Cease Fire: Arusha Accord - 4 August 1993

N'sele Cease-fire Agreement between the Government of the Rwandese Republic and the Rwandese Patriotic Front (12 July 1992)

Article I

1. A cease-fire is hereby established throughout the territory of the Republic of Rwanda, between the Government Forces and those of the Rwandese Patriotic Front. The cease-fire shall enter into force at midnight (Rwanda time) on 31st July 1992 at the same time as the deployment of the Neutral Military Observer Group.

2. The entry into force of the cease-fire shall be preceded by a truce, that is, the cessation of fighting, which shall enter into force at midnight (Rwanda time) on 19th July 1992.

3. The present Cease-fire Agreement is the first stage of a peace process which shall culminate in a Peace Agreement to be signed at the conclusion of the political negotiations.

Article II

The cease-fire shall imply:

1. The cessation of all hostilities for the purpose of dialogue and serious negotiations between the two parties udder the auspices of the Mediator or a Facilitator;

2. The suspension of supplies of ammunition and weaponry to the field;

3. The supply of non-lethal logistical needs to the military forces in the field;

4. The release of all prisoners-of-war; the effective release of all persons arrested because and as a result of this war within five days following the entry into force of the Cease-fire Agreement;

5. The possibility of recovering the remains of the dead;

6. The withdrawal of all foreign troops after the effective deployment of the Neutral Military Observer Group (NMOG) except for Military Officers serving in Rwanda under bilateral Cooperation Agreements;

7. A ban on infiltration of troops and on the conveyance of troops and war material to the area occupied by each party;

8. A ban on any mine-laying operations or the hindering of operations to remove the mines;

9. The establishment of the Neutral Corridor separating the areas occupied by the two respective forces.

This corridor meant to facilitate the monitoring of the cease-fire by the Neutral Military Observer Group shall be determined in consideration of the front-lines of both armies. The demarcation on the field shall be established by the representatives of the two armies in the presence of the Neutral Military Observer Group.

Article III

1. The verification and control of the cease-fire shall be conducted by the neutral military observer group under the supervision of the Secretary-General of OAU.

2. The Neutral Military Observer Group shall be composed of:

-10 Officers from Nigeria;

-10 Officers from Senegal;

-10 Officers from Zimbabwe;

-10 Officers from an African country to be chosen by the current Chairman of the OAU in collaboration with the President of the United Republic of Tanzania;

-5 Officers from the Government of Rwanda;

-5 Officers from the Rwandese Patriotic Front;

3. The Neutral Military Observer Group shall report any violation of the cease-fire to the Secretary-General of OAU and a joint political military commission.

4. The Neutral Military Observer Group shall set up the organs and machinery required for the control and verification of the cease-fire. It shall draft its own rules of procedure. It shall enjoy a status that would enable it to perform its mission as provided in the Cease-fire Agreement; including privileges and immunities enjoyed by the OAU personnel as enshrined in the general agreement.

5. The Neutral Military Observer Group shall have full communication and other equipment it deems necessary to perform its mission. The NMOG officers may have specific uniforms with insignia for easy identification, and light weapons for self-defence.

Article IV

1. A Joint Political Military Commission composed of 5 representatives of the Rwandese Government and 5 of the Rwandese Patriotic Front is established;

2. The OAU and the following countries are invited to participate, as observers, in the Joint Commission:
Burundi, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Belgium, France and the United States of America;

3. The Joint Commission shall have the following mandate:

- To ensure the follow-up of the implementation of the Cease-fire Agreement;

- To ensure the follow-up of the implementation of the peace Agreement to be signed at the conclusion of the political negotiations;

4. The Joint Commission shall be based at the OAU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Commission’s Headquarters may be moved upon agreement by both parties;

5. The Joint Commission shall hold its inaugural meeting not later than 26th July 1992.

Article V

The signatories of the present agreement accept the following principles whose modalities of implementation shall be specified during the political negotiations:

1. Establishment of the rule of law, that is, based namely on national unity, democracy, pluralism, and respect for human rights;

2. Formation of a national army consisting of Government forces and those of the Rwandese Patriotic Front;

3. Establishment of power-sharing within the framework of a broad-based transitional government.

Article VI

The political negotiations culminating in the peace agreement shall proceed pursuant to the following calendar:

1. Commencement of the political negotiations: 10th August 1992;

2. Completion of the political negotiations and signing of the peace agreement: not later than 10 October 1992;

3. Completion of the implementation of the mechanisms and conclusions agreed upon pursuant to the peace Agreement: not later than 10 January 1993.

Implementation History

1993

Minimum Implementation

The N’sele Cease-fire Agreement of 12 July 1992 did not result in a cessation of hostilities. Both sides continued to engage in fighting.1 The ceasefire agreement included a provision for a 50-member Neutral Military Observer Group - I (NMOG-I) furnished by the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The observers were drawn from Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe and deployed by the first week of August 1992.2 

Into 1993 the fighting continued and both sides were very much involved in fighting, in violation of the ceasefire agreement to which they had agreed in July 1992, after occupying a large swath of territory in northern Rwanda in the preceding days. The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) declared an immediate ceasefire on 12 February 1993, which the Rwandese government forces were also expected to respect immediately. The rebel group put forward a plan to achieve the ceasefire implementation through the assistance of the NMOG-I.3 The Government rejected the RPF offer of ceasefire and asked the rebels to withdraw before the ceasefire.4

A new ceasefire agreement was announced and came into effect on 9 March 1993 and parties agreed to hold further talks in Arusha, Tanzania on 15 March.5 In March, the UN Security Council approved the deployment of peacekeepers to monitor the ceasefire.6 Despite the promise of the new ceasefire agreement, it was quickly violated by both sides. As a part of the ceasefire monitoring, “the Security Council in June 1993 established the United Nations Observer Mission Uganda-Rwanda (UNOMUR) on the Ugandan side of the border to verify that no military assistance reached Rwanda.”7

  • 1. "Rwanda Government and Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) Accuse Each Other of Breaking Cease-Fire," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 8, 1992.
  • 2. "Egypt to Send Ceasefire Observers to Rwanda," Xinhua General News Service, August 4, 1992.
  • 3. "Rwanda; RPF Announces Cease-Fire," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 12, 1993.
  • 4. "Government Insists on Rebel Withdrawal before Cease-Fire," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 15, 1993.
  • 5. "Dates set for cease-fire and Arusha talks," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts/The Monitoring Report, March 9, 1993.
  • 6. "Security Council OKs Cease-Fire Monitors for Rwanda," Associated Press, March 12, 1993.
  • 7. "UNAMIR Background,"  accessed September 9, 2011, http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/past/unamirS.htm.
1994

Minimum Implementation

The UN Security Council reported that an interim civilian government was in place and parties reached a ceasefire agreement on 9 April 1994. This agreement came after the deaths of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and President Cyprian Ntaryamira of Burundi, who died in a plane crash.8 The killings continued and on the sideline of the OAU summit, the RPF and the interim government agreed to a ceasefire.9 The killings from both sides did not stop. On 18 July 1994, the Rwandan rebel commander declared victory against the Hutu-led government and announced an immediate ceasefire after 14 weeks of massacres.10 Estimations of the number killed in the genocide varies from source to source. International Crisis Group in its report suggested between 800,000 to one million genocidal killings in 1994.11 After defeat from the RPF, the interim Hutu government , FAR, interahamwe militia fled along with Hutu refugees to Zaire.

  • 8. "Rwanda Cease-Fire in Effect; Toll High," Washington Times, April 9, 1994.
  • 9. "Rwanda; RPF Representative In Tunis Announces Acceptance of Immediate Cease-Fire," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 16, 1994.
  • 10. "Rebels Declare Victory, Cease-Fire in Rwanda; Flood of Hutu Refugees into Zaire Continues," Washington Post, July 19, 1994, (A; A1).
  • 11. "Five Years After The Genocide In Rwanda: Justice in Question," International Crisis Group, Africa Report N°1, April 7, 1999.
1995

Minimum Implementation

No further information specific to ceasefire violation between the signatories reported this year.12

  • 12. "UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia," Uppsala Conflict Data Program - Uppsala University Department of Peace and Conflict Research, accessed September 3, 2012, www.ucdp.uu.se/database.
1996

Minimum Implementation

Limited incursions into Rwanda occurred, presumably by ex-FAR and militia based in Zaire. This led the RPF to invade Zaire in October 1996. The ensuing civil war in Zaire/Congo was directly related to the situation in Rwanda. There was a brief pause in conflict after a rebel victory in 1994; new conflict was initiated in 1996.13

  • 13. Rene Lemarchand, The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).
1997

Minimum Implementation

The Hutu refugees in Zaire started to regroup in refugee camps immediately after the start of 1994. In March 1997, the Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) and the armed wing of the Party for the Liberation of Rwanda (PALIR) declared their desire to overthrow the regime. Rebels infiltrated from Congo and initiated attacks in Rwanda. The government responded with disproportionate force, attacking civilians and relocating tens of thousands in an expulsion campaign. The reported number deaths resulting from the conflict was as high as 767 in 1997. The ALIR consisted two parts; the ALIR I was mainly based in the South Kivu and Maniema Provinces while ALIR II fought alongside the government army in conflicts in the DRC. ALIR I and II became part of a new political-military organization, the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), in September 2000. In the conflict, the DRC helped the DFLR and the Rwandan government to provide support to the rebels in the DRC.14

  • 14. "UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia," Uppsala Conflict Data Program - Uppsala University Department of Peace and Conflict Research, accessed September 3, 2012, www.ucdp.uu.se/database.
1998

Minimum Implementation

No further information specific to ceasefire violation between the signatories reported this year.15 However, other conflicts continued.

1999

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2000

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2001

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year.

2002

Minimum Implementation

No further information specific to ceasefire violation between the signatories reported this year.19 However, other conflicts continued.

The conflict was not active from 1994 to 2003 and beyond. In 2004, the FDLR continued to ask for an inter-Rwandan dialogue, but the government refused such dialogue with a group allegedly connected to the genocide.20 The great lake region was affected significantly by the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 because both the DRC and the Rwandan government supported rebel groups against each other. In December 2008, the DRC government and a rebel group in the east of the country, the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), formalized a ceasefire agreement. In a separate agreement, both the DRC and the Rwandan armed force agreed to launch operations against Rwandan Hutu rebels operating in the same region.10 Despite the joint move by the DRC and the Rwandan armed force against the Hutu rebellion, the conflict was on-going in a limited fashion as of 2010.

  • 19. Ibid.
  • 20. Ibid.
  • 10. "DR Congo, Rwanda Announce Moves to End Rebellions," Agence France Presse, December 5, 2008.