the roots of genocide race, ethnicity, and power in rwandan colonial history


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The Roots of genocide

The Roots of genocideRace, Ethnicity, and Power in Rwandan Colonial Historywhos hutu? Whos tutsi? And Why does anyone care?Race in rwandaThree major groupsHutu (now 85% of population)Tutsi (14%)Twa (1%)Hard to tell how the groups originated, because early Rwandan history was preserved orallyBig question: Are Hutu and Tutsi genetically different, or is their difference socially constructed?

Rwanda before imperialismFirst populated by Twa (traditionally forest people)Hutu and Tutsi pushed out Twa people Hutu and Tutsi mixed extensively and developed a shared language (Kinyarwanda) and religionHutu were farmersTutsi were cattle herders a much more profitable occupationTutsi gradually became a social elite

Rwandan government before imperialismEstablished a monarchy by the 18th centuryMost (but not all!) government officials were cattle-owners, or TutsisPeople generally married within their social class (cattle-owners or farmers)Consequently, physical distinctions between groups emerged

Race, ethnicity, and imperialismEuropeans in Rwanda: a brief timeline1899 Germany colonizes Rwanda1919 Germany loses WWI; Belgium takes over in Rwanda1950s increasing waves of decolonization around the world; unrest in Rwanda1959-1961 Hutu revolution against Tutsis and Belgians1962 Rwanda becomes independentThe hamitic theoryDeveloped by John Hanning Speke, a British explorerPublished 1863Described Africans as belonging to two races:Hamitic more civilized and originating in Ethiopia (and looking more like Caucasians)Negroid more barbaric and originating in Central Africa

Social Darwinism!How did the Belgians rule Rwanda?Believed in the Hamitic theory1920s: changes in governmentRequired all government officials to be TutsiMore power to central authorities1933-34: issued identity cards listing a persons raceTaught Tutsi superiority and racial differencesEffects:Limited opportunities for Hutu resentmentSense of superiority among TutsiReinforced idea that races were different

Differences in characteristicsHutuTutsi

The end of empire1945: Belgium starts preparing for Rwandan independenceGradual attempts to include Hutu in public lifeHutu start organizing opposition to Belgian rule and Tutsi supremacy1957: Hutu Manifesto published by Hutu activistsDescribes Tutsi as foreign invadersCalls for majority rule in RwandaThe hutu revolutionPARMEHUTU (Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement) founded 1957 all-Hutu political partyNovember 1959: violence between Tutsi and Hutu political activists1960 and 1961: PARMEHUTU wins local electionsBelgium actively encourages Hutu violence against Tutsis1962: Rwanda achieves independenceNearly 20,000 Tutsi killed and 160,000 made refugees

The republic of rwanda1962-1973: PARMEHUTU rules Rwanda; systematic violence against Tutsis1973: General Juvenal Habyarimana stages a coup and makes himself presidentPassed stronger laws against Tutsis1990-1993: Rwandan Civil WarRwandan Patriotic Front primarily Tutsi exilesLed to backlash against Tutsis in RwandaApril 6, 1994: Habyarimana killed in a plane crash