Human skulls at the Nyamata Genocide Memorial Centre
From April 7th to July 15th, 1994 as many as one million Tutsi’s were killed by Hutus in a genocidal attack in Rwanda. The attacks took place against the background of a Civil War between the two groups.
In 1990 a Civil War broke out in Rwanda between the Hutu led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front led mainly by Tutsi refugees. After intense international pressure, a ceasefire was reached in 1993 based around a plan of power sharing between these two Rwandan ethnic groups. That agreement was opposed by many conservative elements of the Hutu majority who developed an ideology that depicted the Tutsi as “other.”
On April 6th 1994a plane carrying Rwandan President Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down over the capital of Rwanda Kigali. Thus began the Rwandan genocide. It started the next day with the murder of all the leader of the Tutsi minority plus moderate member of the Hutu. Within hours it spread beyond the leadership to the killing of any Tutsi that could be found. Over the next 100 days as many, one million Tutsi were killed. Their neighbors killed some with machete’s, 5,000 were killed when they sought refuge in Ntarama church and were killed by grenade, machete, rifle, or burnt alive.
The killing came to an end as the RPF army slowly advanced and captured more and more of the country. They took control of the capital on July 4th and completed control of the country on July 18th, 1994. There is no exact number on how many Tutsi’s were killed, most observers put the number a around 1 million, although a few dispute that number and claim the number was closer to 500,000. It should be noted that the world did nothing to make stop the killings as they were taking place.