Augustin Bizimungu was born on 28 August 1952 in Nyange in Byumba prefecture, Rwanda. He was Commander of Military Operations for the Ruhengeri prefecture. On 16 April 1994, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army. He held this position until July 1994. In this capacity he exercised authority over the entire Rwandan Armed Forces.(FAR).
From late 1990 until July 1994, Bizimungu is alleged to have conspired with others to work out a plan with intent to exterminate the civilian Tutsi population and eliminate members of the opposition. According to the indictment, the components of this plan consisted of, amongst other things, recourse to hatred and ethnic violence, the training and distribution of weapons to militiamen as well as the preparation of lists of people to be eliminated. In executing the plan, he is said to have organised, ordered and participated in the massacres of the Tutsi population.
Several high ranking officers of the Rwandan Army, including Bizimungu, are said to have publicly stated that the inevitable consequence of any resumption of hostilities by the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front-an opposition movement composed mainly of Tutsi refugees and led by Paul Kagame), or of the implementation of the Arusha Accords would be the extermination of the Tutsi. Furthermore, in February 1994, Bizimungu is said to have stated that if the RPF attacked again, he did not want to see one Tutsi left alive in his sector of operations.
According to the indictment, as from 1992, the training of militia groups was supervised by the military including Bizimunga. Such training, which allegedly took place in military camps and in neighbouring forests, was conducted simultaneously in several prefectures around the country including Ruhengeri where Bizimungu is reported to have supervised the training of the militia in collaboration with local civilian authorities such as the mayors and district councillors.
Bizimungu is reported to have distributed weapons to militiamen and to certain carefully selected members of the civilian population with the aim of exterminating the Tutsi population and eliminating its “accomplices”. From early 1992, in his position as Commander of Military Operations in Ruhengeri prefecture, Bizimungu is alleged to have distributed weapons to militiamen either by giving them directly or through his subordinates, mayors and district councillors.
Between April and July 1994, several officers of the Rwandan Army, one of which was General Bizimungu, allegedly ordered, encouraged and backed the massacres of the Tutsi population and the Hutu moderates. On or about 18 May 1994, during a meeting at which Bizimungu was present, these officers were reported to be very pleased with the performance of the militiamen, whilst at the same time underlining the need to provide them with better arms.
Between 10 and 15 April 1994, several Tutsi, who had fled the massacre on the hillside sought refuge in the Ruhengeri prefecture. On orders from Bizimungu certain of these refugees were allegedly taken into the Appeals Court where their security should have been guaranteed by the gendarmerie. During the hours that followed, these refugees were killed by armed civilians. To cover up this massacre, Bizimungu allegedly issued an order that a message be aired over the radio indicating that it was an attack by the RPF which was responsible for the death of these refugees.
From April to July 1994, officers of the Army General Staff, one of which was Bizimungu, allegedly participated in daily briefings at which they were informed of the massacres of the civilian Tutsi population and the moderate Hutu.
From April to July 1994, by virtue of their position, their statements, the orders they gave and their acts, Bizimungu as well as General Augustin Ndindiliyimana, Major Protais Mpiranya, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, exercised authority over members of the Rwandan Armed Forces, their officers and militiamen. The military, gendarmes and militiamen, as from 6 April 1994, allegedly perpetrated massacres against the Tutsi population and the moderate Hutu and committed other crimes such as rapes and sexual assaults and other crimes of a sexual nature, which extended throughout the territory of Rwanda with the knowledge of Bizimungu, Ndindiliyimana, Mpiranya, Nzuwonemeye and Sagahutu.
From April to July 1994, in all regions of the country, members of the Tutsi population who were fleeing from the massacres in their surrounding hillsides, sought refuge in locations they believed would be safe, often on the recommendation of the local civil and military authorities. In many of these places, despite the promise that they would be protected by the local civil and military authorities, the refugees were attacked, abducted and massacred by soldiers, gendarmes and militiamen often on the orders, or with the complicity, of those same authorities. Furthermore, in many of those places, soldiers and militiamen abducted, killed and raped or sexually assaulted Tutsi women. According to the indictment, Bizimungu, in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army and previously as Commander of the Ruhengeri sector, knew, or had reasons to know, that his subordinates were about to commit or had committed crimes and did nothing to prevent such crimes or punish the perpetrators.
Knowing that massacres of the civilian population were being committed, the political and military authorities, one of which was allegedly Bizimungu, took no initiative or any measures to stop them. On the contrary, they refused to intervene to control and appeal to the population as long as a cease fire had not been declared. This categorical refusal was communicated to the Special Rapporteur via the Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army, Augustin Bizimungu.
In July 1994, faced with the advance of the FPR troops, Bizimungu fled Rwanda. On 12 August 2002, he was arrested in Luena, in eastern Angola, where he was uncovered amongst the demobilised combatants of the UNITA.
Furthermore, the current Rwandan Government has accused Bizimungu of having orchestrated, since the end of the genocide, various and sundry attacks against Rwanda, as head of the ex-FAR or the Interahamwe militia, from the Democratic Republic of Congo.