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Ovaherero Genocide Foundation

1994 Rwanda


In the early 1990s tensions were running high between the Hutu majority and Tutsi minority. A civil war broke out when the Rwandan exiles, mostly Tutsis, formed the group Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The RPF blamed the government for not recognizing the Tutsi refugees. On April 6, 1994 President Juvenal Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down right outside Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Both the Hutus and Tutsis were blamed for it. Within hours after the crash the Hutu rebels took over Kigali and started slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The violence spread throughout the country quickly and in a period of three months about 800,000 people were killed, which were mostly the Tutsi minority. By July 2004 the Tutsi RPF gained control of most of Rwanda and about 2 million people, mostly Hutus, fled to refugee camps in nearby countries.