The Rwandan Genocide Essay

2559 words - 11 pages

The Rwandan Genocide (1994)


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1. Introduction
A. Definition of genocide
B. Overview of the genocide
2. The Historical Rivalry between Hutu and Tutsi
A. Background of Hutu and Tutsi
B. Effect of the West in Rwanda
3. The Massacre
A. The mass killings
B. The Perpetrators
C. Women and Children in the genocide
4. The Aftermath
A. Tutsi Government
B. Economic Recovery
C. Physical and Psychological effects
5. Conclusion
A. Personal Opinion
B. Recommendations

The genocide concept comprised two words, genos, a Greek word meaning tribe or race and cide a Latin word meaning killing ...view middle of the document...

This happened while the international community chose to ignore the issue. The most astonishing thing is the number of lives that were lost in such a span of time (Akresh 4). What triggered the genocide is when Juvenal Habyarimana, the Rwandan president died on sixth April nineteen ninety four in a shooting that happened in Kigali Airport. This wave of violence spread drastically in all places of the country. The Hutus being the perpetrators of the massacre, wanted to wipe away the Tutsi (Mamdani 3). However, could the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana be the cause of such a dreaded massacre? This paper will explore the historical rivalry of the Hutu and Tutsi communities, the motive of the genocide, the role of the media and the international community and the aftermath of the massacre. In my opinion, I must declare that it I unavoidably difficult to discuss the Rwandan genocide without raising the deepest emotions, a cry for humanity.
The Historical Rivalry between Hutu and Tutsi
The ethnic rivalry that existed in Rwanda before the genocide between the majority who are the Hutus and the minority as the Tutsi was evident since the colonial times. Traditionally, the Hutus were farmers while the Tutsis were herdsmen. However, the distinction between the two tribes not very clear since they are hard to distinguish as their culture and language is the same. There has occurred intermarriages between the two ethnic tribes and this also made them hard to distinguish. Tutsis valued land for the sake of their livestock while Hutus worked in the farms a scenario which caused the Hutus to become more than Tutsis. Significantly, the Tutsi are slender and tall and are believed to have come from Ethiopia a reason why they were discarded into the river during the massacre to symbolize their returning home in Ethiopia (Mamdani 86).
Rwanda is a colony of Belgium who divided the Rwandese with respect to their ethnicity. The European colonialists introduced a class system or aristocracy in which regarded the Tutsis as the superior ones making them feel more significant than the Tutsis. This was marked by their employment and education preference. The colonist fashioned the right weapons for violent attacks. In addition, the missionaries had their contribution as well. They incited Hutus and warned them against oppression planting a seed in which revolution would occur. Hutus armed themselves and began to rebel in nineteen fifty six and this continued until nineteen fifty nine where a riot occurred. This natured feelings of resentment which were marked by riots as those occurred in nineteen fifty nine where over twenty thousand Tutsi died while others sought refuge in other East African countries (Melvern, 2000).
After independence of Rwanda in nineteen sixty two, the Hutus took leadership position in which the Tutsis suffered in return. There occurred provincial factions and things were getting out of hand for Hutu. The economy...

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