Life after 1994 Rwanda Genocide


On April 7th, 1994, the genocide directed against Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus began. It cost the lives of thousands and hundreds of people, properties were destroyed, and the country was generally put on setback socially, economically and politically. The United Nations estimates more than 800,000 people lost their lives, property worth millions was destroyed. However, today citizens of Rwanda have made considerable progress on the road to reconciliation and are focusing on economic development.

“Umuganda” was re-introduced to foster a community Spirit of working together. The Rwandan tradition of "umuganda," was re-introduced not only as part of the effort to rebuild the country but as a way to foster a community spirit.

Peace in Rwanda started prevailing and today, the country is totally stable. The restored peace in Rwanda has boosted tourism sector. It is recorded that Rwanda receives the largest number of Gorilla trekkers in the past 3 years.  It is followed by Uganda and then Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was set up immediately in 1994 in Arusha, Tanzania, in order to prosecute those mainly responsible for the genocide.  It was aiming at restoring justice in Rwanda. It is noted that more than 60 people were tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and those found guilty were sentenced to long time imprisonment.

In 2001, the traditional community courts called "gacaca" were revived and this is where 2 million suspects were tried.

Peace is now prevailing in Rwanda. Areas in Simbi, a village in the south, not far from the border to Burundi, more than 5,000 people fell victim to the genocide. Today the community lives together in peace again.

Today, Rwanda has reduced its poverty rate by 12 % within 5 years. It now stood at 45%, Beckmann said, adding that in comparison to other African countries that was an extremely good result. But this did not mean there were no challenges ahead, she warned. After all, Rwanda needs foreign aid to meet half of its budgeted expenses.

Today, the proportion of children dying before attaining five years of age  as more than halved, and when they reach seven years old, they can nearly all go to school. Most of the population is covered by health insurance, and malaria deaths have fallen more than 85% since 2005. Crime is very low. Women can walk the street at night safe.

Today, there is great future in Rwanda, Kigali city has developed and settled by approximately by 1.2 million inhabitants. It is regarded as a symbol of Rwanda's progress.

After the Rwanda’s genocides, a number of genocide memorial sites cropped up. They include Gisozi genocide Memorial museum, Murambi Genocide Memorial museum, Bisesero genocide memorial museum, Nyamata Genocide Memorial museum among others.

Rwandans are increasingly united. There is a strong patriotism and belief in the government – almost nine in 10 say they "trust in the leadership of their country". They can never forget their tragic past but do not want to be defined by it. The older generation already knows all too well the cost of failure, but a majority of the population, born post-genocide, has inherited the possibility of a different future.