The genocide in Rwanda was the result of a long and stubborn confrontation between two ethnic groups: the Hutus and the Tutsis. The events of 1994 in Rwanda were genocide towards the Tutsis people. To learn more about genocide in Rwanda, I visited Borgen Magazine online, the article “22 Years Later: Rwandan Genocide Facts” by Lewis (2016) and The UN Refugee Agency website, the article “Human Rights Watch, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda” (1999).
During 100 days, from April 6 to July 18, according to various estimates, from 800,000 to 1,000,000 people were killed, about 2,000,000 people fled the country. Thousands of them died from epidemics that were rapidly spreading in overcrowded refugee camps (Lewis).
First German and then Belgian colonists supported the power of the Tutsis. The cause was the origin of the Tutsis: the Europeans reasoned that if this tribe used to live in northern Africa, it means that it is genetically closer to the Caucasians and has superiority over Hutus. The situation of the Hutu was getting worse and worse without power, and in the end, in 1959, this people organized an uprising and seized power in the country. Ethnic cleansing began, tens of thousands of Tutsis died, about 300 thousand more were forced to flee to neighboring countries (“Human Rights Watch”).
In early 1993, several extremist Hutu groups emerged in Rwanda, advocating large-scale Tutsi massacres, which occupied large areas in the north of the state. The people’s fear of Tutsi became the basis for inciting hatred towards them. This ideology was called the “Hutu Power” (Lewis). In March 1993, supporters of the Hutu government began to compile lists of “traitors” whom they planned to eliminate. The reason for the beginning of the mass extermination of the Tutsis was the assassination of Rwanda’s President Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. In a few hours, the military formed the Crisis Committee and immediately gave the order to kill the Tutsis (“Human Rights Watch”).
The military and volunteers combed the houses in search of Tutsis and killed them on the spot, sparing neither women nor children. Checkpoints were placed on all Hutu roads. The people passing through them were checked documents, as in the Rwandan passports there was a column “nationality”. If representatives of the Tutsi fell into the hands of the Hutu, they were immediately cut with machetes, and bodies were thrown right on the sides of the road. Later, the national identity of people began to be identified “by eye”: Tutsis were determined by the absence of traces of stubborn dirt on the palms, correct pronunciation, a straight nose and high growth (Lewis).
The UN established April 7 as the day of remembrance of the genocide in Rwanda. In Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, there is a genocide museum, which is also a memorial to the victims of the tragedy. The genocide in Rwanda has had a significant impact on the population of the country and neighboring territories. The huge number of victims, the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, and the complete destruction of the infrastructure have caused an economic crisis. Forced many Hutus to flee to neighboring countries (“Human Rights Watch”). Many Hutus who fled the country as a result of the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front settled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where many Tutsis and Hutus continue to live as refugees.