Who? Extremist Hutus and Interhamwe killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

What? Mass killings and brutality for Hutu power.

When? Over a period of 100 days, April-July 1994.

Where? Rwanda, Africa.

Why? To destroy opposing Tutsis and retain Hutu power.

How? Through mass murder, mass graves, war rape, and other horrific war tactics.

Map of Rwanda

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Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered all over Rwanda. Ethnic tension even bled over into surrounding nations, as borders were not heavily enforced.


April 6, 1994: Rwandan President Habyarimana killed after plane shot down by Hutu extremists.
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April 7, 1994: Interahamwe and Rwandan military begin killing Tutsis. UN does not intervene.

April 8, 1994: Rwandan Patriotic Front launches offensive against Interahamwe.
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April 9-10, 1994: European and American civilians are rescued by their respective governments.
April 14, 1994: Belgium withdraws peacekeeping troops.
May 17, 1994: UN identifies acts as "genocide."
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May 22, 1994: RPF gains control over certain parts of Rwanda.
July 18, 1994: War is declared over, ceasefire.

The Perpetrators

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Paul Rusesabagina

  • Rusesabagina was the manager of the Sabena Hotel de Milles Collines in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
  • During the genocide he saved 1,268 Tutsis and moderate Hutus from being mutilated by the extremist Hutus and Interahamwe.

The 2004 film Hotel Rwanda was based upon Paul Rusabagina's efforts to save Rwandans from the genocide.

Important Quotes

"Rwanda is clinically dead as a nation."
Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 1994.

"If the pictures of tens of thousands of human bodies being gnawed on by dogs do not wake us out of our apathy, I do not know what will."
Undersecretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan in 1994, as quoted in The East Africa 18 March 1996.

"The international community must hand them – and the sooner the better. The crime was capital and the punishment must be capital."
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, from a speech at the 'Conflict in Africa Conference', Arusha, Tanzania, as reported in New Vision, 11 February 1998.

"The most horrible and systematic human massacre we have had occasion to witness since the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis."
British Philosopher Bertrand Russell in 1964, as quoted in A People Betrayed: The Role of the West in Rwanda's Genocide by Linda Melvern, 2000.

The ‘Hutu Ten Commandments’

as published in Kangura, No. 6(December 1990)

1. Every Hutu must know that the Tutsi woman, wherever she may be, is working for the Tutsi ethnic cause. In consequence, any Hutu is a traitor who:
- Acquires a Tutsi wife;
- Acquires a Tutsi concubine;
- Acquires a Tutsi secretary or protégée.

2.Every Hutu must know that our Hutu daughters are more worthy and more conscientious as women, as wives and as mothers. Aren’t they lovely, excellent secretaries, and more honest!

3.Hutu women, be vigilant and make sure that your husbands, brothers and sons see reason.

4. All Hutus must know that all Tutsis are dishonest in business. Their only goal is ethnic superiority. We have learned this by experience from experience. In consequence, any Hutu is a traitor who:
- Forms a business alliance with a Tutsi
- Invests his own funds or public funds in a Tutsi enterprise
- Borrows money from or loans money to a Tusti
- Grants favors to Tutsis (import licenses, bank loans, land for construction, public markets...)

5. Strategic positions such as politics, administration, economics, the military and security must be restricted to the Hutu.

6. A Hutu majority must prevail throughout the educational system (pupils, scholars, teachers).

7. The Rwandan Army must be exclusively Hutu. The war of October 1990 has taught us that. No soldier may marry a Tutsi woman.

8. Hutu must stop taking pity on the Tutsi.

9. Hutu wherever they be must stand united, in solidarity, and concerned with the fate of their Hutu brothers. Hutu within and without Rwanda must constantly search for friends and allies to the Hutu Cause, beginning with their Bantu brothers.
Hutu must constantly counter Tutsi propaganda.
Hutu must stand firm and vigilant against their common enemy: the Tutsi.

10. The Social Revolution of 1959, the Referendum of 1961 and the Hutu Ideology must be taught to Hutu of every age. Every Hutu must spread the word wherever he goes. Any Hutu who persecutes his brother Hutu for spreading and teaching this ideology is a traitor.

Images of the Rwandan Genocide

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