Genocide in Rwanda . April 1994. Genocide . Genocide is defined as the systematic killing of all of the people from a national, ethnic, or religious group, or an attempt to do this. It is also called ethnic-cleaning. Prior Knowledge.
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Genocide in Rwanda April 1994
Genocide • Genocide is defined as the systematic killing of all of the people from a national, ethnic, or religious group, or an attempt to do this. • It is also called ethnic-cleaning.
Prior Knowledge • Can you think of any other times in history where genocide has taken place?
Answers • The extermination of more than 10 million Native Americans in North America • The Holocaust • Darfur and the Sudan
Origin of the Conflict • Rwanda is a country in Africa that had a population of around 7 million people in 1994 (currently 309 million people in the U. S.). • The people were comprised of 3 main groups: the Hutu (85%), the Tutsis(14%), and the Twa (1%).
Origin of Rwandan Conflict • It had been previously colonized by Germany. • Once Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles, control of Belgium went to Belgium. • FACT CHECK: Which war did the Treaty of Versailles end?
Origin of the Conflict • The Hutus and the Tutsis speak the same language. • They embrace the same cultural practices. • The ethnic groups were turned into a class system under the Belgians in 1918.
Origin of Conflict • Both the Germans and the Belgians developed a class system in Rwanda (one group received better treatment than another). • Both countries favored the Tutsis over the Hutu. • Belgium took things a step further by creating ethnic identity cards for them to carry so people would know if they were Hutu or Tutsi.
Favoritism • The Tutsis were treated as if they were far more superior than the Hutus. • They were given better jobs, placed in official positions, and offered Western-styled education. • The Tutsis eventually began to see themselves as “better” than the Hutus.
Turbulent Times • Hutu groups began to rebel against both the Belgians and the Tutsis. • Belgian troops were forced to withdraw from Rwanda in 1962. • Tutsis, knowing that their protection would be gone with the Belgians, Tutsi citizens fled Rwanda by the thousands.
Fleeing the City • By 1960, more than half of the Tutsi population had been forced to flee. • By 1973, the Hutu began purging the Tutsis from local universities. There was an ethnic quota put on hiring. Tutsis weren’t allowed to have more than 9% of the available jobs.
Mass Murder • Widespread killings of Tutsi citizens began again. • Politicians and journalists who were opposed to the killings were also singled out. • The fighting between the two groups continued throughout the 70s and the 80s. • In 1993, the current Hutu president decided to sign a peace agreement between the two groups.
A Call for Peace • The United Nations sent in troops to help the Hutu president coordinate the peace agreement between the Hutus and the Tutsi rebels. • Instead of the Hutu president immediately signing the resolution, he stalled on it. • This heightened tensions between the two groups and the massacres began again.
A call for Help • Hutu extremist groups began to use the radio to call for the annihilation of all of the Tutsis in Rwanda. The extremists informed the people that they would use a code when it was time to begin eliminating them. The code would be “cut the tall trees”. • Various human rights groups began to beg the international community to intervene.
Death of a President • On April 6, 1994, the plane that was carrying the Hutu president was shot down. Hutu rebels immediately blamed the Tutsis. • The Rwandan Armed Forces went house to house killing Tutsis. They also killed politicians that they believed had “tricked” the president into accepting the idea of a peace agreement.
Senseless Killings • They wiped out entire neighborhoods at a time. • It is estimated that at least 200,000 people participated in the violence against the Tutsis. • Hutus that chose not to participate in the mass killings were killed themselves. • Tutsi women were captured and brutally assaulted at the hands of Tutsi rebels.
Unable to Help • Soldiers from the United Nations desperately wanted to help the Tutsis, but they had only been given orders to “monitor” the situation. • After repeated requests for permission to intervene were denied, the soldiers accepted their fate and watched idly as hundreds of thousands of Tutsi citizens were killed.
Unable to Help • Belgian soldiers had been assigned to protect the Hutu prime minister since he was seen as “moderate”. • Hutu rebels killed the prime minister and the Belgian troops. They were tortured, shot and hacked to death with machetes. • Instead of sending in more troops, the United Nations decided to cut the number of troops stationed in Rwanda (the troops were reduced from 2500 to 250).
U. N. Security Counsel meeting • 24 days later(April 30, 1994), the United Nations Security Counsel met to discuss the situation in Rwanda. • They condemned the acts of the Hutu militia, but they were very careful not to use the word “genocide” in their meeting. • Had they described the situation as “genocide”, they would have been forced to act.
U. N. Security Counsel Meeting • Had the word “genocide” actually been used, the Security Counsel would have had a legal obligation to “prevent and punish” those committing the crimes. • Thousands of Rwandans were able to flee to nearby countries, but hundreds of thousands continued to be slaughtered.
Help On the Way??? • 17 days later (May 17, 1994), the United Nations makes the decision to send in 6800 troops. • Troops were not immediately sent in because of infighting between the United States and the other members of the U. N. over who was going to pay for the troops and the equipment.
Sending in the French • The U. N. dispatched French soldiers (instead of an international police force) into Rwanda to establish Refugee camps and “safe areas” for the fleeing Tutsis. • Killings continue and eventually spread to the “safe” areas.
The “G” Word • June 22, 1994, more than two months after the killings began, the United States finally uses the word “GENOCIDE”. • Ethiopian troops are dispatched. An international police force is still not sent in. • The killings continue.
Getting Involved • 4 months later in November, the United Nations appoints an international court and gives them power to prosecute anyone suspected of being involved in genocide. It would be a year before they would issue their first indictments. • Meanwhile, the West joined together and pledged to send $600 million to help aid the Rwandans.
Pleading for Peace • September 20, 1995, Pope John Paul II traveled to Africa and pleaded for peace in Rwanda. • In December 1996, trials finally began for Hutus that were involved in the 1994 genocide. • In December 1999, a Hutu militia leader was found guilty for his role in the 1994 murders.