National reconciliation in Rwanda: Experiences and lessons learnt

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Abstract

Rwanda became notorious internationally in 1994 when the genocide that mainly targeted the Tutsi people was perpetrated. How the country responded to the tragedy through national reconciliation is the core of this paper. By relying on a document analysis, the author provides contextual information and an analysis of Rwanda’s experiences in national reconciliation after the 1994 genocide, and an overview of the lessons learnt from these experiences. The paper discusses how the post-genocide government has been the driving force for national reconciliation. The government considered national reconciliation to be the only option were Rwanda to survive and tapped into home-grown solutions that combined universal and culture-based approaches and that involved judicial and non-judicial responses. The implementation process involved mandatory individual and community participation. The paper also discusses the successes and challenges in the process. Each conflict is unique, and addressing any conflict’s aftermath requires sensitivity to its nature and context. However, Rwanda’s experience with national reconciliation offers ‘food for thought’ for other countries living their own traumatic experiences of violent conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEuropean University Institute
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-92-9466-185-2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

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