The definition of genocide as given in the Webster's Dictionary is "The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group." This definition portrays the situation in 1994 of Rwanda, a small, poor, central African country. The Rwandan genocide was the systematic extermination of over 800,000 Tutsi people (an ethnic group in Rwanda), by the Hutu people (another ethnic group in Rwanda). The genocide lasted 100 days and the affects of the massacre on their economy, and their people were massive. Genocide is basically like extinction, and is wrong, but the history between the two groups, and their conflicts was deep. .
To fully understand why this slaughter occurred, we must first look at the history of the Hutu and the Tutsi. In the early 1900's, the Tutsi were placed in positions of power by Belgium, because they looked "whiter". Governed by Belgium's racist way of thought, ethnic identity cards were introduced. The Catholic Church supported the Tutsi and the new social order and educated the Tutsi and imposed their religion on them. Though the population of Rwanda was ninety percent Hutu, they were denied land ownership, education, and positions of power.
In the 1950's, the end of the colonial period, the Hutu overthrew the Tutsi government. The Hutu maintained the practices of ethnic division, and the Tutsi were forcibly removed from positions of power. Many Tutsi fled from Rwanda and were not allowed to return. Many Tutsi that stayed in Rwanda were killed. Supported by Uganda, the Tutsi formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a rebel army. The rebel army was anxious to regain citizenship and their homes in Rwanda, and began a civil war that lasted four years. .
The world wide coffee market crashed, and coffee being the main export of Rwanda, led to unemployment and hunger of many Rwandans. This, along with pressure from Belgium forced the Hutu to agree to share power with the Tutsi.