With just 7 million people, Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Central Africa. This small country has two many ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsi. The Hutu's make up 90% of Rwanda's population, but the Tutsi had more power and dominated Hutu peasants for decades. In 1962, the Hutu's took over and started to discriminate and carry out acts of violence against the Tutsi.
As the Hutu took over, over 200,000 Tutsi fled to other countries and formed the a rebel army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front. On April 6th, 1994, a jet carrying the Rwandan president was shot down. Hutu's began to target the Tutsi. Hutu militia were armed with many weapons, including machetes, clubs, guns, and grenades. It is estimated that about 10,000 people were killed each day.
Countries removed their own troops from Rwanda, leaving the Tutsi helpless. Finally, the United Nations Security Council sent 5,000 troops back to Rwanda, but failed to stop the massacre. The killings finally stopped when the Tutsi rebel army managed to defeat the Hutu and stop the genocide in July of 1994. Over 800,000 Tutsi were killed by the Hutu. As a result, over one-tenth of the Rwanda population had been killed.
- Extra Facts!
- Killings only lasted about 100 days.
- Tribal cards of Hutu and Tutsi meant the difference between life and death.
- Corpses were covered with banana leaves to hide them from aerial photography.
- Unlike other genocides, The Rwanda Genocide was not kept a secret.