The Rwandan Genocide A Civil War
Download The Rwandan Genocide A Civil War...
The Rwandan Genocide A Civil War Between the Hutus and the Tutsis
Genocide Between April and June of 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans, from the group known as Tutsis, were killed in the span of 100 days.
This is their story…
Who were the Hutus?
Who were the Tutsis?
Who are the Hutus & Tutsis • The Hutus and Tutsis are two groups of people that settled in present day Rwanda close to twothousand years ago. •Some scientists believe the Tutsis migrated from present day Ethiopia. •Over time they worked together and united. They developed a single language (Kinyarwanda) and one set of religious and philosophical beliefs.
Long ago, Rwanda and Burundi were one nation. The Hutu and Tutsi lived here.
Working Together •The Hutus and Tutsis were cultivators and raised livestock. •With fertile soil and regular rainfall, the region where the Hutus and Tutsis lived eventually became the most densely populated nation on the entire African continent.
A Division Begins •In the 18th century, when Rwanda emerged as a powerful and populous nation, its rulers began to measure their power in the number of their cattle. •The Tutsi were “rich in cattle”. They were the elite and ruling class. •On the other hand, the Hutu had less livestock and less power.
Hutus vs. Tutsis • The Hutus were the majority – around 85%. But they were considered commoners. • The Tutsis were the minority – around 14%. But they were considered the elite, ruling class because of their large estates, large number of servants, and large number of cattle.
Tutsi – 14%
Hutu – 85%
Marriage • Although there were some families that intermarried, most Hutus married Hutus and most Tutsis married Tutsis. •This impacted genetics and the way Hutus and Tutsis began to look.
Physical Appearance • Because the Hutus and Tutsis did not usually intermarry, their offspring began to develop similarities in their features. • The Tutsis were often very tall, thin, with narrow features, and fair skin. • The Hutus were often shorter, stronger, with broader features, and darker skin.
This is a picture from the movie Hotel Rwanda. The man on the right, plays a Hutu character. The woman on the left, plays a Tutsi character.
Colonization •The Germans were the first Europeans to colonize Rwanda. •They did so in the early 1900’s. •The Germans helped to fight off other countries that wanted to attack Rwanda (the Hutus and Tutsis). This helped to protect Rwanda and make it strong.
Colonization Continued • After WWI, the United Nations decided that Germany could no longer rule Rwanda. •The country was now under the safeguards of the United Nations, and it was to be governed by Belgium.
Belgium Brings Further Division • Belgium decided to use the class system (that had already been put into place) to their advantage. • The Belgians favored the Tutsis and gave them privileges and western-style education.
Why did the Belgians do this? •The Belgians did this because they could control Rwanda easier this way. •The Belgians also favored the Tutsis because they appeared more European in their tall, slender features. They discriminated against the Hutus because they appeared less European.
How do you think the Hutus felt about this? How do you think the Tutsis felt about this?
Identification Cards •After creating laws that gave special privileges to the Tutsi, the Belgians ran into a problem… how could they be sure who was a Tutsi and who was a Hutu? •Physical characteristics identified some, but not all. •The solution: Have every single citizen register and carry an identification card.
What if you had no proof? • If you could not give proof of your ancestry, the Belgians would simply measure your height and other features. •If you appeared more European, they listed you has a Tutsi. •If your features were shorter, darker, stronger, etc. they listed you has a Hutu.
Soon the Hutus got tired of this discrimination. What do you think they did?
PARMEHUTU •The Party for the Emancipation of the Hutus is formed in 1959. It is called Parmehutu. •Hutus rebelled against the Belgian colonial power and the Tutsi elite. •150,000 Tutsis flee to Burundi (which at the time was part of Rwanda).
Belgium Leaves •In the 1960’s Belgium withdraws from Rwanda. •Rwanda and Burundi split into two different countries.
The Hutus fight the Tutsis •Still angry at being repressed and discriminated against for so many years, the Hutus fight the Tutsis. •Many Tutsis are massacred, and many flee Rwanda.
Igniting Violence • A well-known Hutu leader, Dr. Leon Mugesera appeals to the Hutus to send the Tutsis “back to Ethiopia” via the rivers. •Other Hutus said that they needed to clean up the “filth” and kill the Tutsi “cockroaches.”
Negotiations – Aug. 1993 •Following months of negotiations, President Habyarimana (a Hutu President) and the RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) sign a peace accord that calls for a return of Tutsi refugees. •2,500 United Nations troops are deployed to Kigali to oversee the peace accord.
Will there be peace? •Despite a peace accord, the Rwandan president stalls in created a unified government in which the power is shared.
•At the same time, training of militias and violence intensifies. •An extremist radio station, Radio Mille Collines, begins to warn: “it is almost time for us to cut down the tall trees.” This was code for, “it is almost time to kill all of the Tutsis.”
WARNING! • Human rights groups warn the international community of an impending genocide.
•In March of 1994, the human rights groups are forced to flee Rwanda due to the impending calamity. Only the Red Cross stays behind.
The U.N. Leaves • The U.N. is forced to leave for a variety of reasons, including increased violence in Rwanda and world tensions following a crisis that occurred in Somalia.
A Day that will Live in Infamy • April 6, 1994 – President Habyarimana and the president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, are shot down in a plane and killed. •No one knows who shot down the president’s plane. There are theories that the Hutus did this and there are theories that the Tutsis did this. •That night… the genocide begins.
The Genocide • The Hutu militia, at one point 30,000 people strong, slaughtered any Tutsi that came in their path. •They encouraged regular Hutu civilians to do the same. •In some cases, Hutus were forced to kill their Tutsi neighbors.
The Death Toll In the span of 100 days, an estimated 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered. They were killed primarily with knives, machetes, and clubs. 100,000 of these were children.
Where was the help? • While the genocide was going on, the world sat back and watched. • No troops or aide was sent by the Americans or any other country. • The victims were left screaming for help, but no one came.
An End to the Genocide • By July, the RPF (a Tutsi organization) captured the city of Kigali. The government collapsed and the RPF declared a cease-fire. •As soon as it became apparent to the Hutus that the Tutsis were victorious, close to 2 million fled to Zaire (now the Republic of Congo)
A New Government •On July 19 a new multi-ethnic government was formed, promising all refugees a safe return to Rwanda. •Pasteur Bizimungu, a Hutu, was inagurated as president, while the majority of cabinet posts were assigned to Tutsis.
Justice for Genocide •The new government of Rwanda continues to seek justice for the innocent murder of close to a million people. •Many people have been tried in court and found guilty of war crimes. •500 have been put to death for their war crimes, and another 100,000 are still in prison!!!
What does the future hold for Rwanda? Only time will tell.
Works Cited • Human Rights Watch Publications “Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda” http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/rwanda/Geno1-309.htm#P200_83746
• BBC News “Rwanda: How a Genocide Happened” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1288230.stm •PBS Frontline “Timeline Rwanda: A Chronology of Key Events” http://pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rwanda/etc/cron.html