Horror of Genocide

Throughout history, man has always been at battle with one another, even today. When remembering the different historical events that occurred back then, the main things that come to the mind are war and hatred. Over the years different groups of people and government have had the trait of hatred and have used it to go through with eliminating their “enemies” with war. War has a certain standard, this standard allows people to fight when legitimate conflicts arise and can’t be resolved on paper such as independence concerns, resources, territory, and other issues. Factors that play a role in war are death, victory, and loss, however, when people fight for personal reasons that involve killing others in an inhumane and unfair way it’s just not right.

One inhumane way would be a genocide, a genocide, according to the article titled Genocide, by History.com, “is a term used to describe violence against members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group with the intent to destroy the entire group”. These acts of violence are deliberate, racist and dwelled upon, whereas a large-scale massacre is indiscriminate. In 1948, the United Nations declared genocide to be an international crime when the full extent of atrocities such as the Holocaust became fully known. Humans tend to steer clear of these horrible events, but they sometimes can go unnoticed for some time for example, the Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda (1994), the Black Africans and Belgians in Belgian Congo (1880-1907), the Armenians and Turks in Ottoman Empire (1915), and the Bosnians and Serbians in Bosnia(1990s). Each of these atrocities involves two groups, one going after the other because of different views or feelings they all are different but have some similarities.

In 1994 the Rwanda Genocide, also known as the “100 days of slaughter” was the mass killing of minority members of the Tutsi community as well as their political opponents. This horrible and gruesome act was carried out by ethnic Hutu extremists. About 800,000 people were slaughtered, more were raped, maimed, or otherwise traumatized. The cause of this genocide has been slowly progressing over time. According to the article titled Rwandan Genocide, “Rwanda’s colonial period, during which the ruling Belgians favored the minority Tutsi over the Hutus, exacerbated the tendency of the few to oppress the many, creating a legacy of tension that exploded into violence even before Rwanda gained its independence.” This piece of evidence talks about the ethnic tensions and allows you to see that they have been progressing over time between the two, leading up to the 1994 event. In 1959 the Hutus overthrew the Tutsis monarchy; some Tutsi exiles formed a rebel group known as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and fought against the Hutus until a peace deal was agreed in 1993.

This peace deal was broken only a year later when a plane carrying then-President Juvenal Habyarimana, and his counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, both of which were Hutus, was shot down, leaving no survivors. The assassination left some to blame the RPF group while others blamed Hutu extremists. Immediately the presidential guard along with members of the Rwandan armed forces and Hutu militia groups began slaughtering Tutsis and moderate Hutus. This ended in 1994 when the RPF took capital in Kigali and put an end to the Tutsi killings. The international response to this atrocity involved mainly the United Nations whom of which remained on the sidelines during that time, the United States didn’t want to get involved in another African conflict because some of our troops were killed in Somalia a year before. In the article Rwandan Genocide, it states, “As reports of the genocide spread, the Security Council voted in mid-May to supply a more robust force, including more than 5,000 troops. By the time that force arrived in full, however, the genocide had been over for months.” This shows how much “effort” that the United Nations put into the whole situation in Rwanda. This was a horrible genocide that took the lives of many innocent people who were not involved with the true conflict, they were targeted because of their social class or ethnic group.

Throughout 1880 to 1907 King Léopold II of Belgium, was the owner of the Congo Free State. He used it as a private project to extract rubber and ivory from his personal colony, relying on human slavery. To have never set foot in his state, he was responsible for the death of tens of millions of Africans. He was able to do this by manipulating Chiefs into signing fake “friendship treaties” which were truly documents that signed their land over to him and allowing the colonial nations of Europe to believe he was improving the lives of natives. Léopold was free to rule the colony as a personal domain and under his administration he chose to use slave labor. Natives were forced to provide state officials with set quotas of rubber and ivory, to enforce the rubber quotas FP, an army, was called in to terrorize the local population. according to, Mass crimes against humanity and genocides The Congo Free State genocide, this army “…routinely took and tortured hostages (mostly women), flogged, and raped the natives. They also burned recalcitrant villages, and above all, took human hands as trophies on the orders of white officers to show that bullets hadn’t been wasted”.

They tortured all these people to just scare them when they didn’t meet the certain quotas. The king was able to keep this quiet by only allowing a few missionaries into the country who were Belgian Catholics, white employees couldn’t leave the country and some publishers were bribed, when the secret got out of his private project most people didn’t believe it. The Congo Free State was eventually taken away from King Léopold II when international outrage urged the Belgian government to take control over it, they later renamed it The Belgian Congo. This event that occurred was a genocide, it was a mass murder of innocent African natives from Congo who were taken advantage of by army troops and a worthless ruler who never had the audacity to step foot into the state. These men, women and children were used for forced labor in their own villages and were wrongly slaughtered if they didn’t meet expectations.

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