Long-standing tensions in the country culminated in the 1994 state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed between 750,000 and one million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. Following the killing of the president in 1994, an extremist interim government directed the Hutu-dominated national army, militia groups, and ordinary citizens to kill resident Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The genocide ended later the same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias and established an RPF-led government of national unity that included members of eight political parties. President Kagame was elected in the 2003 elections.
Since 1994 the government has called for national reconciliation and abolished policies of the former government that created and deepened ethnic cleavages. The government removed all references to ethnicity in written and nonwritten official discourse and eliminated ethnic quotas for education, training, and government employment. The constitution provides for the eradication of ethnic, regional, and other divisions in society and the promotion of national unity. In practice most Rwandans knew the regional or ethnic origin of their fellow Rwandans. Some individuals continued to accuse the
government of favoring Tutsis, particularly English-speaking Tutsis, in government employment, admission to professional schooling, recruitment into or promotion within the army, and other matters.
Race, Racism and the Law
Vernellia R. Randall
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