Term Paper: Hutu Blame? The Search

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[. . .] That civilians were largely the object of attack does not contradict the political rationale behind the fighting.

While import prices soared, in response to IMF insistence, the price at which coffee was bought from local producers was frozen. As a result, hundreds of thousands of small coffee farmers were ruined (Maton, 1994). Alongside the poorest sectors of the urban population, these destitute farmers became a permanent reservoir of recruits for the Interahamwe militia and the army.

The measures imposed by the World Bank and the IMF as part of the SAP included: increased taxes on consumption and lower business taxes; increased direct taxes on low-income households through a reduction in tax allowances for large families; and cuts in lending programmes for small farmers.

Differing opinions hold that it was not the Hutu alone but the Hutu and the IMF World Bank. The World Bank and IMF, inclusive with SAP:

"increased taxes on consumption and lower business taxes; increased direct taxes on low-income households through a reduction in tax allowances for large families; and cuts in lending programmes for small farmers. . The World Bank and the IMF sent several delegations of experts during this period; they highlighted the positive features of Habyarimana's austerity policies but nonetheless threatened to suspend credit unless military spending stopped increasing. The Rwandan authorities manoeuvered their way around these restrictions in order to hide rising military spending..

However, there is another possible reason stated by Reverend Peter Hammond:

The Tutsi were Christians, and the Hutus are primarily anti-Christians; Hammond said there were three operative anti-Christian forces: 1) voodooists / animists 2) Marxists, who worked up the resentment against the Tutsis, who, as a result of their habits of clean-living, saving, investment, and so on, built up more material and financial success than the Hutus and 3) Islamists.

Melvern who doesn't hold back gave detail to a list of external actors:

France's support of the Habyarimana regime;

Uganda's role as a source of combat training and experience for the Tutsi army-in-exile,

the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF);

Egypt's channeling of armaments to Rwandan government forces through one of its diplomats, Boutros-Ghali -- the man who would later serve as the UN Secretary General during the genocide;

American stonewalling on the issue of armed intervention; even Britain's inattention to the crisis comes under scrutiny.

As the Tutsi were being decimated in Rwanda, Tutsi exiles living in Uganda felt the time for action was at hand. Calling themselves the "Rwandan Patriotic Front," the rebels entered the country from the north and advanced swiftly toward the capital. They had had a running battle with the Hutu ever since the country gained independence in 1962 and democratic elections had put the more numerous Hutu in power. Now, pushing with the ferocity of the dispossessed, the exiled Tutsi overran the country and by July 18 had taken over the capital and declared victory.

However there are those who claim that the Western powers are the ones responsible according to Reuters news Report

KIGALI (Reuters) - Western powers bear criminal responsibility for Rwanda's 1994 genocide because they did not care enough to stop it, the Canadian commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force at the time said Tuesday.

"The international community didn't give one damn for Rwandans because Rwanda was a country of no strategic importance," Romeo Dallaire told a conference in Kigali marking the 10th anniversary of the slaughter of some 800,000 Rwandans. "It's up to Rwanda not to let others forget they are criminally responsible for the genocide," said the retired general, singling out France, Britain and the United States.

However other sources state that:

On 26 September 1990, while Habyarimana and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda were attending the World Summit on Children in America, Rwandan NRA officers and ordinary soldiers began leaving their posts. A large troop movement towards the Rwandan border raised no alarm. The soldiers openly bade farewell to their families and friends. They traveled with their weapons for two days and assembled in Kabale soccer stadium, just north of the Rwandan border, about 200 miles from Kampala. Their weaponry included land mines, rocket-propelled grenades, 60 millimetre mortars, recoilless canons and Katyusha rocket-launchers. According to Western diplomats, international military observers,

"The months of the genocide happened to coincide with Rwanda's turn to fill one of the temporary seats on the Security Council. Throughout those 3 months, the representative of the government executing the genocide continued to take that seat, including during discussions on Rwanda." (Presentation to the Stockholm International Forum on Truth, Justice and Reconciliation, 23 April 2002 By Gerald Caplan

By the time of the genocide in 1994, media in the West often portrayed Rwanda as consisting of warring tribes. But this was not so. (Source Rwanda 10)

It is the contention of DeSouza that it is very true that the Hutu and Tutsi were warring tribes and had been for many years. According to DeSouza the in 1959 the situation became very tense and the Tutsi started killing any Hutu that they thought would stand against the Tutsi rule. Francois Karera, a senior politician with the former Hutu Government who is now in exile in the eastern Congo, was teaching in 1959 when the first Hutu rising took place. He tells DeSouza that at one time he was being hunted down by the Tutsi for attempting to achieve a higher education instead of being a farmer. More than 20,000 were displaced of the Tutsi group and Rwanda held elections in 1962 after having become independent. During the years from 1961 to 1966, the Inyenzi also known as the cockroaches or the Tutsi military launched 10 attacked from the countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zaire. Accroding to DeSouza the reusults were those of "severe relation from the Hutu in power. During 1963 the Inyenzi attacked killing 10,000 Tutsi. The same old story repeats in 1973 when on suspicion of a coup involvement many more Tutsif were killed.


It is quite apparent that the U.S., France, Belgium, Uganda, as well as the Hutu, RPF and many other entities were involved in the Rwandan genocide atrocities. It was somewhat late breaking news that poor little nuns had been implicated. It leaves one to wonder what these two little nuns could have done against all of the countries and powers involved in the genocide. It will be a long time coming in the years of history before the complete truth is known.

The landmark trial of two Benedictine nuns, a university professor and a presidential aide will focus on the killing of hundreds of Tutsis hiding at a Roman Catholic convent and health centre near the southern city of Butare. The trial is due to begin on Tuesday in Belgium -- Rwanda's former colonial power -- under a 1993 Belgium law empowering Belgian criminal courts to hear cases of alleged human rights violations regardless of where the acts were committed.


DeSouza, Leo J. (1997) Washington Monthly: Assigning blame in Rwanda: how to break the cycle of revenge in ethnic conflict Washington Monthly [Online] located at: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_n9_v29/ai_19757663/pg_2

Toussaint, Eric (2004) "Rwanda: The Financiers of the Genocide" [Online] available at: http://www.cadtm.org/article.php3?id_article=611

TOUSSAINT, Eric. 1996. -- Nouvelles revelations sur les ventes d'armes --, 2

p., CADTM 19, Bruxelles, 1996

TOUSSAINT, Eric. 1997. -- Rwanda: Les creanciers du genocide --, 5 p., in Politique, La Revue, Paris, avril 1997.

WOODWARD, David. 1996. The IMF, the World Bank and Economic Policy in Rwanda: Economic, Social and Political Implications, Oxfam, Oxford, 1996,


Mukagasana, Yolande (2004) "Rebuilding Rwanda" Rwanda 10 [Online] located at: http://www.rwanda10.org/genocide/

Caplan, Gerald "Why we must never forget the Rwandan Genocide" [Online] avaliable at:


RWANDA: 1994: chronicle of a genocide foretold.

Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire: June 22, 2003; Martin, Guy

Commentary: not a just war, just a war - NATO's humanitarian bombing mission.(Human Rights, Gender Politics & Postmodern Discourses)

Social Justice: March 22, 1999; Shank, Gregory

NATO'S intervention in Kosovo: the legal case for violating Yugoslavia's national sovereignty in the absence of security council approval.

Houston Journal of International Law: March 22, 2000; Alexander, Klinton W.

Hu, Arthur (2004) "War and Genocide and Disaster Victims: Arthur Hu's Index of Diversity" [Online] located at: http://www.arthurhu.com/index/genocide.htm

Innes, Michael A. (2000) Accountability for Genocide. Des Forges' Torch [Online] available at:


Crawford Barry (1997) Africa Direct: "Rwanda Myth or Reality? [Online] located at: http://www.inshuti.org/mythre.htm

Caplan, Gerald (2002) Presentation to the 2002 Stockholm International Forum on Truth, Justice and Reconciliation (revised version) located[Online] at: http://www.visiontv.ca/RememberRwanda/Nov2002Presentation.htm

"Nuns face Rwanda war crimes trial (2001) CNN News [Online] located at http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/africa/04/17/belgium.rwanda/

Confessore, Nicholas (2000) " Nightmare in Kigali" [Online] located at: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/books/2000/0012.confessore.html

DeSouza, Leo J. (1997) Washington Monthly: Assigning blame in Rwanda: how to break the cycle of revenge in ethnic conflict

Crawford Barry (1997) Africa Direct: "Rwanda Myth or Reality? [Online] located… [END OF PREVIEW]

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