Main Actors in the conflict.
The two main actors in the conflict are:
1. The majority group of Hutus.
2. The minority group of Tutsis.
The split that occurred between the Hutus and the Tutsis was mostly founded upon economic reasons. The Hutus were farmers while the Tutsis were herdsmen. A majority of the people in the country however were Hutus and the economic designation of each people gradually came to stand out as divisions of class and as ethnic designations. Cattle were considered by the colonizers to be far more valuable than crops thus the Tutsis were considered by the colonizers first the Germans then the Belgians to be elite (Carney, 2017). The Belgians took over Rwanda in 1917 and by then Tutsi elite had been a ruling monarchy for a considerable length of time. The rule of the colonizers made the lines between the Hutus and the Tutsis to be even more distinct as they required all the local chieftain posts to be held by Tutsis (Carney, 2017). The minority Tutsi were thus turned into a symbol of colonial power.
Following the independence of Rwanda, the resentment that the Hutu had bred against the Tutsis turned into violence. The Hutus were a majority in the country thus they easily won the election and formed the government of Independent Rwanda. However, there were frequent cases of outbreak of violence between the two groups. The Rwandan genocide was thus a directed and pre-meditated attempt to eliminate an entire minority people for perceived errors in the colonial era (Carney, 2017).
Key Issues Resulting in Conflict.
Economic factors are essential in shaping and worsening the effects and also the extent to which a genocide is carried out. There are four socio-economic factors that shaped the extent to which the genocide spread. First, there was a drop in the prices of coffee in the global market that was accompanied by the devaluation of currency and the inflation of the 1990 (Ordóñez-Carabaño & Prieto-Ursúa, 2021). The Hutus, being farmers, were dependent upon funds that were accrued from the exporting of coffee to the global market. The drop in the prices of coffee thus resulted in poorer economic conditions. The second factor was a structural adjustment program in the sale of coffee that was accompanied by droughts in the southern region that turned into famines (Ordóñez-Carabaño & Prieto-Ursúa, 2021). The drought thus decreased the output of coffee and the famine resulted in the lack of sufficient food supply for the entire nation. The third factor was the outbreak of the war that also drained the resources of the government and it resulted in the creation of refugee camps to the North of Kigali. Finally, there is the paradox of democratization of Africa (Ordóñez-Carabaño & Prieto-Ursúa, 2021). The democratically elected government of the republic was facing opposition within the country though it was already embattled.
In Rwanda, the terms Hutus and Tutsis refer to more than just ethnic groups; the two terms are constructs that refer to constructed categories that represented different socio-economic position in the Rwandan society. Since the time when the two groups first settled in Rwanda, they had shared resources and engaged in intermarrying (Ordóñez-Carabaño & Prieto-Ursúa, 2021). It is thus uncalled for to suppose that there could be a pure divide in terms of race between them that could be a basis of war. The Belgian reform of the colonial state is what resulted in the reformation of the two tribes with the Hutus being ancient Bantus while the Tutsis were foreign Hamites. The Hamitic hypothesis is posed as a way pf explaining away every aspect of civilization in Africa as being as a result of western influence (Ordóñez-Carabaño & Prieto-Ursúa, 2021). The Hutu and the Tutsis were thus political identities to which the origin of violence can be traced. The genocide in Rwanda was not as a result of two tribes that were fighting as a result of the hatred that they harbored towards each other that would later erupt into irrational violence. It was a planned attack by a group in cahoots with the then president, Habyarimana, who was not pen to sharing his state mandates with members of Tutsi ethicality. In the case of Rwanda however, it was a class war, a conflict of classes that was minutely prepared and which later escalated along the pre-prepared lines.
Environmental factors also contributed towards the eventual outbreak of the genocide in the country. Rwanda is a small country whose population grew from 1.887 million in the year 1948 to more than 7.5 million in the year 1992 (Moodley, Gahima & Munien, 2018). It was among the most densely populated locations in the entire continent with 300-400 people per square kilometer. The challenge of overpopulation and the challenge of poverty were escalating the problems of ethnic tensions. Growth in population resulted in an increased number of subdivision of land among the members of the family thus the amount that was sufficient for subsistence farming decreased (Moodley, Gahima & Munien, 2018). A majority of the people were left landless and unemployed; they had no source of income. It was easy to call for the killing of the Tutsis with the main incentive being that the Hutus would acquire their land and property. Land was thus a primary factor that was to contribute to the breakout of violence as the Hutus attempted to be rewarded through land for the slaughter of their neighbors the Tutsis (Moodley, Gahima & Munien, 2018). Other factors that contributed to the violence but which are bound to land include government limiting the sale of land, freedom of movement, labor opportunities and mismanagement of conflict.