The above chart shows the 8 stages of genocide, as developed by Gregory H. Stanton. Based on this information, we will attempt to examine the 8 stages of the Rwandan genocide.
Stage 1: Classification
- The division between the Hutus and Tutsis stems from way back when the Cushite (Tutsis) first conquered the Bantu (Hutus) and established themselves as rulers, an elite class a cut above.
- The colonists came and further emphasized this divide by stating that the Tutsis are more European because of their physical qualities.
- When the colonists left, they left the Hutus in power. The Hutus, full of resentment, have placed themselves above the Tutsis, creating a whole new divide.
Stage 2: Symbolisation
- The division between the Hutus and Tusis was symbolised by their slight physical differences.
- The Hutus implemented identification cards that indicated whether you were Hutu or Tutsi.
Stage 3: Dehumanisation
- The Tutsis were cockroaches to the Hutu, vermin that were less than human.
Stage 4: Organisation
- The MNRD and Interahamwe planned the genocide very well.
- There were timely shipments of weapons.
- Appropriate usage of propaganda.
- Coordinated attack against the Tutsis
Stage 5: Polarisation
- The MNRD and Interahamwe used all forms of media available to spread the Hutu power ideology.
- The message was clear: the Hutus were better than the Tutsis
- When the President’s plane crashed, propaganda and media were used effectively and efficiently to blame the Tutsi’s
Stage 6: Preparation
- Looking back, it seems that the MNRD and Interahamwe timed everything perfectly, and were adequately prepared to attack.
- The victims were identified mainly through the identity cards that the Hutu government had previously implemented.
Stage 7: Extermination
- When the signal was given, the Interahamwe and other Hutus conducted a deliberate, coordinated attack on the Tutsis and Hutu moderates.
- The targets were systematically attacked over a period of 100 days before the genocide was stopped.
- Millions of lives were lost, both Tutsi and Hutu.
Stage 8: Denial
- The UN tried to deny the occurrence of a genocide while it was ongoing.
- The UN High Commission of Human Rights conducted an “investigation” into the matter.
- After much deliberation, the massacres in Rwanda were recognized as a genocide.
- Today, the UN clearly and precisely highlights the failures of UNAMIR, and does not deny the occurrence of the genocide.