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PHIL 051: Human Rights and Atrocities (SC)

The Rwandan Genocide

In April of 1994, 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda in the span of approximately 100 days. Most of the victims were Tutsis; most of the perpetrators were Hutus. Although the tensions between the two groups dated back to Belgian colonial rule, the assassination of the Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6 is considered the impetus for the violence. Groups of Hutu men, called interahamwe, roamed towns and villages killing Tutsi with machetes. The Rwandan Patriotic Front, who had resisted the rise of President Habyarimana and were refugees during the genocide, organized and began to advance into Rwanda. On July 4, they take the capital city, Kigali, and establish a new government. General Paul Kagame who led the RPF during the genocide is the current president of Rwanda.

Recommended Books

Research Leads

These links can help you start (or continue) exploring this atrocity from a variety of perspectives. Library resources such as Tripod and Proquest often work better for academic research than just using Google, because you will be more likely to find academic sources (e.g. peer-reviewed journal articles).

There are strategies for searching databases (and Google) more effectively, and Swarthmore's librarians would be happy to share their knowledge with you. Contact Anne Garrison (Humanities Librarian - agarris1@swat) or Sarah Elichko (Social Sciences Librarian selichk1@swat) to get some tips for your research.