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The colonial administration in Rwanda also required all natives to carry identification cards showing whether they were Tutsis or Hutus. This created a divide between the two ethnic communities. Upon gaining independence in the 1960s, Rwanda became a republic under the leadership of President Grégoire Kayibanda, who drove out the Tutsi Monarch that had ruled Rwanda for over 300 years. Violence towards the Tutsis began with many fleeing to neighboring nations such as Congo and Uganda. The Tutsi population that remained in Rwanda would often be discriminated against. In the early 1990s the exiled Tutsis desired of going back to their motherland, it was from this desire that the RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) was formed. This was a rebel movement that was opposed to then President Juvénal Habyarimana’s government.
In April of 1994 the RPF and the government of Rwanda signed a peace agreement in Uganda. However, the peace agreement never saw the light of day as on April 6th 1994 the plane carrying President Habyarimana was shot down allegedly by RPF rebels. On that night Rwanda plunged in to the abyss. Over the cause of less than 100 days over a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by the Intrhamwe (in Kinyarwanda means those who stand/work/fight together) with the backing of the Rwandese Army, which was comprised mainly of Hutus. The massacre lasted up to July of 1994 when the RPF led by the current president of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame defeated the Rwandese Army and the Intrhamwe After the Genocide From the ashes of the 1994 massacre Rwanda has managed to rise and become one of the fastest growing economies in East Africa. Additionally, the use of the Gachacha courts (a traditional dispute resolution mechanism) in fostering social cohesion has led to Rwanda being one of the most peace nations in the region and in the world Additionally, Rwanda has the highest female representation in Parliament, which currently stands at an impressive 63% according to the government of Rwanda, through the Rwanda High Commission in Kenya.
The principle of inclusion which is applicable in Rwanda has ensured that all are included in decision making and governance. One of the major causes of the genocide was the failure by the International Community under the United Nations System. Before the genocide the General in charge of UN peacekeepers deployed in Rwanda wrote to the UN headquarters constantly on the possibility of genocide. However, the UN ignored and nothing was done. Today, the UN has accepted that indeed it failed Rwanda in her moment of need. In this regard the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 made 7th April a day of remembrance of the Rwanda Genocide. Rwanda as a country has made several steps towards helping her neighbors.
The government of Rwanda currently has its forces deployed in neighboring countries of Central Africa Republic and is one of the nations with troops in Somalia under the umbrella of AMISOM. Unlike her neighbors, Rwanda does not rely heavily on international donations or assistance but rather relies on her own people’s innovation and hard work. This is as a result of the failure of the international community to be of assistance when Rwanda was in need. Unfortunately, some of the perpetrators of the Rwandan Genocide are yet to face justice, a key example being Felician Kabuga who owned the largest radio station in the country and was one of the people who masterminded the genocide through his radio station. The whereabouts of Kabuga are still unknown. However, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which was set up to tried the cases has prosecuted a good number of genocide perpetrators, and with its mandate coming to an end it will be interesting to see how the other cases are handled.
The FDR, which is a rebel movement established by the genocide perpetrators and the M23 rebel movement have destabilized Eastern Congo and a majority of the Tutsis who had escaped to Congo in 1960 have already returned to Rwanda due to continued attacks from the two rebel groups.