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Rwandan Genocide Essay

692 words - 3 pages

The Rwandan Genocide was the mass slaughter of the Tutsi and moderate Hutu in the late twentieth century. It was committed by the Hutus and lasted approximately 100 days (from April 7th 1994 – July 4th 1994). During those 100 days, 20% of Rwanda’s total population, and 70% percent of the Tutsi population, an estimated 500,000 – 1,000,000 people were killed. The akuza, the members of the core political elite, started planning this genocide in 1990 based on the conflict going on between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front which was mainly composed of Tutsi refugees from Uganda. After the genocide the U.S, Britain, and Belgium, as well as other UN countries were criticized for not sending supplies, or helping the United Nations Mission for Rwanda peacekeepers. France, on the other hand, was blamed for actively taking part in the slaughter.
In 1990 the government started giving young Hutus machetes and training them in combat, officially stating that this was the only way to defend themselves against the growing threat of the Rwandan Patriotic Force. In March 1993 the Hutu Power began making a list of traitors whom they planned to kill, possibly putting the president’s name on that list. Then, on April 6, 1994 an airplane carrying President Juvénal Habyarimana and the Hutu president of Burundi was shot down, killing everyone on board. The genocide began a few hours after the president’s death when military leaders in Rwanda blamed the Rwandan Patriotic Front for shooting down the president’s plane and ordered the other Hutus to begin killing Tutsi’s and to spare no one, not even babies. These orders were carried out without question, and with little opposition from the Rwandan Patriotic Front or the UNIMR (who could only intervene for self-defense). Within a couple weeks of the killings the United Nation countries sent in troops to safely evacuate every one of their citizens without helping the Tutsis’ escape.
During the rest of April and half of May,...

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