Background to the Rwandan Genocide
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
Oral History Item Type Metadata
It really came gradually. I can say that’s a long history. I can remember when I was about five, six years. I remember that in early ’60s my parents’ house was burnt and everything looted. I remember that we’ve been living in the mountains, hiding, for weeks and weeks. And then in ’73 I was in high school. I was with many other people who were expelled from school and then came back at the end of the year. And then, in the ’90s, Rwanda started a very wide scare of killing of the Tutsi people and every other person who would be on the side of Tutsi people, or who was not with that kind of policy or politics of killing individuals. From ’90—actually from 1990 until 1994, that is where the tragedy was really pronounced. And ’94 was the climax of the situation, and that’s when I’ve been lucky to leave and to escape Rwanda, leaving behind me all the killings and the massacres and all the extent of genocide that happened in my country.
It’s a very complicated question. It really—Rwanda is a small country with one language, same culture, everybody. I think personally that one big reason that the Hutus and the Tutsis have been—actually, let me put it this way. The reason the Hutus have been after the Tutsis is really a big mistake that have been made by the colonial power of Rwanda, Belgium, that has been in Rwanda until early ’60s. They have sowed hatred between those two groups, and the results have been the genocide. I don’t see any other reason, really, of them having been hating each other to the extent of planning to exterminate the Tutsis by the Hutus.