Rwanda: And the World Stood By

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Rwanda: And the World Stood By

The Rwandan Genocide

Map of Rwanda

Eyewitness to Genocide

Other Genocides

Rwanda orphans (photo BBC)

The Genocide

On April 6, 1994 The Rwandan President Habyarimana and the Burundian President were killed when Habyarimana's plane was shot down by Hutu extremists. This began the Rwandan Genocide. 

The Rwandan army (FAR) and the Hutu Militia went from house to house killing Tutsis. The Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) retaliated. Hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees fled into Zaire and Burundi, trying to escape the slaughter. The UN condemned the killings, but carefully did not use the word "genocide." The killing went on. In mid-May the Red Cross estimated 500,000 had been killed. 

It was not until July that UN troops arrived in Rwanda, and the genocide came to an end. It is estimated that 800,000 people were killed between April and mid-July.

In 1998, UN Secretary General acknowledged the UN failure:

"... The world must deeply repent this failure. Rwanda's tragedy was the world's tragedy. All of us who cared about Rwanda, all of us who witnessed its suffering, fervently wish that we could have prevented the genocide. . . Now we know that what we did was not nearly enough--not enough to save Rwanda from itself, not enough to honor the ideals for which the United Nations exists."

Genocide Holocaust Armenia Rwanda Cambodia
Romani Ukraine


Forsaken Cities Amnesty International exhibit on Rwanda

The Triumph of Evil the Rwandan genocide Frontline PBS

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda United Nations

Leave None to Tell the Story Rwandan genocide Human Rights Watch

Rwanda Travel Essay Rudy Brueggemann