What Remains Hidden in Rwanda: The Role of Tutsi Civilians in Killing Hutus

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The international community has ensured legal immunity for Rwandan President Paul Kagame despite evidence of the RPF’s responsibility for war crimes.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide has often been described as the fastest killing spree of the twentieth century, taking up to a million victims in a mere 100 days. One of the key drivers of the murders was fear: fear of an actual army in jackboots and fatigues encroaching by the day, but also fear of their allies on the ground, the so-called fifth column. In the first case, the fear was obviously justified: a Tutsi rebel army had invaded four years earlier and seemed poised to overthrow the Hutu-dominated government. Now newly uncovered evidence suggests another motivator – fear of Tutsi civilians – was also justified.

Several confidential documents from the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) provide chilling evidence that Tutsi civilians worked hand-in-hand with Paul Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to commit crimes against Hutus in 1994. The evidence from these documents is bolstered by lengthy interviews with individuals who witnessed these operations.

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