This week marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda, and the world is spending time reflecting on the tragic events of that day and their impact on human rights in the country.
Today, 4 July is a holiday to commemorate the end of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda. This marks the 20th anniversary of the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, in which the majority of Hutu murdered the predominantly underage Tutis. The war - the deadliest since World War II - was triggered in part by two million Hutus fleeing Rwanda and attacking Tatsis, and the UN, already based in Rwanda at the time of the killings, withdrew after ten soldiers were killed on their way home from the war.
The RPF limited its intervention to a humanitarian zone in southwest Rwanda, which saved the lives of tens of thousands of Tutsis and also helped some to flee. In comparison, the mother's predominantly Hutu background provides special protection for the descendants of the survivors. Thus, it could be a good example of how one person could play many roles at once: One person could protect and rescue the Tatsis and their nearby neighbors, who in turn survived the genocide, while simultaneously participating in roadblocks and manhunts against the Totsi. For the first two weeks, the central and southern regions of Rwanda - where most Tutis lived - resisted genocide, but when they had to seek refuge with families who had moved to western Rwanda, they joined in.
In several cases, there have been reports of UN peacekeepers acting as uninvolved as Hutus massacred Tutsis in churches and on the streets. It is important to note, however, that Hutu and Twa were also victims of non-genocidal violence. In Rwanda, the perpetrators were welcomed back to their homes by their communities, including survivors. Rwanda is the only country in East Africa that does not criminalise consensual same-sex relationships, and there is also legal protection for people who refuse to engage in interethnic marriages.
Civil society in Rwanda is very weak, leaving it to Rwandan human rights organisations to publicly document violations by state agents and report on violations of rights.
This series takes a nuanced approach to describing the ethnicities and power structures in Rwanda that are being discussed today, and suggests concerns. This historical survey of Rwanda combines the political and economic factors that contributed to the genocide, as well as the current human rights situation in the country.
Tensions between Hutu and Tutsi flared in the 1990s, when the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a rebel front led by a Tatsi in exile in Uganda, invaded Uganda. When the genocide began in 1990, a civil war broke out, which had begun in 1994 under the leadership of the Totsi-led National Liberation Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (NDLR).
The French began military action to establish a safe zone in southwest Rwanda, but the killings continued for months and the French were overrun by Rwandan troops.
Although Rwanda's recovery has been impressive, the scars are still widespread, especially in the capital, Kigali, and many other parts of the country.
The rape of Tutsi women has been systematic, and further rounds of ethnic tension and violence have regularly flared up, leading to mass murder, rape, torture and other forms of violence. The 1994 Rwandan genocide killed more than 1.5 million people, or about one-third of the country's population. There are many memorials in Rwanda, but the most visited is the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which serves as a memorial to those killed during the genocide and to the families, friends and family members of the victims. After the genocide subsided, an HIV outbreak broke out in Rwanda, infecting hundreds of thousands of people with HIV / AIDS.
The genocide began in 1994 when the plane of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana was shot down over the Rwandan capital Kigali and his family massacred. Today, the Rwandan genocide is commemorated annually with various kwibuka ceremonies ("remembering Kinyarwanda"). GEW Rwanda, which is hosted nationally by Babson's Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center, includes activities that will appeal to a broader audience. For a full list of GEWRw Rwanda events and more about the national campaign, visit www.gewrwanda.org or follow @ GEWRw Rwanda on Twitter and Facebook.
Rw Rwanda's annual Kinyarwanda Kwibuka ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday 6 May 2017, from 10: 00 to 12: 00.
The Church condemned ethnic differences, hate speech and violence and explained the role of the Church in preventing human rights violations in Rwanda and the need for changes necessary to prevent a resurgence of genocide in Rwanda and elsewhere. Voice of Rwanda is committed to recording and preserving the testimony of Rw and RwAndans to ensure that their stories inform the world about the genocide and inspire the international community to take action to prevent human rights abuses and protect their rights and dignity.