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What is Genocide

  • Genocide: the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group
  • The eight stages of genocide: classification, symbolism, dehumanisation, organisation, polarisation, preparation, extermination, denial
  • How Rwanda fits - classification (spearation of hutu and tutsi as two separate races), dehumanisation and organisation (the media and its effects) denial (now a crime in Rwanda to deny the genocide happened)
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The role of the media

Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLMC)

majority illiterate population  - By 1970, there was one radio receptor per 120 people in Rwanda, by 1990 the ratio was 1 radio for every 13 people

Anti-Tutsi Propaganda

Hutu 10 Commandments

  • Associating with hutu women (friend, marriage, employing) - tutsi women more suitable and beautiful 
  • Hutu women bring men to reason 
  • all political, economic, administrative, education and military postions to hutus
  • no mercy on hutus
  • teach hutu ideology at all levels 

Government role

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Other Factors

Independnce 1961

  • Hutu governement set up
  • roles reversed so now Hutus held psitions of power - revenge


  • although no evidence on who it was, Hutus blamed RPF, a tutsi rebellion group
  • saw this a direct attack on the hutu race
  • catalyst for the genocide


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european colonialism

Germany: 1884 - 1919

Belgium: 1919 - 1961

Hamatic Hypothesis - some africans appear to be descended from the caucasian race, more european features -  justification for europeans favouring the Tutsis 

Belgium - A currency was introduced and western education was organised for the sons of chiefs, who were predominantly Tutsi as many already existing Hutu chiefs were fired and replaced by Tutsi ones. This eventually led to a situation of almost total dominance of the chiefly functions by the Tutsi. By the end of the Belgian presence in Rwanda in 1959, 43 chiefs out of45 were Tutsi as well as 549 sub-chiefs out of 559

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1 million Rwandan being pulled out of poverty in the past decade.

However one of the less commented upon legacies of the genocide is the spurring of gender equality, Rwanda currently leads the world with the highest percentage of women holding seats in parliament

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After the genocide approximately 2 million Hutus fled as refugees into the DRC due to fear of retaliation from the new Tutsi dominated government, who pursued them across the border in a war which dragged in at least 9 countries, and became known as ‘Africa’s World War’

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“One of my great regrets in foreign policy is not sending troops to try to stop the Rwandan genocide when I realized how severe it was,” Clinton said in a 2004 interview

Presidential Study Directive 10 was announced in 2011, declaring for the first time that ‘preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States’

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