Genocide in Rwanda
The definition of genocide as given in the Webster's College Dictionary is "The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. " This definition depicts the situation in 1994 of Rwanda, a small, poor, central African country. The Rwandan genocide was the systematic extermination of over eight hundred thousand Tutsi, an ethnic group in Rwanda, by the Hutu, another ethnic group in Rwanda.
The Rwandan Genocide was a time of ruthless slaughter in the African state of Rwanda. This time of murder would drastically symbolize the long standing racial discrimination against the Hutu. The years of segregation of the Hutu would lead to a dramatic, devastating, and deadly revolt carried out by the Hutu. The Rwandan Genocide occurred during the year of 1994 caused by years of inequality against the Hutu from the Tutsi.
Murder is never a good way to solve a problem, especially when a dictator murders people for no reason or for just a rumor or idea. That’s exactly what happened with the Rwandan Genocide. The Hutus slaughtered the Tutsi tribe of East Africa because the Tutsis had most of the leadership roles when the Europeans took control over Rwanda (Rosenburg). And of course, the Hutus didn’t like that at all, so they started to mass slaughter the Tutsi tribe of Rwanda. The Tutsis were just humble cattle herders who were chosen at random to take leadership roles instead of the Hutus (Rosenburg). The Rwandan Genocide was a terrible event in our world history. Throughout the course of 100 days from April 6 to July 16 1994, approximately 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis and some moderate Hutus were massacred in the Rwandan genocide (United Human Rights Council).
The Rwandan Genocide was the mass slaughter of the Tutsi and moderate Hutu in the late twentieth century. It was committed by the Hutus and lasted approximately 100 days (from April 7th 1994 – July 4th 1994). During those 100 days, 20% of Rwanda’s total population, and 70% percent of the Tutsi population, an estimated 500,000 – 1,000,000 people were killed. The akuza, the members of the core political elite, started planning this genocide in 1990 based on the conflict going on between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front which was mainly composed of Tutsi refugees from Uganda. After the genocide the U.S, Britain, and Belgium, as well as other UN countries were criticized for not sending supplies, or helping the United Nations Mission for Rwanda peacekeepers. France, on the other hand, was blamed for actively taking part in the slaughter.
“Beginning on April 6, 1994, Hutus began slaughtering the Tutsis in the African country of Rwanda. As the brutal killings continued, the world stood idly by and just watched the slaughter. Lasting 100 days, the Rwanda genocide left approximately 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers dead” (Rosenberg 1). When Rwanda’s President, Habyrimana, was killed in a plane crash, turmoil and massacres began. A series of events escalated violence until two ethic groups were engaged in bloody battle: The Hutus and the Tutsis. Throughout the Rwandan Genocide, the Tutsis were targeted because the death of President Habyrimana and problems in social and economic life was blamed in them, thus resulting in the 100-day genocide.
There had always been tension between the Hutus and the Tutsis but, certain events increased tensions between the two groups. Rules, appearances, and opportunities were never the same for any of the groups therefore hate begin to build upon the two groups. This tension would continue for years until the genocide in 1994.
1916, Belgian forces occupied Rwanda and Tutsi kings become indirect rulers. By 1957, Hutus’ develop political parties and in 1959 the Hutu’s force the Tutsi king and thousands of other Tutsis out of the country. A Hutu president comes to power in 1962 and in 1963, about 20,000 Tutsis are killed. Tutsi forces invade Rwanda from Uganda in 1990. Hutu Rwandan president attempts a peace treaty signing monitored by the UN in 1993 to share the power. In 1994 the Hutu president is killed by an unknown group and the genocide begins against the Tutsi lasting 100 days. Eight-hundred thousand Tutsis are murdered. (BBC.com)
April 6, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of a genocide that killed nearly 100,000 people. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 nearly wiped out the Tutsi population of the country in only the span of a few months. An estimated 10,000 people were murdered each day. Philip Gourevitch, a journalist who visited Rwanda in the aftermath of the genocide, gives this account: "Neighbors hacked neighbors in their homes, and colleagues hacked colleagues to death in their workplaces. Doctors killed their patients, and schoolteachers killed their pupils. Within days, the Tutsi populations of many villages were all but eliminated, and in Kigali prisoners were released in work gangs to collect the corpses that lined the roadsides. Drunken militia bands, fortified with assorted drugs from ransacked pharmacies, were bused from massacre to massacre. Radio announcers reminded listeners not to take pity on women and children." The world had never seen so many deaths so fast. It asks the question: how could something like this happen? The Rwandan Genocide was caused by three main factors: ethnic tensions between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, the propaganda issued by the radical ideology Hutu Power, and the lack of action taken by other countries.
Africa has been an interesting location of conflicts. From the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea to the revolutionary conflict in Libya and Egypt, one of the greatest conflicts is the Rwandan Genocide. The Rwandan Genocide included two tribes in Rwanda: Tutsis and Hutus. Upon revenge, the Hutus massacred many Tutsis and other Hutus that supported the Tutsis. This gruesome war lasted for a 100 days. Up to this date, there have been many devastating effects on Rwanda and the global community. In addition, many people have not had many acknowledgements for the genocide but from this genocide many lessons have been learned around the world.
Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali once said, "We were not realizing that with just a machete, you can do a genocide." To be candid, nobody anticipated the Rwandan Genocide that occurred in 1994. The genocide in Rwanda was an infamous blood-red blur in modern history where almost a million innocent people were murdered in cold blood. Members of the Tutsi tribe were systematically hacked or beaten to death by members of the Interahamwe, a militia made up of Hutu tribe members. In just 100 days, from April 6, 1994 to mid-July, 20% of Rwanda's population was killed; about 10,000 people a day. Bodies literally were strewn over city streets. Genocide obviously violates almost all articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; however, the article I find most important is Article 3 - the right to life, liberty, and personal security. In just 100 days, one million people were denied the most basic privilege granted to every human – the right to live, simply because they were born to the wrong tribe.