By Sankara Kamara…..
The international community remembers the Rwandan genocide this month. Ethnocentrically-driven massacres are nothing new in Burundi and Rwanda. The IMMEDIATE event which ultimately touched off the 1994 genocide began in October 1990, when a Tutsi rebel group, the “Rwandan Patriotic Front,” invaded Rwanda from Uganda. Barely three days after the initiation of armed hostilities, the rebels’ military commander, Fred Rwigyema, was killed during a military operation.
After Rwigyema’s death, the deputy leader of the rebels, Paul Kagame, assumed leadership of the insurgency. On April 6, 1994, Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed when his plane was brought down. The Hutu-led government in Kigali accused the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a Tutsi rebel group, of shooting the plane. Hutu extremists in politics, the police force and army, went on radio and national television, demagogically disparaging Tutsis as cockroaches that must be eliminated.
From April 1994 to July of the same year, Hutu extremists in the security forces and a militia group known as “Interahamwe,” murdered between 500,00 to 800,000 Tutsis. The genocide was eventually stopped when rebel leader, Paul Kagame and his Tutsi rebels, entered Kigali and expelled the Hutus from power.
In English language, a person who commits genocide is known as a “genocidaire.” With its French provenance, “genocidaire” is pronounced “Jeh-no-sidia.” The PLURAL of “genocidaire” is “genocidaires.” In other words, a single perpetrator of genocide is known as a “genocidaire,” while MULTIPLE committers of genocide are known as “genocdaires.” Each one, teach one.
Copyright: Sankara Kamara