- Hutu Power
Hutu Power was an ideology propounded by the
Akazuand other Hutuextremists which culminated in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsiand moderate Hutu.
The Rwandan kingdom was traditionally ruled by a Tutsi
Mwami, or king, though evidence exists that Hutus and Twas were included, Twas significantly less so than Hutu. The Tutsi/Hutu divide has been referred to as a caste system, though the classification was not rigid like the caste system of Hindu India--a Hutu could gain Tutsi status through marriage or through success. Tutsis, being primarily pastoralists, had a naturally more valuable place in Rwandan society than the agriculturalist Hutu, and the hunter-gathererand potterTwa. Along with this developed a cultural status--Twas, as working most directly with the Earth (through pottery), were considered impure, the Hutus, still working with the ground, less pure than the above-ground Tutsis [cite book|last=Taylor|first=Christopher|title=Sacrifice as Terror|publisher=Berg Publishers|date=2001] When Germany, and later Belgium, colonized the kingdom, they reinterpreted the stratification as a division of races, perceived through the Hamitic hypothesis. European authors such as John Hanning Spekewrote glowingly of the Tutsis as being of 'Hamitic' origin, having constituted a Nilotic invasion from modern Ethiopia, bringing civilization to the Negroid'race'. [cite book|last=Gourevitch|first=Philip|title=We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda |publisher=Picador|date=1999] As a result, the colonial administration favored Tutsis at the expense of Hutus and Twa. Identity cards, created to formalize the classification system, etched a further division amongst the people of Rwanda.
hift in Belgium
Toward the end of the Belgian rule, opinion shifted toward favoring the Hutus.
Flemishofficials, hostile toward their French neighbors, sympathized with the Hutus, seeing points of comparison. The Belgian administration feared the rise of the spread of Communismand a Pan-African socialist regime led by Democratic Republic of the Congo's Lumumba. Then-chief resident Guy Logiest [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Rwanda.htm] , in setting up the first democratic elections, ensured that Hutus would have wide authority.
Formation of Hutu Power
Grégoire Kayibandaflamed ethnic tensions to preserve power. Hutu radicals, working with his group (and later against it), co-opted the Hamitic hypothesis, transforming it into establishing the Tutsis as outsiders, invaders, and suppressors. Some Hutu radicals called for the Tutsis to be 'sent back to Abyssinia, a reference to their hypothesized homeland. This, the beginning of Hutu power, idealized a pre-'invasion' Rwanda, an ethnically pure Rwanda dominated by Hutus.
1973, general and defense minister Juvénal Habyarimana, supported by more radical northern Rwandans (descendants of residents of Hutu kingdoms that had been semi-autonomous before the colonization of Rwanda) overthrew Kayibanda. The resulting administration proved better for Tutsis, as government sponsored violence was more sporadic.
As overall conditions worsened, however, the Rwandan government turned to inflaming ethnic tensions.
Voices of Hutu Power
Soon, the voices that became the synonous with the idea of Hutu power.
Hassan Ngeze, an entrepreneur recruited by the government to combat the Tutsi publication Kanguka, created and edited Kangura, a radical Hutu power newsletter infamous for the Hutu Ten Commandments, which held that Hutu and Tutsi should not intermarry, that the education system must be comprised of a Hutu majority, and that Rwandese armed forces should be exclusively Hutu. Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collinesbroadcasted hate radioshows encouraging an end to toleration of the Tutsis, echoing the Hutu ten commandments, and aiming to build popular support for the Hutu Power ideology, and mobilize the population to participate in eradicating the Tutsi who were perceived as a threat to the social and political order envisioned by the "akazu". Kakwenzire, Joan and Dixon Kamukama (2000). In: The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Howard Adelman and Astri Suhrke (eds). London: Transaction Publishers. Page 75.] Chalk, Frank (2002). Hate Radio in Rwanda. In: The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Howard Adelman and Astri Suhrke (eds). London: Transaction Publishers.] Politician Léon Mugeseragave an influential speech, imploring his audience, "Do not be afraid, know that anyone whose neck you do not cut is the one who will cut your neck...Let them pack their bags, let them get going, so that no one will return here to talk and no one will bring scraps claiming to be flags!" [ [http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/2005/2005scc40/2005scc40.html Supreme Court of Canada - Decisions - Mugesera v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) ] ] Inyenzi, a Kinyarwandaword meaning 'cockroach', was widely used to describe Tutsis.
Lead up to genocide
During the attempted negotiations (
Arusha Accords) between the Rwandan government and the RPF, radical Hutus began alleging that Habyarimana was being manipulated by Tutsis and non-radical Hutus, including then-Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana. Jones, Bruce (2000). The Arusha Peace Process. In: The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Howard Adelman and Astri Suhrke (eds). London: Transaction Publishers. Page 146] Following Habyarimana's assassination, an act that many have speculated to have been carried out by Hutu extremists, Hutu Power forces mobilized mobs, most notably Interahamwe, to carry out the mass killings that became the Rwandan Genocide.
Many Hutu Power voices were subsequently arrested and put on trial. Ngeze was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, and in
2005, Mugesera was deported from Canadato stand trial for his role in the killings. [ [http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1119959045332_19/?hub=TopStories CTV.ca | Top court upholds Mugesera deportation order ] ]
Notes and references
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