by Magdeleine Brown NKIKABAHIZI
The nights and days of nightmares and despair characterized the situation and the atmosphere on the International airport of Mvenge in Franceville, Gabon when the UNHCR decided to forcibly repatriated Hut refugees who had fled from the Eastern DRC. These refugees had been on the move for over 7 months running without food, shelter, medication and hope. They were being chased by the Rwandan, Ugandan, and Burundian armees who are supporting the Kabila military to oust the dictator Mobutu Seseko who was deposed on May 17, 1997.
These refugees were received by the UNHCR as the organization that was supposed to provide the humanitarian support. They were hungry, children were malnourished, and pregnant women had been experiencing miscarriages without any sort of medical aid. When these refugees arrived in Franceville, the UNHCR representative known by only one name as LOUISE who claimed to be a citizen of Cameroon mobilized these Rwandan refugees whereby she classified people based on their level of skills and ambitions. Those who were young and promising refugees of Hutu ethnicity from Rwanda, Burundi, and Eastern DRC were put in a groups. They were promised taht the UNHCR together with the Gabonese government were going to be given opportunites to access further education. I have to remind the reader that these refugees were comprised with both adults and children and were all subjected to the same mistreatment.
After the UNHCR agent Ms. LOUISE finished her mobilization she colluded with the Gabonese and the RPF government to deport them back to Rwanda despite the publication of the UNHCR report which was done in Rwanda by Amnesty International and the the UNHCR Report on Rwanda. Some of the Rwandan RPF delegation was led by Colonel Kayonga. SOme sources say that Rwanda paid a lot of money to both the UNHCR and the Gabonese government in order to overlook the international humanitarian law and deport innocent Hutu refugees so that they could be taken back to Rwanda to be slaughtered. Another reminder is that these refugees had survived an onslaught staged by the RPF in DRC together wit the then Burundian army which was the majority Tutsi controlled under President Buyoya who had also participated in assassination of the first Hutu democratically elected President in Burundi history Melchior Ndadaye.
|A Hutu male being tortured in CAMP KIGALI|
After few attempts of negotiations between Gabon, UNHCR, and Rwanda Tutsi led government, the refugees had been returned to Rwanda where most of them were picked by the RPF Tutsi armes and disappeared. Some of them it is this group of young people and children which was received by the RPF hit squad and DMI and were later detained at KUKABINDI the former Caisse sociale house in Kacyiru and naother group taken to CAMP KIGALI were they wetre subjected to a lot of killings and all sorts of tortures. Women were raped and later were put some red pepper in their genital parts as their children watched, men were subjected to all evil torturing methods such as MOTOR RIDE where they were being squeezed their testes so that they feel the pain as it is shown on this photo. As some of those refugees who survived those ordeals these refugees were subjected to all evil things. They were denied food, water, and medication until people started dying as flies. If people are still asking wqhat happened to those people who were deported by the UNCHR and the RPF government in 1997 here is is some of the few names of people died of beatings, and all sorts of tortures.
NAMES OF YOUNG HUTU REFUGEES KILLED BY RPF AFTER BEING DEPORTED BY UNHCR FROM FRANCEVILLE TO KANOMBE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN 1997:
- Iyaremwe Daniel (Gaseke-Gisenyi) died the 14.01.1998
- Uwimana Evariste (Kivumu-Kibuye) died the 03.02.1998
- Nzarora Theogene (Kibali-Byumba) died the 09.02.1998
- Sadiki Ntawumenya (Rubavu-Gisenyi) died the 14.02.1998
- Niyindora Laurent (Musebeya-Gikongoro) died the 18.02.1998
- Sindikubwabo Innocent (Maraba-Butare) died the 18.02.1998
- Bigilimana Bernard (Shyanda-Butare) died the 06.03.1998
- Singirankabo Oswald (Bulinga-Gitarama) died the 06.03.1998
- Rwaheru Felicien (Kiyombe-Byumba) died the 08.03.1998
- Kanamugire Habarushaka
- Nyinawumuntu Dafrosa
Many Hutu refugees lost their lives because of beatings of every day. There is information that the RPF used to beat this people three times a day which were connoted as three daily meals such as the beatings which took place in morinig were equated of Breakfast torture, those beatings took place in early evening were referred to as Late Lunchtime, and those in the middle of the night were called the Late Supper. Those refugees who were mistreated in that underground bunker where water was un heard of or a rare commodity and food was out of priority, people who were put there were destined to die.
These torture vitims were not the older people only but also there were some very young people such as a two year son of a young couple whom a wife and a husband were being torutred together with their kid called IMANI whose meaning "hope" and a teenage boy whose name "Ndangamira who was 11 by then." Around 40 people used to die every day and from beatings. I am asking anyone who might know those people who survived this brutal killing to encourage them to tell their story so that the world knows what happened to the Rwanda refugees deported from Gabon in Franceville to Kanombe iternational airport.