Why Do People Commit Genocide

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When Kids Commit Genocide AS the international tribunal investigating Rwanda's genocide prepares to publish its first arrest warrants next week, Rwandans are still hard put to balance demands for retribution with calls for reconciliation. On every level of society, Rwanda seems stuck in a circle of accusations and denials. Children are no exception. More than 1,000 youngsters are among the more than 57,000 individuals detained on suspicion of participating in last year's genocide. Whether because of a shortage of resources or a lack of will, authorities have made little progress in sorting out who among the accused is guilty, and who among the guilty is responsible for their actions. Kubwimana is a seven-year-old in detention in the southern…show more content…
His office is a dingy, barren shack that lacks electricity. Mr. Sindayigaya argues that many Rwandan children killed, or aided the killers, because they were told to or because they hoped to receive a gift or praise. ''I don't think a child of seven or eight years would have the consciousness to commit genocide,'' Sindayigaya says. ''To kill is possible; genocide is something else.'' Rwandans are having trouble distinguishing children who are guilty and responsible from those who are innocent and have been made scapegoats by genocide survivors seeking retribution. ''At least half those people sitting in jail, including the children, are innocent,'' estimates one Rwandan human rights monitor who fears to give his name. In many respects, the children in Gitagata are well-off. They have been rescued from Rwanda's mainstream prisons, where more than 1,000 other youngsters remain mixed in with an adult population in filthy, cramped conditions. At Gitagata, children sleep on blankets on concrete floors and work in the fields for part of the day. They eat porridge and beans they cook themselves and attend classes where some are learning to read and write. International aid agencies, including UNICEF, are providing material aid and some

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