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The History of the Tutsi and the Hutu

The Hutu

The Tutsi

Conflict in Burundi

Works Cited

Genocide in Rwanda

1962 brought Rwandan independence. Gregoire Kayibanda was the first elected Rwandan President. He was also the Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (PARMEHUTU) leader. He spoke about peaceful negotiations on international issues, social and economic elevation for everybody and an integrated development of Rwanda. The Government was actually based around a Hutu supremacy ideology. Corruption began to fester in the 1960’s.
In 1973 the military took power and disbanded and dissolved the National Assembaly and the PARMEHUTU party. Maj. Gen. Juvenal Habyarimana led the takeover and became President. In 1975 he formed the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND). Their goals were to promote peace, unity and national development. Rwanda became a one party state. The 1978 election supported the new constitution and President Habyarimana.

President Habyarimana was re-elected in 1983 and 1988. In 1990 he announced his intention of making Rwanda a multi party nation. Rwandan exiles came together to form the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). They invaded. They blamed the government for not being able to democratize the country and resolve the issues of the approximately 500,000 Tutsi refugees. The war went on for 2 years. The cease fire was signed in 1992.

On April 6, 1994 President Habyarimana and the President of Burundi’s plane was shot down, and both Presidents died. Immediately afterthe plane was shot down, military and militia groups began to kill Tutsi and Hutu moderates. The Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimana, and her 10 Belgian body guards were some of the first victims. Overall, 800,000 Tutsi and Hutu moderates were killed between April and July by the militia, also known as interahamwe. Local officials and the government sponsored radio told ordinary people to join in the killing. The MRND was implicated in the encouragement and organization of the genocide. The RPF continued its war along side of the genocide.

Zone Turquoise was the name of the southwest region of Rwanda where French troops were trying to stifle the violence. Members of the genocide rump regime escaped through this zone into eastern Zaire, also known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Rwandan army was eventually defeated by the RPF and they fled into Zaire, along with 2 million refugees. Refugees also fled to Tanzania and Burundi.

On July 16, 1994 the war ended with the RPF taking control of the region. 1 million were dead, 2 million had fled and another 1 million had been displaced internally. The international humanitarian relief effort was one of the largest in history.

In 1996 there was a local rebellion in Zaire, with a subsequent invasion of the region by Rwandan and Ugandan forces. This sent 600,000 refugees back to Rwanda and later 500,000 came back from Tanzania.

In 2001 there was the creation of a grass root village level of justice. This was called the gacaca. The villages held their own trials and sentenced the individuals they found guilty of participating in the genocide. By 2009, the gacaca’s had seen 1.1 million cases, with only 2,291 cases remaining.