Edgar Lungu says that Ugandan Yoweri Museveni told him that the Rwandan Genocide was caused by the church. Contrary to what Museveni told you, Mr President, the church did not cause the genocide in Rwanda. For your information here is how the genocide happened: “The Rwandan genocide was planned by members of the core political elite, many of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government. Perpetrators came from the ranks of the Rwandan army, the Gendarmerie, government-backed militias including
Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi .
The genocide took place in the context of the
Rwandan Civil War, an ongoing conflict beginning in 1990 between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which largely consisted of Tutsi refugees whose families had fled to Uganda after the
1959 Hutu revolt against colonial rule . Waves of Hutu violence against the RPF and Tutsi followed Rwandan independence in 1962. International pressure on the Hutu government of Juvénal Habyarimana resulted in a ceasefire in 1993, with a road-map to implement the
Arusha Accords , which would create a power-sharing government with the RPF. This agreement was not acceptable to a number of conservative Hutu, including members of the Akazu, who viewed it as conceding to enemy demands. The RPF military campaign intensified support for the so-called ” Hutu Power” ideology, which portrayed the RPF as an alien force who were non-Christian, intent on reinstating the
Tutsi monarchy and enslaving Hutus. Many Hutus reacted to this prospect with extreme opposition. In the lead-up to the genocide the number of machetes imported into Rwanda increased.
On April 6, 1994, an airplane carrying Habyarimana and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down on its descent into
Kigali . At the time, the plane was in the airspace above Habyarimana’s house. One person survived but died soon after en route to the
hospital. The assassination of Habyarimana ended the peace accords.
Genocidal killings began the following day. Soldiers, police, and militia quickly executed key Tutsi and moderate Hutu military and political leaders who could have assumed control in the ensuing power vacuum . Checkpoints and barricades were erected to screen all holders of the national ID card of Rwanda (which contained ethnic classification information introduced by the Belgian colonial government in 1933) in order to systematically identify and kill Tutsi. These forces recruited and pressured Hutu civilians to arm themselves with machetes, clubs, blunt objects, and other weapons to rape, maim, and kill their Tutsi neighbors and to destroy or steal their property. The breakdown of the peace accords led the RPF to restart its offensive and rapidly seize control of the northern part of the country before capturing Kigali in mid-July, bringing an end to the genocide. During these events and in the aftermath, the United Nations (UN) and countries including the United States , the United Kingdom , and Belgium were criticized for their inaction and failure to strengthen the force and mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) peacekeepers. Other observers criticized the government of France for alleged support of the Hutu government after the genocide had begun.”