The highlands of Rwanda and Burundi, east of Lake Kivu, are the last part of Africa to be reached by Europeans in the colonial expansion of the late 19th century. Before that time local tradition tells of many centuries during which the Tutsi, a tall cattle-rearing people probably from the upper reaches of the Nile, infiltrate the area and won dominance over the Hutu, already in residence and living by agriculture. At the start of World War I, Germany invades Belgium, the Belgians retaliate by moving troops from the Belgian Congo to Ruanda-Urundi. After the war the League of Nations grants Belgium a mandate to administer Ruanda-Urundi. In 1973 the then president Kayibanda was removed from power by a group of army officers who replace him with major general, Juvénal Habyarimana. Habyarimana remains in power for twenty-one years, running a conventional self-serving military dictatorship with enthusiastic support from several western countries, in particular France. But his Hutu ethnic policy creates a problem in Rwanda’s border countries. In neighbouring countries there are a vast number of mainly Tutsi refugees. In 1987 Rwandan exiles formed the group known as the RPF or Rwandan Patriotic Front, committed to armed struggle against Habyarimana’s regime. In August 1993, after talks at Arusha in Tanzania, Habyarimana signs a peace treaty with the RPF, officially bringing the war with the RPF rebel army to an end. In what becomes known as the Arusha Accords, Habiyarimana accepts the right of return for all Rwanda’s refugees, the merging of the RPF with the national army, and a transitional period leading up to elections and a democratic government. During this period power was to reside with a provisional government in which, most startling of all, the RPF will be represented. And UN forces will be invited into Rwanda to secure this process. These concessions seem outrageous to the Interahamwe (meaning ‘those who attack together’) and those in political control of Rwanda. On 6 April 1994 a rocket, brings down a plane with two presidents – Habyarimana, and the head of state of neighbouring Burundi, shot down over Kigali, leaving no survivors. It has never been conclusively determined who the culprits were. Within an hour of the plane crash, theGuard together with members of the Rwandan armed forces (FAR) and Hutu militia groups known as the Interahamwe (“Those Who Attack Together”) and Impuzamugambi (“Those Who Have the Same Goal”) set up roadblocks and barricades and began slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus with impunity. Among the first victims of the genocide were the moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and her 10 Belgian bodyguards, killed on April 7. This violence created a political vacuum, into which an interim government of extremist Hutu Power leaders from the military high command stepped on April 9. The mass killings in Rwanda quickly spread from Kigali to the rest of the country, with some 800,000 people slaughtered over the next three months. During this period, local officials and government-sponsored radio stations called on ordinary Rwandan civilians to murder their neighbours. Meanwhile, the RPF resumed fighting, and civil war raged alongside the genocide. By early July, RPF forces had gained control over most of country, including Kigali. In the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, many prominent figures in the international community lamented the outside world’s general obliviousness to the situation and its failure to act in order to prevent the atrocities from taking place. As former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali told the PBS news program “Frontline”: “The failure of Rwanda is 10 times greater than the failure of Yugoslavia. Because in Yugoslavia the international community was interested, was involved. In Rwanda nobody was interested.” Attempts were later made to rectify this passivity. After the RFP victory, the UNAMIR operation was brought back up to strength; it remained in Rwanda until March 1996, as one of the largest humanitarian relief efforts in history. Rwanda today is a remarkable story of renewal and rapid economic development. Looking around the capital, it is hard to imagine that only 20 years ago, the country was torn apart by one of the worst atrocities of the last century. Visitors often remark on Kigali’s impeccably clean streets, high-tech efficiency and the ease of doing business. President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front are the dominant political forces in Rwanda. There is only one registered opposition party and many political opponents have fled into exile. While the country has progressed economically during Kagame’s time in office, opponents say it has come at the cost of political freedom.