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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
13 January 2006

RWANDA: Year in Brief 2005 - A chronology of key events

NAIROBI, 13 Jan 2006 (IRIN) -

January February March April
May June July August
September October November December




JANUARY


17 Jan - Rwanda's community courts, known as “gacaca”, begin systematic investigations into crimes committed during the 1994 genocide in which up to a million Rwandans were killed.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



FEBRUARY


2 Feb - Military officers from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) initiate joint verification monitoring of the movement of rebels across the border of the two countries.
[Full report]

9 Feb - Justice Minister Edda Mukabagwiza says that genocide suspects detained in Rwanda's prisons have until March to confess to their roles in the 1994 genocide and be eligible for reduced sentences through traditional gacaca tribunals.
[Full report]

23 Feb - Hassan Jallow, prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), hands over the dossiers of 15 genocide suspects who are still at large to the Rwandan national prosecutor.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



MARCH


3 Mar - UN and Rwandan officials says hundreds of Burundians are fleeing into Rwanda, citing increased political tension in the neighbouring country.
[Full report]

5 Mar - Gacaca tribunals begin proceedings countrywide in an effort to expedite trials for hundreds of thousands of detained genocide suspects.
[Full report]

31 Mar - Leaders of a Rwandan armed group operating from eastern DRC announce their intention to end attacks against their homeland.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



APRIL


7 Apr - Rwandan President Paul Kagame says for the first time that members of his government must testify before the gacaca courts if they are summoned.
[Full report]

13 Apr - Burundian officials say hundreds of Rwandans arrive in northern Burundi claiming they are being persecuted by Rwanda's gacaca courts.
[Full report]

14 Apr - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank announce the cancellation of US $1.4 billion of Rwanda's debt, under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
[Full report]

14 Apr - Rwanda for the first time destroys 6,000 small arms as part of a regional initiative to check the flow of illicit guns that have fuelled conflict in the region.
[Full report]

18 Apr - The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) says it has begun relocating more than 2,000 refugees who had fled from Rwanda into Burundi since the end of March.
[Full report]

20 Apr - UNHCR says at least 1,118 Rwandans had crossed into south western Uganda since the beginning of April, with some of them claiming to be escaping "arbitrary arrests" at home.
[Full report]

22 Apr - A UN official says at least 3,300 people from DRC's North Kivu province have fled into Rwanda since the beginning of April.
[Full report]

27 Apr - Senior Burundian and Rwandan officials decide that Rwandans who have been fleeing to northern Burundi since the beginning of April, would not be accorded refugee status.
[Full report]

29 Apr - UNHCR transfers 149 Congolese refugees from a Rwandan transit centre near the Rwanda-DRC border, to a newly established refugee camp in Rwanda's Byumba province.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



MAY


3 May - With more refugees fleeing from the DRC into Rwanda since April, UNHCR says it has begun transferring the existing refugees to a camp further inside the country.
[Full report]

6 May - The Rwandan government says at least 1,000 of the nearly 7,000 Hutu Rwandans who fled their country in April, have returned home.
[Full report]

7 May - Rwandan army Maj-Gen Laurent Munyakazi stands before a gacaca court, accused of having helped militiamen who killed thousands of Tutsi people during the 1994 genocide.
[Full report]

17 May - UNHCR says that hundreds of Rwandan asylum seekers, who had fled to Burundi in April, may have been intimidated into returning.
[Full report]

25 May - UNHCR says the number of Rwandan refugees returning home from eastern DRC has increased dramatically since March, when a Rwandan rebel group announced that it would disarm.
[Full report]

27 May - Rwandan President Paul Kagame says his government would not agree to hold talks with Rwandan Hutu rebels based in eastern DRC.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



JUNE


14 Jun - Burundi closes a transit camp in its northern province of Ngozi after thousands of Rwandan asylum seekers return home.
[Full report]

15 Jun - The Rwandan government dismisses accusations made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the UNHCR, that Rwanda and Burundi violated international refugee law when they forcibly repatriated thousands of Rwandans from Burundi.
[Full report]

24 Jun - Aldo Ajello, the European Union’s special representative to Africa's Great Lakes region, says the EU might support military action against Rwandan Hutu rebels in eastern DRC if they refuse to disarm and return home.
[Full report]

24 Jun - The African Union issues 19-page report saying up to 45,000 AU peacekeepers could be needed to disarm an estimated 15,000 Rwanda Hutus based in the eastern DRC.
[Full report]

28 Jun - DRC President Joseph Kabila says he has ordered his army to begin disarming thousands of foreign rebels from Uganda and Rwanda hiding out in the east of his country.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



JULY


6 Jul - The African Development Fund (ADF), the part of the African Development Bank, announces that it will provide Rwanda with $224 million in debt relief.
[Full report]

15 Jul - Uganda and Rwanda sign an extradition treaty to apply to people they hold to be criminals.
[Full report]

29 Jul - Rwandan prison authorities begin releasing what they say will amount to 36,000 detainees, many of whom have confessed to taking part in the country's 1994 genocide.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



AUGUST


8 Aug - Rwandan genocide survivors issue a complaint to the government about its decision on 29 July to release tens of thousands of inmates, many of whom had confessed to taking part in the 1994 genocide.
[Full report]

18 Aug - Rwanda, Burundi and the UNHCR sign an agreement that lays the ground rules for the voluntarily repatriation of thousands of Burundian refugees from Rwanda.
[Full report]

25 Aug - Ministers of regional cooperation from DRC, Rwanda and Uganda agree that Rwandan Hutu rebels in DRC have until 30 September to disarm or else face "severe" consequences.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



SEPTEMBER


12 Sep - UNHCR says it has closed the Gikonko transit site in southern Rwanda, and that most of the Burundian refugees there have returned home.
[Full report]

23 Sep - Hundreds of genocide convicts released by presidential decree begin community work as part of their punishment for their role in the 1994 genocide.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



OCTOBER


6 Oct - A senior Rwandan government official dismisses allegations that the Rwandan army was responsible for a massacre of hundreds of people in eastern DRC nearly 10 years earlier. Their bodies had recently been discovered in mass graves.
[Full report]

25 Oct - Rwanda's first post-genocide president, Pasteur Bizimungu, appears before the country's Supreme Court seeking to quash a 15-year prison sentence.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]



NOVEMBER


9 Nov - A Rwandan high court agrees to transfer a detained Belgian priest, Guy Theunis, to his native country to stand trial on genocide charges.
[Full report]

9 Nov - Up to 336 armed men have so far surrendered since UN and government troops began a joint operation a week earlier to flush out Hutu Rwanda rebels and other illegal armed groups in eastern DRC.
[Full report]

10 Nov - UNHCR says it is assisting people from Rwanda who fled to Burundi in April, even though the governments of the two countries have decided to term them "illegal immigrants" rather than "asylum seekers".
[Full report]

20 Nov – Belgian Roman Catholic missionary Guy Theunis, accused of taking part in Rwanda's 1994 genocide, arrives in Brussels from Kigali, 11 days after the High Court of Rwanda ruled that he be sent to his homeland where he might stand trial.
[Full report]

21 Nov - A French judge arrives in Rwanda to investigate accusations that France helped the former pro-Hutu administration in its attempt to exterminate minority Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. Politically moderate Hutus were also killed.
[Full report]

28 Nov - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, an international health financing body, agrees to give Rwanda the first portion of a $33-million grant to support programmes aimed at combating HIV/AIDS.
[Full report]

[Top of the Page]

[ENDS]

 

This material comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but May not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. All materials copyright © UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2006



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