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Refugee News                       September 1997
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The human rights group Amnesty International issued a statement on August 7 saying that massacres of civilians by Rwanda troops and the rebel militia had increased in the last few months and accusing the international community of ignoring the slaughter. 

The London-based human rights group said in May, June and July more than 2,300 unarmed civilians were estimated killed. Whole families, including many children, have been hunted down in their homes. 

AI said that among the victims were Rwandan Hutu refugees who had returned from the former Zaire after their refugee camps were attacked by Tutsi-dominated rebel forces which captured Kinshasa in May. It said that it is receiving daily reports of killings of men, women and young children by soldiers of the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), especially in the northwestern regions of Ruhengeri and Gisenyi. 

Amnesty is insisting that Rwanda cannot be considered safe for refugees to return, given the persistent and grave human rights violations taking place there. The government, on the other hand, says that the group's previous reports of killings were exaggerated and inaccurate but says some civilians have been killed in crossfire between troops and Hutu rebels. 

Government forces are the only ones responsible for the killings. Armed opposition groups believed to be composed of soldiers of the former Rwandan army and militia responsible for the genocide of 1994 are also carrying out attacks on civilians as well as RPA personnel, says Amnesty International. 

The humanitarian organization accuses the government forces of using counterinsurgency operations' as an excuse to carry out extra judicially executions of unarmed civilians. 

June 20 UNHCR driver and three others killed in Rwanda 

Human rights group says Rwandan massacres rise 

Rwanda: massacres of unarmed civilians escalate 

Killers hide behind refugee status: 

UNHCR - information on: 

Refugee News: More on Rwanda