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Rwanda, Ten Years on: From Genocide to Dictatorship

  • Filip Reyntjens

Abstract

In the spring of 1994, a small and poor country hitherto unknown to the public at large suddenly became international front-page news. Following the shooting down of President Habyarimana’s aircraft, a low-intensity civil war that had started in 1990 and been supposedly ended by the Arusha Accord (August 1993) resumed; a genocide and large-scale massacres claimed the lives of over a million Rwandans between 7 April and the beginning of July 1994. Although the violence could be seen almost live on television, the international community did nothing to stop the carnage. The United Nations peace-keeping mission United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) was all but withdrawn and it took weeks to formally recognize the violence for what it was — genocide.

Keywords

Civil Society Security Council Parliamentary Election Press Freedom Illegal Exploitation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Out of a total population of about 7.8 million, that is almost 13 per cent. An attempt at establishing a casualty figure can be found in F. Reyntjens, ‘Estimation du nombre de personnes tuées au Rwanda en 1994’, in S. Marysse and F. Reyntjens (eds), L’Afrique des grands lacs. Annuaire 1996–1997 (L’Harmattan, Paris, 1997), pp. 179–186. A census conducted by the Rwandan government in 2000 arrived at the comparable, but ridiculously precise, figure of 1,074,017 (République rwandaise, Ministère de l’Administration locale, de l’information et des affaires sociales, Dénombrement des victimes du génocide. Rapport final, Kigali, November 2002). However, it must be made clear that the two estimates do not reinforce each other, as the government figure claims that at least 94 per cent of the victims were Tutsi, an assumption contradicted by demographic data (Tutsi numbered well under one million) and empirical fact (about 200,000 Tutsi survived the genocide, and hundreds of thousands of Hutu died at the hands of other Hutu and the RPF).Google Scholar
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    A UN Panel put in place in 2001 published a number of increasingly detailed reports on these practices by Rwanda and a number of other states. After the extension of its mandate, the final report of the Panel was published in October 2003 (United Nations, Security Council, Final Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, S/2003/1027, 23 October 2003). However, the substantive findings can be found in the previous ‘final report’:Google Scholar
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    Admittedly, the aid community is facing enormous difficulties and donor assessments differ considerably. On this, see P. Uvin, ‘Difficult choices in the new post-conflict agenda: the international community in Rwanda after the genocide’, Third World Quarterly, 22 (2001), pp. 177–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Filip Reyntjens 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filip Reyntjens
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Development Policy and ManagementUniversity of AntwerpBelgium

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