REPORTER: Ginny Stein
In Rwanda today there are few obvious signs of the 1994 genocide that saw a million people, mainly Tutsis, hacked to death. They were killed by government forces backed by its Hutu militia, the Interahamwe. It ranks among the worst crimes of the 20th century, and the scars inside Rwanda are very deep, especially as many of the perpetrators have not been brought to justice. For KwiKwi, the memories of that genocide are still as fresh and as raw 13 years later.

KWIKWI, (Translation): Suddenly we heard gunfire. I rushed out of the house this way.

The eldest of five children, KwiKwi made a split second decision that saved her life. Her sister was not so lucky.

KWIKWI, (Translation): Then because I was so scared I ran out this way. And then I saw a soldier standing over there. Then the soldier shot Yvette and she fell on the steps.

KwiKwi survived by mingling with the killers and onlookers. But the price she paid for living was to witness her entire family shot dead.

KWIKWI, (Translation): Yvette rose up and called them, they were going up there, "Come back and finish me up. Your job isn't done yet." They started discussing it. Then... we were sitting right here, we were confused, unsure of what we should do. She said "Please, kill me." She sat up like this and then a soldier came over and with a single bullet he shot her dead.

Her sister Yvette, whose arm had been severed when she was first shot, was the last to die.

KWIKWI, (Translation): Her only last words to me were "Be a good girl." Then she asked me not to miss her arm when they'd be burying her. What hurts me most is that I couldn't do what she'd asked me to. They took the arm and threw it away.

The man accused of leading the attacks on KwiKwi's family is Callixte Mbarushimana. During the genocide he worked for the UN in Rwanda as a computer technician. I managed to track him down in Paris, where he now lives in exile. He has never faced trial for his alleged role in the genocide, for which he's always asserted his innocence. His case has outraged his co-workers at the UN.

CHARLES PETRIE, UNITED NATION'S DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, BURMA: Basically, Callixte is alleged to have not only allowed UN equipment to be used by the killers, by the Interahamwe, not only to have managed checkpoints, not only to have identified staff, UN staff, to be killed, but he is alleged to have actually been involved in the killing of UN staff, either being present with militia, or even having himself killed UN staff.

Charles Petrie was with the UN in Rwanda during the genocide. He's currently the United Nation's most senior representative in Burma.

CHARLES PETRIE: He was a UN official, so he was entrusted with the responsibility of protecting UN staff. As a UN member he was bound to the principles that govern our conduct, which do not cover murder.

GREGORY GROMO ALEX, FORMER UN AID WORKER: This is the last checkpoint of the government forces.

Gromo Alex also worked for the UN in Rwanda. At the height of the genocide, he would have to drive on this road through the front line as opposing forces shot at each other.

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: There were always people up here and then the RPA was on the other side of the valley. And so these guys when we would drive by, they would shoot, and the RPA would shoot back at them.

When the UN fled, taking its international staff, its local staff were left behind to fend for themselves. But at great personal risk, two weeks into the genocide, Alex came back and stayed on. He knew many of the UN employees killed during the genocide. Their names are on this memorial outside the UNDP office. He remembers well one of his meetings with Callixte Mbarushimana during the genocide.

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: I'll never forget what he told me and how he told me it. He said, "We will kill them all." There were stories of lists and names being checked off. I think there were probably a large number of UN staff members, certainly, that their whereabouts were facilitated by him.

Alex is keen to speak out because of the number of his colleagues murdered and because Mbarushimana has not faced trial.

REPORTER: Why is it so important to get Callixte Mbarushimana?

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: He did something - I know what he did, I know what he was responsible for, I know people were terrorised by him, and as a human being I am obliged to follow through.

TONY GREIG, FORMER UN CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL INVESTIGATOR: I am not doing this because of any particular individual, I'm not doing it because I hate Mbarushimana.

On the other side of the world in New Zealand, policeman turned barrister Tony Greig also feels compelled to speak out.

TONY GREIG: I don't know Mbarushimana. I don't like what he did. And it's not because I knew any of the victims, it's because he is someone who should have been indicted and he hasn't been - simple as that.

Greig spent a year working with the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda investigating whether Mbarushimana had a case to answer. It was his investigation that resulted in this indictment being drawn up accusing Mbarushimana of genocide and directing or taking part in the killing of 32 people, including UN staff.

TONY GREIG: There is very clear evidence, there's a large, number, well, a large number - there's at least a dozen witnesses who have seen him personally at sites, either supervising killings or actually killing.

He was put on the case after it was discovered that despite repeated warnings by UN staff and mounting evidence against Mbarushimana, he was still working for the UN.

TONY GREIG: I was surprised that they continued to employ him after twice being told, or sorry, at least twice being told what he had been up to during the war.

I've come to Rwanda to speak to people who knew Callixte Mbarushimana and were either with him, or saw him during the 100 days of the genocide. Augustin, not his real name, now works as an electrician. He knew Mbarushimana - they were neighbours. I show him a photo and ask him if he can identify those in it.

TRANSLATOR, (Translation): Do you recognise anyone in this photo?

AUGUSTIN (Translation): These two. I know both of them.

TRANSLATOR (Translation): Who are they? Who are these two men? Isn't it this man Mbarushimana?

Those who witnessed crimes committed during the genocide are still at risk of being murdered if they dare speak out. But Augustin agrees to come with me to show me where he says he was a witness to murder.

AUGUSTIN (Translation): This is where people were killed.


AUGUSTIN (Translation): Right here.

In this lane?

AUGUSTIN (Translation): In that compound, that's where.

Augustin says Mbarushimana was well known as a local leader and was in charge of a number of roadblocks near the house.

AUGUSTIN (Translation): One militiaman was here. Another one - over there. Because this is where the guns were distributed.

Augustin says this is where he saw Callixte Mbarushimana shoot dead a man known as Ntare and his wife. They were ethnic Tutsis, who their Hutu rivals - including Mbarushimana - labelled cockroaches throughout the genocide.

REPORTER: Can he remember what he was saying at the time?

AUGUSTIN (Translation): He used to tell them he couldn't have cockroaches living near him.

He tells me what he saw Callixte Mbarushimana do at the Ntare family house.

AUGUSTIN (Translation): He shot him in the back here. His wife was shot here. Their nanny was shot in the face and the hole was this big.

Augustin is just one of dozens of witnesses who have given evidence on oath to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda about Mbarushimana. This woman is another. She too worked with Callixte Mbarushimana at the UNDP. She was hiding, with more than 1,000 other terrified Tutsi refugees at the Hotel Mille Collines, featured in the film 'Hotel Rwanda', when Mbarushimana came looking for her. She is convinced he came to kill her.

REPORTER: He asked for the keys. Did he ask you to leave with him?

WOMAN: Yeah, he asked me to come with them. And I told them I can't leave.


WOMAN: I can't leave Hotel Mille Collines. Can you imagine to go with those people who are specialists in killing people? Why I was at the Hotel Mille Collines? I didn't dare to go with them.

But there are others who have never been interviewed, and new evidence continues to emerge. This man used to work with the UN. He agreed to speak to Dateline, but he's asked not to be identified. He tells me about one of the most disturbing elements to this case. Once the international staff had fled, Mbarushimana grabbed the keys to the UN. That gave him access to all the communications flowing through the UN office, including plans for any evacuations or safe havens for UN personnel.

MAN: Then he took the keys, all the keys of the office and he stayed like...officer.

REPORTER: He was in charge?

MAN: Yes. He stayed in charge of it.

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: I know that he certainly had access to the Res-Rep's office because he was using the sat phone, giving access to the phone to various government officials.

REPORTER: And that can be proved?

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: Well, it was at the time. He signed...had people sign for the utilisation and he signed beside them.

But it is the murder of this woman, Florence Ngirumpaste, which shows just how deadly information about hiding places for UN personnel could become in the wrong hands.

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: I mean, that was the plan - to go in with the armoured personnel carrier and extricate her and the others that were there, but I think what may have happened is that someone learned about it and killed her before we could get there.

It was her co-worker, who does not want to be identified, who drove here to discover her body and many of the 12 young girls she had been trying to protect.

MAN: From there I came here to be sure it is true and verify if really she has been killed.

REPORTER: Did Callixte ever talk to you about her after she died?

MAN: When I leaved here I went to the office, a few minutes after, Callixte came, I told him, "You know Florence has been killed with all the family who was with her." He said, "Oh, yes." That's all. That's all. Nothing else.

As UN investigators began gathering evidence, the world body belatedly took action. Mbarushimana was arrested and stood down from his job with the UNDP, now in Kosovo. But when it came time for the UN's Criminal Tribunal to sign the indictment that had been drawn up, it faltered. The Tribunal's chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, decided there was not sufficient, so-called special elements to proceed against him, and refused to sign.

GREGORY GROMO ALEX: I think it's crap. There was sufficient evidence. This is one of the few cases, it may have even been the strongest case against anybody that came through the tribunal of eyewitnesses of him killing, and of eyewitnesses of him ordering people to kill people.

Australian barrister Ken Fleming, QC, was second in charge at the tribunal when the decision not to prosecute was made.

KEN FLEMING, QC, FORMER PROSECUTOR, INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA: The Rwandan tribunal was really there to prosecute the ring leaders, the big fish, and he didn't fall within that category. To my mind, it wasn't because there wasn't a good case, there was a good case against him.

REPORTER: Do you think in hindsight, though, that a special case should have been made against him, considering that he was a UN employee, that he was accused that he is accused of murdering UN staff?

KEN FLEMING QC: Yeah, I think there was sufficient to make an exception for him because, as you say, he was a UN employee and he was accused of murdering UN staff.

TONY GREIG: I was also a policeman and I've known large numbers of murders and very, very rarely has there ever been an eyewitness to any of those murders that I've prosecuted, that I've been involved in investigating or anything else. Here we've got numbers of people who knew him and who saw him killing and supervising killings and saying what he was doing during those killings - he was wiping out Tutsis.

REPORTER: It's as clear-cut as that?

TONY GREIG: It is as clear-cut as that.

And even those on the tribunal agree that justice in this case has not been served.

KEN FLEMING QC: There was a case that he should have answered in a court properly constituted.

REPORTER: There was sufficient evidence?

KEN FLEMING QC: There was sufficient evidence to make him answer the case.

What's particularly galling to survivors in Rwanda is that Mbarushimana's position at the UN enabled him to compromise their entire response to the genocide. Francois Ngarambe is the president of IBUKA, which represents survivors of the genocide.

FRANCOIS NGARAMBE, PRESIDENT OF IBUKA: Mbarushimana allegedly used to try to get informed about any communication to the UN Secretary-General, and to grab these informations and to transmit the information to the army here and to the militia so they know what the UN plan to do, especially if the UN planned to rescue the people or if the UN planned to intervene, or if the UN planned to withdraw.

It's an allegation the UN refuses to answer directly.

REPORTER: Has any investigation ever been done into what information was spread through the office?

FARHAN HAQ, ASSOCIATE SPOKESMAN FOR UN SECRETARY-GENERAL: As for these allegations, you are right that there are outstanding allegations against Mr Mbarushimana, which is why we felt that he should be tried. In the absence of such a trial, I can't really comment further on allegations. Because these are allegations, ultimately, that have not been proven and I cannot react to them as if they had been proven.

For the past three years Mbarushimana has lived in Paris as a refugee. After weeks of searching for him with the help of private investigators..

MAN: Of this person we found nothing, nothing.

I managed to track him down through a Hutu rebel website. Mbarushimana agrees to answer these allegations on camera for the first time. He comes with documents, which he claims clear him of any wrongdoing.

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA, FORMER UN EMPLOYEE: This is the 'Ordonnance de non-lieu' which is the dismissal order made by the ICTR prosecutor.

He's also brought a friend armed with a camera to film our meeting.

REPORTER: I explained to you that I have been in Rwanda, that I have been talking to various people there. I have spoken to witnesses and to survivors. People are prepared to come out and say that you killed, that you were a killer, that people died at your hand and following your orders, what do you say about that?

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA: Whatever they have said is not true.

REPORTER: Do you remember the Ntare family?

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA: Ntare family? Yes. I don't know. I don't know that family.

REPORTER: I spoke to someone who said that they saw you walk into that house and shoot dead the head of the family, and then shoot his wife as she ran down the corridor.

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA: Listen, whatever they said is not true. I have not done anything wrong. I have never been involved in any kind of crimes in Rwanda.

This was his response to the death of his colleague Florence Ngirumpaste, who was respected and admired by so many.

REPORTER: She was killed. Do you remember hearing about that?

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA: Yes, I heard about it.

REPORTER: What did you think when you heard that - a colleague, so many of your colleagues killed?

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA: Listen, I can't go into details of whatever has happened. Many people has died and it is very, very unfortunate that people have died. So what do you intend me to do?

For now Mbarushimana is a free man, but in Rwanda the government continues to gather evidence against him and wants him back to stand trial. Emmanuel Rukangira is the government's chief prosecutor for international cases.

EMMANUEL RUKANGIRA CHIEF PROSECUTOR FOR INTERNATIONAL CASES (Translation): I can say that these countries, starting with France, must understand that they shouldn't, how can I put it...promote impunity, and accept that these people must be tried in the countries where they have sought refuge or else extradite them to Rwanda where they have committed the crime of genocide.

With the International Criminal Tribunal winding up operations, the Rwandan Government is preparing to take over the case load.

REPORTER: But Rwanda's hopes of getting Callixte Mbarushimana back to stand trial have struck a major hurdle - diplomatic relations with France have been severed. It follows accusations by a leading anti-terrorist judge in Paris that Rwanda's President, Paul Kagame, was behind the spark that triggered the genocide.

Mbarushimana knows where he stands on the matter.

REPORTER: The Rwandan Government says the case against you is far from closed. They want you back. They want you back to stand trial. Would you go?

CALLIXTE MBARUSHIMANA: No. Why should I go to Rwanda? There is no justice in Rwanda. So to go to Rwanda to face justice is just like to hang himself, or to suicide himself. So that's not my case.

When the Rwandan Government tried to extradite him home from Kosovo in 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for Kosovo denied the request on the grounds of insufficient evidence. After the decision not to bring Mbarushimana before the courts, he took his own legal action. He sued the UN for not renewing his contract and its Administrative Tribunal awarded him a year's wages as the allegations against Mbarushimana had never been tested in court.

FARHAN HAQ: Ultimately no jurisdiction either tried him or was willing to extradite him, which is why ultimately last year, we had - with regret - to comply with the decision by our own UN Administrative Tribunal to pay him back wages that he felt he was owed for when we terminated his contract in Kosovo.

TONY GREIG: He had broken every rule in the book, literally. He had failed to obey the standards of an international civil servant. He had failed to obey the standards of a human being. There way no way on earth that he justifies that payment.

CHARLES PETRIE: An organisation that has been constructed and created to address, among other things, the crime of genocide and to ensure that it doesn't happen again, that such an organisation is not able to investigate the case...the alleged case against one of its own against others of its own, I think, is damning.

REPORTER: What can the UN say to the survivors, to the families of those who were his victims, his alleged victims?

FARHAN HAQ: The one thing we can say - and I say this sincerely as someone who has followed this for a number of years - is that we are, we are very sorry. We did not want this to happen. We tried to do everything within our power to get to the bottom of this. And it is painful, you know, not just to a handful of us but to many people throughout this system. And as disappointed as we are - and believe me we are disappointed - at the same time, we know enough about playing by the rules that we have resigned ourselves to the fact that this case will not be tried. And we are sorry. And we are sorry to the victims for that.

Feature Report: Rwanda – Questions of Murder



Rwanda - Fixer

Rwanda – French Translation

France – Researcher / Fixer



© 2013 Journeyman Pictures
Journeyman Pictures Ltd. 4-6 High Street, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more info see our Cookies Policy