July 4, 1994: HAPPY LIBERATION DAY, RWANDA!!

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HAPPY LIBERATION DAY, RWANDA!!!??????????

July 4, 1994: Marked the end of the Rwandan genocide. Liberation Day for Rwanda is commemorated as a public holiday.

The Rwandan Genocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of the Tutsis by the Hutus that took place in 1994 in the East African state of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days (from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira on April 6 through July) over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate.

Estimates of the death toll have ranged from 500,000–1,000,000, or as much as 20% of the country’s total population. It was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority Hutu peoples, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959–62.

In 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a rebel group composed mostly of Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda from Uganda in an attempt to defeat the Hutu-led government. They began the Rwandan Civil War, fought between the Hutu regime, with support from Francophone Africa and France, and the RPF, with support from Uganda. This exacerbated ethnic tensions in the country. In response, many Hutu gravitated toward the Hutu Power ideology, with the prompting of state-controlled and independent Rwandan media. As an ideology, Hutu Power asserted that the Tutsi intended to enslave the Hutu and must be resisted at all costs. Continuing ethnic strife resulted in the rebels’ displacing large numbers of Hutu in the north, plus periodic localized Hutu killings of Tutsi in the south.

International pressure on the Hutu-led government ofJuvénal Habyarimana resulted in a cease-fire in 1993. He planned to implement the Arusha Accords.The assassination of Habyarimana in April 1994 set off a violent reaction, during which Hutu groups conducted mass killings of Tutsis (and also pro-peace Hutus, who were portrayed as “traitors” and “collaborators”). This genocide had been planned by members of the Hutu power group known as the Akazu, many of whom occupied positions at top levels of the national government; the genocide was supported and coordinated by the national government as well as by local military and civil officials and mass media.

Alongside the military, the primary responsibility for the killings themselves rests with two Hutu militias that had been organized for this purpose by political parties: the Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi, although once the genocide was underway a great number of Hutu civilians took part in the murders. It was the end of the peace agreement. The Tutsi RPF restarted their offensive, defeating the army and seizing control of the country.Rwanda today has two public holidays commemorating the incident, with Genocide Memorial Day on April 7 marking the start, and Liberation Day on July 4 marking the end.

The week following April 7 is designated an official week of mourning. One global impact of the Rwandan Genocide is that it served as an impetus to the creation of the International Criminal Court so that ad hoc tribunals would not need to be created for future incidents of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC and was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17, 1998.

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