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GEOGRAPHICAL AND DEMOGRAPHICAL FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE RWANDA GENOCIDE First name, Last name Submission date Figure 1: Map of Rwanda Introduction Rwanda as shown in Figure 1, is a landlocked country that gained independence from the Belgium colonists on July 1962 found in sub-Saharan Africa located south of the Equator with a densely population of 12,012,589 people, bordering Uganda 169 km, Democratic Republic of Congo 217 km, Burundi 290 km and Tanzania 217 km.1 Rwanda is ecologically divided into twelve agro-ecological zones with respect to climatic characteristics and farming practices.2 Rwanda is dominated by mountain ranges and plateaus of highlands with its majority …
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Download file to see previous pages Degradation of resources in Rwanda has been tied to the pressure on limited arable land by a large rapidly growing population, 90 % of whom are engaged in agricultural activity as explained in the introduction. Furthermore, Rwanda population has been growing at the rate of 3.7 % per year increasing pressure on farm land and agricultural production leading to severe decrease in agricultural produce resulting to soil exhaustion and malnutrition.6 In addition, the conversion rate of pasture land into cropland has reduced manure production, thus reducing soil fertility. Almost all available agricultural land is being used with the exclusion of two sub regions which are the Akagera Park and the Nyabarngo Valley.7 These factors mentioned above mainly suggest that the rapid increasing population on a land that has limited resources could have contributed to the genocide in Rwanda, because many people had no fertile land and the only way to get one was to take another person’s land. Still on geographical factors, Rwanda has hilly terrain that is composed of wetlands areas in forest reserves and national parks.8 The destruction of the wetlands as a result of demand to convert land to agriculture has resulted to sedimentation and flooding, leaving a few natural forest like Gishwati, Mukara and Nyungwe.9 The demand to convert natural forest land into agricultural has not been the only factor that has led to deforestation. The need for fuel-wood consumption has been another factor of deforestation.10 These factors give us an indication that deforestation as a result of providing farm land and fuel-wood is also a contributing factor to the genocide in Rwanda. This is because for those people who did not have farm land or fuel-wood, they had to cut down the forest in order to satisfy their needs. The problem arises when some people do not get farm land, where in order to get a farm land, they would have to kill other people. So this is a suitable factor that could have led to the Rwanda genocide. In 1990, the Rwandan government under President Habryarimana based its legitimacy on its capability of providing the needs of its populace. Nevertheless, the decrease in tea and coffee prices and the structural adjustment of polices had a significant impact on the Rwandan economy because approximately 90% of earnings from export came from 7% of the land that was mainly coffee.11 Also, at this time the poverty levels in the rural areas were increasing as a result of environmental degradation, land scarcity and unequal distribution of government resources. Additionally, the Habyarimana government was sending aid money to his home town, further worsening the already ethnic tensions. This was an important factor in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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