Accounting For Horror: Post-Genocide Debates in Rwanda by Nigel Eltringham

By Nigel Eltringham

The 1994 Rwandan genocide used to be a huge atrocity during which no less than 500,000 Tutsi and tens of millions of Hutu have been murdered in under 4 months. on account that 1994, individuals of the Rwandan political category who realize these occasions as genocide have struggled to account for it and convey coherence to what's frequently perceived as irrational, primordial savagery. most folks agree at the components that contributed to the genocide -- colonialism, ethnicity, the fight to manage the nation. notwithstanding, many nonetheless disagree over the way in which those components advanced, and the connection among them. This carrying on with war of words increases questions about how we come to appreciate ancient occasions -- understandings that underpin the opportunity of sustainable peace. Drawing on huge examine between Rwandese in Rwanda and Europe, and on his paintings with a clash answer NGO in post-genocide Rwanda, Nigel Eltringham argues that traditional modes of historic illustration are insufficient in a case like Rwanda. unmarried, absolutist narratives and representations of genocide really strengthen the modes of pondering that fuelled the genocide within the first position. Eltringham keeps that if we're to appreciate the genocide, we needs to discover the connection among a number of motives of what occurred and interrogate how -- and why -- various teams inside Rwandan society speak about the genocide in numerous methods.

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Extra resources for Accounting For Horror: Post-Genocide Debates in Rwanda

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When ethnicity is understood as polythetic and when a notion of racial difference is one possible component of ‘ethnicity’ we can conclude that Tutsi killed in 1994 were defined either ‘ethnically’ or ‘racially’ according to the UNGC. The perpetrators, however, did not understand ‘ethnicity’ in a polythetic sense, but only according to mono-dimensional racism. This must be communicated explicitly. One encounters a sense of frustration among Rwandese who welcome the designation of 1994 as genocide, but refute the unnecessary reification of ‘ethnicity’.

It becomes a high-powered tool for domination. (2002: 182) DEFINING ETHNICITY: THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA In the context of applying the UNGC to Rwanda, there appears to have been a failure not only to appreciate the distinction between contemporary, multidimensional conceptions of ‘ethnicity’ and mono-dimensional race, but that to search for ethnic distinction as an empirical reality (rather than a contingent ‘token of reality’) shares assumptions with perpetrator definitions.

1995: 154). Likewise, in March 1993 Kangura stated: ‘In our language a Tutsi is called a cockroach because he takes advantage of the night, he conceals himself in order to achieve his objectives’ (quoted in ibid. 156). 31 Indeed, Arjun Appadurai (1998: 919) suggests that ‘ethnic’ violence, including genocide, provides a fleeting moment in which the figurative construct of an ‘ethnic group’ (a ‘token of reality’) is made ‘graspable’, that the act of killing makes literal, concrete victims that vindicate the figurative.

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