Essay on Genocide in Rwanda

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Genocide in Rwanda Raphael Lemkin coined the term "genocide" in 1944. According to Lemkin, genocide signifies the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group and implies the existence of a coordinated plan, aimed at total extermination, to be put into effect against individuals chosen as victims purely, simply, and exclusively because they are members of the target group. This coordinated plan is committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. According to the United Nations' definition of genocide in their 1948 declaration of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide is a crime under international law and classified as such:…show more content…
For instance, genocide has the tendency to occur in rural societies that are communal, divided, and in the mode of inequality and problematic issues. It also has the tendency to occur when the government says that it is okay to resolve those problematic issues using violence. An example in which there was a combination of racism, power struggles, and violence that all led to genocide is in the specific case of Rwanda between the Hutu and Tutsi populations. Before colonial rule, the Tutsi were herdsmen and came from the Nile Valley. They brought concepts of power, monarchy, and kingship to Rwanda. The Tutsi took grazing lands from the Hutu, who were farmers, and lived among them. Gourevitch states that this was the original inequality: cattle were a more valuable asset than produce…and the word Tutsi became synonymous with a political and economic elite (p. 48). The Tutsi, who were the powers of Rwanda, also became the protectors of the Hutu because they were armed with weapons and spears. Rwanda was certainly an unequal society, but the ethnic boundary was permeable. Overtime, some Tutsi married Hutu. Also, Hutu farmers could, and did, become wealthy Tutsi and acquired cattle as chiefs were incorporated into the ruling elite. Much authority was given to Hutu chiefs and certain obligations were imposed on Tutsi administrators as well. Colonial rule, however, transformed this

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