Genocide Rwanda
The skull of a murdered Tutsi lies on the earth in the Ribezo-Birenga sector of Rwanda, May 1994Getty Images

Rwanda genocide

Tensions between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups started with the Belgian colonisation in 1922. The colonisers supported the Tutsi political power and exacerbated ethnic differences between Hutu and Tutsi by introducing the compulsory use of identity cards.

After a Hutu revolution led to the 1962 declaration of independence and the establishment of the Rwanda republic, led by the MDR-Parmehutu, the country was rocked by sporadic violence between the Hutu government and Tutsi rebels.

In 1990 the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), formed by Tutsi refugees who had fled along with their families to Uganda due to ethnic violence in the previous years, invaded Rwanda, starting the Rwanda civil war.

The conflict lasted until 1994, when the genocide against the Tutsi was sparked after suspicions spread that the Tutsi had carried out an attack against the then Hutu president Juvénal Habyarimana, who died together with Burundi's President Cyprien Ntaryamira in a plane crash on 6 April 1994.

10 April 1994: The Silence of Nyamata is a historical novel that tells the tormented love story between a Tutsi girl and a Hutu boy in Nyamata, a town in southeastern Rwanda. The couple's first encounter occurs in 1993, one year before the genocide erupts in the country.

The more Caritas' and Innocent's lives intertwine and their love grows, the more the genocide threatens their future and that of their families.

By following Caritas' first discovery of love and human cruelty, the book leads the readers through the events that culminate in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and moderate Hutu (who refused to take part in the killings of the Tutsi) were systematically executed by the Hutu majority before the eyes of the international community.

It is estimated that between 800,000 and 1m people, including women and children, were killed in the three months from 6 April to 15 July 1994.


10 April 1994: The Silence of Nyamata, by IBTimesUK reporter Ludovica Iaccino, was published as an e-book in January 2015. Copies can be ordered via Amazon for £3.99.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the sisters of Charity Saint Jeanne Antide in Shire, Ethiopia, where Ludovica did volunteer work with street children in August 2014.


IBTimes UK has chosen some extracts of the book to commemorate the UN-designated Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Rwanda Genocide, which falls on 7 April.

Remembrance

rwanda genocide
30 November 1996: A young Rwandan refugee who travelled from Bukavu with several thousand others shivers in the early morning before getting back on the road to the border. He was part of a group of some 20,000 refugees, many suffering from disease and malnutrition, who had made their way into Goma after being on the road for over one month, escaping the genocide in RwandaCorinne Dufka/Reuters
Rwanda genocide
Skulls of victims from the Rwandan Genocide found at the Nyamata MemorialWikimedia Commons
Tutsi survivor genocide Rwanda
A Tutsi survivor of the genocide in Rwanda recuperates at Gahini hospital in Rwanda 11 May 1994Getty Images
rwanda
People hold a candlelight vigil at Amahoro Stadium in Kigali during the 20th anniversary commemoration of the 1994 Rwanda genocideGetty

10 April 1994: The Silence of Nyamata, by IBTimesUK reporter Ludovica Iaccino, was published as an e-book in January 2015. Copies can be ordered via Amazon for £3.99.

Part of the proceeds will be donated to the sisters of Charity Saint Jeanne Antide in Shire, Ethiopia, where Ludovica did volunteer work with street children in August 2014.