On April 6, 1994, a plane was hit by a missile over the Rwandan capital of Kigali. Everyone onboard was killed, including Rwanda’s president, Juvénal Habyarimana.
Even twenty years later, it remains uncertain who shot down the plane. But what happened immediately afterwards is very much known, seared into the minds of those who bore witness and branded forever on Rwanda’s soul. Hutu extremists blamed the Tutsi ethnic minority for the president’s killing and began a program of mass extermination. By the time they were finished, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were dead, most of them hacked apart with medieval weapons like machetes and axes.