Essay on Rwanda Genocide Compared with Hotel Rwanda

2521 Words11 Pages
The continent of Africa has been continually engaged in civil, tribal and cross national conflicts from colonial independence up until present day. What historians regard as the most ‘efficient genocide’ in history, occurred in a mere 100 days in the small central African country of Rwanda. The Hutus and the Tutsis, two ethnic groups within Rwanda, have been at continual unrest for the past half a century. During the 100 day massacre of 1994, a murder occurred every two seconds; resulting in 18% of the Tutsi population being killed. A decade after the war, in 2004, the film Hotel Rwanda was released. The film followed the story of a Hutu man; Paul Rusesabagina as he housed over 1200 Tutsi refugees in his hotel. The Hotel De Milles…show more content…
Before Rwanda became an independent African run country, it was under Belgian control. In the 1930s Belgium imposed indirect rule and put Tutsis in control of government. The Belgians did not invent the two ethnic groups, Hutu and Tutsi, but colonial intervention enforced a new meaning for the two ethnicities and thus engrained a hierarchy among the Rwandans . The Tutsis could be determined by their taller slighter build, lighter skin and thinner noses; in conclusion, they were the whitest Africans . By 1994 the two groups were visibly indistinguishable because of mixed parentage. This is portrayed in the movie Hotel Rwanda when a journalist asks two women what ethnicity they are; he discovers that one is Hutu and the other Tutsi. The journalist replies that the women could be twins. In the 1950s the newly established United Nations began to pressure Belgium to vacate Rwanda. Belgium introduced reforms to increase Hutu representation in politics, so from the 1950s until 1962, when Rwanda achieved independence a Hutu movement was born. The Hutu movement was gaining momentum and national recognition; the violence conducted during this period forced thousands of Tutsis to leave the country. In 1961 Belgium sponsored the federal election and a Hutu man, Gregoire Kayibanda was elected to power. This Hutu revolution excluded Tutsis from government and military. Kayibanda’s successor,
Open Document