Vincent Rutaganira was most likely born towards the beginning of the 1940s in Mubuga in the Gishyita commune, Kibuye Prefecture, Rwanda. In 1980, he was elected Councilor for the Commune of Mubuga. He held this position until the end of July 1994.
Rutaganira was accused of having played a leading role in the systematic extermination of Tutsis in the Catholic Church of Mubugu in the Kibuye Prefecture in 1994.
Before the beginning of the massacres in Rwanda, Rutaganira and others were alleged to have concluded a pact to massacre Tutsis in the Kibuye Prefecture. Following this Vincent Rutaganira was suspected of murdering Tutsis in this Prefecture.
On 14 April 1994, close to 5’600 Tutsis took refuge at the Catholic Church of Mubuga-located at 20 kms from the town of Kibuye in the Gishyita Commune-, to gain protection from the attacks which had already begun throughout all of the Kibuye Prefecture. Also around the 14 April 1994, Rutaganira, together with Charles Sikubwabo and Ryandikayo (see "related cases"), are said to have given orders to units of the National Gendarmerie , to local policemen from the Gishyita Commune, to the Interahamwe (extremist Hutu Militia) and to armed civilians to launch an attack on the Mubuga Church. Furthermore Rutaganira himself was alleged to have taken part personally in the attacks. The assailants were said to have used rifles, grenades machetes, spears, pangas, clubs and other arms to kill the people they found inside the church. It was impossible to kill everyone at the first attempt and so the attacks went on for several days. These massacres resulted in around 5000 deaths and huge numbers of wounded.
At the end of July 1994, faced with the advancing troops of the RPF (the Rwandan Patriotic Front, an opposition movement made up essentially of Tutsi refugees and led by Paul Kagame), Rutaganira fled Rwanda in the direction of The Democratic Republic of Congo. On 4 March 2002 he gave himself up voluntarily to investigators from the Chief Prosecutor of the ICTR in Kigoma, Tanzania. On the same day, he was transferred to the prison quarters of the United Nations in Arusha, Tanzania, where he was in detention awaiting trial.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Crimes against humanity
Deprivation of life
Infringment of physical integrity
Protection of civilians 19.10.2012