Statistics of the Genocide

After the Holocaust, in 1948 under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the leaders of the world came together and preached ‘never again.’ Yet in 1994 the world watched as the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda occurred in the full knowledge of the International Community. It was one of the most brutal acts of murder ever committed.

  • Over the course of 100 days from 6th April to 16th July 1994, an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsi and a number of moderate Hutu were slaughtered in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Although the exact figure is unknown, official Rwandan government documents estimate that the number of people killed in the genocide is 1,074,017 of whom 93.7 percent were Tutsi.[1] A 2008 report compiled by the Student Genocide Survivors Organisation (AERG) estimated the number to be close to 2 million.[2]
  • During this period, more than 6 men, women and children were murdered every minute of every hour of every day. This brutally efficient killing was maintained for over 3 months.[3]
  • The death in Rwanda accumulated at nearly three times the rate of the Jewish dead during the Holocaust. It was the most efficient mass killing since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[4]
  • Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 100 days of genocide. Up to 20,000 children were born to women as a result of rape.[5] Many women and men were injured or killed due to being shot, stabbed, or mutilated in the genitals.[6]
  • Of all the women who took an HIV/AIDS test in the 5 years after the genocide, 70% were infected with HIV and AIDS.[7] In many cases, this was a result of a systematic and planned use of rape by HIV+ men as a weapon of genocide.[8]
  • Due to lack of medication, many died in the aftermath of the genocide.[9]. Most HIV positive survivors had no way to access antiretroviral drugs needed to maintain their health. In direct contrast, those arrested for rape at Arusha prison (affiliated with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ITCR)), were given access to free medication, medical assistance, three meals a day and family visitation rights.[10]
  • Approximately 300,000 children were murdered during the genocide.[11]
  • Child survivors were found hiding among corpses, in cupboards or in bushes. The Rwandan National Trauma Survey estimates that 96% of children observed violence, 80% lost family members, 69% witnessed death or harm, 31% observed rape and 91% believed they would die.[12]
  • UNICEF estimates 95,000 children were left orphaned because of the genocide and  over one third of children of Rwanda witnessed the deaths of their families.[13]
  • After the genocide, over 120,000 people were detained and accused of participation and involvement in the genocide. To cope with the number of prosecutions, judicial action was pursued on three levels: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the national court system and the Gacaca courts.[14]
  • Between its establishment in 1994 and its closure in 2005, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda indicted just 93 people, and sentenced only 61 of them, at an estimated cost of $2 billion.[15]
  • Since 1994, 12,000 local community-based (gacaca) courts tried 1,003,227 individual Hutu in 1,958,634 cases of genocide. Of those, approximately 840,824 Hutu were convicted (86% of all those who were tried).[16]
  • As of 2019, there were over 25,000 very vulnerable genocide survivors who receive a stipend of Rwf 12,500 (around £10) a month from the government to support themselves.[17]
  • Schooling was stopped in 1990 in Rwanda due to the civil war that occurred prior to the genocide.[18] Following the genocide approximately 75% of primary and secondary school teachers had been killed, fled or were in prison[19] and over half of school-aged children did not attend school.[20]
  • There are between 300,000 to 400,000 survivors of the genocide.[21]
  • As of 2007, 40,000 survivors were without shelter, many whose homes were destroyed in the genocide, and inadequate shelter for survivors still continues to be an issue today. [22]
  • As of 2021, there are an estimated 30,000 cases involving genocide survivors’ properties plundered across the country during 1994 genocide against the Tutsi which have yet to be executed. [23]
  • In a 2016 study of genocide survivors living in the diaspora (in Finland), 73% of survivors reported still being traumatised by their experience in the genocide, and 38% extremely traumatised, despite it being over two decades ago.[24]
  • The 2018 Rwanda Mental Health Survey recorded that major depressive episodes (MDD) occurred in 12% of the general population and 35% of Genocide Survivors and that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurred in 3.6% of the general population and 27% of Genocide survivors. [25]

[1] The UN estimate the number killed as 800,000. The Rwandan Government estimate is 1,074,017.  RWANDA: No consensus on genocide death toll, Agence France-Presse, Apr 6, 2004. An exact figure is contested; see Meierhenrich, J. 2020. “How Many Victims Were There in the Rwandan Genocide? A Statistical Debate”. Journal of Genocide Research22 (1): 72–82 for the recent debate.

[2] A 2008 AERG Report estimates the number killed to be 1,952,078 people (

[3] A statistical average on the basis of the estimate of 800,000 to 1 million people killed in 100 days. (6 people x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 100 days = 864,000 people).

[4] Gourevitch, P. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families. Straus and Giroux, New York. 1998.

[5] Foundation Rwanda, 2019:

[6] The United Nations Special Reporters of the Commission on Human Rights on Rwanda; in source; Hinga, T. M., Kubai, A. N., Mwaura, P., & Ayanga, H. (2008). Women, religion and HIV/AIDS in Africa: Responding to ethical and theological challenges. Pietermaritzburg, Cluster.


[8] Quarmby, K. and Blewitt, M, K. Survival Against the Odds, p11.


[10] Quarmby, K. and Blewitt, M, K. Survival Against the Odds, p14.

[11] Quarmby, K. and Blewitt, M, K. Survival Against the Odds, p12.

[12] Anderson, P., & Menon, J. 2009. Violence performed. New York, Palgrave and Macmillan. p54-55. United Nations. 2001. Country presentation by the government of Rwanda. Third United Nations conference on the least developed countries, Brussels. P9.

[13] Quarmby, K. and Blewitt, M, K. Survival Against the Odds, p12.


[15] no further convictions have occurred since 2015.

[16] Chakravarty, A. 2016. “Investing in Authoritarian Rule: Punishment and Patronage in Rwanda’s Gacaca Courts for Genocide Crimes”. Cambridge. 1-43. Available at:


[18] King, E. 2014. From Classroom to Conflict in Rwanda. New York, Cambridge University Press. P111.

[19] Freedman, S. W., H. M. Weinstein, K. Murphy, and T. Longman. 2008. “Teaching History after Identity Based Conflicts: The Rwandan Experience.” Comparative Education Review 52 (4): 663–690. Page 250.

[20] Obura, A. P. 2003. Never Again: Educational Reconstruction in Rwanda. Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP).

[21] Rwandan Ministry of Social Affairs, 2007 census estimates the number to be 309,368 ( IBUKA (the umbrella body of survivors’ organisations in Rwanda) estimates the number to be nearer to 400,000.