Hutu Power is a racist and ethnic supremacist ideology propounded by Hutu extremists in Rwanda. It led to the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. Hutu Power political parties and movements included the Akazu, the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic and its Impuzamugambi paramilitary militia, and the governing National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development and its Interahamwe paramilitary militia.
Hassan Ngeze in 1990 created the Hutu Ten Commandments that served as the basis of Hutu Power ideology. The Commandments called for the supremacy of Hutus in Rwanda, calling for exclusive Hutu leadership over Rwanda's public institutions and public life, complete segregation of Hutus from Tutsis, and complete exclusion of Tutsis from public institutions and public life. Hutu Power ideology reviled Tutsis as outsiders bent on restoring a Tutsi-dominated monarchy, and idealized all things Hutu.
The Commandments declared that any form of relationship between Hutus and Tutsi women was forbidden; and that any Hutu who "marries a Tutsi woman", "befriends a Tutsi woman", or "employs a Tutsi woman as a secretary or a concubine" was a traitor to the Hutu people. It denounced Tutsis as dishonest in business whose "only aim is the supremacy of his ethnic group"; and declared that any Hutu who did business with a Tutsi was a traitor to the Hutu people. The Commandments declared that "The Hutu should stop having mercy on the Tutsi" and referred to the Tutsis as "common Tutsi enemy".
The Rwandan kingdom was traditionally ruled by a Tutsi mwami, or king; Historical evidence suggests that Hutu and Twa were included in government, although the Twa significantly less so than Hutu, who were more numerous. The Tutsi/Hutu divide has been referred to as a caste system. A Hutu could gain Tutsi status through marriage or through success. Tutsis, being primarily pastoralists, had a more valuable place in Rwandan society than the agriculturalist Hutu, and the hunter-gatherer and potter Twa.
The society created conceptions of social status based on the groups' traditional pursuits: the Twa, working most directly with the earth (through pottery), were considered impure; the Hutu, still working with the ground but less so than the Twa, were in turn considered less pure than the above-ground Tutsi. When Germany, and later Belgium, colonized the kingdom, they interpreted the local division of races or ethnicity through the Hamitic hypothesis. European authors such as John Hanning Speke wrote of the Tutsi as being of Hamitic origin, having constituted a Hamitic invasion from modern Ethiopia, bringing civilization to the Negroid race. As a result, the colonial administration favored the Tutsi at the expense of Hutu and Twa. In addition, they imposed a system of identity cards and ethnic classification in censuses, which reinforced an artificial ethnic division and contributed to tensions between groups. In reality, the Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa possessed little cultural or genetic distinction.
Toward the end of Belgian rule, the government began to favor the Hutu, who were organizing for more influence. More significantly, the Belgian administration feared the rise of Communism and a Pan-African socialist regime led by Congo-Léopoldville's Patrice Lumumba. Then-Belgian High Resident Guy Logiest set up the first democratic elections in Rwanda to avoid more radical politics. As the majority population, the Hutu elected their candidates to most positions in the new government.
The first elected president Grégoire Kayibanda, an ethnic Hutu, used ethnic tensions to preserve his own power. Hutu radicals, working with his group (and later against it), adopted the Hamitic hypothesis, portraying the Tutsi as outsiders, invaders, and oppressors of Rwanda. Some Hutu radicals called for the Tutsi to be "sent back to Abyssinia", a reference to their supposed homeland. This early concept of Hutu Power idealized a "pre-invasion" Rwanda: an ethnically pure territory dominated by the Hutu.
In 1973, general and defense minister Juvénal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu supported by more radical northern Rwandans, overthrew Kayibanda and had him and his wife killed. Many of his supporters were from his district in the north, descendants of Hutu kingdoms that had been semi-autonomous before the colonial period. The resulting administration proved better for Tutsis, as government-sponsored violence was more sporadic than under Kayibanda.
With economic conditions difficult, and threatened by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invasion, Habyarimana turned to inflaming ethnic tensions.
Hutu Power acquired a variety of spokesmen. Hassan Ngeze, an entrepreneur recruited by the government to combat the Tutsi publication Kanguka, created and edited Kangura, a radical Hutu Power newsletter. He published the "Hutu Ten Commandments", which included the following:
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines broadcast radio shows suggesting the end to toleration of the Tutsi, repeating the Hutu Ten Commandments, and building support for the Hutu Power ideology. Two main voices of RTLM were announcers Valérie Bemeriki and Georges Ruggiu. The repetition of Hutu Ten Commandments was an attempt to incite and mobilize the population to commit genocide against the Tutsi, who were portrayed as threatening the social and political order achieved since independence, and as envisioned by the Akazu. Politician Léon Mugesera gave a speech in November, 1992, allegedly stating, "Do not be afraid, know that anyone whose neck you do not cut is the one who will cut your neck...Let them pack their bags, let them get going, so that no one will return here to talk and no one will bring scraps claiming to be flags!" The radio programs frequently referred to the Tutsi as inyenzi, a Kinyarwanda word meaning 'cockroach', though the term had also been a self-description by members of the Tutsi Rwanda Patriotic Front.
During the attempted negotiations (Arusha Accords) between the Rwandan government and the RPF, radical Hutus began alleging that Habyarimana was being manipulated by Tutsis and non-radical Hutus. They maligned then-Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana. Following Habyarimana's assassination, an act that at the time people speculated was done by Tutsi extremists, Hutu Power forces mobilized militia, most notably Interahamwe, and mobs to carry out the mass killings of the Rwandan genocide. The Presidential Guard of the army killed Prime Minister Uwilingiyimana and several other leading moderate government officials.
The defeat of the government by the RPF ended the genocide, and the Hutu Power movement was defeated and suppressed. Many Hutu Power spokesmen were arrested after the genocide, charged and put on trial. Ngeze was convicted and sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment. In 2005, Mugesera was deported from Canada to Rwanda to stand trial for his role in the killings.
The Akazu (Kinyarwanda: [ɑkɑzu], little house) was an informal organization of Hutu extremists whose members contributed strongly to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. A circle of relatives and close friends of Rwanda's then-president Juvénal Habyarimana and his influential wife Agathe Habyarimana, they were also called the "Zero Network", for their goal of a Rwanda with zero Tutsi.Assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira
On the evening of 6 April 1994, the airplane carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira, both Hutu, was shot down with surface-to-air missiles as it prepared to land in Kigali, Rwanda. The assassination set in motion two of the bloodiest events of the late 20th century: the Rwandan genocide and the First Congo War.
Responsibility for the attack is disputed, with most theories proposing as suspects either the Tutsi rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) or government-aligned Hutu Power extremists opposed to negotiation with the RPF. Within hours of the attack, the mass slaughter of Tutsi people began, resulting in the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Tutsi in the following three months.Blueshirts (Falange)
The Blueshirts (Spanish: Camisas Azules) was the Falangist paramilitary militia in Spain. The name refers to the blue uniform worn by members of the militia. The colour blue was chosen for the uniforms in 1934 by the FE de las JONS because it was, according to José Antonio Primo de Rivera, "clear, whole, and proletarian," and is the colour typically worn by mechanics, as the Falange sought to gain support among the Spanish working class. In Francoist Spain the Blueshirts were officially reorganized and officially renamed the Falange Militia of the FET y de las JONS in 1940.Coalition for the Defence of the Republic
The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (French: Coalition pour la Défense de la République, CDR) was a Rwandan far-right Hutu Power political party that took a major role in inciting the Rwandan genocide.Hassan Ngeze
Hassan Ngeze (born 25 December 1957) is a Rwandan journalist best known for spreading anti-Tutsi propaganda and Hutu superiority through his newspaper, Kangura, which he founded in 1990. Ngeze was a founding member and leadership figure in the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR), a Rwandan Hutu Power political party that is known for helping to incite the genocide.Ngeze is best known for publishing the "Hutu Ten Commandments" in the December edition of Kangura in 1990, which were essential in creating and spreading the anti-Tutsi feeling among Rwandan Hutus that led to the Rwandan genocide.Hutu Ten Commandments
The "Hutu Ten Commandments" (also "Ten Commandments of the Bahutu") was a document published in the December 1990 edition of Kangura, an anti-Tutsi, Hutu Power Kinyarwanda-language newspaper in Kigali, Rwanda. The Hutu Ten Commandments are often cited as a prime example of anti-Tutsi propaganda that was promoted by extremists in Rwanda following the 1990 invasion by the Rwandan Patriotic Front and prior to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The chief editor of Kangura, Hassan Ngeze, was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity in 2003 by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and was sentenced to 35 years' imprisonment.Initial events of the Rwandan genocide
The assassination of presidents Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira in the evening of April 6, 1994 was the proximate trigger for the Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the murder of approximately 800,000 Tutsi and a smaller number of moderate Hutu. The first few days following the assassinations included a number of key events that shaped the subsequent course of the genocide. These included: the seizing of power by an interim government directed by the hard-line Akazu clique; the liquidation of opposition Hutu politicians; the implementation of plans to carry out a genocide throughout the country; and the murder of United Nations peacekeepers, contributing to the impulse of the international community to refrain from intervention.Interahamwe
The Interahamwe ( or [inhêːɾɑhɑ́mwe]) is a Hutu paramilitary organization active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.
The Interahamwe was formed in 1994 as the youth wing of the MRND, the ruling party of Rwanda, and enjoyed the backing of the Hutu Power government. The Interahamwe were the main perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide, during which an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Tutsi, Twa, and moderate Hutus were killed from April to July 1994, and the term "Interahamwe" was widened to mean any civilian bands killing Tutsi. The Interahamwe were driven out of Rwanda after Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) victory in the Rwandan Civil War in July 1994, and are considered a terrorist organisation by many African and Western governments. The Interahamwe and splinter groups such as the FDLR continue to wage an insurgency against Rwanda from neighboring countries, where they are also involved in local conflicts and terrorism.Jean-Damascène Bizimana
Jean-Damascène Bizimana (born 1950s) is a Rwandan diplomat and the former ambassador of Rwanda to the United Nations.
At the time of the assassination of president Habyarimana of Rwanda, Bizimana held a non permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. He knew many of the leaders of the Hutu Power movement, and has therefore been wrongly accused by some, such as General Roméo Dallaire, of aiding the Rwandan Genocide by publicizing Hutu Power propaganda to the West, and passing confidential Security Council intelligence to his government. Bizimana has accused Dallaire of partiality for siding with RPF and incompetency as corroborated by Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) in his book "Le Patron de Dallaire Parle". In that context, Bizimana had asked the UN Secretary General to end Dallaire assignment before the genocide and subsequently, Dallaire would use any forum to make unsubstantiated claim against Bizimana. During the Rwandan genocide, Bizimana had also charged that the United States didn't accede to his request to intervene and stop the genocide while the Clinton Administration had the information but opted for inaction as long as it was helping its ally, the RPF, to take power no matter the subsequent collateral human tragedy that cost lives to many thousands of innocent people.
In an interview several years later, Michael Barnett, a diplomat with the United States mission spoke of the level of frustration at Bizimana's statements by those who were aware of what was happening in Rwanda but like the United States, didn't want to assist and stop the genocide."Nobody said, 'Why don't you get out of the room?' There was never a real moment in which they dressed him down, because if you did, you would be breaking the rules of the club." In 2010 researcher David L. Bosco maliciously claimed that he discovered that Bizimana and his family had settled in Opelika, Alabama while he already knew Bizimana's whereabouts since he had contacted his family when he was seeking his inputs while he was writing a book about the UN Security Council.The Bizimana never changed the address nor the phone number the same David used when he called them years before the malicious discovery claim and they can only see this claim as a retaliatory and revengeful act because Bizimana didn't sponsor David's book.Joseph Kavaruganda
Joseph Kavaruganda (died 7 April 1994) was a Rwandan judge, and president of Rwanda's Constitutional Court. He was killed at the beginning of the Rwandan genocide.
A prominent opponent of the Hutu Power ideology, Kavaruganda was known to be ill-regarded by some members of the MRND regime. On February 17, 1994, UNAMIR commander Roméo Dallaire received information of a plot to assassinate Kavaruganda and Lando Ndasingwa. In his book Shake Hands with the Devil, Dallaire claims that he informed them of this plot, and neither were surprised. UNAMIR dispatched five Ghanaian soldiers to protect Kavaruganda's house.
On April 7, members of the government's Presidential Guard arrived at his door, claiming they were taking him to safety. Kavaruganda's wife Annonciata Kavaruganda claims he knew this was a ruse, but went with them anyway, seeing no other option. He was killed later that day.
According to Annonciata Kavaruganda, the Ghanaian soldiers were friendly with the Rwandan militiamen who had come for Kavaruganda, laughing and drinking together while the government soldiers beat her and her children.Ladislas Ntaganzwa
Ladislas Ntaganzwa (born 1962) is a Rwandan war criminal who was involved in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. According to his indictment, Ntaganzwa, as mayor of Nyakizu, a commune of Butare, was instrumental in rallying Hutu Power fervor leading up to the genocide, and as the genocide began, distributed weapons, and directed and participated in killings.
Ntaganzwa was arrested on December 7, 2015 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is expected to face trial in Rwanda on nine counts of genocide from March 20, 2016.National Fascist Party (Argentina)
The National Fascist Party of Argentina (Partido Nacional Fascista) was a fascist political party formed in 1923. In 1932, a group broke away from the party to form the Argentine Fascist Party, which eventually became a mass movement in the Córdoba region of Argentina.Radio Muhabura
Radio Muhabura was a radio station of RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) during the Rwandan Civil War from 1990 to 1994. It was created in 1991 and broadcast from Uganda. It was the first alternative to Radio Rwanda, reaching all but the south of Rwanda by mid-1992. It was recorded by the BBC starting in 1992. It promoted armed resistance to the "extremist" Rwandan government. In an October 1992 broadcast it claimed that militia forces of the government's party had "devised traps aimed at exterminating the youth." As early as January 1993, months before the RTLM went on-air, Radio Muhabura accused the Rwandan government of genocide. It routinely denied RPF involvement in civilian killings, and promoted resistance to "Hutu power", to the Habyarimana government, and desertion by the military.It regularly discussed the return of the Rwandan diaspora and the creation of a new government.Although the pro-Hutu RTLM (which became an inciting instrument of the Rwandan genocide of 1994) was extensively listened to, Radio Muhabura had a much smaller audience, probably because it broadcast in English instead of Kinyarwanda, and its contribution to the Rwandan Civil War is not as widely discussed.The existence of Radio Muhabura was cited as a part of the defense in the trial of Ferdinand Nahimana in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) was a Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994. It played a significant role during the April–July 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The station's name is French for "Thousand Hills Free Radio and Television", deriving from the description of Rwanda as "Land of a Thousand Hills". It received support from the government-controlled Radio Rwanda, which initially allowed it to transmit using their equipment.Widely listened to by the general population, it projected racist propaganda against Tutsis, moderate Hutus, Belgians, and the United Nations mission UNAMIR. It is widely regarded by many Rwandan citizens (a view also shared and expressed by the UN war crimes tribunal) as having played a crucial role in creating the atmosphere of charged racial hostility that allowed the genocide to occur. A working paper published at Harvard University found that RTLM broadcasts were an important part of the process of mobilising the population, which complemented the mandatory Umuganda meetings.Robert Kajuga (Interahamwe)
Jerry Robert Kajuga (1960–?) was the national president and leader of the MRND-affiliated Hutu Power extremist militia, the Interahamwe, which was largely responsible for perpetrating the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Ironically, he was from a Tutsi family whose father had acquired Hutu identity papers for his family. In order to avoid any kind of suspicion about their family being Tutsi, Robert Kajuga kept his brother hidden at the Hôtel des Mille Collines in Kigali. Kajuga fled Rwanda in 1996, taking refuge in nearby Congo for two and a half years, before being arrested by UN Security forces and standing trial in Kigali and being sentenced to life imprisonment. Kajuga later died in prison.Rwandan Civil War
The Rwandan Civil War was a conflict between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the government of Rwanda, and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). The war, which lasted from 1990 to 1994, arose from the long-running dispute between the Hutu and Tutsi groups within the Rwandan population. A 1959–1962 revolution had replaced the Tutsi monarchy with a Hutu-led republic, forcing more than 336,000 Tutsi to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. A group of these refugees in Uganda founded the RPF which, under the leadership of Fred Rwigyema and Paul Kagame, became a battle-ready army by the late 1980s.
The war began on 1 October 1990, when the RPF invaded north-eastern Rwanda, advancing 60 km (37 mi) into the country. They suffered a major setback when Rwigyema was killed in action on the second day. The Rwandan Army, assisted by troops from France, gained the upper hand and the RPF were largely defeated by the end of October. Kagame, who had been in the United States during the invasion, returned to take command. He withdrew troops to the Virunga mountains for several months before attacking again. The RPF began a guerrilla war, which continued until mid-1992 with neither side able to gain the upper hand. A series of protests forced Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana to begin peace negotiations with the RPF and domestic opposition parties. Despite disruption and killings by Hutu Power, a group of extremists opposed to any deal, and a fresh RPF offensive in early 1993, the negotiations were successfully concluded with the signing of the Arusha Accords in August 1993.
An uneasy peace followed, during which the terms of the accords were gradually implemented. RPF troops were deployed to a compound in Kigali and the peace-keeping United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) was sent to the country. But the Hutu Power movement was steadily gaining influence and planned a "final solution" to exterminate the Tutsi. This plan was put into action following the assassination of President Habyarimana on 6 April 1994. Over the course of about 100 days, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed in the Rwandan genocide. The RPF quickly resumed the civil war. They captured territory steadily, encircling cities and cutting off supply routes. By mid-June they had surrounded the capital, Kigali, and on 4 July they seized it. The war ended later that month when the RPF captured the last territory held by the interim government, forcing the government and genocidaires into Zaire.
The victorious RPF assumed control of the country, with Paul Kagame as de facto leader. Kagame served as vice-president from 1994 and as president from 2000, winning elections in 2003, 2010 and 2017. The RPF began a programme of rebuilding the infrastructure and economy of the country, bringing genocide perpetrators to trial, and promoting reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi. In 1996 the RPF-led Rwandan Government launched an offensive against refugee camps in Zaire, home to exiled leaders of the former regime and millions of Hutu refugees. This action started the First Congo War, which removed long-time dictator President Mobutu Sese Seko from power. As of 2019, Kagame and the RPF remain the dominant political force in Rwanda.Rwandan genocide
The Rwandan genocide, also known as the genocide against the Tutsi, was a mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War, directed by members of the Hutu majority government between 7 April and 15 July 1994.The scale and brutality of the massacre caused shock worldwide. Most of the victims were killed in their own villages or in towns, often by their neighbors and fellow villagers. Hutu gangs searched out victims hiding in churches and school buildings. The militia murdered victims with machetes and rifles. An estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, about 70% of the Tutsi population. Sexual violence was rife, with an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women raped during the genocide.The genocide had lasting and profound effects on Rwanda and neighboring countries. Today, Rwanda has two public holidays to commemorate the genocide, and denial or historic revisionism of the genocide is a criminal offence. As a result of the genocide, nations collaborated to establish the International Criminal Court.Timeline of the Rwandan genocide
The following is a partial chronology of significant events surrounding the 1994 Rwandan genocide.1994
Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana is assassinated when a rocket propelled grenade strikes the plane carrying him and Burundi president Cyprien Ntaryamira, following negotiations related to the Arusha Accords. Ethnically motivated killings of Tutsis by radical Hutus begin.April 7
Roadblocks are established by the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) and the Interahamwe. Members of these and other Hutu Power organizations proceed to start a door to door campaign, beginning in the north of the country and spreading south, targeting Tutsi Rwandans as well as moderate Hutus. Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana, along with thousands of others, is murdered.April 8
The Rwandan Patriotic Front, led by future Rwandan president Paul Kagame, launches a significant offensive aimed at ending the genocide and rescuing soldiers trapped in Kigali. Outnumbered, they followed a strategy of striking government compounds but allowing for retreat, avoiding all-out warfare.April 21
Following the execution of ten Belgian soldiers who had been guarding Uwilingiyimana, the U.N. reduces its force from 2,500 to 250 troops.April 28-April 30
Massive numbers of Rwandans, primarily Hutus, flee the advance of the RPF, many fearing prosecution for their crimes. The resulting crisis, in which hundreds of thousands entered Burundi, Tanzania, and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, is widely broadcast around the world, and many misinterpret the refugees as victims of the genocide.
Meanwhile, the United Nations debates the crisis in Rwanda, cautiously avoiding use of the term 'genocide', lest they be compelled into fuller action.May 17
The U.N. agrees to send in 6,800 policemen, empowered to defend civilians, while the killings of Tutsis continues.June 22
Opération Turquoise is established, which serves to protect Hutu Genocidaires and stall the advance of the RPF. The agreed upon U.N. police force, meanwhile, has not yet arrived.July
As the Hutu government flees into then-Zaire, the RPF captures Kigali. A cholera epidemic in Zaire kills thousands of Hutu refugees. Sporadic killings persist.August
An agreement to establish a framework for trying major war criminals, to become the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, is agreed upon.Tropical fascism
In African political science, tropical fascism is a type of post-colonial state which is either considered fascist or is seen to have strong fascist tendencies. Gnassingbé Eyadéma dictator of Togo and leader of the Rally of the Togolese People, Mobutu Sese Seko dictator of Zaire and leader of the Popular Movement of the Revolution and Idi Amin dictator of Uganda have all been considered an example of tropical fascism in Africa. The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic and larger Hutu Power movement, a Hutu ultranationalist and supremacist movement that organized and committed the Rwandan Genocide aimed at exterminating the Tutsi people of Rwanda, has been regarded as a prominent example of tropical fascism in Africa. Pol Pot and The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia has been called a tropical fascist regime, as they officially renounced communism in 1981.