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Rwandan genocide - Essay Example

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Historical background The modern day Rwanda population is made up of three groups namely, the Hutu, the Tutsi and the Twa. The Twa known to be pygmies are the indigenous people of Rwanda. They lived in the jungle as they practiced hunting and gathering. Later the Hutus and the Tutsi moved into the country…
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Rwandan genocide
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Rwandan genocide

Download file to see previous pages... They made a clear explanation that this was meant for ethnic distinction. In most cases, they considered the Tutsi to be superior to the rest of the population and replaced the Hutu leaders with the Tutsi. Later in1950s, the Belgians altered their support for the Tutsi elites; they opted to support the Hutus who were the majority. These changes came as a result of several events, it included influential priests who were active politically and were supporting revolution. The second event was the movement of liberation in the Africa and European colonies. The third event was the rebellion from the Tutsi dominated National Rwandese Union (Union Nationale Ruandaise, UNAR). They were against the Belgian rule and supported the monarchy rule. They wanted an immediate independence from the foreigners. The Belgians chose to support the PARMEHUTU (The Party for the Emancipation of the Hutus). In 1959, the Tutsi leader Mwaami Rudahigwa died immediately, the Hutus rose in rebellion killing several Tutsis. Those who died were estimated to be ten to one hundred thousand. However, Belgians did not intervene. Several refugees fled the country. In 1961, the Belgians pushed for elections and Gregoire Kayibanda, the leader of PARMEHUTU, came to power as the first president of Rwanda. In the same year, the country was declared independent, and it was granted formally in 1962. In an attempt to regain power, the Tutsi refugees from the neighboring countries organized major attacks between 1961 and 1964. Each attack resulted in a massacre of Tutsis who were still in the country. In 1973, Kayibanda was overthrown by Juvenal Habyarimana, the then Major General of the Army through a military coup. Kayibanda had ruled unfairly and favored Hutus from the southern Rwanda where he came from. This created the difference between the Hutus of the south and those of the northwest. Habyarimana came from the North West. He introduced a quota system in several institutions which included education and the government in an attempt of “fairness”. He decreed that the Tutsi’s percentage in schools, government offices and military should not be more than the percentage of the Tutsis population which was 9%. A census was organized for the definition of this percentage, and identity cards were re-issued indicating one’s ethnicity. The identity cards were vital tools used during the genocide. In 1990, Rwanda was attacked from the north by rebel group which known as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). Its composition was several refugees from the Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Zaire. Fred Rwigyema who was the rebel’s group leader died and was replaced by Paul Kagame who was his close ally from the Ugandan National Resistance Army. Even though most members of the group died due to harsh conditions, the rebels who were disciplined and had appropriate training were a significant threat to the government. According to Lemarchand (2009), the most extreme elements of the Hutu elite formed Coalition for the Defense of the Republic (CDR). It comprised of the akazu a group that surrounded Habyarimana’s wife Madame Agathe Kanziga. The majority were close family members and friends from Ruhengiri and Gisenyi. They formed civilian militias known as the interahamwe. They had extreme racist ideas and increased fear among the Tutsi. According to Jones, (2010), the Hutu manifesto was published in December 1990 in Kangura newspaper that belonged to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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