Rwandan Genocide Essays

Introduction for Essay

When thinking about the word genocide, the Holocaust is an example that will most likely come to mind. Many people do not know about any of the other genocides that have happened in the world because they do not get as much recognition as the Holocaust does. In 1994, genocide in the country of Rwanda took place, and mass amounts of people were killed. Like the Holocaust, there was a group of people who were the main target of death. During the Holocaust, all of the Jewish people were targeted; in Rwanda, people part of a tribe called the ‘Tutsi’ were targeted; all of the Tutsi people were the main victims of killing throughout the whole genocide. The leading ethnic tribe was the ‘Hutus”; they were the tribe that was going after the Tutsi people and causing violence to occur. Although the Rwanda Genocide is not well known, it should still be an event that is remembered and respected because of the history behind it, such as the events leading up to the start, the methods of killing, and the long-lasting effects it had on the world.

Research Paper on Rwandan Genocide

To begin, the country of Rwanda was conquered by Belgium during the colonial period; they were the country’s new rulers. The Belgians favored the Tutsi people over the Hutus, which ‘created a legacy of tension that exploded into violence, even before Rwanda gained independence’ (Rwandan Genocide, 1). As the years went on, the Hutu population increased and became significantly more than the Tutsi population. In 1959, there was a Hutu revolution. The Hutus tribe started a rebellion against Belgium and the Tutsi. This resulted in many deaths and over 300,000 Tutsi people being exiled from their own country. This was later called ‘The Hutu Peasant Revolution.’

This revolution turned Rwanda into a republic and later helped them gain independence from Belgium because the Belgians did not want to be associated with the violence. After this revolution, the violence began to slow down until the early 1990s. In the early 1990s, the Tutsi refugees and a few Hutu that made up the ‘Rwandese Patriotic Front’ planned to overthrow Habyarimana, a Hutu that was president and in charge of the military. This resulted in massacres directed toward killing off the Tutsis. In comparison to the Holocaust, when the Jewish were given Stars of David to separate them from regular German citizens, the tribes were given identification cards to help distinguish the difference between the two. This made the genocide a lot easier to carry out because they were able to know who was a Tutsi and who was a Hutu.

Argumentative Essay Examples on Rwandan Genocide

Afterward, on April 6th, 1994, a new attack finally sparked the Rwandan genocide to begin. A plane carrying Habyarimana, along with a few other leaders, was flying over the country and was shot down. There was no main suspect or specific shooter that was guilty, but it was thought to be the Rwandese Patriotic Front’s idea, considering their plans to attack Habyarimana in the past to gain power. This event was said to be ‘the final nail in the coffin’ (Rwanda: How, 1). It was the last incident before the Hutus finally erupted into full-fledged annihilation; they thought the only way to gain back power was to completely wipe out the entire Tutsi population.

Within only hours after the leader’s aircraft crashed to the ground, armed forces and a Hutus militia started slaughtering mass amounts of Tutsis. This was their revenge for them shooting down the plane, so by then, they felt no remorse for their actions of killing. The Rwanda Armed Forces wanted to join the action as well and be on the Hutu’s side. Most of the country was now against the Tutsis and wanted them all dead. Everyone was encouraged to join in and help the Hutu. In some instances, Hutu civilians were forced by the armed forces to kill Tutsis. Two more militia groups, the Interahamwe, which means ‘those who fight together,’ and the Impuzamugambi, which translates to ‘those who attack together,’ joined in on the killing.

All of these groups worked with each other to achieve the same goal. The forces came together and set up roadblocks. They began to kill Tutsis one by one, and even sometimes, a couple of Hutu ended up being killed. They mainly used machetes to carry out the execution, but sometimes the Hutu who had HIV or AIDS would purposely rape women to spread and infect them with the disease. The murder spread from the city of Kigali, where the plane fell all around the rest of the country in a short period of time.

Thesis Statement for Rwandan Genocide Essay

Similarly, the Holocaust’s killings had spread throughout Europe and became very well-known and dangerous for anyone in its path. During the mass murder, the Rwandese Patriotic Front continued to fight for power. It was a civil war going on besides the genocide. The RPF had gained most of the country by July, and this had resulted in over 2 million Hutus fleeing the country to Zaire, modern-day Congo, to stay at refugee camps. After the RBF gained most of the country, the genocide began to slow down.

Titles: Aftermath of the Genocide and Recovery

Later on, the RBF defeated the Hutu and outlawed them. They began killing thousands of Hutus and obtained Kigali, the capital city. Neighboring countries of Rwanda helped out, and the Rwandese Patriotic Front was finally able to gain back control of Rwanda and form a new constitution. The new constitution’s goal was to get Rwanda at peace with no more fighting or death. An estimated 5 million people died, including civilians, Hutus, Tutsis, and anyone else involved in the tragedy, and the constitution is looking to not let that happen again any time soon. After the genocide had ended, ‘the country faced years of reconciliation and recovery’ (Rwanda Genocide of 1994, 1).

Many people were greatly affected by this genocide in a variety of ways. Not only were the people affected, but also the economy and leadership were greatly affected as well. For starters, Rwanda’s economy was diminished, and it took the country many years to recover from it; the country’s land, which was rich in minerals, had become scarce. Other neighboring countries had been influenced, such as Congo; the country was filled with refugees from when the Hutu fled away from Rwanda after the Tutsi started gaining power. The country of Congo was also forced to divide due to its population of new people and the genocide affecting it. There are also still deaths to this day in Congo that are related to ethnic problems and discrimination.

Many Tutsi women were still infected with the disease after the genocide ended due to HIV and AIDS being spread around by Hutu men. It has also become illegal to talk about ethnicity in Rwanda because that was the main reason tension started and led to the genocide happening. There have been trials that have prosecuted the people that were guilty of the genocide. There were thousands of people who died in jail that were waiting to go on trial, and there were 22 people who were publicly executed by a firing squad because they were convicted guilty of genocide. There was also a large number of people who were forced to face life in prison.


To summarize, this genocide was an experience that nobody should ever have to go through. There were many tragic events before and during it that should never be forgotten about. Although the Rwanda Genocide is not well known, it should still be an event that is remembered and respected because of the history behind it, such as the events leading up to the start, the methods of killing, and the long-lasting effects it had on the world. Families and people should not have to witness and go through something so devastating in their lives. It is sad to think that these cruel events killed enormous amounts of people, and they do not even get enough recognition. This was an event that was fatal to millions of people and still continues to affect people to this day.

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