The Rwandan Civil War
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
It was really power sharing. So in other words, the mediators are trying to convince both warring parties to share power, because this was the problem of the civil war, because one group was excluded from being involved in politics because the Hutu thought (inaudible). But unfortunately, they are not allowed to participate in the political process. There was also a big population of refugees who had fled the country before 1992. The government did not want them to come back. Actually, this was one of the reasons the civil war took place in 1990.
During the civil war, the government was fighting against an armed opposition. So the armed opposition are called the RPF, Rwandan Patriotic Army; consisted mostly of refugees who had fled the country between 1959 and 1990. And also you had the people, of course, inside the country, Hutus who were not satisfied with the politics of that time, because there was only one particular party. There was a military government. So, all those forces joined together to fight the government. So yeah, the warring groups, as I said, were the government and the opposition.
As I said, we should not confuse the civil war and genocide. So, as I said, the civil war is when you have two groups fighting each other, armed forces. In the case of genocide, we have a case where the government was killing systematically one specific group in noncombat zones. So, it’s genocide where the government was killing unarmed civilians, children, women, old people, young people, and so on. So as I said, we should not confuse the two things.