The Causes & Consequences of Genocide
The causes and consequences of genocide are layered with human stories of suffering, injustice, strength, and resilience.
We must seek to understand the mechanisms that perpetuate genocide and the warning signs so that we can put an end to genocide. The National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide in the Republic of Rwanda states:
"Genocide never happens abruptly...it involves organization and deliberate planning."
Genocide scholar, Gregory Stanton says the planning, preparations, and execution of genocide is manifested in 10 stages. Please read them, learn to recognize them, and commit to preventing genocide everywhere.
You can also read more about the 10 stages here.
Genocide planners divide the people into two groups - "us" against "them." This could be based on nationality, ethnicity, origins, or beliefs for example.
Names are used to distinguish the divided groups. Divisionism is emphasized by a hatred-led campaign meant to increasingly divide groups to the point where a target group becomes the enemy in its society.
The powerless or targeted groups are denied basic rights, such as access to education or public employment.
Targeted groups are stripped of their humanity and dehumanized. They may be compared to animals or insects.
Various strategies and activities happen that are aimed at executing the genocide. Most activities include promoting hate propaganda among the citizens, acquiring the needed arms to carry out the planned killings, and training militia groups.
Extremists drive the groups apart. Genocide perpetrators identify the moderate groups and/or those opposed to genocide and intimidate them so that they can remain silent and fail to interfere with the planned genocide.
The targeted group is identified and the death list of the targeted group is prepared and made ready. Euphemisms are used to hide true intentions, such as "ethnic cleansing," "purification," or "counter-terrorism." Weapons are bought and inflammatory rhetoric increases.
Victims are identified and separated out because of their national, ethnic, racial, or religious identity. The target group's most basic human rights are systematically violated through extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced displacement. Death lists are drawn up.
The acts of genocide are fully conducted against the targeted group, subjecting the target group to persecution and mass killings for a period of time. The goal is to kill all the members of the targeted group.
The Genocide perpetrators seek methods to cover up the truth and evidence of their crime. They deny they committed any crimes, intimidate and attack the genocide survivors and pursue many other efforts to block investigations that could reveal those who planned and executed the genocide.
1. Republic of Rwanda - National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide
2. Genocide Watch - The Ten Stages of Genocide
Genocide imprints lasting consequences upon the human soul.
Some, though not nearly all, of the consequences of genocide include:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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Characterized by longer-term symptoms resulting from a traumatic event such as accident, assault, military combat, or natural disaster.
Addiction involves the problematic use of a substance. It results in chronic and continued use, despite harmful consequences and long-lasting changes too the brain. Resources and support services are available to assist you. Let us know how we can help connect you.
A chronic, progressive, potentially fatal disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.