The Rwandan
A Civil War Between the
Hutus and the Tutsis
Between April and June of 1994, an
estimated 800,000 Rwandans, from the
group known as Tutsis, were killed in
the span of 100 days.
This is their story…
Who were the Hutus?
Who were the Tutsis?
Who are the Hutus & Tutsis
• The Hutus and Tutsis are two groups of people
that settled in present day Rwanda close to twothousand years ago.
•Some scientists believe the Tutsis migrated from
present day Ethiopia.
•Over time they worked together and united.
They developed a single language (Kinyarwanda)
and one set of religious and philosophical beliefs.
Long ago, Rwanda and Burundi were one
nation. The Hutu and Tutsi lived here.
Working Together
•The Hutus and Tutsis
were cultivators and raised
•With fertile soil and
regular rainfall, the region
where the Hutus and
Tutsis lived eventually
became the most densely
populated nation on the
entire African continent.
A Division Begins
•In the 18th century, when
Rwanda emerged as a powerful
and populous nation, its rulers
began to measure their power in
the number of their cattle.
•The Tutsi were “rich in cattle”. They were the
elite and ruling class.
•On the other hand, the Hutu had less livestock
and less power.
Hutus vs. Tutsis
• The Hutus were the
majority – around 85%. But
they were considered
• The Tutsis were the
minority – around 14%. But
they were considered the
elite, ruling class because of
their large estates, large
number of servants, and large
number of cattle.
Tutsi – 14%
Hutu – 85%
• Although there were
some families that
intermarried, most
Hutus married Hutus
and most Tutsis
married Tutsis.
•This impacted genetics and the way Hutus and
Tutsis began to look.
Physical Appearance
• Because the Hutus and Tutsis did not usually
intermarry, their offspring began to develop
similarities in their features.
• The Tutsis were often very tall, thin, with
narrow features, and fair skin.
• The Hutus were often shorter, stronger, with
broader features, and darker skin.
This is a picture from
the movie Hotel
The man on the right,
plays a Hutu character.
The woman on the left,
plays a Tutsi character.
•The Germans were the first Europeans to
colonize Rwanda.
•They did so in the early 1900’s.
•The Germans helped to fight off other
countries that wanted to attack Rwanda (the
Hutus and Tutsis). This helped to protect
Rwanda and make it strong.
Colonization Continued
• After WWI, the United
Nations decided that
Germany could no longer
rule Rwanda.
•The country was now
under the safeguards of
the United Nations, and it
was to be governed by
Belgium Brings Further
• Belgium decided to use the class system (that
had already been put into place) to their
• The Belgians favored the
Tutsis and gave them
privileges and western-style
Why did the Belgians do this?
•The Belgians did this because they could control
Rwanda easier this way.
•The Belgians also favored the Tutsis because
they appeared more European in their tall,
slender features. They discriminated against the
Hutus because they appeared less European.
How do you think the Hutus felt
about this?
How do you think the Tutsis felt
about this?
Identification Cards
•After creating laws that gave special privileges to
the Tutsi, the Belgians ran into a problem… how
could they be sure who was a Tutsi and who was a
•Physical characteristics identified some, but not
•The solution: Have every single citizen register
and carry an identification card.
What if you had no proof?
• If you could not give proof of your
ancestry, the Belgians would simply
measure your height and other
•If you appeared more European,
they listed you has a Tutsi.
•If your features were shorter,
darker, stronger, etc. they listed
you has a Hutu.
Soon the Hutus got tired of this
What do you think they did?
•The Party for the Emancipation of the Hutus
is formed in 1959. It is called Parmehutu.
•Hutus rebelled against the Belgian colonial
power and the Tutsi elite.
•150,000 Tutsis flee to Burundi (which at the
time was part of Rwanda).
Belgium Leaves
•In the 1960’s Belgium
withdraws from Rwanda.
•Rwanda and Burundi split
into two different countries.
The Hutus fight the Tutsis
•Still angry at being
repressed and
discriminated against
for so many years,
the Hutus fight the
•Many Tutsis are
massacred, and many
flee Rwanda.
Igniting Violence
• A well-known Hutu leader, Dr.
Leon Mugesera appeals to the
Hutus to send the Tutsis “back
to Ethiopia” via the rivers.
•Other Hutus said that they
needed to clean up the “filth”
and kill the Tutsi “cockroaches.”
Negotiations – Aug. 1993
•Following months of
negotiations, President
Habyarimana (a Hutu President)
and the RPF (Rwanda Patriotic
Front) sign a peace accord that
calls for a return of Tutsi
•2,500 United Nations troops are
deployed to Kigali to oversee the
peace accord.
Will there be peace?
•Despite a peace accord, the Rwandan
president stalls in created a unified government
in which the power is shared.
•At the same time, training of militias and
violence intensifies.
•An extremist radio station, Radio Mille Collines,
begins to warn: “it is almost time for us to cut
down the tall trees.” This was code for, “it is
almost time to kill all of the Tutsis.”
• Human rights groups warn the
international community of an
impending genocide.
•In March of 1994, the human
rights groups are forced to flee
Rwanda due to the impending
calamity. Only the Red Cross
stays behind.
The U.N. Leaves
• The U.N. is forced
to leave for a
variety of reasons,
including increased
violence in Rwanda
and world tensions
following a crisis
that occurred in
A Day that will Live in Infamy
• April 6, 1994 – President Habyarimana and the
president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, are shot
down in a plane and killed.
•No one knows who shot down the president’s
plane. There are theories that the Hutus did this
and there are theories that the Tutsis did this.
•That night… the genocide begins.
The Genocide
• The Hutu militia, at one point 30,000 people
strong, slaughtered any Tutsi that came in their
•They encouraged regular Hutu civilians to do the
•In some cases, Hutus were forced to kill their
Tutsi neighbors.
The Death Toll
In the span of 100 days, an estimated
800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered.
They were killed primarily with knives,
machetes, and clubs.
100,000 of these were children.
Where was the help?
• While the genocide was going on, the
world sat back and watched.
• No troops or aide was sent by the
Americans or any other country.
• The victims were left screaming for
help, but no one came.
An End to the Genocide
• By July, the RPF (a Tutsi organization) captured
the city of Kigali. The government collapsed and
the RPF declared a cease-fire.
•As soon as it became apparent to the Hutus that
the Tutsis were victorious, close to 2 million fled to
Zaire (now the Republic of Congo)
A New Government
•On July 19 a new multi-ethnic
government was formed, promising all
refugees a safe return to Rwanda.
•Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, was
inagurated as president, while the
majority of cabinet posts were
assigned to Tutsis.
Justice for Genocide
•The new government of Rwanda continues to
seek justice for the innocent murder of close to a
million people.
•Many people have been tried in court and found
guilty of war crimes.
•500 have been put to death for their war
crimes, and another 100,000 are still in prison!!!
What does the future hold for
Only time will tell.
Works Cited
• Human Rights Watch Publications
“Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda”
• BBC News
“Rwanda: How a Genocide Happened”
•PBS Frontline
“Timeline Rwanda: A Chronology of Key Events”

The Rwandan Genocide A Civil War