Rwandan Genocide Essay

Submitted By isaac_schroeder41
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Pages: 4

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 Hutus. For the first time in hundreds of years the Hutus had power over the Tutsis. Over the next few decades, Rwanda would see senseless violence take hold between the Hutus and Tutsis fairly regularly. Just before the Rwandan genocide, many Hutu refugees escape from Burundi into the south of Rwanda due to violence in other regions. Finally things reached melting point when the Rwandan president's plane was shot down whilst on the way to talk peace on the 6th of April 1994. The Tutsis were largely blamed for the assassination, kick-starting the Rwandan Genocide.
The genocide was surprisingly organised by members of government, lawyers, military leaders, police and business men. These were the people who had the most influence throughout Rwanda. Once the genocide had gained momentum, all kinds of Rwandans took part in organising attacks and killings against innocent Tutsis. Those who had the most influence throughout the genocide were the Interahamwe. The Interahamwe had many recruits who were willing to do whatever they were told. The Tutsis eventually became desperate to survive and would go anywhere they thought would be safe. Tutsis fled to schools, churches and predominately Tutsi villages. The Interahamwe knew of this and simply waited for all the Tutsis to be gathered in one place. Once they had gathered, the Interahamwe would massacre hundreds within short amounts of time. Entire families and extended families were wiped out. One of the Interahamwes most effective weapons was the radio. They preached propaganda daily to Rwanda, encouraging mass killings. These types of acts lasted throughout the genocide, continuing for about 100 days. Despite this amount of terror and violence, the UN never intervened.

Aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide:
By the end of the Rwandan Genocide, around 800,000 humans were killed. That figure being mostly men. Because of all the men that had been killed, Rwanda was left with an extremely low percentage of the male population. Many women were left without husbands and in turn had to look after the whole family by themselves. Almost 100,000 children were orphaned, leaving many with nowhere to go. Many of these orphans were forced to look after their siblings with no parental influence, leading to a misguided generation of youths. Additionally, these young orphans struggled to afford an education in order to get a job, resulting in an unforgiving cycle of poverty. Unfortunately, the orphan problem only seems to be getting worse. Because of the high number of rapes that took place during the genocide, thousands of women were infected with the HIV virus leaving many children in Rwanda with no parents.
The horrifically violent nature of the genocide led to widespread psychological issues among the Rwandan people. Post traumatic stress disorder was among one of the many mental illnesses Rwandans had to deal with. This led to a somewhat dysfunctional recovery and grieving process after the violence. Reconciliation issues were a major factor in the years after the genocide. Hutus and Tutsis struggled to work together in order to rebuild their society because of the fact that many Tutsis were still terrified of the Hutus.
In order to avoid a corrupt and one sided government, Rwanda set up a