History of the Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was a tragic event that happened in April 1994 to July 1994. The genocide took place in the Rwandan Civil War, a conflict beginning in 1990 between the Hutu and the Tutsis people. The genocide made many problems for the world, it has many lasting effects on the world and Rwanda. The Rwandan genocide was as devastating as the Holocaust and were both left with a bad reputation.
“After the genocide, Rwanda was on the brink of total collapse.” “Of the survivors, women took over 70 percent of the population, entire villages were destroyed, and social cohesion was in utter disrepair (History channel).” The genocide was between the Hutu and the Tutsis. They fought for 100 days killing thousands of people a day. The cause of the genocide was a conflict beginning in 1990 between the Hutu-led government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). “The latter was made up largely of Tutsi refugees whose families had fled to Uganda after the 1959 Hutu revolt against colonial rule (Florence).”
“Approximately 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu moderates were slaughtered in a carefully organized program of genocide over 100 days, …”(United To End Genocide). If you calculate that it would mean 8,000 people were killed a day. The people being targeted in this genocide were the Tutsis people, and they were being targeted by the Hutu people. The Tutsis were being killed by machetes and other objects such as these. The Tutsis people fled to neighboring countries seeking refuge during this time. I did not see anything that said they defended themselves. As far as I know they fled because they were frightened.
This genocide ended by the doing of the RPF(Rwandan Patriotic Front) and the Uganda Army. They slowly took land in Rwanda until they finally took Kigali, which is the capital of Rwanda. During the genocide, France set up safe zones for the Tutsis, but the Rwandan people accused them of not doing enough to stop the slaughtering in the areas of these safe zones. The people that took action in the genocide or allowed it fled in fear that there would be any revenge attacks against them. After the genocide there were a couple things that people did to prevent another devastating genocide in Rwanda. One thing that they did to prevent another genocide was they started eliminating reference to race in their identification documents, so they were all considered Rwandans. “The government in Kigali is also counting on economic progress to help the country achieve lasting reconciliation… Rwanda had reduced its poverty rate by 12 percent within 5 years. It now stood at 45%, Beckmann said, adding that in comparison to other African countries that was an extremely good result” (Touze-Schmitz).
The genocide left people without homes and their village ruined. More than 25 years later the ones that did survive the genocide made homegoods for global sales—a sign of healing in Rwanda. Women produced baskets, handbags, and jewelry in the small, central African nation of Rwanda. “This small African country of 12 million inhabitants, encompassing a geographic area roughly the size of Maryland, has made a remarkable economic turnaround over the course of the past two decades”(Shank, Rugaragu.). “The country now boasts intra-regional trade and service delivery, urban design innovation, and efficient transport links”(Holder).
One way the Rwandan Genocide and the Holocaust are similar is that they both affected almost every family in these countries and left both countries with a bad reputation. Another thing that makes them similar is that both people participated in the killing. “…hundreds of thousands of ordinary people were part of this attempted genocide”(BBC IWONDER). Some even killed their own friends and family. Sometimes it was directly and sometimes it wasn’t. One last thing that they had in common is that both sets of people that were put in charge both claimed to be brainwashed and that it wasn’t their fault for what they did.
The Rwandan Genocide was an event that will forever stay in our minds as one of the worst killing sprees that has ever taken place. Although, this horrible thing happened here, now the country is changing and growing to build itself back up to be a very unified country.