Unfortunately the history of many African countries (after all, as the history of many European or Asian countries) has many dark spots, wars, hard times, epidemics, disasters, famine and even such terrible phenomenon of human history as genocide – the complete destruction of certain representatives of the people or ethnic group. The most terrible genocide in history was Adolf Hitler unleashed against the Jews, the results of it more than awful – 6 million Jews who lived in different European countries, were killed by the Nazis, died in concentration camps, were shot and tortured. It is a great tragedy, but in addition were genocide and smaller, for example the Armenian Genocide, held by the Turks in the early 20th century, or the terrible genocide of the people Cambodia, held bloodiest communist dictator Pol Pot against his own people in the 60s of last century. But there was a genocide, which few people know, and surprisingly, it was not long ago, some 20 years ago, in 1994, in an East African country – Rwanda.
The victims of the genocide were 800 thousand Rwandans (almost the whole population of a big city), representatives of the tribe Tutsi who were killed by their own fellow citizens, too Rwandans, but representatives of the other tribe – the Hutu. And before you understand why this happens, it is necessary to look into the history of this African country.
Rwanda – a small country in Central Eastern Africa. Since ancient times it was inhabited by several tribes, the largest of which actually were Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Hutu tribes were sedentary, engaged in agriculture, on the contrary Tutsi were nomadic pastoralists with large herds of livestock wandering here and there. And of course like any decent nomads Tutsi were more militant, and in a period of ancient history of Rwanda, they conquered sedentary agricultural tribes Hutu.
Next Rwandan society divided into a two castes – the ruling Tutsi who held all executive positions (including the post of King of Rwanda) and the most prosperous part of the population and so-called “proletariat” Hutu. And what’s interesting to us that representatives of tribes Hutu, Tutsi that at first look would be for one face, but in fact they are different in some inconspicuous signs: a mostly Tutsi nose slightly different form. Also, for many centuries Tutsi domination were banned intermarriage between members of different tribes.
But then came the 20th century, to Rwanda came white Europeans. First Tutsi kings swore allegiance to the German Kaiser, but during World War I, Belgian troops attacked its territory and its fully captured in 1916. More and up until 1962 Rwanda was a Belgian colony. In the early years of Belgian rule Tutsi tribe representatives retained their privileges and aristocratic status, but since 50s Belgian colonialists began to curtail the rights of Tutsi, and the increasingly senior positions set representatives of the “proletariat” came from the Hutu tribe. Among the Hutu is increasingly growing dissatisfaction with centuries of oppression Tutsi, which in 1959 passed into Tutsi rebellion against the king. Rebellion come to a real little civil war resulted in the elimination of the monarchy (in 1960), a number of the Tutsi tribe became refugees in neighboring countries, Tanzania and Uganda. Rwanda became a presidential republic and became independent at the same time, the first president and head of state actually became the first representative of the Hutu tribe, a man named Kayibanda.
However, President Kayibanda did not stay long, after military coup Minister of National Defense, Major General Habyarimana Zhyuvenal (incidentally also Hutu) came to power. However this is a typical situation for African countries the second half of the 20th century, where military coups have became usual.
So the years passed, and now coming to an end the 20th century, came the 90’s, Soviet Union has collapsed, the world is increasingly gaining signs of globalization (the author of this article went to school) in Rwanda descendants of Tutsi who became refugees in 60 years to regain power conceived and created the so-called National Front of Rwanda (the NRF), who without thinking twice began fighting against Rwandan Hutu government. As you know aggression create aggression and violence create violence, so among Hutu tribes began to actively grow hateful sentiments against the Tutsi, who in their imagination presented in the form of centuries-old oppressors. In addition Tutsi were more often richer, wealthy (and envy from the time of the biblical Cain, is the cause of almost all crimes). At the same time formed Hutu extremist organization – Interahamve (on Rwandan language – “those who attack together”). It then became the main blade of genocide.
BEGINNING THE GENOCIDE
First president of Rwanda old soldier Zhyuvenal Habyarimana tried to communicate peacefully with Tutsi. This caused resentment among radical Hutu. So the Hutu made another military coup – April 6, 1994, President returned by plane from some African international conferences, and on approach to land the presidential plane was shot down by a MANPADS (Man-portable air-defense systems) militarized groupings radical Hutu. At the same time radical Hutu accused in this crime Tutsi. Since then wave of violence spread across the country. Tutsi who often lived in the neighborhood of Hutu, became victims of their own neighbors. Especially raged Interahamve killing not only Tutsi, but Hutu that did not support this bloody madness, or even hiding a Tutsi. Interahambve were killing every Tutsi, even women, old man, young children. Killing speed in Rwanda was in 5 times higher, than killings in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.
Also were killed ten Belgian UN peacekeepers guarding the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Agatha Uvilinhiyimanu, she belonged to the moderate Hutu and was a proponent of peaceful dialogue with the Tutsi. Because of this, after the death of the president, she became one of the first victims of the violence that swept the country soon. Her house was surrounded by members of the same infamous Interahamve, Belgian peacekeepers guarding the Prime Minister, offered to surrender, promising life, but after treacherously murdered. Prime Minister Agathe Uvilinhiyimana was killed with her husband, but thankfully they managed to hide and save their children (now found asylum in Switzerland).
RADIO 1000 HILL.
A special role in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 belongs to the radical Hutu radio station known as “Radio 1000 hills.” Radio 1000 hills, was whipping real hatred and enmity among Hutu against Tutsi which “eat children Hutu” and “do not even people, but the cockroaches”. You know what’s interesting in remote Rwandan villages where “Radio 1000 hills” is not broadcasted, not caught, the level of violence was much more less, or even almost non-existent.
In fact, the genocide in Rwanda – a very telling example of how the media (in this case African radio station) can influence public opinion, causing massive real madness when a neighbor who lived with you for life, and seem to be quite normal person now going to kill you, just because you belong to another ethnic group, because you have a little different form of the nose. The radio can actually kill. So it was in Rwanda, really killing radio, with radio in one hand and with bloody machete in another, members of Interahamve went from one house to another, killing all Tutsi, while radio broadcasts inspired them kill all Tutsi as cockroaches. Now this radio DJ and its founder are in prison for a crime against humanity – incitement to genocide in Rwanda.
ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Interesting, what the international community has done to stop the genocide. You know, absolutely nothing. Even Belgium, which has its own peacekeepers were killed did not do any action, only all Europeans and Americans citizens were urgently evacuated from Rwanda.
Especially shameful behavior was in Rwanda school “Don Bosco”. There was a military staff contingent of UN peacekeepers there and of course hundreds of Tutsi were seeking shelter there. Soon to the soldiers of the UN was given the order to evacuate, and they did just leave to a certain death hundreds of men, women, children Tutsi who have found temporary shelter in schools. Immediately after the UN soldiers left the school Interhambve staged massacre there.
After the start of the bloody madness that swept Rwanda, Tutsi militias who were in neighboring countries, their National Front Rwanda NFR immediately began an active attack on the country, in order to rescue its fellow Tutsi, actively exterminated by Hutu. And as they learned to fight well, soon almost the entire country was liberated from the Hutu radical, many of which are, in turn, began to flee Rwanda in fear of punishment from the Tutsi.
The economic impact of the genocide were terrible, shortly after it came famine and various epidemics caused terrible unhygienic in refugee camps. Let these terrible events will become dark, but instructive historical lesson for us all.
Genocide in Rwanda in film
Finally, the event embodied in the film, good film about these events was filmed in 2005, entitled “Shooting Dogs” about Tutsi girl who survived the massacre at the school Don Bosco.
But the best film about this event – a “Hotel Rwanda,” I advise everyone to see it, it shows how simple servant, working in Hotel, risking his life save a lot of Tutsi. The film shows the courage and nobility of a simple man who in this madness has not lost his human face. This film, like “Shooting Dogs” was made on real events, everything there is not fiction, but in fact happened.