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Extremists Hutus Unhappy with President Juvenal Habyarimana

By Edited Oct 18, 2016 0 0

Hutu Power was able to be more efficient and destructive in Rwanda by having "Juvenal Habiyarimina's government recruit Hutu youth militias. These become known as the Interahamwe, meaning 'those who attack together.' In public these violent young men roar around on motorbikes, like any gang of hooligangs, and hold drunken rallies under portraits of President Habiyarimina. In private they gather together to perfect the skills of wielding machetes, setting fire to houses, and drawing up lists of local Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers."1 Ethnic violence steadily increased and "is often ratchetted up a sudden notch - as when, in March 1992, Radio Rwanda spreads a deliberately false rumour that a Tutsi plot to massacre Hutus has been discovered."2

It was not until 1992 that President Habyarimana was "beginning to disappoint his extremist supporters. Having failed to suppress the guerrillas of the RPF, and under international pressure to come to terms with them, he begins to negotiate. The news that he has agreed a ceasefire, in August 1992, provokes a new wave of attacks on Tutsis. Over the next year the peace process continues, alienating the president ever further from the thugs of Hutu Power. In August 1993, after talks at Arusha in Tanzania, Habyarimana signs a peace treaty with the RPF, officially bringing the war to an end. But the terms of the treaty go much further than that."3

"In what becomes known as the Arusha Accords, Habiyarimana accepts the right of return for all Rwanda's refugees, the merging of the RPF with the national army, and a transitional period leading up to elections and a democratic government. During this period power will reside with a provisional government in which, most startling of all, the RPF will be represented. And UN forces will be invited into Rwanda to secure this process. These concessions seem outrageous to the Interahamwe and their political masters. On 6 April 1994 a rocket, almost certainly fired by Hutu extremists, brings down a plane."4 In it were Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira, President of Burundi. "The assassination of the president, even if secretly contrived by extremist Hutus, is the immediate pretext for the orgy of Hutu extremism whipped up over the following weeks. Radio broadcasts urge people to do their duty and seek out the Tutsis and Tutsi-sympathizers living among them in their streets or villages. Eliminate the cockroaches is the message.
On April 29 the state radio announces that May 5 is to be the 'cleanup' day by which the capital, Kigali, must be cleansed of Tutsis. One notorious broadcast even suggests a necessary precaution in the interests of thoroughness; unborn children should be ripped from the wombs of dead Tutsi women who are pregnant."5


1, 2, 3, 4, 5Gasciogne, Bamber. "History of Rwanda". HistoryWorld. March 15, 2010


Akanga, Robert Mukombozi and Eeleneus. Commission to probe Habyarimana plane crash - The New Times - - News in Rwanda. 31 March 2007. 25 March 2010

Gascoigne, Bamber. History of Rwanda. 13 March 2010. 13 March 2010



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