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Genocide in Rwanda. Conflict Analysis of the Civil War

©2017 Wissenschaftlicher Aufsatz 16 Seiten


The main purpose of this essay is to make analysis of the genocide based on the tools of conflict analysis. Specific to Rwanda, the analysis focuses on four issues: context of the conflict, cause of the conflict, conflict actors and conflict dynamics. As it is indicated in the title of this essay, it is difficult to understand the three months genocide without the 1990-1994 civil war. Hence, analysis of the Rwandan genocide flows from the 1990 Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invasion. Besides, I believe that the 1994 Rwandan genocide is the culminated outcome of the civil war.

This is essay is arranged as follows. This essay first reviews the context of the conflict in historical perspective. It then explores the main causes of the conflict depending upon the structural cause, proximate cause and triggering factors of the genocide. Founding on the context, cause and actors of the conflict, it will investigate the conflict dynamics of the Rwandan Genocide. Lastly, the success story how Rwanda survived the material and psychological impact of the genocide from the post conflict re-construction perspective will be addressed. However, due to word limitation set by our professor, main incidents and factors of the conflict are analyzed through maps and graphs. Besides, this essay has benefited a lot from Professor Ian Taylor lecture and power points.



Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Conflict Context

3. Cause of the Conflict.
3.1. Structural Cause
3.1.1. Enmity and Hatred Created during Colonization
3.1.2. . Undemocratic Nature of The Government and the Liberalization Process
3.1.3. Population and the Economy
3.2. Proximate causes
3.2.1. The Arusha Peace Agreement
3.2.2. The Neighboring Effect
3.2.3. The RPF Invasion of The 1990
3.3. Triggering Factor
3.4. Escalating Factors

4. Actors

5. Conflict Dynamics

6. Post Conflict Reconstruction



Conflict analysis of the Rwandan civil war-Genocide

1. Introduction

“By 1994, Tutsi in Rwanda were socially dead people, whose murder was as acceptable as it became common”(Uvin, 1997, p. 113). A small country with a population of seven million has shown a horrible tragedy to the world in 1994 to the extent that Rwanda being remembered only by the genocide. An inherent question that any person who saw or heard the tragedy might ask is that: How could they have done it? How could neighbors and friends and colleagues have slaughtered each other in cold blood? Could it happen to anyone? Could we have done it? How could an ordinary man kill innocent women and children? Whatever question we may ask, within three months 500,000 to 800, 000 peoples has died because of the genocide. Many literatures have addressed the Rwandan genocide in economic, social, psychological as well as political perspectives. The main purpose of this essay is to make analysis of the genocide based on the tools of conflict analysis. Specific to Rwanda, the analysis focuses on four issues: context of the conflict, cause of the conflict, conflict actors and conflict dynamics. As it is indicated in the title of this essay, it is difficult to understand the three months genocide without the 1990-1994 civil war. Hence, analysis of the Rwandan genocide flows from the 1990 Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) invasion. Besides, I believe that the 1994 Rwandan genocide is the culminated outcome of the civil war.

This is essay is arranged as follows. This essay first reviews the context of the conflict in historical perspective. It then explores the main causes of the conflict depending upon the structural cause, proximate cause and triggering factors of the genocide. Founding on the context, cause and actors of the conflict, it will investigate the conflict dynamics of the Rwandan Genocide. Lastly, the success story how Rwanda survived the material and psychological impact of the genocide from the post conflict re-construction perspective will be addressed. However, due to word limitation set by our professor, main incidents and factors of the conflict are analyzed through maps and graphs. Besides, this essay has benefited a lot from Professor Ian Taylor lecture and power points.

2. Conflict Context

There are three ethnic groups in Rwanda: the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa which composed of 85%, 14% and 1% of the total population respectively(Collins, 2014, p. 37). However, writers differ over whether to call Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups, racial groups, or one people. Some argues that the organizing principle and identity in pre-colonial Rwanda was based on the clans, rather than on ethnicity, at least up to the mid-19th century(SIDA, 2004). The categories Hutu and Tutsi were rather socio-economic categories, or descriptions of occupation: agriculturalist versus cattle herders. For others Hutu/Tutsi distinction could not be considered neither an ethnic distinction nor as socioeconomic distinction not even a division of labor between pastoralists and agriculturalists(Mamdan, 2002, p. 75). It is emerged as state-enforced political identities.

Despite the differences as to the categorization of the groups, one fact which is seems undeniable is that before the age of colonialism, the people of (what is now known as) Rwanda lived together quite harmoniously and at least no direct violence is reported.(Scorgie, 2004)

Before independence, the state of Rwanda had experienced the German and Belgium colonies. The German acquisition of Rwanda in 1895 and the subsequent introduction of racial hierarchy theories such as the ‘Hamitic’ hypothesis which ethnicity developed into a potent force and the Tutsi were upheld as the superior race, while the Hutu were made subservient to them(OAU, 2000). Conditions worsened after World War I when Rwanda was handed over to the Belgians who further entrenched the ‘ethnic’ divide.

During the Belgian period (1916-1962) a policy change has been made to apply strict categorization of the Hutu and Tutsi. In 1926, the Belgians established policies to sharpen distinctions between Hutu and Tutsi based on three major sources of information for their census classification: “oral information provided by the church, physical measurements and ownership of large herds of cows”(Mamdan, 2002, p. 99). As part of the categorization, those who owned more than 10 cows were designated as Tutsi and all others as Hutu followed issuance of identity cards (ibid). In addition, the Belgians greatly favored the upper echelon of Tutsi offering the wealthiest among them superior opportunities for education and economic advancement, and using them as administrators to enforce Belgian colonial rule(SIDA, 2004). Along with the identity cards, the Belgians continued to carry out policies that alienated Hutu and Tutsi from one another, including Forced labour, forced surrender of crops under the hierarchy of Tutsi chiefs, and monetary taxes(Collins, 2014, p. 44).

As new class of educated Hutu started to demand majority rule and racial self-determination in the late 1950s encouraged to do so by a new generation of Belgian officials, clergy and soldiers. Gradually, the Hutu elite came to regard itself as the only authentic indigenous leadership Rwanda, and the Hutu as the only true ‘sons of the soil’(Hintjens, 1999 , p. 253).

Few years before the independence, the abrupt change of colonial policy paved the way for the “Hutu revolution” in 1959–61, the transition from a Tutsi - led monarchy to a Hutu-led independent republic in 1962. With the granting of independence from Belgium in July 1962, Grégoire Kayibanda, became the country’s first president(SIDA, 2004). Following the revolution, localized anti-Tutsi violence started to abrupt and hundreds were killed and many Tutsi fled the country. In 1960 and 1961 more Tutsi, including the previous power holders fled the country(Uvin, 1999). From 1961 to 1964 some of these Tutsi refugees attempted to return militarily, launching small guerrilla assaults from Burundi and Uganda. Following to this, 12000 Tutsi were killed and it is reported that between 140,000 and 250,000 Tutsi, 40 to 70 percent of the survivors, fled Rwanda(Uvin, 1999, p. 257). Stereotyping and hatred against Tutsi was common and Tutsi s was systematically marginalized within the state administration, politics as well as the education system(SIDA, 2004).

The 1972 Tutsi massacre of Hutus in Burundi is another incidence of conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda(Mamdan, 2002, p. 230). This conflict lead to inflows and outflow of refugees to/from Rwanda which was aggravated by the then regime as pretext to mobilize Hutus against the Tutsis in order to strengthen his tottering regime no to avail though.

During the second republic (1973-1994), no direct violence against Tutsi has been reported before 1990. Though the Tutsi were generally excluded from political, military posts and access to education based on the 9% quota system, the Habyarimana regime is generally credited over this period at least, with achieving a degree of ethnic harmony(Collins, 2014, p. 53). However, The Tutsis came to play a prominent role in the private sector a situation that gave rise to later frictions. The regime was also honored for rapid economic and social development prevailed from mid-seventies to extent of naming as being an African success story, “Africa’s Switzerland”(Uvin, 1999).

October 1990 was turning point for the conflict that Tutsi refugees who had been forced to flee to Uganda and were not permitted to return invaded Rwanda(OAU, 2000). Huge atrocities followed after the invasion (fig.1). Following the civil war successive negotiations and agreements has been made. In July 10, 1992, a cease-fire was reached and an agreement was made for the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to deploy a Neutral Military Observer Group followed by an agreement of August 1992 on the rule of law(Scorgie, 2004). After several agreements, on August 4, 1993, the last round of negotiations were concluded and celebrations broke out as President Habyarimana and Colonel Alexis Kanyarqenge, the Chairman of the RPF, signed the final agreement(Scorgie, 2004, p. 68). However, efforts to implement the agreement collapsed on April 6, 1994 when the President plane crashed down which triggered the murder of hundreds of thousands Tutsi and moderate Hutu during a 3-month rampage. The genocide marked the end of four years of international intervention in the mediation and implementation of the Arusha Agreement.

3. Cause of the Conflict.

3.1. Structural Cause

3.1.1. Enmity and Hatred Created during Colonization

Under the profile part of this article, the official demarcation of the Tutsi and Hutu in status and ethnic based was started during the Belgium period. But the question followed is that how is colonization cause of the genocide bearing in mind that the Tutsis were mostly the refugees before the civil war and the subject of the genocide after the 1990? What was the role of the colonialists? If the Tutsi were in power, the colonization approach could be taken as direct cause of the genocide. But the problem with the colonization hypothesis is that those who feel marginalized because of the colonization were in power and the then government was dominantly pro-Hutu. The identity card system, superiority and Hamitic categorization of Tutsi could be used as cause if this was during the 1950s and under the genocide, this could only be used as escalating factors. So how could be a cause of the conflict? The first point is that the ethnic polarization was started in the colonization period. The hard core “Hutu” position is that the Tutsis were foreign invaders, occupying Hutu land from the 16th century and onwards, and remained a distinct ethnic group oppressing and marginalizing Hutu s Was created during this period(SIDA, 2004) . This perception of ‘foreign invaders’ was used by the extremist part of the government, the “Akazu” as a ground of extermination of the Tutsi. This was part of the institutional structure of Hutu power-administrative reminders that the Tutsi were different from everyone else and the state was watching out for the interests of the majority Hutu(Uvin, 1999, p. 259).

T he system of ethnic identity papers introduced by the Belgians in 1935 was maintained by the postcolonial governments until the 1994 genocide, greatly facilitating its execution. The return of the Tutsi refugees in neighboring countries was categorically denied with the argument that there was no more space in Rwanda. The Tutsi, a group with a privileged relationship to power before colonialism, were constructed as a privileged alien settler presence, first by the Hutu revolution of 1959, and then by Hutu Power propaganda after 1990. Therefore, the notion that Hutu was made into a native identity and Tutsi a settler one was originated during the colonial period and thereafter.

The second is that the Tutsi was considered as representative of the colonizers which exploited and abuse the Hutu majority. During the Early Belgian rule, overt rebellion against Tutsi over lordship was rare, since relations of clientship provided some economic security and protection for many Tutsi. By 1959, when the revolution started in Rwanda, clientship ties between Hutu and Tutsi had been emptied of much of their previous economic and ideological content(Hintjens, 1999 , p. 253). Not only were Hutu-Tutsi relations more overtly coercive and exploitive than before, but the Tutsi and their chiefs come increasingly to be identified with unjust racial social order, which was seen as colonial and therefore as no longer acceptable (ibid). Based on this mentality after the independence, creating a conducive and enabling environment for Tutsi to hold power by any means was considered as bringing back that relationship. So colonization is responsible for the genocide by contribution these notions and perceptions.

3.1.2. . Undemocratic Nature of The Government and the Liberalization Process

Quota system, marginalization of the Tutsi and failure to create accommodative system to the refugees dispersed in different countries was a reflection of the Habyarimana regime. The liberalization process by itself creates a problem particularly the media and ethnic based party system which is imposed by the international community not on the willingness of the government. The liberalization process by itself is not a cause of the problem but the process was not originated from heart of the regime. During the late 1980s Rwandan economy was heated severely by the coffee market which put the government almost completely dependent on foreign aid(Kamola, 2007). There was also a claim of democratization and liberalization within the society. Liberalization and democratization became mandatory to receive aid and followed to this the constitution was amended to make multiparty competition fully legal. This lead to a political tension within the ruling Hutu class surfaced particularly to the formation of new radical party like Coalition pour la Defense de la Republique (CDR), a front for more radical elements of the MRND, including the akazu, centered around the president's wife, Agathe Habyarimana (ibid). Coincided with this, the ruling party created its own youth wing in early 1992, the Interahamwe, variously translated as “those who work together” or “those who attack together” followed the formation of the extreme Hutu power, CDR, young wing called the Impuzamugambi (“those who have the same goal)(Mamdan, 2002, p. 203). This Process is coupled by the RPF invasion.

3.1.3. Population and the Economy

During the first decade of his rule, Habyarimana could point to important achievement of his government in several factors. But by the mid-1980s the economy faced serious difficulties. The world price of coffee, Rwanda’s main export, had declined(Newbury, 1995). The collapse of coffee prices began to expose economic contradictions which, up to that point, had been smoothed over by high coffee prices. Currency devaluation, collapsed coffee prices and the government's continued subsidization of the coffee sector resulted in Rwanda huge debt. This collapse in government services affected Hutus most dramatically since, under Habyarimana, they were the Primary recipients of the civil service jobs which could no longer be funded(Kamola, 2007). The famine of the late 1980s exacerbated the economic problem(Newbury, 1995).

The war effort created additional economic hardships and the economic reform package prescribed by the IMF and the World Bank served to exacerbate poverty and insecurity. All these factors contributed significantly to social tensions and fear. Population densities which lead to having half hectare of land for average family which is clear what it means for the society: unemployment and social insecurity. This adds a fear that the Tutsi refugees in Rwanda could claim their land they left after 1960’s(Newbury, 1995). The RPF invasion also coincided with these economic hardships of the regime(Hintjens, 1999 ). Regime survival will be then a matter of life and death to the elites and the government.

3.2. Proximate causes

3.2.1. The Arusha Peace Agreement

The final Arusha Accord outlined a plan for power sharing with the Hutu opposition and the Tutsi rebels, integration of the armies, establishment of post-conflict institutions, a timetable for the transition and international monitoring by the UN(SIDA, 2004). The consensus in the literature is that the RPF negotiated better at Arusha and so were able to articulate their positions and interests and got the most concessions, while the Government of Rwanda, owing to its disparate power centers, fared very badly(Scorgie, 2004).

The Arusha accords seem to have contributed to polarization of political tensions within Rwanda. First, hardliners in the government insisted that Habyrimana had given up too much to the RPF(Newbury, 1995). According the Arusha accords, the RPF were to receive five ministries out of 20. Second, provisions on merging the two armies stipulated that the new army RPF elements would fill 40% of the rank and file positions and 50% of the corps which could lead to demobilization to government soldiers which in turn created fear among military. A third aspect of the Arusha accords which heightened tensions was the stipulations of the right to return for refugees which created fears and anxieties among the population as to the impact of reclaiming land had they lost when they fled though the agreement provided that no one who had been gone 10 years or more could reclaim property(Newbury, 1995, p. 15).

The Habyarimana regime’s commitment to implementing the Arusha Accords was, however, limited because extremists within the Hutu power movement began to dominate both the political discourse and the actions of the government.

3.2.2. The Neighboring Effect

The Burundi case was/is still a dominant input for the cause of the conflict in Rwanda. The act in Burundi usually leads something in Rwanda and vice versa. The institutions of each state were administered in such a way to benefit one social group: the perceived enemy social group(the Hutu in Burundi and Tutsi in Rwanda) was tightly controlled and even prosecuted and Comparable dominance of the army in Rwanda and Burundi by each respective ethnic group(Hintjens, 1999 ). There were localized mass killing of Burundian Hutu in 1972, 1988 and 1993.

The problem became worse when an overwhelmingly Hutu electorate defeated the Tutsi incumbent Buyoya, and elected a Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye in 1993 in Burundi. Four months later, in October 1993, Ndadaye was assassinated during an attempted coup, resulting in one of the worst massacres in Burundi’s bloody history(OAU, 2000). An estimated 50,000 people, divided between the two ethnic groups, were murdered while between 800,000 and one million Hutu refugees fled into Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zaire (ibid).

In Burundi People in both ethnic groups are deeply afraid of being attacked and attack first, in "defensive attack," to avoid the fate they think is awaiting them. For example, For the Hutu peasants the fear of a repetition of 1972 is still a strong cause of preemptive violence and for the Tutsi if they do not use force to maintain order, they will lose their lives in massive Hutu-led violence. In Rwanda prejudice drives people to participate in mass violence which has been maintained and institutionalized by the elite in power to protect their power and privileges. It also has fed off events in Burundi from 1965 onward, which "proved" the evil nature of all Tutsi.(Uvin, 1999)

So what did this mean for the Rwandans? The calamity in Burundi was tailor-made for the ruthless opportunists of the Akazu and their network in neighboring Rwanda. They spread fear and hatred which was used as an in uniting factor the Rwandan Hutu against the Tutsi “outsiders,”(OAU, 2000). They were successful since the 1990 RPF invasion but Unhappy coincidence, the killing of Ndadaye coincided with RPF’s second invasion of Rwanda, giving apparent possibility to the notion of Bahima conspiracy to reconquering the entire region, and re-impose the old feudal order in Rwanda and the same fate as the Burundu Hutu(Hintjens, 1999 ).

The assassination of Burundi’s democratically elected Hutu President which was openly celebrated by some Rwandan Tutsi and the appalling massacres that followed offered final proof to the Hutu that power sharing between the Tutsi and the Hutu was forever doomed; the Tutsi could never be trusted. Hutu extremists saw only one sure way to guarantee that Rwanda’s Tutsi could not carry out their historic aspiration to rule the country unilaterally and to wipe out as many Hutu as was necessary to accomplish this objective. The Hutu must act first(OAU, 2000).

The neighbors’ effect was not limited to the Burundian case but the conditions of refugees in Uganda discussed below.

3.2.3. The RPF Invasion of The 1990

The refugees fled to the four neighboring countries of Burundi, Zaire, Uganda, and Tanzania was estimated to be between 400,000 and 600,000(Newbury, 1995, p. 13). The refugees in Burundi were relatively resentful having the Tutsi led government in power. However, in Uganda, the refugees had experienced different exposures. During the first and second Obete regime, the refugees were in serious conditions. By the time the Museveni took power in 1986, a remarkable 3,000 of its 14,000 men were Rwandans, many of them with high rank(Collins, 2014, p. 65). But later this empowerment didn’t create good political atmosphere to the Musoveni regime which lead to removal Rwandans from the posts and to the extent of prohibitions of Rwandans to own land prohibited in Uganda (ibid). Returning “home” was beginning to seem an attractive choice to increasing numbers of the exiled leadership(OAU, 2000). Followed to this, in 1990 the RPF invaded Rwanda and atrocities against Tutsi erupted after seventeen years (fig. 2). This case has been used as way of mobilization of the Hutu elite by creating fear of taking of power and a way of mobilizing the Hutus based on the ethnicity hatred. Before the RPF invasion, Habyarimana’ regime was not concerned about the return of the refugees upon the premises that Rwanda was too poor and had too little land to accommodate the enormous exiled community. So in due time the growing power of the RPF relative to Rwandan government forces, reflected in the peace agreement, for example, may have convinced some members of the Hutu-dominated regime of the urgency of solving the “Tutsi problem” once and for all(Paris, 2004, p. 75).

3.3. Triggering Factor

There are differences weather the genocide is planned after the 1990 RPF invasion or before, or just something accidental happened after the president plane crashed. No one yet knows who shot down the plane, nor can it be demonstrated that the countless manifestations of anti-Tutsi sentiment in these years were part of a diabolical master plan. What we do know, however, is that there was no direct violence against the Tutsi since 1973 up to 1990 RPF invasion. Since then Rwanda endured three and a half years of violent anti-Tutsi incidents culminated in the shooting down of the President Habyarimana’s plane on April 6, 1994, and the subsequent unleashing of the genocide(Dallaire R. , 2003). However, this writer argues that considering the cause of the conflict and the timing of the escalating factors below, the genocide is the top escalated result of the previous atrocities. Though there were differences as to the number of death depending on the timeline and combination of proximate cause and the escalating factors before the genocide, Tutsi were targeted since 1990 because they are Tutsi and that what happened in 1994 i.e. the genocide is an extension and culminated stage of the after 1990 acts. If this so then what is the triggering factor, the 1990 invasion or the plane crash? The president plane crash is the triggering factor in the sense that the official killing of the Tutsi began after this incident which lead to the elimination of above half million Tutsis within three months(Mamdan, 2002, p. 215).

3.4. Escalating Factors

Starting from the 1990 RPF invasion, there were different escalating factors which added fuel to the cause of the genocide.

First, international as well as domestic media had its huge role in the process. The partial liberalization of Rwanda created a vibrant but irresponsible press. This press was highly polarized between supporters and opponents of the Habyarimana regime, with some of the new publications advocating the destruction of Rwanda’s Tutsi population (Paris, 2004). Extremist local Medias spread racial hatred: the Kangura Magazine posted the Ten Commandments which accused Tutsi of using their women to enslave tutu men and prescribed sexual relation between the two races and openly accused followed by another commandment which required ‘ Hutu to stop feeling any pity for the Tutsi’(Hintjens, 1999 ). Deliberate misinformation of the peace agreements, fictitious reports and killing fantasy by Radio Mille Collines and scholastic instigating analysis by historian through different mass Medias can be cited (ibid).

Mugeresa, educated linguist, speech “We the people are obliged to take responsibility ourselves and wipe out this scum. No matter what you do, do not let them get away…the Tutsi be returned to Ethiopia, from where they had come anyway the river route …. by way of the Nyabarongo River” can reflect this situation(Mamdan, 2002, p. 195). Popular Music also became a vehicle for ridiculing Hutus who did not fall line with Hutu power extremists or did not sufficiently hate Tutsis.(Hintjens, 1999 ). The international Medias were virtually ignored or misunderstood what was happened probably taunted by the CNN syndrome(Dallaire R. , 2007).

Second, the toothless mission of the UN in Rwanda under chapter six of the UN charter was also another escalating factor to the genocide. If UNAMIR had obtained the desired peace enforcement mandate with additional resources, the genocide could have been stopped or at least, reduced the number of victims(Dallaire R. , 2003).

Third, the international community particularly the west, which are vanguard of human rights, ignored the situation and not committed either because of the American experience in Mogadishu in October 1993 which significantly changed the will of the Western world to commit itself to the betterment of the developing World or the effect of the end of cold war or as Dallaire quoted a representative said ‘You know, this country is of no strategic value. Geographically, it provides us nothing. It’s not even worth putting a radar station here. Economically it’s nothing, because there are no strategic resources, only tea and coffee, and the bottom is falling out of those markets(Dallaire, 2007).

4. Actors

There were primary as well as secondary actors in the Rwandan genocide. The Rwandan patriotic front (RPF), the government of Rwanda with its subgroups and political parties were the primary actors of the Rwandan genocide/civil war. The neighboring countries including Zaire(supports the Regime), Uganda(supports the RPF), Tanzania( officially neutral) and Burundi(supports the RPF) and the international communities(UN, OAU, Belgium, France) with more or less similar interests exception of France which was supporting until the Genocide, were secondary actors(Paris, 2004). From the perspective of the Arusha accords the CDR could be considered as spoilers which were excluded from the agreement and was strived to abolish the agreement with all its efforts. Due to maximum word limitation it will be difficult to address all the needs, interests and positions of the all the parties to the conflict but the following figure (figure had to be deleted out of copyright reasons) summarized the interaction of actors in the Rwandan conflict. However, within the secondary actors group they are classified as neighboring countries and international actors with the aim that neighboring countries were more directly affected actors.

5. Conflict Dynamics

Considering the cause of the conflict and the context of the conflict in Rwanda, what can be said in every aspect of the conflict fear of losing power changes every situation in Rwanda? During the 1960 more Tutsis have been killed because the attack from the Tutsi refugees. The major 1972 Burundi incident which leads to killing of more Tutsi in Rwanda was mainly because ethnicity was used by the government to preserve its power. Surprisingly, there was no direct violence against the Tutsi from 1973 to 1990 in Rwanda. Why? Because, there was no threat of power against the government till the RPF invasion. After the RPF invasion, killing of Tutsi increased dramatically depending on the severity of power threating activity internally or externally. The peace agreement was failed to be implemented because the regime was fear of the power sharing and there were power hungry extremists ‘which’ were not volunteer to see the Tutsi in power. In fact, economic challenges during the late 1990s has put a ground for international imposition for democratization or power sharing; colonization has created fear and categorization among the two groups; population density have aggravated the problem; the radical media and political parties, omission of the international community or limited power of the UNAMIR had escalated the genocide. However, these causes have been made as playground to preserve the power of the elites. Still, no conflict has been reported between the Hutu and Twa after 1960s simply because they were not a threat to the power of the government. Besides, Tutsi were not the only target of the genocide moderate Hutu were too. All in all, power preservation was the ultimate goal of all dramas made in Rwanda.

6. Post Conflict Reconstruction

Though there are difference as to the term what ‘post conflict and demarcations, such challenge seems not applicable in Rwanda in the sense that the end of genocide and RPF control of Rwanda is the beginning of the post-conflict scenario. The usual Common items in post conflict reconstruction are security reform, rebuilding infrastructure, establishment of the rule of law and a working judiciary, institution-building, socio-economic rehabilitation, education and promotion of human rights and democratisation. All literatures shows that Rwanda has a success story of post conflict reconstructions. From the reconciliation and judiciary persepective, Rwanda’s formal courts faced a backlog of more than 120,000 accused perpetrators of the genocide , living in debilitating conditions which were beyond the national court system and the UN-sanctioned International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2001 the Rwandan government enacted the Gacaca Law to give indigenous courts a mandate to deal with cases of individuals who had committed atrocities in their communities during the genocide with the final goal of reconciliation to heal ethnic tensions(Mutisi, 2009).

Economically, according to IMF, “Rwanda has shown remarkable development successes over the last decade which include high growth, rapid poverty reduction and, since 2005, reduced inequality. Between 2001and 2015, real GDP growth averaged at about 8% per annum.”(World Bank, 2017). The democratization process is also in good progress(World Bank, 2017). However, remnants of the previous regime and refugees fled to neighboring countries after the genocide are still a challenge to the country.


In this essay, I have attempted to briefly explain the context of the conflict, cause of the conflict, triggering factors of the conflict. Media, inaction of the international community, omission of the west are considered as escalating factors which catalyze the genocide. The conflict dynamics of Rwanda which took place before 1994 implies that the end goal of all interactions are to preserve power of the elite though colonization, weak economy, high population, the agreement, the RPF invasion or the neighboring conflict has their own role in the conflict. That is why no direct violence against Tutsi between 1973 and 1990 and/or between the Hutu and Twa because there was no threat of power against the government until the RPF invasion. However, whatever the kind of danger, discrimination, or ethnic hatred or historic dominance of the Tutsi, no cause can balance the 1994 genocide. After the genocide, Rwanda is considered as one of the successful post conflict countries in reconstructing the economy and other sectors but still remnants of the previous regime and refugees fled to neighboring countries after the genocide are still future challenges to the country.


World Bank. (2017, March 17). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from

Collins, B. (2014). Rwanda 1994: The Myth of the Akazu Genocide Conspiracy and Its Consequences. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dallaire, R. (2003). Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. Random house ebooks.

Dallaire, R. (2007). The Media Dichotomy. In A. Thompson, The media and the rwanda genocide (pp. 12-20). Pluto Press.

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Paris, R. (2004). At War’s End Building Peace after Civil Conflict. New York: Cambridge University Press .

Scorgie, L. (2004). Rwanda’s Arusha Accords: A Missed Opportunity. Undercurrent, Volume I (No 1), 65-76.

SIDA. (2004). SIDA A Strategic Conflict Analysis for the Great Lakes Region. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from SIDA:

Uvin, P. (1997). Prejudice, crisis and genocide in rwanda. African Studies Review, 40 (2), 91-115.

Uvin, P. (1999). Ethnicity and Power in Burundi and Rwanda: Different Paths to Mass Violence. Comparative Politics, 31 (3), 253-271.


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2018 (Juli)
genocide rwanda conflict analysis civil

Titel: Genocide in Rwanda. Conflict Analysis of the Civil War
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16 Seiten