European Intervention and the Rwandan Genocide

2151 Words Jun 16th, 2018 9 Pages
Genocide is the destruction of a cultural, racial or political group through the use of “..one-sided mass killings..(Hintjens 267).” The April of 1994, “Rwandan subjects and citizens were the main actors in the genocide (Hintjens 244).” The establishment of colonial rule by the Europeans impacted the conflict in Rwanda due to the creation of ethnic boundaries between the Tutsis and the Hutus. Hierarchies were established based upon European racial theories. Throughout the colonization and independence of Rwanda, the tension generated by European intervention only magnified thus leading to quotas and ineffective regulations. Aside from the assassination of the Rwandan President Habyarimana, propaganda through …show more content…
Hutus were perceived as short, stocky thus they had more African-based features compared to the Tutsis. Anthropologists later discovered that there were no morphological differences between the Hutus and Tutsis (Berry 32). Throughout colonization, Rwanda was heavily influenced by the ideologies and philosophies of early Europeans, which fabricated precolonial African culture. Many rules implemented into Rwandan society that further enhanced an ethnic divide between the Tutsis and Hutus. In 1933, identity cards were introduced to classify and distinguish the Hutus from the Tutsis (Hintjens 253). The Belgians replaced original Hutu chiefs with Tutsi rulers and specifically designed privileges for Tutsis and white rulers. The best employment jobs were only granted to Tutsis in colonial administration and the army (White 474). Tutsi chiefs were also forced to raise taxes among the Hutu population, which later backlashed as for these chiefs were the first to be attacked during the genocide. The preference of the Tutsis over the Hutus a prevalent notion that Tutsi were “...synonymous with privileges of wealth and power (White 474).” The Tutsis gained further support from Belgian missionaries. In 1900, missionaries divided the Hutus and Tutsis to
Open Document