Rwandan Genocide

Topics: Rwandan Genocide, Rwanda, Hutu Pages: 4 (1534 words) Published: May 27, 2015
The Causes and Effects of the Rwandan Genocide by Arnav Kapur In 1994, Rwanda erupted into one of the most appalling cases of mass murder the world has ever witnessed since World War II. Many of the majority Hutu (about 84% of the population) turned on the Tutsi (about 15% of the population) and moderate Hutu, killing an estimated total of 800,000 people. The main causes of the Rwandan Genocide were the shooting down of the President’s plane, high population density, the media, the unresponsive UN and the history between the two tribes and a civil war that started in 1990 and some of the effects were poverty, lack of infrastructure, health problems and many others explained below.

The indigenous peoples of Rwanda are the Twa (about 1% of the population). When Rwanda was first settled, the people who lived there raised cattle. Soon, the people who owned the most cattle were called "Tutsi" and everyone else was called "Hutu." It wasn't until Europeans came that the terms "Tutsi" and "Hutu" took on a racial role. The Germans were the first to colonize Rwanda in 1894. They looked at the Rwandan people and thought the Tutsi had more European characteristics, such as lighter skin tone and taller builds; therefore they put the Tutsi in the roles of responsibility.

When Germany lost its colonies, Belgium took over and in 1933, the Belgians solidified the categories of "Tutsi" and "Hutu" by mandating that every person had to have an identity card that labeled them either Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa. Although the Tutsi constituted only about 15% of Rwanda's population and the Hutu approximately 84%, the Belgians gave the Tutsi all the leadership positions and this angered the Hutu although when the Belgians left, they gave the power to the Hutus. Rwanda was separated from Burundi and gained independence on the 1st of July 1962 from Belgium.

In 1962, Grégoire Kayibanda was elected as president but was overthrown in a coup in 1973 by Juvénal Habyarimana. His plane was...
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