Sharing the Experience

Last summer, MU professor Rangira Béa Gallimore took eight students on a trip to her native Rwanda to teach them about the 1994 genocide. Here, she discusses the impact the program had on her students.


1918 Rwanda-Urundi, a former German colony, is given to Belgium under the Treaty of Versaille.

1926 Ethnic identity cards are introduced in order to distinguish between Hutus and Tutsis.

1960 Belgian colonial rulers organize municipal elections. Hutus win.

1961 to 1962 Rwanda becomes an independent country.

Mid-1960s Half the Tutsi population is estimated to be living outside the country.

1967 Tutsis massacre begins.

1973 Tutsis are no longer allowed at universities and are restricted to 9 percent of paying jobs.

1975 The National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND) is formed.

1986 Rwandan exiles form the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

1989 Coffee prices collapse, creating a sever economic downturn in Rwanda.

1990 to 1991 The army begins to train civilian militias. The MRND stalls on creating a multi-party system. Tutsis are killed in many massacres. Opposition is persecuted.

February 1993 RPF renews fighting around Kigali, lasting for several months.

August 1993 The MRND and the RPF sign a peace accord, creating a coalition Hutu-RPF government. About 2,500 U.N. troops are deployed to oversee the return of the refugees.

September 1993 to March 1994 Militia training intensifies. MRND stalls on creating government. Extremist radio stations broadcast please to attack Tutsis.

April 6-7, 1994 The Rwandan and Burundi presidents are killed after their plane is shot down. The Rwandan army and militias start killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus. U.N. forces stand by because intervening would break their mandate.

April 21, 1994 The U.N. reduces forces to 250 after the killing of 10 soldiers.

April 30, 1994 The U.N. Security Council condemns the killings but omits the word "genocide," releasing it from the obligation to protect civilians.

May 17, 1994 The U.N. agrees to send more troops with power to protect civilians and begins to use the word "genocide."

Mid-May 1994 The International Red Cross estimates that 500,000 Rwandans have been killed

Nov. 1994 A U.N. tribunal is created.

Jan. 10, 1997 The first trial comes before the tribunal.