Rwanda to mark 25 years since the genocide that left 800,000 dead

Rwanda genocide starts a day after a plane carrying the then Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot down as it came to land at Kigali airport.

KIGALI, RWANDA, (REUTERS) – On April 7, Rwanda observes the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide, which saw 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed in 100 days by the Hutu-led government and ethnic militias.


1990: Rebels of the Tutsi-dominated Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) invade northern Rwanda from neighbouring Uganda. The RPF’s success prompts President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, to speed up political reforms to legalise opposition parties.

August 1993: Rwanda and the RPF sign a deal to end years of civil war, allowing for power-sharing and refugees’ return. But President Habyarimana is slow in implementing it. A transitional government fails to take off. Each side accuses the other of blocking its formation.

April 6, 1994 – Habyarimana and neighbouring Burundi President Cyprien Ntaryamira are killed in a rocket attack on their plane.

April 7, 1994 – Presidential guards kill moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiwimana who had tried to calm tensions.

– Habyarimana’s death triggers a 100-day orgy of violence, perpetrated mainly by Hutus against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. About 800,000 people are killed. RPF starts new offensive.

– RPF seizes control of Rwanda after driving the 40,000-strong Hutu army and more than 2 million civilian Hutus into exile in Burundi, Tanzania and the former Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo.

July 1994 – A new government is sworn in with Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, named president and RPF commander Paul Kagame as vice-president. Kagame is elected president in April 2000.

December 1996 – Rwanda’s first genocide trial opens under the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

April 7, 2014 – United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon apologies to Rwanda for not stepping in during the hour of need.

March 20, 2017- Pope Francis apologises to Kagame for the role the “sins and failings of the Church” during the genocide

Associated Links

  • Habyarimana and Burundian
  • Rwandan genocide
  • Continents
  • Africa
  • Hutu people
  • Rwanda
  • Countries
  • Cyprien Ntaryamira
  • Kigali
  • Burundi
  • Kigali International Airport
  • Juvénal Habyarimana
  • Rwandan plane crash

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