Rwanda: Civil War or Genocide?

Powerful Essays
R.J. Malson
Introduction to Historical Methods
Rwanda: Was the Genocide a part of the civil war? Throughout the 19th century, Rwanda was a hotbed for violence and oppression. Rwanda had been the home of oppression throughout most of its history, the center of the issues revolving around the Hutu and the Tutsi. The Hutu make up the majority in Rwanda while the Tutsi make up the minority.1 Ever since, these two groups started inhabiting the same area, they have struggled for power. Initially it was the Tutsi, then the Hutu, and now the Tutsi again. Amidst this struggle for power came the Rwandan Civil War and the Rwandan Genocide. There are many opinions on the war and the following genocide. Some believe that the genocide was separate from the war and had no real relation to the war. Some say that the war never ended and the genocide was just an extension of the war. Some, including myself, believe that the genocide was not an extension of the civil war but it was another event that was mostly caused by the war and created tension for the fighting to continue. Would there have been genocide without the civil war? If there was a grey area on the subject, this idea would be it. The is no telling which one of the previous theories is correct, but the one certainty is that the Rwandan Genocide was a brutally disturbing act of violence and one of the darkest times in human history.
The Rwandan Civil War took place in the early and mid-1990’s in Rwanda, Africa. The civil war was the result of many years of tension between the Tutsi and Hutu people. The Tutsi and Hutu people inhabited Rwanda decades ago. There are a few different ideas on how the Hutus and Tutsi came to Rwanda. One idea suggests that the Hutus migrated to the region and then later the Tutsi migrated. This theory also states that the Tutsi and Hutu were from a different racial background.2 The more recent theory is that all people of Rwanda came from the same racial group known as the Banyawanda.3 The



Bibliography: Adeline, Survivor Testimonies, 2009, Accessed on https://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/rwanda/testimonies/pdf/59%20-%20Adeline%202009.pdf Chalk, Frank Kapuscinski, Ryszard. "What 's this Hutu Tutsi thing?." The ideas around Hutu and Tutsi have played a big part in Rwanda 's history.. http://www.rwandanstories.org/origins/hutu_and_tutsi.html (accessed March 10, 2014). Ponthus, Julien. "Rwandan convicted of killing Belgian peacekeepers." Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/07/04/us-rwanda-genocide-belgium-idUSL0469900520070704 (accessed March 10, 2014). "Quotes: Rwandan Genocide." About.com African History. http://africanhistory.about.com/od/rwanda/p/qts_Genocide1.htm (accessed March 17, 2014).

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