The plan to exterminate the Tutsi was ingrained in both Kayibanda and Habyarimana regimes. Their plan was the last step once the regimes’ tactics to discriminate and oppress Tutsi failed. This is history!
German and Belgian colonizers ignited the idea that Tutsis were foreigners and instilled it into Rwandan society. This total failure destroyed Rwandan social cohesion. Above all else, as the country was heading toward independence from colonialism, the lie gave birth to an ethnic struggle among Hutu and Tutsi.
Belgian colonizers who were under United Nations pressure to replace the monarchy with a presidential republic shifted their sentiment to Hutu and groomed several of them to inherit the first republic. From the Bahutu Manifesto created by nine educated Hutu extremists, including Gregoire Kayibanda- one of the groomed Hutu extremists, to the Rwanda Democratic Party for the Movement and Emancipation of the Hutu (PARMEHUTU) created by the same extremists.
Kayibanda regime deepened the discrimination agenda to keep Tutsi from social and political opportunities. This was facilitated by maintaining the system of ethnic identity cards that were instituted during the Belgian rule. Kayibanda designed a policy to relocate Tutsi to Bugesera- a dry, uninhabitable area where tsetse flies were prevalent. He prohibited intermarriage between ethnic groups for persons in government offices and the military. Kayibanda, who had created a mono-ethnic, single-party state, threatened exiled Tutsi who would attempt to seek political power. They “may well find that the whole Tutsi race will be wiped out.” may well find that whole Tutsi race wiped out.
When Juvenal Habyarimana overthrew Kayibanda in a military coup, nothing changed regarding the discriminatory policies. It was the same old wine in a new bottle. Habyarimana continued the same stratagem of discriminating and oppressing Tutsi. He implemented quotas, the same as Kayibanda. “In education, Hutus received over 85% of places, Tutsis between 10 and 15%; in employment, 90% of posts were allocated to Hutus, and 10% to Tutsis.” This situation in the country created more refugees in neighboring countries, and every time these refugees claimed to return home, Habyarimana responded that Rwanda was a “glass full to the brim.”
To end all decades of injustice and bad politics, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) was born and started the struggle to liberate the country. RPF, disciplined and committed to the cause, ended up agreeing with the regime of Habyarimana to sign the Arusha Accords in August 1993. However, the then chief of staff, Theoneste Bagosora, was against the accords and declared: “I am returning home to prepare for an apocalypse.”
After several days, the Habyarimana regime trashed the accords signed and called them “scraps of paper.” At that time, the genocidal regime intensified their dream to exterminate Tutsi as dreamt by Kayibanda, and 100 days of genocide left the country with a million Tutsi killed.
Thus, let no deniers, apologists, and self-proclaimed experts on Rwanda mislead the public that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was not planned. The Tutsi extermination plan was burrowed deep into the two genocidal regimes’ brains for a very long time.