Economic and Social Council
|28 June 1995|
1. At its third special session, the Commission on Human Rights adopted resolution S-3/1, dated 25 May 1994, by which it requested its Chairman to appoint a special rapporteur to investigate at first hand the human rights situation in Rwanda and to receive relevant, credible information on the human rights situation there from Governments, individuals and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and to avail himself of the assistance of existing mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights. 2. The Commission requested the Special Rapporteur to visit Rwanda forthwith and to report on an urgent basis to the members of the Commission, no later than four weeks from the adoption of the resolution. In accordance with that provision, the Special Rapporteur visited Rwanda and some neighbouring States from 9 to 20 June 1994. During that mission, he was accompanied by Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Mr. Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur on matters relevant to torture, who accepted his invitation and placed at his disposal their experience and expertise.
3. The Special Rapporteur would also like to thank the Rwandese "interim Government" and the Rwandese Patriotic Front (FPR) for their cooperation.
4. He also wishes to thank all those who supported him in the preparation and realization of his mission. He is particularly grateful to the United Nations Rwanda Emergency Office (UNREO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the logistic assistance they gave him. He also wishes to express his deep gratitude to the Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR) and his officers for their support and generous cooperation, in difficult circumstances, during his stay in Rwanda. Lastly, the Special Rapporteur thanks all those who sent him information on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, particularly the non-governmental organizations, and invites them to continue such cooperation in the future.
5. It should be mentioned that the Special Rapporteur's mission was a follow-up to that of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on 11-12 May 1994 (E/CN.4/1994/S-3/3) and, to a certain extent, to that of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, Mr. Bcre Waly Ndiaye, in April 1993 (E/CN.4/1994/7/Add.1).
6. This report, which is based upon information, testimony and documents received from various sources, cannot claim to be exhaustive, the time factor prohibiting this. It is simply a modest attempt to paint an overall picture of the human rights situation in Rwanda, a general view which will make it possible to guide future inquiries. This general view, designed to enlighten the Commission while meeting some of its concerns, relates to the preliminary measures adopted by the Special Rapporteur and to the reported events and resultant violations of human rights and, lastly, contains a series of recommendations.
7. Before going into the field to carry out a preliminary investigation and report to the members of the Commission on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, the Special Rapporteur discussed with his team the mandate he had received and the methods to be used in carrying it out.
8. The mandate entrusted to the Special Rapporteur contains two elements:
(a) To report to the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Rwanda, including the root causes and responsibilities (a "horizontal" inquiry);
(b) To make available to the Secretary-General systematically compiled information on possible violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law.
The Commission has affirmed that all persons who committed or authorized such violations are individually responsible for them and that the international community would exert every effort to bring them to justice (a "vertical" inquiry).
9. These obligations to investigate and report are complementary and should be carried out within the framework of the same structure, in two stages which are interdependent and overlapping. The collection of information for the report to the Commission on Human Rights (and to other United Nations organs, as requested by resolution S-3/1) and the drafting of recommendations for concrete and immediate action to save lives, must be given priority.
10. In practice, the two stages are complementary in that the sources of the information are the same. Likewise, information collected for one aspect of the mandate clarifies the other. For example, an investigation of the structure of the armed forces of the two parties to the conflict is needed to formulate recommendations for ending the massacres while, at the same time, it will supply the basis for determining individual responsibilities, in the light of the chain of command. "Horizontal" investigations of the first stage will give a general picture of the information available and the most effective way of obtaining it, both of which are essential before beginning the in-depth investigation, in the second stage, of certain specific cases. The first stage will also make it possible to identify priorities in terms of investigations (e.g. an analysis of the broadcasts of the radio stations close to the Government and their link with the massacres of Tutsi and moderate Hutu, with a view to establishing individual responsibility and identifying particular massacres which could be examined in greater detail).
11. In order to ensure that the two stages are complementary, the informaton must be collected, recorded and analysed in a way such that it will be usable in the event of a trial by a national or, if appropriate, international court.
12. The way in which the two stages can be put into effect is influenced by the events in the field and, above all, by the need to ensure the safety of the investigators in a situation of armed conflict. In view of the dangers incurred, particularly by the victims and witnesses, both in Rwanda and in the countries in which they have taken refuge, the collection of information should begin with the numerous international organizations and agencies active in the area, together with journalists, members of the clergy, etc., in Rwanda, in other countries of the region or in Europe. The vast majority of these have already shown great willingness to supply any useful information to the Special Rapporteur.
13. This in-depth investigation will be carried out by a team of human rights specialists, dispatched to the field by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in accordance with resolution S-3/1 of the Commission on Human Rights. During his first visit to the region, the Special Rapporteur also endeavoured to prepare for the work of this team, the first two members of which are already in place.
14. Following his appointment on 25 May 1994, the Special Rapporteur went to Geneva and Brussels - pending completion of the logistic and administrative preparations for his mission to Rwanda - for consultations with the Centre for Human Rights, representatives of States, and members of non-governmental organizations working for the defence of human rights. 15. Between 6 and 9 June 1994, he met representatives of the Governments of Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Canada, Cameroon, Nigeria, France and Belgium and of a large number of human rights organizations, who commented upon and gave him information concerning the situation of human rights in Rwanda. Having learned, during his stay in Geneva, of the murder of the Archbishop of Kigali, the Bishop of Kabgayi and 10 priests by the FPR and - probably as a reprisal - of the execution by the Rwandese Armed Forces (FAR) of 63 other persons, the Special Rapporteur sent letters on 9 June 1994 to both the FPR and the "interim Government" to condemn those actions, to ask that everything possible be done to prevent any recurrence of such incidents and to demand that the perpetrators of those crimes be prosecuted, with full defence guarantees. A letter was also sent to the Government of France requesting that the black box of the presidential aircraft be made available to the Special Rapporteur. The Government of France replied, on 17 June 1994, that it was not in possession of the black box and that the request should be addressed to the "interim Government". The same request having been addressed to the Rwandese General Staff, it replied that it knew nothing about it.
16. Between 9 and 15 June 1994, the Special Rapporteur met in Brussels, Nairobi, Bujumbura and the South Kivu area of Zaire, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Rwanda and Burundi, the Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda (UNAMIR), the UNREO Coordinator and several members of his staff, the UNHCR Special Envoy and several members of his staff, many representatives of the United Nations agencies, institutions and programmes currently active in Rwanda, representatives of the ICRC and of international non-governmental organizations supplying humanitarian assistance and of human rights organizations, as well as a large number of individuals, both Rwandese and nationals of other countries, who supplied evidence on violations of human rights in Rwanda.
17. From 16 to 20 June, the Special Rapporteur visited Rwanda, where he met the UNAMIR Force Commander and several other officers, the Chief of Staff of the Rwandese Armed Forces, the Prefect of the City of Kigali and two members of the staff of the gendarmerie, as well as representatives of the FPR. During his stay in Rwanda, the Special Rapporteur visited several places sheltering persons displaced by the conflict, as well as the Amahoro Stadium, the King Fayçal Hospital and Kigali Airport. He also visited the ICRC Hospital in Kigali. These various visits have made it possible for him to try to reconstitute the events.
18. The attack on the aircraft on 6 April 1994 which cost the lives of Juvénal Habyarimana, President of the Rwandese Republic, Cyprien Ntyamira, President of the Republic of Burundi, several persons in their entourage and the crew, seems to have been the immediate cause of the grievous and tragic events which Rwanda is currently undergoing. That is probably why the Commission on Human Rights has requested the Special Rapporteur to "receive relevant, credible information on the human rights situation" in Rwanda "including on root causes and responsibilities for the recent atrocities". These atrocities consist mainly of massacres and other deeds related to them.
19. At the moment when the presidential aircraft crashed to earth, the internal situation in Rwanda was tense and explosive for a number of reasons: frustration at the delays in implementing the Arusha Peace Agreement of 4 August 1993, the reign of terror by the militias, the murders of opposition leaders and human rights activists and persistent rumours that each of the two parties - the Government and the FPR - was preparing for war. The death of President Juvénal Habyarimana was the spark to the powder keg which set off the massacre of civilians. The next day, fighting resumed between the Government forces and the FPR. To date, that is until the moment of drafting this report, the acts of violence have not ceased. They are conspicuous both in their extent and in their characteristics.
20. The Rwandese have indeed been the victims of a number of massacres in the past, notably in 1959, 1963, 1966, 1973, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. However, those being perpetrated at present are unprecedented in the history of the country and even in that of the entire African continent. They have taken on an extent unequalled in space and in time. 21. The atrocities have extended over the entire national territory. A distinction must, however, be made between the governmental area and the area controlled by the FPR. In the first area, most of the massacres are carried out by the militias of the National Revolutionary Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND) - the interahamwe ("those who attack together") - and of the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) - impuzamugbmi ("those who have a single aim"), and are directed against the Tutsi in general and against Hutu who are considered moderate, i.e. against unarmed and defenceless people. Examples, supplied by trustworthy witnesses, are not lacking. A few may be mentioned: in Butare, several thousand persons have been massacred or mutilated; in Gisenyi, thousands of Tutsi have suffered the same fate, some of them having allegedly been buried alive in common graves in the town's cemetery; in the parish of Nyundo (prefecture of Kibuye), more tan 560 persons have been killed including, 56 members of the clergy and nuns and 11 lay ministers; atrocities have also occurred in Kibuye itself, particularly in the stadium and the parish church; at Gikongo, a quarter of Kigali, on one day, Sunday 10 April, the street was covered with corpses for the length of a kilometre. At Kiziguro, a parish on the road between Kabiro and Murambi, a common grave was found containing several hundreds of corpses and a few survivors crying for help. In Cyangugu, the number of persons massacred to date is estimated at more than 25,000.
22. In the area controlled by the FPR, the cases of massacres reported are rather rare, indeed virtually non-existent, perhaps because little is known about them. The Government authorities accuse the FPR of having massacred several thousand civilians. According to a Rwandese "interim Government" statement made at Geneva on 24 May 1994, "FPR combatants have carried out systematic massacres of ethnic Hutu by making use in particular of their identity cards ... In the areas controlled by the FPR, thousands of people were savagely massacred and interred in common graves prepared well before the beginning of hostilities". There is no eyewitness evidence to confirm this information. At the request of the Special Rapporteur, senior officers of the Rwandese Armed Forces have promised to furnish documentary proof of those allegations. The FPR has been accused of removing persons from the displaced persons camps and executing them. This fact also, which might explain the absence of prisoners of war, has not been established or confirmed by other evidence. It should be noted that the FPR has promised to present prisoners of war to the human rights observers. What is certain, however, is that the FPR has been guilty of summary executions. For example, on 9 June 1994, FPR soldiers killed a number of members of the clergy, including two bishops and the Archbishop of Kigali. An operation carried out by the FPR on 16 June 1994 to evacuate Tutsi from the parish church of Saint Paul resulted in the deaths of several persons. According to the "interim Government", they were killed because they belonged to the Hutu ethnic group. The representatives of the FPR replied that some persons may well have been killed during the combat but that, in the heat of the action, there had been no time to sort out Hutu and Tutsi and any such acts were unintentional. The following day, an attack on a UNAMIR vehicle had killed one military observer and seriously wounded anothe. On 19 June 1994, despite three unfortunate precedents and the urgent appeal by the Special Rapporteur that humanitarian organizations should not be targeted, a shell had once again fallen in the compound of the ICRC hospital, killing one person and wounding several others.
23. The massacres had not begun on the same day throughout the territory of Rwanda. It was, of course, Kigali which started them on the night of 6 to 7 April with the massacre of Mrs. Agathe Uwilingiyimana, the Prime Minister, Joseph Kavaruganda, President of the Supreme Court, and several members of the Government, together with 10 Belgian members of UNAMIR. On the other hand, Butare and Cyangugu remained calm for more than a week and were not caught up into the cycle of violence until their prefects had been dismissed and replaced by Hutu extremists. Concordant and reliable witnesses have stated that the new President of the Republic went to Butare to urge the Hutu population to engage in massacres. In Cyangugu, despite the delay, the number of persons massacred on 20 April reached, according to certain witnesses, some 15,000. It is alleged that the Armed Forces blocked all the roads leading to Zaire to prevent the survivors from escaping and the Prefect is alleged to have said that he had received "orders from above" to that effect. Those massacres are still continuing. Veritable manhunts have been carried out from house to house, from family to family, from village to village by members of the militias who, at the present time, are not hesitating to raid the so-called displaced persons' camps. Thus, on 14 June 1994, they carried off 40 young men and, on 17 June, had it not been for the firm intervention of UNAMIR, the "Mille Collines" Hotel would have witnessed a blood bath: a group of armed militiamen had already entered it.
24. In all, the number of persons killed throughout the territory is to be numbered in the hundreds of thousands, estimates ranging from 200,000 to 500,000. In fact, even the latter figure is probably less than the reality. Some observers think that the figure is close to a million. It is not sure that the exact number of victims will ever be known. What is absolutely certain, on the other hand, is that the international community is watching a human tragedy that appears to be well-orchestrated.
25. The massacres are all the more horrible and terrifying in that they give the impression of being planned, systematic and atrocious. 26. The massacres do seem to have been planned. There are various pieces of evidence pointing to this conclusion. The first is the campaign of incitement to ethnic hatred and violence orchestrated by the media belonging to the Government, or close to it, such as Radio Rwanda, and above all Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). The second is the distribution of arms to the civilian population, and more particularly to members of the militias. Pastoral letters issued by the Bishop and priests of Nyundo diocese in December 1993 condemn this distribution of arms to the population. Furthermore, the members of the militias are reported to have undergone intensive training at military installations from November 1993 to March 1994. To this must be added the reign of terror carried out by the militias and the assassination of political figures. The third sign is the exceptional speed of events after the death of the President of Rwanda: the "provisional Government" was formed within only a few hours of the accident, according to a reliable international source. In addition, barricades were set up between 30 and 45 minutes after the crash of the aircraft, and even before the news of it had been announced on the national radio. A credible witness reports that, 45 minutes after the explosion, the road from the Hotel Méridien to Amahoro Stadium was blocked by soldiers and civilians and that he had been stopped twice by the latter. Senior officers of the General Staff whom the Special Rapporteur met acknowledge these facts, but assert that there was a justification for them: President Habyarimana was so popular that his murder by the FPR angered the people and elements in the armed forces. Finally, the fourth indication is the existence of lists giving the names of persons to be executed. It seems to have been on the basis of these lists that various opposition leaders were murdered.
27. The massacres are systematic in nature. Whole families are exterminated - grandparents, parents and children. No one escapes, not even newborn babies. But what is even more symptomatic is that the victims are pursued to their very last refuge and killed there. This is true of ecclesiastical buildings, particularly churches, which once served as a refuge for the Tutsi, but have now become the scene of their holocaust. The same applies to hiding places in the roofs or other corners of houses and in the woods and forests, to which the attackers set fire to make sure that they leave no survivors behind them. The same applies also to the frontiers, which are blocked to prevent the Tutsi from escaping to neighbouring countries. At the third special session of the Commission on Human Rights, the representative of Médecins sans frontières gave a fairly typical example, which is worth quoting:
"At 700 metres from the frontier with Burundi, 80 persons were seen running towards it ('like cattle') chased by a group of militiamen with machetes. One person was hacked to death in front of us. The others succeeded in reaching the frontier, but unfortunately a group of militiamen was awaiting them there. Less than 10 persons got across the frontier, the others having been hacked to death." (end of April 1994)
28. The killings are carried out under atrocious, appallingly cruel, conditions. They are preceded by acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Generally, the victims are attacked with machetes, axes, cudgels, clubs, sticks or iron bars. The killers sometimes go so far as to cut off their fingers, hands, arms and legs one after another before cutting off their heads or splitting their skulls. Witnesses report that it is not uncommon for the victims to plead with their executioners or offer them money to let them be shot rather than hacked to death. It has also been reported that, when the Tutsi have shut themselves in a room or a church which the militiamen cannot get into, the military come to their aid, breaking down doors, throwing in grenades and leaving it to the militia to finish things off. This barbarism does not spare either children in orphanages or patients in hospital, who are taken away and killed or finished off. Mothers have been forced to beat their children, while Hutu staff working for Médecins sans frontières (Butare, end of April 1994) were obliged to kill their Tutsi colleagues. Those who had the courage to refuse were killed. It has even been reported that the killers, after executing their victims in the open street, in front of everyone, cut them up into pieces, and some do not hesitate to sit on the bodies and drink beer while waiting for prisoners to come and take the bodies away.
29. The facts described below are the direct result of the war and the massacres combined. They concern those who were lucky enough to survive the killing and who are still struggling to stay alive. They are reflected in insecurity and exodus.
30. The whole of Rwandese territory is in a state of total insecurity, which has three closely linked aspects. 31. The first aspect, immediately perceptible, is the physical and moral dimension, which means, for the few who escaped the massacres, an instinctive effort to preserve their physical and moral integrity. They are, of course, in danger of running into one party to the conflict or another - the Rwandese Armed Forces (FAR), the militias or, alternatively, the FPR. Membership of the right ethnic group or political party can ward off the danger, as when Hutu encounter the FAR or militiamen, or Tutsi or Hutu moderates maet FPR soldiers, but that does not mean that they have escaped once and for all. Shell and mortar fire into the centre of a town does not distinguish between military camps and civilians' houses. Worse still, no precautions seem to be taken to prevent installations belonging to humanitarian organizations from being hit. A striking example is the shell which hit the ICRC Hospital on 19 July 1994, killing a member of the staff and wounding several others. The FPR, which was responsible for that action, justified it on the grounds that members of the FAR were sheltering behind the hospital in order to attack its troops - such an attitude cannot but demoralize the survivors. Other organizations, such as UNAMIR, have been deliberately targeted.
32. The second aspect is food insecurity. Famine is at the gates of Rwanda. Large parts of the territory seem to be entirely abandoned. Along the roads from Kigali to Byumba or to the Ugandan frontier at Kagitumba, for example, most of the villages are deserted, and the crops are not being harvested. There is a real threat of famine, particularly in the southern areas of the country, which have also been suffering from drought. The Special Rapporteur has received information that, in the displaced persons' camps in Rwanda, there have been cases of death from malnutrition, despite all the efforts being made by international organizations to provide humanitarian assistance.
33. The third aspect is health insecurity, or more precisely unhealthy conditions. Many observers have emphasized the danger of epidemics due to bodies rotting in the open air or thrown into rivers, which are liable to pollute the water. Many people, both displaced persons and others, are eking out a precarious existence which leaves them weak and thus more vulnerable to disease. It should not be forgotten, either, that Rwanda has one of the world's highest rates of infection with the AIDS virus. Efforts are being made to vaccinate people in displaced persons' camps, but the medical facilities in operation are not adequate to provide the necessary care. The Special Rapporteur visited the ICRC Hospital in Kigali, where he was most impressed by the selfless devotion of the medical staff, and also by the immense amount that has been achieved.
34. The conflict in Rwanda has led to an exodus without precedent in this small country's history. This exodus is particularly striking in that it has a twofold aspect, the movement of displaced persons within the country being combined with the flight of refugees abroad. 35. The hostilities between the forces of the "provisional Government" and those of the FPR, and particularly the fear of massacres, have led to mass movements of population within the country. There are said to be over 2 million people who have left their home villages for other regions where they feel more secure. With the development of the conflict and the advance of the FPR, a large part of the population is constantly on the move, fleeing the fighting. The FPR's military advance to the south-west and the wave of displaced persons it will undoubtedly set in motion could make the situation throughout the region particularly explosive. It is estimated that up to 2 million people are trapped at this moment between the front line and the frontiers with Burundi and Zaire, both of which are at present closed to Rwandese refugees. Others find themselves in places from which they no longer dare budge, for fear of massacres. Although they are not being kept there by force, they are, in fact, hostages of the conflict. They are in various places, both in the capital and in other towns and regions of the country. During his stay, the Special Rapporteur was able to visit several centres for displaced persons, including the Amahoro Stadium, the King Fayçal Hospital and a camp set up at Kigali Airport. These centres, and others, are being protected by UNAMIR, and the various humanitarian organizations are making immense efforts to improve their situation, which nevertheless remains extremely precarious.
36. The hostilities, and above all the massacres, have caused many other Rwandese to leave their country and take refuge in neighbouring States. Thus, Zaire has taken in more than 50,000 refugees in the regions of South Kivu and Bukavu. A considerable number of them are nationals of Burundi, who had taken refuge in Rwanda during the violence in Burundi in October-November 1993. Burundi has received more than 85,000 refugees, who are in camps situated mainly in the Ngozi and Kirundo regions. But it is Tanzania that is giving shelter to the greatest number of refugees, estimated at 410,000, 330,000 of them in the Benaco camp alone, which is thus the world's biggest refugee camp. The total number of refugees is close to a million. This huge flow of refugees is also creating serious problems for the host countries, which are incurring risks, not just because of the overpopulation and insecurity resulting from the presence of the newcomers, but also because the political and ethnic tensions between Tutsi and Hutu are spilling over into their territories. The danger is considerable in Zaire, but even more so in Burundi, whose population is made up of the same ethnic groups. In addition, these countries are coming up to elections.
37. The refugees themselves are not able to escape from the insecurity caused precisely by the way the problems have been carried over into their camps. During his visits to a number of camps in the South Kivu region of Zaire, the Special Rapporteur was informed that several of them were being used as training bases for members of the militias. Cases of murder, torture and disappearance had also been reported. At Luvundi camp, near the Rwandese frontier, he had been able to note the tension that existed between Hutu and Tutsi refugees, when two international civil servants, one from Mali and the other from Senegal, had been verbally attacked and accused of being Tutsi spies. The Special Rapporteur has himself been interrogated several times concerning his nationality.
38. The situation is even more explosive and disturbing at Benaco camp in Tanzania. Between 28 and 29 April 1994, some 250,000 persons crossed the Rwandese frontier into the Ngara district of Tanzania. The great majority of them were Rwandese of Hutu ethnic origin fleeing the FPR's advance in eastern Rwanda. It was following this unprecedented inflow that UNHCR set up the Benaco camp, which at present holds over 330,000 persons, at a distance of some 17 km from the Rwandese frontier.
39. It has been found that the same structures of authority prevail in this camp as in Rwanda, and it is to be feared that the parties' militias are active there. It very quickly became evident to the camp administrators that among the persons sheltered there were some who were accused of having organized, or at least taken part, in the massacres in Rwanda, witnesses having recognized them. Fourteen of them, who were suspected of having taken part in the massacres and seemed to be in fear of their lives, agreed to be taken into protective detention by the Tanzanian police. On 15 June 1994, however, these 14 suspected persons were released by the Tanzanian police on condition that they did not return to Benaco. They had not kept their word, and an attempt by UNHCR to make them leave the camp resulted in a disturbance involving some 5,000 persons, who engaged in violent demonstrations and threatened the staff of the humanitarian organizations, saying that they would deal with them in the same way as the 10 Belgian United Nations peace-keepers, who had been tortured and mutilated before being killed in Kigali. It is reported that murders have been committed at Benaco, some of which seem to have been politically motivated.
40. Several observers encountered by the Special Rapporteur considered that the human tidal wave which preceded the establishment of Benaco - because of its planned and organized nature - looked like a strategic withdrawal on the part of members of the militias responsible for the massacres in Rwanda and their associates. Fears have accordingly been expressed that the camp may be used by the militias as a rear base for incursions into Rwandese territory, thus enabling them to continue to perpetrate violations of human rights.
41. The events described above undoubtedly constitute grave and massive violations of human rights. The question is to determine what is the nature of these violations, what are their causes and who are the culprits.
42. The charges are three fold: genocide through the massacre of the Tutsi, political assassinations of a number of Hutu and various violations of human rights.
43. Eminent persons, including the Secretary-General of the United Nations, have not hesitated to describe the massacre of the Tutsi as genocide. It is necessary to confirm by reference to the facts that this term is appropriate. 44. Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948 states: "genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a)Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
45. It appears from this definition that the crime of genocide has three constituent elements, which might be summed up as follows:
(i) A criminal act
(ii) "With intent to destroy, in whole or in part"
(iii) A particular group "as such".
46. There does not seem to be any doubt about the first condition, in view of the massacres perpetrated (II (a)), and even of the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (II (b)). The second is not difficult to establish, either, since such a clear and unambiguous intention is contained in the constant incitements to murder put out by the media (particularly RTLM) and reproduced in leaflets. And even if that were not so, the intention could have been deduced from the facts themselves, on the basis of a variety of concordant indications: preparations for the massacres (distribution of firearms and training of members of the militias), number of Tutsi killed and the result of a policy of destruction of the Tutsi. The third condition, on the other hand, requiring that the ethnic group should be targeted as such, raises a problem, because the Tutsi are not the only victims of the massacres, in which Hutu moderates have not been spared. But the problem is more apparent than real, for two reasons: firstly, many witnesses confirm that the vetting carried out at roadblocks to check identities was aimed essentially at the Tutsi. Secondly, and above all, the main enemy, identified with the FPR, is still the Tutsi, who is the inyenzi (cockroach), to be crushed at all costs. The Hutu moderate is merely a supporter of the main enemy, and is targeted only as a traitor to his ethnic group, which he dares to oppose.
47. There is a document put out by the General Staff of the Rwandese army, dated 21 September 1992, which distinguishes between the main enemy and his supporters and which instructs the military hierarchy to give it a wide circulation. According to the terms of this document, the former "is the Tutsi within the country or abroad, an extremist nostalgic for power, who has never accepted and still does not accept the reality of the Social Revolution of 1959 and who wants to gain power in Rwanda by any means, including arms". The latter "is any person who gives any support to the main enemy". The supporter can be a Rwandese or a foreigner. There are a number of documents in existence confirming this distinction and testifying to the fact that Hutu moderates are massacred only as associates or supporters of the Tutsi.
48. The conditions laid down by the 1948 Convention are thus met, and Rwanda, having acceded to it on 16 April 1976, is required to respect its principles, which would be binding upon it even without any treaty obligation, since they have acquired the force of customary law. In the Special Rapporteur's view, the term "genocide" should henceforth be used as regards the Tutsi. The situation is different in the case of the assassination of Hutu.
49. Members of the Hutu ethnic group, as already stated, have also been the victims of massacres. But at this stage a distinction has to be made. On the one hand, there are Hutu moderates, with whom, by extension, certain foreigners, such as Belgians, are assimilated and who comprise essentially the political opposition and human rights activists. They form a ready target for elements of the government armed forces and members of the militias. On the other hand, there are Hutu extremists, comprising essentially members of the militias, who are said to be liable to execution, simply on the basis of a denunciation, in areas controlled by the FPR. 50. These acts constitute murders, and more specifically political assassinations, violating the right to life, which is a fundamental right contained in many international instruments.
51. Though all these conventions could be cited, two only will suffice, the relevant provisions of which are binding on the Rwandese State, which has acceded to them. They are, first, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966 and, secondly, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights of 28 June 1981. The political assassinations represent a flagrant violation of these instruments. It should be pointed out that the right to life is a fundamental right, which exists independently of any treaty obligation and which must be respected in all circumstances.
52. A number of other and no less important rights have also been the subject of serious violations by the parties to the conflict. These violations relate both to human rights stricto sensu and to international humanitarian law. 53. In conjunction with the right to life, the other rights violated cover a fairly wide range. The following examples will suffice: the right to physical and moral integrity, whereby torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are forbidden, a right established in many international legal instruments, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights (it is worth noting that this right is also a fundamental one that must be observed in all circumstances); the principle of non-discrimination or right to equal treatment, freedom of movement or travel, two rights established in the Conventions mentioned above; and refugee law, which is governed by the international instruments relating to the status of refugees, including the Convention of 28 July 1951, to which Rwanda is party.
54. International humanitarian law is not being respected either. Many of the acts alleged, such as murder, political assassination, execution of hostages and other inhuman acts committed against the civilian population or unarmed soldiers by the armed forces of the two parties to the conflict constitute war crimes in direct violation of the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, which have been ratified by Rwanda, and their common article 3. It may be noted at this stage that the FPR has told the ICRC that it considers itself bound by the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. Furthermore, the assassinations and other inhuman acts committed against the civilian population, like the acts of persecution for political motives combined with the war crimes, constitute crimes against humanity.
55. The causes of human rights violations in Rwanda are of various kinds: economic, social, political, cultural, and so on, three of which are immediately apparent and indicative of the present situation, namely, the rejection of alternate political power, incitement to hatred and violence, and impunity.
56. The rejection of alternate political power, which typifies French-speaking black Africa in general, takes on a special form in Rwanda, where it has strong ethnic overtones. The reason for what is taking place in Rwanda is not ethnic as such, but rather political, the aim being the seizure of political power, or rather the retention of power, by the representatives of one ethnic group, previously the underdogs, who are using every means, principally the elimination of the opposing ethnic group, but also the elimination of political opponents within their own group. From this standpoint, the portrayal of the main enemy and their supporters, as mentioned above, is quite revealing. The resistance to the Arusha Peace Agreement of 4 August 1993 is indicative of this and even of the rejection of simple power sharing or political coexistence. 57. The rejection of alternate political power implies the absence of the rule of law, for the rule of law guarantees political alternation and both are basic requirements of multi-party democracy. In Rwanda, the rule of law has thus been replaced by the rule of violence and confrontation. The rules of democratic legality based on respect for the law have been swept aside. Political democracy is being replaced by the law of the gun, and the peaceful transfer of political power through the ballot box has given way to the seizure of power by force of arms, with its inevitable killings and barbarism.
58. False rumours and tracts dsigned to inflame ethnic hatred and encourage violence are constantly circulating in Rwanda. The Tutsi are portrayed, for example, as "bloodthirsty, power-hungry and determined to impose their rule on the people of Rwanda by means of the gun". They are even said to be preparing to exterminate the Rwandese people. Repeated appeals are made to the Hutu proclaiming the "ten commandments", which advocate an ideology of apartheid to keep the Tutsi from returning to power. This is a long-standing campaign, as pointed out in various reports, including those of the International Commission of Inquiry on gross violations of human rights since 1 October 1990 (7-21 January 1993), comprising representatives of several non-governmental organizations, or the report submitted by Mr. Bacre Waly Ndiaye, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, on his mission to Rwanda from 8 to 17 April 1993 (E/CN.4/1994/7/Add.1). 59. One new and significant development, however, is the deep involvement of Radio Rwanda, the national broadcasting station controlled by the President, and in particular of Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM). A striking fact is that the broadcasts of these stations in French differ significantly from those in Kinyarwanda, the only language spoken by virtually all Rwandese. While broadcasts in French are inoffensive, those in Kinyarwanda are highly aggressive in tone. RTLM does not hesitate to call for the extermination of the Tutsi and it is notorious for the decisive role that it appears to have played in the massacres. It is known as the "killer radio station", and justifiably so. According to Reporters sans frontières, at the end of April this propaganda organ of the Hutu extremists proclaimed that "by 5 May, the cleansing of the Tutsi must be completed" and that "the grave is still only half full, who will help us to fill it?". This campaign is, as a senior United Nations official has pointed out, made more dangerous by the fact that the generally illiterate Rwandese rural population listens very attentively to broadcasts in Kinyarwanda; they hold their radio sets in one hand and their machetes in the other, ready to go into action.
60. Impunity, like incitement to hatred and murder, is a recurrent cause of the massacres. The political party militias put up road blocks, check the identity of those passing through, arrest Tutsi and moderate Hutu and execute them in the street, in front of everyone and watched by members of the gendarmerie and FAR. The armed forces, far from bothering the militias, actually help them. This is also true of some local authorities, prefects or mayors, who have been personally involved in the slaughter. 61. No legal steps have been taken against those responsible for the earlier and present massacres, although they are known to the public and the authorities. On the contrary, they continue to live quietly and move about freely, quite undisturbed and with complete impunity. Worse still, many local officials who particularly distinguished themselves by their acts of cruelty, have been promoted, whereas those who managed to keep the peace and prevent massacres were quite simply dismissed. A case in point is that of the Mayor Jean-Baptiste Gatete, notorious for his crimes, who was made Chief of Cabinet to the Minister for Family Affairs in June 1993. The second category includes the Prefect of Butare, who was killed, and the Prefect of Kibungo, who was dismissed. As has been noted, the slaughter in the two prefectures began immediately they were replaced.
62. At the current stage of his investigation, the Special Rapporteur is not in a position to identify by name all those responsible for the violations and abuses committed. He does, in fact, have lists of the names of individuals involved in the planning and execution of the atrocities. However, it will take time for him to establish the chain of responsibility and draw up a list of the perpetrators as they are identified. 63. As far as the organs or authorities involved in the recent atrocities are concerned, however, some responsibility can be apportioned immediately to:
The Rwandese State authorities and, in particular, senior national political figures, such as a number of ministers; various components of the government security forces, such as the Presidential Guard, the Rwandese Armed Forces (FAR) and the gendarmerie; and some local authorities, prefects and mayors;
FPR organs, particularly those in charge of its military activities;
Private individuals such as members of the militias, leaders of extremist political parties (MRND and CDR) and the founders and broadcasters of RTLM;
Some light needs also to be shed on the responsibility of certain foreign States and their interference in Rwandese politics;
Finally, the role of the international community and, in particular, the response of the United Nations to the urgent needs of the population, especially with regard to security and humanitarian assistance, calls for examination. In this connection, the Special Rapporteur wishes to associate himself with those who have deplored the reduction of UNAMIR personnel on 21 April 1994, which has seriously restricted its ability to protect persons in danger.
64. It is against this background that the attack on the presidential aircraft must be examined by the Special Rapporteur, to determine any links between those who ordered it and those responsible for the massacres. The precise circumstances of the murder of moderate members of the "interim Government", including the Prime Minister, and of 10 Belgian soldiers, must also be ascertained. The links between the political party militias, particularly the interahamwe , the Presidential Guard, the Rwandese Armed Forces and the gendarmerie, must also be investigated in order to determine the chains of command and individual responsibility. On the basis of that investigation, the Special Rapporteur will be in a position to make appropriate recommendations to the Commission on Human Rights.
65. The Rwandese "interim Government" also bears a full measure of responsibility for having refused to take effective steps to prevent the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including genocide. From the outset of the atrocities, the Rwandese leaders maintained that the massacres would cease only with the end of the armed conflict. During his meeting with the Chief of Staff of the FAR, the Special Rapporteur was told that the Rwandese authorities could appeal to the general population to stop the massacres and would be heeded, but that the conclusion of a cease-fire agreement was a prerequisite for any such appeal.
66. The Special Rapporteur's recommendations, which take due account of the emergency situation obtaining in Rwanda, are divided into immediate measures and short-term and medium-term measures.
67. The United Nations should:
Demand that the parties to the conflict put an immediate end to the war and to the genocide and other gross violations of human rights perpetrated in Rwanda. The cessation of hostilities should be unconditional and should cover both massacres and acts of war; and
To this end, it should appeal to the consciences and individual sense of responsibility of the leaders of the parties to the conflict.
68. The United Nations should invite the leaders of the parties to the conflict:
To make an urgent and solemn appeal to their troops, to militias and to armed civilians to halt the massacres forthwith under pain of severe and effective punishment; and
To take specific measures to disarm the militias and armed civilians. This disarmament should take place under the supervision of a neutral international force which could consist of UNAMIR II reinforced by contingents from members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), whose rapid and complete deployment should be made possible; and
To disband the armed militias and similar organizations.
69. The United Nations should demand that the government authorities:
Also make a solemn and urgent appeal to those in charge of the media, particularly Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines, to cease immediately the broadcasting of war propaganda; and
Take appropriate steps to prohibit any campaign or rumour likely to give rise to racial hatred and violence, under pain of severe punishment.
70. The United Nations should solemnly:
Condemn the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda and stress the horrifying, abominable and unacceptable nature of such acts;
Inform the perpetrators that, once identified, they will have to answer for their acts and omissions to the competent authorities, in whatever part of the world they happen to be;
Request States which have granted asylum or other refuge to persons involved in the massacres to take the necessary steps to ensure that they do not escape justice.
71. The United Nations, in cooperation with OAU, should take the necessary steps to ensure the protection of orphans, displaced persons and refugees by:
Establishing a reception centre or orphanage to receive orphans, so as to shelter them from any danger and to provide them with decent living conditions and schooling. The centre would be financed by a special "solidarity" fund, financed by the Member States and managed by a board whose status and procedures will have to be determined;
Ensuring that the rights of refugees and displaced persons are respected, particularly with regard to their safety and living conditions, while reminding them that they, too, have obligations, particularly towards the host States, and that they must refrain from any act likely to contravene national or international law;
Strengthening the resources of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees to enable it to undertake studies to determine the conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their country or villages; and
Establishing without delay crossing areas which will enable the people of Rwanda to place themselves under the protection of the authorities of their choice.
72.The United Nations, in cooperation with OAU, should take appropriate steps to:
Induce the parties to the conflict to negotiate, in good faith and with due regard to the Arusha Agreement of 4 August 1993, the terms for peace, democratic transition and national reconciliation and unity; and
Call on the parties to implement in good faith the agreements thus reached. The agreements must not in any way provide, as part of a political settlement, for the impunity of those responsible for acts of genocide and other crimes against humanity. On the contrary, they must establish mechanisms for the effective punishment of those responsible. That is one of the prerequisites for national reconciliation and unity.
73. The United Nations should ensure that the transition to democracy leads to free and fair elections on the basis of a constitution establishing national democratic institutions which take due account of the legitimate interests of the two communities concerned, with a view to genuine national integration.
74. The United Nations should, within the framework of the peace negotiations:
Stress the need for national reconciliation and unity. In this regard, the new constitution should contain provisions for the prohibition and severe punishment of acts of incitement to ethnic hatred and violence. No official document, national identity card, driving licence, family registration book or the like should contain any reference to membership of an ethnic group. Any ethnically based party or association should be prohibited; and
Take measures to establish, or help to establish, a radio station broadcasting in both French and Kinyarwanda, to be responsible for providing education in human rights and in the scrupulous respect for human dignity. The funding and management arrangements would be the same as those for the orphanage referred to earlier.
75. Pending the establishment of a permanent international criminal court, the United Nations should establish an ad hoc international tribunal to hear the evidence and judge the guilty parties or, alternatively, should extend the jurisdiction of the international tribunal on war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.
76. The United Nations should establish in Rwanda a reinforced team of human rights observers under a high-level coordinator responsible to the Special Rapporteur.