Timeline: Rwanda

  1. 1885
    at the Berlin Conference of European Powers, Germany is given control of the area that includes Rwanda
  2. 1894
    The first European explorers arrive in Rwanda
  3. 1916
    Belgium takes over the country but relies on the traditional hierarchy to run the country, it uses the Tutsis to run the including the king who is recognized both Tutsis and Hutus.
  4. 1926
    The Belgiums introduce ethnic identity cards
  5. 1933
    A census is carried out by the Belgians and identity cards become compulsory. They must state the owners identity which is not fixed
  6. 1957
    Publication of Hutu Manifesto, which denounces the Tutsis who currently dominate the Rwandan leadership. The PARAMETHU (Party for the Emancipation of the Hutu's) is formed.
  7. 1959
    The king (mwami) of Rwanda dies and the Hutus, supported by the Belgians rise up against Tutsi nobility. Thousands of Tutsis are killed and thousands more flee the neighbouring countries. The Belgians switch their overall support to the Hutu's.
  8. 1960
    In Rwanda's first municipial elections the Hutu's get the majority.
  9. 1961
    The monarchy is abolished by a referendum and a republic is announced. The Tutsis are again attacked.
  10. 1962
    Rwanda is granted independence from Belgium. George Kayibanda of the PARMEHUTU Hutu nationalist party comes to power.
  11. 1963
    Tutsis who were forced to flee in 1959 attack Rwanda from neighbouring countries. Tutsis are attaked by Hutu's in Rwanda in retaliation. More Tutsi's leave.
  12. 1967
    More massacres against the Tutsi from the Hutus in Rwanda.
  13. 1973
    The Hutu leaders push Tutsi's out of their jobs in schools and the universities. Major Juvenal Habyarimana takes power and creates a one party state. Ethnic quotas are introduced into the public services. Tutsi's are only allowed 9% of available jobs.
  14. 1975
    Habyarimana forms the MRND party and gives preference jobs to Hutu
  15. 1986
    Tutsis in exile in neighboring Uganda form the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front); membership of the RPF initially involves those who helped to overthrow the Ugandan dictator, Milton Obote.
  16. 1989
    World economic problems (especially the fall in cofee prices, one of Rwandans chief exports) increase the pressures on Rwandan economy. In turn, this increases poverty and creates discontent.
  17. 1990
    October; RPF rebels invade in the hope of creating a power-sharing situation with Habyarimana. They are opposed by government troops- the FAR (Rwandan Armed Forces)- equipped and trained by France and Zaire.
  18. 1991
    March; a cease-fire is declared. Recognizing the need motivated support, the FAR begins training and equipping civilian militia know as 'interahamwe', meaning 'those who stand together'
  19. 1991/2
    Local persecutions of Tutsis, including murders, are carried out.
  20. 1993
    August; following months of negotiations, habyarimana and the RPF sign a peace and power sharing agreement- the Arush Peace Accord. 2,500 U.N. troops are deployed to Rwanda to oversee its implementation, under the command of Canadian General Romeo Dallaire.
  21. 1993/4
    President Habyarimana delays implementation of power sharing; training of interahamwe increases. The extremist Hutu radio station, 'Radio Millie Collines' starts broadcasting calls to attack Tutsis.
  22. 1994
    April; President Habyarimana restates his comitment to the Arush Peace Accords. Extremist Hutus are alarmed by this development.
  23. 1994 April 6th
    April 6th; Presidnet Habyarimana's aeroplane is shot down. He and the president of neighbouring Burundi are killed. The blame is placed on the Tutsis. Massacres of Tutsis begin.
  24. 1994 April 7th
    The FAR and the interahamew set up roadblocks. They round up thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutu politicians, including women and children; most are massacred using 'pangas'- machete-like weapons. U.N. forces are firbidden to intervene, being only allowed to 'monitor' the situation.
  25. 1994 April 21st
    10 Belgian soldiers are killed; the UN reduces its forces in the country from 2,500 to 250.
  26. 1994 May 17th
    The U.N. agrees to send 6,800 troop and policemen, mostly African, to Rwanda with powers to defend civilians, although this is delayed because of arguments over who will pay the bill and provide the equipment. A Security Council resolution says "acts of genocide may have been committed".
  27. 1994 June 22nd
    After an initial reluctance, led by the USA delegation, the UN agrees that the killing constitutes officially a 'genocide'. No troops have arrived in Rwanda. French forces are to be despatched to the south west of Rwanda to create a 'safe-haven' (although killing will continue here, too).
  28. 1994 July 17th
    the RPF invasion troops reach the capital, Kigali. The massacres finally stop.
  29. After Genocide...
    The Hutu extremists and interahamwe leaders escape to refugee camps in nearby countires, where they are placed alongside Tutsi refugees. In many cases, these men continue to excercise power within the camps and the killing of Tutsis continues. It is the crisis of refugee movement around Africa tha makes the world 'wake up' to the genocide.

    Between 800,000 and 1,000,00 Tutsis, and including some moderate hutus, were murdered. Many more mutilated and maimed. The mental anguish and the trauma cannot be measured. A steady number of people have been convicted in the Internation Court of Justice; those Tutsis who returned have been encouraged to assist in the 'closure' process of Rwanda through local hearings or 'grass courts' (gachacha).
Card Set
Timeline: Rwanda
Timeline: Rwanda