Causes and Effects of the Genocide

All genocides usually start when people of one race or religion want to dispose of people of another race or religion. Two tribes that made most of the Rwandan population are the Hutu and the Tutsi tribes. In 1978, a Hutu leader was elected, Juvenal Habyarimana, as president of Rwanda. After 12 years of peace, Habyarimana was assassinated while he was traveling on a plane. Although they haven't found out who launched the surface-to-air missile, government forces suspect rebels from other minor tribes planned the assassination. About an hour after the president was killed, the Presidential Guard and government army started to kill Tutsi and Hutu people from nearby villages and communities. This campaign of government forces that started to kill Rwandan people was the spark of the genocide. 

While the killing was starting to spread in Rwanda, a new rebel force, Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), was formed. It was mostly made up of refugees that fled Rwanda after the president was killed. By taking advantage of the chaos that was happening, the RPF invaded Rwanda and created a civil war. The government forces and Presidential Guard were fighting refugees that fled Rwanda, while the citizens of Rwanda were trying to flee. The death toll for this genocide ranged from about 500,000 people to a 1,000,000. About 70% of the Rwandan population was killed after the RPF ended the civil war that was against government forces. As for the tribes, 500,000 Tutsi people were killed and villages across Rwanda were totally demolished. Another effect was that a new president was elected and the dictatorship that lasted for hundreds of years in Rwanda finally ended. 

After the genocide ended, the country was on the brink of an economic collapse. All the farms and agriculture that roamed the country were either burned or destroyed. Since the population decreased over 70%, there were no workers to start a reconstruction of their country. As of today, Rwanda is still dealing with rebels and other countries that are mad at them. 
 
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The reason why the Hutu and the Tutsi did not agree with each other was that before Rwanda gained independence the Tutsi were the ruling people and the French ran the country. After Rwanda gained independence the Hutu took over the government and would not allow the Tutsi to gain a place in office. After many years of this the UN stepped in and were trying to convince president Habyarimana (a Hutu) to allow the Tutsi a part in the government. This was the reason that he was assassinated. After the assassination the people blamed the Tutsi and started to seek out revenge by murdering hundreds of thousands of their people. This was made easy by the ID cards stating the tribe that they belong to.  

By Conor McCullough  
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