Rwanda - A Chronology (1867-1994)

1 March, 2010
Viret Emmanuel

During the long twentieth century, defined here as beginning when the last precolonial mwami (King; plural: bami ) rose to power, the development of political violence in Rwanda emerged from two parallel but occasionally overlapping dynamics. The first is a period characterized by court violence during the two Rwandan Republics. The second, which is not as well known, is that of violence among peasants; the sequence of events involved is understandable, though the significance of the relationships spanning these events is more difficult to comprehend.

The repetitive nature of crises and situations (wars, movements of displaced persons, economic crises, the transition to a multi-party system) appears to define the way events unfold. Yet the way power functions on a daily basis cannot be dissociated from the way it provokes crises or reacts to them. The internal dynamics of power relationships in Rwanda, the fierceness of political competition, the appearance and extension of social classes linked to successive political regimes, and the relationships of these classes with the rural milieu (95 percent of the population are peasants) have largely determined the shape, and especially the extent of violent practices. This study will briefly attempt to present their distinctive characteristics.

The Mwami : A Form of Court Violence

The struggles between clans, factions, and then regions combined with the gulf that separates the hierarchical structure from the submerged relations between actors indicate continuity in the way that power is exercised in Rwanda. Lemarchand characterizes the young Rwandan Republic as a ‘presidential mwamiship ‘ (Lemarchand, 1970: 269), underlining the continuity in the functioning of power, its codes and its rituals. Thus, the 1959 Revolution did not fundamentally change practices or the division of offices, and the architecture of power remained the same. At the centre rather than the summit of this system, the person of the King and then, later, of the President of the Republic, was supposed to transcend rivalries and divisions. The precolonial Rwanda discovered by the first European explorers, and subsequently by historians, was characterized as feudal. While use of the term has been challenged (Chrétien, 2003: 146-147), the monarchical and centralizing character of power is universally recognized. It is the King who brings society into existence. Through him, men and things are enthused with life; seasons and harvests depend on him and his decline betokens that of the whole country. The mwami is the receptacle of life, the source from which it springs. His creative power sets him above human beings (Umwami si umuntu – the King is not a man – is the title of two dynastic poems) and rituals recall his sacred character (Vansina, 2001: 110). His intimates, the Queen Mother and the court, fight over the exercise of power. The King is first among the political chiefs; the Queen Mother possesses considerable power and can create her own armies. Ritualists (abiru ) control the codes of royalty, as well as the divinations that they resort to before any important act. The most powerful of the clans fight over positions, armies and the status of Queen Mothers. Anxious not to be isolated, the mwami often relies on men who owe him everything and who are completely devoted to him (Vansina, 2001: 115). The violence of the reign of Rwabugiri (1867-1893: see below) reflects this everyday functioning of power and constant court rivalries.

‘Presidential mwamiship’

The break heralded by the 1959 Revolution did not upset these practices: ministerial cabinet positions were distributed among clans (Lemarchand, 1970: 268), attempted poisonings exposed rivalries (Reyntjens, 1985: 485), and ceremonies adopted the organization and dances of the old regime (Lemarchand, 1970: 265). The content of the revolutionary ideology, and the way in which the figure of Grégoire Kayibanda was perceived, qualify this picture. However, the thinness of these republican trappings, and the continuity in the operation of power before and after 1959, are exemplified by the regime of Juvénal Habyarimana (1973-1994).

The national ideology of development and its corollaries, and the professed ambition to transcend ethnicity, set the President of the Republic not only above, but also in a quite different order from, its citizens. The word designating authority (umubyeyi ) also means ‘progenitor’ – that is to say, the creative, fertile power attributed to the King. During the transition to a multi-party system, caricatures of Habyarimana gave him the features and pomp of a mwami (Taylor, 2004: 79-106). His assassination on April 6, 1994, echoed the death of the mwami Mutara in 1959 (see below); with his death, chaos threatened the entire Rwandan nation (de Lame, 1996: 305).

This conception of power, which was especially poignant under the Second Republic (1973-1994), illuminates the 1959 Revolution, whose nature must be clarified. In the north of the country, the Revolution was essentially conservative. Its supporters did not seek the abolition of the old order, but instead the restoration of an order that preceded the region’s integration into the Rwandan Kingdom (Reyntjens, 1985: 313; Lemarchand, 1970: 269). The north was in fact belatedly incorporated into the Central Kingdom, thanks to the decisive support of the colonizers (see below). Before they were brought to heel, the small political entities of the north operated like the other regions prior to their integration into the Central Kingdom. ‘Dual colonialism’ (Newbury, 1988: 53-70) – that is, Belgian colonization superimposed on that of the Central Kingdom ruled by the Nyiginya clan – was deeply resented. This irredentism underlies one of the main conflicts in the First Republic, that over ubukonde – the landed clientelism specific to the north – whose abolition was demanded by the republican regime. Thus, the 1973 coup d’État by Juvénal Habyarimana (native of Bushiru, in the north of the country) marked a renewal not only of power, but also of political style.

The Second Republic appears at first sight to be a pyramidal, highly hierarchical regime. The exaggeration of formal structures at the summit of the State conceals the real paths to power: various networks and parallel structures (like the Committee for Peace and National Unity – CPUN – created in 1973, which in fact continued to rule the country after the appointment of the government) reconstituted a court in which Agathe Kanziga, the country’s First Lady, and her lineage played a central role. In this constellation, it is difficult to arrive at a clear idea of the real instrumental power possessed by the President of the Republic, especially from the start of the 1990s with the establishment of a multi-party system. The execution of the dignitaries of the First Republic after the 1973 coup d’État, the assassination of Colonel Mayuya in 1988, the flight of numerous dignitaries to Uganda, including Alexis Kanyarengwe, illustrate the power relations in the entourage of the President of the Republic. But although we know very little about the power and actual role of the President, some of his actions remain ambiguous, to say the least. He appeared to be the central player in the Arusha transitional set-up, which he methodically strove to undermine (see below); he directed a meeting where the decision was taken to distribute arms to the militias and to the Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), despite those militias having lambasted his lukewarmness and demonstrated against him (HRW, 1999: 171).

Violence and Ethnicity: A Strategy for Conquering Power

The organization of the 1994 massacre can be understood as operating in the same dual context of a parallel power working behind the scenes of the official system of power. While the State and Army were the main pillars of its implementation, their hierarchy and the circulation of the relevant orders did not correspond to institutional designs. The brains behind the massacre, Théoneste Bagosora, held the relatively modest position of Head of Staff at the Ministry of Defense. The massacres carried out from 1990 to 1993, like those of 1994, seem to have been envisaged by the instigators as instruments in the conquest or preservation of a faction's power. The recourse to war and massacre for the purposes of establishing or restoring a political order rested upon a conception of power as an indivisible bloc, whose conquest determines the ruin of other claimants (Braud, 2005: 353/359; de Lame, 1997: 161, have both referred to a ‘winner takes all’ approach). Such is the extent to which clientelistic ties did not leave any sector sheltered from power that opting politically for the worst imposed its own order; and it was unconditional.

Recent criticisms of the term ‘moderate Hutu’ (Braud, 2005: 238; Eltringham, 2004: 75-99) show how short remains an interpretation of the competition for power in terms of ethnicity. To consider that the whole opposition to the Presidential party was ‘moderate’ is to forget that a part of the hard-line current derived from this very opposition (Eltringham, 2004: 77). Reference to ‘moderate Hutus’ is only justified in the light of the existence of extremists (Eltringham, 2004: 76). Such a dichotomy makes it impossible to conceive of the way in which ethnicity was established as a register and misses the complexity of some personal trajectories. By way of example, a figure like Justin Mugenzi, founder of the Liberal Party (PL), which was favorable to Hutu extremism, was denounced as an icyitso (accomplice) of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in March 1992 (Eltringham, 2004: 92). The individual trajectories of other political leaders tend to indicate that recourse to ethnicity was instrumental and formed part of the competition for power. Thus, Alexis Kanyarengwe, President of the political wing of the FPR from 1990, or Pasteur Bizimungu, who joined the Front in the summer of 1990, figure among the notorious members of the Committees of Public Safety that organized the 1973 purges and pogroms of Tutsis (HRW, 1999: 67). In the same vein, Jean Barahinyura, regarded by Reyntjens as one of the founders of the extremist Hutu movement in February 1992, had been sitting on the Central Committee of the FPR a few months earlier (Reyntjens, 1994: 127).

The Extension of the Violence to the Countryside

The Rwandan All Saints Day of 1959, the massacres carried out in the Gikongoro region in 1963, and above all those of 1994, could only assume the scale they did because of the mobilization of the peasantry. Apart from a few notable studies (Newbury, 1988; de Lame, 1996), Rwandan historiography, which is plentiful, has largely neglected the peasant world as such, its relations with government, and the relations of power within it. The bulk of the literature studies peasants as subjects of the Central Kingdom up to the 1960s, and then as objects of an agricultural-technical expertise in the 1980s (Newbury and Newbury 2000: 858). While the extent of peasant participation in the 1963 massacres and, to a lesser extent, those of 1959 is largely unknown, several prominent works have tackled the violence of 1994 (Longman, 1995; de Lame, 1997; HRW, 1999; Strauss, 2006).

The Situation of the Peasantry

These works stress, in the first instance, the extremely weak position of Rwandan peasants, who, as early as 1989, described their situation as apocalyptic (de Lame, 1997: 158). Confronted with the famine that struck several of the country’s regions, including Gikongoro, the only official aid provided was in the form of food that had to be paid for with money (de Lame, 1997: 158) – something that further increased the ties of dependency on local elites. Eighty-six percent of the population were living below the poverty threshold – the highest percentage in the world (HRW, 1999: 306). Access to jobs, land and secondary education was beyond the means of most peasants, at the very moment when salaried local elites were importing into the hills the objects and values of the capital and, beyond it, of the world (de Lame, 1997: 159).

Power propaganda was inserted into a system of representation that lasted well beyond the political system of sacred royalty it had supported. The difficulties experienced by the country appeared to be bound up with the health of its President, whose death, regularly predicted by the media (Chrétien et al. , 1995: 187-191), heralded a change of order that extended far beyond the struggle for power in Kigali. The former monarchy alternated between two types of regimes – one bellicose and devoted to extending territory, the other peaceful and dedicated to its enrichment. These two modalities were thought invariably to succeed one another, with the undermining of the mwami marking the moment of transition and the risk of chaos (de Lame, 1997: 162-163). This temporal spiral, in which crisis is integrated into the normal course of things, had already conferred a normative character on the exceptional occurrences on the eve of regime change in 1959 and 1973. Moreover, the exercise of violence was a virile attribute dramatized in oral literature and, in particular, in the self-panegyric poems that every man composed and recited during feasts and vigils (de Lame, 1997: 169). In the regions of the north, everyone could connect his genealogy to that of a precolonial Hutu kinglet, present himself as the inheritor, and thus add a dash of glory to the bleak life of the hills (Migeotte, 1997: 37).

If it is difficult to imagine its precise impact, the fear created by the climate of war, the million displaced people who fled the combat zones and settled near Kigali in highly conspicuous camps, the almost daily violence bound up with elections, recalling that of the 1959 Revolution, which errupted in the same breath as the first implementation of a multi-party system, the presence of 262,000 Burundian refugees in the south of the country (Braud, 2005: 429) – these factors combined to facilitate the mobilization of the peasants (Strauss, 2006: 225). The fear bound up with the war expressed itself in a new wave of accusations of witchcraft, which revealed the tensions and conflicts in the everyday life of the hills. Studying Hutu extremist propaganda (Chrétien et al ., 1995) has demonstrated the way in which fear was inculcated: the enemy is described as infiltrating, insidious, ubiquitous. Over and above the advance of the frontl, its threat was diffuse and constant, creating universal mistrust.

The Intermediate Elites

The transmission of the instructions to murder was carried out, in addition to the media, by local elites (Longman, 1995: 19; Wagner, 1998: 30), which were above all composed of civil servants and shopkeepers (de Lame, 1996: 148). In the few regions that opposed the massacres, the replacement of prefects (préfets ) and burgomasters (bourgmestres – non-elected civil servants representing the State) imposed the new order (HRW, 1999: 312). Assailants and victims were assembled in stadiums or churches. Roadblocks were set up and those opposed to the violence were often threatened with death (HRW, 1999: 279). The classical levers of peasant mobilization (such as mandatory weekly collective labour – umuganda ) were employed, as well as a program of ‘civil self-defense’, which required the organization of daily rounds and the distribution of weapons to men ‘with something to defend’ (HRW, 1999: 128). In fact, the adhesion and rallying of these elites to the ethnic project seems to be bound up with threats of violence and the possibility of losing their jobs should they oppose the massacres.

It is possible that at this level ethnicity was invested in representations of social class. However, it would be a mistake to view the evolution of the forms of violence affecting Rwanda in the light of what emerged as their denouement in 1994. To do so would ignore the basic differences between the origin of each of these crises, the groups that provoked them, their purpose, and the way in which peasants took part in them. The identification of Tutsi populations as the targets of violence itself changed. The 1959 Revolution was presented as the overthrow of the established order and of a ruling class, the Tutsi aristocracy. This was not the case in 1973, when Committees of Public Safety, established by students, organized a purge of secondary schools and the university, and then of the civil service and businesses. Tutsi elements were regarded as a group active throughout the region, which had become a direct rival for positions. Beyond the colonial legacy of ethnic categories, this class mediation (maintained by the quota system established by Juvénal Habyarimana), reformalized the resentment on an ethnic object (Uvin, 1999: 41).

The ambiguous attitude of the national and local elites to a peasantry that they often described as «the masses» (de Lame, 1997: 159), was a mixture of contempt and fascination and can be better appreciated in the way they addressed the population during the massacres. We see this in the metaphors used by the extremist media to describe the Rwandan population: ‘The people, that is the true shield, the real army which is strong.... The Armed Forces do the fighting, but the people say: we hold the rear, we are the shield. The day the people rises up and no longer wants you, hates you in unison and from the bottom of its heart, when you will make it nauseous, I ... I ask myself where you will escape. Where can you go? ‘ (RTLM, April 3, 1994, in HRW, 1999: 214). A condition of the unfolding and extension of the killings, the participation of the maximum possible portion of the population in them, also made it possible to exonerate those who conceived them. During a foreign tour, representatives of the provisional government explained to Western diplomats and at the United Nations that the massacres were the result of an uncontrollable dynamic of popular fury (HRW, 1999: 332-333). The most recent estimates of the numbers of killers strongly qualifies this representation of popular massacres, resulting in a range of 175-210,000 killers (in the strict sense), or between 14 and 17 percent of the active Hutu adult male population (Strauss, 2006: 103-118).

Contexts: Differences and Repetitions

Each of the episodes of violence that the country experienced occurred in a regional context. The parallel history of neighboring Burundi had a strong impact in Rwanda on several occasions. The massacres that occurred there in 1972, and which were primarily directed against Burundi’s Hutu elites, had a certain impact on the Rwandan elites who, less than a year later, organized purges aimed at excluding Tutsis from the university, the civil service and businesses (Munyarugerero, 2003: 133-141). In 1993, the assassination of the democratically elected Hutu President of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye, prompted the exodus of several hundred thousand Burundian Hutu refugees to Rwanda, some of whom were to take an active part in the 1994 massacres (HRW, 1999: 162). After the resumption of the offensive by the FPR in 1993, and a few weeks after the signing of the Arusha Accords, the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye increased the distrust of the FPR felt by a number of members of Rwanda’s internal opposition.

Added to this dynamic of exported and imported violence were the cyclical effects of repetition. Power propaganda systematically compared the FPR’s attack of 1990 to the incursions made by Tutsi exiles in the 1960s, reducing the two conflicts to one and the same perpetual war, vaunted by several decades of official history. However, 80 percent of Rwandans had been born after independence (1962) and had not lived through this period (Uvin, 1999: 32). The evident similarities between the situations of 1959, 1963, 1973 and 1994 make sense only in their reformulation, organization and integration into an official ideology. It is the fact that certain social groups claimed responsibility for them which makes them seem like repetitions of the same conflict. Appropriated and reinterpreted, these disparate contextual elements became the raw material for self-fulfilling prophecies (Lemarchand, 1970: 344), which can only be transcended by the writing of a common history.

The Reign of Rwabugiri (1867-1895)

The reign of Rwabugiri, the last mwami before colonists reached Rwanda, was particularly violent. At the time, the kingdom was in a period of territorial expansion and the armies raised by the court finished conquering the region of Gisaka (1876), gained a foothold on Ijwi Island (first in 1870, then in 1880-1881, and later 1886), entered the Bushi region and organized raids in Ndorwa and Butembo (1880-1881). Rwabugiri established royal residences in each of these annexed provinces and visited them regularly, especially those of Sakara and Rubengera, which increased the pressure from the central authorities *(Chrétien, 2003: 141-145).

This itinerant court was riven with divisions. The main clans – Kono, Ega and to a lesser degree, Tsobe – vied with each other for power and influence around the King. The royal faction initially consolidated its position by assassinating the Gereka lineage in 1869, when Rwabugiri was still a child. The dynamics of rivalry changed when the King grew up and began to actually exercise power. The struggle was increasingly centered on the opposition between the old aristocracy and a new elite, gathered around the young mwami . Betrayals and political assassinations were frequent. To this day, the part Rwabugiri played in the assassination of his own mother, Murorunkwere in 1876, remains unknown **(Vansina, 2001: 215). However, he became ill soon after the event and decided to go after the culprits, Rwampembwe and Nkoronko (his own father). They were massacred with their followers in 1880. These successive twists tilted the balance in favor of the Ega clan, which married one of its daughters, Kanjogera, to the mwami in the early 1880s.

The King’s favorites engaged in a merciless struggle for power so fierce that it regularly led to the execution of entire family lines, which generated an obligation to take revenge **(Vansina, 2001: 236-237). The territorial expansion of the kingdom was linked to these conflicts at court: in 1870, the Queen Mother Murorunkwere decreed a campaign against the Ndorwa region, then in Ijwi Island, to appease court rivalries after the massacre of the Gereka. In 1879 and 1880, Nyirimigabo used a military campaign in Burundi in order to have Nkoronko and Rwampembwe – who were reputed to be Murorunkwere’s assassins – executed. The proliferation of military campaigns and the many cases of looting, as Armed Forces passed through the countryside, set off waves of popular protest which sometimes led to all-out rebellion, such as at Save in 1890.

The end of Rwabugiri’s reign was characterized by the pursuit of consensus; by declaring Kanjogera the adoptive Queen Mother of Rutalindwa, who was enthroned as co-ruler in 1889, Rwabugiri began to exercise power in partnership with the Ega and Kono clans. In addition to the violence, many scourges befell the country in the early 1890s: an epizootic of bovine plague known as Muryamo (‘the big sleep’) wiped out 90 percent of cattle. The reconstitution of clientelist networks by the redistribution of the remaining livestock to the most powerful leaders provoked the ruin of many small breeders. All the lands which had previously been used as pastures fell under the control of the hill leaders who represented the court ***(Chrétien, 2003: 191 and Vansina, 2001: 222-223). In addition, the country suffered from drought running two consecutive years **(Vansina, 2001: 222). In 1893, smallpox decimated the Royal Armies. The next year, several swarms of locusts destroyed the crops **(Vansina, 2001: 223). Faced with these events, which undermined the sacred quality of the royal institution – and therefore, its popular standing – the consensus Rwabugiri had built appeared very fragile, and it did not survive for long. The Rucunshu coup d’État organized by Kanjogera in December 1896 was intended to restore the supremacy of the Ega clan at court, but it could only take root by way of support from German colonial troops, which had recently arrived in the region.

1869: The Gereka clan, which was opposed to the new Queen Mother, Murorunkwere, was defeated near Nyanza by Nkoronko and Rwampembwe’s armies. The members of the Gereka clan, which numbered over 200, were tracked down and massacred **(Vansina, 2001: 212).

1870: Queen Mother Murorunkwere blinded a pretender to the throne who was her son Nyanwesa’s rival, making him unable to rule **(Vansina, 2001: 213). Seruteganya, the Queen Mother’s favorite, had the inhabitants of the Cyingogo region massacred **(Vansina, 2001: 229). The precise dates of these events is uncertain, as well as the number of victims.

1876: Queen Mother Murorunkwere was accused of being pregnant by her favorite, Seruteganya, and was assassinated by Nkoronko and Rwampembwe **(Vansina, 2001: 214-215).

1880: After a long investigation intended to determine who was responsible for the death of the mwami ‘s mother, his main favorite, Nyirimigabo, had Nkoronko and Rwampembwe assassinated. Many women of the higher aristocracy were cornered into committing suicide **(Vansina, 2001: 216-217), though their specific reasons remain unknown.

1883: Nyirimigabo had his rival Nyantaba – another of the mwami ‘s favorites – executed, along with one of his sons **(Vansina, 2001: 217).

1885: Nyirimigabo was killed during the campaign to invade Kanywiriri **(Vansina, 2001: 218).

1889; December: Rutarindwa was proclaimed co-ruler. The exact reasons for this decision remain unclear to this day. Rwabugiri designated Kanjogera as his adoptive Queen Mother, in an attempt to link Rutarindwa’s lineage, the Kono, to Kanjogera’s, the Ega **(Vansina, 2001, 221).

1890: As the mwami ‘s guard (the Ingangurarugo Army) passed through Save, the looting carried out by the King’s men triggered an uprising which was put down by the royal cortège *(Vansina, 2001: 244).

1895; September: Mwami Rwabugiri died *(Vansina, 2001: 225). Rutalindwa succeeded him.

1896; October: Having heard that a Belgian outpost had been set up at Shangi, the court sent an army, led by Bisangwa and Muhigirwa, against it. Around 600 men attacked the outpost and were decimated by the Belgians, who had firearms *(Vansina, 2001: 227).

1896; December: Rutalindwa was overthrown during the Rucunshu coup, organized by Queen Mother Kanjogera, from the Ega clan. Her son Yuhi Musinga, who was still a child, rose to power. His mother became regent, aided by her brothers Kabare and Ruhinanko *(Chrétien, 2003: 188). Rutalindwa, his wife and their three children were killed *(Lemarchand, 1970: 58), along with around 100 warriors *(Vansina, 2001: 227). Among the ritualistic guardians of the esoteric royal code, who were in charge of proclaiming the legitimacy of the mwami ‘s accession to the throne, those who refused to recognize Musinga were assassinated; many provincial leaders were replaced by chiefs from the Ega clan *(Lemarchand, 1970: 58).

The German Protectorate (1897-1916)

Apart from the brief visits of Stanley in 1876 **(HC, 1956: 12-13; Reyntjens, 1985: 30) and Oscar Baumann in 1892 *(Lemarchand, 1970: 47), the first contact between the Rwandan court and German colonial troops took place in 1894 and 1897. In August 1885, the Berlin conference determined the eastern borders of the Congo Free State – which was the property of Leopold II, King of the Belgians – along an oblique line which included the mountainous ridge towering over Lake Kivu in western Rwanda. England and Germany divided up the territories east of this oblique line in July 1890: England took Uganda and Germany took Rwanda and Burundi. Count von Götzen’s 1894 expedition took note of the extension of the mwami ‘s authority up to the shores of Lake Kivu *(Chrétien, 2003: 187), which drove Germany to renegotiate these borders. Their final layout was settled during the Brussels conference of 1910.

Kanjogera saw the protectorate established by Germany during a visit by Captain von Ramsay to the Rwandan court in 1897 as an alliance which would enable her to reinforce her power as regent and extend the mwami ‘s authority in the northern territories, over which her control was not very effective. In fact, Germany apparently did not intervene much in Rwandan affairs: in 1914, the Kigali residence’s staff, administrative and military personnel combined, amounted to 10 people *(Lemarchand, 1970: 63). Nonetheless, several violent operations with German support allowed the court to strengthen its hold on Rwanda, first against the attempted secession of Gisaka in 1901 and then, more importantly, against the insurrection in the northeastern quarter of the country in 1910-1912.

Besides this support for the court, the protectorate also encouraged the gradual establishment of Christian missions in Rwanda. However, the progression of Catholicism there was slow *(Chrétien, 2003: 373) and the criteria of conversion were quite superficial. In 1914, there were 10,000 Catholics in the country, the total population was estimated at 1,500,000 *(Chrétien, 2003: 184). Once again, Rwanda was struck by several disasters: the Ruyaga (1902-1903), Rwakabaga (1904-1905), Kimwaramwara (1907-1908) and Rumanurimbaba (1917-1918) famines, as well as the 1911 smallpox outbreak in Gisaka and the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in 1907-1908 *(HC, 1956: 11).

1987; March: Kanjogera accepted Captain von Ramsay’s gift of a German flag, as well as a letter of protection. This alliance allowed her to consolidate her son’s power, which was being disputed in court ***(Chrétien, 2003: 188; Reyntjens, 1985: 59; Vansina, 2001: 227).

1900: In Gisaka, Rukara’s rebellion was suppressed with support from the German Chief of Usumbura district, von Grawert **(Chrétien, 2003: 216; Munyarugerero, 2003: 18; HC, 1956: 15). The number of victims is still unknown. Rukara was captured.

1900; February 2: An expedition led by the apostolic vicar Monsignor Jean-Joseph Hirth, visited mwami Musinga with permission from the German authorities, and received the Save site from the mwami , as a site for the foundation of a first mission **(Linden, 1999: 53-54; Chrétien, 2003: 184). By 1903, four other missions were created in peripheral areas: Zaza, in Gisaka; Rwaza, in the Mulera region; Nyundo, in the Bugoyi region; and Mbirizi, in the Kinyaga area *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 19).

1902: Musinga summoned the Chief of Gisaka to Nyanza and imprisoned him; his followers were massacred. As a punishment, Governor von Beringe fined Musinga 40 heads of cattle **(Chrétien, 2003: 216; HC, 1956: 15).

1905; June-August: Musinga organized a military expedition against Basebya, the Twa Chief of Mulera, who had refused to pay the tribute demanded by the mwami . The latter’s troops were beaten, and he called upon the Germans *(Dorsey, 1994: 45).

1906; February 13: The Kagbayi Catholic mission was founded near the royal court, in order to promote bridge-building with the Rwandan aristocracy *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 19).

1907: Rwanda was separated from Burundi. Richard Kandt became its Resident-General, founded the city of Kigali and settled there *(Chrétien, 2003: 219).

1910; April 1: Father Loupias was assassinated at Gahinga by Rukara rwa Bishingwe, a very powerful chief, following a dispute between the latter and several of his relatives who wished to escape his control. With help from some notables from Nduga who were loyal to Musinga, the German Resident Gudovius organized a punitive expedition. Its goal was to obtain the complete submission of this region by destroying crops and dwellings. Several Hutu were killed and their corrals were burned down, but Rukara escaped ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 60; Linden, 1999: 127-128; Reyntjens, 1985: 99).

1911; May: Nyiragahumuza, one of mwami Rwabugiri’s widows, announced that Rutalindwa was still alive and in hiding in the north of the country. A revolt broke out against mwami Musinga and spread across the north of Rwanda. It was suppressed by a German intervention; Nyiragahumuza was captured and brought back to Nyanza ***(Chrétien, 2003: 221; HC, 1956: 17; Linden, 1999: 149).

1912; April: German troops attacked the area of Buberuka, in the Ruhengeri region, where Ndungutse (a pretender to the title of mwami ), Rukara (who had killed Father Loupias in 1910) and Basebya, Chief of Mulera (who had rebelled against the mwami ) had taken refuge. Ndungutse turned Rukara in to the German troops, hoping they would take mercy on him, and then fled to Uganda. Rukara and Basebya were executed. The German Lieutenant Linde took charge of ‘punishing’ the region: crops were destroyed, houses burned, and resistance was quelled. Almost 50 people were killed in total ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 60; HC, 1956: 17; Linden, 1999: 147-154).

1914; September-October: The Germans attacked Ijwi Island, where there was a Belgian military outpost **(HC, 1956: 17; Reyntjens, 1985: 33).

1916; April 18: Belgian troops advanced into Rwanda. Two columns left the north and south shores of Lake Kivu and overwhelmed the German troops, which had been reduced to 24 officers (including subalterns) and 152 askari (indigenous infantrymen in the colonial army) soldiers for the entire Ruanda-Urundi territory **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 22; Reyntjens, 1985: 33).

1916; May 6: The Belgians took Kigali. At Nyanza, the Germans abandoned the Rwandan troops that had been levied for the war. The region was subjected to military occupation *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 22).

The Belgian Mandate and Trusteeship (1916-1959)

The first few years Belgium occupied the Rwandan and Burundian territories it had conquered, but it was not interested in them and intended to use them only as bargaining chips during the peace talks in Europe *(Reyntjens, 1985: 35). The country therefore remained under the Belgian Army’s administration until 1919, when the Orts-Milner Accord confirmed that Belgium was to remain a mandatory power in Rwanda – from which the Gisaka region had been separated. In 1918, a referendum was manufactured in order to demonstrate the attachment of mwami Musinga, the court and the main chiefs to their new occupiers *(Reyntjens, 1985: 62). On July 20, 1922, the League of Nations Council gave Belgium a type-B mandate over the Territory of Ruanda-Urundi, Belgium was officially supposed to administer the country while respecting freedom of religion, prohibiting slavery and pledging not to set up any military establishments there *(Reyntjens, 1985: 43).

Belgian policy in Rwanda was initially characterized by an apparent preference for indirect administration, but it still had real and profound effects on the country. The mandatory power reduced the mwami ‘s formal prerogatives, while extending and homogenizing the territory in which they were in force. As early as 1917, Musinga was obliged to recognize freedom of worship, which undermined the religious authority tied to his status, he also lost the right of life and death over his subjects *(Reyntjens, 1985: 79). Among other humiliations, several rites connected to the King’s role were forbidden *(Reyntjens, 1985: 82). In 1925, the administration exiled Gashamura, Musinga’s favorite oracle, to Burundi **(Chrétien, 2003; Reyntjens, 1985: 83) and tried for the first time to force the mwami to cross the Nyabarongo River, an act forbidden by his regnal name *(Reyntjens, 1985: 82). At the same time, Belgium helped the mwami to assert his authority in the northern regions of the country, but also in the southwest and in the Bukunzi and Busozo areas. Only in 1931 did the Belgian colonial territory coincide with the geographical area over which the mwami had authority *(Reyntjens, 1985: 103).

In the meantime, the Catholic Church had become an essential protagonist in Rwandan political life *(Lemarchand, 1970: 73). As soon as Bishop Léon Classe was appointed head of the apostolic vicariate of Rwanda in 1922, he became an activist for the return of Gisaka to Rwanda *(Chrétien, 2003: 228). The main vector of the Church’s power was its monopoly on education. The school for chiefs’ sons, which had been established in 1919 and did not provide any religious education – as Musinga had requested – was replaced in 1932 by the Astrida School, administered by the Congregation of the Brothers of Charity of Ghent *(Reyntjens, 1985: 125-126). From then on, all the future elites of the country were educated by the Church. Indeed, Monsignor Classe became a fervent defender of the ‘hypothèse hamitique ‘ (‘Hamitic hypothesis’), a racist theory which was very common in the Africanist literature of the time, according to which the Tutsi were akin to a race of Hamitic nomadic cattle farmers, which made them born leaders. In 1927, Classe fiercely opposed a timid attempt to balance out the ethnic distribution of the positions of chiefs and vice-chiefs *(Reyntjens, 1985: 104).

The general direction of Belgian colonial policy in Rwanda changed substantially from the late 1920s. Intervention became increasingly direct: reforms begun in 1926 by Resident Mortehan restructured local power and its territorial bases ***(Chrétien, 2003: 235; Lemarchand, 1970: 72; Reyntjens, 1985: 113-116). Mwami Yuhi Musinga, who was trying to preserve his authority over the country and refused to convert to Catholicism, was overthrown and sent into exile in 1931 *(Lemarchand, 1970: 69). His son and successor, Rudahigwa, collaborated more easily with the colonial authorities and the Church. He moved into the residence the government had built for him at Rwesero, chose not to marry an Ega woman and dedicated the country to Christ the King in 1946 *(Reyntjens, 1985: 92). The role of Hutu chiefs and vice-chiefs in the local administration was drastically reduced through the years (whereas at the beginning of the twentieth century, one quarter of vice-chiefs were Hutu, according to Chrétien *(2003: 233). Due to this policy, by 1959 only 50 out of 1,050 vice-chiefs, and only one out of 82 chiefs, were Hutu *(Lemarchand, 1970: 82).

The homogenization of Rwandan territory and the extension of the mwami ‘s authority – as well as that of Belgium in the country – were based on payments in kind, in the form of labor. Though the Belgians abolished several existing tributes – including those in cattle and foodstuffs in 1924 – such as imponoke , indabukirano and abatora *(Reyntjens, 1985: 132), it also generalized uburetwa (a tax consisting of one day of labor per week), and considerably increased its base to all able-bodied adult men in the Rwandan territory. They also created akazi , the requisition of men for unpaid labor in public works. This taxation policy was integrated into the ethnic framework through which the colonial power considered society, and only the Hutu population was subject to uburetwa *(Newbury, 1988: 141). Until it was abolished in the aftermath of World War II, the desire to evade uburetwa constituted one of the main motives for the departure of emigrants into exile: 425,000 Rwandans left the country, heading to Uganda and Tanganyika *(Reyntjens, 1985: 141).

1917; July: As Declerk, the new Belgian Resident requested, Musinga proclaimed the freedom of religion in Rwanda **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 23; Reyntjens, 1985: 80).

1919: The Muyaga (‘Storm’) revolt broke out in the region of Rukiga *(HC, 1956: 20).

1919; May: In , the Belgian Minister Orts and the British Minister Lord Milner signed an agreement to partition Belgian-controlled Ruanda-Urundi and separate the Gisaka region. This 5,000 square-km territory was ceded to Britain for the construction of the Cairo-Cape Town railway **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 23; Reyntjens, 1985: 45).

1922; May 28: Father Léon Classe was made a bishop in Antwerp and appointed head of the new ‘apostolic vicariate of Ruanda’. From then on, as long as he held this post, he regularly intervened in Rwandan political life. His first task was to obtain the reunification of Rwanda and the Gisaka region *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 23).

1923: Several Hutu groups from the north of the country refused to submit to the uburetwa labor tax and were jailed *(Reyntjens, 1985: 135).

1924; January 1: Gisaka was returned to Ruanda.

1925: The Belgian administration occupied the Bukunzi province in the southwest of the country, which had protectorate status. Nyirandakunze, the Queen Mother of this region, was killed and Ngoga, its young mwami , died in prison in Kigali *(Reyntjens, 1985: 101).

1926: The Belgian troops occupied Busozo, whose mwami had just died, and put a young notable from its court in command of the province *(Reyntjens, 1985: 102). A messianic movement known as Nyiraburumuke or Ndanga led an uprising of the populations of Bugesera and Gisaka. The police forces suppressed this revolt in 1927 *(Reyntjens, 1985: 103).

1928; March-April: In the northern regions of Ndorwa and Buberuka, Semaroso, a Hutu leader, posed as Ndungutse – the son of Rwabugiri and half-brother of Musinga – and provoked a rebellion, initially with around 100 men. Ndungutse was proclaimed mwami . On March 24, almost 2000 rebels attacked Mukano Hill, which was under the control of Chief Lukeratabaro, but were fought off. The next day, the Belgian Resident ordered that a military expedition depart to the rebel zone. They attacked from March 31 to April 3 at Kumushuri, near Muymbu, and at Butoro. The revolt was put down and Semaroso fled to Uganda. Six of the notables who had taken part in the rebellion surrendered to the Belgian authorities. The Resident put an end to the military operation but kept the region under military occupation for three and a half years. Official Belgian sources estimate that these events led to the death of 56 people ***(Dorsey, 1994: 55-56; HC, 1956: 18; Reyntjens, 1985: 102).

1930; January 5: Mwami Yuhi Musinga cursed those of his children who dared to become Christians *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 30).

1930; October: Another uprising began in Bumbogo, a region north of Kigali. The Catholic Mission of Rulindo intervened to appease the revolt. Belgian police forces did not interfere *(Reyntjens, 1985: 103).

1931: Ethnic origin was added to the identity papers of able-bodied men, in order to count taxpayers *(Franche, 1997: 45).

1931; November 12: The Belgian Vice-Governor Voisin deposedmwami Musinga, who was considered hostile to the Catholic Church. He was forced to hand over the royal insignia and drums to Voisin **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 27; Reyntjens, 1985; 89). His son Rudahigwa converted to Catholicism, along with the court dignitaries.

1931; November 15: Rudahigwa was proclaimed mwami and received his regnal name, Mutara, from Léon Classe, who thus took over the role of the abiru dynastic ritualists. To celebrate his investiture, he replaced the taxes the population provided for the King’s person in goods and labor with an annual tax of one Belgian franc **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 28; Reyntjens, 1985: 90-91).

1940; June 29: Musinga’s residence in exile was transferred from Kamembe to Moba, near Albertville. The deposed mwami was considered dangerous, as a ‘legitimist’ faction with German support was demanding his return *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 31).

1943-1945: With the noted exception of the Cyangugu territory, the entire country was struck by famine. This crisis was known as Ruzagayura in the Nyanza, Kibungu and Astrida territories, as Matemane in Byumba and Kigali, as Gahoro in Gisenyi and Kibuye, and as Rudakanwg’imishanana in Ruhengeri *(HC, 1956: 12). The famine killed at least 300,000 people and the burden of taxation became heavier for the survivors **(Linden, 1999: 277; Newbury, 1988: 158). However, estimates of the number of victims differ: according to Lemarchand, 36,000 people starved to death in the year 1943 *(Lemarchand, 1970: 122).

1946: The ‘mandate’ the League of Nations had given Belgium over Rwandan territory was renamed ‘trusteeship’ by the United Nations’ General Assembly *(Reyntjens, 1985: 211).

1948; July 28 - August 11: The first United Nations mission visited the country. The report that was written afterwards criticized the slow pace of political reforms enacted there by Belgium, and the fact that few Rwandans held administrative positions *(Reyntjens, 1985: 215-216).

1949: It became obligatory for all Rwandans to redeem the value of the uburetwa they owed, for the annual sum of 19.50 francs **(Newbury, 1988: 146; Reyntjens, 1985: 137).

The Appearance of a Counter-Elite (1950-1959)

The reports written in 1948, 1951, 1954 and 1957 by the United Nations missions which visited Rwanda under the framework of the Trusteeship Council were increasingly critical of Belgian colonial policy. In 1951, the Belgian authorities published a ten-year plan for the economic and social development of Ruanda-Urundi. The July 14, 1952 decree transferred certain powers to the mwami , created councils at the vice-chieftainship and regional levels, and began a timid process of institutional democratization **(Newbury, 1988: 184; Reyntjens, 1985: 185-198). In 1954, the last UN visit criticized the basis of the options chosen by the Belgian authorities, who conditioned any kind of political and institutional development of the territories they were entrusted with, upon the socio-economic progress of the areas concerned *(Reyntjens, 1985: 217). At the same time, an increasing number of people were dissatisfied with the bureaucratization of the chieftainships *(Lemarchand, 1970: 119-121). The domination of the Tutsi chiefs was associated with the colonial domination it rested upon, and limited the possibilities for redistribution and reciprocity between the chiefs and their subjects *(Lemarchand, 1970: 125).

On April 1, 1954, the mwami abolished ubuhake client contracts, according to which a patron entrusted one or several heads of cattle to his new client, provided the latter with assistance and protection, and received certain services and goods in exchange *(Newbury, 1988: 134-140). This measure only shifted clientele relationships from cattle to the field of real estate ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 129; Newbury, 1988: 146; Reyntjens, 1985: 207), because sharing out cattle (two-thirds for clients, one-third for patrons) did not result in sharing out the pastures.

Within the colonial system, the power struggle intensified. The Rwandan elites which drew their legitimacy from the Belgian authorities became divided between traditional powerholders (the mwami and the court) and a new elite generation, many of whose members had been trained in the Astrida region. The colonial authorities viewed them as more reliable and initially considered having them gain power directly after the mwami was deposed *(Reyntjens, 1985: 224). Eventually, the most conservative factions won the power struggle in court, in spite of attempts by some chiefs to resist this (including the Bwanakweli reform effort in 1956, *Lemarchand, 1970: 154).

All through the 1950s, a university-educated Hutu counter-elite, most of whose members had been trained at the Nyakibanda seminary *(Reyntjens, 1985: 229) was confined to second-rate jobs (as teachers, small shopkeepers, civil servants, sometimes even peasants). They expressed their frustration through many pamphlets and publications, especially Kinyamateka , a newspaper edited in Kinyarwanda and created in 1933. Grégoire Kayibanda, the main activist of this nascent counter-elite, became its editor-in-chief in 1956 **(Chrétien, 2003: 263; Lemarchand, 1970: 148). In December 1956, the creation of the TRAFIPRO or Travail, Fidélité, Progrès (i.e. ‘Work, Loyalty, Progress’) cooperative allowed the leaders of this nascent political opposition movement to begin solving two of the main problems they faced. These were their lack of supporters beyond the area between Gitarama and Ruhengeri, and the fact that they had little contact with the population living in the hills *(Lemarchand, 1970: 148/152). They did however have the support of the Catholic Church *(Chrétien, 2003: 264).

The elites and counter-elites created political parties in view of the local elections due to be held before the end of 1959 *(Reyntjens, 1985: 250). The conservative and royalist UNAR or Union Nationale Rwandaise (Rwandan National Union), advocated obtaining independence quickly; it had the court’s support, as well as that of almost all chiefs, and Muslim Swahili groups, most of which were settled in Kigali *(Reyntjens, 1985: 251). RADER or Rassemblement Démocratique .du Rwanda (Democratic Gathering of Rwanda) presented itself as a multi-ethnic, pro-Belgian party *(Reyntjens, 1985: 252).

Grégoire Kayibanda’s PARMEHUTU or Parti de l’Émancipation du Peuple Hutu (Hutu People’s Emancipation Party) was exclusively ethnic-based. Though it did not initially consider the abolition of the monarchy, it demanded access to education and administrative jobs for Hutus, and conditioned the country’s independence upon these objectives being met first *(Reyntjens, 1985: 253). APROSOMA or Association Pour la Promotion Sociale de la Masse (Association for the Social Promotion of the Masses) came from the same movement as PARMEHUTU and was completely subservient to the personality of its leader, Joseph Habyarimana Gitera. It had no influence beyond the regions of Astrida and Cyangugu *(Reyntjens, 1985: 253).

The death of mwami Charles Mutara Rudahigwa in July, 1959, sparked a crisis, forcing each faction to define its position. Fearing the Belgian administration might name a Regent, the conservative ritualists at court designated Rudahigwa’s son, Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa, as his successor. They forced this choice upon Governor Harroy during the mwami ‘s funeral, on Mwima Hill **(Lemarchand, 1970: 156-158; Reyntjens, 1985: 239-250).

The colonial authorities were overwhelmed by the strategies of the protagonists in the power struggle *(Newbury, 1988: 193). They were especially opposed to UNAR which was demanding immediate independence (in order to preserve the court’s powers), imposed its candidate as the new mwami and openly criticized the Belgian presence in Rwanda during its rallies. In the mid-1950s, the colonial authorities contrived to reverse the course of the policy implemented so far, to some extent. Beginning in 1956, the number of Hutus registered at the Astrida school rose quickly, until they reached nearly one-third of all pupils in 1959 *(Lemarchand, 1970: 138). The weakening of the Belgian colonizers’ position was not limited to Rwandan territory: riots broke out at Léopoldville, in the Congo, in January 1959 *(Chrétien, 2003: 265). In addition, the General Assembly of the United Nations regularly debated the issue of the independence of the territories under trusteeship. In April 1959, a ‘working group’ of Belgian parliamentarians was sent to visit Rwanda and consider the reforms necessary for this territory to gradually achieve internal autonomy **(Lemarchand, 1970: 154; Reyntjens, 1985: 265), but the country they discovered was about to explode.

1948; July 28 - August 11: The first UN mission toured the country. Its subsequent report criticized the slowness of political reforms implemented by Belgium, and the fact that few Rwandans held administrative positions *(Reyntjens, 1985, 215-216).

1950; February: Responding to intense UN pressure, Belgium decided to implement a ten-year plan for economic and social development in Rwanda and Burundi *(Reyntjens, 1985: 185).

1952: Seventeen-and-a-half percent of the population was considered Tutsi according to their identity papers *(HRW, 1999: 54).

1956; April 25: A. Maus, a Belgian colonist and member of the council of the Vice-Governor-General of ‘Ruanda-Urundi’ resigned, protesting to Jean-Paul Harroy that the Hutu population was not represented within the council ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 147; Munyarugerero, 2003: 48; Reyntjens, 1985: 235).

1956; July 21 – August 3: In La Presse Africaine newspaper, a priest anonymously criticized the atmosphere of intrigue and racism prevailing in the Nyanza court *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 49).

1956; October 1: Responding to this article, 43 of the 46 Rwandan chiefs signed a declaration published in Le Courrier d’Afrique , denying the existence of an ethnic problem in Rwanda and calling for the political emancipation of the country *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 49).

1957; February 22: The Supreme Council of Ruanda sent the United Nations mission a disclaimer denying the existence of an ethnically-based power distribution and demanding independence for the country at once ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 150; Munyarugerero, 2003: 49; Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1957; March 24: The Manifeste des Bahutu (Manifesto of the Bahutu), subtitled ‘Memorandum on the social aspect of the native racial issue’), signed by Grégoire Kayibanda, M. Neyonzima, Claver Ndahayo, Isidore Nzeyimana, Calliope Mulindahabi, Godefroid Sentama, S. Munyambonera, Joseph Sibomana and Joseph Habyarimana Gitera, was published. It was presented as a reaction to the February 22 disclaimer, and asserted that the crisis affecting Rwanda came from the ‘Tutsi race’s’ monopoly on the political, economic and social spheres. This manifesto also asked that the indication of ethnic origin be kept on identity papers, and that doctors be consulted on the categorization of persons of mixed origin ***(Chrétien, 2003: 264; Lemarchand, 1970: 149; Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1957; June: Grégoire Kayibanda established the Mouvement Social Muhutu or MSM (Muhutu Social Movement) in Kabgayi *(Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1957; November 1: Joseph Habyarimana Gitera left the MSM and created the Association Pour la Promotion Sociale de la Masse or APROSOMA (Association for the Social Promotion of the Masses), with its newspaper entitled Ijwi rya Rubanda Rugufi (῾The Voice of the Common People᾿) ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 151; Munyarugerero, 2003: 50; Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1958; March 30: Mwami Mutara created a ‘special commission for social relations in Ruanda’, composed of Hutu and Tutsi members in equal proportions **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 50; Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1958; May 17: Twelve ‘great vassals of the court’ published Voici le détail historique du règne des Banyiginya au Rwanda (‘Here is the detailed history of the Banyiginya’s reign in Rwanda’) underlining the absence of any fraternal basis of Hutu-Tutsi relations in the country, the inferior status of the Hutu and, therefore, the illegitimacy of their claims to power ***(Chrétien, 2003: 264; Lemarchand, 1970: 154; Munyarugerero, 2003: 50-51; Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1958; June 12: The country’s Supreme Council voted a motion for the (ethnic) terms Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa to be removed from official documents **(Munyarugerero, 2003: 51; Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1958; July 6: Joseph Habyarimana Gitera published a communique in the newspaper Les Temps Nouveaux d’Afrique asking Belgium and the UN to settle the conflict between ‘le vieux parti des batutsi et le jeune parti des bahutu ‘ (‘the old Batutsi party and the new Bahutu party’) *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 51).

1959; February 11: In his pastoral letter for Lent, Monsignor Perraudin announced the Church’s support for Hutu demands **(Chrétien, 2003: 264; Linden, 1999: 338; Reyntjens, 1985: 231).

1959; February 15: APROSOMA became a political party *(Reyntjens, 1985: 236).

1959; July 25: Mwami Mutara Rudahigwa died in Bujumbura during a visit to a Belgian doctor. Rumors of his having been poisoned spread, although there was no evidence to support them ***(HRW, 1999: 52; Lemarchand, 1970: 156; Reyntjens, 1985: 240).

1959; July 27: In Ruhengeri, the main leaders of the MSM and APROSOMA met to establish a new political organization they wished to present to the Belgian administration *(Reyntjens, 1985: 242).

1959; July 27: During mwami Mutara’s funeral, the abiru ritualists designated Kigeri Ndahindurwa as his successor, and compelled Governor Harroy to acknowledge him as such **(Lemarchand, 1970: 157; Reyntjens, 1985: 244).

1959; September: Several political parties were created, including the Union Nationale Rwandaise or UNAR (Rwandan National Union) and the Rassemblement Démocratique Rwandais or RADER (Democratic Assembly of Rwanda) *(Reyntjens, 1985, 250).

1959; September 13: UNAR organized its first rally in Kigali, with an audience of 2,000. During the event, Chiefs Kayihura, Mungarulire and Rwangombwa criticized the trusteeship administration and the Church ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 159; Linden, 1999: 346; Reyntjens, 1985: 258).

1959; September 24: In a confidential memorandum addressed to the priests, Monsignor Perraudin, the apostolic vicar of Kagbayi, warned Rwandan priests against UNAR, insisting on its ‘Islamist’ and ‘pro-Communist’ program, as well as its plan to put an end to the missions’ influence on the educational system **(Lemarchand, 1970: 161; Linden, 1999: 349).

1959; October 9: The Mouvement Social Muhutu became the Parti de l’Émancipation du Peuple Hutu (PARMEHUTU), (Hutu People’s Emancipation Party), led by Grégoire Kayibanda, and published its manifesto. In Kigali,mwami Kigeri Ndahindurwa was sworn in.

1959; October 10: In response to UNAR’s September 13 rally, Governor Jean-Paul Harroy had the three chiefs who had criticized the administration transferred elsewhere in the country. He also forbade Rwandan members of the administration from expressing political opinions while they were on duty **(Lemrachand, 1970: 162; Reyntjens, 1985: 258).

1959; October 11: A second pastoral letter for Monsignor Perraudin was circulated among the priests to warn them of the danger APROSOMA represented. Perraudin accused the latter of provoking racial hatred *(Linden, 1999: 350).

1959; October 15: The mwami openly sided with the chiefs who had been disciplined. Demonstrations were organized in each of the chieftainships involved (in Kigali, Ndorwa and Bugoyi); they led to the death of one person in Kigali *(Reyntjens, 1985: 259).

The ‘Social Revolution’ (1959-1961)

Some analysts saw the aftermath of the 1954 abolition of ubuhake as one of the major causes of the 1959 Revolution *(Reyntjens, 1985: 208), and the various events of 1959 (the mwami ‘s death, the transfer of the three chiefs after the UNAR rally in Kigali) as catalysts of revolutionary activity **(Newbury, 1988: 193; Reyntjens, 1985: 234). However, the event that marked the beginning of the wave of violence known as Toussaint rwandaise (Rwandan All Saints’ Day) in the autumn of 1959, was UNAR activists’ attack on Dominique Mbonyumutwa at Ndiza. This very popular man was one of the ten Hutu vice-chiefs in Rwanda *(Lemarchand, 1970: 162). The rumor of his death spread very quickly in the region of Kabgayi and around Gitarama, where PARMEHUTU had the most grassroots support. During the following weeks, except for the regions of Cyangugu, Kibungo and Astrida **(Newbury, 1988: 194; Reyntjens, 1985: 260), the entire country experienced what most observers called a Jacquerie ***(Chrétien, 2003: 266; Lemarchand, 1970: 159; Reyntjens, 1985: 235), an uprising or a peasant insurrection. Several hundred people, essentially Tutsis, were killed, several thousand were forced to flee the country, and many houses were burned down **(Chrétien, 2003: 266; Lemarchand, 1970: 167). Though the violence was directed against the Tutsis, the royal institution as such was not targeted. Many peasants participated in the lighting of fires and looting, in the belief that the mwami himself had given orders for this *(Lemarchand, 1970: 164). Nonetheless, the essential question of the role PARMEHUTU cadres played in communicating with the attackers in the northern and central regions of the country – and, therefore, in organizing part of the violence, remains an issue **(Chrétien, 2003: 267; Lemarchand, 1970: 168).

The exact number of victims is unclear, but the figures usually mentioned range from over 200 people *(Lemarchand, 1970: 167) to several hundred **(Chrétien, 2003: 266; Reyntjens, 1985: 261). Though the number of refugees is generally estimated at 10,000 **(HRW, 1999: 52; Reyntjens, 1985: 261), some figures are double that amount just for April 1960 *(Lemarchand, 1970: 172). Most Tutsi refugees did not leave the country during the events of theToussaint rwandaise (7,000 of them fled from their regions of origin at the end of November, 1959), but rather during the months following the nomination of many Hutus as vice-chiefs and chiefs by the Belgian administration *(Lemarchand, 1970: 173).

Faced with this violence, Belgium imposed a state of emergency and placed the country under military occupation. After the violence had ended, Colonel Logiest, who had the powers of a Proconsul, made profound changes in the composition of Rwandan administrative personnel. Of the 45 chiefs in office, 23 were dead or had fled during the violence, as well as 158 of the 489 vice-chiefs **(Lemarchand, 1970: 172; Reyntjens, 1985: 268). Logiest set up a policy to systematically replace the chiefs and vice-chiefs who were missing, had fled or had been relieved of their duties, with Hutus **(Lemarchand, 1970; Reyntjens, 1985: 268). The military Resident openly defended this strategy for the sake of increasing efficiency in the implementation of decisions *(Reyntjens, 1985: 268), and because he wished to ‘politicize’ Rwanda **(Lemarchand, 1970: 175; Reyntjens, 1985: 268). Following the Toussaint rwandaise , PARMEHUTU made substantial changes to its program: it now sought the establishment of a republic, having previously favored a constitutional monarchy *(Lemarchand, 1970: 168).

The 1960 elections to fill the positions of bourgmestres (mayors) and local councilors were a direct consequence of the reforms begun by Colonel Logiest. The Belgian administration supported the parties which came from the Hutu counter-elite (Lemarchand, 1970: 178), and official propaganda became the only political discourse in Rwanda since on June 6, 1960, the Special Resident had banned all political rallies. The run-up to the elections was a period marred with violent incidents. In early July, Tutsi activists set fire to the voting booths of the Rubengera commune (local administrative district), in the Kibuye region. In retaliation, the Hutu population burned down some houses belonging to Tutsis *(Lemarchand, 1970: 180). In some regions, Comités de Salut Public (Committees of Public Safety) and militia battalions were organized *(Lemarchand, 1970: 180). The violence did not cease after the Hutu parties’ massive electoral victory, as many PARMEHUTU activists considered that these acts of violence had, in a sense, been legitimated by the results of the vote *(Lemarchand, 1970: 180).

Belgian support was decisive for the last blow struck against the monarchy on January 28, 1961. The new bourgmestres and local council members were summoned to Gitarama, they were taken there by the Belgians, and the meeting place was guarded by a detachment of Belgian paratroopers. Colonel Logiest himself was present *(Reyntjens, 1985: 289). The Republic was proclaimed. Dominique Mbonyumutwa became its President and Grégoire Kayibanda its Prime Minister. Before the United Nations, Belgium was the only state to implicitly recognize the legitimacy of the ‘Gitarama Coup’ and oppose UN Resolution 1605, calling for legislative elections and the organization of a referendum on the monarchy. The campaign for these two votes was marked by assassinations and violence from the main parties standing for election, UNAR and PARMEHUTU. However, repression came only from PARMEHUTU – with Belgian support – which had several dozen eminent members of UNAR arrested *(Reyntjens, 1985: 299). The elections did not produce any change in the results of the January 21 coup; Rwanda thus became a republic before acquiring its independence.

1959; November 1: Dominique Mbonyumutwa, a vice-chief and PARMEHUTU representative, was taunted and mistreated by UNAR militants at Byimana, in the Gitarama area ***(Lemarchand, 1970: 162; Newbury, 1988: 194; Reyntjens, 1985: 260).

1959; November 2: In response to the news of this attack on Mbonyumutwa, a demonstration was organized at Gitarama, opposite the Swahili traders’ quarter, where the population was known to support UNAR **(Lemarchand, 1970: 162; Reyntjens, 1985: 260). A group of Hutu youths attacked Chief Haguma’s residence and destroyed his coffee and banana plantations. An army regiment was sent to Gitarama to restore order *(Dorsey, 1994: 82). Rumors spread that Mbonyumutwa, who was in hospital, had died from his injuries. In Ndiza (Mbonyumutwa’s region of origin), a crowd demonstrated in front of Chief Gashagaza’s residence. Vice-Chief Nkusi, who was known to be opposed to PARMEHUTU and had publicly threatened their activists, was pursued and killed with three other Tutsis visiting Chief Gashagaza **(Lemarchand, 1970: 162; Newbury, 1988: 194). Another group attacked Vice-Chief Biriguza in Ndiza, looted his house and then set fire to thousands of huts all over Ndiza district *(Dorsey, 1994: 83).

1959; November 4: The fires and looting continued in the Ndiza area and spread to the entire Gitarama-Marangara and Rukoma region *(Newbury, 1988: 194).

1959; November 5: The fires reached the regions of Gisenyi (Kingogo, Kanage and Bushiru) and Ruhengeri-Kibali *(Dorsey, 1994: 83).

1959; November 6: The fires and violent episodes spread to the Buberuka and Bukonya chieftainships, in the regions of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi **(Dorsey, 1994: 83; Lemarchand, 1970: 163). In retaliation, Secyugu, a Hutu trader from Nyanza, was killed in his home upon orders from the Twa Chief Rwevu *(Lemarchand, 1970: 165).

1959; November 7: Nearly 200 people who had come from the north of the country attacked and set fire to the Rubengera area, in Kibuye. The local population defended itself and killed 38 of the attackers *(Lemarchand, 1970: 163). Several Hutu notables were killed in the regions of Nyanza and Gitarama *(Lemarchand, 1970: 165). The Belgian Resident, Preud’homme, placed Rwanda under a military regime, imposed a curfew and forbade gatherings of over five people *(Reyntjens, 1985: 261).

1959; November 8: The fires spread to Mulera and Rwankeri, at the northern extremity of the Ruhengeri region. While trying to get demonstrators to disperse, the Belgian troops killed two of them and wounded two others in Mabanza. At Nyundo, where the Tutsis under threat were prepared to defend themselves, six of them were killed and several others injured. Mukwiye Polepole, an innocent APROSOMA counselor, was killed *(Dorsey, 1994: 84).

1959; November 9: The violence reached Nyanza *(Lemarchand, 1970: 163). BEM Colonel (Colonel Breveté d’État-major , or General Warrant Officer) Guy Logiest took command of the Belgian troops in Rwanda. In addition to police forces, they received reinforcements in the shape of two companies from the Sixth Congo Paratrooper Battalion (Sixième Bataillon de Parachutistes du Congo ) *(Reyntjens, 1985: 261).

1959; November 10: Joseph Kanyaruka, the secretary and treasurer of APROSOMA, was killed. He had fled with his family according to Chief Mbanda’s orders. His host in Burundi, Renzaho, was killed in the same event *(Lemarchand, 1970: 166).

1959; November 11: Colonel Logiest was named military Resident. A state of emergency was enacted: military authorities and jurisdictions could substitute themselves for their civilian counterparts and civil liberties were limited *(Reyntjens, 1985: 261).

1959; December 3: Guy Logiest was named ‘Special Civilian Resident of Ruanda’ *(Reyntjens, 1985: 263).

1959; December 25: An interim decree was published on the organization of ‘Ruanda-Urundi’, replacing the vice-chieftainships with ‘temporary’ communes *(Reyntjens, 1985: 273). Twenty-one Tutsi chiefs (out of the 43) and 314 vice-chiefs (out of 549) were ousted and replaced with Hutus. Half the chiefs and vice-chiefs were then Hutus. Most UNAR members had been removed from the local administration structures and replaced by APROSOMA, PARMEHUTU and RADER militants **(Chrétien, 2003: 266; Reyntjens, 1985: 269). UNAR’s main leaders settled in Dar es Salaam (Tanganyika) *(Reyntjens, 1985: 277).

1960; March 23: PARMEHUTU, RADER, APROSOMA and UNAR submitted a project for constitutional reform of the monarchy to the mwami Kigeri, which he reject. APROSOMA, PARMEHUTU and RADER decided to form a united front *(Reyntjens, 1985: 276).

1960; May 8: During a party congress in Gitarama, PARMEHUTU added the acronym MDR (Mouvement Démocratique Républicain , or Democratic Republican Movement), to underline its break with the monarchy *(Reyntjens, 1985: 277).

1960; May 20: UNAR withdrew its members from the Special Council created by the December 25 decree, called for the boycott of local elections planned for the next month, and began campaigning in the United Nations for the vote to be canceled *(Reyntjens, 1985: 277).

1960; June 6: In the Gikongoro region, a group of Tutsi youths set fire to a house inhabited by Hutus. The same day, the population burned down 70 huts belonging to Tutsis. In one week, 1,165 housed were burned down in the regions of Gikongoro and Cyanika. In the Kigali area, 70 huts owned by Tutsis were burned *(Lemarchand, 1970 : 179).

1960; June 22 : Fearing it might lose control of the Bufundu chieftainship, the Belgian administration sent 250 members of the security forces there. They opened fire on around a hundred UNAR activists and killed ten of them *(Lemarchand, 1970: 179).

1960; June 26 - July 30: Rwanda elected 229 bourgmestres and 2,896 communal councillors. Only male voters were allowed to participate **(Reyntjens, 1985: 281; Lemarchand, 1970: 181). In early July, RADER left the united front, criticizing PARMEHUTU’s racist positions. Abstention levels were high in the regions of Kibungo, Bugesera, Nyanza and Astrida, which tended to support UNAR. Some irregularities in PARMEHUTU’s favor were observed **(Reyntjens, 1985: 283; Lemarchand, 1970: 182). These elections were a clear victory for PARMEHUTU, who received 70.4 percent of the vote and 2,201 seats in the local councils.

1960; October 14-15: In the Kibingo commune , a Tutsi man refused to present his identity papers to a local policeman and struck him. The local authorities killed thirteen Tutsis in reprisal *(Lemarchand, 1970: 185).

1960; October 18-20: An interim council and government were instated based on the results of the communal elections. Grégoire Kayibanda was appointed head of the interim government. Mwami Kigeri protested before the United Nations against the establishment of institutions which he considered Belgium had, in fact, imposed *(Reyntjens, 1985: 285).

1961; January 28: After an agreement was reached between the leaders of the Rwandan parties, Resident Logiest and Jean-Baptiste Rwasibo, the Interior Minister of the provisional government, the latter summoned all the bourgmestres and local council members to Gitarama. Out of a total of 3,125, 2,873 of them answered the call (according to Lemarchand, 1970: 192, the total was 3,126). The institution of the monarchy was dissolved and the Republic was proclaimed. Dominique Mbonyumutwa was elected President of the Republic. Members of the Legislative Assembly were elected from among the participants in the meeting. Grégoire Kayibanda became Prime Minister ***(Chrétien, 2003: 266; Lemarchand, 1970: 188-196; Reyntjens, 1985: 289-291).

1961; April 27: UN resolution 1605 – Belgium was the only state to vote against it – decided that legislative elections would be held, as well as a referendum for or against the monarchy *(Reyntjens, 1985: 298).

1961; August - September: The local representatives of the new regime organized actions against the former chiefs and vice-chiefs. In the region of Astrida alone, 150 people were killed, 3,000 dwellings were burned down and 22,000 refugees fled **(Lemarchand, 1970: 195; Reyntjens, 1985: 299). The violence spread from Nyanza to Kigali, then reached the Kibungu region in the northeast. The Belgian administration suppressed it very slightly. In view of the elections, several hundred UNAR militants were arrested *(Lemarchand, 1970: 195). APROSOMA was also targeted by this repression *(Reyntjens, 1985: 299). By this point, since the end of the Toussaint rwandaise , 300,000 Rwandan refugees had fled to Tanganyika, Uganda and Kivu (in the Congo) *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 111).

1961; September 25: The legislative elections took place. PARMEHUTU received 77.7 percent of the vote, UNAR 16.8 percent, APROSOMA 3.5 percent and RADER 0.3 percent. In the referendum, 80 percent of electors voted for the abolition of the monarchy. This day was remembered as kamarampaka , or ‘what put an end to disputes’ *(Reyntjens, 1985: 303-304).

1961; October 26: The new legislative assembly elected Grégoire Kayibanda President of the Republic *(Reyntjens, 1985: 304).

The First Republic (1962-1973)

The First Republic comprised two distinct periods which corresponded to the ascent of PARMEHUTU and to its splintering. In its founding years, the movement was confronted with military attacks orchestrated by a fragment of UNAR which had taken refuge in neighboring countries; PARMEHUTU used this threat to create internal unity. In the early 1960s, UNAR experienced serious internal dissent. It was divided between those of its members who had remained in Rwanda and those who had gone into exile *(Reyntjens, 1985: 314); there was another rift between its political wing and its activist wing, which favored organizing guerrilla operations. Finally, UNAR was confronted with several core questions: what was its view of the monarchy? What should the mwami ‘s role be? What attitude should UNAR adopt towards the new republican regime? Though UNAR had official offices in Kigali, most of its representatives had fled to the neighboring countries and formed a government in exile. However, divergences between factions were significant and the party, which also had no contact with the majority of refugees, was in danger of splintering apart *(Lemarchand, 1970: 199-200). In addition, UNAR was finding it difficult to settle in a single host country. Though there were over 35,000 Rwandan refugees in Uganda by early 1962, Milton Obote’s government refused to allow the mwami to settle there *(Lemarchand, 1970: 207). Burundi, where there were 45,000 Rwandan refugees by 1963, was eventually chosen as a sanctuary *(Lemarchand, 1970: 216).

In December 1963, the main attack on Rwanda was launched from Burundi, under the command of François Rubeka, one of the main UNAR activists and its former Prime Minister-in-exile. This ill-prepared attack failed, and over 10,000 people fell victim to the massacres organized in retaliation *(Lemarchand, 1970: 224-225). During the 1960s the word inyenzi , which literally translates as cockroach, appeared. It was initially used to designate UNAR movements as they organized incursions into Rwanda, but its meaning later extended to the entire Rwandan Tutsi population **(Chrétien, 2003: 268; Lemarchand, 1970: 198). According to another interpretation, the word inyenzi was short for Ingangurarugo yiyemeje ingenzi (‘conquering-owner determined to be the best’), which was originally claimed by the members of UNAR themselves **(Kuperman, 2004: 62; Munyarugerero, 2003: 93). Occasional incursions into Rwandan territory continued to occur until 1967. Between 1959 and 1967, nearly 20,000 Tutsis were killed during the repression against UNAR, and 200,000 others fled the country *(Kuperman, 2004: 63).

PARMEHUTU was reinforced by this crisis, which allowed it to execute the main leaders of RADER and the UNAR leaders inside Rwanda. It gradually became the single party, and won every seat of the National Assembly in 1965. From 1963, the group experienced considerable internal tensions, which the struggle against a shared enemy had previously concealed *(Reyntjens, 1985: 473). These tensions fell into two categories:

Some concerned inter-personal rivalries and the distribution of jobs as the party organs and State structures came closer and closer, competition increased between the bourgmestres and propaganda producers *(Lemarchand, 1970: 247). Paradoxically, as grassroots activism gradually died out *(Reyntjens, 1985: 474), the Butare préfecture (local administrative unit) was prevented from wielding significant power (especially during the political elimination of APROSOMA) by representatives of Gitarama *(Reyntjens, 1985: 484). But court violence – assassination attempts using poison **(Lemarchand, 1970: 249; Reyntjens, 1985: 478) and accusations of nkundabarezi (literally ‘I like Whites’) – became common **(Lemarchand, 1970: 248; Reyntjens, 1985: 478).

Later on, regional rivalry appeared fully during the exercise of power when ubukonde was debated. This form of real estate clientelism practiced in the north of the country had been weakened by the assertion of central authority during the colonial period. To many notables from the Ruhengeri and Gisenyi regions, who were real estate patrons themselves, supporting PARMEHUTU meant pushing for the disappearance of Tutsi political real estate patrons which the central authorities had implanted in the north during the colonial period. It also meant supporting the restoration of full, comprehensive ubukonde , just as it had functioned before the central State had intervened **(Lemarchand, 1970: 230-233; Reyntjens, 1985: 486-494). Faced with the southern politicians who wished to abolish ubukonde , the northern notables’ stubborn resistance achieved not only the preservation of customary ubukonde in the préfectures of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi *(Reyntjens, 1985: 490), but also the suppression of the legal existence of political ubukonde , a vestige of colonization **(Lemarchand, 1970: 232; Reyntjens, 1985: 490).

This deleterious atmosphere provoked increasing discontent among emerging cadres, students and individuals with primary and secondary education. Very fierce local political competition was combined with rivalries on the national level. Bourgmestres and préfets competed intensely, whereas the former drew upon their clientele networks and the legitimacy that came from having been elected, the latter instrumentalized State structures and party influence *(Lemarchand, 1970: 244). In this context of division, court struggles and competition for access to jobs, there was a strong temptation to manipulate the ethnic rift to unify the regime.

The purges which began in February 1973 were initially provoked by students, but also encouraged – or perhaps led – by the authorities. Along with PARMEHUTU, the authorities aimed to unite the regime by defining a common enemy. Northern soldiers (particularly Alexis Kanyarengwe, the Chief of Police, who was from Ruhengeri) who, in turn, wished to cause a political crisis, also targeted the Tutsi population *(Chrétien, 2003: 269). In fact, the purges, which initially consisted in posting lists of Tutsi students and staff, asking them to leave universities and companies, later evolved beyond the control of the central authorities. They came to bear certain demands, both social (general resentment of the rich) and regional (opposition between the south and center of the country on the one hand, and the north on the other).

Consequently, Grégoire Kayibanda punished several northern dignitaries by dissociating them from the jobs and locations associated with wielding power: Alexis Kanayarengwe was appointed director of the Nyundo seminary; Major Nsekalije was assigned to a tea cooperative in Byumba. All the general secretaries of the government ministries were replaced, as well as nine of the ten préfets *(Reyntjens, 1985: 504). It seemed the divide between the south and the north was firmly established.

1962; February: A UNAR raiding party left Uganda and struck the communes of Mugira and Gatunda, in the Byumba préfecture , and killed two policemen *(Lemarchand, 1970: 219).

1962; February 28: An agreement according to which UNAR was to be given control of two ministries (Public Health and Livestock) within the new republican government, as well as two posts of préfet and sous-préfet was signed in New York between government representatives and UNAR members, under UN protection **(Lemarchand, 1970: 197; Reyntjens, 1985: 305).

1962; March 25: A UNAR raiding party left Uganda and struck the commune of Nkana, in the Byumba préfecture . This attack left four Hutu men dead, including one policeman and two civil servants; the communal funds were stolen *(Lemarchand, 1970: 219).

1962; March 26-27: In retaliation for the UNAR raid, the Hutu population killed between 1,000 and 2,000 Tutsi men, women and children in the region of Byumba. Their dwellings were burned down, their possessions looted and their lands were divided up *(Lemarchand, 1970: 219).

1962; July 1: Rwanda became independent. Colonel Logiest became the Belgian Ambassador in Rwanda. The Belgian troops left the country gradually until August 29, but around 50 officers and subalterns remained in Rwanda as coopérants techniques militaires (technical military advisors) *(Reyntjens, 1985: 309).

1962; October 20: The French President, Charles de Gaulle, and his Rwandan counterpart, Grégoire Kayibanda signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation in *(Lanotte, 2007: 134).

1963; February 6: When the cabinet reshuffle took place, UNAR did not receive the posts it had been promised *(Reyntjens, 1985: 452).

1963; July 5: UNAR launched a raid on Rwanda *(Lemarchand, 1970: 208).

1963; August 18: PARMEHUTU achieved a massive victory in the communal elections, receiving 97.9 percent of the vote. UNAR managed to secure the post of bourgmestre of Nyabisindu – formerly Nyanza, the Rwandan capital under the monarchy **(Lemarchand, 1970: 219; Reyntjens, 1985: 445).

1963; November 25: Around 1,500 Rwandan refugees in Burundi began to move toward the Rwandan border, bearing spears, bows and arrows. Alerted by missionaries and UN representatives, the Burundian authorities closed the border and forced them to return to the interior of the country *(Lemarchand, 1970: 220).

1963; December 21-27: Between 200 and 300 Rwandan refugees in Burundi, mostly armed with bows and arrows, crossed the Rwandan border at Nemba and attacked the Gako military camp. They then entered the Nyamata countryside, where many Tutsis displaced from the north had been resettled in 1959-1960. The refugees crossed the Nyabarongo River and were arrested by several units of the Garde Nationale Rwandaise or GNR (Rwandan National Guard), armed with mortars and semi-automatic weapons, and led by Belgian officers. A regional plan of attack had been prepared: on December 21 and 22, refugees made several incursions into Rwanda, heading toward Cyangugu. The GNR intervened, and executed their 90 prisoners during the attack. On December 25, a group of assailants set out from Uganda, but the authorities of that country arrested them before they could reach the border. On December 27 a second group, which numbered 600 men, set out from the same country and crossed the Rwandan border at Kiziba, but the GNR immediately repelled them; during the clash, 300 of the attackers were killed. In retaliation the Rwandan authorities imprisoned around 20 (or rather 15 according to Reyntjens, 1985: 463) of the main members of UNAR and RADER. They were sent to Ruhengeri and executed upon the command of a Belgian officer, M. Pilate *(Reyntjens, 1985: 463). The government set up the ‘autodéfense civile’ ('civilian self-defense force'), of which the préfets and bourgmestres were to be the linchpins. Each minister was assigned to a préfecture and entrusted with the supervision of its autodéfense civile units **(Lemarchand, 1970: 222-223; Reyntjens, 1970: 461).

1963; December 23: During a PARMEHUTU rally, André Nkeramugaba, the préfet of Gikongoro (a town which included part of the former préfecture of Nyanza) called for the assassination of the Tutsi. Groups of Hutus armed with spears, clubs and machetes killed around 5,000 Tutsi men, women and children (between 5,000 and 8,000 according to Reyntjens, 1985: 465) which amounted to between 10 and 20 percent of the Tutsi population of the préfecture ). This phenomenon spread to the surrounding areas and there were between 10,000 and 14,000 victims *(Lemarchand, 1970: 224-225). The regions most affected were Rusumo, Bugesera and Gikongoro *(Reyntjens, 1985: 466).

1964; March 11: During a speech he made in Kigali to the Rwandans in exile, Grégoire Kayibanda announced that if the troops raised by the refugees were to take the capital this would lead to ‘the total and sudden end of the Tutsi race ‘ **(Chrétien, 2003: 268; Sémelin, 2005: 96).

1964; August 6 – September 30: A parliamentary mission constituted upon a request from Grégoire Kayibanda traveled throughout the country. Though it had originally been created to investigate the decadent condition of the judicial system, its conclusions also mentioned the administrative and political domains (the atmosphere of conspiracy within each administration, PARMEHUTU’s state of disorganization…). The report remained unpublished *(Reyntjens, 1985: 387).

1965; October 3: PARMEHUTU won every one of the 47 parliamentary seats at stake in the legislative elections *(Reyntjens, 1985: 366).

1968; October 26: PARMEHUTU changed its name during its national congress, and became the Parti National du Rwanda (National Party of Rwanda). It also became the country’s single political party *(Reyntjens, 1985: 473).

1973; February – March: Purges were organized in schools and in the administration against the Tutsi population. Tutsi students designated in lists posted in all secondary school institutions and universities and signed ‘Mouvement des Étudiants’ (‘Students’ Movement’) or ‘Comité de Salut Public’ (‘Committee of Public Safety’), were under threat and had to flee from these institutions. Among the the main leaders of these Comités de Salut Public were Pasteur Bizimungu, Ferdinand Nahimana and Léon Mugesera, who were young students at the time *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 135-136). By mid-February, the movement reached the National University of Butare *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 135). At Kabgayi, two Josephite priests and four of their students were assassinated by hundreds of students from Byimana and Shyogwe *(Reyntjens, 1985: 501-504). This movement, which had originated in the educational system, spread to administrations and private companies, following the same process: in ministries, hospitals, banks and shops, the Comités de Salut Public put up lists identifying the Tutsis **(Chrétien, 2003: 268-269; Reyntjens, 1985: 503). Private individuals were requested to fire their Tutsi servants. After the towns, this phenomenon reached the countryside. In the préfectures of Gitarama and Kibuye, the Tutsis’ houses were burned down and they were told to leave. Several hundred people were killed **(Chrétien, 2003: 269; Reyntjens, 1985: 503).

Several hypotheses have been put forward about the source of this turmoil. Though orders were transmitted through the administration, they may have originated from the entourage of Grégoire Kayibanda, who received visits from the Comités de Salut Public leaders, in the presence of the Executive Secretary of MDR-PARMEHUTU, Athanase Mbarubukeye, and Minister Anastase Makuza, at his residence in Kavumu, *(Reyntjens, 1985: 503). They may also have come from Alexis Kanyarengwe, the Chief of Police, who was from Ruhengeri *(Chrétien, 2003: 269). Afterward, the violence seems to have escaped the control of the central authorities. The names of certain ministers appeared on the lists drawn up in Kigali. In Gitarama, several rich Hutu traders’ stores were attacked and looted, as well as the residences of certain politicians, including that of J.B. Rwasibo *(Reyntjens, 1985: 503). On March 22, Grégoire Kayibanda made a pacification speech and announced the creation of a ministerial commission in charge of inspecting schools *(Reyntjens, 1985: 503).

1973; May 18: A constitutional amendment voted by the National Assembly increased the duration of presidential terms of office to seven years, and allowed Grégoire Kayibanda to stand for a third term *(Reyntjens, 1985: 505).

The ‘Moral Revolution’ and the Second Republic (1973-1990)

Taking advantage of the unease due to the extension of the purges and violent incidents in the countryside, the Rwandan Minister of Defense, General Juvénal Habyarimana, who was from the Bushiru region (in the Gisenyipréfecture ) took power on July 5, 1973. The first consequences of the coup d’État was the return of peace to the country, and a substantial change in government orientation. Nevertheless, during the two years that followed, the former ‘barons’ of the First Republic were assassinated or imprisoned *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 147).

The Second Republic was an authoritarian regime, but its intention was to overcome ethnic polarization by subordinating the country to a ‘development ideology’. National unity, building infrastructure, and international openness and cooperation were the main priorities. Rwanda also increased the number of its diplomatic representatives abroad *(Reyntjens, 1994: 32). Road infrastructure and the electricity network began to be extended to the countryside; the population of Kigali, which was 15,000 in 1965, increased to 300,000 by the early 1990s *(Reyntjens, 1994: 32). The government was quite successful in terms of economic performance *(Reyntjens, 1994: 35), but the vast majority of peasants were left out of the redistribution of wealth *(Bezy, 1990: 28). In the countryside, a new elite composed of teachers, nurses and local civil servants benefited from the extension of the State’s reach into rural areas, and from salaries received in payment for the implementation of development projects *(de Lame, 1996: 148-162).

The behavior of these elites changed as they gradually became more distant from the peasants; the money they earned was accumulated or reinvested in Kigali. The March 4, 1976 decree allowed any State employee to participate freely in productive enterprises **(de Lame, 1996: 181; Reyntjens, 1994: 32). New references and new types of behavior emerged, those of a nascent social class that neglected redistribution networks, provoking sharp social polarization in rural areas. Among peasants, the word ‘rich’ (umukire ) became an insult *(de Lame, 1996: 182).

The Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement or MRND (National Revolutionary Movement for Development), a single party created in 1975, fused completely with State structures *(Guichaoua, 1989: 145). From 1973, the bourgmestres were appointed by the President *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 150), which put an end to the relative autonomy of local government and integrated it into a pyramidal structure which reached all the way up to Juvénal Habyarimana. Rwandan territory was under complete supervision, divided into préfectures , communes , sectors and cellules (cells). Every week, the peasants had to participate in collective works (umuganda ) which were supposed to meet the commune ‘s needs. The regime’s propaganda was inspired from the Zairean model, and extolled the President’s accomplishments, as well as farming, during entertainment sessions (with songs and dances in the MRND’s honor). The slogans recited in this context praised development (amajyambere – the stuff of the future, *de Lame, 1996: 285) and denied any expression of ethnic divisions (the slogan ‘Hutu, Tutsi, Twa, are first names, Rwandan is our last name’ is a good illustration - see *de Lame, 1996: 286). However, between 85 and 90 percent of administrative positions were reserved for Hutus in a tacit quota system *(Chrétien, 2003: 271).

In fact, power was held by elites from the north of the country, in contrast with the ‘pro-southern’ orientation of the First Republic *(Chrétien, 2003: 269). One-third of the 85 most important governmental positions were given to persons born in the préfecture of Gisenyi *(Reyntjens, 1994: 33). After ten years of economic growth, the economic crisis and regional favoritism destabilized the government. Rivalry for posts increased, power struggles became fiercer, and mafia-type behavior and structures thrived. One of the main power centers was known as the Akazu (see below) and was organized around Agathe Kanziga – Juvénal Habyarimana’s wife – and her brothers. In April 1988, the assassination of Colonel Stanislas Mayuya, who was considered the likely successor of the President, was instigated by this power center *(Prunier, 1999: 109).

During the same period, a political movement emerged among the refugees that had arrived in the camps near the Rwandan border in 1959, 1963 and 1973. Since 1959, over 600,000 people had fled Rwanda *(Reyntjens, 1994: 25). Several cadres of this movement, which later became the Front Patriotique Rwandais or Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) contributed to Yoweri Museveni’s seizure of power in Uganda in 1986. Of the 14,000 National Resistance Army fighters who took Kampala on January 26, 1986, 3,000 were Rwandan refugees *(Prunier, 1999: 92). The Front Patriotique Rwandais demanded the refugees’ return to their country, but Juvénal Habyarimana persistently refused.

1973; July 5: Defense Minister Major-General Juvénal Habyarimana took power. It was a bloodless coup d’État. Two vehicles armed with machine guns took control of the National Assembly *(Vidal in Amselle et al., 1985: 168). Similar to the 1959 ‘social revolution’, the Second Republic presented the coup which marked its beginning as a ‘moral revolution’. During the following years (between 1974 and 1977), 58 people – individuals who were close to Grégoire Kayibanda and public figures of the First Republic – were assassinated upon orders from Théoneste Lizinde, Chief of Security at the Interior Ministry **(Chrétien, 1997: 75; Prunier, 1999: 105-106). According to some sources, the repression affected up to 700 people *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 147). The Constitution was suspended, the parliament dissolved, and all political activity was banned. The Comité pour la Paix et l’Unité Nationale or CPUN (Committee for Peace and National Unity), presided over by Juvénal Habyarimana, which included the ten chief officers in the country, was created to effectively wield power *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 147).

1973; August 1: Juvénal Habyarimana formed the government; it was mostly composed of civilians, but the key positions were given to military men from the préfectures in the north of the country, Gisenyi and Ruhengeri. However, the CPUN was kept active *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 148-149).

1974; February 2: The CPUN established obligatory community service (umuganda ) for all *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 149).

1974; June: Grégoire Kayibanda and seven other public figures from his regime were sentenced to death by court-martial. Kayibanda was placed under house arrest at Kavumu *(Reyntjens, 1994: 30).

1975; July 5: Juvénal Habyarimana’s political party, the Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement or MRND (National Revolutionary Movement for Development) was created *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 170).

1975; July 18: Pierre Delabre, the French Chargé d’Affaires and Aloys Nsekalije, the Rwandan Foreign Minister signed a ‘Special Agreement for Military Assistance’ involving the organization and training of the Rwandan gendarmes (military policemen), in Kigali **(Guichaoua, 1995: 505; Lanotte, 2007: 135).

1976; December 15: Grégoire Kayibanda died at his home in Kavumu *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 164).

1976; December 19: The new Constitution was adopted by referendum and the Conseil National de Développement or CND (National Development Council) was created; the latter’s powers were to be renewed every five years *(Guichaoua, 1995: 505). Article 7 of the Constitution made Rwanda a single party State under the MRND and made each citizen a member of it from birth *(Prunier, 1999: 99).

1976; December 24: Juvénal Habyarimana was elected President of the Republic with 99 percent of the vote **(Guichaoua, 1995: 505; Dorsey, 1994: 101).

1979; June: Some Rwandan refugees in Uganda created the Rwandese Refugee Welfare Foundation (RRWF), initially to support victims of the political repression which had followed the fall from power of Idi Amin in Uganda *(Prunier, 1999: 87).

1980: The RRWF became the Rwandese Alliance for National Unity (RANU)./ This new organization was Marxist in orientation and remained underground to avoid repression in Uganda. It demanded the refugees’ right of return to Rwanda *(Prunier, 1999: 88), but eschewed the use of violence and abandoned its goal of restoring the monarchy in Rwanda *(Kuperman, 2004: 66).

1980; April 23: Major Lizinde, the former Rwandan head of security who was from Bugoyi, in the north of the country, was arrested along with thirty other individuals, and accused of preparing for a coup d’État **(Guichaoua, 1995: 505; Munyarugerero, 2003: 191).

1980; December: Alexis Kanyarengwe, one of the ‘July 5, 1973 comrades’, was considered an accomplice to Lizinde’s coup attempt and fled the country *(Guichaoua, 1995: 505; Munyarugerero, 2003: 192).

1981: Most members of RANU went into exile in Nairobi, Kenya until 1986 *(Prunier, 1999: 88). The organization remained small, and it only had around one hundred members in 1983 *(Kuperman, 2004: 66).

1981; February 6: In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni and the twenty-six members of the rebel movement he had just created, the Popular Resistance Army, attacked the Kabamba Military Training School (Uganda) to seize the weapons held there. Among Museveni’s men were two Rwandan refugees, Fred Rwigema and Paul Kagame *(Prunier, 1999: 88).

1981; September 17: The trial of Lizinde and 46 co-defendants began in Ruhengeri. Beyond the coup attempt, the charges against them also included incitement of anti-Tutsi hatred *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 191).

1981; November 25: Twenty-three of the defendants judged at Ruhengeri were sentenced to prison terms of two to twenty years, and twenty-four were acquitted. Major Théoneste Lizinde and Alphonse Ndegeya, who were seen as having inspired and led the plot, were sentenced to death *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 192).

1982; July 1: Rwanda celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its independence. Juvénal Habyarimana announced that the country would receive its citizens who had taken refuge abroad after examining their cases individually. He also pardoned Théoneste Lizinde and Alphonse Ndegeya and commuted their death sentences into life imprisonment *(Dorsey, 1994: 106).

1982; October: Some members of the Uganda People’s Party youth movement destroyed the dwellings of 40,000 to 45,000 Rwandans residing in Uganda and expelled them into Rwanda, with support from a Ugandan Special Forces unit led by Colonel Omaria. Almost 100 people were killed and many women raped. Around 40,000 people fled toward the border to try to return to Rwanda. Between 8,000 and 10,000 of them found themselves trapped on a strip of land between the Rwandan and Ugandan borders. Many (the number of victims remains unknown) died of contagious diseases **(Guichaoua, 1995: 505; Prunier, 1999: 91).

1982-1983: The ‘free women’ (prostitutes) of Kigali were jailed in large numbers **(Chrétien, 1991: 110; Prunier, 1999: 99).

1983; December 19: Juvénal Habyarimana was re-elected President of Rwanda, 99.98 percent of votes were cast in his favor *(Guichaoua, 1995: 505).

1985; July: Théoneste Lizinde was tried again before the Appellate Court of Ruhengeri; this time, he was accused of assassinating dignitaries of the First Republic. He was sentenced to death, along with five other officers *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 193).

1985; December 20-23: During the MRND’s fifth ordinary congress, Juvénal Habyarimana presented a project for a radical reorganization of the party including the creation of an ‘ideological school’ for its members and a substantial increase in its leaders’ salaries. During the congress, the Archbishop of Kigali’s resignation from the party’s central committee was announced *(Dorsey, 1994: 112).

1986; July 27: The MRND’s committee announced that it would not allow the return of large numbers of Rwandan émigrés because of the country’s economic situation *(Reyntjens, 1994: 26/143).

1986; October 17: Some 296 members of religious sects and Jehovah’s Witnesses were served prison sentences of 4 to 12 years for stirring up rebellion, insulting the national flag, and inciting people to break the law. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses, Augustin Murayi Nduhira – a former director-general at the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education – and his wife, received maximum sentences ***(Munyarugerero, 2003: 199; Guichaoua, 1995: 505; Dorsey, 1994: 114-115).

1987; July 1: Rwandans celebrated the 25th anniversary of their independence. The President pardoned 4,000 prisoners *(Guichaoua, 1995: 506).

1987; December: RANU returned to Kampala, Uganda and became the Front Patriotique Rwandais or RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front), a group whose main objective was the return of Rwandan refugees to their country *(Prunier, 1999: 94).

1988; February 5: In Rwanda, a joint Rwandan-Ugandan ministerial committee was created to examine the problem of the refugees in Uganda *(Prunier, 1997: 96).

1988; April: Colonel Stanislas Mayuya, who was considered Habyarimana’s heir, and a fierce opponent of the ‘clan de Madame’ (‘Madam’s clan’) centered around the President’s wife, Agathe Kanzinga, was assassinated upon orders from Colonel Laurent Serubuga *(Prunier, 1999: 109).

1988; August 17: A world congress of Rwandan refugees took place in Washington and adopted clear resolutions concerning their right of return. These resolutions were sent to Juvénal Habyarimana, who did not respond **(Prunier, 1999: 95; Reyntjens, 1994: 26).

1988; December 19: Juvénal Habyarimana was re-elected for five years, winning 99.8 percent of the votes cast *(Guichaoua, 1995: 506).

1989; February: Around 3,000 prisoners were released from jail by presidential amnesty *(Guichaoua, 1995: 506).

The Multiparty System and the War (1990-1994)

By the end of the 1980s, the regime centered on Juvénal Habyarimana was becoming ineffective. The falling price of coffee and the fact that the elites were drawing off funds and economic resources caused a severe crisis in the country and fueled discontent. In January 1990, one-sixth of the Rwandan population was affected by a famine which killed 250 people, according to the government *(Dorsey, 1994: 119-120). In 1991, Rwanda signed an agreement with the World Bank to implement a Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP) which led to the devaluation of the Rwandan franc on two occasions: its value fell by 40 percent in November 1990, then again by 15 percent in June 1992 *(Uvin, 1999: 64). Though the SAP was only partially implemented, the main effect of the devaluation was skyrocketing inflation, which reached 19.2 percent in 1991 *(Uvin, 1999: 64-65). In June 1990, French President François Mitterrand made a speech at La Baule, France, announcing that French aid would be conditional upon democratization in Rwanda, after which the country experienced a slight opening up towards a multi-party system. Thus, on July 5, 1990, Juvénal Habyarimana was in a position to announce a political aggiornamento and the possibility of moving towards a multi-party system, though he remained very vague about the details of how this would be implemented. During Pope John Paul II’s visit in September 1990, Rwanda did its best to appear united *(Guichaoua, 1995: 508).

The war started barely one month later on October 1, 1990. The Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR – Rwandan Patriotic Front) did not put an end to the democratic progression, but it did turn the nascent transitional framework upside down. The RPF advanced with 7,000 men: 4,000 soldiers, including 120 officers from Uganda, spontaneously joined by 3,000 Rwandan civilians *(Kuperman, 2004: 70; HRW, 1999: 63). They were halted one week later, as the Forces Armées Rwandaises or RAF (Rwandan Armed Forces) enjoyed the crucial support of the French military under Operation Noroît. this assistance was especially vital in its supply of helicopters *(Braud, 2005: 272). This first defeat of the RPF soldiers, nicknamed Inkotanyi (‘the wrestlers’ or ‘those who fight valiantly’ – see *Reyntjens, 1994: 91) forced them to change strategy: their guerrilla operations became a function of the progress of negotiations being held with both the MRND’s internal opposition, and with the government. These negotiations led to the signature of the draft Arusha Accords in 1992 and 1993, which put an end to the war and settled the issues of power sharing and transition. At the same time, a strong opposition developed inside Rwanda.

The new Constitution, enacted in June 1991, permitted the creation of political parties. Led by Faustin Twagiramungu, Grégoire Kayibanda’s son-in-law, the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (MDR) reappeared, but it distanced itself from its First-Republic heritage by abandoning the acronym PARMEHUTU. Many political parties appeared, including the new MRND and MDR, but also the Parti Social-Démocrate or PSD (Social Democratic Party) and the Parti Libéral or PL (Liberal Party). The press became free and newspapers proliferated.

Three successive transitional governments were set up. The first, led by Sylvestre Nsanzimana (the post of Prime Minister had been created specially for this purpose), took office on December 30, 1991 *(Guichaoua, 1995: 508). The opening of the system was still limited: a single opposition group, the Parti Démocrate-Chrétien or PDC (Christian Democratic Party), connected to the MRND, received one ministerial post *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 253). The opposition denounced the new government and in January 1992, it organized large demonstrations in Kigali for the first time *(Munyarugerero, 2003: 253). After negotiations were reopened between the MRND and the opposition, an agreement was signed on March 13, 1992, which led to the nomination of Dismas Nsengiyaremye (MDR) as Prime Minister on April 2, 1992. The new government gave the MRND nine ministerial positions and the opposition ten. In May 1992, the first contact between the government and the RPF occurred, leading to the establishment of a timetable for the negotiations *(Guichaoua, 1995: 510). Finally, on July 18, 1993, Juvénal Habyarimana consented to Agathe Uwilingiyimana’s government taking office until the Arusha Accords were implemented; Uwilingiyimana belonged to the MDR, and had been chosen by its President, Faustin Twagiramungu *(HRW, 1999: 140).

The country became submerged in a warlike atmosphere, aggravated by the movements of displaced persons fleeing combat zones in the northeast. Rwandan military spending increased by 181 percent between 1992 and 1993, and 70 percent of the normal state budget was used to fund the war *(HRW, 1999: 147). The RAF troops increased from 5,200 men in 1990 to over 40,000 in 1993 *(Braud, 2001: 765). Though the war seemed a distant event in the regions that were not directly affected, several hundred thousand displaced persons bore testament to it around the country: 350,000 of them fled the combat zones around Byumba in April 1992 *(HRW, 1999: 75), and nearly a year later, a million of them were clustered near Kigali *(Guichaoua, 1995: 511). The signature of the Accord Particulier d’Assistance Militaire (Special Military Assistance Agreement) involving the organization and training of the Rwandan gendarmerie on July 18, 1975 opened the door to broader military cooperation with France. This materialized when Juvénal Habyarimana’s regime was under threat. Aid was not limited to the deployment of Operation Noroît, the official objective of which was the protection of French citizens. In 1991, a military aid and training detachment thirty men strong settled at Ruhengeri. Its personnel were gradually increased until it reached 100 men in June 1993 **(Braud, 2005: 363-364; Lanotte, 2007: 145). This means of assisting the RAF was essential because it enabled them to withstand the threat of collapse on several occasions. In June 1992, troops from the French Eighth RPIMa (Eighth Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment) joined the 170-strong Noroît unit to counter an RPF offensive against Byumba **(Braud, 2005: 365; Lanotte, 2007: 193). In February 1993, when another large RPF operation targeted Byumba and Ruhengeri, an operation named Chimère was organized to support the RAF *(Lanotte, 2007: 144). It was composed using the Noroît group’s reinforcements (its personnel was expanded to 688 men for the occasion) and troops from a Détachement d’Assistance Militaire et d’Instruction or DAMI (a group of French soldiers detached to Rwanda for military assistance and training) **(Braud, 2005: 365; Lanotte, 2007: 144).

Between 1992 and 1994, the Rwandan internal opposition, which had united against Juvénal Habyarimana, imploded and was reorganized around new fault lines. It is difficult to date this change precisely. Its main phases were the creation of the Coalition pour la Défense de la République or CDR (Coalition for the Defense of the Republic) on February 22, 1992; the February 1993 RPF offensive – which put an end to a seven-month-long ceasefire *(Kuperman, 2004: 73); and Froduald Karamira’s speech in Kigali on October 23, 1993. This took place shortly after the assassination of the democratically elected Burundian President, Melchior Ndadaye *(HRW, 1999: 165). Except for the PSD *(Eltringham, 2004: 91), all the political parties were divided over the question of the Arusha Accords, the war against the RPF, and the ethnicity issue. Inside each of them, a hardliner faction known as ‘Power’ presented its own candidates and opted for all-out war *(HRW, 1999: 165-166). This shift in opposition cleavages constituted a splendid tactical opportunity for Juvénal Habyarimana, who had become the only guarantor of a process he was doing his best to paralyze.

The multi-party system sharpened competition between political parties. They created youth movements that soon became militias in charge of recruiting new party members or making a show of strength during demonstrations. Each party had its own: the MRND had Interahamwe (see appendix), the CDR hadImpuzamugambi (‘Those who share the same goal’), the MDR had Inkuba (‘Thunder’), and the PSD had Abakombozi (‘the Liberators’) *(HRW, 1999: 71). Forced recruitment of party members, extortion, and the symbolic act of taking control of public buildings became common events nicknamed kubuhoza , meaning ‘support for liberation’ or ‘emancipation from the MRND’s domination’ *(HRW, 1999: 70).

The Hutu Power movement had support from major media protagonists. Newspapers such as Kangura , which published ‘The Ten Commandments of the Hutu’ in December 1990 *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 38-40), Umurava Magazine *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 42-44) and many other publications after 1991, provided the bases of anti-Tutsi propaganda. All Tutsis were assimilated to the RPF and presented as monarchists thirsting for revenge *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 142-150), who wished to built a ‘Tutsi-Hima’ empire spanning the entire Great Lakes region *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 162-174). Though the print media essentially addressed the urban elites, Radio Télévision Libre Mille Collines or RTLM (Thousand Hills Independent Radio Television Station), which started operating on July 8, 1993 *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 67), extended this ethnic propaganda to the countryside, while playing trendy Zairian music *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 69). Well-known radio commentators such as Kantano Habimana, Valérie Bemeriki or Gaspard Gahigi also attacked Hutu politicians who favored negotiation with the RPF. The song ‘Nanga Abahutu ‘ (‘I hate those Hutus…’ i.e. those who had ‘betrayed’ their ethnic group by collaborating with the RPF) by Simon Bikindi became a hit song *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 341).

In this context of economic and political crisis, war and racism, repression and violence spread throughout the country and over 2,000 people fell victim to it between 1990 and 1993 *(CIDH, 1993: 48). State representatives and local elites usually turned out to be the organizers of acts of violence.

From October 4, 1990, several thousand people were arrested (13,000 according to *HRW, 1999: 64), most of whom were Tutsis *(Eltringham, 2004: 77). Reyntjens *(1994: 96) characterized six different groups among these prisoners, including Tutsis who held important positions (civil servants, traders or teachers), persons – both Hutus and Tutsis – arrested after being turned in by someone to settle a score, and political opponents who had previously criticized the regime in public. He also identified other categories: persons without any identification papers, persons from neighboring countries, and finally, Rwandan soldiers who had been turned in by their peers for all sorts of motives. Within this population, only a few dozen persons previously had any contact with the RPF.

In addition to these arrests, several large-scale massacres took place before 1994:

In October 1990, the week following the RPF attack on Kibilira (a commune halfway between Kigali and Gisenyi) around 350 Tutsis were assassinated during attacks carried out by State agents or local elites *(CIDH, 1993: 18-20). Almost all the perpetrators of these murders were released during the weeks that followed *(CIDH, 1993: 21).

In 1991, the Bagogwe, a Tutsi group which had long since lived on the margins of the Central Kingdom, scattered across the communes of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi (the stronghold of the President’s entourage), were massacred after the RPF attack at the end of January. The assassinations continued until early March, the number of victims is not known (estimated to be between 300 and 1,000 according to *CIDH, 1993: 37).

From March 4 to 9, 1992, groups led by the bourgmestre of Kanzenze, Fidèle Rwambuka, attacked the Tutsi of the Bugesera region, which encompassed the three communes of Kanzenze, Gashora and Nganda, near Burundi, with support from the local Interahamwe militias *(HRW, 1999: 110). On March 9, the RAF general staff put 150 soldiers at the disposal of these attackers *(CIDH, 1993: 47). The exact number of victims remains unknown, but is estimated to be in the hundreds *(Reyntjens, 1994: 184; 300 according to *Munyarugerero, 2003: 240).

Between January 21 and 26, 1993, during the MRND demonstrations held throughout the country, Tutsis and members of the political opposition were massacred in the préfectures of Ruhengeri, Gisenyi, Kibuye and Byumba *(Guichaoua, 1995: 511). However, the information available about this event is scarce.

In addition to these massacres of civilians, political figures of all affiliations were assassinated, usually in murky circumstances: Emmanuel Gapyisi (a leading member of MDR), Félicien Gatabazi (a leader of the PSD), Fidèle Rwambuka of the MRND (the bourgmestre of Kanzenze and organizer of the Bugesera massacres), and Alphonse Ingabire (CDR).

As donor countries and the World Bank were threatening to freeze aid to Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana signed the Arusha Accords on August 4, 1993 *(HRW, 1999: 148). These accords addressed every aspect of the crisis: the return of the refugees, the rehousing of displaced persons, the fusion of RPF and RAF forces, and setting up a transition government until new elections could be held *(HRW, 1999: 149). The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) and its 2,548 peacekeeping soldiers under the Canadian General Roméo Dallaire, were supposed to supervise the implementation of the accords *(HRW, 1999: 158). According to the Arusha agreement, the RPF troups (there were officially 600, though in fact they numbered 800 – see *Kuperman, 2004: 78) entered Kigali on December 28, 1993 and were billeted at the CND. The French troops of Operation Noroît and the DAMI mission left Rwanda on December 15. There were officially no more that 24 military cooperation staff in charge of technical assistance on Rwandan territory after that date *(Lanotte, 2007: 259).

The first months of 1994 crushed the little hope born out of the signing of the Arusha Accords. The creation of the transitional government was postponed several times, attacks and assassinations proliferated, and the militias allied to the Hutu Power movement (see above) drew up lists of opponents to be targeted *(HRW, 1999: 195). As soon as the RPF settled in Kigali, it began a discreet recruitment and political training campaign *(HRW, 1999: 175).

On January 11, General Dallaire gave his superiors in New York the following information, obtained from an ex-militia member: since UNAMIR’s arrival in Rwanda, the Interahamwe militias had trained 1,700 combatants, drawn up lists of Tutsis to be shot, and dispersed throughout Kigali in groups of 40 men, so as to be able to kill 1000 Tutsis in 20 minutes *(HRW, 1999: 179). In late January, a US intelligence analyst estimated that if armed confrontation were to begin again in Rwanda, it could cause the death of 500,000 people, but his superiors did not take his opinion seriously *(HRW, 1999: 187). The RTLM called upon the Hutu to defend themselves ‘to the bitter end’, demanded the extermination of the Tutsis, and announced that ‘the time had come to target the Belgians’ *(HRW, 1999: 187).

1990; May 31: Some students were refused access to the MRND Palace in Butare, where a concert was being held, and they held a demonstration, heading toward the city center. The soldiers shot into the crowd, killed a man and severely wounded another *(Guichaoua, 2005: 49). The next day, the Butare students began a strike, with support from the students of Ruhengeri. Juvénal Habyarimana ordered an investigation. The préfet of Butare, Frédéric Karangwa, was suspended *(Guichaoua, 2005: 50). The strike ended on June 7.

1990; July 3-6: The Cour de Sûreté de l’État (State Security Court) had Vincent Rwabukwisi, the editor-in-chief of Kanguka and Hassan Ngeze, the editor-in-chief ofKangura , arrested. The first was accused of having interviewed mwami Kigeri Ndahindurwa in exile in Nairobi and of plotting with refugees, and the second of having breached the peace *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 27).

1990; July 5: During his traditional July 5 speech, the day of the Second Republic’s 17th anniversary, Juvénal Habyarimana announced a ‘political aggiornamento ‘: the separation of the Party bodies from State structures, and the possible implementation of a multi-party system **(HRW, 1999: 61; Reyntjens, 1994: 90).

1990; September 1: Thirty-three intellectuals published a manifesto ‘for a multi-party system and democracy’ **(Bertrand, 2000: 263; Reyntjens, 1994: 104).

1990; September 11: The cellule (cell) committee elections – the lowest administrative echelon in the country – were held. For the first time, the ballot was secret *(de Lame, 1996: 74).

1990; September 18: The trial of the priest André Sibomana (who was the director of the bi-monthly publication Kinyamateka ) and three of his journalists opened in Kigali after the publication of articles denouncing corruption in the government in this newspaper *(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 28; HRW, 1999: 62).

1990; September 24: Juvénal Habyarimana named a Commission Nationale de Synthèse or CNS (‘National Synthesis Committee’), in charge of developing a first draft for a Constitution *(Reyntjens, 1994: 91).

1990; October 1: A 50-man RPF commando unit, followed by a contingent of 2,500 men, seized the Kagitumba frontier post in northeastern Uganda. Taking advantage of the element of surprise, the RPF reached Gabiro, sixty kilometers south of the Rwandan border. The RAF sent 5,200 soldiers to tackle this RPF force **(Braud, 2001: 763; Reyntjens, 1994: 91). On October 3, the RPF’s main military leader, Major-General Fred Rwigyema, was killed. On October 7, the RAF stopped this first RPF offensive and counter-attacked. The RPF troops fell back to the volcanic regions in the north of the country **(AR, 1995: 27; Braud, 2005: 296).

1990; October 2: From New York, where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly annual session, Juvénal Habyarimana called the French President to request a French intervention in Rwanda *(Lanotte, 2007: 139).

1990; October 3: The Rwandan Foreign Minister, Casimir Bizimungu, who was visiting in , met Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, who was in charge of the Africa team of the French Presidency, and Jacques Pelletier, the French Minister of (International) Cooperation, and reiterated Rwanda’s request for a French intervention before them. The same evening, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, the French President’s personal General Chief of Staff, received François Mitterrand’s orders to have one company from the Deuxième Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes or REP (Second Foreign Paratrooper Regiment) deployed in Kigali; this regiment had been pre-positioned in the Central African Republic *(Lanotte, 2007: 140). Operation Noroît began.

1990; October 4: Légionnaires from the Fourth Company of the second REP of the French Army, numbering 150, left Bangui and landed in Kigali. Four hundred Belgian paratroopers were sent in from Brussels (under the framework of Operation Green Beans). The French and Belgian forces had a neutral status and were officially present in Rwanda to protect foreign individuals and embassies **(Lanotte, 2007: 141; Reyntjens, 1994: 93). Alleging there had been an attack on Kigali, the authorities had 8,000 suspects arrested (4,000 according to *Bertrand, 2000: 263; between 6,000 and 7,000 according to Reyntjens, 1994: 94), they were gathered in the prisons and sports grounds of Kigali **(Chrétien, 2003: 281; Guichaoua, 1995: 507). Around 4,000 refugees crossed the Rwandan borders, fleeing this repression *(Chrétien, 1991: 110).

1990; October 8: Between 500 and 1,000 Tutsi civilians living in the combat zones in the northeast of the country were killed by RAF soldiers ***(Braud, 2005: 273; Kuperman, 2004: 71; Munyarugerero, 2003: 239).

1990; October 10: Gabiro was retaken with decisive support from 500 Zairian soldiers, but they were so lacking in discipline that Juvénal Habyarimana asked them to return to their country **(Chrétien, 1991: 110; Reyntjens, 1994: 93).

1990; October 11-13: At Kibilira (in the préfecture of Gisenyi), some government members came and explained to the population that the month’s umuganda would be devoted to massacring the Tutsis. In the Gatumba sector, a rumor about the death of Colonel Serubuga, an important public figure in the area, was used as a pretext to start the assassinations: 350 Tutsis were killed ***(HRW, 1999: 107; CIDH, 1993: 18-19; Reyntjens, 1994: 95).

1990; October 22: Vincent Rwabukwisi was sentenced to 17 years in prison and jailed. Hassan Ngeze was discharged **(Chrétien et al ., 1995: 27; Chrétien, 1991: 110).

1990; October 23: A march in support of the President of Rwanda was organized in Kigali *(Bertrand, 2000: 263). During a clash with the RAF, the RPF lost 300 of its men, of which two were high up in its chain of command *(Kuperman, 2004: 71).

1990; October 30: The RPF retreated into Uganda after the RAF took Kagitumba and celebrated their ‘final victory’. The RPF had to change strategies and adopt guerrilla warfare ***(Bertrand, 2000: 264; Braud, 2005: 272; Reyntjens, 1994: 93).

1990; November 1: The Belgian troups withdrew from Rwanda. The French contingent remained stationed in Kigali **(Lanotte, 2007: 246; Reyntjens, 1994: 93).

1990; November 13: Rwandans were allowed to form ‘political movements’ *(Bertrand, 2000: 265).

1990; December: Kangura magazine, managed by Hassan Ngeze, published the ‘Ten Commandments of the Muhutu’ *(Chrétien et al . 1995: 141). As the RPF retreated toward Uganda, it assassinated around 50 Rwandan civilians in the Kivuye commune (in the préfecture of Byumba) *(Kuperman, 2004: 72).

1990; December 28: The CNS presented its draft for a Charte Politique Nationale (National Political Charter) *(Guichaoua, 1995: 507).

1991; January 22-23: The RPF organized a surprise attack on Ruhengeri *(HRW, 1999: 108), and freed the 1,780 detainees from the Gisenyi high-security prison, including Théoneste Lizinde, Stanislas Bizeruka and Donat Muvunanhambo **(Kuperman, 2004: 72; Munyarugerero, 2003: 239).

1991; January 22: Opponents of the MRND (mostly Tutsis) were assassinated in the préfectures of Gisenyi, Ruhengeri, Kibuye and Byumba *(Guichaoua, 1995: 508).

1991; January 25: In retaliation to the RPF attack on Ruhengeri, communal authorities attacked the Bagogwe, a group of Tutsi cattle-herders from the north of Rwanda. In Mukingo, several men were killed and three women raped ***(CIDH, 1993: 31; Chrétien, 2003: 285; Guichaoua, 1995: 508).

1991; January 27: At Kinigi, bourgmestre Thaddée Gasana took thirty persons of Bagogwe descent out to the commune crossroads and had them executed *(CIDH, 1993: 31).

1991; January 30: François Mitterrand informed Juvénal Habyarimana that he wished to subordinate maintaining the Noroît framework to the solution of the existing crisis in Rwanda *(Lanotte, 2007: 144).

1991; February 1: The first two trials of the Inkotanyi ‘s ‘accomplices’ who had been arrested in October 1991, were those of thirteen peasants from the northeast of Rwanda, and of twelve intellectuals (including four Hutus). In the end, eight death sentences were served **(Chrétien, 1991: 110; Dialogue no. 146: 94).

1991; February 2: The attacks against the Bagogwe spread to the préfecture of Gisenyi. At Gaseke and Giciye, seventeen people were killed *(CIDH, 1993: 34).

1991; February 4: A new MRND government was formed under pressure from the conservatives *(Guichaoua, 1995: 508). The monthly publication Kangura had accused the six ministers who had resigned previously of being accomplices of the RPF.

1991; March 15: The French ambassador to Rwanda, Georges Martres, informed Juvénal Habyarimana that the French Presidency had decided to put a thirty-man DAMI (detachment of troops for military assistance and training) at the Rwandan authorities’ disposal *(Lanotte, 2007: 144). It was named DAMI-Panda and was originally intended to stay four months on location, but in fact it remained in Rwanda until December 1993 *(Lanotte, 2007: 145). This deployment was not publicized by the French political and military authorities, or by their Rwandan counterparts *(Lanotte, 2007: 148).

1991; March 29: A ceasefire was signed between the RPF and the RAF at N’Sele, Zaire **(Chrétien, 1991: 110; Guichaoua, 1995: 508). Most of the 5,000 Tutsi civilians who had been imprisoned since October 1990 were freed *(Guichaoua, 1995: 508). The new Mouvement Démocratique Républicain or MDR (Democratic Republican Movement) was created following an appeal in Le Démocrate newspaper from 237 political opponents for the ‘revival and renovation of the MDR’ **(Bertrand, 2000: 264; Reyntjens, 1994: 106).

1991; April: The Rwandan Minister of Justice admitted that 8,047 suspects had been arrested in the aftermath of the October 1990 events *(Chrétien, 1991: 110).

1991; April 28: An extraordinary MRND congress was organized in view of the adjustment to a multi-party system. The party changed names, becoming the Mouvement Républicain National pour le Développement et la Démocratie or MRNDD (National Republican Movement for Development and Democracy) **(Guichaoua, 1995: 509; Reyntjens, 1994: 135). The addition of the terms ‘Republican’ and ‘Democracy’ was an attempt to borrow a little more of the MDR’s heritage *(Eltringham, 2004: 80).

1991; June 10: The new Constitution implementing a multi-party system was adopted *(Guichaoua, 1995: 508). During the month that followed, the main opposition political parties were created: the Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (MDR), the Parti Social-Démocrate (PSD), the Parti Libéral (PL), and the Parti Démocrate Chrétien (PDC).

1991; June 30 – July 6: The RPF organized several incursions into the regions of Ruhengeri and Byumba *(Dialogue no. 148: 89).

1991; July 31: The MDR-PSD-PDC cartel was made official, and extended to include the PL. These four parties created a ‘Comité de Concertation des Partis Politiques Démocratiques’ (Democratic Political Parties’ Consultation Committee) *(Reyntjens, 1994: 108).

1991; August 5: The RPF attacked the commune of Muvumba, in the Mutara region. They burned down eight vans and a shopkeeper’s truck, but there were no victims *(Dialogue, nov./dec. 1991, no. 149: 85).

1991; October 13: Sylvestre Nsanzimana, the MRNDD-affiliated Minister of Justice, was appointed Prime Minister, this post had been created specially for him. He tried to form a new government **(Guichaoua, 1995: 508; Reyntjens, 1994: 109).

1991; November 7: Some Tutsi families were attacked by night in the Murambi commune upon orders from the bourgmestre and sous-préfet . One person was killed and dozens wounded in these attacks **(Guichaoua, 1995: 508; Reyntjens, 1994: 184).

1991; November 17: The first demonstration in Rwanda by the political opposition was allowed: 10,000 people marched on Kigali *(Reyntjens, 1994: 111).

1991; November 24: In response to the November 17 demonstration, 20,000 MRNDD supporters demonstrated in Kigali against the organization of a national conference.

1991; November 30: During the night, the RPF attacked the Rwebare displaced persons’ camp (in the Muvumba commune ) and its 7,000 inhabitants. Nineteen people were killed according to the official figures *(Dialogue, no. 151: 44).

1991; December 1: A communique from the Direction des Opérations Militaires des FAR » (Directorate of RAF Military Operations) broadcast on the radio accused the RPF of using newspapers and political parties to ‘cause discontent among the population and incite it to revolt against the current government’ *(Dialogue,Feb. 1992, no. 151: 45).

1991; December 7: During the night, the RPF attacked the Nyarurema clinic *(Dialogue, Feb. 1992, no. 151: 44).

1991; December 10: The RPF attacked the refugees of the Rushaki secondary school, there were no victims *(Dialogue, Feb 1992, no. 151: 44).

1991; December 12: The RPF attacked Kizinga (in the Kiyombe commune ) and killed seventeen Rwandan soldiers *(Dialogue, Feb. 1992, no. 151: 44).

1991; December 18: The RPF launched an attack on Gatunda; twenty-five civilians were killed (Dialogue,Feb. 1992, no. 151: 44).

1991; December 30: A new government was formed, led by Sylvestre Nsanzimana. Except for one minister affiliated to the PDC, the entire government consisted of MRNDD members *(Reyntjens, 1994: 110). The parties of the Consultation Committee stated their mistrust of this new government and asked their members to intensify recruitment *(Reyntjens, 1994: 111).

1992; January 4: The Interahamwe , who were opposed to the multi-party system, organized a march in Kigali to support the Nsanzimana government *(Bertrand, 2000: 265).

1992; January 8: In Kigali, between 60,000 and 100,000 people (according to the organizers) attended a demonstration organized by the Consultation Committee (MDR, PL, PSD and PSR) which was opposed to the new Nsanzimana government **(Dialogue, no. 152: 54; Reyntjens, 1994: 111). Skirmishes occurred between demonstrators and the police *(Bertrand, 2000: 265).

1992; January 11: Another opposition demonstration was held in Butare *(Bertrand, 2000: 265).

1992; January 15: The RAF and the RPF engaged in armed conflict in the communes of Muvamba, Kiyombe and Butaro *(Dialogue, no. 152: 53). In Kigali, the préfet banned an opposition demonstration. The PSD withdrew its support from the opposition movement and was ejected from the Consultation Committee. The police dispersed the participants in the demonstration and wounded several of them. The PDC threatened to leave the government if it was not opened to all opposition groups before the end of the month of January *(Reyntjens, 1994: 111).

1992; February 3: Lieutenant-Colonel Chollet, who was in command of DAMI-Panda, was appointed counselor to the President of Rwanda and to the RAF Chief of Staff. He allegedly became the operational Commander of the Rwandan Army, to all intents and purposes (Lanotte, 2007: 157-158). When he left this post in March 1992, his duties were divided between two different positions. Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Louis Nabias took over command of DAMI, whereas Lieutenant-Colonel Maurin became the RAF’s main counselor *(Lanotte, 2007: 159).

1992; February 11: Negotiations resumed between the MRNDD and the opposition parties *(Reyntjens, 1994: 111).

1992; March: The Rwandan Ministry of Defense bought a stockpile of weapons and ammunition from Egypt (450 Kalashnikovs, 2,000 rockets…) for six million US dollars *(HRW, 1999: 118).

1992; March 9: A truck belonging to the Colas company exploded on a landmine in Kigali; there were no victims *(Dialogue, no. 154: 56).

1992; March 10: After a leaflet announcing the assassination of twenty Hutu notables was circulated, several massacres were organized in the Bugesera region (in the Kanzenze, Ngenda and Gashora communes ), but also in the communes of Mbogo (Kigali), Sake (Kibungo) and Kivumu (Kibuye). Hundreds of Tutsis and opposition party members were killed and their houses were burned down, almost 15,000 people were displaced *(Reyntjens, 1994: 184). A state of siege was declared in the Kanzenze and Gashora communes **(Chrétien, 2003: 285; Guichaoua, 1995: 509). Antonia Locatelli, an Italian volunteer worker residing in Bugesera, was assassinated during these massacres, which she had condemned *(CIDH, 1993: 46). Five people were killed at Kibilira *(CIDH, 1993: 19).

1992; March 13: The opposition parties (the MDR, PL, PSD, MRNDD and PDC) published a seven-point agreement protocol including peace negotiations, the settlement of the refugee problem, and the organization of general elections **(Reyntjens, 1994: 113; Guichaoua, 1995: 509).

1992; March 20: A bomb exploded on a minibus in the Kigali bus station, killing one person *(Dialogue, no. 154: 56).

1992; April 2: Dismas Nsengiyarmye (MDR) was appointed Prime Minister *(Reyntjens, 1994: 112).

1992; April 16: The first transition government was set up. The MRNDD still controlled nine of its nineteen ministries **(Guichaoua, 1995: 509; Reyntjens, 1994: 112).

1992; April 22: President Juvénal Habyarimana gave up his powers as head of the Army in order to be designated as a candidate for the next presidential election *(Bertrand, 2000: 266).

1992; April 25: A bomb exploded in the Kigali bus station *(Guichaoua, 1995: 510).

1992; April 27: Ferdinand Nahimana was dismissed from his post as director of the ORINFOR (Rwandan Office of Information) *(Guichaoua, 1995: 510).

1992; May 1: A van carrying around 40 people exploded near the Ruhango shopping center, killing seven people *(Dialogue, no.156: 56).

1992; May 8: Around 20 individuals armed with hand grenades, machetes and clubs went to the residence of Agathe Uwiligiyimana, the Rwandan Minister of Education, and beat her severely **(Dialogue, no.156: 57; Bertrand, 2000: 266).

1992; May 14: During the night, the RPF attacked Vumage Island in the Rugenzi marshes, killing 18 people *(Dialogue, no.156: 54).

1992; May 29: Twenty people were killed and 30 wounded in a soldiers’ mutiny at Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and Kibuye, which broke out after the Prime Minister announced that the troops were to be demobilized and employed in draining the marshes ***(Guichaoua, 1995: 510; Dialogue no. 157: 46; Reyntjens, 1994: 117). The RPF began peace talks with the MDR, PSD and PL opposition parties in Brussels *(Bertrand, 2000: 266).

1992; May 30: The RAF’s Sixty-Forth Battalion mutinied in Gisenyi; ten people were killed and 70 million francs were stolen from shopkeepers **(Guichaoua, 1995: 510; CIDH, 1993: 61).

1992; June 5: The RPF attacked Byumba. During the next few days, the RPF assassinated 39 civilians in the Cyondo and Gatalima sectors of the Kiyombe commune *(Dialogue, no.157: 47).

1992; June 6: At Byumba, the RAF mutinied after the RPF’s retreat from the area *(CIDH, 1993: 61).

1992; June 10: France sent reinforcements from the Eighth Marine Infantry Paratrooper Regiment (Régiment de Parachutistes d’Infanterie de Marine , or RIPMA) to support the RAF, who were being overwhelmed at Byumba **(Braud, 2005: 365; MIAN, 1998: 26).

1992; June 11: Laurent Serubuga, a member of the Akazu and one of the Army Chiefs of Staff, and Rwagafilita, one of the gendarmerie Chiefs of Staff, proved incapable of putting an end to acts of mutiny and violence committed by the Armed Forces. They were forced to retire, along with many other high-ranking officers ***(Guichaoua, 1995: 510; Dialogue no. 157: 54; Reyntjens, 1994: 118).

1992; June 12: The Rwandan franc was devalued for the second time, losing 17.6 percent of its value.

1992; July 12: In Arusha, the Rwandan government and the RPF signed a ceasefire which was to enter into force on July 31 ***(HRW, 1999: 117; Reyntjens, 1994: 309; Bertrand, 2000: 266).

1992; August 18: The draft agreement concerning the rule of law was signed at Arusha ***(HRW, 1999: 117; Reyntjens, 1994: 309; Bertrand, 2000: 266).

1992; August 20: MRND and CDR supporters massacred tens of Tutsis and political opponents at Kibuye *(HRW, 1999: 117).

1992; August 26: An amendment was added to the July 18, 1975 special military assistance agreement between France and Rwanda – which originally only concerned the gendarmerie – extending it to all of the Rwandan Armed Forces *(MIAN, 1998: 94).

1992; September 17: The President’s Chief of Staff wrote a letter requesting that the governmental delegation to the Arusha negotiations be recalled to Kigali *(Bertrand, 2000: 267).

1992; September 21: The police shot a PSD member at point-blank range in Kigali *(Dialogue, no. 160: 52). Colonel Déogratias Nsabimana sent his subordinates a memorandum disclosing the conclusions of a commission constituted in December 1991, composed of ten officers entrusted with ‘defining the enemy’. This commission had explicitly designated the Rwandan Tutsis as the main enemy ‘inside and outside’ the country *(HRW, 1999: 78).

1992; October 18: Straton Byabagamba, President of the PL for the Kanombe commune , was assassinated by members of the CDR *(Dialogue, no. 161: 56). The CDR and the Interahamwe organized a joint march in opposition to the Nsengiyaremye government and the Arusha talks *(Bertrand, 2000: 267).

1992; October 19: The Rwandan Ministry of Defense bought a stock of weapons and ammunition (20,000 R-4 rifles, 20,000 hand grenades…) from South Africa, for a total of 5.9 million US dollars *(HRW, 1999: 118).

1992; October 21: During the night, some soldiers from the Kanombe camp, near Kigali, mutinied *(Reyntjens, 1994: 118).

1992; October 26: In Kigali, the MRNDD organized a march to support the RAF. In a statement broadcast on the radio, President Habyarimana expressed his endorsement of the Arusha Accords *(Bertrand, 2000: 267).

1992; October 30: The first section of the power-sharing agreement was signed in Arusha **(HRW, 1999: 117; Reyntjens, 1994: 309).

1992; November 15: During a rally held at Ruhengeri, Juvénal Habyarimana described the Arusha Accords as ‘shreds of paper’ and boasted of the Interahamwe militias’ acts ***(AR, 1995: 30; Bertrand, 2000: 267; Reyntjens, 1994: 119).

1992; November 22: At Kabaya (in the préfecture of Gisenyi), Léon Mugesera (the MRNDD Vice-President for the Gisenyi prefecture , and a civil servant at the Ministry of the Family and the Promotion of Women), called for the Tutsis to be sent back to Ethiopia (where the famous 'hypothèse hamite ' or 'Hamitic theory' claimed they had originated from) on the Nyabarongo river ***(AR, 1995; HRW, 1999: 103-105; Reyntjens, 1994: 119).

1992; November 29: Brother François Cardinal, one of the Frères de l’Instruction Chrétienne (or Brothers of Christian Instruction, a lay Catholic order) was assassinated in Kigali by a six-person commando squad, two of whose members were wearing military uniforms *(Dialogue, no. 163: 29).

1992; November 30: Unable to have Léon Mugesera arrested after his November 22 speech, Stanislas Mbonampeka, the Minister of Justice, resigned. He was not replaced until July 1993 *(Reyntjens, 1994: 120).

1992; December 24: The Kigali Night nightclub was targeted in a bomb attack *(Dialogue, no. 163: 42).

1992; December 31: The MRNDD and CDR youth movements blocked the main thoroughfares leading to Kigali for the day *(Dialogue, no. 163: 42).

1993; January 7-21: An international commission for the investigation of human rights violations visited Rwanda *(Reyntjens, 1994: 309).

1993; January 9: The second part of the protocol on power sharing, including the implementation of a transition timetable, was signed at Arusha **(HRW, 1999: 118; Reyntjens, 1994: 309).

1993; January 21-26: In northern Rwanda, the MRND and the CDR organized several massacres identical to those of March 1992 in the Bugesera region ***(Chrétien, 2003: 285; Guichaoua, 1995: 511; Reyntjens, 1994: 192). There were around 300 victims *(Reyntjens, 1994: 309).

1993; January 25: In an official speech, Juvénal Habyarimana denounced the Accords which had just been signed at Arusha *(Reyntjens, 1994: 205).

1993; February 8: The RPF attacked the regions of Byumba and Ruhengeri in retaliation for the January massacres. Its offensive was halted just 30 kilometers from the capital, which allowed the RPF to double the size of the territory it had occupied until then. One million displaced persons settled around Kigali ***(Guichaoua, 1995: 511; AR, 1995: 21; Reyntjens, 1994: 205). At Ruhengeri, RPF soldiers killed several hundred civilians *(HRW, 1999: 817).

1993; February 9: In response to the RPF offensive, 150 men were added as reinforcements to the French personnel present in Rwanda under the framework of operation Noroît *(Lanotte, 2007: 144).

1993; February 20: As the RPF advanced toward Kigali, a second detachment of French reinforcements (the Chimère detachment), composed of 250 extra men, was entrusted with operational assistance to the RAF; this was called Operation Birunga *(Lanotte, 2007: 144).

1993; February 28: Marcel Debarge, the French Minister of Cooperation visited Kigali and called for the creation of a ‘Hutu common front’ *(HRW, 1999: 136).

1993; March 2: In Kigali, President Habyarimana summoned the MRNDD, the CDR, seven of the ten small parties created since 1991, and representatives of the four big opposition parties.

1993; March 7: A new ceasefire agreement was signed at Dar es Salaam **(AR, 1995: 34; Reyntjens, 1994: 310). It came into force on March 15.

1993; March 17: The MDR, PSD, PDC and PL parties issued a memorandum about President Habyarimana’s recent statements.

1993; March 30: Juvénal Habyarimana resigned from the position of President of the MRNDD *(Reyntjens, 1994: 120).

1993; April 7: The Conseil de Gouvernement (Government Council) appointed 35 bourgmestres , essentially from the MRNDD and the MDR.

1993; April 16: Dismas Nsengiyaremye’s government’s powers were renewed for a three-month period **(Bertrand, 2000: 268; Reyntjens, 1994: 122).

1993; April 19: A bomb exploded in the Butare market, around 20 people were wounded *(Dialogue, no. 167: 54).

1993; April 22: A bomb exploded in the central post office of Kigali, 15 people were wounded *(Dialogue, no. 167: 54).

1993; May 13: Mathieu Ngirumpatse became President of the MRNDD *(Reyntjens, 1994: 120).

1993; May 18: Emmanuel Gapyisi, who was in charge of the MDR in the préfecture of Gikongoro, as well as Grégoire Kayibanda’s son-in-law and the initiator of the Forum Paix et Démocratie (Peace and Democracy Forum), which aimed to unite all opponents to the RPF and to Juvénal Habyarimana, were assassinated **(HRW, 1999: 137; Reyntjens, 1994: 121).

1993; June 9: The protocol on the repatriation of refugees and the resettlement of displaced persons was signed at Arusha *(Reyntjens, 1994: 310).

1993; June 22: The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 846, which created a UN Observers’ Mission to Uganda/Rwanda (MONUOR). The resolution allowed for the deployment of 81 observers and 24 UN employees in Uganda, near the Rwandan border *(Guichaoua, 1995: 511). In Kigali, the Rwandan government refused the MDR’s proposal to retain Dismas Nsengiyaremye as Prime Minister for another transition period *(Reyntjens, 1994: 122).

1993; July 1: The Rwandan opposition leaders rejected Dismas Nsengiyaremye as a candidate and accepted Agathe Uwilingiyimana.

1993; July 3: The MRNDD held an extraordinary congress, during which it appeared to be increasingly divided **(Bertrand, 2000: 268; Guichaoua, 1995: 511).

1993; July 6: A bomb exploded at the Nyarugenge market in Kigali.

1993; July 8: RTLM, which was officially a free, commercial radio station, began broadcasting.

1993; July 17: Juvénal Habyarimana appointed Agathe Uwilingiyimana, an MDR member, as Prime Minister *(Reyntjens, 1994: 123). However, the MDR’s political bureau opposed Faustin Twagiramungu’s presentation of Agathe Uwilingiyimana as a candidate and decided to suspend them both from the party *(Reyntjens, 1994: 123).

1993; July 18: Agathe Uwilingiyimana’s new government took office **(HRW, 1999: 140; Guichaoua, 1995: 511). Alexis Nsabimana, the MDR’s former representative to the Benelux countries, who was close to the Forum Paix et Démocratie launched by Emmanuel Gapyisi, founded the Parti du Renouveau Démocratique or PRD (Democratic Renewal Party) *(Reyntjens, 1994: 123).

1993; July 20: The MDR, which had been foresworn by its own president because of the appointment of the Prime Minister, put forward Jean Kambanda as a candidate to the post of Prime Minister of the gouvernement de transition à base élargie or GTBE (the broader-based transitional government), which was a product of the Arusha Accords. Unbeknown to his own party, Faustin Twagiramungu unilaterally announced to Juvénal Habyarimana that he would be the Prime Minister of the GTBE, in a letter *(Reynjtens, 1994: 123).

1993; July 23: During the MDR’s extraordinary congress at Kabusunzu, Faustin Twagiramungu and Agathe Uwilingiyimana were barred from the party *(Guichaoua, 1995: 511; Reynjtens, 1994: 123).

1993; July 30: Judging that his life was under threat, Dismas Nsengiyaremye left Rwanda.

1993; August 3: The protocol on the integration of the Armed Forces was signed at Arusha *(Reyntjens, 1994: 310).

1993; August 4: All of the Arusha Peace Accords had been signed. They allowed for a transitional government in which the RPF would be given control of five ministries out of 21. Faustin Twagiramungu was appointed Prime Minister of the GTBE.

1993; August 21: Fidèle Rwambuka, the former bourgmestre of Kanzenze and the organizer of the violent events of March 1992 in the Bugesera region, was killed in mysterious circumstances **(Guichaoua, 1995: 511; Reyntjens, 1994: 187).

1993; October 5: UN Security Council Resolution 872 created the UN Mission for Assistance to Rwanda (UNAMIR), which was composed of 4,157 men, of which 3,792 were soldiers, 306 military observers, and 59 civilian policemen **(HRW, 1999: 158; Braud, 2001: 770).

1993; October 18: In Kigali, a CDR demonstration was organized to protest against the Arusha Accords.

1993; October 21: In Burundi, President Melchior Ndadaye was assassinated. During the following weeks, around 300,000 Burundian refugees entered Rwanda, fleeing the bloody massacres in the north of their country, and settled mostly in Butare and Gikongoro *(HRW, 1999: 163).

1993; October 23: In Kigali, a march was held in support of the Burundian people. During the event, Hutu Power was called for *(Bertrand, 2000: 269).

1993; October 30: A Rwandan Army commission considered the creation of a civilian self-defense force *(HRW, 1999: 325).

1993; November 1: The deployment of the UNAMIR force began in Rwanda *(Reyntjens, 1994: 311).

1993; November 5: MDR Power held a demonstration in Kigali against the Arusha Accords and the presence of Belgian forces in Rwanda *(Bertrand, 2000: 269).

1993; November 13: During an extraordinary congress of the PL, a new executive committee was elected, though the existing executive committee was still in place; this crystallized the division of the party and the birth of its Power wing *(Dialogue, no. 172: 56-57). The PSD and the PDC underwent similar splits *(Bertrand, 2000: 269).

1993; November 17: In the communes of Nkumba, Kidaho, Cyeru and Nyamugali (in the préfecture of Ruhengeri), unidentified attackers killed 37 people during the night, including local leaders **(HRW, 1999: 171; Dialogue, no. 172: 56).

1993; November 26: A Belgian Red Cross truck was targeted by RAF soldiers and exploded when it hit a landmine *(HRW, 1999: 172).

1993; November 29: Nineteen people were assassinated during the night at Mutura (in the préfecture of Gisenyi); the killers were not identified **(HRW, 1999: 172; Dialogue, no. 172: 56).

1993; December 2: A UNAMIR patrol was attacked by combatants armed with a heavy machine gun in northern Rwanda *(HRW, 1999: 173).

1993; December 3: The French Foreign Ministry announced the Noroît detachment and the DAMI-Panda’s retreat from Rwanda, in accordance with the provisions of the Arusha Accords. Officially, the French military presence in Rwanda was reduced to 24 military cooperation agents, in charge of technical military assistance *(Lanotte, 2007: 259).

1993; December 20: The PL’s Power faction, led by Justin Mugenzi, organized its first congress *(Guichaoua, 1995: 512).

1993; December 28: According to the Arusha Accords, an RPF contingent entered Kigali and settled in CND premises *(Guichaoua, 1995: 512).

1993; December 31: President Juvénal Habyarimana’s term of office officially ended.

1994; January 5: President Habyarimana took office officially; the investiture of the government and the new Assembly was postponed *(Bertrand, 2000: 270). The Tanzanian ambassador to Rwanda was attacked by a crowd of CDR supporters because of his country’s support for the peace accords *(HRW, 1999: 176).

1994; January 11: General Dallaire, who had received information from a former Interahamwe leader, warned the United Nations in New York of the existence of a plan for the systematic assassination of the Tutsi population, and of political opponents to Juvénal Habyarimana and to Hutu Power. A structure essentially based on the Interahamwe militias was ready to implement this plan. Dallaire requested permission to carry out search and disarmament operations (Dallaire, 2004: 142-151; Reyntjens, 1995: 60).

1994; January 16: Four to five thousand MRNDD supporters gathered in the Nyamirambo stadium, in Kigali. Most of them were not originally from the city. They were given weapons *(HRW, 1999: 184). Members of MDR-Power and PL Mugenzi were present *(Bertrand, 2000: 270).

1994; January 20: Justin Mugenzi, the President of the Parti Liberal , who supported Hutu Power, was targeted in an assassination attempt *(HRW, 1999: 185).

1994; January 24: Following a bomb attack on a house in Kigali, some Interahamwe members were arrested. Others set off a riot. The Belgian UN peacekeepers in charge of guarding Jacques-Roger Booh Booh’s residence were shot at *(HRW, 1999: 186).

1994; January 30: Although the UNAMIR force organized 924 mobile patrols, as well as 320 patrols on foot, and set up 306 checkpoints, it was able to find no more than nine guns among the population *(HRW, 1999: 187).

1994; January 31: A grenade was thrown at the UNAMIR headquarters *(HRW, 1999: 187).

1994; February 20: Prime Minister Faustin Twagiramungu was targeted in an assassination attempt, during which one of his bodyguards was killed *(HRW, 1999: 192).

1994; February 21: Félicien Gatabazi, the president of the PSD, was assassinated *(HRW, 1999: 192). A UNAMIR civilian police investigation led to the identification of some of the individuals behind the murder: Captain Pascal Simbikangwa (Colonel Sagatwa’s brother-in-law), Alphonse Ntirivamunda (Juvénal Habyarimana’s son-in-law), and Emile Nyungura, a PSD member who was one of Gatabazi’s rival’s *(Reyntjens, 1995: 61).

1994; February 22: Martin Bucyana, the president of the CDR, was killed by a crowd in Butare, in response to Félicien Gatabazi’s murder. A UNAMIR convoy escorting the RPF was attacked with a grenade; an RPF soldier was killed *(HRW, 1999: 192).

1994; February 22-26: Interahamwe


 members assassinated seventy people in Kigali *(HRW, 1999: 193).

1994; March 18: Faustin Twagiramungu announced the composition of his government.

1994; March 30: A second Rwandan Army commission considered the organization of civilian self-defense (HRW, 1999: 325).

1994; March 31: Alphonse Ingabire, the CDR’s operational leader, was assassinated. In retaliation, some CDR members killed a PSD member and wounded three others *(HRW, 1999: 199).

1994; April: 2,000 militia members and 7,000 members of the RAF were in Kigali *(HRW, 1999: 213). As for the RPF, it had the support of between 3,600 and 7,200 people throughout Rwanda, including between 700 and 1,400 in Kigali. Unlike the militiamen, RPF supporters had very few weapons *(HRW, 1999: 214).

1994; April 4: During a reception organized to celebrate the Senegalese national holiday, Théoneste Bagosora stated that ‘the only plausible solution for Rwanda would be the extermination of the Tutsi’, in the presence of Roméo Dallaire, Luc Marchal and Jacques-Roger Booh Booh, *(HRW, 1999: 200). In New York, the UNAMIR force’s budget was officially approved (HRW, 1999: 158).

The Assassination (April 6, 1994)

1994; April 6: At 10:22 PM, the Falcon Mystère presidential airplane carrying Juvénal Habyarimana, the Burundian President, Cyprien Ntaryamira, the Burundian government Ministers Bernard Ciza and Cyriaque Simbizi, Major-General Déogratias Nsabimana (the RAF Chief of Staff), Major Thadée Bagaragaza, Juvénal Renzaho (Habyarimana’s counselor), and Doctor Emmanuel Akingeneye (Habyarimana’s personal physician) was shot down shortly before it was due to land in Kigali. Colonel Elie Sagatwa, a prominent member of the Akazu , the non-official head of the presidential guard and Juvénal Habyarimana’s brother-in-law, was also on board the aircraft. The twelve passengers, including three French crew members (pilot Jacky Héraud, co-pilot Jean-Pierre Minoberry and navigator Jean-Michel Perrine) were killed **(Reyntjens, 1995: 21; Eltringham, 2004: 111). Several hypotheses have been put forward concerning the identity of the perpetrators of the attack. The main factions mentioned in these theories are:

- radicals from Juvénal Habyarimana’s regime and the Army, with or without backing from French soldiers *(Reyntjens, 1995: 20-32);

- the non-Power factions of the MRND’s internal opposition – with or without support from the RPF – attempting a pro-democracy coup d’État *(Reyntjens, 1995: 33-38);

- the RPF, with or without assistance from members of the Belgian Army *(Reyntjens, 1995: 38-44).

At 9:00 PM, a meeting took place at the Rwandan Army headquarters. It was attended by the main Army officers and chaired by Théoneste Bagosora (who was Chief of Staff at the Defense Ministry). During the meeting, which General Dallaire joined at around 10:00 PM, Théoneste Bagosora put himself forward as the strongman in the crisis, but was unable to obtain the transfer of power to the Army, or to have one of his allies appointed Chief of Staff **(Braud, 2005: 443; Reyntjens, 1995: 52-53). This position was given to Colonel Marcel Gatsinzi, who was isolated from an institutional point of view, and was not in Kigali at the time.

Immediately after the attack, sporadic gunfire was heard in the nearby military camp of Kanombe. The residents of Masaka Hill, from where the missiles had been fired, were shot *(HRW, 1999: 215-217). The MRND leaders and their families were evacuated to a military camp, and Faustin Twagiramungu to the UNAMIR headquarters. Many political followers of Habyarimana, as well as certain opposition leaders, took refuge inside the French embassy **(HRW, 1999: 220-221; Reyntjens, 1995: 63). Roadblocks were established in Kigali within an hour of the attack; Interahamwe  patrols moved around the city, which the Army had closed off **(HRW, 1999: 221; Guichaoua, 1995: 523).

The Massacres (April – July 1994)

The massacres, which began during the night of April 6 and lasted until mid-July – that is, around a hundred days *(Strauss, 2006: 1) – when the RPF regained control of the entire Rwandan territory. The number of victims will remain unknown, though several different estimates were made. These have stabilized over time; we now estimate that at least 500,000 Tutsis *(HRW, 1999: 5) and 10,000 Hutus *(Strauss, 2006: 51) were assassinated. In addition, different forms of violence and torture occurred daily during this period. The number of 250,000 acts of rape has been put forward, though it is contested *(Strauss, 2006: 52). Finally, the resumption of the war and the progression of the front line provoked the exodus of two million civilians, mainly Hutus, to Zaire and Tanzania *(Strauss, 2006: 50). The systematic massacre of Rwandan Tutsi civilians (it is estimated that 75 percent of them were killed – *Strauss, 2006: 41) was recognized as genocide by the United Nations on May 27, 1994.

Though the assassination campaign was planned, it was organized flexibly, not along the lines of formal State structures *(HRW, 1999: 261). It was based on three essential mainstays: the Army and gendarmerie , political parties and their militias, and finally, the national and local administration.

The Army and the gendarmerie :

From February 1993, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, the former Chief of Staff of the Defense Ministry, designed the civilian self-defense program, which was at the heart of the arrangements made to organize the massacres. This program consisted in distributing weapons to part of the population, having the local police train them to shoot and to fight, and organizing patrols *(HRW, 1999: 128-132). Théoneste Bagosora did not have enough influence to single-handedly take control of the administration of the country and take Juvénal Habyarimana’s place. Nevertheless, he was the main protagonist of the political crisis triggered by the killing of Habyarimana. High-ranking military officers such as General Augustin Bizimungu (who was appointed Marcel Gatsinzi’s successor as Chief of Staff on April 16), Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho (the préfet of Kigali), or Lieutenant-Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva also participated in carrying out the massacres *(HRW, 1999: 263). At the other end of the scale, in the hills, military men (often retired) enabled the massacres to continue, day in and day out, by training groups of civilians to attack or by distributing weapons to the population, with the gendarmerie ‘s support *(HRW, 1999: 262-266).

Political parties and militias:

The political crisis that followed Juvénal Habyarimana’s death, the elimination of the opposition, and the massacres of Tutsis enshrined the victory of the Power branches of each political party. Thus, party leaders such as the MRND’s Mathieu Ngirumpatse or the MDR’s Donat Murego participated in the interim government’s cabinet meetings, or represented it in international arenas *(HRW, 1999: 262). At the commune level, political party representatives handed out weapons, organized their own patrols, and initiated assassinations when the administration was reluctant to do so. By April 6, the militias could rely on a 2,000-man force in Kigali, and a slightly smaller one for the rest of the country. However, they recruited extensively during the massacres and soon grew to have 20,000 to 30,000 members *(HRW, 1999: 268). The most active among them were the Interahamwe (who were close to the MRND) and the Impuzamugambi (who were close to the CDR). On April 12, the MDR’s Inkuba joined forces with them, following a speech by Froduald Karamira, a leader of the MDR Power branch *(HRW, 1999: 268-269). At this point, due to their sheer numbers, the militias became auxiliary forces for the Army, and moved from one region to another to carry out the assassinations *(HRW, 1999: 270).

The administration:

As soon as they were appointed, it became apparent that the Rwandan President Théodore Sindikubwabo and Prime Minister Jean Kambanda were weak individuals, and though they participated in carrying out the massacres, they did not initiate the decisions behind them *(HRW, 1999: 273). Each echelon of the administration was involved in the assassination campaign, which they integrated with their other activities. Certain government ministers, such as Pauline Nyiramasuhuko in Butare, Eliezer Niyitegeka in Kibuye or Justin Mugenzi (the president of PL Power), organized tours of the inside of the country and represented the government there, promoting the assassination campaign. The préfets were an essential component in the transmission of orders from Kigali, and in surveying the outcome. Finally, the bourgmestres took charge of the initial mobilization of peasants; they supervised the organization of civilian self-defense in their respective communes, sent counselors from door-to-door to recruit men, and drew up lists of persons to target *(HRW, 1999: 275). This participation of ordinary people in the massacres allowed their extension and rapid pace; in under three weeks, the campaign had reached the entire country *(Strauss, 2006: 50). Most importantly, from the moment the violence began, it reached a similar level of intensity throughout the country *(Strauss, 2006: 59). The bourgmestres gathered Tutsis in public places (stadiums, churches, etc.) and brought in the Army and militias to kill them. People’s identity papers were checked at blockades set up at main crossroads (ethnic origin was still mentioned on identity cards). Gangs (ibitero ) went from house-to-house to kill those who had stayed behind. Searches were organized through the fields so that no one could take refuge there. Looting aside, it is estimated that around 200,000 people (including soldiers and militiamen) participated directly in the assassinations *(Strauss, 2004: 95).

As the campaign unfolded, in close connection with Colonel Bagosora’s faction’s seizure and consolidation of power, it went through several turning points. During the first few hours following the April 6 assassination, and throughout April 7, most assassinations targeted opponents to Hutu Power and to the Bagosora faction. The latter imposed its ‘legitimacy’ by eliminating its opponents, and the practice of violence reduced the variety of options for the transmission of power *(Braud, 2005: 443). Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, the two candidates for the position of Speaker for the Transitional National Assembly – Félicien Ngango (PSD) and Landoald Ndasingwa (PL) – and the presiding judge of the Constitutional Court, Joseph Karavuganda, *(HRW, 1999: 225) were assassinated. Faustin Twagiramungu, whom the Arusha Accords had designated as Prime Minister, managed to be evacuated by UNAMIR *(Braud, 2005: 444). On April 7, the assassination of Tutsis began in Kigali, as well as in the regions of the country where the Power movements had the deepest roots (that is, the préfectures of Gisenyi, Ruhengeri and Kigali Rural). On April 9, the massacre of Tutsis became systematic in Kigali and spread to the préfectures of Byumba, Cyangugu, Gikongoro, Kibungo and Kibuye. The préfectures of Gitarama and Butare were not affected until April 14-15 *(Strauss, 2006: 50/256). At first, the assassinations had priority targets: lists of public figures, both Hutus and Tutsis, were handed out to the killers. As of April 11, the authorities ordered Tutsis to gather in public places, stadiums, or places of worship. This was the case at the Kigali Ecole Technique Officielle (Official Technical School), in the Kibuye and Cyangugu stadiums, in the churches of Nyarubuye and Rukara in the Kibungo préfecture , in the Butare hospital and school, in the Nyundo Cathedral in Gisenyi *(HRW, 1999: 245-246). Hence, the period from April 11 to May 1 was the deadliest.

The interim government was appointed on April 8 and settled in Gitarama on the 12; it was on the verge of bankruptcy and in need of international aid *(HRW, 1999: 331). In order to restore its reputation, starting from the last week of April, it gave orders for the massacres to become less visible and to this end, set up a ‘pacification’ campaign *(HRW, 1999: 331). While government representatives traveled to Kenya, to the United Nations, to France and other European countries *(HRW, 1999: 332-333), the administrative authorities gave orders – which were transmitted by the radio – to put an end to violence and remove corpses from the roads *(HRW, 1999: 334-339). However, the assassinations carried on. Every day, armed parties came to take groups of Tutsis from the churches of Kigali and execute them in isolated locations *(HRW, 1999: 331). Though it became discreet, the violence nonetheless continued until mid-July.

The day after the killing of Habyarimana on April 7, the RPF went on the offensive again, attacking in two directions: from north to south, and from the southeast towards Kigali (where over 600 of its men had been stationed since December) and Byumba. The RPF took the latter town on April 21 *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526). On May 1 it took control of the Tanzanian border (Guichaoua, 1995: 528). On May 4 the battle for Kigali began; it lasted until July 4. The RAF, who were entirely absorbed in the massacres, and no longer had active military support from France, collapsed and were unable to do any more than offer resistance in Kigali. The RPF encircled Ruhengeri on May 6, took Nyanza (in the Butarepréfecture ) on May 29, Gitarama on June 13 and Gisenyi on July 17 *(Guichaoua, 1995: 532). For the duration of this offensive, the RPF prioritized reaching its military objectives, at the expense of rescuing people under threat *(Kuperman, 2004: 78). Add a map of the RPF’s advance? – see Guichaoua, 1995: 527.

The international community’s initial reaction to the Rwandan crisis was to evacuate foreigners from the country. On April 9, 300 French paratroopers took control of Kigali airport (this was known as Operation Amaryllis); Belgium deployed 600 paratroopers the next day. Operations to evacuate foreigners were run jointly and ended on April 14. On the 7 of that month, ten Belgian UN peacekeepers in charge of protecting Agathe Uwulingiyimana were disarmed and taken to Camp Kigali, where they were killed *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). On the 14, Belgium announced the withdrawal of its 450 soldiers from the UNAMIR force. The states which had some influence in the Great Lakes region dealt with the crisis according to their own domestic concerns and all advocated minimal engagement; Belgium wished to withdraw its peacekeeping troops, as the assassination of ten of them had triggered a huge outcry back home. The United States, bearing in mind the failure of their 1992 intervention in Somalia *(HRW, 1999: 729) refused to get involved in a crisis they considered to be far removed from their interests. France was satisfied with the status quo *(HRW, 1999: 697). A consensus quickly appeared within the UN Security Council – of which Rwanda was a member, ironically – in favor of a withdrawal of the UNAMIR forces, at least in part. On April 22, a United Nations resolution reduced them to a strict minimum: 120 civilian personnel and 150 soldiers, the latter under General Dallaire’s command.

However, the scale of the massacres, indignant reactions from NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights, and from moral authorities such as Pope John Paul II, who started referring to genocide as early as April 27, led the United Nations to reconsider its choices. Though a larger, 5,500-man UNAMIR II force was planned in the May 17 UN resolution, it was not given final authorization until June 8, and its deployment was postponed for several more weeks, due to member states’ lack of enthusiasm for contributing human and military resources to the mission *(HRW, 1999: 753).

This delay allowed the French government to launch Operation Turquoise, reacting to several different motives. It was initially a response to the various appeals for intervention in Rwanda, and to the nascent media campaign criticizing the relationship between the French government and Juvénal Habyarimana’s regime. Most of all, Turquoise was the product of cohabitation (forced collaboration of different political forces, due to the fact that different parties had won the presidential and the legislative elections) at the head of the executive branch of the French government. This led to a large number of protagonists participating in decision-making (the President, the Prime Minsister, the Foreign Minister…), which more or less forced these parties to reach a consensus. In addition, the rivalry between partisans of Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and of Jacques Chirac (including Foreign Minister Alain Juppé) in view of the upcoming 1995 presidential election was fueled by the Rwandan crisis. Edouard Balladur was opposed to intervention; conversely, Alain Juppé saw it as an opportunity *(Braud, 2005: 480).

The United Nations Security Council voted in Resolution 929 on June 22, authorizing France to deploy its troops in Rwanda for two months, until the UNAMIR II peacekeeping troops were to relieve them. Turquoise was a multi-national relief operation for the assistance of civilians, and its protagonists were allowed to use force. However, only Senegal agreed to send a contingent of troops to reinforce the 2,494 French soldiers in the field *(HRW, 1999: 783). In France, the last supporters of the RAF opposed the operation which, they claimed, monopolized Bukavu airport and risked hindering the arrival of the RAF’s ammunition supplies *(Braud, 2005: 480). The mission’s real objectives appear to have been neither military nor humanitarian; it seems they were essentially media-related **(Braud, 2005: 482; Lanotte, 2007: 477). The operation went though four phases:

- From June 22 to 28, Operation Turquoise’s first phase consisted of conducting reconnaissance missions 15 kilometers inside Rwandan territory, from the towns of Goma and Bukavu, in Zaire. In the north the Diego detachment, which was based in Goma, moved around the Gisenyi region and carried out exfiltration operations *(Lanotte, 2007: 436). In the south the Thibault detachment entered Rwanda through Cyangugu and reached the Nyarushishi refugee camp *(Lanotte, 2007: 435).

- From June 28 to July 4, the Turquoise detachments entered further into Rwandan territory, near Gikongoro, and reached Butare on July 3. The incursions into northern Rwanda stopped. During this second phase, the French forces had several skirmishes with the RPF troops they encountered *(Lanotte, 2007: 437).

- From July 4 to the end of that month a zone humanitaire sûre or ZHS (safe humanitarian zone), which all belligerent factions were forbidden to enter, was created in the northwest quarter of the country, along the boundaries of the préfectures of Cyangugu, Kibuye and Gikongoro combined. It was around 4,500 square kilometers in size. Several hundred thousand civilians and thousands of militiamen and soldiers came to take refuge there. French skirmishes with the RPF proliferated, both along the ZHS periphery and in the north between Gisenyi (which had been retaken by the RPF on July 17) and Goma, where some of the French troops were stationed. Several members of the interim government took refuge in the ZHS at Cyangugu, then crossed the border and entered Zaire *(Lanotte, 2007: 437-444).

- From late July to August 22, the last phase of Operation Turquoise consisted of preparing for the UNAMIR II force to relieve the French troops. It was characterized by an increase in tension with the Rwandan militias and RAF members inside the ZHS. In certain areas of the zone, since the number of French troops was limited, roadblocks were re-established after their departure, which left the Tutsis under threat of assassination again. On August 22, Operation Turquoise ended, and operations were handed over to the peacekeeping troops of the reinforced UNAMIR contingent *(Lanotte, 2007: 444-446).

It has been estimated that Operation Turquoise allowed the rescue of 15,000 to 17,000 people *(HRW, 1999: 799; 10,000 to 15,000 according to Lanotte, 2007: 483). However, the French forces did not disarm the militias **(Braud, 2005: 486; Lanotte, 2007: 441) or the RAF troops inside the ZHS *(HRW, 1999: 798). Finally, Operation Turquoise forces did not facilitate the arrest of massacre perpetrators who had taken refuge in the ZHS, and the latter were able to escape to Zaire *(HRW, 1999: 796). It has not been determined whether the French troops helped these leaders to organize their escape *(HRW, 1999: 797).

1994; April 7: Very early in the morning, the RPF troops stationed near the Ugandan border started to move towards Kigali **(Guichaoua, 1995: 523; Reyntjens, 1995: 43). The town was held by the Rwandan Presidential Guard. Around 5:00 AM, the systematic assassination of opposition members began, according to pre-existing lists, after they were taken from their homes:

Around 9:00 AM, ten Belgian UN peacekeepers who were in charge of protecting the residence of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and escorting her to the national radio premises – where she was to make a statement on the institutional vacuum generated by the crisis – were disarmed by Rwandan Army soldiers and led to the RAF’s camp in Kigali, where they were killed **(Reyntjens, 1995: 71; Guichaoua, 1995: 523). Agathe Uwilingiyimana took shelter at a neighbor’s house, but the Rwandan soldiers found her, took her home and assassinated her along with her husband *(Reyntjens, 1995: 69).

In Kigali, the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi militias, escorted by the Republican Guard and brought in by trucks, closed off neighborhoods, set up roadblocks and massacred members of the political opposition and Tutsis. Félicien Ngango, the Vice-President of the PSD and a candidate for the post of Speaker for the Transitional National Assembly, and Landoald Ndasingwa, President of the PL and Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, were assassinated. So were Joseph Kavaruganda of the MDR (the presiding judge of the Constitutional Court), Faustin Rucogoza of the MDR (Minister of Information), Frédéric Nzamurambaho (President of the PSD and Minister of Agriculture), and Déogratias Havugimana of the MDR (the Foreign Minister’s Chief of Staff) ***(Guichaoua, 1995: 523; HRW, 1999: 225; Eltringham, 2004: 95-96). Other than these prominent public figures, journalists, members of the clergy and of human rights defense associations were killed the same day *(Braud, 2005: 445).

A party leaders’ meeting had been planned for the next morning at the US embassy, but it could not be held without its UNAMIR escort, which was trapped by the Presidential Guard *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). At 10:15 AM, a ‘crisis committee’ was formed at the ESM by military leaders, around General Ndindiliyimana and Colonel Bagosora*(Reyntjens, 1995: 81).

In Kigali, fires broke out in the neighborhoods of Nyamirambo, Kiyovu, Gikondo and Remera. At the Christus Center, 17 male and female members of the clergy were assassinated *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). Residents of the Gatenga neighborhood took shelter in the Ecole Technique Officielle or ETO (Official Technical School) *(HRW, 1999: 720). The UNAMIR force was driven out of the airport during the afternoon. At 4:30 PM, a sortie of 200 RPF soldiers billeted in the CND was announced, in order to clear out the nearby area *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). The RPF killed at least 121 people in the Remera neighborhood of Kigali, including retired Colonel Pontien Hakizimana, the wife and children of Major Nuhaba, the economist Daniel Rwamaniye, jurist Félicien Mbanzarugamba, the wife and children of sous-préfet Faustin Sekagina, the agronomist Aloys Habimana, attorney Paul Bizimana, Doctor Charles Mujwangeyo, and former Justice Minister Théoneste Mujyanama *(Reyntjens, 1995: 62). At 11:40 PM, the UNAMIR headquarters for the Kigali sector indicated that all Rwandan citizens who had taken refuge there had to leave the billet by the next morning *(Reyntjens, 1995: 63). In one day, several thousand people were killed in Kigali *(Braud, 2005: 445).

Carried out under Colonel Anatole Nsengiyumva’s leadership, the massacres very rapidly reached the préfecture of Gisenyi; militiamen killed 50 people at Nyondo, 43 in the Busogo Church, and 150 in the Busasamana parish. The assassinations had begun early in the morning at Rambura, the commune Juvénal Habyarimana had been born in *(Braud, 2005: 445). Several hundred people were massacred on the Seventh-Day Adventist University campus, east of Gisenyi. The massacres also spread southward and northward from Kigali, and toward the préfectures of Cyangugu and Gikongoro *(HRW, 1999: 233, 244). At the end of the afternoon, after having warned Roméo Dallaire they intended to intervene if the killings were not halted, the RPF troops billeted at the CND attacked the Presidential Guard camp. In response, RAF soldiers, militiamen, but also some civilians established several hundred roadblocks inside Kigali *(Strauss, 2006: 47-48).

1994; April 8: All morning, trucks carrying militiamen crossed the Rwandan capital; telephone lines were gradually cut in most neighborhoods, which isolated the public figures under threat a little more *(Guichaoua, 1995: 525). The systematic assassinations of Tutsis continued, as well as acts of rape and torture. Looting, especially by the Interahamwe militias, took place all day and carried on well into the night in the Kigali region. The massacres were organized: barriers were erected across public thoroughfares and patrols took control of the area *(HRW, 1999: 247-249). Several tens of people were killed in the Nyamirambo Church **(Guichaoua, 1995: 523; HRW, 1999: 244). Two thousand people, most of whom were Tutsis, were assassinated at Mudasomwa (Gikongoro) *(Braud, 2005: 445). The interim government was formed under the stern leadership of Théoneste Bagosora, during a meeting attended by the main leaders of the Power branches of the political parties: it included Mathieu Ngirumpatse (MRNDD), Froduald Karamira (MDR), Joseph Nzizorera (MRNDD), Edouard Karemera (MRNDD), Justin Mugenzi (PL) and Donat Murego (MDR). Théodore Sindikubwabo became President of the Republic and Jean Kambanda Prime Minister, though there initially had been some reticence toward him, they were both from Butare **(HRW, 1999: 231; Strauss, 2006: 46). The French embassy announced the assassination of three French citizens (including two technical military assistants, gendarmes Maïer and Didot) by the RPF *(Lanotte, 2007: 346).

1994; April 9: The massacres spread towards the Bugesera region. Between 70 and 100 of the refugees were killed in an attack on the Catholic mission of the Gikondo neighborhood in Kigali by around 60 Interahamwe militiamen led by Jean Ntawutagiripfa **(Guichaoua, 1995: 525; HRW, 1999: 244). The RPF proposed holding a joint operation with the UNAMIR and RAF – each of them providing 300 soldiers – to put a stop to the massacres *(HRW, 1999, 813). The RPF attacked the towns of Byumba and Ruhengeri *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). The interim government took office. Speaking for the RPF, Paul Kagame disputed its legitimacy *(Guichaoua, 1995: 525). In the framework of Operation Amaryllis, conducted by General Henri Poncet, 200 French soldiers were joined by Belgian and US troops and proceeded to evacuate citizens of Western countries residing in Rwanda *(Braud, 2001: 773). Ten (twelve, according to Lanotte, 2007: 348) members of the Habyarimana family or persons associated with it, including Agathe Kanziga (the President’s widow and a mainstay of the Akazu ), Ferdinand Nahimana (founder of the RTLM), and Protais Zigiranyirazo (the former préfet of Ruhengeri), were evacuated to **(Guichaoua, 1995: 525; HRW, 1999: 234).

1994; April 10: Trucks were sent to collect the corpses left on the streets of Kigali *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). Two thousand people, including 400 children, had taken refuge at the Ecole Technique Officielle under the protection of 90 UNAMIR II soldiers *(HRW, 1999: 720). The new government was sworn in *(Guichaoua, 1995: 525). The RAF rejected the RPF proposal to organize a joint force to stop the massacres *(HRW, 1999: 813). Interim Chief of Staff Marcel Gatsinzi, and the Defense Minister ordered their subordinates to put an end to the massacres of civilians and permitted them to use force if necessary *(HRW, 1999: 263). UNAMIR commander General Dallaire asked his superiors in New York for troop reinforcements to double his personnel, as well as a broader mandate enabling him to use force. He obtained neither *(Power, 2003: 350).

1994; April 11: By this point, around 20,000 Rwandans, most of whom were Tutsis, had been massacred (HRW, 1999: 235). At 2:00 PM, the UNAMIR soldiers left the Ecole Technique Officielle to evacuate Western residents in Rwanda. The 2,000 refugees previously under their protection in the premises were massacred during the afternoon **(HRW, 1999: 721; Reyntjens, 1995: 63). Ninety-four orphans (essentially soldiers’ children) from the Sainte-Agathe Orphanage, whose patron was the President’s widow, were evacuated to on the same airplane as 34 Rwandan public figures, the identity of whom the French secret services refused to disclose *(Guichaoua, 1995: 525).

The bloodiest phase of the massacres started from the week of April 11 and lasted until May 1. Their dynamics changed as the authorities sought to gather the Tutsi population in certain public places in order to facilitate their assassination *(HRW, 1999: 246).

1994; April 12: The interim government fled Kigali and settled at Murambi, near Gitarama, followed by around one thousand militiamen *(HRW, 1999: 319). In Kigali, Colonel Léonidas Rusatira and nine other RAF officers published a communique requesting a truce and an end to the massacres *(HRW, 1999: 239). In addition to the ten UN peackeepers, six Belgian citizens had been killed by this point *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526).

1994; April 13: From this point on, the activities of the militiamen and members of the Presidential Guard shifted toward the inside of the country, where the préfectures previously spared were now swept up in the turmoil. The first buses and boatloads of militiamen arrived in Kibuye *(Guichaoua, 1995: 523). Between April 13 and 15, RPF soldiers killed 78 people, including 46 children, at Murambi, in the Byumba préfecture *(HRW, 1999: 820). At Gishara, RPF soldiers threw grenades at the crowds *(HRW, 1999: 821). In Kigali, around a hundred Italian paratroopers were deployed as reinforcements for evacuation operations Silverback (carried out by Belgium) and Amaryllis (carried out by France) *(Lanotte, 2007: 286).

1994; April 14: Belgium announced the withdrawal of its contingent of soldiers from the UNAMIR II force **(Braud, 2001: 770; Guichaoua, 1995: 526). The Presidential Guard assassinated Boniface Ngulinzira of the MDR, the ex-Foreign Minister *(Eltringham, 2004: 95). Evacuation operations for foreign residents in Rwanda were deemed complete and the French troops deployed for Operation Amaryllis withdrew after five days in the field. All told, the French troops had evacuated 1,238 people, including 454 French citizens *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526; Lanotte, 2007: 349). However, around 20 French military counselors – all volunteers – allegedly remained in Rwanda to assist the RAF after the departure of Operation Amaryllis’ personnel, and until Operation Turquoise began. France has never officially recognized the presence of these men in Rwanda *(Lanotte, 2007: 368).

1994; April 15: Madeleine Albright, the US ambassador to the United Nations requested the complete withdrawal of the UNAMIR force *(Power, 2003: 367).

1994; April 16: At Nyamirambo (Kigali) skirmishes occurred between Interahamwe militiamen and armed Tutsis who had previously been protected by the gendarmerie . The massacres began in Butare *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526). General Augustin Bizimungu was appointed Chief of Staff, replacing Marcel Gatsinzi *(HRW, 1999: 310). Théoneste Gafaranga, the PSD’s second Vice-President was assassinated by the Interahamwe militiamen *(Eltringham, 2004: 95).

1994; April 17: The Cabinet dismissed Jean-Baptiste Habyalimana, the préfet of Butare (the only Tutsi préfet in Rwanda) who had opposed the massacres. He was executed along with his entire family. The préfet of Kibungo, Godefroid Ruzindana, shared his fate. François Karera was appointed préfet of Kigali **(AR, 1995: 337; HRW, 1999: 311). The RPF requested that the Presidential Guard be disbanded, and the interim government dissolved, as a prerequisite to the opening of any negotiations (Guichaoua, 1995: 526).

1994; April 18: In Kibuye Stadium, two to three thousand people the bourgmestres had gathered there were killed. Préfet Clément Kayishema personally participated in the massacres *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526). In Gitarama, the préfet (Fidèle Uwizeye) and the bourgmestres of the region had a meeting with government members, who ordered them not to oppose the violence, without giving them any specific directions *(HRW, 1999: 321). The RPF attacked the RTLM premises, but failed to stop it broadcasting *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526).

1994; April 19: In Kigali the massacres carried on in the city center, where the population was filtered by way of identity checks. The RAF shelled Amahoro Stadium and killed 25 people there. The Presidential Guard took control of Butare *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526). The NGO Human Rights Watch estimated the total number of victims up to this point at 100,000 *(Power, 2003: 357).

1994; April 20: The last Belgian peacekeepers left Kigali *(Guichaoua, 1995: 526).

1994; April 21: The RPF took Byumba and transferred its headquarters there from Mulindi. Its troops killed 300 people, some of which had allegedly participated in the massacres *(HRW, 1999: 821).

1994; April 22: United Nations Resolution 912 modifying the UNAMIR force’s mandate was adopted; the latter was reduced to the strict minimum (120 civilian staff and 150 soldiers, under General Roméo Dallaire’s command). Hutu refugees numbering 250,000, led by the MRNDD militias, left their communes of origin and crossed the Tanzanian border *(Guichaoua, 1995: 528).

1994; April 23: At the Butare hospital, 160 wounded Tutsis were assassinated. A ceasefire was declared, it lasted three days *(Guichaoua, 1995: 528).

1994; April 24: Administrative and military leaders (such as Augustin Bizimungu) met with the militia leaders (including Robert Kajuga, the founder of the Interahamwe ) to organize the ‘pacification’ campaign. The organization of the massacres was made less visible and the authorities made speeches calling for appeasement *(HRW, 1999: 334-335).

1994; April 26: Radio Rwanda announced the official implementation of the ‘civilian self-defense program’ *(HRW, 1999: 327).

1994; April 27: The RPF took Rwamagana *(Guichaoua, 1995: 528). In , Bruno Delaye, Edouard Balladur and Alain Juppé received a delegation from the Rwandan interim government, led by Jérôme Bicamumpaka, the Rwandan Foreign Minister and Jean-Bosco Baryagwiza, the leader of the CDR ***(Guichaoua, 1995: 528; HRW, 1999: 333; Lanotte, 2007: 355).

1994; April 28: The NGO Oxfam re-evaluated the number of victims in Rwandan, estimating it at 500,000 *(Power, 2003: 357). By this point, the term ‘genocide’ had been used several times to describe the events in Rwanda in the printed press (in the French newspaper Libération on April 11, in Le Soir on April 13 and on television: Bernard Kouchner was interviewed on TF1, a French public television channel, on April 26) *(Sémelin, 2005: 193-194).

1994; April 30: The RPF took Rusumo, on the Tanzanian border. The day before, fighting had begun in Gitarama. In New York, the United Nations Security Council condemned the massacres but refused to use the term ‘genocide’ in reference to them, upon the United States’ and United Kingdom’s insistence ***(Guichaoua, 1995: 528; HRW, 1999: 333; Power, 2003: 361). The RPF expressed its opposition to any further UN intervention (HRW, 1999: 815).

1994; May 1: The RPF had control of the Tanzanian border, to the southeast of Rwanda. Twelve people were killed when the Eglise de la Sainte Famille (Holy Family Church) in Kigali was shelled *(Guichaoua, 1995: 528). In Butare, militiamen and soldiers killed 21 orphans and 13 Red Cross volunteers. Militiamen attacked the Nyundo Cathedral, near Kigali and assassinated 218 people there. The RTLM announced the total extermination of the Tutsis of Kigali and called for the assassination of all Rwandan Tutsis before May 5, the day of Juvénal Habyarimana’s funeral *(HRW, 1999: 337).

1994; May 3: In the Saint-Paul Center in Kigali, the militias chose five persons each day and eliminated them *(Guichaoua, 1995 528). This was the beginning of the ‘pacification’ period.

1994; May 9-13: In , Ephrem Rwabalinda, a counselor to the RAF Chief of Staff, met with General Jean-Paul Huchon, who was in charge of the military cooperation mission, to ask for a delivery of weapons and ammunition. Huchon did not refuse on principle, but conditioned the provision of this aid upon the improvement of Rwanda’s image abroad **(Braud, 2005: 478; Guichaoua, 1995: 529).

1994; May 12: Upon the RPF’s request, Bernard Kouchner, the former French Minister for Humanitarian Action, arrived in Kigali. Two days later, he spoke on Rwandan government radio to call for an end to the massacres *(Guichaoua, 1995: 529).

1994; May 17: UN Security Council Resolution 918 was voted in; it arranged for the sending of a 5,500-strong international force to act as a buffer and provide aid to Rwanda, and the extension of UNAMIR’s mandate. No tangible measures were taken to this effect in the weeks that followed *(Guichaoua, 1995: 529).

1994; May 19: The RPF shelled the Kigali hospital. In retaliation, the RAF shelled the UN headquarters, which were situated in the area of Kigali under RPF control *(Guichaoua, 1995: 529).

1994; May 20: In Murambi, where the interim government authorities had withdrawn, the Government Council, along with the main political party leaders, published a list of 12 officers, including Marcel Gatsinzi and Ephrem Rwabalinda, who were considered traitors to the Power cause and had to be assassinated *(Lanotte, 2007: 316).

1994; May 21: US Secretary of State Warren Christopher authorized his diplomats to use the term ‘acts of genocide’ in reference to Rwanda *(Power, 2003: 359).

1994; May 25: Jean Kambanda publicized the structure of the ‘civilian self-defense program’, of which Colonel Athanase Gasake was national commander *(HRW, 1999: 329). Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, described the international community’s behavior toward Rwanda as ‘scandalous’ *(Braud, 2005: 480).

1994; May 27: The militias left Kigali *(Guichaoua, 1995: 530).

1994; June 3: The RPF kidnapped and assassinated Vincent Nsengiyumva, the Catholic Archbishop of Kigali, and three bishops and ten priests in the parish of Byimana, near Kagbayi **(Guichaoua, 1995: 530; HRW, 1999: 829).

1994; June 10: Part of the interim government retreated to Gisenyi, whereas the Prime Minister set up his headquarters at Murambi, near Gitarama *(Guichaoua, 1995: 530).

1994; June 13: The RPF took Gitarama *(Guichaoua, 1995: 530).

1994; June 14: In , the Conseil des Ministres (Cabinet) led by François Mitterrand decided to launch a military-humanitarian intervention led by France in Rwanda *(Lanotte, 2007: 338).

1994; June 16: The RPF partially evacuated the hostages held by militiamen in the Holy Family Church of Kigali, after over 60 adolescents from among them had been assassinated *(Guichaoua, 1995: 530).

1994; June 22: UN Security Council Resolution 929 authorized France to deploy an interim force in Rwanda until the UNAMIR II reinforcements arrived **(Guichaoua, 1995: 531; Lanotte, 2007: 339).

1994; June 23: French Operation Turquoise, a peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, began. In Goma and Bukavu, Zaire, 2,500 men gradually took position. Under the leadership of Colonel Didier Thibault (his real name was Didier Tauzin), who had previously served as military counselor to the RAF in 1992, a detachment from the Turquoise contingent entered Rwanda from the southeast and headed toward Nyarushishi, where it supervised the dismantling of roadblocks. The same day, a detachment of 200 French soldiers from Turquoise took position in Gisenyi, where the interim government had withdrawn to, without dismantling the roadblocks controlled by the militiamen. The French soldiers were met by cheers from the RTLM and Radio-Rwanda presenters *(HRW, 1999: 784).

1994; June 24: Colonel Thibault claimed he intended to move his Turquoise detachment to Ruhengeri, which was under siege from the RPF *(HRW, 1999: 784).

1994; June 26: Journalist Sam Kiley informed the French soldiers of the Omar detachment, under Lieutenant Commander Marin Gillier, of massacres of Tutsis in the Bisesero Valley (in the préfecture of Kibuye), a few kilometers from a French camp **(HRW, 1999: 788; Lanotte, 2007: 469).

1994; June 27: Alerted by two nuns from Kibuye, Lieutenant-Colonel Duval, the commander of a Turquoise detachment, headed toward the Bisesero Hills in the commune of Gishyita, where Tutsi refugees under threat of extermination had taken refuge. The detachment came across some of the first survivors north of this area *(Lanotte, 2007: 462-463). Duval judged that he had insufficient means to secure the area and told the survivors he was returning to Kibuye, promising he would come back as soon as possible *(Lanotte, 2007: 464).

1994; June 29: François Léotard, the French Defense Minister, visited the Turquoise post near Bisesero (Kibuye). He was met with reproof from US journalist Raymond Bonner about Bisesero, where no Turquoise reinforcements had been yet.

1994; June 30: Captain Marin Gillier, leading the Omar detachment, went to Bisesero – allegedly by coincidence – and found many massacre sites there as well as about 800 to 1,000 survivors **(HRW, 1999: 790; Lanotte, 2007: 464). In the three-day interval after their discovery by detachment Diego and before the Omar detachment got them out of harm's way, around one thousand survivors from Bisesero had been massacred under the leadership of Charles Sikubwabo, the bourgmestre of Gishyita *(Lanotte, 2007: 471). This three-day delay has never been accounted for *(Lanotte, 2007: 465-470).

1994; July 2: At Runda (in the préfecture of Gitarama), 30 to 40 people were killed under the authority of Major Sam Bigabiro of the RPF *(HRW, 1999: 824). France decided to set up a humanitarian safe zone in the southwestern quarter of the country.

1994; July 3: The RPF and the Turquoise forces exchanged fire as the RPF advanced toward Gikongoro **(HRW, 1999: 791; Guichaoua, 1995: 532). As the RPF prepared to take Butare, the French troops evacuated around 1,000 people by convoy toward Burundi and Bukavu *(Lanotte, 2007: 437).

1994; July 4: The RPF took Kigali and Butare. The French troops present in Gikongoro received orders to form a front to face the RPF advance *(HRW, 1999: 791). In Kigali, there were only 20,000 Tutsi survivors left *(Lanotte, 2007: 320).

1994; July 5: A humanitarian safe zone was created in the southwestern quarter of Rwanda (in the Gikongoro, Cyangugu and Butarepréfectures ) *(Guichaoua, 1995: 532). The French troops from Operation Turquoise withdrew from Gisenyi *(HRW, 1999: 793).

1994; July 6: Under Colonel Rusatira’s leadership, several Rwandan officers, who had signed the April 12 appeal and taken refuge in the humanitarian safe zone, signed the ‘Kigeme Declaration’, in which they condemned the genocide, pledged to fight it and called for a ceasefire and for negotiations with the RPF *(HRW, 1999: 800).

1994; July 13: Several hundred men born in the communes of Ntyazo, Ngenda and Runyinya, went missing after the RPF had gathered them in the Butare School and Veterinary School premises *(HRW, 1999: 836).

1994; July 14: The RPF took Ruhengeri *(Guichaoua, 1995: 532).

1994; July 17: The RPF took Gisenyi. Faustin Twagiramungu was appointed Prime Minister according to the procedure planned in the Arusha Accords *(Guichaoua, 1995: 532). Some 850,000 refugees had crossed the Zairean border and settled in Goma, though the aid airlift had been suspended after the RPF’s shelling of Goma Airport. Around 300,000 of them settled in 25 camps around Bukavu, and 400,000 in Ngara (Tanzania) *(Joint Evaluation of Emergency, 1996: 35-36). Around 10,000 RAF soldiers had mingled with the refugees and crossed the border as well, heading to Zaire. During the night, they recovered their arms, ammunition, vehicles and guns. The members of the interim government took the Rwandan Central Bank currency reserves with them and along with the RAF Chief of Staff and the national radio staff, took refuge in Zaire. They made death threats against all Rwandans who would not follow suit *(Guichaoua, 1995: 532).

1994; July 18: The RPF declared a de facto ceasefire *(Guichaoua, 1995: 533). The war was over.

1994; July 22: The new Rwandan government called for the refugees to return and civil servants to resume work *(Guichaoua, 1995: 533).

1994; August 15: Canadian General Guy Toussignant took command of the UNAMIR II force. Its military personnel was increased to 1,624 (out of the 5,500 initially planned by the UN Security Council) *(Guichaoua, 1995: 535).

1994; August 21: The Operation Turquoise troops began to withdraw *(Guichaoua, 1995: 535).


APR: Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (Rwandan Patriotic Army)

APROSOMA : Association pour la Promotion Sociale de la Masse (Association for the Social Promotion of the Masses)

CDR: Coalition pour la Défense de la République (Coalition for the Defense of the Republic)

CND: Conseil National de Développement (National Development Council)

CPUN : Comité pour la Paix et l’Unité Nationale (Committee for Peace and National Unity)

CNS:Commission Nationale de Synthèse (‘National Synthesis Committee’)

DAMI: Détachement d’Assistance Militaire et d’Instruction (Instruction and Assistance Military Detachment)

ESM: Ecole Supérieure Militaire (Higher Military School)

ETO: Ecole Technique Officielle (Official Technical School)

FAR/RAF: Forces Armées Rwandaises (Rwandan Armed Forces )

FPR/RPF: Front Patriotique Rwandais (Rwandan Patriotic Front )

GNR: Garde Nationale Rwandaise (Rwandan National Guard)

GTBE: Gouvernement de transition à base élargie (Broad based Transitional Government)

MDR: Mouvement Démocratique Républicain (Democratic Republican Movement)

MRND: Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement (National Revolutionary Movement for Development)

MRNDD: Mouvement Républicain National pour le Développement et la Démocratie (National Republican Movement for Development and Democracy)

MONUOR : Mission d’Observation des Nations Unies à la frontière de l’Ouganda et du Rwanda (United Nations Observation Mission at the frontier between Uganda and Rwanda).

MSM:Mouvement Social Muhutu (Muhutu Social Movement)

NRA: National Resistance Army (Uganda)

ORINFOR : Office Rwandais de l’Information (Rwandan Office of Information)

PARMEHUTU : Parti de l’Émancipation du Peuple Hutu (Hutu People’s Emancipation Party

PL: Parti Libéral (Liberal Party)

PDC: Parti Démocrate-Chrétien (Christian Democratic Party)

PRD: Parti du Renouveau Démocratique (Democratic Renewal Party)

PSD: Parti Social-Démocrate (Social Democratic Party)

RADER : Rassemblement Démocratique .du Rwanda (Democratic Gathering of Rwanda)

RANU : Rwandese Alliance for National Unity

REP: Régiment Étranger de Parachutistes (Foreign Parachute Regiment, an airborne Commando regiment in the French Foreign Legion)

RTLM: Radio-Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (Thousand Hills Independant Radio-Television station)

RPIMa : Régiment Parachutiste d’Infanterie de Marine (Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment)

RRWF : Rwandese Refugee Welfare Foundation

SAP : Structural Adjustment Plan

TPIR: Tribunal Pénal International pour le Rwanda (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)

TRAFIPRO or Travail, Fidélité, Progrès (Work, Loyalty, Progress)

UNAMIR: United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda

UNAR : Union Nationale Rwandaise (Rwandan National Union)

ZHS: Zone Humanitaire Sûre (Safe Humanitarian Zone)


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Cite this item

Viret Emmanuel, Rwanda - A Chronology (1867-1994), Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 1 March, 2010, accessed 17/05/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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