Timeline of the Genocide in Rwanda


Belgians classify Rwandan people

Approx. 1933

Since 1918, Belgium became the administering authority under the mandates system of the League of Nations of Rwanda. Whit the control that they assumed, they eventually started to ask for an identity card, with the purpose of classifying the people as either Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa.

The Hutu Revolution


What began as a peasant revolt in November 1959 eventually transformed itself into an organized political movement aimed at the overthrow of the monarchy and the vesting of full political power in Hutu hands. Under the leadership of Grégoire Kayibanda, Rwanda's first president, the Party for Hutu Emancipation emerged as the spearhead of the revolution. Communal elections transfer a lot of power to the Hutus at the local level. Which was carried off with the tacit approval of the Belgian authorities, and Rwanda was lead by an almost all-Hutu government. Therefore, the revolution had already run its course and thousands of Tutsi began fleeing Rwanda.

Beginning of the Civil War

1 October 1990

The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) composed mainly of Tutsis the RPF launched a major attack on Rwanda from Uganda with a force of 7,000 fighters. Because of the RPF attacks which displaced thousands and a policy of deliberately targeted propaganda by the government, all Tutsis inside the country were labeled accomplices of the RPF and the Hutu members of the opposition parties were labeled as traitors.


April 7, 1993

The Radio Television Libres Des Mille Collines (RTLM) aired a broadcast attributing the plane crash to the RPF and a contingent of UN soldiers, promoting the elimination of the "Tutsi cockroach".
The RTLM started to broadcast constantly, spreading hate towards the Tutsi

Peace Agreement between Hutus and Tutsis

August 1993

Through the peacemaking efforts of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and the governments in the region, the signing of the Arusha peace agreements appeared to have brought an end to the conflict between the then Hutu dominated government and the opposition Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), in which the president Habyarimana agreed to sign.
However, the will to achieve and sustain peace was the job of the Rwandan political parties participating in the Agreement. Later, evidence demonstrated irrefutably that the extremist elements of the Hutu majority were in fact planning a campaign to exterminate Tutsis.

Deaths of the Presidents of Burundi and Rwanda

6 April 1994

The president’s death was a trigger for the beginning of the massacre of the Tutsis civilians
in a plane crash caused by a rocket attack, lead to the beginning of the several weeks of intense and systematic massacres. The killings - as many as 1 million people are estimated to have perished - shocked the international community and were clearly acts of genocide. An estimated 150,000 to 250,000 women were also raped. Members of the presidential guard started killing Tutsi civilians in a section of Kigali near the airport. Less than half an hour after the plane crash, roadblocks manned by Hutu militiamen assisted by the police or military personnel started to identify Tutsis.

The Genocide stopped by the RPF

July, 1994

On June 22, the Security Council authorized French-led forces to mount a humanitarian mission. The mission, called Operation Turquoise, saved hundreds of civilians in South West Rwanda, but is also said to have allowed soldiers, officials and militiamen involved in the genocide to flee Rwanda through the areas under their control. In other areas, killings continued until 4 July 1994, because the RPF took military control of the entire territory of Rwanda.

Hutu attacked Zairean Banyamulenge Tutsis


Government officials, soldiers and militia who had participated in the genocide fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), find out that Zaire took with them 1.4 million civilians. As a consequence, the Hutu militias started to attack the local Tutsis citizens of the neighbor countries, then Zaire tried to force refugees back into Rwanda.

Fight against Hutus


Rwandan troops invade and attack Hutu militia-dominated camps in Zaire in order to drive home the refugees.
Camps were formed by the Rwandan government soldiers to re-arm and stage invasions into Rwanda. The attacks were one of the factors leading to the war between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo that took place in 1996. Former Rwandan forces continue to operate in the DRC alongside Congolese militia and other armed groups. They continued to target civilian populations and cause deaths, injury and harm.

Actual end of the genocide

March, 20

The remain Hutu rebel group said that the armed struggle is over.
The United Nations conducted more than 70 tribunal cases and Rwandan courts have tried up to 20,000 individuals. However, trying individuals in courts proved to be a challenging process as the location of many perpetrators was unknown...
“Rwanda can be a paradise again, but it will take the love of the entire world…and that’s as it should be, for what happened in Rwanda happened to us all – humanity was wounded by the genocide.”
– Immacuée Ilibagiza, Rwandan author