Genocide, citizenship and political identity crisis in postcolonial Africa : Rwanda as case study.
To state that the 1994 Rwandan genocide was one of the most horrific catastrophes that occurred in the 20th century is to restate the obvious. This thesis is an analytical exploration of the root causes of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It explains how Tutsi became non-indigenous Hamities and how Hutu became native indigenous, leaving the two populations to be identified along racial and ethnic lines. In 1933, the Belgians introduced identity cards which specified one‟s ethnic affiliation, giving birth to political identities as Hutu and Tutsi ceased to become cultural identities and became political identities. The identities of Hutu and Tutsi were not only legally enforced, but they also became linked to the governance of the state. Tutsi was now associated with state power and domination, while Hutu was linked with suppression and discrimination. Independent Rwanda, the Hutu took over power and continued to subscribe to some of the colonial racists ideologies and maintained Tutsi and Hutu as political identities. The once oppressed Hutu became the oppressor, whilst the once dominate Tutsi became the oppressed. The victim group construction theories were used in this study to examine the ills of race-branding in independent Rwanda. The Hutu regimes of the First Republic (1962-1973) and the Second Republic (1973-1994), failed to go beyond the colonist‟s strategy of divide and rule and instead continued to apply this racist ideology to bring justice to the Hutu, which turned into revenge for the Tutsi. Hence, this study analysis and evaluates how the citizenship and political identity crisis led to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.