In a genocidal attack on the minority Tutsi ethnic group, over half a million people were massacred by soldiers and militias loyal to President Juvénal Habyarimana after he was killed in April. More than one million Rwandese fled the country, either to escape the slaughter or fearing reprisal killings by the Tutsi-dominated Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), which took over the country and formed a new government in July. RPF soldiers also carried out unlawful killings and other abuses. In the first three months of 1994, the government of President Habyarimana delayed implementing the peace accord it had signed with the rebel RPF in 1993 (see Amnesty International Report 1994). Supporters of the former ruling party, the Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le développement (MRND), Republican National Movement for Democracy and Development, and its ally, the Coalition pour la défense de la République (CDR), Coalition for the Defence of the Republic, continued to carry out violent attacks on supporters of opposition parties which supported the peace accord. The mrnd and the security forces were dominated by the majority Hutu ethnic group. The CDR was an exclusively Hutu political party. On 6 April President Habyarimana was killed (together with President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi) when his plane was hit by a rocket. An interim government led by the former speaker of the National Assembly, Théodore Sindikubwabo, was established. The interim government blamed the killing of President Habyarimana on the RPF and on Belgian troops serving with the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) peace-keeping force, although government soldiers were widely believed to be responsible. Within hours of the President's death, members of the security forces and MRND and CDR supporters began an orchestrated campaign of killings. Most of the victims were Tutsi, but Hutu who opposed the killings or supported sharing power with the RPF were also targeted. There were massacres in all parts of the country: only areas effectively controlled by the RPF were spared the worst of the carnage. The massacres were systematic, planned and condoned at the highest level. Virtually all the killers belonged to the majority Hutu ethnic group, particularly the MRND militia known locally as Interahamwe ("They who attack together"). Others belonged to the CDR and its militia known locally as Impuzamugambi ("They who have the same goal"). In the preceding months, the militia, who from April were collectively known as Interahamwe, had been armed and prepared to kill virtually all Tutsi and Hutu government opponents. Hundreds of known or suspected RPF supporters, most of them Tutsi, and some suspected Hutu RPF sympathizers, including non-violent opposition leaders, had been killed during the first quarter of the year. Radio broadcasts, particularly by the Radio-télévision libre des mille collines owned by Hutu close to President Habyarimana, incited Hutu to genocide, accusing all Tutsi of being enemies of the Hutu and supporters of the RPF. As a result of the massacres, more than one million Rwandese fled to neighbouring countries and the RPF resumed an offensive against government forces. UNAMIR troops largely failed to respond to the massacres, although 10 Belgian UNAMIR soldiers were killed in an unsuccessful attempt to defend Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana when Rwandese soldiers came to kill her. On 21 April the UN Security Council decided to withdraw about 2,000 members of its peace-keeping force, leaving less than 500 in Rwanda. On 16 May the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of a force of 5,500 troops with an enlarged mandate to protect civilians at risk and to use force if necessary. However, only a few hundred had been deployed by the time the RPF had achieved a military victory and an RPF-led government was formed in mid-July. On 25 May a Special Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights was held to consider Rwanda. It appointed a Special Rapporteur to investigate human rights violations in Rwanda. On 22 June the UN authorized France to send a 2,000-strong force to southwestern Rwanda to protect civilians from attacks by government forces and militia as well as the RPF. French troops were replaced by UNAMIR in late August. In August the UN also authorized the deployment of civilian human rights investigators, but only around 80 out of about 150 promised had been deployed by the end of the year. By 19 July the RPF had taken control of most of Rwanda and declared a new government of national unity. The new government was made up of representatives of the RPF and of four other political parties. Both the President, Pasteur Bizimungu, and the Prime Minister, Faustin Twagiramungu, were Hutu. The new government announced its intention of bringing to justice all those who had ordered or taken part in the massacres and in July officials said that they hoped to try up to 30,000 people, if necessary by creating special courts. On 8 August the government stated that it would agree to trials before an international tribunal which was set up in November by the UN Security Council. When mass killings started in April, some 300,000 refugees fled to neighbouring countries, particularly Tanzania. As the RPF took control of Rwanda, at least a million more Hutu refugees fled abroad. Conditions in the refugee camps were atrocious: in Goma camp in Zaire up to 80,000 people died within weeks in a cholera epidemic. There were numerous killings of Tutsi refugees and Hutu by exiled former government and security officials and by Hutu gangs in Tanzania and Zaire. In mid-September the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that the Rwandese Patriotic Army (RPA), the armed wing of the RPF which became Rwanda's national army in July, had carried out numerous killings in the southeast. UNHCR suspended repatriation of refugees from neighbouring countries. UNAMIR sent soldiers to monitor the situation. The government, which denied that its troops had been involved in any massacres, said it would cooperate with a UN investigation team. The results of the investigation had not been published by the end of the year. The massacres started in the capital, Kigali, and within days spread to the whole country. The victims were surrounded in their homes and villages. Many were trapped and slaughtered in public buildings such as churches and hospitals where they had sought sanctuary. Most killings were carried out with traditional weapons, such as clubs and machetes; the killers also used grenades and firearms. The initial targets in Kigali were Hutu and Tutsi opposition leaders, human rights activists and other prominent Tutsi. The first reported victims were Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana, several other government ministers and the President of the Cassation Court, Joseph Kavaruganda, who were killed on 7 April by the Presidential Guard. Human rights activists including Fidèle Kanyabugoyi, a Tutsi, and Ignace Ruhatana, a Hutu, were rounded up and killed. Several dozen journalists, including Vincent Rwabukwisi, were also killed. Soldiers then attacked a Roman Catholic centre in Kigali and killed about 17 Tutsi, mostly priests and nuns. Those killed included 67-year-old Father Chrysologue Mahame and Father Patrick Gahizi. The militia set up road-blocks in Kigali and its suburbs: anyone believed to be a Tutsi was summarily executed. The killers made no attempt to conceal what they were doing or to hide the bodies. Generally, government and security officials ordered or condoned the killings. The few who opposed them became victims themselves. On 17 April more than 100 Tutsi were killed by soldiers and militia a few kilometres south of Kigali. They had been part of a group of some 2,000 Tutsi who were reportedly intercepted by soldiers and militia as they walked towards Amahoro stadium in Kigali, hoping for protection by UNAMIR troops camped there. Most of the massacres in eastern Rwanda apparently took place in churches. For example, more than 800 people were reportedly killed on 11 April by government supporters and soldiers at Kiziguro Roman Catholic church, Murambi district of Byumba prefecture. Hundreds more were killed by Interahamwe and gendarmes at Rukara Roman Catholic mission in Kibungo prefecture's Rukara district. The attackers hurled grenades through the windows of the church and killed survivors with guns and machetes. Hundreds of similar killings were reported at Gahini Protestant church in Rukara district. Massacres in Cyangugu prefecture in the southwest were among the most extensive. Many Tutsi took refuge in churches and in a stadium in Cyangugu town. Some were killed there, others were herded into administrative centres where they were killed. Hundreds of Tutsi fled to Mabirizi Roman Catholic parish in Cyimbogo district. Militia attacked them there, apparently led by a businessman and the recently elected administrator (Bourgmestre) of Cyimbogo. The victims resisted and on 18 April they were attacked with grenades, machine-guns and other automatic weapons. When most of the Tutsi men had been killed or injured, the attackers reportedly entered the church compound and killed all the males they found, including babies. Thousands were also reportedly massacred by militia at Mushaka, Nyamasheke and Nkaka Roman Catholic parishes. More than 3,000 people, most of them Tutsi but including Hutu members of opposition political parties, were killed at Mukarange Roman Catholic parish in Kibungo prefecture's Rwamagana district in the east of the country. The victims were first herded into the parish main hall and grenades were hurled through windows. An estimated 2,500 people were killed there. Some 500 or more tried to run but were mown down by machine-gun fire in the church compound. On 23 April government troops and militia killed about 170 patients and some staff at Butare hospital. From the hospital the killers went to a nearby camp for the displaced where they also reportedly killed people. On 1 May, 21 orphans and 13 local Red Cross workers were killed in Butare. The orphans had just been evacuated from Kigali to Butare where it was thought they would be safe. There were also reports of human rights abuses by the RPF and RPA. Hundreds – possibly thousands – of unarmed civilians and captured opponents were reported to have been summarily executed by the RPA and by Tutsi supporters of the RPF. Many of the killings were arbitrary reprisals against groups of Hutu civilians. In April and May scores of unarmed civilians were reportedly killed by units of the RPA in northeastern Rwanda. Witnesses reported that such killings took place at Nyabwishongwezi and Kagitumba in Byumba prefecture's Ngarama district. In both cases local people were summoned to public meetings by RPA soldiers, who then attacked them with guns, grenades, bayonets and hoes. Among those reported killed at Nyabwishongwezi were Jovans Nakabonye, who was shot, and her daughter, 12-year-old Felicita Busingye, who was bayoneted to death. In late May and early June RPA soldiers were reported to have carried out numerous arrests of Hutu at "screening" centres in southern Rwanda used to identify those suspected of involvement in massacres and to have killed a number of them. Prominent Hutu and others suspected of supporting former President Habyarimana and the interim government set up after his death were held by the RPA in camps, including one near Kabgayi. Some were subsequently killed or "disappeared". For example, Rwanda's Roman Catholic Archbishop, Vincent Nsengiyumva, a former MRND central committee member, and 12 other priests were killed by four of the RPA soldiers supposed to be guarding them at Byimana, south of Kabgayi, near Gitarama. Other RPA soldiers shot dead one of the killers and the other three escaped. More than 10,000 people, virtually all of them Hutu, accused of involvement in the genocide earlier in the year were being held in various Rwandese detention centres at the end of the year. Most of them had not been formally charged with any offence. Some were reportedly held in private houses and military installations without any supervision by judicial officials, amidst reports that some were tortured or severely ill-treated in custody, and that others had "disappeared". There were also numerous reports of abductions and "disappearances" carried out by the RPA after April. Many prisoners held by the RPA were subjected to a torture method known as kandoya or "three-piece tying". The victim's arms are tied above the elbows behind the back, which sometimes results in permanent injury. From October there were reports of seven detainees or more dying daily in Butare, Gitarama and Kigali prisons and other detention centres from disease as a result of lack of medical care and unhygienic prison conditions exacerbated by overcrowding. Amnesty International repeatedly appealed to former government and military authorities and to political leaders in Rwanda to condemn the massacres and to stop them. Amnesty International also called on the international community to bear its share of the responsibility for the slaughter, naming countries which had supplied weapons and trained the army and militias, and criticizing the UN for withdrawing most of its troops once the massacres began. Amnesty International welcomed the special session in May of the UN Commission on Human Rights, at which it made an oral statement, and the Commission's decision to investigate the killings. However, Amnesty International called for stronger measures to protect human rights. In May Amnesty International published a report, Rwanda: Mass murder by government supporters and troops in April and May 1994, which documented the killings and provided clear evidence that they were organized at the highest level and were an attempt at genocide. In June Amnesty International publicly condemned the killings of priests by the RPF. In August an Amnesty International delegation visited Rwanda. The delegates met senior officials of the new government including the President, Vice-President and Minister of Justice, as well as local human rights groups, UN personnel and survivors of massacres. In the light of the continuing climate of fear, Amnesty International called on the international community to act urgently in four ways: by expanding international human rights monitoring; by sending UN civilian police monitors; by rebuilding Rwanda's judicial system; and by extending the jurisdiction of the international criminal tribunal established to deal with crimes against humanity in former Yugoslavia to Rwanda. In October Amnesty International published Rwanda: Reports of killings and abductions by the Rwandese Patriotic Army, April to August 1994. It called for an independent and impartial investigation into reports of numerous human rights abuses committed by the RPA and for those responsible to be brought to justice. The organization appealed to the new government and the international community to take appropriate action to prevent such abuses from recurring.

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