Ghosts of Rwanda Reflection 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 those who were ethnically identifiable as Tutsi. Between 500,000 and 800,000 people were killed in a period of 100 days, with around 77 percent of the population registered as Tutsi being murdered.
One of the most common
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Militias and small “self-defence groups” also formed and received arms and training (Uvin, 1998). As seen in the documentary Ghosts of Rwanda, the Prime Minister during the genocide, Jean Kambanda, was encouraging everybody to carry a gun, thus encouraging the violence that was taking place and creating an environment where more people were likely to be killed. Many of these processes taken by the elite and powerful are similar to processes used in past genocides: to spread ethnic fear, organize the forces of violence, and to desensitise people to violence (Uvin, 1998).
Although Rwanda’s elite and powerful did play a large role in the instigation of the genocide, countless ordinary civilians were also involved and persuaded to take part in the killings, perhaps accounting for the death of more innocent people than the elite and powerful. One explanation of the involvement of ordinary civilians is the phenomenon known as the ‘in-group bias’, which argues that individuals have the tendency to view the world as “us” and “them” or in-groups and out-groups. This happens because it is important for individuals to belong to a group, and usually individuals hold the in-group which they are a part of in a positive light while often viewing the out-group as inferior or negative, creating prejudice and discrimination. This behaviour is not always automatic and the technique of using propaganda in the Rwandan Genocide helped