Running head: DECIMATION OF THE RWANDAN TUTSIS 3On April 6, 1994, the Hutu Power initiated a massive attack against the Tutsis in thesmall African country of Rwandan that decimated the Tutsi people (Gourevitch, 2009, p. 37). Not only did the Rwandan militia begin to slaughter the ethnic Tutsis, civilians, urged on by theHutu government, began to systematically kill the Tutsis regardless of past friendships andfamily ties. The United Nations failed to react to these killings despite having a peacekeepingforce in Rwanda at the time. The western nations also attempted to downplay the killings sayingwhat was happening in Rwanda might be a genocide, but the Clinton administration forbid theuse of the word genocide to describe the events in Rwanda (Gourevitch, 1998, p. 152). Despitethe attempts by many in the Western world to announce the killings in Rwanda as somethingother than a genocide, it is clear that the mass killings of Tutsis by the Hutu was a genocide, andthe Western world’s lack of intervention was a result of Rwanda having no strategic value to theinternational community.Gourevitch (1998) claimed colonialism “served as the engine of the genocide” (p. 251).Colonialism created a mentality that Rwandans either had to kill or be killed (Gourevitch, 1998, p.251). It also created a mentality of obedience, which is what many Hutus would later claim astheir reason for killing Tutsis after the genocide; Hutus were merely obeying the government inthe slaughtering of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. Colonialism was truly the underlying factor behind the Rwandan genocide. Colonialism created a mentality of obedience to the rulinggovernment, it created ethnic strife between the Hutus and the Tutsis, and it caused many inRwanda to become numb to brutality. Additionally, when colonialism was removed fromRwandan, it forced Rwandans to create their own government among the chaos. This allowed for weak institutions to be enacted, which would eventually lead to the 1994 genocide.