The early colonization of Rwanda by the Germans and Belgians created the major internal conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi. At the time of the Europeans arrival, Rwanda was made up of 85% Hutu, who were farmers, 14% Tutsi, who were cattle herders, and 1% Twa, the aboriginal people (Chrétien 69). In 1890, Rwanda first became a colony of Germany, lasting until the end of World War I, when power was transferred to Belgium. Both of these colonies favored the Tutsi population (Staff ¶2), because they believed that the Tutsi were more Caucasian and therefore superior in intelligence to the Hutu (Jones 17). During this time, the Belgians oversaw a land reform process by the Tutsi, which seized control of farmland that had been under the control of the Hutu, without providing them with substantial compensation (Prunier 28). This favoritism planted the seed for the
Under the power of Tutsi King Rwabugiri, ethnic differences were established when the King implemented a system in which, in return for labour, access to land was given. However, this system only applied to Hutu farmers and exempted Tutsi farmers (Eriksson, 1996). During the German colonization and later the Belgian trusteeship, the Tutsi were also favoured and viewed as superior (Eriksson, 1996). The Belgians increased the emphasis on the distinction of ethnic identity by issuing cards bearing the nationality designations of Rwandans (Klinghoffer, 1998). The colonisation by both Germany and Belgium contributed to an ethnic jealousy in Rwanda through treatment of the Tutsi (O’Halloran, 1995). The general decolonisation in Africa led to the Hutu revolution in which Rwanda underwent the transition from a Tutsi dominated monarchy to a Hutu led independent republic, which resulted in tens of thousands of Tutsi fleeing into exile (Eriksson, 1996).
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.
Unfortunately, this peaceful life style was corrupted when German and Belgian colonizers first came to the state now known as Rwanda. When looking at the early creation of the neo-states there was little to no care about the indigenous people; there values, tradition, and own forms of government were ignored, “while states were conveniently put together to further European metropolitan economic interest” . This meant that the imperial Belgium was now in total control of the territory, they had little to no interest in the indigenous population. The only interest the Belgian leaders did show in the indigenous population was in finding a way in which the population would be best subdued and controlled. This started with the distribution of identification cards, “These cards, which were to be carried from the age of 16, stated the bearer’s identity in terms of their belonging to the Hutu, Tutsi
The Rwandan Genocide was one that will never be forgotten. It occured from April 7, 1994 to July 1994. Rwanda was mainly separated into three different ethnic groups. The Hutus, the Tutsis, and the Twa. The population of the Hutus in Rwanda was about 84 percent of the country, the Tutsis group was 15 percent, and the Twa ethnicity was only a trivial 1 percent. The start of the country’s civil war was triggered by the killing of the Rwandan president. The country was having difficulties before the assassination, and the killing only initiated the anger. The Rwandan Genocide left the country struggling to reconstruct the relationships between its people.
In 1994, over the course of 100 days, a genocide in Rwanda took the lives of 800,000 innocent men, women, and children and displaced 2 million more. The genocide was a result of tension that had been building since the Belgium colonization of Rwanda in 1916 between two ethnic group, the Hutus and the Tutsis. When Belgium colonized Rwanda, power was given to the Tutsis (an ethnic group in Rwanda that was 15% of the population) who became the privileged minority, whereas the Hutus (another ethnic group in Rwanda that was 85% of the population) became the working class majority. As the years progressed, the signs of inequality intensified. Tutsis were given priority in terms of education, jobs and power. There was even an identity card system created to differentiate between Hutus and Tutsis. The inequality and unfair treatment came to a boiling point and spilled over into a revolution in Rwanda in 1959. The result was a transition from Tutsi controlled Rwanda to a Hutu elected government. 70% of the Tutsi population was killed and the majority fled to neighbouring countries. For the next 5 years the displaced Tutsis’ made unsuccessful attempts to re-take the country, the result of which was the killing of roughly 10 000 Tutsi 's in Rwanda by the Hutu government as an act of revenge. For the next 30 years a negative peace ensued, but below the surface tensions continued to rise, finally erupting in the spring of 1994 with
April to July 1994 is stamped by the “darkest and most brutal tragedy of our time.” During this 100-day mass genocide, the world watched as 800,000 Tutsi men, women, and children were slaughtered at the forefront of history. It is hard to believe that yet another mass genocide was justified by ethnic differences. The conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes of Rwanda was deep seeded in the period long before Rwandan independence. The tension between these two groups can be traced back to the 14th century when the Tutsi arrived in Rwanda and dominated the area as an elite class, oppressing the Hutu population. Although their relations “remained relatively civil,” tensions were heightened with colonialism and Belgian rule of Rwanda following World War I.
There was a lot of history involved between the Tutsi and the Hutu people of Rwanda even before the genocide occurred. This history goes back even before the Europeans came to Rwanda. The Hutu have always been the majority, but the Tutsi were considered the elite. This was especially true because before the Europeans came, they had a Tutsi as their king. In the early 20th Century, when the Belgians took control over the Germans, they found the Tutsi to be easier to get along with and to be more “graceful” in appearance (meaning more Caucasian). In 1933, the Belgians introduced ethnic identity cards and made sure most of the jobs and education went to the Tutsi, which angered the
Even though the whole world knew what was taking place in Rwanda, no one wanted to step in and put a stop to it. Located in the middle of Africa, “Rwanda is ten thousand square miles– which the same size as Massachusetts.” Rwanda is a very poor country and the citizens rely mostly on agriculture and drink a lot of tea and coffee because it is very cheap. There are three ethnic groups in Rwanda, Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. Of the three ethnic groups, Tutsi and Hutu were the most common of the three, with Twa being less than one percent of Rwandese. Tutsis were the richest and were generally tall, slender, had a lighter skin tone, and owned a lot of cattle. Hutus, on the other hand, were usually stockier and had a darker dark skin tone. (Spalding 4-7, Prunier 7-15)
Discrimination can be defined as the prejudicial treatment of different categories including race, age, or sex. People around the world, nonetheless people in other foreign countries face multiple types of discrimination. Such as, Pygmies of Africa’s Great Lake region who face horrifying amounts of racial discrimination, and continue to fight for their equality. However, the discrimination towards the Pygmy people creates a decline in the their population which, regularly worsens their society everyday. Also described as , the Pygmy genocide Pygmies of Africa’s great lakes region are known to be a forest hunter-gatherer group, who is generally identified by their short height. For this reason, Pygmies are easier to adapt to the conditions of
The war in Rwanda has often been presented as a “tribal conflict.” This is highly misleading. Hutus and Tutsis existed a century ago, but the two categories were defined in very different terms in those days. They were far less mutually hostile. Colonial rule and its attendant racial ideology, followed by independent governments committed to Hutu supremacy and intermittent inter-communal violence, have dramatically altered the nature of the Hutu-Tutsi problem, and made the divide between the two far sharper and more violent. In short, political manipulation of ethnicity is the main culprit for today’s ethnic problem.
It is believed that the Hutu and the Tutsi were originally one community who shared some value culture and even religion until the colonialist announced their arrival. Rwanda has experienced a disturbing and prolonged cycle of violent conflict since 1959. The conflict which has been characteristically political and socio-economic in nature has played out mainly on the basis of ethnicity and regionalism. It was first German and Belgium colonialism that created and nurtured the country’s ethnic rivalry between the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi. The rivalry was constructed on the basis of a myth of Tutsi superiority over the Hutu in order to serve both the colonial policy of divide and rule and the colonial division of labor. The Tutsi were designated as the administrative supervisors and the Hutu s the labor force of the extractive colonial economy. The 1959 revolution brought the Hutu to power and ended colonialism. Unfortunately, though it succeeded in changing the colonial socio-political relations, it failed to crush the ethnic stereotypes that continued to haunt the country (Maundi…et al, 2006:31).
In the 1990s, the Rwandan population was about 14% Tutsis and 85 % Hutus (XXXXXXXX). This ethnic composition has remained similar since biblical times. As with most civil wars, the aversion between opposing sides, that precipitates the war is usually deeply entrenched. The hate between the Tutsis and the Hutus dates back to the 16th century. The hunter-gatherer Hutus were the original settlers of the Rwanda area around 1000AD, then new farming settlers called Tutsi set up their republic. The Tutsis had status, wealth and controlled the politics. Germans favored the Tutsi when they took control of the territory in 1884. Tutsis garnered favor with the racist Germans because they were taller and had lighter-skin.
Taking the Rwandan genocide at its surface would make one think that it was a result of spontaneous “tribal” fighting between Hutu and Tutsi elements. But every serious observer of Rwanda has recognized that the genocide resulted from active planning of high state officials. The tragedy represents an extreme form of Rwandan Hutu nationalism in the hands of the fanatical state leaders. To put matters in perspective, it is clear that both nationalisms survived in Rwanda due to the actions of elite representatives of each community. Another point to note is the correlation of the uncertainty over the control of the state with nationalism. While the Rwandan state was firmly under the control of the colonial authorities, aided by the Tutsi chiefs,
After World War I, the Belgian colonized the Rwanda and separated them in the system of rigid ethnic classification. Even though the Tutsis represented only fourteen percent in the Rwanda, Tutsis were recognized as the superiority ethnic group from their behavior, height, or skin, which is closed to the white people by Belgian’s perspectives. In short, the amount of Tutsi is the minority in the Rwanda. After World War II, the Belgian governance became weak power among the international systems so that the people of Rwanda started to have different opinions toward their colonizer and criticized that Tutsis are the immigrate regime. Furthermore, in 1959, the movement of decolonization started. Hutu led a revolt and killed thousands of Tutsis