Summary about the Rwanda Genocide - Essay Example

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A person may differ from the neighbour in many ways. This might lead to a tense relationship between neighbours. The tension might build up and if ignored it may cause damages between…
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Summary about the Rwanda Genocide
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Introduction People notice that they have a difference in opinions in the day to day interactions. A person may differ from the neighbour in many ways. This might lead to a tense relationship between neighbours. The tension might build up and if ignored it may cause damages between neighbours. This essay will focus on one of the most inhumane episodes the world has ever witnessed. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda happened in 100 days leaving scores of people injured, separated and the majority of its victims dead. Hundreds of thousands died during these 100 days. The cause of the genocide has been attributed to the tension between two ethnic groups. The majority called Hutu and the minority the Tutsi. Tutsi held the majority of the political power despite their small population as compared to the Hutu.
The Colonial Era
In 1984, the Germans became the first colonial power in Rwanda. They realized that the Tutsi had light skins, and they were tall. To the Germans, the characteristics resembled Europeans hence they favoured them in issuing responsibilities. The First World War made the Germans lose their colonies including Rwanda (Mamdani, 2001). Belgium took over Rwanda and introduced the identity cards. The Tutsi continued to receive favour from the Belgians, leaving the Hutu behind. the Belgians gave the Tutsi leadership positions which made the majority of the population, the Hutu terribly angry. However, during Rwanda’s’ struggle for independence, the Belgians made the new self-dependent government in the hands of the Hutu. This further increased the tension between the two ethnic communities.
The Genocide
In 1994, the year which the genocide took place, President Habyarimana while coming back from Tanzania, was assassinated. A surface-to-air missile shot the presidents plane killing everyone on board. This made the Hutu extremely angry, and within 24 hours of the assassination the slaughter had started. In Kigali, the Hutu blocked the roads and interrogated the road users. They were supposed to produce their identity cards to prove that they were Hutus. The Tutsi were killed instantly. The killings were done by the use of clubs, machete and knives. The Hutu youths who doing the killings called themselves interahamwe, this means those who strike as one.
They also went after the government officials who were Tutsi and the Hutu officials who supported the Tutsi (Mamdani, 2001). This included the prime minister. Ten Belgians UN peacekeepers tried to protect the prime minister and were killed in the process. The Tutsi started running towards the hills which seemed safe only to be followed by the Hutu. The violence spread all over the country. The Hutu went door to door killing the Tutsi. They demanded the identity cards of the people living in a given area and killed all the Tutsi. The killings were brutal. Some of the Tutsi were tortured for days before they died. The Tutsi women became sex slaves and were later killed.
During the genocide, the Tutsi people tried to seek refuge in churches, schools and other institutions. These places were to become places of mass murders. The Hutu used grenades to kill the Tutsi who sheltered themselves inside these buildings. The Tutsi who tried to escape from the buildings were slaughtered with machetes, knives and clubs. The bodies of the Tutsi were not buried (Mamdani, 2001). They were either left where they were slaughtered or thrown into rivers. This was because the Hutu believed that the Tutsi had originally migrated from Ethiopia.
In July 1994, the Rwanda Patriotic Front took over the government. The group consisted of trained military group who had been exiled in earlier years. They were in the neighbouring country of Uganda. By mid-July the genocide had ended.
Mamdani, M. (2001). When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in
Rwanda. Princeton university press, New Jersey USA Read More
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