Who is Isaac Kamali, the genocide fugitive in France? | New times


Isaac Kamali, a genocide suspect living in France, was indicted last week, on September 16, by a French anti-terrorism prosecutor for involvement in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

The naturalized French citizen is one of the many genocide fugitives living in France, having obtained nationality there in 2002. He is wanted by Rwanda for participation in the 1994 genocide, in the prefecture of Gitarama.

According to Jean Marie Vianney Kabega, 50, genocide survivor from the region of origin of Kamali, Nyabikenke in Gitarama, the first was very decisive in clarifying that Tutsis should be targeted for elimination.

Kabega remembers a day in April 1994 when Kamali and other influential people, including Callixte Nzabonimana, then minister of youth and genocide coordinator in Gitarama prefecture, called a meeting at the Remera shopping center in the city. former commune of Nyabikenke.

“He (Kamali) arrived in a red car. I remember his car. At the end of their meeting, he came out and announced aloud, “Let’s not mince words. Let’s go out and educate the masses. Let people know who the enemy is so that they do not fight yet until the enemy is known ”.

Kabega said New times that in clarifying who the enemy was, Kamali designated the Tutsis as the enemy that all Hutus in the region had to eliminate.

That night, shortly after Kamali’s announcement, the police fired shots at Tutsis who had gathered in the area.

“It was the night of April 14, around April 15. The next morning it was clear that his message had been clear because all hell broke loose. We were attacked and people fled, ”Kabega said.

Kabega fled to Kabgayi where he hid until June 2 when the RPA rebels rescued him.

Kamali, according to Kabega, actually left Kigali and returned home to coordinate the killings in Nyabikenke.

Paul Butwatwa Paul, 45, a survivor from the Ndiza region in the former Gitarama prefecture, remembers Kamali as “a feared Interahamwe who organized meetings to plan massacres”.

“His sister was Bagosora’s wife and he was also from our area only that he worked in Kigali before coming back to coordinate the genocide,” Butwatwa told The New Times.

In March 2003, Kamali was tried in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Rwandan court. He was first sentenced to death, but since the abolition of the death penalty in Rwanda, his sentence has been commuted to life.

He was arrested in France in June 2007 after being returned from the United States under an international arrest warrant issued by Rwanda in October 2004.

Before rendering its decision in February 2007, the French public prosecutor’s office asked the Paris Court of Appeal to ask the Rwandan government to clarify the charges against Kamali.

Rwanda has requested his extradition for his alleged participation in the genocide in Gitarama prefecture. The other reason was that he could serve his life sentence.

In 2008, the Paris Court of Appeal rejected his extradition to Rwanda.

Kamali, a brother-in-law of Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, the main architect of the 1994 genocide, was employed at the Ministry of Transport (MINITRAPE) during the genocide.

As early as 1990, Kamali was known to have harassed Tutsis in collaboration with Minister Joseph Nzirorera and other extremist Hutu leaders. The extremists were led by Alphonse Ntilivamunda, a brother-in-law of President Juvénal Habyarimana, who recently died in Belgium.

Sources claim that Kamali began harassing and killing Tutsis as early as the 1970s, while working as a teacher in a technical school.

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