The black holes of the global economy : the state, ethnic conflict, and genocide in Rwanda / by Duncan Rayner
Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-152)
- External Link
Electronic version from ProQuest
The carnage that ripped through Rwanda in 1994 stands as one of the greatest tragedies since World War II. Understanding how and why the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups have moved from peaceful coexistence to genocide is a subject that merits closer investigation than can be provided by simplistic “ancient hatreds” explanations of ethnic conflict. Dominant themes in the conflict literature all have some relevance to the Rwandan case, yet the role of elites is the crucial causal variable that has to be identified as producing the 1994 genocide of Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Those individuals tied to the Habyarimana regime were not willing to relinquish control of the state, and the wealth and power that accompany it, in the face of emerging Tutsi and Hutu opposition. Manipulating ethnic identities was the tool used by the Rwandan elites who planned the genocide to divide the population and eliminate the emergent opposition to the regime. The planned and calculated nature of the genocide reveal important clues as to who plotted the genocide and what their motivations were. Essentially, the events of 1994 in Rwanda had their roots in simple issues of politics—who gets what, when, and how—in a climate of growing economic scarcity. When the state is the primary or only source of wealth, battles among elites for its control can be expected. If more and more societies become plagued by scarcity, then the simple issues of politics may spark further strife throughout the developed and the developing world.
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