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 a scare all around Rwanda and the world that did not save them. The quote “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it” Martin Luther King, expresses the fact that anyone who does nothing to stop something they see as wrong is just as bad as the person who starts it. History has shown that people have been bystanders of events and have done nothing to help or stop these events from occurring. It is clear that the genocide in Rwanda happen because of the little support of the countries and armed forces that had the power to stop it but did not.
According to the free dictionary genocide is described as “the systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group”. It is killing, but the killing of many people that share a same culture. The Hutu and Tutsi in this case are from the same country but were identified by different economic aspects. The Hutu tribe wanted to wipe out all the Tutsis in Rwanda. They saw them as a threat and a traitor to them and for years have tried to get rid of them. The Genocide of 1994 was the last attempt to abolish the Tutsi race. Rwanda is known as the “land of a thousand hills,” a mountainous country which is located near the middle of Africa. The Hutu and the Tutsi are people who share a common past. People who lived in Rwanda first raised cattle. Those who raise the most cattle were called “Tutsi” and others were called “Hutu.”
Rwanda had their own cultures that were also found in the states of Congo and Uganda. The third culture of Rwanda was Twa, which was the smallest group of Rwandan people. Despite the conflict all three groups share common culture of the same language (Kinyarwanda), religion and living in the same territory. They were identified by the Tutsi supplying the cattle, the Hutus had the land, and the Twa had the forest. The Hutu and Tutsi also had a link by; the Tutsi supplied many cattle to the Hutu people.
When Germany invaded Belgium, Belgium moved to central Africa and took control of Rwanda. When Belgium took over, they identified the Rwandan natives by their physical appearances. Tutsi thought to have resembled Europeans where appointed to be higher than the Hutus. “Belgians considered the Tutsis to be superior to the Hutus.” Belgians issued identification cards to differentiate between Hutu and Tutsi.
When Rwanda won their independence from Belgium, they took control of the government. Facing a revolution started by the Hutu, the Belgians let the Hutus, who had the majority of Rwanda's population, be in charge of the new government. This upset the Tutsi. The hatred between the two groups continued for decades.
The major event that started the Genocide was the event of the plane crash of President Habyarimana. April 6, 1994 the president was returning from a summit in Tanzania when a missile shot his plane out of the sky over Rwanda's capital city of Kigali. All on board were killed in the crash. When the Hutu heard the presidents killing they automatically blamed the Tutsi and started the massive killing that lasted for 100 days.
Immediately leaders of the political oppression were killed and the slaughter of the Tutsi and Hutu traitors. It only took a few hours for the word to spread and the killings began all over Rwanda. The Interahamwe or “those who attack together” were at the forefront of the massacre. They were