Introduction The peculiar course of the gacaca process introduced in Rwandan society to deal with the legacy of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi has been thoroughly examined in book-length scholarly studies ( Clark, 2010 ; Ingelaere, 2016 ; Chakravarty, 2015 ; Doughty, 2016 ; Longman, 2017 ). 1 Not only observations of trial proceedings but also survey results and popular narratives collected during fieldwork indicate that testimonial activity – both confessions but especially accusations – was the cornerstone of the gacaca system ( Penal Reform
Introduction Beginning in 1990, the small Central African country of Rwanda was shaken by a pro-democracy movement and a rebel invasion, led by exiled members of the minority Tutsi ethnic group. The government responded to the dual pressures of protest and war by offering political reforms while simultaneously seeking to regain popularity with the members of the majority Hutu group by stirring up anti-Tutsi ethnic sentiments. Both a number of new domestic human rights groups and international human rights organisations documented the regime’s repression of
Representations of Rwanda have been shaped by the display of bodies and bones at Tutsi genocide memorial sites. This phenomenon is most often only studied from the perspective of moral dimensions. This article aims in contrast to cover the issues related to the treatment of human remains in Rwanda for commemorative purposes from a historical perspective. To this end, it is based on the archives of the commissions in charge of genocide memory in Rwanda, as well as interviews with key memorial actors. This study shows the evolution of memorial practices since 1994 and the hypermateriality of bodies in their use as symbols, as well as their demobilisation for the purposes of reconciliation policies.
This article describes the brutalisation of the bodies of Tutsi and Jewish victims in 1994 and during the Second World War, respectively, and contrasts the procedures adopted by killers to understand what these deadly practices say about the imaginaries at work in Rwanda and Poland. Dealing with the infernalisation of the body, which eventually becomes a form of physical control, this comparative work examines the development of groups and communities of killers in their particular social and historical context. Different sources are used, such as academic works, reports from victims organisations and non-governmental organisations, books, testimonies and film documentaries.
The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, humanity and memory to explore bone display in Rwanda. It then takes up two artistic projects that play on the materiality of human remains after atrocity: the art of Carl Michael von Hausswolff, who took ashes from an urn at the Majdanek concentration camp and used them as the material for his painting, and the One Million Bones Project, an installation that exhibits ceramic bones to raise awareness about global violence. In thinking about the intersections between human biomatter, art and politics, the article seeks to raise questions about both production and consumption: how bones and ashes of the dead are produced, and how they are consumed by viewers when placed on display in a variety of ways.
All of the authors contributing to this issue of Journal of Humanitarian Affairs (JHA) agreed to write articles elaborating on the presentations they gave at the international conference hosted by FMSH (Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme) and MSF-CRASH (Médecins Sans Frontières – Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires) on 20–22 March 2019 at the Hôtel de Lauzun in Paris. The title of the conference was ‘Extreme violence: investigate, rescue, judge. Syria, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo’. This issue also includes a recent text
humanitarian interventions. The topic was thrust upon me by events in Rwanda in 1994. As a teenage, second-generation Rwandan immigrant in Belgium, I was more personally affected than fellow classmates by the hypocrisy of the international community: the preaching of respect for human rights, followed by their omission during one hundred days of mass murder before the eyes of the world. It felt like there was more to the story than ‘good intentions versus regrettable outcomes’. Ever since, I have worried about the content and purpose of (Western
on their periphery. Consequently, humanitarianism at the heart of conflict dynamics and containment policies combined led relief operations to depend on the existence of humanitarian corridors in Sudan in 1989, Iraqi Kurdistan in 1991, former Yugoslavia in 1992 and Rwanda in 1994 ( Jean, 1997 ). The Absence of a Normative Framework or Consistent Definition The legal concept of ‘relief corridors’ appears in resolution 45/100 of the UN General Assembly from 14 December 1990. It alludes to the principle of free access to victims enshrined in the Geneva
quantified during the 1990s. They argue that rationalisation processes were adopted to claw back the neutrality they had lost during the military humanitarianism of the late twentieth century ( Chouliaraki, 2013 : 13–15) and to regain the trust of the international community after their failings during the Rwandan genocide (1994) ( Verpoorten, 2005 : 357). In relation to the emergence of quantification in society in general, the twenty-first century has witnessed the
need for operational ‘proximity’ to, as well as performative distance from, everyday social and political dynamics. Background MSF in North Kivu In North Kivu, international aid organisations installed themselves en masse after the influx of Rwandan refugees in 1994. The urban landscape of its capital, Goma, has been dramatically reshaped in consequence, while a range of NGOs have established projects in rural areas. The medical humanitarian organisation, MSF, has a long history in the region, having opened its first project in DRC in 1977. Today, three