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Accounting for Horror: Post-Genocide Debates in Rwanda by Nigel EltringhamThe 1994 Rwandan genocide was a monumental atrocity in which at least 500,000 Tutsi and tens of thousands of Hutu were murdered in less than four months. Since 1994, members of the Rwandan political class who recognise those events as genocide have struggled to account for it and bring coherence to what is often perceived as irrational, primordial savagery.Most people agree on the factors that contributed to the genocide -- colonialism, ethnicity, the struggle to control the state. However, many still disagree over the way these factors evolved, and the relationship between them. This continuing disagreemnt raises questions about how we come to understand historical events -- understandings that underpin the possibility of sustainable peace.Drawing on extensive research among Rwandese in Rwanda and Europe, and on his work with a conflict resolution NGO in post-genocide Rwanda, Nigel Eltringham argues that conventional modes of historical representation are inadequate in a case like Rwanda. Single, absolutist narratives and representations of genocide actually reinforce the modes of thinking that fuelled the genocide in the first place. Eltringham maintains that if we are to understand the genocide, we must explore the relationship between multiple explanations of what happened and interrogate how -- and why -- different groups within Rwandan society talk about the genocide in different ways.
Publication Date: 2004
After "Rwanda" by Jean-Paul MartinonIs writing about peace after the Rwandan Genocide self-defeating? Whether it is the intensity of the massacres, the popularity of the genocide, or the imaginary forms of cruelty, however one looks at it, everything in the Rwandan Genocide appears to defy once again the possibility of thinking peace anew. In order to address this problem, this book investigates the work of specific French and Rwandese philosophers in order to renew our understanding of peace today. Through this path-breaking investigation, peace no longer stands for an ideal in the future, but becomes a structure of inter-subjectivity that guarantees that the violence of language always prevails over any other form of violence. This book is the very first monograph in philosophy related to the events of 1994 in Rwanda.Jean-Paul Martinon is Programme Leader of the MPhil-PhD Programme in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has written monographs on a Victorian workhouse (Swelling Grounds, Rear Window, 1995), the idea of the future in the work of Derrida, Malabou and Nancy (On Futurity, Palgrave, 2007), the temporal dimension of masculinity (The End of Man, Punctum, 2013), and the event of knowledge in museums (The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating, Bloomsbury, 2013). In each case, he writes in an attempt to make sense of time: its staging in museums, its advent, its gender, its neglect, the ethics that derive from it, and the way it is used and abused to structure human life. www.jeanpaulmartinon.net
Publication Date: 2013
Eyewitness to a Genocide: The United Nations and Rwanda by Michael BarnettWhy was the UN a bystander during the Rwandan genocide? Do its sins of omission leave it morally responsible for the hundreds of thousands of dead? Michael Barnett, who worked at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations from 1993 to 1994, covered Rwanda for much of the genocide. Based on his first-hand experiences, archival work, and interviews with many key participants, he reconstructs the history of the UN's involvement in Rwanda. In the weeks leading up to the genocide, the author documents, the UN was increasingly aware or had good reason to suspect that Rwanda was a site of crimes against humanity. Yet it failed to act. In Eyewitness to a Genocide, Barnett argues that its indifference was driven not by incompetence or cynicism but rather by reasoned choices cradled by moral considerations. Employing a novel approach to ethics in practice and in relationship to international organizations, Barnett offers an unsettling possibility: the UN culture recast the ethical commitments of well-intentioned individuals, arresting any duty to aid at the outset of the genocide. Barnett argues that the UN bears some moral responsibility for the genocide. Particularly disturbing is his observation that not only did the UN violate its moral responsibilities, but also that many in New York believed that they were "doing the right thing" as they did so. Barnett addresses the ways in which the Rwandan genocide raises a warning about this age of humanitarianism and concludes by asking whether it is possible to build moral institutions.
Publication Date: 2003
Female Genocidaires During the Rwandan Genocide: When Women Kill by Leila FieldingVictimisation of women in times of war, genocide or mass slaughter has been the primary focus of the majority of explorations concerning gender and conflict. Traditionally, women are espoused as victims, at the mercy of male killers, and therefore subordinate. The notoriety of brutal, horrific, and incomprehensible sexual crimes against women in times of genocide has ensured that reluctance in addressing female accountability has plagued this debate. While examinations of these atrocities are imperative and indispensable in facilitating reconciliation, both psychological and social, this one-sided representation has led to a misunderstanding of the dynamic roles which women play during genocide. Whether supportive, active or auxiliary roles, women have been a vital component in endorsing, and sanctioning genocidal violence in history. In Rwanda, some women not only provided assistance and encouragement to Hutu men but, also perpetrated the attacks, and incited rape. The suffering of female victims cannot be fully understood without a consideration of the extensive nature of the perpetrators, both male and female. Moreover, quite the opposite of diminishing the value and significance of the victimisation of women, any examination which focuses on female agency re-balances the scales of gender inequality, and consequently serves to empower women. Women should not be portrayed solely as victims. Women in the Rwandan genocide were victims and perpetrators, agents and symbols. Gender expectations which propagate the superiority of men, both during and after conflict are detrimental to the reconstruction of post-genocide gender identities.
Publication Date: 2013
The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda by Scott StrausThe Rwandan genocide has become a touchstone for debates about the causes of mass violence and the responsibilities of the international community. Yet a number of key questions about this tragedy remain unanswered: How did the violence spread from community to community and so rapidly engulf the nation? Why did individuals make decisions that led them to take up machetes against their neighbors? And what was the logic that drove the campaign of extermination? According to Scott Straus, a social scientist and former journalist in East Africa for several years (who received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his reporting for the Houston Chronicle), many of the widely held beliefs about the causes and course of genocide in Rwanda are incomplete. They focus largely on the actions of the ruling elite or the inaction of the international community. Considerably less is known about how and why elite decisions became widespread exterminatory violence. Challenging the prevailing wisdom, Straus provides substantial new evidence about local patterns of violence, using original research-including the most comprehensive surveys yet undertaken among convicted perpetrators-to assess competing theories about the causes and dynamics of the genocide. Current interpretations stress three main causes for the genocide: ethnic identity, ideology, and mass-media indoctrination (in particular the influence of hate radio). Straus's research does not deny the importance of ethnicity, but he finds that it operated more as a background condition. Instead, Straus emphasizes fear and intra-ethnic intimidation as the primary drivers of the violence. A defensive civil war and the assassination of a president created a feeling of acute insecurity. Rwanda's unusually effective state was also central, as was the country's geography and population density, which limited the number of exit options for both victims and perpetrators. In conclusion, Straus steps back from the particulars of the Rwandan genocide to offer a new, dynamic model for understanding other instances of genocide in recent history-the Holocaust, Armenia, Cambodia, the Balkans-and assessing the future likelihood of such events.
Publication Date: 2013
Peasants in Power: The Political Economy of Development and Genocide in Rwanda by Philip Verwimp; Université Libre de Bruxelles StaffThis book shows how Rwanda's development model and the organisation of genocide are two sides of the same coin. In the absence of mineral resources, the elite organised and managed the labour of peasant producers as efficient as possible. In order to stay in power and benefit from it, the presidential clan chose a development model that would not change the political status quo. When the latter was threatened, the elite invoked the preservation of group welfare of the Hutu, called for Hutu unity and solidarity and relied on the great mass (rubanda nyamwinshi) for the execution of the genocide. A strategy as simple as it is horrific. The genocide can be regarded as the ultimate act of self-preservation through annihilation under the veil of self-defense. Why did tens of thousands of ordinary people massacred tens of thousands other ordinary people in Rwanda in 1994? What has agricultural policy and rural ideology to do with it? What was the role of the Akazu, the presidential clan around president Habyarimana? Did the civil war cause the genocide? And what insights can a political economy perspective offer ? Based on more than ten years of research, and engaging with competing and complementary arguments of authors such as Peter Uvin, Alison Des Forges, Scott Strauss, René Lemarchand, Filip Reyntjens, Mahmood Mamdani and André Guichaoua, the author blends economics, politics and agrarian studies to provide a new way of understanding the nexus between development and genocide in Rwanda. Students and practitioners of development as well as everyone interested in the causes of violent conflict and genocide in Africa and around the world will find this book compelling to read. .
Publication Date: 2013
Rwanda's Genocide : The Politics of Global Justice by Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu; Kingsley MoghaluIn Rwanda's Genocide , Kingsley Moghalu provides an engrossing account and analysis of the international political brinkmanship embedded in the quest for international justice for Rwanda's genocide. He takes us behind the scenes to the political and strategic factors that shaped a path-breaking war crimes tribunal and demonstrates why the trials at Arusha, like Nuremberg, Tokyo, and the Hague, are more than just prosecutions of culprits, but also politics by other means. This is the first serious book on the politics of justice for Rwanda's genocide. Moghalu tells this gripping story with the authority of an insider, elegant and engaging writing, and intellectual mastery of the subject matter.
Journey into Darkness: Genocide in Rwanda by Thomas P. OdomIn July 1994, Thomas P. Odom was part of the U.S. Embassy team that responded to the Goma refugee crisis. He witnessed the deaths of 70,000 refugees in a single week. In the previous three months of escalating violence, the Rwandan genocide had claimed 800,000 dead. Now, in this vivid and unsettling new book, Odom offers the first insider look at these devastating events before, during, and after the genocide. Odom draws on his years of experience as a Defense Attaché and foreign area specialist in the United States Army to offer a complete picture of the situation in Zaire and Rwanda, focusing on two U.S. embassies, intelligence operations, U.N. peacekeeping efforts, and regional reactions. His team attempted to slow the death by cholera of refugees in Goma, guiding in a U.S. Joint Task Force and Operation Support Hope and remaining until the United States withdrew its forces forty days later. After U.S. forces departed, Odom crossed into Rwanda to spend the next eighteen months reestablishing the embassy, working with the Rwandan government, and creating the U.S.-Rwandan Demining office. Odom assisted the U.S. Ambassador and served as the principal military advisor on Rwanda to the U.S. Department of Defense and National Security Council throughout his time in Rwanda. His book candidly reveals Odom’s frustration with Washington as his predictions that a larger war was coming were ignored. Unfortunately, he was proven correct: the current death toll in that unfortunate country is close to three million. Odom’s account of the events in Rwanda illustrate not only illustrate how failures in intelligence and policy happen, but also show that a human context is necessary to comprehend these political decisions.
Publication Date: 2005
More Selected EBooks
Court of Remorse : Inside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda by Thierry Cruvellier; Chari Voss (Translator)When genocidal violence gripped Rwanda in 1994, the international community recoiled, hastily withdrawing its peacekeepers. Late that year, in an effort to redeem itself, the United Nations Security Council created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to seek accountability for some of the worst atrocities since World War II: the genocide suffered by the Tutsi and crimes against humanity suffered by the Hutu. But faced with competing claims, the prosecution focused exclusively on the crimes of Hutu extremists. No charges would be brought against the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, which ultimately won control of the country. The UN, as if racked by guilt for its past inaction, gave in to pressure by Rwanda s new leadership. With the Hutu effectively silenced, and the RPF constantly reminding the international community of its failure to protect the Tutsi during the war, the Tribunal pursued an unusual form of one-sided justice, born out of contrition. Fascinated by the Tribunal s rich complexities, journalist Thierry Cruvellier came back day after day to watch the proceedings, spending more time there than any other outside observer. Gradually he gained the confidence of the victims, defendants, lawyers, and judges. Drawing on interviews with these protagonists and his close observations of their interactions, Cruvellier takes readers inside the courtroom to witness the motivations, mechanisms, and manipulations of justice as it unfolded on the stage of high-stakes, global politics. It is this ground-level view that makes his account so valuable and so absorbing. A must-read for those who want to understand the dynamics of international criminal tribunals, "Court of Remorse" reveals both the possibilities and the challenges of prosecuting human rights violations.A" Choice "Outstanding Academic Book Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association for School Libraries and the Public Library Association Best Books for High Schools, selected by the American Association for School Libraries"
Publication Date: 2010-08-05
The Failure to Prevent Genocide in Rwanda by Fred Grünfeld; Anke HuijboomThis volume is about the failure to prevent genocide in Rwanda in 1994. In particular, the research focuses on why the early warnings of an emerging genocide were not translated into early preventative action. The warnings were well documented by the most authoritative source, the Canadian U.N. peace-keeping commander General Romeo Dallaire and sent to the leading political civil servants in New York. The communications and the decisionmaking are scrutinized, i.e., who received what messages at what time, to whom the messages were forwarded and which (non-) decisions were taken in response to the alarming reports of weapon deliveries and atrocities. This book makes clear that this genocide could have been prevented. Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
Publication Date: 2007
Inside the Hotel Rwanda: The Surprising True Story ... and Why It Matters Today by Kerry Zukus; Edouard KayihuraIn 2004, the Academy Award-nominated movie Hotel Rwanda lionized hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina for single-handedly saving the lives of all who sought refuge in the Hotel des Mille Collines during Rwanda’s genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Because of the film, the real-life Rusesabagina has been compared to Oskar Schindler, but unbeknownst to the public, the hotel’s refugees do not endorse Rusesabagina’s version of the events. In the wake of Hotel Rwanda’s international success, Rusesabagina is one of the most well-known Rwandans and now the smiling face of the very Hutu Power groups who drove the genocide. He is accused by the Rwandan prosecutor general of being a genocide negationist and funding the terrorist group Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). For the first time, learn what really happened inside the walls of Hotel des Mille Collines. In Inside the Hotel Rwanda, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers. Kayihura writes of a divided society and his journey to the place he believed would be safe from slaughter. The book exposes the Hollywood hero of the film Hotel Rwanda, Paul Rusesabagina, as a profiteering and politically ambitious Hutu Power sympathizer who extorted money from those who sought refuge, threatening to send those who did not pay to the génocidaires, despite pleas from the hotel’s corporate ownership to stop. Inside the Hotel Rwanda is at once a memoir, a critical deconstruction of a heralded Hollywood movie alleged to be factual, and a political analysis aimed at exposing a falsely created hero using his fame to be a political force, spouting the same ethnic apartheid that caused the genocide two decades ago. Kayihura’s Inside the Hotel Rwanda offers an honest and unflinching first-hand account of the reality of life inside the hotel, exposing the man who exploited refugees and shedding much-needed light on the plight of his victims.
Publication Date: 2014
The Media and the Rwanda Genocide by Allan Thompson (Editor); Kofi Annan (Foreword by)The news media played a crucial role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide: local media fuelled the killings, while the international media either ignored or seriously misconstrued what was happening.This is the first book to explore both sides of that media equation. The book examines how local radio and print media were used as a tool of hate by encouraging neighbours to turn against each other. It also presents a critique of international media coverage of the cataclysmic events in Rwanda. Bringing together local reporters and commentators from Rwanda, high-profile Western journalists and leading media theorists, this is the only book to identify and probe the extent of the media's accountability. It also examines deliberations by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the role of the media in the genocide.This book is a startling record of the dangerous negative influence that the media can have, when used as a political tool or when news organisations and journalists fail to live up to their responsibilities. The authors put forward suggestions for the future by outlining how we can avoid censorship and propaganda, and by arguing for a new responsibility in media reporting.
Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa: From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction by Robin PhilpotFormer UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali declared to author Robin Philpot that “the Rwandan Genocide was 100 percent American responsiblity.” Yet a more official narrative would have it that horrible Hutu génocidaires planned and executed a satanic scheme to eliminate nearly one million Tutsis after the Rwandan presidential plane crashed in the heart of dark Africa on April 6, 1994. Where do these two contradictory narratives come from? Which is true? Robin Philpot’s vast and methodical research, extensive interviews, and close analysis of events, testimony in courts, and popular writings on the subject show not only that that official narrative is false, but that it was edified to cover up the causes of the tragedy and to protect the criminals responsible for it. What’s more, to make that story more believable, the storytellers have unfailingly reproduced the literary traditions, clichés, and metaphors that provided the underpinnings of slavery, the slave-trade, and colonialism. Nearly 20 years later, the facts about the Rwandan tragedy have been so distorted and the adjudicated facts ignored that Rwanda is now used everywhere to justify so-called humanitarian intervention throughout Africa (and the world). It has become a “useful imperial fiction,” and for that reason, this book seeks to find out what really happened there.
Publication Date: 2013
We Cannot Forget : Interviews with Survivors of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda by Samuel Totten (Editor); Rafiki Ubaldo (Editor)During a one-hundred-day period in 1994, Hutus murdered between half a million and a million Tutsi in Rwanda. The numbers are staggering; the methods of killing were unspeakable. Utilizing personal interviews with trauma survivors living in Rwandan cities, towns, and dusty villages, We Cannot Forget relates what happened during this period and what their lives were like both prior to and following the genocide. Through powerful stories that are at once memorable, disturbing, and informative, readers gain a critical sense of the tensions and violence that preceded the genocide, how it erupted and was carried out, and what these people faced in the first sixteen years following the genocide.
Publication Date: 2011
When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda by Mahmood Mamdani"When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable. Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa. There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.
Publication Date: 2002
Women and War in Rwanda by Georgina HolmesThe 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which followed the death of President Habyarimana, was one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the twentieth century. Beamed into the living rooms of the West, it shamed both African and global leaderships. As wars in the Congo continue to tear apart the region, this book examines how the politics that led to the 1994 genocide continue to be played out in the international media. Drawing on a range of African and international primary sources, Georgina Holmes argues that the media represents a site within which political and military actors can influence narratives about war and genocide, and breaks new ground in analyzing the role of gender in the conflict. This book is essential reading on the gendered dynamics of conflict and genocide in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and will appeal to anyone with an interest in Gender Studies, Media and Film Studies, African Studies and International Relations.