With its origins as a League of Nations protectorate in 1918, Rwanda has seen decades of strife between its Hutu and Tutsi populations.
These are some of the key dates in Rwanda’s history:
1973-1986: Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana runs an effective one—party state until the Tutsi—dominated Rwandan Patriotic Front is formed.
October 1990: RPF guerrillas invade Rwanda from neighboring Uganda. A ceasefire is signed in March 1991.
August 1993: Habyarimana and the RPF sign a peace accord allowing for a RPF/Hutu coalition government.
Jan. 10, 1994: General Romeo Dallaire, head of UN peacekeepers in Rwanda, sends a cable to New York warning of impending genocide. He is ordered to do nothing.
April 6, 1994: Habyarimana dies when his plane is shot down over Kigali. Radio Television Libres Des Mille Collines blames “Tutsi cockroaches.” The killing of Tutsi begins.
April 11, 1994: Belgian UN peacekeepers withdraw, abandoning 5,000 Tutsis, almost all of whom are killed. They are among nearly 1 million who would be killed in the coming months.
April 30 1994: The UN Security Council spends eight hours discussing the situation. It omits the word “genocide” in a resolution.
July 1994: The Tutsi-dominated RPF captures Kigali. Nearly 1 million people, mainly Tutsis, are dead after 100 days of genocide.
March 2000: Paul Kagame becomes president of Rwanda.
2000-2012: Rwanda produces exceptional economic growth and levels of healthcare. It is praised by Western governments as a model of stability in Africa.
2000-2012: But UN claims persist that it is fomenting rebellion in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, where Hutu extremists behind the 1994 genocide are said to have fled.
Aug. 29, 2012: Rwanda is expected to join the UN Security Council.
Images of Rwandan genocide, the relief effort and Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Click image for more information.