How The U.s. Decision Not To Involve In The Rwandan Genocide Impacted The Outcome Of The Crisis
In April of 1994, The Hutu ethnic group caused a genocide against the other ethnic group, the Tutsis. Many deaths happened over an imbalance of power. Although the Tutsis were the minority, they dominated and were favored. The Hutus threw Tutsis into random countries, took them as sex slaves, and massacred them. After a grueling 100 days of trauma, the genocide ended in July 1994. If the genocide didn’t happen, the estimated amount of Tutsis in Rwanda during July of 1994 would have been 650,900; by July of 1994, after the genocide, there were only 150,000 Tutsi survivors.
This shows that 77% of the Tutsi population was killed in the genocide (Cairn.Info). The other 300,000 people that died were Hutus that went against the government and Rwandans. The United States chose to ignore the need for help from the victims of the Rwandan Genocide, and as some may feel as though this was a responsible decision, or that not offering help saved the U.S. in the end by avoiding possible war, the reality is that 800,000 people died and America didn’t do anything.
The Rwandan Genocide lasted from April 7, 1994 to mid-July, 1994. During the genocide, members of the Hutu ethnic majority murdered about 800,000 people, consisting mostly of the Tutsi minority (History.com). Twenty-five years later, and the Hutus are just now starting to take responsibility. At first, they claimed they were the victims and blamed the deaths of the Tutsis on cholera (BBC News). Rwanda’s community-based gacaca courts finished their trial in 2012; recognizing (combination) efforts were made to make sure accountability was held and that justice was given to the victims of the genocide.
The Hutu ethnic group and the Tutsi ethnic group had the same religion, language, and culture; so, (Double Whammy) the reason behind the genocide was mainly political based. Both groups were fighting for absolute power over Rwanda. Although Tutsis were the minority, they dominated the country for a long time, leading to the overthrow of their monarchy by the Hutus. Due to this, thousands of Tutsis fled to neighboring countries, inclusive of Uganda. This was the spark of the beginning of many painful years.
After many Tutsis fled the country, a group of Tutsi exiles formed a rebel group called the Rwandan Patriotic Front (BBC News). In 1990, the RPF invaded Rwanda and kept fighting until 1993, a year before the start of the genocide. Later, a plane that carried President Juvenal Habyarimana and his counterpart, both Hutus, was shot down on April 6, 1994. “Hutu extremists blamed the RPF and immediately started a well – organised campaign of slaughter,” (BBC News). This accusation provided the Hutus an excuse to begin the genocide.
Lists of government opponents and Tutsis were handed to militias who then carried out the killings. Neighbors were murdering neighbors and identification cards had people’s ethnic groups on them, so Tutsis were easily identified. Tutsi women were taken as sex slaves and mass murders were carried out.
The RPF came to the Tutsis rescue, backed up by Uganda’s army, and slowly seized more and more of Hutu territory. On July 4, 1994, the RPF marched into the capital, Kigali, and around two million Hutus fled past the border of Congo; they (Combination) feared revenge attacks from the Tutsis. The genocide then came to a halting stop after lasting around four months and losing 800,000 lives.
The United States decided to not get involved in the Rwandan genocide to avoid public demand. President Bill Clinton used the word “genocide” privately within 16 days of the start of the killings, but did not exclaim it to the public (The Guardian). He feared if he used the word genocide, the public would want the U.S. to take action; but, (Double Whammy) Clinton had already decided that America was not going to interfere.
Also, there were reports that the Cabinet and the President were told the plan on eliminating all Tutsis (The Guardian). In three months, Hutu death squads killed 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. In claims made by President Clinton and his officials, they didn’t fully appreciate the speed of the killings. The President was very vague and dispassionate about the genocide in his claims to, again, avoid panicking the public, for it cause them to demand the United States to help Rwanda.
This is terrible decision made by the United States. The President chose to not help Rwanda, nor alerted the public. The United States is built off of freedom, and America as a whole didn’t not get to use their freedom of speech in this decision. In fact, the choice to not help Rwanda was kept a secret from the public for a little while. If the public could’ve spoken their opinion and chose to help, we could’ve saved so many lives and prevented so much trauma. The Rwandan Genocide was destructive, hostile, and cruel, yet we didn’t do anything.
The United States chose to ignore the need for help from the victims of the Rwandan Genocide, and as some may feel as though this was a responsible decision, or (FANBOYS) that not offering help saved the U.S. in the end by avoiding possible war, the reality is that 800,000 people died and America didn’t do anything. An 100 day battle between the Hutus and Tutsis, starting on April 7, 1994, resulted in 800,000 deaths ; and most of them are from the Tutsi ethnic group. The Tutsis were the minority but were favoured by the leader and dominated the country.
After the Hutus overthrew the monarchy, Tutsis fled and the genocide started. When put on trial, the Hutus went to extreme measures to try and make sure everyone believed all the Tutsis died from cholera. But, after a little while, they took responsibility for their actions. The United States is trying to spread awareness about genocides to cover the fact that America didn’t help Rwanda during their genocide. U.S. citizens must hold the government accountable also, in hopes that if there is another country that needs our help, we give it.
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