The Reconciliation Process in Rwanda

  • Pietro SulloEmail author
Part of the International Criminal Justice Series book series (ICJS, volume 20)


This chapter faces the issue of reconciliation in Rwanda focusing on the contribution made by gacaca courts. Efforts to build unity and reconciliation made by Rwandan post-genocide state are initially sketched and different ad hoc mechanisms are discussed, including the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, ingando and abunzi . Due to the initial lack of definition of the concept of reconciliation by the Rwandan Government, the progressive conceptualization of the term is also given attention. Genocide denial laws and ‘memory wars’ occurring in Rwanda are in the spotlight of the chapter, as this allows us to have an in-depth insight in the governmental policy of memorialization of the genocide. This policy, culminating in the adoption of the contested Law 13/2008 on genocide ideology, is a clear instance of ‘public use of history’ and has imposed severe limitations on freedom of expression in post-genocide Rwanda. The results of interviews conducted in Rwanda regarding the role of gacaca in Rwanda’s reconciliation process are presented. Particular attention is paid to the conceptualization of the concept of reconciliation by Rwandans and its key components, namely truth, justice, healing and reparation.


National Unity and Reconciliation Commission ingando abunzi truth justice reparation healing post-traumatic stress disorder freedom of speech genocide ideology 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the author 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brussels School of International StudiesUniversity of KentBrusselsBelgium

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