World marks quarter century of Rwanda’s infamous genocide

It is 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. In 1994 about 800,000 Rwandans were beaten, hacked or shot to death. The slaughter began on April 7, a day after President Juvenal Habyarimana from Hutu tribe was shot down by a missile near capital city Kigali.

The incident worked like an excuse by Hutu extremists to launch genocide against Tutsi minority.

Violence spread rapidly as radio stations were used by Hutu majority to call for mass murder of fellow citizens in the small central African nation.

According to a journalist “the entire Hutu population was called upon to kill the entire Tutsi population.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the 100 days in 1994 was some of the darkest chapters in recent human history.

The country now observes two public holidays to mourn the genocide – April 7 and July 4, which is called as Liberation Day.

Violence spread rapidly as radio stations were used by Hutu majority to call for mass murder of fellow citizens in the small central African nation.

The Tutsi or Abatutsi are taller taller and thinner than Hutu and originally were cattle herders. They are ethnic group of the African Great Lakes region and came to Rwanda in 19th century. However, they have lived in the region for about 500 years and undergone considerable intermarriage with Hutu.

About a year before the Rwanda genocide a Hutu president of Burundi, Melchior Ndadaye, was assassinated by Tutsi officers. This sparked genocide in the country and about 25,000 Tutsi were murdered.

Paul Linus