Roots of the Rwandan Genocide

1739 WordsJul 17, 20187 Pages
On April 6, 1994, Rwanda experienced a period of great turmoil as thousands of people fell victim to the horrors of the Rwandan genocide. The main targets of the genocide were Tutsis and Hutu moderates. Though the main cause of the genocide was a conflict between two ethnicities, the genocide was also fueled by political factors and social conditions. Rwanda is the smallest sub-Saharan country with a population of about 7 million inhabitants. Although the indigenous peoples of Rwanda are the Twa, they are now the minority. 90% of Rwanda's population is comprised of Hutus, and the rest of the population's majority consists of Tutsi people. Hatred between the two ethnic groups had begun in the pre-colonial era, which was long before the 20th…show more content…
As a result, peace and unity between the Hutu and Tutsi military and political groups was never achieved, thus leading to the assassination of the president. The Genocide Roughly 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers were killed during the events of the Rwandan genocide. Although tensions were high between the Hutus and the Tutsis long before the genocide began, the assassination of Rwanda's second president, President Habyariama, created even more hostility between the two ethnic groups. Extreme Hutu nationalists accused a Tutsi organization called the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), and many Tutsis blamed Hutus. Because of this disagreement, extremist Hutu groups such as the Hutu militia and the Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) were encouraged by radical radio stations to use brutality and force to seek revenge for the death of the Hutu president. Within the first few days of the genocide, Hutu militia groups executed the US Ambassador to Rwanda, Ambassador Rawson, and 250 other Americans. The FAR and Hutu militia used rape as a tactic to defeat the opposing groups. Moreover, the Hutu radical groups used rape as a major weapon throughout the events of the genocide. In early July, towards the end of the genocide, the RPF "gained control of the country through a military offensive … hundreds of thousands of Rwandans were dead and many more displaced from their homes" . Because the genocide lasted only 100
Open Document