Rwanda Genocide Essay

1144 words - 5 pages

April 7, 1994 marked the beginning of one hundred days of massacre that left over 800,000 thousand dead and Rwanda divided by a scare that to this day they are trying to heal. The source of this internal struggle can be traced back to the segregation and favoritism established by Belgium when they received Rwanda after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1918. At the time the Rwandan population was 14% Tutsi, 1%Twa, and 85% Hutus; the Belgian’s showed preferential treatment to the Tutsi, who were seen as socially elite, by giving them access to higher educations and better employment. This treatment causes the uprising of the Hutus in 1959 overthrowing the Tutsi government forcing ...view middle of the document...

Furthering Belgium’s unjust treatment of all Rwandan people, in 1959 when the Hutu’s rebelled against the Tutsi lead government the Belgian’s supported them and helped force over 300,000 Tutsi’s out of Rwanda into neighboring countries (Rwanda Background). As Rwanda was granted independence in 1962 the Hutu’s maintained control and continued to discriminate against the Tutsi. The Tutsi became the scapegoat for many of the issues the country faced, much like the Jews faced during World War II. As the social tension amplified those who had fled and been forced out of the country formed the Rwandese Patriotic Front, or the RPF as it came to be know ("The Rwandan Genocide"). With the majority of the Tutsi now living in forced exile in neighboring Uganda, they began to plan a way to take back their power in Rwanda.
For many years there was constant civil war between the two tribes through guerilla warfare and general massacres. It was the death of President Habyarimana on April 6, 1994 that lead to the genocide in Rwanda. A missile shot down the plane that was carrying the president back from peace talks in Tanzania in hopes of ending the ethic violence in Burundi and Rwanda. His death was immediately blamed on the Tutsi by the Hutu extremist and the murdering of all Tutsi, and those who supported them, began the following morning. The killings did not have concerns to whether the victim was a man, woman, or child; the Hutu’s wanted the Tutsi’s extinguished.
Colonel Theoneste Bagosora lead the uprising and usurped power form after the Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimance, after murdering her, her husband, and their five children. After which there was a systematic killing of all political figures in the Kigali, the capitol. It was on his orders that the Rwandan troops set out on the brutal killings of all Tutsi and those who supported them. The troops worked in shifts because they lacked the technology to easily kill so they were using machetes. Those who sought refuge in churches were slaughtered by the thousands, there few safe places to hide.
On April 12,1994 Belgium started to withdraw it’s troops stating that the war that had broken out went beyond the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) limitations. The United Nations refused to help what was left of the local police, by April 21...

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