December 18, 2008 / 10:47 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX: The Rwandan Genocide

(Reuters) - The Tanzania-based U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Thursday convicted Theoneste Bagosora of instigating Rwanda’s 1994 genocide and sentenced him to life in prison.

Here are some details about the genocide:

WAR:

* In 1990, rebels of the Tutsi-dominated Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) invaded northern Rwanda from neighboring Uganda. The RPF’s success prompted President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, to speed up political reforms.

* In August 1993, Rwanda and the RPF signed a deal to end years of civil war, allowing for power-sharing and the return of refugees. But President Habyarimana was slow in implementing it. A transitional government failed to take off.

THE SPARK:

* On April 6, 1994, Habyarimana and neighboring Burundi’s President Cyprien Ntaryamira were killed in a rocket attack on their plane.

* The next day, presidential guards killed moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiwimana who had tried to calm tensions.

GENOCIDE:

* Habyarimana’s death triggered a 100-day orgy of violence, perpetrated mainly by Hutus against Tutsis and moderate Hutus. About 800,000 people were killed, many butchered with machetes by militia known as Interahamwe.

* The RPF advanced and seized control of Rwanda after driving the 40,000-strong Hutu army and more than 2 million civilian Hutus into exile in Burundi, Tanzania and the former Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo.

* In July 1994 a new government was sworn in with Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, named president and RPF commander Paul Kagame as vice-president. Kagame was elected president in April 2000 and remains in the office.

TRIALS:

* In December 1996, Rwanda’s first genocide trial opened under the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

* The Arusha-based ICTR had accused Theoneste Bagosora of being in charge of the troops and Interahamwe Hutu militia who carried out the massacres. He was found guilty and given a life sentence.

REGIONAL FALLOUT:

* Rwandan troops invaded neighboring Congo twice in the 1990s to try to hunt down perpetrators of the genocide. Conflict in Congo since 1998 is estimated to have left over five million dead, mostly through hunger and disease.

* The 1994 genocide is at the root of the recent fighting in eastern Congo that pits Tutsi rebel General Laurent Nkunda against the Congolese army and militias.

* Nkunda and the Rwandans accuse Kinshasa of backing Hutu rebels who are remnants of the Interahamwe. Congo accuses Rwanda of backing Nkunda.

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