RETURN TO RWANDA
|"I am looking forward to finding
out more about my dad and looking forward to seeing my family -
especially my cousins".|
|FOLLOW ROGER'S JOURNEY|
It's 10 years since the genocide
in Rwanda in which nearly one million Tutsis were killed. Ten-year-old
Roger journeys back to his home country for the first time to learn
more about the genocide which took the life of his father.
Roger Nsengiyumva was
just nine days old when his father John was killed in the Rwandan genocide.
His mother Illuminee, and Roger fled the country and
began a new life in Norwich.
Inside Out joins Roger on his first visit to Rwanda.
His mother has not returned since fleeing her home 10 years ago.
Rwandan genocide - a background
Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans
were killed in the space of 100 days - the largest genocide in modern
Rwandan genocide is one of the worst atrocities of the last century|
The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan
president, Juvenal Habyarimana - a Hutu - when his plane was shot down
above Kigali airport.
The president's death may have been the initiating factor
in the genocide but there is a long history of ethnic tension between
the Hutus and the Tutsis dating back to Belgian colonial occupation in
The Belgians segregated the two groups and considered
the Tutsis superior to the Hutus.
For the following 20 years, the Tutsis enjoyed better
jobs and educational opportunities than their neighbours.
Resentment among the Hutus grew and in a series of riots
in 1959, more than 20,000 Tutsis were killed.
When Rwanda was granted independence in 1962, the Hutus
gained control and in following years, the Tutsis were to be the scapegoats
in every crisis.
|1994: RWANDA'S GENOCIDE|
- April: Rwandan president Habyarimana killed in
- April -July: An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus killed
- July: Tutsi-led rebel movement RPF captures Rwanda's capital Kigali
- July: Two million Hutus flee to Zaire, now the DRC
BBC News Online
It was never established who was behind the killing of
the president, but the result was catastrophic.
Within hours of his murder, a three month campaign of
violence spread from the capital throughout the country.
Encouraged by the presidential guard and radio propaganda,
an unofficial militia group called the Interahamwe (meaning those who
attack together) was mobilised.
At its peak, this group was 30,000-strong.
Soldiers and police officers encouraged ordinary citizens
to take part. In some cases, Hutu civilians were forced to murder their
Tutsi neighbours by military personnel.
Participants were often given incentives, such as money
or food, and some were even told they could claim the land of the Tutsis
In July, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) - made up
of Tutsi refugees - captured Kigali.
one million people were slaughtered in 100 days|
The government collapsed and the RPF declared a ceasefire.
Once it became apparent that the RPF gained control,
around two million Hutus fled to Zaire.
In Rwanda, UN troops and aid workers helped maintain
order and restore basic services.
Around 500 Hutus involved have been sentenced to death
and another 100,000 are still in prison, yet some ringleaders managed
to avoid capture.
Ten years may have passed, but the legacy of the genocide
will continue to haunt the lives of Tutsis, like Roger and his mother
for generations to come.
the photo gallery to follow Roger's emotional journey to his home country