Rwanda 20 Years Later

2014 is the 20th anniversary of the greatest human rights atrocity since the Cold War ended: the Rwandan Genocide (2014 is also the 100th anniversary of World War I). For most atrocities during the Cold War we blame the US-USSR rivalry, but it is very sobering to remember that even after the Soviets collapsed and the US was left as the only superpower a genocide took place in a place like Rwanda -a very weak country where outside powers could easily intervene and deter ethnic cleansing.

The Rwandan Genocide was part of a larger conflict, sometimes called the Great Lakes Conflict. Great Lakes are made up of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These countries were already broiled in civil war before 1994 and the conflict still goes on at least in DRC today, but the genocide is the most dramatic episode in the whole conflict.

Laura Seay, an expert on African politics, put together a good list of readings on the Rwandan Genocide. Of course it includes sections like “accounts of journalists in Rwanda at the time” and “the international community’s non-response”. But you can also find readings on today’s Rwanda and the regime that was founded after the genocide stopped. It is interesting to see how Rwanda achieved political stability since 1994, but this stability was not accompanied by democracy and rights for most people unfortunately.

Link to Seay’s post.

 

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