Augustin Bizimungu

Augustin Bizimungu
Born (1952-08-28) 28 August 1952
Byumba préfecture, Mukaranje Commune, Mugina Secteur, Nyange Cellule, Rwanda
Allegiance  Rwanda
Service/branch Rwandan Army
Rank Major-General
Commands held Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army[1]
Battles/wars Rwanda Civil War
Rwandan Genocide
Relations Interahamwe Militia

Augustin Bizimungu (born 28 August 1952) is a former general in the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR). In 1994, he briefly served as chief of staff of the army. During this time, he trained the soldiers and militiamen who carried out the Rwandan Genocide.[2]


Bizimungu was born in Byumba préfecture, Mukaranje Commune, Mugina Secteur, Nyange Cellule, Rwanda.[1]

An ethnic Hutu, Bizimungu held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the FAR on 6 April 1994. Some days later, in the wake of Déogratias Nsabimana's death alongside Juvénal Habyarimana, Bizimungu was promoted to Major-General and appointed as chief of staff of the armed forces, replacing Marcel Gatsinzi.[3][4]

Upon fleeing the country following the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) victory, he reportedly declared that "The RPF will rule over a desert."[5]

On 12 April 2002, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) issued an arrest warrant for Bizimungu, who was apparently working with the Angolan rebel movement UNITA. In August 2002, he was arrested by the Angolan government and taken to the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in Tanzania.[6] The trial adjourned until September 2008, whereupon Bizimungu was tried along with fellow FAR officers Augustin Ndindiliyimana (Chief of Staff of the National Gendarmerie), François-Xavier Nzuwonemeye (Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion of the Rwandan Army) and Innocent Sagahutu (Second-in-Command of the Reconnaissance Battalion of the Rwandan Army).[7] Bizimungu was sentenced to thirty years in prison for his part in the genocide on 17 May 2011.[8]

Bizimungu is portrayed by Fana Mokoena in the 2004 movie Hotel Rwanda.


  1. 1 2 "Indictment against Bizimungu" (PDF). ICTR.
  2. "ICTR press release about Bizimungu". ICTR. 15 August 2002.
  3. Dallaire, Roméo. "Ch. 11: To Go or To Stay?". Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. pp. 292–293.
  4. Des Forges, Alison (March 1999). Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda – Extending the Genocide → Removing Dissenters. New York: Human Rights Watch. ISBN 1-56432-171-1.
  5. Vesperini, Helen (2002-08-15). "Rwanda's 'genocide general'". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
  6. "Rwanda's genocide court to try 'big fish'". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. 2002-08-15. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
  7. "Augustin Bizimungu". Trial Watch. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
  8. "Rwanda genocide: Ex-army chief given 30-year sentence". BBC News. 2011-05-17. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011.

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