Genocide Image

On April 6th, 1994, the genocide started in Rwanda. With fewer than 8 million people packed into 10,000 square miles, one million were killed in 100 days and another two million fled. Extremist Hutu, allied with the government, led the killing, and the remaining more moderateHutu were forced to kill or be killed by extremists in their own factions The world abandoned Rwanda to its fate when the massacres began. It rapidly became clear that neither the UN nor Western powers would intervene to stop the genocide. Even though UN forces were on the ground as peacekeepers, the UN did not authorize them to take any action and they were forced to stand by while the slaughter of innocent people took place. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)advanced south through Rwanda, stopped the genocide and took over the government. RPF leader Paul Kagame is now president of Rwanda.

Projet San Francisco in Kigali, Rwanda suffered devastating losses. Thirteen of our staff members and 80 patients died during the genocide, and we continue to mourn their loss. Dr. Allen, some of the project staff and other survivors fled to Zambia to escape the slaughter. Once in Zambia, the RZHRG team opened a clinic in Lusaka, the Zambia Emory HIV Research Project (RZHRP) which continues to serve the area. When the genocide had been stopped, the RZHRG staff returned to Kigali and continued its work.

Since the end of the genocide, President Paul Kagame has led Rwanda out of the darkness, and the country’s recovery from this tragic time has been nothing short of a miracle. Ethnic Identity Cards, which contributed to the genocide, have been abolished, and it is against the law to exhibit conduct that fuels conflict between Hutu and Tutsi. President Kagame has made investment and construction in Rwanda a national priority, and the country is booming with development and growth. President Kagame has also implemented CVCT as the national standard, and the participation of more than 80 percent of co-habiting couples has established CVCT as a social norm.

Currently, justice remains to be served among individuals who perpetrated the genocide in Rwanda. While the United Nations created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1994, many suspects from the genocide still remain at large. As of 2011, the ICTR has completed 32 cases, has 10 in progress, 1 case awaiting trial, and 10 accused at large. With 8 detainees acquitted, 2 more released, 19 awaiting appeals, and the ICTR expecting to complete its work by mid-2012, it is unlikely that those who suffered during the genocide will ever gain the justice they deserve. The work of African Rights (AR), the only human rights organization to investigate and report the existence of Rwandan war criminals living in exile, is essential in continuing the path to justice. The director of this organization, Rakiya Omaar, wrote the book Death, Despair, and Defiance, a definitive history of the Rwandan genocide and the lack of response by the international community. With many genocide leaders living with visas in the United States and other Western countries, AR continues to work toward justice for those who perished.

Death, Despair and Defiance - by African Rights

Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance is a book issued by the African Rights Organization that captures the horrific accounts from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and examines the failure of the international community to respond effectively to the murder and genocide.

This is a limited edition available to public libraries and universities only. For other inquiries, please email

All proceeds from the sale of this book go towards the Genocide Prevention and Justice Foundation. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the foundation, please email for details.


• Over the period of 100 days from April - July 1994, the mass murder of one million Rwandans took place, largely iof Tutsi ethnicity.

• The leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, Paul Kagame, is now president of Rwanda and has implemented CVCT as the national standard in the country.

• African Rights remains the only human rights organization to investigate and report the existence of Rwandan war criminals living in exile.