Thousands of refugees from Rwanda have crossed the border into Tanzania seeking safety. How long will they have to stay there?

Just across the border where thousands of people fleeing the massacre in Rwanda have set up camp. An international relief operation is trying to help hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled war-torn Rwanda.

A vast sea of people dotted on the landscape. These are the refugees who fled from war-torn Rwanda.

The true scale of the crisis can be seen at the huge refugee camp at Benaco in Tanzania. A young boy whose face has been mutilated is being flown to hospital. He is one of the lucky ones as there is little transport in and out of the camp.

Around thirty kilometres away from the main camp, the RTÉ News crew came across a group of recently arrived refugees who had walked hundreds of kilometres to reach safety. 

At the bridge on the border between Rwanda and Tanzania, the full scale of the horror is clear to see as bodies float in the water.  

Most of the people who have made their way to Tanzania are from the majority Hutu tribe who have no idea when or if they will be able to return home. 

International relief agencies, joined by Goal and Concern from Ireland, have begun to move in to provide aid and stave off an even bigger humanitarian disaster. Limerick priest Father Aengus Finucane is visiting says he has never seen anything like it. He feels that the United Nations should have acted more quickly to end the killings in Rwanda. 

The question remains as to how long these refugees will have to stay in the camp in miserable conditions. 

It is estimated that up to two hundred thousand people may have been slaughtered in Rwanda over the past five months. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 May 1994. The reporter is Charlie Bird.