17 May 1994 - 10 July 2008
(about 14 years)
Cease hostilities, Agreement negotiation, Peace enforcement, Peacebuilding, Human rights
Sanction Types
  • Arms (arms imports embargo)
Non-UN Sanctions
Regional (no), Unilateral (Other)
Other Policy Instruments
Diplomacy, Legal tribunals, Peace operations, Use of military force, DDR/SSR


Following years of civil war between ethnic Hutu and Tutsi factions (and an invasion from the mostly Tutsi, Rwandan Patriotic Front/RPF forces based in Uganda in 1990), the Arusha Peace Agreement was signed by Rwandan President Habyarimana on 4 August 1993, effectively ending the civil war. Both parties agreed to a ceasefire and the creation of a government of national unity (power sharing agreement) to be monitored by a UN peacekeeping force of 2500 (UNAMIR) in UNSCR 872 (5 October 1993). President Habyarimana and the President of Burundi were both killed when their plane was shot down near Kigali on 6 April 1994, after which the RPF launched major offensive and extremist Hutu and Rwandan military forces began a systematic massacre of ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutus. Within 100 days, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in what was subsequently (and belatedly) recognized as the Rwandan genocide.

In the wake of widespread violence and the withdrawal of Belgian forces (a battalion) on April 14, following the brutal murders of ten of its troops, the SG presented three options to the Council: (1) a massive increase in peacekeeping forces, (2) scaling back to a minimum force of 270, or (3) complete withdrawal. The UNSC voted unanimously to draw down UN forces from 2500 to 270, ostensibly because of the limitations of its peacekeeping mandate and an inability to enforce it.


The analysis of the Rwanda case is divided into the following episodes (also navigable via the numbers in the top bar):