Augustin Cyiza

Lt. Col. Augustin Cyiza was an officer in the Rwandan army, counselor at the Ministry of Defense, who strongly opposed the Rwandan genocide. In 1992, he moved apart from the President Juvénal Habyarimana, who was an Hutu that favored his own ethnic group, and was murdered in a plane crash in 1994. This death gave place to the genocide, where the Hutus attacked the Tutsi minority. During this period, Cyiza went against the Hutus and protected many victims of the massacre. In 1995, he became the president of the “Cour de Cassation” in Rwanda, and the vice-president of the Supreme Court. He was a jurist and an advocate of human rights. Although he rallied with the regime post-genocide, hoping that Rwanda would become a State of law, in 1998 he was finally revoked from his position, and broke with the regime. In 2003, he was opposed to the Rwandan Patriotic Party, composed mainly of Tutsis, being a possible opposition candidate to the elections. That same year he disappeared, without leaving a trace. Apparently, he was taken by a commando of the Rwandan army. While still in life, he said “The war in Rwanda is far from over. It has only changed its face.”. Cyiza remains a character praised by human rights advocates and many rwandan people.

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