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What is the Role of Ethnicity in Africa - Essay Example

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Close to 800,000 people perished in the first 100 days due to the ethical clashes between the Hutu and Tutsi. Just four months into the war claimed close to quarter of the Rwandese population. Such a simple war turned into…
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What is the Role of Ethnicity in Africa
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What is the Role of Ethnicity in Africa

Download file to see previous pages... 138). In a simple way, ethnicity refers to a group of people who share same ancestral background, language, lifestyles and culture. From the above definition, enmity among Hutu, Tutsi and Twa relates to the above definition.
Ethnicity led to a political divide in Rwanda (Scott, 2007). By 1959, the Tutsis were keen to liberate Rwanda from colonial oppression. This however led to massive killings for the sake of finding this freedom. This liberation made Tutsis dominant thus the forming of the one party state, which was powerful enough to penetrate the whole Rwandan society. To ensure dominance, they came up with ideologies that were against education and the press. To define ethnic boundaries, they came up with a system that involves the use of identity cards to show where individuals belonged.
Between 1958 and 1962, there was massive campaign against the Tutsis, which claimed close to 200,000 Hutus as revenge from the Tutsi. Due to the indirect rule, Rwandans came to define their identities due to the idea that a society that everyone must belong to an ethnic group. This led to political divide in that they believed power was a key item in ethnic identity. This evident when in 1990, there emerged real enmity between supporters of then the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana who was a Hutu and the Rwandan Patriotic Front led by Paul Kagame who was a Tutsi. Due to this rivalry, Juvenal’s plane was shot while in the air and none of the people on board survived. This led to a blame game with the Tutsis being blamed for the assassination. The blame game left women and children at risk since they were the easiest to attack and kill in the name of revenge.
Ethnicity played a key role in control of resources during and before genocide. Since independence, the Tutsis enjoyed the monopoly of being the only ones with the power to control the country’s natural ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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