- Rwanda - Yearbook—2012
Picture on page 194]
Within 100 Days, a Million Died
“The 1994 genocide in Rwanda represents one of the clearest cases of genocide in modern history. From early April 1994 through mid-July 1994, members of the small Central African state’s majority Hutu ethnic group systematically slaughtered members of the Tutsi ethnic minority. An extremist Hutu regime, fearing the loss of its power in the face of a democracy movement and a civil war, made plans for the elimination of all those
—moderate Hutu as well as Tutsi— it perceived as threats to its authority. The genocide ended only when a mostly Tutsi rebel army occupied the country and drove the genocidal regime into exile. Over a period of only one hundred days, as many as one million people lost their lives in the genocide and war —making the Rwandan slaughter one of the most intense waves of killing in recorded history.” —Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.
About 400 of Jehovah’s Witnesses were murdered in the genocide, including Hutu who were killed for protecting their Tutsi brothers and sisters. No Witnesses died at the hands of fellow believers.
Refugees fleeing Rwanda
Picture on page 197]
“Organizers of the genocide exploited the historic concept of sanctuary to lure tens of thousands of Tutsi into church buildings with false promises of protection; then Hutu militia and soldiers systematically slaughtered the unfortunate people who had sought refuge, firing guns and tossing grenades into the crowds gathered in church sanctuaries and school buildings, and methodically finishing off survivors with machetes, pruning hooks, and knives. . . . The involvement of the churches, however, went far beyond the passive use of church buildings as death chambers. In some communities, clergy, catechists, and other church employees used their knowledge of the local population to identify Tutsi for elimination. In other cases, church personnel actively participated in the killing.”
—Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda.
“The main allegation concerning the [Catholic] Church is that it switched its allegiance from the Tutsi elite to the creation of a Hutu-led revolution, thereby assisting in Habyarimana’s subsequent rise to power in a majority Hutu state. In terms of the actual genocide, critics once again hold the Church directly responsible for inciting hatred, sheltering perpetrators, and failing to protect those who sought refuge within its walls. There are also those who believe that, as the spiritual leader of the majority population in Rwanda, the Church is morally responsible for failing to take all available measures to end the killing.”
—Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.
- Rwanda - Yearbook—2012
[Picture on page 193]
Wreckage from the plane crash near Kigali