roots genos (Greek for family, tribe or
race) and -cide (Latin - occidere or cideo -
"any of the following acts committed with
intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a
national, ethnic, racial or religious group.
Definition we will use: a mass killing of an
ethnic, racial, or religious group
Genocide in Rwanda
A Case Study
Ethnic groups Hutu’s
1950’s Hutu’s overthrow
the Belgium and Tutsi
1962 Rwanda and
Burundi are formed
Hutu’s gain control of Rwanda in
1973 and persecute the Tutsi’s
forcing many to flee
1990 Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic
Front invade Rwanda sending
the country into chaos in an
attempt to take back control
Thousands leave the country as
refugees and go to Zaire
(modern day D. R. Congo)
Peace plan for sharing power
between Tutsi’s and Hutu’s is
set in 1993
April 6, 1994
Rwandan President Habyarimana is
killed after a still-mysterious missile
shoots down his plane. Hutu extremists
quickly seize control of the government.
Over the next 100 days, on average,
8,000 Rwandans a day will be
butchered. It is the fastest rate of mass
killings in the twentieth century. Some
800,000 people - roughly 10% of the
population - are murdered. Ninety
percent of the victims are Tutsis.
April 9, 10, 11
Evidence mounts of massacres
targeting ordinary Tutsis. Front
page newspaper stories cite
reports of "tens of thousands"
dead and "a pile of corpses six
feet high" outside a main
Estimated Death Toll: 32,000
The New York Times reports the shooting and
hacking to death of some 1000 men, women and
children in a church where they sought refuge.
Estimated Death Toll: 72,000
April 21, 22
The U.S. and the entire U.N. Security Council
vote to withdraw 90% of the peacekeepers in
At the urging of Human Rights Watch, the White
House issues a statement calling on four
Rwandan military leaders to "end the violence."
Estimated Death Toll: 112,000
Pope John Paul II uses the word
"genocide" for the first time in
describing the situation in Rwanda.
This same day, Czechoslovakia and
Argentina introduce a draft resolution to
the U.N. Security Council that includes
the word "genocide.”
In the United States: the term
“genocide” would force American
military involvement in Rwanda
Estimated Death Toll: 160,000
A Pentagon memo rejects a proposal from Gen.
Dallaire and State Department officials to diminish
the killings by using Pentagon technology to jam the
extremists' hate radio transmissions.
"We have … concluded jamming is an ineffective
and expensive mechanism.… International legal
conventions complicate airborne or ground based
jamming and the mountainous terrain reduces the
effectiveness of either option. … It costs
approximately $8500 per flight hour … it would be
wiser to use air to assist in the [food] relief effort."
Estimated Death Toll: 232,000
Eleven weeks into the genocide, with still no sign of a
U.N. deployment to Rwanda, the U.N. Security Council
authorizes France to unilaterally intervene in southwest
French forces create a safe area in territory controlled by
the Rwanda Hutu government. But killings of Tutsis
continue in the safe area.
Estimated Death Toll: 616,000
By this date, Tutsi RPF (Rwandan
Patriotic Front) forces have captured
Kigali (The Rwandan capital). The
Hutu government flees to Zaire,
followed by a tide of refugees. The
French end their mission in Rwanda
and are replaced by Ethiopian U.N.
troops. The RPF sets up an interim
government in Kigali.
Although disease and more killings
claim additional lives in the refugee
camps, the genocide is over.
US never gets involved because the US
takes a stance that it will only personally
get involved in any situation if it effects
their country’s interest
100 days of killing
An estimated 800,000
Rwandans would be killed
during the genocide.
What does genocide mean?
What were the names of the two ethnic
groups fighting in Rwanda? Which group
was killing the other?
What was U.S. response in Rwanda?