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2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

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Latest update : 2014-04-04

Rwanda: The last genocide of the 20th century

On April 6 1994, the Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down by a missile. Within a day, the country was gripped by a murderous wave of violence. Between April 6 and July 4 1994, in just 100 days, between 800,000 and one million people, mainly ethnic Tutsis, were murdered. In other words: around 70% of the Tutsi population living in Rwanda at the time. France 24 looks back at the origins and circumstances that led to the last genocide of the 20th century.

Twenty years after the Rwandan genocide, the extermination of Rwanda’s Tutsis in 1994 is still too often described as the result of an ancestral hatred between two ethnic groups, a civil war between the Hutu government and the Tutsi rebels that went wrong.

In this report, I wanted to highlight how the ideology of genocide spread progressively.

The roots can be found in the colonial period, and the role of foreign powers such as Belgium and France but also the United Nations. This moral bankruptcy of the international community and these successive failures led to the horrifying genocide.

In this report, I meet key players from this period (genocide survivors as well as perpetrators, humanitarian workers and former ministers) in order to try to understand how such a horrifying turn of events could have been allowed to happen.

By Pauline SIMONET

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Archives

2014-07-18 Hong Kong

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

In 1997 Hong Kong was proud to re-establish its Chinese identity after more than 150 years under British colonisation. But the atmosphere has changed and Hong Kong is now in open...

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2014-07-11 Pakistan

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attack, questions have been asked about the tactics used in former US president George W. Bush's "War on Terror". Extraordinary rendition saw many...

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2014-07-04 Italy

Italy: Toxic Naples

Industrial sludge, all kinds of garbage and even nuclear waste... For years, organised crime dumped millions of tons of toxic waste on the outskirts of Naples. This contamination...

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2014-06-27 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Old wounds reopened in Belfast

Northern Ireland’s Good Friday agreement, signed in April 1998, put an end to thirty years of conflict between Nationalists and Republicans. Since its signature, traditional...

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2014-06-20 refugees

Syria’s Armenians: Fleeing war for new hardship in their ancestral land

With the war, thousands of Armenians who have lived in Syria for several generations, mainly in Aleppo, have sought refuge in Armenia. But for many of them, returning to the land...

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