Case Study: Rwanda Genocide

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Case Study: Rwanda
The conflict in Rwanda is probably the most well known and documented case of genocide since the holocaust. Through years of discrimination based on ethnic and class based differences, the population of Rwanda has been constantly entrenched in periods of fighting, refuge and genocide. In the following essay we will explore the background of the conflict. Specifically the historical implications, the parties involved the reasons for the fighting and the result of conflict. Next we will try to investigate some of the theories related to the conflict and discuss views of prominent authors who have attempted to define the reasoning behind this most incomprehensible conflict. Historical Background

The origin of the conflict in Rwanda dates back to its colonization in the 1800’s. Rwanda was originally colonized by the Germans at the end of the 19th century who ruled the country until it was taken over by the Belgians in World War I (Wikipedia, 2008). The Belgians through their use of the "divide and rule" strategy, helped to create the grounds for ethnic discrimination that is still prevalent in Rwandan society. The Belgians “divide and rule” strategy consisted of giving preferential status to the Tutsi minority, who at the time made up about 8% of the population (Cook, 2006). The Tutsis would for decades rule over the other ethnic party in Rwanda, the Hutus. The differences between these two ethnic groups were emphasized by the Belgians who used physical characteristics as a guide to divide the two into two separate races. The Belgians classified those who were generally tall, thin, and more 'European' looking as Tutsis and the shorter, stockier Rwandans as Hutus (January, 2007). The Tutsis, with their more 'European' appearance, were deemed the 'master race' and eventually almost all of the autocracy in Rwanda was Tutsi. This position of power over the Hutus created much hostility and hatred towards the minority Tutsi and this hatred would...
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