Update to RWA29065.E of 24 March 1998 on the situation of Tutsi civilians, the increase of threats or attacks against Tutsi citizens, particularly those who were out of the country during the genocide of 1994; prevalence of attacks by interahamwe; whether Tutsis are at risk, what areas of Rwanda pose greater risk and on their protection by the Rwandese state (May 2001) [RWA36679.E]

Current information on the situation of members of the tutsi ethnic group could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Describing the situation of Tutsi in general, Country Reports 2000 states that "the largely Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic front (RPF), which took power following the civil war and genocide of 1994, is the principal political force and controls the Government of National Unity." (2001, Intro.). The same source of information notes that:

discrimination against the Tutsi minority in education, training, and government employment effectively ceased with the change of government in 1994. Some Hutu organizations and individuals accuse the Government of favouring Tutsis, particularly English-speaking Tutsis, in government employment, admission to professional schooling, recruitment into or promotion within the army, and other matters. Some organizations also complain that in hiring, the government favors English-speaking Tutsis over French-speaking Tutsis (ibid. 2000, 2001 Sec. 5).

In its assessment of the situation of Tutsis in Rwanda, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) wrote the following:

Those Tutsis who survived the genocide face a very different situation to that of those returned Tutsi exiles, who have managed to secure privileged positions in the towns. The genocide had almost completely destroyed the rural Tutsi community, and survivors now live in overcrowded resettlement plots, consisting of prefabricated rural slums in areas isolated from urban services and where there is little land to cultivate and an insufficient economic base to support their needs.
Whilst the government is described as a Tutsi regime, the disparity between the urban and rural dwellers is striking, and the new power elite of the towns has little to do with the poor rural Tutsi. Meanwhile, the insurgent militias, many of whose members were responsible for the 1994 genocide, have pursued their aim to eliminate Rwanda's Tutsis by violence. Whilst they appeared to be operating with military tactics and objectives in the first part of 1997, by late summer their efforts had degenerated into a pattern similar to that existing during the genocide. In October 1997, it was reported that Tutsi genocide survivors in the north-western regions of Gisenyi and Ruhengeri were fleeing their homes to escape attacks and seeking refuge in churches and public buildings (IND Oct. 2000).

No mention of any insurgent groups' attacks in Rwanda after 23 December 1999 could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

See RWA34396.F of 15 June 2000 and RWA34168.F of 30 June 2000 for information on the 23 December 1999 attacks by insurgent groups in the prefecture of Gisenyi.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. 2001. United States Department of State. Washington, D.C. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/af/index.cfm?docid=720 [Accessed 8 May 2001]

Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), Home Office, UK. October 2000. "Rwanda Assessment." http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/ind/asylum/asylum_Rwanda.htm [Accessed 9 May 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential 2000-2001.

Africa Research Bulletin 2000-2001.

Amnesty International. 2000. Annual Report.

Human Rights Watch (HRW). 2000-2001. Annual Reports.

Jeune Afrique/l'Intelligent 2000-2001.

Keesing's Record of World Events 2000-2001.

La Lettre hebdomadaire de la FIDH 2000-2001.


Resource Centre country file. Rwanda.

Web sites including:

Amnesty International.


Human Rights Watch (HRW).


Office fédéral des réfugiés (ODR), Suitzerland.


UN Commission for Human Rights.

Engine Search including: