July 14, 1994
RPF forces capture Ruhengeri, an important bastion of the genocide regime, and liberate a few survivors. People flee into the French “safe zone” at an estimated rate of 6,000 per hour, including militia, soldiers and officials of the Interim Government. An estimated one million Hutus begin fleeing towards Zaire.
July 6-13, 1994
RPF troops continue liberating cities and towns across the country
July 5, 1994
Radio Muhabura reports that at Kiruhura parish in Butare, RPF soldiers rescue 24 nuns, including two Belgians who were injured by the fleeing Government forces. They also rescued 300 nuns and about 100 orphans from another parish in Butare. Two of the rescued nuns report that Government troops stole about 300 million Rwandan Francs ($440,000 USD) from the parish. The French-led “Operation Turquoise” establishes a “safe zone” in the prefectures of Gikongoro, Cyangugu, and Kibuye. As the RPF advances westward, the influx of displaced persons into the zone increases from an initial 500,000 to an estimated one million people. The French Committee for the Defense of Human Rights and Democracy in Rwanda and Médecins Sans Frontières say that “France is protecting those behind the massacres” in Rwanda.
July 4, 1994
RPF forces liberate the cities of Kigali and Butare leading to the end of the genocide. The genocide regime flees to Zaire and orchestrates the evacuation of approximately two million Hutus. Only 20,000 Tutsi survivors are left in Kigali. French troops in Gikongoro receive orders to form a front to halt the RPF advance.
July 3, 1994
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe officially announces the boundaries of “Operation Turquoise” in Gikongoro, Cyangugu, and Kibuye. RPF troops and the Turquoise forces exchange fire as the RPF advances toward Gikongoro. As the RPF prepares to take Butare, French troops evacuate more than 1,000 people by convoy toward Burundi and Bukavu, Zaire.
July 1, 1994
RPF forces gain control over areas in Kigali, Gitarama, and Butare. Radio Muhabura reports that RPF Chairman Alexis Kanyarengwe met President Ally Hassan Mwinyi of Tanzania to tell him that he still has a role to play as a mediator, because Tanzania is harbouring some of the known killers responsible for the genocide. The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 935 calling for the formation of an impartial Commission of Experts to review the evidence of human rights violations and possible “acts of genocide” in Rwanda and that the Secretary-General report to the Council within four months from the establishment of the Commission of Experts.
June 30, 1994
Commander Marin Gillier, leading the Turquoise Omar detachment,arrives at Bisesero and finds many massacre sites there as well as 800 to 1,000 survivors. In the three-day interval after they were discovered by the Diego detachment and before the Omar detachment got them out of harm’s way, about 1,000 survivors from Bisesero were massacred under the leadership of Charles Sikubwabo, the mayor of Gishyita. This three- day delay has never been accounted for.
June 28, 1994
The UN Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur, René Dégni-Ségui, presents his report on the humanitarian situation in Rwanda stating that the massacres throughout Rwanda were a pre-planned, systematic campaign of genocide. The President of the UN Security Council, Salim Bin Mohammed Al-Khussaiby of Oman, requests the Rwandan Interim Government to close down the RTLM radio station. Jean-Damascene Bizimana, the Interim Government’s Ambassador to the UN, agrees to take action against RTLM. However, broadcasts continued.
June 27, 1994
Two nuns from Kibuye alert Lieutenant-Colonel Duval, the commander of a Turquoise detachment headed toward the Bisesero Hills in the commune of Gishyita, that Tutsi refugees were under threat of extermination in the hills where they had taken refuge. The detachment comes across some of the first survivors north of this area. Duval judges that he has insufficient means to secure the area and tells the survivors he is returning to Kibuye, promising them that he would come back as soon as possible.
June 26, 1994
RPF forces continue capturing territory from the fleeing Government forces. Journalist Sam Kiley informs the French soldiers of the Omar detachment, under Lieutenant Commander Marin Gillier, of massacres of Tutsi in the Bisesero Valley in Kibuye Prefecture, a few kilometers from a French camp.