The precolonial Tutsi owned most of the cattle in Rwanda which was a symbol of power; he was richer and nobler. The Tutsi was just 15% of the population but because of their wealth and cattle, they belonged to the ruling class.
Historically The Hutus were the farmers, the cultivators of land.
The less privileged Hutus who were mostly farmers in the past would serve the Tutsi in exchange for cattle and cattle products.
Hutus who did well, progressed and owned cattle also achieved Noble status, just like Tutsi. The class system was flexible.
The Hutus, Tutsis and other ethnic groups lived together peacefully, spoke the same language, had one homogeneous culture and food.
The seeds of genocide was originally planted by colonizers – Germany and Belgium.
When German Colonizers invaded, they believed the Tutsis and Hutus were different races, and because the Tutsis seemed noble and richer, they were favored by the Germans who believed they were the superior race.
The Tutsi were given key positions leading districts and provinces and only report to the colonial masters.
When Belgian colonizers came on board they made things worse – A system of divide and rule that ensured the ethnic Tutsis and Hutus would hate each other.
The Hutus were put to work on the fields planting coffee beans for the Belgians while the Tutsis were made to lord over them.
With the Hutu in power, the Tutsis go on exile to Uganda and Burundi, because the Hutus went on revenge mission. A revenge mission that culminated in many civil wars, until the Arusha accord was signed by both warring parties......
The Tutsis rebel army was headed by the current president Paul Kagame. Through strategic guerrilla warfare his army frustrated the ruling Hutu government to the negotiation table- on behalf of the Tutsis.
They reached a fragile peace agreement.
This sparked off a genocide never recorded in the histroy of mankind by the Hutus against the Tutsis.
While this massacre was ongoing, Paul Kagame, a”master of psychological warfare”, exploited the fact that the Rwandan Army were concentrating on the genocide, he started fighting to take back Rwanda, and his army pressed on to the capital city Kigali and took it. He refused to cease fire, rejected international pressure and At the end of July 1994 Kagame’s forces held the whole of Rwanda.
Today Paul Kagame rules Rwanda with an iron fist. Where there are no more Hutus or Tutsis but only Rwandans. And our take at Soji Graphics is: Iron fist or no iron fist, one wonders if a nation that went through and survived such a horrendous holocaust, escaping total annilation by whiskers, should thereafter be ruled with a kid glove.
And whether both sides have learnt their lessons and resolved to live together as brothers in a united nation devoid of ethnic wranglings that may lead to another catasrophe, remain an hypothetical reality.