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Rwanda’s Tutsi minority has been in power for 30 years – but study finds ethnicity doesn’t matter to people if their needs are met

Rwanda’s Tutsi minority has been in power for 30 years – but study finds ethnicity doesn’t matter to people if their needs are met

THIRTY years ago, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a predominantly Tutsi armed group, took over Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city – and soon after, the country’s governance. This victory occurred amid a horrific genocide masterminded by a Hutu-dominated regime. Rwanda’s main ethnic groups are the Hutu, who make up a majority of the population, and the Tutsi. Since 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front – led by Paul Kagame, who was first elected president in April 2000 – has been at the country’s helm. Kagame is expected to extend his rule in the July 2024 elections. The law allows him to serve two…
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Children born of rape: the devastating legacy of sexual violence in post-genocide Rwanda

Children born of rape: the devastating legacy of sexual violence in post-genocide Rwanda

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains accounts of sexual violence. The 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi led to the murder of more than 800,000 people, an estimated 70% of the country’s Tutsi population. The unprecedented violence and mass killings of Tutsi and non-extremist Hutu were carried out over 100 days between April and July 1994. An estimated 250,000–500,000 women and girls were raped during the genocide by the Hutu-led militia group Interahamwe, local police officers and individual men. Hutu women were also abused by soldiers from the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Up to 90% of Tutsi women who survived the genocide…
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30 years after genocide: Rwanda’s older generations fear a return of ethnic tensions, but youth feel more united

30 years after genocide: Rwanda’s older generations fear a return of ethnic tensions, but youth feel more united

IT’S 30 years since a genocide ripped through Rwandan society, leaving up to a million Tutsi and non-extremist Hutu dead. Every year in early April, the country enters a 100-day period of commemoration during which Rwandans are asked to remember and reflect on historical divisions between the country’s main ethnic groups: Tutsi, Hutu and Twa. This is done under the banner of Ndi Umunyarwanda, loosely translated as “I am Rwandan”. This post-genocide unified ideology follows the governing Rwandan Patriotic Front’s interpretation of the country’s history. It views Tutsi, Hutu and Twa as a form of socio-economic division rather than being…
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Rwanda: Paul Kagame is a dictator who clings to power but it’s not just for his own gain

Rwanda: Paul Kagame is a dictator who clings to power but it’s not just for his own gain

RWANDA’S president Paul Kagame recently said he was looking forward to his retirement after 23 years in power. Speaking to the press in April 2023, he claimed he “may join journalism in my old age” – a somewhat surprising choice, given the poor state of the freedom of the press in Rwanda. But the chances that Kagame will actually step down seem rather small. After a controversial referendum in 2015, Rwandans voted to extend presidential term limits, allowing Kagame to rule potentially until 2034. More recently, Kagame was re-elected to head the ruling party – the Rwandan Patriotic Front –…
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