According to the United Nations, genocide is a crime under international law and the present Convention states that genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such: killing members of the group, bodily or mentally harm members of a group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. If this is the convention written by the United Nations why did it take the world so long to realize the situation in Rwanda? Why couldn’t they send more troops to save the innocent people that died? Questions like this keep haunting me and I ask myself why so many people were left to die because of a stupid cause. April 6th 1994, was the year that one million lives were lost in only one hundred days. It was the fastest and the most brutal genocide yet recorded in human history. It was carefully planned and executed to destroy the Tutsi population by the Hutu’s. The genocide officially began after the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, whose plane was mysteriously shot down on April 6 1994. The death of the president was the excuse the Hutu extremists needed to begin the killing that they had long planned. Hutu extremists had long been paranoid about Tutsi power; at various times Tutsis had suffered, and been slaughtered, at the hands of Hutus; a group of exiled Tutsis organized the Rwandan Patriotic Front, with whom Habyarimana had signed peace accords in 1993. This accord did not work but obviously angered the Hutu extremists and this led to the beginning of the Genocide. Another contributing factor that led to the mass murders was provoked by radio broadcasts, which referred to the Tutsis as Inyenzi or "cockroaches," much as Nazi propaganda referred to the Jews as "parasites." Dallaire notes that Rwanda is a radio-based culture in which broadcasts were "akin to the voice of God, and if the radio called for violence, many Rwandans would respond, believing they were being sanctioned to commit these actions." Lt. General Roméo Dallaire was the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda and he was the Force Commander during the genocide. It is through Dallaire that we have an account of the unfolding genocide in detail. In his account he described it as a murderous frenzy in which children were brutally killed; pregnant women had their fetuses ripped from their womb as they were murdered. This definitely screams out Genocide and I still don’t understand why it wasn’t stopped. The United States government had the power and the technical expertise to jam the Rwandan hate radio, but nothing was done. If they had done this it could have prevented the large number of people that died. As I already stated, Rwanda is a radio-based country. The people of Rwanda believe what the radio feeds them, so through the encouragement of the radio broadcasters it increased the reason for some of them to go out a kill. As a result of this, I blame the U.S. and other developed countries for not taking a stance with the Rwandan situation. I blame them because they could have organized troops to go in a deal with the situation and save thousands of innocent lives. Their troops have the military capacity and are well trained and equipped to stop the situation from escalating. Due to the casualties the United States suffered in Somalia, the American government was unwilling to support the UN involvement in Rwanda. As stated by Samantha Power, when the massacres started, not only did the Clinton administration not send troops to Rwanda to contest the slaughter, but refused countless other options. President Clinton did not convene a single meeting of his senior foreign policy advisors to discuss U.S. options for Rwanda.
Does the Genocide in Rwanda have a singular cause? I do not believe so; the cause of genocide in Rwanda in 1994 was due to years of built up hatred between the Tutsis and the Hutus along with many other occurrences. The Rwandan Genocide is no exception with many variables contributing to the horrific events that took place. According to the documentary Ghosts of Rwanda, in 1994, Rwanda experienced a premeditated, systematic and state sponsored genocide with the aim of exterminating…
often destroy a society. In 1994, 800,000
people were killed during a conflict known as the Rwandan Genocide. The genocide lasted
3 months and was caused by ethnic tensions between two groups known as the Hutus and
Tutsis. After the genocide, Rwanda turned to its traditional court system to prosecute the
genocide-related crimes. By 1998, however, the total prison population had reached about
130,000, but only 1,292 people had been tried in established Rwandan courts (Human
Rights Watch). It was apparent…
The people of Rwanda have long existed as two classes; Hutu and Tutsi. The Tutsis owned the cattle in the region and were generally considered more a part of the aristocracy. The Hutus were lower class peasant farmers. They were also the majority of the people living in Rwanda. When the country of Rwanda was colonised, ethnic ID cards were eventually issued in an attempt to distinguish Hutu from Tutsi. Originally the Belgian colonists supported the Tutsis but they eventually switched sides to the…
INTRODUCTIONWhat are human rights?
WHAT ARE HUMAN RIGHTS?
“Human rights are entitlements that are
fundamental. They are things to which every
human being is entitled just because they are
All people have a claim to human rights as they
are fundamental in ensuring peace and security
for all peoples. They cannot be ‘given’ by
governments, instead they are an inherited set
of rights which automatically belong to each
member of humankind.
Society (especially in the 20th century after
May 19th 2014
The Rwandan Genocide
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. For most, a genocide is viewed
as mass killings or the deliberate killing of a large group of people, however, it is rarely
understood and involves much more than just the killing itself. Although students study the
Holocaust and other wellknown massmurders throughout history, little is taught about Rwanda.
The Rwandan Genocide was one of the worst…
The Rwandan genocide began on April 6th 1994 between the Hutu and the Tutsi population. In 1994, Rwanda’s population consisted of three ethnic groups: Hutu (85%), Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%). In the early 90s, Hutu extremists blamed the entire Tutsi population for the country’s increasing social, economic and political pressures. As reports of the genocide spread, the Security Council voted in mid-May to supply more than 5,000 troops. By the time that force arrived in full, however, the genocide had…
30 April 2013
Who is to Blame?
When most people think of Rwanda today, they think of the 1994 genocide. Rwanda and Rwandans aren’t just defined by the genocide, but understandably most people remember the genocide best. Rwanda is a small country in central Africa. In the article “ Rwanda 1994” states Rwanda has been called “ a tropical Switzerland in the heart of Africa (1). There are two main ethnic groups in Rwanda the Hutu and the Tutsi. The Hutu outnumber…
October 15, 2013
Rwanda and the Tragedy of Genocide
For over a half of a century in Rwanda’s history, the Tutsi and Hutu tribes fought over power in an ethnic battle fueled by discrimination and persecution. The Tutsi and Hutu tribes were pushed against each other by Belgium powers until in 1994, a large scale incident finally occurred, the Genocide of Rwanda. Many innocent people lost their lives in the Genocide. The mass killing of the Tutsis was a tragic event that has left…
reasons. These conflicts have affected many countries and groups of people. The Rwanda Crisis and The Holocaust are so important to know about. Both of these crises have left an impact in the world today.
The Rwandan Genocide was a genocidalmass slaughter of Tutsi and moderateHutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100-day period from April 7, 1994, to mid-July, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 20% of the country's total…
during World War II remains the worst historical event impacting all aspects of society. Other genocides have occurred in the world, but pale in comparison to the Holocaust. One other significant genocide was in the country of Rwanda in 1994. While some similarities between the German Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide are evident, the differences are apparent. In comparison with the Rwanda Genocide, the Holocaust was a more brutal event and had the most far reaching effects on society.