For over a half of a century in Rwandas history, the Tutsi and Hutu tribes fought over power in a ethnic battle fueled by discrimination and harsh persecution. The Tutsi and Hutu tribes were pushed against eachother by foreign imperialistic powers until finally in 1994 a large scale incedent was finally sparked. The blame of this incedent cannot be put unto anyone without looking into the years of hatred that built up to it.
Before the European occupation of Rwanda, The Tutsis and Hutus lived coexistent lifestyles. Tutsis and Hutus were separate ethnic groups that lived peacefully. Some Tutsis and Hutus were local chiefs within Rwanda, and at this time there was no organized discrimination or Clashes between the groups. After World War 1, Belgium overtook Rwanda as a colony and established the Tutsis as the natural born leaders of the Nation. The once peaceful lifestyle that existed in Rwanda was no more, As all Tutsis were given Identity cards to distinguish them from the Hutu Subclass. During this period racial tensions mounted as the Hutus were oppressed.
During the 1950s, the Tutsi Elite began to strive towards independence and lash out against the centralized Belgian rule in Rwanda. In an attempt to silence this movement, the Belgian Government shifted their support towards the Hutu Majority who lacked experience in domination. Soon after, with the Communist nations in the United Nations supporting Rwandan Independence, Clashes between the weaker Tutsis and the now Dominant Hutus broke out. In 1959 without intervention from either the UN or the Belgian Government, Hutus began to Burn down Tutsi villages, and kill freely. This conflict left an estimated 300 Tutsi Civilians dead.
"The triumph of evil occurs when good men do nothing." This quote was said by the modern day political philosopher, Edmund Burke. This quote means that it is when good people don't take action that bad things are allowed to happen. This relates to the recent genocide in Rwanda, when the Hutus massacred the Tutsis over a period of 100 days in the summer of 1994. Three major ways in which good men ...
In the Early 1960s, Belgium began to replace most Tutsi tribal chiefs with Hutus, resulting in an uneven balance within Rwanda. With the Hutu Majority in Power, the systematic persecution of Tutsis began. The United Nations began to promote a peaceful resolution in order to gain Rwandan independence, But Belgium fearing further UN interference, allowed for a legal military coup within Rwanda. The Hutus, hoping to further their dominance in Rwanda, continued to oppress the Tutsi population.
After gaining independence from European rule, the Hutus began to drive Tutsis out of Rwanda. The Hutu Elite began to limit Tutsi participation in schools, civil service and government participation. By the end of 1964, there were over 336,000 Tutsi refugees and over 10,000 had been slaughtered. Many of the Refugees sought safety in the neighboring nation of Burundi. Burundi shared a similar historic and ethnic back round with Rwanda, In Burundi the Tutsis held power through militaristic dominance. In 1972, Hutu rebels in Burundi attempted an uprising against the Burundian Tutsi elite, in response, the Tutsi government massacred all educated Hutus, killing over 90,000 in four months. With the death tolls on both sides of the Tutsi-Hutu conflict rising, Rwanda and Burundi began to gain world wide attention. The United states characterized the Burundi Slaughter of Hutus as “Selective Genocide” but took no action in order to end the killings. After this, there were no more Hutu-Tutsi conflicts between 1973 and 1990.
By the early 90s, Hutu extremists began to broadcast their resentment towards Tutsis through nationwide radio. Rwanda held a population in which 60% of all peoples were illiterate, so the Radio was a usefull tool in the discrimination against Tutsis. In response to further massacres in Burundi, the United Nations sent a peacekeeping force of roughly 2500 into Rwanda. On April 4th 1994, Habyarimana, the Rwandan president was returning to Kigali When his plane was shot down and everybody on board was killed. Hutu Extremists used this event to spark a massive movement against Tutsis Living in Rwanda. Soon after, Hutus soley dedicated to genocide set up an interum government in Rwanda. By april 9th the international communitys only response to this genocide was to Label it as “Interethnic Killings” and to further the assumption that Tutsis were killing Hutus aswell. France and Belgiam immediatly withdrew its nationals from Rwanda in fear of their safety. After 10 deaths of “Blue Helmet” peace keepers sent in by the UN, Their force of 2500 was reduced to a mere 270. The civil war in Rwanda was labled as genocide far too late, As the term “interethnic fighting” appealed highly to the western powers.
Five thousand people seek haven in their Catholic church; their local governor walks in, makes a gallant speech about racial purity and Tutsi betrayal, and then steps aside and opens the floodgates for hundreds of their neighbors carrying machetes, knifes, and guns, and watches calmly as the massacre begins. One girl lives. While her family is chopped to pieces amidst the screams, she plays dead ...
By the end of the genocide over 600,000 Tutsis had been concsiously selected and murdered. In response to the genocide, The UN began genocide trials in 1997. The trials sought after key Hutu extremists thought to be responsible for the Genocide as a whole. Many beleive had the United Nations or other foreign powers been willing, the genocide would never have occured.
1.^ a b Des Forges, Alison (1999).
Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Human Rights Watch. ISBN 1-56432-171-1. http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/rwanda. Retrieved 2007-01-12. 2.^ See, e.g., Rwanda: How the genocide happened, BBC, April 1, 2004, which gives an estimate of 800,000, and OAU sets inquiry into Rwanda genocide, Africa Recovery, Vol. 12 1#1 (August 1998), page 4, which estimates the number at between 500,000 and 1,000,000. Seven out of every 10 Tutsis were killed. 3.^ Wallis, Andrew. Silent accomplice. 2006, page 38-41
4.^ Walter, Barbara F. and Snyder, Jack L. Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention. 1999, page 135