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Transforming a palace of genocidaire into a five-star hotel

A palace used as a propaganda headquarters of the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda is set to be transformed into a five-star hotel, APA has learnt on Thursday.The former palace of the then ruling National  Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRND, french acronym) in Huye, a district in southern Rwanda is to be given a new lease of life as a hotel, a senior local administrative official in the region confirmed to APA.

The Vice-Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs in Huye district, Andre Kamana explained that a foreign investor whose name has been kept a secret has agreed to turn the facility which was until recently being used to host meetings into a five-star hotel.

During the 100 days that witnessed Africa’s worst genocide of the 20th century, the building was used as a staging post to direct the mass killing of Tutusi and moderate Hutus.

The palace built in 1980 also served as a base in the south of Rwanda for the youth militia known as the “Interahamwe” (Those who fight  together).

According to  Philip Gourevitch, a prominent author of a study of the Rwandan genocide, the Interhamwe militia “had its genesis in soccer fan clubs sponsored by leaders of the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND) party of President Juvenal Habyarimana).

It was also central to the Akazu (the core of the concentric webs of political, economic, and military muscle and patronage that came to be known as Hutu Power).

The central  role of the Interahamwe militia in the planning of the 1994 genocide was  made clear in a fax sent by the then head of the United Nations Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR), Brigadier-General Romeo Dallaire of Canada, to his superiors in New York in January 1994.

This was three months prior to the start of the genocide.

Human rights organizations, international institutions and academic experts on the Rwandan genocide have assigned a central role to the Interahamwe militia in the genocide.

Published on 28.04.2020

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