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War, Hunger, and Displacement: Volume 2$
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E. Wayne Nafziger, Frances Stewart, and Raimo Väyrynen

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297406

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198297406.001.0001

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Rwanda: The Social Roots of Genocide  

Rwanda: The Social Roots of Genocide  

(p.159) 6 Rwanda: The Social Roots of Genocide 
War, Hunger, and Displacement: Volume 2

Peter Uvin

Oxford University Press

Over one million Tutsi children, women, men, and opposition politicians, were slaughtered on April 7, 1994, when a premeditated genocide started in Rwanda. That massive killing was the peak of a 3.5-year civil war in Rwanda. It was initiated by the Front Patriotique Rwandas and the government-inspired militia, killing both Hutu and Tutsi. The causes of genocides in Rwanda are rooted in many factors, and they result in poverty and reduction of life chances for the poor, civil war, human rights violations, and corruption. This chapter presents the historical and ethnic background of Rwanda, as well as the notion of structural violence – constant and necessary reduction in physical, intellectual, and social life chances of the people – which it applies to Rwanda. It also shows the events that led to genocide, as well as the combination of these elements and the interaction between them.

Keywords:   Rwanda, genocide, civil war, FPR, Hutu, Tutsi, structural violence, government-inspired militia

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