Could be…could be not, who’s to say?”
Nakedmaninatree posed these questions on his blog, so I wanted to address them here, so as not to take away from his post on DRC.
But it is important to understand the reason why Kagame and the Tutsi were fighting and attempting to oust Habyarimana as they did. The Tutsi were being oppressed and discriminated against in a land that was as much theirs as it was to the Hutus (as far as I understand).
This is a very interesting statement, and it’s also important to note that Kagame had never lived in Rwanda after his family fled as refugees (so if there was any discrimination to experience, he didn’t experience any). While he may have been concerned about other Tutsis living in Rwanda, I don’t really think his overall goal was to liberate them. I think he prefers that they are the upper and ruling class though. Which was ultimately his goal.
Also, it’s important to note that during the period following 1959-1962, those Tutsi who remained in the country (who were a very large number also by the way) married and intermarried with other Hutus. Everyone was mixed with everyone else. It’s rare to find someone who is of “pure” blood, although children are associated with their fathers’ ethnic group. There was relative peace for the remaining Tutsi, but there were some who were discriminated against. It’s bound to happen, bigotry exists EVERYWHERE. There were also social programs put in place (such as affirmitive action in the USA) to account for the fact that the Tutsi were a minority. Not the smallest minority in Rwanda by the way but the largest minority.
This means the Tutsi were fighting simply for a place to live. Because so many were exiled from Rwanda they became a burden for other countries who were forced to hold them because the Hutu and Tutsi could not come to a conclusion on how to live side-by-side in their native lands.
Like I said here, they lived so peacefully side by side, that it’s rare to find a “pure” blood in the sense that they descent from Tutsis only for ever. They intermarried, went to the same schools, etc. Another reason why using the framework that there was a genocide against the tutsi and that tutsis were the only victims of the massacres is very inaccurate in many cases in what happened in Rwanda. It’s true, a lot of Tutsi died and certainly it was genocide, however, there were other simultaneous conflicts that really complicates things, such as the extreme rpf rebels. Many people were targeted for associating and working with them as an extremist group, so a lot of people (both hutu and tutsi) became victims of their political associations with the rpf not just because they were Tutsis. Although like I said, genocide against tutsi was a reality amongst the confusing layer of other political bloody conflicts.
The Tutsi attempted to retake their natural position as citizens of Rwanda without discrimination and the Hutu wanted them to remain gone and continue to live under discrimination. While Habyarimana advanced things for the Hutu (as Kagame has done for the Tutsi) neither of these things are without their repercussions on the other ethnicity.
There is no evidence that supports claims that Habyarimana did not want the Tutsis to return to Rwanda. In fact, I believe that there is evidence to the contrary. True there are repercussions for most things, but characterizing one whole group of people as “genocidaires” is just wrong.
And to Tutsi credit when they were advancing in on Rwanda and overthrowing the country it was the Tutsi who kept the war military-related while the Hutu were involving innocent civilians. BUT with saying that – much of the plundering of the Congo and displaced civilians within the Congo today are the result of the Kagame/Tutsi government.
Actually, during 1993 before genocide occurred, there were over one million internally displaced persons within Rwanda. Those people were fleeing the extremist Tutsi Rebels, not the Rwandan Government. Because they could have fled into Uganda where the rebels were coming from and the Rebels could have protected them from the Rwandan Government, but instead, they fled into urban areas including the capital of Kigali.
I hope this answers some of your questions. I do appreciate thought provoking questions, so I’ll look out for more. Also, note that what I’m writing is not so much placing blame, but more to provide historical accuracy based on the mystification that has occurred regarding this story.