Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Arrest in Rwanda 100 Days of Genocide

Major Pierre Claver Karangwa, one of the executioners of the 100 day long Rwandan Genocide lived in the Netherlands for 26 years before his arrest​.


Rwanda is the most densely populated country in mainland Africa with a population of 13 million living on 10,169 square miles of land; Rwanda is about the size of the US state of Maryland. The population is divided among ethnic lines with Hutu 85 percent, Tutsi 14 percent, and Twa 1 percent. 

Major Karangwa is one of the organizers and executors of the killings in Mugina Parish during the Rwandan 100 day Genocide
Major Pierre Claver Karangwa

In 1959, three years before independence, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries.

The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front and began a civil war in 1990. The mass killing of Rwanda’s Tutsi population was ignited on April 6, 1994, when a plane carrying the-then president, Juvénal Habyarimana, was shot down and crashed in Kigali, the capital, killing the Hutu leader.

The Tutsis were blamed for shooting down the plane and bands of Hutu began killing Tutsis. The Genocide war, would ultimately kill roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus over 100 days.

Major Pierre-Claver Karangwa, a Hutu, was arrested May 11, 2022 pending deportation from the Netherlands to Rwanda. The Major was a Genocide fugitive who was believed to have masterminded the massacre of the Tutsi at a place called Bibungo bya Mukinga. According to the Rwandan prosecution, Major Karangwa is one of the organizers and executors of the killings in Mugina Parish in April 1994. 

Major Pierre-Claver Karangwa lived in the Netherlands for 26 years before his arrest, he is accused of throwing women and children into a sewer pit alive, showering them with gasoline, setting them on fire and burning them alive. He is accused of orchestrating massacres in his home area of Mugina sector, Kamonyi and in Nyamirambo, in Kigali. The Major was a senior military official in the Netherlands for 15 years from 1998 - 2013.


Rwanda is the most densely populated country in mainland Africa
Bibungo bya Mukinga

Donatha Uwamahoro, Little Girl Left to Die in a Rwanda Sewer Pit

Donatha Uwamahoro, a female secondary school student from Cellule Bulambi Rwanda, in 1999 provided a hand written testimony to the courts of how her family escaped Major Pierre-Claver Karangwa who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Rwandan Gendarmerie, during the Rwandan Genocide.

She escaped to a Catholic priest's home in Mugina Parish. Many of the people hiding in the nearby church were killed, more than 30,000 civilians are said to have been killed. Thousands of refugees fled to Mugina Parish in April 1994 as Tutsis searched for hours before being killed.

Donatha escaped to her relatives in Mukinga and hid first in the bush and then in the ceiling of a house. She was later arrested, taken with other children to a pit next to a road, and clubbed on the head. Donatha was the only child to survive this attack; the others were killed and thrown into the sewer pit alive, sprayed with gasoline, and set on fire. She was the only child who survived the massacre said to have been ordered by Major Pierre-Claver Karangwa.

With the aid of the International community, the minority Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the killings after 100 days in July 1994. Donatha along with other Rwandan Genocide survivors bravely shared her horrific ordeal in 1999 and 2000. 

According to the Rwandan prosecution, Major Karangwa is one of the organizers and executors of the killings. He is also said to have handed over weapons to the Interahamwe and the Gendarmerie in connection with the killings. 

Major Pierre-Claver Karangwa was granted asylum in 1999 and given Dutch citizenship in 2002, but due to his alleged involvement in the Rwandan Genocide, the Dutch Immigration and Refugee Agency stripped him of his citizenship in 2013. He was arrested on Wednesday May 11, 2022 after a court overturned his appeal for restitution. 

Mugina Parish  Rwandan Genocide survivor
Mugina Parish


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