This post has already been read 448 times!

While we like to imagine that genocides are generally politically motivated, Rwanda is an example in which it was mostly the result of  tribal differences. The short-lived killing spree, which left between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people dead, was the culmination of longstanding ethnic competition and tensions between the minority Tutsi. It seems that the Tutsi had controlled the country for centuries, lording their position of power over the majority Hutus, until they were overthrown in a 1962 Hutu rebellion. Tensions remained high after that and eventually erupted into full-blown war when, in April of 1994, Hutu President Habyarimana died under mysterious conditions in a plane crash. This elicited bloody reprisals by Hutus against their Tutsi neighbors in retaliation.

While not specifically orchestrated by the Hutu-led government, scholars maintain that the spontaneous, and violent, reaction to the assassination was encouraged by the Rwandan armed forces and largely carried out by Hutu militias, with the full knowledge and blessing of the government, making it directly culpable. Also responsible for the massacre was the unwillingness of the UN, or other western powers, to take decisive action early on. The UN even went so far as to evacuate what few troops it had in the country, to prevent harm from befalling them! President Bill Clinton has since admitted that his lack of timely action in Rwanda remains the greatest mistake of his Presidency. How different things might have been, had only the world had the backbone to have done something.

This post has already been read 448 times!

Originally posted 2017-12-18 09:28:06.