Eye Witness of the killings in Masisi and Rutshuru

from Peacelink Association
Published on 20 Mar 1997
The following e-mail was sent by Enrico Marcandalli of the Italian NGO, Peacelink Association
http://italia.freeworld.it/peacelink/ and further disseminated by the Comboni Missionairies.

Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 23:14:27 +0100
To: africa@peacelink.it
From: Enrico Marcandalli enrico@urra.it
X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by igc7.igc.org id



1. Nyakariba: More than 300 people deliberately selected to be killed. Most of them were men. The local hutu parish priests were killed with those who had taken refuge there from Goma.

2. Muheto: All houses of hutu people were burnt.
3. Kagusa: They invited all the population to a meeting and massacred them all.
4. Mianja: Children, women, men, all were killed. Few survivors can be found, hopeless.

5. Mushaki: They went further and killed any person with one year secondary school education.
6. Ruhegeri: More than 400 people. An RPF soldiers arrested a man and got killed. Then the soldiers came and left no one alive there.
7. Kibabi: I don't know of there being even survivors of the genocide. There, the local population is wholly falsely accused of being Interahamwe, whereas actually 99% of that population have never set foot in Goma and therefore don't know what happened in Rwanda. Whole families have been wiped out.
8. Karoba: Shortly after the village of Kalungu, South Kivu, lots of houses were burnt; fortunately, many people escaped but can not return to their homes. They are living in bushes without any assistance.

9. Kabingo: Shortly after Ngungu. Thousands of hills are unhabited. Too many people died there, especially women, old people and childred who were unable to flee from the massacres.
10. Bitonga: I participated in the burial ceremonies of 134 people killed at 5 a.m. and all gathered in three big houses. Some were fired at, others burnt alive, others had their brains pierced with nails and axes.

11. At Shinda, Bweza locality, Rutshuru: On a market day, people got surrounded by rebel soldiers and no one escaped.

12. Jomba: Many people have been slaughtered in groups and thousands and thousands of skeletons can be seen under house roofs. Now houses are covered by grass because they are unhabited since last October. A few survivors fled to Uganda, shortly after Gisoro. (Presided Museveni said they were fleing from the nose to the mouth).

13. Lumbishi, at a distance of 4 hours walk from Ngungu through Kabingo and Birumbi: All those areas have no more population. All of them died, and those who escaped are living in the forest. They can not return to their homes because they can get willy nilly killed. They are accused of guns detention because they were always in fight with the HUNDE local tribe over the problem of nationality.

14. At CHEBUMBA, especially at a place called Magobe, it took three days to the local population of the place to bury the refugees who were shot at there on their way to Tingi Tingi.


1. The fact that the HUTU population is the main target to Kabila's fighters is an important proof of the Rwandese army's active and massive participation to the fighting in Eastern Zaire.

2. We are not Rwandans, and we had similar problems of nationality (citizenship) because we were contested. Why kill us?

3. Whenever inquiries have to be done in the Masisi area, Mr. Kabila says they are making an operation to clear Masisi. He argues that Masisi is infiltrated with the ex-FAR soldiers and the Interahamwe militia. But the cleansing operation unfortunately consists in killing the innocent Zairean Hutus and civilian population.
4. All prominent Hutu people are wanted persons. These are mainly:
- Those who have a certain level of studies;
- Businessmen;
- University students;
- Population representatives in rural areas; The latter are for example: Rutambuka from Katoyi; Bahati from Nyarutovu, near Chebumba; Mashagiro from Bulambika; Mukama from Ruzirantaka; Shirimpumu from Kabingo-Ngungu; Ndakize from Kibabi; Bigembe from Katoyi and the alike.
Many Hutu businessmen have simply disappeared. They are, for example:
1. Kalinda Rukeribuga, Goma;
2. Fujo, from Kiwanja, disappeared in Goma;
3. Muhozi was killed at his home in Rutshuru zone;
4. Thomas, the BATA Shoe Company representative in Goma has been taken away;
5. Bisengimana was killed, a burning tyre rounding his neck;
6. Pastor Sabakara Barore was killed at Kibabi with his whole family;
7. Kabunga, the boss of the SSS Petrol Station;
8. Kibiribiri is a wanted man at Kiwanja, Rutshuru;
9. Pastor Rwanyenyeri is a wanted man

10. Professor Bucyalimwe is also a wanted man, with many more other people.

Methods of killing

- Invite people to attend a meeting. Then, they kill them en masse.

- Kidnappings.

- Assassinations/exactions.

- Tortures:

Two soldiers stretch the victim's arms and the third blows the ribs with a club; A club with nails in blown at the top of the head. The nails pierce up to the brains. After, they shake and pull the club and the brain gets out of the head.
Male people are beaten at their sexual organs; e.g. Karemera from Ngungu. An old hoe or an axe is blown at the head. Female people get their sexual parts cut. Men's thighs are pierced with hot iron bars. Justice is military. They have said they have no prisons. Any least accusation deserves death as punishment

Enrico Marcandalli