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Season Of Blood: Genocide In Rwanda

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Shane Sylvester
Professor Dogden
History 381
Season of Blood Take home essay
The evens that unfolded on that date of April 9th 1994 in the country of Rwanda sparked, what we now call today as the Rwandan Genocide. On April 9th 1994 the president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana was killed as his airplane came to land in Kigali. Immediately after president Habyarimana was declared dead, the country of Rwanda erupted into 100 days of terror and genocide. Fergal Keane asserts very early in his book SEASON OF BLOOD, that during these 100 days “one million people were hacked, shot, strangled, clubbed and burned to death” (Page 29). And this is to vehemently remind the reader to never forget the events that occurred in Rwanda from April to July of
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In 1910 the European governments agreed to give Germany control of the regions of Rwanda and neighbor Burundi. Germany indirectly ruled using the already established hierarchy of the wealthy and Elite Tutsi at the top with the peasant Hutu at the bottom. The Tutsi used their German ally to crush the Hutu in the north, who had managed to live freely of the Tutsi leadership. Germany then used its power over Rwanda to collect taxes in the form of money. This forced Rwanda to start planting cash crops, such as coffee, rather than plant crops of food and consumption. In addition, it was during early colonialism that racial divide began to grow in the form of physical characteristics. Many early colonists of Rwanda believed and said that the Tutsi were European like, and less savage as their darker skinned African brothers. This led to ridiculous and humiliating practices such as measurement of skull size, and the saying that Tutsi were more light skinned and must have descended from Ethiopia. This continued for 4 years, and then WW1 started on July 28th, 1914. It was during WW1 that the Belgians gained control of Rwanda and Burundi from the Germans. It was after the war in 1923 when the world government of the time (League of Nations) mandated Rwanda and Burundi under Belgian colonialism. The Belgians were no more benevolent then their successor. During this time…show more content…
Juvenal coming from northern Rwanda favored the Hutu immensely and would often give the most crucial and important jobs to Hutu exclusively. Tutsi were essenetially barred from holding any jobs such as police, or president. About a decade later in the country of Uganda, the dictator Milton Obote is overthrown. Part of the soldiers who helped overthrow Obote were Rwandan exiles. In appreciation for the help in overthrowing Obote, the new Ugandan government proceeded to back the Rwanda exiles militarily. Helping the mostly Tutsi exiles form the Rwanda Patriotic Front. Then in 1989 the market for coffee takes a dive. Now since Rwanda focused on cash crops such as coffee, this market crash causing severe economic problems. However most of the economic problems were most felt by the working class, mainly the Hutu peasants. Furthermore, the Hutu government faced foreign pressures to create a multi-party system in Rwanda that included power-sharing. This was something that the Hutu elite were not interested in doing. After several centuries of oppression under the Tutsi, The Hutu elite were never going to give up their power, so that the people who caused them so much pain and turmoil could potentially do it again. The solution that Harbyarimana’s party decided to implement is frightening similar to the tactics employed by Germany before the start of
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