Rwanda Conflict

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United we stand, divided we fall. A country divided by its people cannot be stable for long. Rwanda is divided into two main ethnic groups, the Tutsi (minority) and the Hutu (majority). Tensions were already high between the two groups, but the alleged assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana triggered the Rwandan Genocide on April 6, 1994. The Hutu started to kill the Tutsi, resulting in 800,000 casualties. Many would think that this event would leave to a larger split between the two groups, but the Rwandans believe that it is better to leave the past in the past and think of the future instead. What caused the Rwandan Genocide was essentially frustration. It was frustration over their treatment, frustration over being treated like …show more content…
The Tutsi and Hutu conflict traces back to imperialism. The Tutsi were always preferred over the Hutu by the Belgians. They were treated better and had more opportunities. Not only that, but they were also wealthier and of higher class than the Hutu. Being the majority, the Hutu grew envious of this. They believed that they should have been the ones to rule Rwanda and to have higher social standings. A previous uprising against the Tutsi government had already failed, fueling the fire between the two. The shooting of the plane that President Habyarimana was on on April 6, 1994 was the catalyst that started the slaughter fest. One of the main mysteries of the Rwandan Genocide is who shot the plane. Many believe that the current president, Paul Kagame, was the culprit, despite there being little evidence to back the claim up (BBC News). Once the news of Habyarimana’s assassination had reached the ears of the people, the Presidential Guard along with other groups, including multiple Hutu militia groups, began the murder of the Tutsis as well as moderate Hutus. The frustration over unequal treatment over the years had finally reached its breaking point and was being lashed out on those who caused the …show more content…
After 100 days, 800,000 had perished at the hands of those who they thought were friends and neighbors. A new word was created to relay the frustration and problems the Rwandans went through. “Ihahamuke” is the equivalent of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It includes the grief and pain of the survivors. Within families, power had shifted from the father to the mother, seeing as only 20% of the population is represented by adult males. Almost 100,000 children were orphaned and HIV is rampant due to the rape (Trinity College). However, the tension that was once everywhere, is now subdued. One local from the village of Jabiro said that “We don’t think about ethnicity. We don’t think about history anymore. We think about the future. You cannot forgive such things, you just try to forget and lead another life” (Verini). Despite everything both sides of the conflict had gone through, they are trying their best to leave it be and look forward to the future. They look forward to a future without devastation and death, one without pain and suffering. In that same village, both Hutus and Tutsis live together. One woman said that “When they asked to be forgiven, we could, because we could see it was coming from their hearts. It wasn’t hard to forgive them” (Verini). The two groups had to work together in order to make the village the same as it was

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