Differences Of The Rwandan Genocide

1053 Words 5 Pages
Quoted in the Genocide Memorial Center, 11 year old Donata described her feelings toward the Rwandan genocide. “I’ll never see my parents again, and yet I’ll see the people who killed them, and those people’s children, for the rest of my life. I can’t bear the thought of it.” The Rwandan genocide began in April of 1994. During the genocide over 800,000 Rwandans were murdered in the masses. Neighbors killed neighbors and friends killed friends. There are two major ethnicities within Rwanda. The majority of Rwanda consists of Hutus who were believed to be from sub-Saharan Africa. The second group in Rwanda are the Tutsis. They are possible descendants from Europeans and came from Ethiopia. In the Rwandan genocide, Hutu extremists murdered …show more content…
This began with the examination of both Hutus and Tutsis by measuring characteristics such as the length of their noses or the size of their skulls. The Belgians openly stated that the Tutsis were better because they were of European descent. The Hutus and Tutsis were made aware of their physical differences. The Belgians then introduced a policy that began to classify Hutus and Tutsis. Anyone with more than 10 cows was classified as a Tutsi and people with less than 10 were classified as Hutu. Both Hutus and Tutsis were beginning to be forced into their classes and saw their differences in wealth. Using the cow policy, Belgium introduced identification cards to Rwanda. Rwandans were issued cards that labeled them as Hutu or Tutsi. For the first time, Tutsis and Hutus were stuck in their ethnicities. They were unable to switch classes as they could before colonization. The Belgians favored the Tutsis by giving them better education and higher positions in government. All Hutus became increasingly poorer and the Tutsis became increasingly richer. Without the constant fluctuation of Rwandans between classes, Hutus had a more specific group at which to direct their hate. A group which held no Hutus. They had been oppressed since 1916, when Belgium first colonized Rwanda. The Hutus were forced to work in the fields for their Tutsi …show more content…
It created two major problems in Rwanda, lack of food, and dispute over land. Rwanda was very mountainous leaving little room for farmland. Farmers over farmed the land which destroyed the soil and made it harder to produce crops. The need for more farmlands forced Rwandans to level forests and drain bodies of water. This made it easier for the land to erode. Crops could be washed away in a night. Most families went to bed hungry every night. Overpopulation also created dispute over land. Rwandans fought over the farmland. More farmland brought a greater chance of having enough food. Brothers argued over who received the most land as inheritance. Families were torn apart. Rwanda’s food and land could no longer support its population. Rwandans needed a way of reducing population so they would have more food. Hutus, being the majority turned on the Tutsi minority and killed them. However, even without population pressure, the genocide still would have happened due to Belgian definitions of Hutu and Tutsi. In 1990, the Hutu 10 commandments were published. They reveal the hate that the Hutu’s harbored for the Tutsis. Quoting from the first point, “Every Hutu must know that the Tutsi woman, wherever she may be, is working for the Tutsi ethnic cause. In consequence, any Hutu is a traitor who: - Acquires a Tutsi wife; - Acquires a Tutsi concubine; - Acquires a Tutsi secretary or protégée.” 4 years before the actual

Related Documents