Rwanda Genocide

Topics: Rwandan Genocide, Rwanda, Hutu Pages: 7 (2598 words) Published: December 6, 2012
In 1994, there was a mass genocide between the Hutus and the Tutsis of Rwanda. Rwanda is located near Uganda, Congo, and Tanzania. These countries are located in Africa. Due to the location of Rwanda it caused controversy because many countries surrounding it wanted to take control over it. It caused tension between multiple countries and sparked a war which lead to a genocide. There are three groups in Rwanda – Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. The Twa group was initially the first group to settle in Rwanda and was soon followed by the Hutus and then the Tutsis, who came from Ethiopia. Once the Tutsis and Hutus took over Rwanda, there were always profound social differences between the two groups. The Tutsis gained social, economic, and political ascendency over the Hutus, who were primarily agriculturists. (Britannica, 2012) Other than these differences, there were no other differences between the Hutus and the Tutsis because there was intermarriage and use of common language between the two groups. The difference between the two was not apparent and therefore was never recognized. Because the Hutus were agriculturists there were agreements made that the Hutus would raise the crops for the Tutsis took over economically and politically. Germany took over Rwanda in 1894 and continued to control Rwanda until after World War I when they lost the colonies in 1933 to the Belgians. Once the Belgians took over, they gave all leadership positions to the Tutsis because according to the Germans and Belgians they looked the most European of the two groups. This irritated the Hutus because Rwanda at the time was 90% Hutu and 10% Tutsi and giving them leadership positions was unfair. Belgium also mandated that every person was to wear an identification card that stated if they were Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa (which are a very small group of hunter-gatherers in Rwanda). Rwanda continuously struggled for independence from Belgium, which then lead Belgium to switch the roles of leadership. Facing a revolution instigated by the Hutus, the Belgians let the Hutus become the leaders of Rwanda instead of the Tutsis and then Belgium left Rwanda. When the Hutus became the leaders of Rwanda, this started controversy between the two groups. Since the Hutus were in charge of the new government in Rwanda, the Tutsis began to make revolutionary movements to gain back control of Rwanda. Over a few decades, these controversies lead to one of the most dramatic genocides (aside from the German genocide during World War II) in history – the Rwanda Genocide. “At 8:30 p.m. on April 6, 1994, President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda was returning from a summit in Tanzania when a surface-to-air missile shot his plane out of the sky over Rwanda's capital city of Kigali. All on board were killed in the crash.” (Rosenberg, 2003) Since 1973, Habyarimana ran a totalitarian regime in Rwanda that excluded all Tutsis from participating. On August 3, 1993, Habyarimana signed the Arusha Accords which weakened the Hutu hold on the government and allowed Tutsis to participate. This aggravated the Hutus greatly and sparked controversy. Though it was never determined who assassinated the President, Hutus took over the government and blamed the Tutsis because Habyarimana excluded the Tutsis in the past. The war between the Hutus and the Tutsis began and so did the beginning of the Rwanda genocide. 11 years after the 100 days of genocide in Rwanda the community has come together despite their differences and try to settle the cases. The communities formed Gacaca Courts which is an alternative to Rwanda’s judicial arm since they were overloaded with cases. So the Rwandan judicial arm gave all the cases to the community and therefore the Gacaca Courts were created. The courts were named Gacaca Courts because gacaca means grass and the courts are held on the grass with everyone sitting in a circle. (De Brouwer, 2010)

The first sociological theory pertaining to the Rwanda Genocide is conflict...
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