In only 100 horrific days in 1994, 800,000 Rwandan people were killed by Hutu extremists. The minority Tutsi community was targeted in addition to the Hutu people's political opponents. The Tutsi had dominated the country until 1959 when the monarchy was overthrown and they were believed to be extremely rebellious. So when the Hutu Rwandan president's plane was shot down in April 1994, a Tutsi rebel group was immediately blamed. Thus began an organized murder campaign against them, one of the worst genocides in history.
This was a world-acknowledged genocide that implicated even regular Rwandan citizens. The Hutu government youth wing, Interahamwe, was turned into a militia and weapons were given to locals so that hundreds of Tutsi people could be exterminated at once. Extremists broadcasted hate propaganda urging common folk to kill their Tutsi neighbors and as a result, nearly two million people were tried for their role in the atrocity.
Over the following years, many survivors of the genocide have spoken out about what they endured in the hopes that it will never happen again. As they move forward in their lives, they continue to deal with the aftermath of those 100 days.
The Survivors Fund raises awareness about these Rwandans' experiences and proceeds from their collections help support those affected.
"We Heard Them Blowing Whistles While They Were Coming To Attack Us"Photo: Fanny Schertzer / Wikimedia Commons
"We Thought No One Would Kill Anyone In A Church"
"I Never Been So Scared In my Life"
"I Couldn't Believe The Things I Heard"Photo: Dylan Walters / Wikimedia Commons
"The Interahamwe Took Us To A Pit By A Roadside To Be Killed"Photo: Adam Jones / Wikimedia Commons
"I Heard My Parents Scream As They Were Hacked Down With Machetes"