Rwanda Peace Agreement 1993

There are those who argue that Rwanda should never have tried to have both a peace process and a process of democratization, because one allowed the other to take control of the situation. Tensions that escalated during the power-sharing negotiations have infiltrated the streets of Rwanda and have clearly linked tense political discussions to outbursts of violence. Joyce Leader, Deputy Head of Mission at the U.S. Embassy (DCM) in Rwanda, wrote in August 1992: “… We can anticipate a new wave of internal insecurity in one way or another if peace talks continue, especially when internal disputes over the integration of the [military] armed forces become acute. (Document 4) On 1 October 1990, the RPF invaded Rwanda from Uganda and collided with Rwandan government forces. Weeks later, the parties began peacefully ending the conflict. However, even before formal negotiations began in July 1992, all parties involved, including observers and mediators, expressed doubts about the feasibility of a lasting peace. In May 1992, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana and Defence Minister James Gasana knew that the integration of the two military personnel would be one of the most difficult negotiations in the entire Arusha process. (document 1) On 5 October 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 872 establishing the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). Its aim was to support and monitor the implementation of the Arusha agreements. The initial UN presence consisted of 2,548 soldiers, the largest national contingent was 440 Belgian soldiers. The head of the mission was Jacques-Roger Booh-Booh. This report by an American observer, DCM Joyce Leader, contains ideas on how armies can come together as part of the first phase of integration.

Some of the peace talks documents included in this cable provide a clear picture of the initial challenges and practical complications, including establishing a fundamental level of confidence before beginning to join the armed forces. NMOG attempted to refute the charge of violating the ceasefire agreement alleged by both sides and to counter the charge. October 22, 1992 the Rwandan ambassador representing the Rwandan government accused the RPF of firing on the RPF at the joint meeting of the political and military commission, of shooting at the town of Biumba and of attacking the government`s position (refuted by the NMOG leader, stating that the RPF`s action was a retaliation).4 The international community was invited to provide a “neutral international force” to assist in the implementation of the peace agreements. These include supporting the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme and securing funding for the programme (Document 10 and Document 39). However, the international community has struggled to secure the funds, Rwandans have never implemented the transitional government and the demobilization programme has never been implemented (Document 23). “Between the signing of the agreement and the beginning of the genocide… This whole issue of the demobilization and reintegration of soldiers has been the subject of great attention… All this problem of reintegrating people into a society where there is not much development, that does not grow… most of the jobs are in the public sector, not the private sector, and it was very hard, and very smart people were working there. How do you do that, how do you do it? The Arusha Agreement was signed on 3 August 1993.

Under the agreement, the current NMOG would remain in Rwanda until international forces were deployed.13 May 1993 – Arusha Protocol on Refugees and Displaced Persons This document reports an update of negotiations in Arusha, including the integration and demobilization of armies, on the issue of violence, possible integration processes and estimates of the number of troops to be demobilized.

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