Human Rights and Intervention in the Rwandan Genocide
Human rights are known as “inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled to simply because he or she is a human being”. These rights are known to be universal and are the same to everyone living on earth. These rights are said to exist in both national and international law. The Universal Declaration of Human rights, which is supported by fifty countries across the globe, attests to this definition and backs up the idea that all people are equal and have the right to pursue happiness no matter who they are, where they are from, their skin color, age, or sex, etc. If these countries believe these things to be true, why was there not a mass intervention when the Hutu militia in Rwanda took it upon themselves to kill hundreds of thousands of people based solely on their ethnicity? It seems that if these countries are not going to benefit in some way, then they have no desire to help or intervene when there is a crisis in another country. The United Nations, which is said to be an international institution that values human rights, should make sure that tragedies, such as the Rwandan genocide, do not occur. Countries cannot act selfish when it comes to war, genocide, and the lives of innocent people. Aiding everyone, treating people with fairness and equality, and fighting for what is right should be far more important than a country’s personal gain.. The one and only deciding factor that manifests what will happen with human rights violations and a countries choice to intervene is the United Nations and the international community. This paper will analyze why it took so long for other countries to intervene in the Rwandan genocide and how the United Nations and the international community directly correlate with human rights violations and interventions in international tragedies.
During the Rwandan genocide, thousands of people were killed in the name of ethnic violence. Men, women and children were taken out of their own homes and killed for nothing other than their ethnicity. At this time, the Hutu ethnicity made up over eighty percent of the population, and blamed the people of Tutsi, who made up the lower fifteen percent for all of the economic and political problems of the country. This, in turn, led to Hutu rebels who felt that the only way to solve the issues in Rwanda was to eliminate the Tutsi people all together. Hutu extremists and militia launched plans and were able to almost effectively rid Rwanda of the Tutsi ethnicity. Tutsi people tried to escape but most were killed or attacked before fleeing was even a possible outcome. Thousands and thousands of people participated in the ethnic cleansing of the Tutsi people in Rwanda. This situation was very chaotic and got completely out of control because no countries chose to intervene and help the Rwandan people until it was too late. Is it in a country’s best interest to intervene in another country’s warfare or should the country sit back until it gets worse? Why did it take so long and the loss of so many lives before other countries chose to intervene in the Rwandan genocide?
The Rwandan genocide was a mass murder of an estimated million people in Eastern Africa in the state of Rwanda. Over about one hundred days, it is estimated that twenty percent of the country’s total population were killed. This resulted from a longstanding ethnic battle and tensions between the minority party, the Tutsi, who had controlled power for centuries, and the majority, the Hutu, who had come into power through a rebellion in the early 1960’s. In 1990, a rebel group of Tutsi refugees invaded Rwanda in an attempt to defeat the Hutu government. This began the Rwandan Civil War, resulting in far worse tension between the two groups. In response to this, many Hutu people gravitated toward the “Hutu Power” ideology which consisted of state-controlled and independent Rwandan media. It also consisted that...
...Case Study- Genocide in Rwanda
The RwandanGenocide, which began on April 6th, 1994, was the mass slaughter of the Tutsis by the Hutus in the East African state of Rwanda. Lasting approximately 100 days (ending on mid-July,1994), 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers were slaughtered (as much as 20% of the country’s total population). The tension and longstanding ethnic competition between the minority group-Tutsi’s, who had had power in the land for centuries, and the majority group- Hutu’s, who had come to power in the rebellion of 1959-62, culminated and resulted in the mass genocide.
Prior to the genocide, most of the Rwandan population was made up of the Hutu ethnic group who were traditionally crop-growers. For many centuries, Rwanda attracted traditional herdsmen from northern Africa- the Tutsis. For centuries, the two groups shared the business of farming between them, for it was essential for their survival. They not only shared their business, but their language, culture and nationality as well. Due to the nature of historical/agricultural roles, the landowners tended to be the Tutsi’s and the Hutu’s were the ones who worked the land. This division of labor propagated an uneven population ratio- the Hutus greatly outnumbering the Tutsis. When the European colonists (Germany and Belgium) moved in to Rwanda in 1933, an even bigger...
... The RwandanGenocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100 day period from April 7, 1994 to mid-July, an estimated 500,000-1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, and integrating into rather than conquering the existing society. Under this theory, the Hutu and Tutsi distinction arose later and was not a racial one, but principally a class or caste distinction in which the Tutsi herded cattle while the Hutu farmed the land. The Hutu, Tutsi and Twa of Rwanda share a common language and are collectively known as the Banyarwanda.
The population coalesced, first into clans, and then, by 1700, into around eight kingdoms. One of the kingdoms, the Kingdom of Rwanda, ruled by the Tutsi Nyiginya clan, became increasingly dominant from the mid-eighteenth century and expanded through a process of conquest and assimilation, achieving its greatest extent under the reign of King Kigeli Rwabugiri from 1853–95. Rwabugiri expanded the kingdom west and north and initiated administrative reforms; these included ubuhake, in which Tutsi patrons ceded cattle, and therefore privileged status, to Hutu or Tutsi clients in exchange for economic and personal service, and uburetwa, a corvée system in which Hutu were forced to work for Tutsi chiefs. Rwabugiri's changes deepened the socio-economic and power divisions between the Hutu and Tutsi populations.
...region; the Hutu’s and the Tutsi’s. The RwandanGenocide officially began on April 7th, 1994 and lasted approximately one hundred days; however, acts of murder have been occurring since the power shift from a Tutsi lead government, to a Hutu lead government, in the 1950’s. This genocide is one of the most well know and publicized genocides, only second to the Nazi’s in World War II. This genocide has become a model for the United Nations on how to work to prevent another act of genocide, such as this one, in the future.
Leading up to a genocide, there are many historical factors regarding the tension in a country, their economic situation, and their political state. For centuries, Tutsi’s have held the political power in Rwanda, but in the rebellion of 1959 to 1962, that changed forever when the Hutu’s gained power. The Hutu’s have been able to hold their power since then, but since then, there has been a struggle between the nation’s two groups, for that power. Before the genocide, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, or RPF for short, invaded Northern Rwanda, from Uganda. The RPF consists mostly of Tutsi refugees who now reside in Uganda. This invasion is what sparked the Rwandan Civil War, in 1990. During the civil war, the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi militia controlled the streets of Rwandan towns and cities. During...
...Beginning on April 6, 1994, Hutus began slaughtering the Tutsis in the African country of Rwanda. As the brutal killings continued, the world stood idly by and just watched the slaughter. Lasting 100 days, the Rwanda genocide left approximately 800,000 Tutsis and Hutu sympathizers dead.
Who Are the Hutu and Tutsi?
The Hutu and Tutsi are two peoples who share a common past. When Rwanda was first settled, the people who lived there raised cattle. Soon, the people who owned the most cattle were called "Tutsi" and everyone else was called "Hutu." At this time, a person could easily change categories through marriage or cattle acquisition.
It wasn't until Europeans came to colonize the area that the terms "Tutsi" and "Hutu" took on a racial role. The Germans were the first to colonize Rwanda in 1894. They looked at the Rwandan people and thought the Tutsi had more European characteristics, such as lighter skin and a taller build. Thus they put Tutsis in roles of responsibility.
When the Germans lost their colonies following World War I, the Belgians took control over Rwanda. In 1933, the Belgians solidified the categories of "Tutsi" and "Hutu" by mandating that every person was to have an identity card that labeled them either Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa. (Twa are a very small group of hunter-gatherers who also live in Rwanda.)
Although the Tutsi constituted only about ten percent of Rwanda's population and the Hutu nearly 90 percent, the Belgians...
Unburied bones of the genocide. Memorial for the ones who were killed.
Ultra-nationalism, discrimination, and hatred is what started this so called “ethnic cleansing”.
“Ethnic cleansing”-it sounds very harmless and intriguing doesn’t it? Maybe we should no longer try to conceal this horrid event that happened in Rwanda, and call it what it really was. A genocide. A massacre. Now you get the picture. From the photographs above, we can clearly see that this lesson in history is one to be learned and not be forgotten. Throughout this essay we will examine the “five W’s” of the event, as well as what we can take away from this fatality.
For any of you who are not familiar with this event, it was a mass slaughter from April to July of 1994(about a one hundred day period). During this time, between 800,000 and 1 million people were slaughtered because of discriminating ethnic reasons.
Rwanda is the smallest country in Africa, yet has the largest population. According to the 1991 national census, the total population of Rwanda was 7.7 million, with 90 percent the Hutu, 9 percent...
During the summer of 1994, in the eastern African country of Rwanda, ethnic and class tensions which had been building up over decades finally reached its peak. In this small country, one of the largest genocides in history took place. In a country roughly the size of Massachusetts, nearly one million people were killed over the course of one hundred days. In the aftermath of the slaughter, scholars were left to analyze the history of Rwandan ethnic violence and the sociology of those responsible for these crimes. This conflict is noted for how quickly it happened, how deeply it affected both the aggressors and the victims, and how the rest of the world turned a blind eye to the atrocities being committed.
In order to understand the Rwandangenocide, it is necessary to understand an overview of Rwandan history. Rwanda was originally colonized by Germany, who turned over control to Belgium in 1918 after World War I. In Rwanda, there were three ethnic groups: the Hutu, who made up about 85% of the population; the Tutsi, who made up around 15% of the population, and the Twa, who made up the remainder. These “ethnic groups” had no actual genetic distinction from one another, they were more like separate tribes and family groups. Tutsis had traditionally been cattle farmers, and therefore wealthier than the Hutus, who were farmers and servants, and the...
...The Causes and Effects of the RwandanGenocide by Arnav Kapur
In 1994, Rwanda erupted into one of the most appalling cases of mass murder the world has ever witnessed since World War II. Many of the majority Hutu (about 84% of the population) turned on the Tutsi (about 15% of the population) and moderate Hutu, killing an estimated total of 800,000 people. The main causes of the RwandanGenocide were the shooting down of the President’s plane, high population density, the media, the unresponsive UN and the history between the two tribes and a civil war that started in 1990 and some of the effects were poverty, lack of infrastructure, health problems and many others explained below.
The indigenous peoples of Rwanda are the Twa (about 1% of the population). When Rwanda was first settled, the people who lived there raised cattle. Soon, the people who owned the most cattle were called "Tutsi" and everyone else was called "Hutu." It wasn't until Europeans came that the terms "Tutsi" and "Hutu" took on a racial role. The Germans were the first to colonize Rwanda in 1894. They looked at the Rwandan people and thought the Tutsi had more European characteristics, such as lighter skin tone and taller builds; therefore they put the Tutsi in the roles of responsibility.
When Germany lost its colonies, Belgium took over and in 1933, the Belgians solidified the categories of "Tutsi" and "Hutu" by mandating that...
...The international community to blame for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Discuss with reference to the events before, during and after the 100 days.
The international community, the United States and the United Nations were to blame for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The United States, where people would normally look for help, surprisingly did not do as much apart from watching the genocide happen. The United Nations also did not provide enough support as they withdrew all their forces during the genocide. The international community such as France and Belgium, both failing to prevent the killing in Rwanda. All three different groups are to blame for the genocide before, during and after.
Rwanda was divided into two groups known as the Tutsis and the Hutus. Before the Europeans arrived, the elite were the Tutsi cattle herders while the peasant farmers were known as the Hutus. In 1917 Rwanda was given to Belgium from Germany and by 1933 they already introduced ethnic ID cards and favoured the Tutsis. Not surprisingly, they agreed and welcomed this idea. And for the next twenty years they enjoyed better jobs and educational opportunities than their neighbours. The Hutus eventually uprose and culminated in a series of riots in 1959. More than 20,000 Tutsis were killed and more fled to the neighbouring countries of Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. Belgium surprisingly gave Rwanda independence and left the...