(born 1950) was the fifth President of Rwanda
from 19 July 1994 until 23 March 2000. He is considered belonging to the Hutu caste
/ethnic group and was born in the Gisenyi
prefecture of Rwanda. Bizimungu worked within the Hutu MRND
regime which ruled Rwanda (until 1994), including as director general of the national electricity company. In 1990 he joined the primarily Tutsi Rwandese Patriotic Front
when his brother, a colonel in the Rwandan Armed Forces
, was assassinated, possibly on the orders of the government.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front was dissatisfied with the Hutu government of Juvénal Habyarimana
, who Pasteur Bizimungu was reportedly close to in the 1980s. After Habyarimana's death in a plane crash 6 April 1994 decades of complex ethnic, social and political hatreds were ignited and led to the Rwandan Genocide
Eventually in July 1994 the Rwandan Patriotic Front gained control of the country and established a national unity government. The RPF leader, Tutsi Paul Kagame
, was chosen vice-president, and Bizimungu was chosen President so that the majority Hutus would still be highly represented in the government. Bizimungu was chosen largely for his harsh criticisms of Hutu hardliners. Bizimungu frequently reported that the hardliners assassinated his close friend Juvénal Habyarimana and reportedly supplied information to the MI6
demonstrating the involvement of Hutu hardliners and French intelligence in the assassination.
During Bizimungu's... Read More