Ethnic Dichotomy In Rwanda Genocide

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The Hutu-Tutsi dichotomy has long been (and still remains) a major source of instability in the Great Lakes Region. More specifically, in Rwanda memories of the 1994 genocide are still visible in contemporary politics. Building on this, this paper explores the role played by ethnicity during the Rwandan genocide. Addressing this question matters if we are to understand how the current Tutsi-led regime of Paul Kagame (in power since the end of the genocide) plays upon the notion of ‘ethnic reconciliation’ to justify his monopoly of power . Therefore, in answering the question, the paper will argue that ethnicity – here intended as a ‘subjective belief in common descent’ allegedly ‘having genetic foundations’ – deserves careful consideration…show more content…
Overall, the movement’s goal was to assert the right of the Hutu ethnic majority to rule. As soon as the revolution managed to bring Belgian colonialism and the Tutsi monarchy to an end (1962), PARMEHUTU established itself as the only legal party in newly-independent Rwanda . By that time, around 200.000 Tutsi fled to neighbouring countries following discrimination, persecution and mass killings . Some of them gathered into armed groups (the so-called ‘inyenzi’) and launched unsuccessful attacks in Rwanda . The issue of Tutsi refugees in Uganda was also central to the creation of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) in 1979 and to their invasion of Rwanda in 1990…show more content…
In fact, after three years of protracted war, the parties met in Tanzania under the mediation of other international actors and eventually signed the Arusha Agreements (1993). The accords promoted a power-sharing solution and established a ‘Broad-Based Transitional Government’ , highly contested by the Hutu extremist ‘Coalition pour la Défense de la République’ (CDR, founded in 1992) . While the peace negotiations were pushing towards a multiparty democracy, the country had never experienced democracy before, had an almost inexistent civil society and no institutions to control possible human rights violations. Therefore, coupled with the destabilising effects of the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs), the democratisation process urged by the Agreements greatly weakened the Habyarimana regime and Hutu control over the country, thus undermining any peace
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