Genocide is a deliberate and mass killing committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. One of these cases was the Rwanda genocide, a merciless killing of Hutus and Tutsis. These African deaths are a recent addition to an unfortunately long line of genocides, a list which includes the Holocaust.
The Hutus and Tutsis conflict is one nearly as old as time. One group always strived to be more dominant than the other. However, when the Belgians colonized in their territory, they allowed the Tutsis to help them rule. Because the Tutsis were given all the government positions, the Hutus grew more and more upset. Rwanda eventually gained independence from the Belgians, but the Belgians had left the power to the Hutus which will lead to the genocide. “Lasting 100 days, the Rwanda genocide left approximately 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers dead” (Rosenberg).
As stated earlier, the two groups involved in this genocide were the Hutu and Tutsi. At the time, everyone (Hutu and Tutsi) were required to carry an identity card at all times. The identity cards played a major role during the genocide because that is how the Hutu and Tutsi determined who was an enemy or an ally. Even though there was already an existing rivalry between these two groups, the Belgians added more fuel to the fire by giving Tutsi power over the Hutu and vice versa.
Journalists from around the world came to Rwanda to write about what they had seen. “…no-one tried to keep the genocide in Rwanda a secret” (http://www.ppu.org.uk/genocide/g_rwanda.html ). Because the genocide was exposed through the media, it was a form of propaganda in an attempt to gain the aid of other countries. Another form of propaganda was simply fear. The Hutu militia struck fear in the hearts of their people, and the Hutus that helped the Tutsis were traitors and should be treated as if they were Tutsis. People were afraid to help others, and were pressured into killing innocent people just so they wouldn’t have to suffer.
The Rwanda genocide was extremely gory and no one was spared. Women, children, and men died and because people were too afraid to bury them, corpses would lay on the sides of streets, roads, etc. “…this genocide was carried out entirely by hand, often using machetes and clubs” (http://www.ppu.org.uk/genocide/g_rwanda.html). Women and young girls were raped by the Hutus who captured them (http://www.unitedhumanrights.org/genocide/genocide_in_rwanda.htm). This genocide, as well as any other, was very gruesome. The Rwandan government supplied the Hutu militias with weapons and artillery, though they claim that they attempted to stop the genocide. Despite the inhumanity of the situation, the whole world just watched it all take place. The UN did not give Rwanda the attention it deserved, and did not aid the country very well. Over 800,000 people were killed including women and children. There were countless ways to prevent this genocide, but the world just stood by and watched such a tragic event take place which also makes them just as responsible for the genocide.
After about fourteen weeks of fighting (April 6-July 16,