Timeline of the Rwandan Genocide

By mlevit
  • Late 19th Century

    Late 19th Century
    In 1890, the German empire would claim Rwanda as part of German East Africa and enforces rule through the Tutsi monarchy, which Rwanda operates under.
    The Germans believed that the Tutsis was racially superior to the Hutus. Despite the fact that the two groups are not different races, rather just different social classes. The Tutsi were the minority The Third ethnic group, called the Twa is an even smaller minority.
  • After World War I

    After World War I
    Rwanda is given to Belgium in 1918 and is turned into Ruanda-Urundi. Under the Belgians, the race rhetoric is intensified.
    The Hutu are forced into labour to work for the Tutsi. This brutal and sometimes fatal work is overseen by Tutsi enforcers.
    Segregation exists in education, housing and work. The Tutsi are preferred in all these things.
  • After World War II

    The U.N. takes over control of Ruanda-Urundi in 1946 and the Belgians prepare it for independence and majority rule (meaning the Hutu would rule). This causes conflict between the two groups.
    Hutu and Tutsi political parties are formed.
    In Nov, 1959, Hutu break out in riot, arson, looting, etc. against the Tutsi. The King, known as the Mwami, proposes a counter-attack, however, the Belgians interfere and ceases any plans of attack.
  • The End of the Tutsi Monarchy

    The End of the Tutsi Monarchy
    The Belgians set up a vote to decide which group would lead Rwanda. The Hutu, who was the majority in the country voted for their republic. Due to the conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu, the Mwami and over 300,000 Tutsi enter exile.
  • Ruanda-Urundi Splits into Rwanda and Burundi

    Ruanda-Urundi Splits into Rwanda and Burundi
    Ruanda-Urundi splits into Rwanda and Burundi. Tutsi refugees move to in Burundi or Uganda. The Tutsi in Uganda, fight several skirmishes against the new Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) . Due to this, Tutsi discrimination was quickly ushered into the republic of Rwanda, under the guise of cracking down on rebel activity. Rwanda was no home for the Tutsi.
    In Burundi, the Tutsis hold power.
  • Burundian genocide

    Burundian genocide
    Under the presidency of Michel Micombero, the Tutsi army in Burundi kills over 200,000 mostly educated and political Hutu. Once the “elite” are massacred, armed forced moves towards the larger civilian population.
  • Habyarimana is President and the RPF is Formed

    Habyarimana is President and the RPF is Formed
    Juvénal Habyarimana (Hutu) seizes power in Rwanda. He turns Rwanda into a one-party state. He makes a small, ineffective effort to reconcile the conflict of the Tutsis and Hutus. The Burundian genocide is fresh in people’s memory, thus no reform would happen.

    Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame forms the Rwandese Alliance for National Unity which is then reformed into the Rwandan Political Front (FPR or RPF). This is a armed force that soon invades Rwanda to take back the county for the Tutsi.
  • The Rwandan Civil War Begins

    The Rwandan Civil War Begins
    The RPF invades Rwanda to take back the county for the Tutsi and begins a war against the Hutu Rwandan Army. In a few days, Commander Rwigyma (right) is killed. Kagame (left) arrive in Rwanda from being in America to see the RPF nearly destroyed.
  • Akazu is Formed

    Akazu is Formed
    The civil war was put on pause until 1991. In that year, President Habyarimana's wife, Agathe Habyarimana (pictured), a Hutu hardliner and helped form the secret Akazu clique, a radical group that spread propaganda against the Tutsi, encouraging discrimination and violence. The Akazu will be a leading force in the atrocities that occur in the 1994 genocide.
  • Pesky Peace Negotiations

    Pesky Peace Negotiations
    Peace negotiations begin between Kagame, Habyarimana, and the Akazu. But Kagame only wanted to appease international onlookers, Akazu rejected any form of peace, and Habyarimana only wanted to remain in his position of power.
    Also, Agathe Habyarimana creates the Thousand Hills radio station, which spews anti-Tusti rhetoric. Her affiliate, Theoneste Bagosora, who is also involved in the negotiations, encourages militias across Rwanda, which spawns the loosely-organized "Interahamwe".
  • The Lead Up

    The Lead Up
    Ethnic ID cards are implemented by the Belgians: features are measured to determine if someone is Tutsi or Hutu. Once their "race" is determined, it is printed on an identity card.
    Febuary: mass killings brakes out with the Akazu to blame. The RPF responds by leaving the peace negotiations and reopening the offensive. Six months later, the dymanic in Rwanda completely changed: the FAR is weak, the RPF is strong. In Kigali, the capital, the RPF leaves a trail of destruction behind them.
  • The Arusha Accrord

    The Arusha Accrord
    The Arusha Accords is signed on August 4, 1993. This accord sets power sharing, a unified armed force, and more. The accord was overseen by the UN's new mission, UNAMIR (United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda). Canadian General, Romeo Dallaire was the major general of this mission. The Arusha Accord is not effective in peacemaking. Hutu power rallies becomes more common and the Tutsi are antagonized by the Interahamwe. Talks of a "final solution" is going on.
  • Genocide Begins

    Genocide Begins
    Habyarimana's plane is shot down and he is killed. Hutu extremists blame the RPF and immediately starts a well-organized campaign of slaughter. The RPF believe it was done by the Hutu as an excuse to start a genocide. This is the start of a genocide that will last for 100 days. Tutsis are killed by Hutu soldiers and packs of mostly Hutu civilians armed with not much more than machetes brutally and efficiently murder mostly Tutsis. Hutu extremists also murder other Hutus who oppose them.
  • Cut the Tall Trees

    Cut the Tall Trees
    The Thousand Hills radio broadcasts "cut the tall trees". This is a signal for the Interahamwe to move through the streets and attack and butcher Tutsis. The FAR at best, did nothing, and at worst, aided in the attacks. UNAMIR is not permitted to intervene due to only having the position of keeping peace, not making it. To interfere is considered to compromise neutrality.

    Hutu militia and the FAR sets up road blocks where Tutsis are slaughtered. Thousands die within the first day of genocide.
  • Only Expats are Rescued

    Only Expats are Rescued
    On April 9th and 10th, French, Belgian, and U.S. forces land in Rwanda and begin evacuating only expats. No Rwandans gets rescued. With theses counties' departure, the force that could have stopped the genocide much sooner left. About 20,000 people have died in only 4 days of genocide.
  • The Failure of UNAMIR

    The Failure of UNAMIR
    The UN security council votes to withdrawal most UNAMIR troops. Within the first few weeks of genocide, policymakers in France, Belgian, the U.S., and the U.N. understood the magnitude of the situation in Rwanda. However, international leaders refused to use the word "genocide", which eliminated any obligation to "prevent and punish" the perpetrators.
  • The End of Genocide

    The End of Genocide
    In late June to early July, the RPF troops and some Tutsi refugees that flocked behind them surrounds Kigali, the capital. They defeated the FAR in this region using tactics of traditional and psychological warefare. The RPF takes over the capital by July 4. in mid July, The government collapses and a ceasefire is declared. This is the end to the 100 day genocide, which in total left 800,000 Rwandans dead.
  • After the Genocide

    After the Genocide
    After the genocide, members of the FAR, Interahamwe, Akuzu and other fearing Hutus flees to Zaire and lives of refugees. In 1995, Extermist Hutu militias, as wel as the Zairian government attacks Zairean Tutsis. The same year, a UN international tribunal charges and sentences powerful figures responsible for the atrocity.
    Decades of violence and chaos makes Rwanda to be a shell of its former self and 40% of the population is gone.
    The genocide paved the road to the Congo Wars that is to come.