Belgium’s propagation of tribal & ethnic hatred in colonial times set the stage for this genocide
The precolonial Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda, that was ceded first to German and then Belgian Colonialism following the First World War, already housed Tutsi-Hutu tensions. The colonisers concreted this antagonism by regarding Tutsi, Hutu and Twa as simply ethnicity, whereas in precolonial times these groups were also part of a complex class system, where rich Hutu could become honorary Tutsi. However Belgium introduced ethnic ID cards and backed Tutsi supremacy, cementing ethnic tensions further. This eventually lead to the Rwandan Revolution of 1959 and the beginning of Hutu-Tutsi Violence.
With numerous theories regarding the origins of the Hutu and Tutsi people groups of Rwanda, it is difficult to know exactly where tension initially arose. Some scholars claim that the Hutu settled in the region after the original Twa minority with Tutsi migrating later to become dominant, but others maintain that migration took place steadily over a long period with Tutsi emerging as a class group over time, but not as a distinctive people group. Either way at the time of the ceding of the Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda to Germany in 1890, the country already harboured considerable Tutsi-Hutu tensions.
German missionaries and colonisers arrived in large numbers in 1897, mainly trying to affect the tax and farming practices, relying heavily on the native government having little control over the region. They did however also import the idea of ‘race’, espousing the Tutsi ruling class and favouring their features, temperament, and alleged origins as more ‘European’ than the Hutu farmers of the region. The Germans then built their policies in Rwanda around the idea of Tutsi racial superiority.