The Rwandan Genocide

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For years, Rwanda has been a hotbed of racial tension. The majority of the Rwandan population is made up of Hutu's, with Tutsi's making up the rest of it. Ever since European colonial powers entered the country and favoured the Tutsi ethnic group over the Hutu by putting Tutsi people in all important positions in society, there has been a decisive political divide between the two groups. This favouring of the Tutsi over the Hutu, and the Hutu subjugation as an ethnic lower class resulted in the civil war and revolution of 1959, where the Hutu overthrew the Tutsi dominated government, and resulted in Rwanda gaining their independence in 1962.

However, tension remained between the two ethnic groups, with a civil war raging between the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front and the Hutu Government of Rwanda, right up until August 4th, 1993, with the signing of the Arusha Accords. Previous to this, all UN intervention attempts were futile in trying to bring together a government with both Tutsi and Hutu in power. On April 6th, 1994, the President of Rwanda's plane was shot down, killing him and other chief members of staff when it crashed. This was the catalyst required for the Hutu to carry out their “final solution”, a plan for genocide against the ethnic Tutsi group they had been planning for years. This resulted in Hutu people taking up arms, mainly machetes, to openly attack and slaughter all Tutsi, the families of Tutsi, and even moderate Hutu people who weren't attacking the Tutsi.

Over the period of around 100 days, with the death toll ranging somewhere between 800,000 to 1,100,000 the Rwandan genocide has become infamous for the high numbers of dead in such a short amount of time, and for the inadequate response of the UN an...

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... involved led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Rwandan people. The UN's involvement in Rwanda is considered to be a prime example of the ineffectiveness of international law and the UN's inability to deal with conflicts.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Used for finding historical background regarding the Genocide. Good research base to find access to statistics and other sources. Great website with plenty of information regarding all aspects of the issue. For information regarding Australia's involvement in Rwanda Information regarding United Nations involvement The media's response to Rwanda.
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