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International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

7 April, 2021

The Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda was over three months in 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War and resulted in 500,000 to 600,000 Tutsi deaths. Genocidal killings began the day after the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana with organised soldiers, police and militia executing key Tutsi and moderate Hutu military and political leaders. Notwithstanding the worldwide shock at the scale and brutality of the massacre, no country intervened to stop the killings. Most victims were killed in their villages or towns, many by neighbours and fellow villagers using machetes and rifles. An estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women were raped during the genocide. The effects of this genocide on Rwanda and on neighbouring countries have been profound and long lasting. Today, Rwanda has two public holidays to mourn the genocide, and genocide ideology and divisionism are criminal offences. Established in 2003, the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda marks the beginning of the genocide perpetrated by the Hutu extremist-led government.