After the atrocities of the Rwandan Genocide and the lack on international intervention, Rwandan was forced to rebuild itself from scratch. Rwanda is a small country located in central Africa. Its population is divided between two ethnic groups: the hutus and the tutsis. The roots of the Rwandan genocide date back to 1924 when Belgium first took over Rwanda, formally a part of Tanzania. The Belgians viewed Tutsi superior to the hutus. Many referred to this as Hamitic hypothesis. It was motivated mainly by the fact that Tutsi were taller and thinner than hutus. This lead to a major boost in Tutsi egos and mistreatment of the Hutus for decades. This angered the Hutus leading to a major conflict between the two ethnic groups.
The many tears that stream down my face cry for the generations of my kids to come. I sit here as an innocent victimized Tutsi woman, to tell you my story of the Rwandan genocide and how it impacted my people. Through many years of pain and suffering I sit here before you to relieve my anger and install my knowledge of why the Belgium through colonization only installed more love in me toward my people and hatred towards me for not being able to help my people. My name is Immaculee Ilibagiza a Tutsi woman and this is my survival, comfort story.
When Belgium brought in colonialism they also brought in the Catholic Church. This irritated the Tutsi and they started to get agitated against Belgium authority. The Tutsi felt that Rwanda was just fine and there didn’t need to be anything changed. The negative response towards the new colonial economy and the Catholic Church that the Belgians brought in will end up coming back at the Tutsi. The Belgians saw this negative attitude and because of this attitude from the Tutsi the Belgians switched there support toward the Hutu. Since the Tutsi did not treat the Hutu with much respect in the past years the Hutu could take advantage of this support from the Belgians and payback the Tutsi’s for how they treated them in past years.
The aggressive behaviour that the belgians had was a legacy that they left behind and is shown through the story of the Hutus and the Tutsis. The Germans and Belgians thought more of the Tutsis only because they looked more European. This gave the Tutsis a higher position of power. But after World War II in 1962 Rwanda demanded for independance so the belgians gave them full power but no advisement. This began civil conflict between the Hutus and the Tutsis because they were both fighting for political power. Things became deadly when the Hutus formed a government and mant Tutsis ended up fleeing the country. There was a peace agreement signed in 1993 and it ended the fighting but not the hate between groups, so the fighting ended until the next year. When the president’s plane was shot down this rekindled the fighting because no one knew who it was, but the Hutus blamed the Tutsis. Thus began the Rwandan genocide within three months 800 000 to one million people died. All we did to help was sent a small amount of United Nations peacekeepers because the United Nations did not want to get involved with internal affairs, they would only deal with conflict between countries. The genocide eventually came to an end after a multi-ethnic government was established. After that approximately two million Hutus left out of fear that the Tutsis would get revenge. This
Rwanda is a country located in Central Eastern Africa, with an extensive history of colonization, after Belgium attained control in 1924. Belgium’s rule however also marked the beginning of a lengthy ethnic rivalry between the Hutu and the Tutsi people. Belgium favored the Tutsi the minority at 14 percent of the population over the Hutu, the majority at 85 percent, simply because the Tutsis were more resembling of the Europeans. “Colonial policy helped to intensify bipolar differentiation between Tutsi and Hutu, by inscribing “ethnic” identification on identity cards, by relegating the vast majority of Hutu to particularly onerous forms of forced cultivation and corvee, and by actively favoring Tutsi in access to administrative posts, education, and jobs in the modern sector,” (Newbury, 12). Belgium’s control fueled the Hutu’s resentment towards the Tutsis because the Tutsis received superior treatment for decades. Thus, when Rwanda finally acquired independence in 1962, the Hutus fought for control over the government, highlighting the first warning sign of the genocide to come. Many Tutsis were killed afterwards, while many others fled to neighboring countries to escape the violence.
Rwanda is a country located in the middle of the African continent. The two ethnic groups present in the country lived in peace under their monarch until the arrival of Europeans. The Belgians arrival into Rwandan is what split the two ethnic groups of the Tutsi and Hutus, making them identify themselves with ID cards. This caused tension between the two groups as the Belgians favored the ethnic Tutsi, and made them the head of the government. Decade’s later Hutu extremists would take over the government and have revenge on the Tutsi. The new government would send out broadcasts calling on Hutus to kill their friends and neighbors. The Rwandan genocide would become the worst genocide to ever happen in Africa and one of the worst in the world. Today Rwanda’s recovery is surprisingly fast with the help of multiple nations and organizations. Rwanda’s recovery is nothing short of a miracle and is an amazing story of a war between two peoples.
April 7, 1994 marked the beginning of one hundred days of massacre that left over 800,000 thousand dead and Rwanda divided by a scare that to this day they are trying to heal. The source of this internal struggle can be traced back to the segregation and favoritism established by Belgium when they received Rwanda after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1918. At the time the Rwandan population was 14% Tutsi, 1%Twa, and 85% Hutus; the Belgian’s showed preferential treatment to the Tutsi, who were seen as socially elite, by giving them access to higher educations and better employment. This treatment causes the uprising of the Hutus in 1959 overthrowing the Tutsi government forcing many to flee the country, sparking even greater resentment between the two ethic groups. Without the interference and preferential treatment by the Belgian’s this atrocity could have likely been avoided.
Rwanda was taken over by the Belgians causing the Hutus and Tutsis to not get along which caused genocide. “Facing a revolution instigated by the Hutu, the Belgians let the Hutus, who constituted the majority of Rwanda 's population, be in charge of the new government. This upset the Tutsi. The animosity between the two groups continued for decades.” Both clans were upset and started Genocide in Rwanda. The causes of their mass casualties resolved in a never ending dispute between the two clans.
Genocides happen when ethnic divisions become apparent. Many times, these ethnic divisions were due to colonization from people of different race. These cases are especially true in Africa when Europeans colonized their territory, with clear racial divisions between them (Gavin). These genocides go on because of nations acting on ignorance and refusing to help out the nations in turmoil, allowing the genocides to continue, without wasting their own resources. These nations purposefully ignoring the slaughter of people cause the nations to also be guilty of the genocide underway (“The Heart”). The genocide occurred in Rwanda in Central Africa during 1994. The decades of Tutsi oppression of Hutus and the assassination of President Habyarimana in 1994 led to the genocide in Rwanda.
For years, Rwanda has been a hotbed of racial tension. The majority of the Rwandan population is made up of Hutu's, with Tutsi's making up the rest of it. Ever since European colonial powers entered the country and favoured the Tutsi ethnic group over the Hutu by putting Tutsi people in all important positions in society, there has been a decisive political divide between the two groups. This favouring of the Tutsi over the Hutu, and the Hutu subjugation as an ethnic lower class resulted in the civil war and revolution of 1959, where the Hutu overthrew the Tutsi dominated government, and resulted in Rwanda gaining their independence in 1962.
At its roots, the Rwandan genocide was caused by colonization. Belgium had imperialized the nation after WWI and ruled through its kings, selecting the Tutsis ethnic group to lead. The decision to give the Tutsis power was based off the fact that they were more “white looking” with their lighter skin and long noses, which, in the eyes of the European string-pullers, meant they were better suited to ruling. It was also speculated that the Tutsis could be the descendants of a lost Christian tribe, and thus belonged to the “superior” bloodline. When the Belgian colonists settled in 1916, they assigned race cards to distinguish the Hutu from the Tutsis. Despite being the minority, comprising only 15% of the population, the Tutsis held most of the wealth. Tension between the two groups rose, with animosity becoming rampant. In 1962, Rwanda was granted independence from Belgium, and the Hutu regained
The two ethnic groups that were include in the Rwanda Genocide was the Tutsis and Hutus. The Tutsis were the minority population in Rwanda, but they held all the positions of authority. On the other hand, the Hutu made up around 85% of Rwanda’s population, but held no political power, they were denied higher education and land ownership. The size of the nose and the color of the eyes were the factors that determined whether a person was Hutu or Tutsi. The Tutsis disapprove of the colonial rule of the Belgians and demanded to become more independent. After World War II, the Tutsis felt impatient and that it was time they took matters in their own hands to pursuit their independence. In 1959, the tension and violence between the Tutsis and Hutus were greatly increased.
“The true cause of the Rwandan Genocide was the negative influence of the European colonists on the relationship of the Hutus and Tutsis.” European colonists greatly aggravated relations between the Tutsi and the Hutu and indirectly caused the Rwandan Genocide. When the Tutsi people first came to Rwanda, they “impressed their power” upon the Hutu. And by the 15th century, the Tutsi had absolute rule over the Hutu, despite making up less than 15 percent of the population. They continued to successfully rule for centuries. Although the relationship between the Tutsi and the Hutu was strained, they were relatively “civil” towards each other until the late 19th century. This is about the time that the European colonial powers came in and worsened problems between the Hutu and the Tutsi. German colonists, who first arrived in
The Belgians also decreed that Tutsis should be the only ones in power and thus removed Hutus from positions of power and excluded them from higher education (Arraras). “By assuring the Tutsis’ monopoly of power the Belgians set the stage for future conflict in Rwanda” (Arraras). The Tutsis were enjoying their status as being superior to the Hutus but all that changed in 1959 with the Hutu revolution and so in 1960 and 1961 the Hutus won the elections. Since then, ethnic tensions had always been brewing between the Hutus and the Tutsis. However the tensions escalated when Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was shot down above Kigali airport on April 6, 1994. I consider this to be a form of political violence because someone or a group that opposed this President which represented only the political interests as well as the viability of the Hutus had to be killed in order for another group possibly the Tutsis to fill the vacuum of power left by the Hutu president. The Hutus blamed the assassination of their president on the Tutsis and in turn sparked an all out massacre waged on to the Tutsi people.
Prior to colonial era, Rwanda had larger population of Hutus compared to Tutsis and Twa. Rwanda as a country was divided into three ethnic groups i.e. Hutu (approximately about 85%), Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%) (United Nations). Although, Tutsis were the minorities, they belonged to the higher strata compared to the other ethnic groups; Tutsis were privileged and had power and control over the Hutus and Twas. “Hutus were formerly bound to their Tutsi patrons via client ship” (Sinema, 2012). When Rwanda was colonized by Germany followed by Belgium, they favored Tutsis as they represented the upper class prior to the colonization. These created a social system like feudal system where there was a power difference between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Tutsis were considered as lord and the Hutus on the other hand, were considered as peasants. As a consequence, this created an ethic tension between the Hutus and the Tutsis and created a system more like apartheid. Nonetheless, they managed to co exist in Rwanda until they were decolonized. Although there is no social distinction between the Hutus and the Tutsis, the conflict between these tribes increased tremendously after the independence from Belgian that led to mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Tutsi by the Hutu.