Created: 5/13/1994

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Director of Central Intelligence

National Intelligence Council Memorandum

Rwanda and Burundi: Societies in Crisis

Key After the slaughter of anwandans, the tempo of Points ethnic bloodletting is slowing. Nonetheless, thean even greater magnitude than the killings in Burundi lastcreating an enormous and longlasting humanitarian crisis. In both countries, extremists with access to military power are using ethnic fears to derail democratic elections and power-sharing negotiations. Continued unrest haseavy toll on moderates in both ethnic communities.

In Rwanda, the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) controls about half the country; it is contesting the capital and moving toward success. Should the rebels triumph, they will probably be able to co-opt other groups into an RPF-controlled regime. The only other way to end the bloodshed mightyprus-type partition, entailing enormous population movements given the intermingling of majority Hutus and minority Tutsis.

The disorder in one country feeds unrest in Ihe other. Moreover, financing from the Large Rwandan andesser extent Burundian exile communities keeps rcvanchist movements going.

We expect the number of Rwandans who have fled or have been displaced within the country to grow into the millions. Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, and Burundi fear thai the refugee influx will bring violence and that the human waves will include military forces. I

At the same time, aid donors are fatigued. Given their limited mandate, UN peacekeepers in Rwanda could not slow the bloodbath, and ethnic unrest has swept away whatever gains were achieved by the large flows of economic aid to both countries.

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Rwanda and Burundi: Societies in Crisis

Brutal slaughter of hundreds of thousands causes even more Rwandans lo Jlce their homes

Burundi couldfollow Rwanda's bloody lead

before inear history has the International Committee of the Red Cross seen at first hand such unmitigated hatred leading to the exterminationignificant part of the civilian population.

ICRC Alde-Memoire to Governments on the Rwanda Crisis,4

In both Rwanda and Burundi, the traditional enmity between the Hutus, whoercent of the populations, and the Tutsis. who comprise the minority, will continue to fuel ethnic conflict -derailing efforts toward peaceful power sharing. Although the tempo of ethnic bloodletting in Rwanda is slowing, tbe massacres are creating an enormous and longlosting humanitarian crisis. q

Following the death of the Rwandan and Durundian presidentslane crashpril, hardline Rwandan Hutus, using their control of the army, unleashed massacres of Tutsis and moderate Hutus to scuttle the Arusha Accord that was to have given Tutsis greater political power. Aid agencies fear thai moreTutsis and Hutudied and morerom both groups have fled the country. Atave been displaced withinumber that could rise as highillion.1

The death of the Burundian president has not sparked significant unrest, but renewed violence could erupt in Burundi at any time. Democratic presidential elections in Junewhich Mclchior Ndadayc became the country's first Hutubeen followed by three attempted coups by the Tutsi-controlled military and die murder of Ndadayc and other leaders. The coup attempt last October set off ethnic bloodletting that killed as many0 and drover so Burundians into neighboring countries. Recentthe latest failed coup, disarmament of Hutu militias and civilians,utsiconstitutional

1 Outillion population of Rwanda,illion, orercent, are estimated to be Tutii. The International Committee of the Red Cross say*eople have been killed. Several inlemational humanitarian agencies have characterized ibe situation in Rwanda as genocide, cereaJering thatercentossibleercent of fte Tutsi population may have been slaughtered Burundi's populationh Tutsrs comprisingercent oreople (U)

challenge to President Nu'bantunganya'sadded to tensions. P

Kw audi and Burundi3

Unlike most African states, Rwanda and Burundi were not creations of colonial rule; their existence as political entities goes' back several centuries. Betweenhh centuries, Tutsi herders moved into the area from Ethiopia and established dominance over Hutu farmers. Hutus traditionally were the social inferiors of the Tutsi nobility, who exchanged cattle for personal services. Both groups share socialnd the related Kirundi and Kinyarwanda languages. (U)

Rwanda's Tutsi monarchy traditionally was more centralized and authoritarian than in Burundi, where the king's power restedhitting set of factional alliances. Rwanda also was marked by sharper social distinctions between Tutsis and Hutus. German and Belgian rule inh century highlighted ethnic differences in both countries, as colonial authorities gave Tutsis disproportionate access to education and government jobs. (U)

Even before Rwanda gained independencehe Hutus had gained political power in civil strife marked by widespread ethnic violence and the flight of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis into exile. Twosoutherner Grcgoircnd the northernerabyarimanaover single-party regimes. The country enjoyed relative stability and ethnic peace until Tutsi exiles of the Rwandan Patriotic Front invaded from Ugandahe Rwandan peace pact in3 (Arusha Accord) that ended the civil war between ihe Hutu-led government andjhe mainly Tutsi rebels was derailed by Hutu extremistsi|

In Burundi, Tutsis remained in control until between Hutu rule in Rwanda and the group's led to* in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Each Hutu attack fears of extermination, and each bloody repression reinforced the Hutus' desire for revenge. Periodic ethnic unrest resulted in three successful coups d'ttat and many failed attempts. The last Tutsi president, Pierre Buyoya. judged the situation was untenable and orchestrated last year's election and transfer of powerutu successor. P


Forces For Instability

The traditional enmity between Tutsis and Hutus continues to drive events in Rwanda and Burundi. Since independence,both groups and in bothled coups and fueled massacres to block political and military power sharing and quash their ethnic rivals.

Too many obstacles to reconciliation

both countries, political and social institutions are too poorly developed and too tied to ethnic power bases toeaceful transition to multi-ethnic power sharing. The forces for instability have repeatedly overwhelmed efforts at democratic elections, power-sharing accords, and ethnic reconciliation: F

Intermingling. Hutus and Tutsis live interspersed across the two countries. This intensifies episodes of tribal violence, because ethnically motivated killers manipulated by political elites frequently know victims and can incite their kinsmen to participate. Moreover, this demographic pattern makes it difficult to irnposc peace by separating the warring groups.

Spillover Effects. Disorder in one country feeds unrest in the other. The most concrete effect is the inter-flow of refugees, who strain the countries' limited resources and spread ethnic horror stories among their kinsmen. The cycle of violence strengthens the perception of duplicity on both sides and convinces each side that it cannot risk sharing power with the other.

the Tutsi minority

Resources, Many Rwandan Tutsi exiles work as professionals and businessmen in neighboring states, as well as in Europe and North America. Contributions from this community have been an important resource for tbe RPF and are likely to continue to be available to support armed Tutsi movements in Rwanda and perhaps in Burundi.

With annual per capita GNP of lesswanda and Burundi are among the world's poorest countries; they are also the two most densely populated countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.oreover, Rwanda's economy has shrunk by more thanercent and Burundi's byercent, while their populations have grown aboutercent. Recent violence has kept farmers from tending the coffeemain export of bothbattering rural irrcomes. In Rwanda, the RPF's demand for land for returning Tutsi exiles has been a

slickingasting solution in Burundi would have toole in the economy tor Tutsi soldiers and civil servants replaced by Hutus.

Forces Inhibiting Reconciliation

The recent violence has strengthened those elements in the social and political structureesser extent intend to block peaceful resolution of ethnic conflict:

moderates left on either side

Ground Eroded. Much of the recent violence has targeted leadersommon ground between Hutus and Tutsis. In Rwanda, most moderate Hutu leaders appear to have been murdered or to have fled, leaving the interim government under the control of hardliners. The RPFs public statements indicate the group views all surviving government leaders as complicit in the slaughter. Until the violence ends, Rwandan moderates will be unwilling to come forward. In Burundi, the coup attempts and efforts to disarm civilians appear to be polarizing the political leadership of both ethnic groups.

within each group also growing

Continued unrest is increasing the number of factional fault lines in both countries and is undermining the ability of local leaders to convince their followers to adhereettlement In Rwanda, government forces are divided between northern and southern elements. The rebels seem more unified, but divisions may develop between the Tutsi military leadership and Hutus serving as political window dressing or between Tutsis seeking revenge for the massacre of their kinsmen and others more disposed to reconciliation with the Hutu majority.

factionalism is rife in Burundi. Tutsi soldiers' political loyalties and support for coup attempts derive from their membership in rival clans. The Hutu community is split betweensaysiolent uprising can cam Hutus equality withthe ruling FRODEBU party, which in turn is split between moderates and radicals.

Obstacles to Outside Help. In both countries, manipulation by contending factions of outside mediators and peacekeepers has made il much harder for disinterestedas the UN, OAU, and Westernhelp find or implement peaceful solutions. Rwandan government forces, after attacking UN


peacekeeping troops in early April and accusing the Belgian contingent of complicity in President Habyarimana's death, now say they want an expanded multilateral military presence, probably to block new RPF gains. The RPF has hedged statements that it wouldultilateral force to protect aid deliveries, probably because the rebels believe they will win in the weeks needed to deployorce. In Burundi, opposition by the Army's Tutsi hierarchy has sharply restricted the missionoan OAU military observer force that is intended to build confidence between the regime and the troops.

Neighboring states Meddling Neighbors. Uganda and Zaire will continue to support promoting their their allies in Rwanda and Burundi. Uganda is likely to keep own interests giving the RPF weaponry, logistical support, and sanctuary, and could provide some troop support. For Ugandan President Museveni, this aid repays his debt to the Rwandan rebels' military cadre, who were his comrades-in-arms during bis fight for power. Museveni probably also judges that only an RPF victory would induce theutsi exiles inthey have drawn native Ugandans'return to Rwanda. If asked, Museveni might also aid any Burundian Tutsi group Lhat allied with the RPF.I

/aire's President Mobutu views the crises in Rwanda and Burundihance to remind Western donors that his regime cannot be ignored and to burnish his regional and international image by mediating among the rival factions. At the same time, Mobutu probably will provide limited support to Rwandan and Burundian Hutus. The Zairian military intervened against the RPF0 and sent Rwandan government forces some weapons last month. Kinshasa has not meddled as much in Burundi, but we believe that Mobutu would seriouslyequest by either an embattled Hutu government or radical Hutu militias for military help.

Prospects and Implications for the United States

peace accords not salvageable

Resolution Mechanisms Disintegrating. The onset of civil war and massive ethnic slaughter in Rwanda last month sounded the death knell for the Arusha accords of3 that promised power sharing, transition to electoral democracy, and military demobilization. Renewed fighting and widespread butchery have

dissipated the limited trust developed between the government and RPFear of negotiations.

if the rebels win...

RPF controls about half the country, can isolate the capital at will, and is moving toward defeating government forces. Should the rebels triumph, they will try to co-opt other groups into an RPF-controlled regime. The rebels have already spokennational conference"orum for establishing the legitimacyew government.

Could the RPF Govern?

" fift^ jjJDjMMlrralS

We believe the RPF, based on its negotiating history, realizesinority Tutsi government would not be viable. Should the rebels defeat the interim government, their ability lo establish political 'A control over Rwanda will depend on their ability to co-opt the surviving moderate Hutu leaders. The RPF's record suggests it probably would be able to do so if it wins quickly. The group has installed Hutus in visible politicalworked well with moderate Hutu representatives during the peace negotiations last year. Another factor in the RPF's favor is that rebel coops have refrained from retaliatingassive scale for anti-Tutsi atrocities; their strong discipline leads us to judge that RPF troops will continue doing

The ability of the rebels tounctioning government would decline, however, if ihe war dragged on. Hutus amenable to cooperation with the RPF would be hunted down by the interim government's security forces and hardline militias, and continued massacres of Tutsis could reduce the RPFs willingness to cooperate

across ethnic lines.

._ortalemate On the other hand,ilitary stalemate develops, continued fighting resultyprus-like probably will deepen mistrust even further andegotiated partition? political settlement for some time. In thisore radical

solution -fore facto, Cyprus-like partitionainly Tutsi, RPF-held sectorainly Hutu,be tbe only way to end the bloodletting. Partition would require massive shifts of population and would impose enormous humanitarian and financial costs. The final extent of the massacres probably would determine whether the RPF would even consider this option.tep would have significant long-term risks, f

Regional Refugee Situation

Tanzania, Uganda, /aire, and Burundi fear that the influx of morewandan refugees will be economically costly, leadiolence, and that the human waves will include mililary|

:Atwandans have crossed into remote western Tanzania and have been moved to an area someilometers from the border. Inleraational agencies arc scrambling for funds, workers, and relief goods toealth catastrophe from cholera, measles, and other diseases.

In Burundi, ihe process lhal led lo last year's democratic election and the transfer of political power lo the Hutu majority is under extreme pressure. We believe the most immediate challenge is that of ensuring the physical security of each ethnic group. The deaths of two Hutu presidents within six months highlight the vulnerability of Burundi's politicians, and extremists could try to massacre moderate leadersower grab. On the other hand, Tutsis suspect that efforts to protect the political leadership, such as the creationcparalc Presidential Guard, are steps designed to impose Hutu military dominance over the minority group and could leave them defenseless against Hutu mobs and militias. P

0 Rwandan Tutsis have fled lo Burundi, along withurundian Hutu refugees who had fled last fall to escape violence and are now returning. The fragile ethnic balance in Burundi could easily be upset if local people the recent arrivals are monopolizing relief supplies.1 Burundian Hutu refugees remain in Rwanda.

Zaire Claims it has receivedwandan refugees, andwandans arc in Uganda.0 Burundians have tied into Zaire from refugee camps in Rwanda. Although the numbers arc relatively small, the remoteness of the border camps and poor transport systems arc straining the relief effort.'

humanitarian crisis will continue

Humanitarian Crisis, Continued political instability and ethnic violence willeavy human price. We expect the number of Rwandans who have fled or have been displaced within theestimaterise into the millions. Similarly,urundians who recently relumed from camps in Rwanda may remain displaced within Burundi. These population

displacements also have disrupted food production; Rwandan farmers probably have drastically reduced planting during the current long rainy season, and last year Burundi lost an estimated two-thirds of the food crops planted during the short rains. I

Another blow to UN Donor Fatigue. Rwanda and Burundi's cycle of violence has spun out peacekeeping efforts... of control despite considerable political and economic aid from the outside. Some donors are reassessing assistance to Africa, especially for peacekeeping operations. The limited mandate ofan UN contingent in Rwanda prevented it from intervening to halt or slow the bloodbath:

hadeacekeepersreevaluating its participation in any future UN military operations.

Because of their experiences in other operations, Nigeria and other African countries say they will participateroposed multilateral force to protect aid deliveries only if they have prior commitments of logistical and transport support from the United States and other Western powers. p

nd to economic The experience of Rwanda and Burundi may also cause donors to assistance to Africa reconsider economic assistance. Donors disbursed SIillion to

Rwanda and Siillion toaboutercent ofhen the World Bank said they were generally pursuing the right economic course. But since then, ethnic violence has swept away the gains achieved by these resource transfers-!

Rwanda and Burundi: Societies in Crisis

Annex: Military Forces in Rwanda and Burundi


Rwandan Armed Forces (Government):

Combat Effective manpower

Combat Effective manpower in

Major weapons systems:




Air defense machine

ir defense

m rccoilless

Hutu Militias (Pro-Government):

Combat Effective0

Weapons:ssault rifles, hand grenades

Rwandan Patriotic Army (Rebels):

Combat Effective manpower

Combat Effective manpower in

Major weapons systems (quantitiesm towed multiple rocket launchersm,m mortars Towed air defense guns

an-portable missiles

United Nations Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR):

ilitary observers in Kigali; authorized strength


Burundian Armed Forces

Estimated manpowerArmy, Gendarmerie, Security Service)

Major weapons systems:


m howitzers and


m recoillcss

m antitank grenade

Air defense




Eight fixed-wing

Hutu Party Militias

Unknown number of militiamen armed with various light infantry weapons, possibly including rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

OAU Inter-African Observer Mission in Burundi (MIOB)

ilitary observers; authorized strength

Original document.