Rwandan Genocide Essay

1482 Words 6 Pages
"If the pictures of tens of thousands of human bodies being gnawed on by dogs do not wake us out of our apathy, I do not know what will," stated Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Melvern 235). In 1994, the Rwandan Genocide, caused myriads of deaths within three months. A genocide is a crime and is meant to kill members of a group in society. Unfortunately, the majority of people today have little to no knowledge of the Rwandan Genocide. The United States should have intervened in response to the Rwandan Genocide, which led to numerous issues because of the horrific effects on the people that constituted the genocide and the failure of other countries to intervene.
Prior to colonization, Rwanda, located in Central Africa,
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Most of the population consisted of Hutus (85 percent), who were part of the lower class and were not as wealthy. Members of the Hutu group were thought to be untruthful, lazy, and dumb. To be categorized as a Hutu, one must be rather short, have a large head, large lips, and a wide nose. On the other hand, Tutsis made up the upper class and about 14 percent of the population. The Hutus were labeled as being smart and hard-working people that could be trusted. Unlike the Hutus, Tutsis were tall with thin features and straight teeth. The Tutsis had made up most of the King’s chiefs, but Hutus controlled the government because most of the incoming money was in their control. As a result, some Hutu elites got greedier. Belgium not only enforced the ethnic divisions, but they also increased the tension between them. For example, under Belgian control, many Tutsis converted to Christianity, the religion of most Belgians. This broke religious ties with the Rwandan Hutus. Furthermore, Belgium required Rwandans to work on public projects and had the Tutsis ensure that the Hutus participated. The Hutus disliked how they were being treated/ suppressed by …show more content…
In fact, more than one million innocent people died during the event; about eight-hundred thousand died within one-hundred days, mostly Tutsis. Search teams were sent to houses and people were horribly tortured and killed. Ironically, “the professions most closely associated with valuing life—doctors and nurses, priests and teachers, human rights activists—got embroiled in… the Rwandan genocide” (Mamdani 6). Some doctors who were extremists such as Dr. Sosthene Munyemana, refused to treat sick Tutsis or killed patients. The hospitals turned away refugees who needed a place to hide. Refugees (mostly Tutsi) went on marches, but not all were able to survive in the conditions. In addition to doctors, teachers killed others as well- their own students, resulting in about three quarters of the students to run away. People left their homes and were in constant worry because there were no safe places to stay- people even got killed in churches. At least a quarter of the clergy members/ religious leaders died; unexpectedly, clergy members also killed others. Additionally, there were many intermarried couples and families that contained both Tutsi and Hutu members. Wives, husbands, and even neighbors were killed for being Tutsi. Seeing such horrible sights scarred the people and traumatized the children of Rwanda, the future generations. Angelique Umugwaneza, a thirteen year old Hutu who lived through the genocide, recalls that

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