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The Rwandan Genocide: Hutus and Tutsi Ethnic Hatred Exploratory Essay

The Rwandan genocide caused the death of almost one million people, and the incidence will remain in history forever. The Rwandan population comprised of many Hutus and a few Tutsis. Since the Tutsis were more successful than the Hutus, there was enmity between the two groups.

People have always believed that the ethnic hatred between the Hutus and the Tutsi was the core cause of the genocide. However, research shows that there were other multiple and complex causes of the genocide.

There were political, economic and social factors that were associated with the genocide, where, the political leaders played the central role in perpetrating the genocide. However, the question that remains in many people’s minds is why the international community never intervened.

To some extent, both the Rwandan and international actors played a role in creating the conditions for the genocide. After the Rwandan and international actors perpetrated the genocide, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) came to rescue the country. This paper gives a thorough discussion of the Rwandan genocide.

The killing of Juvenal Habyarimana, the president of Rwanda and Burundi, in a plane shooting marked the beginning of the Rwandan genocide. President Habyarimana was a Hutu, whose totalitarian regime prohibited the Tutsis from taking part in the government.

However, in 1993, the president signed the Arusha Accords that allowed the Tutsis to have the powers to participate in the government. The Hutus were upset, and that was probably the reason behind the shooting of the president’s plane.

However, the Hutus blamed the Tutsi’s for the shooting, and thus, the Hutu’s political elites initiated the genocide. With the support of the military, approximately 800,000 people that comprised of Tutsis and moderate Hutus lost their lives.

The assassination of men, women and children of the mentioned communities continued from April to July 1994, as the international community witnessed all the proceedings. The UN had no political will to stop the genocide because of the mistaken perceptions of the African conflicts (Power 102).

This clearly indicates that the international actors perpetrated the genocide because their actions rendered a favorable environment for the assassinations. According to the law of the United Nations, genocide is an inhuman crime, whether it happens in peace or during the war.

The negligence of the UN to initiate a peacekeeping mission in Rwandan massacre is one of the UN’s greatest failures.

From the way the massacres happened, it was evident that the ruling party officials and the top government were the main actors who organized the genocide (Fujii 570). The media was another group of actors who broadcasted messages to support the killings.

It is very discouraging that people in the whole world witnessed the Rwandan massacres, but no one interceded. (Barnett 56). The massacre continued until the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) intervened and stopped the genocide.

The fully trained military group comprised of the Tutsis, and for this reason, the military had been deported to Uganda. The group emerged to rescue their country, and after several struggles with the Hutus, the military took over the government and stopped the genocide.

The RPF are the Rwandan actors who played a critical role in recovering the country after the genocide. Manslaughter had happened in churches, hospitals, schools, and all other areas that the Tutsis sought refuge. However, it is encouraging that the survivors leant a lesson.

Currently, Rwanda has the lowest crime rates as compared to many African countries. Paul Kagame, who was the leader of the RPF, became the president of Rwanda, and he was later re-elected as the president. Paul Kagame’s exertions as president are applauded across the world.

Works Cited

Barnett, Michael. Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda, London: Cornell University, 2002. Print.

Fujii, Lee Ann. “The Power of Local Ties: Popular Participation in the Rwandan Genocide.” Security Studies 17.3 (2008): 568-597. Print.

Power, Samantha. “Bystanders to Genocide: Why the United States let the Rwandan Tragedy happen.” The Atlantic Monthly 288.2 (2001): 84-108. Print.

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Qu1nt1n. 2019. "The Rwandan Genocide: Hutus and Tutsi Ethnic Hatred." IvyPanda (blog), August 20, 2019.


Qu1nt1n. (2019) 'The Rwandan Genocide: Hutus and Tutsi Ethnic Hatred'. IvyPanda, 20 August.

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