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1994 Rwanda Genocide
Transcript of 1994 Rwanda Genocide
Recent History of Rwanda
The country of Rwanda was colonized in 1916 by Belgium when it accepted the League of Nations Mandate. Unfamiliar with the country, the Belgians relied on the Tutsi to help run the government. This caused the Tutsi to receive better education and have higher social standing than the Hutu.The increasing discrimination of the Hutu caused tensions to rise between the two ethnic groups and some of the Hutu decided to rebel. Many Tutsi, including the hereditary ruler, fled from Rwanda because of the violence.
Reasons for the rise of ultranationalism in Rwanda
The sudden switch of political power in Rwanda left the country in a tight spot. The Hutus bitterness toward the Tutsis and the Tutsis new bitterness towards the Hutus was a significant spark that lead towards the slaughtering of many. President Habyarimana gave the Tutsis permission to participate in elections and other government affairs. This really upset the Hutu extremists. While it is still not completely sure who is responsible for the assassination of the President, but the Hutu extremists gained the most from his death.
Why the Tutsis were Targeted
Within 24 hours after the crash that killed President Habyarimana, Hutu extremists had taken over the government, blamed the Tutsis for the assassination, and begun the slaughter. Over the next several days and weeks, violence spread.Over the next 100 days, over 800 000 people were tortured and murdered.
The Hutu extremists already held a lot of power in the government, so it was very easy for them to carry out their horrific plans. Road blocks were set up, and the ID cards were checked for every person who went through. Since the government had made it mandatory to have class on their cards, it was all too easy for the Hutu extremists to check to see which group they belonged to, and then kill them.
Scale of genocide/ numbers affected
By the time all the slaughter ended, it was estimated that over 800 000 people had been murdered. That is about 10% of Rwanda's population at the time. Around three quarters of the Tutsi population in Rwanda were killed.
What is Ultranationalism?
Ultranationalism is extreme patriotism for your country- but to the point where an individual wouldn't really care what the effect of furthering their countries' growth has on other nations. The effect that it has on other nations often becomes hostile and violent. As seen in history, the effect of ultra-nationalism is often genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.
International Law on Genocide
Impact on history, lessons to be learned, and meaning for future generations
The Rwanda genocide has had a large impact on history by raising awareness of genocide and prevention.This slaughter was especially brutal for many reasons. It shows us that prejudice and hate can come from anywhere, not even just between people of different races, cultures, and religions. It also shows us that the UN isn't perfect. Though they are very efficient the majority of the time, people cannot always count on them to step in when something goes wrong.
An Effect of Ultranationalism
Genocide is the deliberate elimination of a large group of people usually part of the same ethnic group or race.It is an effect of ultranationalism because certain groups believe that they are superior to others and occasionally go to drastic measures to purge the community of diversity.
Finally, in 1962 Rwanda became independent from Belgium. The Hutu used their vast population and seized control of the government causing even more Tutsi to flee. Some of the Tutsi refugees banned together attack the Hutu government.
Before the Genocide
During the slaughter, many places that were traditionally refuges were turned into spots of mass murder. Many churches, schools, libraries, and government buildings became the location for the worst slaughters throughout the 100 days of genocide.
Rwanda is a small country in Africa. Its population is approximately 85% Hutu and 15% Tutsi. Rwanda is most commonly know for the mass genocide that occurred there in 1994.
The Start of the Genocide
In 1994 tensions rose to their maximum and the Hutu extremists were intent on eliminating all the Tutsi. The airplane carrying the President of Rwanda was mysteriously shot down triggering the extremists to gain many supporters. That very day people went out to systematically kill thousands of Tutsi regardless of age or gender.
By Madeleine Aldridge and Emily Kuervers
Use of the Media
Radio broadcasts urged other Hutus to seek out the "Tutsi Cockroach" and Tutsi sympathizers and kill them. Using radio communication was a easy way to deliver their messages of murder quickly throughout the country.
Many countries did not want to involve themselves with "internal affairs" happening in other nations. The UN sent a small peace keeping team lead by Canadian Romeo Dallaire to help escort foreigners out of the country. When many troops were withdrawn Dallaire tried to provide areas of safety in urban areas. His actions may have saved up to 32,000 lives.
After the Red Cross had deemed around 500,000 people had being killed, the UN conceded that "acts of genocide may have been committed" in Rwanda. After most of the killing was over the UN sent in a force of 5,000 peacekeepers.
The UN states that it has a responsibility to protect others from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
They further conclude that it is their duty to protect citizens during armed conflict.
International law states that they will prosecute and extradite and perpetrators of genocide.
The Rwanda genocide also had a huge impact on the future generations in Rwanda and in neighboring countries. Many children will grow up in refugee camps instead of their country. The genocide also left the Rwanda economy in a wreck. As of today, the Rwanda government is still facing hostility from neighboring countries and small rebellions from within.