A Look Back into the Abyss: The Rwandan Genocide

There has been much talk about the Aquino family’s “achievements” with some going on and on about how the EDSA Revolution, the so-called “Bloodless Revolution” given power through “People Power”. Well let me tell you now that the more I think about it and compare it with the history of the rest of the world, the more it seems that I think that the Aquino family’s success was more a stroke of luck than an actual victory in any real sense of the word. What I’m saying is the “Bloodless Revolution” could have turned a great deal more bloody had the right circumstances taken place.

Now, I’m going to discuss with you the Rwandan Genocide. You’ve probably heard of it but more likely than not, you haven’t because most Filipinos could really care less about what’s happening to the rest of the world unless it affected them directly. Heck, they don’t really show much of an interest in what happens to the islands of their own country as long as it isn’t happening on the island that they are actually on. Bear in mind that the Rwandan Genocide has some very unpleasant similarities to the EDSA Revolution save for the fact that it happened in the worst way possible.

rwanda_genocideThe Rwandan Genocide happened just recently in living memory. In 1994, world news televised the horrors of what happened there and most of the world was stunned by what they saw. Take note the word “mostly”. I don’t know if we never noticed it happening, the media somehow omitted it from their reports or we just refused to acknowledge it because, deep inside, we all know that it could happen to us.

So okay, sit tight and hold on to your meal as Professor Grimwald gives you another painful history lesson:

How It Began

The Rwandan Genocide began in a way not all that different from the EDSA Revolution. It began with the assassination of a key political figure.

You see, Rwanda was a Dutch colony that was traded among other European powers at the time like Germany and Belgium until 1961 when it was finally given independence. Before then though, the people were divided into distinct tribes or classes with the two most prominent ones being the Tutsi (upper class) and Hutu (lower class). The Dutch entrusted the ruling of their colony to the Tutsi, whom they deemed were more “European” and thus more superior. While things went on without any real trouble, the problems began when the hatred between Hutus and Tutsis came to a head and resulted in a bloody civil war.

The president of Rwanda, Juvénal Habyarimana, was in charge of the country at the time. He was a Hutu who hated the rule of the Tutsi when Rwanda was still under Dutch control. He often balked at negotiations being done with the Tutsi rebels which eventually led to his assassination. After his death, the Hutus were galvanized into taking action against the Tutsis whom they now saw as oppressors.

What Happened

What followed the death of Juvénal Habyarimana was a bloody massacre that can be barely put into words. Take note that it was not the military that carried out the killing or even a rebel group, it was the common civilians who took the streets to slaughter their fellows. It was like a zombie apocalypse but what made it worse was that it was not people being brainwashed by a virus, it was simply people giving into their baser desires. Neighbor turned against neighbor and people who once knew each other resorted to gruesome violence.

Encouraged by their own media, specifically radio stations, many Hutu civilians began the systematic slaughter of their fellow Rwandans. What were once friendly or even loyal neighbors became murderous bandits who looted, raped and butchered those they didn’t recognize as one of “them”. The government and media even went on to display lists and pictures of those who were Tutsi, and thus enemies of the state, and any Hutus who sided with or protected them.

One of the most prevalent crimes to be committed during those terrible moments was rape. This was even encouraged among the participants of the massacre as they believed that this demoralized the enemy. Then there was the way the Hutus would hack off the limbs of their Tutsi victims one at a time, refusing to give them the final relief of death unless they bled to death. Some victims even paid their killers so they would be killed quickly and efficiently with minimal pain.

To this day, I find it hard to put into words the details I’ve read about the Rwandan Genocide. The line “men became beasts and beasts became men” from Warhammer almost fit the events to tee. It was a time, I will have to say, that human beings forgot that they were human at all. What makes it worse is that, as I’ve mentioned above, this was not perpetrated just by military personnel. A lot of the atrocities that occurred were committed by civilians, common people who simply decided to join in on the action.

The Aftermath

While the troubles of Rwanda have more or less settled down, its effects and the remembrance of what happened to the people there remain some of the most gruesome events in recent history. The UN, even with its resources, was unable to intercede because it did not deem that the massacre in Rwanda could be called “genocide” and thus refused to act even when Rwandan civilians were being killed on a regular basis. This is the same UN we Filipinos are actually hoping will defend us when China invades or when the terrorists of the south start raiding Manila.

For more references on what happened, I suggest watching the films Hotel Rwanda, Shake Hands with the Devil and Sometimes in April.

Comparison

Look people, the sad truth is that the state of the Philippines isn’t that far from Rwanda now. Remember that when the EDSA Revolution took place, most of the people were more or less educated and level-headed people. With the events in EDSA 2 and EDSA 3, it comes to mind that another revolution in this country will be far from “bloodless”.

Let’s get our shit together, my fellow Filipinos. Let’s wake from this nightmare together before we end up like the Rwandans.

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Post Author: Grimwald

I came that you may know PAIN and have it in abundance...

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12 Comments on "A Look Back into the Abyss: The Rwandan Genocide"

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Chris
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During that time (1994) there was black out plaguing Metro Manila and international news are not so common to watch because there’s no internet nor cable channel. Thanks for sharing this, now I’m starting to watch this and good to know that we’re not ruled under Belgium government.

Serge
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Yeah, but under the Spanish which was only a few steps above the Belgians back then.

077Hayden0033Toro
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EDSA revolution was a coup d’ etat, encouraged by the U.S., to get rid of Marcos. Marcos was against the extention of the Bases Agreement with the Philippines. Clark Air Base and the Subic Naval Base must be closed. So, to extend the bases agreement. Marcos must be overthrown. The U.S used : Aquino, Ramos, Enrile, etc… to do a false uprising. It was actually a coup d’ etat of the Feudal Oligarchs, supported by the U.S. The Aquinos also wanted to save their Hacienda Luisita from Land Reform. Ramos and Enrile, who were Stealing from the National Treasury with… Read more »
bugsbunnyv
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Marcos was against the US Bases because the US didnt want to pay his exorbitant prices to “rent” the bases. In the 70s (height of the Cold War), Marcos encouraged “demonstrations” (with daughter Imee leading them often in front of US Embassy) against the US Bases. These ended when the US was forced to pay the high prices to Marcos to rent the bases. Sort of a bribe. Also the bases were closed anyway after Edsa Revoulution in 1991, just in time with the fall of USSR, the end of Cold War. Today, Americans are coming back and Putin’s puttin’… Read more »
Dos Equis
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The USA dictated terms to Marcos,not vice versa, and told him if he stepped out of line he would get overthrown, and that is exactly what happened, as he got greedy.
as for the ‘old scumbag’? Traitor and is the worst of the lot.
Hang him.

bugsbunnyv
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“Marcos perceived the U.S. presence on the bases to be an infringment upon Philippine sovereignty and an insult to Philippine dignity. He wanted Philippine control of the bases and the right to rent them to the highest bidder, including the Soviet Union… In an agreement reached in 1979, Phlippine sovereignty over the U.S. bases was recognized… A five-year review process for the agreement was also instituted, and $500 million in military aid was promised for a five-year period… A 1983 agreement assured that the United States would consult the government of the Phlippines before placing long-range missiles on the bases…… Read more »
Dos Equis
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Look at what ended up happening.
But don’t forget, the way thats written makes it seem as if Marcos was dictating terms from behind some sort of righteous indignation.Revisionism? IDK and do not care,the Soviet Union would NEVER have ended up in Subic Bay….WW3 would’ve happened first or Marcos would’ve been killed.
Remember the significance of a USA ally in S.E.Asia at the time when Marcos ruled…the Vietnam War was raging 500 miles west.He dictated nothing to the USA, he stole everything they gave him too,instead of sharing w/everyone.

073Toro0033Hayden
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“Hakot Demostrators” from Tarlac, and YellowTards were also used by the Aquinos, in the false uprising

Ricardo_Diaz
Guest

The ultimate tragedy in these kinds of things is that sometimes, the government that replaces them after such actions tends to be worse than the last one.

This can be seen throughout the world.

Dos Equis
Guest

Ha, once the shoe was on the other foot the aggressors were criminals,eh? Not to mention the fact that the Tutsi were a complete bunch of scumbags who more or less deserved what they got.
Feed a person shit, and they will never forget that first mouthful OR the person that force fed it to him.

d_forsaken
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For the dead and the living, we must bear witness.

huh
Guest

Perhaps we Filipinos should be genocided, or at least go through a really bloody, violent revolution. Weed out all the oligarchs and all the nonthinking and deluded masses. Maybe only then will we wake up and actually start taking steps towards collective national development. Look how Germany sobered up after the horrors of WW2.

It didn’t work to help Rwanda, but maybe it can help us.

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