Sociologist Mohammad Alshereda on The Rwandan Genocide


The Republic of Rwanda is a small country located in East of Africa. It gained independence in 1962. Its population is about 12 million. Its capital city is called Kigali. The main religion in Rwanda is Roman Catholicism.

There are 2 main ethnic groups in Rwanda:

– 85% Hutu.

– 14% Tutsi.

In April 1994, an airplane carrying Rwanda’s president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundi’s president Cyprien Ntaryamira (both Hutu) was struck down by missiles. That particular event started the spark of fire for one of the most hideous crimes in history: the Rwandan genocide.

Hutu started mass killings against Tutsi people and they didn’t even spare women or children. It is fair to say that watching documentaries about the Rwandan genocide is literally not for the faint-hearted.

Hutu extremist even slaughtered moderate hutu people who didn’t believe in their sick ideology. They even killed Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana (moderate hutu) along with 10 Belgian soldiers who were part of United Nations peacekeeping force. Those extremist often used machetes to spill the blood of innocent people. It is absolutely atrocious!

War is the messenger of misery.

About 800,000 people were killed in the Rwandan genocide. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) which was Tutsi people eventually won and took control of the government.

Paul Rusesabagina is a Rwandan humanitarian who sheltered about 1268 refugees of both Hutu and Tutsi at the Milles Collines Hotel in Kigali.

(Rusesabagina role is played by American actor Don Cheadle in the movie: Hotel Rwanda).

Philippe Gaillard, head of the ICRC (Red Cross) delegation in Rwanda in 1994, faced the real evil when Hutu extremist stopped a Red Cross ambulance and killed 6 patients.

Captain Mbaye Diagne was a Senegalese officer who served with the United Nations’ mission in Rwanda. He was a real hero as he saved a lot of lives during that genocide till he was killed there.

LGen Hon. Roméo Dallaire was an eye-witness who lived through the horrors there. Dallaire is a Canadian General who served his mission with the United Nations in Rwanda. Gromo Alex who was a UN Humanitarian Team member also witnessed the tragedy.

Carl Wilkens was head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda and he was the only American who remained there to save as many lives as he could.

When the 100 days genocide was over at last, Wilkens said: “I was angry at America! America the beautiful, America the brave! I was angry with our government! I was angry with people who could do something even the simplest things and they didn’t!”

This genocide that shocked the whole world should never happen again under any circumstances. I will conclude with the following saying: if there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm! Remember your humanity!