Over the years there has been many awful genocides. Some have included mass killings of a specific race like the Holocaust. Others were about an extreme sense of Nationalism, or a dictator like Pol Pot and Cambodia. One that truly stands out is the Genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda. It was a story of mistreating and then the karma that came after it. It was an important time in our history as a whole world as it showed how the West turned the cold shoulder on Africa during its time of need. The Rwandan Genocide was a huge part of our history and is very important for us to know and be aware of now.
The Rwandan Genocide was between the Hutu and the Tutsi, the two groups that made up Rwanda. Before, the Tutsi ruled over everything and were very rich. They mistreated the Hutu and lived easy. That all changed when Hutu overthrew the Tutsi king, 3 years before liberating from Belgium. Then began the Terrible Genocide. The president Habyarimana distributed machetes and firearms to hunt Tutsi in broad daylight. The Hutu killed many Tutsi with the machetes and the ones they didn’t kill were exiled or raped and
This is where things really took a turn. The hutu Government used the military so they could make the killing of Tutsi and other threats legal. Also radio stations became a big tool for propaganda. It went country wide and was more effective because half of the country was illiterate. It would tell people where to find Tutsi refugees, to rape Tutsi women and to kill Tutsi with all sorts of weapons. The stations also had names like Hutu Power or Black Power radio. The genocide was very strong. In merely 100 days, Hutu people had killed anywhere from 80000 to 1000000 people.
Clearly this genocide was strong and racially charged and is a very important piece of recent history. The fighting in Rwanda was going strong for a little more than 100 days until the RPF, who was operating out of Uganda and Northern Rwanda took down the national army and Hutu Militias. The Hutu were scared the Tutsi would punish them so many of them fled to different countries. Some returned just as the Tutsi did years ago with an extremist agency. Many of the Hutu still live in the Congo. The RPF ran the government then and since then they had a presidential and legislative election in 2003.
In 2009 the Congo army and the Rwandan Army came together to put an end to the extremists trying to enter and harm Rwanda. Lastly they joined the Commonwealth recently. The West was very ignorant through the whole process and the Clinton Administration would not acknowledge the terror in Rwanda as a real genocide and didn’t help. Many Americans and westerners didn’t even know it was happening. Movies like “Hotel Rwanda” Which came out nearly 10 years after the events took place, opened many people’s eyes about the horror.
The West had its eyes closed while Rwandans suffered across the sea. In fact 3 months before the attacks a man named Jean-Pierre had warned UN officials about the Hutus plans but they turned the other way. When they finally arrived the UN came to “peace keep” so they couldn’t attack the Hutus. Calling the help from the west minimal would be an understatement. They did little to nothing except send their pity if anything. Clearly the Rwandans received little to no help but for the most part fixed the situation and ended the genocide.
The movie “Hotel Rwanda” was Hollywood’s take on the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel owner who used his connections as well as bribery to save 1268 Tutsi refugees including his Tutsi wife and Tutsi by association children. He kept his hotel a secret by bribing the leaders of the local Hutu military. The Interahamwe, the militia who killed and raped many Tutsis, also gave him supplies such as drinks and food. They were under the impression that Paul was running a 4 star hotel so they didn’t bother him for the most part. He was helped out but not much by the UN team of peacekeepers, led by Lt.
General Romeo Dallaire. He tried to keep the peace but he was sent back and he removed the Europeans staying at the hotel. An American news crew was sent there to cover the attack but they also left with the Europeans and Americans who got stuck. This left us with a heart wrenching scene of the white people leaving all of the Rwandans basically for dead. The General and the News crew were upset because they knew the danger they left Paul and his hotel in. The movie encompasses Paul running the hotel in hell. Hutu invade the hotel and he has to worry about his family throughout the whole thing.
In the end he and his family and the rest of the people at the hotel are saved by the UN and sent to a camp as a trade for prisoner soldiers of the Hutu army. They end up being sent out of the country and make it out alive. The story was so unbelievable it was perfect to be a movie. The most important part was that it was all true. The terror that we saw in the film was the terror of a million Tutsis. They even showed real footage of people being killed and terrorized. That’s what made the movie so eye opening and guilt bringing for Americans, as it told a true story. It showed the Americans didn’t even care enough to call it a genocide.
The movie taught a lot about the Rwandan Genocide to a mass amount of people and it was very important and accurate to the fight. Overall although there were many genocides throughout history, this one was different. It was an amazing tragic story of Hutu and Tutsi and their t also was so recent some people didn’t know about it. It showed western ignorance as a nation both knowingly and unknowingly ignored another country in its hour of need. The Rwandan Genocide was very eye opening to many and taught people to listen more to each other and to not repeat this awful part of history ever again