April 6, 1994 The Rwandan President Habyarimana and
the Burundian President were killed when Habyarimana's
plane was shot down by Hutu extremists. This began
the Rwandan Genocide.
Rwandan army (FAR) and the Hutu Militia went from
house to house killing Tutsis. The Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic
Front (RPF) retaliated. Hundreds of thousands of Hutu
refugees fled into Zaire and Burundi, trying to escape
the slaughter. The UN condemned the killings, but
carefully did not use the word "genocide."
The killing went on. In mid-May the Red Cross estimated
500,000 had been killed.
was not until July that UN troops arrived in Rwanda,
and the genocide came to an end. It is estimated that
800,000 people were killed between April and mid-July.
1998, UN Secretary General acknowledged the UN failure:
The world must deeply repent this failure. Rwanda's
tragedy was the world's tragedy. All of us who cared
about Rwanda, all of us who witnessed its suffering,
fervently wish that we could have prevented the genocide.
. . Now we know that what we did was not nearly enough--not
enough to save Rwanda from itself, not enough to honor
the ideals for which the United Nations exists."