A Brief History of Genocide in Rwanda

Rwanda, an East African country of 12,000,000 people, is on a land mass the size of Maryland. It gained notoriety in 1994 as the site of one of the worst genocides the world has known. In a carefully orchestrated plan developed by the previous government, nearly 1,000,000 men, women, and children were killed from March to July of that year, including many of the country's teachers, doctors, lawyers, judges, and other professionals.

In July 1994, the government was taken over by the army of Rwandan Patriotic Front "RPF", which consisted mainly of Rwandans who were exiled to neighboring countries in earlier persecutions. Attempting to reunite the country, the RPF has welcomed back approximately 3 million refugees, including its former enemies who were scattered in the conflict of 1994. Now Rwanda faces the difficult task of rebuilding the country and reuniting its people.

For more information on the genocide in Rwanda, please read PBS' Frontline: 100 Days of Slaughter; A Chronology of U.S./U.N. Actions, as well as the United Nations Rwandan Genocide Report.