The Rwandan Genocide Of Genocide Essay

The Rwandan Genocide Of Genocide Essay

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Though the event occurred almost twenty-one years ago, the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has prompted much discussion about what truly caused the deaths of an estimated 800,000 civilians. Scott Straus, a political scientist and author of The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda, makes the claim that it is very difficult to precisely identify what began the genocide in Rwanda for a number of reasons, and also comments that many of the beliefs in regards to the causes and evolution of genocide in Rwanda are incomplete. In his book, Straus focuses on three main aspects: to look closely at the local dynamics of the genocide, to produce an assessment of explanations, and finally to develop a theory that would explain the genocide in Rwanda. The book is mainly centered on the war of Rwanda as it attempts to answer the questions of how and why the killing took place, but the author also treats the country of Rwanda as a test case for creating other theories of genocide that could take place anywhere else in the world. Using original research from 2002 to help him provide explanations, Straus interviews more than two hundred convicted perpetrators in fifteen Rwandan prisons, conducts “a micro-comparative study of genocidal dynamics in five Rwandan locations,” and gathers information from various in-depth interviews of individuals who emerged as leaders of the killing or as particularly aggressive killers (5). For the writer, methodology is of high importance because he holds the opinion that a system of methods can help deepen the understanding of those intrigued by why genocide happens in general, but also helps explain why specifically the Rwandan genocide occurred. Straus choose to randomly survey convicted perpetrators for hi...


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...tion and to assert power for themselves in times of chaos. Straus argues that the hardliners who controlled the state are mainly responsible for the genocide because they were the ones who declared war against the Tutsis minority, this is a point the author makes sure to emphasize so that readers are clear of the many factors that drove out the genocide.
During these times of crisis, Rwanda was also internationally abandoned. Perhaps international action would have ended or interrupted the hardliners advocacy of killing the Tutsis. After the president’s death, the hardliners installed a new government and even attacked international peacekeepers, which caused international withdrawal from Rwanda. And no one attempted to stop the genocide after because it was difficult to enter the country without risking death so the killing persisted and wiped out many civilians.

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