AUHRM Project Focus Area: Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan Genocide which was initiated in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali by extreme Hutu nationalists who incited Hutu citizens to take up arms against the Tutsi’s in 1994 from April to July which ended in the killing of up to 800,000 Tutsi minorities by members of the Hutu ethnic Majority. Evidence of the genocide pre dated the actual 1994 events, during the colonial rule, the Tutsi’s increased their hierarchy and dominated other ethnic groups, and this transformed the society into an ethic caste system.

Following independence, the system could not be maintained and after the colonial powers switched support to the Hutus, they in turn encouraged retaliation against the Tutsis resulting in thousands of people being killed. After the coup d’état by Juvenal Habyariman against President Kayibanda who favoured Hutus the most, Rwanda returned to stability and development was widespread. However President Habyariman increasingly became authoritarian and corrupt.

In 1990 the intense war grew resulting in many deaths however a peace agreement was entered in Arusha, Tanzania which proposed democracy, peace and power sharing. This was struck a blow when President Habyariman was killed in a plane crash shoot down. The genocide is the worst form ever experienced on the continent where almost 1 million people were killed in a short space of time.