Flashcards in Rwanda Deck (175):
Melson (2003), origins of Rwandan genocide
no “age-old animosity between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups,” as the front page of the October 1997 New York Times would have it.
Until 1959 when the Hutu revolution broke out, “there had never been systematic political violence recorded between Hutus and Tutsis – anywhere
The Rwandan genocide was the product of a postcolonial state, a racialist ideology, a revolution claiming democratic legitimation, and war – all manifestations of the modern world
Melson (2003) colonial roots
first the Germans and then the Belgians came to rely on the Mwami, the Tutsi ruler, and the Tutsi aristocracy to impose their domination. Moreover, the colonizers needed a conceptual framework to comprehend the complexities of African society. Central to it were the notions of “tribe” and “race.”
physiognomy of the aristocratic Tutsi cattle herders differed somewhat from the Hutu peasantry and the nonaristocratic Tutsi pastoralists
aristocrats in the king’s court tended to be taller and slimmer, and their facial features closer to the European ideal of beauty
apparent difference came to be generalized by the Europeans as indicating that all Tutsi were of a different and superior race from the Hutu
further elaborated by Belgian administrators and anthropologists who argued – in what came to be known as the “Hamitic Hypothesis” – that the Tutsi were conquerors who had originated in Ethiopia
In the traditional system there had been three types of chiefs, with the chief of the land being a Hutu. However, the Belgians abolished this tripartite division, centralizing chiefly powers in one man, usually a Tutsi. By 1959 forty-three out of forty- five chiefs were Tutsi and only two were Hutu.
Belgians also initiated and made widespread a draconian system of forced labor, wherein mostly Hutu where drafted to work for the state without pay.
they refused to view the land as belonging to native lineages, allowing the state to dispose of Hutu land after paying out compensation to the owners.
The ubuhake system, a traditional social contract entailing subordination between Hutu and Tutsi, wherein some Hutu were able to rise to Tutsi rank, was undermined by the privatization of the land
As the Tutsi realized that Belgian “reforms” could in fact benefit them, they began to convert to Catholicism and to attend mission schools in order to improve their social position. In 1932, at the elite Astrida College (now Butare) out of 54 students 45 were of Tutsi origins
during the genocide: when genocidal killers were in doubt about the identity of their victims, they relied on colonial-era documents that had labeled people as Tutsi or Hutu.
Pierre Ryckmans, a Belgian administrator from the 1920s
“The Batutsi were meant to reign. Their fine [racial] presence is in itself enough to give them a great prestige vis-`a-vis the inferior races which surround [them].... It is not surprising that those good Bahutu, less intelligent, more simple, more spontaneous, more trusting have let themselves be enslaved without ever daring to revolt.
Melson (2003), Belgian attempts to 'democratize' colonial system
churchmen feared being replaced by Tutsi priests, while the administrators were increasingly open to egalitarian ideas that promoted the lowly Hutu over the Tutsi upper class and aristocracy.
By initiating policies favoring the Hutu after the war, the Belgians were bound to encourage a Hutu revolt and Tutsi reaction.
By 1957 there emerged Hutu-led political movements demanding an end to Hutu subordination and the overthrow of Tutsi hegemony. Significantly they referred to the Tutsi as an alien race, not as an indigenous upper class
1959, with the aid of Belgian administrators, political movements led by Hutu elites revolted against their Tutsi overlords
Commencing on November 1, 1959, Hutu violence spread throughout the country. Colonel Guy Logiest, commander of the Belgian troops, approved of the violence and actively encouraged it
Bahutu Manifesto, 1957
'the problem is basically that of the political monopoly of one race, the Mututsi'
called for the replacement of one system of domination with another.
demanded that the racial categories be maintained in identity papers, thereby reifying such labels with deadly consequences for the 1994 genocide.
At Ibuka (Tutsi survivors' assoc) conference, Nov 25-Dec 1, 2002
most survivors dated the origins of the 1994 genocide to the 1959 revolution, when they were made second-class citizens in a racially polarized state
reaction to 1972 massacres against Hutu in Rwanda by Burundi army
Melson (2003), economic downturn 1980s
Habyarimana regime became increasingly vulnerable to liberalizing pressures from donors from abroad. In June 1990, following a meeting with French President Mitterand, Habyarimana announced that Rwanda would become a multiparty system
RPF, lead-up to invasion
October 1, 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, a Tutsi-dominated force based in Uganda, commenced operations that would ultimately lead to the invasion of the country
Habyarimana's plane shot down
April 6, 1994
Melson (2003), who orchestrated the genocidal campaign?
a radical Hutu elite at the center of government, calling itself “Hutu Power,” that had close ties to President Habyarimana
importance of propaganda (Melson 2003)
Hutu Power utilized the mass media to vilify the Tutsi minority as well as the Hutu opposition.
Rwandan Tutsis were demonized and accused of harboring murderous intentions against all Hutu
66 percent rate of literacy and a 29 percent rate of radio ownership (59 percent in the cities) - mass media proved very effective as tools of mobilization and propaganda.
Hutu Power fear-mongering prior to genocide (Melson 2003)
on October 4–5, 1990, it staged a phony attack on Kigali, which it blamed on the RPF. It initiated v real massacres of Tutsis as reprisals for RPF incursions and as a way of habituating ordinary people to violence.
means of mobilizing genocidaires in the villages (Melson 2003)
Hutu Power called people out to do communal work, umuganda ('work' here being mass murder)
Malkki's work (Melson's account)
Studying Hutu refugees from the Burundian massacres of 1972, she demonstrates how pervasive the “Hamitic Hypothesis” and racialist views of Tutsis had become.
In the popular Hutu mind, the Tutsis were demonized by an ideology (which she calls a “mythico-history”) that viewed them as foreign invaders from Ethiopia or Somalia who had arrived in Burundi (Rwanda) centuries before and were bent on subjugating or destroying the Hutu and stealing their land
Melson (2003), what links Rwanda, Holocaust and Cambodia?
What links all of these instances and makes them “modern” are the role of ideology and the circumstances of revolution and war
in any society, including liberal peaceful democracies, there are people who harbor murderous thoughts against national, ethnic, religious, racial, and other groups, but because they do not have the power to act on their intentions their murderous projects are mostly stillborn.
In all four instances, revolutionary regime was governed by an ideology that identified certain groups as the enemies of society. It was at war with foreign and domestic enemies that it sought to destroy what it called “the enemies of the revolution.”
Under revolutionary circumstances they will redefine the identity of a subset of the political community as “the people,” “the nation,” “the race,” “the religion,” or “the class.”
Rev regime also aims to alter the state’s international situation
Melson (2003), three ways in which revolutionary war closely linked to genocide
- gives rise to feelings of vulnerability and to paranoid fears that link supposed domestic “enemies” to external aggressors.
- war increases the autonomy of the state from internal social forces, including public opinion, public opposition, and its moral constraints.
- war closes off other policy options of dealing with “internal enemies.”
What type of genocide was Rwanda? (Melson 2003)
Rwandan genocide was a total domestic genocide, what the UN would call a “genocide-in-whole” as against a “genocide-in-part,” and as such it was the African version of the Holocaust
unique aspect of Rwandan genocide (Melson 2003)
Never before was a majority of a population mobilized by the state to become the “willing executioners” of a minority.
PRIMARY SOURCE: International Criminal Tribunal Rwanda Cartoon Book 2011
Use of Tutsi and Hutu families which are friends as main protagonists. In it together bc Hutus are accused of being Tutsi-lovers
Use of innocent children as main characters/ only survivors - they know no ethnic community
Sanitized - images not too graphic. But still, depictions of mass murders and even one in a church
V positive portrayal of view and success of ICTR
Clear that white ppl abandoned, and white person on RTLM = the enemy, but doesn't labour point of abandonment by internat community. Fairly balanced account
Extremists portrayed as ultimate enemies/ the worst. Unbalanced account of Arusha Accords - extremists portrayed as stubborn and unwilling to compromise. In fact, RPF also v unwilling to compromise and internat community forcing huge concessions from extremists
Braeckman (2007), importance of radio in Rwandan genocide
RTLM most pop station
Many apolitical listened to this extremist station bc of music it played
RTLM accused Belgian troops in Rwanda on UN peacekeeping mission of shooting down H's plane
Next morn 10 Belgian soldiers brutally killed on not long afterward Belgium withdrew forces from the UN mission
RTLM gave signal to begin massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus
You have to kill [the Tutsis], they are cockroaches
Article 3 common to the 4 Geneva Conventions of 194
in an internal conflict, civilians shall in all circumstances be treated humanely w/o any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion, sex, birth or wealth
Rwanda and Genocide convention
Rwanda became party to it 1975
Article 3 - direct and public incitement to commit genocide = punishable
Sept 1998, ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR):
- Sat in Arusha, Tanzania
-Sentenced former PM Jean Kambanda for direct and public incitement to commit genocide, in part for encouraging RTLM to continue its calls to massacre the Tutsis
- Same month, court convicted Jean-Paul Akayesu, leading civilian in Taba commune, on charges that included direct and public incitement to commit genocide
Ferdinand Nahimana, well-known historian who served as RTLM director, fled to Cameroon and the Belgian journalist George Ruggiu fled to Kenya
Both later arrested and delivered to the Arusha tribunal
First condemned N launched appeal but Ruggiu sentenced to 12 yrs of imprisonment after having been convicted of incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity
Li (2004), course of genocide
in the vacuum left by the absence of much cultivation, business, and study, the genocide established its own rhythm; participation (construed broadly, not necessarily killing) was routinized.
Li (2004), importance of social intimacy
Systematic identification and pursuit of Tutsi depended on the compilation of comprehensive lists at the local level; such surveillance, coupled with movement restrictions, made escape and anonymity extremely difficult.
killing involved widespread denunciation and betrayal of friends, neighbours, and loved ones
Li (2004) Rwandans easily open to manipulation and control?
seems difficult to rely on existing explanations—ideas such as cultural norms of obedience, elite-driven manipulation, and socioeconomic pressures—without somehow speaking of Rwandans as easily open to manipulation and control.
However, the genocide came immediately after the period of multipartyism, which was marked by unprecedented political openness and opposition to the state, including intra-Hutu violence
importance of not considering Hutus as 'automatons', mindlessly responding to propaganda - as most accounts of radio's role
Li (2004), importance of RTLM manipulation of historical discourse
“Hutu revolution” of 1959 that precipitated the end of elite Tutsi hegemony (many Tutsi were as poor as their Hutu neighbours) and Belgian rule represented a radical and emancipatory leap forward, the raison d’eˆtre of the post-colonial Rwandan state that had always implicitly legitimized itself in opposition to the past
RTLM portrayed the progress achieved since the revolution as under threat from the RPF, collapsing past into present and calling upon Rwandans to re-enact the do-or-die moment of 1959.
contribd to deep sense of crisis
Georges Ruggiu, RTLM’s Belgian animateur recalled station’s management's explicit instructions to make such historical comparisons and that he said on the air that “the 1959 revolution ought to be completed in order to preserve its achievements”
Li (2004), import of RTLM manipulation of discourse of democracy
Rwandan state built on notion of ethnic majoritarianism.
Allowed state to demonize the Tutsi.
Collapsed economic, regional and ideological differences between Hutu in name of ethnic solidarity
RTLM - pressing ppl to forget about parties and think only of ethnicity
-Tutsi numerical weakness meant their attempts to seize control = suicide
Li (2004), RTLM use of language of development
RTLM’s invocation of work drew upon the existing discourses of development -
notion of umuganda, communal work - while simultaneously recasting communal labour as an exercise in national survival
“Mobilize yourselves,” animateur Georges Ruggiu told listeners during the killings. “Work you the youth, everywhere in the country, come to work with your army.
Li (2004), reasons for RTLM's greater influence than Radio Rwanda
Radio Rwanda’s reticence about the progress of the war began to raise listeners’ suspicions that it was withholding the full extent of the truth
Domitille, 57, an accused genocidaire, listening to the radio morning after the plane crash: “While Radio Rwanda played classical music, RTLM gave news about the situation”
RTLM somehow struck a balance between continuity and change
Li (2004), RTLM generating impression of trustworthiness
corrected itself, especially in cases where it retracted denunciations (which were effectively death warrants)
allowed Tutsis to speak and criticise the MRND,e.g. Rutaremara, high official in the RPF, but reporter Kantano prefaced interview with jokes about him 'that tall Tutsi', and said after that R was 'of course anwswering in the inkotanyi way' - to discredit
Both Hutu detainees and Tutsi survivors I spoke to said that the presence of a muzuungu (white man - Ruggiu) at RTLM gave it the appearance of strength, perhaps even international sanction.
Li (2004), Importance of personalities of RTLM broadcasters
Kantano Habimana was by far the most popular
one of Hitimana’s trademarks was to call out to the furthest mountains in the country, issue personal greetings to specific regions of Rwanda, and salute named individuals with whom he had met or shared a drink the night before
Listening to Noheli Hitimana at dawn while heading out to the fields was itself a cultural practice
Hitimana’s work at RTLM continued in the vein of many of his old practices from Radio Rwanda. For example, in response to criticisms of RTLM broadcast over Radio Muhabura, he responded with a litany of areas that had experienced RPF attacks
Hitimana converts his everyday habit of naming, recognizing, and saluting individuals into a means of denouncing, targeting, and threatening them, all within the boundaries of the same style and the same medium
Li (2004) influence of RTLM beyond broadcasts themselves
Broadcasts were often reincarnated elsewhere as rumour, where the possibilities for exaggeration or reinterpretation could only expand.
According to one of his neighbours, a militia member named Hakiri used to spend mornings on the roof of his shop with a radio clutched to his ear, listening to RTLM. When he listened, “his mood changed” and he would climb down and gather people to tell them what he had heard
Li (2004), RTLM's music
Bikindi's anti-Tutsi lyrics
Many Hutu sang along with Bikindi’s songs on RTLM in bars and in streets, and even after “work” shifts
Li (2004), importance of RTLM's everyday role
RTLM did not simply whip Hutu into a frenzy to channel fear and anger into sudden attacks. Rather, through the daily diet of informational updates, operational details (not to leave bodies on the road in view of Western journalists, for example), and encouraging monologues, it contributed to the framing of schedules and the routinization of “work.”
According to one survivor, many people would listen to RTLM at roadblocks, in homes, and in bars, during breaks. Sometimes they would listen outdoors in groups as large as 100, closely following the information relayed to plan the next day’s activities. When asked if this took place every day, he replied, “Of course. It was work. It was to know what to do”
Appropriation of the rhythms of everyday life by the proponents of the genocide was part of a dialogic process through which Rwandans actively sought to understand and confront a social world disrupted by four years of civil war, political instability, and economic crisis, now coming to a head with the assassination of Habyarimana and the eruption of widespread violence
while it is often noted that the road to genocide is paved with smaller massacres, it may be more appropriate in this case to say that rather than violence becoming normal, it was normality itself that was co-opted in the service of violence.
Mironko (2004), individuals' initiatives
while state actions in Rwanda in 1994 may have speeded the process
of genocide, people themselves, thinking and acting in mobs, assumed a degree
of initiative in the violence, and killed with methods that far exceeded state
Chretien et al. (1995) (Mironko's account), how is it possible for 'normal' ppl to take part in mass violence?
reducing the human targets to non-human status generates broad social consent to mass murder
this consent was built through extensive ideological and political preparation that included dehumanizing Tutsi as “cockroaches” (inyenzi) and snakes (inzoka) and rewriting history to demonize an entire group, the Tutsi, as “foreign invaders.”
Mironko (2004), igitero
played a significant role in providing the discursive grounds for justifying the extermination of Tutsi, and also the logistical instrument for ensuring popular participation in the genocide.
Mironko (2004), interviewees' avoidance of the word 'genocide'
in response to my question about what they had pleaded guilty to, all the avoues confirmed that they had pleaded guilty to the crime of “genocide” (using the French word). When I asked them what “genocide” was, the majority told me that it was ubwicanyi (“killings”). Very few of the prisoners used the term itsembatsemba or itsembabwoko (itsemba extermination, ubwoko tribe), which are common Kinyarwanda translations for “genocide,”
suggests that there is little if any understanding on the part of the perpetrators about the legal, moral, or political differences between committing genocide and murder
many interviewees told me that they had taken part in ibitero or group attacks. Igitero (pl. ibitero) comes from the infinitive gutera (to) launch, assault, attack)
Mironko (2004), historical myths
use of historical myths and arguments elaborated by Hutu Power propagandists, many of whom are still at large, was evident in the avoues’ accounts.
Rwandan Patriotic Front
Mironko (2004), range of terms used to refer to, and demonize/ stereotype/ dehumanize, Tutsi
mwanzi (enemy), inyenzi (cockroaches), RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front), and Inyeshyamba (forest dwellers/maquisards)
Mironko (2004), igitero's two sets of meanings - meaning 1
igitero is related to a whole group of words associated with hunting.
Traditionally, the Rwandan monarch was in charge of regulating the natural environment through hunting. He opened the hunting season in which he himself participated, and delegated the power to hunt certain animals at certain times to the local authorities. Thus, the King morally sanctioned the hunters’ actions (Nkulikiyinka, 1993)
The use of hunting metaphors in the genocide likens the killing of Tutsi to the process of environmental culling or sanitation in traditional Rwanda
Using words like kuvuza induru (yell), kwihisha (to hide), kuvumbura (flush out of hiding), gushorera (to herd), guhiga (to hunt/chase), and kwichira ku gasi(kill in full view) the avoues I interviewed often seemed to be recounting hunting expeditions, rather than genocidal attacks.
Mironko (2004), dehumanization
Psychologically, those people called to participate in the genocide transformed themselves into hunters in pursuit of dangerous animals.
As for the victims (their prey), often they too felt dehumanized to the extent that it made sense on some level for them to be killed
Mironko (2004), igitero's two sets of meanings - meaning 2
form of social and political organization that actually facilitated the attacks on Tutsi.
When a person is attacked, s/he shouts for help and those who live on the same hill or hamlet are socially and morally obligated to come to the person’s aid. But during the genocide, this practice was used not to help the victims, but rather to assemble the attackers
The whistles, instead of signaling that help is on the way, were transformed into a message of terror signifying impending destruction. Kugaba igitero (to give orders) was a term used to organize the attacking mobs.
This was mostly the job of the political party leaders known as Nyumba kumi (“10 houses” in Swahili) because they were in charge of 10 households, the lowest administrative level in the country
Mouvement Revolutionnaire National pour le Développement
Mironko (2004), in what manner were the killings carried out?
interviewees still regard their participation in them casually
Mironko (2004), 'double genocide'
most radical among them even spoke of a “double genocide.” Nobody is innocent, they [the RPF] killed us and we killed them
Mironko (2004), reconciliation
By jumping straight to reconciliation without first addressing the deep wounds caused by the genocide, I argue that the groundwork for a future genocide is being laid.
Mironko (2004), culture of obedience?
I have tried to show here that it is considerably more complicated than that.
The ordinary Rwandans I spoke to in the prisons did not kill Tutsi only because they were Tutsi, but for a range of reasons that included safeguarding their wealth from the invading Tutsi, as per government propaganda.
Kuperman (2004), in most cases of mass killing since WWII
(unlike the Holocaust) the victim group has triggered its own demise by violently challenging the authority of the state
The Holocaust paradigm is so dominant, however, that the field of genocide studies has focused almost exclusively on explaining the actions of the perpetrators of genocide, leaving aside the actions, strategy, and potential responsibility of victim groups and third parties.
Kuperman (2004), RPF role in nutshell
1990s, RPF - with the support of the international community threatened Rwanda’s Hutu regime to such an extent that it retaliated with genocide
Rwanda’s 1994 genocide was a retaliation by the state’s Hutu regime to a violent challenge from the Tutsi rebels who invaded from Uganda in 1990 and fought for over three years to seize effective control of Rwanda.
First inyenzi invasion
origins of the RPF
June 1987, The Rwandan Alliance for National Unity abandoned its quasi-Marxist ideology and embraced secretly a last-resort “zed option”—the use of military force, if necessary, to return to Rwanda
To mark the change, in December 1987, the organization renamed itself the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
Although RANU’s original goal had been refugee return, the RPF had a broader political agenda, which included removal of Habyarimana and implementation of political reform in Rwanda to provide the returning Tutsi a significant share of political power.
Habyarimana attempts to avert RPF invasion
- agreed jointly with Uganda to seek UN assistance on two initiatives to facilitate repatriation of Tutsi refugees—a survey of their wishes in the Ugandan camps, scheduled for October 1990, and a visit to Rwanda by refugee leaders to draw up lists of proposed returnees, scheduled for November 1990
-legalized opposition political activities in Rwanda
RPF undermining Habyarimana's attempts at compromise
By invading in October 1990, the rebels preempted Habyarimana’s refugee initiatives before their sincerity could be tested.
Publicly, the RPF disparaged his initiatives as inadequate because they offered return only to refugees in Uganda, without addressing the needs of Tutsi refugees in other states whom the RPF also represented.
However, even if Habyarimana had agreed to take back all Tutsi refugees, RPF officials say privately in retrospect that they still would have launched the invasion—unless Habyarimana had also offered to give them a significant share of political power.
Kuperman (2004), RPF expectations of protracted struggle
Rwigyema and other senior rebel officials anticipated a protracted struggle against a more numerous and better equipped Rwandan army. The RPF expected to have about 1,000 rebels on foot with small weapons facing the 5,000-strong Rwandan army that was outfitted with armored vehicles and helicopters.
In addition, the rebels expected that foreign powers, including Belgium, France, and Zaire, probably would intervene to support the army
rebels’ preparations provide further evidence that they anticipated a protracted struggle, and help explain the three-year delay between the founding of the RPF and the invasion.
The RPF prepared food stores and follow-on invasion routes in Zaire, Tanzania, and Burundi. This included planting crops in neighboring states and preparing dried beef for an extended campaign
Kuperman (2004), role of foreign powers
-France deployed troops that bolstered the resolve of the Rwandan army, helped organize its counter-attack, and assisted in operations such as targeting artillery. The French continued this military support for the next three years, deploying reinforcements whenever necessary
-France deployed 150 troops to reinforce the Rwandan army on February 9, 1993 and another 250 troops on February 20
-International pressure on H to make concessions - pressure mounted on Habyarimana to share power. Sanctions were applied or threatened by the international community, including French officials who warned the Rwandan president that they would soon withdraw their troops, which he correctly viewed as his only protection against the rebels. In August 1993, seeing little other choice, he finally caved in on the two powersharing provisions and signed the comprehensive Arusha accords. The RPF and its allied domestic opposition parties were to be given the majority of seats in the interim cabinet and legislature preceding elections. Moreover, the rebels were to be granted their requested 50% of the officer positions (and 40% of the enlisted ranks) in the combined army, rather than the 15% that Habyarimana originally proposed. In light of the superiority of the rebels on a man-for-man basis by this time, the military integration protocol was tantamount to a negotiated surrender of the Hutu army to the Tutsi rebels
- RPF communicated to certain groups of domestic Tutsi that they should flee Rwanda - most refused to leave on the grounds that they expected the UN peacekeepers to protect them if violence broke out.
the international community, by supporting the rebels’ intransigence, inadvertently helped trigger the genocidal backlash.
Habyarimana compromising 1991-2
on democratization and refugees to satisfy international demands and undercut support for the rebels. For example, on February 19, 1991, he signed the Dar-Es-Salaam declaration on the right of refugee return. In March, his government negotiated a cease-fire with the rebels. In July, Habyarimana offered Rwandan passports to Tutsi refugees abroad, and he legalized opposition political parties.
- 1991, Habyarimana made a small gesture toward pluralization by adding an opposition member to his government. More significantly, in April 1992, he installed a multi-party government comprising 10 ministers of his own party and 9 from the opposition, though he still retained effective control
-July 1992, Habyarimana conceded in principle to the rebels’ demands on rule of law, democratization, power-sharing, and creation of a unified military, although without specifying the crucial details
criticism of RPF by Hutu opposition party in Rwanda
On July 1, 1992, the leading opposition Hutu party, the MDR, criticized the rebel offensive, saying it “shows a duplicity within the RPF that calls into question its good faith and sincerity”
RPF breaks ceasefire
On February 8, 1993, the rebels broke a seven-month cease-fire and rapidly captured a large swath of northern Rwanda, including portions of the hardline Hutu stronghold of Ruhengeri.
Approached w/in 20 miles of Kigali.
Many Hutu civilians killed
RPF frustration at French deployments 1993
As one senior rebel puts it, “We could have won, but the international community wouldn’t let us. France would aid the army and the international community would criticize us.”
Consequences of Feb 1993 RPF offensive
-retaliatory killing of Tutsi in Ruhengeri on March 5, 1993, and displaced an estimated one million Rwandans, or approximately one-eighth of the country’s entire population
-enabled Habyarimana to unite the Rwandan Hutu political class against the rebels and their domestic Tutsi “accomplices.”
reaction to Habyarimana's Arusha concessions
- profound distress within Rwanda’s army and government. Habyarimana’s cronies felt betrayed and terrified. They immediately set out to undermine the implementation of the accords, working in conjunction with the president.
-US assistant Secretary of State for Africa during most of the war says the “RPF demands concerning the future of the military were guaranteed to push the regime into a state of total paranoia”
-even the rebels admit that Habyarimana made the lion’s share of the concessions.
Habyarimana obstructing Arusha
In the fall of 1993, Habyarimana obstructed implementation of the Arusha accords by coopting virtually all of the Hutu opposition parties into his “Hutu Power” alliance against the Tutsi. He did so by spawning Hutu Power wings within each party that quickly became more popular than their moderate rivals (except in one case).
Once the opposition parties were dominated by their Hutu Power wings, he insisted to the rebels that these hardliners—rather than the minority moderate wings allied with the RPF— should appoint the parties’ representatives to the transitional government, which would enable him to retain effective control of the government.
Assassination of Burundi's first elected Hutu president
followed by massacre of thousands of Hutu civilians
Based on these killings, and the RPF’s military offensive earlier that year, Habyarimana could make a credible case that the Tutsi represented an existential threat to the survival of Rwanda’s Hutu.
Kuperman (2004), Hutu extremists preparing for massacres
the Rwandan media began to report, and the rebels became aware of, strong signs that extremist Hutu were preparing to greatly escalate their campaign of retaliation against civilian Tutsi
These Hutu extremists apparently believed that by preparing to kill all of the Tutsi civilians in Rwanda they could prevent the country from being conquered by the rebels. Accordingly, they imported thousands of guns and grenades and hundreds of thousands of machetes, and transformed political party youth wings into fully fledged armed militias
They apparently also established a clandestine network of extremists within the army to take charge when the time came
Wave of mutual political assassinations
RPF aware that retaliation likely
In February 1994, the RPF also started arming and training separate Tutsi “self-defense forces” within Rwanda to defend against the expected retaliatory massacres. When the genocide started, the program was a few months away from fruition, so that most Tutsi in Rwanda still were defenseless. In the first two months of 1994, some RPF officials also proposed publicly exhorting the “expected targets” of retaliation in Rwanda—that is, all Tutsi—to flee the country.
However, the rebels worried this could cost them international support by suggesting they intended to violate the cease-fire. Moreover, it would stigmatize the Tutsi in Rwanda as fifth-columnists
Instead, the RPF decided to communicate discreetly to certain groups of domestic Tutsi that they should flee Rwanda.
Charles Murigande admits, “reprisals were expected.”
Rudasingwa concurs that, “we knew the mass killings would occur,” but were surprised by “the speed and the viciousness.”
RPF continuing to refuse compromise, 1994
- despite 200,000 Tutsi killed in first 2 weeks after Habyarimana's death, PF clung to its strategy: refusing to compromise its demands for political power, while accepting retaliation against Tutsi civilians as the price of achieving that goal, even as the price climbed much higher than expected.
-During the first two and a half weeks of genocide, the rebels also repeatedly rejected cease-fire offers from the government.
-on April 23, the RPF belatedly offered to accept the cease-fire that the army moderates had proposed 10 days earlier, having realised rapidity of genocide and decided this cost = too high. Purging of moderate Hutu officer Marcel Gatsinzi on April 17 removed hope of ceasefire being effective
RPF battle plan (Kuperman 2004)
Primarily, the battle plan was designed to conquer the country, rather than to protect Tutsi civilians from retaliatory violence. Had the rebels placed higher priority on protecting Tutsi civilians, they would have raced quickly to the country’s southwest where most domestic Tutsi, some 86%, lived in the six prefectures of Kigali, Butare, Gitarama, Gikongoro, Cyangugu, and Kibuye
However, the rebels feared casualties if they tried to penetrate the line between the Rwandan army’s two strongholds in Kigali and Ruhengeri. Instead, the rebels initially moved east, where “the campaign was easier because the terrain was flatter” and few army troops stood in the way, intending to envelop the capital clockwise
Alison Des Foges of Human Rights Watch
all five major outbursts of anti-Tutsi violence from 1990 to 1993 were launched “in reaction to challenges that threatened Habyarimana’s control"
Tutsi position pre-1990 RPF invasion (Kuperman 2004)
Tutsi were not even suffering discrimination relative to most Hutu, let alone violence. In secondary schools, they “remained overrepresented” (Uvin, 1997, p 101). Likewise, in the mid-ranks of the public sector, “Tutsi remained represented beyond the 9 percent they were theoretically allocated.
In Uganda, likewise, the Tutsi had faced no significant discrimination or violence for several years prior to the invasion. Indeed, the late 1980s represented a high-water mark for Tutsi in Uganda, given their military role, ties to Museveni, and economic advancement
The largest group of refugees, about a quarter-million, lived in Burundi, where they had been treated well for decades by that state’s Tutsi-dominated government
Burundi and Tanzania even had offered citizenship to the refugees
RPF reasons for accepting risk of retaliation (2004)
- “You always have to balance the pros and cons,” says Tito Rutaremara, who acknowledges that “We knew if we fought, people would suffer” and there would be “civilian atrocities.”
- schism within the Rwandan Tutsi that stemmed from the prolonged refugee experience. By 1990, many refugees who had spent up to three decades in Uganda felt little kinship for those in Rwanda who faced retaliation
Kuperman (2004), what was the nature of the Rwandan genocide?
Straus (2004), dynamics of civilian participation
consistent throughout Rwanda
Straus (2004), number of active participants in the Rwandan genocide
between 175,000 and 210,000
The figure supports the claim that mass participation characterizes the Rwandan genocide
If active adults are defined as 18–54 years old, 175,000 to 210,000 perpetrators equals 7% and 8% of the active adult Hutu population at the time of the genocide and 14% to 17% of the active adult male population
Straus (2004), collective blame?
my calculation of the total number of perpetrators would strongly suggest that a small minority of perpetrators did the majority of killing.
analysis overall suggests importance of disaggregating category of 'perpetrators', and that collective blame of “the Hutus” should be eschewed.
Fuji (2004), importance of the 'norm'
genocidal leaders had to transform the normative environment such that actions that were once considered verboten (such as killing thy neighbor) could be viewed as not only legitimate but imperative
Norms become more important when reality is confusing, contradictory, or changing
Transforming the normative environment was a multi-step process that resulted in the exclusion of Tutsi from “the universe of obligation”
Fuji (2004), importance of fear
, a normative order in which genocide constitutes “normal,” not aberrant, behavior depends directly on the inculcation of fear—of the threat posed by the targeted group as well as the threat of punishment for noncompliance
Fuji (2004), first step in creating genocidal norm
spread the genocidal message far and wide
monopolizing the discursive space such that no contradictory messages came through that could challenge the inherent logic of the norm
Fuji (2004), second step in creating genocidal norm
give substance to the message. This involved staged events (e.g. the so-called “attack” of October 4, 1990 in Kigali) and rehearsals (e.g. the practice massacres of 1990–1993)
Fuji (2004), Fuji (2004), third step in creating genocidal norm
amplify the immediacy of the genocidal message to such a level that former doubters would become true believers
Fuji (2004), 4 factors critical in making the genocidal story resonate
repetition, reach, monopoly of the discursive space, and skillful use of evidence that lent credibility to the story.
Fuji (2004), othering
In updated version of Hutu Power history, Tutsi were not simply a foreign race, Tutsi were fundamentally different from Hutu, as different as men are from women
The danger lay with Tutsi—all Tutsi
Kangura, March 1993
“The history of Rwanda shows us clearly that a Tutsi stays always exactly the same, that he has never changed. … Who could tell the difference between the Inyenzi who attacked in October 1990 and those of the 1960s.2 They are all linked … their evilness is the same”
Fuji (2004), significance of Hutu Ten Commandments
marked the beginning of the extremists’ campaign to make ethnicity the sole lens through which people viewed the country’s current problems and the sole determinant for crafting possible solutions
Mugesera speech Nov 1992
Mugusera called repeatedly for the “extermination” and “liquidation” of the Tutsi “vermin” and “scum” (Des Forges, 1999, p 85). Mugusera warned his listeners that the enemy’s goal was extermination and urged them to “rise up … really rise up” in self-defense. He then ended his speech with a “kill or be killed” warning: “Know that the person whose throat you do not cut now will be the one who will cut yours”
Fuji (2004), genocide 'common talk' in Kigali
so common “that a magazine could coldbloodedly publish a headline saying ’By the way, the Tutsi race could be extinguished’ [and] cause no shock or even surprise” - Prunier 1995
Fuji (2004), importance of radio
The importance of RTLM, in short, was not only to motivate willing participants before and during the genocide, but also to make genocide a familiar concept that was no more remarkable than the concept of drinking beer with friends.
Before the genocide, RTLM had become the dominant source of information for most people. Once the genocide began, and travel and communication became difficult, people became even more dependent on the station, not only as the sole source of news and information, but more importantly, as “the sole authority for interpreting its meaning” (Des Foges 1999)
“great faith” in radio, which had replaced newspapers as people’s primary source of news.
The power of RTLM was its ability to provide an overall framework for understanding what was going on in the world, and for understanding how to react to these events
Literacy rate in Rwanda
Levels of radio ownership Rwanda
high by African standards
nearly 60% in urban areas, close to 30% in rural
Kellow and Steeves (1998)
reference to killing as “work” “resonated historically” because work was the same term used during the 1959–1962 revolution.
Fuji (2004), 'practice' massacres
Following the October 1, 1990 invasion by the RPF, for example, the extremists staged an attack in Kigali (the capital city) in the early morning hours of October 4, 1990. There was shooting but no casualties and only little damage. The government pinned the attack on the RPF
A week after the faked insurrection, over 300 Tutsi were massacred and 500 houses burnt to the ground in the commune of Kibirira
“practice” massacres, which continued through 1993, had the added benefit of establishing “patterns of behaviour that would enable genocide” (Wagner, 1998, p 30)
These practice massacres thus served as a kind of kinesthetic blueprint for mass murder. Through these organized killings, people learned how to kill on cue, that killing was a form of self-defense, not murder, and that reward, not punishment, awaited those who took part.
helped to reinforce the norm toward “fight,” instead of flight, in response to fear
Fuji (2004) importance of actual events
Three historically-linkable events were key to spreading a genocidal norm:
-the persistence of a majoritarian—i.e. Hutu—ideology which had its roots in the revolution of 1959–1962
-second, the civil war with the RPF, which provided opportunities for exploitation by all sides and unintended consequences for a few
-finally, the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye, the first popularly elected Hutu president of neighboring Burundi, in October 1993.
These factors helped to carve a cognitive pathway between Tutsi as revanchist–foreigner to Tutsi as an enemy so vile and threatening as to be relegated outside the universe of moral obligation.
Fuji (2004), what transformed the image of Tutsi as “enemies of the revolution” to “foreign enemy”
cross-border raids that took place between 1963 and 1967
Fuji (2004), image of Tutsi 1970s-80s
While the monolithic image of Tutsi may have receded in the calm of the 1970s–1980s, when Habyarimana enjoyed widespread popularity amongst Tutsi throughout the country, it never completely died. The image of Tutsi as enemy, foreigner, and “overlord” was officially sanctioned; it was what was taught in schools and broadcast over the radio
Fuji (2004), relationship between war and genocide - Rwanda
the war presented the Habyarimana regime with options that it would not have otherwise had
What the war provided, in short, was cover for genocide
The role of war in the Rwanda case, however, differs from the Armenian and Nazi cases in that the Rwandan government truly was at war with the “enemy.”
This state of war provided a legitimate basis for fear within the population, which would help explain why popular support failed to materialize when the rebel army crossed the border from Uganda.
Fuji (2004), RPF actions appearing to support Hutu power construction of them
By forcing people to flee, the RPF created a massive internal refugee crisis which the government was ill-equipped to handle, and effectively halted food production in the country
RPF advances had resulted in a million or so internally displaced people who were forced into refugee camps that provided neither comfort nor cover from the RPF, which continued to target them in the camps in an effort to force the refugees further south into government-controlled territory. It was at these camps that the Interahamwe was able to recruit many new members
RPF actions appeared to affirm belief, shared by many, that the goal of the RPF invasion of 1990 was the same as the Inyenzi raids of the 1960s—to re-instate the Tutsi monarchy by any means necessary
by failing to convince others of the sincerity of its stated program, the RPF was unable to generate a counter-discourse that could refute or drown out the extremist message.
Fuji (2004) date and significance of Ndadye's murder
Oct 21, 1993
N = first democratically elected president of Burundi
Ndadaye’s murder convinced the extremists that it was time to act. They calculated rightly that the shock of the murder, along with ensuing acts of violence and the large flow of refugees from Burundi into Rwanda, would convince once moderate or hesitant people to go along with their genocidal plans. For here was undeniable proof that Tutsi could not be trusted,
Lemarchand, July 5 1973 coup against Kayibanda regime led by Habyarimana
partly a pre-emptive response to the “genocidal slaughter of Hutu by Tutsi in neighboring Burundi.”
Kissi (2004), importance of power relations
determined the scope, pace and success of killing
Kissi (2004), limits of cultural explanations of mass murder
Prunier’s conformist mentality thesis or an illiterate mass argument overlooks evidence of disobedience and resistance to genocide in Rwanda and participation of educated middle class Hutu in the genocide. In fact the obedience thesis revives the discredited colonial myth of the Hutu as obedient and docile. From a historical perspective, the genocide in Rwanda was a product of self-interest and perception more than a national habit of obedience and submission. The political self-interest of Hutu participants in the genocide was rooted in their perception that an RPF rule would constitute a return to Tutsi power and, therefore, a reversal of the gains of the 1959 revolution
Kissi (2004), importance of anger
RPF invasions had displaced many and the insurgents’ depredations built a force of anger that did not need cultural prodding to generate its own genocidal sentiment against the Tutsi inside Rwanda
Kissi (2004), the role of states in Rwandan genocide
not the definitive perpetrators
non-state actors played key roles in the killing
success of genocide in Rwanda came to depend on the collaboration of a weakened state and organized groups in society with diverse intentions. Power, more than ideology, motivated the motley group of killers in Rwanda in 1994
like states, non-state groups (insurgents and organized nationalists), under certain circumstances, have the potential of creating the conditions of genocide and politicide or committing the crime themselves
Longman (2001), Christianity and respect for authority
first mission stations in Rwanda were established in 1900 by the Society of Our Lady of Africa, commonly known as the White Fathers. Monseigneur Lavigerie, the founder of the order, promoted the idea that to implant Christianity successfully in a society, missionaries should focus their efforts at conversion on political authorities. If chiefs and kings could be convinced to adopt Christianity, Lavigerie argued, their subjects would naturally follow
Linked to the desire to solicit the support of state leaders, the missionaries taught their followers to demonstrate obedience to public authorities.
Protestant leaders envied the Catholics their privileged position and sought as much as possible to follow their lead in seeking support and cooperation from the state.
World Council of Churches team visiting Rwanda Aug 1994
In every conversation we had with the government and church people alike, the point was brought home to us that the church itself stands tainted, not by passive indifference, but by errors of commission as well.”
German colonial administrator Dr. Kandt wrote to the vicar of Kivu, Monseigneur Hirth, the head of the White Fathers for Ruanda-Urundi, 1913
thanking him for the work of the church and requesting that mission stations be opened in another region that had yet to be fully brought under colonial control
The missions that you have founded in the north of Rwanda contribute a good deal to the pacification of that district
Longman (2001), breakdown of Church-monarchy alliance
number of the missionaries who came to Rwanda were influenced by social-democratic philosophies and became concerned by the plight of the Hutu people who, despite constituting more than 80 percent of the population, were entirely excluded from political office and other opportunities for advancement
, the new progressive priests cultivated a Hutu counter-elite
The progressive priests and their Hutu protégés helped raise the consciousness among the Hutu masses of their exploitation, and in the late 1950s, ethnic ten sions increased sharply.
In November 1959, Hutu mobs attacked Tutsi chiefs and officials in several locations, causing thousands of Tutsi to flee the country. The Belgian administration, influenced by the missionaries, abruptly switched its allegiance from the Tutsi to the Hutu and rapidly replaced Tutsi chiefs and officials with Hutu.
First President of Rwanda
had served as editor of the Catholic newspaper Kinyamateka and later became head of a Catholic consumers’ cooperative. Catholic missionaries sent him to Europe for training and provided him other forms of support that helped him emerge as a leader
Vail, Christianity and construction of ethnicity (Longman's account)
missionaries were instrumental in creating cultural identities through their specification of “custom” and “tradition” and by writing “tribal” histories. … Once these elements of culture were in place and available to be used as the cultural base of a distinct new, ascriptive ethnic identity, it could replace older organizing principles that depended upon voluntary clientage and loyalty and which, as such, showed great plasticity.
Thus firm, non-porous and relatively inelastic ethnic boundaries constructed
missionaries “incorporated into the curricula of their mission schools the lesson that the pupils had clear ethnic identities,”
Longman (2001), Rwandan missionaries and construction of ethnicity
In Rwanda, missionaries played a primary role in creating ethnic myths and interpreting Rwandan social organization
The concepts of ethnicity developed by the missionaries served as a basis for the German and Belgian colonial policies of indirect rule which helped to transform relatively flexi- ble pre-colonial social categories into clearly defined ethnic groups.
Influenced by contemporary European notions of race
Doubting that Africans could have designed so complex and efficient a political system, the missionaries hypothesized that the Tutsi were not really African but a Hamitic or Semitic group from the Middle East, perhaps a lost tribe of Israel.
“progressive” missionaries who championed the cause of the Hutu in the 1950s promoted an ideology of exploitation that identified the Tutsi as the culprits in Rwandan history while ignoring exploitation by the German and Belgian colonial rulers
Longman (2001), pre-colonial Rwanda
Intermarriage between Hutu and Tutsi was relatively common, and those Hutu who acquired cattle, the traditional sign of wealth and source of power in the ubuhake patron-client system, could eventually be considered Tutsi, a process known as icyihuture.
the Belgian administration registered all of the population in the 1930s and issued identity cards that designated each person’s ethnicity.
Longman (2001), churches in post-colonial Rwanda
After the disruptions of the 1959 uprising, the churches returned to teaching a theology of obedience, which they justified now not with conservative notions of the destiny of superior social groups to rule, but with populist ideas of the Hutu as the exploited masses now coming into their own
Habyarimana identified himself as a devout Catholic
churches were the largest non-state organizations.
integrated into the system of power through a variety of means. The archbishop of the Catholic Church held a seat on the central committee of the MRND for a decade, while the leaders of the Presbyterian and Anglican churches also held important MRND positions
Partic in rural areas where state presence more limited, pop turned to churches not only for spiritual needs but as primary social centre
Thus, Christian churches were the organizations best situated w/in Rwanda to challenge the progress toward genocide, bc they remained the largest non-state actors even w the explosion of civil-society assocs in the preceding decade
Rwandan Religiosity in 1991 census
89.8 % of pop claimed membership in a Christian Church
Church calling for reform
Some church personnel and institutions, like Catholic biweekly, Kinyamateka, supported the democracy movement
Catholic hierarchy published pastoral letters in Feb and May 1990 that in vague terms denounced corruption and called for expanded respect for human rights
Churches' failure to press for reforms (Longman 2001)
In general, churches offered little support to those groups and individs seeking to force the state to accept reforms
Refused to support human rights groups
Continued to support MRND publicly after new constitution allowing opposition parties adopted June 1991
Churches' failure to condemn violence (Longman, 2001)
Christian churches met the massacres of Tutsi that took place from 1990-3 w resounding silence, even when on several occasions church property and personnel were targeted
During period of democratic reform and renewed ethnic conflict in early 1990s, church leaders completely failed to condemn ethnic violence and support political reforms, but instead lent their support to the govt that was organizing the violence
Several bishops refused to sign onto more forceful statements - Catholic archbishop was close friend of president, and another bishop was from president's family
Catholic episcopacy during the period leading up to genocide published only vague and non-specific
pastoral letters, calling for ethnic peace w/o referring to any actual instances of ethnic violence
Protestant leaders, many also having close assocs w the regime, were similarly circumspect
Local and regional church leaders were as reticent to criticize the govt as national counterparts
Longman (2001), role of foreign powers
-Military support offered to the Habyarimana regime by France and other countries helped the regime rebuild its strength at a moment when domestic opposition had seriously weakened its position
- Vast expansion of the military that foreign support made possible - from around 5000 troops at begin of war to more than 50,000 in 1992, allowed the govt to place soldiers throughout the country, where they harassed and subdued the population and eventually oversaw the implementation of the genocide
Churches contesting scapegoating of Tutsi
- Kinyamateka continued to speak out in favour of reform and denounced rising ethnic tension as diversionary
- Catholic bishop of Kabgayi issued several letters in 1992 and 1993 demanding political reform and criticizing his church for its inaction
Longman (2001), ways in which church personnel were intimately involved in genocide
- Ppl who sought sanctuary in church buildings were instead slaughtered there
- Tutsi priests etc killed, oft by own parishioners, sometimes fellow clergy
- Failure of the church leadership to condemn massacres on church property and attacks on church personnel in the yrs preceding the genocide clearly undermined the principle of sanctuary in Rwanda
- In many cases clergy assisted the killers
- Numerous examples of clergy who turned ppl over to be killed
- Catholic archbishop himself, in may, turned over to a death squad a num of nuns and priests gathered at the cathedral at Kabgayi
- In several cases I investigated, clergy participated in death squads
- Catholic and Protestant leaders signed joint letter in May that called for an end to massacres yet failed to condemn them or characterize the violence as genocide
- Church leaders otherwise refused to speak out, portraying the genocide as a justified defensive action w/in the context of a civil war
- When govt collapsed in advance of an RPF victory, most church leaders fled w the govt into exile in Zaire
- Many Christians clearly believed that in participating in the massacre of Tutsi, they were doing the will of the church
- While never publicly endorsing genocide, the churches nevertheless are complicit bc they helped to create and maintain the authoritarian and divided soc that made genocide poss and bc the entanglement of the churches w the state made the churches partners in state policy
De Lespinay (2001), religion and propaganda
propaganda of the criminal perps had emphd the idea that God was on the ppl's side during entire genocide
Clergy's denial of a genocidal reality inadvertently encourages new onslaughts of killing
'White Fathers' began massive program of conversion
New Christian monarchy
from 1946, but lacked the sacred authority of the monarchy under the previous local Kubandwa religion
De Lespinay (2001), religion and race
Biblical concept of race, seen as genealogical fact
De Lespinay (2001), church and political authorities
During presidencies of Kayibanda and Habyarimana, Rwandese leaders of the Catholic Church unfailingly backed 'Hutu' power until its final demise in 1994
Church culpability, De Lespinay (2001)
- 60 yrs of manipulation by Catholic missions that created inequality
- Exacerbation of past and present rivalries is entirely the fault of the missionary-educated intellectual 'elites'
De Lespinay (2001), role of European history
Europeans inclined to see local events in terms of France's Merovingian past, feudal system, French Revolution, class struggle, religious wars, etc
- Violence in Rwanda described as the reciprocal responsibility of racists and democrats, Tutsi and Hutu, who are represented as having distinct physical characteristics
- At peak of genocide, still trusts police force Turnes over to the police 200 refugees he had hidden
- In his eyes, as in those of other priests, responsibility for the hellish massacres lies in the hands of the devil, not in those of the Rwandese authorities
Christian human rights group
stressed humanitarian crisis of 1 mil Hutu refugees, whilst ignoring creation of over 600,000 Tutsi refugees
Tutsi 1990 invasion army seen as responsible for all the region's ills
Dutch pastor, CM Overdulve - Rwanda: A People With History:
- Justifies crimes agains Tutsi in terms of false interp of the biblical 'eye for an eye'
- Present situation results from domination exerted by the Tutsi between the invaders' 'arrival' in the 14th century and 1959
- Tutsi genocide provoked by the Tutsi forces of the RPF-Inkotanyi, who knew what they were doing
De Lespinay (2001), clergy viewpoints persisting until 1998
Many clergymen excuse the murders carried out by numerous Hutu, arguing committed in name of revolution or Tutsi ancestors' suffering
Tutsi made responsible for own deaths
De Lespinay (2001), prayer taught in religious seminaries
Acc to a num of priests from Rwanda and Burundi, one prayer in partic stands out in minds of many: 'My God, deliver us from the Jews.'
In the racist ideology spread by the missionaries, the Hamite Tutsi are considered to be the cousins of the Jews and other whites, meaning that they were a sort of African Jews
This notion had positive connotations until 1950, but increasingly negative ones thereafter
Canadian UN Force Commander, Rwanda
MRND informant prior to genocide
said ppl planning genocide and attacking of moderate Hutus
Said planning to kill Belgian troops
Dallaire - relayed info to UN
Said was going to raid militia arms cache
Annan sceptical - no action. Shld inform Hutu govt
Battle of Mogadishu (1993)
18 Americans killed on mission to arrest two top lieutenants of the warlord Mohammed Aidid, who controlled the city
Significant impact on international willingness to intervene
Dallaire: whole mentality at time was we don't want another Mogadishu. Changed Washington's commitment to peacekeeping in Africa
UN official line on Rwanda, March 1994
Hutu extremists now confident UN not going to stop them
Began gathering machetes, making death lists, etc
US Embassy, Joyce Leader
we didn't believe wld happen, hard to conceive something so awful
Murder of western peacekeepers
elicited immediate response
Clinton administration ordered evac of all 257 US citizens in Rwanda
International military presence in Rwanda by 10 April
- US had 350 marines
- Fr - 500 paratroopers
- Belgians over 1000 paratroopers
- There to save white ppl not Rwandans, despite potential for this being intervention force - strong belief of Dallaire
UN failure to intervene
- US and UN voted to withdraw 90% of UN peacekeepers in Rwanda
Token force allowed to remain. (Only Dellaire and Ghanaian troops stayed in Rwanda - 450 ill-equipped troops- I think?)
- Mujawamariya came to US to ask for stronger action. National security adviser, Lake, was moved. But not ready to take action
- UN eventually authorised 5000 more peacekeepers for Rwanda but none immediately available
- Annan - we approached about 80 govts for troops and they wldn't give it to us
- US offered logistics but ac to Mosse
Role of Red Cross
Leader = Gaillard
6 Red Cross killed
Publicity embarassed extremist govt and they allowed Red Cross safe passage through Rwanda
Red Cross tradition of neutrality and public silence, but Gaillard decided to break w tradition in this genocide
Limits to action caused by UN policy of non-intervention
- Dellaire and troops ordered not to shoot
- Bushnell - policy of non-intervention meant could only ring extremists and say stop it. Rang Kagame to ask to halt adance and offer to make terms/ negotiate. Kagame let forth burst of emotion - they're killing my people
Dellaire's plan to create more safe havens
Decision to secure football stadiums
RPF and UN forces
RPF rebels made it clear they would oppose a robust UN force
Thought UN would prop up Hutus
Lake (?) - crucial in our decision not to send in more troops
Galliard on media exposure
they were told everyday what was happening. Everybody knew
international community and term 'genocide'
US and most other govts avoided using word genocide to avoid action
Albright (Secretary of State who represented US at Security Council), on scale of massacres
at the time ppl didn't have sense this was happening in proportion it was
Moose, Assistant US Secretary of State for African Affairs, 2003 interview, on red tabe
- truly shameful episode" where U.S. officials rejected a plan to jam the extremists' hate radio broadcasts "because of some legal nicety about international radio conventions. And then the [50 armored personnel carriers] thing… We spent so much time wrangling about who was going to pay for refurbishing them, … for transporting them. It's sort of bureaucracy at its very worst, and we couldn't break through that.
Wld have taken somebody higher up
Moose, Assistant US Secretary of State for African Affairs, 2003 interview, on use of term 'genocide'
discussion was about how we would be viewed if we declared genocide and didn't do anything about it
Clinton, after genocide
all over world ppl like me who didn't appreciate the death and the speed.
Did admit US had made mistakes but never said sorry
think ppl bringing decisions to me felt congress still reeling from Somalia and by the time I started focusing on this, too late to do anything
-I feel terrible about this bc I feel we could have sent about 5-10,000 troops and saved a couple of hundred thousand lives, about half of them. I will always regret and feel terrible
Bauer (2001), pragmatism of Rwandan genocide
• Hutus were after scarce land occupied by Tutsis
• Tutsis after base of power of the Tutsi Rwandan class cum ethnic group, minority that had comprised trad ruling class for centuries, w record of oppressing Hutu majority
Fletcher, N., 'Words That Can Kill: The Mugesera Speech and the 1994 Tutsi Genocide in Rwanda', Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, Vol 11, no 1 (2014)
Stigmatisation was also an essential feature of the anti-Tutsi propaganda that was disseminated from the 1950s onwards in meetings, newspaper articles and political tracts (Mugesera 1994)
Among the key characteristics of this propaganda discourse was the representation of Tutsi as ‘inyenzi’ [cockroaches] or ‘inkota’ [snakes]; in other words, as vermin to be exterminated.
speech made by the well-known political figure, Léon Mugesera, on 22 November 1992 is particularly significant. Mugesera was Vice-President of the incumbent Hutu party Mouvement républicain national pour la démocratie et le développement (MRND) [National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development] in the northern prefecture of Gisenyi, which was a regime stronghold of then President Juvénal Habyarimana.
In this district, in the small town of Kabaya, Mugesera delivered his speech at a party meeting attended by approximately one thousand Rwandans. However, the speech was also recorded and it reached a far more extensive audience when it was broadcast in full by the RTLM radio station in November 1993 on the first anniversary of the Kabaya meeting, only a few months before the outbreak of the genocide on 6 April 1994.
earliest evidence of genocidal discourse expressed by a member of the incumbent political party in Rwanda in a public forum and, as such, it has often been regarded as offering a ‘blueprint’ for the practical implementation of the genocide
the use of polyvalent or euphemistic language can be a very effective strategy for minimising spontaneous resistance to concepts that are naturally abhorrent, thereby facilitating the assimilation of the genocidal message— perhaps even unconsciously—by the target audience for which it is intended.
importance of being wary of alleged proTutsi political parties within Rwanda such as the Mouvement démocratique républicain (MDR) [Republican Democratic Movement]; the importance of not allowing the country to be ‘invaded’ by the Tutsi; the necessity for his listeners to protect themselves against the Tutsi; and finally, the behaviour they should adopt.
inclusive terminology (‘we,’ ‘us’), instructional language (‘we must not let ourselves be invaded!’/‘unite!’), humour in the form of mockery of political opponents, rhetorical questions, and the use of logical connectors (‘first,’ ‘second,’ ‘next’), which create the impression of a well-organised and well-argued presentation
MRND is symbolically represented as an extension of the family unit: Mugesera addresses his listeners throughout as ‘babyeyi, bavandimwe’ [parents, brothers]. He also employs the term ‘urugo’—the traditional enclosure surrounding the family home—to promote the notion of homogeneity between family, political party and country
presents a cleverly constructed argumentation that has the appearance of being firmly grounded in Rwandan law and Rwandan social traditions. He cites authoritative texts such as the ‘Ivanjili’ [the gospel] in order to bolster the credibility of his arguments.
(7) Why don’t we seize those parents who sent their children and exterminate them? Why don’t we seize all those who bring them and exterminate them all? Are we really waiting now for them to come and exterminate us?
It is therefore difficult not to see these words as an explicit call for the extermination of the Tutsi and their supporters, especially against the backdrop of the widespread denigration of the Tutsi as ‘inyenzi’ [cockroaches] that should be stamped out. This term is omnipresent in Mugesera’s speech, appearing more than twenty times, whereas the standard designation of ‘Abatutsi’ is used only once. Mugesera’s preference for the derogatory term illustrates the extent to which the stigmatisation of the Tutsi was already an ingrained component of the discourse of genocide ideologists in the early 1990s.
Among the most powerful and memorable features of the speech are the singular images that Mugesera uses to provoke a hostile reaction to the Tutsi and their supporters. The first of these images, that of the Tutsi defecating in the Hutu family enclosure discussed above, comes very early in the speech.
it could also be argued that through the use of the dialogue format, Mugesera is effectively modelling the type of behaviour he wishes his listeners to emulate: in other words, when they encounter Tutsi or their supporters, they should tell them they will send them back to Ethiopia.
The testimony of Fayza Hakizimana that appears in the same broadcast contains more details regarding the emotional impact of Mugesera’s words on his listeners. In introducing this new witness, the reporter comments in a voiceover that Hakizimana was directly influenced by Mugesera’s speech to take action, and that he had immediately started hunting and killing Tutsi
Straus, S, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda (New York: Cornell University Press, 2006)
(xi) had anticipated comparative analysis
Would search for commonalities
But 2 problems:
1. Comparison too broad. Cases too varied historically, politically, and empirically. (xii) patterns and lvls of violence in each varied considerably. Too many moving parts for meaningful comparison - at least for my taste
2. Gap of info about the micro-dynamics of violence, yet many theories of genocide in general seek to explain individ-lvl behaviour
ethnicity mattered, but in surprising ways
(9) mechanisms driving individs to kill were not primarily about ethnic prejudice, preexisting ethnic antipathy, manipulation from racist propaganda, or nationalist commitments
On balance, Hutus did not kill Tutsis because they hated Tutsis in some constant fashion, because they believed Tutsis were no longer human, or because they were deeply committed ideologically to Hutu nationalism or to ethnic utopia. These dimensions of motivation mattered for some perps, but not for the majority
Genocidal mandate was to equate 'enemy' with 'Tutsi' and declare that Rwanda's 'enemies' had to be eliminated
Mechanism that allowed that process to happen = collective ethnic categorization
What caused shift from awareness of ethnic categories to collective categorization and violence?
• On the whole, my findings do not support ideational factors e.g. ideological beliefs or preexisting ethnic antipathy
• Pricipal mechanisms:
1. Wartime uncertainty and fear
2. Social pressure
In the aggregate, Hutus killed because they wanted to protect themselves during a war and during a period of intense uncertainty, because they felt that complying with those who told them to kill would be less costly than not complying, and because they opportunistically (10) used the period of confusion and violence to obtain power and property
do not find that strong nationalist commitments drove low-lvl participation, but prominence of elite-lvl ethnic ideologies shaped the decision of leaders to choose genocide as a strategy to win the war and to keep power
Rwanda genocide not necessarily meticulously planned
Dynamic of escalation critical to hardliners' choice of genocide
My evd supports cumulative radicalization model
(13) Hutu men not pre-programmed to kill
Had the moderates controlled the balance of power in various local areas, most Rwandans wld probably have accepted a moderate position
Dec 1991, military commission identified the country's 'principal enemy' as 'Tutsi inside or outside the country, who are extremist and nostalgic for power and who have never recognized and still do not recognize the realities of the 1959 Social Revolution and who want to take power by any means necessary, including arms'
(29) Factor leading to genocide - MRND supporters funded and distributed a barrage of racist propaganda:
• Fear-mongering about ruthlessness of the RPF
• Ethnic nationalism (Tutsis labeled as 'Hamitic' foreigners, a minority, and a danger to the Hutu majority), chauvinism (Hutus had to unite and be vigilant against the enemy), and ethnic stereotyping (Tutsis were oft called RPF 'accomplices')
• Most illustrative and infamous examples of propaganda from weekly magazine Kangura and private radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM)
I do not interp the hardliners' statements as evd of meticulous planning for full-blown, countrywide extermination of Tutsis but rather as evd of contingency planning and a frame of mind that could easily lend itself to genocide
By April 21, widespread and systematic violence against Tutsi civilians had become the norm in almost every area of the country that had not yet fallen to the rebels
strongest relationship = between onset and support for the ruling MRND party
On balance, violence against Tutsi civilians happened earlier in prefectures that were closer to RPF positions
) the president's assassination and the resumption of war ruptured the preexisting order, creating a feeling of intense crises and uncertainty in local communities
There followed a play for power among Hutus - what I call a 'space of opportunity.' Some wanted peace or to preserve the status quo; others hot-headedly called for war agaisnt the Tutsis
Killing became akin to policy:
• Local elites claimed power and legitimacy because they had allied w the hardliners
• Genocide was the new order of the day
• Hardliners' call to destroy the Tutsi enemy set these dynamics in motion
• Hardliners had the balance of power among Hutus in the country at the time
• They dominated the central state, key army units, militias and radio broadcasts
• They succeeded partly bc of their raw power, partly bc of the general climate of heightened anxiety and fear in the country following the assassination and resumption of war, and partly bc of Rwanda's institutions and geography
Kayove commune - rural elite and peasants took control; they initiated violence agaisnt Tutsis; they overpowered local officials; they threatened to kill anyone who resisted.
(76) promoting violence was means by which to establish power in an unstable environment
) Giti commune:
• Genocide did not occur
• All radio stations could be heard in the commune
tension in the population, and some wanted to foment violence
April 8, youths slaughtered cattle that belonged to Tutsis - oft early act of violence
Burgomaster arrested them, kept control
main difference in Giti - at the point when the balance of power looked to be shifting, RPF soldiers arrived
) Perps primary adult men - 89% = 20-49 yr olds
77% = fathers
(112) younger perps, those w fewer or no children, and those w lower lvls of education, tended to be the most violent during the genocide
violence during the genocide happened almost exclusively in groups
(199) evd points to situational factors - choices that were made in partic contexts - to the import of fear and uncertainty in an acute war, and to preexisting norms about authority and civilian labour mobilization
Leaders/ thugs claimed participating in the killing was an 'obligation' or 'law' - it became synonymous w order and authority - and adult Hutu men were required to do their part
Snowball from there
(122) men participated in killing bc other men encouraged, intimidated, and coerced them to do so in the name of authority and 'the law'
Almost every perp had a Tutsi neighbour before the genocide
Nearly 70% of the respondents had a Tutsi fam member before the genocide
(128) nealry all respondents said woul dhave no problem w interethnic marriage for their children or themselves if they were unmarried
Results strongly suggest ethnic antipathy did not drive participation in the genocide
Hutu Ten Commandments:
• Document undoubtedly circulated in Kigali and among national elites
• Unclear whether diffused to rural areas, and if so whether exposure to the propaganda is sufficient to explain participation
• Findings indicate answer to both is no -
• Only 2.8% respondents knew of the documents
• We cannot make assumptions about whether elite-level propaganda reached rural areas and whether that propaganda drove participation
) certain ideological elements were prevalent, but belief in them appears to have been much less so
Respondents who said that they had heard of the 'Hutu Ten Commandments' were among the most violent in the sample. These presumably most tuned into the most racist propaganda, and were therefore most prone to initiate and drive the violence
theories of genocide that centre on racism and propaganda cannot be discarded - they help us understand who responds to the call to violence and who leads it. But such theories do not explain why there was large-scale civilian participation in Rwanda's genocide
Table of stated motivations - Intra-Hutu coercion greatest; war-related fear and combativeness next greatest; then Claimed no active participation; then Obedience
Leaders acknowledged that they pressured others to participate
(144) much talk/ evd of coercion on this and surrounding pages
overwhelming majority (85%) respondents said the radio on its own did not cause them to participate. Rather, most said they joined the attacks bc of face-to-face mobilization
Few said they killed or originally took part in the violence for material reasons. For most, looting came later after killing was done
Only 15.2% drinking alcohol during killing
main rationale for genocidal violence = danger posed by Tutsis. Kill or be killed
(154) Central importance of security and, to a lesser extent, revenge
(155) President's death signalled that low-level Hutus were at risk
(156) 'with the death of Habyarimana, we saw they were the enemy'
in my interviews, the language of threat, danger and war far more prevalent than subhuman metaphors
Many respondents equated Tutsis w the 'enemy' or w 'accomplices'
Some used strategic logic - killing Tutsi civilians as tactic to weaken rebels
Almost all interviewees said did not witness rapes
Mostly said rule was to kill women, not rape them
Few said they had heard women were raped
Others described how women were taken as 'wives'
Little detail emerged about sexual violence
in rationale for extermination, under how one explains to oneself killing of women and children, highest proportion, 24.4%, said all Tutsis had to be killed. Second highest proportion said 'don't know', 22.3%. 9.8% denied women had been killed at all
5.1% said if one fam mem killed, the whole fam must be killed - some respondents cited a Rwandan proverb that says if a rat killed, then the unborn baby rat in the adult rat's belly also had to be killed
Lead-up to genocide. 1990. After RPF attack. Conseillers convened mtgs in their communities
One conseiller instructed the pop to burn 'inyenzi' homes bc the 'inyenzi' wanted to exterminate the Hutus
(195) Mugesera Speech
Many observers see speech as clearest example of hardliner thinking w/in the Habyarimana regime that ultimately precipitated the genocide:
Mugesera speech = frighteningly virulent
On further reflection, his themes resonate w the other episodes of violence examined above
Main point = ruling party is under attack, internally and externally
'Are we really waiting for them to come and exterminate us?'
(205) cliché that Rwanda has strong tradition or culture of obedience
continuity of political culture from the colonial period to the immediate postcolonial one
(220) violent groups travelled the countryside and pressured civilians to join the killing
an intense civil war, state power, and pre-existing ethnic/ racial classifications are the three primary factors that drove the Rwandan genocide
• Hatred based on identity is not the mechanism
• Something intervenes to cause individs to switch from seeing ppl of another ethnic or racial category as neighbours to seeing them as enemies who must be killed
• Two key factors that drive the shift - fear and uncertainty in war, and coercive and social pressure
• Thus, in partic circumstances, Tutsis stopped being neighbours, friends and family and became a single category, 'the enemy'
Many perps recall the central phrase of the gencide as 'Umwanzi ni umwe ni umutusi' (the enemy is one; it is the Tutsi)
• Mechanism at work here = collective ethnic categorization
(226) my research shows the genocide need not have been planned in advance for it to have occurred
in particular circumstances, ordinary men can switch from viewing others as unthreatening neighbours to seeing them as enemies
most scholars argue that while anti-Semitism existed in pre-Nazi Germany, fervent hatred of Jews not widespread w/in the German pop
ideology of genocide did not drive participation in the genocide
War and state authorization did
Mamdani, M, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001)
By portraying opponents as potential perps and ourselves as potential victims, war tends to demonize opponents and sanctify aggression as protective and defensive
It is defeat in the civil war and the specter of Tutsi Power that provided the context in which a tendency born of Hutu Power - the génocidaire - chose to embrace death in preference to life
True stake was the key gain of the 1959 Revolution
Hutus thought of massacres of neighbours not only as a continuation and culmination of the civil war but also as a defense of the gains of the revolution
Many of these came disproportionately from Rwanda's Hutu middle class
Tutsi were killed as Hamites, not Tutsi
Hamites of colonial vintage were racialized and creatures of colonialism
As a political identity, ethnicity marked an internal difference, whereas race signified an external difference
the racialization of the Tutsi was joint work of state and Church
complicity of church:
• Church = original ethnographer of Rwanda
• It was original author of the Hamitic hypothesis
• Provided the lay personnel that permeated every local community and helped distinguish Hutu from Tutsi in every neighbourhood
Taylor, C, Sacrifice as Terror: The Rwandan Genocide of 1994 (New York: Berg, 1999)
(48) Tutsi-baiting propaganda as politically expedient 1959-64 and 1973
Several local massacres of Rwandan Tutsi were organized and perpd by local MRND officials after RPF invasion in 1990, but there was little evd of widespread pop anger against Tutsi on part of Hutu peasants
Symbolic system I describe here takes root in representations that go back at least to the nineteenth century and elements of it can be discerned in the rituals of Rwandan sacred kingship practised during pre-colonial and early colonial times
Much of symbolism relatively old
Continuity and divergence from past
root metaphor underlies conceptualizations of the body
Characterized by opposition between orderly states of humoral and other flows to disorderly ones
Analogies are constructed that take this opposition as their base and then relate bodily processes to those of social and natural life
imagery of flow and obstruction was pervasive during the genocide
Socialization process but never complete
(143) in the Rwandan instance, colonialism and concomitant transformations in economic and political conditions influenced the perception and depiction of evil
Bc of these changes, symbolism of malevolent obstruction could be applied to an entire ethnic group
Not until Tutsi and Hutu ethnic identities had become substantialized under colonialism and then privileges awareded by the colonial rulers on the basis of these identities that an entire group of ppl could be thought of as a source of obstruction
Sacrifice took form of interdicting the flight of Tutsi, obstructing the conduits of their bodies, impeding their bodies' capacity for movement, subverting the ability of Tutsi to socially or biologically reproduce, and in many instances turning their bodies into icons of their imagined moral flaw - obstruction
(152) hutu extremists set to work trying to methodically delineate 'Hutu culture' from 'Tutsi culture'. Rwanda's national radio station ceased airing traditional folk songs in honour of cattle, deeming these to be reminiscent of the time when Rwanda was ruled by pastoralist 'feudal monarchists' - as Tutsi came to be labelled by Hutu extremists
in the months leading up to the genocide violent sexual imagery of both males and females abounded in the iconography of Hutu (154) extremist literature while acts of actual sexual violence against Tutsi women occurred w increasing frequently
Genocide aimed at reasserting the cosmic order of the Hutu state as this was imagined through an idealized, nostalgic image of the 1959 Hutu revolution which brought an end to the Tutsi monarchy and Tutsi dominance
1959 failed to rid Rwanda of polluting internal other once and for all
Extremists aimed at reclaiming lost ground of patriarchy (155) and re-asserting a male dominance that had probably never existed in Rwanda's actual history
idea planted in minds of many Rwandans that single Tutsi women were likely to be prostitutes
Rwandan soldiers were agents of public morality mid-1980s.
Wld make sure everyone left bars and discos by midnight
in extremist lit, Hutu cartoonists depicted Tutsi women as prostitutes capable of enlisting Western support for the RPF through the use of their sexual charms
(174) Hutu extremists appear to be attempting to purge ambivalence toward Tutsi women via symbolic violence
Hutu extremists had to have accorded high priority to the question of relations between Hutu men and Tutsi women, for the first three of the Ten Commandments concern this subject and this subject alone
(175) beneath ambivalence, lurking Hamitic imagery - tragic yet unacknowledgable sense on the part of the extremists that early Europeans had indeed been correct in depicting Tutsi as 'golden-red-beauties' and Hutu as inferior and less attractive negroids
Rwandan genocide cannot be understood solely in ethnic terms
Gender issues interacted w ethnic ones in complex ways
Although notions of racial purity were ultimately of nineteenth-century European origin and were assoc w Hamitic hypothesis, became internalized by many Rwandans and were later used ideologically by ethnic extremists in both Rwanda and Burundi
Many of the stereotypes of Tutsi women that one observes in pre-genocide Hutu extremist lit owe their existence to pre-existing Hamitic models
Rwandan genocide of 1994 differs from earlier incidents of mass violence in country's history in that women were targets of violence as much as, if not more than, men
Tutsi women suffered brunt of extremist violence. Hutu extremists harboured enormous psychological ambivalence toward Tutsi women
On the one hand Tutsi women were despised for their potential subversive capacity to undermine the categorical boundary between Tutsi and Hutu
On the other, many Hutu extremist men unable to completely shed feelings of attraction toward Tutsi women
Of colonial origin, the rep of Tutsi women as superior in intelligence and beauty to Hutu women appears to have plagued the psyches of Hutu extremists
Envy and resentment = perhaps most social or emotions
Uvin, P., Aiding violence: the development enterprise in Rwanda (West Hartford: Kumarian, 1998)
genocidal use of ethnicity by elites rests on a profound social and historical basis
to understand the genocide, three elements necessary:
1. Anomie and frustration caused by the long-standing condition of structural violence
2. Strategies of manipulation by elites under threat from economic and political processes
3. Existence of sociopsychological, widespread attachment to racist values in society
Specific interaction of these three processes that allowed the genocide to occur in Rwanda
Kellow, C and Steeves, L, 'The Role of Radio in the Rwandan Genocide', Journal of Communication (1998)
During the genocide broadcasts, RTLM used several narrative techniques to incite killings. A relentless, “risk and danger,” “kill or be killed” frame, and related “violence” and “victims” frames, emphasizing gruesome consequences of violence for victims, were the most blatant
The use of realistic contextual details and powerful cultural and religious symbols enhanced the credibility of the messages
public confidence in the medium of radio
extreme political and economic pressures. Unstable times caused actual media effects to be greater
African Rights, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance (London: African Rights, 1995)
Difficult to overstate the import of mass media in whipping up pop sentiment
Prunier, G, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (London: C Hurst & Co, 1995)
As saw in Ch1, always strong tradition of unquestioning obedience to authority in the pre-colonial kingdom of Rwanda
This tradition reinforced by both the German and Belgian colonial administrations
Since independence the country had lived under a well-organised and tightly-controlled state
When the highest authorities in that state told you to do something you did it, even if it included killing
There is some similarity here to the Prussian tradition of the German state and its ultimate perversion into the disciplined obedience to Nazi orders
(247) main agents of the genocide were the ordinary peasants themselves
This is borne out by majority of survivors' stories
Degree of compulsion exercised on them varied greatly from place to place but in some areas, the govt version of a spontaneous movement of the population to 'kill the enemy Tutsi' is true
Perps agreeing w propaganda view by mythifying Tutsi as aggressive enemies
element of material interest in the killings, even in the countryside
Killers looted household belongings and slaughtered the cattle
Meat became v cheap, and grand feasts were held
Greed not the main motivation
It was belief and obedience - belief in a deeply-imbibed ideology which justified in advance what you were about to do, and obedience both to the political authority of the state and to the social authority of the group
Mass-killers tend to be men of the herd, and Rwanda was no exception
Rwanda revisited: In search for lessons - Howard Adelman 11/2000
The UN sent troops in July 1994 to protect and save the refugees (including
many of the genocidists) who fled Rwanda when the Hutu extremists were
defeated by the Tutsi-led Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)
When the UN-sanctioned
French troops of Op6ration Turquoise landed in June on only several days
notice, it was ten weeks after the genocide had started and after it had almost run
"the return of the tribes" was the lens through which most of the
media misread the conflict in Rwanda. There was no intractable differences
between the Hutu and Tutsi.
What are we left with in the end? The genocide was caused by immoral Hutu
extremists. The genocide was caused by a system that built in structural
violence. The genocidists were driven by hatred and revenge in a misbegotten
use of power. The major Western powers failed to intervene because they were
complicit, to different degrees, in building the genocidal regime. Unwilling to
sacrifice their troops to save others, according to General Dallaire, the dominant
powers were quite willing to put troops in harms way to give the appearance of
action without the will or the moral fiber to do anything effectively. I happen to find the range of explanations limited and too simplistic in
Reasons = highly complex
What is Dallaire's explanation?
states suffered from an "inexcusable apathy," "inexcusable by any human
criteria" and "completely beyond comprehension and moral acceptability
In other words, the depth of moral depravity was more in
evidence and more incomprehensible when the freatment of their own troops was
put under the microscope, for even self-interest was not in play.
t the problem was not the result of a release of primordial
tribal divisions as a result of a failed or weakened state. Rather, "the genocide
was orgaruzed by state officials and their allies and was carried out using the
instruments of the state" (in Joseph , L999, p 353). The West with their support
of the Habyarimana regime made possible the increased coercive capacity of the
And the civil war was not only the cover for the genocide. The civil war
allowed the regime to expand its weaponry and military personnel, to monitor
and more effectively control the population and to organize and carry out
criminal violence with rhetorical resources.
The logistics were, in effect, supplied
by Western support. In initiating the civil war, the Rwandese Patriotic Front
(RPF) bears some of the responsibility for the genocide in Longman's view
particularly since, without the war, Longman believes that Rwanda was headed
towards increased democratization.
Longman's view on the role of the West in creating what he dubs "structural
violence." Most of the book is spent documenting that sffuctural violence in
confrast to the image of Rwanda perpeffated by the aid agencies as the ideal
recipient of aid until the late 1980s
The genocidists are victims of the
process of modernity from the perspective of a neo-Marxist critique
In the 1980s,
Rwanda was tranquil-or, like the volcanoes in the northwest, dormant; it had nice roads,
high church attendance, low crime rates and steadily improving standards of public health
and education [though Uvin claims it was very unevenly distributed]. If you were a
bureaucrat with a foreign-aid budget to unload, and your professional success was to be
measured by your ability not to lie or gloss too much when you filed happy statistical
reports at the end of each fiscal year, Rwanda was the ticket
Uvin unites the thesis of Dallaire and Longman, but treats their observations
as symptoms of a deeper problem. On the one hand, the wealthy countries did
not provide either a mandate or sufficient resources to intervene effectively in
the genocide. On the other hand, aid was part of the process creating the
conditions for sfructural violence when that same aid could have been used to
prevent its possibility or to counteract its effectiveness once it became immanent.
As Uvin documents, when conditionality was placed on aid, the Rwandan
government did temporarily change its behavior. Rather than apathy among
donor states, the issue then is one of misplaced support to those who were
themselves under threat of losing their power and privileges and susceptible to employing scapegoating strategies to deal with stress and lack of self-esteem.
When combined with a lack of external consffaints, a recipe for disaster had
huge expenditures in aid following the genocide. This economic support stands
in such sharp confrast to the meager effort provided to the peacekeepers and the
misdirected aid prior to the outbreak of civil war. For Weiss, the problem was
not apathy or even a misdirected aid ideology, though the latter sewed the
conditions for the civil war and the ethnic scapegoating. Rather, the focus is on
the peacekeeping and its failure when the warnings of genocide were present or
even once the genocide had commenced.
According to Weiss, the tardiness and
meagerness in responding is rooted in domestic pottics: "Allocating and
disbursing billions of dollars of humanitarian aid after violence has erupted is
easier for risk-averse politicians and policymakers than moving precipitously to
commit armed forces early in a conflict cycle"
One of "a small
number of foreigners [who] did fight passionately to stop the slaughter,"
DesForges, modest beyond belief about her own role (her own name does not
even appear on the cover of the book), proves that intellect can complement
DesForges goes into
great detail regarding the role of the RPF in committing atrocities of its
own-from 25,000 to 40,000. If Dallaire did not spell out the UN logistic
nightmare, DesForges does. And DesForges is the first to document how the
head of the Canadian Armed Forces, General Baril, then at UN headquarters,
continually undermined his fellow Canadian, General Dallaire.
Unlike Gourevitch, DesForges checks her facts and rccognizes that the
January 11 cable was put in a black file (actually, a box) because it was
rccognized as important. She confirms the accuracy of Gourevitch's account of
how the Tutsi were saved in the Hotel Milles Collines, but she leaves out the
heroic genre for framing the tale. Her explanations are subtle and complex. Her
emphasis is on the West's failure to stop the genocide once that state power was
seized to be used for genocidal purposes-an outcome far more contingent and
uncertain than suggested by the other accounts
DesForges agrees with
Dallaire, and explains in excruciating detail the reasons that the genocide could
have been stopped with ease in the first two weeks after it had commenced.
DesForges presents reams of evidence to suggest that the specter of the Tutsi
as an absolute menace requiring eradication was a strategic technique rather than
a given psychological state binding Hutu leaders and followers. Far more
organizational skill and effort were required to execute the genocide than simply
repeated appeals. In fact, state machinery, the use of the media for propaganda
purposes, intimidation and coercion of dissidents or those who tried to stand
aside, all were used brilliantly and efficaciously. Yet only a significant but small
portion of the population, in the end, were induced or forced into killing their
And they did so for many more reasons than Leyton suggestednot
only power and pillage, but virulent hatred, real fear, ambition, and to save
their own skins or for more mundane reasons-they wanted to avoid the fines
levied for non-participation.
combined and came together, but none of the reasons excused those who had a
role. DesForges would have the bystanders as well as the perpetrators brought
before a commission of truth if not a court of justice.
Add in Hatzfeld??
Explaining the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda
Author(s): Helen M. Hintjens
Any adequate account of the I994 genocide in Rwanda must acknowledge
manipulation by external forces, domestic pressures and psychological fac
tors. Even so, the nature of the Rwandan state must be seen as absolutely
central. The genocide took place under the aegis of the state, and Rwandans
were the main actors involved. Both precolonial legacies and colonial policies
contributed to the formation of this state, whose increasingly autocratic and
unpopular government was, by the early i99os, facing serious threats to its
hold on state power, for which genocide represented a last-ditch attempt at
survival. Many of the mechanisms through which genocide was prepared,
implemented and justified in Rwanda bore striking resemblances to those
used during the twentieth century's other major genocide, the Nazi Holo
caust against the Jews.
Genocide in the Great Lakes: Which Genocide? Whose Genocide?
Author(s): René Lemarchand
ca. In Rwanda and Burundi, in particular, getting at the truth will
remain problematic as long as the perpetrators of genocide readily cast themselves
in the role of victims, and the victims, in turn, are seen as perpetrators by their ene
mies. Basic disagreements between Hutu and Tutsi about who committed genocide
and why are traceable in part to the uncritical use of the term genocide to describe
just about any type of ethnic violence, in part to the selective sifting of the evidence
with a view to exonerating one group and condemning the other
other. Although Hutu
and Tutsi are both guilty of genocide, the tendency to substitute collective guilt for
individual culpability in the planning and execution of the killings can only result
in distortion of the facts. There will be no peace in the Great Lakes region unless
one takes seriously the task of shedding light on the circumstances, the scale and
the consequences of the genocide of Hutu by Tutsi in Burundi (1972), of Tutsi and
Hutu by Hutu in Rwanda (1994), and of Hutu by Tutsi in Congo (1996
pments.4 Remarkably few observers seem to
realize that the first genocide to be recorded in the annals of independent
Africa occurred not in Rwanda but in Burundi, in the wake of an aborted
Hutu-instigated uprising that caused the deaths of hundreds if not thou
sands of Tutsi civilians. Estimates of the number of Hutu killed during the
ensuing repression range from 100,000 to 200,000 Hutu. The killings last
ed from April to November 1972, resulting in the death or flight into exile
of almost every educated Hutu. Day after day truckloads of Hutu young
men-primary and secondary school children, university students, teach
ers, agronomists, civil servants-were sent to their graves
Because the 1972 genocide in Burundi provides the historical thread
that enables us to make sense of subsequent developments. It explains the
anti-Tutsi backlash in Rwanda, which paved the way for the seizure of power
by Juvenal Habyarimana in 1973, and the ascendency of northerners; it
explains the rise of a radical political movement among those Hutu
refugees who sought asylum in Tanzania
The notion of collective guilt is the principal obstacle to national rec
onciliation. To hold all Tutsi collectively responsible for human rights vio
lations is hardly more convincing than to assume that the hundreds of
thousands of Hutu refugees in eastern Congo were all involved in the 1994
genocide. Nothing is more specious than the argument that after the
destruction of the refugee camps in November 1996, and the return per
haps as many as half a million refugees to Rwanda, the only Hutu left
behind were the genocidaires, and therefore that it was entirely legitimate
for the Rwandan army to kill them in order prevent them from doing fur
ther harm. And yet this is precisely the subliminal "text" that underlies the
"cleansing" operations of the Rwandan military in eastern Congo
It is in Rwanda that healing strategies have been applied most consis
tently, if not always successfully, by Church groups. At the heart of such
strategies is the belief that unless people are willing to confess their crimes
and ask forgiveness, there can be no basis for recon
Nigel Eltringham (2006) ‘Invaders who have stolen the country’: The
Hamitic Hypothesis, Race and the Rwandan Genocide, Social Identities
The use in genocidal propaganda of a modified ‘Hamitic Hypothesis’ (the assertion that
African ‘civilisation’ was due to racially distinct Caucasoid invaders from the north/
north-east of Africa) has become a key feature of commentary on the 1994 Rwandan
genocide. In order to historicise the Hypothesis, the article first traces the transformation
by European anthropology of the ‘Hamite’ in to a racial object and how the extraneous
provenance of ‘the Tutsi’ was articulated in colonial Rwanda. The article then critically
assesses the centrality of the Hypothesis in constructing the Tutsi population as a target of
genocide. Finally, the article explores both the inadvertent and explicit ways in which
contemporary commentary reiterates aspects of the ‘Hamitic assemblage’
This notion of ‘conquering Hamitic Tutsi’ was articulated by both Hutu and Tutsi
nationalists in the latter half of the 1950s. O
William F. S. Miles (2000) Hamites and Hebrews: Problems in "Judaizing" the
It is worth noting here that the Hamitic Hypothesis corresponded with an
effort to formulate linguistic typologies for Africa that retained a quasi-biblical
nomenclature. In 1863 Karl Lebsisu introduced a tripartite scheme that divided
African languages into Semitic (Arabic- and Hebrew-based), Hamitic (gen- dered), and African proper (non-gendered). Robert Cust, following Friedrich
Mu¨ller, in 1883 introduced three additional categories (Nuba-Fula, Hottentot- Bushman, Bantu Negro) to replace Lebsisu’s generic “African,” but retained
Mu¨ller’s Semitic and Hamitic language groups. So did the next notable German
linguist of Africa, Carl Meinhof, who in 1915 suggested the ve-fold designation
of Bantu, Bushman, Sudanic, Semitic, and Hamitic. In the half century from
Lebsisu to Meinhof, linguistic designations were tied closer to racial ones
. In the 19th century Jewish attributes were
ascribed to Tutsis, thanks to a purported historical linkage dating back to ancient
Far from rejecting a European, Judeo-Christian reinterpretation of their own
origins, Tutsi nobility embraced outside con rmation of their supposed cultural
t Tutsis are also “Jews” in the more problematic sense of being—albeit in
an African context—a “chosen people,” one whose historically privileged status
stemmed from colonial favoritism.
Who then, in the moral universe of Holocaust parallelism, are the Tutsis? Are
they “the Jews,” victims of intended extermination? Or are they “the Nazis,” putative embodiment of a superior race? To posit that they are, in some sense, both Aryans and Jews is unacceptable
When it comes to religious imperatives and political moralism, theological
parallelism is a slippery slope. Equating Tutsis with Jews on the basis of shared
victimhood opens up an array of other, more problematic associations, ranging
from Old Testament injunctions to commit genocide to misplaced suspicion of “chosen peoples” in diaspora. Yet precisely because biblical imagery and Scriptural associations are so
ingrained in both Western and African consciousness, ignoring religious under- pinnings to genocide (including deliberate distortions of religion) can be tacti- cally sideblinding . Just as ideological motivation plays a crucial role in modern
genocide,17 so can para-theology—the exploitation of religious language and
symbolism for political gain—be used to justify acts of systematic, state-sanctioned
murder of “diabolic” peoples. Strategies for genocide prevention need to
incorporate common understandings of, and beliefs in, myth, religion, and
Scripture, regardless of how inaccurate or distorted those understandings and
beliefs may become. Indeed, the more corrupted the theology, the more it needs
to be addressed.
It is in this vein that future comparisons of the Itsembambaga and Shoah need
to examine the role of established churches in countenancing, if not fostering, genocide. While (in)action of the Vatican during the Holocaust is still roundly
debated in ecumenical circles, German Protestant complicity is less commonly
debated.18 Even more relevant to the apparent aberrational participation of Hutu
clergymen in the Rwandan genocide is the rst full-length exploration of the
German Christian Movement, chillingly self-described as “a people’s church as
a community of race and blood” and comprised of “storm troopers for Christ.”
Students of genocide await comprehensive, scholarly treatment of the role of the
church during the Itsembambaga, harbingers of which can be found in journalistic
accounts.20 Radical Hutus’ “Ten Commandments” of racial extermination
(their chosen expression) is paradigmatic of the dangers of para-theology.
It is important to recall the foremost pre-Darwinian account of The Origin of
Species—Genesis—not because it embodies any scienti cally useful anthro- pogeny, but because racist-driven genocides are compulsively steeped in ancient, mythic notions of blood lines and national origins
in cultures which share a scriptural
heritage—and this includes adherents to the three great monotheistic traditions—
it is just as important that theology be harnessed in ways that build, rather than
degrade, inter-ethnic con dence.