"Genocide in Rwanda." United Human Rights Council. United Human Rights Council, n.d. Web. 18 Nov 2013. .
From April to July of 1994, in about 100 days, an estimated 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda by Hutu extremists. The Hutu extremists were said to be targeting only the minority ethnic group called "Tutsi", but were also found to be killing any of their political enemies regardless of their race.
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.
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. In this essay I will briefly describe the history of the conflict of the Hutu and Tutsi, the 100 days of genocide in 1994, and the affects of the massacre on the economy and the people of Rwanda.
The Rwandan Genocide was a time of ruthless slaughter carried out by the inequality between the Hutu and Tutsi. This time of 100 days of slaughter and death would shake the Rwandan, and international community for years to come. Survivors still are fortunately alive to recall the awful events that happened in Rwanda. Many human rights laws, activist, organizations would now form as a result of this genocide.
Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda by Timothy Longman discusses the roles of the churches in Rwanda and how their influence might have been able to alter the outcome of the genocide. He discusses the rise of Juvenal Habyarimana in politics with his Catholic background, church and state relations, and obedience to political authority. His slogan “Peace, Unity, and Development” were his political plans for Rwanda. On April 6, 1994, president Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down marking the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. His death was a pretext for government and military officials to begin their launch against opponents of their regime. The genocide lasted for 100 days and resulted in over a million deaths. During the genocide the Tutsi minority was targeted by Hutu extremists and ordinary Hutu citizens. Within the large number of perpetrators witnesses proclaim that church leaders and church members actively participated in murder and other genocidal activities during the genocide. “People came to mass each day to pray, then they went out to kill” (7). If churches were capable of heavily persuading its community members to commit acts of genocide, then their involvement in resisting against the genocide and other religious institutions could have had a pronoun affect in the failure of the genocidal movement against the Tutsi.
“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.
“Governments are mandated by international law to protect people from genocide,” said human rights activist, Bianca Jagger, referring to the law that the United Nations failed to uphold during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The United Nations refused to send aid to the citizens of Rwanda claiming that the atrocities were a civil war. However, this was clearly not a civil war, because only one ethnic group was armed and prepared to exterminate the other ethnic group. The Tutsi ethnic group was defined as being superior to the Hutu ethnic group by early colonists because they possessed more caucasian like features. Over time, the Hutu grew hateful of the Tutsi, because they controlled more governmental power, had prefered access to education, and received higher social status. Out of jealousy and a sense of injustice, the Hutu people became the perpetrators in the Rwandan genocide. A genocide is the intent to destroy a group by killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to the group, and transferring children of the group to another group (Stanton). The United Nations needs to recognize the killing and near extermination of the Tutsi people as a genocide, in order to prevent future genocides from being mishandled the same way. Unsupported by the United Nations, it took the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a group of escaped Tutsis, 100 days to stop the genocide. If the U.N. had acted as soon as the first signs of the genocide appeared they could have prevented a tragic loss of lives. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 should be classified as a genocide by the United Nations because the actions of the perpetrators reflect the stages of polarization and extermination in Stanton’s theory of the eight stages of genocide.
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.
Rwanda has almost always been somewhat of a melting pot, much like other African nations. People of various ethnicities, occupations, and social classes lived in the country without much more trouble than the surrounding nations. Even so, much like other nations, Rwanda still had underlying issues beneath the surface that still had to be faced. Beginning on April 9th, 1994, the genocide had begun, leading to a systematic killing of over 800,000 Rwandans. For what reason were these people killed to begin with? Each of these people were killed for being either Tutsi, an upper-classed ethnic group in the nation, or for refusing to partake in the barbaric bloodletting. After the confrontations between the “upper class” Tutsi and the “lower class” Hutu subsided at the outset of the summer of 1994, the grim horror of what had just happened finally sunk in. More disgustingly, it seemed that the entire world had watched in dull horror as Rwandans – neighbors, friends, families- slaughtered each other, and rather than assist, they continued on with daily activities, as if nothing was happening. Even the organization that had been established to prevent this exact dilemma from occurring, the United Nations, had failed to actually help anyone, even though there were plenty of members of the UN right there in Rwanda as this was happening. Overall, the United Nations, and the entire world itself, had either been too poorly organized, too cowardly, or too apathetic to even begin to ever do any good outside of their proper nations.
In April of 1994, the converging forces of history culminated in one of the Twentieth Century’s most brutal crimes against humanity, in the small East African nation of Rwanda. In just one hundred days, by official estimates, over 800,000 Tutsi men, women, and children were slaughtered at the hands of Hutu majority population and government (Scheffer, 125). It is estimated that 333 human beings were slaughtered per hour during this period (Do Scars Ever Fade). By all accounts, this was a preventable genocide. The world’s most powerful nations received damning evidence regarding the mass slaughter of innocent civilians, yet refused to intervene (Ferroggiagio).
During the 100-day period after April 6, 1994, between 800, 000 and one million Tutsi people were slaughtered. (Genocide in the 20th Century: Rwanda 1994) On April 7, roadblocks began to appear and soldiers began scouring the country for any person whose identification card read “Tutsi”. Entire families were murdered, often by their own neighbors and friends, and occasionally by relatives through marriage. Eleven year-old Hamis Kamuhanda recounted his experience in an interview with a reporter from the British Broadc...
The Rwandan Genocide of 1994 was not only one of the most remarkable tragedies in Rwanda, but is often recalled as one of the most gruesome massacres in all of history. The Rwandan Genocide was an attack on the Tutsi minority from the Hutu majority, the two major ethnic groups of Rwanda. According to the Survivors Fund (SURF), an estimated eight hundred thousand to one million Tutsis, along with some moderate Hutus, were slaughtered over the course of the one hundred day genocide ("Statistics"). The Huffington Post states, "If we follow the U.N. 's estimate, that means that nearly six men, women and children were murdered every minute of every hour of every day," ("5 Staggering Statistics"). Nevertheless, little assistance was provided for the Tutsis during the Rwandan Genocide. The lack of empathy from other nations during the massacre was remarkable. The entire world watched the genocide play out, yet almost all of the observers turned a blind eye and waited for the United Nations to intervene. Although the Tutsis longed for a savior, the U.N. did not intervene until it was far too late.
Rwanda used to be a peaceful country until the Civil war started. Belgium then took over Rwanda and put the Tutsis in charge of the government because they had more European characteristics like the Belgium population (Anderson 1). This upset the Hutus, so the Hutus then blamed the Tutsis for the president’s assassination. The Rwandan genocide then started on April 6, 1994. It lasted for 100 brutal days. The Hutus then began to slaughter the Tutsis because there was no government control, so it was a perfect time to rebel. There were two Hutu rebellion forces named the Interhamwe which means, “Those Who Attack Together” and the Impuzamugami which means “Those Who Have the Same Goal.” There were many people that killed people close to them. Co-workers killed co-workers, friends killed friends, neighbors killed neighbors, and husband killed wives. They did this to save their own lives. They would have been killed themselves if they didn’t kill who they were told to kill (Rosenberg 1). According to Factsbits, the Hutu leaders manipulated other Hutus into killing their family, friends, and acquaintances. The Rwandan conflict is genocide because thousands of people were killed, the Hutus tried to wipe out the Tutsis, and all of this was based on ...