The refugee situation is particularly bothersome to me because history repeats itself, and we must learn from the past. When you don’t treat refugees in your country well, you not only mistreat humanity (for we are all human), but you set yourself up for future clashes with those same people. Can we look at a case study?
[Many people are confused about if the Hutus and Tutsis are actually different groups or if they were artificial. The Belgians definitely did measure skull sizes and facial features in order to classify Rwandans as belonging to one group or the other but that was just added categorization on two already existing groups. My guess is that it put mixed people in one or the other category and miscategorized some as well. Tutsis were taller, lighter, and more “European-looking” but those, again, are tendencies.
Ok, I’m going to skip all of details in the history just to focus on the refugee part.]
The Hutus arrived in the area of
After the turn of the century (or 1897) German colonists favored Tutsis because they were taller, lighter, assumed to be of Hamitic (you remember Ham, one of Noah’s three sons) descent, etc. They put them in charge (governmentally, administratively) over Hutus. After WWI (
WWII came, and some reforms were made by the Belgian which some Tutsis saw as a threat to their rule. Regardless the Tutsi king (Charles) in 1940’s abolished the feudal system and started distributing land as the Hutus began to develop a consciousness movement.
Anyway there was more land distribution to all in 1954 which led to his assassination in 1959. The Hutus then revolted against his son King Kigeri V and he was overthrown. He fled to
At this point, if the Tutsis were treated well and welcomed, embraced, and loved in their new countries of residence, it is quite possible that the Rwandan genocide of ’94 would have been avoided. Instead they were not treated well just as the refugees in
After the Belgian encouraged the overthrow, independence was declared in 1962 and the few Tutsis remaining were excluded from power. The new president used ethnic ID cards to discourage mixed marriages (BAD IDEA). He was overthrown and there was military rule fro 1973 to 1990. The whole time both groups are holding on to memories of killings or domination in the past. Watch this.
The Tutsis in exile (mostly in
Notice that I mentioned mixed marriages. Can I say something briefly on that? When
(Info from Wikipedia and Zambian friend)
I don’t want to write too much as this is already quite lengthy and you’ve seen the news. I’ll just say that the negotiations did not end by the two week deadline a week and a half ago. And now in the 4th week, they are still working on it though Mbeki reports that they are closer. News reports speculate that the hang up is the concession of power or the splitting of power between the two men. I don’t think it’s speculation; it’s an educated guess. I know Mugabe doesn’t want a purely ceremonial role so there must be some power sharing between the prime minister and president if Mbeki wants to get a compromise to go through.
We mourn what is happening in