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Pamphile Sebahara 1998 in his article The creation of ethnic division in Rwanda writes The genocide of the Tutsis and the massacres which claimed almost a million lives in Rwanda between April and July 1994 are the result of a variety of interdependent factors Reading the literature on the subject we are left with one basic question how can we comprehend the mass slaughter of men women and children primarily as a result of their belonging to a particular ethnic group Observers believe that the genocide and its consequences which still reverberate today are to be understood in the context of the ethnic conflict between Hutu and Tutsi which has been a feature of Rwandas history since the late 1950s pp 86-87 Republic of Rwanda has been the victim of Ethnic violence since its independence in 1962 Two predominant ethnic groups namely the Hutu and the Tutsi have clashed with each other resulting in large-scale massacres and flight of millions of people to neighboring Zaire Geographical Location Rwanda is located in East Central Africa It shares common borders with Uganda on North Zaire on West Burundi on South and Tanzania on East Republic of Rwanda covers an area of 10169 square miles and has a population of 6863359 The people of Rwanda mainly belong to two groups namely the Hutu and the Tutsi that represent 90 and 9 of the countrys population respectively Kigali is the capital of Rwanda Historical Background and Civil War On the issue of ethnic division Sebahara 1998 opines Before colonisation towards the end of the 19th century most of what is now Rwanda was a monarchy ruled by a king of the Nyiginya dynasty Social stratification was based on socio-economic criteria in other words on the type of work favoured by the members of the group Thus the Hutus tended to be farmers the Tutsis were stockbreeders and the Twa were hunters or potters But given
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