1994 Rwandan Genocide Essay
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The 1994 Rwandan Genocide impacted on a lot of people in a lot of different ways. In this essay the causes I will be covering are ethnic tension as a result of Belgium Colonisation, Propaganda and hate rhetoric, the role of the international community, and political problems. The consequences I will be covering are causalities, the economic effects, remembrance and education, and population displacement. In this small country in Africa called Rwanda this terrible killing took place. The Rwandan Genocide began on April 6th 1994 when the president was assassinated, followed by the prime minster the next day.
It lasted 100 days, “100 days of slaughter” ending on the 18th of July 1994. The genocide included many groups. The perpetrators were – Hutu civilians, Hutu army, Interhamwe-the youth of Hutu organised into an extremist militia, and radio RTLM-a radio station announcing to kill all Tutsis. Victims included – Tutsi, Hutu political moderates for example prime minster AgatheUwilingiyimana. Other groups include – RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front). President Juvenal Habyarimana who was in charge if the Hutu government, and the international community for example the UN (United Nations) Peacekeepers.
During these 100 days of slaughter hundreds of thousands of Tutsi we killed. Women and girls we raped, and many tortured by having their breast chopped off and sharp objects inserted into their vaginas. Many people tried to hind in schools and churches but were found and executed. I have just written about the context and the course of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. I am now going to write the causes of this horrific event starting with ethnic tension as a result of Belgium Colonisation.
Ethnic tension as a result of Belgium Colonisation is arguably the biggest cause in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. It is a political and social cause that happened over a long period of time. Starting in 1860 and coming right down to 1926. In 1860 the first Tutsi king was appointed. In 1884 German explorer Carl Peters enters the Rwandan kingdom and obtains treaty rights. In 1885 Germany declares a protectorate over present-day Rwanda. In 1890 Rwanda accepts German colonial rule with resistance. A German territorial administrator is not appointed until 1907.
In 1916 WW1 Belgium Allied Forces capture German East Africa. In 1924 Great Britten assumes control over Tanzania, while Belgium is granted trusteeship over Rwanda and Burundi. Belgium Colonisation begins. In 1926 Rwandans were given an identity card showing if a person was Hutu, Tutsi or Twa. Prior to colonisation people could ‘jump’ races e. g. Hutu’s could become Tutsi’s. Callipers were the tools of colonisation. The size of the cranium and nose and the colour of the eyes were the factors that determined whether a person was a Hutu, Tutsi or Twa.
The result of the unfair system was – Tutsi could have government positions, be landlords, be supervisors of Hutu, collect taxes, get an education (only Tutsi could go to school after the colonisation), be an administrator for the justice system. Hutu were denied higher education, land ownership and positions in government. The identity cards that everyone was given were very clear they had what ethnic group they were from, their place of birth, their date of birth, their profession, their place of residence, the name of their spouse, their C.
I number, and their signature. A quote form chief prosecutor of the international Rwandan court sums up this cause well “European colonial history was a major contributor to what eventually became the genocide in Rwanda”. The second cause I am going to discuss is Propaganda and hate rhetoric. This is a social Cause; it is short term because it happened quite fast after the death of the president and prime minster. Kangura Newspaper was a newspaper about how discussing the Tutsis were, this was launched by first lady AgatheHabyarimana in 1990.
Kangura means wake them up in English. In the newspaper they had racist comments such as “They look like animals, actually they are animals”, “If you allow snakes to live amongst you, you will be exterminated”, “They look hideous with their bushy hair and beards that are full of fleas”. RTLM (Radio Television des Milles Collines) or commonly known as “Hate Radio”, used good rock music to get people to listen to it then they used in to convey hateful messages such as “cut down the tall trees” this meant for all Hutu extremists to wipe out the Tutsis.
RTLM often referred to Tutsi as cockroaches. In 1990 Kangura newspaper published the 10 commandments for the Hutus they were an extended version of 1, Every Hutu must know that the Tutsi woman is working for the Tutsi ethnic cause Hutu is a traitor who a) Acquires a Tutsi wife, b)Acquires a Tutsi concubine, c) Acquires a Tutsi sectary or protegee. 2, Every Hutu must know that our Hutu daughters are more worthy and more conscientious as a woman, as wives and as mothers. 3, Hutu women, be vigilant and make sure that your husbands, brothers and sons see reason. , All Hutus must know that all Tutsis are dishonest in business. We have learned this from experience from experience. Hutu is a traitor who a) forms a business alliance with a Tutsi, b) invests in own funds/public funds in a Tutsi enterprise, c) Borrows money from/loans money to a Tutsi, d) Grants favours to Tutsis. 5, Strategic positions such as politics, administration, economics the military and security must be restricted to Hutu. 6, A Hutu majority must prevail throughout the education system. 7. The Rwandan Army must be exclusively Hutu.
No Solider may marry Tutsi women. 8, Hutu must stop taking pity on the Tutsi. 9, Hutu wherever they are must stand united, in solidarity, and concerned with the fate of their Hutu brothers. Hutu must constantly counter Tutsi propaganda. Hutu must stand firm and vigilant against their common enemy. The Tutsi. 10, The social Revolution of 1959, the Referendum of 1961 and the Hutu Ideology must be taught to Hutu of every age. Hutu must spread the word. Any Hutu who persecutes his brother Hutu for spreading the word and teaching this ideology is a traitor.
A quote from Leon Mugesera sums up this cause “The fatal mistake we made in 1959 was to let them escape … they are foreigners from Ethiopia so we will send them by the shortest route throwing them into the Nagbarongo river. We must act. Wipe them all out”. The third cause I am going to discuss is the role of the international community; it is a political cause that is a short term because it became an issue soon after the colonisation. During this cause the world just stood by and watched.
Following WW11 and the Holocaust, The United Nations adopted a resolution on December 9, 1948, which stated “genocide, whether committed in time of peace or time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish”. There were two opportunities to intervene that were missed. In October 1993 The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda began with the deployment of 21 troops under the command of Brigadier – General Romeo Allaire of Canada. Additional troops continued o arrive until February 1994, when the mission was fully staffed with 25,000 personnel.
Many soldiers arrived without weapons, food or water; vehicles and radios were sent out second hand from other missions and rarely in working condition. On 11th January 1994 Officers were stockpiling weapons and training civilian militias; the level of preparedness would enable the murder of 1000 Tutsis every 20 minutes. This saying will finish off this cause nicely, “clearly, the massacres in Rwanda constituted genocide, so why didn’t the world steep into stop it? In my fourth and final cause I’m going to discuss political problems (the role of the Hutu extremists in the Habyarimana government and the catalyst).
This is a political cause which was short term. President Juvenal Habyarimana came to power through a military coup in 1973. He promised national unity. By 1994 many Rwandans were calling for democratic government. In January 1994 in spite of increased state oppression and the French-supported up-build of armed forces, 50,000 Rwandans marched in a pro-democracy demonstration in Kigali.
The build-up to the Hutu’s wanting power is over quite a short period of time… only 3 years! In October 1990 civil war started when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a militia of Rwandan Tutsi excels and Hutu dissidents based in Uganda, invaded Rwanda. Thousands of Tutsis were arrested. In 1991 RPF military victories pressured President Habyarimana into drafting a new multi-party constitution. In 1992 UN led peace talks led between the RPF, The Rwanda government and 12 opposition parties to try and achieve a power-sharing agreement. In August 1993 Arusha Peace Accords were signed to neutral Tanzania. Hutu Power’ started broadcasting Tutsi hate messages in the media. In 1993 A Hutu Power Party no participating in the government established Radio/TV Libre de Millie Collines (RTLM) to get round the Arusha agreements explicit prohibition on government sponsored hate speech. I has been believed that the ‘final nail in coffin’ was the assignation of P resident Habyarimana. At 8. 30p. m on April 6, 1994, President Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda was returning from a summit in Tanzania where, under international pressure, he was negotiating with the opposition to reach a settlement.
A surface-to-air missile shot the plane out of the sky. All on board were killed. I have just written about the causes of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, I am now going to write about the consequences of the ‘100 days of slaughter’. Starting with causalities. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide left behind some major consequences but beyond all others the biggest is the casualties. This is a political, social and ideological cause and is most defiantly immediate timing because it happened during genocide obviously; so many people were left both physically and mentally scared.
Over the course of 100 days from April 6 – July 16 1994 it is estimated 800,000 – 1 million Tutsi and some moderate Hutu were slaughtered. The UN estimated 800,000 but the Rwandan government has estimated 1,071,000. It’s very difficult to get exact numbers because these numbers do not include people who were thrown into river/lakes and those who were burnt. Mass graves held up to 50,000 making it even harder to count exact numbers. If the numbers of Tutsis living in Rwanda before and after the genocide are correct then 77% of the Tutsi population was wiped out. 8,640 per day; 360 per hour, 6 per minute.
If this is correct this is the equation 6 people x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 100 days = 864,000 people! There is between 300,000 to 400,000 survivors. Almost 50,000 women were left without husbands. Almost 100,000 of the survivors were aged between 14 and 21. 75,000 of the survivors were orphaned. A 1999 study showed 80% of women surveyed showed signs of trauma. Many face health problems such as HIV/AIDS as a direct act of violence during the genocide. Some of the survivors are still threatened with violence, attacked or killed by former perpetrators.
Almost all women and girls that survived were raped, many also tortured and mutilated by having their breasts cut off and sharp objects being inserted into their vaginas. Numbers of women and girls raped are somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 exact numbers are not known. Children of rape during the genocide numbers are 2,000 to 5,000 children. Most children show trauma and signs of neglect. More than 67% of women raped were infected with HIV/AIDS. Men with HIV/AIDS used it as a weapon to leave their mark on Tutsi women and their families.
To sum up the consequence what the presiding judge said after the verdict “From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war”. In the second consequence, I am going to discuss the economic effects. This is an economic consequence and it is immediate because the things that happened during left people with big struggles. The Rwandan government has struggled to rebuild the economy.
In the year of the genocide, growth slumped by 50% and inflation reached 64%. Almost two thirds of the 8. million population live below the poverty line. Coffee is Rwandans major export. Rwanda exported 14,000 tonnes in 1986. The positives of the economic problems were the exiled business leaders returning home, since the genocide in 1994 business leaders have been returning home from Burundi, Congo, Uganda and Tanzania. Desire Kamanzi’s father sold his three houses in Burundi to return to Rwanda. This was no unusual. To sum up this consequence a quote from Leon Haguma, acting director of coffee marketing “All was abandoned, they were dead or had fled the country, there was nobody to work the plantations”.
In the third consequence, I am going to discuss remembrance and education. This is a social consequence because most of Rwanda have contributed in some way. It is a long term consequence because it still goes on today and the world can’t see it stopping anytime soon. The focus of remembrance is to teach the history of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide and emphasise moral values. There are many memorial sites in Rwanda, which pays tribute to the hundreds of thousands killed. Marimba Technical School, where many victims were killed and still remain as a museum.
Other ways of remembrance is art and photos taken in tribute such as people standing in a line with other people laying in front making human words saying END GENOCIDE NOW! There is also a national day of reflection in Rwanda on April 7th. To sum up this consequence a quote from Kofi Annan general of the UN in 1994, “If the pictures of tens of thousands of human bodies being gnawed on by dogs do not wake us out of our apathy, I do not know what will”. The fourth and final consequence I am going to write about population displacement.
This is a political and social consequence because the government feel through and society took over. This is a short term consequence because lots of people started to come back into Rwanda once the genocide was over. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide resulted in massive exodus of refugees to bordering countries. Another one million people remained internally displaced in Rwanda itself. Millions of Hutu and displaced Tutsi had crowded refugee camps beyond the Rwandan boarders. International relief efforts were mobilised to care for refugees, but available supplies were inadequate and outbreaks of disease were widespread.
More than 20,000 refugees died in cholera epidemic. During the genocide Tutsi and Hutu moderates fled. From April 1994 Tutsi and Hutu moderate refugees poured out of Rwanda and into neighbouring countries. After the genocide Tutsi refugees returned. In July 1994 when the seize fire was called Tutsis began to return to Rwanda, including refugees who had fled in the 1960’s. Hutu perpetrators fled the country. Genocide only ended when the RPF eventually defeated the Rwandan government’s armies and took control of the country. Retaliatory violence by Tutsis caused thousands of lives.
By mid July, and estimated 2 million Hutu perpetrators and bystanders had fled. 850,000 refugees entered the area in just 4 days. During the influx, 15,000 refugees an hour crossed the Rwanda-Zaire boarder. The camps became like countries in exile for the Hutu extremists who used members of the Hutu army to maintain control of the refugee camps. Between July and November 1996 the refugee camps were shut down. One million exiles returned to Rwanda including tens of thousands of perpetrators who had been living side by side with Tutsi in the refugee camps.
In November 1996 more than 600,000 Hutu refugees returned to Rwanda from Zaire. In December 500,000 returned from Tanzania. In summery… Ironically, both Hutu perpetrators and Tutsi and Hutu moderate victims ended up in the same camps. In conclusion the causes I have just written about were the ethnic tension as a result of Belgium Colonisation, Propaganda and hate rhetoric, the role of the international community, political problems. The consequences I have just written about were the casualties, the economic effects, remembrance and education, and population displacement.
All of these were major events that happened before, during and after the 1994 Rwanda Genocide there were also a number of other causes and consequences, causes are economic problems, and independence problems. The consequences were political effects, apologies from the international community, and justice, responsibility & reconciliation. A quote to sum up the 1994 Rwandan Genocide is, “The Rwandan Genocide is perhaps the most horrible and systematic human massacre we have had to witness since the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis”.