Once, Hutus and Tutsis lived in harmony in Central Africa. About 600 years ago, Tutsis, a tall, warrior people, moved south from Ethiopia. Though much smaller in number, they conquered the Hutus, who agreed to raise crops for them in return for protection.
Belgian Colony Favored Tutsis - taller, longer necks, slimmer noses, more European Tutsis become elite minority(15%) Tutsi Monarchy Hutus become oppressed majority (85%)
Independence 1962 end of colonialism, Rwanda becomes a republic with a Hutu majority Incidents of revenge, Hutus attacking Tutsis But, most live in peace Intermarriage, etc.
1973 Coup Defense Minister Habyarimana seizes power in a military coup. Promotes Hutu Power to justify his dicatorship. But most Rwandans continue to identify themselves as “Mixed” in Census Polls.
1979 RPF Rwandan Patriotic Front Tutsi rebels 1990 they invade Rwanda President agrees to power sharing arrangement Interhamwe - Hutu militia Secretly funded by military Allowed to run wild Rwandan Army - Funded by France
Militant Hutu leaders fear losing power to RPF. Whip up old suspicions and hatreds. Exploit Hutu identity for political gain.
Arusha Accords between the Rwandan government and the RPF was brokered by the UN April 6, 1994 - On his return from signing in Tanzania, the Rwandan presidents plane is shot down. Tutsi rebels (RPF) are blamed. But could have been Interhame or the military Trigger cause for the genocide. “Cut the tall trees”
-The UN appeared largely detached from the realities on the ground. - Focus on evacuating only foreign nationals from Rwanda -Belgian peacekeepers forced to abandon a technical school filled with 2,000 refugees, while Hutu militants waited outside, drinking beer and chanting " Hutu Power." Hutu Power -After the Belgians left, the militants entered the school and massacred those inside, including hundreds of children. ?
UNAMIR - UN African Mission for Rwanda Ignores abuses of Hutu gov’t Peacekeepers can’t shoot Intervention Force focuses on protecting foreign nationals Troops w/drawn after 10 Belgians killed
"I still believe that if an organisation decided to wipe out the 320 mountain gorillas there would be still more of a reaction by the international community…than in attempting to protect thousands of human beings being slaughtered in the same country.” Dallaire
July 1994 America Still reeling from BHD Reluctant to commit ground troops
Hutus Flee Rwanda World community reaches out to aid them UN Refugee Camps controlled by Hutu militants
Rwanda Today Books and Beyond Program Rwandan Schools form partnership with a school in New Jersey English replaces French in classrooms
PRESIDENT KAGAM E 2000 to Present Tutsi RPF Leader of liberation forces Critical of Western Response to Genocide Believes in Capitalism and Free Markets Rwanda Economic success story, but little political freedom