The Rwandan genocide was intended to murder any Tutsi in Rwanda bythe Rwandan Hutu powered government. The genocide started with the death of thesecond president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana. Habyarimana’s plane was shotdown on Kigali airport on April 6th, 1994 and only a few hours afterthis news spread the killing of Tutsis began.
2 The Hutu commandersblamed the president’s death on the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which is thecurrent political party in Rwanda, and influenced the angry mob of Hutu’s tokill all of the Tutsi members. The genocide spread throughout 6 provinces ofRwanda on just the first day. When peace officers received calls Kigali, thecapital and largest city in Rwanda, they spread a hoax that the RPF had killed Habyarimana.This was believable due to the tension between the Tutsi and Hutu clan, itwould make sense for a political party run by the Tutsi group to assassinatethe president who was not only of the opposing party but also the opposingethnic group. By killing the president, the Tutsi group could not only get inpolitical power but also kill the leader of their rival clan.
The genocide alsoonly affected areas that were under the National Republican Movement forDemocracy and Development party and not the RPF. Meaning that the party leadersin those areas were actually the ones who encouraged the Hutu citizens to killthe Tutsi. In just the firstsix weeks of the genocide 800,000 Rwandan citizens were murdered which makesthis genocide compete with the Holocaust because five times more Tutsi werekilled within the first six weeks than Jewish civilians.
Now so did the killersidentify the Tutsi and Hutu? When in small neighborhoods where everyone knewwhat clan, each individual was apart of it was easy for the Hutu to eliminatethe Tutsi. But in industrial areas, road blocks where set up as if they werecrossing the border of your country, and they would be required to youridentity card which included their ethnic group. Anyone found to be with aTutsi were killed on the spot. However, Tutsi members weren’t the only oneskilled, Hutu members showing mercy in any form were also killed. As thekillings started to occur in the northwestern part of Rwanda the RPF started toget things slightly under control near the end of April in the areas of Kigaliand Byumba. But what could the RPF do there now, all the Tutsi civilians werenow dead.
On June 23th, about 2500 United Nations soldiers entered thesouthwestern part of Rwanda to carry out Opération Turquoise. Although themission wasn’t very successful it was intended to try and stop the violence andcreate a safe zone for the remaining Tutsi members. In July, the RPF had gottencontrol of the country, excluding the area used by the Opération Turquoisesoldiers. The genocide ended on July 18th, when the RPF took controlof the northwestern part of Rwanda. Once the Tutsi had got control over thecountry, the Hutus fled to Burunadi, Tanzania, Uganda.