22nd January 1991
Following on from the initial invasion from Uganda into Rwanda in October 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a new attack on Ruhengeri in January 1991.
They pushed the Rwandan forces out, who were said to have been assisted by French forces, although that was not confirmed by the French.
During the battle the warden at the Rwanda's largest prison, which was in Ruhengeri called the government in Kigali to ask for instructions and was told to kill all the inmates in order to prevent them from joining the Rwandan Patriotic Front. However, the prison warden refused to do that. When the Rwandan Patriotic Front took over the prison they released the prisoners and many of them joined the Rwandan Patriotic Front, including the leader of the failed 1980 coup.
After capturing Ruhengeri, the Rwandan Patriotic Front withdrew, and the following day, Rwandan troops entered the city.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front continued to attack the town every night.