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Rwanda’s 1991 Census


When the U.S.-based researchers Christian Davenport and Allan Stam had concluded their last assessment of mortality rates in Rwanda during the period of extreme violence from April through July, 1994, Davenport, who is a professor of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, released a statement which raised questions that the advocates for the standard account of the “Rwandan genocide” never confront, let alone answer (see Joan Fallon, “Research sheds new light on Rwandan killings,” Notre Dame News, March 24, 2009)

 

 

A great deal of effort has been extended to make sure the focus stays exclusively on the Francophone Tutsi victims and their Hutu executioners. But of the estimated one million people killed, between 300,000 and 500,000 of them were Tutsi, according to best estimates. What about the other 500,000 to 700,000 people? Who is responsible for their deaths?


It is highly revealing that the advocates of the standard account 
never attempt to analyze or dispute facts such as these.  Instead, they settle for making the accusation that anyone who raises this kind of question is a “genocide minimizer” or “genocide denier”—that is, is someone who recognizes the reality of the military invasion and subsequent conquest of state-power inside Rwanda by the Rwandan Patriotic Front from October 1990 through July 1994, causing an enormous loss of human life in the process. 

 

 According to Rwanda’s 1991 census, the total Tutsi population in the country stood at slightly less than 600,000 persons.  As Davenport and Stam wrote in What Really Happened in Rwanda?” (Miller-McCune, October 6, 2009), the Tutsi organization IBUKA claimed that “about 300,000 Tutsi survived the 1994 slaughter”—a number which means that “out of the 800,000 to 1 million believed to have been killed then, more than half were Hutu.”

These assertions are incompatible with the standard account of the “Rwandan genocide.”  It is for this reason that I’m reproducing here a very important table that I adapted from the 1991 census of Rwanda’s national population.  If there’s any accuracy in this census, there is something profoundly wrong with the version of the “Rwandan genocide” that has been handed down to us as if some kind of Ten Commandments from God.

 


                                                                               Table. Rwanda’s national population as of 1991, 
                                                                               broken-down by its two largest ethnic groups [A]

 

Prefecture

Hutu

Tutsi

Totals [B]

Butare

618,172 (82.0%)

 130,419 (17.3%)

753,868

Byumba

761,966 (98.2%)

11,639 (1.5%)

775,933

Cyangugu

489,238 (88.7%)

57,914 (10.5%)

551,565

Gikongoro

401,997 (86.3%)

59,624 (12.8%)

465,814

Gisenyi

708,572 (96.8%)

21,228 (2.9%)

731,996

Gitarama

764,920 (90.2%)

78,018 (9.2%)

848,027

Kibungo

596,999 (92.0%)

49,966 (7.7%)

648,912

Kibuye

398,131 (84.8%)

69,485 (14.8%)

469,494

Kigali

822,314 (90.8%)

79,696 (8.8%)

905,632

Kigali City [C]

180,550 (81.4%)

39,703 (17.9%)

221,806

Ruhengeri

760,661 (99.2%)

3,834 (0.5%)

766,795

TOTALS

6,467,958 (91.1%)

596,387 (8.4%)

7,099,844

Urban

313,586 (83.9%)

57,186 (15.3%)

373,762

Rural

6,154,365 (91.5%)

558,265 (8.3%)

6,726,082

 

 

   [A] Adapted from Table 4.2, “Répartition (en %) de la population de nationalité rwandaise selon l’ethnie, la préfecture ou le milieu de résidence,” in Recensement general de la population et de l’habitat au 15 aout 1991, Service National de Recensement, Republique Rwandaise,  p. 124.  Table 4.2 reported the national population of Rwanda, ca. 1991, by ethnicity and expressed as percentages (i.e., here the percentages inside the parentheses).  Based on Rwanda’s total population (7,099,844) at the time, I’ve simply calculated the related approximate totals in the second and third columns for Hutu and Tutsi (e.g., 7,099,844 x 8.4% = 596,387 for the total Tutsi population of Rwanda at the time of the 1991 census).  Note that these numbers are to be regarded as approximate totals. 
  [B] Note that although I’ve omitted separate columns for the Twa and Other (relatively small) ethnic groups that were listed in Table 4.2 (1991), the Totals column here includes the totals for Twa and Other.
  [C] Note that Kigali City’s total is separate from the total for Kigali Prefecture. 

 

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