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Rwanda and Global Stratification - Essay Example

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Contemporary history has many lessons to learn on global stratification from numerous events which have occurred in recorded history. And because history cannot be biographical account, as it is based on facts and figures and subject to litmus tests and interpretations by bonafide critics, researchers and fellow historians, the facts are accepted per se without fear or favor.
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Rwanda and Global Stratification
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Rwanda and Global Stratification

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There can be no better example than Rwanda in the annals of human history where a country so rich in natural beauty and flora and fauna could be subjected to a trauma for over 150years, beginning with its discovery by colonial powers in the mid-19th century. Of course, most countries in Africa and Asia also had gone through the subjugating periods of the colonial rulers. Countries like China, India, Myanmar, the Middle East, and others gained freedom after World War II. The situations in these countries are by and large peaceful. Hence, the Rwandan episode continues to serve as a test for regional stability and global stratification.
The Rwandan society comprise the pre-dominant Hutu and the Tutsi tribes with the Hutus making up 84% of the population, the Tutsis 14% and the Twa tribe, said to be the original inhabitants but now only forming 1% of the population. Physically, the Tutsis are tall, the Hutus short and square built, and the Twa are pygmoid.
The differences are not ethnic as the Hutu and Tutsi tribes speak the same language of Kinyarwanda, and have had a history of intermarriages and share many cultural characteristics. Officially, English and French are also spoken. The problems seem to lie more on the regional level with one group vying with the other for political and economical control. The social barriers began to fester once the country became independent on July 1, 1962. The Belgian rulers who won the UN mandate to maintain their status in Rwanda after World War I, favored the Tutsi tribe as administrators and eventually when they left the country they tried to soothe feelings by having the Hutus share in power. However, feelings of mutual hatred and discontent had leaked so much into the mindset of the different groups that ultimately it could not but give way to much bloodshed once the Belgians left. 800,000 Tutsis were massacred across the country by marauding Hutu hoodlums egged on their ruling high command. The police and the army were openly one-sided in the brutality. The neighboring countries of Burundi, Zaire and Uganda were also embroiled in the unrest as both Hutu and Tutsi rebels took refuge in these countries to regroup and counter-attack each other. Millions were killed from both sides. The civil war raged from atrocities inflicted by one group leading to retribution by the other. The initial bloodshed inflicted by the Hutus on the Tutsis was returned by the latter in a 14-weeks route of the Hutus that overthrew the largely Hutu government with another ferocious bout of massacre.
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