The 1994 Rwandan Genocide

This article is part of an E-IR series marking the twentieth commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide.

In 1994, Rwanda erupted into one of the most appalling cases of mass murder the world had witnessed since World War II. The killings fell into three categories: 1) combatants killing combatants; 2) Hutu citizens, military, and paramilitary killing Hutu citizens because the victims were either moderates willing to live and work with Tutsi or persons whose land and wealth the murderers wanted to appropriate; and 3) Hutu killing Tutsi because they were Tutsi. Of these, the second was mass murder; the third amounted to genocide. In this article, I offer an analysis and explanation that involves the consideration of those ecological, historic, economic, cultural, and political factors that I believe contributed significantly to the mass murder of Hutu and the genocide of Tutsi.

Rwanda: The Place

Rwanda, the landlocked “land of a thousand hills,” is one of Africa’s smallest countries. Throughout the twentieth century, Rwanda’s people have placed tremendous pressure on the land. As early as 1983, when Rwanda’s population reached 5.5 million, expert observers noted that, “with the population increasing at an average annual rate of 3.7 per cent, in a country with the highest population density in Africa, the authorities are worried that it will be impossible to increase food sufficiently.”[1] At the time, an estimated 95 per cent of the gainfully employed population were engaged in agriculture.[2] By 1993, one year before the genocide, the population had climbed to 7.7 million without any substantial improvement in agricultural output. To the contrary, food production had been seriously hampered by periodic drought, overgrazing, soil exhaustion, and soil erosion.

Rwanda’s Pre-Colonial Era

The history of Rwanda prior to German penetration in the late nineteenth century is not well known. Historians believe the area’s first known inhabitants were a pygmoid people, the hunting-gathering ancestors of the present-day Twa. Around 1000 AD, Bantu-speaking Hutu horticulturists arrived, probably from the east, and began clearing and settling the hills. Their language–Kinyarwanda, a branch of the Niger-Congo subfamily–eventually became the idiom of Rwanda. Hutu became the dominant population, far outnumbering the Twa with whom they bartered agricultural goods for forest products.

Between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries the Tutsi, a pastoral people with long-horned cattle, moved into the region, probably from southern Ethiopia where other pastoralists such as the Oromo resided. Typical of cattle pastoralists, Tutsi men were armed and accustomed to fighting to protect their herds against raiders and to raid for cattle and village goods themselves. Being more aggressive and better organized for military purposes than were the Hutu farmers, the Tutsi eventually conquered central Rwanda and established their rule there.

During the reign of Tutsi warrior King Kigeri Rwabugiri (1860-95), the Tutsi conquered and firmly established central control over much of Rwanda, despite the fact that they represented only about 10 per cent to 14 per cent of a population that was over 80 per cent Hutu. The Tutsi dominated the Hutu and Twa militarily, politically, and economically. According to their common religion, the Tutsi king was a divine and absolute monarch.[3]

Some modern historians stress that during the pre-colonial period there were no Tutsi-Hutu conflicts as such.[4] Tutsi and Hutu lived intermingled on the same hills and formed alliances against other groups of allied Hutu and Tutsi. However, the Tutsi aristocracy ruled by force, and the army was its main instrument of power. As part of their training, young Tutsi warriors were indoctrinated with an ideology of Tutsi superiority. Their status, military training, and ideology set them apart from non-Tutsi.

Wealthy Tutsi owned large herds of cattle and extensive tracts of land that they had expropriated from the Hutu. By the late nineteenth century, many Hutu were experiencing a crippling land crisis and abject poverty.[5] As their population grew, increasing numbers of Hutu had insufficient land or none at all. In order to survive, they entered into feudal patron-client relations with Tutsi.

During the nineteenth century, Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa corresponded roughly to occupational categories. The socioeconomic and political division appeared so rigid to some Western scholars that they referred to it as a caste system.[6] A number of modern scholars and early explorers have commented on the physical differences between these three peoples. For example, anthropologist Codere writes that, “although there has been sufficient intermixture [through intermarriage and concubineage] to blur racial lines, the majority of each caste is racially [sic] distinct. In stature, for example, the differences are striking: the average stature of the Tutsi is 1 m. 75; the Hutu 1 m. 66; and the Twa 1 m. 55.”[7]

Rwanda was not a land of social harmony and equality prior to European colonization. Based on his review of the historical evidence, Pottier writes that “ethnic divisions (and ‘obvious hatred’ toward the Tutsi overlords, according to Grogan and Sharp [1900:119]) were well entrenched by 1898, the time the Germans began to colonise Rwanda.”[8]

German and Belgian Rule

From 1894 until the end of World War I, Rwanda, along with Burundi (similar in population size and “ethnic” composition to Rwanda) and present-day Tanzania, was part of German East Africa. In 1924, Belgium became the administering authority under the League of Nations mandate system. Belgium ruled Rwanda and Burundi (then called the Territory of Ruanda-Urundi) as a single administrative trusteeship until 1962.

During their colonial tenure, both the Germans and Belgians chose to rule Rwanda indirectly through the existing Tutsi monarch and his chiefs. Reasoning from the premises of Social Darwinism, an evolutionary theory prevalent in Europe at the time, many Europeans believed that Tutsi political and economic success evinced their superior fitness in the struggle for survival. Because the Tutsi ruled over the Hutu and Twa, Europeans concluded that they were, indeed, like the colonialists themselves, a people superior to common Africans. The colonialists developed the “Hamitic myth” which held that the Tutsi and everything humanly superior in Central Africa came from ancient Egypt or Abyssinia. The Europeans made it known to the people of Ruanda-Urundi that they regarded Hutu and Twa as inferior to Tutsi.[9] Christian missionaries spread their religion to both Hutu and Tutsi. Poor and marginal Hutu regarded the European churches as their new, protective patrons.

During 1933-34, the Belgians conducted a census and introduced an identity card system that indicated the Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa “ethnicity” of each person. Most writers on the subject, trace the recent Hutu-Tutsi distinction to the Belgians’ use of the 10-cow rule for the 1933-34 census and identity cards. Supposedly, any male who owned 10 cows was classified as a Tutsi; those with fewer than 10 cows were classified as Hutu or Twa. The census determined 85 per cent of the population was Hutu, 14 per cent Tutsi, and one per cent Twa.

The identity card “ethnicity” of future generations was determined patrilineally; all persons were designated as having the “ethnicity” of their fathers, regardless of the “ethnicity” of their mothers. This practice, which was carried on until its abolition by the 1994 post-genocide government, had the unfortunate consequence of firmly attaching a sub-national identity to all Rwandans and thereby rigidly dividing them into categories, which, for many people, carried a negative history of dominance-subordination, superiority-inferiority, and exploitation-suffering.

The Move to Independence

In 1957, a group of nine Hutu intellectuals published the so-called “Hutu Manifesto,” which complained of the political, economic, and educational monopoly of the Tutsi “race” and characterized the Tutsi as foreign invaders. The Manifesto called for promoting Hutu in all fields and argued for the maintenance of “ethnic” identity cards so as to monitor the race monopoly.[10] In November 1959, the pro-Hutu PARMEHUTU party led a revolt that resulted in bloody ethnic clashes and the toppling of King Kigri V. Beginning in 1960, the colonial administrators began replacing Tutsi chiefs with Hutu, who immediately led persecution campaigns against the Tutsi living on those hills the Hutu controlled. By 1963, these and other Hutu attacks had resulted in thousands of Tutsi deaths and the flight of about 130,000 Tutsi to neighboring countries, with 50,000 going to Burundi.[11] The land and cattle that the fleeing Tutsi left behind were quickly claimed by land-hungry Hutu.

Belgian authorities organized communal elections in mid-1960. The PARMEHUTU and other pro-Hutu parties won the vast majority of posts. As a result of the national election held under UN supervision in 1961, Gregoire Kayibanda (an author of the ‘Hutu Manifesto’) became Rwanda’s president-designate. Kayibanda, the son of Hutu farmers, had studied for the priesthood at a Catholic seminary and had been employed as a secretary by a Belgian bishop. By 1960, he had become a leader of the PARMEHUTU. For him and many other Hutu, neither Christian ethics nor marital ties with Tutsi were deterrents to presiding over or engaging in vicious attacks on Tutsi.[12]

As a result of a referendum, Rwanda was declared independent on 1 July 1962. President Kayibanda soon established a style of rule that resembled that of the traditional Tutsi kings. He became remote, secretive, and authoritarian. His demand for “unquestioning obedience was to play a tragic and absolutely central role in the unfolding of the 1994 genocide.”[13]

Supported by the Tutsi-dominated government in Burundi, Rwandan Tutsi refugees there began launching unsuccessful attacks into Rwanda. These invasions were usually followed by brutal Hutu reprisals against local Tutsi. The Hutu government used a failed 1963 invasion as the pretext “to launch a massive wave of repression in which an estimated 10,000 Tutsi were slaughtered between December 1963 and January 1964. All surviving Tutsi politicians still living in Rwanda were executed.”[14]

Kayibanda’s government had earlier installed an ethnic quota system whereby the proportion of Tutsi in schools, civil service, and other employment sectors was officially limited to nine per cent. On occasion, but especially in 1972-73, Hutu “vigilante committees… scrutinised the schools, the University, the civil service and even private businesses to make sure that the ethnic quota policy was being respected. Those eager to carry out this ‘purification’… were educated people who could expect to benefit from kicking the Tutsi out of their jobs.”[15]

The Second Republic

In July 1973, Major Juvénal Habyarimana, a northern Hutu, overthrew Kayibanda, a southerner, and declared himself president of the Second Republic. Over the next few years, his security forces would eliminate former president Kayibanda and many of his high ranking supporters. Habyarimana’s kin and regional supporters filled high level positions in the government and security forces, especially the Presidential Guard.

Habyarimana’s Rwanda became a single-party dictatorship. His party, the Mouvement Révolutionnaire National pour le Développement (MRND), was enshrined in the constitution. He relegated the Tutsi to the private sector. Regulations prohibited army members from marrying Tutsi. Habyarimana also maintained the ‘ethnic’ identity card and “ethnic” quota systems of the previous regime.

The principal foreign issue confronting Rwanda concerned refugees. By the mid-1980s, the number of Rwandan refugees in neighboring countries has surpassed one-half million. Thousands more were living in Europe and North America. Habyarimana adamantly refused to allow their return, insisting that Rwanda was already too crowded and had too little land, jobs, and food for them.[16] However, the surrounding countries were also poor and had insufficient resources to accommodate both their own citizens and large refugee populations.[17]

Many Rwandan Tutsi refugees in Uganda joined forces with the Ugandan revolutionary Yoweri Museveni, helping him to overthrow the government of Milton Obote in 1986. In the process they received military training, and a few became high-ranking officers in the Ugandan military. Together with some Rwandese Hutu refugees, they formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and committed themselves to return to Rwanda. In 1990-92, RPF troops conducted a number of assaults into Rwanda from Uganda in unsuccessful attempts to seize power. The fighting caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Habyarimana retaliated by heightening internal repression against Tutsi. His security forces indiscriminately interned and persecuted Tutsi solely because of their ethnic identity, claiming they were actual or potential accomplices of the RPF.[18] From 1990-92, Hutu ultra-nationalists killed an estimated 2,000 Tutsi; they also targeted human rights advocates, regardless of their ethnicities.[19]

Habyarimana opened the political process to additional groups, such as the Coalition pour la Défense de la République (CDR) that was even more radically pro-Hutu and ‘racist’ than his own MRND. Hasan Ngeze, a CDR member and Hutu supremacist, became a major preacher of anti-Tutsi hatred. In the sixth issue (December 1990) of his newspaper, Kangura, he vilified the Tutsi in his infamous “Ten Commandments of the Hutu.”[20]

The Ten Commandments circulated widely and became a major anti-Tutsi indoctrination text. “Community leaders across Rwanda regarded them as tantamount to law, and read them aloud at public meetings.”[21] The eighth commandment–“The Hutu must stop feeling pity for the Tutsi”–would be invoked mercilessly during the 1994 genocide.

The Arusha Accords

Rwanda’s 1990-92 war with the RPF occurred while the country was experiencing a financial and economic crisis. At the urging of the Organization of African Unity and some West European governments, Habyarimana agreed to a series of meetings with RPF representatives in Arusha, Tanzania, to negotiate peace and a new governmental plan for Rwanda. Despite strong opposition from the growing right-wing and ultra-racist Hutu Power movement in Rwanda, Habyarimana’s government signed a series of agreements with the RPF. These included accords for a cease-fire, a power-sharing government, return of refugees to Rwanda, and integration of the armed forces. In addition to allowing hundreds of thousands of Tutsi to return to Rwanda, the RPF was to constitute 40 per cent of the integrated military forces and 50 per cent of its officer corps. It would also be allotted five ministries (including the important Interior Ministry) in a broad-based government.[22] Habyarimana’s own MRND would be allocated only five ministries and eleven MPs in the new 70-member National Assembly. The presidency would become largely ceremonial. The final accord was signed on 3 August 1993.

Gourevitch correctly notes that for Habyarimana the Arusha Accords amounted to a suicide note. After enjoying exclusive power for twenty years, Hutu Power leaders could never accept these changes. “They cried treason, and charged that the President himself had become an ‘accomplice.’”[23] If the Accords were implemented, many Hutu elitists in government and in the military would lose their privileged positions. Within days of the signing, Radio Milles Collines, a new, private station devoted to genocidal propaganda, began broadcasting anti-Accord and anti-Tutsi diatribes from Kigali.

Assassination and Genocide

On 6 April 1994, as Habyarimana’s presidential plane neared the Kigali Airport on his return from Dar-es-Salam, it was struck by a missile and plunged to earth, killing the president and all aboard. Although the identity of his assassins is still not generally known, many foreign observers believe Habyarimana was killed by Hutu extremists in his own military, the Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR), a Hutu institution that may have had the most to lose from the Arusha agreements.[24]

Within the hour following the crash, and prior to its official announcement over the radio, Interahamwe (a Hutu paramilitary) had begun to set up road-blocks in Kigali. During April 6 and 7, the young men checked the identity cards of passers-by, searching for Tutsi, members of opposition parties, and human rights activists. Anyone belonging to these groups was set upon with machetes and iron bars. Their bleeding bodies lined the roads of the city.[25]

The approximately 1,500-man Presidential Guard (GP) was responsible for the assassination of hundreds of political opponents. The GP itself played a key role in organizing, training and arming the Interahamwe militias.[26] In turn, the Interahamwe recruited and trained Hutu refugees from Burundi, who earned reputations for their extreme brutality.[27]

The organizers of the massacres wanted to create a new Rwanda, a community of murderers, who shared a collective sense of accomplishment or guilt. The new Rwandans would undergo an initiation rite by killing their former neighbors. In the process, they would take on a new identity and shared responsibility for the killings.

The extremists exhorted the Interahamwe and ordinary Hutu to kill Tutsi and “eat their cows.” “Eating their cows” meant devouring the basis of Tutsi past dominance. It also meant looting Tutsi homes, farms, offices, business, churches, and so on. “Theft was one of the principal weapons used to bribe people into betraying and killing their neighbors.”[28]

RPF troops from the north began fighting their way south in early April in an attempt to stop the slaughter. The RPF took Kigali on July 4th and Butare, the second-largest city, on July 5th. By July 18th, the RPF had reached the Zairian border. Having defeated the Hutu FAR and militias that opposed them, the RPF unilaterally declared a cease-fire.

Within a period of only three months, approximately 800,000 Tutsi and between 10,000 to 30,000 Hutu, or 11 per cent of the total population, had been killed.[29] About two million people were uprooted within Rwanda, while the same number of Hutu fled from Rwanda into Tanzania, Burundi, and Zaire. Many were driven out by remnants of FAR and Hutu militias that planned to rearm and organize the refugees into a fighting force that they hoped would reenter Rwanda and finish the job.

The RPF and moderate Hutu political parties formed a new government on 18 July 1994, but the country was in chaos. The government pledged to implement the Arusha peace agreement on power sharing previously reached by Habyarimana’s regime and the RPF on 3 August 1993. The new Rwandan government was a coalition of twenty-two ministers drawn from the RPF (with nine ministers) and four other political parties. Both Tutsi and Hutu were among the top government officials. Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, was named president, while Paul Kagame, a Tutsi, was appointed vice-president and minister of defense. Faustin Twagiramungu, a Hutu, was prime minister until late August 1995, when he was replaced by Pierre Claver Rwigema, also a Hutu. The government publicly committed itself to building a multiparty democracy and to discontinuing the ethnic classification system utilized by the previous regime.[30]

Causes of Genocide

Rwanda was faced with a critical food-people-land imbalance. In the years leading up to the genocide, there had been a marked decline of kilocalories per person per day and overall farm production.[31] Famines occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s in several parts of the country.[32] Emergency sources of food in neighboring countries also were limited. Seavoy, writing generally about famine in East Africa, notes that “hunger is endemic among all peasant societies in East Africa… Malnutrition often affects one-third of a village’s population.”[33] Rwandan youths faced a situation where many (perhaps most) had no land, no jobs, little education, and no hope for a future.”[34] Without a house and a source of livelihood, males could not marry.

Importantly, while these people may have lived together relatively peacefully prior to the mid-nineteenth century, that was a time when their total population was comparatively low (probably less than two million, versus over seven million in 1993), and land supply for both farming and cattle grazing was ample. With rapid population growth in the twentieth century, the situation changed.[35]

By flight or death of more than half of Rwanda’s Tutsi population from the early 1960s to 1973, vast tracts of land used by Tutsi for pastoralism in the eastern region were freed up for Hutu settlement and cultivation.[36] The political elites exploited these developments, which appeared to prove that Hutu farmers could have sufficient land if the Tutsi were eliminated. By the mid-1980s, population increases had again outstripped the amount of arable land. Farmers’ attempts to increase food production by double- and triple-cropping their dwindling plots resulted in soil exhaustion.[37] Foreign agricultural experts could do little to help farmers; the problem was the increasing imbalance of the land-people ratio.

There were few employment alternatives to farming. The country’s major employer was the government. In the late 1980s, the central government was employing 7,000 people and the local governments 43,000.[38] By law, only nine per cent of these employees could be Tutsi. Eliminating the Tutsi would open up 4,500 more government jobs for Hutu. Because the country had no social security program, the thousands of unemployed young people who entered the job market each year lived on the very margins of survival.[39] Many became easy subjects for recruitment and manipulation. “In Kigali the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi (a CDR-controlled paramilitary) tended to recruit mostly among the poor… For these people the genocide was the best thing that could ever happen to them… They could steal, they could kill with minimum justification, they could rape and they could get drunk for free.”[40]

Before the [1994] war a statistically significant relationship was found between regional variations in the incidence of juvenile delinquency on the one hand, and regional variations in per capita availability of calories on the other. As a matter of fact, together with population density, the latter variable explained as much as 58 per cent of the regional variations in offences committed by persons between 21 and 15 years old.[41]

It is not frivolous to conclude that economic desperation, blighting individuals’ presents and their perceived futures, was a major contributor to the willingness of many thousands of poor farmers and urban dwellers (a) to fear the possibility of a Tutsi land- and jobs-grab under a victorious RPF regime, (b) to be tempted by more specific hopes for land and jobs, or, more crudely still, to participate in order to grab a share of the victims’ property.[42]

Habyarimana had adamantly refused to allow Tutsi refugees back into the country, insisting that Rwanda was too small and too crowded to accommodate them. According to economists André and Platteau, “It is not rare, even today [1998], to hear Rwandans argue that a war is necessary to wipe out an excess of population and to bring numbers into line with the available land resources.”[43] André and Platteau conclude that the “strained situation engendered by economic scarcities goes a long way towards explaining why violence spread so quickly and so devastatingly throughout the countryside.”[44]

Rwanda’s poor economy rested on peasant subsistence agriculture. During the late 1980s and early 1990s the three sources of export earnings–coffee, tea, and tin–all declined.[45] Hence, export revenues declined, government budgets were cut, and the only remaining source of enrichment was foreign aid. Those who could benefit from it had to be in positions of political power.

The 1990-92 war with the RPF contributed further to the devastation of Rwanda’s economy. It displaced thousands of farmers in the north, thereby causing reductions in food and coffee production. It closed Rwanda’s main land route to Mombasa and the outside world. It destroyed Rwanda’s small tourism industry, which had become the third major foreign exchange earner.[46] But, rather than negotiate in earnest with the RPF, Habyarimana chose to increase the size of his armed forces (from 5,000 in 1990 to 30,000 in 1992), thereby diverting scarce resources from needed food imports, health care, and education.

In addition to promoting an anti-Tutsi ideology, government promoted the idea that the Hutu “holy way of life” was farming. “The myth reigned supreme that Rwanda had its own way to go and this way was largely inspired by agrarian and paternalistic values based on the continuation of tradition, food self-sufficiency and the simplicity of rural life (immune from the corruption of modern cities).”[47]

The majority of Rwanda’s population was Catholic. Despite Rwanda’s evident overpopulation, those in the church and government hierarchy not only refused to promote birth control programs, they actively opposed them. Evaluating Rwanda’s pro-natal policy and almost exclusive agro-economic strategy, André and Platteau write, “The fact that so few people understood that the path followed by Rwanda was a blind alley still remains something of a mystery.”[48]


In short, the sine qua non and ultimate cause of the Rwandan genocide was the increasing imbalance in land, food, and people that led to malnutrition, hunger, periodic famine, and fierce competition for land to farm. Too many people were relying on rapidly diminishing amounts of arable land per capita for their subsistence level existences. This situation extended beyond Rwanda’s borders to Burundi, Uganda, and Eastern Zaire (Congo). Hunger and malnutrition were endemic among all peasant societies in East Africa. Because of rapid population growth throughout the region, emigration or flight of people from one country to another, the traditional means of alleviating internecine violence over land, only moved the problem from one place to another. Those Rwandan Tutsi refugees who fled north sometimes clashed violently with Ugandans over land for pasturage, farms, and settlements.[49]

Among the proximate causes of the mass murders in Rwanda were:

1) The Hutu Power ideology in Rwanda, which fanned the flames of hatred of Tutsi by recalling and rewriting the history of Tutsi domination and Hutu subservience;

2) The characterization of Tutsi as foreign exploiters belonging to a different race;

3) The practices of a small, corrupt Hutu elite who consolidated the limited wealth available and blamed the Tutsi for the deprivations of the masses;

4) The Ugandan government’s perceived need, for political and economic reasons, to evacuate Rwandan refugees from Uganda; and,

5) The failure or refusal of the Rwandan government to employ the kinds of demographic and economic policies that would have addressed the ultimate causes in a peaceful and more effective way and prevented the genocide. These policies could have included birth control, economic diversification into non-agrarian sectors, requests for significant foreign food aid, sincere negotiation with the RPF, and attempts at a regional solution to the refugee problem. Rwanda’s leaders chose instead to respond to these conditions by eliminating the Tutsi portion of the population. They employed the weapons of indoctrination to convince the Hutu masses that this strategy was right. These ultimate and proximate causes combined to result in the tragedy of 1994.

United Nations and foreign military interventions may have postponed the genocide, but they would not have solved the underlying problems that led to it.

[1] Economist Intelligence Unit, Rwanda Country Report (1983) No. 4, 18. For more detailed presentations of the argument presented in this article, see: Paul J. Magnarella, Human Materialism: A Model of Sociocultural Systems and a Strategy for Analysis (Gainesville, FL.: University Press of Florida, 1993), and Paul J. Magnarella, Justice in Africa: Rwanda’s Genocide, Its Courts, and the UN Criminal Tribunal (Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2000).

[2]Economist Intelligence Unit, Rwanda Country Report (1983) Annual Supplement, 28.

[3] Jacque J. Maquet, The Premise of Inequality in Ruanda (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), 124.

[4] Gerard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis (London: Hurst and Co., 1997), 39.

[5] Johan Pottier, “Representations of Ethnicity in Post-Genocide Writings on Rwanda,” Ethnic Hatred: Genocide in Rwanda, O. Igwara, ed. (London: ASEN, 1995), 45.

[6] Helen Codere, “Power in Rwanda,” Anthropologica 4 (1962) 48.

[7] Codere, “Power in Rwanda,” 48.

[8] Pottier, “Representations of Ethnicity,” 39. E. Grogan and A. Sharp, From the Cape to Cairo: the First Traverse of Africa South to North (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1900), 19.

[9] Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 16.

[10] Rene Lemarchand, Rwanda and Burundi (London: Pall Mall, 1970), 149.

[11] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 51, 55.

[12] Edward L. Nyankanzi, Genocide: Rwanda and Burundi (Rochester, VT, Schenkman, 1998), 134.

[13] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 57.

[14] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 56.

[15] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 60.

[16] Guy Vassall‑Adams, Rwanda (Oxford, Oxfam, 1994), 10.

[17] Laurent Mbanda, Committed to Conflict (London: SPCK, 1997), 74.

[18] Villia Jefremovas, “Acts of Human Kindness: Tutsi, Hutu, and the Genocide,” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 29-30; Catharine Newbury, “Background to Genocide in Rwanda,” Issue 23 no. 2 (1995) 12-14.

[19] Newbury, Catharine, “Background to Genocide in Rwanda.” Issue 23, no. 2 (1995): 12‑17.

[20] Jean-Pierre Chrétien, Rwanda: Les Médias du Génocide (Paris: Karthala, 1995), 39-40.

[21] Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families (New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1998), 88.

[22] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 192-193.

[23] Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You, 99.

[24] For an excellent discussion of various assassination theories, see Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 213-229. Two of the best books covering the events of 1994 in detail are Alison Des Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (London: Human Rights Watch, 1999) and African Rights, Rwanda (1995).

[25] Vassall-Adams, Rwanda, 32.

[26] African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair, and Defiance. (London, 1995), 49.

[27] African Rights, Rwanda, 63-64.

[28] African Rights, Rwanda, 1002-1003.

[29] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 265.

[30] Raymond Bonner, “Rwanda’s Leaders Vow to Build a Multiparty State for both Hutu and Tutsi,” New York Times (7 Sept. 1994), A10, (available in Lexis, News Library).

[31] Catherine André and Jean-Phillipe Platteau, “Land Relations under Unbearable Stress: Rwanda Caught in the Malthusian Trap,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 34 (1998): 3.

[32] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 3.

[33] Ronald E. Seavoy, Famine in East Africa: Food Production and Food Policies (New York, Greenwood, 1989), 85-86.

[34] Newbury, “Background to Genocide,” 14-15.

[35] Here, I do not argue that Rwanda’s relatively large and dense population was the only cause of the genocide. I do believe that the relationship among land-population-food availability was the sine qua non and the ultimate cause of the genocide. But for the conditions of that relationship, there would have been no genocide. It would have been impossible for the government, military and Hutu Power movement to motivate so many people in such a short time to kill as many as they did.

[36] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 4.

[37] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 4.

[38] Vassall-Adams, Rwanda, 12.

[39] Vassall-Adams, Rwanda, 12.

[40] Prunier, Rwanda Crisis, 232..

[41] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 37, citing J. Maton, ‘Développement économique et social au Rwanda entre 1980 et 1993. Le dixiéme décile en face de l’apocalypse,’ (University of Gent, Belgium: Department of Economics, 1994): 27-28.

[42] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 38-39, quoting G. Austin, “The Effects of Government Policy on the Ethnic Distribution of Income and Wealth in Rwanda: A Review of Published Sources,,” Consultancy Report for the World Bank (Washington, DC, 1996), 10.

[43] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 40.

[44] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 38.

[45] Economist Intelligence Unit, Rwanda Country Report No. 1 (1993): 25.

[46] Vassall-Adams, Rwanda, 13, 23.

[47] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 5.

[48] André and Platteau, “Land Relations,” 5.

[49] The literature on regional genocide and mass murder includes: Lemarchand, Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide; Jean-Pierre Chretien, “Burundi: The Obsession with Genocide,” Current History (1996): 206-210; H. Adelman and A. Suhrke (eds.), The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1999); G. Nzongola-Ntalaja, “The Congo Holocaust and the Rwanda Genocide,” CODESRIA Bulletin 2 (1999): 66–70; C.P. Scherrer, Genocide and Crisis in Central Africa: Conflict Roots, Mass Violence, and Regional War (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002).

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