Search Results for rwanda

Fleeing Rwanda to Survive, then Returning to Rebuild, 1994

On April 6, 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were assassinated when their plane was shot down near Kigali airport and crashed into the grounds of the Rwandan presidential residence. The incident ignited genocide by the majority Hutus against Tutsis and against those supporting peace negotiations to bring Rwanda out of civil war. An […]

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The Rwandan Genocide — The View from Ground Zero

Two decades of ethnic tension and a civil war in 1990 laid the groundwork for one of the most savage episodes of wanton slaughter witnessed in the past half century. The day after the airplane carrying Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and the president of Burundi was shot down, the Rwandan military responded to the deaths of […]

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A Soul Filled with Shame –The Rwandan Genocide, April 7- July 18,1994

A colony of Belgium until 1962, Rwanda became dominated politically by the minority Tutsis. During the independence movement, the majority Hutus seized control of the government, killing thousands of Tutsis and forcing even more into exile. Many fled to Burundi and Uganda as refugees. Tensions between the two ethnic groups continued to fester over the […]

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The collapse of Zaire at the end of the First Congo War 1997

In the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, ethnic Hutu refugees — including génocidaires — who had crossed into East Zaire to escape persecution from the new Tutsi government carried out attacks against ethnic Tutsis from both Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Rwandan refugees. The Zairian government was unable to control the ethnic Hutu marauders, and indeed lent them some support as allies against the new, Tutsi-led Rwandan government.  In response, the Tutsis in Zaire joined a revolutionary coalition headed by Laurent-Désiré Kabila.  Kabila’s aim was to overthrow Zaire’s one-party authoritarian government run by Mobutu Sese Seko since 1965.  With Kabila’s forces on the march,  Zaire was soon engulfed in conflict.  These hostilities, which took place from 1996-1997, are known as the “First Congo War” and lead to the creation of Zaire’s successor state The Democratic Republic of Congo. The United States, who had supported Mobutu until the end of the Cold War, recognized how potentially dangerous the situation was as Kabila gained control of most of the country and advanced rapidly towards the capital city of Kinshasa. In 1997, the United States sent a small group of diplomats to broker negotiations and attempt to come to a peaceful agreement between Mobutu and Kabila.

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Africa, Post-Colonialism
One Laptop Per Child — A Paradigm Shift in Education

According to a 2015 Brookings study, while the number of children attending primary school globally has grown dramatically over the past 200 years, the gulf in average levels of education between rich and poor countries remains large. Without a fundamental rethinking of current approaches to education, it will take another 100 years for children in […]

Burundi: With Independence Came Genocide

Coordinated attacks in Burundi in recent years left hundreds dead and forced thousands to flee the country. The State Department advised Americans to depart and drew down the embassy in response to the escalation in violence amid concern that the small African nation could again be on the brink of civil war.  Internal conflicts have pitted […]

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Srebrenica and the Horrors of the Balkan War

The break-up of Yugoslavia caused some of the most heinous human rights violations and ethnic mass killings seen in the 70 years since the end of World War II. On July 11-13, 1995 the world stood by as Serbian forces under the command of Ratko Mladic systematically rounded up Bosnian and Croat boys and men […]

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Rebel With a Cause — Struggling with the Armenian Genocide

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of what a number of international organizations, countries, and even some U.S. states formally recognize as the Armenian Genocide of 1915, the Ottoman government’s planned extermination of minority Armenians inside present-day Turkey. Historians estimate that the Armenian Genocide resulted in 800,000 to 1.5 million deaths, as well as thousands of […]

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Responding to the Threat of Mass Atrocities

Drawing on his experiences as U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Ambassador Princeton Lyman highlights the decision making trade-offs he and his colleagues faced when they weighed the risks associated with the various forms of intervention they considered to mitigate the mass atrocities in Darfur. He also discusses similar trade-offs raised about the genocide in East Pakistan […]

The Irrepressible Prudence Bushnell

As a teenage daughter of a Foreign Service Officer who moved his family from country to country every so often, Prudence Bushnell frequently complained that the Foreign Service ruined her life. It is ironic then — poetic even — that as destiny would have it, Bushnell found herself in Dakar, Senegal, in 1981 on her […]