Théodore Sindikubwabo

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Théodore Sindikubwabo
Theodore sindikubwabo.png
President of Rwanda
In office
April 9, 1994 July 19, 1994
Prime Minister Jean Kambanda
Preceded by Juvénal Habyarimana
Succeeded by Pasteur Bizimungu
Leader Theoneste Bagosora (Colonel)
Personal details
Butare, Ruanda-Urundi
DiedMarch 1998
Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Cause of deathUnknown
Nationality Rwandan
Political party Republican Democratic Movement

Théodore Sindikubwabo (1928 March 1998) was the interim President of Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide, from April 9 to July 19, 1994. Prior to that he was President of the National Development Council (Parliament of Rwanda) 19881994.

Born in the town of Butare in the south of Rwanda, Sindikubwabo was educated as a physician and was Minister of Health in the administration of President Kayibanda. Following the takeover by Juvénal Habyarimana, Sindikubwabo became a practising pediatrician in Kigali Central Hospital. He later returned to politics as a deputy in parliament.

Immediately following Habyarimana's assassination on April 6, 1994, Sindikubwabo was installed as interim President by the Crisis Committee controlled by Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, and he was the head of state during the genocide. Sindikubwabo is widely believed to have been a puppet of the group of military officers who held the real power. On 19 April 1994, he made a now-infamous speech at the ceremony appointing a new Préfet (Governor) of Butare that was broadcast on national radio, in which he insulted those who were not "working", a euphemism for killing Tutsis, and told them to "get out of the way and let us work". On 29 April, he returned to Butare and told the populace that he was there to supervise the killing of Tutsi. On 18 May, whilst on a visit to Kibuye Prefecture, he congratulated the people on how well they had done their "work". [ citation needed ]

Following the invasion of the Rwandan Patriotic Front that took control of the country and ended the genocide, Sindikubwabo fled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), where he lived in exile in Bukavu. He was interviewed there for the book We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families and quoted as saying: "The moment has not yet come to say who is guilty and who is not guilty." He was initially reported to have been killed in the Rwandan government attack on Bukavu in November 1996 at the beginning of the First Congo War, but subsequent reports put him in Kinshasa. He died in exile in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March 1998 and was never charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.


Political offices
Preceded by
Juvénal Habyarimana
President of Rwanda
April 9, 1994 July 19, 1994
Succeeded by
Pasteur Bizimungu

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