Author: A. A. PANOV
Recently, a new stable expression has taken root in Russian journalism and the language of near-political discussions - "Hutu against Tutsi", a kind of meme * that is spontaneously transmitted through social networks, blogs, and the media. Journalists, publicists, and political commentators like to use this phrase, which refers to the ethno-political conflict that lasted for decades in the Great Lakes region of Africa, in their columns or speeches. Few of them, however, have any idea what a complex historical drama really lies behind these two words.
Here are a couple of examples. Journalist Oleg Kashin on the air of the radio station "Echo of Moscow" on May 30, 2014, when asked by the host whether a journalist can remain neutral when covering the armed conflict, he answers that this is impossible with all his desire, but immediately makes a reservation that, most likely, Western journalists who covered the Tutsi-Hutu conflict were neutral. 1.
Another journalist, Sergei Parkhomenko, in a debate with his infamous colleague Alexander Nevzorov about whether history can be considered a science, expressed even more enchanting stupidity: it is supposedly historically accurately recorded that in 1000, simultaneously with the appearance of the first European on the American mainland, the Hutus first went to war against the Tutsi. "Since then, everything that we know about the American continent has happened on the American continent, and the war continues between Hutu and Tutsi <...> they had exactly the same opportunities, they had exactly the same time, they lived in equally bad climatic conditions. Some have achieved this, and others have achieved this, "Parkhomenko said, also noting that this is supposedly an example of a real, "scientific" history without any ideology.2
The 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, which, of course, is not limited to the conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa, but which is its culmination and most famous stage. As ... Read more