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Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Main Cause Of Rwanda Genocide 25 Years Ago

Between April and June 1994, an estimated 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days. Most of the dead were Tutsis - and most of those who perpetrated the violence were Hutus.
Even for a country with such a turbulent history as Rwanda, the scale and speed of the slaughter left its people reeling. The genocide was sparked by the death of the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, when his plane was shot down above Kigali airport on 6 April 1994.

A French judge has blamed current Rwandan President, Paul Kagame - at the time the leader of a Tutsi rebel group - and some of his close associates for carrying out the rocket attack. Mr Kagame vehemently denies this and says it was the work of Hutu extremists
, in order to provide a pretext to carry out their well-laid plans to exterminate the Tutsi community. Whoever was responsible, within hours a campaign of violence spread from the capital throughout the country, and did not subside until three months later. But the death of the president was by no means the only cause of Africa's largest genocide in modern times.

History of violence
Ethnic tension in Rwanda is nothing new. There have always been disagreements between the majority Hutus and minority Tutsis, but the animosity between them has grown substantially since the colonial period.
The two ethnic groups are actually very similar - they speak the same language, inhabit the same areas and follow the same traditions. However, Tutsis are often taller and thinner than Hutus, with some saying their origins lie in Ethiopia. During the genocide, the bodies of Tutsis were thrown into rivers, with their killers saying they were being sent back to Ethiopia. When the Belgian colonists arrived in 1916, they produced identity cards classifying people according to their ethnicity. The Belgians considered the Tutsis to be superior to the Hutus. Not surprisingly, the Tutsis welcomed this idea, and for the next 20 years they enjoyed better jobs and educational opportunities than their neighbours. Resentment among the Hutus gradually built up, culminating in a series of riots in 1959. More than 20,000 Tutsis were killed, and many more fled to the neighbouring countries of Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. When Belgium relinquished power and granted Rwanda independence in 1962, the Hutus took their place. Over subsequent decades, the Tutsis were portrayed as the scapegoats for every crisis.

On April 6, 1994, less than a year after a ceasefire was established between the Hutu
government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the Tutsi-backed paramilitary lead by Paul
Kagame, an airplane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana and the Burundian President
Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down. The assassination of Habyarimana ended the peace talks.
The Hutus fingered the RPF

Genocidal killings began the following day. Soldiers, police, and militia quickly executed key
Tutsi and moderate Hutu military and political leaders who could have assumed control in the
ensuing power vacuum. Checkpoints and barricades were erected to screen all holders of the
national ID card of Rwanda (it contained ethnic classifications; the Belgian colonial government
had introduced the use of these classifications and IDs in 1933). This enabled government
forces to systematically identify and kill Tutsi.

UN Special Rapporteur Rene Degni-Segui stated, “Rape was the rule and its absence was the
exception.” During the conflict, Hutu extremists released hundreds of HIV/AIDS positive patients
from the hospitals to form ‘rape squads’ During the 100-day period from April 7 to mid-June in
1994, between 500,000-1,000,000 Rwandans were killed.
The genocide had lasting and profound effects on Rwanda and neighboring countries. The
pervasive use of rape as a weapon of war caused a spike in HIV infection, including babies born
to mothers infected during rapes. Due to the wholesale slaughter of both men and women,
many households were headed by widows or totally orphaned children. The destruction of
infrastructure and the severe depopulation of the country crippled the economy, challenging the
nascent government to achieve rapid economic growth and stabilization. The RPF military
victory and installation of an RPF-dominated government prompted many Hutu to flee to
neighboring countries.

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FACEBOOK COMMENTS

Micheal Callix Oyibo

Really too bad...
So no be only for nigeria we dey get ethnic group crisis

Chisom Bright

I have been led to believe for some years now that the Rwanda's Genocide was mainly caused by hate speech perpetrated by the Tutsi. Now I understand better, so sad
1

Endy Edeson

Callix; Yeah, Tribalism is everywhere. It's all about understanding the ways in living in a plural society to avoid issues like this
1

Gandollar Alabi

to avoid this in Nigeria we need to restructure our country.
1

Azubuike Christian Odoemelam

Then somebody that is thinking will ask "where was UN, ECOWAS and other such organisations....
3

Jesse Osayande Vucinic Ehiagwina

And the Western influence wasn't amiss. Also the constant supply of weapons in these conflicts by the West.

At least Rwanda has done a GREAT job of moving on. They're making GREAT progress and Paul Kagame is doing well as president. To make progress though they've had to endure some restrictions of freedom. The Western form of democracy has showed it's not for African nations. At least for now and I think Kagame understands that. He's been preaching Rwanda more than ethnicity and done very well in quenching the flames of tribalism unlike the so called leaders we have in Nigeria.

Mustapha M. Tukur

In my own view the assasination of the president was planned, and to serve as an avenue for the Hutus to execute their evil plan. the aftermarth prove it.
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