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The Rwandan Genocide Of 1994 Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

In April of 1994 a terrible event took place, one where approximately one-million people were brutally murdered on the basis of their ethnicity or if they opposed the regime. (Uvin, 2003). This terrible event occurred in Rwanda, and it is known as the Rwandan Genocide. Genocide can be described as a one sided mass killing in which the state or other authority intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are identified by the perpetrator. (Hintjens, 1999) This is exactly what took place in Rwanda in 1994. In Rwanda the population was mostly Hutu (84%) and had two minorities, Tutsi (15%) and Twa (1%). (Hoex, 2010) The perpetrators of the genocide were the Hutu majority and the victims were the Tutsi. In order to explain this atrocity you may use the cultural, institutional and the constructive approach. The cultural approach means that the conflict took place because of something that is given at birth that separates the actors and the victims. Institutional, on the other hand means that the government has institutionalized the differences between the two groups. Lastly, the constructive approach can defined as when the differences among the people were constructed and not given.
The conflict between the Tutsi and the Hutu was not a new concept to Rwanda when the genocide happened; it was slowly taking place for decades. The Hutu resented the Tutsi because the Belgian colonists favored them, and thought of them as superior to the Hutu. When the Hutu obtained power after the Revolution, they set restrictions of jobs and quotas on the Tutsi. The closer it came to the genocide the more open the Hutu became about wanting to rid Rwanda completely of the “cockroaches” (the Tutsi). It was displayed in propaganda and on the radio. Plans for genocide were openly broadcast and written about in the media, a deceptive aura of normality was maintained. Not only that, but in 1990 the “ten commandments” of the Hutu were published in a magazine called Kangura. In the commandments it stated that the Hutu should stop having mercy for the Tutsi and that they should not have “inter-racial” marriages and many other things to show how the Hutu should behave.
The day that President Juvénal Habyarimana was killed in a plane incident radios reported that the Tutsi had assassinated him and ordered the genocide to commence. The interim president and prime minister told people that they had to kill Tutsis. (Prisoner A) (Hoex, 2010). Militias had been trained in advance, were provided with weapons and took power immediately after the plane crash. One of the major militias was Interahamwe. The radio was actually broadcasting names of Tutsi and opposition targets, and reporting the whereabouts of those hiding from militias during the genocide, it is now well documented. (Hintjen, 1999). This made it possible for the Inerhamwe to find all of the Tutsi in the area they were in. (Hintjen, 1999) The genocide lasted a gruesome...

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