Forgot your password?

Aftermath of a Plane Crash Killing Head of States for Rwanda and Burundi in 1994

By Edited Nov 29, 2013 1 10

After Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira died in a plane shot down by a rocket, the Interahamwe and their proponents (large proportion of the Hutus) were told by a state radio station announcing that May 5, 1994 is the day to clear out Tutsis in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.  They ungrudgingly went ahead and massacred about 800,000 Rwandans between April and July.  Furthermore, they used agriculture tools such as machetes to do the deeds.  It was because they were void of modern tools.  Most of the estimated two million refugees fleeing to Burundi, Tanzania, and Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) were Hutus trying to evade the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).  [1]

In July 1994, RPF soldiers arrived in Kigali as they were feared for their capability of placing a very disciplined guerrilla militia into the battlefield.  The Rwandan army was no match for them as they kept on losing occupied land to them.  Also, a provisional government was formed by the RPF.  It was no until next month that the whole country was close to be entirely controlled by them.  [1]

The RPF, mostly led by Tutsis, right from the start made a committed to racial equality.  The first cabinet of Rwanda accomplished the feat by having congressional members reflecting the numerical balance in the country. Sixteen of its members were Hutus, six were Tutsis. Ethnic identity cards were abolished by the government.However, the concept of getting rid of racism was very much difficult to achieve. [1]

Zaire became a breeding ground for people willing to help out Hutu Power's cause. There was an estimated 1.1 million Rwandans in the refugee camps set up in Zaire. Most of the perople were Hutus. There were also members of the Interahamwe that participated the genocide fled over the borders to avoid RPF.These refugees were able to "establish brutal control. There was general consensus that everyone in the camp should be identified and separated to take back some control that the Interahamwe gained.  The bigger problem was that neither Zaire nor any international force was willing to commit to the task.  This caused the refugees to stay exiled from Rwanda while the RPF government was eager to take them back.  [1]

It was not until late 1996 that people were slowly going back to Rwanda.  Obviously some of the members of the Interahamwe were still among refugees and returned home.  Yet, the more notorious criminals stayed in Zaire and ended up arming and training for violent sorties across the border.  [1]


[1]   http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ad24#3299



Apr 2, 2010 11:05pm
Well written and informative article, increasing my knowledge of history in Rwanda.
Apr 4, 2010 5:02pm
Thank you for reading.
Apr 12, 2010 9:33pm
It must have been a horrible time for them It is hard to believe that they were supposed to be humans and do such terrible things. I saw a movie similar to this on TV. It was terrifying. thanks for improving my knowledge on this subject.
Apr 23, 2010 6:05pm
Thank you for reading eileen
May 29, 2010 10:55pm
I remember when this happened and can't believe so many years have passed by. I had a student once named Rwanda -- a remarkable and intelligent young woman.
May 30, 2010 6:09pm
Thank you for reading carrie
May 30, 2010 6:11pm
Maybe you could write about the student.
Apr 30, 2011 2:06pm
It is so interesting to get factual information about these historical events. How quickly we forget some of them!
May 4, 2011 6:45am
Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading and commenting on my article.
Apr 4, 2013 6:42am
Excellent article - a good factual account. I heard that road blocks were on the streets of Kigali within two hours of the presidents plane getting shot down. The genocide was a horrendous event. Let's not forget it, but let's be thankful for the progress that Rwanda has made in the last 17 years.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB History