Rwanda Genocide

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Brianna Nielipinski

World History

CBA

Between April and June 1994 a war between the Hutus and Tutsis occurred in the East African country of Rwanda. An estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days. The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu. His plane was shot down above Kigali airport on April 6, 1994.There are many factors that lead to the Genocide that took place in Rwanda, including Dehumanization, classification, and polarization.

One of the first steps to the genocide was the dehumanization of the Tutsi tribe. The Hutus set up roadblocks and went from house to house killing Tutsis. Thousands die on the first day of the genocide. The Hutus would surround Tutsis houses and churches and threw grenades at them. They would shoot anyone they saw. Many Hutus slaughtered them using machetes or hitting them to death with clubs. Many bodies had been amputated, some with no legs, no arms and those with no heads. People died in very harsh conditions. Decomposing bodies lied over many parts of Rwanda. Several bodies were flattened by vehicles that had driven over them.

Classification was a big factor in the genocide. Hutu nationalist group Parmehutu led a social revolution which overthrew the Tutsi ruling class, resulting in the slaughter of the Tutsis.The Tutsis remaining in Rwanda, due to intermarriage or other family ties, would be discriminated against as racially “lesser” citizens by the new Hutu government. They defined “Tutsi” as anyone owning ten or more cows. It was a sign of wealth. The physical feature of a longer nose, or longer neck, was commonly associated as a Tutsi. The Tutsis were often taller and thinner than Hutus. Every person was to have an identity card that labeled them either Tutsi, Hutu.

Uncalled circumstances came about such as, the hate radio, ethnic group issues, and newspapers, television, and other hate propaganda. The society in Rwanda was given a...
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