Rwandan Genocide
Overview
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder
Mass murder
Mass murder is the act of murdering a large number of people , typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. According to the FBI, mass murder is defined as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders...

 of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

n nation of Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

. Over the course of approximately 100 days (from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6) through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 estimate. Estimates of the death toll
Death Toll
Death Toll is a 2008 action film starring DMX, Lou Diamond Phillips, Leila Arcieri and Keshia Knight Pulliam, written and produced by Daniel Garcia of the rap group Kane & Abel and directed by Phenomenon...

 have ranged between 500,000 and 1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country's total population.
Encyclopedia
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder
Mass murder
Mass murder is the act of murdering a large number of people , typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. According to the FBI, mass murder is defined as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders...

 of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

n nation of Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

. Over the course of approximately 100 days (from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6) through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 estimate. Estimates of the death toll
Death Toll
Death Toll is a 2008 action film starring DMX, Lou Diamond Phillips, Leila Arcieri and Keshia Knight Pulliam, written and produced by Daniel Garcia of the rap group Kane & Abel and directed by Phenomenon...

 have ranged between 500,000 and 1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country's total population. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi
Tutsi
The Tutsi , or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group in Central Africa. Historically they were often referred to as the Watussi or Watusi. They are the second largest caste in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu and the Twa ....

, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu
Hutu
The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

 peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62 and overthrown the Tutsi monarchy.

In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Rwandan Patriotic Front
The Rwandan Patriotic Front abbreviated as RPF is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. It governs in a coalition with other parties...

 (RPF), a rebel group composed mostly of Tutsi
Tutsi
The Tutsi , or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group in Central Africa. Historically they were often referred to as the Watussi or Watusi. They are the second largest caste in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu and the Twa ....

 refugees, invaded northern Rwanda from Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 in an attempt to defeat the Hutu-led government. They began the Rwandan Civil War
Rwandan Civil War
The Rwandan Civil War was a conflict within the Central African nation of Rwanda between the government of President Juvénal Habyarimana and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front...

, fought between the Hutu regime, with support from Francophone Africa and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and the RPF, with support from Uganda. This exacerbated ethnic tensions in the country. In response, many Hutu gravitated toward the Hutu Power
Hutu Power
Hutu Power was an ideology propounded by the Akazu and other Hutu extremists in Rwanda. It contributed to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu.-Background:...

 ideology, with the prompting of state-controlled and independent Rwandan media.

As an ideology, Hutu Power asserted that the Tutsi intended to enslave the Hutu and must be resisted at all costs. Continuing ethnic strife resulted in the rebels' displacing large numbers of Hutu in the north, plus periodic localized Hutu killings of Tutsi in the south. International pressure on the Hutu-led government of Juvénal Habyarimana resulted in a cease-fire in 1993. He began to implement the Arusha Accords
Arusha Accords
The Arusha Accords were a set of five accords signed in Arusha, Tanzania on August 4, 1993, by the government of Rwanda and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front , under mediation, to end a three-year Rwandan Civil War...

.

The assassination of Habyarimana
Assassination of Habyarimana and Ntaryamira
The assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on the evening of April 6, 1994, was the catalyst for the Rwandan Genocide. The airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda....

 in April 1994 set off a violent reaction, during which Hutu groups conducted mass killings of Tutsis (and also pro-peace Hutus, who were portrayed as "traitors" and "collaborationists"). This genocide had been planned by members of the Hutu power group known as the Akazu
Akazu
The Akazu was an informal organization of Hutu extremists, a circle of relatives and close friends of then Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and his influential wife Agathe Habyarimana...

, many of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government; the genocide was supported and coordinated by the national government as well as by local military and civil officials and mass media. Alongside the military, primary responsibility for the killings themselves rests with two Hutu militias that had been organized for this purpose by political parties: the Interahamwe
Interahamwe
The Interahamwe is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been forced out of Rwanda, and have sought asylum in Congo...

and the Impuzamugambi
Impuzamugambi
The Impuzamugambi , which means "Those who have the same goal" or "Those who have a single goal" in the Kinyarwanda language, was a Hutu militia in Rwanda formed in 1992...

, although once the genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 was underway a great number of Hutu civilians took part in the murders.

It was the end of the peace agreement. The Tutsi RPF restarted their offensive, defeating the army and seizing control of the country.

Background

For over 20 years prior to German and then Belgian colonization, a Tutsi monarchy had controlled most of Rwanda. This monarchy continued under colonial rule. Past practices remained part of the culture of Rwanda: e.g., King Rwabugiri
Kigeli IV of Rwanda
Kigeri IV was the ruler of the Kingdom of Rwanda from 1853 to 1895. He was a Tutsi with the birth name Rwabugiri. He established an army equipped with guns and prohibited most foreigners from entering his kingdom....

 (1853–1895) instituted the hated corvée
Corvée
Corvée is unfree labour, often unpaid, that is required of people of lower social standing and imposed on them by the state or a superior . The corvée was the earliest and most widespread form of taxation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization...

labor, which targeted mainly the majority Hutu. In addition, he elevated the use of violence as standard practice against domestic and external foes.

During the 1950s, the Hutu majority became more restive. In 1957, the Hutu Emancipation Movement
Parmehutu
Parmehutu , also known as MDR-Parmehutu is a now-defunct political party of Rwanda and Burundi.It was founded by Grégoire Kayibanda as a political party of moderate Hutu...

 (Parmehutu) published the "Hutu Manifesto" (sometimes called "Bahutu Manifesto"). It alleged that the Tutsi minority held a monopoly of power in Rwanda. By 1962, the Hutu overthrew the monarchy and established a republic headed by president Grégoire Kayibanda
Grégoire Kayibanda
Grégoire Kayibanda was the first elected and second President of the Republic of Rwanda. He led Rwanda's struggle for independence from Belgium, and replaced the Tutsi monarchy with a republican form of government. He asserted Hutu majority power.-Early life and education:Grégoire Kayibanda was...

. His regime persecuted the Tutsi, especially those previously in power, and many of the most educated fled the country for refuge in Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 and other countries. Hutu general Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana was the third President of the Republic of Rwanda, the post he held longer than any other president to date, from 1973 until 1994. During his 20-year rule he favored his own ethnic group, the Hutus, and supported the Hutu majority in neighboring Burundi against the Tutsi...

 seized power in a coup in 1973, killing Kayibanda and promising progress.

Belgian colonialism played a major role in establishing the divide between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples. While ethnic groups loosely existed before colonialism, the effects were exacerbated by Belgian rule. They introduced separate ID cards for the two tribes. When Belgian rule ended, most of the land and power were in the hands of Tutsi while the Hutu were relegated to positions of forced laborers, or Akazi. The colonialist period created these ethnicities that came to hate each other over time through systematized inequality and a struggle for power. Where there may not have been an ethnic divide before, colonialists created cultures to perpetuate their control over the colonies.

In neighboring Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

, two episodes of mass violence
Burundi genocide
Since Burundi's independence in 1962, there have been two events called genocides in the country. The 1972 mass killings of Hutus by the Tutsi-dominated army, and the 1993 mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu populace are both described as genocide in the final report of the International...

 had taken place since the country’s independence in 1962: the army's mass killings of Hutu
Hutu
The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

 in 1972, which was considered a Tutsi-initiated genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 because the ethnic group had controlled the government army. In 1994, the Hutu population arose and killed many Tutsi in Burundi.

Civil war

The Tutsi refugee diaspora was a coherent political and military organization by the late 1980s. Large numbers of Tutsi refugees in Uganda had joined the victorious rebel National Resistance Movement
National Resistance Movement
The National Resistance Movement , commonly referred to as the Movement, is a political organization in Uganda.Until a referendum in 2005, Uganda held elections on a non-party basis. The NRM dominates parliament, however, and is expected to continue to do so. The presidential elections of 12 March...

 during the Ugandan Bush War
Ugandan Bush War
The Ugandan Bush War refers to the guerrilla war waged between 1981 and 1986 in Uganda by the National Resistance Army against the government of Milton Obote, and later that of Tito Okello.-Events leading to the war:Following the Uganda-Tanzania War that removed Idi Amin in 1979, a...

 and created a separate movement. Some 6,000 Tutsi refugee warriors invaded Rwanda to try to regain power, threatening the gains of the Hutu since independence and their revolutionary ideals.

The journal Kangura
Kangura
Kangura was a Kinyarwanda- and French-language magazine in Rwanda that served to stoke ethnic hatred in the run-up to the Rwandan Genocide. It was established in 1990, following the invasion of the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front , and continued publishing up to the genocide...

, a Hutu response to the Tutsi journal Kanguka
Kanguka
Kanguka was a Rwandan newspaper founded in 1988 which was critical of the leadership of Juvénal Habyarimana....

, active from 1990 to 1993, was instrumental in incitement of Hutu disdain for Tutsis, on the basis of their ethnicity rather than their previous economic advantages. Hassan Ngeze
Hassan Ngeze
Hassan Ngeze is a Rwandan journalist, best known for publishing the "Hutu Ten Commandments", which fomented anti-Tutsi feeling among Rwandan Hutus prior to the Rwandan Genocide....

, founder and editor of Kangura, published the widely read Hutu Ten Commandments
Hutu Ten Commandments
The "Hutu Ten Commandments" was a document published in the December 1990 edition of Kangura, an anti-Tutsi, pro-Hutu, Kinyarwanda-language newspaper in Kigali, Rwanda...

, which called for the formal installment of Hutu Power
Hutu Power
Hutu Power was an ideology propounded by the Akazu and other Hutu extremists in Rwanda. It contributed to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu.-Background:...

 ideology in schools and the establishment of an exclusively Hutu army. Among the commandments was the dictum, "The Hutu should stop having mercy on the Tutsi."

Tanzania (with the support of the West) brokered peace talks. In August 1993, the rebels and the Government of Rwanda signed the Arusha Accords peace treaty to end the civil war. The accords rolled back the authoritarian power of President Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana was the third President of the Republic of Rwanda, the post he held longer than any other president to date, from 1973 until 1994. During his 20-year rule he favored his own ethnic group, the Hutus, and supported the Hutu majority in neighboring Burundi against the Tutsi...

, vesting authority in the Transitional Broad Based Government (TBBG). The TBBG would include the RPF as well as the six political parties that had formed the coalition government, in place since April 1992, to govern until proper elections could be held. The Transitional National Assembly (TNA), the legislative branch of the transitional government, was open to all parties, including the RPF.

The extremist Hutu Coalition for the Defence of the Republic
Coalition for the Defence of the Republic
The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic was a Rwandan genocidal Hutu political party founded by Juvénal Habyarimana in march 1992. The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic was allied with the ruling Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le développement party...

 (CDR), nominally controlled by President Habyarimana, was strongly opposed to sharing power with the RPF and refused to sign the accords. When at last it agreed to the terms, the RPF opposed the accords in turn. United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 peacekeepers were deployed to patrol ceasefire and assist in demilitarization and demobilization. A March 1993 report found that 10,000 Tutsi had been detained and 2,000 murdered since the RPF's 1990 invasion. In August 1993, Lieutenant General Roméo Dallaire
Roméo Dallaire
Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire, is a Canadian senator, humanitarian, author and retired general...

, commander of the UN forces, made a reconnaissance trip to evaluate the situation and requested 5,000 troops; he was given 2,548 military personnel and 60 civilian police. He at first saw the situation as a standard peacekeeping mission.

Preparations for the genocide

The killing was well organized by the government. When it started, the Rwandan militia numbered around 30,000, or one militia member for every ten families. It was organized nationwide, with representatives in every neighborhood. Some militia members were able to acquire AK-47
AK-47
The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

 assault rifles by completing requisition forms. Other weapons, such as grenade
Grenade
A grenade is a small explosive device that is projected a safe distance away by its user. Soldiers called grenadiers specialize in the use of grenades. The term hand grenade refers any grenade designed to be hand thrown. Grenade Launchers are firearms designed to fire explosive projectile grenades...

s, required no paperwork and were widely distributed by the government. Many members of the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi were armed only with machetes. Even after the 1993 peace agreement signed in Arusha, businessmen close to General Habyarimana imported 581,000 machetes for Hutu use in killing Tutsi, because machetes were cheaper than guns.

Rwandan Prime Minister Jean Kambanda
Jean Kambanda
Jean Kambanda was the Prime Minister in the caretaker government of Rwanda from the start of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide...

 revealed in his testimony before the International Criminal Tribunal
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

 that the genocide was openly discussed in cabinet meetings and that "...one cabinet minister said she was personally in favor of getting rid of all Tutsi; without the Tutsi, she told ministers, all of Rwanda's problems would be over." In addition to Kambanda, the genocide's organizers included Colonel Théoneste Bagosora
Théoneste Bagosora
Colonel Théoneste Bagosora is a former Rwandan military officer. He is chiefly known for his key role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. And for that, he is sentenced to life imprisonment by the ICTR.-History and career:...

, a retired army officer, and many top-ranking government officials and members of the army, such as General Augustin Bizimungu
Augustin Bizimungu
Augustin Bizimungu is a former general in the Rwandan Armed Forces . In 1994, he briefly served as chief of staff of the army...

. On the local level, the genocide's planners included Burgomasters, or mayors, and members of the police.

Hutus and Tutsis were forced to use ID cards which specified an ethnic group. These cards served as symbols that the Interahamwe could check via the threat of force. Skin color was a general physical trait that was typically used in "ethnic" identification. The lighter-colored Rwandans were typically Tutsi, the minority group, while the darker-skinned Rwandans were typically Hutu, the majority group in Rwanda. In many cases, Tutsi individuals were separated from the general population and sometimes forced to be Hutu slaves. Tutsi women were often referred to as "gypsies" and frequently fell victim to sexual violence.

Government leaders communicated with figures among the population to form and arm militias called Interahamwe
Interahamwe
The Interahamwe is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been forced out of Rwanda, and have sought asylum in Congo...

, "those who stand (fight, kill) together", and Impuzamugambi
Impuzamugambi
The Impuzamugambi , which means "Those who have the same goal" or "Those who have a single goal" in the Kinyarwanda language, was a Hutu militia in Rwanda formed in 1992...

, "those who have the same (or a single) goal". These groups, particularly their youth wings, were responsible for much of the violence.

Family ties and relationships were manipulated by the Rwandan government as well as the Rwandan Armed Forces to create killing groups, or Interahamwe
Interahamwe
The Interahamwe is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been forced out of Rwanda, and have sought asylum in Congo...

, throughout Kigali and more rural areas. Without these killing groups, the genocide would not have been nearly as effective and gruesome. In her article on citizen participation in the genocide, Lee Ann Fujii argues that the Interhamwe formed not from hatred for Tutsi or the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Rwandan Patriotic Front
The Rwandan Patriotic Front abbreviated as RPF is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. It governs in a coalition with other parties...

, but from "social dynamics that sometimes took precedence over ethnic considerations"

Media propaganda

According to recent commentators, the news media played a crucial role in the genocide; local print and radio media fueled the killings while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued events on the ground. The print media in Rwanda is believed to have started hate speech against Tutsis, which was later continued by radio stations. According to commentators, anti-Tutsi hate speech "...became so systemic as to seem the norm." The state-owned newspaper Kangura had a central role, starting an anti-Tutsi and anti-RPF campaign in October 1990. In the ongoing International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

, the individuals behind Kangura have been accused of producing leaflets in 1992 picturing a machete and asking "What shall we do to complete the social revolution of 1959?" – a reference to the Hutu revolt that overthrew the Tutsi monarchy and the subsequent politically orchestrated communal violence that resulted in thousands of mostly Tutsi casualties and forced roughly 300,000 Tutsis to flee to neighboring Burundi and Uganda. Kangura also published the infamous "10 Hutu Commandments,"
Hutu Ten Commandments
The "Hutu Ten Commandments" was a document published in the December 1990 edition of Kangura, an anti-Tutsi, pro-Hutu, Kinyarwanda-language newspaper in Kigali, Rwanda...

 which regulated all dealings with Tutsis and how Hutus were to treat them. It communicated the message that the RPF had a devious grand strategy against the Hutu (one feature article was titled "Tutsi colonization plan").

Due to high rates of illiteracy at the time of the genocide, radio was an important way for the government to deliver messages to the public. Two radio stations key to inciting violence before and during the genocide were Radio Rwanda
Radio Rwanda
Radio Rwanda is a radio station of the Rwandan Office of Information , a government information agency that also owns Rwandan Television ....

 and Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines was a Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994. It played a significant role during the April–July 1994 Rwandan Genocide....

(RTLM). In March 1992, Radio Rwanda
Radio Rwanda
Radio Rwanda is a radio station of the Rwandan Office of Information , a government information agency that also owns Rwandan Television ....

 was first used in directly promoting the killing of Tutsi in Bugesera, south of the national capital Kigali. Radio Rwanda repeatedly broadcast a communiqué warning that Hutu in Bugesera would be attacked by Tutsi, a message used by local officials to convince Hutu that they needed to attack first. Led by soldiers, Hutu civilians and the Interahamwe attacked and killed hundreds of Tutsi.

At the end of 1993, the RTLM's highly sensationalized reporting on the assassination of the Burundian president, a Hutu, was used to underline supposed Tutsi brutality. The RTLM falsely reported that the president had been tortured, including castration (in pre-colonial times, some Tutsi kings castrated defeated enemy rulers). There were 50,000 civilian deaths in Burundi in 1993.

From late October 1993, the RTLM repeatedly broadcast themes developed by the extremist written press, underlining the inherent differences between Hutu and Tutsi, the foreign origin of Tutsi, the disproportionate share of Tutsi wealth and power, and the horrors of past Tutsi rule. The RTLM also repeatedly stressed the need to be alert to Tutsi plots and possible attacks. It warned Hutu to prepare to "defend" themselves against the Tutsi. After April 6, 1994, authorities used the RTLM and Radio Rwanda to spur and direct killings, specifically in areas where the killings were initially resisted. Both radio stations were used to incite and mobilize populations, followed by specific directions for carrying out the killings.

The RTLM had used terms such as inyenzi (cockroach in Kinyarwandan) and Tutsi interchangeably with others referring to the RPF combatants. It warned that RPF combatants dressed in civilian clothes were mingling among the displaced people fleeing combat zones. These broadcasts gave the impression that all Tutsi were supporters of the RPF force fighting against the elected government. Women were targets of the anti-Tutsi propaganda prior to the 1994 genocide; for example, the "Ten Hutu Commandments" (1990) included four commandments that portrayed Tutsi women as tools of the Tutsi people, and as sexual weapons to weaken and ultimately destroy the Hutu men. Gender-based propaganda also included cartoons printed in newspapers depicting Tutsi women as sex objects. Examples of gender-based hate propaganda used to incite war rape
War rape
War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation, distinguished from sexual assaults and rape committed amongst troops in military service...

 included statements by perpetrators, such as, "You Tutsi women think that you are too good for us", and "Let us see what a Tutsi woman tastes like."

To promote an informed population and democracy in Rwanda, international agencies had promoted development of the media during the years leading up to the genocide. It appeared that promoting one aspect of democracy (in this case the media) may, in fact, negatively influence other aspects of democracy or human rights. After this experience it has been argued that international development agencies must be highly sensitive to the specific context of their programmes and the need for promotion of democracy in a holistic manner.

United Nations

On January 11, 1994 Canadian Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire
Roméo Dallaire
Lieutenant-General Roméo Antonius Dallaire, is a Canadian senator, humanitarian, author and retired general...

 (United Nations Force Commander in Rwanda) notified Military Adviser to the Secretary-General, Major-General Maurice Baril
Maurice Baril
Joseph Gérard Maurice Baril, CMM, MSM, CD is a retired General officer in the Canadian Forces, a Military Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General & head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations from 1992 to 1997, and Chief of the Defence...

, of four major weapons caches and plans by the Hutus for extermination of Tutsis. The telegram from Dallaire stated that a top-level Interahamwe militia trainer directed demonstrations a few days before, to provoke an RPF battalion in Kigali into firing upon demonstrators and Belgian United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
The United Nations Assistance Mission In Rwanda was a mission instituted by the United Nations to aid the implementation of the Arusha Accords, signed August 4, 1993, which were meant to end the Rwandan Civil War. The mission lasted from October 1993 to March 1996...

 (UNAMIR) troops into using force. The Interahamwe would then have an excuse to engage the Belgian troops and the RPF battalion, killing Belgian citizens and causing the withdrawal of the Belgian contingent, the backbone of UNAMIR. The Tutsis would then be eliminated.

According to the informant, 1,700 Interahamwe militia were trained in governmental forces camps, and he was ordered to register all the Kigali Tutsis. Dallaire made immediate plans for UNAMIR troops to seize the arms caches and advised UN Headquarters of his intentions, believing these actions lay within his mission's mandate. The following day, headquarters responded that his outlined actions went beyond the mandate granted to UNAMIR under Security Council Resolution 872
United Nations Security Council Resolution 872
United Nations Security Council Resolution 872, adopted unanimously on October 5, 1993, after reaffirming resolutions 812 and 846 on the situation in Rwanda and Resolution 868 on the security of United Nations operations, the Council stressed the need for an international force in the country...

. Instead, he was to notify President Habyarimana of possible Arusha Accords violations and his concerns and report back on measures taken. Dallaire's January 11 telegram was important in later review of what information was available to the UN prior to the genocide. On February 21, extremists assassinated the Minister of Public Works, and UNAMIR was unable to gain UN approval to investigate the murder.

On April 6, 1994, the RTLM accused the Belgian peacekeepers of having shot down–or of helping to shoot down – the president's plane. This broadcast has been linked to the killing of ten Belgian UN troops by Rwandan army soldiers.

The situation proved too "risky" for the UN to attempt to help. The RPF began to take control of the country. The UN-mandated French-led force, under Opération Turquoise
Opération Turquoise
Opération Turquoise was a French-led military operation in Rwanda in 1994 under the mandate of the United Nations.- Background :On 6 April 1994 Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira were assassinated, sparking the 1994 Rwandan Genocide...

, established and maintained a "safe zone" for Hutu refugees to flee to in the southwest. Eventually, after the UN Mandate of the French mission was at an end, millions of Hutu refugees left Rwanda, mainly headed to Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

 (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The presence of Hutu refugees (see Great Lakes refugee crisis
Great Lakes refugee crisis
The Great Lakes refugee crisis is the common name for the situation beginning with the exodus in April 1994 of over two million Rwandans to neighboring countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide...

) on the border with Rwanda, added to internal instability, contributed to the First
First Congo War
The First Congo War was a revolution in Zaire that replaced President Mobutu Sésé Seko, a decades-long dictator, with rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Destabilization in eastern Zaire that resulted from the Rwandan genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external actors...

 and Second Congo War
Second Congo War
The Second Congo War, also known as Coltan War and the Great War of Africa, began in August 1998 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , and officially ended in July 2003 when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power; however, hostilities continue to this...

s, with clashes between these groups and the Rwandan government continuing.

The UN's mandate forbids intervening in the internal politics of any country unless the crime of genocide is being committed. France has been accused of aiding the Hutu regime to flee by creating Opération Turquoise. Canada, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, and the Netherlands provided consistent support for the UN mission under the command of Dallaire, although the UN Security Council did not give it an appropriate mandate to intervene. Despite emphatic demands from UNAMIR's commanders in Rwanda before and throughout the genocide, its requests for authorization to end it were refused, and its intervention capacity was reduced.

In 2000, the UN explicitly declared its reaction to Rwanda a "failure". Then Secretary General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

 said of the event "The international community failed Rwanda and that must leave us always with a sense of bitter regret.".

Religion

The Roman Catholic Church affirms that genocide took place but argues that those who took part in it did so without the permission of the Church. The Marian apparition, known as Our Lady of Kibeho
Our Lady of Kibeho
Our Lady of Kibeho is a title of Marian apparitions which appeared to several adolescents, in the 1980s in Kibeho, in south-western Rwanda. The apparitions communicated various messages to the schoolchildren, including an apocalyptic vision of Rwanda descending into violence and hatred, foretelling...

, was seen in 1982. The Virgin Mary was said to have shown three visionaries a future blood bath and called for prayer and repentance. In 2001 the diocese approved the vision as "worthy of belief", indicating the Catholic Church's attitude regarding the Massacres. Reports indicate the percentage of Muslims in Rwanda has doubled since the genocide due to Muslim sheltering and protection of Tutsis and Hutus during the genocide.

Though religious factors were not prominent (the event was ethnically motivated), in its 1999 report Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 faulted a number of religious authorities in Rwanda, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other Protestants for failing to condemn the genocide directly - though that accusation was belied over time. Some in its religious hierarchy have been brought to trial for their participation by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and convicted. Bishop Misago was accused of corruption and complicity in the genocide, but he was cleared of all charges in 2000. Others Catholic and Protestant clergy, however, gave their lives to protect Tutsis from slaughter. The majority of Rwandans, and Tutsis in particular, are Catholic, so shared religion did not prevent genocide.

Catalyst and initial events

On April 6, 1994, the airplane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana was the third President of the Republic of Rwanda, the post he held longer than any other president to date, from 1973 until 1994. During his 20-year rule he favored his own ethnic group, the Hutus, and supported the Hutu majority in neighboring Burundi against the Tutsi...

 and Cyprien Ntaryamira
Cyprien Ntaryamira
Cyprien Ntaryamira , was President of Burundi from 5 February 1994 until his death when his plane was shot down on 6 April 1994.-Biography:...

, the Hutu president of Burundi, was shot down as it prepared to land in Kigali
Kigali
Kigali, population 965,398 , is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation, and has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of...

, killing everyone on board. Responsibility for the attack was disputed, with both the RPF and Hutu extremists being blamed. A later investigation by the Rwandan government blamed Hutu extremists in the Rwandan army. In spite of disagreements about the identities of its perpetrators, many observers believe the attack and deaths of the two Hutu presidents served as the catalyst for the genocide.

On April 6 and 7, the staff of the Rwandan Armed Forces (RAF) and Colonel Theoneste Bagosora
Théoneste Bagosora
Colonel Théoneste Bagosora is a former Rwandan military officer. He is chiefly known for his key role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. And for that, he is sentenced to life imprisonment by the ICTR.-History and career:...

 clashed verbally with the UNAMIR Force commander Dallaire, who stressed the legal authority of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana
Agathe Uwilingiyimana
Agathe Uwilingiyimana was a Rwandan political figure. She served as Prime Minister of Rwanda from 18 July 1993 until her death on 7 April 1994. Her term was ended when she was assassinated during the opening stages of the Rwandan Genocide...

 to take control, as outlined in the Arusha Accords. Bagosora disputed her authority, and Dallaire provided escort to Uwilingiyimana to protect her and to allow her to send a calming message on the radio the next morning. By then, the Presidential Guard had occupied the radio station, and Uwilingiyimana had to cancel her speech.

When the Presidential Guard stormed the building, they took the UN peacekeepers prisoner and confiscated their weapons. They assassinated Uwilingiyimana and killed the ten Belgian UN soldiers, after releasing the Ghanaian ones. In 2007 Major Bernard Ntuyahaga
Bernard Ntuyahaga
Major Bernard Ntuyahaga, Rwandan Armed Forces, was convicted by a Belgian court in the murders of ten United Nations peacekeepers at the start of the Rwandan Genocide.- Biography :...

 was convicted of these murders as the commanding officer. The Presidential Guard quickly assassinated other moderate officials who favored the Arusha Accords. Protected by UNAMIR, Faustin Twagiramungu
Faustin Twagiramungu
Faustin Twagiramungu is an ethnic Hutu politician in Rwanda. He was prime minister from 1994 until his resignation in 1995, the first head of government appointed after the Rwandese Patriotic Front captured Kigali...

 escaped execution. In his book Shake Hands with the Devil, Dallaire recalled the events from April 7, the first day of the genocide:

"I called the Force HQ and got through to Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

ian Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 Henry Anyidoho
Henry Kwami Anyidoho
Major General Henry Kwami Anyidoho - A graduate of the US Marine Staff College in Virginia and the Ghana Military Academy, commissioned into the Ghanaian army’s Signal Corps in 1965....

. He had horrifying news. The UNAMIR-protected VIPs – Lando Ndasingwa
Lando Ndasingwa
Landoald 'Lando' Ndasingwa was a Rwandan politician, leader of the moderate Parti libéral du Rwanda. He was killed in the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide.Ndasingwa was a former professor at the University of Rwanda and ethnic Tutsi...

 [the head of the Parti libéral
Liberal Party (Rwanda)
The Liberal Party is a political party in Rwanda that adheres to Liberalism. Higiro Prosper is the party's chairperson.The Liberal Party supported President Paul Kagame in the 2003 presidential election. In the parliamentary election held on 30 September 2003, the party won 10.6% of the popular...

], Joseph Kavaruganda
Joseph Kavaruganda
Joseph Kavaruganda was a Rwandan judge, and president of Rwanda's Constitutional Court. He was killed at the beginning of the Rwandan Genocide....

 [president of the constitutional court], and many other moderates had been abducted by the Presidential Guard and had been killed, along with their families [...] UNAMIR had been able to rescue Prime Minister Faustin, who was now at the Force HQ."

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond
Jared Mason Diamond is an American scientist and author whose work draws from a variety of fields. He is currently Professor of Geography and Physiology at UCLA...

 theorized that population pressure was the main cause of the genocide. He points out that most of the Twa
Twa
The Twa are any of several hunting peoples of Africa who live interdependently with agricultural Bantu populations, and generally hold a socially subordinate position: They provide the farming population with game in exchange for agricultural products....

 pygmies were wiped out despite being no threat to the Hutus. The Kanama
Kanama
Kanama is a village in Saku Parish, Harju County in northern Estonia....

 region in the north west lost 5% of its population despite having virtually no Tutsis. A quarter of Rwandans have great grandparents from both tribes. Rwanda's population density in 1990 was 760 people per square mile, one of the highest in the world. The population grew at over 3% a year. By 1985 all the land except the national parks had been cultivated.

Genocide

The Rwandan military and Hutu militia groups, notably the Interahamwe
Interahamwe
The Interahamwe is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been forced out of Rwanda, and have sought asylum in Congo...

, systematically set out to murder all the Tutsis they could reach, regardless of age or sex, as well as the political moderates among the Hutu. They incited Hutu civilians to participate in the killings or be shot in turn, using radio broadcasts to tell them to kill their Tutsi neighbours. Most nations evacuated their nationals from Kigali and abandoned their embassies in the initial stages of the violence.

As the situation worsened, the national radio advised people to stay in their homes. The Hutu Power station RTLM broadcasted violent propaganda against the Tutsi and Hutu moderates. The militia put up hundreds of roadblocks around the country, using them to block off areas and attack the citizens. Lieutenant-General Dallaire and UNAMIR were in Kigali escorting Tutsis and were unable to stop the Hutus from escalating their attacks elsewhere.

Through the RTLM, the Hutu also attacked Lieutenant-General Dallaire and UNAMIR personnel. On April 8, Dallaire sent a cable to NY indicating ethnicity was the driving force of killings. The cable detailed the killings of politicians and peacekeepers (Chairman of Liberal party, Minister of Labor, Minister of Agriculture, and dozens more). Dallaire informed the UN that the campaign of violence was well-organized and deliberately conducted, primarily by the Presidential Guard.

On April 9, UN observers witnessed the massacre of children at a Polish church in Gikondo
Gikondo massacre
The Gikondo massacre was the mass murder of about 110 people of Tutsi identity, including children, who sheltered in a Polish Pallottine mission church in Gikondo, Kigali. The massacre took place on April 9, 1994 and was executed by Interahamwe militia under supervision of the Hutu presidential guard...

. The same day, 1,000 heavily armed and trained European troops arrived to escort European civilian personnel out of the country. The troops did not stay to assist UNAMIR. Media coverage picked up on the 9th, as the Washington Post reported the execution of Rwandan employees of relief agencies in front of their expatriate colleagues. On April 9–10, US Ambassador Rawson and 250 Americans were evacuated.

Killings quickly took place throughout most of the country. The mayor (burgomaster) of the northwestern town of Gisenyi
Gisenyi
Gisenyi is a city in Rubavu district in the Western Province of Rwanda. Gisenyi is contiguous with Goma, the city across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of the city is about 106 000 .-Description:...

 was the first local official to organize killings on a genocidal scale: on April 6, he called a meeting to distribute arms and sent militias to kill Tutsis. Gisenyi was a center of anti-Tutsi sentiment. It was the homeland of the minority Akazu
Akazu
The Akazu was an informal organization of Hutu extremists, a circle of relatives and close friends of then Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and his influential wife Agathe Habyarimana...

 and a refuge for thousands of people displaced by the rebel RPF occupation of large areas in the south. While killing occurred in other towns immediately after Habyarimana's assassination, it took several days for officials to organize them on the scale of the murders in Gisenyi.

Butare Province
Butare Province
Butare was a province of Rwanda prior to its dissolution in January 2006. Butare city is the second largest city in Rwanda and one of the nation's former twelve provinces. It is located in south-central region of the country and borders Burundi to the south...

 was an exception to the local violence. Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana was the only Tutsi prefect, and the province was the only one dominated by an opposition party. Opposing the genocide, Habyarimana was able to keep relative calm in the province, until he was deposed by the extremist Sylvain Ndikumana. Finding the population of Butare resistant to murdering their fellow citizens, the government flew in militia from Kigali by helicopter, and they readily killed the Tutsi.

Most of the victims were killed in their own villages or in towns, often by their neighbors and fellow villagers. The militia typically murdered victims by machetes, although some army units used rifles. The Hutu gangs searched out victims hiding in churches and school buildings, and massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

d them. Local officials and government-sponsored radio incited ordinary citizens to kill their neighbors, and those who refused to kill were often murdered on the spot. "Either you took part in the massacres or you were massacred yourself."

One such massacre occurred at Nyarubuye
Nyarubuye massacre
The Nyarubuye massacre is the name given to the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians on April 15-April 16, 1994 at the Nyarubuye Roman Catholic Church in Kibungo Province, east of the Rwandan capital Kigali. The victims were Tutsis and Hutu moderates who had sought refuge in the church...

. On April 12, more than 1,500 Tutsis sought refuge in a Catholic church in Nyange, then in Kivumu commune. Local Interahamwe, acting in concert with the authorities, used bulldozers to knock down the church building. The militia used machetes and rifles to kill every person who tried to escape. Local priest Athanase Seromba
Athanase Seromba
Athanase Seromba is a Rwandan priest who was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the Rwandan genocide....

 was later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison by the ICTR for his role in the demolition of his church; he was convicted of the crime of genocide and crimes against humanity
Crime against humanity
Crimes against humanity, as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum, "are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings...

. In another case, thousands sought refuge in the École Technique Officielle (Technical School) in Kigali where Belgian UNAMIR soldiers were stationed. On April 11, the Belgian soldiers withdrew, and Rwandan armed forces and militia killed all the Tutsi.

Because of the chaotic situation, there is no consensus on the number of people killed between April 6 and mid-July. Unlike the genocides carried out by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and by the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, authorities made no attempts to record deaths. The succeeding RPF government has stated that 1,071,000 were killed, 10% of whom were Hutu. The journalist Philip Gourevitch
Philip Gourevitch
Philip Gourevitch , an American author and journalist, is a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker and the former editor of The Paris Review. His most recent book is The Ballad of Abu Ghraib , an account of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison under the American occupation...

 agrees with an estimate of one million, while the UN estimates the toll as 800,000. Alex de Waal
Alex de Waal
Alexander William Lowndes de Waal is a British writer and researcher on African issues. He was a fellow of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative at Harvard University, as well as program director at the Social Science Research Council on AIDS in New York City...

 and Rakiya Omar of African Rights estimate the number as "around 750,000," while Alison Des Forges
Alison Des Forges
Alison Des Forges was an American historian and human rights activist who specialized in the African Great Lakes region, particularly the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. At the time of her death, she was a senior advisor for the African continent at Human Rights Watch.-Life:Des Forges was born Alison B...

 of Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 states that it was "at least 500,000." James Smith of Aegis Trust
Aegis Trust
Aegis Trust, founded in 2000, is the leading British NGO which campaigns to prevent genocide worldwide. Based at the United Kingdom’s Holocaust Centre, which opened in 1995, the Aegis Trust coordinates the UK Genocide Prevention All-Party Parliamentary Group , funds the Genocide Prevention Group ...

 notes, "What's important to remember is that there was a genocide. There was an attempt to eliminate Tutsis — men, women, and children — and to erase any memory of their existence."

Out of a population of 7.3 million people–84% of whom were Hutu, 15% Tutsi and 1% Twa–the official figures published by the Rwandan government estimated the number of victims of the genocide to be 1,174,000 in 100 days (10,000 murdered every day, 400 every hour, 7 every minute). Other sources put the death toll at 800,000, 20% of whom were Hutus. It is estimated that about 300,000 Tutsi survived the genocide. Thousands of widows, many of whom were subjected to rape, are now HIV-positive. There were about 400,000 orphans and nearly 85,000 of them were forced to become heads of families.

Several individuals were active in attempting to halt the Rwandan genocide, or to shelter vulnerable Tutsi, as it was taking place. Among them there are Romeo Dallaire, Pierantonio Costa
Pierantonio Costa
Pierantonio Costa is an Italian businessman, diplomat and a rescuer of many lives during the Rwandan genocide.He was born in Mestre on 7 May 1939 as the fifth of seven children. At age 15 he joined his father who had emigrated to Zaire...

, Antonia Locatelli
Antonia Locatelli
Antonia Locatelli had been an Italian volunteer in Rwanda since 1972. In 1992 she eyewitnessed the massacres of the Tutsis taking place in the Bugesera region, South of Kigali, soon after a radio had incited to manhunting. She tried to save 300-400 Tutsis, and thus phoned up the Belgian embassy,...

, Jacqueline Mukansonera
Jacqueline Mukansonera
Jacqueline Mukansonera is an ethnic Hutu from Rwanda who didn't hesitate to save Tutsi Yolande Mukagasana from genocide in 1994. Yolande turned to her at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. She was one of the first targets of the Hutu violence because she was seen as a member of the Tutsi...

, Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina is a Rwandan humanitarian who has been internationally honored for saving 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. He was the assistant manager of the Sabena Hôtel des Mille Collines before he became the manager of the Hôtel des Diplomates, both in Kigali, Rwanda...

, Carl Wilkens
Carl Wilkens
Carl Wilkens is the Director of World Outside My Shoes.Carl Wilkens is the former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda...

, André Sibomana and Captain Mbaye Diagne
Mbaye diagne
Captain Mbaye Diagne was a Senegalese Army officer and a United Nations military observer during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He is credited with saving many lives during his time in Rwanda through nearly continuous rescue missions at great peril to himself.A devout Muslim, Mbaye was one of nine...

.

War rape

In 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

 made the landmark decisions that war rape
War rape
War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation, distinguished from sexual assaults and rape committed amongst troops in military service...

 in Rwanda was an element of the crime of genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

. The Trial Chamber held that "sexual assault formed an integral part of the process of destroying the Tutsi
Tutsi
The Tutsi , or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group in Central Africa. Historically they were often referred to as the Watussi or Watusi. They are the second largest caste in Rwanda and Burundi, the other two being the Hutu and the Twa ....

 ethnic group and that the rape was systematic and had been perpetrated against Tutsi women only, manifesting the specific intent required for those acts to constitute genocide." Although no written orders to rape were found, evidence suggests that military leaders encouraged or ordered their men to rape Tutsi as well as condoning the acts taking place, and made no efforts to stop them. Compared to other conflicts, the sexual violence in Rwanda stands out in three ways:
  • the organized nature of the propaganda that contributed to fueling sexual violence against Tutsi women;
  • the public nature of the rapes; and
  • the level of brutality toward the women.


In his 1996 report on Rwanda, the UN Special Rapporteur Rene Degni-Segui stated, "Rape was the rule and its absence the exception." He noted, "Rape was systematic and was used as a weapon" by the perpetrators of the massacres. This conclusion was based on the number and nature of the victims as well as from the forms of rape. Estimates were that between 250,000 and 500,000 Rwandese women and girls had been raped. A 2000 report prepared by the Organization of African Unity’s International Panel of Eminent Personalities concluded that "we can be certain that almost all females who survived the genocide were direct victims of rape or other sexual violence, or were profoundly affected by it".

During the genocide, it was culturally acceptable/mandatory to stand by while women were raped. Maria Louise Niyobuhungiro recalls seeing local peoples, other generals and Hutu men watching her get raped about 5 times per day. Even when she was kept under watch of a woman, she would give no sympathy or help and furthermore, forced her to farm land in between rapes. Reportedly, 70% of all sexual assault victims in the Rwandan genocide are infected with HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

. Men were seldom the victims of war rape
War rape
War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation, distinguished from sexual assaults and rape committed amongst troops in military service...

, but sexual violence against men included mutilation of the genitals, then displayed as trophies in public. War rape during the genocide was also directed against Hutu women considered moderates. The Interahamwe
Interahamwe
The Interahamwe is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been forced out of Rwanda, and have sought asylum in Congo...

 were the chief perpetrators, but RAF soldiers, including the Presidential Guard, and civilians also committed rape against mostly Tutsi women.

UNAMIR and the international community

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
The United Nations Assistance Mission In Rwanda was a mission instituted by the United Nations to aid the implementation of the Arusha Accords, signed August 4, 1993, which were meant to end the Rwandan Civil War. The mission lasted from October 1993 to March 1996...

 (UNAMIR) was hampered from the outset by resistance from numerous UN Security Council members, who were reluctant to have the UN become involved. This applied both to the Arusha Accords process and to preventing or suppressing the genocide. Only Belgium had asked for a strong UNAMIR mandate. After the murder of ten Belgian peacekeepers protecting the Prime Minister in early April and the failure of the Security Council to act, Belgium pulled out of the peacekeeping mission.

Just before the genocide began in April 1994 a Hutu man with a guilty conscience high in the ranks of the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain de Parmehutu sent a fax to the United Nations and to the United States detailing the plans of genocide against the Tutsis that would take place shortly. The fax detailed where, against whom and with exact what materials the genocide would be carried out. The information was never dealt with. For whatever reason, perhaps bureaucracy, the word of the genocide never spread far enough to enlist help from the Security Council.

In addition, the UN peacekeepers were sent with specific instructions not to interfere unless a fellow peacekeeper or self was in danger. Under the United Nation's Capstone Doctrine peacekeepers were to exercise their own judgement in stopping the violence; however, it was the job of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 to use force.

The UN and its member states did not respond to the realities on the ground. In the midst of the escalating crisis for Tutsis, they directed Lt. General Roméo Dallaire to focus UNAMIR on evacuating foreign nationals from Rwanda. Due to the change in orders, Belgian UN peacekeepers abandoned the Don Bosco Technical School, filled with 2,000 refugees. Hutu militants waited outside, drinking beer and chanting "Hutu Power
Hutu Power
Hutu Power was an ideology propounded by the Akazu and other Hutu extremists in Rwanda. It contributed to the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu.-Background:...

." After the Belgians left, the militants entered and massacred everyone inside, including hundreds of children.

Four days later the Security Council voted to reduce UNAMIR to 270 men, by Resolution 912
United Nations Security Council Resolution 912
United Nations Security Council Resolution 912, adopted unanimously on April 21, 1994, after reaffirming all resolutions on the situation in Rwanda, particularly resolutions 872 and 909 , the Council expressed its alarm and condemnation of the large-scale violence in the country which resulted in...

. Following the withdrawal of the Belgian forces, Dallaire consolidated his contingent of Canadian, Ghanaian, and Dutch soldiers in urban areas and tried to provide areas of "safe control". His actions saved the lives of 20,000 Tutsi. The administrative head of UNAMIR, former Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

ian foreign minister Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh
Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh
Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh was the Minister of External Relations of Cameroon from 1988 to 1992 and the head of United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda .-Biography:Booh-Booh was born in Manak, Cameroon...

, has been criticized for downplaying the significance of Dallaire's reports and for holding close ties to the Hutu militant elite.

The US was reluctant to get involved in the "local conflict" in Rwanda and refused to label the killings as "genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

". Then-president Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 later publicly regretted that decision in a Frontline television interview. Five years later, Clinton stated that he believed that if he had sent 5,000 U.S. peacekeepers, more than 500,000 lives could have been saved.

The new Rwandan government, led by interim President Théodore Sindikubwabo
Théodore Sindikubwabo
Théodore Sindikubwabo was the fourth and interim President of Rwanda during the Rwandan genocide, from April 9 to July 19, 1994...

, an ethnic Hutu, worked to minimize international criticism. Rwanda at that time had a seat on the Security Council. Its ambassador argued that the claims of genocide in the country were exaggerated and that the government was doing all that it could to stop it.

The UN conceded that "acts of genocide may have been committed" on May 17, 1994. By that time, the Red Cross estimated that 500,000 Rwandans had been killed. The UN agreed to send 5,500 troops, mostly from African countries, to Rwanda. This was the original number of troops requested by General Dallaire before the killing escalated. The UN also requested 50 armoured personnel carrier
Armoured personnel carrier
An armoured personnel carrier is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles , or mortars...

s from the United States; the US Army charged $6.5 million (USD) for transport alone. Deployment was delayed due to arguments over their cost and other factors.

Some UN peacekeepers protected Rwandans despite the organizational limitations. One Senegalese peacekeeper drove 1,000 people through check points to safety, a feat that no nation even attempted. Others stood outside of churches where hundreds of Tutsi refugees hid; by simply guarding a door, the Interhamwe and other Hutu extremists simply did not try to trespass.

Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina is a Rwandan humanitarian who has been internationally honored for saving 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. He was the assistant manager of the Sabena Hôtel des Mille Collines before he became the manager of the Hôtel des Diplomates, both in Kigali, Rwanda...

, who saved over 1,000 people by sheltering them at the Hôtel des Mille Collines
Hôtel des Mille Collines
The Hôtel des Mille Collines is a large hotel in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It became famous as the building in which more than a thousand people took refuge during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994...

, has said: “In a sense things got better after the peacekeepers left… People realized no one was going to help them.”

French role

Before the genocide

In the analysis of British journalist Linda Melvern
Linda Melvern
Linda Melvern is a British investigative journalist. For several years she worked for The Sunday Times , including on the investigative Insight Team. Since leaving the newspaper she has written six books of non-fiction and is widely published in the British press and academic journals...

, documents recently released from the Paris archive of former president François Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

 show how the RPF invasion in October 1990 was considered as clear aggression by an Anglophone neighbour on a Francophone country. The documents are said to argue that the RPF was a part of an "Anglophone plot", involving the President of Uganda, to create an English-speaking "Tutsi-land" and increase Anglophone influence at the expense of French influence. In Melvern's analysis, the policy of France was to avoid a military victory by the RPF. The policy had been made by a secretive network of military officers, politicians, diplomats, businessmen, and senior intelligence operatives. At its centre was Mitterrand. As a matter for the French presidency, this foreign policy was not referred to parliament.

Mitterrand's political view proved prescient in that, as the BBC noted as of 2010, after a progressive rift with the Kagame-led
Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...

 regime that has ruled Rwanda since 1994 (described in greater detail below), Rwanda repeatedly broke diplomatic relations with France; the Rwandan government shut down all French institutions in Rwanda, including schools and cultural organisations, with only some being subsequently reopened; the language of instruction in Rwandan schools "has even been switched from French to English"; and Rwanda strove to join the British-led Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, thus becoming one of only two members that were not former British colonies.

Melvern goes on to state that most of Rwanda’s arms deals were negotiated through the Rwandan embassy in Paris. When the genocide was over, according to her, extensive records were found in the embassy offices, but none of them concerned Rwanda’s relationship with France, as the documents had been systematically destroyed by Colonel Sebastien Ntahobari, Rwanda’s military attaché in France. The book also relates other forms of military assistance the government of France gave the Rwandan government, prior to the genocide:
  • A French military co-operation team was openly acknowledged to be in Rwanda, and was thought to have included forty seven people. These people were attached to key units in the army and in the gendarmerie as “advisers” or “technical assistants”.
  • A list of Rwandan officers prepared by Rwandan army officers within the Rwandan Ministry of Defense and dated 5 March 1994, shows three French nationals working as “technical assistants” in the reconnaissance battalion.
  • In the Rwandan air corps, there were two French flying instructors, a navigator, an air traffic controller, and a mechanic.
  • In the para-commandos, under Colonel Aloys Ntabakuze, there were four French nationals including a major in the French Army.


Melvern attributes other forms of French support for the regime. She report that, according to Belgian intelligence in Rwanda, French diplomats advised opposition politicians that if they wanted to stop the RPF, they had to give their support to President Habyarimana.

A report by Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 (HRW) early after the genocide also reported on French armaments support for the regime. It states:

“Official deliveries of arms by the French government to other governments are regulated by well-defined rules, but in the case of Rwanda — as in many others — the rules were rarely followed. According to the National Assembly investigative commission, thirty-one of thirty-six deliveries of weapons to Rwanda during the years 1990 to 1994 were made 'without following the rules.'”


HRW went on to provide that a former French policeman who had also served as security consultant to Habyarimana, Captain Paul Barril, was hired by the Rwandan Ministry of Defense to conduct a training program for 30 to 60 men, eventually to grow to 120, at Bigogwe military camp in the northwest. He was to provide training in marksmanship and infiltration tactics for an elite unit in preparation for attacks behind the RPF lines. Further, a Col. Didier Tauzin (who was later to re-enter Rwanda during the genocide under a fake name Col. Didier Tibault) was head of the French operation that had helped the Rwandan forces “spectacularly save the situation” in turning back the RPF offensive in February 1993. Notwithstanding HRW's associations
Association fallacy
An association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by...

, though, no evidence exists that these French officers were directly involved in the genocide.

In terms of balance, the HRW and Melvern analyses omitted countervailing facts known as of their writing - specifically, that there were no arms delivery by France or facilitated by France once it deemed large-scale killings likely, let alone during the mass genocide proper; and that one of the tasks that the Rwandan regime hired Barril for was to recover a pre-payment for a likely fraudulent arms delivery deal, that was stopped by the French authorities.

During the genocide

On June 22, with no sign of a UN deployment taking place, the Security Council authorized French forces to land in Goma, Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

 on a humanitarian mission. They deployed throughout southwest Rwanda in an area they called "Zone Turquoise
Opération Turquoise
Opération Turquoise was a French-led military operation in Rwanda in 1994 under the mandate of the United Nations.- Background :On 6 April 1994 Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira were assassinated, sparking the 1994 Rwandan Genocide...

," quelling the genocide and stopping the fighting there, but often arriving in areas only after genocidaires had expelled or killed Tutsi citizens. Again, controversy subsequently arose about French intent. According to HRW, Opération Turquoise had another purpose: Preventing a victory by the RPF. HRW reported that some military officers in Paris had talked openly of “breaking the back of the RPF.” It remains that there were no documented large-scale killings in Zone Turquoise once it was established. Thus, regardless of any other aims attributed to it, the French intervention helped to stop the genocide locally and represents the only foreign intervention on the ground to have ended some of the killings after UNIMAR was reduced. The French military presence effectively helped the genocidaires to escape from the RPF and flee into neighboring Zaire.

Kagame-ordered report

Following an investigation of the plane crash of April 6, 1994 that killed both the Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana was the third President of the Republic of Rwanda, the post he held longer than any other president to date, from 1973 until 1994. During his 20-year rule he favored his own ethnic group, the Hutus, and supported the Hutu majority in neighboring Burundi against the Tutsi...

 and Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

an President Cyprien Ntaryamira
Cyprien Ntaryamira
Cyprien Ntaryamira , was President of Burundi from 5 February 1994 until his death when his plane was shot down on 6 April 1994.-Biography:...

 and precipitated the genocide, and in which three French crew had also died, the French judge Jean-Louis Bruguière
Jean-Louis Bruguière
Jean-Louis Bruguière was the leading French investigating magistrate in charge of counter-terrorism affairs. He was appointed in 2004 vice-president of the Paris Court of Serious Claims . He has garnered controversy for various acts, including the indictment of Rwandan president Paul Kagame for the...

 indicted eight associates of Rwandan president Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...

 on November 17, 2006. President Kagame himself was not indicted, as he had immunity under French law as a head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. Kagame denied the allegations, decrying them as politically motivated, and broke diplomatic relationships with France in November 2006. He then ordered the formation of a commission of his own Rwandan Justice Ministry's employees that was officially "charged with assembling proof of the involvement of France in the genocide".

In testimony before the commission, Jacques Bihozagara, who was presented as "former ambassador to France", claimed that "Operation Turquoise was aimed only at protecting genocide perpetrators, because the genocide continued even within the Turquoise zone." Beside misrepresenting the timeline of the mass killings in the Zone Turquoise, the implication of the testimony as conveyed to the foreign press was that Bihozagara had a sitting ambassador's insight into French policy at the time of the genocide. In fact, Bihozagara was a founding member of the RPF and close Kagame ally under whose watch as Minister of Rehabilitation the Kibeho Massacre occurred in 1995. His attitude and statements at that time led to reports that he had ordered that massacre, making him too much of a political liability for the RPF to keep as minister. Bihozagara was subsequently ambassador to Belgium, and then to France from September 2001 onwards; but in the intervening period Rwanda had closed its French embassy and purged personnel, precluding continuity of records.

The political character of that investigation was in turn further averred when the commission issued its report solely to Kagame – symbolically on November 17, 2007, exactly one year after Bruguière's announcement – and the head of the Rwandan commission, Jean de Dieu Mucyo, stated that the commission would now "wait for President Kagame to declare whether the inquiry was valid." In July 2008, Kagame threatened to indict French nationals over the genocide if European courts did not withdraw arrest warrants issued against Rwandan officials, which by then included broader indictments against 40 Rwandan army officers by Spanish judge Fernando Andreu
Fernando Andreu
Fernando Andreu is a judge of the National Audience in Spain. He plays a leading role especially in humanitarian law and in pursuing war-crime and similar issues ....

.

Findings of the commission were released at Kagame's order on August 5, 2008. The report accused the French government of knowing of preparations for the genocide and helping to train the ethnic Hutu militia members; it accused 33 senior French military and political officials of involvement in the genocide, including then-President Mitterrand and his then general secretary Hubert Védrine
Hubert Védrine
Hubert Védrine is a French Socialist politician.Diplomatic adviser of President Mitterrand, he served as secretary-general of the presidency from 1991 to 1995, then as Foreign Minister in the government of Lionel Jospin from 1997 to 2002.After the reelection of Jacques Chirac in May 2002, Védrine...

, then-Prime Minister Edouard Balladur
Édouard Balladur
Édouard Balladur is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 29 March 1993 to 10 May 1995.-Biography:Balladur was born in İzmir, Turkey, to an Armenian Catholic family with five children and long-standing ties to France...

, then-Foreign Minister Alain Juppé
Alain Juppé
Alain Marie Juppé is a French politician currently serving as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as Prime Minister of France from 1995 to 1997 under President Jacques Chirac and the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs from 2010 to 2011...

, and his chief aide at the time, Dominique de Villepin
Dominique de Villepin
Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin is a French politician who served as the Prime Minister of France from 31 May 2005 to 17 May 2007....

.

A statement accompanying the release claimed that "French soldiers themselves directly were involved in assassinations of Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis... French forces committed several rapes on Tutsi survivors", though the latter was not documented in the report. A BBC report commented that French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner
Bernard Kouchner
Bernard Kouchner is a French politician, diplomat, and doctor. He is co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde...

, denied French responsibility in connection with the genocide but said that political errors had been made. Another BBC report delved into the motivations for the Rwandan report and stated that:

Chief among them has been an iron determination to keep the world's attention focused on the genocide, rather than on the role of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the force that took power in 1994, bringing President Paul Kagame to power. In recent years uncomfortable questions have been raised about the war crimes the RPF are alleged to have committed during and after 1994. While stressing there can be no equation between genocide and war crimes, Alison Des Forges
Alison Des Forges
Alison Des Forges was an American historian and human rights activist who specialized in the African Great Lakes region, particularly the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. At the time of her death, she was a senior advisor for the African continent at Human Rights Watch.-Life:Des Forges was born Alison B...

 of Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 says RPF leaders do have a case to answer. "Their victims also deserve justice," she says.

French Parliamentary Commission on Rwanda and subsequent statements

The suspicions about United Nations and French policies in Rwanda between 1990 and 1994 and allegations that France supported the Hutus led to the creation of a French Parliamentary Commission on Rwanda
French Parliamentary Commission on Rwanda
The French Parliamentary Commission on Rwanda was invested in the beginning of 1998, following a press-led campaign and articles by journalist Patrick de Saint-Exupéry in the Figaro newspaper, which called for an examination into the role of the French government in the events surrounding the 1994...

, which published its report on December 15, 1998. In particular, François-Xavier Verschave
François-Xavier Verschave
François-Xavier Verschave was primarily known as one of the founders of the French NGO Survie , over which he presided since 1995, and as coiner of the term Françafrique, an expression designating the specific form of neocolonialism which has been endured by the former French Colonies.Verschave...

, former president of the French NGO Survie
Survie NGO
Survie is a non-governmental organization founded in 1984 to fight hunger and corruption in the Third World. It has since became a federation of departmental associations, composed of 1,600 paying members, about a 100 activists and six employees...

, which accused the French army of protecting the Hutus during the genocide, was instrumental in establishing this Parliamentary commission.

The commission released its final report on December 15, 1998. It documented ambiguities and confusion in both the French and UN responses. Regarding Opération Turquoise, it regretted that the intervention took place too late, though it noted that this was better than the non-response from the UN and the opposition by the U.S. and U.K. governments to such a response. The report documented mixed success at disarming the Rwandan Army and militias, but a definite and systematic attempt (though not fast enough as far as then-General Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...

 of the opposing RPF forces was concerned, in documentation of the latter's communications with the French forces).

The Parliamentary Commission did not find any evidence of French participation in the genocide, of collaboration with the militias, or of willful disengagement from endangered populations, to the contrary. It documented multiple French operations, all at least partly successful, to disable genocide-inciting radio broadcasts, tasks which the UN and the United States had rejected calls for assistance with.

The report concluded that there had been errors of judgment pertaining to the Rwanda Armed Forces, but before the genocide only; further errors of judgment about the scale of the threat, at the onset of the genocide; over-reliance on the UNIMAR mission without awareness that it would be undercut by the United States and other parties; and ineffective diplomacy. Ultimately, it concluded that France had been the foreign power most involved in limiting the scale of the genocide once it got started, though it regretted that more had not been done.

On November 27, 2004 in a televised debate on France 3
France 3
France 3 is the second largest French public television channel and part of the France Télévisions group, which also includes France 2, France 4, France 5, and France Ô....

, after the showing of the French film "Tuez les Tous" (Kill Them All), created by three students of political science, the president of the parliamentary mission for information for Rwanda, former minister Paul Quilès
Paul Quilès
Paul Quilès is a French Socialist politician.-Biography:He was born in Sig, Algeria.Deputy of Tarn département, close to Laurent Fabius, he was Defense Minister from 1985 to 1986, after the Rainbow Warrior scandal...

 stated that "France asks to be pardoned by the people of Rwanda, but not by their government".

In 2010, during a visit to Rwanda, French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 acknowledged that France made "mistakes" during the genocide, although, according to a BBC report, he "stopped short of offering a full apology".

U.S. role

Prior to the war, the U.S. government had aligned itself with Tutsi interests, in turn raising Hutu concerns about potential U.S. support to the opposition. Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...

, a Tutsi officer in exile in Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 who had co-founded the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) in 1986 and was in open conflict with the incumbent Rwandan government, was invited to receive military training at Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army facility located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, immediately north of the city of Leavenworth in the upper northeast portion of the state. It is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C. and has been in operation for over 180 years...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, home of the Command and General Staff College
Command and General Staff College
The United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is a graduate school for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, and international military officers. The college was established in 1881 by William Tecumseh Sherman as a...

. In October 1990, while Kagame was at Fort Leavenworth, the RPF started an invasion of Rwanda. Only two days into the invasion, his close friend and RPF co-founder Fred Rwigema
Fred Rwigema
Fred Gisa Rwigema , born Emmanuel Gisa , was a founding member of and leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, an anti-Hutu Power guerrilla group that fought in the Rwandan Civil War.Rwigema was born in Gitarama, in the south of Rwanda...

 was killed, upon which the U.S. arranged the return of Kagame to Uganda from where he became the military commander of the RPF. An article in the Washington Post of August 16, 1997, authored by its Southern African bureau chief Lynne Duke, indicates that the connection continued as RPF elements received counterinsurgency and combat training from U.S. Special Forces.

In January 1994 NSC
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 member Richard Clarke
Richard A. Clarke
Richard Alan Clarke was a U.S. government employee for 30 years, 1973–2003. He worked for the State Department during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to chair the Counter-terrorism Security Group and to a seat on the United States National...

 developed a formal US peacekeeping doctrine, Presidential Decision Directive 25 (PDD-25)
Presidential Decision Directive 25
Presidential Decision Directive 25 , is an executive order drafted by President of the United States Bill Clinton on May 3, 1994 following a year-long executive agency policy review and bilateral consultations between dozens of members of Congress and the executive branch.While the exact text of...

.

There were no U.S. troops officially in Rwanda at the onset of the genocide. A National Security Archive
National Security Archive
The National Security Archive is a 501 non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located in the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of US...

 report points out five ways in which decisions made by the U.S. government contributed to the slow U.S. and worldwide response to the genocide:
  1. The U.S. lobbied the U.N. for a total withdrawal of U.N. (UNAMIR
    United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda
    The United Nations Assistance Mission In Rwanda was a mission instituted by the United Nations to aid the implementation of the Arusha Accords, signed August 4, 1993, which were meant to end the Rwandan Civil War. The mission lasted from October 1993 to March 1996...

    ) forces in Rwanda in April 1994;
  2. Secretary of State Warren Christopher
    Warren Christopher
    Warren Minor Christopher was an American lawyer, diplomat and politician. During Bill Clinton's first term as President, Christopher served as the 63rd Secretary of State. He also served as Deputy Attorney General in the Lyndon Johnson administration, and as Deputy Secretary of State in the Jimmy...

     did not authorize officials to use the term "genocide" until May 21, and even then, U.S. officials waited another three weeks before using the term in public;
  3. Bureaucratic infighting slowed the U.S. response to the genocide in general;
  4. The U.S. refused to jam
    Radio jamming
    Radio jamming is the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal to noise ratio. Unintentional jamming occurs when an operator transmits on a busy frequency without first checking whether it is in use, or without being able to hear stations using the frequency...

     extremist radio broadcasts inciting the killing, citing costs and concern with international law;
  5. U.S. officials knew exactly who was leading the genocide, and actually spoke with those leaders to urge an end to the violence but did not follow up with concrete action.


US President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 claimed to have not fully understood the severity of the situation. Scholars have suggested that President Clinton could not have known about the genocide until around April 20, 1994, when it became popularized in the media. The fighting was reported by newspapers around the world as being a civil war with both parties fighting, rather than a genocidal campaign. However, the very few people who remained in Rwanda for parts of the genocide report that almost every country knew something about the violence. For example, Carl Wilkens, the only American who stayed behind to lead the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, reports thinking:
"If the people in Rwanda ever needed help, it now was the time. And everyone was leaving."

Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) renewed invasion

The Rwandan Patriotic Front
Rwandan Patriotic Front
The Rwandan Patriotic Front abbreviated as RPF is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. It governs in a coalition with other parties...

 (RPF) battalion of Tutsi rebels stationed in Kigali under the Arusha Accords came under attack immediately after the shooting down of the president's plane. The battalion fought its way out of Kigali and joined up with RPF units in the north. The resulting civil war raged concurrently with the genocide for two months. The nature of the genocide was not immediately apparent to foreign observers, and was initially explained as a violent phase of the civil war. Mark Doyle
Mark Doyle (journalist)
Mark Doyle is a world affairs correspondent for BBC News. A British citizen, he is known in particular for his articles on topics related to Africa.In 1980, Doyle volunteered as a student teacher at the British-Senegalese Institute in Dakar, Senegal...

, the correspondent for the BBC News
BBC News
BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

in Kigali, tried to explain the complex situation in late April 1994 thus:
Look you have to understand that there are two wars going on here. There's a shooting war and a genocide war. The two are connected, but also distinct. In the shooting war, there are two conventional armies at each other, and in the genocide war, one of those armies, the government side with help from civilians, is involved in mass killings.

After regrouping, the RPF launched an offensive and on July 4, 1994 they took the capital Kigali
Kigali
Kigali, population 965,398 , is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation, and has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of...

. On July 13 they seized Ruhengeri
Ruhengeri
Ruhengeri is a city and capital of Musanze District in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Some sources now refer to the city itself as Musanze, after the district in which it lies. It lies near the twin lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo and is the gateway city to Volcanoes National Park and the...

 prompting a mass exodus
Great Lakes refugee crisis
The Great Lakes refugee crisis is the common name for the situation beginning with the exodus in April 1994 of over two million Rwandans to neighboring countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide...

 towards Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

. Four days later on July 17 the RPF defeated the last government stronghold and declared victory.

Aftermath

Approximately two million Hutus, participants in the genocide, and the bystanders, with anticipation of Tutsi retaliation, fled from Rwanda, to Burundi
Burundi
Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, and for the most part Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

. Thousands of them died in epidemics of diseases common to the squalor of refugee camps, such as cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 and dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

. The United States staged the Operation Support Hope
Operation Support Hope
Operation Support Hope was a 1994 United States military effort to provide immediate relief for the refugees of the Rwandan Genocide and allow a smooth transition to a full United Nations humanitarian management program...

 airlift from July to September 1994 to stabilize the situation in the camps.

After the victory of the RPF, the size of UNAMIR (henceforth called UNAMIR 2) was increased to its full strength, remaining in Rwanda until March 8, 1996.

In October 1996, an uprising by the ethnic Tutsi Banyamulenge
Banyamulenge
The Banyamulenge is a term historically describing the ethnic Tutsi Rwandans concentrated on the High Plateau of South Kivu, in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo , close to the Burundi-Congo-Rwanda border...

 people in eastern Zaire marked the beginning of the First Congo War
First Congo War
The First Congo War was a revolution in Zaire that replaced President Mobutu Sésé Seko, a decades-long dictator, with rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Destabilization in eastern Zaire that resulted from the Rwandan genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external actors...

, and led to a return of more than 600,000 to Rwanda during the last two weeks of November. This massive repatriation was followed at the end of December 1996 by the return of 500,000 more from Tanzania after they were ejected by the Tanzanian government. Various successor organizations to the Hutu militants operated in eastern DR Congo until May 22, 2009.

Political development

After its military victory in July 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Rwandan Patriotic Front
The Rwandan Patriotic Front abbreviated as RPF is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. It governs in a coalition with other parties...

 organized a coalition government similar to that established by President Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana
Juvénal Habyarimana was the third President of the Republic of Rwanda, the post he held longer than any other president to date, from 1973 until 1994. During his 20-year rule he favored his own ethnic group, the Hutus, and supported the Hutu majority in neighboring Burundi against the Tutsi...

 in 1994. Called The Broad Based Government of National Unity, its fundamental law is based on a combination of the constitution, the Arusha accords, and political declarations by the parties. The MRND party was outlawed. Political organizing was banned until 2003. The first post-war presidential and legislative elections were held in August and September 2003 respectively.

The current government prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race or religion. The government has also passed laws prohibiting emphasis on Hutu or Tutsi identity in most types of political activity.

In March 1998, on a visit to Rwanda, U.S. President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 spoke to the crowd assembled on the tarmac at Kigali Airport: "We come here today partly in recognition of the fact that we in the United States and the world community did not do as much as we could have and should have done to try to limit what occurred" in Rwanda. He acknowledged his failure to deal effectively with the situation in Rwanda. Clinton has stated that the "biggest regret" of his presidency was not acting decisively to stop the Rwandan Genocide.

Despite substantial international assistance and political reforms, the country continues to struggle to boost investment and agricultural output and to foster reconciliation. In March 2000, after removing Pasteur Bizimungu
Pasteur Bizimungu
Pasteur Bizimungu 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 , including as director general of...

, Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...

 became President of Rwanda. On August 25, 2003 Kagame won the first national elections since the RPF took power in 1994. A series of massive population displacements, a nagging Hutu extremist insurgency, and Rwandan involvement in the First
First Congo War
The First Congo War was a revolution in Zaire that replaced President Mobutu Sésé Seko, a decades-long dictator, with rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Destabilization in eastern Zaire that resulted from the Rwandan genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external actors...

 and Second Congo War
Second Congo War
The Second Congo War, also known as Coltan War and the Great War of Africa, began in August 1998 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo , and officially ended in July 2003 when the Transitional Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo took power; however, hostilities continue to this...

s in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo continue to hinder Rwanda's efforts.

The first try at democracy in Rwanda was under Habyarimana just before his plane was shot down and the genocide began. Democratization had been prompted by French influences (international donors practically forcing the administration's hand). Because the idea of democracy had been presented as both a Tutsi imposition and a colonialist one, it remained a disdainful concept in the cultural mindset of the Hutu majority.

Economic and social developments

The biggest problems facing the government are reintegration of the more than two million refugees, ending the insurgency
Insurgency
An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

 among ex-soldiers and Interahamwe
Interahamwe
The Interahamwe is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been forced out of Rwanda, and have sought asylum in Congo...

 militia fighters and the Rwandan Patriotic Army in the north and southwest of the country, and the shift away from crisis to medium and long-term development planning. The prison population will continue to be an urgent problem for the foreseeable future, having swelled to more than 100,000 in the three years after the war. Trying this many suspects of genocide will tax Rwanda's resources sorely.

The long-term effects of war rape
War rape
War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation, distinguished from sexual assaults and rape committed amongst troops in military service...

 in Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 for the victims include social isolation (social stigma attached to rape meant some husbands left wives who had become victims of war rape, or that the victims were rendered unsuitable for marriage), unwanted pregnancies and babies (some women resorted to self-induced abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

s), sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, gonorrhoea and HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

/AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

.

The Special Rapporteur on Rwanda estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 pregnancies resulted from war rape (between 250,000 and 500,000 Rwandan women and girls had been raped). Rwanda is a patriarchal society and children therefore take the ethnicity of the father, underlining that war rape occurred in the context of genocide.
The main issue involving reintegration is the fact that the violence that had occurred often involved neighbors; people lived next to rapists, murderers and torturers. It was very difficult right after the genocide for Tutsis to trust Hutus, whether or not they had any involvement in the genocide.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

With the return of the refugees, the government began the long-awaited genocide trials, which had an uncertain start at the end of 1996 and inched forward in 1997. In 2001, the government began implementing a participatory justice system, known as Gacaca, in order to address the enormous backlog of cases. Meanwhile, the UN set up the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

, currently based in Arusha
Arusha
Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania. It is the capital of the Arusha Region, which claims a population of 1,288,088, including 281,608 for the Arusha District . Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

. The UN Tribunal has jurisdiction over high level members of the government and armed forces, while Rwanda is responsible for prosecuting lower level leaders and local people.

Twenty-two people were executed in public for their role in the massacre in 1998, eighteen of them in provincial towns where the massacres had occurred, while four were executed at a football field in Kigali by firing squad. The executed included Silas Munyagishali, a Kigali assistant prosecutor, and Froduald Karamira
Froduald Karamira
Froduald Karamira was a Rwandan politician who was found guilty of crimes in organising the implementation of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He was sentenced to death by a Rwandan court and was one of the last 24 individuals executed by Rwanda.-Political career:Karamira was born in Mushubati, Rwanda...

 of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development.

Tensions arose between Rwanda and the UN over the use of the death penalty, though these were largely resolved once Rwanda abolished the punishment in 2007. However, domestic tensions continued over support for the death penalty, and the interest in conducting the trials at home. In ten years the Arusha tribunal only succeeded in sentencing 20 people.

In 2003, in an attempt to redress this mismanagement, the UN appointed Hassan Bubacar Jallow chief prosecutor with exclusive jurisdiction over Rwanda. Faced with the local criminal system's inability to cope with a number of detainees awaiting trial in Rwandan jails reaching 90,000, in 2000 a series of popular tribunals called gacaca court
Gacaca court
The Gacaca court is part of a system of community justice inspired by tradition and established in 2001 in Rwanda, in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, when between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsi, were slaughtered...

s were setup. The convicted are invited to admit their guilt in exchange for significant reductions in their sentences.

On Thursday, December 18, 2008, Theoneste Bagosora
Théoneste Bagosora
Colonel Théoneste Bagosora is a former Rwandan military officer. He is chiefly known for his key role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. And for that, he is sentenced to life imprisonment by the ICTR.-History and career:...

 was found guilty of crimes against humanity. He was charged by UN judge Erik Møse
Erik Møse
Erik Møse is a Norwegian judge. He was the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 2003 to 2007, was the Presiding Judge in Trial Chamber I of the ICTR....

, and sentenced to life in prison. The court also found Bagosora responsible for the deaths of former Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana
Agathe Uwilingiyimana
Agathe Uwilingiyimana was a Rwandan political figure. She served as Prime Minister of Rwanda from 18 July 1993 until her death on 7 April 1994. Her term was ended when she was assassinated during the opening stages of the Rwandan Genocide...

 and 10 Belgian peacekeepers.

Media and popular culture

Canadian Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire became the best-known eyewitness to the genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 after co-writing the 2003 book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda describing his experiences with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Posttraumaticstress disorder is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity,...

. Another firsthand account of the Rwandan genocide is offered by Dr. James Orbinski
James Orbinski
James Jude Orbinski, OC, OOnt, MSC is a Canadian physician, writer, and humanitarian activist. He is an associate professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs. In January 2011, he also assumed the Chair of Global Health at the Dalla Lana...

 in his book An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century.

The critically acclaimed and multiple Academy Award-nominated 2004 film
2004 in film
The year 2004 in film involved some significant events. Major releases of sequels took place. It included blockbuster films like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Passion of the Christ, Meet the Fockers, Blade: Trinity, Spider-Man 2, Alien vs. Predator, Kill Bill Vol...

 Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. Based on real life events which took place in Rwanda during the spring of 1994, the film stars Don Cheadle as hotelier Paul Rusesabagina, who attempts to...

is based on the experiences of Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina
Paul Rusesabagina is a Rwandan humanitarian who has been internationally honored for saving 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. He was the assistant manager of the Sabena Hôtel des Mille Collines before he became the manager of the Hôtel des Diplomates, both in Kigali, Rwanda...

, a Kigali
Kigali
Kigali, population 965,398 , is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation, and has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of...

 hotelier at the Hôtel des Mille Collines
Hôtel des Mille Collines
The Hôtel des Mille Collines is a large hotel in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It became famous as the building in which more than a thousand people took refuge during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994...

 who sheltered over a thousand refugees during the genocide. It is listed by the American Film Institute
American Film Institute
The American Film Institute is an independent non-profit organization created by the National Endowment for the Arts, which was established in 1967 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act...

 as one of the 100 most inspirational movies of all time. This same story is related in Rusesabagina's autobiography An Ordinary Man. Gil Courtemanche
Gil Courtemanche
Gil Courtemanche was a Canadian progressive journalist and novelist in third-world and international politics. He wrote for the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir.Courtemanche was born in Montreal, Quebec...

, a French-Canadian writer, authored Dimanche à la piscine à Kigali (A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali), which also focuses on events in Kigali during the genocide.

In 2005, Alison Des Forges wrote that eleven years after the genocide, films for popular audiences on the subject greatly increased the "widespread realization of the horror that had taken the lives of more than half a million Tutsi". In 2007, Charlie Beckett, Director of POLIS, made the following observation: "How many people saw the movie Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda
Hotel Rwanda is a 2004 American drama film directed by Terry George. It was adapted from a screenplay written by both George and Keir Pearson. Based on real life events which took place in Rwanda during the spring of 1994, the film stars Don Cheadle as hotelier Paul Rusesabagina, who attempts to...

? [it is] ironically the way that most people now relate to Rwanda."

The song "Rwanda" by the punk-ska band Rancid
Rancid (band)
Rancid is an American punk rock band formed in Berkeley, California in 1991. Founded by Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, both of whom previously played in the ska punk band Operation Ivy, Rancid is credited—along with Green Day and The Offspring—for reviving mainstream interest in punk rock in the...

 from the album Rancid
Rancid (2000 album)
Rancid is the eponymous fifth studio album by the American punk rock band Rancid. It is the second eponymous album and was released on August 1, 2000 through frontman Tim Armstrong's label, Hellcat Records. It was the band's first album released through Hellcat...

is about the Rwandan genocide.

Immaculée Ilibagiza
Immaculée Ilibagiza
Immaculée Ilibagiza is a Rwandan author and motivational speaker. She is also a Roman Catholic and Tutsi. Her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust , is an autobiographical work detailing how she survived during the Rwandan Genocide and how she felt when all of her...

 survived the genocide and documented her story in Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (2006). Left to Tell recounts how Immaculée Ilibagiza survived for 91 days with seven other women during the holocaust in a damp and small bathroom, no larger than 3 feet (0.91 m) long and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide.

Brooke Fraser
Brooke Fraser
Brooke Gabrielle Fraser Ligertwood, better known as Brooke Fraser is a New Zealand award-winning folk-pop and Christian music artist...

 wrote the song "Albertine
Albertine (song)
"Albertine" is a song by singer-songwriter Brooke Fraser, and the third single from her second studio album, Albertine. It was largely inspired by a Rwandan orphan, by the name of Albertine, whom Fraser met while there in 2005....

" on her album Albertine
Albertine (album)
Albertine is the second album by New Zealand singer-songwriter, Brooke Fraser. It was released in New Zealand and in the Oceanic region's iTunes store on 4 December 2006. The album was released in Australia on 31 March 2007, where it peaked at #29. The album's lead single is "Deciphering Me". The...

about her time in Rwanda in the 2000s after the genocide.

The punk-ska band Rx Bandits
Rx Bandits
RX Bandits is a four-piece band based in Seal Beach, California. The band formed in 1995 in Orange County, California. They have appeared on the Vans Warped Tour, at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and at The Bamboozle.-Early years :Originally known as...

's song "In All Rwanda's Glory" on their album Progress
Progress (Rx Bandits album)
Progress is an album released by Rx Bandits on July 17, 2001 through Drive-Thru Records.The LP was originally titled Artificial Intelligence and the Fall of Technology.The album was recorded during a tumultuous time in the band's lineup...

, which they say contains "overly political lyrics", is about the Rwandan genocide.

At the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is a film festival founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the TriBeCa neighborhood in Lower Manhattan.The mission of the festival...

 President Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame
Paul Kagame is the sixth and current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front , whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide...

 attended the premiere of Earth Made of Glass, a documentary about the personal and political costs of the Genocide.

Accusations of revisionism

The context of the 1994 Rwandan genocide continues to be a matter of historical debate. There have been frequent charges of revisionism
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see...

. A "double genocides" theory, accusing the Tutsis of engaging in a "counter-genocide" against the Hutus, is promulgated in Black Furies, White Liars (2005), the controversial book by French investigative journalist Pierre Péan
Pierre Péan
Pierre Péan is a renowned French investigative journalist and author of many books concerned with political scandals.-Books, investigations and controversies:...

. Jean-Pierre Chrétien, a French historian whom Péan describes as an active member of the "pro-Tutsi lobby," criticizes Péan's "amazing revisionist passion".

On May 27, 2010, American law professor and attorney Peter Erlinder
Peter Erlinder
C. Peter Erlinder is an American lawyer, originally from Chicago, who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he teaches at William Mitchell College of Law...

 was arrested in Kigali and charged with genocide denial while defending presidential candidate Victoire Ingabire against charges of genocide.

Another person accused of genocide revisionism with respect to Rwanda is the Montreal writer Robin Philpot
Robin Philpot
Robin Philpot is a Quebec journalist and electoral candidate for the Parti Québécois.- Background :Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, where his father Roderick Philpot was an alderman of the city of Fort William, Philpot is a graduate of Fort William Collegiate Institute and earned degrees in...

, whom Gerald Caplan
Gerald Caplan
Gerald Lewis Caplan, PhD is a Canadian academic, public policy analyst, commentator and political activist. He has had a varied career in academia, as a political organizer for the New Democratic Party, in advocacy around education, broadcasting and African affairs and as a commentator in various...

 identified in a 2007 Globe and Mail article as believing that "many people were killed in 1994 by both sides making those who carried out the genocide and their enemies morally equivalent." He further charges that Philpot argued "[t]here was no one-sided conspiracy by armed Hutu forces and militias against a million defenceless Tutsi, he says."

Further reading

  • Beck, Roger B. World History Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2007.
  • Michael Bowen, Passing by;: The United States and genocide in Burundi, 1972, (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1973), 49 pp.
  • René Lemarchand, Selective genocide in Burundi (Report – Minority Rights Group ; no. 20, 1974), 36 pp.
  • Rene Lemarchand, Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide (New York: Woodrow Wilson Center and Cambridge University Press, 1996), 232 pp.
  • Edward L. Nyankanzi, Genocide: Rwanda and Burundi (Schenkman Books, 1998), 198 pp.
  • Scherrer, Christian. Genocide and crisis in Central Africa: conflict roots, mass violence, and regional war; foreword by Robert Melson. Praeger, 2002.
  • Weissman, Stephen R. "Preventing Genocide in Burundi Lessons from International Diplomacy", United States Institute of Peace
    United States Institute of Peace
    The United States Institute of Peace was created by Congress as a non-partisan, federal institution that works to prevent or end violent conflict around the world...

  • Woods, Michael, and Mary B. Woods. Ancient Transportation: from Camels to Canals. Minneapolis: Rinestone, 2000


External links


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