasenyi Village in January and two young men, Justin Hakizimana, 39 and Emmanuel, 25, were shot dead in May by unidentified armed thugs in Ruvumera Cell.

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