Individuals Targeted During Genocide in Rwanda

The Rwandan genocide remains one of the unspeakable happenings that led to the slaughter of many innocent citizens. The primary target of this heinous human act included around 800,000 members of the Tutsi and Taw ethnic groups (Jaji 49). The majority of women were raped during the period of this genocide. From the nature of this persecution, it is evident that the attacks were aimed at a specific group or community in Rwanda. The people behind such attacks were the Hutu who benefited from the government of the day. The primary source of fear before and during the period of this genocide was politics. The assassination of Habyarimana in 1994 resulted in an unexpected power vacuum, thereby triggering genocidal murders (Jaji 51). Some years earlier, the actions of the Rwandan Patriotic Front resulted in a Civil War that eventually became the background of this infamous event.

The targeted members of the society were murdered in cold blood and others executed. The police, militia groups, and soldiers belonging to the Hutu ethnic group killed members of the Tutsi and Taw populations in their hundreds of thousands. Additionally, Hutu politicians and sympathizers were murdered throughout the course of this genocide. This crime against innocent human beings is comparable to the Salem witch trials in a number of ways (Murphy 103). First, they both represent an example of when one group in society pursues the persecution of another when relevant civil protections are not put in place. Second, the actions of the perpetrators are inappropriate and questionable. Third, the malpractices led to the death of individuals who were unable to defend themselves. These lessons should guide future communities to avoid similar misbehaviors and learn to promote peace.


Jaji, Rose. “Under the Shadow of Genocide: Rwandans, Ethnicity and Refugee Status.” Ethnicities, vol. 17, no. 1, 2017, pp. 47-65.

Murphy, Daniel P. “Satan and Salem: The Witch‐Hunt Crisis of 1692, Benjamin C. Ray. University of Virginia Press, 2015.” The Journal of American Culture, vol. 40, no. 1, 2017, pp. 103-104.

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