Genocide in Rwanda: Extreme Denial of Human Rights

opinion Essay
1536 words
1536 words

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.

It is impossible to even imagine the scale of hate, destruction, and massacre that occurred in Rwanda during those 100 days. Linda Melvern, on the International Development Research Centere website, describes in an article the Gikondo Massacre, one of the bloodiest mass-killings during the genocide. On the third day of the turmoil, about 500 Tutsi, many of them children, gathered at a church in the middle of Kigali, having stepped over the bodies of their neighbors to get there. They pleaded the clergy for protection. The priest did his best, but presidential guard soldiers arrived and accused the church of harboring evil. He then left, telling soldiers not to waste bullets; the Interahamwe, he said, would arrive with...

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...the hills of Rwanda will never be forgotten, and neither will the unspeakable horrors that took their lives. Every single person in this world must realize that we are all humans, we are all the same, and we all must work to promote peace. Above all, we must never let such violence, massacre, and bloodshed recur.

Works Cited

January, Brendan. Genocide: Modern Crimes against Humanity. Minneapolis: Twenty-First

Century Books, 2007. Print.

Jansen, Hanna. Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, Inc,

2002. Print.

“Hiding from Death.” 60 Minutes. CBS. WCBS-TV, New York. 3 Dec. 2006. Television.

“Rwanda 1994.” Peace Pledge Union, n.d. Web. 14 May. 2010.

Melvern, Linda. “Missing the story: the media and the Rwandan genocide.”

International Development Research Centere, n.d. Web. 14 May. 2010.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that the rwandan genocide was an infamous blood-red blur in modern history where almost a million innocent people were murdered in cold blood by members of the interahamwe militia.
  • Describes the gikondo massacre as one of the bloodiest mass-killings during the genocide.
  • Describes how immaculee illibagiza escaped the interahamwe killings by hiding in a tiny bathroom with six other women.
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