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The Causal Factors of the Genocide in Rwanda

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The event has since been considered by the international community as genocide committed particularly by the Hutus against the Tutsis. Until today, years after the massacres were halted and a sense of normalcy has finally pervaded the country with the installation of a stable government, the traumatic memory of the genocide still continues to haunt the people.Luc Chauvin, a UNICEF official based in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, said that because the genocide ended in 1994 it does not mean it is all over…the presence of the genocide is still here (New York Times 1999). There are still fears Hutu and Tutsi conflicts would worsen and again result in bloodshed.The large-scale massacre began right after the country’s President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed after his plane was shot down on April 6, 1994. As if on cue, Hutu militia and as well as members of the Rwandan armed forces of Hutu ethnicity, immediately embarked on killing sprees that targeted primarily the Tutsis. There were also moderate Hutus, the ones who did not believe that the Tutsis should be eliminated, who were murdered in great numbers. Years after the genocide took place, there were conclusions made that treated Habyarimana’s killing as its very cause. Even to this day, there are ideas which point out that the current President, Paul Kagame, who was then a leading Tutsi rebel while Habyarimana was in power, is to blame for the genocide because of his alleged role in the assassination. The current president denies this and says it was the work of Hutu extremists, in order to provide a pretext to carry out their well-laid plans to exterminate the Tutsi community (BBC News 18 December 2008). However, while Habyarimana’s death spurred it, the genocide could never be attributed to it alone.The sheer number of victims of the bloodshed and the manner that the killings were conducted gave the impression that the violence was systemic if not even instinctive of the major ethnic groups in the country.