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Tutsis Exiles in Burundi form Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)

By Edited Dec 10, 2015 1 4

When a political party called Parti du Mouvement de l'Emancipation du Peuple Hutu (Party for Hutu Emancipation) was controlling the state of in affairs Rwanda. At that time, Gregoire Kayibanda was the President. In 1963, there were an estimated several hundred there were Tutsi guerrillas that entered southern Rwanda from Burundi with the goal of taking over the country's capital city, Kigali. They failed after advancing to within twelve miles of the city before they were annilihilated by government soldiers. This event prompted Kayibanda to declare a state of emergency and also emphasized the need to 'clear the bush' of subversive elements within the country. In only a matter of days that approximately 14,000 Tutsis were massacred in Gikongoro, which is a southern province. The coordinated attacks described by Bertrand Russell as 'the most horrible and systematic massacre' was the most atrocious since the Holocaust.

Fast forward to 1973 when Kayibanda was dethroned from his political office via a coup d'etat by a group of army officers who replaced him with a major general name Juvénal Habyarimana. He ends up establishing a "conventional self-serving military dictatorship."1 The new political party he formed was the Movement Revolutionaries National pour le Developpement (MRND)and it was well-received with fervent support from several western countries, especially from France. Habyarimana's Hutu ethnic policy created an increasing problem on Rwanda's frontiers. Efforts were made to send unwanted refugees to Rwanda, as most of them being Tutsis. They are rejected even tough the situation became more volatile as the host countries were not as gracious to them anymore.

Thirteen years later in 1986, Habyarimana states it was the government's strict policy to deny Rwandan refugees their right to return home. In the following year the exiles form Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which would exasperate the dire situation by arming themselves. The core of the RPF were Tutsi officers serving in the Ugandan army and the rest (40%) were Hutus disenchanted with the ruling government. These officers decided that October 1, 1990 would be the day they would engage in an attack against MRND. First, they deserted from the Ugandan army with their equipment and then moved south over the border into Rwanda. This minor invasion successfully put an end to Habyarimana's regime. The vile ramification of the skirmish incited one of the century's most appalling acts of genocide. Northeastern portion was also invaded in the same month. However, the exiles there were resisted mostly because there were French paratroopers sent to assist in defending Rwanda. After this event, there were more violent crimes committed against the Tutsis in Rwanda. The Hutus reciprocated two months later when a local racist newspaper published the Hutu Ten Commandments that is "a litany of hatred, attributing dishonesty and treachery"2 to all Tutsis and any Hutus who are amicable to them. The eighth commandment states 'Hutus must stop having mercy on the Tutsis'3 and was the most often quoted. Hutu Power subsequently was coined for the next level of ethnic triumphalism.


1, 2, 3Gasciogne, Bamber. "History of Rwanda". HistoryWorld. March 15, 2010 <http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ad24>.

Gascoigne, Bamber. History of Rwanda. 13 March 2010. 13 March 2010 <http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ad24>

John Middleton, CEO, Rwanda Coffee Club. Rwanda Coffee Club - Pre-Genocide. 17 4 2010. 17 4 2010 <http://www.rwandancoffeeclub.org/pregenocide.html>.

Sullivan, Ronald. Juvenal Habyarimana, 57, Ruled Rwanda for 21 Years . 7 4 1994. 17 4 2010 <http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/07/obituaries/juvenal-habyarimana-57-ruled-rwanda-for-21-years.html>.



Apr 21, 2010 12:12pm
Great Information.
Apr 23, 2010 6:06pm
Thank you for reading.
May 22, 2010 6:06pm
Excellent information about Tutsis Exiles in Burundi form Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). I like reading your article and thanks for sharing it. 5* plus recommendation!
May 22, 2010 7:15pm
Thank you Infowriter for reading another article of mine. I'm glad you found it interesting and good enough to give it a 5 rating.
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