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An introduction to the history of genocide in rwanda

Selected websites Introduction 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide when more than 800,000 people, mostly Tutsi but also moderate Hutu, were killed and almost two million people fled the country.

The violence was mainly carried out by ordinary citizens who were involved in the killing of their neighbours.

  • In April , when Rwanda erupted into violence, neighbor turned on neighbor, family turned on family, and love turned to hate;
  • The genocide turned these two friends into enemies;
  • Unable to afford college, he built himself a house near his parents in 1985;
  • Unable to afford college, he built himself a house near his parents in

They were incited to do so and assisted by militia groups formed by several political parties, the Presidential Guard and local self-defence groups. People were not only killed on the streets and in their own homes but also in schools, hospitals and even in churches where they were seeking refuge.

Scenes of genocide

The genocide started on the night of 6 April 1994 when a plane carrying Rwandan President Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Ntaryamira was shot down near the airport in Kigali.

The crash was the signal for the genocide to start and, within a few hours, Kigali was full of roadblocks and the first killings took place. In the first few days, the killings were limited to Kigali, where the death toll rose quickly to 40,000-50,000. The killing then spread to the rest of the country.

  • This is a story about what came afterward;
  • After its military victory and having taken office on 19 July 1994, the RPF inherited a devastated country;
  • How could the country ever overcome such hatred and horror?
  • It would take a miracle;
  • The crash was the signal for the genocide to start and, within a few hours, Kigali was full of roadblocks and the first killings took place.

The genocide took place in the context of the civil war that had broken out in October 1990 between the Hutu-led government and the RPF. The RPF was a rebel army that primarily consisted of descendants of Rwandan Tutsi refugees who had fled Rwanda thirty years before when the Hutu majority took over power from the Belgians. In 1993, the RPF and President Habyarimana signed a peace treaty that resulted in a ceasefire and a roadmap for the implementation of the Arusha Accords that would create a power-sharing government.

However, the RPF resumed the war when the peace accord was broken. Coming from southern Uganda, it captured more and more of the country and eventually took power in July 1994 and the genocide ended. After its military victory and having taken office on 19 July 1994, the RPF inherited a devastated country. The genocide had also led to damage to the infrastructure, banks and businesses were plundered, the civil service and healthcare and educational institutions had been ruined and crops and livestock were lost.

The first was the civil war, which had legitimized violence. Straus argues that the genocide would not have happened if there had not been an ongoing civil war.

Rwandan Genocide

The second factor concerns state power and the role of the Hutu hardliners who controlled the state. The third factor was the collective ethnic categorization that was in place due to the pre-existing categories and ethnically based political ideologies.

Poverty as a possible cause for the violence was only the motivation for a small portion of the perpetrators, according to Straus.