Rwanda is a country located in the middle of the African continent. The two ethnic groups present in the country lived in peace under their monarch until the arrival of Europeans. The Belgians arrival into Rwandan is what split the two ethnic groups of the Tutsi and Hutus, making them identify themselves with ID cards. This caused tension between the two groups as the Belgians favored the ethnic Tutsi, and made them the head of the government. Decade’s later Hutu extremists would take over the government and have revenge on the Tutsi. The new government would send out broadcasts calling on Hutus to kill their friends and neighbors. The Rwandan genocide would become the worst genocide to ever happen in Africa and one of the worst in the world. Today Rwanda’s recovery is surprisingly fast with the help of multiple nations and organizations. Rwanda’s recovery is nothing short of a miracle and is an amazing story of a war between two peoples.
Genocides happen when ethnic divisions become apparent. Many times, these ethnic divisions were due to colonization from people of different race. These cases are especially true in Africa when Europeans colonized their territory, with clear racial divisions between them (Gavin). These genocides go on because of nations acting on ignorance and refusing to help out the nations in turmoil, allowing the genocides to continue, without wasting their own resources. These nations purposefully ignoring the slaughter of people cause the nations to also be guilty of the genocide underway (“The Heart”). The genocide occurred in Rwanda in Central Africa during 1994. The decades of Tutsi oppression of Hutus and the assassination of President Habyarimana in 1994 led to the genocide in Rwanda.
From June 7 to July of 1994, a kind of terrifying violence overcame small East-African country, Rwanda. Close to a million lost their lives in just a span of one hundred days. Neighbors killing neighbors, streets riddled with dead bodies and blood-thirsty rebels waiting to strike, and the near- extermination of an entire population became an everyday reality for helpless Rwandans. The same questions perplexed horrified people all around the world: What inspired such hate? And why did this hate suddenly lead to such a gruesome course of action? The assassination of Rwanda’s president may have been the final catalyst that began the genocide, but it was far from being the only catalyst. Rwanda’s colonial history resulted in a clear schism between
After the atrocities of the Rwandan Genocide and the lack on international intervention, Rwandan was forced to rebuild itself from scratch. Rwanda is a small country located in central Africa. Its population is divided between two ethnic groups: the hutus and the tutsis. The roots of the Rwandan genocide date back to 1924 when Belgium first took over Rwanda, formally a part of Tanzania. The Belgians viewed Tutsi superior to the hutus. Many referred to this as Hamitic hypothesis. It was motivated mainly by the fact that Tutsi were taller and thinner than hutus. This lead to a major boost in Tutsi egos and mistreatment of the Hutus for decades. This angered the Hutus leading to a major conflict between the two ethnic groups.
April 7, 1994 marked the beginning of one hundred days of massacre that left over 800,000 thousand dead and Rwanda divided by a scare that to this day they are trying to heal. The source of this internal struggle can be traced back to the segregation and favoritism established by Belgium when they received Rwanda after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1918. At the time the Rwandan population was 14% Tutsi, 1%Twa, and 85% Hutus; the Belgian’s showed preferential treatment to the Tutsi, who were seen as socially elite, by giving them access to higher educations and better employment. This treatment causes the uprising of the Hutus in 1959 overthrowing the Tutsi government forcing many to flee the country, sparking even greater resentment between the two ethic groups. Without the interference and preferential treatment by the Belgian’s this atrocity could have likely been avoided.
The Rwandan Genocide, triggered by the murder of Rwandan President Habyarimana on April 9, 1994, was the fastest, if not most barbarous bloodbath in human history, and was carried out with little to no intervention or aid force from any of the many capable Western governments, such as the United States. Though these administration 's may claim that they were unable to intervene due to lack of warning signs and insufficient information; those statements are false. The United States government refused to intervene in the Rwandan genocide due to its economic disinterest, political indifference, and pure African prejudice, completely ignoring the obvious signs of the genocide.
“Seldom in history has a once-dominant group suffered so terrible a reversal of fortune as the Tutsi of Rwanda”- Robin Hallet. The event that Robin Hallet is referring to is the Rwandan Genocide, the “genocidal mass slaughter” of the Tutsi (the minority group in Rwanda) and a few Hutu (the dominant group in Rwanda) by “members of the Hutu majority,” which resulted in at least 1 million Rwandan deaths. The Rwandan Genocide was indirectly caused by European colonists; severely damaged relations between the two ethnic groups, almost irreparably; and had a destructive effect on the survivors of the genocide.
For years, Rwanda has been a hotbed of racial tension. The majority of the Rwandan population is made up of Hutu's, with Tutsi's making up the rest of it. Ever since European colonial powers entered the country and favoured the Tutsi ethnic group over the Hutu by putting Tutsi people in all important positions in society, there has been a decisive political divide between the two groups. This favouring of the Tutsi over the Hutu, and the Hutu subjugation as an ethnic lower class resulted in the civil war and revolution of 1959, where the Hutu overthrew the Tutsi dominated government, and resulted in Rwanda gaining their independence in 1962.
Escaping is a pleasure to some people and to some it was a necessity, like to Jack Werber, “Escape was not our goal since it was so unrealistic. What we wanted was to survive, to live long enough to tell the world what had happened in Buchenwald.” This quote by Jack Werber is inspiring to some people. Jack Werber did live long enough to tell his story, like a lot of Tutsis in the Rwandan genocide. The Rwandan Genocide impacted not only the Tutsis, but the world.
Rwanda is a country located in Central Eastern Africa, with an extensive history of colonization, after Belgium attained control in 1924. Belgium’s rule however also marked the beginning of a lengthy ethnic rivalry between the Hutu and the Tutsi people. Belgium favored the Tutsi the minority at 14 percent of the population over the Hutu, the majority at 85 percent, simply because the Tutsis were more resembling of the Europeans. “Colonial policy helped to intensify bipolar differentiation between Tutsi and Hutu, by inscribing “ethnic” identification on identity cards, by relegating the vast majority of Hutu to particularly onerous forms of forced cultivation and corvee, and by actively favoring Tutsi in access to administrative posts, education, and jobs in the modern sector,” (Newbury, 12). Belgium’s control fueled the Hutu’s resentment towards the Tutsis because the Tutsis received superior treatment for decades. Thus, when Rwanda finally acquired independence in 1962, the Hutus fought for control over the government, highlighting the first warning sign of the genocide to come. Many Tutsis were killed afterwards, while many others fled to neighboring countries to escape the violence.
Rwanda was taken over by the Belgians causing the Hutus and Tutsis to not get along which caused genocide. “Facing a revolution instigated by the Hutu, the Belgians let the Hutus, who constituted the majority of Rwanda 's population, be in charge of the new government. This upset the Tutsi. The animosity between the two groups continued for decades.” Both clans were upset and started Genocide in Rwanda. The causes of their mass casualties resolved in a never ending dispute between the two clans.
The 1990 's was a grim time in history all across the globe, its epicentre being Rwanda. In April of 1994 the Rwandan President Habyarimana was shot down from a plane. In consequence, immediate war was struck and the goal of extermination of the Tutsi was commenced. This genocide was the result of conscious choice of the elite, therefore, president Habyarimana to promote hatred and fear to keep itself in power. Rwanda’s political elite blamed the entire Tutsi minority population for the country’s increasing social, economic, and political pressures. Tutsi civilians were also accused of supporting a Tutsi-dominated rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Using hateful propaganda, reading out names of people that must be killed and articles on newspapers. Tutsi and people suspected of being Tutsi were killed in their homes and as they tried to flee at roadblocks set up across the country during the genocide. Leaving an unimaginable 800,000 people dead. Mothers and daughters raped, children, boys and men slaughtered with machetes (United Human rights coucil,2015). How did it get this far? What was the worlds reaction to this gruesome mass murder?
This caused the Belgian colonists to feel frightened because they did not want to lose power in Rwanda, due to how Rwanda helped Belgian’s gain imperialism.14 By the mid 1950’s Belgian colonists decided to favour the Hutus, so the Belgian government can take back some power from Tutsis.15 This decision made by the Belgian government only made things worse in Rwanda as the Hutus (who make up 85% of Rwanda’s population) overthrew the Tutsi and Belgian government. In the 1959 Presidential election in Rwanda, the Hutus elected Greg wa Kayabanada, who then used the same method of controlling Rwanda as the Belgian colonists once did.16 Kayabanda used the identity discrimination but this time it was against the Tutsis. The Tutsis were now denied higher education, ownership of land, and positions in the
This investigation studies two of the causes of the 1994 genocide of Rwanda. The two causes are examined in order to see to what extent each contributed to the genocide. The social and ethnic conflicts between two Rwandan groups called the Hutus and the Tutsis caused violent disputes and riots. The assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana is often thought of as the event that sparked the mass murders. Did the assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana influence the Rwandan genocide of 1994 more than the ongoing social and ethnic conflicts?
Prior to colonial era, Rwanda had larger population of Hutus compared to Tutsis and Twa. Rwanda as a country was divided into three ethnic groups i.e. Hutu (approximately about 85%), Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%) (United Nations). Although, Tutsis were the minorities, they belonged to the higher strata compared to the other ethnic groups; Tutsis were privileged and had power and control over the Hutus and Twas. “Hutus were formerly bound to their Tutsi patrons via client ship” (Sinema, 2012). When Rwanda was colonized by Germany followed by Belgium, they favored Tutsis as they represented the upper class prior to the colonization. These created a social system like feudal system where there was a power difference between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Tutsis were considered as lord and the Hutus on the other hand, were considered as peasants. As a consequence, this created an ethic tension between the Hutus and the Tutsis and created a system more like apartheid. Nonetheless, they managed to co exist in Rwanda until they were decolonized. Although there is no social distinction between the Hutus and the Tutsis, the conflict between these tribes increased tremendously after the independence from Belgian that led to mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Tutsi by the Hutu.