The ICHRRF Is committed to education, advocacy, preservation of human rights and religious freedom. The commission is also committed to recommending policy revisions that promote and protect basic human rights and religious freedoms of all persons across the world. For these reasons, the ICHRRF observes and reflects with the UN on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi people in Rwanda. In 100 days, nearly 1,000,000 lives were slaughtered between April and July 1994 in an African tribal conflict in Rwanda. While most victims were Tutsis, there were Hutu victims also who were empathetic to the Tutsi people’s plight. The Commission laments the fact that the world did nothing to prevent this genocide while it was happening.
After gaining independence from Belgium in 1962, Rwanda has been mired in tribal warfare owing to the colonial policies of divide and rule. This culminated after a rather violent Social Revolution in 1959 initiated by Hutu peoples to reclaim Rwanda after years of being pitted against the Tutsis due to Belgium’s then discriminatory practices. While the Hutus controlled the government, Tutsi people fled to safety in neighboring countries. Through the years, exiled Tutsis have unsuccessfully attempted to return home. Tutsi rebels demanded to end social discrimination for the Tutsis who remained in Rwanda. The Hutu-led government and Rwandan army sponsored the genocide, which was executed by two radical militant groups. Ultimately, the Tutsi rebels overthrew the Hutu regime in July,1994 and millions of Hutus fled fearing retribution only to return home in 1997 after conditions continued to worsen in neighboring refugee camps. Tribunal proceedings commenced in 1996 and Rwanda continues to actively strive for justice to this day by collaborating with other governments so they can try the remaining perpetrators of genocide.
The ICHRRF appeals to both warring tribes in Rwanda to turn a new leaf and resolve the differences amicably and make further resolve never to resort to inter-ethnic violence ever again.