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Lecture

Rwanda in Retrospect


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL101Y1
Professor
Jeffrey Kopstein

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Political Science January 10
th
, 2011.
Rwanda in Retrospect
A Hard Look at Intervention
The U.S. searching for a comprehensive policy to address deadly communal
conf licts
2 basic principles have achieved some consensus:
1
st
, U.S ground troops generally should not be used in humanitarian interventions
dur ing ongoing civil wars
2
nd
, an exception should be made for cases of genocide, esp where intervention can
succeed at low cost
Claim that 5,000 U.S. troops deployed at the outset of the killing in Apr il 1994 in Rwanda
could have prevented the genocide
Some lives could have been saved by intervention of any size at any point dur ing the
genocide, truth is that even a large force deployed immediately upon reports of attempted
genocide would not have been able to save even half
Prelude to Genocide
Rwandan politics traditionally dominated by Tutsi (once made up by 17% of pop)
Rest pop was Hutu, less than 1% abor iginal Twa
During transition to independence in 1959, Hutu seized control in violent struggle,
with exodus of ½ Tutsi pop to neighbouring states
Hutu divided into 2 regional groups: major ity lived in central and southern part of
country and supported PARMEHUTU (Parti du movement et de l’emancipation
des Bahutu), which assumed power upon ind ependence, while minority lived in
nor thwest, histor ically a separate region
1
st
decade of independence, Tutsi refugees invaded Rwanda repeatedly, seeking
return to power
Hutu responded by massacring domestic Tutsi
1973, nor thwestern Hutu officer, Juvenal Habyarimana, led a revolution, shifting
political power to his region
Nor thwestern Hutu dominated Rwandas political, military, and economic life,
endangering resentment from other Hutu as well from Tutsi
Large scale violence against domestic Tutsi vastly disappeared for 15 years in
absence of any further attempted invasions by refugees
Stability unraveled in October 1990, when expatriate rebel force composed of
Uganda-based Tutsi refugees, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), invaded
nor thern Rwanda
RPA and the Rwandan Patriotic front (RPF) were led by battle-tested soldiers
Early 1993, rebels had made substantial inroad against Hutu-dominated Rwandan
Armed Forces
This military advance with the diplomatic pressure from international community,
compelled Habyarimana to agree to share power in Arusha accord of August 1993
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