Charles Sikubwabo is believed to have been born sometime in the early to mid 1940s in Gishyita, in Gishyita commune in Kibuye prefecture, Rwanda. He was a Chief Adjutant in the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR). In 1993, he was appointed mayor of Gishyita, a position he held until July 1994. By virtue of his position, he exercised control over his commune, including his subordinates in the executive branch and members of the Communal Police and National Gendarmerie. Sikubwabo was indicted for having played a preponderant role in the systematic extermination of Tutsis in various locations throughout Kibuye prefecture in 1994.
Between 9 April and 30 June 1994, Sikubwabo is alleged to have been present at and to have participated in the killing of Tutsis throughout the Kibuye prefecture.
By about 14 April 1994, thousands of Tutsi were congregated in the church in Mubuga -located 20 km from the town of Kibuye – seeking refuge from the attacks against them which had already taken place all over the Kibuye prefecture. Charles Sikubwabo and others (notably Clément Kayishema and Ryandikayo; see “related cases”) were said to have given the order to members of the National Gendarmerie, to the Communal Police of Gishyita, to the Interahamwe (an extremist Hutu militia) and to armed civilians to launch an attack against the church. Furthermore, Sikubwabo was charged with having personally participated in this attack against the church in Mubuga between 14 and 16 April 1994 which resulted in the death of thousands of refugees.
Between 9 April and 30 June 1994, tens of thousands of Tutsi and Hutu moderates – who were fleeing the massacres taking place in Kibuye prefecture – sought refuge in the hills in the region of Bisesero. The killings in the Bisesero area, spanning the two communes of Gishyita and Gisovu in Kibuye prefecture, occurred over a period of several months from April to June 1994 and resulted in the death of tens of thousands of refugees. Throughout this period, the area was under almost daily attack. The attackers used guns, grenades, machetes, spears and other weapons to kill Tutsi refugees.
At various locations and times throughout April, May and June 1994, Charles Sikubwabo, often in concert with others (notably Clement Kayishema, Obed Ruzindana and Aloys Ndimbati; see “related cases”), brought to the area of Bisesero members of the National Gendarmerie, the Communal Police of Gishyita and Gisovu communes, the Interahamwe and armed civilians, and directed them to attack the people who had sought refuge there. In addition, Sikubwabo was accused of having personally attacked and killed persons seeking refuge in Bisesero. These attacks resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of refugees, in addition to numerous injuries.
In July 1994, faced with the advance of the troops of the FPR (the Rwandan Patriotic Front, an opposition movement composed essentially of Tutsi refugees and led by Paul Kagame), Sikubwabo fled Rwanda most probably in the direction of the Democratic Republic of Congo. As of today’s date, he has still not been captured.