Modern Genocide In Rwanda By Robert Melson

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If ancient chaos/race were an actual reason for why the genocide occurred, the racial tensions of the Hutus and the Tutsis would have existed long before the genocide and colonization. This notion is supported by Robert Melson, author of “Modern Genocide in Rwanda”. Melson alludes to the fact that during precolonial Rwanda, the Hutus and the Tutsis lived fairly peacefully with one other. Melson demonstrates that if it were tribal chaos, it would have to involve disputes over “land, booty, and women”. Because that was not seen in precolonial Rwanda, it would be hard to attribute the genocide only to race and territory. In order to further recognize how state power/ institutions, civilian mobilization, and war played significant roles in the Rwandan genocide, the methods that Scott Straus used in order to reach his conclusions need to be understood. When Straus chose to focus his research on Rwanda, he believed that the best way to do so would be through the lens of a social scientific approach. He conducted his research in three parts. His first research stage was a nationwide survey of…show more content…
The first major change that happened had to do with the civil war between the Hutu-dominated government and the Tutsi-dominated rebels. The second major change was the change in the political party of Rwanda. These changes in the government happened over a span of 40 years, demonstrating the instability and vulnerability of the state. This instability and vulnerability allowed the Hutus, who were the majority of the population, to be able to take over the government easily. When communism fell, Rwanda was under pressure from France to change from a single party state. When Rwanda did this, it led to Hutu opposition which created the Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (MDR). Straus notes that these changes in the political institutions change the dynamics of the
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