One of the heaviest moments in human history. An airplane crash in 1994 carrying the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi provided a spark for an organized campaign of violence against the Tutsi and moderate Hutu civilians across the country.
Precursors to Genocide
Rwandan Wracked By Ethnic Violence
Civil war broke out in Rwanda in 1990, exacerbating existing tensions between the Tutsi minority and Hutu majority. The civil war began when Rwandan exiles formed a group called the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and launched an offensive against Rwanda from their home base in Uganda.
MY NEIGHBOR MY KILLER
On April 6th 1994, as Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana returned from a round of talks in neighboring Tanzania, he was killed when his plane was shot down outside of the country’s capital, Kigali.
Ethnic tensions existed in Rwanda for centuries, growing even more extreme after Rwanda gained independence from Belgium in 1962. In the 1990’s, the Hutu political elite blamed the Tutsi population for increasing political, social, and economic problems in the country. They also associated Tutsi civilians with the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel group.
The tiny central African country of Rwandan
Despite these reports, President Clinton specifically avoided calling the massacre genocide to avoid U.S. involvement. The Clinton administration held on to the idea that there were no U.S. interests in Rwanda, so it was not their place to intervene. They also believed that U.S. credibility would be diminished if they deemed Rwanda acts of genocide and then did not step it to intervene.
When the killing stopped, the RPF established a coalition government with Pasteur Bizimungu (a Hutu) as president and Paul Kagame (a Tutsi) as vice president and defense minister.
WHEN PEACE COMES, HOW DO YOU MAKE IT RIGHT AGAIN?
AN EPIC EMOTIONAL JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF COEXISTENCE IN RWANDA
BY AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER ANNE AGHIDN
“Rwanda can be a paradise again, but it will take the love of the entire world…and that’s as it should be, for what happened in Rwanda happened to us all – humanity was wounded by the genocide.”– Immacuée Ilibagiza, Rwandan author
" WHAT HAPPENED IN RWANDA HAPPENED TO US ALL- HUMANITY WAS WOUNDED BY THE GENOCIDE. "