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In 1959, Mutara III died and was succeeded by Kigeri V. The Hutus contended that the new mwami had not been properly chosen, and fighting broke out between the Hutus and the Tutsis (who were aided by the Twa). The Hutus emerged victorious, and some 100,000 Tutsis, including Kigeri V, fled to neighboring countries. Hutu political parties won the election of 1960; Gregoire Kayibanda became interim prime minister. In early 1961 a republic was proclaimed, which was confirmed in a UN-supervised referendum later in the year. Belgium granted independence to Rwanda on July 1, 1962(History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html)."
The first president elected following the Constitution adoption was Kayibanda / He was then re-elected two more times.
In 1964, following an incursion from Burundi, which continued to be controlled by its Tutsi aristocracy, many Tutsis were killed in Rwanda, and numerous others left the country (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html).In 1971-72, relations with Uganda were bitter after President Idi Amin of Uganda accused Rwanda of aiding groups trying to overthrow him. In early 1973 there was renewed fighting between Hutu and Tutsi groups, and some 600 Tutsis fled to Uganda (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html).
On July 5, 1973, a military group toppled Kayibanda without violence and installed Maj. Gen. Juvenal Habyarimana, a moderate Hutu who was commander of the national guard. In 1978 a new constitution was ratified and Habyarimana was elected president. He was reelected in 1983 and 1988. In 1988 over 50,000 refugees fled into Rwanda from Burundi (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html)."
About two years after that Rwanda found itself invaded by Uganda. It was a group called the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and it was made up of Tutsi refugees that had fled Rwanda during the earlier conflict.
They did not win their attempts at the invasion, however, the end result was an agreement to begin a multiparty Constitution. It was implemented in 1991. For the next two years things went relatively smoothly for the most part, however, in 1993 there was violence in the capital as the Hutus became violent and angry with the Tutsis. In retaliation the RPF again reared its head and decided to engage in a major offensive action that caused it to gain substantial success in its efforts (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html).
Following this conflict a new agreement was reached and it was signed due to the efforts of a United Nations peacekeeping efforts. For a few months all was peaceful, until the president of Burundi's president was killed in what the masses believed was a very mysterious and suspicious plane accident in April of 1994. That plane crash sent the nation of Rwanda into a tail spin of doubt, power struggles and violence as a civil strife action of historic magnitude erupted.
It was at that time the Rwanda Genocide occurred. During the Genocide, Hutu rebels banded together with Rwanda soldiers and slaughtered between half a million and a million people. Most of those murdered were Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
The RPF resumed fighting and won control of the country, but over 2 million Rwandans, nearly all Hutus, fled the country (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html)."
At this point the RPF decided to offer a gesture of reconciliation. The first step it took toward that effort was to name Pasteur Bizimungu, who was a Hutu as president. Many believed this was a gesture in name only as was noted during the following months as the RPF leader Paul Kagame continued to make the decisions and hold the power within the region. In addition the army remained Tutsis strong and members of that army listend to Kagame and for the most part they ignored Bizimungu as if he did not exist, let alone hold any authority over the army (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html).
Kagame was the vice president but acted as though he were president and was treated as such by those he and Bizimungu oversaw.
The Hutu refugees were not encouraged to develop good lives lead by freedoms. They instead were banded together in refugee camps near the Congo. In addition they were gathered together in neighboring countries and not encouraged to return home based on what they were seeing in their homeland with a figurehead president and the same regime as when they left.
In 1995, a UN-appointed tribunal, based in Tanzania, began indicting and trying a number of higher-ranking people for genocide in the Hutu-Tutsi atrocities; however, the whereabouts of many suspects were unknown, and by 2003 only 17 people had been convicted and sentenced. Many individuals were also tried in Rwandan courts, but by 2002 slightly less than 5,000 (of 120,000 charged with crimes) had been tried. Over a million Hutu refugees flooded back into the country in 1996; by 1997, there was a growing war between the Rwandan army and Hutu guerrilla bands (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html)."
By 1998 soldiers of Rwanda started to provide aid to the rebels who were decidedly anti-government. At that time the rebels were making attempts to overthrow the Congolese president. In addition Rwanda helped Kabila overthrow Mobutu Sese Seko. In March 2000 President Bizimungu, who had never really had the power that a president is believed to have made the decision to resign. In doing so he also accused the parliament of shady actions and motives. He publicly denounced the parliament and accused it of campaigning against the Hutus members of the government by using anti-corruption tactics.
Not surprisingly, Paul Kagame, the long time vice president, and former leader of the RPF became the president.
Fighting in 1999 and 2000 between Rwandan and Ugandan forces in the Congo has led to tense relations between the two nations and occasional fighting between proxy forces in the Congo; each nation also has accused the other of aiding rebels against its own rule (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html)."
In 2002 the Rwanda government decided to remove its troops from the Congo because of a peace agreement that it had entered into and signed. Even though the agreement was signed and the Rwandan troops were withdrawn from the Congo, Rwandan troops continued to push incursions into Burundi and the Congo since then.
In 2004 former president Bizimungu, was arrested, charged and convicted of taking part in illegal political activity. Since his resignation as president he had been a vocal opposer to the current method and actions of the government.
In 2003 the nation of Rwanda held its first election that allowed voters to vote for other candidates than the incumbents and Kagame still won by a landslide (History http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860866.html).
This brings to the forefront the idea of a Genocide culture. For so many years there have been battles between the Tutsis and the Hutus in which the Hutus continue to lose that it appears there is now an acceptance, a mindset that the Genocide way of thinking is here to stay. Perhaps the people of the nation are so shocked by their own actions to try and gain some voice in the government, as happened in the 1994 Genocide that they are numb and have given up hope. They may believe that the only way they are heard is through acts of violence so atrocious that it is not something they are willing to do again so instead they accept with quiet acquiesce the leadership of Kagame.
For one to understand the current culture mindset of those residing in Rwanda one must first have a grasp of the Genocide and what it involved (History, 1999).
Stalin -- one of history's great authorities on murder -- got it right when he said that a single death is a tragedy, millions of deaths a statistic. At the level where numbers, as opposed to names, are applied to murder, people cease to process the information emotionally (History, 1999)."
This may be because the human mind cannot deal with the lack of compassion that it takes to inflict the types of injuries and sufferings on other humans that mass murders such as Genocides inflict.
An estimated 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsis were murdered during a one month period. In that one month between April 1992 and May of 1994 a mass extermination took place between the Tutsis and the Hutus (History, 1999).
It was a rampage by the Hutus people that caused five times more deaths than all of the deaths during the Holocaust created, according to some history experts.
To put it in terms that are easily understood, if one had been a Tutsis, residing in Rwanda at the time of the Genocide one would not be alive today.
Genocide is not a word that is used without deep thought. It is a word that congers up visions of mass murders for no reason. It is a word that paints a picture of all human compassion gone bad and the delightful killing of thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocents.
The United Nations provides a definition of Genocide to be "acts committed with…[continue]
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