Killed selectively, looted houses… the terrible genocide of Rwanda in which 8 lakh people died


Tributes were paid at Qutub Minar on the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The massacre was remembered by lighting lights in the colour of the Rwandan flag on the Qutub Minar. United Nations International Day of Reflection celebrated the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi community in Rwanda. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal posted on Twitter and informed that Secretary Economic Relations Dammu Ravi represented India today on the 30th anniversary of the genocide in Kigali (the capital of Rwanda).

April 1994 proved to be a terrible year for the African country Rwanda. This year a terrible massacre took place in the country. In which 8 lakh people died within 100 days. This year it has been three decades since the Rwandan genocide. This massacre came to light due to tension between two castes, Hutu and Tutsi.

Even before April 1994, tension was arising between Hutu and Tutsi. The Tutsi, who constituted 8.4 per cent of the population according to the 1991 census, were believed to be close to white Europeans. Hutu constituted 85 per cent of the population, but despite being more in population, they did not have access to education and economic opportunities. Tutsi had dominated the country for a long time.

After which, in 1959, as independence movements began across Africa, the Hutu rebelled violently against the Tutsi. Nearly 100,000 people, mostly Tutsi, sought refuge in neighbouring countries, including Uganda, to save their lives following the killings and attacks. After this, a Tutsi group formed the rebel organization Rwanda Patriot Front (RPF). This organization came to Rwanda in the 1990s and the conflict began.

This war ended with the peace agreement in 1993. But on the night of April 6, 1994, a plane carrying then President Juvenal Habyarimana and Burundi President Kapriel Ntaryamira was shot down in Kigali (the capital of Rwanda), Rwanda. All the people aboard were killed. From where this terrible massacre began.

It has not been decided yet as to who dropped this ship. Some people blame the Hutu for this while others blame the Rwanda Patrike Front (RPF). Since both these leaders came from the Hutu tribe, the Hutu held RPF responsible for their murder. Immediately after this, the phase of murders started. RPF accused Hutu that the plane was shot down by Hutu so that they could get an excuse for the massacre.

Before this massacre, Hutu very carefully gave a list of those Tutsi people who criticized the government. After which they started killing all the people included in the list along with their families. Even people belonging to the Hutu community killed their neighbours from the Tutsi community. 

The fighters blocked the roads, where Tutsis were selectively murdered with sharp weapons. Not only this but thousands of Tutsi women were kidnapped. They raped women and looted houses. Later, the victims were taken to large open spaces such as stadiums or schools where they were massacred.

The killings stopped 100 days later, on 4 July, when the RPF captured Kigali. It will probably never be known how many people died because graves can still be found there. However, the United Nations said that 8 lakh people were killed in the three-month massacre.