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Difference Between Hutu and Tutsi

hutu-tutsiHutu vs Tutsi
The ethnic history of Rwanda is very complicated. Rwanda has witnessed several social structures. Tutsi was a thriving aristocracy in Rwanda many years ago. Hutus were wealthy class of people and resembled the aristocrat Tutsi class. Germans while making a census of the Rwanda- Burundi area found that a Tutsi has more than ten cows in his possession and the stunning feature of their face was a long nose. The availability of long nose in Africa was a matter of research and concluded that people came from Ethiopia, which had European descendants.

With the arrival of catholic missions in the African great lake Region, there was a resistance from Tutsi community against conversion. The missionaries were successful with the Hutu. Properties of Tutsis were taken away from them and given to Hutus. This was the beginning of the conflict between the two ethnic groups.

Culturally, Rwanda has a monarchy system of Tutsi monarch, the Mwami. The other area that is the northwestern part is ruled by Hutu society. The rule of the king was demolished after it received independence. Currently there seem to be no cultural difference between the Tutsi and Hutu and they speak the same Bantu language. There were marriages between a Tutsi and a Hutu. The child was reared up as per the father’s culture. The impression is that Tutsi is a class and not an ethnic identity. But there are several dissimilarities in the two groups of societies.

German rulers gave special status to Tutsis as the rulers found them to be superior to Hutus.This earned Tutsis the chance to get educated and find a place in the government. The Hutus were in majority and this special status sparked off conflicts between the two groups. This policy was followed by the Belgians who took over control of the region after World War I. Finally in the year 1959, Belgians changed their stand and allowed Hutus to form the government through proper mandate.

Hutus started taking oppressive measures against the Tutsis and killed numerous people of the particular ethnic group. The tussle went on and several Hutus were also killed in the process. The democratic elections were held in 1993 and a Hutu became the president of Rwanda who was later killed by Tutsi militants. The fight between the Hutu political force and the Tutsi armed forces are in constant war with each other which is the reality of Rwanda-Burundi.

With the independence of Rwanda-Burundi, Hutus and Tutsis started killing each other to get hold of power of the region. With the proclamation of two new countries in 1962, Rwanda was dominated by Hutus and Burundi was by Tutsis and fighting continued savagely. The civil war engulfed Rwanda in 1994 and thousands of people of both the ethnic classes were brutally killed by each other. The killing of the Hutu president by Tutsi militants sparked off further rebellion and thousands of Hutus fled to neighboring countries Tanzania and Zaire.


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7 Comments

  1. “The democratic elections were held in 1993 and a Hutu became the president of Rwanda who was later killed by Tutsi militants.”

    This is a confusing sentence. Juvenal Habyarimana (hutu), assassinated in 1994, held presidential office starting 1973 in Rwanda. Melchior Ndadaye (hutu), however, was murdered in 1993 and he used to be the president of Burundi. Also, no one has ever confirmed the parties involved in the killing of President Juvenal Habyarimana.

    “The fight between the Hutu political force and the Tutsi armed forces are in constant war with each other which is the reality of Rwanda-Burundi.

    With the independence of Rwanda-Burundi, Hutus and Tutsis started killing each other to get hold of power in the region. With the proclamation of two new countries in 1962, Rwanda was dominated by Hutus and Burundi was by Tutsis and fighting continued savagely. The civil war engulfed Rwanda in 1994 and thousands of people of both the ethnic classes were brutally killed by each other. The killing of the Hutu president by Tutsi militants sparked off further rebellion and thousands of Hutus fled to neighboring countries Tanzania and Zaire.”

    The first sentence and the next paragraph contain misleading and outdated information. It gives off the impression that Rwanda and Burundi were in conflict with each other at some point in the past after independence from European control. There might have been isolated incident of ethnic violence in certain communities located near the border of Burundi and Rwanda, but there were not instigated by the government or rebels. Ethnic violence occurred within each respective countries, rarely overlapped (non governmental or rebels implicated). Basically it’s safe to say, Rwandan hutus killed Rwandan tutsi (vice versa), Burundian Hutu killed burundian Tutsi (vice versa). To finish, Zaire doesn’t exist (it is called RDC nowadays).

    “2. Hutus are shy and timid in nature whereas the Tutsis are well groomed and tougher people.
    3. Hutus are interested in political structure. Tutsis are more military minded and are rebels.”

    I might be on the wrong foot here; but I am under the impression this article is not meant to describe Burundian political and sociological situation. Nevertheless, I think it is worthy to mention that Burundi’s political structure contradicts 2 and 3. Also, it is important to note that Rwanda is currently dominated by tutsi elite. Nowadays, tutsi rebels are found in RDC, and their motivations is to fight the extremists that participated in the Rwanda genocide. There are no tutsi rebels in Rwanda and Burundi. In Rwanda, there were tutsi rebels whose motivations were to obtain equal share of political power. In Burundi, the roles are reversed.

    Read more: Difference Between Hutu and Tutsi | Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/difference-between-hutu-and-tutsi/#ixzz0cr9fuOu7

  2. gimana sih cerita sebenarnya?
    bingung aku……
    jadi tertarik belajar sejarah etnis hutu vs tutsi setelah nonton film”hotel Rwanda”
    tapi kok ceritanya terbalik ya dengan isi artikel di atas??

  3. Your article is so wrong it is not even funny. Ethiopian being from European descent? the people from the horn of Africa have been intermixing with the Yemen and Oman (Arabic) for thousands of years, (the Kingdom of Axum controlled those areas for about 100 years until the Persia forced them back to Africa and took those land for themselves. these groups including Sudanese and some parts of Kenya have African and Arabic phenotype, NOT Europeans. Your article is not truthful at all.

    • I understand your comment, but it was thought by the Belgians that if one was of Ethiopian descent, they were thought to be “more” european. That was how the Belgians thought in those days; it doesn’t make it right, it is racist, but such was their mindset.

  4. “Hutu became the president of Rwanda who was later killed by Tutsi militants. The fight between the Hutu political force and the Tutsi armed forces are in constant war with each other which is the reality of Rwanda-Burundi.”

    This sentence is a clear and outright lie, there is no proof nor leading evidence that Tutsi militants killed JuvĂ©nal Habyarimana, whatsoever. This post is so wrong and offensive it makes this site look bad. It wasn’t just thousands killed. It was hundreds of thousands, it is estimated 800,000-body count. Here are the simple fact. This article does far more harm then good, because it is misleading. Here is a link to a real site that doesn’t allow such blatant lies, and simple fact checking to be posted on their website. “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13431486″

  5. If there are any moderators out there, please inform your higher-ups that this .. article I hate to say that word, but this travesty of writing should not be on your site. It tarnishes your repetition to have it on, for being so false and poorly written. It should be noted that not all of what he says is wrong, a majority of it is. It should, and could be written far better to inform people of the massacre that happened. The dead can’t speak for themselves, it is the job of the living to accurately portray their story.

  6. 2. Hutus are shy and timid in nature whereas the Tutsis are well groomed and tougher people.
    3. Hutus are interested in political structure. Tutsis are more military minded and are rebels.

    These two sentences are plain ignorant and racist.

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