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Participant in Rwandan Genocide
First Congo War
Second Congo War
Active 1994–present
Ideology Hutu Power
Leaders Augustin Bizimungu
Tharcisse Renzaho
Idelphonse Hategekimana
Idelphonse Nizeyimana
Protais Mpiranya
Callixte Nzabonimana
Aloys Ndimbati
Area of operations Jungles of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; formerly Rwanda
Strength 100,000 (1994)
20,000 (1998)
6,500 (2012)
Allies Zaire (1996–1997)
Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (1996–2001)
DR Congo (1998–2003)
FDLR (2000–present)
Opponents Rwandan Patriotic Front (1994)
 Rwanda (1994–present)
AFDL (1996–1997)
Uganda (1996–present)
DR Congo (2003–present)

The Interahamwe (Rwandan Genocide. Since the genocide, they have been driven out of Rwanda, mainly to Zaire (present day Democratic Republic of the Congo). They are predominantly considered a terrorist organization by most western governments, as well as several countries in Africa (including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and several others).


  • Origin of the name 1
  • Organization and history 2
  • Post–Rwandan Genocide 3
  • Prosecution 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Origin of the name

The name Interahamwe can be translated as "Those who work together" or "Those who fight together". Interahamwe can be broken up this way: Intera is derived from the verb gutera, meaning "to work". The hamwe means "together" and is related to the word rimwe for "one". "Work" was used as slang on racist radio broadcasts during the genocide - "working" meant using the machete or killing.[2]

English speakers usually pronounce it as , though it is pronounced in Kinyarwanda. However, when speaking English, Rwandans will sometimes pronounce it in the English manner. The difference can be observed by listening to Paul Rusesabagina in the Return to Rwanda feature of a Hotel Rwanda DVD, and to the translator for a survivor of the Nyarubuye massacre in "Frontline" Ghosts of Rwanda. In Hotel Rwanda, the name is consistently erroneously spelled and pronounced as "Interhamwe". 2

Organization and history

MRND party. They carried out the Rwandan Genocide acts against the Tutsis in 1994. The Interahamwe formed RTLM, the genocidal radio station which was used to broadcast where the Tutsis were fleeing.

Following the invasion of the Rwandan capital

External links

Hutu militants
Rwandan Genocide (1994)
Rwandan Armed Forces
Refugee crisis
RDR (1995–1996)
1st and 2nd Congo War
ALiR (1996–2001)
FDLR (2000–present)
  1. ^ "Rwanda: How the genocide happened". BBC News. 17 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Bührer, Michel (1996). Rwanda : Memoire d'un génocide. Paris: Editions UNESCO. p. 12. 
  3. ^ Vasagar, Jeevan (16 February 2005). "The hotel that saved hundreds from genocide". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ Gérard Prunier, From Genocide to Continental War: The "Congolese" Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa, C. Hurst & Co, 2009, ISBN 1-85065-523-5, p. 193
  5. ^ "BBC News - Africa - Kidnap tourist tells of ordeal". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Locked Up Abroad". National Geographic Channel. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Home - United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Guzzardi, Will (2 February 2011). "Suspected Genocide Leader Deported From Chicago To Rwanda". Huffington Post. 


[9][8] Fugitives have been captured and prosecuted in other countries, including Jean-Marie Vianney Mudahinyuka (a.k.a. "Zuzu"), an Interahamwe leader arrested in the United States and deported in February of 2011.[7] Leaders of the Interahamwe have been primarily prosecuted through the


In 1999, Interahamwe attacked and kidnapped a group of 14 tourists in Bwindi National Park, Uganda. Eight of the tourists were killed.[5] The story was featured on National Geographic, Locked Up Abroad: Uganda.[6]

Post–Rwandan Genocide

During the war, millions of Rwandan Armée de Libération du Rwanda (ALiR). With the Kagame regime still in power, members still take part in border raids from the refugee camps.

It has been nearly impossible to bring the Interahamwe to justice because they did not wear uniforms or have a clearly organized group of followers. They were the neighbours, friends and co-workers of Tutsis. Throughout the war, members of the Interahamwe moved into camps of refugees and the internally displaced. There the victims were mixed in with the enemy and to this day it cannot be proven who killed whom. [4]

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