Genocide in Rwanda and the Kosovo Conflict

•April 2, 2008 • Leave a Comment
 We’ll begin with a brief background of each conflict.  The Rwandan conflict began 
in earnest in 1990 with a civil war between the government and rebel group Rwandan 
Patriotic Front (RPF), organized essentially by the Tutsi ethnic group, one of the 
two main groups in Rwanda.  The Tutsi felt oppressed under the then-president’s 
rule (Habyriama), whose government was thought to favor the other major tribe,
 the Hutu.  In 1990 the RPF began a civil war against the government 
that lasted until 1993 with the signing of the Arusha Agreement.  Tensions
 were still high, however, and shortly after these Agreements, the 
Rwandan president was killed during a mysterious plane crash.  
The next day, Rwanda erupted into violence and chaos as one of the 
worst genocides in history was committed by Hutu extremists against 
the rebel Tutsi as well as moderate Hutu.  It lasted 100 days and roughly 
800,000 people were killed, the majority of which were Tutsi.
The Kosovo conflict sometimes refers to different things, but we will be 
referring to the Kosovo war fought during 1996-1999 between Yugoslav 
and  Serbian forces, and the Kosovo Liberation Army, (KLA), which
 was a separatist group composed of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo 
who wanted independence from former Yugoslavia. (Yugoslavia at this 
time consisted of only Serbia and Montenegro.) 
                These Albanians felt they were being continually repressed by
 the Serbs, and especially by Milosevic, who was president of Serbia until 
1997, when he became president of Yugoslavia.  This sentiment translated into
 acts of violence beginning in 1996, when the KLA led four simultaneous attacks on
 Serbian security personnel occurring in different parts of Kosovo. 
                Despite some domestic and international efforts to relieve the
 tension expressed by the KLA towards Serbia, in 1997 the violent attacks 
escalated.  Over the next year and a half, attacks by both sides, the Serbians 
(as well as Yugoslav forces), and the Albanians continued.  In the international 
scene, the US supposedly supported the KLA, while NATO demanded the 
Serbians to stop their attacks, and encouraged the Albanians in Kosovo to give
 up their demands for independence.  
               A turning point in the war was in January 1998, during the Racak 
massacre,  where many Albanians were murdered by Serbian forces.  By the middle
 of 1999, several thousand Albanians were killed by Serb forces, thousands more
 had died in retaliation efforts, and an estimated 15,000 were homeless. The 
climax of the war occurred in 1999, when over half the Albanian population fled, 
and several thousand more died.  Serbian and Yugoslav government were finally forced 
to back down after NATO became involved, through a campaign of air strikes.  


Blog Theme

•February 1, 2008 • 1 Comment
We are going to research and compare the ethnic conflicts in Rwanda and in
the Kosovo conflict.  We'll start by exploring the background of the
conflict and the different ethnic groups in the area, and then, using the
comparative method we will try to narrow down the reasons and find the
specific impetus for what started the wars in each area.  In Rwanda we
will be referring to the Rwandan Civil War and most specifically the
genocide in 1994 (mainly of the Tutsi ethnic group.)  For the Kosovo
conflict we will be researching the war that took place in 1996 and 1999,
focusing on the Kosovo Liberation Army and what their motivations were. 
We may also research the motivations of NATO's involvement in 1999.  These
two countries, or regions rather,  will be interesting comparisons because
they provide similarities in their ethnic conflicts, but also differences
in their political structures, war support received, post conflict
resolution, etc.  If we have time to develop further, we will also
research the recent conflicts between ethnic groups in Northern Uganda, or
post conflict resolution and integration effectiveness after each war.

Social Fact

•January 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

While 54% of pregnancies in Russia end in reported abortions, only .2 % of pregnancies end in reported abortions in Mexico.


Hello world!

•January 17, 2008 • 1 Comment

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