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Civil War - Research Paper Example

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Civil War In the post-World War I era Belgium was given the authority by the League of Nations to govern Rwanda and its Southern neighbor, Burundi. Rwanda, which lies in the central and eastern Africa, is predominantly a rural-based society which relies mainly on agriculture to sustain its economy…
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Download file to see previous pages Belgian rule created more of an ethnic divide between the Tutsi and Hutu. Tutsis, who were visually fair in complexion and usually taller, were considered superior to the Hutus and had their roots in the region for centuries. The Belgian government being aware of that fact supported Tutsi political power. Each individual was issued a racial identification card which stated one as legally Hutu or Tutsi. By 1931, an ethnic identity was officially mandated and each Rwandan possessed an ethnic identity card at that time (Globalsecurity.org, 2011). Tutsis due to their superior racial status started exploiting their power over Hutu majority. There was discrimination all over the region. Any person owning 10 or more cattle was considered as a member of the Tutsi class. The Hutus were treated as the third class citizens and were not given any opportunity to excel in the society. Even the education system was entirely different for both groups. This created a sense of social injustice and hatred among the Hutus for Tutsi behavior and started rebelling against them. In 1960, the Belgian diplomats surprised everyone by reversing their favoritism and encouraged Hutu uprising in the name of democracy. In the same year, Belgium government decided to hold democratic elections in Rwanda-Burundi region. The Hutu majority elected Hutu representatives ending Tutsi monarchy. By 1962, Rwanda had become a Hutu dominated state and most of the Tutsis were exiled, if not killed, to the neighboring countries for their undesirable behavior with the Hutus (Phillip, 2000). By 1990, Hutus had gained full control and were administering the country. But there still was political unrest due to slumping economy and food shortages. The main reason however was something else. The Tutsis who were exiled more than 30 years ago were now grouping together in an attempt to overthrow Hutu led government in Rwanda and also to attain the right to live there. As a result, Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) was formed with the help of Ugandan army consisting mostly of Tutsi refugees or their descendants who were exiled earlier. The RPF, under the command of Major General Fred Rwigema began to pressurize Rwandan government and demanded Habyarimana, the Rwandan president, to make concessions and allow Tutsis to freely live there and be a part of the democratic system in the country. Habyarimana, after not being able to satisfy RPF’s demands and also RPF’s unwillingness to wait any longer and trust any longer the Rwandan government to fulfill its promises led RPF to wage civil war in the country (Globalsecurity.org, 2011). On 1st October, 1990, around 50 RPF rebels crossed the Ugandan border into Rwanda killing a guard at the Kagitumba border post. Hundreds more followed them with artillery and support provided to them by the Ugandan National Army. In few days after the first attack, the RPF army had advanced 60km to the south in the town of Gabiro creating violence and chaos in the region. This forced the government to launch a counterattack on RPF. The Rwandan Armed Forces (RAF) had a greater army and more advanced weaponry provided to them by the French as compared to rebels. However, RPF forces continued to invade Rwanda and more and more troops were deployed. As the civil war continued in the north, opposition to the government increased in Kigali. President Habyarimana was placed under immense pressure to take democratization measures and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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