Hutus trek home from camps at gunpoint
Wednesday 26 April 1995
An estimated 60,000 people were camped in the open in and around Butare, having fled from the Kibeho refugee camp, 20 miles to the west after thousands were gunned down by soldiers or trampled to death in stampedes on Saturday.
An official UN estimate said at least 2,000 men, women and children were killed at Kibeho, but some UN officials and private aid workers say the number was probably much higher.
Most of the camp refugees are Hutus who took shelter last year, fearing reprisals by the victorious Tutsi-led rebel army. The Tutsi-dominated government in Kigali has been trying for months to get the more than 2 million refugees in Rwanda, and in neighbouring countries, to go home.
Its soldiers were continuing that effort in Butare yesterday, sometimes harshly. Aid workers and others said many refugees were being abused by civilians and soldiers.
"Local people standing along the route are carrying sticks and hitting them quite heavily," Brynjar Wetteland, with the UN Children's Fund, said. "I even saw lots of soldiers hit people that were quite unable to defend themselves."
The UN special envoy to Rwanda, Shaharyar Khan, said about 200,000 refugees were on the move throughout the country. He and other UN officials warned of hostility towards returning refugees. A UN military spokesman in Kigali, Lieutenant Kent Page, said he had seen them whipped and stoned by civilians and soldiers.
In Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said the Rwandan government had reported that at least nine returning refugees had been killed and 1,100 had been locked in a bank in the village of Ngenda. The building is supposed to hold 500 people. Many returning refugees were in bad condition, the spokesman said. Some had machete wounds, others had been stoned or beaten.
Mr Khan said some 70 per cent of the refugees were expected to stream into four villages. Some 10,000 arrived yesterday in one, Gitarama. "The government is conscious of the fact that there is going to be a huge problem in terms of food and water," Mr Khan said. "There is also a question of hostility."
At Kibeho, a standoff continued between soldiers and about 600 men, women and children who were refusing to leave a school. Some were hard- line Hutus who have the most to fear from the army. Others were apparently being held against their will as human shields, Benedict Giaever, a UN Rwanda Emergency Organisation field officer, said. "There is a very hard core inside the building with weapons and grenades and they are trying to persuade the other people not to leave."
Tutsi soldiers have cut off food and water to the camp. A Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) officer said: "At the moment we feel there is no need to use force but we have enough firepower should the need arise." The International Committee of the Red Cross was mediating yesterday between the RPA and the last Hutus, who want free passage to refugee camps in Zaire.
Aid workers and witnesses said last weekend's slaughter was unprovoked. Survivors said the UN should have done more to stop the violence, which happened within sight of 200 UN peace-keepers.
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...