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Up to the Genocide

By on May 28, 2011 in Rwanda with No Comments

Hutu general Juvenal Habyarimana seized power in a coup in 1973 and Rwanda became a one-party state. Habyarimana declared that all Rwandans were members of his party. To ensure ethnic superiority and political power over the Tutsis, his party was responsible for creating the Interahamwe – a flambouyant Hutu youth militia similar to Hitler Youth – that advocated ‘Hutuness’ and ‘Hutu Power’ at the expense of Tutsi lives. The Interahamwe began registering all Tutsis in Kigali for an extermination plan which would kill up to 1,000 people every 20 minutes.


Hatred for Tutsis was also fueled by an intense propaganda campaign involving more than twenty newspapers and a radio station which was believed to have sent the coded message to begin the genocide. The media began to persuade and compel the majority as to why they should see their neighbors, compatriots, and even their own families as enemies and distrust them. One of the leading propaganda papers, Kangura, suggested that Hutus needed to protect themselves as the Tutsis were planning a war that would leave no survivors.

Former director of hate radio station Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines – Ferdinand Nahimana:

Editor of leading propoganda paper Kangura – Hassan Ngeze:

Genocide was being rehearsed. Massacres of Tutsis were carried out in October 1990, January 1991, February 1991, March 1992, August 1992, January 1993, March 1993, and February 1994. None of the massacres were spontaneous outburts of violence. Despite knowing about these atrocities the French government continued to support the Habyarimana regime.

Interim Prime Minister Jean Kambanda:

On April 6th, 1994 President Habyarimana of Rwanda and President Ntaryamira of Berundi were shot down as they were flying into Kigali. Jean Kambanda was appointed Prime Minister and took control of the genocide. Theoneste Bagasora was Chief of Cabinet at the Ministry of Defense and was the alleged mastermind of the genocide. By 9:15pm roadblocks had been constructed throughout Kigali and houses were being searched. Shooting began to be heard within the hour.

The death lists had been prepared in advance. Genocide was instant.


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