Case Study: Rwanda Genocide ) the Role

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[. . .] According to Alison Des Forges (2000), after seeing the complete indifference of the international community the Rwandans became totally convinced that the genocide government would win. As a result of this the people who were against the genocide started to slaughter as well whether due to fear or seeing opportunities.

The transactional networks played a huge role in supplying the arms for the genocide. Although, this fact was kept hidden because the civil war against the RPF was continuing as well and it was thought that the arms were coming for it. Countries such as Egypt, France, China and South Africa were responsible for supplying arms from machetes to the rocket launchers. The significance of the import of arms was noted by Klare as well in the 1999 report of the human rights watch, where she asserted that due to the numerous amounts of suppliers it became very easy for the potential belligerents to get their hands on the arms. Before the massacre of 1994 the Rwanda government used to purchase the arms in small quantities from countries like Africa and Egypt. The importance of globalization can also be judged by how the Rwanda government had exploited the multiplicity of the sources to get the arms from.

According to Mcnulty (2000) it is very important to control this militarization as he said that the transformation of Rwanda from a 'hard state' to a 'weapon states' in less than four years would never had been possible if the external forces would not have been providing it with the arms. The importance of the arms that were provided in the genocide has also been talked about by the human rights watch arms project members: Goose and Smyth (1994). They said that the conflict worsened because of the weapons that were being provided to the Rwandans. Majority of the killings were being done by the machetes however, hand grenades and the automatic rifles were being used as well. The number of killings increased to a huge extent due to the availability of the arms to the Hutu extremists. The members of the militia and various other supporters were provided with the firearms by the Rwanda authorities one month before the genocide (Goose and Smyth, 1994).

Globalization and Identity Politics

According to Kaldor (2001) there exists a strong link between the globalization processes and the resulting politics which mainly occur due to the identity politics. He further said that although these war are known as the 'new wars' but their political goals seem to be very traditional as, they all seem to be wanting to increase their power on the basis of their religion, nation or tribe. These new wars and struggles might take the shape of modern phenomenon such as communalism, nationalism or tribalism but these all are basically the modern names that might be showing new characteristics but are based on the old beliefs. Therefore, Kaldor (2001) believed that if we look at the reinvention of the ethnicity from the perspective of the contemporary power struggle going on in Rwanda, we can understand it.

With the implementation of the multi-party democratization and the inevitable advance by the RPF, Akuzu became insecure about losing their political legitimacy and power. It was due to this fear being faced by Akuzu that Hutu and Tutsi emerged again as ethnically different groups of people.

Akuzu was directing the Interahamwe which began a war in the name of maintaining their identity and eradicating anyone who didn't belong to their own identity. According to Kaldor (2001), the main purpose of the wars of this kind was the eviction of the population through mass killings. Akuzu very successfully made the Hutus believe that they were conducting these mass killings in the name of their century old cause, whereas, in truth Akuzu was doing all this to preserve their power and political legacy.

Although over the years some criticism and doubts were directed towards the Tutsi, however, Akuzu managed to maintain their power and their influence. Akuzu had so much influence over the Hutus that they build a fear in the minds of Hutus against RPF to the extent that Hutus were willing to kill any of them even from their own communities (Melvern, 2000).

Forces of fragmentation have risen along with the forces of globalization. According to Smith (1995), even in this era of transcendence and globalization, the nations are still caught up in ethnic fragmentation and conflicts regarding the political identities. The people who feel threatened about losing their power and influence start looking for other options in order to maintain their power and influence as well as to find some identification for themselves.

According to Kaldor (2001), the expansions of extremist networks and mobilization of the people towards the war are some of the aims of the new wars. In these new wars battles aren't very common and civilians are the common targets of the violence. All these activities are done to make the people afraid, defeat tolerance and to repress any moderate voices in order to gain power and influence.

Therefore, with globalization conflicting dynamics arise. This is exactly what happened in Rwanda where the political parties that were thirsty for power didn't want democratization as they were afraid of losing their identity. Hence, they started looking for ways to remain in power which resulted in the formation of extremist groups.


One thing that has to happen with globalization is the de-legitimization of the state, as a result of this new ownership. This is what happened in Rwanda when the Arusha Accords were signed and the government in Rwanda was de-legitimized.

According to Mamdani (2001), in the 1990's the irony of Rwanda was that the democracy and the civil war were taking place at the same time; because of this series of events individuals and freedom seekers rose to support democracy whereas the people who felt loyal to their nation started supporting the civil war. This resulted in great disturbances and political upheavals as these two processes can't go hand in hand which is exactly what was happening in Rwanda. Therefore, Akuzu started making efforts to maintain its power and influence. These efforts made by Akuzu later on led to mobilization and the occurrence of genocide.


Adelmann, H. & Suhrke, A. "Early warning and conflict management," JEEAR, Copenhagen, 1996

Chossudovsky, M. "Economic Genocide in Rwanda," Economic and Political Weekly (India) 13, April, 1996

Des Forges, A. "Shame -- Rationalizing Western Apathy on Rwanda," Foreign Affairs, 79:3, 2000

Goose S. & Smyth, F. "Arming Genocide in Rwanda," Foreign Affairs 73:5, 1994

Kaldor, M. New & Old Wars, Organized Violence in a Global Era, (Polity, 2001)

Klare, M. Light Weapons and Civil Conflict: Controlling the Tools of Violence, (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 1999)

Mamdani, M. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda, (Princeton University Press, 2001)

McNulty, M. "French Arms, War and Genocide in Rwanda," Crime, Law and Social Change,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Rwanda Genocide ) the Role.  (2012, April 30).  Retrieved December 10, 2019, from

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"Rwanda Genocide ) the Role."  April 30, 2012.  Accessed December 10, 2019.