History: The Rwandan Genocide

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The Rwandan Genocide “Even for a country with such a turbulent history as Rwanda, the scale and speed of the slaughter left its people reeling” (Rwanda: How the genocide happened). This quote from BBC News perfectly describes the inhumanities that occurred during the 100 day span known as the Rwandan Genocide. The Rwandan Genocide is one of the most recent genocides in history, occurring in 1994 from April to July. This genocide was caused by growing ethnic segregation between two groups that resulted in brutal murderings and a question that is asked to this day: Why didn’t the UN or any other major power step in to help stop these atrocities? The conflicts leading up to the Rwandan Genocide can be traced back to european colonization of…show more content…
According to History’s “The Rwandan Genocide”, “Among the first victims of the genocide were the moderate Hutu Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and her 10 Belgian bodyguards, killed on April 7th.” When her 10 Belgian bodyguards were killed, this caused Belgium to start withdrawing their troops from Rwanda. Hutu extremists used this to their advantage. These extremists in government believed that elimination of the Tutsi would allow them to remain in power. They encouraged everyone to take part in the killing, those who refused were killed. Participants were incentivized by money, food, and land to partake in the killings. In “A Short History of the Rwandan Genocide”, it discusses how the Interahamwe (an anti-Tutsi youth organization established by Hutu extremists) established identification card checking roadblocks that would kill Tutsis on sight. Following this, Hutu extremists killed anyone in office that was Tutsi or a Hutu moderate, and assembled groups to go door to door killing Tutsis (Rosenberg). Many were tortured before being killed. Tutsi women were raped, possibly kept as sex slaves, defiled, tortured, and killed. To escape the slaughtering, many Tutsis seeked refuge in churches, hospitals, schools, and government offices. These places of refuge became sites of mass murderings. One of the worst mass murderings took place at the Nyarubuye Roman Catholic Church, where…show more content…
As former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said in History’s “The Rwandan Genocide”, “The failure of Rwanda is 10 times greater than the failure of Yugoslavia. Because in Yugoslavia the international community was interested, was involved. In Rwanda nobody was interested.” So why did no one step in? According to “A Short History of the Rwandan Genocide”, it is believed that since Hutu moderates were killed in the early stages, countries believed the conflict to be more of a civil war rather than a genocide. Another possible reason is that world powers realized it was a genocide but didn 't want to pay to stop it (Rosenberg). Whatever the reason may be, the world powers should’ve learned from the Holocaust and came together to stop the Rwandan Genocide. By the time major powers started sending help, the genocide had been over for

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