The Genocide Of Rwanda 's Tutsi Minority

1783 WordsJul 26, 20158 Pages
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda took place on the 7th of April, a day after the aircraft carrying the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira, president of neighboring Burrundi was shot down. The 7th of April 1994 saw a succession of massacres across Rwanda. In 100 days, this state-led extermination campaign targeted at the Tutsi minority and “moderate Hutus” was orchestrated by specific, influential architects -Hutu hardliners of the Habyarimana’s inner circle. This power clique was accountable for the systematic annihilation of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, an approximate of over half a million civilian lives. Although there are numerous misleading accounts of the genocide that are constructed on the notion that the…show more content…
Pre-colonial Rwanda operated under a monarchical political system, controlled by the Tutsis. The terms Hutu and Tutsi originated from the social and economic distinction between farming and animal husbandry. In general, Tutsis were pastoralists of higher social standing, whilst Hutus were famers of lower social status; the categories were not determined and had variation within. If a Hutu acquired enough cattle, they could become Tutsi and vice versa . Due to German, and later Belgian, colonisers developed a structure of categories for different “tribes” that functioned of aesthetic impressions. In the 1930s, Belgian colonial officers introduced identity cards that labeled Rwadans according to their ethnicity. The colonisers had an impact on the manner in which power was allocated in the colonial system. Belgian colonisers practiced indirect rule through the Tutsis, whilst treating them as a superior race, in the process cementing Tutsi dominance and increasing the arbitrariness and repression of local rule. In essence, under colonial rule, “race” became the central determinant of power; and consequently, “race” became a symbol of oppression. After World War II, Belgian withered under the newly established United Nations and thus introduced reforms that increased Hutu political representation. Henceforth seeing a new Hutu political class emerge and instigating the
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