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Greg Nwoko Historic Blog

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Queen Dowager Rosalie Gicanda (died 20 April 1994)

Queen Dowager Rosalie Gicanda (died 20 April 1994) was the wife of Rwandan Mwami (King in the Kinyarwanda language) Mutara III of Rwanda. After her husband died in mysterious circumstances in 1959, the Rwandan monarchy lasted only two more years, under the leadership of King Kigeli V of Rwanda and then coming to an end in 1961. However, the Queen continued to live in Butare in Butare Province, Rwanda along with her mother and several ladies-in-waiting.



On 20 April 1994, as the Rwandan Genocide began in earnest in Butare, a detachment of soldiers commanded by Lt. Pierre Bizimana, acting under the orders of Capt. Idelphonse Nizeyimana, kidnapped the queen along with others from her house. They then took the captives behind the National Museum and shot them. Only a younger girl survived to tell the story of the murders. Two days later, the queen's mother was also murdered. At the request of a priest, Butare mayor Kanyabashi recovered Queen Gicanda’s body and had it buried in the yard next to her house. She was about 80 years old.

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