- Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide
Rwanda Since the 1994 Genocide


The overlooked deaths of Hutu and Twa victims

By kristi on January 26, 2013

What resonated most with me from class discussion was the Rwandan government’s exaggeration of the number of Tutsi deaths, largely ignoring the deaths of the Hutu and Twa victims.  I think that this is in order to reduce the atrocity to a singular occurrence rather than a development of conditions whereby events such as the genocide are possible.  By presenting it as an ethnic conflict—simply one versus the other—it is easier for the Rwandan government to convince the global audience that they are taking preventative measures (eliminating ethnic class) and are successfully progressing as a nation. Especially because the ethnic classes were essentially “ascribed stereotyped intellectual and moral qualities” by Europeans, and often reduced in their social complexity (Burnet, 2012:47).  Further, this oversimplification reflects the human’s need to dichotomize within most contexts.  These polarities are created in order to have a clear path to breaking down an enemy, which is often even more dangerous. When we build barriers based upon nationality, race, ethnicity, sex, class, etc, we lose sight of an end goal of humanism, of caring deeply for one another no matter the difference.  Categorizing provides the conditions for hatred, and releases one of moral obligation towards other human beings who may be unlike oneself.  People are people, and a life is a life; that must be recognized above all.

1 Comment

  • ProfThomson said:

    I am particularly struck by your comment about moral obligation as that is central to the legitimacy that governments like the ruling RPF enjoy. As we move forward in our analysis of the current practices and policies of the RPF, think about how moral obligation is muted by the practices and policies of social, political, cultural and economic reengineering instituted by the RPF.

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