PACS final assignment

PACS final assignment - Robert Schnautz December 10,2007...

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Robert Schnautz December 10,2007 Peace and Conflicts Studies Conflict Project Assignment Conflict 1: Rwanda The Overall Conflict Little over a decade ago, a rampant genocide swept across an African nation causing eight hundred thousand deaths in a period of one hundred days. The nation I am talking about of coarse is Rwanda, where a difference between Tutsis and Hutus caused a destructive violent rampage and turned a country into complete turmoil. The beginnings of this crisis date back to colonial times when Rwanda was a Dutch colony. During these times the colonialists split the native Rwandans into two separate social classes, the Tutsis and Hutus, even though these two groups were closely related and very similar. The split happened, because the Dutch saw the Tutsis as more “European”, and gave them better jobs, educational programs and higher social status. Naturally the Hutus were jealous of this newfound favoritism and had riots happen in the year nineteen fifty-nine. During these riots twenty thousand Tutsis died, and a huge remainder left the country. Once Rwanda was granted independence in nineteen sixty-two, many Hutus gained political power since they were the larger population, and in the next coming years Tutsis were seen as the scapegoats for every crisis. Leading up to the genocide President Juvenal Habyarimana was losing political support from many Hutus and at the same time Tutsi refugees in Uganda, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, were gaining support for aims at overthrowing Habyarimana, and reclaiming their homeland. Habyarimana saw this threat
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and decided to exploit and gain some of his lost Hutu support, and accused Tutsis inside Rwanda as supporters of the RPF. In August nineteen ninety-three a peace accord was signed between Habyarimana and the RPF, but did little to stop the ongoing violence from destroying the country. The final spark that ignited the flame was the shooting down of Habyarimana plane in April of nineteen ninety-four. Still to this day no one knows who shot down his plane, but its effects were instantaneous and catastrophic. In Kigali, the presidential guard immediately initiated an act of retribution. Many political leaders of the opposing party were murdered, and almost immediately, the massacre of Tutsi and moderate Hutus began. As the conflict spread across the nation, recruits were dispatched across the country to carry out missions of mass murder. Encouraged by the presidential guard and radio propaganda an unofficial militia group called the Interahamwe (meaning those who attack together) was mobilized. During its strongest moments the group was thirty thousand strong. Ordinary Hutu civilians were motivated by soldiers and the police to murder Tutsis. Some were even forced to do it by military personnel. While this is happening, the international community turns the blind eye and the United Nations leaves after ten soldiers are killed. The day after Habyarimana’s plane was shot down, the RPF renewed its plans to assault government forces. Finally in July of nineteen ninety-four the
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course PACS 2500 taught by Professor Burgess,gu during the Winter '07 term at Colorado.

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PACS final assignment - Robert Schnautz December 10,2007...

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