Many times we may hear but not respond, we see and don’t move and having the ability to take action we don’t even move a finger until the situation is out of control. It’s amazing how ignorant and stubborn the human race can be. This is exactly the response of many nations when it comes to genocide. Genocide is the systematic killing of all the people from a national, ethnic, or religious group. Two of the most recent genocides in history are the genocide of Rwanda and the genocide of Cambodia.
The genocide of Cambodia started on the year of 1975 and ended on 1979. This is considered the Khmer Pogue period, where Pol Pot , Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Khieu Samphan and the Khmer Rouge Communist party took over Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge renamed it as Democratic Kampuchea. The four-year period of their rule was enough to see the deaths of approximately two million Cambodians through the combined result of political executions, starvation, and forced labor. Due to the large number of deaths, during the rule of the Khmer Rouge, this is commonly known as the Cambodian Holocaust or Cambodian Genocide. The Khmer Rouge period ended with the invasion of Cambodia by neighbor and former ally Vietnam in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, which left Cambodia under Vietnamese occupation for a decade.
The Rwandan Genocide, located on east Africa, was the murder on 1994 in which an estimated 800,000 people died. According to a Human Rights Watch estimate[i] at least 900,000 people were killed during approximately 100 days from the assassination of Juvénal Habyarimana on April 6 through the middle of July. Other estimates of the death toll have ranged between 500,000 and 1,000,000. This is equivalent to 20% of the country's total population. It was the result of an old ethnic competition and tensions between the minority that was Tutsi, who had complete power of Rwanda for centuries, and the majority, which was Hutu. The Hutu came to power in the rebellion of 1959–1962 and overthrew the Tutsi monarchy. The assassination of Habyarimana in April 1994 set off a violent reaction, resulting in the Hutus' conducting killings of Tutsis and pro-peace Hutus. They even killed some of the Hutu’s because they were accused as being traitors and collaborationists. This genocide had been planned by members of the Hutu power group known as the Akazu. Many of them occupied positions at top levels of the national government. The execution of the genocide was supported and coordinated by the national government as well as by local military and civil officials and mass media. Alongside with the military, the main responsibility for the killings rested upon two Hutu militias that had been organized for the purpose of political parties. These were the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi, although once the genocide had started a great number of Hutu civilians took part in the murders. It was the end of the peace agreement meant to end the war. In response to the killings that were being produced, the Tutsi Rwanda Patriotic Front fought back and eventually defeated the government army and seized control of the country.
Both of these genocides were meant to wipe out an ethnic group or groups. The Khmer Rouge persecuted those who were educated, such as doctors and lawyers, and those who were or had been in the military or police force. In the Cambodian genocide the targets were Vietnamese and Chinese nationals, Muslims and Buddhist monks. They all were virtually, if not entirely, eliminated from the population by expulsion, execution, or starvation. In the Rwanda genocide the ethnic group that was being eliminated was the Tutsi population that had been considered as cockroaches, this is how the Hutu referred to them as. The Tutsi though were assassinated brutally and in various inhumane ways.
The groups that led the genocide of Rwanda were the Rwandan military and Hutu militia groups, which were the Interhamwe and Impuzamugabi. They all...
[i] Des Forges, Alison. “Leave No One to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Human Rights”. 17 January 2007 Watch. http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/rwanda. 1 Apr. 2011
[ii] Kamm, Henry. Cambodia. (New York: Arcade Publishing 1998). 136
[iii] Holfer, Patricia. “Through My Eyes: Rwandan Genocide” 14 Dec. 1999 http://www.throughmyeyes.org.uk/server/show/nav.23319. 1 Apr 2011
[iv] Douglas, Martin, “Dith Pran, Photojournalist and survivor of the Killing Fields, Dies at’65”(New York Times) Obituary 31 Mar. 2008 A19
[vi] Patterson, Henry. “Mail Online: Khmer Rouge torturer describes killing babies by 'smashing them into trees.” 9 Jun. 2009 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article 1191601/Khmer-Rouge-torturer-describes-killing-babies-smashing-trees.html#ixzz1Ihrc4cZm 1 Apr. 2011
[vii] Lyons, Robert. The Rwandan Genocide. (New York :Zone Books 2006) 35
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