WHEN: April 1994
WHO: Tutsi (victims), Hutu (perpetrators)
WHAT: An estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed during the month of April.
WHY: Conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsis existed long before the genocide and became more heated following Rwanda’s independence from Belgium in 1962 as each group vied for political power and control. The spark that ignited the genocide was the assassination of President Habyarimana (a Hutu). Hutu extremists believed that the Tutsis were responsible for shooting down the President’s plane. In retaliation the Hutus began a brutal campaign to exterminate the Tutsi population.