The meaning of Genocide and its Preparation
1. What is Genocide?
According to Samuel Totten and Paul R. Bartrop, the authors of The Genocide Studies Reader 11, the word Genocide was coined by a Jewish lawyer, Raphael LEMKIN and he derived it from a Greek word “genos” meaning tribe another Latin word Cãedere the latin word for “to kill”
When he coined this word Raphael LEMKIN, wanted to explain the difference between the Genocide and other crimes against humanity. This crime involves a deliberate planning of exterminating a certain group based on their tribe, religion and residence.
The genocide victims are killed or eliminated not because they are directly involved in fighting or wars but because of their race and other discriminatory criteria. The perpetrators are often the ones who dictates or decide the criteria on which they based upon when they want to eliminate a certain group of people or ethnic .
The UN Conventions on the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide (UNCG)] adopted by the united nations assembly on 9/12/1948 and later implemented on 12/01/1951 as united nations general assembly resolution sought to define genocide and its major characteristics The conventions states that genocide can be described as any of the following acts with the intent to destroy in part or in whole, a national, racial or a religion.
a) Killing members of a group of people
b) Cause serious bodily mental harm on a group of people
c) Intentionally endanger or inflict poor conditions of life on a group of people aiming at their physical destruction in part or whole.
d) Initiate and impose measures that will stop births among the members of a group of people
e) Taking the children of one group away by force and give them to another group that is unknown and unrelated to them.
The provisions of the convention are also stipulated in article 114 of the organic law No 01/2012/OL of 02/05/2012 instituting the penal code because the states that have ratified to these conventions must have responsibilities that establishes laws punishing the crime of genocide.
N.B. For the genocide to happen, it must also be supported by the government. The government deliberate intentionally to eliminate part of its citizen and ensure that the plan is successfully executed. The government intending to commit genocide put in place effective plans and measure to achieve the crime. The victims are killed not because of the crime they have committed but as a result of belonging to a group of people meant to be eliminated or unwanted.
Every genocide has its own set agenda and therefore bring together those with the same ideas and goals to commit genocide. The agenda to carry out these commitments is referred as “Genocide ideologies”
The genocide ideology is promoted and spread among the people through propaganda to the extent where it becomes stronger and more convincing for the people to implement the Genocide.
Genocide never happens abruptly or under no circumstances.it involves organization and deliberate planning. Public anger, which often referred as the root causes of genocide is preceded by a well-organized and prepared campaigns which are very instrumental in executing the genocide.
According to genocide scholar, Gregory Stanton, demonstrated that for genocide is a process for this crime to be implemented, its planning and preparations are manifested in 10 chronological stages.
1.Genocide planners divide the people into two groups (us against them). based on nationality, ethnicity, origins or beliefs. While those planning the genocide knew and understood the negative impacts of divisionism on citizens, they would convince the people that there is nothing wrong with them being divided and would not face any consequences later despite the opposite being the reality.
2.The second stage involve lab the divided groups and use the names to distinguish these groups. And Rwanda being an example was divided into Hutu and Tutsi, Nazi and Jewish in Germany and so on across the world. The divisionism was emphasized by the hatred led campaign that were meant to increasingly divide these groups to the point where the targeted group becomes the enemy in its society.
3.This is a discriminatory stage where the powerless group or targeted groups are denied their basic rights.in Rwanda, Tutsi were denied both access to education and public employment.
4.when the targeted groups are identified, they are stripped off their humanity status or dehumanize and start to be compared to animals and insects. The Tutsi in Rwanda were compared to cockroaches and snakes.
5.The fourth stage also involve various activities and strategies aiming at executing the genocide. Most of these activities include promoting the hate propaganda among the citizens, acquiring the needed arms (machetes and clubs) to carry out the planned killings, and train the militia groups for instance the Interahamwe and impuzamugambi in Rwanda before and during the genocide against the Tutsi.
6.The fifth stage is when the Genocide perpetrators identify the moderate groups or those opposed to genocide and intimidates them so that they can remain silent and fail to interfere with the already planned genocide.
7.The targeted group is identified and death list of the targeted group prepared and made ready.
8. When the death lists have been drawn up, the massacres begin with the intention of eliminating the targeted group.
9.This is the persecution stage and the acts of genocide are conducted against the targeted group. In Rwanda the innocent Tutsi were occasionally subjected to persecution and killed in part for some time.
10. The Genocide perpetrators seek methods to cover up the truth and evidence so that, denying that they committed any crimes, intimidating and attacking the genocide survivors and many other efforts to block investigations that could reveal those who planned and executed the genocide.
The difference between Genocide and the war
The two have different intentions: The intention of the war is to win the war and take over the defeated. The intention of the Genocide is never to win and take over the defeated, it rather intends to wipe out the targeted group.
The war has a set of laws governing it in a way that whoever among the conflicting parties does not abide by the provisions of those laws is subjected to penalties.
Whoever disarms willing and beg for pardon is forgiven, and not killed whereas there are no laws governing Genocide. There is no pity with the genocide.