Research Problem:

• What is the main factor that caused the Hutu-Tutsi conflict?


– About 600 years ago an ethnic group called the Hutus resided in the lands of Rwanda in central Africa. Tutsis a tall warrior from Ethiopia invaded the homelands of the Hutus, in return the Hutus agreed to raise crops for the Tutsis in exchange for protection from the invaders. – 1897 when the Germans colonized Rwanda. The Germans had a very weak control in the region and were completely dependent on the indigenous government. According to wikipedia “the Tutsi ruling class was a superior racial type who, because of their apparent “Hamitic” origins on the Horn of Africa, were more “white” than the Hutus they oppressed, and thus the Tutsi oppression of the Hutu seemed somehow normal and expected – Because of the exposure of Rwanda to capitalist European the Tutsi power was weakened. Another way of weakening the power of the Tutsis was by the introduction of the head-tax on all Rwandans by the Germans. As many Tutsis had feared, the introduction of the tax also made the Hutus feel less bonded to the will of their patrons.

– At the end of World War 1, a portion of the German territory which was never the part of the Kingdom of Rwanda was exposed from the colony and attached to Tanganyika, which had been mandated to the British. In 1918 under the Treaty of Versailles the former German colony of Rwanda-Urundi is made a United Nations protectorate to be governed by Belgium.

History of the Conflict

2.jpg– In 1962 the Belgians introduced a system of ethnic identity cards which differentiates the Hutus from the Tutsis. In 1963, several attacks against the Tutsis occurred in Rwanda as a result of Tutsi attacks on the exiled Tutsis in Burundi. Further massacres were executed in 1967. – In 1973, General Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, took power and sets up a one-party state. – The National Revolutionary Movement for Development(NRMD), Habyarimana’s political party, was formed. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Hutu was favored more in public services and military jobs than Tutsis. Here we can see a clear illustration of racial discrimination being enforced in front of the Rwandans. – The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Tutsi dominated organization, was formed from the Rwandan exiles in Uganda who were victorious in the Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army.

– Rwanda was invaded around October 1990 by the RPF from Uganda. The French and Zairean troops assisted but after a series of violent fighting, a peace treaty was signed on March 29, 1991. – Around 1990-1991, the Rwandan army began training and arming the Interhamwe, Hutu militiamen. 1993, RPF initiated another attack and reached the border of Kigali. The government called for reinforcements from the French military.

– After months of negotiations, a peace accord was signed by the active government and the RPF. Its effects allow the return of refugees and the coalition of Hutu and RPF. The U.N. sent 2,500 troops to watch over the peace negotiations.

– From September 1993 – March 1994, training of the militia intensified and the extremist radio station, Radio Mille Collines, began braodcasting messages that encourage the extermination of Tutsis. Human rights groups started warning the international community about upcoming violence and disastrous events.

1.jpg– By March 1994, family evacuations were already executed as human rights group believed that massacres were already widespread.

– April 6, 1994, Habyarimana’s plane crashed after being shot near the Kigali airport. The plane was carrying both President Juvenal Habyarimana himself of Rwanda and Prseident Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi. This signalled the beginning of the Rwandan genocide and the extremists were accused of the plane crash.

– The Tutsis were considered as the ruling class and the dominant race in Rwanda during the colonial era of the Germans and Belgians. When these colonizers gave the independence of the Rwandans, the power was left to the minority Hutus, who were once oppressed by the Tutsis. By then, the conflict between these two ethnic groups heated up. For the Hutus, they see that the cause of this conflict is to take revenge for the oppression of theTutsis during their time of rule. For the Tutsis, the cause of the conflict is also revenge as a result of the discrimination.

Significance Of The Study

-The significance of this study is to help our country in coming up with solutions for racial conflicts. This gives us an idea on how to deal with ethnic conflicts concerning racial discrimination and how to resolve it with a non-violent action. History can help find better ways of making decisions and doing things. By knowing our past, we know the present conditions better.

Scope and limitation

– We limit our research only within the Hutu-Tutsi conflict as according to gathered available sources of information on the light of the political, socio-economic and military uprisings in Rwanda within the time of its existence that led to genocide since causes of past events are difficult to determine. Critical analysis and interpretation of surviving records will ascertain the facts. Words and statements mean different things to different people, cultures and times making it hard to agree on the extent to which generalizations can be made.

Topics which have not been fully explored:

One of the topics which have not yet been explored regarding the study of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict is the relationship between religion and racial discrimination. There’s this article that focused on the participation of the Catholic Church members in the genocide. Most of the studies did not include this information. Studies usually center on racism due to the physical differences between Hutus and Tutsis. Religion also played a big role in aggravating the conflict. Elaboration of the role of this aspect can help us unravel the main cause of the conflict leading to the horrendous genocide. It can also provide us ways on how to prevent future occurrence of these violence.

Validation of Hypothesis/Existing Studies:

Validity deals with the relationship of the data obtained to the purpose for which data have been collected. All related literature point to the findings that racism is the main factor that caused the Hutu-Tutsi conflict. Whether on the aspect of physical features, religion or wealth that created the difference between the Hutus and the Tutsis as theorized in the different studies, critical and logical thinking tantamount to lead and result to racism or racial discrimination as causing the conflict in form of a violent genocide. The purpose of the research has been served, concluding that the main factor of the conflict is racism and it gave light to the way it could be prevented.

Operational Definition of Terms:

Race – This term has been used to include groupings of people with common features. In this study, it is a non-manipulable factor identified as possible main cause of the Hutu-Tutsi conflict.

Racism or Racial Discrimination– In this study, this term may be defined as hostility towards another race believing that their race is better than the other, as in the case of the Hutus and the Tutsis.

Physical features– In this study, this term include the characteristics of an individual or group of individuals like height, weight, skin color and specific facial form which serves as basis in the formulation of discriminatory attitudes among the Hutus and the Tutsis.


24 Responses to “1. The Problem”

  1. brenda said

    am glad to find your good infomation on the web,its realy educative and has helped to do my course work.thank you so much.good luck my dears.brenda.makerere university(kampala uganda)

  2. Rosa_B said

    Hey can anyone tell me why they all wanted to control Rwanda? just send me an e-mail at

  3. max_T said

    thanks, good info.

  4. we can see that tribal conflicts can not be stopped in africa

  5. frizzle said

    a stitch in time saves nine

  6. […] more about the election and more events from the time period, click here. There was increasing unrest between the Hutu and Tutsi, the two largest ethnic groups in Rwanda. Rusesabagina, being half Hutu and half Tutsi, was not […]

  7. snozza said

    Once again,.,the catholic cult has been involved in a horrendous conflict of utter violence and genocidal slaughter.
    It’s gobsmackingly shocking that the hacked up and tortured survivours and relatives of victims have now been cajoled into forgiving the mass murderers involved in this genocide.
    They’ve been led to believe by the same godgobbers who were very much a part and cause of this Hutu Tutsi conflict that being angry and hating the perpetrators is wrong.
    It aint wrong at all.
    Anger and hatred is a healthy normal part of being human.
    These unfortunate people have been indoctrinated into becoming believers in all this useless prayer mongering gods muck and jesus junk.
    All this bible bilge was invented a few thousand years ago by maniacs to subjugate mass populations through fear and intimidation.
    It’s caused catastrophic annihilation ever since.
    The best thing for Rwanda would be to get rid of all the filthy religious vermin and become free thinking Atheists.

  8. John Steckley said

    This downplays far too much the Belgian colonial strategy of divide and conquer. The number one cause of this conflict comes from the Belgian praise and promote the Tuutsi and downgrade the Hutu policy from 1916 to 1962. This is not about ancient tribal hatred. It is about Western promoted division.

  9. melissa said

    what could be a solution to the hutu tutsi conflict

  10. thatblackguy08 said

    i like these wars, it makes papa happy 🙂

  11. hassan jingo said

    the white people are the one responsible for all the war warldwide

  12. zoezephyr said

    Lots of hatred: maybe each group wanting to be supreme over the other. Were the two groups unable to co exist because they were so culturally different? Like the incipient trouble brewing between the British in their own country who have been “invaded” gradually by Muslims seeking a life there and wanting to be accommodated by laws of their own which go against British law.

    ( No British people want to go live in a Muslim country in such numbers! )

    I believe trouble will come to my country, Britain, from these unwelcome Islamo-fascist immigrants.

    I wish the Islamic immigrants and refugees would go to like Canada which has lots of room and is made up of immigrants. However; Canadians are not eager to take in these Muslims either, even though they profess Multiculturalism.

    The majority of Canadians do not want the extremist views of these Islamic immigrants to proliferate there as it is happening in Britain.

    Religion can be such a force of evil; if its laws are foisted on folks who do not want it. Especially the laws of Islam which purport to be absolute. They certainly are intolerant; look what happens to apostates!

  13. ashis said

    Why were the Hutu so angry towards the Tutsi?

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  15. very informing article here, thanks for the info it really helped me in my research read my article on

  16. Steve said

    Interesting article. Christianity and religion isn’t responsible for the crisis, it was the divide and rule practised by Rurean colonists especially the British, Germans and Belgians that created this problem and problems for Africa in general. Re comment from Snozza above accuaina Christians or Christianity is wrong,, it is the rulers and the elite who UAE one ideological weapon or another to create hatred and wars. atheism is conscienceless considering what Lenin and Stalin sworn atheists murdered over 20 million soviet citizens in the name of the Bolshevik revolution. Ditto Mao The Tsong on China where millions died as a result of the cultural revolution. So stop pointing fingers at a group people. That’s is how racism and hatred

  17. Steve said

    I meant European colonists not Rurean . sorry for typo

  18. Steve said

    My auto text is awful. Accuaina is menat to be accusing. UAE = use. Mao Tse Tsong not Mao The Tsong lol!

  19. simon ereneus said

    What are the dynamic causes of that civil conflict?

  20. Ibrahim said

    the present president of ruwanda is a great leader,who did a good solution for their different.
    i hop africans will follow his way of solving major different between african tribal wares.

  21. Ibrahim said

    the somali president mr culusow,you add oil with fire,your leadership became one of the worest leader in africa leaders. still you want again to renew your leadership.
    people know you very well,plse leave us,and go to are sick go to psychateriste.

  22. ogunbamiyo ojo Ezekiel said

    please can anybody else tell me the main positive effect of this conflict

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