A genocide is the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation. Genocide is characterized with mass murder, mass homicide or massacre. Genocides start when people of one race or religion want to dispose people of another race or religion. Rwanda’s history has been characterized with two genocides in 1959 and 1994.
Historically Rwanda had 3 “tribes” – the Hutu, Tutsi and the Batwa.
The 1994 Rwanda Genocide
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.
Below are some of immediate effects of 1994 Rwanda Genocide
The Rwandan 1994 genocide has done a lot of harms in Rwanda. Very many people were killed, very many things were destroyed, and very many people were displaced.
Very many children and women started suffering after losing their husbands who were looking after them.
Rwanda is still suffering the wounds of these 100 days.
The disaster started in 1959, when the Tutsi were chased from Rwanda and started to be killed.
Many Tutsi had to leave the country going to neighboring countries, and leave most of their properties.
In 1973, another bigger number of Tutsi and moderate Hutu had to leave their country to survive.
Since 1973, Tutsi and moderate Hutu started being killed and suffering.
In 1990, Tutsi refugees formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front, were very many men, women and children had to leave their families and fight to get back to their homeland.
In April 1994 after President Habyarimana`s plane was shot down, a very horrible massacre started, which spent 100 days.
In these 100 days, 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutus were killed with machetes knives.
Women were raped, parents were killed in front of their children’s eyes, and very many people got serious injuries and wounds.
There were very many casualties.
In July 1994, The Rwandan Patriotic Front were capable of stopping these horrible killings, and seized power, and immediately ordered a cease fire.
2 million Hutu fled from the country to the Democratic Republic of Congo, most of these were the ones who were leading and doing the killings.
Very few people were capable of surviving this massacre.
Most of those that survived these killings are now having mental problems and are traumatized, because of what they experienced and saw.
During the Rwandan 1994 genocide, very many buildings were destroyed and burnt, including hospitals, schools, churches, roads and business centers.
Increased number of orphans
A big number of these orphans are incapable of getting school fees for their education, and at the same time, they are in charge of taking care of their sisters or brothers.
They have a lot of difficulties in their education, because school is expensive in Rwanda according to our living standard.
Most of the schools in Rwanda, school fees are almost 200 dollars a year, which is a lot of money in Rwanda.
These children, at the same time don’t have personal skills to help them get chance of getting money and help themselves as well as their families. This makes them live a very poor life and in very poor conditions.
Due to the terrible scenes these children saw and experienced, they have trauma, and never have fun, and are always sad.
Some of these children had rich families before the genocide, but now are living in a very poor life. This disturbs them a lot in their lives, because now they can’t get what they normally used to get.
Some of them say, “If daddy and mummy were there.”
Increased number of Widows
Very many women lost their husbands in the genocide and the liberation war.
Most of these women were not well educated and are having many children, this makes life very hard.
It is not easy for them to get school fees for these children and as well feed and get them clothes, or rent a house.
This is as well one of the great effects of the Rwandan genocide.
Increased number of Aids victims
In the Rwandan Genocide, the interahamwe militias used to Rape women and young girls.
Most of these interahamwe were aids victims, and all the women and young girls that were raped are now also having.
Some of these young girls and women got pregnant, and the young children that were born are also suffering from aids, and their mothers are also incapable of educate them, and they live a very poor life.
Destruction of infrastructure
During the genocide and the liberation war, a lot of houses were destroyed including schools, hospitals, roads, homes, business centers and other very important buildings.
This as well is disturbing the country in its development.
After the above problems listed, many people are suffering. Children can’t get school fees, clothes, medication, food, and were to live.
People live in very poor conditions. Most of the things in Rwanda are expensive, including treatment, school fees, transport, rent, and food. This makes life hard for people in Rwanda.
Very many people in Rwanda are having mental problems and are traumatized – the situation went through damaged their brains.
There are several genocide memorial sites where tourists can see some of the remnants of this disastrous event. These sites are found in various towns of Rwanda including Kigali. On a safari in Rwanda, you can learn about the genocide by taking a visit to one of these memorial sites.