Timeline

Timeline

1994

22 April 1994

The Red Cross declares that it has never seen “a human tragedy of the scale of these massacres“.  More than 7,000 Tutsi are murdered at Gatwaro-Kibuye stadium. Interahamwe and members of the army assassinate the sub-prefect of Butare Zéphanie Nyilinkwaya and 14 members of his family. At Sovu convent, 6,500 people are killed with guns, machetes and clubs. A further 500 are trapped in a garage and burnt to death, using petrol supplied by nuns.

1994

21 April 1994

Following Security Council Resolution 912, the UNAMIR force is reduced from 2,500 to 270. Interahamwe militia and other armed people kill 22,000 Tutsi in Gikongoro. Between 20,000 and 30,000 Tutsi are killed in former Nyaruhengeri (at Kansi and Kibilizi), in Muganza (at Mugombwa Catholic Church, Muganza Hills) and in Kibayi (at Kabuga and Magi) communes in Butare Prefecture. The UN Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 912 withdrawing most of the UNAMIR troops, cutting the force from 2,500 to 270. Alison De Forges of Human Rights Watch says in an interview on the Voice of America that the people responsible for the massacres taking place in Rwanda should be brought to justice. She says the massacres were planned long ago by President Habyarimana and his confidants, including Colonel Bagosora, Colonel Augustin Bizimungu and Captain Simbikangwa. De Forges lashes out at the international journalists who maintain that the problem in Rwanda is based on nothing other than ethnicity.

1994

20 April 1994

UN Secretary-General Bouros-Boutros Ghali speaks of “Hutu killing Tutsi and Tutsi killing Hutu” and calls for a cease-fire between the genocidaires and the RPF (who were fighting to stop genocide), causing confusion as to whether this was a mere civil war or not.  Genocide begins in Butare with the killing of academics and prominent people in the town. Among them is Rosalie Gicanda, the widow of Mwami Mutara who died mysteriously in July 1959. Her murder upsets Tutsi and moderate Hutus. UNAMIR reports that 45 are dead and 114 injured from the Government forces shelling of Amahoro Stadium.

1994

19 April 1994

Radio Rwanda broadcasts a speech by President Theodore Sindikubwabo in Butare inviting the population to “get to work”.  Lieutenant-Colonel Cyprien Kayumba, director of the financial department of the Rwandan Ministry of Defense, oversees six deliveries of weapons to the genocide army, to the tune of $5,454,395. The last Belgian peacekeepers vacate Kigali. The Presidential Guard continues shelling Amahoro Stadium, where about 5000 refugees have been sheltering since the massacres began in Kigali.Interahamwe use machine guns, rockets, grenades and machetes to massacre approximately 2800 people in Kibungo.

1994

18 April 1994

An estimated 50,000 Tutsi are killed in the hills of Bisesero. Another 12,000 Tutsi are killed after sheltering at the Gatwaro Stadium in Gitesi Commune in Kibuye, where they were ordered to go by the prefect, Dr. Clement Kayishema. Shallow mass graves are dug to hide the bodies of the victims. More are killed in the Adventist church and hospital of Mugonero.  Théodore Sindikubwabo visits Gikongoro to thank the prefect personally for a job well done in carrying out the genocide in his prefecture. The Interim Government in Gitarama replaces Prefect Jean Baptiste Habyarimana of Butare and Prefect Godefrey Ruzindana of Kibungo with extremist prefects to continue the campaign of massacres.

1994

17 April 1994

17 April 1994

The murder of Tutsi in Kibuye Prefecture begins at St. John Catholic Church. Some 21,000 people are killed over the next two days. The militia led by the Prefect of Kibuye, Dr. Clement Kayishema, kills at least 11,000 in the church. The Prefect of Butare, Jean-Baptiste Habyarimana, who has been active in preventing and opposing the killings in Butare, is arrested. He is later killed along with his family.  The Council of Ministers issues an announcement applauding the prefects who had accomplished their “tasks” with enthusiasm, and citing the names of the prefects of Butare and Kibungo as failures.

1994

16 April 1994

16 April 1994

Thousands of Tutsi are slaughtered at Ntarama Catholic Church and in surrounding areas, by soldiers from Gako military camp and from Kigali. They are joined by Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi militias from Kanzenze, Ngenda, Gashora and other communes. A few survivors escape to the nearby marshes, where they continue to be hunted and killed throughout April. Bodies line the road from Kigali to Gitarama. 22 people, some of them believed to be Zairian nationals, are murdered. In Rukara commune, 800 Tutsi are found starving and injured in a building into which grenades have been thrown. They have been locked up without food since President Habyarimana’s death on 6 April.

1994

15 April 1994

The Rwandan army and Interahamwe systematically massacre 10,000 refugees who have congregated at Nyamata Catholic Church from the surrounding area. They kill men, women, and children using grenades, guns, machetes and clubs. Shrapnel from grenades tear through the church ceiling 30 feet from the floor leaving the roof timbers spattered with flesh and blood.  450 Belgian soldiers leave UNAMIR and fly home.

1994

14 April 1994

Massacres take place in Nyarubuye parish, Kibungo. Interahamwe and soldiers kill 5000 Tutsi gathered at the church in the parish of Musha. They throw grenades into the church then continue the killing with machetes and clubs. Thousands of refugees gathered at Nyamata Church come under fire from surrounding militia as the priest drives away, abandoning them to their certain fate. Soldiers, militiamen, and armed local villagers attack approximately 20,000 displaced Tutsi in and around the Kibeho Catholic Church and school complex. Around 200 are killed, but the attackers withdraw because of resistance. RPF troops take control of the Murambi Commune and find more than 5000 bodies of Tutsi, houses burnt and banana plantations destroyed. Evacuation of the expatriate community from Kigali is almost complete. About 150 French troops leave but 450 others remain behind.

1994

13 April 1994

Killing continues in and around Kigali as well as in other prefectures. In Bicumbi Commune, about 20 km east of Kigali, 350 Tutsis are killed. The CDR and MRND militias start killing Tutsi civilians in Gisenyi, Cyangugu, and Butare.