Friday, September 27, 2019

Research paper on rwanda Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

On rwanda - Research Paper Example The earliest ‘residents’ are thought to be a group of Pygmy hunters and gatherers, labeled the Twa. After the Twa settled, it is believed that the Hutus, agriculturists, and the Tutsis also settled in. By the 15th century, evidence shows that the Hutu and Tutsi, both of the Bantu tribe, had organized themselves into states (Melvern, 2006), and thus the Rwandan civilization came into being. One of these states, the Rwabuguri, was the most powerful and maintained control until well into the 19th century. It expanded both geographically and demographically, spreading agricultural techniques and political control. While the military was never a strong means of achieving control, it was used at times against other well-developed states such as Gisaka and Burundi. Soon, economic disparity between the Hutus and the Tutsis became apparent leading to divisions. The Tutsi population emerged with a Mwami (king), who the Rwandans were made to pay tribute to and who controlled much o f the Rwandan land (Melvern, 2006). Moreover, the Tutsis were given many of the important positions in the government. Despite the disparity in control and power, Rwanda did not see any ethnic strife in its pre-colonial administration. It was only when it became a colonial administration that relations between these two tribes, the Hutus and the Tutsis became contentious (Melvern, 2006). Colonial History Early 20th century saw Germany and Belgian colonialism in Rwanda (Cooper, 2002). Unfortunately, this was also an epoch where Germany, like much of Europe, had become fixated on racial differences and soon, they seemed to be favoring the Tutsis against the Hutus since the former were more European in appearance and more inclined to take on the Catholic faith. Therefore, the Tutsis were elevated to higher statuses in the administration and Hutus were routinely oppressed. Soon, many Rwandans started resenting Belgian occupation and formed secret organizations to throw out the Belgians and gain liberation. They resisted reforms by the Belgian administration and in the second half of the 20th century, Pan-Africanism culture spread through Africa and demands of anti-colonialism were made. The final straw came when, in 1962, the last Mwami died and it was believed to have been killed by Belgians. In anger, the Hutus drove out the Belgians soon, the Hutu Emancipation Movement gained power and drove out the Tutsis and killed many of them in revenge for the oppression they had been dealt with (Mamdani, 2002). Post-Independence History to Present The Tutsi refugees started their own party, the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) and in 1990, the RPF invaded and forced the president to sign a treaty that stated that Hutus and Tutsis would share power (Broch-Due, 2005). After a mass genocide in which 800,000 Tutsis were killed and one-tenth of the population was wiped out (Cohen, 2007) relative peace was seen in Rwanda. The RPF invaded the country and put in place a government with representation from both Hutu and Tutsi fronts. The President was Hutu, and the Vice-President was a Tutsi. Moreover, over 900,000 people had fled Rwanda to

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