Rwandan Genocide: Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.

By AnaJG
  • Belgian Colonists

    Belgian Colonists
    It began when Belgian colonists arrived in 1916. They produced identity cards for every individual classifying their ethnicity and considered the Tutsis as superior to the Hutus.
  • Favoring the Tutsi

    Favoring the Tutsi
    Both Germany and Belgium turned the traditional Hutu-Tutsi relationship into a class system. The minority Tutsi (14%) are favored over the Hutus (85%) and given privileges and western-style education. The Belgians used the Tutsi minority to enforce their rule.
  • Ethnic Identity Cards

    Ethnic Identity Cards
    Belgians introduce a system of ethnic identity cards differentiating Hutus from Tutsis.
  • Begining Riots

    Begining Riots
    Resentment in the Hutus grew and culminated to produce a series of riots in 1959. These riots resulted in over 20,000 Tutsis dead and Tutsi refugees in the countries of Burundi, Tanzania, and Uganda. Conflict, however, did not end there.
  • Hutus Gain Power

    Hutus Gain Power
    A Hutu revolution in Rwanda installs a new president, Gregoire Kayibanda; fighting continues and thousands of Tutsis are forced to flee.
  • Rwanda Independence

    Rwanda Independence
    When Belgium granted Rwanda independence, the Hutus took over. The Tutsi then turned into the scapegoat for every conflict in Rwanda. This went on to be the status quo until the years before the genocide.
  • Response to Military Attack

    Response to Military Attack
    Further massacre of Tutsis, this time in response to military attack by exiled Tutsis in Burundi. Again more refugees leave the country. It is estimated that by the mid-1960s half of the Tutsi population is living outside Rwanda.
  • Habyarimana's Attempt to Resore Order

    Habyarimana's Attempt to Resore Order
    Purge of Tutsis from universities. Fresh outbreak of killings, again directed at Tutsi community. The army chief of staff, General Juvenal Habyarimana, seizes power, pledging to restore order. He sets up a one-party state. A policy of ethnic quotas is entrenched in all public service employment. Tutsis are restricted to nine percent of available jobs.
  • Rwandan Patriotic Front

    Rwandan Patriotic Front
    The Rwanda Patriotic Front or RPF is formed from Tutsi refugees in Uganda, their main goal being to overthrow the president.
  • Interahamwe

    The Rwandan army begins to train and arm civilian militias known as interahamwe ("Those who stand together") For the next three years Habyarimana stalls on the establishment of a genuine multi-party system with power-sharing. Throughout this period thousands of Tutsis are killed in separate massacres around the country. Opposition politicians and newspapers are persecuted.
  • Peace Accord between Habyarimana and the RPF

    Peace Accord between Habyarimana and the RPF
    Following months of negotiations, Habyarimana and the RPF sign a peace accord that allows for the return of refugees and a coalition Hutu-RPF government. 2,500 U.N. troops are deployed in Kigali to oversee the implementation of the accord.
  • September 1993-March 1994

    September 1993-March 1994
    President Habyarimana stalls on setting up of power-sharing government. Training of militias intensifies. Extremist radio station, Radio Mille Collines, begins broadcasting exhortations to attack the Tutsis. Human rights groups warn the international community of impending calamity.
  • UN Receives Cable

    UN Receives Cable
    The UN received a cable January 11th of 1994 by the UN Force Commander in Rwanda requesting the protection of an informant who outlined to him Hutu plans to exterminate the Tutsis, plans to kill Belgian troops to provoke their withdrawal from Rwanda, and the location of Interahamwe (Hutu paramilitary organization) arms caches. He further requested for the arm caches to be raided. The UN disagreed and only let him inform the President of Rwanda of what he found.
  • President Habyarimana Killed

    President Habyarimana Killed
    The assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on the evening of 6 April 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. The assassination was suspected to either come from the Rwandan Patriotic Front or Hutu extermists.
  • Genocide Begins

    Genocide Begins
    The Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) and the interahamwe set up roadblocks and go from house to house killing Tutsis and moderate Hutu politicians. Thousands die on the first day. U.N. forces stand by while the slaughter goes on. They are forbidden to intervene, as this would breach their "monitoring" mandate.
  • Hutu Prime Minister Killed

    Hutu Prime Minister Killed
    The U.N. cuts its forces from 2,500 to 250 following the murder of ten Belgian soldiers assigned to guard the moderate Hutu prime minister, Agathe Uwiliyingimana. The prime minister is killed and the Belgians are disarmed, tortured, and shot and hacked to death. They had been told not to resist violently by the U.N. force commander, as this would have breached their mandate.
  • U.N. Actions

    U.N. Actions
    As the slaughter of the Tutsis continues the U.N. agrees to send 6,800 troops and policemen to Rwanda with powers to defend civilians. A Security Council resolution says "acts of genocide may have been committed." Deployment of the mainly African U.N. forces is delayed because of arguments over who will pay the bill and provide the equipment. The United States argues with the U.N. over the cost of providing heavy armoured vehicles for the peacekeeping forces.
  • UN Action June 22nd of 1994

    UN Action June 22nd of 1994
    With still no sign of U.N. deployment, the Security Council authorizes the deployment of French forces in south-west Rwanda. They create a "safe area" in territory controlled by the government. Killings of Tutsis continue in the safe area, although some are protected by the French. The United States government eventually uses the word "genocide."
  • Ceasefire

    Finally, in July, the RPF captured Kigali. The government collapsed and the RPF declared a ceasefire.
  • Aid for Rwanda

    Aid for Rwanda
    Western governments, including the U.S. ($60 million), pledge $600 million in aid to Rwanda.
  • Refugees in the Aftermath

    Refugees in the Aftermath
    More than 720,000 Hutu refugees around Goma refuse to return to Rwanda.
  • Hutu Trials

    Hutu Trials
    Trials begin for Hutus involved in 1994 genocide.
    Tanzania closes refugee camps and repatriates Rwandans, bringing the total to over one million refugees.
  • Annan Apologizes for Rwandan Genocide

    Annan Apologizes for Rwandan Genocide
    The independent investigation faults the Security Council as well as the U.S., France and Belgium for failing to stop the genocide. "All of us must bitterly regret that we did not do more to prevent it. There was a United Nations force in the country at the time, but it was neither mandated nor equipped for the kind of forceful action which would have been needed to prevent or halt the genocide. On behalf of the United Nations, I acknowledge this failure and express my deep remorse."
  • "Scars and Stories"

    "Scars and Stories"
    The Fray's song titled "Heartbeat" is inspired by Rwandan Genocide and healing. The song was inspired by lead singer and writer Isaac Slade when he was visiting the Rwandan capital of Kigali last year standing on the site where more than 250,000 victims of the country's 1994 genocide were buried.
  • Decent Burials

    Decent Burials
    The remains of over 25,000 victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were on Sunday accorded a decent burial at the recently refurbished Cyanika Memorial Site in Nyamagabe District.