America’s Secret Role in the Rwanda Genocide Article Questions
- Did America play the biggest role in supporting Museveni compared to other countries?
- Why did Habyarimana not set up defense along the Uganda border?
- Why did Museveni not do anything to help the Tutsis in Rwanda?
The piece America’s Secret Role in the Rwanda Genocide was very interesting. It showed a whole other side to the genocide that I never heard of. It was nice to read after reading We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Our Families because the two authors had very different views. The author of the article viewed the Tutsis, RPF, and Museveni as major players in the cause of the genocide. In the book, it blamed the Hutus and president Habyarimana primarily for the genocide. The article was also interesting because it told more about what was going on in Uganda before the genocide which was addressed in detail in the book. The article talked about how there were many Tutsi refugees in Uganda. Many of them came together and formed the RPF. Museveni supported this by aiding them. RPF’s aim was to overthrow the Habyarimana government and take control of Rwanda. Paul Kagame, who was portrayed as a good guy in the book, was mentioned in the article as taking part in brutal behaviors against opposing people. On October 1, 1990, RPF fighters gathered and invaded Rwanda. Museveni promised to stop things like this from occurring by blocking the border, providing no assistance to RPF, and arrest any rebels returning to Uganda, but he did not follow through on any of this. In October 1993, the UN security council authorized a peacekeeping force to be dispatched along the border, but it was too difficult for them to monitor the entire border. The U.S. continued to support Uganda by providing them with weapons. The U.S. doubled aid to his government. The US ambassador to Rwanda asked the George HW Bush administration to place sanctions on Uganda, but they did not because they feared it might hurt their relations. The shooting down of Habyarimana’s plane and ultimately his death has never been solved. Some believe it was the RPF, and others believe it was Hutu elites and members of his army. I thought this article was a great read because it provided us with another side to what happened in Rwanda and Uganda. I am very glad we got to read this and have our eyes open to a whole new side of the genocide.
The second movie we watched Bitter Harvest. It took place in Ukraine when communism took hold in the Soviet Union. Natalka and Yuri are the young woman and man that were followed in the beginning. They are in love, but Natalka does not want to marry Yuri because her parents are not together which is an embarrassment to society. The Bolsheviks came into Ukraine and looted all of the villages they came to. The Bolsheviks kill Yuri’s father and injure his grandfather. Yuri and Natalka end up getting married but at their wedding, but the Bolsheviks came in and ruined it. Stalin began to enforce collectivization. They were also stealing church property and shipping Kulak leaders away. Stalin was going around and declaring everything for the state. Yuri leaves for Kiev so he can make money to send back to Natalka. His friend Mykola from home has also gone to Kiev and is supporting Stalin’s actions. Self-expression and individualism were being suppressed. Many were starving. Ukranian party leaders were being arrested and Mykola was warned because he led the party, so he killed himself. Yuri was arrested for fighting Soviet soldiers in a bar. Yuri kills one of the guards and escapes. Natalka killed one of Stalin’s comrades. Yuri joined other Ukrainians to revolt against the Soviets. Lubko was a little boy that he met. They both took over a truck of grain and were making their way back to Yuri’s home. He finally makes it home and sees Natalka again. Natalka, Lubko, and Yuri escape. It ended when they all escape. Overall, it was a great movie, and I really enjoyed it.
The Rohingya people of Myanmar are descendants of Arab traders and other groups. They are an ethnic minority in Myanmar. The Myanmar government views them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. The Rohingya people are being raped, killed, and having their houses burned to the ground. This is all happening because the Myanmar military is responding to an attack from a Rohingya military group in Rakhine state. 400,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been detaining and forcibly returning those fleeing into their country. They do not see them as refugees. An investigation has been ordered to look into the human rights violations and possibly giving humanitarian aid by the UN. They have also asked neighboring countries to keep their borders open for refugees coming over in unstable boats. The Indonesia ambassador for London, Rizal Sukma, said that if a regional investigation was launched then his country, Indonesia, would get involved. When confronted by other countries, Myanmar said there was no ethnic cleansing or genocide going on. Myanmar’s National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun said that they were fleeing because of terrorists. The UN has tried to get involved, but Myanmar has stopped any help from them from getting in. The UN ambassador for the U.S., Nikki Haley, called out the Myanmar government for the atrocities that they are allowing to go on. Bangladesh’s representative to the UN, Masud Bin Momen, said it was very clear why people are fleeing.
I think what is going on in Myanmar is an atrocity. It’s upsetting to hear that things resembling the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust are still going on today. It shows how much work still needs to be done in our world. It has a striking resemblance to what is going on with Syrian refugees. It is upsetting to read about what these families are going through. I don’t think anyone can truly understand how difficult life is for them until they go through it themselves. It’s especially hard seeing images of families fleeing. I could never imagine having to go through anything like that with my family.
I wish there was more being done to help the Rohingyas. It is sad to hear the Bangladesh is sending those back who they catch. I can understand why they are doing it. It is not always good to have a mass number of refugees enter your country all at once. I still think that they should be allowing at least some in. It must be horrible to finally make it out to where you think it is safe only to be sent back. I can only imagine the defeat and hopelessness they must feel after that. I think the UN should be doing more to stop the genocide. They know it is going on yet they still haven’t intervened to stop it. They have the power and the ability to go in and make a change but they aren’t using it. They need to take action soon before all Rohingyas are completely removed and killed. No other group has as much power as they wield in situations like this, so they need to use that power to act and stop the atrocities going on.
I also think this is an act of cultural genocide. They are having their homes and villages destroyed. This is, in turn, destroying cultural that was preserved in their homes and villages. We can’t let all of their culture and history go up in a fire. I wish there was something that I could do to help these people. It is so frustrating to know that events like this are going on, yet I can’t do much to stop it. I think that the U.S. should send the military in to help the Rohingyas and stop the Myanmar military. This would be a very controversial act though and could lead to conflict between the U.S. and other countries that think that the U.S. is getting involved where it shouldn’t be. I hope action is taken by some group soon, so the Rohingya people can get help and stop going through this horrible genocide.
We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families part two questions
- Why do you think people were blaming both sides for the genocide?
- Do you think the refugee camps were overall more beneficial or more harmful?
- Why do you think there was a flip-flop from Tutsis being killed to Hutus being killed?
I thought the second part of the book was harder to get through. I don’t know if it is because I found the information less interesting, or if by this point I was just so ready to be done with the book. I had a hard time processing what I was reading, and I have a feeling that I definitely missed out on some key points. Knowing that we will hit those in class makes me not so worried. At this point, I am just doing everything I can to get through these last few reading before my head explodes. Anyways, I should probably discuss what this section was actually about. Gourevitch says how many people are blaming both sides for the genocide which I personally don’t agree with. I think the Hutus were to blame. He talks about the refugee camps like Kibeho. Hundreds of Hutus were killed in camps like these. They also served as a breeding ground for Hutu power groups that would come together and go into Rwanda to kill Tutsis. This led to a switch from Tutsis being killed to Hutus being killed. I personally think this statement should not be made because Tutsis were still being killed as well. Rwanda also saw an influx of people from all over Africa coming to Rwanda. The people already in Rwanda were not a fan of this, and it led to conflict between the two groups (notice how there always seems to be two groups with which conflict arises between). People were eventually forced out of the refugee camps and back into Rwanda, but they did not leave without putting up a fight. The camps were a safe haven for them that they did not want to leave. It is around this part of the book where I started zoning out and the information became a little fuzzy. There was conflict now in Congo as well as other areas in Africa. Rwanda also invaded Zaire. I wish I was not so rushed to finish the book because I think I would have really enjoyed it. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families part one questions
- Do you think Hitler knew about the Hamitic theory and took it into consideration when he was naming how the perfect Aryan should look?
- What does the fact that many people suck refuge in churches say about the value of religion in Rwandan society?
- Why were so many international figures standing back rather than getting involved even though they saw what happened with the Holocaust?
So far, I have really enjoyed this book. It has been one of the few that I have actually wanted to read. The author, Philip Gourevitch, wrote it in a way that makes it easy and interesting to read. It was nice that he wrote about the history, but he also included different people’s stories that actually went through it. It gave a more in-depth and intimate look into what was going on. He began the book by talking about where the killings began. They started in the capital city of Kigali. It then talks about the massacre that took place in Nyarubuye. Many refugees were hiding out in a church there when the Hutus came and killed them. A similar situation happened in the village Mugonero. Refugees hid in the church and hospital there but were found and killed. Bisero was the only place in Rwanda where Tutsis came together in large number and mounted an attack against Hutus. In the beginning of Rwanda’s history, Hutus and Tutsis mixed. However, when the Hamitic hypothesis came out they began to stay separate, and Tutsis were the ones who were the elite. Then a Belgian colonel named Guy Logiest helped spark a revolution where Hutus took over the government, and a republic was established. The Rwandese Patriotic Front invaded Rwanda on October 1st, 1990. This helped spark the Kibilira massacre which many see as the beginning of the genocide. Although many people only looked out for themselves, there were people who took care of many refugees. A man named Paul who ran the Hotel des Mille Collines took in hundreds of refugees and protected them from massacre. I thought this was very interesting, and it gave me a glimmer of hope for the world because it shows that there are people who will do what is right in the face of adversity. There was very little international help, but France did get involved and sent troops in to try and help, although it wasn’t very effective. Overall, I am really enjoying this book so far.
Bloodlands Chapter 6-Conclusion Questions
- Did the U.S. and other democratic countries feel threatened when Poland and Yugoslavia became communist?
- Did fighting ever break out between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia because of Tito’s disregard to Stalin?
- How was it possible for the Polish communist government to be established so corruptly with little outside intervention?
Bloodlands Chapter 6 to the conclusion was about what happened during World War II and afterward. It starts with what happened after Operation Barbarossa. Hitler rearranged his plans so they now focused on the killing of Jews. Himmler took responsibility for the task of exterminating Jews. Germany took over Eastern Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia during the summer of 1941. Lithuanians welcomed the Germans when they came. They even helped kill Jews. Estonians also helped with this through the Einsatzgruppe A. They saw Germans as liberators. When Germany invaded Poland, the NKVD shot and killed Polish citizens. The Nazis used this as propaganda against Jews. Einsatzgruppe A was in the Baltic States, Einsatzgruppe B was in Vilnius and Belarus, and Einsatzgruppe C was in Ukraine. Himmler pushed for mass shooting, including women and children. Stalin had 438,700 Soviet Germans deported as an act against Hitler. The fifth and final version of the final solution was mass death. Belarus was the center of conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union. Allies began to emphasize that they were fighting not just to liberate Jews but all oppressed people. Minsk suffered greatly from the Nazis. About 5.4 million Jews died under German occupation. Those on the eastern side of the Molotov-Ribbentrop line died mostly from shooting, while those on the west side died mostly from gas. The main killing campaign in the west was operation Reinhard. 3 million Jews were gassed because of this operation. Odilo Globochik was the one who set up the gassing facilities. Trawniki men were the ones who operated the facilities. On the west side of the line, Germans set it up so they weren’t doing most of the actual killing. They used people like the Judenrat to do it for them. Hitler used Soviet prisoners of war for labor. Groups began to form in Poland to fight against the Soviet Union. Poland was supposed to be the center of ethnic purity. Stalin’s plan to remove Germans from Poland was approved. A communist government was then set up in Poland. I thought these last few chapters were interesting. I am just so glad to be done this book. It was so dang long, and I can only handle reading so many big books a week. I’m glad that this book was more interesting than some of the others we have read, otherwise, I think I would have just given up and not read any of it. I’m and just so grateful to be done.