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The purpose of this page is for you to be able to post your research and/or questions with regard to the Cambodia portion of the videoconferencing unit. Please be sure to "save" after each posting. Also, keep in mind...only one person can be posting at a time...so...as soon as you are done log off of that page. We will use all of the information that you post in creating our web portal at the end of the conference. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. :) Ms. Caine (Eastchester High School)

Please post your name and your school's name on the posts!

Hutus and Tutsis: The Schism
The primary identity of all Rwandans was originally associated with eighteen different clans. The categories Hutu, Tutsi and Twa were socio-economic classifications within the clans, which could change with personal circumstances. Under colonial rule, the distinctions were made racial, particularly with the introduction of the identity card in 1932. In creating these distinctions, the colonial power identified anyone with ten cows in 1932 as Tutsi and anyone with less than ten cows as Hutu, and this also applied to his descendants.
Sarah Doyle (Eastchester High School)

Problems between the Tutsi and Hutu groups began as early as 1300s when the Tutsi came to Rwanda. Within a couple hundreds of years the Tutsi began to centralize and govern Rwanda. By 1918 Hutus increased in number and made up 85% of the country but yet Tutsi were favored in the class system. After a few years identity cards were made to distinguish between Hutus and Tutsis. But after many years it was hard to tell who was Hutu and Tutsi because some people were both. They had the same language as well. Violence continued between the two groups until peace was made for a short period in 1993 when they made a power sharing agreement.The starting problem was when President Hbyarima was killed in a plane bombing in April. Then refugee camps in Zaire started in 1994 under the control of Hutus. Between April and June of 1994, 8000,000 Tutsis died.

-Koko Tetsuka

In the 100 days of the genocide, 1/10 of Rwanda's population died. 115,000 suspects were jailed for the mass killings that took place.
Link 1- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3580247.stm
Link 2- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3594187.stm

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Above is a picture of a huge pile of skulls of those killed in the Rwanda Genocide. You can see the officers looking upon them as if it was somewhat normal: it's kind of scary to see.

-Kevin Ryan

It's scary to say, but the Rwandan genocide took place in the 1990s.. mostly 1994. Both the Armenian and Bosnian genocides took place around a century ago. It's scary to see that humans are still committing so many mass killings amongst one culture, because they want the elimination of the civilization and all it's people. In this case, the Hutus wanted revenge on the Tutsis for invading Rwanda in 1990. Once the Hutus came to power in Rwanda, they decided it was the right time to put their revenge into action.

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa, with only about seven million people living here. The Hutus and Tutsis are the only two main cultures in Rwanda. The Tutsis were the minority, while the Hutus are about 90% of the population.

The Hutus and the Tutsis were very much alike- they spoke the same language, inhabited the same areas, and even had similar traditions. It is mind-boggling how one group can commit such harsh crimes against others who are so very similar to themselves.

When the Belgians ruled Rwanda, they always felt the Tutsis were the superior race, so the Tutsis therefore benefitted by getting better jobs, and making more money than the Hutus. The Hutu's anger was building up for many years while they got to see people so similar to them benefit for no reason. Once Belgium granted Rwanda its independence, things changed, and the Hutus took control, blaming the Tutsis for everything that went wrong.

During the genocide, one of the essential ways the Hutus committed the genocide was through propaganda. The Hutus used the state-run radio to contact everyone in Rwanda, and urge them to kill their neighbors. By warning them that their neighbors could be dangerous, and harming the country as a whole, the listeners ended up being persuaded to believe all the information they heard, and committed drastic measures against their neighbors which were unnecessary.

Here is a very informative article describing the genocide briefly as a whole..

Here's a current event where a Hutu doctor located in Rwanda was charged for going against humanity, and convicted of war crimes during the Rwandan genocide.
This political cartoon shows a main source of pain used in many different genocide. This action happens to be rape. Cultures all over the world involved in genocide use rape to furthermore put the women into more pain than they already are. The superiors rape the inferiors for a sense of accomplishment.

-Briana Balsamo

Here is a video that was aired in 2006 about the survivor Rwandan genocide. It is slightly graphic so you may not want to watch the video but read the article instead. It tells the story of a genocide survivor and her experience through the genocide.

Video! - http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=3004020n&tag=related;photovideo

Article! - http://www.cbsnews.com/video/
-Madeline Landin (Eastchester High School

In 1993, Belgium required the wearing of identity cards that indicated an individual's group identity, whether it was Hutu (which made up approximately 85% of the population,) Tutsi (14% of the population,) or Twa (1% of the population). These "cartes d'identités" further fueled tribal tensions and made it easy for the Hutu Power to pick out who was in what ethnic group. Though new cards without ethnic identification were printed out due to arguments that reform and abolition of the ethnic tags were included in the Arusha peace agreement of August 1993, they were never distributed for future genocidal purposes. At Interahamwe roadblocks, all and any Tutsi civilian was killed and if one refused to show their ID card and could not prove themselves a Hutu otherwise, they were assumed to be Tutsi and were murdered right then and there. Guards at these posts were armed with machetes, Kalashnikovs (a type of rifle: usually an AK-47), and grenades for mass slaughtering. The photograph below is an actual ID card of Tutsi.

- Abby Noh (Eastchester High School)

A "carte d'identite" like this cost this Tutsi woman her life.


This is a really great story on the Rwandan genocide. It tells many stories of the Genocide survivors and gives a great insight on what the Tutsi's and the Hutu sympathizers went through. This book is a really quick read and really captures the reader. I know it captured me!

-Madeline Landin (Eastchester High School)

Children have been the most vulnerable and affected by the conditions that followed the Rwandan genocide. Recently, a Unicef report estimated that 700,000 children out of 4.2 million children still live in difficult conditions, such as poverty and homelessness. 96% of the children interviewed in Rwanda had witnessed the massacres that occurred, and 80% of them had lost a family member. Several hundred thousand children were left orphaned or separated from them their parents. Because most of the children lost their parents and other close family members, they had to feed themselves, find clothes for themselves, and they had to find a way to get an education.

- Jessica Tuite (Eastchester High School)


Rwandan Genocide – Historical info.

· Belgians colonized that small area in Africa around the time of 1914. During World War 1, Belgians began colonizing Africa, much like most of Europe, for resourceful purposes.

· In 1924, the Belgians made it official they had a colony in Africa. (told this to the League of Nations)

· During this time until 1962, the Hutus were forced into labor and were supervised by the elite Tutsis. The Tutsis were generalized as higher class while the Hutus were more of a lower class in society. The Hutus disliked the Tutsis because of their higher power in government. The Hutus also disliked the Tutsis for their "Ethiopian" appearance. The Tusis were long and slender with small features, while the Hutus were short and stocky with broader features. Both groups had extremists who did hate eachother, but most Hutus and Tutsis intermarried and had children. Even before issues arose between the extremist groups, they were having children. This is what made it hard for officials to tell the difference of the Hutus and Tutsis. In Rwanda, everyone was given an ID card to carry around with them at all times so officials could tell the difference based of their origin. (picture posted above by Abby Noh.) (symbolism, step 2)



· In 1959, one of the first outbreaks of violence occurred when a Tutsi activist beat up Dominique Mbonyumutwa, a Hutu. This caused many violent riots. From 1959 through 1961around 100,000 Tutsis were massacred in Rwanda. Also known as the 'Hutu revolution', approximately one-third of the Tutsi population was killed.

· In 1962, the small area becomes independent and splits into two nations; Rwanda, a republic and Burundi, a constitutional monarchy.

· The Hutus and Tutsis were both from Rwanda and there were many problems with them. The Hutus often used the Tutsis as a scapegoat for everything. They were blamed for most problems that occurred in Rwanda.

· The first president of the independent Rwanda was Kayibanda. His government, Party for Hutu Emancipation, promoted the movement of calling Tutsis “cockroaches”.

· In December of 1963, 14,000 Tutsis were massacred in Gikongoro for campaign purposes.

· In 1973, Kayibanda is removed from power and is replaced by Juvenal Habyarimana, another Hutu, who remains in power for 21 years.

· Because the Hutus had an ethnic policy, it caused problems for the Tutsi refugees over the boarder. Rwanda rejects them to come there.

· In 1986, Tutsis came up with the Rwandan Patriotic Front, used to rebel against Habyarimana. This was used to allow them to come back into Rwanda, who were pushed out by the Hutus.

· On October 1, 1990, Tutsi officers serving over the Rwandan borders leave their armies and move back into Rwanda, even while the RPF was in effect.

· This small invasion eventually ended Habyarimana’s regime.

· From 1990-1994, problems were still occurring between the Hutus
and Tutsis.
-On April 6, 1994, Habyarimana was shot down from his plane in Rwanda and was killed instantly. Hutu extremists blamed all Tutsis for this. People do not know who did this, but they speculate that Hutus did this to be able to blame Tutsis and have a "reason" to kill them. Much like before, Hutus used Tutsis as a scapegoat. The Hutu Extremists also could have killed their fellow Hutu president for being friendly with the Tutsis who were left in the government.

Much like the Hitler Youth, Hutus brainwashed young boys to kill Tutsis.

-Nicole Gruber

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he western media bearly even pays attencion to the genocides around the world so I find this cartoon very ironic. - Courtney Dempsey

    • During the Rwandan genocide 250,000 to 500,00 women were raped. The genocide continues to take the lives of women today. Slowly and painfully thousands of Rwandan women are succumbed to HIV/AIDS through rape. Hutu leaders ordered their troops to rape Tutsi women as part of their genocidal campaign. Militia men carrying HIV used it as a weapon intending to cause delayed deaths. Based on the testimony of a victim of the genocide, Jeanne a women was raped by a man who clearly told her “I have AIDS and I want to give it to you.” Some women were killed immediately after being raped. Other women were forced into marriages with militiamen only to be killed if the woman refused them. One survivor said “I was raped by so many interahamwe and soldiers that I lost count. Two-thirds of Tutsi women were found to be HIV positive so thousands of children will lose or have all ready lost their mothers to AIDS. Women felt a loss of identity and loss of hope for the future. In Rwanda, rape and other gender-based violations carried a severe social stigma. Children resulting from rape were seen as being difficult to integrate into Rwandan society and were a source of conflict since they were a constant reminder of what happened during the genocide.

    • - Elenita Cook (Eastchester High School)

On April 6th, 1994, Rwanda’s president, Habyarimana, was killed by a group of Hutu extremists who shot down the plane he had been traveling in. Soon after, violence and war started and working under the cover of these events, the Hutu Power worked towards the elimination of the entire Tutsi population. Any political leaders who might have been able to put an end to Hutu-induced violence were assassinated almost immediately and civilians were killed by the family in their homes and on the streets. Radio Rwanda, the goverment network, served to amplify hate propaganda by spreading messages that Tutsi were inyenzi, or "cockroaches" and snakes who were foreign invaders from Ethiopia. During the rule of the Belgians, this same concept that Tutsi were from Ethiopia (called the Hamatic hypothesis) had attributed superiority to the Tutsi for their white features, such as long, aquiline noses. Suddenly with the shift in power, the Hamatic hypothesis was another means of singling out the Tutsi, making them in inferiority. David Rawson, a United States ambassador, defended the rights of Radio Rwanda as "freedom of speech," knowing that broadcasts were being used for hate propaganda purposes.

Translation for the political cartoon below:
"What does it say?"
"Someone's killed Habyaramina."
Radio: We demand that our Hutu brothers do not let these crimes go unpunished. Raise yourselves, our brothers. Raise yourselves and work! Affute your tools and raise your clubs! It's time to eradiate the cancer race. Look for them everywhere..."

- Abby Noh (Eastchester High School)


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I found this picture very sad. This shows the pain of the poeple. Even though this young child probably does not really understand what is happening around him this picture only shows a small amount of the grief and pain this genocide has caused.

Letter sent to Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana before the massacre in Mugonero from the Tutsi pastors.

Our dear leader, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana,
-How are you! We wish you to be strong in all these problems we are facing, We wish to inform you that we have heard that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. We therefore request you to intervene on our behalf and talk with the Mayor. We believe that, with the help of God who entrusted you the leadership of this flock which is going to be destroyed, your intervention will be highly appreciated, the same way the Jews were saved by Esther.
-We give honor to you.

Madeline Landin (Eastchester High School)

750,000 in Rwanda
See how the Tutsi sleep dead in heaps and still they lie there where they die.
Too many for the census takers, calculators, estimators.
Too many for the senses to take.
Hear our silence serenade the merciless raid.
The order's called.
The triggers pulled.
The flash, the bang,
the flesh explodes.
and in the air the smell still hangs of a rotting sweetness in churches and streets.
wreaking our futures bleakness Touch the ground unsettled ground desecration abound
There are more bodies than bullet shells stabbing children snapping thier necks.
Save the bullets for mom and dad.
Kids are easier to kill.

This poem reveals some of the grusome happenings that occured during the Rwanda genocide.
This includes villageraids that killed men, women and the helpless children that could not defend themselves.
-Sarah Doyle (Eastchester High School)

The Tutsi and Hutu both have their origins in a group of Pygmy people called Twa, who now only make up around one percent of the population in Rwanda. The Tutsi and the Hutu clans have a history of intermarriage and share the same language, culture, and religion, making the line of "ethnic group" vague between the two. The division between the two tribes came from the patrilineal aspect of Rwandan society. Mixed couples did not result in multi-ethnic babies because the child took on the identity of his or her father, making any newborns under a Tutsi father highly at risk for danger. The differences between the Tutsi and Hutu were often more an occupational division than ethnic. The Hutu were an agricultural group of people who were supposedly short and square while the elite Tutsi (before the take over of the Hutu Power) had been cattle-owning, tall, and thin. In reality though, it was rather difficult to tell the two apaert and it was the 1993 issue of ID cards by the Belgians that made identification between the two groups simple.

- Abby Noh (Eastchester High School)

During the genocide an unofficial group called the Interhamwe had formed. This group of more than 5,000 established in 1994 and killed and kidnapped many Tutsis. Interhamwe meant "those who fight together" but they were also known as Armie pour la liberation du Rwanda (the Army for Liberation of Rwanda). The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was there main base and the government had provided supplies and trained the soliders. The leader of the group is claimed to be Tharcisse Renzano and George Rutaganda as the vice president. Renzano has been given the death penalty. Rutaganda has been found guilty of genocide and crime against humanity. He must serve a lifetime sentence. They had raped and tourtured thousands and the victims say that if you were still alive after you were considered to be touched by an angel. Any person that had Tutsi blood in them were the enemy. Many children had Tutsi and Hutu parents but they would be considered the enemy as well. The group terrorized the Hutu children because they needed people to join their group. They would especially target the poor youth of Rwanda and re-educate them so they will fight without fear and without guilt. One of the major problems they caused was when the kidnapped 8 foregin tourists. The international community was in more of an uproar because they harmed the fogeiners rather than the fact that they were killing thousands of Tutsis. Of these tourists 2 of them were american.

-Koko Tetsuka

Rwandan Memorial for the ones who were killed.
Rwandan Memorial for the ones who were killed.

-Nicole Gruber

Arrested for the genocide toward the Tutsis.
Arrested for the genocide toward the Tutsis.

-Nicole Gruber

The Rwandan genocide was long in the making. Before a hint of technology came to Africa, the Tutsi's were the herders and Hutus were a nomadic peoples. They never really were conflicted because the climate was harsh enough that you had to try your hardest to survive. When agriculture became really popular, The herders already owned large stretches of land Because Tutsis were landowners, the Hutus would work as sharecroppers on the Tutsi's farms. This system was relatively stable for hundreds of years until European colonization. The Europeans supposed saw who had the "power" and gave goverment jobs to the Tutsis. Landowning was a marker of dominance in western civilization but this was not so in their culture. Over years of unrest and hostility to Tutsis Hutus finall overthrew the government and became the ruling class.

-Sam Clark

Early Years Politics:
In 1897 Germany took over the Rwanda and Burundi (a small kingdom next to Rwanda) and created it into one colony called Ruanda-Urundi. They controlled the region until 1914 when war broke out in Europe. When the Germans invaded Belgium, Belgium retaliated by occupying Ruanda-Urundi. Belgium officially got control of the region after the war was over. Belgium never completely controlled the region they leave the political control in the hands of the aristocratic Tutsi, who they seemed to favor. Here began the discrimination between the two “ethnicities”. The Tutsis issued out racial identification cards to distinguish between the two “races/ethnicities”, and they forced most Hutus into hard labor jobs.-danielar

The website Rwandan Eyes offers a list of monologues and plays written by Tom Flannery. In these pieces, he uses points of views from the victimized Tutsi to the killing Hutu populations, showing all who read them what the horrors were truly like. What he hoped to do was publicize the actuality of the tragedy that occurred in Rwanda and he compares the genocide to the 9/11 terrorist bombings on the Twin Towers in the United States in 2001. When the 9/11 bombings happened, the world fell into turmoil, but when the Rwandan genocide happened, who stepped up internationally to fight it? No one - what was not preventable or undo-able was fret over and what could have been stopped was ignored. This is the exact quote and from this one sentence, the impact of the genocide can be honestly displayed:

"Rwanda suffered the equivalent of nearly 3 World Trade Center bombings every day for 100 days."
- Abby Noh


Current Day Rwanda:
The capital still remains in Kigali and the government is said to be "democratic" or "presidential" but there is still a lot of corruption that continues in Rwanada. The genocide still affects their lives today. About 46,272 people are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and 4,400 are from Burundi. They have difficulty composing their economy again. About 90% of the population work in the agriculutral feild and have very poor living conditions. They mostly produce coffee, tea leaves, bananas, and beans. Most of the population is hungery and they own about 250 Rwandan francs. But because of the increase inflation 250 Rwandan francs are worth only about $0.43. This makes 60% of the country under the poverty line.

What seems to be important to the international community is very upsetting. People in Rwanda are still struggling from the aftermath of the genocide. Yet most people argue about incorrect details about the genoicde that has been published by newspapers. The details do not matter just the fact that thousands of people have been murdered. So the international community should worry more about helping these people and increasing the supply of food rather than fighting about the details in papers. It is important for the public to know the truth but saving the people should be the first priority. Money that is used for the cases should instead be used to provide for the people of Rwanda.

The Kanguka was a news paper distributed through out Rwanda by the RPF. They posted a lot of hate cartoons such as one that had a cartoon depictiging Ngexe on a coutch being psychoanalyzed by "the democratic press" -

Ngeze: I'm sick Doctor!!
Doctor: You sickness?!
Ngeze: The Tutsis... Tutsis..... Tutsis!!!!!

Madeline Landin (Eastchester High School)

The Hutu Ten Commandments were published in the French magazine Kangura in 1990, which was around the time of the Rwandan Patriotic front (RPF). It had strict rules for Hutu men and women. Most of these rules were made to put down the Tutsi.

Hutu Ten Commandments
1. Every Hutu must know that the Tutsi woman, wherever she may be, is working for the Tutsi ethnic cause. In consequence, any Hutu is a traitor who:
- Acquires a Tutsi wife;
- Acquires a Tutsi concubine;
- Acquires a Tutsi secretary or protégée.

2.Every Hutu must know that our Hutu daughters are more worthy and more conscientious as women, as wives and as mothers. Aren’t they lovely, excellent secretaries, and more honest!

3.Hutu women, be vigilant and make sure that your husbands, brothers and sons see reason.

4. All Hutus must know that all Tutsis are dishonest in business. Their only goal is ethnic superiority. We have learned this by experience from experience. In consequence, any Hutu is a traitor who:
- Forms a business alliance with a Tutsi
- Invests his own funds or public funds in a Tutsi enterprise
- Borrows money from or loans money to a Tusti
- Grants favors to Tutsis (import licenses, bank loans, land for construction, public markets...)

5. Strategic positions such as politics, administration, economics, the military and security must be restricted to the Hutu.

6. A Hutu majority must prevail throughout the educational system (pupils, scholars, teachers).

7. The Rwandan Army must be exclusively Hutu. The war of October 1990 has taught us that. No soldier may marry a Tutsi woman.

8. Hutu must stop taking pity on the Tutsi.

9. Hutu wherever they be must stand united, in solidarity, and concerned with the fate of their Hutu brothers. Hutu within and without Rwanda must constantly search for friends and allies to the Hutu Cause, beginning with their Bantu brothers.
Hutu must constantly counter Tutsi propaganda.
Hutu must stand firm and vigilant against their common enemy: the Tutsi.

10. The Social Revolution of 1959, the Referendum of 1961 and the Hutu Ideology must be taught to Hutu of every age. Every Hutu must spread the word wherever he goes. Any Hutu who persecutes his brother Hutu for spreading and teaching this ideology is a traitor.

-Danielle O'Keeffe, Eastchester High School

There have been some notable movies which center around the Rwandan Genocide. Three of the most famous being Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda, and Shooting Dogs.

In the movie Sometimes in April, The main character is a Hutu man with a Tutsi wife. He is in the miliatry, but that does not stop the genocide from effecting his family and himself.

In Hotel Rwanda, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina turns his business into a refugee center when he realises that not only were his neighbors and his family unsafe outside of the hotel, but also UN soldiers and Red Cross workers.

Shooting Dogs focuses on a Catholic Priest and the English teacher caught in the genocide. They must choose between providing aid for Tutsi victims or fleeing for their own safety, if they can find a way to flee. The title refers to the common practice of UN soldiers, who shot stray dogs trying to eat the decaying flesh of the dead Tutsi on the streets.

-Danielle O'Keeffe

Recently, countries have begun to take action to bring the people who committed these crimes to justice.
-Marie Cascione

Speedy and Efficient
The scary thing about the Rwandan genocide is that it occured in about 100 days rather than a longer extended period time like the Holocaust was. In total, there was about 800,000 people killed. Around 750,000 of them were Tutsis and the other 50,000 were those who opposed the genocide. If the rate is calculated, it shows that around 8,000 people were killed a day. That figure is extremely scary, this just goes to show that the Hutus were extremely capable of getting what they wanted done, in this case, killing the Tutsis.
-Kevin Ryan


This photo shows a victim of the Rwandan genocide. Murders were brutal and utilized machetes, spears, and clubs. What more, many times, forms of sexual abuse and terror were used amongst the Hutu towards the Tutsi. Techniques used by killers included impaling men from the anus up to their head or mouth, impaling women from vagina to mouth, and raping both genders brutally. Along with being slaughtered at road blocks, the Achilles tendons of people were sliced, men were emasculated, and women had their breasts oblated. Familial shame and humiliation was also a big part of "punishment" used by the Hutu. Fetutses were cut from their mother's wombs and parents were forced to eat the flesh of their children, regardless of age. Parents and children were even forced to commit incest, roped together in sexual positions before being killed.

Rwandan Symbolism and The Body

The Rwandans believed that the human body is imprinted with the condensed memories of their history. In other words this means that a erson's actions against another person can cause a disruption in another person's "flow". In the unfolding of human and natural events, flow/blockage symbolism mediates between physiological, sociological, and cosmological levels of casuality. Popular healing techniques in Rwanda often aimed at restoring bodily flows that have been pertrubed by human malevolence.

The digestive tract as well as the reproductive system were the main focus of most medical practices. But also the killings of Tutsi were based on this system. Women and men were impaled from the anus to their mouth while women were impaled in a similiar way, men's testicles were cut off, women's breasts were cut off but before that women were raped. All of these killing meathods were based off the system of flow.

-Sarah Doyle (Eastchester High School)

On April 6th, 1994 both the Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and the Burundi president (Cyprian Ntaryamira) were killed when their plane was shot down. In Rwanda this caused the Hutus to attack and kill the Tutsi with unsurpassed intensity. Blaming the Tutsi for death of their president the Hutu tried their best to exterminate the Tutsi as whole. In only three months 800,000 men women and children were killed and the remaining survivors either fled the country or went to hide in the country side. The fighting stopped when a rebel Tutsi army defeated the Hutu and took control of the country. There was a regional war between difference political and ethnic groups (even neighboring countries were included some of the fighting) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which is the size of western Europe including Spain and the United Kingdom)
-Anna Jacobs

Nyarubuye Massacre
On April6, 1994, the President of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, was killed when his plane was shot down above Kigali Airport. Habyarimana’s death sparked what would soon become a genocide where 800,000 people were killed in less than 100 days. The Hutus blamed Habyarimana’s death on the Tutsis without having any evidence that the Tutsis were actually responsible, but it gave them an excuse to start killing the Tutsis. A few days later, fighting broke out in a market in a small village called Nyarubuye. By then, many of the people there had already heard about fighting in the rest of the country. Many Tutsis went to hide in the local church to try to avoid being killed. Tutsis who were family friends of the parish’s minister, who was a Hutu, asked him if there was any way that they could be protected from the genocide occurring around them. Even though he was a Hutu, they trusted the minister and listened when he told them to go hide in the church. On April 15, after days of planning, the interahamwe, led by Nyarubuye’s mayor, Sylvestre Gacumbitsi, along with soldiers who were part of the Rwandan Army, invaded the church. Gacumbitsi telling them "Take your tools and get to work. You hit snakes on the head to kill them," as they entered. The interahamwe told the Tutsis in the church that they could but their freedom, but still killed the ones who paid. They threw grenades and beat the Tutsis with clubs, threw rocks at them, stabbed them with machetes, and smashes children’s heads together until they were dead. Tutsis hiding in the local school were also massacred. The killing lasted four days, and the only way people survived was to pretend that they were already dead. Several people survived in the church for 43 days after the massacre until the RPF found them and brought help.
-Jen Cimons

In order to transverse through the barriers or road blocks it was to one’s advantage to look like a Hutu (to be of moderate height and to have a wide nose). One refugee was classified as Tutsi because his father was Tutsi and his mother was Hutu. He escaped without showing his identity card because his features were typically Hutu. Even as a Hutu, it was often necessary to bribe those who were in control of the barriers. A Hutu business man in Kigali would have been killed if his political affiliation had been recognized so he paid more than five thousand dollars in bribes. The condemned had to pay for the quick death of a bullet, while the less fortunate were slashed with machetes or bludgeoned to death with nail-studded clubs. Motionless corpses awaited to be picked up, while their prosecutors sat by calmly, drinking beer. One refugee who made it to Kenya and everyone else in his company paid a very unusual toll at one barrier. Each had been forced to bludgeon a captured Tutsi with a hammer before being allowed to move on. Some in the party even had to repeat their blows a second or third time for a lack of initial enthusiasm.

- Elenita Cook (Eastchester High School)

Long-Term Consequences

Many women were raped brutally and repeatedly, often by men who were known
to be HIV positive. This genocidal weapon has had devastating effects on many women who developed the disease.

There are at least 500,000 women who were victims of rape during the genocide and in the refugee camps, where Rwandans were trained by the genocidaires who had fled.

Female survivors have either died from the effects of AIDS or continue to live under its debilitating influence.

Anti-retroviral medication has not been made available in a timely or sufficient way to save lives. HIV positive planners of the genocide and perpetrators of rape, however, have had access to medication in Arusha.

Burying the dead in dignity
The cost of exhumation, identification and reburial has also been beyond the reach of many poor survivors living well below subsistence levels. A decade after the genocide, mass graves are still being discovered daily, and public exhumations and burials carried out.

Many survivors are young and will carry the trauma of their childhood through the rest of
their lives and probably the lives of their descendants.
- Sarah Doyle (Eastchester High School)

The Rwandan Memorial

external image Picture100.jpg
Rwandan Memorial Centre ---------------------------->
In April 2004, on the 10th Anniversary of the genocide that split Rwanda apart, the Kigali Memorial Centre was opened. The Centre provided an opportunity to offer a place in which the survivors could bury their families and friends, and over 250,000 victims of the genocide are now buried at the site - a clear reminder of the cost of ignorance.

The Centre exists as a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide, and also as a place for Rwandans to grieve for those they lost
-Sarah Doyle (Eastchester High School)

News Article (June 1, 2010)

Peter Erlinder was arrested for defending those who deny the Rwandan genocide. Rwandans see this as an act of justice, but others, such as his family, are headed to Washington to ask for Erlinder’s freedom. Erlinder was known for taking cases on behalf of unpopular defendants. Erlinder is not denying the genocide; he wants to find a way to put less blame on the Hutus for the Rwandan genocide. Erlinder had filed a law suit against the Rwandan president Paul Kagame, blaming him for being a part of the 1994 genocide. Erlinder has been charged with supporting genocide ideology, and has appeared before a judge this past Wednesday. (June 3, 2010) This article demonstrates the fact that even to this day, the Rwandan genocide is still being argued about.
Link : http://www.kentucky.com/2010/06/01/1288794/us-law-professor-jailed-in-rwanda.html

​​Jessica Tuite (Eastchester High School)

Since the genocide, Rwandans have converted to Islam in huge numbers. Many converts say they chose Islam because of the role that some Catholic and Protestant leaders played in the genocide. Human Rights groups have documented several incidents in which Christian clerics allowed Tutsis to seek refuge in churches, then surrendered them to Hutu death squads, as well as instances of Hutu priests and ministers encouraging their congregations to kill Tutsis. Today some churches serve as memorials to the many people slaughtered among their pews. Two Rwandan nuns were convicted of murder for their roles in the massacre of 7,000 Tutsis who sought protection at the Benedictine convent. In contrast, many Muslim leaders and families are being honored for protecting and hiding those who were fleeing. Some say Muslims did this because of the religion's strong dictates against murder. A Tutsi survivor named Jean Pierre Sagahutu said that "I wanted to hide in a church, but that was the worst place to go. Instead, a Muslim family took me. They saved my life." The family took Sagahutu in even though they were Hutus. He also said "When they pray, Hutu and Tutsi are in the same mosque. There is no difference. I needed to see that." This showed that Hutus and Tutsis share the same religion and how there is no difference.

Elenita Cook (Eastchester High School)

STAY AWAY (for Mathilde who wants to go home)
by Lisa Abraham
In 1994 a little girl crept back
to the main house and knew
because the house was empty,
her parents had been dragged away,
And were dead. Knew
though she was only six
they wouldn’t have abandoned her.
Stay away from those corn fields,
the stalks the girl parted until
she opened them like curtains on a man,
machete raised above his head,
who didn’t cleave her skull
but walked her one day and one night
past packs of family dogs turned ravenous
and clever. Shared his only biscuit
then, because she slowed him down
let her to wonder alone.

In Rwanda a gentle sun sinking
is called a sky-made-for-cows
From a motel room in Bend Oregon
you hear lowing. Here the hills are green
as childhood when you grandma’s voice
called you home to dinner.
In your motel room you dream she smiles
and shouts, counting on echoes
to bounce across the hills.
she looks young, unaware
that a mob hunted her family.
She doesn’t know that her house in Gisasa
stands empty and each month packs of wild gorillas
move lower toward the ruins. She doesn’t know
her shouts echo across the hills
and all these years into your dreams
to tempt you home.
Lisa Abraham
- This a poem during the Rwandan genocide showing how a little girl's family had been killed and how she is wandering around lonely and abandoned.
- Elenita Cook (Eastchester High School)

Agriculture played an important role in Rwandan society before the genocide. Most of the Rwandan population was Hutu, and the majority of them were crop growers. The Tutsis tended to be the landowners and the Hutus were the ones who worked the land. Agriculture was party responsible for the social structure of Rwanda. During the genocide, however, the agricultural sector of Rwanda was ruined. Previously, 95% of the population depended on cash crop or subsistence farming, but because of the genocide, the gross domestic product for Rwanda was reduced by half.
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Cereals: wheat, barley, maize, rye, oats, millet, sorghum, rice, buckwheat, alpiste/canary seed, fonio, quinoa, triticale, wheat flour, and the cereal component of blended foods.
This chart shows that the majority of the grains found in Rwanda were produced domestically from 1961-1998, which demonstrates the fact that agriculture was an important part of Rwandan society.
Jessica Tuite (Eastchester High School)

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This chart compares the amount of coverage in minutes that major events received throughout 1994 on major American nightly newcasts, such as ABC, NBC, and CBS. This chart shows that when the OJ Simpson drama erupted, it received the most attention. Even the extermination of 800,000 people was not given a suitable amount of coverage on American television screens until about four months into the start of the genocide.
Jessica Tuite (Eastchester High School)

The parts of the body that were most frequently targeted during the genocide to induce immobility were the legs, feet, and Achilles tendons. Thousands of corpses discovered after the violence showed evidence of one or both tendons having been sectioned by machete blows. Assailants also mutilated cattle belonging to Tutsi by cutting the leg tendons. Although many cattle in 1994 were killed outright and eaten, and others were stolen, a large number were immobilized and left to die slowly in the field. Interahamwe forces might immobilize fleeing victims by a quick blow to one or both of the Achilles tendons. Many who sustained this injury were children too young to walk, elderly people, people who were crippled or infirm, and people in hospital beds incapable of running away.
- Elenita Cook (Eastchester High School)

Statistics of the Rwandan Genocide
  • Over the course of 100 days, 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis and some moderate Hutus were killed in the Rwandan genocide.
  • During this period, approximately 6 men, women and children were murdered every minute of every hour of every day, which was maintained for more about 3 months.
  • There are between 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of the genocide.
  • Nearly 100,000 survivors are aged between 14 and 21.
  • Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 100 days of genocide, and about 20,000 children were born as a result of these rapes.
  • More than 67% of women who were raped in 1994 during the genocide were infected with HIV and AIDS. In many cases, HIV+ men used rape to transfer their disease, which was a weapon of genocide.
  • 7 in 10 survivors earn a monthly income of less than 5000 Rwandan Francs (Equivalent to 8 American Dollars)
  • There are about 50,000 widows from the genocide.
  • 40,000 survivors are still without shelter.
These statistics show the brutality of all the killings that went on during the Rwandan genocide. They also show how survivors faced difficult conditions as a result of the genocide, and how many of the effects of the genocide can still be seen in present day Rwanda.
Jessica Tuite (Eastchester High School)

Article from BBC news.

'Taken over by Satan'

Gitera Rwamuhuzi
Gitera Rwamuhuzi
Gitera Rwamuhuzi: 'I saw everything'
In 1994 in the village of Nyarubuye, Rwanda, the Hutu majority went on a killing spree in the local church, slaughtering neighbours and friends.
Gitera Rwamuhuzi is one of those who took part in the genocide. This is his story.
external image 66a.gifBefore the genocide, life was normal. For us, as long as there was a harvest good enough to save us from buying food from the market, I would say that we were happy.
I heard that Tutsis were regarded as superior towards Hutus. For example a Hutu could only change his social status by serving in a Tutsi's household. The rest were low-class Hutus.

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external image start_quote_rb.gif Some people did not even find someone to kill because there were more killers than victims external image end_quote_rb.gif

Because the RPF were blamed for the death of President Habyarimana, we thought that they had started with the high-ranking officials and that they were going to end up doing the same to us ordinary people.
We thought that if they had managed to kill the head of state, how were ordinary people supposed to survive?
On the morning of 15 April 1994, each one of us woke up knowing what to do and where to go because we had made a plan the previous night. In the morning we woke up and started walking towards the church.
No life
After selecting the people who could use guns and grenades, they armed them and said we should surround the church.
They said one group would go south and another group would go to the north. There were so many of us we were treading on each others' heels.

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Flora Mukampore, genocide survivor
Flora Mukampore, genocide survivor
Read the story of Flora Mukampore, who survived the Nyarubuye massacreexternal image inline_dashed_line.gif
'Living among the dead'
People who had grenades detonated them. The Tutsis started screaming for help.
As they were screaming, those who had guns started to shoot inside.
They screamed saying that we are dying, help us, but the soldiers continued shooting.
I entered and when I met a man I hit him with a club and he died.
You would say why not two, three or four but I couldn't kill two or three because those that entered outnumbered those inside.
Some people did not even find someone to kill because there were more killers than victims.
When we moved in, it was as if we were competing over the killing. We entered and each one of us began killing their own.
Each person who we cut looked like they had been hit by the grenades. They looked traumatised. They looked like their hearts had been taken away.
No one was asking for forgiveness. They looked like they had been killed already.
My neighbours

Those you cut were just not saying anything. They were scared that no one said anything. They must have been traumatized.
Apart from breathing you could see that they had no life in them. They looked like their hearts had been taken away.

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external image start_quote_rb.gif These people were my neighbours - the picture of their deaths may never leave me external image end_quote_rb.gif
I saw people whose hands had been amputated, those with no legs, and others with no heads. I saw everything.
Especially seeing people rolling around and screaming in agony, with no arms, no legs. People died in very bad conditions.
It was as if we were taken over by Satan. We were taken over by Satan. When Satan is using you, you lose your mind. We were not ourselves. Beginning with me, I don't think I was normal.
You wouldn't be normal if you start butchering people for no reason. We had been attacked by the devil.
Even when I dream my body changes in a way I cannot explain. These people were my neighbours. The picture of their deaths may never leave me. Everything else I can get out of my head but that picture never leaves. external image 99a.gif
Madeline Landin