Rwandan Genocide And Ethnic Conflict

3296 WordsApr 30, 201514 Pages
I. Introduction On April 6 1994, following the death of president Juvenal Habyarimana, the state of Rwanda was hurled into chaos as genocides took the lives of 800,000 people . Began by the Hutu political elite and its military support, their main targets were the Tutsi, and Hutu moderates. Many have claimed “ethnic hatred” as the reason of the Rwanda Genocide and while an ethnic split existed in Rwanda during the conflict, the causes for the genocide are numerous and complicated. In examining the Rwanda Genocide as an ethnic conflict it is crucial that ethnicity be inspected as it affected and was affected by economic, political and social elements. The problem for explaining the brutality in Rwanda as an ethnic conflict is that as the cruelties were an occurrence of genocide perpetrated with “the criminal intent to destroy or to cripple permanently a human group” , the distinctions along which the targets were categorized were not just ethnic, but also political. The motive of this essay is to determine the historic and political sources for the Rwandan Genocide through an “ethnic lens” in order to ascertain whether “ethnic division” was in fact the source for the cruelties, or was just an aspect of the conflict. First, the ideas of ethnic groups and ethnic conflict are examined. Then, the history of Rwanda is examined in three subdivisions: pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial. Then, the examination delineates the genocide and its players and continues to examine the
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