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Crossroads by Molenaar, Hillie & Wijk, Joop van

This documentary highlights the changes due to the massive flow of Rwandan civil war refugees to Tanzania in 1994. Hundreds of thousands Rwandanese have taken shelter just across the border near the village Ngara, next to Tranzanias important trade route. The local population is trying to make ends meet albeit the Rwandan refugees heavily influence the economics and the safety of the area. Local Tanzanians describe how they cope with the economic difficulties and the increasing crime. Also, the construction of the refugee camp Benaco for the Rwandese near Ngara has been a big change for the local community. The documentary successfully shows how the horrific civil war in Rwanda also has its severe consequences across the border.

Social Interest
In the movie it becomes clear that the tensions between the refugees and the local Tanzanians in Ngara are rising. The local court has been overflown with cases of supposed crimes by Rwandan refugees. Most of the local Tanzanians have developed a negative image of the refugees. The overall opinion of the Tanzanians is that the prospects look bleak, although some people have positive reactions according the improved infrastructure around the village Ngara.

Political Relevance
The Rwandan genocide was a result of the rising conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi living in Rwanda. Ever since the Rwandan independence of Belgium in 1962 the situation between the Hutu and Tusti worsened. In 1994, the Hutu movement Rwandan Patriotic Front committed mass murders on Tutsi, and Hutu moderates. Because of this genocide an enormous exodus of refugees took place. Over two million of people fled from Rwanda to Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire. In April 1994 alone, 500,000 Rwandans entered Tanzania

Director
Molenaar, Hillie & Wijk, Joop van
Copyright Holder
Joop van Wijk
Duration
60 min.
Year of release
1997
Language
Swahili, English

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