Rwandan Genocide (1994)


Figure 1.--

Rwanda's Hutu majority in 1994 organized and carried out the mass murder of the Tutsi minority. The Hutis in only 100 days, slaughtered 0.8 million Tutsis and moderate Hutu political opponents. Incredibly the Hutus slaughtered the Tutsis at a faster pace than the NAZIs murdered the Jews in World War II. The Hutu massacres seem even more unfathomanable than the NAZI genocide. One journalist reports, "... how do you account for the evil we saw in the green hills of that nation in 1994, when one day we saw a mother with a baby tied to her back gleefully using a machete to hack up another woman also carrying an infant?" [Hartley] A U.N. peace keeping force in the country was unable to protect Tutsis seeking sanctuary. Finally as the Hutu massacres intensified, the U.N. withdrew its force, completely abandoning Tutsi refugees to their grisly fate. Only a Tutsi rebel force defeating the Hutu dominated Rwandan Army finally ended the killing. France had strong contacts woth the Hutu Government and had good inteligence on what was transpiring. A small French force toa ssist the U.N. Peace Keepers might have prevented the killing. France did send troops, but only to evacuate its own nationals. America also failed to act, paralized by the 1993 debacle of the humanitarian relief effort in Somalia.

Background


Planning

Rwanda's Hutu majority in 1994 organized and carried out the mass murder of the Tutsi minority.

Incident

Unidentified terrorists shot diwn a plane carrying the moderate president of Rwandan who was trying to defuse tensions between Hutus and Tutsis (April 6, 1994). He and the president of neigboring Burundi who was aldo onboard was killed. The incident served as the sinal to launch the mass killing of Rwanda's Tutsi minority.

The Killing

The Hutis in only 100 days, slaughtered 0.8 million Tutsis and moderate Hutu political opponents. Hutu mobs went door to door searching for Tutsis. Incredibly the Hutus slaughtered the Tutsis at a faster pace than the NAZIs murdered the Jews in World War II. More than 800,000 Tutsis were murdered. The Hutus killed in many ways. Often Tusi men, women, and children were hacked to death with machetes.

Reason

The Hutu massacres seem even more unfathomanable than the NAZI genocide. One journalist reports, "... how do you account for the evil we saw in the green hills of that nation in 1994, when one day we saw a mother with a baby tied to her back gleefully using a machete to hack up another woman also carrying an infant?" [Hartley]

United Nations

A U.N. peace keeping force in the country was unable to protect Tutsis seeking sanctuary. Finally as the Hutu massacres intensified, the U.N. withdrew its force, completely abandoning Tutsi refugees to their grisly fate.

Tutsi Rebels

Only a Tutsi rebel force defeating the Hutu dominated Rwandan Army finally ended the killing.

France's Role

France had strong contacts woth the Hutu Government and had good inteligence on what was transpiring. A small French force toa ssist the U.N. Peace Keepers might have prevented the killing. France did send troops, but only to evacuate its own nationals.

America's Role

America also failed to act, paralized by the 1993 debacle of the humanitarian relief effort in Somalia.

Sources

Hartley, Aidn. The Zanzibar Coast: The Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands (Atlantic Monthlky, 2003), 414p.






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Created: 2:52 AM 11/27/2004
Last updated: 2:52 AM 11/27/2004