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Rwanda Genocide - Essay Example

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Rwanda Genocide

The first step of genocide, classification, has been taking place for years before the genocide even started. Long into Rwanda's history had there been a distinct ethnic difference between the two rival factions, the Hutu and the Tutsis. In the late 1800's, it was the Tutsi people who had enslaved the Hutus in a feudal system, with the Hutus working the land under the supervision of Tutsi land lords.
After World War One however, this all came to change. When Rwanda was granted self government from Belgium in 1959, the elections led the Hutu majority into power over the government, and this could be seen as one of the first steps towards the later genocide. The distinct differences had already been in place, and now the oppressed Hutus had political control over their ancient land lords. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide#Background).
The next few steps toward the genocide all began to happen quickly. As Tutsi refuges began to pour in Rwanda in the 1990s, the Hutu majority began to become afraid of the past enslavement. The Hutu government "broadcast and published material referring to the Tutsi as subhuman and making veiled calls for violence. Radical Hutu groups, organized and funded by members of the government, started to amass weapons and conduct training programs" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide#Background). This was an example of symbolization, by making and targeting all the members of the Tutsi group, dehumanization, by denying the humanity of the Tutsi and declaring them subhuman, and this was also a prime example of organization and polarization, which both continued to happen as the genocide began.
There is also quite a bit of evidence that the killings were organized even by the government and government leaders. One cabinet member was quoted in saying that "she was personally in favor of getting rid of all Tutsi; without the Tutsi, she told ministers, all of Rwanda's problems would be over" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide#Background). This shows just how deep into the country the hatred for the Tutsi people ran and was accepted.
After the assignation of the president of Rwanda, the damn finally broke, and the genocide began. The military began rounding up all the Tutsi they could and slaughtering them, a sign of preparation as they began to mass weapons and dispatch the militia, and then finally as they began to round up and murder the Tutsi. "Within hours, recruits were dispatched all over the country to carry out a wave of slaughter",( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1288230.stm) as the people of Rwanda prepared for one of the most brutal and shocking genocides the world had seen since the Holocaust.
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Summary

The act of genocide has been carefully broken down, and divided into 8 separate steps. Each of these factors contribute to the overall horror of the genocide, and are equally terrorizing within themselves. These eight steps are Classification, Symbolization, Dehumanization, Organization, Polarization Preparation, Extermination and Denial…
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Rwanda Genocide Essay essay example
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