This essay is going to talk about how the conflict in Rwanda could have been avoided by using conflict resolution techniques. This essay will talk in detail about the origins of the conflict, the key actors, and the sources of conflict. The conflict in Rwanda has changed over time and this essay will talk about how it has changed. Pre-colonial legacies and colonial polices played a huge part in what happened in Rwanda. The government was facing great opposition and genocide represented a last attempt at survival. The Hutu and Tutsi people have a similar past to each other. When Rwanda was settled, the Tutsi people were the people who owned most of the cattle and the rest of the people were the Hutu. It was when the Germans colonised Rwanda that they looked at the Tutsi people and realised that the Tutsi people had characteristics of Europeans and this lead to the Germans giving more responsibility to the Tutsi people. After German lost its colonies after World War 1, the Belgians took over from the Germans and they wanted everyone to have an identification labelled as either Tutsi, Hutu. The Tutsi made up ten per cent of the population in Rwanda and the Hutu made up ninety per cent of the population, but the Belgians gave all the leadership roles to the Tutsi. This displeased the Hutu people. After independency the Belgians switched the responsibility roles and gave the Hutu people the responsibility roles. The Hutu people were now in charge of the new government. The Rwanda case is a good example to show Johan Galtung’s model of how conflict arises. In the late 1960s Johan Galtung proposed an influential model of conflict that encompasses both symmetric and asymmetric conflicts (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall 2011, p. 10). Johan Galtung suggested that conflict can be viewed as a triangle, which includes contradiction, attitude and behaviour (Ramsbotham, Woodhouse & Miall 2011, p. 10). This model is a good example to show what really happened in Rwanda. Here the contradiction is seen when they was a clash of interest between the tribes in Rwanda, both parties felt hard done with. This was the case when all the responsibility roles were given to the Hutu people and the Tutsi people were left with nothing. This caused a clash of interests because the Tutsi people felt like they deserved to have a say in their land but they were denied that privilege. We now come to the second point of the triangle, which is attitude. After independence the Tutsi women felt that their daughters had to get married to Hutu men, so that they could escape the lives they were living. “The Tutsi people were discriminated in terms of education, land and houses” (Hintjens 1999, p. 247). The way they were treated by the Hutu people made the Tutsi people angry, bitter, and most of all hate the Hutu people. It was because of fear that lead to these mass killings, these killings were well planned and some Tutsi people had to change their identity to make sure that they were not going to be killed. “Since 1973, President Habyarimana, a Hutu, had run a totalitarian regime in Rwanda, which had excluded all Tutsis from participating” (History1900s 2014). This later changed when the president signed an agreement to allow the Tutsi people to be part of the government. The Hutu people were not in support with the agreement that had been signed by their president. This made the Hutu angry. This anger is what led to the mass killings. We now go to the third part of the triangle which is behaviour. After the president of Rwanda had signed the agreement to allow the Tutsi people to be part of the government, this did not go well with the rest of the Hutu people. The Hutu people felt that the Tutsi people did not deserve anything. This is what led to the assassination of the president of Rwanda. “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...
Bibliography: Clark, J 2011, Between theory and practice: Rwanda, Routledge, London.
Hintjens, H 1999, Explaining the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, Routledge, London
Clark, P & Kaufman, Z 2009, After Genocide: Transitional Justice, Post –conflict Reconstruction and reconciliation in Rwanda and Beyond, Co Publish, London
History1900s, viewed 04 March 2014, http://history1900s.about.com/od/rwandangenocide/ers.
Ramsbotham, O, Woodhouse, T & Miall, H 2011, Contemporary conflict resolution, 3rd edn, Cambridge, London.
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