Rwanda: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
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From the Paper:"Genocide is described as the intentional and methodical annihilation of a group racially, politically and culturally. On the other hand, ethnic cleansing is defined as the removal of an unwanted group of persons from a society such as through genocide or forced eviction (Karyn). Some scholars, however, opine that ethnic cleansing is a term "used as a euphemism for genocide despite it having no legal status"; Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire asked New York if Rwandan case "could be labeled genocide...To me it [genocide] seemed an accurate label at last" (Rony,204).
"Rwanda's populous is over 7 million and is made up of three ethnic groups namely the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The Hutu comprise of approximately 85% of Rwanda's population. 14% of the population is Tutsi while a mere 1% the Twa (The United Nations). Ironically, material wealth and influence could make the Rwandese affiliate oneself with either the Hutu or Tutsi. Before Rwanda was colonized, the Tutsi had a higher social status while the Hutus a lower. A Hutu ceased to be one and became a Tutsi after acquiring large heads of cattle, other material wealth or by marriage. Similarly, the poor Tutsi were seen as the Hutus. Nyinginya, a power clan system, was hived off the Tutsi. In a way or the other, it means that the Rwanda genocide was almost fratricidal since they not only have the same nationality, but also "share the same language, religions, and kinships and clan systems" (Steven).
"The two countries--Germany and later Belgium--which colonized Rwanda set the stage for the Rwanda genocide that was to take place many years later. Before colonization, racism wasn't pronounced--if at all there was--like prior to it (Edward). When Germany colonized Rwanda in 1994, they bestowed responsibility duties on Tutsi because they were European-like based on their lighter complexion and tallness. After Germany was defeated in the World War 1, its colonies were lost. Exit Germany from Rwanda, enter Belgium in 1933. Belgian rule called for all Rwandese to have ID cards stating which ethnic group they were affiliated to. Again, the Belgians bestowed all the leadership roles on the Tutsis, leaving the Hutus angry. In the fight for independence, the Belgians noted that the Hutus had the ability to stage a revolution. Thus, they let the Hutus head the newly formed government. The Tutsi were angered by this. That anger simmered for the decades that followed. It is estimated that ten cycles of ethnic conflicts happened in 1962 to 1967 which saw the Tutsis stage attacks and counterattacks on Hutus and the then Hutu-led government (Prunier, 4). As of late 1980s, about 480,000 citizens were refugees in Tanzania, Burundi, DRC and Uganda."
Cite this Admission Essay:
Rwanda: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing (2015, November 19) Retrieved February 20, 2017, from http://www.academon.com/admission-essay/rwanda-genocide-and-ethnic-cleansing-154304/
"Rwanda: Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing" 19 November 2015. Web. 20 February. 2017. <http://www.academon.com/admission-essay/rwanda-genocide-and-ethnic-cleansing-154304/>