Interahamwe Militia (Rwanda)

Country: Rwanda
Details of Formation: The Interahamwe was created in 1991 and was set up as the youth wing of the ruling MRND party. They formed alongside the Impuzamugambi militia, which was set up by the CDR party.
Details of Termination: After the genocide members of Interahamwe and the change in government the militia ceased to be pro-government. During the war, many members moved into refugee camps in neighboring countries and mixed with the Tutsis. Due to this, bringing the Interahamwe to justice after the genocide became difficult for the courts. Some members fled to the DR Congo and created the rebel movement “Armée de Libération du Rwanda” there. (Wikipedia; Braithwaite 2010: 311)
Purpose: The group was set up as the youth wing of the ruling MRND party in Rwanda. Already before the genocide their violent behavior targeted Tutsis and moderate Hutus, which was intensified after the assassination of President Habyarimana (Amnesty 1994b).
Organisation: The militia was initially created by the MRND party as its youth wing. Over time they received weapons and training and became a militia. Their leader was MRND-affiliated politician Robert Kajuga (Wikipedia).
Weapons and Training: The Interahamwe militia received weapons including ammunition and grenades from government forces. Presidential Guard and the French military gave members of the milItia military training courses before the genocide.
Size: One source reports that there are 1,700 militia members.
Reason for Membership: Members were driven by their ethnic loyalty and joined to fight against all perceived threats for Hutus such as Tutsis or moderate Hutus.
Treatment of Civilians: The militia attacked Tutsi civilians before the genocide and was backed by the Hutu government. Their use of violence became more extensive after the assassination of President Habyarimana and during the genocide (Amnesty 1994a).
Other Information: --
References: Amnesty International. 1994a. “Mass murder by government supporters and troops in April and May 1994”. AI Index: AFR 47/11/94. 23 May.
Amnesty International. 1994b. “Rwanda: Cases for Appeals”. AI Index: AFR 47/017/1994. 01 November.
Braithwaite, Alex. 2010. "Resisting infection: How state capacity conditions conflict contagion." Journal of Peace Research 47(3): 311-319.
Wikipedia. “Interahamwe”.