RWANDA 20 YEARS AGO TODAY Medard Oct 15

Report
RWANDA 20 YEARS AGO TODAY
A LOOK BACK AT THE EVENTS LEADING
UP TO THE GENOCIDE
January-December 1993
MEDARD NDUWAMUNGU
SENIOR ANALYST
WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND WAR CRIMES
SECTION
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA
1992
July, August, September, October
• Negotiations between the Rwandan Government and
the RPF began in July 1992. The First Protocol of the
Arusha Accord was signed on 16 August 1992.
• 21 September 1992, the Rwandan Army High
Command issued a memorandum which ‘defined the
enemy’.
• End of October 1992, the Rwandan Government and
the RPF signed the Second Protocol of the Arusha
Accord.
November
• 15 November 1992, Habyarimana criticised the Arusha
Accord and declared it to be a “scrap of paper”. By the
same token he announced that an election will be held
in the near future, in which the MRND militia, the
Interahamwe, would serve as a striking force to ensure
his victory.
• 22 November 1992, Léon Mugesera gave his infamous
hate speech in which he encouraged Hutu to kill Tutsi
and deposit their bodies in the Nyabarongo River as a
way of sending them back to Ethiopia.
November
• Mugesera’s speech unleashed attacks against
Tutsi communities in north-western Rwanda
including the communities of Gaseke, Giciye,
and Karago.
• The Minister of Justice, a member of the PL
party, issued a warrant for Mugesera’s arrest.
Mugesera, however, found refuge in a military
camp where he went into exile.
December
• 31 December 1992, the Minister of Justice
resigned.
1993
January
• 7 – 21 January 1993, an International Commission on
human rights abuses which conducted an investigation
in Rwanda collected substantial evidence that linked
President Habyarimana and his immediate entourage
to atrocities against Tutsi and the political opposition.
• 20 January 1993, a letter by Alain De Brower, political
counsellor of the International Démocrate Chrétien
(IDC), to the MRND, advised to explore a “permanent
and open MRND-MDR collaboration”, to form an
alliance of Hutu parties.
February
• 8 February 1993, the RPF launched a massive attack along
the northern front line which forced the government troops
to retreat. As a result, the civilian population from the
Byumba prefecture fled south; they joined hundreds of
thousands who were displaced earlier in the conflict. At
that time, one seventh of Rwanada’ population was
displaced (around one million).
• End of February 1993, the French Minister for Cooperation,
Marcel Debarge, met with Hutu parties and urged the
formation of a “common front” against the RPF.
March
• 6 – 8 March 1993, after negotiations in Dar-es-Salaam, the
RPF agreed to a cease-fire and pulled back to its original
positions, leaving a sizable buffer zone between its lines
and those of the government army.
• Random violence against the civilian population in Butare,
Gitarama and Kigali.
• End of March 1993, Emmanuel Gapyisi formed a political
movement/association/party, called Forum Paix et
Démocratie, to gather those who were opposed to the RPF
and Habyarimana regardless of party affiliation.
May, June, July
• 18 May 1993, a hit squad killed Gapyisi. The Forum
collapsed.
• 9 June 1993, an additional protocol of the Accord, related
to refugees and displaced persons, was signed in Arusha.
• 18 July 1993, Mme Agathe Uwilingiyimana is invited to
form a government.
• 19 July 1993, James Gasana, the then-Minister of Defence
fled the country and found refuge in Switzerland.
August
• August 1993, radio station RTLM radio began to
broadcast.
• 3 August 1993, An additional protocol to the Arusha
Accord related to the merger of the troops was signed.
• 4 August 1993, the Arusha Accord was signed by
Habyarimana and the RPF.
• 5 August 1993, Faustin Twagiramungu became the
Prime Minister in the transitional government.
October
• 5 October 1993, the Security Council established the UN Assistance
Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) which included the deployment of
more than 2,500 troops (UN Resolution 872).
• 21 October 1993, Tutsi army officers in Burundi assassinated
Melchior Ndadaye, Hutu President of Burundi. He was elected in
June 1993 in a free and fair election. Immediately after the
assassination, Burundi’s Hutu retaliated by killing Tutsis.
• 23 October 1993,Hutu adherents met in Kigali to deplore Ndadaye
assassination and to draw lessons from it. Arusha Accord was
virtually dead.
November
• 1 November 1993, UAMIR troops began to deploy in
Rwanda.
• 17 – 18 November 1993, in a highly organised attack a
group of unidentified assailants killed some 40
individuals in various communities in Byumba.
UNAMIR investigated the atrocities without ever
disclosing the results of the investigation.
• 26 November 1993, RTLM called for the assassination
of Prime Minister A. Uwilingiyimana and Prime
Minister designate F. Twagiramungu.
December
• Early December 1993, The Interahamwe militia
was in full training in at least three camps by
Presidential Guard troops.
• 15 December 1993, the French troops supporting
the Habyarimana regime left Rwanda.
• 28 December 1993, RPF troops arrived in Kigali.

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