Researchers at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University – in collaboration with a Rwandan therapist and genocide survivor – have taken a close look at the genocide against the Tutsi people of Rwanda almost a quarter of a century after it occurred.
As many as 1 million Tutsi people were murdered in the mass slaughter during the Rwandan Civil War, which began in 1990. It was led by members of the Hutu majority government during the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994. Hutu civilians used machetes, clubs, blunt objects and other weapons and were encouraged to rape, maim, and kill their Tutsi neighbors and to destroy or steal their property. The killing ended after the Tutsi-backed and heavily armed Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), led by Paul Kagame, took control of the capital and the country.
The genocide was planned by members of the core Hutu political elite, many of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government. Perpetrators came from the Rwandan army, the gendarmerie, and government-backed militias. A ceasefire in the civil war was reached in 1993.