Rwanda: The 1959 Rwanda Revolution Should Have Been a
Revolution Not Quickly Forgotten
The New Times (Kigali)
May 10, 2006
Posted to the web May 10, 2006
Pre-colonialism. Rwanda was a kingdom just like any
other interlacustrine kingdoms of Buganda, Bunyoro,
Toro, Ankole, name it. This meant that kingship was
based on the line of the previous kings, though the
kings were from Tutsi ethnic group, there always was a
social cultural harmony in the entire kingdom.
The Belgians (Rwanda's colonial master) egoistically
decided to create a political division so as to expand
their colonialism. They introduced divide and rule
policy, which later created divisionism amongst
Rwandans themselves. They preached that Tutsis by the
virtual of their physical appearance (nose, eyes, etc,
which is measured by the use of a Vermeer callipers)
originated from Ethiopia as Nilo-hamities, while as
the Hutus are Bantu of West African origin.
But for the Twas , their case was given minimum
consideration. This fundamentally meant that both
ethnic groups were strangers to the country and to
each other with no common origin. Yet, some elite
Hutus such as George Kayibanda were also sensitized
into a revolution. In the French revolution, the
monarch faced the guillotine, but for the case of the
Rwanda's 1959 revolution, it involved the entire
Perhaps, we have all learnt about the massacring that
took place in Rwandan during the periods of 1959-early
60s. Elites have debated whether the massacres that
took place were dictated during that particular time.
Yes! The whole world kept silent including the supper
powers. Of course, you may urge that only a few died
(about 20.000), but remember that it is criminal and
punishable to kill even a hopeless person (mad)!
Why do you think the 1959 trek took place? After the
Tutsis had been forced to flee the country, each
traced his/her way to exile. Those who weren't lucky
enough to survive died on the way due to fatigue and
hunger on their trek to Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and
Congo for refugee.
Have you ever bothered to discover the number of those
who were massacred and those who died still in the
country of refugee? Have you ever tried to consider
the vital role they would have played in the country?
Anyway, what infuriates most is, the government kept
silent about the issue because they had an interest in
the matter and this gave rise to history repeating
it's self and so, it happened in 1994.
During that latter period, the elite Hutus in politics
urged for the killing of the entire Tutsi population
and so it happened. They prepared "Umunsi w'imperuka"
(literally meaning extermination of the group) and as
it is evident over one million Tutsis were butchered
within a short period of 100days. However, the act was
trigged by the armed attack by the Rwandese Patriotic
Force (RPF) living as refugees in the neighbouring
It was easy for the then government to convince the
youth and the entire Hutu community to carry out this
operation because right from the Pre-primary to high
levels of education, Hutus were taught to de-humanise
the Tutsis, who were accused of being dishonest,
dubious, cunning, cruel, actually snakes!
The attacking soldiers "Inkotanyi" were called
cockroaches or animals with tails, and Hutus were
urged to kill them on the spot .
I urge you out there, including my fellow Rwandans, to
maintain the culture of mourning for our fellow
countrymen whose lives were claimed by the 1994
Genocide, so that it may serve as a lesson to the
. The 1959 killings against the Tutsis were very
quickly forgotten and this led to the more massive
killings of 1994. So we should also stand to remember
so that we don't repeat the same mistake.