If we knew then what we know now….

The missile that struck a plane killing the then president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana who was Hutu, sparked the Rwandan genocide 17 years ago.  For 17 years, it has been thought that the Tutsis, a minority group who were the victims of the genocide, launched the missile that killed Habyarimana.  However, according to the latest report on the ongoing investigation, the missile was fired from a Hutu camp, not a Tutsi.

If this is true, knowing this 17 years ago could have changed the fate of 800,000+ people.  Now I understand it might not have changed anything. The Hutu/Tutsi tension was mounting prior to this because of the change in power from the minority Tutsi to the majority Hutu (and for other reasons). But the death of Habyarimana was what “broke the camel’s back” and began the crusade against Tutsis.

If only we knew that 17 years ago.  If this is true, it would have changed a lot.  Perhaps some of the 800,000 people who were murdered during the 100 day genocide would still be alive today.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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