Rwanda Imperialism

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Rwanda gained its independence from Belgium on 1st July 1962. Prior to its this colonisation, there were two ethnicities living in Rwanda, ‘the Hutus’ and ‘the Tutsis’. The Hutus were mainly farmers made up most of the population, the Tutsis made up between 15-18% and were mainly involved with cattle rearing. During the period of European colonisation, Belgium took over Rwanda and, on doing so, succeeded in creating a massive divide among these people. The Belgians introduced a European class system of hierarchy to Rwanda – the Tutsis who were already “prominently in the royalty” (however still peasants) were favored by the Belgians (History of the Genocide in Rwanda). Before this simplification of the power structure by Belgium, there had…show more content…
As a result, there were mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutus – leading to a massive wave of refugees fleeing Rwanda, mainly taking refuge in Uganda, Tanzania and Zaire. They were denied entry back into Rwanda by the president Juvenal Habyarimana on the grounds that the country was over populated and there were no opportunities for the refugees economically (Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations). Further problems were created in 1988 when the Tutsis formed a rebel army known as the ‘Rwandese Patriotic Front’ in Uganda. Its aims were to “secure repatriation of Rwandans in exile and to reform the Rwandan government, including political power sharing” (Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations). On 1st October 1990 the Rwandese Patriotic Front, with a force power of 7,000, attacked Rwanda. Due to this attack a policy of propaganda was adopted by the government which, as a result, caused all Tutsis to be labelled as members of the Rwandese Patriotic Front and all Hutus members of opposing parties to be labelled as traitors. This propaganda was spread through the press, media and radio and it created more tension and problems in the country (Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United…show more content…
Camps were set up for former Rwandese soldiers to rearm, these camps were one of the reasons war broke out between Congo and Rwanda in 1996. To this day Rwandese forces are found along the border and continue to attack citizens (Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations). Since then there have been genocide trails for those involved in the mass killings.
In conclusion, the European colonisation of Rwanda by Belgium created problems it was unable to solve after the country gained its independence. The makeshift power structure implemented by Belgium created a polarized, racist society which became the perfect framework for a revolution after the country was
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