Rwanda Genocide


gen·o·cide [jen-uh-sahyd] –noun
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

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The Rwandan Genocide was one of rebellion. The Tutsi, classified by tall, thin, and light skin, were the minority. Yet the Belgians, during colonial rule, had placed them as elite rulers over the Hutu, the minority. After a "social revolution" in the 1960s, many of the Tutsi were driven out of Rwanda. The Hutu then created a strong feeling of hatred towards the Tutsi minority. In 1990, the Tutsi exiles invaded Rwanda, and a peace agreement was signed by the Hutu President Habyarimana. Yet the Hutu still used propaganda against the Tutsi, using radio and television to get their message across. On April 6th, 1994, President Habyarimana's plane was shot down. The Hutu blamed the Tutsi. The massacre had begun. Rwandan militia went from house to house killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus. If Hutus refused to help with the murders, then they too were murdered. In this way, they were able to murder 20,000 people in one week. The Hutu wanted to rid Rwanda of the Tutsi. If a Tutsi tried to flee, they were stopped at checkpoints on the road, and killed. Many Tutsi women were gang-raped, sometimes for weeks at a time. More than 7,000 women died from AIDS in this way. Children too were targets, as the Hutus wanted to wipe out the next generation of Tutsis. It was not until June that troops were able to reach Rwanda and establish a safe-zone. By then, almost 1 million Rwandans were murdered in only 100 days, 74% of the Tutsi population.