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Rwandan Students, Ethnic Tensions Lurk Essay

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Updated: Jul 13th, 2020

Genocide is considered to be one of the gravest offences against humanity as it is evidenced by its listing among the offenses that the ICC have jurisdiction. When talking about Genocide, one of the countries that comes to one’s mind is Rwanda. To many, Rwanda learnt from the Genocide and is now engaged in reconstruction. However, Kron (1) raises issues that worry people around the world. In his article, Kron provides key indirect question that is asked all around.

This question is whether it is worth keeping the nation mum and assume that ethnicity is non-existent while it is actually there. The article provides that this idea is absolutely wrong. Despite the government’s efforts to keep ethnicity away, it still resurfaces in another way. Mentioning Hutu or Tutsi is forbidden, but it is just the name that was changed, ethnicity still thrives. The quote from the article provides that:

“Linguistic lines,” in this case, is a code for the ethnic groups that dare not to speak their names. Although the linguistic differences are not cut and dried, for students “French speakers” means Hutu and “English speakers” means Tutsi, specifically those who returned from refugee life in English-speaking Uganda after 1994 and now run the country (Kron 1).

The larger debate that arises in Kron’s article is on the moral dilemma with regard to civic responsibilities of both the government and the citizens, as well as the role that ethnicity plays in this study. Should the government simply stay away from the debate, or it is obliged to bury ethnicity into the sand and hope the cover is not washed away by the tides.

Within contemporary setting, ethnicity is viewed as a means by which individualism occurs and help people to define their personal identity, as well as kind of social stratification which arises when groups are formed on the basis of perceptual common origins/background (Rubenstein 234).

Ethnic group members believe in a common ancestry, as well as culture which points them out from others. Basically, formation of such groups is characterized by inclusionary, as well as exclusionary traits. Realistically, kinship cannot be undermined within a society. The community must learn to live with it.

However, the case presented by Kron (2011) goes beyond merely fighting ethnicity and creating a unified country, it is also the government that strives to hold on the power by maiming any source that can challenge authority.

Otherwise, why would the professor be jailed for five years for criticizing the president? In the end, it is clear that despite the government’s efforts to ensure that the issue of culture does not creep in, diffusionism still occurs within the Rwanda society assuming that university is a presentations of the larger Rwandan society. Diffusionism reflects transmission of traits from one generation to another (Rubenstein 234).

In my opinion, the article discusses the government that strives to muzzle its population in order to hold power, than really focuses on the consequences of genocide and eradicating ethnic animosity. It reflects a community that cannot experience its opinions because the government would not allow it on the pretext of warding off ethnic animosities.

However, the reality is that the communities will always find a way of bringing out their ethnic differences. Perhaps, the best way would be to let the society talk about what happened and learn from it. After all, the community cannot be muzzled forever. Not with diffusioning taking place.

Works Cited

Kron, Josh. “For Rwandan Students, Ethnic Tensions Lurk.” Butare Journal. 2010. Web.

Rubenstein, James. Ethnicity, the Cultural Landscape, an Introduction to Human Geography (10th Ed.). London: McGraw Hill, 2008.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Rwandan Students, Ethnic Tensions Lurk'. 13 July.

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