Froduald Karamira was born on 14 August 1947 in Mushubati, Rwanda. He was a former Tutsi, who, by following a Rwandan tradition, became a Hutu. After his conversion, he gained in importance both politically and economically, owning several buildings in Kigali.
At the time of the genocide, Froduald Karamira was Vice-President of the Rwandan Republican Democratic Movement (French acronym: MDR) and one of the leaders of its extremist wing, MDR-Power. He represented a faction that was hostile to any cooperation with the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and opposed to the Arusha Accords. He is mainly known for his 23 October speech during which he called for the Hutus “to rise” and “take the necessary measures”, and to “look within ourselves for the enemy which is amongst us”. It was he, who on the occasion of this meeting and for the first time in public used the term “Hutu Power”, which, from then on, designated the coalition of the Hutu extremists. He thereby became the principle ideologue of this doctrine.
From 8 April 1994, he participated in the formation of the interim government. He went on the air daily with the Radio Station Mille Collines (RTLM) to incite massacres of the Tutsis.
According to the indictment, he was personally responsible for the execution of hundreds of Tutsis, including 13 members of his own family. He was also said to have played a key role in the creation of the Interahamwe militia and in providing them with arms.
In June 1996, he was arrested in Bombay, India, and extradited to Rwanda.