Rwanda's Genocide

Cole Kammler and Margaret Wise

Thesis

Rwanda suffered from deforestation, drought and genocide when the Hutu attempted to wipe out the Tutsi population. These aspects of the Rwandan civilization led to its demise.

Background Information About Rwanda

Rwanda is a densely populated country located in southern Africa, slightly south of the equator. It is a country of over 11 million people. This population of this country has had an overall affect on their well-being. The people of Rwanda form into three groups, the Hutu, Tutsi, and the Twa. However, the min groups are the Hutu and the Tutsi. 84% of Rwandans are of Hutu decent, with 14% of Rwandan being of Tutsi origin. Historically, the Hutu and the Tutsi groups ave not gotten along, leading to the conflict in their country. The Tutsi people were considered superior to the Hutu (majority of people), because of their light skin and finer features. This irritated political conflict between the two groups.

Environmental Aspects

Rwanda's environmental problems focused on deforestation due to overpopulation. The population during the time of the Rwandan genocides averaged at about 600 people per square mile. Many of the trees in these areas were being cut down to make room for the people of the country to live. Trees were also being cut down to provide land on which the people could grow food. Because of these changes in population of this small country, the environment issues regarding deforestation in Rwanda increased. Additionally in Rwanda, there was drought do to overpopulation and this deforestation. When most of the trees were chopped down, the water sources evaporated, causing widespread drought throughout the country. With out food or water, the civilization could not endure and their fore this contributed to their demise.

Political conflicts

Political conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi groups caused the genocide of 1994, when hundreds of thousands of Tutsi people were killed by Hutu extremists. The majority of the Tutsi people living in Rwanda were killed, about 70%. The total population killed in Rwanda was about 20%. Ever since 1990, there has been an ongoing tension between the Tutsi people who migrated into Rwanda and the mostly Hutu government. The Tutsi leading group, called the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), has historically never gotten along with the national government of Rwanda. The two groups ended up fighting each other for power, and when the Hutu people came into power. The Tutsi got upset. This lead to the killing of the Hutu president of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana. On April 6, 1994, a group of Tutsi's killed the president by shooting the plane he was in, crashing it. Several hours after this, the Hutu group conducted a killing spree of all the Tutsis they could find. Over the next 100 days, as many and 1,000,000 Tutsis were estimated to be killed. This political conflict between the two groups caused the genocide of 1994 in Rwanda, eventually leading to their collapse.

People of Rwanda

This picture shows the physical differences between the people of Rwanda.

Works Cited

Diamond, Jared M. "Chapter 10: Rwanda's Genocide." Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005. N. pag. Print.

Kamola, Isaac A. "The Global Coffee Economy and the Production of Genocide in Rwanda." Third World Quarterly 28.3 (2007): 571-92. Print.

"Rwandan Genocide." Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

"Rwanda." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2001. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://worldhistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Results?q=317325>.