THE ARMED STRUGGLE:
Most of the world had never heard of the RPF until 1st October 1990 - the day the war of liberation began against the military dictatorship in Kigali.
Taking up arms was not an easy decision to make. War has always been the last option in the consideration of the RPF. However, all efforts for peaceful and democratic change in had so far proved futile.
It had become apparent that only by taking up arms could anyone wishing to put an end to the dictatorship and the violation of fundamental rights hope to succeed. The regime had amassed a huge coercive state machinery using violence to oppress the people. The taking up of arms against the regime was therefore considered not just a right, but also a patriotic and national obligation.
When the war began, Rwandese peasants, workers, students and intellectuals, men and women from every region and "ethnic" or social group, responded to the call of the RPF to rid Rwanda of dictatorship.
With the beginning of the armed struggle, France, Belgium, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) hurriedly dispatched troops to Rwanda to support the dictatorial regime.