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Reflecting On Our Failure: The Rwandan Genocide

1099 words - 5 pages

s today marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide, the United States reflects on its failure to react to the tragic conflict. Over the course of 100 days in 1994, hundreds of thousands of Tutsi people suffered and were killed by machetes, grenades, clubs and rape; all brought on by the Hutus. Fueled by the tensions growing between the two ethnic groups over dominance and suffering economy, the Hutu people began to blame the Tutsis for all of their problems and the pressure finally boiled over into a full out massacre.
In 1918, 600 years of harmony between the Hutu and Tutsi people was ruined when the Belgians arrived. By assigning ID cards the two groups were now easier to tell ...view middle of the document...

Taking the crash as the breaking point, the Hutu started killing their political opponents less than 24 hours later. Over a course of roughly 100 days, one million people were killed. Those who were killed included any Tutsi, moderate Hutu and Twas, an even scarcer ethnic group in Rwanda.
Clubs and machetes were the choice weapons for most of the killers. Grenades also were used widely in the destruction of large amounts of people. It may seem like the massacres started all of a sudden out of no where but it was a greatly planned out genocide; the Hutu had been planning for years. Calling the Tutsi "cockroaches" over the radio made more and more people willing to side with the Hutu. The radio played a large role in the genocide because the government officials manipulated broadcasting to benefit the Hutu cause. Tutsis would be told to go to churches, stadiums and schools for protection and the Hutu would be waiting there to kill them. It made large amounts of death much easier, causing so many people to die in such a short amount of time.
In addition to instant death, people were mutilated and then suffered a long and painful death. "At the end of the day, Hutus cut the Achilles tendon on Tutsis that weren't as mutilated." Many times if people could pay for it, they paid to get killed by a bullet rather than be hacked up by a machete. While these brutalities were used mostly on males, women and children were targeted differently. Poor men, suffering from a struggling economy, were willing to do anything for a little bit of money, food or shelter. These men helped the Hutu cause by raping and torturing women and children. As a result of this, HIV and AIDS was spread widely throughout the population.
The suffering finally came to an end in mid-July of 1994 when the RPF gained control of the government. Shortly before this, around 1 million mostly Hutu people fled the country to Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) to avoid the RPF and abandon the fight. Although the fighting in Rwanda subdued because the Hutus went to Zaire, the fighting has moved there as well.
To this day, HIV...

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