A Long Historical Divide
Understanding the depth from which the Rwandan Genocide came to fruition through requires investigation back at least to the late 19th Century.
The territory, now Rwanda, since the 15th Century had been predominately inhabited by two ethnic groups--the Hutus and the Tutsis. Historical data suggests that the Hutus had dwelled in the land for a much longer duration than the Tutsis, who are believed to have migrated to the region from the horn of Africa at that time. Both peoples, for all intensive purposes had no legitimate claim to distinguished ethnicity as today it is understood that both groups originate from the Bantu tribe.
When the Tutsi moved into the region known as Rwanda today, as a cattle pastors, the came into natural competition with the Hutu population, that maintained the agrarian horticultural interests as opposed to cattle. As a result land, within this fertile yet confined territory came under competition. The Tutsi population came to concur the Hutus through engaged conflict under the Kingdom of Rwanda under the rule of King Kigeli IV Rwabugiri of Rwanda who reigned from 1853 to 1895.
Under King Rwaburgiri's tenure, the kingdom was organized into districts under the supervision of chiefs. The hierarchy of the kingdom placed Tutsis in higher positions and Hutus in the lower. Eventually the Tutsi kingdom came to govern the region pretty stabally. And the Hutu and Tutsi populations enjoyed more tolerant relationships and an advanced degree of mutual assimilation. That it until the Colonial Powers came along.
Once colonized by the Germans the centralized Tutsi hierarchical structure of the Kingdom of Rwanda would be enshrined and made more exploitative for the next 60 years.
As colonial encroachment came from the Germans, Roman Catholic Missionaries, who, "inspired by the overly racist theories of 19th century Europe, concocted a destructive ideology of ethnic cleavage" and racial ranking that attributed superior qualities to the county's Tutsi minority, being though only 15 percent of the population.
The image pictured to the left offers a glimpse of German Missionary mingling with the Tutsi people of Rwanda who were eventually dubbed, "The far superior group," by missionaries writing back to German Colonial overseers seeking to establish a stable Government within in the region.
The reality that Germany faced colonizing a territory that already had a Tutsi form of centralized government, posed a challenge with the natural solution being to offer support to the Tutsi government, to the leadership of Mwami the king, which--de facto--meant further estrangement for the Hutu, agrarian people.
"The German tactic of divide and conquer was largely successful and territories that had not traditionally been, were consolidated under the Mwami's control. The German presence in Rwanda was short lived however, and during WWI their numbers were too few to prevent a Belgian takeover" (Black Burn)