U.N. Asks Rwanda To Probe Army

News and Press Release
Originally published
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) -- The United Nations asked Rwanda today to investigate a report that the army killed at least 111 civilians in a three-day operation last month.

The United Nations said another 52 people were missing and 300 arrested in western Ruhengeri prefecture during the Aug. 6-8 search operation, apparently launched to identify soldiers of the defeated Hutu army.

The report was released Monday by the U.N. Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda.

It said some of those killed were alleged to have been members of the former Hutu-led Rwandese Armed Forces or other infiltrators who often attacked civilians and survivors of the 1994 state-sponsored genocide in Rwanda.

But many killed were reportedly unarmed civilians, the U.N. said.

At least 500,000 people, most of them Tutsis or moderate Hutus, were massacred in Rwanda during the orchestrated killing spree by Hutu soldiers, mobs and militiamen in the spring of 1994.

The killings stopped when Tutsi rebels came to power in July and drove the Hutu-led government and the army into exile. An estimated 1.3 million people, including retreating soldiers, sought refuge in neighboring countries.

During the August search operation, about 10,000 men in the western prefecture were rounded up and forced to stay on a hilltop for two days without food or water while the Tutsi-dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front army screened the group for suspected infiltrators, the report said.

In some cases, those who resisted were immediately killed, the report said.

''RPA soldiers found male residents hiding in or refusing to leave their houses, took them outside, and killed them on the spot,'' the report said. ''Some of the victims were bludgeoned to death with blows to the head from hoes.''

U.N. officials were denied access to the Mukamira military camp where most of the detainees are believed to be held, sources said.

The report's findings add to those of another U.N. report blaming the Rwandan Patriotic Army for an increase in government-sanctioned killings.

Rwandan troops reportedly killed 62 people in May, 124 in April and 226 in July.

he government says it is investigating some of the civilian deaths. It maintains that many of them occurred when people tried to escape questioning.

=A9 Copyright 1996 The Associated Press