by Anarella Wagers, Dylan Wiseley, and Amina Vanderhyde


In 1994, mounting ethnic tensions in the East African country of Rwanda lead to the deaths of over 800,000 people. In about a time of three months Hutu militias take control of the country and massacre the Tutsi minority and "any moderate Hutu who opposed their goals" (Stassen). The extermination campaign of ethnic hatred started years earlier around the time of World War I when Rwanda was taken over by Belgium. At the time the Belgians seized power Rwanda was ruled by a Tutsi king who ruled over a Hutu majority. In the end the Belgians created more and more of the division between the two groups prompting racism creating a lot of the ethnic resentment between the two groups. Especially by favoring the Tutsi minority with education and jobs and the addition of ID cards that would state your ethnic identity, only further differentiating the two groups and also making it easier to know who to kill. The Belgians only am plified the situation, the separation by their newer leader who was a Hutu general named Juvenal Habyarimana. He created the further separation and anti- Tutsi discrimination forcing most to exile into surrounding countries(Uganda). Where first sprouted the very nice rebel army, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). Which ended up invading Rwanda again to fight the Rwandan Army creating the Civil War. Though in 1993 they both signed a peace treaty peace was still not achieved and to win the Hutu extremist government decided to exterminate the Tutsi, essentially creating the Rwandan genocide (Stassen). By April 16th, 1994, over 800,000 civilians were killed, most of them Tutsi. 3/4 of the Tutsi population of Rwanda had been wiped out, and any Hutu that supported the Tutsi rebellion and was against the genocide was also killed. The government of Rwanda was increasing tensions between the two ethnic groups and by this time the Hutus had blamed the tutsis for all economic and political instability. The genocide started when President Habyarimana, who was part of the Hutu group, was shot down in his plane and killed (United Human Rights). Using the cover of a war at the time, the Hutus started to open fire on thousands of civilians, and the capital city Kigali was being overrun with "drunken soldiers and marauding gangs" (NYTimes) paraded through the city. The city had turned into a killing field where over 2,000 innocent civilians had been killed at a local church by, once again, Hutu militia. These killings would continue through a 100 day campaign and would be stopped by a rebel task force, the RPF, which would take out Hutu political leaders and finally bring an end to the genocide. But the main reason that it continued so long was because of the lack of help from other major foreign powers. Belgium tried to settle things in Rwanda, since Rwanda was an old Belgian colony, but they ended up having to abandon the colony and withdraw all forces from the country.
During the time of the genocide Rawanda seemed to be invisible to the rest of the world as some sources say. The rest of the international community really didn't pay attention to the happenings in Rwanda whatsoever. " 'The international community didn't give one damn for Rwandans because Rwanda was a country of no strategic importance,' General Romeo Dallaire told a conference in Kigali marking the 10th anniversary of the slaughter" (CNN). In a sense many from the west feel "guilty" for the incident. Almost a 800,000 people both Tutsi and Hutu moderates in 100 days of brutal murder and violence. Now at a 17th anniversary of the horrible event the whole world, not just the west, stands in shame for the mis fortune it has been (CNN).
In the above paragraphs you can see many detailed responses of the Rwandan Genocide that had occured. The Rwandan Genocide was a very serious and tragic happening that occured years earlier. The beginning of the genocide began with the death of the president who was of the hutu belief, on April 6, 1994. There was two main groups involved in this genocide, which were the Hutu's and the Tutsi's. The Tutsi people were usually a lot thinner and they were thought to be suprior and have more opportunity than the Hutu (BBC News). Like said before this all started with the death of the president who was said to be killed by a Hutu extemist who was upset with a peace deal signed with the Tutsi (ThinkQuest). His death created much tension and violence which created the Rwandan Genocide. The Rwandan Genocide took place in 1994 in Rwanada in East Africa. The genocide was a mass masacre done by the Hutu people to the Tutsi. Many of the Tutsi bodies were thrown into rivers the Hutu described it as them being sent back Ethiopa where it's said their origin begins (BBC News).

Source Annotation

Donatella Lorch.The New York Times.April 14th,1994.Web.Tuesday,May 10th,2011.
Summary: This article provides scenarios that can set a scene in the story and elaborate about the conditions of life in the city, along with that it allows the reader to visualize the outlook of the conditions of the city.
Assess: This article is helpful due to its scenarios and info about the city, but otherwise there is no over abundance of fact, there is more of a description of the genocide which would restrict the fact that would be given than an ordinary statistical journal.
Reflect: With this I will have a more interesting heading and a better scenario to grab the reader.

United Human Rights.VIBSCO.Web.Tuesday,May 10th,2011.

Summary: This Provides informative statistics about ethnic groups in the country, and the rough estimate of casualties from each ethnic group, along with the possible cause of the attacks and what type of weapons were used against certain people and it would tell about who the minority of the genocide was.
Assess: The info is well thought out and matches up with the following sites and materials that I have looked through.
Reflect: I will use this source for the main meat of the story and to supplement all material with fact.

Mercer, Derrik Millennium year by year.Dorling Kindersley.New York City.1996.Print.

Summary: This was a short article which simulated the night of the massacre in Rwanda's capital. This gave scenarios of who was part of the massacre, and who was involved with the massacre of the people in the killing fields.
Assess: This gave great scenarios and helped me to understand the massacre at the killing fields.
Reflect: I will use this to better my understanding of the way the capital was at the time and who was killed at the church.

BBC News. December 18, 2008. Web. May 11, 2011. <>
Summary: The article "Rwanda: How the genocide happened" provides the reader with factual information on the source, explaining the history of the violence, the build up to the genocide and the after math that came from it.
Assess: Information on this website seems precise and accurate.
Reflect: Using this source I will use it to help build the history and the coming of the Rwandan genocide.

ThinkQuest. EducationFoundation. Web. May 12, 2011.<>
Summary: The article "The forces involved" talks about the people involved in the Rwandan genocide. During the Rwandan genocide many were involved, including the Hutu's people, the Tutsi's people, Rwanda's president Hutu who was murdered which was the start of the genocide and the interahamwe units.
Asses: This article had a much easier understanding to follow of how the murder of the president and the different people involved had to to with the Rwandan genocide.
Reflect: I will be using this source to explain help myself when I'm explaining the different types of people and what they thought and believed during the time.

Melvern, Linda. Conspiracy to Murder: The Rwanda Genocide and the International Community. 2004.
Summary: This book seems to look very intresting, It seems as if different characters in the book are giving out their testimony, and you can also see documents being placed.
Asses: Well since this is a book not all the material is going to be valuable, it does go along the same path of what happened though. I like this because it shares the Rwandan Genocide through the eyes of different people.
Reflect: I'm not sure how I'm going to really use this. Maybe read some of the document in it so it may help with further research I will be doing.

Stassen, J.P. Degoratias: A tale of Rwanda. First Second. New York, NY. 2006.
Summary: The book is a basic graphic novel that illustrates a boys hardships and experiences in Rwanda. In the beginning it starts with an intro that lays out the physical and political aspects leading up to and the genocide itself.
Asses: The book is beautifully done and just flipping through the illustrations themselves I learned the parts of the genocide that really mattered. In the beginning intro that sort of explained the genocide itself helped me a lot. It was easy to understand and displayed the matter at hand.
Reflect: This is a source I will refer to later on in research and will also consider reading, it was very helpful and extremely awesome.

"West 'guilty' over Rwanda genocide." CNN. April 06, 2004. Web. May 16, 2011.
Summary: The article basically summed up the feelings of the western countries and a bit of the history behind the genocide.
Asses: I love CNN's website it is so easy to navigate and use. I use it normally and so does my Dad ! It always has interesting stories and articles with helpful information on just about anything you could research!
Reflect: I will of course use this source again and again and have a good experience using it every time, just 'cause it's that great!

Reflections and Conclusions

The genocide in 1994 had shaken the whole world, and the death of over 800,000 innocent civilians definitely changed the way the United Nations would intervene in world affairs that involved the death of civilians. Throughout this campaign the city of Kigali was completely overrun, political officials who were Tutsi were assassinated, and the Hutus finally got what they wanted: cruel revenge. But eventually the Tutsi dominated rebel group the RPF had been the heroes that freed the innocent civilians from a death in vain. This genocide really showed the ethnic tensions in Africa, and from learning through this genocide the people on earth finally learned how to deal with genocide and to make sure no person is harmed during it.
Wow. I was very much shocked with all the deaths of the people especially in the time that it was done. So many killed in so little time. One thing I did not understand while reading though is why the Hutu would kill their own leader? I mean sure that did start the violence, but I just didn't understand why they chose to start the violence in that way, killing one of their own. I hate the cruelity in this world, I guess I guess i just don't understand why people do the things they do. I have come to notice though that many tensions start up my differences whether it's races, religion ect.


Visit these two links about the hero in Rwanda sheltering thousands of Tutsi and moderate Hutu's from murder! There was also a movie about him (the second link). Check it out!
Paul Rusesabagina and Hotel Rwanda the Movie

Also check out this website for the memorial/archive in Rwanada for those who lost their life: www.**genocidearchiverwanda**
(Note: Some images may be triggering or graphic.)
This video tells the story of the Rwandan Genocide.

This video gives a brief description on how the Rwandan Genocide happened, and what went on during the time period. Many pictures are shown that can be disturbing.

The following is a website article about the whole scenario of the Rwandan genocide:
Rwandan Background

Works Cited

Donatella Lorch.The New York Times.April 14th,1994.Web.Tuesday,May 10th,2011

Mercer, Derrik Millennium year by year.Dorling Kindersley.New York City.1996.Print.

United Human Rights.VIBSCO.Web.Tuesday,May 10th,2011.

BBC News. December 18, 2008. Web. May 11, 2011

ThinkQuest. EducationFoundation. Web. May 12, 2011.

Melvern, Linda. Conspiracy to Murder: The Rwanda Genocide and the International Community. 2004.