The Story of Rwanda - The Story of Rwanda Country Profile...

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Unformatted text preview: The Story of Rwanda Country Profile Official Name: Rwandese Republic Capital: Kigali (232,733 in 1991) Size: 10,169 square miles Slightly smaller than state of MD People Population: 8,648,248 (2003) HIV/AIDS Rate of Infection: 5.1% (adults) Infant Mortality Rate: 101.68 deaths/1,000 live births Fertility Rate: 5.55 children born/woman (2000 est.) Life expectancy at birth: 39.18 60% below poverty line People Ethnic Groups: Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (pygmoid) 1% Literacy Rate: 70.4% Televisions: Less than 1000 (1997) One of mostly densely populated countries in Africa Genocide "The willful and systematic destruction of an ethnic, cultural or political groups" (Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary) Selective Genocide: you do not target the entire ethnic group opposition Those who are politically active, leaders of the PreColonial Histories Rwanda and Burundi Movements of peoples and goods were commonplace throughout the Great Lakes Regions Boundaries were generally more malleable and contested Many forms of stratification from centrally organized kingdoms in Central Rwanda, to stateless peoples such as Sangara of South Central Tanzania Arguable how salient ethnic sentiment was at this time. Many scholars argue that clear ethnic/racial boundaries were not created until colonial times. Some argue that colonists believed that tribes existed and so Africans built tribes in which to belong. Tribes were thus fashioned by colonial administrators (in the name of efficient management), missionaries (by writing of "tribal" histories), and by Africans themselves who were clever enough to manipulate, contest, and create their tribes' traditions, and histories to suit their needs. African Agency Africans did NOT sit idly by while Europeans refashioned their identities they actively participated in shaping their identities and those of their neighbors Rwandan and Burundian `Races' According to the Germans and Belgians... Tutsi: Called Hamites as a racial designation Thought to be superior by colonial administrators due to radicalized thinking of the day Tutsi were considered to be more attractive )ie, more Aryan0like features) and thus more intelligent )since outer image reflects inner essence) and thus more fit to rule (make up between 1014% of both Rwanda and Burundi's population) Rwandan and Burundian `Races' Hutu Called Negroids as a racial designation Agriculturalists, ugly, plodding, ore suitted to manual Twa labor than rule Make up between 8085% of both Rwanda and Burundi's population Called Pygmoid as a racial designation Likened to monkeys. 1 of both Rwanda and Burundi's population Rwanda: more highly centralized than Burundi. It had a king who ruled by divine right. While there were distinctions between Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa, these did not take on today's significance until the colonial period Burundi: less centralized and less hierarchical. There were many smaller "princedoms" and there were Hutu princes. Rulers were continually vying for greater position in relation to one another. Colonial History Rwanda and Burundi became one administrative unitRwanda Urundi Colonized by the Germans and then became a protectorate administered by the Belgians in 1916 Tutsi's were favored in education, and government positions Germans were steeped in the Hamitic Hypothesis and the "Great Chain of Being" so reinforced Tutsi dominance. Not surprisingly, drawing on colonial beliefs, Tutsi royal court "histories" began to spring up which reinforced the idea that Tutsi's were superior/dominant since time immemorial THE STRUGGLE FOR ACCESS TO POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES, AND NOT "TRIBIALISM' PER SE, INFLUENCED THE WAY PEOPLE REDIFINED THEMSELVES AND WERE DEFINED PostColonial History Shortly before Independence in 1962, the church and the Belgian administration began to shift their focus from Tutsi supremacy to majority rule. This meant the Tutsi were no longer assured of colonial support for their actions. At Independence RwandaUrundi again separated into two distinct countries: Rwanda and Burundi Rwanda: In a coup, Tutsi hegemony was toppled. Many Tutsi fled over the border into Tanzania and primarily Uganda. Burundi: Burundian Tutsi managed to remain in control of the state by using the military in a series of brutal crackdowns. 2 MAJOR EVENTS: Spates of violence in Burundi that culminated in the 1973 massacre of 180,000 Burundian Hutu by the Tutsi held army. This has been called a selective genocide (by Rene Lemarchand) because during the massacre elites as a group were systematically eliminated so that the masses would have no leadership (ex: teachers, students, politicians, lawyers, doctors, nurses, priests). Hundreds of thousands of Burundian Hutu fled to Tanzania and other surrounding countries. It was hoped in the early 1990's that there would finally be peace in Burundi when the first democratically elected President, a Hutu named Melchoir Ndadaye came to power. He was quickly assassinated and the Tutsi military replaced him. 2 Major Events In Rwanda, in 1994 President Juvenal Habyalimana's plane was shot down, and then a very well planned genocide of Tutsi and moderate Hutus was implemented by Hutu extremists During 1994, elements of the militant Hutu first slaughtered moderate Hutu than began killing all Tutsi Not genocide because they are their own people The "100 days of genocide" saw almost a million people killed three to five times the pace of the Holocaust The genocide was only stopped when the Tutsi who had lived in Uganda since Independence invaded and ousted the militant Hutu (who fled to Tanzania, but primarily the DR Congo....which is what helped start the war there) ...
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