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Encyclopedia > Interahamwe

The Interahamwe (Kinyarwanda meaning "Those who stand together" or "Those who work together" or "Those who fight together") is a Hutu paramilitary organization. The militia enjoyed the backing of the Hutu-led government leading up to, during, and after the Rwandan Genocide. A majority of the killings were perpetrated by the Interahamwe and ragtag portions of the militias that joined during the war. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Kinyarwanda is the chief spoken language in Rwanda. ... The Hutu are a Central African ethnic group, living mainly in Rwanda and Burundi. ... Paramilitary designates forces whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military force, but which are not regarded as having the same status. ... The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass killing of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutu sympathizers in Rwanda and was the largest atrocity during the Rwandan Civil War. ...

Organization and history

Robert Kajuga, a Tutsi, was the President of the Interahamwe. The Second Vice President of Interahamwe was Georges Rutaganda. The Interahamwe was formed by groups of young Hutu males who carried out the Rwandan Genocide acts against the Tutsis in 1994. The Interahamwe formed the Genocidal Radio System which was used to broadcast where the Tutsis were fleeing. Jerry Robert Kajuga, a Tutsi whose family disguised its official identity as Hutu, was the President of the Interahamwe militia which was largely responsible for perpetrating the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. ... The Tutsi are one of three native peoples of the nations of Rwanda and Burundi in central Africa, the other two being the Twa and the Hutu. ... Georges Anderson Nderubumwe Rutaganda (born 28 November 1958) is a Rwandan war criminal. ...

For over a half a century, Hutus and Tutsis lived together in Rwanda. The Tutsis were the minority group who were largely herders, while the Hutus, the majority, worked the fields. Those wishing to blame European influence in Africa for all post-colonial ills say that after European influence came into the region, mainly Belgian, things changed significantly. The Belgians took the Tutsis side claiming they were the superior upper class. After years of being treated as peasants by the Belgians, the Hutus rebelled against the Tutsis and Belgians. The Interahamwe was formed to carry out the slaughtering of the Tutsis.

Following the invasion of the Rwandan capital Kigali by the Western backed Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), many Rwandan civilians and members of the Interahamwe fled to neighbouring countries, most notably to what at the time was Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. It has been nearly impossible to bring the Interahamwe to justice because they did not wear uniforms or have a clearly organized group of followers. They were the neighbors, friends and co-workers of Tutsis. Throughout the war, members of the Interahamwe moved into camps of refugees and the internally displaced. There, the victims were mixed in with the enemy and to this day it cannot be proven who killed who. With the Kagame regime still in power, members still take part in border raids from the refugee camps. Kigali, population 851,024 (2005), is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. ... The Rwandese Patriotic Front or Rwandan Patriotic Front, abbreviated as RPF (also often referred to as FPR from French: Front patriotique rwandais), is the current ruling political party of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame. ...

During the war, hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Hutu refugees fled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), along with many members of the Interahamwe, Presidential Guard, and the RGF, collectively becoming known as the Rassemblement Démocratique pour le Rwanda (roughly, Democratic Rally for Rwanda). Following the recruitment of significant numbers of Congolese Hutu the organization took the name Armée de Libération du Rwanda (ALiR). [citation needed] The Rassemblement Démocratique pour le Rwanda (RDR) was an insurgent group operating in the eastern region of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) against the government of Rwanda from 1995 to 1996. ... The Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (French: Armée pour la Libération du Rwanda, ALiR) was a rebel group largely composed of members of the Interahamwe and Armed Forces of Rwanda that carried out the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. ...

Origin of the name

The name Interahamwe can be translated as "Those who work together". Interahamwe can be broken up this way: Intera is derived from the verb gutera, meaning "to work". The hamwe means "together" and is related to the word rimwe for "one".

English speakers usually pronounce it as in-ter-a-ham-we, though it is properly pronounced as i-nhe-ra-ha-mwe in Kinyarwanda. However, Rwandans sometimes, when speaking English will pronounce it in the English manner. The difference can be observed by listening to Paul Rusesabagina in the Return to Rwanda feature of a Hotel Rwanda DVD, and to the translator for a survivor of the Nyarubuye massacre in "Frontline" Ghosts of Rwanda. In Hotel Rwanda, the name is consistently erroneously spelled and pronounced as "Interhamwe" (in-tər-ham-we). The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Contents // Categories: Bantu languages | Languages of the Democratic Republic of the Congo | Languages of Rwanda | Languages of Uganda | Language stubs ... Hotel Rwanda is an historical drama film that shows the quiet heroism of one man, Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), during the Rwandan Genocide. ... The Nyarubuye Massacre is the name given to the killing of an estimated 20,000 civilians at the Nyarubuye Roman Catholic Church and took place on 15-April 16, 1994 in the province of Kibungo, 140 km (60 miles) east of the Rwandan capital Kigali. ...

External links

  • Interahamwe: A serious military threat BBC News in 1999
  • CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AND RWANDA'S GENOCIDE: An Opinion, African Studies Quarterly, Spring 2004

  Results from FactBites:
Interahamwe - definition of Interahamwe in Encyclopedia (208 words)
The Interahamwe, meaning "Those Who Stand Together" in Kinyarwanda, was the largest of the militias formed by the Hutu ethnic majority of Rwanda and was responsible for many of the deaths in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994.
Following the liberation of Rwandan capital Kigali by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), many members of the Interahamwe fled to neighbouring countries, most notably to what at the time was Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo.
Once the Interahamwe moved to Zaire they and the Hutu ex-government soldiers began to be known as the Rassemblement Démocratique pour le Rwanda (roughly, Rally for a Democratic Rwanda).
Second Congo War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (6475 words)
The resulting refugee camps quickly became dominated by the Interahamwe Hutu militias that had carried out much of the genocide, supported by Hutu members of the former Rwandan military.
One was the withdrawal of the estimated 20,000 Rwandan soldiers in the Congo.
The other was the rounding up of the ex-Rwandan soldiers and the dismantling of the Hutu extremist militia known as Interahamwe, which took part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide and continues to operate out of eastern Congo.
  More results at FactBites »



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