Time line to Genocide in Rwanda by pengxiang


									                                Time line to Genocide in Rwanda
Philip Gourevitch all page numbers are to his book unless otherwise specified
1. 4/6/1994
   A. Rwandan President Habyarimana and the Burundian President are killed when
      Habyarimana’s plane is shot down near Kigali Airport. Hutu extremists, suspecting that the
      Rwandan president is finally about to implement the Arusha Peace Accords, are believed to
      be behind the attack. The killings begin that night.
   B. Arusha Peace Accords,
2. April 7, 1994
   A. The Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) and Hutu militia (the interahamwe) set up roadblocks
      and go from house to house killing Tutsis and moderate Hutu politicians. Thousands die on
      the first day. Some U.N. camps shelter civilians, but most of the U.N. peackeeping forces
      (UNAMIR--United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda) stand by while the slaughter
      goes on. They are forbidden to intervene, as this would breach their “monitoring” mandate.
   B. On this day, ten Belgian soldiers with UNAMIR, assigned to guard the moderate Hutu
      Prime Minister, are tricked into giving up their weapons. They are tortured and murdered.
   C. Also on this day, President Clinton issues a statement: “... shocked and deeply saddened ...
      horrified that elements of the Rwandan security forces have sought out and murdered
      Rwandan officials ... extend my condolences ... condemn these actions and I call on all
      parties to cease any such actions immediately ...”
3. April 8, 1994 The Tutsi Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) launches a major offensive to end the
   killings and rescue 600 of its troops surrounded in Kigali. The troops had been based in the city
   as part of the Arusha Accords.
   A. President Clinton speaks to the press about Rwanda– “... I mention it only because there are
      a sizable number of Americans there and it is a very tense situation. And I just want to assure
      the families of those who are there that we are doing everything we possible can to be on
      top of the situation to take all the appropriate steps to try to assure the safety of our citizens
4. April 9-10, 1994
   A. France and Belgium send troops to rescue their citizens. American civilians are also airlifted
      out. No Rwandans are rescued, not even Rwandans employed by Western governments in
      their embassies, consulates, etc.
5. April 11, 1994
   A. The International Red Cross estimates that tens of thousands of Rwandans have been
      murdered. At the Don Bosco school, protected by Belgian UNAMIR soldiers, the number
      of civilians seeking refuge reaches 2,000. That afternoon, the U.N. soldiers are ordered to
      withdraw to the airport. Most of the civilians they abandon are killed.
6. April 14, 1994
   A. One week after the murder of the ten Belgian soldiers, Belgium withdraws from UNAMIR.
7. April 21, 1994
   A. The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to withdraw most of the UNAMIR troops,
      cutting the force from 2,500 to 270.
   B. The International Red Cross estimates that tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of
      Rwandans are now dead.
8. April 28, 1994
   A. State Department spokeswoman Christine Shelley is asked whether what is happening in
      Rwanda is a genocide. She responds,
              “...the use of the term ‘genocide’ has a very precise legal meaning, although it’s not
              strictly a legal determination. There are other factors in there as well.”
   B. However, a secret intelligence report by the State Department issued as early as the end of
      April calls the killings a genocide.
9. April 30, 1994
   A. The U.N. Security Council passes a resolution condemning the killing, but omits the word
      “genocide.” Had the term been used, the U.N. would have been legally obliged to act to
      “prevent and punish” the perpetrators.
   B. Tens of thousands of refugees flee into Tanzania, Burundi and Zaire. In one day, 250,000
      Rwandans, mainly Hutus fleeing the advance of the Tutsi RPF, cross the border into
10. May 1994 The White House starts holding daily confidential briefings on Rwanda with various
    U.S. government organizations via secure video link.
11. May 2, 1994
   A. Kofi Annan, head of U.N. peacekeeping, testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations
           “When the Belgians left it was clear that the U.N. could not implement the
           mandate it had, and either the mandate had to be changed, or
           reinforcements introduced ... I do not know what the Council will decide
           after they have reviewed and reconsidered the situation today. If the council
           is going to recommend reinforcement, the reinforcement that goes in has to
           be well equipped, very mobile, and also able to protect itself. If we do not
           send in that kind of reinforcement ... then I’m not quite sure they’ll be able
           to bring about a sort of law and order ... that will lead to the end of the
           massacres ... here we are watching people being deprived of the most
           fundamental of rights, the right to life, and yet we seem a bit helpless ...”
12. May 3, 1994

TIME LINE TO RWANDA GENOCIDE .WPD                                                             PAGE 2
   A. Clinton signs a Presidential Decision Directive (PDD 25), created after a review of the
      nation’s peacekeeping policies and programs. PDD 25 aims to limit U.S. military
      involvement in international peacekeeping operations.
13. May 5, 1994
   A. Madeline Albright, U.S. Representative to the U.N., testifies at a congressional hearing on
      funding of U.N. programs:
           “But let me just tell you that on the Rwanda thing, it is my sense that to a
           great extent the Security Council and the U.N. missed the boat. We are now
           dealing with a situation way beyond anything that anybody expected. And as
           I mentioned earlier, what happened was that we were on one process where
           a smaller United Nations force, we felt, could deal with some of the issues
           in the area, and then all of a sudden with the shootdown of this airplane
           with the two presidents, it created an avalanche. And so it is hard to judge
           whether that particular operations started out properly.”
   B. Anthony Lake, National Security Advisor, gives a press briefing on PDD 25:
           “When I wake up every morning and look at the headlines and the stories
           and the images on television of these conflicts, I want to work to end every
           conflict. I want to work to save every child out there. And I know the
           president does, and I know the American people do. But neither we nor the
           international community have the resources nor the mandate to do so. So
           we have to make distinctions. We have to ask the hard questions about
           where and when we can intervene. And the reality is that we cannot often
           solve other people’s problems; we can never build their nations for them
14. May 11, 1994
   A. At a State Department briefing, Mike McCurry is asked, “Has this government been able to
      determine whether any of the acts committed in Rwanda since April 6 constitute
      genocide?” He answers, “I don’t know that they’ve made any legal determination on that.”
15. May 13, 1994 - The U.N. Security Council prepares to vote on restoring UNAMIR’s strength in
    Rwanda. However, Madeline Albright delays the vote for four days.
16. May 17, 1994
   A. As the slaughter of the Tutsis continues, the U.N. finally agrees to send 5,500 troops to
      Rwanda. The Security Council resolution says, “acts of genocide may have been
      committed.” However, the deployment of the mainly African U.N. forces is delayed because
      of arguments over who will pay the bill and provide the equipment.
   B. Albright testifies at a Capitol Hill hearing on tensions in U.S.-U.N. relations and discusses
      the Security Council’s resolution:
           “... The United States has been a driving force in the provision of
           humanitarian assistance, in condemning the violence and in trying to

TIME LINE TO RWANDA GENOCIDE .WPD                                                             PAGE 3
           organize a U.N. mission designed not simply to promise, but to deliver
           what it promises. Sending a U.N. force into the maelstrom in Rwanda
           without a sound plan of operations would be folly ... The resolution adopted
           last night requires the Secretary-General to report back before the next
           phase of deployment begins ... these choices are not easy ones. Emotions
           can produce wonderful speeches and stirring op-ed pieces. But emotions
           alone cannot produce policies that will achieve what they promise. If we do
           not keep commitments in line with capabilities, we will only further
           undermine U.N. credibility and support. The actions authorized last night
           will help. They may save lives. But ultimately, the future of Rwanda is in
           Rwandan hands.”
17. May 19, 1994
   A. The U.N. requests the U.S. provide 50 armored personnel carriers (APCs). However, there
      are arguments between the U.S. and the U.N. over the costs.
18. Mid-May
   A. The International Red Cross estimates 500,000 Rwandans have been killed.
19. May 25, 1994
   A. Mike McCurry, State Department spokesman, is asked at a press briefing, “... Has the
      administration yet come to any decision on whether it can be described as genocide?”
           He answers, “I’ll have to confess, I don’t know the answer to that. I know
           that the issue was under very active consideration. I think there was a strong
           disposition within the department here to view what has happened there;
           certainly, constituting acts of genocide that have occurred ...”
20. June 10, 1994
   A. At a State Department briefing, spokesperson Christine Shelley is asked, “How many acts of
      genocide does it take to make genocide?”
       “That’s just not a question that I’m in a position to answer.”
       “Well, is it true that you have specific guidance not to use the word ‘genocide’ in
       isolation, but always to preface it with these words ‘acts
       “I have guidance which I try to use as best as I can. There are formulations that we
       are using that we are trying to be consistent in our use of. I don’t have an absolute
       categorical prescription against something, but I have the definitions. I have
       phraseology which has been carefully examined and arrived at as best as we can
       apply to exactly the situation and the actions which have taken place ...”
21. June 22, 1994
   A. With still no sign of U.N. deployment, the Security Council authorizes the deployment of
      French forces in south-west Rwanda --“Operation Turquoise.” They create a “safe area” in

TIME LINE TO RWANDA GENOCIDE .WPD                                                              PAGE 4
       territory controlled by the government. However, killings of Tutsis continue in the safe
22. Mid-July 1994
   A. The Tutsi RPF forces capture Kigali. The Hutu government flees to Zaire, followed by a
      tide of refugees. The French end their mission and are replaced by Ethiopian U.N. troops.
      The RPF sets up an interim government of national unity in Kigali. Although disease and
      more killings claim additional lives in the refugee camps, the genocide is over. An estimated
      800,000 Rwandans have been killed in 100 days.
   B. Through 96-7: Hutus go to UN camps and raid Rwanda. (p. 265+)
23. March 25, 1998
   A. In Kigali, Rwanda President Clinton apologizes to the victims of genocide. “... the
      international community, together with nations in Africa, must bear its share of
      responsibility for this tragedy, as well. We did not act quickly enough after the killing began.
      We should not have allowed the refugee camps to become safe havens for the killers. We
      did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide. We cannot change
      the past. But we can and must do everything in our power to help you build a future
      without fear, and full of hope ...”

TIME LINE TO RWANDA GENOCIDE .WPD                                                             PAGE 5

To top