Ghosts of Rwanda

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Ghosts of Rwanda Reflection
Does the Genocide in Rwanda have a singular cause? I do not believe so; the cause of genocide in Rwanda in 1994 was due to years of built up hatred between the Tutsis and the Hutus along with many other occurrences. The Rwandan Genocide is no exception with many variables contributing to the horrific events that took place. According to the documentary Ghosts of Rwanda, in 1994, Rwanda experienced a premeditated, systematic and state sponsored genocide with the aim of exterminating those who were ethnically identifiable as Tutsi. Between 500,000 and 800,000 people were killed in a period of 100 days, with around 77 percent of the population registered as Tutsi being murdered. One of the most common explanations of the Rwandan Genocide is the desire of Rwanda’s elite to remain powerful (Uvin, 2001). While Rwanda was in an economic crisis, the government maintained its expenditure pattern by increased borrowing and increasing Rwanda’s foreign debt (Uvin, 1998), thus providing an example of the Rwanda’s elite trying to maintain wealth and power. There were several variables that threatened the power and the regime of President Habyarimana and his inner circle known as the Akazu including, the economic crisis, financial structural adjustment, internal political discontent, the PRF invasion, and the international pressure for democratisation and the negotiation of power sharing with the RPF (Uvin, 1998). The regime was being threatened by so many variables that it resorted to using ethnic hatred as a tool to unite the majority of the population around the government, fight the PRF, and make elections impossible (Uvin, 1998).

I believe that people’s identity and view of the world is often shaped by the culture lived in and the history that surrounds that culture. Thus, when examining the variables involved that led to the Rwandan Genocide, it is important to consider the history and culture of Rwanda. Throughout the history of Rwanda,...
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